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The article argues that Penelope recognizes Odysseus at Odyssey 23.32–33, not, as is usually held, at 205–06. Recognition is here analysed as a multi-componential process, in which Penelope’s coming to know Odysseus’ identity must be distinguished from her letting on that she knows, and in which her recognition of the man before her as her long-lost husband does not automatically entail the immediate rekindling of all the old emotions. The narrative of Odyssey 23.1–230 is shown to be interested in tracing Penelope’s progression through the various components of recognition (knowledge, acknowledgement, emotional reconnection). The article explores the reasons why Penelope may consent to full reunion with Odysseus a good deal later than she has actually recognized him. Among these reasons, as well as the need for emotional attunement between Odysseus and Penelope, is Penelope’s need to ‘manage face’ vis-à-vis Eurycleia, Telemachus and Odysseus. It is argued, further, that the narrative of the Odyssey characteristically requires us to read the minds of its characters, above all Penelope in book 23. A mind-reading approach to the poem is justified in principle and grounded in a detailed reading of Odyssey 23.1–230. The wider interpretative implications for the poetics of the poem as whole are also explored.
Scholars have occasionally noted that the Antigone’s abundant images of polar opposition bear resemblance to the fragments of Heraclitus and his doctrine of the ‘unity of opposites’. The present essay develops this comparison and explores its implications for our interpretation of the play, presenting a test case for the value of the Presocratics in the study of Attic tragedy. It argues that Heraclitus’ surviving work provides a valuable resource for elucidating the play’s ‘cosmology’, a term here used in its anthropological sense to refer to presuppositions, rather than explicitly articulated theories, concerning the structure of the universe and humanity’s place within it. This endeavour can affect our understanding of two points of intense interpretative disagreement: the rationality of the central protagonists and the role of polar oppositions in the play. A culturally sensitive evaluation of the characters’ rationality must take account of the rules of the cosmos they inhabit. The polar oppositions hint at a regular and systematic cosmology, but its finer details are ultimately kept obscure to the audience, and only Teiresias displays a substantial understanding of this underlying framework. Heraclitus thus enriches our understanding of the epistemological predicament in which the characters find themselves.
The Ars rhetorica attributed to Apsines of Gadara contains five cryptic references to a speech prosecuting the Athenian politician Aristogeiton for proposing an illegal law to raise state revenue. It is disputed whether Aristogeiton is supposed to have moved to legalize payment (μισθός) for ‘closing one’s eyes’ (μύϵιν, i.e. taking bribes) or for ‘initiating’ (μυϵῖν) into the Mysteries. It also remains a mystery how Aristogeiton’s scheme was to function. I argue that ‘initiate for pay’ is correct and that in fact Apsines wrote the declamation against Aristogeiton. I reason to the best explanation of ‘payment’: neither an entrance fee into the Mysteries nor a tax, but payment made by pilgrims to something like a syndicate empowered by contract to conduct preliminary initiation. Such a scheme would contravene religious norms. The declamation’s speaker therefore must have prosecuted Aristogeiton on an indictment of νόμον μὴ ἐπιτήδϵιον θϵῖναι (‘proposing an inexpedient law’) so far unparalleled in Greek declamation. Moreover, I suggest that Apsines’ marriage ties to the Keryx clan at Eleusis supports his authorship of the Ars. These cryptic references highlight the influence that the Mysteries and the figure of Aristogeiton exerted on composers of declamations in the Imperial period.
We offer a reassessment of two letters from the state correspondence of Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria (r. 744–727 BC) with the earliest references to a town called Yauna and a people called the Yauneans, as encountered on the eastern Mediterranean coast by the newly established imperial administration. Past scholarship connected these Assyrian terms with the ethnonym ‘Ionians’ and/or the toponym ‘Ionia’. The study narrows down the location of Yauna, drawing also on a review of the coastal sites that have produced Greek ceramic imports: although identification remains elusive, Yauna was certainly situated in the territory of the kingdom of Hamath, and later the Assyrian province of Ṣimirra. Discussion of the historical and cultural background of Yauna’s foundation highlights its significance for the ‘transfer debate’ and the phenomenon of the ‘Greeks overseas’. We argue that the Assyrians first encountered the Yauneans in this locality and that, to them, they were originally simply the inhabitants of Yauna. Due to the similarities perceived between them and (other?) Greeks appearing in the eastern Mediterranean, the Assyrians came to apply the ethnonym universally to all these people, who eventually adopted it for themselves. Thus, we support the argument that the term ‘Ionian’ originated in external nomenclature.
