Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017.10.38

Martin Avenarius (ed.), Corpus der römischen Rechtsquellen zur antiken Sklaverei (CRRS), Teil 4.3: Erbrecht: Aktive Stellung, Personeneigenschaft und Ansätze zur Anerkennung von Rechten. Forschungen zur antiken Sklaverei – Supplement 3.4.3. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2017. Pp. xxxviii, 418. ISBN 9783515115797. €72.00.

Reviewed by Jean A. Straus, Université de Liège (jean.straus@ulg.ac.be)

Version at BMCR home site

Publisher's Preview

On ne présente plus la vaste entreprise qu'est le Corpus der römischen Rechtsquellen zur antiken Sklaverei. Voici le neuvième volume publié depuis 1999. Le corpus devrait en compter plus de trente. C'est dire si le chemin est encore long avant d'en voir la fin.

La matière du corpus est répartie en dix parties. Dans la quatrième partie, qui traite de la position de l'esclave dans le droit privé, Martin Avenarius consacre le volume 3 aux sources juridiques relatives au droit successoral. Suivant le plan choisi par les éditeurs du corpus, l'auteur donne la liste des abréviations, la bibliographie (éditions des sources, traductions, littérature secondaire), une introduction, les textes accompagnés d'une traduction et de commentaires, enfin les index (sources puis personnes et matières). ). Il précise que pour garder au livre un volume acceptable, il a limité les commentaires aux aspects historico-juridiques et a laissé tomber les problèmes d'interpolations. Pour un approfondissement de ces sujets, il renvoie à la bibliographie spécialisée.

L'introduction fournit des informations nécessaires à la compréhension des textes. Quand l'esclave romain reçoit des donations comme héritier, légataire ou fidéicommis, quand il pose des actes juridiques, quand il réclame la protection juridique ou, enfin, quand il peut même prendre des dispositions testamentaires, il n'est pas alors simplement objet de règles ou de dispositions. Au contraire, il provoque lui-même des effets juridiques ou se trouve du côté « actif » des rapports juridiques (aktive Stellung dans le sous-titre). Cette situation dévoile la reconnaissance progressive des premiers signes de changement vers une capacité juridique de l'esclave même si cette capacité est encore limitée. Certes le droit successoral n'est pas le seul domaine dans lequel on constate que l'esclave possède des droits. Mais, dans le droit successoral, le fait est particulièrement important et, en même temps, documenté de manière exceptionnelle : des effets juridiques en faveur de l'esclave s'y développent, tandis que celui-ci pose lui-même activement des actes juridiques, fait aboutir des intérêts au moyen de la procédure ou revendique des droits attachés à sa personne. L'auteur traite donc de l'esclave comme bénéficiaire ou intervenant juridique dans le droit successoral, de l'esclave dans le droit de la dévolution des biens par testament, de l'institution de l'esclave comme héritier et de l'acquisition des biens par l'esclave, du droit de l'esclave libéré sous condition (statuliber), de l'acceptation de la succession en déshérence par un esclave.

Les textes rassemblés, traduits et commentés proviennent de l'édit du préteur urbain (nos 1-3), du Gnomon de l'idiologue (4-7), des Institutes de Gaius (8-24), du Ps.-Ulpien (25-42), du Digeste (43-486), des collections juridiques privées post-classiques (Fragmenta Vaticana [487-495], Epitome de Gaius [496-497], Sentences de Paul [498-505], Livre syro-romain [506, la traduction, mais pas le texte], Code Théodosien [507], Code Justinien [508-533], Institutes de Justinien [534-551] et Paraphrase de Théophile [552]).

Comme les éditeurs des différents volumes continuent de suivre de près les principes énoncés dans les Prolegomena,1 le volume recensé tombe sous le coup des critiques formulées auparavant. L'ouvrage s'adresse avant tout aux historiens de l'esclavage. A la recherche des sources juridiques susceptibles de conforter ou d'infirmer les données qu'ils ont trouvées dans les autres sources, ces historiens seront sensibles à l'exhaustivité du dépouillement. Est-elle atteinte ? B.W. Frier relève plusieurs lacunes dans le volume I sur les fondements du statut servile d'après le ius gentium et le ius civile.2 Sur ce point, étant donné que la collecte des textes rassemblés dans le volume recensé a fait l'objet d'un travail préparatoire par une groupe de travail, on peut espérer une amélioration. Les textes sont donnés dans l'édition la plus utilisée par les juristes ; il s'agit d'éditions de bon aloi. L'apparat critique est quasi inexistant, mais je ne vois pas là un vice rédhibitoire. En effet, il faut utiliser les volumes du CRRS comme les volumes de la Loeb Classical Library dont l'apparat critique est réduit : il s'agit de prendre un premier contact avec les textes pour un début de recherche et approfondir ensuite celle-ci au moyen d'instruments plus spécifiques. Les traductions permettent une approche plus aisée du texte original, le plus souvent latin, parfois grec. Les commentaires se limitent à l'essentiel. Donc, même s'ils contiennent un certain nombre de défauts, je suis heureux de disposer des volumes du CRRS, qui me permettent d'accéder à des textes que, sans lui, j'aurais trouvés avec difficulté ou purement et simplement négligés. Conclusion : il ne faut pas demander au CRRS plus qu'il ne veut donner et cette conclusion vaut pour le volume recensé.



Notes:


1.   J.M. Rainer et E. Herrmann-Otto, Corpus der römischen Rechtsquellen zur antiken Sklaverei (CRRS), Prolegomena, Stuttgart, 1999.
2.   BMCR 2000.09.04. Voir aussi BMCR 2000.11.02 et BMCR 2000.12.11.

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2017.10.37

Ayelet Peer, Julius Caesar's 'Bellum Civile' and the Composition of a New Reality. Farnham; Burlington: Ashgate, 2015. Pp. x, 200. ISBN 9781472452078. $124.95.

Reviewed by François Porte, Université Paris Est Créteil (francoisporte@free.fr)

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Preview

À travers ce livre, écrit à partir de sa thèse de doctorat, Ayelet Peer nous offre une nouvelle et originale exploration de l'oeuvre littéraire de César, guidée par cette question: "how can you justify your victory in a civil war ?" À la suite d'études ayant renouvelé notre compréhension des écrits de César, comme celles d'Andrew Riggsby1, de William Batstone et Cynthia Damon2 ou plus récemment de Luca Grillo3, le travail de Peer contribue à une meilleure compréhension d'un texte sophistiqué. Clair et agréable à lire, ce livre a pour but de démontrer comment César compose une "nouvelle réalité" destinée à servir son ambition politique. Écrit pour des sénateurs et des equites mais aussi pour le peuple romain, comme l'affirme l'auteur, le Bellum Civile vise également la postérité. César construit par conséquent un récit justifiant ses actions lors de la guerre civile grâce à une utilisation précise du vocabulaire et de la syntaxe, mais aussi par l'omission ou l'atténuation de certains faits, et par la manipulation de la chronologie des événements. Servi par une connaissance rigoureuse et une lecture méticuleuse de la littérature classique, cet ouvrage guide le lecteur à travers les commentarii de César pour révéler comment il écrit sa propre légende.

Après une préface et une introduction, le travail est divisé en trois parties qui examinent successivement chacun des livres composant le Bellum Civile, suivies enfin par une conclusion, une annexe traitant de la publication du Bellum Civile, une bibliographie et un index. Le plan de l'ouvrage est construit autour de la thèse de Peer d'une publication séparée des livres I et II quelques années avant le livre III.

La première partie est donc consacrée au premier livre du Bellum Civile, le plus "politically loaded" selon Peer, et est divisée en cinq chapitres. Le premier passe en revue les six chapitres qui ouvrent le Bellum Civile et permettent à César de présenter et défendre sa cause tout en dénigrant le sénat. Les talents littéraires de César sont déjà à l'œuvre et sont étudiés avec attention, de même que les manipulations opérées sur la chronologie des faits. Le Chapitre 2 discute de la façon dont Pompée et les Pompéiens sont présentés dans le Livre I ainsi que du thème de Pompée imperator absens. Ce chapitre évoque les chefs pompéiens traités de manière détaillée par César: Titus Labienus, L. Cornelius Lentulus, L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, L. Afranius et M. Petreius. Enfin, Peer présente l'influence de Cornelius Sylla sur les choix et les actes de César. À travers ces pages, nous assistons à la construction de l'image de César comme chef politique. Le Chapitre 3 reprend le dossier des supposées convictions républicaines de César. Peer affirme ici que la marche de César sur Rome avait d'abord pour but de défendre sa propre dignitas. Selon l'auteur, si César ne se présente jamais comme un champion de la République, il ne cherche pas non plus à la détruire mais plutôt à substituer son autorité à celle du sénat. Le Chapitre 4 se concentre sur les omissions et les manipulations chronologiques du Livre I. La plus fameuse de ces omissions concerne le franchissement du Rubicon mais Peer note justement que le cours d'eau n'avait sans doute pas de réelle signification symbolique à l'époque de César et n'est d'ailleurs même pas mentionné dans les lettres de Cicéron. L'autre omission traitée dans ce chapitre est celle, plus importante, de la violente saisie du Trésor par César. Si celui-ci mentionne bien le nom du tribun Metellus, il se garde de parler des menaces de mort proférées à son encontre quand il voulut l'arrêter. N'ayant pas de justification à apporter et sachant pertinemment que ses lecteurs n'auront pas oublié ce fâcheux incident, César préfère simplement l'ignorer. Le Chapitre 5 conclut la première partie de ce livre et discute de la nature de cette guerre telle qu'elle est présentée dans le Livre I, notamment à travers les choix lexicaux. La narration de César s'achève sur une note apaisée et contribue à élaborer le portrait d'un chef clément et pacifique.

La deuxième partie de l'ouvrage est dédiée au Livre II et est divisée en quatre chapitres. Le Chapitre 6 présente ce deuxième livre du Bellum Civile, le plus court, et en souligne sa particularité. Après s'être présenté rapidement comme "a dictator and a gentleman", selon Peer, César se concentre ensuite avec plus de détails sur les actions de ses légats mais omet à nouveau quelques événements déplaisants comme la révolte de ses légionnaires à Placentia et la reddition de C. Antonius à Curicta. Le Chapitre 7 se concentre sur le personnage principal du Livre II: Curion, miles Caesaris. César ne peut ignorer la défaite et la mort de son légat en Afrique. Par conséquent, Peer montre de quelle manière le contraste entre les actions de Curion et de César vise à souligner l'indispensabilité de ce dernier et contribue à le présenter comme l'imperator ultime. À travers la présentation des Marseillais et des Numides du roi Juba, le Chapitre 8 poursuit son analyse des Pompéiens décrits par César. Peer souligne les continuités dans ces descriptions, ajoutant le recours aux étrangers à l'absence de Pompée. Le Chapitre 9 termine cette deuxième partie en discutant à nouveau de la nature de cette guerre civile dans le Livre II. Selon Peer, les deux premiers livres se complètent, le deuxième présentant "a connecting thread of human virtue, sacrifice and honour". Cette conclusion est cohérente avec l'hypothèse défendue en annexe d'une publication conjointe des Livres I et II.

