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Article

Peter G. M. Brown

Euanthius (4th cent. ce), author of a commentary on *Terence. The only parts remaining are some sections of the treatise on drama (De fabula) which is now prefixed to the commentary of Aelius *Donatus (1).

Article

Peter G. M. Brown

Eugraphius (early 6th cent. ce), author of a commentary on *Terence (ed. P. Wessner in Donati Commentum, 3. 1). His interest is chiefly in the rhetorical qualities and characterization of the plays, and often he does little more than paraphrase the text of Terence. He probably knew the commentary of *Donatus (1) on Terence and that of *Servius on Virgil.

Article

Alun Hudson-Williams and M. Winterbottom

Eumenius is known to us only from the extant speech (XII Panegyrici Latini 9) which he delivered in *Augustodunum (Autun) in 297 or 298 ce before the governor of the province of Lugdunensis Prima, advocating the rebuilding of the war-damaged school and promising his own generous financial support. We learn that he was of Greek descent, and that before being appointed to the school he had been *Constantius I's *magister memoriae.

Article

R. A. Kaster

Eutyches (6th cent. ce), pupil of *Priscian and a grammarian (probably) at Constantinople, wrote a handbook (*ars) on the verb in two books (Keil, Gramm. Lat. and a work on aspiration excerpted by *Cassiodorus (ibid. 7. 199–202).

Article

Christopher Pelling

‘Which of the gods was it that brought the two together in strife?’, asks the Iliad as it launches its narrative (1.8); early in the Odyssey*Zeus complains that mortals blame the gods when they are responsible for their own sufferings (1.32–3). Both poems however swiftly complicate any attempt to limit explanations to either the human or the divine level. Achilles and Agamemnon quarrel, Achilles kills Hector, and Odysseus gets home, largely because they are the people that they are, but gods often intervene too. The Greeks win because they are better fighters; they also win because more gods are on their side. The poems also suggest another form of explanation, not tracing events to their origins but relating them to a familiar pattern of human life. Suffering is the lot of humanity (Il. 24.525–6); outrages like those of the suitors are punished. Life is like that, and one should not be surprised.

Article

Christopher Pelling

Iulius Ex(s)uperantius, 4th (?) cent. ce Latin historical writer. His ‘little book’ (opusculum) describes the Civil War of C. *Marius (1) and *Sulla to the death of *Sertorius. It clearly depends on *Sallust (Jugurthine War and Histories), imitating his style as well as reproducing his content. Errors and garblings abound.

Article

fable  

Francisco R. Adrados and Niklas Holzberg

Fable, a short story in the popular tradition of Greece and other ancient cultures. Fables found their way into literature as illustrative examples; later they were compiled into collections.

They usually deal with a conflict in which animals speak and intervene, but the characters may also be plants, sundry objects, men, or gods, Fable normally deals with the triumph of the strong, but also portrays the cunning of the weak and their mockery of, or triumph over, the powerful. Fables also stress the impossibility of changing nature; some give aetiological explanations. Most often there is a comic element; sometimes the ‘situation’ of a protagonist is depicted, from which the audience may draw analogies.

It is therefore impossible to offer a fixed definition. The boundaries of fable intermesh with those of myth, animal proverbs, anecdotes, tales, and *chreiai. Fable is normally fiction, but does at times use anecdotes about real characters. It reflects popular literature and may satirize the values and abuses of the dominant social classes.

Article

fabula  

Peter G. M. Brown

Fabula was the general Latin term for ‘play’ or ‘drama’. Ancient terminology is not entirely consistent, but the following types of Latin fabulae are mentioned: fabula*Atellana; crepidata, almost certainly adaptations of Greek tragedy (crepida was a type of Greek shoe); *palliata, sometimes used of all drama with a Greek setting, but normally restricted to comedy (pallium = Greek cloak); planipedia ( =*mime, also called mimus or mimica; planipes, ‘flatfoot’, was a term for a mime-actor); praetexta(ta), serious drama on Roman historical subjects (the toga praetexta was worn by magistrates); Rhinthonica, plays in the style of *Rhinthon's *phlyakes (perhaps a term for Atellanae with mythological subjects); togata (‘drama in a toga’), sometimes used of all drama set in Rome or Italy, but normally restricted to a type of comedy set there (also apparently known as tabernaria, ‘private-house drama’); trabeata (see maecenas melissus, c.

