Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Patrizia Marzillo (ed.), Der Kommentar des Proklos zu Hesiods 'Werken und Tagen'. Edition, Übersetzung und Erläuterung der Fragmente. Classica Monacensia Bd. 33. Tübingen: Narr Verlag, 2010. Pp. lxxxviii, 458. ISBN 9783823363538. €88.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Robbert M. van den Berg and Hugo H. Koning, Leiden University; Ghent University (r.m.van.den.berg@hum.leidenuniv.nl; H.H.Koning@hum.leidenuniv.nl)

Version at BMCR home site

Table of Contents

The reception of Hesiod in antiquity has lately attracted a considerable amount of scholarly attention. Last year saw, among other things, a volume dedicated to Plato's reception of Hesiod edited by G. R. Boys-Stones and J. H. Haubold, an Italian translation of all the scholia to all the works of Hesiod, as well as the work under review here, an edition and translation of the scholia by the Neoplatonist Proclus on Hesiod's Works and Days by Patrizia Marzillo.1 According to Suda, Proclus wrote a hypomnêma on Hesiod's Works and Days. Traces of this work have been preserved in the massive collection of scholia on Hesiod. In this work, originally submitted as a doctoral thesis at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (Munich), Marzillo has taken it upon herself to collect the Proclean material from this collection, edit it, and publish it together with a German translation and commentary.

In the first part of the introduction to her edition, Marzillo sketches an interpretation of Proclus' commentary. She argues that Proclus considered Hesiod's poem as an example of divinely inspired poetry that needed to be understood allegorically. The aim of his commentary was to introduce basic elements of Neoplatonic doctrine to a lay audience. Marzillo's interpretation is in part directed against that of Chiara Faraggina di Sarzana.2 The point is this. In the sixth essay of his commentary on Plato's Republic, Proclus distinguishes three types of poetry: inspired poetry, didactic poetry, and mimetic poetry. He needs this distinction in order to square the positive attitude of the Neoplatonists to poetry with Plato's criticism of poetry in the Republic. Plato, so the argument goes, finds fault with mimetic poetry only, not with the two other types of poetry. Of these, inspired poetry is vastly superior to didactic poetry. Whereas didactic poetry presents facts about the physical world or ethical precepts in a straightforward manner, inspired poetry deals with the divine world in allegorical form. For this reason, only inspired poetry is the object of allegorical interpretation. While inspired poetry may contain didactic and even mimetic passages, the opposite is not the case, i.e. didactic poetry does not contain passages of inspired, allegorical poetry. Whereas Faraggina di Sarzana had argued that, for Proclus, Hesiod's Works and Days constituted an example of didactic poetry, Marzillo argues that Proclus would class the poem as inspired poetry by pointing out that the scholia contain some instances of allegorical interpretation, for example in the case of the two manifestations of Eris and the myth of Prometheus and Pandora.

On the face of it, Marzillo's argument sounds reasonable. Yet on closer inspection there is reason for doubt. In the first scholion, Proclus describes the skopos (aim) of the poem explicitly as paideutikos, i.e. as didactic. For this reason, he continues, the work is free from 'ornaments of speech, epithets and metaphors … since simplicity and natural expressions fit ethical expositions.'3 Marzillo has little to say about this passage, which contains a clear indication that Proclus understood the Works and Days primarily as a didactic work, not as some sort of allegorical work. Against Marzillo's interpretation it can furthermore be pointed out that the scholia actually contain very little allegorical interpretation. This may be because, as Marzillo suggests, the person who excerpted Proclus' commentary was not greatly interested in obscure Neoplatonic metaphysical speculations. Yet the introductory scholion seems to imply that Proclus did not believe that the Works and Days required much allegorical interpretation. This perhaps also means that the degree to which Proclus' comments are original and independent from Plutarch's commentary may be overstated by Marzillo.

However interesting and important the issue of Proclus' interpretation of the Works and Days may be, the core of this book is an edition, and the second part of the introduction addresses various editorial issues, in particular Marzillo's criteria for identifying Proclus' notes within the corpus of scholia. On this issue she relies heavily on Agostino Pertusi, the editor of the standard edition of the scholia vetera on the Works and Days, who relies on palaeographical information for distinguishing Proclean material from other scholia. This evidence is uncontested and we thus see that the collection of Marzillo remains close to the conventional selection: Pertusi attributed about 255 scholia in his collection to Proclus, and was hesitant about 25 or so; Marzillo presents 283 fragments from Proclus' commentary, and labels about 20 with an asterisk to mark doubt about their authenticity. She has added some fragments on the basis of insights postdating Pertusi's edition; in this, she shows her allegiance to scholars believing that the comments of Proclus the philosopher cannot have been too 'grammatical' or 'linguistic'. All in all, her choices are well-founded and, moreover, explained in the commentary. The relevant evidence for the selection of scholia is summarized in the first of her three apparatuses.

As for the apparatus criticus, Marzillo's edition of the Proclean material is based on her own collation of the manuscripts. Of the twelve manuscripts generally deemed relevant for the transmission of Proclean scholia, Marzillo uses eleven, ignoring one ms. because the so-called 'Proclean' scholia in it are said to go back to non-Proclean grammatical scholia. As she indicates in her introduction, Marzillo leans heavily on Pertusi's edition. Her apparatus criticus in fact reads as a leaner version of Pertusi's, being cleansed of all the minor scribal errors and ill-supported aberrations carefully listed in his edition. Furthermore, Marzillo faithfully added later insights and ventured some conjectures of her own, thus creating a new and informative, transparent, and pleasantly readable apparatus criticus. It should be borne in mind, however, that students of the text must always keep their Pertusi close, as Marzillo, precisely because she is selective, does not offer a complete replacement.

A third apparatus, finally, offers a useful list of loci paralleli. The parallels offered, even though plentiful, are not exhaustive, but understandably so: it is a tricky category with potentially unlimited scope. It is our opinion, however, that some of the parallels offered in the commentary should have been in this apparatus instead: this holds most often in cases of cross-references to Proclus' own work.

All in all, the edition itself has been competently done and is a welcome addition to the series of recent editions of Proclus' works. All the more so, since it is the first edition of the remains of this work as such. It may be that the material was already available in Pertusi's edition, yet Marzillo's work makes it for the first time easily accessible to the ever-growing community of Proclean scholars.

The text is accompanied by a (German) translation and explanatory notes. Generally speaking, translation of scholia is a difficult task since the often terse and rather dense text is usually felt to need an 'explanatory' translation that clarifies the original structure and meaning; naturally, such a translation sometimes reduces the scope of interpretations available to readers of the translated text. This pitfall is unavoidable and it is a pity that Marzillo does not reflect upon it in her introduction, or elaborate upon her approach. Nevertheless, she manages the problem well: the translation is often as literal as possible and the structure of the text is mostly respected. Concessions to readability are mostly kept to a minimum, though there are some exceptions.

As for the actual content of her translation: in some cases there is, almost inevitably, room for discussion. In the case of XLVI, for example, Marzillo translates technikos nous as 'praktische Intelligenz'. The translation calls to mind Aristotle's notion of the practical intellect as opposed to the theoretical intellect. This association is apparently intended, for in her note Marzillo writes: 'mit der Intelligenz kann man die praktischen Probleme des Alltags lösen und sich erst danach den intellektuellen Spekulationen widmen.' However, when Proclus writes that it is the 'technical intellect' (καθ' ὃν οἱ ἄνθρωποι ζῶσι πρῶτον νοερῶς), we take it that he means that the 'technical intellect' is the lowest manifestation of the divine Intellect and therefore the first that human beings will experience. This first experience with Intellect may subsequently direct our attention towards the theoretical contemplation of the Forms, i.e. the essential activity of Intellect. Proclus says this explicitly in a long quotation from the Platonic Theology that Marzillo quotes in her commentary. Unfortunately she does so without analysing or even translating from the Greek this informative passage, leaving it to her readers to make sense of it themselves.

Finally, some words on the commentary. This part of Marzillo's book is particularly strong and useful in those cases where the attribution to Proclus or a specific interpretation of the scholion is at issue. In such cases, Marzillo shows herself in control of the relevant material and offers relevant discussions. Some of the entries in the commentary, however, seem somewhat out of place, such as paraphrases of the scholion, comments on the meaning of particular words (such as hapax legomena), and especially explanations of the Hesiodic text itself. In such cases, it appears somewhat unclear what kind of audience Marzillo envisages for her book.

To conclude, even though one might wish to disagree with some of Marzillo's interpretations, this does not alter the fact that, with her fine edition, she has opened up an interesting testimony about Proclus' reception of the 'other poet' for further investigation and discussion. In doing so, she has rendered an important service to the study of later Neoplatonism.


1.   G. R. Boys-Stones and J. H. Haubold (eds.), Plato and Hesiod (Oxford 2010), reviewed for BMCR 2011.02.18 by M. Folch. C. Cassanmagnano, Esiodo. Tutte le opere e i frammenti con la prima traduzione degli scolii (Milan 2009). See also H. H. Koning, Hesiod: The Other Poet. Ancient Reception of a Cultural Icon (Leiden 2010). Koning is also preparing, with Glenn W. Most, an edition and English translation of all Greek exegetical texts on the Theogony.
2.   See especially Chiara Faraggina di Sarzana, 'Le commentaire à Hésiode et la paideia encyclopédique de Proclus', in J. Pépin and H. D. Saffrey (eds), Proclus lecteur et interprète des anciens (Paris 1987), 21-41.
3.   Scholion I (3.13-18 Marzillo).

(read complete article)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Manoles Papathomopoulos (ed.), Απολλόδωρου Βιβλιοθήκη / Apollodori Bibliotheca, post Richardum Wagnerum recognita. Εισαγωγή - Κείμενο - Πίνακες. Λόγος Ελληνικός 4. Αθήνα: Εκδοσεις Αλήθεια, 2010. Pp. 294. ISBN 9789609922517. (pb).

Reviewed by Claudio Meliadò, Università di Messina (cmeliado@unime.it)

Version at BMCR home site

Nel 1973 Papathomopoulos pubblicò un articolo in cui presentava il risultato di una ricollazione dei codici O (Bodleianus Laudianus gr. 55, sec. XV), R (Parisinus gr. 2722) e, per la prima volta, di M Monacensis gr. 182, che contiene excerpta greco-latini di mano del Poliziano.1 A distanza di circa quarant'anni da quel lavoro preparatorio, nel 2010 vede la luce l'ennesima fatica del prolifico studioso, editore nel giro di pochi anni di numerosi testi di età classica e bizantina, ricordati nella terza di copertina, tra cui le Metamorphoses di Ovidio (2002), i Cynegetica di Oppiano (2003), la tzetziana Exegesis in Iliadem (2007), le traduzioni planudee di Ovidio (Met. 2002) e dei Dicta Catonis (2009).

Questa nuova edizione di Apollodoro si apre con un'introduzione in greco moderno (pp. 13-18), che a detta di Papathomopoulos è volutamente breve e concepita solo per fornire le informazioni strettamente necessarie all'utilizzo dell'edizione (p. 18). Per un quadro più completo dei problemi l'editore rimanda ai due studi bibliografici del compianto M. Huys.2 Nell'introduzione l'editore accenna ai problemi riguardanti l'identità dell'autore, all'impossibilità di vedervi il famoso Apollodoro di Atene, del cui Περὶ θεῶν possediamo una nutrita schiera di frammenti grazie anche a fortunati ritrovamenti papiracei, e all'ipotesi secondo cui l'opera sarebbe stata ricollegata al grammatico solo per renderla più attraente (p. 13). Vengono poi passate in rassegna le fonti espressamente citate nel testo, di cui però non si sa se l'autore avesse sempre una conoscenza diretta: Omero, Esiodo, i poemi del Ciclo, alcuni componimenti orfici, Stesicoro, i mitografi del quinto secolo a.C., i tragici e alcuni dei poeti ellenistici (tra i quali include anche Dionisio Scitobrachione che però è un prosatore), Dionisio Periegeta. Limitata è la fortuna della Bibliotheca: i contatti fra il testo apollodoreo da una parte e gli Scholia minora a Omero, i proverbi zenobiani e il quarto libro di Diodoro Siculo dall'altra dipenderebbero dall'uso di fonti comuni. Dell'opuscolo si trova invece traccia in Fozio, negli scoli del codice A di Platone (scritto in ambiente foziano) e in alcuni commenti della silloge paremiografica attribuita a Zenobio, contenuta nel Paris. gr. 3070 (XII sec.). Due estratti del manualetto furono utilizzati nel decimo secolo come hypothesis alle Trachiniae di Sofocle (Laur. gr. 30.9) e in uno scolio all'Antigone (v. 981), mentre nel dodicesimo secolo Giovanni Tzetze si servì della Bibliotheca per il suo commento all'Alexandra di Licofrone. Allo stesso dotto bizantino si deve probabilmente l'Epitome contenuta nel Vat. gr. 950. A p. 15 l'editore si sofferma sulla tradizione indiretta del testo, limitata a uno scritto sulle dodici fatiche di Eracle e a un poemetto in 211 trimetri giambici, entrambi forse opera di Giovanni Pediasimo.

