Tuesday, December 23, 2014


Polixeni Adam-Veleni, Eurydice Kefalidou, Despoina Tsiafaki (ed.), Κεραμικά εργαστήρια στο Βορειοανατολικό Αιγαίο (8ος – αρχές 5ου αι. π.Χ). Ημερίδα ΑΜΘ 2010/ Pottery workshops in northeastern Aegean (8th – early 5th c. BC). Scientific meeting AMTh 2010. Έκδοση Αρχαιολογικού Μουσείου Θεσσαλονίκης, 21. Thessaloniki: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, 2013. Pp. 256. ISBN 9789609621137. €20.00.

Reviewed by Emmanouil Kalkanis, Thessaloniki (emmanouil.kalkanis@gmail.com)

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This homogeneous set of case studies and archaeological research includes 22 articles: 20 are written in Greek, two in English. Given the number of the contributions, this review intends to give an overview of the volume, not a critique of each contribution. The volume, which, in a sense, may be considered an overall report of several excavations that took place during the last few decades – or even earlier – near Thessaloniki, is organised into two sections. The first is dedicated to pottery workshops as they developed and spread from the east to the west of Northern Greece. The second and longer part examines the pottery itself. Whether local pottery production was related to simple craft activity for household needs or to commerce and exchange, the papers work from the shared premise that these workshops have a long tradition, though our knowledge for their function is still quite limited and, thus, no easy conclusions can be made.

Despoina Tsiafaki's paper serves as a comprehensive preface to the volume and frames the whole collection. By presenting an outline of pottery production in Northern Greece, she offers a useful account that not only stresses the geographic and chronological framework, but also the scientific context for the following essays. She devotes the bulk of the introduction to a brief overview of the whole volume. This is certainly useful for readers navigating through the collection. Still, I would have welcomed further reflection from the editors on the individual essays.

The second introductory essay, written by Michalis Tiverios, attempts to classify the pottery that was manufactured in the coastal areas of Northern Greece during the Geometric and Archaic period. The pottery produced in this area is classified into four groups: colonial (vessels made by potters who were trained in one of the great workshops of the ancient Greek world), semi-colonial (vessels that maintain only some features of the first group together with local influences), indigenous pottery (a clearly local tradition), and local (vessels that combine features of both the 'colonial' and 'indigenous' groups).

Next, Jacques Perrault, Francine Blondé, and Katerina Peristeri remind us of the results of the excavations from 1985 to 1989 of a Late Archaic period pottery workshop on the southwestern coast of the island of Thasos (Phari). Although the discussion has been published several times by the excavators already, this new reading improves our understanding of the organisation and function of regional pottery workshops in Northern Greece (e.g., the architectural remains related to pottery production are particularly interesting).

John K. Papadopoulos shares some further thoughts on the Early Iron Age potter's kiln at Torone, initially published over 20 years ago. The Torone kiln, which is an important Late Geometric kiln, is discussed in the context of pottery workshops in the northeast Aegean. For instance, the social context in which the potters worked seemed to play a major role in keeping the boundaries of the traditions of handmade and wheelmade pottery 'well defined and thereby rendering their coexistence possible' (47). These results highlight several interesting developments in the study of this pottery workshop. Additionally, the inclusion of a comprehensive list of the kiln pottery—which was rather diverse in terms of fabric and technique—is a great asset to the reader, facilitating easier cross-reference.

Next, Electra Anagnostopoulou-Chatzipolychroni offers a comprehensive presentation of the findings from a series of excavations that took place along the coastal area of ancient Mendi. Among the remains of pottery workshops, five kilns are dated to the first decades of the 5th c. BC. The most characteristic finds of these kilns were local painted pottery and transport amphorae sherds. The morphological similarities of the latter with the Thasian amphorae, the amphorae of the so-called 'Thasian circle', and the amphorae from the northern Aegean may lead to the assumption that the production of local transport amphorae had adopted the same types as the most important wine-producing centers. This seems to have been the case until the known types of amphorae from Mendi emerged as dominant in the region. Small circular kilns, workshop-related objects, sherds from 5th c. BC, amphorae and other finds from the Hellenistic period also demonstrate the uninterrupted activity of the pottery workshop during the 5th and 4th centuries.

Dina Kousoulakou briefly examines a pottery workshop excavated to the south of the modern village of Potidaia, which had been in use from the Archaic to the Roman period. Although the pear-shaped kiln was found empty, its deposits contained several sherds from painted vessels; many were imported from Corinth, while others could have been manufactured there. A comprehensive presentation of archaeological research related to an Archaic workshop that was part of the ancient settlement situated in Karabournaki, Thessaloniki. Despoina Tsiafaki and Eleni Manakidou show how chemical and petrographic analyses were used in order to confirm the suspicion that the discarded material found at the site belongs to the same type of pottery they call 'eggshell pottery' (because of its extreme delicacy). The authors also discuss the workshop's organisation and activity and the length of the production period, as well as the possibility that other groups of pottery, such as 'monochrome ware' could have been produced here.

After a brief overview of the pottery workshops in ancient Methoni, a long essay by Evangelia Stefani reviews the pottery workshops at Lefkopetra on the southeastern slopes of Mount Vermion. The excavation revealed workshop and manufacturing activities. Eight pottery kilns were found on site, six of which are presented in detail here. The first three pear-shaped kilns possibly date to an Iron Age phase or immediately after, while the remaining three, which were circular and very well preserved, date to the Late Archaic and Classical periods. As Stefani argues, the finds provide important evidence for research into the economic and social profile of local development rhythms in ceramic production models in the Northern Greek regions especially during formative periods but also the Iron Age and the Archaic era. The author also stresses that the importance of these kilns should be related not only to the prosperity of this particular place but also to the technical knowledge that led to pottery production on an organised basis.

Part II begins with an essay on the sub-protogeometric tradition of the northeastern Aegean. Petya Ilieva's contribution focuses on a fine, well-purified and well-fired tableware of North Aegean origin, the so-called 'G 2-3 Ware'. Through a brief discussion of fabric, decoration, shapes, and chronology, she points out the importance of this ceramic style that seems to emerge in a "mixed cultural and demographic background of Greek settlers and native inhabitants in northeast Anatolian coastal sites and adjacent islands of the North-eastern Aegean" (129).

Next, Martin Perron briefly presents unpublished finds from the Greek-Canadian excavations at Argilos that revealed a great quantity of painted domestic ware of the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Although the shapes and decoration may have been inspired by pottery produced elsewhere in the Aegean, a specific category from this assemblage, the well-known 'waveline' or 'banded' ware, seems to have its origins in Ionia.

The Archaic cemetery of Agia Paraskevi near Thessaloniki, entirely excavated in the early 1980s, is described in the next essay by Theodoros Papakostas. Among the imported pottery from Corinth, Athens, and east Greece, the cemetery had also produced a significant amount of local pottery mostly consisting of the so-called 'Grey Ware'; the exaleiptron and the kantharoid kotyle are among the most popular local shapes.

Turning attention to the study of the potsherds found during the 1977 rescue excavation at Nea Kallikrateia in Chalkidike, Eurydice Kefalidou and Yannis Nazlis examine the sample material from a table, or plateau (Trapeza) that was part of an ancient settlement identified by recent research as one of the three colonies of Eretria in the Thermaic Gulf. This assemblage—sherds from more than one hundred different vessels dating from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age and the Archaic era—underwent elemental analysis in order to determine whether the distinct groups of pottery correspond to equally distinct groups in terms of clay composition.

The so-called 'pre-Persian'pottery, previously known only from the site of Olynthos, is the subject of another contribution. By showing that this group of pottery—comprising vessels with linear, floral, and geometric motifs—comes from both the settlement and the cemetery of Toumba in Thessaloniki, the paper offers a more comprehensive picture of its use and function than was previously available.

Katerina Tzanavari next presents the archaeological data of the first rescue excavation of the Lembet Table (Trapeza) at Polichni (in the western suburbs of Thessaloniki) that took place in 1993. The results allow us to ascertain that habitation began at an early phase of the Iron Age and stopped around the mid-4th c. BC. The so-called 'silverish' pottery, a ceramic group with painted Geometric decoration comprising exceptionally large storage shapes, and a characteristic shape of the so called 'Ionian eggshell' pottery of the Archaic era are both of particular interest here.

Vasiliki Saripanidi overviews the regionally made pottery that was found at the Archaic-Classical cemetery of ancient Sindos. Classifying the related vases into three categories on the basis of their decoration (burnished grey wares, vases with painted linear floral patterns, and glazed or semi-glazed wares), the author focuses on the origins of both shapes and decoration of each category. Regional potters seem to have produced a fairly wide range of hybrid shapes combining elements of different imported traditions on individual pieces. The final essay overviews the locally produced pottery from the cemeteries of Nea Philadelphia near Thessaloniki dating to the Iron Age and the Archaic era.

Two adequate indexes are at the back. Index A presents the most indicative shapes of all the pots that the volume discusses; the images are two-dimensional, interpreting only the outline of the pot. Index B gives a short description of the major types of local pottery presented here. Some of these types have been quite precisely determined on the basis of material, shape, and decoration, while others have been determined on the basis of a single criterion such as colour or decoration. Sadly, there is no English translation for these indexes. The abundant black-and-white illustrations and drawings of individual sherds are as elegant as can be expected for an edited volume of this size and scope. The translated (Greek) essays into (English) abstracts do not always do justice to the rich content of some of the essays. An English introduction would also be a great asset since the English summaries indicate the publishers' desire to reach a foreign audience.

Overall, the volume does justice to the pottery production in Northern Greece from the 8th to the early 5th c. BC, providing us with a fuller picture of an enormous quantity of material that certainly needs to be further studied and technically analysed. On one level, it re-examines previous paths and excavation findings through fresh eyes, while on the other hand it attempts to contextualize the subject matter within a broader comparative frame of northeastern Aegean archaeology. The main strength of this enterprise is the incorporation of evidence from different sites in order to offer a more holistic and complete view of the subject matter within a specific timeframe. In terms of writing style and research quality, there is not much to say given the quantity of the contributions. Besides, this would be unfair to the whole enterprise that successfully attempts to bring together many interesting insights. Thus, a few meticulously documented and illustrated contributions should not overshadow others that are not so carefully argued and contextualised. If one criticism should be made, is that some contributors raise as many problems as they resolve and leave one wondering what the further significance of their arguments might be.

Will this book find a wide and appreciative readership? The illuminating insights into such engaging matters would indicate yes. Though it is not a consistent volume, the compiled collection of worthy contributions reflects the growing research interest in this field from Greek—and non-Greek—professionals.

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Sander M. Goldberg, Terence, Hecyra. Cambridge Greek and Latin classics. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Pp. viii, 223. ISBN 9780521721660. $34.99 (pb).

Reviewed by David Christenson, University of Arizona (christed@email.arizona.edu)

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Terence's Hecyra is a nuanced comedy with a problematic history dating back to its initial reception in Rome (as its two surviving prologues attest). The play in many ways breaks from, or offers novel turns on, the conventions of New Comedy. In no other of the six extant plays is Terence's preference for a non-expository prologue so sorely missed, as Hecyra presents its audiences, both ancient and modern, with a jumble of misconceptions and confusions, and features the very real potential for an un-comic divorce. Critics have long noted the play's challenging plot and its extensive use of suspense that keeps its audience in the dark for virtually the entire play (the surprising revelation that Philumena's rapist is her husband Pamphilus is delayed until the last scene).

