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James Wyatt Cook

For our newest granddaughter,
Shaina Anne Cook

Encyclopedia of Ancient Literature

Copyright © 2008 by James Wyatt Cook

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Cook, James Wyatt.

Encyclopedia of ancient literature / James Wyatt Cook.
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-0-8160-6475-5 (hc : alk. paper) 1. Literature,
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Ac know ledg ments v

Introduction v ii
Writers Covered, by
Language of Composition x i
Authors’ Time Line xv
Entries A to Z 1
Selected Bibliography 69 1
Index 695

Large projects need lot s of help. As is always the Markovich, J ennie Thomas, C laudia D iaz, Pa t
case, my principal hel per o n t his b ook ha s b een Engleter, M ary Koch, B ev Br ankovich, Y vette
my spouse of a short 54 years, Barbara Marie Col- Eddy, and Marilyn Kniburys for their enthusias-
lier Cook. My Ārst line editor and sometime coau- tic cooperation and encouragement.
thor, she reads my screed with patience and even The Re verend D r. L eon W hite ga ve c areful
with enthusiasm. This tome is a more readable and consideration to the entries on the Bible and pro-
better book because of her attention a nd sugges- vided crucial feedback that signiĀcantly improved
tions. My editor at Facts On File, Jeff Soloway, has them; any lingering deĀciencies are mine. Profes-
steadied me throughout the process of bringing sor Em eritus R obert G . Henricks of D artmouth
a book this size to fruition. So has my agent, Jodie kindly p ointed m e in t he dir ection o f t he b est
Rhodes, w ho i n t he c ourse o f representing me available sources for Ālling in at least some of the
professionally h as a lso b ecome my f riend. I c an- gaps i n my k nowledge of a ncient Chinese l itera-
not praise enough the principal copy editor of this ture. He also led me to understand that, owing to
tome, E lin Woodger. Her a ttention to de tail a nd archeologists’ recent discoveries of early and hith-
pursuit of e xcellence h as ma ny t imes c orrected erto l ost v ersions of C hinese t exts, this is t he
matters o f f act a nd e xcised a uthorial s olipsisms. golden age of the study of ancient Chinese litera-
Once she has even corrected a long-cherished but ture. As a lways, too, I a m i ndebted to my blood
mistaken conflation of Greek mythic Āgures. brother, P. Lal, poet, translator, a nd publisher i n
Albion College has generously supported t his Kolkata, I ndia, f or i lluminating ancient I ndian
effort with a congenial workspace and a dedicated letters f or m e, e specially w ith h is ma gniĀcent
printer. The w onderful s taff members of t he verse t ranslations of t he Mahabharata and the
Stockwell-Mudd l ibraries ha ve r egularly p ro- Bhagavad Gita.
duced v irtually i nstant a nswers to m y ma ny I w ish a lso to r emember bo th t he la te E mily
questions a nd ha ve c heerfully f ulĀlled u nusual Stern, who taught me Latin and with whom I read
requests. I c annot e xpress my g ratitude en ough Cicero a nd Vi rgil, a nd t he u nflappably patient
to John Kondelik, Peggy Vogt, Mike Van Houten, Mary E. McKinney, with whom I labored at Greek.
Alice Wiley Moore, Marion Meilaender, Carolyn I a m a lso de eply i ndebted to t he h undreds
Gaswick, Michelle Gerry, Cheryl Blackwell, Becky of editors, translators, and writers whose books

vi Encyclopedia of Ancient Literature

and whose contributions to specialized reference Eschenburg, Johann J . Manual of C lassical L itera-
volumes gave shape to my understanding of the ture. Philadelphia: E. C. & J. Biddle, 1850.
underlying in terrelatedness o f t he l iterature o f Hornblower, Si mon a nd A nthony Spa wforth, e ds.
the ancient Eurasian world. Though I have cited Ā e O xford C lassical D ictionary. 3 rd e d. N ew
many suc h e ditors a nd a uthors b y na me i n York: Oxford University Press, 1999.
entries w here I ha ve sp eciĀcally in cluded t heir Mair, Victor H. editor. Ā e Columbia History of Chi-
ideas, for the others whose influence is of a more nese Literature. New York: Columbia University
general nature, I gratefully acknowledge having Press, 2001.
consulted t heir work i n t he following reference New C atholic Encyclopedia. N ew Y ork: McGraw-
volumes: Hill Book Company, 1967.

It h as o ften s truck m e t hat, wh en E cclesiastes fact a lone s uggests a p rewriting tradition o f

offers the opinion in the Hebrew Bible that there is reciting a loud a nd si nging t he s tories t hat ha ve
no end to books and that much study is wearisome survived. S o do es t he w idespread app earance o f
for the flesh, the author must have been trying to similar stories explaining cosmology. One notes,
compile an encyclopedia of ancient literature. As for e xample, t hat t he Ro man s ky g od, U ranus,
far back into the mists of history as one can peer, had a precisely functional and linguistically cog-
there are at least allusions to prior books or to ear- nate counterpart in the ancient South Indian sky
lier poets. As soon as people perceived that they god, Varuna. Their stories spring from a lo st but
could invent systems of symbols t o r epresent clearly co mmon o ral so urce. Ex amples of s uch
words, syllables, phonemes, or variations in pitch, sources are to b e found in t he Nart Sagas. These
they started to do it. Almost everywhere in the old contain stories that have survived the ages in oral
world a nd i n s ome pl aces i n t he ne w, p eople form and only recently been recorded in writing.
invented such systems as long as 5,000 years ago— There are, of course, major differences between
the C hinese p erhaps a s lo ng a s 7,000 y ears a go. then and now. Modern readers think of literature
Though at Ā rst t hey p robably employed w riting as occupying the same territory as belles lettres—
systems to keep rec ords for purposes of taxation, novels, poems, short stories, a nd artsy memoirs.
inventory, and the like, they soon began to employ For t he a ncients, t he l iterary a rena w as m uch
such s ystems to record t heir n ational or tribal broader. Geography, physics, court cases, mathe-
stories—their myths, their genealogies, and their matics, the praise of athletes, history, cookbooks,
histories. M any of t he s tories t hat e ntered t he philosophy, a nd war songs as well as d rama a nd
record early and that still remain in it have to do intensely emotional lyrics all were lumped under
with f amous men a nd women—often r ulers o r the r ubric of literature. S o were e xplanations o f
military leaders, but sometimes artists and poets— how the universe got started and books on farm-
who ach ieved d ivine or quasi-divine status. Not ing and beekeeping. For a m odern writer, trying
much l ater, a rtists b egan, lik e Sappho, t o sing to b ring a s ense o f suc h ma tters to a g eneral
songs of themselves. audience c omposed p rincipally o f h igh s chool
Most of t he e arliest su rviving w orks a re i n and c ollege students a nd te achers, t he p roblem
verse, and much was originally set to music. That becomes one of selection.

viii Encyclopedia of Ancient Literature

This w ork d eals mainly w ith p rimary te xts. coverage i s d evoted t o a ll t he w riters a nd works
Although teaching young people to write research commonly en countered i n high s chool a nd c ol-
papers r equires t hat t hey h ave re course to jo ur- lege c lasses, such a s Ā e I liad, Ā e O dyssey, Ā e
nals and scholarly commentary, the result of such Aeneid, the works of the great Greek dramatists,
papers is “commentary on commentary”—a use- and m ore. N ote t hat s ome f amous w orks ha ve
ful phrase coined by Richard Brown of the New- been t ranslated under m ore t han one t itle. T o
berry L ibrary. This boo k, i nstead, is m eant to make t his bo ok a s a ccessible a s p ossible to s tu-
acquaint l earners w ith wh at t hey m ay expect t o dents, I have always tried to choose the title most
Ānd in broadly literary, ancient texts and to g ive familiar to modern readers—which in some cases
the same learners an introductory overview about is an English- language title an d i n s ome i s t he
the p eople w ho w rote t he w orks a nd t he t radi- original-language title or transliteration.
tions in w hich t hose w riters de veloped. F or With r espect to t he a ncient te xts o f H indu
readers wishing to pursue an interest into the sec- India, I have tried to h it t he high spots. Indian
ondary l iterature c oncerning i t, I ha ve t ried to letters c ontain a n i nexhaustible t rove of t rea-
include references in the bibliographies at the end sure. The f ull a nd u nexpurgated te xt o f t he
of each entry to the most recent scholarly transla- Maha bharata—India’s national epic—is only now
tions into English. When no English translation becoming fully available i n E nglish f or t he Ārst
is available, I h ave selected a Sp anish, Italian, or time. Bringing that work to fruition will require
French translation on the theory that, in polyglot 16 v olumes, e ach almost 4 inches thick. Beyond
contemporary A merica, ma ny readers may have Hindu writings, I have also included entries about
one of t hose Eu ropean l anguages a s a Ā rst o r Buddhist and Jain scriptures.
second t ongue. S uch sc holarly e ditions of t he Scholarship i n a ncient C hinese s tudies ha s
primary texts almost always survey the most use- blossomed i n t he last t wo de cades. A rchaeologi-
ful secondary literature, and the Internet is also cal d igs a t M a W ang Dui a nd el sewhere ha ve
a f ruitful source of s upplemental bi bliography. unearthed the earliest known versions of c lassic
Beyond t hat, h owever, for t hose r eaders w hose Chinese Confucian and Taoist texts. As a r esult,
interests do lead them into the thicket of critical wonderful t ranslations of many a ncient Chinese
discussion c oncerning the l anguages a nd l itera- texts are now available for the Ārst time, and more
tures of the ancient world, at the end of this ency- appear each year. As I s aid in the preface, this is
clopedia, I ha ve p rovided a b ibliography i n t wo the golden era of ancient Chinese studies, and of
sections. The Ārst section lists important second- course a g ood d eal o f l iterary cross- pollination
ary w orks add ressing t he l iteratures c overed i n occurred bet ween C hina a nd India—especially
this e ncyclopedia. The s econd s ection l ists a nd with respect to Buddhist texts.
lightly a nnotates i ndispensable bi bliographic Japa nese literature st arts la te. The J apanese
resources fo r c onducting b oth apprentice a nd borrowed Ch inese cha racters a nd ad apted t hem
advanced sch olarship i n m ost o f t he la nguages to represent the Japanese tongue. The earliest sur-
and literatures discussed in these pages. viving w ork o f J apanese l iterature i s th e Kojiki
In the entries themselves, I have tried to give a (Record of Anc ient Mat ters), w hich a ppeared i n
fair sample of as many ancient literary traditions 712 c .e.
as I could get a handle on in the time available to Elsewhere, particularly in South America and
write this book. As a starting point, I have included Mesoamerica about the time of Socrates and Plato
a g enerous s ample o f Gr eek a nd Ro man le tters in Greece, w riting w as a lso flourishing. Though
from their beginnings well into the Christian era. much of what was written has yet to be deciphered
I have tried both to c over and to g o signiĀcantly fully, it seems that the records of kings and gods
beyond the classical canon suggested by scholars and matters o f a stronomy a nd c osmology o ccu-
such a s Ha rold Bloom. Nonetheless, signiĀcant pied t he t houghts of Zapotec and Mayan writers
Introduction ix

just as such matters interested the ancient Sume- works, I have tried to provide useful deĀnitions
rians and B abylonians. The a ncestors of I ncan of l iterary ter ms. Re aders ma y t race cross-
culture a lso devised a m ethod for ke eping t rack references of i nterest by pu rsuing t he w ords i n
of a ll s orts o f n umerical matters—including t ax sma l l c a pit a l l et t er s to o ther a lphabetically
records—with a system o f k notted s trings. listed e ntries w here t hose ter ms o ccur a nd, b y
Whether they also adapted t his system to repre- following the guide thus provided, may achieve a
sent language is unclear, but an entry on quipu is more comprehensive view of subjects of par ticu-
included, just in case. lar interest. I have a lso t ried to present topical
Although d ocuments r epresenting W estern entries, such as the one deĀning patristic exege-
Hemisphere t raditions e xist, t he o nes w e k now sis and others dealing with Greek stage conven-
well date to shortly before the period of Eu ropean tions and like matters, to assist those readers who
contact. Technically, o ne co uld d eĀne ancient as are trying to grasp the points of view of ancient
describing the moment that a language ceases liv- writers.
ing exclusively i n t he mouths of its spea kers a nd Many of the works that deal with the origins of
achieves symbolic repre sen tation. Such an opera- the u niverse an d h uman b eings a nd b ooks t hat
tional deĀnition, however, is an impracticable basis explore ethical matters occupy the status of Scrip-
for a one-volume reference work, so I have largely ture in t heir c ultures. S ome of t he books a re so
ignored t he l iterature of languages whose w ritten revered t hat t heir a dherents c onsider t hem to
repre sen ta tion begins much la ter t han the f all of have b een w ithout a uthors a nd to ha ve e xisted
the Western Roman Empire. The literature of sub- from e ternity. O thers a ssert th e d ivine i nspira-
Saharan Africa represents a similar case. These lit- tion of human authors.
eratures a re c overed i n t wo c ompanion vol umes Despite my occasional moments of panic when
published by Facts On File, Encyclopedia of Medi- it s eemed u nlikely t hat I c ould ac tually r ead
eval L iterature and Encyclopedia of Re naissance enough a bout t he a spects o f t hese sub jects t hat
Literature. were u nfamiliar to m e, I ho pe t hat r eaders w ill
Egypt, o f co urse, de veloped i ts h ieroglyphic perceive how much I have enjoyed bringing them
system of writing very early. I have chosen to rep- these articles and synopses. I have had the oppor-
resent the literature of Egypt with a description of
tunity both to return to texts more than half for-
Ā e Eg yptian Book of t he Dead. A d iscussion of
gotten and to peruse new ones that I might never
the Hebrew Bible, of representative Apochrypha,
have read otherwise. Mostly, it has been great fun.
and of the Dead Sea Scrolls represents my princi-
pal forays into ancient writing in Hebrew. —J. W. C.
In addition to brief biographies of writers and Albion, Michigan
sometimes-lengthy ove rviews of re presentative February 10, 2007

AKKADIAN Wang Chong (Wang Ch’ung)

Yang Xiong (Yang Hsiung)
Anonymous authors of the Akkadian version of Yüan Ming
Ā e Gilgamesh Epic Xunzi (Hsün Tzu)
Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, Chuangtse, Kuang Tzu)
Hammurabi EGYPTIAN
Anonymous authors of Book of the Dead
Ban Biao GREEK
Ban Gu Achilles Tatius
Ban Zhao Ælius Aristides
Confucius (Kongfuzi, K’ung Fu-Tzu, Kongfuzi, Æschines
Master Kong [K’ung]) Aeschylus
Ji Kang (Hsi K’ang) Aesop
Jia Yi (Chia Yi) Agathias of Myrina
Lie Yokou (Lieh Yü-k’o) Alcaeus (Alkaios)
Lü Buwei (Lü Pu-wei) Alkman (Alcman)
Mei Sheng Andocides (Andokides)
Mencius (Mengzi, Meng-tzu) Antiphon of Rhamnus
Mozi (Mo Tzu) Anyte
Qu Yuan (Ch’ü Yüan) Apollonius of Rhodes (Apollonius Rhodius)
Sima Qian (Ssu- ma Ch’ien) Aratus of Soli (Aratos of Soli)
Sima Xiangru (Ssu-ma Hsiang-Ju) Archestratus
Song Yu (Sung Yü) Archilochus
Tao Qian (T’ao Ch’ien, Tao) Archimedes

xii Encyclopedia of Ancient Literature

Aristides of Miletus Iambichlus of Syria

Aristophanes Ignatius
Aristotle Isæus
Arrian (Flavius Arianus) Isocrates
Athanasius Jerome, St. (Eusebius Hieronymus Stridonensis)
Athenaeus Julian (Flavius Claudius Julianus, Julian the
Barnabas Apostate)
Basil, St. Julius Pollux (Polydeuces of Naucratis, Egypt)
Bion of Smyrna Korinna
Callimachus Leonidas of Tarentum
Callinus of Ephesus Libanius of Antioch
Chrysostom, St. John Longus
Clemens Romanus Lucian of Samosata
Ctesias of Cnidos Lycophron
Demosthenes Lysias
Dinarchus Meleager of Gadara (Meleagros)
Dio Cocceianus Chrysostomus Melinno
Diodorus Siculus Menander
Diogenes Laertius Mimnermus of Colophon
Dionysius of Halicarnassus Moiro
Diphilus Moschus of Syracuse
Donatus, Ælius Musæus 1
Empedocles Musæus 2
Epicharmus of Cos Nicander of Colophon
Epicurus Nossis
Epigenes the Sicyonian Oppian of Corycus
Eratosthenes Origen
Erinna Orpheus
Euclid Palæphatus
Euhemerus Papias
Euripides Parthenius of Nicaea
Eusebius of Caesarea Pausanias
Flavius Josephus (Josephus, Joseph ben Matthias) Philemon
Galen (Claudius Galenus) Philetas of Cos (Philitas of Cos)
Gorgias of Leontium Philostratus, L. Flavius (Philostratus the
Gregory of Nazianzen, St. Athenian)
Hanno Photius
Hecatæus of Miletus Phrynicos of Athens
Hedyla Pindar
Heliodorus of Emesa Plato
Hephæstion of Alexandria Plotinus
Hermes Polyænus
Heraclitus of Ephesus Polycarp
Herodotus Porphyry
Hesiod Praxilla
Homer Proclus of Byzantium
Writers Covered, by Language of Composition xiii

Procopius Calpurnius, Titus Siculus

Ptolemy (Claudius Ptolemaeus) Cicero, Marcus Tullius
Pythagoras of Samos Claudian (Claudius Claudianus)
Quadratus Curtius, Quintus Rufus
Sappho Damasus, Pope
Simonides of Ceos Eutropius, Flavius
Socrates Frontinus, Sextus Julius (Iulius Frontinus,
Solon Sextus)
Sophocles Gallus, Gaius Cornelius
Strabo Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus)
Telesilla Isidore of Seville
Thaletus of Crete Juvenal (Decimus Junius Juvenalis)
Themistius Euphrades Livius Andronicus
Theocritus Livy (Titus Livius)
Theognis Lucan (Marcus Annaeus Lucanus)
Theophrastus of Eresus Lucilius, Gaius
Thespis of Ikaria Lucretius
Thucydides Macrobius (Macrobius Ambrosius Aurelius
Tyrtaeus Theodosius)
Xenophon of Athens Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
Xenophon of Ephesus Martial (Marcus Valerius Martialis)
Zosimus Nemesianus (Marcus Aurelius Olympius
Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso)
Pacuvius, Marcus
Josephus, Flavius (Josephus, Joseph ben Persius (Aulus Persius Flaccus)
Matthias) Petronius Arbiter
Mani Phædrus the Fabulist (Phaeder, Gaius Iulius)
Pictor, Q. Fabius
Plautus, M. Accius
Pliny the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus)
Lady Kasa Pliny the Younger (Gaius Plinius Caecilius
Kakinomoto no Hitomaro Secundus)
Princess Nukata Polybius
Ōtomo no Yakamochi Proba
Yamanoue no Okura Propertius, Sextus Aurelius
Yosami Prudentius, Aurelius
Quintilian (Marcus Fabius Quintilianus)
Quintus Smyrnaeus (Quintus Calaber)
Rutilius, Claudius Numantianus
Augustus Caesar Sedulius, Caelius
Ausonius, Decimus Magnus Seneca, Lucius Annaeus
Avianus, Flavius Silius Italicus (Tiberius Catius Silius Asconius)
Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus Statius (Publius Papinius Statius)
(St. Severinus) Suetonius
Caesar, Julius Sulpicia
xiv Encyclopedia of Ancient Literature
Terence (Publius Terentius Afer)
Tibullus, Albius Buddha
Turnus Pāniņi
Valerius Flaccus Vyāsa (Krishna Dvaipāyana;
Valerius Maximus Vedavyā)
Varro, Marcus Terentius
Anonymous authors of the Sumerian version of
OLD PERSIAN (AVESTAN) the Gilgamesh Epic
Dates Author Dates Author
Before 2350 b.c .e. Anon. Egyptian Book fl. sixth century b.c. e. Aesop
of the Dead (Reu Nu Epigenes
Pert Em Hru [Chapters the Sicyonian
of Coming Forth by Musæus 1
Day]) Thespis of Ikaria
ca. 2300 b.c. e. Anon. Ā e Gilgamesh ca. mid- sixth century Theognis
Epic (Sumerian b.c .e.
language) fl. ca. 594 b.c. e. Solon
ca. 2250 b.c. e. Hammurabi, King of fl. ca. 590 b.c. e. Mimnermus of
Babylon Colophon
fl. ca. 1500 b.c. e. Vyāsa (Krishna ca. 563–ca 483 b.c. e. Buddha
Dvaipāyana, Vedavyā) ca. 556–468 b.c. e. Simonides of Ceos
ca. 1300 b.c .e. Ā e Gilgamesh Epic 551–479 b.c .e. Confucius
(Akkadian Language) fl. ca. 550–500 b.c. e. Pythagoras of Samos
fl. ca. 1250 b.c. e. Orpheus fl. ca. 536 b.c. e. Anacreon
fl. eighth Homer 525–455 b.c .e. Aeschylus
century b.c .e. Hesiod ca. 518–ca. 438 b.c. e. Pindar
fl. seventh Alkman 512–476 b.c. e. Phrynicos of Athens
century b.c .e. Thaletas of Crete fl. 500 b.c. e. Hanno
fl. ca. 684 b.c. e Callinus of Ephesus Hecatæus of Miletus
fl. ca. 680 b.c. e. Archilochos Heraclitus of Ephesus
b. ca. 650 b.c. e. Sappho (Psappho) fl. ca. late sixth Epicharmus of Cos
fl. ca. 647 b.c. e. Tyrtaeus or early Āft h (Epicharmus of Sicily)
ca. 630–ca. 580 b.c. e. Alcaeus (Alkaios) century b.c .e
ca. 630–ca. 553 b.c .e. Zoroaster (Zarathustra ca. Āft h century b.c .e. Myrtis
Spitama) Korinna

xvi Encyclopedia of Ancient Literature

Dates Author Dates Author

Praxilla ca. 340–ca. 278 b.c. e. Qu Yuan (Ch’ü Yüan)
Telesilla ca. 330–270 b.c. e. Philetas of Cos (Philitas
496–406 b.c.e. Sophocles of Cos)
fl. ca. 485– Gorgias of Leontium b. ca. 315 b.c. e. Aratus of Soli (Aratos
ca. 380 b.c. e. (Leontini, Sicily) of Soli)
484 or 480–406 b.c .e. Euripides fl. ca. 312 b.c. e. Xunzi (Hsün Tzu)
ca. 480–ca. 425 b.c .e. Herodotus (Herodotos) ca. 310–ca. 270 b.c .e. Theocritus
ca. 480–ca. 411 b.c .e. Antiphon of Rhamnus ca. 310–ca. 235 b.c. e. Callimachus
ca. 480–390 b.c. e. Mozi (Modi, Moti, b. ca. 305 b.c. e. Apollonius of Rhodes
Mo Tzu) (Apollonius Rhodius,
469–399 b.c .e. Socrates Apollonios Rhodios)
ca. 468–ca. 396 b.c .e. Andocides (Andokides) fl. 300 b.c. e. Euclid
ca. 460–ca. 401 b.c. e. Thucydides fl. ca. 300 b.c. e. Lieh Yü-k’o
458–379 b.c .e. Lysias fl. early third Lycophron
ca. 448–ca. 380 b.c.e . Aristophanes century b.c .e
fl. ca. 440 b.c. e. Empedocles fl. third Anyte of Tegea
ca. 436–338 b.c. e. Isocrates century b.c .e. Hedyla
ca. 429–ca. 357 b.c .e. Xenophon of Athens
ca. 428–ca. 348 b.c. e. Plato
Moschus of Syracuse
fl. ca 400 b.c. e. Ctesias of Cnidos
fl. fourth Archestratus
fl. ca. 294– Leonidas of Tarentum
century b.c .e. Erinna
ca. 281 b.c. e.
fl. ca. 290–223 b.c. e. Song Yu (Sung Yü)
ca. 287–212 b.c. e. Archimedes
fl. ca. fourth Pāniņi
ca. 285–194 b.c .e. Eratosthenes
century b.c .e.
385–322 b.c. e. Aristotle 254–184 b.c. e. Titus Maccius Plautus
ca. 385–322 b.c. e. Æschines 239–169 b.c. e. Quintus Ennius
ca. 384–322 b.c. e Demosthenes fl. ca. 230 b.c. e. Livius Andronicus
ca. 371–ca. 289 b.c .e M encius (Mengzi, Meng fl. 225–200 b.c. e. Pictor, Quintus Fabius
K’o or Meng- tzu) 201–169 b.c .e. J ia Yi
ca. 371–ca. 287 b.c. e Theophrastus of Eresus ca. 200–ca. 118 b.c. e. Polybius
fl. ca. 368–ca. 265 Philemon fl. second or third Xenophon of Ephesus
b.c .e. century b.c .e
ca. 360–ca. 290 b.c .e. Dinarchus fl. second Melinno
ca. 355–ca. 290 b.c .e. Diphilus century b.c .e
fl. ca. 350 b.c. e. Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu, ca. 195–ca. 159 b.c. e. Terence (Publius Teren-
Chuangtse, Kuan Tzu) tius Afer)
ca. 350 b.c. e. Anon. author Discourses ca. 180–102 b.c. e. Lucilius
of the States (Guo yu; 177–119 b.c .e. Sima Xiangru (Ssŭ-ma
Kuo yü) Hsiang- ju)
ca. 342–292 b.c. e. Menander d. 149 b.c. e. Mei Sheng
341–271 b.c .e. Epicurus fl. ca. 146 b.c. e. Nicander of Colophon
Authors’ Time Line xvii

Dates Author Dates Author

ca. 145–86 b.c.e. Sima Qian (Ssŭ-ma 23–79 c. e. Pliny the Elder (Caius
Ch’ien) Plinius Secundus)
116–27 b.c .e. Marcus Terentius Varro 26–102 c .e. Silius Italicus (Tiberius
106–43 b.c .e. Marcus Tullius Cicero Catius Silius
ca. 100–44 b.c. e. Gaius Julius Caesar Asconius)
(Gaius Iulius Caesar) ca. 27–66 c.e. Petronius Arbiter (Gaius
fl. ca. 100 b.c. e. Bion of Smyrna Petronius [?], Titus
Meleager of Gadara Petronius [?]
(Meleagros) 27–97 c .e. Wang Chong (Weng
fl. Ārst century b.c .e. Dionysius of Ch’ung)
Halicarnassus 34–62 c.e. Persius (Aulus Persius
Sulpicia Flaccus)
Turnus 37–ca. 101 c. e. Flavius Josephus
Valerius Maximus (Josephus; Joseph ben
ca. 99–55 b.c. e. Lucretius (Titus Matthias)
Lucretius Carus) 39–65 c .e. Lucan (Marcus Annaeus
86–35 b.c .e. Sallust (Caius Sallustius Lucanus)
Crispus) ca. 40–ca. 96 c. e. Quintilian (Marcus
84–54 b.c .e. Caius Valerius Catullus Fabius Quintilianus)
70–19 b.c .e. Virgil (Vergil, Publius ca. 40–103/4 c. e. Martial (Marcus Valerius
Vergilius Maro) Martialis)
69–26 b.c .e. Gaius Cornelius Gallus ca. 46–ca. 120 c. e. Plutarch
65 b.c .e.–8 c. e. Horace (Quintus ca. 55–ca. 117 c. e. Tacitus, Publius (?)
Horatius Flaccus) Cornelius
63 b.c .e.–14 c. e. Augustus Caesar ca. 60–130 c .e. Papias
59 b.c .e.–17 c. e. Livy (Titus Livius) Quadratus
ca. 56–ca. 19 b.c. e. Tibullus, Albius ca. 61–ca. 112 c. e. Pliny, the Younger (Gaius
ca. 53–15 b.c. e. Sextus Aurelius Plinius Caecilius
Propertius Secundus)
53 b.c .e.–18 c .e. Yang Xiong (Yang ca. 70–ca. 160 c. e. Caius Suetonius
Hsiüng) Tranquillus
43 b.c .e.–17/18 c. e. Ovid (Publius Ovidius ca. 86–160 c. e. Arrian (Flavius
Naso) Arianus)
fl. ca. 40 b.c. e. Diodorus Siculus (Dio- d. ca. 90 c. e. Gaius Valerius Flaccus
dorus of Agyrium) d. 96 c.e. Statius (Publius Papinius
ca. 15 b.c. e.– Phaedrus the fabulist Statius)
ca. 50 c.e. (Gaius Iulius Phaeder) ca. 90–168 c. e. Ptolemy (Claudius
ca. 4 b.c. e.–65 c. e. Seneca, Lucius Ptolemaeus)
Annaeus fl. ca. Ārst–second Juvenal (Decimus Junius
fl . Ārst century c. e. Titus Siculus century c.e. Juvenalis?)
Calpurnius Ārst & second Barnabas
Parthenius of Nicaea centuries c.e. Clemens Romanus
Quintus Rufus Curtius (Clement)
xviii Encyclopedia of Ancient Literature

Dates Author Dates Author

Diognetus fl. late third Nemesianus
Ignatius century c.e. (Marcus Aurelius
Hermas Olympius Nemesianus)
Papias fl. fourth Decimus Magnus
Polycarp century c.e. Ausonius
Quadratus Libanius of Antioch
fl. second Achilles Tatius fl. ca. fourth Flavius Avianus (Avienus)
century c.e. Julius Pollux century c.e. Damasus
(Polydeuces of Ælius Donatus
Naucratis, Egypt) Flavius Eutropius
Pausanias Palæphatus
Polyænus Themistius Euphrades
d. 103/4 c. e. Sextus Julius Frontinus 329–389 c .e. St. Gregory of
ca. 120–ca. 180 c. e. Lucian of Samosata Nazianzen
121–180 c .e. Marcus Aurelius ca. 329–370 c. e. St. Basil
Antoninus (Marcus ca. 331–363 c. e. Julian (Flavius Claudius,
Annius Verus) Julianus, Julian
b. ca. 125 c. e. Apuleius the Apostate)
ca.130–ca. 201 c .e G alen (Claudius ca. 339–397 c. e. St. Ambrose
Galenus) Ælius Herodianus
ca. 130–220 c. e. Pacuvius, Marcus ca. 347–420 c. e. St. Jerome
fl. ca. 150 c. e. Hephæstion of b. 348 c. e. Aurelius Prudentius
Alexandria (Clemens)
Oppian of Corycus fl. ca. 350 c. e. Proba, Faltonia Betitia
(Oppian of Apamea, ca. 354–407 c. e. St. John Chrysostom
Syria?) 354–430 c .e. St.Augustine, bishop
ca. 150–230 c. e. Dio Cocceianus of Hippo
Chrysostomus 365–427 c.e. Tao Qian (T’ao Ch’ien)
ca. 117–189 c. e. Ælius Aristides ca. 370–ca. 404 c. e. Claudian (Claudius
ca. 184–255 c.e . Origen Claudianus)
fl. ca. third Quintus Smyrnaeus fl. late fourth Ammianus Marcellinus
century c.e. (Quintus Calaber) century c.e.
fl. ca. 200–250 c. e.? Diogenes Laertius d. ca. 400 c. e. Heliodorus of Emesa
ca. 205–270 c. e. Plotinus fl. ca. fourth–Āft h Longus
fl. ca. 210 c. e. L. Flavius Philostratus century c.e.
(Philostratus the fl. Āft h century c. e. Claudius Numantianus
Athenian) Rutilius
d. ca. 330 c. e. Iambichlus of Syria Sedulius, Caelius
216–ca. 276 c .e. Mani fl. early Āft h Macrobius (Macrobius
223–262 c. e. Ji Kang (Hsi K’ang) century c.e. Ambrosius Aurelius
ca. 233–ca. 305 c. e Porphyry Theodosius)
ca. 264–340 c. e. Eusebius of Caesarea 412–485 c .e. Proclus of Byzantium
ca. 295–373 c .e. St. Athanasius fl. ca. 450–550 c. e. Musæus 2
Authors’ Time Line xix

Dates Author Dates Author

480–526 c.e. Ancius Manlius ca. 660–ca. 733 c. e. Yamanoue no Okura
Severinus Boethius ca. 718–785 c. e. Ōtomo no Yakamochi
(St. Severinus) fl. seventh Kakinomoto no
fl. ca. 500 c. e. Zosimus century c.e. Hitomaro
fl. sixth century c. e. Agathias of Myrina fl. seventh Princess Nukata
Procopius century c.e. Yosami
d. ca. 550 c. e. Cosmas Indicopleustes ca. 810–ca. 893 c. e. St. Photius
ca. 560–636 c. e. St. Isidore of Seville fl. eighth century c. e. Lady Kasa
Academic sect of philosophy (Platonic view espoused by one of the most notable Roman
Philosophy) adherents of the later Academic school, Cice r o.
Ā e l abel Academics applied to t he f ollowers o f See also Ari st ot l e.
Pl at o and his successors. In t he fourth century
b.c .e., Plato had lived near Athens and founded Bibliography
a school at a public gymnasium named in honor Sharples, R. W. Stoics, Epicureans, and Skeptics: An
of an Athenian hero, Academus. Ā e school sur- Introduction t o H ellenistic P hilosophy. London
vived at that location until the first century b.c .e. and New York: Routledge, 1996.
Ā ereafter i t m oved el sewhere. A n o utpost su r-
vived at Byzantium u ntil well i nto t he Christian
era. Acharnians, The Aristophanes (425 ...)
Plato a nd h is i mmediate suc cessors had sub - First produced at the Athenian festival of Lena ea ,
scribed to the view that the ultimate constituents Ari st ophane s’ comedy, Ā e Acharnians, appeared
of re ality were id eas. P hysical ob jects were t he under t he pl aywright’s ps eudonym, C allistratus.
reflections of a n eternal a nd ideal form. Human Ā ough t he pl ay’s appearance may not have been
perceptions o f o bjects were r eflections of re flec- its aut hor’s first a ttempt a t w inning t he c omedy
tions of those ideal forms. Plato and his immedi- competition’s top prize, Ā e Acharnians is the first
ate successors, therefore, are considered idealists. of h is c omedies to ha ve ac hieved that g oal. W e
Later Academics became identified with skep- know t hat A ristophanes h ad e arlier w ritten t wo
ticism. Ā e m ost r igorous A cademic ske ptics comedies, but neither has survived.
argued that knowledge itself was finally impossi- A po liti cal play, Ā e A charnians directly
ble a nd t hat t he p hilosopher m ust t herefore b e expresses Aristophanes’ passionately held convic-
prepared to suspend judgment indefinitely. Later tion t hat the P eloponnesian W ar sho uld ha ve
still, t he Academics softened t hat v iew, deciding ended b efore i t s tarted. Ā e ac tion i s set a t t he
that whatever proved convincing, though perhaps Athenian h ill c alled P nyx w here the a ssembly of
impossible to p rove, w as i n a nd o f i tself a su ffi- the people—the ecclesia—held it s me etings. As
cient ground for drawing a philosophical conclu- many a s 2 0,000 A thenians co uld ga ther t here to
sion and for taking action. In essence, this is the consider the city’s business in direct, participatory

2 Acharnians, The

democracy. A cross f rom t he g reat a mphitheater, of wine that stand for three potential treaties with
as it was represented for t his p erformance, s tood the P eloponnesians. T asting t hem, D icaeopolis
three houses. On e p urportedly b elonged to t he rejects the first t wo, but t he t hird t reaty i s a 3 0-
principal character, Dicaeopolis, one to t he trage- year t ruce b oth on land and sea. Ā is o ne he
dian Euri pides, and one to t he Athenian general accepts and ratifies by drinking the bottle’s con-
Lamachus. tents in a si ngle gulp. He decides to c elebrate the
Dicaeopolis r epresents Aristophanes’ n otion festival of t he r ural D ionysia. St ill a fraid o f t he
of the good Athenian citizen who, unlike many of pursuing Ac harnian c harcoal bu rners, t hough,
his fellows, has come early to t he assembly to do Amphitheus flees.
his duty. O thers who should be t here a re still i n Ā e ch or us en ters in the guise of the Achar-
the marketplace, t rying to e scape b eing ma rked nians, s earching for A mphitheus. Ā ey m ake
by a vermilion-colored rope. Ā is device was used clear t hat they want revenge f or t heir r uined
to i dentify t hose w ho t ried to sh irk t heir c ivic vineyards an d th at th ey wi sh t o c ontinue t he
responsibilities. war. Dicaeopolis reenters with his daughter and
In his o pening s oliloquy, D icaeopolis servants and b egins th e c eremony o f t he r ural
declares h is i ntention to a ssure t hat t he m em- Dionysia. Ā roughout the play and especially in
bers o f t he a ssembly spea k o f nothing but a this s ection, a good d eal of s exual h umor a nd
peaceful e nd t o the P eloponnesian W ar. Ā is punning contrasts with the play’s serious politi-
noble i ntention, ho wever, is t hwarted b y th e cal subject.
Herald of the assembly, who refuses to acknowl- Ā e A charnians b egin p elting D icaeopolis
edge spea kers favoring p eace a nd c alls i nstead with stones because he has concluded a separate
for a r eport f rom a d iplomatic pa rty, r ecently peace. He t ries to get them to listen to his rea-
returned f rom the court of t he Athenians’ for- sons. Ā ey r efuse a nd a re a bout to s tone h im
mer e nemies, t he P ersians. Ā e a mbassadors when he tel ls t hem t hat he has one of t heir fel-
report that the Persians have offered t he Athe- low citizens hostage. He goes in and brings from
nians gold to support their confl ict with Sparta his house a basket of Acharnian charcoal, which
and the other cities of the Peloponnesians, but a the Acharnians, whose stupidity is t he butt of
Persian in their company makes it clear that the a good deal of joking, recognize as t heir fellow
ambassadors are lying. citizen.
Seeing that peace for Athens is a foolish hope, Fearing t hat D icaeopolis w ill c arry o ut h is
Dicaeopolis g ives m oney to a nother m ember o f threat to disembowel the basket of charcoal, the
the peace party, Amphitheus, to s ecure a p rivate Acharnians agree to throw down their stones and
peace bet ween Spa rta a nd t he m embers o f h is listen to him, particularly in view of his promise
family. W hile A mphitheus i s g one, a g roup o f to speak with his head on an executioner’s block
Ā racian mercenaries are introduced as potential so that they can behead him if he fails to convince
allies a gainst the S partans. Ā ey see m c apable them. B efore a ssuming th at p osition, ho wever,
only of thievery, and they confirm this by stealing Dicaeopolis g oes to t he house o f h is n eighbor,
a sack of garlic from Dicaeopolis. Euripides, w ho i s c omposing a t ragedy. He b egs
Amphitheus r eturns a nd reports that he w as Euripides for the rattiest, most miserable old cos-
set upon by a group of old men, charcoal burners, tume in his collection, a beggar’s staff, a little bas-
from Acharnae. Veterans of the battle of Mara- ket with a l ighted lamp inside, a l ittle pot with a
thon whose grapevines have been cut by the Spar- sponge for a stopper, and some herbs for a basket.
tans a nd t heir a llies, t hey had t ried to p revent Having secured these items, he also asks for a lit-
Amphitheus fr om bringing t he t reaty. H e has tle c hervil, but t he a nnoyed Eu ripides lo cks t he
nevertheless s ucceeded a nd b rings t hree b ottles door on him.
Acontius and Kidippe 3

Ā en D icaeopolis p uts h is he ad o n t he blo ck Dicaeopolis has acquired useful and edible goods,
and begins his speech. He traces the history of the his neighbor, the general Lamachus, sends a slave
quarrel t hat ha s a ll Gr eece i n a rms a nd a rgues to buy an eel.
that b ecause th e c onflict g rew f rom such p etty Other A thenians, s eeing t he b enefits o f t he
issues, history proves the parties to the quarrel to private p eace t hat D icaeopolis ha s c oncluded,
have n o co mmon s ense. H alf of t he Acharnians try to trade with him for some of it, but he refus-
are c onvinced b y h is a rgument, b ut t he o thers es a ll o ffers. A s t he ac tion o f t he pl ay n ears i ts
consider i t i nsolent, a nd t he A charnians b egin end, Lamachus is called off to duty and Dicaeop-
quarreling among themselves. Dicaeopolis’s allies olis to a D ionysian f east. I n a m ock a rgument,
seem t o be winning, s o his o pponents c all t he both p repare f or their respective duties, L ama-
general, Lamachus, forth from his house to assist chus b y a rming and D icaeopolis b y p reparing
them. D icaeopolis a nd L amachus t rade i nsults, food a nd d rink. As t he p lay c oncludes, b oth
and Dicaeopolis accuses the general of enriching return—Lamachus w ounded in an a ccident o n
himself a t t he e xpense o f t he A thenian s tate b y his way to battle, Dicaeopolis roaring drunk and
pressing for a continual state of war. Ā e general accompanied b y t wo a ttentive c ourtesans. Ā e
illustrates the point by arguing for perpetual war, representative of war endures torment, a nd t he
and exits. representative of p eace enjoys t he ple asures o f
Ā e people now approve Dicaeopolis’s actions. the flesh. Ā e chorus celebrates his triumph, and
Ā e c horus d irectly add resses t he a udience i n the play ends.
support o f t he b enefit t hat t he s atire o f a c omic
poet brings them when he exposes the ploys and Bibliography
plotting o f a c rooked p olitician l ike Cleon—a Aristophanes. Ā e C omplete P lays. T ranslated b y
demagogue whom Aristophanes often denounced Paul Ro che. New York: New A merican L ibrary,
in his plays. 2005.
Having made h is p rivate t reaty a nd ha ving
convinced the populace of the benefits of peace,
Dicaeopolis ma rks o ut a l ittle s quare t hat he Achilles Tatius See Gr eek P r os e
announces t o b e his m arketplace. All a re w el- Romance.
come to trade there. Ā e first to arrive is a Mega-
rian. Ā e c ity o f M egara a t t his e poch w as a
mutinous A thenian de pen dency. Ā e Athenians Acontius and Kidippe Callimachus (third
had ruthlessly suppressed a revolt there, and the century ...)
Megarians s uffered ter rible p rivation. A risto- Included in the Aetia (Origins) of Ca l l ima c h us,
phanes i llustrates t his by having t he first t rader Acontius and Kidippe is a story of young love and
to a rrive at D icaeopolis’s little m arket o ffer h is trickery.
two s tarving d aughters f or s ale b y d isguising Having fallen in love at first sight with the love-
them a s l ittle p igs. N ot de ceived, D icaeopolis ly y oung K idippe, a ma iden wh om ma ny y oung
saves the children, buying them for a quart of salt men have sought to wed, Acontius learns from the
and a bunch of garlic. god of love, E ros, a t rick by which he m ight w in
As t he p lay p roceeds, A ristophanes se izes her. As Kidippe walks with her nurse in the annu-
opportunities to lampoon other aspects of Athe- al procession to the temple of Apollo on the island
nian lif e o f which h e d isapproves, p articularly of Delos, Acontius writes on an apple the words: “I
informers. W hen a B oetian t rader a rrives to do swear by Artemis to marry Acontius.” He throws
business at h is l ittle m arket, D icaeopolis t rades the apple in the path of the nurse, who picks it up
an Athenian informer for his wares. Seeing t hat and hands it to K idippe. Kidippe reads the words
4 Achilles Tatius

aloud, a nd, r ealizing t hat s he ha s p ronounced a home. Micio and Demea, however, disagree about
binding oath, throws the apple away. child-rearing tech niques. M icio favors a n i ndul-
One after another, the mothers of eager suit- gent a nd p ermissive re gimen f or A eschinus,
ors t ry to a rrange a ma rriage w ith K idippe f or whereas Dem ea f avors a s tricter u pbringing f or
their s ons. W hen, ho wever, t he d ays app ointed Ctesipho. D emea h as o ften c riticized M icio f or
for the weddings arrive, Kidippe becomes death- his laissez-faire attitude.
ly ill, and the weddings are called off. After three Demea n ow en ters, ho wever, a nd i n s cene 2
such incidents, Kidippe’s father consults the ora- reveals t hat du ring t he night Aeschinus h as bro-
cle of Apollo at D elphi. Ā ere he learns that the ken i nto a p rivate ho me, b eaten m embers o f t he
gods consider the apple oath binding. family, and c arried off a s lave girl—a m usician.
Yielding to t he divine will, the parents arrange Demea blames Micio, who staunchly defends both
the marriage, and the young people are wed. Calli- his p arenting a nd a y oung ma n’s r ight to suc h
machus closes his story by tying it to t he theme of high- spirited behavior. In s cene 3 , though, w e
the v olume i n w hich it app ears. Addressing h is learn that Micio truly is distressed by Aeschinus’s
friend, C ean, C allimachus e xplains t hat Ce an’s actions and pretended otherwise for his brother’s
clan, the Acontiadae, sprang from the union whose benefit. We also learn that Aeschinus has informed
story the poet has just told. As the story ends, the his adoptive father of his intention to marry.
poet also alludes to a series of related incidents that Act 2 o pens w ith t he en try o f A eschinus; h is
also t ake their origins f rom t he s tory he ha s j ust servant Parmeno; the music- girl he has kidnapped;
told. and Sannio, a procurer who has paid 20 minae of
silver f or t he g irl a nd ha s b een hol ding her a s a
Bibliography thrall. After ha ving S annio s truck f or hi s p re-
Callimachus. Aetia. Translated by C . A. Tr ypannis. sumption i n buying a free woman, Aeschinus
Loeb C lassical L ibrary. Vol. 4 21. C ambridge, offers to restore Sannio’s money and end the mat-
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1975. ter. Sannio thinks over the offer, but he is reluctant
to accept it lest Aeschinus use the law to def raud
Sannio of his money. Micio’s slave, Syrus, enters
Achilles Tatius See Gr eek P r os e and reveals that he k nows enough about Sannio’s
Romance. shady b usiness to r uin him u nless he a ccepts
Aeschinus’s offer—indeed u nless he a ccepts h alf
the offer. Ctesipho, who is in love with the music-
Adelphi (The Brothers) Terence (ca. 160 girl, enters praising h is brother for h is k indness.
...) Aeschinus brushes off the praise, sends his brother
Following a prologue in which Ter enc e def ends in to his beloved, and goes to the market with San-
himself against an apparent charge of having sto- nio to get his money.
len h is plo t f rom P lautus a nd i n w hich Terence In act 3, the plot takes an unexpected twist with
cites a s his source a d ifferent pa rt of D iphil us’s the appearance of two women, Sostrata and Can-
play Synapothnescontes than the one that Plautus thera. Ā ey are in urgent need of a midwife to help
used, the play proper begins. deliver a child whom Aeschinus has fathered with
Micio begins the play with a substantial solilo- Sostrata’s da ughter, Pa mphilia. H owever, a s er-
quy. I n it we l earn t hat his a doptive son—really vant, G eta, en ters a nd, r eporting t hat A eschinus
his nephew—Aeschinus h as not re turned ho me has k idnapped a music-girl, a nd S ostrata c on-
all n ight. We al so d iscover t hat M icio’s b rother cludes t hat he ha s a bandoned t he m other o f h is
Demea ha s g iven h is s on A eschinus to M icio to child. S ostrata g oes t o see k assistance from an
rear. D emea ha s ke pt h is other s on, Ctesipho, at aged kinsman, Hegio.
Adelphi 5

Scenes 3 and 4 reveal Demea in search of Ctesi- Aeschinus’s m atch w ith a p enniless g irl. M icio
pho. Ā e father has heard that his son was involved admits t hat he i s n ot, b ut t hat o ne m ust ac cept
in t he music-girl in cident. D emea en counters what life brings and try by a rt to cure it. Demea
Syrus. Syrus tries to throw Demea off the scent by has the impression that Aeschinus, the music-girl,
telling him that his son is in the fields attending and Pamphilia are all to live under the same roof
to his father’s business. Convinced, Demea is just in a ménage à trois. He is as yet unaware that Cte-
about to for get the whole affair when, in scene 6, sipho loves the music-girl.
he encounters Hegio, who is a member of his tribe Act 5 opens with Demea’s soliloquy in which
and a lso P amphilia’s k insman. Hegio t ells th e he r egrets ha ving sp ent h is l ife w orrying a bout
whole history of the relationship between Aeschi- money a nd w earing h imself o ut a bout t rifles
nus and Pamphilia, and what a cad the young man while his cheerful brother has spent an easy life.
is to desert her for t he music-girl. (At t his point, Worst o f a ll, Demea fi nds t hat both the boys he
from offstage, we h ear P amphilia’s c ries o f l abor fathered n ow a void h im a nd s eek o ut M icio a s
pain and her prayers to Juno—the patron goddess their confidant. Acting on this reflection, he imme-
of c hildbirth.) D emea pr omises t o i ntervene o n diately begins treating both sons and slaves with
Pamphilia’s behalf with Micio, and Hegio reports generosity a nd k indness. E ncountering A eschi-
the good news to Sostrata. nus, w ho i s c haffi ng a t t he d elays i nvolved i n
Act 4 finds D emea t rying to ob tain n ews o f wedding pr eparations, D emea t ells h im to ha ve
Ctesipho’s whereabouts f rom Syrus. Ā ough Cte- the wall between the neighboring houses thrown
sipho is in fact hiding nearby, Syrus sends the lad’s down a nd t he b ride b rought o ver. F or t he first
father on a wild goose chase in search of him. In time in h is lif e, h is s on c alls h im “ charming.”
scene 4 , H egio a nd M icio ha ve s traightened o ut Demea likes the effect.
the entire matter between them, and they go to tell He n ext t alks h is i nitially r esistant 6 5-year-
Sostrata that Aeschinus is true to his promises to old brother Micio into ma rrying Sostrata. Ā at
Pamphilia. accomplished, Dem ea en lists A eschinus a s a n
Aeschinus, h owever, i s u naware of t his h appy ally and talks Micio into freeing his slave, Syrus,
outcome a nd ha s le arned ho w h is f eelings ha ve and his wife as well. When an astonished Micio
been m isrepresented t o S ostrata a nd P amphilia. wonders at D emea’s s udden cha nge, Dem ea
In s cene 5 , he r ushes to Sostrata’s house a nd confesses t hat h is b ehavior i s i ntended a s a n
pounds on the door so that he can straighten out object le sson. Ā e reason t hat t he t wo younger
the confusion. His father Micio, however, is there men love M icio m ost a rises from h is f oolish
ahead of him. Deciding that his adoptive son will indulgence. A lthough Demea co nsents t o a
benefit from worrying a bit longer, Micio misleads union between Ctesipho a nd t he music-girl, he
the young man. Pamphilia must, he says, marry a makes that his last concession to youthful folly.
near re lative w ho h as c ome to t ake her a way to Demea offers to adv ise the young men in curb-
Miletus. W ithout c onfessing t hat he argues f or ing their extravagant behavior in future so that
himself, Aeschinus asks Micio to consider the feel- they can live genuinely happy rather than mere-
ings of the young man who has fathered Pamphil- ly self- indulgent l ives. T aking Dem ea’s p oint,
ia’s ch ild. H e w eeps. H is te ars to uch h is f ather’s the y oung m en ac cept h is g uidance, a nd t he
heart, and the older man confesses that he k nows play ends.
everything, p romising t hat A eschinus a nd Pa m-
philia will wed. Bibliography
In the two scenes that follow, Demea and Micio Terence. Works: E nglish a nd L atin. Translated b y
encounter o ne a nother, a nd M icio e xplains t he John B arsby. C ambridge, Mass.: Ha rvard U ni-
outcome. D emea a sks i f M icio i s pleased w ith versity Press, 2001.
6 Ælius Aristides

———. Terence, the C omedies. Translated by Palmer Behr, C harles A . Aelius Ar istides an d th e S acred
Bovie et al. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Tales. Amsterdam: A. M. Hallkert, 1968.
Press, 1992. Horst, Pieter William van der. Aelius Aristides and
the New Testament. Leiden: Brill, 1980.

Ælius Aristides (ca. 117–189 ..) Greek

prose writer Aeneid Virgil (30–19 ..)
A S ophist p hi losopher a nd c elebrated o rator, For most of the last decade of his life, Vir gil , who
Ælius Aristides was born at Hadrianapolis in the had w ithdrawn f rom t he c ity o f Ro me i nto t he
Roman province of Bithnia on the Bosphorus Sea congenial countryside of Campania near Naples,
to t he f amily o f Eudamon, a priest of Zeus. He worked on his great Latin e pic , Aeneid. Inspired
moved to Smyrna (also called Myrrha, now Izmir by t he for m a nd c ontent o f h is i ncomparable
in Turkey), where he established his reputation as Greek pre deces sor, Homer, Virgil self- consciously
a s cholar, a nd b ecame a p ublic hero f ollowing sought to create a national epic for the emergent
Smyrna’s de struction b y a n e arthquake i n 1 78. Roman Empire under the rule of its first emperor,
Ælius w rote to t he em peror Ma rcus A urelius August us Ca esa r .
describing the devastation, and the emperor was As o ne s trategy among m any to achieve t hat
so moved that he had the city rebuilt. A g rateful end, Virgil sought to l ink the dy nasty of ancient
citizenry erected a statue in Ælius’s honor. Troy in the person of its surviving prince, Aeneas,
Fift y-four of Ælius’s public speeches survive in with th e n ewly created R oman imperium—and
full, t ogether wi th a f ew f ragmentary r emains. with th e vi ctorious h eir of a m an w ho, t hough
Ā ey suggest that he was as accomplished an ora- perhaps em peror i n f act, w as n ever em peror i n
tor a s s ome o f h is golden-age p redecessors. H e name, Jul ius Ca esa r . Ā us, in the English trans-
also wrote a two-scroll treatise on oratorical style lation o f A llen Mandelbaum—one u nparalleled
that distinguished between the high style appro- in its poetic reflection of Virgil’s original—Virgil
priate to political speeches and the ordinary style begins with his statement of epic purpose: “I sing
employed for other purposes. of a rms a nd of a m an: his f ate / had made h im
Another e xample of h is w riting a lso s urvives. fugitive. . . .”
Ælius was afflicted by a serious and recurring ill- Ā en, after alluding to his hero’s difficult voy-
ness, perhaps psychological in nature. In his Sacred age and his facing not only maritime dangers but
Tales, he describes the way in which the Greek god also the unremitting wrath of Juno, the queen of
of me dicine, Æ sclepius, v isited t he su fferer i n h is the gods, Virgil tells how the Trojan prince came
dreams an d p rescribed cures f or h is a ilments. at last to the Lavinian shores of Italy, bringing his
Although Æ lius r ejected m ost p roffered p ublic gods w ith h im. “From t his,” s ays Vi rgil, “ have
honors, when the citizens offered to appoint him to come the Latin race, t he lords / o f A lba, and t he
the office of priest of Æsclepius, he accepted. ramparts of high Rome.”
Some of Ælius’s letters a lso survive. His w rit- In t he Aeneid, Vi rgil a ssumes o n t he pa rt o f
ings are available in good English translations. his r eaders a c lose f amiliarity w ith t he na mes,
roles, a nd relationships of a l arge cast of charac-
Bibliography ters familiar to h is audience but not to a m odern
Aelius Aristides. Ā e Complete Works. Translated by one. To assist a modern reader less familiar with
Charles A. Behr. Leiden: Brill, 1981–86. such matters, t herefore, before su mmarizing t he
“Aelius_Aristides.” Available o nline. U RL: http:// epic’s action, I provide a grid with the names and
w w w . n nd b .c om / p e ople / 761/ 0 0 0 0 9 6 473/ . roles of the characters that appear in this précis of
Accessed January 13, 2006. Virgil’s poem.
Aeneid 7


Role Allied with

Gods and Immortals

A Fury from the underworld who foments trouble for

Allecto Latins
the Trojans at Juno’s behest

Apollo Sun god and god of physicians and artists

Calliope Muse of epic poetry

Cerberus Ā ree- headed watchdog of Hades

Immortal boatman of the river Styx who conducts the

Charon Everyone
shades of the dead into Hades

Clio Muse of history

Cupid God of love

Sea goddess who reports to Aeneas the situation at the

Cymodoce Trojans
Trojans’ camp when it is attacked by Turnus

Diana Goddess of the hunt and sister of Apollo Latins

Erato Muse of lyric poetry

Furies (Harpies) Hellish immortals who plague humankind

Iris Goddess of rainbow and divine messenger

Juno Queen of gods; wife and sister of Jupiter Latins

Jupiter King of the gods Trojans

Italian goddess of fountains; sister to Turnus who

Juturna Latins
protects him in battle

Minerva Goddess of wisdom

8 Aeneid


Role Allied with

Minos Judge of the dead in the underworld

Neptune God of sea and earthquake Greeks

Polyphemus A Cyclops on Sicily

Goddess of the underworld who must spend six

months there and six on Earth

Tiberinus Ā e god of the Tiber River Trojans

Venus Goddess of love; mother of Aeneas Trojans

Vulcan Blacksmith of the gods Trojans

Trojans: Ā eir Allies, Descendants, and Enemies in Africa and Italy

A Trojan prince who will found the Roman state; son

of Venus

Son of a Trojan mother and a Sicilian river-god; hosts

Aeneas in Sicily

Achates Survivor of fall of Troy, companion of Aeneas

Queen of the Latins; opposed to a Trojan marriage for

Amata her daughter Lavinia; pawn of Juno in opposing

Anchises Aeneas’s father; dies enroute to Italy

Former wife of Trojan hero Hector; now companion of

Pergamus in Mysia

Anna Dido’s sister

Arruns Trojan who sneakily slays Camilla from ambush Trojans

Aeneid 9

Role Allied with

Aeneas’s son and heir Trojans
(also called Iulus)

Prophetess of Apollo who guides Aeneas through the

Avernan Sibyl

Aged Trojan woman whose shape Iris takes to

Beroë Juno
encourage the women to fire Aeneas’s ships.

Caieta Aeneas’s nurse; buried near Rome

Warrior maiden, leader of the Volscians; a favorite of

Camilla the goddess Diana, she is slain from ambush by the Latins
Trojan Arruns

Trojan who married Helen of Troy after the death of

her husband Paris

Queen and builder of Carthage; lover of Aeneas but

deserted by him

Adviser to King Latinus who urges that the king

Drances withdraw his support from Turnus and support Trojans

Evander King of the Greco-Italian city of Pallanteum Trojans

Trojan survivor; prophet who predicts Aeneas will

succeed in quest for Rome

Moorish king; suitor of Dido; granted land for

building Carthage

Ilioneus Trojan survivor; emissary from Aeneas to Dido

Trojan prophet killed by sea serpents upon advising

against bringing the Trojan horse within city walls

Latinus King of the Latins; father of Lavinia

Lavinia Princess of the Latins destined to marry Aeneas

10 Aeneid


Role Allied with

Lausus Latin warrior killed in battle; son of Mezentius Latins

Mezentius Latin warrior killed in battle; father of Lausus Latins

Misenus Trojan drowned in surf on landing at Avernus

Se nior Trojan who encourages Aeneas to settle

the less adventuresome Trojans in Sicily

Trojan steersman who falls asleep, falls

Palinurus overboard, and is murdered by brigands on
reaching shore

Son of King Evander of Pallanteum; killed by Turnus

Pallas Trojans
while supporting Aeneas in battle

Pandarus Giant Trojan warrior, killed by Turnus

Priam King of Troy killed during Greek sack of city

Murdered Trojan prince, son of Queen Hecuba, whose

ghost appears to Aeneas

Romulus Descendant of Aeneas and founder of Rome

Rutulians Latin opponents of Aeneas led by Turnus

Former husband of Dido, with whom she is reunited

in the underworld

Cretan founder of Troy; gives Trojans their alternative

name, “Teucrians”

Latin soothsayer who misinterprets signs and leads

Tolumnius Latins
the Latins to break a truce

Principal Italian enemy of Aeneas and suitor for the

Turnus Latins
hand of the Latin princess, Lavinia
Aeneid 11


Greeks in the Aeneid

Greek castaway who warns Aeneas about hostile

Cyclops on Sicily and whom the Trojans rescue

Chalcas Greek prophet who accompanied the fleet to Troy

Wife of King Menelaus of Sparta; eloped with Paris

to Troy.

Menelaus King of Sparta; first husband of Helen

Pyrrhus Greek warrior; slayer of Trojan king Priam

Greek spy who opens the Trojan horse once it is

within the city’s walls.

Book 1 down. However, Neptune, the Roman god of the

In keeping w ith epic convention, Virgil c alls o n sea, reproves and calms the raging winds. Aeneas
the Muse to explain the root of Juno’s enmity, and is then able to collect the remaining seven vessels
in r esponse, the Muse b egins speaking t hrough of h is s quadron and b ring t hem to ha rbor off
the poet and explaining the wrath of the goddess. Libya on the North African coast.
Juno favors Carthage, a city on the North African Ashore there, Aeneas successfully hunts seven
coast that has been her candidate for domination deer—one for each of his remaining ship’s crews.
of t he Me diterranean w orld. P rophecy ha s f ore- As t hey f east, the s cene sh ifts to H eaven, w here
told, however, t hat Rome w ill eventually surpass Venus, t he g oddess o f l ove, i s a sking her f ather,
Carthage. Knowing this prediction, Juno does all Jupiter, why he has allowed such evil to befall her
within her very considerable power to del ay that son a nd f avorite, A eneas. J upiter c omforts her
outcome, i ncluding h arassing a sma ll ba nd o f and predicts the future for Aeneas and his descen-
Trojan W ar s urvivors a s their fleet a ttempts t o dants. A eneas w ill b ecome th e k ing o f L atium.
cross the Mediterranean Sea. (See muse s.) His descendant, Romulus, w ill found Rome, and
Juno is also annoyed (for background on Tro- Rome w ill ha ve “ empire w ithout en d” a nd b e
jan War, see entries on Ili ad and Odysse y.) t hat ruled by a Trojan em peror. E ven Juno w ill then
Athena ( Minerva) c an s eemingly ac hieve m ore hold the Romans dear.
carnage a t s ea t han c an t he que en o f t he g ods. Ā e s cene t hen sh ifts bac k to N orth A frica,
Juno t herefore a ppeals to Aeolus, t he god of t he where A eneas a nd h is c ompanion A chates a re
winds, f or a h urricane, p romising h im a w ife trying to find out where they have made landfall.
from among her sea nymphs in recompense. Aeo- Disguised as a Ā racian huntress, Venus encoun-
lus complies, and the Trojans instantly find them- ters t hem a nd sp eaks to t hem. Ā ough Ae neas
selves in shallow water off Sicily in the teeth of a does not recognize his mother, her voice gives her
tempest. A eneas wa tches a s sh ip a fter sh ip g oes away a s a g oddess. She e xplains t hat t hey a re i n
12 Aeneid

the domain of Dido, the widow of Sychaeus, and Book 2

the object of the u nlawful passion o f S ychaeus’s Aeneas tells how the desperate Greek invaders of
murderer, her b rother P ygmalion. Fle eing her Troy, advised by Minerva, hit upon the stratagem
brother’s e mbraces, D ido and her followers have of a l arge wooden horse, supposedly a n offering
built the city of Carthage. Eventually Aeneas rec- for their safe return home, but in fact a ruse to get
ognizes t he g oddess a s h is m other a nd r eproves some of t heir be st m en i nside t he ga tes o f Troy.
her for her disguises. Ā e Trojans, t hinking t he Greek fleet has sailed,
Entering t he c ity sh rouded by a m ist, Aeneas open t heir gat es a nd sig htsee o n t he ba ttlefield.
and A chates ma ke t heir w ay to D ido’s tem ple Ā e p rophet L aocoön adv ises de stroying t he
honoring Juno. Ā ere they find the history of the horse, b ut t he g ods ha ve de termined o therwise.
Trojan War m ovingly d epicted in sculptures. As As t he crowd a dmires t he horse, a y oung Gr eek
the refugees stare in wonder at their own history, captive named Si non is d ragged i n. A lthough i n
the arrival of the beautiful Dido interrupts them. fact S inon is pa rt o f th e c onspiracy t o g et th e
She sits in state dispensing legal decisions. Ā en, horse inside Troy, he persuades the Trojans instead
through the throng at the foot of her throne, the that h e w as supposed to be sa crificed t o ensure
Trojans a re a mazed to s ee a rrive ma ny o f t he
the Greeks a fair passage home. He avoided t hat
comrades wh om t hey h ad t hought l ost at s ea.
fate, he explains, by escaping his bonds and hid-
Restraining t heir desire to g reet t heir comrades,
ing in a muddy pond until the Greeks had sailed.
Aeneas a nd Ac hates r emain c oncealed i n t heir
Ā e Trojans believe and pity him.
supernatural mists to observe what welcome their
Sinon convinces them that all along the Greeks’
countrymen may find with Dido.
only hop e h ad l ain in t he f avor o f Pa llas A thena
Ā e eldest of t he Trojans, I lioneus, reports to
(Minerva), b ut t hat w hen they h ad vi olated he r
Dido the objectives of their voyage and the disas-
shrine, t he Pa lladium, a t T roy, t he g oddess had
ters t hat they have suffered en r oute. He asks to
be a llowed t o repair the fleet a nd co ntinue t he switched s ides and th e Gr eek c ause w as do omed.
expedition. Dido willingly grants his request and On t he adv ice o f t he Gr eek p rophet C halcas, s ays
wishes aloud that Aeneas, too, were present. Ā e Sinon, t he Gr eeks had c onstructed t he horse a s
concealing f og d issipates a nd r eveals A eneas, atonement for stealing the statue of the goddess. He
godlike in his masculine beauty. He greets Dido. convinces the Trojans that the horse had been con-
Startled, she r eturns h is g reeting, i nvites h im to structed so i t co uld n ot be b rought w ithin Troy’s
join her a t her pa lace, a nd s ends p rovisions f or gates. Should the Trojans harm the horse, the proph-
the other Trojans to the beaches. Aeneas instructs ecy p redicts t heir d estruction. S hould t he horse
Achates to send gifts for Dido to t he palace with somehow “ climb t he wa lls,” ho wever, t he T rojans
Aeneas’s son Ascanius. would eventually rule the Greeks.
Venus, however—always t rying to g ive As if to confirm Sinon’s false words, two great
Aeneas an advantage in case matters turn sour— sea se rpents sl ither a shore and e ncircle and k ill
substitutes Cupid in the form of Ascanius. As a the p rophet L aocoön a nd h is t wo c hildren. Ā e
result of the arrival of the winged god, Dido falls Trojans take this horror as divine confirmation of
hopelessly i n lo ve w ith A eneas. A s he r he art what Sinon has told them, and they immediately
becomes e nsnared, a g reat ba nquet p rogresses, set abo ut b reaching t heir o wn w alls s o t hat t he
and f ollowing m uch d rinking a nd en tertain- horse can be brought into the city. Late at night,
ment, Dido asks Aeneas to recount the history of Sinon o pens a t rapdoor i n t he horse to f ree t he
his wanderings f rom the beginning. Ā us, hav- Greek warriors hiding within its hollow interior.
ing b egun i n t he e pic f ashion i n t he m iddle o f Ā ey i n t urn o pen T roy’s g ates to t he Gr ecian
the s tory, V irgil jumps back to its s tart a s t he troops that have come up from their hiding places
second book begins. and from the returned ships.
Aeneid 13

Now Ae neas m ovingly d escribes t he sack o f ately on landing. Prepared to sail back to Delos in
Troy a nd t he Trojans’ fruitless attempts at resis- search of f urther prophecy, Aeneas is spared that
tance. H e p ictures t he ca pture o f t he T rojan necessity a s t he Phrygian household gods t hat he
women and the death of King Priam at the hands has carried with him from Troy appear in a dream
of t he Greek warrior, P yrrhus. He explains how, with a message from Apollo: Italy will be the Tro-
at last, he encounters Venus, his mother, who tells jans’ new home. Ā ey will not win it easily, howev-
him to see about preserving the surviving mem- er. Storms and an inadvertent war with the Harpies
bers o f h is own f amily: h is f ather A nchises, h is (also c alled the Furies) await t hem on t heir jour-
wife C reüsa, an d h is s on A scanius ( also often ney. Ā is last episode earns them the enmity of the
called b y hi s a lternative na me, I ulus). A eneas Furies, who promise that the Trojans will not reach
finds them and persuades his father to ac compa- Italy b efore f amine h as m ade t hem g naw t heir
ny him. Carry ing the old man on his back, hold- tables.
ing hi s s on b y t he ha nd, a nd w ith h is w ife a nd Coasting Greece, the exiles winter on the Island
other companions following, he sets out through of L eucadia, ne ar the temple of Apollo, s tanding
the burning c ity. Everyone but Cr eüsa ma kes i t. close by the promontory from which, much later,
When he misses her, the frantic Aeneas runs back, an unlikely legend reports that a lovelorn Sa ppho
searching ev erywhere u ntil h e e ncounters her leapt to her de ath. With spring, t he Trojan w an-
ghost, w ho t ells h im t hat h is f ate ha s de stined derers take to their ship once more. Making land-
him for a n ew b ride o n t he ba nks o f t he Italian fall i n M ysia n ear t he c ity o f Buthrotum o n t he
river Tiber. Aeneas tries t hree t imes to emb race river Xa nthus, A eneas and h is c rew en counter
his wife’s shade, but h is circling a rms encounter Andromache ( see Andr omac h e,) t he w idow of
no substance. So, now at the head of band of refu- the Trojan h ero H ector. N ow t he c ompanion o f
gees, Ae neas m akes for t he relative s afety of t he Pergamus, founder of the city Pergamum, Andro-
nearby mountains as the second book ends. mache i s ma king offerings to h er dead husband.
Mutually s tartled a t t he en counter, t he T rojans
and An dromache are e xchanging n ews w hen
Book 3 another Trojan s urvivor, p rince H elenus, c omes
Ā e third book finds the Trojan exiles building a down from the city to welcome his countrymen.
fleet to carry them on a v oyage across the Medi- In t he f ollowing d iscussion, A eneas a nd h is
terranean S ea i n s earch o f a n ew ho me. A eneas voyagers le arn t hat Italy i s s till a lo ng a nd d iffi-
attempts a landing in Ā race, but when he offers cult v oyage a way. I ts ro ute, pa rt r eal a nd pa rt
sacrifices and tries to uproot a small tree, its roots mythic, fo llows a p ortion o f t he o ne t hat O dys-
bleed. A second attempt produces the same result. seus sailed in Homer’s Ā e Odysse y. More encour-
(In t he M iddle A ges, Da nte w ill b orrow t his aging is t he i nformation H elenus sha res w ith
device wh en de scribing t he h ellish fa te o f su i- Aeneas a bout his u ltimate de stination. A eneas
cides.) A third attempt produces the voice of the will know he has arrived at his fated destination
dead Trojan prince Polydorus, who warns Aeneas when h e finds a “ huge w hite s ow” suc kling 3 0
that he must sa il on a s it w as the Ā racian k ing white piglets beside a secret stream and under the
who murdered him. (See Hec uba.) branches of a n i lex. He lenus a lso d iscounts t he
Another landing on t he M editerranean i sland Harpies’ warning about gnawing at the tables.
of D elos a gain p roduces d isappointment a s t he Continuing hi s p rophecy, H elenus i nstructs
island’s tutelary deity, Apollo, advises them to sail Aeneas to shun the eastern coasts of Italy, which
on to Crete, the island from which the archetypal are a lready o ccupied b y Gr eeks, a nd su ggests
Trojan ancestor, Teucer, had sailed when he found- coasting S icily o n t he south a nd n ot a ttempting
ed t he ci ty o f Troy. W hen the Trojan wanderers the S traits o f M essina. Ā en, w hen t he T rojan
obey, ho wever, t hey a re plague-stricken immedi- wanderers arrive at Cumae, a point near modern
14 Aeneid