La troisième et dernière partie de cet ouvrage traite du Livre III et est divisée en trois chapitres. Le chapitre 10 relate le triomphe de César présenté comme un conquérant et un héros. Le Livre III s'ouvre en effet sur l'élection de César comme consul une fois l'ordre ramené par le dictateur César. Le récit se poursuit avec les actes qui lui permettent de construire son image de dirigeant, en contraste avec celle de l'imperator élaborée jusque là. Ses discours lors de la campagne militaire en Épire et en Grèce sont alors analysés comme un autre aspect de son autoportrait. Le but du Livre III, selon Peer, est de soutenir l'idée d'une guerre juste menée par César, approuvée par le peuple et les dieux. Le Chapitre 11 poursuit la description des Pompéiens avec Pompée, enfin présenté comme un opposant digne de César. Peer note cependant que le récit des batailles de Dyrrachium et Pharsalus est l'occasion pour César de montrer les failles et les échecs de Pompée dans son rôle d'imperator. Le chapitre continue avec la description des autres chefs pompéiens, à l'exception notable de Caton, malgré l'influence de celui-ci. Peer présente M. Calpurnius Bibulus, T. Labienus, personnage bien plus présent dans le Livre III, M. Octavius et Q. Caecilius Metellus Pius Scipio, et termine avec la défection des frères allobroges. L'auteur conclut ce chapitre en soulignant la chute honteuse du parti pompéien, symboliquement présentée par César à travers son récit de la mort de Pompée, assassiné par les Égyptiens. Enfin, le Chapitre 12 revient sur la conclusion de cette guerre et du Bellum Civile. Peer remarque que la fin de la guerre civile n'est évoquée que dans le Livre III, ce qui la conforte dans son hypothèse d'une publication tardive, vers 46 avant J.-C. Selon elle, ce troisième livre présente de nombreux indices confirmant qu'il fut écrit après la fin du conflit, ce qui lui permet d'affirmer que "the Bellum Civile ends when and where Caesar wants it to end". Cette étude s'achève par un texte en annexe où l'auteur présente ses hypothèses sur la rédaction et la publication du Bellum Civile. Après avoir passé en revue les sources anciennes et les théories modernes, Peer propose une nouvelle solution. En premier lieu, elle affirme que les Livres I et II furent publiés séparément mais peu après les événements évoqués dans chacun d'eux. Ensuite, elle démontre de manière convaincante que le Livre III fut publié plus tard, en 46 avant J.-C., après la bataille de Thapsus.

Alors que Grillo choisit de lire ensemble le Bellum Gallicum et le Bellum Civile pour étudier les continuités de leur argumentation, Peer démontre la pertinence de son choix et en souligne le caractère novateur. Dans son ouvrage, le Bellum Civile apparaît clairement comme un instrument de propagande élaboré par César pour présenter sa propre interprétation de la guerre civile et pour construire son image de chef. Consciente de la composition méticuleuse des commentarii par César, Peer lit minutieusement cette œuvre subtile, discutant ses choix lexicaux, prêtant attention à chaque détail, à chaque manipulation du texte et aux "seemingly casual remarks he plants throughout the narrative". Son analyse profonde révèle de quelle manière César défend sa cause, répétant les raisons légitimes de ses actions, mais présentant également une nouvelle façon de gouverner la République sous son pouvoir. Peer démontre justement les objectifs politiques du Bellum Civile et toutes les techniques rhétoriques mises à leur service par César. Si l'ouvrage aborde parfois les événements rapportés dans le Bellum Civile afin d'identifier d'éventuelles manipulations, leur analyse n'en est clairement pas le but principal, comme le montre la bibliographie. Celle-ci, bien que relativement complète sur les guerres civiles, comprend essentiellement des ouvrages ou articles concentrés sur des aspects philologiques ou littéraires. Le lecteur ne doit cependant pas oublier la vérité historique qui demeure derrière la propagande politique et le fait que le Bellum Civile reste une source primaire irremplaçable pour étudier ces guerres civiles. Si César peut dresser un portrait peu flatteur de l'imperator Pompée, c'est d'abord en raison des échecs tactiques et stratégiques de ce dernier qui échoue à le vaincre à Dyrrachium et surtout à Pharsalus. Les faits tels qu'ils sont rapportés par César doivent cependant être manipulés avec précaution et lus à la lumière de son objectif principal, décrit ici avec précision. Ainsi, l'étude de Peer contribue à une meilleure compréhension et par conséquent à une meilleure utilisation de ce qui demeure une source historique unique.



Notes:


1.   Andrew Riggsby, Caesar in Gaul and Rome: War in Words. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2006.
2.   William Batstone, Cynthia Damon, Caesar's Civil War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006.
3.   Luca Grillo, The Art of Caesar's 'Bellum Civile': Literature, Ideology, and Community. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

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2017.10.36

Kai Brodersen, Aineias / Aeneas Tacticus: Stadtverteidigung / Poliorketika. Griechisch-deutsch. Sammlung Tusculum. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2017. Pp. 200. ISBN 9783110544237. $45.99.

Reviewed by Leonhard Burckhardt, University of Basel (l.burckhardt@unibas.ch)

Version at BMCR home site

Preview

Die letzte deutsche Übersetzung des kleinen, unvollständig überlieferten Büchleins von Aineias Taktikos über die Verteidigung einer antiken griechischen Stadt stammt von Hermann Köchly und Wilhelm Rüstow aus dem Jahre 1853 und ist heute völlig veraltet. Im Gegensatz dazu kennen etwa das Italienische,1 das Französische,2 das Englische3 und einige andere Sprachen moderne Übertragungen, die den aktuellen Forschungstand jeweils adäquat widerspiegeln. 4 Angesichts sinkender Kenntnisse des Altgriechischen und (wieder) wachsenden Interesses an antiker Militärgeschichte kommt dem Unterfangen Kai Brodersens, die genannte Lücke zu schließen, ein hohes Verdienst zu. Aineias' Werk ist nicht nur die älteste Schrift zur griechischen Militärtheorie, sondern es gibt auch Auskunft über durchaus praktische Probleme, denen sich verantwortliche Kommandeure, die mit einem Angriff auf ihre Stadt konfrontiert waren, ausgesetzt sahen. Es handelt sich um eine ergiebige Quelle für diverse Gegenstände, die mit Militär und Krieg im antiken Griechenland, aber auch der Gesellschaft, die sie trug und erlitt, zu tun haben.

Die Anlage des zu besprechenden Werkes entspricht den in der renommierten Reihe Tusculum publizierten Ausgaben von antiken Autoren: Zentral sind der Text und seine Übersetzung (S. 32–185), einführend stehen einige knappe Erläuterungen (S. 7–29), den Abschluss bilden Testimonien und Fragmente aus der Schrift bei späteren antiken Autoren (S. 186–191) sowie ein Anhang mit einer Literaturliste (S. 193–199), einer Konkordanz zu Übernahmen von Stellen des Aineias Taktikos durch Iulius Africanus (S. 199) und einem Register mit geographischen Bezeichnungen und Personennamen (S. 200).

Brodersen übersetzt des Aineias sperrige, wenig elegante, bisweilen technische Sprache in ein flüssiges, angenehm lesbares und gemessen an den schwierigen Voraussetzungen eingängiges, klares Deutsch. Die Aussagen des antiken Militärhistorikers werden verständlich präsentiert, ohne dass ihr Inhalt irgendwie ‚zurechtgebogen' bzw. verfälscht oder der Vorlage nicht entsprechend rhetorisiert würde. Gerade die Passagen, in welchen Aineias detaillierte Empfehlungen zu Spezialfragen gibt, wie der Verwendung von Geheimschriften oder der Überwachung und Schließung von Stadttoren und entsprechenden Beispielen sind gut erfasst und dem zeitgenössischen Leser auf eine verantwortbare Weise näher gebracht. Die textliche Basis bildet vernünftigerweise die gründliche Ausgabe von Dain, von der nur in wenigen Punkten abgewichen wird.

Da der Aufbau des Werks logisch wenig ersichtlich ist, ist es für die Orientierung des Lesers hilfreich, dass die später eingefügten, doch vermutlich antiken Überschriften der meisten Kapitel unter Kennzeichnung ihrer Unechtheit stehen gelassen wurden. Nützlich für die Erkenntnis zu Person des Autors und zur Rezeption seiner Schrift sind die ebenfalls übersetzten Testimonien und Fragmente, die zumindest erahnen lassen, dass Aineias Taktikos von späteren griechischen Militärhistorikern wie Polybios oder Ailianos recht eifrig gelesen und rezipiert wurde.

Man kann davon ausgehen, dass das Zielpublikum dieser Ausgabe neben Studierenden und Forschenden der Alten Geschichte und der alten Sprachen in erster Linie aus dem viel zitierten interessierten Laien und Militärhistorikern anderer Epochen bestehen soll. Dementsprechend sind die einleitenden Ausführungen eher elementar und knapp gehalten und verzichten auf die Diskussion der diversen Forschungsfragen um Aineias Taktikos und sein Werk. Das rechtfertigt sich nicht nur durch den Charakter der Ausgabe, sondern auch dadurch, dass uiniges mit grosser Wahrscheinlichkeit geklärt ist, anderes hingegen sich kaum klären lässt. Zu Ersterem zählt die Datierung, die mit besten Argumenten in die erste Hälfte des 4. Jh. v. Chr. zu liegen kommt, zu Letzterem die genaue Identifizierung des Autors, der kaum mit einer bekannten Persönlichkeit aus diesem Zeitraum in Verbindung zu bringen ist; die Belege für Aineias von Stymphalos sind zu vage und zu wenig schlüssig, als dass der Taktikos mit ihm gleichgesetzt werden könnte. Zudem sind viele Probleme um Aineias Taktikos insbesondere in Whiteheads trefflicher Ausgabe ausführlich und kompetent behandelt, so dass sich auch vor diesem Hintergrund eine weitere Kommentierung zumindest nicht aufdrängt.

