Sunday, December 8, 2019


Richard L. Hunter, Casper C. de Jonge (ed.), Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Augustan Rome: Rhetoric, Criticism and Historiography. Greek culture in the Roman world. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. Pp. ix, 300. ISBN 9781108474900. $105.00.

Reviewed by Beatrice Poletti, Queen's University (

Version at BMCR home site

[Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]

A welcome addition to the growing body of scholarship on Dionysius of Halicarnassus, this volume investigates critical aspects of Dionysius' oeuvre focusing on its indissociable and unique relationship with contemporary Rome. The volume, which is based on the 2012 homonymous conference held in Leiden, comprises ten contributions by international experts of Greco-Roman historiography and rhetoric, many of whom have a long familiarity with Dionysius' work. The contributions are preceded by the editors' foreword, which presents the background of Dionysius' literary activity, and are followed by Joy Connelly's inspiring envoi. The volume is organized into thematic sections (listed below). The first one (contributions 1 to 4) focuses on Dionysius' activity as a literary critic; the second one (contributions 5 to 7) centers on his historiographical work (i.e., the Roman Antiquities); while the third one (contributions 8 to 10) presents as a unifying theme the relationship between Dionysius and his Roman setting. The volume ends with a robust and up-to-date bibliography, which however includes surprisingly few titles by Emilio Gabba, despite his life-long study of the Greek author. A more detailed index could have been a useful tool to navigate the volume.

De Jonge and Hunter's introduction (1-33) provides insights into the volume's agenda and main themes. One is the duality inherent in Dionysius' oeuvre, which was deeply informed by the relationship between Greek and Roman identity. Beyond the simplistic view of Dionysius as 'a Greek living in Rome,' the editors remind us of the complexities of Dionysius' networks, activities, and intellectual background as well as his distinctive ideas of Rome as a Greek city and of Roman leadership as responsible for generalized intellectual renaissance (cf. the introduction to On the Ancient Orators). In stressing this, the editors (and the volume's contributors) explore a path already laid out by Gabba, but not followed systematically or coherently after his pioneering monograph.1 In fact, a common error of modern scholarship on Dionysius has been the separation between his treatises on literary criticism and the Roman Antiquities. The approach taken here, by emphasizing unity rather than division, is undoubtedly refreshing. It rejects the traditional dichotomy between rhetoric and historiography stressing instead their connection as inseparable components of Dionysius' educational project.

Another theme of the volume is the strenuous and overall effective attempt at contextualizing Dionysius in the intellectual and political milieu of Augustan Rome. Parallels with other contemporary writers, both Greeks and Romans, are scattered throughout to show the multiplicity of literary interests and critical ideas with which Dionysius' own intertwined, thus moving on from fruitless assumptions of Dionysius' inferiority, especially when compared with his contemporary fellow- historian Livy. The volume also tackles long-debated topics in Dionysian scholarship, such as the relationship between Dionysius and Augustan ideology and the 'ethnic' identity of Dionysius' audience. In such cases, the contributors take a nuanced approach that avoids the (outdated) contrasts pro- or anti-Augustan, and Greeks or Romans.2 The hypothesis of a mixed, Greek-speaking readership, in particular — though not a novelty3 — remains important and is rightly emphasized here, being crucial to better understand Dionysius' oeuvre and to situate it within the fluid framework of early imperial society and literature.

Part 1, Dionysius and Augustan Rhetoric and Literary Criticism, comprises contributions by Richard Hunter, Nicolas Wiater, Harvey Yunis, and Laura Viidebaum. Based on his reading of De Thucydide, Hunter (37-55) discusses Dionysius' idea of a 'critic' and draws attention to the judicial language used by Dionysius to elucidate the twofold judgement involved in the critic's tasks, as 'he' both judges and is judged for 'his' criticism (44). Hunter emphasizes the continuity, in Dionysius' conception, between the forensic world of Classical Athens and the political arena of contemporary Rome and persuasively shows how Dionysius' criticism was ultimately specific to his time and place, namely, Augustan Rome. Wiater (56-82) distinguishes two levels of understanding the past: the 'ideal' and the 'historical'. Dionysius, Wiater argues, is interested in the 'ideal' past that he constructs in his reading of the classical texts and presents as a model for Augustan Rome. The classical past is thereby a mental-emotional construct, a 'structure of feelings' encoded in the classical texts. Wiater views Dionysius' engagement with the past not as an attempt to recreate 4th-5th century Athens, but as a process of implementing the classical ideal in the present. While he admits that Dionysius never makes any explicit comments on how he concretely envisioned the pursuit of the classical ideal (73), Wiater identifies the tools (namely, metathesis and selective mimesis) by which, according to Dionysius, the critic could manipulate the classical texts into didactic instruments.4 The contributions of Yunis (83-105) and Viidebaum (106-124) both center on the relevance of studying and teaching the rhetorical models of Attic oratory in Augustan Rome. Viidebaum, in particular, in her discussion of Dionysius' criticism of Lysias' style, makes a convincing parallel between Lysias' charis and the Roman concept of venustas, further illuminating the significance of Dionysius' teaching in the context of Roman eloquence and aesthetics.

Part 2, Dionysius and Augustan Historiography, includes essays by S.P. Oakley, Clemence Schultze, and Matthew Fox. Oakley (127-160) takes a fresh look at Dionysius' fondness for detail and lengthy narratives, considering both Dionysius' views on historiography as expressed in his critical essays and the material Dionysius found in the annalistic tradition. Oakley gives a thorough treatment of the principle of acribeia or 'fullness of narrative' (esp. 141-144) — which was much needed — explaining the different levels where this principle operates in Roman Antiquities. One may wonder, however, if several three-page long quotes from Dionysius' text were really necessary to make the point. Schultze (161-179) analyzes two stories of the Roman Antiquities featuring female characters and shows how the narratives reflect contemporary (Augustan) preoccupations with family and female morality. Schultze expands her observations to include other episodes of the Roman Antiquities and notes that proper interaction with women and family relations are central elements of Dionysius' history of Rome. While the implication is not necessarily that Dionysius supported Augustus' moral programme, the Augustan resonances in his text suggest a certain interaction with the contemporary discourse on morality. Fox (180-200) examines the 'prehistory' of Rome in Roman Antiquities' Book 1. Expanding on previous discussions on Dionysius' source material and his interaction with the readers through it5, Fox explains how Dionysius 'constructed' Rome as a Greek city and brings the discussion out of ethnic definitions and a "crude nationalist polarity between Greek and Roman" (199).