Sander Goldberg's new commentary on Hecyra thus provides a most welcome resource for greater appreciation of one of New Comedy's richest plays. This edition by one of the most astute living interpreters of Republican Latin literature does not disappoint, although Goldberg makes no pretense of solving all the difficulties posed by Hecyra. In addition to supplying appropriately pitched and detailed commentary on morphology, syntax, semantics, and translation, Goldberg displays keen sensitivity to the particulars of performance throughout the edition: "a play in performance establishes meaning not just through its scripted words, but through the actors' delivery, the actions that accompany their words, and through the audience's response to the totality of words and action" (p. 18). His notes are models of concision, clarity, and incisiveness, typically balancing traditional philology with imaginative analysis of Hecyra in performance.

Goldberg's Introduction (pp. 1-47) is divided into seven sections: (1) Comedy at Rome (Conditions of performance, The audience, Greek models); (2) The Career of Terence; (3) The Hecyra (Stage history, Lines of approach); (4) Language and Style (Orthography, Diction, Arrangement, Aesthetic effects); (5) Metre (Syllables, Prosody, Verse Patterns, Interpretive challenges); (6) Donatus; and (7) Text. He appends to the Commentary (pp. 84-201) brief but illuminating discussions of Philumena's pregnancy (pp. 203-4) and Greek analogues, mostly from Menander's Epitrepontes (pp. 205-8).

Goldberg emphasizes the unique conditions of theatrical performance in Rome (pp. 4-6), and how in the case of Hecyra the actors' close contact with the audience enhances (esp.) the female characters' powerful monologues. He rightly focuses on what is original in Terence rather than on reconstructing Apollodorus of Carystos' lost source play and supports the recent critical trend toward approaching Roman comedy in terms of intertexts (pp. 8-10; Goldberg draws productive new connections between Hecyra and Terence's own contemporary Adelphoe (pp. 23-25 and e.g. 742n.). The commentary offers a wealth of insights that meticulously distinguish between Greek and Roman, especially in regard to the pertinent issues of paternity and adoption (e.g. 139, 387, 453, 492, 671nn.). Goldberg argues that Terence's emphasis on keeping Hecyra's audience ignorant is neither characteristically Greek nor Roman (p. 19; cf. 574, 824-9nn.) and stresses how the play continually upsets its audience's expectations as to how its stereotypical characters—especially Bacchis, Sostrata and Myrrina—should speak and behave (pp. 20-23). He stops short of formulating overarching interpretations of the play's meaning and characters, although his views frequently surface in notes that combine commentary on fine points of language or stage activity with shrewd observations on individual characters: e.g., "the intransitive verb has only an impersonal passive, which suits Laches' desire to imagine responsibility without quite imaging fault" (253n. on siquidnobis); and "Pamphilus responds to a difficult situation by running away from it. His ultimate flight from responsibility will be a variant of this pattern of behavior" (703n. on abibo hinc); Goldberg prudently refuses to pass final judgment on the much-discussed metatheatrical exchange between Bacchis and Pamphilus at the play's end ("I'd prefer not to have one of those typical comic endings—You know, everyone learns everything," 867-8), which readers variously have found to be sinister or realistically practical. Goldberg chooses to leave its interpretation "an open question" (868n.).

Readers of all stripes will find Goldberg's accounts of Terence's language, style, and metre helpful and instructive. He is acutely attuned to musical transitions (e.g., 612n., p. 180) and gives a pellucid account of the technicalities of Terence's iambo-trochaic verse and the effects the playwright is striving for therein (pp. 37-40). Goldberg acknowledges his own indebtedness to Donatus (while also noting his faults), especially the ancient commentator's ability to draw fine distinctions in diction, e.g., the difference between dare and stare with reference to a Roman play's (successful) presentation (88n.). Goldberg adopts a refreshingly pragmatic view to recovering Terence's ipsissima verba. Some textual critics may cringe at Goldberg's textual agnosticism, but he reasonably concludes, "Getting as close as we can to what subsequent Roman readers eventually knew as 'Terence' is about the best we can do, but that, as will emerge, turns out to be an entirely adequate approximation" (p. 46). He prints a serviceable text with a few minor divergences from the OCT of Kauer and Lindsay (1926).

Goldberg's deployment of secondary literature is comprehensive and current, although the edition apparently went to press before it could benefit from the publication of the Blackwell Companion to Terence (edds. Augoustakis and Traill, 2013). If any fault can be found with Goldberg's new "Green and Yellow" commentary, some readers may be frustrated by its relatively minimal interest in Terentian reception and influence, and the lack of modern or contemporary comic parallels (how extensive treatment such matters merit in a commentary of this type is of course debatable). Goldberg unquestionably succeeds in showing that Hecyra is a thoroughly Roman and highly innovative Terentian production that is deeply rooted in its audience's cultural preoccupations, values, and social anxieties, while his edition highlights Hecyra's remarkably sensitive portrayal of its female characters and the unfair stereotyping to which they are subjected by the play's blustery and misjudging men. This is a superb addition to Cambridge's growing body of exemplary commentaries on Roman comedies.

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Jeffrey Rusten, Jason König​, Philostratus. Heroicus, Gymnasticus, Discourses 1 and 2. Loeb Classical Library, 521. Cambridge, MA; London: Harvard University Press, 2014. Pp. 532. ISBN 9780674996748. $26.00.

Reviewed by Graeme Miles, University of Tasmania (Graeme.Miles@utas.edu.au)

Version at BMCR home site

This new volume completes the Loeb Classical Library's edition of the surviving works of Philostratus. The texts, at first sight, seem rather disparate in subject matter: the Heroicus is a dialogue between a Phoenician and a Vinedresser, the latter of whom communes with the still active hero Protesilaus, learning the true story of the Trojan War. The Gymnasticus is a treatise on athletic training, which urges a return to old-fashioned methods over the degenerate practices of the present day. The two brief texts with which the volume concludes are equally varied: the first is a brief discussion of epistolary style, the second a re-examination of the old theme of nature and custom (physis and nomos).

Both of the substantial texts in this volume are translated by authors who know these works intimately and have published valuable work on them in the past. The relatively full introductions to each (96 pages on the Heroicus and 64 pages on the Gymnasticus) manage to convey an impressive breadth of useful background. These and the bibliographies they contain will undoubtedly be valuable to readers new to the texts and finding their way into the increasingly sophisticated discussions surrounding them. The translations read very well and are dependably accurate. Though neither is the first English translation of its text, there is a definite need of them. The only earlier full translation of the Gymnasticus into English1 has long been unavailable. The first published English translation of Heroicus was that of Maclean and Aitken.2 Though this performed a useful service, it does suffer from a number of errors. Readers of German will still want the much larger translation and commentary of Grossardt.3 Turning to the shorter texts in this volume, the list of previous English translations is once again brief. The (so-called) Dialexis 1 has appeared in Malherbe's Ancient Epistolary Theorists,4 and the other Dialexis received a translation and discussion by Swain in Bowie and Elsner's edited volume on the Corpus Philostrateum.5

As these recent translations reveal, along with the increasingly large body of secondary literature on Philostratus, the corpus as a whole has been moving steadily closer to the mainstream. Yet there is still value in bringing this particular selection of texts further into visibility. All of these works address topics of broad interest in the Greek culture of the Roman Empire. There is much to learn from them regarding hero-cult, the various articulations of Greek identity (through literature, religion and athletics), physiognomics and interpretation, among much else. They are also subtle, playful and elegant works of literature in their own right. In keeping with prevailing scholarly opinion the editors/translators treat the texts (with the exception of the 'first Dialexis') as the work of Flavius Philostratus, author of the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Lives of the Sophists, the first set of Imagines, Love Letters and the brief dialogue Nero.6 It is necessary to raise one disagreement regarding the description of Discourses 1 and 2. It has been usual since the first edition of Kayser (1844) to speak of two Philostratean Dialexeis, that is, short speeches which were sometimes given as the introductions to longer performances.7 Though the Souda does ascribe Dialexeis to the second Philostratus, it is an open question whether either of these two pieces fits that description. The so-called Dialexis 1, despite some apparent similarities to the genre in its ostensibly relaxed and understated tone, its literary topic and its brevity, is in fact an open letter about letter-writing. This piece comes down to us among the Letters of Philostratus, and it is only in Kayser's edition that it was transformed into a dialexis. A further discussion lay behind this transformation. Olearius in his edition of 1709 had already observed that this piece was almost certainly the letter to the sophist Aspasius mentioned in the Lives of the Sophists (VS 628); it was not the work of the Philostratus who was the author of the rest of the collection, but rather of his nephew, Philostratus of Lemnos.8 In his 1842 edition of Philostratus' Letters, Boissonade accepted and extended Olearius' arguments, though he still published it as Letter 1.9 Kayser rejected the identification of this piece with the letter of Philostratus of Lemnos, proposing instead that it was a dialexis,10 and printed this and the other proposed dialexis after the Letters. As Münscher observes, the two points most fully handled in the letter are precisely those which are mentioned in the Lives of the Sophists: that artful periods should be avoided in letter writing, and that clarity is all-important. Münscher rightly rejected Kayser's dismissal of the resemblances between the letter and the passage in the VS.11 This brief letter, then, is the only work which can be attributed with reasonable certainty to Philostratus of Lemnos, and it is not a dialexis.

The second text currently described as a dialexis was first proposed to be such by Olearius. This piece, which he found among the letters in codex Vaticanus CX, p. 126, was printed by Olearius in the preface to his edition of Philostratus' Letters.12 Olearius was, however, cautious: 'Praeterque quae cod. Vatic. CX p. 126 exhibentur inter Philostrati epistolas, non epistolam mihi sapere videntur, sed laciniam philosophicae διαλέξεως'.13 Kayser followed Olearius' lead on this point and printed what he proposed were two dialexeis after the Letters in his edition of Philostratus. There is more to be said for the identification of this brief text as a dialexis, as it is quite different in character even from the non-amatory letters in the Philostratean collection. So we may have here either an atypical letter or a dialexis. In any case, the caution of Olearius regarding the genre of this piece seems advisable.

It would be unreasonable to expect a Loeb to go deeply into the history of these two curious texts. What is necessary, however, is to state that there is considerable uncertainty as to their nature. Whether readers approach these as letters or as dialexeis can make some difference to how they might read them, and on this occasion the confidence one encounters in the scholarship regarding these texts is not well founded.

