Sunday, July 21, 2019

2019.07.42

Maurus Augustus, Sophoclis Oedipus Rex, New Edition. Bibliotheca utriusque linguae scriptorum Moscoviensis. Moscow: Academia Moscoviensis, 2016. Pp. xlviii, 76. ISBN 9785190111613.

Reviewed by Paolo Scattolin, Università degli Studi di Verona (paolo.scattolin@univr.it)

Version at BMCR home site

Racchiusa da una simpatica copertina stile 'vecchia Teubner' è uscita nel 2016 l'edizione dell'Edipo re di Mauro Agosto che certo non ha guadagnato in visibilità grazie alla casa editrice e all'uscita nel 2018 dell'edizione Cambridge di P.J. Finglass.

Una lunga prefazione in latino (pp. vii-xlviii) descrive la tradizione manoscritta e presenta i criteri editoriali; seguono il testo critico, un Supplementum apparatus su passi selezionati (pp. 64-70) e il Conspectus metrorum (pp. 71-5).

Non ci sono novità rilevanti sui codici scelti e il loro rapporto, ma non è chiaro quale criterio Agosto segua nel menzionarli in apparato: non raramente le lezioni dell'insigne Laur. 32,9 sono riportate male, anche se Agosto beneficia della collazione di Hecquet-Devienne,1 ed è strano che non venga registrato sistematicamente il Laur. 31,10, terzo codice medievale più antico.

Agosto attribuisce la novità del suo lavoro all'attività congetturale: «in hac potissimum parte, quae tota ad emendationem et coniecturam pertinet, opellam meam collocavi multaque non prorsus (ut spero) infeliciter temptata ad eum creverunt numerum, ut iam non symbolas criticas, verum integram fabularum editionem postularent» (p. xxxii). Al conteggio dell'editore risultano «plus centum triginta» versi sanati, per tacere dei numerosi interventi sull'interpunzione.

In mezzo a questa messe di novità vi sono senz'altro delle proposte interessanti, per es. 32 ἁζόμεσθα – in effetti già di Naber (1881) – a governare gli accusativi in apertura; 362 τἀνδρός· οὗ ζητεῖς, κυρεῖς con interessante pausa sintattica (cfr. già ζητῶν κυρεῖς di Dawe nell'apparato teubneriano); 1025 εἴθ' ἑκών per il tràdito ἢ τεκών, non inferiore al fin troppo celebrato ἢ τυχών di Markland e Bothe pur che si dia al precedente ἐμπολήσας il senso di 'avendo procurato dietro compenso', cioè Polibo pagò per ottenere il bambino; tuttavia, alcune costanti del metodo di Agosto suscitano perplessità e intendo darne a seguire qualche esempio, pur nella consapevolezza che, in assenza di esplicite spiegazioni dell'editore (riportate tra virgolette), non posso essere certo di avere inteso la ratio degli interventi.

Preliminarmente devo segnalare che l'apparato e il testo critico non sono stati revisionati, cosicché convivono in apparato indicazioni incoerenti e traduzioni in più lingue, e capita che una congettura sia trattata come corretta ricostruzione del testo antico nella prefazione e nell'apparato, senza che tuttavia essa sia accettata a testo (es. 167 nel testo ὦ, ma in apparato Agosto accetta ὢ di Willink; 258 κῦρος γ' ἔχω si deduce dall'apparato, perché in linea Agosto lascia l'ircocervo κῦρος γ' ἐγὼ; 325 Agosto presenta in apparato μὴ λέγων come sua congettura da accogliere a testo dove tuttavia lascia μηδ' ἐγὼ).

44: nel commento (p. 65) Agosto non dice perché il tràdito ἐμπείροισι ('esperti') sia inaccettabile, ma vuole leggere ἐμπήροισι ('deboli' intellettualmente) ispirandosi a Hesych. ε 2452 ἔμπηρα· ἀνέξοχα, una glossa interpolata da Cirillo, il cui significato è incongruo con l'uso classico (es. Hdt. I 167) che vuole il termine sempre riferito a una limitazione fisica; Agosto ritiene tuttavia di sostenerne l'uso traslato perché i sinonimi πηρός e χωλός addotti da Erotiano (p. 40, 14-6 Nachmanson) sono attestati in Semonide e Platone appunto nell'accezione traslata (quindi?). Inoltre, per evitare l'incongruità col v. 45, Agosto assegna a μάλιστα il valore di μᾶλλον adducendo Eur. IA 1594, un verso probabilmente non genuino.

198 Agosto congettura βέλη (βέλει già Nauck e Seyffert, niente in apparato) e corregge anche εἴ τι di quasi tutti i codici in ἐς τί traducendo «quamcumque in rem», ma ciò non corrisponde a ὅ τι?

228: non ci sarebbe lacuna dopo 227 (Dindorf [1868] prima di Groeneboom citato da Agosto), e si dovrebbe leggere παρ' ἄλλο μέν, parentetico col senso di «in collatione aliarum rerum». Viene invocato a sostegno Aristot. de An. 421a 25-6 dove però il significato è 'a causa di', non 'in confronto a'.

328 Agosto evita di intervenire su 329, da sempre oggetto di numerosissime congetture, e si concentra sul secondo emistichio di 328, che nessuno sospetta, correggendolo radicalmente in ἐρῶ δ' οὐ μὴν πλέω per poi lasciare due finali in sequenza («non plura dicam, ut pro me orem, ne tua patefaciam mala») e proporre un uso peculiare di un verbum dicendi con τἄμ' (LSJ B III 1 λέγειν τά τινος = 'take his part', solo in Dem. 8, 64). Così si perde l'efficace sovrapposizione dei mali 'miei' e al contempo 'tuoi', al prezzo di correzioni pesanti, una sintassi poco chiara e la necessità di postulare un uso più unico che raro, e non poetico, di λέγειν (in 332 un'altra congettura oscura la stessa relazione: ἔγωγ'· ἐμαυτὸν οὔ τί σ' ἀλγυνῶ, «farò del male a me stesso, a te per niente»).

334-5 vengono espunte le parole καὶ ... ὀργάνειας, e 337-8 sono scambiati con 372-3. Non c'è un punto in cui inserire 337-8 senza mutare ulteriormente il testo, quindi ὀργὴν (337) diventa per congettura ὄρφνην così da creare una risposta all'insulto di Edipo (370-1). Altro aggiustamento è in 337 τὴν σοὶ del Vat. gr. 1333 (ma anche, addendum, del tricliniano T s.l.) contro il tràdito τὴν σὴν (ma a 338 lo stesso codice ha la banalizzazione κάτοιδας che getta un'ombra anche sulla lezione accolta).

