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- Volume 2012, Issue sup-4, 2012
Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Supplement 4, January 2012
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Supplement 4, January 2012
Author Philip BosmanSource: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp VII –VIII (2012)More Less
This collection of articles stems from the Unisa Classics Colloquium of October 2010, which dealt with the theme 'Integrity and Corruption in Antiquity'. The topic itself arose from a concern, worldwide and also in South Africa, about the infiltration into the fabric of current society of rampant corruption in all its various and destructive manifestations. The conference did not aim at offering the consolation that corruption has been present throughout the centuries. Rather, participants wished to contribute to a better understanding of the phenomenon by holding up the mirror of antiquity and perhaps see reflected aspects that would otherwise have remained understated.
Author Philip R. BosmanSource: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 1 –16 (2012)More Less
It is in the nature of research that scholars start out on a formulated topic, but soon find themselves directed more by the nature of the evidence than by the theme they initially set out to explore. The problem, if one so wishes to call it, is exacerbated by the variety of assumptions and approaches at play in a collection of articles by scholars from various backgrounds and with various interests. This article intends to soften the likely effect of bewilderment caused by such variety by dwelling, if only cursorily, on the notions at the centre of this volume.
Author Daniel MalamisSource: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 17 –29 (2012)More Less
This article locates institutional corruption, as described in early Greek epic, within the broader thematic area of wrong and redress, or of reciprocity as applied to negative actions. By 'institutional corruption' I refer to the exploitation or subversion of political or juridical institutions by individuals in a position of authority : the corruption of 'officials' who use a public position to advance their private interests. I begin with the broader area of wrongs in Homer, considering how they are addressed, and then attempt to identify where institutional corruption fits into that larger category by establishing how it differs from interpersonal crimes in its nature and the way it is addressed. I shall argue that, whereas interpersonal wrongs are remedied by redress negotiated or exacted by the parties involved, corruption belongs to a subset of crimes that are believed to attract divine retribution, and explore reasons for this distinction.
'Doro fig-sandaled' (Cratin. Fr. 70 Kassel-Austin And Aristoph. Eq. 529) and other aspects of comic SykophantiaAuthor Donato LoscalzoSource: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 30 –44 (2012)More Less
The study of sykophantia in Classical Athens of the 5th and 4th centuries BC reveals striking similarities to the occurrence of corruption and blackmail in contemporary democratic systems. In an important article, Italo Calvino defined Italy as 'a country that is held up by crime' where everybody embezzles public money and then creates an interior personal ethic to justify the corruption. In Calvino's view, it is typical of democratic systems to form manifold centres of power which require enormous flows of money to sustain the democracies themselves and the politicians who represent them. Democratic Athens of the 5th and 4th centuries BC appears to have been no exception. The phenomenon of corruption seems to have permeated every sector of the economy and politics. We know that during the 4th century BC many generals were charged with embezzlement, and that magistrates, politicians and other public figures were not exempt. The situation was reflected in the comic theatre of the times, in particular the comedies of Aristophanes. Comic texts also refer to a collateral effect of widespread corruption, namely that of συκοφαντία, or 'accusation'. This article investigates Cratinus' 'Doro fig-sandaled' as the first figure in which the two aspects of corruption and accusation became combined.
Source: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 45 –62 (2012)More Less
When the word 'tyrant' makes its first appearance in Greek history during the archaic period (c. 600-480 BC), it has a distinctly neutral meaning, being merely used to describe a ruler who did not assume the title of king. Only later did the name take on a negative connotation, most often in the subsequent generations of rule by the tyrant's family through dynastic succession. Polycrates of Samos, Pisistratus of Athens, Cypselus of Corinth, Cleisthenes of Sicyon and Gelon of Syracuse were not remembered by later commentators such as Herodotus or Thucydides as oppressive rulers; on the contrary, for the most part they were praised for their positive efforts on behalf of their states and fellow citizens. Their successors such as Hippias at Athens, Periander at Corinth, Hieron II and Thrasybulus in Syracuse, however, acquired poor reputations. Through their more autocratic rule and hence corrupted principles, they lost the favour of their subjects and were either expelled or hated or feared by the people they ruled over. Greek tyrants could evidently be regarded as men who either possessed integrity or, in lacking this virtue, represented the negative of that ideal state.