There are relatively few passages in the translations with which I felt the need to quibble. One, however, has some effect on both the characterisation of the Vinedresser and the degree of faith which readers are encouraged to have in his version of events. Here (pp. 137–9) the Vinedresser describes Protesilaus as εὐπαγὴς . . . καὶ κοῦφος, ὥσπερ οἱ δρομικοὶ τῶν ἑρμῶν (Her. 10.4). This is rendered as 'well-proportioned and graceful, like the Herms one sees at race-courses'. Grossardt similarly translates 'gut gefügt und leicht wie den Hermen an der Laufbahn'. Here I believe Beschorner was closer ('so wie die in Rennbahnen aufgestellten Hermestatuen') though still misconstruing the adjective δρομικοί as 'in Rennbahnen'. Though Herms were, of course, set up at race-courses, the supposed use of δρομικός as 'set up in race-courses' is without other examples (LSJ s.v. II gives only this passage). Philostratus elsewhere uses this word to mean either 'concerned with running' (e.g. VA 2.6, Gym. 15.10) or more usually 'specialised in running' or 'good at running' (e.g. VA 1.24, VS 554, or the Heroicus itself at 26.14 (of Antilochus)). The problem seems to have arisen because of the genitive plural: one would normally expect the plural of Hermes to mean 'Herms'. Given, however, the frequency with which Greek writers speak of statues as gods rather than as images of gods14 the phrase is quite comprehensible as 'the runner-like ones [i.e. statues] of Hermes', or in more idiomatic English, 'statues of Hermes as a runner'. The use of a partitive genitive after an adjective is common in Philostratus,15 and such a construction requires a plural of Hermes. The Vinedresser refers, in other words, to a class of statue of Hermes as a runner. Olearius was close, translating bene enim compactus est ac leuis, ut Mercuriales statuae, quasi cursu ferrentur effictae, though the Greek phrase need not imply a Hermes who is actually running. Surviving statues do not show him running, but the light, athletic body which is typical of several statue-types could well be described as δρομικός, especially by a writer as interested in athletics, and in types of athletic body, as Philostratus.16

The translation of this phrase does have some importance, as the apparently bizarre comparison (athletic body to block-shaped Herm) has been taken as a slip by the Vinedresser. Such errors do occur: Rusten presents a list of these 'obvious slips' on p. 37, and, correctly to my mind, interprets them as part of Philostratus' characterisation of this speaker. It is an important prompt to readers of the dialogue that these slips raise some uncertainty about the Vinedresser. Philostratus shows an ongoing reluctance to establish any final authorities, in the Heroicus and elsewhere, though that is a point which requires more discussion than is possible in a short review. The genuine slips by the Vinedresser are considerably less odd and easier to understand: 'Nemea for Tegea (8.3), Ariadne for Evadne (11.8)' (p. 37). We have, in short, a Vinedresser who is fallible but not ludicrous in his errors.

To take just one further (and I stress, very rare) quibble with the translation, the long and quite convoluted sentence at Heroicus 17.6 gets rather jumbled. The future infinitive βοήσεσθαι is here translated as though it were βοηθήσεσθαι ('come to the aid of', p. 157), and there is one 'though' / 'although' too many in the phrase 'he killed although at Troy though totally undistinguished'. The reasoning in this sentence is not really made clear: the Vinedresser argues that if Greeks are going to sacrifice to the Thracian Rhesus, with his undistinguished track-record among the living, then there is all the more reason to sacrifice to Diomedes, who killed him, and to other great warriors of the Greeks.

This new Loeb Philostratus is a volume to be welcomed. It provides dependable and eminently readable translations of two major texts and two opuscula, completing the set of Philostratean works. Its introductions and notes are clear and up-to-date, and make a valuable contribution to the broader appreciation of these works. It will be a standard resource in the study of Philostratus for the foreseeable future. ​


1.   Thomas Woody, 'Philostratus: Concerning Gymnastics', The Research Quarterly of the American Physical Education Association 2, 1936, pp. 3–26.
2.   Jennifer K. Berenson Maclean and Ellen Bradshaw Aitken (edd., trans.). Flavius Philostratus. Heroikos. Writings from the Greco-Roman World. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2001.
3.   Peter Grossardt (edd., trans.). Einführung, Übersetzung und Kommentar zum Heroikos von Flavius Philostrat. Schweizerische Beiträge zur Altertumswissenschaft 33. Basel: Schwabe AG Verlag, 2006.
4.   Abraham J. Malherbe (ed., trans.). Ancient Epistolary Theorists. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 1988, pp. 42–3.
5.   Simon Swain, 'Culture and Nature in Philostratus', in Ewen Bowie and Jaś Elsner (edd.), Philostratus. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009, especially pp. 41–5.
6.   On authorship see Ludo de Lannoy, ''Le problème des Philostrate (État de la question)', Aufstieg und Niedergang der Römischen Welt 2.34.3, 1997, pp. 2362–2449.
7.   Further brief remarks on the genre by Swain: 'Culture and nature in Philostratus', pp. 43–4 and by Rusten in his introduction, pp. 500–1.
8.   Gottfried Olearius (ed. and trans.), Philostratorum Quae Supersunt Omnia. Leipzig: Thomas Fritsch, 1709, p. 914.
9.   Jean François Boissonade (ed.), Philostrati Epistolae. Paris and Leipzig: Brockhaus et Avenarius, 1842, pp. 49–50 and 52–3.
10.   Carl Ludwig Kayser (ed.), Flavii Philostrati Opera. Leipzig: Teubner, 1844 (18712), p. v in the prooemium to the Epistolae.
11.   Karl Münscher, 'Die Philostrate', Philologus Supplementband 10, 1907, p. 510. See also Jaap-Jan Flinterman, Power, Paideia and Pythagoreanism. Amsterdam: J.C. Gieben, 1995, p. 6, who concludes that 'there is no reason to doubt that the extant pamphlet on this subject is identical to this "open letter" to Aspasius'.
12.   Olearius, Philostratorum Quae Supersunt Omnia, pp. 912–914; reprinted with additional textual notes in Boissonade, Philostrati Epistolae, pp. ix–xiv.
13.   Olearius, Philostratorum Quae Supersunt Omnia, p. 911.
14.   See Verity Platt, Facing the Gods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011, p. 78 with further bibliography.
15.   Wilhelm Schmid, Der Atticismus in seinen Hauptvertretern von Dionysius von Halikarnass bis auf den Zweiten Philostratus. Vierter Band. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1896, pp. 52–3.
16.   Olearius 1709, p. 673. For the lightly built Hermes see 'Hermes' in LIMC, for instance the Lysippean type in nos. 958 (Hermès attachant sa sandale) or 961 (Hermès au repos). ​

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From the Editor's Disk.

Editor James J. O'Donnell, Georgetown University (jod@georgetown.edu)

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BMCR has entered its twenty-fifth year, quietly, a few weeks ago. In that time we have published over 10,000 reviews, that is to say, more reviews than any of us could have read books in that time. Once a few years ago I formed the resolution at least to read every BMCR review for twelve months; by about March I had settled for at least opening and scanning briefly every review and even that proved to be a noticeable effort. I depend, and I suspect others do, for the "current awareness" of our reviews for a significant part of my ability to keep up with scholarship not central to my own current and prospective work.

We have worked hard to make our reviews as useful as possible. We impose word limits to ensure that reviews are concise enough to be useful; we have a Stakhanovite discipline of submission and editing to ensure that reviews are timely; we offer guidelines for the content of reviews that are not always, we admit, followed to the letter; and we expect high standards of integrity from our reviewers and editors and take action to remedy defects when, for example, conflicts of interest remain unresolved when a review has been published.

So what should we reasonably expect of a book review in this journal? Clarity, for one thing, the same clarity we expect in students' written work. Readers should come away with a clear and vivid sense of the book, its scope, its ambition, its method, and its intended audience. Its contents should be usefully epitomized, without descent into punishing detail. (Not every reviewed collection of articles needs what can become an analytical table of contents.)

Readers should also have an equally clear sense of the professional judgment of the reviewer on the utility and excellences of the book and the grounds for such a judgment. Such judgment is inevitably in some sense exemplary, where the interest is not exclusively in what Smedley thinks of the book but what a reasonable and learned Smedley could think of the book. What debate will the book arouse and how will it engage other scholars working in the field? What should the non-specialist know to situate this study of Thucydides in the larger landscape of relevant work? I don't need a reviewer to tell me whether a book is worth reading so much as I need to come away feeling comfortable and confident about making my own decision, if it is indeed one that I might wish to read, and feeling usefully and professionally informed, if it is one that lies beyond my proximate ken.

These expectations have their flip side, of course. What should I expect not to find in a review? Billingsgate and bad manners, for starters; disrespect for honorable effort; ideology in place of thought; self-presentation obtruding over a clear view of the book and its achievements; critique in detail so far out of balance that it becomes nit-picking. It might be a good rule that the worse the book might unfortunately turn out to be, the calmer and kinder should be the review. And of course we should review the book as written, not the book the reviewer would like to see written or would have written.

Not all our reviews achieve these high standards and we work to learn from our misfires (Aesch. Ag. 177). But for the holiday season, we could do worse than thank the centuries of reviewers who have achieved them so consistently and thank no less ardently those of our readers who have shared with us their disappointment when we do not hit our marks. Every reader should take a glance now and then at the long and distinguished honor roll of our Editorial Board, whose unselfish work is a real contribution to our profession for which they receive precious little thanks or recognition.

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Monday, December 22, 2014


Hans-Joachim Gehrke, Geschichte als Element antiker Kultur: die Griechen und ihre Geschichte(n). Münchner Vorlesungen zu Antiken Welten, Bd 2. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2014. Pp. viii, 150. ISBN 9783110350500. €59.95.

Reviewed by Hendrik Müller, University of Göttingen; Corpus Christi College, Oxford (hendrik.mueller@bildungunddialog.de)

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In this book, whose four chapters are based on public talks which Hans-Joachim Gehrke gave during his sojourn at Munich in the academic year 2012/13, he tackles the hitherto neglected question of how far notions of history had an impact on forms of political organization in ancient Greece.

To this end, Gehrke describes the process by which history and historiography became integral parts of Greek culture, and especially the way in which historiography was employed to shape the identity of the Greeks as a social group. With this approach of Selbstvergewisserung Gehrke follows Maurice Halbwachs' idea of a mémoire collective,1 which he himself has developed further as intentionale Geschichte or intentional history as a 'projection in time of the elements of subjective, self-conscious self categorization which construct the identity of a group as a group'.2

In chapter 1 Gehrke illustrates the mechanisms and instruments of intentional history, which is predominantly shaped by texts written in the first person plural, using the collective 'we' as a way to create a strong identification between the audience and the historical events described. Although this observation is arguably applicable to all forms of intentional history up to and including the present day, Gehrke insists that in the case of Greek culture it was poets and especially the archetypal texts of Homeric and Hesiodic epic that initiated Greek intentional history. These texts had an enormous impact on all subsequent texts describing historical events. Therefore Greek intentional history is on the one hand deeply rooted in the sphere of mythology, which — according to Gehrke — the modern reader would too easily classify as unhistorical; on the other hand its texts were for a long period presented and communicated orally. Through this method of presentation the texts also had a strong social function, by presenting historical characters and their deeds publicly, and ensuring their posthumous fame. And as a third characteristic of Greek intentional history Gehrke identifies the role played by representative citizens of the community — e.g. as a tragic chorus — who themselves contributed to this public Vergangenheitspflege or 'care for the past'.

Gehrke concludes that history and events or people worth memorializing were usually presented in a ritual or in a ritualized way. By means of constant repetition, and by employing the insistent combination of text, music and dance as typical elements of public presentation, past and present were brought closer together.

