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Firme di artisti / produttori di specchietti in piombo con superficie riflettente in vetro
Published August 1, 2020
91–100

In this short contribution we present lead mirrors with reflective glass surface that are characterized by the presence of the signature of the plumbarius and / or the creator of the form. These few but interesting epigraphic attestations allow some thoughts on how to produce this type of material and also on the people who were involved.

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The vivo suo formula, as a possible manifestation of the interconnection of the Greek and Latin languages in Moesia Inferior
Published August 10, 2020
113–126

The paper focuses on a strange variant of the se vivo expression which can be found mostly in Moesia Inferior: the vivo suo fecit formula. It appears only in twelve inscriptions, but that makes up one third of all the occurrences of the se vivo fecit expression in this region. How can we account for this formula, whic...h cannot be explained by the classical Latin grammar? This intriguing form has attracted the attention of Giovanbattista Galdi, who in 2002 dedicated a paper to the possible origin of the formula. In this paper, he claims that the vivo suo form is the result of the interconnection of the Latin and Greek languages in Moesia Inferior, since the expression usually occurs in areas populated by Greeks. Galdi attributes the emergence of the formula to the fact that the Greek language does not have a possessive pronoun (like the Latin suus), but uses the genitive case of the reflexive pronoun (ἑαυτοῦ) to express the possessive relation. According to this theory the bilingual environment in Moesia Inferior, and more specifically the aforementioned Greek structure caused a confusion in Latin in the use of the possessive pronoun (suus) and the reflexive pronoun (se). The aim of my paper is to examine Galdi’s argument and to point out the problematic elements of this theory.

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Magical Iconography. How Can an Image Protect and Heal?
Published October 10, 2021
43–52.

One of the features of the attitude of ancient societies towards the threats of everyday life was a close relationship between spiritual/magical and religious beliefs and the real actions aimed at overcoming dangers. This relationship is visible in the magical iconography of Ancient Egypt and other Ancient Near Eastern cultures – in the form ...of demons, minor deities, and other benevolent supernatural beings that can protect people. Images of theses deities are sometimes accompanied by archaeological traces (holes for water, traces of rubbing, touching), indicating that images were also subjects of action. The question is how the magical and religious iconography meets the non-supernatural actions and how this custom could emerge in other parts of the Ancient world and in post-ancient times.

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Antulla’s tomb and Martial’s: poetic closure in book 1
Published August 1, 2020
41–56

The final seven epigrams of Martial’s Book 1 form a subtle but important closural sequence (epigrams 1.112-1.118 inclusive). Despite their great variatio of topics, the seven epigrams are linked through concerns about the boundary between life and death, the integrity of a monument, and the theme of dignus legi, or what make...s someone “worthy of being read.” Through a series of close readings, this article argues for the coherence of this sequence on formal, thematic, and verbal grounds. The sequence is centered on a pair of epigrams on the kepotaphion or tomb-garden of a young girl named Antulla (1.114 and 1.116). The function of this closural sequence is both formal, to bring closure to a disparate collection of epigrams, and thematic, to reprise themes from the mock-epitaph with which Martial opens book 1 (1.1).

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Callidus and Comedy: a New Argument for an Old Etymology
Published September 1, 2020
341-349

In the corpora of republican authors and the glosses of late antique grammarians, the lexemes callidus and calliditas are used to describe a certain variety of intelligence, which is often translated into English as “cleverness” or “cunning.” This paper looks more closely at these lexemes in order to explain how the ro...ot call- (“hard”) came to be associated with mental capacity and acuity. In short, I argue that the type of intelligence that callidus originally denoted ought to be linked to the brutal treatment of slaves and the coping mechanisms that they had to develop in light of their condition as chattel. Not only is this violent form of education depicted in Plautus’ comedies, but its implications and logic can also be found in later authors such as Cicero.

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Characters and magic signs in the Picatrix and other Medieval magic texts
Published August 1, 2020
69–77

The word „characters” covers a number of different phenomena in the Middle Ages. It might refer to a list of incomprehensible signs and astrological symbols inscribed in a talismanic sigil, to a series of Latin letters used for magical purposes, and also to a written form of verbal incantation, a written charm. Characters were often used in... the field of talismanic or celestial magic in order to name spiritual beings. The paper reviews the use of characters in various medieval sources: textual amulets, necromantic manuals, texts on talismanic magic and the most famous medieval magical summary, the Picatrix.