The contributions in Part 3, titled Dionysius and Augustan Rome, respectively by Christopher Pelling, Daniel Hogg, and Casper C. de Jonge, could arguably be reassigned to the other two sections (in fact, all the contributions of the volume contain extensive references to Dionysius' contemporary setting). Pelling (203-220) examines the interpretation of constitutional shifts in the Roman Antiquities focusing on the transition from monarchy to republic. While he detects various themes with an Augustan ring, he underlines their ambivalence, as they could represent praise as well as criticism. He draws attention to several important points in Dionysius' history of Rome, such as the focus on individuals in bringing about historical change and the significance of speeches in explaining constitutional developments. Hogg (221-241) analyzes Dionysius' treatment of the decemvirate and specifically the theme of procedural chaos and senatorial conflicts which, Hogg suggests, foreshadows the weak performance of the senate in the 1st century BCE. He also poses the question about Augustus' role in Dionysius' reconstruction, remarking (like Pelling in his contribution) on the ambivalent interpretation of Dionysius' text: was Augustus the reformer of a chaotic senate or a tyrant like Appius Claudius? Finally, de Jonge (242-266) explores the relationship between Dionysius' treatise On Composition and Horace's Ars Poetica. He not only highlights similarities between these two contemporary works (especially concerning the idea of skillful arrangement of words), but also contextualizes Dionysius' treatise in a broader critical scene comprising the major Augustan authors. De Jonge's conclusion, suggesting that one may find hints of Augustus' own eloquence and even mores in Dionysius, is fascinating but feels slightly speculative.

Joy Connolly closes the volume with an envoi on migrancy (267-277), in which she acknowledges Dionysius' place among the major classical authors in his effort to speak "between cultures and between genres" (268, quoting Hunter and de Jonge's introduction). While her arguments get dense at times, Connolly speaks to a global audience by stressing the distinctive position of migrants in history and society. She also situates the volume in the Cambridge series, Greek Culture in the Roman World, whose aim is to uncover the complexity of intercultural exchange and negotiation of identities in the Mediterranean under Roman rule. The effort of 'rehabilitating' Dionysius is notable and indeed successful. A structural improvement could be made by placing the most cited texts at the end of the book, as many contributions refer repeatedly to the same passages (such as the introduction to On the Ancient Orators). Despite the minor flaws pointed out here, this volume will offer a highly valuable tool not only for scholars interested in Dionysius' works, but also for those investigating Augustan and Early Imperial literature in general as well as the cultural and social changes surrounding the Mediterranean world at that time.

Table of Contents

Introduction (Casper C. de Jonge and Richard Hunter), 1
Part 1: Dionysius and Augustan Rhetoric and Literary Criticism, 35
1. Dionysius of Halicarnassus and the Idea of the Critic (Richard Hunter), 37
2. Experiencing the Past: Language, Time and Historical Consciousness in Dionysian Criticism (Nicolas Wiater), 56
3. Dionysius' Demosthenes and Augustan Atticism (Harvey Yunis), 83
4. Dionysius and Lysias' Charm (Laura Viidebaum), 106
Part 2: Dionysius and Augustan Historiography, 125
5. The Expansive Scale of the Roman Antiquities (S.P. Oakley), 127
6. Ways of Killing Women: Dionysius on the Deaths of Horatia and Lucretia (Clemence Schultze), 161
7. The Prehistory of the Roman polis in Dionysius (Matthew Fox), 180
Part 3: Dionysius and Augustan Rome, 201
8. Dionysius on Regime Change (Christopher Pelling), 203
9. How Roman are the Antiquities? The Decemvirate according to Dionysius (Daniel Hogg), 221
10. Dionysius and Horace: Composition in Augustan Rome (Casper de Jonge), 242
Envoi: Migrancy (Joy Connolly), 267


1.   Gabba, Emilio. Dionysius and the History of archaic Rome. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1991.
2.   Cf., e.g., Wiater, Nicolas. The ideology of Classicism: language, history, and identity in Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2011, and Hogg, Daniel. "Libraries in a Greek working life: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a case study in Rome." In Ancient Libraries, edited by Jason König, Aikaterini Oikonomopoulou, and Greg Woolf, 137-151. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
3.   As early argued in Schultze, Clemence. "Dionysius of Halicarnassus and his audience." In Past perspective. Studies in Greek and Roman historical writing. Papers presented at a conference in Leeds, 6-8 April 1983, edited by I.S. Moxon, J.D. Smart, and A.J. Woodman, 121-141. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
4.   See also Jonge, Casper C. de. Between grammar and rhetoric. Dionysius of Halicarnassus on language, linguistics and literature. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2008, and Wiater 2011 (n. 2).
5.   Cf., e.g., Schultze, Clemence. "Authority, originality and competence in the Roman Archaeology of Dionysius of Halicarnassus." Histos 4 (2000): 1-38 and, more recently Wiater, Nicolas. "Expertise, 'Character' and the 'Authority Effect' in the Early Roman History of Dionysius of Halicarnassus." In Authority and Expertise in Ancient Scientific Culture, edited by Jason König and Greg Woolf, 231-259. Cambridge, UK; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017.

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Markus Kersten, Blut auf Pharsalischen Feldern Lucans Bellum Ciuile und Vergils Georgica. Hypomnemata, Band 206. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Verlag, 2018. Pp. 358. ISBN 9783525310557. €100,00.

Reviewed by Wolfgang Polleichtner, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen (

Version at BMCR home site


Kersten legt mit seiner Rostocker Dissertation ein in fünf Kapiteln sehr nützliches Buch zum intertextuellen Verhältnis von Vergils Georgica und Lucans Bellum civile respektive Lukans Rezeption von Vergils Lehrgedicht vor. Kerstens Beitrag stellt einen bemerkenswerten ersten Ansatz zur Schließung einer großen Forschungslücke dar.