Naples, they must consult the sibyl who inhabits their party, end up in the same cave. What occurs
a c ave a t Avernus. She will tell Aeneas what he there, which with Roman golden-age taste Vi rgil
needs to know next. does not report, Dido calls marriage. Rumor, how-
After f urther leave-taking a nd r eceiving g ifts ever, is sw ift to fly to e very corner. It reaches t he
from his former countrymen and from Androm- Moorish k ing, Iarbas, who had g ranted Dido t he
ache, Aeneas a nd h is ba nd resume t heir journey. right to settle and is as enamored with her as she is
At long last t hey sight in the distance the hills of with A eneas. I arbas p rays t o J upiter f or r edress,
Italy and eventually Mt. Etna on Sicily. Ā ey camp and Jupiter sends Mercury to remind Aeneas, who
nearby a nd e ncounter a m ember o f O dysseus’s has d allied t he w inter a way w ith D ido, t hat he
crew who was forgotten and left behind when they must be on his way to Italy. Mercury’s appearance
escaped the Cyclops’s cave. Ā is castaway, Achae- terrifies Aeneas and has the desired effect.
menides, tells again the story of the Cyclops. Ā e Yet A eneas i s t orn between what he knows to
Trojans accept Achaemenides as a passenger and, be his destiny and duty and his passion for Dido.
in t he n ick of ti me, e scape f rom the l and of the He gives secret orders for the fleet to be readied,
Cyclops Polyphemus and his kin, for the one-eyed but Dido intuits his intention and rages at him.
giants had become aware of the Trojans’ presence. Aeneas d efends h imself, pleading t hat it i s not
Aeneas reports the balance of the voyage up until his o wn f ree w ill t hat re quires h im to s ail to
the p oint th at th e h urricane d rove the T rojans Italy. S he r ejects h is ple as a nd d ismisses h im,
ashore in Africa, and Book 3 ends. promising to haunt him forever. She takes to her
chamber, from which she can watch the frenzied
preparations on the beach as Trojans ready them-
Book 4 selves for their voyage. Sending Anna as her mes-
Book 4 o pens w ith r enewed f ocus o n D ido’s senger, Dido pleads that Aeneas will at least come
obsessive pa ssion f or Aeneas—a f eeling t hat she to see her once more, but he remains adamant in
shares w ith her si ster a nd c onfidant, A nna. “I his purpose.
know t oo w ell the s igns o f t he ol d flame,” she At l ast d riven mad b y her obsession—a mad -
remarks prophe tically, bu t she a lso r epeats her ness that Virgil depicts with great deftness, verisi-
resolve not to r emarry. A nna, however, counsels militude, and tact—Dido prepares to end her life.
Dido o therwise a nd f eeds her ho pe f or a union She d isguises her i ntention, ho wever, p retending
with A eneas. A s s he s tudies t he sig ns o f t he that she is about to em ploy magic to w in Aeneas
future in her sacrifice, Virgil inserts ominous ref- back. She has her sister build a funeral pyre in the
erences to fire a nd flame a s D ido’s behavior inner c ourtyard o f t he pa lace. On i t a re he aped
increasingly reveals her a s one i n t he g rip of a n Aeneas’s a bandoned w eapons a nd c lothing, t he
irresistible and burning passion. bed t he lo vers had sha red, a nd A eneas’s e ffigy.
Juno, seeing an opportunity to avoid fate, pro- Once she has performed the witchcraft associated
poses a t ruce w ith Venus. L et A eneas a nd D ido with her design, a sorrowful Dido once more con-
rule in Carthage; the Roman Empire may never siders her options and rejects them all but suicide.
happen. V enus, ho wever, s ees t hrough t he r use At just that moment, Mercury once again vis-
and suggests that Juno put her proposition before its Aeneas to stiffen his resolve for sailing. Terri-
Jupiter. Ju no, who is g oddess o f m arriage, then fied a t t he g od’s app earance, A eneas g ives t he
announces h er i ntention to i solate A eneas a nd order, a nd t he Trojans s ail f or I taly. S eeing h im
Dido during the next day’s planned hunt, and to sail, D ido i nvokes ter rible c urses o n h im. Ā en,
see t hem u nited in m arriage. Venus c unningly sending a servant to b ring her si ster Anna, Dido
assents. mounts t he f uneral py re, s eizes A eneas’s s word,
When a s udden t hunderstorm i nterrupts t he and falls upon it. Her astonished servants spread
next day’s hunt, Dido and Aeneas, separated from the word, and Anna rushes to the spot, where she
Aeneid 15

finds Dido still breathing but in agony. Juno takes Aeneas’s father, Anchises, comes as Jupiter’s mes-
pity on her and sends the goddess of the rainbow, senger and seconds this counsel.
Iris, to release Dido’s spirit from her body. Ā ose T rojans w ho w ish to do so r emain in
Sicily, and the rest repair the ships and once more
set sa il. Venus i nvokes N eptune’s p rotection f or
Book 5 the seafarers, and the sea god promises that they
From t he d eparting sh ips, a s B ook 5 b egins, will r each th e h arbor o f Averna s afely wi th th e
Aeneas s ees t he c onflagration o f D ido’s f uneral loss o f o nly o ne m ore T rojan. Ā is p rophecy is
pyre without knowing what it means. Once again fulfi lled w hen th e h elmsman, P alinurus, f alls
assailed b y storms, the fleet is f orced ashore o n asleep a t t he s teering oar, f alls o verboard, a nd
Sicily i n t he f riendly r ealm o f A cestes, s on o f a apparently d rowns w hile t he fleet sw eeps o n i ts
river god and a Trojan mother. Acestes welcomes way and Book 5 ends.
the w anderers, a nd A eneas de clares a d ay o f
feasting a nd c ompetitions in honor of the anni-
versary of t he de ath of h is father A nchises, who Book 6
had pa ssed away t he previous t ime t he fleet had In Bo ok 6, t he Trojans a rrive at the c ave of the
harbored there. Avernan sibyl—a fear-inspiring p rophetess o f
Virgil honor s t he a esthetic pr inciple of Apollo. U nder he r t errifying ur ging, t hey ma ke
varietas—variety i n composition—in Book V by their s acrifices a nd add ress t heir p rayers to t he
departing f rom t he ma in l ine o f t he s tory to sun g od. A eneas p romises Apollo t hat he w ill
detail a s ailing c ompetition a mong f our o f build temples and shrines to the god and his sister
Aeneas’s galleys. Virgil here shows himself to be Diana wh en the T rojans ha ve e stablished t heir
an a ccomplished s porting c ommentator i n t he kingdom.
tradition of Pindar. To the delightful account of Ā e sib yl b egins to p rophecy w ar, a f oreign
the race with its triumphs and disasters, he adds wedding, and an unlikely path to safety via a Greek
poetic lists of prizes, which he describes. He clos- city. Wh en the p rophetic e cstasy ha s de parted
es this section with a description of a galley, dis- from the sibyl’s breast, Aeneas asks permission to
abled i n t he r ace, a s i t l imps l ate i nto sho re. descend through her cave into the underworld so
Footraces follow, with cheating and fouling, and that h e c an o nce more c onsult t he shade o f h is
then c omes b rutal b oxing followed by archery. father, Anchises. Ā e sibyl warns Aeneas that few
Finally t he T rojans dem onstrate t heir s kill a s who ma ke t hat de scent return. Nonetheless, she
cavalry troops. instructs him to pluck the golden bough of Proser-
Juno, however, has not abandoned her en mity pina, w hich w ill p rotect h im a nd ena ble h im to
toward the Trojans. She sends Iris disguised as an return to t he upper world. Before he u ndertakes
aged T rojan w oman, Be roë, wh o a ppeals t o th e the horrid descent, however, she instructs him to
weariness of t he T rojan w omen, en couraging bury a dead friend. Surprised, the Trojans discov-
them to burn the ships so that they will not be able er on t he beach t he body of t heir comrade Mise-
to venture further on the sea. Ā e women fire the nus, pounded to death by breakers. As they prepare
ships, b ut i n a nswer to A eneas’s p rayer, J upiter his f uneral pyre, A eneas lo cates a nd pl ucks t he
sends a deluge t hat extinguishes the fires, s aving golden bough.
all but four vessels. Ā en, however, a senior mem- After t he f uneral r ites ha ve b een obs erved,
ber o f t he e xpedition, N autes, adv ises A eneas to Aeneas pre pares to de scend t hrough a wide-
allow th ose w ho a re w orn o ut w ith s eafaring to mouthed cavern whose vapors pour forth, killing
become colonists in Sicily and to proceed to Italy birds t hat at tempt to fly o ver i t. A s t he sib yl
only w ith those whose hearts are eager for more guides A eneas th rough th e a irless c ave o n t he
war and for fame. During the night, the shade o f path to Hade s, Virgil sp eaks i n h is o wn v oice,
16 Aeneid

calling u pon t he g ods o f t he u nderworld, t he guilty o f c rimes against the g ods a re p unished.
“voiceless shades,” and upon Phlegeton and Chaos Following d escriptions of s ome of t he s ufferers
to hel p h im re veal w hat l ies b elow. A gain, t he there, the pair passes on to the Groves of Bless-
model of Homer g uides Vi rgil on h is obl igatory edness. A mid t hose f ortunate en ough to sp end
epic journey into the underworld. eternity t here, A eneas finds h is f ather A nchises
Virgil’s Ha des i s a n even m ore f rightening in a pleasant green valley. As he earlier had done
place than Homer’s. At the entrance to the under- with his wife’s ghost, Aeneas fruitlessly attempts
world, Aeneas encounters the personifications of to embrace his father’s shade.
Grief, C ares, D iseases, Ol d A ge, F ear, H unger, Among t he ma tters A nchises e xplains to
Poverty, D eath, T rials, S leep, E vil P leasures, Aeneas i s t he f act that reincarnation i s possible
War, t he F uries, a nd St rife. H e a lso en counters for t hose w ho ha ve had a ll t heir g uilt a bsolved
many of t he mon sters of a ncient mythology— over a very long time. Ā en Anchises prophecies
Gorgons, H arpies, C himaera, Ce ntaurs, a nd what the future holds for Aeneas and his descen-
Geryon—and s ees the shades o f t he r ecently dants. Aeneas will marry Lavinia. Ā ey will pro-
dead, a ll ple ading to b e a llowed i nto Hade s. But duce a r ace o f k ings who w ill b uild a nd r ule
those for whom the rites have not been performed cities—Romulus a mong them—and ev entually
must wait 100 years for entry. Rome w ill e xtend her b oundaries o ver a ll t he
In Hades, Aeneas encounters t he shade o f his world under Caesar and his successor, Augustus,
helmsman, Palinurus, who reports that he did not who w ill r einstitute a g olden a ge o n E arth.
in fact drown. He had t wisted off the ship’s rud- Anchises also previews for Aeneas the activities
der and managed to ma ke landfall when barbar- of t he Rom ans du ring w hat was, f or V irgil, i ts
ians discovered and killed him. Palinurus pleads more re cent h istory. Ā en V irgil ha s A nchises
that Aeneas will find his body and bury it or use utter t he word s t hat surely su mmarize t he
his influence wi th th e g ods so t hat h is r estless author’s own view of Rome’s role in the history of
spirit can find peace. the world: “Roman, t hese w ill b e your a rts: / to
Next, C haron, t he hel msman o f t he r iver teach the ways of peace to those you conquer, / to
Styx, c hallenges A eneas a nd t he sib yl, b ut o n spare defeated peoples, tame the proud.” (Aeneid
seeing the golden bough, he ferries them across. 6:1135–37).
Ā e three-headed guard dog of Hades, Cerberus, Anchises tells Aeneas of the wars he has still to
also th reatens them, b ut t he sib yl to sses h im a face and adv ises him on how to r espond to e ach
drugged honey cake, and he falls asleep. As they circumstance. He t hen conducts Aeneas and t he
descend, they pass the souls of infants, the place sibyl to t he ga te o f iv ory t hrough w hich f alse
where M inos pa sses j udgment o n t he n ewly dreams enter the world above, and through it the
arrived shades. Ā en the pair arrives at the Fields mortals p ass b ack i nto the w orld o f t he l iving.
of Mourning, where, among the shades of tragic Aeneas i mmediately b oards hi s sh ip a nd s ails
women, Ae neas re cognizes and s peaks t o th at north to Caieta—a spot on the coast south near
of Dido. H e o nce m ore a ssures her t hat he le ft Rome named for Aeneas’s nurse, whom he buried
against his will, but, unmoved, she moves off to there as Book 7 begins.
fi nd the shade of her husband, Sychaeus.
Aeneas passes comrades and enemies from the
Trojan W ar, i ncluding Dei phobus, t he Trojan Book 7
who ma rried H elen o f T roy a fter t he de ath o f Having c onducted C aieta’s funeral, Aeneas s ails
Paris. (In Virgil’s version, Helen betrays Deipho- north to the mouth of the Tiber River. As the Tro-
bus to her first husband, the Greek king of Sparta, jans a rrive t here, Vi rgil o nce a gain i nvokes a
Menelaus, who kills the Trojan.) Urged on by the muse, this time Erato the muse of lyric poetry. In
sibyl, Aeneas comes next to the place where those Latium, where t he Trojan adventurers have now
Aeneid 17

arrived, La tinus ru les. H is o nly o ffspring i s a her provocation, he c alls h is people to a rms a nd
daughter, Lavinia, whom he had hoped to give in sets o ut to d rive t he T rojans f rom I taly a nd to
marriage to a p romising successor. When candi- support his claim to Lavinia by force of arms.
dates came forward, however, a nd w hen L atinus Still i nciting t he lo cals, A llecto emb roils t he
consulted t he o racles, t he p ortents p roved u ni- Trojans and the local shepherds in a bloody battle
formly unfavorable. A voice informed him instead over a p et s tag t hat A scanius had w ounded. She
that a stranger was c oming a s a son-in-law w ho then reports to Juno, and Juno dismisses her, say-
would r aise t he na mes of h is de scendants a bove ing that she can handle what else needs doing her-
the stars. self. With her incitement, the war spreads through
Having c ome a shore, t he T rojans u se w heat the region, a nd Vi rgil r ecites a leng thy l itany o f
cakes as platters for a slender meal, and after eating the names and accomplishments of those who join
the fruits from them, they eat the cakes. Aeneas’s Turnus’s cause against the Trojans. Others, how-
son Ascanius—now m ore us ually ca lled Iulus— ever, flock to the standard of the Trojans.
quips that they have eaten their tables after all.
Ā e next day, an embassy of 100 Trojans go to
pay t heir r espects to K ing L atinus a nd r equest Book 8
that th ey b e p ermitted a peaceful set tlement i n In Bo ok 8, the god o f t he T iber R iver, T iberi-
their chosen new home. Latinus welcomes them, nus h imself, a ppears t o A eneas and a dvises
and th ey r ecount t heir s tory a nd p resent t heir him to form an alliance with King Evander of
gifts. Latinus begins thinking about a husband for Pallanteum—the Greek city of the earlier proph-
his daughter. He s ends t he em issaries bac k w ith ecy. F ollowing t he i nstructions o f T iberinus,
rich gifts a fter tel ling t hem o f h is de sire f or a Aeneas sets out with two galleys, going upstream
son- in- law. against the Tiber’s current, and as they row, they
As t he T rojans settle i n and b egin b uilding come upon the promised sign, the white sow with
houses, J uno obs erves t hem a nd g rows a ngry a t her piglets. A rriving by river at Pallanteum, t he
her own apparent weakness. She r ealizes that she Trojans i nterrupt a f estival, receive a w arm wel-
cannot keep Aeneas and Lavinia apart since Jupi- come, and find allies for their cause. In a lengthy
ter and fate have decreed their union, but the god- digression, Virgil has King Evander tell the story
dess can delay the wedding and still exact a h igh of t he fire- breathing, cattle- thieving monster,
price in human blood. Juno enlists t he ser vice of Caucus, w hose de struction b y H ercules ( see
the Furies, and one of them, Allecto, stirs up trou- Her ac les ) was the occasion for the founding of
ble for Aeneas and Latinus. Latinus’s wife, Amata, the current f estival. A s i t w inds down, Evander
had favored one of L avinia’s former su itors, Tur- takes Aeneas on a walking tour of the city as he
nus, w hom V irgil pictures as the king of Artea recounts s omething of its h istory, a nd finally
and the Rutulian people. A mata does her b est to everyone retires for the night.
dissuade La tinus f rom m atching La vinia w ith Ā e r eader, ho wever, finds Ae neas’s mot her,
Aeneas. W hen t hat f ails, she pretends to b e p os- Venus, w akeful a nd busy on his behalf. From her
sessed by Bacchic madness a nd c onceals L avinia husband, Vulcan, she requests god-forged weap-
in t he m ountains t o f orestall t he w edding. H er ons and armor with which to arm her son and his
frenzy p rovokes a k ind o f ma ss h ysteria a mong followers. After a restful night in his wife’s arms,
the matrons of Latium, and they join their queen Vulcan e nters his workshop in t he bowels of t he
in her wild passion. Sicilian v olcano, M ount Et na, a nd g ives o rders
Having p rovoked t his f uror, A llecto a ssumes for a massive shield for Aeneas. It is the first of a
the form of an aged priestess and seeks to i ncite suite o f a rmaments t hat Venus g ives her s on to
Turnus. H e i gnores her u ntil she app ears to h im prepare h im for h is c oming ba ttle. I n add ition
in her own dem onic f orm; t hen, d riven mad b y to t he shield, she p resents h im w ith a hel met, a
18 Aeneid

sword, a b rass b reastplate a nd bac k a rmor, little b y li ttle, Turnus i s beaten back toward the
greaves to protect his lower legs, and a spear. Ā e river Tiber. Finally, almost overwhelmed, Turnus
shield, ho wever, i s V ulcan’s ma jor ac hievement. leaps into the Tiber, which bears him back to h is
On it he ha s pictured t he f uture of Italy a nd t he comrades.
coming victories of the Romans down to the time
of Augustus. Aeneas, of course, does not discern
their meaning as he s lings the coming history of Book 10
his descendants upon his shoulder. As Book 10 opens, the scene shifts to Jupiter’s pal-
ace o n M ount Oly mpus, w here a c ouncil o f t he
gods is taking place. Ā e father of the gods wants
Book 9 to k now w hy t his w ar i s o ccurring a gainst h is
In the meantime, as Book 9 opens, Juno is press- will. Venus ple ads t he c ase f or t he T rojans a nd
ing Turnus not to hesitate but to attack the Trojan asks t hat at le ast he r g randson, A scanius, be
camp. Turnus takes her advice, and from the bat- spared. Juno, for her part, thinks that the Trojans
tlements of their fortress, the Trojan garrison sees are unjustly enjoying the protection of Venus and
the dust cloud raised by the Rutulian troops. Ā e Jupiter and complains that she is within her rights
Trojans m ount a def ense, a nd t he g ods r ally to to su pport t he en emies o f t he T rojans. J upiter,
their a id, t urning th eir beached sh ips i nto s ea annoyed that the Trojans and the L atins c annot
goddesses before the Rutulians’ eyes. Turnus claims settle t heir d ifferences p eaceably, w ithdraws h is
this as a good omen for them. special protection and says that the warring par-
Ā e Trojans, for their part, send messengers to ties can fight out their differences and “the Fates
summon A eneas. Ā ese m essengers, a fter first will find their way.”
slaughtering several of the enemy in their sleep and In the meantime, Aeneas has traveled to Tusca-
commandeering t heir a rms, g o off in s earch o f ny a nd a lso m ade an alliance with the Tuscans.
their commander. A squadron of Turnus’s cavalry Together, Trojan and Tuscan ships sail toward the
spots t hem, a nd one of t hem m isses h is w ay. H is Trojan e ncampment. V irgil n ames th eir l eaders
companion, however, gets away but t hen, missing and describes their 30 ships. Aeneas’s fleet encoun-
his friend, turns back in time to see him captured. ters t he s ea g oddesses i nto w hom h is b eached
He a ttempts a r escue, a nd b oth a re k illed. W hen ships were transformed, and one of the goddesses,
the Rutulians march against the Trojan camp the Cymodoce, spea ks t o h im a nd g ives h im a f ull
next mor ning, t he he ads o f t he t wo em issaries report, w arning h im to p repare to fight Turnus’s
adorn their pikestaffs. As Virgil describes the bat- forces at dawn and defeat the Rutulians.
tle, he calls again upon Calliope, the muse of epic Both Trojans a nd Rutulians see Aeneas’s fleet
poetry, a nd a ll her si sters to i nspire h im to si ng arrive, and Turnus leads his forces against them,
nobly of carnage and mayhem. Ascanius makes his hoping to slaughter Aeneas’s forces as they disem-
first kill, and Apollo himself congratulates the lad bark. Virgil follows the bloody progress of Aeneas
but warns him to make no further war. through Turnus’s troops. Next the poet turns his
Ā en V irgil f ollows T urnus’s s uccesses a s h e attention to t he victories of Ae neas’s Pallantean
cuts his way through the melee. Mars, the god of allies under the command of their general, Pallas.
war, joins the fray, giving heart to Turnus and his Eventually Pallas and Turnus face off with spears,
allies. Ā e ga tes to t he f ortress o pen b riefly to and Turnus kills his enemy. Ā e report of Pallas’s
admit Trojans caught outside. Turnus enters with death reaches Aeneas, who, leaving a trail of dev-
them. He and the giant Trojan Pandarus duel, and astation and carnage, goes seeking Turnus across
Turnus i s v ictorious. He t hen hacks h is w ay the battlefield.
through m any T rojan e nemies. A t l ast t he c ap- Jupiter and Juno now discuss Turnus’s fate, and
tains of the garrison rally their Trojan troops, and, Juno pleads for her champion’s life. Jupiter grants
Aeneid 19

her ple a, b ut w ith c onditions. N ot s atisfied w ith refuses, announcing his willingness to face Aeneas
the outcome, the goddess once again takes matters in single combat.
into her own hands, fashioning a phantom in the Ā en n ews c omes t hat t he Trojans a nd t heir
shape of Aeneas. Ā e phantom encounters Turnus allies are marching on the city. Ā e Latins again
and flees before him, and Turnus follows on. Ā e prepare t o d o b attle, an d T urnus w ill lead t he
phantom boards a ship, and Turnus follows. Once defenders. A mong h is a llies a re t he V olscians,
he is aboard, Juno cuts the anchor cable, and the who are led by a warrior maiden named Camilla.
wind blows the ship with its unwilling passenger She volunteers to set a cavalry trap for the Trojan
out t o s ea. Turnus p rays t hat J upiter w ill r eturn forces, but the goddess of the hunt, Diana, fi nds
him to the battle, but Juno prevails, and t he ship this d istressing. Camilla is a votary of t he go d-
bears the frustrated warrior to safety. dess a nd de ar to h er. Ā e g oddess k nows t hat
Ashore, t he ba ttle r ages o n, a nd Vi rgil o nce Camilla will fall in this fight, and she commands
again follows the fortunes of the principal remain- that an yone w ho w ounds Ca milla m ust s uffer
ing heroes, a nd he en ds t he b ook w ith A eneas’s Diana’s vengeance.
twin victories o ver t he g iant L atin, L ausus, a nd Virgil follows C amilla’s progress t hrough t he
Lausus’s f ather, Mezentius—the l ast s ignificant fight, describing t he many who a re felled by her
threats to the Trojans. weapons. At l ast, h owever, she f alls v ictim to a
sneak a ttack f rom t he T rojan A rruns a nd d ies.
True to her word, the goddess Diana avenges her
Book 11 favorite by killing Arruns with an arrow. Now, as
As Bo ok 11 o pens, A eneas a nnounces h is i nten- Book 11 closes, Turnus a nd A eneas catch sight of
tion t o a ttack the c itadel o f Turnus, b ut first h e each other just at sundown, and the confrontation
must bury his dead and send the body of the hero- Virgil has been seeking must wait another day.
ic Pa llas back to h is father, King Evander. Along
with th e b ody, A eneas s ends a n e scort of 1 ,000
men and such of Pallas’s arms as Turnus had not Book 12
taken after k illing Pa llas. When Latin emissaries Book 12, opens w ith Turnus’s raging. He is a nx-
come to Aeneas seeking permission to collect their ious to c onfront Aeneas a nd settle t he matter of
dead f rom t he ba ttlefield, A eneas g ives t hat per - his m arriage t o Lavinia o nce and f or a ll. K ing
mission and o ffers to ma ke peace—except w ith Latinus a ttempts, n ot f or t he first t ime, to d is-
Turnus h imself. Ā e em issaries v iew t he offer suade T urnus. Ā e k ing pa tiently e xplains t hat
favorably, and they promise to carry it home. fate ha s a lready de termined t he o utcome o f t he
Virgil shifts his scene to t he a rrival of Pa llas’s entire ma tter, t hat i t i s f ruitless to offer f urther
funeral cortege at home and touchingly evokes the resistance to t he T rojans, an d L atinus b lames
grief of his father, Evander. Next he de scribes the himself for letting Turnus and the queen dissuade
funeral pyres on w hich a ll t he c ombatants b urn him from a course of ac tion upon which he had
their dead. In the meantime, the emissaries advise already embarked. Turnus, however, will not turn
making p eace, a nd K ing L atinus, w ho had b een aside f rom his own f atal c ourse a nd i nsists on a
drawn in to e nmity with th e Trojans a gainst h is duel. Even Queen Amata tries to stop him, but to
will, now offers them a generous realm where they no av ail. Turnus sends h is c hallenge to A eneas:
can build their towns and enjoy friendly relations Let the issue be decided by single combat.
with their neighbors. One of his advisers, Drances, Now, however, Juno intervenes once more. She
an e nemy o f T urnus, r eminds t he k ing o f h is counsels a m inor d eity, the I talian g oddess of
earlier i ntention t o bet roth h is d aughter L avinia fountains, Juturna—who is also Turnus’s sister—
to Aeneus. D rances c alls on Turnus to r enounce to save her brother. Ā is Juturna does by making
his intention to ma rry t he g irl. Turnus f uriously a sig n app ear i n t he s kies. A L atin s oothsayer,
20 Aeneid

Tolumnius, i nterprets t he sign to me an that the ise t hat the L atins c an k eep th eir o wn na me
Latins w ill defeat t he Trojans, and he summons and not be called Trojans or Teucrians. Jupiter
the Latins to battle, upsetting the preparations for assents, a nd J uno g ives up he r long-fought
the single combat. Virgil takes an authorial gam- rearguard action. Jupiter sends a Fury to call off
ble i n onc e more deferring t he c limax o f t he the protection that Juturna has been offering her
action. As t he battle begins to r age, Aeneas tries brother. Grieved, Juturna plunges into a river. Ā e
to calm his Trojans by saying that the right of bat- final confrontation takes place, Aeneas vanquish-
tle i s n ow h is a nd h is a lone. A t t hat m oment, es his foe, and just as he is about to let Turnus live,
however, an arrow pierces the Trojan command- he sees that Turnus is wearing a belt that he had
er. Aeneas quits the field to ten d his wound, and taken as a battle trophy from Aeneas’s ally, Pallas.
the b attle o nce more r ises to fe ver pit ch a mid Infuriated, A eneas p lunges h is s word i nto Tur-
scenes of mayhem and carnage. Turnus deals out nus’s chest, and as much of the Aeneid as Virgil was
death across the plain. able to finish before his death ends in line 1271.
Distressed b y h er so n’s w ound, V enus he als When Virgil saw that the end of his own l ife
Aeneas magically. Totally restored to full strength, was approaching, he gave orders for the destruc-
Aeneas a rms for battle a nd, s eeking o ut Turnus, tion o f h is never-finished e pic. H appily f or t he
sends one Latin hero after another to the world of subsequent history of Western letters, his instruc-
shadows. J uturna t ries to p rotect her b rother b y tions, perhaps on the Emperor Augustus’s instruc-
becoming h is cha rioteer and k eeping hi m a way tion, were i gnored, a nd h is poe tic ma sterpiece,
from Aeneas, and many a Trojan and Latin fall as the national epic of a ncient Rome, l ives to a ttest
the heroic enemies, hindered by their divine pro- to his talent.
tectors, try to find one another in the field. New t ranslations of Vi rgil’s Aeneid and criti-
Frustrated by the Latins’ failure to observe any cal c ommentary on it continue to appear as the
of their treaties, Aeneas orders the destruction of bibliography below suggests.
Latinus’s city. Meanwhile, Turnus hears the pan-
icked cries from the city. He tells his sister, still in Bibliography
the guise of his charioteer, that he ha s long since Conte Gian Biaggio. Ā e Poetry of Pathos: Studies in
recognized her, and he insists that she stop inter- Virgillian Epic. Edited by S. J. Harrison. Oxford
fering. No w n ews c omes o f Q ueen A mata’s su i- and New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
cide. Turnus flees from his sister’s protection and Kallendorf, Cr aig. Ā e O ther Vir gil: P essimistic
goes t o f ulfi ll h is p romise o f s ingle c ombat. Readings of the Aeneid in Early Modern Culture.
Aeneas, too, finds his way to the field, and with all Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press,
eyes upon t hem, i n l ine 9 45 of t he final b ook of 2007.
the Aeneid, the adversaries first fling their spears Ross, D avid O . Virgil’s Aeneid: A R eader’s Gu ide.
at one another, and then, amid an epic simile that Malden, Mass. Blackwell, 2007.
compares t hem t o two c harging b ulls, j oin in Virgil. Aeneid. T ranslated b y St anley L ombardo.
hand- to- hand combat. Turnus’s sword breaks, Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 2005.
and A eneas p ursues h im a round t he field five ———. Ā e Ae neid of Vir gil. T ranslated b y A llen
times. Ā en Juturna supplies Turnus with another Mandelbaum. Berkeley: University of California
sword, and Aeneas recovers the spear that he had Press, 1971.
thrown at first. Ā ey turn to face each other in a ———. Ā e Aeneid. Translated by Edward McCrorie.
final contest. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1995.
Watching f rom O lympus, Jupiter a sks Ju no ———. Ā e Ae neid. T ranslated b y F rederick A hl.
what o ther t ricks s he has i n s tore to p rolong New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.
the contest. Juno confesses t hat she ha s i nter- Ziolkowski, Jan M., and Michael C. J. Putnam, eds.
fered and promises to stop if Jupiter will prom- Ā e Vir gilian Tradition: Ā e Fir st Fi fteen H un-
Aeschylus 21
dred Year. New H aven, C onn.: Yale U niversity was guilty of treason when both he and Æschines
Press, 2007. had b een m embers o f a n emba ssy to P hilip.
Although Demosthenes failed to prove that con-
tention and Æschines won the case, the proceed-
Æschines (ca. 385-322 ...) Greek prose ings n onetheless le ft Æschines a n object o f
writer pop ular mistrust among the Athenians.
One of t hree s ons b orn to a s choolmaster a nd a Æschines’ last surviving speech, “Against Cte-
priestess, Æ schines ea rly became, successively, a siphon,” had i ts g enesis i n t he p rofound ha tred
soldier, an actor in tragedies, and a clerk. He had that the less-able Æschines felt for t he more g ift-
distinguished himself for valor i n military cam- ed De mosthenes. C tesiphon had p roposed t hat
paigns, a nd t hough h is f amily’s c ircumstances the Athenians honor Demosthenes with a golden
were hu mble, t hey h ad c ome from g ood stock. crown in recognition of his long and meritorious
His brothers had made na mes for t hemselves i n ser vice to the city. Æ schines b rought a l awsuit
diplomatic s er vice, a nd l ater Æ schines’ f ortunes alleging th e illegality o f C tesiphon’s mot ion. A s
also i mproved w hen h e too b ecame a d iplomat the c ase w as n ot he ard f or si x y ears, i t had t he
and subsequently an orator and politician. practical effect of blocking Demosthenes’ honor.
Ā e c entral que stion f or A thenian d iplomacy When the case did finally reach the docket, how-
during Æschines’ time was whether to appease or ever, the court dismissed its technical correctness
oppose P hilip of Macedon’s e xpansionist a mbi- and found for Demosthenes on grounds of popu-
tions. Æschines belonged to the party advocating lar sympathy.
appeasement, a nd t his c onviction p ut h im o n a Disappointed a nd ex asperated, Æsc hines l eft
collision co urse w ith a much g reater s tatesman Athens and died in exile. In the judgment of his-
and orator, Demost henes, who supported oppos- tory, de spite g enuine a bilities a nd a n ac curate
ing M acedonian e xpansionist a mbitions. Ā e view o f long- range Greek a ffairs, Æ schines
ensuing d isagreement b etween t he t wo orator- allowed his vanity a nd his ad miration for Philip
statesmen r ipened i nto a full- blown personal and his son Alexander to cloud his judgment and
hatred. render him ineffectual.
Demosthenes accused Æschines of being Phil-
ip’s p aid a gent. A lthough t his s eems not to ha ve Bibliography
been t he c ase, i n t he end Æ schines b ecame d is- Æschines. Æschines. T ranslated b y C hris C arey.
credited a nd e mbittered, l eft Athens, a nd en ded Austin: University of Texas Press, 2000.
his life in exile. ———. Ā e S peeches of Æ schines. T ranslated b y
Ā ree of Æ schines’ sp eeches ha ve c ome down Charles Da rwin A dams. New Y ork: G . P . P ut-
to u s: “Against T imarchus” (345 b .c.e.), “ On t he nam’s Sons, 1919.
Embassy” ( 343 b .c.e. ), a nd “ Against C tesiphon” Harris, E dward M onroe. Æschines a nd A thenian
(330 b.c.e.). Ā e first of these speeches was given in Politics. N ew Y ork: O xford U niversity P ress,
connection with a suit that Æschines had brought 1995.
against D emosthenes’ a lly T imarchus o n t he
grounds of leading an immoral life. Ā e object of
the suit was to de flect a nother t hat Demosthenes Aeschylus (525–455 ...) Greek dramatist
had b rought a gainst Æ schines, ac cusing h im o f Born t o a d istinguished Athenian f amily i n a n
working for Philip. Æschines won his suit against era before Athens ach ieved preeminence i n t he
Timarchus, thus denying Demosthenes a powerful Grecian w orld, A eschylus, w ho flourished du r-
ally in his campaign against Æschines. ing t he r ise of A thens, p erformed not able m ili-
“On the Embassy” is Æschines’ defense against tary ser vice at the battles of Salamis (480 b.c. e.)
Demosthenes’ further a ccusation th at Æ schines and Marathon (490 b.c .e.). What little we know
22 Aesop and the fable genre

of h is l ife is co ntained in a s hort b iographical As a dramatist, Aeschylus enjoys a r eputation

preface t o a manuscript of one of h is pl ays. as a n inn ovator: He emphasizes the dramatic
Beyond the information i ncluded there, a small scenes a nd d ownplays t he importance of t he
body o f u nconfi rmed tr adition also s urrounds ch or us i n Gr eek t h eat er . A r istot l e c redits
his personal history. He is t hought, perhaps on Aeschylus with introducing a second actor to the
the basis of the focus on religion and philosophy stage, a nd A eschylus a lso e mulated So phocl es’
that one fi nds in his works, to have been a mem- introduction of a t hird, thereby heightening t he
ber o f t he P ythagorean brotherhood—a g roup verisimilitude of t he a ction an d l essening t he
interested i n s cience, p hilosophy, a nd r eligion. declamatory and choral aspects of Greek theater.
He m ay h ave b een initiated in to the s ecrets o f All Greek dramatic performance was also poetic,
the Eleusinian mysteries in connection with the and Aeschylus’s ma stery of t he i nherent musical
worship of the god Dionysus, and may also have qualities of his language and of apt imagery con-
been cha rged w ith i mpiety f or ha ving r evealed tributed significantly to his outstanding mastery
something ab out t he na ture o f t hose s ecrets to of h is c raft and t o h is c ontinuing r eputation
noninitiates. among lovers of theater. Together with the plays
In considering Aeschylus’s dramatic career, we of Sophocles and Euri pides, the dramas of Aeschy-
are o n s urer g round. Dramatic per for mance in lus provide the only surviving examples of ancient
Athens was part of t he civic worship of Dionysus Greek tragedy.
and took place during the two festivals of the god See a lso c onv en ti ons o f Gr eek d r a ma;
celebrated i n that city each year. For a d ramatist, sa t yr p l ays; t r a gedy i n Gr eece a nd Rome.
having one’s plays p erformed w as t he r esult of a n
entry’s surviving a competition. Each entry included Bibliography
three tragedies a nd a s atyr play. Ā e plays selected Aeschylus. Ā e C omplete P lays. Translated by Carl
further c ompeted a gainst one a nother i n p erfor- R. M ueller. H anover, N. H.: Sm ith a nd K raus,
mance at the festivals. Aeschylus began entering the 2002.
contests in 499 b.c. e. His first victory in the con- Oates, Whitney J., and Eugene O’Neill, Jr. Ā e Com-
test c ame i n 4 84 b.c. e., a nd h is l ast i n 4 58 b.c. e. plete G reek D rama: Al l th e E xtant Tragedies of
with th e th ree p lays c omprising h is Or es tei a: Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides, and the Com-
Ag amemnon, Ā e Choephor i, and Ā e Eumen- edies o f A ristophanes and M enander. . . . New
ides . His entries won first place 13 times. York: Random House, 1938.
In a ll, A eschylus i s k nown to ha ve w ritten
some 9 0 plays. Of t hese, only s even s urvive: the
three n amed a bove and Ā e Suppl iants (also Aesop and the fable genre (fl. sixth
called Ā e Suppliant Women, ca. 492 b.c. e.), Ā e century ...) Greek prose writer
Per sians (472 b.c .e.), Ā e Sev en ag ains t T h ebes Whether o r not Ae sop w as a r eal p erson i s a
(467 b .c .e.), a nd Pr omet he us Bo und (ca. 4 78 matter of debate. A la rge number of fables have
b.c .e.). Ā ese surviving examples reveal the play- clustered around his name nonetheless. A mong
wright’s overwhelming i nterest in religious mat- the ancients, some said he was a Phrygian slave,
ters, which provide the focus of all his surviving eventually set free because of h is talent. Others
work a s he e xamines t heological i ssues t hrough thought him to ha ve been a r etainer a nd f riend
the l ens th at h uman b ehavior p rovides. E ugene of Croesus, the king of Lydia. Ā e best probabili-
O’Neill, J r., c onsiders t hat A eschylus’s Oresteia ty is that once either a fact or a tradition associ-
presents “ one of the g reatest an d m ost p urified ating him with the composition of animal fables
conceptions of godhead . . . [of] Western Europe- emerged, s ubsequent fables—likely co llected
an civilization.” from many sources—became associated with his
Aesop and the fable genre 23

name. W e k now t hat s ome o f t he f ables were despise v ice, a nd to r ecognize t he s ymptoms o f
recounted earlier by other w riters. Hes iod tells each in the reader’s or hearer’s own behavior.
the f able of “ Ā e Ha wk a nd t he N ightengale.” Among t he s tories a ttributed to A esop a nd
Aesc h yl us recounts “Ā e Eagle Wounded by an retold by many are fables familiar to most school
Arrow F letched w ith Its O wn F eathers” a nd children: “Ā e Tortoise and the Hare,” “Ā e Lion
mentions that it was already an old story. A por- and the Mouse,” “Ā e Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,”
tion o f “Ā e F ox A venging h is W rongs o n t he “Ā e Goose that Laid the Golden Eggs,” “Ā e Fox
Eagle” also appears in a fragment from the Greek and the Grapes,” “Ā e Ant and the Grasshopper,”
poet Ar chi l ocu s. “Ā e Dog and the Wolf,” “Ā e Donkey in a Lion’s
Ā e Ro man p oet P h ædr us, w riting i n t he Skin,” “Ā e Boy and the Wolf,” and “Ā e Country
fi rst century c .e., retold some of the stories in a Mouse and the City Mouse.” Ā ree of these tales
pop u lar Latin edition of five books. So, at about are described below.
the same time, did Babrius, telling 123 fables in
Greek verse, using the scazon meter (see q ua n-
tit a ti v e ve r se). Since t hen, t he stories associ- “The Country Mouse and the City
ated w ith Ae sop have be en r etold ma ny t imes, Mouse”
and th ey r emain available i n m any at tractive On a visit to his country friend, a city mouse finds
translations. Ā e corpus of stories has continued life in t he c ountry t oo t ame a nd n ot l uxurious
to grow over the centuries. enough. On a r eturn v isit to h is f riend i n town,
William C axton produced t he first version of the c ountry m ouse finds h imself f aced w ith a ll
Aesop’s stories in English in the late 15th century, sorts o f t asty d ishes to choose f rom. Just a s h e
and the F renchman J ean de L a F ontaine’s 17th- starts to snack, however, someone opens the cup-
century versions remain justly famous. An inter- board d oor, f orcing t he m ice to flee. A fter t he
esting recent translation of some of the tales has same t hing h appens ag ain, t he c ountry m ouse,
been t aken f rom the New York P ublic L ibrary’s still h ungry, de cides to re turn to h is si mple b ut
manuscript c ata logued a s “N YPL Sp enser 5 0.” safe life in the country.
Ā is is a m anuscript version of Ae sop t hat once
belonged to the Medici family of Florence.
“Ā e true fable,” said George Fyler Townsend, “The Goose [sometimes Hen] that Laid
the 19th-century translator (from the Greek) of the Golden Eggs”
almost 300 fables associated with Aesop’s name, A couple owns a fowl that lays a golden egg each
“aims at . . . the representation of human motive, day. Hoping to get rich quick, t hey k ill the bird
and th e i mprovement o f h uman c onduct.” I t to get a t t he s ource. N o g old, ho wever, i s f ound
seeks t o a ccomplish t hese g oals w ithout g iving inside. Ā ey h ave d estroyed t he s ource o f t heir
unwelcome advice and by making the reader or good fortune.
hearer recognize virtue or vice in the behavior of
animals wi th w hich par tic u lar characteristics
have beco me identified. Do nkeys, for e xample, “The Tortoise and the Hare”
are patient, foxes tricky and clever, rabbits timid, A male hare makes fun of a female tortoise’s short
wolves c ruel, a nd b ulls s trong. A lthough b rief, legs a nd s low p rogress. Ā e to rtoise a ssures t he
fables a re c arefully c onstructed to ma ke t heir hare t hat she c an w in a r ace b etween t he t wo.
moral p oint c learly, pa latably, a nd s ympatheti- Certain of victory, the hare take a nap w hile t he
cally. A fable aims to t each morality by showing tortoise ke eps m oving. Ā e ha re o versleeps a nd
the consequences of par ticu lar patterns of behav- finds t hat t he tortoise has won t he race by stick-
ior, to t each t he he arer to ad mire v irtue a nd ing to the goal.
24 Aetius

See also f a bl es (a polog ues) of Gr ee c e a nd Clytemnestra i n Agamemnon. Later A egisthus

Rome. and Ā yestes conspired to slay Atreus.
Atreus l eft three children: Agamemnon, k ing
Bibliography of Mycenae; Menelaus, king of Sparta; and Anax-
Aesop. Ā e M edici Æ sop: N YPL S pencer ibia, the wife of Strophius, king of Phocis. Mene-
50 . . . Translated by Bernard McTeague. New laus ma rried H elen, and A gamemnon ma rried
York: New York Public Library, 2005. her sister Clytemnestra. When Helen ran off with
Aesop’s Fa bles. T ranslated b y George F yler Paris, a prince of Troy, Menelaus gathered a force
Townsend. N ew Y ork: G eorge M unro’s S ons, representing a ll the realms of G reece t o g et h er
1890. back. Agamemnon was the supreme commander
of the force.
Ā e Greek fleet gathered at Aulis, where t hey
Aetius See Ac onti us and K idippe; found t hemselves t rapped by on-shore w inds. A
Callima ch us. soothsayer ex plained t hat u nless Ag amemnon
sacrificed h is o wn c hild, I phigenia, to app ease
the gods, the i nvasion force wou ld permanently
Agamemnon Aeschylus (458 ...) languish.
Agamemnon i s the first p lay in a tri logy, t he Torn b etween civic d uty a nd f amilial a ffec-
Or es tei a, which won the first prize for t r a ge dy tion, A gamemnon e ventually y ielded to p ublic
at the Athenian City Festival of the god Dionysus pressure a nd s acrificed h is d aughter. Ā e c urse
in t he y ear of t he pl ay’s c omposition. Together on t he house o f A treus, w hich had r eactivated
with Ā e Choephor i and Ā e Eumenide s—the with Helen’s infidelity, was being f ulfi lled again.
other plays of the trilogy—this work is regarded Ā e s acrifice p roved e fficacious, however, and
as A esc hyl us’s m asterpiece. I n t his se ries o f the Greek fleet sailed.
tragedies, A eschylus tr aces t he u nfolding of a Outraged at her daughter’s death at Agamem-
curse on the house of Atreus. non’s h ands, C lytemnestra q uickly allowed h er-
Ā e c urse originated w hen, a fter w inning his self to be seduced by Aegisthus, and she and her
bride, H ippodamia, i n a c rooked c hariot r ace, paramour h eld s way i n M ycenae during the 10
Atreus’s f ather, Pelops, w ithheld the r eward he years of t he T rojan c ampaign. I t i s i n t he 1 0th
had p romised h is ac complice, M yrtilus, a nd year t hat the p lay, Agamemnon, o pens w ith a
threw Myrtilus into the sea instead. Ā is resulted watchman’s soliloquy.
in divine curse on the house of Pelops that mani- Wearily w atching the n ight a way, t he w atch-
fested it self in the enmity that a rose between man sudden ly s ees a sig nal fire flare in t he
Pelops’s two sons, Atreus and Ā yestes. distance—a fire that means the Greek forces have
As a r esult o f t heir m utual ha tred, Ā yestes overcome T roy a nd t hat the fleet w ill soo n be
seduced Atreus’s wife, Aethra. In revenge, Atreus arriving h ome. Ā e w atchman r ushes t o i nform
killed Ā yestes’ children and served their cooked the queen.
flesh to their father at dinner. Horrified, Ā yestes Ā e ch or us r ehearses the events leading up to
cursed A treus a nd his d escendants. Ā e o pera- the Trojan War a nd then reflects upon the weak-
tion of t his curse across the subsequent genera- ness of old age. Ā at done, sections of the chorus
tions provided grist for many a Greek playwright’s undertake the dance- like movements of s trophe
mill. and antistrophe as its members describe the augu-
After s educing h is sister-in-law, Ā yestes ries that accompanied the Greek fleet’s departure
involved him self in an incestuous entanglement for T roy. Ā ey r ecount the c ircumstances s ur-
with h is d aughter, P elopia. F rom th is union rounding Agamemnon’s sacrifice of Iphigenia and
sprang Aegisthus, whom we meet as the lover of the flight (or kidnapping) of Helen. Ā e members
Agamemnon 25

of t he c horus a lso re gret that their advanced age implementing t he c urse a fflicting the house o f
and weakness had disqualified them from partici- Atreus.
pating as soldiers in the campaign. Agamemnon enters, followed by his war prize
Ā e chorus, representing t he weight of public and c oncubine, th e c aptive T rojan p riestess o f
opinion, knows the resentment that Clytemnestra Athena a nd pr incess, C assandra. He g ives a n
nourishes a gainst h er h usband f or s acrificing arrival speech in which he singles out O dysseus
their c hild. Ā ey a lso k now a bout t he queen’s as his most loyal supporter i n t he field. Ā en he
relationship w ith Aegisthus. Ā ey t hen break up promises due recompense both to his men and to
into s maller c horal u nits to present a v ariety o f the gods and heads for home. Clytemnestra meets
viewpoints. Ā ey consider A gamemnon’s r ole i n him o n t he w ay a nd f abricates t he h istory o f a
the affair. Ā ey look at the situation from Iphige- lonely, long- suffering, faithful soldier’s wife, pin-
nia’s p erspective. Ā ey p ass j udgment a s c om- ing away in s ometimes near- suicidal depression
mentators, and they review once more the events and solitude for a de cade while her husband was
leading up to the fleet’s departure for Troy. at w ar. S he e xplains t hat, f earing t he p ossibility
Clytemnestra a ppears, and th e le ader o f t he of civil insurrection, she has sent their son Orestes
chorus ad dresses h er. She r eports T roy’s o ver- to h is u ncle St rophius, t he k ing o f P hocis. St ill
throw. When the chorus asks when this happened, pretending, C lytemnestra declares her lo ve a nd
she a mazes t hem by s aying that Troy had f allen invites Agamemnon to step down from his chari-
that v ery n ight. To s atisfy t heir i ncredulity, she ot a nd w alk up on a purple tapestry that the
details the complex system of mountaintop signal queen’s w omen ha ve p repared f or t he o ccasion.
fires that carried home news of the Greek victory At first Agamemnon refuses, explaining that the
so speedily. gesture savors too much of an Eastern potentate
For t he chorus’s benefit (and that of the audi- rather than a Greek s oldier. C lytemnestra, how-
ence) C lytemnestra i magines t he c ircumstances ever, i mplores h is i ndulgence, a nd to h umor h is
within Troy’s walls, both from the point of view wife, A gamemnon s teps do wn f rom t he c hariot
of the defeated Trojans and from that of the victo- and, followed by his spouse, walks on the carpet
rious Greeks. Presciently, however, she hopes that into the palace.
the G reek s oldiers w ill “ reverence w ell” T roy’s The chorus sings a song of foreboding. Then
gods. In the event, of course, they did not. Instead, Clytemnestra reappears and invites Cassandra
they provoked the Trojan deities (who were a lso into the palace. Possessed of the gift of second
those of the Greeks). In retaliation, the gods sent sight, however, Cassandra foresees danger and,
a ferocious storm that sank many Greek ships and distracted in a p rophetic f it, h ints d arkly a t
scattered the fleet all over the Mediterranean. Clytemnestra’s plot. As the chorus continues to
In the next scene, the fleet arrives at Mycenae. comment, Cassandra c hants to A pollo a nd t hen
A herald comes to announce the army’s imminent describes her v ision of C lytemnestra a nd Aegis-
disembarkation and officially a nnounce t he v ic- thus’s u pcoming m urder of A gamemnon, w ho
tory. Clytemnestra masks her real feelings before will be stabbed in his welcoming bath in the next
the h erald, p roclaiming her self to b e a f aithful phase of the curse on the house of Atreus.
spouse and overjoyed at her husband’s safe return. Still i nteracting w ith t he c horus, C assandra
Ā e chorus, of course, knows that she is lying. beholds the specters of the slaughtered children of
Ā e herald next reports on the ferocious storm Ā yestes s erving a s s pectators to t he e vents. She
that scattered the Greek fleet and destroyed many next grieves at her own approaching death at the
ships. H e n otes t he d isappearance o f M enelaus hands of C lytemnestra. She n onetheless s toically
and his sh ip on t he return voyage. H is fate i s a s enters the palace, and the voice of Agamemnon is
yet u nknown. Ā e c horus o nce m ore c onsiders heard f rom w ithin de scribing h is m urderers’
the role of Helen as the agent of an adverse fate in attack upon him.
26 Agathias of Myrina

Ā e c horus he sitates i n c onfusion. A s t hey ———. Oresteia. E nglish a nd Greek. T ranslated b y

continue t o tem porize, the p alace doors s wing George Ā ompson. Ne w Y ork: E veryman’s
open, and a blood-smeared Clytemnestra emerg- Library, 2004.
es. Ā e corpses of Agamemnon and Cassandra lie
side b y si de w ithin. C lytemnestra de scribes t he
details of her deed. Ā e chorus expresses shock at Agathias of Myrina (fl. sixth century ..)
her callousness, but Clytemnestra defends her act Greek historian and poet
as j ustifiable v engeance f or t he de ath o f her A Christian jurist or lawyer who wrote in Greek
daughter a t Aga memnon’s ha nds. C lytemnestra at C onstantinople late in the Helle nisti c Ag e,
and th e c horus enga ge i n a p rolonged deba te Agathias also was an author and editor. Perhaps
about whether or not her crime was justified. She his best- remembered work is a continuation of
identifies h erself a s the h elpless i nstrument of a his tory written b y P r oc opius. In A gathias’s
fate, fulfi lling the curse on the house of Atreus— continuation, h e u sefully de scribes o therwise
helpless, and thus innocent. She predicts that the unknown Sassanid Persian customs and institu-
shades of Agamemnon and of his daughter Iphi- tions d uring t he r eign o f t he Ro man E mperor
genia w ill e mbrace by t he hel lish w aters o f t he Justinian, w hich was t he o verarching sub ject o f
underworld’s river Acheron. Clytemnestra prays his work.
that wi th h er d eed, th e curse o n the house of As a poet, Agathias achieved a considerable con-
Atreus w ill end. Her prayer, however, is doomed temporary r eputation as t he a uthor of e pigr a ms.
to fail. He edited a collection of epigrams by others, and he
Aegisthus a ppears an d r ecounts a gain t he also p enned a c ollection o f historical b iographies
curse on the house of Atreus and its origins. Ā e that enjoyed a considerable reputation.
chorus disapproves of Aegisthus’s role in the pro-
ceedings. He warns its members to accept him as Bibliography
the c ity’s r uler or t hey will s uffer p unishment. Agathias. Ā e H istories. T ranslated b y Joseph D .
Ā e c horus a nd t he n ew k ing e xchange i nsults Frendo. New York: de Gruyter, 1975.
and c ome t o the b rink of c ivil war bef ore Cly - Cameron, A veril. Agathias. O xford: C larendon
temnestra i ntervenes. Ā ey c alm d own, but t he Press, 1970.
mutual snarling continues as the chorus express- ———. Agathias o n t he S assanians. W ashington,
es the hope that Orestes will soon appear and set D.C.: Dumbarton Oaks Papers, nos. 23–24, 1975.
matters right.
Aeschylus’s play explores the inexorable opera-
tion o f f ate and th e role s h uman b eings pl ay, Ajax Sophocles (ca. 440 ...)
willy-nilly, i n a chieving f ate’s o utcomes. C om- Likely the earliest of Sophocl es’ extant dramas,
pared with some of his earlier work, this first play the t r a gedy of Ajax rests on a story drawn from
in Aeschylus’s last trilogy reveals t he apex of his uncertain e arly e pic s ources. I n Ā e Ili ad of
command o f t he r esources a fforded him b y his Homer , Ajax figures as a warrior second in prow-
stage, t he d ramatic t radition w ithin which he ess o nly t o A chilles. Ā e s ources f rom w hich
operated, and the poetic resources of the language Sophocles d raws t he r aw ma terial f or h is pl ay,
in which he wrote. however, a ddress e vents that o ccurred b etween
the times covered in Ā e Iliad and those covered
Bibliography in Homer’s Ā e Odysse y.
Aeschylus. Agamemnon. Translated by Ho ward Following the death of Achilles, Ajax competed
Rubenstein. El Cajon, Calif.: Granite Hills Press, for t he hero ’s w eapons a nd a rmor. Ā e c ompeti-
1998. tion ended in a draw between Ajax and Odysseus,
Ajax 27

and the Greek generals chose to a ward Odysseus sa, whom Ajax had won in battle, enters and, from
the prize. Feeling slighted, d ishonored, a nd f uri- her own point of view, tells the story of Ajax’s mad
ous, Ajax blames Agamemnon and Menelaus for behavior the previous night. Ā e chorus responds
his l oss, a nd he i ntends to m urder t hem d uring sympathetically. As s he finishes h er ta le, A jax i s
the n ight. Ā e g oddess A thena, ho wever, i s d is- heard lamenting offstage. He has returned to his
pleased w ith Ajax; she finds h im overly prideful, right mind and feels ashamed and almost suicid-
and s he ob jects to t he v iolence o f h is i ntended ally d epressed b ecause o f hi s f olly a nd lo ss o f
vengeance. She therefore addles his wits so that in honor on the one hand, and, on the other, because
his madness he mistakes the animals on which the his enemies have escaped him. He begins to court
Greek f orces r ely for fo od a s t he s oldiers t hem- death. Tecmessa tries to dissuade him by making
selves. A jax a ttacks t he bea sts, k illing s ome an d him think about what her fate w ill be if he is no
taking others to his tent where, thinking they are longer alive to protect her. Her family is dead, and
his enemies, he tortures them. Ajax and their child are all she has.
As Sophocles’ drama opens, Odysseus is cau- Ajax a sks t o see h is s on, Eu rysaces, a nd tel ls
tiously combing the area near Ajax’s encampment Tecmessa t hat h is h alf brot her, Teucer—the
when he hears the voice of the goddess Athena— Greeks’ g reatest archer—will p rotect t he y outh.
invisible to O dysseus b ut n ot to t he audience— Ajax s eems d etermined t o take hi s own l ife. H e
who asks him what he is doing. He replies that he makes T ecmessa t ake t he c hild a nd le ave, a nd
is tracking Ajax, whom Odysseus suspects of hav- then h e c loses th e d oors. Ā e c horus g rieves a t
ing slaughtered all the herds and flocks captured what they think is coming.
from th e T rojans. I n th e e nsuing e xchange Armed with a sword, Ajax reenters, and so does
between the two, we learn that Ajax had intended Tecmessa. He announces his intention to seek abso-
to murder the generals and their guards, but that lution f rom At hena, bu ry his s word i n t he e arth,
the g oddess had de ceived h is s enses s o t hat he and become a pilgrim of sorts for a while. Ā e cho-
thought the animals were the men. rus is much relieved at this speech and is happy that
Athena leads Odysseus to Ajax’s tent and calls Ajax seems to have put aside his blood feud with the
for him. In a humorous exchange in which Odys- sons of Atreus, Agamemon and Menelaus. (For the
seus appears afraid of Ajax, Odysseus tries to per- curse o n the house o f A treus, s ee Ag amemnon).
suade A thena n ot to d isturb t he mad man. Ā e Ajax exits on his journey.
goddess cautions Odysseus against cowardice and A messenger enters to announce Teucer’s return.
promises t hat s he w ill ma ke h im i nvisible to We learn that Teucer had instructed the messenger
Ajax’s eyes. to s ee t hat A jax d id n ot le ave h is qu arters b efore
Still w ildly d istracted, A jax em erges w ith a Teucer’s arrival. Ā e prophet Calchas had predicted
bloody w hip i n h is ha nd. He t hinks t hat he ha s that if Ajax left his tents, Teucer would not again see
killed both Agamemnon and Menelaus and that him among the living. In the same speech, the mes-
he hold s O dysseus pr isoner. A jax pl ans to flog senger reports that Ajax had offended the gods by
him u nmercifully b efore he k ills h im. A thena suggesting t hat he could win battles without their
objects, b ut Ajax i nsists a nd w ithdraws to c arry aid, r elying s olely o n h is o wn s trength. A thena
out his plan. plans Ajax’s death, though if he can make it through
Odysseus r eflects o n h uman weakness, a nd this one day, he stands a chance of survival.
Athena w arns him to consider Ajax’s example of Tecmessa l earns of all this and s ends e very-
the consequences of uttering “proud words against one o ff in s everal dir ections to seek Ajax and
the g ods.” A thena d isappears, Od ysseus ex its, bring him back. Ā e scene sh ift s, and t he audi-
and the c hor us, clad a s Ajax’s soldiers and sub- ence fi nds h im fi rst. H e is alone in prayer and
jects, sing of his misery. Ā en Ajax’s wife, Tecmes- contemplating suicide. A fter b idding d aylight
28 Akkadian

and earthly joys a fi nal f arewell, he f alls on h is wish both warriors would show better judgment.
sword and perishes. Teucer r eproves A gamemnon a nd reminds h im
Portraying a search party, the chorus takes the of Ajax’s ac complishments i n t he T rojan W ar.
stage, looking here and there, but Tecmessa finds Teucer c autions A gamemnon a gainst presuming
her husband’s body a nd covers it w ith her c loak. to attack him.
Ā e chorus mourns, while she considers what may Odysseus n ow en ters and c alms t he r uffled
become of her. Teucer enters, grieves for Ajax, and waters with wise counsel. He explains the sacrile-
suddenly remembers the child Eurysaces, who has gious folly of dishonoring a brave dead man whom
been left alone in the tents. He sends for him lest one hated while alive. After further discussion of
an enemy carry him off. this issue, everyone accepts Odysseus’s counsel—
Teucer uncovers his brother’s body and grieves though Agamemnon does so grudgingly—and the
over it. Ā e leader of the chorus fi nally interrupts funeral proceeds with full honors.
the g rieving, adv ising T eucer to c onsider t he
funeral. A t th is moment, t he k ing of S parta, Bibliography
Menelaus, son of Atreus, enters with his retinue. Sophocles. Ajax. Translated by Shomit Dutta. Cam-
He ord ers Teucer not to bury Ajax, but to le ave bridge a nd New Y ork: C ambridge U niversity
him where he lies. Depriving a corpse of a proper Press, 2001.
burial is a crime against the gods. However much
one h ates o ne’s en emy, wh en t hat en emy d ies,
enmity d ies with him. Ā e spirit of a n u nburied Akkadian (Babylonian-Assyrian)
person is doomed to wander between two worlds An an cient S emitic l anguage w ith s everal d ia-
and cannot enter the underworld. Menelaus pride- lects, A kkadian died out in early antiquity, well
fully rehearses t he crimes of t he living Ajax a nd before the Common Era. It was, however, a liter-
declares his intention to punish the dead man for ary as well as a spoken tongue, and its surviving
them. He forbids Teucer to bu ry his b rother o n documents are preserved in c uneif or m writing.
pain o f de ath. Ā is t heme is a f requent o ne i n Among these documents one finds an A kkadian
Greek d rama; w e s ee i ts o peration a gain, f or version of t he e arliest su rviving e pic —Ā e Gil -
example, in Sophocles’ Ant ig one. ga mesh Ep ic . Taken from an even earlier Sume-
Teucer, h owever, i s u nruffled by Menelaus’s rian v ersion o f t he l egend of t he historical
order. He points out that Menelaus has no author- Gilgamesh, King of Uruk, the epic contains a ver-
ity over him, nor over Ajax. Teucer will bury the sion o f t he flood l egend la ter appearing in t he
body properly, a nd i f Menelaus i magines he ca n Hebr ew Bibl e as the story of Noah.
do something about it, he can try.
Ā e c horus g rows n er vous a s t he tem pers o f Bibliography
the G reek c aptains r ise, ac companied b y t hreat Diakonoff, I . M ., e d. Early A ntiquity. Chicago a nd
and counterthreat, boast and counter- boast. With London: Ā e University of Chicago Press, 1991.
a final exchange of insults, Menelaus and his reti-
nue e xit. Ā e c horus p redicts a ba ttle w ill s oon
follow. Alcaeus (Alkaios) (ca. 630–ca.580 ...)
Tecmessa a nd E urysaces enter and begin per- Greek poet
forming funeral rites. Teucer commands that the Like his contemporary, the poet Sa ppho, Alcae-
troops stand guard until he has dug his brother’s us was born in the city-state of Mytilene on the
grave. Ā e chorus frets about the events to come. island o f L esbos in the Aegean Sea. Also like
Teucer a nd A gamemnon enter a lmost si mul- Sappho, A lcaeus c omposed v erses w ritten i n
taneously, a nd Agamemnon ber ates Teucer w ith the local Aeolic dialect and intended to be sung
bitter sarcasm that makes the chorus shudder and and self-accompanied on a lyre. While Sappho’s
Alcestis 29

name i s more w idely re cognized t han that o f Bibliography

Alcaeus, more of the latter’s poetry has survived. Martin, H ubert, Jr. Alcaeus. N ew Y ork: T wayne
Ā e fragmentary remains of Alcaeus’s verse sug- Publishers, Inc., 1972.
gest that he did not principally celebrate the pas- Rayor, Diane J., t rans. Sappho’s Lyre: Archaic Lyric
sion o f lo ve, a s d id h is m ore f amous f emale and W omen P oets of An cient G reece. Berkeley:
contemporary. Instead, in addition to the hymns University of California Press, 1991.
that he addressed to Apollo, Hermes, Hephaes- Reynolds, M argaret. Ā e S appho C ampanion. N ew
tus, a nd t he demi-gods C astor a nd Polydeuces, York: Palgrave, 2000.
we fi nd f ragments of p olitical v erse w ritten to Romilly, Jacqueline de. A Short History of Greek Lit-
oppose t he d espotic r uler Myrsilus. Ā is po liti- erature. Translated by Lillian Doherty. Chicago:
cal s tand r esulted i n a p eriod o f e xile f or t he Ā e University of Chicago Press, 1985.
poet. A fter M yrsilus wa s o verthrown, h owever,
Alcaeus’s fr iend P ittakos came to power. Criti-
cizing his erstwhile comrade’s exercise of author- Alcestis Euripides (438 ...)
ity resulted in two more periods of exile for the A tragicomedy, Alcestis was first presented as the
poet, t hough i n the e nd P ittakos a nd A lcaeus fourth in the series of plays Eur ipide s entered in
apparently reconciled. the Gr eat D ionysia at Athens in 438. Ordinari-
In addition to his political diatribes, some of the ly, an entry comprised three tragedies and a satyr
fragments of Alcaeus’s v erse c elebrate t he jo ys o f play, but here Euripides varies the formula with
wine and drinking. Wine, he su ggests, is an anti- a po tentially tragic story t hat n onetheless ha s a
dote to g rief. A s oldier’s delight in weaponry a lso happy ending.
appears in descriptions contained in a fragment of An o ld t ale l ies b ehind t he a ction o f Alcestis.
verse called “Ā e Armory.” In it Alcaeus describes Ā e ruler of the gods, Zeus, became annoyed with
“shining h elmets” with “horse-hair plumes.” He his son, Apollo t he su n god, for Apollo’s revenge
details polished bronze armor designed to protect slaying of the Cyclops who had forged Zeus’s thun-
the chest and back and also that worn on the lower derbolts. As a punishment, Apollo was sentenced
leg. Ā e armor is “strong to stop arrows and spears.” to serve as a s lave to a m ortal. He performed this
He c atalogues br oad s words a nd s hields i n t he ser vice i n t he house of A dmetus, t he a dmirable
same fragment of verse (Z 34). king o f Ā essaly, wh o t reated A pollo w ith g reat
A c elebrated de scription o f a sh ipwreck i n a kindness. As a reward, Apollo interceded with the
storm survives in a pair of fragments preserving Fates to renegotiate the appointed date for Adme-
parts o f t he s ame p oem: “ Ā e Sh ip: I a nd I I.” tus’s premature death. Driving a hard bargain, the
Alcaeus i nvented a three-line stanza—the alcaic Fates a greed to an extension, providing someone
stanza. (See qua nt it at ive ve r se.) could be f ound to d ie e arly i n t he k ing’s pl ace.
Alcaeus a lso pro duced m ythological n arra- Most of Admetus’s friends and kinfolk, including
tives drawn from the familiar material surround- his father and his mother, refused. His wife Alces-
ing t he Trojan War. A n especially long (49-line) tis, however, agreed, and the play opens on the day
middle s ection o f s uch a na rrative su rvives i n appointed for her death.
which the poet recounts the violation of the Tro- Apollo b egins by re counting t he action sum-
jan princess and priestess Cassandra by the Greek marized above, and as he ends his speech, Death
warrior Ajax. enters with a d rawn sword. Ā e two confer, with
Ā e f act t hat S appho a nd A lcaeus were c on- Apollo u nsuccessfully t rying to p ersuade D eath
temporaries gave rise to later suggestions that, as to delay taking Alcestis. Ā ey exit, and the ch o-
well as being fellow poets, they were lovers, or at ru s and a servant from the palace take the stage.
least f riends. O thers h ave s uggested t hat t hey Ā e s ervant r eports A lcestis’s c alm a nd c oura-
were professional rivals. geous behavior as she prays for her c hildren and
30 Alexandrine Age

her husband a nd w ishes t hem f arewell. Ā e s er- He blames Ad metus for not confessing the death
vant p redicts t hat Ad metus wou ld b e better off of his wife. Ā en he explains that he must continue
dead than alive, having lost such a spouse. Adme- on his quest but that he wishes to leave the woman
tus, the servant reports, is weeping while, stricken for Admetus to take care of. Admetus recognizes a
with her final illness, Alcestis hovers on the brink shape l ike t hat o f A lcestis a nd a sks H eracles t o
of death. leave t he woman w ith s omeone else. A fter much
As t he chorus prays for her r eprieve, A lcestis hemming a nd ha wing d uring w hich A dmetus
enters, su pported b y A dmetus. Sh e i s cha nting fails t o r ecognize h is r estored A lcestis, H eracles
and r eporting her p remonitory v isions o f her unveils her, and the miracle is revealed. Heracles
death. She t hen ma kes a l ast r equest. She a sks has overcome death. Admetus may not, however,
Admetus no t to r emarry b ecause a s tepmother hear his wife speak until the third dawn has risen
might be unkind to her children. Admetus prom- and she ha s been purified f rom her consecration
ised to wear mourning for t he rest of h is l ife, to to t he g ods o f t he u nderworld. P roclaiming h is
give up partying, and to sleep with a carved image happiness, Admetus leads Alcestis into the palace,
of Alcestis. She places her children’s hands in her and the chorus chants of the capacity of the gods
husband’s, bids t hem a ll f arewell, a nd d ies. to bring about the unexpected.
Admetus gives orders respecting her funeral, and See also c omedy in Gr eec e an d Rome; c on-
the chorus grieves. ve nt ions of Gr eek dr ama ; t r a gedy in Gr eece
Heracles, i n t his p lay a c omic c haracter, n ow and Rome; sa t yr p l ays.
enters. He is en route to fulfilling the eighth of the
labors that Eurystheus had imposed on him—tam- Bibliography
ing the carnivorous horses of Diomedes. Although Euripides. Alcestis [Greek a nd E nglish]. Translated
in m ourning, A dmetus w elcomes Heracles a s a by D. J. C onacher. Wi ltshire, U.K.: A ris & P hil-
guest, n ot a dmitting th at his w ife h as d ied. Ā e lips, 1988.
chorus reproves the king for entertaining a v isitor ———. Alcestis. Ā ree Tragedies of Eur ipides. Trans-
while in mourning. lated by Paul Roche. New York: Mentor, 1973.
Alcestis’s body is carried in procession, and her
ancient father- in- law, Pheres, arrives. He compli-
ments Admetus on marrying a woman who would Alexandrine Age See Hellenistic A ge.
die for him. Ā e egocentric Admetus tel ls Pheres
he is unwelcome and that the old man should have
made t he s acrifice ra ther than Al cestis. P heres Alkman (Alcman) (fl. seventh century
explains t o A dmetus hi s o wn r esponsibility f or ...) Greek Poet
himself, a nd t he a rgument b etween t hem e sca- According to the literary historian Herbert Weir
lates as the chorus tries to calm the two down. Ā e Smyth, t he Spa rtan p oet A lkman w as t he “chief
exchange ends with Admetus cursing his father. cultivator” and perhaps the creator of “early cho-
Meanwhile, b ack at t he p alace, H eracles is ral p oetry.” Born at t he Lydian c ity of Sardia in
abusing Admetus’s hospitality by getting roaring Asia Minor, A lkman migrated to Sparta—possi-
drunk. From a disapproving servant he learns that bly a s a p risoner of war who had b een enslaved.
Alcestis h as d ied. Re alizing t he s train he ha s His poetic mastery led to his rising to become the
placed on his host’s hospitality, Heracles instantly official teacher of the state choruses of Sparta.
sobers up and resolves to ambush Death, descend Six b ooks (each b ook w as a s croll) c ollecting
into t he underworld, a nd b ring A lcestis bac k to Alkman’s p oems c irculated t hrough the G reek
the land of the living. world lon g a fter h is de ath. O rganized b y t ype,
Admetus returns home, and he and the chorus these included songs t hat d isplay sp ecial respect
grieve. H eracles enters, l eading a v eiled w oman. for a nd ga llantry toward women. C alled parthe-
alphabet 31

neia, these songs were sung by choirs of boys or of writing such as c uneif or m and hier ogl yphs.
virgins. Next came a book of hymns i n ho nor Using a finite n umber o f s ymbols to r epresent,
of t he gods the S partans e specially r everenced: first, t he consonants a nd i nitial vowels of a l an-
Zeus, Hera, A rtemis, a nd A phrodite. Two o ther guage an d l ater t he i nterior a nd final v owels a s
books co ntained hyporchemes (songs a ssociated well, t he a lphabet proved m uch more e fficient
with r itual d ance a nd add ressed to g ods) a nd than systems of writing that represented ideas, as
paians (songs in praise of the gods—especially did many hieroglyphs a nd c uneiform ma rkings;
Apollo). A fift h book contained songs called eroti- that u sed s ymbols th at r epresented s yllables; or
ka (erotic s ongs), a subg enre of c horal s ong t hat that combined all three systems. Instead of need-
Alkman i nvented. F inally, t he w orks t hat su r- ing thousands of ideograms, as Chinese d id a nd
vived am ong t he a ncients i ncluded a b ook t hat does, for instance, to represent words and phras-
brought together his hymeneia (songs a ssociated es, the alphabet can infinitely recombine its rela-
with wedding processions). tively f ew s ymbols to r epresent a ll t he p ossible
Alkman w as r egarded a s an un precedented sound combinations of a language.
master o f t he co mplexities o f Gr eek m etrics. From its place of origin in the vicinity of ancient
Later Greek grammarians at Alexandria in Egypt Israel, the alphabet seems to have been carried by
viewed h im a s the p remier e xemplar o f Gr eek Phoenician t raders a nd others t hroughout t he
melic p oetry. H is c horal s ongs were s till p er- Mediterranean wor ld, e ventually b ecoming t he
formed at At hens a s late as the time of Pericles, accepted system for representing languages as dis-
and Herbert Weir Smyth presents evidence of his parate as Greek, Latin, Hungarian, Russian, Ara-
works still being read in the second century of the bic, a nd Kore an. Over tim e, t he f orms o f le tters
Common Era. (See Per ic l es a nd Fa bius.) modified, and additions were introduced to repre-
Said t o h ave lived t o a r ipe ol d a ge, A lkman sent sounds that occurred in some languages but
was b uried i n S parta n ear t he tombs o f t hose had b een a bsent f rom t he to ngues e arlier r epre-
whose l ives he had c elebrated i n f uneral p oems. sented. Ā us, t hough t he a lphabet w as i nvented
Only f ragmentary remains of his works a re now once a nd onc e on ly, t hose w ho l ater ado pted i t
extant. made modifications. St. Cyril, for example, changed
the form of some letters and introduced some new
Bibliography ones when he brought his Cyrillic alphabet to the
Davenport, G uy, t rans. Archilochus, S appho, A lk- speakers o f Sla vic l anguages, i ncluding R ussian.
man: Ā ree Lyric Poets of th e Late Greek Bronze Sometimes, to o, t he for m of le tters m odified, o r
Age. Berkeley: U niversity o f Ca lifornia P ress, the s ounds th ey r epresented s hifted, a s wa s t he
1980. case in t he development of t he r unic a lphabet to
Smyth, Herbert Weir. Greek Melic Poets. New York: represent the Scandinavian languages of the Ger-
Biblo and Tannen, 1963. manic heroic age.
Writing s eems to ha ve been t wice i ntroduced
into the ancient Greek language. It appeared first
Almagest See Pt olemy . as Lin ear B—a syllabary w ith 87 characters—
during t he a scendancy of Minoan c ivilization.
When that civilization fell victim to a devastating
alphabet natural disaster—likely an e arthquake wi th an
Originally developed to represent t he consonant accompanying s eries of tsunamis—the s yllabary
sounds o f a ncient H ebrew a nd r elated to ngues then used by the speakers of Greek d isappeared.
like P hoenician, M oabite, a nd A ramaic, t he A t rue a lphabet app eared i n t he Gr eek l iterary
alphabet, which first appeared around 1000 b.c .e., world on t he i sland o f L esbos a t a bout t he t ime
achieved a d istinct advantage over other systems that th e p oet S a ppho flourished. Ā e Gr eeks
32 Ambrose, St.

wrote their s cript to b e r ead bac k a nd f orth “ as privileges, a nd spiritual precedence of t he church
the ox ploughs” and represented vowels as well as in disagreements with temporal authority.
consonants w ith a lphabetic s ymbols. From t he Not a pa rticularly original C hristian t hinker,
Greeks, alphabetic writing spread throughout the Ambrose f ollowed such pre decessors a s P hilo,
rest of Western Europe. Or igen, a nd St . Ba sil i n i nterpreting s cripture.
Ā e e fficiencies o f a lphabetic script have not More or iginal a re h is d iscussions o f m orality,
been lost on scholars a nd politicians looking for Christian d uty, and a sceticism, e specially t he
ways t o r epresent t heir l anguages. I n t he 1 5th Christian devotion to virginity. He is particularly
century c .e., s cholars c ommissioned b y K ing remembered as a hymnodist and is credited with
Sejong of Korea adapted from Arabic an alphabet founding the European tradition of spiritual song.
to r epresent t he Korean l anguage, a nd si nce t he He w as, b eyond that, a splendid preacher w ith a
19th century, Japan has had t wo systems for rep- gift for finding uplifting a llegory in s criptural
resenting t he l anguage, t he a ncient o ne i deo- text. It was his pastoral eloquence rather than his
graphic and the modern one alphabetic. original t hinking that provided the insights into
scripture that converted St. August ine of Hippo
Bibliography to Christianity.
Daniels, Peter T., a nd Wi lliam Br ight. Ā e World’s Writing o f h is mentor in the faith, St. Augus-
Writing S ystems. New Y ork: O xford U niversity tine once observed that St. Ambrose was a si lent
Press, 1996. reader. Augustine viewed this habit as something
of a nove lty, s ince re ading a loud w as t he m ore
usual practice at that time.
Ambrose, St. (ca. 339–397 ..) Roman
poet-hymnodist Bibliography
A Ro man a ristocrat b orn a t T reves, A mbrose “Ambrose, St .” N ew Catholic E ncyclopedia. Vol. 1 .
grew up in a Christian family. He studied the lib- Edited by William J. McDonald et al. New York:
eral a rts, l aw, a nd t he Greek l anguage. By a bout McGraw- Hill, 1967.
his 30th year, he had been appointed as governor Brown, Peter. Augustine o f Hi ppo: A Biog raphy.
of Liguria and Aemilia, making his headquarters Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of Califor-
at Milan. nia Press, 2000.
A d ispute b etween t he e astern a nd w estern
branches of C hristianity w as r apidly h eading
toward schism in the church, and, when the east- Ammianus Marcellinus (fl. late fourth
ern pa rty’s A rian b ishop o f M ilan, A uxentius, century ..) Greek historian
died, the t wo factions began to qu arrel v iolently Born t o a G reek fa mily i n S yria a t An tioch,
over h is suc cessor. A s g overnor, A mbrose e ven- Ammianus Marcellinus pursued an adventurous
handedly put down the violence and, as the only military career as a young and middle- aged man
person trusted by both factions, soon found him- both i n E urope a nd i n A sia M inor. Ā at c areer
self involuntarily drafted to become the bishop of early included a stint as a member of the emperor
Milan. Costantius II ’s p ersonal bodyguard. When the
Ā ough he pr ofessed C hristianity, A mbrose soldiering phase of his life ended and after a peri-
had never b een bapt ized. A s s oon a s t hat i mpor- od of travel, he settled in Rome to work on what
tant formality was attended to, A mbrose assumed was to become the last major work in Latin about
the cathedral throne. Seeing God’s will in the chain the history of the Roman Empire.
of events leading to his sudden elevation from lay- Beginning with the reign of the emperor Nerva
man to b ishop, A mbrose to ok h is responsibilities (ruled 9 6–98 c .e.), in 31 books (papyrus scrolls)
very seriously, becoming a champion of the rights, Ammianus f ollowed the f ortunes o f th e e mpire
Amphitryon 33

through the reign o f t he em peror Valens (ruled as late as 390, but apparently the historian’s ener-
364–78). C ollected u nder t he t itle Rerum Ge sta- gies could no longer su stain t he l abor necessary
rum, ([A History] of deeds done), some 18 books to a continuation of his task.
of Ammianus’s chronicle survive. Ā ese effective- Ammianus’s work was admired by and a major
ly c ontinue e arlier Ro man h istories w ritten b y source f or t he c elebrated 1 8th-century Br itish
Ta c it us and by Sueto nius. historian, Edward Gibbon.
Ā ough s ome c onsider Rerum Ge starum sty-
listically inferior owing to the fact that Latin was Bibliography
Ammianus’s s econd l anguage, an d th ough i ts Ammianus M arcellinus. Ammianus Ma rcellinus
facts a re s ometimes c ontradicted by b etter d ata, with an English Translation. Translated b y J ohn
his di gressions a re often a musing, a nd he i s a n C. Rolfe. 3 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Uni-
instructive commentator o n h istorical e vents. versity Press, 1956.
Ā is observation especially applies the closer the Walter Hamilton, ed. and trans. Ammianus Marcel-
historian’s narrative comes to h is own t ime. H is linus: Ā e L ater Ro man Emp ire ( A.D. 3 54–78).
colorful d escriptions of military a ction ar e Harmondsworth, U.K.: Penguin Books, 1986.
action-packed a nd g ripping, a nd he do es n ot
spare the rough edge of his tongue when he con-
siders the behavior of Roman citizens, regardless Amphitryon Titus Maccius Plautus
of their rank, to be inappropriate. (ca. second–third century ...)
Moreover, h e i s e venhanded i n t reating reli- Ā ough by Pl aut us’s day the story of Amphitry-
gious m atters. W hile A mmianus w as l ikely a on, t he Ā eban general a nd foster father of Her-
pagan, p osterity r emains u ncertain a bout t he cules (see Her ac l es,) had a lready b een lo ng
historian’s p rivate r eligious b eliefs. W e k now familiar to t he t heatergoers of Greece a nd l ikely
that while on the one hand he admired the pagan those of Rome as well, Plautus’s version does not
emperor Jul ia nus ( Julian the Apostate), on the appear to d raw u pon a s ingle t heatrical s ource.
other, A mmianus d eplored t hat r uler’s h arsh Instead, in his Amphitryon, Plautus creates a new
repression of t he C hristians. A dditionally, t he theatrical genre—a t ragicomedy. T ragedy o ften
historian strongly favored religious toleration. featured gods, and comedy featured slaves. Both
Ā e portion of Ammianus’s work that survives figure importantly in Amphitryon.
examines cl osely t he emperors u nder wh ose Ā at t his double-natured theatrical ty pe had
reigns h e s erved ac tively. Ā is pe riod i ncludes its genesis on a Ro man stage is utterly appropri-
the overlapping reigns of C onstantius I I a nd h is ate, for as the play’s recent translator, Constance
cousin J ulianus, m entioned a bove. Ā ey se rved Carrier, reminds us, “the idea of twins” fascinat-
uneasily together as a ma jor and a le sser Augus- ed R oman c ulture. I n Amphitryon, do ubling i s
tus (that i s, a s co-emperors) a nd seemed he aded the o rder o f t he d ay. B eyond t he c onceptual
toward civil war when Constantius died, leaving framework of t he t ragicomic action, t he princi-
Julianus as uncontested emperor. pal ma le characters appear as doubles. Ā e k ing
In his final major discussion, Ammianus treats of the gods, Jupiter, takes the shape of the general
in detail the invasion of the Roman Empire from Amphitryon, so that the randy god may have his
beyond the Danube River by two separate contin- way w ith A mphitryon’s already p regnant wi fe,
gents of G oths i n 3 76 c. e. A mmianus de scribes Alcmena.
their eventual victory over the Romans at the Bat- Ā e g od M ercury, w ho sp eaks a leng thy p ro-
tle o f H adrianople i n 378—the b attle i n w hich logue e xplaining t he c oncept o f t ragicomedy to
Valens f ell. D esultory no tes t hereafter pe rhaps the a udience, do ubles a s A mphitryon’s s lave,
suggest Ammianus’s intention to continue the his- Sosia, b y ta king on t he l atter’s a ppearance an d
tory. S ome o f t he ma tters de scribed a re d atable house holdfunctions.
34 Amphitryon

Following Me rcury’s p rologue, ac t 1 b egins her husband’s sudden de parture. W hen she s ees
with th e r eal S osia’s r eturn fr om th e Ā ebans’ him approaching, she wonders if he claimed to be
victorious battle against the Teleboans. Sosia has leaving to te st her fidelity. She g oes to m eet him,
been sent by his master to tell Amphitryon’s wife, and w hen h e gr eets h er as if h e h as been l ong
Alcmena, o f th e v ictory a nd t hat she sho uld away, she thinks he mocks her.
expect h er h usband’s imm ediate return. S osia Amphitryon s wears t hat he ha s n ot s een her
notices, ho wever, that th e n ight sky’s co nstella- for mont hs. A s A lcmena de tails t he w ay t hey
tions have not moved for hours and that night is spent their time together the day before, Amphi-
continuing much longer than usual. Ā e audience tryon becomes convinced of her infidelity. She is
soon d iscovers t hat J upiter has c ommanded t he able to give him details of his recent battle, how-
stars to st and st ill while he i ndulges h is pa ssion ever, a nd w hen he c hallenges he r, s he pro duces
for A lcmena. To assure their privacy, Jupiter has the golden bowl that Amphitryon had received as
stationed h is s on, M ercury, a t t he do or o f t he a t rophy o f v ictory. H e u nseals t he b ox t hat he
house in the shape of Sosia. thinks c ontains th e b owl, a nd i t ha s v anished.
Invisible f or t he m oment, M ercury l istens a s Finding t he b ox em pty, S osia i s c onvinced t hat
the r eal S osia r ehearses h is m essage f or A lcme- Amphitryon w as in deed a t home w ith his w ife
na. Sosia plans to spice up his report and its con- the previous day, and that he had left the bowl in
sequences w ith so me be lievable li es. M ercury her safekeeping.
listens to Sosia’s rehearsal and then, in the slave’s Amphitryon now feels certain that his wife has
own shape, c onfronts h im. M ercury ha s a ll t he betrayed him, and the virtuous Alcmena spirited-
advantages of omniscience and t hus can pass a ll ly defends her chastity. Amphitryon sends for her
the tests that Sosia can imagine to prove that he is kinsman, Naucratis, who spent t he previous day
not c onfronting h imself. F inally t he r eal S osia with him, to convince her of his absence. Ā e play
becomes so ra ttled t hat he b egins to do ubt h is seems destined for a tragic outcome.
own identity, and he runs away in fright. Mercury Jupiter i n the gu ise o f A mphitryon t akes t he
gloats at the prospect of Sosia’s report to Amphi- stage a s ac t 3 o pens. He sp eaks a b rief prologue
tryon and the confusion that report will produce. and d eclares h is i ntention to rescue A lcmena
Mercury t hen e xplains to t he a udience t hat from her husband’s accusations. He also tells the
Alcmena is expecting two children. Amphitryon audience that he means to arrange an easy deliv-
has f athered one of t hem, a 1 0-month ba by. Ā e ery when Alcmena bears her half-brother twins.
other, a seven-month ba by, i s Jupiter’s offspring. Alcmena, in the meantime, has decided to leave
Jupiter has arranged matters so that Alcmena will her je alous h usband, pac ked u p her b elongings,
bear bo th ch ildren a t o ne lying-in an d f orestall and left the house with her ma ids. In the guise of
any gossip about their mother’s behavior. Amphitryon, Jupiter tries to soothe her. She resists
Jupiter as Amphitryon and Alcmena take the his blandishments. Jupiter- as- Amphitryon claims
stage. A lcmena pleads w ith he r s upposed h us- that he meant everything as a little joke. Alcmena
band not to rush away. Jupiter, however, explains says h is j oke h as w ounded her he art. W hen her
that his place is with his troops and that he must celestial lover calls on himself to curse Amphitry-
leave. He releases the stars from their suspended on, ho wever, she r elents, u rging h im to p ray
state, a nd t he lo ng n ight a nd t he fi rst ac t en d instead to bless Amphitryon, and the two make up
together. their quarrel.
As t he se cond act o pens, S osia f ruitlessly Ā e real Sosia enters, and Jupiter-Amphitryon
attempts to explain his t win at home to A mphi- calls o n the s lave to su pport t he joke e xcuse.
tryon. He thinks that Sosia is either drunk or mad. Momentarily confused, Sosia deems it in his best
As the real master and slave approach Amphitry- interest to s econd wha tever h is a pparent ma ster
on’s house, A lcmena e nters. She f eels s ad a bout says. J upiter s ends S osia to i nvite A mphitryon’s
Anacreon 35

colleague, B lepharo, t o dinner, and J upiter an d es Amphitryon, clears Alcmena of blame, claims
Alcmena enter the house together. Heracles a s h is ow n, a nd promises t hat t he half-
Mercury as Sosia takes up his station to guard god will bring Amphitryon’s house undying fame.
their p rivacy. Ā e r eal A mphitryon app roaches. Amphitryon assents gladly to the operation of the
Mercury- Sosia, feigning drunkenness, climbs on divine will. He calls on the audience for applause,
the roof and pretends not to recognize Amphitry- and the play ends.
on. Ā e two quarrel.
At t his p oint a 2 72-line h iatus o ccurs i n t he Bibliography
surviving ma nuscript. I n t he m issing s ection, i t Plautus. Amphitryon. Translated by Constance Car-
seems t hat A lcmena a nd J upiter come f rom t he rier. In Plautus: Ā e Comedies. Edited by David
house; t wo appa rent A mphitryons a re t herefore R. S lavitt a nd Pa lmer B ovie. Vol. 1 . Ba ltimore:
on stage. Ā en Blepharo arrives and cannot decide Ā e Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
which o f t he t wo i s t he r eal o ne. A t s ome p oint
Alcmena, on the point of delivery, goes i nside to
give birth. Ā e two Amphitryons quarrel over who Anabasis See Xenophon of A thens.
is Alcmena’s husband and who is her s educer. As
the t ext r esumes, M ercury d umps a b ucket o f
water o n t he r eal A mphitryon’s h ead. B lepharo, Anacreon (fl. ca. 536 ..) Greek poet
confused a nd ex asperated, t ells t he t wo A mphi- Anacreon w as an early G reek ly ric p oet w hose
tryons to share the wife, and he exits. very s lender l iterary r emnants (if a ny a re g enu-
Just a s a t horoughly confused and despairing ine) and long-standing reputation reveal t hat his
Amphitryon i s a bout t o t ake v iolent a ction a nd specialties included love poetry and tender senti-
murder a ll c oncerned, a t hunderclap c auses him ments on the one hand and derisive satire on the
to f aint o n h is do orstep, a nd h is c hambermaid other. In his own time, Anacreon shared the palm
Bromia r ushes o ut. She b ears t he n ews t hat i t with Pindar as the two best lyric poets of the age
thundered in the house at the same instant that an and one of the best nine poets to have flourished
apparently su pernatural v oice tol d A lcmena to in early Greek literature.
have no fear. Like Sa ppho, among others, Anacreon proba-
Bromia n ow r eports f urther s trange o ccur- bly w rote a c lass o f ero tic p oems c alled Parthe-
rences. I n t he midst of t he t hunder, voices, a nd nia, or songs in praise of virgins. In addition to
resultant c onfusion, A lcmena p ainlessly bo re love, Anacreon’s pleasure in the company of oth-
her offsping. On e w as a n ormal ba by, b ut t he ers a nd p raise o f w ine f orm t he sub jects o f t he
other—as t he aud ience knows, t he d emigod softer poe try i ncluded i n t he c orpus o f v erse
Heracles—was so big that they couldn’t swaddle called Anacreontic. A seemingly irresolvable prob-
him. Moreover, two great snakes came crawling lem of attribution, however, surrounds the poems
from the pool in the atrium of the house in t he associated with Anacreon’s name as none of them
direction of the children’s cradle. Heracles leaped can be attributed to his hand with certainty. His
from the cradle, grabbed a snake in each hand and most expert editor, J. M. Edmonds, using a sys-
squeezed the monsters to death. tem o f a nalysis to o c omplex to de tail here, ha s
Immediately t hereafter, Bromia r eports, Jupi- concluded that the poems numbered 18a, 18b, 21,
ter admitted to having shared Alcmena’s bed and 22, 26, 37, and 46 are the oldest in a collection of
claimed H eracles a s h is own. F inding t hat h is Anacreontic v erse, t he co mposition of w hose
own son is the half-brother of a demigod, Amphi- individual p ieces s pans at le ast six c enturies.
tryon considers h imself honored r ather t han ill- Writers who lived long after Anacreon have been
used. A nother c lap o f t hunder sig nals t he identified a s t he a uthors of s ome of t he l ater
appearance of Jupiter on the roof. Jupiter address- poems.
36 Analects

While s imply b eing t he ol dest do es n ot a ssure Analects Confucius (ca. 380 ...)
that the above poems came from Anacreon’s hand First c ompiled by C onfucius’s s tudents a s a c ol-
or e ven t hat they a re better a rt than the younger lection of the master’s sayings, Confucius’s Ana-
examples, t heir a ge do es m ake t hem m ore l ikely lects probably d id not b egin to ac quire t heir
candidates as surviving instances of the poet’s own modern for m until a c entury o r m ore a fter t he
song. “Poem 18a” is a D ionysian poem in which a sage’s death in 479 b.c .e. Ā e Analects is the only
speaker, crowned w ith grape leaves, celebrates t he document b earing C onfucius’s na me t hat he
beneficent effects o f w ine o n a passionate lover. actually had a hand in composing, though he did
“Poem 1 8b,” i nstead, c elebrates t he b eauty o f a edit o lder classics. Ā e n otes t hat c omprise t he
grove i n a r ural l andscape. “ Poem 2 1,” a f amous Analects were drawn from his t eaching. Es sen-
Greek d rinking s ong, r eturns to t he t heme o f tially a collection of Confucian fragments, in its
imbibing. Ā e e arth d rinks fr om th e s tream, th e current form t he Analects contains 20 chapters,
tree from the earth; the sea drinks the river; the sun which in turn contain 497 sections. If a principle
drinks t he s ea, and th e m oon t he su n. W hy, t he of or ga ni za tion underlies the current form of the
poet asks his comrades, should they object if he too work, however, it was only apparent to whoever
would be drinking?
or ga nized it.
“Poem 22” is a pretty compliment to a woman
Ā e scholar Burton Watson has suggested that
the poet admires. He begins with two examples of
the m ost u seful a pproach t o th e Analects is t o
metamorphosis. Ā e Titaness Niobe was changed
regard them as scripture rather than as history or
to s tone; i n Greek versions, t he b etrayed w ife of
as philosophy. Ā en, instead of looking for a uni-
Tereus, P rocne, t urned a s she do es here i nto a
fied and systematic approach to governing a soci-
swallow (in Latin versions, she became a nightin-
ety o r o ne’s se lf, one c an r egard t he Analects’
gale). Ā e p oet, to o, w ishes he c ould u ndergo a
maxims as a set of precepts that might be invoked
transformation. He would like to become a mir-
to guide one’s decisions in day-to-day living. For
ror so his love would gaze on him, her vest so she
could wear him, a wave to bathe her cheek, a jar of the long period during which Confucianism was
her ha irdressing, her n ecklace, her b ustier to the s tate r eligion o f C hina, t he Analects did in
cover her bosom, or even her sandal so she could fact occupy the place of scripture in Chinese soci-
set her foot on him. ety. Ā inkers in E ast Asia w ho h ave memorized
“Poem 26” compares the devastation wrought the e ntire w ork and w ho ha ve sp ent y ears c on-
at t he fall of Troy a nd the sack of Ā ebes to the templating its meaning suggest that the more one
poet’s destruction by a rrows of t he god of love, thinks about the Analects, t he deeper t he mean-
Eros, fi red at t he p oet f rom his b eloved’s e yes. ing becomes.
Ā e l ast i n t his s eries, “ Poem 2 7,” a sserts t hat, Central t o a na scent u nderstanding o f t he
just as a horse’s brand or a P hrygian’s hat make Analects is a grasp of what Confucius meant by
their owners recognizable, so the poet can iden- two terms: the way and virtue. Ā e way, suggests
tify a lover by an infallible, brand-like sign. Confucius’s translator, D. C. Lau, means some-
Despite t he u ncertainties su rrounding t he thing l ike the sum to tal o f t ruth a bout human
authorship of Anacreontic poems, they have exer- beings a nd t heir pl ace i n t he u niverse. Under-
cised co nsiderable i nfluence i n t he subs equent standing the way can be either an individual or
history of Euro- American letters. a state accomplishment. When a state has a cor-
porate u nderstanding o f the w ay, t hat u nder-
Bibliography standing implies a humane a nd c ompassionate
J. M . E dmonds, e d. a nd t rans. Elegy and I am- system o f governance. W hen a n i ndividual
bus . . . with the Anacreontea. Vol. 2. Cambridge, understands the w ay, f ollowing i t p resupposes
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1954. striving to l ead a n e xemplary l ife, p referring
Analects 37

what is right to profit, and choosing death over fathom ming if that word o ccurs without th e
dishonor. modifying t’ien. Ā at wou ld b e l ike t rying to
For e ither a n i ndividual or a state to a rrive at describe the physics of a parallel universe to which
such understandings, however, requires a rigorous our instruments of observation and mea sure ment
program of conscious effort d irected to t hat end. have no access. To approach Confucius’s analogy
One knows when one arrives at virtue because one more closely, explaining ming would be like draw-
loves one’s fellow human b eings a nd t reats t hem ing a map of Heaven.
as one would treat oneself. At the same time, self- For C onfucius, t o a chieve a n in dividual
interest i s t he m ost i nsidious o f v ices. On e must understanding of the way is not enough. Once a
carefully g uard a gainst it. One must a lso temper person has mastered the way—and of course in
one’s b enevolence w ith le arning, o therwise o ne Confucius’s society it was always a male person—
risks b ecoming foolishly b enevolent a nd s erving that person must put his understanding to work
the lesser rather than the greater good. for t he g ood o f t he c ommon people by p artici-
One must be intelligent, and one must be wise. pating i n government. It i s t he pa rticipation of
Some a re b orn wise; o thers a cquire w isdom the i nitiates i n g overnment t hat pr ovides t he
through experience, s tudy, a nd e ffort. A bove a ll moral e xample by w hich t he c ommon p eople
else, one must be honest with oneself if one wish- can measure their own progress toward the way.
es to acquire wisdom. Ā us, a paternalistic government was the Confu-
Beyond that, one who is virtuous is also cou- cian ideal.
rageous, and one must be reliable i n both word Portions of t he Analects address t he r ight-
and deed—but not to t he degree such that hew- ness of old er pr ecepts a nd est ablish t ests by
ing t o t he t ruth w ill b ring o thers i nto ha rm’s which a student can accept or reject them. Con-
way. One might, for example, lie to s ave a c hild fucius examines the utility of moral generaliza-
from being kidnapped and turned into a merce- tions by considering the adequacy of the specific
nary s oldier. Ā e i njunction to tel l t he t ruth i s rules by which t he generalizations a re put i nto
thus tempered by the ser vice of a higher good. effect. Ā e example can serve here of endanger-
Another o f the vi rtues p romulgated by t he ing a child by telling the truth when a lie would
Analects is reverence. Reverence can be displayed protect he r. Ā e u niversality o f apply ing t he
either toward one’s su periors i n t he s ocial o rder generalization “ always tel l t he t ruth” i s o ver-
or t oward t he go ds. In b oth i nstances, one do es come by the situational consequence of putting
well to display the attribute and wisely keep one’s the rule into effect.
distance from those—human or divine—to whom
reverence is due. Bibliography
On the subject of the divine, Confucius twice Confucius. Ā e An alects (Lun yü). Translated by
in t he Analects mentions a c oncept c alled t’ien D. C . Lau. Harmondsworth, U .K.: P enguin
ming. Lau gives the meaning of the phrase as “the Books, Ltd., 1979.
decree o f H eaven.” A lthough C onfucius c onsid- ———. Ā e An alects of C onfucius (Lun Yu). Trans-
ered t hat de cree v ery d ifficult to understand, i t lated b y Ch ichung H uang. N ew Y ork: O xford
does seem that he credited an overarching, ratio- University Press, 1997.
nal s tandard to w hich a ll v irtues were sub ordi- ———. Ā e An alects of C onfucius: A P hilosophical
nate a nd b y w hich o ne m ust s trive to m easure Translation. T ranslated b y Ro ger T . A mes a nd
one’s t houghts a nd a ctions. L au uses the w ord Harry Ro semont. N ew York: B allantine B ooks,
destiny to describe that standard, but he also sug- 1999.
gests t hat it i s within human capacity to under- ———. Ā e Essential Analects. Translated by Edward
stand why destiny o perates a s i t m ust, a nd he Slingerland. I ndianapolis: Hac kett P ublishing
opines t hat h uman b eings need not b other t o Co., ca. 2006.
38 ancient Chinese dynasties and periods
Sim, M ay. Remastering M orals with A ristotle and become a ssociated w ith them. T he f ollowing
Confucius. N ew Y ork: C ambridge U niversity table p rovides a n o verview o f t he ma jor f ea-
Press, 2007. tures of t hat s ystem t hrough t he b eginning o f
the e ighth c entury c .e. for a ll b ut t he T ang
dynasty, w hich r esumed p ower a fter a h iatus
ancient Chinese dynasties and periods and continued until the early 10th century. The
The f actual a nd, f or t he e arliest p eriods, t he rough cutoff for literary figures and works dis-
perhaps pa rtly m ythical h istory o f t he dy nas- cussed in these pages is the end of the first Tang
ties o f an cient China beg ins ab out 2 100 ye ars ascendancy.
before t he C ommon Era . Historians h ave f ur- Some of the complexities of the politi cal situa-
ther s ubdivided some of the dynasties i nto tion during certain periods of Chinese history are
periods of time or have grouped them both geo- reflected i n t he o ccasionally contemporaneous
graph ically and by traditional names that have existence of multiple dynasties.

