Augustine the Anti-Augustan: the Exempla of the Aeneid in the City of God
Brian Dunkle, S.J. (Canisius College Jesuit Community)

A Tale of Two Cities: Homeric Ephyra and Corinthian Identity in the Archaic Age
Jay Fisher (Department of Classics, Princeton University)

Tenuere Tamen Arcem Sabini: Tarpeia, Ethnic (Re)Imagination, and the Social War
Bill Short (Classics Department, University of California, Berkeley)

Using the Past to Undermine the Present: Tracing the Rhetoric of Liberation throughout Thucydides's History
(Aaron Chait, Department of Philosophy, Northwestern University)

Contesting the Lessons of the Persian War
Bernd Steinbock (Classics Department , University of Michigan)

A Program of Imperial Recovery: Ammianus and Julian as Students of History
Robert Chenault (University of Michigan)

Orientalist Discourse Materialized: The Role of Archaeology in the Construction of Modern Turkish Identity
Ufuk Soyoz (University of Texas, Austin)

 

 

 

Augustine the Anti-Augustan: the Exempla of the Aeneid in the City of God

Brian Dunkle, S.J.
Canisius College Jesuit Community

By the time of Augustine, a tradition had developed in Christian apologetics of citing exempla from Roman literary history to counter pagan claims that the traditional gods had consistently blessed the city for right worship. The tactic was not exclusively Christian; stock exempla were taught in the schools and are found throughout republican and imperial literature, from the speeches of Cicero to the satires of Juvenal. Many Christian apologists took Virgil's account of the major figures in Rome's past in Books 6 and 8 of the Aeneid as the standard history justifying the Augustan regime, as evidence that Jupiter had indeed granted the Empire imperium sine fine. Thus, in the first part of his poem Contra Orationem Symmachi, Prudentius uses Virgil's exempla to attack Roman claims to divine favor. Prudentius reads the Aeneid as propaganda, which he can counter by revealing the inconsistencies and vices in the figures of Rome's past. At the same time, Prudentius employs the exempla to claim divine favor for the Christian Empire. Prudentius' paean to Theodosius at the end of the first poem shows God rewarding the emperor's Christian faith with earthly success, as Virgil's gods had failed to do for Augustus and the rulers of Rome.

In the first five books of the City of God, Augustine also uses Virgilian exempla to counter claims that the suppression of the traditional cult led to Alaric's sack of Rome in 410. Augustine shows with methodical rigor that Rome never knew true prosperity, before or after Christ. Yet, unlike Prudentius, Augustine never argues that history reveals the Christian God rewarding an emperor's Christianity with temporal prosperity. This attitude informs Augustine's discussion of the emperor Theodosius at the end of DCD Book 5. Although, in praising Theodosius, Augustine seems to equate Christian faith with political success, I argue that Augustine's remarks on Theodosius are best understood in reference to the Aeneid's attitude toward Augustus. While Augustine does not interpret the epic to be hostile to the emperor, he does suggest that the facts of history undermine any imperial pretensions to divine right. In his reluctance to conflate the divine and temporal cities, Augustine shows that he is not only a careful historian, but also a strangely "contemporary" reader of Virgil. Augustine understands Virgil's exempla as ambivalent or even cynical about imperial claims to divine mandate.

A Tale of Two Cities: Homeric Ephyra and Corinthian Identity in the Archaic Age

Jay Fisher
Department of Classics, Princeton University

Despite her importance in the archaic age the city of Corinth is remarkably underrepresented in the Homeric poems. Corinth receives no mention at all in the Odyssey and the Iliad refers to her twice. Although later tradition identified Corinth with the Ephyra, which claimed to be the birthplace of Sisyphos and Bellerophon, Homer never connects the two places together.

Whether Ephyra was in fact an old name for Corinth or an extinct community whose heroic past was reappropriated by the Corinthians, the existence of two names in the Homeric poems was not the only problem for such a syncretism in mythic terms as Ephyra was an Aeolian community and Corinth a Dorian one. A further geographical problem arose from the location of Bellerophon's exploits in Lycia in addition to several places with the name Ephyra throughout the Greek mainland. One must wonder how desirable it was to claim to be the ultimate origin of Trojan and therefore barbarian heroes at the end of the archaic age. It is the negotiation of these binary oppositions such as Aeolian and Dorian and East and West that provide the most promising opportunities to explore Corinth's creation of a heroic past despite the fragmentary evidence.

