Crossing the Rubicon. A Historiographical Study

in Mnemosyne
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?



Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.



Help

Have Institutional Access?



Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



Connect

This paper contains a typological comparison of the extant accounts of Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon (Velleius Paterculus, Lucan, Plutarch, Suetonius, Appian, Orosius) and highlights interrelationships among the various accounts as well as patterns and

topoi

in the Rubicon myth. This episode has been dramatized by five of the authors as a point of transition from peace to war, although Caesar has set himself at fault much earlier by maneuvering to resign his command. Common motifs are the speed with which Caesar proceeds, his hesitation and pondering the consequences, and the connection of the crossing with a supernatural element. Caesar's nocturnal wanderings in Suetonius can be explained as a misinterpretation of Plutarch's account; the scene about the apparition with the reed pipe plays with generic markers to express the beginning of war. Finally, a conclusion can be drawn about Asinius Pollio as the common source. As a child of the Late Republic he might have been interested in mitigating his representation of the Rubicon scene by having Caesar hesitate, ponder the consequences, be under divine influence and act in self-defense, features that were exploited by his successors and turned into

topoi

of the Rubicon myth.

Mnemosyne

A Journal of Classical Studies

Information

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 6 6 5
Full Text Views 5 5 5
PDF Downloads 1 1 1
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0