Sunday, October 31, 2010


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Yann Le Bohec, Das römische Heer in der Späten Kaiserzeit. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2010. Pp. 309; 43 p. illustrations. ISBN 9783515091367. €42.00 (pb).

Reviewed by M. Weiskopf

Franz Steiner Verlag has long maintained the practice of publishing German translations of important, standard works. The Le Bohec volume here considered, a complement to his previous history of the Roman army, is an unrevised publication based on the 2006 French original.1 His caution and clarity are hallmarks: the present state of research explained; new, indefensible, theories avoided. The reader is advised repeatedly to consider all evidence and to expect that the interpretation of the archaeological record will change over time. The detailed bibliography adds value to the book as a research tool.

The introductory portion of the work (pp. 7-17) provides an outline of the topics and the sources Le Bohec will consider. Views about decadence are dismissed: the Roman army, particularly in the West, was unable to recover from setbacks in the fourth and fifth centuries AD. No source is dismissed as without any value, rather difficulties are posed when literary sources, especially Ammianus Marcellinus, avoid using technical terminology and when providing detailed descriptions of Rome's individual enemies proves of little interest to other authorities.

The first three chapters (pp. 18ff, 32ff, 45ff) provide an outline of the development of the army from Diocletian through Julian. The former's reign was marked by conservatism, continuities with past military practice, and successful reactions to challenges. Le Bohec emphasizes that one can no longer use the archaeological record to maintain the perception of "Diocletian-style" camps. Nor can one speak of the creation of the comitatus as a mobile army. Constantine I, in addition to introducing a new battle formation (pp. 35-36), reorganized the army structure. Elements noted for disloyalty were disbanded, the upper command reorganized, all as Constantine modeled himself upon Trajan and Trajan's own perception of Alexander's military skills. Under Constantius II and Julian no great reforms were undertaken. Le Bohec relies upon the narrative of Ammianus, whom he respects as a source. Specialists will find points of disagreement in Le Bohec's presentation (as I do in some Sasanian matters, p. 56, and later, p. 154), but newcomers have a solid foundation laid for them.

Chapters 4-13 (pp. 66-228) depart from the historical narrative and consider different aspects of the army's organization and practices. Two questions are raised in regard to recruiting practices (Chapter 4, pp. 66-80): did Rome barbarize the army (a frequent complaint by ancients), at what point did the presence of "non-Romans" influence the military? Le Bohec sets himself against those moderns who accept the ancient criticisms. The chief problem was an uptick in vacantes and vagi permitted to fill the ranks and the practice of permitting the wealth to buy 'replacements' to perform their military service, practices ended by 370. It is difficult to assess how many non-Romans were actually in the service. Some, like the Germans, stood out and hence were written about. But for the most part sources spend time either excoriating the use of 'non-Romans' or praising the benefits of the army as a means to "Romanize," a continuation, not of 'racism,' but of the ancestral Roman practice of arguing who was Roman. Le Bohec provides a separate discussion (as he will do later in the book) of the Notitia Dignitatum, a source whose value is difficult to assess and for which Le Bohec offers no quick fixes.

The later Roman army was composed of smaller units (Chapter 5, pp. 81-94). Terminology in the literary sources poses a problem when it is not commensurate with actual practices. Estimates of troop strength remain a matter of speculation. The Tetrarchy improved the navy, but by Constantine's time (324 AD) admirals of the larger squadrons excelled in incompetence. Le Bohec calls for more detailed studies on the ranks of the army (Chapter 6, pp. 95-117). At the higher levels of responsibilty one can trace the military careers (p. 102 for a summary chart). St. Jerome's use of military terminology assists in the reconstruction of lesser ranks (tables on pp. 103, 105) and Le Bohec finds continuities with terminology from Republican times. Military service itself was characterized by the increased performance of policing activities.

Military building activity (Chapter 7, pp. 118-130) is a field in motion for Le Bohec, one marked by new excavations and new assessments of the already known data (site list on pp. 129-130). He cautions that one must abandon ideas of a 'tetrarchische' camp plan and notes that individual fortifications themselves seem to decrease in square area (Abb. 48 and p. 125).

The next two chapters (Chapter 8, pp. 131-151; Chapter 9, pp. 152-170) discuss various aspects of the army's tactics. Le Bohec removes the erroneous perception of the 'soldier-farmer' constantly tending crops (pp. 141 ff); supplies were made available by the state and private contractors with only limited interruptions in success (p. 146). Soldiers relied increasingly on artillery (missilia, tela), in addition to their swords and lances, although it proves difficult to match found objects with the terminology in literary sources (p. 134). Military diplomacy requires a more detailed study, but an increased interest on the part of the emperor in receiving all information-gathering reports is noted. As regards actual battle, the literary sources reflect that for most Romans military matters were an unknown quantity. No detailed portrait of a specific enemy normally was presented by ancient authors and Le Bohec argues against the selective rehabilitation of individual peoples, a practice known only this century and the end of the last (pp. 157-158). Overall, the army displayed a flexibility in battle tactics, which were adapted to deal with the enemy at hand and placed importance upon Pioneerarbeit.

Chapters 10 (pp. 171-184), 11 (pp. 185-22), and 12 (pp. 201-212) discuss the various aspects of strategy. Le Bohec begins by dispelling misconceptions (pp. 171-173). By investigating the ancients' use of strategic terminology (pp. 174-177) one discovers many continuities with earlier Roman practices, particularly those of the early empire. Le Bohec sets aside the view of a 'bewegliche Armee". Often it is difficult to distinguish between pure fortifications, cities in which soldiers were stationed, and cities proper (p. 181). The viae militares were not military in nature. Rather the term denotes a road of greater breadth (pp.183-184). The different theaters of action are surveyed in Chapters 11 and 12, with cautious reporting about the state of our knowledge and recent scholarship.

Contact between military and civilians is the topic for Chapter 13 (pp. 218-228), the soldier's life seen as 'ein verzerrtes Bild der Zivilgesellschaft", a somewhat altered model drawn from the structure of civil society (p. 213). Without soldiers the Empire would have proved ungovernable, hence the importance placed on the Emperor's verbal communications and appearances before the troops, the adlocutio, and the more ornate adventus. Some gatherings are illustrated, but pose difficulties in interpretation (p. 215 and Abb. 16). Setting aside the illusory 'soldier-farmer', Le Bohec discusses the various forms of payment to the military and their economic impact (p. 223 for flow chart). The Roman army, like society, gradually Christianized, the first Christians present in the force as early as 200 AD.

Chapters 14 (pp. 229-242) and 15 (pp. 243-260) return to a chronological narrative. The years 364-378 represent a worsening of the military situation, but Le Bohec cautions that the Voelkerwanderung was a slower process than often perceived. 378 marked the disheartening defeat at Adrianople (similar in impact to Cannae, Ammianus Marcellinus 31.13.19), which weighed upon the army as a whole and diminished its ability to manage the enemy. The years 378 through the mid-fifth century AD were characterized by the slow disintegration of the Empire, particularly in the West, and one cannot determine with precision when an area ceased to be Roman. Trust, Le Bohec argues, should be placed in eye-witnesses (p. 258); his commentary on some of his contemporaries (pp. 244, 250, 254) "streng, aber gerecht".

Concluding observations are offered on pp. 260-267. The decline of the Roman army was a slow process, the absence of effective troops only one cause. Le Bohec advises a nuanced approach: neither the theory of a 'natural death' (a product first of 18th century scholarship, with complaints about barbarization and Christian-inspired dampening of warlike spirits) nor that of "Ermordung" (a product of the last century) can be held aloft. Like Fabius Maximus, Le Bohec displays caution and circumspection. But he does not unnecessarily delay in analyzing the evidence and the means by which it was interpreted. His book will prove valuable for the student, for those whose primary interest is in Rome's rivals, and even for those who work to bring the Empire to life in strategy and video games. Perhaps this last group can materialize the mysterious spy boats of Vegetius 4.37 (p.150)


1.   French edition: L'armee romaine sous le Bas-Empire. Paris: Editions A. et J. Picard, 2006. Earlier Le Bohec work in German translation: Die roemische Armee von Augustus zu Konstantin d. Gr. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 1993.

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G. E. R. Lloyd, Disciplines in the Making: Cross-cultural Perspectives on Elites, Learning, and Innovation. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2009. Pp. viii, 215. ISBN 9780199567874. $50.00.

Reviewed by Ubiratan D'Ambrosio, UNIBAN. Brazil

G.E.R. Lloyd is a most distinguished scholar. He is recognized for important contributions to the history and philosophy of science. In the last decades, he has authored a considerable number of books and papers, comparing the development of science in early China and Greece. He developed a methodology, examining, for example, how the social and political context was a determinant of the development of scientific ideas. Comparing the scenarios of ancient Greece and China is present in many of Lloyd's works. But Lloyd's scholarship has also another strand. He tries to explain why and how different individuals, of the same species, reveal different interests and preferences, talents and abilities, different specificities in generating, organizing and sharing knowledge.

In the first sentence of the book under review, Lloyd says "This book is a sequel to my Cognitive Variations. Reflections on the Unity and Diversity of the Human Mind." In it, he looks into commonalities and variability of human cognition in response to the natural and cultural environment. Without endorsing either universalists or relativists, Lloyd discusses some categories usually claimed as cross-cultural universals, such as color perception, spatial cognition, classification of animals and plants, emotions, health, action, rationality and the recurrent and ideologically loaded theme of nature versus culture.

In Disciplines in the Making, Lloyd draws from a typical university departmental structure and select eight basic disciplines: philosophy, mathematics, history, medicine, art, law, religion and science. These are the eight chapters of the book. This book, as well as the previous one, indeed since the controversial Demystifying Mentalities (CUP, 1990), is very difficult to review. Of course, the selection of the eight disciplines is a first problem faced by the author. What does it mean, in different cultural settings, mathematics or philosophy, medicine or religion, and so on? This book is an example of the fact that dealing with such an ambitious project results more in opening than in answering questions.

