Plutarch and His Intellectual World 9781910589571, 1910589578

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Plutarch and His Intellectual World
 9781910589571, 1910589578

Table of contents :
Hadrian, Favorinus and Plutarch / Ewen Bowie --
Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch : a debate on epistemology / Jan Oposmer --
Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? : Plutarch's de Stoicorum repugnantiis / George Boys-Stones --
Family and the formation of character in Plutarch / Francesca Albini --
From Olympias to Aretaphila : women in politics in Plutarch / Karin Blomqvist --
Plutarch, Amatorius 13-18 / Donald Russell --
Health and politics in Plutarch's de tuenda sanitate praecepta / Luigi Senzasono --
Plutarch's Dinner of the seven wise men and its place in symposion literature / Judith Mossman --
Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus' Greek and Latin letters / John Moles --
Moral ambiguity in Plutarch's Lysander-Sulla / Tim Duff --
Severed heads : individual portraits and irrational forces in Plutarch's Galba and Otho / Rhiannon Ash --
Plutarch on Caesar's fall / Christopher Pelling --
Plutarch and the end of history / John Dillon.

Citation preview

Plutarch and his intellectual world edited by

Judith Mossman

Plutarch and his Intellectual World Essays on Plutarch edited by

Judith Mossman

Contributors: Ewen Bowie, Jan Opsomer, George Boys-Stones, Francesca Albini, Karin Blomqvist, Donald Russell, Luigi Senzasono, Judith Mossman, John Moles, Tim Duff, Rhiannon Ash, Christopher Pelling, John Dillon

Duckworth in association with

The Classical Press of Wales

First published in 1997 by Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd. The Old Piano Factory 48 Hoxton Square, London N1 6BP Tel: 0171 729 5986 Fax: 0171 729 0015 in association with The Classical Press of Wales Originated and prepared for press by The Classical Press of Wales 15 Rosehill Terrace, Swansea SA1 6JN Tel: 01792 458397 Fax: 01792 419056 Distributor in the USA: ISD, LLC 70 Enterprise Dr., Suite 2, Bristol, CT 06010 Phone (860) 584-6546

© 1997 The contributors All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. ISBN 978-1-910589-57-1 A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Typeset by Ernest Buckley, Clunton, Shropshire Printed and bound in Great Britain by Antony Rowe Ltd., Chippenham, Wiltshire





1. Hadrian, Favorinus, and Plutarch Ewen Bowie (Corpus Christi College, Oxford)


2. Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch. A debate on epistemology Jan Opsomer (Catholic University of Leuven)


3. Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? Plutarch’s de Stoicorum repugnantiis George Boys-Stones (St John’s College, Oxford)


4. Family and the formation of character in Plutarch Francesca Albini (University College London)


5. From Olympias to Aretaphila: women in politics in Plutarch Karin Blomqvist (University of Lund)


6. Plutarch, Amatorius 13–18 Donald Russell (St John’s College, Oxford)


7. Health and politics in Plutarch’s de tuenda sanitate praecepta Luigi Senzasono (Rome) 8. Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men and its place in symposion literature Judith Mossman (Trinity College, Dublin) 9. Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters John Moles (University of Durham) 10. Moral ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla Tim Duff (University of Reading) 11. Severed heads: individual portraits and irrational forces in Plutarch’s Galba and Otho Rhiannon Ash (St Hugh’s College, Oxford)


119 141 169


12. Plutarch on Caesar’s fall Christopher Pelling (University College, Oxford)


13. Plutarch and the end of history John Dillon (Trinity College, Dublin)


Index of Passages


General Index

244 v


This volume contains essays representative of papers given at the conference of the International Plutarch Society held at Trinity College, Dublin, on 7–11 September 1994. The conference was entitled ‘The Intellectual World of Plutarch’, and was attended by some thirty participants from several countries. I would like to express my gratitude to all those who attended the conference and participated in the discussions after the papers. I owe particular debts to Anton Powell, who before the conference had even taken place suggested that the Classical Press of Wales might publish the proceedings; to John Dillon, who not only gave invaluable help in organizing the conference and secured funding for it, but also allowed me to edit the papers; and to Charles Benson, Keeper of Early Printed Books in the Old Library of Trinity College, who kindly organized an exhibition of early editions of Plutarch during the conference itself and who generously gave me permission to use an illustration from Trinity’s Agostini Plutarch on the dust-jacket of this volume. The International Plutarch Society, in the person of Frances B. Titchener, the editor of Ploutarchos, performed its usual vital function of publicising the event and bringing people together for it. One of the great joys of working on Plutarch is the warm and friendly atmosphere which Plutarch Society events always bask in. Perhaps there is something about Plutarch studies that encourages bonhomie; but that IPS events attract scholars from such a wide radius is in very large measure due to the hard work of those who produce the Society’s journal.

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Bild und Habitus der Intellektuellen ändern sich mit der jeweiligen Gesellschaft und den konkreten Aufgaben und Funktionen, die er in ihr wahrnimmt. Denn jede Zeit schafft sich die Intellektuellen, die sie braucht. Wir selbst haben einen solchen Wandel seit den späten 60er Jahren unmittelbar miterlebt. Der damals aktuelle Typus des kritischen, politisch und moralisch engagierten, ‘linken’ Intellektuellen, der weit über Hörsaal und Universitätscampus hinaus in der öffentlichen Diskussion und im Straßenprotest das Bild bestimmte, ist heute ausgestorben – und mit ihm auch ganz bestimmte Formen seines Erscheinungsbildes, von der unkonventionellen, am Arbeiter orientierten Kleidung bis hin zum Lebensstil und zur Redeweise. Die Konsum- und Freizeitgesellschaft hat inzwischen längst neue Typen hervorgebracht: den politisch nicht mehr engagierten Moderator, den Unterhalter, den Analytiker und Prognostiker, der Zeitströmungen zu erkennen und im Dienste seiner Auftraggeber eventuell auch zu modellieren versucht. Nicht mehr der parteiische Kritiker und Reformer, sondern der mehr oder weniger konformistische, über den Parteien stehende Kommentator ist gefragt.1 The naming of books is a difficult matter, especially the naming of collections of essays. There is a danger that any title general enough to be properly descriptive of the contents of such a book may sound woolly; the danger is all the greater if the title includes a word like ‘intellectual’, a word with a number of different shades of meaning and connotations which are not always either clear or positive. As this collection of essays is called Plutarch and his Intellectual World, it seems doubly necessary for the editor to explain in some detail the rationale behind this title. It was meant to convey various ideas, exploiting rather than suffering from the ambiguities of ‘intellectual’. First, it was supposed to suggest that Plutarch has an intellectual historical context which he responded to, which he helped to shape and was shaped by, and in which he needs to be understood. Secondly, I wanted to emphasise, ix Return to Table of Contents

both by the title, and by incorporating in one volume essays on as wide a range of Plutarch’s work as possible, that Plutarch’s oeuvre cannot ultimately be divided up by genre: that the Lives and the Moralia need to be seen as the product of a single, if extraordinarily capacious, intelligence.2 But there is something else lurking in this title, too: the question, ‘In what sense is Plutarch an intellectual?’, is raised by it, but not answered. Indeed, there is no single answer, but many – perhaps as many as there are readers of Plutarch. If Plutarch himself were asked what sort of an intellectual he was, it is far from clear that he would recognise the terms of the question, leave alone what he would want to answer.3 It is entirely safe to say that he would want to dissociate himself from some modern connotations of the word. In modern times intellectuals have occasionally appeared as heroes or as tragic victims, but they have more often been seen as pretentious, ineffectual, or hypocritical. Plutarch (or at least the humane and agreeable persona he presents so well throughout his writings) would certainly not think of himself either as above conventional morality, as W.H. Auden’s manin-the-street thinks of intellectuals, or with the self-depreciation implied in Auden’s reportage of this attitude.4 Nor would he regard himself as above practical considerations, unlike the man whom Albert Schweitzer invited to help him carry wood, and who declined, saying: ‘I don’t do that sort of thing, I’m an intellectual.’5 Camus defined an intellectual as ‘someone whose mind watches itself’.6 One even wonders whether Plutarch, despite his conviction of the overriding importance of philosophy, would be as self-consciously intellectual as this, and yet we might be deceived in that by the apparent gentlemanly ease with which Plutarch creates his characters in the Lives, and what Erasmus calls his opus musaicum in the Moralia.7 Zanker’s description of the intellectuals of today in the quotation above says much that is reminiscent of Plutarch’s apparent attitude to the proper role of the intellectual in the wider world; and John Dillon, too, in the final essay in this collection, strongly suggests that Plutarch and contemporary thinkers such as Fukuyama have similar views of themselves as observers of the ‘end of history’.8 But perhaps what is really important in Zanker’s piece is his timely reminder that fashions in intellectuals change, as well as in everything else, and this perception is very important when reading Plutarch. Part of the secret of Plutarch’s success is that it is easy for a wide variety of readers to identify with him in many respects, but we should ask ourselves whether such identification is not largely illusory, and whether it is not x Return to Table of Contents

rather the case that each successive age finds in Plutarch what it needs, just as it creates the contemporary intellectuals it requires. Bearing all this in mind, it seemed best to begin the collection with three studies on Plutarch’s relations with his contemporaries – the historical context of Plutarch’s intellectual world, in effect. Ewen Bowie considers the relationship of Plutarch to Favorinus and of Favorinus to Hadrian; Jan Opsomer and George Boys-Stones tackle different aspects of Plutarch’s engagement in philosophical debate and seek to elucidate Plutarch’s own philosophical position. From Plutarch’s philosophy to his views on society: Francesca Albini next considers aspects of Plutarch’s thought on education, that fundamental component of anyone’s intellectual outlook; Karin Blomqvist raises Plutarch’s attitude to gender and specifically to how women should use their talents, intellectual and other, and what those talents are. Moving from Plutarch’s thought to his mode of expression, something he considered vital to the appreciation of character and intellect,9 Donald Russell shows in a detailed study of a high-point of one of Plutarch’s most carefully written works how Plutarch constructs an argument and expresses it. The next two essays concentrate on further literary aspects of two of the Moralia: Luigi Senzasono examines a nexus of imagery which links health and politics in the De tuenda sanitate praecepta, and I examine the literary antecedents and method of the Dinner of the Seven Wise Men. Turning to the Lives, Plutarch’s appreciation and use of his primary sources is considered by John Moles in a manner which stresses how artful Plutarch can be even when he is apparently at his most ingenuous; 10 this is also emphasised in a somewhat different context by Tim Duff in his examination of Plutarch’s moralism. Rhiannon Ash and Christopher Pelling illustrate different aspects of Plutarch’s depth and subtlety of historical vision and how he uses sophisticated literary techniques to convey it, and finally John Dillon reinforces the point that Plutarch is capable of seeing, indeed compelled to see, his own times as part of a broader historical perspective. It is hoped that some of the breadth and variety of Plutarch’s intellectual interests and some of the skill with which they are expressed will become clear from the thirteen essays in this book. But so versatile was Plutarch’s intelligence, and so great his intellectual energy, that one collection of essays cannot hope to do full justice to him; there is still much scope yet for exploration of Plutarch and his intellectual world.

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Notes Paul Zanker, Die Maske des Sokrates: Das Bild der Intellektuellen in der antiken Kunst, Munich 1995, 9: ‘The image and dress of the intellectual change with contemporary society and the concrete tasks and functions which he undertakes in it. For each society creates the intellectuals it needs. We ourselves have directly experienced such a change since the late 60s. The type of the intellectual current at that time – the critically, politically, and morally engaged, ‘left-wing’ intellectual, who established his image far beyond the lecture room and university campus through public discussion and protestmarches in the street – has died out today, and with him also quite distinctive patterns in his outward image, from his unconventional, worker-oriented clothing to his mode of living and the style of his discourse. The consumerand leisure-society has in the meantime long since produced new types: the TV anchor-man, no longer politically engaged, the chatterer, the analyst and pundit, who tries to recognise contemporary tendencies and in the service of his employers eventually also tries to mould them. No longer the partisan critic and reformer, but the more or less conformist commentator, who stands above the parties, is in demand.’ 2 This not a new point: it was made forcefully by J. Barthelmess, ‘Recent work on the Moralia’, in Miscellanea Plutarchea: Atti del I convegno di studi su Plutarcho, ed. F.E. Brenk and I. Gallo, Ferrara 1986, 61–81, esp. 61–2. It is however one which continues to be worth stressing, as it is still sometimes obscured, despite Barthelmess’ optimism at the time. 3 The English word ‘intellectual’, used as a noun, would require several Greek words to convey its semantic range: filovsofo", filomaqhv", sofov", sofisthv" are only the first which spring to mind. 4 ‘To the man-in-the-street, who, I’m sorry to say, | Is a keen observer of life, | The word ‘Intellectual’ suggests straight away | A man who’s untrue to his wife.’ W.H. Auden, New Year Letter (1961), note to line 1277. 5 The story is to be found in A. Schweitzer, Mitteilungen aus Lambarene (1928, tr. C.T. Campion, 1931, as More from the Primeval Forest), ch. 5. Plutarch’s practical engagement with local affairs, for example, is apparent from Praecepta gerendae reipublicae 811b–c, and is charmingly expressed by Wilamowitz in his essay ‘Plutarch as Biographer’ (tr. from Reden und Vorträge, ii [5] 1967 [1922], 247–79, by J. Kerkhecker) in B. Scardigli (ed.) Essays on Plutarch’s Lives, Oxford 1995, 47–74, esp. 52: ‘Yet the visitors might miss their host, because he may be on the way to inspect the cleaning of the streets of the little town…’ 6 ‘Intellectuel = celui qui se dédouble’, A. Camus, Carnets 1935–42 (Notebooks, 1962), p. 41. 7 See Donald Russell, Plutarch: Selected Essays and Dialogues, Oxford 1993, xv–xvi. 8 See John Dillon, ‘Plutarch and the end of History’, below, pp. 233–40. 9 See also John Moles, ‘Plutarch, Brutus, and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters’, below, pp. 145–8. 10 See Moles, below, pp. 141–68. 1

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Historians and scholars have often tried to forge some link between Hadrian and Plutarch, between the ‘most philhellene of emperors and the most Hellenic of Greeks’ (to quote a phrase of Simon Swain). Hadrian was interested in almost all aspects of Greek culture; he is credited with friendship with a number of Greek philosophers – surely he must have met, admired and perhaps even rewarded the grand old man of Chaeronea. The temptation is rather like that to which the film director succumbed who brought Einstein and Marilyn Monroe together in the same hotel bedroom – though I must concede that Plutarch bears a closer resemblance to Einstein than does Hadrian (for all his statues presenting him in heroic nudity) to Marilyn Monroe. But wherever investigators have turned, the evidence has proved negative or unreliable. Simon Swain, refining and correcting arguments of Christopher Jones and others, has demonstrated that it is most probable that Hadrian’s first architectural benefactions to Delphi are no earlier than AD 125, that Plutarch was by then dead and the senior priest of Apollo was now T. Flavius Aristotimus, and that the ‘supervisor’ (kaqhgevmwn) of Pythian Oracles 409C, where Theon should be taken to be a historical character, is not to be understood as Hadrian but as Plutarch himself. 1 It is also clear that little faith can be placed in the notice of Syncellus that Hadrian appointed the aged Plutarch to be procurator of Hellas, an item that, as Simon Swain again pointed out, is not found in Eusebius, from whom the other information in Syncellus’ notice seems to come. 2 What I wish to do in this paper is to test the probability of acquaintance or friendship between Hadrian and Plutarch against what we can reconstruct of two other, rather better attested, relationships, that of Favorinus with Plutarch and that of Favorinus with Hadrian. Let us first recall these men’s ages. The oldest, of course, is Plutarch, who by the accession of Trajan must be in his mid-fifties. Next in age is Hadrian, born on the 24th January AD 76, so a good thirty years 1 Return to Table of Contents

Ewen Bowie younger. Finally Favorinus, at least a decade younger still, perhaps rather more. 3 Favorinus’ many-sided activity shows the inadequacy of the simple Philostratean polarity of sophist and philosopher, and his Universal enquiry (Pantodaph; iJstoriva) must have taken him into literary and scientific fields not usually associated with either label. The hermaphrodite (or, as his enemies said, eunuch) from Arelate in Gallia Narbonensis was manifestly one of the leading intellectual figures of the principates of Hadrian and Pius. He sometimes declaimed on purely sophistic topics, and in Rome the tones and rhythms of his oratory charmed even listeners who knew no Greek. But the bulk of his production seems to have been philosophical, and it was as a teacher of philosophy he was noticed with respect by Galen and with disrespect by Lucian. Favorinus’ training in sophistic rhetoric and in philosophy should belong around AD 105–110, when Dio of Prusa, whom he later claimed as his teacher, was enjoying an Indian summer. Favorinus is likely to have come to know Plutarch early in his adult life – I suppose that he sought him out in Delphi or Chaeronea, although they might well have met in Athens. It seems that the older and the much younger man respected each other. Plutarch has Favorinus visiting Thermopylae in his company (Sympotic Questions 8. 10) and some time after AD 107 he dedicated to Favorinus his treatise peri; tou' prwvtou yucrou', On primordial cold. At one point in that work Plutarch refers to a time when Favorinus visited Delphi (953c–d).4 Furthermore the Lamprias catalogue mentions a letter On friendship addressed to Favorinus.5 Favorinus’ interest in Academic scepticism may well owe much to Plutarch. But it was not the only strain in Favorinus’ philosophy: indeed in Sympotic Questions Plutarch presents Favorinus as an enthusiastic admirer of Aristotle, according the greatest plausibility to the doctrines of the Peripatos, while On primordial cold seems to play on this interest by extensive use of Aristotelian terminology unusual in Plutarch.6 But although we might see Aristotelian influence in the encyclopedic approach exemplified in Favorinus’ Universal enquiry, his strictly philosophical writing seems to have followed through and developed Academic positions. The first work (at least of those we know) was appropriately entitled Plutarch or On the Academic disposition (peri; th'" ∆Akadhmaikh'" diaqesevw"); it held up as the best method of philosophical instruction the prosecution of arguments on both sides of a case, thereby honouring Plutarch’s approach as a teacher and advertising Favorinus’ own.7 A similar position was taken up in a work 2 Return to Table of Contents

Hadrian, Favorinus, and Plutarch Against Epictetus in which, by malicious casting, Favorinus had a slave of Plutarch, Onesimus, debate with the philosopher of servile origin, Epictetus. These two works seem to have conceded the possibility of the knowable (to; katalhptovn ). But the Stoic concept of cognition to which was given the technical term katalhptikh; fantasiva (‘cognitive impression’) was argued against in a work in three books, one of which was addressed to a Hadrian. Later, it seems, Favorinus took up the position that the proposition that certain knowledge was impossible (ajkatalhyiva ), was plausible (piqanovn ), a position which he argued in ten books about Pyrrhonian modes of argument ( Purrwnei'oi trovpoi) and in a work entitled Alcibiades.8 Where does this evidence take us? On the one hand Favorinus and Plutarch appear to be quite close, both in the proximity of their philosophical positions and their mutual dedications of philosophical works. Then at some stage – perhaps a later stage – in his philosophical development Favorinus seems keen to catch the eye of Hadrian and members of his entourage. The Hadrian to whom the first book On cognitive impression (peri; th'" katalhptikh'" fantasiva") was dedicated must certainly be the emperor, rather than the sophist Hadrianus of Tyre whose activity can be dated much later, under Marcus Aurelius.9 Who was the dedicatee of the second book? As the dedicatee’s name the Laurentianus offers Dryson (Druvswna), the Aldine edition printed Dyson (Duvswna). Barigazzi emended to Bryson (Bruvswna), the name of one of Pyrrho’s teachers, and a name also corrupted to Druvswna in the manuscripts of Diogenes Laertius (9. 61). If Barigazzi’s emendation were right, then, as Leofranc Holford-Strevens has suggested, the dedicatee of Favorinus’ third book, Aristarchus in the paradosis, might by emendation become Anaxarchus, another of Pyrrho’s teachers. But Holford-Strevens also noted that the dedication of one book to a living emperor sits uncomfortably with that of two to dead philosophers. I suggest that Druvswna of the Laurentianus may conceal the name of the emperor Marcus’ grandfather, in whose house Favorinus’ pupil Herodes Atticus was brought up for some time, P. Calvisius Tullus Ruso, consul ordinarius in AD 109, and be a corruption of JRouvswna.10 Syme conjectured that Ruso was dead by AD 120.11 If my guess is right, then, the second book at least of the three-book work belongs before 120, and the dedication of the first book to Hadrian might be supposed to belong just after his accession, at a time when any intellectual hoping for his favour might well be attempting to catch his eye. The Aristarchus to whom the third book was dedicated cannot convincingly be identified among the circles in which Favorinus moved, but a 3 Return to Table of Contents

Ewen Bowie bearer of that name with both Athenian and Delphian connections can be found. 12 Neither for the second nor the third book need we postulate a dedicatee who was a dead philosopher. What of the Alcibiades? The title doubtless nodded in the direction of the two dialogues transmitted as by Plato and named for the aristocratic friend of Socrates. But most scholars – rightly, I think – have seen a contemporary of Favorinus as its dedicatee, P. Aelius Alcibiades of Nysa, Hadrian’s freedman chamberlain ( cubicularius), who was honoured by several statues in his city of origin, Nysa, and to whom another freedman of Hadrian, P. Aelius Phlegon from nearby Tralles, dedicated his chronographic work Olympiads.13 Phlegon’s work Olympiads seems to have reached completion early in the 140s; its last Olympiad was the 229th, i.e. running from summer AD 137 to summer AD 141. We should therefore allow for the possibility that Favorinus’ Alcibiades may have been written not simply later than the dialogues Plutarch and Against Epictetus, as Galen tells us, but substantially later, perhaps some twenty years. On the other hand Alcibiades’ influence must already have been well worth courting in Hadrian’s reign, when he held his post a cubiculo, and an earlier date is just as probable. Galen’s keen philosophic debater becomes an impressive polymath in the Attic Nights of Favorinus’ admirer Gellius. Gellius gives us vignettes of Favorinus’ activity in Rome in the 140s and perhaps 150s, the earliest dated event being a conversation no earlier than the consulate of Fronto, AD 143. Favorinus is presented as close to Herodes Atticus and as twice present at an imperial levée (salutatio) on the Palatine.14 If we had only Galen and Gellius as witnesses we might conclude that Favorinus had a philosophical career which led smoothly to acceptance in the highest circles in Rome. Moreover if we believed the Augustan History, that acceptance came already in Hadrian’s reign, since it names Favorinus as pre-eminent among those intellectuals with whom Hadrian enjoyed a very close relationship (summa familiaritas).15 But this is only one side of the story that comes down to us. Other sources, notoriously, assert a quarrel between Hadrian and Favorinus, and the publication of a papyrus text of a work On exile, securely attributed to Favorinus by quotations in Stobaeus, in which the speaker represents himself as exiled to Chios, has led some scholars to conclude that the quarrel resulted in Favorinus’ exile.16 Cassius Dio groups Favorinus with Dionysius of Miletus as one of those intellectuals whom Hadrian, driven by an envious desire to be pre-eminent in all fields, tried to do down by promoting their rivals (though in this

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Hadrian, Favorinus, and Plutarch case he names no rival). The anecdote that he then offers to support this view is also told by Philostratus. According to this tradition Favorinus had initially appealed against his appointment as highpriest of his country (or city) of origin (patriv"), presumably the post of high priest of the province’s imperial cult (flamen provinciae Narbonensis). Later, suspecting that the emperor would find against him – in Philostratus’ version on the grounds that he did not practise as a philosopher – Favorinus withdrew his appeal, claiming that his teacher (not identified by Cassius Dio but named as Dio of Prusa by Philostratus) had appeared to him in a dream and reminded him (in a phrase echoing Plato and Demosthenes) that men were born for their countries, not just for themselves. 17 It is hard to believe, with Barigazzi, that this incident led to Favorinus’ exile. Cassius Dio explicitly says that Hadrian spared Dionysius and Favorinus (although he tendentiously adds that it was because he could find no pretext for destroying them). Moreover, if we follow Philostratus in relating this incident to Favorinus’ boast that he quarrelled with the emperor and lived, we must concede that the ‘quarrel’ involved no animosity on the part of Hadrian, and indeed some considerable degree of tolerance if Favorinus was able to dine out on the incident with impunity. Favorinus’ tendency to advertise himself as living dangerously in imperial circles also emerges from another story. The Augustan History has him protest to friends who criticised him for giving in to Hadrian on a matter of language: ‘You give me bad advice, my friends, in not allowing me to believe the man who has thirty legions to be more learned than everyone else.’ 18 In this anecdote Favorinus again concedes, ostensibly in the face of force majeure, but the threatening quality of that force is never tested. Given the clear statements of Dio and Philostratus we should surely discount the papyrus as evidence for Favorinus’ life, and take it rather to be the text of a declamation in which the speaker creates a fictitious situation for a virtuoso performance On exile. The extent to which Hadrian and Favorinus were ever at variance remains hard to assess. I would like to suggest that the later writers’ source for Favorinus’ confrontations with the emperor may have been none other than Favorinus’ own Memoirs (ajpomnhmoneuvmata). That work admittedly seems chiefly to have been devoted to doxography and anecdote concerning the philosophers of the classical period, the sixth to the fourth centuries BC, and its title suggests conscious evocation of Xenophon. But Favorinus’ work had at least five books, as against Xenophon’s four, and the genre was properly devoted to personal

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Ewen Bowie reminiscences. If the ajpomnhmoneuvmata were indeed the source of these anecdotes, this would explain their consistent heroisation of Favorinus himself. It might also explain the unsympathetic portrayal of Hadrian, since the work, like most memoirs of prominent individuals, probably belongs to Favorinus’ later years, that is after Hadrian’s death. Some quarrel remains likely enough. Philostratus says that the Athenian authorities pulled down a bronze statue of Favorinus supposing him to be someone who was the emperor’s greatest enemy, and attaches this incident to the immunity issue. That the story is not pure fiction is shown by the speech transmitted as Dio Oration 37. This is clearly a work of Favorinus. It was delivered in Corinth, and implies that there too a statue of Favorinus had been removed. Favorinus attributes this action to a charge against him which he represents as relating to his behaviour in Rome and (naturally) as slanderous. That he offers examples of gods who have also suffered baseless slanders is most easily explained by taking the charge to concern sexual misconduct, so it is plausible to associate it with Philostratus’ report that Favorinus was charged with adultery by a consular – another constituent of his triple boast to be ‘a Gaul who spoke Greek, a eunuch tried for adultery and one who quarrelled with the emperor and lived’. 19 The Athenian and Corinthian reactions should surely be taken as being to the same situation – here I disagree with Simon Swain – a situation where Favorinus faced a serious charge and the likelihood of imperial displeasure if convicted. The self-confident tone of the Corinthian speech, however, and the absence of any statement that he was convicted, suggest that he weathered this socio-political storm. It would be helpful for understanding Favorinus’ career if we could date this event more precisely within the limits AD 117 and AD 138. Barigazzi opted for c. AD 130, on the grounds that Hadrian’s choice of the sophist M. Antonius Polemo to deliver a ceremonial oration at the dedication of the Olympieion in AD 131–2 showed that Favorinus was already in disgrace. It must be doubted, however, whether Favorinus, more a philosopher than a sophist, was ever a leading candidate for that honour, and the date must be abandoned. Can we do any better in dating the immunity affair? Simon Swain made the tempting suggestion that Favorinus’ attempt to secure immunity belongs at the beginning of Hadrian’s reign. However, in my view, what Hadrian then did was to confirm philosophers’ existing entitlement to this and other privileges rather than to extend these privileges to them.20 Moreover in Favorinus’ case the first move seems to have been made by the body which wanted to appoint him flamen, 6 Return to Table of Contents

Hadrian, Favorinus, and Plutarch not by Favorinus himself, so there need be no immediate link with renewal or introduction of legislation at the beginning of Hadrian’s reign. It is probable, however, that – as arguably happened in Aelius Aristides’ case 21 – the concilium made its move as soon as Favorinus’ age made him eligible for the office. Since his year of birth is uncertain that does not help us much, but it does take us to earlier rather than later in the reign of Hadrian, and certainly nearer to AD 120 than to AD 130. But there is perhaps another clue. Apart from this anecdote we have no secure attestation of Dio as Favorinus’ teacher. Philostratus, for example, does know a tradition that Favorinus was a pupil of Dio, but comments that he departed from Dio’s manner as much as those who were not his pupils.22 But we have seen several indications of the influence of Plutarch on Favorinus. Is it perhaps surprising that Favorinus claimed to have had a dream in which Dio appeared to him rather than one in which Plutarch appeared? It would be if at the time Plutarch as well as Dio were dead – and we can be fairly sure that by Hadrian’s accession Dio was dead. But the anecdote about the dream offers some slight indication that Plutarch, more unambiguously a philosopher than Dio and apparently more influential on Favorinus, was alive. Not that one could not have dreams in which live individuals appeared – there are a number of these in Aelius Aristides, Artemidorus and the Greek novels. But if Plutarch had been alive he might well have taken exception to his authority being exploited by the precocious epicene. So the immunity incident should at the latest belong before AD 125, if one takes that as the terminus ante quem for Plutarch’s death. It seems likely, however, that Philostratus is right to present Favorinus as engaged in fierce rivalry with Polemo, and no doubt he might perversely have interpreted Hadrian’s honours to Polemo and Smyrna – which epigraphy dates before AD 124 – as humiliation of himself and of his fans in Ephesus. Philostratus’ picture of hostility between the two receives some corroboration from the unflattering picture that must refer to Favorinus in Polemo’s Physiognomics (Physiognomica).23 Should we therefore reject Dio’s picture of a concerted attempt by Hadrian to destroy the careers of successful intellectuals, of whom he names only Favorinus, Dionysius of Miletus and Apollodorus of Damascus? I think we should. First, take Dionysius of Miletus. Philostratus presents Dionysius as a beneficiary of Hadrian on several counts. 24 He was made ‘satrap’ of important peoples, enrolled in the equites equo publico and given the 7 Return to Table of Contents

Ewen Bowie privilege of free dinners in the Alexandrian Museum. The grant of free dinners at the Museum is not to be doubted. We know that the emperor was responsible for appointing the Director of the Museum, and that at least two other men of letters were rewarded by Hadrian with the privilege of dining there, the sophist Antonius Polemo and the Egyptian poet Pancrates. 25 Moreover inscriptions from Ephesus have confirmed both Dionysius’ general eminence and his other two distinctions. A text published long ago and put in context by Josef Keil in 1953 records how Dionysius was honoured with a statue by the council and people of Ephesus and describes him as ‘orator and sophist and [twice] procurator of Augustus’. 26 This procuratorship will be Philostratus’ archaising ‘satrapy’, and the biographer’s plural seems not to be rhetorical, since although ‘twice’ ( div") is not actually on the stone, there is a gap of three letters for which it is the only plausible supplement. Unfortunately we have as yet no evidence where Dionysius held these posts. More recently the Austrians excavating Ephesus found Dionysius’ sarcophagus, on the edge of the Roman agora near the library of Celsus, confirming Philostratus’ claim that Dionysius was buried ‘in the agora in the most important part of Ephesus’ and giving us his full name, T. Claudius Flavianus Dionysius, with the simple but proud characterisation ‘orator’ (rJhvtwr).27 The extremely honorific location of the tomb demonstrates that Dionysius ended his life as Philostratus implies, basking in success. This casts doubt on Cassius Dio’s story of a quarrel with Hadrian which led to Dionysius’ downfall.28 Like his story of Hadrian’s quarrel with the architect Apollodorus, this seems to be a malicious elaboration on the theme of Hadrian’s intellectual competitiveness, and the epigraphic evidence from Ephesus supports Philostratus against Dio. The man whom Dio alleges Hadrian to have promoted in order to humiliate Dionysius was Avidius Heliodorus. He identifies him as Hadrian’s secretary (ab epistulis) and he quotes a bon mot of Dionysius addressed to Heliodorus: ‘Caesar can give you money and honour, but he cannot make you an orator.’ 29 No doubt there was rivalry between the two, since the very nature of declamatory performances made rivalry an occupational disease. But Hadrian’s promotion of Heliodorus may well have been based on his own merits, as Dio himself later seems to concede when he presents these as the ground for Heliodorus’ advancement to the praefecture of Egypt at the end of the reign. 30 On Dionysius, then, Cassius Dio seems to go too far. The same is true of his account of Apollodorus of Damascus, whom he claims Hadrian first exiled and then killed. The quarrel allegedly started in

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Hadrian, Favorinus, and Plutarch Trajan’s reign: Trajan was discussing plans with Apollodorus, presumably for his stupendous forum, and Hadrian, who happened to be rather pleased with some plans of his own, butted in with a suggestion and was told by Apollodorus ‘Go away and draw your pumpkins; you don’t know anything about this.’ Hadrian nursed a grudge, and when he became emperor could not tolerate Apollodorus’ frankness (parrhsiva). He sent his plans for the temple of Venus and Rome to Apollodorus for his approval, and was told that the temple should be raised so as to present a higher elevation to the Via Sacra and to allow room for vaults beneath to act as a store and assembly area for the machines to be used in the adjacent Amphitheatrum Flavium. Moreover he suggested that the cult statues were too high for the cella – if they wanted to get up and leave, they could not. This reply drove Hadrian to such fury at his ‘irremediable error’ that he executed Apollodorus. 31 There are serious implausibilities in the story. Why should Hadrian send drawings to Apollodorus when he is already, it seems, in disgrace and in exile? Why, if the drawings are still being considered, is the error ‘irremediable’? There are also oddities when Realien are brought to bear. The temple as built was set high; the height of the podium at the east end, facing the amphitheatre, is about 12 metres. Moreover one neglected text undermines Dio’s story. The preface of Apollodorus’ work On siege engines (Poliorkhtikav), though it may support the idea that Apollodorus fell from imperial favour, shows that he was alive and being consulted at the time that work was written. Its extremely polite opening sentence says explicitly that Hadrian has written asking for a work on siege engines. A little later Apollodorus refers to earlier times when he served with Hadrian on campaign and enjoyed good fortune (ejn tai'" paratavxesi genovmeno" o{te eujtuvcoun).32 That reference puts the work On siege engines some way into Hadrian’s reign. When, we must ask, is it likely that Hadrian felt a need for siege engines? Hardly to attack the Picts to the north of the line he established for his wall, and in any case his visit to Britain was quite early in the reign. The only appropriate context is the Jewish war. That also suits Apollodorus’ remark that he has sent local craftsman to build the engines. Although various permutations are possible, this makes most sense if Apollodorus, living in his native Damascus, whether driven back there by exile or perhaps simply by ill health, tells Hadrian he is sending men familiar with local materials and conditions to construct siege engines in Judaea. This gives a date of AD 132–135 for the work On siege engines, probably indeed the beginning of that span, since it is likely that

