Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2018.02.40

Géza Alföldy, Heike Niquet, Juan Manuel Abascal Palazón (ed.), Colonia Iulia urbs triumphalis Tarraco (CIL II2/14, 4). Corpus inscriptionum Latinarum, Editio altera: Inscriptiones Hispaniae Latinae, Pars XIV: Conventus Tarraconensis, Fasciculus 4 / consilio et auctoritate Academiae Scientiarum Berolinensis et Brandenburgensis editum; volumen 2. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2016. Pp. xxxvi, 391. ISBN 9783110309423. $279.00.

Reviewed by Krešimir Matijević, Europa-Universität Flensburg (Kresimir.Matijevic@uni-flensburg.de)

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Bei dem hier anzuzeigenden CIL-Band handelt es sich um den vierten und letzten, in Latein abgefassten Faszikel, der innerhalb des CIL II der Hauptstadt der Provinz Hispania Citerior, dem römischen Tarraco, gewidmet ist.1 Die Faszikel sind wie üblich durchpaginiert, so dass dieser letzte Teilband die Seiten 799-1189 umfasst. Dem eigentlichen Katalog vorangestellt und mit römischen Seitenzahlen versehen sind ein „Vorwort" von Werner Eck (CXCIII), ein Abkürzungsverzeichnis für die Namen der Museen, Autoren, Institutionen etc. (CXCIV), ein Literaturverzeichnis (CXCV-CCXIX), ein Abkürzungsverzeichnis für die zitierten Zeitschriften und Reihen (CCXIX-CCXX) und eine Explicatio notarum mit Erläuterungen zu den benutzten epigraphischen Sonderzeichen (CCXXI-CCXXII).

Der Band besitzt drei Autoren, die für verschiedene Teile verantwortlich sind: Der erste mit den Nummern 1891-2084a (S. 799- 846) ist noch von Géza Alföldy selbst abgefasst worden und enthält die Tituli varii generis, die Tituli incerti generis bzw. fragmenta minora, die Tituli musivi sowie einen Titulus pictus und das Instrumentum domesticum (selectum). Es folgen mit den Nummern 2085-2232 (S. 847-917) die Tituli Christiani und Tituli Iudaici, die Heike Niquet überwiegend allein, in nicht wenigen Fällen aber auch zusammen mit Alföldy verfasst hat. Den Abschluss bilden die wiederum fast ausschließlich von Alföldy verantworteten Nummern 2233-2384 (S. 918-977) mit den Tituli agri Tarraconensis, den Tituli lapidibus constructionis adscripti scil. signa lapidarum und den Addenda et corrigenda. Die wenigen christlichen und jüdischen Inschriften sind auch hier von oder zusammen mit Heike Niquet bearbeitet worden. Angehängt sind sodann umfangreiche Additamenta zum ersten Faszikel, welches 1995 erschienen ist. Diese Zusätze, die auch Korrekturen umfassen, sind den Nummern 1-814 (S. 979-1040) gewidmet, wobei zahlreiche Neufunde an passender Stelle mit den Zusätzen ‚a', ‚b', ‚c' usw. einsortiert wurden. Autor dieses umfangreichen Abschnitts ist Juan Manuel Abascal Palazón. Am Schluss des Bandes stehen verschiedene Konkordanzlisten (S. 1041-1073), die von Andreas Fassbender angefertigten Indizes für alle vier Faszikel (S. 1075-1171) und verschiedene Karten, in denen die genauen Fundorte eingetragen sind (S. 1173-1189).

Die einzelnen Katalognummern sind identisch aufgebaut. Nach der Angabe der Katalognummer folgen die Verweise auf Behandlung in anderen Standardcorpora (z.B. ILS, CLE etc.) und eine Charakterisierung des Titulus, beispielsweise als nota sculptoris. Im Anschluss finden sich eine Beschreibung des Inschriftträgers, die Angabe der Maße und die Erwähnung von Besonderheiten wie z.B. Rasuren, ferner Informationen zu den Fund- und Aufbewahrungsumständen sowie das Datum der Autopsie. Sodann wird, soweit vorhanden, eine Photographie oder Umzeichnung abgedruckt. Es folgen die eigentliche Lesung der Inschrift, Informationen zur Herkunft der Abbildung(en) und die Angabe der relevanten Literatur. Der anschließende kritische Apparat zur Inschrift enthält die Angabe abweichender bzw. weiterer möglicher Lesungen. Hernach werden in einem Kommentar die weiteren sprachlichen und historischen Details kurz diskutiert. Abgeschlossen wird jedes Lemma von der Angabe des Erstellungsdatums, soweit dieses der Inschrift zu entnehmen ist, oder Überlegungen zu einer ungefähren Datierung.

Es ist an dieser Stelle nicht notwendig, die einzelnen Lesungen zu diskutieren.2 Bei allen drei Bearbeitern handelt es sich um erfahrene Epigraphiker, was sich in der Lesung und Diskussion der einzelnen Tituli widerspiegelt. Trotz der äußerst nützlichen epigraphischen Datenbanken im Internet zeigt dieser neue CIL-Band einmal mehr, dass für Detailinformationen zu den lateinischen Inschriften des römischen Reiches die Publikation in Form eines gedruckten Buches nach wie vor ihren großen Wert besitzt.



Notes:


1.   Viele der Inschriften sind bereits behandelt worden in: G. Alföldy, Die römischen Inschriften von Tarraco, Madrider Forschungen 10, Berlin 1975.
2.   Angemerkt seien aber folgende Beobachtungen. Nr. 2235: Zu Beginn von Zeile 10 liegt eine ME-Ligatur vor. Nr. 2259: Die Photographie des Steines zeigt weiter unten, jenseits der in Teilen erhalten drei Inschriftzeilen, deutlich den Buchstaben V. Nr. 2260: Für die in der Lesung von Alföldy unterpunkteten Buchstaben CONIVG scheint am Ende von Zeile 8 der Platz nicht auszureichen. Nr. 2261: Dem letzten Buchstaben in Zeile 3 folgt noch ein Worttrenner. Nr. 2286: Zu Beginn der zweiten erhaltenen Zeile ist deutlich noch der Rest eines E oder L erkennbar. Nr. 2347: Am Ende von Zeile 4 muss es f(ecit) statt f(ecit]) heißen. Ferner kann die unterschiedlich lange Ergänzung des Beginns der einzelnen Zeilen nicht restlos überzeugen. Nr. 188a: Hier dürfte auf Grund des Platzes noch eine weitere, neunte (eingerückte) Zeile anzunehmen sein.

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2018.02.39

Thomas Arentzen, The Virgin in Song: Mary and the Poetry of Romanos the Melodist. Divinations: Rereading late ancient religion. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017. Pp. xiii, 265. ISBN 9780812249071. $59.95.

Reviewed by Evy Johanne Håland, Independent Researcher (evyhaa@online.no)

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Preview

The book under review is based on Arentzen's Ph.D. dissertation, and the excellent way in which the author's opening outlines the setting for the origin of the hymn clearly benefits from his studies of fiction-writing both in Bø and Tromsø, Norway. The legend teaches us that the Virgin Mary appeared to "a man of Syrian descent" (1) in a dream on a Christmas Eve in the Blachernae church dedicated to her in Constantinople, ordering him to swallow a scroll of papyrus. When following her command, his voice immediately "turned sweet and gentle" and he "began to sing the hymn The Virgin today gives birth" (2). This young man is known as Romanos the Melodist (ca. 485-560), and Arentzen's reading of his songs emphasises Romanos' depiction of the Virgin as an erotic and fertility-granting virgin and mother as well as a model for uniting to Christ.

The bulk of the volume is divided into 4 chapters: 1: The Song and the City; 2: On the Verge of Virginity; 3: The Mother and Nurse of Our Life; 4: A Voice of Rebirth; and a Conclusion: Virginity Recast, the latter reflecting the title of the author's dissertation. There follow two Appendixes (1: On the Annunciation; 2: Catalogue of Hymns Referred to in the Study), Notes, a rich Bibliography (however, generally repeating the works listed in the notes), a comprehensive Index, and Acknowledgements. The book opens with a Note on Editions and Translations, followed by a List of Abbreviations; it also contains 9 Figures. It would have been helpful if the author had included a note on transliteration, since there is no universally accepted and unified system for transliteration of Greek. It would also have worked better to put the note on editions and translations after the list of abbreviations. The subheadings of chapters are unclear, alternating between uppercase and italicising. Moreover, the main source explored in Chapter 2 might have been placed in the beginning instead of at the end as Appendix 1, but these are all minor details.

Chapter 1 gives the historical setting in the Byzantine world, including a discussion of the scant information available on Romanos; it also gives a general introduction to the approximately "sixty long liturgical hymns called kontakia" (5) that, according to tradition, he wrote after swallowing the aforementioned papyrus. This introduction includes topics encompassing the form of the kontakia, their use in church services, rhetorical strategies and compositional techniques, their positioning between church and theater and their audiences, and the prevalence of dialogue in the kontakia, which enables them to be perceived as dramas. The result of this intermingling of liturgy and drama in the Byzantine setting, "between rituals and mass media," made the Virgin "available and accessible for a wide audience, in texts merging popular imagination with ecclesiastical teaching," according to Arentzen (32). Next, we learn that the present study "is about ways to imagine the Virgin in sixth-century Constantinople" (32). To grasp the frame of reference that the inhabitants had for understanding a virgin's and mother's life, the author emphasises the life of ordinary women, giving an overview of what Byzantine society could expect of a girl as she passed from childhood to adulthood, including an outline of women's life in the city. This is followed up by a discussion of Marian doctrine and devotion, and then of construction work and Marian cult, the latter including the festivals devoted to her as well as her legacy from pre-Christian goddesses as a new protectress of the city on the Bosporus.

The next three chapters (ch. 2-4) follow the chronology of the Virgin's life by focusing, respectively, on three kinds of imagining of her corporeal and relational presence in Constantinople: her erotic appeal, nursing breasts, and speaking voice. Each starts with an excerpt from an ancient religious text, respectively Origen, Prologue to the Commentary on the Song of Songs, warning against erotic appeal; Pseudo-Ignatius of Antioch, First Epistle to St. John , telling about women wanting to see Mary and touch her breasts; Proverbs 1:20-23 (LXX), Wisdom singing hymns telling she will teach her word.

Thus, Chapter 2 involves Mary as a young maiden, focusing on the secret encounter between the young erotic maiden and the male messenger, Gabriel, entering her house, in the kontakion On the Annunciation. This is the oldest surviving hymn (composed around 530) for what has become known as the spring festival dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, celebrated on 25 March. The chapter discusses the relation between Eros and Christian bodies in texts and paintings at the time, and the way Romanos employs this strategy in order to win his audience. We also see the relation between Romanos' and pre-Christian (Aristotelian) ways of describing a virgin and a woman's contribution in the generation process, as well as pre-Christian (esp. in Sappho) parallels to the way Romanos considers Mary as a bride, regarding wedding and sexuality.1 Arentzen convincingly emphasises that Marian virginity is far from asceticism, and that her cult grew out of civic rather than monastic elites (82). However, he also stresses that his study presents a Virgin Mary incompatible with what a general person in Constantinople in Romanos' times "would expect from a virgin," especially illustrated in the refrain, "Hail unwedded bride!" (44-5, but see n. 1 below).