Dynasties and Periods Time Frame

Xia (Hsia; perhaps partly mythic) ca. 2100–ca. 1600 b.c. e.

Shang or Yin (mostly factual) ca. 1600–ca. 1028 b.c. e.

Zhou (Chou) ca. 1027–256 b.c .e.

Western Zhou ca. 1100–771 b.c.e.

Eastern Zhou ca. 770–256 b.c. e.

Spring and Autumn period 722–468 b.c. e.

Warring States period 403–221 b.c .e.

Qin (Ch’in) 221–207 b.c .e.

Han 206 b.c.e. –220 c.e.

Western, or Former, Han 206 b.c.e. –8 c.e.

Xin (Hsin) 9–23 c.e.

Liu Xuan (Liu Hüsan) 23–25 c. e.

Eastern, or Later, Han 25–220 c.e.

ancient Chinese dynasties and periods 39

Dynasties and Periods Time Frame

Ā ree Kingdoms 220–265 c.e.

Wei (in North China) 220–265 c. e.

Shu (in Sichuan [Szechwan]) 221–263 c. e.

Wu (in the Lower Yangtze Valley) 222–280 c. e.

Jin (Chin) 265–420 c.e.

Western Jin 265–316 c.e.

Eastern Jin 317–420 c.e.

Southern and Northern Dynasties 420–589 c. e.

Sixteen Kingdoms (North China) 304–439 c. e.

Northern Dynasties 386–581 c.e.

Northern Wei (Tabgatch) 386–534 c. e.

Eastern Wei 534–550 c.e.

Northern Qi (Ch’i) 550–577 c .e.

Northern Zhou 557–581 c .e.

Southern Dynasties + Wu + Eastern Jin = Ā e

420–589 c.e.
Six Dynasties

Song (Sung; a.k.a. Liu or Former Song) 420–479 c.e.

Qi (Ch’i) 479–502 c.e.

Liang 502–577 c.e.

(Chen) Ch’en 557–589 c .e.

Sui 581–618 c .e.

Tang (T’ang) 618–684 and 705–907 c. e.

Zhou (Empress Wu) 684–705 c .e.

40 Andocides

Bibliography usinian mysteries. W hen h e n onetheless a ttend-

Mair, V ictor H . Ā e C olumbia Anth ology of T radi- ed, he was charged with impiety, and in the last of
tional C hinese L iterature. New York: C olumbia his o rations, h e def ended h imself a gainst t hese
University Press, 1994. charges.
A p ortion o f A ndocides’ def ense r ested o n
revisiting a nd reinterpreting the events connect-
Andocides (Andokides) (ca. 468–ca. 396 ed with the hermae affair. Another rested on his
...) Greek Prose writer denying t he fac tual ba sis o f a ssertions made i n
Ā e son of a prominent Athenian family, Andocides the a ccusation a gainst h im, and a t hird r ested
became a statesman and an orator. Ā e four sur- on his argument that it was in the best interests
viving examples of his orations are distinguished of the A thenian s tate to find h im i nnocent. His
by t heir s traightforward s tyle a nd l ack o f o rna- interesting speeches are now all available in good
ment and also by their clarity. He is positioned at En glish translations.
a m oment o f t ransition b etween e arly o rators
who, l ike h im, were n ot p rofessionals a nd l ater Bibliography
ones who were. His speeches are also particularly Andokides. On the Mysteries. Edited and translated
valuable because of the light they shed on the his- by D ouglas M . M acdowell. Ox ford: Clarendon
tory o f h is e poch. On e o f h is o rations c riticizes Press, l962.
Gagarin, Michael, and Douglas M. MacDowell, ed.
the unscrupulous Athenian statesman Alcibiades.
and trans. Antiphon and Andocides. Austin: Uni-
Ā e pl aywrights A esc h yl us, A r isto pha nes,
versity of Texas Press, 1998.
and Euri pides shared Andocides’ low opinion of
Another surviving oration of Andocides is one
Andria (The Woman of Andros, The Girl
that he delivered in 390 in support of concluding
from Andros) Terence (166 ...)
a peace with Sparta. Sparta and Athens had been
To bring his first play, Andria, to the Roman stage,
fighting the Corinthian War for four years at the
Ter enc e c ombined e lements of t wo plays by the
time of this speech. Greek c omic pl aywright M ena nder . L ike o ther
Ā e other two surviving examples of Andocides’ representatives of the Roman comedy, Andria was
oratory a re s peeches t hat he made in his own composed in verse, set to music and, in this case,
defense. During the Peloponnesian War, just before scored for two accompanying flutes. Ā e music’s
Athenian t roops were due to depart on a mission composer, a s we learn f rom a su rviving produc-
to Sicily, numerous phallic shrines bearing statues tion notice, w as a s lave na med Fl accus, a nd t he
of t he god Hermes (and thus called hermae) were principal a ctors were Lucius A mbivius T urpio
desecrated. Ā is sa crilege d eeply o ffended t he and Lucius Atilius Praenestinus. Ā e Megalensian
Athenians, and in th e subs equent i nvestigation, Games, h eld at Rome in A pril in honor o f t he
members of Andocides’ family as well as the orator great goddess, Cybele, provided t he occasion for
himself were im plicated. A ndocides a t first co n- the per for mance.
fessed but l ater r etracted h is c onfession a nd fled Ā e play introduces a device that was to become
from im prisonment i n At hens. One o f t he t wo a sig nature i n Terence’s drama—the double plot.
other surviving examples of his rhetoric is a speech In t his maiden e ffort, ho wever, c ritics ge nerally
he m ade i n an unsuccessful bid to be allowed to concur t hat the doubling lacks the organic u nity
return f rom t his self-imposed e xile. Ā e o ther i s that Terence would soon achieve in handling it.
also an example of self-defense. When Andocides After a p rologue t hat a nnounces T erence’s
finally d id r eturn to A thens, he w as ba rred f rom sources a nd t he na mes o f Ro man pl aywrights
attending the ceremonies connected with the Ele- who ha ve p receded h im in min ing two G reek
Andria 41

plays to ac hieve one Roman production, the play proposed match with Pamphilus. Ā e two young
opens w ith a dialogue between the el derly Athe- men me et, a nd C harinus begs Pamphilus n ot to
nian Simo and his former slave, now a freedman, wed Philumena. Pamphilus assures his friend that
Sosia. he has no desire to do so and enlists him as an ally
Simo ha s a lways b een v ery p roud o f h is s on, to spoil his father’s plans.
Pamphilus, w ho ha s b ehaved w ell a ll h is l ife. Davus a rrives a nd r eports t hat n o w edding
Even a fter Chrysis—a w oman f rom Andros— preparations are going forward at Chremes’ house,
moved next door and eventually became a cour- so both young men take heart. Davus advises Pam-
tesan, Pa mphilus, w ho s ometimes ac companied philus to agree to marry when his father next asks
her lovers to t he house, a lways b ehaved respect- him. He can rest assured that Chremes will never
ably a s fa r as hi s f ather could a scertain. I n d ue agree to the match.
course, t herefore, S imo performed h is f atherly Simo encounters his son in act 2, scene 5, and
duty and decided to b etroth Pamphilus to Philu- announces his intention that his son marry. Pam-
mena, the daughter of a respectable family headed philus agrees to obey his father. Ā e slave Byrria,
by C hremes. He ne glected, h owever, to me ntion however, ha s s tationed h imself w here he c an
the matter either to his son or to the bride’s family overhear t he c onversation, a nd he t hinks t hat
until the day of the wedding. Pamphilus will wed Philumena.
Before t hat da y a rrived, h owever, C hrysis As a ct 3 o pens, G lycerium g oes i nto l abor,
died, an d a t her f uneral py re a w oman, w ho and, overhearing her cries and prayers, Simo is
proved to be her sister Glycerium, almost jumped convinced that he is the victim of a plot hatched
into the flames. Pamphilus prevented her, and the by Davus to prevent his marrying Pamphilus off
two c ollapsed i nto ea ch o ther’s a rms, r evealing to Philumena. In t he following scene, t he mid-
that th ey were l overs an d th at P amphilus h ad wife Lesbia announces that “Pamphilus has . . .
already engaged himself to wed her. a b ouncing b oy.” Si mo ac costs Da vus w ith h is
It turns o ut t hat a s lave, Da vus, i s p rivy to theory that the birth is a fake, and Davus encour-
Pamphilus’s a ffair wi th G lycerium. S imo s niffs ages t he o ld man i n h is del usion, a t t he s ame
this out and warns Davus not to i nterfere i n h is time instructing him to prepare his house for a
efforts to match Pamphilus with Philumena. Davus, wedding feast and to spend some money on the
however, k nows t hat Glycerium i s a lready about preparations.
to bear Pamphilus’s child, so he opts to continue In a ct 3 , s cene 3 , Si mo a nd C hremes finally
his support for Pamphilus. meet, a nd Chremes dema nds a n explanation for
In t he m eantime, G lycerium’s ma id, M ysis, all the rumors he ha s been hearing. Simo argues
goes i n s earch o f a m idwife wh ile p raying t hat in favor of the marriage. Hesitant at first, Chremes
Glycerium w ill ha ve a n easy d elivery. A s she grudgingly a grees. Ā e pa ir en counters Da vus,
leaves the house, Mysis overhears Pamphilus rag- who learns t hat all his a rrangements have bac k-
ing about his father having just told him t hat he fired. S cene 4 of t he t hird ac t ends w ith Davus’s
must marry Philumena this very day. When Mysis despairing soliloquy on the failure of his plotting.
challenges Pamphilus on the subject, however, he Ā e final scene of the act features Pamphilus and
firmly a nnounces his r esolve to ho nor h is c om- Davus. Ā e former blames Davus for his misman-
mitment t o G lycerium, a nd M ysis c ontinues o n agement of the affair, and Davus promises to find
her errand in search of a midwife. a solution.
Ā e parallel plot begins its development in the As act 4 opens, Charinus is blaming Pamphi-
second a ct. Ā ere w e find t hat a nother young lus for ruining his hopes for a union with Philu-
gentleman, C harinus, a g ood f riend o f Pa mphi- mena. Ā e s lave Da vus c ontinues to s earch h is
lus, is in love with Philumena. We find Charinus’s mind for an unraveling of the imbroglio t hat he
slave By rria reporting to his master Philumena’s has appa rently c aused. I n t he next scene, he ha s
42 Andromache

the servant Mysis lay Pamphilus and Glycerium’s had killed in single combat. She has been bestowed
child on the doorstep of Si mo’s house. Chremes, as a prize of honor upon Achilles’ son, Neoptole-
however, a rrives a nd d iscovers Mysis i n t he ac t. mus, w hose m istress s he b ecomes. Wi th her ,
Davus feigns ignorance of the entire affair. Under Neoptolemus fathers a son, who, though nameless
Chremes’ cross- questioning, M ysis a dmits t hat in the play, is called Molossus elsewhere.
Pamphilus i s t he c hild’s f ather. M ore c onfusion Neoptolemus, ho wever, a lso h as a n official
follows u ntil Davus finally explains to a p uzzled family. H is w ife, H ermione, i s a Spa rtan p rin-
Mysis that his odd behavior and conversation was cess, the daughter of Menelaus and Helen. Herm-
the o nly way t o i nstruct Ch remes i n w hat t he ione plot s a gainst A ndromache and h er s on,
plotters wanted him to know. planning w ith he r f ather to m urder t hem w hile
In s cene 5 o f A ct 4 , a n hei r o f t he de ceased Neoptolemus is away on a religious pilgrimage to
Chrysis, Crito, is introduced as just having arrived the temple of Ap ollo at D elphi. It is at t his point
from Andros. Crito knows that Glycerium is not that Euripides begins his play.
really the sister of Chrysis but that she i s instead Andromache recounts her history, the death
an Athenian citizen. Ā is is significant because it of he r h usband, the m urder o f her s on A sty-
means that, under Athenian law, the father of her anax, h er o wn subs equent en slavement, t he
child must marry her. birth o f N eoptolemus’s c hild, an d H ermione’s
In act 5, the cross-examination of Crito reveals unrelenting abuse. Learning of Hermione’s plot
that Glycerium is in fact the long-lost daughter of to conspire with her father Menelaus to murder
Chremes himself, taken to Andros by his brother Andromache and her child, Andromache hides
Phania in an attempt to avoid the wars. Pamphilus her son while she fi nds sanctuary at the altar of
is a ble to c onvince C hremes t hat G lycerium i s the g oddess Ā etis. A ma idservant en ters to
truly h is d aughter b y tel ling h im t hat her b irth repeat the warning about the threat to Androm-
name w as Pa sibula. C ertain o f h is f atherhood, ache’s life and to tell her that Menelaus has dis-
Chremes confers upon Pamphilus the dowry of 10 covered the son.
talents that he had reserved for his elder daughter. A ch or us o f w omen r ehearses A ndromache’s
In a secondary subplot, Simo has had his slave, woe, a nd He rmione e nters a nd ber ates A ndrom-
Davus, c lapped i n i rons b ecause o f h is i nterfer- ache, ac cusing her o f g ross i mmorality a nd e vil
ence in the matter of Pamphilus’s wedding. Pam- intentions—including t hat of s upplanting He rm-
philus goes to rescue his staunch supporter. ione as Neoptolemus’s consort. After an exchange
Free at l ast t o ma rry P hilumena, C harinus of bitter words, Hermione exits. Ā e chorus reviews
wins C hremes’ a pproval a nd, w ith th e y ounger the action and the history behind it, and Menelaus
daughter’s hand, a dowry of six Athenian talents. enters with Andromache’s son. He threatens to kill
See also Sel f - Tor men to r, Th e. the b oy i f A ndromache doesn’t le ave her s anctu-
ary: One of them must die.
Bibliography Andromache r emonstrates w ith M enelaus,
Terence. Works. E nglish a nd L atin. E dited a nd suggesting that he consider the consequences if
translated b y J ohn B arsley. Ca mbridge, M ass.: Neoptolemus re turns a nd fi nds h is s on de ad.
Harvard University Press, 2001. Menelaus, however, is unmoved, and, after bewail-
ing her fortune, Andromache leaves the altar and
embraces her son. Menelaus captures a nd binds
Andromache Euripides (ca. 425 ...) her, then tells her t hat it will be up to Hermione
In Andromache, Eu r ipides f ollows t he p ostwar if the boy l ives or d ies. Menelaus takes perverse
lives o f s everal p ersons i nvolved i n t he T rojan pride in having tricked Andromache and sets out
War. Ā e t itle c haracter, A ndromache, i s t he for the palace with his two prisoners. Ā e chorus
widow of the Trojan hero H ector, whom Achilles passes j udgment on t he b ehavior of He rmione
annalists and annals of Rome 43

and M enelaus, ca lling i t “ Godless, l awless, a nd Peleus re enters a nd le arns t he whole s tory
graceless.” from th e c horus. A m essenger t hen en ters a nd
Now Menelaus reenters with his sword drawn. recounts t he story of Neoptolemus’s death at t he
He i s c onducting both mother a nd s on to t heir hands o f a n a rmed s quadron o f m en a t Del phi.
place of execution. In a touching scene, the child Ā e messenger and his companions have returned
pleads with Menelaus as his “dear friend” to spare the body of Neoptolemus to h is g randfather f or
his lif e. M enelaus i s merciless. Ā e e xecution, burial.
however, is interrupted by the arrival of the father Distraught b y all h is a fflictions, the old ma n
of Achilles a nd grandfather of Neoptolemus, t he laments his situation and throws his royal scepter
aged Peleus. He and Menelaus engage in a boast- to the ground. At this point, his wife, who is also
ing contest about who has more authority in the the goddess Ā etis, appears a bove t he s tage a s a
present circumstances. Ā ey cast aspersions upon dea e x machina (goddess f rom a mac hine). H er
each other’s behavior a nd relations a nd t hreaten speech knits up many of the play’s loose ends. She
each other. Ā e chorus eventually has enough of tells P eleus to take N eoptolemus’s b ody b ack to
this fruitless argument and advises them to s top Delphi and bury it there as a reproach to the Del-
it le st t hey k ill each other. Peleus, however, out- phians. A ndromache, t he g oddess s ays, m ust
blusters M enelaus a nd suc ceeds i n r escuing t he migrate t o t he l and o f t he M olossians to ma rry
captives. their ruler, Helenus. Ā ere, her s on by Neoptole-
A nurse now enters with the news that Herm- mus w ill f ound a lo ng a nd happy l ine o f r ulers.
ione, distressed at her father’s departure and fear- As f or P eleus himself, Ā etis i ntends to ma ke
ful o f N eoptolemus’s p ossible re action to he r him a god and her eternal consort. She gives him
attempt on t he l ives o f h is s on a nd m istress, i s detailed i nstructions ab out w hat he m ust d o i n
threatening t o h ang herself. H er s ervants t ry to this connection. Finally, she pronounces t hat a ll
dissuade her, and as they do, Orestes, t he son of she has ordained is the will of Zeus.
Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, arrives as a trav- Ā e chorus ends the play by making Euripides’
eler. H is a rrival p rovides a p oint o f c onnection favorite point: Ā e gods often do things that peo-
between the now-finished first story and the sec- ple have not expected.
ond part of the play’s double plot.
Orestes says that he has decided to see how his Bibliography
kinswoman, Hermione, is getting along. Ā e dis- Kovacs, David, ed. and trans. Euripides: Vol. 2: Chil-
traught Hermione embraces his knees in the tra- dren of Heracles; Hippolytus; Andromache; Hecu-
ditional G reek g esture o f s upplication, an d ba. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,
Orestes r ecognizes h er. S he t ells h im her s tory 1995.
and r egretfully su ggests t hat t he a dvice o f b ad
women led her to persecute Andromache. Orestes
reveals that Hermione had been promised to him annalists and annals of Rome
as a wife in the first place. Since her si tuation is Almost fr om Rome’s b eginnings a s a p olity, i ts
so threatening, he promises to take her home to citizens k ept w ritten records of not eworthy
her f ather. A s t hey g o to ma ke p reparations, events. At first t hese ten ded to t ake t he f orm o f
Orestes reveals t hat he has a lready a rranged for straightforward accounts of t he facts. According
the death of Neoptolemus at t he temple of Del- to Cice r o i n his work De Oratore, from the very
phi. H e m akes this p lan m ore credible by founding of t he city, t he ch ief o f t he C ollege o f
reminding the audience that he has already slain Pontifices, or pontifex maximus, listed the notable
his mother, C lytemnestra, in r evenge f or her events o f ea ch y ear o n l ead t ablets t hat he t hen
murder o f A gamemnon. Ā e pa ir de parts o n posted in his house so that citizens could consult
their journey. them. A l ist o f t he s erving ma gistrates w as a lso
44 annalists and annals of Rome

compiled a nnually, a nd le ss i mportant p ublic Liv y stand with Julius Caesar in the first rank of
events were noted on linen and kept in the temple such figures. Following the death of Augustus in
of Juno Moneta. 14 c .e., m ajor w riters suc h a s T a ci t us, b oth
Ā e k ings o f e arly Ro me p romulgated laws— Pli ny th e el der, P l iny t he younge r, a nd Sue-
some o f t hem established o n t he m odel o f Gr e- to nius emerged among a growing cadre of respect-
cian laws imported by an embassy sent to Greece able h istorians. Ā e emperor C laudius b ecame a
to learn about Greek governance. A lawyer named notable memoirist.
Papirus made a c ollection o f t hese l aws d uring From about 160 c .e., however, after the halcy-
the reign of King Tarquin the Proud (ruled 534– on d ays of t he e mpire under t he A ntonine
510 b .c .e.). F amily j ournals a nd f uneral orations emperors—a period of western European history
also were collected, but as these were often edited thought by some to have be en t he ha ppiest e ver
to ele vate t he r eputations o f f amily m embers, enjoyed by that fractious subcontinent—the writ-
their historical accuracy was suspect. ing of history became politicized to such a degree
Hardly any examples of such early records sur- that an ything potentially unflattering to t he
vive. W hen the G auls s acked Ro me i n 385 b .c.e., emperor i n p ower o r to h is ad herents e xposed
most of the annals were lost in the general confla- historians to mortal danger. Nonetheless a hardy
gration. A new g roup o f a nnalists s oon em erged, few, i ncluding t he fourth- century historian
however. S ometimes, t hese re corders, i ncluding a Ammianu s Ma r c el l inus u ndertook the writ-
pair na med Cn eius N aevius (d. 2 01 o r 2 04 b .c.e.) ing o f r espectable h istory, i gnoring t he at ten-
and Q uintu s E nnius, p reserved t heir a nnals i n dant perils. A mmianus i s generally c onsidered
verse. I n a ddition to such verse annalists, prose to have been the last of the great Roman histori-
annalists a lso appeared. A mong t hese w as Q uin- ans. In the third and fourth centuries, however,
tu s Fa bius Pic t or and Marcus Portius C ato, t he a group of six writers serially authored the offi-
elder. Cato’s largely lost work Origenes, or De Ori- cial h istory o f t he em pire. Ā eir co llection
genes, which examined t he early h istory of Rome, detailed the lives of the emperors from Hadrian
discussed the city’s early kings, reported the begin- to C arus. I n order of t heir app ointment t o t he
nings of the states of Italy, and detailed the first and post, t hey were: A elius Sp artianus, V ulcatius
second Punic wars against Carthage and the Roman Gallicanus, J ulius Ca pitolinus, T rebellius P ol-
victory over the Lusitanians (today’s Portuguese) in lio, A elius La mpridius, a nd Fl avius V opiscus.
152 b.c.e. Such fragments as do survive from these As a group, they were known as Scriptores His-
and other annalists are readily available. toriae Augustae (writers o f t he i mperial h isto-
More significant remnants have survived from ry). Ā eir work survives.
historians and annalists of the first century before Ā e w riting o f h istory w ith a d ifferent f ocus
and th e first a fter t he C ommon Era. M a r c us received c onsiderable impetus fr om the a scen-
Ter ent ius V a r r o w as t he m ost p roductive dancy of Christianity as the official religion of the
scholar of t he e poch. O ther s uch Rom ans, a s late Roman E mpire. Euse bius w rote a Universal
Quintus P omponius At ticus, b egan t rying t heir History in Greek t hat St. Jer ome t ranslated i nto
hands a t t he p roduction o f u niversal h istories. Latin. Another Christian historian, Flavius Lucius
Still others began to set out the contributions that Dexter, de dicated to St . Jerome a h istory s etting
their own lives made to t he events of their times. forth a c hronology o f n otable ev ents beginning
Principal examples of s uch autobiographical his- from th e b irth o f C hrist and e nding with th e
tories a re t he c ommentaries o f J ul ius C a esa r author’s own times. An even more ambitious uni-
and the memoirs of August us Ca esa r . versal h istory was t hat co mposed b y Pr osper
Historians i n t he m odern s ense o f that term Aquitanus. His w ork, Chronicon, t racked e vents
also e merged a t about t his t ime. S a l l ust a nd from the creation of the world to the capture and
Annals of Spring and Autumn 45

sack of Rome by the Vandals’ most notable king, interest that occurred in Lu between 722 a nd 484
Gaiseric (sometimes Genseric), in 455 c. e. b.c.e. At t he he ad of each entry, he recorded the
year, mont h, d ay, a nd s eason of t he noted e vent’s
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2000. importance in t he Confucian c anon, but C onfu-
Eusebius. Ā e Church History. Translated by Paul A. cius thought that the work would make his reputa-
Maier. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, tion. H is v iew o f t he Annals’ i mportance w as
1999. shared by his successor phi los opher, Menc ius,
———. Ā e Essential Eusebius. Edited and translated who opined that the work struck “rebellious min-
by C olm L uibheid. Ne w Y ork: N ew A merican isters and bad s ons” with terror. For the Chinese,
Library, 1966. important commentary had a way of grafting itself
Hamilton, Walter, ed. and trans. Ammianus Mar- onto t he e ssential ma terial o f a te xt, a nd t his
cellinus: T he L ater Ro man Emp ire (A.D. 3 54– occurred in the case of Confucius’s annals just as
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1986. A disciple of Confucius named Zuo (Tso) took
Livy. Ā e History of Rome, Books 1–5. Translated by the sketchy vignettes of the Annals and filled them
Valerie M. Warrior. Indianapolis: Haskett Publi- out by a dding mo re d etails a bout t he i ncidents
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Mariotti, Scevola, trans. Il Bellum Poenicum e l’arte composition, t hen, ser ved as a road map to suc h
di Nevio. (Ā e Punic War and the Art of Naevi- consequential events in the history of the state of
us.) 3rd ed. Edited by Piergiorgio Parroni. Bolo- Lu a s w ould p rove e difying to t hose w illing to
gna: Pàtron, 2001. take t he t rouble to lo ok w here C onfucius h ad
Varro, M arcus Terrentius. Opere. (Works.) E dited pointed. K nown a s the Zuo Zh uan (Tso C huan),
by Antonio Traglia. Torino: UTET, 1974. or Z uo’s c ommentary on t he Annals, t his work’s
clarifying prose has long been considered the most
important of three such explanatory addenda. Ā e
Annals of Spring and Autumn (Chunqiu, two others, b oth c omposed i n t he fi ft h c entury
Ch’un Ch’iu) Confucius (ca. 500 ..) b.c. e., do not enjoy the general acclaim that Zuo’s
One of the five canonical texts of early classic Con- work d oes. Ā e authors of t hose le sser c ommen-
fucianism, th e Annals of S pring an d A utumn taries were Ku- liang and Kung-Yang.
contain a pa rtial c hronicle o f p rincipal happ en-
ings in Conf ucius’s native but otherwise relatively Bibliography
minor Chinese state of Lu. In brief and unembel- Giles, H erbert A . A H istory of C hinese L iterature.
lished entries, Confucius made note of matters of New York: Grove Press Inc., 1958.
46 anthologies of Greek verse
Legge, James, trans. Ā e Confucian Classics, vols. 5 Bibliography
and 6. 7 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1893–95. Eschenburg, Johannes J. Manual of Classical Litera-
ture. Edited and translated by N. W. Fiske. Phila-
delphia: E. C. & J. Biddle, 1850.
anthologies of Greek verse
From a s e arly a s t he s econd c entury b .c. e., p er-
sons w ith literary i nterests be gan co mpiling Antigone Sophocles (ca. 422 ...)
anthologies of epigrams and short poems by ear- Ā e s tory o f A ntigone, t he d aughter o f O edipus
lier authors. We know the names of some of t he by his wife and mother, Jocasta, tells the final epi-
earliest a nthologists, s uch a s P olemo P eriegetes sode in a series of events also treated by Aesc hy-
and Melea ger o f Ga da r a i n Syria (fl. c a. 100 lu s in Ā e Sev en ag ain st Th ebes. As the legend
b.c .e.). We also know the name and something of has i t, t he s ons o f O edipus b y J ocasta, Ete ocles
the contents of Meleager’s anthology. It was enti- and Polynices, were reared by t heir u ncle Creon
tled Stephanos (Ā e Garland, or Ā e Crown), and and succeeded to his power while he was still liv-
it included examples of the work of 46 poets. Later ing. A lthough they were supposed to rule by
anthologists continued to follow Meleager’s exam- turns, t he brothers fell out a nd ended up hating
ple. A mong t hose w e find P hilippus of Ā essa- each other. When Eteocles became king, he exiled
lonica (fl. ca. 80 c.e.) and Diogenianus of Heraclea Polynices. Enraged, Polynices gathered a military
(fl. ca. 120 c. e.). None of t heir anthologies, how- force i n A rgos a nd b esieged h is na tive c ity.
ever, survives. Aeschylus t ells t he s tory o f t hat ba ttle a nd ho w
Other anthologies did survive, though, in the the w ar b etween t he b rothers f ulfi lled a curse
late a ncient a nd e arly m edieval p eriods, a nd upon t hem that th ey w ould d ie b y e ach o ther’s
subsequent anthologists, such as Strato of Sardis hands. A s t hat play ends, the elders of Ā ebes
(fl. second or third century c. e.), used their con- have decreed that Polynices’ body cannot be bur-
tents a s t he ba sis f or n ew c ollections o f t heir ied because he had invaded his native city. His sis-
own. Others, such as Diog en es La er ti us (fl. ca. ter, Antigone, disobeys their edict.
220 c. e.), f ound n ew p rinciples u pon w hich to As Sophoc les handles the same material, after
base their collections. Diogenes collected poems the battle in which the brothers die at each others’
that c elebrated f amous me n. A g a t h ia s o f hands, Cr eon r eassumes t he c ity’s t hrone. H e
Myr ina , h imself a n e pigrammatist o f n ote, issues a n ed ict g ranting a hero’s funeral to Eteo-
formed a collection called Kuklos (“cycle” or cles, but decrees that Polynices’ body must remain
“collection”) a nd o rga nized i t i nto s even s ec- unburied. Without the benefit of a proper funeral,
tions according to subject. the G reeks thought, a d ead person’s spirit could
Like t he works of t heir predecessors, t he c ol- not find rest in the underworld but would be con-
lections o f t hese m en ha ve d isappeared i nto t he demned to wander as a forlorn ghost for all eter-
mists of l iterary h istory. N o a nthology, i n f act, nity. Unswerving in her v iew of he r sisterly duty,
survives t hat was compiled before t he 10th cen- therefore, Antigone opposes her w ill against t hat
tury. F rom th at epoch, h owever, and fr om th e of he r u ncle and k ing, c onfident i n t he god-
14th c entury, t wo representative collections sur- ordained justice of her cause. Ā is situation is fur-
vive: respectively, t he collection of the otherwise ther complicated by Antigone’s love for her cousin,
unknown C onstantine Ce phalas and a seven- Creon’s son Haemon, and Haemon’s for her.
book collection by a monk dwelling at Constanti- Ā e pl ay o pens a s A ntigone a nd her si ster
nople, M aximus P lanudes. I n ad dition t o t hat Ismene discuss their brother’s announced funeral
miscellany, Planudes also collected the Fa bl es of arrangements, and An tigone announces her
Aesop. determination to d isobey Cr eon. Ism ene va inly
Antigone 47

tries t o di ssuade An tigone a nd c onvince h er o f before Haemon’s eyes. Haemon promises that his
the folly of defying the state. father will see him no more and exits.
Ā e sisters exit, and the ch or us fills in the audi- Creon a nnounces h is i ntention to de al w ith
ence o n t he bac kground o f t he s ituation as t hey Antigone by imprisoning her in a cave with only as
remind their hearers of the material that appeared much food “as piety prescribes.” As Antigone is led
in Seven against Ā ebes. Creon then enters, fills in away, the chorus weeps for her and tries to comfort
the m aterial f rom Oed ipus T yr annus that th e her by reminding her t hat, as mistress of her own
audience needs to follow the current play, and reas- fate, h er de ath w ill b e glorious—even g odlike.
serts his decision vis-à-vis the burials. Antigone perceives t hese well-intentioned but ill-
A g uard r ushes o nstage a nd, a fter e xcusing conceived r emarks a s m ockery. She r eviews her
himself as w ell as h e ca n, r eports t hat s omeone own behavior and that of Creon and concludes that
has disobeyed Creon’s prohibition and performed she ha s do ne t he p roper t hing. Cr eon o rders her
the burial ritual by sprinkling dust on Polynices’ led away, and the chorus draws analogies to similar
corpse. Ā e g uards ha ve n o c lue a s to w ho t he fates s uffered b y pre de ces sors from t he a nnals of
perpetrator might be. Greek mythology.
Ā e credulous chorus suggests that a g od may Ā e blind prophet, Teiresias, now enters, led by
have done it. Creon scornfully rejects that theory a boy. He tel ls Creon t hat t he city of Ā ebes ha s
and dismisses the guard with threats. Ā e chorus been po lluted by c arrion f rom the u nburied
gossips about the goings-on, and a guard reenters, corpse o f P olynices. H e wa rns Creon t hat he
dragging a long An tigone, w hom he ha s c aught stands on the edge of a fatal decision, and advises
attempting to bury the body after the guards had him to allow the burial. Creon pridefully refuses
cleaned off the dust of her first effort. After a d is- and insults Teiresias. Ā e seer foretells the death
cussion o f the apparent conflict b etween h uman of one of C reon’s c hildren as the exchange of a
and divine law in this case, Creon condemns Anti- corpse for a corpse.
gone to death. Ismene comes forward, and though Teiresias e xits, and the citizen chorus advises
she ha s n ot d isobeyed Cr eon’s e dict, she a sks to Creon to r elease A ntigone a nd b ury P olynices.
die as well rather than be bereft of her sister. Finally he a grees to accept their adv ice, o rders
As Creon and Ismene discuss Creon’s sentence, Polynices’ burial, and rushes to release Antigone.
Ismene a sks h im i f he w ill s lay h is o wn s on’s Ā e c horus p rays to t he g ods, b ut a m essenger
betrothed. Creon is inflexible, and Antigone cries arrives bearing sad tidings. Creon’s wife Eurydice
out t o H aemon t hat h is father w rongs h im i n appears, and the messenger makes his report.
depriving the young man of his bride. Ā e b ody o f Polynices w as b uried, b ut a s t he
Haemon en ters a nd r espectfully a ttempts to soldiers finished that task, they heard a loud voice
dissuade his father from executing Antigone, not wailing at the blocked entrance to Antigone’s cav-
on t he g rounds of the young man’s l ove for h er, ern prison. When the guards entered the prison,
but rather on the grounds of the dark rumors that they found that Antigone had hanged herself and
have been circulating among the citizens. Ā e cit- that Haemon was embracing her suspended body.
izens are displeased w ith Creon’s judgment, says Creon entered and called out to Haemon. Furious
Haemon, a nd w isdom should he ed t hat d isplea- with h is f ather, H aemon drew hi s sword and
sure. Cr eon a sserts t he a uthority o f h igh office rushed at Creon, who fled to avoid its stroke. Des-
and disregards his son’s good adv ice. He repeats perate, Haemon fell on his sword and committed
his determination to e xecute A ntigone. Haemon suicide. A s he d ied, he on ce again embraced t he
responds t hat A ntigone’s d eath w ill d estroy corpse of Antigone.
another, and Creon, interpreting h is son’s words Haemon’s mother, Eu rydice, reenters t he pa l-
as a t hreat, c alls f or A ntigone to b e e xecuted ace. Ā e c horus i magines t hat she w ishes to
48 Antiphon of Rhamnus

grieve in p rivate, b ut t hey h ear no k eening and Antiphon c ommanded A thenian tr oops d ur-
send the messenger to investigate. ing the Peloponnesian Wars and was an influen-
Creon reenters, bemoaning his own folly. Ā e tial member of the Council of 400 during the time
messenger returns w ith the n ews th at E urydice of near- oligarchic ru le in stituted t emporarily a t
has also committed suicide, and the palace doors Athens during those conflicts. He died by execu-
swing open to reveal her corpse. Creon continues tion for treason against Athens.
grieving an d i s led a way. Ā e c horus en ds t he
play with advice: “Wisdom is the supreme part of Bibliography
happiness.” Ā e gods must be strictly reverenced, Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Cicero’s Brutus: Or a History
the boasts of prideful men are punished harshly, of Famous Orators. Translated b y E . J ones. N ew
and in o ld a ge t hose w ho ha ve b een c hastened York: A MS Press, 1976.
like Creon may finally learn wisdom. Gagarin, Mi chael, a nd Douglas M . MacDo well,
Ā e fates of Antigone, Haemon, Eurydice, and trans. Antiphon and Andocides. Austin: Univer-
Creon must have i nstilled i n t he Athenian audi- sity of Texas Press, 1998.
ence t he t ragic emotions o f p ity and f ear that Strassler, Robert B ., ed. Ā e L andmark Ā ucydides:
Ari st ot l e described in his Poet ic s. Whether or A C omprehensive Gu ide to th e P eloponnesian
not this play also takes the next step in the emo- War. Translated by Richard Crawley. New York:
tional progression that Aristotle attributes to suc- Simon and Schuster Touchstone, 1998.
cessful tragedy—that i s, c atharsis, an e motional
cleansing t hat d rains t he a udience o f p ity a nd
fear—the reader will have to decide. Antiquities of the Jews See Jos ephus,
See also t r a gedy i n Gr eece a nd Rome. Fl av ius.

Bloom, Harold, ed. Sophocles’ Oedipus Plays: Oedi- Antisthenes See Lives o f Eminent
pus the King, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone. Phi l os o phers .
New York: Chelsea House, 1996.
Nardo, D on. Readings on A ntigone. S an D iego,
Calif.: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Antonius Diogenes See fiction a s
Sophocles. Ā e C omplete P lays. Translated b y P aul epistle, r omance, and er otic p r os e.
Roche. New York: Signet Classics, 2001.

Apocrypha, the
Antiphon of Rhamnus (ca. 480 ...–ca. As Professor W. D. McHardy explains in his intro-
411 ...) Greek prose writer duction to the second volume of the New English
An orator a nd rhe torician, A ntiphon i s t hought Bible, t he m eaning o f t he w ord apocrypha—the
to have composed a n early essay on rhetoric. He Greek word for hidden—has shifted over time as it
was a lso r eputed to ha ve w orked very profitably applies to bi blical w ritings a llied w ith but no w
among the e arliest p olitical a nd le gal g hostwrit- excluded from the canonical writings included in
ers. S ome 15 of h is s peeches, delivered either by the Hebr ew Bibl e and New Test a ment . I follow
their author or by others, still survive. Of t hese, McHardy’s explanation here.
three were actually delivered during t he trials of Early i n t he C hristian er a, t he w orks c onsid-
court cases. Ā e others seem instead to be imagi- ered ap ocryphal were t hought to o i mportant to
nary sp eeches, p erhaps te aching e xamples. B oth be sha red w ith the public at large a nd were t hus
Th uc ydides and Cic er o discuss aspects of Anti- reserved for those who believed most strongly in
phon’s career. the Christian faith. In this sense they were hidden
Apocrypha, the 49

from public view. Later, however, the meaning of initiative a gainst t he J ews, E sther suc cessfully
the word apocrypha shifted. It came to be applied intercedes to save her people.
to those books that, though they were candidates In the Wisdom of Solomon appears “Ā e Prom-
for i nclusion i n S cripture and i ndeed had s ome- ise of Immortality” for the godly. Ā is is followed
times b een in cluded, u ltimately were rejected by discussions of divine wisdom, the evils of idol-
because t hey m ight p romote he resy or b ecause atry, and an analysis of the pattern of divine jus-
their o rigins were d ubious. St . J er ome’s fift h- tice. Ā e f ollowing book, E cclesiasticus o r t he
century tr anslation of the B ible, k nown a s t he Wisdom of Je sus S on of Si rach, d iffers f rom i ts
Vulgate, b ecame t he s tandard f or the an cient prose pre de ces sors. Following a b rief p rose p ref-
world a nd, i n t he v ersion a uthorized b y P ope ace, t he r est o f the 5 1-chapter w ork appears i n
Clement V II, r emains the a uthorized R oman psalm- like verse. It o pens w ith a continuation of
Catholic text. Jerome used the term apocrypha to the p receding d iscussion o f wisdom an d th en
apply to books that early Christians venerated but turns to consider the role of divine providence in
had not been included in the Hebrew Scriptures— human affairs. Ā e voice of the poet is magisterial,
even i f t hey had b een w ritten i n t he H ebrew and the verse is presented in the form of an address
language. of a f ather to a s on. Ā is m ode co ntinues a s t he
Ā ough the form and the content of the Apoc- poet considers prudence and self- discipline. Ā en
rypha have shifted from time to time, as set out in a personified, allegorical Wisdom speaks in praise
the New English Bible, they include 15 titles: the of herself. (Ā is device was imitated in the Renais-
First a nd S econd B ooks o f E sdr a s ( two t itles); sance b y D esiderius Er asmus in hi s s eriocomic
Tobit; Judit h; the rest of the chapters of the Book work Ā e Praise of Folly.) Next appears “Counsels
of E sther; t he Wi sdom of S olomon; E cclesiasti- upon Social Behaviour.” Ā is section of the poem
cus, or the Wisdom of Jesus son of Sirach; Baruch; opens w ith a l amentation: “ Any w ound b ut a
A Letter of Jeremiah; the Song of the Ā ree; Dan- wound i n the heart! / A ny spite but a w oman’s!”
iel a nd Su sanna; Da niel, B el, a nd t he Sna ke; t he Ā ere f ollows a m isogynistic a ttack o n w omen
Prayer o f M anasseh; a nd t he F irst a nd S econd who a re i nsufficiently subservient to t heir h us-
Books of the Maccabees (two titles). bands. Ā en comes a series of examples of bad and
In M cHardy’s v iew, k nowledge o f t he A poc- good behavior, fol lowed by a discussion of “True
rypha is crucial for an understanding of the back- Piety and the Mercy of God” and an examination
ground of the New Testament. I have selected the of “Man in Society.” A series of portraits of “Heroes
first a nd s econd b ooks o f E sdras a nd J udith f or of I srael’s Pa st” a nd a p rayerful e pilogue en d
closer attention elsewhere i n t his book. Ā e first Ecclesiasticus.
provides a n e xample of t he u neasy marriage o f A s eries o f sho rt b ooks f ollows t he leng thy
history a nd p rophecy, a nd t he s econd offers a Ecclesiasticus. Ā e first is Baruch, which is set in
wonderful s tory of ho w a hero ine r escues her Babylon in the fift h year after the Chaldeans had
people from certain destruction—a story that has captured and razed Jerusalem and taken its peo-
inspired much great art through the centuries. ple c aptive. Ā e prophe t B aruch e xplains to t he
Ā e Book of Tobit describes the doings of Tobit people that their captivity is just punishment for
and h is s on T obias a nd ho w t hey u nwittingly their transgressions but that they have reason to
played host to t he Archangel Raphael. Ā e apoc- hope. A M essiah, “ the E verlasting,” i s c oming,
ryphal chapters o f t he B ook o f E sther a re t aken and Israel will benefit from his arrival.
from a Greek text t hat undergoes ma ny cha nges A L etter of Jeremiah next d iscusses t he folly
in the Hebrew version. As told in the Apocrypha, of idolatry. Following that comes the Song of the
the H ebrew w oman E sther ma rries t he P ersian Ā ree—a prose and verse addition to the Book of
ruler Ar taxerxes ( ruled 464–425 b .c .e.). W hen Daniel, w hich, b y quo ting t he b eatitudes o f
the k ing’s r egent, Ha man, l aunches a g enocidal praise t hat the H ebrews s ang a mid t he flames,
50 Apollonius of Rhodes

embellishes the miracle of the Hebrews’ survival brother Jon athan, who, a s the high priest of t he
in the fiery furnace of their Chaldean captors. temple at Jerusalem and an ally of Alexander, suc-
Another episode follows that is famous in the cessfully led the Jewish forces against Apollonius,
annals of art history as a subject for pa intings: Alexander’s enemy. Ā e Second Book of the Mac-
Daniel a nd S usanna. Ā is boo k r ecounts t he cabees continues to recount such military exploits
shameful e pisode of a g roup of elders w ho spy under t he d irection o f l ater h igh p riests suc h a s
upon the naked Susanna at her bath. Ā ey try to Jonathan’s successor, Simon. It a lso recounts t he
force her to y ield to t heir lust by threatening to further successes of Judas Maccabeus against his
accuse her of being with a man. She refuses. Ā e enemies, pa rticularly h is t riumph o ver N icanor,
elders c arry o ut t heir t hreat b efore t he a ssem- the commander of a gentile army’s detachment of
bly. Ā e judges believe t he accusation a nd con- elephants.
demn Su sanna to de ath. A s she i s b eing le d to Ā e books of the Maccabees end with a d irect
the p lace o f e xecution, G od i nspires Da niel to address by t heir author to h is readers. He hopes
intervene. H e i nterviews t he el ders s eparately. they will t ake pleasure i n the v ariety of l iterary
Ā ey g ive co nfl icting test imony t hat ex poses styles that he has offered them.
their lie, and, rather than Susanna, her accusers See a lso G nosti c a poc r ypha a nd pseu de-
are put to death. pigr a pha .
In D aniel, Be l, and th e Sna ke, t he H ebrew
prophet Daniel exposes the fraud of the priests of Bibliography
the idol Bel. Cyrus, king of Persia, was convinced Ā e Ap ochrypha. Ā e N ew E nglish Bible . V ol. 2 .
that the idol was a living god because all offerings Edited a nd t ranslated b y th e a ppointees o f t he
of food and drink were consumed when left with Joint C ommittee on t he New Translation of t he
the i dol i n a s ealed ro om. Da niel sp rinkled t he Bible. Oxford and Cambridge: Oxford and Cam-
floor of the room with ashes before the door was bridge University Presses, 1969.
sealed. On t he next d ay, he sho wed t he k ing t he
footprints of t he pr iests and their families, who,
of c ourse h ad b een t he r eal d iners. Da niel n ext Apollonius of Rhodes (Apollonius
destroys a huge serpent that the king revered as a Rhodius, Apollonios Rhodios) (b. ca.
deity. Ā e Babylonian people, however, force t he 305 ...) Greek poet
king to hand Daniel over a nd t ry to f eed him to Ā e ancient sources concerning the life of Apollo-
the l ions, but G od s ends a ngels to p rotect h im, nius of Rhodes give conflicting information about
and he triumphs once again. many aspects of his biography. Apollonius’s most
Ā e next book, entitled the Prayer of Manasseh, scholarly mo dern e ditor and tr anslator, P eter
contains t he verse petition of a r epentant si nner Green, however, has constructed from that ancient
seeking ab solution. Ā e final t wo b ooks o f t he confusion what he considers to be a likely sequence
Apocrypha, t he Fi rst B ook a nd S econd B ook o f of e vents, a nd here I f ollow Green’s discussion—
the Maccabees, trace the history of the hereditary though not his preferred Greek spellings.
high priests of the Jews from the time of Philip of Ā e first indigenous poet of A lexandria, Apol-
Macedon and Alexander the Great (fourth centu- lonius was born there between 305 and 290 b.c. e.—
ry b.c .e.) and tell of the re sis tance offered by Jew- probably nearer the earlier date. He was a s tudent
ish i nsurgents t o their g entile overlord. S uch of the poet Ca llim ac hu s while Callimachus was
resisters included Mattathias, who refused to par- still an unknown schoolteacher in the Alexandrian
ticipate in heathen sacrifice or permit others to do suburb of Eleusis and perhaps became his assistant
so. Ā e F irst B ook o f Mac cabees c hronicles t he after Callimachus joined the staff of the library at
military ca mpaigns of Judas M accabeus a nd h is Alexandria. Perhaps b etween h is 1 8th a nd 2 0th
Apology of Socrates 51

years, Ap ollonius gav e a pu blic re ading of h is Green posits that this burial was in a private cem-
juvenilia t hat w as ill-received. Ha ving n onethe- etery for library staff.
less decided to become a poet and having chosen
the subject of t he voyage of Jason a nd t he Argo- Bibliography
nauts, Apollonius moved to the island of Rhodes, Green, P eter, e d. a nd t rans. Ā e Ar gonautika of
perhaps to become more expert in his knowledge Apollonios Rhodios. Berkeley: University of Cali-
of s eafaring and l end gr eater c redibility to h is fornia Press, 1997.
epic. Ā ere he c omposed p oems a bout R hodes
and also about the islands of Kaunos and Nidos.
After a sojourn on Rhodes that lasted between 13 Apollonius of Tyana See Life o f Apol l o-
and 20 years, he returned to Alexandria as tutor nius o f T yana, The.
to the prince who would become Ptolemy III. He
also o ccupied th e p ost o f c hief l ibrarian a t t he
great library of Alexandria. apologues See f ables of G r eece and
Continuing hi s literary c areer, A pollonius Rome.
penned v erses co mmemorating t he f ounding o f
the c ities o f Al exandria a nd N aukratis and a
poem about origins entitled Kanabos. As a librar- Apology of Socrates (Defense of
ian, he was also responsible for promoting schol- Socrates) Plato (399 ...)
arship. H e f ulfi lled th at duty by w riting about In one of the world’s great miscarriages of justice,
Homer , Hesiod, and Ar ch il oc us. Soc r at es , i n his 70th year, was ac cused of c or-
A long-running literary debate concerns wheth- rupting the youth of Athens a nd of impiety. Ā e
er or not Callimachus and Apollonius participated accusation a rose i n pa rt f rom c onfusion i n t he
in a vitriolic literary quarrel over the superiority of minds of many people, a confusion that identified
ly r ic poet r y v ersus e pic poetry. Green’s c areful Socrates w ith t he So phist p hiloso phers, whose
consideration o f the e vidence le ads h im to c on- position S ocrates ab horred. I n p art the c harge
clude t hat there i s no reason t o s uppose t hat t he arose fr om S ocrates’ lo w o pinion o f p oets. Ā at
two might not have disagreed about their preferred opinion had offended Meletus, the poet who was
literary modes w ith some acerbity. Ā ough C alli- Socrates’ chief accuser.
machus did pen one brief epic, Heca le , he clearly In a ny cas e, t he high-minded a nd r eligious
prefers short, epigrammatic poems, densely packed Socrates w as b rought t o trial o n trumped-up
with subtle allusion. L ikewise, Apollonius c learly charges before a panel of 501 judges of the Athe-
preferred t he longer, more expansive mode of t he nian heliastic court—a court whose j udges were
epic. A c ommonplace b it o f w isdom c oncerning annually a ppointed fr om among th e A nthenian
academic d isputes h olds t hat t heir b itterness i s male citizenry. A 30-vote majority convicted him.
inversely p roportional t o their c onsequentiality, Ā ough no p enalty w as sp ecified f or co nviction
and Green suggests that in the pampered, hothouse on the charges that Socrates faced, a guilty verdict
environment of the Alexandrian library, opportu- led to a s econd p roceeding i n w hich b oth t he
nities for such scholarly disagreement would have accusers and the accused could propose a penalty.
been rife. Ā e fact that Apollonius wrote a scathing Ā e judges t hen decided between t he t wo penal-
critique o f t he w ork o f h is p redecessor l ibrarian, ties p roposed; n o c ompromise w as admissible.
Zenodotus (fl. 285 b.c. e.) suggests that his temper- Ā e ac cusers p roposed de ath. S ocrates at first
ament may have been quarrelsome. proposed being maintained at the public expense
Ancient s ources t ell us t hat, o n h is de ath, by being allowed to take his meals at the prytane-
Apollonius w as bu ried ne xt to C allimachus. um (the town hall where guests of state were
52 Apology of Socrates

entertained). Ā is penalty was essentially a reward er, t hat he ha s made en emies by showing people
for t he s er vices t hat S ocrates had p rovided f or who thought themselves to be wise that they were
Athens. Ā at proposal, however just it might have not. A nd he do es consider h imself w iser t han
been, wa s a rhe torical plo y. S ocrates t hen r an others who t hink t hey k now s omething. S o h e
through a l ist o f p otential a lternatives: e xile, went in search of wisdom. He looked among the
imprisonment, paying a fine. As he had no money politicians and public men, among the poets, and
of his own, he suggested he could afford a fine of the artisans, but he found precious little wisdom.
one mina of silver. His friends, however, suggest- His m ethod o f i nvestigation, h owever, m ade h is
ed t hat h e propose a fine of 3 0 silver minae—a in for mants aware both of t heir own lack of w is-
sum they would guarantee. dom and of Socrates’ certainty of that deficiency.
Ā e court imposed the death penalty—proba- As a result, his inquiries brought him many ene-
bly thinking that Socrates would choose to escape mies. A lso as a r esult o f those s ame inquiries,
into voluntary exile rather than be executed. Ā e however, he c oncluded t hat only t he god is w ise,
judges also probably never expected the sentence and that human wisdom is of little or no account.
to be carried out. When it was, Pl a t o w rote up Ā us, So crates c oncludes, the g od A pollo ha s
the proceedings that had led to his teacher’s exe- called him wise because Socrates recognizes that
cution. In the opinion of Howard North Fowler, he i s n ot s o. N onetheless, i n t he g od’s s er vice,
a d istinguished c lassical s cholar a nd t ranslator Socrates continues to search for wisdom, a nd i n
of t he Apology, both its form a nd its content, a s consequence h e s urvives in a c ontinual s tate o f
well a s w hat we know from other sources about poverty. Also, the young men to whom he teaches
Socrates’ characteristic method of discourse, sug- his methods have also begun participating in his
gest t hat P lato fol lowed c losely S ocrates’ a ctual inquiry, an d t heir s earch f or w isdom ha s le d to
speeches in his own defense and with respect to the charge that Socrates is corrupting the youth.
his sentencing. Ā ose ma king su ch acc usations, h owever, h ave
In his o wn def ense, Socrates first r efutes t he also p rejudiced th e m inds o f t he j urors a gainst
truth of his ac cusers’ a ssertions. He t hen ap olo- Socrates on similar grounds.
gizes if he fails to follow t he e xpected forms for Now Socrates turns on his accusers, and in lieu
speaking to t he court since it is t he first time he of the prohibited cross-examination, he conducts
has b een t here. H e p oints o ut t hat he ha s lo ng a m ock d ialogue with th em, s peaking b oth h is
been t he v ictim of f alse a ccusations. He o bjects own a nd their parts. He excoriates Meletus for a
that he has no opportunity to cross-examine his lack of seriousness and for his carelessness in even
accusers. H e n onetheless i ntends to a nswer t he bringing s uch a l aughable a ccusation b efore a n
long-standing ac cusations o f p ersons n ot b efore important tribunal. If, Socrates says, he c orrupts
the court. Scoffing at Aristophanes’ u nflattering youth (which he does not) he does so involuntari-
theatrical portrayal of his stage Socrates, the real ly. As he has no criminal intent, he is guilty of no
one c alls o n t he ma ny m embers o f t he pa nel o f crime.
judges who have spoken directly with him or who Socrates n ext a ddresses t he a ccusation o f
have heard him speak to d ismiss the accusations impiety and, step-by-step, demonstrates that he is
of impiety on the basis of what they have actually a b eliever i n t he g ods. A mong o ther p roofs, he
heard h im s ay. M oreover, he p oints o ut t hat he cites his distinguished military ser vice in defense
does not undertake to educate people for money. of the state at the battles of Potidea, Amphipolis,
Ā ough S ocrates h imself a lways c laimed to and Delium, pointing out that he served his mili-
know nothing, he does admit to being wiser than tary commanders by remaining at his station just
some and calls on Apollo’s Pythian oracle at Del- as he served the gods who had c alled him to t he
phi as a witness, for that oracle had said no living practice of philosophy. It is therefore his divinely
man was wiser than Socrates. He admits, howev- appointed task to continually call the attention of
Apostolic Fathers of the Christian Church, The 53

the citizens of Athens t o t heir mistakes a nd fol- speech and behavior. Ā at spirit has not censored
lies. He is the gadfly of the gods. He will remain anything h e h as s poken at t he pro ceedings.
faithful to that assignment even if it costs him his Socrates c oncludes f rom t his t hat h is death a s a
life. He admonishes his judges to look to the per- result of this trial is a good thing. He next consid-
fection of their souls. ers death itself. Ā e dead either will have no con-
Socrates r eminds h is j udges o f t he o ne o cca- sciousness of anything—in which case death will
sion in which he himself had served in the senate. be “a wonderful gain”—or it will be a migration
His was the only voice raised against the senate’s of t he soul to another place where opportunities
admittedly i llegal co ndemnation o f 1 0 g enerals will a bound t o meet t he fa mous perso ns wh o
who, owing to ba d weather, had f ailed to ga ther have e arlier d ied, w ho ha ve b ecome i mmortal,
up t he bodies of d rowned sailors a fter t he battle and are happier than living people in this world.
of A rginusae ( 406 b. c .e.) d uring the P elopon- No evil, Socrates concludes, can afflict a good
nesian War. On t hat occasion, the senate threat- person i n t his world o r the next. He d ies i n the
ened Socrates w ith i mpeachment a nd death, but conviction that God will not neglect him. He asks
he preferred death to voting for the senate’s illegal his judges for a single favor. He requests that the
action. He then proposes that the senate question jurors will correct Socrates’ children in the same
the relatives of the youths he supposedly has cor- fashion t hat Socrates h as tried to s how t he jurors
rupted to see i f a ny of t hem a gree w ith suc h a n their own failings. If the jurors grant that request,
assessment of his conduct. He refuses to bring his he s ays, b oth S ocrates a nd h is s ons w ill h ave
children (two of whom were still minors) to court received just treatment at the jurors’ hands.
and plead for h is l ife a s t heir s ole support. Suc h Socrates says that the jurors go to live and he
behavior, he says, would be disgraceful for such a to die. Only God knows which has the better lot.
person as himself with a reputation for both wis-
dom a nd c ourage. I n c losing, S ocrates r easserts Bibliography
his belief in the gods and leaves it to God and the Fowler, Harold North. Plato with an En glish Trans-
jurors to decide his fate. lation. Vol. 1 . C ambridge, Mass.: Ha rvard Uni-
After the jury has brought in a verdict of guilty, versity Press, 1953.
Socrates s uggests t hat so me v otes h ave bee n
bought b y h is a ccusers t o avoid h aving to pa y a
heft y fine i f t oo few vot es had b een c ast a gainst Apostolic Fathers of the Christian
him. His suggestions concerning a penalty as they Church, The: Barnabas, Clemens
are outlined above follow the guilty verdict. Romanus (Clement), Diognetus,
When the court condemns him, Socrates says Ignatius, Hermas, Papias, Polycarp,
that, while he ha s been condemned to de ath, his Quadratus (first and second
accusers ha ve b een c onvicted b y t ruth o f “v il- centuries ..)
lainy a nd w rong.” H e a lso p rophesies t hat a f ar In i ts cu rrent f orm, t he Apostolic F athers of th e
more grievous punishment will come upon those Christian Ch urch brings together a collection of
who have condemned him than the death that he 10 very early Christian writings, sometimes called
will suffer. He says he has already restrained men Ā e Sayings of the Father, that, after much debate,
who will force those who have condemned him to were finally e xcluded f rom t he o fficial canon of
account f or t heir ac tions. Ā ough t hose who the New Test a ment . For many early Christians,
voted against him may have done so to avoid just however, both these and other texts that antedat-
such an outcome, their efforts to do so will prove ed the establishment of the New Testament’s con-
unavailing. tents enjoyed the status of Scripture.
Further, Socrates mentions a divine monitor— As the state of scholarship respecting the sta-
a s ort o f sp irit t hat ha s a lways su pervised h is tus o f e arly te xts ha s c hanged a nd s ometimes
54 Appendices to Book of Changes

improved, the editors of the collection have found open to question, and in some cases, such as those
reasons to a dd o r dele te s elections. Ā e m ost of Barnabas and 2 Clement, the credited authors
recent a nd aut horitative En glish- language ver- demonstrably did not write the works.
sion of the texts include the following selections: Nonetheless, the documents originated early in
Christian history, a nd at the very least t hey shed
1 Ā e Fir st L et t er of Cl ement to t h e light on some of the matters that then concerned
Corint hian s ordinary b elievers a nd p otential c onverts. Ā e
2 Ā e Sec ond Let t er of Cl ement to t he works also presage what finally became Christian
Corint hian s orthodoxy some centuries later when Christianity
had b ecome t he s tate r eligion of Rome a nd a fter
3 Ā e Let t er s o f Ignat ius to t he Ephe- such church councils a s that of Nicaea had done
sians, to the Magnesians, to the Trallians, their winnowing respecting what was and was not
to the Romans, to the Philadelphians, to to be regarded as Scriptural.
the Smyrneans, and to the Smyrneans’
bishop, Polycarp Bibliography
4 Ā e Let t er of Pol yc a r p to t h e Ehrman, B art D., e d. a nd t rans. Ā e Ap ostolic
Philip pea ns Fathers. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Uni-
5 Martyrdom of Saint Polycarp Bishop of versity Press, 2003.
Smyrna (Ma r tyr dom of Pol yc a r p)
6 Ā e Dida ch e, or the Teaching of the
Appendices to Book of Changes (ca. 210
Twelve Apostles ...)
7 Ā e Epist l e o f B a r na ba s Formerly attributed to Conf uc ius but apparently
8 Fr a gment s of Pa pias a nd Quad r at us composed by later Chinese scholars, these appen-
9 Ā e Epist l e to D iognet us dices s eem d esigned t o b ring t he c entral do cu-
ment of D a oi sm, Boo k o f C h ang es (Yijing, I
10 Ā e Sh eph er d (of Hermas). Ching), u nder t he u mbrella of C onfucian do c-
trine. To do this, the Appendices try to bring Con-
Ā e documents’ latest English translator, Bart fucian order to Taoist cosmology. Most think that
D. E hrman, c autions r eaders t hat ma ny u ncer- the Appendices fail to ach ieve t his objective a nd
tainties s urround t hese compositions. N owhere, that they confuse rather than clarify the issue.
for e xample, do es t he F irst L etter o f C lement
name the author, though the tradition that Clem- Bibliography
ent penned it is very ancient. Watson, Burton. Early Ch inese L iterature. N ew
From t he p erspective o f a ncient Ch ristians York: Columbia University Press, 1962.
and from that of the Eu ropean editors who fi rst
published t he do cuments a s a c ollection i n t he
17th c entury, t he w ritings t hat were f ormerly Apuleius (Lucius Apuleius) (b. ca. 125 ..)
and are currently included in the collection were Afro-Roman Prose writer
supposed to ha ve b een composed by authors Born in Roman Africa, likely in the city of Mad-
who perso nally k new a nd were p erhaps t hem- auros, t o a well- to- do Greek- speaking family,
selves t he companions or disciples o f t he ap os- Apuleius studied both at Carthage and in Athens,
tles o f J esus C hrist. Ā us, t hought t he e ditors, mastering colloquial rather than literary Latin as
the documents had been composed shortly after a s econd l anguage. A fter co mpleting h is e duca-
the books of the New Testament. Ā e historical tion, Apuleius traveled widely through the Medi-
accuracy of a ll t hese a ssumptions i s very much terranean world a nd e stablished h is residence at
Aratus of Soli 55

Carthage. Ā ere he undertook a career as a schol- of w itchcraft, t he obl iging w itch ac cidentally
ar, phi ol s opher, and writer, composing his works turns him into a golden-colored donkey. After his
both in Latin and in Greek. Ā e genres in which transformation, t he r est o f t he s tory de tails h is
he worked included songs for performance, works adventures during his travels and reports many of
for t he s tage, s atires a nd r iddles, o rations, a nd the stories that he hears along the way. Eventually
philosophical dialogues. the E gyptian g oddess, I sis, r estores his h uman
Of t his co nsiderable b ody of l iterature, Apu- shape, and Lucius becomes her devotee.
leius’s works in Greek and his poems in both lan- Other works have sometimes been ascribed to
guages h ave all perished. On ly a r epresentative Apuleius, bu t m ost o f t hese a re n ow de finitively
body o f L atin p rose r emains. Ā ese r emnants held to b e s purious. D iscussion c ontinues a bout
include a w ork de scribing t he si dereal u niverse the authenticity of a philosophical work, On Inter-
and the meteorological phenomena that occur in pretation (Peri hermeneias).
it—De Mundo (Concerning t he world or the cos-
mos). His Florida contains examples of his orato- Bibliography
ry. Two other surviving works concern themselves Apuleius. Ā e Ap ologia an d F lorida of Ap uleius of
with philosophy and religion, and one offers a n Madaura. Translated by H. E . But tis. Westport,
amusing a pology f or t he a uthor i n ma rrying a Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1970.
wealthy widow. ———. Apuleius: R hetorical Works. Translated a nd
Ā e philosophical work, De Platone et eius dog- annotated by Stephen Harrison, John Hilton, and
mate (About P lato a nd h is do ctrine), c ontains a Vincent H unink. O xford: O xford U niversity
biographical sketch of Pl at o and outlines Platon- Press, 2001.
ic e thics a nd me taphysics a s t hey were t aught i n ———. Florida: A puleius o f Ma dauros. E dited b y
Apuleius’s day. Ā e religious work, De Deo Socra- Vincent H einink. Am sterdam: J. C . Gie ben,
tis (Concerning the God of Socrates) explains the 2001.
nature a nd f unction o f daemones, t he sp iritual ———. Ā e G od of S ocrates. Edited b y D aniel
beings t hat act as go- betweens for human beings Driscoll. Gilette, N. J.: Heptangle Books, 1993.
in t heir in teractions w ith the d ivine. S oc r at es ———. Ā e G olden Ass , o r Ā e M etamorphoses.
supposed t hat he en joyed t he r egular s er vices o f Translated b y W. Adlington. Ne w York: B arnes
one such being. and Noble Books, 2004.
Ā e Apology, a w ork t hat ma ny s cholars c on- ———. Metamorphoses. E dited a nd t ranslated b y
sider autobiographical, defends Apuleius a gainst J. Ar thur Hanson. Cambridge, M ass.: H arvard
a c harge brought a gainst h im by t he relatives of University Press, 1989.
his w ife, P rudentilla. H er f ormer hei rs, d isap- Londley, David, and Carmen Johansen. Ā e Logic of
pointed in t heir e xpectations o f an inh eritance, Apuleius [Peri h ermeneias]. L eiden a nd N ew
accused Apuleius of having u sed bl ack ma gic to York: E . J. Brill, 1987.
win her hand.
Contemporary r eaders, h owever, p rincipally
remember Apuleius for having penned what many Aqueducts of Rome See Fr ontin us,
deem to be t he o nly co mplete e xample of t he Sextus J uli us.
Roman n ovel s till su rviving. Ā is work, entitled
Metamorphoses by Apu leius but re named Ā e
Gol den Ass (or Ā e Golden Ass of Lucius Apulei- Aratus of Soli (Aratos of Soli) (b. ca. 315
us) by its subsequent editors, is a fi rst- person nar- ...) Greek poet
rative that reports what happens to a Greek named Ā e sub ject o f t hree u seful a ncient b iographies,
Lucius when, while traveling, he arrives at a place Aratus w as b orn in C ilicia t o Athenodorus and
full of witches. When he asks for a demonstration Letophilia. An o lder c ontemporary o f t he p oet
56 Arbitration, The