334-6 si trovano ora seguiti da 372-3: una volta inserito un sempre utile γ(ε) per evitare la iato dopo κάκιστε, anche κἀτελεύτητος non sopravvive e diventa κἀνυπεύθυνος che dovrebbe suonare come un insulto (questo il tema di 372-3): in apparato Agosto riporta la resa latina del lessico platonico di Ast (senza citare i passi del filosofo!) «rationi reddendae non obnoxius», parafrasato con «contumax, ribelle» che non è però quello che intendeva Ast, perché in Platone si parla di autorità che pretendono comandare autocraticamente (il termine non è poetico, e Aristoph. Vesp. 587 ovviamente non conta). La ragione della congettura risiede forse nella necessità di trovare un insulto che tutti possano rivolgere contro Edipo, ora che 372-3 non reagiscono più all'accusa di cecità di 370-1. Chi infatti rinfaccerebbe a Edipo di essere 'inamovibile' o 'inconcludente'? Vi è un altro spostamento in questa sezione, cioè 376 inserito tra 365 e 366, con attribuzione a Edipo e correzione di ἐπεὶ in ἔπει («in seguito ad una parola»). In 376 i pronomi di prima e seconda persona dei mss. (με ... γε σοῦ) sono invertiti già da Brunck seguito da molti editori (σε ... γ' ἐμοῦ), mentre Agosto vuole salvare la paradosis e, passata sotto silenzio la soluzione di Kamerbeek di anticipare 376 prima di 374 con attribuzione a Edipo di 376-3, va alla ricerca di un punto in cui collocare il verso, trovandolo dopo 365. Infine Agosto deve recuperare la lectio facilior βλέψαι per βλάψαι (375): impeccabilmente Edipo direbbe che il cieco Tiresia non vede nessuno. Ecco il motivo di questo trattamento d'urto (p. xli): «deleta semel et in perpetuum effigie senis garruli et iracundi. An iuvat ad tragicos soccum transferre cothurnos?». Chissà come Marziale avrebbe giudicato questa riscrittura del personaggio Tiresia; sta di fatto che il Coro dice espressamente che gli interlocutori hanno parlato in preda all'ira (404-7).

378 s.: Agosto accoglie da Plut. Mor. 117 A θεὸς al posto di Κρέων dei manoscritti e della Suda. Naturalmente questo non basta, perché la domanda di Edipo non riceverebbe risposta, quindi Agosto corregge σοῦ del v. 378 in θεοῦ con punto interrogativo per sottolineare il sarcasmo di Edipo. Visto che Tiresia risponderebbe che la colpa non è certo di un dio (anzi, «di dio»), Edipo ne dedurrebbe «ex silentio» che allora il colpevole è Creonte: «si negasset, ut in libris, Tiresias, esse Creontem in culpa, minus intellegeremus, cur Oedipus non desinat illum incusare». Ma Edipo non aspetta una risposta alla quale attenersi e considera già Creonte e Tiresia dei complici: chiaramente la domanda di 378, sia con σοῦ che con τοῦ, ha tono sarcastico.

478-9 (a) πέτρας οἷα ταῦρος (reiz): per l'abbreviamento del dittongo Agosto rimanda ad alcuni passi sofoclei, ma, lasciando da parte gli speciali τοιοῦτος e ποιῶ, nei tragici l'abbreviamento si trova solo nel gruppo οὐχ οἷόν τε o in espressioni negative (cfr. 1415); (b) μέλεον μελέῳ ποδὶ χηλεύων, «quasi taurus infelicem infelici pedi suens [...] id est cruribus iunctis», vuoi mentre si prepara a scagliarsi contro i cacciatori, vuoi per evitare ogni moto che lo faccia scoprire. In assenza di obiezioni al tràdito χηρεύων non si vede come conciliare queste pose taurine col contesto di movimento e assillo.

853 δικαίως ὀρθόν, ὅν γε Λοξίας diventa δικαίως ὄθροόν γ' οἷς Λοξίας con il recupero dello hapax Hesych. ο 161 ὄθροον· ὁμόφωνον, σύμφωνον. Sorge il dubbio di cosa non vada in ὀρθόν, sì da giustificare tale audace trouvaille, ma si osservi soprattutto che i monosillabi elisi in ottava posizione sono di norma, per preferenza sintattica e ritmica, δέ e τε.

866-7 οὐράνιοι / δι' αἰθέρ' ἅτε κνῷ θέντες: «leges caelo aequatae, quae aethera longe lateque velut modiolo imposuerunt». Per risolvere le difficoltà del tràdito οὐρανίαν δι' αἰθέρα τεκνωθέντες Agosto, tralasciata l'economica congettura di Enger οὐρανίᾳ 'ν αἰθέρι, si concentra sulla parola che normalmente nessuno modifica, τεκνωθέντες – ma il Coro non sta appunto parlando dell'origine delle leggi? – che segmenta ottenendo un'immagine cosmologica sorprendente. Partito da un intervento minimo, Agosto deve però forzare le parole circostanti al nuovo contesto: ritrovato in Hesych. κ 3141 il significato di κνοῦς come «mozzo (della ruota)» (meglio sarebbe stato citare Phot. κ 826: in Esichio il senso è 'rumore dell'assale' o 'dei piedi') e ritenuto impossibile il nesso οὐρανίαν δι' αἰθέρα sulla base di Cic. nat. deor. 2, 15 (per l'Arpinate i termini specifici per l'ardor caelestis in cui sorgono gli astri sono aether oppure caelum, quindi, deduce Agosto, non si può dire caeleste caelum!), l'editore fa di αἰθέρα l'oggetto di θέντες che però richiederebbe una preposizione (es. ἅτ' ἐν κνῷ). E δι(ὰ)? Avverbio, nonostante la prossimità all'accusativo!

Nella sola famiglia 'laurenziana' 896 è agglutinato allo scolio πονεῖν ἢ τοῖς θεοῖς che Agosto promuove a colon (ba cr) dopo la correzione di ἢ in νυν (?), con conseguente lacuna alla fine dell'antistrofe. La motivazione è che nel Laur. C.S. 152 si legge in interlinea πονεῖν· τοῖς θεοῖς χοροὺς καὶ ἑορτὰς συνιστ‹άναι›, «ubi de glossemate glossematis agi, mihi persuadere non possum». Più semplicemente, nel codice è caduta la disgiuntiva che separa le spiegazioni negli scolii, e χοροὺς ecc. è un'aggiunta che integra il rimasuglio del commento originale contenente spiegazioni diverse di χορεύειν: πονεῖν (cfr. Hesych. λ 1397) e (χορεύειν) τοῖς θεοῖς, in senso rituale.

1031 τί δ' ἄλγος ἴσχων μου κυρεῖς κἀκλαμβάνεις; I manoscritti hanno ἴσχοντ' ἐν καιροῖς (ἐν κακοῖς, ἐν χεροῖν) με λαμβάνεις: la riscrittura di Agosto («versum ita concinnavi, ut significet etc») parte da ἴσχων del Laur. 32,9 («in lectione ab uno codice Laurentiano servata mihi veritas luce clarior affulsit»), corretto in ἴσχοντ' dalla nota mano che ha scritto il Par. gr. 2712, lezione comunque aggiunta in margine già dalla prima mano (niente in apparato). Si noterà però che il trimetro ha un enclitico non eliso in cesura mediana, combinazione di cui non trovo paralleli in tragedia e commedia.