In chapter 2 Gehrke addresses the question of content, and seeks to demonstrate the forms, structures, motives, and aims of the various notions of history. In this connexion he examines the function of myth and the narrative character of Greek historiography. The mythological narratio, which is now commonly called mythic history or abbreviated mythistory,3 is a key element of Greek historical identity, because it not only commemorates central elements of Greek collective history like the fall of Troy, but it also reflects the historical migrations of earlier generations and tribes. This Wandermotiv was later adopted by Herodotus. Gehrke emphasizes that the difficult task of identity-building could be achieved only through a partly imaginary reconstruction of the past.

In chapter 3 Gehrke focuses on the development of the genre of historiography proper and tries to show how it interacted with the early phases of the genre of rhetoric, which produced a much more popular and self-conscious (i.e., epideictic) form of history.

Chapter 4 deals with the constant conflict between the demands of rhetoric on the one hand and those of authenticity or ἀλήθεια on the other. Gehrke makes it clear that both elements, the rhetorical-epideictic as well as the intellectual- rational, are characteristic elements of Greek historiography and are often found in combination. He demonstrates this common technique by a close examination of Theopompus, and concludes that in his historical writings Theopompus uses elements of rhetoric as a way of allocating praise and dispraise. But Theopompus also distinguishes carefully between moralizing censure on the one hand and on the other hand political material for which he carried out meticulous research, including the not infrequent interviewing of eyewitnesses with a view to confirming the plausibility of his account. Gehrke points out that this ambivalence is typical of Greek historiography. The entire genre was characterized by a combination of myth and history and was designed for a readership that was accustomed to a rhetorical representation of the past.

In his summary (Ausblick) Gehrke says that the modern reader is naturally troubled by the gap between facts and fiction, between myth and (what we call) history.4 But Greek historiography impressively demonstrates that both elements belong together, and that we should not be too quick to condemn their combination: it is the narrative element which brings historical events alive. And as Gehrke has persuasively demonstrated this is essential for a deeper understanding of the past.

The book is a very dense and compact read. It gives new insights and fresh perspectives into Greek historiography and its development and presentation. The volume is beautifully produced and contains two coloured plates, a full bibliography and a helpful index of authors ancient and modern, mythological figures, places and other events and terms. The only criticism relates to the phonetic transliteration of Greek keywords and phrases.

All in all Gehrke's book is inspiring. It gives the reader fresh insights into Greek historiography and its development down to the Hellenistic period especially emphasizing both the importance, and also the intellectual, social, and political influence, of this key phenomenon of ancient culture.


1.   Halbwachs, M.: La mémoire collective. Edition critique par G. Namer, Paris 1997.
2.   Foxhall, L., Gehrke, H.-J., Luraghi, N. (edd.), Intentional History: Spinning Time in Ancient Greece. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2010.
3.   The term originated in 1985 as the title of an address given to the American Historical Association by the historian William McNeill, cf. id., 'Mythistory, or Truth, Myth, History, and Historians', in: The American Historical Review, Vol. 91, No. 1 (Feb., 1986), 1-10.
4.   In German the wordplay between Geschichte and Geschichten which Gehrke also uses in the subtitle of his book is of course much more illuminating.

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Francesca Fulminante, The Urbanization of Rome and Latium Vetus: From the Bronze Age to the Archaic Era. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Pp. xx, 411. ISBN 9781107030350. $99.00.

Reviewed by Gabriel Zuchtriegel, Università degli Studi della Basilicata (gabrielzuchtriegel@yahoo.de)

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Anyone familiar with the issues discussed in this book will note immediately that in spite of the sober title the author is venturing into highly contested territory. Few questions in early Roman archaeology are so disputed as the "urbanisation" of Rome (and Latium).1 One of the crucial questions is the extent to which archaeological discoveries conform to ancient accounts on the origins of Rome as a city. As Fulminante puts it in the introduction (p. 1): "When did the city begin in middle Tyrrhenian Italy…And what was there before the city?"

Fulminante argues that there was actually a significant step in the urbanisation of Rome around the middle of the 8th century, but that the process of settlement nucleation and urbanisation had started already much earlier, in the Final Bronze Age. She uses a broad spectrum of data, though the main contribution of her book lies clearly in the field of landscape archaeology and spatial analysis.

After presenting a brief survey of theoretical approaches to urbanisation in middle Tyrrhenian Italy (chapter 1), the second chapter addresses the nature of data used for the study. The mapping and assessment of major field survey projects carried out in Latium vetus is of great value for anyone who wants to get an idea about the state of the art in this field.

The third chapter focuses on the development of Rome from Bronze Age village to Archaic city and is in large part a summary of the work of Andrea Carandini and his team during the last three decades or so. Although there are occasional references to differing views, the fundamental problems in Carandini's model are not discussed. In various places Fulminante correlates archaeological data with ancient accounts on the seven kings of Rome, but she does not discuss when and on which basis these accounts were written. For example, she refers to Numa Pompilius, who reigned "ca. 715-672 BC" (p. 92) and Tullus Hostilius, "dated to ca. 672-640 BC according to the tradition based on literary accounts" (p. 80), implicating that there is at least some historical truth in the dates, whereas historians and philologists agree that this is highly improbable.2

In chapter four ("The territorial level: definition and dating of the Ager Romanus Antiquus") the study proceeds with the application of GIS-based spatial analysis. Fulminante attempts to estimate how many people could live off the original territory of Rome as reconstructed on the basis of cult practices that survived into the historical periods. In a further step, she relates this to population estimates on the basis of settlement sizes, applying densities between 85 and 300 inhabitants per hectare. According to the model proposed here, the population exceeded the carrying capacity of the Roman territory as early as the 8th century BC. Fulminante suggests that "the traditional accounts of the aggressive stance of the city towards neighbouring communities from a very early stage reveal a core of historical truth" (p. 132). However, the numbers should be taken with extreme caution, given that we know actually very little about the inner structure of the settlement.

Chapters 5 and 6 are the most innovative and important parts of the study. In chapter 5 Fulminante examines a sample area north of Rome, roughly circumscribed by the ancient sites of Crustumerium, Fidenae, and Casale Capobianco, where an intensive field survey was carried out in the 1990s. Using data from unpublished theses dealing with the survey, Fulminante is able to verify major settlement trends in the region, emphasizing nucleation processes in the Early Iron Age as well as a new increase in small rural sites during the Orientalizing period (ca. 730-580 BC). Spatial analysis carried out on the basis of the survey data leads to some interesting results, e.g. when the author observes that the increased density of sites beyond a walking distance of 20 minutes from rivers coincides with innovative processes in water management (emergence of so called cuniculi, or underground water channels).

In chapter 6 spatial analysis, combined with statistical models such as rank-size distribution, is extended to the entire region of Latium Vetus. Fulminante argues that an important step towards "higher complexity" was made during the late 10th and the first half of the 9th century BC, i.e., long before the beginning of Greek colonisation in Italy. At the same time, the author claims that changing settlement patterns reflect the transformation of Bronze Age chiefdom societies into early states or city-states.

In chapter 7, the results of spatial analysis and landscape archaeology are compared with other kinds of data, with the objective of elaborating a "multi-dimensional and multi-theoretical approach to urbanisation and state formation in Latium Vetus", as the title reads. The chapter discusses issues such as funerary evidence, economy, artisanry and specialisation, rituals and cult places, ethnicity, and vegetation history. It is followed by twelve pages of conclusions as well as an appendix with tables and graphs regarding the spatial analyses carried out in chapters 5 and 6. Finally, there is a bibliography and an index.

As to the two questions raised in the introduction—when did the city begin in Middle Tyrrhenian Italy and what was there before the city? —Fulminante is quite clear on the first one: The middle of the 8th century BC coincides, in her eyes, with a critical point in the development of Rome. From now on, the city was a "political community" and the inhabitants were organized as a citizen-body. Rome was therefore "perhaps the first city-state in the western Mediterranean" (p. 251). However, landscape archaeology approaches are hardly apt to verify Carandini's model according to which Rome was founded during the middle of the 8th century (on April 21st in 753 BC, to be precise3 – which is, as has to be stressed, not the only foundation date given by ancient authors, as Fulminante seems to presuppose on p. 84). What landscape archaeology can do is to reveal long-term settlement transformations, and Fulminante's work actually sheds new light on this aspect, especially on the profound transformations going on from the beginnings of the Orientalizing period ca. 730 BC onwards. Apart from Orientalizing elite tombs, which the author has studied in a previous monograph,4 the transformation of Latin settlements and social organisation becomes evident in various fields. In the case of ritual activity, Fulminante emphasises the existence of early cult places at Rome, but there is also other evidence that could be mentioned here. In fact, besides the sanctuary of Vesta at Rome, finds from other sites such as the East Sanctuary at Gabii and the acropolis of Satricum point to collective banquet rituals already in the late 8th century BC.5 Although in the beginnings the participants of the banquets used almost exclusively local impasto pottery, the fact that they did not gather in 'private' dwellings or at tombs, but on sites that would become (or just had become) public sanctuaries (the sacra publica of the Twelve Tables), points to the emergence of new forms of communication and interaction within the community. Fulminante's work shows that these developments were accompanied by transformations in the settlement pattern, most notably the spread of secondary sites, which are interpreted as dependent villages.

As to the second question (what was there before the city?), Fulminante provides no real answer. Instead, she prefers to define that which was there before the city as something that will become a city (proto-urban settlements). The underlying model is basically an evolutionary one, as becomes evident from the subtitle of chapter 3 "Rome from a small Bronze Age village to the great city of the Archaic Age," but especially from the frequent use of the term "proto-urban." According to Fulminante, early Latin settlement centres were proto-urban for several centuries (in the case of Rome, 11th/10th - 8th century BC), and some never developed into urban settlements. However, the concept of proto-urban settlements is problematic because of its teleological character—it makes sense only in retrospect. The inhabitants of 9th century Rome, who had no idea of the twins and the she-wolf or whatever happened in the 8th century and later, must have had a proper notion of the settlement they lived in, independently from future developments. This is, of course, not a new problem. Expressions like la città prima della città6 point to the same difficulty in defining what was there before the city. What Fulminante makes clear is that neither the term village nor the term city really apply to the central places of Early Iron Age Latium.

In her interpretation of the evolution of Bronze Age villages to proto-urban and finally to urban settlements, Fulminante repeatedly stresses the increasing complexity of both settlement patterns and society as a whole. In her eyes, the general development during the periods studied in the book is characterized by "evolutionary trends towards greater complexity" (p. 250, see also p. 259: "long-term processes leading to higher complexity", p. 260: "remarkable trend towards higher complexity and settlement hierarchical organisation"). The idea that urbanisation is synonymous with increasing complexity is widespread and can be found also in publications on Geometric and Archaic Greece.7 But I wonder if it is not precisely this idea that somewhat obstructs our view on non-urban settlements. After all, why should such settlements be considered less complex than cities? In fact, examples of "proto-urban" settlements that are relatively well known thanks to field surveys and excavations, e.g. the "polycentric settlement" of Early Iron Age Torre di Satriano in southern Italy, where an elite building that collapsed during an earthquake around 480 BC was brought to light, demonstrate that such settlements were characterized by a great variety of religious, ritual, economic, and "political" activities.8 The feasts celebrated in the dwellings of local chiefs comprised more or less the whole community, and permitted the expression of complex hierarchies.9 In a way, such settlements may appear even more "complex" in the sense of "complicated" than urban settlements where the various forms of social interaction are contextualised within specific and well defined spaces: sanctuaries, private houses, public spaces, and necropoleis.