Ca l l ima c hu s, A ratus s tudied w ith t he g ram- In the section entitled “Ā e Signs of the Weath-
marian Menecrates of Ephesus, with the philoso- er,” a nother v ery te chnical d iscussion o f t he
phers Timon and Menedemus, and later with the Metonic Cycle and the Metonic calendar appears
Stoic Z eno. L ikely t hrough t his l ast c onnection, together with a cata logue of the influence of vari-
Aratus w as in vited to t he c ourt o f Mac edonia. ous stars on terrestrial and on nautical activities.
Ā ere t he k ing o f Mac edonia, A ntigonus ( ruled Ā e M etonic c ycle, na med f or t he A thenian
276–239 b.c .e.), c ommissioned A ratus to w rite a astronomer Meton ( fl. fift h c entury b .c. e.), i s
poem o n t he s ubject o f a stronomy. A ratus not based on a period of about 19 years, or almost 235
only did so, he also managed to preserve for pos- lunar c ycles b etween th e times t he n ew m oon
terity much of t he a ncient Greeks’ k nowledge of appears o n t he s ame d ay a s i t d id a t t he c ycle’s
that science, even though the poet was not him- beginning.
self an astronomer. Excellent English translations of the poem are
As his so urces, A ratus e mployed t wo p rose available.
treatises w ritten b y a s tudent o f P l at o, t he
astronomer and mathematician Eudoxus of Cni- Bibliography
dus (ca. 390–337 b.c .e.), relying marginally on his Aratus, S olensis. Phaenomena. E dited a nd t rans-
Enoptron (Ā ings Visible) and principally on his lated b y D ouglas K idd. N ew Y ork: C ambridge
Phaenomena (Ā e Starry Sphere.). Aratus entitled University Press, 1997.
the resulting p oem Phaenomena k ai D iosemaiai ———. Sky Sig ns: A ratus P haenomena. Translated
(Ā e Starry Sphere and the Signs of the Weather). by S tanley L ombardo. B erkeley, C alif.: N orth
Of this poem in turn, Cicer o translated over 730 Atlantic Books, 1983.
lines as a youth into Latin verse, but, as the liter- G. R. Mair, trans. Aratus. In Callimachus and Lycro-
ary historian G. R. Mair tells us, only 670 lines of phon; Ar atus. Cambridge, M ass.: H arvard Uni-
that poem remain. Other Latin translations, how- versity Press, 1921.
ever, were later undertaken, and a full version by
Festus Avienus survives. Commentaries by math-
ematicians on Aratus’s work are also extant. Arbitration, The Menander (ca. early third
Ā e poem itself opens with an introductory sec- century ...)
tion f ollowed by a d escription of t he a xis o f t he Hope s till r emains t hat f urther f ragments o f Ā e
stellar sp here. F ollowing t his, t he p oet de votes Arbitration may come to light a mong papy ri d at-
almost 300 lines t o a d iscussion o f t he c onstella- ing t o t he H el l enist ic A ge a nd t he p eriod o f
tions observable in the northern sky. Ā e next sec- Roman rule over Egypt. What is currently known
tion of the poem addresses the constellations south to survive of Ā e Arbitration represents about half
of t he e cliptic and e nds wi th th e d iscussion o f of one of the Greek playwright Mena nder ’s most
“fixed stars”—those b eyond w hich t he Gr eeks skillfully crafted plays. Typical of the playwright’s
thought there were no more spheres. Ā e poet, for palette, Ā e A rbitration features you ng love rs
reasons of piety, declines to discuss the planets that caught in the toils of a seemingly intractable prob-
bore the name of the deities of the Greek pantheon: lem; c onflicts a nd m isunderstandings bet ween
Cronus (Saturn), Zeus (Jupiter), Ares (Mars), Aph- generations; a nd s tock t hough none theless i ndi-
rodite (Venus), and Hermes (Mercury). vidualized c haracters t hat in clude coo ks, p rosti-
Ā e poet next turns his attention to the circles tutes, drunken and craft y slaves, confidence artists,
of t he celestial sphere and a te chnical discussion flatterers, and braggart soldiers.
of t he ecliptic and the signs of the Zodiac. Ā ere Ā ough only a fragment of the first act survives,
follows a n i ncreasingly technical d iscussion o f on t he b asis o f w hat f ollows, o n w hat w e k now
the risings and settings of stars and their relation from o ther e xamples, a nd on t he Rom an pl ay-
to the setting of the sun. wright Pl aut us’s later adaptations of Menander’s
Arbitration, The 57

plots, the first act was probably preceded by a pro- arguing. A fter e xpressing h is w onder t hat sla ves
logue t hat b oth e stablished t he proble m t he pl ay argue cases, Smicrines consents.
will address and introduced the principal as well as Davus tel ls Sm icrines t hat, a bout a m onth
some of the comic secondary characters. before, he had found a baby exposed in the scrub-
Ā e p roblem i s t hat a bout 1 0 m onths b efore land n earby t ogether w ith a n ecklace and s ome
the action of play, a d runken man at an all-night other or naments. A t S yriscus’s u rgent re quest,
Athenian fe stival sexually a ssaulted t he pl ay’s Davus turned the baby over to h im and his wife,
heroine, Pamphila. Five months after her arranged who ha d r ecently lo st a c hild o f her o wn. N ow,
marriage—during m ost o f which t ime he r h us- however, S yriscus ha s l aid c laim to t he ob jects
band had b een away—she bore a ba by conceived found with the child. Davus argues that although
from that rape. She and her nurse have been try- he has given up the child, he is under no compul-
ing t o c onceal t hat f act f rom her r eturned h us- sion to give up the objects. Syriscus counters that
band. Ā ey a bandoned t he baby w ith s ome the objects may be the key to t he child’s identity
objects, leaving it where it would surely be found. and th at i f D avus s ells t hem, a ny ho pe t hat t he
Among the other principal characters, there is child may one day discover his parentage will be
Pamphila’s husband, Charisius. Formerly a sedate totally lost. Smicrines decides the case in favor of
and s omewhat p riggishly philosophical you ng Syriscus.
man, t he n ewly ma rried C harisius ha s sudden ly Now i n p ossession of t he o bjects, S yriscus
taken up with a harp-girl (a perfect entertainer & shows them to the servant Onesimus, who recog-
courtesan) named Habrotonon. At an extravagant nizes t hem as b elonging to C harisius; t hey had
rate, he rents her as a companion from a dealer in been lost while the young man was drinking.
such commodities. Charisius has installed Habro- As act 3 begins, we discover that Onesimus has
ton in a rented house that he also occupies, leaving revealed t he s ecret abo ut t he ba by to C harisius
his s pouse P amphila a nd her n urse a lone n ext and th at n ow t he s ervant i s a fraid to sho w h is
door in his own house. Ā e rented house belongs master the objects found with the exposed child.
to Chaerestratus, who also lives there. Ā e harp-girl, Habrotonon, expresses her dismay
Also uncharacteristically, Charisius has begun at being kept at a distance by Charisius. She had
spending la vishly to h ire c ooks. On e o f t hese, a thought he wanted to become her lover.
lewd and foulmouthed cook, serves as interlocu- With e ach pa ssing m oment, t he a udience
tor in the first act, commenting on the action and becomes s urer t hat C harisius i s t he f ather o f h is
cross- questioning t he s ervant O nesimus a bout wife’s c hild s ince e ach n ew c ircumstance ma kes
Charisius’s st rangely u nusual b ehavior. M ean- clearer t hat it was he w ho had v iolated her a t t he
while, Cha risius’s new father- in-law, t he shrewd festival of T auropolia. Nonetheless, Me nander
and matter-of-fact businessman Smicrines, fi nds strings o ut t hat c ertainty w ith n ew r evelations
his son- in- law’s u naccustomed profligacy de eply about Charisius’s fatherhood. Habrotonon remem-
troubling. After c omplaining a bout C harisius’s bers t he g irl ra vished a t t he f estival b ecause she
spendthrift ways, a curious Smicrines goes to visit was t he f riend of a f riend. She a grees to t ake t he
his daughter to see if he can find out what is hap- ring and the child in to Charisius and claim that he
pening. Ā e cook advises Charisius of Smicrines’ gave t he r ing to her w hile she w as still a ma iden.
arrival. Ā e conspirators think there will at least be a gen-
Most of act 2 survives. As it begins, Smicrines erous r eward, a nd p erhaps, i f C harisius b elieves
is just about to enter his daughter’s dwelling when them, Habrotonon will receive her freedom as the
he i s i nterrupted b y t he a rrival o f the c harcoal mother of his child.
burner Syriscus; Syriscus’s wife, who is carry ing a The rest of act 3 i s missing. We k now, how-
baby; and the truculent goatherd Davus. Ā e men ever, t hat a n i ncreasingly a ngry Sm icrines
ask Smicrines to adjudicate a c ase they have been returns, h aving c ollected d etailed e vidence o f
58 Archestratus

his on-
s in- law’s spendthrift ways. We also know situation a s t he l ast su rviving f ragment o f t he
that, confronted with his own signet ring, Cha- play peters out.
risius a cknowledges p aternity o f t he ba by, a nd
in the resultant hubbub the party that the cook Bibliography
was p reparing f or b reaks u p. N ot ha ving b een Menander. Menander. E dited b y D avid R . Sl avitt
paid, the cook tells all he has seen to Smicrines, and P almer B owie. P hiladelphia: U niversity o f
but he embroiders his tale, a lleging that Chari- Pennsylvania Press, 1998.
sius i ntends to b uy Ha brotonon’s f reedom a nd ———. Menander [En glish and Greek]. 3 vols. Trans-
violate his marriage contract with Pamphila. A lated a nd e dited b y W . G . A rnott. C ambridge,
thoroughly outraged Smicrines resolves to see Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1979–2000.
justice done, and the act ends. ———. Ā e Plays and Fragments: Menander. Trans-
Much of act 4 has also been lost, but we know lated by Maurice Balme. Oxford and New York:
its b eginning t o h ave p rincipally in volved an Oxford University Press, 2001.
extended argument between father and daughter
as Smicrines argued her unsuitability for a ménage
à trois. Smicrines also pointed out that Charisius Archestratus (Archestratos of Gela) See
could not a fford t o s ustain s uch an extended Hedupathei a.
household. Pa mphila, ho wever, i s u nconvinced
by all her father’s arguments and refuses to aban-
don her husband. Archilochus (Archilochos) (fl. ca. 680
As t he f ragmentary t ext r esumes, M enander ...) Greek poet
gives u s an encounter be tween Habrotonon a nd Born in Paros, perhaps to a slave woman, the poet
Pamphila. Habrotonon recognizes Pamphila from Archilochus later moved to Ā asos. For a time he
the f estival, a ssures her t hat she ha s Pa mphila’s followed t he calling o f a m ercenary s oldier. A
baby, a nd e xplains t hat i ts f ather i s n one o ther story is told of him that when his beloved Neobule
than C harisius. Charisius overhears e verything and h e wi shed t o marry, her father Lycambes
and i s torn by guilt and self-hatred, a nd On esi- refused p ermission. Fu rious w ith Lycambes f or
mus overhears h is m aster’s self-reproach. A fter refusing h is p ermission and wi th N eobule f or
further business in which Habrotonon convinces obeying her pa rent, A rchilochus s o e ffectively
Charisius that he and his wife are indeed the par- lampooned bo th o f t hem in s atiric verse that
ents of this child, act 4 concludes. father and daughter committed suicide by hang-
Act 5 is also fragmentary. We can guess that ing themselves. Among the fragments of his work
manumission f rom slavery awaits Habrotonon remaining t o u s, w e find a p ortion of t he v erse
and p robably O nesimus. T he Sm icrines sub - that produced this unfortunate result.
plot, ho wever, c ontinues i ts de velopment a s a Ā e o ther f ragments o f A rchilochus’s w ork
now irrational Smicrines reenters, prepared to include elegies, hymns, and iambic verses. As his
kidnap his daughter a nd too a ngry to l isten to recent bio grapher, F rederic Wi ll, su ggests, t he
anyone. O nesimus, ho wever, e xplains t o h im fragments r eveal a p oet finely at tuned t o h is
that, b eing f ar to o o ccupied o therwise to g ive senses. His terse word pictures evoke both visual
attention to each person in the world, the gods and tactile responses. I n English it is d ifficult to
have p ut i n e ach perso n cha racter t hat c an illustrate the way Archilochus matched the musi-
either guard or ruin a person. Onesimus advis- cality of his verse to its images and to its function
es Smicrines to propitiate that genuine deity by as, say, a marriage hymn or a l ampoon. It is also
doing n othing f oolish. Gr adually t he a rgu- difficult in Greek, for modern s cholars ar e n ot
ments of t he o ther c haracters b egin to o ver- certain of the precise pronunciation of his dialect.
come Smicrines’ misunderstanding of the complex Nonetheless, A rchilochus w as t hought b y h is
Archimedes 59

successors to b e a ma ster c raftsman. Twentieth- cylinder and the sphere and t he way to m easure
century c ritics a lso su ggest t hat he r emains the circle; he w rote about the spiral, about cones
particularly appealing because his surviving verse and s pheres, an d o n s tatics a nd h ydrostatics a s
suggests an almost modern sensibility. well. He also calculated the value of pi (π), work-
Archilochus’s love poems catch the depth and ing it out to many places.
the impact of his feeling and the way those effects To a ssist i n the study of astronomy, A rchime-
surprise the poet. But he was not merely a pretty des invented a nd fabricated a pa ir of astronomi-
poet, he was a lso a s oldier, a nd some of h is su r- cal g lobes. On e w as appa rently s tationary; t he
viving p oems d eal wi th w ar, c onveying th e other app ears t o h ave been m echanized a nd to
excitement and joy of battle as well as its horrors. have i llustrated t he m ovements o f t he he avens
Frederic W ill c ites a b rief e xample f rom F rag- as Archimedes understood them. Ā is globe was
ment 5 9 of the p oet’s w ork: “ Seven m en f allen taken as booty by t he Roman general Ma rcellus
dead, whom we hammered with feet, / a thousand after the sack of Syracuse in 212 b.c. e.
killers we.” In a n ancient s hipwreck d iscovered off the
In his personal philosophy, Archilochus seems Mediterranean I sland of Antikythera in 1971, a
to anticipate the stoics. He faces the human condi- mechanism for a similar moving globe was found.
tion steadily and sometimes scoffs at human foi- Studied b y Der ek De S olla P rice, t he “ Antiky-
bles, satirizing the vice of miserliness, for example. thera mechanism,” a s i t i s k nown, p roved to b e
Splendid English versions of the poetic remains of “an a rrangement o f d ifferential gears i nscribed
Archilochus ar e a vailable i n t he t ranslations o f and configured to produce solar a nd lunar posi-
Richmond Lattimore and Guy Davenport. tions in synchronization with the calendar year.”
Price co nnected t he de vice w ith a n a stronomer,
Bibliography Geminus of Rhodes, and placed its date of manu-
Davenport, Guy, trans. Archilocus, Sappho, Alkman: facture at 87 b.c .e. It may well be that Archime-
Ā ree Lyric P oets of th e L ate G reek Bron ze A ge. des’ mechanism was similar.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980. On t he practical side, Archimedes contributed
Lattimore, R ichmond. Greek Lyrics. Chicago: Uni- many u seful i nventions a nd i deas to t he w orld.
versity of Chicago Press, 1960. Among these was a device for raising water from a
Will, Frederic. Archilochos. New York: Twayne Pub- lower source to irrigate higher fields—an invention
lishers, 1969. still used in places such as rural India and Egypt,
where electric power sources are in short supply. A
famous story about Archimedes relates that, while
Archimedes (ca. 287–212 ...) Greek prose taking hi s b ath, h e c ried o ut “Eu reka!” ( I ha ve
writer found it!) when he realized that by mea sur ing the
Ā e ancient Greeks ascribed a broader purview to displacement o f water h e co uld ac curately ga uge
the field of literature than we moderns are accus- the specific g ravity o f i tems i mmersed i n i t. Ā is
tomed to do, a nd w riters on astronomy, physics, made possible testing whether or not the crown of
and m athematics were n umbered a mong t hose the tyrant of Syracuse, Hieron, was made o f pure
whose w orks t he a ncients c onsidered l iterary. A gold or was an alloy containing base metal.
giant among t he e arly practitioners of t hose sci- Archimedes interested himself in military sci-
ences was Archimedes. ence a s well. He i s c redited w ith i nventing sie ge
He w as b orn a t Sy racuse o n S icily, a nd h is engines and other apparatus that launched multi-
genius s erved h is n ative city a nd po sterity i n ple weapons and that helped the Syracusans hold
practical as well as theoretical ways. On the theo- the Romans at bay for more than three years. One
retical sid e, A rchimedes d iscovered t he ma the- story t hat ma y b e ap ocryphal su ggests t hat h e
matical relationship b etween t he volumes of t he invented a lens to focus the sun’s rays intensely at
60 Argonautika, The

a distance and used it to set fire to a Roman fleet. Argonautika, The (The Argonautica)
While i n t heory this m ay b e p ossible, no one Apollonius of Rhodes (ca. 265 ...)
before Luci a n o f Sa mosat a seems to have told Returning in both matter and manner to the sort
the story. of E pic t hat Hom er and th e H omer ida e had
Fond of m athematical jokes a nd p uzzles, penned ce nturies e arlier, Ap ollonios R hodios
Archimedes wrote (for Hieron’s son, Gelo) a trea- (Apollo nius o f R hodes) ignored i ntervening
tise proving that it was perfectly possible to work examples of rationalization, allegorizing, secular-
out t he n umber o f g rains o f s and i n t he w orld. izing, and a contemporary poetic taste for arcane
Using m aterial f rom H omer ’s Th e O dys sey , he allusiveness. For his subject he takes the voyage of
also s howed th at th e n umber o f A pollo’s c attle Jason and the Argonauts to the land of Kolchis in
must have amounted to many millions. search o f t he m ysterious a nd n uminous Golden
Archimedes’ extant works survive in later edi- Fleece. Ā is archetypal Greek voyage of e xplora-
tions and reconstructions produced over time by tion in the Argo—the first vessel the Greeks ever
various hands. sailed aboard—had ta ken pl ace a g eneration
Archimedes met his death during the Roman
before the Trojan War a nd had provided a seem-
sack o f S yracuse d espite t he Ro man g eneral
ingly in exhaustible s upply of g rist fo r t he e pic
Marcellus’s orders to take him alive. Interrupt-
mill. Apollonios adopts the same attitude toward
ed at his work by a Roman soldier, Archimedes
his s ubject t hat c haracterized h is p redecessors:
expressed h is a nnoyance a t b eing d isturbed;
myth i s h istory. (Ā e o rigins o f h is p eople were
not re alizing w ho he w as, t he s oldier c ut h im
inextricably e ntangled w ith e arly e vents a s th e
myths recorded them.) Apollonios also reverts to
Long a fter A rchimedes’ de ath, w hile t he
the attitude of the earlier poets toward the immor-
Roman writer and statesman Cice r o was serving
as an official in Sicily, he rediscovered A rchime- tals. H e ta kes t he g ods and o ther i mmortals a t
des’ n eglected to mb i n 7 5 b.c .e. It was marked face va lue; as t he s cholar a nd translator Peter
with a c olumn bearing the i mage o f a sp here Green has suggested, he do es not, feel obliged to
enclosed in a cylinder. secularize the sacred.

Archimedes. Ā e Works of Ar chimedes: Translated Book 1
into En glish, T ogether w ith Euto cius’ C ommen- Inspired by his namesake, Phoebus Apollo, Apol-
taries, w ith Com mentary, and C ritial E dition of lonios begins his poem by recalling t he circum-
the D iagrams. T ranslated and e dited b y R eviel stance t hat l ed Jason t o u ndertake th e v oyage.
Netz. C ambridge a nd N ew Y ork: C ambridge Fording the Anauros River, Jason lost a sandal in
University Press, 2004. the m ud a nd a rrived half-shod a t t he c ourt o f
———. Ā e W orks of Ar chimedes. E dited b y T. L . Pelias, t he s on o f t he s ea g od P oseidon. Re cog-
Heath. M ineola, N .Y.: D over P ublications, nizing i n J ason t he one- sandaled man whose
2002. arrival presaged Pelias’s doom, Pelias invented a
Rice, Rob S. “Ā e Antikythera Mechanism: Physical quest for Jason on the spur of the moment—a sea
and Intellectual Salvage from the First C entury voyage to recover the golden fleece of the magic,
b.c .e.” A vailable online. U RL:http:// ccat .sas . winged r am that had c arried a way P hrixos a nd
upenn .edu/ rrice/ usna _pap .html. Accessed Feb- Helle, the children of Athamas, King of Ā ebes.
ruary. 15, 2006. Apollonios leaves it to h is readers to know the
Rose, Herbert Jennings. A Handbook of Greek Liter- accounts o f t he w ay t he sh ip w as b uilt b y A rgo
ature from Homer to the Age of Lucian. New York: according to t he instructions of Athena, goddess
E. P. Dutton and Company, 1934. of wisdom, and calls on all the Muse s for further
Argonautika, The 61

inspiration. H e c ontinues h is v ersion w ith a of an island near Phrygia attempt unsuccessfully

lengthy r ecital o f t he na mes a nd g enealogies o f to s eal off the s hip’s p assage from h arbor w ith
Jason’s n umerous c ompanions o n t he voyage t o stones. Once, d riven bac k by adverse w inds, t he
Kolchis. Ā at done , the story le aps a head to t he Argonauts h ave t o fight t he f ormerly f riendly
moment of e mbarkation a nd t he g rief o f J ason’s Doliones w ho, i n t he d ark, ha ve m istaken t heir
inconsolable mother, Alkimédé, as her son leaves friends for pirates.
home to join his contingent of heroes. During their next passage, the Argo is becalmed
At the ship, Jason instructs the crew to appoint for 12 d ays u ntil, u rged b y a g oddess, t he m en
a le ader. Ā e m en su ggest t he hero H eracles propitiate the earth goddess Rhea with a sacrifice.
(Hercules). H e, ho wever, d efers to Ja son. A ll Ā en, as they approach Mysia, Heracles breaks an
approve the choice, and the men launch the ship oar. When t hey a rrive, he g oes to r eplace it, a nd
and prepare the sacrifices needed for a propitious his beloved page Hylas drowns because of a wood
voyage. Ā e n ext m orning, ac companied b y t he nymph’s passionate kiss while trying to fi ll a water
music of t he proto-musician a nd poet, Orpheus, pitcher at a spring. Disconsolate, Heracles leaves
the voyage proper begins. the ship’s company to m ourn, a nd t he a uthor i s
After a f ew d ays’ s ailing, ro wing, a nd b each- spared trying to make the epic’s challenges inter-
ing as n ecessary, the s hip c omes at n ightfall to esting when one member of the crew is an invin-
the i sland o f Lemnos. Ā ere t he w omen had cible demigod.
slaughtered a ll the men but one when t heir hus- After setting sail, Heracles is missed, and a fight
bands, en ma sse, had p referred s leeping w ith breaks out among the crew over whether or not to
captive women to s leeping w ith their wives. Ā e go after him. However, a sea god, Glaucus, appears
one s urviving man—an elder—had b een sm ug- and explains that Heracles has another fate to f ul-
gled out to sea by his daughter, and all the women fill. Reconciled, the crew sails and rows on.
lived in constant fear that he would bring a mili-
tary expedition against them.
When the Argo arrives, however, and its crew’s Book 2
intentions prove peaceful, an elderly woman coun- As the sun rises and Book 2 begins, the Argonauts
sels t he o thers to offer t he g overnment of t he land a t t he k ingdom o f t he B ebrykians. Ā eir
island t o t he s hip’s c rew and settle d own w ith king, A mykos, i s i n t he ha bit o f c hallenging a ll
them in familial amity. Jason receives the invita- seafarers t o a b oxing ma tch. P olydeukes, s on o f
tion of the women’s leader, Hypsipyle, to come and Tyndareus, k ing of Sparta, accepts the challenge.
hear t his p roposal. D ressed i n h is finest c lothes, After an exchange of blows, Polydeukes’ superior
which are lovingly described by Apollonios, Jason skill results in a blow that kills Amykos. His sec-
arrives. He listens to the offer Hypsipyle outlines onds r ush i n to club Polydeukes, b ut t he A rgo-
and accepts a pa rt of it. Given h is que st, s ettling nauts draw their swords, killing some and driving
down is out of the question, but repopulating the the others off. Ā e Bebrykians discover that while
island with fresh inhabitants is not. Ā e seafarers they were w atching b oxing, th eir en emy L ykos
therefore linger on Lemnos until Heracles reproves has le d h is sp earmen a gainst t heir u nguarded
them for neglect of duty. orchards and villages.
Under Heracles’ u rging, t he Argo’s c rew l eave The Ar gonauts s ail o n a nd a t t heir n ext
the women. Jason asks Hypsipyle, should she bear landfall visit Phineas, a blind prophet. Phineas
a male child to h im, that when his son grows up, is h ounded b y H arpies, who ha ve been ea ting
she will send him to comfort Jason’s parents. Set- all o f h is f ood. W hen t he A rgonauts b efriend
ting forth once more, the crew continue eastward, him, t hough, t he m essenger o f t he g ods, I ris,
sometimes re ceiving a f air w elcome a nd s ome- swears that the Harpies will not trouble the old
times a hostile reception, as when the aborigines man f urther, a nd t he s tarving p rophet f easts
62 Argonautika, The

with the seafarers. I n recompense, he prophe- sacrifices to “Dawntime Apollo,” worshipping the
sies a s m uch as they are permitted t o k now god w ith s inging a nd d ancing. On t he t hird
about the balance of their voyage, and the read- morning, they resume their journey.
er ga ins a g uide to t he r est o f t he p oem. A n Ā eir n ext l andfall i s a mong t he M yriandyni,
interesting fac et o f t his part of the p oem the people who had raided the villages and orchards
involves the fact that, since the early tellings of of t he slain Bebrykian boxing king, Amykos. Ā e
the A rgonauts’ s tory, the m ap t hat had c on- mariners are viewed as heroes and allies and wel-
tained u nknown, m ythic, a nd f abled bl ank comed accordingly. Ā e Myriandyni k ing, Lykos,
spots d uring H omer’s d ay had b een f illed i n sends h is s on, Da skylos, w ith t he s eafarers to
with a ctual places—partly a s a r esult o f A lex- assure t heir welcome a mong h is a llies f urther to
ander the Great’s conquests. Apollonios t here- the east. Ā ough the Argonauts gain a companion,
fore adjusts the details of the story to account however, t hey lose t wo others. Idmon is k illed by
for more ac curate co ntemporary g eograph ical the c harge o f a w ild b oar, a nd t he hel msman,
knowledge. Tiphys, succumbs to a sudden illness. Others take
After f urther f easting a nd s acrifices, a nd f ol- their p laces, ho wever, a nd t he s ailors o vercome
lowing subordinate stories concerning local resi- their grief a nd s ail on . Ap ollonios c atalogues t he
dents and myths of origin of the favorable Etesian places t hey pass and mentions the associated his-
winds. Ā e A rgonauts a gain emba rk, he eding torical and mythic events. Ā ey pause to pay their
Phineas’s advice to carry with them a dove whose respects a nd make a s acrifice, for i nstance, at t he
flight w ill l ead them b etween c lashing r ocks tomb of Sthenelos, the sacker of Ā ebes. Ā ey pass
through the narrow a nd d angerous pa ssage t hat the delta of the Halys River in Assyria and the land
marks t he entrance to t he Bl ack S ea. Ā is t actic of the Amazons, whose activities Apollonios brief-
proves successful, and the dove shows the voyagers ly describes.
how to pa ss b etween ro cks t hat o pen a nd c lose. Ā e v oyagers c ome at le ngth to t he i sland o f
As t hey r each the h alfway p oint t hrough t he Ares—a p lace p opulated by fierce b irds t hat
clashing r ocks, however, a w hirlpool s tops t heir launch their wing feathers like arrows at passers-
forward pr ogress. Ā ere t he v oyage w ould ha ve by. Ā e p rophet P hineas had tol d t hem t hat,
ended had n ot t he g oddess o f w isdom, A thena, despite the danger the birds pose, the Argonauts
pushed t he ship forward a nd f ree of t he rocks— must p ut i n here if t heir j ourney i s t o succeed.
though the tip of the ship’s poop is sheared off by Accordingly, t he men lo ck t heir sh ields together
the rocks’ final clashing together. Athena’s action over t heir heads a nd, so protected, row for land.
has fi xed the rocks in their open position so that Apollonios rhetorically asks why Phineas wanted
the strait will be navigable thereafter. At least this them t o s top on Ares’ Island and proceeds to
is h ow A pollonios re conciles a ncient m yth a nd answer the question. B y c hance, t he t wo sons of
geo graph ical fact. that same Phrixos whom the winged, golden ram
Ā e crew congratulate Jason on having brought had b orne a way to K olchis ha ve b een s ailing
them th rough an d r ejoice th at th e w orst s eems westward w ith the i ntention o f c laiming th eir
over. Ja son, h owever, fe els t he re sponsibility of inheritance at Ā ebes. In order to bring them and
command weighing heavily on him and confesses the A rgonauts t ogether, t he g ods ha ve a rranged
his concern t hat he w ill not be up to the task of for Phrixos’s ship to be wrecked near Ares’ island.
bringing h is c rew s afely home. H e t akes he art, Ā ere the Argonauts encounter the four survivors
however, and the crew rows on through the night. of t he wreck—Phrixos’s t wo s ons, A rgos a nd
At dawn the next morning, they enter the harbor Melas, and two others.
at Ā ynias, and there they catch sight of the enor- All wonder at the divinely appointed meeting,
mous sun god Apollo, striding home from Lykia. and the A rgonauts explain t heir mission, asking
Awestruck, t he m ariners build a ltars a nd o ffer Argos and Melas to s erve as t heir guides to K ol-
Argonautika, The 63

chis. A rgos a nd Melas a re s truck w ith horror a t suggests that if Jason can prove himself by yoking
the p rospect o f taking t he Go lden Fle ece. Bu t Aiëtés’ brazen- footed, fire-breathing bu ll o xen
seeing t he fearlessness and determination of the and by spending the day, as Aiëtés does—plough-
Argonauts, Argos and Melas agree to hel p them. ing w ith them, sowing dragon’s teeth i n t he f ur-
Ā ey set sa il a nd at t he e nd o f B ook 2 a rrive a t rows, and then fighting and overcoming the fully
the furthest verge of the Black Sea and the land of armed warriors who spring forth from the teeth—
Kolchis. then an d o nly th en will Aiëtés give Jason the
Golden Fleece.
As J ason a nd h is c ompanions r eturn to t he
Book 3 ship, Argos, son of Phrixos, advises Jason to s eek
At t he b eginning of Book 3, Ap ollonios i nvokes magic help f rom A rgos’s young aunt, Medeia. I n
the muse of the lyre, Erato, to inspire him, for he the meantime, Aiëtés holds a council of his own at
is a bout t o s peak o f lo ve, a nd he i s f avored b y which he promises death and destruction for t he
Aphrodite. H e finds t he m use’s na me “ erotic,” Argonauts, b lithely i gnoring Ap ollo’s pre diction
despite the false etymology. While the Argonauts that h is o wn de struction w ould c ome f rom t he
remain in hiding among the reeds, the goddesses scheming of his offspring.
Hera and Athena conspire in a plan to assist them. Apollonios ne xt t urns to describing the
Ā ey decide t hat A phrodite ( here k nown b y her troubled dr eams of t he s leeping Medeia. I n
alternate name of Kypris) can help by making the them she foresees that she will cast her lot with
princess Me deia fall i n l ove w ith Ja son. I n a the s trangers a nd g o ho me w ith J ason a s h is
delightfully humorous s cene, t he goddesses pre- wife. W hen she a wakens, she ma kes s everal
vail on Kypris to have her son, Eros, shoot one of attempts to go see her sister to offer the strang-
his love- engendering arrows into t he bosom of ers a id, b ut her c ourage f ails her e ach t ime.
Medeia. Kypris br ibes her s on to do i t w ith t he Finally a servant observes her irresolute behav-
promise of a splendid ball to play with. Eros goes ior a nd i nforms her si ster, C halkíope, w ho
off to accomplish his task. comes to Medeia and enlists her o n t he side of
In the meantime, the Argonauts hold a council the A rgonauts. A pollonios do es a p articularly
to de termine ho w t hey ma y b est g o a bout t heir craftsman-like job in conveying Medeia’s inter-
task. Ā ey d ecide to s end a n e mbassy, i ncluding nal c onflict a s she si des a gainst her o wn k in
Jason, t he sons o f P hrixos, and th eir K olchian with total strangers—even considering su icide
companions t o see i f t hey c an ga in t he fleece by as a means to end her anguish.
peaceful m eans. C oncealed f rom t he e yes o f t he In t he morning, however, M edeia prepares a
citizens by a fog sent by Hera, t hey ma rch to t he potion t o p rotect J ason f rom t he b ulls he m ust
palace of the king, Aiëtés. Ā ere the sons of Phrix- yoke and an elaborate plan for delivering it and
os en counter t heir m other, M edeia’s si ster deceiving her ma ids a nd c ompanions. F inally
Chalkíope, and others, including the king and his she a nd Jason meet a nd sp eak i n private. Jason
daughter Medeia, soon join them. asks for the promised drugs, and she gives them
Eros also sneaks into the assembly and, crouch- along with detailed instructions for taming the
ing a t J ason’s f eet, sho ots a n a rrow d irectly i nto bulls a nd ma king t he d ragon’s-teeth w arriors
Medeia’s he art. She i s i nstantly c onsumed w ith kill e ach o ther. S he a lso pre dicts t hat he w ill
passion f or t he hero . A rgos, t he s on o f P hrixos, carry the Golden Fleece home with him. As they
introduces hi s companions and e xplains th eir talk, Jason also falls in love.
mission, putting it in the best possible light. Aië- Ā at n ight, Ja son p erforms t he r ituals as
tés, h owever, flies i nto a r age a nd ac cuses t he instructed, and th e g oddess o f n ight, H ékaté,
Argonauts o f h aving c ome to s eize h is t hrone. hears a nd g rants h is p rayers. B ack a t t he sh ip,
Jason assures him that is not his intention. Aiëtés his c omrades t est h is bew itched a rms a nd find
64 Argonautika, The

them indestructible. Jason faces the bulls, finding In the meantime the Kolchians have answered
himself t o b e u nfazed b y their fiery b reath a nd Aiëtés’ c all to arms, and i n a ma ssed f orce t hey
attempts to gore h im. He m asters t hem, y okes speed along the riverbank in search of their ene-
them, and begins to plough the field and sow drag- mies. When they become aware that the Argo has
on’s t eeth. Four s own a cres l ater, h e u nyokes t he sailed, they make haste to launch their own ships
oxen, d rinks a well-deserved helmet full of water in p ursuit. M any h opelessly p ursue t he Argo by
from the nearby river, and looks around to see the the same route t he A rgonauts had c hosen. O th-
ploughed land sprouting companies of fully armed ers, ho wever, le d b y M edeia’s b rother A psyrtos,
men. Fol lowing Me deia’s instructions, he h urls a cut off the fugitives and force t hem to pa rley. In
boulder among t hem, and instantly they begin to this desperate strait, Medeia and Jason c onspire
fight e ach o ther. Jason j oins th e fr ay an d s ends to trick and kill Apsyrtos rather than risk having
myriads to t heir deaths. Ā us defeated, a dejected Medeia re turned to her f ather. Ap ollonios i nter-
King A iëtés s links b ack t o h is palace, b rooding jects a n add ress to t he god of love, blaming him
about how he might defeat the Argonauts. for all the grief to follow.
Medeia and her brother meet, ostensibly in pri-
vate. However, j ust as she pretends to agree with
Book 4 her brother to de ceive t he A rgonauts, Jason steps
Apollonios begins Book 4—the final book of his from h is hiding p lace and c uts d own A psyrtos
epic—by i nvoking the d aughter o f Z eus a s h is while Medeia looks away. A torch signals the Argo-
muse. Ā is p resents a bit of a p roblem si nce a ll nauts, who bring their ship alongside the Kolchian
the Muses as well as all the goddesses mentioned ambassadors’ s hip an d s laughter i ts oc cupants.
above thus far are the daughters of Zeus. Perhaps Ā ey then flee under cover of darkness. Ā eir pur-
he means to i nvoke the aid of whichever of them suit by the Kolchian fleet is hindered by Hera, who
can best resolve h is d ifficulties as he u ndertakes sends storms.
to u nravel Me deia’s mot ives i n ac companying Ā e Argonauts’ treachery, however, cannot go
Jason back to Greece. unpunished. Ze us d ecrees t hat they m ust b e
Aiëtés f eels s ure that Medeia is mixed up in cleansed b y t he witch Ki rke (Circe) b efore t hey
Jason’s v ictory. Medeia fe els very f rightened, but can g et ho me. A pollonios u ses s everal d ifferent
the goddess H era “stirs her to flee.” S he escapes sources t o co nstruct a ro undabout ro ute f or t he
to t he sho re, w here she a ttracts t he a ttention o f seafarers t o follow home: Ā ey sa il up the Dan-
the Argonauts, and they send a boat for her. After ube R iver ( here, t he Is ter) to Is tria, a nd t hence
boarding, sh e c ounsels i mmediate flight a nd south t o t he m outh o f t he P o (the Erídanós)—a
throws herself on Jason’s me rcy. He prom ises t o river t hey f ollow into t he territory oc cupied b y
marry her, a nd she u ndertakes to g et t he A rgo- the Celts. In reality, t here i s no confluence of the
nauts t he G olden Fle ece b y p utting i ts g uardian Po and the Rhone (the Rhódanos)—the river that
serpent to sleep. the Argonauts fol low back to the Mediterranean
Ā e crew row as near as they can to the shrine before coa sting w estern Italy a nd t hen c rossing
where the fleece is k ept; t hen Jason and Medeia to sail along the Egyptian coast. Ā ere is no rea-
go after it together. Ā e serpent hears them com- son t o i magine, h owever, that A pollonios h ad a
ing and h isses s o loudly t hat p eople a ll over t he detailed knowledge of the geography of the Alps,
region a re f rightened. M edeia’s ma gic, h owever, or no logical reason to prevent his thinking that a
hypnotizes t he b east. J ason t akes p ossession o f confluence of rivers that seemed to come together
the fleece, a nd t he t wo retrace t heir s teps to t he might not have existed.
ship, where Jason installs Medeia on the fleece as When t he A rgonauts d o finally r each K irke’s
on a s eat of honor. He arms the A rgonauts and home, M edeia a nd J ason p resent t hemselves a s
encourages them to weigh anchor and flee. wretched suppliants. But Kirke is utterly unsym-
Aristophanes 65

pathetic a nd, t hough s he c omplies with Z eus’s sea god Triton, who accepts a gift and offers them
behest to purify them, soon sends them packing. detailed instructions for fi nding a water route to
Under t he protection of various immortals, t hey the s ea a nd s ailing ho me. H owever, t hey s till
now must fol low the route t hat O dysseus would must overcome a d angerous obs tacle: M edeia
later na vigate o n h is r oundabout r eturn v oyage must bewitch the bronze giant Talus on the island
from Troy (see Ā e Odysse y). Eventually they end of C rete. A fter she do es s o, t hings g o sm oothly
up, as Odysseus also did, among the Phaiakians. for t he A rgonauts, a nd Ap ollonios le aves t hem
Ā e K olchians ha ve a lso a rrived t here, a nd to engaged i n f riendly c ontests o n t he Island o f
avert f urther b loodshed, th e P haiakian k ing, Aigina. From there they reach home without fur-
Alkinoos, undertakes to decide the fate of Mede- ther incident.
ia. Since she i s still a v irgin, it looks as if he w ill
return her to her f ather. To avoid t hat o utcome, Bibliography
Medeia a nd Ja son g et Q ueen A rete’s adv ice a nd Apollonios R hodios. Ā e Ar gonautika. T ranslated
determine that the time has come for t heir wed- and edited by Peter Green. Berkeley: University
ding. With gods and nymphs in attendance, they of California Press, 1997.
plight their troth in a cave and consummate their
union on a g reat ma rriage b ed spread over w ith
the Golden Fleece. A lkinoos finds i n t he newly- Aristides of Miletus See Milesi an Tales.
weds’ f avor a nd r efuses to r eturn M edeia to her
father. A fraid t o report that o utcome t o th eir
king, t he K olchians suc cessfully ple ad to b e Aristophanes (ca. 448–ca. 380 ...) Greek
allowed to remain in Alkinoos’s island k ingdom dramatist
of Phaiakia. Ā e most celebrated playwright of the Greek Old
Ā e A rgonauts o nce m ore r esume t heir v oy- Comedy, Ari stophanes w as b orn i n A thens b ut
age, but t hey a re not yet f ated to r eturn d irectly moved w ith his mother a nd h is father Philippos
home. R ather, t hey a re d riven b y s torms to t he to the island of Aegina during his childhood. By
Libyan coast, where a flood tide beaches them so 427 b.c .e., however, he was back in Athens pursu-
far i nland t hat t hey c annot ge t b ack to t he s ea. ing the vocation of playwright under an assumed
Just as they despair of ever seeing their homeland name. A lthough h is first comedy, Daitaleis (Ā e
again, three local goddesses advise them that they Banqueters) ha s n ot su rvived, w e k now t hat i t
must bodily pick their ship up and carry it inland won t he second prize i n t he comic competitions
until t hey e ncounter a ba y. Ā ey f ollow t hese that y ear an d t hat i t s atirized c itified ed ucation
instructions, and for 12 days they march with the and its products.
ship o n t heir sh oulders. F inally, ex hausted a nd In the Old Comedy, playwrights felt licensed—
parched, they pray to the local goddesses to show even compelled—to include topical material a nd
them a source of drinking water. Ā e three again to attack contemporary politicians and their poli-
appear a nd adv ise t hem t hat a nother traveler— cies. Ā is A ristophanes d id in hi s s econd pl ay,
Heracles, as it turns out—has preceded them and which is a lso l ost, e ntitled “ Ā e B abylonians.”
found water. Ā e goddesses direct the Argonauts He apparently took issue with the repressive poli-
to the spring. cies of the Athenian leader Cleon (d. 4 22 b.c. e.),
Ā eir jo urney ac ross t he L ibyan s ands c osts particularly as t hey a pplied to C leon’s t hreat to
the A rgonauts a pa ir o f c omrades: On e d ies b y slaughter or enslave the inhabitants of the city of
snakebite a nd a nother a t t he ha nd o f a ho stile Mytilene on the island of Lesbos when it revolted
shepherd. E ventually t he A rgonauts a nd t he against its Athenian overlords. Cleon was briefly
women who have accompanied them from Phaia- a pop ular figure among the Athenians for his res-
kia a s t he ha ndmaids o f M edeia en counter t he olution in pursuing the Peloponnesian War.
66 Aristophanes

Cleon was not amused at Aristophanes’ satiric early d ocument in t he li terature o f w omen’s
portrayal, and in 426 b.c .e., it seems he brought liberation.
charges o f h igh treason a gainst t he pl aywright, About t he s ame t ime app eared Ā e Ā esmo-
whom h e a lso fa lsely ac cused o f h aving b een phoriazusae (Women at the Th esmophor ia)—a
born a f oreigner. A ristophanes, ho wever, w as play departing f rom politics a ltogether a nd r idi-
apparently untroubled by the demagogue’s enmi- culing t he t ragic p laywright Eu r ipides a nd h is
ty as, in 425 b.c. e., still using an assumed identi- portrayal o f w icked w ives. A bout s ix years later
ty, he brought to the stage the first of his surviving (405 b .c .e.) c ame a pl ay m uch b eloved b y 2 0th-
comedies, Ā e A charnians. Ā is w ork, wh ich century a udiences, pe rhaps b ecause i t i s s et i n
argued for a peaceful resolution of the issues that Hades: Ā e Fr o g s, in which Euripides’ ghost fig-
had produced the long war, won fi rst prize in that ures prominently. After another gap in the record,
year’s comis contest, suggesting that at least some this time of 13 years, there appeared another fan-
influential A thenians had c ome o ver to A risto- tasy a bout the A thenian w omen s eizing p ower
phanes’ view of matters. from the men: Women a t the Ā esmophoria (also
Perhaps enc ouraged by t his s uccess, A risto- called Ā e Assembly Women or Ā e Parliament of
phanes dropped his pen name and under his own Women). I n 3 88 b .c .e. a ppeared t he l ast o f t he
produced a v iolent i nvective a gainst C leon, plays o f A ristophanes s till i n e xistence: Plutus
against the faults of democratic government, and (Wealth).
against t he war—another first prize winner, Ā e We k now t hat A ristophanes w rote f urther
Knig h t s (424 b.c .e.). Aristophanes’ most recent comedies. Papyrus fragments of lost plays—almost
editor a nd t ranslator, J eff rey H enderson, s ays 1,000 l ines of them—survive, le ading to a l ist i n
that th e p laywright r egularly “ promoted th e Henderson’s edition of some 39 or 40 titles, includ-
views” o f th e “ conservative right”—landowners ing the plays we have and t hose whose names, at
and old, wealthy families. least, we know. We also know that the aging play-
Ā e following year saw t he production of Ā e wright continued to develop and change. We have
Clo uds , a nd i n t he y ear 4 22 b .c. e. c ame Ā e direct e vidence and c ritical a ccounts s uggesting
Wasps. N ext, i n 4 21 b .c. e., t he c omedy Peace that t oward th e e nd o f his ca reer, A ristophanes
came to the stage, but no peace came to Athens. introduced to the Athenian stage the sorts of plays
Here a six-year hiatus occurs in the record, though that in the aggregate would become known as the
Aristophanes almost certainly continued writing New C omedy. I n Plutus, f or e xample, A risto-
and p roducing t hroughout t he p eriod. O ur phanes i nnovatively d ispenses w ith t he c horus,
knowledge resumes, however, in 414 b.c .e. with and in the lost play Cocalus, which was produced
his p roduction o f Ā e Bir ds—a second-prize by h is s on A raros, he i s s aid to ha ve i ntroduced
winner—ando ft he now-lost Amphiarus. Ā e many devices in addition to those of rape and rec-
Birds is especia lly i mportant i n t he pl aywright’s ognition ( earlier u sed i n E uripides’ Ion ) t hat
development a s i t i ntroduces h is thereafter- became standard in the New Comedy.
continuing emphasis on the theme of a po liti cal In his Sympos ium, P l at o de picts A risto-
utopia. phanes a s a mong h is w ork’s ba nqueters. P lato
As the Peloponnesian War dragged on, and as characterizes t he p laywright a s g enial, u rbane,
po liti cal invective a nd s atire p roduced l ittle and intelligent.
impact upon the decisions of a series of Athenian See also c omedy in Gr eece a nd Rome.
politicians with respect to the war, Aristophanes
perhaps lo st f aith i n t he c apacity o f t hat s ort o f Bibliography
drama t o s way p olitical e vents. H is n ext pl ay, Henderson, Je ff rey, e d. a nd t rans. Aristophanes.
Lysist r at a (411 b.c .e.), represents a flight i nto 4 vols. C ambridge, M ass.: Ha rvard U niversity
utopian fantasy. At the same time, t he play is an Press, 1998–2002.
Aristotle 67
Oates, Whitney J., a nd Eugene O’Neill, Jr., eds. Ā e and d ebate. Ā us, A ristotle w as r esponsible f or
Complete Greek Drama. Vol. 2. New York: Ran- moving ph ilosophy i n t he d irection of n atural
dom House, 1938. science.
Some of what survives of Aristotle’s work was
probably re constituted i n ancient tim es o n t he
Aristotle (385–322 ...) Greek prose writer basis of the notes that his students took during his
A te acher, p hilosopher, a nd p olymath, A ristotle lectures a nd h is d iscussions w ith t hem. To t his
was among the deepest thinking and most influ- class of his work belong his treatises on ethics (see
ential of all philosophers through the ages. Nic homa c hea n Et hic s, Th e) a nd o n politics—
A Macedonian by birth, Aristotle was the son works pr obably c ollected a nd e dited, i n t he first
of a physician who ministered to K ing Amyntas instance, by his son Nicomachus and, in the sec-
II of Macedonia—a connection t hat would later ond, by his student Eudemas.
benefit t he p hi losopher. W hen he w as 22 y ears Ā e w ork o f A ristotle t hat m ost d irectly
old, A ristotle mo ved to A thens to s tudy w ith addresses the literary arena includes his Poet ic s
Pl a t o, whose pupil he remained until he was 42. and his Rhetoric. Ā e Rhetoric reflects t he de ep
On Plato’s death, Aristotle moved to t he Troadi- and abiding interest of the Greek world, especial-
an community of Assos for three years, then on ly a t A thens, i n t he a rts of public speaking and
to M ytilene on t he i sland of L esbos, w here he persuasion—skills crucial to e xercising influence
remained until 344 b.c .e. In that year King Philip in a democracy. I treat the Poetics in greater detail
of M acedonia, t he s on o f A ristotle’s f ather’s f or- elsewhere in this volume.
mer e mployer, i nvited A ristotle t o b ecome th e Beyond his forays into the literary realm, how-
tutor to h is s on A lexander. A ccepting, A ristotle ever, A ristotle’s su rviving d iscussions add ress a
occupied that office until 335 b.c .e., when Alexan- daunting array of topics. In his Organon (six trea-
der, en route to b ecoming surnamed “the Great,” tises on the science of reasoning), he establishes a
set out on his conquest of Asia. series o f c ategories o r p redicates p urporting t o
Returning to A thens, A ristotle f ounded a exhaust t he a nalytical s tatements t hat c an b e
school of ph ilosophy i n a garden s acred to offered about a subject. Moving on to a t heory of
Apollo—the L yceum. O wing to h is pr actice of interpretation, he offers his views on the relation
strolling about i n de ep d iscussion w ith h is s tu- of l anguage t o t hought, a ccompanying t hose
dents, his school and its adherents became known views with a discussion of grammar and an anal-
as t he Pe r ipa t eti c sc hool o f phil osoph y. At ysis of philosophical discourse. I n t he section of
the L yceum, A ristotle c ollected a subs tantial the Organon entitled “Prior Analytics,” he makes
library of scrolls, founded a museum of natural what is probably his most important contribution
history, a nd sha red h is t hinking w ith h is to philosophy, his invention of the syllogism as a
students. method for the e xamination of ph ilosophical
Ā at thinking covered the entire field of human questions. In the section entitled “Posterior Ana-
knowledge as it was then constituted. Over time, lytics,” A ristotle p ropounds a t heory o f k nowl-
he came to disagree fundamentally with his for- edge, addressing its definition, its acquisition, the
mer teacher, Plato. Whereas Plato had c onceived way one c an be certain of its t ruth, a nd t he way
of the nature of reality as understood by people to knowledge c an b e e xpanded a nd s ystematically
be t he perception of a reflection of a reality that arranged. Ā e Organon also contains Aristotle’s
was co nstituted b y i mmutable i deas, A ristotle discussions entitled “On Sophistical Refutations,”
came to t hink of the physical world a s material, “On C oming t o Be a nd Passing Away,” and “On
and he preferred methods that were more empiri- the Cosmos.”
cal t han P lato’s. U nderstanding the n ature of From t he p oint of v iew of t he mo dern d isci-
reality required experiment, not merely reflection pline o f p hysics, A ristotle’s t itle Physics, as hi s
68 Aristotle

translators P hilip H . W icksteed and F rancis M. Objects,” “ Memory a nd Re collection,” “ Sleep

Cornford suggest, is misleading. In Physics, Aris- and Waking,” and “ Dreams,” a nd he c oncerned
totle’s principal interest is the realm of nature and himself with the topic of “Prophecy in Sleep,” in
natural p hilosophy. E verything t hat m oves o r addition to co nsidering “ Ā e L ength a nd Sho rt-
undergoes change concerns him here. In his dis- ness of L ife,” “ Youth a nd O ld A ge,” “L ife a nd
cussion, h e ra ises s uch q uestions a s “ What i s Death,” a nd “Re spiration.” H e de voted f urther
motion? ” “ What i s t ime? ” or “ What does o ne attention to t he last-named s ubject i n h is e ssay
mean by ‘ becoming’? ” He c onsiders t he d iffer- “On Breath.”
ences between mind and matter and the nature of Animals attracted A ristotle’s en during a tten-
the f our G reek elem ents: e arth, a ir, fire, and tion, and h is s tudies of a nd reflections on t hem,
water. He also examines the issues of whether or their history, their parts, their movements, their
not change is purposeful, and, if it is purposeful, progression, a nd t heir g eneration o ccupy five
does t hat i mply t he n ecessity f or a t heology to bilingual books i n a 2 3-volume mo dern e dition
explain t he physical world a nd its processes? He of his work.
thought it did. Partly b ecause o f A ristotle’s p roductivity,
In his work On the Heavens, Aristotle begins his some works have become traditionally associat-
description o f a t heory o f t he u niverse t hat ed with his name even though they were actually
remained ge nerally c redited, a t le ast f or l iterary written by anonymous members o f t he p eripa-
purposes, until the 17th century c.e. (He completes tetic school of ph ilosophy t hat he had fou nded.
the description in his Metaphysics.) He describes a Such w ritings include m ost o f the 3 8 b ooks
finite, spherical universe with the earth at its cen- (scrolls) included in the collection entitled Prob-
ter a nd b ounded b y t he fi xed s tars. B eyond t he lems. Among many other matters, these address
universe, only the incorporeal—probably divine— such to pics a s “ chills a nd sh ivering,” “ sexual
can exist. Moving inward from the fixed stars, we intercourse,” “harmony,” and the physical effects
find a s eries of n ine c rystalline sp heres that turn of eating fruit.
like a system of gears, impelled by a force called (in In t he 14 books o f h is Metaphysics, A ristotle
Latin) t he primum mobile—an u nmoved o r first undertakes to apply his extraordinary logical and
mover. I mbedded i n e ach sphere a re st ars, o r a analytical abilities to developing a t heology t hat
planet, or the sun, or the moon. underpins p hysical reality. As one of Aristotle’s
Little esca ped b ecoming an object of Aris- modern e ditors, Hugh T redennick, obs erves, i n
totle’s close consideration. Ā e weather and phe- this attempt, Aristotle ironically ends up with a
nomena that he considered related to it received position that closely approximates the thought of
his a ttention i n h is Meteorologica, i n w hich he his t eacher, Plato—a p osition t hat A ristotle had
examined topics st udied i n modern meteorolo- long si nce rejected. I n e ssence, he r efutes a c en-
gy, such as snow, rain, storms, rainbows, and the tral p rinciple o f his e ntire p hilosophic p osition.
aurora borealis. Beyond this, his work addressed As a materialist, A ristotle was committed to t he
some o f t he co ncerns of mo dern a stronomy: precept t hat no for m c an e xist w ithout ma tter.
shooting stars, comets, and the Milky Way. Ele- But i n t he final a nalysis, h is c onception o f t he
ments of geology also piqued his interest, and in supreme a nd u nderlying m etaphysical r eality
Meteorologica he w rote a bout e arthquakes, turns out to exist in immaterial form.
coastal er osion, and the origin and s altiness o f A series of ethical works appears among those
the sea. traditionally a ssigned to A ristotle. Two of t hese,
Aristotle considered questions connected with Ā e Nicomachean Ethics and Ā e Eudemian Eth-
the e xistence, n ature, a nd su rvivability o f t he ics, are generally accepted as genuinely Aristote-
individual h uman s pirit in hi s e ssay “ On t he lian. H is son N icomachus edited the first f rom
Soul.” H e a lso lectured on “ Sense a nd S ensible Aristotle’s notes. Ā e s econd w as p robably w rit-
Art of Love, The 69

ten from lecture notes taken by Aristotle’s student tion of the Roman emperor Hadrian, was promot-
Eudemus of R hodes, a c elebrated philosopher i n ed to the senatorial aristocracy of the empire, and
his o wn r ight. M odern s cholarship at tributes eventually rose to b ecome consul a nd legate i n
other e thical w ritings a ssociated w ith A ristotle’s the province of Cappadoccia.
name, such as the Great Ethics, the Tract o n V ir- As a l iterary figure, A rrian i s credited w ith
tues and Vices, and several other minor works, to having published the lectures of Epictetus, which
anonymous members of the Peripatetic school. he had apparently memorized as Epictetus deliv-
While A ristotle’s Nichomachean E thics ered t hem, a nd su mmaries o f t he s ame le ctures
explores the nature of human character, his Poli- or ga nized into a l ittle g uide to Sto ic philosophy.
tics examines the science of human welfare and Beyond t hat, o n the m odel o f X enophon o f
happiness a nd t he role o f t he s tate i n s ecuring At hen’s Anabasis, he p ublished a m emoir o f
those b enefits. Ā e s tate i s d ifferent f rom t he Alexander the Great. Still in the manner of Xeno-
family, but it nonetheless springs from aggrega- phon, Arrian prepared a treatise on the subject of
tions of families. Various constitutional arrange- hunting t hat p urported t o t ake account o f n ew
ments c haracterize d ifferent states—principally methods and technology and to bring Xenophon’s
monarchy, oligarchy, a nd democracy—but in all similar discussion up to date.
of t hem, c itizenship i mplies a w illingness to Also interested in geography, Arrian prepared
participate i n t he s tate’s decision-making a nd a guide (Periplous) to the region around the Eux-
judicial pro cedures. L astly, A ristotle t urns h is ine Sea as well as a commentary on India, Indika,
attention to describing ideal politics, imagining of which a portion survives.
the best sort of constitution and prescribing the
characteristics of education for citizenship. Bibliography
Like m any a nother a ncient v olume, a w ork o f Arrian. Arrian w ith an En glish Translation. 2 v ols.
Aristotle’s that had been lost for millennia surfaced Edited and translated by P. A. Brant. Cambridge,
at Oxyr hync hus i n 1890. Ā is work, “Ā e Polity Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1976–83.
of the Athenians,” once belonged to Aristotle’s oth- ———. Ā e L amp of Ep ictetus: Being A rrian’s L ec-
erwise lost private collection of 158 constitutions tures o f E pictetus to Y oung M en. L ondon:
of ancient city- states. Among his other lost records Methuen and Company, 1938.
is a list of dramatic performances acted at Athens. ———. Periplous Ponti Euxini. Edited and Translat-
ed b y A idan Li ddle. L ondon: Br istol C lassical,
Bibliography 2003.
Aristotle. Ā e B asic W orks of Ar istotle. E dited b y Ronan, Ja mes, e ditor. Alexander th e G reat: S elec-
Richard M cKeon. Ne w Y ork: M odern L ibrary, tions from Arrian, Diodorus, Plutarch, and Quin-
2001. tus C urtius. Translated by Pamela Mensch.
Wicksteed, Philip, F. M. Cornfield, et al, eds. Aristo- Indianapolis: H ackett P ublishing C ompany,
tle [Works, G reek a nd E nglish]. 23 v ols. C am- 2005.
bridge, M ass.: H arvard U niversity P ress,
Art of Love, The (Ars Amatoria) Ovid
(ca. 1 ..)
Arrian (Flavius Arianus) (ca. 86–160 ..) In Ā e Art of L ove, Ov id undertakes to instruct
Greek prose writer both the male and female libertine population of
A p rovincial Gr eek f rom Bi thynian N icomedia, Augustan Rome in the intricacies of fi nding and
Arrian studied philosophy with the Stoic Epicte- winning beloveds a nd l overs. Ā e p oet ad mon-
tus (see St oic ism) and later became an officer in ishes r espectable p ersons a gainst p erusing h is
the Roman army. He attracted the favorable atten- pages; n onetheless, the e mperor, A ugust us
70 Art of Love, The

Ca esa r , apparently did so with disapprobation. Beginning the second book of his Artis Ama-
Ā e emperor’s d ispleasure w ith t his work, how- toriae with accounts of his own success, Ovid
ever, was not t he c ause of O vid’s i mperial exile shifts to r ecounting t he s tory o f Dae dalus a nd
to Tomi on the Black Sea. Icarus a nd t heir escape from Crete on the wings
First O vid i nstructs would- be lovers a bout of Daedalus’s invention. Ā e poet also details the
what v enues t o f requent i n t heir que st f or way t hat, he edless o f h is f ather’s adv ice, I carus
beloveds. Ā eaters a re es pecially l ikely p laces flew too near the sun, melted t he wax that glued
and are f atal to c hastity. He e stablishes t he long on his wings, and plunged to his death. Ā e moral
Roman t radition o f s eeking b eloveds a t en ter- of t he s tory for love rs e merges: M inos, k ing o f
tainments b y r ecounting the r ape o f th e S abine Crete, despite his power over land and sea, could
women i n t he t ime o f Ro mulus. Horse r aces i n not keep a winged man like Daedalus from escap-
the C ircus M aximus p rovide m any l ikely oc ca- ing through the air. Ā e poet, however, means to
sions for the sort of gallantry that leads to amato- keep the winged god, Cupid, under his control.
ry dalliance. Avoiding a nger, says O vid, is a p rincipal
For a t ime, O vid e xplores t he f orbidden pa s- means of m aintaining a l ove re lationship s ince
sions of women for near kin and for such bestiali- mistresses g et e nough o f quarreling at home.
ty as the unnatural passion of t he Cretan que en Love i s none theless a k ind of warfare, says the
Pasiphae for a bull. Ā en he returns to more ordi- poet, and a lover must employ similar tactics and
nary circumstances. strategies. Continuing his advice, Ovid discusses
Ovid a dvises a would-be lo ver to b ecome such sub jects a s h ow to ach ieve r econciliation
acquainted with the handmaiden of the object of when a l over h as pr ovoked h is m istress’s a nger
his affections and to sub orn the servant’s loyalty and jealousy.
without making the maid the object of the lover’s Above a ll, O vid c ounsels s ecrecy. A l over
quest a t t he s ame t ime. B egin, he adv ises, w ith should neither t attle nor brag. A fter praising t he
the mistress. Ā en, if one is also interested in the joys o f m utual f ulfillment, Ov id a nnounces t hat
maid, p ursue her l ater. H e c ompares t he lo ver’s his task is finished, and that lovers ought to award
quest with hunting and fishing. him p alm l eaves and m yrtle c rowns f or his s er-
Ā e p oet w arns would-be lo vers a gainst g old vices t o them. Ā e p oet t hen p romises w omen
diggers. Rather than sending presents, Ovid rec- similar favors.
ommends, love rs s hould s end le tters w ritten on As he begins the third book of his work, Ovid
wax t ablets. He a lso adv ises m en to a void b eing once more e mphasizes t hat he a ddresses on ly
too well-groomed, b ut r ather to s eem c lean a nd “wanton lo vers,” a nd t hat r espectable w omen,
casually h andsome. H e also g ives advice f or like U lysses’ w ife P enelope, a re n ot m embers o f
seduction a t co nvivial parties—principally to his intended audience. But those women who do
seem d runk wh ile s taying s ober, to p raise t he belong to t he class of the demimonde must bear
beloved, and to promise her anything since Jupi- in mind the doctrines of the philosophy of seizing
ter, h imself a n otable philanderer, “smiles at t he the day (carpe d iem). Too soon, old age w ill rob
perjuries o f l overs.” O vid finds re ligious b elief them of their charms.
“expedient” for would-be lovers. He sprinkles his Ovid o ffers adv ice o n t he c are a nd p reserva-
advice w ith ma ny e xamples d rawn f rom t he tion o f b eauty. He s uggests t hat certain hairdos
annals of mythology. go best with certain shapes of face, and he advis-
Controversially, O vid advises t he use of force es those who are graying to use hair dye. Keeping
as a tool of seduction—again supporting his argu- one’s teeth their whitest is also essential.
ments w ith app eals to suc h s tories a s t hat o f Short women show t hemselves to b est advan-
Achilles’ forcing himself upon Deidamia and thus tage when they lie or recline. Ā in women should
obtaining her lasting affection. wear f ull, heavy- textured garments. Pa le women
Art of Poetry, The 71

should wear colorful clothes that show their com- Bibliography

plexions to advantage. Narrow bosoms should be Ovid. Ā e Art of L ove and Other Poems. Translated
padded. O vid offers adv ice o n w alking a nd o n by J . H . Mo zeley. C ambridge, M ass.: H arvard
draping g arments s o t hat a little skin shows University Press, 1947.
alluringly. H e a dvises w omen to le arn to si ng ———. Ā e Art of Love: Publius Ovidius Naso. Trans-
and to play suitable ga mes. A s he h ad done for lated b y J ames M ichie. N ew Y ork: M odern
the men, he suggests venues appropriate for seek- Library, 2002.
ing lovers.
Ovid i s fair-minded as he advises women
about a matory ma tters. He i nstructs t hem to Art of Poetry, The (Epistles 2.3) Horace
avoid the very men for whom the first two books (ca. 19–18 ...)
of Ā e Art of L ove proffers adv ice. I f, however, a Written a s t he G olden A ge o f L atin p oetry w as
woman h as t aken a lo ver, O vid c ounsels her to ending a nd add ressed a s a v erse le tter to h is
address h im a s “she.” Women sho uld a lso a void friends, the Pisones, Hor a c e’s Ā e Art of P oetry
appearing m elancholy; lo vers do n ot f ancy m el- contains his advice to a rising generation of poets.
ancholy mistresses. Ā at a dvice, a s w ell a s s ome of Hor ace’s o wn
Changing subjects, Ovid declares that, just as poetic practice, does not seem to have been entire-
a lawyer’s business is the law, a p oet’s business is ly o riginal w ith t he a uthor. A lthough H orace i s
love. Ā erefore, women should be k ind to poets. universally recognized to have been Rome’s pre-
Ā ey s hould a lso e ncourage t heir lo vers’ a rdor
mier poet, both his satiric method and his critical
by a ssuring t hem t hat r ivals for t heir a ffections
advice were modeled on the example of the earlier
Roman poet, Luci l ius.
Ā e p oet a lso i nstructs w omen i n t he a rt o f
Ā e centerpiece of book 2 of his Epist l es, Ā e
deceiving a ny w atchers t heir h usbands ma y s et
Art of Poetry is Horace’s longest poem. He begins
over t hem. L etters w ritten i n i nvisible i nk made
by d rawing a comparison between poetry, pa int-
from milk exemplify such a tactic. Others include
ing, an d s culpture. A ll r equire uni ty o f sub ject
messages composed in the bath and concealed in
one’s bosom. Watchers, moreover, can be drugged, matter, simplicity of treatment, and the harmoni-
Ovid suggests. ous subordination of the parts to the whole. Hor-
Ovid interrupts his advice to women to recount ace g rants t hat artists h ave li cense t o e mbroider
the m onitory e pisode o f Pr ocris, w ho became nature, but they must nonetheless give unity and
jealous of the breeze when she heard her husband credibility t o t heir c reations. H e l ists a s eries o f
call upon it by its name, Aura. Ā inking the cool- pitfalls t hat e ndanger hi s own p oetic practice:
ing w ind h er r ival, t he je alous P rocris f ollowed Brevity can lead to obscurity; grandiloquence can
her husband Cephalus on the hunt and surprised become bombast; caution can produce too modest
him in the bush. Ā inking her an animal, Cepha- a result. Writers should also write about what they
lus a ccidentally s lew her . A void je alousy, O vid know a nd a ddress t opics t hat are w ithin their
implies. capacity t o h andle. La nguage c hanges, so y oung
Returning to h is task, Ovid advises women to poets sh ould n ot a lways em ulate t he s tyle a nd
delay g ranting t heir lo vers t heir f avors. W hen vocabulary of old er one s but s hould a dopt ne w
delay i s pa st, however, he offers adv ice concern- terminology as t heir own. It i s a lso important to
ing t he p ositions t hat w omen o f d ifferent si zes select a poet ic f orm o r meter t hat su its t he
and shapes m ight m ost e ffectively ch oose f or subject.
lovemaking. He concludes by advising his female As regards d ramatic poetry, t ragedy requires
pupils t o a cknowledge h im b y h is name— a higher style than comedy—though even comedy
“Naso”—as their master. can ri se t o a nger, a nd t ragedy can d escend to
72 Atellane fables or farces

the expression o f g rief i n prose. “E ither fol low festivals. He s ays that poets have no call to be
tradition,” H orace adv ises, “ or i nvent w hat i s ashamed of their craft.
self- consistent.” Horace s tates t hat a n hone st cr itic who c are-
Modern diction is important. Old- fa shioned fully c orrects a p oet’s w ork i s a m uch b etter
language w ill p rovoke la ughter wh ere n one i s friend to the artist than someone who prefers not
intended. Stay focused on t he story s o t hat t he to offend by finding trifling errors or infelicities.
beginning, m iddle, a nd en d a ll w ork tog ether. At t he s ame t ime, he c ompares bad p oets w ho
Moreover, i f p oets a re p enning d rama, t hey insist o n r eading in p ublic t o blood-sucking
must b e c areful to a ssign at tributes to t heir leeches.
characters t hat are s uitable t o t he c haracters’
ages a nd s ituations i n l ife. H e advises d rama- Bibliography
tists to develop their plots through action rather Fairclough, H. Rushton, ed. and trans. Horace: Sat-
than having characters report offstage develop- ires, Ep istles, Ar s P oetica. New York: G . P. P ut-
ments. T aste, ho wever, a ssigns l imits t o w hat nam’s and Sons, 1932.
the d ramatist sho uld p ortray. Medea’s m urder Horace. Ā e C omplete W orks: Translated i n t he
of her own children (see Mede a), metamorpho- Meters of the Originals. Translated by Charles E.
ses f rom human to a nimal or serpentine form, Passage. New York: F. Ungar P ublishing C om-
or Atreus’s preparing human flesh as a banquet pany, 1983.
(see Ag a me mno n) a re ma tters b est m erely Reckford, Ken neth J. Horace. New Y ork: T wayne
described. Ā e l anguage, to o, should su it t he Publishers, 1969.
subject, a nd verse forms must b e appropriately
Horace suggests that his contemporary Roman Atellane fables or farces (Ludi Osci)
playwrights m odel t heir w ork o n t hat o f t he A mode of drama indigenous to the Oscan city of
Greeks rather than such a Roman author as Pl au- Atella in the vicinity of Naples, the Atellane plays
tu s. Ca reful d iscrimination, h owever, b etween may a t first ha ve been ex temporaneous p erfor-
“coarseness and wit” and close attention to suiting mances. Ā ey continued to be played in the Oscan
the meter to the matter are more important than language until they migrated to the city of Rome.
imitating models. Tasteful innovation is desirable. Ā ere t hey c ommanded a w ide a udience lo ng
Wisdom is the fountainhead of art. after L iv ius A ndr on ic us i ntroduced re gular
Contrasting t he Gr eeks a nd t he Ro mans, drama to Rome and Roman playwrights began to
Horace s uggests that w hile th e G reeks s ought emulate the classical drama of Greece.
glory, t he R omans ar e too c oncerned w ith t he Standard Latin soon replaced Oscan in these
acquisition o f w ealth. H e r eminds t he P isones little plays, a nd a c ustom a rose t hat p ermitted
that the object of poetry is both “to please and to respectable you ng Rom ans, e ven t hose of t he
instruct.” I f an ything in a p oem f alls sho rt o f patrician class, to participate as players. Like the
excellence, the entire effort fails. Ā at being t he later Italian commedia dell’arte, (the comedy of
case, H orace a dvises h is f riends to s eek e xpert the gu ild) A tellane f arces see m to ha ve had a
criticism and to revise before allowing publica- stock set o f cha racters t hat a ppeared i n t radi-
tion o f t heir v erse. On e c annot call b ack w hat tional c ostumes. On e suc h s tock c haracter w as
has once been published. Mappus. H e w as p resented a s ha ving a l arge
Horace t races t he d istinguished hi story of head, a long nose, and a humped back. Another
poetry f rom t he c ivilizing e ffects of t he verse of was called Pappus. Ā e classicist J. J. Eschenburg
the archetypal bard, Or pheus , through Tyr t a e- speculates that Pappus may have been borrowed
us a nd Homer, to P inda r , Si monides o f ce os, from a Greek stock character, the old man called
and Bacchilides, to its connection with religious Silenus.
Athanasius, St. 73

Ā e p opularity o f A tellane f arces a nd t he mies brought against him at the Council of Tyre,
financial opportunities t hat w riting t hem re pre- the A rians w ould n ot a llow h is r estoration a t
sented e ncouraged p laywrights wh o were s uc- Alexandria. As a result, he remained in the West
cessful i n other genres—like t he p oet Memmius for a considerable period.
(d. 4 6 b .c .e.) a nd t he f abulist Sylla—to t ry t heir In Gaul and Italy, A thanasius encouraged t he
hands at composing t he farces. Ā ose who s eem institution of the church and spread of monasti-
to have enjoyed t he most suc cess w ith t he genre cism. Ā e de ath o f h is p rincipal adv ersary i n
and who r aised Atellane f arces to l iterary s tatus Alexandria, the usurping bishop Gregory of Cap-
are Q uintus N ovius a nd L . P omponius B ono, padocia, and t he support of t he Roman emperor
who cooperated in writing them in the first cen- of t he West, C onstantius I I, ena bled A thanasius
tury b .c .e. O nly f ragmentary r emains o f t heir to r esume h is e piscopal s ee i n 3 46, a nd f or a
works remain—about 7 0 and a bout 2 00 l ines, decade he was able to work productively, relative-
respectively. ly free from dissension. He used the time he had
See also c omedy in Gr eece a nd Rome. for w riting to c ompose d iscussions of t he i ssues
in the theological d ispute about which he f elt so
Bibliography strongly; On the Decrees of th e Nicene Synod and
Charney, Ma urice, ed . Comedy: A G eographic an d On the Opinion of Dionysius of Al exandria were
Historical G uide. W estport, C onn.: P raeger, produced during this period.
2005. When t he e mperor C onstantius d ied i n 3 61,
however, Athanasius’s enemies began once more
to plot against him. Ā eir agitations over the next
Athanasius, St. (ca. 295–373 ..) Roman- few ye ars c ulminated i n A thanasius’s forcible
Egyptian writer removal f rom his church by a squad of soldiers.
Probably b rought up i n an E gyptian C hristian Eluding their vigilance, he e scaped to t he desert,
family a nd ed ucated i n both cla ssics a nd S crip- where, aided by loyal supporters, he ma naged to
ture w ith a p riestly c areer i n m ind, A thanasius continue his ministry while a fugitive. From a lit-
was ordained as a deacon around 318 by the patri- erary perspective, this was also a productive time
arch of Alexandria, St. Alexander. Ā is patriarch for At hanasius. He penned a s eries of Discourses
was t he o rthodox c lergyman w ho o pposed t he against th e A rians and a h istory o f t heir m ove-
Arian heresy contesting the dogma that Christ the ment. H e a lso w rote h is f amous Lif e o f Saint
Son and God the Father were of the same divine Ant hony and a pair of epistles, Letter to Serapion
substance. A lexander i n fact ex communicated and Letter to Epictetus.
Arius himself. As a staunch traditionalist who believed in the
In 325, Athanasius accompanied Alexander to orthodoxies of the Western C hurch, A thanasius
the Council of Nicaea, where t he orthodox v iew found ludicrous the proliferation of creeds under
held b y A lexander p revailed. A lexander na med the g eneral r ubric o f C hristianity. I n h is w ork
Athanasius his successor, and despite some oppo- De Synodis (About synods), he derided this still-
sition, the Egyptian bishops confirmed the choice. continuing tendency of churches to splinter. After
However, c aught in a b acklash led by A rian more v icissitudes in his status that varied as the
bishops, Athanasius found himself exiled by the rulers did or did not favor his point of view, and
emperor C onstantine to n orthern G aul. On after further exiles, Athanasius resumed his epis-
assuming t he i mperial t hrone, Co nstantine II copal throne for the final time in 364 and success-
recalled A thanasius a nd re stored h im to h is fully passed it along to h is designated successor,
episcopal d ignities, b ut h is en emies a gain p re- his brother Peter.
vailed and deposed him. Athanasius complained, Given this history of hardships and his unwav-
but, despite exoneration from the charges his ene- ering de votion to t he o rthodoxy e stablished b y
74 Atharva-Veda

the C ouncil o f N icaea, i t c omes a s n o su rprise ———. Ā e Life of Saint Anthony. Translated by Rob-
that th e b ulk o f A thanasius’s wr itings a ddress ert C. Gregg. Edited by Emilie Griffen. San Fran-
related issues. In Discourses against the Arians, he cisco, Calif.: Harper, 2006.
argues the issues i nvolved in the orthodoxy dis- ———. On the Incarnation [of the Word of G od]; De
pute. Central among these was the question noted incarnatione verbi dei. Introduced by C. S. Lewis.
above c oncerning t he id entity o f C hrist’s s ub- Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press,
stance w ith that o f G od th e F ather. A thanasius 1998.
also wrote a discourse entitled Two B ooks against ———. Select Treatises of St. Athanasius i n C ontro-
the Pagans. Another work discusses the question versy with the Arians. Translated by John Henry
of t he d ivinity of Christ and t he Holy Spirit: On Cardinal Newman. New York: AMS Press, 1978.
the Incarnation and against the Arians.
Other w orks c oncerning C hristian dog ma
appear in a series of letters that Athanasius wrote. Atharva-Veda (original form ca. 1000 ...;
Interested readers w ill find s ome of t hese in t he current form ca. 200 ...)
bibliography below. As an author, however, Atha- Ā e Atharva-Veda is a c ollection of very a ncient
nasius i s b est r emembered f or f ounding a n ew hymns of India whose singing seems often to have
genre. In his Life of Saint Anthony, he established been the special responsibility of a subcategory of
the m odel o f C hristian b iography a s a n a scetic Hindu soothsayers—usually th ose em ployed a s
journey t hrough l ife i n t he s teps o f C hrist a nd court ma gicians. Ma terials c ontained i n t he
helped to spread the monastic ideal. To that new Athara- Veda often also appear elsewhere in Hindu
genre—one t hat b ecame the m odel f or a flood religious texts. Priests of the Atharvan sect made
of subsequent works—Athanasius h imself added extravagant claims for the place that the Athara-
two similar w orks t hat he c alled le tters, w riting Veda o ccupies i n the H indu c anon; t hey s ome-
one t o “ the Mo nk Amun” and a nother to “D ra- times c all i t the B hrama-Veda, o r t he H ymn
contius.” O ther less-biographical w orks a re a lso of God. Ā ough t he c omposition o f t he w ork i s
called letters a nd a re o f a m ore u sual e pistolary traditionally a ssigned to V yā sa, t he le gendary
nature. O ne s uch letter i s of s pecial importance author of the Mah abh ar at a, the Atharva-Veda
because it contains an early list of t he c anonical is clearly the product of a long process of literary
works of the entire Christian Bible. Beyond that, accretion, a nd w hile a h istorical Vyāsa ma y b e
Athanasius penned such scriptural exegesis as his responsible for s ome of it , other—likely m any
interpretation o f t he P salms i n h is Letter t o other—voices produced its songs over centuries.
Marcellinus. Ā e first g roup o f h ymns i n t he do cument
A si zable b ody of work purporting to be by includes medicinal charms against fever, jaundice,
Athanasius h as ye t to b e a uthenticated. Am ong coughing, constipation, and numerous other indis-
the a uthentic w orks, s ome of those that argue positions t he flesh is heir to. S ome of t he c harms
quite a bstruse t heological p rinciples ma y s eem are s upposed t o be cha nted o r s ung a long w ith
circular i n t heir log ic to p ersons w ho do n ot administration of medicinal herbs to restore health.
already share Athanasius’s convictions. His work Ā ere a re a lso s ongs to b e su ng to p rotect c attle
lent special impetus to monasticism and to ma ny from b ovine di seases an d c harms to be r ecited
Christians’ deci ding t o l ive l ives of c hastity a nd against snakebite a nd p oisonous i nsects. I n add i-
asceticism. tion, there are charms meant to en hance personal
appearance and allure. Among these we find a pair
Bibliography intended t o p romote h air g rowth, a nd a nother
Athanasius. Ā e L ife of Anton y an d Ā e L etter to charm to promote virility. Charms against psycho-
Marcellinus. Translated by Robert C. Gregg. New logical afflictions like mania and all those attribut-
York: Paulist Press, 1980. ed to demonic possession are also included.
“Attis” 75

Incantations designed to achieve longevity and Athenaeus of Naucratis See Deipnoso-

health app ear i n the Atharva-Veda’s s econd s ec- phis ts , The.
tion, and another round of curses against demons
occupies t he t hird. Ā e f ourth s ection c ontains
charms f or acq uiring a w ife o r a h usband a nd “Attis” (Poem 63) Catullus (ca. third century
charms to promote conception, assure male prog- ...)
eny, ma ke w omen ster ile, p revent m iscarriage, Considered b y the l iterary h istorian Q uincy
and promote a n e asy c hildbirth. Several c harms Howe, Jr., to be one of the most “technically bril-
address finding one ’s b eloved a nd a ssuring pa s- liant p oems” in the L atin l anguage, “Attis” d is-
sionate lovemaking. plays the serious, most moving side of Cat ul l us’s
Ā e fifth section of the Atharva-Veda contains a art, r ecounting a t ouching s tory of s exuality,
series o f ch arms s pecifically p ertaining t o r oyalty. madness, and regret.
Ā e sixth addresses obtaining harmony and avoid- Based on t he myth of At tis, t he 99- line poem
ing conflict. A fter that, the fairly long seventh sec- (the 6 3rd o f the p oet’s s urviving w orks) is co n-
tion contains charms aimed at assuring prosperity nected w ith the w orship o f th e Asiatic f ertility
and avoiding thieves, loss by fire, a nd loss by acci- goddess Cybele, also known as Agdistis, who was
dent. A sp ecific charm is designed to p rotect shep-
the e arth mother or g reat m other. A ccording to
herds and their flocks from thieves and wild beasts.
her m yth, C ybele/Agdistis had b een b orn p hysi-
In t he eighth s ection w e find i ncantations
cally bisexual. Intervening, the gods removed her
designed to a ssure f orgiveness f or si ns a nd to
male appendage, leaving her female. From the sev-
cleanse t hose w ho ha ve b een r itually de filed.
ered male organ grew a lovely almond tree.
Ā en t here a re c harms to w ard off birds of evil
Nana, t he d aughter o f a P hrygian r iver g od,
omen a nd t o ave rt bad o r i nauspicious d reams.
the S angarios, admired t he blo oming t ree a nd
Ā e ninth section provides a series of prayers and
pressed a blossom in her bosom. It vanished, and
curses designed to benefit Brahmans—the priestly
class of Hinduism. Nana found herself pregnant. Ā e manner of his
While each of the foregoing sections is of great conception led to Nana’s infant child, Attis, being
so ciological, historical, and religious interest, one abandoned t o d ie. Cy bele/Agdistis, ho wever,
might argue that the 10th section of the Atharva- loved the boy and inspired a ma le goat to su per-
Veda i s r eally the most gripping of all. Here the vise the baby’s survival.
hymns deal with the creation of the universe and When he g rew to manhood, Attis fell i n love
with th e e fforts of t he Br ahmans t o est ablish with a wood nymph and provoked the jealousy of
direct contact with the divine through revelation, the goddess who had mysteriously protected him.
contemplation, and prayer. Cybele drove him mad so that he b ecame one of
Ā e hymns are accompanied by books of ritual her p riestesses b y c astrating h imself. It i s j ust
and by commentary. before t his that C atullus t akes u p t he ma tter,
focusing on the behavior, emotions, and thought
Bibliography processes of the principal characters.
Bloomfield, Maurice, trans. Hymns of the Atharva- As the poem opens, a reader finds Attis in his
Veda Together w ith E xtracts f rom th e R itual madness sailing on a sh ip to t he sacred g rove of
Books and the C ommentaries. Oxford: Claren- Cybele. Ā ere i n h is f renzy he c astrates h imself
don Press, 1897. and b ecomes a p riestess o f C ybele’s c ult. F rom
Joshi, K. L., ed. Atharva- Vedasamhita: Sanscrit Text, that moment for ward, t he pr onouns a lluding t o
En glish Translation. . . . Translated by W. D. Attis become feminine.
Whitney and Bhāsya of Sāyanācāya. Delhi: Pari- Adopting t he r ole of t he pr iestess o f A gdistis
mal Publications, 2000. Cybele, Attis calls the worshippers together and,
76 Augustine, St., bishop of Hippo

chanting, l eads t he w ild c eremony o f w orship. cius made, h is de ath i n 372 required Augustine
She continues her frenzied behavior until she and to interrupt his university education for a period
the o ther w orshippers si nk i nto e xhausted before a w ealthy lo cal d ignitary, Ro manianus,
slumber. came to his assistance.
Attis aw akens i n her r ight m ind a nd r egrets Augustine’s a utobiography, Conf ess ions,
the r ashness o f her ac t. She m isses her pa rents reveals that his mother Monica principally influ-
and th e ho meland f rom w hich she s ailed a nd enced his development. Also a saint of the Roman
finds her current situation “wretched.” She recalls Catholic Church, Monica was a traditional Chris-
her former ma nly athletic ac complishments a nd tian o f a v ery c onservative, A frican s tripe. She
sweet leisure. Now she finds herself the hopeless, believed, for e xample, t hat her d reams c oncern-
unwilling, e masculated slave o f h er pa rent ing Augustine’s future were prophetic. Augustine
goddess. did n ot a lways a ppreciate M onica’s ma nner o f
Cybele, however, o verhears he r l ament. mothering. When he was 28 years old, for instance,
Angered, t he g oddess u nleashes t he l ions t hat he sneaked off to Rome without telling her rather
draw her chariot—lions of her retribution. One of than face her disappointment at his desertion. In
them charges the brooding Attis, whose madness addition to b eing t he do minant figure i n h er
returns as she flees i nto t he forest where, C atul- household, M onica w as b oth long-suffering a nd
lus says, Attis remained a s lave until the day she patient. She p ut u p w ith her h usband’s i nfideli-
died. ties, paganism, and folly until at last he became a
Ending t he poe m with h is own p rayer to good h usband a nd a C hristian w ho app reciated
Cybele, Catullus, who was sometimes the victim her.
of h is o wn pa ssions, p rays t hat t he g oddess w ill Augustine completed his university education
“drive others to such frenzy,” leave his heart free, at C arthage, w here he b ecame a d evotee o f t he
and stay far away from his home. most r adical of the h eretical o ffshoots o f t he
Christian r eligion, t he Ma nichaeans ( see M a n-
Bibliography ic h a ea n w r iti ng s). He would profess t hat a lle-
Catullus. Ā e Complete Poems for Modern Readers. giance f or s ome years, u ntil a bout t he t ime he
Translated by Reney Myers and Robert J. Orms- moved to Rome.
by. London: Ruskin House, 1972. Augustine taught for a time in Ā agaste, then
Rose, H erbert J ennings. A H andbook of G reek returned t o C arthage, w here he t aught r hetoric
Mythology: Including Its Extension to Rome. New until 383 c .e. While living in Carthage earlier, in
York: E . P. Dutton and Company, 1929. the year his father died, Augustine had formed a
relationship with a woman. Ā ere were degrees of
wedlock in ancient Rome, and the second-degree
Augustine, St., bishop of Hippo (354– marriage t hat A ugustine co ntracted w ith h is
430 ..) Roman-African prose writer, spouse wa s effectively a form of concubinage—a
Christian theologian relationship that, though it had legal status, could
Augustine, w ho w as destined to become a ncient easily be d issolved. Ā e w oman, w hose na me
Christendom’s most distinguished and influential Augustine never mentioned in Confessions, bore
literary figure, was born in Ā agaste, a highland him a much beloved son, Adeodatus (a name that
town i n t he N orth A frican Ro man p rovince o f means “ God’s g ift”). A ugustine l ived w ith t he
Numidia ( our c ontemporary S ouk A hras, A lge- woman u ntil t he y ear 385 . Ā en, a s t he Ro man
ria). Augustine’s pa gan f ather, Pa tricius, w orked law a llowed, he s ent he r away to free h imself to
hard and sacrificed much to give his son the clas- contract a n ad vantageous first- degree marriage
sical education required to r ise above his father’s with the daughter of a wealthy family. Ā at mar-
station. Despite the constant sacrifices that Patri- riage never took place, however.
Augustine, St., bishop of Hippo 77