1100-2 i codd. danno l'impossibile ἢ σέ γε θυγάτηρ τις Λοξίου; corretto da Arndt in ἢ σέ γ' εὐνάτειρά τις Λοξίου; Rifiutata la congettura per scivolose ragioni paleografiche, Agosto percorre la «viam erroris 'auditivi'» e arriva a ᾔσσεθ' ἡγάτειρ(α), nel senso di «illex Apollinis» – un significato estorto a Opp. C. I, 253 – non senza congetturare anche ὀρεσσιβάτα ‹γᾷ› προσπελασθεῖσ': si tratterebbe di una «adescatrice» che percorre i boschi montani «motibus corporis lascivis» («s'agitava (scil. per farsi notare) una qualche seduttrice del Lossia»): una immagine francamente sconcertante. Problemi: in lyricis ci aspettiamo la forma non contratta del verbo che comunque al medio non vale 'agitarsi' nel senso che intende Agosto; ἡγάτειρα non può che significare 'guida' e la forma dorizzante sarebbe comunque ἁγήτειρα (cfr. ἁγητήρ), con buona pace dell'errore fonetico.

In conclusione: Agosto compone il suo testo senza reverenze alla tradizione, ma la sua indubbia verve congetturale, pur pretendendo di fondarsi su un condivisibile principio di economia, ignora dettagli importanti di senso, uso e metro. Forse proprio le symbolae criticae, che Agosto riteneva insufficienti a contenere la sua inventiva, sono la forma più utile per esporre, e soprattutto motivare, le tante proposte, da vedere prudentemente come interventi 'diagnostici' più che come ipsa verba del poeta.

Una edizione critica non può nascere solo per contenere le congetture dell'editore.



Notes:


1.   M. Hecquet-Devienne, "Lecture nouvelle de l'Œdipe Roi de Sophocle dans les manuscrits L et A", Revue d'histoire des textes 24 (1994), 1-59. Per quanto riguarda il coevo palinsesto di Leida, Agosto non ha fatto a tempo a leggere il mio "Il testo dell'Edipo re di Sofocle nel palinsesto Leid. BPG 60 A", Lexis 34 (2016), 116-29.

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2019.07.41

J. Papy (ed.), The Leuven Collegium Trilingue 1517-1797. Erasmus, Humanist Educational Practice and the New Language Institute Latin-Greek-Hebrew. Leuven: Peeters, 2018. Pp. 228. ISBN 9789042936225. €60,00.

Reviewed by Andrea Hugill, University of Saint Paul in the University of Ottawa (ahugi074@uottawa.ca)

Version at BMCR home site

Table of Contents

Jan Papy of KU Leuven has compiled a book of seven chapters, replete with illustrations of treasures preserved in special collections in Belgium and entertaining anecdotes from the 280 years of the Leuven Collegium Trilingue's life and beyond. It also contains new historical and theological contributions from several specialists in the contemporary Catholic University of Leuven, and meaningful didactic advice for the study of (modern, classical, ancient and 'holy') language. Papy refers to "an academic and humanist (language) education" (Pg. 63) distinguishing the classical from the ancient. The publication is a commemoration of 500 years since the founding of Leuven Collegium Trilingue, and an exhibition was held in parallel at the University Library of Leuven from October 18th 2017– January 18th 2018. Corpus Christi College Oxford celebrated their 500 year anniversary around the same time. Their volume will come out in Oxford University Press' History of the Universities series later this year, edited by John Watts, and includes a contribution on their 16th century trilingual library. Pierre Swiggers also mentions by way of comparison the beginnings of the Colegio San Ildefonso in Spain and the Parisian College Royal in the 16th century.

In their chapter on the teaching of Latin in the Collegium, Xander Feys and Dirk Sacre trace the beginnings of the Leuven Collegium Trilingue to the life's work of a humanist from Groningen, Rudolph Agricola (1443-1485), writing that "with some imagination, we could in this figure see the embodiment of what the Collegium Trilingue would try to accomplish a couple of decades later." (Pg. 105). Agricola was reportedly a great influence on Desiderius Erasmus, and helped to prepare the arrival of Erasmus' ideas of Renaissance in the North. He proposed a three step plan for learning Ciceronian Latin which involved 1. careful reading for a correct understanding; 2. cultivation of the memory via memorization and 3. constant practice of producing meaningful work.

Erasmus' edition of the New Testament was printed in 1516 and in July 1517, he arrived in Leuven and played an important role in the formation of the new Collegium. (Girt Gielis also documents his stay in Leuven at the start of the 16th century). Jan Papy describes in his first chapter the contributions of Erasmus and Hieronymus Busleyden to the creation and founding of the Collegium. Eramus did not initially have high expectations for the university city, but he was eventually convinced to move there by travelling carriage bringing with him his books. Upon arrival, he ordered armchairs from Brussels and by September 1517 found spacious accommodation. Earlier in the year of 1517, Erasmus had reconnected with his old acquaintance Busleyden, who had studied in Leuven in 1485-86. Papy describes Busleyden as one with "a cultivated Renaissance mind" who had during his law studies "developed a clearly humanist predilection for classical literature." (Pg. 8) In the summer of 1517, Busleyden, who was a top magistrate, made a diplomatic mission to prepare for the arrival of the young King Charles V in Spain by travelling ahead of him to his destination. But Busleyden died of pleurisy en route in Bordeaux, two days before he was due to depart for Spain. Erasmus had been invited to join him to Spain but had declined, and was now left with the task of overseeing the foundation for the new Collegium as prescribed in Busleyden's will.

The day of Busleyden's death, June 22nd 1517 is the founding date of the Collegium in Busleyden's will. (A copy of the will is held in the Leuven city archives and one page is reprinted as an illustration.) Upon the death of Busleyden, and with the money he had donated, Erasmus helped to prepare the Collegium "for the study of the three 'holy', learned and classical languages, Hebrew, Greek and Latin." (Pg. 11) Busleyden's intentions for the Collegium are described by Papy in a chapter entitled "A will, a vision and perseverance… The creation, the prime and the reputation of the Three-Languages Colleges" and another chapter entitled "Life at the Three Languages Colleges". In these chapters of Papy, the early 16th century accounts are exceptionally well documented but there is not much mention of the later centuries of Collegium life, and the reader is left to speculate over possible changes to the economic and social life beyond Erasmus' days. According to the instructions in Busleyden's will, stipends were to be provided for three professors of Latin, Greek and Hebrew. The professors of Greek and Hebrew were given twice as much in wages as the professor of Latin for the first ten years, after which time their stipends were to be reduced and the money that was saved from the wages would then be used to create new scholarships for fellows from Mechelen and Luxembourg. For the first ten years, the scholarships were only available for fellows from Busleyden, Marville, Arlon, Aire and Steenbergen. (Pg. 578) The professors were required to live in the college with the fellows and commensals, and when one professor of Greek married and lived outside the Collegium, Erasmus had to intervene so that he could keep his position in the college. Papy notes that Leuven University, which had been founded in 1425, already held Greek classes its Lily College at the time of the creation of the Collegium. The new building for the Collegium at Vismarkt had yet to be planned and built when Erasmus settled at Leuven. The decision was made on the basis of instructions in the will to purchase the property of a professor of law in the same complex of the Vismarkt where the Hebrew classes were already being held by the Collegium's first professor of Hebrew.