Chapter 3 investigates the depiction of the young mother and how she breastfeeds in Romanos' texts, centering on Mary's aspect as galaktotrophousa, breastfeeding, arguing that nursing involves an exaltation of her person. The chapter focuses on the kontakion On the Nativity I, written for the Christmas festival, and also involves On the Nativity of the Virgin. Arentzen continues his comparison with Aristotelian and other sources, such as Egyptian icons (which no doubt must be seen in relation to former depictions of Isis lactans), also discussing the idea of milk kinship, concluding that birth giving and breastfeeding are parallel phenomena (89).2 One may add that nurses and nursing in caves, moreover, is not only confined to "Mary's cave of delight" (94-9), but is a widespread theme in ancient culture (one may just mention the nurses caring for Dionysos after his premature birth). Arentzen emphasises that the breastfeeding Mary of Romaios gives nourishment to the entire congregation (119).3

Chapter 4 concentrates on Mary's voice and on how it interacts with other characters and features in Romanos' texts. Through Romanos, the Mother speaks to the audience, i.e., the congregation, and conversely the congregation speaks through her voice (121). Through Romanos, Mary's voice attaches to death and suffering, and it takes part in the generation of new life. The focus of the chapter is primarily on On the Nativity II, which is also a Christmas hymn with a pascal theme, and On Mary at the Cross. The latter text is the oldest surviving Marian hymn for Holy Friday. In it, she is "the ultimate witness to the gospel, since her presence overshadows the incomplete witness of written gospels" (120), as several scholars, first and foremost, M. Alexiou, also have emphasized. The importance of the lament of Mary at the cross (which does not feature in the gospels) is still encountered in the modern Greek Orthodox Church, when women take the leading role.4 The kontakia of the chapter are situated between birth and resurrection, and the first of them introduces Adam and Eve longing for salvation and renewal (123). We learn how the Virgin's voice of transgression awakens the dead, complementing the iconography (still prevalent in the Orthodox church) that depicts how the doctor Christ literally goes down to Hades and lifts up the two sinners, followed by others, thus acting upon his mother's mediating role. The Holy Woman, Mary's aspect as "Mediatrix," (mesitis) and "intercessor," between the human and divine world, plays a main role on the chapter (137-41). Mary at the Cross, as illustrated in the hymn, shows the Mother next to her dying son, and her voice as the witness to her son's, and God's (144), life and work. Drawing on Giulia Sissa's theories about the representation of the closed, "virginal," and silent female body in ancient Greek culture, Arentzen illustrates how Mary "as a closed virgin has been able to store up" the "stories," while "as an open mother she is able to [reveal] them" (149). Thus we learn how Mary's cry at the cross, through "virginity voiced," sums up the poem.

Finally, the conclusion sums up how Romanos recasts Marian virginity in his song, after an introductory excerpt from Gregory the Theologian's Oration 30. The conclusion correctly highlights the importance of rethinking "the Foucauldian fascination with late antique asceticism… which has led scholars to identify Marian virginity… with ascetic virginity, eclipsing the ways in which some ancient writers, such as Romanos, did not identify the two at all" (166). One may add that Romanos' presentation of the virgin actually suits much of what one can find in popular thinking in Greek culture, ancient and modern, and also read between the lines in the writings that actually condemn this, but that is another story.

All in all, the book is excellently written and takes up several interesting parallels between Romanos' way of describing the Virgin Mary in his songs and his pre-Christian predecessors, thus contextualising the work in the Byzantine and Greek world where it belongs. Although this is a topic on which one could have expanded, i.e., from an ethno-historian's point of view (cf. also n. 1 below), it might probably have produced another work than the aim of the present study.



Notes:


1.   Several of the topics discussed in the book have been comprehensively discussed in a work not mentioned by the author although it was published in 2007: E. J. Håland, Greek Festivals, Modern and Ancient: A Comparison of Female and Male Values (Kristiansand: Norwegian Academic Press, in Norwegian; English version: Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2017, Ch. 6-7). The author also seems to be unaware of the fact that in antiquity it was possible to give birth and still be considered a virgin (parthenos): G. Sissa. Le Corps Virginal (Paris: Libraire Philosophique J. Vrin, 1987: 127 ff.), and "Une virginité sans hymen: le corps féminin en Grèce ancienne," Annales (ESC) 39 (1984): 1125 ff. Greek (male) culture does not include the maidenhead, only virginity or else maidenhood. Therefore a woman may give birth to a child and still be a virgin as a consequence of her lifestyle.
2.   The conception that it is more important to lay in, or come from, the same womb, than to have the same blood is found among modern Greek women, see Håland 2017: Ch. 7. The idea of milk kinship is still prevalent within Islamic thinking: T. Cassidy and A. El Tom, eds., Ethnographies of Breastfeeding: Cultural Contexts and Confrontations (New York: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015). Concerning the importance of feeding and the Virgin Mary, it might also have been relevant to consult J. Dubisch, In a Different Place: Pilgrimage, Gender, and Politics at a Greek Island Shrine (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1995).
3.   Here it might also be relevant to mention her attribute of Zōodochos Pēgē, the Life-Giving Spring, depicted in Greek Orthodox churches and celebrated on the Friday after Easter: E. J. Håland, "Water Sources and the Sacred in Modern and Ancient Greece and Beyond," Water History 1, 2 (2009): 83-108.
4.   E. J. Håland, Rituals of Death and Dying in Modern and Ancient Greece: Writing History from a Female Perspective (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014: Ch. 3); see also 2017: Ch. 4. On the importance of women and laments from a female perspective, see also G. Holst-Warhaft, Dangerous Voices: Women's Laments and Greek Literature (London and New York: Routledge, 1992); Elenē Psychogiou, "Maurēgē" kai Elenē: Teletourgies Thanatou kai Anagennēsēs (Athens: Academy of Athens, 2008, Dēmosieumata tou Kentrou Ereunēs tēs Ellēnikēs Laographias 24).

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2018.02.38

Alessandra Rolle, Dall'Oriente a Roma: Cibele, Iside e Serapide nell'opera di Varrone. Testi e studi di cultura classica, 65. Pisa: Edizioni ETS, 2017. Pp. 255. ISBN 9788846745910. €22.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Francesco Montone, Liceo Scientifico "G. Marconi" (francesco.montone@unina.it)

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[The Table of Contents is listed below.]

Il volume, che rientra nella collana Testi e studi di cultura classica, si propone di studiare la rappresentazione delle divinità orientali nel complesso della produzione varroniana. Un particolare rilievo è attribuito alla definizione dei contesti spaziali in cui sono rappresentate le divinità orientali; Varrone cita in particolare Cibele/Magna Mater, Iside e Serapide, ma non manca qualche riferimento a Attis, Apis, Arpocrate e Anubis. Come spiega l'autrice nell' Introduzione (pp. 11-23), l'importanza di Cibele, Iside e Serapide a Roma è attestata dai reperti archeologici e dalle testimonianze epigrafiche, non meno che dai riferimenti letterari. Cibele o Magna Mater ha uno statuto eccezionale, quello di essere divinità insieme straniera e nazionale; è straniera, ma anche romana, al punto che il suo tempio sorge sul Palatino. Iside e Serapide, a differenza della Mater Magna, non erano oggetto di un culto di carattere ufficiale a Roma, ma erano comunque venerati in una dimensione di tipo privato. Varrone è una fonte importante per conoscere l'origine di questi dèi, le letture allegoriche delle loro figure, i rituali ad essi connessi.

Cibele e gli dèi Egizi sono menzionati in cinque opere varroniane: le Saturae Menippeae, le Antiquitates rerum divinarum, il De lingua Latina, il De gente populi Romani e il De vita sua. Il volume comprende due sezioni, una dedicata a Cibele, la seconda a Iside e Serapide.

La figura di Cibele ricorre nei brani conservati di tre diverse opere di Varrone: le Saturae Menippeae, le Antiquitates rerum divinarum e il De lingua Latina. Emerge da questi testi un interesse per i rituali more Phrygio rifiutati dal potere romano e praticati a carattere privato, per lo più all'interno del santuario palatino della Grande Madre. Nell'episodio di Cibele della satira Eumenides e in un paio di frammenti in galliambi appartenenti ad altre menippee (i frr. 79 e 540 dell'edizione curata da Buecheler, d'ora in avanti B.) sembrerebbero esservi infatti riferimenti a cerimonie legate al ciclo dei riti di marzo in onore di Attis. Nelle Eumenides avrebbe occupato un particolare rilievo la descrizione del cruento rituale di auto-emasculazione dei Galli che aveva luogo il 24 marzo, il dies sanguinis, mentre i frr. 79 e 540 B. alluderebbero a cerimonie di compianto legate alla rievocazione prematura di Attis. Le Menippeae, secondo la studiosa, rappresenterebbero la prima testimonianza letteraria del culto more Phrygio di Cibele a Roma, nonché l'unica attestazione dell'esistenza del ciclo dei rituali di marzo in età repubblicana, circa un secolo prima rispetto al loro riconoscimento di carattere ufficiale. La studiosa ritiene, attraverso un confronto puntuale, che alcuni versi varroniani possano essersi ispirati all'Attis di Catullo (carme 63); se però in Catullo i riti legati ad Attis sono relegati in una realtà esotica, i verdi gioghi dell'Ida, nelle Menippeae l'invasamento cibelico trova il suo habitat nello spazio protetto dell'Urbe, nel cuore di Roma, sul Palatino; Varrone esprime il suo orrore e la sua condanna verso riti non integrabili nel contesto romano. Il fr. 79 B. può essere confrontato con il v. 12 e il v. 30 del carme catulliano; il fr. 131 B. e il v. 22 del carme 63 del Veronese trattano dello stesso strumento musicale, il flauto frigio; per quanto riguarda il fr. 275 B. si possono indicare quali punti di contatto con il v. 17 dell' Attis, l'uso del rarissimo verbo evirare ed il riferimento a Venere. L'uso del galliambo nel frammento varroniano, a parere della studiosa, è funzionale a evocare indirettamente, con il verbo evirare, il culto della Grande Madre con i suoi sanguinosi rituali. Infine il fr. 133 B. in settenari giambici (apage in dierectum a domo nostra istam insanitatem) sembra una riformulazione in metro e linguaggio da commedia del patetico appello finale del carme catulliano (63, 92, procul a mea tuos sit furor omnis, era, domo). L'oggetto di repulsione è lo stesso in entrambi i luoghi: la follia del culto cibelico, indicata con il termine furor in Catullo e insanitas in Varrone. Nelle Antiquitates rerum divinarum Varrone identifica la Magna Mater con la dea Tellus, laddove Lucrezio e Servio forniscono esegesi differenti; egli cerca di collegare la Magna Mater ad origini romane, anziché greche. Nel breve riferimento alla storia del culto cibelico a Roma presente nel De lingua Latina (6,15), l'esigenza di ricondurre l'etimologia delle feste in onore della Magna Mater, le Megalesie, al nome del tempio di Cibele a Pergamo, il Megalesion, potrebbe essere stata funzionale anche a sottolineare il legame delle feste romane in onore della Grande Madre con il mondo ellenistico, maggiormente familiare per i Romani, piuttosto che con la patria frigia della dea. Varrone tratta la materia cibelica con toni diversi, passando dall'irridente sarcasmo dei frammenti menippei sui Galli alla coloritura spiccatamente teologica e didascalica dell'esegesi allegorica offerta nelle Antiquitates, fino al precettismo della breve, ma dettagliata notazione relativa al culto della Magna Mater nel De lingua Latina. L'oscillazione tra rifiuto e integrazione nei confronti della Magna Mater, che emerge dal contrasto tra la dissacrante condanna dei rituali more Phrygio di Cibele presente nelle Menippeae e l'inclusione di fatto di questa dea nel novero degli dèi praecipui atque selecti proposta nelle Antiquitates, sembra rispecchiare la duplicità dell'approccio che le autorità romane, ancora alla fine dell'età repubblicana, avevano nei confronti della Mater Magna, celebrata ufficialmente more Romano dal popolo tutto e dall'aristocrazia durante le Megalesie, ma privatamente celebrata anche more Phrygio dai Galli durante il ciclo dei rituali di marzo, interdetti ai cittadini romani. Da notare che Varrone utilizza solo le denominazioni romane della Grande Madre, perché ne parla come dea romana, e non frigia; in lui emerge la volontà di romanizzazione di Cibele, e insieme il rifiuto della componente frigia del suo culto.