In den gerafften einleitenden Erläuterungen, die konsequenterweise meist auf einer allgemeinen Ebene bleiben, bietet Brodersen – neben einigen notwendigen Angaben zur Textüberlieferung – kurze Hinweise zu den Örtlichkeiten und historischen Figuren, die in Aineias' Schrift auftreten, erklärt einige Begriffe zu Politik und Verwaltung in einer griechischen Stadt, stellt die Gottheiten vor, die im Werk vorkommen, geht auf das Alltagsleben ein, wie es uns bei Aineias entgegentritt, und erläutert die erwähnten Maße und Zeitangaben. Besondere Beachtung erhält indessen ein Sachverhalt, der in der Forschung einige Kontroversen ausgelöst hat, nämlich die Frage, wie des Taktikos' Ausführungen zur Sicherung der Stadttore zu verstehen sind. Brodersen gibt eine plausible Interpretation, die auch für militärtechnische Laien nachvollziehbar ist. Außergewöhnlich ist überdies, dass Brodersen knappe Darlegungen zum teilweise bewegten Leben und der Arbeit seiner ‚Vorgänger' Köchly und Rüstow gibt; das ist in einer Übersetzung nicht unbedingt zu erwarten und wirft ein Schlaglicht auf die Veränderungen, welchen die Beschäftigung mit der antiken Militärgeschichte unterworfen war. Während die beiden Gelehrten des 19. Jh. ein hohes Gewicht auf militärtechnische und strategische Elemente legten, werden sich heutige Leser stärker um den politischen, sozialen, wirtschaftlichen, kulturellen und militärhistorischen Gesamtzusammenhang, in dem das Werk angesiedelt ist, kümmern wollen. Dafür liefert Brodersen gewiss einen weiteren Baustein.

Im Ganzen liegt eine erfreuliche Bereicherung der Tusculum-Reihe vor. Brodersens kundige und sorgfältige Übersetzung wird Aineias Taktikos Lesern erschließen, denen die Hürde der fremden Sprache bislang zu hoch war, genügt aber überdies den Ansprüchen, welche wissenschaftliche Forschung und Unterricht an diese Textgattung stellen muss. Es würde mich nicht wundern, wenn der Taktikos im deutschsprachigen Raum zunehmend Gegenstand von altertumswissenschaftlichen Lehrveranstaltungen würde.



Notes:


1.   Marco Bettalli: Enea Tattico. La difesa di una città assediata, Pisa 1990.
2.   Enéé le tacticien: Poliorcétique. Texte établi par Alphonse Dain. Traduit et annoncé par Anne-Marie Bon, Paris 1967, NDr. 2002.
3.   Aineias the Tactician: How to survive under Siege. Translated with Introduction and Commentary by David Whitehead, Oxford 1990, 2. Aufl. Bristol 2002.
4.   Data through 2007 may be found here.

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2017.10.35

Dimitris Bosnakis, Klaus Hallof (ed.), Inscriptiones Coi insulae: tituli sepulcrales urbanae. Inscriptiones Graecae, Vol. XII: Inscriptiones insularum maris Aegaei praeter Delum; Fasc. 4: Inscriptiones Coi, Calymni, insularum Milesiarum; Pars 3. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter, 2016. Pp. 420. ISBN 9783110451726. $489.00.

Reviewed by Patrick James, University of Cambridge (pj221@cam.ac.uk)

Version at BMCR home site

PDF Table of Contents
Digital edition: with German translations by one of the editors, but without commentary.

Where (and why) does one begin to review what is the latest part of one fascicle of one volume of a long-established series?1 It is not a selection whose contents and omissions can be assessed and there is no argument to evaluate. Those (institutions) that would invest in this title may have done so (as mine did) before I received the review copy and long before the publication of this review.

This part presents 1,814 items, of which 372 were previously unpublished. It would be impossible to comment even briefly on the treatment of the 'new' Coan funerary inscriptions alone. Although some comments on specifics will be made, this review will concentrate on structural issues in the publication and on the presentation of its epigraphic data. Suffice it to say, the raw materials in this book have been edited to a very high standard, are informatively supported by concise (Latin) commentaries, and will be welcomed by philologists, social historians, and students of material culture, among others.

The book is divided into two sections: one for inscriptions dated earlier than 366 BCE, one for those dated later.2 That second section is further divided into fifteen subsections for different types of funerary monument. Those subsections (some with further subdivisions) are: Arae sepulcrales rotundae (A) and tetragonales (B); Columellae sepulcrales (C); Lapides cubici (D); Stelae fastigatae (E), parvae cum aëtomate insculpto vel inciso (F), cymatio ornatae (G), simplices (H), mutilae (I), (et tabulae) formae incertae vel ignotae (K); Termini sepulcrales (L); Cippi (M); Monumenta sepulcralia varia (N); Tituli sepulcrales quibus dirae continentur (O) and formae in certae (P).

The two black-and-white plates reflect this book's two-part structure. Instead of items of particular interest, twelve monuments exemplify the various types. A black-and-white image of an ara sepulcralis rotunda (p. 646) provides assistance with the (Latin) terminology for the features of such monuments. Whenever possible, other editions of items are cited with an indication of whether photographs have been published. There is a line drawing for 1240 (late sixth-century BCE), now the oldest known Coan inscription, one of this book's tituli inediti, and the source of a new name (Κύκνων): Ϙύγνονοσᾶμα.

Each (sub)section is arranged chronologically. There are few items from earlier than the second century BCE3 and few securely dated later than the third century CE (1550, 2127, 2464-2467, and 2630-2631).

I have referred to 'items' so far, rather than 'inscriptions', because this book's 'items' are the inscribed stones—monuments of various forms—rather than the texts thereon. Many 'items' include several 'inscriptions' (in the sense of 'texts') that coexist on the same stone. For example, 1244 contains four discrete texts that have been dated (I) to the second century BCE, (II) to early in the first century CE, (III) to the first century CE, and (IV) to the third century CE (cf. 1308, another item with four inscribed texts). 1295 contains two previously published texts (one of which is a Latin-Greek 'bi-version bilingual')4 and a third published for the first time. By contrast, (I) on 3014 ('nomina patris et filiae') is continued (II):'<nomina> filii altera manu paulo post additum'. When identical or similar texts exist on separate stones, the texts are presented as separate items with the label 'gemellum' for each (e.g. 2721-2722, '<ab> eadem manu scriptum', and 2747-2748).

The scope of the book is eminently sensible: urban funerary epigraphy is a valid and useful category, which calls for separate treatment and lends itself to comparison with the epigraphic habits of other places and other times. (I was reminded of Aurelija Tamosiunaite's work on twentieth-century Lithuanian funerary monuments in Chicago in 'A Tale of Six Cities: A Diachronic Approach to Languages and Urbanity' at 'Language and the City', Sociolinguistics Symposium 19, Berlin, 2012). Coans memorialised away from Cos are not included (cf., e.g. IG II2 9143).

Metrical inscriptions are one distinctive feature of epitaphs (although, of course, other types of inscription, e.g. dedications, may be metrical). The Comparationes Numerorum include Hansen's CEG, Kaibel's Epigraphica Graeca, and Peek's GVI and Griechische Grabgedichte, but there is no index that isolates metrical inscriptions as a class (e.g. 1241, which was published post-GVI, is now one of the oldest Coan inscriptions, and features in the 1990 Supplement to LSAG).

This book is an advance on the relevant section of Paton-Hicks5 and on the relevant items in Maiuri's sylloge,6 as well as on Segre's collection7 as a whole. Throughout, new readings are presented either from autopsy or from examination of squeezes and photographs (e.g. 1244, 1263, 1316, 1385, 1724, 1812, 2292, 2941, 2991, and 3031). That said, 'non vidi' is common and several introductory notes to items from Paton-Hicks contain the words 'frustra quaesivi'.

The inscriptiones in this book are not exclusively Graecae. Items that feature both Greek and Latin script, such as 1295 and 1378, are edited in full. Some texts are in Latin (script) entirely (e.g. 1801 and 2024; cf. 2935.2 'Caidice Furmi': 'subesse videtur potius nomen quoddam Graecum quam gentile Latinum (Caedicius)'). The Latin of 1378.9 exhibits a genitive 'Kariaes' (Καρίας in the Greek text below: line 17).8

Some readings are questionable. 1436 features Φιλοξένους (after τᾶς) as a genitive for the name of the father of the deceased daughter. This is also the reading in Segre and Maiuri, both of whom print Φιλόξενος in their indices. Since the expected nominative of a compound of φιλο- and ξενο- is Φιλόξενος (not *Φιλοξένης), Φιλοξένου{ς} should be printed, in the absence of evidence for names in –ξένης (but, cf. Ξένυς) and, with Buck §108.2, Boeotian Ξέννει. 1507 is printed with Νυφῶν, without a comment about the omission of the Mu, while Segre, EF 472, Herzog (KFF 163)9, and Peek (GVI 378) printed Νυ<μ>φῶν, N<υν>φῶν and Νυ<ν>φῶν respectively. The relevant line on the stone itself seems to me to read ΓΟΝΟΣΝ̣Ο̣ΝΥΦΩΝ,10 which justifies the editors here printing γονος [[ΝΟ]] Νυφῶν, but I might print γονος [[ΝΟ]] Νυ<μ>φῶν.

Comparanda are provided for notable forms, such as ἀντιτύχοισαν (1444), a third-person thematic aorist optative (with –σαν; cf. GVI 1362) that corresponds to ἀντιτύχοιεν (Palatine Anthology 7.516.1, an epitaph with a similar sentiment). Voces novae et lexicis addendae (to LSJ Rev.Supp.) are noted in the commentaries: 1498 θαλασσιοβάφος, 1499 σύμφθονος, and 2338 σκηνοπηγός, but 3013 θρεπτοσύνη receives no such note, although ἐπιπενθής in the line above is correctly labelled 'vox nova et addenda lexicis'. (That elegy also features the very rare and old internally reduplicated verb ἀτιτάλλω; cf. GVI 1158.14 = Herzog, KFF 169.14, also Coan.) Some names that begin Ἐπα- are spelled Ἐβα-. A search of the PHI's Greek Inscriptions shows the rarity of exact parallels for this interchange of a voiced stop, <β>, for a voiceless one, <π>.

