The Athenian victory over Boeotians and Chalcidians (506 B.C.) is well attested by literary and epigraphical sources. The Athenians dedicated a four-horse chariot on the Acropolis. Fragments of two dedicatory inscriptions are extant, the 6th-century original and a 5th-century restored copy. An accurate datation of the copy is matter of discussion. This article aims at reassessing the historical context of the restoration in the light of the sources, some of which are usually neglected. The restoration dates back to the fifties, when the Athenians were at the height of their power, rather than to the forties, when they had to face strong difficulties. Moreover, several analogies between the situation of 506 and that of 457 may be detected: as a consequence, the hypothesis of a restoration after the battle of Oinophyta is confirmed.
The double marriage of Dionysius I of Syracuse to Doris of Locris and Aristomache of Syracuse is mentioned by different historians, including Diodorus, Plutarch, and Aelianus. According to sources supporting Dion and opposed to Dionysius I, and which were used by Plutarch and Aelianus, these marriages took place at the same time and, for this reason, descendants of both spouses were equally important in the lineage. On the contrary, other literary and epigraphic texts (Diodorus and Tod 133) state that Doris was married first: this priority gave her city, Locris, a sort of pre-eminence. Dionysius’
action against the Italiots are also investigated in the light of Diodorus, Strabo, Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Justinus.
The author of the second book of the Politics sees in the Platonic isonomia – to be exact, in the isonomous federal state – nothing more than a union warranting the numerical preponderance of the centre, in a way similar to what a tribe or an alliance used to do. The two constitutional forms, ethnos and summachia, probably found their place in Plato’s Realpolitik thinking as early as his discussion, within the Academy, of the theoretical aspects of isonomia. Notably the theme of summachia must have been important for his notions about the isonomia, in view of his barbarophobe patriotism.
The passages from the Timaeus-Critias, the Laws (with clear parallels in the Minos), and the Letters, analyzed in this article, show that, during the 350’s and the following years, Plato and the Academy were deeply interested in the problems of federalism and related facts of life such as isonomous communities.
Eratosthenes’ short poem Hermes is to be regarded as a hymn, in which Hermes’ deeds were narrated in the form of an epyllion: episodes from the god’s childhood are the core, but, as it is suggested by POxy 3000, there are others possibly related to his later life and even to his descendants. The survival of the poem is studied, its content analysed and a full discussion is provided on all the excerpts preserved in scholia and learned works and on grossly multilated papyrus fragments (POxy 3000 and probably POxy 2521).
Plautus’ prologi are only for introduction and inform about the play plot. Terence’s prologi include literary criticism or personal attacks. Terence has been supposed to be the inventor of this sort of prologus, but some fragments, where the poet appears to speak in the first person, suggest that Naevius used the prologus for polemic purposes well before him. On the ground of textual details it is not unlikely that Terence’s prologi have been inspired by Naevius. Critical-personal prologi were long-lasting in Latin literature among the authors of togatae. Several fragments of Afranius may suggest a similar use.
The antagonism between the individual and the many is a basic constant of human existence. The particular dynamics of the mass, however, is only perceived in the literature of the Empire, starting with Ovid and Seneca and culminating in Ammianus Marcellinus, who is watching the plebs as if from above, from the Olympian perspective, like a foreign population from the animal kingdom. The increasing interest in the behaviour of the masses found its expression in a mannered and hypertrophic style. Similar features can be found in contemporary visual arts.
In Roman culture, military defeats are recorded as negative exempla, especially epoch-making defeats such as the river Allia, Cannae, Carrhae or Teutoburg. This depends on several factors. Originally, the responsibility of military victories or shortcomings was not attributed to the single commander, but as a deed concerning the whole community. Moreover, the dates of major defeats were included in the calendar as dies nefasti and, in some particular cases (as the Allia and Cannae) as dies vitiosi.
With the Principate, this tradition begins to change. The transformation can be seen by the end of Augustan age, with the elaboration of a légende noire of unlucky commanders like Crassus and Quinctilius Varus.