In conclusion, while some crucial questions regarding the urbanisation of Rome and Latium remain open, Francesca Fulminante's book represents an important contribution, since it provides a new basis for the debate on changing settlement patterns in Early Iron Age and Archaic Latium. It should be read not only by archaeologists, but also by historians and other scholars interested in the origins of Rome and Mediterranean urbanisation.


1.   Cf. recently Ampolo, C. 2013. Il problema delle origini di Roma rivisitato. Concordismo, ipertradizionalismo acritio, contesti. I, "Annali della Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa. Classe di Lettere e Filosofia" 5/1: 217-248.
2.   Ibidem.
3.   Carandini, A. 2006. La leggenda di Roma, I. Dalla nascita dei gemelli alla fondazione della città, Milan; 2007. Roma: il primo giorno, Rome/Bari.
4.   Fulminante, F. 2003. Le tombe principesche nel Latium vetus fra la fine della prima età del Ferro e l'inizio dell'età Orientalizzante, Rome.
5.   Cf. Zuchtriegel, G. 2012. Gabii I: Das Santuario Orientale im Zeitalter der Urbanisierung. Eisenzeitliche und archaische Funde der Ausgrabungen 1976/77, Venosa: 244-7, with further references.
6.   Bettelli, M. 1997. La città prima della città: i tempi di una nascità. La cronologia delle sepolture ad inumazione a Roma e nel Lazio nella prima età del Ferro, Rome.
7.   See for example Lang, F. 2007. House – community – settlement: the new concept of living in Archaic Greece, in Westgate, R., Fisher, N., Whitley, J. (eds.). Building communities. House, Settlement and Society in the Aegean and Beyond ("British School at Athens Studies" 15): 183-193.
8.   Osanna, M., Vullo, S. (eds.) 2013. Segni del potere. Oggetti di lusso dal Mediterraneo nell'Appennino lucano di età arcaica, Venosa, with bibliography.
9.   M. Osanna, ibidem: 117-135.

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Rebecca F. Kennedy, C. Sydnor Roy, Max L. Goldman (ed.), Race and Ethnicity in the Classical World: An Anthology of Primary Sources in Translation. Indianapolis; Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Company, 2013. Pp. xviii, 405. ISBN 9781603849944. $19.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Naoíse Mac Sweeney, University of Leicester (nm241@le.ac.uk)

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Sourcebooks are an invaluable tool for students and teachers alike, and sourcebooks focused on particular themes can be especially useful. The compilation of the first such sourcebook on the theme of race and ethnicity in classical antiquity was an ambitious task, but one that Kennedy, Roy and Goldman have tackled with gusto. The result is an accessible volume filled with clear translations of a wide range of classical texts, with little in the way of apparatus and additional information. This has the virtue of preventing readers from getting sidetracked and confused, and making the topic easily approachable by students, particularly those not familiar with classical antiquity. However, more advanced students and specialists would have benefitted from a greater recognition within the book of the complex and problematic nature of both the theme and the evidence base.

The book opens with a brief introduction (6 pages), followed by six maps based on the writings of Homer, Hecataeus, Herodotus, Strabo/Eratosthenes, Pomponius Mela, and Ptolemy. The main body of the book comprises a selection of Greek and Latin passages offered in translation, each reflecting in some way on the theme of race and ethnicity. This is followed by a short list (4 pages) of recommended editions of classical texts, and an equally concise bibliography of wider reading (4 pages). The sources themselves are organised into two main sections – 'Theories' and 'The Peoples of the Ancient World'. The first section is by far the shorter, and occupies roughly one quarter of the book. It begins with a chapter covering passages from Homer and Hesiod; and one with selections from Pindar to Hyginus dealing with origin myths for humanity as a whole, as well as for Greeks (framed as either Hellenes or Danaans, or in two specific cases also the origins of the Spartans and Boeotians) and Romans. This is followed by three chapters presenting what the book's compilers consider to be the three main theories of human difference that were present in the ancient world: difference due to environment; difference due to genetic inheritance; and difference due to cultural factors. In each chapter, passages are arranged roughly by chronology. The second section of the book begins with a chapter offering different descriptions of the known world in its entirety, from Pindar to Ptolemy. This is followed by nine further chapters, organised geographically (Egypt; Libya, Carthage, and Numidia; Ethiopia and Beyond; Persia, Media, Babylon, and Parthia; Judea and the Jewish Diaspora; Arabia; India, China, and the Edges of the World; The Black Sea Region; and Gaul, Germany and Britain). Throughout the book, each passage is prefaced with a short (usually one sentence but sometimes as long as three) summary outlining its content and context, while chapters open with a paragraph of introduction. Passages vary from several lines to several pages in length, and there are occasional footnotes to clarify points of information in the text.

The structure of the book makes it easy to consult. It is both logical and helpful to begin with a section introducing ancient ideas of 'self' (taken broadly) and approaches to explaining human variation, and to move on from there to exploring ancient descriptions of the 'peoples' of the world. However, there are some issues to be raised regarding structure and organisation. Firstly, it would have been useful to have a more detailed explanation of the chapter divisions in the first section. It is unclear, for example, why Homer and Hesiod are dealt with in their own separate chapter (Chapter 1), rather than being integrated into the other chapters. A fuller discussion of the tripartite division of ancient 'theories' into the environmental, the genetic, and the cultural would also have been welcome, perhaps at the start of the relevant chapters. In the general introduction, the editors acknowledge that the division is problematic (p. xvi), but do not engage in a discussion of the topic. Other structural problems surface in the second section. In a supposedly comprehensive survey of the ancient world, the regions of Anatolia, Thrace, and the Iberian peninsula are conspicuous by their absence. Similarly, within the Levant, the only region and population group included is 'Judea and the Jewish Diaspora' (Chapter 11), while no mention is made of other Levantine groups such as Phoenicians, Syrians, and Philistines. The rationale for these exclusions is not explained by the editors. In addition, a confusing organisational anomaly occurs in Chapter 10 on 'Asia: Persia, Media, Babylon (sic), and Parthia'. This chapter includes a sub- section on 'Parthia', but no similar subsections for Persia, Media, and Babylonia. Indeed, there are no other subsections given over to specific regions elsewhere in the book, and in the absence of any editorial comment, the need for a special section on Parthia remains unexplained. Finally, while passages on Greek and Roman views of 'self' are included in the first section, there is no section devoted to the topic of how Greeks viewed Romans, and vice versa.

In any book of this type, difficult decisions must be made concerning the selection of sources, and inclusion and exclusion of passages. Indeed, each scholar of ancient ethnicity would doubtless present a different collection of texts if tasked with compiling such a sourcebook. It is a strength of this book that it includes not only many classic passages which have become standard reference points for the subject, but also sections of less-cited texts. In addition to Herodotus and Livy, we find Antiphon, Babrius, and Ctesias. A range of genres are also represented, from more obviously geographic and ethnographic tests such as Pseudo-Scylax, Strabo, and Pliny; to the elegiac of Ovid, the drama of Euripides, and the romance of Achilles Tatius. There are some peculiarities, however, which raise questions about the selection process. Why, for example, are passages from the Odyssey included but not the Iliad? Why does Chapter 4, on genetic theories, feature only Greek and no Latin texts? Having some explanation of the factors informing the selection of passages may aid the reader at several points. One particularly important instance of this is the inclusion of an inscription in Chapter 10 (no.16; CIL XI.137, a funerary monument for a Parthian man from Ravenna). This is the only inscription in the entire volume, and it is clear neither why, if epigraphic material in general was to be included, more inscriptions do not appear in the book; nor why, if epigraphic material in general was to be excluded, this particular inscription merits special and unique consideration. Given the particular benefits and challenges of working with epigraphic evidence, a general policy of either inclusion or exclusion would have been defensible. In contrast, the presence of a single inscription in this manner does not encourage a reflective approach that takes into account the nature of the source material.

In general, a more critical approach to the sources throughout the book would have been desirable. In their introduction, the editors state that the sourcebook will include only written sources, as evidence from material culture and iconography "can be difficult to present and interpret" (p. xiv). The implication, perhaps unintended, is that written sources are not difficult to interpret. It would have been preferable to communicate the opposite – i.e. the need for careful and critical engagement with the source material. As has long been established, the 'facts' about identity and ethnicity in classical antiquity cannot be straightforwardly read from the texts. It is now widely accepted that, rather than passively reflecting social realities, our source material (such as that presented in this book) was part of an ongoing discourse which was constantly shaping and re-shaping ancient identities. Given that the nature of the theme – race and ethnicity – engenders heated debate and politicised argument, a more explicit acknowledgement of historiographic problems would have been good. A stronger theoretical framework may have helped with this. Reference is made in the general introduction to the distinction between 'race' and 'ethnicity', but the terminology is not used consistently throughout the book, and the suggested further reading does not include many of the more recent works on the topic.

Overall, this book is a useful volume, presented in a handy, accessible format. Used in conjunction with critical frameworks, it is a valuable resource for students of ancient identity and ethnicity.

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Richard Hunter, Antonios Rengakos, Evina Sistakou (ed.), Hellenistic Studies at a Crossroads: Exploring Texts, Contexts and Metatexts. Trends in classics - supplementary volumes, 25. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2014. Pp. viii, 379. ISBN 9783110342895. $154.00.

Reviewed by Tom Phillips, University of Oxford (thomas.phillips@merton.ox.ac.uk)

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Table of Contents

The preface to this volume emphasises the 'variety of material and methodology' opened up to the critic of Hellenistic literature by scholarly developments over the last quarter of a century, and advocates critical approaches that exploit both avenues. The diverse and rewarding collection of essays that follows is both an exemplification and a protreptic, and will be required reading for anyone interested in the field.

The volume ranges widely across time, place, and texts, and although the contributions are grouped under headings such as 'Genre', 'Style and Narrative', 'Aesthetics', and 'Scholarship', one of the book's signal strengths is to demonstrate the interrelation of these different areas. Guido Massimilla's essay on Callimachus' reworking of early Greek elegy, for instance, focuses on how he adopts motifs connected with speaker positions to new contexts, but also sets these literary manoeuvres against the background of his scholarship (pp. 8-9). Although also included in the 'Genres' section, David Sider's piece on the definition and development of didactic poetry in the Hellenistic period likewise illustrates the complex interaction of formal and contextual issues. He begins by showing that didactic poetry is less specifically conceptualized in the classical period than one might expect, pointing especially to the list of genres considered beneficial and instructional at Aristophanes Frogs 1030-36 (pp. 18-21), and that 'didactic poetry was essentially invented in Hellenistic times, and then retrojected backward in time to include only those earlier poets that conformed to Hellenistic notions' (p. 22). He identifies the importance of versification of technical prose treatises as the crucial differentiating factor in the composition of Hellenistic didactic (pp. 22-4), and draws attention to the relative unimportance of ethical considerations to later work in the genre, as opposed to their primary role in the Works and Days. His conclusions stress the tension between generic and formal variety: from the Hellenistic age onwards didactic 'is a type that purports to teach … but on a formal level can be a congeries of subtypes each capable of bearing its own generic label if found elsewhere' (p. 28). By focusing on the role of intellectual contexts in shaping generic norms and poetic practice, the essay provides a usefully historicized account of formal typologies and their workings.

