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alcoholism, Roman  

John Maxwell O'Brien and Barney Rickenbacker

The ancient Romans were as interested in the harmful effects of excessive drinking and chronic intoxication as their Greek counterparts. In On the Nature of Things, *Lucretius writes that wine's fury disturbs the soul, debilitates the body, and provokes quarrels (3. 476–83). The younger *Seneca warns that habitual drunkenness so weakens the mind that its consequences are felt long after the drinking has stopped (Ep. 83. 26). He notes that some men become so tolerant of wine that even though they are inebriated they appear to be sober (Ep. 83. 11). Seneca also suggests that drunkenness tends to disclose and magnify character defects (Ep. 83. 19–20). In his Naturalis historia, *Pliny (1) the Elder finds irony in the fact that men spend hard-earned money on something that can damage the mind and cause madness (14. 137). Like the Greeks, Pliny comments on truth in wine (‘in vino veritas’), but emphasizes that the truths therein revealed are often better left unspoken (HN 14.


Domus Aurea  

Larry Ball

The Domus Aurea (Golden House) was the opulent residence of the emperor Nero (r. 54–68 ce), set in a vast park in Rome. Ancient literary sources on the Domus Aurea are abundant, albeit not wholly reliable or fair to Nero. Both Suetonius (Ner. 31) and Tacitus (Ann. 15.38–40 and 42) describe the construction. The first phase started in c. 60 ce. This was called the Domus Transitoria, which was interrupted by the great fire of 64 ce. “Domus Aurea” refers to the second phase, after the fire. Given its enormous scale, the Domus Aurea may not have been fully completed in just four years, but at least part of it was finished, most likely the core of the residence, on the Palatine Hill, near the forum, and Nero did move in. The palatine core is largely unknown to us, but the vast parklands created to the east of the forum area include a fine villa on the Esquiline Hill that bespeaks a spectacular new standard both for architectural design in vaulted Roman concrete and in decoration. After Nero, systematic obliteration of the Domus Aurea began with Vespasian (r. 69–79 ce), who sought to erase Nero’s memory.


papyrology, Latin  

J. David Thomas

In comparison with Greek papyri, Latin papyri are uncommon, even when “papyri” is understood in a wide sense so as to include *ostraca and parchment scraps. This is so because the vast majority of papyri come from the eastern Mediterranean, where the language of administration was Greek even under the Roman empire. Latin was in regular use in this area until c. 300ce only in the military sphere; and although *Diocletian made an effort to encourage the use of Latin in the eastern provinces, this did not have any great effect.Since the turn of the 20th century, some 600 Latin papyri have been published, less than a quarter of which are literary. Most come from Egypt, but finds have also been made at Dura-*Europus, Nessana, and *Masada, as well as in the west. Two literary papyri dating from the reign of *Augustus are known: the much discussed elegiac verses from Qasr Ibrim attributed to *Cornelius Gallus1 and a fragment of *Cicero, In Verrem (CPL 20).


Res gestae  

Nicholas Purcell

Res gestae (of *Augustus). Augustus left four documents with the Vestal Virgins (see vesta) to be read, after his death, in the senate (Suet. Aug.101). One of these was a record of his achievements (Index rerum a se gestarum), in the style of the claims of the triumphatores of the Roman past, which was to be erected on bronze pillars at the entrance of his mausoleum in the *Campus Martius at Rome. This is known to us from a copy, updated after Augustus' death, which was piously affixed (with a Greek translation) to the antae of the front of the cella of the temple of Rome and Augustus at *Ancyra, capital of *Galatia and therefore centre of the imperial cult of the province. Small fragments of other copies have been found at *Apollonia and *Antioch (2) in Pisidia (also in the province of Galatia); it is likely but not established that copies were widely set up in the provinces.