Deriving from a larger investigation into the sources used by Leonidas of Byzantium for his second-century AD Halieutica, this article argues that a handful of passages in Aelian’s De natura animalium (3.18, 3.28, 10.13, 10.20, 11.21, 11.23–24, 12.24–25 and 12.27) comprise a coherent series indebted to the same section of Leonidas’ work. More importantly, all of these accounts are ultimately derived from a Peripatetic treatise on the marine fauna of the Red Sea. The author, whom I dub the Red Sea Aristotle, based his treatise on first-hand research likely conducted at a Ptolemaic settlement in the northern Red Sea. This treatise seems to have been known to at least one later Alexandrian lexicographer, while Agatharchides of Cnidus may have had access to it already in the middle of the second century BC. This Peripatetic treatise invites a reconsideration of orthodox claims about the fate of scientific zoology in the Hellenistic period.
According to the Neoplatonic classification of Aristotle’s writings, it has often been claimed that his biological works were excluded from his physical writings, and do not form a part of Neoplatonic school curricula. In this paper, I shall challenge this view, arguing that there are reasonable indications that the Neoplatonists regarded most of Aristotle’s biological works (apart from the History of Animals) as a proper part of his natural philosophy, and as works which deserved serious study.
The work Πϵρὶ ἁπλῶν φαρμάκων or De simplicibus (Simp., also known as Πϵρὶ ϵὐποριστῶν) is ascribed in the MSS to Dioscorides. This ascription, first found in Oribasius (fourth century AD), was accepted by the most recent editor of the work, Max Wellmann, and is enshrined in LSJ, but has often been questioned. This article aims to disprove Dioscoridean authorship on the grounds of two characteristics of Simp.: first, its use of alphabetical organization; second, its unsatisfactory treatment of material that is better handled in Dioscorides’ De materia medica (MM). The use of alphabetical ordering in Simp. is inconsistent and frequently disrupted; furthermore, in the preface to MM, Dioscorides explicitly rejected alphabetization as a means of organizing lists of medications. Internal evidence shows that the author of Simp. made ineffectual attempts to conceal the alphabetical ordering of his material, possibly in response to Dioscorides’ criticism of that method. In its treatment of material that is paralleled in MM, Simp. sometimes lacks clarity or omits important details or makes errors, failings that would be highly unlikely if Dioscorides himself were its author.
In this paper, I examine the various interpretations of Xenophanes’ theology in antiquity. After distinguishing between the traditions of commentaries and of doxographies, I focus on two unexpected testimonies: Pseudo-Aristotle in On Melissus, Xenophanes and Gorgias and Simplicius. Both attribute to Xenophanes, unlike other authors, the thesis that the god is neither limited nor unlimited and neither moved nor unmoved. I argue that this reading originates from Theophrastus, more specifically from a commentary on Aristotle’s Physics, but that Pseudo-Aristotle is responsible for misinterpreting this claim and adding arguments to justify it. I finally highlight the many sources of Simplicius, who uses not only Theophrastus’ commentary on the Physics and Pseudo-Aristotle, but also another doxographical work, possibly the Physical Opinions of Theophrastus.
The Diuisio Aristotelea 67M/32DL draws a distinction between two categories of beings, per se and relatives. I defend three main theses. First, that the relation of dependence characterizing the members of the latter category is modal and symmetrical in nature and, accordingly, the per se-relatives contrast cannot be equivalent to the substance-accidents contrast. Second, that the type of relativity relevant to this diuisio is both ontological and semantic in nature (but with different emphases depending on the version of the diuisio considered). Third, I argue, against a widespread opinion, that the last line of the DL version of the diuisio does not concern metaphysical principles. Here I also compare the diuisio to other Early Academic bicategorial schemes and show that they differ from one another significantly, especially as far as the alleged connection between categories and metaphysical principles is concerned.