Augustus continued Caesar’s expansionist policy, and Germany, instead of Britain, was his goal. A province of Germania existed between 7 B.C. and 9 A.D., and, even after Teutoburg, Augustus did not give up the plan of extending the empire borders to the Elbe. Germanicus aimed at recovering Germany, but Tiberius stopped him, lest a powerful Germanicus could threaten his own throne. Gaius Caligula probably intended to retake Germany, but his successor Claudius chose Britain. Nero had to face and stifle Boudica’s rebellion in Britain. Vespasian annexed the agri decumates (part of Baden-Württemberg), but Domitian, and Trajan, turned to Dacia and the Danube region. Therefore Tiberius’s temporary suspension of conquest of Germany became final, essentially because the army and prestige of a governor of Germania would make him a potential usurper. Reasons concerning Rome’s domestic affairs caused Arminius to be haud dubie liberator Germaniae for ever.
The battle of Teutoburg was caused by the rise of Rome to world power and by the migration of the Germans to central Europe. The intention of extending its own civilization in the pax Romana engaged the determination to preserve their freedom and warlike spirit. The battle stopped a provincialization and urbanization in progress, as it is clear from the excavations at Waldgirmes (1993). The defeat plunged Augustus and Rome into excessive panic. As a consequence of Teutoburg Rome abstained from plans of conquest of Germany, and Arminius failed in the enforcement of his authority on his people, the Cherusci. The Germans did not accept to be ruled by the liberator Germaniae.
Tacitus established a myth of Arminius which survived and encreased in the German culture until the renowned monument at Detmold (19th Century). Modern nationalisms erected several such monuments to opponents of the Romans: e.g. Boudicca, Decebalus, Vercingetorix; but the one and only victor is Arminius.
The discoveries of texts by Tacitus, „Germania“ and „Annales“, in monastic libraries in Germany in 1425 and 1505 respectively were crucial to the belief of Germans of their common origin and political coherence and in nation building. These works mark the beginning of German history with historic events, places, personalities and above all characteristics. First these remarks serve from 1457 in a quarrel of supremacy between German and Italian writers with implications of freedom and obedience, liberty and civilisation and in consequence the virtues and vices of the different nations. The interpretation of nation, of one origin, leads the political implications of modern time to put nation, state, race in one fatal unity.
In his biography of the Emperor Titus, Suetonius states that he was born III. Kal. Ian. insigni anno Gaiana nece. This wording is usually interpretated as referring to December 30th, 41 AD, year of Caligula’s assassination. Since all the extant literary and documentary sources unanimously state that the date of Titus’ birth was December 30th, 39 AD, Suetonius is accused of inaccuracy and of inconsistency with chapter 11 of the same biography, where the date is correctly referred to. However, the usual translation of Suetonius’ text is not the only possible one and Suetonius’ sentence becomes
perfectly consistent with the other sources, if it is referred not to Caligula’s assassination in 41 AD, but to his slaughter of Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, Agrippina’s lover, in 39 AD. Vespasian, who was praetor designatus, had a rôle in the flattering initiatives taken by the Senate to please the tyrant and therefore, some years later, had to temporarily retire from public life, fearing Agrippina’s vengeance. The birth of Titus seems so to be connected with a blamable episode of his father’s life, which could cast a shadow on the whole life of the emperor amor ac deliciae generis humani.
A close relationship exists between 1 Timothy and Hellenistic philosophy, especially Stoicism and (Middle) Platonism. A remarkable parallel is found between 1 Tim 5:1-2 and Hierocles the Stoic’s doctrine of oikeiosis. A similar parallel between the notion of spiritual death, as it is expressed in 1 Tim 5:6 and in broadly contemporary authors influenced by Roman Stoicism and Middle Platonism, proves that the author of 1 Timothy knew and adapted conceptions drawn from the Hellenistic moral lore and philosophy of his day. In 1 Tim 5:6 the notion of the spiritual death of the immoral person appears connected both to Paul and to the philosophical landscape of the early Empire (Middle-
Platonic and Neo-Stoic). Philo occupies an important place in this tradition, which has remarkable developments in Origen. 1 Tim 5:6 is basic for Origen’s conception of spiritual death. The author of 1 Timothy has a deep knowledge of Hellenistic philosophy, especially Stoicism and Platonism, not only of single points or details, but of crucial philosophical conceptions, which he consciously employs for his own paraenetic discourse. This proves consistent with the long-recognised fact that the Pastoral Epistles represent an attempt at adapting Christian Pauline communities to their Hellenistic cultural environment and making them less suspect in the eyes of Graeco-Roman society.