Er begründet in seinem einleitenden ersten Kapitel (9-40) die Notwendigkeit einer Studie wie der seinen mit drei Punkten (10): Erstens seien die Georgica von literarhistorischer Wichtigkeit, und Lucan selbst lege großen Wert darauf, literaturgeschichtliche Dimensionen auch des eigenen Werks im Blick zu haben. Zweitens sei Lucans Opus „in gewisser Weise ein >Prequel< der Georgica". Drittens sei es erhellend, die intertextuellen Geflechte von Lucans Epos „chronologisch" zu betrachten. Daher versuche er, so Kersten, Lucan durch die Brille eines „metapoetischen Realismus" zu lesen. Diesen Begriff definiert Kersten auf S. 14 (vgl. auch 20): Er versteht darunter „die direkte oder indirekte Präsenz von literarischer Kultur" in einem Text in ihren Auswirkungen auf den Autor, sein Publikum und die Charaktere seiner eigenen Dichtung. Kersten will von der einseitigen Festlegung Lukans als „Anti-Vergil" weg zu einer umfassenderen Evaluation von Lukans Rezeption auch der Georgica, nicht nur der Aeneis Vergils gelangen (bes. 35f.). Dabei sei nun natürlich zu beachten, um keine Anachronismen zuzulassen, dass die Georgica erst nach der erzählten Zeit von Lucans Epos verfasst worden seien, so Kersten. Wenn Lucans Caesar oder andere Figuren nun doch Vergil gelesen zu haben scheinen, sei „das nicht realistisch, sondern metaleptisch" zu erklären (27, vgl. 313). Diese Metalepse sei für den Leser der Zeit Neros ein starkes Signal dafür, dass seit dem erzählten Bürgerkrieg die Zeit nicht stehengeblieben sei. Die Georgica seien ja auch nicht das erste Gedicht, das von der Kulturentstehung und ihrer Bewahrung handele.

Drei Dinge möchte ich anmerken: A) Die besondere Bedeutung von zeitlichen Strukturen, Kenntnis von Literatur und künstlerisch produktivem Umgang mit ihr bei Lucan beschreibt die Forschung immer wieder.1 Es ist prinzipiell gut, dass Kersten Wert darauf legt, narratologisch genau zwischen dem unterscheiden zu wollen, was die Figuren in Lucan Epos im Gegensatz zu ihren Lesern schon wissen konnten und was nicht.

B) Die Aeneis darf in der Textarbeit jetzt allerdings nicht zugunsten der Georgica unbeachtet bleiben, sondern muss gemeinsam mit den Georgica und vielen anderen Bezugstexten als intertextueller Hintergrund von Lucans Schaffen gewürdigt werden. So würde zum Beispiel der Hinweis auf die Theaterbauten in Karthago (Aen. 1.427ff.) und ihren für Vergil zeitgenössischen Hintergrund den Theaterbauer Pompeius bei Lucan kontrastieren (BC 1.132f.). Gerade die Tatsache, dass Pompeius träumt (BC 7.9ff.), wäre angesichts von Didos Traum (Aen. 4.465-473) hinsichtlich der Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten dieser Träume von Bedeutung.2

C) Der Begriff „Prequel" und der Gegenbegriff „Sequel" sind besonders durch die Filmindustrie (z.B. Spartacus), aber auch in der Literatur etwa schon durch James Fennimore Coopers Lederstrumpf-Zyklus oder unlängst durch Joanne K. Rowlings Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in ihrer Bedeutung sehr fest geronnen. Eine Neudefinition des Begriffs „Prequel" im Sinne von Kersten (27), der ihn nur noch auf ein Werk reduzieren will, das als ὕστερον im Hinblick auf seine Abfassungszeit bei der Zeit der Handlung das πρότερον sein möchte, erscheint hinsichtlich des Verhältnisses von Lucans Epos und Vergils Georgica unglücklich, da das heutige Publikum gewohnt ist, dass sich bei Prequels und Sequels deren Handlungsstränge mit dem Hauptwerk ineinander verweben oder gar durch die spätere Erzählung aufgeklärt oder ergänzt wird, was vorher unklar war. In Lucans Fall scheint es aber nach Kerstens Abhandlung eher so zu sein, dass das früher abgefasste Werk Vergils für das Verständnis des späteren Werks Lucans als Katalysator verwendet wird, nicht umgekehrt. Eine gar ausschließlich auf die Georgica hin ausgerichtete Erzählstruktur oder einen solchen Plot aber gibt es bei Lucan auch nicht (vgl. dazu Kerstens eigene Diskussion im Schlusskapitel, 313f.). Lucans Vorgehen mit einer Arbeitstechnik heutiger Autoren von Dreh- oder anderen Büchern zu vergleichen ist sicher interessant, weckt aber mit dieser Begrifflichkeit obendrein Konnotationen einer industriellen Massenfertigung neuzeitlicher Prägung. In diesem Zusammenhang fehlt auch eine Diskussion über den Stellenwert von Ovids Werken im Verhältnis zu denen Vergils (29); denn gerade das Proömium und besonders die Sphragis der Metamorphosen, aber auch Horazens Ode 3.30 wären zum Beispiel im Zusammenhang mit Lucan 9.980-986 von Belang (11).3

Mit dem Titel „Caesar und die Umwelt" ist das zweite Kapitel (41-154) überschrieben und folgt gegenwärtigen Forschungstrends, literarische Räume literaturwissenschaftlich zu untersuchen und ecocriticism im Zuge des environmental turn in den Geisteswissenschaften zu betreiben. Kersten geht allerdings nur ganz kurz auf die literaturwissenschaftliche Aufarbeitung von Aspekten der räumlichen Gestaltung von Umwelt in der Klassischen Philologie ein (42 Anm. 8).

Kersten gelingt es, in genauer philologischer Arbeit zu zeigen, wie die Interpretation der Figur Caesars vom initialen Blitzgleichnis (1.143ff.) an durch die Hinzuziehung der Lehrdichtung von Lukrez, Arat, Vergil und auch Ovid als Hintergrund für Lucans Verse an Tiefe gewinnt. Caesars Destruktivismus führe zu Neuem, sei aber in höchstem Grade problematisch. Seine Zerstörungen würden keine Grenze kennen, Leid bedeuten, seien unrömisch und würden im Sinne gerade der Georgica obendrein von Unbildung und Unwissenheit zeugen. Auch wenn Caesar mit seiner Unkenntnis des Landlebens bei Lucan nicht allein sei, nehme dies dem Caesarbild Lucans nichts an Ambiguität. Die Georgica würden aber einen Weg aus dem Bürgerkrieg weisen können und würden in den Händen Lucans so zu einem Wink an jeden, vielleicht auch an Nero, die Chance dazu nicht zu verspielen. Denn die Deutungsmacht der Geschichte bleibe nach den mahnenden Worten des Autors an Caesar beim Leser (venturi me teque legent; 9.985). Diese Stelle lässt wieder Ovid anklingen4, und Kerstens Argumentation hätte ganz in seinem Sinne noch weiter abgesichert werden können, hätte er in diesem Kapitel beispielweise bei der Diskussion über die Bedeutung der Gewissheit des eigenen Grabes und der Furcht davor, diesen Platz nicht zu kennen (134f. gerade auch in Verbindung mit dem Motiv des Seesturms in Kapitel 2.4), die Tradition dieses Motivs im Epos von Homer bis zur Aeneis auch berücksichtigt.