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The Transformation of the Vowel System in African Latin With a Focus on Vowel Mergers as Evidenced in Inscriptions and the Problem of the Dialectal Positioning of Roman Africa
Published September 1, 2020
9-25

Present paper intends to explore the process of the transformation of the vowel system as evidenced in the pre-Christian and Christian inscriptions of the Roman provinces Africa Pro-consularis including Numidia and Mauretania Caesariensis. With the help of the LLDB-Database, the phonological profiles of the selected African provinces will be dr...awn and compared to those of six more territorial units, i.e. Sardinia, Hispania, Gallia, Dalmatia, the city of Rome and Bruttium et Lucania. Then the dialectal position of the selected African provinces will be described by various methods of phonological analysis regarding vocalism in both periods. It will be demonstrated how the selected African provinces did not form a homogeneous dialectological area. The vocalism of Latin in later Africa Proconsularis including Numidia turns out to be of the same type as of the later Latin in Sardinia, while the vocalism of the Latin in later Mauretania Caesariensis might have started to develop toward the eastern or Balkan type of vocalism. Regarding consonantism, especially the b-w merger, later Mauretania Caesariensis shows explicitly different trends from what we see in later Africa Proconsularis.

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Some remarks about the morality of Roman provincial funerary poetry
Published July 24, 2020
159–169

The morality/view of life of the ordinary provincial Roman is hard to discern; for the most part we must rely on the more literary inscriptions. The funerary verse inscriptions provide considerable material, but not individualized wording: they consist mostly of well-known patterns. At the same time these patterns form regionally different stru...cture types; hence they can throw light upon the funeral customs of the different regions. In Pannonia there were two main poem types: one of early Carnuntum, and one of Aquincum in the 3rd c. The differences between these communities in the way they thought about death are clearly visible. There were very few individualized poems referring to personal feelings: two such are analysed here in detail (TAq 769, TAq 512).

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Tilting Scripts: Incongruence as a Source of Humour in the Parodos of the Frogs
Published August 9, 2020
15–28

The purpose of the following study is to decode the semantic layers of ancient Greek texts and scripts introducing the well-defined “General Theory of Verbal Humour”. Classical tragedies, the parodoi of the texts used by Aristophanes and the dialogues following them, are all formed according to a (more or less standardised) script.... Via putting frogs on the stage, Aristophanes parodies the patterns of the chorus songs and agons in Greek tragedies. Although the setting – the River Styx – could not be more sublime, and the winner of the debate is Dionysus himself, his adversaries are “only” frogs. The Frog Song reveals that the unity of content and form is not to be broken up without serious damage to the effect, as their separation from each other results in the reverse of the original catharsis. This parody, however, does not only refer to the emptiness and anachronistic quality of certain forms, that is, it does not only ridicule the genre, but can also function as the continual self-correction of Aristotelian mimesis. Aristophanes’ parody of a parodos is a meticulously constructed text, a faithful image of the prototypical scripts functioning as source texts, and abundant in humorous effects. Parody is enjoyable in itself, however as any good parody works with the mechanisms creating the parent text; it can only appear comic if it really reveals the patterns underlying the original, and it can only reach its aim if these patterns really bring the original work of art to the recipient’s mind.

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Proemi, tempi e tecniche delle Storie di Livio
Published July 24, 2020
83–100

Livy’s book I, first published on its own after January of 27, when Octavian received the title Augustus, republished probably with books II-V, to form a unified first pentad, was written roughly in the years 33-32, certainly before the battle of Actium. This is clear from certain passages and it casts light on Livy’s method, invol...ving a long interval between writing and publication, with continuous revision of the text; books CXXI ff., editi post excessum Augusti, can thus have been composed in the years 6-14 A.D., when Livy went back to Padua.

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The Island of Laws
Published August 9, 2020
5–14

According to the well-known opinion of Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, Plato was not familiar with Cretan customs when he wrote the Laws. If we compare the text of Nomoi with Cretan law inscriptions from the 7th-5th centuries, we can conclude that Plato’s knowledge of the laws of Cretan poleis was more profound than it had been assumed. It is especi...ally true in the case of the regulation of alcohol consumption on the basis of Laws 666a-b and an inscription form Eleutherna (Nomima II.98; Lupu 323).

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Nuevas observaciones de lectura de una matriz de molde para crustula de Aquincum
Published August 1, 2020
115–122

The paper examines again a form of the well-known crustula from Aquincum, and suggests some new possibilities for various readings of the lectio vulgata.

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Quis est nam ludus in undis? (Virgil, Eclogue IX 39-43)
Published July 8, 2020
43–58

The undis-acrostic that has recently been discovered in Eclogue IX 34-38 has proved problematic. The present article argues that the acrostic’s point is the etymology of litus as the place where these “waves” do not “play” (39: ludus), but “strike” (43: feriant for synonymous but exceed...ingly scarce lidant). This acrostic is accordingly hot-potato politics, since it pertains to the land confiscations round Virgil’s “wave”-begirt Mantua. The poet also provides endorsement in the form of an unidentified onomastic.

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