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Article

Clodia  

Marilyn B. Skinner

During the final decades of the Roman Republic, Clodia, usually designated “Clodia Metelli” to differentiate her from her two like-named sisters, was one of its most prominent and politically involved noblewomen. Eldest of the six children of Ap. Claudius Pulcher, consul in 79 bce, she may have been a product of an earlier marriage and thus a step-sister to her five siblings. Her union with her first cousin Q. Caecilius Metellus Celer resulted in just one known child, their daughter Metella. Like her youngest brother P. Clodius Pulcher, who adopted a radical populist stance, she may have affected the nonelite spelling and pronunciation of the family name “Claudius” to court the goodwill of the masses. In 60 bce, Clodia used her privileges as a consul’s wife to further her brother’s aims, thereby putting herself at odds with her staunchly conservative husband. Through his consular powers, Metellus was able to thwart Clodius’s efforts to seek the office of tribune, but his sudden death in early 59 bce led to rumors that his wife had poisoned him.

Article

Ernst Badian

Novus homo (“new man”), term used in the late republic (and probably earlier) in various related senses: for the first man of a family to reach the senate, where he normally remained a “small senator” (BAfr. 57); in a special sense, for such a man actually to rise to the consulship; and (although in our sources less frequently) for the first man of a senatorial family to reach the consulship (e.g. Cic. Off. 1.138). The first of these achievements was not very difficult, provided a man had at least equestrian standing (see equites), some military or oratorical ability, and good connections. The last was also far from rare: it was in this way that the *nobilitas was constantly reinvigorated. But few men rose from outside the senate to a consulship, and the most frequent use of the term in fact characterizes this unusual achievement. It took unusual merit and effort and either noble patronage (e.g. that of the Flacci for M.

Article

Alessandro Garcea

Julius Caesar’s composition of two books entitled De Analogia in the spring of 55 or 54bce must be seen as a contribution to the contemporary debate about the role of language at the end of the Republic. When normalisation measures became a priority in the growing Roman world, and after the publication of Cicero’s De Oratore, Caesar restored the use of sermo facilis et cotidianus (“easy and everyday speech”) (fr. 1b Garcea: Cic. Brut. 253) to the heart of eloquence. This standard linguistic model was based on the twin elements of Latinitas (“correct Latin”) and explanatio (“clarity”), which join in elegantia (“refined diction”) (see Auct. ad Her. 4.12.17), the chief quality of Caesar’s eloquence according to all ancient sources. To achieve the first goal, Caesar resorted to ratio (“analogy”), the rules which form a linguistic system and which, within consuetudo (“usage”), allow a distinction to be drawn between forms that are correct and those that are incorrect or useless. In order that speech may attain clarity, he called for an extremely selective dilectus uerborum (“choice of words”) (fr.

Article

Kathryn Tempest

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106–43 bce) was Rome’s greatest orator and a leading politician during the closing years of the Roman republic. Born to a wealthy equestrian family of Arpinum, he was a novus homo who made his name and networks at Rome by building on the successes of his forensic activity. As a rising politician he was appointed quaestor in western Sicily in 75 bce; otherwise, his career was spent mostly in Rome, where he served as aedile in 69 and praetor in 66. His consulship in 63 followed an exemplary rise up the cursus honorum during which he obtained every magistracy at the earliest opportunity available to him by law. His year as consul is best remembered for his handling of the Catilinarian affair and his prompt execution of its leading conspirators. Despite Cicero’s insistence that he had saved Rome, the questionable legality of his actions caused a serious blow to his political reputation when it resulted in his brief exile in 58–57 bce.