In gleicher Weise arbeitet Kersten in Kapitel 3 zu Pompeius und Cato heraus, wie die Bezüge zu den Georgica Vergils Lucans Charakterisierung von Cäsars Gegenfiguren unterstützen. Ihr Scheitern sei die Folge nicht zuletzt ihrer Fehler: der Eitelkeit des Pompeius und der Realitätsverweigerung Catos. Ihr Verdienst liege in ihrer richtigen Absicht, den Tyrannen Cäsar zu verhindern. Lucan erzähle auch den Weg ihrer Geschichte von der elenden Niederlage zur glänzenden Legende. Ergänzend hätte Kersten gerade bei seiner Behandlung des Bienengleichnisses (BC 9.283-302) darauf hinweisen können, dass Lucan in der Umformung des Bienenschwarms aus dem siebten Buch der Aeneis Vergils eigenem Auftrag aus den Georgica nachkommt, sein Werk weiterzudichten (4.146f.).5 Dies wird auch im Hinblick auf das Bienenwunder in 7.161 wichtig (vgl. 242 Anm. 81). Kersten könnte sich hier noch stärker auf Fratantuono stützen.6 Denn nicht nur auf der Inhaltsebene, sondern auch metapoetisch ist die Art und Weise der Verwendung von Gleichnissen wie auch des Umgangs mit anderen epischen Formelementen wie etwa Vorzeichen äußerst aufschlussreich für die Aussage eines Epos, was Kersten an sich überzeugend zu zeigen gelingt.

In Kapitel 4 (217-312) geht es besonders um Lucans Gebrauch von Anspielungen auf den Anfang und das Ende des ersten Buches der Georgica und deren Konsequenzen für die Interpretation besonders auch des Lobliedes für Nero im Proömium des Bellum Civile. Kersten arbeitet unter Bezugnahme auf mehrere Intertexte Lucans heraus, dass dieses Lob dann, aber nur dann ein Lob darstelle, wenn Nero entsprechend handeln würde und es ihm vielleicht gelänge, das bereits von Augustus versprochene neue goldene Zeitalter auch wirklich zu realisieren. Lucan als Dichter jedenfalls baue an diesem goldenen Zeitalter gerade durch seine Bezugnahmen auf die Georgica. Wie bereits oben angedeutet, hätte Kerstens Argumentation etwa Ovids Schilderung der vier Weltalter (Met. 1.72-150), besonders des goldenen Zeitalters (Met. 1.89-112), und Ovids Bezugstexte einbeziehen müssen.7

Im letzten Kapitel (313-318), in dem Kersten zusammenfasst, dass Lucans Werk in den Versen Vergils oft ein Gegenbild findet, aber eben auch oft ein Ideal sehe, zeigt er zusätzlich an zwei Beispielen, dass Lucans Werk gleich nach seinem Tod durch Tacitus gerade in diesem Sinne rezipiert worden sei: A) Die Stelle ann. 15.70 zeigt den sterbenden Lucan, wie er sein eigenes Werk und die Aeneis offenbar zusammendenkt. Laut Kersten wird an dieser Stelle nicht deutlich, ob Lucan oder Tacitus das Verhältnis zwischen beiden Epen als eher antagonistisch oder das Gemeinsame suchend betrachten. B) Dial. 13.5f. zitiert georg. 2.475. Dieser Vers spricht von dem Wunsch, die Flucht vor der Politik und der Stadt anzutreten. Die Dichtung entspringe dem goldenen Zeitalter (12.3). Dieses Arkadien Vergils, das Maternus sich wieder wünscht, erkenne, so Kersten, der Dichter bei Tacitus genau in seiner geistigen Wirklichkeit der Kultiviertheit. Maternus spreche aber in diesem Zusammenhang nun von seinem eigenen Grab und seiner Gestaltung und erinnere damit an Lucans Hinzufügung der Rede vom eigenen Grab zum Lob des Landlebens (BC 4.392f., an sich schon eine Anspielung auf georg. 2.490), was eine kühne, aber interessante Möglichkeit wäre. Maternus werde, so Kersten, zu einem Abbild Lucans. Kersten legt durch seine Ausführungen nahe, dass schon Tacitus das komplexe Verhältnis von Lucan zu Vergils Werken bewusst gewesen sei.

Ein Abkürzungsverzeichnis (319), ein ausführliches Literaturverzeichnis (320-350) und ein hilfreiches Stellenverzeichnis (351-358) beschließen das Buch.8


