Classical Quarterly 38 (01):253- (1988)

In her recent discussion of ILLRP 311 Kirsteen Moir draws attention to the discrepancy between the epitaph's apparent claim that young Publius had before him a brilliant career, had he but survived, and the description which Cicero provides of Africanus' son, Publius, who is usually identified, with varying degrees of conviction, as the subject of this inscription. As Moir points out, the son of Africanus, though remarkably erudite, was incapacitated by poor health from achieving the military and political distinction predicted by the necrology. Within the actual text of this inscription, one might add, there is another discrepancy: the Publius here commemorated was flamen Dialis, and the taboos which restricted the daily life of the priest of Jupiter effectively barred him, regardless of his powers or inclination, from fulfilling the promise voiced by his memorial. Moir proposes a solution which will solve both problems. She suggests that the gloria to which Publius could look forward was literary celebrity. The son of Africanus, after all, composed works known and read by Cicero a century later, works which documented his literary capabilities. Such attainment was well within the grasp of the flamen Dialis. And this interpretation of the inscription, if correct, would solve both discrepancies
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838800031499
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