[Plutarch] records that Augustus passed a winter on the island of Aegina, rather than in Athens, as a sign of his wrath toward the Athenians. Paul Graindor assumed that the most likely time for Augustus to have been angry with the Athenians was immediately after Actium, and so he dated [Plutarch]'s anecdote to the winter of 31/30. This is impossible.
In a recent publication of four new inscriptions from Larisa in Thessaly, Kostas Gallis has revealed the helpful presence of a Syrian astrologer in that area of Greece toward the middle of the second century B.C. . In honouring this man the Larisaeans identify him, in one of the new texts, as 'αντíπατροσ 'αντιπτρον 'ιεροπολíτησ τσ ∑ελευκíδοσ, πεπλιτ*ogr;γ7rho;αημνοσ [δ] ν 'ομολíω υπρχων χαλδαοσ στρονóμοσ, νδημν τμν ρò ρρóνων. The Chaldaean astrologer Antipater is accordingly a native of Syrian Hierapolis who acquired (...) the citizenship of Homolion, in the area of Thessalian Magnesia. He evidently spent considerable time in Larisa. (shrink)
For several decades G. W. Bowersock has been one of our leading historians of the classical world. This volume collects seventeen of his essays, each illustrating how the classical past has captured the imagination of some of the greatest figures in modern historiography and literature. The essays here range across three centuries, the eighteenth to the twentieth, and are divided chronologically. The great Enlightenment historian Edward Gibbon is in large part the unifying force of this collection as he appears prominently (...) in the first four essays, beginning with Bowersock's engaging introduction to the methods and genius behind The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Gibbon's profound influence is revealed in subsequent essays on Jacob Burckhardt, the nineteenth-century scholar famous for his history of the Italian Renaissance but whose work on late antiquity is only now being fully appreciated; the modern Greek poet Constantine Cavafy, whose annotations on Gibbon's Decline and Fall tell us much about his own historical poems; and finally W. H. Auden, whose poem and little known essay "The Fall of Rome" were, in quirky ways, tributes to Gibbon. The collection reprints Auden's poem and essay in full. The result is a rich survey of the early modern and modern uses of the classical past by one of its most important contemporary commentators. (shrink)
This response to two academic conferences—“Local Knowledge and Microidentities,” held in England in 2004, and “Patrie d’origine et patries électives,” held in France in 2009—argues that “the idea of the local can only arise from a supralocal perspective” and, thus, that there is no local knowledge without a cosmopolitan knowledge more widely shared. Contributions to the conferences remarked on the widespread existence in Greek and Roman antiquity of bicultural identity and of hypermultiple citizenship. Therefore, despite much evidence of strong attachments (...) by ancient Greeks and Romans to local places and traditions, this brief essay concludes that the concept of microidentity is “hopelessly simplistic.”. (shrink)
The concept of the person provides a convenient point of entry into a nexus of problems that much engaged Arnaldo Momigliano during his final three years. The closer one looks at Momigliano's papers on the person between 1985 and 1987, the more the disparate elements that he emphasized there can be seen to have a common core. Biography and autobiography, race and religion, traditional Judaism, and apocalyptic literature -which he introduced in the discussion of Judaism and biography in the Graeco-Roman (...) period - all point in one direction, that is to Momigliano himself. As he had suggested in his first paper on Marcel Mauss, the quest for the person led directly to a quest for self- knowledge as reflected in autobiographical texts. The presence of Momigliano's own person in his discussion of the person illustrates admirably the views that he expounded. The link that Momigliano forged between Judaism and biography , for example, represented simultaneously a sense that there was a parallel between rabbinic interpretations of personal character and Greek ones, and his own private preoccupations with Judaism. From biography and autobiography by way of the person Momigliano reached what was for him the ultimate person: himself. (shrink)
Plutarch of Chaeronea was a voluminous writer whose experience of the Graeco-Roman world of his own day was quite as comprehensive as his knowledge of earlier ages. The ancient historian is often daunted by the sheer bulk of Plutarch's work and prefers customarily to concentrate his attention upon the Lives, which, if not history, at least contain much historical matter.