1.   Vgl. z.B. J. Wilson Joyce: Time as and Emotive Factor in Lucan's Pharsalia. Diss. masch. Austin 1982, 2 und 6.
2.   Ähnliches gilt für Aen. 9.446ff. (32 Anm. 108) und die Bedeutung dieser Stelle in der Tradition des Epos. Vgl. B. Effe: Epische Objektivität und subjektives Erzählen. ‚Auktoriale' Narrativik von Homer bis zum römischen Epos der Flavierzeit. Trier 2004, 38f.
3.   Vgl. C. Wick: M. Annaeus Lucanus. Bellum civile. Liber IX. Kommentar. München 2004, 416, BC 7.207-210 (dazu N. Lanzarone: M. Annaei Lucani belli civilis liber VII. Florenz 2016, 249), BC 8.863-872 und Kerstens eigene Diskussion letzterer Stelle (183-186) sowie F. Schlonski: Studien zum Erzählerstandort bei Lucan. Trier 1995, 154f. Pompeius' und Caesars Nachruhm stehen nebeneinander. Der Gebrauch des Wortes fulmen durch Lucan in 1.151 und in 8.864 ist kaum Zufall. Intratextuelle Bezüge ergänzen die intertextuellen. Vgl. zur Bedeutung letzterer Stelle schon R. Mayer: Lucan. Civil War VIII. Warminster 1981, 189. Auch die Rolle des Dichters als vates in diesem Zusammenhang zu beachten ist wichtig. Vgl. F. Ripoll: Peut-on considérer la Pharsale comme une "épopée tragique"?, in: V. Berlincourt, L. Galli Milić, D. Nelis (edd.): Lucan and Claudian. Context and Intertext. Heidelberg 2016, 61-76, hier: 63f.
4.   Vgl. C. Wick a.a.O., 419.
5.   Lucan ist hiermit nicht allein. Vgl. Columella, mit dem Lucan am Beginn einer großen Rezeptionstradition steht. Vgl. R. Monreal: Vergils Vermächtnis: die Gartenpraeteritio in den Georgica (4, 116-148) und Typen ihrer Rezeption im Neulateinischen Lehrgedicht, in: Humanistica Lovaniensia 54, 2005, 1-47. M. Seewald (Studien zum 9. Buch von Lucans Bellum Civile: Mit einem Kommentar zu den Versen 1-733. Berlin 2008, 166) will im Bienengleichnis Lucans lediglich eine Adaptierung von Homers Bienen aus dem 2. Gesang der Ilias (84-89) sehen. Überzeugend dagegen C. Wick a.a.O., 104f.
6.   L. Fratantuono: Lucan's Bees and the Ethnography of the Pharsalia, in: P. Esposito, C. Walde (edd.): Letture e lettori di Lucano. Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studi, Fisciano, 27-29 marzo 2012. Pisa 2015, 57-72.
7.   Vgl. z.B. die Pflüge in BC 7.852 und Met. 1.102. Weitere Parallelen bietet Lanzarone a. a. O., 516f. Siehe auch Kerstens Hinweis auf das eiserne Zeitalter auf S. 102 und seine Ausführungen auf S. 27f. zur Tradition des Lehrgedichts Vergils.
8.   Das Buch ist verlagsseitig hervorragend hergestellt und redigiert. Ungenaue Formulierungen oder gar Fehler finden sich selten. 13: Zum Cäsarbild heute fehlen entsprechende Literaturangaben; 40: „Lucans Nerolob schließlich ist unumgänglich."; 44: „Überdermination" müsste durch „Überdetermination" ersetzt werden; 173: „Genero" müsste großgeschrieben werden. Vgl. „qui" (175), und generell die Anpassung von lateinischen Wörtern an die deutsche Rechtschreibung (z.B. 202f. und auch „linguae" auf Seite 319).

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Friday, December 6, 2019


Peter E. Knox, Angelo Poliziano. Greek and Latin Poetry. I Tatti Renaissance library, 86. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019. Pp. 448. ISBN 9780674984578. $29.95.

Reviewed by Frances Muecke, University of Sydney (

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Like A. E. Housman in Tom Stoppard's play The Invention of Love, Poliziano was both a poet and a scholar, but, unlike Housman, he is a scholar's—and philologist's—poet. His Latin and Greek poems dazzle by their erudition as well as delight by their writing. The sheer mastery of vocabulary is breath-taking. Then comes the generic variety: Silvae, Elegies, and Epigrams (in a number of metres), with the collection of Latin epigrams including Odes, Epodes, and Hymns. The poems in the present volume are mostly occasional, for patrons, teachers, lovers, friends, and enemies, for fun and to show off. There are more small slips in this volume than its author would have wished, but these do not detract from its great service in presenting its selection of Poliziano's Greek and Latin poetry in an accessible version, informed by the latest scholarship.

Knox's ordering of the components in his volume initially follows that of the Aldine edition (1498), compiled after Poliziano's death with variety more than chronological order in mind. First the Elegy for Albiera degli Albizzi (1473), then the Latin epigrams, and finally the Greek epigrams. To these are now added the longish epistolary elegy To Bartolomeo Fonzio (1473) transmitted with the works of Janus Pannonius (1434-72) but first attributed to Poliziano by Count Samuel Teleki, an eighteenth-century scholar and book collector. After this comes A Silva on Scabies (1480?), found in manuscript by Paul Oskar Kristeller in 1952. Under the rubric Additional Poems and Dubia are poems either omitted from the Aldine edition or that have come to light in other ways since Isidoro Del Lungo's edition (1867). Therefore, we now have in the I Tatti series (full disclosure: I have contributed to a volume published in 2016) all Poliziano's Latin poems except for his longer translations from Greek, which can be found in Del Lungo.1 There was already Charles Fantuzzi's edition of the Silvae (2004), the Introduction of which could well be read in conjunction with Knox's.

As is usual in this series, the texts and translations are accompanied by a brief workman-like Introduction, in this case setting the poems in the context of Poliziano's life and works, Notes to the Text, Notes to the Translation, and a General Index. As well there are Concordances to the Book of Epigrams with Del Lungo's edition (1867), needed because he departed from the order of the Aldine edition, and an Index of First Lines in Latin and Greek. The texts come from various sources: modern editions have been drawn on where these are available (Elegy for Albiera degli Albizzi, The Book of Greek Epigrams, To Bartolomeo Fonzio, A Silva on Scabies). The Latin epigrams are based on the Aldine edition (1498) with orthography and punctuation modernized. Apart from a few typos, the Latin texts are reliable,2 although anyone really interested in the text is advised to use Francesco Bausi's Due Poemetti Latini (Rome, 2003) for Elegy for Albiera degli Albizzi and To Bartolomeo Fonzio.3 Some convincing corrections are suggested by the editor and by Nigel Wilson (e.g., p. 260 line 89 futurae).

The Greek epigrams are a different matter, however. Apart from too many wrong or missing breathings and wrong accents (I noticed VII 6, X 2, XVII 5, XX 4, XXI 1, XXIV 5, XXVI 10, XXVII 2, XXVIII 2, XXX 1, 3, 5, XXXb 5, XLIX 5, LI 5, LV 6, LVI 4), there are misspellings (XXV 3, XXVIII 3, 9, XXX 3, 7, XXXb 10, XXXI 2) and the wrong font in XXIX 1. In the Notes on the Text (p. 318) Knox tells the reader that he has based his text on F. Pontani's (Liber Epigrammatum Graecorum (2002)), but, in fact, there are places where the Aldine reading is kept without comment. This is particularly noticeable in XXVI (9, 15, 17), but see also IV 1 and XXVI 12 (here it is not the Aldine text–which Pontani adopts–but Del Lungo's), XI 17, 24, XXVIII 12. In Ep. VIII line 6, Knox adopts Pontani's suggested correction (ad loc.) but not in the parallel case in line 12.4

As far as the translations are concerned, we are in good hands, and my comments would be quibbles.5 At one point, however, I do not think Knox has quite got the meaning. Latin Epigram CXXV is an interesting Preface to The Brothers Menaechmus, composed for a student performance of the play in May 1488 before Lorenzo de' Medici. In this (additional) speech for Prologus, which shows Poliziano as a lover not only of archaic Latin but also of medical technical terms,6 in lines 3-6, I believe Prologus tells the audience that their role is to be spectators, whereas his is to perform the play. Otherwise, they should put on his costume and take to their feet while he goes and sits down in the audience. Knox translates lines 4-5 ("Alioqui, capite isti hunc ornatum scaenicum,/Atque exporgite lumbos") as "Okay now, why don't you take in this set design and give your gams a stretch". Here I would take ornatus as costume or garb, its meaning in Plautus and Terence. For comoedo in line 37 (not "comic poet" but "comic actor") see Quint. 1.11.1-3.