A different approach to the connections between poetry and prose is elaborated by Gregory Hutchinson, who focuses on structural and stylistic connections between the two. Particularly intriguing are his comments (pp. 33-4) on links between prose rhythm and poetry, and the parallels between the presentation of emotionally charged scenes in Apollonius of Rhodes and Polybius (pp. 36-8). Having made the case for mutual influence at the level of formal structures, Hutchinson proceeds to explore the differences between the uses of 'ego-language' in poetry and prose, instructively differentiating types of self-assertion and their generic inflections (pp. 43-6). Richard Hunter's treatment of Theocritean style is similarly fine-grained in its approach to the minutiae of poetic language. Especially powerful is his reading of Id. 16.51-2 (οὐδ' Ὀδυσεὺς ἑκατόν τε καὶ εἴκοσι μῆνας ἀλαθείς / πάντας ἐπ' ἀνθρώπους) as a kind of 'explanatory gloss' on the description of Odysseus' wanderings at the beginning of the Odyssey. After considering the possibility of Theocritus' representation of poetry being influenced by scholarly accounts such as those preserved in the scholia on Pindar Nemean 7.17-24 (iii 120-1 Dr), he suggests that the ἀκρίβεια of Theocritus' 'one hundred and twenty months' is productively at odds with Homer's stylistic grandeur: 'Theocritus' phrase is … as prosaic a gloss on the opening of the Odyssey as one could imagine … The σεμνότης of Homeric verse can turn the bald facts and numbers of 'what happened' into something memorable' (p. 64).

The rest of the essay is devoted to similarly complex connections between Theocritus' reworking of Homeric language and the techniques of Homeric scholarship. Hunter ends with a sensibly cautionary note on the limits imposed by the evidence on what we can say about such connections (p. 74), but his readings are a valuable addition to the ongoing explication of how scholarly modes of writing in antiquity influenced poetic practice. Alexander Sens's essay on similes in Lycophron's Alexandra patrols similar territory. As well as shedding light on how Lycophron's similes reflect on the literary tradition and his own compositional procedures, he detects various points of possible contact between the Alexandra and Homeric exegesis. One such is the wasp simile at Alex. 180-2, modeled on Il.16.259-65. The scholia report that Aristophanes of Byzantium athetized Il. 16.261, which describes the children taunting the wasps, but Lycophron has included this detail in his comparison (p. 105). Although it cannot be demonstrated with certainty that Lycrophron was responding to a scholarly controversy, the example is certainly suggestive when seen together with other similar passages that Sens cites. Kathryn Gutzwiller's exploration of the use of dialect in Meleager's epigrams considers the historical embeddedness of literary style from a more socio-political perspective, offering a corrective to the prevailing view that dialects in the Garland are of little literary significance. She argues instead that 'dialect choice contributes to the formation of an epigrammatist's poetic self- representation' (p. 94), and demonstrates convincingly that Meleager's use of dialects is linked to specific literary strategies, such as the representation of a realistically Coan voice through use of Doric dialect forms (p. 81). Annemarie Ambühl's analysis of elliptical narrative in Hellenistic epyllion and Catullus is perhaps the volume's most theoretically sophisticated piece. She focuses chiefly on Cat. 61-8, a group which, in common with numerous other scholars, she reads as a coherent whole (p. 118). Her over-arching argument is that narrative ellipses in one poem encourage supplementation by the reader with images or narrative elements from other poems within the group. Examples include the mention of episodes relating to the Trojan war, such as the judgement of Paris at 61.16-20, supplementing the account of the Trojan War in 64 (pp. 121-3). As well as making numerous stimulating suggestions about individual passages, Ambühl's account is an important contribution to our understanding both of the poetics of the book and the reception of Hellenistic narrative techniques.

The essays gathered under the heading 'Aesthetics' are similarly wide-ranging in scope and subject matter. In her exploration of how emotions are represented in Hellenistic literature, Evina Sistakou focuses chiefly on Moschus and Apollonius, arguing that Hellenistic poetry is distinguished by a focus on sensation as opposed to the more cognitive conception of emotions found in Aristotle. Filippomaria Pontani's piece is the book's sole foray into post-classical reception, a fascinating exploration of 'Alexandrianism' as a literary category in the long twentieth century and its applications to figures such as Mallarmé, Cavafy, and Eliot. Reception of a different sort is at issue in Évelyne Prioux's essay on epigram, which highlights how the genre combines literary and artistic allusions. The metapoetic use of ecphrasis in Posidippus and other early epigrammatists is now well established, and she argues for similar uses of this technique in Antipater of Sidon, Philip, and Meleager. Meleager's funerary epigram for Antipater (122 G-P), for instance, is shown to borrow the techniques of disposition of related images in contemporary art (pp. 188-91), while Antipater's epigrams on Apelles' and Praxiteles' sculptures of Aphrodite (44 and 45 G-P) act as aesthetic self-positioning (pp. 200-2).

The section on 'Scholarship' contains two essays with very different aims and agendas. Andrew Faulkner's piece explores connections between Jewish and Greek literature, focusing on the appropriation of Greek poetic vocabulary evident in Philo Senior's hexameter versions of biblical narratives. Faulkner subjects these fragments to attentive close readings, leading to a convincing textual suggestion for Supplementum Hellenisticum 682.1 (p. 246-8), and several arguments that deepen our understanding of Philo's poetic practices, including a case for appropriation of Apollonius Rhodius Argonautica 4.627-9 at SH 683 (pp. 254-6). Marco Fantuzzi's essay on the tragic scholia is more directly focused on ancient scholarship. The majority of the piece is taken up with an analysis of how the scholia deal with the issue of potentially comic moments in the tragedians. Fantuzzi highlights a marked difference between the scholiasts on Euripides and Sophocles, the latter tending to commend their author for avoiding an excessively comic mode, the former tending to focus on failures to achieve tragic sublimity, a tendency particularly marked in comments on plays such as Orestes. While the analyses of tragic heroism found in the scholia are indebted to Aristotle, there are also crucial differences between the philosopher and his critical successors with regard to their treatment of comic material in tragedies: whereas Aristotle was apparently not concerned with the possibility that tragedy might be contaminated by comedy, the only exception being his discussion of Cleophon at Rhet. 3.1408a (p. 223), the impulse to police the generic distinction becomes more pronounced in the Hellenistic period. One instance of this is the difference in the treatment of interrupted catastrophes in Euripides' plays by Aristotle and Aristophanes of Byzantium. Aristotle sees interrupted catastrophe as perfectly compatible with tragedy, whereas Aristophanes censures it (p. 226). These criticisms are couched in generic terms: whereas Aristotle sees 'double structure' plays as producing a weaker form of pleasure that resembles that of comedy, Aristophanes goes further and criticises tragedies without a final catastrophe as too comic (pp. 230-1). He then posits a connection between the poetic practice of blurring genres and the scholarly impulse to clarify generic typologies, suggesting that Menander's use of tragic structural motifs such as reconciliation and anagnorisis may have played an especially important role, prompting 'critics [to] assum[e] the task of demarcating Euripides' happy-ending tragedy from Menander's tragically infused comedy' (p. 233).

The final group of essays is concerned with contextualization, although again with a good deal of methodological variety. Annette Harder argues that the choice of locations and the disposition of narrative material in the Aetia reflects the networks of social and geographical association that regulated polis interaction in the Hellenistic period, while Ivana Petrovic sees connections between Persian ruler-discourse and that of the Ptolemies, mediated by direct personal contact from the time of Alexander onward, and by the historiographical interest in things Persian that reaches back to the fifth century. She suggests that Posidippus' depiction of the Ptolemies' riches, and the 'ideology of universal rule' in other Hellenistic authors, can be traced back to representations of the Achaemenid dynasty. Examining different social strata, Sylvia Barbantani analyses the commemorative strategies at work in funerary epigrams for soldiers during the Hellenistic period and uncovers numerous instances of epigrammatic conventions being skillfully attuned to specific local and individual circumstances.

The diversity of approaches and subjects explored in this volume make it resistant to summary, and some readers, especially those less familiar with the field, may regret the absence of an introduction offering an overview of the approaches on display and putting them (however provisionally) into a coherent picture.1 However, the volume's success in opening up new directions of travel for students of Hellenistic literature, as well as the excellence of much of its content, ought to ensure it a wide and attentive readership.


1.   The volume is generally well presented, but quite a few typos and errors intrude, e.g. 'growns' p. 106, 'complete insensate' p. 111, 'she awaits for' p. 143, '1900 s' p. 165, 'presentify' p. 171, 'Jonn' p. 260, 'examples on' p. 302, 'revealing on' p. 302, 'rhetoric device' p. 311, 'indulgence on' p. 329. On p. 132, n. 53 contains a reference to a paper not included in the volume; 'fig. 10' at p. 207 n. 61 should read 'fig. 9'; p. 220 n. 11 contains a misspelled name. On p. 228 'most drastically' should read 'more', on p. 232 'easily ring' should read 'rings', and on p. 322 'exemplar' should be 'exemplary'.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014


Cécile Daude, Sylvie David, Michel Fartzoff, Claire Muckensturm-Poulle, Scholies à Pindare, Volume I: Vies de Pindare et scholies à la première Olympique. "Un chemin de paroles" (O. I, 110). Institut des sciences et techniques de l'Antiquité. Besançon: Presses universitaires de Franche-Comté, 2013. Pp. 498. ISBN 9782848674650. €38.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Enrico Emanuele Prodi, Christ Church, University of Oxford (enrico.prodi@chch.ox.ac.uk)

Version at BMCR home site

Several genres of ancient literature have seen a much-deserved resurgence of interest in the last few decades: one need only think of post-Augustan Latin poetry or the Greek novel. As a (small) flurry of recent publications suggests, perhaps the time has come for ancient scholarship, and specifically for scholia to ancient authors, to enjoy a similar fate. Translations of scholiastic corpora have an essential role to play in broadening access to them beyond the circle of specialists who are familiar with their workings, idiosyncrasies, and peculiar language. Some such translations have begun to be published, at least on the Greek side: in French, the scholia to Aristophanes' Frogs and Plutus by Marcel Chantry and to Apollonius of Rhodes by Guy Lachenaud (Paris 2009 and 2010 respectively); in Italian, the scholia to Aeschylus by Ilaria Ramelli and to Hesiod by Cesare Cassanmagnago (Milan, both 2009). The volume under review, the work of a team based at the Université de Franche-Comté in Besançon, represents the first complete translation of the scholia vetera to Pindar's first Olympian into any modern language, as Michel Briand remarks in his preface (p. 10).

