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Article

Marilyn B. Skinner

The basic dominance-submission model of sexual relations, involving a hierarchical distinction between the active and passive roles, was the same in Greek and Roman cultures and remained unchanged throughout classical antiquity. However, we find subtle modifications reflected in the literary tradition from the Homeric age to imperial Rome. In Homer and Hesiod, heterosexual relations are the only recognized form of sexual congress, and consensual sex is mutually pleasurable. Forced sex, in the form of abduction and rape, also occurs in epic narrative. Pederasty became a literary theme in Greek lyric poetry of the archaic age. In classical Athens, discourses of sexuality were tied to political ideology, because self-control was a civic virtue enabling the free adult male householder to manage his estate correctly and serve the city-state in war and peace. Tragedy illustrates the dire impact of unbridled erōs, while comedy mocks those who trespass against moderation or violate gender norms, and forensic oratory seeks to disqualify such offenders from participating in government. Philosophical schools disagreed over the proper place of erōs in a virtuous life.

Article

silence  

R. B. Rutherford

Narrators, dramatists, and orators know that there are times when silence is far more effective than the most powerful speech. Only a brief selection can be attempted. The chief motives for silence in Greek epic and drama are intense grief (compare Job 2: 10–3: 1), deep anger, or some other form of emotional distress (including passionate love). Examples are *Homer, Il. 1. 511 ff. (*Zeus), Od. 11. 563 ff. (*Ajax), the latter imitated by Verg.Aen. 6. 469 ff. (*Dido); Aesch.Agam. 1035 ff. (the role of *Cassandra), paralleled in the lost Niobe and Myrmidons and parodied by Ar.Frogs 833 ff., cf. 907–26; Soph. 1252 ff. (Oedipus); Eur.Hipp. 310 and elsewhere (on the theme of speech and silence in that play see Knox). *Herodotus (1) uses the same technique (e.g. 1. 86. 3–4). In a slightly different category comes Pylades in Aesch.

Article

Tiberius Catius Asconius Silius Italicus (c. 26–102 ce), Roman politician and poet, author of the Punica, an *epic of 17 books on the Second *Punic War, at over 12,000 lines the longest poem in Latin. Before turning to the composition of poetry in retirement Silius had an outstanding public career (the evidence for his life comes from *Martial's epigrams and a distinctly tepid death-notice in *Pliny (2), Ep. 3. 7). Zealous in prosecution under *Nero, he was the last consul appointed by the emperor in ce 68, at an early age for a *novus homo. In the turmoil of the next year he was engaged in tense high-level negotiations between A. *Vitellius and Vespasian's brother (Tac.Hist. 3. 65); his support for Vitellius did not harm him, for he reached the peak of a senator's career under Vespasian, as proconsul of Asia (c.

Article

silva  

Leofranc Holford-Strevens

Silva (pluralsilvae), properly woodland, undergrowth, uncultivated land, or a wooded hill-slope (used in Italy for pasture, hence symbolic of pastoral poetry), metaphorically denotes profuse variety or (like its Greek counterpart ὕλη) raw material, including a rough draft (Quint.Inst. 10. 3. 17) or a collection of notes (Suet. Gram.

Article

R. A. Kaster

Sinnius Capito, a younger contemporary of *Varro whose scholarly writings—a treatise on syllables, Epistulae (with grammatical discussions), and antiquarian works—were used by *Verrius Flaccus, *Gellius, and others.

Article

Sinon  

Stephen J. Harrison

Sinon, character in literature and mythology, a Greek who claimed falsely to have deserted from the Greek forces at *Troy and who inveigled the Trojans into taking the Trojan Horse inside the walls of Troy; he then later released the Greek heroes from the Horse and joined them in sacking the city. This story is related by *Virgil in the Aeneid (2.

Article

Andrew J. W. Laird

The rhēsis (a formally constructed monologue in direct discourse) is the most frequent way of presenting the speech of characters in Greek and Roman literature. Rhēseis are prevalent in *narrative*genres as well as in drama. Although the rapid exchange between characters of a few words of direct discourse is also common in drama and can be found in *dialogue, prose fiction and satire, it is relatively rare in the major narrative genres. Various forms of indirect discourse are also used by narrators in ancient texts. However, for most authors, direct discourse is the preferred medium for the presentation of characters' speech. Roman historiography offers a significant exception to this general practice: speeches are most often presented in indirect discourse or free indirect style. See historiography, all three entries.The importance of *rhetoric and oratory in the Graeco-Roman world in part explains the continuing trend in ancient literature for presenting characters' discourse in rhēseis.

