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Article

Paul Allen Miller

Postmodernism is an intellectual movement that eschews grand narratives in favour of the fragmentary and the historically contingent. As such, it counterposes itself to the great synthetic theories that characterized the “modernism” of the first half of the twentieth century. Postmodernism does not use Classics as a way to found an identity, a tradition, or a history, but as a way to think differently about who we are, where we come from, and what we can be. The postmoderns use ancient texts to rethink the self and its limits, as a form of profound historicization of the subject and its modes of formation. Many of the most important postmodern thinkers have written important commentaries on ancient texts. These thinkers include figures such as Jacques Lacan, Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Gilles Deleuze, Hélène Cixous, Luce Irigaray, Julia Kristeva, and Sarah Kofman. The commentaries that they produced have had a clear impact on recent classical scholarship, with special relevance to work on ancient philosophy and tragedy.

Article

Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth

Prosopography is a modern term for the study of individuals, and is derived from the Greek prosōpon, one meaning of which is ‘person’. There is no agreed or official definition of prosopography, which goes under different names in different disciplines (to the social scientist, prosopography in one of its manifestations is ‘multiple career-line analysis’: see L. Stone in bibliog. below). Prosopography, as used in ancient history, is a historical method which uses onomastic evidence (see names, personal, greek and roman) to establish (i) regional origins of individuals and (ii) family connections, esp. via marriage-ties but also via *adoption (which leaves traces on nomenclature), between individual and individual and between group and group. (See genos and gens for the basic large *kinship units; but ‘group’ theories of Roman politics, see below, presuppose units made up of more than one gens. Thus Scullard posited a ‘Fulvian-Claudian group’ in late 3rd cent. Rome, see various entries under Fulvius and Claudius.) Conclusions about the origins and family connections of individuals then classically lead to inferences about their likely political sympathies and allegiances.

Article

Vered Lev Kenaan

The history of the relationship between classics and psychoanalysis is one of ambivalence, a chequered pattern in which both attraction and antagonism coexist. Beginning by pointing to the close links between classics and psychoanalysis, emphasis is put on the formative role that 18th- and 19th-century notions of antiquity had for Freud and the emergence of psychoanalysis. Concomitantly, the 19th-century foundation of classics as the science of antiquity contributed to the formation of psychoanalysis’s self-understanding. A plethora of mythological themes and concepts provide premodern markers for the future development of the concept of the unconscious. Various ancient authors appear to be indirectly or directly influential for the tradition of psychoanalysis, now more than a century old. Classics’ ambivalent response to psychoanalysis is mainly tied to the latter’s claim to universalism and to its anachronic proclivities.What is the relationship between classics and psychoanalysis? How are the study of the Greco-Roman world and the modern analytic and therapeutic theory of the soul interconnected? The two disciplines were formed as scientific fields of study during the .

Article

Queer theory takes its name from a derogatory term for persons considered “odd” or “abnormal”, notably those whose sexual behaviour, gender expression, or other characteristics do not conform to established social norms. It harnesses the experience and perspective of gender non-conformists and sexual deviants as a vantage point for understanding—and dismantling—the coercive workings of social structures and discursive regimes. Since queerness marks a position outside or at the margins of—and thus relative to—the social order, it necessarily takes on different forms under different normative regimes: while different kinds of queers have existed at all times and in all places, what counts as “queer” in any given time and place depends on what counts as “normal”.Ancient literature’s queerness, consequently, has two dimensions: (a) accounts—real and imagined—of sexual behaviours, erotic desires, intimate relationships, and notorious figures recognizably at odds with the sociosexual norms of Greece and Rome (“ancient queers”); and (b) accounts that, whatever their status in antiquity, appear strikingly odd in their later reception (“queer ancients”). These two dimensions can and do converge, as in the development of modern Western sexual identity categories (homosexual, bisexual, etc.), which drew heavily on ancient “case studies.”Frank about their committed stance in the present, queer readings of ancient literature interrogate interconnected formations and histories of misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, racism, and classism; ponder and celebrate pre-modern instances of resistance to sexual norms; and tap into the classical past in order to open new possibilities for erotic and social relations and subjectivities.