Erasmus contributed to "humanist pedagogical renewal" by providing textbooks adapted to the partially modernised education of his day. (Pg. 29) He had many prestigious invitations to elsewhere but he remained in Leuven for many years and established a new academic method for theological study. Pierre Van Hecke points out that the emergence of Protestantism and the Protestant Reformation, which also embraced the humanist ideal for reference to the original sources and put much value on the study of the Bible in the original languages, meant that some linguists (especially of Hebrew) became suspects of Protestant sympathies. Gielis mentions the arrival of a bundle of treatises by Martin Luther which were investigated by the Faculty of Theology, some of whom "considered Luther to be an extreme version of Erasmus' innovative ideas…" (Pg. 40) Papy offers insight into the daily life of the Collegium and its library in his chapter entitled "Life at the Three Languages College", referring to a detailed 1977 doctoral study which scrutinized the accounts and archives in detail. He gives details on the responsible role of the maid of the college, and describes the oversight and book-keeping duties of the president of the Collegium, (who was also required to be a clergyman). The executor of Busleyden's will, Bartholomeus Van Vessem, set up the large college library (77 square feet) and developed a system for the organization and shelving of the collection. Busleyden's books had been brought from Mechelen to Leuven by boat and were described by Thomas More as a "tam egregie referta bibliotheca" (Pg.64) In the late 17th century, a priest by the name of Dominicus Snellaerts bequeathed his library of 3600 volumes to Leuven university. (Pg. 125)

Pierre Swiggers questions the dichotomous view of ancient language versus vernacular, which opposition he associates with Dante. He points out that in Dante's historical context, knowledge, diplomacy and secular and ecclesiastical power were bound in the Latin language. For Dante and his contemporaries, acquiring the vernacular was a matter of natural assimilation, a living language was thought to be acquired naturally in day to day practice. From Dante's day, Swiggers selectively overviews changes in the late medieval and early modern contexts of language education, and concludes that there was an increase in education in the vernaculars by the end of the Enlightenment. He mentions the influence of the Irish Franciscans, who arrived in the early 17th century and set up an Irish printing press in Leuven (which was not a multi-lingual and commercial place like the Antwerp of the day). The humanistic interest in the three ancient languages was philological (the study of texts of special interest from different fields); and humanists wanted to revive ancient language and refine literary forms. But Swiggers writes that Renaissance humanists also made room for vernaculars, and refers to humanists devoted to the study of their mother tongues and to one humanist who lamented having been fully immersed in Latin from childhood because the vernacular would have been more useful to him.

Pierre Van Hecke has contributed to the book a chapter on the study of Hebrew at the Collegium which looks more closely at the Hebrew education practice in all its aspects. From the 16th century, the study of Hebrew was included together with Greek and Latin in the curriculum of classical education. This was sometimes the result of a humanist and missionary intention, but the objective of the Hebrew classes was primarily the better understanding of the biblical text. Rabbinical and medieval Jewish literature was not included in the classical curriculum, nor was it read in the classes of colleges who sought to immerse students in languages of primary texts, but van Hecke mentions that commentary writers affiliated with the Collegium show familiarity with Judaism. Certain biblical texts, especially the Psalms, were studied in Hebrew in the college setting with the help of grammatical resources. Van Hecke effectively recreates the first Hebrew class at the Collegium for the reader to envision the excitement of being given the first printed document in the Hebrew language. The first Hebrew Professor at the Collegium was a converted Jew of Spanish origin, and he taught in a ground floor classroom furnished with wooden benches. He purchased a printed Hebrew Bible, and Erasmus wrote of the great success of his classes.

Van Hecke reconstructs the educational practice at the Collegium with great attention to detail and drawing from a wide variety of sources, many preserved in the Leuven special collections and Royal library of Belgium. In his story of the Collegium from its beginning to its end, he answers the question 'what did they know about Hebrew?' The objective of the Hebrew classes was primarily the better understanding of the biblical text, and the reading of selected biblical texts, some of which were well-known to the students from the Christian liturgy. Van Hecke notes that in the 16th century, there was a fascination with the Kabballah reading of the Hebrew Bible and an adoption of the method for deeper secrets of Christianity. Among many exemplary Hebraists, he notes that "…Johannes Reuchlin published, in the interests of education, a literal translation and a linguistic commentary on the seven Psalms of Repentance." (Pg. 169) One difference from the contemporary Hebrew pedagogical practices that van Hecke describes is the emphasis in the classical approach to language education on informal epistle writing. Students learned to write and to edit Hebrew texts, and were soon able to write Hebrew letters about mundane things. Van Hecke also describes Hebrew lexicography affiliated with the Collegium, such as a peculiar 17th century glossary and an 18th century interlinear Latin-Hebrew lexicon intended for the research of Hebrew language and texts.

This volume will be appreciated not only by medieval and early modern scholars interested in languages and linguistics, Erasmus, or the history of language institutions, but also by the contemporary teacher and student of languages for its numerous prescriptions for educational practice, and even more broadly, by readers who are seeking to learn of the history and culture of the city of Leuven.

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2019.07.40

Christopher Burden-Strevens, Mads Lindholmer (ed.), Cassius Dio's Forgotten History of Early Rome: The Roman History, Books 1-21. Historiography of Rome and its empire, 3. Leiden: Brill, 2018. Pp. xiv, 338. ISBN 9789004384378. €121,00.

Reviewed by Jeremy J. Swist, University of Iowa (jeremy-swist@uiowa.edu)

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Ever since Fergus Millar published A Study of Cassius Dio in 1964, the reputation of the Severan senator-turned-historian, not only as an important source of Roman history, but also as an original and sophisticated author, has been steadily rising. In recent years it has truly taken off. As noted at the beginning of this volume by Carsten Lange and Jesper Madsen, the editors of the Historiography of Rome and its Empire series, there has been an explosion of recent and forthcoming studies, commentaries, and editions thanks in large part to the formation of the Cassius Dio Network. A significant obstacle to this rehabilitation, however, has been the loss of the first quarter of his total 80 books but for a series of late antique and Byzantine excerpts, along with a twelfth-century epitome by John Zonaras. The purpose of the present volume is not only to reconstruct this "forgotten history," but to fully integrate it into the unity of the Roman History and its historiographical aims and methods. The time is ripe to bring Dio out of Livy's shadow and to consider his original and independent approach to the infancy and childhood of res publica Romana.

Co-editor Christopher Burden-Strevens opens the volume with an excellent introductory chapter that lays out the volume's aims, along with its place within and debt to recent scholarship, while also duly previewing each contribution. Burden-Strevens identifies which chapters will be useful to which individual interests, while at the same time demonstrating how they all work together toward a defined set of objectives.