As they read these texts, well-trained classicists will immediately start composing their own mental commentary as they recognise topoi, rhetorical ploys, linguistic iuncturae, allusions, and borrowings and are struck by coined words. It must have been hell for Knox not to be able to go there more than he does. His annotations are mainly confined to historical references, identification of historical personages, metrical questions, and explanations of mythological allusion. Some mythological points escape, e.g. Ares and Hephaestus (Greek Epigrams LIV) and how Daphne became the tree (Latin Epigrams CXVIII, CXXIV). Classical sources are noticed occasionally, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are, however, go-to commentaries to confirm and supplement one's surmises: those by Bausi and Pontani already mentioned and for A Silva on Scabies that of A. Perosa (Rome, 1954).7

I could not help wishing that Knox had been allowed to let himself go a little more in the (perfectly adequate) notes and added a little more colour from the rich historical context. The poems are peopled by a 'who's who' of extraordinary figures more or less embroiled in the dramatic events and political and intellectual ferment of their particular place in time. Take Francesco Salviati (1443-78)), for example, "an archbishop who was ready to found his career on murder."8 A relative and protegé of Pope Sixtus IV, he had close links to the Pazzi family tooand was a key figure in the 'Pazzi Conspiracy' against the Mediciin 1478. In 1473 (Latin Epigram XVI, To Francesco Salviati), Poliziano wrote him a begging poem asking that he put his case to the pope as a good but poor poet, devoted to him. But in the later distich Additional Poems XX (On Salviati), a joke is made of Salviati's end: the gallows grieves at losing his victim to the noose at the high window (see also XXI and XXII). On the afternoon of the failed plot, Salviati (aged 36) was hanged from a window of the Palazzo Vecchio. Elsewhere, in his prose account of the conspiracy, Poliziano records that, as he died, Salviati bit the chest of a fellow-conspirator dangling with him.

While I was working on this review, I began to make a selection for five one-hour sessions at the Sydney Latin Summer School next year. It is hard. There has to be something from the (Horatian) description of the 19-year old Poliziano's daily activities in To Bartolomeo Fonzio 131-254. Then the narrative of Albiera degli Albizzi's death, with its remarkable Ovidian mythologization of the repulsive goddess Fever, recruited by Nemesis, to infect her victim with fire and chills (89-164). Can I fit the Plautine prologue together with Additional Poems XXVII At the start of his studies on the life of Ovid? Latin Epigram CIX (an epode that expands Horace's Epode 4) is a great example of the vicious Poliziano, which does not go quite as far as another Horatian epode On an old woman (CXXXVI). My favourite Greek epigram, LVII On mosquitoes, can be mentioned quickly in passing—it was written to correct the grammar of Bartolomeo Scala, the hidden subject of Latin Epigram CIX (miller's son, parvenu, politico-cultural figure, and eventually Chancellor of Florence). This leaves one day for the rest of the Latin epigrams. How can we leave out Lorenzo de' Medici, especially the cheeky Latin Epigram I in which the poor poet asks for some of Lorenzo's own clothes? But then what about A Silva on Scabies, with its bravura lines on itching, scratching, blood, pus, and scabs (53-117) and mock-epic elaboration on the tiny beast that bores into the skin, "monstrosities summoned from the Stygian abyss" with a king called Lichobrotus (Bloodlicker), son of Helcomedusa (Ulcerqueen) and Cybista (Diver) (118-225)?


1.   Iliad Bks II-V, Callimachus Hymn 5, and De Ludis saecularibus.
2.   P. 138 line 48 read perplexabilem; p. 152 CXXII 1 read manavit; p. 246 line 113 read Phoebum; p. 326 Perosa read Dactylotroctus.
3.   In the note on p. 325 to To Bartolomeo Fonzio 25 amoto is not Ald. but what Teleki calls "Vulg." He already signalled a problem. Knox reads admoto and translates "imported", but it could just mean "applied" from the medical sense. Bausi translates amoto by "forestiero."
4.   At XXXb 14 it appears the translation follows a discarded version of the text.
5.   For example, "two pledges" for pignora bina at p. 241 line 28, referring to Piero's sons, Lorenzo and Giuliano? p. 256 line 11 Phlegethonteae…ripae genitive? p. 260 line 72 Sardonio…risu rather "Sardinian grin"? p. 262 line 106 totos…penates rather "the whole house"? p. 268 lines 214-15 omnem…manum rather "every hand"?
6.   See line 43 Superciliosum incurvicervicum pecus of hypocritical friars, cf. Pac. Trag. 352 Warmington quoted in Quint. 1.5.67; line 14 devorare…catapotia, cf. Celsus med. 4.8.
7.   I have not seen Ange Politien, De l'ulcération (Silve) , ed. and trans. Danielle Sonnier (Paris, 2011).
8.   Lauro Martines, April Blood. Florence and the Plot Against the Medici (Oxford, 2003), p. 1.

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Stéphane Martin (ed.), Rural Granaries in Northern Gaul (6th century BCE-4th century CE): From Archaeology to Economic History. Radboud Studies in Humanities, Volume 8. Leiden: Brill, 2019. Pp. xi, 182. ISBN 9789004389038. €83,00.

Reviewed by John F. Drinkwater, University of Nottingham (

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As its editor explains in his Introduction, after years of neglect ancient grain storage, the subject of this short collection of papers, has recently become a lively issue. It lacks drama but is massively important since without the systematic production, collection, conservation and distribution of foodstuffs we would all still be hunter-gatherers.