The undeniable prestige of the author, acquired through his publications and academic recognition, allows him to venture into exploring the concept of disciplines. By doing this with intellectual instruments, such as theory and methodology, developed in the western frame, many factors that influence the generation and organization of knowledge may not be fully appreciated. Disciplines are the result of a dynamic complex of organized strategies generated in response to the pulsions of survival and transcendence, both as individuals and as groups. Although we recognize societies that were, until recently, isolated—such as the Amazonian Pirahãs—we may say that, since prehistoric times, cultural encounters have always played a major role in the dynamics of strategies to survive and to transcend. In every cultural encounter, we note either total acceptance or total rejection or, what is more common, syncretism. But in any case, extant conscious and unconsciousness forces play a role in further generation of knowledge.

The subtitle of Disciplines in the Making is revealing: Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Elites, Learning, and Innovation. Indeed, the concept of elite differs much from one society to another. For example, in China, scholars were selected by public examinations and were at the service of the Emperor, the focus of their advances was to respond to the Emperor's wishes, hence learning and innovation were subordinated to the Emperor's interests. In Greece scholars organized themselves as small elite, a sort of fraternity, aiming at intellectual enhancement, who practiced outside of public visibility in their leisure time. Differently than the Chinese scholars, they had to make a living in other activities. The Greek intellectual elite coexisted, although distantly, with citizens concerned with common problems of every-day life, typical of a progressive society, such as urban events, production and commerce. Learning and innovation and the role of elites reflect the structure of the society. We recognize this when we look into the philosophy of education in different cultural environments. It is always possible to recognize two strands for education: to transmit to new generations what is accepted, such as values, and to create opportunities for improving everyday life. In other words, we recognize in education conservative and progressive strands. The equilibrium between the two is the great challenge of education. Disciplines tend to favor the conservative strand. This permeates the eight chapters of this book.

Different from the other chapters, the title of Chapter 1 is itself a question: "What is Philosophy?" The author discusses philosophy in Greece, arguing that in coining the name, a conception was stated. Some authors consider that China had not philosophy, but, instead, wisdom, while Indian and Arabic scholars came closer to the Greek concept. He places himself in the position that philosophy is associated with basic human cognitive capacities, which allows for informal reasoning.

Mathematics is the theme of Chapter 2, the longest chapter. The author briefly examines conceptions of Platonists, of constructivists, of formalists, and other currents in the philosophy of mathematics. He goes into etymological arguments and synthesizes what have been the main discussions of historians of mathematics. The chapter is limited to Greece and China. India and Islam. Except for a few lines on the Peruvian quipu and Pirahã culture, non-literate societies are not considered. If we accept Lloyd's view of knowledge as the cognitive response to the natural and cultural environment, and look for organized strategies for survival and transcendence, we may recognize more than incidental coincidences. This is not contemplated in this book.

Chapter 3 deals with history. The chapter begins with a discussion of the concept of time, which is associated with an enchainment of past ↔ present ↔ future, be it linear or cyclic. As Lloyd points out, this enchainment is challenged when we consider the mythological and the sacred, the times of heroes or gods. Lloyd lists three fundamental problems faced in historiography: 1. no description can be entirely neutral, value-free; 2. the use of history as instruction; 3. are agents in history individuals or groups? History is, probably, the most challenging discipline among the eight selected by the author.

Chapter 4 discusses medicine. Rightfully, Lloyd considers this the least problematic of the chapters. Diseases are regarded as perturbing the well-being, which is a common notion. How to reestablish well-being is approached in very different ways, from invoking supernatural powers to appropriate feeding and use of drugs, to skills in dealing with sprains, bruises, fractures and even to the resource to surgery, and now to neuroprosthesis, not contemplated by Lloyd. The chapter closes with an observation that I consider very relevant for the proposal of this book, considering that the making of disciplines is a process that is going on.

Art is the subject of Chapter 5. The author starts with a list of authors responsible for widely divergent theories about the aesthetic experience, focusing political, economic, ideological, symbolic aspects of art. Instead of discussing approaches to the concept of art, Lloyd goes into the commercial aspects of art. The elites, he considers, are the artists, who produce the objects of interest, and the connoisseurs, who create fashions and influence taste, and in many ways induce both consumers and producers of art. Art is a highly priced commodity, bringing remarkable profit for art dealers. This chapter, more than the others, examines non-literate societies as a way to capture symbolic meaning, which is essential to art.

Chapter 6 treats law. Every society has ways of dealing with individual behavior in matters affecting others. Some have formal legal systems, other have authorities caring for the appropriate behavior. Both cases have a system of values as support. This chapter focuses on the relationship between law and morality; the issue of how the law is interpreted and applied; the origin and status of law; change and innovation of laws; the separation of powers between the legal and the political authorities; and the differences of attitudes when laws deal with intra-state and inter-state affairs. Lloyd concludes with a comment that implies the equivocal model of modern civilization: "unwritten laws, to encapsulate shared moral principles, remain as much in the realm of utopian dreaming as they ever did in the days of ancient Greece and China." (p.136)

Religion is the theme of Chapter 7. The first line is a question, which defines the complexity of the subject "By what criteria should we judge a belief or a practice to be 'religious'?" (p.137) The discussions contemplate not only the monotheistic, but also several forms of polytheism, pantheisms, personal gods, and many forms of spirituality, even ancestor worship.

The final chapter is science. It might well be titled "What is Science?" Lloyd challenges the conventional view that science is a uniquely modern Western phenomenon. He claims that science exists wherever there is a systematic search for understanding phenomena, even in the absence of a recognized method. This calls for the recognition of knowledge produced outside the "official" circles, outside the academy.

The final chapter, "Disciplines and Interdisciplinarity," is an overview of the eight chapters, summarizing what was discussed in each discipline contemplated, particularly discussing the role of elites and the forces that stimulate or inhibit innovation. Lloyd discusses increasingly narrower specialization, which has advantages but at the same time may hinder innovation. He gives many examples of how objects of study and methods are shared among disciplines, leading to interdisciplines. Interdisciplinarity has no established elite, which favors innovation. It is noticeable a kind of paradox: while innovation is easier, the absence of firm epistemological boundaries and of an established elite makes more difficult its acceptance in academic circles. Lloyd concludes observing that different forms of inquiring are the result of human imagination, which sometimes have to circumvent the conservatism of elite and to overcome the hazards of creativity. "But then who would expect the history of human endeavour to be one of uninterrupted progress?" (p.182).

In summary G. E. R. Lloyd has produced an ambitious work about disciplines in different societies, ancient and modern, literate and non-literate, and the factors that encourages or impedes their progress. In particular, he examines the roles, both positive and negative, of elites in the process. Although the book sometimes compares East and West, mainly ancient China and Greece, it is broader, in the sense of going into the nature of the disciplines and of pointing to the inevitability and to the difficulty of the emergence of new interdisciplinary fields.

The book has a glossary of Key Chinese Terms and Names (4 pages), Notes on Editions, a Bibliography of over 300 references, a generous Index, and many useful footnotes. Although the book is well proofed with respect to misspellings and typographical errors, it is surprising that footnotes 1 and 3 of the Conclusions are missing.

Reading this book is a stimulating and enriching exercise. The general tone of the book gives the impression of a "brainstorming" session. Issues are raised, discussed and opened for further reflection. This book would be an excellent guide for an advanced seminar.

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Edith Hall, Stephe Harrop (ed.), Theorizing Performance: Greek Drama, Cultural History, and Critical Practice. London: Duckworth, 2010. Pp. xiii, 305. ISBN 9780715638262. $40.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Eric Dodson-Robinson, University of Texas at Austin

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

This groundbreaking collection of essays, inspired by a conference held at the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama, opens a dialogue about the relations between critical theory and modern performances of ancient Greek drama. The book, which is the first in this subfield to focus exclusively on theory, raises several engaging questions about performance reception and its relevance to classics: what role does the text play in performance? The body? History? How does translation impact reception? The collection comprises an introduction, four sections of essays, a bibliography, and index. Contributions come not only from prominent scholars of reception, but also from theatre professionals. The book's first section grapples with defining performance reception and exploring what is special about the performance and reception of classical drama. Essays in this section also address a few of the theoretical and methodological contentions between the principal contributors, while briefly and accessibly alluding to their conflicting intellectual genealogies. The second section considers the embodied mind as it relates to performance, and the third explores the problem of text and translation. The final section offers illuminating perspectives from theatre practitioners about the performance of ancient drama.

Edith Hall articulates a multifaceted description of "Performance Reception" through a bricolage of critical theory with a decidedly new historicist or cultural materialist bent. She advocates eclecticism in the theorization of performance, stressing that performance takes place at the intersection of the subjective and the collective, of the synchronic and the diachronic. Hall writes, "it is the dynamic triangular relationship between ancient text, performer and audience that distinguishes 'Performance Reception'" (11). She argues that performance reception must make use of texts alone while remaining cognizant of the performance and its particular characteristics (12–13). Performance reception is unique, Hall contends, because the translation of classical material often entails appropriation and ideological transformation, and because of the corporeal nature of theatre (13–16). Not only is performance special because the audience affectively identifies with an actor or actors and because the memories created by performance are particularly intense, but the theatre, according to Hall, is even singularly instrumental in furnishing the world of psychic fantasy for any given culture (17–22). Further, the contingency of drama entails a "'virtual future', on account of its orientation towards what will happen next," and, crucially, this quality is implicated with its collective political potential (24–26).

Citing Aristotle, Nietzsche, and the tradition of Wirkungsästhetik as critical antecedents, Erika Fischer-Lichte begins the "Paradigms" section with the argument that performance must be analyzed as event, not text. She highlights the sociopolitical role of the interaction between actors and audience that characterizes performance and catalogues the materiality of space and body as proper to performance, but argues that the text is not part of this materiality (29–36). Rather, performances are events characterized by a collapsing of the distinctions between subjective co-determination and prescription, phenomenal and semiotic embodiment, politics and art (37–38). Fischer-Lichte contends that this breakdown of dichotomies creates a liminal, transformative space for the participants.

