Despite Aristotle’s firm opinion on the differences between poetry and historiography, an elegiac inscription set up in Herodotus’ hometown, Halicarnassus, praised him as “the pedestrian Homer of historiography”. As it is well known, the uncertain author of the treatise On the Sublime referred to Herodotus as ὁμηρικώτατος, “the most Homeric”. In my paper, I will not take into consideration the literary connections between Homer and Herodotus, so much analyzed by modern scholars. I will rather discuss a specific verb, τεκμαίρομαι, and try to demonstrate that the way in which Herodotus employs it still partially depends on the Homeric background of the verb itself.
In a text that Diogenes Laertius attributed to Aristotle’s dialogue On the Poets, Empedocles’ poetic style is celebrated. However, in the Poetics Aristotle says that Empedocles was a physiologist, not a poet, and in other places he expresses criticism about his language. How do you explain the disparity in Aristotle’s judgments? This is the question to which this paper presents a new answer.
The present article deals with the Dikaiomata, one of Aristotle’s three historical works (alongside the Politeiai and the Nomima barbarika), of which only three fragments are preserved. The combined information from testimonia and fragments leads to the hypothesis that the Dikaiomata were a collection containing information about Greek Poleis, that the material collected was of a geographical, onomastic and historical nature and that Philip II of Macedonia may have used the collection in order to settle conflicts between Greek cities. Ancient sources confirm that dikaiomata were legal arguments and/or documents supporting (territorial) claims of cities against each other: an epigraphical dossier from Samos and Priene contains the dikaiomata which were presented by both parties to support their case in a territorial conflict, the works of the local historians being the most important dikaiomata for the remote past. The article comes to the conclusion that Aristotle’s Dikaiomata were a collection of claims of Greek Poleis against each other, and that the local histories of the Poleis concerned were important source material for Aristotle for both his Dikaiomata and Politeiai.
A unique lexical recall, placed in an unusual scenario, makes it likely that Dionysius of Halicarnassus, comparing the Asian oratory to a prostitute trying to expel the legitimate wife living in her same house, has in mind Smikrines’ speech to his daughter in the Epitrepontes, in which the same situation is prefigured: it is the first documented reference to a comedy of Menander in Dionysius’ rhetorical work.
The concept of civilitas has recently received great attention – although only within precise historical frameworks –, which has led to a deeper knowledge of this political model. However, in my opinion, Cassius Dio’s Roman History has not received a due consideration in this respect; indeed, the so called anecdotical-biographical chapters of the dionean “imperial books” give some hints about the concept of civilitas according to Cassius Dio’s political thought. By rehabilitating the historiographical role of these chapters, it would be possible to yield an inner analysis of Cassius Dio’s work, looking for his historical and political meaning on the background of the crisis of the Third Century. In order to prove that the concept of civilitas plays a pivotal role in the Dionean Roman History, I decided to focus on the first five years of the reign of Tiberius as case study (LVII 7-14).
The article aims to shed new light on the so-called Epistolary of the ‘Pseudo-Boniface’, a literary work of great historical interest written in Latin during Late Antiquity and consisting in a spurious correspondence between Count Boniface and Saint Augustine, the last two renowned figures of the Romano-African civilization. Surprisingly ignored, in general, by historiography and philology, the Epistolary is brought to the reader’s attention in its first Italian translation, together with a rigorous historical commentary and an innovative interpretation about its dating and writing context, without neglecting a close analysis of the authentic purposes which inspired the anonymous forger in conceiving his elaborate fiction.
This paper deals with the most ancient tale about the way and the time Aristotle’s Metaphysics was composed. This is found at the beginning of Asclepius’ commentary in Metaphysicam (4.4-16 Hayduck). If we consider the general context which the tale seems to presuppose, its interest is twofold: it witnesses for a time when the Metaphysics could still be regarded as an unfinished work. In this paper, after some remarks on the reception and the textual constitution of the text, I suggest that Asclepius’ source could be Alexander of Aphrodisias in his lost introduction to Aristotle’s Metaphysics. If so, Alexander could have still been in condition to apologize for some lately made changes in the overall shape of the work.
This article analyses the physical and cultural appropriation of the Parthenon by 19th-century Britain, and specifically Scotland’s role in this matter in relation to England and France. The article proposes a new explanation for the choice of the Parthenon as the architectural model for the Scottish National Monument, and argues that Edinburgh’s famous title of ‘Athens of the North’ developed a new meaning in close connection with, and probably as a consequence of, this debate. By highlighting the many and contradictory variations on the theme of the alleged similarities between Scotland and Greece, the paper points out how the Parthenon was meant to be ‘restored’ through its physical reproduction in Edinburgh, as an example of the means through which Western culture seized on and regarded Greek antiquities in terms of national pride and international competition.
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