Article

Deborah Roberts

Sphragis, literally seal or signet, a motif in which an author names or otherwise identifies himself or herself, especially at the beginning or end of a poem or collection of poems. This modern critical usage of the term looks back to two possibly related metaphorical uses in antiquity, both incompletely understood: *Theognis (1) (19–23) speaks of setting his seal (sphrēgis) on his verses, to protect them from tampering (see plagiarism), and the sphragis that was one of the concluding sections of the nome (see nomos(2); Pollux 4. 66) may on the evidence of *Timotheus (1)'s Persians have named the author. Such self-identification, sometimes programmatic, is to be found as early as Hesiod's Theogony; its initial function may in part have been to identify a work or body of work with its author in a period of poetic fluidity. But the use of the sphragis, especially to end a collection of poems, continues into Hellenistic and Roman literature; see e.

Article

Roman Poet born between 45 ce and the early 50s in the distinctively Greek city of Naples (*Neapolis). Statius was the son of a man who had a glittering career first as a professional poet on the Greek festival circuit (see agōnes), and then as a teacher in Naples and in Rome, where the family moved when Statius was in his teens (Silv. 5. 3). Although Statius did not follow either of these careers, his debt to his father's inheritance is manifest particularly in the Silvae, where the often impromptu praise-displays of the Greek festivals blend with the Roman tradition of friendship poetry to produce something new in Latin literature. Popular from a young age as a poet in Rome, he may have composed a *pantomime libretto for Paris, Domitian's favourite (executed ce 83: Juv. 7. 82–7). He was victorious in the poetry competition at Domitian's annual Alban games (prob. March 90), but suffered a mortifying failure in the much more prestigious Capitoline Games, almost certainly later in the same year (Silv.

Article

Edward Courtney

A Stoic writer (See stoicism), alleged source in Hor.Sat. 2. 3 (see l. 296) said by [Helenius Acro] (on Hor.Epist. 1. 12. 20) to have written 220 books; the implication that these were in verse is not credible.

Article

sublime  

Glenn W. Most and Gian Biagio Conte

Sublime (ὕψος Sublimitas), that quality of genius in great literary works which irresistibly delights, inspires, and overwhelms the reader.Although ancient rhetoric, in its theory of the three genera dicendi (e.g. Cicero, Orat. 21. 69; Quintilian, Inst. 12. 10. 58), distinguished a grandiloquent style, for arousing the listeners' passions (ἁδρόν, grande, vehemens, sublime), from a dry one, for demonstrating by arguments (ἰσχνόν, subtile, tenue, gracile), and a moderate or ornate one, for providing pleasure (γλαφυρόν, medium, mediocre, floridum), the isolation and glorification of the sublime as a central aesthetic category is largely the achievement of the anonymous author of the treatise Περὶ ὕψους, ‘On the sublime’ (1st cent. ce), long attributed to *Cassius Longinus (see 'longinus'). Applying Platonic views on poetic inspiration to the needs of the rhetorical schools, ps.-Longinus emphasizes the imaginative power of the canonical poets and prose authors of earlier periods (*Homer, *Demosthenes (2), but also Genesis and *Cicero), which enthrals, enhances, yet also annihilates the reader.

Article

Edward Courtney

Probably contemporary with *Lucretius, wrote a pedantic Moretum showing some resemblances to the pseudo-Vergilian poem of that name (see appendix vergiliana), and other poems of uncertain content.

Article

Suetonius (Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus) was the son of the equestrian (see equites, Imperial period) Suetonius Laetus, tribune (see tribuni militum) of Legio XIII (see legion) at *Bedriacum in 69 ce, and originated perhaps from Pisaurum in Umbria or (see umbrians), more likely, *Hippo Regius (mod. Bône) in Numidia. From the correspondence of the younger *Pliny (2), he appears already to have attracted attention in Rome as an author and scholar by c. 97 ce, and also to have gained experience in advocacy. Perhaps intending to pursue the equestrian cursus, he secured through Pliny's patronage a military tribunate in Britain c.102, which in the event he declined to hold; c. 110 ce, however, he probably travelled with Pliny to *Bithynia as a member of the provincial governor's retinue, gaining soon after, again through Pliny's intercession, the ius trium liberorum (see ius liberorum).