After moving to Rome in 383, Augustine made in C hristian an d M anichaean vi ews o f l ife an d
friends wi th Q uintus A urelius Symmachus, death. Ā at year, too, he returned to Africa, going
another immigrant to the city, and in 385 Monica first to Carthage and then to Ā agaste.
joined her son there. Symmachus, then prefect of In 3 89, A ugustine w rote a bout te aching a nd
Rome, appointed his friend Augustine to become about t he t rue r eligion. Ā e f ollowing y ear, 3 90,
the p rofessor o f rhe toric a t t he u niversity i n brought twin disasters: the deaths of Augustine’s
Milan—a role that also involved operating as an close f riend, N ebridius, w hom he had k nown
imperial press agent, for Augustine was expected from c hildhood, an d o f his much- beloved s on,
to spread official propaganda. Symmachus need- Adeodatus.
ed a non-Catholic for t he position. He had t ried In 391, Augustine moved to the North African
and failed to convince t he e mperor to a cknowl- seaport city of H ippo Regius, where he m eant to
edge the old religion as well as the Christian reli- establish a monastery. While that work was begin-
gion, an d t he u sual i ll f eelings t hat a rise f rom ning, he still found time to w rite. Ā e advantages
arguments about religion were dividing the c iti- of religious belief occupied him for a while. Ā en
zens of Milan. in 391–92 he turned his attention again to his con-
As a professor, Augustine had expected secular tinuing e xamination o f t he p roblem o f f ree w ill
success. He had n ot a nticipated t hat h is p osition and t o t aking up t he c udgels a gainst t he Ma n-
would br ing him into contact both w ith the phi- ichaeans once again. Ā e year 392 saw Augustine’s
losophy of Neoplatonism and also with the second debate a gainst t he Ma nichaean ap ologist, F ortu-
most i nfluential p erson i n h is l ife, t he Ro man natus, and he completed his commentaries on the
Catholic bishop of Milan, St. Ambr ose. first 32 Psalms. Commenting on the others would
Under t he i nfluence o f P l at o’s f ollowers, take him until the year 420.
Augustine r ejected the Manichaeans. Ā en, c on- A sermon that Augustine gave at the Council of
vinced by the cogency of A mbrose’s s ermons, he Hippo in 393 addressed the subjects of faith and the
converted to ma instream Ch ristianity i n la te Christian creed. Ā e next year saw his commentary
August 3 86. S hortly t hereafter, A ugustine le ft on a nd e xplanation of C hrist’s S ermon on t he
Milan for a while, returning the following March, Mount a s we ll as a s eries o f l ectures a t C arthage
and in April 387 he was baptized. He had a lready explaining P aul’s letters to t he Ro mans a nd t he
begun a n a mbitious pr ogram o f w riting t hat Galatians as well as examining the subject of lying.
would occupy him for much of the rest of his life. If Augustine was s till entertaining t he n otion
Many of Augustine’s writings, of course, con- of a retired monastic life, his appointment as bish-
cerned r eligion, a nd he w rote a gainst N eopla- op of Hippo in 395 ended that ambition. It did not,
tonism. Ā e life of the blessed, divine providence however, seem to interfere with his ambitious pro-
and the soul’s i mmortality were a mong t he sub- gram o f c omposition. S everal re ligious t reatises
jects that occupied his mind and his pen in 386–7. that included the first part of his famous On Chris-
In t he l atter y ear, he a lso b egan w riting a bout tian Doctrine (completed in 426) were written in
music. Ā at s ame ye ar, h is mot her d ied i n Ostia 396, a nd 39 7 s aw t he b eginning o f A ugustine’s
and w as i nitially i nterred t here. C anonized a s remarkable a utobiography a nd p erhaps h is mo st
Saint Monica, her relics now rest both in Rome in celebrated work—his Confessions.
the church of Sa n Augostino, and in an Augus- Further w orks i n 3 98–99 o pposed t he Ma n-
tinian monastery near Arras, France. ichaeans, while another commented on the Book
In 388, Augustine turned his attention to sub- of Job. Augustine also wrote an educational trea-
jects t hat i ncluded t he s oul’s g reatness a nd t he tise on how one could give basic Christian instruc-
problem of re conciling f reedom o f the h uman tion t o un educated pe rsons. H e began a nother
will wi th th e d octrine o f d ivine omniscience— great work, On the Trinity, in 399, though it was
especially divine foreknowledge with differences not finished until 20 years later.
78 Augustine, St., bishop of Hippo

Ā e subjects of t he good of ma rriage a nd t he wrote a ddressing c ongregants’ c oncerns were

blessedness of virginity held his attention in 401, considerations o f ma rriage, sex ual des ire, a nd
as did the issue of the Donatist heresy and the lit- adulterous ma rriage. Augustine w rote a bout t he
erality of t he stories in t he Book of Genesis. Ā e soul and its origins and penned a spate of biblical
Donatists were a de eply fundamentalist group of commentary. He reconsidered the subject of lying
African Christians who rejected the authority of and c riticized th e c ritics o f S cripture i n suc h
Rome. Augustine authored the edict against them tracts a s h is Against t he Ad versaries of th e L aws
issued by the Council of Carthage in 405. and th e P rophets. At t he c enter o f h is i nterests
In 4 06, A ugustine w rote a bout i dentifying during these years, however was Ā e City of God,
demons, a nd i n 4 07–8 he b egan a s tudy o f St . book 17, which appeared in 420 after books 14–16,
John the Evangelist. Later in the same period, he which he had also finished in the interim.
listed ar guments u seful in c ountering t hose o f Among such other antiheretical tracts as Against
pagans a nd w rote a bout t he u tility o f f asting i n Julian and further blasts against the Donatist here-
the C hristian l ife. Ā e sub jects o f bapt ism, f ur- tics, t he year 421 saw t he production of one of St .
ther diatribes against heretics, and continuing an Augustine’s most charming and readable works, his
ongoing stream of letters occupied much of 410– Enchiridion to L aurentius. I n t his w ork, i n si mple
12. In the latter year, he addressed the subjects of and s traightforward s tyle, A ugustine te lls th e
the grace of the New Test a ment a nd the issue of addressee how to lead a Christian life and avoid the
the spirit and the letter in Scripture. pitfalls of s ecular c ontroversy a nd w orldly a ttrac-
Ā e a rmies o f t he G oths, ho wever, had g iven tions. He also wrote a tract about what a good Chris-
the w orld m ore to t hink a bout t han t he finer tian does to care for the mortal remains of the dead.
points of theological debate. In 408 and 409, the Ā e final b ooks o f Ā e Cit y of G od appeared
Gothic l eader A laric h ad t wice b esieged Rome , over the next five years: book 18 in 425, and books
cutting off the city and—as the g reat biographer 19–22 in 427. Ā ese were followed by further argu-
of S t. A ugustine, Peter B rown, p uts it—starved ments a gainst v arious g roups o f her etics a nd
“its c itizens i nto c annibalism.” On A ugust, 2 4 against the Jews, which continued to appear as late
410, A laric’s h ordes b roke t hrough t he c ity’s as 4 30. Im portant a mong t he l ater do cuments
defenses. Ā ey spent the next three days plunder- were Au gustine’s Retractions (427), in which he
ing, raping, and burning. For a time, however, life acknowledged mistakes and commented on mat-
in Hippo did not seem much affected. ters about which he had changed his mind.
Augustine’s g reatest w ork, Conc er ning t he Ā e e vents t hat attended on t he d issolution of
Cit y of God ag ainst t he Paga ns , began appear- the Western Roman Empire now reached the prov-
ing in serial form in 413. Books 1–3 were published, ince of Numidia. Ā e Vandals—like t he Goths,
and Augustine began drafting books 4 and 5. another set of Germanic tribesmen—began ravag-
Ā e year 414 at last saw the appearance of On ing t he s eacoast o f N umidia, and in August 430
the Trinity and a lso a s eries o f Homilies o n t he they besieged Hippo. Augustine fell victim to their
Gospel According to St . John. Ā e f ollowing y ear attack and was buried on August 28.
produced a further series of tracts, including one Both A ugustine a nd h is u nofficial literary
about the perfection of human justice. Books 6 – executor, P ossidius, made heroic efforts t o c ata-
10 of Ā e City of God came out as well. logue A ugustine’s w orks i n c hronological o rder
In 417, Ā e City of God, books 11–13, and anti- with e xplanatory c ommentary. Augustine, h ow-
Pelagian and anti-Donatist w orks a ppeared ever, felt t hat his work as a Christian c ontrover-
among other less-important works by Augustine. sialist to ok p recedence o ver a p rivate p roject to
He c learly t ook very s eriously no t only h is le ad- cata logue and c omment o n h is o wn le tters a nd
ership role i n t he church but a lso h is role a s t he sermons. As a r esult, h e d ied b efore t hat wor k
pastor of h is flock. A mong the w orks th at h e was finished. Possidius w rote a l ife of Augustine
Augustus Caesar 79

that contained a de finitive li st of the saint’s for- On F aith i n Ā ings U nseen. Washington, D .C.:
mal works of theology. Catholic University of America Press, 2002.
Between the fi ft h and the 20th centuries, cer- ———. Instructing Beginners in the Faith. Translated
tainly most and perhaps all of Augustine’s origi- by Raymond Canning. Edited by Boniface Ram-
nal ma nuscripts perished. C opyists p reserved say. Hyde Park, N.Y.: New City Press, 2006.
his w ritings u ntil t he advent o f t he p rinting ———. On Ch ristian T eaching. N ew Y ork: O xford
press, a nd t hereafter t he t ask pa ssed to ed itors, University Press, 1997.
translators, and publishers. I n h is le tters, ho w- ———. Po liti cal Writings. E dited b y E . M. A tkins
ever, much became foreign, strange, and perhaps and R. J. Dodaro. New York: Cambridge Univer-
incomprehensible to the medieval copyists. As a sity Press, 2001.
result, a s Peter Bro wn tel ls u s, t he c opyists ———. Ā e R etractions. T ranslated b y M ary I nez
abbreviated o r a ltogether n eglected c ertain le t- Bogan. W ashington, D .C.: C atholic U niversity
ters a nd s ermons u ntil ma ny o f t hem d isap- of America Press, 1999.
peared. A lmost miraculously, however, some of ———. Sermons t o the P eople: Adve nt, C hristmas,
Augustine’s l ater writings—works t hought to New Y ear’s, Ep iphany. T ranslated b y Wi lliam
have be en lost—surfaced quite recently. I n 1975, Griffen. N ew Y ork: I mage B ooks/ D oubleday,
the Viennese scholar Johannes Divjak d iscovered 2002.
27 pre viously u nknown le tters o f A ugustine i n a Brown, Peter. Augustine o f Hi ppo: A Biog raphy.
mid-15th c entury m anuscript p reserved a t M ar- Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of Califor-
seilles. I n 1 990, t he P arisian r esearcher F rançois nia Press, 2000.
Dolbeau made a si milar find at t he M unicipal O’Donnell, J ames J . Augustine: A New B iography.
Library i n M ainz: 2 6 s ermons t hat were e ither New Y ork: E cco of H arperCollins P ublishers,
unknown or known only through extracts. Some 2005.
of t hese d ate f rom t he beginning o f Augustine’s
bishopric in 397. Others can be traced to the winter
of 403–4—a m oment w hen t he African C hurch Augustus Caesar (Octavian, Gaius Julius
chose t o a ssert its aut hority a gainst t he Do natist Caesar Octavianus) (63 ...–14 ..)
heresy and against persistent paganism. Roman emperor, prose writer
Ā e son of a so-called new ma n (novus homo)—
Bibliography that is, of a first- generation senator whose family
Augustine, S t., B ishop of H ippo. Augustine’s C om- had just risen from the commonality—Augustus
mentary on Galatians. Translated by Eric Plumer. Caesar, b orn O ctavian, e njoyed t he adv antage
New York: Oxford University Press, 2003. that his mother, Atia, was Jul ius Ca esa r ’s niece.
———. Ā e A ugustine C atechism; En chiridion on Octavian was a 17-year-old pursuing his studies
Faith, Hope, and Love. Hyde Park, N.Y.: New City at Ap ollonia i n I llyricum w hen h is g randuncle
Press, 1999. Julius Caesar was assassinated at the Roman Senate
———. Ā e C ity of G od. T ranslated b y M aureen on M arch 1 5, 4 4 b .c.e. L earning that in his will
Dodds. New York: Modern Library, 1993. Caesar h ad n amed h im a s h is ado ptive s on a nd
———. Concerning t he C ity of G od again st th e heir, Octavian hurried to Italy to p rotect his inter-
Pagans. Translated by Henry Bettenson. London ests. Julius Caesar’s subordinate a nd f riend, Ma rk
and New York: Penguin Books, 2003. Antony, ( Marcus A ntonius), p roved r eluctant to
———. Confessions. T ranslated b y F . J. She ed. 2n d acknowledge Octavian’s rights, but the young man
ed. I ndianapolis: Hac kett P ublishing C ompany, moved d ecisively to c ommand the loyalty of C ae-
2006. sar’s t roops. Wi th t heir hel p, he o utmaneuvered
———. Ā e Immortality of the Soul; Ā e Magnitude of Mark Antony, successfully resisting Antony’s attack
the Soul; On Music; Ā e Advantages of B elieving; on the walled city of Mutina (modern Modena) and
80 Ausonius, Decimus Magnus

subsequently s eizing t he Ro man c onsulship ( the the first i nstance and th e official accession to
headship of state) by force. Once in office, Octavian power of Octavian’s adoptive son Tiberius in the
put the provisions of Caesar’s will into effect. second. T iberius ex ercised a ctual power well
In v iew o f that success, Mark Antony and before Augustus Caesar’s death.
another aspirant to power, Marcus Aemilius Lep- From a l iterary perspec tive, A ugustus is best
idus, joined forces with the young Octavian, and remembered as a patron of letters. Both Vir gil and
the th ree s hared t he r ule o f t he Ro man w orld. Hor ace, for example, benefited from his patronage
Octavian t ook over t he Ro man p ossessions i n and his largesse, and literature flourished under his
Africa an d a lso governed Sic ily and S ardinia in reign. Ā e period of his rule is remembered as the
the M editerranean. A ntony r uled i n G aul, a nd golden a ge o f R oman l etters. H e a lso a ffected
Lepidus g overned i n S pain. Elsewhere in t he the output of Ov id , exiling the poet to Tomi on
Roman world, the three defeated their opponents the B lack S ea, where O vid bo th fi nished his
Brutus a nd C assius i n t he E ast; S extus P ompey, Met a mo rp h o ses and composed his Tr ist ia.
son of the great Pompey, whom Julius Caesar had Also an author himself, Augustus wrote a now-
driven into Egypt; and also any who dared oppose lost autobio graphy. Ā ere su rvives, ho wever, t he
them on the Italian peninsula itself. In 40 b.c. e., record of his public accomplishments that he him-
Octavian assumed the title Imperator. self penned to serve as his epitaph. Ā at record was
Gradually, Octavian consolidated his power. He originally engraved on pillars of bronze that stood
forced L epidus i nto re tirement a nd m isstated t he before h is t omb in R ome. Ā e i nscriptions were
facts co ncerning A ntony’s actions in Egypt. Ā is often c opied a nd t ranslated. W e s till ha ve t hem
led the credulous Roman Senate to de clare war on both in Latin and in Greek as Res gestae divi Augus-
Antony and his mistress, Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. ti (Deeds accomplished by the divine Augustus).
Rome’s n avy d estroyed Antony an d C leopatra’s Imperial a nd k ingly d eification w as a s tandard
flotilla a t t he b attle of A ctium i n 31 b .c .e., a nd practice among many ancient Asian, Middle East-
Alexandria was captured the following year. After ern, Egyptian, and, later, Roman, societies.
mopping-up operations were completed, Octavian
returned to the city of Rome in 29. For the first time Bibliography
in many years, the Roman world was at peace. Cooley, M. G. L ., ed . Ā e Age of A ugustus. L iterary
Almost an other 1 0 ye ars were to pass b efore texts t ranslated by B . W. J. G. Wilson. L ondon:
Octavian f elt t he t ime to be right f or officially London Association of Classical Teachers, 1997.
acknowledging that he was the first of a new series Everitt, Anthony. Augustus: Ā e Life of Rom e’s First
of he reditary e mperors o f R ome. He s pent t hat Emperor. New York: Random House, 2006.
decade putting in place the institutions that made Raaflaub, Ku rt A ., a nd M ark T obler, e d. Between
rule of the Mediterranean world a practical possi- Republic and Empire: Interpretations of Augustus
bility, in the process turning Rome from a sprawl- and His Principate. Berkeley: University of Cali-
ing brick town into an imperial city of gleaming fornia Press, 1993.
marble. He e xtended t he r ule of Rome over v ast
tracts of land by military action, and astute mas-
saging of the diplomatic relationships that Rome Ausonius, Decimus Magnus (fl. fourth
maintained w ith friendly n ations m ade p ossible century ..) Roman Poet
the somewhat fictive c laim t hat Ro me r uled t he Born to the family of a physician resident in Bor-
known world. Octavian received the title Augus- deaux in the Roman province of Transalpine Gaul,
tus (esteemed or revered) in 27 b.c. e. Decimus Ma gnus Ausonius r eceived a t ypically
Historians variously date the moment at which Roman e ducation i n rhe toric a nd t hen became a
Augustus’s i mperium b ecame he reditary r ule to professor of t hat s ubject h imself. A fter te aching
31 o r t o 14 b.c .e.—the defeat of Marc Antony in for almost 30 years, he became tutor to the Roman
Avianus, Postumius Rufus Fes 81

emperor of the West, Gratian. When Gratian suc- Bibliography

ceeded to the throne, he appointed Ausonius to be Ausonius, Decimus Magnus. The Works of A uso-
the prefect of his Praetorian Guard. nius. Edited by R. P. H. Green. New York: Oxford
Quite apart from his twin careers as teacher and University Press, 1991.
public official, Ausonius was also a prolific poet of
the academic variety. Ā e standard English edition
of his principally didactic works runs to almost 800 Avesta (Zoroastrian scriptures) See
pages. A glib and easy versifier, he made any subject Gāt hās
grist f or h is p oetic m ill. H is pa rticular f orte w as
writing verse catalogues of events, people, and plac-
es. Ā ese treated such subjects as his relatives, t he Avianus, Postumius Rufus Fes (fl. ca.
consuls of Rome, renowned cities of the world, pro- fourth century ..) Roman poet
fessors who taught in Bordeaux, and many others. A translator, poetic geographer, and fabulist, Avia-
Ā ough h is p oetic i nspiration w as p edestrian, h is nus is best known for rendering into late Latin the
formal e xpertise was ma sterly, a nd he s eemingly astronomical w ork Phaenomena k ai D iosemaiai
delighted in overcoming challenges by accomplish- (Ā e Starry Sphere a nd t he Signs of t he Weather)
ing difficult technical feats in verse metrics. by the Greek poet Ar at us o f S ol i. Avianus’s ver-
At least two of Ausonius’s poems have engaged sion is sometimes entitled Carmen de Astris (Song
the i nterest o f subs equent g enerations o f r eaders.
of the stars). Beyond this, he translated into 1,392
Ā e first of these, his Mosella, traces his path on a
Latin h exameters Di onysius o f Cha rax’s Descrip-
journey to a nd a long t he M oselle R iver. H is
tion of the Inhabited World—a work itself deriving
descriptions of the things he encounters are genu-
from E r at ost henes’ g eograph ical writings. He
inely charming. He describes the journey to reach
also c omposed a very l ong n avigational p oem
the river, and on a rriving, he add resses t he r iver.
He then describes the fish that live in it; reflections designed to lead its reader along the northern coast
in the water; scenery, vineyards, and dwellings along of t he Me diterranean from Cádiz in Spain to t he
the riverbanks; the river’s tributaries; and, finally, Black Sea. Only 700 lines of this poem survive.
the r iver’s c onfluence w ith t he R hine, w here he Two o ther p oetic e fforts c an b e c onfidently
bids the charming watercourse farewell. ascribed to Avianus. One contains 42 rather ama-
Ā e second poem by Ausonius that has attract- teurish f a bl es w ritten i n ele giac s tanzas ( see
ed scholarly i nterest, Ephemeris, is one i n which el eg y a nd el eg a ic p oet r y). Ā e o ther der ives
he follows his own schedule of activities through from an eight-verse inscription that he addressed
a t ypical d ay. H istorians, ho wever, find more of to an Etruscan deity, Nortia. Ā is inscription was
interest in it than do literary critics. discovered in Rome.
Ausonius a lso w rote v erse l etters a nd e pi-
gr a ms. He was a careful and reliable teacher and Bibliography
public servant, grateful for the honors and offices Avianus. Ā e Fables of Avianus. Translated by David
that his pupil, Gratian, heaped upon him late in R. Slavitt. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University
his life. He did produce creditable prose—as in a Press, 1993.
paean of thanks to his imperial patron for mak- Eschenburg, J. J. Manual of C lassical Lit erature.
ing Ausonius a consul of Rome. As a p oet, how- Translated by N. W. Fiske. Philadelphia: E. C. &
ever, he mainly proved to be a skillful hobbyist. J. Biddle, 1850.
Bacchae, The Euripides (ca. 407–406 ...) dared to observe the Dionysian mysteries ran the
Composed shortly before the playwright’s d eath risk of having the frenzied worshippers tear them
while Eur ipide s w as away f rom Athens a nd t he to pieces. Such had been the fate of the archetypal
guest of King Archelaus of Macedonia, Ā e Bac- musician- poet Or ph eus.
chae probably was not quite finished by the time A long-standing tradition holds that Euripides
Euripides d ied. Ā e pl ay f ocuses o n t he pre- himself either became an adherent of t he cult or
Christian mystery religion that celebrated the god had somehow been able to obs erve its rituals. In
Dionysus. any case, t he D ionysian c ult a nd t he e xcesses of
Dionysus was t he offspring of t he king of t he some of its devotees, called Bacchae, provide the
gods, Z eus, a nd a h uman m other, Z eus’s pa r- material for this, the last of the playwright’s trag-
amour, th e Ā eban p rincess S emele. T ricked by edies. It was performed in Athens in 405 b.c. e.
Zeus’s j ealous s pouse, t he g oddess H era, S emele As t he p lay o pens, the g od D ionysus ha s
asked Z eus t o prove h is l ove for h er by s howing assumed human form and is visiting his mother’s
himself to her i n h is p roper f orm. B ound b y h is home i n Ā ebes, “ Ā e Tomb o f t he L ightning’s
own oath to do so, Zeus revealed himself as a flash Bride.” He has come to Greece to do what he has
of l ightning t hat incinerated S emele. B efore t his already done in Asia, to teach his dances and his
happened, h owever, h e r escued from h er w omb rituals to new worshippers s o t hat men may s ee
the demigod he and Semele had conceived togeth- god manifest in the flesh. Dionysus is angry with
er, a nd he en closed t he i nfant i n h is o wn flesh. the Ā ebans f or s corning h is n ew r eligion. T o
Later the child was mysteriously reborn from Zeus punish Ā ebes, he has made converts of many of
himself and became the god Dionysus. their women, including the queen mother, Agave.
A c ult g rew up a round t his twice-born d eity. Her son, Pentheus, the city’s ruler, is a c hief per-
Its adherents drank wine, sacrificed the god, and secutor of the new faith, and Dionysus intends to
were pu rified by t he bull’s shed blood. B elievers teach him a cruel lesson.
who participated in this ritual were thought to be Having ac quainted t he audience w ith th is
cleansed of their sins and, like the god himself, to background, D ionysus de parts, a nd 1 5 w omen
undergo a m ysterious r ebirth. C elebrants p rac- dressed a s hi s w orshippers c autiously t ake t he
ticed t heir r ites i n s ecret, a nd n oninitiates w ho stage. W hen they a re sure no one i s a bout, t hey

Bacchae, The 83

begin to perform the Dionysian rites. Ā ey sing a Pentheus’s demand that he recount those myster-
series o f g enuinely l ovely l yrics that i nvite th e ies. On ly t he f aithful, he i nsists, c an k now suc h
god to join them. Instead, clad like the singers in matters. Out of patience, Pentheus orders Diony-
the fawn skins t hat identify Dionysus’s worship- sus’s ha ir to b e c ut, t akes away h is wand of reli-
pers, t he bl ind a nd a ncient p rophet T eiresias gious o ffice, a nd ha s h im c ruelly b ound a nd
enters. H e dema nds t hat s omeone su mmon t he imprisoned. D ionysus w arns P entheus that i n
even more a ncient a nd now-retired k ing of Ā e- imprisoning him , he i s i mprisoning a g od, b ut
bes, C admus, P entheus’s g randfather. C admus Pentheus stands firm.
appears, a lso c lad a s a w orshipper. Ā e t wo ol d Now the chorus sings songs of worship, rehears-
men i nform t he a udience t hat t hey a re t he o nly ing E uripides’ ve rsion of t he D ionysian r ites. A s
male Ā eban worshippers of the god, and they set they finish their song, they throw themselves to the
off together toward the mountains where the rites earth, an d D ionysus, a lone a nd u nbound, en ters
will b e c elebrated. Ā ey see K ing Pentheus a nd from the castle. He greets his worshippers and bids
his b odyguard app roaching, a nd c onceal t hem- them rise. He tells them that Pentheus never bound
selves to eavesdrop. or i mprisoned h im. Rather, the god has confused
Pentheus vents his annoyance that this new cult Pentheus with an illusion, and the king bound and
has swept through the women of the town, and he imprisoned a bull. Ā e god has worked other mira-
promises to shackle and imprison all he finds par- cles as well, but Pentheus has not been impressed,
ticipating. H e h as a lso h eard o f t he a rrival o f a and he enters demanding to know how his prison-
stranger claiming to be the god himself. He intends er escaped.
to c apture t he stranger a nd execute h im for blas- After m ore v erbal spa rring b etween t he g od
phemy. His annoyance redoubles when he d iscov- and the king, a messenger arrives from the region
ers his own grandfather, Cadmus, lurking nearby of Cithaeron, but he f ears to del iver h is message
with Teiresias, dressed in fawn skins and crowned until the king assures him of his safety, whatever
with ivy. Pentheus c hides Teiresias. Ā e audience news he br ings. P entheus ag rees, and th e m es-
hears the chorus accuse Pentheus of sacrilege. senger reports t hat he ha s s een t he B acchae, le d
Teiresias t ries to c onvert Pentheus to his point by the king’s mother and her sisters, who engage
of v iew, and the chorus a nd C admus s econd h is in the mysteries, perform miracles, and overcome
appeal. C admus p oints o ut t he p olitical adv an- villagers who attempt t o i nterrupt t hem in t heir
tage of the association of the god with the Ā eban celebrations. Ā e m essenger adv ises t he k ing to
royal house, a nd he a ttempts to c rown Pentheus relent and accept the new god. Pentheus resolves
with an ivy wreath. Pentheus refuses, and he exits to take up arms against the worshippers, and Dio-
after s ending ha lf h is g uard to d ishonor T eire- nysus warns him not to. Pentheus cannot, howev-
sias’s shrine to t he god and the other half to seek er, be dissuaded. At last the god gives up on him
out and arrest the stranger calling himself Diony- and readies Pentheus himself as a sacrifice.
sus. In another round of lovely hymns, the maid- Pentheus s uddenly b ecomes i rresolute a nd
ens of the ch or us c elebrate the god. experiences d ifficulty in making de cisions a s
Ā e s oldiers r eenter w ith D ionysus a mong the god leads him on. After more choral hymns,
them, and Pentheus returns. Ā e soldiers marvel Pentheus, n ow d isguised as a f emale B acchante,
that Dionysus has c ome w illingly a nd l aughing, begins to see Dionysus’s shape shift into that of a
and the god’s captors announce that the maidens sacrificial bull. His ma nner of speaking shifts as
whom the king had already imprisoned have been well. Dionysus sends the king to his approaching,
set free by miraculous means. terrible fate.
Pentheus cross- examines D ionysus. Ā e g od Ā e chorus of Bacchae begins singing a hymn
poses as a Lydian to whom the Dionysian myster- presaging t he death of u ninitiated spies on t heir
ies ha ve a ll b een d ivinely r evealed. H e r efuses mysteries.
84 Bacchides

A m essenger f rom t he m ountain w here P en- Oates, Whitney J., a nd Eugene O’Neill, Jr., editors.
theus has gone now confirms that during the song, Ā e Bacchae: Ā e Complete Greek Drama. Vol. 2.
the B acchae ha ve k illed t he k ing. Ā e m essenger New York: Random House, 1938.
reports the details: Ā e god himself pointed out the
interloper to t he women. H is aunts, Autonoe a nd
Ino, a nd his own m other, A gave, n ot r ecognizing Bacchides (Two Sisters Named Bacchis)
their nephew and son and totally overcome by reli- Titus Maccius Plautus (ca. late second
gious delusion, tore Pentheus apart. Ā is the mes- century ...)
senger describes in gory and graphic detail. Agave, Based on Mena nder ’s play Ā e Double Deceiver,
the a udience l earns, is r eturning w ith P entheus’s of w hich on ly t races exist, Pl aut us’s Bacchides
still- unrecognized head impaled upon her wand. concerns a pair of twin sisters who have the same
Agave enters, proud of her conquest and think- name, one l iving i n Athens (Bacchis A) a nd one
ing that she displays the head of a young lion. She dwelling on the island of Samos (Bacchis B). Both
calls for her s on Pentheus s o t hat he c an mount are c ourtesans, a nd b oth a re c onsumed w ith a
the lion’s head on the palace wall. She shows it to passion for money. Two young a nd foolish men,
her father Cadmus. Slowly the old man leads her both Athenians, love the women ardently. Pistoc-
from her religious frenzy and has her lo ok upon lerus lo ves B acchis A , a nd M nesilochus lo ves
the h ead. A t l ast she r ecognizes her s on a nd Bacchis B.
repents her deed. As t he p lay o pens, Ba cchis B a rrives f rom
Just at this point in the play, a page is missing Samos a t h er si ster’s house i n A thens. We le arn
from the manuscript upon which all later editions that B acchis B ha s b een em ployed b y a s oldier
of Ā e B acchae are based. Editors sp eculate t hat named Cleomachus to serve him exclusively for a
the m issing pa ge c ontained a sp eech b y A gave year. We also discover that Mnesilochus, who has
and a deu s e x mac hina app earance o f D ionysus been away at Ephesus but w ill soon return, l ives
in which he probably passed judgment on the city next door to Bacchis A. Mnesilochus has written
of Ā ebes f or n ot ac cepting h is d ivinity. A s t he to his friend Pistoclerus asking his help in prying
text r esumes, t he g od do es s ay t hat i f e veryone Bacchis B lo ose f rom her a rrangement w ith
had acknowledged his divinity in time, all would Cleomachus.
have b een w ell. C admus, A gave, a nd her si sters Ā e sisters also think that Bacchis B would stand
all g o i nto v oluntary e xile. Ā e c horus r eminds to gain more f rom involvement w ith Mnesilochus
the audience of the gods’ unpredictability. than with the soldier, so in the first scene they also
Ā e unfeeling cruelty of gods in their dealings try to recruit Pistoclerus in scheming against Cleo-
with men is a theme that emerges more than once machus. Ā e s cene i nvolves m uch a morous p un-
in Euripides’ later plays. One sees another instance ning as B acchis A b ends P istoclerus to her w ill
of it, for example, at the end of Helen , where Zeus while keeping his ardor within bounds. He ends up
rewards his daughter, Helen of Troy, for her cruel- paying for a welcoming banquet for Bacchis B.
ty i n s tarting t he T rojan War a nd c ausing t he Ā e s econd s cene f eatures a deba te b etween
deaths o f s o many t roublesome mor tals, t hereby Pistoclerus a nd t he sla ve L ydus, w ho ha s a lso
reducing t heir n umbers. It m ay b e t hat t he old been Pist oclerus’s teach er. Striking a series o f
playwright had concluded that human beings were tragic poses, Lydus reproves his former pupil for
merely the playthings of the gods. his in terest i n a c ourtesan a nd f or w asting h is
father’s money. Pistoclerus, of course, ignores the
Bibliography older man’s advice.
Euripides. Bacchae; Iphegenia at Aulis; Rhesus. Edit- As act 2 opens, Chrysalus, the slave of Mnesi-
ed and translated by David Kovacs. Cambridge, lochus’s f ather, a rrives f rom Ep hesus w ith M ne-
Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2002. silochus. E ncountering P istoclerus, Ch rysalus
Bacchides 85

learns that Bacchis B still prefers Mnesilochus to philosophical a bout h is s on’s m oral l apse t han
her s oldier, a nd t hat b oth si sters a re l iving r ight the s traitlaced L ydus e xpected. L ydus r esponds
next do or t o Mnesilochus and h is f ather N ico- with a d iatribe about t he s orry c ondition o f
bolus. Pist oclerus ex plains t hat Ch rysalus m ust morality and blames the father for approving the
find t he money to buy Bacchis B’s contract from son’s se nsuality. S eeing M nesilochus, L ydus
the s oldier C leomachus. C hrysalus i mmediately makes self-deluding a nd u nflattering co mpari-
begins t o sch eme to p ry t he m oney o ut o f t he sons between Pistoclerus a nd his f riend. Mnesi-
father for the son’s benefit. He will convince Nico- lochus, Lydus thinks, tends strictly to business.
bolus t hat money actually i n Mnesilochus’s pos- Lydus t ells M nesilochus a bout t he w ay t hat
session has been banked for safe-keeping. Pistoclerus has behaved in t he brothel w ith Bac-
Much of the attraction of this and other scenes chis A , a nd M nesilochus m istakenly c oncludes
depends upon witty wordplay and on the double that h is fr iend has b een f ondling B acchis B . H e
takes t hat P lautus a llows h is c haracters a s t he resolves to return the fi lched money to his father
playwright has them step out of character to com- (which h e d oes) and t o in tercede o n beha lf o f
ment, for instance, on the acting of the others or Chrysalus. I n t he n ext s cene, h owever, wh en
on t he pl aywright’s t alent. Pl autus’s u se o f do u- Mnesilochus confronts Pistoclerus, t he matter is
bling e xtends b eyond r eduplicating t he role s o f cleared up. Both Bacchides are in their house.
his characters to using actors both as participants As a ct 4 o pens, w e m eet a s tock figure o f
and as observers. Roman and Greek comedy, the parasite. He intro-
As the third scene opens, Nicobolus steps out duces himself as the parasite of the soldier Cleo-
his f ront do or. C hrysalus g reets h im w ith t he machus. Ā e pa rasite i s s earching f or B acchis B
intention of fleecing him of the above- mentioned to d iscover w hether she w ill r epay C leomachus
money M nesilochus n eeds. Ā e s lave i nvents a or leave w ith him. Ā e parasite bangs on a do or;
complex cock-and-bull story to convince the old Pistoclerus a nswers, a nd the p arasite states h is
man t hat t he money his son had r eally collected business. P istoclerus tel ls h im t hat B acchis B
had been deposited with a rich man in Ephesus to will not be returning home and threatens the par-
protect t he c ash f rom pirates. C hrysalus goes to asite w ith a b eating. N ow, P istoclerus r eflects,
tell M nesilochus t hat he c an u se t he c ash. Ā e Mnesilochus needs money again.
slave does worry, however, a bout w hat w ill h ap- Scene 3 o pens w ith a s ong su ng b y M nesilo-
pen when Nicobolus learns of the trick. chus. Ancient drama had ma ny of the character-
Act 3 opens with the lines that the Florentine istics o f o pera or m usical c omedy, a nd P lautus
poet Dante Alighieri borrowed as the motto post- often employs cantica (songs). In his aria, Mnesi-
ed above t he gates of Hell i n his Inferno: “Aban- lochus e xpresses r egret a t h is b ehavior a nd i ts
don a ll hope a ll w ho enter here.” Ā e moralistic consequences. He really is upset because he does
teacher-slave Lydus sp eaks t he l ines, c omparing not h ave the money to b uy B acchis B’s c ontract.
the d oor of B acchis A ’s b rothel to t he ga tes o f Pistoclerus e nters a nd t ries u nsuccessfully to
Hades a nd s aying t hat a ll w ho en ter t here ha ve cheer up his friend. In scene 4, Chrysalus enters,
already a bandoned a ll ho pe. L ydus, add ressing comparing himself favorably with the slave char-
the audience, threatens for the second time to tell acters who inhabit Greek (as opposed to Roman)
Pistoclerus’s father what his son is up to. comedies. Ā ey o nly m anage to p rovide t heir
In t he s econd scene, t he r eturning Mn esilo- masters w ith sma ll su ms, w hereas C hrysalus
chus mouths a series of dull aphorisms in praise manages large ones. He is flabbergasted to le arn
of friendship and then encounters Lydus togeth- that M nesilochus ha s r eturned a ll t he m oney to
er with his master, Philoxenus, the father of Pis- his father and kept none for himself. Nonetheless,
toclerus. L ydus i s c arry ing o ut h is t hreat a nd Chrysalus a grees to b ilk h is ma ster o f en ough
informing on the son. Philoxenus is much more money to accomplish Mnesilochus’s purposes.
86 “Ballad of Sawseruquo, The”

Chrysalus ha s M nesilochus w rite h is f ather a Ā e two old men decide to demand the money
letter i n w hich he tel ls t he e xact t ruth a bout t he from the two sisters. Ā ey create an uproar at the
way in which his son and his slave are plotting to Bacchides’ d oor, a nd w hen t he si sters a nswer,
relieve the old man of large sums of cash. Chrysa- they p erceive an o pportunity f or fu rther p rofit
lus instructs Mnesilochus to remind the master of and b ehave seductively. P hiloxenus s uccumbs
his promise not to beat his slave. Rather, as part of first, ad mitting t hat he h as f allen in love with
his plot, Chrysalus wants Nicobolus to tie him up. Bacchis B. Bacchis A e xerts her c harm on Nico-
In scene 6, Chrysalus, who has been wonder- bolus, and after holding out against it for a time,
ing h ow to ma ke h is ma ster a ngry, finds Ni co- he also succumbs. Ā e Bacchides lead the fathers
bolus already in that condition. Chrysalus hands inside to share a couch with the women and with
over the letter of confession and waits while Nico- their sons.
bolus rushes off to bring assistance a nd ropes to Ā e c omedy ends w ith t he entire c ompany of
bind C hrysalus. W hen he returns w ith s ervants players assuring the audience that, if the old men
from the house, Chrysalus insults Nicobolus and had not been worthless since boyhood, they would
tells h im t hat he w ill s oon b e voluntarily g iving never have fallen victim to the sisters’ charms.
money away to save his son from danger.
When Nicobolus wants to know the sort of dan- Bibliography
ger t hat threatens h is s on, Chrysalus leads h im Plautus. Ā e Two B acchides. Translated by E dward
next door. Ā ey open the door a c rack, and Nico- H. Sugden. In Ā e Complete Roman Drama, vol
bolus observes the drunken orgy that is in progress 2. E dited b y George E . Du ckworth. N ew York:
with h is son a s a p rime pa rticipant. C hrysalus Random House, 1942.
assures him that the girl is no courtesan and prom- ———. Two S isters N amed Ba cchis. T ranslated b y
ises that Nicobolus will soon learn who she is. James Tatum. I n Plautus: Ā e C omedies, vol. 2 .
Now in search of Mnesilochus, the boasting sol- Edited b y D avid R. S lavitt and P almer Bovie.
dier Cleomachus appears and he brags to the audi- Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins Universi-
ence a bout h is ma rtial p rowess. C hrysalus tel ls ty Press, 1995.
Nicobolus t hat the soldier i s B acchis B’s husband.
Ā e slave manages matters so that Nicobolus prom-
ises to buy out the contract for 200 pieces of gold. “Ballad of Sawseruquo, The” (possibly
In a ct 4, s cene 9 , C hrysalus en ters sp outing ca. 3000 ...)
verse in epic style. He switches to a dirge for King A r epresentative o f a n a ncient b ody o f f olklore,
Priam of Troy and then begins declaiming Greek the Na r t Sa ga s, the first fragment of “Ā e Ballad
mythology l ike a n or ator or lecturer—at onc e of Sawseruquo” tells of how the Nart hero Sawse-
illustrating his own and Plautus’s mastery of sev- ruquo stole a firebrand from and then overcame
eral l iterary s tyles. C hrysalus d raws a s eries o f and destroyed a s eemingly invincible giant. As it
parallels b etween t he f all o f Troy a nd t he si tua- now e xists, t he s tory i s tol d i n t he Ci rcassian
tion t hat is beginning to resolve i tself u nder h is language.
creative hand. After reading another letter osten- Ā e Narts, a group of legendary protohumans,
sibly from his son, Nicobolus coughs up a second are freezing and need fire, so Sawseruquo steals a
200 gold coins. firebrand from a s leeping gi ant. O n a wakening
In the meantime, Pistoclerus’s father, Philoxe- and m issing t he firebrand, t he g iant, w ho i s a
nus, enters, reflecting on his own misspent youth shape- shifter, s tretches h imself i n a ll d irections
and on his reformation. Now Nicobolus enters in until h e overtakes S awseruquo on h is w inged
a rage. He has learned the truth from Cleomachus steed, but the giant does not know him. Ā e giant
and i s th oroughly di sgusted w ith h imself, h is threatens to eat the man he finds if he will not tell
slave, and his son. him what sort of man Sawseruquo is.
Basil, St. 87

Sawseruquo, who ha s much i n c ommon w ith Abkhaz, and Ubykhs. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton
tricksters i n ma ny f olk t raditions, p romises to University Press, 2002.
teach t he g iant a bout h is qu arry’s ga mes a nd
amusements. Ā ese g ames i nvolve a s eries o f
attempts to d estroy t he g iant; b ut t he t rickster Ban Gu, Ban Biao, and Ban Zhao See
insists that he is merely showing the giant ways to Hist or y o f the F ormer Han Dyn ast y.
have fun. First Sawseruquo throws an iron mete-
orite at the giant’s head, but the giant easily butts
it away and thinks this iron sphere- butting game Basil, St. (ca. 329–370 ..)
is fun. Ā en Sawseruquo shoots white- hot arrows Born to an upper- class Christian family at Pon-
into the giant’s mouth; the giant chews t hem up tus in Asia Minor, Basil received a Roman patri-
and spits them out, not only finding the game to cian’s ed ucation a t C onstantinople a nd A thens.
be j olly, b ut a lso claiming that it has cured his Employed as a n i mperial a dministrator u ntil
sore throat. Next the giant swallows red-hot plow- about 358, Basil gave up his career to jo in ot her
shares a nd v omits t hem up w ith no harm a nd members of his f amily a t A mnesi i n P ontus.
much a musement. At h is w its’ en d, S awseruquo Ā ere t he f amily a ll dw elled tog ether a s C hris-
explains a g ame t hat i nvolves s tanding i n t he tian ascetics in a community led by Eustathius of
deepest spot i n “seven turbulent seas” where t he Sebaste. A strong supporter of the Nicene Creed,
giant cannot touch bottom. Ā e giant must stand Basil wa s o rdained a p riest i n 3 65. F ive y ears
there f or s even d ays a nd n ights, a llowing t he later, h e be came a b ishop, a nd t hroughout t he
water to freeze around him. He does, and then he rest of h is l ife he at tempted to r epair c ertain of
heaves and sets himself free. the d octrinal d ivisions t hat s eemed to pl ague
Sawseruquo explains t hat t he g iant ha s n ot every religious community at that time.
waited long enough, and that if he allows the ice to From a l iterary perspec tive, Ba sil, wh o f ol-
set more firmly, it w ill increase h is st rength. Ā e lowed the teachings of Or igen, first compiled an
giant, who seems to be a mental dwarf, agrees. Ā is anthology of t he latter’s works—the Philocalia of
time he cannot f ree h imself. Sawseruquo mounts Origen. He next drew from the New Test a ment
his w inged horse a nd flies off to g et t he g iant’s a collection of 1,533 verses addressing the subject
sword. At last, too late, t he g iant recognizes both of mor als a nd prop er behavior—his Moralia.
his own folly and the identity of Sawseruquo. Over time, he prefaced that compilation with two
Returning w ith the s word, S awseruquo lops essays: “On the Judgment” and “On the Faith.”
off the giant’s head. He then takes the stolen fire- To y oung p eople s till v ery much u nder t he
brand t o t hose o f t he N arts w ho ha ve su rvived sway o f H ellenistic po lytheism, h e addressed a
both cold and heat while he has been away. celebrated work Ad adolescentes, de legendis libris
Ā e recent translator of many Caucasian Nart Gentilium (To y oung m en o n [ the sub ject o f ]
Sagas, John Colarusso, has pointed out the simi- reading the books of the Gentiles). Ā is work dis-
larities between this story and Prometheus’s theft cussed the utility of the Pagan classics to a Chris-
of fire in Greek myth (see Pr omet he us Bo und). tian education and remained influential well into
Ā e c onfrontation b etween S awseruquo a nd t he the Europe an Re nais sance.
giant is also reminiscent of Gilgamesh and Enki- Basil next turned his attention to the exposition
du’s conquest of the giant Humbaba in the Hittite of orthodox dogma, writing against the Arian her-
Epic of Gilga mesh. esy i n t hree t reatises c ontradicting t he p osition
taken by their apologist, Eu nomius of C onstanti-
Bibliography nople. Ā is wa s f ollowed by a work on the Holy
Colarusso, J ohn. Nart S agas f rom the C aucasus: Spirit ( De S piritu Sa ncto). B asil’s m ost n otable
Myths and Legends from the Circassians, Abazas, work—one t hat became a m odel f or ma ny t hat
88 Bhagavad Gita

followed—is entitled On the Hexameron. Concern- authority of Scripture. Others find in it a work that
ing the six days of creation as reported in the Bible, calls for a mystical or an ascetic interpretation. Still
and incorporating into that explanation the views others examine it for its philosophical and dialecti-
of Greek science, Basil attempted to account for the cal implications. Here we focus on the narrative.
creation and processes of the universe. Over 300 of Ā e poem is organized as a series of questions
Basil’s letters a lso su rvive, a s do a n umber of h is and answers. Ā e first exchange occ urs bet ween
sermons and works of dubious attribution. the questioner, the blind king Dhritarashtra, and
Ā e Ro man C atholic C hurch v enerates a s Sanjaya, one of the three narrators of the Mahab-
saints n ot o nly Bas il h imself b ut a lso s everal harata. I n a nswer to D hritarashtra, S anjaya i s
other members of his immediate family. describing t he e vents t aking pl ace on t he s acred
battlefield o f K urukshetra. Ā ere t wo en ormous
Bibliography armies are drawn up and awaiting the command
Basil, Sa int, B ishop of C aesarea. Ascetical W orks. to commence hostilities.
Translated by Monica Wagner. Washington, D.C.: Sanjaya names the heroes of the opposing force
Catholic University of America Press, 1980. and then the commanders of his own forces. Ā en
———. On the Holy Spirit: St. Basil the Great. Trans- the order i s g iven f or t he t roops to f orm r anks,
lated b y Da vid A nderson. Cr estwood, N. Y.: St . and a s they do, t rumpets blo w a nd ke ttledrums
Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1980. sound. As in such Western medieval battle epics
———. On the Human Condition [Sermons]. Trans- as Ā e Song of Roland, the trumpets, here made of
lated b y N onna V erna Ha rrison. Cre stwood, conch shell, have names: Endless Victory, Honey
N.Y.: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2005. Tone, a nd J ewel Blo ssom. Ā e en ormous n oise
———. St. B asil on th e V alue of G reek E ducation. heartens the troops, and as the battle is about to
Edited b y N. C . Wi lson. L ondon: D uckworth, begin, the reader meets two of the poem’s princi-
1975. pal heroes: Krishna (the Hindu deity) and Arjuna.
Getting A rjuna to fight i s t he m ain n arrative
object of the poem.
Bhagavad Gita Vyāsa (ca. 1500 ...; Arjuna has Krishna drive him out in Arjuna’s
current form ca. 150 ..) chariot to r econnoiter s o that A rjuna can k now
Ā e Bha gavad Gi ta i s a 7 01-line p ortion o f t he his enemy before fighting. Arjuna finds his kins-
fift h b ook o f t he i mmense I ndian e pic , t he men facing each other in the ranks of both armies.
Mah abh ar at a. Its attribution to Vyā sa i s tradi- Disheartened by this discovery, Arjuna refuses to
tional an d p robably re flects t he c ustomary s ub- fight, saying that he will not kill his kinsmen lest
mergence of t he i ndividual id entities of a ncient he de stroy h is o wn happ iness. H e u nderstands
Indian poets in a Vyāsan persona. Ā ere is no way that h is k insmen’s m inds a re c louded b y g reed,
to b e su re, b ut i t s eems l ikely t hat t he p oem, a t but, unlike t hem, Arjuna and Krishna recognize
least in the form we have it, was composed around the immorality of the contest. A rjuna prefers to
the second century c.e. die at t heir h ands r ather than participate i n h is
Ā e Bha gavad Gi ta, i n a ny c ase, i s s ometimes kinsmen’s sinful folly. He flings away his bow and
called Ā e Song of God, though its theological ram- quiver and refuses to fight.
ifications need not concern us here. It is nonetheless Krishna reproves Arjuna’s decision as “unman-
one of the most popular of all Indian liturgical pas- ly a nd d isgraceful.” M oreover, i t i s at odds with
sages and nurtures the spiritual lives of millions of heavenly will. Arjuna implores the divine Krish-
people in India and elsewhere, in addition to sup- na for grace and illumination. Arjuna wants what
porting their devotion to h igh standards o f t ruth is best, but he is determined not to fight.
and fairness. From a Hindu perspective, the verses Krishna p reaches A rjuna a leng thy s ermon
of t he B hagavad Gita a re c anonical and h ave th e about the temporality of the physical person and
Bhagavad Gita 89

the i ndestructibility of the a tman ( soul) t hat nize Krishna as “the giver of ritual and religious
vivifies t he body. Ā e t rue s elf, K rishna i nsists, discipline, t he c reator o f t he t hree w orlds, a nd
can neither slay nor be slain. “As a person throws the refuge of all beings” will fi nd peace, escaping
away [ old] c lothes a nd p uts on [ new],” s o t he the continual cycle of rebirth.
“embodied Self throws away this lifetime’s body In the next section of the poem, Krishna focuses
and enters a nother t hat i s n ew.” I f A rjuna p er- on the benefits of meditation. Ā en he turns to the
sists i n h is c owardly b ehavior, he w ill lo se h is benefits t hat a ccrue f rom worshipping K rishna
dignity an d le ave h is f ate u nfulfi lled. H e m ust and the kinds of persons who can successfully do
fight. His mind must achieve poise, and he must so. Ā ese i nclude t hose w ho s orrow, t hose w ho
be calm, steady, a nd f ree from desire. W hen he seek truth, those who seek bliss, and those who are
brings himself under appropriate control, he will wise. Few people a chieve w isdom. Ā ose who do
achieve t ranquility a nd o vercome s orrow. H e achieve it recognize that all things come into being
will fi nd eternal unity with Bhraman. during t he eons- long “day of Br ahman,” a nd a ll
Arjuna, however, finds Krishna’s sermon con- things cease to be during t he eons-long “night of
fusing, s o Kr ishna a ttempts c larification. H e Brahman.”
explains t hat each person must follow either the Now Krishna reveals to Arjuna his true nature,
contemplative Yoga of knowledge, or the Yoga of at once immanent and transcendent. He describes
action a nd work. A rjuna’s path i s t hat of ac tion. himself as “ the ri tual . . . the sacred gift . . . the
He m ust wor k, but wor k s elflessly t o avoid t he holy food . . . the sacred fire . . . and offering . . .
traps set b y se lfish ac tion. H e m ust c rush b oth the father and mother of the world . . . the goal
hope and ego, and he must fight. of knowledge . . . Om . . . the supporter . . . the
Arjuna h as n ow b ecome i nterested i n t he refuge . . . the lord . . . the silent witness . . . the
moral i mplications of Krishna’s d iscourse a nd origin . . . the dissolution . . . the storehouse and
asks w hat d rives pe ople to do e vil d espite w hat the s eed . . . death and salvation . . . what is and
they t ruly wi sh. Krishna r eplies t hat g reed a nd what is not.”
anger d estroy j udgment, dw elling i n t he s enses All w ho w orship, K rishna s ays, e ven t hough
and the intellect. Krishna describes the following they m ay not k now it , wo rship him. Ā erefore
ascending hi erarchy: flesh, s enses, m ind, i ntel- Arjuna s hould imm erse him self in t houghts o f
lect, and atman. Krishna.
Krishna n ow r eveals to A rjuna t hat, t hough Convinced by what Krishna has t aught h im,
both of them have lived t hrough many incarna- Arjuna c onfesses his f aith. Yet h e s till w ishes
tions, Krishna, because he is divine, can remem- to know m ore a nd a sks K rishna to e xplain h is
ber a ll h is. A rjuna c annot. K rishna i s a t o nce divine p owers. K rishna ag rees t o explain t hem
man and the god who comes in every age to “pro- “in o rderly f orm.” Ā ese po wers are m any,
tect t he g ood a nd de stroy t he w icked.” K rishna involving numerous manifestations in the form
now explores a series of seeming contradictions, of go ds, s criptures, s uch human f aculties a s
explaining how all of them are resolved if a p er- intelligence, and s uch an imal f aculties a s c on-
son overcomes h is s enses; u nderstands t he t rue sciousness. Krishna is priest and worshipper, the
nature of work; avoids ignorance, disrespect, and sun a nd t he o cean, t he H imalayas, t he fig t ree,
disbelief; and fi nds strength in discipline. the best of horses, the strongest of elephants, the
Still n ot c lear a bout t he b est w ay to f ollow, thunderbolt, the crocodile, the Ganges, the fi rst
Arjuna asks K rishna if renunciation or a ctivity principle, and so forth. It is sufficient for Arjuna,
is t he bet ter c ourse. K rishna s ays t hat b oth a re however, simply to know that Krishna exists and
good, bu t w ork i s be tter. E ither pa th f ollowed that he sustains the world.
selflessly leads to t ranquility. Greed spoils both. Converted n ow, A rjuna p rays t hat K rishna
Ā ose who s elflessly focus on the atman recog- will reveal himself in his supreme form. Krishna
90 Bible

endows A rjuna w ith g odlike vi sion s o th at h e Roman w orks w as P l ut a r ch’ s Par allel Lives ,
may see Krishna in his true form and glory. In the in which the Greek historian paired a b iographi-
lengthy pa ssage t hat f ollows, A rjuna de scribes cal s ketch o f a n otable Ro man w ith o ne a bout a
what h e sees , and th e a wesome na ture o f h is famous G reek. A s t he cla ssicist C . B . R. P elling
vision destroys the inner peace he had ac hieved, points out, however, biographical writing appeared
for he h as s een K rishna n ot only a s t he c reative in many genres among both Greeks and Romans.
but a lso a s t he d estructive p rinciple i n t he u ni- Such g enres i ncluded e pic s l ike H omer ’s Ā e
verse. Arjuna calls for pity. Odysse y, in which a largely fictive and mythologi-
Krishna n ow c ommands A rjuna, tel ling h im cal narrative c enters on t he pa rtly t rue e vents i n
that, even if he refuses to fight, none of the enemy the l ife o f an h istorical i ndividual. P elling a lso
soldiers he pities will survive. Krishna tells Arjuna points to f uneral orations and dirges as forms of
to destroy them and enjoy their kingdom. Arjuna biographical w riting t hat celebrated t he a ccom-
falls down before Krishna and worships him, beg- plishments of t he de ceased. I ncluded i n Pelling’s
ging h im n ow to sho w h im h is p eaceful f orm. list are Ion of Chios (ca. 480–421 b.c. e.) and Stes-
Again Krishna complies, and Arjuna regains his imbrotus of Athens (fl. fift h c entury b .c. e.). I on
composure. reports h is c onversations w ith suc h f amous p er-
Before h e fights, h owever, Arj una c raves f ur- sons as Aesch yl us and Sophoc l es i n his Visits.
ther i nstruction. Kr ishna w illingly p rovides i t, Stesimbrotus’s s urviving f ragments g ive p articu-
explaining the nature of knowledge and the know- lars abo ut t he A thenian p oliticians Ā emistocles
able. He grants the knowledge that makes achiev- and P ericles. Ā e b iographer r eputedly w rote
ing perfection possible. He continues, explaining about Thuc ydides as well, but no example of that
divine an d d emonic na tures as t hey appear i n work has survived.
people. H e a lso e xplains t he u tility o f t he s crip- Xenophon o f A t hens’s Cyr opædia and h is
tures and the three devotions. Memorabilia, w hich de alt r espectively w ith t he
When Krishna finally explains the way of sal- education of the Persian ruler Cyrus and with the
vation, A rjuna ha s learned a ll he n eeds to k now death o f S ocr at es, p roved i mportant i n t heir
and a t l ast a grees t o f ollow K rishna’s i nstruc- own right and also as examples for later writers to
tions. He will fight. follow. N umerous quasi-po liti cal biographies
dealing with such figures as Alexander the Great
Bibliography looked to Xenophon as a model, mixing the writ-
Chatterjee, R . K . Ā e Git a an d I ts Cu lture. New ing of biography with praise. Pl at o’s accounts of
Delhi: Sterling Publications, 1987. Socrates’ l ife a nd c onversations i n several d ia-
Vyāsa. Ā e Bhagavad Gita. Translated by P. Lal. Kol- logues a lso c ontributed a s tring to b iography’s
kata, India: Writers’ Workshop, 1968. lyre. Pelling credits Ar istot l e w ith contributing
———. Ā e Bhagavad Gita: Ā e Original Sanskrit and cultural a nd e thical h istory to t he c oncerns o f
an En glish Translation. Translated by L ars M ar- biographers. I n picturing Socrates as notoriously
tin Fosse. Woodstock, N.Y.: YogaVida .com, 2007. ill- tempered and Plato as a plagiarist, the celebrat-
ed musician and musical t heorist A ristoxenus of
Tarentum ( fl. f ourth c entury b .c. e.) c ontributed
Bible See Hebr ew Bible; N ew Test ament . the m aliciously s candalous story t o t he b iogra-
pher’s arsenal.
Ā e s ort o f b iographies a bout w riters t hat,
biography, Greek and Roman when little is actually known about their subjects,
Several sorts of works with varying degrees of bio- draw un supported inf erences f rom t he w riters’
graphical f ocus app eared i n a ncient G reece a nd works may be t raceable to a w riter on t he l ives
Rome. Pa rticularly n otable a mong t he Greco- of poet s, Chamaeleon of He raclea (fl. si xth–fift h
biography, Greek and Roman 91

century b.c .e.). References to one such work sur- Tiberius, Claudius, Hadrian, and Ma r c us Aur e-
vive, but the work itself is lost. liu s A nt oninus. W riting in G reek, t he last-
Once t he H el l enist ic A ge g ot u nderway i n named em peror m ost c losely app roximated t he
Alexandria, E gypt, s cholars at t he P tolemaic modern autobio graphy of self- exploration a nd
library t here i ntroduced a m ode o f b iographical discovery i n h is To H imself ( Med it at ions). A
writing in which brief notes about a f amous per- succession of civil servants, the “writers of impe-
son’s life, acquaintances, associates, and so forth rial history,” found employment penning the lives
introduced scholarly c ommentaries on t he s ub- of Roman emperors from Hadrian to Carinus.
ject’s works. A particularly interesting example of Competing p oliticians o r t heir su rrogates
later Greek biography is Th e Lif e o f Apol l onius wrote quasi- biographical ske tches f ocusing o n
of Tyana by L. Fl av ius Phil ost r at us (Philos- the failings of their opponents or on their own
tratus t he A thenian). Ā e b ook tel ls o f a pa gan or their constituents’ virtues. A fiery exchange of
Greek wise man whose career in many ways par- such political biography appeared after the death
allels that of Jesus Christ—most notably describ- of Marcus Porcius Cato, t he staunchest defender
ing Apollonius’s re surrection from the dead. A n of the Roman Republic and its constitution. Cato
early P latonist c ritic o f C hristianity, C elsus ( fl. had c ommitted su icide r ather t han ac cept C ae-
late second century c .e.), accused t he Christians sar’s pardon for opposing him. Cice r o and Iunius
of b orrowing fo r t he em ergent C hristian s crip- Brutus w rote pa negyrics (poems o f praise) hon-
tures’ accounts of Apollonius’s r aising t he de ad, oring t he great republican. Ā ese were answered
of his having himself been resurrected, and of his by Caesar himself and by his aide- de- camp, Hir-
having a scended bod ily i nto he aven. Ā e w ork tius, who had also written the eighth book of Cae-
also d isplays c haracteristics o f hagiography— sar’s Gallic Wars.
biographies of t he l ives o f s aints, w hich w ould Among other Roman biographers we find t he
become standard Christian fare. Philostratus also name o f M a r c us Ter ent ius Va rr o—ancient
composed a series o f Lives o f t he S ophists that Rome’s m ost i mportant a nd p roductive s cholar.
included p ortraits o f r hetoricians and o rators Varro p enned s ome 7 00 bio graphical s ketches
from the time of P rotagoras i n t he fift h c entury (Imagines) of famous Greeks and Romans, append-
b.c .e. until the early third century c. e. ing an a ppropriate e pigra m t o e ach. H e a lso
Diog en es L a er ti us’s d iscussion o f the l ives compiled the lives of many famous poets.
and writings of 82 Greek philosophers and other St. Jer ome—himself n o m ean b iographer, a s
notable persons has been transmitted to u s in 10 his On I llustrious Men demonstrates—named
books (manuscript scrolls). Among these, Book 3 Cornelius Nepos (ca. 110–24 b.c. e.) and Sueto ni-
deals e xclusively w ith P l at o a nd B ook 1 0 w ith us a mong others a s Roman biographers worthy
Epic ur us. of not e. Ā ough t he s urviving w orks o f N epos
Differences i n t he p ractices a nd em phases o f are fr agmentary, w e k now t hat t hey o riginally
national biography arose from the divergent his- included about 400 lives of illustrious men, many
tories and customs of the Greeks and the Romans. of whom were military and not all of whom were
In terms o f g enre, h owever, one n aturally finds Roman. Suetonius also wrote about famous men.
many o verlaps. Fu neral o rations, f or e xample, He sorted his subjects into categories that includ-
extolled t he d eparted. A utobiography f eaturing ed h istorians, o rators, phi los o phers, grammari-
po liti cal spin appears in w orks s uch as J ul ius ans, and rhetoricians. Ā ough this work does not
Ca esa r ’s Comment ar y o n the G alli c W ars entirely su rvive, St . J erome b orrowed from i t
(De bello Gallico). some of his own e xamples of poets, orators, a nd
Roman emperors also often wrote a species of historians.
autobiography. N umbered among s uch imperial Ā e c ruelty o f p unishment i n t he Ro man
authors we find August us Ca esar , his successor world, especially as it was practiced by deranged
92 Bion of Smyrna

men such as the tyrant emperor Nero, gave rise to Cambridge, M ass.: H arvard U niversity P ress,
another subcategory of biography—works focus- 2006.
ing on the fortitude of the martyred as they died. Plato. Ā e Last Days of Socrates. Translated by Hugh
Often, as i n t he case of Christian ma rtyrs, t hese Tredennick and Harold Tarrant. New York: Pen-
works e xpanded to i nclude d iscussion o f t he guin Books, 2003.
exemplary lives the faithful led before being cru- Plutarch. Ā e L ives of th e Nobl e G recians an d
cified, torn by w ild bea sts, burned, or sa crificed Romans. Translated b y J ohn Dr yden w ith r evi-
in un equal contests ag ainst p rofessional g ladia- sions b y A rthur H ugh C lough. N ew York: Ā e
tors. Not all martyrs, however, were by any means Modern L ibrary, 1 932. R eprinted a s Greek and
Christian. Dea th w as a r egular pa rt o f Ro man Roman Lives. Mineola, N.Y: Dover Publications,
spectacle, a nd p hilosophical pa gan ma rtyrs had 2005.
also died during the pre-Christian era. Accounts ———. Plutarch’s Lives [Greek and English]. 11 vols.
of s uch he roic p assings b ecame p opu lar, a nd Translated b y Bernadotte P errin. C ambridge,
when the arenas did not fulfi ll the public appetite Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1959.
for stories of ma rtyrdom, t he genre moved f rom Varro, M arcus T erentius. Opere d i Marco Terenzio
biography to fictive romance. Varro (Works of Marcus Terentius Varro). Edited
and tr anslated in to I talian b y A ntonio T raglia.
Bibliography Torino: Unione t ipografico ed itrice torinese,
Caesar, Julius. Ā e Conquest of G aul. Translated by 1974.
F. P. L ong. N ew York: B arnes a nd Noble Books, Xenophon. Cyropaedia [Greek a nd E nglish]. 2 vols.
2005. Edited a nd translated b y W alter M iller. C am-
———. Ā e Gallic War. Translated by H. J. Edwards. bridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1953.
Mineola, N.Y.: Dover Publications, 2006. ———. Ā e Shorter Socratic Writings. Translated and
Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Cicero on Oratory and Ora- edited by Robert C. Bartlett. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell
tors. Translated and edited by J. S. Watson. C ar- University Press, 1996.
bondale: Southern Illinois Press, 1986. ———. Xenophon’s C yrus th e G reat: Ā e Ar ts of
Diogenes L aertius. Lives o f E minent Phi los ophers Leadership and War [Selections]. Edited by Larry
[Greek and English]. Translated by R. D. Hicks. 2 Hedrick. New York: Truman Talley Books, 2006.
vols. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1925.
Jerome, Saint. On I llustrious M en. Translated b y
Ā omas P. H alton. W ashington, D .C.: C atholic Bion of Smyrna (fl. ca. 100 ...) Greek
University of America Press, 1999. poet
Marcus Aurelius. Meditations. Translated by Max- A lesser pastoral poet often named with—but never
well Stansforth. London and New York: Penguin thought to equal—Theoc r it us, Bion of Smyrna is
Books, 2005. more o ften co nsidered a pe er o f a nother b ucolic
Nepos, Cornelius. A Selection, Including the Lives of poet, M osch us o f S yr ac use . Bi on’s su rviving
Cato and Atticus. New York: O xford University work includes a substantial fragment of a pa storal
Press, 1989. poem in the Doric dialect of ancient Greek. In it, a
Pelling, C . B. R . “ Biography, Greek” a nd “Biog ra- shepherd responds to t he request of h is colleague
phy, Roman.” In Ā e Oxford Classical Dictionary, by singing about t he love of t he hero A chilles for
3rd ed. Edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Deidameia, the daughter of Lycomedes.
Spawforth. O xford: O xford U niversity P ress, One c omplete p oem a lso su rvives. Ā is work
1996. laments the death of the beautiful youth Adonis,
Philostratus the A thenian. Apollonius of T yana. who wa s c herished b oth b y t he g oddess o f lo ve,
Edited a nd t ranslated b y C hristopher P. Jone s. Aphrodite, a nd by the queen of t he u nderworld,
Birds, The 93

Persephone. Zeus decrees that the deified Adonis too, ha s o nce b een a ma n, t he s lave o f T ereus.
(known in Syria as Ā amuz) should be a nnually When Tereus c hanged i nto a ho opoe, Trochilus
resurrected, s pending p art of t he ye ar on E arth became a “ slave bird” s o he c ould c ontinue to
and p art in H ades. A donis is one of many pre- serve Tereus. In the confusion, the birds that have
Christian, r esurrected de ities of t he M editerra- guided th e A thenians t o th eir de stination ha ve
nean world . A n anonymous G reek h and l ater flown away, and the travellers find t hemselves in
imitated Bion’s poem. the presence of Epops/Tereus.
Bion died by poisoning, and his death inspired Euelpides a nd P ithetaerus e xplain t hat t hey
an an onymous l ament for t he p oet. Ā at p oem want Tereus to adv ise t hem where to s ettle, a nd
became t he m odel f or t he 1 7th-century E nglish they describe the sort of society they seek. Ā ey
poet J ohn M ilton’s more p owerful t hrenody, want a p lace w here ho spitality i s s o w idespread
Lycidas. that they s eldom need to purchase food or pre-
See also pa sto r a l p oet r y. pare m eals, a pl ace w here pa rents a re offended
when their friends do not take amorous liberties
Bibliography with their children,
Bion of Phlossa ne ar Smyrna. Bion of Sm yrna: Ā e Epops ma kes a pa ir o f su ggestions, b ut t he
Fragments and the Adonis. Edited by J. D. Reed. Athenians r eject t hem. Ā ey w onder what l ife
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997. among the birds m ight b e l ike. Ep ops ma kes i t
sound a ttractive, a nd P ithetaerus su ggests t hat
the birds found a city in the sky and require trib-
Birds, The Aristophanes (414 ...) ute f rom human beings for a llowing t he smoke
Ā e m ost c elebrated o f A r isto pha nes’ u topian of t heir s acrifices t o a scend t hrough t he a ir.
comedies, Ā e Bir ds won t he s econd p rize a t t he Epops likes t he idea a nd suggests calling a pa r-
Gr eat D ionysia i n t he y ear o f i ts first per for- liament of the birds, who, he says, he has taught
mance. I n t his i nventive d rama, Eu ripides i mag- to speak since becoming one of them. He speaks
ines that two Athenians, Euelpides and Pithetaerus, to Procne, who was changed from a woman into
have become so f rustrated with Athens that they a nightingale, and she w arbles a b eautiful song.
have de cided to i nitiate a m ovement to p ut t he Epops h imself t hen si ngs a n i nvitation to t he
birds i n charge of the universe. To t hat end, each birds of the air to ga ther. Members of t he ch o-
man ha s ac quired a b ird a s a g uide to hel p t hem ru s i n c ostumes r epresenting d ifferent b irds
find Tereus, a human being who was changed into come flocking in.
a bird, usually called a hoopoe. In this play, howev- When t he b irds d iscover t hat h ated h uman
er, Tereus has become the character Epops—from beings a re p resent, they decide to peck them to
the ho opoe’s Gre ek or nithological n ame upupa pieces a nd d eal with Tereus/Epops later. Ā e
epops. Euelpides has a jay and Pithetaerus a crow. Athenians are terrified, but Epops persuades t he
Ā e play opens with the two Athenians trudg- birds t o l isten to t he m en’s p roposal. Ā e b irds
ing a long, g uided by t he b irds p erched o n t heir agree, a nd the A thenians b egin t heir sp eeches.
shoulders. C omplaining t hat t hey ar e l ost an d Ā e b irds, t hey s ay, e xisted b efore t he g ods o r
cannot now find t heir way h ome, b oth m en even before the earth, and they cite Aesop as their
become a ware t hat their b irds a re t rying to g et authority. W ith example a fter far- fetched exam-
their a ttention. H earing birds i n t he v icinity, ple a nd a uthority a fter i rrelevant authority, t he
Euelpides sho uts, “Ep ops!” A h uge b ird na med two c onvince th eir f eathered l isteners t hat t he
Trochilus a ppears from a t hicket, inquiring who primeval a nd n atural m asters o f t he u niverse
is calling his master. Ā e men are so startled that were birds. By degrees, however, the birds’ prima-
their bowels evacuate. Ā ey learn that Trochilus, cy h as b een so fa r f orgotten t hat n ow t hey a re
94 Birds, The

prey for humans and disregarded except as a food Pithetaerus and E uelpides ha ve le ft the s tage
source or a nuisance. during t he c horus’s d emanding a nd e xplaining,
Ā e Athenians’ far-fetched yarn and their flat- and th e t wo n ow r eturn to t he s tage, ha ving
tery e arn t he c onfidence o f t he b irds, a nd t he grown w ings i n t he i nterim. Ā ey d ecide o n a
birds ask how they can regain their earlier ascen- name for the new city that the birds are building
dancy. (Ā roughout this section, Aristophanes is in the air. It is t o be c alled N ephelococcygia
clearly satirizing people who u ncritically accept (Cloud-Cuckoo City), and its patron goddess will
what ever myths and authorities fit i n w ith t heir be Athena Polias (senile Athena)—satiric barbs at
belief s ystem.) Ā e A thenians adv ise t hat, first, Aristophanes’ fellow Athenian citizens.
the b irds m ust b uild a b rick w all a round t he No sooner has the city been established, how-
entire region of space that separates the heavens ever, t han members o f wha t A ristophanes con-
from the earth and demand that the gods restore sidered to be the parasitic classes begin to arrive
their e mpire. Ā ey a re a lso to require that no and p ly t heir t rades. F irst a p riest c omes, t hen
man c an s acrifice t o a g od w ithout a t t he s ame a poet. N ext, a s eller o f o racles a rrives o n t he
time making an appropriate sacrifice to a bird—a scene, closely followed by a real estate developer
sacrifice like that of a male gnat to a wren. who w ishes t o s urvey t he pl ains o f t he a ir a nd
What will happen, the birds ask, if men refuse parcel t hem o ut into l ots. An in spector c omes
to recognize their deity? Sparrows, the Athenians and then a de aler i n de crees. P ithetaerus b eats
reply, must then eat up all the human beings’ seed them off. Ā en a messenger comes to report that
corn. Ā e goddess Demeter’s failure to r eplace it the c ity’s w all has b een b uilt. H e de scribes t he
should co nvince people o f t he b irds’ d ivinity. ingenious c onstruction me thods that v arious
Other c onvincers include h aving birds p eck t he breeds of birds have invented to make the wall a
eyes o ut o f fa rmyard a nimals a nd f owls. W hen reality.
the gods cannot restore sight, people w ill realize Lowered f rom a mac hine, I ris, t he Oly mpian
the truth. goddess of the rainbow and t he gods’ messenger
Ā e Athenians further propose, however, that to mankind, passes through Nephelococcygia on
the birds not merely punish people for failing to her w ay to i nstruct p eople w hat s acrifices t hey
recognize their divinity, but rather that the birds must o ffer t he Oly mpians. Ā e b irds ac cost her,
also wi n h uman a llegiance b y r ewarding t heir explaining that they have taken over as gods. Iris
beliefs. Ā e birds w ill identify t he richest mines, warns t he b irds n ot to a rouse t he w rath o f t he
predict the weather before sea voyages, and reveal Olympians, and the machine flies her away.
the location of hidden treasures. Ā ese prospects A her ald a nnounces t hat b ird ma nia ha s
so excite Euelpides t hat he a nnounces h is i nten- seized t he h uman p opulation, w hose m embers
tion t o buy a t rading v essel a nd a spade to d ig are n ow i mitating b irds i n e verything. H e tel ls
trea sure. the birds that they can expect an immigration of
Pithetaerus a lso r ecommends t hat the b irds 10,000 people. Pithetaerus, who is the city’s lead-
promise to add 300 years to the human life span. er, i nstructs t hat w ings be prepared for t he new
Euelpides is now utterly persuaded that birds will immigrants.
be better gods and kings than the Olympian pan- Ā e first to a rrive is a parricide w ho wants to
theon. Pithetaerus also describes the benefits that kill his father and take his wealth. Pithetaerus dis-
will accrue from not having to build temples and suades him, gives him black wings, and sends him
from n eeding t o s acrifice o nly a f ew ker nels o f off to be a s oldier in Ā race. Next, the poet Cine-
grain. A ll a gree to m ake t heir dema nds o f t he sias a rrives a nd, over P ithetaerus’s s trenuous
gods and to explain to human beings the benefits objections, insists on reciting his dull verse. He is
of recognizing the birds as their gods. not qualified for wings. An informer arrives who
Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus 95

wants wings to help him gather fodder for lawsuits through the influence o f S ymmachus, B oethius
and denunciations. Pithetaerus whips him away. early c ame t o t he a ttention o f t he O strogothic
Ā e Titan Prometheus (see Tit a ns), masked to conqueror a nd k ing o f Italy, Ā eoderic, wh o
conceal h is i dentity f rom a v engeful Z eus, n ext employed B oethius i n a s eries o f i ncreasingly
arrives. Prometheus, w ho w as a lways a f riend o f responsible public offices.
mankind, has now decided to b efriend t he birds, In t he y ear 5 10, at t he a ge of 30, Boet hius
and he warns Pithetaerus that both the Olympian served a s so le consul—Rome’s m ost p restigious
gods a nd t he ba rbarian g ods, w hom he l umps but by this time mainly ceremonial office. Ā ere-
under the term Triballi, are sending emissaries to after, however, he headed the civil ser vice of Rome
sue for peace w ith t he birds because people have and became the chief of t he officials who served
ceased sa crificing t o t he old d eities. P rometheus Ā eoderic’s court. In 522, Ā eoderic further hon-
advises refusal u ntil t he gods g ive t he s ymbol of ored Boethius by appointing his two sons to serve
their office, the scepter, to the birds and until they together as the consuls of Rome.
give a w oman na med B asilea to P ithetaerus i n Ā e c ontinual b ickering o f sixth-century
marriage. Ā en, borrowing an umbrella to sh ield Christians over the abstruse question of whether
him from the gaze of Zeus, Prometheus departs. or not C hrist w as or w as n ot o f o ne subs tance
Now t he em issaries of t he gods a rrive: Posei- with God the Father seems to have initiated the
don, H eracles, a nd T riballus. A fter s ome mock series of events t hat eventually led to Boethius’s
disagreement, the emissaries agree to the condi- downfall. Ā eoderic wa s a n A rian C hristian, a
tions that Prometheus counseled. Equipped with position deemed heretical by Western Christiani-
the scepter o f Z eus a nd c lad i n a splen did rob e, ty, b ut o ne t hat had b een su pported i n t he l ate
Pithetaerus marries Basilea and becomes the new fift h century by the Byzantine patriarch Acacius.
king of the gods—who are now the birds. Ā e e astern a nd western branches of t he c hurch
split on the issue in 484, and Boethius’s desire to
Bibliography see the empire unified again seems to have given
Aristophanes. Ā e C omplete P lays. T ranslated b y his enemies an opening to undermine Ā eoderic’s
Paul Ro che. New York: New A merican L ibrary, confidence in his chief official. Perhaps Ā eoderic
2005. suspected him of sympathizing with the persecu-
tion o f Ari ans. In a ny cas e, B oethius’s en emies
accused him of corruption i n office and perhaps
Boethius, Anicius Manlius Severinus of t reason. B oethius claimed t hat their evidence
(St. Severinus) (480–526 ..) Roman prose was falsified, but he was nonetheless found guilty
writer, poet and sentenced to death.
Also known in the Roman Catholic hagiology as Boethius ex ercised h is r ight o f a ppeal t o th e
Saint Sev erinus, Boet hius, t he v astly i nfluential Roman S enate, a nd while t hat appeal was pend-
polymath a nd st atesman o f t he la te R oman ing and he was in prison, he wrote his most cele-
Empire, was the scion of a Roman patrician fami- brated work , Ā e Consol at ion o f Phil oso phy .
ly, t he A nicia. W hen h is f ather d ied d uring h is In that work, in whose pages Boethius conducts a
boyhood, Boet hius wa s r eared in t he family o f dialogue with Lady Philosophy, he not only com-
another influential Roman, the prefect and sena- forts himself as he faces his own mortality, but in
tor Q uintus A urelius M emmius S ymmachus. a s eries o f ly rics he a lso r eveals h imself to b e a
Symmachus s aw to B oethius’s c areful e ducation gifted poet. In due course, the Senate found, not
in the fields of language, literature, mathematics, surprisingly, f or t he k ing’s v iew o f B oethius’s
and p hilosophy. B oethius e ventually m arried guilt, an d B oethius was first t ortured a nd t hen
Symmachus’s d aughter, Rusticiana. Possibly a lso clubbed to death in the city of Pavia.
96 Book of Changes