Per quanto riguarda i riferimenti a Iside e Serapide, nelle Saturae Menippeae la studiosa intravede un'allusione al culto di Iside nel frammento 191 B., suggerita già da Lucian Mueller alla fine dell'Ottocento. Il rilievo che la critica alle divinità egizie doveva rivestire nelle Menippeae trova conferma in un gruppo di frammenti appartenenti alla satira Eumenides nei quali l'ironia si appunta contro Serapide; si tratta dei frammenti 128, 129, 138, 139 e 152 B. I frr. 128 e 129 B. alludono al costo delle cure offerte dal dio egizio; i frr. 138 e 139 B. descrivono un'incubatio, mentre il fr. 152 B. informa circa un utilizzo di Serapide a fini medici. Nella trama delle Eumenides, una satira che ha come Leitmotiv quello della pazzia, secondo la ricostruzione della Rolle, il protagonista avrebbe potuto recarsi presso il tempio di Serapide nella speranza di guarire dalla propria insania. Viene forse avvicinato da un fedele, che avrebbe pubblicizzato le doti mediche del dio affermando di usarlo a mo' di medicina e di sottoporsi ogni giorno a degli incantamenti (fr. 152 B.). Il protagonista-narratore potrebbe poi aver descritto ai propri ospiti la sua personale esperienza di terapia serapica, narrando l'incubatio cui si sarebbe sottoposto per curare la propria insania. Gli sarebbe apparso in sogno Serapide, che gli prescrive una dieta a base di cipolla e crescione (fr. 138 B.). Il protagonista descrive quindi la sua uscita dal tempio col calore del sole avvertito in modo intenso a causa della debolezza del corpo, uscito dall'epifania divina tutt'altro che fortificato (fr. 139 B.). Vi sarebbe inoltre un diverbio tra il protagonista e un sacerdote del dio egizio in relazione al costo dell'incubatio. A parere della studiosa Serapide è oggetto di bersaglio polemico anche di un'intera menippea: lo Pseudolus Apollo, l' Apollo bugiardo. La studiosa condivide l'identificazione proposta da Buecheler dello Pseudolus Apollo del titolo con il dio Serapide. I frammenti traditi, infatti, sembrerebbero far riferimento a due specifiche pratiche rituali per dimostrare la differenza tra il culto di questi due dèi. Viene messo in rilievo il diverso carattere delle loro processioni, con la sottolineatura del procedere quasi randagio dei cori in onore di Serapide, composti da gruppi di fanciulli e fanciulle dei quali non è ritenuto necessario ricordarsi neanche l'esatto numero dei componenti (fr. 438 B.). Anche l'uso di togliersi i sandali sarebbe stato addotto come marca distintiva dei templi di Serapide in opposizione a quelli di Apollo, ai quali si accedeva invece calceati, come d'uso nei templi delle divinità greco-romane. Tertulliano nell'Ad Nationes fa una citazione varroniana tratta verosimilmente dal primo libro delle Antiquitates rerum divinarum, che riprende poi nell'Apologeticum (si tratta dei frammenti 46a e 46b secondo l'edizione di Cardauns). Gli dèi egizi vengono menzionati in relazione ad uno specifico episodio di repressione del loro culto, avvenuto il 1° gennaio del 58 a. C., ad opera del console A. Gabinio, che fece emanare dal senato un provvedimento volto alla distruzione degli altari degli dèi egizi eretti sulla rocca capitolina. L'episodio sarebbe stato scelto da Varrone come esempio destinato a illustrare l'unità e la saldezza del ceto aristocratico in materia di politica religiosa contro la violenta demagogia dei populares, che vorrebbero celebrare in Campidoglio riti per gli dei egizi. Il problema non è il culto privato di Iside e Serapide a Roma, che è permesso, ma la pretesa da parte dei populares che tali dèi vengano onorati a fianco di Giove Ottimo Massimo sul Campidoglio, pur essendo dèi stranieri privi di riconoscimento ufficiale. Nel V libro del De lingua Latina (5, 57), trattando le etimologie divine, Varrone accosta la coppia primordiale Cielo e Terra con due altre coppie, l'una egizia, Iside e Serapide, l'altra latina, Saturno e Ops. A parere della studiosa nel passo si riflette un'evoluzione in chiave cosmogonica dell'identificazione egizia di Iside con la terra (intesa come campagna) e di Osiride con il Nilo (in quanto suo elemento fecondatore). Il breve riferimento agli dèi egizi nel De lingua Latina si conclude con la menzione di una terza divinità, il loro figlio Arpocrate, rappresentato come un bambino che si porta l'indice della mano destra alla bocca (è la prima menzione esplicita della posa di questo dio-infante, considerata come un'esortazione a tacere). Nel passo la Rolle vede in definitiva le tracce di un'interpretatio greco-romana degli dèi egizi, identificati con la coppia cosmogonica Terra e Caelum, e di Arpocrate come figura del segreto mistico. Da un passo di Carisio (fr. 1 Peter) apprendiamo che Varrone anche nel De vita sua menzionava Iside e Serapide, declinandoli come due temi appunto in vocale, e non in consonante. In definitiva nei frammenti superstiti delle Menippeae e delle Antiquitates rerum divinarum Iside e Serapide appaiono oggetto di critica e sarcasmo. Dei loro riti viene sottolineata la diversità e la lontananza rispetto ai sacri rituali dei maiores. Nel De lingua Latina il riferimento è privo di toni polemici, sebbene le due divinità siano per così dire relegate alla sfera egizia. Nei passi del De gente populi Romani si presenta una versione evemeristica dell'origine delle due divinità. Anche Cicerone nei suoi due trattati religiosi (De natura deorum e De divinatione), pur riconoscendo che siano delle divinità, nega che la presenza del loro culto a Roma comporti ipso facto un riconoscimento ufficiale del loro statuto divino. Negli anni quaranta del I secolo a. C. era dunque vivo il dibattito sul ruolo da attribuire a Iside e Serapide; Cicerone e Varrone assumono toni polemici parlando di queste divinità solo quando questi dèi sono considerati in rapporto alla loro presenza nell'Urbe: essi, per i due scrittori, rimangono inconciliabili rispetto all'identità religiosa romana. Allo stesso modo Cicerone e Varrone integrano nel pantheon romano Cibele/Magna Mater, a patto di romanizzarla del tutto, cancellando, però, i suoi tratti frigi. In definitiva l'opera di Varrone rispondeva alla crisi identitaria della civiltà romana avvertita anche da Cicerone e forniva una risposta nel momento in cui andava a sistematizzare le varie componenti del patrimonio religioso, individuando e condannando quanto romano non era, né poteva essere, come il culto frigio di Cibele e il culto degli dèi egizi. In epoca imperiale, però, Cibele fu associata a Magna Mater e Iside e Serapide sarebbero stati gradualmente integrati all'interno di una religione romana, conscia di dover assumere sempre più un ruolo e un carattere ecumenico.

Il volume, che riesce a fornire, grazie all'attenta analisi dei passi varroniani e alle nuove convincenti interpretazioni fornite, una fedele ricostruzione del mondo in cui i Romani nell'ultima fase della repubblica guardano a queste divinità orientali, è corredato di un'esaustiva Bibliografia (pp. 223-236), dell'Indice dei passi citati (pp. 237-247), dell'Indice delle fonti epigrafiche e papiracee (p. 249), dell'Indice dei nomi e delle cose notevoli (pp. 251-255) e di un Indice finale (p. 257). Esso sarà un utile riferimento sia per gli studiosi varroniani, sia per gli storici delle religioni.

Tavola dei Contenuti

Prefazione 7
Introduzione 11
Parte prima. Cibele 25
Premessa 27
Cibele nelle Saturae Menippeae 31
Megalesie e riti di marzo nelle Eumenides 31
Il culto cibelico negli altri frammenti menippei 71
Le Menippeae e l'Attis di Catullo 87
Cibele nelle Antiquitates rerum divinarum 93
Cibele nel De lingua Latina 105
Cibele e Mater Magna: tra rifiuto e integrazione 117

Parte seconda. Iside e Serapide 123
Premessa 125
Iside e Serapide nelle Saturae Menippeae 129
Riti di iniziazione notturni 129
Una incubatio nelle Eumenides 139
Serapides o lo Pseudolus Apollo? 165
Iside e Serapide nelle Antiquitates rerum divinarum 177
Iside e Serapide nel De lingua Latina 187
Iside e Serapide nel De gente populi Romani 193
Iside e Serapide nel De vita sua 209
Iside e Serapide: un'ostilità politica? 213

Bibliografia 223
Indice dei passi citati 237
Indice delle fonti epigrafiche e papiracee 249
Indice dei nomi e delle cose notevoli 251
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2018.02.37

Michael Scott, Ancient Worlds: A Global History of Antiquity. New York: Basic Books, 2016. Pp. xvi, 411. ISBN 9780465094721. $29.99.

