The relationship between ‘science(/philosophy)’ and the authority of the great archaic poets, Homer above all, is clearly testified by the sources for all the phases of Greek civilization. This relationship develops along two main distinct and autonomous (but somehow complementary) lines, which we will refer here metaphorically as ‘way there’ (science [discusses or] ‘uses’ Homer) and ‘way back’ (Homeric scholarship ‘uses’ science), without any indication of chronological priority and with pure reference to the two opposite perspectives they represent. These dynamics, both equally originated by the cultural prestige associated with Homer, will be presented through the discussion of some very representative cases.
Alexander was the brother of Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great. In the erudite tradition, he is often referred to as Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μολοττός (Alexander Molossus), but by historians is called Alexander king of Epirus or king of Epirotes. The story of this Alexander is linked on the one hand to his country and its political organization, on the other to the story of his nephew, the son of Olympias, whose universal fame has overshadowed that of his namesake. After marrying Cleopatra, daughter, like Alexander the Great, of Olympias and Philip II, the young Alexander Molossus attempted a military expedition to southern Italy. However, there he died without glory, as Livy states (VIII 24, 17-18), putting a tombstone on his life.
In Asia Minor, an inscription from the Carian sanctuary of Panamara, I. Stratonikeia 3, honours the king, Philip V of Macedonia, with his queen, basilissa, and their children. The document sheds light on the king’s wife and contributes to the interpretation of the literary tradition on Philip’s marriage. By examining the Anatolian epigraphic record, this paper collects and analyses the available evidence on the king’s dynastic politics. It relates them with the Hellenistic political context to clarify who was Philip V’s wife Polycratia, if she also was a basilissa, and, most notably, the rationale behind this marriage, which suffered an adverse narrative from the literary sources. Finally, by highlighting the link between the king’s marriage and his international relations with Asia Minor and Egypt, the study eventually considers the Greek elite origin of the royal wife and its ramifications in the Mediterranean political chessboard.
This work focuses on the Skt. word lying behind sala-1 in the compound salavaḍhi, which occurs three times in Aśoka’s Rock Edict XII. We analyze each sound of the word sala- and show that it corresponds to Skt. śāla-, “the Śal tree”. Then, we account for the meaning of sala- in the compound salavaḍhi and in the more general context of the edict. We conclude that sala- metaphorically means “wholesome qualities”, as a result of the Buddhist semantic association between sala-, “the Śal tree” and kuśala-, “wholesome (quality)”.
In 149 BC Nicomedes II ascended the throne of Bithynia after overthrowing and killing his father Prusias II with the support of Attalus II of Pergamum. Leaving aside the reconstruction of events, this paper examines the literary sources for this episode. While Appian handed down the most detailed account, several other narratives survive in fragments or summaries. This investigation aims to untangle three main traditions that circulated and the contexts in which they originated. The first, preserved by Polybius and the authors relying on him (including Appian), is particularly hostile to Prusias; it is argued that this is the version Nicomedes circulated once he became king. A second tradition that is only attested by Strabo emphasizes the role of Attalus II in the assassination of Prusias, and for this reason it is assumed to be a product of the Attalid court. The third tradition, attested only in Trogus/Justin, recounts that Prusias survived the military coup and was murdered later while begging.
The use of ornament elements made in bronze in Roman architecture is a verifiable fact, both in Classical literature and in the archaeological materials recovered in the interventions, but also in the architectural surfaces. However, it can be noticed that this phenomenon has been quite often ignored. This paper, in particular, explores a group of small-sized capitals found in the Roman West (Domus Transitoria, Arcinazzo Romano, Rodez, Yvonand).
The article puts forward new arguments for attributing more passages from Plutarch (Quaest. conv. VIII 9, 3, 734b; Alex. 23, 3-6 and 8; Alex. fort. II 6, 338d) to the Ephemerides of Alexander the Great than those already collected by Jacoby in FGrHist 117. On the basis of this enlarged corpus of fragments, the article argues that only one text circulated in the imperial period under the title of Ephemerides and that the portrait of Alexander emerging from it was probably positive, while the hostile emphasis on Alexander’s drinking habits that characterizes some of the fragments may be due to the authors who preserve them.
Pausanias referring to the case of Theseus, the democratic king, argues against the false beliefs and even more against those who are ignorant of history and consider trustworthy whatever they have heard from childhood in choruses and tragedies. After an overview of the main issues raised by this passage, the paper focuses on the relationship between Greek narrative poetry and its performances and their impact on the audience. From Thucydides to Polybius, from Philochorus to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the reliability of these poetic sources is criticized and disputed. However, the strong appeal of a performance, that is the combination of dance with song and music, subtly emerges from the pages where Plato is about to tell the (true for him) story of Athens and Atlantis. This contrast between historiography and performance so discussed in the ancient world is mirrored today by the pervasive impact of the films concerning real events, more impressive and uneasy to forgot than any book written by a historian.
This paper aims to shed new light on the 2nd Century AD writer Amyntianus, so far known only for his literary and historical production reported by Photius. Having reconsidered the information conveyed by the patriarch and stressed his debts towards Arrian and Plutarch in the first part, the second part takes into account new evidence, both literary (Suda) and epigraphical, in order to reconstruct his identity and his family ties, which show clear links both with Plutarch and Marcus Aurelius, in perfect and corroborative agreement with Photian data.
At the turn of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Lodovico Soncini, a great antiquities enthusiast patrician from Brescia, set up a remarkable epigraphic collection. Several elements of this collection came from donations made by various representatives of the cultural institutions of the city, and some of these were never removed from their original location, even if they regularly became part of private collection. Among these items, a dedication to Iuventus, traditionally considered lost, has recently been rediscovered in Passirano (Bs). It could be an altar or more likely a statue base, presenting a problematic sequence of letters in the second line of its text; the dedication may have been placed by two men whose names are expressed in an abbreviated and are therefore partially anonymous or by only one of them.
Among the more than nine hundred items of the Wilamowitz Nachlaß in Göttingen a single autograph stands out as an unpublished scholarly article. It deals with the mythographic sources concerning the manifold saga of Amphitryon’s raid against the Teleboans and his uneasy engagement with Alcmene. Wilamowitz’ paper is here published for the first time. Within a fairly short compass it offers a number of exegetic interpretations and textual emendations on sundry prose authors, while also Euripides’ lost Alcmene is touched upon.
Joseph Farrell, Juno’s Aeneid. A battle for heroic identity (M. Donninelli), p. 219 – Laura Zientek, Mark Thorne (eds.), Lucan’s Imperial World. The Bellum Civile in its Contemporary Contexts (V. D’Urso), p. 221 – Sophia Xenophontos, Katerina Oikonomopoulou (eds.), Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plutarch (P. Musacchio), p. 224 – Helmut Seng, Oracula Chaldaica Latine (L.M. Tissi), p. 226 – Athanasius Werke. Erster Band, Erster Teil, Die dogmatischen Schriften. 6. Lieferung, Epistula ad Marcellinum, Edition besorgt von Kyriakos Savvidis (A. Le Huërou), p. 228 – Elena Zocca, Infanzia e santità. Un difficile incontro alle origini del cristianesimo (F. Minonne), p. 230 – Angelo Luceri, Claudiano tra scienza e mirabilia: Hystrix, Nilus, Torpedo (carm. min. 9, 28, 49). Introduzione, testo, traduzione e commento (K. Oft), p. 232