Alle pp. 15-17 Papathomopoulos si occupa della tradizione manoscritta che consiste in 15 codici. L'archetipo è stato identificato da R. Wagner nel 1891 nel putroppo mutilo Paris. gr. 2722 (R), datato da N. Wilson al XII secolo (Wagner pensava fosse del XIV), di cui l'editore fornisce una sommaria descrizione. Per le sezioni in cui R è incompleto è possibile ricorrere al Bodl. Laud. gr. 55 (O), ricopiato da R quando questo era ancora integro e a sua volta possibile antigrafo dei codici recentiores. Utile per la recensio è ancheM, per il quale sembra che Poliziano abbia utilizzato proprio R. A p. 17 Papathomopoulos offre uno stemma codicum, che tiene conto delle conclusioni di Diller sulla Textüberlieferung di Apollodoro e delle novità emerse dalle sue collazioni. Purtroppo però non fornisce la chiave per decifrare molte delle abbreviazioni; per comprendere a quali codici corrispondano le sigle Rb, Rc, V, N, T bisognerà fare ricorso alle edizioni di Wagner e di Scarpi.3 È necessario inoltre notare che il codice P in questo stemma compare due volte, la prima come discendente di O, la seconda come filiazione di B (a sua volta copia di O). A p. 18 l'editore informa di aver collazionato il codice R sull'originale, gli altri quattro manoscritti sui quali si basa l'edizione (E, S, O, M) su microfilm. Le lezioni dei codici Ra, P e L, che, come si legge nel conspectus siglorum (p. 28), raro citantur, proverranno dagli apparati delle edizioni precedenti. Le pp. 19-23 sono occupate da una bibliografia selettiva, divisa in edizioni (pp. 19-20) e studi (pp. 20-23).

A p. 27 viene riportato come testimonium il cod. 186 della Bibliotheca di Fozio e, a p. 29, ha inizio il testo di Apollodoro munito di un ricco apparato. L'editore ha scelto di inserire nel testo in corpo minore, distanziati da paragraphoi, estesi brani tratti da Zenobio e dagli scoli iliadici che avrebbero potuto più opportunamente trovare posto in un apparato dei loci similes (come aveva fatto già Wagner) o ancor meglio in un'appendice, evitando così di interrompere il naturale fluire della narrazione. Il testo presenta in più luoghi una facies diversa rispetto alla canonica edizione ottocentesca, ma si deve rilevare che, nonostante le nuove collazioni dell'editore, non siamo ancora in possesso di una descrizione fedele di ciò che è trasmesso dai manoscritti, soprattutto per quanto riguarda R, il codice principale. Ecco alcuni esempi. In Bibl. 3.3.17 (rigo 87) Papathomopulos stampa Δευκαλίωνι δὲ ἐγένοντο Ἰδομενεύς τε καὶ Κρήτη καὶ νόθος Μόλος. Nell'apparato ad loc. Papathomopoulos scrive: «Μόλος Meursius: καὶ Μῶλος R Μῶλος M.» La correzione Μόλος di Meursius è chiaramente segnalata; dalle altre indicazioni sembrerebbe possibile desumere che, mentre in R si legge καὶ Νόθος καὶ Μῶλος (dove Νόθος è inteso come nome di un figlio di Deucalione), in M sarebbe tramandato καὶ νόθος Μῶλος (in cui νόθος è un semplice attributo di Μῶλος). L'esame del manoscritto dimostra però che la situazione è diversa. In M Poliziano scrive «Deucalioni filii fuerunt: Idomeneus Creta Nothus Μῶλος»: pur eliminando tutte le congiunzioni si allinea dunque perfettamente con R. In 3.4.23 (rr. 121-122) si legge οὗτοι δὲ ἀπέκτειναν ἀλλήλους, οἱ μὲν εἰς ἔριν ἑκούσιον ἐλθόντες, οἱ δὲ ἀγνοοῦντες. Tutta la tradizione manoscritta in questo luogo ha però οἱ δὲ ἀλλήλους ἀγνοοῦντες, informazione non presente in apparato.4 In 3.4.26 (rr. 133-134) Papathomopoulos stampa γίγνονται, ma tutti i codici, compreso R, hanno γίνονται, secondo l'uso apollodoreo.

Una collazione più accurata avrebbe potuto anche aiutare nella comprensione di una serie di undici esametri sui cani di Atteone, trasmessi insieme con la Bibliotheca, ma con ogni probabilità a essa estranei. In tutte le edizioni a 3.4.32 (r. 168) viene stampato τὰ ὀνόματα τῶν Ἀκταίωνος κυνῶν ἐκ τῶν < > οὕτω, frase alle quale seguono appunto i versi. In base a questo testo Casanova aveva assegnato il frammento epico a Esiodo e proposto di integrare ἐκ τῶν <Ἠοίων> οὕτω, supplemento accolto da Papathomopoulos. οὕτω è presente in tutti i manoscritti più recenti, mentre in R si legge chiaramente Π sormontanto da un τ legato a un accento circonflesso. Tale grafia, riprodotta anche da Poliziano nel Monacensis, in R viene utilizzata dal copista per vergare τοῦ, per cui bisognerebbe scrivere τὰ ὀνόματα τῶν Ἀκταίωνος κυνῶν ἐκ τῶν τοῦ < >, sottintendendo ἐπῶν. Al r. 170 R (seguito da M) ha τῆς δάσαντο κύνες κρατεροῦ e non τοῦ δάσαντο κύνες κρατεροί. Al r. 172 M ha sicuramente ἀνετός e non αἰνετός come si legge nell'apparato di Papathomopoulos. Al r. 174 viene stampato κτεῖναι, lezione dei codici recentiores, ma R ha κτεῖναν confermato da M e già congetturato da Bergk. Al r. 175 viene stampato πρῶτοι γάρ, ma R e M hanno πρῶτοι καί; gli altri codici vaticani hanno πρῶτος in luogo di πρῶτοι.

La situazione non è molto diversa per quanto riguarda l'epitome vaticana (contenuta nel codice E), per la quale l'editore tra l'altro riproduce, almeno in parte, gli errori di lettura presenti in Wagner (e in Scarpi): in 1.15 (r. 98) E ha δ᾽ ἐξάψας, non δὲ ἐξάψας; a 2.7 (r. 208) in luogo dell'erroneo ἀπιβουλήν si legga ἐπιβουλήν; si legge che la sezione 3.1 (rr. 250-254) è trasmessa da entrambe le epitomi (Vaticana e Sabbaitica), ma il testo in E non è presente; nell'apparato a 3.18 (rr. 378-379) si dice che ἀναχωρήσαντας e μεταστραφέντας sono correzioni di Wagner, mentre si tratta delle lezioni (corrette) di E, al quale vengono attribuiti gli inesistenti ἀναχωρήσαντες e μεταστραφέντες; in 6.1 (rr. 798-799) deve essere segnalato in apparato che E (così come S) ha ἀπολλομένων e non ἀπολομένων.

L'edizione si conclude con utili indici dei nomi propri e delle cose notevoli (pp. 233-292), oltre che delle fonti antiche citate (pp. 293-294).

Malgrado i problemi evidenziati, l'Apollodoro di Papathomopoulos è uno strumento apprezzabile, poiché tiene in considerazione e sfrutta adeguatamente i contributi filologici ed esegetici proposti prima e dopo Wagner. Ci si augura dunque che il nostro editore pubblichi presto una revisione del suo lavoro che, con le opportune rettifiche, costituirà un'utile acquisizione per gli studiosi della Bibliotheca.


1.   M. Papathomopoulos, Pour une nouvelle édition de la "Bibliothèque" d'Apollodore, ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑ 26, 1973, 18-40.
2.   M. Huys, 125 Years of Scholarship on Apollodoros the Mythographer: A Bibliographical Survey, AC 66, 1997, 319-351; M. Huys - D. Colomo, Bibliographical Survey on Apollodoros the Mythographer: A Supplement, AC 73, 2004, 219-237.
3.   Apollodoro, I miti greci (Biblioteca) , a cura di Paolo Scarpi; traduzione di Maria Grazia Ciani, Milano 1996.
5.   Nel Vat. gr. 1017 si legge solamente οὗτοι δὲ ἀπέκτειναν ἀγνοοῦντες, con un chiaro salto du même au même.

(read complete article)


Gary Vikan, Early Byzantine Pilgrimage Art. Revised Edition (first published 1982). Dumbarton Oaks Byzantine Collection Publications, 5. Washington, D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection, 109. Pp. 109. ISBN 9780884023586. $29.95 (pb).

Reviewed by Thomas J. Kraus, Neumarkt i.d.OPf. (t.j.kraus@web.de)

Version at BMCR home site

Gary Vikan, Director of the Walters Art Museum, is a distinguished and internationally known scholar of medieval art who has become a respected scholar of Byzantine pilgrimage and the expert for artefacts from that time. His publications on manifold representations of Byzantine art and pilgrimage have become classic literature in this field of research. Thus, it is a real pleasure to see this revised and enlarged second edition of Vikan's excellent essay Byzantine Pilgrimage Art that accompanied a 1982 exhibition. . The length of the text is now double in comparison to the first edition and the number of illustrations – high quality and most of them in colour – has been increased as well. Moreover, Vikan succeeds in integrating secondary sources published after 1982 and in expanding his narrative by situating the mysterious world of pilgrims in the early Byzantine period within the context of late antique magic. It is marvellous to get so much first-class information and concise conclusions on only 109 pages that can also be read by non-specialists because of Vikan's clear and fluent style.

In this second edition Vikan aims "to explore the portable artefacts of eastern Mediterranean pilgrimage from the fifth to the seventh century against the backdrop of contemporary pilgrim's texts and the archaeology of the holy sites", as he states in his preface. His focus is on the objects the pilgrims brought home with them or left behind, the images preserved on the objects, their purpose and the places where they were manufactured. Both the pre- or early Byzantine period and the Arab conquest of the seventh century limit the chronological span Vikan examines, but at the same time both phases yield points of comparison for the artefacts he investigates. By doing so, he wants to answer the question: what is so special and typical in later Byzantine material culture to make it different from previous and later periods? And he does so very successfully and convincingly.

The book opens with two maps of the Mediterranean and a detailed one of Palestine so that the readers become familiar with the area and the place names Vikan writes about in what follows. In his first chapter ("Pilgrims and Pilgrimage", 3-12), meant as a short introduction into the subject and purpose of the volume, the author determines the importance of pilgrimages in the early history of Byzantium. , He differentiates between "portable pilgrimage artefacts or 'blessings' (Greek, eulogiai) that the pilgrims took home, and votives or 'thank offerings' (Greek, charisteria that they left behind at the shrines" (p.3). This difference between objects is very important as Vikan refers to these two categories throughout the book. Among various people and places he discusses in more detail later on, he refers to the Piacenza pilgrim's journey whose account has become a classic just as that of the noblewoman Egeria. Simeon Stylites the Elder and his shrine northeast of Antioch (see the photograph and reconstructions on pp. 10-11 where it is compared to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem), the baths of Elijah, Saint Menas and the remains of a tomb church, to list only a few topics, are additional subjects he briefly mentions; and he cites from Theodoret of Cyrrhus and Sophronius of Jerusalem for information about pilgrimage, pilgrims, and sites. He ponders about the motives for pilgrimage (the power of the locus sanctus, a form of asceticism, the perfection of Christian faith, etc.) and addresses the significance of the churches and shrines along the pilgrimage routes or at their end.