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Ewen Bowie Hadrian would identify the need for siege engines as soon as he heard of the Jewish revolt. As it turned out, the Romans had no occasion to conduct a major siege, but strategists regularly envisage a war being fought along the same lines as its precedessor, and recollection of Vespasian and Titus’ siege of Jerusalem will surely have dominated Hadrian’s initial planning. The date of c. AD 132 takes us far later than the drawing-board stage in the construction of the temple of Venus and Rome, which must belong rather in the early 120s. The temple’s consecration can be associated with the ludi circenses established in AD 121 for the Parilia, Rome’s traditional foundation day, the 21st April. Brick stamps of AD 123 (even if allowance has to be made for that having been a glut year for bricks) show building to be under way in the 120s. This is confirmed by the moving of the colossal statue, originally with Nero’s head, to its site by the amphitheatre which gave it its lasting name, Colosseum. The statue had to be moved to allow the construction of the vast platform of the temple, and the relocation took place in AD 128 (if we accept the Chronicum Paschale’s association with consuls Catullinus and Libo). The temple was dedicated, not yet quite complete, in AD 135, a date given by Cassiodorus and confirmed by coins of AD 136– 137 bearing the legends Veneris Felicis and Romae Aeternae.33 If On siege engines is a work of the early 130s, then, Dio’s story of Apollodorus’ execution is refuted, and, as already observed, the suggestions attributed to him seem actually to relate to the temple as built. I am inclined to take Bernard Henderson’s view that ‘the whole tale is…sheer silly scandal’, though Apollodorus’ reference to earlier and happier times might be taken as corroboration of some fall from favour. The story of Hadrian’s anger clearly belongs with the other anecdotes from an anti-Hadrianic tradition which alleged ill-treatment of intellectuals whom he saw as a challenge to his pre-eminence, and the context of the construction of the temple of Venus and Rome may have been elaborated partly to explain why the architect of Trajan’s forum was not given the commission for the temple too. If there was a historical core to the story, then one detail hints that the nature of such exchanges as there were between Hadrian and Apollodorus was rather different. Apollodorus’ remark about the goddesses’ scale seems to be an adaptation of a traditional criticism of the statue of Zeus at Olympia which we find in Strabo, a statue ‘which the Athenian Pheidias son of Charmides made of ivory, so vast that although the temple was huge the artist seemed not to have achieved correct proportions, constructing a seated statue whose top almost touched the roof, so as to give the

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Hadrian, Favorinus, and Plutarch impression that were it to stand upright it would lift the roof off the temple’.34 If Apollodorus did ever write in such terms to Hadrian, he may have intended an implicit compliment in this comparison with Pheidias. Once more I suspect the politically-minded Dio of having taken too seriously the boastful anecdotes of artists who liked it to be known that they were intimate with the emperor. They may not have been so outspoken in real life, as is shown by the tone of the preface of On siege engines with its polite address to Hadrian as ‘master’ (devspota). Let us return to Favorinus. If Cassius Dio can be shown to be wrong in his presentation of the careers of Dionysius and Apollodorus, we must doubt his presentation of Hadrian’s systematic persecution of intellectuals in general and of Favorinus in particular. Some of his information, as I have suggested, may well be from Favorinus’ Memoirs, dramatising their author’s stand-offs with Hadrian but composed when Hadrian was safely dead. In AD 117 things may have looked and felt different. A number of Greek eminences are likely to have elicited some reward from Hadrian when they went on embassies from their cities to congratulate him on his accession. Favorinus’ rival from Smyrna, M. Antonius Polemo, was very probably among them.35 Favorinus’ own dedication of part of a work to Hadrian may well have propelled him towards that ‘close relationship’ with Hadrian in respect of which the Augustan History claims he was pre-eminent and which in fact seems implicit in the immunity and adultery stories. Once arrivé himself, would he not have done something to ensure that Hadrian, the admirer of Greek culture and patron of philosophers, was introduced to his ageing mentor in Chaeronea? Nothing in our surviving evidence allows us to attempt an answer to this question. It could well be, of course, that Plutarch already knew Hadrian through his connections with Roman aristocrats who were important in Trajan’s last years, even if they were not in Hadrian’s inner circle. On the other hand one of these connections, C. Avidius Nigrinus, was executed in the ‘conspiracy’ of the four consulars in AD 118. Plutarch might have preferred to keep his distance, and if he survived into the years AD 123–124, which seems the most likely date for the appearance of Antinous in Hadrian’s entourage, he would surely have had reservations about this relationship. The case of Favorinus adds a dimension to the problem of whether Plutarch knew Hadrian, but it does not help us to solve it. Corpus Christi College, Oxford

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Ewen Bowie Notes Simon Swain, ‘Plutarch, Hadrian and Delphi’, Historia 40 (1991), 318–30. Eusebius ap. Syncellus p. 659. 13 Dindorf = p. 426 Mosshammer on AD 119 = Eusebius. Die Chronik des Hieronymus, ed. R. Helm, Die griechischen christlichen Schriftsteller 47 (Berlin 1956), 415, 198a: Ploutavrco" Cairwneu;" filovsofo" ejpitropeuvein ÔEllavdo" uJpo; tou' aujtokravtoro" katestavqh ghvraio". S. Fein, Die Beziehungen der Kaiser Trajan und Hadrian zu den litterati (Stuttgart and Leipzig 1994), 167–74, discusses the relations of Plutarch with Trajan and Hadrian; despite recognising the objections, she accepts both the tradition that Plutarch received ornamenta consularia from Trajan and that which has Hadrian give him a procuratorial role or title in the province Achaea. 3 Favorinus has recently been illuminated by a wide-ranging and stimulating study by Maud W. Gleeson, Making men. Sophists and self-presentation in ancient Rome (Princeton 1995). His relations with Hadrian are also reviewed by Sylvia Fein (op. cit. n. 2 above), 241–5. Much light is thrown by the denselypacked chapter of Leofranc Holford-Strevens, Aulus Gellius (London 1988), 72–92. The standard edition and discussion of surviving works and fragments is that by A. Barigazzi, Favorino di Arelate. Opere (Firenze 1966); for the Pantodaph; iJstoriva see E. Mensching, Favorin von Arelate (Berlin 1963). The year of his birth remains uncertain, but any date earlier than AD 87 would have almost certainly exposed him to nomination for the flaminate of Narbonensis under Trajan (assuming the age qualification to be 30; if it were 25, then AD 92 becomes the earliest probable date of his birth). He may have died c. AD 154. 4 The work opens (945f) e[sti ti" a\ra tou' yucrou' duvnami", w\ Fabwri'ne: the location of Favorinus at Delphi at 953c–d begins ejn de; Delfoi'" aujto;" h[koue" o{ti… See also Opsomer, p. 18 below, and Boys-Stones, p. 44 below. 5 No. 132. 6 See J. Glucker, Antiochus and the Late Academy. Hypomnemata 56 (Göttingen 1978), 280–93. I follow Glucker’s persuasive discussion of Favorinus’ intellectual development in the following outline. Cf. also Holford-Strevens, op. cit. (n. 3), 77. 7 This work is known from that of Galen written to refute it ‘On the best form of teaching’ (peri; th'" ajrivsth" didaskaliva") = Scripta Minora i 82–92 = i 40–1 Kühn = Favorinus fr. 28 Barigazzi. 8 For all these works except the Purrwnei'oi trovpoi (Barigazzi frr. 26–7) see Galen (n. 7), Barigazzi frr. 28–31. See also Opsomer, p. 18 below. 9 The text of Galen On the best mode of teaching (peri; th'" ajrivsth" didaskaliva") = Scripta Minora i 82–92 = i 40–1 Kühn = Favorinus fr. 28 Barigazzi runs: …wJ" de; kai; triva bivblia gravya" e}n me;n pro;" ∆Adriano;n, e{teron de; pro;" Druvswna, kai; trivton pro;" ∆Arivstarcon, a{panta peri; th'" katalhptikh'" fantasiva" ejpevgraye… (‘…and that writing three books, all about cognitive impression, he dedicated one to Hadrian, the second to Dryson, and the third to Aristarchus…’). See also Opsomer, p. 18 below. 10 PIR2 C 357: Herodes’ upbringing in Ruso’s house is attested by Marcus Caesar ad Frontonem 3. 2 p. 41 Naber = 1. 60 Haines; for Favorinus as one of Herodes’ teachers cf. Philostratus, VS 2. 1. 564. 1 2

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Hadrian, Favorinus, and Plutarch R. Syme, ‘The Ummidii’, Historia 17 (1968), 95 = Roman Papers 2 (Oxford 1979), 682. 12 The name is found in an Athenian family with Delphian connections: Demetrius son of Aristarchus was hieromnemon and pylagoros for life and is commended for his unfailing attendance at the Pythia, Fouilles de Delphes iii (2) no. 161 4, 24, probably from the late first century AD . One may conjecture a son for Demetrius whose name would most probably be Aristarchus and who would belong around the 120s. 13 PIR2 A 134, cf. L. Robert, Études epigraphiques et philologiques (Paris 1938), 45–53, at 49 ff. and Fein, op. cit. (n. 2), 198. This is more probable than that Favorinus’ dedicatee was this man’s equally distinguished relative, perhaps indeed son, at Nysa, T. Aelius Alcibiades, who was honoured by the Dionysiac Technitai for establishing a club-house for them at Rome and presenting to it a gift of ‘marvellous books’ (qaumasta; bibliva), cf. Robert, ibid., and SEG 4. 418A (= IK 11. 22) 16–19. For Phlegon’s dedication of his Olympiads to Alcibiades see Photius, Bibl.Cod. 97, 83a23–7 = F. Jacoby, F Gr H 257 T 3. 14 Gellius, NA 2. 26. 1 for Fronto, 4. 1. 1, 20. 1. 1 for the salutationes. 15 ‘in summa familiaritate Epictetum et Heliodorum philosophos – et, ne nominatim de omnibus dicam, grammaticos, rhetores, musicos, geometras, pictores, astrologos – habuit, prae ceteris, ut multi adserunt, eminente Favorino’ (‘he was extremely friendly with the philosophers Epictetus and Heliodorus and – not to mention them all by name – with teachers of language, of rhetoric, musicians, geometricians, painters and astrologers; among these a pre-eminent place was held, as many claim, by Favorinus’). Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Hadrian 16. 10–11. 16 M. Norsa and G. Vitelli, Il papiro Vaticano greco 11. Studi e testi 53 (Città del Vaticano 1931), republished by Barigazzi, op. cit. (n. 3), 375–409. The papyrus is copied on the verso of documents dating shortly before AD 192, so presumably in the early third century, i.e. roughly contemporary with Cassius Dio and Philostratus. 17 Cassius Dio (epit.) 69. 3–4. 1; Philostratus, VS 1. 8. 489–90. 18 ‘et Favorinus quidem, cum verbum eius quondam ab Hadriano reprehensum esset atque ille cessisset, arguentibus amicis, quod male cederet Hadriano de verbo quod idonei auctores usurpassent, risum iucundissimum movit: ait enim “non recte suadetis, familiares, quod non patimini me illum doctiorem omnibus credere qui habet triginta legiones” ’ (‘And indeed when on one occasion a word used by Favorinus had been criticized by Hadrian and he had given way, and his friends taxed him with wrongly giving way to Hadrian in the matter of a word which acceptable authorities had used, Favorinus cracked a most amusing joke: for he said “You are not giving me the right advice, my friends, in that you do not allow me to believe more learned than all of us the man who has thirty legions” ’). Scriptores Historiae Augustae, Hadrian 15. 13. 19 qermo;" de; ou{tw ti" h\n ta; ejrwtikav, wJ" kai; moicou' labei'n aijtivan ejx ajndro;" uJpavtou. diafora'" de; aujtw/' pro;" ∆Adriano;n basileva genomevnh" oujde;n e[paqen. o{qen wJ" paravdoxa ejpecrhsmw/dei' tw/' eJautou' bivw/ triva tau'ta, Galavth" w]n eJllhnivzein, eujnou'co" w]n moiceiva" krivnesqai, basilei' diafevresqai kai; zh'n (‘and he was a 11

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Ewen Bowie man with so strong a sexual drive that he was actually charged with adultery by a consul. And although he had a quarrel with the emperor Hadrian he came to no harm. Hence he used to offer the following oracular application of paradoxes to his own life: that although a Gaul he spoke Greek, that although a eunuch he was tried for adultery, that he quarrelled with the emperor and lived’). Philostratus VS 1. 8 (489). 20 See Swain op. cit. (n. 1), but for Hadrian’s position on immunities note the arguments of Miriam Griffin reviewing G.W. Bowersock, Greek Sophists in the Roman Empire (Oxford 1969) in JRS 61 (1971), 278–80. 21 On Behr’s reconstruction Aristides, born on 27th November AD 117, discovered the Smyrniotes’ enthusiasm for proposing him for the position of high priest of the imperial cult in the province Asia (ajrciereu;" ∆Asiva") at an assembly held in Smyrna on 23rd September AD 147; the actual proposal was made at a provincial assembly held on 1st January AD 148, and related to one of the next three or four years: see C.A. Behr, Aelius Aristides and the Sacred Tales (Amsterdam 1968), 1, 63–5, and AJP 90 (1969), 75–7. It is hard not to suppose that Aristides’ thirtieth birthday was a crucial factor. 22 Div w no" me; n ou\ n aj k ou' s ai lev g etai, tosou' t on de; aj f ev s thken o{ s on oiJ mh; ajkouvsante": Philostratus VS 1. 8 (492). 23 Physiognomica 1. 160 Forster, cf. Gleeson, op. cit. (n. 3), 46 ff. 24 ∆Adriano;" ga;r satravphn aujto;n ajpevfhnen oujk ajfanw'n ejqnw'n ejgkatevlexe de; toi'" dhmosiva/ iJJppeuvousi kai; toi'" ejn tw/' Mouseivw/ sitoumevnoi" (‘For Hadrian appointed him satrap of countries that were not obscure, and enrolled him in the rank of public knights, and among those who enjoy dinners in the Museum’). Philostratus, VS 1. 22 (524). 25 For Polemo see Philostratus VS 1. 25 (532–3) cited below (n. 35); for Pancrates see Athenaeus 677d. 26 rJhvtora kai; sofisth;n kai; [di;" ] ejpivtropon tou' Sebastou', I Ephesos 3047. 27 T. Klauvdio" Flaouiano;" Dionuvsio" rJhvtwr, I Ephesos 426: see now H. Engelmann, ‘Philostrat und Ephesos’, ZPE 108 (1995), 77–87. 28 69. 3. 29 Kai'sar crhvmata mevn soi kai; timh;n dou'nai duvnatai, rJhvtora dev se poih'sai ouj duvnatai. 30 71. 22. 2: for the other evidence on his career see PIR2 A 1405. 31 Cassius Dio 69. 4. 1–5 32 ajnevgnwn sou, devspota, th;n peri; tw'n mhcanhmavtwn ejpistolhvn, kai; makavrio" ejgenovmhn o{ti me koinwnh'sai tauvth" sou th'" frontivdo" a[xion e[krina". poihvsa" ou\n uJpodeivgmatav tina pro;" poliorkivan eu[crhsta, e[pemya diagravya" kai; pa'sin uJpelavlhsa kai; uJpourgo;n ajpevlusa, pavnta deivxa" kai; ejp∆ aujtou' ejrgasavmeno" i{na pro;" ta; uJpodeivgmata oJmoivw", ei[ ti" creiva gevnoito, ejrgavshtai. ejpei; ou\n ajgnow' tou;" tovpou", schvmata polla; kai; poikivla dievgraya, kai; ta;" aijtiva" ejphvnegka… e[pemya de; kai; tevktona" ejgcwrivou" kai; tou;" a[llou" ejrgavsasqai kai; poih'sai dunamevnou": oi\da ga;r meta; sou' ejn tai'" paratavxesi genovmeno" o{te eujtuvcoun, stratiwtw'n eujporhvsa" pro;" to; kalw'" ejrgavsasqai…oi|on aiJ ejn toi'" polevmoi" crei'ai wJ" eujstrovfwn kai; mhcanhmavtwn devontai (‘I have read your letter, sir, about siegeengines, and I am fortunate that you have judged me worthy to take part in your planning. Accordingly I have made some designs suitable for a siege,

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Hadrian, Favorinus, and Plutarch and I have sent them with drawings, and have added instructions for all of them, and have seconded one of my assistants, after showing him everything and constructed everything in his presence so that he can construct everything in accordance with the designs should any need arise. Now since I am not familiar with the topography, I have drawn many different types of design, and I have added the reasons for them… I have also sent craftsmen native to the country and the other workmen who are capable of manufacture and construction; for I know, having been on campaigns with you when I enjoyed good fortune, and having had access to soldiers for their effective construction, how the demands of warfare require both manageable men and manageable machines’). Apollodorus, Poliorkhtikav, ed. R. Schneider, Abhandlungen der königlichen Gesellschaft zu Göttingen, Phil.-hist. Klasse N. F. x. 1 (1908). The preface only is printed in M. Stern, Greek and Latin Authors on Jews and Judaism vol. 2 (Jerusalem 1980), xcvi no. 322, pp. 134–7. 33 For discussions see W.L. MacDonald, Architecture of the Roman Empire 2 (New Haven & London 1982), 131–7; M.T. Boatwright, Hadrian and the city of Rome (Princeton 1987), 119–33. 34 o} ejpoivei Feidiva" Carmivdou ∆Aqhnai'o" ejlefavntinon, thlikou'ton to; mevgeqo" wJ" kaivper megivstou o[nto" tou' new; dokei'n ajstoch'sai th'" summetriva" to;n tecnivthn, kaqhvmenon poihvsanta, aJptovmenon de; scedovn ti th/' korufh/' th'" ojrofh'", w{st∆ e[mfasin poiei'n, eja;n ojrqo;" gevnhtai dianastav", ajpostegavsein to;n newvn. Strabo 353C. 35 Note the inscription recording benefactions obtained for Smyrna by Polemo, I Smyrna 595: kai; o{sa ejpetuvcamen para; tou' kurivou Kaivsaro" ∆Adrianou' dia; ∆Antwnivou Polevmwno": deuvteron dovgma sugklhvtou, kaq∆ o} di;" newkovroi gegovnamen, ajgw'na iJerovn, ajtevleian, qeolovgou", uJmnw/douv", muriavda" eJkato;n penthvkonta, keivona" eij" to; ajleipthvrion Sunnadivou" obV, Noumedikou;" kV, porfureivta" "V (‘and all that we obtained from the lord Caesar Hadrian through Antonius Polemo: a second decree of the Senate, by which we became Twice Temple-warden, a Sacred Competition, immunity, god-praisers, hymn-singers, 150,000 drachmae, columns for the Oiling Hall to the number of 72 of marble from Synnada, 20 of marble from Numidia and 6 of porphyry’). The benefactions Polemo elicited for himself emerge from Philostratus, VS 1. 25 (532–3): ta; de; ejk basilevwn aujtw/' toiau'ta, Traiano;" me;n aujtokravtwr ajtelh' poreuvesqai dia; gh'" kai; qalavtth", ∆Adriano;" de; kai; toi'" ajp∆ aujtou' pa'sin, ejgkatevlexe de; aujto;n kai; tw'/ tou' Mouseivou kuvklw/ ej" th;n Aijguptivan sivthsin, ejpiv te th'" ÔRwvmh" ajpaitoumevnou pevnte kai; ei[kosi muriavda" uJperapevdwke tau'ta ta; crhvmata ou[te eijpovnto" wJ" devoito, ou[te proeipw;n wJ" dwvsoi. (‘His rewards from emperors were as follows: the emperor Trajan gave him the right to travel free by land and sea, and Hadrian extended it to all his descendants, and enrolled him also in the circle of the Museum with a view to dining in Egypt; and when in Rome he demanded 250,000 drachmae he paid him more than this, though Polemo did not say that he asked for more nor did Hadrian say in advance that he would give more.’)

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According to a widespread belief among classical scholars, the so-called scepticism of the Platonic Academy was strictly limited to one phase in its history. This phase is commonly called the New Academy, stretching from Arcesilaus to Philo of Larissa, or, according to an alternative classification, from the second to the fourth Academy. However, I believe that traces of these sceptical tendencies can actually be detected in Platonism after Antiochus of Ascalon, in other words, that Middle Platonism cannot be entirely reduced to its ‘dogmatic’ component. It is precisely Plutarch who exemplifies the tendency to integrate elements of positive doctrine with an aporetic or sceptic awareness. Plutarch was convinced that his brand of Platonic philosophy was fundamentally in accordance with Academic philosophy. He defended the unity of its tradition against those – both inside and outside the Academy – who considered the Academic scepsis to be a deviation and an aberration from the true Platonic spirit and only a transitory phase in the history of Platonism. Against these imputations Plutarch maintained that the sceptical Academy did not constitute a break in the Platonic tradition.1 Furthermore, Plutarch himself used sceptical strategies as weapons in his vehement polemics against Stoics and Epicureans.2 Moreover, he repeatedly advocated, throughout his whole œuvre, caution concerning divine matters3 and suspension of judgement on the level of sensory perception and the natural sciences.4 So there is much evidence of an Academic stratum to be found in Plutarch’s works.5 However, this is not the side of the issue I am going to develop here. I will now attempt to approach the question of Plutarch’s philosophical affiliations from a different angle. A study of Plutarch’s attitude to Academic scepticism can benefit greatly, I believe, from a closer examination of the philosophical 17 Return to Table of Contents

Jan Opsomer quarrels in which his friend and disciple Favorinus of Arelate was entangled. Favorinus is the person to whom Plutarch’s most ‘sceptical’ or ‘academic’ text, De primo frigido, is addressed. At the end of this little treatise Plutarch advises him to withhold judgement, as it is ‘more philosophic to suspend judgement when the truth is obscure, than to take sides’.6 Furthermore, from the Lamprias-catalogue (132) we learn of a Letter to Favorinus on Friendship (or The use of friends).7 Despite the fact that our sources place Favorinus firmly within the orbit of Academic scepticism, older scholarly literature tended to portray him as belonging to the Pyrrhonian rather than the Academic tradition, or at least it maintained a great deal of ambiguity as to his precise philosophical affiliations. I think John Glucker8 has once and for all refuted the myth of the Pyrrhonian Favorinus. It is now an established fact9 that Favorinus was considered an ‘Academic’10 by himself as well as by his contemporaries. Also I endorse Glucker’s suspicion as to the origin of this scholarly myth and the persistence with which it has been preserved: What lies at the root of this procedure could perhaps be described as a species of mauvaise foi. All the evidence shows clearly that Favorinus regarded himself as an Academic sceptic. But placing him within the history of the Academy in the second century A .D. would hardly square with the general image of the school of that time, whose chief exponents are usually taken to be dogmatics like Ammonius and Taurus … Despite all evidence to the contrary, he is therefore squeezed into the history of Pyrrhonian scepticism. (Glucker 1978, pp. 282–3)

Most of our information about Favorinus’ epistemological position can be gained from a small treatise Galen devoted to a polemic against him: On the Best Instruction (Peri; th'" ajrivsth" didaskaliva", De optima doctrina).11 Galen opposes Favorinus’ thesis that the best instruction consists in hJ eij" eJkavtera ejpiceivrhsi", i.e. the argument in which one speaks, in each particular question, in favour of opposite sides (the famous in contrarias partes disserere). 12 From Galen’s treatise we learn, among other things, that Favorinus wrote a work On the Academic Disposition (Peri; th'" ∆Akadhmai>kh'" diaqevsew"), also called Plutarch (Plouvtarco"). Another work was directed against Epictetus and was accordingly named Against Epictetus (Pro;" ∆Epivkthton). It portrays one of Plutarch’s slaves, Onesimus, arguing with Epictetus. Later on Favorinus published a work on the same subject, entitled Alcibiades (∆Alkibiavdh").13 This was followed by three books On the cataleptic phantasy (Peri; th'" katalhptikh'" fantasiva"),14 in which he is said to have denied the possibility of such a cognitive impression,15 the key notion of Stoic epistemology. 18 Return to Table of Contents

Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch When we take a closer look at Galen’s argumentation, it appears that he objects above all to Favorinus’ method of speaking in favour of both sides in opposing arguments. The suspension of judgement following from this would be incompatible with the choice his pupils are supposed to make between the two. Galen distinguishes the older from the younger Academics. The first carried through the procedure of hJ eij" eJkavtera ejpiceivrhsi" (‘arguing both sides of a question’) with such extreme rigour that the only consequential conclusion left to them was the complete suspension of judgement, the ejpoch; peri; pavntwn. This would imply a lack of determination, i.e. the refusal to determine anything or to make any absolute statement: oiJ me;n ou\n palaiovteroi teleuta'n aujth;n [sc. th;n eij" eJkavtera ejpiceivrhsin] eij" ejpoch;n uJpolambavnousin, ejpoch;n kalou'nte" th;n wJ" a]n ei[poi ti" ajoristivan, o{per ejsti; peri; mhdeno;" pravgmato" oJrivsasqai mhd∆ ajpofhvnasqai bebaivw". (De opt. doctr. 40) The older Academics take this [i.e. arguing both sides of a question] to result in suspension of judgement – they call ‘suspension of judgement’ indeterminateness, so to speak, i.e. not determining or making firm assertions on any subject. toi'" me;n ga;r presbutevroi" aujto; dh; tou'to h\n divdagma, to; mhde;n ei\nai krithvrion ajnqrwvpw/ dedovmenon uJpo; th'" fuvsew", w|/ parabavllwn e{kaston tw'n o[ntwn ajkribw'" diagnwvsetai: dio; mhd∆ ajpofhvnasqai peri; mhdeno;" hjxivoun ajlla; peri; pavntwn ejpevcein. (43–4) This was exactly what instruction was for the older Academics: there is no criterion given by nature to man, to which he can compare each thing so that he can distinguish it accurately. Therefore they were of the opinion that one should not make assertions about anything, but that one should suspend judgement about everything.

With the words mhd∆ ajpofhvnasqai bebaivw" (‘not to make firm assertions’), Galen wishes to convey what is better known as ajkatalhyiva (‘non-apprehensibility’). According to the Academics, he states, it is impossible to get a cognitive impression, a katalhptikh; fantasiva , of anything. Galen upbraids Favorinus for using the words katavlhyi", katalhptikh; fantasiva, to; katalhptovn and their counterparts, because they do not conform to the Attic norm. He proposes to substitute to; bebaivw" gnwstovn16 (‘that which is known with certainty, firmly’) for katalhptovn (‘the apprehensible’). This might seem a completely neutral operation, but in fact these terminological changes proposed by Galen are not without theoretical implications. They allow of a considerable rapprochement between Academic and Stoic epistemology, 19 Return to Table of Contents

Jan Opsomer since, for example, Carneades’ ‘convincing’ impression,17 which the latter accepts as a criterion by which to guide our actions, can be more readily identified with to; bebaivw" gnwstovn than with to; katalhptovn. One can compare Anthony Long’s remark on the semantic evolution of katavlhyi",18 a particular example of the watering-down of terminology: In Stoicism, its original home, it signifies an infallible act of cognition based on the kataleµptic impression, and such impressions refer primarily to self-certifying acts of sense-perception. Writers of the Roman Empire, however, frequently use kataleµpsis as a synonym for episteµmeµ or gnoµsis, mental apprehension quite generally. 19

According to Galen, Favorinus’ attitude can only be labelled as ambiguous, compared to the absolute and fully consequential suspension of judgement of the older New Academics.20 On the one hand, Favorinus professes suspension of judgement: even the sun cannot be said to be katalhptov" (‘apprehensible’, 40). On the other, he instructs his pupils to argue both sides of a question and subsequently to choose the best thesis, that is, the truer one (aiJrei'sqai tou;" ajlhqestevrou", 41). But at the same time he does not provide them with a truth-criterion (a[neu tou' didacqh'nai provteron ejpisthmoniko;n krithvrion, 41). By forcing his pupils to make a choice between two opposed propositions, Favorinus in the treatise Plutarch apparently does accept the existence of ‘firm knowledge’, to; bebaivw" gnwstovn, a concept that, according to Galen, equals ‘cataleptic’ or cognitive knowledge: ajll∆ ejn touvtw/ [sc. tw'/ Æ∆AlkibiavdhÆ] me;n ei[rhke piqano;n eJautw'/ faivnesqai mhde;n ei\nai katalhptovn, ejn de; tw'/ Ploutavrcw/ sugcwrei'n e[oiken ei\naiv ti bebaiv w " gnwstov n . a[ m einon ga; r ou{ t w" oj n omav z ein to; katalhpto; n aj p ocwrou'nta" ojnovmato" Stwikou' (41). But in this work [sc. the Alcibiades] he said that it seemed convincing to him that nothing is apprehensible, whereas in his Plutarch he seems to admit that there is something which can be known with certainty – it is better to term thus the ‘apprehensible’ and to get rid of the Stoic term.

Galen’s reproach amounts to an accusation of inconsistency: 21 Favorinus’ pupils are supposed to judge but are not allowed to believe in the existence of a criterion to judge by. These are contradictory and thus ridiculous requirements: geloi'o" ou\n ejstin oJ Fabwri'no" ejpitrevpwn krivnein toi'" maqhtai'" a[neu tou' sugcwrh'sai th;n pivstin toi'" krithrivoi" (51).22 Favorinus is ridiculous, for he leaves it up to his pupils to judge, while denying them belief in criteria.

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Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch Academic instruction in general is labelled as sophistic and worthless by Galen, 23 who claims his own to be the best kind of philosophical teaching, and then goes on to explain the basic principles of his own instruction methods (48–51). 24 It is difficult to say to what extent Galen presents us with a reliable picture of Favorinus’ position. But it is rather improbable, given the polemical context, that he is rendering the tenets of his opponent in a completely correct and sufficiently balanced manner. In the words of R.J. Hankinson: …Galen is surely too quick to dismiss as simply inconsistent a position which seeks to marry a methodology of dialectical opposition on the one hand with a limited acceptance of moderate belief on the other. (Hankinson 1991, p. 277)

His insufficient knowledge of the epistemological debate might be another distorting factor: Galen, as much of his treatise shows, is far from being a profound connoisseur of the doctrines of the sceptical Academy: indeed, whatever he knows of their theory of knowledge in this treatise appears to be derived wholly from a superficial reading of a few works of Favorinus, followed by a swift condemnation. (Glucker 1978, p. 286)

In some instances Galen’s text seems to have preserved traces of Favorinus’ exact wording. This appears to be the case when he tells us that Favorinus said it seemed persuasive or convincing to him that nothing is apprehensible (piqano;n eJautw'/ faivnesqai, mhde;n ei\nai katalhptovn, 41). Most probably this was indeed Favorinus’ position. Favorinus probably did not say that he knew that nothing can be known in a ‘cataleptic’ way, but only that this proposition appeared persuasive to him. This way of expressing his point of view allowed him to avoid the contradictions Galen is accusing him of. It is the same strategy Arcesilaus used against similar imputations.25 Carneades is supposed to have introduced to; piqanovn (‘the convincing’) as the Academic criterion for the conduct of life – a fallible criterion, since he did not exclude that in some instances one would be persuaded of something which is actually false. 26 It is also a concept Plutarch made ample use of in various writings (e.g. in the Quaestiones Convivales, De primo frigido, De defectu oraculorum), albeit in a larger sense than that originally attributed to Carneades by his more conservative followers. 27 Both Adelmo Barigazzi28 and John Glucker29 have claimed that according to Galen the philosophical position of Favorinus underwent

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Jan Opsomer an essential change between the composition of his Plutarch and his later philosophical work. In the work dedicated to Plutarch he is said to have taught the possibility of ‘cataleptic’ knowledge, while espousing ajkatalhyiva (‘non-apprehensibility’) in his later works. It is implied that Favorinus adopted a moderate position under the influence of Plutarch and that later he abandoned this half-hearted attitude to espouse a fully-fledged scepticism. I think this is based partly on an implicit assumption concerning the nature of Plutarch’s Platonism, but above all on a misinterpretation of Galen’s text. Galen does not want to point out an evolution, but rather a contradiction in Favorinus’ philosophy.30 A close reading of the text leads to this conclusion. Galen begins with the younger Academics, among whom is Favorinus. On the one hand sometimes (ejnivote mevn, 40) they deny katavlhyi" (‘apprehension’) even of self-evident things, such as the sun; then again at other times (ejnivote dev, 41) they expect their pupils to judge and make a choice. It is precisely this (oujde; ga;r a[llo tiv ejsti, 41) that Favorinus does in his Plutarch and likewise (levgei de; taujtovn, 41) in his Against Epictetus. In his Alcibiades, too, written after the aforementioned texts (kai; mevntoi kajn tw'/ meta; tau'ta grafevnti biblivw, tw'/ Æ∆Alkibiavdh/ Æ), he invites his pupils to choose the most truthful of two propositions. But, Galen continues, in Alcibiades Favorinus affirms, with caution, the principle of ajkatalhyiva (‘non-apprehensibility’), whereas in his Plutarch he appears to concede that assured knowledge of certain things is possible (sugcwrei'n e[oiken ei\naiv ti bebaivw" gnwstovn, 41). These words, in my opinion, do not imply that Favorinus in his Plutarch actually stated that some things might be katavlhpta (‘apprehensible’). This is rather a mere inference made by Galen. He reasons that Favorinus’ demand to make a judgement presupposes the existence of a criterion.31 Galen finds the same didactic method depicted in the three aforementioned works of Favorinus: the Academic teacher should invite his pupils first to argue in favour of two opposed propositions and then to judge between them. According to Galen’s line of reasoning, this inevitably brings the Academic into contradiction with his own sceptical tenets. Other passages confirm that Galen wants to point out a contradiction in Favorinus’ position, rather than an evolution (51, 52). This is borne out when we take a closer look at the concluding paragraph of De optima doctrina. After a brief exposition of his own teaching principles, he concludes with a last sneer at Favorinus: gevgraptai de; kai; o{pw" a[n ti" oJrmwvmeno" ajpo; tw'n ejn eJkavstw/ stoiceivwn kai; ajrcw'n ajpodeiknuvoi kavllista pa'n o{son ajpodeicqh'nai dunatovn, oujc wJ" oJ

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Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch qaumasto;" Fabwri'no", o}" e}n o{lon gravya" biblivon, ejn w|/ deivknusi mhde; to;n h{lion ei\nai katalhptovn, wJ" ejpilhvsmosin hJmi'n eJtevrwqi dialevgetai sugcwrw'n ti bebaivw" ei\nai gnwsto;n kai; tou't∆ ejpitrevpwn aiJrei'sqai toi'" maqhtai'". (52) I have shown how, starting from the elements and principles inherent in each subject, one may prove very well everything that can be proved, unlike our wonderful Favorinus, who has written a whole book in which he shows that not even the sun is apprehensible, and then in another work speaks to us as if we had forgotten [sc. his previous statement] and admits that there is something which can be known with certainty, which he then commands his pupils to choose.