Article

Larinum  

Elizabeth Robinson

Larinum (modern Larino, Molise) was a city located on the eastern edge of Samnium on the southern border of the territory of the Frentani, and on the northern border of Daunia (see Daunians) (Fig. 1). The ethnic affiliation of the city is disputed by ancient authors (Caes. B Civ. 1.23; Livy 22.18.8, 22.24.1, 27.43.10; Plin. HN 3.11.103, 3.11.105; Pompon. 2.65; Ptol. Geog. 3.1; Steph. Byz. 413 lines 16–17), but it is clear that the pre-Roman inhabitants of Larinum spoke Oscan and shared cultural traits with their various neighbors.The earliest evidence of human activity at Larinum is a series of prehistoric tombs dating to the 9th centurybce. Later, in the 7th or 6th centurybce, a defensive earthwork agger and fossa may have been built at the site. Traces of the first stone houses at Larinum likely date as early as the 5th centurybce, and a new fortification wall with some stretches built in polygonal masonry was erected in the late 4th or early 3rd centurybce.

Article

Lawrence Kim

Asianism is a modern coinage referring to the rhetorical practice of certain Greek and Latin orators whose styles were designated by ancient critics as Asian (Asianus, Asiaticus, Ἀσιανός)—the “Asia” in question being the Republican Roman province. Asian eloquence was often contrasted unfavorably to a corresponding Attic style (Atticus, Ἀττικός), which was modelled on the prose of classical Athenian writers (a practice now known as Atticism). This opposition between Asian and Attic styles is first attested in Roman oratorical circles during the mid-1st century bce and was subsequently adopted by Greek critics in Augustan Rome, but seems to have fallen out of fashion by the reign of Tiberius. While Attic remains a general stylistic ideal in the more broadly conceived classicism of Imperial Greek literature, the term Asian disappears as a stylistic label. In a related, but separate development, from the late 1st century ce onwards, Greek literary writers increasingly adhered to a linguistic, rather than stylistic, variety of Atticism, which concentrated on reproducing the ancient Attic dialect used by Athenian authors of the 5th and 4th centuries bce.

Article

Aratus is said to have studied philosophy in Athens, probably coming into contact with Zeno, founder of the Stoic school; subsequently, in 276 bce, he arrived at the court of Antigonus (2) ‘Gonatas’ of Macedon. Little can be independently proven, since the extant lives probably all derive from a single Hellenistic commentator.1Aratus ranks among the finest Hellenistic poets, beside Callimachus (3) and Apollonius (1) Rhodius. He wrote many other works, most of which are lost.2 His sole surviving poem, the Phaenomena, which comprises more than a thousand lines in epic hexameters, describes the positions and motions of the constellations and teaches the reader how to recognize signs of impending weather on earth. The Phaenomena is written in an idealized version of the Archaic language of Homer and Hesiod, and contains mythological material in the form of aitia for some constellations.3 It falls into two parts, the ‘.

Article

Alexander Yakobson

Optimates and populares are political terms from late-Republican sources referring to a political divide between supporters of the senatorial authority and champions of popular liberty and popular demands. The precise meaning of these terms and the nature of the divide to which they refer have long been disputed among scholars. Though the sources sometimes speak of partes in this context, it is obvious that the Republic had no “senatorial party” or “popular party” in anything like the modern sense of the term. Based on this, and on the tendency to describe Republican politics as wholly dominated by personal and family connections and rivalries within the ruling class, the significance of the political divide in question has often been dismissed or minimized. However, the sources repeatedly indicate that this divide could, at least on occasion, play an important role in public affairs—alongside other factors including personal ties, family alliances, and oligarchic cliques. One of the consequences of the fact that the labels optimates and populares did not signify a formalized affiliation was that their usage was highly flexible, often inconsistent, and certainly open to manipulation. Pro-senatorial politicians might claim, in public, to be “true friends of the people (populares),” unlike their allegedly demagogic anti-senatorial opponents. But terms that are meaningless or insignificant to the wider public are of little use to political manipulators—who have in any case no guarantee, in a competitive political system, that their manipulation, rather than a rival one, will always carry the day. As long as Republican politics lasted, the optimate/popular divide appears to have been a significant feature. Its relative importance, and specific import, must have varied greatly from case to case, and should in every case be assessed individually.