Chapters two to five are dedicated to the forms and importance of blessings for pilgrims and pilgrimages ("The Pilgrim's Blessing", 13-17; "Image-Bearing Blessings", 18-22; "The Pilgrim's Belief", 23-30; "Four Major Types of Image-Bearing Blessings", 31-40). Vikan defines the concept of blessing. The pilgrim receives a blessing by contact with a saint, a holy place, or even a holy object. Such encounters often include the reading of a Biblical or para-Biblical passage, prayers, and offerings. Consequently, oil in small flasks, for instance, have a special role in that ceremony. But there are also blessing boxes with locus sanctus scenes, pilgrim tokens (e.g., seafarers' tokens). For Vikan the pilgrims identified the sacred power (ἡ δύναμις) as not only being represented by special objects but also as being physically present in an object (or holy person). This belief is backed by numerous papyri that served as protective amulets, something that could have made Vikan's definition even stronger if mentioned in a footnote or an aside.1 For the amulet bearers, evil power was not abstract or theoretic dangers but these were imagined as real and almost omnipresent hazards. Sometimes pilgrims imitated saints and events in order to receive a blessing. Part of that mimesis is the use of amulets with which they tried to exercise "persuasive analogy" (28) to get protective power or healing (e.g., a late Roman gem amulet with a reaper at work was meant as a protection against back or hip pain or as a remedy). Vikan categorizes image-bearing blessings as follows: (i) Simeon Tokens (Simeon Stylites the Elder pilgrim tokens), manufactured at or in the surroundings of Simeon's shrine (a group of about 250 items); (ii) Menas flasks (produced at the site of the saint's shrine in the Maryut desert; among them a group of 150 found in Alexandria); (iii) Asia Minor flasks with a more varied iconography, slightly smaller in size (most from the west coast); (iv) the Bobbio Ampullae of Monza (four dozen pewter or lead flasks associated with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre). Above all, these last have become well known among scholars because of their rich and impressive decoration but also because of a misinterpretation that links the images with now-lost mosaics. Fine colour images accompany the descriptions so that even the uninformed readers can visualize the objects.

The next two chapters ("The Question of Authenticity", 41-44; "Iconography and Ritual", 45-58) can be regarded as explanation of the conceptions behind the objects described earlier, while in the next ("Iconography, Sacred Power, and Magic", 59-70) Vikan successfully demonstrates how sacred power was employed against evil magic on pilgrimages. Especially, images of the Magi (or at least of one Magus) and of the Adoration of the Magi itself were meant to protect the pilgrims on their way. These images were strengthened by short invocations or prayers. Other objects carry simplified references to Jesus calming the tempest on the Sea of Galilee, still others to the raising of Lazarus and to doubting Thomas. All these signify a certain type of pilgrim. There are even specific locus sanctus cycles of images (e.g., on the medals of armbands or on censers) and formulae (e.g., the famous Εἷς θεός incantation) indicating that objects could also protect against various evils at the same time.

After addressing the blessing, something the pilgrims took with them, Vikan writes about the votive, which the pilgrims left behind ("The Pilgrim's Votive", 71-78). He differentiates among (i) inscriptional votives (above all, inscriptions the pilgrims left at the shrines), (ii) image-bearing votives dedicated to a special saint, and (iii) pre-Christian votives; and he points out the connection between votives and healing at the sites. In "Pilgrims, Relics, and Icons" (79-82) Vikan once more stresses that image identity alone could gain access to sacred powers, though it took some time before that concept was accepted in Byzantium. In this context acheiropoieta, "objects not made by human hands", played an important role. Of course, the Abgar legend is a prominent textual witness to the power of such objects.2 The new epilogue ("The Arab Conquest and Beyond", pp. 83-88) at least briefly provides information about the time after the Persian raid in 614 and the Arab conquest. These two events marked the end for many pilgrimages and sites, though some of them had some sort of a revival thereafter ( especially Jerusalem and Thessalonike).

The book comes with a bibliography (95-102), a list of illustration credits (103-104), and a general index (105-109). The endnote format (89-94) ensures that the reading of the text is not disturbed by references and space is saved for images on the pages .

Vikan's book is lavishly produced, especially the beautiful illustrations. The update and expansion of his 1982 essay is very welcome and will serve as a first orientation for all those studying the Byzantine pilgrimage as represented by various types of artefacts. The book is a good read for everybody interested in the Byzantine period; it will certainly attract more attention to the fascinating world of belief, ritual, and life in Byzantine times. Technical terms and Greek words (always given in Latin script) are explained or translated into English. Scholars will find most helpful the depth and accuracy of the information provided so that they can rely on this overall depiction of "Early Byzantine Pilgrimage Art" and use it as a starting point for their own special studies. It must not be forgotten that Vikan himself has published a large number of such specialized treatments of topics and objects a selection of which can be found in his bibliography, to which the specialist is referred for more in-depth information.


1.   On p. 29 Vikan briefly touches on the field of magic papyri by referring to "magical words on papyri".
2.   Christ's towel with his image was sent to King Abgar of Edessa to guarantee the continuity of his kingdom.

(read complete article)


Sergio Audano, Giovanni Cipriani (ed.), Aspetti della Fortuna dell'Antico nella Cultura Europea: atti della settima giornata di studi, Sestri Levante, 19 marzo 2010. Echo, 1. Foggia: Edizioni il Castello, 2011. Pp. 111. ISBN 9788865720271. €10.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Beatrice Larosa, Università della Calabria (larosabeatrice@libero.it)

Version at BMCR home site

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

Edito per la prima volta dalla casa editrice Il Castello nella collana Echo, il volume comprende alcuni dei contributi presentati in occasione della VII Giornata di Studi del Centro di Studi sulla Fortuna dell'Antico, tenutasi nel marzo 2010 a Sestri Levante.

I saggi, introdotti da Sergio Audano, sono accomunati dalla trattazione di uno stesso motivo, quello del viaggio, inteso sia in senso reale, che metaforico.

Il primo articolo, curato da Giovanni Cerri, si intitola Ulisse omerico e Ulisse "meta-omerico" in Dante (pp. 19-33).

Lo studioso parte dall'analisi dell'ultima sezione dell'undicesimo libro dell'Odissea (vv. 627-637), quando Ulisse, dopo aver parlato con l'ombra di Eracle, deve desistere dal desiderio di interrogare altre anime dell'Ade se vuole salvarsi dallo sguardo pietrificante di Medusa, inviata da Persefone. Questo episodio della Nekyia presenta numerose analogie con quello di Medusa nell'Inferno dantesco (9, 52-60), sorprendenti se pensiamo che il poeta fiorentino non lesse Omero neanche in traduzione latina: dal ruolo di custode dei segreti dell'Aldilà rivestito dal mostro, al timore che una sua possibile apparizione suscita in Ulisse e Dante; dalla citazione di Teseo comune ai due brani (Od. 11, 630 ss. e Inf. 9, 54), alla visione cosmologico-religiosa ad essi sottesa, dove la Gorgone è il simbolo dei limiti imposti al sapere umano.

È probabile che Dante sia venuto a conoscenza per via indiretta del racconto dell'Odissea: Cerri riporta tre brani classici (Cicerone, Sui doveri 1, 31, 113 e Sui confini del bene e del male 5, 18, 49; Orazio, Epistole 1, 2, 23-26) che fungono da mediatori della rappresentazione dantesca di Ulisse, per la cui caratterizzazione particolarmente significativo è l'episodio relativo al canto delle Sirene, commentato da Cicerone e inteso come esperienza conoscitiva. A Dante non devono essere sfuggite le parole dell'Arpinate, secondo il quale l'eroe omerico incarna non proprio la curiositas, intesa come voglia di sapere qualsiasi cosa, quanto il desiderio di scientia, la sapienza razionale alla quale si rivolgono gli spiriti più grandi: il viaggio dantesco si rivela analogico a quello dell'eroe mitico che tuttavia, a causa della superbia d'intelletto, non raggiungerà mai la meta più alta, conquistata dal poeta con il beneficio della grazia divina. L'ansia sapienziale accomuna le due esperienze odeporiche, pur nella differenza sostanziale mediata dall'interpretazione ciceroniana: l'anelito della più alta conoscenza trova il suo completo appagamento nel viaggio dantesco, del quale quello di Odisseo rappresenta, in termini auerbachiani, la prefigurazione. Così, l'immagine dell'Ulisse meta-omerico, come eroe che si spinge ai limiti della sapienza umana, può chiarire l'origine della variante mitica presente in Inf. 26.

Il secondo contributo si intitola La Fama degli antichi e le sue trasformazioni tra Medioevo e Rinascimento e indaga le origini delle moderne raffigurazioni iconografiche del personaggio della Fama a partire dalle descrizioni presenti nella letteratura classica (pp. 35-74). L'autore, Gianni Guastella, dopo aver precisato la distanza tra l'accezione attuale del termine e quella antica, che prevedeva il duplice significato di "notorietà" e "diceria", esamina dapprima le rappresentazioni letterarie di Virgilio (Aen. 4, 173-190) e Ovidio (Met. 12, 39-63), nelle quali la prosopopea della Fama evidenzia l'ambivalenza delle informazioni trasmesse oralmente. Successivamente lo studioso approda alle riflessioni cristiane e medievali sul binomio sinonimico fama/gloria: nelle prime la vera rinomanza è connessa al rapporto con Dio (Paul., I Cor. 1. 31; II Cor. 10. 17-18); le seconde sottolineano la limitatezza e la precarietà della Fama (Boethius, De consolatione philosophiae 2, 7, 9-15 e 19; Petrarca, Triumphus temporis 112-114 e 141-145) e la privano del requisito dell'oralità/auralità a vantaggio di quello della scrittura (Boeth., cons. 2, 7, 13).

La moderna iconografia conosce la sua genesi proprio nella rappresentazione medievale del concetto di fama, così come viene illustrato nelle miniature dei manoscritti del De viris illustribus e dei Trionfi del Petrarca, nonostante manchino precise corrispondenze con il testo.

Guastella nota come le raffigurazioni di età umanistica siano caratterizzate da una serie costante di elementi (una donna regale, a volte alata, circondata da trombe, spesso inserita in un cerchio che poggia su un carro trainato da cavalli o elefanti, attorniato da un corteo di uomini famosi), la cui variata combinazione risente da un lato di fonti letterarie, come la descrizione della "Gloria mondana", contenuta nell'Amorosa visione del Boccaccio (VI, 49-75 e XII, 4-9), dall'altro di fonti iconografiche, che possono aver influenzato le stesse opere poetiche. Suggestiva, anche se non dimostrabile con certezza, è l'ipotesi secondo la quale Petrarca, i miniatori dei codici del suo testo e Boccaccio abbiano preso visione di affreschi perduti di Giotto raffiguranti cicli di "Uomini famosi". L'iconografia della Fama, così come concepita da Virgilio, è, invece, riconoscibile in rappresentazioni databili tra il XV e il XVI secolo.

Aggiungerei che i due significati di diceria e rinomanza e gli elementi derivanti da raffigurazioni petrarchesche o virgiliane trovano forse un punto d'incontro in alcune rappresentazioni della Fama contenute nell'Orlando furioso dell'Ariosto (XVIII, 96-97; XXII, 93; XXXVIII, 42-43; XL, 27).

Il terzo saggio, curato da Gabriella Moretti, si intitola Lettere dagli Antipodi: comunicazioni epistolari fantastiche fra Tiberiano e il Cymbalum mundi (pp. 77-97) ed è diverso dal contributo presentato a Sestri, con il quale tuttavia condivide la trattazione del tema degli Antipodi.

Il motivo delle lettere che giungevano da questo popolo leggendario, situato all'altro capo del mondo, conosce il suo primo riferimento nel commento serviano ad Aen. 6, 532, dove viene citata l'intestazione di un'epistola di Tiberiano (Superi inferis salutem), probabilmente contenuta in una raccolta scritta nella forma della satira menippea.

L'autrice ripercorre le più significative tappe della fortuna letteraria del tema delle terre abitate agli antipodi e dei possibili contatti epistolari con esse: dalla corrispondenza, contenuta nel Draco Normannicus (1167-1170) di Stefano di Rouen, che re Artù, sovrano degli Antipodi, intesse con il conte bretone Roland ed Enrico II, alle occorrenze del motivo delle lettere antipodiche nelle opere petrarchesche, dove ricorre un rimando preciso all'epistola tiberianea (Variae 22). Una missiva dagli Antipodi è riportata anche nel censurato Cymbalum mundi (1537), attribuito a Bonaventura Des Périers: la natura allegorica e satirica dell'operetta è riconducibile alle aspirazioni religiose che in quel periodo serpeggiavano nella cerchia di Margherita di Navarra e Francesco I.

Il quarto contributo, dal titolo Il Grand Tour e la scoperta dell'antico nel Labyrinthe du monde di Marguerite Yourcenar, è curato da Giorgetto Giorgi (pp. 99-108).