Pindar's Thirteenth Olympian ode, written for Xenophon the Corinthian in 464, alludes to a heroic Corinthian past that includes both Dorians and Aeolians and appears to address some of the geographical problems generated by the syncretism of Corinth and Ephyra. Pindar does not supply easy solutions to all the aforementioned contradictions and one must be careful to evaluate his version of the Bellerophon myth in light of the recent Persian invasions of Greece. Nevertheless the ode provides an illustration of how Corinth constructed her heroic past and present as a member of the Panhellenic community implying how she did so within her own borders, although written by an outsider. Thus even at the end of the archaic age Corinth's heroic past was truly a tale of two cities if not a tale of many cities requiring a negotiation of present and past, east and west and Homer's Ephyra and Pindar's Corinth forming a complex tapestry that makes the identity of one polis.

Tenuere Tamen Arcem Sabini: Tarpeia, Ethnic (Re)Imagination, and the Social War

Bill Short
Classics Department, University of California, Berkeley

The mytho-historical tale of Tarpeia, which recounts the betrayal of the Roman itadel to the Sabines during the war that occurred as the result of the "Rape of the Sabine Women" by Romulus, occurs in a number of sources. The story tells how Tarpeia, the daughter of Spurius Tarpeius, to whom the defense of the mons Saturnius had been entrusted by Romulus, was persuaded to permit an armed band of Sabines to enter the Capitoline arx. While the different versions of the story account for Tarpeia's motivation for this treachery in different ways and offer some variation in the details, a common element among them is Tarpeia's eventual punishment for her disloyalty, but at the hands of the very men she has helped: The young Roman maiden is buried alive by the Sabines under a mound of shields.

The story as given in Roman sources is, in its basic form, aetiological, accounting for Roman topographical nomenclature, and has been considered for the most part_as in the case of Livy_unproblematic within the cycle of stories that witness the early contact between the Romans and Sabines. However, given the divergent tellings of the story, and from the perspective of the rest of the "Sabine Cycle", it is possible to problematize the tale as simply 'Roman'. The version of the myth given by Propertius in Elegies IV, for instance, has been recently understood as strikingly anti-Augustan. And precisely what permits it to be read as such, and as more broadly subversive of Romanitas, is the problem of identity that it offers. Although this problem is partially bulldozed in the Livian version(s), yet even there the story creates difficulties for a 'Roman' history: The manner of Tarpeia's death, for example, grants a military as well as a moral victory to the Sabine invaders. Moreover, the gender configuration of the story, in which the Roman female permits access into the walls (a common aetiological metaphor for sexual intercourse) to a male Sabine, contradicts the male Roman-female Sabine hierarchy proposed by the "Rape of the Sabine Women" for the construction of a unified ethnicity. If the raptus Sabinarum imagines the submission and domination of the Sabine to the Roman through sexual union (in the blood-line, the male Roman predominates), the Tarpeia myth offers another, competing vision of their contact: it stresses their difference and envisions the Sabine empowered over the Roman (in the blood-line, the male Sabine predominates).

Given the possibility for ethnic re-imagining embedded in it, such a story (not surprisingly perhaps) rather literally gained some currency in another period of ethnic crisis. Two silver denarii types (Sydenham 699a, 699b) were minted in 89 bce by Lucius Titurius Sabinus for the Marsic confederation during the Social War. One type shows on the obverse the standard depiction of the personified Italia; the other displays the head of Titius Tatius, the Sabine general who entered the Capitoline. On the reverse of both coins is the same image: Tarpeia lies on the ground, her legs covered by a shield. On each side stands a Sabine soldier with his shield raised, about to exact punishment for the girl's treachery. The choice of story is not accidental, of course. Rather, it occurs within in a context of similar re-appropriations of 'Roman' aitia (Cf. Alessandro Barchiesi's analysis of the coins depicting the eight confederated tribes swearing an oath over a sacrificial pig_an originally Italic ritual reclaimed from Rome) and is used to renegotiate and reconfigure political and social identities. Recreating a critical moment when assimilation of the Italian into the Roman did not guarantee Roman hegemony, the coins offer an alternative outcome: Italian superiority over the Roman, the possibility of an identity outside a Roman one. Thus, the coins represent an imaginative reconfiguration of identity that corresponds to the historical military and political endeavor of the Social War.