According to this text, Favorinus had first written (gravya") a book in which he even denied the knowability of the sun, whereas in another work (eJtevrwqi), hoping that one would have forgotten his previous statement (wJ" ejpilhvsmosin hJmi'n), he acknowledged that some things admit of infallible knowledge and consequently required his pupils to choose in favour of these cognitive objects (kai; tou't∆ ejpitrevpwn aiJrei'sqai toi'" maqhtai'"). Well then, if it is at all possible to conclude on the basis of these words that Favorinus’ philosophical position changed fundamentally, one seems to observe exactly the opposite evolution of that read into the earlier paragraphs by Barigazzi and Glucker. Instead of a progression towards a more extreme form of scepticism, we now would have an evolution from extreme scepticism to a more ambiguous position. This is again an indication that Galen wanted to show above all that Favorinus’ philosophical position is full of contradictions, and not that Favorinus’ opinions on cognition would have changed in the course of time. There is no doubt concerning Galen’s purpose: he wanted to reproach Favorinus for having entangled himself in self-contradiction. Galen’s portrayal of Favorinus’ educational methods can hardly be called impartial, and it seems very unlikely that Favorinus would actually have defended ajkatalhyiva and the katalhptikh; fantasiva at the same time. Galen’s De optima doctrina is not to be seen as an objective and disinterested presentation of Favorinus’ philosophical position.32 Favorinus’ scepticism is more subtle and less contradictory than Galen would have it. 33 Another thing we have learned from the evidence of Galen is that Epictetus, the Stoic, was somehow involved in the epistemological debate. Through Epictetus, Galen’s remarks about Favorinus can be linked once more to Plutarch. Not only do we know that Favorinus wrote a book against Epictetus in which Plutarch’s slave is a character;34 from Galen’s survey of his own works35 we know that he himself 23 Return to Table of Contents

Jan Opsomer took up this polemical debate and defended Epictetus against Favorinus’ attacks (ÔUper ∆Epikthvtou pro;" Fabwri'non, In favour of Epictetus against Favorinus). 36 The Epicteti Dissertationes ab Arriano digestae provide us with sufficient clues to ascertain the connection between Epictetus and Favorinus and most probably between Epictetus and Plutarch as well. The Dissertationes contain several passages which are directed against anonymous Academic sceptics. Marcel Cuvigny, in a paper presented at the VIIIe congrès of the Association Guillaume Budé in 1968 (published in 1969),37 has already suggested that Epictetus’ attacks were actually directed against Plutarch and his circle. However, the evidence he adduced for this is meagre and his argument requires some qualification. It is based primarily on the conviction that Academic scepticism undermines traditional moral and religious values and, to be more specific, constitutes a threat to the belief in divine Providence and to divinational practices. Now this is indeed the very charge Epictetus, like many other Stoics, brings against the Academics. But Cuvigny, following a long-held communis opinio, has taken scepticism to be actually guilty of this charge, believing that scepticism as such inevitably undermines the foundations of traditional belief. In another paper,38 I show that this is not necessarily so. Recent studies in the domain of so-called Academic scepticism have established that it is wrong to consider the NewAcademic philosophy as anti-religious. Carneades’ notorious attacks on divination, the example par excellence, should be regarded as attacks on the Stoic conception of divination, and not on divination as such.39 The new understanding of the dialectical and polemical character of the Hellenistic debates leads to serious doubts about the alleged antireligious and anti-prophetic tendencies in Academic philosophy. In any case, the Academics themselves claimed that their brand of philosophy only challenged the unjustifiable truth-claims of their adversaries and that it in fact protected traditional belief.40 Academic caution warned against the assumption that man could obtain knowledge reserved for the gods. Plutarch himself saw no contradiction whatsoever between his attachment to the Academic spirit and his position as a Delphic priest. Let us now take a closer look at some of Epictetus’ anti-Academic polemics. I am convinced that a careful and detailed study of the parallels between De optima doctrina and Epictetus’ Dissertationes will show that it is more than likely that Epictetus’ attacks were indeed directed against Plutarch. And, to complete the picture, Favorinus, 24 Return to Table of Contents

Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch who espoused the same Academic principles, naturally defended his friend and teacher against Epictetus’ imputations, whereas Galen, reporting these polemics, clearly chose the side of Epictetus. In Dissertatio 2. 20 41 both the Academics and the Epicureans are under attack. Epictetus claims that the sceptic arguments are selfrefuting (§2–5) and that the Academics invalidate their philosophy by their own behaviour in daily life, which conflicts with their professed uncertainty about the world around them. This is a variant of the wellknown ajpraxiva-argument (the argument from total ‘inaction’), according to which suspension of judgement would make practical life impossible. Epictetus gives some stock examples in order to prove the untenability of the sceptical position: a[nqrwpe, tiv poiei'"… aujto;" seauto;n ejxelevgcei" kaq∆ hJmevran kai; ouj qevlei" ajfei'nai ta; yucra; tau'ta ejpiceirhvmata… ejsqivwn pou' fevrei" th;n cei'ra… eij" to; stovma h] eij" to;n ojfqalmovn… louovmeno" pou' ejmbaivnei"… povte th;n cuvtran ei\pe" loªuºpavda h] th;n toruvnhn ojbelivskon… (2. 20. 28) Man what are you doing? are you confuting your own self every day, and are you unwilling to give up these frigid attempts of yours? When you eat, where do you bring your hand? To your mouth, or to your eye? When you take a bath, into what do you step? When did you ever call the pot a plate, or the ladle a spit?’ (transl. W.A. Oldfather, LCL)

One may also compare Diss. 1. 27. 18–19: oujdevpote katapivnein ti qevlwn ejkei' fevrw to;n ywmovn, ajll∆ w|de: oujdevpot∆ a[rton qevlwn labei'n to; savron e[labon, ajll∆ ajei; ejpi; to;n a[rton e[rcomai wJ" pro;" skopovn. uJmei'" d∆ aujtoi; oiJ ta;" aijsqhvsei" ajnairou'nte" a[llo ti poiei'te… tiv" uJmw'n eij" balanei'on ajpelqei'n qevlwn eij" mulw'na ajph'lqen… When I want to swallow anything, I never take the morsel to that place but to this; when I wish to take bread I never take sweepings, but I always go after the bread as to a mark. And do you yourselves, who take away the evidence of the senses, do anything else? Who among you when he wishes to go to a bath goes to a mill instead?

Similar examples can be found in, for example, Plutarch’s Adversus Colotem.42 It appears that the Epicurean philosopher Colotes brought the same charges against Arcesilaus: ajlla; pw'" oujk eij" o[ro" a[peisi trevcwn oJ ejpevcwn ajll∆ eij" balanei'on, oujde; pro;" to;n toi'con ajlla; pro;" ta;" quvra" ajnasta;" badivzei, boulovmeno" eij" ajgora;n proelqei'n… But how comes it that the suspender of judgement does not run to a mountain but to the bath, and does not on rising pass to the wall but to the double door when he wishes to issue for the market? (Adv. Col. 1122E; transl. B. Einarson–P. De Lacy, LCL)

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Jan Opsomer Socrates too was accused of similar inconsistencies by Colotes, most probably because the Academic sceptics regarded him as a predecessor:43 tou' ajnqrwvpou covrton tina; probavllonto" sunhvqw" Swkravtei kaiv pw'" eij" to; stovma to; sitivon oujk eij" to; ou\" ejntivqhsin ejrwtw'nto". Colotes has a way of presenting Socrates with grass and asking how comes it that he puts food in his mouth and not in his ear. (Adv. Col. 1108B)44

According to Plutarch the Stoics invented the ajpraxiva-argument (the argument from ‘inaction’); only later was it adopted by the Epicureans.45 Another charge Epictetus brings against the Academics is that their principles undermine traditional piety. He asks them about their opinion of piety and sanctity (2. 20. 22: tiv levgei", filovsofe… to; eujsebe;" kai; to; o{sion poi'ovn tiv soi faivnetai… ‘What do you say, philosopher, what is your opinion of piety and sanctity?’) and then goes on to show what an Academic would answer to such a question. First he would demonstrate that piety and sanctity are good (a]n qevlh/", kataskeuavsw o{ti ajgaqovn, ‘if you wish, I shall prove that it is good’), only to prove the opposite afterwards: ejpei; ou\n tau'tav soi livan ajrevskei, lavbe ta; ejnantiva: o{ti ãqeoi;Ã ou[t∆ eijsivn, ei[ te kai; eijsivn, oujk ejpimelou'ntai ajnqrwvpwn oujde; koinovn ti hJmi'n ejsti pro;" aujtou;" tov t∆ eujsebe;" tou'to kai; o{sion para; toi'" polloi'" ajnqrwvpoi" lalouvmenon katavyeusmav ejstin ajlazovnwn ajnqrwvpwn kai; sofistw'n h] nh; Diva nomoqetw'n eij" fovbon kai; ejpivscesin tw'n ajdikouvntwn. (Diss. 2. 20. 23) Since, then, you are quite satisfied with all this, hear the contrary: the gods do not exist, and, even if they do, they pay no attention to men, nor have we any fellowship with them, and hence this piety and sanctity which the multitude talk about is a lie told by impostors and sophists, or, I swear, by legislators to frighten and restrain evildoers.

After an ironical reply by Epictetus, the Academic continues: tiv ou\n… oujk ajrevskei soi tau'ta… lavbe nu'n, pw'" hJ dikaiosuvnh oujdevn ejstin, pw'" hJ aijdw;" mwriva ejstivn, pw'" path;r oujdevn ejstin, pw'" oJ uiJo;" oujdevn ejstin. (Diss. 2. 20. 25) What then, does not all this satisfy you? Learn now how righteousness is nothing, how reverence is folly, how a father is nothing, how a son is nothing.

According to our Stoic philosopher, the Academics are guilty of contempt of things divine (25: katafrovnhsin tw'n qeivwn) but also of contempt of traditional family values and ethical principles in general.46 But the principles they boast of are contradicted by their acts in daily life: they marry, beget children, fulfill their duties as citizens and even 26 Return to Table of Contents

Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch get themselves appointed as priests and prophets. ‘But prophets and priests of whom?’ Epictetus wonders, ‘Of gods that do not exist?’ And why do they consult the Pythia? In order to hear lies? Epictetus sharply condemns their impudence and imposture: ei\ta oiJ levgonte" tau'ta gamou'si kai; paidopoiou'ntai kai; politeuvontai kai; iJerei'" kaqista'sin auJtou;" kai; profhvta". tivnwn… tw'n oujk o[ntwn: kai; th;n Puqivan ajnakrivnousin aujtoiv, i{na ta; yeudh' puvqwntai, kai; a[lloi" tou;" crhsmou;" ejxhgou'ntai. w\ megavlh" ajnaiscuntiva" kai; gohteiva". (Diss. 2. 20. 27) And then those who talk thus marry and beget children and fulfil the duties of citizens and get themselves appointed priests and prophets! Priests and prophets of whom? Of gods that do not exist! And they themselves consult the Pythian priestess – in order to hear lies and to interpret the oracles to others! Oh what monstrous shamelessness and imposture!

It seems to me at least probable that Epictetus with his references to priests, prophets and the Pythia is alluding to Plutarch. 47 Other elements of his polemics also square perfectly with what we know about Plutarch’s philosophical affiliations from his own writings: he always remains loyal to the New Academics,48 he professes Academic caution, he uses the strategy of arguing both sides of a question in his polemics against Stoics and Epicureans, he endeavours to refute the ajpraxiva-reasoning (the argument from ‘inaction’), he disputes the accusations of impiety. However, there is possibly an indication that Favorinus understood the argumentation of this particular Dissertatio, which itself is of course based on Epictetus’ lectures, 49 as being actually directed against Plutarch. Epictetus’ attacks on Academic scepticism provoked, as we have already noted, a book by Favorinus defending the Academy. This book, entitled Pro;" ∆Epivkthton (Against Epictetus), took the form of a dialogue between Epictetus and a slave of Plutarch called Onesimus. John Glucker50 wonders what the meaning could be of the fact that it was a slave of Plutarch who was made by Favorinus to engage in the dispute with Epictetus. Glucker thinks that maybe Favorinus wanted to remind Epictetus that he, too, had been a slave. To this Glucker adds another consideration: It is as if Favorinus were saying: ‘Plutarch himself would regard it beneath his dignity to refute your uncouth criticism – any of his slaves could do that.’ (Glucker 1978, p. 294)

One may also take into account the fact that ajndravpodon (‘slave’) is frequently used by Epictetus as a playful or disdainful mode of address. 27 Return to Table of Contents

Jan Opsomer However, I think there might be another, more striking explanation. In order to exemplify the absurdity of the Academical position, Epictetus had mockingly expressed the wish to become an Academic’s slave: ei[ tino" aujtw'n dou'lo" h[mhn, eij kai; e[dei me kaq∆ hJmevran uJp∆ aujtou' ejkdevresqai, ejgw; a]n aujto;n ejstrevbloun. Æbavle ejlavdion, paidavrion, eij" to; balanei'on.Æ e[balon a]n gavrion kai; ajpelqw;n kata; th'" kefalh'" aujtou' katevceon. Ætiv tou'to…Æ Æfantasiva moi ejgevneto ejlaivou ajdiavkrito", oJmoiotavth, nh; th;n sh;n tuvchn.Æ Ædo;" w|de th;n ptisavnhn.Æ h[negka a]n aujtw'/ gemivsa" paroyivda ojxogavrou. Æoujk h[/thsa th;n ptisavnhn…Æ Ænai; kuvrie: tou'to ptisavnh ejstivn.Æ Ætou'to oujk e[stin ojxovgaron…Æ Æti ma'llon 51 h] ptisavnh…Æ Ælavbe kai; ojsfravnqhti, lavbe kai; geu'sai.Æ Æpovqen ou\n oi\da", eij aiJ aijsqhvsei" hJma'" yeuvdontai…Æ trei'", tevssara" tw'n sundouvlwn ãeijà e[scon oJmonoou'nta", ajpavgxasqai a]n aujto;n ejpoivhsa rJhgnuvmenon h] metaqevsqai. nu'n d∆ ejntrufw'sin hJmi'n toi'" me;n para; th'" fuvsew" didomevnoi" pa'si crwvmenoi, lovgw/ d∆ aujta; ajnairou'nte". (Diss. 2. 20. 29–31) If I were slave to one of these men, even if I had to be soundly flogged by him every day, I would torment him. ‘Boy, throw a little oil into the bath.’ I would have thrown a little fish sauce in, and as I left would pour it down on his head. ‘What does this mean?’ ‘I had an external impression that could not be distinguished from olive oil; indeed, it was altogether like it. I swear by your fortune.’ ‘Here, give me the gruel.’ I would have filled a side dish with vinegar and fish sauce and brought it to him. ‘Did I not ask for the gruel?’ ‘Yes, master; this is gruel.’ ‘Is not this vinegar and fish sauce?’ ‘How so, any more than gruel.’ ‘Take and smell it, take and taste it.’ ‘Well, how do you know, if the senses deceive us?’ If I had three or four fellow-slaves who felt as I did, I would have made him burst with rage and hang himself, or else change his opinion. But as it is, such men are toying with us; they use all the gifts of nature, while in theory doing away with them.

It is not unlikely that it was this very sketch that provoked Favorinus’ reaction. This appears to show that the Academics attacked by Epictetus were none other than Plutarch and his circle, and that Favorinus only too naturally regarded Epictetus’ criticism of them as a personal assault on Plutarch. In any event, it may safely be concluded that Plutarch is considered an Academic by both Favorinus and Epictetus. The evidence so far indicates that, by the time of Plutarch and even later,52 the epistemological debate had not yet lost its interest. The texts of Plutarch, Epictetus and Galen, and the evidence concerning Favorinus, reflect the same, on-going debate.53 In addition to the more theoretical aspects of the issue, the participants in the debate attached great importance to several elements belonging to its polemical nature. I am convinced that they can be very useful in order to detect traces of these polemics. The opponents 28 Return to Table of Contents

Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch accuse each other of sophistry, insincerity, boasting (ajlazoneiva), futile and foolish talk (fluariva, lh'ro", ajdolesciva). These imputations can be found in Epictetus’ 54 and Galen’s55 text alike, but also in Plutarch’s polemical writings and in the texts reflecting the Hellenistic epistemological debate in general. 56 Yet another characteristic is the controversy over philosophical predecessors. The Hellenistic epistemological debate is to a large extent a struggle about claims to philosophical ancestry. We know that Galen wrote a treatise Pro;" to;n Fabwri'non kata; Swkravtou" (Reply to Favorinus against Socrates).57 The Academics had stressed the aporetic side of Socrates and had claimed him to be one of their predecessors. This provoked a double reaction: the Epicureans endeavoured to slander Socrates the sceptic; 58 the Stoics, not least Epictetus, on the other hand, established an alternative portrait of Socrates, in which stress is laid on the moralistic side. 59 Plutarch’s defence of Socrates against the Epicurean attacks and his emphasis on the ‘aporetic’ and ‘zetetic’ character of his philosophy is at the same time a defence of Academic philosophy in general. From the aforementioned title Pro;" to;n Fabwri'non kata; Swkravtou"60 we learn that Galen combined an attack on Favorinus with one on Socrates.61 This allows us safely to conclude that Favorinus, in good Academic tradition and like Plutarch, had associated his philosophy with the name of Socrates. It seems unlikely to me that the source for Favorinus’ ‘Academic scepticism’ would have been other than Plutarch himself. 62 Besides, for each of them there is evidence that they have written on the Pyrrhonian ‘modes’ and likewise on the difference between Academics and Pyrrhonians.63 In any case, both Plutarch64 and Favorinus 65 remain faithful to the true Academic spirit,66 never considering the truth a definitive accomplishment and taking the ever-continuing search for the truth itself as the goal of philosophy. Catholic University of Leuven

Notes I would like to thank Dr T. Duff warmly for correcting the English of an earlier version of my text, and D.G. MacIsaac for checking the English of my translations. 1 Cf. Lampr.-cat. 63 (Peri; tou' mivan ei\nai th;n ajpo; tou' Plavtwno" ∆Akadhvmeian = On the unity of the Academy since the time of Plato), Quaest. Plat. 1 1000C–D, and Cic. 4. 2–3 (vs. Lucullus 42. 3 and Brutus 2. 3). See also Jones 1916, pp. 17–18,

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Jan Opsomer Babut 1969, pp. 198–9; Dillon 1977, p. 188; Donini 1986, esp. pp. 203–14. 2 One may compare Lampr.-cat. 45 (Peri; th'" eij" eJkavteron ejpiceivrhsin bibliva e∆ = On Arguing both Sides of a Question, 5 vols.); De Sto. rep. 1035F–1036A; 1037C; Glucker 1978, pp. 260–1; 270. 3 Cf. De E 387F; De Pyth. or. 402E; De def. or. 431A; 435E; De sera num. 549EF; Amat. 756B; Crass. 38. 3; Cam. 6. 6. See also Babut 1969, pp. 279–80. 4 Cf. Donini 1986, p. 212–3; Babut 1969, p. 278–80. 5 Cf. Donini 1986, p. 212; Babut 1991, pp. 9–10. 6 955C: tau't∆, w\ Fabwri'ne, toi'" eijrhmevnoi" uJf∆ eJtevrwn paravballe: ka]n mhvte leivphtai th'/ piqanovthti mhvq∆ uJperevch/ poluv, caivrein e[a ta;" dovxa", to; ejpevcein ejn toi'" ajdhvloi" tou' sugkatativqesqai filosofwvteron hJgouvmeno" (‘Compare these statements, Favorinus, with the pronouncements of others; and if these notions of mine are neither less probable nor much more plausible than those of others, say farewell to dogma, being convinced as you are that it is more philosophic to suspend judgement when the truth is obscure than to take sides.’, transl. William C. Helmbold, LCL). See also Bowie, above p. 2. This passage should not be isolated from 948BC, on the difference between the skill and ‘knowledge’ of a technician on the one hand and philosophical inquiry on the other. Plutarch does not adopt an unqualified ‘scepticism’, but refers to the Platonic theory of causality. Cf. Donini 1986, pp. 210–11; 213. Neither does Plutarch criticize Plato in 948BC (Donini 1986, p. 210 seems to suggest that interpretation). For sound corrections to Donini’s interpretation, see Babut 1994, p. 570–5. 7 Lampr.-cat. 132: ∆Epistolh; pro;" Fabwri'non peri; filiva": ejn a[llw/ de; Peri; fivlwn crhvsew" (A letter to Favorinus about Friendship. Another copy has the title, On the Use to be made of Friends, tr. F.H. Sandbach, LCL). Cf. Barigazzi 1966, pp. 526–8; Sandbach 1969, p. 20 n. a. 8 1978, pp. 280–5. To Glucker’s examples one can add Hartman 1916, p. 254, and, more recently, the somewhat ambiguous treatment in Beaujeu 1974, p. XXI and Barigazzi 1966, pp. 24–5; 1993, p. 565. 9 Cf. Ducos 1984, p. 290–1 with n. 13. 10 In Quaest. conv. 8, 10, 2 734F it is said of the youthful Favorinus that he ta; me;n a[lla daimoniwvtato" ∆Aristotevlou" ejrasthv" ejsti kai; tw'/ Peripavtw/ nevmei merivda tou' piqanou' pleivsthn (‘…is an enthusiastic admirer of Aristotle on all counts, and considers the Peripatetics the most convincing of the schools’, transl. Edwin L. Minar, Jr., LCL). This characterization has been combined with the information derived from De prim. frig. to conclude that Favorinus was converted from an Aristotelian to an Academic position by Plutarch. Cf. Muhl 1885, p. 91; Goedeckemeyer 1905, p. 250–1; Döring 1979, p. 10. I agree with Zeller’s arguing that there is no reason to believe that this is another person with the same name: ‘Schon diese Beschränkung auf das piqanovn lässt uns vielmehr den Akademiker erkennen, und an sich ist es nicht wahrscheinlich, dass Plutarch neben dem berühmten Favorinus einen zweiten ohne jede nähere Bezeichnung eingeführt hätte…’ (Zeller III. 2 1923, pp. 78–9 n. 3). I would like to add that for the same reason, i.e. the stress on the concept of to; piqanovn (the ‘persuasive’, the ‘convincing’), this passage emphatically does not provide an indication that Favorinus developed from

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Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch an Aristotelian to an Academic stance. See also Glucker 1978, p. 287. 11 = 1. 40–52 K.; Fav. fr. 28 Barigazzi 1966 (the best edition available). 12 De opt. doctr. 40: th;n eij" eJkavtera ejpiceivrhsin ajrivsthn ei\nai didaskalivan oJ Fabwri'nov" fhsin. ojnomavzousi d∆ ou{tw" oiJ ∆Akadhmai>koi; kaq∆ h}n toi'" ajntikeimevnoi" sunagoreuvousin (‘Favorinus says that the best instruction consists in arguing both sides of a question – the Academics use this name for the kind of instruction where they advocate opposed theses’). 13 Cf. Barigazzi 1966, pp. 192–3. 14 Cf. Barigazzi 1966, pp. 190–1. 15 De opt. doctr. 42: peirwvmeno" ejpideiknuvnai th;n katalhptikh;n fantasivan ajnuvparkton (‘trying to prove the cognitive impression to be non-existent’). 16 Cf. De dign. puls. 8. 771 K. 17 This I take to be a better translation for piqanovn than the usual ‘probable’. Cf. Burnyeat 1980, p. 28; Long and Sedley I 1987, p. 459. 18 See also Brunschwig 1988, p. 151 on Sextus Empiricus’ use of katavlhyi" in a weakened sense. 19 Cf. Long 1988b, p. 183. 20 Carneades is said even to have refused to assent to the proposition that two things equal to a third are also equal to each other (oJ gou'n Karneavdh" oujde; tou'to to; pavntwn ejnargevstaton sugcwrei' pisteuvein, o{ti ta; tw'/ aujtw'/ i[sa megevqh kai; ajllhvloi" i[sa givgnetai, 45). According to his own words Galen even prefers this unambiguous attitude: mh; toivnun e[ti prospoiou' gignwvskein ti mhd∆ ajpofavnai mhd∆ ajpodivdraske th;n uJpo; tw'n presbutevrwn ∆Akadhmai>kw'n eijsagomevnhn ejpochvn (‘do not pretend any longer to know anything, do not give any opinion and do not run away from the suspension of judgement introduced by the older Academics’, 47). 21 See also 48: eu[dhlo" ou\n ejstin oJ Fabwri'no" aijdouvmeno" me;n ajnatrevpein pavnta kai; ajgnow'n uJpavrcein oJmologei'n, o} mh; uJpavrcein oiJ provsqen e[legon ∆Akadhmai>koiv te kai; Purrwvneioi, prospoiouvmeno" d∆ ejpitrevpein th;n krivsin toi'" maqhtai'", h}n oujd∆ eJautoi'" ejpevtreyan oiJ pro; aujtou' (‘It is perfectly clear that Favorinus is ashamed to overthrow everything and to admit that he is ignorant of the existence of what the earlier Academics and Pyrrhonians denied exists, and that he pretends to entrust judgement to his pupils, which his predecessors didn’t dare to entrust even to themselves’). 22 See also 51: Fabwri'no" dev moi dokei' paraplhvsiovn ti poiei'n tw'/ favskonti tuflo;n me;n ei\nai Divwna fuvsei, duvnasqai de; kri'nai povtero" hJmw'n ejsti rJuparwvtero" h] leukovtero", oujk ejnnow'n, o{ti tw'/ mevllonti ta; toiau'ta krivnein uJpavrcein crh; provteron o[yin (‘It seems to me that Favorinus does something similar to one who says that Dion is blind by nature, but that he is able nonetheless to judge which of us is filthier or whiter, not realising that one has to be endowed with sight before one may judge in these matters’) and 47: o{moiovn ti poiei' tevktoni keleuvonti tw'/ maqhth'/ metrh'saiv te kai; sth'sai kai; ajpotei'nai kai; kuvklon gravyai cwri;" tou' ph'cun dou'nai kai; zugo;n kai; kanovna kai; karkivnon (‘He does something similar to a carpenter who commands his pupil to measure and to weigh and to straighten and to draw a circle, without giving him a rule or a balance or a straight-edge or a pair of compasses’). 23 Cf. De opt. doctr. 43, 45 (sofivsmatav eijsi;n oiJ lovgoi pavnte" ou|toi, ‘all these arguments are sophisms’), 46, 47 (oujde; ga;r didaskavlou tov ge toiou'tovn ejstin,

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Jan Opsomer ajll∆ ajdolesciva ti" h] lh'ro", ‘this is not the way a teacher speaks, but it is just idle talk or trumpery’; sofistav", ‘sophists’), 48 (ouj movnon oujk e[stin ajrivsth tw'n a[llwn, ajll∆ oujde; didaskaliva, ‘not only is it not the best instruction, it is not even instruction!’, oiJ sofistaiv, ‘sophists’). Marquardt (Marquardt, Mueller and Helmreich 1884) atheticizes several of these texts on very weak grounds. He is not followed by Barigazzi 1966; cf. Barigazzi 1956, p. 24. 24 Galen also claims his own instruction to be in full accordance with that of Plato (52). Some matters he takes to be self-evident and needing no further examination. Training, starting from these self-evident things, will teach us how to see clear in less evident issues. For an analysis of Galen’ opinions on instruction and learning, see Hankinson 1991 (esp. pp. 294–9). For Galen’s views about epistemology, cf. Long 1988b, pp. 196–208 (esp. p. 199). 25 Cf. Cic. Acad. I 45 (‘itaque Arcesilas negabat esse quicquam quod sciri posset, ne illud quidem ipsum quod Socrates sibi reliquisset, ut nihil scire se sciret’, ‘Accordingly Arcesilas denied that there is anything that can be known, not even that residuum of knowledge that Socrates had left himself: that he knew that he knew nothing’); Long and Sedley I 1987, p. 447. See also Cic. Acad. II 28–9; 110. Arcesilaus’ subtle argument did not prevent Colotes from criticizing him on this very point: cf. Vander Waerdt 1989, p. 262. 26 Cf. Burnyeat 1980, p. 29. 27 Cf. Glucker 1978, p. 289: ‘Carneades established this concept mainly as a criterion to guide the actions of the Academic sceptic in practical situations. Plutarch is employing it [sc. in De prim. frig.] in a context where a whole philosophical system – or at least a large section of it – is accepted as ‘probable’ by someone who confesses to be a sceptical Academic.’ 28 1966, p. 176 (‘si mette in rilievo il progressivo scetticismo dell’ultimo opera [sc. Alcibiades] rispetto alle due precedenti [sc. Plutarchus and Ad Epictetum].’); p. 193 (‘In esso [sc. Alcibiades] compariva il grado più avanzato dello scetticismo di Favorino’). 29 1978, p. 290: ‘This [sc. piqano;n eJautw'/ faivnesqai mhde;n ei\nai katalhptovn ], as Galen notes, is a more extreme sceptical stance than the one adopted during his earlier, Plutarchean period.’ 30 Cf. Holford-Strevens 1988, p. 78: ‘Yet it was in Galen’s interest – and his favourite polemical device – to find contradictions in the works attacked; we cannot say how fairly.’ 31 Cf. De opt. doctr. 40–1: eij" tosou'ton (proavgousi) th;n gnw'sin, wJ" kai; toi'" maqhtai'" ejpitrev p ein auj th; n a[ n eu tou' didacqh'nai provteron ejpisthmoniko;n krithvrion (‘They value knowledge so highly that they even entrust it to their pupils without having taught them beforehand a cognitive criterion’). See also De opt. doctr. 51. 32 A. Barigazzi (1966, p. 565) takes it for granted that Galen represents Favorinus’ position correctly. 33 Compare Hankinson 1991, p. 276–7. 34 On the possibility that Favorinus himself took part in the discussion as a character in his dialogue and, more particularly, that he fulfilled the role of arbiter, cf. Beaujeu 1974, pp. XXI–XXII and p. LXXXVII. 35 De suis libris 11= 19. 44 K.

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Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch See also Peri; Kleitomavcou kai; tw'n th'" ajpodeivxew" aujtou' luvsewn, On Clitomachus and the solutions to his argumentation (De suis libris 11 = 19. 44 K.); Peri; th'" krivsew" tw'n diafwnouvntwn ejn toi'" dovgmasin, On deciding discrepancies in doctrines (De suis libris 11 = 19. 45 K); cf. Barigazzi 1966, p. 178. 37 Cuvigny 1969, pp. 563–4: ‘L’accusation s’explique facilement. Épictète a jugé Plutarque sur son étiquette de Néo-Académicien. Il est pour lui l’homme d’une secte qui croit impossible d’aboutir à aucune science certaine sur aucun problème, y compris sur le problème de Dieu; il est le disciple de Carnéade, le dialecticien subtil qui secoua jusqu’à la base l’énorme édifice du Portique, Carnéade qui soutenait avec un égal bonheur le pour et le contre sur tous les problèmes et qui avait lancé de terribles attaques contre la Providence stoïcienne, les croyances populaires et la mythologie. Et Plutarque, pour sa part, est un fidèle partisan de l’épochè et des méthodes dialectiques de la Nouvelle Académie et il lui est arrivé de prendre à partie les théologiens de Delphes et de se gausser de certaines croyances delphiques dans son De defectu oraculorum.’ 38 Cf. Opsomer 1996. 39 Cf. Pfeffer 1976, pp. 104–9 ; Brunt 1989, pp. 190–4; Lévy 1992, pp. 42–6, 624, 626–7. See also Cic. De nat. deor. 3. 5–6, 9–10, 14–15. 40 One may also compare Cic. De div. 1. 8–9 (the Stoic accusation), 1. 7 and 2. 148–50; De nat. deor. 3. 5–6. 41 Entitled Pro;" ∆Epikoureivou" kai; ∆Akadhmai>kouv" (Against the Epicureans and the Academics). Diss. 1. 5 is entitled Pro;" tou'" ∆Akadhmai>kouv" (Against the Academics). 42 See also Babut 1994, pp. 568–9, n. 115. 43 Given the striking parallels with Colotes’ attack on and Plutarch’s defence of Arcesilaus, I do not agree with Hershbell 1988, p. 371, who disputes that Colotes’ portrayal of Socrates is influenced by the debate provoked by the Academics. Cf. Crönert 1906, p. 172; Einarson–De Lacy 1967, p. 156; Kleve 1983, pp. 229; 231; Nardelli 1984, p. 527; Isnardi Parente 1988, pp. 68–9; Long 1988a, p. 155: ‘That they [sc. the Epicureans] chose…to attack aspects of Socrates’ ethics, and to treat him as a thorough-going sceptic, indicates a view of Socrates as transmitted by contemporary Stoics and Academics.’; Vander Waerdt 1989, pp. 253–9. That Plutarch regards the assault on Socrates as being connected with the anti-Academic polemics, is confirmed by the structure and disposition of Adversus Colotem: Plutarch has grouped Socrates together with Arcesilaus and the Cyrenaics; cf. Westman 1955, p. 114. On the Cyrenaics one may compare Sext. Emp. Adv. Math. 7, 190–200; on Plutarch’s familiarity with the Cyrenaics, cf. Lampr.-cat. 188 (Peri; Kurhnai>kw'n, On the Cyrenaics) and Van der Stockt 1990, pp. 29–30. 44 See also Adv. Col. 1117D. 45 Cf. Adv. Col. 1122AB: ejk th'" Stoa'" …w{sper Gorgovna th;n ajpraxivan ejpavgonte" (‘bringing up from the Stoa like some Gorgon’s head the argument from total inaction’; the Gorgon-metaphor is also used in Epict. Diss. 1. 5. 2–3). Cf. Babut 1969, p. 138; Vander Waerdt 1989, pp. 244–7. I do not agree with De Lacy, according to whom (1956, p. 74) Plutarch in Adv. Col. 1122AB would not reply to the Epicureans, but to Antiochus and his disciples; in the larger context (1022A–D) it is clear that Colotes is the one under attack. 36