L'autore esamina l'opera memorialistica della Yourcenar alla luce del motivo eleatico dell'immutabilità e della ciclicità della storia, evidente nella narrazione, contenuta nella sezione Archives du Nord, del "Grand Tour" che, compiuto da Michel Charles, nonno paterno della scrittrice, lo porta a visitare anche l'Italia, meta ambita dall'aristocrazia europea alla fine dell'Ottocento.

In particolare, la scalata notturna dell'Etna, compiuta da Michel, ricalca le ascensioni (reali o immaginarie) del vulcano portate a termine nell'antichità classica da Empedocle e Adriano, e l'episodio dell'insabbiamento con cenere calda, per scongiurare i rischi di assideramento, è permeato da risonanze mitiche e simboliche: l'esperienza dell'avo della Yourcenar richiama quella di Demofoonte, nascosto da Demetra ogni notte nel fuoco, laddove all'immortalità conquistata dal protagonista mitico corrisponde la rinascita spirituale del giovane perbenista e borghese, il cui viaggio in Italia si profila sempre più come un percorso di formazione, capace di mettere in crisi certezze e pregiudizi. Anche la visione di opere d'arte e reperti appartenenti all'antichità romana, testimonianza di stili e concezioni di vita differenti, contribuisce alla crescita del giovane Michel.

Dalla lettura del contributo sorge spontaneo il confronto con i viaggi compiuti in Italia durante il Romanticismo, dei quali quello di Goethe rappresenta il prototipo: la contemplazione delle rovine greco-romane con spirito winckelmanniano, la scalata del Vesuvio e quella intrapresa dell'Etna sono, già qui, tappe significative di un percorso simbolico, che, intrecciandosi con mito e storia, determina la Wiedergeburt del protagonista.

Anche questo volume, che si accosta alle precedenti raccolte degli Atti sestresi, si inserisce in un filone di studi, quello sulla fortuna dell'antico, capace di suscitare interesse, grazie alla trattazione di tematiche variegate, con esiti spesso inaspettati.

Fortuna dei classici intesa quindi come riconoscimento dell'eredità di un patrimonio culturale che continua ad esistere: è da tali premesse che occorre partire, anche a livello didattico, per una rinascita dell'antico. Una via, forse la più accattivante e la più proficua, per il suo studio e la sua sopravvivenza.

Quanto all'aspetto grafico del testo, segnalo la presenza di qualche refuso di scarsa entità.

Tavola dei contenuti

Giovanni Cipriani: Prefazione, pp. 5-6

Sergio Audano: Premessa, pp. 13-17

Giovanni Cerri: Ulisse omerico e Ulisse "meta-omerico"in Dante, pp. 19-33

Gianni Guastella: La Fama degli antichi e le sue trasformazioni tra Medioevo e Rinascimento, pp. 35-74 (inclusi Riferimenti bibliografici e Immagini)

Gabriella Moretti: Lettere dagli Antipodi: comunicazioni epistolari fantastiche fra Tiberiano e il Cymbalum mundi, pp. 77-97

Giorgetto Giorgi: Il Grand Tour e la scoperta dell'antico nel Labyrinthe du monde di Marguerite Yourcenar, pp. 99-108

Indice: p. 111.

(read complete article)


Donna W. Hurley (trans.), Suetonius: The Caesars. Indianapolis/London: Hackett Publishing Company, 2011. Pp. liii, 370. ISBN 9781603843133. $14.95 (pb).

Reviewed by Gabriel P. Grabarek, Thomas Jefferson School (ggrabarek@tjs.org)

Version at BMCR home site


Donna Hurley has long been an advocate for the oft-ridiculed biographer Suetonius,1 but to her credit she has not tried to swing opinion completely to the other side of the scholarly pendulum: "Not every word that Suetonius wrote is golden" (p. vii). In this new translation of Suetonius, she set a goal and achieved it. She wanted to make Suetonius more accessible to beginners and non-specialists, and her Introduction, translation, and notes do just that. Hurley also has several sections, such as a chronological table, maps, family trees, a glossary, and a basic outline of Roman institutions, which all give the newcomer a footing in the world of Suetonius by providing "the barest minimum" (p. xxxii) of information.

aHurley's Introduction is good. She relies heavily on Pliny to give a basic outline of Suetonius the man before delving into the Caesars themselves. She sets Suetonius clearly in his chosen genre of biography, distinguished from history and epic. As she notes, "there is a difference between biographical elements embedded in history and epic and the recognition of biography as a separate genre with its own limitations and possibilities" (p. xiii). She also spends a few pages discussing the organization and style of Suetonius' work, which was very welcome to this reviewer since so few scholars even admit that Suetonius has a style. Hurley's comments and insights in the Introduction make the reading of the Caesars all the more enjoyable. She lays emphasis on the idea that Suetonius saw the personal lives of his subjects as windows into their behavior as emperors, both good and bad. This is why Suetonius spends so much time discussing personal issues such as greed, sexuality, and diet and thus brings to light the fundamental character of each emperor as he saw it. "The Caesars inspire comparison with cubist painting. Virtues and vices stick out at odd angles, a bit like arms and legs in a Picasso" (p. xxiv).

The mention of virtue and vice, however, brings up an issue with the Introduction: the absence of Plutarch. Perhaps Hurley thought that delving into Plutarch would open up a can of worms in a book intended for novices, but her thoughts and ideas on Suetonius' intentions when writing the Caesars align quite nicely with what many have argued are the intentions of Plutarch's Parallel Lives. Suetonius' portrayal of the cruelty and licentiousness of Tiberius mirrors the image of Antony, for example, in Plutarch's Life of Antony. A discussion of these near contemporaries could have added some substance and variety to Hurley's overall argument. A section dedicated solely to the almost ubiquitous appearance of omens and portents in the Caesars would have been useful as well. Suetonius relies on these heavily to get across his arguments of virtue and vice, and without explanation they can become mundane and tedious.

The translation itself follows Suetonius' Latin very closely, with minimal embellishment by Hurley. As she notes, "This translation has not attempted to impose more style on the text than the Latin has but to offer a readable and serviceable text in contemporary American English" (p. xxx). Hurley understands that Suetonius is not a flashy, smooth author. Thus her translation can, at times, require a second reading, but this is the fault of Suetonius and not of Hurley. Her respect for Suetonius' text is revealed when her translation is compared to the common one of Robert Graves, which was later edited by Michael Grant because Graves "did not aim at producing a precise translation."2 For example, Graves changed sesterces to "gold pieces", toga virilis to "coming of age", and optimates to "the senatorial party". Hurley keeps sesterces and optimates, translates toga virilis as "toga of manhood", and explains all three terms in the Glossary. This may not seem like much, but terms such as these can spark quality discussions in the classroom and should not be anglicized. In terms of respecting Suetonius' style, a key sentence from the Augustus demonstrates Hurley's precision. Chapter Nine of the Life begins, Proposita vitae eius velut summa, partes singillatim neque per tempora sed per species exsequar, quo distinctius demonstrari cognoscique possint. Graves translates this, "After this brief outline of Augustus' life, I shall fill in its various phases; but the story will be more readable and understandable if, instead of keeping chronological order, I use subject headings." Hurley's translation adds no extra phrasing and stays truer to the word order. "Having set forth, as it were, this summary of his life, I shall go through the details of it, not according to chronology but by topic, so that they can be more clearly brought to light and understood" (p. 54).

Next to the introduction, the most valuable part of this book is the footnotes throughout the translation. Hurley never lost sight of her intended audience, and so the footnotes go a long way towards allowing the reader to read continuously without getting bogged down in names, dates, or turns of phrase. Hurley is constantly identifying people whom Suetonius assumes the reader would know, and, since Suetonius does not write each life straight forward from birth till death, Hurley's dates kept even this reviewer, a diligent student of Roman history, from becoming lost and confused. Especially useful are her explanations of jokes, puns, and insults. For example, in Nero, while Suetonius is discussing Nero's involvement in the death of his uncle Claudius, Suetonius says, "He would joke that Claudius had stopped "lingering" among his fellow men, lengthening the first syllable of the verb." This would mean absolutely nothing to a non-Classicist and probably many Classicists would not get the joke either, but Hurley's note explains it. "The Latin word for "linger" differs in sound from the Greek word for "play the fool" only in the length of its first vowel" (p. 249).

All in all, Hurley's new edition of Suetonius is a must-have for anyone who wants easy access to a biographer whose work spans the most critical years of Roman history.


1.   See Hurley, D. W., ed. An Historical and Historiographical Commentary on Suetonius' "Life of C. Caligula." American Classical Studies 32. Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1993, and Hurley, D. W., ed. Suetonius: Divus Claudius. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001.
2.   Graves, R., trans. Lives Of The Twelve Caesars: Suetonius (New York: Welcome Rain Publishers, 2000) pp. 8-9.

(read complete article)


Ronald Mellor, Tacitus' Annals. Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pp. vii, 255. ISBN 9780195151930. $19.95 (pb).

Reviewed by Salvador Bartera, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (sbartera@utk.edu)

Version at BMCR home site


R. Mellor's Tacitus' Annals1 appears in the Oxford Approaches to Classical Literature series, which is aimed at general readers with little or no knowledge of Latin and Greek. Authors, therefore, are asked to avoid scholarly debate and instead contribute their own "personal assessment." Mellor had already written a similar book.2 The one under review, which focuses on the Annals alone, will find its place alongside that of R. Ash.3

The book consists of ten chapters: the first five set the scene for Tacitus as a historian; the others are devoted to the Tiberian books, imperial women, the familia of the Caesars, the Claudian and Neronian books, and the influence of the Annals in the western tradition. The book is preceded by a short introduction and ends with the family tree of the Julio-Claudians, a map of the Roman Empire, a guide to Prominent Persons,4 a section on Further Reading, a list of Works Cited, and a general Index (of names, key-terms and cited passages).

In the first chapter, Mellor briefly provides Tacitus' background, and introduces the works that Tacitus published before the Annals. Mellor's analysis is clear, but the complete lack of reference to scholarly debate makes one wonder at times whether this approach will in fact benefit novices, who will be left completely unaware that some elements of Tacitus' biography are uncertain, that Histories and Annals probably consisted of twelve and eighteen books respectively, or that the Agricola is not just Tacitus' laudatio for his father-in-law.

The second chapter analyzes Tacitus' sources. It is well structured, and Mellor's reading of the senate decree on Piso's trial and Tacitus' treatment in Annals 3 is helpful and easy to follow. Mellor does a good job of explaining Tacitus' engagement with and use of the historical sources at his disposal. Once again, however, readers will have no idea of the enormous debate behind this topic, nor will they be directed to any further reading.

The third chapter is one of the most useful for the intended audience of the book, especially since there is no comparable treatment for non-specialists in other books on Tacitus. Mellor explains Tacitus' (and, more broadly, Roman) attitudes towards different ethnic groups, barbarians of the west (Germans, Gauls, and Britons) and Easterners (mostly Greeks and Jews), supporting his account with appropriate passages from Tacitus' output. Tacitus' xenophobia, Mellor argues, was not driven by hatred for any special group (certainly he was not anti-Semitic): his prejudices are in line with widespread ancient feelings for the other. Tacitus had understood the dangerous influences from the outside, and his extreme hostility towards the Greeks, Mellor suggests, was a result of the perverse hellenization of the Roman court and the philhellenism of emperors like Caligula and Nero.

The best chapter of the book is surely the fourth.5 Mellor challenges the traditional view of Tacitus as "the greatest painter of antiquity." Tacitus, Mellor suggests, certainly displays vividness in his descriptions, but this vividness is rarely, if ever, achieved through pictorial descriptions. Tacitus offers dramatic representations not through the description of physical reality, but rather through character development and psychological analysis. His language is rarely purely ornamental, and even if, at times he seems to offer a dark picture of an event, such darkness is achieved not with visual, but with narrative devices. The mutinies of the legions in Annals 1-2 are the focus of Mellor's reading. It is a pity, however, that no passage from the Nero books has been considered.

The fifth chapter is devoted to a major theme of the Annals: the loss of freedom. Mellor provides an interesting analysis, drawing examples from the Agricola and Histories as well, but of course emphasizing the Tiberian narrative, with the episode of Cremutius Cordus at center stage. There is very little about Nero apart from a cursory mention of the illustrious men who fell towards the end of his reign. Mellor's good comments on Tacitus are also fittingly introduced by a brief survey on the concept of freedom in Rome before the empire, and glossed with several references to modern interpretations of Tacitus, which students, in particular, will find useful.