"Performance Reception", notes David Wiles, "has been at the centre of critical discourse in Shakespeare studies for some thirty years" (52). Wiles suggests that ignoring performance reception of Shakespeare runs the risk of fording a river that has already been bridged. He argues that the move by classicists into performance is "a response to the intellectual currents of the present" (52). Wiles points to a few possible reasons why editors of classical plays have been hesitant to follow, the most compelling, in his view, being that classicists invest authority in the text, and that the institutionalization of Shakespearean performance is more pervasive than that of ancient drama (53).

Simon Goldhill and Charles Martindale engage in the most direct and heated debate in this collection. Goldhill attacks Martindale's "turn back towards Kant" (58). He cautions against Martindale's practice of Rezeptionsästhetik, which, Goldhill charges, privileges the individual author as the site of reception and often neglects or disengages from historical and political aspects of reception. In a reformulation of Murnaghan's "mantra" of reception studies, Goldhill proposes that meaning is realized "in the process of reception" (67) rather than "at the point of reception" (67). Goldhill reiterates that performance is an event, and must be considered within its specific historical and cultural context to illuminate both vertical and horizontal relations between texts (68–69; 62).

Martindale counters that he is concerned with judgments of taste, and that an "Aesthetics of Reception" cannot neglect Kant's foundational aesthetic theory (72). He challenges Hall's "distinction between reception in performed and non-performed media" (73) by questioning what constitutes a performance. Martindale would include exhibitions of visual art, the recitation of poetry, and, more generally, aesthetic experience itself (75–76). Due to the evanescent nature of performance and response, he suggests, Goldhill, Hall, and other practitioners of reception studies rely on written texts and documentary evidence to form logical judgments rather than judgments of taste based on response (77). He defends his own transhistorical readings, and, inspired by T.S. Eliot, advocates a non-hierarchical model for reception studies in which "texts and receivers can engage in a freer sort of dialogue across time" (79–80).

Michelakis, through the analysis of features of theatrical archives, explains what the archive can tell us about performance reception. Michelakis asks, "can theatre stand witness to history?" (99). He points to the German censorship record of a 1912 film entitled The Legend of Oedipus, which ironically preserved documentation of scenes the public never saw, as an example of the simultaneous preservation and destruction that characterize Derrida's definition of archivization.

Budelman, whose essay begins the section entitled "Mind, Body, and the Tragic", offers an exciting glimpse at the perspectives cognitive science can offer on the questions of "universality, human nature, experience" (109) as they relate to performance. Cognitive science challenges the mind / body binary with the developing concept of the "embodied mind" (109), and the division between nature and culture with the theory that culture and nature influence one another. Budelman argues that although pain may be constant, discourses about pain—choral odes, for example—change over time. Studies reveal that cultural conditioning affects the subjective experience of pain (112). Conceptual metaphors, he suggests, may derive from embodied experience (114). Budelman discusses theory of mind, or thinking about others' thoughts, as a uniquely human activity relevant to dramatic performance, and posits that its universality offers a ready point for cross-cultural and diachronic comparison (118).

Budelman's essay dovetails with that of Decreus, which focuses on the theorization of the body as it relates to performance through the writings of Artaud, Barthes, Lyotard, and Deleuze and Guattari. Deleuze's anti-Cartesian philosophy offers a paradigm for theorizing the embodied mind as described by Budelman.

Foley argues that reception studies should take into account the generic expectations of different eras: at what point does tragedy verge into the tragicomic? Modern productions of classical tragedy have revitalized classical plays by introducing generic ambiguity.

In the first of the "Translating Cultures" essays, Gamel catalogues theoretical approaches to performance authenticity, and argues that previous discussions fail to take account of the audience's active role. Authenticity was not a classical concern, and its definition is contingent. Nominal authenticity, which attempts to recreate the aesthetic of classical productions, creates a distance between performance and audience that was not experienced by ancient audiences.

Perris argues that the key to the reception of classical works is classical texts, which are implicated with even the most radical performances. He distinguishes literary reception studies from performance reception studies, and asserts that both viewing performances and reading are equally valid aesthetic experiences.

Hardwick's incisive essay explores translation as a "nexus between the ancient text and its reception in performance" (193). She characterizes performance as a creative process, argues that privileging the 'original' text is particularly problematic for drama, and analyzes how translation practices shift according to performance context. Ioannidou, combining post-structuralist arguments about the displacement of the author with Turner's concept of communitas, argues that the act of translation can "inscribe the communal element" (214), or shift the authority from text or author to performance.

Griffiths, Harrop, Wyles, Monaghan, and Morrison approach reception from the performer's perspective. Griffiths writes, "the actor's body is the core of performance reception" (228). The body of the actor is both sign and signifier. Harrop emphasizes the physicality of language for the performer. Wyles puts costume and costuming strategy under theoretical analysis. She argues that costume can be interpreted semiologically and "is inherently metatheatrical" (170). Her essay shares points of contact with Monaghan's piece about the reading of scenes. Monaghan follows Artaud's spatial poetics, arguing that culture is essential to scenography. In the book's concluding essay, Morrison explains the practical aspects of writing translations for the stage. He discusses the place of dialogue, the importance of music and verse, the use of contemporary events, and he defends making radical changes to the text while being true to its spirit.

This boldly interdisciplinary collection not only applies longstanding critical debates, such as Nietzsche's critique of Kantian "disinterestedness", to performance reception of classical drama in an articulate and accessible way, but also takes riskier first steps: Budelman's pioneering foray into cognitive science, for example. The dialogue between scholars and theatre professionals is also exemplary, although praxis occasionally intrudes on the strictly theoretical. There are excellent and original essays here, some of which are suitable for undergraduates with limited knowledge of theory: Morrison's, for example. Others, such as Decreus's, are suitable for more advanced theorists. While the book includes a diversity of theoretical perspectives, feminist and post-colonial approaches are absent, and neither Slavoj Žižek nor Jacques Lacan appears in the bibliography, despite their prominence in performance studies outside the classics. Such absences point to the incipience of theory in this subfield rather than to ideological bias. Although Hall's intellectual presence and predilections are manifest in the organization of the book and throughout several of the contributions, the essays of Martindale and others offer occasional, but significant challenges. This book is likely to find a receptive welcome among scholars of theatre studies and among adventurous and theoretically inclined classicists.

1. Introduction, Edith Hall and Stephe Harrop

I. Paradigms
2. Towards a Theory of Performance Reception, Edith Hall
3. Performance as Event—Reception as Transformation, Erika Fischer-Lichte
4. Greek and Shakespearean Plays in Performance: Their Different Academic Receptions, David Wiles
5. Cultural History and Aesthetics: Why Kant is No Place to Start Reception Studies, Simon Goldhill
6. Performance, Reception, Aesthetics: Or Why Reception Studies Need Kant, Charles Martindale
7. From à la carte to Convergence: Symptoms of Interdisciplinarity in Reception Theory, Zachary Dunbar
8. Archiving Events, Performing Documents: On the Seductions and Challenges of Performance Archives, Pantelis Michelakis

II. Mind, Body, and the Tragic
9. Bringing Together Nature and Culture: On the Uses and Limits of Cognitive Science for the Study of Performance Reception, Felix Budelmann
10. Does a Deleuzean Philosophy of Radical Physicality Lead to the 'Death of Tragedy'? Some Thoughts on the Dismissal of the Climactic Orientation of Greek Tragedy, Freddy Decreus
11. Generic Ambiguity in Modern Productions and New Versions of Greek Tragedy, Helene Foley

III. Translating Cultures
12. Revising 'Authenticity' in Staging Ancient Mediterranean Drama, Mary-Kay Gamel
13. Towards Theorising the Place of Costume in Performance Reception, Rosie Wyles
14. Performance Reception and the 'Textual Twist': Towards a Theory of Literary Reception, Simon Perris
15. Negotiating Translation for the Stage, Lorna Hardwick
16. From Translation to Performance Reception: The Death of the Author and the Performance Text, Eleftheria Ioannidou

IV. Practitioners and Theory
17. Acting Perspectives: The Phenomenology of Performance as a Route to Reception, Jane Montgomery Griffiths
18. Physical Performance and the Languages of Translation, Stephe Harrop
19. 'Spatial Poetics' and Greek Drama: Scenography as Reception, Paul Monaghan
20. Translating Greek Drama for Performance, Blake Morrison
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Leah Kronenberg, Allegories of Farming from Greece and Rome: Philosophical Satire in Xenophon, Varro and Virgil. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press, 2009. Pp. xi, 223. ISBN 9780521517263. $99.00.

Reviewed by Bob Cowan, University of Sydney


Rare must be the readers who would sit down to Xenophon's Oeconomicus, Varro's De Re Rustica, and Virgil's Georgics together -- sadly, all too rare the reader who would pick up the Oeconomicus at all except as a source for Athenian social history, or the De Re Rustica except as a repository of 'straight' comparanda for the agricultural lore of the Georgics. Rarer still are those who would consider them, individually or collectively, as satiric texts. Rarest of all is the scholar who possesses mastery of all three texts and the formidable body of scholarship on them (as well as on their hinterlands of Platonic philosophy, Republican history, and, for the Georgics, virtually all earlier poetry) and can deploy it to produce an eloquent, persuasive, and often innovative interpretation of the texts, their authors, and the wider Graeco-Roman tradition of discussing, allegorizing, and idealizing the agricultural life. In this monograph, Leah Kronenberg proves herself to be just such a scholar. It is likely, as she herself anticipates, that the less uncommon reader will approach the book from interest in only one of the three texts, and its three sections are carefully and successfully designed to be self-contained for precisely such readers. However, the richest rewards will be drawn by those who follow the cumulative argument through the methodological introduction and the three, chronologically-ordered sections. Only thus can one fully appreciate the related but distinct ways in which each text problematizes agriculture and its cultural construction as an ideal, both in itself and as a model for political structures. Whether or not one finally accepts the notion that the texts can be considered Menippean satire, however broadly defined, the implications which such a generic classification raises unquestionably throw new and significant light on all three.

