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Article

Simon Goldhill

An anecdote in English means a short and pointed narrative, often of a biographical nature, which is not usually attributed to an author. The ancient Greek word anekdotos means no more than “unpublished,” and is a very rare term. But there are three main words—chreia, paradoxon, and paradeigma (exemplum in Latin)—which were used in Greek to categorize such stories. These terms together give an important insight into the literary culture of antiquity, especially in the Greek-speaking world of the Roman Empire, revealing how knowledge circulates and how elites performed their relationship to the past.A chreia is a very brief story culminating in or consisting of a single sentence put-down or witty rejoinder. It is often associated with Cynic philosophy: “Diogenes is to be praised for rubbing away on his genital organ in public and saying to the bystanders, ‘If only it were as easy to rub away hunger’” (Plutarch .

Article

Jakob Fortunat Stagl

The institutional scheme of Roman law was developed primarily by Gaius on the basis of a preceding tradition of law manuals. The scheme consists of dividing the law into a General Part, Family Law, Property Law, Law of Succession, Law of Obligations, and Civil Procedure. This scheme is apparent not only in Gaius’s Institutes but also in the whole of his didactic scheme, which can be discerned from descriptions of the curriculum in his time. Gaius’s larger didactic scheme is indebted to contemporary philosophical, rhetorical, and didactic currents, which made it possible for him to organise the law of Rome in such a solid and plausible way that the emperor Justinian adopted this scheme for his compilation, comprising the Institutes, the Digest, and the Codex.

Article

David Paniagua

Vibius Sequester is the author of the De fluminibus, fontibus, lacubus, nemoribus, paludibus, montibus, gentibus per litteras, a short repertoire of geographical names mentioned by Virgil, Silius, Lucan and Ovid. The text, written at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century ce for the author’s son, Vergilianus, was likely intended to be used at school as an instrument providing basic information about the collected toponyms and ethnonyms. Despite the occasional mistakes in the text, Sequester’s repertoire represent a fine instance of school culture in Western Late Antiquity. The work was much appreciated by Italian humanists, which explains that it was copied in nearly 50 recentiores manuscripts; all of them, however, descend from a second-half of the 9th century manuscript (Vat. Lat. 4929).Vibius Sequester was the author of a short alphabetic repertoire of geographical names mentioned in Latin poetry, probably compiled at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century .