Chapter six covers the Tiberian narrative. Mellor focuses on the opening chapters of Book 1, on Tacitus' judgment of the Augustan age, on the conflict between Tiberius and his adopted son Germanicus, and on the rise and fall of Sejanus. Mellor does justice to Tacitus' psychological characterization of the emperor, pointing out that the modern picture of Tiberius, and of the Julio-Claudians in general, owes much to Tacitus' narrative, through whose lens we must judge the early empire. I found particularly useful Mellor's emphasis on Tiberius' family relationships with his mother, stepfather, charming brother and despised wife. These characters contribute to a better understanding of the deceitful nature of the Tacitean Tiberius, who, as Mellor justly recognizes, is the greatest victim of the tragic narrative of Annals 1-6.

The seventh chapter is a survey of Julio-Claudian women: Livia, Messalina, the two Agrippinas, but also Julia (Augustus' daughter), the two Octavias (both Augustus' sister and Nero's first wife), and Poppaea. The individual analyses are framed by remarks on the attitude of Tacitus (and Romans) towards women in general. The most interesting treatment is of the younger Agrippina, whose character portrayal, as Mellor justly points out, owes much to rhetorical characterization of evil women in antiquity. This chapter is, however, overall a little disappointing: the individual sections feel disconnected, and there is substantial repetition and overlap. Also in the section on the younger Agrippina, which is enjoyable, Mellor emphasizes only the negative qualities, without mentioning, for example, her decision to choose Seneca and Burrus to guide her young son (this is mentioned, in a different context, in the following chapter), or the fact that her overbearing presence, at least in the beginning, must have been a consequence of Nero's inexperience and young age.

Chapter eight is broad in its scope, but it also drags a little. After a brief introduction on the concepts of slave, freedman and patron, and useful remarks on the intellectual abilities that many freedmen, who were often prisoners of war, displayed, Mellor analyzes in detail the role of freedmen at the court of the Caesars, focusing on Claudius and Nero, and surveying the two most influential of these courtiers, Narcissus and Pallas. After a very short and unhelpful section on eunuchs, there is a nice section on the central role of poison and poisoners at the imperial court. The last part of the chapter is devoted to "intellectuals" (broadly conceived), of whom, Mellor suggests, Tacitus was often suspicious. If this can be true of people like Thrasyllus, the same surely does not apply to Seneca or Petronius. It is a pity that the Stoics, who are mentioned in other chapters, are neglected here. My main objection to chapter eight is not so much to its content (each section, individually taken, can be useful) as to its coherence. A courtier like Narcissus and a pseudo-intellectual like Thrasyllus cannot be put in the same category as Seneca and Petronius.

In the next chapter, Mellor takes into consideration the later books of the Annals, emphasizing the theatricality of Roman politics, which culminated in the reign of Nero, whose love for shows is interestingly linked to his ancestors Germanicus and the elder Agrippina, the most theatrical characters of the Tiberian narrative. Of the reign of Claudius, Mellor comments on the emperor's famous speech concerning the Gauls, comparing Tacitus' composition with the inscription that has fortunately preserved the actual speech.6 Mellor surveys the excesses of Nero detailed by Tacitus, from the murder of Agrippina to that of Seneca, from his stage performances to the conspiracy of Piso.7

The last chapter is on Tacitus' Nachleben. In this tour de force, Mellor traces the influence of the Annals since their rediscovery in the Renaissance. Tacitus and Machiavelli, who were often associated in the political debate, had an enormous importance in the cultural environment of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries especially. Mellor provides a broad analysis, which covers all the historical periods up to the twentieth century, from the Reformation to the Ancient Régime, from Tudor-Stuart England to the Age of Revolutions.8

Books written for a general reader, especially when they deal with a big topic like Tacitus' Annals, are difficult to write and to assess. This book mainly achieves its purpose, but with some limitations. Although it is not intended for specialists, some features left me a little perplexed.9 The bibliography is rather selective. Conspicuous by their absence are e.g. F.R.D. Goodyear, Tacitus. G&R New Surveys in the Classics No. 4: Oxford, 1970; J. Ginsburg, Tradition and Theme in the Annals of Tacitus. New York, 1981; and Herbert Benario's bibliographical surveys in CW 1964-2005. Even non-specialists, I believe, should at least be informed that there are scholarly commentaries on the Annals. On the other hand, one finds, among "accessible books" on the Annals, E. O'Gorman, Irony and Misreading in the Annals of Tacitus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, which is in fact anything but accessible. Woodman's Cambridge Companion to Tacitus (2009) should have been referred to.

With these minor reservations, which can also be imputed to personal taste, Mellor's book is satisfying overall for the type of readership it is conceived for. It does tend to oversimplify, but in the end the general reader, especially if Latinless, does not want to be bothered by scholarly subtleties or excessive footnotes.10


1.   This book was first published in 2010, at least according to the OUP-USA web-site. The copy I first received from BMCR (January 2011), however, shows 2011. In March 2011, OUP informed the editor of BMCR that, owing to some misquotations and typos, a corrected edition would be printed. I received this reprint in June 2011. I must note, however, that the reprint shows both the 2011 and 2010 dates (on different pages), and nowhere does it acknowledge that this is a corrected reprint. I based my review on this reprint.
2.   Tacitus. New York and London, 1993. See BMCR 04.03.30.
3.   Tacitus. London, 2006. See BMCR 2007.02.13. Ash's book, however, is not mentioned in Mellor's.
4.   It is unclear why the author, in this section, decided to include e.g. Plutarch and Livy, but not e.g. Suetonius and Cassius Dio.
5.   At p. 63, B. Alamos de Barrientos is indicated as the first translator of the Annals into Spanish (1614). The translation of E. Sueyro, however, seems to have appeared the year before: see Saúl Martínez Bermejo, Translating Tacitus. Diss.: Pisa, 2010. Mellor could not have seen this.
6.   At p. 179, Mellor implies a link between Claudius' clemency in pardoning Caractacus (50 C.E.) and Seneca's famous dialogue. In fact, Seneca's De clementia, addressed to Nero, appeared a few years later: see S. Braund, Seneca De Clementia. Oxford, 2009, 16-17.
7.   Since Mellor points out the theatricality of the conspiracy, and that Tacitus' treatment is in line with traditional conspiracy narratives, a reference to Pagán would have been useful: V. E. Pagán, Conspiracy Narratives in Roman History. Austin, 2004.
8.   This topic has generated a large bibliography. Mellor cites the major contributions here, but of course he has written an entire book on this topic (cited on p. 238), to which readers can refer for an exhaustive bibliography.
9.   Corbulo, for example, is never mentioned.
10.   The corrected reprint is virtually typo-free, save for the following: p. 49 (14, 37, 1-2), line 5, "Thereare"; p. 116 "nNo"; at p. 142, Poppaea's death should be 65 C.E.; at p. 149, for "Silanus" read "Silius"; at p. 189 n. 10, for Edwards (2002) read (1993); at p. 238, read Tacitus: the Classical Heritage.

(read complete article)


Bernard Deforge, Une vie avec Eschyle. Vérité des mythes. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2010. Pp. 304. ISBN 9782251324586. €35.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Antonella Candio, Pisa (candianto@gmail.com)

Version at BMCR home site

"D'une certaine façon j'ai passé ma vie avec Eschyle." The first words of the introduction well represent the spirit of Bernard Deforge's volume, which provides the reader with a meaningful synthesis of the career of the author and of his relationship with Aeschylean tragic poetry. Deforge has dedicated some major contributions to Aeschylean drama, among them the translations with L. Bardollet (1975) and with F. Jouan (2001), and the essays Eschyle, poète cosmique (1986) and Le festival des cadavres. Morts et mises à mort dans la tragédie grecque (1997).

In this work, Deforge asserts his lifelong interest in the Athenian dramatist, by collecting in a section entitled Eschyleia sixteen articles written between 1983 and 2008 to which he adds a significant personal final section (Une vie avec Eschyle), where he chronicles the steps of his own intellectual and scientific training, marked by an uninterrupted symbiosis with Aeschylean tragedy. His continuous and pervasive interest in Aeschylus has been constantly cultivated, often coming back to topics already addressed in the past, maybe in the form of a closer examination, a better focusing or a correction. According to Deforge the most significant elements of Aeschylean production are represented by his capacity for revealing the secret connections on which processes of the world are based, his strong religious inspiration, the synthesis and transmission of the cultural heritage of the Near East, of which Aeschylus represented the true "passeur culturel" into the Western world and finally the great innovative power of the mise-en-scène.

In the first essay (Fonctions du mythe chez Eschyle) Deforge demonstrates how Aeschylus not only contributed to developping and transmitting the myths as narrated events, but transformed them in a way to interpret reality and to enlarge the spatial and temporal boundaries of the story, by introducing evocative speeches that recall past events and announce future ones. He also inserts lively details of distant places, both real and divine.

The contacts with the oriental tradition are emphasized in the second essay, where Deforge shows how the three Aeschylean plays dedicated to the myth of Glaukos could be reconducted to the same Cretan roots. The most evocative feature of this contribution is the final connection between some traits of the Hellenic story of Glaukos and the Gilgamesh poem.

The author's interest in the (often hypothetical) reconstruction of tetralogies, even when it depends on slight and often enigmatic fragments, is visible in the third essay, where Deforge tries to reconstruct a tetralogy of Argonautic subjects.

The fourth essay (Pauvre Eschyle. Réflexion sur un livre d'Ismaïl Kadaré ) is dedicated to a question of literary criticism: Deforge defends the greatness and value of Aeschylus, deflecting the negative light that a volume published in 1988 by I. Kadaré would cast on him.

One of strengths of the first section of the book is the in-depth examination of the so-called "structure thématique du voyage" presented in the essay Eschyle et la terre divine. Dealing with the description of the beacon journey in the first episode of the Agamemnon, Deforge underlines Aeschylus' ability in merging realistic descriptions with the mention of imaginary places, in order to make his geography wonderful, evocative and highly symbolic. This is the case, for example, in Ag. 281-311, where the amazing description of the journey of the beacon develops in two stages: from Troy to Argos the fire is transmitted through more and more contracted stages in order to produce an impression of speed; on the other hand, when the flame approaches places more familiar to the audience (from Mt. Cithaeron on), the insertion of geographic denominations with a magical and symbolic flavor enhances the wonder of the fire transmission, in spite of a slower speed.

In Un mythe politique babylonien à la source du mythe des Sept (n.6), Deforge attempts an interpretation of the Seven against Thebes. He approaches the play from an uncommon point of view, calling attention to strong points of convergence between the Seven against Thebes and an ancient Babylonian poem. His analysis is not limited to the content of the play, but also explores the cultural exchanges between the two different geographical areas.

The essay La mort tragique ou tuer n'est pas jouer (n.7) introduces another one of Deforge's most interesting arguments. In the steps of W. Burkert1, the author argues that the taboo of the death on stage was not active in the Greek classical theatre. The idea of the existence of such a prohibition arose as a consequence of the aesthetic and moralistic preoccupations of later critics, and of a factitious reading of Aristotle's Poetics. Death on stage was possible and sometimes fundamental for the spectacle, but was largely avoided by the dramatists, since it was not easy to represent. Even in this case, Aeschylus found an optimal solution to amplify the effect of the unseen murderous acts, through the invention of extra-scenic screams and a masterful use of messenger speeches.

In the eighth article Deforge widens his research perspective, focusing on Ajax's death on stage: a careful scenic commentary of Sophocles' Ajax, beginning from l. 646, shows how the visual impact of the announced suicide is enhanced by the particular relationship of the hero with his sword, here not a mere accessory but a companion in misfortune and a magical object.

The study Le cadavre en morceaux (n.9) defines Deforge's view about the dramatic festivals, labelled by him as "festivals des cadavres" because of the high number of dead bodies present on scene in the extant tragedies. In Deforge's perspective the tragic plays, whose origin must be reconducted to ancient funerary rites and sacrificial practices connected with Dionysiac cult, were created to exhibit death to the audience. He admits however that the only trace of a Dionysiac and sacrificial cult represented on stage can be found in Euripides' Bacchae.

The tenth chapter deals with the dramatic function of childrens on stage. Aeschylus is not a primary subject here, since in his plays childrens are mentioned only in narrative sections. A thorough review of the relevant Sophoclean and Euripidean scenes shows how they were not a merely silent, instrumental presence (e.g. a child who helps an old man walking), but contributed to emphasize the emotional content of a situation and could be a powerful mean to call the audience's attention to the connection between different scenes (for example Eurysaces, who is a simple supporting presence in the first episode of the Ajax, becomes the focus of the final scene). They were also used to amplify the perception of an imminent danger or of horror in the case of a violent crime.