As for evidence for the Coan dialect and the dialect(s) on Cos, the situation remains much as C.D. Buck wrote in 1955: 'The material is considerable, but not early', 'There are no very early inscriptions, and only a few even from the fourth century BC', and 'Most of the material is of the third and second centuries, and in the Doric κοινή'.11

Those who read through the entire book will find many examples of non-Attic-Ionic (or, better, 'non-Koine') <ᾱ> for <η>, but also many of Attic-Ionic <η>. Some names, such as Μικοτέρη (1255; cf. Paton-Hicks 367-368) and Θευδώρη (1677: Σαμίη; cf. 2171), have endings that can only be Ionic. Examples of the feminine genitive of the definite article, τᾶς, are frequent, even when names and ethnics are spelled with <η> (e.g. 1278 and 1436). The a:-stem genitive plural in -ᾶν is particularly conspicuous in the names of thiasi (note Ἀθηνοϊστᾶν in 2820, but Ἀθᾱνοϊστᾶν, e.g. 2816), in which it is almost ubiquitous, even in the late second century CE. Cf. too θηκᾶν (2704), while earlier and later inscriptions all have θηκαίων (see Buck, § 265.26; note not θηκαιᾶν). Various names begin with Λαυ- (e.g. 1278 and 2919), rather than with Λᾱ(ο)-, with Θευ- rather than with Θεο- (e.g. 1467 and 1474, but 1502 and 1504), and with Κλευ-, rather than with Κλεο- (e.g. 1414 and 1565): see Buck, §§41.4 and 42.5. Compound s-stem names have genitives in –ευς (e.g. 1296 and Σωκλεῦς 1517), -ους (e.g. 1299), –ου (e.g. 1295), –εος (e.g. Ἐπιτύχεος 1472, a new reading for Ἐπιτυχέως), and even –έως (Μενεκλέως 1635).12 The genitive of nouns in –εύς is –έος (1544, a text that also features –ω as the o-stem genitive ending; cf. 2305). An Ionic genitive in –ω for a masculine a:-stem appears and is signalled in the commentary: Ἀσπασίη - Πακτυω | Καρυανδίς (1551: Πακτυω is attested in Caria). 2137 contains Μοιρᾱγορέω with an Ionic genitive ending, but a non-Ionic stem for its first member (contrast 2138's entirely non-Ionic genitive Κυδαντᾱγόρᾱ and compare Hdt.5.78 and 5.104.1 and Pi.O. 9.77: for the possibilities, cf. LGPN s.vv. Νῑκᾱγόρᾱ(ς), Νῑκᾱγόρης, and Νῑκηγόρη).

The lack of reference aids reduces this book's utility. Although the Comparationes Numerorum will enable readers to find new editions of inscriptions previously published in various corpora and periodicals, there are no indices, either of the names of men and women, significant individuals, places and peoples or of grammatical and orthographic points and Rerum et Verborum Notabiliorum. I assume that these aids will feature in the final (sixth) part of this fascicle13 or in the final part of this volume. The commentaries contain such a wealth of information on names of Iranian origin (e.g. Φαρνάκη{ς} 1281, with a note, and 2919 without a note) and Semitic origin (Aramaic Μαρθείνη 1491 'ut videtur' and genitive Σαλαμα (sic) 1756 as a cognomen), indigenous names of Asia Minor (e.g., 1678, 2111, and, perhaps, 1501), previously unknown names, rare and new lexemes, dialectal curiosities, and oddities of morphology and syntax that it is shame that such data cannot be readily accessed at this stage. Bearers of a significant array of ethnica were buried at Cos. In the meantime, the indices of Segre and the first volume of the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names14 ease access to previously published names of places and persons. Once the Claros Concordance of Greek Inscriptions is updated to include this part,15 reference to the Comparationes will be less necessary, but the need will remain for easy access to notable points of language and a classification of personal names by origin.

This clearly is a stimulating presentation of a fascinating body of inscriptions. My comments here reflect that (with some experiments with linked-data), my interest in studying these texts further for myself, and my eagerness to see what others will make of them. (I regret that I have not been able to consult the studies edited by Dimitris Bosnakis himself.)16



Notes:


1.   IG XII, 4, 1 and 4, 2 were reviewed respectively by Eric Perrin-Saminadayar (BMCR 2011.04.37) and by Pierre Fröhlich (BMCR 2013.10.67).
2.   The foundation of the city of Cos by the Athenians in 366 BCE provides a suitable epigraphic watershed.
3.   4th c. BCE: 1551, 1676 (Ἀρτεμιδώρο, if not –o<υ>), 2133, and 2471, 2472, 2633, 2634 (= GVI 426, 1062, 451, and 442 respectively), and 2938 (metrical). 3rd c. BCE: 1398-1402, 1552-1601, 1677-1683 (1680 metrical), 2134-2145, 2307-2311.I, 2473-2475, 2635-2637, and 2939 (= GVI 864)-2940.
4.   For this terminology, see A.L. Mullen, Southern Gaul and the Mediterranean: Multilingualism and Multiple Identities in the Iron Age and Roman Periods, Cambridge, 2013: 83-92, especially 86-87.
5.   W.R. Paton and E.L. Hicks, The Inscriptions of Cos, Oxford, 1891: 164-211. Many of these texts can be read via the Packard Humanities Institute's Greek Inscriptions site.
6.   A. Maiuri, Nuova silloge epigrafica di Rodi e Cos, Florence, 1925. Some of the texts in this volume are available via the PHI's Greek Inscriptions site.
7.   M. Segre, Iscrizioni di Cos: Epigrafie funerary, Rome, 2007 (ed. M. L. Lazzarini). Some of the texts in this volume are available via the PHI's Greek Inscriptions site.
8.   See L.R. Palmer, The Latin Language, London, 1954: 241.
9.   Rudolf Herzog, Koische Forschungen und Funde, Leipzig, 1899. Some of its texts are accessible via the PHI's Greek Inscriptions site.
10.   A photograph was printed by A. Deissmann, Licht von Osten, Tübingen, 1923: 250-251 and by Segre, for EF 472. To my eyes, these images do not present the same stone.
11.   C.D. Buck, The Greek Dialects, Chicago, 1955: 13 and 167-168. These statements are identical to those in the previous editions: C.D. Buck, Introduction to the Study of the Greek Dialects, 1910 (21928): 11 and 150-151. Buck drew on H. Barth, De Coorum titulorum dialecto, Basel, 1896.
12.   That is, Barth (1900: 98-102) can be supplemented. He reported no instance of –εως, but several of –εος (1900: 100).
13.   The editors commented 'pleniores parti ultimae addentur' (Comparationes Numerorum, p. i). I hope that indices will be added as well.
14.   All names associated with the place 'Kos' can be retrieved by an online search of the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names.
15.   To date (07/07/2017), IG XII, 4, 2, 1239, with which that second part concludes (2012), is the last item from this fascicle of this volume to be included in Claros. For items up to IG XII, 4, 1, 423, the end of first part (2010), Claros is already connected to the relevant items in the online edition of Inscriptiones Graecae (e.g. IG XII 4, 2, 1239. The items in IG XII, 4, 2 and 4, 3 already feature in the Digitale Edition.
16.   D. Bosnakis, Ανέκδοτες επιγραφές της Κω. Επιτύμβια μνημεία και όροι, Athens, 2008 (see Bosnakis' Academia.edu page), particularly its 'Onomastic Notes' (with Jaime Curbera; pp. 190-196), παρατηρήσεις on Roman names (pp. 197-202), and 'Index Grammaticus' (pp. 206-208), etc. Coan onomastics and dialect forms continue to receive attention from Marina Veksina.

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Friday, October 13, 2017

2017.10.34

Lucy Grig (ed.), Popular Culture in the Ancient World. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Pp. x, 369. ISBN 9781107074897. $99.99.

Reviewed by James F.D. Frakes, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (jffrakes@uncc.edu)

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[The Table of Contents is listed below.]

Pulling mainly from a July 2012 conference at the University of Edinburgh, editor (and contributor) Lucy Grig has here assembled an introduction and thirteen ssays that take a variety of approaches to ancient "popular culture." The essays are divided into four sections, each based on a chronological, cultural and/or political framework: Classical Greece; the city of Rome; the larger Roman world; and Late Antiquity. Grig's concise and impressive introduction sets out the goals and limits of the project—not claiming to provide full coverage of the topic, but working instead to bring the separate studies into a centered and engaged conversation. The book is mainly successful at doing this—and it is interesting that, despite its roots in the cultural analyses of notables such as Althusser, Bakhtin, Bourdieu, de Certeau, Gramsci, Scott, and (above all) Peter Burke, much of the direct work on the topic dates recently. Grig names the classicist Holt Parker as perhaps the most important thinker on "popular culture"—his 2011 definition is one of the volume's main touchstones—but also cites the work of Nicholas Horsfall, Leslie Kurke, Sara Forsdyke, and Jerry Toner (also a contributor). One of Grig's goals is to minimize negative interpretations of the evidence (which tend to frame the non-elite as unthinking, uncritical, or merely incapable of moving or producing culture) in favor of "thick description," which understands the "popular" as networks embedded in larger cultural configurations. The essays that follow have been collegially written with these goals in mind, and Grig deserves praise for producing a volume that, despite its disparate subjects, reads as a considered whole.

All but two essays (those in the first section) deal with the Roman world, leading a reader to wonder whether it may have been better (despite their good quality) to leave out the Greek subjects entirely. Each deals only with Classical Athens, exploring respectively the operations of civic institutions and of Aristophanic performance there, and so cannot suggest the richness of popular culture(s) in the entirety of the pre-Roman Greek world. Situated as it is within this volume, Mirko Canevaro's essay sets up a common theme explored in later chapters—that elite evidence about the operations of government/culture can be read in ways that reveal the depth and substance of non-elite civic participation. On the other hand, despite its interesting topic, James Robson's essay—focused so fixedly on the text of Aristophanes' plays and eschewing analysis of the spatial and experiential realities of the theater—seems never to find its feet in this grouping.

The volume gains steam in the following section, with subjects specific to the city and population of Rome. The first of these, part of a forthcoming work by Rosillo Lopez, explores how elite nicknames under the Republic attests to an independent popular culture, in that some of them derive from (generally favorable) public opinion. Cyril Courrier turns to the fabric of the city itself in order to assess the locations and distribution of non-elite spaces in Rome (and Ostia). He asserts that the urban population of Rome may have been a "dominated population," but that they conceived of themselves as "masters of the world" and their collective actions mainly resulted from organizations that knowingly (and often effectively) acted in their own interests. The contribution by Tom Hawkins on the use of invective in the twilight of Republican Rome also provides a strong sense of the physical spaces of the city. He offers what is perhaps the volume's smoothest handling of theory to reconstruct social experience, paying particular attention to evidence for the crowd's angry voice creating something like indirect democracy. Rounding out the section on Rome, Alexandre Vincent offers a fascinating exploration of the ways in which music (especially loud music produced for rituals and processions) was politicized. Readers interested in reconstructing social experience will likely find stimulating his descriptions of "walls of sound" and "capillary diffusion," physical phenomena with important effects on civic life.

The next essays form the most "grab-bag" of the sections, the awkward title of which suggests the larger Roman world (perhaps provincial contexts). Instead the authors explore, in order, the non-located idea of "non-elite intellectual life," the embedding of divination in daily life, and the test-case of Roman Egypt for a recognizing a "children's culture." The last of these, by April Pudsey, is the strangest, perhaps, in the entire volume (nothing negative intended). As on so many other subjects, the minutiae preserved in Egyptian papyri allow for much discussion, and on a subject here that the author admits derives first from a premise rather than directly from the evidence—that children create a culture of their own. If the premise holds, we can follow Pudsey into a culture that was already subaltern and voiceless in the record. Even if it does not hold, how wonderful to read the words of a homesick boy missing his pet pigeons or think about children's dolls as stimulating the imagination. The evidence for lifelong bonds between slave and free children who grew up in the same households, even without an attempt to find a culture among them, will surely prompt readers to explore Pudsey's other publications. Victoria Jenning's essay, on the other hand, does not fully come together. She examines "pop literature" (specifically, late in the essay, two of Aesop's tales), but also takes up cooking, gardening, and the cost of birds (among other things) to reconstruct how divination ritual was part of everyday life. Perhaps locating the evidence more specifically in time and place would have helped provide focus?