Reviewed by Salvatore Tufano, Sapienza Università di Roma (salvatore.tufano@uniroma1.it)

Version at BMCR home site

Preview

Chinese historians of the late third century CE claimed that the Romans came from China.1 Connections among cultures had long fascinated Greek and Roman historians, who used myths to express kinship. In our time, the interactions between classical civilizations and Near and Far Eastern cultures have been studied in two ways, either through specific study of actual networks of trade and real moments of contact (as the Persian Wars, or cities like Palmyra), or through a comparison of their reciprocal political systems: in other words, even when there was not an actual connection, Roman and/or Greek societies were compared with different political systems in the East. In this second case, phenomena like the administration of the Han empire viz. the Roman were studied to better understand our Western perspective and to move to a study of World History, less focused on ancient western history.2

Michael Scott's book adopts both these perspectives, namely the study of the actual entanglements of the Western and Eastern 'worlds' (Parts II and III, respectively on the late third century BC and on the fourth century CE) and an analysis of contemporaneous political revolutions (democracy in Athens, republic in Rome, Confucianism in China), as possibly resulting from similar circumstances (Part I, on the sixth century BCE). The general goal is to show that the ancient world was a largely connected one. The demonstration of this growing connectivity should justify and enhance the use of a global perspective in the study of ancient history (pp. 358-9) and provide a possible lesson to our age.

Part I, "Politics in an Axial Age", focuses on the political dimension and on parallel, but not necessarily connected, solutions found to similar political circumstances: political turmoil, economic stress and the need of accommodating to new social instances caused profound changes in Rome, in Athens, and in the State of Lu. The first chapter deals with the birth of Athenian democracy and how this evolution had an impact in Rome: in the remoulding of the Roman republic which occurred in Rome in the fifth century BC, in fact, the Athenian democracy was a source of inspiration when a Roman mission came to Athens (454 BC). As argued in the second chapter, however, this narrative of the Classical sources contrasts with the actual similarities, since the Roman political system could only be seen as similar to the 'pre-democratic' Athens of Solon, for the presence of census classes and the poor participation of the people. The second chapter focuses more closely on the Roman republic and on the direct connection suggested by the tradition of a Roman mission to Athens (454 BC): the Roman elites were actually more interested in finding a balance among the classes (the concordia ordinum later adumbrated by Cic. resp. 2.67-9).3 The third chapter is dedicated to Confucius' life and thought, with excursuses on the previous history of China and on the other political philosophies developed in China after Confucius. The "Coda" to this part suggests that the political innovations, which occurred in Rome, in Athens, and in China, were indeed fragile. The quests for political change had been answered in different ways, despite possible similarities in the original causes (civil unrest; debts and food shortage; breakup of traditional systems); only later would Romans and Greeks agree on the necessity of a single ruler as in China.

Part II, "War and A World in Change" analyses ancient globalisation in action, as the result of different military actions, achieved in different settings during the period from 229 BC (death of Hamilcar Barca) to 145 BC (Ai Khanoum's takeover by nomadic invaders, the Yuezhi). Chapter 4 retells the history of the first Punic war, of Antiochus II's rule, of the birth of the kingdom of Bactria, of the Mauryans, and of Emperor Qin Shi Huangdi, in China, without an explicit connection among these different events and figures: these parts serve as a prelude to explain the main characters of later events, and how Hannibal or the first Hans would come to power. In Chapter 5 ('Making Connections'), the second Punic war is analyzed through the different alliances sought by Carthage, mainly with Philip V. Two further sections on Antiochus III's internal and external threats, and on the first contests between the Hans and the Xiongnu in the North, highlight why, by 205 BC, these military commanders had spread wars across multiple theatres. They were all trying to defend fragile borders and to expand their empires, as discussed in the sixth chapter, where we find that the end of the second Punic war and the Roman victory over Philip V explain the Roman expansion and how some figures not connected in the past were coming to wage war against common enemies. As the Hans were to surrender against the Xiongnu, a domino effect caused the invasion of Bactria, retold in detail in the Coda. The main conclusion of this section is that globalisation could result from the combination of defensive and aggressive military policies.

The main point of Part III is that religion is an important aspect for understanding the increased interconnection among these ancient cultures; it adds to those other aspects which help this understanding, namely politics (Part I: through parallelisms and feeble direct connections, only for Rome and Athens), and warfare (Part II: direct military encounters; migrations and building of roads as the results of wars). Part III, "Religious Change in a Connected World" is the most inclusive section, as it focuses in detail on the history of Armenia and India as well as continuing to focus on the history of China and Rome in the fourth century CE. The religious dimension is chosen to show how different political actors reacted to religious innovations, especially in the case of Rome and Armenia. This section considers moments of actual connection, for instance when the wandering Buddhist monks moved between China and India and helped the reciprocal knowledge, and pure parallels between distant realities (Western Christian monks in contrast with the wandering Buddhists). The focuses of this part are Christianity (in particular, how it was faced by Roman emperors, and in Armenia) and Buddhism (which was tolerated in a pluralistic society in India; variously adapted, accepted or refused in the various Chinese states). Scott begins with chapter 7 on the historical backgrounds of India, Rome, China and Armenia at the beginning of the fourth century CE and also anticipates how the Hindu Guptas used the diffusion of Buddhism to challenge and modify the traditional caste system. Other areas of interest are how Constantine tried to intervene in the Christian theological debate, how the Chinese translated, literally and metaphorically, Buddhist ideas, and Armenia's difficult balance between Christianism and Zoroastrianism. The following chapter on 'Enforcing, Mixing and Moulding Religion' explains in detail why rulers could not simply get rid of the previous religions in their country, from paganism in the West to traditional societal divisions in China and India that were now challenged by Buddhism. Chapter 9 proceeds to the end of the century, when different figures (from the Chinese dynasts who had Buddhist advisers, to Chandragupta II in India and Theodosius in the West) and events like the division of Armenia in 387 showed the dramatic challenges raised by religion in an ever more connected world. The evolutions of the classical worlds and the Eastern societies had reached a point of conjunction that was to continue.

As shown by the summary of Part III, a possible criticism which can be addressed about the entire book concerns the limits of the actual connectivity: in terms of actual interactions, these can only be observed after the fourth century BC. Two other points, moreover, need consideration. On the one hand, current trends in world history have already gone beyond the traditional approach to the study of the Mediterranean in the sixth century BC:4 Scott hardly mentions, for example, the scholarship on the Achaemenids and on their multiethnic kingdom. In particular, the first part of the book does not escape the risk that a meta-historical comparison glosses over the actual events in the sixth century BC.5 On the other, the book often omits the historical problems concerning uncertain events, such as the Peace of Callias (presented as an undisputed fact at p. 68), or the Roman mission to Athens in 454 BC. The Roman 'debts' to Greece require a more careful consideration of the Italian colonies, while the connections with the Etruscans were not limited to military clashes in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries BC. 6

Nonetheless, Ancient Worlds provides rich examples, useful to a wide audience interested in world history, enhanced by eight maps and 19 illustrations. A general readership will not be bothered by the absence, in the scholarship, of almost any title not written in English.7

In sum, while specialists will be concerned by the lack of problematisation of the single events, general readers and classicists less versed in Chinese and Indian history will certainly gain from exposure to these ancient connections, for instance the Kushan empire of the Yuezhi, in Bactria, with its artistic debts to Hellenistic ancestors and to its Chinese neighbours (pp.222-223), but also the cosmopolitan Buddhist monastery and university at Nalanda, founded in India in the fifth century CE (pp. 326-327), both of which testify to the ancient preludes to modern globalisation.



Notes:


1.   So Yu Huan, Wei lüe, 11, as quoted by the later Sanguozhi (429 CE); see an English translation here and Krisztina Hoppál, "The Roman Empire According to the Ancient Chinese Sources", AAntHung 51, 2011, pp. 263-305.
2.   On the advantages of the comparative approach, for the study of Greek and Roman political institutions, see David Konstan, "Reading the Past (On Comparison)", in Dean Hammer (ed.), A Companion to Greek Democracy and the Roman Republic, Malden (MA) – Oxford 2015, pp. 8-19.
3.   A comparison between Solon's laws and the Twelve Tables was possibly already in Aristotle (fr. 696 Gigon), before Cicero repeated it (de leg. 2.59 and 64): the parallel, however, was limited to funerary norms. Despite the commonly accepted view that the Twelve Tables betray a Greek influence, the historicity of the Roman mission to Athens is extremely debated; nothing rules out the possibility of the role of Magna Graecia in the process. On the historicity of the mission and the parallel between Solon's laws and the Twelve Tables, see Robert Maxwell Ogilvie (ed.), A Commentary on Livy: Books 1-5, Oxford 1965, pp. 459-460; Emilio Gabba, "Considerazioni sulla tradizione letteraria sulle origini della Repubblica", in Les origines de la république romaine, «Entretiens Hardt» 13, Genève 1967, pp. 133-169, at p.167; Michael C. Alexander, "Law in the Roman Republic", in Nathan Rosenstein & Robert Morstein-Marx (eds.), A Companion to the Roman Republic, Malden (MA) – Oxford 2006, pp. 236-255, at p.239 (BMCR 2007.05.30.)
4.   Cf. e.g. Lieve Donnellan, Valentino Nizzo & Gert-Jan Burgers (eds.), Contexts of Early Colonization, I, «Papers of the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome» 64, Rome 2016 (reviewed BMCR 2017.05.42.)
5.   On the risks of an excessive comparison among different cultures, cp. e.g. Mario Liverani, Oltre la Bibbia. Storia antica di Israele, Roma – Bari 2003, at p.223.
6.   On the Forum Boarium as an early point of contact with outsiders, see Charlotte R. Potts, Religious Architecture in Latium and Etruria, c. 900-500 BC, Oxford 2015, pp. 90-1 (BMCR 2016.07.36); on the impact of the Greek colonisation, still valid Timothy J. Cornell, The Beginnings of Rome. Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic Wars (c. 1000-264 BC), London; New York 1995, pp. 86-92 (BMCR 97.3.26.)
7.   For instance, given the importance of the Bactrian kingdom to the general skeleton of the book, the specialist will note the absence of Omar Coloru, Da Alessandro a Menandro: il regno greco di Battriana, Pisa; Rome 2009 (BMCR 2010.10.33.)

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Monday, February 19, 2018

2018.02.36

Yasemin Er Scarborough, The Funerary Monuments of Rough Cilicia and Isauria. BAR international series, S2846. Oxford: BAR Publishing, 2017. Pp. xvi, 292. ISBN 9781407315287. $94.00.