In Eschyle l'Etnéen (n.11) Deforge underlines the presence and the symbolic influence of the topic of the island in Aeschylus' production. His analysis of the Aetnaeae highlights the contacts of the poet, both in the historical and in the literary dimension, with Sicily, presented as a source of poetic and religious inspiration.

Deforge's study of the dramatic structure of the Choephori (n. 12) aims to highlight the innovative structure of this drama "d'action et d'intrigue", in which Aeschylus introduces new features like the recognition scene, the nightmare foreshadowing evil, the vengeance accomplished through a double murder, the denunciation of the dead bodies. He also analyzes the relationship of the two Electra plays of Euripides and Sophocles with the Aeschylean model. Euripides, though largely following Aeschylean suggestions, makes a completely different scenic choice by focusing on Electra's humiliation, ridiculing the mechanism of the recognition and displacing Aegisthus' murder to extrascenic space. He also introduces in the plot the intriguing element of Electra's pregnancy. The Electra of Sophocles is judged by Deforge dramatically weaker than the model, with the exception of the final 120 lines, where, in a very small lapse of time, we find an incredible escalation of violence, that brings us to the accomplishment of the revenge.

In the thirteenth study (Œdipe eschyléen) Deforge draws the picture of the Aeschylean contribution to the transmission of the Œdipus myth, of which the poet offers a re-shaped and re-elaborated version that can be reconstructed through the analysis of the Seven against Thebes.

In essay n. 14 Deforge focuses on the poétique du corps in the Persians, whose peculiarity is given by the fact that, though death is not directly represented, two 'dead' characters are on stage: the ghost of Darius and the quasi-dead Xerxes. A feeling of death is pervasively present in this tragedy: the interaction between the evocation of the defeat and a series of contrasting elements (the memory of the glorious past opposed to the anguish of the Chorus) increase the pain of the return of Xerxes. Within this framework, the body of Xerxes, whose dress, previously richly decorated , is now torn and lacerated, plays a primary role. The motif of tearing dresses into pieces is present from the beginning of the tragedy: it is an element of the prophetic dream which marks the fear of Atossa for the future. The emphasis given to the images of laceration creates a deep identification between Xerxes and his wounded army, which is invisible because it has been destroyed far away.

In the fifteenth study, Deforge analyzes the different phases of Io's history, a complex genealogical and historical myth which can be read as a as a fusion and a synthesis between myths of Near East and Greece. Two Aeschylean plays develop themes that can be traced back to time-old Eastern wisdom: Io's wanderings are the core of the Suppliants, a tragedy with a great exotic atmosphere, and the Prometheus Bound, where the scenery is a primordial land without boundaries.

In the last article (La Grèce ancienne: héritage et devenir des pensées mythico-symboliques du monde méditerranéen. Le rôle crucial et méconnu d'Eschyle), starting from the researches of Ph. Descola2, Deforge tries to find in the aeschylean tragedies some traces that can cast light on an archaic level of the perception of reality, where the nature is free and uncorrupted by cultural pressures. In the theatre of Aeschylus, the remnants of this ancient world are dreams, forebodings, curses, the power of the dead and the so-called mots concepts (like Ate, Dike, Moira).

In the final section of the book (Une vie avec Eschyle) Deforge remembers his educational and intellectual training. This section is very pleasant to read, and it is pervaded by the author's great passion for classical studies and the fortunes of ancient texts. The pages where the author narrates private events with great freshness and vividness depict a career lived with dedication, enthusiasm, respect for his teachers and hope for the future.

The book analyzes various aspects of Aeschylean poetry and raises many interesting issues which make it appealing for the reader. Its strongest points of interest are represented by the search for the historical and geographical elements in the text and by the author's ability in establishing connections between the Greek tradition and the wisdom of the Near East, so spatially close to the Greek world. Deforge casts a brand new light on usually submerged, but very stimulating relationships. Even though not everyone will necessarily agree on every point, Deforge's suggestions are always well argued and offer a good starting point for scholars willing to broaden their perspectives in the field.

This tenacious effort deserves great appreciation. Aeschylean scholars will be certainly grateful to Bernard Deforge for having collected in one easily accessible volume his lifelong research.

Table of contents

I. Eschyleia
1. Fonctions du mythe chez Eschyle (2001)
2. Le destin de Glaucos ou l'immortalité par les plantes (1983)
3. Eschyle et la légende des Argonautes (1987)
4. Pauvre Eschyle. Réflexions sur un livre d'Ismaïl Kadaré (1988)
5. Eschyle et la terre divine (1988)
6. Un mythe politique babylonien à la source du mythe des Sept (1990)
7. La mort tragique ou tuer n'est pas jouer (1995)
8. Le glaive d'Ajax (1995)
9. Le cadavre en morceaux (1998)
10. Les enfants tragiques (1995)
11. Eschyle l'Etnéen (1996)
12. Le modèle des Choéphores. Contribution à la réflexion sur le trois «Électre» (1997)
13. Œdipe eschyléen (1999)
14. Poétique du corps dans le Perses d'Eschyle. Corps déchiquetés et haillons (2008)
15. La main de Zeus. Polysémie poétique et mémoire mythique (2008)
16.La Grèce ancienne: héritage et devenir des pensées mythico-symboliques du monde méditerranéen. Le rôle crucial et méconnu d'Eschyle (2008)

II. Une vie avec Eschyle

III. Envoi

IV. Bibliographie de l'auteur


1.   See, e.g. W. Burkert, Greek Tragedy and sacrificial ritual, GRBS 7, 1966, 87-121, but Deforge's view is influenced by the whole production of W. Burkert about myth and sacrifice.
2.   Ph. Descola, Par-delà nature et culture, Paris, 2005.

(read complete article)

Monday, August 22, 2011


Vasiliki M. Limberis, Architects of Piety: The Cappadocian Fathers and the Cult of the Martyrs. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Pp. xviii, 232. ISBN 9780199730889. $74.00.

Reviewed by Matthieu Cassin, Fondation Thiers – IRHT (CNRS, Paris) (matthieu.cassin@irht.cnrs.fr)

Version at BMCR home site


L'ouvrage de Vasiliki M. Limberis se présente comme une enquête sur les différents aspects du culte des martyrs dans la prédication des Pères Cappadociens (Basile de Césarée, Grégoire de Nazianze, Grégoire de Nysse), et plus largement dans leur théologie et dans leur pratique pastorale et ecclésiale.

Après une introduction assez brève, et dépourvue de tout état de la question traitée, le livre est organisé en quatre chapitres. Le premier est consacré à un panorama d'ensemble de la place des martyrs dans la Cappadoce de la fin du IVe siècle, et en particulier à la forme traditionnelle de la célébration annuelle de leur culte (πανήγυρις), à la place des martyrs dans l'œuvre des Cappadociens, ainsi qu'à un rapide état des lieux des martyrs connus et célébrés en Cappadoce à l'époque. Le deuxième chapitre concerne l'architecture des lieux liés au culte des martyrs, sous le double aspect de la description oratoire (ekphrasis) et des constructions réalisées par les Cappadociens. Le troisième porte sur les liens et les réseaux familiaux, et sur l'intégration des martyrs dans les lignées ecclésiales par les trois évêques, afin d'en capter la légitimité. Le dernier chapitre se place délibérément dans la perspective des études sur le genre (gender studies) et envisage les traits propres à la position des Cappadociens sur le genre, en particulier dans le cadre des textes consacrés aux martyrs. Une très brève conclusion, suivie d'une bibliographie et d'un index général, viennent clore le volume.

Étant donné les nombreux textes, essentiellement des homélies, que les Cappadociens ont produits en lien avec les martyrs, le sujet d'un tel livre ne peut que retenir l'attention et susciter l'intérêt et l'espoir du lecteur. Disons de suite que cet espoir est malheureusement déçu. En effet, des problèmes méthodologiques viennent miner de bout en bout la portée de l'étude, et de nombreuses erreurs factuelles en rendent difficilement utilisables même des éléments isolés.

Un premier point est presque à lui seul dirimant : du début à la fin du livre, la confusion est complète entre martyr et saint. Dès l'introduction, l'exemple moderne de saint Jean de Russie († 1730) est pris comme exemple type des processus étudiés ensuite pour l'Antiquité tardive, et en particulier de l'importance du culte martyrial pour les simples fidèles ; or ce saint n'a jamais subi le martyre. Une telle imprécision ne serait que de peu d'importance si on ne la retrouvait dans l'ouvrage lui-même : ainsi Grégoire le Thaumaturge est-il toujours présenté comme un martyr – ce qu'il n'est pas – voire comme le type même du martyr cappadocien, à l'exception d'une brève précaution qui n'intervient que dans la seconde moitié du livre (p. 135) et qui demeure sans suite. Une telle confusion est d'autant plus dommageable que la seconde moitié du IVe siècle est précisément la période où se fait la transition entre une sainteté qui équivaut quasiment au statut de martyr – ou du moins à celui de confesseur – et une sainteté non martyriale, du fait de la fin des persécutions. En outre, l'étude consacrée à l'application du modèle de sainteté à la lignée familiale laisse étrangement de côté la génération des grands-parents de Basile et de Grégoire de Nysse (rapidement évoquée p. 111-112), alors même que leur appartenance à la dernière génération de persécutions, et leur statut de confesseurs, voire de martyrs (lignée maternelle), leur permet précisément de jouer le rôle de pivot entre les martyrs et les saints contemporains que sont appelés à devenir Basile, Macrine ou Naucratios sous la plume de leur frère Grégoire.

En deuxième lieu, l'auteur se laisse presque aveugler par son objet, au point de présenter une religion qui équivaut tout entière au culte des martyrs. L'étude, à force de se concentrer sur son thème, perd totalement de vue d'autres aspects de la prédication et de l'action pastorale des Cappadociens : l'année liturgique semble réduite, pour V. M. Limberis, au sanctoral, lui-même équivalent aux mémoires des martyrs, si bien que toute la prédication consacrée aux fêtes du Seigneur, pourtant au moins aussi abondante, est laissée de côté, tout comme les homélies qui échappent à ces deux cadres. L'auteur présente en effet la piété martyriale comme la seule piété populaire et véritable, sans même soulever la question de l'implication des fidèles dans le cycle liturgique principal, consacré à l'économie du Christ. À supposer qu'une telle hypothèse soit vérifiée – ce qui est fort douteux – il paraît à tout le moins difficile de la présenter comme une réalité incontestée. Or, dans la mesure où V. M. Limberis affiche précisément le projet de mettre au jour le rôle de la piété martyriale dans la définition du christianisme cappadocien (cf. p. 7, « Rather, this book demonstrates how thoroughly martyr piety defined Christianity for the Cappadocian Fathers and the laity »), l'absence de toute mesure réelle de la place de ce type de piété à l'intérieur du cadre d'ensemble du christianisme en Cappadoce rend l'entreprise sans fondement. Est-il besoin d'ajouter qu'à aucun moment l'auteur ne précise quels sont les traits propres au milieu et à la région qu'elle étudie, voire aux trois auteurs considérés, et quels sont au contraire les éléments communs à tout le monde chrétien, ou à celui de la Méditerranée orientale, ou à toute autre de ses subdivisions ? De ce fait, le projet de définition du rôle exemplaire de la piété martyriale et de ses utilisateurs supposés, Basile et les deux Grégoire, reste en suspens.

De telles difficultés ne seraient pas sans échappatoires si elles n'étaient pas redoublées par des choix méthodologiques et des lacunes bibliographiques dommageables, sans même parler d'erreurs factuelles. Tout d'abord, l'auteur choisit d'utiliser des traductions facilement accessibles – et en particulier des traductions disponibles en ligne, quelle que soit leur date et le texte grec sur lequel elles se fondent. Un tel parti-pris la conduit à laisser de côté des traductions récentes fondées sur un texte meilleur, par exemple celle d'A. Silvas, pour la Vie de Macrine, que V. M. Limberis connaît, puisqu'elle cite l'ouvrage en bibliographie, mais dont elle semble ignorer qu'il comporte une traduction de cette œuvre nysséenne ainsi que du dialogue Sur l'âme et la résurrection, ou celle de la même traductrice pour les Lettres.1 Si quelques éditions critiques des œuvres de Grégoire de Nysse, dans la collection des Gregorii Nysseni opera, sont connues, bien d'autres sont ignorées alors même qu'elles sont parues dans la même collection. Il est également pour le moins surprenant de trouver un simple renvoi à un numéro du TLG en guise d'édition.

