A fundamental requirement for the successful performance of a Greek or Roman drama is that the audience should be gripped by the events on stage. Dramatists have through the ages used various techniques to get the spectators involved, not the least effective being the bringing about of identification of the spectators with the characters. Perspectives of modern psychology are also considered in investigating this phenomenon.
Identification has to be effected through clever manipulation of the text by the dramatist. The portrayal of the hero in the fabula palliata is then discussed; owing to the formulaic character of this genre the spectators would have had a very clear horizon of the expectations which the dramatist ignored at his peril. The two Roman dramatists had different approaches. Plautus stuck to basic patterns in his plots which gave the spectators a feeling of security; even though his works were to a considerable extent parodies of Greek New Comedy, his character portrayal evoked empathy. Terence wrote for more sophisticated audiences, but over-estimated them. Even though his character portrayal was much more realistic, it was ironic, and this intellectual approach hampered identification.
It thus appears that sympathetic character portrayal was much more effective in bringing about identification of the spectator with the character than a realistic rendering.
The Trachiniae is a play about the destructive marriage of Deianeira and Herakles that ends in the painful ruin of the male partner. It is a marriage where the husband is predominantly absent, toiling as mankind's representative to defeat the forces of savagery and barbarity. This is reflected in the fact that the play appears to be divided into two separate halves, with the marriage partners never encountering each other throughout the period of the play's action and for a long period before. Yet, in the first half, Herakles is seldom absent from the mind of his wife: in the second half, apart from an expression of unforgiving fury at her for being responsible for his end, Herakles has no concern at all for her. The pattern, in fact, accurately reflects what Sophocles portrays as the condition of their marriage.
Themistocles' deceptive message to Xerxes on the eve of the battle of Salamis was the most famous of all the stratagems attributed in antiquity to that wily operator. All the sources agree that it had the effect of inducing Xerxes to undertake the naval engagement within the narrow straits between Salamis and mainland Attica, and that this afforded the numerically inferior Greek navy an advantage which they were able decisively to exploit.
Our sources also mention another message, supposedly sent by Themistocles to Xerxes after the battle of Salamis was over. However they differ very considerably over the circumstances, purpose, and details of this second message. The purpose of this article is to examine the various versions of the story, as it is presented in the sources, to explain how these versions developed, and to assess the historicity of the story itself.
In this paper, I would like to argue that, in contemporary South Africa, where a highly-developed scientific medical tradition rests uneasily, like a cracked Hippocratic veneer, on a centuries-old tradition of folk medicine and magico-religious healing, such a continuum is evident, although it has been dislocated and scientific medicine consciously distances itself from folk medicine and magico-religious healing. As I shall demonstrate below, the kind of process which gave rise to this fragmentation is already present in a Hippocratic text such as περί ίερής νούσυν (On the Sacred Disease). To delineate the contours of ancient Greek medicine, I have focussed on the Hippocratic texts, on temple medicine and folk medicine, especially as exemplified in the corpus of magical papyri. As an example of traditional medicine in the South African context, I have chosen Zulu traditional medicine because it is well documented and because it provides fitting material for comparison and contrast with Hippocratic medicine, in particular. Such a comparative study, it is hoped, will elucidate the complex relationship between science, magic and religion in both the ancient Greek and the contemporary South African contexts.
There is enough overlap between the catalogues of Nereids at Il. 18. 39-49 and Hesiod Theogony 243-62 for scholars to agree that the two are somehow related. But there is no agreement about just how they are related. Is the relationship likely to be merely indirect, with both based on a lost common source? Or is Hesiod's list based directly on Homer's? Or, on the contrary, does the Homeric list draw on the Hesiodic? If so, and if (as is generally supposed) the Theogony is later than the Iliad, then Il. 18. 39-49 must be an interpolation. This conclusion has in fact often been drawn, from the time of Zenodotus on. In this note I do not propose to undertake anything so ambitious as to try to assess the validity of each of the various arguments that have been put forward in support of the conflicting positions on this question. Rather, I shall confine myself to a single issue : how much weight should be assigned to the omission of Il. 18. 39-49 by one of the ancient 'city' texts, the Argolike? Does this omission prove the passage to be an interpolation?
As one who studied under a Greek doctor and died young of a stomach disease, Persius was well placed to know about illness and medicine. With all the above items collated and considered, I venture to suggest that we may have come to the bottom of the poet's boiled buttocks.
In his 'Index of Careers', Broughton placed the notation 'Aed.?' against the names of L. Marcius Philippus (cos. 91), C. Aurelius Cotta (cos. 75), and C. Scribonius Curio (cos. 76). The three men also earned a queried place among the aediles in the section of his work entitled 'Magistrates of Uncertain Date' (Appendix II), with a note to the following effect : 'Attained all the highest offices (Cic. Off 2.59). No specific proof that he held the aedileship.'
Evans seeks to portray Marius as 'a politician of inestimable capability' (174) and he sees the work of this consummate politician as the cause of the beginning of the fall of the Roman Republic. He would transfer to Marius the epithet which Badian applied to Sulla, 'The Deadly Reformer'.
The book is sub-titled 'a political biography', and thus, in intention, Evans is closer to Sallust than to Plutarch, and in the best tradition of the praefatio of Graeco-Roman historiography Evans claims that a study of his subject is fundamental to an understanding of the political history of that era, and also 'to an awareness of the constant evolution which inevitably hurtled the Republic, from its inception, towards an autocracy' (p. xii). Evans was here unwise to abandon Sallust for hyperbole.
No one, I think, would dispute that the reviewing of scholarly books in learned journals is a practice without which the academic community would be much poorer. Good book reviews serve two principal functions. They advance our knowledge and understanding of an area of scholarship by offering appropriate comment on an author's work, correcting, adding, questioning, challenging, suggesting different perspectives, seeking generally to make improvements, however slight, to the author's achievement. At the same time they perform the role of a consumer guide, reporting to readers what a book contains, for what market it is intended, what its strengths and weaknesses are, and how well it achieves its overall aims. The judgement which all this involves should be informed, considered, and balanced.
The 21st Biennial Conference and 8th Teachers' Colloquium of the Classical Association of South Africa was held 24-27 January 1995 at the University of the Orange Free State in Bloemfontein. The main theme of the conference was 'Author and Audience'. The abstracts of the papers appear below.