Using the Past to Undermine the Present: Tracing the Rhetoric of Liberation throughout Thucydides's History

Aaron Chait
Department of Philosophy, Northwestern University

This paper examines Thucydides' presentation of the rhetoric of liberation_political rhetoric designed to depict one group as the oppressed (the audience) and the other as the liberators (the speakers). In order to substantiate these claims of liberation Thucydides' speakers appeal to recent Hellenic history in the hopes that past acts of liberation, and past acts of courage and resolve, will legitimate present motives and future actions. The Athenians at the Debate at Sparta (1.66-88), for example, remind the Spartans that they liberated Hellas from the Persian threat: they made the ultimate sacrifice by abandoning their homeland and retreating to their ships, which resulted in the razing of Athens; they shouldered the burden at Marathon and Salamis; they contributed the strongest navy and most gifted general; and they led the coalition to expel Persia from the Aegean. In short, they liberated Hellas. And as a result of this alleged venture for the common good (1.73) the Athenians demand justice. They demand what is due to them_their empire.

As Thucydides' narrative progresses we encounter a second (and eventually third) instance of the rhetoric of liberation. The Spartans under Brasidas make several speeches before Athenian allies in northern Hellas_the speech before the Acanthians (4.85-7) being the only one Thucydides (re)creates_in which they present Athens as the 'enslaver of Hellas' and themselves as the 'liberators of Hellas'. In a rare admission of the effectiveness of political rhetoric, Thucydides tells us that the Acanthians and other poleis in northern Hellas were swayed, at least in part, by Brasidas' convincing rhetoric (4.88). Thucydides also informs us of Brasidas' 'excellent reputation' (4.81) throughout the Hellenic world _evidence, I take it, that Sparta's rhetoric of liberation at least seemed to coincide with her policies. But, after closely examining Thucydides' artful juxtapositioning of past erga and past logoi with present rhetoric_take, for example, Sparta's massacre of allegedly soon-to-be-liberated helots (4.80), an episode which is recounted just prior to the Spartans' speech before the Acanthians in which they claim to be the 'liberators of Hellas'_we discover a gradual undermining of the legitimacy of the rhetoric of liberation.

The paper is structured as follows. After situating this discussion of the degeneration of the rhetoric of liberation in the context of stasis and kin_sis (_1), I examine, in turn, the three manifestations of rhetoric of liberation in the History, each of which is less legitimate than its predecessor. First, the Athenians employ the rhetoric of liberation as a means of justifying their empire (_2). Later, the Spartans claim the role of 'the liberators of Hellas' in their attempt to win over allies in northern Hellas (_3). Finally, in Sicily, Athens re-deploys this rhetorical tool in an effort to combat her growing reputation as the 'enslaver of Hellas' by presenting what Thucydides intends for us to see as a desperate, and outrageous, argument--namely that Athens has come all the way to Sicily not to conquer the Sicilians (a motive Thucydides, in fact, goes to great lengths to substantiate), but rather to liberate them from the threat of Syracusan tyranny (_4). As the rhetoric of liberation is appropriated, and re-appropriated, throughout the narrative, Thucydides, by (re)creating a shared Hellenic past and juxtaposing it with the suspicious rhetoric of the present, increasingly undermines the legitimacy of the rhetoric of liberation.

Contesting the Lessons of the Persian War

Bernd Steinbock
Classics Department , University of Michigan.

In his extant speeches, Demosthenes alludes twice to Thebes' medizing during the Persian War. In the Second Philippic, he asserts that Philip sided with the Thebans, knowing that they would always betray Greece for their own benefit (Dem. 6.11-12), whereas in On the Symmories, he claims that the Thebans would never medize again (Dem. 14.34). Previous scholars have used these passages to illustrate that orators freely use historical examples, drawing those conclusions which best suit their purpose at hand (Nouhaud 1982, 182f.). Such an approach, while focusing on the speaker's rhetorical techniques, entirely ignores the role of the audience. Yet the orators did not operate within a socio-political vacuum, but had to take the attitudes of their audience into account.