Mastery o f t he Gr eek l anguage had b ecome ———. Ā e Consolation of Philosophy. Translated by

unusual am ong six th- century Romans, but Richard H. Green. Minneola, N.Y.: Dover, 2002.
Boethius h ad l earned t he l anguage t horoughly. ———. Fundamentals of M usic. Translated b y C al-
Fearing t hat a ncient G reek p hilosophy wa s a n vin M. Bower. New Haven, Conn.: Yale Univer-
endangered sp ecies, Boet hius u ndertook t o res- sity Press, 1989.
cue i t b y setting h imself t he a mbitious g oal o f ———. In Ciceronis Topica [On the Topics of Cicero].
translating a ll o f P l a t o a nd a ll o f A r istot l e. Translated by Eleanore Stump. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cor-
Ā ough he f ailed to achieve t hat objective f ully, nell University Press, 1988
he nonetheless did translate and comment on the ———. On Aristotle On Interpretation: 1st an d 2n d
scholar and phi los o pher Por phyr y’s Introduc- Commentaries. Translated by Norman Kretzman.
tion t o the C ategories of Aristotle. He a lso c om- London: Duckworth, 1998.
pleted t ranslations of A ristotle’s t reatises o n Herberman, Charles G., et al. “Boethius.” Ā e Cath-
logic, including Analytics, both Prior and Poste- olic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Ā e Encyclo-
rior, On Interpretation, and Topics. He also com- pedia Press, 1913, pp. 153–160.
mented on Cic er o’s Topics.
Boethius’s interests extended as well to music
and mathematics, and he prepared textbooks on Book of Changes (Yijing, I ching)
both these subjects. Ā e one on music was still in (ca. 800 ..)
use as late as the 18th century, and those on math- Originally thought to have been composed by the
ematics and number theory served for 1,000 years founder of t he C hou d ynasty, K ing Wen, a nd at
as i mportant s chool t exts. B eyond t hat, he m ay first a w ork s eparate f rom C onfucian do ctrine,
also have written on astronomy. over t ime the Yijing—Book of Changes—became
It w ould be d ifficult to exaggerate Boet hius’s incorporated into the Confucian canon as one of
intellectual importance to t he M iddle A ges a nd its five c lassic d ocuments. Ā e Book o f Chan ges
to the Renaissance. His Consolation of Philosophy fulfi lls a function not performed by the other four
attracted s uch d istinguished t ranslators a s K ing Confucian foundational documents.
Alfred th e G reat, who r endered it i nto Anglo- As i t n ow e xists, t he he art o f t he w ork i s a
Saxon, a nd Geo ff rey C haucer, w ho p rovided a handbook for foretelling t he f uture directions of
similar ser vice for the readers of Middle English. the universe. Ā e handbook contains brief, cryp-
More i mportantly, in addition to h is own c on- tic p redictions o rganized u nder a s eries o f 6 4
tributions to the field of logic, Boethius’s trans- hexagrams c omposed o f b roken a nd u nbroken
lations a nd c ommentaries o n A ristotle a nd lines. B y cas ting a s eries o f n umbered ob jects
Porphyry were t he p rincipal v ehicles t hat p re- called divining stalks, whose odd numbers stood
served any knowledge of Aristotle for the Europe- for br oken a nd e ven f or u nbroken l ines i n t he
an Middle Ages. Medieval debates concerning the hexagrams, d iviners s elected a p ar ticular he xa-
nature o f r eality were g rounded i n B oethius’s gram, f ound t he p rediction l isted u nder i t, a nd
remarks about Porphyry. A much-quoted descrip- then o ffered t heir i nterpretations a bout n ot s o
tion of uncertain origin fi xes the place of Boethi- much t he course of coming events but, rather, of
us in the intellectual edifice of the Western world. general tendencies in the universe.
Ā e quo tation p roposes t hat he w as “ the l ast o f Ā e balance of the Book of Changes is made up
the Romans” and “the first of the scholastics.” of commentaries called the ten wings. Ā ese treat
questions c oncerning t he na ture o f t he c osmos
Bibliography and attempt to add ress suc h m etaphysical i ssues
Boethius. Boethian Number Ā eory: A Translation of as the nature of being and reality. Ā ey also some-
the De in stitutione ar ithmetica. Translated b y times explain the metaphors involved in the inter-
Michael Mann. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1983. pretations of the hexagrams. Ā e Book of Changes
Book of Odes 97

is the only one of the five central texts of Confu- Bibliography

cianism that directly addresses such issues. Duyvendak, J. J. L., trans. Ā e Book of Lord Shang: A
See a lso a nc ien t C hinese d yna st ies a nd Classic of the Chinese School of Law. Union, N.J.:
per iods; Appendic es to B o ok of Ch ange s. Lawbook Exchange, 2002.
Idema, Wilt, and Lloyd Haft. A Guide to Chinese Lit-
Bibliography erature. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies,
Giles, H erbert A . A H istory of C hinese L iterature. University of Michigan, 1997.
New York: Grove Press, 1923. Watson, Burton. Early Ch inese L iterature. N ew
Idema, Wilt, and Lloyd Haft. A Guide to Chinese Lit- York: Columbia University Press, 1962.
erature. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies,
University of Michigan, 1997.
Shaughnessy, Edward L., trans. I Ching: Ā e Classic Book of Odes (Shi jing, Shih Ching) (ca.
of Change. New York: Ballantine Books, 1998. 700–600 ...)
Watson, Burton. Early Chinese Literature. New York One of the five foundational documents of Chi-
and London: Columbia University Press, 1962. nese Confucianism, in its current form the Book
of Odes contains 305 rhymed songs. Some of the
individual s ongs ma y w ell b e ol der t han t he
Book of Lord Shang (Shangjun shu, dates given above for the collected version. One
Shang-chün schu) (ca. 400 ...) of the songs alludes to a datable solar eclipse that
Principally in essay form, the Book of Lord Shang occurred o n A ugust 2 9, 77 5 b .c .e. F ive o thers
represents a prose, legalist subcategory of ancient reportedly date to the Shang dynasty (ca. 1600–
Chinese l iterature. A n imperial a dvisor, W ei ca. 1028 b.c .e.).
Yang, w hom the Ch’in (Qin) em peror en nobled Said to have been selected by Conf uc ius him-
as lord of the region of Shang i n t he Huang Ho self from a collection containing some 3,000 bal-
basin, probably w rote t he book’s 24 brief essays. lads, the poems are orga nized according to f our
All of these essays address the subject of practical principal topics. First appears a g roup of ballads
politics and the courses of action that rulers must that r eflect t he l ives a nd c ustoms o f c ommon
implement to c reate a s trong a nd he althy s tate. people from around the feudal states comprising
Ā e c entral m essage r equires, first, t he encour- the Chinese Empire. Ā e l iterary h istorian Her-
agement of ag riculture t o provide the economic bert A. Giles tells us that local nobles would peri-
basis for a strong government. Second, it advises a odically forward examples of these ballads to the
program of a ggressive w arfare t o e nhance s tate imperial court. Ā ere t he chief musicians of t he
power and further contribute to the treasury. realm would examine the songs carefully and, on
With respect to relationships between the ruler the basis of their analysis, report, first, what cus-
and the ruled, the ruler must put in place a system toms prevailed i n t he states a nd how t he people
of carrots and sticks. He must generously reward comported t hemselves. S econd, t he ro yal m usi-
compliance with his programs and brutally pun- cians w ould r eport their o pinions c oncerning
ish n oncompliance. On e wonders w hether the whether o r not t he em peror’s sub ordinate offi-
20th- century Chinese Cultural Revolution under cials i n t he v arious s tates were r uling w ell o r
Mao Zedong might have drawn inspiration from wickedly.
the Book of Lord Shang. Ā e s econd g roup o f o des i n t he c ollection
Ā e l iterary h istorian Bu rton W atson quo tes included those composed for performance at ordi-
Lord S hang as as suring h is r eader t hat “ mercy nary entertainments in the subordinate states. Ā e
and benevolence are the mother[s] of error.” Lord third group contained special odes written for per-
Shang promulgates a n ac tive program of cruelty formance at c onventions o f t he f eudal n obility.
and repression. Ā e fourth g roup contained poems of praise a nd
98 Book of Odes

poems i ntended to ac company s acrifices on reli- statecraft and thought that initiates who both knew
gious occasions. the odes by heart and understood the subtleties of
A number of the poems are love verses on the their implications should conduct diplomacy. After
sorts o f s ubjects that o ccupied couples e very- Confucius, in f act, s uch k nowledge a nd u nder-
where in the days before the intervention of tech- standing became requisite for public officials, and
nology in the natural consequences of lovemaking. for a long t ime t he language of t he odes was a lso
Maidens e xpressed c oncern a bout t heir v irtue the language of diplomacy a s officials communi-
and their parents’ attitudes toward their behavior. cated their negotiating positions and expectations
Ā ey encouraged or reproved t heir lovers. Wives by means of quoting relevant passages.
repined a bout t he h igh ho pes t hey o nce en ter- Given the centrality of these poems to the con-
tained f or t heir ma rried l ives b efore t heir h us- duct of government, it should be no surprise that
bands strayed. Good marriages are celebrated. commentators soon bu rdened t he odes’ primary
Warfare is another subject treated in the Book of texts with a heavy weight of allegorical and sym-
Odes. So are the passage of the seasons, agricultural bolic interpretation. Mastery of that commentary,
pursuits of various sorts, and hunting. Grievances too, became an expectation for those who aspired
against p ublic o fficials and too-frequent m ilitary to public office.
conscription a lso appear a mong t he to pics r epre- After the ruler of the state of Ch’in (Qin) brought
sented. Lovely nature poems appear frequently. all of C hina u nder h is a bsolute do minion i n 22 1
A sig nificant strain of misogyny reveals itself b.c.e., the old ways of doing business seemed inap-
in t he w ay w omen a nd g irls a re d rawn i n t he
propriate, especially since criticism of state policy
poems. Ā e d ifferent t reatment o f g irl a nd b oy
was one of the functions of the odes. Ā erefore, in
babies in the imperial household makes clear, for
213 b .c.e., t he Ha n em peror app roved a pl an to
example, t hat t he boys a re de stined for r ule a nd
burn all the ancient books so they could not serve
the g irls f or household t asks. M oreover, c lever
as a platform for po liti cal dissidents. Ā at plan was
women are considered dangers to t he state since,
carried out w ith significant effect. Fortunately for
despite t heir i ntelligence, t he a ncient C hinese
considered them to be untrainable. literary posterity, however, the suppression of older
Ā e representation of those who tilled the soil literature was not altogether successful, and much,
was s ympathetic, and th e p ublic p rovision f or including the Book of Odes, survives for the edifica-
widows by leaving some grain standing or sheaves tion of contemporary readers and scholars.
unbound or handfuls uncollected is reminiscent
of p assages b oth in the Babylonian Code of Bibliography
Hammur ab i and in the Hebrew scriptures. Barnstone, Tony, a nd C hou P ing, e ds. Ā e An chor
Ā e ancient Chinese view of God also becomes Book of Chinese Poetry. New York: Anchor Books,
manifest in the odes. Ā at view is not incompati- 2005.
ble w ith m any ot her a ncient v iews. Ā e C hinese Birch, C yril, e d. Anthology of C hinese L iterature.
thought of God—or t he r uler of t he pa ntheon of New York: Grove Press, 1965.
gods—as human and masculine and at least some- Connery, C hristopher L eigh. Ā e Emp ire of th e
times corporeal. He was considered kind and lov- Text: W riting an d A uthority in E arly I mperial
ing and thought to be a friend to the downtrodden. China. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Pub-
He disapproved of bad behavior, and he found the lishers, 1998.
odor of burnt offerings pleasing. Giles, H erbert A . A H istory of C hinese L iterature.
Confucius had a v ery high opinion of the odes New York: Grove Press, 1958.
and e ncouraged all w ho a spired to p ublic office, Idema, Wilt, and Lloyd Haft. A Guide to Chinese Lit-
including his own son, to commit them to memo- erature. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies,
ry. He saw in their implications the foundations of University of Michigan, 1997.
Book of Rites 99

Book of Rites (Chou Li, I Li, Li Chi) with th e w ork’s c ontemporary Co nfucian be lief
(ca. 100 ...) concerning d eath. Ā ough t he old r ituals i ncor-
One of the five classics of the Chinese Confucian porated t he b urial o f f uneral g oods w ith t he
canon, the Book of Rites is an idealized behavior- deceased, then-contemporary C onfucian b elief
al guide. Its first section, Chou Li, gives a roman- did not suppose that such items as musical instru-
ticized a ccount o f C hou ( Zhou) d ynasty ments or d ishes would b e of any comfort to t he
bureaucracy. (See a nc ient Ch inese d yna st ies departed, n or d id t hey c redit a su rviving sp irit.
and peri od s.) Ā is section has often proved use- Rather, such rituals expressed t he w ishes of su r-
ful t o l ater st atesmen i n s earch o f a uthoritative vivors th at s uch o bjects could still benefit t heir
precedent for their policies. dead loved one. Confucian belief held that human
I L i, t he b ook’s s econd s ection, p rescribes wishes should n ot be suppressed b ut, in stead,
detailed rules for all facets of the public behav- directed in a positive way. Ā e inclusion of grave
ior of a ristocrats. If one is in doubt about how goods i n bu rials g ives c omfort to t he l iving. A t
to c omport o neself a t w eddings, a rchery c on- the same time, grave goods should not b e items
that l iving p ersons w ould find u seful. S o t he
tests, f unerals, ba nquets, s acrifices, a nd t he
goods might consist of items that are either worn
like, o ne n eed o nly c onsult t he I L i. Su ppose,
out or unfinished.
for example, t hat one is a n official escort for a
Many passages of the Li Chi take the form of
corpse whose eternal resting place is more than
anecdotes attributed to or concerning Con f u-
a d ay’s jo urney a way. E veryone k nows, o f
ci us a nd h is d isciples, b ut t hese app ear to b e
course, that the cortege must proceed only dur-
parables a nd n ot to b e t aken l iterally. I n i ts
ing the daylight hours and never travel at night.
current f orm, le gend ha s i t t hat t wo c ousins
What, h owever, m ust i t do i n t he e vent o f a
named Tai the Elder and Tai the Younger pre-
solar ecl ipse? T he I Li provides u nembellished
pared t he Li C hi. It purports to be a compila-
but detailed, straightforward, factual guidance: tion dr awn fr om the work of Confucius a nd
The f uneral p rocession m ust s top o n t he lef t his disciples. Tai t he E lder reduced h is s ource
side o f t he road a nd w ait u ntil t he su n r eap- materials to 8 5 s ections. T ai t he Y ounger,
pears before proceeding. rejecting m aterial t hat had a lready app eared
Ā e principal section of the Book of Rites is the elsewhere, w innowed t he w ork f urther to 4 6
Li C hi. L onger a nd m ore v aried i n c ontent t han sections. L ater s cholars t hen had t heir w ay
the other sections, it sometimes resembles the I Li with th e t ext, s o th at th e w ork a s w e h ave
in providing careful guidance for such matters as received it a cquired it s c urrent for m a round
house hold management or naming a n ewborn. 200 c .e. Its m ost r ecent E nglish tr anslator,
Beyond that, however, the Li chi also contains for- James Legge, terms the work an “encyclopedia
mal considerations of topics like education, music, of ancient ceremonial usages.”
or t he pl ace o f r itual i n t he s cheme o f h uman
existence. Bibliography
Two o ther i ncluded e ssays, r espectively e nti- Giles, H erbert A . A H istory of C hinese L iterature.
tled “ Ā e Gr eat L earning” a nd “Do ctrine o f t he New York: Grove Press, 1958.
Mean,” h ave been i nfluential i n t he subs equent Legge, James, trans. Li Chi: Book of Rites: An Ency-
history of C hinese t hinking. An other c onsiders clopedia of An cient C eremonial U sages, R eli-
the principles by which a t rue Confucian should gious Creeds, and Social Institutions. E dited by
live: “Behavior of a Confucian.” Ch’u Chai and Winberg Chai. New Hyde Park,
Ā e literary historian Burton Watson calls par- N.Y.: University Books, 1967.
tic ular attention t o the Li C hi’s r egular e ffort to Watson, Burton. Early Ch inese L iterature. N ew
reconcile a ncient, pre-Confucian f uneral r itual York: Columbia University Press, 1962.
100 Book of the Dead

Book of the Dead (Reu Nu Pert Em Hru, to b e o f d ivine origin and t o h ave been w ritten
Chapters of Coming Forth by down by the god Ā oth, who was the scribe of the
Day) (before 2350 ...) Egyptian pa ntheon. L ike the s acred wr itings o f
Apparently a lready a ncient as a t raditional body all major religions, however, t he text of the Book
of or al f unerary m aterial e ven bef ore h ier o- of the Dead endured many human emendations,
gl yphs had b een i nvented, a t le ast s ome o f t he additions, a nd dele tions o ver i ts lo ng h istory.
texts co llected i n t he Book of t he D ead s eem to Papyri a nd i nscriptions r epresenting v arious
have o riginated o utside E gypt, s omewhere i n stages i n t he d evelopment o f t he b ook r eveal
Asia. P hysical ev idence o f t he b urial p ractices many changes, some intentional and some appar-
described in the collection of scrolled papyri and ently owing to scribal error.
monumental i nscriptions t hat c onstitutes t he As the major text of Egyptian religion, how-
book does not exist among the aboriginal inhab- ever, t he B ook o f t he De ad a lways r etained i ts
itants of E gypt. R ather, that e vidence b egins to central purpose: the protection of the dead in the
appear contemporaneously with the arrival from next l ife. Ā ere, a fter b eing j udged a nd f ound
the east of unknown Asian conquerors who, fol- worthy, and after being reborn in a perfect body,
the d ead w ould a gain s ee t heir pa rents, en joy
lowing their conquest, eventually established the
material comforts akin to t hose of this world, be
pharaonic dynasties that ruled Egypt for millen-
free from onerous labor, and participate in many
nia ( ca. 3 100/3000 b .c .e.–ca. 5 50 c.e. ). A t l east
of the same pleasures they had enjoyed while liv-
parts of the book seem to have been already wide-
ing. To help achieve those ends, the book or por-
ly known—perhaps in oral form—before the first
tions o f i t were re cited on a person’s d eath.
of those dynasties.
Reciting sp ecific cha pters co nferred spe cific
Ā e E gyptologist E . A . W allis Bud ge a rgues
benefits on the departed. Reciting chapter 53, for
that o ver t ime, th e B ook of t he D ead came t o
example, p rotected t he de ceased f rom t ripping
reflect t he beliefs not only of t he conquerors but
and falling in the other world and assured access
also o f th e c onquered a nd o f t he v arious o ther to heavenly food rather than to offal. Chapter 99
peoples w ho c ame to c ompose E gyptian s ociety named all the parts of a magic boat. Ā ese names
in the dynastic period. Central to t hat system of the deceased needed to know to qualify as a mas-
beliefs is fa ith i n t he r esurrection o f t he human ter ma riner a nd ena ble h im o r her to s ail i n a
dead in the afterlife. the Book of the Dead reflects magic boat across the heavens as the sun god Ra
the belief that King Osiris—at once a god a nd a did each day. Reciting chapter 25 restored a dead
man—had s uffered de ath a nd p erhaps t he d is- person’s memory. Ā is m ade poss ible re calling
memberment (in early versions) but certainly (in one’s o wn name—a c entral r equirement f or
later ones) the mutilation of his body, which had immortality. It also called to the deceased’s mind
been e mbalmed. H is si sters, Isi s a nd N ephthys, the names of the gods he m ight encounter in the
had, ho wever, g iven O siris ma gical ob jects t hat afterlife. Re citing other chapters conferred upon
warded off all harms in the afterworld. Ā e sisters the deceased the power to transform oneself into
also recited a series of incantations that conferred the shapes of other c reatures: birds, s erpents, or
everlasting life upon Osiris. His followers believed crocodiles, f or ex ample. Ā ough c onsiderations
that, like Osiris, who had c onquered death, t hey of space here prohibit more than a tiny represen-
would live forever, perfectly happy in perfect bod- tative sampling of the whole, at least one compel-
ies. Bud ge quo tes w ords add ressed b y t he g od ling example deserves a fuller treatment.
Ā oth to Osiris, who “makes men and women to Ā e e ternal su rvival o f a f ully self-conscious
be born again.” individual in t he a fterlife wa s co ntingent u pon
Within t he f ramework o f a ncient E gyptian a last judgment. Ā is wa s n ot so mething that
religion, people considered the Book of the Dead occurred at the end of time, but rather came soon
Books from the Foundation of the City [of Rome] 101

after a corpse’s entombment. Ā e deceased is rep- and Twenty-second D ynasties. Ā e final v ersion
resented as entering the presence of an enthroned of t he t ext is t hat o f the S aïte Re cension, w hich
Osiris and other deities, including Ā oth and the appeared in various scripts on tombs, coffins, and
dog-headed god, Anubis. Anubis weighs the heart papyri f rom t he Twenty-sixth D ynasty u ntil t he
of t he d eceased on a s cale i n w hich t he he art i s demise of the ancient Egyptian religion. Ā is ver-
counterbalanced by a f eather. Ā oth re cords t he sion was widely employed after the Greek Ptolemy
result of the weigh-in. If the heart is light enough, family, to which Cleopatra belonged, assumed the
the justified deceased is admitted to the presence role of pharaohs in Egypt.
of t he e nthroned Osiris—sometimes p ortrayed
wrapped as a mummy since Osiris also died and Bibliography
was reborn—and into the company of immortals. Budge, E . A . W ., e d. a nd t rans. Ā e Book o f t he
If the heart fails the test, a tripartite monster with Dead: An En glish T ranslation of th e C hapters,
the head o f a cr ocodile o r o ther c arnivore, t he Hymns, Etc. of th e Ā eban Recen sion. London:
forepart of a hyena, and the rear quarters of a dog Routledge & Ke gan Pa ul, 1 899. Re print, N ew
eats t he c andidate, a nd t he fa iled so ul s imply York: Barnes and Noble, 1969.
passes from existence. Diakonoff, L. M., ed. Early Antiquity. Chicago: Uni-
To a ssure access to the text in the next world, versity of Chicago Press, 1989.
copies of t he b ook or portions of it were some- Edwards, I . E . S. , C . J . Gadd, a nd N. G . L . Ha m-
times b uried in t he c offi ns of dead pers ons, mond, e ds. Ā e C ambridge An cient History. 3rd
sometimes i nscribed u pon t he w alls o f a to mb, ed. C ambridge: Cambridge U niversity P ress,
sometimes written on the inside of the coffi n, or 1970.
sometimes placed within a hol low wooden stat- Parkinson, R . B . Voices f rom A ncient E gypt: A n
ue o f t he g od O siris. A s E gypt’s f ortunes Anthology of Middle Kingdom Writings. Norman:
waned—especially in the face of Roman expan- University of Oklahoma Press, 1991.
sion a nd t he i ntroduction o f C hristianity, a nd
fi nally a fter t he A rab conquest of Egypt in 642
c. e.—deceased persons increasingly had to make Books from the Foundation of the City
do with less and less of the text. Toward the end [of Rome] (Ab urbe condita libri)
of t he survival of t he old religion t he book had Livy (28-ca. 9 ...)
detailed, j ust sn ippets o f the text were buried Liv y began the composition of his 142-book his-
with the departed. tory of Rome s ometime s hortly b efore 27 b. c .e.
As i t is known t oday, the B ook o f th e D ead and, a s th e c lassicist J ohn B riscoe t ells u s, had
survives i n t hree ma jor v ersions o r r ecensions. completed the first five books by 25 b.c.e. S urviv-
Ā e oldest of these is the Heliopolitan Recension, ing portions of Livy’s history include books 1–10
whose text is to be found in hieroglyphic inscrip- and books 21–45, though 41 and 43–45 have suf-
tions at the Pyramids at Saqqara. Ā ese date from fered lo sses. From t ime to t ime, more f ragments
the f ifth a nd si xth dy nasties ( ended c a. 23 50 continue t o s urface. A formerly u nknown f rag-
b.c .e.). One finds these texts occurring as cursive ment, for example, was discovered as late as 1986.
hieroglyphics o n c offins as late a s t he 1 1th a nd In a ddition to w hat rema ins of L ivy’s t ext,
12th dynasties (2081–1756 b.c .e.). Ā e fullest ver- there are also ancient summaries of pa rts of h is
sion of the Book of the Dead appears in the Ā e- work. Ā ese abridgments include the “Oxyr h yn-
ban Recension. Ā is text occurs both written on ch us Ep itome,” written on papyrus and summa-
papyrus a nd pa inted o n c offins in hieroglyphs rizing books 37–40 and 48–55. Additionally, there
from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-second Dynas- are ancient summaries called Periochae that date
ties (ca. 16th–10th c enturies b .c. e.), a nd w ritten to around the early third century c. e. Ā ough not
in hieratic s cript o n papy rus i n t he Twenty-first necessarily always accurate, comparative readings
102 Books from the Foundation of the City [of Rome]

of t he surviving text and t he su mmaries suggest thwarted the several attempts of the Tarquin line
that w e c an place a g ood de al o f c onfidence i n to restore t he monarchy by g uile and by force of
them. I rely heavily on them for the précis of the arms. Livy tells of the creation of t he institution
extant books below. of t he t ribunes of t he p eople a nd of the b urial
Stylistically, Livy is the most elegant and effec- alive o f the u nchaste v estal virgin, O ppia. Ā e
tive of t he historians of Rome . In t he ea rly s ec- rest of book 2 gives accounts of a series of wars.
tions, a s h e traces Rome from the legendary Book 3 t racks such i nternal d ifficulties of t he
arrival o f A eneas, a p rince o f T roy, L ivy r elies Roman s tate a s r iots a bout a grarian l aws a nd
heavily on le gendary a nd mythic materials. Ā e rebellion by exiles and slaves. It also covers exter-
closer he comes to h is own t imes, t he f uller h is nal w ars. Ā e b ook t races t he n ew i nstitutions
accounts beco me. I t is v ery c lear t hat Livy is established for governing Rome more effectively,
interested in i dentifying w hat q ualities h ave including the introduction of a code of laws in 10
determined bo th t he R oman cha racter a nd t he tables. Ā e De cimvirs (a c ommittee o f 10 m en),
Roman p olitical s ystem. H is s ympathies a re who were charged with this responsibility, there-
drawn to the Roman Republic, though he s eems after be came t he ad ministrators o f j ustice. L ivy
to think that the imperial sovereignty of Augus- tells ho w t hey d id t his f airly a t first b ut la ter
tus i s a n ecessary e xpedient f or L ivy’s o wn became corrupt. When one of them, Appius, tried
epoch. to c orrupt Vi rginia, t he d aughter o f Vi rginius,
Ā e first boo k o f L ivy’s h istory b egins, t hen, the c ommon p eople f orced t he De cimvirs to
with the arrival of Aeneas and recapitulates Vir - resign, ja iling the tw o w orst o nes, A ppius a nd
gi l ’s ac counts o f A eneas’s ac complishments (see Oppius, who subsequently committed suicide. (In
Aeneid). Livy follows the reign of Aeneas’s s on, the 14th century, Geoff rey Chaucer told the story
Ascanius, and h is de scendants i n t he r egion o f of Vi rginia’s abduction i n “ Ā e Ma n o f L aw’s
Alba. H e r ecounts t he b irth o f R omulus and Tale” [ Ā e C anterbury T ales].) A fter f urther
Remus and Romulus’s construction of the city of description o f w arfare, L ivy r ecounts t he u nfair
Rome, h is e stablishment o f t he Ro man S enate, decision o f t he Ro mans w hen, a sked to j udge a
his warfare against the Sabines, his reverence for land d ispute, t hey f ound f or n either pa rty b ut
Jupiter, h is ad ministrative a rrangements f or t he temporarily took the land themselves.
Roman people, and his erection of a temple to the Books 4 a nd 5 c onsider t he e stablishment o f
two- faced god J anus. Ā is tem ple wa s a lways new c ivic offices, such as that of c ensor, a nd t he
open when Rome was at war and closed when she operations of the t emporary o ffice of dictator
was at peace. Romulus was able to close the tem- under Quintius Cincinnatus. At this time, a rebel-
ple and enjoy a p eaceful reign. Livy traces inno- lion o f s laves t ook p lace, a nd the R oman a rmy
vations through several generations, telling about was first p ut u pon a pr ofessional fo oting. M ili-
conquests, t he i ncorporation o f d efeated t ribes tary i nnovations were a lso i ntroduced, suc h a s
into t he p opulace o f R ome, t he c reation of ne w erecting w inter quarters a nd having cavalrymen
senators and aristocrats, and the construction of ride t heir o wn horses (as o pposed t o army
a city wall and sewers. mounts).
In Book 2, Livy recounts the rape of the virtu- Called upon to mediate i n a war between t he
ous Roman heroine Lucretia by Sextus Tarquin— Clusians and the Gauls, the Romans were found
one of t he m ost f amous o f Ro man s tories. Ā e to be partial to the Clusians. As a result, the Gauls
Tarquin lin e, w hose m embers had made t hem- attacked and occupied Rome; the Romans capitu-
selves k ings, were d ethroned and th e Ro man lated a nd a greed to r ansom t hemselves. A s t he
republic established as a re sult of t he public out- gold w as b eing w eighed, t he d ictator C amillus
rage a t L ucretia’s r ape a nd su icide. Ā e a uthor arrived w ith an ar my, drove t he G auls o ut o f
recounts t he way i n wh ich Luc ius Iunius Brutus Rome, and exterminated their army.
Books from the Foundation of the City [of Rome] 103

Book 6 exa mines one of a r ecurrent s eries o f of westward to Italy. Ā e Romans could well have
executions, which took place whenever someone been his match.
was suspected of attempting to ga in royal power. Book 10 continues the discussion of the wars.
Ā e victim in Book 6 is Marcus Manlius, who was Eventual v ictory fe ll to Ro me, w hich n ow had
executed b y bei ng t hrown fr om th e T arpeian mastery of most of t he Italian peninsula. A c en-
Rock—a r egular m ethod o f le gal e xecution i n sus of the population found 262,322 Roman citi-
archaic Rome. Ā e s ame b ook r ecords t he suc - zens in 291 b.c .e.—the 461st year of the history of
cessful c ampaign b y t he Ro man c ommoners to the Roman people.
gain the right to elect the consuls rather than have Highlights from the summarized accounts of
them appointed by the senate and patricians. the lost books (11–20) include the founding of the
Livy first makes use of extended scenic descrip- temple of t he deity of medicine, Aesculapius, on
tions in Book 7. I n a ddition t o d escribing s ingle the island of the Tiber R iver following a ter rible
combat, t he h istorian r ecounts s uch m emorable plague. W hen t he Ro mans i mported t he g od’s
events as leaping o n horseback i nto a n a rtificial image from Epidaurus, a gigantic serpent that the
lake. H e a lso d iscusses the e nlargement o f t he Romans b elieved to b e t he g od h imself c ame
Roman population and the or gan iza tion al expe- along and took up residence in the temple (Book
dients developed to de al e fficiently with th e 11). Ā e year 281 b.c. e. saw the first athletic games
increase. Ā e history of the army, the near revolt staged in Rome.
of t he g arrison at C apua, and its r eturn to d uty Books 12–14 trace the attempts by the Molos-
and patriotism also interest Livy in this book. So sian k ing, P yrrhus of Epirus, to a ssist t he Gre-
do successful military operations against several cian i nhabitants of t he s outhern Italian c ity o f
tribal peoples. Tarentum i n t heir m ilitary challenge to Roman
Rebellion a nd suc cessful n egotiation a re supremacy on the Italian pennisula. Essentially
major themes of Book 8, which documents how a mercenary leader, Pyrrhus brought both troops
the rebellious Campanians obtained a consul to and e ight ele phants i nto I taly. A s t he Ro man
represent t heir i nterests a t R ome. L ivy r evisits soldiers ha d n ot s een ele phants b efore, t he
the th eme o f a v estal v irgin p ut to de ath f or beasts’ appearance t hrew t he Romans i nto d is-
corruption—this time f or in cest. F or t he fi rst array, and they were defeated. Nonetheless, Pyr-
time, a Roman official, Quintus Publilius, occu- rhus re marked t hat t he de ad Rom an s oldiers
pied a n o ffice for a p eriod o f t ime b eyond h is had all fallen facing the enemy. Eventually, how-
term. Ro me f ought a gainst t he de scendants o f ever, the elephants were slain, and after years of
the S abines, th e S amnites; a nd t he d ictator, hard effort, Pyrrhus was forced to leave Italy in
Lucius Pap irius, w ished t o punish Quintus 273 b. c .e. Two y ears l ater, a s B ook 1 5 r eports,
Fabius, t he v ictor, f or d isobeying o rders. Re a- the T arentines were fi nally d efeated. Rome
son prevailed. granted them both peace and freedom.
In Bo ok 9 , Livy d escribes c ontinued battles Books 16–18 detail the Roman conduct of the
with the Samnites and the Roman e xpansion o f first Punic War against the North African city of
power by fighting a gainst o ther na tive t ribes o f Carthage. Book 20 traces the incursion of trans-
Italy, i ncluding the Apulians, Et ruscans, Umbri- alpine Gauls into Italy and t heir defeat in 236 b.
ans, Marsians, Pelignians, and Aequans. Alexan- c. e. F or t he first t ime, Ro man t roops adv anced
der t he Gr eat w as c onducting h is c onquests north of the River Po, and the Roman army num-
during t he t ime that book 9 c overs, s o L ivy bered more than 300,000 men.
digresses t o assess t he c omparative s trength o f As ea rlier n oted, the closer Livy gets to his
the R omans and Al exander’s army. L ivy c on- own t ime, t he lo nger a nd m ore c ircumstantial
cludes that Alexander did well to c arry his cam- his discussion of events becomes. When we again
paign of world conquest eastward to Asia instead arrive, t hen, a t t he b ooks s till e xtant, w e find
104 Books from the Foundation of the City [of Rome]

Books 2 1–30 o ccupied a lmost e xclusively w ith make war. Ā e Romans sent an army to Carthage,
discussions o f t he s econd P unic W ar a nd w ith where they made such exorbitant demands that the
descriptions o f t he p ersonalities a nd le adership Carthaginians were forced to take up arms.
capacities of such major figures as the Carthagin- Military history occupies most of the next sev-
ian g eneral Ha nnibal; F abius Ma ximus, t he eral boo ks. Ā e N umantine W ar suc ceeded t he
Roman d ictator w ho t hwarted H annibal wi th third Punic War, a nd a f ormer she pherd t urned
caution a nd del ay; a nd S cipio A fricanus, t he military c ommander s taged a suc cessful r evolt
Roman general who won the war. against t he Ro mans i n Lu sitania. Li vy’s v ivid
Picking u p a t Book 3 7, a fter a h iatus in t he narrative ma kes c lear t he i ncreasingly i nterna-
extant version, the summaries recount the slaugh- tional f ocus of Rom an a ffairs a s t he once lo cal
ter of Romans in Spain. Ā en the Romans gained and regional power came to dominate the affairs
victory in Lusitania (modern Portugal) and found- of the Mediterranean world.
ed a colony there. In Book 38, Livy tells the story After de scribing the r igorous m ilitary d isci-
of how a high-ranking female prisoner, the queen pline o f t he g reat Ro man g eneral S cipio A frica-
of G alatia, k illed a Roman c enturion w ho had nus i n B ook 57, L ivy turns hi s a ttention for a
assaulted her. On being set free, the queen carried while to the political situation in Rome, describ-
the centurion’s head home to her husband. ing the ambitions of the Gracchus family and the
Book 39 mentions the abolition of the rites of illegalities th ey a ttempted to ac hieve t hem. S o
the cult of Bacchus in Rome. Ā e Romans contin- incensed did members of the upper class become
ued mopping up in Spain. at the Gracchi’s assault on their prerogatives that
A break in the summaries occurs at this point, they i ncited a r iot i n w hich G aius S empronius
and they resume with book 46, which records the Gracchus w as m urdered a nd t hrown i nto t he
Roman population as 337,022, according to a cen- Tiber. Further wars and the subsequent careers of
sus. Ā e book reports a t hrone usurped in Egypt members of t he Gr acchus f amily o ccupy s everal
and the various campaigns of the Roman army in further books.
Europe and in the Middle East. A notable achieve- Book 61 records the founding of the colony of
ment of the years 167–160 b.c. e. was the draining Aquae S extae ( contemporary Aix- en- Provence,
of t he Pontine ma rshes a nd t heir reclamation a s France), named for the six waters of its hot and cold
farmland. springs. In the next several books, accounts of mili-
Book 4 7 d escribes t he lead-up to t he t hird tary actions in Africa and against the tribal peoples
Punic War. While they denied their hostile inten- of northern Europe grow more frequent, while the
tions, t he Carthaginians n onetheless hoa rded population of the city of Rome approached 400,000.
timber for ship building and fielded an army. In Book 68, the name of Gaius Marius, one of the
Among t he i nteresting h istorical de tails t hat greatest h eroes of Rom an a rms, is m entioned i n
Livy pauses to describe in this book are the funeral connection with his being made consul (the Roman
instructions left by Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, the head of state and its military commander in chief )
chief of the Roman senate. He limited t he money for the fifth time.
his sons could sp end on t he o ccasion, remarking Book 70 emphasizes po liti cal events at Rome,
that the dignity of the funerals of the great had its diplomatic m issions a broad, a nd a lso c ontains
origin not in e xpenditure b ut in t he p arade o f reports of m ilitary a ctions i n S yria. With B ook
ancestral p ortraits th at p receded th e b ier o f th e 73, re aders find t hemselves b eing dr awn i nto
deceased. Livy also remarks on the unusual num- accounts o f t he run-up to t he Ro man c ivil w ars
ber o f R oman w omen w ho were p oisoning t heir that culminated with the election of Jul ius Ca e-
husbands. sa r a s dictator for life. Book 78, however, concen-
Despite Carthaginian claims to the contrary, the trates o n t he r evolt of M ithradates V I Eu pator,
Romans b ecame c onvinced o f t heir i ntention to king of Pontus, in Asia and tells of t he a rrange-
Braggart Soldier, The 105

ments he m ade to have e very Ro man c itizen i n enemy o f J ulius C aesar. Wi th P ompey’s a rrival
Asia slaughtered on the same day. on the scene, Livy begins to describe the Roman
Back i n t he ci ty of Rome, says Book 79, the civil wa rs i n ea rnest. A s hi s s ource, h e used
consul Lucius Cinna was using violence and force Luc a n’s u nfinished Civ il W ar (Pharsalia); t he
of a rms t o force “ruinous legislation” through content of t hat epic c an b e read i n t he entry for
the S enate. L ivy i nterpolates t he s ad s tory o f a the w ork. ( See a lso J ulius C aesar’s Ā e Civ il
soldier wh o k illed h is b rother, n ot r ecognizing Wa r s.) Ā e su mmaries en d w ith b ook 1 42, i n
him until he stripped the body of its armor. Ā en which we find d escribed t he pa rticipation o f
he built a py re to c remate his brother a nd com- Rome’s first emperor, August us C a esa r , i n t he
mitted s uicide, h is b ody bu rning t ogether w ith funeral of the Roman general Nero Claudius Dru-
his sibling’s. sus, w ho d ied i n t he field i n 9 b .c. e. o f i njuries
All th e p eoples o f I taly were g ranted Ro man sustained when his horse threw him.
citizenship i n 8 9 b .c .e.—a f act L ivy belatedly In t he books t hat s urvive intact, L ivy m akes
reports in Book 80. Cinna and Marius had become much u se o f d irect di scourse, w ith d escriptions
consular a llies, and t ogether th e t wo c onducted that a re apt a nd c olorful. H e i s t he u nanimous
unpre cedented military operations within the city choice a mong m odern h istorians for b est pr ose
against t heir p olitical en emies, t hen app ointed writer of Roman history.
themselves consuls. Marius died on January 15, 87
b.c .e. L ivy considers t he question of whether t he Bibliography
good or ill Marius did for Rome weighs most heav- Livius, Titus. History o f Rome. Translated b y D .
ily i n th e ba lance o f Ma rius’s l ife ac complish- Spillan and Cyrus Edmonds. New York: Harper
ments. A s a ge neral, he had saved t he s tate f rom and Brothers, Publishers, 1875.
foreign enemies. As a politician, he had ruined the ———. Ā e History of Ro me: B ooks 1–5. Translated
state with his untrustworthiness, even devastating by V alerie M . W arrior. I ndianapolis: Ha ckett
the R oman s tate w ith w arfare w ithin t he c ity Publishers, 2006.
walls. ———. Livy. 1 3 v ols. T ranslated b y B . O . F oster.
Books 8 1–90, st ill set ting t he s tage f or t he Cambridge, M ass.: H arvard U niversity P ress,
Roman civil wars, follow the remarkable career of 1939.
Lucius C ornelius Su lla. Sulla s uccessfully c om-
manded Ro man a rmies, r esisted t he p olitical
opposition of M arius b y t hreatening R ome w ith Braggart Soldier, The (Miles
his troops, and waged successful war against dis- gloriosus) Titus Maccius Plautus
sident peoples of Italy. Having overcome all oppo- (ca. second–third century ...)
sition, Su lla had h imself made d ictator. I n t hat Ā ough braggart soldiers had appeared earlier on
capacity, h e f orcibly s ettled h is veterans o n t he the G reek a nd Ro man s tage, p erhaps n one s o
confiscated lands of communities that had proved exaggerated t he t ype to a n a udience’s del ight a s
hostile to Rome. As dictator, he also restored con- did P l aut us’s h ero, P yrgopolynices. Ā e r ecent
trol of t he government t o the Roman s enate a nd translator of t he pl ay, E rich S egal, r enders t he
reformed t he c riminal c ourts. Ā inking h e h ad braggart’s name as “terrific tower taker.”
saved the republic, he retired from public life in 79 To w het h is a udience’s appetite for more of t he
b.c .e. Sulla likely shortened his life by a retirement self- admiring character, P lautus def ers t he pl ay’s
spent i n u nbridled d issipation. H e d ied in 80 b. prologue in favor of a dialogue between Pyrgopoly-
c. e.; his reforms survived him by about a decade. nices and his overtly fawning but covertly contemp-
In Bo ok 90 , Li vy turns hi s a ttention t o the tuous s lave, Artotrogus—another cha racter t ype,
career of Gnaeus Pompeius—Pompey—the some- the parasite who in this case is paid to be an admir-
time father- in- law and c olleague a nd l ater t he er. S egal sp eculates t hat P yrgopolynices p roved
106 Braggart Soldier, The

especially a ttractive t o Roman a udiences si nce As the play begins, Periplectomenus reports to
almost all the men had b een soldiers, and custom Palaestrio t hat s omeone from th e b raggart s ol-
required modest silence from veterans concerning dier’s household ha s sp otted P hilocomasium
their m ilitary e xploits. A b raggart s oldier, t here- through th e s kylight w hile she w as v isiting t he
fore, was a universal object of scornful satire. adjoining r esidence a nd k issing P leusicles. Ā e
As the play opens, Pyrgopolynices, in contrast old ma n app oints Pa laestrio to de vise a plo t to
with Roman expectations, i s a dmiring h is sh ield outfox t he n eighbors. Palaestrio cog itates h istri-
and s word a nd f eeling s orry f or t he w eapons onically a nd for mulates a s cheme. H e i nvents a
because t hey te mporarily l ack t he sort o f h eroic newly arrived twin sister for Philocomasium—the
action that he alone can give them. To his master’s sister that she herself will represent to the confu-
face, A rtotrogus flatters t he s oldier’s e go b y sion of her captor and his household.
describing impossible deeds, like punching out an Palaestrio’s next task is to discover which of his
elephant, while sniggering about them in asides to master’s servants saw the girl. Ā e slave Sceledrus
the audience. He also keeps track of the impossible immediately r esolves t hat proble m by s haring
numbers of foes that Pyrgopolynices either killed with Palaestrio that it was he. Pa laestrio artfully
or wou ld have k illed had the circumstances been convinces S celedrus t hat he d id not s ee t he g irl,
right. B eyond t hat, Ar totrogus p raises t he c on- first by going i nside a nd reporting Philocomasi-
ceited so ldier’s g ood l ooks a nd h is app eal to um’s presence at home, and then, while Sceledrus
women. guards the next door, by br inging t he g irl f rom
Ā e t wo g o off to en list n ew r ecruits f or t he her abductor’s house.
army, an d t he sp eaker o f t he b elated p rologue, Despite t he f act t hat S celedrus k nows o f n o
Palaestrio, t akes t he s tage. Pa laestrio, w ho i s possible p assage bet ween the houses, h e insists
another of Pyrgopolynices’ servants, explains that that he believes the evidence of his eyes and will
the play is drawn from Greek models that featured not b e d issuaded, u ntil P hilocomasium ha s a
the alazon—a braggart who is a fraud, a lecher, and thought. She says she remembers d reaming t hat
a c heat a s w ell. Pa laestrio a lso e xplains t hat t he her twin sister had a rrived from Athens and was
play i s s et i n Ephesus, a c ity to w hich h is ma ster staying n ext d oor in E phesus and th at, j ust a s
has forcibly abducted a young woman, Philocoma- Sceledrus had done, a slave who confused the sis-
sium. She had b een t he c oncubine o f Pa laestrio’s ters ac cused her o f i nfidelity. P hilocomasium
former master, P leusicles, i n A thens bef ore h er goes i nto t he br aggart’s house, a nd Sce ledrus,
abduction. W hen t he b raggart t ook the g irl, now b eginning to do ubt h is e yes, moves over to
Palaestrio set o ut b y s hip t o i nform his f ormer guard that door.
master. Pirates, however, attacked Palaestrio’s ves- Ā e g irl soon appears at t he door of t he other
sel, and he himself was captured. By chance, which house, and, when accosted by Sceledrus, pretends
always plays a major role in such mannered come- not to know him or Palaestrio, explaining that her
dies, those same pirate-kidnappers gave Palaestrio name is Dicea. Still unconvinced, Sceledrus grabs
to Pyrgopolynices as a slave. the g irl and t ries to d rag her i nto t he b raggart’s
Knowing P hilocomasium’s wh ereabouts, house. She s wears that she will go inside if Scele-
Palaestrio was able to sm uggle a le tter to P leusi- drus will release her. He does, and she s kips into
cles, who immediately came to Ephesus and now the house next door. Palaestrio sends Sceledrus to
is lodging right next door at the home of an elder- bring a s word s o t hey c an f orce her o ut. W hen
ly f riend, P eriplectomenus. Pa laestrio ha s b een Sceledrus goes to bring it, he finds Philocomasium
able to tunnel through the shared wall of the two within, relaxing on her couch. At last the story of
houses to t he b edroom o f P hilocomasium, w ho twin sisters convinces him.
can crawl back and forth and, eventually, pretend Periplectomenus n ow a ppears, h owever, t o
to be her own twin. avenge t he i nsult to his guest. He t hreatens to
Braggart Soldier, The 107

have S celedrus w hipped f or h is d iscourtesy a nd Palaestrio sets out with the ring in search of Pyr-
false acc usations. S celedrus e xplains h is c onfu- gopolynices to set the plot in motion.
sion a nd a bjectly begs forgiveness. When Peri- Pyrgopolynices e nters w ith Pa laestrio. W hen
plectomenus grants it, Sceledrus thinks he won it the latter has h is ma ster’s attention, he tel ls h im
too easily and decides to ma ke himself scarce for of Acroteleutium’s passion, describing her as both
a f ew d ays to le t t he i ncident blo w o ver le st h is wife and widow—a young woman married to a n
master sell him. old ma n. H is le chery a roused, P yrgopolynices
Now the would-be rescuers of Philocomasium agrees to get rid of Philocomasium and to en tice
get t ogether t o c onfer about t heir n ext m oves. her to le ave his house by a llowing her to k eep all
Her l over, Pl eusicles, a pologizes to t he 5 4-year- the gold, jewels, and finery that he has given her.
old P eriplectomenus f or i nvolving a n ol der p er- Ā e maid, Milphidippa, appears and, knowing
son i n a j uvenile love a ffair. P eriplectomenus that the men are listening but pretending not to
replies that he still has a goodly portion of youth- notice them, praises Pyrgopolynices’ looks extrav-
ful e nergy, sp irit, a nd app etite f or lo ve. H e agantly. Flattered, the soldier starts to fall for the
explains that he has never married so that he can maid, but Palaestrio warns him off, saying that he
preserve t he f reedom to p ursue h is app etities gets t he maid when his master gets the mistress.
without responsibilities. He h as no need of chil- Palaestrio then privately instructs Milphidippa to
dren since he has plenty of relatives to inherit his feign, on behalf of her mistress, an overwhelming
estate. In t hat expectation, a ll his k insmen a re love for Pyrgopolynices.
attentive and compete i n entertaining him. As a Palaestrio encourages Pyrgopolynices to stand
result, his h opeful r elatives e ffectively s upport at s tud, bu t o nly f or a subs tantial f ee. H is c hil-
Periplectomenus. dren, says Palaestrio, live for 8 00 years. P yrgop-
Periplectomenus wou ld c ontinue d iscussing olynices corrects him; they live for a millennium.
this sort of matter, but Palaestrio interrupts him Feigning shock, Milphidippa wants to know Pyr-
and returns t he di scussion to t he i ssue a t ha nd. gopolynices’ age. He tells her t hat Jove was born
He h as a pl an f or r escuing P hilocomasium a nd of t he e arth o n th e d ay o f creation. P yrgopoly-
duping the braggart Pyrgopolynices into the bar- nices was born the next day. Milphidippa exits to
gain. Ā ey will recruit a courtesan and her maid. bring he r m istress, a nd Pa laestrio o nce m ore
Periplectomenus will pretend the courtesan is his advises h is ma ster i n t he a rt of gently d isposing
wife. Ā e w ife will feign an ardent attraction for of Philocomasium by allowing her to go w ith her
the braggart soldier—who can never say “no” to a sister and mother and to t ake a long a ll t he pres-
woman. Ā e ma id a nd Pa laestrio w ill ac t a s go- ents he showered on her.
betweens, a nd, to g ive t he en tire ma tter g reater Pyrgopolynices i s le cherously d istracted b y
plausibility, he w ill t ake P eriplectomenus’s r ing thoughts o f th e twi n an d t he m other. H e a lso
to t he b raggart s oldier a s a token o f t he c ourte- expresses i nterest i n t he sh ip’s c aptain w ho
san’s affection. brought the women to Ephesus.
Some s tage b usiness b etween P alaestrio an d Acroteleutium now e nters, a nd Pa laestrio
another of the soldier’s slaves, Lurcio, follows. Ā en instructs her in her role. She is to say that, in her
the courtesan, Acroteleutium, and her maid, Mil- ardor f or P yrgopolynices, she ha s d ivorced her
phiddipa, enter. Acroteleutium holds forth on the current h usband s o t hey can m arry. Moreover,
subject o f her ma stery o f t he a rts o f w ickedness she i s to s ay t hat she o wns P eriplectomenus’s
and expresses her w illingness to d upe t he s oldier house si nce i t w as a pa rt o f her do wry a nd t he
and s eparate h im f rom a he althy sha re o f h is divorce settlement. H aving c oached t he woman,
money. She and Palaestrio, for the audience’s bene- Palaestrio turns to Philocomasium’s lover, Pleusi-
fit, run through the plan once more. Acroteleutium cles, t elling h im to d isguise h imself a s a sh ip’s
shows that she has utterly mastered the deception. captain. Pleusicles has already done so. He must
108 bucolic poetry

now call for Philocomasium and say he i s taking Sceledrus r eturns f rom t he h arbor w ith th e
her to her mother. Palaestrio will carry luggage to news t hat P hilocomasium’s s hip h as s ailed an d
the harbor, and the entire company will be off for that she was the sweetheart of the man with the
Athens and out of Pyrgopolynices’ control. eye p atch. P yrgopolynices re alizes th at he h as
Pyrgopolynices re enters, del ighted at h is suc- been “bamboozled” by Palaestrio, but he accepts
cess in enticing Philocomasium to leave w ithout the o utcome p hilosophically, c oncluding t hat
a f uss. He s ays he e ven had to g ive Pa laestrio to “there w ould be less le chery” s hould le chers
her to s eal t he ba rgain. Ā e s lave f eigns sho ck learn f rom h is e xample. H e a nd h is s laves le ave
and disappointment. the s tage a s h e calls u pon the a udience f or
Now the maid and her mistress enter and, pre- applause.
tending not to see Pyrgopolynices, flatter his ego Direct s tage de scendants o f t he b raggart s ol-
by praising him. He, of course, thinks their praise dier in later Eu ropean theater include such char-
is o nly h is just re ward. He s tarts t o go to the acters a s t he s tock c haracter S caramuccia i n t he
women, but Palaestrio convinces him not to be so Italian commedia dell’arte. Ā e t ype a lso under-
easily won. Wh en P alaestrio remarks that every lay such English theatrical characters as Nicholas
woman loves the soldier at first sight, Pyrgopoly- Udall’s R alph R oister Do ister a nd Sha kespeare’s
nices shares t he t idbit t hat t he g oddess o f lo ve, Falstaff; b raggart s oldiers ap peared i n v irtually
Venus, was his grandmother. every national theater of Europe.
Ā e women now dupe the soldier into believing
that th e house i s p art o f th e d ivorce s ettlement. Plautus. Ā e Br aggart S oldier ( Miles G loriosus).
Before h e u nderstands t his, h owever, he re veals Translated by Erich Segal. In Plautus: Ā e Come-
his cowardice by expressing h is concern t hat t he dies. Vol. 1. Edited by David R. Slavitt and Palm-
husband might catch him with Acroteleutium. er B ovie. B altimore: J ohns H opkins U niversity
Now Pl eusicles, d ressed a s the s ea c aptain Press, 1995.
and with a patch over one eye, comes to c ollect
Philocomasium a nd her ba ggage. Philocomasi-
um pretends to be reluctant to leave, but ob eys bucolic poetry See pa st oral p oet r y.
her mot her. Pa laestrio i n t he meantime c arries
a t runk f ull o f t rea sure f rom t he s oldier’s
house. Buddha and Buddhism
More stage business follows as Philocomasium A major religion of Asia a nd beyond, Budd hism
pretends to faint with grief at parting. Palaestrio was founded by Siddhartha Gautama (ca. 563–ca
bids farewell to the household gods and his fellow 483 b .c .e.). Ā e s on o f Sudd hodana a nd Ma ya
slaves as lackeys continue to c arry out t runks of Gautama, Siddhartha was born at Lumbini in the
treasure. Palaestrio feigns inconsolable sorrow at Nepal valley. His titles, Budd ha (the enlightened
leaving P yrgopolynices, a nd a fter extended fare- one) a nd S akyamuni ( sage o f t he S akya c lan),
wells, he races away. were bestowed on him by public proclamation.
Now, encouraged by a boy from the house next When he reached the age of 29, Buddha left his
door, Pyrgopolynices enters in the expectation of wife an d son t o spend five ye ars i n meditation
enjoying a love tryst with Acroteleutium. Instead and in tr ying to achieve en lightenment. Follow-
he en counters t he m en o f t he household, w ho ing a s trict a scetic r egimen, he f ound w hat he
overcome him, carry him out, and beat him. His sought, coming to u nderstand how to overcome
cowardice ex posed, P yrgopolynices b egs to b e pain, how to b ecome a v essel for t ruth, a nd how
released, a nd a fter a f ew more blows a nd a b ribe to achieve rebirth.
of 1 00 d rachmas, t he m en o f P eriplectomenus’s Knowledge, he b elieved, a nd t he p ractice o f
household release the braggart soldier. four truths could overcome pain, which he identi-
Buddha and Buddhism 109

fied w ith human existence. Ā e i dentity o f e xis- faithful t o t heir sp ouses. Ā ey a lso were to b e
tence and pain was the first truth. Ā e second was instructed in t he eightfold w ay. Bud dha d id n ot
that d esire c auses p ain. If one c an o vercome promulgate any theories concerning the nature of
desire, one will no longer suffer—the third truth. deity, n or d id he den y a ny c onceptions o f dei ty
To overcome desire—the fourth—one m ust fol- that other religions already espoused.
low t he eig htfold pa th w hose elem ents were As B uddhism d eveloped, it s ent m issionaries
these: in all directions. Some went to western Asia and
even into Macedonia in the Grecian archipelago.
1 One must gain right knowledge of the Others w ent t o Ceylon, w here t he f aith p roved
four truths above. triumphant. A s the B uddhists e ncountered t he
2 One must rightly resolve to restrain adherents o f o ther f aiths o ver t he n ext s everal
malice. centuries, a g ood d eal o f mutual exchange of
ideas and doctrines occurred. As a r esult, we see
3 One must cultivate right speech, which
Buddhist e lements i n Z oroastrianism, Gno sti-
will be both true and kindly.
cism, and elsewhere. At least by the first century
4 One must behave rightly and respect life, c. e., a nd a lmost c ertainly e arlier, Budd hism
property, and decency. found a c ongenial r eception i n C hina, w here i t
5 One must labor at the right occupation. developed a regional variant by melding with tra-
6 One must strive to rid the mind of evil ditional Chinese ancestor worship. We also see in
qualities and habits and keep and cherish Buddhism a n a ccretion of elements of several
the good ones. religions a nd o f t he p olytheistic b eliefs o f t he
Indian subcontinent.
7 One must exercise right control of one’s Just before the beginning of the Common Era,
sensations and thoughts. warfare a nd p olitical d islocations c aused t he
8 One must learn right contemplation in adherents of Buddhism to fear that the doctrinal
four stages. splintering that was already well advanced in the
a Isolation that leads to joy. Buddhist faith would gain impetus. Ā e monks of
b Meditation that leads to inner peace. several monasteries perceived, moreover, that the
centuries-long p ractice o f e ntrusting B uddha’s
c Concentration that leads to bodily teachings to memory a nd or al pre servation sub-
happiness. jected Buddhist doctrine to unintentional corrup-
d Contemplation that produces indif- tion. Moreover, oral transmission ran the risk of
ference to both happiness and losing a ll t he te achings i n t he e vent o f w arfare.
misery. Accordingly, some 500 monks from several mon-
asteries met to confer. Ā ey undertook to record,
Buddha’s teaching first attracted a following of in t he P ali l anguage o f n orthern India, w hat
men and then, at the request of his foster mother, became the Buddhist canon: the Ā eravāda (Ā e
Mahaprajapati, a group of women who, as monks elder’s tradition). It contained the three essential
and nuns, were willing to commit themselves to a texts o f Budd hism: t he Abhidhamma P itaka
monastic life. In their monasteries, they practiced (Treatises); the Sutta Pitaka (Ā e sermons of Bud-
abstinence from sexual intercourse, theft, causing dha); and the t he Tripitaka (Ā ree Baskets). (See
harm to l iving creatures, and boasting of human Buddhist t ext s.)
accomplishments o r per fection. B uddha a lso Just a s i n the parallel case of t he C hristians,
founded a t hird o rder f or t he l aity. Ā e i nitiates writing d own th ese m atters p rovoked f urther
agreed t o b e kind, s peak p urely, b e g enerous i n controversy, e specially a bout t he Budd hists’
almsgiving, eschew drugs and intoxicants, and be monastic rules. It seems that, unbeknownst to the
110 Buddhist texts

authors of t he c anonical t exts, S anscrit v ersions issuing his edicts, Asoka said that he w anted his
of some of the material may have existed already, sons a nd g randsons to avoid t he er ror of u nder-
and that these varied from the canon. Even in the taking w ars o f conquest. H e o bserved: “All a ni-
absence of alternate texts, monastic practice var- mate bei ngs sh ould ha ve s ecurity, self-control,
ied enough to p rovoke d isagreement. I n t he l ate peace of mind, and joyousness.”
third century c.e., therefore, a group of schismat- Asoka’s e dicts are e xclusively et hical docu-
ics adopted a nother text, t he Vaipulya P itaka, as ments. Ā eological considerations—apart from a
the a uthoritative s tatement o f Budd hist b elief. reverential attitude—are absent from them. Anx-
Ā e regional monarch, however, found t he work ious to h ave his e thical c oncerns sha red b y a s
heretical and burned it. many a s p ossible, a nd c oncerned about t he c ure
A further period of text making followed in the of bodies as well as souls, Asoka dispatched medi-
early fift h c entury c. e., w hen a Budd hist m onk cal mi ssionaries to Ce ylon, t o re gions el sewhere
and s cholar n amed Bud dhaghosha w rote t he in India, and to Syria, Egypt, Cyrene, Macedonia,
Visuddhimagga (way of purification), which incor- and Epirus.
porated the teaching of the conservative Burmese With re spect to a ncient Budd hist canonical
school of Buddhism. texts, the earliest and most complete collection to
survive is one preserved in the Pali language: the
Bibliography Tripitaka (Ā ree B askets). I t c ontains t hree s ys-
Banerjee, Biswanath, and Sukomal Chaudhuri, eds. tematic bodies of Buddhist doctrine. First it con-
Buddha an d Bu ddhism. K olkata, I ndia: A siatic tains the Vinaya pitaka—the five books, or basket,
Society, 2005. of mon astic d iscipline. Ā e s econd w ork i s t he
Ā e Buddhism Omnibus. New York: Oxford Univer- Sutta pitaka—the five c ollections, or b asket, of
sity Press, 2005. Bhuddha’s p opular d iscourses o r ser mons. Fou r
Olson, C arl. Ā e D ifferent P aths of Bu ddhism: A of t hese are single-volume works, a nd t he fift h
Narrative H istorical I ntroduction. N ew Br uns- contains 15 s ubordinate wor ks. Ā e t hird b ody
wick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005. of doctrine—the Abhidhamma pitaka—contains
Williams, Paul, e d. Buddhism: Critical Concepts in seven b ooks of p sychological e thics a nd r arefied
Religious Stu dies. 8 v ols. N ew York: Ro utledge, philosophy.
2005. Numerous s uch early n oncanonical w orks a s
handbooks and commentaries also survive in vari-
ous languages. Perhaps the most important among
Buddhist texts these is the Pali encyclopedic Visuddhimagga (Ā e
Although n ot an o fficial p art o f th e B uddhist way of purification) of Buddhaghosha.
canon, t he o ldest s urviving B uddhist d ocu- Noncanonical e arly Budd hist l iterature a lso
ments are Ā e Edicts of Asoka. Asoka of Maurya contained five a ncient bio graphies of t he Budd ha
(ruled ca. 273–232 b.c. e.) became the most cele- and short stories whose object was to explain good
brated Bud dhist mon arch of a ncient I ndia. and bad k arma a nd t he e ffects o f ea ch. A v erse
Shortly a fter h is c onquest o f t he ter ritory o f manual, t he Dhammapada, o rganizes 4 23 v erses
Kalinga on India’s e ast coast, A soka beg an h is into 2 6 c hapters. Ā is w ork is a d evotional a nd
career as a Buddhist. instructional p amphlet that y oung persons i n
Enormous carnage had attended his conquest. monasteries me morized a nd c hanted a s a w ay o f
Literally hundreds o f t housands of p ersons p er- internalizing the Buddhist monastic discipline. Its
ished either in military engagements or as a result central message is: “Abstain from all evil; accumu-
of c aptivity and starvation. Sickened at that out- late what is good; purify your m ind.” Ā e Dham-
come, Asoka issued edicts and had them engraved mapada holds that ignorance is the highest form of
on stone; many are still extant. As his objective in impurity; t hat suffering w ill c ease only w hen t he
Buddhist texts 111

desire for things does; and that greed, ill-will, and Buddhism, a re b eyond t he p urview o f t his
delusion will make a happy life impossible. discussion.
As Buddhism spread throughout Asia, transla-
tion b ecame a flourishing i ndustry. Ā e l iterary Bibliography
historian P. V. Bapat counts 4,566 translations— Banerjee, Biswanath, and Sukomal Chaudhuri, eds.
not all of them ancient—into Tibetan, and about Buddha an d Bu ddhism. K olkata, I ndia: A siatic
the s ame number—again, n ot a ll ancient—into Society, 2005.
Chinese. Recent finds in Tibet of Sanskrit manu- Bapat, Purushottam V., ed. 2500 Years of Buddhism.
scripts dating to the fift h or sixth century c.e. and Delhi, I ndia: P ublications Division, M inistry of
earlier h ave shed n ew l ight o n t he na ture o f t he Information and Broadcasting, 1959.
transmission of Bhuddhist texts to that region. Ā e Buddhism Omnibus. New York: Oxford Univer-
Like o ther m ajor w orld r eligions, Budd hism sity Press, 2005.
has spl it a nd f ragmented over t ime. S ometimes Coomeraswamy, Ananda. Buddha and the Gospel of
it has incorporated into its creed aspects of older Buddhism. N ew H yde Pa rk, N. Y.: U niversity
religions pr acticed i n t he r egions i nto w hich i t Books, 1964.
has sp read. A s i t ha s do ne s o, te xts r eflecting Olson, C arl. Ā e D ifferent P aths of Bu ddhism: A
such i deological m elding ha ve app eared. Ma ny Narrative H istorical I ntroduction. N ew Br uns-
of t hese, ho wever, s uch a s t he texts o f T antric wick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 2005.
Caesar, Julius (Gaius, Iulius Caesar) future t hrough s igns a nd a uguries: Auguralia
(ca. 100–44 ...) Roman general, writer, and De Auspiciis. A lo st work on a si milar sub -
statesman ject, De m otu side rum, i nvestigated f oretelling
Ā e s cion o f t he m ost d istinguished o f Ro man the future by observing the motions of heavenly
patrician families, Julius Caesar traced his lineage bodies. Another volume collected speeches given
through Ascanius (also ca lled Iulus, t he fou nder before judges, and still another answered a le gal
of Rome’s pre de ces sor city, A lba L onga) to t he work of Cicero. C aesar i s reported to have pub-
Trojan prince Aeneas, legendary originator of the lished his letters, now almost all lost except for a
Roman state. Ā rough Aeneas, Caesar could also few that Cic ero preserved.
claim d escent f rom A eneas’s m other Venus, t he A c ollection o f C aesarean e phemera i s a lso
goddess of l ove, a nd her pa ramour A nchises, a credited to this remarkable Roman, though some
prince of Troy. Ā is distinguished if partly fanci- suspect t hat t hose w ritings were i dentical w ith
ful ancestry became one of Caesar’s principal tools his military commentaries. Caesar is also said to
of prop aganda a s he sought to make of himself have composed a t r a gedy, Oedipus, whose pub-
what he eventually, if briefly, b ecame: the master lication Rome’s first emperor, Augus t us Ca esa r ,
of Rome , p ermanently app ointed d ictator of t he refused to license.
city and its dominions. Caesar’s family provided a signal example of
Caesar’s w ork as a mi litary hi storian, m em- heroic leadership for h im to em ulate. His u ncle
oirist, a nd c ommentator c onstitute h is m ost by m arriage, t he ge neral M arius, sa ved t he
important and virtually only surviving contribu- Roman s tate f rom de struction a t t he ha nds o f
tions to the literature of his epoch. His Commen - barbarian h ordes w ithin two years’ time t wice,
ta ry o n t h e Gal l ic W ar s (De bello Gall ico) fi rst i n 1 02 b .c. e. a t A quae S extae ( Aix-en-
comprises sev en boo ks t o which a n eighth wa s Province, France) and then in the following year
added, probably by his lieutenant, Aulus Hirtius. just s outh of t he Br enner Pa ss o n t he road to
A similar work describes Rome’s Civ il Wars (De Verona.
bello civili). Beyond these military works, Caesar Concerning Caesar’s early education, we know
authored ot her books t hat a re n ow lo st. Ā ese that he was tutored at home by a clever and well-
included a p air o f tr eatises o n p redicting t he educated man named Marcus Antonius Gnipho,

Caesar, Julius 113

but beyond that we have principally the testimo- advice, he sailed for Rhodes to study with a master
ny of Caesar’s own intellect and accomplishment named Molo. On the way, pirates captured Caesar
to a ssure u s that he became very well educated and held him for 38 days until his ransom arrived.
indeed. H e spent h is l ate adole scence a nd His s ubsequent study w ith Molo app arently
acquired his first po litical experience during the proved f ruitful, for t hereafter C aesar c ame to b e
period o f t he R oman Civ il W ars ( 89–82 b .c. e.) regarded a s a mong t he f oremost o rators o f h is
With r espect to h is p olitical e ducation, C aesar day.
learned early to a ssociate himself with powerful When Ca esar r eturned t o Rome, p robably i n
people, as he d id when, rejecting the match that the winter of 74–73 b.c. e., he threw in his lot with
his f amily had a rranged f or h im, he ma rried the p arties a gitating fo r t he o verthrow o f t he
Cornelia, t he d aughter o f t he m ost p owerful Roman constitution that Sulla had imposed. Ā at
Roman o f t he er a, t he c onsul ( head o f s tate) document simply did not provide adequate mech-
Lucius Cornelius Cinna. anisms for the suc cessful g overnment o f a f rac-
Ā e vicissitudes of the political situation, how- tious city- state or a p erennially d issatisfied
ever, soon cost Cinna his power and his life when Italian peninsula, nor did it offer a superstructure
the troops he led against his rival, the soon-to-be supporting the governance of a far-flung empire.
dictator S ulla, m utinied and m urdered C inna. External pressures were also building on the con-
Sulla i nitiated a p rogram o f r eprisals a gainst stitution. S pain was i n a rmed r ebellion a gainst
members of the M arian p arty th at C inna h ad Roman rule, and a s lave leader named Spartacus
represented—a p arty w ith dem ocratic pro clivi- and h is a rmy t hreatened to u ndermine Ro man
ties. Cinna’s son-in-law was then only 20, and his authority on the Italian peninsula itself. One of
name was not on the list of those whom Sulla had a pair of joint consuls, Marcus Licinius Crassus,
put to death. Ā e dictator did demand, however, ended t he Spa nish t hreat a nd jo ined h is f orces
that Caesar divorce his wife. Ā is Caesar refused with th ose o f h is c o-consul, Gnaeu s P ompeius
to do, remaining married to her until her untime- (Pompey), to defeat Spartacus.
ly death nine years later. In reprisal, Sulla stripped With their a rmies c amped just out side the
Caesar of a priesthood of Jupiter to which he had walls o f R ome, C rassus a nd Pompey—between
been appointed a nd confiscated both the dowry whom no love was lost—collaborated in 70 b.c. e.
that C ornelia h ad b rought h im a nd h is o wn to overthrow the Sullan constitution and with it
property. Ā rough h is c onnections, p erhaps oligarchic r ule i n Rome . Ā e f ollowing y ear, t he
principally through the college of the Vestal Vir- Roman Senate na med Julius Caesar quaestor for
gins, Caesar was able to procure Sulla’s grudging Spain—a role i n w hich t he y oung ma n w ould
pardon. learn t he day-to-day de tails o f p rovincial a nd
Concluding that the moment was propitious to civic finance a nd ma nagement, n ot to m ention
perform his obligatory military duty to Ro me, in having the opportunity to hone the skills of mili-
80 b.c .e. Caesar sailed off to Asia Minor to s erve tary leadership.
with d istinction a s aide- de- camp to Minucius On C aesar’s r eturn to Ro me, he w as s oon
Ā ermus, Sulla’s legate in the area, against Sulla’s drawn into close a ssociation w ith Pompey, who,
old enemy, M ithradates V I Eupator, t he Persian- though o stensibly i n r etirement, was st ill i n a
named but Hellenistic king of Pontus. Caesar con- position to pull the strings that controlled Rome.
tinued serving in the East until Sulla’s death in 78 Ā ough t he S enate sat a nd deba ted, i n reality it
b.c .e. He then returned to Rome, where, attempt- was t he popularly elected t ribunes of Rome who
ing t o b egin a le gal c areer, he u nsuccessfully held the reins of popular power, and Pompey con-
argued two cases before the Roman Senate. Back- trolled t he t ribunes. Pompey w as app ointed a nd
to-back failures convinced him that he needed to given adequate resources to clear t he Mediterra-
hone his oratorical skills, so, perhaps on Cice r o’s nean of pirates—a job he suc cessfully performed
114 Caesar, Julius

with great dispatch. Ā at done , he renewed ho s- umph. D espite t he mac hinations o f t he Ro man
tilities a gainst t he tr oublesome M ithradates, senators who hated his resis tance to government
extending Roman i nfluence to t he Eu phrates by oligarchy, Caesar became consul in 59 b.c .e. In
River. A sia M inor b ecame entirely sub ject to that role, he cemented alliances with both Crassus
Rome, as did Syria and Judea. and Pompey, and the three men became the lead-
Having completed his responsibilities in Spain, ers of the Roman world, supported in this period
in 6 5 b .c .e. C aesar t ook the next step in the by t he i nfluence o f ci ce r o. W hen t he s enate
Roman hierarchy of public offices: He became an resisted s uch ne cessary mea sures as buying pri-
aedile curule. Ā is office carried with it member- vate la nds to r eward r eturning v eterans, C aesar
ship i n t he Roman S enate a nd responsibility for went over their heads directly to the Roman peo-
the oversight a nd m aintenance o f various civic ple, w ho obl iged t he s enators to p erform t heir
necessities in the city—enforcing certain laws and consul’s will. Ā is method became Caesar’s stan-
imposing certain fines. Two years later, he rose to dard practice.
the p osition o f pontifex ma ximus—the l eading It was also standard practice to reward a con-
member of t he c ollege of priests re sponsible for sul w ith t he governorship of a p rovince follow-
the o bservance o f r eligious pr actices i n Ro me. ing his year of s er vice. Ā e s enate was a nxious
His friend Cicero at that time served as consul— to trim Caesar’s sails and had passed a bill limit-
the Roman head of state. ing the current consuls to ser vice in Italy. Caesar
Caesar’s political career now continued to fol- turned t his limitation to adv antage b y b ecom-
low o ne o f t he pa ths t hat t ypically le d to c ivic ing the governor of a pr ovince t hat w as on t he
positions o f the h ighest authority a nd r esponsi- Italian peninsula, but not under the authority of
bility. Ā e year 62 b.c. e. saw h is elevation to t he the senate: Cisalpine Gaul, the area between the
post o f praetor—an official post second i n r ank Po R iver and the A lps. M ilitary c onsiderations
only t o t hat of consul and involving b oth c ivil also prompted the s enate to t ack o nto C aesar’s
and military leadership responsibilities. Ā e fol- responsibilities t he Gallic prov inces beyond t he
lowing y ear s aw h is a scension to t he r ank o f Alps—Transalpine Gaul.
propraetor—a c apacity i n w hich he b ecame t he From t he mome nt t hat C aesar a ssumed h is
governor of a pr ovince, in hi s cas e of Fu rther Gallic proconsulship, we have in his own voice a
Spain. Before leaving Rome, he e stablished h im- detailed ac count of h is ac tivities a nd t heir sig-
self in the good graces of the two most powerful nificance in his Commentary on the Gallic Wars,
men of t he er a: P ompey a nd t he f abulously which covers the period from 59 to 49 b.c .e. Ā e
wealthy Crassus, who lent Caesar the equivalent same period includes his invasions of Germany
of a lmost a m illion dol lars to s ettle h is debts s o and B ritain. Ā e s equence o f m ilitary enga ge-
that h e c ould d epart Rome f or Spa in. Ā ere h e ments t hat o ccupied t hese ye ars s eems a ll t he
was obliged to f urther hone his military skills as more impressive when one realizes that in addi-
he ma rshaled b oth l and a nd s ea f orces a gainst tion to his role as general, he also had to preside
barbarian uprisings. as the chief judge of the provinces whose over-
Ā e n ext y ear, C aesar r eturned to Ro me to sight he e xercised. A t le ast o ne h istorian,
stand for election to t he consulship. As a return- E. Badian, however, is at pains to point out that
ing s uccessful g eneral, he w as en titled to a more than 1 million of Caesar’s Gallic and Ger-
triumph—a v ictory parade—but he c ould n ot manic enemies were slain during his proconsu-
stand for election to office without giving up both lar c ampaigns. Another m illion were for ced
his military command and the celebration he had into b ondage and di splaced. B adian a lso c om-
earned. H e co nfounded his e nemies w ho had pares the damage Caesar’s forces did to both the
arranged t he dilemma by resigning h is m ilitary social fab ric and th e en vironment o f n orthern
offices unhesitatingly and a bandoning th e tr i- Eu rope with the damage wrought by the Eu rope-
Caesar, Julius 115

an in vasion an d c onquest of the Americas 15 that o ffer, a nd f rom t hat i nstant, t he si tuation
centuries later. descended into the internecine hostilities in Italy
Pompey, C rassus, and C aesar e xercised de and Spain that Caesar describes in his commen-
facto po wer t hroughout t he Ro man w orld d ur- tary Ā e Civil Wars.
ing t his e ntire period, a nd i n sp ring 5 6 b .c. e., In that commentary, we learn of Caesar’s deci-
the three met at the Cisalpine city of Lucca with sion to c ross t he Rubicon R iver w ith t he le gions
many o f t heir s enatorial a nd ma gisterial su p- that m arched wi th him—a d ecision th at m ade
porters i n a ttendance. Ā e a greements reached him g uilty o f hi gh t reason ag ainst t he Ro man
at t his conference confi rmed Caesar in his pro- state since it was forbidden for a general to bring
consulship o f C isalpine a nd T ransalpine G aul his troops onto Roman soil. We learn, too, of his
for a nother five ye ars a nd adde d to h is sub ject subsequent victories over Pompey in Spain, Afri-
domains t he p rovince o f I llyria t hat l ay to t he ca, a nd a t P harsalus i n Gr eece. P ompey fled t o
north an d e ast o f th e A driatic S ea. Ā e r est o f Egypt, and Caesar followed, arriving to t he hor-
Rome’s foreign dominions became subject to the rid spectacle of his adversary’s severed head, pre-
military r ule of P ompey a nd Cr assus. Ā e t ri- sented to him as a mark of loyalty on the part of a
umvirate continued to exercise executive power group of Alexandrian assassins. Ā e same people,
in the Roman world. however, s oon b esieged Caesar, w ho, though i n
While the preeminent rulers of Rome were all grave danger, was eventually relieved by Mithra-
off in the provinces, the city of Rome descended dates o f P ergamum an d a f orce o f S yrians a nd
into n ear an archy. W hen Crassus w as k illed i n Jews. Ā e Romans’ combined forces t hen turned
military a ction in t he E ast, ele vating P ompey against the forces of the Egyptian boy king, Ptole-
to dictator became a compelling option. It was a my. Ā e E gyptians lo st, a nd t heir k ing d rowned
decision t hat C aesar subs cribed to si nce he had in the Nile.
the rebellion of the splendid Gallic leader Vercin- Caesar ta rried i n Egypt (though not for long)
getorix to contend with. with that country’s queen of Greek—not African—
Now, however, a breach opened between Cae- ancestry, Cleopatra Ptolemy. He then took a circu-
sar a nd Pompey a s e ach p ursued h is own i nter- itous route to I taly, putting down rebellion a long
ests and Pompey, in par tic u lar, sought to nullify the way. In Italy, his alliance with Cicero and his
Caesar’s a ctions. A s l ong as Caesar held public presence calmed an explosive situation. Ā at done,
office, he was p roof a gainst a ny trumped-up he le d a f orce to A frica to p ut down rebellion i n
charges t hat m ight b e b rought a gainst h im. I f, the Roman provinces there.
however, a h iatus occurred i n h is public ser vice, Ā roughout t his period, Rome na med Caesar
Caesar w ould b e at t he a bsolute mercy of P om- dictator f our ti mes. I n Fe bruary 45 b .c .e., the
pey, who could arrange to pa ss whatever laws he Roman s enate took a n u nprecedented step, con-
wished. Ā is i ncluded ex post facto la ws that ferring t hat title on Caesar for life. A final battle
made crimes of formerly noncriminal acts. remained to b e waged—the B attle o f Munda in
As t he s ituation de veloped, P ompey hel d t he Spain. On March 17, 45 b.c. e., Caesar command-
reins of p olitical p ower a gainst a p olitically ed a va stly o utnumbered f orce a gainst a n a rmy
defenseless C aesar, b ut C aesar c ommanded a n led b y P ompey’s s on. C aesar w on a nd i s s aid to
army of seasoned veterans l ikely to prove i nvin- have considered the battle the most dangerous in
cible a gainst a ny o pposing p ower. C aesar which he participated.
attempted to a meliorate t his s eemingly i rresolv- Although, a s p ermanent d ictator, C aesar
able impasse by offering to dismiss several legions adopted t he d ress of t he a ncient k ings of Rome,
of his troops and retain proconsulships in Cisal- he refused to a ssume their titles. Some, however,
pine G aul a nd I llyria u ntil he had b een ele cted have suggested that he had something even greater
consul in Rome again. Ā e senate firmly rejected in mind. Ā e descendant of a goddess, he aspired
116 Callimachus

to deification—an h onor n ot w ithout p recedent After an apparent period of poverty, Callima-

among th e m onarchs o f A sia. H e a lso b egan to chus became a schoolteacher in Eleusis, an Alex-
yearn fo r a nother foreign c ampaign. Faced w ith andrian suburb, but he a spired to b e recognized
the prospect of a still-young dictator for life, Cae- as a poet and critic. Ā ereafter he somehow came
sar’s enemies began to c oalesce about him. Some to t he a ttention o f P tolemy I I, w ho had e stab-
of them were disappointed in their own expecta- lished t he a ncient w orld’s finest l ibrary a t A lex-
tions; others were suspicious of having an absen- andria. P tolemy em ployed C allimachus a s a
tee g od a s su preme r uler; a f ew c lung to t he functionary i n th e library—probably a s a c ata-
ancient principles of a Ro man republic. As every loguer of manuscripts. C allimachus’s su rviving
high school student knows, on the ides of March work i ncludes a n example of his work in the
(the 1 5th) 4 4 b .c. e., a c oterie o f c onspirators library, Pinakes (tables). Lost, however, are many
struck Caesar down. of his prose works—catalogues about foreign cul-
Some t hink that C aesar w as forewarned. H is tures, l anguage, g eography, t he o rigins o f c ities,
second w ife, C alpurnia, whom h e ha d b een c on- and natural wonders t hat C allimachus seems to
strained to divorce to seal his alliance with Pompey have written for the benefit of the library’s users.
by marrying Pompey’s daughter, sent him a moni- Callimachus’s p oetic r eputation re sts mo st
tory n ote. E ither u ninformed o r o verconfident i n securely on his Epig r ams, 64 examples of which
his power, however, he chose to ignore both warn- survive. H e wa s pa rticularly f ond of s horter
ing n otes a nd p remonitions. A rguably t he m ost forms, and conducted a notable literary feud with
remarkable individual that western Europe has ever his pupil, Apollo nius of Rhodes, who preferred
known, Caesar fell to the knives of his assassins. longer ones. Callimachus pithily remarked: “Ā e
bigger t he b ook, t he g reater t he n uisance.” I n
Bibliography keeping with his preference, he wrote hymns and
Bradford, Ernle. Julius Caesar: Ā e Pursuit of Power. elegiac v erse add ressed to v arious dei ties o f t he
London: H. Hamilton, 1984. Greek pantheon, and several of these survive. He
Fowler, W. Warde. Julius Caesar and the Foundation also wrote about local religious t raditions, as we
of th e Ro man Imperial S ystem. N ew York: G . P. know from the fragmentary remains of his elegiac
Putnam’s Sons, 1908. Aetia (causes o r origins). Ā is piece was long but
Fuller, J. F . C . Julius C aesar: M an, S oldier, a nd composed of linked short pieces with some traces
Tyrant. New York: Da Capo Press, 1991. of direct descent from Callimachus. Ā ese include
Kamm, Antony. Julius Caesar. New York: Routledge, the love elegy Ac ont ius and Kidippe and a trans-
2006. lation o f Ā e Lo c k o f B er eníkê by t he Roman
Meir, C hristian. Caesar. T ranslated b y D avid poet Ca t ul l us that makes possible a r easonably
McLintock. New York: B asic Books, HarperCol- confident reconstruction of the original.
lins, 1995. It w as t o t he l ove e legies of C allimachus t hat
the R oman p oet O v id lo oked w hen s eeking a
model for his Met amorp ho ses. Notable, too, are
Callimachus (ca. 310–ca. 235 ...) Greek the poet’s “Hymns t o Zeus, A pollo , A r temi s,
poet and O t hers .” Ca llimachus d id t ry h is ha nd a t
Born in the Greek colony of C yrene in Egyptian the epic , and we have fragmentary remains of his
Libya t o a c ouple na med B attus a nd M egatima, Heca le , which t reats legendary material a ssoci-
Callimachus studied grammar and philosophy in ated with Ā eseus, the king of Athens.
his native city and at some juncture migrated to Although C allimachus’s l iterary r emains a re
Alexandria, the i ntellectual c enter of t he Greek- often in a very fragmentary state, a trio of synop-
Egyptian w orld u nder t he P tolemaic p haraohs. ses a nd c ommentaries o n h is w ork a lso su rvive
Ā e Ptolemies were of Greek origin. that convey further i mportant i nformation. One
Calpurnius, Titus Siculus 117

of t hem, fo r e xample, i s t he s ource o f w hat i s Callinus’s f ragments b elong, a re w ar s ongs. Ā e

known about h is Artemis of Leucas, only a sn ip- latter sort laments mournful events. What the two
pet of which has survived. kinds o f e legies sha re i n c ommon i n t he Gr eek
Above a ll else, C allimachus pa rticipated b y language is their poetic form. Ā e elegiac verse is
example i n a n on going d ebate between t hose composed of two dactylic lines, the first of hexam-
who p referred p oems i n t he t raditional m ode eter and the second of pentameter.
and those who preferred shorter, more carefully In o ne o f t he s urviving f ragments o f C alli-
polished w ork. H e a ppeared a t a n h istorical nus’s e legies, t he warrior-poet en courages h is
moment w hen t he e pic t radition h ad l ittle t hat fellow soldiers to fight bravely against their ene-
was i nnovative t o o ffer, a nd t he g reat A thenian mies from the city of Magnesia, located in Asia
tradition o f t r ag edy h ad l ikewise en joyed i ts Minor on the Hermus River in Lydia. According
heyday. B ookish, p recise, sub tle, c areful o f to later authorities, the Ephesians overcame the
nuance, and un erringly t asteful, C allimachus’s Magnesians.
lyrics—though they may not have proved widely See a lso el eg y a nd el eg ia c po et r y a nd
popular—reinvigorated the poetic production of qua nt it at ive ve r se.
Greece b y t heir grace, m ultilayered a llusions,
and musicality. If his poetry seemed snobbish or Bibliography
overly e rudite t o some—and it did—it none the- Edmonds, J . M. , ed. a nd t rans. Elegy an d I am-
less provided models for poetic innovators in the bus . . . Ā e Greek Elegiac and Iambic Poets from
Western tradition from Catullus and Ovid to Ben Callinus to Crates. . . . Vol 1. Cambridge, Mass.:
Jonson, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound. Harvard University Press, 1954.