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Jan Opsomer 46

Cf. Jagu 1946, p. 81. See also Cuvigny 1969, pp. 563–4; Babut 1994, pp. 568–70. 48 Cf. De Lacy 1953, pp. 80–1; Babut 1994, pp. 553, 562, 580. 49 We do not know where Favorinus got his knowledge of Epictetus’ lectures. The indication in Gellius Noct. Att. 17, 19, 1 remains vague (‘Favorinum ego audivi dicere Epictetum philosophum dixisse…’: ‘I heard Favorinus say that the philosopher Epictetus said that…’). Cf. Mensching 1963, p. 56. 50 1978, p. 294. See also Bowie, above p. 3. 51 Presumably a parody of the sceptic formula: cf. Sextus Emp. Pyrrh. Hyp. 1. 188–91; Plut. Adv. Col. 1108F–1109A, 1110E. 52 Cf. Pezzati 1973, p. 844: ‘come Favorino Gellio si sente scettico nel campo della gnoseologia’; p. 848: ‘Gellio si interessa di scetticismo e dell’Accademia, perché Favorino si sentiva scettico e aveva composto un volume sull’ argomento.’ 53 One may also compare Epict. Diss. 1. 5. 6 (katalambavnei" o{ti ejgrhvgora"… Æou[,Æ fhsivn: Æoujde; gavr, o{tan ejn toi'" u{pnoi" fantavzwmai, o{ti ejgrhvgora.Æ Æoujde;n ou\n diafevrei au{th hJ fantasiva ejkeivnh"…Æ Æoujdevn.Æ e[ti touvtw/ dialevgomai… ‘Do your senses tell you that you are awake? ‘No,’ he answers, ‘any more than they do when in dreams I have the impression that I am awake.’ Is there, then, no difference between these two impressions? ‘None.’ Can I argue with this man any longer?’) with Gal. De opt. doctr. 42 (ejpeidh; ga;r e[nia me;n oijovmeqa blevpein h] ajkouvein h] o{lw" aijsqavnesqai, kaqavper ejn ojneivroi" kai; manivai", e[nia d∆ oujk oijovmeqa movnon ajlla; kai; kat∆ ajlhvqeian oJrw'men h] o{lw" aijsqanovmeqa, tauti; me;n ta; deuvtera pavnte" a[nqrwpoi plh;n ∆Akadhmai>kw'n te kai; Purrwneivwn eij" bebaivan gnw'sin h{kein nomivzousin, a} d∆ o[nar h] parapaiovntwn hJ yuch; fantavzetai, yeudh' pavnq∆ uJpavrcein, ‘Some things we only believe we see or hear or – speaking generally – perceive, as in dreams and fits of madness, while other things we not only believe we see but actually see and – to put it more generally – perceive. Now concerning the second category of things: all men, except for the Academics and the Pyrrhonians, think that they result in firm knowledge. But everything which is dreamt or imagined by someone struck by insanity, is indeed considered false.’) and 43 (…mhvte tou' mainomevnou to;n swfronou'nta mhvte tou' nosou'nto" to;n uJgiaivnonta mhvte tou' koimwmevnou to;n ejgrhgorovta pistovteron uJpavrcein eij" th;n tw'n pragmavtwn gnw'sin, ‘That the sane is not more to be trusted than the mad, the sound than the sick, those awake than those sleeping, for knowledge of reality’). 54 Cf. e.g. Diss. 1. 27. 2, 6. 55 Cf. supra, pp. 20–1 with n. 23. 56 Cf. e.g. Plut. Quaest. Plat. 999DE; Adv. Col. 1119B, 1124C; Colotes In Euth. 10c6, 10d88–10 (Crönert 1906, p. 170); Polystratus 16. 23–17. 11 (with Indelli 1978, p. 170 and Nardelli 1984, pp. 526–8); Timon Silloi fr. 25 Diels = SH 799. 57 Cf. De suis libris 12 = 19. 45 K. 58 Cf. Kleve 1983; Plut. Adv. Col. 1116E–1119C, 1124C; Philodemus De vitiis 21. 37–23. 37; Cic. Brut. 292. 59 Cf. Jagu 1946, pp. 51–60; Döring 1979; Long 1988a, pp. 160–2; Ioppolo 1986, p. 50: ‘Nell’interpretazione di Zenone, dunque, l’elenchos era l’aspetto meno rilevante del pensiero socratico…’ 47

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Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch 60

I see no reason to accept Brinkmann’s ‘emendation’ pro;" to;n Fabwrivnou kata; Swkravtou" (‘Against Favorinus’ book against Socrates’, Brinkmann 1914, p. III). 61 Cf. Hirzel II 1895, p. 121 n. 1; Barigazzi 1966, p. 178. Since it is not at all excluded that precisely in his work Peri; Swkravtou" kai; th'" kat∆ aujto;n ejrwtikh'" tevcnh" (On Socrates and his conception of the Art of Love; cf. Suda s.v. Fabwri'no" 4. 690. 24–5 Adler = Test. 1 Barigazzi 1966) Favorinus had portrayed an ‘Academic’ Socrates, Barigazzi’s assumption (1966, pp. 163; 178) that Galen’s treatise was not directed against the aforenamed treatise of Favorinus, is unfounded, although none of the fragments that have come down to us (frs. 18–22, 97 (?) Barigazzi) pertains to epistemological issues. But in Plutarch’s first Quaestio Platonica (1000DE), aporetic and zetetic elements are harmoniously combined with Socrates’ so-called ‘Art of Love’ (ejrwtikh; tevcnh). See also Quaest. conv. 745E; Amat. 764E–766B; Maximus Tyrius Or. 18. Even the fact that Galen classes his work Peri; Swkravtou" kai; th'" kat∆ aujto;n ejrwtikh'" tevcnh" among his ethical writings, does not exclude that in this work he tackled epistemological questions, since both domains are linked in Epictetus’ attacks as well. See also Cic. De div. 2. 150. 62 Cf. Glucker 1978, p. 290. 63 Cf. Lampr.-cat. 15 and 64; Fav. frs. 26 and 27. See also Gellius Noct. Att. 11. 5. 6: ‘vetus autem quaestio et a multis scriptoribus Graecis tractata, an quid et quantum Pyrronios et Academicos philosophos intersit. utrique enim skeptikoiv, ejfektikoiv, ajporrhtikoiv dicuntur, quoniam utrique nihil adfirmant nihilque comprehendi putant.’ (‘It is besides a question of long standing, which has been discussed by many Greek writers, whether the Pyrrhonian and Academic philosophers differ at all, and to what extent. For both are called ‘sceptics, inquirers and doubters’, since both affirm nothing and believe that nothing is understood.’ tr. John C. Rolfe, LCL) It is not clear whether the argument of Gellius Noct. Att. 11. 5. 1–8 derives indeed from Favorinus’ treatise. Cf. Barigazzi 1966, p. 174; Glucker 1978, p. 283 n. 106. Gellius in his exposition emphasizes the similarity between Academics and Pyrrhonians, rather than the differences (Barigazzi 1966, p. 23). The very difference he does notice (8: ‘quod Academici quidem ipsum illud nihil posse comprehendi quasi comprehendunt et nihil posse decerni quasi decernunt, Pyrronii ne id quidem ullo pacto verum videri dicunt, quod nihil esse verum videtur.’ – ‘because the Academics do, as it were, ‘comprehend’ the very fact that nothing can be comprehended, and, as it were, decide that nothing can be decided, while the Pyrrhonians assert that not even that can by any means be regarded as true, because nothing is regarded as true.’) seems to be tantamount to the imputation of negative dogmatism against the Academics, not unlike the one brought against them by Sextus Empiricus (e.g. Pyrrh. Hyp. 1, 232–3). This argument seems to derive from a tradition that is not very friendly to the Academy. Only Gellius does not say that the Academics actually comprehend inapprehensibility, but merely that they comprehend it, as it were (‘quasi’). It is at any rate improbable that any actual imputation of negative domatism was part of either Favorinus’ or Plutarch’s argumentation. 64 Cf. e.g. De aud. poet. 16C; De E 384E–385C; Quaest. conv. 680CD; Quaest.

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Jan Opsomer Plat. I 1000B–D; De Sto. rep. 1037C (one may compare Cic. Tusc. Disp. 2. 5 and 2. 9; Acad. II 7–8); Adv. Col. 1117D. 65 Cf. Gellius Noct. Att. 20. 1. 9–10: ‘noli, inquit Favorinus, ex me quaerere, quid ego existumem. scis enim solitum esse me pro disciplina sectae, quam colo, inquirere potius quam decernere.’ (‘ “Don’t ask me,” said Favorinus, “what I think. For you know that, according to the practice of the sect to which I belong, I am accustomed rather to inquire than to decide.” ’ = Test. 47). The context of the quotation from Gellius is a discussion about Roman law. It turns out that Favorinus’ philosophical attitude does not imply a subversion of the traditional law. On the contrary, in the absence of an absolute, reliable truth-criterion, it is better to keep the ancient laws in place. This argument is remarkably parallel to Plutarch’s defence of divination. Cf. also Gellius Noct. Att. 14. 1. 5. See furthermore Philostratus Vit. soph. 1. 8 (= Fav. fr. 27 Bar.) with Barigazzi 1966, pp. 174–5. 66 There is no evidence to support Barigazzi’s assumption (1966, p. 171; cf. 1993, p. 565) that Favorinus in his work on the Ideas (fr. 25; compare 67 and 68) as a consequence of his scepticism turned against Plutarch and rejected the ‘doctrine of Ideas’. Plutarch’s first Quaestio Platonica, for example, shows that there is no irreconcilable contradiction between a ‘sceptic’ or ‘Academic’ awareness and the acceptance of Platonic Ideas.

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Jan Opsomer Hankinson, R.J. 1991 ‘A purely verbal dispute? Galen on Stoic and Academic epistemology’, Revue Internationale de Philosophie 178, 267–99. Hartman, J.J. 1916 De Plutarcho scriptore et philosopho, Lugduni Batavorum. Hershbell, Jackson P. 1988 ‘Plutarch’s portrait of Socrates’, ICS 13, 365–81. Hirzel, Rudolf, 1895 Der Dialog. Ein literarhistorischer Versuch, zweiter Theil, Leipzig. Holford-Strevens, Leofranc 1988 Aulus Gellius, London. Indelli, G. (ed.) 1978 Polistrato. Sul disprezzo irrazionale delle opinioni popolari. Edizione, traduzione e commento a cura di Giovanni Indelli, La scuola di Epicuro 2, Napoli. Ioppolo, Anna Maria 1986 Opinione e scienza. Il dibattito tra Stoici e Accademici nel III e nel II secolo a.C., Napoli. Isnardi Parente, Margherita 1988 ‘Plutarco contro Colote’, in Italo Gallo (ed.) Aspetti dello stoicismo e dell’epicureismo in Plutarco. Atti del II convegno di studi su Plutarco, Ferrara, 2–3 aprile 1987, Quaderni del Giornale Filologico Ferrarese 9, Ferrara, 65–88. Jagu, Amand 1946 Epictète et Platon. Essai sur les relations du Stoïcisme et du Platonisme à propos de la Morale des Entretiens, Paris. Jones, Roger Miller 1916 The Platonism of Plutarch and Selected Papers, with an Introduction by Leonardo Tarán, Ancient Philosophy. Editions, Commentaries, Critical Works, [reprint of the author’s thesis, University of Chicago 1913, originally published in 1916 by G. Banta Pub. Co., Menasha, Wis., and of seven journal articles, originally published 1918– 1932], New York and London 1980. Kleve, Knut, 1983 ‘Scurra Atticus. The Epicurean view of Socrates’, in: SUZHTHSIS . Studi sull’ epicureismo greco e romano offerti a Marcello Gigante, Biblioteca della Parola del Passato 16, Napoli, 227–53. Lévy, Carlos 1992 Cicero Academicus. Recherches sur les Académiques et sur la philosophie cicéronienne, Collection de l’École française de Rome 162, Rome. Long, A.A. and Sedley, D.N. 1987 The Hellenistic Philosophers, Volume I, Translations of the Principal Sources with Philosophical Commentary, Cambridge 1990 [=1987]. Long, A.A. 1988a ‘Socrates in Hellenistic philosophy’, CQ 82, 150–71. 1988b ‘Ptolemy on the Criterion. An epistemology for the practising scientist’, in John M. Dillon and A.A. Long (eds.) The Question of

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Favorinus versus Epictetus on the philosophical heritage of Plutarch “Eclecticism”. Studies in Later Greek Philosophy, Berkeley and London, 176–207. Marquardt, I., Mueller, I. and Helmreich, G. (eds.) 1884 Claudii Galeni Pergameni scripta minora recensuerunt Ioannes Marquardt, Iwanus Mueller, Georgius Helmreich, Vol. I, ex recognitione Ioannis Marquardt, Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana, editio stereotypa, Amsterdam 1967 [= Lipsiae 1884]. Mensching, E. (ed.) 1963 Favorin von Arelate. Der erste Teil der Fragmente. Memorabilia und Omnigena historia (APOMNHMONEUMATA und PANTODAPH ISTORIA ), herausgegeben und kommentiert von Eckart Mensching, Texte und Kommentare 3, Berlin. Muhl, Johannes 1885 Plutarchische Studien, Programm der Studienanstalt bei St.-Anna, Augsburg. Nardelli, Maria Luisa 1984 ‘L’ironia in Polistrato e Filodemo’, in Atti del XVII Congresso Internazionale di Papirologia (Napoli, 19–26 maggio 1983), volume secondo, Papirologia letteraria. Testi e documenti egiziani, Napoli, 525–36. Opsomer, Jan 1996 ‘Divination and academic “scepticism” according to Plutarch’, in Luc Van der Stockt (ed.) Plutarchea Loraniensia. A miscellany of essays on Plutarch, Studia Hellenistica 32, Loranii, 164–94. Pezzati, Maria 1973 ‘Gellio e la scuola di Favorino’, ASNP, ser. III. 3, 837–60. Pfeffer, Friedrich 1976 Studien zur Mantik in der Philosophie der Antike, Beiträge zur klassischen Philologie 64, Meisenheim am Glan. Sandbach, F.H. (ed.) 1969 Plutarch’s Moralia in Sixteen Volumes, XV, Fragments, edited and translated by F.H. Sandbach, London and Cambridge Mass. Van der Stockt, Luc 1990 ‘L’expérience esthétique de la mimèsis selon Plutarque’, QUCC 65, 23–31. Vander Waerdt, Paul A. 1989 ‘Colotes and the Epicurean refutation of skepticism’, GRBS 30, 225–67. Westman, Rolf 1955 Plutarch gegen Kolotes. Seine Schrift “Adversus Colotem” als philosophiegeschichtliche Quelle, Acta Philosophica Fennica 7, Helsinki. Zeller, Eduard 1923 Die Philosophie der Griechen in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung, Dritter Teil, Zweite Abteilung, Die nacharistotelische Philosophie. Zweite Hälfte, 6., unveränderte Auflage. Fotomechanischer Nachdruck der 5. Auflage, Darmstadt 1963 [= Leipzig 1923].

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THYRSUS-BEARER OF THE ACADEMY OR ENTHUSIAST FOR PLATO? Plutarch’s de Stoicorum repugnantiis 1 George Boys-Stones

In the debate over Plutarch’s philosophical position, very little reference has tended to be made to the de Stoicorum repugnantiis. And yet, given the difficulty of finding explicit testimony on the matter, we might expect that a polemical work like this would be able to yield a great deal of important indirect evidence. What position is Plutarch trying to protect when he attacks the Stoics? What does it say about him that he attacks them for self-contradiction? As things stand, the de Stoic. rep. is more usually treated as some kind of exception to Plutarch’s Platonist output, and explained away as such. There is general agreement concerning the broad outlines of Plutarch’s philosophy. Plutarch was a Platonist, which is to say that he espoused a positive, if undogmatic, philosophical system based on an interpretation of Plato’s writings. His system is ‘undogmatic’ because, in a rather weak sense, he was a Sceptic: he denies that we have absolutely certain knowledge of things, although we are in a position to say what strikes us as ‘plausible’. 2 However, it has been assumed that none of this will help to explain the de Stoic. rep. In this work, we are told, Plutarch found it expedient to adopt the stance of a much more negative, even Carneadean, Scepticism as the best position from which to attack the Stoics. 3 Yet if Plutarch is not a Carneadean Sceptic (and the consensus is that he is not), then it would make no sense for him ever to act as if he were one. Indeed, such a pretence would, ironically, implicate him in serious self-contradiction over his claims to have a positive philosophy of his own. The reason for this is simple: a Carneadean attack on a Dogmatic system necessarily works from the assumption that any attempt to give a positive account of the world will contain errors and inconsistencies. If the account was stated with Dogmatic over-confidence in the first place, the rhetoric of the attack will be all the more powerful; but it is the account per se and not the 41 Return to Table of Contents

George Boys-Stones certainty with which it is stated that is held to be problematic. Put in these terms, it becomes extraordinary to think that Plutarch would attack the Stoics in this straightforwardly ‘Carneadean’ way: if the premiss of his attack is that the Stoics must have fallen into error just because they espoused a positive system, then what are we to think about his own positive philosophy? He may be able to destroy our faith in the Stoics like this, but in doing so he will inevitably be planting doubt in our minds that his own Platonism could be in any way superior. It is here that the real difficulty in our understanding of the de Stoic. rep. lies. What I want to try to do is to start again on the work, and follow through the assumption that its polemical stance must have been shaped at least as much by Plutarch’s positive philosophical beliefs as by a purely negative desire to discredit Stoicism. This means in particular that I want to look at the kind of arguments that Plutarch uses, and the way he presents them; and to take another look at the claim that there is something essentially negative about his approach. It is beyond doubt that Plutarch thinks of himself as working in the same tradition not just as Plato, but also as Arcesilaus and Carneades; in one way or another this is presumably what he wanted to demonstrate when he wrote his book On the Unity of the Academy since Plato (Lamprias 63). Although this work is lost and we have no direct knowledge of the argument it contained, it is more than likely that Plutarch defended the ‘One Academy’ thesis on the grounds of a continuous tradition of Scepticism going back to Socrates. 4 The best evidence for this is, perhaps, the sympathy with the Sceptical Academy implicit in a number of other book-titles preserved in the Lamprias catalogue, 5 but the attitude is also apparent in works we actually possess. Note, for example, how Plutarch has set up the de communibus notitiis as a defence of the Sceptical Academy (and, what is more, fails in the work to attach any importance to a distinction the Stoics obviously recognised between the arguments of the earlier and later Academics; cf. 1059A). Compare also Adversus Colotem 1121E–1124B where, in the course of defending the Scepticism of Arcesilaus, Plutarch brands as ‘Sophists’ all those who objected to Arcesilaus’ ascription of Scepticism to Socrates and Plato (1121F–1122A), and he actually thanks Colotes (albeit on Arcesilaus’ behalf) for bringing people’s attention to the fact that Academic Scepticism has an ancient pedigree, one that includes Plato and Socrates. Plutarch’s pro-Scepticism is certainly evident in the de Stoic. rep. as well; for example, he defends argument on both sides of the question 42 Return to Table of Contents

Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? (see chapter 10, esp. 1037C), and implies that this is the method used by true philosophers (1036AB). Furthermore, it is undeniable that the very appeal to self-contradiction was itself a feature of the polemic of the Sceptical Academy. A. A. Long, for example, tracing Arcesilaus’ methodology back to Socrates, characterizes it in the following terms:6 The essence of this methodology consists in taking the position of one’s opponents and showing it to be self-contradictory. The most detailed argument by Arcesilaus which survives exemplifies this very clearly.

It is largely for these reasons, then, that there has been such broad agreement that it is to the Sceptical Academy we should turn when asking about the background to Plutarch’s polemic in the de Stoic. rep. But it is the next stage of the argument which I want to question in this paper: the assumption that because Plutarch was arguing in the same tradition as Arcesilaus and Carneades it must be the case that he was arguing to the same negative ends as they were. There is a temptation for us to think of Scepticism in rather negative terms, to approach it almost as if it were an ideology, whose purpose is just to undermine positive beliefs. However, as far as the Academy at least is concerned, Scepticism is more properly thought of as a methodology – one way of dealing with the evidence brought into the philosophical arena. Put in these terms, the fundamental question facing the Sceptic is not ‘Why do you want to destroy Dogmatic beliefs?’ but ‘Why is Scepticism the best way of handling philosophical data?’ – or better, perhaps, – ‘Why do you adopt this method of philosophical enquiry?’ It is only in answering this question that the Sceptic reveals whether he is ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ in his outlook; and we find both kinds of answer in the Academy. Arcesilaus and Carneades, for example, seem to have emphasised the negative side of Scepticism, pointing out that it saves one from committing oneself to the kind of erroneous beliefs that Dogmatists are prone to (Acad. I. 45, II. 132–3); but later Academics, such as Metrodorus and Philo, concentrated much more on the idea that Scepticism is just the only method by which we could ever sort out the truth, given the data available to us (cf. Cicero Acad. II. 60 with 78). There is ample evidence that Plutarch phrased his own Scepticism in these more positive terms. In de Stoic. rep. 10, for example, he defends the method of arguing both sides of a question in these terms (1037C): [Sceptics] argue on both sides, without having an apprehension (katavlhyi") of either, on the grounds that, if anything is apprehensible, this is the only way, or the best way, by which the truth would yield an apprehension of itself.

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George Boys-Stones Of course there is no question that Plutarch is committed to the idea that he will reach the truth; only that, viewed in these terms, complete suspension of judgement is no longer necessary, because as one investigates further, and draws nearer to the truth, answers of more and more plausibility will present themselves, and it is legitimate to adopt these provisionally as positive philosophical beliefs.7 It will be objected that Plutarch actually advocates the suspension of judgement (to; ejpevcein – the typical result of ‘negative’ Scepticism) at the end of the De primo frigido, a work in which a long discussion of which element is ‘principally cold’ fails to provide a conclusive answer. Yet it is not quite true that Plutarch advocates suspension of judgement simpliciter; what he actually does is to advise us to suspend judgement if his own arguments (which were in favour of earth as the principle of cold) were ‘neither less nor much more plausible’ than those put forward in favour of alternative views (955C). This has a slightly disingenuous ring about it and, as a matter of fact, it is clear that Plutarch did think that the position he had championed was ‘much more plausible’; it is the standard Platonist line for one thing, and he certainly devotes much more time to expounding it than he allows to the other positions.8 The phrase ‘much more plausible’ may sound like a stiff requirement which a Sceptic would never concede – but we know of at least one other controversial issue in which Plutarch explicitly describes Plato’s opinion as ‘by far the most likely’, the thesis that drink passes through the lungs: eijkovta ga;r makrw/' (Quaest. Conviv. 700B). Of course Plutarch does think that suspension of judgement is always an option – and that it is preferable to forming opinions on the basis of insufficient evidence. Indeed, he presumably thinks that the negative conclusions drawn by Arcesilaus, for example (see Adv. Col. 1120C), were due precisely to the fact that things did not ever tend to strike Arcesilaus as overwhelmingly plausible. But that is not his own experience; Plutarch found that Sceptical inquiry led him to positive conclusions and, in particular, to beliefs which we now characterize as Platonist. If the de Stoic. rep. seems to us to qualify as a ‘Sceptical’ work rather than a Platonist work, then we are missing the point. As far as Plutarch was concerned, the de Stoic. rep. must have been as much a function of his Platonism as his Platonism was a result of his Sceptical approach to philosophy. Although we have seen that Plutarch’s polemical use of selfcontradictions must reflect in the broadest sense his affiliation with the Academy, we are as yet a long way off being able to point to a specific prototype or genre in terms of which the de Stoic. rep. can be understood. For one thing, when the fundamental methodological 44 Return to Table of Contents

Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? similarities between Plutarch and Arcesilaus have been noted, we are still left with significant differences in the appearance of their respective arguments which need to be explained. Plutarch’s appeal to selfcontradiction is, for example, much more overt than Arcesilaus’. When Arcesilaus showed his opponents to be self-contradictory, the evidence suggests that he did it, not by contrasting two directly conflicting statements, as is predominantly the case in Plutarch, but by drawing from his opponents’ premisses conclusions which were unacceptable to them, or inconsistent with their own conclusions. This difference, although rather superficial on its own, may be the result of a much more basic difference between the approaches of Plutarch and Arcesilaus (or Carneades, for that matter). It seems fairly clear that Arcesilaus would never have described his method specifically as an attempt to uncover self-contradictions in an opponents’ philosophy. As we saw, self-contradiction was very useful to him; but there is no evidence that he ever thought of it as anything other than one manifestation of an antilogistical approach. Cicero certainly characterizes Arcesilaus’ interpretation of the Socratic method not as a narrow attempt to reduce his interlocutors to self-contradiction, but much more broadly as a policy of ‘antilogistic’ (de fin. II. 2): Arcesilaus revived the Socratic method, and made it a rule that those who wanted to be his pupils should not seek his opinions, but should say what they thought; he would then argue the opposing case.

Academic Sceptics could always make capital out of the self-contradictions of their opponents, but they never seem to have recognised a particular tropos devoted to the search.9 This makes it very hard for us to think that the de Stoic. rep. is based on any previous Academic model. It may be possible to relate individual arguments to Academic precedents in all sorts of ways but in the end Plutarch’s enterprise in the de Stoic. rep. is, as far as we are concerned, something quite new. What we need to do now, then, is to look for the more immediate background of the de Stoic. rep., and to explain Plutarch’s new approach; why does he decide to attack the Stoics quite narrowly for selfcontradiction? Can we find a more specific Academic model for the form of argument he adopts? In fact there does seem to be an argument which might constitute this ‘missing link’ between the arguments of the Sceptical Academy and the de Stoic. rep. There is a very old and well-attested Academic argument in which the Stoics, quite specifically, are accused of a fundamental and peculiar inconsistency inherent in their ethical philosophy, which is this: on the one hand they champion a rigorously 45 Return to Table of Contents

George Boys-Stones absolutist ethics – in which, for example, only virtue is good, and only the perfectly wise man virtuous; but on the other hand they admit that we have some sort of moral obligation to try to attain things like health – although they call these things ‘preferable’ rather than ‘good’. In the Academic argument, these two levels of ethical analysis are characterised by – or, rather, they are assimilated to – the respective philosophical positions of the unorthodox Stoic Aristo and the Peripatetics. Aristo took on board the rigorous absolutism of Zeno’s ethics, but he adopted it without the qualification: if health is morally indifferent, then he would not allow it to be called ‘valuable’ or ‘preferable’ in any sense at all.10 The Peripatetics, of course, held the more liberal view, according to which things like health really were good. The Academic argument, then, becomes this: Stoic ethics is inherently self-contradictory, because it tries to maintain the diametrically opposed positions of Aristo and the Peripatos simultaneously. One form of this argument was used as early as Carneades to dismiss Stoicism as irrelevant because, if you looked beyond the language they used – which was the absolutist language of Aristo – all you would find would be an ethics already expounded by someone else, i.e. the Peripatetics (cf. Cicero de fin. III. 41). But with a slight change of presentation it is possible to see how easy it would be to make the point that the Stoics waver inconsistently between an Aristonian and a Peripatetic position. And this is the argument that we find, expressed as a contradiction, in the concluding passage of Cicero’s Academic attack on Stoic Ethics in book IV of the de finibus (§ 78):11 For what is so self-contradictory as for the same person to say both that only what is noble is good, and that nature makes us seek out those things that are conducive to life? So in their desire to retain ideas consonant with the former doctrine they fall into the position of Aristo; but when they try to escape that, they adopt what is in reality the position of the Peripatetics, though still clinging tooth and nail to their own terminology.

It is fairly easy to see how the ethical chapters of the de Stoic. rep. can be explained in terms of a version of just this argument. Take, for example, chapter 30, 1047E–1048B, which contains one of the most ‘typical’ of the ethical contradictions. The argument, in short, is this: ‘The Stoics say, on the one hand, that only virtue is good; but then they also say that you would be mad not to value health and wealth, to the extent that you can even call these things “good” in a certain way.’ Now, we can explain why the Stoics would not have thought this contradictory: the Stoics, as I mentioned, make a distinction between things, like virtue, that really are good, and things, like health, which 46 Return to Table of Contents

Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? are only ‘preferable’ (but still valuable to that extent). But we do not need to conclude that Plutarch has deliberately (or ignorantly) overlooked this distinction in order to contrive his contradiction.12 In the context of the perfectly well-informed Academic argument I have just been tracing, Plutarch would be saying something along the following lines: ‘The Stoics cannot consistently hold both that health and wealth have no moral value, and that we should act towards them as if they have; if we need to refer to the Peripatetic account of the value of things to be our guide in life, then it is contradictory to make a philosophy out of the Aristonian claim that only virtue is good.’ This seems to me to be a good starting-point for an understanding of the contradictions of the de Stoic. rep. quite generally, since it makes sense of so many of Plutarch’s ethical contradictions, which are otherwise dismissed as ‘malicious and ignorant’.13 One good test for any reading of the de Stoic. rep. is the sort of sense it can make of its introductory chapter, which presents us with some of Plutarch’s most condensed and obscure Greek just at the point where we actually want to find the key to understanding the work ahead of us. The opening line of the de Stoic. rep. is this: Prw'ton ajxiw' th;n tw'n dogmavtwn oJmologivan ejn toi'" bivoi" qewrei'sqai.

It has usually been assumed that this sentence is to be translated as a desire on Plutarch’s part to see a consistency ‘between the lives and doctrines’ of a philosopher, so that the work is being set up to talk about something like hypocrisy. 14 But if this were what was going on, it would be odd for at least two reasons. In the first place, the de Stoic. rep. is largely not about hypocrisy. (The topic may play a part in chapters 2 and 4, but that is more or less all, and it is hard to see why it should dominate the opening statement of the work.) But the other, perhaps more conclusive, reason why the usual understanding of this sentence is inadequate, is that the Greek simply doesn’t say ‘I expect to see consistency between men’s doctrines and their lives’. What it actually says is the following: I think it should be possible to see the consistency of doctrines in lives.

In fact there is no simple way of understanding this, and instead of looking for one, it might be better if we concluded that Plutarch did not mean anything simple by it. The sentence is provoking even in its obscurity, and forces us to consider many different kinds of ways in which self-contradiction is possible and, consequently, many different kinds of accusation that Plutarch might be about to level at the Stoics. In particular, the following three questions seem to have shaped the 47 Return to Table of Contents

George Boys-Stones statement: are the Stoics’ doctrines consistent (hJ tw' n dogmav t wn oJmologiva )? are the Stoics’ lives consistent (oJmologiva ejn toi'" bivoi")? and, if they are, is the consistency of the Stoics’ lives a result of their following consistent doctrines (hJ tw'n dogmavtwn oJmologiva ejn toi'" bivoi")? If we take just these questions, it should be possible to see that the interpretation of Plutarch’s polemic suggested above answers precisely to the issues they raise. In the first place, as we have seen, the Stoics’ ethical doctrines are certainly not consistent; they are phrased in very much the kind of language that Aristo might have used, but are ‘modified’ with doctrine whose effect is much more Peripatetic. Matters become more complicated when we come to consider the effect this doctrinal inconsistency has on the Stoics’ lives: in particular, we will get two rather different answers depending on whether we count philosophical affiliation as itself a part of life. If we do not, then of course we can think that the Peripatetic modifications to the ‘strict’ or ‘Aristonian’ version of Stoic ethics were motivated precisely by a desire to turn a basically unlivable philosophy (cf. Cicero de fin. IV. 78) into something more practical. In this sense, we could say that the Stoics’ lives may be consistent, but only insofar as they live as if they were Peripatetics and not, strictly speaking, as Stoics at all. So on this score we can see that what consistency there might be in the Stoics’ lives can not at all be credited to consistency in their doctrine. The other – and actually complementary – way of looking at this, is to say that the Stoics’ doctrinal inconsistency does show up as an inconsistency in their lives in just this way: they live as if they were Peripatetics (as if health etc. are good), but subscribe all the while to a belief that is strictly contradictory – namely that their actions can be explained by the fact that only virtue is good. There is no space to pursue this exposition of chapter 1 very far; but it gains substantial confirmation from what Plutarch goes on to say. He compares the case of the philosopher to that of the orator, using Aeschines’ plea against Ctesiphon that ‘the orator should say the same as the law’: For it is not so necessary that the orator should say the same as the law (as Aeschines says), as it is that the philosopher’s life should accord with his philosophy.

In order to understand the force of this comparison, we need to consider the context in which Aeschines himself had been speaking. The passage from which Plutarch took his reference (in Ctesiphonta 16) is, in full, as follows:15

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Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? Since these men describe as ‘employments’ and ‘commissions’ what the law-giver calls ‘offices’, it is your job, Athenians, to remember and assert the law against their shamelessness, and to make it clear to them that you refuse to tolerate a dangerous sophist set on destroying the law with words; that when a man has made an illegal motion, he will only arouse your anger by fine speeches. Athenians, the orator must say the same as the law...

As we can see from this, Aeschines was not concerned with the fact that Ctesiphon has ‘said one thing and done another’; but rather, he was putting forward the principle that the orator should not misrepresent the law – specifically, the orator should not foist meanings on to the words of the law that he knows they were never intended to bear. Now this is the perfect analogy for what Plutarch wants to criticize in the Stoa; just as Aeschines condemned Ctesiphon for reinterpreting the law to fit his own case, Plutarch wants to criticize the Stoics for reinterpreting the literal terms of their philosophy in order to make it fit for life. They subscribe to Stoicism, a philosophy whose literal terms teach that only virtue is good; but they reinterpret the force of this to say that wealth etc. are to be approached as if they are good too.16 As we have seen, the only way in which the Stoics can make their philosophy fit for life at all is by making it contradictory; and that contradiction in turn makes a mockery and a contradiction out of the life that they come up with. My claim, then, is that these are the terms in which even chapter 1 sets up the attack against Stoic ethics in the de Stoic. rep.: the Stoics (he thinks) are self-contradictory because they read Aristotle’s ethics into Aristo’s terminology. This reading works very well, where it works; but as it stands it only works up to a certain point. The Academic argument we have been looking at was only ever supposed to be valid against Stoic ethics, where there is obvious room for an opponent of Stoicism to see a tension between its strict theoretical claims and the Peripateticism of its practical injunctions. However, the argument will not work (as it stands) against Stoic physics, for example. For one thing, there is not going to be the same sort of tension between theory and practice in a subject – like physics – which is all theory; but it is anyway true that Stoic physics is not based around a two-tiered analysis such as the one which rules their ethics in the form of the distinction between the Good and the Preferable. This means that an opponent of the Stoa who wants to attack Stoic physics has to say either that it is wrong, or that it is no different from what someone else has already written.17 It is not possible to take both lines at once and make a dilemma out of them as you can with their ethics. The difficulty, of course, is this: the

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George Boys-Stones de Stoic. rep. does contain contradictions taken from Stoic physics – logic as well – so that the reading I have been developing will need at least some modification if it is going to provide a plausible account of the whole work. One obvious approach to solving the difficulty is to ask whether differences in the philosophical perspectives of Plutarch and the Sceptical Academy might allow Plutarch to use the Academic accusation of self-contradiction in a different range of ways from the Academy itself. I want to suggest that there is just such an opening in the fact that there are different possible historical accounts that can be given of the Stoa. The importance of this is that anyone who uses the Academic accusation of Stoic self-contradiction must take some definite stance on the issue. In particular, since the argument talks on the one side about the innovative language invented by Zeno, adopted rather too faithfully by Aristo, and on the other about the more derivative nature of their practical ethical theory, anyone who uses the argument must be ready to say quite what tradition he thinks Zeno was innovating on, and whose philosophy he thinks Stoicism comes to be derivative of in practice. These are questions to which Plutarch and Carneades would give crucially different answers. We have seen one possible answer to the question of whose philosophy the practical ethics of the Stoics come to look like already: Carneades, in his version of the argument, said that there was no real difference between the Stoics and the Peripatetics. But it needs to be explained why he should choose the Peripatos over, say, the Old Academy – or even Plato himself. I think that there are at least two good reasons for his choice. Note, first of all, that Antipater (who will certainly have been forced to give some thought to Carneades’ argument) wrote a work in which he tried to trace Stoic absolutism back to Plato (S.V.F. III, Antipater fr. 56):18 Antipater the Stoic wrote three books on the fact that Plato thought only what is noble is good showing that, according to him, virtue was sufficient for happiness.