The introduction has a large amount of ground to cover, and does so successfully, if a little disjointedly at times. Taking as her starting-point Bernard Mandeville's The Fable of the Bees and its satire both of human society and the cliché of allegorizing it as a beehive, Kronenberg argues for a similarly ironic and satiric approach to farming (including apiculture), its idealization and allegorization in Xenophon, Varro and Virgil. She has a careful and judicious discussion of the usefulness of the categories of satire and especially of Menippean satire in discussing texts which lack the explicit generic markers which would make such classifications uncontroversial. Her conclusion, that Menippean satire's 'core focus might be called the parody of didacticism' (33), manages to avoid squeezing any square texts into round holes while retaining enough specificity to remain a useful interpretative tool. The argument is further nuanced in her discussion of irony, which is partly a justification of finding any irony in writers like Xenophon and Varro, who have often been considered incapable of it, partly a sophisticated exploration of its nature, and most importantly a differentiation between the irony deployed by the three texts: Xenophon's Socrates remains a positive model of inquiry and ethical standards, even as he turns an ironic gaze upon the ideas of Critobulus and Ischomachus; Varro has no such positive figure but ironizes all the approaches to agriculture, scholarship, and politics which he presents; Virgil goes a step further still to create a kind of 'meta-Menippean satire', which satirizes not only actual systems of knowledge but even the human need to produce such means of coming to terms with the world. Sections on parody (including a nice use of Gary Morson's notion of 'metaparody'), allegory, ethics, and genre complete the picture. Occasionally Kronenberg gets a little bogged down in tangentially relevant scholarly controversy, as in her discussion not so much of Xenophon as of Strauss on Xenophon, but generally even these are justified by the need to rehabilitate authors who have been denied the sophistication with which she credits them.

Kronenberg's reinterpretation of the Oeconomicus is founded upon a reinterpretation of Xenophon and his writing as a whole, especially the Socratic works. Rather than the conservative, naïve journeyman presenting a positively valorized view of Athenian social and political values, as enshrined in Ischomachus' running of his oikos, she offers layers of irony on a par with any Platonic dialogue, as Xenophon and his Socrates subtly undermine both Critobulus' and Ischomachus' value systems and the system of inquiry and reflection upon which those systems are based. There is a chapter each on Critobulus' framing discussion with Socrates and on Ischomachus' disquisition on household management, and together these constitute a sort of running commentary on the dialogue as a whole, emphasizing the ways in which the interlocutors' emphasis on material possessions is ironically undercut by that value system's conflict with that of Socrates. Particularly interesting and persuasive, as well as important for the book's overarching argument, is the way in which it is not only Ischomachus' values which are satirized, but the system of inquiry by which he arrives at them, rendering him, in Kronenberg's own formulation, Socrates' '"evil twin"... in his system of teaching' (55). Much of Kronenberg's interpretation is built on the existing work of scholars such as Ambler and Danzig, who are suitably credited in the notes, but it remains an admirably lucid and persuasive exposition of what is still a heterodox stance. Only the concluding comparison with Plato's Republic, although adumbrated by earlier parallels between Ischomachus' oikos and Callipolis, feels a little underdeveloped.

The chapters on Varro's De Re Rustica are probably the most successful and striking in the book, and not solely because of the three texts it has suffered the greatest scholarly neglect. Again Kronenberg has to defend her author, this time against those who have taken at face value his captatio benevolentiae about the haste of the work's composition in his old age. Rather than using this to account for inconsistencies in the work, she notes that such contradictions are evidence of irony, as each of the participants in the dialogue are depicted as pedants and their discourses as parodies of contemporary scholarly approaches. As with Xenophon, Kronenberg extends this interpretation to others of Varro's works, detecting irony and parody in the extant books of De Lingua Latina too and suggesting that the spirit of his Menippeans might have pervaded much of the rest of his oeuvre. Another particularly significant strand in Kronenberg's argument is Varro's engagement with Cicero, parodying his philosophical dialogues in form and content, and opposing Varro's own glorification of the contemplative life to Cicero's of the active. The three chapters focus on Varro's satirizing of, respectively, academic debates, farming as a Roman ideal, and agriculture as an allegory for politics. They combine telling individual insights with an utterly convincing cumulative argument, not to mention a central panel in the overall discussion. For here there is no Socrates to act as a foil to the follies paraded before the reader, and the closest this reading of De Re Rustica comes to a positive exemplar is Varro's own (metatextual) aviary, the embodiment of the contemplative life devoted to the pleasures of the mind in contrast to that of Merula, which is focused on profit.

The Georgics certainly cannot be said to have suffered from scholarly neglect, and Kronenberg frankly acknowledges the quantity of work which has been done, in particular on the poem's poetic intertexts. Her stated aim is to add to this the consideration of Virgil's engagement with the tradition of philosophical dialogue and more particularly the satiric strand within it, as exemplified by her readings of Xenophon and Varro. This is certainly part of her contribution, but the more significant one is that adumbrated in the introduction, to see the Georgics as examining, not the competing worldviews which can be found in the poem, but rather the way in which humans (and Kronenberg neatly uses the passionate debates between optimistic and pessimistic critics themselves to exemplify this) need to generate such systems of interpretation and how such systems are ultimately either limited or useless. She shows how G. 1 is dominated by the use of religio as a means of understanding the universe, and G. 2, in contrast, by ratio, but that each is shown ultimately to fail as a comprehensive solution. The label of gloria is less satisfactory as a unifying principle for book 3, but the discussion itself, especially of the Norican plague, is excellent. Perhaps best of all is the discussion of the Aristaeus section, which sets up a polar opposition between, not Aristaeus and Orpheus, but Proteus, whose tragic and futile narrative of Eurydice presents one way of comprehending the universe, and Cyrene, whose limited but practical explanation and advice to her son offer another. This is not simply a further contribution to the endless debate between optimistic and pessimistic readers of the Georgics, but rather a reading which moves onto a higher level and refocuses the debate as being about that very debate and readers' need to engage in it.

The bibliography is impressive in its breadth, especially considering the diversity of areas covered. One article which probably would have appeared just a little too late for Kronenberg to take account of it, but which offers an interesting counterpoint to her approach to Varro and Virgil (and which also takes Mandeville as its starting point), is Neville Morley's 'Civil War and Succession Crisis in Roman Beekeeping', Historia 56 (2007), 462-70.

There are very few quibbles to be made over such a comprehensively enjoyable, sophisticated, and persuasive book, but one or two may be raised about small aspects of the presentation. Cross-references are sometimes made in the footnotes to discussions in other parts of the book using formulations such as 'See chapter 6, "The amorality of farming"' (158 n2), where the second element is not, as one might think, the chapter title in apposition, but the subsection within the numbered chapter. The momentary confusion and slight effort of finding the page numbers of the subsection on the contents page are no great crosses to bear, but numbering of the subsections might have made the book more user-friendly. Equally trivial, but perhaps worth mentioning, is the omission of initials when referring in the notes to a scholar whose namesake is also in the bibliography: for instance it would be useful to have an indication that the Thomas cited in 166 n10 is Geraldine T. of that ilk rather than the Richard F. who is inevitably ubiquitous elsewhere in the footnotes of the Georgics chapter (though in this case, the eventual reference to 'she' gives a clue). Occasionally, footnotes are somewhat overloaded with quotations, but these can be taken or left by normal readers and are thus less irksome than to the reviewer who feels obliged to read them all. Kronenberg does also not infrequently develop points related to her argument in the notes but, while some of these do occasionally feel as though they might have been more helpfully integrated into the main text, for the most part they are just the sort of incidental roses which are best smelt at the roadside of the bottom of the page. The book is remarkably free of typos. The only one I noticed might be considered a 'Freudian typo' and, though I cannot imagine it was deliberate, fits Kronenberg's view of Varro's satirizing of Cicero rather well: the title of Part II is correctly given as 'Varro's De Re Rustica' on its first page (73), but the headers of every even page in it read 'II Varro's De Re Publica'.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


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Stéphanie Bakker, Gerry Wakker (ed.), Discourse Cohesion in Ancient Greek. Amsterdam Studies in Classical Philosophy 16. Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2009. Pp. xx, 284. ISBN 9789004174726. $138.00.

Reviewed by José Marcos Macedo, Universidade de São Paulo

Table of Contents

The starting point for this fine collection of papers by renowned as well as rising scholars was the 6th International Colloquium on Ancient Greek Linguistics held in Groningen in 2007. Most of the papers are revisions of papers presented at the colloquium within a mainly functional or cognitive framework. In a brief introduction, the editors give a clarifying overview of the term discourse cohesion and the ways in which it has been understood in linguistics.

Anna Bonifazi examines the use of third person pronouns in Homer. Her interest is the way in which a referent previously introduced in the discourse is recalled by means of demonstrative pronouns, enclitic pronouns, or no pronouns at all. Metrical constraints, she claims, may well play a role in the choice of the narrator, but this is far from valid in all individual instances. In order to account for the difference in use between the various lexical alternatives, Bonifazi suggests a cognitive-pragmatic approach that brings to the fore the accessibility and discourse relevance of the referent as the main variables to interpret anaphoric expressions. Based on the so-called 'referent in the mind' model, she goes on to discuss the case of Homeric κεῖνος and αὐτός, offering an alternative to the traditional view. She claims that both pronouns serve to re-activate the mental representation of a referent, never working as simple co-references but rather providing added information about it. Luuk Huitink advances the claim that, syntactically, the complement form of some cognitive verbs depends on the information structure of the complement clause, viz. on whether or not the information provided therein belongs to the shared knowledge of speaker and addressee. In order to put his analysis on a secure footing, Huitink goes to considerable lengths to make clear the concept of presupposition. Grammars and textbooks tend to ascribe the difference between ὅτι-clauses and participle phrases, on the one hand, and complementary infinitives on the other to semantic presupposition: while ὅτι-clauses and participle phrases trigger the presupposition that what is expressed in the complement is true because it can be taken as an independent fact, complementary infinitives do not because they express a possible fact or an allegation. Now Huitink does see a difference between both presupposition-triggering constructions, but argues that what matters in the distinction is pragmatic instead of semantic presupposition. In a contrastive analysis he claims that ὅτι-clauses provide new information for the addressee, whereas participle phrases pragmatically presuppose that the information has already been asserted in the context. Stéphanie Bakker tries to account for two puzzling facts in the combination of the particles γάρ and οὖν. First, the two particles apparently contradict each other, for γάρ marks the utterance as an explanation or digression, and therefore as less relevant than the preceding context, whereas οὖν indicates a new relevant step, marking the utterance as more relevant or more to the point than the preceding subsidiary discourse. Second, οὖν often lacks this attribute, which is commonly held to be typical of it, when combined with γάρ. Against the background of this puzzle, Bakker puts forward a different explanation for οὖν in this specific combination, analyzing the use of γὰρ οὖν in a number of Platonic dialogues. While γάρ retains its text-organizing function, οὖν plays an interactional role, indicating that the information is accessible, not only on the basis of the preceding discourse but also of the general knowledge shared by the conversational partners. Gerry Wakker discusses the differences between the particles οὖν and τοίνυν in the forensic speeches of Lysias. Her claim is that both connective particles have their own basic semantic value, in accordance with the type of context. Οὖν provides an indication that the speaker proceeds to a new important point, whereas τοίνυν performs a similar function but adds the nuance: 'you (= the addressee) must take notice of it because possibly you do not expect this (τοι)' (p. 80). Wakker also makes brief but acute remarks on the difference between these connective particles and coordinating conjunctions like δέ, discussing how this bears on the question of asyndeton, since only coordinating conjunctions are taken as connectors in the traditional syntactic sense.