Source: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 63 –83 (2012)More Less
This article is concerned with the themes of integrity and corruption in Greek historiography, but I start with a turn to the context in which it was first delivered - the University of South Africa's annual Classics Colloquium in 2010, on the theme of 'Integrity & Corruption in Antiquity'. To address the corruptibility of history in ancient Greece in the context of South Africa, a country that is beset with high levels of political corruption, is to raise deeper questions about the relationship between the historical account that we give of the ancient world and the corruption of power in the modern world.
Author Martin DeveckaSource: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 84 –100 (2012)More Less
There was a time, very long ago, when Sallust had pride of place in discussions of late-Republican corruption at Rome. The reasons for his demotion since then are clear enough, namely, that he is tendentious, sensational, given to floating salacious rumours - in short, that Sallust is one of those 'rhetorical' historians who are always hampering the searchers after truth. Looked at from another standpoint, though, he may still have much to offer the cultural historian, because just those elements of his historiographical style that render Sallust so untrustworthy as a source of facts make his work an extraordinary document for a study of the ways in which Roman intellectuals conceived of the corruption that they were sure was all around them in the last years of the republic.
Author Hannah J. SwithinbankSource: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 101 –121 (2012)More Less
Pompeius' commands against the Mediterranean pirates and Mithridates in the 60s BC have long been considered together. They are often seen as an important, possibly an 'extraordinary' moment in the decline of the Roman Republic, when one man's popularity gained him unrivalled power, a moment that was important in the ongoing destabilisation of the Republican political system. This article will discuss the way in which the statutes that established these commands - the lex Gabinia and lex Manilia - were part of a long-running process by which the constitution evolved over time and through which Rome changed from Republic to Principate. It will also argue that it is valid to think in terms of Rome as having a constitution, without having to refer to it in 'scare quotes'. An examination of the statutes shows that the Romans interpreted and argued about the nature of their constitution as they responded to the challenges facing their city. These laws were, fundamentally, an ad hoc solution to long-running problems; at the same time, the nature of the solution altered the Roman understanding of what was possible and permissible in their res publica.
Author Denis SaddingtonSource: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 122 –130 (2012)More Less
Roman soldiers were unpopular with the civilian population of the Empire, especially in the provinces. They could requisition transport and supplies, demand to be billeted in one's home and extract corvée labour. All these activities were open to abuse and corruption. In addition, bribery and corruption took place in the army itself. How prevalent were such abuses and how were they contained by the authorities?
Author Maria Vamvouri RuffySource: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 131 –150 (2012)More Less
The notion of 'corruption' in antiquity is extremely complex. It may refer to practices and concepts that are as divergent as the historical contexts and the legal systems where these concepts appear. Its conceptualisation may also depend on the ideological commitment of the author who describes these practices and concepts, as well as on the context of communication of his account. Indeed, texts are the result of an act of communication that occurs in a specific context.
Source: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 151 –168 (2012)More Less
This paper attempts to show how Cassius Dio's reading of the fall of the Roman Republic is conditioned by his views on human nature and man's love of power. Scholarly convention holds that Dio followed the Livian theory on decadence, namely that Rome's demise began after 146 BC due to the wealth accrued following the destruction of Carthage and Corinth. This theory is not satisfactory, as has been argued by Hose, and fails to take into account Dio's emphasis on the negative influence of human nature on politics throughout his republican narrative. I propose instead that Dio combines the 'moral' view of Rome's decline found in our other sources with the views on human nature he inherits from Thucydides. This leads him to develop a view of republican politics where the collapse is caused by the invigoration of its main catalyst - human ambition - through empire, power, wealth and the process of moral change in a rapidly evolving society.
Source: Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa 2012, pp 169 –186 (2012)More Less
In 1873 the French historian and philosopher Ernest Renan wrote, '[t]he name for Nero has been found; it shall be THE BEAST ... Nero shall be the Anti Christ. Renan did not invent this association himself; he was in fact reviving a concept that had been prevalent in the late-antique Christian tradition into the 5th century AD.
According to Christian texts, the Antichrist will bring about the ultimate act of corruption : the destruction of the earth. The apocalypse depends upon disaster on an eschatological scale; the sins of those who succumb to the powers of the Antichrist on earth make the destruction of the world and the ascension of the righteous essential. In this article I explore the ultimate act of corruption in apocalyptic literature of Late Antiquity and how that literature came to utilise Nero as the perpetrator of the apocalypse.