Part I, titled "The Text," addresses the relation of Dio's early books to his sources, and of the Byzantine excerpts and epitomes to Dio's original. These first three chapters establish a solid foundation for the volume's subsequent contributions by assuring its readers not only of the reliability of Zonaras and the excerptors, but also of Dio's creative independence from extant parallel sources for early Roman history, such as Livy, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and Plutarch.

Valérie Fromentin opens this section with a chapter on the reliability of Zonaras' epitome through its references to speeches. As she acknowledges, the loss of the speeches of Dio's early books is especially lamentable given the function of speeches in ancient historiography of both driving and interpreting events, as well as portraying character. Fromentin offers a method for locating and even reconstructing these speeches, both direct and indirect, by referring to how Zonaras epitomizes extant portions of the Roman History.

Chapter 2 by Gianpaolo Urso tackles the question of whether Dio consulted pre-Augustan sources directly or through the mediation of writers such as Livy and Dionysius. After a helpful review of the debate over whether Dio used Livy and to what extent, Urso then presents copious and convincing evidence that Dio operated largely independently from Livy and consulted a number of late republican historians. For instance, his account of the Latin War arguably draws from a source composed within living memory of the Social War. Urso clinches his argument by contextualizing Dio in the literary milieu of Aulus Gellius and Ulpian, where interest in Republican literature was especially in vogue.

C. T. Mallan rounds out the first section with Chapter 3, where he establishes the political and intellectual contexts of the excerpting of Dio in tenth-century Byzantium under Constantine VII, in order to argue that the excerptors' aim was a self-contained, albeit "impressionistic" historical narrative in its own right. The chapter begins with a valuable historical sketch of the readership, transmission, abbreviation, and excerpting of the Roman History (with special attention to Books 1-2, on the regal period) from its initial publication in the mid-third century up through middle Byzantium. Mallan then lays out the methodology of the excerptors, identifying them as "would-be antiquarians who were engaged with the struggles and pressures of high politics in the imperial court, and who looked to the past for political guidance and moral edification" (p. 88). Mallan ultimately concludes that the excerptors worked in the spirit both of renewed interest in the exempla of Rome's founding fathers, and the drive to reclaim authentic Roman identity through preserving the memory thereof.

Part II of the volume contains four chapters on "Military & Political History," which take different approaches to demonstrating the unity and continuity between Dio's accounts of the earlier and later Republic.

Chapter 4 by series co-editor Jesper Majbom Madsen uses Dio's depiction of the Senate in the early Republic to refute assumptions that the narrative arc of his Republican history conformed to that of a Dekadenzmodell, of a moral "decline and fall." Instead, Dio intended the entire history of the Republic to be an extensive, narrative argument against the viability and stability of dēmokratia. As an heir to Thucydides' essentialist view of human nature, Dio demonstrates that elite competition threatened to undermine republican government from the very beginning, checked by only a handful of men whose prioritization of the common good over private ambition made them exceptions to the rule rather than representatives of the whole. The Republic did not fall due to a general moral decline, but rather inherent and inveterate problems began operating on a greater scale.

In Chapter 5, Marianne Coudry also dismisses the Dekadenzmodell by treating Dio's history of the Republic as a monolith rather than dividing it into descending stages of Early, Middle, and Late. Coudry demonstrates this unity through the consistent exemplarity of the "great men" Camillus, Scipio, and Caesar, who occupy these three periods respectively. It can be shown that all three men face similar circumstances, especially aristocratic jealousy of their power and popularity. Fabricius is a notable exception to the rule, because his lack of personal ambition clears him as a potential threat to the nobility.

Next comes Chapter 6 by series co-editor Carsten Hjort Lange, who especially highlights the Thucydidean pedigree of Dio's analysis of Roman history. Not only was the Republic always an "unworkable system, either causing or caused by the inevitable presence of internal problems such as violence, stasis, and bellum civile" (p. 166); but the potential for these malignancies was also rooted in human nature, ever since Romulus and Remus quarreled over the kingship.

Part II concludes with Chapter 7, where the volume's co-editor Mads Lindholmer, by contrasting Dio's account with those of Livy and Dionysius, delivers the coup de grâce to the notion that Dio idealized the early Republic. In particular, Dio paints the internal conflicts of the early Republic as significantly more violent than in these prior sources: they exemplify not the productive competition espoused by Hesiod; rather, Dio frequently employs terms such as philotimia (ambition) and phthonos (envy) as negative and corrosive. Lindholmer concludes from this analysis that Dio's refusal to idealize the early Republic boosts his credibility as a source for early Roman history.

Part III of the volume, "Early Rome & Dio's Project," contains three chapters that explore more directly the resonances between the first and last books of Dio's history, including the reciprocal influence between early Rome and that of the Severan historian's own lifetime.

In the first of these chapters, John Rich challenges assumptions that the speeches in the early books were different in nature from those in subsequent books. Toward this end, Rich revises Boissevain's distinction between direct and indirect discourse in his catalogue of the early fragments, and argues that direct speech was more frequent in the earlier books than previously assumed. Furthermore, Rich reinforces the unity of Dio's history by suggesting that the early speeches, rather than moralizing, tend to be characterized by as much disingenuousness and deception as later speeches.

Next is Chapter 9 by Brandon Jones, who breaks with the volume's general program of rejecting the label of Dio's Republican history as a narrative of decline from an ideal, though he does not do so in a manner that contradicts his fellow contributors. Jones examines how instances of Romans' interactions with non-Romans in the early books tend to emphasize the positive qualities of the former—chief among these are andreia (manliness), sophrosynē (moderation), and resistance to tryphē (extravagance)—in contrast to the negative qualities of enemies such as the Gauls, Samnites, Greeks, and Carthaginians. So integral to Roman identity are these virtues that they become rhetorical ammunition with which to paint fellow-Roman opponents as un-Roman (e.g. Octavian against Antony). While human ambition and violence remain constants throughout, by focusing on the morally corrupting influence of tryphē in the wake of eastern conquests, Jones identifies one way in which a thread of moral decline can be traced through Dio's history from early Rome to the imperial present.

The final chapter of the section and volume is Chapter 10, where Verena Schulz takes on the notion argued by her fellow-contributors that the constants in human nature give unity to Dio's history, which in turn recommends early Roman figures, especially monarchs, as positive and negative exempla. Schulz catalogues the exemplary links, suggested by textual parallels, between kings and emperors in Dio's text, especially those who ruled during his lifetime. These include reflections of Romulus in Septimius Severus, of Tarquinius Priscus (before taking the throne) in Marcus Aurelius, and of Tarquinius Superbus in Commodus. As Schulz notes, such parallels both come naturally after over two centuries of autocratic rule, and more importantly, recommend the kings as integral to an historiographical discourse on good and bad Roman rulership.