Article

John R. Morgan

Fantastic literature, or fiction of the unreal, took two forms in antiquity: (a) fantasies of travel beyond the known world (b) stories of the supernatural. Both look back to the Phaeacian tales in the Odyssey, which became a byword for the unbelievable (cf. [Longinus] Περὶ ὕψους 9. 14).From the Hellenistic period we know of a series of descriptions of imaginary lands, such as those by *euhemerus, *hecataeus (2) of Abdera, and *iambulus. Their primary purpose was social and moral comment, but they often seem to have been authenticated by an adventure story, which provided entertainment but also drew attention to the question of how literally they were to be believed. Antiphanes of Berge's account of the far north was so transparently fictitious that ‘Bergaean’ became synonymous with ‘fantasist’. Although these works were criticized as falsehoods, some recognized that undisguised fiction represented an area of licence for the imagination (e.g. Strabo 2. 3. 5). Fantasies of this kind are parodied in the space-travel of *lucian'S True History, but, despite his satirical programme, Lucian's invention acquires its own fantastic momentum.

Article

M. Winterbottom

Rhetor from Carthage and pupil of *Augustine, who wrote a Disputatio commenting on two aspects of Cicero'sSomnium Scipionis.

Article

Antony Spawforth

Felix, Flavius, Latin poet of senatorial rank. His verses, often unclassical in quantity, include a poem on baths built by Thrasamond, *Vandal king in Africa ( 496–523ce).

Article

Feminism does not refer to one coherent theory, doctrine, or political movement. The range of movements and ideologies that thrive under the term feminism, however, are all committed to political and social change. Feminism recognises that we live in a patriarchal world, that is to say a world in which women are, and have historically been, oppressed by and unequal to men. It opposes this, and strives to change existing power structures so that people of all genders and races have control over their own bodies, have equal opportunities and value, can participate fully in community life, and are allowed to live with dignity and freedom.

What has this to do with ancient literature? There are several significant ways in which feminism and ancient literature interact. Ancient literature, particularly ancient Greek tragedy and myth, has played a formative role in shaping feminist theory. Feminism encourages scholars to uncover and reevaluate a tradition of women’s writing. Feminism has provided the tools for us better to understand how ancient literature functioned to promote, and sometimes to challenge, the misogynist practices of ancient Greek and Roman societies. Scholars have detected feminism, or proto-feminism, in ancient writing. Queer theory and feminism join forces to mine ancient literature for alternatives to hetero, cisgender, and gender binary models of identity. Feminism has changed the field of ancient literary studies by valuing authors and genres that are sensitive to the perspectives of women of all ethnicities and statuses. Finally, ancient literature is used to serve contemporary activism: Greek and Latin texts are used by modern feminist authors who rewrite and creatively adapt ancient literature, and classicists resist the use of ancient literature to promote misogyny and white supremacy.

Article

Fenestella (52 bce–19 ce or, possibly, 35 bce–36 ce), the antiquarian annalist (see annals, annalists), wrote a Roman history in at least 22 books, perhaps from the origins, certainly to 57 bce; the citations of *Asconius Pedianus reflect his special authority for the Ciceronian period. The fragments, which, however, may come also from works on constitutional and social antiquities, show his wide antiquarian interests and critical ability, in the Varronian tradition. The Elder *Pliny (1) used him, and an *epitome was made.

Article

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Fescennini (versus), songs of ribald abuse at weddings (literary representation: Catull. 61. 119–48), so called from the Etruscan town of Fescennia near Falerii, presumably for excellence in such entertainments; the alternative etymology (Paul. Fest. 76) from the fascinum (‘witchcraft’) they averted, though linguistically untenable, points to an apotropaic function as of soldiers' songs at *triumphs (Plin.

Article

Flavius Caper (2nd cent. ce), grammarian whose lost treatises On Latinity (concerning orthography, morphology, and semantics) and On Nouns of Ambiguous Gender (drawing on the elder Pliny) were much used by later writers. Two extant treatises attributed to a Caper, on orthography and on words of ambiguous or disputed form (Keil, Gramm.