Article

Laurel Fulkerson

Sulpicia (1), daughter or perhaps granddaughter of Servius Sulpicius Rufus, niece and ward of M. Valerius Messalla Corvinus. Her six short elegies, 3.13–18 (= 4.7–12) in the Tibullan collection (see tibullus, albius), are probably the only extant poems by a Roman woman in the Classical era (see Sulpicia II for another potential example). They record her love affair with a young man whom she calls by the Greek pseudonym Cerinthus. Her poems are fairly explicit about her desires—more explicit than most other elegiac poems—and she firmly assumes the “male” subject position, implicitly feminizing Cerinthus. Even if the affair was a prelude to marriage, as some think (connecting Cerinthus, via a bilingual pun, to the Cornutus of Tib. 2.2 and 2.3), the public display of sexual independence on the part of an unmarried female aristocrat runs counter to conventional morality. The disjunction between author and material is so unusual, in fact, that some believe “Sulpicia” to be a pseudonym for one or more male authors of the Augustan period exploring a female viewpoint along the lines of Catullus or Ovid in the Heroides, or they even posit that she is a much later invention.

Article

Mario Citroni

Sulpicia (2), poet of the age of *Domitian. *Martial 10.38, which must have been written on her death (lines 12–14) after fifteen years of happy marriage, is to be dated between 94 and 98 ce. She wrote love poems addressed to her husband Calenus, expressing, according to Martial (10.35, 38), both total fidelity and bold sensuality, a feature confirmed by her one surviving fragment, which is a rare example in Latin poetry of married eroticism. She is mentioned on several occasions in later literature (Auson. p. 218.10 P., Sidon.Carm. 9.261, Fulgent.Myth. 1.4) and a poem in seventy hexameters, the Sulpiciae conquestio (Epigrammata Bobiensia 37), is written in her name. In it she is made to abandon minor verse (in hendecasyllables, iambic trimeters, and scazons) and to denounce the degradation of the empire under Domitian, in relation to a banishment of philosophers; the victims of this banishment supposedly include Calenus. The style, prosody, and implausibility of the piece point to its being a late text, probably from the same date as the Bobbio collection itself (end of 4th or beginning of 5th century ce).

Article

Scholar; taught Aulus *Gellius and the emperor *Pertinax. He published discussions of learned questions in letter-form (now lost) and wrote metrical summaries (*periochae) of the plays of *Terence (included in editions of Terence), but not the verse summaries of the Aeneid attributed to him (Baehrens, PLM 4.

Article

Edward Courtney

Sulpicius Camerinus wrote a sequel to Homer's Iliad (Ovid, Pont. 4. 16. 19); if identical with the consul of 9 ce he was Quintus.

Article

Author of erotic poems (Ov. Tr. 2.441, Plin. Ep. 3.5.3).

Article

Symphosius, the preferred anglophone spelling of the form “Symposius” transmitted by the manuscripts, is generally taken as the name of the author of a collection of a hundred verse riddles which survives in the Anthologia Latina. Each riddle comprises three hexameters and is preceded by a lemma, which gives the “answer.” The collection is introduced by a longer, prefatory poem which asserts that the riddles were composed ex tempore at a drink-fuelled dinner to celebrate the Saturnalia and apologises for their professed low quality. As is again suggested by the manuscript tradition, this collection was probably called the Aenigmata; and if, as seems quite possible, the author was influenced by the Griphus Ternarii Numeri of Ausonius, it is understandable that he might want to assert some independence by using in his own title a synonym for griphus.The author may really have been called Symphosius (the name is attested in CIL VIII 27333, an inscription from Thugga (mod.

Article

R. H. Martin and A. J. Woodman

1. P.(?) Cornelius Tacitus was born between ce56 and 58. It is thought that his father was the equestrian *procurator of Belgica mentioned by *Pliny(1) the Elder (HN 7. 76) and that the family came from Narbonese or Cisalpine Gaul (see gaul (transalpine) and gaul (cisalpine)). Tacitus was in Rome at latest by 75 (Dial. 17.3 with Mayer), where he enjoyed an uninterrupted career under *Vespasian, *Titus, and *Domitian (Hist. 1. 1. 3). If his funerary inscription has been correctly identified (CIL 6.41106), he was Quaestor Augusti (or Caesaris) (see quaestor) around 81 and then tribune of the plebs (see tribuni plebis); he was praetor in 88, by which time he was also a member of the prestigious priesthood, the college of the *quindecimvirisacris faciundis (Ann. 11. 11. 1). During 89–93 he was absent from Rome (Agr.