While it is essential reading, and not merely for those who study Dio's early books, this volume also makes a strong case for how foundational these books are to anyone who works on Dio. Like a good Aristotelian plot, the Roman History's beginning, middle, and end compose a unity. Beyond the volume's content, which is excellently organized in its sequence of chapters, its front and end matter are equally splendid. The volume opens with brief and helpful introductions to the contributors and their scholarly profiles, and it concludes with a useful and well-organized index of names and key terms. Each chapter includes its own bibliography, rather than at the end of the volume. The physical book itself is contained within a glossy, durable hardcover fittingly graced by the reverse of a Republican-era coin depicting the founding twins suckled by the she-wolf. The chapters are written in lucid English, French, and Italian, with only a few typographical errors.

Authors and titles

Notes on Contributors
Carsten Hjort Lange & Jesper Majbom Madsen, The Historiography of Rome and Its Empire Series
Christopher Burden-Strevens, Introduction

I. The Text
1. Valérie Fromentin, La fiabilité de Zonaras dans les deux premières décades de l'Histoire romaine de Cassius Dion: le cas des discours
2. Gianpaolo Urso, Cassio Dione e le fonti pre-liviane: una versione alternativa dei primi secoli di Roma
3. C. T. Mallan, The Regal Period in the Excerpta Constantiniana and in Some Early Byzantine Extracts From Dio's Roman History

II. Military & Political History
4. Jesper Majbom Madsen, From Nobles to Villains: The Story of the Republican Senate in Cassius Dio's Roman History
5. Marianne Coudry, The 'Great Men' of the Middle Republic in Cassius Dio's Roman History
6. Carsten Hjort Lange, Cassius Dio on Violence, Stasis, and Civil War: The Early Years
7. Mads Ortving Lindholmer, Breaking the Idealistic Paradigm: Competition in Dio's Earlier Republic

III. Early Rome & Dio's Project
8. John Rich, Speech in Cassius Dio's Roman History, Books 1-35
9. Brandon Jones, Cultural Interactions & Identities in Dio's Early Books 10. Verena Schulz, Defining the Good Ruler: Early Kings as Proto-Imperial Figures in Cassius Dio
Index
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Friday, July 19, 2019

2019.07.39

Anna Cannavò, Ludovic Thély (ed.), Les royaumes de Chypre à l'épreuve de l'histoire: transitions et ruptures de la fin de l'âge du Bronze au début de l'époque hellénistique. BCH. Bulletin de correspondance héllénique: supplément, Vol 60. Athènes: École française d'Athènes, 2018. Pp. 356. ISBN 9782869583078. €35,00.

Reviewed by Christian Körner, University of Bern (christian.koerner@hist.unibe.ch)

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

Thanks to the French excavations begun in 1975, our knowledge about the city of Amathous on the southern coast of Cyprus has deepened considerably in the last few decades. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the French mission, a congress was held in Athens in 2015 to establish the position of Amathous in relation to the other Iron Age city-kingdoms of Cyprus. The wide range of topics covered by the papers that were given reflect this broad interest. What all papers have in common is the question raised in the volume's subtitle: transitions, changes and breaks in the development of the Cypriot kingdoms.

Many papers are strongly influenced by the scientific approach of recent years, instigated mainly by Maria Iacovou and others. This approach may best be described as having two main characteristics: viewing the history of the so-called "city-kingdoms" in a longue durée from the late Bronze Age to the Hellenistic period and explaining their development using endogenous factors ("from within", as Maria Iacovou aptly titles her own essay in the volume).

The volume is a collection of archaeological as well as historical papers. The first section focusses on the transition from the Bronze to the Iron Age. The second presents topographical studies of several kingdoms (Paphos, Amathous, Salamis, Idalion and Marion) based on archaeological evidence. The third section is dedicated to historical topics, while the final one deals with the transition from the 4th century to the Hellenistic period.

Considering the enormous impact her work has had on Cypriot archaeology, it is only fitting that the first contribution is by Maria Iacovou herself — it almost reads like a condensed summary of the results of the many research projects she has published over the last few years. Iacovou shows how the Cypriot Iron Age kingdoms developed out of the economic and political landscapes of the late Bronze Age. She emphasizes the continuities in Cypriot culture from the late Bronze Age to the early Iron Age. There was no general break between LCIIC and LCIIIA (13th–12th centuries BC); while certain areas suffered economic breakdowns, others flourished. These local differences may have produced domestic migration, which could help to explain changes in settlement structure.

Anna Georgiadou's study of pottery imports from the Levant between the 11th and the 8th centuries BC also helps to illustrate the transition that occurred at the beginning of the first millennium BC, as well as the development of the island's urban centres: Paphos, Amathous, Kition and Salamis. These were later recognized as cities of major importance in the written sources, already participating in overseas trade with the Levant during this early period.

The essays devoted to selected urban centres attempt to reconstruct the respective topographies and their development over the centuries. Eustathios Raptou's paper on Palaipaphos gives an overview of recent surveys and excavations, mainly of tombs. Its results help to establish a preliminary topography of the town and its surroundings. It seems that the settlement structure of Paphos remained rather loose until Classical times, the town consisting of several urban nuclei.

According to literary sources, Salamis was the most important kingdom on the island. Sabine Fourrier's article focusses on the archaeological evidence for the town, a complicated task indeed, since Salamis lies in the Turkish-occupied territory, making legal excavations impossible. Fourrier therefore has to rely on the results of the excavations carried out by the French mission from 1964 to 1974. She is rather cautious in connecting the archaeological evidence with historical events described in the literary sources.

Not much is known from written sources about the inland kingdom of Idalion. This makes Anna Satraki's overview of its urban development from the late Bronze Age to the 4th century BC all the more welcome. She convincingly argues that the conquest of Idalion by the kings of Kition did not lead to a rupture — the new rulers respected local traditions and even adopted the royal title of "Kings of Kition and Idalion". Satraki therefore refers to the kingdom as the "Kingdom of Kition and Idalion" for the last 150 years of its existence.

Of merit as well are the papers concerning historical topics, which prove a difficult task given the scarcity of written sources. The absence of Cyprus in Persian texts has often been noted. Antigoni Zournatzi now convincingly argues in her lucid article that the formula "(those) who (are) of the sea" encountered in Achaemenid inscriptions refers to Cyprus and — later on —other islands as well, and not, as often suggested, to a satrapy or province in Western Asia Minor. As Zournatzi shows, the Achaemenid Great Kings were rooted firmly in the tradition of the Assyrian monarchs, whose presentation of conquests in far-flung regions served to enhance their glory. Formulas like "(those) who (are) of the sea" or even "(those) who (are) beyond the sea" were more effective at evoking the splendour of the Great King's conquests than prosaic, bluntly geographical terms like "Cyprus".

Cypriot coinage is an difficult field of research. Evangelini Markou's paper on the coinage of Amathous is striking in its clarity and precision. She argues convincingly that the mysterious coin inscription Ε should not be connected with an assumed conquest of Amathous by the Salaminian king Evagoras I, but rather that the coins should be seen as mintages of an otherwise unknown Amathousian king. On the basis of the numismatic evidence, Markou further demonstrates that the episode reported by Hesychius and the Suda concerning an Amathousian king named Rhoikos, who was taken prisoner by the Athenians, should not be dated to the middle of the 5th century, but clearly earlier. This is a fine example of how numismatic evidence helps in clarifying events known from the literary tradition.

