The comedy is a unique source of understanding aspects and modes of corruption in the 5th-century Athenian society. Cases of corruption in institutional frameworks and their connections with the negative representation of the demagogue Kleonymos are here investigated; the charges of corruption made by Aristophanes against Kleon and his comments on law courts and legal proceedings are also discussed. The poet constantly and pessimistically staged a system that was both ridiculous and untrustworthy and, besides, could not be reformed because the new politicians were deeply corrupted and more and more able to take advantage of public offices.
The date of composition of Eupolis’ comedy Demoi is a matter of discussion: after a critical review of the evidence, a dating between 417 and 414 is to be rejected in favour of the years immediately before or after the coup d’e´tat of the Four Hundred. The traditional 412 dating appears probably the best. In Fr. 17 Telo` = 99 Kassel-Austin, the mention of hetaireiai is particularly significant in the perspective of the incipient oligarchic coup of 411. Moreover, the portrait of a demagogue combining radical democratic features with oligarchic elitarian ones perfectly fits into that prevailing climate of political transformism. Identification of this figure is quite problematic; however, the name of Dieitrephes could be cautiously suggested. Interestingly, the same fragment also includes a mention of Solon, a key figure in the oligarchs’ political propaganda, but here portrayed in a quite different way, as a democratic lawgiver. Eupolis possibly intended to contrast the image of Solon diffused by the conspirators.
At the beginning of the Hellenistic Age the Ionian small town of Priene, nowadays famous for its extraordinary archeological remains, appears to have been rebuilt in a place different from the original site. The persons and reasons which gave rise to this second foundation of the town are investigated in the present paper. After recent achievements, the historical context of the rebirth of Priene can be described in detail, casting new light on the relationships between Priene and the dynasty of the Hecatomnids, the satraps of Caria, and on the role held by Priene in the sanctuary of Poseidon Helikonios (the Panionion), meeting place of the Ionian poleis.
Only scanty fragments of Aratus’ minor works are extant; on the contrary, relevant information can be found in numerous ancient testimonia. Several ancient sources attest to Aratus’ scholarly work on Homer and all of them are here discussed: accordingly, an edition of the Odyssey is attributed to him with certainty; the attribution of a similar work on the Iliad is doubtful. From other sources a new hypothesis may be advanced concerning Fr. 83, 84 (= Fr 85) Supplementum Hellenisticum, which offer different versions of the opening lines of the Phaenomena. In the light of the testimonia, Aratus’ authorship of both versions appears to be possible.
The inscription of the legate M. Appuleius, from 23 B.C., found in the church of St. Apollinare in Trento, ensures that the territory was then part of the province Caesaris, not part of Italy. The inscription commemorates the construction of a building and its date coincides with the first settlement of Tridentum discovered by archaeological excavations. Accurate discussion of these data suggests that the new city, constructed by order of Augustus, was intended to form a regional center for the local population, according to a practice that we find later in Raetia and Germany. Only later it became a municipium: the municipium Tridentum was possibly established between 15 B.C. (the campaign of Drusus) and 8 or 7 B.C. (the general census and the elevation of Trophaeum Alpium), at the same time as the extension of the territory of Italy.
The chronology of Philostratus’ Life of Apollonius of Tyana is uncertain: it is unknown whether the date of composition that the date of publication of the work. The modern hypotheses put the composition in the age of Septimius Severus and the pubblication under the reign of Alexander Severus. On the basis of significant historical and textual evidences it is now proposed to date to Caracalla’s principate (211-217), the genesis of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus.
St Ambrose, in his writings, and literary and hagiographic sources on him provide very little information on the Saint’s father. Historical and exegetical hints offered by his Epistula 49 and by all the relevant texts are closely investigated in order to establish the exact date and place of Ambrose’s birth. Then the clue of the father’s name is followed, with attention on Marcellinus, Mag. Off. (of Magnentius) 350/1 (Prosopography of the Later Roman Empire, I 546 nr 8), on his career, political line-up and death (mors insepulta). All these facts are shown to be consistent with Ambrose’s biographic data and with his opinions on the great events occurred after the reign of Constantine. Comments on paternity (and maternity) in Ambrose’s writings are also scrutinized. Ambrose’s reticence may have been caused by the political conduct of Marcellinus (probably object of damnatio) and by his own civic loyalism and epicopal consciousness. The hypothesis about Marcellinus withstands objections and appears altogether well-grounded.
St. Ambrose’s letter to emperor Valentinianus II is a report (relatio) of his diplomatic mission to Magnus Maximus, between 384 and 387. The text includes a narrative and a speech. On the basis of the theory of enunciation, the complicity between narrative and the bishop’s reported speech can be comprehend. Furthermore, speech-act theory is helpful for a correct evaluation of the performative force of the interrogative rhetoric utterances by which the reasoning is developed and strengthened.
The corpus of Gaudentius of Brescia is constituted by twenty-one Tractatus which gather his homiletic and epistolary works. In these uplifting texts the meaning is enhanced by the bishop’s skilful use of rhetorical devices. It is therefore likely that Gaudentius followed the traditional path of scholastic education, both in the fields of rhetoric and grammar. This hypothesis is supported by the presence of references to classical authors in his writings. Gaudentius’ attention to the form, which was achieved through references to classical texts and stylistic devices, is particularly evident in the Tractatus addressed to educated people. He was indeed aware that these readers would have understood the references to classical authors and appreciated his elegant writing style.
The article focuses on various meanings of the term ductus in the ancient rhetorical tradition and in the Virgilian commentary by Servius. The meaning of ductus emerges in several notes or in the works of other grammarians, even when it is not explicitly mentioned; some passages can be explained through a number of different rhetorical devices. Moreover, the Virgilian exegetical tradition features a technical use of adverbs, such as oblique and latenter, showing a meaning similar to ductus, allowing the reader to understand something different or more specific than what is explicitly written. Late ancient commentators were fully aware of Virgil’s ability to stimulate inferential processes in the reader.
The emendation work to the text of Cicero’s De prouinciis consularibus in two early humanist Florentine manuscripts is examined: Florence, Laur. 48, 11 (J) written by Poggio Bracciolini and Laur. 48, 10 (A) by Giovanni Aretino. A contaminated manuscript, Laur. San Marco 272 (M), owned by Niccolo` Niccoli, is also analysed. Two of Cicero’s sets of speeches copied or owned by Modesto Decembrio are described and a closer look is taken at the emendation process of Prou. contaminated text in one of them, Florence, Bibl. Naz. Centrale II.II.65 (N), copied by Decembrio in August 1417.