Reviewed by Anja Slawisch, University of Cambridge (as2653@cam.ac.uk)

Version at BMCR home site

The corpus of funerary monuments collected in this book derives from the author's many research visits to Rough Cilicia and Isauria, and an archaeological field survey Er Scarborough conducted in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It also builds on her PhD thesis, Funerary Monuments of Cilicia Tracheia, submitted to Cornell University in 1991. Rough Cilicia (or Cilicia Tracheia) and Isauria are defined in the book as an area of the central Taurus mountains of southeast Turkey with the associated coastal strip along the Mediterranean, from Coracesium (modern Alanya) in the west to the Lamus river (modern Limonlu Çayı) in the east. The book is effectively an inventory of the extant, surviving funerary monuments in this region, with commentary devoted to their type, architectural or formal features and, when possible, likely date of construction. Assembled are a plethora of different types of funerary monuments, including rock-cut tombs, temple tombs, tower tombs, grave houses, barrel-vaulted aedicula tombs, tombs with monumental columns, sarcophagoi, larnaces, altars and stelae. The sheer variety is very striking, and inevitably presents particular problems both for selection and organisation of material. Monuments no longer extant in the landscape (e.g. those that have been destroyed, or grave stelae now moved to local museums) are excluded from the book. Despite its laudable aims, effort and ambition, the book has serious structural flaws that unfortunately make it difficult for the general reader to gain useful insights or information without considerable effort.

The book is organised into six chapters plus a bibliography, the latest references being from 2013. The table of contents is sparse, with only chapter titles listed. Sub-headings, which appear in the chapters themselves and might help guide readers, are not included here. Thus, the limited internal page cross-referencing, combined with the lack of index or even some sort of cross-linked gazetteer or tables, makes navigation of the book extremely difficult. The result represents neither a convenient catalogue nor a strong linear narrative.

Chapter 1, "Preliminaries" (pp. 2–9), gives an introduction to the physical geography, cites the well-known historical sources that discuss the area (e.g. Strabo), and finishes with a brief history of geographic and archaeological interest in the region. The chapter includes descriptions of major geological features and local infrastructure (routes, roads and rivers). Er Scarborough argues that the distinctive cultural identity of the region derives from the relative isolation of its mountainous communities. The final section ranges eclectically from the writings of a late 4th c. A.D. pilgrim to the recent archaeological survey activities, including the Göksu Archaeological Project (GAP) and the Rough Cilician Survey Project (RCSP).1

Chapter 2, "Some Notes on the History of Rough Cilicia and Isauria" (pp. 10–18), provides a broad-brushed summary of the region's place within major historical periods and its degree of integration into or under large political entities (subheadings: the Hittites, the [Neo-]Assyrians, Neo-Babylonians, The Persians, After Alexander). The final section (The Mountainous North: Historical Developments), which seems to have been appended to this chapter perhaps later, backtracks to the Hellenistic period before examining the Roman influence and administration of the region up to the 5th c. A.D.

Chapters 3, "Rock-cut Tombs and Sarcophagi of Rough Cilicia" (pp. 19–129) and 4, "Monumental and Built Tombs of Rough Cilicia" (pp. 130–198) contain the core discussions of monuments in Rough Cilicia, while Chapter 5, "Funerary Monuments of Isauria" (p. 199–270), combines all types from Isauria. Figures (predominantly photographs rather than plans or drawings) relating to the monuments are grouped together at the end of each chapter; in general the photographs are clear and comprehensive. Overall there is an immense amount of detail about individual monuments, often including dimensions, shape, type and decorative details, as well as the presence of any inscriptions (although they are rarely transcribed). Footnotes with references allow the reader to follow up on particular details. These critical chapters are unfortunately marred by a lack of structural clarity. First, the author does not explain why the material is arranged the way it is. Second, the hierarchy of the sub-headings is opaque (or has somehow been lost in typesetting): sometimes monument type seems to be the important organising scheme, sometimes geographical location. The same subheading (e.g. "Tomb No. 3") can appear multiple times. The richness of detail and potential usefulness of the work behind it is therefore lost since the reader must wade through entire chapters if not the whole volume to make sense of things. Simple quantitative pointers, e.g. the total number of monuments considered in each area, are lacking, and this makes it difficult to assess the implications of the descriptions of the monuments in context compared to other regions.

Chapter 6, "Conclusions", (pp. 271–273) in over two-and-a-half pages provides a very brief synopsis of the book's take-away points (unfortunately not cross-referenced), which include:

• The dominant tomb type in Rough Cilicia was the plain undecorated rock-cut tomb with a single chamber.
• The widespread inclusion of protective curses in tomb inscriptions (examples given on pp. 49, 57 and 149), should be taken as evidence of the fact that unsanctioned grave re-use was a regular practice.
• Sarcophagoi appear earlier in western Rough Cilicia (from the late Hellenistic to early Imperial periods), compared to eastern Rough Cilicia, where their "production came with the Romans".
• The different levels of effort, size and settings are interpreted as reflections of wealth and power, and thus as attributes of different social classes.
• Certain types (e.g. barrel-vaulted tombs seem to occur only in eastern Rough Cilica) and manufacturing techniques (e.g. usage of mortared rubble in western Rough Cilicia) are distributed unevenly.
• The period between the late 2nd and early 3rd century A.D. is singled out as showing the most obvious evidence of Roman presence by the introduction of barrel-vaulted aedicula and temple tombs.
• Larnaces (diminutive sarcophagoi) are the "characteristic type" for Isauria (pp. 204–205).
• There is some epigraphical evidence for wandering stone-cutters (see pp. 54 and 61) from both Rough Cilicia and Isauria.2
• The dating of rock-cut tombs is difficult; all the examined monuments have been robbed, often in antiquity, with illegal excavation sadly continuing into the present.

Some of these conclusions will be unsurprising to those who know the region or who have studied funerary monuments in other parts of the Greek and Roman worlds; others (e.g. the dominance of certain tomb types in certain regions) may be novel, useful and/or surprising, and certainly worth further analysis, but are not adequately supported by comparative frequencies (e.g. graphs) or cross-referencing to the discussion of the data itself. Sorely lacking are any summary distribution maps (e.g. by type or date), which might provide insights or support for Er Scarborough's discussions of the degree of integration of the region with the wider world (e.g. level of Romanization). There is only one map in the entire book (fig 1.1), whose scale is too large to get an idea of the location of individual monuments; ancient settlement names are shown but not the modern Turkish villages by which most monuments and their locations are referred to in the book.

Overall, the work suffers from a lack of clearly defined research questions or explanatory frameworks. It is therefore difficult to see how the materials presented contribute to a wider social history of the region; the monuments are merely passive illustrations of relative integration into larger political entities, e.g. the Roman world. Er Scarborough frequently bemoans the difficulty of assigning precise dates to rock-cut tombs, especially plain tombs where there are no artefacts or human remains (which form the vast majority). This is a well-known problem. But no suggestions of how this might be overcome or modelled in the future (e.g. macro- or micro-scopic examination of construction marks or statistical models of date uncertainty and spatial distribution) are considered.

The goal of this volume, though never stated explicitly, appears to have been to make the monuments of Cilicia and Isauria accessible to an international audience. In this regard it is at least broadly successful, even if many readers may, like this reviewer, be frustrated by the presentation and lack of wider context. It is obvious that an enormous amount of time and work has been put into the collection and rich illustration of material, for which there is no obvious predecessor. Specialists familiar with the landscape may well find it a very useful starting point to access literature, examine photographs of the monuments or as a launching point for further work, e.g., on the details of the monuments' spatial distribution, the potential for which is so far untapped.



Notes:


1.   More information on the Göksu Archaeological Project can be found here BIAA Göksu Archaeological Project. For the data release of the Rough Cilician Survey Project see here Open Context Project Rough Cilicia.
2.   For the monument from the village Fet (Işıklı) with an inscription mentioning the stone cutter Kyrikos, son of Papias, see O. Doğanay, Isauria Bölgesi Kaya Mezarları ve Ölü Gömme Gelenekleri (Konya) p. 339 with fig. 119–120. For the English version see O. Doğanay, "Craftsmen working in the Isauria Region", in: Ç. Özkan Aygün (ed.) SOMA 2007, Proceedings of the XI Symposium on Mediterranean Archaeology, Istanbul Technical University 24–29 April 2007, BAR International Series, 2009, pp. 90–97.

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2018.02.35

Fabian Goldbeck, Johannes Wienand (ed.), Der römische Triumph in Prinzipat und Spätantike​. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2017. Pp. xii, 595. ISBN 9783110445688. €99,95 (hb).

Reviewed by Christian Rollinger, Universität Trier​ (christian.rollinger@uni-trier.de)

Version at BMCR home site

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

With renewed interest in the subject booming since the early 2000's, the body of literature on the Roman triumph and its many different facets has become so vast as to be almost bloated and, at first glance, it could conceivably seem that there can scarcely be anything more to add.1 That this impression is as unfortunate as it is mistaken is clearly demonstrated by this timely book, the result of a conference held in 2012 in Berlin. With few exceptions (which look to the late republican and the early medieval period), all the papers collected in this volume concern themselves with the Roman triumph as it presented itself in many hues and variations to the contemporaries of the early, high, and late Roman empire. No fewer than eighteen chapters attempt to analyse a variety of aspects relating to the triumph ritual itself, to its literary descriptions, its representation in various media, and the concomitant architectural elements that came to litter the main metropolises of the empire. The result is a sturdy volume of almost 600 pages and a veritable kaleidoscope of different perspectives and methodologies that significantly expand our understanding of the dynamic evolution of what was and was always to remain a singularly Roman ritual.

Chapters are loosely ordered according to a relative chronology (see the table of contents below): the first section (four papers) deals with the early principate, the second one (six papers) with the high empire, the fourth (four papers) with late antiquity. The third section (four papers) is the only one to include a regional differentiation in addition to a chronological one, although one may question the significance of triumphal regionalism in a "decentralised empire" (only one paper, that of Clifford Ando, pp. 397-417, explicitly engages with the subject). If there are certain occasional (and likely inevitable) repetitions across several chapters, this is just as well; things bear repeating if, as is the case here, the reoccurrence serves to further illuminate.

To detail the arguments of all eighteen chapters would be a significant undertaking that I will not attempt here.2 Rather, as this is the first recent publication to engage significantly with the development of the imperial triumph and as it opens up a variety of exciting new research perspectives, I want to give an overview of what I think to be the main theses, perspectives, and inspirations.