Jerry Toner's essay, the first one in this section, might have served as an of introduction to the entire volume, foregrounding (as it does) so clearly and so persuasively the ways that popular culture becomes visible to us and also the ways that popular culture required intellect and promoted local status. Four constraints, Toner warns, are commonly enmeshed in modern thinking about intellectual activity: 1) that intellect is most evident in literary products, 2) that intellectual output requires long periods of reflection, 3) that properly intellectual products require resources such as libraries and theaters, and 4) that intellectual subjects must be "serious." Remove these constraints and other stimulating mind-worlds open up—Toner lists story-telling, folk medicine, art making, magic, divination, folklore and proverbial culture, pantomime, and gambling. He chooses in this essay to do preliminary work only on the latter three, revealing refined opinions among the non-elite on humor, body movement, and chance, respectively.

The final section groups four authors interested in Late Antiquity. Perhaps because this is the editor's area of interest, these essays are very integrated and clearly instantiate the stated goals of the volume. Lucy Grig's essay on Kalends festivals is an admirably clear inquiry into a beloved celebration—disparate forms of evidence (such as military calendars, Augustine's sermons, and medieval manuscripts with images of stag dancers) come together to provide a coherent look at a form of popular culture that persisted for centuries. Nicola Denzey Lewis examines the varied ways that people decorated family spaces in the catacombs of Rome, moving beyond explanations that odd items are "apotropaic" (which they may nevertheless be) to tease out how social opinions on, for example, the magical effectiveness of Egyptian motifs or the exoticism of Kushan phalerae are evidenced in the tiny paraphernalia unearthed in and around the graves. Denzey Lewis refuses to call practices Christian or Non-Christian, a dichotomy that cannot explain the cultural operations that produced these meaningful and fascinating cemeteries. The final two essays, by Jaclyn Maxwell and Julio Cesar Magalhaes de Oliveira, both read "elite" sources (mainly, the surviving public speeches of clergymen) as storehouses of evidence for popular culture. Maxwell substantiates that those who heard such sermons were participating actively in theological thinking—the specific examples cited here are discussions of the trinity and how martyr tales required pre-existing knowledge of scripture. Magalhaes de Oliveira charts how sermon-givers tried to control popular opinion with their speeches, which thus inevitably are seen to react to a popular culture that moved in part independently of the church.

This volume is a rewarding read, but in one way it disappointed this reviewer—there is no serious attention given here to visual culture. Lucy Grig is completely aware of this circumstance, pointing to it in the closing pages of her introduction, citing relevant art historical bibliography, and avowing that visual and material culture cannot be ignored in any rounded account of ancient popular culture. Her answer is that the volume would need to be "wholly different" if it were do this job properly. She then points out the ways in which authors do touch on the visual material (for example, the catacomb imagery discussed by Denzey Lewis). Later, in her own essay, Grig makes productive use of visual culture, probably more so than any other author here, and so I accept her decisions. But I cannot resist pointing out that in a largely illiterate world visuals had powerful social effects and that art historical methodologies have much to offer here. For example, reference to the volume on ancient spectacle by Bettina Bergmann and Christine Kondoleon could frequently have enriched the discussion—I think particularly of how Barbara Kellum's essay in that volume "The Spectacle of the Street" could have supported both Rosilio-Lopes and Courrier's analyses.1 Or, in support of the several discussions of popular religion here, a reference to the ongoing debates by Mithraists (Roger Beck, Manfred Clauss, etc) might have foregrounded the role of imagery in pinning down "popular theology" or of "embedding ritual in daily life."2 As the reconstruction of ancient popular cultures moves on in coming decades—a line of inquiry in which this volume is destined to hold a key space—I will hope that other collaborative voices join to produce that "wholly different book" described in Grig's introduction.

To sum up, this volume is well produced (as expected from Cambridge University Press), with no typo serious enough to disrupt understanding and with images (so few of them!) sufficient for the task (even if a reader will always prefer color). Lucy Grig is a confident editor, unafraid to allow her contributors to take their readers into unusual lines of inquiry, even as she forges a coherent whole from their work. The end result is a rich exploration that delineates many of the cultures that may have operated within and upon ancient social groups.

Table of Contents

Introduction—Lucy Grig
Part I: Classical Greece
"The Popular Culture of the Athenian Institutions: 'Authorized' Popular Culture and 'Unauthorized' Elite Culture in Classical Athens" by Mirko Canevaro
'Humouring the Masses: The Theater Audience and the Highs and Lows of Aristophanic Comedy" by James Robson

Part II: Rome
"Popular Public Opinion in a Nutshell: Nicknames and Non-Elite Political Culture in the Late Republic" by Cristina Rosillo-Lopez
"Plebeian Culture in the City of Rome, from the Late Republic to the Early Empire" by Cyril Courrier
"Pollio's Paradox: Popular Invective and the Transition to Empire" by Tom Hawkins
"The Music of Power and the Power of Music: Studying Popular Auditory Culture in Ancient Rome" by Alexandre Vincent

Part III: The Roman Empire: Greece, Rome and Beyond
"The Intellectual Life of the Roman Non-Elite" by Jerry Toner
"Divination and Popular Culture" by Victoria Jennings
"Children's Cultures in Roman Egypt" by April Pudsey

Part IV: Late Antiquity
"Interpreting the Kalends of January: A Case Study for Late Antique Popular Culture" by Lucy Grig
"Popular Christianity and Lived Religion in Late Antique Rome: Seeing Magic in the Catacombs" by Nicola Denzey Lewis
"Popular Theology in Late Antiquity" by Jaclyn Maxwell
"Communication and Plebeian Sociability in Late Antiquity: The View from North Africa in the Age of Augustine" by Julio Cesar Magalhaes de Oliveira


Notes:


1.   Bergmann, B. and C. Kondoleon (eds.), The Art of Ancient Spectacle. Yale University Press, 2000. (Kellum's contribution pp. 283-99).
2.   Beck, R. Roger Beck on Mithras: collected works with new essays. Ashgate, 2004, and M. Clauss, The Roman Cult of Mithras: the god and his mysteries. Routledge, 2000.

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2017.10.33

Carmen González Vázquez (ed.), Diccionario de personajes de la comedia antigua. Zaragoza: Libros Pórtico, 2016. Pp. 530. ISBN 9788479561475. €39.00 (pb).

Reviewed by Carlotta Crescenti, University of Messina (ccrescenti@unime.it)

Version at BMCR home site

[The Table of Contents is listed below.]

L'esordio del Diccionario de personajes de la comedia antigua è affidato ad un prologo di estensione ridotta (p. 7-8), in cui la curatrice, Carmen Gonzáles Vázquez, presenta il testo per sommi capi, pur non trascurando l'impiego di un'estrema chiarezza e precisione espositiva nell'evidenziare i nuclei fondanti del libro, del quale apprendiamo, in questa sede, gli intenti e, soprattutto, la genesi: si tratta di un lavoro ponderoso e sterminato di un'equipe interuniversitaria e internazionale di ventisei studiosi. Il testo, nella forma di un dizionario in ordine alfabetico, si configura, anche ad una prima lettura, come un'opera di notevole interesse accademico. L'intendimento primario degli autori è stato quello di scavare all'interno dello sconfinato corpus della commedia greca e latina, nelle opere complete e in quelle frammentarie, rintracciando ed individuando, a seguito di precise ricognizioni, ogni singolo personaggio—sia, questo, un protagonista, un comprimario o un mero personaggio 'inorganico'1—e compilare uno studio analitico e fondato, una voce monografica, che dia ad ognuno di questi "su propia voz, sus líneas de gloria" (p. 7).

Vi è un'incontrovertibile difficoltà nel gestire una materia tanto vasta e mutevole, nel tracciare i caratteri di un numero, chiaramente spropositato, di personaggi, attraverso la ricostruzione operata a partire dalle opere teatrali antiche. Ammettendo tale complessità, gli autori non propongono "el análisis definitivo" o "definitorio de los personajes de la comedia antigua" (p. 7), ma un punto di partenza sostanziale per chi desideri indagare il profilo di uno o più personaggi; i rapporti intercorrenti tra questi ed altri, appartenenti alla stessa o ad una ben diversa categoria sociale e caratteriale, in opere dello stesso autore o affini o interdipendenti o derivate e, non da ultimo, gli influssi successivi che tali personaggi esercitano, financo, sul teatro moderno.

Successivamente a un Listado de investigadores/comedias y abreviaturas del nombre que aparecen en cada voz (p. 9) prende avvio l'imponente corpo del dizionario, in cui si susseguono le singole voci, disposte secondo due colonne per pagina.

In linea generale, occorre innanzitutto premettere che le voci non si susseguono presentando una struttura fissa ed invariata. Uno schema prestabilito, in un'opera di tal genere, non sarebbe potuto essere affatto realizzabile, considerata l'eterogeneità del materiale, la varietà dei personaggi analizzati, la diversa quantità di informazioni che la commedia veicola per ciascuno di essi. Del resto, se, da un lato, vi sono personaggi comici la cui presenza si dipana attraverso tutto l'arco dell'azione scenica di una data commedia e di cui la caratterizzazione appare ricca ed evidente, vi sono, altresì, personaggi comprimarî, secondarî, minori, 'inorganici', la cui caratterizzazione appare, inevitabilmente, complessa o limitata.

All'interno di ogni singola voce, con variazioni più o meno consistenti da caso a caso, trova spazio una concisa definizione del personaggio, con una notazione sul nome—soprattutto, nel caso in cui sia necessaria qualche precisazione sull'etimologia o nel caso di nomina loquentia—o sulla genealogia, con una breve qualificazione o tipizzazione, un'analisi della personalità, dei suoi comportamenti in scena, l'indicazione dell'opera o delle opere in cui esso è presente, la narrazione sintetica, accurata e puntuale del contesto, della trama dell'opera dentro cui si snoda l'azione del personaggio ed una bibliografia di riferimento, aggiornata, precisa ed esaustiva.

Si tirano le somme incasellando il personaggio all'interno di un catalogo, di un vero e proprio repertorio di caratteristiche, individuando, altresì, le diverse chiavi di lettura di ciascuna persona. Ogni voce compendia, di fatto, tutto ciò che è possibile sapere riguardo ad un determinato personaggio. Ove possibile, vi sono dei brandelli di un tentativo di ricostruzione caratteriale e fisica, attraverso la ricomposizione e la rielaborazione delle fonti e dei dati ricavati dall'opera comica.