Callimachus. Callimachus: Hymns, Epigrams, Select Calpurnius, Titus Siculus (fl. first century
Fragments. Translated by Stanley Lombardo and ..) Roman poet
Diane Rayor. Baltimore and London: Johns Hop- A minor Roman poet who was very likely a con-
kins University Press, 1988. temporary o f t he E mperor N ero, C alpurnius
———. Ā e P oems of C allimachus. T ranslated b y composed p a st or a l po et ry i n i mitation o f
Frank Ni setich. O xford a nd New York: Oxford Vir g il a nd Th eoc r it us. S even o f h is p oems
University Press, 2001. survive. Ā ree of them, Eclogues 1, 5, and 7, are
Ferguson, John. Callimachus. Boston: Twayne Pub- concerned with events during the reign of Nero,
lishers, 1980. the d eath o f h is p redecessor C laudius, a nd
Trypannis, C . A . Callimachus: A etia, I ambi, Lyric Nero’s accession to the throne. Ā e last of these
Poems, H ecale, Minor E pic and E legiac P oems describes t he w onderment t hat s trikes a she p-
and Other Fragments. Ā e Loeb Classical Library. herd named Corydon, who, while visiting Rome,
Vol. 4 21. C ambridge, M ass.: Harvard University attends ga mes sp onsored b y N ero a t a n ewly
Press, 1925. constructed a mphitheater. Ā e a ttractions o f
life in t he ca pital c ity es trange Corydon f rom
his former rural existence.
Callinus of Ephesus (fl. ca. 684 ...) Although Eclogues 1 and 7 above re ly h eavily
Greek poet on the observations of a single speaker, Eclogues 2,
Based on four slender surviving fragments, Calli- 3, 4, 5, and 6 are presented in dialogue a nd treat
nus o f E phesus s eems to ha ve b een t he e arliest the sorts of subjects that more usually appear in
known elegiac poet in the Greek language. pastoral poetry. In the second eclogue, shepherds
Two s orts o f p oems c ommonly g et l umped sing o f t heir lo ve f or t he s ame c ountry ma iden.
under the rubric elegiac. Ā e earlier sort, to which Ā e t hird d raws a r ather f arfetched comparison
118 Cato the Elder

between a s tubborn w oman a nd a n o rnery c ow new po ets. Ā e g roup’s m embers d iffered f rom
and contains a plea for forgiveness by Lycidas, who their pre de ces sors in that, i nstead o f looking
has b eaten h is b eloved P hyllis i n a pa roxysm o f backward to e arlier Ro man a nd Gr eek hero ic
jealousy. Ā e fourth combines rural themes with models or to public affairs for their subjects, they
extravagant praise of the benefits that Nero’s rule looked p rincipally to t heir o wn c olorful b iogra-
has b rought to c ountry l ife. I t a lso c ontains a phies. Ā e l iterary h istorian Q uincy H owe, J r.,
request t hat the shepherd Meliboeus bring to the also finds e vidence of t he i nfluence a nd le arned
attention of Ne ro t he ve rse o f C orydon a nd h is allusion of the epigrammatic Alexandrian Greek
colleague A myntas. S ome ha ve spec ulated t hat poet Ca l l ima c h us—a pre deces sor whose work
Meliboeus stands for the emperor’s tutor, Senec a . Catullus certainly k new. Others find evidence of
Ā e fift h pastoral gives advice about tending sheep the influence o f Ro man e pigram a s p racticed
and goats, and the si xth c ontains a s taple o f t he about a half century before Catullus. A l anguage
pastoral mode, a singing contest. Ā e ill temper of rich in c olloquial u sage a lso m arks t he p oet’s
the contestants and judges and their resultant dis- work, as does a mastery of many subjects—some
pute, however, causes the contest to abort. quite scholarly.
A p rincipal b enefit o f C alpurnius’s p astoral Although C atullus’s p rivate b ehavior w as
work derives simply from its survival. It was pub- undoubtedly li bertine, h e w as nonetheless a
lished in Venice during the early days of printing romantic idealist who regarded love as the high-
(1472) a nd h elped t ransmit the pastoral genre to est and most ennobling of human emotions. He
the Re nais sance. also thought of fidelity to one’s beloved as a high
Another poem, De laude Pisonis (In praise of calling. Regrettably, but interestingly, t he older,
Piso), which seems to celebrate the actions of the aristocratic, and un principled w oman w ith
person who led the conspiracy that brought Nero whom he fell in love, Clodia Metelli, the wife of
down, ha s a lso s ometimes b een a ttributed to a distinguished provincial administrator, took a
Calpurnius. more pragmatic and sensualist view of extramar-
ital l iaisons. T o the i dealistic p oet’s e xtreme
Bibliography chagrin, Clodia—called Lesbia in C atullus’s
Dunlop, J. E., ed. Latin Pastorals by Virgil, Calpur- verse—entertained a t l east five ot her l overs
nius Siculus, Nemesianus. London: Bell, 1969. besides Catullus. Cic er o considered her a noto-
Keene, Charles Haines, ed. Ā e Eclogues of Calpurnius rious slut.
Siculus and M. Aurelius Nemesianus. Hildesheim: Ā ose o f C atullus’s poem s t hat add ress t his
G. Olms, 1969. relationship ( including p oems 2 , 3 , 5 , 7, 5 1, 72 ,
and an d 76) c hronicle h is g rowing d istrust, h is
disappointment, and his manful efforts to contin-
Cato the Elder See Or igines . ue loving his mistress and maintain his ennobling
view o f l ove i n t he f ace of i ncontrovertible e vi-
dence of her infidelities. His poems also evidence
Catullus, Caius Valerius (84–54 ...) the disappointment and ner vous exhaustion that
Roman poet accompanied the effort.
Catullus w as the s cion o f a n a ristocratic fa mily His own extracurricular activities, also reflect-
from Verona, in the Roman province of Cisalpine ed in his verse, included the employment of both
Gaul, w ho, o n r eaching h is ma jority, sp ent a n female a nd ma le prostitutes (poem 32). To one
extended pe riod i n the c ity o f Rome. Ā ere he of t he latter, a y outh na med J uventus, C atullus
soon bec ame i nvolved i n t he city’s society, plea- appears to have temporarily transferred his affec-
sures, and vices. A g ifted poet, he at once associ- tions from Clodia (poem 48). Unwisely, however,
ated himself with a group of writers known as the Catullus i ntroduced Juventus to a f riend named
Chinese classical literary commentary 119

Aurelius, with whom Juventus had an affair before cento

moving on to a nother a cquaintance, o ne Fu rius Cento—an E nglish word—has t wo m eanings.
(see poems 15 and 24). First, it c an b e a c ollection o f t ranslations b y
Catullus left Rome for about a year in 57 b.c. e. many ha nds o f t he w orks o f a n a uthor. I n t he
He t raveled as a c ivic o fficial to the B lack S ea 19th c entury, for example, t he Bohn C ento was
province of Bit hnyia, doubtless hopi ng to the o nly c omplete t ranslation av ailable i n
improve his a lready enviable financial situation. En glish of the 366 poems comprising Petrarch’s
Poems 10 a nd 28 make clear that this hope, too,
was d oomed t o d isappointment. B eyond t hat,
Ā e second meaning alludes to a poem or col-
word re ached h im i n Bit hnyia t hat h is br other
lection of poems that an author has constructed
had d ied i n t he nearby re gion of t he T road.
Poems 6 8 a nd 101 r eveal h is feelings a bout t his by b orrowing l ines f rom one or more ot her
tragedy and his journey to mourn at his brother’s authors a nd a rranging t hem to e xpress t he
tomb. arranger’s t houghts and e motions. Ā e Ro man
Although ser vice in Bithnyia did not improve aristocrat F a l t onia B etiti a Pr oba , wh o wa s
Catullus’s financial p osition, he n evertheless one of on ly t wo women poets noted a mong t he
could a fford t o h ave a p rivate sh ip b uilt to t ake ancient Romans, bec ame a renowned author of
him back to Italy. Once there, he returned to his centos. ( For t he o ther k nown Ro man f emale
familial v illa, wh ose s ubstantial ruins—now a poet, see Sulp ic ia.) Proba borrowed lines from
tourist attraction—still g race t he p eninsula o f Vir g il to construct poems on biblical subjects.
Sirmione on the western shore of Lake Garda not Employing t he c ento te chnique a sserts a n
far from the city of Verona. author’s f amiliarity w ith the work of others a nd
Catullus’s s urviving w ork r eveals t hat, f or a invites comparison—an invitation that implies an
time a t l east, h is p olitical o pinions favored t he author d eserves to b e c onsidered in t he s ame
party o pposed to J ul ius C a esa r . A s a n a risto- league as the poet who originally wrote the lines.
crat, Catullus objected to Caesar’s preferment of
sycophantic commoners to responsible posts and
found offensive the outrageous manner in which Chariton of Aphrodisias See Gr eek
such p ersons b ehaved (see p oems 2 9, 4 1, 4 3, 5 7, pr os e r omance.
94, 114, and 115). I n t he final a nalysis, however,
Catullus s eems to have c hanged h is m ind a bout
Caesar. Chinese classical literary commentary
Catullus died at about the age of 30. Known at
Ā e h istory o f C hinese l iterature i s lo ng. Ā e
least b y r eputation a nd b y t he o ccasional c om-
nature of Chinese w riting is often b oth a mbigu-
ments of persons who had read his poems since he
ous and allusive. Language changes, and meaning
flourished, his complete poems have come down to
becomes slippery. Readers frequently need clarifi-
us in a unique manuscript discovered in the Capi-
toline library of Verona in the 14th century. He was cation t o h elp t hem u nderstand what o ld tex ts
the most influential lyric poet of his epoch. mean, and ancient scholars were often able to earn
See also “At t is” (Poem 63). their livings supplying that need. For all those rea-
sons, writings that explained, clarified, or ampli-
Bibliography fied basic texts soon became necessary adjuncts to
Catullus. Catullus: Ā e Complete Poems for Modern the t exts th emselves, an d t he l iterary h istorian
Readers. Translated by Reney Meyers and Robert Haun Saussy has traced a lo ng and rich tradition
J. O rmsby. L ondon: G eorge A llen a nd U nwin of such Chinese explanatory or exegetical writing
Ltd., 1972. for us.
120 Chinese ethical and historical literature in verse and prose

Saussy points to the Boo k o f Ch ang es as the Chinese ethical and historical
Chinese classic that has benefited most from suc- literature in verse and prose
cessive la yers o f ex planatory w riting. As ea ch (ca. 1766 ...–ca. 200 ..)
successive g eneration o f r eaders f ound e arlier Ā e v ery ol dest su rviving e xamples o f C hinese
versions difficult, new explanatory material clar- writing appear on bronze containers and on “ora-
ified the older text and the former glosses. cle bo nes” t hat were u sed for predicting t he
Conf uc ius’s Annal s of Spri ng a nd Aut umn future. Tens of thousands of ancient examples of
(Chunqiu, o r Ch’un Ch’ iu) p rovided a s keletal writing o n w ood and b amboo st rips ha ve a lso
framework u pon which a b ody o f hel pful c om- been d iscovered p eriodically. L ater a ncient Ch i-
mentary c ould b e an d n eeded to b e er ected s o nese w riting on less-durable pap er ( invented i n
that r eaders w ould k now why C onfucius had China c a. 100 c. e.), ha s f or m illennia b een p re-
selected the original entries in the book. Among served i n Ch ina, h owever, b y a l aborious a nd
the most important and fundamental examples of error-prone process of recopying and editing ear-
that s ort o f am plifying c ommentary a re th ose lier m anuscripts. We k now, for i nstance, t hat
that appear both in the fi ft h century b.c. e.’s Zuo Conf uc ius e dited t he now-lost texts o f e arlier
zh uan (Tso c huan; C ommentary o f Z uo) and,
masters. Many other early versions of important
almost 700 y ears l ater, i n Luxuriant D ew of th e
documents h ave lo ng b een thought to be irre-
Springs an d A utumns ( Chunqiu F anlu [ Ch’un-
trievably lost.
ch’iu fan-lu]) by Dong Zhongshu (Tung Chung-
In 1 973, h owever, C hinese ar chaeologists
shu; ca. 125 c. e.).
exploring a si te a t Ma wangdui ( Ma-wang-tui)
A t hird sort of commentary that one encoun-
uncovered a t rea sure t rove of 5 0 of t he e arliest
ters is lexical analysis that offers familiar, contem-
Chinese ma nuscripts k nown to e xist. W ritten
porary s ynonyms for word s t hat h ave f allen i nto
on s ilk, t he re discovered m anuscripts m ake
disuse or that have cha nged t heir meanings over
time. Examples of such works include those of the possible correcting ma ny errors that had crept
first–second century c .e. lexicographer Xu (Hsü) into l ater v ersions o f t he do cuments o ver t he
Shen’s Erya (Ehr- ya; A pproaching ele gance) a nd course of centuries. Perhaps ironically, that fi nd
his Shouwen jiezi (Shou- wen Chieh- tzu; E xplica- has made t he late 20th and early 21st centuries
tion of characters simple and complex). the g reat a ge o f t he s tudy o f a ncient C hinese
Eventually, of c ourse, t he she er ma ss o f suc h literature.
commentary threatened to overwhelm the prima- Among t he ma nuscripts d iscovered a t Mawa-
ry documents the comment was supposed to clari- ngdui (Ma-wang-tui) were two copies of the verse
fy, so that scholars si nce t he a ncient period have Daodejing (Tao Te Ching)—the foundational tex t
spent much time and effort w innowing the com- of Daoism and what one of the manuscript’s trans-
mentators’ output—sometimes e ven s uggesting lators, the scholar Victor Mair, considers to be the
that th eir w ork h ad o nce and f or a ll a rrived a t document c entral to a ll C hinese r eligious a nd
definitive i nterpretations o f the m eanings o f philosophical t hought. Received o pinion a ttri-
ancient texts. Ā e na ture o f l inguistic a nd s ocial butes t he a uthorship o f t he Daodejing to L aozi
change, however, suggests that such self-confidence (Lao Tzu), but Mair believes the document to have
is misplaced. coalesced from a preliterate oral tradition.
Also am ong th e ma nuscripts u nearthed a t
Bibliography Mawangdui (Ma-wang-tui) was the earliest known
Saussy, Haun. “Classical Exegesis.” In Ā e Columbia version of t he Boo k o f C h ang es, o r Yijing (I
History o f C hinese L iterature. E dited b y Vic tor Ching). Ā is work was apparently originally a col-
H. Mair. New York: C olumbia University Press, lection of brief oracular sayings arranged under
2001. a series of interpretative hexagrams. Ā ose initiat-
Chinese ethical and historical literature in verse and prose 121

ed into its proper use employed it to ascertain the chronicling important events that occurred in the
direction of change in the ongoing processes of the feudal fiefdoms o f C hina b etween t he y ears 722
universe. Later t he f ollowers o f C onfucius adde d and 481 b.c. e. Ā is work suffered the same fate at
commentaries to the oracles and co-opted the work the hands of the first Qin emperor as did the Book
as one of the five documents central to Confucian of History. Portions survived, however. Ā e prin-
thought. ciple su rviving s ection i s en titled Spring and
Another work whose origins disappear in t he Autumn Annals (Chunqiu). Other portions of the
mists of preliterate history is the Boo k o f Od es , original do cument a re preserved i n the s ixth
or Shijing (Shih Chi). I n its c urrent form, it con- chapter of Grand Records of the Historian, or Shiji.
tains 305 songs, selected, according to t radition, A h istorian, Si ma Q ia n (Ssu-ma C h’ien), c om-
by C onfucius h imself f rom a n e arlier c ollection piled t hese r ecords a bout 1 00 b .c. e. Bi ts o f t his
of more t han 3, 000 l yrics, p erhaps c ompiled document h ave a lso been recovered f rom tombs
around 600 b.c .e. Confucius is also credited with and elsewhere as inscriptions on bamboo strips.
having edited the odes’ musical settings, but these Apart f rom C onfucius, the most respected of
are now apparently lost irretrievably. Also among the ancient Chinese ethical thinkers is Menc ius
the five documents central to Confucianism, the (Mengzi o r M eng Tzu). M encius differed f rom
book contains songs critical of government poli- Confucius in that the former thought that human
cy, c orrupt o fficials, and military c onscription. nature was fundamentally good while Confucius
Ā ough it w as s uppressed b oth i n ancient times thought i t b ad b ut r emediable. L ike C onfucius,
and in M aoist C hina, t he w ork ha s n onetheless Mencius t raveled a bout looking u nsuccessfully
survived. for a r uler w illing to i mplement h is s ocial p ro-
We find a third ancient book crucial to the edi- grams. A lso like Confucius, Mencius’s fo llowers
fice of Confucian doctrine in the Book of History— compiled a posthumous anthology of his sayings,
the Shiji. Ā e earliest sections of this work date to Ā e Mencius (Mengzi), a nd r ecorded his conver-
late in the Zhou (Chou) dynasty, a dynasty begun sations w ith r ulers. Not h ighly r egarded at first,
in ca. 1100 b.c .e. As a compilation of documents Mencius came to be ranked second only to Con-
with commentary, and perhaps beginning around fucius among the ancient sages, and the record
the eighth century b.c. e., the work expanded over of h is life and s ayings c ame to be v iewed as a n
time. Again, tradition has it that Confucius him- ancient C hinese c lassic. H is l ife o verlapped t hat
self ed ited t his w ork b y a ssembling a nd co m- of P l at o i n the West for a p eriod o f s ome t wo
menting on the d ocuments t hat c omprise i t. de cades.
While this may well be true, it is also the case that Ā e na mes o f s ome o ther a ncient C hinese
later ha nds have added o r substituted t heir own writers a nd t he sub jects t hey w rote a bout ha ve
emendations. Autocratic le aders o ver t he c ourse survived. Ā ese i nclude Su nZi, K uanZi, W uZi,
of h istory h ave o ften t ried to su ppress p oints of and WenZi—writers on war, political philosophy,
view critical of their agendas. Ā is wa s t he c ase and related sub jects. A lthough t he e xtant do cu-
with the Book of History when, after the unifica- ments b earing t he na mes o f t hese a uthors ha ve
tion of C hina u nder t he first Qi n em peror (221 been sh own t o be f orgeries w ritten l ong a fter
b.c. e.), he commanded that all copies of the writ- their o stensible a uthors had d ied, t he f orgeries
ings s upporting Confucianism be destroyed. prove instructive nonetheless.
Ā ough much in the Book of History escaped this In addition to t he c lassical philosophical a nd
edict, cha pters 2 8–32 o f i ts l ater s ections d isap- behavioral canon outlined here and commentar-
peared. L ater f orgers a ttempted to r emedy t he ies on it, the literary historian Christopher Leigh
defect. Connery li sts t he f ollowing l iterary g enres a s
Ā e fourth document in the ancient corpus of being recognized by the ancient Chinese: ci (t s’u)
essential C onfucian t hought i s a h istorical te xt poems (sung poetry) and fu poems (verse recited
122 Choephori, The

without singing); astronomy, calendrical writing, became a r egulatory co rpus o f material g overn-
and divination; military texts; and medical com- ing e very a spect o f C hinese p ublic a nd ma ny
mentaries and c ures. M any o f the g enres th at facets o f C hinese p rivate l ife. Ā e c anon t aught
modern Eu ro pean r eaders an d writers value— people r ight a nd m oral t hinking a nd b ehavior.
novel, me moir, i ntrospective c onfessional ve rse, Literature t hat m erely e xpressed p rivate f eeling
and the like—either did not exist or were actively or d issident t hought w as p erceived to b e self-
devalued a s ha ving l ittle m erit b y t he a ncient indulgent, o f li ttle w orth, e xcessive, and e ven
Chinese. dangerous.
Included in the received canon we do find the See also Sh ih ji.
work of t he fou rth–third century b.c .e. moralist
Dan Gong (Tan Kung), some of whose reflections Bibliography
appear in the Book of Rites. Surviving as well from Confucius. Ā e An alects of C onfucius ( Lun Y u).
the th ird c entury b .c .e. i s the work of Xunzi, Translated b y C hichung H uang. N ew Y ork:
whose views were diametrically opposed to those Oxford University Press, 1997.
of Me ncius. Xu nzi c onsidered t he fundamental Connery, Christopher Leigh. Ā e Empire of the Text:
nature o f h uman b eings to b e i rremediably e vil Writing a nd Authority in E arly Imperial C hina.
and deserving of harsh governmental restraint. New Y ork: Ro wman a nd L ittlefield P ublishers,
Another work, much revered for reasons t hat 1998.
have more to do with its title than its content, has Giles, H erbert A . A H istory of C hinese L iterature.
been a scribed t o the h ands o f C onfucius a nd a New York: Grove Press, 1958.
collaborator. Ā e work is entitled the Cl as sic o f Idema, Wilt, and Lloyd Haft. A Guide to Chinese Lit-
Fil ial Piet y (Xiao jing). erature. Ann Arbor: Center for Chinese Studies,
Ā e te xts i ncluded i n t he C hinese c lassical University of Michigan, 1997.
canon had above all a moral focus that eventually Watson, Burton. Early Ch inese L iterature. N ew
did what Confucius had hoped they would: Ā ey York: Columbia University Press, 1962.
became the or ga niz ing principles of Chinese gov-
ernment. A fter t he emperors had e xtended t heir
sovereignty ove r l esser k ings a nd w arlords, a s Choephori, The Aeschylus (458 ...)
Connery tells u s, t he em perors s at l ike qu iet Ā e s econd t r a gedy i n A esc h yl us’s t rilogy
fountains of power whose principal duty was the Or est eia , t he first- prize winner in the last year
appointment of c apable officials. Ā ose o fficials Aeschylus c ompeted i n t he Athenian City Festi-
proved t heir c apacity by demonstrating t heir val o f t he g od D ionysus, t he Gr eat D ionysia ,
mastery of t he c anonical te xts i n t he C onfucian Ā e C hoephori takes u p t he e xamination of t he
tradition. Ā ey conducted d iplomacy by quoting continuing e ffects o f t he c urse on t he house o f
from th e c anon pa ssages o f p oetry t hat w ould Atreus w here it s pr e de cessor play, Ag amemnon,
clarify the officials’ negotiating positions and the leaves off. (For a detailed account of the curse, see
outcomes d esired if their n egotiating p artners the entry for Agamemnon.)
had a lso ma stered t he s ame e ssential b ody o f When A gamemnon’s w ife Clytemnestra a nd
moral p oetry, philosophy, h istory, a nd s o f orth. her paramour, Aegisthus, murdered Agamemnon
Confucius e xpressed t he o pinion t hat a nyone on h is v ictorious return f rom t he Trojan W ar,
who ha d n ot ma stered t he Book o f Od es would Agamemnon’s s on, Or estes, was i n ex ile a t t he
have nothing to say. court o f h is u ncle, St rophis, t he k ing o f P hocis.
Connery makes t his ma jor point—one t hat Ā e C hoephori opens w ith a r eturned O restes
anyone interested in ancient Chinese letters must praying at the tomb of his father and laying a lock
bear in mind: In the generations following C on- of h is o wn h air as a sa crifice o n t he grave. H is
fucius’s death, the ancient Chinese literary canon friend Pylades accompanies him, and the two are
Choephori, The 123

interrupted by t he arrival of Orestes’ sister Elec- and that Strophius wants to know whether or not
tra, a ccompanied by t he c hor us. Ā e c horus to send home Orestes’ remains. Appearing deeply
reflects upon the sorry state of a ffairs in the city moved, Clytemnestra offers shelter to her visitors
of Mycenae s ince t he murder of its k ing a nd on and s ends a n urse to find Ae gisthus. Ā e n urse
the p ortents o f d isaster y et t o c ome th at r eflect reports to t he c horus t hat C lytemnestra i s o nly
the anger of the dead in the underworld and bode pretending to grieve. In her heart, she is glad her
ill for the city. Ā e members of the chorus instruct son ha s d ied. M oreover, she ha s i nstructed t he
Electra in t he p roper form of a pr ayer for ve n- nurse to tell Aegisthus to bring with him a spear-
geance, fo r t he r estoration o f t he c hildren o f armed b odyguard. C lytemnestra is l ess gullible
Agamemnon t o t he t hrone o f M ycenae, a nd f or than her son imagines.
the p rompt r eturn of he r brot her O restes, w ho Ā e c horus, ho wever, adv ises t he n urse to
has momentarily hidden himself away. change Clytemnestra’s instructions and tell Aegis-
Electra n otices Or estes’ h air a nd i dentifies i t thus to come alone. She goes, and the chorus prays
as his. She imagines that he has sent it in honor of to Zeus for the success of Orestes’ enterprise and
his father, but she ho pes t hat he ha s laid it t here the restoration of the commonwealth.
himself. She also sees and identifies his footprint, Aegisthus e nters a lone a nd g oes to m eet h is
but w hen he h imself reappears, she n evertheless guests. Ā e chorus rejoices as Aegisthus’s cries for
doubts his identity until he offers proofs. Ā e sib- help a re heard offstage. (Ā e Greeks d isapproved
lings s peak o f t heir u nhappy s tate a nd o f t heir of d eath on stage.) Cl ytemnestra enters a nd i s
hope for vengeance and restoration to power. Ā e confronted by O restes b earing a s word d ripping
leader of t he c horus c autions t hem a gainst spies with Aegisthus’s blood. Clytemnestra grieves, and
who will report their words, but Orestes tells how Orestes threatens her. She pleads her motherhood
Apollo’s own oracle has foretold t hat to avoid an and th e c are she ga ve h im a s a n i nfant. M oved,
adverse fate, he must slay his father’s murderers. Orestes seek s adv ice f rom P ylades: C an he spa re
Otherwise he w ill d ie s lowly, f riendless, c ursed, his mother? Pylades says no, and Orestes leads the
and horrified. Ā e children t hirst for vengeance, pleading C lytemnestra to d ie at Aegisthus’s side.
and the chorus thirsts for the deaths of the mur- Her pleading turns to t hreats and curses. Orestes
derers o f Ag amemnon. Or estes v ows t hat i f he remains firm in his intention and thrusts her into
can kill his mother, he will “dare to die.” the p alace. W hile he i s k illing her offstage, t he
Electra laments t he curse on t he house of her chorus ce lebrates t he re storation of M ycenae’s
grandfather Atreus—a curse u nder w hich her freedom.
generation c ontinues to suffer. O restes promises Ā e c entral do ors o f t he pa lace s wing o pen.
that together they will end the curse. Ā e chorus Holding h is sword in one ha nd a nd in t he other
reports that Clytemnestra had dreamed of nurs- displaying t he r obe that h ad i mmobilized
ing a fatal serpent at her breast—a foreshadowing Agamemnon and kept him from defending him-
of her death at the hands of her own son. self, Orestes stands over t he bodies of Aegisthus
Orestes plans to arrive at the palace in disguise and C lytemnestra. Ā e c horus c elebrates t he
with Pylades and to strike down Aegisthus at the return of freedom to the city of Mycenae.
first opportunity. Ā e chorus draws comparisons Now t hat the d eed i s done, however, O restes
with events from legend and mythology, and the begins to have second thoughts that prey upon his
scene shifts from Agamemnon’s tomb to t he pal- sanity. H e be gins t o s uffer f rom ha llucinations,
ace ga te. O restes s eeks ad mission. C lytemnestra seeing se rpents, a nd d espite t he c horus’s a ssur-
greets him a nd offers hospitality. Orestes identi- ances that he has done the right thing, his sense of
fies himself as a merchant from Phocis who bears guilt drives him to and over the brink of madness.
a m essage f rom i ts k ing, St rophius. I n t hat d is- Overwhelmed by his haunting visions, he resolves
guise, he tells Clytemnestra t hat Orestes i s de ad to go as a suppliant pilgrim to the temple of Apollo
124 chorus in Greek theater

in Delphi in an effort to be released from his mad- early Greek c omedy a nd t r a g edy p rominently
dening sense of guilt. featured t he c horus, c omedy e ventually di s-
Ā e c horus en ds t he pl ay b y r eviewing t he pensed with the chorus altogether, as in the plays
operation of the c urse o n t he house o f A treus: of Mena nder . In later tragedy, the choral songs
Ā yestes’ eating the cooked flesh of his own chil- often represented the responses of public opinion
dren; A gamemnon’s m urder; a nd n ow a t hird to a d rama’s major action or served to u nderline
event w hose o utcome i s s till i n question—will the central message of a play in a final song.
Orestes go mad, or will he escape the toils of the Athenian citizens vied to be selected as mem-
curse? (See Ā e Eumenide s.) bers of the choruses. Eminent citizens considered
it a matter of honor to pay the wages of the chorus
Bibliography members, and t he playwrights in whose produc-
Aeschylus. Oresteia. English and G reek. Translated tions the choruses sang a nd danced a lso t rained
by G eorge Ā ompson. Ne w Y ork: E veryman’s them to perform. A f ringe benefit of t his system
Library, 2004. for Greek theater arose from its contribution to a
knowledgeable aud ience w ho thoroughly under-
stood the fine p oints a nd t he conventions of t he
chorus in Greek theater per for mance.
In connection with the theater of the Greek world Both comedy and especially tragedy remained
and its center at Athens, the chorus was usually closely co nnected to t he r eligious ro ots f rom
a group of men—rarely, apparently, women—who which they had sprung. Ā us, serving as a chorus
sang and danced. As Greek theater had its origins member f ulfi lled a s piritual as w ell as a civic
in religious liturgy, t he chorus a lso s prang f rom obligation.
associated ri tual o ccasions a nd pa rticipated i n See also c onv ent ions o f Gr eek d r a ma .
both tragic and comic perfor mances.
Greek theater had much of the flavor of opera Bibliography
about i t, a nd t he c horal pa rts o f t he pl ay were Ley, G raham. A S hort I ntroduction to th e An cient
usually c hanted, o ften ac companied b y dance- Greek Ā eater. Chicago: University of Chicago
like movements e ither of t he e ntire c horus or of Press, 1991.
halves of the chorus moving and singing together
as t hey participated i n t he plot s, e xplained mat-
ters to the audience, and represented public reac- Chrysostom, St. John (ca. 354–407 ..)
tion to events. Greek prose writer
Ā e chorus had a le ader, and in the earliest sur- Under t he t utelage of t he p olytheistic S ophist
viving Greek dramas, the parts that were spoken or Libani us of Ant ioch and early identified as a lit-
sung were shared by a single actor, the leader of the erary prodigy a nd a g enius, John was e ducated at
chorus, the whole chorus in unison, or halves of the Antioch. F inding himself a ttracted to a l ife o f
chorus o perating s eparately to si ng a nd d ance a Christian a sceticism, f or a w hile J ohn b ecame a
strophe and an antistrophe. Ā ese might be thought hermit, but t hen he to ok holy o rders, b ecoming a
of as the verses of a song alternately performed by priest at Antioch in 386. Called to Constantinople
halves of a larger group of singers. As they sang the as its patriarch in 398, John reluctantly accepted
strophe, the choristers danced to t he right of stage the assignment. His nickname, Chrysostom, means
for t wo v erses, a s t hey s ang the antistrophe, they the golden-tongued or golden-mouthed one, and he
danced back to their customary location. felt himself to be much more effective as a preacher
As t he n umber of a ctors on the G reek s tage than as a church administrator.
increased from one to t wo to t hree, t he i mpor- Ironically, his s uccess i n e xtending t he i nflu-
tance o f t he c horus d iminished. W hereas b oth ence o f h is b ishopric le d J ohn i nto d ifficulties.
Cicero, Marcus Tullius 125

Ā eophilus, the b ishop o f Al exandria in E gypt, Laistner, M ax L udwig W olfram. Christianity i n

had ambitions of his own, and they conflicted with Pagan C ulture in th e L ater Ro man Emp ire,
the expansion of a C hristian p ower ba se a t C on- Together w ith St. John Chrysostom’s Address on
stantinople. Ā at rivalry plus the active enmity of Vainglory and the Right Way for Parents to Bring
the empress Eudoxia and other envious bishops in up the ir Chil dren. Translated by Max Ludwig
Asia led to his banishment. Once recalled, he w as Wolfram. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press,
banished a second time in 404. He retired to Arme- 1951.
nia, where he spent the last three years of his life.
John’s s urviving wor ks a re n umerous, w ith
more than 300 discourses and orations and more Cicero, Marcus Tullius (106–43 ...)
than 6 00 h omilies. In a ddition, a subs tantial Roman prose writer and poet
selection o f his l etters a nd t reatises su rvive. I f Cicero w as t he el dest s on o f a well-to-do l and-
they are sometimes too flowery for our contem- owning family of Roman citizens of the knightly
porary taste, t hey are nonetheless distinguished class at Arpinum in Volscia. Nevertheless, he did
by their thoughtfulness, rich imagery, and clarity not b elong t o the class o f her editary a ristocrats,
of style. He was perhaps the most prolific writer the optimates, from which members of the Roman
of the Eastern Church Fathers. Senate were customarily drawn. Following a first-
Among t he s ubjects J ohn a ddressed w e find rate education in philosophy and rhetoric at Rome
the nature of God, repenting of wrongdoing and and in Greece, and following a period of military
its connection with the care of the poor, explana- ser vice, Cicero entered first the Roman court sys-
tions o f p assages of Scripture, warnings against tem a nd t hen s enatorial p olitics. H e d id s o a s a
pride, c autions against a ttempts to turn C hris- “new man”—someone p rincipally s upported b y
tians into Jews, and justifications of the Christian his merits r ather than by his lineage. He subse-
religion. A generous selection of his work is avail- quently rose to become respected and revered as a
able in English translation. lawyer, a leader, and a politician.
In t he l atter r ole, he s erved s uccessively a s
Bibliography a quaestor (a fi nancial official) in Sicily (75 b.c.e .),
Chrysostom, St. J ohn. Apologist: J ohn C hrysostom. as an aedile in charge of the grain supply for the
In Ā e Fathers of the Church. Vol. 48. Translated Roman metropolis (69 b.c. e.), as praetor (magis-
by M argaret A . S chatkin and Paul W. Harkins. trate o f j ustice) in t he c ity of Rome ( 66 b. c .e.),
New York: Ā e Fathers of the Church, 1980. and finally a s co nsul ( 64–63 b.c .e.). When he
———. Commentary on St. John the Apostle and Evan- served as consul, Cicero became the legal head of
gelist, Homilies 1–47. In Ā e Fathers of the Church. the Roman Republic. In t hat c apacity, he s taved
Vols. 3 3 a nd 4 1, 1 957–1960. Translated b y Si ster off an attempt by Catiline (Lucius Sergius Catili-
Ā omas A quinas G oggin. W ashington, D .C.: na) to overthrow the state.
Catholic University of America Press, 2000. As the Roman Republic disintegrated owing to
———. Discourses a gainst J udaizing Chr istians. In an antiquated system of administration unsuited
Ā e Fathers of the Church. Vol. 68. Translated by to t he t ask o f ma naging a w orld em pire, Ci cero
Paul. W . Ha rkins. W ashington, D .C.: C atholic remained a s taunch republican as long a s he re a-
University of America Press, 1984. sonably co uld, se rving a s t he c onscience o f t he
———. Homilies o n G enesis 1 8–45. T ranslated b y Roman senate. When it became clear the republic
Robert C. Hill. Washington, D.C.: Catholic Uni- could not c ontinue, however, a nd a fter t he w ars
versity of America Press, 1986. occasioned b y t he a ssassination o f t he d ictator
———. On R epentance a nd A lmsgiving. T ranslated Jul ius C a esa r i n 44 b .c .e., f or a sho rt t ime
by Gus George Christo. Washington, D.C.: Cath- Cicero became a p olitical mentor a nd adv iser to
olic University of America Press, 1998. Caesar’s grandnephew, the young Octavian (who
126 Cicero, Marcus Tullius

would later become August us C a esa r , t he first another nine years to writing De legibus (On the
emperor of Rome [27 b.c. e.]). law, 43 b.c .e.)
Eventually, h owever, l argely b ecause o f h is A h iatus i n p ublic s er vice c ombined w ith a
outspoken criticism of Mark Antony’s ambitions series o f pe rsonal cr ises to spur Cicero to an
in a s eries o f addresses c alled Philippics, Ci cero unparalleled period of literary production. In 46
became a political liability to the ambitious Octa- b.c .e., he divorced his wife of more than 30 years,
vian. When Octavian found i t e xpedient to jo in Terentia, and hastily married his younger second
forces w ith M arcus Ae milius Lepidus a nd Ma rk wife, P ublilia. I n 4 5 b .c. e., T ullia, t he ado red
Antony, a s p art of t heir d eal, h e a greed t o t he daughter of h is first ma rriage, d ied of complica-
judicial murder of Cicero. Agents of Mark Antony tions ari sing fr om c hildbirth. W hen P ublilia
implemented t he a greement, k illing Cicero near seemed relieved at losing a rival in Tullia, Cicero
one of his country estates in 43 b.c. e. immediately divorced his second wife.
Beyond t he b usy po litical lif e i mplied i n t he As therapy, perhaps, for the stress occasioned by
brief s ummary a bove, Ci cero a lso u ndertook a both public and private turmoil, Cicero embarked
formidable pro gram of w riting a nd pu blishing. on a m aniacally a mbitious w riting p rogram. Ā e
Apart from inconsequential juvenilia, he polished years 45 and 44 b.c.e. saw the drafting of Horten-
and published t he orations he had g iven defend- sius; A cademica ( Academic T reatises), D e ἀ nibus
ing o r p rosecuting p ersons a ccused i n l egal bonorum et malorum (On Supreme Good and Evil),
proceedings—often perfecting his arguments after Tusculanae d isputationes ( Tuscu l an Disp ut a-
the fact. He wrote about the art of rhetoric, about ti ons), De natura deorum (On t he Nat ur e o f t he
po liti cal science, about philosophy, and about the- Gods), De d ivinatione ( On Div ination), D e f ato
ology. He was also a poet of respectable talent and (Destiny), and De officiis (About duties).
accomplishment, a nd m uch of w hat we know of Ā e second president of the United States, John
his lif e i s p reserved i n a s eries o f le tters to h is Adams, said of Cicero: “All ages of the world have
friend Titus Pomponius Atticus. Ā at series began not pro duced a g reater st atesman a nd p hiloso-
in 68 b.c .e. and continued with occasional inter- pher combined.”
ruptions almost until Cicero’s death. Ā e famous
Italian p oet a nd h umanist P etrarch r ecovered Bibliography
most of t hese uncatalogued letters in the Capito- Cicero, Marcus Tullius. Cicero on Oratory and Ora-
line L ibrary of Verona du ring t he 14th c entury. tors. Translated and edited by J. S. Watson. C ar-
Petrarch considered that the revelation in the let- bondale: Southern Illinois Press, 1986.
ters of the personal details of Cicero’s private life ———. Letters to Atticus. 4 vols. Edited and translat-
tarnished the statesman’s public image. ed by D. R. Shackleton Bailey. Cambridge, Mass.:
Perhaps Cic ero’s mo st l asting contribution to Havard University Press, 1999.
Eu ro pean an d Euro-American E nglish l etters ———. On Duties. Edited by M. T. Griffen and E. M.
appears i n h is c arefully c rafted a nd b alanced Atkins. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,
prose s tyle. Ā at s tyle e merged a s t he m odel 1991.
toward which prose w riters aspired—whether or ———. On M oral E nds. E dited b y J ulia A rinar.
not they knew its origin—in Europe and in Amer- Translated by R aphael Woolf. C ambridge: Cam-
ica as late as the mid-20th century. bridge University Press, 2001.
As time permitted in his busy schedule, Cicero ———. Philippics. E dited a nd T ranslated b y D . R .
wrote important works throughout h is majority. Shackleton B ailey. C hapel H ill: U niversity o f
His De inventione (Topics for speeches) appeared North Carolina Press, 1986.
before 81 b.c .e. De oratore (Concerning t he ora- ———. Ā e Nature of th e Gods, and On Divination.
tor) followed in 55. He spent four years preparing Translated b y C . D. Yonge. Amherst, N.Y.: Pro-
De re publica (On the State, 51 b.c. e.). He devoted metheus Books, 1997.
Civil War 127
———. Ā e R epublic an d Ā e L aws. T ranslated b y epic poem on that subject. Before he could com-
Niall Rudd. Oxford and New York: Oxford Uni- plete t he p roject, ho wever, t he em peror N ero,
versity Press, 1998. jealous o f Luc an’s ac complishment, f orbade t he
Everitt, A nthony. Cicero: Ā e L ife a nd T imes of poet to read his poem in public or even to share it
Rome’s G reatest P olitician. New York: R andom with fr iends. L ucan j oined a co nspiracy a gainst
House Trade Paperbacks, 2001. Nero, and, despite the poet’s cooperation with the
authorities when the plot was discovered, he w as
compelled to commit suicide. Ā us, we have nine
ci (ts’u) poems or songs complete books and part of a 10th.
Because the ci verse form originated as song lyr- A recent translator of Lucan’s poem, P. F. Wid-
ics, i n t he b eginning o f t he genre, at first, i n dows, su ggests t hat t wo tena ble v iews e xist w ith
ancient times, the line length was determined by respect to Lucan’s design for completing his epic.
the tune to which the song was performed. Over Ā e m ore p robable o f t hese v iews hol ds t hat t he
time, however, the tunes of the songs disappeared, poem w ould ha ve co ncluded w ith t he su icide o f
and the uneven line lengths of the original songs Cato. Lucan admired Cato as the representative of
became t he p attern o n w hich n ew poems— the r epublican i deal th at p erished wi th th e
intended to be spoken or read silently—evolved. appointment of Jul ius Ca esa r as dictator for life
As a result, small subgenres of ci poems might be and wi th th e s ubsequent a scent o f A ugust us
grouped t ogether under t he t itle o f a long- Ca esa r to the imperial throne. Cato had commit-
forgotten s ong, b ut t he p oems’ sub ject ma tter ted suicide rather than accept Julius Caesar’s par-
would h ave no thing to do with that t itle. It had don f or r esisting h is a genda. I n a le ss l ikely
simply become a versifying label. scenario, t hinks W iddows, L ucan mi ght h ave
Once separated from song, ci lyrics soon gener- planned to e xtend t he ac tion t hrough C aesar’s
ated c onventions of t heir o wn. Ā ey o ften c on- assassination. Others have argued for a still grand-
cerned love—a s ubject d eemed u nworthy o f er design that would have traced the conflict to the
classical verse. Often, women spoke words of t he Battle o f A ctium and A ugustus C aesar’s vi ctory
lyric, even though there was every likelihood that over Marc Antony and Cleopatra in 31 b.c. e.
the verse had been written by a man. Ā e language As it stands, the poem is a masterpiece of pes-
employed i n ci verse a lso a pproximated more simism that traces the decline of a g reat republic
closely the common parlance of the Chinese per- and th e de struction o f i ts hero es a nd hero ines.
son i n t he s treet. W hereas t he m ore f ormal sh i Ā e v illain o f t he p iece i s J ulius C aesar, w ho
verse might contain loft y intertextual allusions to attracts Lucan’s passionate contempt.
earlier verse that would be recognized by educated
cognoscenti who ha d c ommitted l arge b odies o f
classical verse to memory, ci was likely to be rela- Book 1
tively free from such intellectual freight. Book 1 beg ins w ith a statement of e pic purpose,
but instead of invoking the muses, Lucan alludes
Bibliography to t he f ailure o f t he a greement o f J ulius C aesar,
Victor H. Mair, ed. Ā e Columbia Anthology of Tra- Pompey (Gnaeus Pompeius), and Marcus Licinius
ditional Chinese Literature. New York: Columbia Crassus to sha re the government of Rome and its
University Press, l994. dominions a nd t he u niversal g uilt b orne b y a ll
parties to the c onflict. I n t he h ighly or atorical
style t hat cha racterizes the e ntire poem, L ucan
Civil War (Pharsalia) Lucan (ca. 65 ..) blames the citizens for a llowing themselves to b e
Using Liv y’s now-lost books on Rome’s civil wars led into fratricidal conflict, and he calls upon them
as his source, Luc a n undertook the writing of an to look upon the consequent and still visible ruin
128 Civil War

of c ities a nd f armland. A t lin e 33, h owever, t he Lucan’s p reference f or t he o ratorical m ode

poet interrupts himself to suggest, perhaps uncon- now appears as Caesar addresses and encourages
vincingly, that all the horror and cost of t he wa r his t roops a nd t hen he ars a n a nswering sp eech
was worthwhile given that the conflict ultimately by a c enturion, L aelius, who ex presses t he s ol-
resulted in the rule of Emperor Nero. Under Nero, diers’ v iewpoint ( ll. 3 25–433). E ncouraged b y
Lucan ho pes a nd p rays t hat p eace ma y sp read his t roops’ app roval, C aesar c alls h is le gions,
through th e w orld. I n th at h ope, N ero b ecomes both native and foreign, from as far away as the
the singer’s muse and his inspiration. (Line num- Rhine R iver, leaving t he b orders o f t he em pire
bers allude to the Widdows translation.) unprotected.
Lines 67–80 suggest that the underlying fi rst Ā e p oet n ext de scribes t he f earful r umors
cause o f t he c ivil w ar w as u niversal d isorder. that led the senate a nd t he c itizens o f Ro me to
All things came apart. Ā e more immediate and panic a nd a bandon t he c ity, t hen t urns to a
local causes, however, were the formation of the digression in which he recounts the fearful por-
fi rst triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus tents of impending disaster. New stars and mete-
(ll. 81–97), Crassus’s de ath i n battle (53 b.c. e.); ors appeared. Lunar and solar eclipses occurred.
the death in the year following of Julia, who was Wild a nimals entered t he c ity. C attle t alked. A
both Caesar’s daughter and Pompey’s wife; and supernatural b eing, a Fu ry, app eared, a nd
the resultant and growing discord and mistrust Rome’s g reat m ilitary he ro M arius raised h is
between t he t wo le aders ( ll. 98 –192). B eyond head from his ruined tomb.
that p ersonal r ivalry, h owever, Lucan bl ames Priest a nd see rs a re su mmoned, c onsult t he
the w ealth o f R ome, i ts c oncentration i n t he omens, and pronounce dire predictions. As Book
hands o f a r elative f ew, a nd i ts c onsequent 1 ends, a Roman woman runs in a trance through
undermining of Roman morality as the govern- the city, darkly predicting events t hat will occur
ing c lasses a nd t he ele ctorate s old t heir i nflu- in the coming warfare.
ence and votes. Meanwhile, the poor suffered all
sorts of indignities.
His i ntroduction finished, L ucan tel ls ho w Book 2
Caesar, r eturning w ith hi s ar my f rom Transal- As book 2 opens, Lucan tells the god Jupiter that
pine Gaul, paused at the boundary of the Roman human foreknowledge of coming disaster is a bad
state proper, the River Rubicon. Ā e poet reports thing and that people would be better off without
that there Caesar encountered the allegorical fig- it. Ā e en tire c ity of Rome go es i nto m ourning.
ure of Roma, weeping and disheveled. She tried to First t he w omen a nd t hen t he m en l ament t he
dissuade Caesar from breaking the law by illegal- coming d isaster. Ā e m en c an t hink o f n othing
ly leading armed troops into her territory. Caesar, worse t han c ivil w ar. Ā e d igression b egun i n
however, insisted on the purity of his motives. In book 1 continues with an old man who recalls in
the first act of warfare, he crossed the Rubicon. At lengthy detail the former civil war between Mari-
this point, Lucan pictures Caesar as a marauding us and Sulla. Ā e old man has been an eyewitness
lion. to t he blo ody ho rrors t hat Ro mans c an n ow
Lines 252–286 describe Caesar’s occupation of expect to see again: executions and suicides, mas-
Rimini (Arminium) and the reaction of the town’s sacres of prisoners, and the Tiber River fi lled with
citizens. Ā ere C aesar’s a llies, t he Ro man t ri- the corpses of the slain.
bunes, a nd t he g overnor o f Si cily, Cu rio, c ome When the long digression ends, Lucan returns
and encourage Caesar to proceed despite the fact to c ontemporary ac tion. A f earless Br utus v isits
that P ompey m eans to re sist h is e fforts ( ll. his kinsman, the stoic defender of republican val-
287–324). ues, Cato. Brutus seeks Cato’s advice concerning
Civil War 129

whom to support in the coming strife. Cato, after Ā en Lu can de scribes C aesar’s a ttempts to
predicting t hat his own de ath w ill a tone f or t he block the harbor at Brundisium and cut off Pom-
sins o f t he Ro mans, o pts to su pport P ompey pey’s escape route. Pompey, however, was no mean
against Ca esar, a nd h is w ords e xcite i n Br utus’s military tactician, a nd he successfully c ountered
heart “an excessive and ominous passion.” this action. All but two ships of his fleet broke free
Lucan now expands his audience’s view of the of t he h arbor. N o s ooner w as he a t s ea t han t he
character o f C ato. F irst t he p oet r ecounts ho w city’s citizens t hrew open their gates to w elcome
Cato had passed his former wife Marcia along to Caesar’s forces. Book 2 ends with a dark foreshad-
his f riend H ortensius s o that H ortensius c ould owing of Pompey’s eventual death in Egypt.
sire offspring. Ma rcia a rrives d irectly f rom Hor-
tensius’s f uneral to ple ad t hat C ato remarry her.
He d oes s o, t hough in h is c urrent s tate o f s toic Book 3
renunciation, c onsummating t he r emarriage i s As book 3 opens and the fleet sails eastward, Pom-
out of t he question. Lucan chooses this occasion pey watches Italy recede. Overwhelmed with wea-
to underscore Cato’s unwavering virtue and self- riness, he falls asleep, and a frightful vision of his
mastery. For Lucan, Cato personifies the ideals of deceased but still jealous spouse, Caesar’s daugh-
the Roman republic. ter Julia, visits him. She tells him that she has spe-
Beginning a n a ccount o f the m ilitary maneu- cial permission to dog his footsteps wherever they
vers of t he combatants—first t hose o f Pompey— may le ad u ntil he r ejoins her i n t he u nderworld,
Lucan interrupts himself with a mytho-geographic leaving behind his current wife, Cornelia.
discussion of Italy’s Apennine Mountains and the Having s afely c rossed t he A driatic, P ompey
rivers t hat s pring f rom t hem. Ā at done , he reaches Epirus—a c ountry to t he n orthwest o f
recounts C aesar’s s uccesses i n n orthern I taly ancient Greece. Lucan now turns his attention to
against Pompey’s generals. Ā e poet next describes Caesar. F irst C aesar s ends a fleet w ith infantry
the fruitless resistance of Pompey’s loyal Domitius, and cavalry to pac ify Sicily, for Rome’s supply of
whose soldiers deserted and whom Caesar embar- grain d epended o n S icilian p roduction. Ā en
rassed by releasing Domitius after his defeat. Caesar m arches his f orces t oward t he almost
Returning t he a ction to P ompey’s c amp, deserted city of Rome. Such senators as are still in
Lucan indulges in a f urther oratorical interlude residence a ssemble to he ar a “ private c itizen’s”
as h e h as P ompey a ddress his t roops. P ompey demands. Lucan sneeringly reports their coward-
emphasizes Caesar’s criminality. He justly boasts ice. Ā ey a re w illing t o m ake Caesar a king o r
of his own military prowess, including his major a god a nd to subs cribe to a ny c ruelty he m ight
triumph o f ri dding t he R oman M editerranean inflict. Lucan, who hates Caesar, notably remarks
of pirates in only two months—a fraction of the that C aesar i s a shamed t o i mpose th ings th at
anticipated time. His strength now, however, is Rome would have assented to.
depleted. H e i s out manned a nd i n d anger o f Metellus t he t ribune, however, do es t ry to
being o utmaneuvered. Ā erefore h e w ithdraws stop C aesar’s r aiding t he Temple of S aturn a nd
to Br undisium ( Brindisi), w hich i s de fensible confiscating its treasure. Lucan, sneering again,
and which is also a seaport from which, if neces- notes t hat no d egree of honor c ould ro use t he
sary, he can escape. Romans to resist, but money has found a defend-
An h istorical d escription of Br undisium a nd er. C aesar r efuses to ha ve M etellus k illed, a nd
then another address by Pompey follows. He sends the consul Cotta fi nally dissuades Metellus from
representatives, his son Gnaeus and the consuls of continuing his futile efforts. Caesar then pillages
Rome, L entulus a nd Ma rcellus, to enlist allies in the temple of the accumulated Roman wealth of
Asia Minor, Scythia, and in Greece. centuries.
130 Civil War

Now Lucan lists the allies who have rallied to rains and flooding. Lucan decides that Fortune is
Pompey’s c ause t hroughout t he eastern Mediter- only pre tending to have deserted C aesar, for t he
ranean, As ia, a nd N orth A frica, s alting h is rains soon cease, and Caesar’s customary success
account with ethnographic and geographic details in battle returns.
about the peoples in his cata logue. He credits the Ā e poet details the story, also told by Caesar,
Phoenicians, i n passing, for t he i nvention of t he of t he w ay t hat t he Ro man s oldiers o f t he t wo
al ph ab et . News of the Civil War ha s spread a s opposing armies, many of whom are friends and
far as India. Once again, however, the poet sounds townsmen, f raternize i n t he c amp o f P ompey’s
the note of foreboding. All the k ings a ssembled supporters u ntil, r eminded o f t heir d uty, P om-
under P ompey’s s tandard are f ated “ to sha re i n pey’s troops massacre t heir v isitors. In response,
[his] . . . disaster” a nd to ma rch i n h is f uneral Caesar cu ts o ff the P ompeian s upporters f rom
train. their supplies of both food and water. Starvation
Turning o nce m ore t o Caesar, L ucan f ollows and th irst f orce P ompey’s ge neral, A franius, to
his m arch f rom Ro me, ac ross t he A lps, to ward surrender to Caesar, who raises his blockade; the
Spain. At the city of Massilia (Marseilles), the citi- men soon recover. Lucan intervenes with an apos-
zens attempt to declare t heir neutrality a nd offer trophe (oratorical address) to gluttony. Its folly is
their t own a s a pl ace f or n egotiation. A ngered, illustrated by how l ittle f ood a nd w ater t he s ol-
Caesar a ttacks, only t o find t hat the M assilians diers require to return to health. Caesar disbands
have made spe eches o nly t o buy t ime and th at Afranius’s tr oops an d sends t hem home, a nd
their city is strongly fortified against him. Lucan considers them lucky. For them, the fratri-
Caesar makes preparations for a siege, cutting cidal war is finished.
down a s acred wood i n t he process. S ome t hink On t he i sland of Cu ricta ( now Krk) in the
that th is will anger the gods, but, i f it does, the Adriatic S ea, h owever, matters were n ot g oing
gods g ive no sign. Weighing his options, Caesar equally w ell f or C aesar’s commander there,
decides to le ave t he sie ge of Ma ssilia to h is l ieu- Gaius A ntonius, t he b rother o f C aesar’s f riend,
tenant, Trebonius, and Caesar himself continues Marcus A ntonius ( Mark A ntony). A P ompeian
toward Spa in. Luc an de scribes, as Caesar h ad fleet h as c ut off his g rain su pply b y blo ckading
done i n h is own version of Ā e Civ il W ars , t he his island. Lucan details Antonius’s countermea-
stout defense of the Massilians and their destruc- sures, b ut a n a ttempt to r un t he blo ckade f ails.
tion o f t he R oman siege-engines a nd en trench- Vulteius, t he commander of a trapped raft full of
ments. C onsequentially, D ecimus J unius Brutus Caesar’s soldiers, advises them to commit suicide
builds a fleet to launch a successful attack. rather than surrender, which gives Lucan another
Lucan de votes t he ba lance o f b ook 3 to a chance to i ndulge h is oratorical i mpulse i n Vul-
description of t he battle that focuses both on its teius’s s toic sp eech. H eeding h is w ords, t he s ol-
most horrifying and lurid details and on the cour- diers resist Pompey’s forces as long as they can.
age of t he c ombatants. A s t he Roman fleet w ins When they see that further resistance is futile and
total victory, this section of the poem recalls the that th ey will b e t aken p risoner, C aesar’s m en
great battle scenes in such earlier epics as Vir gil ’s kill o ne a nother a nd t hemselves, to t he g reat
Aeneid and Homer ’s Ā e Ili ad. admiration of the Pompeian commanders.
Now Lucan turns his attention to another the-
ater o f w ar, t he N orth A frican c oast a nd L ibya,
Book 4 where C aesar’s g overnor of Sic ily, Curio, h as
Book 4 f ollows C aesar’s f ortunes i n Spain. I t arrived to secure t he area. Ā e reader is treated
details t he d ifficulties Caesar faces i n besieging to a d igression about local mythology, for it w as
the c ity o f L lerda ( today’s Lleida), first be cause nearby that Hercules fought against the son of the
of t he terrain, a nd s econd b ecause o f to rrential earth goddess Gaia and defeated him by hold ing
Civil War 131

him a loft. Cu rio a lso finds h imself ne ar t he site coruler with Cleopatra. Ā is decision also contrib-
where t he g reat Ro man g eneral, S cipio A frica- utes to Pompey’s murder on landing in Egypt.
nus, pitched his first camp as he led his troops to At the end of the meeting, one of the senators,
victory a gainst C arthage. Curio t akes t his a s a Appius C laudius P ulcher, s eeks n ews o f t he
fortunate omen, a nd he p itches h is c amp on t he future from the oracle of Apollo at Delphi. Again
same site. At first his campaign enjoys some suc- Lucan d igresses to pro vide a bit of m ythological
cess ag ainst the t roops o f P ompey’s g eneral in history. He explains how, at the time of the great
Libya, V arus. A king o f n eighboring N umidia, flood, o nly one p eak of P arnassus p oked a b it
Juba, h owever, i s V arus’s a lly. J uba ha s a ssem- above t he w aters. Ā e p oet t hen reports the way
bled an enormous international army in support in which Apollo had e stablished t he sh rine, a nd
of P ompey. J uba also p roves t o b e t he su perior Lucan speculates about the mode of operation of
tactician. He ambushes Curio and routs his forc- the prophecies that emanate from Delphi. As the
es, and Curio commits suicide in shame. reports from Delphi are trustworthy and fi xed by
Lucan en ds b ook 4 w ith a c onsideration o f fate, p rayer i s f ruitless, a nd n one i s a llowed.
Curio’s l ife a nd c areer. H e finds m uch that w as Moreover, i nhaling t he e ssence o f d ivine t ruth
worthy of praise i n the u nfortunate general. He that e manates f rom t he ga seous d epths beneath
had b een a ma n o f g reat a bility a nd s ometimes Delphi ( and, a s Luc an p osits, u ltimately f rom
had championed justice and right. His rectitude, heaven) i s d angerous. Ā e c onsequent ec stasy
however, had been overcome by greed, and Curio that s hakes th e p riestesses w ho s erve a s o racle
sold himself and Rome to Caesar’s party for great shortens their lives.
wealth. Ā us Lucan finally judges Curio a t raitor Appius c oerces the p riestess t o co nsult the
to the cause of Rome—one greater than the cause oracle d espite he r d esire not t o do so a nd her
of Caesar. attempt to deceive h im. In t he g rip of a g enuine
divine ecstasy, the priestess Phemonoe knows not
only all the future, but all the past as well. Final-
Book 5 ly, she focuses in on Appius’s personal future and
Book 5 shifts the scene to Epirus in northwestern lets h im k now t hat he w ill n ot pa rticipate i n
Greece, w here Luc an i magines t hat t he c onsuls Rome’s c risis but w ill “rest a lone” i n a v alley on
of Rome call together the Roman senate in exile. the coast of Euboea.
One o f t he c onsuls, L entulus, a nticipates t he Lucan interrupts to inquire why the god Apollo
speech t hat t he l ate Re naissance Br itish p oet, would not assent to reveal the future of Rome, and
John M ilton, ha s S atan ma ke i n Paradise L ost to p ropose a nswers to h is o wn que stion. Ma ybe
when Sa tan a ssures t he f allen a ngels t hat “ the the gods have not yet decided Rome’s fate. Appius,
mind i s its o wn pl ace” a nd t hat i t c an “make o f meanwhile, re mains bl issfully u naware th at h e
Hell a Heaven.” Where the senate convenes, Len- has just received forewarning of his own death.
tulus assures his hearers, there Rome will be. All Lucan n ow r eturns to C aesar, w ho, a s o ther
Caesar h as i n I taly a re b uildings a nd ter ritory. sources tell us, has led his army back to n orthern
Flattering t heir s ense o f self-importance, L entu- Italy, w here h e faces a mutiny a mong h is t roops.
lus c alls o n t he s enators to ma ke P ompey t heir Ā ey a ir t heir c omplaints a s Luc an o nce m ore
commander i n ch ief. L ike m ost overawed s ena- waxes oratorical. A s t he p oet ha s C aesar prepare
tors, they heed the head of state’s advice. his r esponse, he j udges t hat Caesar w ould h ave
At l ine 59 , L ucan de tails t he ho nors t hat t he approved of any atrocity that his soldiers wished to
Senate i n e xile doles out to P ompey’s a llies. On e commit to ke ep their allegiance. Caesar offers his
that L ucan d isapproves o f i s t heir c onferring unarmored breast to the swords of his troops and
Egypt on the boy king Ptolemy, thus helping him talks t hem o ut o f t heir m utiny; t hey e xecute t he
to t hwart his father’s intention that he should be ringleaders of the abortive rebellion themselves.
132 Civil War

Lucan n ow r eports C aesar’s t rip to Ro me, marches sudden ly o n t he Gr eek c oastal c ity o f
where, i n ad dition t o t he d ictatorship t hat h as Dyrrhachium. P ompey m anages to r elieve t he
already been conferred, he also becomes consul— city, a nd C aesar c onstructs ma ssive e arthworks
the head of state. Caesar pretends to be reluctant surrounding both Pompey’s forces and the land-
to accept but bows to public pressure. ward approaches to the city. Ā is feat of military
Tracing C aesar’s j ourney to Br indisi a nd h is engineering, s ays Luc an, o utdoes t he w alls o f
voyage f rom t here to Greece, Lucan reports how Troy o r B abylon. Ā e p oet r egrets t hat suc h a n
Caesar a nd Pompey p itch t heir c amps n ear o ne enormous labor was dedicated to destructive pur-
another not far from Dyrrhachium (now Duraz- poses when the same effort might have produced
zo). Anxious to press his enemy, Caesar is delayed a c auseway ac ross t he H ellespont o r a sh ipping
by t he f ailure of Ma rc A ntony to a rrive w ith h is canal across the Grecian peninsula.
army. Ever moved to demoniac activity in Lucan’s Once P ompey’s sco uts detect C aesar’s w ork,
pages, Caesar sneaks away alone and hires a fish- which he had successfully begun in secret, Pom-
erman, Amyclas, to t ake him back to Brindisi so pey beg ins co nstructing a c ountering s eries o f
he can encourage Antony. A hurricane-force gale, fortifications. Y et d espite occ asional individual
however, n early s cuttles t he sh ip, s trips i t o f i ts encounters, n o g eneral a ction fo llows. P ompey,
sails, a nd f orces i t b ack again t o the s hores o f however, c annot bring in e nough fodder f or h is
Greece. Lucan’s power as a poet appears in sharp starving horses. H e i s c ut off from l and s upply,
relief i n h is wo nderful d escription o f t he s torm and the weather keeps his grain ships from arriv-
and its effects on men and ships. Caesar makes a ing. Ā e a nimals’ ro tting c arcasses sp read d is-
speech into the teeth of the gale, and a huge wave ease among the hungry troops. Finally, however,
deposits the ship safely ashore at the only possible the wind shifts, and the grain ships relieve Pom-
spot for such a landing. pey’s men and their surviving animals.
On C aesar’s r eturn, h is officers r eprove h im A failed harvest now begins to starve Caesar’s
for taking such a risk and tempting the gods. Ā e army. P ompey c hooses t his m oment a nd t he
storm, h owever, e ventually blows it self out a nd weakest p oint i n C aesar’s en circling d efenses t o
Antony is able to bring reinforcements across the attack. At first, s uccess see ms a t hand. Ā e o ut-
Adriatic. numbered defenders are on the point of deserting
In t he m eantime, P ompey h as b een g rowing their posts when a centurion, Scaeva, rallies them
concerned abo ut t he s afety o f h is w ife C ornelia so that they hold on until Caesar sends reinforce-
in t he p resent do ubtful c ircumstances, and h e ments. Luc an l avishes a g ory de scription o n
tells her t hat he is going to send her to t he island Scaeva’s single- handed heroism as he fights until,
of Lesbos to assure her safety. Shocked, Cornelia gutted with sword thrusts and pin- cushioned with
makes a speech describing the situations that this spears, he begs to be taken in his dying condition
decision w ill i mply f or her. She a grees to i t, b ut before P ompey. A s oldier na med A ulus t ries to
makes Pompey promise not to c ome to her i f he do s o, a nd S caeva, b oasting o f h is p rowess, c uts
loses. W here she i s, h is en emies w ill s eek h im. Aulus’s t hroat. A t t his m oment, C aesar’s f orces
Oppressed by foreboding, she unhappily sets sail, arrive. Lucan praises Scaeva’s courage but denies
and book 5 en ds w ith Luc an’s d ark p rophecy o f him glory because he has displayed all that hero-
the gods’ cruel plans for the couple. ism in defense of the tyrant, Caesar.
Now P ompey s ucceeds in b reaking t hrough
Caesar’s lines at another spot and is on the point
Book 6 of d efeating C aesar d ecisively, b ut, a pparently
Book 6 beg ins w ith d escriptions of C aesar’s not re cognizing h is adv antage, he f ails to f ollow
attempts to force the issue and bring Pompey to a through. Lucan blames Pompey’s forbearance for
decisive ba ttle. W hen t hat s trategy fa ils, C aesar the ultimate dem ise o f t he Ro man r epublic a nd
Civil War 133

for the slaughter in the battles yet to come before know the outcome of the war. Ā e shade of Scipio
the end of the Roman civil wars. As it is, Caesar Africanus an ticipates t he de ath o f h is k insman,
retreats into Ā essaly, and, ignoring the advice of Mettelus Scipio. Likewise, Marcius Porcius Cato,
his officers, Pompey pursues him. the censor, f oreknows t he su icide o f h is de scen-
Lucan follows with an epic digression that, in dant o f t he same n ame. Ā ose a mong t he de ad
a v irtuoso p oetic p erformance, de tails t he geog- who conspired against the republic, however, are
raphy a nd t he m ythical h istory o f t he r egion o f pleased since they know that empire will replace
Ā essaly. Ā ere both armies encamp, and another the r epublic. P luto h imself i s b usy p reparing
digression ensues. Ā is one describes the remark- implements o f to rture i n p reparation f or t he
able powers of Ā essaly’s w itches, who can “ dis- arrival of Julius Caesar, who will be the victor in
locate the orderly workings of nature” with their the war. Pompey, on t he other ha nd, w ill have a
magic arts. One in par ticular, the witch Erictho, place in the Elysian Fields—the most pleasant of
is t he m ost d espicable of t he lo t. Li ving a mong Hell’s neighborhoods.
tombstones, she has compelled the ghosts to leave Having uttered his prophecy, the soldier waits
their graves. She c an hear the conversations that while Erichtho performs the necessary rites. She
take place in the underworld. Ā e very gods fear builds a funeral pyre. He mounts it. She lights the
the g hastly s acrifices s he ma kes t hem. She i s a fire and leaves him to burn. For the protection of
cannibal who feeds on the dead in whatever state her g uests, Erichtho has leng thened t he night so
of decomposition she finds t hem. If she r equires they can safely return to their camp.
fresh blood for her p otions and incantations, she
will commit murder to get it.
When P ompey’s f orces encounter E rictho, Book 7
Pompey’s s on, S extus, a sks h er t o f oretell t he Book 7 opens with evil portents for the Pompeian
war’s result. Flattered by Sextus’s manner and by cause. Ā e su n g od s adly d rives h is c hariot i nto
his praise of her powers, Erichtho willingly com- the heavens, and Pompey has dreamed of the time
plies. Choosing a corpse from among the piles of that h e entered R ome i n t riumph. Ā is d ream,
fallen so ldiers, sh e d rags i t to t he c ave i n w hich however, forecasts an opposite outcome. Pompey,
she lives—one t hat Luc an su ggests i s o n t he who once t riumphed i n Ro me, i s de stined to b e
boundary bet ween t he upper worl d a nd t he denied the grief of her citizens on his death.
underworld. Ā is portion of the poem is Lucan’s Pompey’s s oldiers grow r estive. Ā ey w ant
equivalent o f t he m ore u sual e pic f eature o f a action, s o do h is a llies. Ci cero adv ises h im to
descent into the underworld. Ā e Pompeians who fight Caesar’s forces. Pompey explains his strate-
have come to hear the prophecy tremble with fear. gy of delay and war by attrition, but he grudging-
Erichtho reassures t hem of t heir own safety a nd ly y ields to the pressure of his sub ordinates a nd
then b egins t o work on the corpse. Having advisers. Luc an su ggests t hat Pompey ha s a ban-
restored it to a zombie-like l ife, she i nvokes t he doned his post in taking this position.
powers of darkness to restore the body’s spirit so At once, portents of disaster begin appearing:
it c an s peak. S he t hreatens t hose powers—the meteors, pi llars of flame, w aterspouts, a nd fire-
Furies—saying t hat she c an punish t hem i f t hey balls app ear. Weapons d issolve. Ā e ba ttle s tan-
refuse. Ā e Fu ries ac quiesce, a nd t he c orpse dards g row i mpossibly h eavy. A s acrificial b ull
returns to life, passing backward through the pro- knocks over t he a ltar a nd e scapes. A l ake g rows
cess of death. bloody. Ghosts appear. Even in Italy, signs appear
Erichtho demands that the corpse clearly pre- that presage the tyrant Caesar’s victory.
dict t he f uture c ourse o f t he w ar. Ā e c orpse Now Lucan devotes 20 lines to a description of
responds that the shades of famous persons from the o rga ni zation of Pompey’s m assed forces a s
the R oman r epublic a re s addened b ecause t hey they a dvance t o th e field o f P harsalia. S eeing
134 Civil War

them c oming, C aesar e xperiences a m oment o f fights brother, and father kills son. Lucan regrets
fear, but i ron re solution qu ickly re places h is that his generation d oes not h ave the chance to
qualms, a nd he ( and Luc an) s eize t hat m oment fight for the preservation of the republic.
for h im to ma ke a n eloquent address to his At last, finding the situation hopeless and hor-
troops. He disparages the prowess of his enemies. rified a t t he bloodshed, P ompey flees, p raying
He a lso c ounsels his troops to press the a ttack that his flight w ill end t he carnage. Lucan i nter-
against f ellow R omans o nly as l ong t hey sta nd rupts t he progress of the poem to address Pom-
and fight. I f they flee, t hey a re to b e a llowed to pey, m ourning h is r eversal o f f ortune and
escape. Wh en h e finishes, Ca esar o rders t he consoling h im w ith the observation t hat his fall
destruction of a def ensive earthwork a nd a g en- has been the choice of the gods. Ā e poet advises
eral advance. the fleeing leader to “choose a c ountry to d ie in”
Seeing Caesar’s forces on t he m arch, Pompey from among his former conquests.
speaks to h is s oldiers. H e emphasizes that th ey Arriving at the town of Larisa, Pompey advis-
have the advantage of numbers, and he appeals to es the townspeople, who encourage him to mount
them that they will not let him be enslaved in his further r esistance, th at h e h as b een b eaten an d
old age. Heartened by his address, his troops take that they should transfer their loyalty to Caesar.
the field. At t he s ame t ime, Pompey finds t he a ffection of
Lucan interrupts with a prediction of the con- the people gratifying.
sequences of the battle. He eloquently explains its Caesar’s victory gives Lucan a nother oppor-
future effects a nd t hen turns his attention t o t he tunity for oratory. H is v ictory s peech fi nished,
ways in which the battle has undone t he work of Caesar e ncourages h is m en t o l oot t he e nemy
the p ast, en couraging t he c onquered p eoples o n camp. But night brings guilty dreams to the vic-
the fringes of the Roman empire to continue their tors, and Caesar especially suffers from pangs of
resistance to Ro man p ower. He interrupts t his conscience, a lleviated only by t he t hought t hat
reflection w ith a statement of his heartfelt credo: Pompey h ad s urvived t he b attle. C aesar le aves
“Ā ere a re n o g ods g overning ma nkind. . . . We the vi ctims o f t he ba ttle u nburied a nd si ts
are swept along by chance . . . to say that Juppiter regarding t he e vidence t hat the g ods h ave
[sic] reigns is a lie.” favored h is c ause. Lucan prov ides p osthumous
Lucan curses the Caesarian soldier Crastinus comfort for the fallen of Pharsalia. Ā ough Cae-
for h urling t he fi rst spea r, and th e ba ttle i s sar h as den ied t hem a f uneral py re, t hey ha ve
underway. Lucan describes infantry and cavalry taken permanent possession of the earth of the
engagements. P ompey’s foreign a llies flee t he battlefield until the day that the earth itself per-
battle. Ā eir fl ight st rikes f ear i nto P ompey’s ishes i n the u niversal co nflagration t hat w ill
Roman forces, but they stand and fight. Ā e poet also be a pyre for those dead soldiers. Ā e same
cannot bear to describe t he horror of t he inter- mood i nforms Lucan’s re flections o n the s cav-
necine fray. enging o f b irds a nd b easts o f p rey among th e
Lucan praises Caesar’s generalship grudgingly, fallen.
but he b emoans t he c riminality of h is objective. Lucan c loses t he s eventh b ook w ith a r eflec-
Caesar has instructed his troops to leave the com- tion on Ā essaly as he considers how long it w ill
moners a lone a nd s eek o ut t he s enators. Ā ey take for evidence of this massacre to cease affect-
obey, a nd ma ny a n oble Ro man f alls v ictim to ing t he ac tivities o f f armers a nd her dsmen. H e
their swords. observes that the gods have ordained equal guilt
Brutus, d isguised a s a c ommon s oldier, g oes for Munda, Sicily, Mutina, and Actium. (Ā e last-
seeking C aesar, h oping t o k ill h im. L ucan named battle, w hich A ntony a nd C leopatra lost,
explains t hat he is not yet f ated to suc ceed. Ā e left Augustus C aesar t he u nchallenged ruler of
flower o f Roman n obility f alls i nstead. Bro ther the Roman world.)
Civil War 135