Antonio Revuelta Puigdollers describes some of the meanings of the particles αὖ and αὖτε, concentrating on their contribution to topic management in Ancient Greek. He tries to demonstrate that both particles, at least in some of their uses, work as cohesion devices marking the introduction of a different discourse topic, thereby creating and reflecting text coherence. They signal a thematic discontinuity whose basic effect is to open a new thematic section, either introducing a subtopic or resuming a given topic (or even heralding a new one). In his text sample, consisting of a number of Homeric and Classical Greek texts, both particles function as boundary markers, underscoring the transition between different discourse units.

A. Maria van Erp Taalman Kip ponders on the difference between καὶ μήν and καὶ δή in drama. Although in various commentaries they are said to be nearly equivalents, Van Erp Taalman Kip proves with reasonable arguments that the nature of the context is decisive when choosing between both particle combinations. In the case of καὶ μήν there is a shift in the focus of attention in that the speaker marks an entry that was not prepared for by the immediately preceding words or signals a transition to a new subject; if no such shift is present, the speaker corrects or contradicts his addressee. Καὶ δή, on the other hand, has different characteristics: '[i]t is used to mark an entry that has been prepared for by the words that immediately precede it, or something said or done which is related to the subject under discussion' (p. 128). Turn-initial ἀλλά in Greek drama is the subject of Annemieke Drummen's paper, who discusses how this particle contributes to discourse cohesion in dialogue. She builds on an article by Basset on the use of ἀλλά in Aristophanes' Ranae and, on the basis of a larger corpus, concludes that the context plays indeed a major role in attributing a fundamental value to the particle. Turn-initial ἀλλά marks a correction of the preceding words or actions, which can be either an explicitly stated element, a presupposed element, an implication or the discourse topic. Although it does not create relations, ἀλλά makes them explicit, rendering alternative interpretations impossible.

Coulter George's paper discusses whether or not Greek particles are just a feature of the literary diction. His starting point are two opposite remarks, one by Denniston, who states that Greek conversation bristles with particles, the other by Duhoux, for whom particles are more typical of written than of spoken Greek. George tries to solve this discrepancy by a shrewd reassessment of Duhoux's data, studying in detail the context of particles such as μήν and μέντοι. He concludes that particles are in fact more typical of dialogical Greek than Duhoux argued, and, touching upon the subject of connective particles, coordinating conjunction and asyndeton, states that the more non-dialogical particles tend to operate on the representational level of discourse, whereas the more dialogical particles are generally interactional; as for presentational particles, which occupy an intermediate position and organize the discourse from a rhetorical standpoint, they are split between the more non-dialogical and the more dialogical.

Rutger Allan claims that narrative, being a mixed genre, is composed of various text types or narrative modes, which according to him hinge on the relation between the point of view of the narrator and the presentation of the text. Allan aims to provide a typology of narrative modes in Ancient Greek narrative, thereby distinguishing the displaced diegetic mode, the immediate diegetic mode, the descriptive mode, and the discursive mode. Each narrative mode has conceptual features which are reflected in formal linguistic properties, the most distinctive of which, he argues, is tense-aspect-marking: imperfect and aorist are typical of the displaced diegetic mode, the historical present of the immediate diegetic mode, the imperfect of the descriptive mode and the present, perfect and future of the discursive mode. The textual corpus on which he bases his analysis consists of the Euripidean messenger speeches. How the narrative modes fits in the larger picture of plot-structure is shown in an analysis of the messenger speech in Euripides' Andromache.

Louis Basset studies the aspectual opposition between present and aorist stems when in a narrative a Greek verb is accompanied by an adverbial expression of duration. If we are to follow the traditional view, we should expect an aorist stem when this expression of duration indicates the total length of a state of affairs, whereas a present stem would be expected when it does not indicate a total duration. Although this is indeed often the case, Basset shows that in his corpus, Herodotus' Histories, we also find unexpected examples where the present stem is used for completed states of affairs. He argues that in all such instances the state of the affairs at issue is inserted into a natural narrative sequence, where the present stem may be used even without an imperfective meaning. In fact, instead of imperfective it may be said to be continuative, as opposed to a discontinuative aorist, for this use of the present, he claims, is the mark of narrative cohesion: it relates to how successive states of affairs of a narrative hang together without any link to the speaker's sphere. Thus the imperfect is regarded as a narrative past, not bound to narration time, whereas the aorist may be defined as a speech past, a past bound to the speech time.

Sander Orriens focuses on the role played by the Greek perfect as a cohesion device used to explicitly mark an extratextual coherence relationship between a past state of affairs and the present communicative situation. Orriens claims that the Classical Greek perfect can be so used because of its core semantic value, which is described as the establishment of a reciprocal relationship between a completed state of affairs and the moment of speech. By using the perfect the speaker not only refers to a completed state of affairs, but also connects this state of affairs explicitly to the moment of speech, thus highlighting the actuality he ascribes to the past state of affairs within the communicative situation. The aorist on the other hand is concerned exclusively with referring to the past state of affairs, without any linkage to the present.

Albert Rijksbaron's last chapter on discourse cohesion in the proem of Hesiod's Theogony is the proverbial cherry on the cake. The unity of Hesiod's so-called Hymn to the Muses have always been a vexed question among scholars, but Rijksbaron detects a greater unifying force in the interdependency of its parts than has previously been maintained. He does so by focusing on the temporal and spatial coordinates (tense forms and adverbs) of the proem in the form of a running commentary, which is very rich.1 His main argument runs as follows: the imperfect στεῖχον at line 10, which Martin West considers an injunctive form marking a timeless activity of the Muses, must in fact be taken as an imperfect – a 'focalizing' imperfect which presents the state of affairs from the point of view of the character rather than that of the narrator. This verbal form marks the start of the narrative proper and conveys an iterative meaning, describing the habitual activity of the Muses in Hesiod's past. Rijksbaron has definitely shifted the burden of proof: now it has to be demonstrated with forceful arguments that the imperfect at line 10 is in fact a relic of hymnic language that conveys a timeless meaning instead of simply launching the narrative, as he argues.

The volume is well-produced and presents just a few minor typos (the worst mistake I noticed is on p. 53, where the translation of Plato does not quite match the Greek original). Caroline Kroon's book on discourse particles in Latin exerts a salutary influence on most of the papers, and the overall standard of the contributions is extremely high, regardless of the fact that some of them offer preliminary results needing further research to be fully substantiated.


1.   The only reference I missed in the discussion of line 35 was Michael Janda's book Über 'Stock und Stein': die indogermanischen Variationen eines universalen Phraseologismus, Dettelbach, 1997.

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Marco Giuman, Melissa: archeologia delle api e del miele nella Grecia antica. Archaeologica 148. Roma: Giorgio Bretschneider editore, 2008. Pp. xv, 287; 23 p. of plates. ISBN 9788876892134. €170.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Maria Elena Gorrini, Università degli Studi di Pavia

[Table of contents is listed at the end of the review.]

Il volume si propone di analizzare la figura dell'ape e del suo prodotto, il miele, nella Grecia antica, secondo una prospettiva interpretativa di natura prevalentemente archeologica. Ciò non significa, naturalmente, che Giuman non analizzi anche le fonti letterarie, ma semplicemente che la sua indagine si focalizza anche sulle testimonianze di cultura materiale, in particolare iconografiche, al fine di decodificarle in chiave simbolica. Come l'A. stesso osserva, il suo lavoro non è il primo a trattare questo argomento: H. R. Ransome, The sacred Bee in ancient Times and Folklore, London 1937, o F. Roscalla, Presenze simboliche dell'ape nella Grecia antica, Firenze 1998, avevano già preso in considerazione l'insetto e le sue valenze nel mondo antico, pur senza affrontarlo specificamente sotto il profilo archeologico. Fatta questa premessa, occorre subito osservare come il cammino archeologico seguito dall'A. sia—e non potrebbe essere altrimenti—un cammino di tipo precipuamente iconografico e iconologico, tanto più rischioso quanto più rade e, sovente, prive di contesti sicuri sono le testimonianze analizzate.

Il volume si divide in sei capitoli, preceduti da una Prefazione a cura di S. Angiolillo e da un'introduzione dell'A.