Its core is Bossard's Chapter 4, on agricultural storage in northern France during the pre-Roman Iron Age (sixth to late-first century BC). In a clear and methodical fashion, taking into account the most recent archaeological excavations and data, and providing a range of excellent distribution-maps and illustrations, he reviews 4,623 structures over 583 sites. He identifies a wide range of storage facilities, the most frequent being the overground wooden 'loft' granary, raised on piles. There are, however, local variations such as simple underground silos and elaborate wood-lined cellars. Bossard notes that we cannot be sure if these contained only cereals, or how their contents were stored, but his main point is that storage-patterns changed in response to contemporary socio-economic conditions. In the early period in Picardy and the Seine-basin, for example, concentrations of silos and raised granaries in or near aristocratic rural residences suggest a centralisation of power and wealth. Likewise, in the third and second centuries BC there was a decline in the number of such installations, which Bossard explains as the transfer of storage to the rapidly developing oppida and so an indication of another form of socio-economic centralisation and control.

In Chapter 5 Ferdière continues the story into the Roman period. He notes a predominance of raised, overground granaries, continued from the late Iron Age, but observes that the Roman were larger and stone-built. He identifies three main types, 'buttressed', 'aisled' and 'tower'. Focusing on the first two of these, he maps their varied distribution throughout Gaul, with a pronounced concentration in the north. Ferdière then turns to a question not directly addressed by Bossard, that of the capacity of granaries. This is important since the amount of staple grain that can be stockpiled for seed, immediate use, as an emergency store and to pay taxes or trade (cf. p. 100) is crucial in determining the socio-political strength and complexity of any pre-industrial society.

Capacity, in fact, is the main theme of the volume, which begins with Blöck attempting to calculate the capacities of villa-granaries in Upper Germany. He uses medieval and early modern records to propose that grain was stored loose and spread relatively thinly. If we assume that the horrea of Roman villas had only one storey, their capacity was much lower than has been thought previously. Acceptance of an upper storey would significantly increase this volume, though this involves discounting the unknown (because there is no clear archaeological evidence of the species grown) variable of weight; and the lower storey could have been used for other purposes. Despite a lack of evidence for crop-varieties, quantity of seed sown, and yield per seed, Blöck hazards figures for the cultivated areas needed to fill two villa-granaries in south-west Germany and Switzerland: of 303-460 ha and 695-1016 ha respectively. He notes that these are large, but not implausible, and might represent the produce of more than one villa.

Likewise, in Chapters 3 and 6 Martin proposes a model for the capacities of Roman granaries in general and uses it to address an historical issue in a particular area. Ranging wider than Blöck, he examines rural granaries in northern Gaul from the Iron Age into the Roman period, considering a variety of forms, from underground silos to complex buildings, and taking into account recent thinking on, for example, the need for space to turn grain to keep it sweet and, notwithstanding such care, the likely rates of wastage. He applies the resulting figures to the Batavian countryside in the Roman period and on this basis questions the recent proposition that this countryside, conventionally considered unsuitable for arable farming, produced surplus cereals that could be passed on to the army and towns. This proposition is based on the changing — larger and more Roman — architecture of Batavian rural granaries from the late-first century BC. Martin argues that, though there was some such change, this was not a general phenomenon and should not be taken as indicating any great overall increase in storage space necessitated by significant new surpluses. Martin's explanation for larger and grander storage buildings at some sites is that these resulted from socio-political, not economic, developments. Contemporary, and sometimes even associated with, new nucleated, ditched settlements, they suggest greater centralisation of Batavian life. They could have been built to store the growing personal wealth-in-kind of the rich, derived from their own land and/or that of dependants, while, by their monumentality, also advertising the power of their owners. They may therefore signal the end of the special tax-arrangements that the Empire had with the Batavi and the taking-up by their aristocracy of the responsibilities and lifestyle of civitas-based decuriones.

Ferdière, in turn, proposes another capacity-model, based on finds at 148 sites and assuming two-storey granaries containing piled grain. He presents a table and graphs showing: 1) very few small (c. 10 m3) granaries ; 2) a substantial proportion (30.5%) of medium-sized (c. 10-50m3); a majority (57.5%) of largish (c. 50-200m3) ones; and again a very few really big ones (c. 240m3), with just a handful at c. 260 m3 and above. Bemoaning the lack of evidence about Roman granary-use in both texts and archaeology and, like Blöck, seeking answers in more modern literature, he moves to the tricky question as to whether greater storage capacity in the Roman period indicates greater cereal-yields or only an increase in the land under cultivation. He notes the problems involved in answering this, which include those of correct identification of structures as granaries as well as the type of cereal being grown and the manner of its storage. He tentatively proposes that yields were rising even before the Roman conquest and were further stimulated by the need to feed new towns and military bases and the opportunity to sell grain into markets.

It is clear that the all-important calculation of capacities is bedevilled with so many unknown variables that each researcher can present different figures. As a result, the reader cannot be sure what to believe, and this uncertainty is increased by the fact that, as early as Chapter 2, Salido directly questions the very utility of modelling granary-capacity. On top of the problem of identifying archaeological structures as granaries, we do not know for sure: the extent to which 'granaries' were used for storing produce other than grain; the species of cereals grown; the form of the grains brought in for storage (in the ear or threshed?); the manner of storage (loose, in sacks or bins?); the efficiency of storage in preserving the crop; and the extent to which grain was held locally or transported further afield. He urges that what is needed is more qualitative, not quantitative, studies, integrating available archaeobotanical data. It is not surprising that Reddé's Conclusion is no prescriptive Bilanz or even a neutral Zusammenfassung but, referring to issues raised in previous chapters and raising new problems, amounts to another appraisal of changes in cereal production and distribution from the Iron Age into the Roman period. To this end Reddé produces his own range of comparative, not absolute, sizes for selected Roman military, urban and rural granaries, based simply on their surface area. He uses this to demonstrate that military granaries are always much larger than even the largest rural, villa-based, structures. He then notes that the largest Iron-Age rural granaries are not much different in size from those of Roman villas, and proposes that there may have been a tendency to exaggerate the increase in size of the Roman and, so, of Gallo-Roman productivity. He accepts that the need to feed the troops engaged in campaigning in Germany caused an unprecedented demand for Gallic grain in the Augustan period, but argues that it is unrealistic to suppose that this sparked an immediate rise in production in the north. Instead, there were probably forced requisitions over a much wider area. On the other hand, he argues that the large rural granaries now being found in High Imperial Gaul should not be interpreted as permanent collection-points for the Rhine army. He ends by suggesting that the large northern Gallic granaries of this later period do not necessarily indicate a rise in production. Those close to the frontier may have been for military purposes; those further away may have been for storing the produce of more than one estate. We should never consider granaries in isolation but, however difficult this may be, always try to set them in their wider context.