Article

race  

Denise Eileen McCoskey

Contrary to the assumptions of previous eras, since the late 20th century, race has been widely regarded as a form of identity based in social construction rather than biology. The concept of race has experienced a corresponding return to classical studies, although this approach gives it significant overlap with terminology like ethnicity and cultural identity. The ancient Greeks and Romans did not consider human biology or skin color the source of racial identity, although the belief that human variation was determined by the environment or climate persisted throughout antiquity. Ancient ethnographic writing provides insight into ancient racial thought and stereotypes in both the Greek and Roman periods. Race in the Greek world centered in large part around the emergence of the category of Greek alongside that of barbarian, but there were other important racial frameworks in operation, including a form of racialized citizenship in Athens. Modes for expressing racial identity changed in the aftermath of the campaigns of Alexander the Great, a figure whose own racial identity has been the subject of debate. In the Roman period, Roman citizenship became a major factor in determining one’s identity, but racial thought nonetheless persisted. Ideas about race were closely correlated with the Roman practice of empire, and representations of diverse racial groups are especially prominent in conquest narratives. Hellenistic and Roman Egypt provide an opportunity for looking at race in everyday life in antiquity, while Greek and Roman attitudes towards Jews suggest that they were perceived as a distinct group. Reception studies play a critical role in analyzing the continuing connections between race and classics.

Article

C. A. Martindale and Lorna Hardwick

‘Reception’, in the specialized sense used within literary theory, is a concept of German origin, associated primarily with the Constance school of critics led by H. R. Jauss and W. Iser, and often subsequently used to replace words like tradition, heritage, influence, etc. , each key-word having its own implied agenda (for a symbiotic relationship between reception and tradition, see Budelmann and Haubold in Hardwick and Stray (eds.) (2008)). Studies of reception-history (Rezeptionsgeschichte) are studies of the reading, interpretation, (re)fashioning, appropriation, use, and abuse of past texts over the centuries. In providing a theoretical framework for such studies Jauss started from the proposition, previously advanced within German hermeneutics, e.g. in Hans-Georg Gadamer's Truth and Method (1960; Eng. trans. 1975), that interpretation always takes place within history, and is subject to the contingencies of its historical moment; there is no permanently ‘correct’ reading of a text, but an ever-changing ‘fusion of horizons’ between text and interpreter. Thus reception-theory, like other modern theories of reading, stresses the importance of the reader, within the triangle writer–text–reader, for the construction of meaning. So Horace, as a man, as a body of texts, as an authority for different ways of living, has been diversely read in the west over the last 500 years, by scholars, poets, and ‘men of letters’, and our current images are shaped in response to that reception-history.

Article

Reception in historical novels set in ancient Greece and Rome differs fundamentally between the 19th and the 20th/21st centuries. In the 19th century, reception was governed heavily by imperial attitudes and religious controversies, particularly in regard to claims about the true Christian faith under the Roman Empire. Hence, novels set in Rome or the Roman Empire dominated the field. In the 20th century, attitudes to empire and religion were drastically revised in the wake of World War I. The growing authority of academic history in an age of scientific progress was another factor which helped to produce a decline in the reputation of historical fiction. Other changes, however, were more stimulating in nature, including the use of ancient Greece as a setting, more impressive source analysis, the rise of female novelists, different subjects and perspectives, and new social and sexual attitudes. These and other developments lifted the reputation of historical fiction once more.

Article

Andrew F. Stewart

Retrospective styles in sculpture. At various times, each of the three main Greek sculptural styles, the Archaic, the Classical, and the Hellenistic Baroque, was revived by both Greeks and Romans, for a variety of reasons and in a variety of contexts (see classicism; cf. the linguistic phenomenon of archaism in latin).1. Archaizing and archaistic sculpture. ‘Mannered’ or ‘archaizing’ traits occasionally appear in late Archaic sculpture, and ‘lingering Archaic’ is a persistent phenomenon of the 5th cent. bce. By c.400, however, both the archaizing and completely archaistic styles are fully established. Examples of the former are the Hermes Propylaeus and Hecate Epipyrgidia of *Phidias' pupil *Alcamenes, dated c.420. The Hermes grafts an ‘Archaic’ coiffure on to a classical physiognomy, and the Hecate wears ‘Archaic’ step-fold drapery. Both stood on the Acropolis, and use the style to convey an aura of ancient sanctity. Fully ‘archaic’ cult statues appear in pedimental sculpture (the Sack of Troy) at the Argive *Heraion (see argos (1)) and *Epidaurusc.