Il primo capitolo parte da una tavoletta in Lineare B rinvenuta fra le rovine del Secondo Palazzo di Cnosso (Kn Gg 702), databile ai decenni finali del XV sec.a.C.: si tratta di un testo di natura religiosa, in cui si specifica un'offerta (un'anfora di miele) per una non meglio specificata Signora del Labirinto. A questa testimonianza l'A. accosta un papiro neoplatonico (B.M. Pap.Gr. 46) ove il dio Mitra viene definito in successione "colui che sostiene col miele", "colui che distrugge col miele", "colui che crea con il miele", e uno scolio alla Pitica IV di Pindaro (attribuito a Mnasea di Patara), che riporta il mito di Melissa. A queste tre testimonianze l'A. affianca poi tre coppe attiche a fondo bianco del British Museum, opera di Sotades e del pittore omonimo, parti di un corredo più articolato. 1 Se la critica è pressoché unanime nel riconoscere nella prima di queste coppe un episodio del mito di Glauco, meno concordi sono i pareri degli studiosi relativamente alle altre due (di cui una frammentaria). Giuman sceglie di leggere la raffigurazione della seconda coppa2 come Aristeo che combatte il serpente dopo l'uccisione di Euridice, di cui è responsabile, seguendo una versione del mito riportata da Virgilio. Giuman riconosce poi nella raffigurazione della terza coppa3 un episodio che vede protagoniste le ninfe del miele. L'A. ritornerà nei capp. III e VI su queste coppe ma, nonostante i suoi tentativi di decrittazione globale del corredo, a nostro parere, la frammentarietà di almeno una di esse, unitamente alla mancanza di dati di scavo certi, impedisce di arrivare a una piena comprensione di esso.

L'A. si sofferma quindi sull'analisi delle fonti letterarie in relazione all'ape e al mondo dell'alveare: Semonide e la sposa perfetta, Focilide e la donna-ape, Esiodo e la stirpe di Pandora, la celebre allocuzione di Agamennone a Ulisse nel VI libro dell'Odissea, Eliano. L'A. rileva una evidente corrispondenza tra l'immagine dell'ape e quella della buona sposa e quella tra società ordinata e alveare. L'ultima parte del I cap. prende invece in considerazione la bugonia, sviluppando il legame tra api e mondo dei morti. Di fatto, questo primo capitolo assolve la funzione di introdurre i temi che verranno poi sviluppati nel libro.

Il secondo capitolo tratta di vari documenti di cultura materiale provenienti dall'area dell'Egeo orientale e di Creta, per cogliere le eventuali dipendenze o, più in generale, i reciproci scambi tra mondo greco e Vicino Oriente. L'indagine parte con le oreficerie funerarie in oro ed elettro di provenienza rodia e di età orientalizzante raffiguranti esseri metà donne e metà insetti . In essi l'A. ravvisa una figura sincretica "in cui, per analogia funzionale, la figura dell'ape viene a innestarsi su quella della grande potnia mediterranea" (p. 42), e guarda al Vicino Oriente, alla saga di Telepino,4 per trovare una spiegazione a questa iconografia. Un ruolo centrale è poi occupato dall'isola di Creta, da cui provengono numerosi documenti legati all'ape (coni monetari, il celebre pendaglio di Mallia, sigilli, etc.), la cui analisi ha lo scopo di rimarcare come l'ape, in area cretese, continui a costituire un elemento iconografico perdurante—fatto tanto più insolito se comparato ai coevi repertori della Grecia continentale. Naturalmente l'A. rileva la prossimità culturale e geografica tra Creta e l'Egitto faraonico, ove l'ape svolge un ruolo simbolico importante, ma collega la presenza dell'insetto anche a un'altra entità geografica, le grotte.5 L'ultima parte del capitolo si concentra infatti sul legame simbolico tra api e antri, insistendo in particolare sulla leggenda cretese della nascita di Zeus, e sul ruolo delle api curotrofiche nel suo svezzamento.

Il terzo capitolo verte totalmente sul miele, sia dal punto di vista reale, quale nutrimento cardine dell'alimentazione usato altresì nella medicina nel mondo antico, sia a livello simbolico, come elemento connesso tanto alla vita (come alimento per neonati, giovinetti o eroi) quanto alla morte (e così usato nei rituali funebri, un esempio per tutti il caso di Posidonia) e, infine, metaforico della dolcezza del poetare.

Il quarto capitolo prende in considerazione le vicende mitiche di figure legate all'alimento, quali Aristeo, Glauco, Trofonio e Melissa, moglie di Periandro. L'analisi di Aristeo parte da un singolare bronzetto di epoca romana imperiale da Oliena, ora al Museo di Cagliari, già identificato nell'eroe dalla Angiolillo. La presenza di Aristeo in Sardegna è certificata da due filoni di tradizioni storiche, uno denominato Sallustio-Pausania, e l'altro Pseudo-Aristotele-Diodoro dalla Breglia Pulci Doria.6 Giuman analizza alcuni documenti raffiguranti l'eroe, arrivando a conclusioni di natura iconografica che chi scrive non trova completamente condivisibili.7 Lascia dubbi, in particolare, l'identificazione (in una delle coppe del pittore di Sotades BM D7), seguendo la Burn, della figura maschile armata di fronte a un drago (anche interpretata come Cadmo e il drago tebano) con Aristeo di fronte al serpente che avrebbe morso Euridice, secondo una versione supportata unicamente dalle Georgiche virgiliane e dal commento serviano ad locum. Certamente persuasive sono invece le analisi simbolico-funzionali degli altri personaggi legati alla mitologia del miele, Glauco, Trofonio e "la sposa cadavere" Melissa.8

Il quinto capitolo tratta delle "sacre api dell'Olimpo" . LA. analizza la figura delle melissai, sacerdotesse di Demetra nei rituali tesmoforici, accostando le celebrazioni demetriache alle Adonie e facendo così emergere interessanti elementi di natura simbolica. Fondamentale (anche in considerazione dei pregressi studi di Giuman) è l'analisi delle api in relazione ad Artemide, nei suoi epiteti di Britomartis e Dittinna cretesi, di Efesia, di Hymnia beotica, di Ortygia e, naturalmente, di Brauronia. Riguardo quest'ultimo aspetto della dea, l'A. sceglie di investigare un tipo specifico di offerte rinvenute in tutta l'area del santuario attico: i krateriskoi a suo tempo studiati dalla Kahil,9 e in particolare il sottogruppo caratterizzato da raffigurazioni riconducibili al culto della dea. Giuman considera questi oggetti creati al fine di far parte di un rituale di carattere libatorio. Riprendendo convincentemente un'ipotesi della Isler-Kerényi10 sulla natura del liquido, o meglio della miscela, contenuta nei piccoli crateri, e, sulla scorta di uno scolio al v. 645 della Lisistrata di Aristofane, (ove viene esplicitamente detto che "le fanciulle compivano il sacrificio per placare—ἐκμειλισσόμεναι—la dea, dopo che gli Ateniesi erano stati colpiti da un morbo avendo sottratto alla dea un'orsa addomesticata"), l'A.conclude che il liquido contenuto nei vasi poteva verosimilmente essere idromele. Altrettanto persuasiva è la lettura simbolica del rito dell'arkteia, in cui la fanciulla, "morta ritualmente arktos, la selvatica e ferina orsa, può finalmente nascere melissa, la laboriosa ed onesta ape" (p. 198). Il capitolo si conclude con una vexata quaestio: il rapporto tra il santuario di Delfi e l'ape delfica, ossia la Pizia, come spiega uno scolio alla IV Pitica, v. 106 b Drachmann. L'A. affronta anche il problema del secondo tempio, quello di cera e piume e, coraggiosamente, prova ad analizzare l'omphalos delfico. Egli riconosce a questo oggetto un'autonoma valenza di natura oracolare, a partire dal suo rivestimento, una sorta di veste a foggia di rete realizzata mediante l'uso di fasce intrecciate di lana e denominata agrenon. Conclude enfatizzando le relazioni, molteplici, tra Delfi e Creta che passano anche per il tramite delle api. 11

Il sesto e ultimo capitolo riprende il corredo della cd. Tomba di Sotades, per chiudere le fila del discorso. Giuman legge il corredo della tomba come appartenente a una giovane donna, certo sposa e forse madre, in base all'evidenza di due coppe firmate da Egesibulo. Egli vede in esse un comune denominatore che è il miele, attraverso la scelta delle immagini che le decorano: Glauco e Poliido, le raccoglitrici di Pomi e Aristeo ed Euridice. Arriva quindi a ipotizzare che la morta potesse essere stata un'iniziata dei misteri di Orfeo, con una dimostrazione che passa per le raffigurazioni dei vasi del corredo. Il capitolo, e il libro, si concludono con un tentativo di riflessione su uno Zeus ctonio, il Meilichios, i cui rituali, ancora una volta, dovevano coinvolgere il miele.

Il volume si qualifica come una ricerca dotta ed esaustiva sul tema delle api e del miele, affrontata coniugando fonti letterarie e dati iconografici desumibili da contesti archeologici. L'ape e l'alveare diventano, in alcuni momenti, poco più che un pretesto per poter riunire diverso materiale simbolico e affrontare svariate problematiche che si collocano a cavallo tra la ricerca antropologica e quella storico religiosa, trattate entrambe con grande competenza. Lo studio di Giuman, destinato a un pubblico di specialisti proprio per la complessità e la vastità del percorso, non mancherà di sollecitare nuovi spunti di discussione e di indagine.