The book is frequently a stiff read, but is always thought-provoking and is appealing in its frankness: the work-in-progress of a group of scholars with a common interest in an important and newly active field, who think differently but who are prepared to engage in reciprocal criticism. It has an extensive bibliography and two useful indices, and is linked (by 'cat.') to an online table and bibliography: HAL However, with reference to its sub-title, and that of Reddé's Conclusion, honest 'Archaeology' has yet to lead to concrete 'Economic History'. In particular, to my disappointment, there is nothing on foodstuff-storage in the later Empire, when growing and more effective taxation-in-kind must have necessitated extensive storage facilities. But this absence is due to lack of evidence, not the inattention of contributors. As with the Iron-Age oppida, it is likely that Late Roman storage was urban, not rural.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Stéphane Martin, pp. 1-10
Chapter 1, Lars Blöck: A model for calculating the capacities of horrea and agricultural areas of Gallo-Roman villas in the province of Germania Superior, pp. 13-22.
Chapter 2, Javier Salido Domínguez: Is it possible to quantify the Roman agrarian economy? In favour of quantitative scepticism, pp. 23-32.
Chapter 3, Stéphane Martin: Calculating the storage capacities of granaries: a tentative model, pp. 33-47.
Chapter 4, Stanilas Bossard: Évolution du stockage agricole dans le moitié septentrionale de la France à l'âge du fer, pp. 51-72.
Chapter 5, Alain Ferdière, with Véronique Zech-Matterne and Pierre Ouzoulias: De nouvelles formes de stockage à l'époque romaine en Gaule: quels changements, avec quel(s) moteur(s)?, pp. 73-105.
Chapter 6, Stéphane Martin: Storage in a non-villa landscape: the Batavian countryside, pp. 106-27.
Conclusion, M. Reddé: Des greniers ruraux aux greniers militaires et urbains. Les enjeux historiques d'une enquête archéologique, pp. 128-44.
Bibliography, 145-77.
Index of ancient sources and inscriptions, 178-9.
Index of place names, 180-2.

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Francesca Silvestrelli, Jean Pietri, Le duc de Luynes et la découverte de la Grande Grèce. Mémoires et documents sur Rome et l'Italie méridionale. Nouvelle série, 9. Naples: Centre Jean Bérard, 2017. Pp. 86. ISBN 9782918887782. €15,00 (pb).

Reviewed by Sandra Péré-Noguès, Université Toulouse 2 Jean Jaurès ; UMR 5608 TRACES (

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L'ouvrage de Francesca Silvestrelli, concis et très bien illustré, est le fruit d'une recherche menée au cours de deux séjours à l'Institut national d'histoire de l'art de Paris. L'originalité du sujet est d'aborder une période assez peu connue de la carrière d'Honoré d'Albert, plus connu sous le nom de duc de Luynes (1802-1867), à savoir celle de sa formation et de ses premières expériences en Grande Grèce, au sud du royaume de Naples, une région longtemps restée peu attractive pour les amateurs d'antiques. En quatre chapitres, l'auteure retrace le parcours du jeune duc dont la vie privée profondément affectée par des deuils successifs (dont celui de sa jeune épouse) le poussa à choisir une vie d'étude, une sorte de sacerdoce que son protecteur le vicomte de la Rochefoucauld encouragea en le faisant nommer directeur adjoint honoraire des Musées royaux de Charles X. Il prit une part active à la constitution des collections du futur musée en y contribuant non seulement par des dons de pièces provenant de sa collection personnelle mais aussi par le classement qu'il effectua des céramiques figurées. Mais au bout de trois ans de services, il devait démissionner pour se tourner résolument vers le terrain.

L'auteure essaie de restituer les principales étapes des deux voyages qu'il accomplit en 1825 et 1828. S'il n'était pas le premier à se risquer dans ces contrées, Vivant Denon ayant visité la région en 1778, les motivations du jeune duc, numismate averti, étaient guidées par sa « volonté d'ajouter de nouveaux éléments à la connaissance de l'architecture dorique » (p. 33). De fait, il était accompagné de l'architecte Joseph Frédéric Debacq qui mesura la seule colonne du sanctuaire d'Héra Lacinia à Capo Colonna. Ses voyages révèlent surtout l'intérêt que le duc de Luynes portait à l'archéologie, une discipline alors en pleine construction, et dont il devint l'un des promoteurs par son intégration à l'Institut de correspondance archéologique. Un frontispice qu'il dessina pour les Annales de l'Institut en est d'ailleurs une remarquable allégorie. L'auteure montre ainsi comment, lors de son premier voyage, il rencontra de nombreux érudits tels Theodor Panofka et comment il intégra la Société des Hyperboréens, rejoignant ainsi cette « aristocratie du savoir », à laquelle il apportait ses talents de dessinateur et d'observateur rigoureux du mobilier, autant de compétences qui feront sa réputation. Saisi par le « contraste des splendeurs passées et un présent de décrépitude » (p. 35), le duc de Luynes allait cependant donner à voir une toute autre image de ce territoire, notamment lors de son second voyage durant lequel il accomplit à Métaponte des fouilles dans le temple alors nommé Chiesa di Sansone (temple A), fouilles qui eurent pour résultat le transfert à Paris de plusieurs pièces architecturales, dont les traces de couleur allaient alimenter le débat sur la polychromie des vestiges antiques. En 1833 le duc publiait un admirable ouvrage orné de diverses planches non seulement de Métaponte mais aussi de sites moins connus comme Locres ou Vélia. Ainsi, c'est la Grande Grèce qui recevait par ses travaux un véritable statut de sites archéologiques, et par conséquent une reconnaissance scientifique pleine et entière.

Malgré la rareté des archives, Francesca Silvestrelli retrace un parcours assez exemplaire de ce monde d'érudits tel qu'il s'observe dans la première moitié du XIXe siècle. En effet à une époque où l'archéologie reste à construire, des savants comme le duc de Luynes ont réussi à mettre en place des méthodes d'analyse et d'interprétation des vestiges antiques qui resteront pertinentes pour les décennies suivantes. Ainsi c'est à l'héritage du duc que l'auteure donne toute sa valeur : un héritage qui a enrichi la collection du Cabinet des Médailles de la Bibliothèque nationale, mais dont les apports sur le plan scientifique sont ici remarquablement mis en lumière.

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