Theophrastus of Eresus on Lesbos (c. 370-c. 287 BC) is famed for his pioneering manual of botany, the Enquiry into Plants (Historia Plantarum); embraced are plants used as foods, drugs, and those with special magical properties known in folklore. Aristotle's students included both Theophrastus and Alexander, and the Lyceum in Athens became the hub of inquiry into every aspect of human activity, including the customs of farmers, hunters and fishermen as linked to what we would term 'natural history', and among the disparate topics researched in the contexts of philosophy were the powers of animal products and plants storied in myth, folklore, and the rural expertise of the professional 'rootcutters', the rhizotomoi.
What does it take to activate mass hate between communities which have lived together peaceably for a long period? Literature on modern explosions of inter-community violence gives answers ranging between precious little and centuries of history. In the case of Alexandria in 38 the 'precious little' seems to have been the visit to the city of Herod Agrippa I, as one can judge by Philo's careful attempt to exonerate him. If history came into the equation, the root of the problem might be sought in Rome's dealings with Alexandria in the final phase of Ptolemaic rule and the Augustan principate.
The Suetonian locus describing Domitian's sexual encounter, while no longer a puer, with his successor Nerva has long been a subject of contention. Given that the scurrilous locus was written under Hadrian, Nerva's adoptive grandfather, it is unlikely that Domitian's alleged penetration by Nerva was meant to cast the latter figure in a negative light. Rather, the locus reflects badly on Domitian, who is cast as effeminate and unworthy of his position - perhaps more so when Nerva did not exactly enjoy the most virile of reputations. Thus the original story of Nerva's penetration of his now-hated predecessor may have been fabricated for political reasons, especially in order to emphasise the virility of the new emperor at Domitian's expense. That Suetonius chose to replicate this story, even if he could not vouch for its authenticity, was in keeping with contemporary official attitudes to Domitian and his successor.
Scholars have long recognised in the works of Aristophanes passages that could be called paraclausithyric or komastic, such as the so-called 'duet' of Ecclesiazusae 960-76. Yet the extent to which Aristophanes played with the theme of the excluded lover and his song - the paraclausithyron - has not been fully realised. It is very possible that Lysistrata and Vespae contain passages in which Aristophanes manipulates the topoi that are common in later literary paraclausithyra. These paraclausithyric elements both serve merely humorous purposes and contribute more subtly to structural coherence. This paper comprises two parts: an introduction gives a broad case for the existence of the paraclausithyric elements and suggests what they might add to the plays, and a commentary section presents detailed support and references for the arguments made in the introduction.
In this paper I examine the metalinguistic aspect and the self-referential quality of the diction used in Aen. 2.1-13. Expressions such as infandum ... renovare dolorem (3), fando (6), breviter Troiae supremum audire dolorem (11), meminisse (12), incipiam (13) are used to emphasise the narratological dynamics of this passage by foregrounding the narrative activity of Aeneas. Therefore, I suggest that the ambiguity of Aeneas between narrator / bard and participant reflects the dualism of the poet's position between authorial detachment and participatory subjectivity and it involves a language of overt poetic reflexivity.
Fr. 221 of Aeschylus is a one-line fragment that comes from the lost play of Aeschylus Semele / Hydrophoroi and suggests that the body of Actaeon was on stage after being killed by Zeus. A version that combined the death of Actaeon with the story of Zeus and Semele featured in Stesichorus and Hesiod in contradistinction with the more common version that included his death after insulting Artemis, as found in later sources. Aeschylus' choice to include the death of Actaeon in Semele, if the two stories could indeed exist independently as early as the early 5th century BC, can perhaps be explained by the function that the poet gave to this element in the play.
This article attempts to provide a close examination of the nature and impact of the images in Solon's Fr. 4 W. The images discussed are the 'foundations of Justice' (14-15), 'the unavoidable wound', the 'enslaved' city and 'slumbering war' (17-20), the prowling evil that threatens the city (27-30), the 'bonds' of Eunomia (33), the 'flowers of delusion' (35), and the 'taming' of arrogance (36-37). It is noticeable that in the majority of cases Solon's use of a particular image is the earliest in extant Greek literature, and that the images are organically integrated into the text and advance the argument and meaning.
This article examines the links between Apuleius Florida 23, Philo De Providentia 2.22, and popular philosophical ideas in Seneca's works. All these writings use the metaphors of a rich man whose wealth matters little in comparison with his health, and an expensively fitted ship whose costly features are useless in a storm. Such material is also to be found in Florida 14, 22, and 23, which suggests that all these fragments are related and may have come from the same original speech.
Augustine's Confessions is to my mind one of the most misunderstood works from antiquity, perhaps chiefly because it seems to invite the present-day reader to identify with the author and his concerns, while, in the process, modern-day concerns are illegitimately superimposed onto the ancient work. The quest of my current research is to improve the level of comprehension for the Confessions through an examination of the world where it originated. This article takes a look at how certain aspects of the context of Late Antiquity in general and three texts from the third and the fourth centuries AD in particular should inform our reading of Augustine's Confessions.
Catullus claims that he and 'Furius' suffer from poverty. Indeed, poverty and hunger are key themes in Catullan poetry. This paper explores the provocative connections between the themes of poverty, sexual longing, and poetic creation in Catullus. The intriguing juxtaposition of poem 23 on the impoverished Furius and poem 24 on Furius' desire for Catullus' Juventius demonstrates how Catullus enacts a sexual and a literary rivalry with the poet Furius Bibaculus.
Contrary to the conventional diptych interpretation of Sophocles' Trachiniae, I maintain that the play can be structurally divided into four sections, each with two conflicting versions of the truth. These sections feature a transition from ignorance to knowledge, from passivity to activity and from emotion to reason. The whole movement advances towards Heracles' deification.
Poetic citations in Seneca's Epistles often have a structural function. In Epist. 95, Seneca uses Vergil's description of the thoroughbred horse (Georg. 3.75-85) to represent Cato of Utica. The sage is animosus like a horse because of the development of vices: this, as Epist. 95 points out, implies the necessity of the parallel evolution of virtue in order to combat them. In Epist. 56, Aeneas fleeing from Troy with his father and son (Aen. 2.726-29) is considered inperitus: from the Stoics' point of view, timor for one's family is a negative passion. This Aeneas is similar to Seneca in Epist.56: after presenting himself as a moral hero, at the end of the letter he flees from temptation. From this analysis emerges a Senecan sage different from the traditional one (and from the one of Lucan as well), but one suited to the hard times in which the philosopher lived.