Tale ricostruzione può avvenire secondo, almeno, due modalità principali.2 In alcuni casi, è necessario basarsi sull'autocaratterizzazione del personaggio, che descrive, o decanta, in solo, determinati aspetti del proprio carattere o delle proprie abitudini—descrizione, si intuirà, non sempre onesta e veridica, che potrebbe, a sua volta, mascherare o, al contrario, palesare intenti satirici o parodie. In altri casi, la descrizione di talune caratteristiche è affidata, in primo luogo, ad un secondo personaggio, come nel caso di Moschione, presente in una commedia frammentaria di Menandro, che viene descritto, in termini non propriamente elogiativi, da Blepes, che lo definisce: "mocito paliducho, muy delgado, algo imberbe… nos parecía un adúltero… desbarbado… maricón" (p. 339). Nel caso della lettera di Fenicia all'amante Callidoro, sono le parole stesse di tale lettera, velate di una raffinata retorica amorosa, a presentare, primariamente, il personaggio (p. 213).

Opportunamente, vi sono brevi citazioni dei versi comici utili alla comprensione di un determinato aspetto del personaggio. Non sempre è presente il riferimento ai versi comici di cui si tratta, soprattutto nel caso in cui sia esposta una sintesi della maggior parte o di tutta la trama dell'opera comica. Una schematizzazione, per mezzo eventualmente di sottoparagrafi fissi, avrebbe privato, in parte, l'opera di interesse.

Evidentemente, l'operazione che gli studiosi hanno voluto compiere è stata quella di presentare il personaggio attraverso le sue caratteristiche e il suo ruolo in commedia, senza che tale intenzione si traducesse in una mera raccolta di riferimenti testuali, ma, piuttosto, in una sintesi ragionata dei dati ottenuti.

Il solo sussidio delle fonti, senza particolari azzardi di natura esegetica, in alcuni casi, può portare il lettore alla formulazione di più di un'ipotesi riguardo all'effettiva esistenza storica di un personaggio, come nel caso di Anticira (p. 29). Sono presenti anche voci relative a ben precise categorie sociali, alle quali appartengono personaggi sine nomine—od anche muti—ma caratterizzati secondo la loro professione: e.g., "Cocinero" (p. 91), "Fabricante de hoces" (p. 207), "Flautistas" (p. 229), "Inspector" (p. 269), "Prítanis, magistrado ateniense" (p. 414) o voci relative a "fasi" teatrali, a momenti scenici, più che a categorie vere e proprie, e.g., Prologo2, dove l'autore della voce si concentra sui prologhi terenziani, recitati da "innominados", anche se, molto probabilmente, si trattava semplicemente di: "el primer actor de la compañía" (p. 416).

Attraverso l'analisi della prima categoria di personaggi, si ricava un'atmosfera realistica, vicina a quella che, probabilmente, era la "lógica cotidiana" dei commediografi antichi, delineandosi, così, un filone di ricerca fondamentale per la definizione del ruolo scenico di determinati personaggi fissi, tipizzati, ascrivibili a determinate categorie sociali, caratteriali o professionali. Nel secondo caso, la voce propone uno studio di respiro più ampio, con la definizione di alcuni caratteri fondamentali per lo studio del teatro antico quale genere letterario e, non da ultimo, inserito nel contesto storico e sociale di riferimento.

Ciò che rende, inoltre, tale operazione ancora più pregevole è il fatto che vi si trova l'individuazione dei parallelismi, delle parodie, degli intenti satirici, che trapelano dall'impiego di un personaggio in una commedia o in una data scena comica. Per esempio, è segnalata la funzione parodica dell'araldo negli Acarnesi di Aristofane (p. 253). Una certa attenzione è data, inoltre, anche al finale dell'opera comica, a come il personaggio stesso contribuisce a sciogliere, nell'explicit, l'intreccio della vicenda.

In conclusione, il libro è corredato di due apparati estremamente utili e dalla struttura chiara ed agevole. Uno, l'Índice de Komodoúmenoi (pp. 497-500), consiste nell'enumerazione di tutti i "personajes públicos, o ampliamente conocidos", citati all'interno di opere di autori comici di cui non si hanno che sparuti frammenti, la cui datazione è ascrivibile esclusivamente al V-IV sec. a.C. Tale elencazione—si precisa—è stata elaborata da Javier Verdejo Manchado, autore di una monografia riguardante il lessico nei frammenti dei comici greci.3 Il secondo apparato, Elencos (pp. 501-511), è un'elencazione dei singoli personaggi ascrivibili a ciascuna commedia presa in considerazione all'interno dell'opera. Segue la ricchissima bibliografia generale (pp. 513-530), punto di partenza obbligato per ulteriori ricerche ed approfondimenti in materia.

Chi voglia ricercare un dato personaggio della commedia antica, troverà, all'interno di tale dizionario, ogni informazione possibile, insieme ad una bibliografia utile ad ulteriori approfondimenti. Il Diccionario, nella sua natura intrinseca di opera collettanea, di catalogo di innumerevoli personaggi, di raccolta, dalla varietà sconfinata, di situazioni comiche tratte dagli autori del teatro antico, appare di notevole interesse, presentando un campionario di "charlatanes y farsantes" (p. 16), di "indeseables y parásitos" (p. 16), di voci relative a schiavi, matrone, lenoni e prostitute, soldati tronfi e vanagloriosi, uomini dal mestiere più disparato, giovani ingenui, ragazze innamorate e molti altri; figure degnissime di studi ulteriori.

Table of Contents

Prólogo (7-8)
Listado de investigadores / comedias (9-10)
Diccionario de personajes (13-495)
Índice de komodoúmenoi (497-500)
Elencos (501-511)
Bibliografía general (513-530)


Notes:


1.   Così, li definisce O. L. Wilner, The Character Treatment of Inorganic Roles in Roman Comedy, "Classical Philology", vol. 26, no. 3, 1931, pp. 264–283.
2.   Vd. O. L. Wilner, The Technical Device of Direct Description of Character in Roman Comedy, "Classical Philology", vol. 33, no. 1, 1938, pp. 20–36. 
3.   Javier V. Manchado, Léxico de los cómicos griegos fragmentarios de la transición entre los ss. V-IV a.C., Oviedo 2015.

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2017.10.32

Klaus Meister, Der Hellenismus: Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte. Stuttgart: J. B. Metzler, 2016. Pp. vi, 292. ISBN 9783476026859. €49.95.

Reviewed by Jeffrey M. Hunt, Baylor University (Jeff_Hunt@baylor.edu)

Version at BMCR home site

Preview

Klaus Meister's Der Hellenismus: Kultur- und Geistesgeschichte provides a usable and succinct overview of Hellenistic literature in its historical and social milieux. The book falls into sixteen chapters, most of which explore particular areas such as Geography, Astronomy, Mathematics and Physics, and Poetry. The rest are dedicated to the historical development of the term "Hellenistic," the historical context of the early Hellenistic period, the founding and topography of the city of Alexandria, the visual arts, and religion in the Hellenistic age.

As he notes in his introduction, Meister attempts to reach a wide-ranging readership and cover "all the essential topics" (1). Given his ambitious undertaking, Meister in general favors broad descriptions that focus on salient features over narrow details and controversies. Meister breaks up his discussion by presenting it across a number of slender chapters, themselves often divided into subsections. This results in a book that is, on the one hand, user friendly because the subsection headings display each topic, but, on the other hand, one that is rather stark, especially in its frequent use of bullet points.

The author's preference for breadth over depth means the greatest beneficiaries will be students, whom Meister seems to have especially in mind. For example, passages from ancient texts are ample but appear in translation only without accompanying Greek text. Also, in lieu of a traditional bibliography, the relevant sources appear in the initial endnote of each chapter. Furthermore, the structure of the chapters based on literary or scientific genres tends toward biographical sketches and overviews of an author's oeuvre. Nonetheless, these descriptions frequently include useful summaries of more notable works with some valuable discussion of their prominent themes or characteristics. This structure is well suited for students or anyone approaching the Hellenistic period as a novice.

As the title indicates, the book is a cultural and intellectual history, and it is in those chapters that treat historical developments, such as the third chapter on "Alexandria, die Kulturmetropole des Hellenismus," that the book truly shines. In that chapter, Meister provides a discussion of the founding of the city, brief biographies of the first three Ptolemies, a useful map of the city, and a description of the Museum and the Alexandrian library. The chapter is succinct and focused. Accordingly, the reader will come away with a good understanding of Alexandria's historical context and the consensus view of the Museum's design and function. Similarly admirable is chapter sixteen, "Die religiöse Entwicklung," which considers a variety of religions (mystery cults, Judaism, etc.), but focuses most extensively on the development of ruler cults. Once again, the sources provided are ample and often helpfully presented as quotations rather than mere citations. Commendable too is Meister's breadth; as he notes, ruler cults are best attested in the Ptolemaic empire (p. 237), yet the chapter gives equal attention to such cults among the Antigonids and Seleucids. This last point is particularly notable, since the wealth of evidence from Egypt could easily pull any discussion toward the Ptolemaic empire specifically rather than the broader Hellenistic world.

Most chapters (Chapters 4–14) are devoted to artistic or scientific disciplines, all of which provide valuable descriptions of subject's major figures and the salient points of their contributions. Chapter 4, "Die Bildenden Künste" is particularly engaging. Following a summary of the characteristics of the plastic arts in the Hellenistic period, Meister delves into extensive discussions of some individual pieces, such as the Laocoön Group in the Vatican Museums and the Pergamon Altar. These discussions not only demonstrate the features of Hellenistic art; they also contextualize the pieces politically and socially.

Though generally quite successful, one drawback to the author's largely diachronic approach is the separation of aspects of the Hellenistic world into discrete categories, which obscures to a degree the variety of external influences present and the intersections of social and political realities with the literature being produced. One might note that in his discussion of religion as a tool to legitimize monarchical rule (Chapter 16.1.2c) Meister makes no mention of literary texts. Since the book is specifically a cultural and intellectual history, it might have been helpful to connect the Ptolemaic ruler cult with the available literary context of, for example, Theocritus 17 or Callimachus' Hymn to Delos. Similarly, poems like Theocritus' second Idyll and Herodas' first Mimiamb contain themes of mobility and immigration, concerns pertinent and influential in the Hellenistic period generally, though especially in Alexandria.1 Overall the book is exceptional in describing the various cultural and intellectual facets of the period, but with the notable exception of Chapter 4 it rarely brings them together into a cohesive context for the institutions and activities it describes. Meister largely avoids points of controversy. This suits his purpose well, allowing the text to flow without frequent digressions or qualifications. The tight focus of the chapters, however, at times gives way to a tendency to offer as historical certainties some points that are, at least for some scholars, unresolved questions. For example, on page 18 Meister cites the letter of Aristeas as his source for the history of the translation of the Septuagint. Yet given the nature of the letter of Aristeas, the authenticity and veracity of which has often been debated,2 and the mythical quality of its account, students might benefit from a note discussing this source. Similarly, the claim that Ptolemy Soter founded the Library (also p. 18) and the description of the Museum as similar in form and appearance to Aristotle's Peripatos (p. 16) are plausible but have reasonably been called into question.3 One might note also the identification of Callimachus as the creator of a new ideal of "Leptotes" (p. 20) in poetry. This notion, I suspect, aims to clarify the novelty of Hellenistic poetry, but it is not well explained and, in my view, is problematic. The issue is further exacerbated when Meister later asserts that Theocritus, Apollonius, and Aratus were indebted to Callimachean artistic principles (p. 100). None of these assertions is indefensible, but they are not settled either. It may benefit the reader to know that much about Alexandria—politically, socially, and culturally—is hazy, and that Hellenistic poetry's relation to past and present can be a messy affair.