Prefazione p. IX
Introduzione p. XI
Capitolo I Bion de katharon ze melitta p. 3
Capitolo II Un nitido ronzio tra il mare Egeo e il vicino Oriente p. 39
Capitolo III Dolce come il miele è il mio arrivo, dolce come il miele la mia partenza p. 67
Capitolo IV Dei, eroi, api e miele p. 95
Capitolo V Le sacre api dell'Olimpo p. 157
Capitolo VI Qualche nota a margine p. 223
Bibliografia p. 251
Indice dei personaggi mitologici p. 283


1.   L. Burn, "Honey Pots. Three White-Group Cups by the Sotades Painter" AntK 28, (1985) 93-105.
2.   S. Geroulanos; R. Bridler, Trauma. Wund-Entstehung und Wund-Pflege im antiken Griechenland, Mainz, 1994, fig. 72.
3.   Burn supra, n. 2, pl. 23.2. Coppa a fondo bianco del pittore di Sotades. London, BM D6.
4.   F. Roscalla, Presenze simboliche dell'ape nella Grecia antica, Firenze 1998, 21 ss.
5.   Roscalla, supra, n. 4, 18 s., 25 ss.
6.   L. Breglia Pulci Doria, "La Sardegna arcaica tra tradizioni euboiche e attiche" in Nouvelle contribution a l'étude de la société et de la colonisation eubéennes, Napoli 1981, 61 95. Ead. "La Sardegna arcaica e la presenza greca: nuove riflessioni sulla tradizione letteraria" in P. Bernardini, R. Zucca ( edd. ), Il Mediterraneo di Herakles. Studi e ricerche. Atti del Convegno di studi, Roma 2005, 61 86.
7.   M.E. Gorrini, " Aristeo o Dedalo? Nuove considerazioni su alcuni documenti greci ed etruschi" in M. Harari et alii ( edd.), Icone. Atti del Primo Seminario Pavese di Iconografia, Roma 2009, 89-110; E. Simon, "Daidalos-Taitale-Daedalus" in AM 100, (2004) 419-432.
8.   Per le figure di Melicerte e Melisso si veda Roscalla, supra, n.4, 81 ss.
9.   L. Kahil, "Autour de l'Artémis attique" AntK 8, (1965), 20-33; anche Ead., "L'Artémis de Brauron. Rites et mystère " AntK 20, (1977), 86-98.
10.   C. Isler-Kerényi, "Artemide e Dioniso: Korai e Parthenoi nella città delle immagini" in B. Gentili; F. Perusino ( edd.), Le orse di Brauron, Pisa 2002, 117-138.
11.   Cfr. Roscalla, supra n. 4, 29 ss.

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Robin Mitchell-Boyask, Aeschylus: Eumenides. Duckworth Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy. London: Duckworth, 2009. Pp. 157. ISBN 9780715636428. $24.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Kyriaki Konstantinidou, University of Nottingham, UK

Recent times have seen the publication of two studies related to Aeschylus' Oresteia that, although different in form, both aim in their own way to render the trilogy, or part of it, more accessible: the brand new Loeb edition and translation of the trilogy by Alan Sommerstein (with more extensive interpretative comments than is usually the case for this series) on the one hand;1 on the other, a short introduction of the last play of the trilogy, the Eumenides, by Robin Mitchell-Boyask. The latter study is a welcome addition to the expanding number of Duckworth Companions to Greek and Roman tragedies and represents the second volume of the series dedicated to a play of the trilogy, following Barbara Goward's earlier Agamemnon.2 As most readers of these handy volumes know by now, the series aims to provide introductions to ancient tragedies by setting out the main themes of a play, trends in modern criticism, the play's historical context, and the history of its reception.3 Writing such an introduction to Aeschylus' Eumenides, the third play of a multi-layered trilogy, and in itself one of the most well-studied and contentious tragedies, is certainly no easy task. That, for the most part, Mitchell-Boyask pulls it off owes much to his mastery of the subject and his willingness to give alternative interpretations a place in his summary. While the series largely targets the non-specialist and university students, a great deal of the material in the present volume will also be of interest to a more academic readership, since, on more than one occasion, Mitchell-Boyask breathes new life into familiar debates.

The book is divided into six chapters: 1. Aeschylus the Athenian, 2. Eumenides and Greek Myth and Religion, 3. The Theatre of Aeschylus, 4. The Play and its Staging, 5. Justice, Law, and the Athenian Politics in Eumenides, 6. The Reception of Eumenides: Ancient Tragedy, Gender, and the Modern World. The chapters are followed by the series' standard set of notes, guide to further reading, bibliography, glossary, chronology―including a list of the modern performances of the Eumenides―and an index.

The first three chapters set the scene in terms of the play's broader literary and historical background, before a closer reading of the drama 'in performance', as it were, follows in chapter four. The opening chapter, as Mitchell-Boyask notes, is 'an overview of the career of Aeschylus, set against the birth of Athenian democracy during his teens and the two wars against Persia in which Aeschylus fought' (p.1). The main objective of its first section is to show that the emergence of democracy, the early experience of war, and the fear of tyranny exercised a significant influence on Aeschylus, as is testified by the Oresteia's intense interest in them (p.12-15); a reader who wants to assess the evolution of the democracy's institutions and their depiction in the Eumenides, however, should wait until chapter five. Similarly, while in section two of the chapter Mitchell-Boyask offers a brief overview that acquaints the reader with significant turning-points in the poet's theatrical career (p.15-18), it is not until chapters three and four that Mitchell-Boyask explores in detail Aeschylus' substantial contribution to the development of Athenian theatre.

Chapter two introduces the mythic and religious material on which Aeschylus drew in order to compose his Eumenides. The chapter is divided into four parts. In the first two, Mitchell-Boyask produces a clear account of the two main groups of myth that furnish the backdrop to the play: first, the literature on the Orestes legend that pre-dates Aeschylus' version, with particular emphasis on the matricide and Orestes' pursuit by the Furies (19-21); and, second, the foundation myth for the Areopagus council in Athens (21-23). The lengthier, and more exploratory, third and fourth sections examine the identity of the divine choral body of the play, the Furies (23-27), and their relationship to the Olympian gods respectively (27-33). After assessing the four names associated with them, 'Furies', 'Erinyes', 'Eumenides' (actually absent in the play itself, as Mitchell-Boyask notes following other scholars) and 'Semnai', Mitchell-Boyask traces the multiple connections that link Aeschylus' Furies to their archaic predecessors. A reader already familiar with Sommerstein's commentary, which covers a good deal of this prior material, will benefit most from section four.4 Here Mitchell-Boyask successfully demonstrates that as much as the play represents the confrontation between Olympian and Chthonian deities, it also challenges that polarity, primarily through the role of the 'Olympian' Athena, who appears to share common ground with the Chthonian Furies and acts as a mediator between the two divine groups (32-33).

Chapter three outlines an essential introduction for the Athenian theatre before Mitchell-Boyask reflects on the play itself and its staging in chapter four. It is particularly instructive regarding the context of the theatrical performances, the spatial reconfigurations in the Athenian theatre which took place over Aeschylus' life-time, and, more importantly, Aeschylus' innovations and his contribution to the formation of tragedy as we know it (34-40). The second part of the chapter, 'the theatre of Aeschylus' Eumenides', documents the specific formation of the theatrical space for the performance of the play, and introduces the performers within this space (chorus, actors, extra performers) and the costumes they wore, as one example of the theatrical armoury at Aeschylus' disposal (40-43). The most appealing aspect of the chapter is the constant appearance of Aeschylus as a true innovator of Athenian theatrical practice, especially through his radical experimentations with the skênê and ekkyklêma. This image is borne out by the detailed analysis presented in the following chapter.

Chapter 4, then, unpacks the play in some detail, with a scene-by-scene examination of its action through the entrances and exits of the actors, all the while taking into consideration alternative readings of particular stage effects and their dramatic import. The virtue of this approach is the way in which it makes the Eumenides, as Mitchell-Boyask states in his preface to the volume, 'feel like a piece of living theatre' (9). One shortcoming for the student, however, might be how certain issues lose focus when so much information is given about the evolving action: though ideas such as 'compulsion', 'responsibility' and 'persuasion' are allowed to emerge, a comparison to Goldhill's succinct articulation of the trilogy's major themes shows that a scene-by-scene analysis may offer only fragmentary glimpses of the bigger picture.5 Nevertheless, as mentioned above, it should be recognised that Mitchell-Boyask's principal objective is different, and his extensive running commentary does serve the Greek-less reader well, for whom the text is made to come alive as a drama. A good example is the trial of Orestes. Even if the detail provided is so rich that at times it threatens to overwhelm a student approaching the play for a first time, Mitchell-Boyask uses the stage action to argue convincingly that Athena's vote is the one that produces the tie which will see Orestes leave a free man (71-87). Equally importantly, Mitchell-Boyask is at pains to point out that the play does not end there: in doing so he does full justice to the final scene of the play which depicts the incorporation of the Furies into Athens (87-96).

Chapter five has the major task of assessing the play's famous representation and exploration of justice, which Mitchell-Boyask does by reading it in relation to what we know about the Athenian legal system. The reader is first invited to consider the multiple meanings of the word dikê across the trilogy as a whole and during the trial scene in particular, and especially the play's general concern with dikê as social order (98-100). In addition, Mitchell-Boyask reconstructs the evolution of the Athenian legal mechanisms for murder trials and draws a comparison between the features of a typical homicide trial in Athens and 'the extent to which Orestes' trial typifies it' (97). Mitchell-Boyask then moves on to discuss in more detail the institution of the Areopagus and the play's engagement with Athenian politics (102-107). Though Mitchell-Boyask raises little that is new here (on what is an enormous and controversial subject), he effectively sums up the latest thinking on the influence that the reforms of Ephialtes, the Argive alliance, and the re-establishment of the court of the Areopagus may exercise on interpreting the Eumenides. Mitchell-Boyask is far more impressive when he moves away from this discussion to show the importance of religion in the representation of the Areopagus and, in particular, how the Furies' involvement underlines the significance of the divine within the judicial and political institutions of Athens. As he puts it, 'To achieve a world order by justice, humans must work out relations not only among each other but also between humans and gods' (106).

The book's last chapter concerns three valuable investigations on what one may roughly term the 'reception of the Eumenides'. Focusing exclusively on the last play of the trilogy, the first survey (108-113) supplies good comparative material for the student of Greek tragedy, as Mitchell-Boyask considers how three elements of the Eumenides, 'the Furies', 'the courtroom drama that involves a member of the house of Atreus', and 'the moral dimensions of the character of Orestes' (108), were exploited and questioned by Euripides (and less directly by Sophocles, in Oedipus at Colonus). The section ends with a very brief mention of its limited reception in Latin literature. The main thrust of this final chapter, however, is on the gender issues that the play raises (114-120), which could have formed a chapter on its own. Mitchell-Boyask gives a highly informative mini history of the debate on the battle of the sexes, based around Apollo's controversial argument that mothers are mere incubators to the male seed, and offers the reader a suitably profound and balanced reading of Apollo's point of view. Unfortunately, while this focus allows Mitchell-Boyask to bring us up-to-date with the gender criticism of the play, what looks like being a very interesting last section on the play's adaptation in modern art, performance and literature is squeezed for space (121-124) and could have been developed considerably.

