Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Adele Filippo, Marco Ugenti (ed.), Giuliano Imperatore, Elogio dell'imperatrice Eusebia. Testi e commenti, 29. Pisa; Roma: Fabrizio Serra editore, 2016. Pp. 232. ISBN 9788862279154. €92.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Gianmario Cattaneo, Università degli Studi di Firenze/KU Leuven (gianmario.cattaneo@unifi.it)

Version at BMCR home site

Two years after the publication of an edition, translation, and commentary of Julian's Consolation upon the Departure of Salustius,1 another edition of a speech composed by the Apostate has been published by Fabrizio Serra Editore: it is the Panegyric or Speech of Thanks to the Empress Eusebia, edited and commented on by Adele Filippo, with an introduction written by Marco Ugenti. Before this book, the only two critical editions of Julian's Panegyric to Eusebia were by Friedrich Karl Hertlein in 18752 and Joseph Bidez in 1932,3 so Filippo's edition represents a solid contribution to the study of the life and works of Julian before his election as Emperor in 361.

The volume consists of an introduction, a critical edition of the Panegyric with a parallel Italian translation, and a commentary. In the introduction, Ugenti reconstructs the political and historical background of Julian's speech. Julian wrote it to thank the empress for her support during the previous two years, when she saved him from the charges of disloyalty to the Emperor Constantius, granted him accommodation in Athens, and favored his appointment as Caesar on November 6, 355. Accordingly, the Panegyric was composed after this date and perhaps before the beginning of 357.

The introduction ends with a chapter on the manuscript transmission of this text. The most important witnesses are Leid. Voss. gr. F III 77 (V) and Marc. gr. 366 (M), in which the Panegyric is preserved up to 18.128D τῶν πολιτῶν (om. τις) περιβαλόμενος; some fragments of the oration are also conserved in the Souda (7.111D-112A γελοιότερον … τέχνῃ) and in the Neap. II C 32, containing the so-called Excerpta Neapolitana: 12.118 A μὴ θείας … τυχών, 13.120D-121A εὔνοιαν ... μοίρᾳ; 15.123D ἥρμοσεν ἐμοὶ τὸν γάμον, 16.125D-126A Θαλλῆν (sic) ... φαίνεται. The chapter ends with a section about the previous editions and translations of the Panegyric.4

In analyzing the critical text, we notice several changes and innovations in respect to the previous editions. One of the most noteworthy is the defense of the reading ἐφ' Ἑλλάδα against Cobet's correction ἐπὶ βασιλέα in 2.104A (Ξενοφῶν δὲ καὶ Ἀγησίλαον τὸν βασιλέα καὶ Κῦρον τὸν Πέρσην, οὔτι τὸν ἀρχαῖον ἐκεῖνον μόνον, ἀλλὰ καὶ ᾧ συνεστράτευτο ἐφ' Ἑλλάδα, καὶ τοὺς ἐπαίνους ξυγγράφων οὐκ ἀπεκρύπτετο). Bidez accepted Cobet's conjecture and translated: "mais encore celui avec qui il avait marché contre le Grand Roi," while Filippo prefers to preserve the reading transmitted by the manuscripts and translates: "ma anche quello insieme al quale aveva marciato per onorare l'Ellade," giving ἐφ' Ἑλλάδα the sense of "for Greece/for the glory of Greece," on the basis of Xen. An. 3.4.46: Ἄνδρες, νῦν ἐπὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα νομίζετε ἁμιλλᾶσθαι, and other loci paralleli.5

The author seems to be right in defending the reading of the manuscripts in other passages, too. For instance, we should preserve the reading οὔτε against Hertlein's correction οὐδὲ in 2.104D (μή ποτε οὖν οὔτε τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς τῆς τοῦ Διὸς ἀπόσχωνται παιδός), since Julian often uses οὔτε alone instead of οὐδὲ (cf. Letter to Themistius 7.261C; Hymn to the Sun 1.130D, 131A; and Misopogon 30.359D). As another example, in 3.107B, Julian says about Alexander the Great τὸν αὐτοῦ πατέρα τῇ στρατηγίᾳ καὶ τῇ θαρραλεότητι καὶ ταῖς ἄλλαις ἀρεταῖς ὑπερβαλλόμενος; previous editors corrected αὐτοῦ to αὑτοῦ, but in Julian (cf. Caes. 5.309D; 7.311A; 10.313A), as well as in other late antique authors, αὐτοῦ could also be used as a reflexive pronoun, so we must maintain it, as Filippo does.6

Filippo also suggests three new emendations to Julian's text: ἢ <παρασχεῖν> τῷ παντὶ in 4.108D (ἐπεὶ καὶ πόλεως μεγίστης οἰκιστὴν γενέσθαι κρεῖττον ἢ πολίτην, καὶ λαβεῖν ὁτιοῦν ἀγαθὸν ἢ <παρασχεῖν> τῷ παντὶ καταδεέστερον), in parallel with the previous sentence σεμνότερον ἀρχὴν παρασχεῖν ... ἢ λαβεῖν;7 <ἀν>άγουσα in 10.116A (τοὺς μὲν ἤδη γνωρίμους καὶ πρεσβυτέρους ἐπὶ μειζόνων <ἀν>άγουσα πράξεων), instead of the reading of the manuscripts ἄγουσα and the correction τάττουσα suggested by Reiske and accepted by Bidez; τήν τε in 6.110B (σωφροσύνη δὲ ὑπέρ τήν τε Εὐάδνην τὴν Καπανέως καὶ τὴν Θετταλὴν ἐκείνην Λαοδάμειαν).8