La seconde section de la bibliographie, consacrée à la littérature secondaire, n'est pas plus satisfaisante : pour une telle étude, on comprend difficilement que l'ouvrage fondamental que S. Métivier a consacré en 2005 à la Cappadoce tardo-antique soit ignoré, alors même qu'il fait une large place aux trois Cappadociens et comporte une section (p. 305-322) explicitement consacrée au « Culte des martyrs et lieux saints en Cappadoce ».2 On s'étonne également que, des nombreuses et importantes publications de J. Leemans sur les homélies sur les martyrs de Grégoire de Nysse, V. M. Limberis ne connaisse que l'ouvrage collectif Let Us Die That We May Live ; si la thèse de doctorat de J. Leemans, rédigée en néerlandais (Meer dan een herinnering. Een historisch-literaire studie van de martelaarsencomia van Gregorius van Nyssa, met een bijzondere aandacht voor de Lofrede op Theodorus), peut être difficile d'accès, ce n'est pas le cas des nombreux articles que l'auteur a depuis consacrés à divers aspects de ces homélies.3 Il est à peine besoin d'ajouter que V. M. Limberis considère comme évidente et non contestée la chronologie des Cappadociens, et y ajoute des hypothèses personnelles sans éprouver le besoin de les justifier, alors même qu'elles ne s'accordent pas avec les différentes positions exprimées jusqu'à ce jour (voir par exemple p. 117 et n. 76). Énumérer toutes les lacunes bibliographiques, même les plus importantes, dépasserait le cadre de cette recension.

Signalons enfin plusieurs erreurs de divers ordres, qui minent le crédit de l'ouvrage même dans les détails. Dès le début du livre, V. M. Limberis fait mention à deux reprises du centurion présent au pied de la Croix, qui a reconnu alors la divinité du Christ (p. 31 et 38) ; or, dans les deux cas, la référence (On Pilgrimage, NPNF, vol. 5, 382, c'est-à-dire la célèbre Lettre 2) est erronée : l'unique mention du centurion se trouve en fait dans la Lettre 17, 15, et n'intervient donc absolument pas dans le contexte du rejet des pèlerinages en Terre sainte au profit de la Cappadoce, comme le voudrait l'auteur, mais dans une lettre aux prêtres de Nicomédie, où il s'agit de montrer que le rang social et la richesse ne sont pas importants pour les charges ecclésiastiques. Ni dans ce texte, ni dans l'homélie de Basile alléguée (p. 38, n. 153 : In Gordium martyrem, 7), il n'est question du martyre du centurion, contrairement à l'affirmation de V. M. Limberis, qui en fait au contraire le paradigme de l'importance accordée par les Cappadociens au martyre plus qu'aux liens directs et historiques avec Jésus-Christ. Est-il encore besoin d'ajouter à cette liste la confusion (p. 115) entre la Philocalie d'Origène attribuée à Grégoire de Nazianze et Basile de Césarée et la Philocalie des Pères neptiques due à Nicodème l'Agiorite et Macaire de Corinthe, et publiée pour la première fois en 1782 ? Ou la mention suivante, qui se passe de commentaire : « Gregory of Nyssa was not yet bishop of Sasima » (p. 120, n. 81) ?

Étant donné l'importance des textes cappadociens sur les martyrs, et l'importance non moins grande du culte des saints, à un moment où se fait la transition entre un sanctoral peuplé dans sa grande majorité de martyrs et un sanctoral qui intègre d'autres types de saints, on ne peut que regretter qu'un tel traitement ait été réservé à ce sujet.


1.   A. M. Silvas, Macrina the Younger, Philosopher of God (Medieval Women : Texts and Contexts 22), Turnhout, 2008 ; Gregory of Nyssa : the Letters (Supplements to Vigiliae christianae 83), Leiden, Boston, 2007.
2.   S. Métivier, La Cappadoce (IVe-VIe siècle). Une histoire provinciale de l'Empire romain d'Orient(Byzantina Sorbonensia 22), Paris, 2005.
3.   Voir par exemple J. Leemans, « Schoolrooms for Our Souls. Homilies and Visual Reprensentations : the Cult of the Martyrs as a Locus for Religious Education in Late Antiquity », dans The Challenge of the Visual in the History of Education, éd. M. Depaepe, B. Henkens, (Paedagogica Historica – Supplementary Series 6), Gent, 2000, p. 113-131 ; « On the Date of Gregory of Nyssa's first Homilies on the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste (Ia and Ib) », Journal of Theological Studies 52, 2001, p. 92-97 ; « Style and Meaning in Gregory of Nyssa's Panegyrics on Martyrs », Ephemeridae Theologicae Lovanienses 81, 2005, p. 109-129 ; « Grégoire de Nysse et Julien l'Apostat. Polémique antipaïenne et identité chrétienne dans le Panégyrique de Théodore », Revue des études augustiniennes 53, 2007, p. 15-33 ; « Preaching and the Arian Controversy : Orthodoxy and Heresy in Gregory of Nyssa's Sermons », Journal of Eastern Christian Studies 60, 2008, p. 127-143 ; « Job et les autres. L'usage des Écritures dans les panégyriques sur les martyrs par Grégoire de Nysse », dans Grégoire de Nysse : la Bible dans la construction de son discours. Actes du colloque de Paris, 9-10 février 2007, éd. M. Cassin, H. Grelier, (Études augustiniennes, série Antiquité 183), Paris, 2008, p. 227-244 ; « Reading Acts 6-7 in the Early Church : Gregory of Nyssa's First and Second Homilies on Stephen the Protomartyr », Studia Patristica 47, 2010, p. 9-19 ; etc. Voir également la bibliographie institutionnelle de J. Leemans.

(read complete article)


Gianfranco Adornato (ed.), Scolpire il marmo: importazioni, artisti itineranti, scuole artistiche nel Mediterraneo antico. Atti del Convegno di studio tenuto a Pisa, Scuola Normale Superiore, 9-11 novembre 2009. Archeologia e arte antica. Milano: LED, 2010. Pp. 366. ISBN 9788879164658. €74.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Brunilde Sismondo Ridgway, Bryn Mawr College (bridgway@brynmawr.edu)

Version at BMCR home site

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

The purpose of these 2009 "Giornate di Studio," now published in book form, was to throw "some initial light" (p. 7) on the artistic production, specifically in marble, of Magna Graecia—in this review understood as comprising both Sicily and South Italy. The impetus originated in the desire to counteract prevailing opinion1 that the lack of suitable quarries in that general area had prevented local artisans from acquiring expertise in marble carving and therefore required that either works in that medium or skilled sculptors be brought in from outside sources. This position implies the consequent absence of local artistic idioms, as contrasted with other areas of the Greek world. Gianfranco Adornato, editor/organizer of the congress, is well qualified to challenge this approach as the author of a doctoral dissertation on the sculptures from Metapontum and of numerous articles and essays on specific objects and topics. He was therefore eager to open discussion on the general issue of itinerant masters, imported marbles, and stylistic influences from centers to various peripheries, as it applied not only to Italy but also to other parts of the ancient world.

As is probably typical of such gatherings, not all papers presented explored the topic with equal pertinence, but those selected for publication ("the majority," p. 7) had something original to propose and deserve serious scrutiny. All but two contributors to this volume are Italian, reflecting the predominance of local scholars in Magna Graecian studies; the two essays in English are by a Greek and a French author respectively.2 Each article carries its own bibliography and (usually excellent) photographs, which makes for some inevitable duplication; overlaps in subject matter are duly noted in cross-references within footnotes. I noticed few misprints, none serious. Monuments under discussion belong mostly to the Archaic-Classical periods with some later exceptions.

A. Dimartino opens the series with statistical pie-charts and tables on seventh- to fifth-century masters and their places of activity as attested by literary sources and preserved "signatures." Of the grand total of 126 sculptors (26 confirmed by inscriptions), 91 are known by their nationality, 62 of whom certainly worked outside their area, with a definite increase in travel during the Classical period. Other subdivisions are mentioned in the text, with discussion of the various scripts used by the letterers; on this basis Endoios is considered Athenian rather than Ionian—a position supported by Adornato in his own article. Dimartino concludes that the expectation of a pure and distinctive sculptural style for each region of Greece is unwarranted (p. 20). Although we can doubt the accuracy of some literary sources, well removed in time from their subjects, and suspect unacknowledged cases of homonymy, this balanced approach is convincing and should sound a warning for stylistic attributions.3

O. Palagia "deals with the inception of monumental marble sculture in Athens and Attica" ( 41). She sees Naxian and, later, Parian influence on korai, but early Attic kouroi, usually considered Naxian in style, are compared instead to Parian male figures, on the basis of two examples recently found on Despotiko, near Paros (her fig. 22). The suggestion that star patterns around the nipples of the kouros from the Sacred Gate and Sounion B are "vestiges of clothing" painted on the sculptures (45) could be challenged by the Merenda kouros, better preserved and showing similar rendering.4

A lead figurine in the Florence Archaeological Museum, labelled a "proto-kouros" from Samos, is stylistically attributed to Cretan-Naxian sculptors. An Appendix to the article (66-69), carried out after the congress, shows however that its metal belongs to the area from Thasos to the Anatolian coast and the Troad. A reuse of the lead, of course, cannot be excluded. Be that as it may, M. Iozzo's article is valuable for the survey of marble sculptures in Florence, especially the two Milani kouroi, the smaller one now reunited with its pertinent head (figs. 6-7) and known primarily from specialized publications of limited distribution. Both are currently said to come from the region of the Marche, Italy.

H. Aurigny discusses Kleobis and Biton as "heroic importations" to Delphi for a political statement, perhaps by Pheidon of Argos. Made of Naxian marble by an Argive sculptor, their over-life size is a common phenomenon for early kouroi under Egyptian influence, but their regional style can mainly be found in bronzes—a cuirass, a few statuettes—and a fragmentary kouros from the Argive Heraion. This seems scant evidence to advocate a distinctive Argive manner. So few kouroi are known from the Peloponnesos that a more extensive survey might have been useful. Regrettably, the exciting find of two more examples occurred after the close of the Pisa gathering, but the available photographs suggest possible affinities.5

A fragmentary lion protome from a sima of uncertain findspot suggests to L. Buccino that "Parian" marble roofs may have existed at Poseidonia, although thoroughly robbed in later times. The three well-known akrolithic heads from the site were probably inserted into limestone bodies (as on the metopes of Temple E at Selinous), perhaps from the Athenaion or the late Archaic temple on the south side of the Forum, near the Macellum. The city obviously had an active school of terracotta and limestone sculpture, as attested also by carvings from Foce del Sele, but the few marble items may also have been locally produced under similar "Samian-Milesian" influence (107). Evidence, admittedly (112), may be too limited for proper assessment. The same stricture applies to the remarkable (and little known) kouros from Reggio Calabria, stylistically related to examples from the eastern coast of Sicily (Katane, Leontinoi), which C. Greco considers an Apollo. She may well be right, not only because of the extended arms but also for the archaizing flavor of the head with its elaborate coiffure and the faint smile.

Three papers, by M.C. Parra, G. Rocco, and R. Belli Pasqua, return to the issue of simas and tiles in Parian marble extensively diffused during the first half of the fifth century: at Punta Stilo, Kaulonia (Aphrodision?); at Capo Colonna/Capo Lacinio, Kroton (Heraion); at Metapontum (Temple C II); at Syracuse (Athenaion); at Himera ("Temple of Victory"); at Gela (Athenaion). Rocco attributes to "imported" Cycladic workmen not only the preference for 6x14 plans and hawksbeak moldings (cf. his figs. 1-6) but also (161 and n. 12) the use of double corner contraction that, from the Athenaion at Karthaia (Keos), would have spread to both Magna Graecia and Greece proper, e.g., on the late-Archaic (Alkmeonid) Temple of Apollo at Delphi and that of Athena Polias on the Akropolis.6

On the basis of the reconstructed central akroterion of the Krotonian Heraion, Belli Pasqua (173-74, figs. 5-13) extends Parian influence to the elaborate floral compositions known from the Temple of Aphaia at Aigina, the Artemision in the Delion on Paros, and later at Sounion, the Parthenon, and the Temples of Apollo and of Demeter at Cyrene, these last two comprising a central Gorgoneion.7 They were probably flanked by crouching monsters, as discussed by L. Lazzarini and M. Luni: griffins (? see fig. 14) from the Apollonion and sphinxes from the recently discovered Temple of Demeter, to which Luni attributes a well-known female head now lost.8

The many finds from this extraurban sanctuary have prompted scientific analyses of all architectural and statuary marbles from an area—like Sicily—deprived of local resources, from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period. Contributing quarries have been identified in various locations of Greece, the islands, and Asia Minor: as many as four on Paros (one yielding dolomitic marble), several on Naxos and Thasos, the latter already active in the sixth century. Results are synthesized in seven Tables (197-202). Among the Archaic surprises is the use of Pentelic marble for a kouros, apparently unique for the type and proof that the quarries on Mount Penteli were used as early as the mid-sixth century, as well as the total absence of Asia Minor marbles, despite alleged Samian stylistic influences (195). During the fifth century architectural prefabricated elements, perhaps roughly finished , were probably produced for export by Parian artisans (rather than by skilled masters, 192), but a Cyrenaic school of carvers is postulated on the evidence of limestone sculptures and architectural features on rock-cut tomb facades (196). Varied sources of marble in Hellenistic times correspond to different styles.