Article

Antony Spawforth, Martin Millett, and Stephen Mitchell

Romanization originally meant the spread of Roman civilization to Italy and the provinces. The term was coined in the 19th cent. and used unreflectively until the 1960s, when scholars influenced by post-colonialism started to question its underlying assumptions. In recent years its fitness to describe the complex processes of interaction between the dominant culture of Rome and the local cultures of the empire has been hotly debated, although an alternative term has yet to win broad consensus. A famous passage in Tacitus (Agr.21) suggests that the imperial state did, sometimes, deliberately promote Roman culture in the provinces as a tool of *imperialism. That same culture, however, was itself profoundly shaped by interaction with neighbouring peoples and cultures, especially *Hellenism. Today's exploration of the relationship between Roman and non-Roman cultures emphasizes the responses of the ruled as much as the rulers, and ‘ordinary’ provincials as well as elites. It engages with a range of ideas and models, including integration, acculturation, resistance, identity, and *creolisation.

Article

Rufinus is known only for a work transmitted by the manuscripts as A commentary on the metres of Terence (Commentarium in metra Terentiana), which includes a section clearly taken from a different treatise and reconstructed with the title On the composition and rhythms of the orators (De compositione et de numeris oratorum). In the two sections, Rufinus uses different styles of address, identifying himself as u. d. (uir deuotus, ‘a devout man’) in the former work and as u. c. (uir clarissimus, ‘a right honourable man’) in the latter, perhaps as a result of an intervening change in his status. The incipit also gives Rufinus the adjective Antiochensis, ‘of Antiochia’, thus identifying him as a Latin teacher active in the Greek East.1 The inclusion of Servius among his authorities provides a terminus post at the end of the 4th century, while the presence of Rufinus as a source in Priscian places him no later than the 5th century.

Article

Nigel Wilson

In one sense of the term scholarship began when literature became a central element of education and the prescribed texts had to be explained and interpreted to pupils in a class. An early reflex of this activity is the reported invention by *Theagenes (2) of Rhegium (late 6th cent. bce) of the allegorical method of interpretation, which could be used to deny the literal meaning of supposedly objectionable passages of *Homer. But scholarship, like literary criticism, was slow to develop in the Classical period. In the Peripatos (see peripatetic school) *Aristotle and his disciples were not primarily concerned with literature or history, but their discussions of Homer and concern with the chronology of Athenian dramatic festivals were a step forward. Recognizably scholarly work, including the composition of books or pamphlets about literary texts, began early in the 3rd cent. bce in *Alexandria (1) under the patronage of the Ptolemies (see Ptolemy (1)); to what extent the ideals of the Peripatos were influential, possibly through the influence of *Demetrius (3) of Phalerum, is a disputed question.

Article

Classical texts formed the core of the arts curriculum in medieval schools and universities and were central to two of the three higher faculties, law and medicine, as well. But modern classical scholarship—the systematic effort to collect and study the written and material remains of the ancient world as a whole—came into being in 14th-cent. northern Italy. Here teachers of rhetoric began to teach from *Cicero rather than the ‘modern’—i.e. medieval—texts they had previously used. Formal imitation of the classics became systematic. Scholars began to see classical Latin texts as distinctively better than later ones: they copied, read, and studied a wide range of literary and historical texts that had generally not been read in the Middle Ages. Access to new material created new questions: problems of attribution and dating that had not interested medieval scholars cropped up and new techniques were devised to solve them. Before 1320Giovanni de Matociis of Verona had established in a formal essay that the Pliny who wrote the Natural History could not have written the Letters as well (see pliny(1–2)).

Article

Andrew Erskine

Scipionic Circle is a term used to describe P. *Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus and his friends, who were considered to be a group sharing the same cultural and even political outlook. The concept emerged during the 19th cent. and had become a commonplace of scholarship by the early 20th, although today it is regarded with suspicion. It is heavily dependent on Cicero's Rep. and Amic. (esp. 69), the former gathering together Scipio and his ‘friends’ for a discussion on government, the latter listing his friends; but the fictitious nature of these dialogues means that they should be treated very cautiously. The ‘circle’ was held to include prominent Romans such as C. *Laelius (2) and L. *Furius Philus, younger men such as P. *Rutilius Rufus, writers such as *Terence and *Lucilius (1), and the Greeks *Polybius (1) and *Panaetius. Together they were the main advocates of Greek culture within Rome (see philhellenism), in sharp contrast to the traditionalists whose cause was embodied by M.

Article

Ewen Bowie

Second Sophistic is the term regularly applied in modern scholarship to the period c. 60–230 ce when *declamation became the most prestigious literary activity in the Greek world. Philostratus (see philostrati (no. 2)) coined the term in his Lives of the Sophists, claiming a link between the Classical *sophists and the movement whose first member he identified as Nicetes of Smyrna in the reign of *Nero (Lives 1. 19). The term sophist (σοφιστής; verb σοφιστεύειν) seems restricted to rhetors (public speakers, see rhetoric, greek) who entered upon a career of public displays, though usage even in the Digest is erratic, and Philostratus' Dionysius of Miletus (Lives 1. 22) is simply rhetor on his sarcophagus at Ephesus (Inschriften von Ephesos426).On the evidence of Philostratus, whose 40 lives of imperial sophists include several Severan contemporaries, and of other literary and epigraphic texts, it is clear that for these 170 years declamation was not simply an exercise for teachers of rhetoric and their pupils but a major art form in its own right. It flourished especially in Athens and the great cities of western Asia Minor, above all *Pergamum, *Smyrna, and *Ephesus.