This paper seeks to contextualize Demosthenes' allusions to Thebes' medizing within a complex net of remembrances and beliefs held by the audience and thus to explore the manifestation and contestation of this shared image of the past within Athenian public discourse.

In the Second Philippic, Demosthenes tried to arouse his audience against Philip by drawing an analogy between the current situation and Xerxes' invasion. For this purpose, he utilized the master narrative of the Persian War, as it was, for instance, promoted in the Athenian funeral speeches (Loraux 1989, 155-71; Thomas 1989, 196-237; Gehrke 2003). The assumption of unchanging character, underlying this memorialized Athenian history, made the contemporary Athenians defenders of Greek liberty, Philip a greedy barbarian, and the Thebans traitors by nature (Dem. 6.9-12). Demosthenes thus evoked an event which lay at the heart of Athenian ideology. Since these shared memories created feelings of identity and belonging, his analysis was likely to strike an emotional cord with his audience, infuriating them against Philip, the second Xerxes.

In On the Symmories, on the other hand, Demosthenes sought to dissolve the Athenians' fear of an impending Persian invasion. In an attempt to rush the Athenians to war, his opponents had invoked the memory of the Persian Wars and their ancestors' accomplishments (Dem. 14.1, 14.8, 14.41). Demosthenes tried to challenge this interpretation and to modify the master narrative of the Persian War, through elaborate arguments and the use of alternative carriers of social memory. In order to ensure the good will of his audience, Demosthenes first echoed core values of Athenian ideology, Athens' high regard for justice and its role as protector of the Greeks (Dem. 14.6.). Concerning the Persians and Thebans, however, Demosthenes dropped this assumption of a community's unchanging character. Comparing the new Athenian fleet to the one at Salamis and alluding to the Athenians' resolve at Marathon, he asserted that the Persians had indeed learned their lesson from their earlier disasters and would not dare to invade again (Dem. 14.28-30). Similarly, Demosthenes tried to counter the belief that the Thebans would again be on the Persian side. Acknowledging the difficulty of saying anything positive about the Thebans, he challenged the predominant stereotype of the Thebans as proto-typical traitors: The Thebans' are so ashamed about their collaboration with the Persians that they would do whatever it takes to redeem themselves (Dem. 14.33).

How could Demosthenes know about Theban repentance, or rather, how could he expect to find any credibility for this claim within his audience? Several sources confirm that the Thebans indeed felt the need to excuse their pro-Persian stance (Thuc. 3.62) and tried to obliterate the memorials of their medizing (Isoc. 14.59, Aesch. 3.116). Besides, Demosthenes was in a position to learn of the Theban views through his personal experience as their proxenus. To some extent this was true for his fellow Athenians as well, since from 383-378 B.C. 300 Theban democrats lived as refugees in Athens (Xen. Hell. 5.2.31) and both cities fought together against the Spartans between 378 and 371 B.C. Through these internal and external clues we are able to assess the ideological and emotional power of Demosthenes' historical allusions and to re-situate them into the socio-political realm.

A Program of Imperial Recovery: Ammianus and Julian as Students of History

Robert Chenault
University of Michigan

It is commonly asserted that one of Ammianus Marcellinus' purposes in writing his history was to show to those ignorant of antiquity (antiquitatum ignari: 31.5.11) that Rome had faced disasters comparable to or greater than its crushing defeat at Adrianople in AD 378 (31.5.12-7; 31.13.19) but had always survived and recovered (Thompson 1947, 131-2). Therefore imperial decline could be reversed, if emperors displayed the requisite energy, virtue, and discipline, as Julian had done (Matthews 1989, 470-2). What is less often noted is the specific importance Ammianus attaches to knowledge of Roman history as a factor in Julian's singular achievement, and by extension, as an essential element in a program of imperial recovery.

The importance of understanding Roman history functions in Ammianus' narrative on two levels. First, it is a conspicuous feature by which Ammianus distinguishes his narrative of Julian from his accounts of other emperors. This distinction is especially visible in Ammianus' main historical narratives of Constantius II, Valentinian, and Valens, as opposed to their obituaries, in which biographical elements predominate. Although each emperor is compared to various predecessors in the obituaries (21.16; 30.7-9; 31.14), Julian is favored with such comparisons during his lifetime; moreover, true exempla, to be distinguished from mere comparisons in that the former suggest Julian's imitation or emulation of them, are concentrated in the historical narrative of Julian and scarcely appear in the accounts of the other emperors. The presence of exempla helps to justify Ammianus' assertion that Julian's deeds surpassed those of the ancients, and to fulfill his promise to write about Julian in a style approaching panegyric (16.1.3).