In general I find much to value in Meister's book. His introduction to a complicated period in literary history is clear and concise, his rich compilation of ancient sources extremely useful, and his reliance on primary texts commendable. Undergraduate and graduate students who can read German will greatly benefit from this volume, and those who seek a guide through the salient features of Alexandria and its literature will not be disappointed.



Notes:


1.   The most thorough consideration is Burton, Joan, Theocritus's Urban Mimes: Mobility, Gender, and Patronage, (California, 1995).
2.   A recent, thorough examination of the letter of Aristeas with insight into scholarly debates is in Honigman, Sylvie, The Septuagint and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria, (Routledge, 2003).
3.   The arguments problematizing the sources for the Museum and Library are best presented in Bagnall, Roger, 'Alexandria: Library of Dreams.' Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 146 (2002) 348–62.

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2017.10.31

Stephen Harrison (ed.), Horace: Odes, Book II. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. Cambridge: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Pp. ix, 267. ISBN 9781107600904. $34.99.

Reviewed by Stephanie McCarter, Sewanee: The University of the South (samccart@sewanee.edu)

Version at BMCR home site

Preview

This text and commentary from one of the most prolific and erudite scholars of Horace is a most welcome addition to the Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics series, where it joins recent volumes on the Odes by Mayer and Thomas.1

The commentary fills two especially important needs. First, it builds upon the monumental 1978 commentary by Nisbet and Hubbard, which, though it remains an indispensible resource for anyone working on Horace, is now beginning to show its age.2 Harrison accordingly focuses on and incorporates major contributions to the scholarship published since Nisbet and Hubbard, crafting a volume that complements rather than supplants its predecessor. Second, he conforms to a Horatian "golden mean" of sorts, standing between the extremes of Garrison, on the one hand, and Nisbet and Hubbard, on the other.3 While Garrison's volume remains ideal for undergraduate students encountering Horace for the first time, its commentary is too sparse for the more advanced classroom, particularly on the graduate level. Nisbet and Hubbard, on the other hand, aims for the needs of the researcher rather than the student. Harrison's volume nicely balances these two audiences, giving explanations on grammar and translation alongside deeper interpretation and analysis.

After the Preface and a References/Abbreviations page, one finds a focused, informative Introduction. Harrison's discussion of Horace's literary career draws interesting connections between his changing poetic genres and his poeticized autobiography, each of which is "marked by a rhetoric of literary and socio-political ascent." Odes 2 belongs firmly in the middle phase of Horace's "long and carefully-modulated poetic career." The notion of the "middle way" in fact guides Harrison's Introduction. His discussion of Book 2's poetic arrangement, for example, avoids overly elaborate schematizations of the poems while pointing out their most important themes, images, ideas, and structures. Perhaps the most intriguing section of the Introduction is his consideration of Odes 2 as "the book of moderation." When compared to the other books, it contains a more restrained number of poems, less variation in length, and less variety of meter. The recurrent ethical focus is moderation, while the addressees tend to be men of middle rank.

The Introduction also includes sections on intertextuality (on which more below), the poems' "internal architecture" (with a focus on ring composition, central pivots, and closural devices), and style (with an overview of Horace's favorite devices and a helpful stylistic reading of Odes 2.14). The final section offers an excellent overview of the meters of Book 2.

The text of the poems follows the Introduction. Harrison chooses not to leave a space between the stanzas, "since this is how they appear in our earliest Greek papyri," a choice that sets him apart from Mayer and Thomas. He does not give a full critical text, although he does provide a highly selective apparatus criticus and contributes some new conjectures, making use of a resource unavailable to previous commentators of Book 2: the Oslo database, a free online repository of conjectures on Horace's poetry.

The commentary for each poem follows the same pattern. Harrison summarizes the poem, identifies the meter, offers an interpretive essay, provides a select bibliography, and gives a line-by-line analysis. The interpretive essays provide excellent entry-points into the poems, introducing us to their addressees (if any), major thematic concerns, internal generic play, structure, and key literary intertexts. These essays invariably orient the reader who may be approaching the poems for the first time, providing the necessary foundation so that the notes can delve deeply and take up potentially thorny issues of translation, textual problems, style, etc. Noteworthy here is the facility with which Harrison moves around not only the Horatian corpus but also those of other Latin poets, drawing an array of parallels and evidence to support his readings and interpretations. His command of the pertinent bibliography is similarly exemplary.

The vast majority of Harrison's notes in the commentary hit the mark, and many clear up longstanding ambiguities. The scortum Lyde in 2.11, to name just one small example, is devium not because she is a "tart out of the normal run" but because she is "wandering from [her] normal path" in the city to attend Horace's rustic dinner party. Harrison's incorporation of his own work on "lyric middles" is also instructive, particularly in his discussion of the false closure at the midpoint of 2.13. His analysis in this instance rests upon Horace's debt to epigram, an understudied influence that Harrison carefully illuminates across the book.

Harrison's discussions of Horace's literary intertexts (in both the Introduction and the commentary) especially hit the right note, offering the most pertinent parallels while avoiding the pitfalls of unadulterated Quellenforschung. One literary influence that he effectively illustrates throughout is Vergil's Georgics, whose publication in 29 BCE appears to have made a particular impression on Odes 2. Most markedly, the story of Orpheus' descent into the underworld in Georgics 4 shows up in the repeated underworld motifs running through these poems.

Yet there are invariably some quibbles and disagreements. I am not convinced, for example, that prime sodalium at 2.7.5 means "earliest" of my companions rather than, as Nisbet and Hubbard suggest, "dearest." Why can it not cover both ideas at once? Dente at 2.8.3 to my mind works better as a true singular rather than a collective singular; the suggestion is that Barine suffers not even minimal punishment for perjury. Harrison does not do enough with Sutherland's suggestions that Lyde and Licimnia in 2.11 and 2.12 are metapoetic embodiments of Horatian lyric.4 I do not understand why, in 2.15.14-15, privatis needs to be a dative, "for private citizens" rather than (as Rudd takes it in his Loeb translation) as an ablative modifying decempedis, "by private ten-foot rods," which expresses the same idea more subtly. I do not see why the transmitted horribilique mala at 2.19.24 cannot simply stand as an a second ablative of means, "with the horrible jaw [of a lion]." I wish he had noted that aequa tellus at 2.18.32 suggests "an equal amount" of earth as well as the "impartial" earth; we all enjoy equivalent real estate in the grave.

Some disagreements call for longer comment:

1) 2.4.15-16: Harrison renders et penatis / maeret iniquos as "and she laments a home which is beneath her." Though he provides parallels for Penates as "home" and iniquos as "inadequate," this seems to blunt the line's force. Horace alludes to the Trojan War repeatedly through the poem (as Harrison notes), and the Penates would no doubt suggest the story of Aeneas fleeing Troy, which of course would feature in Aeneid 2. Whereas Aeneas's household gods are propitious, Phyllis's are "harsh" (OLD s.v. 4) or even "treacherous" (OLD s.v. 6d) since they could not prevent her from being taken away as a captive slave. These Penates are her own, not those of Xanthias. The involvement of the Penates adds further texture to the epic background Horace invents for Phyllis.

2) 2.5.13-14: One conjecture Harrison makes (in the commentary if not in the text) is that ferox here (currit enim ferox / aetas) should be read as the proper name Ferox, which he argues would a) give the poem a needed addressee whose name implies that he is "being too fierce in pursuit while the girl is too young" and b) alleviate the potential awkwardness with the accounting metaphors in the next lines. I am not sure, however, that ferox is problematic enough to warrant the conjecture; in fact some of the poem's force is lost without it. The adjective, as Nisbet and Hubbard as well as Harrison himself note, is used of spirited animals (see OLD s.v. 3b), a metaphor that Horace applies elsewhere in the poem to Lalage. A central idea in this stanza is that situations will reverse, and the word ferox underscores one important reversal: Lalage will go from untamed, animalistic heifer to implicit victim of untamed, animalistic time. When Lalage comes of age, she will no longer be desirable to the addressee. The only ungovernable force in the poem is time itself, and the poem's closing catalog makes it clear that the addressee's affections are serially enflamed and cut short under its influence.

3) 2.13.30-32: Harrison twice (p. 12 and p. 164) suggests that Horace endorses the preference of the vulgus for Alcaeus over Sappho: "That both poets are heard with silence suggests that both have something significant to say despite Horace's implied higher rating of Alcaeus." Horace, however, never really suggests that he rates Alcaeus's poetry higher; he simply states that the vulgus does. As Ancona has already argued, "the preference by the vulgus for Alcaeus should not be read as a resounding endorsement of him."5 Odes 3.1, for example, famously opens Odi profanum vulgus et arceo.

4) 2.20.13: Harrison is unconvinced that Icarus's presence in the poem poses a serious problem: "Interpreters worry about notior…since the comparative might naturally mean 'more notorious' and the doomed Icarus is not an example of successful flight." He suggests that notior can simply mean "more famous" and that Horace "will be more celebrated in verse (his own) than Icarus (the subject of literary treatments before Horace)." I am not sure that this sufficiently neutralizes the negative potential of Icarus here, particularly since Horace places the participle gementis ("lamenting") just beneath Daedalus's name in these lines, a stark reminder of the fate that befell Icarus. Horace's comparison of himself to Icarus may hint that his profession of immortality comes too soon; he still has another book to go. As Harrison himself points out, "in every case in the Odes where Horace makes grand claims for himself and his poetry, those claims are offset and undermined by elements of humour and self-deprecation." This seems a good example of such self-deprecation.

The book ends with a lengthy (almost 17-page) Works Cited list, an Index Verborum, and a General Index. The last item could stand to be a bit fuller: where for example is "Icarus" and why are the Geloni listed on p. 127 and not p. 242?

Although I have enumerated some disagreements here in keeping with the needs of a review, the exegesis in the book is on the whole excellent. I have already begun to benefit enormously from it. It is a boon to all students of Horace.

On a final note, the errors and omissions in the book are remarkably few, but there are two worth mentioning. 1) In footnote 35 in the Introduction Harrison directs us to Harrison 2013, which is missing in the bibliography.6 2) On p. 199 Harrison twice mentions 2.19 when in fact he means 2.17.