Materials again form the basis for comments on Lycian sculpture (by A. Poggio). The Archaic period, with few exceptions (probably finished imports), uses local limestone, especially for pillar monuments, under Anatolian influence. Marble appears early in the fifth century on the Harpy Tomb which favors Greek style and iconography. It was a prestigious medium, probably specifically commissioned, perhaps through Carian intermediaries, and accompanied by itinerant masters that put their imprint on later production. An analysis of Ionian and Attic influences on Lakonian "heroic reliefs" from the sixth-fifth centuries (by A. Perfetti) seems abbreviated and could have profited from more illustrations beside the traditional ones. More interesting, because less familiar, the survey of funerary monuments from the area of Syracuse (E. Ghisellini) is based on only six items (one on a block reused from a figured frieze) that range from an appliqué to relief stelai to a figure almost in the round with concave back probably to be set within a naiskos. The analysis here is purely, if extensively, stylistic and although conclusions seem plausible, it is striking that all examples were found long ago by Paolo Orsi—none in more recent excavations despite intense activity in the area. Could this scarcity of evidence be attributed mainly (294) to limited commissions by wealthy patrons and different local funerary conceptions?

G. Adornato's tripartite essay returns to Magna Graecian sculpture, at Akragas and especially at Metapontum—the latter exemplified by a remarkable head with elaborate hairstyle (inv. 135652, fig. 3)—where he locates a native school active during the entire fifth century (312-13). He carefully assesses, however, outside influences from Magna Graecia and Greece proper, accepting that the picture of ethnic styles is complex and in need of careful analysis. In this position he echoes Dimartino's epigraphic/onomastic conclusions and reviews again the case of the "Attic" Endoios, concluding with mention of the "Spartan Paradox" in the field of bronze volute kraters.9

E. Lippolis and G. Vallarino share a major contribution, the latter being responsible for epigraphic commentary (253-57, Appendix 268-69). An essay on a single sculptor may seem unfashionable, and in fact Lippolis does not linger on plausible attributions to Alkamenes through Roman copies. He stresses that the master, although connected with Lemnos, was an Athenian citizen and a member of Pheidias' extensive workshop (which included Agorakritos, Panainos, and Kolotes, plus architectural specialists), which explains how a high number of major monuments could be created in a relatively short time (260-62). Among these Lippolis accepts the west pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia (as per Paus. 5.10.8) on the strength of a high chronology for Alkamenes' activity between 465-425 B.C.E. Support is found in the reinterpreted Hephaisteion inscription dated 421/420 (IG I 3 472) : it specifies the reinstallation of the bronze Athena and Hephaistos, previously removed to allow modifications to the temple. The vast quantity of lead listed is indeed for a huge anthemon (as early advocated by E.B. Harrison) but independent from the cult statues, that could have served as a smoke chimney "up to the aspis," here interpreted as a round metal object, perhaps to close an opaion in the roof (258). The article is full of stimulating comments that deserve close attention.10

Equally important is the concluding essay by C. Marconi, which could have served as preface, rather than epilogue, to the entire volume. Its very title hints at the undercurrents that have often beset discussion of sculptures from Magna Graecian findspots. Local scholars want to believe in indigenous manufacture, out of a sense of ethnic loyalty; foreign archaeologists tend to consider everything away from Greece proper as provincial and therefore intrinsically inferior or fully derivative. Handbooks on Greek art used to omit Magna Graecian production entirely, or devoted to it shorter sections that looked like afterthoughts. Marconi avoids patriotic impulses by shifting the issue to the 14th -16th centuries. He presents five case studies, ranging from local, if somewhat rough, execution well before Carrara marble was extensively imported (in 1460), to the arrival of sculptors trained elsewhere—either for a short visit or for a life-time permanence continued by their descendants—and even to the acquisition of a monument originally built for a different setting (Florence) but then disassembled and shipped to Palermo, where it was rebuilt and amplified (345). Anyone or several of these scenarios could have occurred in Archaic/Severe Magna Graecia.

Marconi brackets these potential parallels within discussion of current connoisseurship—questionably feasible for statuary often lacking diagnostic features such as heads and hands, frequently selective, and inevitably subjective (340-43)—and analysis of working methods, from preliminary carving in the quarry (in the Archaic period) to the export of blocks to be sculpted at destination (by the second quarter of the fifth century), with the implied movement of the accompanying sculptors. He wisely concludes that "connoisseurship of Magna Graecian marble sculpture must remain an attempt at interpretation, without pride or prejudice." (349).

I add a conclusion of my own. Many of the publications here cited in the bibliographies are catalogues of exhibitions, Festschrifts, and proceedings of national and international congresses that even a good academic library like that of Bryn Mawr College cannot afford to buy. It is to be hoped that such contributions will soon be duplicated or produced electronically to reach the wider readership they deserve.

Table of Contents

"Introduzione" by Gianfranco Adornato, Elena Ghisellini, Clemente Marconi (7-8)

"Artisti Itineranti: l'evidenza epigrafica," by Alessia Dimartino (9-40)

"Early Archaic Sculpture in Athens," by Olga Palagia (41-55)

"Il proto-kouros da Samos nel Museo Archeologico di Firenze," by Mario Iozzo (57-83)

"Kleobis and Biton. Island marble Argive kouroi in Delphi," by Hélène Aurigny (85-99)

"La scultura in marmo a Poseidonia in età arcaica e classica. Stato della questione e prospettive di ricerca," by Laura Buccino (101-26)

"Il kouros di Reggio Calabria: aspetti e problemi," by Caterina Greco (127-41)

"Marmi kauloniati, un contributo," by Maria Cecilia Parra (143-58)

"Il ruolo delle officine cicladiche nella trasmissione di modelli architettonici tra tardoarcaismo e protoclassicismo," by Giorgio Rocco (159-69)

"Scultura architettonica e officine itineranti. Il caso dell'Heraion a Capo Lacinio," by Roberta Belli Pasqua (171-84)

"La scultura in marmo a Cirene in età greca," by Lorenzo Lazzarini – Mario Luni (185-222)

" 'Rilievi eroici' laconici tra influenze ioniche e attiche. Una breve riflessione sull'arte laconica tra l'età di Chilone e la guerra del Peloponneso," by Alessia Perfetti (223-34)

"Modelli di diffusione della scultura in marmo tra VI e V sec. a.C.: la Licia," by Alessandro Poggio (235-49)

"Alkamenes: problemi di cronologia di un artista attico," Enzo Lippolis – Giulio Vallarino (251-78)

"Stele funerarie di età classica dalla Sicilia sud-orientale," by Elena Ghisellini (279-308)

"Bildhauerschulen : un approccio," by Gianfranco Adornato (309-37)

"Orgoglio e pregiudizio. La connoisseurship della scultura in marmo dell'Italia meridionale e della Sicilia," by Clemente Marconi (339-59)

Referenze fotografiche e iconografiche (361-66)


1.   Best exemplified by E. Langlotz, Die Kunst der Westgriechen im Sizilien und Unteritalien, 1963.
2.   Although the latter would have been better served by the original language, or translated into Italian rather than English, given the similar conventions between the two languages. Regrettably, no brief identification or address for each author is included, as now common in works with multiple authorship.
3.   I certainly agree, having long advocated the existence of an "international style" in Greek sculpture from ca. 550 onward : The Archaic Style in Greek Sculpture, 1st ed., 1977, 64; 2nd ed., 1993, 80-81 and passim. [4]] See N. Kaltsas, "Die Kore und der Kouros aus Myrrhinous," AntP 28 (2002) 7-38, esp. 28, pl. 20a. Palagia (p. 44) gives the height of the New York kouros as 1.84 m. but the statue, newly measured, is actually 1.946 m. from top of plinth to top of head: BMCR 2003.04.05 n. 4.
5.   The two statues, now in the Athens National Museum, were seized by Greek authorities on May 14, 2010. Their findspot has been located in the Corinthia, near Tenea (though the latter has not yet been identified). Kouros A measures 1.82 m., Kouros B 1.78 m. Preliminary notice in JHS-AR 56 (for 2009-2010) 25. Other additions to be considered are the ca. 550 lifesized knee in Naxian (?) marble in the Corinth Museum, S 614: B.S. Ridgway, "Sculpture from Corinth," Hesperia 50 (1981) 423 and n.7, pl. 91a; and a fragmentary limestone kouros from Isthmia, M.C. Sturgeon,Isthmia 4, Sculpture I, 1952-1967(Princeton 1987) 68-70, no. 3A-B, pls. 28-29 (Corinthian? Ca. 540). Despite the Argive sculptor, a general North Peloponnesian style is advocated for Kleobis and Biton by M. Mertens Horn, "In der Obhut der Dioskuren. Zur Deutung des 'Monopteros der Sikyonier' in Delphi," IstMitt 46 (1996) 123-30 (not cited by Aurigny).
6.   What Belli Pasqua calls "Capo Lacinio" is cited by Rocco as Capo Colonna. Both authors refer to the Athena Polias Temple as "Peisistratid" (e.g., 162 and 172 respectively), but its connection with the sons of Peisistratos would be tenuous at best if a dating around 510 B.C.E. is valid: see, e.g., A. Stewart, "The Persian and Carthaginian Invasions of 480 B.C.E. and the Beginning of the Classical Style: Part I, The Stratigraphy, Chronology, and Significance of the Acropolis Deposits," AJA 112 (2008) 377-412, esp. Table 2 on p. 407. The cultic definition is therefore preferable. Double corner contraction is traditionally considered a Syracusan (Deinomenid) innovation.
7.   The temple at Kaulonia, recently re-investigated, may have had akroterial sphinxes, perhaps supporting riders as at Marafioti (Lokroi) because of fragments not only of wings but also of human arms and animal paws: Parra, 147.
8.   E. Paribeni, Catalogo delle Sculture di Cirene. Statue e rilievi di carattere religioso (Rome 1959) , 15 no. 15, pls. 20-21; here p. 155 fig. 15 and, doubled and reconstructed on a sphinx body, p. 209 fig. 16. Luni dates the comparable examples form the Aphaia Temple on Aigina to 495-490 and certainly "not later than 480" (191). But see A. Stewart, "The Persian and Carthaginian Invasions of 480 B.C.E. and the Beginning of the Classical Style: Part 2, The Finds from Other Sites in Athens, Attica, Elsewhere in Greece, and in Sicily; Part 3, The Severe Style: Motivations and Meaning," AJA 112 (2008) 581-615, esp. 593-97, with a date in the 470s.
9.   The general thesis that marble was carved locally at both selected sites is certainly valid, but the list of extant items from Metapontum (310-11 and esp. n.13) seems composed of relatively small fragments, obviously attesting to extensive imports of the medium but hardly likely to reveal a distinctive style. On the discussion of bronze vessels I miss the comprehensive study by B. Barr-Sharrar, The Derveni Krater: Masterpieces of Classical Greek Metalwork (Princeton 2008), with proper consideration of Magna Graecian production.
10.   A few suggestions and additions. Could the inner modifications to the Hephaisteion be connected with the peculiar arrangement of the ceiling coffers? See W.F. Wyatt, C.N. Edmonson, "The Ceiling of the Hephaisteion," AJA 88 (1984) 135-67. On the Hephaisteion base, see A. Kosmopoulou, The Iconography of Sculptured Statue Bases in the Archaic and Classical Periods (Madison 2002), 126-30, 242-44 no. 61, figs. 97-100. For a more recent account of the Olympia pediments, add J. G. Younger, P. Rehak, "Technical Obsrvations on the Sculptures from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia," Hesperia 78 (2009) 41-105 (cited, however, by Ghisellini). A. Patay-Horváth is now attempting a 3D scanning of all the sculptures from that temple using innovative software that potentially allows for identification of master hands; for a limited application of the method, see his "Virtual 3D Reconstruction of the East Pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia —A Preliminary Report," Archeometriai Mühely/Archaeometry Workshop 7.1 (2010) 19-26.

(read complete article)