After the preface (9-13), the volume falls into three sections: a general introduction by Cécile Daude (15-45) sketching the history of the scholia, their transmission, their interests and style, and the principles followed in the present publication; an introduction, text, translation, and commentary (in the form of end-notes) to the three Lives of Pindar transmitted by medieval manuscripts as well as the few shorter texts which accompany them in Drachmann's edition, with Philostratus' εἰκών of Pindar as a further Annexe (47-173); and an introduction, text, translation, and commentary to the scholia to the first Olympian (175-451). Sadly but perhaps understandably, the metrical scholia—presumably the likeliest to befuddle the uninitiated reader—are excluded.1

The basic principle of the translation is laid out in the introduction: "toujours essayer, si le français s'en accommode, de traduire de telle façon que le lecteur averti puisse reconnaître le texte grec" (21, cf. 216, emphasis original). The outcome is, as a rule, closely faithful to the original, but at the same time clear and highly readable. Recurrent words and expressions tend to be translated with reassuring consistency; after a few pages one feels one could truly guess the Greek from the French. Translation-wise the Besançon team has done a very good job.

Occasions for disagreement with their choices are few and relatively minor. τῶν αὐτῶν μέμνηνται πράξεων at Vita Ambrosiana 2.22-3 more probably indicates that Simonides and Pindar 'mention the same events' (a staple of their synchronism) than that they "font mention de leurs activités" (61);2 παρθενικάων at Vita metrica 29 is not a synonym of παρθεναίων (65); in the epigram on the nine lyricists, 9 ἠέ stands for ἤ not ἠδέ, and "est en grande distinction chez les Lydiens" for 19 ἐν Λυδοῖσι μέγα πρέπει is somewhat misleading (67); at 5d, ἆθλα must mean 'contests' not 'prizes', cf. 5c (189); at 35d, ἐτυμολογεῖται ἀπό means not 'the etymology comes from' but 'the etymology is said to come from' (195, cf. 313);3 etc. In schol. 174a, a negative has disappeared: "si éventuellement le bonheur <ne> te fait défaut" (212). Translating the end-title as "Fin (de l'ode) du Thébain (Pindare) pour Hiéron" is a gallant but rather unsuccessful attempt to make sense of a corrupt text (213).

The Greek text relies on Drachmann's (Leipzig 1903),4 but the editors make their own choices, whether by accepting or refusing his deletions or by promoting variants or conjectures from his apparatus into the text. In a few cases the change is significant, such as Drachmann's θετόν for τόν at Vita Vaticana 4.10 (62, cf. 136-8) or CD's highly dubious τυπικῶς for τοπικῶς at schol. 118 (205, cf. 390-2). Beside this last example, interventions are generally for the better, and more might have been made. Mommsen's Κρόνου <παῖδα> at 16b, which the editors endorse (191, cf. 273-4), was worth promoting to the text; an easy corruption goes unspotted at 19a (191, cf. 277-9: read ἐναντία);5 the choice to retain without daggers or comment the impossible ἐνδεδεγμένους at Vita metrica 27 is perplexing (65), as is τῆς Κάδμου βασιλείας at Vita Ambrosiana 3.2 (61, cf. 102-3, which misses the problem entirely). There is no apparatus, but deviations from Drachmann are signalled in the footnotes, and the most important ones are discussed in the commentary.

The commentary to the scholia aims to investigate "les attitudes (…) les réactions morales et affectives, la démarche, le mode opératoire des commentateurs qui se sont interessés au texte de Pindare" (27). In practice, it entwines elucidations of individual annotations with leisurely explorations of related topics, from recurrent expressions in the scholiastic jargon to important subjects in ancient criticism and interpretations of Pindar's own text. There is much that is of value and several interesting points on matters of detail, such as nn. 19 (245-7, on νῦν), 39 (283-4, on schol. 20c-d), 86 (351, on 80b), and 111 (403, on O. 1.86). One explanation I genuinely miss is on καί embedding explanatory synonymy ('i.e.') in a paraphrastic passage, a frequent and potentially confusing usage which the editors do not acknowledge openly (e.g. schol. 184a ἐν ὕψει καὶ εὐδαιμονίαι, cf. 185). Reference is often made to ancient literary and linguistic criticism, lexica, and the like, but comparison of ideas and modes of thought across the Pindar scholia themselves is not attempted systematically. An index to notes on the scholiasts' idiolect (ἀκουστέον, ἄλλως, ἀντὶ τοῦ, etc.) usefully enables the commentary to double as a reference work (473-8).

Comments are not exempt from occasional overinterpretation. In inscriptio a, γράφων (said of Bacchylides) is rendered as "peignant" and prompts a four-page digression on "la comparaison de la poésie ou du logos avec la peinture", whose connexion to the text appears rather thin (186, cf. 217-220); in schol. 113, the mere glossing of O. 1.70 εὔδοξον as συνετήν is said to lend Pindar "le souci d'explorer aussi l'âme féminine" (386); on 131f, much is made of the writer's personal involvement in a first person plural designating humankind in general (401-2). In the epigram on the pentathlon, μία δ᾽ ἔπλετο πᾶσι τελευτή (signifying, I presume, that the five contests produce a single overall result) becomes "une allusion pessimiste à la vanité de toute gloire" (52) and a "memento mori" (161).

In the introduction to the Lives, the editors remark that "désormais, il ne s'agit plus de rechercher uniquement parmi les récits biographiques les indices d'une historicité fiable (…) on s'interroge avant tout sur ce que ces récits nous apprennent quant à la représentation que les Anciens avaient de leurs poètes et du rôle social de ceux-ci" (48). This principle is largely followed, but at times the editors place considerable faith in the historicity of certain anecdotes: they wonder which of Pindar's daughters was the one involved in the fourth apophthegm (121) and take the fifth at its word on Pindar's alleged weakness of voice, which they explore at length and intriguingly relate to "une tradition hippocratique et péripatéticienne concernante la mélancolie créatrice" (125-30). This is not limited to the Lives: the editors also accept the scholiast's claim that the reference to Archilochus in P. 2 is a jab at Bacchylides (358 n. 227). However, the commentary is instructive and contains several insightful points of interpretation, such as nn. 9 (89-90, on the posthumous hymn to Demeter), 38 (150-1, on Pindar's supposed brother), and 42 (157, on Vita metrica 15).

Readers might wonder at the exclusion of that most scholarly of ancient Pindaric biographies, P.Oxy. 2438. Only published in 1961, it was obviously unknown to Drachmann, but rightfully belongs in any modern edition of Pindar's Lives. Here, it turns up occasionally in the commentary but is not reprinted, translated, or discussed in its own right except for two rather general paragraphs in the introduction (54-5); even its well-known value as a term of comparison for the other Lives is only briefly explored (e.g. 148-9).

A certain bibliographical thriftiness transpires here and there in the volume,6 but becomes particularly acute with the Lives. Several relevant pieces of scholarship are ignored altogether, such as Jules Labarbe and Italo Gallo on the epigram εἰς τοὺς ἐννέα λυρικούς,7 Luigi Lehnus on the hymns to Demeter and Pan cited by the Vita Ambrosiana and on Scopelinus as Pindar's 'father',8 Monica Negri on the treatment of Pindar's chronology in P.Oxy. 2438 and the other Lives,9 and Enrico Magnelli on the dating of the Vita metrica.10 Other works are only cited second-hand, mostly through Flore Kimmel-Clauzet (49 n. 10, 51 nn. 16-17, 54 n. 22, 68 n. 5, etc.);11 one reference is quoted verbatim from Mary Lefkowitz (123 n. 163). Readers interested in Pindar's ancient biographies and related materials will doubtlessly benefit from the commentary in this book, but will have much independent supplementation to do.

The volume suffers from a few oddities too. The choice not to update (not even in the translation) the fragment numbers given by Drachmann is bizarre: fragments discussed in the commentary are given a modern number there, but with the others, the unsuspecting reader is effectively stuck somewhere between the mid-1800s and 1903, and without as much as an editor's name for guidance. Citations of lexica are often erratic in format; the same is occasionally true of fragments. Ms. Parisinus 2403 is sometimes called P after Drachmann, sometimes V after Mommsen. Actual mistakes are few and inconsequential,12 but the nonchalant attribution of two Anacreontea to the historical Anacreon catches the eye (168).

Typos are not many and tend to concern quotations in foreign languages; otherwise the book is well produced and gracefully printed. The writing is clear, elegant, often humorous, and overall a pleasure to read. Despite the shortcomings noted above, the commentary rewards careful study, and the translation of the scholia is as serviceable as can be. The preface describes the volume as "le premier d'une série qu'on espère nombreuse" (13): as it covers little over 56 of Drachmann's 970 pages of Greek, at this rate we can look forward to some sixteen more. Bring them on!


1.   Of these there is an Italian translation and commentary by E. R. Martino, Gli scolî metrici antichi alle Olimpiche di Pindaro. Trento 1999.
2.   See M. R. Lefkowitz, The Lives of the Greek Poets. London 20122 (Baltimore 19811): 146.
3.   Likewise, schol. O. 6.90d τὸν Ἴαμον ἐτυμολογεῖ means 'he suggests an etymology for Iamos's name', not "il donne son sens au nom d'Iamos" (315).
4.   Unfortunately P.Oxy. 5201, the only known commentary to O. 1 on papyrus, was not published until after the volume under review.
5.   Cf. Greg. Cor. p. 462 Schaefer (a reference I owe to Giuseppe Ucciardello) and the discussion at 278-9.
6.   E.g. 39 n. 74, 82 n. 42, 294 n. 144, 324 n. 191.
7.   AC 37 (1968) 449-66; QUCC 17 (1974) 91-112.
8.   SCO 22 (1973) 5-11; L'inno a Pan di Pindaro. Milano 1979; RIL 111 (1977) 78-82.
9.  Atti del XXII Congresso Internazionale di Papirologia. Firenze 2001: II, 1033-43.
10.   Prometheus 32 (2006) 267-83. All these were included in the Pindaric bibliographies published in Lustrum 31 (1989), 32 (1990), or 52 (2010), as applicable.
11.   Morts, tombeaux et cultes des poètes grecs. Bordeaux 2013 (the editors cite from the thesis version, 2010).
12.   E.g. Drachmann does not use square brackets to supplement scribal omissions (41); schol. P. 3.139a does not also transmit the end of the hymn to Pan (85); in the Vita Ambrosiana, the details of Pindar's private life and the list of his works are not in "[u]ne même phrase", unless the entire text is taken as one (103); in Paus. 9.10.4 Heracles is daphnephoros, not Amphitryon (105); the Skolia may actually be attested in the list of Pindar's works in P.Oxy. 2438, see Gallo in QUCC 8 (1969) 105-12 (293); there is no evidence that Alcman PMGF 77 actually preceded 79 or was in any way connected with it (366); Drachmann's "dist." presumably means distinguit not a "distermina linea" (392).

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Yuri V. Andreyev, From Eurasia to Europe: Crete and the Aegean World in the Bronze and Early Iron Ages (3rd - early 1st millennia BC). Monographs on antiquity, 6. Louvain; Walpole, MA: Peeters, 2013. Pp. xiv, 553. ISBN 9789042927230. €105.00.