Article

Arnaldo Momigliano and Andrew Lintott

Senatus consultum ultimum ‘the ultimate decree of the *senate’, a modern term, deriving from Caes. BCiv. 1. 5, for what was in fact a declaration of emergency.This decree urged magistrates, usually the consul or consuls, to take measures to defend the respublica and see that it came to no harm (Cic.Phil. 5. 34; Sall.Cat. 29). It was interpreted as authorizing the magistrates to employ physical repression against (unspecified) public enemies without being bound by strict legality. Inevitably it was a matter of political controversy, since questions arose whether the circumstances merited this decree and what level of force and illegality was appropriate after it.The decree was first both passed and accepted by the consul in 121 bce, against C. *Sempronius Gracchus and M. *Fulvius Flaccus. It was later used against L. *Appuleius Saturninus and C. *Servilius Glaucia (100), M. *Aemilius Lepidus (2) (77), the Catilinarians (see sergius catilina, l.

Article

M. D. Reeve

Textual criticism sets out to establish what a text originally said or meant to say. Anyone who checks a garbled message with the sender has given a faultless demonstration of it. Classical texts, which have mostly come down through a succession of copies, present stiffer challenges. Even some inscriptions (see epigraphy) are corrupt.Politian (Poliziano; see scholarship, classical, history of) in 1489 first refined ancient methods by showing that for historical reconstruction authorities were less to be counted than weighed and derivative ones ignored. He made such arresting discoveries as that all copies of Cicero's Ad familiares in circulation derived from one misbound ancestor. For 300 years these insights were seldom exploited even by critics good at picking out valuable witnesses, like Heinsius and Bentley; and when genealogical classification finally took hold, among editors of the Bible in the later 18th cent. and of classical texts in the 1820s, it was not until 1872 that the historical linguist Johannes Schmidt framed the cardinal principle, still often flouted, that in a family only shared innovations indicate a closer relationship.

Article

topos  

Glenn W. Most and Gian Biagio Conte

Topos, a standard form of rhetorical argumentation or a variably expressible literary commonplace.In classical rhetoric, inventio aids the orator to find elements of persuasion: τόποι or loci are both the places where such elements (especially plausible argumentative patterns) lurk, and those patterns themselves (e.g. Arist.Rh. 2. 22–3; Quint. Inst. 5. 10); if universally applicable (in various senses) they can be called κοινοὶ τόποι or loci communes. They are the habitual tools of ordinary thought but can also be studied and technically applied. No two rhetoricians provide the same catalogue, but some of the more familiar τόποι include arguments ad hominem or a fortiori, from homonymy or *etymology, from antecedents or effects.Although in this sense the ancient discussions remain important for contemporary analyses of everyday argumentation, the general decline of rhetoric in modern culture has led topoi, like other rhetorical concepts, to seek refuge in literary studies. The recent critical topos of applying the term also, and especially, to commonly but variably expressed literary contents (clichéd metaphors and commonplace thoughts) ultimately derives from E.

Article

C. A. Martindale and Lorna Hardwick

‘Translation is so far removed from the sterile equation of two dead languages that of all literary forms it is the one charged with the special mission of watching over the maturing process of the original language and the birth pangs of its own’ (W. Benjamin, The Task of the Translator (1923), trans. H. Zohn (1968)). In just this way the developing literature and culture of Rome can be seen as a series of acts of translation from Greek sources. Translation mediated the relationship between Greece and Rome and, thereafter, Rome and the European vernaculars; *Isidorus(2) of Seville (10. 123) etymologizes interpres, ‘translator’, as one standing inter partes ‘between the two sides’. Members of the Roman élite learned, read, and spoke Greek, competing with each other in the cultural fruits of Hellenization (see hellenism): M. *Porcius Cato(1) ostentatiously addressed a Greek audience in Latin, using a translator, but could easily have spoken in Greek (Plut.

Article

Modern expressions for the Greeks of Italy and Sicily, cf. magna graecia. (But ‘western Greece’ can mean the western part of Greece proper.).