The last section of the collection, which deals with the transition from the 4th century to Hellenistic times, reveals a striking difference between Ledra and Amathous. In her report on the excavations at Nicosia — ancient Ledra — Despina Pilides emphasizes an astonishing continuity there. The middle of the island seems to have been of major importance for the new rulers. Amathous, on the other hand, develops in a different fashion, as pointed out by Claire Balandier and Pierre Aupert. First of all, Amathous was obviously of major strategic importance for the Antigonids: moles were built, the city wall reinforced. When the island was reconquered by Ptolemy I, construction work at Amathous seems to have stopped. His successor, Ptolemy II, established a cult for Aphrodite near the Northern gate. While this particular cult of course refers back to Cypriot traditions, Ptolemy II seems nevertheless to have distanced himself from the old Amathousian monarchy, which had worshipped Aphrodite atop of the acropolis.

The volume closes with an intriguing essay devoted to the transition from Classical to Hellenistic times in Cyprus by two leading experts on the topic, Demetrios Michaelides and Giorgos Papantoniou. Based on a few but striking examples, they show the coexistence of Cypriot traditions and new achievements borrowed from the Hellenistic koine. With good reason, they also question how representative these cultural "highlights" were for the silent majority of the island's population.

The volume is a most welcome addition to the publications on Cypriot kingdoms. It contains well-written essays summarizing the knowledge gained from the important fieldwork of recent years and combines them with revealing articles on historical questions. Furthermore, this is a fine example of a collection of papers which is more than just the sum of its parts. Instead it forms a unified whole: the subtitle of the volume, "transitions et ruptures", is always at the centre and runs through the volume like a common thread. Future research on Cypriot kingdoms will profit enormously from this publication.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Anna Cannavò, Ludovic Thély 91-4)
De la transition Bronze / Fer aux royaumes du premier millénaire (5–85)
Maria Iacovou, From the Late Cypriot Polities to the Iron Age "Kingdoms". Understanding the Political Landscape of Cyprus from Within (7–28)
Artemis Georgiou, Ceramic Fluidity and Regional Variations: Elucidating the Transformed Ceramic Industry of Finewares in Cyprus at the Close of the Late Bronze Age (29–48)
Anna Georgiadou, La dimension régionale des échanges entre Chypre et le Levant à l'époque chypro-géométrique (XIe-VIIIe s. av. J.-C.) (49–65)
Elisavet Stefani and Yiannis Violaris, New Evidence on the Early History of the City-Kingdom of Amathous: Built Tombs of the Geometric Period at the Site of Amathous-Loures (67–85)
Les royaumes de l'âge de Fer: approches topographiques et archéologiques (87–186)
Eustathios Raptou, La ville et ses nécropoles: contribution à la topographie de Palaepaphos (89–110)
Isabelle Tassignon, Le grand dépôt "à l'amphore" du palais d'Amathonte, marqueur d'une ère nouvelle? (111–128)
Sabine Fourrier, Salamine de l'époque géométrique à la fin de l'époque classique: les espaces urbains (129–145)
Anna Satraki, Ptolin Edalion: Transitions and Breaks in the Life of an Inland Cypriot City-State (147–165)
Joanna S. Smith, The Changing Urban Landscape of Marion (167–186)
Les royaumes à l'épreuve de l'histoire: Les transformations de l'époque classique (187–235)
Antigoni Zournatzi, Cyprus in the Achaemenid Rosters of Subject Peoples and Lands (189–200)
Artemis Karnava, The Syllabic Inscriptions of Amathous: Past and Present (201–212)
Massimo Perna, La grande inscription d'Amathonte (ICS 194 + 195): une nouvelle étude épigraphique. Rapport préliminaire (213–220)
Evangelini Markou, Quelques réflexions sur le monnayage d'Amathonte de l'époque classique (221–235)
Vers une nouvelle époque? La transition classique/hellénistique (237–290)
Despina Pilides, The Transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic Period at the Settlement of the Hill of Agios Georgios, Nicosia (239–250)
Pierre Aupert and Claire Balandier, Amathonte après la fin du royaume: la ville sous les Antigonides et les premiers Lagides (251–265)
Demetrios Michaelides and Giorgos Papantoniou, The Advent of Hellenistic Cyprus (267–290)
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2019.07.38

Maria A. Liston, Susan I. Rotroff, Lynn M. Snyder, Andrew Stewart, The Agora Bone Well. Hesperia supplements, 50. Princeton, NJ: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2018. Pp. 185. ISBN 9780876615508. $75.00.

Reviewed by Debby Sneed, University of California, Los Angeles (deborah.sneed@ucla.edu)

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The publication of this significant deposit in the Agora in Athens has been a long time coming: the project began 80 years ago in 1938, when the well was excavated by Dorothy Burr Thompson. The well and its contents received only cursory attention in the succeeding years and, contrary to expectation, the delay turned out to be beneficial, as changes in the field since the 1930s are what made this rigorous and interdisciplinary study possible (p. 139).

The publication itself is as significant as its subject: it represents a model for archaeological publications, careful as the authors are to evaluate and integrate multiple lines of evidence and inquiry, consider different interpretations for the formation of the deposit, and engage in differential diagnosis, as it were, for analyses and interpretations. The authors are transparent about the quality and nature of the data and they explain both where their interpretations are securely grounded in the evidence and where they are more open to alternative readings. Finally, the authors present the data and their interpretations through a combination of clear and precise prose, high quality black-and-white photographs, and well-conceived diagrams and charts, making the book more accessible to non-specialists.

The deposit that is the focus of the book includes the remains of at least 459 infants; a wealth of faunal material, including skeletons of at least 150 dogs; industrial and manufacturing debris; a wide range of ceramic vessels; an ivory chape from the scabbard of a sword; and a marble herm. It likely accumulated over a fairly short period of time, from ca. 165 to 150 BCE (p. 8), and, as the authors anticipate in the first chapter but discuss more fully in the fifth, is best understood as a burial place for newborn infants who had died naturally before being formally integrated into the family, along with a few older individuals who, for various reasons, were not granted conventional funerary rites. The stated goal of the study is not to exhaust all possibilities for explaining the deposit, "but rather to present the data in full, place it within its social and historical context, and offer a plausible suggestion about how, when, and why this remarkable assemblage of humans, animals, and artifacts came to be deposited in the well" (p. 1). In this the authors succeed.

The first chapter discusses the well and its neighborhood in 2nd century BCE Athens. The authors detail not just the history of the Classical water system of which the well was a part, but also the history of its excavation and interpretation. Although the deposit was recorded hastily, the authors do a remarkable job reconstructing the stratigraphy, adding thoughtful visualizations (including top plans, section schematics, illustrated visualizations of depositions, and schematic diagrams) to aid the reader (especially on pp. 4, 6, and 7). They describe the nature of this area of Athens, on the northern slopes of the Kolonos Agoraios, and note that "the most important fact that emerges from study of the topography of this area is its isolation" (p. 10). The authors present the chronological development of the specific buildings associated with the well when it was in use (Buildings 3 and 4). Finally, they consider Pausanias's description of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite Ourania and its potential relevance for the interpretation of the well.