Finally, I would like to propose a slight adjustment to Filippo's edition. At 3.106C (Μακεδόνων γὰρ οἰκίσαι φασὶ τὴν ώραν τοὺς Ἡρακλέους ἐγγόνους) V transmits the reading Ἡρακλέος, while M has Ἡρακλέους. Here, the choice between the two genitives is problematic: in fact, V, which is the only independent witness to the Letter to Themistius, the Oration against the Cynic Herakleios, the Hymn to the Mother of the Gods, and the Oration to the Uneducated Cynics, always reads Ἡρακλέος, and the modern editors of these speeches have never corrected it to Ἡρακλέους, but have printed Ἡρακλέος and interpreted it as an archaic poetic form (cf. for instance Oration against the Cynic Herakleios 1.204B; 7.211D; Hymn to the Mother of the Gods 6.166D). Βoth Bidez and Filippo choose the reading of M Ἡρακλέους, but, for the sake of uniformity, I think it would be better to stick to the criterion established in the editions of Julian's other works and print Ἡρακλέος.

The Italian translation is elegant and fluent; still, there are some cryptic passages. For example, Filippo translates 15.124A-B (τούτοις ἐγὼ προσκαθήμενος συνεχῶς τοῖς δώροις, εἴ ποτε σχολὴν ἄγοιμι, οὐκ ἔστιν ὅπως ἐπιλανθάνωμαι τῆς χαρισαμένης) as follows: "Frequentemente immerso in questi doni, appena ho un po' di tempo libero, non mi è dato di dimenticarmi di lei che mi ha beneficiato," but, in this case, I think the translator should explain the meaning of the participle προσκαθήμενος. One possible translation could be "Giacché io sono immerso continuamente in questi doni quando ho un po' di tempo libero, non è possibile che mi dimentichi della mia benefattrice" ("Since I completely devote myself to these gifts when I have some free time, it is impossible for me to forget the one who gave them to me").

The commentary represents a significant improvement on the few footnotes of Bidez's edition, although a monograph about this speech has recently been written by Kyrre Vatsend,9 and in 2008 Stefano Angiolani published an Italian translation of it with explanatory notes.10 In her commentary, Filippo illustrates the passages where she disagrees with the previous editions and is also particularly keen on the rhetorical features of this texts, but most of the notes are actually devoted to the explanation of Julian's mythological, historical, philosophical, and juridical references.

The final section of the volume contains an exhaustive bibliography,11 along with an index of quoted passages and one of the Greek words, both compiled by Marco Ugenti.


1.   Marco Ugenti (ed.), Giuliano Imperatore: A Salustio. Autoconsolazione per la partenza dell'ottimo Salustio, Pisa-Roma 2014. See also the review by José C. Baracat, Jr., in BMCR 2016.03.38.
2.   Friedrich Karl Hertlein (ed.), Iuliani Imperatoris. Quae supersunt praeter reliquias apud Cyrillum omnia, vol. I, Lipsiae 1875, pp. 131-167.
3.   Joseph Bidez (ed.), L'Empereur Julien,Oeuvres complètes. Tome I – 1re partie. Discours de Julien César, Paris 1932, pp. 73-105.
4.   At p. 20, Filippo says: "Bidez aveva già pubblicato, in collaborazione con F. Cumont, la seconda parte del primo volume, contenente le Epistulae, Leges, Poematia, Fragmenta varia." The work by Bidez and Cumont, published in 1922, does not represent the second part of the first volume of Julian's opera omnia; the book Filippo refers to is Joseph Bidez (ed.), L'Empereur Julien, Oeuvres complètes. Tome I – 2e partie: Lettres et fragments, Paris 1924.
5.   Filippo has already discussed this passage in "Iul. Eus. 104A7", Rudiae, 11, 1999, pp. 29-36.
6.   I present here a short list of the passages in which Filippo preserves the readings of the manuscripts and rejects the corrections accepted by Bidez: 2.104B γε mss. Filippo : μὲν Hertlein Bidez; 2.105A αὐτοῦ V Filippo : αὐτ M αὐτῷ Cobet Wright Bidez; 2.106A οὐ τῶν ἀγαθῶν mss. Filippo : καὶ τῶν ἀγαθῶν Petau Bidez; 3.107B οὐκ ἄξιον mss. Filippo : <ὥστε> οὐκ ἄξιον Hertlein Bidez; 4.109A φησὶ mss. Filippo : φήσει Hertlein Bidez; 8.112Α οὐκοῦν mss. Filippo : οὔκουν Hertlein Wright Bidez; 9.116A γέ μοι mss. Filippo : γ' ἐμοί <τὲ>Hertlein Bidez;11.117Α αὐτοῦ τε M Filippo : αὐτῆς τε V αὐτῷ τε Bidez; 12.119A τἄλλα M Filippo : τἆλλα V τα <τ'> ἄλλα Reiske Hertlein Bidez; 15.123C τό γε mss. Filippo : τά γε Hertlein Bidez.
7.   Bidez supplies δοῦναι.
8.   V has τὴν, M τε.
9.   Kyrre Vatsend, Die Rede Julians auf Kaiserin Eusebia: Abfassungszeit, Gattungszugehörigkeit, panegyrische Topoi und Vergleiche, Zweck, Oslo 2000.
10.   Stefano Angiolani (ed.), Giuliano l'Apostata, Elogio dell'imperatrice Eusebia, Napoli 2008.
11.   The only addition I would suggest is an article about the ancient sources regarding the Empress Eusebia, i.e. Margherita Di Mattia, "L'imperatrice Eusebia fra tradizione storiografica, tecnica retorica, funzioni narrative", Siculorum Gymnasium, 56, 2003, pp. 327-347.

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