If Stoics at this time are claiming that Stoic ethics can be traced back to Plato, Carneades would not get very far if his argument was just this: that Stoicism reduces to Plato. The Stoics could accept the claim, and simply construe the ethics of Plato according to their own interpretation. But there is perhaps a more fundamental reason why Carneades would not have wanted to claim that Stoicism came down to a form of Platonism. As a matter of historical fact, and despite rival interpretations to the 50 Return to Table of Contents

Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? contrary in antiquity, it seems fairly certain that Carneades’ Scepticism was wholly negative, tempered by no positive beliefs at all.19 This suggests that he would have taken an interpretation of Plato according to which he too was simply aporetic in his dialogues; i.e. he would not have thought that Plato had any sort of positive, systematic ethical doctrine at all, let alone one which could be adopted by the Stoics. This only really leaves Carneades one plausible, and undeniably Dogmatic candidate for the supposed Stoic plagiarism, and that is the Peripatos. However, when we come to Plutarch, two things have changed. For one thing, the argument is no longer put in the form ‘that Stoic ethics are only verbally different from [someone else]’s ethics’, but has become, of course, a contradiction: ‘Stoic ethics look like [one person]’s ethics at one time and like [another person]’s at another.’ This means that to relate Stoicism, through half of its contradictory ethics, to the Old Academy, or even to Plato, is not to give it any legitimacy; on the contrary, it gives scope for the argument that it is objectionable just because it did not stop with being Old Academic, or Platonic. Another difference by the time we come to Plutarch is that his Scepticism is moderated by a more positive thread of probability – something which his interpretation of Plato will share. (Indeed, Plato in some very important sense is a figure of doctrinal authority for Plutarch.) So it does not contradict his own story about Plato if he says that Stoic ethical theory occasionally looks Platonic – although, of course, Plutarch’s claim would be that it is the modified, ‘Peripatetic’ side of Stoicism that looks like Plato, and not, as Antipater was wanting to claim, the absolutism! That Plutarch could assimilate Stoic ethics to the Old Academy is apparent from (for example) the de comm. not. 23, 1069EF:20 What is the point of departure for Aristotle and for Theophrastus; and what do Xenocrates and Polemo take as their principles? And has not Zeno too followed them in their assumption that nature and what is in conformity with nature are the elements of happiness?

But of course there is nothing to stop him from going all the way and saying that Stoic ethics derives from Plato himself, and the de Stoic. rep. furnishes evidence that he did make this claim. In chapter 7, 1034C, Plutarch says of Zeno that he ‘admits a plurality of specifically different virtues – as Plato did (w{sper oJ Plavtwn).’ The qualification contributes nothing to the contradiction as such, and anyway Plato was by no means alone in ‘admitting a plurality of specifically different virtues’; why not w{sper oJ ∆Aristotevlh" (‘as Aristotle did’), for example? The only function that these words – as Plato did – can have, if they have any 51 Return to Table of Contents

George Boys-Stones function at all, is to signal to us that when the Stoics start applying their philosophy to real life, it is, quite specifically, a more Platonic account of things that they find themselves pushed into. The other question we need to consider is how Carneades and Plutarch might differ over their account of Zeno’s innovations. The answer to this is very closely related to the answer to the last question. As we have seen, Carneades, in his version of the argument, thinks that the innovations are purely verbal; they are not real innovations at all, just a crude attempt to disguise their plagiarism. Plutarch, on the other hand, again because he sees the argument in terms of a genuine contradiction, must see the innovations as genuinely held at some level. Now, since Plutarch thinks that the non-innovative side of Stoic ethics (the qualified form of their ethics which they keep having to come back to) is really just a form of Platonism, it follows that he will think of the Stoics’ ethical innovations very much in terms of being deliberate innovations on Plato. We can now begin to see the importance of all this in terms of how Plutarch and Carneades will differ over their use of the accusation of self-contradiction. If Plutarch can identify the stricter elements of Stoic ethics with a deliberate act of divergence from Plato, then not only can he say that the Stoics fall into contradiction because their doctrines are obviously absurd and need compromising saving-clauses; but he can also say that they fall into contradiction just where, and so by implication just because, they diverge from Plato. So here is a version of the contradiction which will not only explain the Stoics’ ethical contradiction, but can be applied to any point of doctrine where the Stoics’ official position diverges from Plato. In any field, divergence from Plato is going to land the Stoics in difficulties; their ethics is now just a special case of that. Before moving on to a conclusion, it might help if I illustrate the development of my argument with some examples from the de Stoic. rep. In the first place I want to look at chapter 14, where the absurd Stoic view (which in this case springs from their absolutist notion of happiness) is explicitly presented as an attack on Plato. The argument is, briefly, this: the Stoics thought that a Sage, at the pinnacle of human happiness, may nevertheless decide to commit suicide, while the Fool, who is as wretched and unhappy on the opposite pole, will generally be well-advised to stay alive. In chapter 14, Chrysippus communicates this theory by criticizing Plato for saying that ‘life is not worthwhile for someone who isn’t learning and doesn’t know how to live.’ Chrysippus’ official position is that this is wrong; but 52 Return to Table of Contents

Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? in the contradiction, of course, we find him apparently saying that suicide is, along Plato’s lines, preferable to ignorance. Now, in the first place, we are presumably supposed to realise that Chrysippus’ backdown, and so the contradiction, arises because Chrysippus couldn’t consistently keep up a theory which has the happiest men throwing themselves off tall buildings – it’s just too absurd. But in addition, we must be struck by the unusual (and otherwise irrelevant) way in which Plutarch introduces this argument as a Stoic attack on Plato. The topic of suicide is a favourite one for polemicists, but no-one else does this; not even Plutarch does it when he returns to the subject in other books (as for example de comm. not. 11, esp. 1063CD). It is hard not to understand from it that there is a more to the explanation as to why the Stoic doctrine on suicide is untenable than simply that it is absurd: its very absurdity can ultimately be explained by the fact that it represents a deliberate divergence from Plato. Chapters 15 and 16 also have the Stoic doctrine from which contradiction arises framed as attacks on Plato: in both cases, Plato’s theory of justice. In chapter 15, Chrysippus says that Plato was wrong to bring fear of gods into account; and in 16 he asserts that injustice towards the self is impossible; in both cases, of course, Plutarch catches him assuming the opposite – that is, the Platonic – belief as well. These chapters are interesting because here the distinctively Stoic positions (on justice), although they do ultimately depend on (and so fall with) the strict, ‘Aristonian’ reading of Stoic ethics, are nevertheless not obviously ridiculous in the way that the theory of suicide can be made to sound. It might, for example, seem perfectly reasonable to want to exclude the fear of divine punishment from an account of justice. So in these chapters we start to see the Platonist development of the old Academic argument come into its own; here it is to the forefront of the polemic that the Stoics fall into contradiction, not because their original doctrine was untenable per se, but just because it represented a departure from Plato. All of this brings us squarely to the last stage in the development of my reading, where the old argument, which showed the Stoics vacillating between Aristo and ‘Platonism’, does not even need to be ‘in the background’ any more. Plutarch is free by now to tackle the Stoics for self-contradiction in any area of doctrine where they differ from Plato just because they differ from Plato, so that there is no longer any problem with the idea that the de Stoic. rep. can accommodate chapters on physics and logic as well as ethics. Take, for example, chapter 41, where the contradiction comes from Chrysippus’ physics: Chrysippus

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George Boys-Stones maintained, on the one hand, that souls are created in animals on birth by the effect of a stroke of cold air; and, on the other, that life is essentially characterized by fire. In this case, the inconsistency can be read as the simple result of Chrysippus’ innovations concerning the nature of the soul 21 – and in fact we are told that his arguments for the creation of the soul as a physical entity at the moment of birth (arguments which throw up their own contradictions and absurdities) were meant precisely to get away from the thoroughly Platonic doctrine of transmigration.22 Plutarch’s position against the Stoics, then, is that they fall into selfcontradiction in just those places where they depart from Plato, and this is demonstrated through every single argument, ethical, physical, and logical, in the de Stoic. rep. This means that we can say that Plutarch is not attacking the Stoa in the manner of a negative Sceptic, but he is in a positive, if subtle, way promoting his own Platonism. I want to finish by suggesting that this line of attack is not an isolated example of ingenuity on Plutarch’s part, but has very real parallels elsewhere in the Platonist revival. One of the features of philosophy around Plutarch’s time was the growing importance of the appeal to authority – something which is presumably very closely related to the move to go back to Plato. The point is that, once the legitimacy of a philosophy becomes based on appeal to an authority, or an authoritative tradition, the question arises of what happens to people who remove themselves from that tradition. Ex hypothesi their philosophy is not going to be better than the established one, and will actually be worse if it really does say anything different. This sort of claim seems to underlie Plutarch’s assumption that the Stoics will have fallen into difficulties when they seceded from the Platonic school. These ‘difficulties’ may or may not be conceived of as self-contradictions as such, but the old Academic argument on Stoic ethical self-contradiction will presumably provide some incentive for the Platonist to present things in this way. Apart from the de Stoic. rep. there is some evidence that Calvenus Taurus – a younger contemporary and friend of Plutarch – adopted this approach. At Noctes Atticae 12. 5. 5, Aulus Gellius presents him referring to one of his books which certainly looks as if it must have associated Stoic divergence from Plato (expressed as differences with his own philosophy) with Stoic self-contradiction: You know that I don’t get on well with Stoics – or rather, with the Stoa: for it often contradicts both itself and us, as is shown in the book which I wrote on the subject.

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Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? Another very notable example of this kind of analysis – although one that does not limit the Stoics’ difficulties to self-contradiction – comes in Numenius. Numenius, having demonstrated Plato’s right to be considered authoritative by showing that Plato himself was heir to a philosophical tradition going back through Pythagoras to Moses (cf. fr. 8 [des Places]: ‘What is Plato if not an Attic-speaking Moses?’) argued in his book On the Rebellion of the Academy Against Plato that philosophers who secede from their source of authority are inevitably liable to fall into ruinous difficulties.23 He takes the Stoic Zeno as an example, and says that he might have been a great philosopher if he had not fought with Plato (fr. 25, ll. 117–19). Unfortunately, he says, Zeno chose instead to ‘forget’ the Academy (in the person of his teacher Polemo: id. ll. 83–7), and this brought him into a fruitless and damaging conflict with Arcesilaus (id. ll. 93–6). But, much more importantly, once the Stoics had set up in opposition to the Academy – and, in Numenius’ eyes, very much because the Stoics had set up in opposition to the Academy – they condemned themselves to a perpetual state of internal wrangling and disagreement. As he says (fr. 24, ll. 37–8): The Stoics have suffered in-fighting, which started with their founders and has never come to an end even now.

It cannot be emphasised too much that Plutarch’s commitment both to Platonism and to the polemical tradition of the Sceptical Academy is no kind of paradox. Plutarch felt himself able to draw positive conclusions from his Scepticism, and even his most ‘Academic’ works – as notably the de Stoic. rep. – can and should still be read as vehicles for an expression of his Platonism. St John’s College, Oxford

Notes 1

Apart from the very welcome attention of the Dublin Conference, this paper has benefited enormously from the comments of Michael Frede and Charles Brittain. 2 Plutarch’s epistemology is generally agreed to have been influenced in some form or other by a position championed by Philo of Larissa: cf. e.g. J. Schröter, Plutarchs Stellung zur Skepsis (Leipzig 1911), pp. 36–7; A. Weische, Cicero und die neue Academie (Münster 1961) p. 79; H. Tarrant, Scepticism or Platonism? The Philosophy of the Fourth Academy (Cambridge University Press 1985), p. 134; A.-M. Ioppolo, ‘The Academic position of Favorinus of Arelate’, Phronesis 38 (1993) pp. 183–213, esp. 195, and see Opsomer in this

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George Boys-Stones volume, above pp. 17–39. 3 J. Schröter, op. cit., pp. 38–41; P.H. De Lacy, ‘Plutarch and the Academic Sceptics’ in The Classical Journal 49 (1953–4), pp. 79–84, esp. 84; D. Babut, Plutarque et le Stoïcisme (Paris 1969), p. 274. Cf. also H. Dieke, Plutarch De Stoicorum Repugnantiis 1–10: Beiträge zu einem kritischen Kommentar (diss., Göttingen 1962), p. 47; J. Glucker, Antiochus and the Late Academy (Göttingen 1978) pp. 275–6; and P. Donini, ‘Plutarco, Ammonio e l’Accademia’ in Miscellanea Plutarchea (Ferrara 1986), pp. 96–110, esp. p. 110. 4 It is important to make this point, since there are various ways in which it might have been possible to argue for the thesis that the Academy was united by Dogmatism. The anonymous commentator on Plato’s Theaetetus takes one such interpretation of the Academy (coll. LIV. 38–LV. 7); Jonathan Barnes thinks that Philo of Larissa took another (see ‘Antiochus of Ascalon’ in J. Barnes and M. Griffin (eds.) Philosophia Togata, Oxford University Press 1989, pp. 51–96). 5 Cf. esp. Lamprias nos. 45 (On Arguing Both Sides), 64 (On the Difference Between the Pyrrhonians and the Academics), and 71 [= 131?] (Concerning the Fact that Prophecy is not Disproved by the Academics). 6 Hellenistic Philosophy (London 1974), p. 90. Long was referring to Arcesilaus’ criticism of Stoic epistemology, and specifically the claim that apprehension (katavlhyi") can be an epistemic criterion: see S.E. Adv. math. VII. 150–4. Socrates’ approach is summed up well at Phaedrus 237c: if people start to discuss what they don’t know about then pretty soon they find that they don’t agree with themselves or each other: ou[ te ga;r eJautoi'" ou[te ajl lhvl oi" oJmologou'sin. 7 Cf. especially the image suggested by the ‘Philonian’ Licentius at Augustine contra Academicos, I. 11: the Sceptical sage is like a traveller who is on the right road in his search for Alexandria and only fails to reach the city because he is cut off by death. The point seems to be that the (Philonian) Sceptic who is a good enough philosopher can be relatively sure he is on the right road towards the truth and, if only his life were long enough, and his powers of investigation strong enough, he might in theory reach his goal. 8 The structure of the debate in the de prim. frig. is briefly as follows: the arguments for air being the principle of cold occupy 948D–949F; water gets twice as long (949F–952C); and the case for Plutarch’s own candidate – earth – is almost three times as long as the section devoted to air (952C–955C). By the end, the case put forward in favour of air has been shown to be completely hopeless; earth, however, only holds its own against water on the grounds that it is colder, not on the grounds that it alone is cold. This is interesting, because Plato, it seems, thought precisely that earth was essentially cold, but after that that water has the highest propensity for coldness. Air, far from being cold, is actually supposed along with fire to partake of heat: cf. Timaeus 54b5–56c7 and 61d5–62a5 (earth will be cold by the same reasoning by which fire must be hot). Among Platonists, cf. e.g. Atticus, fr. 5 [des Places] ll. 22–3 (‘If a thing is warm it is fire or air; but if it is cold, it is water or earth’). For the more traditional understanding of the de prim. frig., that the work does advocate radical suspension of judgement, cf. e.g. J. Schröter, op. cit.

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Thyrsus-bearer of the Academy or enthusiast for Plato? p. 21; P. Donini, ‘Lo scetticismo academico, Aristotele e l’unità della tradizione platonica secondo Plutarco’ in G. Cambiano (ed.) Storiografia e dossografia nella filosofia antica (Torino 1986), pp. 203–26, esp. 209–12. 9 The same is true for Pyrrhonian Sceptics. In his introduction to the de Stoic. rep., Cherniss refers to Sextus Empiricus’ claim that ‘even the leading philosophers make many conflicting statements’ (macomevnw" levgousin: Adv. math. I. 281 with Cherniss in the Loeb edition of the Moralia, vol. XIII. 2, p. 371); and it is certainly the case that Sextus makes some use of peritrophv , or ‘self-refutation’, as a polemical motif (cf. M. Burnyeat, ‘Protagoras and selfrefutation in later Greek philosophy’ in The Philosophical Review 85 (1976) pp. 44–69). But there is no systematic appeal to self-contradiction, and the argument certainly does not feature as a Pyrrhonian trovpo" th'" ejpoch'" . 10 Aristo differed from Chrysippus precisely in denying that there were things prohgmevnon (‘preferable’) per se so that, for him, health (for example) would not have any kind of intrinsic moral value at all – although it may be the right thing to do to try and be healthy in particular circumstances. See S.E. Adv. math. XI. 64–7. 11 Quid enim est tam repugnans quam eundem dicere quod honestum sit solum id bonum esse, qui dicat appetitionem rerum ad vivendum accommodaturum a natura profectam? Ita cum ea volunt retinere quae superiori sententiae conveniunt, in Aristonem incidunt; cum id fugiunt, re eadem defendunt quae Peripatetici, verba tenent mordicus. 12 For this is the kind of explanation cf. C. Giesen De Plutarchi contra Stoicos Disputationibus (diss., Münster 1889) pp. 80–2; K. von Ziegler Plutarchos von Chaironeia (Stuttgart 1964), coll. 119, 40—120, 9 [= Paulys Realencyclopädie vol. XXI. 1 (Stuttgart 1951), coll. 636–962, esp. 755, 67—756, 36]. 13 Cf. Giesen again, op. cit. pp. 109–10: he thinks Plutarch is an ‘unkind and none-too careful judge’ of Stoicism. 14 See e.g. J. Amyot (translation ad loc.), Babut op. cit. p. 24; M. Pohlenz, ‘Plutarchs Schriften gegen die Stoiker’, Hermes 74 (1939) pp. 1–33 esp. 7–8; etc. Cherniss translates the passage more literally, but still interprets it this way: see Loeb vol. XIII. 2, p. 372, with translation ad loc. (p. 413). 15 {Otan toivnun, w\ a[ndre" ∆Aqhnai'oi, a}" oJ nomoqevth" ajrca;" ojnomavzei ou|toi prosagoreuvousi pragmateiva" kai; ejpimeleiva", uJmevteron e[rgon ejsti;n ajpomnhmoneuvein kai; ajntitavttein to;n novmon pro;" th;n touvtwn ajnaivdeian, kai; uJpobavllein aujtoi'", o{ti ouj prosdevcesqe kakou'rgon sofisth;n, oijovmenon rJhvmasi tou;" novmou" ajnairhvsein, ajll∆ o{sw/ a[n ti" a[meinon levgh/ paravnoma gegrafwv", tosouvtw/ meivzono" ojrgh'" teuvxetai: crh; ga;r, w\ a[ndre" ∆Aqhnai'oi, to; aujto; fqevggesqai to;n rJhvtora kai; to;n novmon… 16 There is then the question of why the Stoics left the Platonic tradition to adopt ‘Stoicism’ in the first place, given that they had a free choice in philosophy (cf. aujqaivreto" – and note that Ctesiphon did not have a free choice in the law he was working under, which is why Plutarch suggests that his reinterpretation of the law was more understandable than the Stoics’ reinterpretation of their own philosophy). The answer is given in 1033B: the founders of Stoicism treated philosophy as a game (paidiva ), and were keen for the glory of a new school (e{neka dovxh").

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George Boys-Stones For an example of the former approach, cf. the whole of Cicero de nat. de. III; for the claim that Stoic physics says nothing of importance that has not been said before, see de fin. IV. 11–13. 18 This represents an important development from the position of the earlier Stoics, who justified their ethical theory on the grounds that it was truly Socratic: cf. esp. Cicero de nat. de. II. 167 (‘Everything always goes well for great men, at least if enough has been said about the richness and bounty of virtue by our philosophers [i.e. Stoics], and by Socrates the princeps of philosophy’). Plato, they thought, had misinterpreted and enervated Socrates’ teaching: see e.g. de Stoic. rep. 15, 1040D: ‘[Chrysippus] blamed him for allowing health to be good…’ For a fuller treatment of this subject, see A.A. Long, ‘Socrates in Hellenistic philosophy’, Classical Quarterly 38 (1988) pp. 150–71, esp. 160–4. 19 His criterion of the ‘persuasive impression’ (fantasiva piqanhv: cf. S.E. Adv. math. VII. 166–75), developed ad hominem against the Stoic claim that assent to the truth of a proposition was necessary for action, seems to have made the point that you could accept the plausibility of an impression in such a way as to be able to act on it without making any sort of philosophical commitment to the belief that it did, in fact, approximate the truth. This was Clitomachus’ understanding of Carneades; and he was originally followed in this even by Philo of Larissa (cf. Cicero Acad. II. 17, Numenius frs. 28. 1–5 [des Places], etc.) – although Philo later adopted, and ascribed to Carneades, the more positive form of plausibilism we have already encountered: cf. n. 2. See P. Coussin, ‘The Stoicism of the New Academy’, in M. Burnyeat (ed.) The Skeptical Tradition (University of California 1983) pp. 31–63, and esp. 42–51 with M. Frede, ‘The Skeptic’s two kinds of assent’, Essays in Ancient Philosophy (Oxford University Press 1987), pp. 201–22. 20 Plutarch was not the first person to take this line. Antiochus, who went back to a more dogmatic interpretation of Plato, expressed much the same thought: cf. Cicero Acad. I. 43: ‘I think it’s true, as our friend Antiochus use to believe, that Stoicism should be thought of as a correction of the Old Academy rather than some new system.’ It should be noted that, since Antiochus counts the early Peripatetics ‘in’ with the Old Academy, his account of the Stoa is not radically different from Carneades’ – even though his account of the Academy is. (And cf. J. Glucker, op. cit. p. 394.) 21 Platonists quite generally do not think that soul is a physical entity: cf. Atticus fr. 7. 39 [des Places], Aëtius, plac. IV. 2–3, Alcinous Didaskalikos 177. 21–2 and, not least of all, Plutarch de an. proc. 1029D. 22 At 1053DE, Plutarch says that Chrysippus’ proof for his position will fail because it does not preclude the possibility that the soul was ‘ungenerated and came into the body’ – from which we can conclude that this is precisely what Chrysippus had wanted to deny. 23 The fragments of Numenius’ peri; th'" tw'n ∆Akadhmai>kw'n pro;" Plavtwna diastavsew" are numbers 24–28 in des Places’ edition (Paris 1973), and are drawn from Eusebius praep. ev. XIV. 4, 16—9, 4 [727a–739d]. 17

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FAMILY AND THE FORMATION OF CHARACTER Aspects of Plutarch’s Thought 1 Francesca Albini Among Plutarch’s Moralia there is an essay called De liberis educandis, on whose non-authenticity the majority of scholars are in agreement.2 Nevertheless I would like to take it as a guideline for my research into the role of the family in Plutarch because it bears witness to the theory of education around Plutarch’s time, if not within Plutarch’s philosophical circle itself. At 2A we find a traditional exposition of the theory of a concurrence of fuvsi", lovgo" and e[qo" (nature; reason, as in learning; and habit, as in constant practice) in the attainment of virtue.3 ‘If one of these elements is missing,’ we read, ‘the moral excellence must be, to this extent, crippled.’ 4 Nevertheless, the treatise continues, those who are not endowed with natural gifts can repair the want of nature through learning. De liberis educandis aims at explaining virtually everything a parent should do in order to ensure that a child receives all that is necessary for the attainment of virtue. There is some pre-natal advice, on, for example, the choice of a suitable partner and the need for the father to be sober when conceiving. There is post-natal advice, including the importance of breast-feeding, and, lastly, much space is devoted to habit and education, the focus being on the paramount role of the father: he must set an example, choose the right companions and tutors, and actively participate in the education of the child throughout the various phases of growth. In order to understand Plutarch’s own view I shall proceed following a similar pattern, discussing some of the aspects involved in the fuvsi", lovgo", e[qo" theory and identifying the role played by the family in this respect. I shall then try to examine the impact of these elements on the character of the heroes in the Lives. Although in his extant work there is no direct reference to the ‘educational triad’, it nevertheless pervades both Lives and Moralia. Plutarch’s approach to the matter is consistent throughout his work at 59 Return to Table of Contents

Francesca Albini a conscious as well as at an unconscious level and is in many ways similar to that of De liberis educandis. I shall begin by examining some aspects of fuvsi". To establish what nature is, when it comes to human beings, will probably always remain an impossible task. Plutarch was well aware of the problem, as he realized that in the human fuvsi", lovgo" comes as part of the package. Here are just some of the numerous relevant passages. In De amore prolis 495C we find that ‘By nature we are a rational and social animal with a conception of justice and law.’ And earlier on at 493E it was said that ‘In a way, reason itself makes it a difficult task to identify a clear or certain vestige of nature.’ In De fortuna 98E Plutarch follows Plato (Prt. 321) in saying that ‘Man alone, naked, unarmed, with feet unshod and with no bed to lie in, has been abandoned by Nature. Yet by one gift all this she mitigates, the gift of reasoning, diligence and forethought.’ He then goes on to say that virtually all human activities from our very first steps are a result of intelligence: the way in which we tie our shoelaces and the way in which our children learn from us to hold meat with the right hand and bread with the left, and so on. If in the context of the formation of character we must see fuvsi" as ‘a natural disposition’, ‘a propensity to’, 5 the examples given above may seem irrelevant as they refer not to an individual nature but to human nature in general. Plutarch, though, does not draw a distinction in this context,6 as is clear from the following passage, where in a comparison between the nature of animals and that of men he introduces the idea of an inherited stain (ejggenh' khli'da) which is obviously a matter of individual fuvsi": ‘Whereas the young bears and wolves and apes reveal their congenital character from the outset, undisguised and unfalsified, man has a nature that can enter into customs and doctrines and codes of conduct, and thereby often conceal its failings and imitate a virtuous course with the result that it either wipes out and escapes altogether an inherited stain of vice, or else eludes detection for a long time’ (De sera numinis vindicta 562B). In spite of these difficulties Plutarch believes that certain traits of our personality are present at birth, they form our individual nature and have an active role in determining our approach. But where do these traits come from? In De sera numinis vindicta 559D, justifying the gods for punishing the descendants of wrongdoers, Plutarch claims that ‘a family, attached as it is to a single origin, reproduces in the members a certain force and common quality pervading them all.’ In De adulatore et amico, Plutarch quotes the statement that children are born similar to their parents (63E), and we can find many other

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Family and the formation of character in Plutarch passages throughout his work pointing to a strong belief that there are inherited elements in our nature. But in De sera numinis vindicta itself (563A) Plutarch seems to admit that a good man can be born of a bad one, and again, the possibility of a good son arising from a bad father is to be found in De audiendis poetis 28C–D. There can be two reasons for this: the first may be found in the passage of De sera numinis vindicta already quoted (562B), which says that an inherited stain can be wiped out or elude detection for a long time; the other is that a particular trait may be lying dormant for one or more generations and then make its reappearance (De sera numinis vindicta 563A cites some examples). That it could be possible to inherit somatic traits from a progenitor instead of a parent was a fact known by both Greeks and Romans and a subject of study. 7 Because of the continuous interaction of nature, reason and habit peculiar to the human being, the clarity of nature is affected. If in a father we find certain vices and virtues, his son might not mirror them at all, or they might manifest themselves in a way which is difficult or impossible to recognize. It is therefore hard to establish how much the ‘propensities’ of an individual are inherited and how much they are original to that individual, and the originality of the individual is likely to have a divine provenance.8 For instance, in Demosthenes 3. 2 Plutarch says: ‘In the case of Demosthenes and Cicero it would seem that the deity (daimon) originally fashioned them on the same plan, implanting in their nature many similarities…’ As well as denying the possibility of a human being who is totally bad, Plutarch does not believe in one that is totally good. In Cimon 2. 5 we find that ‘human nature produces no character which is absolutely good and indisputably set towards virtue.’ 9 Actually, the greater a person’s virtues, sometimes, the greater his vices. Plutarch often repeats that great natures exhibit great vices as well as great virtues (e.g. in Demetr. 1. 7). In De sera numinis vindicta 552C, for instance, we read: ‘great natures bring forth nothing trivial, and the vigour and enterprise in them is too keen to remain inert; nay, they drift about on heavy seas before coming to rest in their abiding and settled character.’ This is a Platonic concept and the original can be found in Rep. 491E: ‘So it is, I take it, natural that the best nature should fare worse than the inferior under conditions of nurture unsuited to it…the best souls become worse than the others under a bad education…a weak nature will never be the cause of anything great, either for good or evil.’ In the analysis of fuvsi", lovgo", and e[qo" in the Lives this is a key issue, as the heroes have great natures. 61 Return to Table of Contents

Francesca Albini Whether Plutarch believed in eugenics is hard to tell. Some reference to it is made in Cato Minor 25, where Quintus Ortensius tries to convince Cato to give him the hand of his daughter Porcia on the basis that ‘community in heirs among worthy men would make virtue abundant and widely diffused in their families.’ But Plutarch does not comment on the truthfulness of the statement.10 At any rate, from what we have seen so far, the inherited traits do not in themselves determine a physical or mental structure suitable to a particular role in the society, and greatness of nature is not inherited. The advice of Plutarch in the choice of a partner is merely based on common sense: one should keep in mind that the relationships easiest to establish are those between equals. If a wife is richer, for instance, the husband might feel embarrassed and therefore tend to humiliate her in an effort to establish parity. If a wife comes from a humble background or is foreign there might be some social pressure to deal with. But love and the ability on both sides to create a harmonious and sharing relationship is what really counts. Great stress is put on the necessity of sharing. In marriage there are no such concepts as ‘mine’ and ‘not mine’ (Amat. 767E). This is especially true when it comes to children. In Coniugalia praecepta 140E Plutarch says: ‘Nature unites us through the commingling of our bodies, in order that, by taking and blending together a portion derived from each member of a pair, the offspring which she produces may be common to both, so that neither can define or distinguish his own or the other part therein.’ We cannot be sure as to what theory of procreation Plutarch followed and whether he thought that the woman produced seed or was only the provider of matter and nourishment,11 although this passage seems to point towards the first hypothesis. Either way the point made here is that the child belongs equally to both. The role of a mother in nourishing continues after the birth of the child through breast-feeding. Plutarch strongly stresses the importance of the mother breast-feeding; in Consolatio ad uxorem 609E, for instance, he praises his wife for having breast-fed their son, despite some ailment, ‘for such conduct was noble, and it showed true mother love.’ Certainly, together with other contemporaries, including Tacitus (Dialog. 28 ff., Germ. 20. 1), Plutarch worries that the widespread use of nurses contributes to the process of the disintegration of the family felt in the first and second century. Nevertheless, breastfeeding in Plutarch may perform also another function, namely that of an interregnum between fuvsi" and e[qo". In De amore prolis 494C Plutarch recalls the famous opinion that ‘the she-bear brings forth her 62 Return to Table of Contents

Family and the formation of character in Plutarch young formless and without visible joints, and with her tongue, as with a tool, she moulds into shape their skin.’ This ‘moulding’ of the newlyborn seems to be performed by the human mother through breastfeeding her child. Plutarch wrote a whole treatise on breast-feeding, the Tittheutikos (Lamprias 114), which unfortunately is lost. We do have, though, a speech of his friend Favorinus arguing that the provenance of milk is important for the formation of character because it conveys the male seed, as well as the female nourishment (Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae, 12. 1. 20). 12 The transition from fuvsi" to e[qo" can be clearly seen in De amore prolis 495C–496: ‘Women’s breast is situated in the chest, for in this way the mother can cuddle the infant. Thus she makes the newly born understand that procreation is an act of love and not of utility.’ Plutarch understands from Nature the importance of both parents in the rearing of the young (cf. De am. prol. 494A), but the husband has the leading role, as is clearly stated in Coniugalia praecepta 139D: ‘Whenever two notes are sounded in accord the tune is carried by the bass; and in like manner every activity in a virtuous household is carried on by both parties in agreement, but discloses the husband’s leadership and preferences.’ 13 Plutarch believes that the study of philosophy can produce both intellectual and moral virtue, thus making up for previous gaps in the upbringing. In De profectibus in virtute for instance, we read (79D–F): ‘those who are making still more progress are always able to derive benefit, not only from what is said, but also from what is seen and done, and to gather what is appropriate and useful therefrom… attention and intense application makes persons perceptive of anything that conduces to virtue, from whatever source it comes. This is more apt to be the case if they combine theory with practice.’ Nonetheless Plutarch also sees the clear benefits of an early formation of right parameters of judgement as they can encourage us to undertake philosophical studies and also defend us from paying attention to flatterers. The ability to judge properly and to set the right priorities can be attained through supervised reading and imitation of good examples. Although Plutarch does not openly state that this area of learning falls within the father’s jurisdiction, this can be quite easily inferred from the general educational guidelines of the time, and De liberis educandis is useful here. 14 It might be worth noting that in De adulatore et amico flatterers are always shown urging their ‘prey’ to turn against his family (cf. e.g. 59F, 60F). I have dealt so far with various theoretical aspects of the problem

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Francesca Albini and what is required from parents in order to ensure the best for their children. But what happens in ‘real’ life, where these measures cannot be ensured, partly because of the intricacies of life, partly because of the changes brought about by fortune? One way to find out is to examine how fuvsi", lovgo", and e[qo" are depicted in the Lives and how they affect, directly and indirectly, the development of a character. Although Plutarch does not follow a rigid pattern in the construction of his Lives, we can quite safely say that, within the first few chapters, ancestors and/or parents of the hero are introduced, often accompanied by an anecdote, and that soon before or after we find a description of the hero’s nature. In many cases traits present in the ancestors or fathers are found in the sons. Antony’s liberality can be traced back to his father, whose generosity towards his friends is recounted in an anecdote (Ant. 1).15 Solon’s way of living was expensive and profuse just like his father’s (Solon 1 and 2), Cimon was dissolute and fond of drinking like his grandfather (Cimon 4). But there are almost as many examples where the son’s nature is very dissimilar, almost the opposite to the father’s. The nature of Caius Brutus, descendant of Junius Brutus, was sedate and mild, while Junius’s was hard (Brutus 1. 2) – unless we want to think that Plutarch does not himself believe in this lineage. Pompey’s father, Strabo, had an insatiable desire for money; Pompey had on the other hand a moderate and temperate way of living. It would be possible to examine Life by Life, collect all the data and draw a chart which might show some kind of pattern; perhaps certain traits transfer more directly than others; others might transfer themselves, as it were, by opposites. But, even if something emerged, we would still have to wonder if we were dealing with something concrete – whether conscious or unconscious – or with a series of coincidences. In the Life of Sertorius 1. 1–4 Plutarch himself warns us against such a risk and mildly mocks people who collect coincidences. He recalls some of the most striking ones and adds his own, namely that Sertorius was one-eyed like most of the great generals, including Philip, Antigonus and Hannibal.16 As we have seen, Plutarch believes that some dispositions are inherited, and in the Lives he takes care to bring into the picture those elements present in the ancestors and, occasionally, in the descendants, which might shed light on the personality of the hero. 17 But, although heredity plays an important part, anecdotes and information regarding the ancestors or the family of a hero are mostly there to show the environment 18 in which the hero grows up and lives. 64 Return to Table of Contents

