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Casper C. de Jonge and Arjan A. Nijk

Abstract

This article discusses the critical comparison (σύγκρισις) of the styles of Demosthenes and Cicero in Longinus, On the Sublime 12.4-5. Many readers have claimed that Longinus here presents Demosthenes and Cicero as two different models of the sublime. A detailed analysis of the passage, however, reveals that while the two are both credited with grandeur (µέγεθος), they are in fact not treated on a par with respect to sublimity (ὕψος). While the style of Demosthenes is described with keywords of Longinus’ conception of the sublime (ὕψος), Cicero’s style is consistently associated with the quality of diffusion (χύσις), which is closely associated with amplification (αὔξησις). Longinus’ discussion of Cicero may have pleased the Roman readers in his audience, as he is presented as a canonical author of ‘great’ literature. We argue, however, that in the end, Longinus reserves the status of sublimity for his heroes of classical Greece.

George Woudhuysen

Abstract

In this article, I examine the name of a friend and correspondent of the fourth-century poet Rufius Festus Avienius, commonly identified hitherto as Flavianus Myrmeicus. After summarising the current state of research and translating the verse epistle which he received, I argue that, for a variety of reasons, Myrmeicus cannot be his name. Instead, it should be emended to Myrmecius, which was his signum: an example of a type of nickname which many Romans of elevated status in late antiquity bore in addition to their birth names. I examine Myrmecius as a signum within the context of late-Roman supernomina more generally, in the process clarifying how and in what circumstances and combinations they were used, and suggesting several sources from which they might be derived. I then explain how Myrmecius’ signum might have been mangled in the course of transmission, and conclude by noting that while the bulk of attested signa are found on inscriptions, Myrmecius suggests that many more may currently lie concealed in literary texts.

Leonardo Costantini

Abstract

This study offers an interpretation of the people as a collective character in Petronius’ novella of the widow of Ephesus. Through discussing the importance of their role within the economy of the story, it becomes clear that the traditional Roman values they praise become progressively opposed to the widow’s behaviour in the second part of the story. This analysis also makes it possible to appreciate fully the impact of the finale on the internal audience, and specifically on Lichas, who empathises both with the crucified husband and with the traditional views of this collective character. Following this interpretation of the people as a collective character, the Appendix presents a new argument to preserve a Vergilian quotation (A. 4.39) that editors generally expunge at Petr. 112.2.

David F. Driscoll

Abstract

In his Quaestiones Convivales, a sympotic text recounting more than 75 purportedly historical banquets set in Rome and Greece, Plutarch represents intellectuals engaging with early lyric (melic, iambic, and elegiac poetry) as they express broader views about aesthetic taste. In contrast to Homeric poetry, which is commonly quoted by all characters in the symposium but proportionally more by lower-ranking participants, those who quote lyric appear to be exclusively individuals of higher status. The paper provides specific metrics that further illuminate this phenomenon, and it makes a number of suggestions regarding the relationship between literary taste and social status in Plutarch’s Quaestiones Convivales.

David Lévystone

Abstract

The main disciples of Socrates criticise the use of city walls. However, their attacks are less grounded in a deep strategic reflexion than related to the traumatic consequences of Pericles’ strategy at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war. The Lacedemonians’ opposition to the erection of surrounding walls is more likely linked to their aristocratic ideology and interests than to moral imperatives. Though Plato and Xenophon’s motives are to avoid political divisions in the city, their positions on fortifications reveal their aristocratic bias and the question of the walls appears to be part of a more general questioning on the spatial and political organisation of the city. On that issue, Aristotle criticises Plato from a pragmatic point of view and defends the use of walls, but under strict conditions only. The Spartan and Socratic critique of the building of the walls, as well as Aristotle reluctance to fully accept them, could be traced back to a common Greek archaic ideal.

Felix J. Meister

Abstract

Sappho’s fr. 111 V. is an important specimen of Sapphic epithalamia and of Greek wedding songs in general. At its heart, however, are textual uncertainties that prevent a comprehensive engagement with this fragment. This article offers a thorough re- examination of its text and metre. It first revises available approaches and discusses fundamental problems underlying all of them. Then, it analyses the text of the fragment, which serves as a basis for a new interpretation of its metre and structure.

Konstantine Panegyres

Alex Long