According to Herodotus, the expression phoinikeia grammata means ‘Phoenician letters’ and refers to the Phoenician origins of the Greek alphabet. This account has found general acceptance, but it is not the only interpretation possible and other theories circulated in antiquity. The adjective φοῖνιξ does not only mean ‘Phoenician’; it can also refer to a palm tree or the colour red. This article argues that the expression phoinikeia grammata did not originally refer to the alphabet, but to Linear B writing on palm leaves, as already suggested by Frederick Ahl. It is shown that the account of Herodotus is the result of a ‘learned reinterpretation’, triggered by the ambiguity of the word φοῖνιξ. The new understanding of phoinikeia grammata proposeds here has some important consequences: it implies that Linear B, as has long been suspected, was primarily written on palm leaves (hence ‘palm-leaf writing’) and that in classical antiquity there was at least a limited historical awareness of the existence of pre-alphabetic writing systems in the Aegean. This paper adduces additional evidence to substantiate these claims. Lastly, a case will be made that Herodotus’ incorrect reinterpretation has led to the ‘Phoenicianization’ of Cadmus, who was originally a Greek hero.
The Homeric adjectives θοῦρος and θοῦρις (gen. -ιδος) are normally glossed as ‘rushing, impetuous, furious’. While θοῦρις exclusively qualifies feminine nouns, no feminine form of θοῦρος is attested. What was the exact relationship between θοῦρος and θοῦρις? In this paper it is argued that θοῦρις is not the paradigmatic feminine of θοῦρος, but an artificial formation of epic Greek. It arose in the formula θούριδος ἀλκῆς due to the metrical constraints of epic hexameter, and subsequently ousted the original feminine of θοῦρος. In elaborating this scenario, I show that the basic meaning of θοῦρος and θοῦρις is ‘fierce’. Other instances of artificial change of inflection in the Homeric Kunstsprache are discussed, and it is argued that the mechanism underlying their creation is linguistic contamination.
This paper aims to develop a holistic view on the cults of the Charites, Artemis and Hermes which can plausibly be located in the Acropolis Propylaia. Based on the combined analysis of the spatial and architectural setting, which changed in the course of the erection of the Mnesiklean Propylaia in 437–432 BC, along with the imagery and textual evidence for these cults, I propose that due to the altered spatial distribution and the rotated building axes, initially separate cults were fused together. Consequently, iconographical shifts occur in the modes of depiction of these three divinities. The Charites, who were attached in Archaic imagery to Hermes, in the Classical period become iconographically intertwined with Artemis. The iconographic shift is detectable especially in the new cult images1 for Hermes Propylaios and Artemis Epipyrgidia with the Charites, which had been created by the sculptor Alkamenes, presumably by order of the Athenian state. This article should not be seen as a contribution to the analysis of copies (Kopienkritik) for known statue types or an architectural study; instead, its focus lies in the concepts of visualization of divine images, which were developed for a highly specific spatial setting in the cultic landscape of the Athenian Acropolis.
This article offers the first comprehensive presentation of a monumental funerary lion found approximately 60 years ago in Thebes. Remarkably, the stone lion’s breast is inscribed with the name of the deceased, Ϝαστίας. On numismatic, epigraphic and historical grounds, I identify this Wastias as the homonymous magistrate appearing on staters of the Boiotian koinon in ca. 400 BC, but also as Astias, one of the leading Laconizing Theban politicians on the eve of the Corinthian War (Hellenica Oxyrhynchia 20.1–2). Wastias’ death can be very plausibly placed in 395 BC, the year of the battle of Haliartos. The proposed association is supported by a stylistic analysis of the monument, which thus becomes one of the best-dated sculpted lions of the Classical period. My contextual analysis of the monument reaffirms the notoriously oligarchic orientation of Theban politics. It also prompts a re-examination of other funerary lions, most notably its regional successor in the lion of Chaironeia. It concludes with a reflection on the nature of individual versus collective commemorative practices.
This article reviews a selection of books published over the last decade that explore the relationship between humans and the environment in the ancient Greek world. These publications represent a new phase of the ecological turn in classical studies, in which ancient environmental studies has emerged as a distinct subdivision of the environmental humanities. Their contributions can roughly be divided into two groups according to their approaches and goals: one applies ecocritical analyses to Greek literature, presenting alternative ecologies to those that have produced contemporary environmental crises; the other applies historical methods to written and material evidence to illuminate the realities of ancient Greek human–environment relations. The three subsections of this review provide overviews of scholarship addressing sustainability and the conservation of natural resources; ecology and religion; and societal resilience in the face of ecological stress. I suggest productive avenues for further research in each area, arguing that interdisciplinary communication and collaboration are becoming increasingly important in this evidentially, methodologically and theoretically variegated field.