If Ammianus' account of Julian is self-consciously different in quality from those of the other emperors, a second dimension to the importance of knowing one's Roman history comes into view: Ammianus has narrated Julian differently because he believed that Julian's own awareness of history had tangible effects on his actions; hence historical references play a larger role in Ammianus' account of Julian than, for example, in that of Valens, a notoriously uneducated man (31.14.5). In fact, Ammianus states that Julian was well-read in nostrarum externarumque rerum historiam multiformem (16.5.7); on more than one occasion, his reading prompted him to emulate behavior of which he had learned from history (16.1.4; 24.3.2; 24.4.24). At such moments, the figure of Julian is assimilated to Ammianus' own authorial persona by a clever conflation of narrative perspective. Although the collapse of narrative perspective makes it ambiguous whether it is Ammianus or Julian who possesses this knowledge of the past, Ammianus makes it clear that moral worth and practical success belong to those who understand history. Accordingly, knowledge of the past is revealed to be crucial to understanding how to revive the fortunes of Rome, a hope which had most nearly come to fruition in the figure of Julian.

Orientalist Discourse Materialized: The Role of Archaeology in the Construction of Modern Turkish Identity

Ufuk Soyoz
University of Texas, Austin

It is generally believed that the 'classics' and archaeology of Greece and Rome is the least political academic discipline of humanities. However, Greek archaeology, which originated as the German academic discipline of Altertumswissenschaft, was embedded in nineteenth-century politics. Like other disciplines of the humanities, classical archaeology was highly influenced by the dominant nationalist and Orientalist tendencies of nineteenth century. Thus classical archaeology has incorporated into the social and cultural patterns of nineteenth century society and reflected them back, to define an identity of European, as opposed to the Eastern 'other'. Although the history of archaeology has a slightly different schema of development in each Western country, it has mainly served to provide a powerful support for the connection between the heritages of Europe with that of Classical past. In England, France and especially in Germany Ancient Greece became a model for civilization, and these countries defined their national identities as the inheritor and embodiment of classical civilization. In this way, the connection with classical past became a further proof of the superiority of the West over the barbaric East; as such it presented one more reason for the domination of the East through European colonization.

In this context, it is important to note that the late Ottoman Empire, as well as modern Turkey, stood in an ambiguous position. Although the ancient Greek and Roman sites sit in the territories of the Empire, the Ottomans and Arab nations _unlike the Modern Greece- received no role in the reconstruction of European ancestors. The exclusion of the Arab and Ottoman nations from the construction of European past was a reflection of Orientalist tendencies of the period, which helped to legitimize the mission of colonization.

The exclusion of Ottomans from the reconstruction of European past found a response within the intellectuals of Ottoman Empire, who started to employ the cultural vocabulary of Europe, especially using the archaeology, and started to build an acceptable 'Western' past for the Empire. Archaeology provided the syntax that let the Ottoman Empire to assume its participation in Europe and thus to speak its language. The existence of Greek antiquities in the territory of the Ottoman Empire provided an "entr_e in to the birth of Europe" and the elites of the Empire hoped to be acknowledged as a seminal site for Europe rather than being excluded from European heritage.

The development of archaeology and museums was part of a general process of Westernization, which was culminated in foundation of Turkish Republic in 1923. The archaeology played a more significant role in definition of new Turkish identity of the Turkish Republic, which is founded on the model of a 'western' and 'secular' nation-state. Aside from the development of archaeology as a science, the use of archaeological references also found expression in the architecture of the period, especially in the important public buildings of the recently founded capital of the Republic; in Ankara.

In this paper I will present a survey of the various archaeological references in public buildings of Ankara in early Republican Period. Then I will present a detailed interpretation of the Mausoleum of Ataturk, who is the founder of Turkish Republic. The Mausoleum, which is constructed in the form of a Greek temple, was a monument to the 'western' and 'secular' Turkish identity.