Ploutos, the god and hypostasis of richness, was often described in Greek and Roman literary works. The most well-known of these representations is Aristophanes’ Ploutos, a comedy which became a landmark for the following generations and also inspired Lucian of Samosata. Lucian’s dialogue Timon offers a wonderful and complex characterization of the god, in which Aristophanes’ text was combined with elements from the philosophical and rhetorical culture of the Second Sophistic and with the author’s original and ingenious creativity.
Different aspects of the Virgilian cento Medea, written by the African Hosidius Geta (II century A.D.), are taken into consideration. First, some examples of its Virgilian and Senecan intertextuality are given, in order to qualify H.’s poetic ars. Then the controversial text of v. 191 is discussed (Media fert tristis sucos, nigris infecta venenis), where, in spite of the metrical infelicity, both Media and nigris are to be retained. Media might be considered in fact a Virgilio-Senecan and scholastic allusion; while the expression nigris infecta venenis was later re-used by Dracontius.
Ambrose bishop of Milan frequently refers to proliferation of latifundia as a widespread tendency to the detriment of small owners. The analysis of some relevant passages concerning this issue and the speculation on grain prices (often intended to force small landowners to sell their mortgaged properties) shows how Ambrose was able to cope with and connect in different contexts or meaning both pagan and Christian sources, and biblical texts too. Many topics are probably indebted to the well-established tradition of rhetorical teaching.
The colloquium, which hosted 15 lectures held by scholars of different nationalities, focused on Silius Italicus and his Punica: the poem within the framework of the 1st-century A.D. aesthetics, historical problems of the Punic Wars and of Domitian’s times, the style of narration (ekphrasis, characters, allegoric-symbolic use of mythology).
S. LANGDON, Art and Identity in Dark Age Greece, 1100-700 BC (S. Chiarini), p. 313 - D. WALSH, Distorted Ideals in Greek Vase-Painting. The World of Mythological Burlesque (S. Chiarini), p. 315 - F. ZARDINI, The Myth of Herakles and Kyknos. A Study in Greek Vase-Painting and Literature (S. Chiarini), p. 317 - The Oxford Handbook of Papyrology, ed. by R.S. BAGNALL (S. Barbantani), p. 319 - E. PARATORE, Storia del teatro latino, con un’appendice di scritti sul teatro latino arcaico e un inedito autobiografico, a c. di L. GAMBERALE, A. MARCHETTA (G. Aricò), p. 321 - U. MARTORELLI, Redeat verum. Studi sulla tecnica poetica dell’Alethia di Mario Claudio Vittorio (C. Somenzi), p. 324 - A. COSENTINO, Il battesimo gnostico. Dottrine, simboli e riti iniziatici nello gnosticismo (G.
Chiapparini), p. 326
L. LUGARESI, Il teatro di Dio. Il problema degli spettacoli nel Cristianesimo antico
(II-IV secolo) (I. Ramelli), p. 331 - I. TANASEANU-DÖBLER, Konversion zur
Philosophie in der Spätantike. Kaiser Julian und Synesios von Kyrene (A.
Marcone), p. 332 - Kaiser Julian ,Apostata‘ und die philosophische Reaktion
gegen das Christentum, hrsg. C. SCHÄFER (A. Marcone), p. 333 - M.G. BAJONI,
Les grammairiens lascifs. La grammaire à la fin de l’Empire romain (R. Sgarbi), p. 335
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