Family and the formation of character in Plutarch Lovgo" and e[qo" offer the tools to control one’s natural dispositions and thus assume a particularly prominent role in the Lives, where great natures are involved, and, as we have seen, great natures are equally prone to great virtues and great vices. We have also seen that the family, and most of all the father, has the paramount role in setting an example, providing an education and building a positive environment around the child. Thus, these are the elements that we should be looking for in the way in which Plutarch describes the family of a hero. The ideal character has a loving mother and father and receives a good education which must, of course, include a philosophical training. Pericles is a perfect example of this. It is also very important that the child’s role model be male. Cato Major brings up his child personally (Cat. Ma. 20). Cato has a good wife and is a caring husband. After his son is born he is always present when his wife bathes him and swaddles him. Of course the child is breast-fed by his mother, who also ‘gives suck to the infants of her slaves so that they might come to cherish a brotherly affection for her son.’ 19 But as soon as the son shows signs of understanding, his father takes him under his own charge. He becomes both his tutor and athletic trainer. Children of happy families develop a sense of stability and equilibrium, which is reflected in their actions and choices. Numa has a good and caring relationship with his aged father and ends up marrying an understanding and caring woman. Crassus lived in a small house, with his parents and his married brothers. They all shared the same table, and that is why, Plutarch says, Crassus was temperate and moderate in his manner of life (Crass. 1). But what happens in the case of a bereaved child, an orphan? Salvioni 20 shows how sons brought up by widowed mothers sooner or later turn against their ‘fatherland’: Coriolanus, Sertorius, Antony, Alcibiades and so on. He calls these characters ‘antagonists’ and notices that there are no antagonists in the Lives who are not bereaved of a father. Salvioni continues by saying that he cannot identify a psychological ‘type’ of the orphan brought up by his mother. But his key interest is the political impact that these strong female personalities had on the heroes and he is less concerned with the indirect, more subtle aspects of the matter.21 I believe that there are two psychological types of orphans in the Lives. One is the son brought up by a mother and the other is the adopted son. A widowed mother steps out of what Plutarch sees as her natural role – a faithful mirror of her husband – and has to take on duties and responsibilities usually belonging to the man. The male and 65 Return to Table of Contents

Francesca Albini female roles become therefore somehow muddled. A woman can decide to remain a widow or to remarry. In the first case a child grows up without a male role model. The second case is somehow similar to that of adoption: the male role model is not the natural father. The son who grows up with his widowed mother will feel very strongly the pressure of having to make up for the absence of his father. This is the case with Quintus Sertorius who chooses a career incompatible with his docile and reserved nature and takes on the duty of fighting for his fatherland (Sert. 22. 6). Similarly, Coriolanus grows up to be a valiant warrior in order to make his mother happy and to show her the gratitude he cannot show to his father (Cor. 4. 7). Coriolanus also develops very male physical traits, not only a powerful body, but a big, strong, voice. The case of Alcibiades appears different because, although we know the name of his mother and even that of his nurse, Alcibiades’ family environment is mostly male, as he is raised in the house of Pericles. Plutarch does not recall episodes that shed much light on Alcibiades’ relationship with his mother and nurse, as if they had not had a major impact on his life. Should we take it as a coincidence that Alcibiades develops some very feminine traits? He bites like a woman (2. 2), he does not want to play the flute because it doesn’t look good, he is soft-spoken, and effeminate in his clothing (16. 1). Here again what is missing is that balanced atmosphere of the natural father and mother, and the son, in his need to compensate, ends up expressing within himself the elements that are missing around him. Belonging to the category of the adopted child is Cato Minor, who loses his parents and is raised by his uncle Livius Drusus. His reserved and introverted nature becomes more accentuated by the severity and strictness of his uncle, which might have also caused the weak morality of Cato’s sisters. As a consequence of a lack of positive examples, Cato himself is incapable of developing a healthy married life. Plutarch is very keen to demonstrate that a strong personality is superior to circumstances; noble birth is not a necessary prerequisite to glory; lack of wealth, nobility or even parents does not stop a great nature from achieving great results. At the same time he is aware of two factors: the social pressure and the psychological pressure. Coriolanus has to deal with clear social and psychological pressure and his behaviour is altogether not too difficult to understand. Antony, who has a good caring mother, had a good father and a good stepfather, but still falls prey to bad company, and the above-mentioned Alcibiades, show, on the other hand, more complex and indirect signs of strain. 66 Return to Table of Contents

Family and the formation of character in Plutarch Another example of this form of insecurity given by a family which is, so to speak, not conforming to the norm, or natural, we find in the Life of Themistocles. Born into an undistinguished family, Themistocles succeeds in establishing himself and acquiring immortal glory. But his mother is a foreigner, and Themistocles ends up feeling at home in a gymnasium dedicated to Heracles ‘for he too was not a legitimate god, but had something alien about him, since his mother was a mortal’ (Themist. 1. 3). Brothers also play a very important role, but are a far more complicated issue. There is no explanation in the Lives or in the Moralia as to why brothers might develop very different personalities, and the problem still puzzles us today, as to why the same ingredients of genes, environment, upbringing and education can react in so many different ways. Plutarch dedicates a whole treatise to the importance of brotherly love, De fraterno amore. He says at 479A that: ‘through the concord of brothers both family and household are sound and flourish.’ He then goes on to say that parents find their greatest joy in seeing brothers love one another, and suffer greatly when they argue. So brothers should stick by one another, defend and help one another. But what happens if a brother is just totally bad? Plutarch does not recognise such a possibility because ‘even in the most humble of creatures there is some portion of grace or faculty or natural aptitude for some good thing’ (485A; cf. n. 9). In general the heroes in the Lives seem to cope well with difficult or rival brothers, but that is possible only when their brothers’ behaviour does not jeopardize the welfare of the fatherland. When they stand in the way, action has to be taken. Although Plutarch stresses the importance of the family, public duties come first. For instance, in Fabius Maximus 24, when Fabius goes to meet his son, now consul, and his son orders him to dismount from his horse, he hugs him and says: ‘It was in this spirit that our fathers and we ourselves have exalted Rome, a spirit which makes parents and children ever secondary to our country’s good.’ And in Cato Major 20, already quoted, no business was as important for Cato Major as his son was, unless it had a public character. The most interesting and extreme example of the consequences of contrasts among brothers can be seen in Timoleon. Plutarch says that ‘Timoleon was a kindly man, fond of his family, but had nevertheless set his country before his family’ (Timol. 5). He had a brother (Timol. 3), Timophanes, ‘not at all like him, headstrong and filled with ruinous passion for absolute power by worthless friends.’ We have here many of the ingredients discussed earlier. Timoleon has a good family

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Francesca Albini environment. His brother Timophanes has a stubborn nature and is pushed towards wrong actions by the bad company around him. Timoleon defends his brother and even saves his life when they are both fighting for the country. But when Timophanes plots against the country and enslaves it, Timoleon has no alternative but to slay him. His mother never forgives him and he descends into a depression that lasts for twenty years, becoming a prey to grief and mental disorder. Plutarch blames such behaviour on Timoleon’s lack of philosophical training (Timol. 6): ‘So true it is that the purpose of men, unless they acquire firmness and strength from reason and philosophy for the activities of life, are unsettled and easily carried away by casual praise and blame, being forced out of their native reckoning.’ But a question arises at this stage: where was Timoleon’s father during the whole event, the killing and the following twenty years of grief? Had he been still alive, surely he should have had his say in the matter. Plutarch does not tell us at what stage in Timoleon’s life his father died, and therefore we cannot establish whether Timoleon was an orphan. Nevertheless, the fact that at the time of the tragic event his mother was a widow I believe is important for a full understanding of his extreme emotional reaction. Perhaps it is impossible to identify a clear regular pattern of action and reaction in the relationship between a character and his family background, because so many elements come into play, not least fortune. But certainly Plutarch thought it necessary in order to understand and portray a character to give an insight into his environment and to show how his hero reacted to it and with what consequences. The task was not always an easy one because sometimes his sources – especially in the case of political characters22 – gave little space to information and anecdotes on the hero’s childhood, but by means of expanding the available material and the use of ‘retrojections’ 23 Plutarch always manages to make us appreciate the importance he attributed to the family. University College London


1 I wish to thank J. Dillon, R. Flemming, J.L. Moles and R.W. Sharples for

their most useful suggestions and references. The topic of the role of family in Plutarch is vast and involves various aspects of Plutarch’s thought, from biological issues such as theories of reproduction, ideas on education, etc., through to biographical choices. This paper simply aims to call attention to

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Family and the formation of character in Plutarch some elements which I believe are worthy of further research. 2 The first doubts on the authenticity of De liberis educandis were raised as far back as the seventeenth century (Rualdus, Vita Plutarchi, 1624). In the nineteenth century, in his detailed study of the work (Animadversiones in Plutarchi opera moralia, Leipzig 1820, I. 29–156), Wyttenbach rejected Plutarch’s authorship on the basis of both style and content. Since then some sporadic attempts have been made to attribute the treatise to Plutarch’s early years or to see it as a collection of material, an unfinished work, but the general opinion is that the work is spurious. Nevertheless, there are issues in De liberis educandis whose treatment is very close to Plutarch’s own. One of them is the view on mothering, cf. K.R. Bradley, ‘Wet-nursing at Rome: a study in social relations’, in Beryl Rawson (ed.) The Family in Ancient Rome, New Perspectives, London & Sydney 1986, p. 222 n. 1. Among the scholars who were not convinced that the work was apocryphal after all was I.H. Marrou (A History of Education in Antiquity, London 1956, p. 397 n. 14), presumably because he did not find major discrepancies between the ideas expressed in De liberis educandis and Plutarch’s position elsewhere on the subject of education. Unfortunately, though, no explanation accompanies his comment. 3 The notion that nature, education, and habit are the joint factors influencing our behaviour has sophistic origins. Cf. W. Jaeger, Paideia, 3rd edn, London 1946, I. pp. 305 ff. The educational triad became a topic discussed by all the philosophical schools. Cf. e.g. Plato, Men. 70A ff., Phdr. 269D, Prt. 323D; Aristotle, Pol. VII. 13. 1332a38–40 and EN X. 9. 1179b20–21; Xenophon, Mem. 3. 9. 2, 2. 6. 39, 3. 3. 11; Isocrates, Paid. III; Lucretius, De rer. nat. 3. 319 ff.; Alexander of Aphrodisias, Pr. 29. 161. 15 ff. and Mant. XXIII. 175. For a comprehensive list of passages and secondary literature, cf. N.J.S. Abbot, ‘The treatise De Liberis Educandis attributed to Plutarch’, Oxford D.Phil thesis, 1980, p. 26. 4 For reasons of accessibility all the quotations in this paper are from the editions and translations of the Loeb Classical Library. 5 For this definition of fuvsi", cf. K.J. Dover, Greek Popular Morality in the Time of Plato and Aristotle, Oxford 1974, p. 88. 6 Unlike, for instance, Panaetius, who made a clear-cut distinction between universal and individual nature [Cic. Off. 1. 107 ff.], and cf. A.A. Long, Hellenistic Philosophy, 2nd edn, London 1986, pp. 211 ff. 7 The explanations obviously changed according to different theories of reproduction. Aristotle, who believed that only the male had seed and the female merely provided matter and nourishment for the child, justified traits coming from the mother or from ancestors through a complex theory of the father’s form prevailing or failing to prevail over matter from the mother. Cf. GA IV. iii, and C.D.C. Reeve, Practices of Reason: Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, Oxford 1992, pp. 198 ff., notably p. 204. Lucretius, who believed that both man and woman had seed, thought that children could take after their grandparents and great-grandparents because the parents conceal in their bodies many primordia mixed in many ways and handed down through generations. Cf. De rer. nat. 4. 1209–32 and 4. 1218–26. Cf. also L.A. DeanJones, Women’s Bodies in Classical Greek Science, New York 1994, pp. 148 ff.,

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Francesca Albini notably pp. 193–9. 8 Plutarch believed that the human soul had a divine element and was immortal. For an exhaustive treatment of the subject cf. E. Valgiglio, Divinità e Religione in Plutarco, Genova, 1988, notably pp. 94, 110. 9 Plutarch repeatedly attacks the Stoic concept that a man is either totally good or totally bad, cf. e.g. De aud. poet. 25C, De prof. in virt. 76A, De frat. am. 485A. 10 For a discussion of the whole episode of Cato’s divorce and Plutarch’s treatment of it, cf. D. Babut, Plutarque et le stoïcisme, Paris 1969, pp. 173 ff. 11 This second theory is reported in Quaest. Conv. 651, but it is not necessarily Plutarch’s own belief. 12 The idea of milk conveying the father’s seed is most unusual and runs contrary to the dominant medical understanding of lactation which saw it as something exclusively female (cf. L.A. Dean-Jones, op. cit., pp. 213–24, for a discussion of Hippocratic and Aristotelian notions of lactation). It would be therefore most interesting to establish whether Favorinus’ position recalls or rivals Plutarch’s. On Favorinus and Plutarch, see Bowie and Opsomer in this volume, above pp. 1–15 and 17–39. 13 For the musical theory on which this comparison is made, cf. Aristotle, Prob. XIX. 12 ff. 14 Unlike today, in antiquity schoolmasters were not expected to impart a moral education; this remained the responsibility of the family, both parents and paidagogos. In the educational treatises little space is devoted to school questions, the focus being on the moral atmosphere surrounding education, as can be seen in De lib. ed. Cf. Marrou, op. cit., p. 147. Plutarch’s treatment of education in the Lives follows very similar criteria. 15 Cf. Plutarch, Life of Antony, ed. C.B.R. Pelling, Cambridge 1988, p. 117, commentary on 1. 1—2. 3. Antony’s life uncharacteristically ends with an elaborate list of descendants ultimately linking Antony with Nero. On the importance of heredity in this context, cf. C.B.R. Pelling, p. 323 on 87. Cf also nn. 18 and 22. 16 But is it a coincidence? As Professor Sharples points out to me, Philip lost his eye in battle, Hannibal through disease on campaign: one might say that losing eyes was an occupational hazard for generals. Is this Plutarch’s way of warning us against a superficial evaluation of what is coincidence and what is not? 17 This very often results in incomplete and sometimes inconsistent family trees: cf. T. Means, ‘Plutarch and the family of Cato Minor’, Classical Journal 69 (1974), p. 215. 18 For environment playing a more important role than heredity in Plutarch’s heroes, cf. S. Swain, ‘Character change in Plutarch’, Phoenix 43 (1989) pp. 62–8, notably p. 68. Cf also F.E. Brenk, Plutarch’s life ‘Markos Antonios’: a Literary and Cultural Study, chap. I. 4 ‘Vice inherited: the rotten tree’, ANRW II. 33. 6, pp. 4350 ff. 19 This seems to be the only extant reference to an upper class woman acting as a wet-nurse: cf. K.R. Bradley, op. cit., p. 202. 20 L. Salvioni, ‘Le “madri dell’ira” nelle Vite di Plutarco’, Giornale Filologico Ferrarese 5, 1982, pp. 82–92. 21 On Plutarch’s attitude to manipulative women in politics, see Blomqvist in

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Family and the formation of character in Plutarch this volume, below pp. 73–97. 22 Cf. C.B.R. Pelling, ‘Childhood and personality in Greek biography’, in C.B.R. Pelling (ed.) Characterization and Individuality in Greek Literature, Oxford 1990, pp. 213–62; notably p. 216. 23 Cf. D.A. Russell, ‘Plutarch’s life of Coriolanus’, JRS 53 (1963), pp. 21–8, notably pp. 22–3.

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FROM OLYMPIAS TO ARETAPHILA Women in Politics in Plutarch Karin Blomqvist

This study aims to establish the attitude, or attitudes, towards women that Plutarch reveals, in his general observations with regard to the female sex and in his descriptions of its individual members. What does he say, explicitly as well as implicitly, about women in general and in particular their moral and intellectual capacity to lead active lives?1 Is there complete harmony between Plutarch’s explicit declarations and the implicit message as it appears in his stories and descriptions of women, or do we find any inconsistencies? As I shall try to prove, the implicit message as it appears in Plutarch’s descriptions of active women is not without corroboration in his explicit precepts in the Moralia. Let us first briefly recapitulate how Plutarch’s attitudes towards women have been received among scholars. R. Flacelière, the French translator and commentator of Plutarch, underlines the philosopher’s appreciative attitude towards marital love,2 an attitude which vividly contrasts with the traditional partiality to pederasty of most earlier Greek philosophers. It is an incontestable observation. However, one may be more hesitant to agree when he also ascribes ‘feminism’ to Plutarch. 3 Flacelière suggests that it was under Roman influence that Plutarch gave vent to his ideas. He underlines the philosopher’s profound knowledge of Roman language and culture and even goes as far as drawing parallels between Plutarch and the Roman Stoic Musonius Rufus, who, according to Flacelière, was a veritable theoretician of feminism in antiquity. 4 The image of Plutarch as the advocate of women has been modified and called in question in more recent studies by P. Schmitt Pantel and G. Sissa, 5 who have commented upon certain quotations of Plutarch which throw into sharp relief his notions of female inferiority, which he obviously regarded as a veritable axiom. One of the examples quoted by G. Sissa is the parallel which Plutarch draws between marriage and the mixture of wine and water. This is a Stoic image, 73 Return to Table of Contents

Karin Blomqvist originating from Antipater of Tarsus, according to whom marriage should be a complete union, like that of wine and water.6 Quoting the metaphor, Plutarch employs it in order to show that the husband is always superior to his wife. Husband and wife should bring their property together, and just as the mixture of wine and water is always called ‘wine’ (oi\no"), even if it contains more water than wine, the property should be said to belong to the husband, even when his wife contributes the larger part of it. 7 So far, F. Le Corsu is the scholar who has studied Plutarch’s descriptions of women most thoroughly.8 As the title of her work indicates, she concentrates upon the women described in the Vitae. Le Corsu divides these women in different categories: geographical (Spartan women, Athenian women) and sociological (wives, hetairai, slaves). Stressing Plutarch’s contemptuous attitude towards women, she concludes: ‘Pour notre moraliste, la femme idéale est l’épouse soumise, menant une vie discrète et digne, toute de dévouement à son mari, sans tapage et sans luxe.’ 9 This conclusion could well be modified and supplemented, it seems to me. The purpose of the present study is to continue where Le Corsu finishes, as I intend to focus my interest upon which images and types of women are presented by Plutarch as compared to his explicit statements regarding women’s capacities in general. The texts to choose, and how to read them First, a few words on the method employed in this study. It is not possible to arrive at a reliable conclusion if we restrict ourselves to discussing merely Plutarch’s explicit statements regarding women. It is necessary also to study the implicit message as it appears in his descriptions of women appearing in the narrative portions of his work. It is of no consequence whether the women in question are mythical or historical. Plutarch was, among other things, an independent artist, intent on composing a literary work. From the very beginning of his writing a story, fictitious or real, the persons in it must be regarded as creations of the author’s mind, their acts and characters being subordinated to the literary or moralistic purpose of the story. Historical reality, of course, could not always be transformed to serve that purpose, but Plutarch was free to treat the historical persons in a manner compatible with his own purpose. Thus, we are interested in the reality of his thought, which is not necessarily equivalent to reality itself. It goes without saying that it would have been interesting to establish the relations between the historical persons and those created

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From Olympias to Aretaphila by Plutarch, but this does not belong to this study. What interests us is the Aspasia of Plutarch’s Pericles, not the Aspasia of fifth century Athens. However, the vast corpus of Plutarch’s essays and biographies could not as easily be studied in detail as, for instance, the corpus of Dio Chrysostom. 10 Reading Plutarch, especially if one takes the Moralia as well as the Vitae into consideration, one runs the risk of not seeing the forest for the trees. Consequently, we are forced to concentrate upon some women appearing in the Vitae and, in one case, in the Moralia, who are described with eloquence and in detail, and who are of interest to us since they represent an idea which goes beyond the role that they are playing in their context. Limiting the material somewhat further, I have also chosen a certain type of active women who have apparently been of great interest to Plutarch, viz. women busying themselves with politics, either by supporting men or by manipulating them. Active women, passive women At first, the women described do not seem to correspond well with our philosopher’s dicta, nor is it easy to reconcile the widely differing statements appearing in his texts. How are we to understand the intention of the Mulierum virtutes, which is explicitly said to be to prove by way of historical exposés, that women’s virtue in no way differs from that of men, 11 if we consider the declarations asserting women’s inferiority frequently appearing in other contexts?12 These latter declarations are so famous that it is hardly necessary to repeat them in detail; women are always presented as passive, receptive and cold, whereas men are active, creative and warm; the sun is masculine, while the earth and the moon are female; 13 even numbers are female, whereas odd numbers – thought to be dynamic and powerful – are masculine. 14 Women are cold and passive; they can tend and nourish but are unable to create.15 These affirmations of Plutarch are without any doubt sincere expressions of his own thought; for him, this is the order of nature.16 In short, women should be inactive and subordinate at all times, and all female beings (women or goddesses) are inferior to all male beings. Without any doubt, this is an essential theme for our philosopher. He constantly rejects any possibility that a woman, or even a goddess, could be superior to a man. For example, in his comments on Numa and Egeria, the fable according to which the king had a relationship with the nymph is hardly probable, he says, for according to the Egyptians, it is impossible for a mortal man to have a relation with a female divinity, even though the opposite is possible, i.e. that a male 75 Return to Table of Contents

Karin Blomqvist god has a liaison with a human woman.17 As regards the traitress Tarpeia, Plutarch declares that she was not a commanding officer, as some people will have it (thus indicating that Romulus was a fool), but that she was the daughter of the commanding officer.18 In Amatorius, Eros represents love and Aphrodite sexuality. The notion that Aphrodite would have been older than Eros, or superior to him in rank and dignity, is absurd: Eros came first, and it is Aphrodite who is subordinated to him.19 Consequently, whenever a woman appears who is particularly estimated or honoured, this phenomenon is immediately given a reassuring explanation by Plutarch. Roman women’s habit of kissing the men of their families is explained by the anecdote about the Trojan women. Tired of the long voyage after the flight from Troy and wishing to find a permanent dwelling-place, they burnt their ships on the coast of Italy in the absence of their husbands, led by a woman called Rome. Thus, it was actually their bold and determined action that led to the Trojans’ colonization of Italy. But as soon as their husbands returned to the camp, their wives, in fear of their boldness, tried to placate them with kisses. Hence the habit of Roman women of kissing the men of their family.20 The insistence in Quaestiones Romanae on using the abduction of the Sabine women – and their ready acceptance of their new situation – in order to explain different Roman customs and even the honoured position of the matronae, points in the same direction.21 The most striking example, however, is provided by the description of Isis. In his allegorical interpretations of her aretalogies in De Iside et Osiride, Plutarch presents the goddess as a passive and receptive woman: Isis, the feminine nature, constitutes matter, which receives the seed of the Good.22 This could well lead to the obvious conclusion that, if we find in the Plutarchean corpus an active and independent woman, she is depicted as a freak, a bad example to avoid. This is true, but only up to a point, since in his texts we also find a surprisingly high number of active and independent women who are praised and honoured. What is the difference between Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great, and Aretaphila, queen of Cyrene, and where lies the difference between Cleopatra and Octavia, two important women in Antony’s life? Although they all have the trait in common that they acted in politics, to Plutarch they represent entirely opposite conceptions. As I have said, the focus of this study lies on the women who act in politics. Although it thus concerns women who meddle in men’s affairs, the way in which they are described is not the same. Principally, 76 Return to Table of Contents

From Olympias to Aretaphila the reader discerns two different types of women belonging to this category: in the one, we meet with those who act for purely selfish reasons, and in the other, those who are driven by nobler motives. Thus, one may distinguish ‘dominant women’ from ‘supportive women’. Dominant women Let us begin with the dominant women, who by plotting and scheming control (or try to control) the men in their lives. Since they exercise their influence on men with political power, these women belong themselves to the higher social classes. 23 They use several methods to attain their goals: an exceptional charm, a troublesome character, or even, in certain cases, drugs and poisons. I intend to concentrate on three women in particular, Aspasia, Cleopatra and Olympias. All three of them were, according to Plutarch, dangerous or even disastrous, since they manipulated men in prominent positions in society; Pericles in the case of Aspasia, Caesar and in particular Antony in the case of Cleopatra, and Alexander in the case of Olympias. Aspasia Aspasia24 is introduced in Pericles in a diabolically clever manner: ‘Since it seems that it was in order to do Aspasia a favour that he (sc. Pericles) undertook this Samian expedition, this is perhaps the best occasion to put the question, etc…’ In this manner, without any other witnesses or proof than dokei', ‘it seems’,25 Plutarch immediately creates a picture of a plotting, vile, and mean woman. He succeeds by reporting the rumours spread about her, by referring to her as hJ a[nqrwpo", simply – ‘the woman’,26 and with the pejorative diminutive to; guvnaion, ‘the female’ (24. 7), as well as by qualifying her methods in terms of tevcnh h] duvnami", which, in this context, is likely to imply nothing less than ‘cunning devices’ (24. 2). The word guvnaion is particularly enlightening. With the very few exceptions where it neither bears a negative nor a positive meaning, 27 or where it stands for ‘the poor woman’,28 this diminutive is solely employed in a clearly pejorative sense: (i) guvnaion denotes a ‘female’ in general29 and, in particular a woman of the lower social classes30 or even a slave or a captive; 31 (ii) most often, however, the word is used to indicate a woman of dubious character – here, we find seduced women32 or, above all, concubines, hetairai and prostitutes. 33 Normally, the guvnaia belong to both categories, i.e. they are at the same time 77 Return to Table of Contents

Karin Blomqvist lower-class and not respectable. Plutarch never employs the diminutive when describing honourable matronae. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that these women do not appear in elevated contexts; they belong to stories or dialogues. In fact, all that Aspasia accomplished which did not coincide with the behaviour thought normal for an Athenian housewife is suspicious and almost criminal in itself. According to Socrates, she was famous for her skill in rhetoric.34 Plutarch refuses to believe this, however; instead, he creates his own version of the story and supposes that Aspasia kept a school for hetairai (24. 5) – in Pericles’ home! Our philosopher carefully avoids explaining how the great statesman Pericles, who was so concerned for his own reputation that he did not even attend parties (7. 5–6), would ever have allowed such a scandalous activity in his own home. In this manner, as well as by asking initially how the woman could have exercised such influence (24. 3), Plutarch is careful to suppress in his reader the idea that she could ever have had anything to say worth listening to – as he concludes explicitly (24. 5–7): ‘As for Aspasia, they say that she was appreciated by Pericles for her intelligence and political skill (wJ" sofh;n kai; politikhvn)… But it seems that his attachment was caused rather by erotic passion.’ 35 Thus, her reputation for intelligence and good sense is repudiated as something inconceivable. Aspasia’s Ionian background makes her even more questionable (24. 3–4); Plutarch states that it is incontestable that she was from Miletus. This fact is obviously suspicious in itself,36 but from there he proceeds by comparing her to another Ionian woman, the hetaira Thargelia, and maliciously implies that Aspasia had the ambition to compete with this far-from-respectable woman.37 Since Thargelia is also accused of having spread sympathy for the Persians among Greeks in Asia Minor in the beginning of the fifth century, Plutarch manages to present Aspasia, as well, as both politically and morally depraved. She is declared guilty by association, and thus, in a few words, Plutarch creates effectively the picture of a lascivious, dominating and scheming person, and politically dangerous at that, not only for the man in her life (the Samian expedition) but for the Athenian state itself (the association with the alleged pro-Persian Thargelia). Cleopatra We turn from Athens to Alexandria, and from Classical times to the late Hellenistic epoch. Cleopatra, 38 the last queen of the Ptolemies, is for Plutarch the worst example of all the wicked women who ever

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From Olympias to Aretaphila meddled in politics. Apparently, she was even worse than Aspasia, for after all, Aspasia could not hinder Pericles from succeeding in his projects, whereas Cleopatra proved to be disastrous to Antony from the very start until the catastrophic finale at Actium. We are explicitly told that Cleopatra destroyed all the good qualities that Antony ever had.39 According to Plutarch, Cleopatra managed to make Antony her captive by pretending to love him. She is even accused of having used drugs; this accusation, however, is put forth implicitly, since it is attributed to Octavian. 40 It is significant that Cleopatra is described like a barbarian, with the manners of an Oriental despot, although she is actually of Greek descent. 41 Cleopatra’s vices are exploited in order to accentuate Antony’s bad character (whereas in the case of Olympias and Alexander, the mother’s vices are rather used to enhance the king’s virtue and self-control). The simple fact that Antony permits women to dominate him is a sufficient reproach in itself (10. 6). He is presented as Heracles at Omphale’s court (90. 4–5). Apparently, this bad habit of his went back to his parents’ way of life, since his mother, Julia, was a severe woman who dominated her husband Antonius entirely, while his father was insignificant, though kind (1. 1–3). In addition, Julia was superior in birth to her husband (2. 1).42 This pattern followed Antony all his life. Both Fulvia, his first wife, and Cleopatra used his weakness; they are sharply contrasted with Antony’s second wife, Octavia, whom we shall consider below. Thus, Cleopatra pretended to love Antony in order to subdue him; she corrupted him with Oriental habits and a life of depraved luxury (in opposition to Demetrius, 90. 2–5), she drove him into a disastrous war, and finally she deserted him at the battle of Actium (76. 3). She was both dominating and sly, debauched and hypocritical. Nevertheless, the black picture of her is not entirely without nuances. Her behaviour in the moment of defeat was composed and dignified, and when by her suicide she deprived Octavian of the triumph of bringing her to Rome as his slave, she proved to be the true offspring of an incontestably royal family (85. 4–8). 43 Olympias Olympias, 44 wife of Philip II and mother of Alexander, showed her ambitions from the very beginning. She was irascible and domineering, and the allegations that she was addicted to ecstatic bacchanals (zhlwvsasa ta;" katoca;" kai; tou;" ejnqousiasmouv", 2. 9) and that she did this in an all too barbaric way (barbarikwvteron, ibid.), imply her 79 Return to Table of Contents

Karin Blomqvist violent temper and almost non-Greek background. Although Olympias is as good a representative of the same type of women as the above-mentioned Aspasia and Cleopatra, she differs from them in certain aspects. First, in opposition to the other two, who mainly relied upon their personal charm in order to retain their influence, Olympias is instead characterised by her difficult character, her harshness (calepovth", 9. 5) and her being jealous and irascible (duvszhlo" kai; baruvqumo", ibid.). The different marriages of her husband45 caused problems in the women’s quarters which had consequences for the whole Macedonian kingdom, since Olympias in her extreme jealousy set Alexander against his father. From the manner in which Plutarch describes the situation, it is apparent that even though it was Philip who provoked the tensions by marrying a second wife, Cleopatra, and by letting her uncle insult Alexander (9. 7–10), it was still Olympias’ fault that the domestic turbulence infected political life. The queen’s cruel and ferocious character is particularly underlined. Even Philip, her own husband, was frightened of her (2. 6). It is implied that he had good reason to be so, since Plutarch retells the rumours spread after Philip’s death accusing her of having instigated his murder by inciting Alexander against his father (10. 6). By reporting these rumours without further comment, Plutarch actually depicts her as having been capable of the atrocious deed. It is true that at the same time he relates another rumour, according to which it was Alexander himself who of his own accord inspired Pausanias to murder Philip. However, the two versions are not ascribed the same credibility, for Plutarch hastens to comment on the latter version by affirming that Alexander in fact severely punished Pausanias for murdering the king. This should be interpreted as an implicit refutation of the accusations against Alexander. At the same time, by not refuting the allegations against Olympias, Plutarch actually leaves her under suspicion of murder through a third party, a plotting woman who does not act openly but conspires and uses men as her instruments. Furthermore, the queen is said (10. 8) to have ‘cruelly treated’ Cleopatra, Philip’s younger wife (a good euphemism for the murder of the woman, a deed that Alexander strongly rebuked, by the way), and of having assassinated several people upon the accusation that they had killed Alexander with poison five years earlier (77. 2). Finally, she is accused of having administered drugs to Alexander’s half-brother Philip Arrhidaeus, thus rendering him imbecile (77. 7–8). The second feature distinguishing Olympias from the other two women, however, is the fact that she did not succeed entirely in

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From Olympias to Aretaphila managing Alexander into acting on her will as Antony had acted upon Cleopatra’s will and Pericles upon Aspasia’s. This is by no means due to any lack of ambition on Olympias’ part, but rather caused by her son’s good judgement and determination. It is true that his affection towards his mother was deep and sincere,46 but his filial devotion was free from exaggeration. It is explicitly said that Alexander did not permit his mother to interfere with political matters (39. 12), although he affirmed that ‘one single tear from a mother wipes out [the writing of] ten thousand letters’ (39. 13). While honouring Olympias as his mother, he refused her all influence outside the women’s sphere. Due to a sound and hardening Spartan upbringing (his principal paedagogue, Leonidas, was a Spartan, 5. 7), Alexander managed to avoid the fate of being spoilt by Olympias’ excessive attentions (22. 10). This means that he was capable of resisting the damaging influence of other women as well.47 One episode in particular (68. 4–5) illustrates both the intentions of the mother and the attitude of her son. In Alexander’s absence, Olympias and Alexander’s sister Cleopatra plotted against Antipater and managed to seize power. They divided it among them so that Olympias took hold of Epirus and Cleopatra of Macedonia. Alexander dryly commented that it was Olympias who had taken the wiser decision, since the Macedonians would never tolerate being governed by a woman. True or false, all these accusations contribute to describing Olympias as a woman of extreme viciousness and ambition, but they also enhance the impression that her son was gifted with exceptional composure and good sense.48 To conclude, the three women described above represent the considerable number of dominant women appearing in Plutarch. 49 Besides the resemblances already pointed out, all three of them, but Olympias and Cleopatra in particular, have some traits in common which deserve to be mentioned. (i) They correspond with a type of men frequently described – and denounced – by Plutarch, i.e. the tyrants,50 since they reveal the same unpredictable and cruel behaviour. By misusing their power and influence, they are transformed into monsters. However, there is an important difference between the two groups: the man who turns into a tyrant could well have been a legal king at first; what was wrong was that he exercised absolute power in a fashion contrary to the common good. The women in question, on the contrary, never had this right to power at all, nor even to busy themselves with politics if it was to 81 Return to Table of Contents

Karin Blomqvist promote their own interest. (ii) The second trait that these women have in common is that all three of them are described as barbarians or at least semi-barbarians. By underlining their almost oriental characters, our philosopher manages to put their Greekness in question. Aspasia’s origin, Olympias’ ferocious character and cruelty, and Cleopatra’s hypocritical manners, flattery 51 and Oriental pomp and circumstance, all point in the same direction: these women are characterized as the very opposite of Greek and Roman women, and thus, they become ‘the other’. It is true, that among the self-willed and manipulating women described in Plutarch, we do meet with purely Greek and Roman specimens as well.52 But these women are not assigned the same characteristics as our three prototypes; difficult and ferocious, they work by way of the obstinate determination of a Roman matron rather than by illicit and sophisticated methods such as seduction or drugs; nor are barbaric features attributed to them. This tendency to depict persons of a certain character as barbaric is in line with Plutarch’s attitudes in ethnic matters, as we can discern them. In his texts, it is frequently pointed out that persons of nonGreek or non-Roman origin are inferior to Greeks and Romans. This attitude is apparent in explicit statements as well as implicitly in the descriptions of barbarians (especially Orientals), even those of royal family, who are frequently depicted as uncivilized in every way, ferocious, cruel and cowardly. 53 In short, Aspasia, Cleopatra, and Olympias have more features in common with the Persian queen Parysatis54 than with honourable Greek and Roman housewives. Supportive women Is it at all possible to find, in Plutarch, women who are described as good examples although they act independently? The answer is affirmative; there is a considerable number of women who act in politics, rendering support to the men of their families or to their peoples. Some of these women assisted the men in their glorious enterprises, others succeeded in preventing men from dishonouring themselves or their state. Let us consider the most typical example of this category, Octavia, sister of Octavian, second wife of Antony, and Cleopatra’s main rival, who is described in detail as a favourable contrast to the mean and vicious women.