In the first instance, there is the nature of imperial (and post-Roman) transformations and variations of an essentially republican ceremony. A fair number of papers attempt to show what was changed and to what purpose (those of Lange, Itgenshorst, Meister, Goldbeck, Michels, Balbuza, Pfeilschifter, Halsall). While Lange emphasises the continuity of triumphal rituals (or, rather, the continuity of change, as he adeptly shows that triumphal innovations were in fact a republican tradition), Itgenshorst unsurprisingly argues that Augustus' invention of the principate also carried implications for the triumph, the most notable of which was not the limitation of triumphs to members of the imperial house, but rather the concomitant invention of the ornamenta triumphalia. Meister, who focuses on body politics and the cultural history of the body, intriguingly points out that "post-triumphal" honours—privileges such as those granted to C. Duilius, Pompey, and Caesar, among others, that included the possibility of presenting a laureate imago in funeral processions, and of being numbered among the viri triumphales—were no less important than the sheer spectacle of the triumph itself. In continuation of Itgenshorst, he argues that, while the right to triumph for the aristocracy disappeared, the right to post-triumphal honours remained in the shape of the ornamenta. Goldbeck, in his paper dealing with the triumphs of the remaining Julio-Claudians, rightly emphasises the role of Augustus as imperial prototype for his successors, while at the same time explaining how individual emperors adjusted specific aspects of the ritual or their own needs and how one might view the relationship between an emperor and the triumphal procession (as well as the individual changes) as emblematic of his principate as a whole. Michel similarly analyses the subtle nuances in imperial triumphs under the Antonines. Balbuza's chapter, which is an updated version of an earlier work,3 shows the dynastic uses of the triumph as an appropriate time and place to present and to underline the dynastic functions of presumptive successors. While the majority of these papers deal with the early principate (and Balbuza's may well be said to apply to the Roman empire as a whole), Pfeilschifter's contribution is squarely focused on late antiquity and asks whether or not the triumph was indeed "christianised". Perhaps surprisingly, by drawing comparisons between the triumph and other festivals and/or public rituals, he can convincingly show that this was not the case; rather, as concerns religious aspects, the triumph was 'neutered' more than anything else. Finally, Halsall shows the continuing evolution (and eventual demise) of the triumph beyond the survival of the Roman empire (i.e., in the so-called "successor states").

Pfeilschifter's conclusion that triumphs were fully "christianised" only in later, Byzantine times, leads us to a methodological problem that is endemic to the subject and that is present in almost all papers. Given the generalisation of "triumphal" rituals as well as of aspects of the triumphal procession, and given the omnipresence of an imperial ideology of victory (or, rather, Sieghaftigkeit), how are we to separate later iterations of the triumph proper from other, steadily approximating rituals such as the adventus? Should we do so, at all? While an affirmation of this last question is implicit in the efforts by the authors to differentiate individual rituals, no ready answer as to the "How?" becomes apparent. That this is not solely a problem of late antiquity is evidenced by chapters by Seelentag, de Blois, and Haake, which touch on this subject in the context of the 1st–3rd century. The argument of the last named, that the triumph served to establish legitimacy and that imperial legitimation of rule was a subject of increasing importance (and difficulty) during the 3rd century is doubtless correct. Haake also explains the relatively new readiness to celebrate victories over internal enemies4 by pointing out that victorious-ness was an increasingly rare commodity for 3rd-century emperors: one had to make do with what one had or was able to achieve. Noticeably, however, the examples on which he bases his conclusions do not depict what may be called "traditional" or "clear cut" triumphs. Some, like that of Severus Alexander in 233, are possibly entirely fictional (though Haake does not think so); others, such as that of Gallienus in 263 did not celebrate victories by that emperor. Even the tetrarchic double triumph of 303 was combined with the vicennalia of Diocletian.5 The rituals discussed by de Blois were also part of the decennalia of Septimius Severus in 202 and Gallienus in 262. Ando presents part of an answer in his own contribution. The "decentralisation" that he analyses is not only regional, but also inherently symbolical. His opening statement that triumphs "were everywhere […] and nowhere" is rather true on multiple levels: geographically and as far as the omnipresent symbolism of triumph is concerned.

A final group of papers deals with individual problems and presents equally individual hypotheses. This is by no means intended to imply that there is a "pick and mix" quality to this: the papers fit neatly into the aforementioned chronological organisation of the volume, and their individual quality is unquestioned. Thus, triumphal aberrations, such as those of Caligula and Nero, as well as their representations and interpretations in imperial literature, are treated in Icks' paper, and the numismatic evidence for triumphs is comprehensively treated in that of Mittag (with excellent figures, 442-452). Steve Mason's reading à rebours of the description of the Flavian triumph in Josephus is intriguing. To answer an old question (namely whether or not Josephus was an eye-witness to this triumph and whether or not his depiction is reliable), Mason ventures a solution that is equal parts bold and interesting: Josephus was neither incompetent, nor was he lying—Vespasian and Titus were. In a very lengthy argument (pp. 125-175), Mason explains the inconsistencies in Josephus' account by laying the blame squarely at Vespasian's feet and arguing that the triumph itself was a fraud perpetrated on the Roman people in order to secure imperial legitimation for his fledgling dynasty.

Also concerned with the question of legitimacy (and the role of triumphal rituals in procuring it) is Hölscher's paper, which, somewhat surprisingly (to this reviewer, at least), starts by stating that the performative aspects of triumphs have been receiving almost too much attention of late, to the detriment of "static" (i.e. mostly architectural) elements. (But cf. the papers by Liverani and Bassett, which deal specifically with urbanistic and topographical questions, as well as the recent monograph by M. L. Popkin. 6) As Hölscher is quick to explain, however, his intention is not to turn back the clock on research into the triumph by focusing exclusively on these static elements, but rather to bring them into equilibrium with dynamic and performative ones. This he does, and more, sketching out the transformation of "triumphal spaces" from memorials (connected to specific historical incidents) to representations of an "'eternal' presence of universal power," as well as the evolution of the triumph into "an obligatory biographical ritual" (283). Hölscher then goes further and engages with the problem of ideology and specifically of an ideology of universal and permanent victory, stating that "Sieg wurde als Ergebnis einer dem Kaiser eigenen Sieghaftigkeit, [als] das faktische Resultat einer dauerhaften Qualität erklärt" (310). In a brief sketch, he then postulates that a fourth iteration of legitimacy should be added to Max Weber's classical model on the basis of these observations: what he tentatively calls "ideological" rule, i.e. "eine Herrschaft, die in einem wesentlichen Sinn als Realisierung eines vorgegebenen ideologischen Kanons verstanden wird" (313).

As with other papers in this stimulating collection, it is devoutly to be wished that further research will be inspired by it. With their impressive (and almost flawlessly produced) volume, Goldbeck and Wienand have taken a significant first step towards a better understanding the imperial triumph—and simultaneously have shown that there is much yet to be done.

Table of Contents

Johannes Wienand, Fabian Goldbeck, Henning Börm—Der römische Triumph in Prinzipat und Spätantike. Probleme—Paradigmen—Perspektiven

Teil 1: Der römische Triumph im frühen Prinzipat
Carsten Hjort Lange—The Late Republican Triumph: Continuity and Change
Tanja Itgenshorst—Die Transformation des Triumphes in augusteischer Zeit
Jan B. Meister—Tracht, Insignien und Performanz des Triumphators zwischen später Republik und früher Kaiserzeit
Fabian Goldbeck—Die Triumphe der julisch-claudischen Zeit

Teil 2: Der römische Triumph in der hohen Kaiserzeit
Steve Mason—Josephus' Portrait of the Flavian Triumph in Historical and Literary Context
Gunnar Seelentag—Die Dynamik von Herrschaftsdarstellung und Triumphideologie im ausgehenden 1. und frühen 2. Jh.
Christoph Michels—Sieg und Triumph in der Zeit von Antoninus Pius bis Commodus
Katarzyna Balbuza—Der Triumph im Dienste dynastischer Politik
Tonio Hölscher—Die Stadt Rom als triumphaler Raum und ideologischer Rahmen in der Kaiserzeit
Martijn Icks—Turning Victory into Defeat: Negative Assessments of Imperial Triumphs in Greco-Roman Literature

Teil 3: Der römische Triumph im dezentralisierten Imperium
Lukas de Blois—Two Third-Century Triumphal Decennalia (AD 202 and 262)
Matthias Haake—Zwischen Severus Alexanders Triumph über die Sasaniden im Jahre 233 und den Triumphfeierlichkeiten Diocletians und Maximians im Jahre 303. Zum römischen Triumph im dritten Jahrhundert n.Chr.
Clifford Ando—Triumph in the Decentralized Empire
Peter Franz Mittag—Die Triumphatordarstellung auf Münzen und Medaillons in Prinzipat und Spätantike

Teil 4: Der römische Triumph in der Spätantike
Rene Pfeilschifter—Der römische Triumph und das Christentum. Überlegungen zur Eigenart eines öffentlichen Rituals
Paolo Liverani—Roma tardoantica come spazio della rappresentazione trionfale
Guy Halsall—The Decline and Fall of the Ancient Triumph


Notes:


1.   Appropriately, the introduction (1-26) by the editors of the volume under review, joined by Henning Börm, presents a very useful review of scholarship.
2.   Among other reviews of this volume, that of Domenic Schäfer in Plekos 19 (2017), 243-256 is commendably thorough in discussing individual papers. See also Isabelle Künzer's review in Gymnasium 124 (2017), 495-496.
3.   K. Balbuza, Triumph in the Service of Emperor's Dynastic Policy During the Principate, in EOS 91 (2004), 64-84.
4.   Cf. also M. Haake, "Trophäen, die nicht vom äußeren Feinde gewonnen wurden, Triumphe, die der Ruhm mit Blut befleckt davon trug …" Der Sieg im imperialen Bürgerkrieg im 'langen dritten Jahrhundert' als ambivalentes Ereignis, in: H. Börm, M. Mattheis & J. Wienand (eds.), Civil War in Ancient Greece and Rome: Contexts of Disintegration and Reintegration, Stuttgart 2016, 237-301.
5.   As part of his argument, Haake present a truly fascinating piece of evidence, in the form of a plaster mold depicting the triumph of Diocletian and Maximianus, found around the turn of the millennium in Olbia (Sardinia); see pp. 378f. for exquisite plates and cf. M.L. Gualandi, Due imperatori per un trionfo. La matrice de Olbia: un hapax 'fuori contesto', in: M. Milanese, P. Ruggeri & C. Vismara (eds.), L'Africa romana, XVIII: I luoghi e le forme dei mestieri e della produzione nelle province africane, vol. 3, Rome 2010, 1915-1933.
6.   M.L. Popkin, The Architecture of the Roman Triumph: Monuments, Memory, and Identity, Cambridge 2016 and cf. the review in BMCR (2017.01.39) by C.H. Lange.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

2018.02.34

Marcel Danner, Wohnkultur im spätantiken Ostia. Kölner Schriften zur Archäologie, 1. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2017. Pp. x, 323, 12. ISBN 9783954901289. €78.00.

Reviewed by Arja Karivieri, Institutum Romanum Finlandiae (karivieri@irfrome.org)

Version at BMCR home site

This book is the first volume in the new series Kölner Schriften zur Archäologie, edited by Dietrich Boschung and Michael Heinzelmann, both well-known specialists of Roman urbanism (Heinzelmann wrote his doctoral dissertation on the grave monuments of Ostia and has continued to contribute geophysical and geoarchaeological studies in Ostia). In this series, monographs, doctoral theses and other volumes are published, including a wealth of material that has been produced at the Archaeological Institute of University of Cologne, or other works that represent one of the research themes of the Institute. A novelty of this new series is that the more detailed archaeological documentation and photographs can be presented in digital form by the Cologne Digital Archaeology Laboratory and the photo archive ARACHNE, while the discussion, the analysis and the results of the archaeological study are presented in a well-illustrated printed book.