Notes:


1.   Mayer, Roland. Horace: Odes Book I. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012. Richard F. Thomas. Horace: Odes Book II and Carmen Saeculare. Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.
2.   R.G.M. Nisbet and Margaret Hubbard. A Commentary on Horace: Odes Book II. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978.
3.   Daniel H. Garrison. Horace: Epodes and Odes. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
4.   Elizabeth Sutherland. "Literary Women in Horace's Odes 2.11 and 2.12." In Defining Genre and Gender in Latin Literature, edited by Batstone and Tissol, 193-210. New York: Peter Lang, 2005.
5.   Ronnie Ancona. "The Untouched Self: Sapphic and Catullan Muses in Horace, Odes I.22." In Cultivating the Muse, edited by Spentzou and Fowler, 161-86. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002.
6.   Stephen Harrison. "Didactic and Lyric in Horace Odes 2: Lucretius and Vergil." In Generic Interfaces in Latin Literature, edited by Papanghelis, Harrison, and Frangoulidis, 367-86. Berlin: DeGruyter, 2013.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

2017.10.30

Anise K. Strong, Prostitutes and Matrons in the Roman World. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Pp. ix, 304. ISBN 9781107148758. $99.99.

Reviewed by Allison Glazebrook, Brock University (aglazebrook@brocku.ca)

Version at BMCR home site

With this monograph Anise Strong brings together matronae and meretrices (literally). Rather than simply focusing on the polarized stereotypes of wife and whore, Strong seeks ways in which women of any status defied such fixed categories and labels. Her interest is also the interactions between women of varying rank in the streets, households, and at festivals. By considering the zone between matrona and meretrix, Strong is able to identify changing attitudes and even public roles for women within Roman society and redefine the focus on female virtue as not simply sexual virtue, but a concern for "loyalty" more generally and "generosity" more broadly (205). Most importantly, she suggests a less stable and coherent system of sex and gender at play in ancient Rome, and argues that prostitutes in particular were not as stigmatized as the literary sources might lead us to believe, but participated in communal activities, including religious ritual, like other female members in the community.

The monograph includes eight chapters and investigates the Republican and Imperial periods of Roman Italy (specifically 2nd century BCE to 3rd century CE), but the evidence sometimes takes Strong out of Italy and into late Antiquity. Chapter 8 considers the trope of prostitution in the western tradition from medieval to modern times. There are also appendices on the Allia Potestas epitaph and women in the Hebrew Bible. Strong's use of evidence throughout is comprehensive with analyses of literary (both prose and verse), visual, epigraphic, and archaeological material in their social and political contexts. Her decision to organize the material evidence into largely self-contained chapters is very effective and helpful to the reader. She engages in particular with the work of Rebecca Flemming 1 and Thomas A. J. McGinn 2 and diverges in her reconstruction of an elite class of prostitute for Rome as for classical Athens, but is conscious not to "glamorize" prostitution (6). "Fluidity" and "mobility" are key concepts that inform her study.

After a useful overview in the introduction, Chapter 1 "Faithful wives and greedy prostitutes" outlines the stereotypes of matron and whore as presented in a variety of genres and in comparison to similar stereotypes in Greek literature. Strong argues that while Greek stereotypes for prostitutes center on craftiness and wit, Roman stereotypes stress selfishness and greed. A lack of such stereotypes in inscriptions and graffiti suggests to Strong that these characterizations are literary tropes only. These observations lead to her first conclusion: stock representations of meretrices reflect anxiety and resentment among elite Roman males against the power and mobility of freedwomen as well as the wealth and independence of matronae and demonstrate a concern for their own position as subject and agent in a changing world. In other words, the sexuality of women is only of secondary concern: a smoke screen for a more deep rooted anxiety about elite male subjectivity. As a result, her main interests for the rest of the monograph are women and narratives that defy such classifications.

Chapter 2 "Good little prostitutes" explores characterizations of meretrices that subvert the dominant discourse normally present in Latin literature. Strong focuses on portraits of five women, from Terence, Livy, Quintilian, Seneca, and an epitaph for the freedwoman Allia Potestas. The chapter also includes discussion of the only epitaph commemorating a lena, offering a female perspective on the sex trade. In these examples women freely engage in the sex trade without being identified with the negative stereotypes normally associated with prostitutes and Strong asks why this is so. She concludes that in these representations, the prostitutes affirm male social hierarchies rather than challenge them. Although they disrupt female distinctions of status, they do not threaten the male social order, but instead support the authority and autonomy of the Roman male. By attributing female virtues to prostitutes, these narratives suggest that a woman's virtue is judged based on her relationship to a man and his family, and point to an ambivalence about the connection between female virtue and social status. But it also demonstrates the fine line between good and bad that women had to negotiate in their daily lives, a point Strong does not emphasize enough here.

The next two chapters further consider women who manage to transcend common stereotypes. Chapter 3 "Powerful concubines and influential courtesans" analyzes the relationship between mistresses and their elite lovers. Strong reconstructs a plausible history of the extent of such influence for women like Chelidon and Marcia, the concubine of Commodus, and identifies a shift in attitude towards freedwomen from the late Republic to the Imperial period. Comparing four Republican and four Imperial "courtesan" figures, Strong argues that under the late Republic all women, regardless of status, were criticized for manipulating their lovers when successfully influential in the male sphere. During the Imperial period, however, criticism centered on elite women, and freedwomen, in contrast, were portrayed in a positive fashion regardless of the extent of their influence. Women like Acte, for example, assisted elite men in curbing the authority of women in the Imperial family, like Agrippina the Younger and Poppaea. Chapter 4 "Matrona as meretrix" examines why some matronae (Sempronia, Clodia, Cleopatra, and Messalina) earned the label meretrix, but not others (Livia, Julia, Agrippina the Younger, and Julia Domna). Strong argues that the term embodied a variety of negative characteristics centering on disloyalty and applied to women who appeared to revile the status of univira and flaunted their economic independence, thereby threatening the stability of the male social order. This chapter includes a discussion of working women (actors, tavern workers, and cooks) frequently labelled meretrices in the literary sources, and Strong rightly suggests non-elites might not have had the same biases as these elite writers.

Chapter 5 "Can you know a meretrix when you see one?" and Chapter 6 "Prostitutes and matrons in the urban landscape" focus on the material culture and physical environments of sex. In contrast to John R. Clarke,3 Strong argues that scenes of women engaging in sex, regardless of medium (painting, lamp, mosaic) or context (domus, brothel, bath), do not include clear visual markers that distinguish matronae from meretrices. Such images were equally titillating to male and female viewers, and in fact, a possible function in the domus was to teach and encourage wives in the bedroom. Strong suggests further that these images promote sexual desire in women and are intended to encourage sexual harmony within Roman marriage. Prostitutes, widows, divorcees, and even unmarried girls are left out of this formulation, however, and Strong recognizes that their desire could be a threat to the established social order, since these women lacked permanent partners. Still, the images support her thesis that sexual activity and desire alone did not merit the label "whore". Strong's discussion on the location of commercial sex is the weakest chapter of the book, since she primarily considers four brothels, some of whose identifications are controversial, and which, except for the Lupanar at Pompeii, provide a different temporal and geographical focus to other chapters. Her main point, however, is likely accurate: Romans did not zone to prevent women and children from chancing upon prostitutes and the places in which they worked; in fact, this demographic could not avoid encountering the sex trade, since brothels and prostitutes were easily visible in the urban landscape. She thus builds on McGinn's arguments against zoning, but could have enhanced her position by making greater use of his work on the distribution of brothels at Pompeii.

The role of prostitutes as members of the larger community is the topic of Chapter 7 "Pious prostitutes". Here Strong focuses on female cult and argues that prostitutes participated in religious ritual alongside other women, including matronae, in addition to their own celebrations at festivals like the Floralia. Such participation suggests the acceptance of prostitutes within the community more generally, points to their prominence in some cults, and hints at their social interactions with women more broadly. In contrast to McGinn, who views cult as a way to distinguish women, Strong concludes that certain cults brought women of varying status together and unified women through ritual activity.4 Of particular interest is Strong's discussion of the cult of Venus Erycina. While some of Strong's conclusions remain speculative, her examination of prostitutes in Roman cult is an important contribution to studies on Roman prostitution as well as Roman religion more broadly and invites further investigation.

The final chapter, Chapter 8 "The "whore" label in Western culture", is a cursory look at the legacy of the term "whore", but also considers how the change in attitudes toward sex with the transition from paganism to Christianity affected that label. While the elite Roman use indicates transgressions of status and gender that challenge the patriarchal status quo, the Christian term highlights the immorality of expressions of female desire. Both labels, however, suggest disloyalty and untrustworthiness, and express male anxiety over women with prominent roles in the public sphere. It is an interesting way to end the monograph, but merits more detailed study.

To sum up, Strong demonstrates how some women (and even men) did not allow normative stereotypes to limit female activities and ambitions. She further challenges us to examine the sexuality of women, the position of women in Roman society, and interactions between classes of women in more multifaceted ways. Her study demands that we ponder a more complex role for prostitutes in Roman society and reject their status as largely social and legal outcasts. This reader was particularly struck by Strong's parallelism between meretrices and freedmen as threatening on account of their social mobility. Her sensitivity to social status, not just genre, is helpful in explaining contrasting attitudes among writers (e.g. Juvenal versus Tacitus). Strong's claim for an elite class of prostitute or courtesan, however, is not sustained and remains inconclusive. In Chapter 1, for example, she suggests that the amicae in Ovid's Ars Amatoria and Amores are courtesans, but her preference to refer to them as "girlfriend" highlights ambivalence about their status in her thinking. In Chapter 3, Acte, Caenis, and Marcia are presented as such elite courtesans, but, as Strong admits, their status as prostitutes is not clear from the narratives. More discussion of her use of terminology, "sex worker" and especially "courtesan", would have been helpful.5 Strong's contribution and what makes her work a worthwhile read are the questions she asks, the variety of evidence employed, as well as her comprehensive knowledge of the subject. I recommend her monograph to anyone interested in prostitution, gender, sexuality, women, and social and cultural history more broadly. It provokes new thought on an old profession.



Notes:


1.   "Quae corpore quaestum facit: the sexual economy of female prostitution in the Roman Empire" JRS 89 (1999): 38-61.
2.   The Economy of Prostitution in the Roman World: A Study of Social History and the Brothel (University of Michigan Press, 2004).
3.   Looking at Lovemaking: Constructions of Sexuality in Roman Art, 100 BC – AD 250 (University of California Press, 1998).
4.   Prostitution, Sexuality, and the Law in Ancient Rome (Oxford University Press, 1998).
5.   See Serena S. Witzke 2015 "Harlots, Tarts, and Hussies? A Problem of Terminology for Sex Labor in Roman Comedy" Helios 42.1: 7-27.

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