Reviewed by Manolis Mikrakis, National Technical University of Athens (emikrakis@arch.ntua.gr)

Version at BMCR home site

Table of Contents

This voluminous, richly illustrated book is the English edition of Professor Yuri Viktorovich Andreyev's swan song, first published in Russian in 2002 (От Евразии к Европе: Крит и Эгейский мир в эпоху бронзы и раннего железа, St. Petersburg: Dmitry Bulanin). The book was the outcome of a project carried out at the Department of Classical Archaeology (now Department of History of Ancient Culture) at the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences, headed by Andreyev from 1986 to 1998. Due to the author's untimely death in February 1998, just short of finishing the book, From Eurasia to Europe does not go beyond the state of research of that year. Up-to-date overviews of the Aegean Bronze Age (BA) and Early Iron Age (EIA) are now provided by a number of handbooks,1 but From Eurasia to Europe is still rare in covering both periods. The wide temporal scope of the book, which makes the task undertaken by Andreyev truly gigantic, fits with an approach to the Aegean as a "complex macrosystem" (p. xiii). Ultimately, it is for its distinctive approach and for its place in the intellectual history of Aegean archaeology that the book could be read with profit, probably by a rather specialized audience with interest in the history of the discipline and its East European tradition.

The Marxist heritage of this tradition is immediately obvious in the centrality given to issues of socio-political organization and ideology as well as in the evolutionistic approach to these issues. Andreyev's argument, running through two first-level sections, four second-level parts, thirteen third-level chapters and several scattered appendices, is clear enough: A long-term, though discontinuous, historical process led from the emergence of social complexity and early statehood in the Early BA Aegean to the formation of palatial states in Middle BA Crete and Late BA Greece to the return to small-scale farming communities after the collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms and, finally, to the emergence of the Greek polis. Part of this process was also the ethnogenesis of the Greeks from the rich mosaic of peoples that lived in, or passed through, the Aegean during the two and a half millennia covered by the book. Developments in the Aegean were part of the wider formative process through which the culture of Europe branched off from a culturally homogenous Eurasia.

After a short introduction (pp. 3–6), the large BA section (pp. 7–411) begins with the third millennium BC (Part 1, pp. 7–75), during which a series of "unsuccessful civilizations" (p. 22) emerged on the North-East Aegean/North-West Anatolia, the Greek mainland and the Cyclades. Only in Crete did a culture that eventually became a palatial civilization of unusual dynamism emerge. The core of the book provides an extensive treatment of Minoan Crete focused on its palatial architecture, settlements, socio-political organization and Aegean interactions (Part 2, Chapters 1–3, pp. 76–154); on its place among ancient Mediterranean civilizations (Part 4, Chapters 1–2, pp. 362–411); and, above all, on its mythology, religion and afterlife beliefs (Part 3, Chapters 1–5, pp. 155–361). In Andreyev's view, Minoan religion is a kind of primitive syncretism or pandemonism, a transitional stage from animism to polytheism, in which individual deities and their spheres of influence exist but are not yet fully distinguished from each other. Central figures include the Goddess of Vegetation, which usually appears in scenes of ritual action; the Mistress of the Animals, mostly seen in static, emblematic representations; and the Snake Goddess, best known from the faience figurines from the so-called Temple Repositories of the Knossos palace but also from such early artifacts as the Early Minoan II anthropomorphic rhyton from Koumasa.

The examination of Mycenaean culture, regarded as the "finale of the Bronze Age" (p. 379) and "a kind of 'unsuccessful rough draft'" of Classical Greek civilization" (p. 410), is disproportionally shorter, merely occupying the final chapter of Part 4 (pp. 379–411). Here, the focus is on the emergence, artistic production and religious beliefs of that culture.

The EIA section (pp. 413–502) is considerably shorter than the BA one, divided into three chapters, one for each of the three phases into which Andreyev divides the "Dark Ages" (a term that now tends to be confined to the 11th and 10th centuries BC). The "first phase" (12th–mid-11th century BC, roughly corresponding to Late Helladic/Late Minoan IIIC and Subminoan/Submycenaean in current terminology), is the period of regression, instability and depopulation following the collapse of the Mycenaean states.2 The "middle phase" (Protogeometric to early Middle Geometric, mid-11th–9th century BC) is still a period of decline, although the emergence of a few compact settlements, progress in metallurgical and ceramic technologies, and the gradual opening to the East increasingly herald the beginning of a new era of prosperity. The "final phase" (later Middle Geometric to Late Geometric, 8th century BC) is a dynamic period of demographic explosion and urban development that culminates in the emergence of the Greek polis.

The main text ends with two alternate versions of a conclusion, one found in the rest of the manuscript but not finalized by the author ("Conclusion", pp. 503–506), and another one found in the author's handwritten notes ("Appendix", pp. 506–512). The former presents a more down-to-earth summary of the argument, whereas the latter, in an obviously unfinished state, throws a twist of mysticism, approaching historical developments in the Aegean as a gradual and painful struggle to rise out of a primeval chaos into the social, political, ethical and aesthetic harmony of the civilized polis. The bibliography (pp. 513–534) is extensive, including many titles in Russian, but stops at 2000. A list of illustrations (pp. 535–540) provides useful information on the depicted items, and there is also an index of [literary] sources (p. 541), an index of mythology (pp. 542–544) with personal names of mythological and religious figures, and an index of archaeological remains (pp. 542–544) with geographical names of archaeological sites.

Taken as a whole, the book offers a grand narrative of the kind rarely attempted in Aegean archeology in the West after the revolution of archeological theory and practice in the 1960s. Most narratives of this sort engage with their breadth and inclusivity but fail to pay close attention to empirical evidence and, whenever necessary, to acknowledge the fragmentary, accidental and disparate nature of the archaeological record. The book under review is hardly an exception. The reconstruction of belief systems, for example, a key concern of Andreyev's two-hundred-page discussion of Minoan religion, seems to be a less productive endeavor due to the lack of eloquent textual sources—not to mention the vagueness of notions such as "religion" or "god". Spatial, architectural, ritual and visual manifestations of religious behavior that can be detected in the material record have long been recognized as more rewarding focal topics of archaeological research.3

Andreyev's persistence on the semantics of Minoan religion stands in the Marxist tradition of interest in ideology as well as in the tradition of cognitive archaeology of the 1990s, but is not free of mentalistic overtones. Notions such as "the mentality of ethnic groups" (p. 256), "mental lethargy" (p. 75) and "the cast of mind" (p. 505) feature prominently as causes of cultural diversity and change. Evolutionism is pushed to its limits too, although accidental circumstances and gaps in continuity are occasionally recognized. Cultural processes in the Aegean are described as a gradual development "from barbarism to civilization" (p. 15, 16, 75, 361, 440, 442 etc.); cultural continuity is a matter of "purely biological inheritance of certain mental features", which are "solidly anchored in the genotype of the ethnos" (p. 505); continuity from the BA to the EIA, indeed a much debated issue in Aegean archaeology, is addressed by searching for "the Greek artistic genius" in an Early Helladic II amphora, the Geometric Dipylon amphorae and the Archaic Doric column (p. 46), just to give an example.

The overall picture of a matriarchal, theocratic and peace-loving center of the Aegean world drawn for Minoan Crete by Andreyev depends entirely on the once fascinating but now long discarded theories of Evans, Schachermeyr, Gimbutas and other pioneers. Andreyev's discussion is even more stereotypical when he claims that, "as in any other ancient society, Cretan men constituted the most active and enterprising part of the society" (p. 134), speaking of "natural male aggressiveness and adventurousness" (p. 138) and of "women… the more conservative, traditional part of society… tied to their households and children, and even physiologically limited in their activities" (p. 141). As another stereotype holds, the Mycenaean civilization was founded by "bellicose cattle breeders and hunters" (p. 384) who continued to practice "the cult of brute power" (p. 407), whereas the Minoan civilization was founded by "peaceful farmers and fishermen" (p. 384).

Despite serious objections to the overall interpretative framework and many individual positions adopted in the book, one cannot fail to admire the amount of archaeological material assembled, which is well above the average for synthetic overviews of that kind, as well as the wealth of color illustrations and line drawings of most of that material. However, the data are not always updated, even from a 1998 perspective, and the absence of the author's final edits is also manifested in some inconsistencies. In the case of the Early Helladic Rundbau at Tiryns, for example, the analysis seems to ignore Peter Haider's and Klaus Kilian's research of the 1980s, 4 and the building is often referred to as "the tholos tomb at Tiryns" (pp. 10, 13, 43, 379, caption of fig. 13 p. 42), although its more recent interpretation as a multifunctional public building or perhaps a large communal granary is accepted by the author (p. 43).

In conclusion, the book hardly fulfills its macro-historic intention.5 This is particularly unfortunate because the distinction between prehistoric and historical ("classical") archaeology chronologically around 1100–1050 BC rather than by method (determined by the availability of written sources) constitutes one of the most serious drawbacks of Aegean archaeology in the West. The chronological division is spatially, technologically, institutionally and ethnically essentialized through artificial dichotomies such as the Aegean and Greece, bronze and iron, wanax and basileus, Achaeans and Dorians. Such dividing lines hardly exist in the Russian (formerly Soviet) tradition of archaeological research from which Andreyev emanated. One can only hope that important achievements of this tradition will find wider resonance in scholarship and that the baby will not be thrown out with the bath water.


1.   E.g. Eric H. Cline, The Oxford Handbook of the Bronze Age Aegean, Oxford; New York 2010, BMCR 2011.05.04, Cynthia W. Shelmerdine (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age, Cambridge; New York 2008, BMCR 2012.01.05, Susan H. Langdon, Art and Identity in Dark Age Greece, 1100–700 B.C.E., Cambridge; New York 2008, BMCR 2009.05.62 and Robin Osborne, Greece in the Making: 1200–479 BC, 2nd ed., London; New York 2009, BMCR 2009.06.37.
2.   As a result of research after 1998, an entirely different picture of partial recovery has begun to emerge for the 12th century BC. See, most recently, Guy D. Middleton, The Collapse of Palatial Society in LBA Greece and the Postpalatial Period, British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2110, Oxford 2010, 68–112; Manolis Mikrakis, "The destruction of the Mycenaean palaces and the construction of the epic world", in: Jan Driessen (ed.), Destruction: Archaeological, Philological and Historical Perspectives, Louvain-la-Neuve 2013, 221–242.
3.   For this approach, see already Peter Warren, Minoan Religion as Ritual Action, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology Pocket-book 62, Gothenburg 1988. For the distinction of belief and practice in Aegean religious studies, see Helène Whittaker, Religion and Society in Middle Bronze Age Greece, Cambridge 2014, 29–32; this book also provides an excellent new look at the social and ideological functions of the Aegean religion in the first half of the second millennium BC.
4.   Peter Haider, "Zum frühhelladischen Rundbau in Tiryns", in: Forschungen und Funde: Festschrift Bernhard Neutsch, Innsbrucker Beiträge zur Kulturwissenschaft 21, 1980, 157–172; Klaus Kilian, "The Circular Building at Tiryns", in: Robin Hägg and Dora Konsola (edd.), Early Helladic Architecture and Urbanization, Proceedings of a Seminar Held at the Swedish Institute in Athens, June 8, 1985, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology 76, Gothenburg 1986, 65–71.
5.   For such an up-to-date overview on a much sounder theoretical basis, but wider in chronological scope, see John Bintliff, Archaeology of Greece: From Hunter-Gatherers to the 20th Century A.D., Oxford 2012, BMCR 2013.11.49.

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