Article

Florus  

Edward Seymour Forster, Gavin B. Townend, and Antony Spawforth

Florus, the name of three Latin authors, is usually, but not unanimously, identified as the same man. (1) Lucius Annaeus (Iulius in Cod. Bamberg) Florus, Roman historian, author of the Epitome bellorum omnium annorum DCC (‘Abridgement of all the Wars over 700 Years’); wrote no earlier than *Antoninus Pius to judge from pref. 8 and 1. 5. 5–8. His work is an outline of Roman history with special reference to the wars waged up to the reign of Augustus, with the suggestion that the latter had brought peace to the world. Some manuscripts describe it as an *epitome of *Livy; but it is sometimes at variance with Livy. The author also made use of *Sallust, *Caesar, and in one passage (pref. 4–8) probably the elder Seneca (see annaeus seneca (1), l.); and there are reminiscences of *Virgil and Lucan (see annaeus lucanus, m.

Article

William Hansen

Folktales are traditional fictional stories. Unlike works of original literary fiction, they are normally anonymous narratives that have been transmitted from one teller to another over an uncertain period of time, and have been shaped by multiple narrators into the form and style that are characteristic of oral narratives. The transmission of traditional tales is predominantly oral, but in literate societies such as Greece and Rome, transmission also takes place via written works.

“Folktale” is an umbrella term for a number of subgenres: the wonder tale (commonly known as the fairytale), the religious tale, the novella, the humorous tale (with its subforms the joke and the tall tale), the animal tale, and the fable. Since there was no ancient notion of folktales as such, no compilation of folktales exists from antiquity—only compilations of particular genres of folktales such as the fable and the joke.

Unlike myths and legends, folktales are narrative fictions, make no serious claim to historicity, and are not ordinarily accorded credence. They differ from myths and especially from legends in their handling of the supernatural.

Article

H. D. Jocelyn and Irene Peirano

The seven books on pontifical law by King Numa *Pompilius found in 181 bce (Livy 40.29.3-14) must have been a forgery, i.e. a work written by someone other than Numa and deliberately passed off as the king's. Starting from the end of the 2nd cent. bce, scholars raised doubts about items held in Roman libraries under famous names. It is not, however, at all clear how many of the spurious comedies attributed to *Plautus were composed with the precise purpose of cheating the public (Gell. NA 3.3). Similarly unclear are the origins of the pieces cheerfully added to *Virgil's three famous works by *Suetonius and others (*Appendix Vergiliana). *Libraries, then as now, abhorred anonymous volumes. The rhetorical exercise of composing utterances appropriate to historical personages in particular situations of their known careers produced many works not originally designed to deceive anyone. Here may belong such things as *Cicero's letter to *Octavian, Sallust's letters to Caesar and his invective against Cicero.

Article

G. Herman

Friendship, ritualized (or guest-friendship), a bond of trust, imitating kinship and reinforced by rituals, generating affection and obligations between individuals belonging to separate social units. In Greek sources this bond is called xenia, xeiniē, and xeineiē; in Latin, hospitium. The individuals joined by the bond (usually men of approximately equal social status) are said to be each other's xenos or hospes. As the same terms designated guest-host relationships, xenia and hospitium have sometimes been interpreted in modern research as a form of hospitality. Xenia, hospitium, and hospitality do overlap to some extent but the former relationships display a series of additional features which assimilate them into the wider category called in social studies ritualized personal relationships, or pseudo-kinship. The analogy with kinship did not escape the notice of the ancients themselves. According to the *AristotelianMagna Moralia, xenia was the strongest of all the relationships involving affection (philia) (2.

Article

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Frontoniani, *Sidonius Apollinaris’ term (Epist. 1. 1. 2) for orators in M. *Cornelius Fronto's style. They need not have regarded themselves in that light, or as a school, nor were they necessarily his contemporaries, but from Sidonius’ 5th-cent. ce perspective archaizing mannerists were followers of their most eminent representative. Only *Iulius Titianus is named, mocked by the others for imitating the ‘worn-out style’ (veternosum dicendi genus) of Cicero's letters (which Fronto himself admired: 104.