The second chapter presents the human skeletal material. The bones "were recovered as commingled remains, together with many animal bones, and with no documentation of individual bodies or articulation of the remains" (p. 25). Nevertheless, careful analysis made it possible to isolate four individuals. An adult man (AA 24) is represented by a nearly complete skeleton that preserved evidence for a potential diagnosis of hereditary hemochromatosis. This case is an excellent introduction to the authors' approach to the human remains, as they are explicit about how they arrived at this diagnosis and what alternatives were excluded and why. The same careful attention is found in the presentation of the other skeletons, including the older child (AA 25), who may have had brucellosis, and the two older infants, one of whom (AA 26A) unhappily presents the earliest case of child abuse reported archaeologically worldwide, while the other (AA 26B) provides evidence that considerable efforts were expended to care for children with debilitating conditions (in this case, hydrocephalus).

Finally, the authors present the 13,019 bones representing the remains of at least 459 infants and fetuses (collectively AA 26). Most of the remains range between 30 weeks in utero to 42 weeks, though the median age at death is one-week post-partum, and almost all died before they were eight days old. After a brief discussion of the potential for sexing the remains, the authors discuss identifiable pathologies and causes of death, including premature birth and low birth weight, trauma, infection and hemorrhage, developmental defects, and cleft palate. In sum, the authors argue that there is abundant reason to see the deposit largely as the result of natural mortality.

The faunal material is presented in the third chapter. As with the human remains, the animal bones are regarded as a single, undifferentiated deposit. In addition to the domestic dog assemblage were 339 non-canid animal bones, largely belonging to sheep/goats and pigs, but including three rabbit/hare bones, 51 domestic chicken bones representing at least three animals, the bones of a white stork, and, minimally, fish bones. The authors do not discuss whether selection protocols biased the sample toward larger animals, but they argue that the non-canid assemblage reflects common types of food refuse and many bear evidence of butchering (including the stork). Some larger bones of cattle, horses, and perhaps turtles represent industrial and manufacturing debris. At least seven cattle ribs and seven cattle scapulae, for example, were modified quickly to act as tools. Finally, the authors present the remains of the more than 150 dogs that were commingled with the fetal and infant human remains. The dogs, mostly adult (65-70% of the assemblage) and of a size similar to a modern beagle or small hound, appear to have entered the well whole and articulated. The evidence suggests that the dogs were likely free-roaming urban strays and the authors argue that the dogs' sex, age, or physical attributes did not play a major role in their selection for inclusion in the deposit.

The artifacts in the assemblage are given full attention in Chapter 4. The authors begin with an informative and interesting discussion of 1930s standards of recovery, storing, and conservation before introducing the artifacts and classifying them by material and type. This section is aided by a complete catalogue at the end of the book. The ceramics are discussed according to type (fine wares and plain wares) and then subdivided according to basic functional classifications. Other clay and non-clay objects are then discussed, as well as a mass of bronze debris. This chapter is especially strong in its determination of which objects can be safely associated with the human skeletal remains and how, and which cannot. The discussion of the herm, which represents Andrew Stewart's contribution, provides an interesting insight into the world of midwives, which receives more attention in the final chapter.

In the fifth and final chapter, the authors demonstrate the value of this study for the field as a whole: the evidence in Chapters 1 through 4 is here considered holistically, addressing how each piece fits into the larger story of pregnancy, birth, life, and death in 2nd century BCE Athens. After discussing earlier interpretations of the deposit, the authors outline useful archaeological parallels: two wells in Eretria (one from the 3rd century BCE, another from the Roman period) a Hellenistic well in Messene, and a Late Roman sewer in Ashkelon. They also discuss other examples of infants buried within settlements and in specialized infant cemeteries. These comparanda serve to situate the Agora Bone Well and suggest that it is not quite as unusual as it may seem; it is, instead, part of a larger and longer practice of differential treatment of the infant dead, which happened for many different reasons. The authors progress through potential interpretations for the deposit, including famine and epidemic; infanticide; and natural mortality. In this third case, they consider whether the population at Athens and, specifically, those living in the area around the well at the time, could have supported this number of natural infant deaths, as well as who may have been included in the population that contributed to the well deposit, whether citizens, slaves, metics, or visiting foreigners. They emphasize that, in most cases, no single explanation can account for a deposit like this, noting that insistence on a single cause "ignores complexities of biology and culture" (p. 138). The authors' consideration of potential interpretations is an excellent example of academic honesty, as they embrace a complicated picture and do not erase evidence that undermines their conclusion, namely, that most of the infants died from natural causes in the first few days of life.

The authors acknowledge the possibility that some of the infants were victims of infanticide, the presentation of which is my only real quibble with the book, one that is (admittedly) likely to resound with only a small number of readers. With a brief discussion of Plato's Theaetetus and Soranus' Gynecology, the authors state that while we have no reason to assume that most of the infants were killed or allowed to die, "the simple fact that infanticide is attested for Greek society, coupled with the presence of a small number of infants with visible birth defects, suggests that some were victims of infanticide" (p. 125). One cannot argue that infanticide categorically is not a factor, especially because of the literary evidence for the practice. I would argue, however, that it is dangerous to pick out specific individuals from an otherwise undifferentiated collection as being the most likely victims, especially when presenting no contemporary evidence and, indeed, with definitive proof from the same deposit that extraordinary efforts were sometimes expended to care for infants with additional needs. Plato's Theaetetus, as the authors note, does not define criteria that would have marked an infant for exposure or infanticide, while Soranus' Gynecology is much later and better understood against a backdrop of Roman values. Moreover, one of the older infants in the deposit, AA 26B, had hydrocephalus, a condition that may or may not have been visible at birth. As the authors say, "the child was cared for during a period when it would have become progressively more debilitated and more disturbing in appearance" (p. 38). That this infant was deposited in this well suggests that it had not achieved a status that would have earned it a formal burial. The parents' extended care may therefore indicate that, at least in some cases, infants with defects could be cared for before they had achieved that formal status. The important point is that we cannot hold up any one group of infants as likely victims without evidence and, indeed, in the face of evidence to the contrary. This has already been successfully argued for female infants but has yet to stick for infants with birth defects, who are often still considered inherently obvious candidates for infanticide. If most of the infants in this deposit died naturally, we should not identify individuals who were intentionally killed unless it can be proven, as it was for the older infant AA 26A.

This book represents an invaluable contribution to our understanding of 2nd century BCE Athens and infant death and deviant burials in ancient Greece. It is also a demonstration of what can be accomplished when specialists work together to understand a total picture, one comprised of pieces that would have been considered separately in earlier days. The authors present an honest approach to an imperfect data set, allowing readers to assess the data and its potential interpretations for themselves. It is a welcome update to our understanding of this deposit and will not, I think, be soon superseded in its broader conclusions.

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