As the first volume of the Kölner series, Boschung and Heinzelmann have chosen Marcel Danner's doctoral dissertation from 2012, which presents the field documentation and a detailed analysis of a group of late antique houses in Ostia. Danner aims to provide a more detailed analysis of the urban development of Ostia from the 3rd to the 5th century AD by analysing private houses in the city. Danner has studied the architectural design of complete buildings, their decorative systems and the room functions, instead of confining himself specifically to the most 'representative' spaces, such as apsidal and triconch halls. He has, furthermore, aimed at defining the semantics of room decoration. He sees development from the 1st to the 5th century AD, especially in the increased emphasis on the part of the houses where the owner received his guests: from the 3rd century onwards, the private and public parts of the house became clearly separate domains, and the decoration of reception rooms became more important, with an addition of columns, sculpture, figurative floor mosaics, marble revetments and pavements. Danner interprets this as evidence for the actual social role of the house owner, or the role at which he aimed, in comparison with the Early Imperial strategies of owners who chose to emphasize their social standing through the cultivation of a bucolic and sacred atmosphere. Danner does not, however, believe that the owners of these large houses of the 4th and 5th century necessarily belonged to old senatorial families; for example, they may have come from the Roman army or been priests or members of the local administration.

Danner has organized the book in 14 chapters and completed the study with a detailed catalogue of 18 houses. Danner studied two of the houses, Domus accanto al Serapeo and Domus delle Colonne, in greater detail through minor excavations in 20121 to verify the construction phases of these houses. The book starts with a short introduction (Ch. 1: p. 1–2), followed by the history of excavations and scholarship (Ch. 2: p. 3–8), before going into more detail about the research questions and methods (Ch. 3: p. 9–16). Ch. 4 (p. 17–22) presents background for the city of Ostia in the 2nd century, Ch. 5 (p. 23–28) analyses the development of Ostia from the Severan period onwards and Ch. 6 (p. 29–47), a longer chapter, includes a synthesis of the development from the 3rd to the mid-5th century. The three following chapters present various aspects of late antique houses in Ostia. Ch. 7 (p. 49–55) provides a commentary on the outer walls and the definition of main and side entrances. In Ch. 8 (p. 57–83) Danner systematically examines room structures, entrances, tabernae, porticoes and corridors, courts, main rooms, groups of rooms, staircases and upper floors and the principles for distribution of space. Ch. 9 (p. 85–116) is dedicated to the decor and furnishings of houses, including pavements, wall decorations, water installations, kitchen and heating systems and sculptural decoration.

In Ch. 10 (p. 117–139) Danner widens the perspective of his research to study Ostian houses contextually, making comparisons with senatorial palaces at Rome, city houses in Northern Italy, North Africa, Greece, Asia Minor, Syria and late antique villages in the western part of the Roman Empire and concluding with a synthesis of late antique domestic decoration in elite houses in various parts of the Roman world. Ch. 11 (p. 141–162) includes an analysis of how movement was organized in the house and how various parts of the house were used. Ch. 12 (p. 163–174) expands the theoretical approach to present a semantic interpretation of décor, such as the connection between an image and an aristocratic ideal, marble as a mirror of wealth and prestige and the interpretation of water installations. Ch. 13 (p. 175–183) includes an important discussion of the house owners and inhabitants of late antique Ostia. Danner emphasizes the senatorial owners, their imitators and role models. The work ends with a bibliography and alphabetical indexes. The catalogue of 18 late antique houses (p. 189-295) completes the volume. He gives detailed instructions for the use of the catalogue, as well as a concordance providing the name of the house, the catalogue number, the ARACHNE serial number and the attached Permalink. The description of the wall techniques follows the conventions that T. L. Heres used for Ostia.2

Every catalogue entry presents a specific house, the measures of each room, the history of excavations and restoration, the grade of preservation, the wall techniques used, the building history and various phases of the house, the most important finds (e.g., inscriptions and sculpture) and a bibliographical excursus. Every catalogue entry also provides a new ground plan drawn by the author; a more detailed plan, in which the various phases of the building history are marked with colour codes, is placed at the end of the book in colour plates. In the ARACHNE digital archive these 18 houses are presented with the detailed plans marked with colour codes, and with more detailed descriptions of each separate room, walls and pavements. The house catalogue is presented in a somewhat shorter version in the printed book, whereas the web version shows both the detailed documentation from the fieldwork, a general description of the house and a detailed description of each room.

This handsome book is very well proofread. The only errors I found are on p. 6, 6th line, where Late Antiquity is written Spät-antike, and on p. 71, line 14, Mamor instead of Marmor. Concerning references in the footnotes and bibliographical lists in the catalogue, I would have preferred a chronological list of publications instead of an alphabetical list according to the surnames of the authors.

The book presents the houses dated to the 3rd to 5th century AD that give evidence for the distribution of larger, new luxurious houses in the southern part of the city centre. Danner emphasises that buildings were not restored at this time in the northern parts of the city, which declined into ruins when Roman senators in the 4th and 5th centuries instead built porticoes, courts and decorative fountains in the southern part of the city. He shows how the new houses continued the older tradition of peristyle houses. He identifies specific changes in the houses of the 4th and 5th centuries, when entrances became broader and some halls were decorated with an apse. Literary sources and some inscriptions in the lead water pipes allow us to connect the names with members of the Roman senatorial aristocracy, while others must have belonged to local elite, prosperous traders and priests. However, the archaeological evidence for building activities or restorations is missing in Ostia for the period after the mid-5th century.

The distribution maps in Ch. 6 (p. 40-42) greatly enhance the discussion of the development and contexts of late antique houses in Ostia. Fig. 7 (p. 40) shows the distribution of these houses, where the first group comprises those included in the catalogue, the second group includes other known late antique houses and a third group notes buildings that have some characteristics of this category. Figs. 8-10 show more detailed plans of these three categories of buildings located south of the main forum, west of Regio V and between the Bivium and Porta Marina. Fig. 11 shows the distribution of peristyle houses and medianum-apartments in the 2nd century AD. Fig. 12 shows the 2nd-century buildings still existing in the 2nd century, as well as new buildings from the 3rd century. Fig. 13 provides a map of 2nd and 3rd-century buildings that still existed in the 4th century and the distribution of new houses of the 4th and early 5th century.

Danner has succeeded in providing a solid, detailed documentation of 18 late antique houses in Ostia, including the descriptions of wall structures, floor levels, remains of wall paintings, inscriptions and sculpture found in the houses. Naturally he has not been able to include the most recent discussion of late antique houses written by Carlo Pavolini, or the latest studies on mosaics and opus sectile pavements of Domus dei Pesci, Domus del Protiro and Domus del Ninfeo, by M Bruno and F. Bianchi, 3 but the book provides an important and long-awaited contribution to the study of building history of late antique Ostia with a wealth of important documentation and sound arguments concerning the interpretation of standing structures, inscriptions and sculpture.



Notes:


1.   M. Danner, P. Vivacqua and E. Spagnoli, "Untersuchungen zur Chronologie der spätantiken Wohnhäuser in Ostia – Vorbericht zu einem Kursprojekt im Oktober 2012", KuBA 3 (2013), 217-239.
2.   T. L. Heres, Paries. A proposal for a dating system of late-antique masonry structures in Rome and Ostia (Amsterdam 1982).
3.   C. Pavolini, Rileggendo le domus delle Colonne e dei Pesci, MEFRA 126–1 (2014) (online); C. Pavolini, "Per un riesame del problema di Ostia nella tarda antichità: indice degli argomenti", in: A. F. Ferrandes and G. Pardini (eds.), Le regole del gioco. Tracce Archeologici Racconti. Studi in onore di Clementina Panella (Rome 2016) 385-405; see also the survey article Pavolini, "A Survey of Excavations and Studies on Ostia (2004-2014)", JRS 106 (2016), 199-236. M. Bruno and E. Bianchi, "L'uso and il riuso di moduli pavimentali nella tarda antichità: il caso della Domus dei Pesci e della Domus del Protiro", in: F. Guidobaldi and G. Tozzi (eds.), Atti del XVII Colloquio dell'AISCOM (Tivoli 2012) 229-240; M. Bruno and E. Bianchi, "Pavimenti marmorei dalla Domus del Ninfeo ad Ostia", in: C. Angelelli (ed.), Atti del XIX Colloquio dell'AISCOM (Tivoli 2014) 345-356. The article Cristina Murer, "The Reuse of Funerary Statues in Late Antique Prestige Buildings at Ostia", in: T. Myrup Kristensen and L. Stirling (eds.) The Afterlife of Greek and Roman Sculpture: Late Antique Response and Practices (Ann Arbor 2016) 177-197, adds another aspect to the discussion about the use of spolia in the late antique houses of Ostia.

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2018.02.33

Martina Ullmann (ed.), 10. Ägyptologische Tempeltagung: Ägyptische Tempel zwischen Normierung und Individualität, München, 29.–31. August 2014. Königtum, Staat und Gesellschaft früher Hochkulturen, 3,5​. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016. Pp. xiv, 209; 45 p. of plates. ISBN 9783447194716. €48,00.

Reviewed by Benoît​ Lurson, Université Libre de Bruxelles​ (Benoit.Lurson@ulb.ac.be)

Version at BMCR home site

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À l'initiative de Martina Ullmann se tenait en août 2014 à l'Institut für Ägyptologie und Koptologie der Universität München la dixième Tempeltagung, conférence triennale consacrée au temple égyptien. Le thème abordé était « Ägyptische Tempel zwischen Normierung und Individualität » (le temple égyptien entre normativité et individualité). Ce volume publie le texte de onze des communications qui y furent prononcées. Il est dédié à Rolf Gundlach, initiateur de cette importante conférence, disparu en 2016.