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From Olympias to Aretaphila Octavia Octavia55 appears in Publicola, Cicero, and Marcellus, but it is in Antonius that she is described as the very opposite of Cleopatra and, to a certain extent, of Fulvia and Julia. Plutarch describes Antony as a mere military man, efficient as such but cruel and violent – and too weak to resist the influence of women. Both the ambitious and ferocious Fulvia and the equally ambitious and seductive Cleopatra strove to attain political power and used Antony as their instrument. In contrast to the others, Octavia kept herself outside the political sphere; in fact, the only time she engaged herself in these matters was when she tried to reconcile Octavian and Antony. She remained a loyal wife, even when her husband’s adultery with Cleopatra had become public, and she did not leave his house or renounce the marriage until she was forced to do so by his divorcing her. As a good mother, she raised her own children as well as Antony’s (with the exception of his eldest son, who stayed with his father), and she saw to it that they were married off well (87. 1–6). 56 In short, she appealed to Antony’s reason (31. 4), whereas Cleopatra took advantage of his intemperate desires, and she personified a commendable female modesty in opposition to the other women’s high ambitions. In addition, she was very popular among the Athenians, something which roused Cleopatra’s jealousy (57. 2). Thus, Octavia combined the virtues of a true aristocrat with the modesty of an ideal house-wife, while Cleopatra’s behaviour only revealed her semi-barbaric ferocity and intemperance. Besides these implicit contrasts, Plutarch also explicitly compares Octavia to Cleopatra, to the detriment of the latter. In 53. 5 and 56. 4, we are told that Cleopatra feared her rival’s good qualities and that she therefore did all that she could to prevent Antony from seeing Octavia. After the divorce between Antony and Octavia, which the latter sincerely deplored, the Romans ‘felt less sorry for Octavia than for Antony, in particular those who had seen Cleopatra and knew that she in no way was superior to Octavia, either in beauty or in youth’ (57. 5). Le Corsu remarks in her book that in the Vitae, women are described as ‘beautiful’ at most, without any detailed information about their physiognomy, and that neither Aspasia nor Cleopatra receive even this vague epithet. 57 I suggest the following explanation: the ‘wicked’ women are not allowed any real beauty, but rather possess allure and erotic appeal which they utilize in an inappropriate manner. On the other hand, it seems almost obligatory that the ‘good’ women are gifted with true beauty, which confirms their moral superiority. ‘Beauty comes from within’, as the saying goes,58 and above all it is the 83 Return to Table of Contents

Karin Blomqvist product of noble birth and character. Thus, Octavia remains the ideal matron par excellence, but she is in no way unique. Throughout Plutarch’s corpus, we are presented with honourable wives, mothers and grandmothers endowed with virtue and good sense, who bring up their children and manage the household. It is hardly surprising that the majority of them are Roman matrons or spirited Spartan ladies. If they ever enter into politics, it is principally in order to promote concord and harmony.59 Aretaphila Let us now discuss a woman who turns out to be more problematic than Octavia. Although definitely a supportive woman, she engaged herself very actively in politics – and by employing dubious methods at that. Aretaphila, queen of Cyrene,60 is vividly described as a veritable heroine, who spared neither her own security nor that of her daughter, provided she could liberate Cyrene from its tyrants. Although beautiful to look at,61 Aretaphila gained her reputation because ‘she possessed exceedingly good sense and was gifted with skill in political matters’. 62 Cyrene suffered under the tyrant Nicocrates, who incessantly violated both human rights and divine laws. Among all the atrocities that he committed, let it suffice to mention that he assassinated the priest of Apollo, Melanippus, in order to seize his sacerdotal function himself, and that he murdered Aretaphila’s husband Phaedimus, whereupon she was forced to become his own, unwilling, wife. Since the tyrant was in love with her, Aretaphila could well have led a comfortable, although unhappy, life, but instead, she undertook the dangerous task of killing him. First, she tried poison, but was betrayed and was subjected to a terrible torture by the tyrant and his mother, the cruel Calbia. Aretaphila did not give in to the torture, however; far from confessing anything, she courageously claimed that all she had done was to prepare love-potions in order to retain her husband’s passion for her. Eventually, Nicocrates accepted her explanation and reinstalled her as his queen. Thus, Aretaphila’s life was saved, but her project had failed and she had to start all over again. This time, she chose another modus operandi: she virtually sacrificed her own daughter, a good-looking girl. By means of certain drugs, she rendered her irresistible to the tyrant’s brother, Leander, whereupon the girl incited him to kill his brother and seize the power himself. However, this effort to free Cyrene failed, too, for once the deed was accomplished, it became clear that, although Leander had killed his brother, he had not removed the tyranny, but proved to be even worse than his

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From Olympias to Aretaphila predecessor. So Aretaphila had to take up her mission once again. This time, she acted both within and without the town’s gates. First, she induced the Libyans63 to start a war against Leander, then she deprived Leander of his friends and generals by falsely accusing them of treason, and finally, she betrayed him by leading him to the enemy under false pretences, whereupon he was immediately taken prisoner. When Aretaphila’s citizens had received the good news, they all greeted her like a goddess, and, which is perhaps even more remarkable, they asked her to take an active part in the government of the town. The queen, however, refused; her task completed, she withdrew from public life to the women’s quarters and spent the rest of her life with her friends and her family. All this adds up to a portrait of a persistent and courageous woman, who performed the extraordinary act of liberating her people, not from one but from two tyrants, while managing to keep her female modesty. Thus, she represents the numerous heroines who fought tyrants or external enemies. One of the most typical examples of these heroines is Thebe, who killed her own husband, Alexander, the tyrant of Pherae. 64 There are also Volumnia and Vergilia, Coriolanus’ mother and wife respectively, who saved Rome from a disastrous war, although they achieved their aim by way of persuasion rather than violence. 65 In the Vitae, the women belonging to this category are for the most part Spartan or Roman, whereas in the Moralia, we also meet with women of this kind from several different Greek states, and even a few barbarians. However, no matter what their origin, they are endowed with ‘Roman’ qualities, since the virtues supposed to be the prerogatives of Roman matrons form the ideal for all women for Plutarch. 66 However, what strikes us when reading the praise of Aretaphila is the fact that, neither in character nor in methods, does she differ very much from the despicable women mentioned above. Her character is presented as stern and rigid and her methods are ruthless, to say the least. Not only did she exploit her charm and the passion that her husband felt for her, but she also administered drugs and poison, and she did not shrink from betraying the (Greek) despot to the (barbarian) enemy. Contrary to what Plutarch normally preaches, she definitely meddled with men’s business, and in a persistent and unrelenting manner at that. Consequently, it is perhaps not out of the way to ask oneself what difference there is, after all, between this heroine and the vile queen of Egypt. I suggest that the difference be defined in the following manner. As 85 Return to Table of Contents

Karin Blomqvist we have observed, it is not always prohibited for women to undertake political projects; strong and active women actually do exist as good examples in Plutarch’s universe, provided that they defend themselves, their clans or their states – or that they take revenge when offended. These women must be called ‘active’, and there is no doubt that Plutarch admires their virtue and moral status, but they can only be approved as honourable and virtuous if they keep within the strict and narrow limits imposed upon all women. All our heroines are content with acting in a glorious manner; they do not make any claims upon the rewards offered to glorious men.67 The dominant women, on the other hand, who influence, or at least try to influence the men in their lives, refuse to obey the laws imposed upon their sex which are so important to Plutarch. However, this constant returning by Plutarch to the theme of the dominant women, and the ferocity with which he expresses his views on the matter, leads one to ask why this particular subject causes such reactions from our philosopher, whereas he is less coherent in other matters. Why this animosity as regards women acting in politics and not, for instance, adulteresses? It is true that the former threatened the family structure and the authority of the pater familias, but so did the latter. Occasionally, Plutarch even regards women of irregular behaviour with astonishing indulgence. Take the case of Chilonis, a Spartan woman. Although she was deceiving her husband Cleonymos with the younger Acrotatos, Plutarch next to applauds her conduct, since in his eyes, she belonged to the right side while her husband did not.68 It is relevant to observe, here, that none of the wicked, manipulating women mentioned above is accused of adultery; their crimes occur in another area, and their ambitions touch a more sensitive spot than their sexuality does. That women of unconventional behaviour may well not only receive pardon, but also appreciation, is well illustrated in the case of Ismenodora, the obstinate heroine of the Amatorius. Since she provided herself with the husband she wanted simply by abducting him in public, her behaviour must definitely be regarded as quite unladylike and contrary to the passivity and submissiveness that Plutarch preaches for women. Nevertheless, he treats the lady with surprising indulgence. The story even ends in her favour, for she wins the fight with the pederasts who wanted to prevent the marriage between her and the young man of her fancy. There are mainly two reasons why the story ends in this manner. First, under its superficial facetiousness, the whole essay is a sincere apology for the traditional gods in general 86 Return to Table of Contents

From Olympias to Aretaphila and Eros in particular. Ismenodora acted under the influence of the mighty Eros, and no man or woman should fight the impulses sent by the gods. When human and divine laws are opposed, one has the right – or rather the duty – to obey divine commandments at the cost of human rules. Secondly, in this essay, it is a question of a veritable combat between homosexual and heterosexual love, and there is no doubt where Plutarch’s sympathy lies. Plutarch was a sincere apologist of marriage, which he regarded as a sacred institution.69 Furthermore, it is evident that according to our philosopher, this institution should be based upon mutual affection and respect; although the wife was always inferior to her husband, she deserved his respect nonetheless. 70 In this context, it is perhaps not irrelevant to add that the importance of taking good care of one’s children is repeatedly stressed in his work. This notion, which appears both by way of explicit precepts and in frequent allusions to children and their nurses, reveals Plutarch’s sympathy for and interest in children and their maturation.71 Thus, even if it is remarkable that it is a woman who is allowed to represent the defence of marriage, her behaviour only confirms the strict dogmas regarding the importance of this institution – and of religion. Let us not forget that the climax of the Amatorius consists of a fervent apology for Eros. Thus, it is apparent that what causes Plutarch’s violent reactions is not the fact that a woman acts, or even that she employs coarse methods, but that she acts in order to promote her own interests, and that her activities concern politics and politics alone. In short, there is a clear antithesis between women who accept that their position is subordinate and those who do not. Once this is established, it still remains to ask why this particular type of dominant women posed such a threat. It is true, admittedly, that the Roman matrons of this epoch could well have been regarded as dangerously elevated by Plutarch and that they are likely to have troubled him,72 and it is equally true that we find women who are just as dangerous in Roman literature as in the Plutarchean world. His remarks on wicked women could well have been uttered in the lively debate going on in Rome on women’s position, as attested by, e.g. Tacitus, Juvenal, and Suetonius.73 However, merely pointing at Tacitus and the other Roman authors as models followed by Plutarch is not sufficient as an explanation. In fact, Plutarch shows himself appreciative of, or at least not negative towards, matronae, and, when they behave according to his standards, they can even represent an 87 Return to Table of Contents

Karin Blomqvist ideal. Besides, if all he ever did was to copy the Roman authors, we must ask ourselves why he was so particularly keen on describing women of the Livia-type, while neglecting, for example, adulteresses such as Messalina. Consequently, I propose that Plutarch’s attitudes in the matter could well have been occasioned by his encountering a real example of these influential and independent women. There lived, in his times, one matrona in particular, who on several crucial points answered to the descriptions of the dominant and demanding women appearing in his corpus. Even if he never mentions her explicitly, her activities certainly had an impact on his opportunities to promote himself in the inner circle near the imperial throne. The woman in question is Pompeia Plotina, the wife of Trajan and the adoptive mother of his successor, Hadrian. 74 Let us recapitulate the principal facts of her career. She was already married to Trajan when he became emperor in 98; 75 she refused the title Augusta in 100 76 but finally accepted it in 105.77 She is honoured on coins where her portrait appears in 112; in particular, she is presented as Vesta. When Trajan died, her influence became even greater. She was with him at his death-bed in 117, and it was said that she had ‘facilitated’ Hadrian’s adoption, the authenticity of which was questioned at the time.78 Hadrian, who was clearly her favourite,79 honoured her on coins in 117–118 and proclaimed her diva after her decease in 121. At least two temples were erected in her honour. Plotina was invariably admired for her modesty, her dignity, her lack of coquetry, etc.80 She was praised for her good manners, her chastity, her sound judgement and her role as the emperor’s advisor and helper.81 Thus, she seems like an ideal matrona, almost too good to be true. However, she was also an adherent of the Epicurean school, and thus by definition one of those ‘all too learned women’ whom Plutarch criticises,82 and this particular school was one which he violently opposed. Furthermore – and this is of no small importance – it is obvious from the epigraphic material that Plotina influenced Hadrian in appointing the head of the Garden in Athens.83 Plotina had the emperor’s ear and intervened actively in his life. Plutarch must have felt her influence already under Trajan84 and not less under Hadrian. Already in the first year of Hadrian’s reign, four consulares, two of whom were good friends of Plutarch, were executed – the times were evidently dangerous for the men in his circle. 85 Hadrian mourned Plotina’s death and said, according to Dio Cassius, that since she had never asked for any improper favours, he

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From Olympias to Aretaphila had never refused her anything. But this anecdote, told in order to illustrate her modesty, proves above all that she actually did ask for favours, and that they had always been granted her. 86 It is thus incontestable that this highly admired woman did exercise a considerable influence on Trajan and Hadrian, and it is hardly probable that she would have intervened in favour of an ardent advocate for a rival philosophical school. Thus, it is not unreasonable to ask to what extent Plotina herself contributed to Plutarch’s hostility towards the women of the Olympias-type. Although the known facts do not justify a categorical answer, the arguments proffered indicate that the figure of the empress may well lurk behind some of the images of repugnant women that Plutarch conjures up. Conclusion At the beginning of this discussion, I showed that in Plutarch’s corpus, women are systematically and invariably considered as inferior to men. Should I, then, contradict Flacelière, and replace his ‘feminism’ with ‘misogyny’? Is it really possible to describe a man thus who with such elegance and ésprit so often defends love between man and woman, who has such a high respect for marriage (which he obviously regarded as an institution based upon the co-operation of both parties), and who expresses such admiration for certain matronae and their Greek counterparts? In my opinion, it is hardly constructive to define our philosopher in terms as blunt as ‘feminist’ or ‘misogynist’. According to Plutarch, women are inferior as such, but once they accept their inferiority, they may well be regarded as men’s equals as regards moral strength. Women are not wicked or morally depraved unless they transgress the rules of their sex and strive to achieve privileges reserved for men. Women are capable of courageous defiance of tyrants and external enemies – but after their exploits, they are to renounce all power. What makes Plutarch react violently is in every case a woman who acts in politics almost like a man and not in her capacity as a wife or mother, since she should always put the interests of others before her own. The reaction in itself is quite natural for a man with his ideals, whereas the vehemence with which he expresses himself ought to be explained by the fact that he had actually encountered women who did not respect these rules which he regarded as virtually sacred – and who may even have been obstacles to his own ambitions. On the other hand, the women who acted according to his standards were met with a definitely appreciative attitude by Plutarch.

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Karin Blomqvist Accepting her supposedly natural inferiority, a woman was herself accepted as morally equal and allowed to give proof of virtue and magnanimity – and it is in this sense that we are to understand the remark in Mulierum virtutes that women’s virtue does not differ from that of men. This may well seem somewhat commonplace; we should, however, regard this attitude in the light of the long and persistent habit of Greek thinkers of considering all women as vile and above all incorrigible in themselves. In this area, as so often, Plutarch adopts a Roman ideal; his heroines are essentially Roman matrons, strong and virtuous, even when dressed in the traditional Greek peplos. University of Lund

Notes I wish to express my gratitude to John Scheid, Marie Henriette Quet, Pierre Vidal-Naquet, François Jouan and the participants of the Plutarch conference in Dublin, September 1994, for constructive discussions. Special thanks to Judith Mossman for her helpful remarks – and for correcting my English. The deficiencies remaining are my own. 1

The Greek quotations follow the edition of the Collection Belles Lettres, when available; the translations are my own. All passages mentioned within parentheses denote that the reference in question is indirect. 2 R. Flacelière, L’Amour en Grèce, Paris 1971, passim. His ideas of Plutarch as the ladies’ friend and defender appear also in his commentaries and introductions to and translations of the Moralia, and especially in the introduction to Amatorius. 3 R. Flacelière, Le Féminisme dans l’ancienne Athènes, Paris 1971 (Institut de France. Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles-lettres no. 23), passim. 4 R. Flacelière, ‘Rome et ses empereurs vus par Plutarque’, L’Antiquité classique 32 (1963), 47. 5 P. Schmitt Pantel, ‘Introduction’ (in Histoire des femmes en occident. Sous la direction de G. Duby & M. Perrot. 1, L’Antiquité. Sous la direction de P. Schmitt Pantel, Evreux 1991), 22–3; G. Sissa, ‘Philosophies du genre. Platon, Aristote et la différence des sexes’ in: Histoire des femmes…, 97–8. 6 SVF III. 255. 14–16 aiJ d∆ ajndro;" kai; gunaiko;" (sc.. filivai) tai'" di∆ o{lwn kravsesin, wJ" oi\no" u{dati kai; tou'to ejpimevn mivsgetai di∆ o{lwn. 7 Coni. praec. 140e–f. 8 F. Le Corsu, Plutarque et les femmes dans les Vies parallèles, Paris 1981. 9 Ibid. 274. 10 K. Blomqvist, Myth and Moral Message in Dio Chrysostom. A study in Dio’s moral thought, with a particular focus on his attitudes towards women, Lund 1989. 11 Mul. virt. 242f–243a mivan...kai; th;n aujth;n ajndro;" kai; gunaiko;" ajrethvn. Cf. Cle. 39. 1.

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From Olympias to Aretaphila 12

However, it is essential to emphasise that this attitude is not identical with the active misogyny prevalent among Greek (and Roman) poets and philosophers, according to which women are morally depraved qua women (cf. my discussion on active misogyny in op. cit., 191–5). As I intend to demonstrate, Plutarch is an earnest defender of women’s virtue in the way that he recognises it. 13 Is. et Os. 368c (here, however, it is a question of the moon’s double nature); Def. or., passim; Amat. 764d, 770a–b; Quaest. nat. 918a; and especially De facie in orbe lunae, passim, where the moon is throughout presented as so typically feminine that she is even compared to the earth. Cf. also Pyth. or. 402d–e (Gaia is inferior to the god); 404d (the obedient moon); Prim. frig. 954d. 14 Quaest. Rom. 288d; E ap. Delph. 388c; Def. or. 429 ff.; Quaest. Conv. 657d; Anim. procr. 1018c. 15 Is. et Os. 358e, 364d, 372e–f, 373f–374a, 374f, 382c–d; Quaest. Conv. 650f– 651e; Amat. 770a–b; De facie in orbe lunae, passim, and especially 938b, 943e; Anim. procr. 1015d–e. 16 Other explicit declarations, ironical remarks or indirect allusions regarding women’s inferiority or passivity: Thes. 23. 3, 27. 1; Sol. 21. 7; Caes. 63. 11; Aud. poet. 16e–f, 36d; Aud. 41e; Adul. 70a; Cons. ad Ap. 102d–e, 112f–113a; Coni. praec. 139b (here, however, it is stressed that although she ought to be subordinated, the wife is worthy of respect; I shall return to this aspect below), 140c–d; Reg. et imp. 190a; Ap. Lac. 212b, 215d, 219f, 223c, 230c, 231b, 240e; Quaest. Rom. 289e; Alex. fort. 331d–e; Is. et Os. 375a; Virt. mor. 442d–e (cf. Tranqu. an. 475a); Cohib. ira 457b–c, 460c, 463e (cf. Tranqu. an. 472b); Tranqu. an. 465d; Garr. 507b–508a (a woman, who was ta\lla swvfrwn, gunh; dev, ‘prudent in other respects, but still a woman’ could not guard her tongue. This passage is to be compared to 509a–c, where a talkative man is described without any comments on his sex; here, it is his social position that is pointed out – he was a barber); 508a–b; Vit. pudore 528e–f, 529f; Quaest. Conv. 645d, 650b, 650e–651f, 711c–d; An seni 790c; Ad princ. 780c; Reip. ger. 819d; Her. mal. 869f–870a; Terrest. an aq. 964c; Bruta an. 988b, 989e, 990b–f; Adv. Col. 1126d–e. Men (or cities) accused of female character or behaviour; ‘female’ employed as a pejorative term, etc.: Lyc. 14. 4, 15. 11; Num. 22. 11; Per. 12. 2; Alc. 2. 3, 23. 6; Tim. 15. 10, 32. 3; Dem. 16. 4; Mari. 34. 3; Crass. 32. 2, 3; Gal. 25. 2. Cf. in this context Rom. 32. 2: the treacherous Phaedra is referred to as ‘a woman’. 17 Num. 4. 6–7. 18 Rom. 17. 2. 19 Amat. 756e–f. 20 Rom. 1. 2–3; Mul. virt. 243e–244a; cf. Quaest. Rom. 265b–c, where different explanations are presented. 21 Rom. 9. 2, 14. 1—16. 2, 19. 2–10, 20. 3–4, 21. 1, 36. 2–3; Num. 25. 10; Quaest. Rom. 271d (the bride was carried over the threshold of her new home), 271f (the famous wedding song ‘Talasios’; cf. Pomp. 4. 6–10), 284f (married women were neither obliged to grind grain nor to cook), 285b (the bride’s hair was parted with the point of a spear), 287f (bullae which were hung

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Karin Blomqvist around the neck of little children), 289a (young women did not marry during public holidays); cf. J. Scheid, ‘D’indispensables «étrangères». Les rôles religieux des femmes à Rome’ (in Histoire des femmes…, 407–8). 22 Is. et Os., passim and especially 372e–f. 23 These women may be contrasted with those of a low social level, such as Martha, the Syrian prophetess employed by Marius (Mar. 17. 2–5), who do not belong in this category, since they manipulate men in order to attain other goals than political power; in Martha’s case, greed seems to have been her chief motive. 24 Aspasia: Per. 24. 2–11, 25. 1, 30. 4, 32. 1–5. 25 This translation is preferable to ‘on a cru’ (R. Flacelière–E. Chambry); the verb displays that the author is personally engaged. 26 24. 2; ‘cette femme’ (R. Flacelière–E. Chambry) is not enough in this context. It is true that hJ a[nqrwpo" is a more problematic term than to; guvnaion (v. below), since it is not undeniably pejorative; in certain cases, the term designates a woman presented positively (Cle. 1. 1; Mul. virt. 260d; Amat. 755e, 768b) or at least it is not denigrating (Thes. 27. 6; Nic. 13. 6; Alex. 2. 5 – here, however, it describes the undeniably problematic Olympias; Alex. 30. 1; Artax. 2. 2 – these two references, however, refer to barbarians; Cons. ad Ap. 112b). The term is usually pejorative, indicating vicious and plotting women (Lyc. 3. 4; Pyth. or. 401e), concubines or morally unstable women (Cam. 15. 6; Fab. Max. 20. 9, 21. 5; Alc. 23. 7; Mar. 40. 12; Sulla 2. 7; Coni. praec. 141b; Pyth. or. 404a; Terrest. an aq. 972e) or women belonging to the lower social classes (Mar. 17. 6. 1; Def. or. 412c) – or women both morally and socially inferior (Aud. poet. 26e; Pyth. or. 398a; Amat. 760c). Furthermore, it is to be noted, that when hJ a[nqrwpo" is employed in bonam partem, it only describes women in a situation where they are subject to the acts of a human or a god (it is often best translated as ‘the poor woman’); when the person in question is acting on her own part, the term is always pejorative. 27 Pyth. or. 403b. Neither spuria, nor conjectures have been considered (Mul. virt. 259a; Quaest. Conv. 633c). 28 Amat. 767c; Ant. 53. 8. 29 Adul. 70a; Pyth. or. 407c; Adv. Col. 1126e (bis); Caes. 14. 8; Cato minor 52. 7; Ant. 10. 5; Dion 2. 4; Artax. 28. 2. 30 Cohib. ira 457a; Curiositate 519f; Quaest. Conv. 628c; Amat. 760a; Non posse 1099b; Pyrrh. 2. 1, 2. 5, 13. 7; Lys. 26. 1; Alex. 22. 4; Demetrius 42. 7; Arat. 6. 4. 31 Cato maior 24. 2; Alex. 48. 4, 6; Ant. 86. 7. 32 Reg. et imp. 175d; Tranqu. an. 467e; Lys. 26. 1; Crass. 34. 2. 33 Adul. 52d; Reg. et imp. 195f; Mul. virt. 259c (here, however, the girl in question, although not respectable, is courageous); Quaest. Rom. 277f; Alex. fort. 339b, d, e; Cohib. ira 457b; Sera num. 561d; Gen. Socr. 596f; Them. 26. 6; Fab. Max. 20. 7; Alc. 39. 9 (bis); Tim. 14. 3; Pelop. 9. 4 (it is hardly probable that guvnaia tw'n uJpavndrwn merely signifies ‘des femmes mariées’ (R. Flacelière– E. Chambry), since these women took part in a symposion; we are rather dealing with women belonging to a certain man, though not in the meaning of lawfully wedded wives); Cato maior 24. 2; Alex. 38. 1, 41. 9; Cato minor 73. 3, 4 (as the context clearly shows, the woman in question was one of the king’s

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From Olympias to Aretaphila women, not ‘la femme du roi’: R. Flacelière–E. Chambry); Ant. 2. 4, 9. 5, 9. 7. 34 Per. 24. 7; cf. Plato, Menex. 235e. We do not concern ourselves with the question whether Plato himself speaks seriously or not in his affirmations that Aspasia was behind several of Pericles’ intellectual achievements (for example, the famous funerary oration), since what matters to this study is the fact that Plutarch himself underlines the ironical tendency of the discourse. 35 This translation of ejrwtikhv ti" ajgavphsi" is to be preferred to ‘amour’ (R. Flacelière–E. Chambry). 36 Other accusations against Ionians in general and Milesians in particular: Her. mal. 869f–870a (which is, furthermore, a sneering allusion to Herodotus’ own nationality), 873f; cf. Phoc. 19. 4; Ap. Lac. 240d. 37 ‘They say’, fasiv. 38 Cleopatra appears in Caes. 48. 5, 49. 1–3, 49. 10; Pomp. 77. 1; but especially in Antonius: Ant. 10. 6, 25—29, 30. 4, 31. 3, 32. 6, 33. 2, 36. 1–5, 37. 3, 37. 5–6, (38), 50. 7, 51. 2–4, 53. 5–12, 54. (2), 54. 6–9, 56. 1–6, 57. 2–3, 57. 5, 58. 4, 58. 8–11, 59. 3–7, 60. 1, 60. 7, 62. 1, 63. 3, 63. 6–8, 66. 5–8, 67. 1, 67. 5– 6, 69. 1, 69. 3–5, 71. 3–8, 72. 1–3, 73. 1–5, 74. 1–3, 74. 5–6, 76. 3–6, 76. 11, 77, 78. 1, 78. 4–6, 79, 81. 3–4, 82, 83, 84. 2–7, 85—87. 1–2, 88. 5, 90. 4–5. Unless stated otherwise, the passages quoted refer to Antonius. 39 25. 1; cf. 26. 1 and 90. 4–5. 40 60. 1; cf. Pelling (Plutarch, Life of Antony, ed. by C.B.R. Pelling, Cambridge 1988) ad 25. 6. 41 Cf. 91. 2 ‘the foreigner’; Adul. 61a–b ‘the Egyptian woman’. 42 This was apparently a bad example. Antony, too, stretched himself above his position in marrying the Egyptian queen (this is explicitly pointed out in the comparison between Antony and Demetrius, 88. 5). Thus, Cleopatra’s superiority in birth was in itself a reproach against Antony. He did not have the right to strive for a royal position; in Plutarch’s eyes, he was a mere soldier, although a courageous and efficient one, and his place was on the battle-field and not at the royal court. Strong, yet weak, cunning and cruel, he could not but be influenced by the women who tried to dominate him (10. 6) – and, consequently, he could not avoid being defeated by the self-controlled Octavian. 43 Plutarch’s description of Cleopatra is very likely to have been influenced by that of Horace; in Carm. I. 37, she is presented as a savage and cruel barbarian, although her suicide creates some respect for her. 44 Olympias: Eum. 12. 3, 13. 1; Dem. 22. 2; Alex. 2. 2–9, 3. (1), 3. 2–4, 3. 6, 5. 7, 9. 5, 9. (6–10), 9. 11, 9. (12–13), 10. 1, 10. 6, 10. 8, 16. 19, 22. 10, 25. 6, 27. 8, 39. 7–8, 39. 12–13, 68. 4–5, 77. 2, 77. 8. Unless stated otherwise, the passages quoted refer to Alexander. 45 Actually, Philip himself is said to have introduced the institution of polygamy among the Macedonians; Ant. 91. 1. 46 See e.g. 16. 19 and 25. 6. 47 Alexander also withstood the efforts of the Carian queen Ada to spoil him: Alex. 22. 7–10; Tuend. san. 127b; Reg. et. imp. 180a; Non posse 1099c–d. For other cases of a woman trying to make the hero forget his duties and/or his masculine virtues, cf. Aud. poet. 33a (Thetis and Achilles) and Vit. aere al.

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Karin Blomqvist 831d (Calypso and Odysseus). 48 Alexander’s self-control is a recurrent theme in the Moralia as well: Fort. 97d; Reg. et imp. 179c–d; Mul. virt. 246b, 260d; and especially Alex. fort., passim. 49 e.g. Fulvia, Antony’s first wife (Ant. 10. 5–10, 20. 1, 28. 1, 28. 7, 30. 1–6, 32. 1, 31. 3, 35. 8, 54. 3, 57. 4); Omphale, queen of Lydia (Thes. 6. 6; Per. 24. 9; Ant. 90. 4); the sister-in-law of Lycurgus (Lyc. 3. 1–4, 8). Other women, less prominent but revealing the same tendencies: Agathoclea and her mother Oinanthe, Ptolemy’s mistress and her mother (Cle. 33. 2), Berenice, Ptolemy Soter’s wife (Pyrrh. 4. 6–7, 6. 1), Berenice, mother of Ptolemy Philopator and of Magas (Cle. 33. 3), Cleopatra, sister of Alexander (Alex. 68. 4–5), Lanassa, wife of Pyrrhus (Pyrrh. 9. 2–3, 10. 6–7), Livia (Gal. 3. 2, 14. 5; Ant. 83. 6, 87. 2– 6), Papiria, wife of Paullus Aemilius (Aem. 5. 1–5), Phaea of Crommyon ( Thes. 9. 1–2), Praecia, Cethegus’ mistress (Luc. 6. 2–5), Roxane, wife of Alexander (Pyrrh. 4. 3; Alex. 47. 7–8, 77. 6), the women in Cato minor’s house (Cato minor 30. 8; Pomp. 44. 3–6) and, naturally, Xanthippe, Socrates’ wife (Cato maior 20. 3). On the deplorable effects of letting women get the upper hand: Solon 21. 4; Ages. 10. 11; Cleom. 33. 1–2, 37. 12; Cic. 29. 2. 50 Cf. C.B.R. Pelling, ‘Truth and fiction in Plutarch’s Lives’ (in Antonine Literature, ed. D.A. Russell, Oxford 1990, 19–52), 33. The tyrants described in the Vitae hardly need mentioning; the following passages in the Moralia refer to tyranny: Alex. fort. 334a–b, 338b–c, Cohib. ira 455d, 457a; Curiositate 522f; Sera num. 555b–c; Maxime cum, passim and esp. 778e–f; Ad princ., passim; Adv. Col. 1126e–f. 51 For Cleopatra as a kovlax, a despicable flatterer (29. 1), cf. Pelling’s summary of Antony’s and Cleopatra’s characters (op. cit. 181–90, on Ant. 9–12). 52 e.g. Terentia, wife of Cicero (Cato minor 19. 5; Cic. 8. 3, 20. 2–3, 29. 2–4, 30. 4, 41. 2–6; Ant. 2. 2). 53 Cf. e.g. Aud. poet. 30c, 36f; Aud. 37e; Cons. ad. Ap. 112f–113b, 114d; Tuend. san. 134d; Coni. praec. 140c–d; Ap. Lac. 211f, 240d; Mul. virt. 259d–260d; Her. mal. 857a–e, 868c, 869f–870a, 873f; Bruta an. 988b; Non posse 1098b, 1099b; Adv. Col. 1126f; and cf. A.G. Nikolaidis, ‘ ÔEllhnikov"-barbarikov". Plutarch on Greek and barbarian characteristics’, Wiener Studien 99 (1986), 229–44. 54 Art. 1. 2, 2. 2–5, 3. 6, 4. 1–3, 5. 5, 6. 6–9, 14. 9–10, 15. 1–2, 16. 1, 17, 18. 3, 18. 5–6, 19, 23. 1–5. The Persian queen Parysatis, wife of Darius II and mother of Artaxerxes and Cyrus the younger, is one of the worst examples of dominant and wicked women. Let it suffice to mention that she poisoned her daughter-in-law, caused the breach between her two sons, and treated her son’s assassins with the utmost cruelty. However, being what she was, a true barbarian in her tantrums and revengeful malice (6. 8 bavrbaro" ejn ojrgai'" kai; mnhsikakivai"), her behaviour is apparently not as surprising as if she had been Greek or Roman. 55 Octavia: Pub. 17. 8; Marc. 30. 10–11; Cic. 44. 1; Ant. 31. 1–5, 33. 5, 35. 2– 8, 53. 1–9, 54. 1–6, 56. 4, 57. 2–5, 59. 3, 72. 3, 83. 6, 87. 1–6. Unless stated otherwise, the passages quoted refer to Antonius. 56 In this aspect, too, she personifies the ideal matron; different from Greek ideals, it was the Roman mother’s prerogative – and duty – to bring up her own children; cf. Cor. 1. 2 (regarding Volumnia), T. Gra. 1. 6 (regarding