The book reads well throughout, with a clear presentation of its goals, main themes and issues, almost free from typos. Mitchell-Boyask offers an eminently thoughtful and stimulating approach to the play, citing a rich set of materials and engaging constructively with previous scholarship. Above all, this book excels in refocusing due attention on the importance of religion and the innovative ways in which Aeschylus deploys theatrical devices to surprise, entertain and challenge his audience. Mitchell-Boyask has provided a very concise and lucid introduction to this most debated of tragedies, which will engage, and greatly inform, the wide readership that the play deserves.


1.   Alan H. Sommerstein (ed.), Aeschylus II, Oresteia: Agamemnon. Libation- Bearers. Eumenides (Loeb Classical Library, Cambridge, Mass./London: Harvard University Press, 2009). Reviewed by Vittorio Citti in BMCR 2009.08.50.
2.   Barbara Goward, Aeschylus: Agamemnon. Duckworth Companions to Greek and Roman Tragedy (London: Duckworth 2005). Reviewed by Fiona McHardy in BMCR 2006.02.48.
3.   These are the aims of the series explicitly stated on the back cover of the book.
4.   Alan H. Sommerstein (ed.), Aeschylus: Eumenides (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989), p. 1-12.
5.   Simon Goldhill, Aeschylus: The Oresteia. Landmarks of World Literature Series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992; 2 nd edition, 2004). Reviewed by Michael R. Halleran in BMCR 04.03.06.

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Yannis Tzedakis, Holley Martlew, Martin K. Jones, Archaeology Meets Science: Biomolecular Investigations in Bronze Age Greece: The Primary Scientific Evidence, 1997-2003. Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2008. Pp. xxiv, 304. ISBN 9781842172384. $120.00.

Reviewed by Colleen Cummings, Chemeketa Community College

This book is the companion volume to Minoans and Mycenaeans: Flavours of Their Time (Greek Ministry of Culture, 1999), a catalogue of a travelling exhibition of pottery from Bronze Age Greece showcasing the vessels and the results of scientific investigations into their contents, alongside zooarchaeological studies and stable isotope analysis of human remains. While the Minoans and Mycenaeans volume is written for a general public, Archaeology Meets Science presents, in a more technical fashion, the background to the investigations, full results, and recommendations for further investigations. The volume is divided into three main sections: 1) Organic Residue Analysis, 2) Methods and Primary Evidence for Stable Isotope Analysis, and 3) Lessons for the Future, as well as an appendix of site descriptions and a concordance with the Minoans and Mycenaeans exhibition catalogue. Of the three primary sections, Organic Residue Analysis is by far the longest, comprising 12 of the 16 papers (a full table of contents is provided at the end of this review).

The introductory chapters highlight the social nature of food, and drawing upon Mary Douglas' metaphor of food as a language, suggest that scientific analysis can be used to identify some of the "vocabulary" of complex culinary symbolic systems. The focus, as outlined, is to build on previous work in Aegean diet based on animal and plant remains by using scientific methods to analyse the pottery vessels that contained foods and the human bodies that ate the foods. Between the time of the exhibition and the publication of this second volume, more sites were included for analysis, and thus, this volume contains articles on several more sites in Crete and the Peloponnese as well as a single more distant site in the Bay of Naples.

In the first section -- Organic Residue Analysis -- two articles provide a history of chemical research in archaeology and an overview of current methods and techniques. Special attention is paid here to the problem of contaminants and to techniques for the identification and exclusion of common contaminants from further analysis. The authors also provide cautionary information on the difficulties of identifying residues with a particular plant or animal, highlighting that in some cases it is better to present the data in a general matter rather than risk a false identification.

The chapters in this section are predominately data-based, presenting the specific methods used for analysis, the individual pots or sherds, and the results obtained for each. From a scientific point of view, two papers in this section are particularly interesting. The first is Victor Garner's exploration of the use of solvent extraction as a non-destructive approach to organic residue analysis, which enables the investigation of complete vessels considered too valuable for destructive sampling. Also noteworthy is Patrick McGovern et al.'s use of three different, but complementary, methods for analysing organic materials: Diffuse-reflectance infrared Fourier-transform spectrometry (DRIFTS), high performance liquid chromatography, and Feigl chemical spot tests. The combination of these techniques provides multiple strands of evidence to investigate the nature of ancient alcoholic beverages.

The results of the scientific analyses show a range of both expected and surprising results. Firstly, as a wide range of vessel types were tested, it is perhaps not surprising that not all vessels appear to have contained food or drink -- some were potentially used for cosmetic or medicinal preparations. Of the food vessels, many contained evidence for either animal or vegetable (predominantly olive where identifiable) oils, as well as evidence for seasonings and leafy vegetables. Surprises include the identification of iris oil, a rare perfuming ingredient, and the repeated occurrence of wine treated with pine resin and aromatic herbs.

One article in this section provides broader context for the scientific results. Robert Arnott situates the results of the organic residue analysis of one particular site -- Chrysokamino -- in relation to the archaeology of the copper-smelting site and the known health hazards of smelting copper (particularly arsenic poisoning). The contents of the vessels at the site suggest a medicinal concoction rather than food or drink, and Arnott discusses the properties of each of the components found in relation to their potential benefit to the smelters at the site. Based on the evidence, he suggests that there existed an understanding of the "causal relationship between toxicity, injuries and remedies, more than two millennia before Hippocrates and Dioscorides" (p. 116).

The second section of this book is on carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis and contains two papers. The first incorporates a lengthy discussion of the methodology and interpretation of stable isotope analysis and goes on to present results from the sites in Crete and Achaea that were part of the initial project that lead to the publication of the first catalogue volume. The second paper expands the data with investigations into three additional Peloponnesian sites. Unfortunately, animal bones from these additional sites were not analysed, so direct comparison of the sites is difficult, but the general result is dietary mixture of protein from plants and terrestrial animals, with substantial contributions of marine protein present only for the individuals buried in Grave Circles A and B at Mycenae.

Lessons for the Future, the final section of the book, also contains only two chapters. These primarily focus on the problem of contamination in archaeological samples and provide practical recommendations for excavators to follow if they plan to perform chemical analyses on either pottery or human remains.

Overall, this book provides an excellent scientific exploration of both ceramic and human remains from Bronze Age Greece, though the focus is primarily on the ceramic evidence. The data are excellently presented, with clear indications of where positive identifications can and cannot be made, and well defined areas for future research. Physically, the book is well-made and the contents are generally free from errors. The bulk of the volume's content is the presentation of new data, making a useful contribution to a growing body of scholarship on dietary practices in the ancient Aegean.

This volume would benefit, however, from a chapter or two pulling the individual threads of research together and situating the results within the broader research paradigms of the Greek Bronze Age. With the notable exception of Arnott's chapter on Chrysokamino, very little archaeological context is provided for the individual finds, making it difficult to discern how the scientific data interact with the rest of the archaeological data from each site. It would be fascinating, for instance, to correlate results from the ceramic vessels with results from the human remains at the cemetery sites. While the goal of integrating scientific analyses with archaeological data is laudable, and the studies themselves are excellent, this volume does not take the further step of clearly illustrating how to integrate scientific data into the broader questions of early Greek culture.

Table of Contents:

Section 1:

Introduction to the History of Organic Residue Analysis (Curt W. Beck)

Certainty and Doubt in Organic Residue Analysis (Curt W. Beck and Edith Stout)

Analysis of Organic Remains in the Fabric of Minoan and Mycenaean Pottery Sherds by Gas Chromatography – Mass Spectrometry (Curt W. Beck, Edith C. Stout, Karen C. Lee, Adrien A. Chase, and Nicole De Rosa)

Absorbed Organic Residues in Pottery from the Minoan Settlement of Pseira, Crete (Curt W. Beck, Edith C. Stout, Karen M. Wovkulich, and Anna J. J. Phillips)

Organic Residue Analysis: Pseira (Ruth F. Beeston, Joe Palatinus and Curt W. Beck)

Organic Residue Analysis: Chrysokamino (Ruth F. Beeston, Joe Palatinus and Curt E. Beck)

Chrysokamino: Occupational Health and the Earliest Medicines on Crete (Robert Arnott)

Organic Residue Analysis of Ceramics from the Neolithic Cave of Gerani, West Crete (Oliver Craig)

Organic Residues in Pottery of the Bronze Age in Greece (The late John Evans – completed by Victor Garner)

Alternative Approaches to Organic Residue Analysis: The Early Helladic Cemetery at Kalamaki; the Mycenaean Settlement on Salamis; the Late Helladic Cemetery at Sykia, Vivara, settlement of Punta D'Alca, Bay of Naples, Italy (Victor Garner)

Atypical Calcium Carbonate Precipitates in Narrow-necked Late Helladic Jars: A Potential Indicator of Organic Residues (Andrew P. Gize, Margaret White, Steve Caldwell, Mandy Edwards and Roger Speak)

The Chemical Identification of Resinated Wine and a Mixed Fermented Beverage in Bronze Age Pottery Vessels of Greece (Patrick E. McGovern, Donald L. Glusker, Lawrence J. Exner, and Gretchen R. Hall)

Section 2:

Stable Isotope Evidence of Past Human Diet at the Sites of the Neolithic Cave of Gerani; The late Minoan III Cemetery of Armenoi; Grave Circles A and B at the Palace Site of Mycenae; and Late Helladic Chamber Tombs (M.P. Richards and R.E.M. Hedges)

Stable Isotope Results from New Sites in the Peloponnese: Cemeteries at Sykia, Kalamaki and Spaliareika (M.P. Richards and E. Vika)

Section 3:

Protocols: Ceramic Artefacts and Skeletal Material (Holley Martlew)

Biomolecular Archaeology in the Aegean Context: Problems and Prospects (Curt W. Beck, Victor Garner, Martin K. Jones and Michael P. Richards)

Appendix: Site Descriptions and Catalogue Entries (Holley Martlew, Philip P. Betancourt, Adamandia Vassilogamvrou, Yannis Moschos, Michaelis Gazis, Yannos G. Lolos, Ioanna Efstathiou, M. Marazzi, C. Giardino and C. Pepe)

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