Dans la première contribution, intitulée « The complex of the Bent Pyramid as a landscape design project », Nicole Alexanian† et Felix Arnold reviennent sur les résultats des fouilles récentes conduites autour de la pyramide rhomboïdale de Snéfrou à Dahshour. Ils montrent que cette pyramide, loin d'être seulement l'un des éléments du complexe pyramidal, est en fait celui d'un vaste projet d'aménagement du site, incluant un jardin et un port. Ils concluent qu'au fond, la pyramide peut être considérée comme un élément d'aménagement du paysage – une montagne artificielle érigée au sein d'un paysage artificiel (p. 9).1 Dans « Genormt? Zur überregionalen Normierung von priesterlichen Epitheta in der Ptolemäerzeit », Ralph Birk s'intéresse à la position, aux titres et à la représentation des « gouverneurs » (hâty-â-our et hâty-â em-khèt), une certaine catégorie de prêtres, dans les processions gravées dans les cages d'escalier des temples de Dendéra et d'Edfou, qui semblent les désigner comme les principaux acteurs du culte. Puis, ayant comparé ces résultats avec les titres portés par deux de ces « gouverneurs » thébains sur des monuments privés, il conclut que l'étude croisée de textes de temples et de monuments privés provenant de trois lieux de culte en tout, permet ainsi de postuler un concept suprarégional, cohérent, et donc normé, pour ces offices (p. 32).2

Richard Bussmann discute ensuite des « Great and Little Traditions in Egyptology ». L'auteur y explore ces concepts, forgés par l'anthropologue Robert Redfield (p. 40). Il commence par dresser un état de la recherche sur les temples égyptiens des IIIe et IIe millénaires, puis examine les concepts et leur utilisation en anthropologie et en Égyptologie. En conclusion de cet article – dont on appréciera le va-et-vient argumenté et toujours à propos entre, d'une part, théorie, méthodologie et archéologie, et, d'autre part, Égyptologie et anthropologie –, l'auteur attire entre autres l'attention sur le fait que grandes et petites traditions ne sont pas des choses ou des mots, mais décrivent un mécanisme, plaidant pour une appréciation plus claire des débats centraux sur l'agentivité, qui traversent les sciences sociales et culturelles et de plus en plus l'Égyptologie (p. 45).3 Dans la contribution suivante, intitulée « Ausnahmen von der Norm oder normierte Ausnahmen? Abweichende Bezüge der Randzeilen in den Tempeln der griechisch-römischen Zeit », Silke Caßor-Pfeiffer examine les colonnes de texte qui, dans les temples de l'époque gréco-romaine, séparent les scènes rituelles les unes des autres. Dans son étude de 1968, Erich Winter avait montré qu'en général, la colonne située derrière le roi se réfère à lui et celle située derrière les divinités à celle lui faisant directement face.4 Ce sont les exceptions à cette règle que l'auteur étudie, à travers des exemples de scènes du temple de Philae. Elle montre que ces exceptions peuvent être expliquées par des éléments thématiques intrinsèques à la scène ou par le contexte architectural, c'est-à-dire des éléments qui lui sont extrinsèques. Et l'auteur de conclure : une norme unique qui expliquerait quand et pourquoi un tel écart existe, il n'y en a pas ; il s'agit toujours de raisons particulières (« individuelle Konzeptionen ») (p. 63).5

Dans « A unique royal mortuary temple and exceptional private complexes. The architecture of the Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II monument reflected in the funerary structures of high officials at Thebes », Patryk Chudzik propose une étude comparative visant à montrer que le monument royal de Montouhotep II a servi de norme à l'architecture d'un certain nombre de sépultures privées du Moyen Empire. Avec « Wem gehören die Götter? Die Verwurzelung ägyptischer Kulte zwischen mythischer Norm und lokaler Exegese », Holger Kockelmann inscrit dans une tension entre traditions locales et suprarégionales (überregionale) sa contribution sur l'argumentaire avancé par les prêtres égyptiens pour expliquer la présence de telle divinité dans tel temple. Le propos concerne l'époque gréco-romaine. L'essentiel de l'exposé de l'auteur examine les temples consacrés à une divinité, mais qui ne sont pas pour autant leur lieu de culte de référence. Il étudie alors le cas de trois divinités, Osiris, Horus, Isis, ainsi que celui de la ville d'Héliopolis. La contribution suivante, de Joachim Friedrich Quack, « Wie normativ ist das Buch vom Tempel, und wann und wo ist es so? », revient sur ce document d'époque romaine, qui contient les directives à suivre pour la conception d'un temple. L'auteur relève d'abord les termes y exprimant la normativité (Normativität), au premier rang desquels tép-rèd, avant d'en étudier l'objet, comme les divinités et leurs représentations, ainsi que le clergé. Il propose ensuite de dater la création de cette norme, dont le Buch vom Tempel serait la version d'époque romaine, de la fin du Moyen Empire et voit dans la région de Memphis/Héliopolis son lieu de rédaction.

Enfin, il avance les XXVIe/XXVIIe dynasties comme période de réception du document. Chiara Salvador propose ensuite une contribution sur « Graffiti and sacred space: New Kingdom expressions of individuality in the court of the seventh pylon at Karnak », la première du volume consacrée au Nouvel Empire. L'auteur y présente son projet de recherche sur les graffiti de Karnak à travers ceux du mur ouest de la cour du VIIe pylône. La question sous-jacente en rapport avec le thème de la conférence pourrait être celle de leur degré de normativité, l'auteur semblant plutôt pencher pour leur caractère non conventionnel (p. 120). Dans « Iunmutef and Thoth in the Chapel of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari – an unusual motif incorporated into typical offering scenes », Anastasiia Stupko-Lubczyńska étudie les représentations et les récitations du prêtre-iounmoutef et de Thot dans les grandes scènes d'offrande de la chapelle funéraire d'Hatshepsout. Elle établit un lien avec les Textes des Pyramides, sur la base duquel elle avance une interprétation symbolique de leur présence, en relation avec l'architecture de ce secteur du temple et la destinée post-mortem du roi.

Martina Ullmann propose ensuite une contribution intitulée « Zur Entwicklung von Raumstruktur und -funktion in den nubischen Felstempeln Ramses' II. ». Après une rapide et utile présentation des temples rupestres du Nouvel Empire en Basse-Nubie, l'auteur s'attache à décrire avec précision l'architecture des six spéos et hémi-spéos de Ramsès II. Elle discute ensuite la fonction des chapelles latérales, parallèles et perpendiculaires à l'axe longitudinal des temples, étudiées en diachronie, tant du point de vue de leur architecture que de celui de leur décoration. Elle propose alors que le plan d'Abou Simbel, avec sa structure tripartite, dérive de celui des temples thébains, et que la partie centrale de ce temple ait servi à son tour de norme – c'est-à-dire de plan de base, qui correspond en outre à une fonction de reposoir liée à la procession des barques – pour les temples de Derr, Ouadi es-Seboua et Gerf Hussein. La dernière contribution de ce volume, « Das Gesetz der Tempel: Ein Vorbericht zu den Priesternormen des demotischen Papyrus Florenz PSI inv. D 102 », est due à Fabian Wespi. L'auteur y présente son travail en cours sur ce papyrus de Tebtynis, qui semble contenir un certain nombre de règles à destination des prêtres en organisant la vie tout autant que les activités. Il en présente rapidement le contenu et tend à le dater du règne de Darius Ier.

Presque toutes les contributions publiées dans ces actes n'abordent pas seulement le thème de la conférence, mais apportent aussi des réponses à sa question de fond : la genèse et l'usage de normes dans les temples, qu'elles concernent leur architecture, leur programme iconographique et épigraphique, mais aussi leur statuaire et l'activité du culte (p. ix).6 Il est aussi très appréciable et bienvenu que d'autres époques que les époques tardives, en particulier l'époque gréco-romaine, soient bien représentées dans le volume. Mais son intérêt, ce qui lui confère sa haute valeur scientifique, ce sont d'abord les méthodologies déployées pour rechercher des réponses à la question citée ci-dessus. Comment en effet déterminer ce qui est de l'ordre de la norme ou de l'exception ? Et comment établir l'origine de cette norme ? C'est ensuite la diversité des réponses apportées. Présentons les principaux apports.

Les contributions de Quack et Wespi concernent des textes dont le caractère normatif est établi. La question soulevée est alors celle de leur transposition. Or, Quack constate par exemple que les prescriptions du Buch vom Tempel ne semblent pas avoir été suivies pour les temples d'où les copies proviennent, tandis que Wespi termine sa contribution en s'interrogeant aussi sur la réalité de l'application du Gesetz der Tempel. Quant à Kockelmann, c'est dans le caractère suprarégional de notions théologiques qu'il voit une sorte de norme à même d'être sollicitée. Pour déterminer la norme, Birk procède à des comparaisons, dont il déduit des éléments invariants qui formeraient une norme, à laquelle il prête toutefois aussi un caractère suprarégional. Chudzik montre de son côté comment un monument peut servir de norme architecturale au niveau local, tandis que Caßor-Pfeiffer met en évidence le rôle de l'invention et l'importance du « cas par cas » dans l'écart par rapport à la norme pour la rédaction des Randzeilen, mais surtout l'importance du plan « micro-local », c'est-à-dire du temple lui-même, pour expliquer cet écart. Alexanian† et Arnold interprètent la manière dont le site de Dahshour a été aménagé comme une transposition de la « norme » sociale. Pour Ullmann, la transposition de la norme se décline sous la forme du transfert en Nubie d'une norme architecturale, celle des temples thébains, suivi de la création, sur cette base, d'une norme régionale. Enfin, Bussmann, en appelle à l'agency pour servir de cadre de réflexion. Quant aux graffiti de Karnak et à la présence du prêtre-iounmoutef et de Thot dans certaines scènes d'offrandes du temple de Deir el-Bahari, les résultats des études présentés nécessitent sans doute encore de prendre en compte un matériel plus large.

On le voit, même si la diversité des cadres méthodologiques et théoriques développés par les contributeurs est grande, il est difficile de considérer la variété des résultats produits comme le simple reflet de cette diversité. On semble en effet pouvoir saisir une norme, certes parfois aux visages multiples, mais on perçoit surtout, très loin du cliché de l'Égypte éternelle et immuable, un foisonnement et une richesse, dans le temps comme dans l'espace, de Dahshour à la Nubie et de l'Ancien Empire à l'époque romaine, qui témoignent de la place fondamentale du particulier, du local et du créatif. C'est sans doute l'un des apports essentiels de ce volume, au-delà de l'érudition dont les contributeurs font montre, que de mettre en évidence un monde du temple tout en nuances, où des principes conceptuels harmonisés font part égale avec les habitudes locales, mais aussi avec la liberté et la créativité– on dirait prosaïquement les marges de manœuvre – dont le clergé égyptien a pu et su largement profiter. ​



Notes:


1.   « Essentially, the pyramid may be considered as an element of landscape design – an artificial mountain erected within an artificial landscape ».
2.   « Die Zusammenschau von Tempeltexten und Privatdenkmälern aus insgesamt drei Kultorten erlaubt somit, ein überregionales, kohärentes und damit normiertes Konzept dieser Ämter zu postulieren ».
3.   « Great and little traditions are not things or words, but describe a mechanism. […] this is a plea for a more explicit appreciation of key debates of agency discussed across the social and cultural sciences and increasingly also in Egyptology ».
4.   Cf. E. Winter, Untersuchungen zu den ägyptischen Tempelreliefs der griechisch-römischen Zeit, Denkschrift der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Philologisch-historische Klasse 98, Vienne, 1968.
5.   « Eine einheitliche Norm, wann und aus welchem Grund eine solche Abweichung vorliegt, gibt es nicht; es handelt sich immer um individuelle Konzeptionen ».
6.   « [die] Entstehung und Anwendung von Normen in Bezug auf ägyptische Tempelbauten, und zwar sowohl in Architektur, Bild- und Textprogramm sowie Statuenausstattung als auch im Kultgeschehen ». ​

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