Book 8 of t hem, L entulus, s uggests t hat P ompey see k

Book 8 beg ins b y t racing P ompey’s c ircuitous refuge w ith the b oy k ing o f Egypt, P tolemy.
route to t he s eacoast. H is e ffort t o m aintain hi s Among his objections is the notorious lust of the
anonymity is foredoomed, for he i s famous, a nd king of Parthia and the danger into which Corne-
along the way he meets many persons who know lia’s virtue would fall there.
him. L ucan reflects o n t he bitterness o f f ormer Lentulus’s ar guments c arry t he d ay, a nd t he
fame. ship p roceeds toward P tolemy’s e ncampment.
Taking s hip, P ompey s ails to C ornelia at Les- Informed of Pompey’s impending arrival, Ptole-
bos, a nd o n h is a rrival she f aints. P ompey my assembles his advisers. One, Acoreus, advises
reproaches her with the suggestion that what she Ptolemy to w elcome Pompey. Ā e other adv iser,
misses a nd w eeps over i s her f ormer g reatness. Pothinus, however, argues for assassination. Both
Cornelia, h owever, s uggests that th e j ealousy o f arguments give further opportunities for orato-
Pompey’s first w ife, C aesar’s de ceased d aughter ry. Pothinus’s arguments prevail, and the Egyp-
Julia, is the root cause of the civil war. tians lay their plot against Pompey’s life.
Ā e c itizens o f L esbos w elcome P ompey a nd Pretending t o w elcome P ompey, t he E gyp-
tians bring a sma ll c raft to h is vessel a nd i nvite
pledge t heir su pport. P ompey add resses a l ast
him to join them. Cornelia smells a plot and asks
prayer t o t he go ds w ho s eem to have deserted
to b e i ncluded, b ut t he u nsuspecting P ompey
him. H e p rays f or m ore w elcomes l ike t hat o f
goes alone. Ā e craft has hardly pulled away from
Lesbos and also asks that, having welcomed him,
the larger vessel when, in the full view of Corne-
people will allow him to leave.
lia and of his son, two Roman mercenaries serv-
Pompey and Cornelia set forth upon the Medi-
ing with Ptolemy cut him down. He dies manfully,
terranean, and in an effort to alleviate his mental
and as he dies, Lucan imagines the general’s final
distress, Pompey questions the ship’s captain con-
cerning st ellar na vigation. Ā e c aptain e xplains
Cornelia blames herself for interrupting Pom-
the r udiments and asks for a de stination. O ther pey’s intended voyage toward Parthia. She faints;
than a voiding Ā essaly a nd I taly, P ompey her c ompanions c atch her , a nd her sh ip w eighs
instructs the c aptain to g o where t he w inds w ill anchor.
take the ship. Meanwhile, t he a ssassin S eptimius s aws o ff
Ā en P ompey, w ho ha s b egun f ormulating a the still-conscious P ompey’s head a nd pit ches
plan for his future, sends his ally, King Deiotarus, his b ody overboard. L ucan ma kes t he de tails o f
to a sk a nother f riend, t he k ing o f Pa rthia, to the assassination a s gor y as possible, including
secure an Asian country for him to retire to. Pom- a description of t he mummification of Pompey’s
pey is co nvinced t hat C aesar w ill gr ant such a head.
request. Pompey continues his voyage upon a sea Pompey’s b ody washes ashore, and one of his
that he himself had made safe from the depreda- former s oldiers, C ordus, w ho had w itnessed t he
tions of pirates. As he sails, something of his old assassination, h unts f or t he b ody, finds it , c re-
self- confidence r eturns. H e beg ins t o co nsider mates i t a s w ell as he can, and buries the rem-
saving Rome and which of his allies is equal to the nants. An outraged Lucan cites Pompey’s glories
task of helping him. He asks his retinue for advice and, cursing the land of Egypt, complains at t he
on c hoosing a mong L ibya, P arthia ( northeast inglorious funeral accorded him.
modern Iran), or Egypt. Lucan puts in Pompey’s
own mouth t he pros a nd cons of t he a ssessment
he has requested. Pompey opts for Parthia. Book 9
His a dvisers d emur, h owever, a nd in a long As the ninth book begins, Pompey’s spirit ascends
speech raising objections to a Pa rthian exile, one to the lunar circle, the sphere in which the souls
136 Civil War

of heroes abide. Ā ere the spirit adjusts to its new called the Syrtes. Ā ere a storm destroys some of
and marvelous c ircumstances for a w hile b efore Cato’s fleet. Ā e ba lance ma kes i t s afely to L ake
revisiting Pharsalia’s field. Triton, w hose m ythical h istory Luc an r ecounts.
Marcus P orcius C ato, a c onfirmed S toic a nd From t here t hey pass o n to Libya. Once in har-
the s taunchest o f R oman r epublicans, h ad s us- bor, C ato cha llenges t he soldiers t o a g rueling
pended j udgment bet ween the c auses of C aesar overland m arch t hrough t he de sert, p ersuading
and P ompey. On P ompey’s de ath, h owever, h e them with his inspiring oratory that they should
concludes that Pompey’s had been the better cause. welcome t he c hallenges t hat “snakes, t hirst, a nd
Cato takes it upon himself to rally Pompey’s scat- the heat of the desert” will present.
tered forces and continue the war against Caesar. Ā e expedition sets out. Ā e men are torment-
Cato m anages to a ssemble 1 ,000 s hiploads of ed by thirst and by sandstorm, but Cato’s model
Pompey’s forces. By chance, his flotilla encounters of endurance encourages them. Lucan then takes
the r eturning s quadron carr ying Co rnelia a nd poetic license w ith the location of the temple of
Pompey’s s on S extus, but he do es not k now t hey “Juppiter [ sic] Ha mmon.” H e m oves i t i nto t he
are aboard. expedition’s line of march so as to give Cato t he
Lucan r etrospectively r ecounts C ornelia’s chance to refuse to consult its oracle and to bear
lament against Fortune for having denied her the witness t o h is Sto ic f aith. E ncouraged b y h is
opportunity to lament her husband and bury him adjutant L abienus to c onsult t he o racle, C ato
with d ue s olemnity. She a ssigns her s on S extus replies that nothing men do i s done without the
the m ission o f c ontinuing h is f ather’s s truggle. gods’ d irection. All men f rom t heir birth k now
She tel ls h im t hat i f C ato t akes u p t he c udgels, as much about the gods’ wills as men are meant
Sextus m ay l earn b y f ollowing hi m. Ā eir sh ips to—nothing. G od p ermeates e verything a nd
continue t o A frica, wh ere C ato i s by t hen resides in human virtue. Ā e only certainty men
encamped. Wi th h im t hey find S extus’s e lder possess is the certainty of death.
brother, G naeus. Sextus t ells G naeus a bout t he On the grueling march, Cato sets the standard
manner of Pompey’s death. In his grief and anger, for endurance. When water is found, he is always
Gnaeus en visions t he e xtirpation o f a ll E gyp- the last to drink. One exception to this rule occurs
tians, living and dead. when t he ex pedition en counters a sp ring f ull o f
Burning her husband’s gear and mourning in a poisonous serpents. Cato assures the men that the
traditional fashion, Cornelia conducts a memori- poison will hurt them only if the snakes bite them
al s er vice f or Pompey a t which C ato eulogizes and that the water the snakes sw im in is utterly
the departed general. Ā ough Pompey may have harmless. He illustrates his point by, for the first
fallen short of the high republican ideal that Cato and only time, being t he first to take a d rink on
set, he was nonetheless the best Rome had to offer the long, dry march.
and was never motivated by personal gain. Ā ere f ollows a leng thy d igression o n t he
Now a ba nd of Ci licians w hom Pompey had snakes o f L ibya, on t heir v aried kinds, a nd o n
converted f rom t he practice of piracy t hreatens their m ythic g enesis fr om t he blo od s cattered
to r esume t heir ol d t rade. Ā is occ asions a n from th e G orgon’s h ead after P erseus c ut i t off.
exchange o f oratory b etween them an d C ato. Among them are fearsome flying dragons and the
Cato’s eloquence wins the day, calming the Cili- flying Jaculus—the j avelin sna ke. A nother v ari-
cians, and they remain with the Pompeian loyal- ety is the pa rias, which only touches t he g round
ists a s L ucan d evelops a n extended ep ic s imile with its tail.
comparing t heir deba rkation to a s warm o f At every step on the march, Lucan assures his
honeybees. readers, a soldier d ies from snakebite whose poi-
Lucan n ext de scribes a v ictory f or C ato a nd, son i nstantly a nd u tterly dehydrates him—or, i n
subsequently, t he u nfriendly shoa ls o f a n a rea one p articularly hor rifying i nstance, l iquefies
Civil War 137

him. Grisly examples proliferate. Not surprisingly, Caesar from the war he w as fighting. Using both
the s oldiers b egin to lo se he art a nd lo ng f or t he her b eauty a nd her i ntelligence, she b egs C aesar
comparative safety of the battlefield at Pharsalia. for his protection, and he confers it.
Cato heartens the troops by his example, tak- Now L ucan d igresses t o d escribe the b eauty
ing no heed of t he d anger, a nd en couraging t he and l uxury o f C leopatra’s p alace, the m agnifi-
dying to endure their suffering in silence. Finally, cence of her personal be auty a nd at tire, a nd t he
the h ealers o f t he i ndigenous P sylli a re a ble to opulence of the banquet she prepares in Caesar’s
offer a ntidotes a nd e xpertise to t he a rmy. Ā ey honor. Ā ere follows the now obligatory sequence
accompany the troops with their k nowledge and in which Caesar and the w ise Egyptian Acoreus
their e quipment. Ā e t roops a rrive safely a t t he discuss E gyptian e thnography, g eography, a nd
city of Leptis and spend the winter there. religion. Acoreus discourses learnedly about the-
Shifting hi s a ttention to C aesar, Luc an finds ories concerning the source of the Nile River. Its
him, s ometime e arlier, trying t o f ollow Pompey actual s ource s till li es s hrouded i n m ystery, a s
through the Mediterranean. Caesar plays tourist Acoreus explains.
and visits the site of Troy. Ā ere h e offers s acri- Meanwhile, t he Egyptian bo y k ing’s adv iser,
fice, prays t hat t he gods w ill c rown h is ventures the wily Pothinus who had arranged for Pompey’s
with success, and promises to rebuild a “Ro man murder, n ow ha tches plo ts a gainst t he l ives o f
Troy.” both C aesar a nd Cl eopatra. B y m eans of a l ove
Caesar t racks P ompey t o E gypt, where h e is potion, as Pothinus thinks, she has become Cae-
presented w ith Pompey’s preserved he ad. R ather sar’s mis tress. She ha s a lso ma rried her b rother,
ungraciously, Lucan assures his reader that Caesar whom she and Caesar have in protective custody.
feigns g rief o ver P ompey’s de ath w hile s ecretly (Marriage b etween sibl ings w as a c ommon mat-
rejoicing. Ā e poet puts in Caesar’s mouth a “sham ter a mong t he r ulers o f s ome a ncient na tions.)
speech.” He complains that Egyptian presumption Pothinus decides to m ount an attack on Cleopa-
has de prived h im o f t he o ne p rivilege o f c ivil tra’s palace, kill both her a nd Caesar, and rescue
war—that o f spa ring t he d efeated g eneral. H e Ptolemy.
mutters t hat i f P tolemy lo ved C leopatra, C aesar Rather than attack at night, the Egyptians wait
would reply in kind and send the king his sister’s for mor ning. C aesar s ees the a rmy gathering i n
severed head. the di stance an d o rganizes hi s p ersonal b ody-
Caesar gives orders for a proper funeral and a guard t o d efend the p alace. Kn owing t hat the
tomb for Pompey’s head and ashes. No one, says Egyptians w ill t ry t o l iberate Ptolemy, C aesar
Lucan, believes that Caesar’s grief is genuine. sends an emissary to explain that if he dies, Ptol-
emy d ies. Ā e E gyptians s lay t he m essenger.
Ā eir a ttempts to s torm t he pa lace, ho wever,
Book 10 prove i neffectual. Ā ey t ry a n a ttack b y water
Ā e i ncomplete 10th b ook of Luc an’s Civil Wars where a section of the palace extends into the sea,
follows Caesar’s progress to a hostile Alexandria, but a gain t hey c annot p revail a gainst C aesar’s
where C aesar v isits t he t omb o f Alexander t he seasoned generalship—which here Lucan s eems
Great. Lucan, however, is no admirer of A lexan- to ad mire. C aesar b urns t he E gyptian sh ips,
der, whom he considered a mad adventurer insa- though he preserves one of them and escapes on
tiable in his pursuit of power. it to the island of Pharos, whose possession block-
Ptolemy comes to Alexandria and is taken into ades the Egyptian ships. He then takes the treach-
protective c ustody b y C aesar. C leopatra a lso erous Pothinus prisoner and gives him t he same
manages to gain access to him. She now becomes death he had administered to Pompey.
the t arget o f L ucan’s o ratorical i nvective. Ā e Cleopatra’s younger sister, A rsinoe, now r ais-
poet r ather i ronically bl ames he r f or d istracting es troops of her own, and her general, Ganymede,
138 Civil Wars, The

succeeds in isolating Caesar and a sma ll force on proconsul ( civil a nd m ilitary g overnor) of t he
the b reakwater o f P haros. A ll s eems lo st u ntil Gallic p rovinces bo th south a nd n orth o f t he
Caesar s pots a m iraculously su rviving Scaeva— Alps, and Pompey b ecame b oth t he governor of
the h ero o f Dyrrachium—plugging a b reach Spain a nd t he he ad o f s tate i n Ro me i tself.
against the Egyptians. At this point, Lucan’s Civil Although th e th ree l eaders were a ble to work
War breaks off. cooperatively for a c onsiderable t ime, t heir a lli-
Every d iscussion of L ucan’s epic notes Quin- ance eventually frayed and then unraveled. In 53
tili a n’s j udgment t hat, as f ull of e nergy a nd b.c .e., Crassus died in military action in the East.
memorable epigram as the poem is and however He h ad b een e ffective i n averting d isagreements
great the t alent it reveals, t he poem may well be between h is t wo c olleagues. Fu rther d istancing
considered a be tter m odel f or o ratory t han f or Pompey f rom Caesar, Pompey’s w ife Julia—Cae-
epic poetry. sar’s daughter—had died in 54 b.c. e.
By ma nipulating ma tters a t R ome, P ompey
Bibliography sought to st rip Caesar of a ll po liti cal office and,
Lucan. Civil War. Translated by S. H. Braund. New simultaneously, o f h is m ilitary c ommand. Ā is
York: Oxford University Press, 1992. would h ave l eft Caesar e xposed to p rosecution
———. Lucan’s C ivil War. Translated b y P. F. Wid- under e x p ost f acto l egislation t hat c ould h ave
dows. Blo omington a nd I ndianapolis: I ndiana resulted i n h is exile or execution. In a n effort to
University Press. 1988. avoid a rmed c onfrontation, C aesar w rote to t he
———. Ā e Civil War: Books I–X. Translated by J. D. Roman s enate offering to d isband h is le gions i f
Duff. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1928. Pompey w ould d o t he s ame. P ompey controlled
the s enate, w hich pa ssed a m easure r equiring
Caesar to disband his a rmy, t hen encamped just
Civil Wars, The Julius Caesar (ca. 45 ...) outside Rome ’s I talian t erritory on t he ba nks o f
Ā e governmental structures of republican Rome the little Rubicon R iver. Caesar’s supporters, t he
had l ong p roved i nadequate to co pe with th e tribunes of the people, vetoed the senate’s action.
responsibilities t hat r uling t he M editerranean Ā e s enate o verrode t he p eople b y de claring a
world imposed. As a result, during the first centu- state of emergency—legislation that concentrated
ry b.c .e., de facto power tended to m igrate away all power i n Pompey’s ha nds. Caesar’s a llies, t he
from th e s enate an d c onsuls ( heads o f s tate) o f tribunes, escaped to join h im, a nd C aesar broke
Rome toward the hands of the wealthy, the mili- Roman law by leading his forces across the Rubi-
tarily ca pable, a nd t he m ost p olitically a stute. con to begin the civil wars that eventually led to
Ā ree s uch me n were t he i ncomparably w ealthy the e stablishment o f i mperial g overnment i n
and militarily able Marcus L icinius Crassus; t he Rome.
superb g eneral Gnaeu s P ompeius, k nown a s It i s t he s tory o f t hat s eries o f c onflicts t hat
Pompey; a nd t he a stute m ilitary a nd p olitical Caesar t ells in Ā e Civ il W ars. Less car efully
strategist a nd t actician, J ul ius C a esa r . Ā ese crafted t han h is Comment ar y o n the G alli c
three f ormed an a lliance known t o h istory a s War s, Ā e Civil Wars achieves an attractive sense
the First Triumvirate. Ā ey were bound together of i mmediacy a nd, s ometimes, of u rgency by
by mutual i nterests, by Crassus’s money—a loa n being reported in the present tense.
from which had enabled Caesar to leave Rome to
assume command of Spain—and by kinship ties.
Caesar w as a lso father- in- law to Pompey, w ho Book 1
was married to his daughter Julia. Caesar begins his narrative by reporting the politi-
As m atters de veloped, Cr assus w ent to le ad cal maneuvering outlined above, He t hen details
the Roman forces in the East; Caesar became the the m ilitary s kirmishes, t he l evying o f troops,
Civil Wars, The 139

and the occupying of towns. He reports t he way Marseilles ( then c alled Massilia)—one f ought
in which he had de alt generously w ith t he s ena- between t he s quadron o f C aesar’s s ubordinate,
tors of Rome a nd t heir children, a ll of whom he Decimus Brutus, and an ally of Pompey’s, Domi-
had brought before him. He complains of the way tius. In a pitched battle, t he u nseasoned forces
they h ad c ooperated wi th Pompey a gainst h im, of Decimus Junius Brutus finally managed to gain
and then he had released them all. the u pper ha nd a gainst Do mitius a nd i nflict
Pompey i n t he m eantime h ad dr afted t roops heavy losses on his forces.
and was moving south through the Italian Penin- In t he meantime, C aesar’s sit uation at L lerda
sula. S ome of h is t roops, however, de serted h im was i mproving. His f ortifications were ne arly
and j oined C aesar’s f orces. P ompey’s a rmy fled complete, and local tribes submitted to his author-
to t he p ort o f Br undisium ( modern Br indisi). ity a nd su pplied h im w ith bad ly n eeded g rain.
Pursuing him, Caesar sent a letter suggesting that Caesar describes his eventually successful efforts
the tw o pa rley a t Br undisium. W hen C aesar in getting both cavalry and infantry across a dan-
arrived t here, h e p repared t o bes iege t he c ity, gerously swollen Ebro River and the race between
though h e t ried again t o a rrange a c onference. his f orces and h is e nemy’s t o o ccupy e asily
Pompey r esponded t hat, i n t he a bsence o f t he defended narrow passes in mountainous country.
consuls, no negotiation could take place, so Cae- Caesar’s military successes the next day led num-
sar d ecided he m ust a ttack. P ompey, ho wever, bers of his opponents, many of whom had friends
hastily withdrew his forces during the night, los- or re latives a mong C aesar’s f orces, to c onsider
ing two shiploads of soldiers t hat Caesar’s forces honorable s urrender. W hen t he t roops beg an t o
captured. fraternize, however, Pompey’s commander Afra-
Considering t he e ntire strategic s ituation i n nius put a stop to it, killed those of the enemy who
the Mediterranean, Caesar decided not to pursue had accepted invitations to v isit f riends in Pom-
Pompey and instead dispatched forces to Sardin- pey’s so ldiers’ c amp, a nd dema nded a n oa th o f
ia and Sicily, where they found that the forces of allegiance. Caesar, on the other hand, dealt kind-
Pompey had left. Caesar a lso sent forces to Afri- ly with the strangers in his camp and accepted the
ca a nd S pain. A fter le vying f urther t roops, he allegiance of those who did not wish to return to
returned to the city of Rome. Ā ere he found the Pompey’s forces.
senate paralyzed by it s fe ars b oth of h im a nd of In t he e nsuing c onfrontation, Caesar t otally
Pompey. Caesar withdrew to Gaul. outmaneuvered A franius, i solating hi s f orces s o
After detailing the divided allegiances of Gal- effectively from supplies t hat for fou r days A fra-
lic tri besmen, C aesar r ecounts h is p reparations nius could not feed his animals. Desperate, Afra-
for a ma jor offensive a gainst P ompey’s f orces i n nius a t l ast threw h imself o n C aesar’s m ercy.
Spain—the p rovince that Pompey still governed After t horoughly r eproving A franius f or h is
and toward which, Caesar knew, Pompey himself obstinacy in not accepting Caesar’s ea rlier over-
was ma rching. He reports engagements between tures for peace and for his outrageous behavior in
his troops and Pompey’s in the vicinity of Llerda killing t he i nvited g uests o f h is s oldiers, C aesar
(today’s L leida) i n S pain, a nd ho w t he g uerrilla told him that his only objective was to have Afra-
tactics o f Pompey’s troops—learned wh ile fight- nius d isband hi s a rmy a nd g o ho me. A rrange-
ing against Lu sitanian (Portuguese) irregulars— ments were m ade to ac hieve t his, a nd i t w as s o
initially t hrew C aesar’s t roops i nto a pa nic. H is ordered.
forces r allied ho wever, and s oon f ound t hem-
selves i n a m ore favorable m ilitary p osition,
though hard-pressed to find enough rations. Book 2
Caesar interrupts his narrative about the battle As t he se cond b ook o f Ā e Civ il W ars opens,
of L lerda to de scribe a na val enga gement off Caesar r eturns t o t he siege o f Marseilles—a
140 Civil Wars, The

responsibility that he had entrusted to his depu- forces d ecimated b y t heir d ivided a llegiances,
ty commander, Gaius Trebonius. A r eader may the l eader o f P ompey’s s oldiers, V arro, s imply
be p articularly i mpressed b y C aesar’s de scrip- surrendered h is r emaining t roops to C aesar.
tions o f the m ilitary t echnology p ossessed on Caesar a ppointed r epresentatives to govern
both s ides. C atapults were c apable of t hrowing western Spa in. Ā en n ews r eached h im t hat,
12- foot- long, iron- pointed poles that could pen- back i n Ro me, Ma rcus L epidus had n ominated
etrate wooden defenses several i nches t hick. To Caesar t o b ecome dictator. C aesar returned a t
protect i nfantry f rom missiles a nd a rrows fi red once to the capital city.
from above, a m obile, 6 0-foot- long shed w ith a At t he s ame t ime that the a bove e vents were
roof a f oot t hick w as c onstructed. It c ould a lso taking p lace, a nother of C aesar’s s ubordinate
provide l evel fo oting ove r u neven g round. I n commanders, C urio, the g overnor of Sic ily, h ad
addition to arrangements for an infantry siege of led a r elatively sma ll b ut n onetheless p owerful
Marseilles, preparations were made for a nother force f rom S icily to A frica. A lthough a de tach-
naval engagement. Caesar’s fleet was again under ment of 1 0 ships had b een s tationed to o ppose
the c ommand o f h is sub ordinate, De cimus him, their commander saw the futility of engage-
Junius Brutus, who again enjoyed the victory. ment, beached his small armada, and fled. Curio
Perceiving t hemselves o n t he brink of being marched i nland to w ithin sig ht o f t he c amp o f
overcome by C aesar’s t echnical s uperiority, t he Pompey’s s ubordinate, a n o fficer named V arus.
citizens rushed out and begged him to spare them. Ā ere, de spite m inor def ections a mong Cu rio’s
Caesar had not w ished to s ack Ma rseilles, s o he troops t o P ompey’s s ide, C urio a chieved st un-
agreed, a nd h is s oldiers r elaxed. Two d ays l ater, ning s uccesses against N umidian cavalry a nd
however, the citizens suddenly flooded out of the infantry. Co ncern n onetheless i ncreased a mong
city’s g ates and a ttacked C aesar’s un armed s ol- Curio’s s oldiers t hat they should be fighting f or
diers. Ā eir p rincipal t argets, however, were Pompey i nstead o f C aesar. C urio quel led t his
Caesar’s o ffensive a nd def ensive te chnology: emergent d issatisfaction w ith a s tirring add ress
sheds, sie ge to wers, a nd t he l ike, to w hich t hey to the troops in which he assured them that they
set fire, d estroying s ome of them. Ā e n ext d ay, were i ndeed fighting f or the r ight c ause a nd o n
the citizens attempted t o r epeat this success but the wi nning si de. C aesar r eproduces t he sp eech
encountered a prepared soldiery who killed many in detail and reports that it had the desired effect.
of t hem a nd d rove t he o thers bac k w ithin t he Ā e heartened soldiers routed the enemy in battle
city’s walls. the next day until Varus’s forces heard that Pom-
Ā e citizens thought it would take the Romans pey’s A frican a lly, K ing J uba, w as ma rching
a long while to repair the damage they had done. toward him with reinforcements.
Within a few days, however, despite a shortage of Also l earning o f Juba’s a pproach, Cu rio s ent
materials t hat r equired i nvention a nd i ngenuity cavalry t o h arass Juba’s f orces d uring t he night.
to o vercome, n ew a nd b etter Ro man def ensive Catching them unaware, Curio’s cavalry was able
measures were i n pl ace; therefore the citizens of to r educe t he n umbers o f Juba’s Numidians sig -
Marseilles o nce a gain su rrendered, t his t ime i n nificantly. Learning of that attack, Juba respond-
reality. D espite t heir t reachery, C aesar accep ted ed by sending reinforcements that included 2,000
their s urrender o n t he s ame g enerous ter ms he cavalry, hi s b est inf antry, a nd 6 0 a rmored
had earlier offered. elephants—the ancient precursors of tanks.
In t he m eantime, s ome of t he c itizens of Underestimating both the s ize an d t he f orti-
Spain who had prospered under Caesar’s earlier tude of Juba’s r einforcements, Curio led his men
proconsulship of the region began to expel Pom- on a forc ed m arch a gainst J uba’s a rmy. I n t he
pey’s f orces f rom the c ities i n which ci tizens ensuing d isaster, Cu rio’s f orces were de stroyed
loyal to C aesar were i n c ontrol. On see ing h is and C urio h imself c hose to d ie fighting r ather
Civil Wars, The 141

than f ace Caesar a fter h is def eat. Ā e su rvivors ately s ubordinate to t he c onsuls. C aelius p ro-
surrendered to V arus, b ut o ver V arus’s ob jec- posed t o c ancel o r r educe debts—a p roposal
tions, J uba c laimed m any of t hem as spoils of entirely u nacceptable to p owerful creditors. In
war, putting some to death and enslaving others. response, he was st ripped of h is praetorship. He
made a n u nsuccessful attempt to s eize power by
force of arms and was killed during the fighting.
Book 3 Meanwhile, i n I llyrium, Pompey’s ad miral i n
Back in Rome during 49 b.c .e., Caesar exercised the s outhern A driatic, L ibo, had suc cessfully
his dictatorial powers by bringing order to I taly, blockaded the harbor at Brindisi and boasted that
taking steps to curb inflation and calm fears of a he c ould p revent r einforcements f rom j oining
general debt a mnesty, a nd supervising elections. Caesar’s f orces o n t he Balkan P eninsula. M ark
Having restored order and bolstered public confi- Antony, C aesar’s c ommander a t Br indisi, suc -
dence, he resigned the dictatorship. He then went cessfully routed Libo and put an end to the block-
to Br indisi, m eaning to le ad h is f orces a gainst ade. Bu t s till n o r einforcements r eached C aesar.
Pompey’s i n I llyrium o n the northeastern shore At C aesar’s u rgent r equest, M ark A ntony a nd
of the Adriatic. Pompey himself at this time was others sent the necessary troops, and the weather
with his troops in Macedonia. seemed t o coo perate w ith them. Ā e w ind n ot
In B rindisi, h owever, a shortage of s hipping only prevented Pompey’s ships from intercepting
dictated that Caesar proceed with an army much them b ut d rove 1 6 of h is ve ssels a shore a nd
reduced in numbers. He could embark only 15,000 wrecked them. A ntony’s reinforcements a rrived,
legionaries and 500 cavalry to face a superior force forcing P ompey t o w ithdraw t o a m ore s ecure
that Pompey had assembled during C aesar’s first defensive position to avoid being caught between
Roman dictatorship. two armies.
Caesar began marching southward, sometimes Pompey now called on the Roman commander
encountering r esistance a nd s ometimes b eing in A sia, Scipio, t o s end forc es t o M acedonia
welcomed. H is s wift p rogress i n t he d irection against Ca esar and h is a llies. S cipio r esponded
of the city of Durazzo spurred Pompey to move so rapidly that news of his coming coincided with
northward by forc ed m arches i n a n a ttempt to his a rrival. Ca esar’s f orces, h owever, dealt su c-
fortify D urazzo a gainst C aesar. A s t he a rmies cessfully with the threat that Scipio posed.
approached o ne a nother, C aesar s ent a m essage Pompey’s s on, G naeus, w ho c ommanded t he
offering a cessation of hostilities and an opportu- Egyptian fleet, n ow sa iled i n force t o Illyrium
nity f or b oth P ompey a nd h im to sub mit t heir and h arassed C aesar’s f orces t here u ntil, fa iling
rival claims to the judgment of the Roman senate. to t ake t he p ort c ity of Lissus, h e w as f orced to
Ā ough C aesar’s s ituation o n l and w as tena - withdraw his fleet to the Mediterranean.
ble, P ompey’s na val s quadron u nder t he c om- Caesar, i n the m eantime, s uccessfully i mple-
mand of Bibulus had succeeded in blockading the mented a s trategy t o s urround and blockade
coast a nd den ying C aesar r einforcements. Pompey’s forces near the city of Durazzo. Ā ough
Attempts at a ne gotiated settlement fa iled, and he m aneuvered i n w ays t hat he hop ed wou ld
the o pposing a rmies seemed o n the b rink o f a tempt h is o pponent to fight, Pompey refused to
decisive enga gement. On e o f P ompey’s c om- do so. Caesar chose to make Pompey’s reluctance
manders, L abienus, de clared t hat o nly C aesar’s to do battle a propaganda tool that would dimin-
beheading could bring peace. ish P ompey’s st atus i n t he eyes o f h is f oreign
At t his crucial moment, Caesar interrupts his allies. However, Pompey would neither fight nor
war na rrative to de scribe i n t he t hird c hapter withdraw from Durazzo, where all his war maté-
of book 3 t he mac hinations o f Ma rcus C aelius riel a nd s upplies were stored. A s t he s talemate
Rufus, w ho was a praetor—the official immedi- continued, punctuated by skirmishing, both sides
142 Civil Wars, The

adopted def ensive s trategies a nd lo oked to citizens of Gomphi what had resulted from their
improve t heir pr otective for tifications. Warfare refusal to s ubmit, t he p eople of Me tropolis
by a pro cess of attrition developed—a so rt o f opened their gates to Caesar. It was in the vicini-
warfare that Caesar considered innovative. ty of this town that Caesar chose to take his stand
Caesar now interjects t he s tory o f t wo G allic against Pompey.
brothers, Raucillus and Egus, whose extortionate Meanwhile, P ompey a nd h is a lly S cipio had
behavior t oward t heir own s ubordinates m ade joined f orces i n Ā essaly. So ce rtain were Pom-
them s o u npopu lar th at th ey d ecided t o d esert pey’s supporters of their coming military success
Caesar a nd d efect t o P ompey. A s t he b rothers that they began arguing about who would receive
had e arlier en joyed C aesar’s c onfidence, t hey what po liti cal office as a reward for their good ser-
knew al l his p lans, and th ey s hared th em wi th vices t o th eir le ader. Ā is d iscussion i mpeded
Pompey. A s a result, Pompey was able to m ount laying p ractical plans f or c onducting t he ba ttle
successful a ttacks o n C aesar’s w eakest po ints. looming b efore t hem. W hen t hey d id fi nally
Ā is wa s a very d angerous enga gement f or C ae- address that issue, their overconfidence led them
sar’s c ause, and only the t imely arrival of Mark to make foolish strategic and tactical decisions.
Antony and his forces kept this engagement from Caesar describes t he d isposition a nd order of
escalating into a disaster. battle of both armies as they massed for the deci-
Caesar then quickly assessed Pompey’s new sit- sive c onfrontation o f t he I llyrian c ampaign. H e
uation a nd d evised a pl an to m ount a su rprise then criticizes Pompey’s tactics in having his sol-
attack. Ā is p lan m iscarried, and C aesar a lmost diers s tand firm t o a wait the c harge of Caesar’s
lost everything. He was saved, however, by Pom- troops r ather t han themselves cha rging to me et
pey’s delay in pressing his advantage. Nonetheless, the enemy. In any c ase, C aesar’s superior gener-
Caesar suffered a signal defeat, and Pompey’s suc- alship and the dedicated courage and skill of his
cess l ed h is t roops to ho nor h im w ith t he t itle troops w on t he d ay, a nd P ompey’s f orces were
imperator. driven inside their camp.
Caesar d etermined t hat a t actical r etreat w as As Ca esar’s f orces beg an mopping-up o pera-
in o rder an d c onducted i t s o suc cessfully t hat tions, Pompey stripped himself of a ll i nsignia of
Pompey’s pursuing army could not catch up with his rank and, with an escort of 30 cavalry, fled to
his m ain c olumn a nd su ffered sig nificant l osses the coast, boarded a g rain ship, and set sail. Ā e
at the hands of Caesar’s rearguard cavalry. next day, Caesar accepted the surrender of Pom-
Caesar’s a lly Domitius i nadvertently learned pey’s f orces and o rdered t hat n one of t hem b e
from s ome of t he G auls w ho had de serted to mistreated n or any o f th eir p ossessions pl un-
Pompey t hat Po mpey w as s ecretly m arching dered. C aesar reports that h is l osses n umbered
against him. Spurred by that intelligence, Domi- 200 men, 30 of whom were seasoned centurions.
tius h astened to join forces with Caesar, and in Pompey’s l osses nu mbered 1 5,000 k illed a nd
their combined strength the two marched on the 24,000 who surrendered.
fortified t own of Gomphi. Ā e c itizens o f G om- Caesar b riefly de scribes P ompey’s v oyage
phi, h aving he ard e xaggerated re ports o f P om- from island to island in the Mediterranean and
pey’s s uccesses, r efused t o admit C aesar’s f orces how, a fter aba ndoning a plan to flee to Parthia,
and sent to Pompey for help. Caesar quickly took Pompey sailed instead to Egypt, landing at Pelu-
the t own, a llowed h is t roops to pl under i t, a nd sium, a c ity o n t he M editerranean S ea a t t he
resolved at one stroke t he s upply shortage from easternmost m outh o f t he N ile R iver. Ā ere
which his army had been suffering. Having taken Pompey found an army belonging to Egypt’s boy
the c itizens p risoner, C aesar m oved on to t he king Ptolemy enga ged i n c ivil c onfl ict w ith t he
town o f M etropolis. M etropolis a t first o ffered forces of his sister, Cleopatra. He sought the pro-
resistance, but when they heard from the captive tection of Ptolemy’s advisers, who controlled the
Claudian 143

young k ing and pretended to w elcome Pompey. that govern relationships. Just as the father whose
When P ompey b oarded a sma ll sh ip w ith a word is law is the head of the family, so the Chi-
bodyguard t hey se nt h im, h owever, a R oman nese emperor is the head of the larger empire, and
officer in Ptolemy’s ser vice a nd the chief of t he his w ord i s l aw for the e xtended f amily o f hi s
king’s bodyguard, Achillas, murdered him. Ā ey subjects.
also a pprehended a nd la ter k illed P ompey’s Either i n the s maller o r th e l arger o f th ese
adjutant, Lucius Lentulus. spheres, the greatest sin or crime conceivable for
Arriving at Alexandria in Egypt, Caesar found a child or a sub ject to c ommit was t hat of being
himself u nwelcome. H e nonetheless s ought t o unfi lial. In both circumstances, failing to observe
mediate i n the d ispute b etween P tolemy a nd one’s fi lial obedience could be punished by death.
Cleopatra. As it happened, Ptolemy was himself in Failing t o o bserve t he r ules o f fi lial piety i n t he
Alexandria, and Caesar took h im i nto protective larger st ate was seen a s p lanting t he s eeds o f
custody. Very so on t hereafter, h e r eceived word anarachy. Of course, there were degrees of unfi l-
that th e a rmy p reviously stationed a t P elusium ial behavior, and according to the handbook these
was marching on Alexandria. Efforts to negotiate could be subdivided into 3,000 separate offences,
ended i n t he de aths o f t he Ro man a mbassadors. for e ach of w hich on e o f five pu nishments was
Caesar occupied the Island of Pharos, which con- prescribed.
trolled the approach to Alexandria from the Med-
iterranean, thereby insuring his grain supply, and Bibliography
ends h is ac count o f t he Ro man Civ il W ars b y Editorial D epartment of t he C omplete W orks of
describing the events leading up to the Alexandri- Confucian C ulture. Xiao J ing: C lassic of Fi lial
an War. Piety. Translated by Lu Ruixiang and Lin Zhihe.
Jinan Shi: Shandong you yi shou she, 1993.
Bibliography Giles, H erbert A . A H istory of C hinese L iterature.
Caesar, Julius Gaius. Caesar: Ā e Civil Wars. Trans- New York: Grove Press, 1958.
lated b y A . G. Peskett. Cambridge, M ass.: H ar-
vard University Press, 1951.
———. Ā e Civil War: With the Anonymous Alexan- Claudian (Claudius Claudianus) (ca. 370–
drian, African, and Spani sh Wars. Translated by ca. 404 ..) Roman poet
J. M. Carter. Oxford and New York: Oxford Uni- Almost certainly born in Egypt, perhaps at Alex-
versity Press, 1997. andria, Claudian had Greek as his first language.
———. War C ommentaries o f C aesar. Translated by At s ome p oint, h owever, he m astered L atin a s
Rex Warner. New York: New American Library, well, and it was in his second tongue that, during
1964. the last decade of his life, he wrote the works that
Canfora, Luciano. Julius Caesar: Ā e People’s Dicta- earned h im u niversal r ecognition a s t he final
tor. Translated b y M arian H ill a nd Ke vin Wi n- major poet of the Western Roman Empire and of
dle. B erkeley: U niversity of C alifornia Pr ess, polytheistic religion.
2007. Claudian m igrated t o R ome around 3 95 c. e.
He w as we ll c onnected w ith the n oble a ncient
Roman family of the Anicii—the family to which
Classic of Filial Piety (Xiao Jing, Hsiao Boet hiu s w ould later bel ong. T wo b rothers o f
Ching) Confucius (?) and Zengzi that f amily, P robinus an d Oly brius, b ecame t he
[Tseng Tzu] (?) (ca. 210 ...?) joint c ivic heads—the consuls—of t he Ro man
Unlikely to have been authored by either Confu - state in t hat same year. In their honor, C laudian
ci us o r Zengzi (Tseng Tzu) Classic of Fili al Piety composed a panegyric (a poem of praise). Proba-
is a n u nprepossessing l ittle h andbook o f rules bly a lso t hrough t heir i nfluence, he soon moved
144 Claudian

to Milan as an official at the court of Stilicho. As rebellious P rince G ildo of M auretania. H e had
regent during the minority of the Western Roman also b een c ommander o f th e Ro man f orces i n
Emperor Honorius, Stilicho—a Germanic Vandal Africa. When he rebelled, Gi ldo successfully cut
by heritage—was the West’s de facto ruler. off the supply ships that carried grain bound for
Claudian became the court poet who celebrat- Rome. E mploying Gi ldo’s o wn b rother a gainst
ed t he achievements b oth of t he young Western him, S tilicho was a ble to b reak t he emba rgo
emperor H onorius a nd, e specially, o f t he p oet’s starving the city. Ā e classicist Maurice Platnau-
hero, Stilicho. For them he w rote a series of pan- er sp eculates t hat C laudian h imself ma y ha ve
egyrics t hat i llustrate one p ole of Claudian’s suppressed t he s econd book of t his poem r ather
poetic range. We find examples of the other pole than r isk offending St ilicho w ith praises of Gil-
in C laudian’s in vectives a gainst Rufinus—the do’s brother Macezel, who saved Rome.
official whom Emperor Ā eodosius had appoint- In a k ind of p ocket epic r unning o nly 6 47
ed as protector of Honorius’s elder brother, Arca- lines, Claudian celebrates Stilicho’s personal vic-
dius, n amed b y h is f ather a s em peror o f t he tories over the Goths. Ā e poem’s introduction is
Eastern Roman Empire. Doubtless perceiving i n memorable, for i n it C laudian b oasts none t oo
Rufinus a c hallenge to h is o wn a mbitions, St ili- modestly about a brass statue of him that the sen-
cho had h im k illed i n t he presence of A rcadius. ate a nd emperor had de dicated at Rome. O ther-
Claudian’s t wo i nvectives v ilifying Rufinus were wise the poem praises Stilicho’s military prowess
published i n 396–7, a fter h is murder—a form of and superior tactics i n overcoming t he Getae, as
po liti cal whitewash for Stilicho’s action. Claudian denominated the Goths. Ā e poem par-
Until around 400 , S tilicho m aneuvered to ticularly c elebrates S tilicho’s v ictory ove r t he
unify the East and the West under Honorius’s sole Gothic leader Alaric at the Battle of Pollentia (402
rule. As a part of that strategy, Honorius married c.e. ). Ā e celebration proved premature. Ā e same
first one a nd t hen t he o ther o f St ilicho’s d augh- Alaric beleaguered t he c ity o f Ro me i n 4 08 a nd
ters, but neither union produced an heir. Claudian 409, and conquered and sacked the city in 410.
wrote five p oems c elebrating H onorius’s first Incomplete p oems on m ythological s ubjects
marriage to Maria. also survive f rom Claudian’s pen. One of these,
Another t arget o f C laudian’s p oisoned p en Ā e R ape of Proserpine, was a gain i n t he e pic
was A rcadius’s chief m inister i n t he E astern mode. C laudian’s p oem fo llows th e ac tion f rom
Roman E mpire, t he eu nuch Eu tropius, a gainst Pluto’s pr eparations t o s eize t he d aughter o f t he
whom Claudian wrote two books. By all accounts harvest g oddess, C eres, t hrough P roserpine’s
other t han Claudian’s, Eutropius was a w ise a nd actual k idnapping a nd her w edding to P luto i n
effective r uler i n t he E ast, beco ming co nsul i n Hades, and well into the distraught Ceres’ search
399. B y a llying the Eastern Roman E mpire w ith for he r d aughter a nd t he r esponses o f t he o ther
Alaric the Goth, Eutropius contrived to maintain gods to the situation.
the E ast’s i ndependence a gainst St ilicho’s plots. Among C laudian’s s horter poems , o ne i s
In the year of Eutropius’s consulship, however, a addressed to C hrist t he S avior. W hether o r n ot
conspiracy a gainst h im succeeded, a nd he w as Claudian wa s a C hristian, ho wever, i s a ma tter
deposed a nd e xecuted o ver t he ob jections o f St . that has been much debated with no clear resolu-
Joh n C hr ysost om. C laudian’s invective a gainst tion. Such fathers of the church as St. August ine
Eutropius appeared the same year. and Orosius thought not.
Poems c ommemorating t he v ictories o f t he Claudian’s models seem to be poems by such
arms o f S tilicho and h is g enerals a lso o ccupied writers a s L uc a n a nd S t at ius. H is m ethods
Claudian’s pen. Only the first book of the earlier reflect t hose o f s chools o f rhe toric i n t he l ate
of t hem, Ā e W ar again st Gil do, survives. Ā at Roman ma nner a nd f eature f ormal add resses o f
unfinished work in epic style tells the story of the some length. His mastery of L atin idiom attains
Clouds, The 145

the h ighest le vel. I f h is su rviving w orks s eem pha nes’ Ā e Cl ouds disappointed the e xpecta-
marred b y t heir propagandistic flavor, t hey also tions o f i ts pl aywright b y t aking t hird pl ace.
provide g limpses of h is c ontemporaries and of Because o f a s cornful a llusion i n t he pl ay’s su r-
important events. viving t ext t o th is u nexpectedly d isapproving
Among Claudian’s shorter works we find gen- reaction of the Athenian citizenry to his comedy,
uinely charming poems about a nimals a nd peo- we k now that Aristophanes modified the version
ple. A poem describing the porcupine exemplifies we now have after the play’s first per for mance.
the former category. Ā e latter appears i n a p or- Ā e play is set in an Athenian street before the
trait of an old citizen of Verona who has blessedly houses of t wo ne ighbors. O ne of t he houses
spent his entire life on his native plot of land. belongs t o S trepsiades, who is a lmost bankrupt
We k now t hat C laudian m arried a nother c li- with g ambling d ebt. S o i s his s on, P hidippides.
ent of t he imperial family. A v erse letter to St ili- Ā e o ther house b elongs to t he g reat A thenian
cho’s w ife S erena, a lso t he ado ptive d aughter o f thinker Soc r at es. His house is jocularly labeled
the e mperor Ā eodosius, esse ntially th anks h er “the Ā oughtery.” Ā ere the Sophists t hink great
for h aving a rranged h is m arriage. I n t hat le tter, thoughts.
too, Claudian invokes fair winds to prosper what Ā e pl ay o pens w ith a w akeful St repsiades
is presumably his wedding voyage. If such classi- lying abed worrying about his debts. His sleeping
cists as Vollmer and Maurice Platnauer are right son t alks i n h is s leep a bout h is d reams o f t he
in d ating t he p oem to 4 04, however, C laudian’s horse a nd c hariot r aces t hat a re i mpoverishing
voice f alls si lent i mmediately t hereafter. Ā is him and his father. Waking Phidippides, Strepsi-
leads Vollmer to suggest that the poet died on his ades advises his son to go next door to learn from
honeymoon. the Sophists how to w in lawsuits justly or other-
wise. Fearing t hat suc h k nowledge w ould i nter-
Bibliography fere with his love of horses and racing, Phidippides
Claudian. Claudian’s Panegyric on the F ourth Con- refuses. H is furious f ather th rows h im o ut. Ā e
sulate of Honorius. Edited and translated by Wil- son blithely announces that he will go to live with
liam Barr. Liverpool, U.K.: Cairns, 1981 his more sympathetic uncle, Megacles.
———. “ De r aptu Pr oserpinae.” Bro ken C olumns: Phidippides e xits, and S trepsiades de cides to
Two Roman Epic Fragments. Translated by David educate himself with the Sophists. He knocks and
R. Slavitt. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylva- declares his intention to become a pupil. Ā e dis-
nia Press, 1997. ciple who admits him praises Socrates for solving
———. Panegyricus d e S exto C onsulatu H onorii such a problem as “how many times the length of
Augusti. (Panygyric on t he Sixth C onsulate o f its legs can a flea jump?” or as “does a g nat buzz
the E mperor H onorius.) T ranslated b y M ichael through its proboscis or anus?”
Dewar. N ew Y ork: O xford U niversity P ress, Impressed w ith s uch wonders, S trepsiades
1996. pleads to b e ad mitted. Ā e do or to t he Ā ough-
———. Rape o f Pr oserpine. L iverpool, U .K.: L iver- tery opens, revealing wan and emaciated men in
pool University Press, 1959. various a ttitudes o f c ontemplation a nd m edi-
Platnauer, Maurice, ed. and trans. Claudian with an tation. Ā e disciple shows Strepsiades such devic-
En glish Translation. 2 vols. New York: G. P. Put- es a s ce lestial globes an d m aps an d e xplains
nam’s Sons, 1922. their u tility. A naive r ealist, St repsiades i s n ot
impressed. H e finds S ocrates s uspended i n a
basket, “ traversing t he a ir a nd c ontemplating
Clouds, The Aristophanes (423 ...) the sun.”
In a three-entry contest at the Gr eat D ionysia On le arning w ho S ocrates i s, St repsiades
in Athens in the year of its composition, Ar ist o- explains h is p roblems a nd h is er rand, s wearing
146 Clouds, The

by t he go ds t o pay a ny f ee S ocrates ma y na me. When his turn comes, Unjust Discourse makes
Socrates reveals that the gods are not much rever- the c ase f or w asting t ime, f or i mmodest a nd
enced i n t he Ā oughtery. I nstead t he i nitiates unchaste behavior, a nd for becoming t he sort of
converse w ith the c louds, w hich t hey r egard as citizens t hat co mprise t he au dience w itnessing
spirits or guardian deities. the play. Looking out over the audience, Just Dis-
Ā ere follows a long and rather tedious discus- course sees t hat U njust Disco urse is r ight, a nd
sion between Socrates and Strepsiades, punctuat- concedes the argument to him. He decides to join
ed by scatological humor. Socrates sees and hears the ranks of the debauchees.
goddesses and thunder in the clouds. Strepsiades Strepsiades t urns P hidippides o ver to U njust
instead sees mist a nd hears flatulence. Nonethe- Discourse as the young man’s tutor.
less, ho ping to le arn to def raud h is c reditors, As t he day of financial reckoning approaches
Strepsiades enrolls as Socrates’ student. for S trepsiades, he goes to the Ā oughtery to
Here the action is interrupted by the leader of reclaim h is s on. S ocrates a ssures t he f ather t hat
the c hor us, who berates the Athenians for their the son has mastered Sophistry and that the two
judging t his pl ay, a f avorite o f A ristophanes’, can now win as many cases as they choose.
unworthy of a first or second prize. Ā en, in t he When the two are alone, Phidippides confuses
character o f t he c louds themselves, t he c horus his f ather with a rguments f ar f rom t he p oint
explains t o t he a udience that it owes the c louds under di scussion. St repsiades i s i mpressed a nd
divine r everence, re minding the A thenians th at thinks that now no one can best him in a lawsuit.
the clouds had thundered their disapproval when His cr editors b egin to a rrive, a nd St repsiades
the Athenians had elected as their general Cleon, refuses to p ay t hem, c onfident t hat h e will wi n
Aristophanes’ deadly enemy and a chief support- when t hey b ring suit. W hen t he c reditors ha ve
er o f t he P eloponnesian War—a w ar t he pl ay- gone, Strepsiades confidently enters his house. In
wright despised. a few moments, however, he c omes rushing out,
Following t he c horal i nterlude, S ocrates a nd followed by P hidippides, w ho i s b eating h is
Strepsiades re enter. Ā e le ssons a re n ot g oing father. It seems that the father asked for the son
well. Strepsiades wishes only to learn how to bilk to sing, the son refused, they argued about songs
his creditors, and Socrates is attempting to te ach and poems, and their disagreement over literary
his u nwilling pupil t he c omplexities o f q ua nt i- matters first g rew heated a nd then led to blows.
tat ive ve r se. Phidippides u ses h is n ewly le arned deba ting
Finally S ocrates d ecides t hat St repsiades i s skills to assert his right to beat his father.
too old to learn and retain new material. Strepsi- Disillusioned, S trepsiades c omplains b itterly
ades de cides to t ry a gain to p ersuade P hidip- to the clouds, from which he t hinks all his trou-
pides t o s tudy w ith t he S ophists. Ā is t ime h e bles have come. A nswering for t hem, t he chorus
succeeds, and after teacher and pupil get off to a assures the old man that he is the source of all his
bad s tart, S ocrates c alls u pon t wo qu arreling own troubles. Strepsiades resumes his faith in the
allegorical characters, Just Discourse and Unjust old g ods. P hidippides, ho wever, den ies Z eus,
Discourse, t o t ake o ver the i nstruction o f h is claiming that Whirlwind is the ruler of the world.
reluctant pupi l. Ā e t wo D iscourses e xchange Convinced n ow t hat a ll h is t roubles p roceed
insults un til t he c horus ha s had en ough. Ā e from S ocrates, S trepsiades sets fire to t he
chorus l eader a sks th at e ach s tate h is p osition Ā oughtery a nd a ttacks i t w ith a n a xe a s t he
without interruption. Ā ey ag ree, a nd Just D is- source of blasphemies. Ā e chorus, w ith a si ngle
course speaks fi rst. He praises the good old days, spoken l ine, t roops f rom t he s tage, a nd t he pl ay
careful e ducation, c hildren w ho k new h ow t o ends.
behave, a nd h igh s tandards o f s exual c onduct Generally s peaking, t he A thenians’ o riginal
for young people. unfavorable judgment of t he play s eems m ore
Code of Hammurabi 147

accurate than its author’s unshakeable conviction Ā e first o f H ammurabi’s la ws p rescribes t he

that it represented his best work. death p enalty f or f alse ac cusation a nd t he t hird
exacts t he sa me pe nalty f or f alse w itness. Ā e
Bibliography second la w a ddresses t he c rime o f s orcery. I t
Aristophanes. Ā e C omplete P lays. T ranslated b y requires t he s ame test t hat appl ied to w itches i n
Paul Ro che. New York: New A merican L ibrary, Europe as late as the 18th century c. e.: A p erson
2005. accused o f s orcery m ust t hrow h imself i nto a
river. If he drowns, he is held to have been a sor-
cerer, a nd h is ac cuser i nherits h is e state. I f he
Code of Hammurabi, King of Babylon, floats o r s wims, he i s i nnocent; h is ac cuser i s
(ca. 2250 ...) then p ut t o death, a nd t he ac cused i nherits t he
Jewish a nd C hristian r eaders o f t he H ebr ew accuser’s estate.
Bibl e ma y a ssociate t he C ode o f Ha mmurabi Judges w ho alter t heir judgments a re i n d an-
with the summary phrase “An e ye f or a n e ye; a ger of h aving t o pay 1 2 t imes t he o riginal fi ne
tooth for a tooth.” Ā at association does not much and l osing th eir jobs . Ste aling i s d ivided i nto a
miss the mark, for the 21st through the 23rd chap- number o f s ubcategories. S tealing a s lave i s a
ters of the Book of Exodus, in which Moses details capital o ffense, b ut r eturning a f ugitive s lave
the laws that God dictated to him, share much in earns a reward of “two shekels of silver.”
common w ith the s tatutes th at th e B abylonian If a person is robbed and the robber escapes, a
King Hammurabi promulgated. sworn a ffidavit i temizing t he lo ss r equires t hat
Just a s Moses c redited God with having pre- the s tate r eimburse t he v ictim. Ste aling f rom a
sented the leader of Israel with a legal code that burning house while pretending to help earns the
included 10 commandments inscribed in stone, perpetrator the penalty of burning with the house.
so Hammurabi credited the Babylonian sun god, Soldiers whose p roperty is oc cupied b y o thers
Shamash o r Shamshu, w ith ha ving g iven t he while t he s oldiers a re a way m ust r ecover t he
king t he s tone t ablet o n w hich t he C ode i s property on their return. Officers of government
inscribed. U nlike t he t ablet of Mo ses, t hat of are e specially p rotected f rom at tempts to s eize
Hammurabi has been found: A French archaeo- their property, but they are a lso prohibited from
logical e xpedition u nearthed i t i n D ecember transferring p ublic prop erty i n t heir c harge to
1901 a nd J anuary 1902 o n the a cropolis o f t he their wives and daughters. Fines imposed on per-
ancient city o f S usa on t he Ti gris R iver, w here sons f or b reaches o f t rust range f rom five t o 12
the three broken pieces of t he tablet had appa r- times the value of the property entrusted.
ently b een b rought f rom B abylon a s pl under Some of t he laws governing c oncubinage a nd
around the year 1100 b.c .e. Ā e C ode’s t ransla- marriage seem quite enlightened and even mod-
tor, Robert Francis Harper, believes that corrob- ern. I f a ma n le aves a c oncubine w ho ha s b orne
orating e vidence p oints to t he e xistence o f him children, he i s required to su pport t he chil-
several co pies o f the C ode a t c rucial l ocations. dren. E ither p arty to a ma rriage c ould i nitiate
Ā e original now reposes in the Louvre Museum divorce, an d t he pa yments t hat ac company t he
in Paris. separation are specified. If, for instance, a woman
In addition to a bas-relief pic turing Hammu- grows to hate her husband and an inquiry into the
rabi receiving the Code from Shamash, the tablets matter de termines t hat she ha s p erformed her
contain a p rologue, 2 82 l aws g overning a w ide part of the marriage contract, the husband must
variety of interactions, and an epilogue fi lled with return h er d owry a nd t he w ife m ust g o to her
curses invoked against anyone who in the future father’s house. When widows choose to remarry,
may c hange, e fface, o r sub vert Ha mmurabi’s Hammurabi’s C ode p rotects t he i nterests o f t he
divinely ordained legislation. children of t he first ma rriage. I f h usbands g ive
148 comedy in Greece and Rome

their wi ves p roperty o utright, t hen c hildren o f transliteration and a t ranslation a s well a s other
those marriages can make no claims on that prop- fascinating editorial material.
erty against their mother.
Ā e p roperty r ights o f u nmarried p riestesses Bibliography
are a lso carefully s tipulated. Should t hey prede- Harper, Robert Francis, ed. and trans. the Code of
cease brothers, however, the brothers inherit. Ā e Hammurabi King of B abylon a bout 2250 b.c .
responsibilities of adoptive fathers a re a lso care- Chicago: Ā e U niversity o f C hicago P ress,
fully specified. 1999.
Other laws reflect a r igidly h ierarchical social
structure. Husbands of barren wives can take con-
cubines, or the wives can present t heir husbands comedy in Greece and Rome
with the wives’ own maidservants. If the maidser- Ā e first en tire G reek c omedy to su rvive i nto
vant bears children, she ga ins status equal to t hat modern t imes i s Ā e Ac h ar nians by A r ist o-
of the wife. If she also proves barren, however, the pha nes ( performed 4 25 b .c. e.) Ā e pl ay t ypifies
wife can sell her. Several laws stipulate the rights the comedy of this early period in that its essen-
of m asters o ver t heir s laves. P unishments t hat tial t hrust is political. It n ames s uch contempo-
masters c an t ake a gainst slaves for denying t heir rary p oliticians as Cl eon, a nd, like o ther
condition of servitude, for example, include muti- representatives of what critics call Greek old com-
lation by cutting off an ear. edy, it pillories them. Ā e Acharnians also expos-
Ā e “eye- for- an-eye” a nd “t ooth-for-a-tooth” es the addictive effect that politics in the form of
portion of Hammurabi’s Code also exists. It begins sitting on juries produces in old men. As the liter-
with the 196th i njunction and r uns th rough the ary h istorian Peter Wi lson su ggests, t his s ort o f
201st. What an eye or a tooth was worth, however, comedy was rooted in making fun of or in rough-
depended o n t he r elative social ranks of those ly satirizing representatives of the male citizens of
concerned. Only when persons of equal rank were Athens w ho e xercised u nprecedented p ower a s
involved were the penalties the same. members of t he mass assembly of Athenian c iti-
Hammurabi’s Code also governs the practice zens ( the ecclesia), o r t he c ouncil o f 500 who
of ph ysicians a nd ve terinarians, p roviding referred matters to that assembly, or the system of
rewards fo r suc cessful a nd p unishments f or citizen courts f requented by t he old m en o f Ā e
unsuccessful surgeries. I f a p hysician suc ceeds Acharnians that s ometimes b rought together a s
in saving a man’s l ife o r e ye, h e receives as his many as 2,001 judges to hear cases.
fee 10 shekels of silver if the man is upper class, Ā e o ngoing w arfare b etween A thens a nd
five if he is a former slave, and two if the patient Sparta or other city-states during the exhausting
is cu rrently a s lave. A si milar s et of judgments Peloponnesian W ars a lso drew comedic scorn
applies to unsuccessful operations. If an upper- from Aristophanes in his Lysist r at a. In this play,
class person dies or is blinded by an operation, in an e ffort t o m ake t he m en s top fighting, t he
the physician’s fi ngers are cut off. If the deceased women w ithhold t heir s exual favors a nd occupy
patient ha s b een a s lave, t he p hysician ha s to the treasury to force an end to the seemingly per-
provide a replacement slave. petual co nflict. Suc h c omedies were a ssociated
Laws g overning t rade, p asturage, a nd t enant with city festivals, particularly the Athenian fes-
farming also appear in the Code. tival o f L ena ea , w here t wo o f A ristophanes’
Ā e magnificent edition of Hammurabi’s Code plays, Ā e A charnians and Ā e Knig h t s won
prepared by Robert Fr ancis Ha rper s hould b e back- to- back first prizes in 425 and 424 b.c. e.
consulted b y a nyone w ith a n i nterest i n t his Ā e period of the Greek Old Comedy came to
ancient d ocument. No t o nly do es i t c ontain t he a sudden c lose w ith Spa rta’s d efeat o f Athens i n
cu neif or m original of the text, it also provides a 404 b.c .e. Athens was n o l onger t he dem ocratic
comedy in Greece and Rome 149

ruler of a far-flung empire, and po liti cal theater representatives w ill b e d iscovered. We a lso find
gave way to the battle of the sexes or to class war- evidence of a t radition of private performance of
fare. We se e t his sh ift in t he l ate dr amas of the comedies o r of c omic s cenes at b anquets a nd
long-lived A ristophanes w ith h is Ecclesiazusae other e ntertainments i n Greece, b ut n o sp ecific
(Women at t h e Th esmomor ph ia, Ā e Assembly examples of these have as yet appeared.
Women) and Plutus (Wealth)—plays that are now In I taly, w here o ne m ust r emember t hat t he
counted among examples of early Middle Come- Greeks h ad e stablished c olonies w ell b efore t he
dy. On ly f ragmentary r emains o f o ther Gr eek foundation of Rome, a mode of comedy appeared
middle comedies survive, but the observations of as early as the second century b.c .e. It displayed
historical c ritics s uggest t hat pe rhaps t he pl ays Greek influence but was indigenous to the Oscan
became l ess b awdy i n c ostume a nd language. city o f A tella in the vicinity of Naples; thus, it
Similar sources suggest that, in the Middle Com- became k nown a s the A t el l a ne f a bl es o r
edy, phi los ophers became a favorite butt of stage fa r c es. Ā ese may first have begun as extempo-
sarcasm. Mythology, too, seems to have become a raneous per for mances, and they continued to b e
subject of burlesque. played in the Oscan language at Atella until they
Stock characters—a feature that became a sta- migrated t o t he city o f Rome. Ā ere t hey co m-
ple o f Gr eek N ew Comedy—also made t heir manded a w ide a udience l ong a fter L iv ius
appearance at t his juncture, t hough t he seeds of Andr onic us had introduced t he regular d rama
types like the miles gloriosus (see Ā e Br ag ga r t to Ro me, a nd Ro man pl aywrights had b egun to
Sold ie r are a lso o bservable i n suc h a figure a s emulate the classical drama of Greece.
Lamachus in Aristophanes’ Ā e Acharnians. Standard L atin s oon r eplaced O scan i n t hese
For m illennia, l iterary h istorians had to r ely little plays, a nd a c ustom a rose t hat p ermitted
on s urviving l ists o f a ncient Gr eek s tage p rops respectable you ng Rom ans, e ven t hose of t he
and on the i mitations of Greek New Comedy by patrician c lass, to pa rticipate a s p layers. L ike
the Roman playwrights Pl aut us and Ter enc e to Greek New Comedy and the later Italian comme-
guide their speculations about the characteristics dia d ell’arte, A tellane f arces s eem to ha ve h ad a
of Ne w C omedy. N o e xample o f t he t ype a nd stock set of characters that appeared in traditional
only t iny f ragments had su rvived. Ā en, i n t he costumes. One such stock character was Mappus.
20th century, archeologists and others discovered He w as pr esented a s ha ving a l arge he ad, a lo ng
more a nd more f ragments. Ā e c apstone o f a nose, a nd a h umped bac k. A nother w as c alled
series of finds was achieved with the appearance Pappus. Ā e classicist J. J. E schenburg speculates
of a virtually complete text of Mena nder ’s comic that P appus m ay ha ve b een b orrowed f rom a
play Dyskol os . Ā at t ext c onfirmed t he conclu- Greek stock character, the old man called Silenus.
sions t hat l iterary h istorians had a lready d rawn. Ā e p opularity o f A tellane f arces a nd t he
Ā e plots of t he plays often involved stock situa- financial o pportunities fr om writing them
tions in which more or less clueless young people encouraged pl aywrights w ho were suc cessful i n
fell i n l ove but f aced d ifficulties posed by mem- other genres—such a s t he p oet Memmius (d. 4 6
bers o f t he o lder g eneration. M inor c haracters b.c .e.) and the fabulist Sylla—to try their hands at
were d rawn f rom a reservoir of such stock char- composing t he f arces. Ā ose wh o s eem to ha ve
acters as cooks, slaves, parasites, and difficult old enjoyed the most success with the genre and who
persons. A good deal of slapstick like that in the raised Atellane farces to literary status are Quin-
final act of Dyskolos was also featured in the plays. tus N ovius and L . P omponius of B ononia, w ho
All difficulties were always resolved by a happy cooperated in writing such farces in the first cen-
ending. tury b .c .e. O nly f ragmentary r emains o f t heir
Ā e r ediscovery o f o ther f ragments o f n ew works remain—about 7 0 and a bout 2 00 l ines
comedy o ffer h ope t hat other, more c omplete respectively.
150 comedy in Greece and Rome

A c ustom a rose o f ha ving y oung Ro mans o f various branches of comedy continued to be per-
respectable f amilies p erform i n s hort, f arcical formed in Rome until the city’s fall in 410 c. e.
pieces at the end of the Atellane plays. Ā ese after- After the fall of the city of Rome, such per for-
pieces were called exordia. mances continued despite a general ban on the-
Livius A ndronicus, m entioned a bove as t he atrical p er for mance. Ā ey s pread, moreover,
father o f the regular Roman d rama, w rote b oth through the provinces. Ā eir bawdy humor pro-
tr a gedy a nd c omedy. N o c omedy su rvives i n voked at le ast t hree s orts o f r esponses f rom
any but fragmentary condition, but the fragments Christians. Ā e fi rst was i neffectual d isapprov-
suggest that he borrowed heavily though not slav- al. Ā e second was to create a comedy based on
ishly from Greek New Comedy. the legends of the church or on incidents in the
It would be hard to exaggerate the importance Bible. Ā e ma jor i mpetus f or t he c ontinued
of Plautus i n t he a nnals of Roman c omedy. H is development of this kind of comedy came from
plays, of w hich there were many—possibly more Constantinople and the Eastern Roman Empire.
than 50—are th e e arliest e xamples o f m ain- For e xample, t he C hristian bishop, Apollinaris
stream Roman theater to survive. Plautus initiat- of L aodicea, t ook the m odel o f t he c omedy o f
ed m odern m usical co medy. H e b orrowed h is Menander a nd a dapted to i t s everal do mestic
plots a nd h is c haracter t ypes f rom Gr eek N ew stories from t he Bible, creating a k ind of scrip-
Comedy, but he often treated them innovatively, tural comedy.
heightening aspects of plot ting. For e xample, he Ā e third sort of Christian response occurred
emphasized d oubling h is si tuations so t hat not in t he monasteries. Ā ere, a r acy monastic fa rce
just one but t wo couples of you ng lo vers wou ld developed t hat a mused t he monks by e xploiting
complicate his comic situations. Moreover, Plau- potential double meanings in liturgical language.
tus also either borrowed from Greek Old Come- Ā ey m ight, f or i nstance, t ake a p hrase l ike cor
dy or in depen dently reintroduced a strain o f meum eructavit (my heart lifts up) and apply it to
risqué humor. He also drew recognizable, satiric a resounding belch.
portraits of his contemporary Romans. Ā e first r ecorded i nstance o f s uch fa rcical
Only six plays survive to represent the work of material ac tually b eing p erformed i n c hurches
the o ther m ost f amous o f Ro man c omic pl ay- proper, ho wever, d oes no t o ccur u ntil t he 1 0th
wrights, Terence. Like Plautus, Terence modeled century, w hen a p atriarch o f C onstantinople,
his plays on Greek originals. Stock situations also Ā eophylact, i ntroduced fa rces, co mplete w ith
typified h is p lays: sh ipwrecks, m istaken identi- singing a nd d ancing, to houses o f w orship. I t
ties, kidnapping by pirates, disguises, separations seems likely t hat similar i nstances had o ccurred
and r eunions, a nd y oung lo vers ke pt apa rt b y earlier.
venal e lders a ll figured p rominently. C haracters Ā e i nfluence o f Gr eek a nd Ro man c omedy
were also a predictable lot: old misers, lickspittles, has su rvived, i nforming t he t heater o f b oth t he
blusterers, f oolish y oungsters, a nd h ypocrites Middle A ges a nd t he Eu rope an Re naissance. I t
peopled Terence’s stage. A part of the playwright’s remains alive and well today, as one can observe
charm, h owever, arises from h is ability t o make in tele vi sion’s situational comedy and, on Broad-
his characters fresh and engaging within the con- way, in such productions as A Funny Ā ing Hap-
fines of their predictability. pened on the Way to the Forum.
Silent m imes a nd pa ntomime w ith sp oken
lines also became pop u lar in Rome. Ā ese comic Bibliography
types became immensely popu lar. Such a notable Charney, Ma urice, ed . Comedy: A G eographic an d
Roman p olitician a s J ul ius C a esa r su bsidized Historical G uide. W estport, C onn.: P raeger,
their p ublic p erformances g enerously, a nd t he 2005.
Commentary on the Gallic Wars 151
Conte, G ian B iagio. Latin L iterature: A H istory. denominated Gaul, its three parts, and the inhab-
Translated b y J oseph B. S olodow, D on F owler, itants of each. Ā ese peoples include t he Belgae,
and G lenn W. M ost. B altimore: J ohns H opkins whom Caesar judges to be the toughest soldiers;
University Press, 1994. the Aquitani; and the Gauls themselves, who are
Eschenburg, J. J. Manual of C lassical Lit erature. further subdivided into tribes. Among the Gallic
Translated b y N . W. Fiske. Philadelphia: E. C. tribes, Caesar deems the Helvetii to be the brav-
and J. Biddle, 1850. est. Ā e superior valor of the Belgae and the Hel-
Henderson, Je ff rey, e d. a nd t rans. Aristophanes. 4 vetii s tems f rom si milar c auses. Ā ey a re t he
vols. C ambridge, M ass.: Harvard U niversity most distant from merchants, whose wares tend
Press, 1998–2002. to make people effeminate, and t hey are nearest
Menander of At hens. Dyskolos, o r Ā e Man wh o the Germans, whom the Belgae and Helvetii con-
didn’t L ike P eople. Translated by W. G. Arnott. stantly fight.
London: University of London, A thelone P ress, Caesar next traces the circumstances that led to
1960. a confrontation between the Gauls and his legions.
Slavitt, David R., and Palmer Bowie, eds. Plautus: Ā e Considering that the 38,590 square miles of their
Comedies. 4 vols. Translated by Constance Carrier territory was too confining a space for a p eople of
et al . C omplete Ro man D rama i n T ranslation. their valor and accomplishments, the Helvetii had
Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995. decided to undertake a mass migration. Of the two
Terence. Works: E nglish a nd L atin. Translated b y routes a vailable to t hem, o ne w as m ountainous
John B arsby. C ambridge, Mass.: Ha rvard U ni- and m ilitarily t oo d angerous, a nd t he o ther l ay
versity Press, 2001. through lands occupied by t he Romans a nd t heir
Wilson, Peter. “Powers of Horror and Laughter: Ā e allies. Ā e H elvetii sent a mbassadors t o C aesar,
Great Age of Drama.” In Literature in the Greek requesting permission to march through the latter
and Ro man Worlds: A N ew P erspective. Edited territory. Su spicious o f t heir m otives a nd f earing
by Oliver Taplin. Ne w York: O xford University that they would ravage any countryside they passed
Press, 2000. through, Caesar first dela yed g iving t hem a n
answer while he made defensive preparations, and
then he refused his permission.
Commentary on the Gallic Wars Julius Anticipating t hat t he H elvetii would t ry to
Caesar (ca. 50 ..) force their way through, Caesar hurried to Italy to
Jul ius C a esa r ’s ow n a ccount o f h is c ampaigns raise additional t roops. By t he t ime he r eturned
against the Celtic tribes of Gaul, apart from being with them to Transalpine Gaul, the Helvetii were
of inestimable value from the viewpoint of subse- already on the move and pillaging the territory of
quent generations of h istorians a nd readers, had the Romans’ a llies, t he Aedui, t he A mbarri, a nd
important po liti cal and propagandistic value for the Allobroges.
Caesar’s o wn g eneration a nd for h is po liti cal Caesar’s forces pursued the Helvetii, catching
career. Ā e text gives evidence of a level of editing up w ith them a t n ight after t he ma in body o f
and th oughtful c omposition more c areful than their forces had crossed the Saone River, a tribu-
Caesar l avished on h is ot her e xtant w ork, Th e tary o f t he R hone. Ca esar s urprised t he r ear
Civ il W ars . guard—a c lan c alled th e Tigurini—and d eci-
mated t hem. He der ived pa r tic u ar l satisfaction
from th is a ction s ince the T igurini had k illed
Book 1 Caesar’s father- in- law’s grandfather three gener-
Ā e first cha pter o f Commentary o n t he Gall ic ations b efore. I n a single day, Caesar bridged
Wars describes t he g eography o f t he c ountry the Saone and c ame up on t he m ain force. Ā e
152 Commentary on the Gallic Wars

Helvetii parlayed, and the adversaries exchanged them with examples of previous Roman success-
threats an d c ounterthreats. C aesar d emanded es against Germanic troops. He also shamed them
hostages to a ssure t he Helvetii’s good behavior. by a nnouncing h is w illingness t o f ace t he Ge r-
Ā ey refused. mans w ith only h is reliable 10th L egion. Taking
Ā e s econd c hapter e xplains ho w C aesar’s heart, the Romans resumed their march and, six
forces shadowed t he H elvetii a s t hey ma rched days l ater, en camped 22 m iles f rom t he ma in
through th e d omain o f th e A edui. I t a lso n otes body of the German forces.
the f ailure o f t he A edui to su pply t he Ro mans Now Caesar reports the parlays, the proposals
with grain as they had promised and the way that and c ounterproposals, an d the e ventual t actical
Caesar uncovered a plot to block the supply. Even- ruses o f t he G ermans t hat p receded a g eneral
tually, a ccidentally m isled i nto imagining t hat engagement of t he t wo a rmies. C aesar de scribes
the R omans were afr aid of t hem, t he H elvetii the battle and its vicissitudes. He reports that the
attacked t he Rom an forc es. Ca esar details t he defeated G ermans fled 1 5 m iles t o the R hine.
subsequent ba ttles, w hose u pshot w as t he u tter Ariovistus e scaped by b oat, lo sing f amily me m-
rout of the Helvetii. bers i n t he m elee a nd ro ut. Ā e Sueb i, a nother
Ā e survivors among them, whom Caesar num- Germanic tribe who were waiting on the eastern
bers at 130,000, were ordered to retrace their steps shore of the Rhine to be resettled in Gaul by Ario-
to their original lands and were obliged to repair or vistus, tried to return east to their original home-
rebuild a nything t hey h ad d amaged or de stroyed lands, b ut t heir f ormer sp onsors i n t he v icinity
on t he way. A s the Helvetii were absolutely desti- turned on t hem a nd k illed ma ny o f t heir f ellow
tute of supplies, Caesar arranged for grain to sus- Germans.
tain them on their journey home. He explains that
he did not wish their former lands to remain vacant
since t hey formed a b uffer a gainst t he e ven more Book 2
warlike G ermans. A ccording to a c ensus C aesar Having f ought t wo ma jor w ars i n o ne s eason,
had taken, 110,000 Helvetii made it home. Caesar q uartered h is t roops f or t he w inter a nd
Chapter 3 details the way in which the leaders crossed the Alps to Cisalpine Gaul to perform his
of several t ribes of C aesar’s Gallic subjects c ame duties as judge and magistrate. Ā ere, as Book 2
in s ecret t o co mplain of t heir t reatment a t the opens, C aesar b egan to he ar d isturbing r eports
hands o f a G ermanic k ing, A riovistus, w ho w as that the Belgae were in arms and restless. Accord-
occupying their lands and ensuring their compli- ingly, Caesar raised two new legions and in early
ance with his orders by taking their children hos- summer s ent t hem n orth a cross th e Al ps. A s
tage. Ca esar e xchanged l etters w ith A riovistus, soon as he could, Caesar set out for the Belgian
who r efused to pa rley a nd w ho b oasted o f t he frontier, w here he a rrived u nannounced a bout
unparalleled p rowess o f his Ge rman warriors. two weeks later. Ā ere he d iscovered t hat a B el-
About t hen, C aesar r eceived c omplaints t hat gian ar my of more t han 3 00,000 m en were
Ariovistus was forcibly settling another group of already marching against him a nd were n ot f ar
Germans, t he H arudes, i n Ga llic t erritory. Ca e- off. A s eries o f def ensive ma neuvers s oon p ut
sar decided t hat t he t ime had c ome to de al w ith Caesar in command of the situation, and the vast
Ariovistus. By forced marches, he raced the Ger- army t hat f aced him w ithdrew. Ā ough it s re ar
manic f orces to t he s tronghold o f B esançon, guard behaved as a disciplined unit, the vast bulk
which the Romans occupied. As they regrouped, of t he t roops straggled as an undisciplined mob
the R oman s oldiers b egan to he ar a nd b elieve making its way home as quickly as it could. Ā e
stories abo ut t he i nvincibility o f t he G erman Roman c avalry, o nce i t had o vercome t he r ear
forces. Ā e officers beg an i nventing r easons for guard’s re sis ta nce, harried t he m ob a nd k illed
needing t o t ake leave, a nd finally C aesar r allied thousands. T otal vi ctory f or C aesar’s f orces
Commentary on the Gallic Wars 153

required only a few more tactical successes and a Book 3

demonstration o f t he Ro mans’ su periority i n In the high Alps themselves, however, indigenous
military t echnology. Ā e ho stile f orces su rren- Gauls were h arassing R oman t rade ro utes, w e
dered. Caesar ensured their compliance with the learn as Book 3 o pens. Caesar describes t he way
terms of surrender by demanding and receiving he s ent f orces u nder G alba to pac ify t he r egion
600 hostages. and how t he Gauls again feigned a p eaceful a lli-
Now, among the Belgians, only the tribe of the ance and then mounted a ferocious attack. When
Nervii re sisted C aesar’s d ominion. Ā e s econd the Roman defensive position seemed desperate,
chapter o f B ook 2 de scribes t he R omans’ c am- Galba’s troops broke out in a su rprise attack that
paign against them. Ā is time Caesar’s opponents routed t heir G allic en emies, t he S eduni a nd t he
succeeded in catching his forces at a disadvantage Veragri.
as they engaged in preparing defensive positions. Book 3’s second c hapter r eports t he “ impul-
So d esperate, i ndeed, d id t he Ro mans’ si tuation sive decision” of the Atlantic coastal Gauls under
become t hat a n a ccompanying d etachment o f the influence of the powerful Veneti to abrogate
Roman African Numidians decamped for home. their t reaty wi th R ome and e ven t o im prison
On arriving there, they reported the defeat of the
Rome’s envoys—ambassadors who were s up-
Roman forces and the loss of all their baggage.
posed t o e njoy d iplomatic i mmunity. C aesar
Caesar reports that he seized a shield and per-
details t he d ifficulties he faced i n pac ifying the
sonally ra llied h is t roops, f orming a s quare to
coastal peo ples w ho u sed t ides to t heir adv an-
defend against attacks from any direction. As his
tage, abandoned towns by sea, and moved t heir
soldiers were losing heart a nd were i n d anger of
forces along the coast, a nd w hose sh ips were
being overwhelmed, C aesar’s d oughty 1 0th
superior to t he Roman craft. Caesar’s command-
Legion arrived to reinforce them. Ā eir presence,
ers, however, finally discovered a weakness in the
Caesar sa ys, “ changed ev erything.” H eartened,
even the wounded rose f rom t he ground to c on- Gauls’ vessels: Ā ey were difficult to row. Destroy-
tinue the fight. When the battle finally ended, of ing t heir r igging le ft them v ulnerable to Rom an
a f orce o f 6 0,000 N ervii, C aesar r eports t hat attack. By this means, the coastal Gauls were once
barely 500 survived. Caesar treated the survivors more pacified. Caesar then reports the successes
with consideration a nd mercy, a llowing t hem to of his subordinate commander, Sabinus, who pre-
keep their territory. tended cowardice to lure another set of rebellious
Ā e t hird chapter deals w ith t he false surren- Gallic t ribes i nto attacking him—a m istake t hat
der o f t he A duatuci t ribe. A fter s eeing C aesar’s led to their decimation.
siege eng ines, t hey b egged f or len iency, w hich In the meantime, as Caesar tells us in chapter
Caesar g ranted. Ā e A datuci su rrendered l arge 3, he s ent Publius Crassus to p acify Aquitania—
quantities of arms, but during the night they sal- about a third of the Gallic land area. Crassus suc-
lied forth from their town and attacked the Roman ceeded in this commission after fighting pitched
positions. Caesar had prepared for that eventuali- battles a gainst n ot o nly t he G auls r esident i n
ty, e asily d efeated t he A duatuci, a nd s old t he Acquitaine but also reinforcements the Gauls had
entire p opulation o f t heir c ity, 5 3,000 p ersons, recruited from Spain. In the course of this discus-
into slavery as punishment for their duplicity. sion, Caesar describes an institution among Gal-
Shortly thereafter, Caesar received word f rom lic fighting men c alled soldurii (a c ognate of t he
his s ubordinate c ommander, P ublius Cr assus, Old French source word for English soldier). Sol-
that the several tribes of Gallic people who occu- durii swore an oath not only to share all the good
pied t he At lantic coast ha d a lso sub mitted to things in life but also to die together either in bat-
Roman authority so t hat a ll of Transalpine Gaul tle o r b y s uicide. C aesar ob serves t hat he h as
was at peace. never heard of anyone who broke his vow.
154 Commentary on the Gallic Wars

Ā e success of Crassus in subduing the Aquita- Given the warlike disposition of the Germanic
nian Gauls who took the field against him encour- tribes, Caesar considered it expedient to cross the
aged o thers to sub mit v oluntarily. S ome tr ibes, Rhine w ith a sho w o f f orce. More over, s ome of
distant from the action, refused to submit, think- the G ermans, th e U bii, had r equested Ro man
ing that the arrival of winter would protect them protection a gainst t he Suebi. Caesar declined a n
from Roman incursions. In t his hope many were offer to have his troops transported over the river
disappointed, for Caesar himself led mopping- up in G erman b oats. Instead, he and h is eng ineers
operations a gainst t hem a nd had sub dued m ost designed a nd, i n 10 d ays, b uilt a b ridge c apable
before the onset of winter obliged him to suspend of w ithstanding t he R hine’s c urrent. Ab ove t he
operations against the few remaining holdouts. bridge, he also had bulwarks built to i mpede any
logs and tree trunks that the Germans might float
down i n an e ffort t o d estroy t he b ridge, w hose
Book 4 clever design Caesar reports in detail.
In 55 b.c .e., as we learn in Book 4, two Germanic Ā e Ro man i ncursion, w hich l asted o nly 1 8
tribes, t he U sipetes a nd t he Tenchtheri—under days, a chieved all i ts ob jectives. Ā e U bii were
military p ressure from a third, more warlike no lon ger t hreatened. Ā e Sueb i a nd t heir a llies
tribe, t he Suebi—crossed t he R hine w ith the the S igambri, t hinking t he Ro mans i ntended to
intention o f o ccupying G allic ter ritory. A fter attack t hem, a bandoned their towns a nd m oved
describing t he c haracteristics o f t he Sueb i a nd deep i nto t he f orests, w here t hey ma ssed i n
other Germanic peoples, Caesar reverts to a f re- expectation o f a Ro man a ttack. I nstead, C aesar
quent t heme: t he m ercurial na ture o f t he G allic destroyed their towns and crops. Ā en his forces
decision- making pro cesses. Ā eir p enchant f or returned t o G aul, de stroying t he b ridge a s t hey
jumping t o c onclusions, C aesar thinks, leads withdrew.
them to act—particularly in military matters—in On t he u nderstanding t hat h is en emies had
ways that they often regret immediately after tak- received help f rom t heir a llies in Britain, Caesar
ing action. Caesar frequently turns this perceived next formulated a plan to send an expeditionary
weakness to Roman advantage. force t o t hat i sland. K nowing n ext to nothing
Next C aesar re counts his d ealings with th e about it, he set about finding ou t w hat he c ould
Germans. Se eking t o d elay t he Ro mans w hile from traders who went there. Ā e traders report-
they awaited their own cavalry, the Germans held ed his plans in Britain, and, while he prepared 80
the R omans i n p arlay. After a greeing to de fer transports f or a c hannel c rossing, de putations
action, t he G ermans t reacherously a ttacked a began a rriving, offering hostages to s ecure C ae-
Roman c avalry u nit. Ā e n ext d ay, t he G erman sar’s friendship.
ambassadors returned, apologizing for t he “mis- When the Roman infantry actually arrived off
take.” Caesar, who had mistrusted them from the the coast of Br itain, however, a ho stile defensive
beginning, wa s n ot to b e de ceived t wice. H e force was waiting for t hem. Caesar’s cavalry had
imprisoned the ambassadors, whose ranks includ- missed the tide for sailing and had not yet arrived.
ed the principal German leaders, and mounted a Caesar describes t he d ifficulties of the infantry’s
surprise attack on the main body of their forces, landing, t heir co urage, the d efensive t actics o f
slaughtering many. Ā e rest, trapped on a p rom- the B ritons, an d t he e ventual suc cess o f t he
ontory, t ried to e scape by s wimming t he R hine, Roman i nfantry. W hen t he def enders had b een
and m ost dr owned. Ā e lo ss o f a lmost 4 30,000 defeated, they sent emissaries to Caesar. Although
men ended the Germanic threat for the moment. the Britons had en chained C aesar’s a mbassador,
Ā eir captive leaders chose to jo in Caesar rather Caesar displayed his usual forbearance, accepted
than risk their lives among the Gauls whom they their apologies a nd excuses, a nd looked forward
had invaded. to the Britons’ peaceful submission.
Commentary on the Gallic Wars 155

Weather, however, proved to be a more formi- Leaving hi s ad jutant, L abienus, w ith t hree
dable foe than had the island’s defenders. A storm legions a nd 2 ,000 c avalry to f ortify t he G allic
forced mo st of Caesar’s late- arriving cavalry to dominions o n t he C ontinent, C aesar a nd a fleet
return to the Continent, and very high tides made of almost 800 warships sailed to Britain. Ā ough
him s uspect h is t ransports were n ot s eaworthy. Celtic fighters had massed to confront the invad-
When the Britons realized that his expeditionary ers, the sight of so large a flotilla frightened them,
force was effectively cut off, t hey began to hatc h and Caesar met no opposition to his initial land-
plots a gainst t he Ro mans on t he theory th at a ing. Skirmishing soon began, however, and Cae-