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From Olympias to Aretaphila Cornelia); cf. also Lib. ed. 3c–d: although probably a pseudo-Plutarchean treatise, Lib. ed. for the most part expresses a message concerning the upbringing of children which coincides with what Plutarch says himself on the subject: see also Albini in this volume, above pp. 59–71. 57 Le Corsu (1981), 271. 58 Cf. Coni. praec. 141d–e; looking in the mirror, the wife is not to ask herself whether she is beautiful, but if she is virtuous. 59 Agiatis, wife of Cleomenes (Cle. 1. 1–3, 22. 1–2); Agesistrata, mother of Agis (Agis 4. 1, 6. 7, 7. 1–4, 9. 6, 18. 8, 19. 10, 20. 2–7); Antigone, wife of Pyrrhus (Pyrrh. 5. 1); Antistia, wife of Appius Claudius (T. Gra. 4. 3), Archidamia, grandmother of Agis (Pyrrh. 27. 4; Agis 4. 1, 7. 4, 9. 6, 19. 10, 20. 3–4); Arete, wife and niece of Dion (Tim. 33. 4; Dio 6. 1, 15. 1–2, 15. 5, 18. 8, 19. 2, 21. 1–6, 26. 5, 31. 3, 31. 6, 51, 56. 1–2, 56. 4–5, 57. 5, 58. 8–9; Brut. 56. 5); Phocion’s second wife (Phoc. 19. 1–4, 37. 5); Aristomache, sister of Dion (Tim. 33. 4; Dio 3. 3–6, 4. 1, 6. 1–2, 7. 2, 14. 1, 15. 1–2, 15. 5, 18. 8, 19. 2, 31. 6, 51, 56. 1–2, 56. 4–5, 57. 5, 58. 8–9); Theste, wife of Proxenos (Dio 21. 7– 9); Chilonis, wife of Cleombrotos (Agis 11. 8, 17. 2—18. 3); Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi (T. Gra. 1. 3–7, 4. 4, 8. 7; C. Gra. 4. 3–6, 13. 2, 19); Cratesiclea, mother of Cleomenes (Cle. 6. 2, 7. 1, 22. 3–10, 31. 6, 38. 2, 38. 4–12); Soso (Arat. 2. 3–4); Nicaia (who, however, was tricked by Antigonus: Arat. 17. 2–7), Porcia, daughter of Cato minor and wife of Brutus (Cato minor 24. 6, 25. 4–8, 73. 6; Bru. 2. 1, 13. 2–11, 14. 4, 15. 5–9, 23. 2–7, 53. 5–7), at the same time a loyal wife and a courageous woman, see below; Aurelia, Caesar’s mother (Caes. 9. 3, 10. 2–3). Let us not omit Terentia, wife of Cicero (cf. n. 52 above) at the same time dominant and supportive. She was a good helper to her husband and very efficient in business, but she also meddled with men’s affairs. Plutarch’s sympathy for her is apparently at least partly caused by the fact that he thinks that Cicero was wrong in divorcing her. Vergilia and Volumnia belong to this category, too; I shall mention them below. Last but not least, Plutarch’s own wife Timoxena is described as the prototype of the good wife; see Cons. ad ux., passim. 60 Mul. virt. 255e–257e. 61 Cf. my discussion of Octavia’s beauty above. 62 to; fronei'n...peritthv ti" ei\nai kai; politikh'" deinovthto" oujk a[moiro", 255e. 63 i.e. African Libyans and not Greeks residing in Libya, to judge by the general’s name ∆Anavbou" (Anabous). 64 Reg. et imp. 194d; Mul. virt. 256a; (cf. Amat. 768f); Her. mal. 856a–b; Pelopidas 28. 5–10, 31. 5, 35. 5–12. 65 Volumnia: Cor. 1. 2, 4. 5–7, 21. 3, 33. 3–10, 34, (35), 36. 1–6, 37. 3–5, 43. 4–5; Vergilia: Cor. 21. 3, 33. 4–10, 34, (35), 36. (1–3), 36. 4–6, 37. 3–5, 43. 4–5; Fort. Rom. 318f. 66 Among the other passages in the Moralia, where women (collectively or individually) fight tyrants or external enemies: Ap. Lac. 223c; Mul. virt., passim, Garr. 505d–f. Some courageous women in the Vitae: Cloelia (Pub. 19. 7–8); Porcia (v. n. 59 above), Nicaia (Ara. 17. 2–6); Tutula (Cam 33. 4–10; Rom. 29. 7–11; interesting since she is the only slave belonging to this category); Timoclea (Alex. 12. 1–5; cf. Mul. virt. 259d–260d); Valeria, sister of Publicola

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Karin Blomqvist (Cor. 33. 1–7); Valeria, daughter of Publicola (Pub. 18. 3, 19. 5, 19. 8). However, since several of the ‘supporting women’ are both loyal wives or mothers of the Octavia-type and heroines of the Aretaphila-type, it is impossible to make a clear-cut distinction between the two groups. 67 Cf. e.g. Mul. virt. 243e–244a; Quaest. Rom. 265b–c. P. Schmitt Pantel (op. cit. 22–3) approaches this attitude of Plutarch’s from a different angle. In my opinion, what is remarkable is not the fact that Plutarch sends the heroines back to the women’s quarters after their achievements, but that he grants them the moral and intellectual capacity to leave those quarters in the first place. 68 Pyrrh. 26. 17–18, 27. 10, 28. 5–6. 69 Adul. 59e, 61c, 71b–c; Cap. ex. inim. 89a; Coni. praec., passim; Quaest. Rom. 263d–f; Alex. fort. 329f; Pyth. or. 403f–404a; An virtus, passim; Virt. mor. 448d–e; Cohib. ira 455e, 461c, 462a; Frat. am. 491d–492b; Curiositate 517c; Cons. ad ux., passim; Quaest. Conv. 712c–d; Amat., passim; An seni 789a–b; Stoic. rep. 1034a; Non posse 1104c. Cf. D.A. Russell, Plutarch, London 1973, 6; P. Stadter, Plutarch’s Historical Methods. An Analysis of the Mulierum Virtutes, Cambridge Mass. 1965, 6–7. 70 Thus, I do not agree with Le Corsu (op. cit. 272); it is true that Plutarch displayed no indulgence towards marriages based upon exaggerated passion, but it is to go too far to state that he preferred marriages of convenience. 71 Adul. 59e, 69b–c; Reg. et imp. 204f; Alex. fort. 329f; Cohib. ira 455e, 459a; Tranqu. an. 469d; Am. prolis, passim; Vit. pudore 529c; Cons. ad ux., passim; Quaest. conv. 630e, 658e, 672f–673a, 673e, 738b–c; Reip. ger. 814a, 821c; Plat. quaest. 1008f; Non posse 1104c; Adv. Col. 1123a. 72 Cato maior is reported to have said (Reg. et imp. 198d): pavnte", ei\pen, a[nqrwpoi tw'n gunaikw'n a[rcousin, hJmei'" de; pavntwn ajnqrwvpwn, hJmw'n de; aiJ gunai'ke", ‘all men govern their women; we govern all men but are governed by our women.’ Cf. Cato maior 8. 4–5, 9. 2. 73 e.g. Livia, wife of Augustus and mother of Tiberius, Agrippina, mother of Nero and wife of Claudius, Poppaea Sabina, wife of Nero, and Domitia, wife of Domitian. 74 It is well attested that Plutarch lived under Hadrian (C.P. Jones ‘Towards a chronology of Plutarch’s works’, Journal of Roman Studies 56 (1966), 61–74, esp. 63; this essay is now reprinted in B. Scardigli (ed.) Essays on Plutarch’s Lives, Oxford 1995, 95–123: see p. 100). 75 Dio Cassius 68. 5. 76 Pliny the younger Pan. 84. 77 CIL XI. 1333. 78 According to the Vita Hadrianii (in the Historia Augusta) 4. 8–10, it was said that Trajan never had the intention of appointing Hadrian as his successor, but that it was Plotina who, after the death of her husband, declared that Trajan had adopted Hadrian. 79 In Vita Hadrianii 2. 10, 4. 1, 4. 4, Plotina is described with words such as favente, favore, factione, denoting an extreme affection towards Hadrian. Cf. H.W. Benario (1980, ad loc.), who cites Dio Cassius, according to whom (69. 1. 2) Plotina was even in love with her adoptive son.

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From Olympias to Aretaphila Pliny the younger Pan. 83. 5, Dio Cassius 68. 5. 5. Dio Chrysostom III. 122; Pliny the younger Pan. 83. 4–8. 82 Pomp. 55. 2–3. Cf. my discussion on the interesting subject of Plutarch and intellectual women in ‘Chryseïs and Clea, Eumetis and the Interlocutress. Plutarch of Chaeronea and Dio Chrysostom on Women’s Education’, Svensk Exegetisk Årsbok 60 (1995), 173–90. 83 EM 10404 (wrongly cited as ‘1004’ by Oliver), consisting of two letters, dating from 121, in Latin to Hadrian, in Greek to the adherents of the Garden. My gratitude to the Epigraphic Museum in Athens for their kind permission to let me examine the inscription. Cf. J.H. Oliver, Greek Constitutions of Early Roman Emperors from Inscriptions and Papyri, Philadelphia 1989 (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society 178), 73–4, 179; and id., The Civic Tradition and Roman Athens, Baltimore & London 1983, 87, regarding Plotina’s concern for the Epicureans and her influence on this school – as well as on Hadrian. 84 After Domitian’s fall, Plutarch retired to Greece where he spent the rest of his life in what seems like a veritable interior exile (cf. D.A. Russell, op. cit. [n. 69 above], 8). C.P. Jones (‘Towards a chronology of Plutarch’s works’, Journal of Roman Studies 56 (1966), 74 = Scardigli, op. cit. [n. 74 above], p. 123) regards his vast literary production as the proof of a new freedom to express himself: once the tyrant Domitian was assassinated, one dared say what one wanted. This is possible, but not necessary; in fact, it is possible to interpret this enormous activity as a sign of a contrary development. Forced to abstain from an active life in Rome, and realising that he had no means of making a career in high society in Rome (was he even compromised since he had too easily accepted the reign of Domitian? – nothing reveals that he opposed him), Plutarch could well have directed his energy towards a less dangerous field. His withdrawal from public life was compensated by an important literary activity – and a prominent position in local politics as well as in the cult in Delphi. 85 Dio Cassius 69. 2. 5, Vita Hadrianii 7. 1–2; cf. C.P. Jones (Plutarch and Rome, Oxford 1971, repr. with corrections 1972), 33, and R. Syme (Tacitus, I– II, Oxford 1958), I. 244. 86 79. 10. 3a. 80 81

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PLUTARCH, AMATORIUS 13–181 Donald Russell

More than most speeches in his dialogues, the discourse on love which Plutarch attributes to his younger self in these chapters of the Amatorius seems to demand a rhetorical analysis. This may not be an accident: rhetoric is a study for the young, not looked for in the mature philosopher (cf. De sollertia animalium 959C). Love too is a subject for the young; and Plutarch’s point in representing himself as a young man may be to make the setting and treatment appropriate to the theme. Before attempting the analysis, let us briefly recall what leads up to the great speech. Plutarch’s son Autobulus has begun his narrative of the conversation in which his father took part at Thespiae, in the early days of his marriage, by telling the story of Bacchon. This beautiful young man has many lovers, but is being pursued, with a view to marriage, by the rich young widow Ismenodora. Friends and relatives have been asked to advise him. The first statement is made by Protogenes, a friend of Bacchon’s lover Pisias, and a notorious paederast. It is a general advocacy of the love of boys – but not slave-boys! – as above that of women. The response by Daphnaeus, who is in love with Lysandra and so takes the opposite side, occasions a violent outburst from Pisias (ch. 6), and this in turn brings Plutarch himself into the discussion. Newly married, he begins from the thought that it is love that holds marriages together. It is shocking to him to hear Pisias deny that love has any part in conjugal union. At this point, his contribution is strictly on the matter in hand. He is in favour of Bacchon’s marrying Ismenodora, and defends her claims against the objections that she is rich and older than Bacchon. Why should she not guide his steps in life? This is a fairly humorous speech, in keeping with the tone of comedy in which the story of Bacchon is told. It is followed (ch. 10) by the arrival of the messenger with the news that Ismenodora has, in effect, kidnapped the boy. Pisias and Protogenes hurry away, so that the circle of disputants loses its more extreme members. Anthemion, 99 Return to Table of Contents

Donald Russell who also has a personal connection with Bacchon, stays a little longer, until he too is called away. Meanwhile, Pemptides has moved the discussion from the particular to the general, and from the comparison between the two kinds of sexual activity to the question why Eros has been regarded as a god. He professes to find it natural enough that so strong and dangerous a passion should be glorified, even if it ought to be curbed; but he wants to know what it was that made people call Eros a god in the first place. It is this question which forms the theme of the rest of the dialogue. Pemptides is a foil to Plutarch’s own view, which is that Eros is indeed a god, sometimes beneficent but always powerful, whom it is never safe to neglect. In support of this, and against Pemptides, Plutarch marshals a formidable rhetorical argument. A. The first move (756A–B = 354. 22—355. 12) is to emphasise the importance of the issue. This is the prooemium topic which the rhetors call phlikovth",2 showing how significant the issue is. It is here shown to be devastating. Pemptides’ suggestion disturbs ‘the ancient faith of our fathers’ which is the basis of piety, and which is of such a nature that if a single point is shaken, it shakes the whole structure. 3 Plutarch makes the same point in two similar contexts. In De Pythiae oraculis 18 (402E), the poet Sarapion is made to say that belief in prophecy is inseparable from the maintenance of ‘pious ancestral faith’;4 and in De Iside et Osiride 23 (359E), the acceptance of a Euhemeristic interpretation of the gods is an example of ‘moving the unmoveable’ (ta; ajkivnhta kinei'n), a phrase also found in our present passage (354. 24), and runs the risk of destroying a ‘faith which has entered into almost all of us from birth’. The difference of emphasis between this last passage and the other two is due to the context: the ‘ancestral faith’ of Delphi or Thespiae is naturally replaced by a natural or innate belief when Plutarch is discussing an alien religion, however valuable it is. He would of course hold that the traditional faith of Greece was a true version of the universal and natural belief in gods and providence. Pemptides is just being too clever. Plutarch has Euripides’ Bacchae in mind; he quotes 203, but he has the whole context in view.5 Euripides is indeed the classical author whose views afford Plutarch a way into his argument. He next relates the poet’s alleged conversion between the two productions of Melanippe the Wise, and argues from it that disbelief in Eros’ divinity is as absurd as disbelief in Zeus. This passage has caused much argument. Plutarch’s story is that Euripides originally wrote: 100 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Amatorius 13–18 Zeuv", o{sti" oJ Zeuv", ouj ga;r oi\da plh;n lovgw/ (‘Zeus, whoever Zeus is, for I only know by hearsay’),

and later, because this gave offence, changed it to: Zeuv", wJ" levlektai th'" ajlhqeiva" u{po (‘Zeus, as it is told by truth’),

because he had enough confidence in the style and quality of his play to put it forward a second time. Nobody believes this; the second line probably belongs rather to Critias’ Pirithous, and the first was believed by Wilamowitz to have been made up on the model of Heracles 1263.6 B. The transition from this prooemium to the main arguments for belief in Eros comes quite suddenly at 756C = 355. 12: ‘It is not just now that Eros demands an altar and sacrifices.’ He is no newcomer to the pantheon, but a very ancient god indeed. Development of this position continues to 756F = 356. 24. It includes several distinct points. (i) Eros is no foreigner; unlike Attis and Adonis, with their effeminate worship, Eros is no intruder, no claimant to a birth and citizenship to which he is not entitled.7 (ii) Empedocles’ Filovth", a primal force in the kosmos, is none other than Eros.8 (iii) Plutarch next returns to the issue with which he began, the damage done to religion as a whole by questioning any part. The ‘sophistic test’ is a demand for evidence (tekmhvrion) in each case, whereas faith itself is the plainest evidence of all. ‘Lay hands on’ or ‘touch’, a{ptesqai, is an ambivalent word; on the one hand it connotes an aggressive attack, on the other (more to the point here) it recalls two other places where Plutarch talks of testing ancient doctrines ‘by touch’ (aJfh')/ like pictures. 9 (iv) For example, we need go no further afield than to think of Aphrodite,10 for we cannot believe in her without believing in Eros, since his presence is necessary for the proper fulfilment of her part (i.e. for procreation); without Eros, sex would be no more than eating and drinking, and come to no good (cf. 759E). (v) This leads to the two auctoritates taken from Plato (Symposium 178B) but reinterpreted. According to Phaedrus’ speech in the Symposium, Hesiod makes Chaos primary, and then come Earth and Eros (and Acusilaus agrees with this), while Parmenides makes Eros the first device of (it seems) Gevnesi". Plutarch makes Hesiod say that Eros is first of all things, and takes Aphrodite to be the subject of Parmenides’ ‘devised’ (mhtivsato). He thinks Hesiod’s account the more ‘scientific’ (fusikwvteron). Anyway, these learned appeals clinch the point: Aphrodite’s honours will not abide if we deprive Eros of his.11 101 Return to Table of Contents

Donald Russell C. The second point to be addressed is the argument that Eros is subject to abuse, whereas Aphrodite is not. If this were true, and gods in general were not subject to abuse, it would follow that Aphrodite is divine and Eros not. But of course neither premiss is true. First, the tragic poets abuse both alike; ‘from one and the same stage’12 we have Euripides’ abuse of Eros (this is taken up later, 760D), and Sophocles’ (as it seems) of Cypris. Secondly, no god escapes abuse (loidoriva). For example, consider Ares, the diametrical opposite of Eros, ‘as on a bronze pinax’ – some sort of plan or model, perhaps? – for he is both honoured and abused. This introduction of Ares, apparently casual, is in fact crucial to the ensuing argument. (i) It leads straight into an attack (357. 14–23) on Stoic allegorizing, which presents gods simply as symbols of passions or skills or virtues. This, Plutarch argues, leads to the depths of atheism. It is easy to illustrate what he means. ‘Heraclitus’ in his Homeric Questions (31) says of Ares: ‘he is nothing other than war, named from areµ, which means “harm”; this should be clear from Homer’s calling him “mad, made of evil, setter of man against man”.’13 In Plutarch’s view, to reduce a god in this way to something else is as bad as other kinds of rationalism – Euhemerism, or identification of gods with natural phenomena. 14 Here, having extracted from Pemptides the confession that it is impious to identify gods with pavqh, and that Ares is not a pavqo" but a god who controls certain pavqh, he is ready to proceed to (ii), a chain of arguments springing from the example of Ares, and tending to the conclusion that it is absurd not to believe in the divinity of Eros. This chain continues to 759D = 363. 23. With a show of indignation (ajnakragwvn, 358. 6), Plutarch links Pemptides’ admission with his original doubts about the god. It is absurd, he says, to suppose that there is a god who controls evil and aggressive impulses, but none to direct and guide impulses of affection. This point clearly rests on Plutarch’s general Platonic assumption that god is good, and that evil things should not be attributed to him, but rather to other supernatural forces, such as daimones. It generates a series of comparisons or a fortiori arguments which tend to show that love, of all things, must be divinely controlled. 15 The first two may be taken together: (i) 757D–E = 358. 15–25. There are gods of hunting, and so there must be a god to preside over ‘the fairest hunting’ (kavlliston qhvrama). (ii) 757E–758A = 358. 25—359. 16. There are gods of agriculture, and so there must be gods to preside over the education of boys, the fairest plant of all. These two analogies are traditional. The lover and the sophist are 102 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Amatorius 13–18 ‘hunters’ of the young in Plato and Xenophon; 16 the analogy between education and growing plants is also conventional and obvious; and the association between paederasty and education is Platonic. The common feature of the higher hunting and the higher agriculture is that their subject is humankind; the point is explicit at 758B = 360. 13–14, where the lover’s ‘care’ and ‘pursuit’ of the young are linked in a single phrase. It is thus easy for Plutarch to make his ‘gliding transition’ to his next theme and his next set of comparisons. (iii) 758A–C = 359. 17—360. 24. Even to suggest that there is no divinity concerned with these activities is to deny god’s ‘love of mankind’ (filanqrwpiva ). This is shown to us (758A) even in the messy and disagreeable aspects of life which cannot be avoided, like illness and death; a fortiori, it is proper for a god to be the controlling agency of pleasant activities and especially of love. Questions and allusions enrich the development. 17 The next two arguments are organized in much the same way. If other activities, which are in some ways inferior to those of love and affection, are divinely governed, then, a fortiori, love must be. But these arguments are more elaborately structured: poetical allusion gives way to philosophical learning. The question begins to seem more profound. (iv) The first argument (758C–D = 361. 2–10) is based on a classification of types of friendship (filiva ) which also occurs, labelled as Platonic, in Diogenes Laertius 3. 81.18 It is linked with another topic which also has an extensive history: the listing and interpretation of the various titles of Zeus.19 The argument runs that if the filiva of parents and children, of hosts and strangers, and of close friends (eJtai'roi), have their divine patrons – Zeus Patroos or Homognios, Zeus Xenios, Zeus Philios – the remaining type of filiva , namely that of love, must also have its presiding deity. It must not be left without a divine master. (v) But love is also a kind of madness. (It is indeed many things: when Plutarch elsewhere [fr. 135, from peri; e[rwto"] summarizes the different views of various thinkers – e[rw" as disease, desire, friendship, madness, divine or daemonic disturbance to the soul, or itself a god – he says that they are all right in a way.) So the second of these learned arguments (758D–759A = 361. 13—362. 17) is taken from the classification of kinds of madness (maniva) in Plato (Phaedrus 244A ff., with Timaeus 86A ff.). It begins with a slightly odd conceit; the lovgo" is personified, and tries to ‘get out of the way’ of Plato’s rather embarrassing discourse on maniva.20 But what he said is nevertheless going to be relevant. So Plutarch’s first type (361. 13–16) – psychical disturbance

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Donald Russell arising from bodily malfunction – is described in terms which roughly interpret Timaeus 86E–87A, but presumably come from an intermediate source. This line is not pursued; it is not a helpful part of Plato’s contribution for the present purpose. The second type is a different matter: it comes from outside, and is the inspiration and diversion (ejpivpnoia kai; paratrophv) of the reasoning faculty by a superior power (kreivttwn duvnami"). Its general name is ejnqousiastiko;n pavqo", its subdivisions the Apollonian ‘divinatory’ (mantikovn) and the Dionysiac (bakcei'on), with the associated rites of the Magna Mater, Pan, and the Corybantes. Third21 comes poetic ‘madness’, which Plutarch describes in Platonic language. The fourth kind (362. 6–10) is the madness of war, which has no place in Plato; last (362. 11 ff.) comes Plato’s fourth, the madness of e[rw", here defined as ‘the affectionate enthusiasm for good boys and chaste women’ – no casual sex, no slave boys, presumably. Plutarch has now (362.17 ff.) to make comparisons, and show that e[rw" is a more potent form of divinely-inspired ‘madness’ than the others. He takes them in a different order. (i) It is more potent than the madness of war or that of the Corybants or the Pythia because all these are temporary and fade away quickly after the initial impulse. Love’s madness, on the other hand, cannot be charmed away or cured by change of places. Lovers are affected by their love whatever the circumstances – they pursue by day, sit on the doorstep by night, they speak the beloved’s name when they are sober, and sing about him when drunk. (ii) It is more potent than poets’ madness because its ‘visualizations’ or ‘imaginings’ (fantasivai) are more vivid and enduring. The contrast is with poets’ ‘visualizations’ in the sense in which they are discussed by ‘Longinus’ (de sublimitate 15), or Quintilian (6. 2. 29). Indeed, it is Quintilian’s association of these visiones with otia animorum et spes inanes et velut somnia quaedam vigilantium that comes nearest to Plutarch’s description. Plutarch does not of course deny the point about poets’ fancies which he attributes to his anonymous authority (w{" ti" ei\pen, 363. 5), he only says that those of lovers are even more vivid. More important, they endure longer; this is the point already made above in the comparison of love’s madness with the Corybants and the Pythia. They are like fixed colours, burnt into the soul (363. 11); this is a Platonic image (Timaeus 26C), but it suggests here not only permanence but fire. The following passage is lacunose, but its drift fairly clear. Plutarch cites Cato’s saying, only to turn it on its head: it is the loved one who dwells in the lover. Hence the lover has a short cut to virtue – comparable,

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Plutarch, Amatorius 13–18 paradoxically, to the Cynic’s ‘short cut’ 22 – because of the divinely controlled passion by which he is borne forward. There are two noticeable references backward, an indication that we are coming to the end of a ‘movement’ of the speech: a{ma qew/' (363. 20) harks back to ou[t∆ a[neu qeou'' (360. 18), and ejpi; kuvmato" (363. 19) perhaps to kumaivnei (351. 5). There follows the conclusion of all this part of the speech, summing up the result of these various comparisons with other other forms of divine impulse. The ‘enthusiasm’ of the lover (363. 21, cf. 361. 16) is divinely caused, and Eros is its controlling ‘charioteer’ god (a familiar Platonic image, also suggested at 351. 4–5 by fruvagma and zugomacei' [‘neighing’ and ‘fights with his yoke-mate’] ). And this is the god that Plutarch and his friends have come together to worship at the festival. D. This reversion to the occasion marks the beginning of a new ‘movement’, in effect an encomium of the god whose existence and sphere of action have been demonstrated. It is again very formal, and hinges on two main topics: the power of Eros (duvnami") and his benevolence (wjfevleia). He both can and will do good to men.23 He is both great and good. (i) ‘Power’ is to be discussed first (364. 3—370. 19). Once again, this is to be handled by means of comparisons; first with Aphrodite (to 366. 12, i.e. to the end of ch. 16), then with Ares. This is, as it were, to take up in a new context contrasts which have already been made (356. 24—357. 23 = 756F–757D), and it is perhaps not surprising that there are some repetitions of points made earlier. Ares and Aphrodite, polar opposites, cover all human emotional experience: 364. 7–11 and 357. 7–10. Sex is hardly worth having without e[rw": 364. 11–14 and 356. 11–16. But here is a small embarrassment: it would be wrong to cite Phryne as one who offers loveless sex, for there is actually a statue of her by Praxiteles in the temple of Eros at Thespiae (753F), and so ‘let us not name her’ (364. 14), but think of humbler examples of her trade. The writing here is very colourful; and Plutarch soon launches into two stories, the value of which to his argument is not easy to see. The first is an anecdote with a Roman setting, Gabba entertaining Maecenas; 24 the second is a Hellenistic story, about the politics of Argos in the time of Philip V of Macedon. The point of both stories is that husbands are less possessive of their wives than homosexual lovers are of their favourites. Once again, then, Eros is shown primarily as displaying his powers in a homosexual context. The speech remains on this level; the original dispute, and the claims of conjugal love, are not brought into play. So also with the next set of examples (365. 20— 366. 4), which illustrate the familiar theme of tyrannicide by jealous 105 Return to Table of Contents

Donald Russell lovers. Alexander (366. 5–12) however shows the power of love in another way: unlike the tyrants, who incurred jealousy and exposed themselves to murder, he held back whenever he knew that the girl he wanted was loved by another. Girl this time, not boy; what is the point? Is it that, once again, the passion is not so strong, and is more easily resisted? Or is Alexander seen as a good king, wiser than the tyrants, and in control of his passions? The comparison with Ares (366. 13—369. 9) has a rather different basis from what was said above (757A ff.). He is not here the opposite of Eros, he is merely an inferior inspirer of courage. It is supported by a long and learned list of examples. These begin with a refutation (ajnaskeuhv) of a saying of Euripides,25 and proceeds, after a brief reference to the story of Niobe,26 to a much longer episode: the heroic death of Cleomachus of Chalcis, and the popular song in which it was commemorated. Variants and authorities are quoted. The main theme of these examples is the value of homosexual relationships in warrior groups; transition comes (369. 10 ff.) with Heracles’ many lovers, and finally his love for Admetus27 which led him to rescue Admetus’ beloved and self-sacrificing wife Alcestis from death. ‘I am glad I remembered Alcestis’, says Plutarch (369. 20), because this displays another facet of Eros’ power, and his superiority to Ares: it is he, not Ares, who makes women brave ‘against their nature’.28 Alcestis, Laodamia and Eurydice all show that even Death yields to Eros, ‘if myth can be regarded as valid evidence for belief ’. But can it? There follows an important passage, at first sight not closely connected with the argument, but in fact looking forward to a later stage in the dialogue. It is a fine thing, says Plutarch, to be an initiate of Eleusis; but the initiates of Eros have an even better chance of a good time in the world to come. ‘I neither believe myths altogether nor altogether disbelieve them’ (762A = 370. 11–12), because in some mysterious way they can touch upon the truth, as when they suggest that lovers have a road up from Hades to the light – an intimation of the road Plato found in philosophy. ‘There are slight, faint trickles of the truth in Egyptian mythology, but they need a clever tracker, and one who can grasp great things in small things (370. 16– 19).’ This is a trailer for what is to come: Soclaros (764A) will draw attention to it, and Plutarch’s second speech (764A–771C) 29 takes it up. (ii) This passage, clearly important in the structure of the dialogue, comes at a climactic point in this speech, and marks the ostensible end of the part of the encomium concerned with the ‘force’ of love. What follows is about his ‘service’ to mankind; but in fact, as we soon see, the 106 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Amatorius 13–18 two themes are not easily kept apart. The first question raised is whether Eros benefits the lover as well as the beloved. Perhaps he benefits him even more. The answer is formed by building on, and correcting, another very familiar quotation: Euripides’ saying (fr. 663) that love teaches men to be poets, even if they have never had the favour of the Muses before.30 Plutarch shows that Eros actually promotes four virtues which are more important than poetry: intelligence (371. 3), courage (371. 3), generosity (371. 5), and kindliness (371. 21). The first two are in all lists of ‘cardinal virtues’. The other two replace swfrosuvnh and dikaiosuvnh by more plausible and appropriate alternatives. The first two are treated very briefly (a short clause is enough for intelligence, and courage has already been dealt with), but the third leads to an anecdote about Alcibiades 31 and an intervention by Zeuxippus, and the fourth to one of Plutarch’s favourite a fortiori arguments. It starts from the happy impressions of fire and light. ‘Better the house to behold when the fire is alight’ – a proverbial sentence. 32 A blaze in the house at night is a good sign.33 Telemachus (in Odyssey 19. 40 ff.) concludes from the light in the palace (in fact, Athena’s golden lamp) that ‘there must be a god within’. If visible brightness has this effect, surely a sudden improvement in character – a small soul suddenly becoming generous and proud – is proof of a divine presence. The god is both great and good. In what follows, it is once again his greatness that is to the fore; the separation of the two themes seems almost impossible. Only one thing, we are told (762E = 372. 8 ff.), can break the lover’s courage: the sight of his beloved. This brings Sappho to mind. She expresses in her poems the warmth and fire of love – how different from the fire breathed out by the monster Cacus in Roman legend! 34 Plutarch turns to Daphnaeus, and asks him, if his love for Lysandra has not made him forget his old love, i.e. Sappho, to recite the famous lines in which she describes her physical reaction to the sight of the girl she loves35 – the pallor, the heat, the distress, the inability to speak, and so on. In his commentary on this (373. 5 ff.), Plutarch takes up again the comparison between love and the two types of prophetic and orgiastic inspiration represented by Delphi and the Magna Mater (cf. 758E = 361. 23 ff.) The next point too (763B = 373. 8–14) relates to the greatness rather than to the kindness of Eros. It is the fact that only the person possessed by love (ejrwtikov") is affected by the body of his beloved. This must be the act of a god, not some accidental and momentary incident. Menander was wrong: it is not just a ‘crucial moment’ of the soul,36 it is surely divine.

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Donald Russell E. What follows (763B–F = 373. 15—375. 11) is the formal conclusion of this whole speech. It begins with the topos of ‘I nearly forgot to say’, traditionally a sign of sincerity,37 and so appropriate in a dialogue. Like so much of what we have seen, the following passage is a development of a scholastic classification. Here it leads up to a distinctly grand peroration. It is a statement of the theologia tripertita, the division of our sources of knowledge of god into (1) poetic myth, (2) lawgivers’ instructions, (3) philosophers’ doctrine. The same scheme is important in Dio’s Olympicus, a speech which cannot be much separated in date from Plutarch’s work.38 Plutarch points out that the three groups differ in regard to the number, order, substance, and power of the gods. Philosophers’ gods are exempt from illness and old age, and philosophers do not allow either the poets’ personifications (Strife and Prayers, Terror and Fear)39 or the gods whom national custom or law puts forward. On the other side, the poets and lawgivers have no use for the queer gods of the philosophers – ‘ideas’, ‘numbers’, ‘monads’. So there are many opinions; the three parties differ as radically as the three parties in Attica who united to choose Solon as their reconciler (763D = 374. 16 ff.). Eros is their Solon, the common choice whom they all agree to count among the gods. They praise him with one voice, as Alcaeus says the Mytileneans praised the tyrant (tuvranno") Pittacus. Our ‘king and ruler and controller’ (basileu;" kai; a[rcwn kai; aJrmosthv" [375. 3] ) is Eros. The overtones of this are curious. On the one hand, tuvranno" and basileuv" so close together suggest a contrast; on the other hand, Eros is traditionally tuvranno",40 and Plutarch was well aware of the neutral sense of the word in early poetry. Again, aJrmosthv" has a double connotation: ‘harmosts’ were the governors set over defeated cities by the Spartans, but the word means literally ‘one who sets in order’, ‘fits together’, or ‘tunes’ the state, and all the associations of aJrmoniva are good. Perhaps it is just the triple title that Plutarch wants to give Eros, to match the triple escort – Hesiod, Plato, Solon: poet, philosopher, lawgiver – who bring him down from Helicon to the Academy. Anyway, he makes his triumphal entry (eijselauvnei, 375, 6) like a victor home from the games,41 garlanded and adorned ‘with many teams (sunwrivsi) of friendship and society’. sunwriv" is again a word with two applications: it is the chariot team of the triumphant victor, but also any pair of lovers. And the friendship (filiva) is of a special kind: by contrast with the friendship imposed by the bonds of shame, which Euripides described in his Pirithous,42 it ‘wings its way’ to heaven, to the vision of the divine beauty. This Platonist ‘triumph of love’ is the splendid peroration of the

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Plutarch, Amatorius 13–18 speech. Eros here is not only a great king: he is a great benefactor, because he leads us to the divine vision. In conclusion, I have tried to show in this analysis – sometimes by simple paraphrase – that this speech has a very clear structure, with prologue and epilogue, and an ordered development of its theme. I have also tried to draw attention to some of Plutarch’s characteristic techniques: variety of scale in anecdote and illustration, a fortiori arguments, gliding or associative transitions, rhetorical use of schematic bits of learning, and the use of quotations both to lend authority and to form the basis of criticism. Of course, this speech is only part of the dialogue. It barely addresses the original question about the value of homosexual and conjugal love – indeed it is almost entirely concerned with the power of homosexual affection – and so it is obviously incomplete. Plutarch’s subsequent speeches (764B–766D, 766E–771C) are needed to complete the picture. St John’s College, Oxford

Notes 1

This paper is based on a contribution of mine to an Oxford seminar in 1989. It stands here (by the courtesy of the editor) in lieu of a general paper on Plutarch’s style which I gave at the Dublin meeting, but which owes too much to uJpovkrisi" to show its face in print. In what follows, I refer sometimes to A. Barigazzi’s notes (Prometheus 12 [1986] 97–112, 245–66) which provide a close commentary on many passages. Page and line references of the form 357. 20 are to Hubert’s Teubner text. ‘My translation’ is in the World’s Classics Plutarch: Selected Essays and Dialogues, 1993, 259–71. 2 e.g. Hermogenes 60. 16 Rabe. 3 In my translation (259) I read uJf∆ eJnov" for ejf∆ eJnov" ; this is probably wrong, as is Hubert’s interpretation of ejf∆ eJnov" as ‘in respect of one god’, and pa'si as ‘in respect of all gods’; ‘in one particular’ and ‘in all ways’ suffice. 4 For the history of this argument, see Pease on Cicero De divinatione 1. 10. 5 Bacchae 200–3: oujde;n sofizovmesqa toi'si daivmosin, | patrivou" paradocav", a{" q∆ oJmhvlika" crovnw/ | kekthvmeq∆: oujdei;" aujta; katabalei' lovgo", | oujd∆ eij di∆ a[krwn to; sofo;n hu{rhtai frenw'n (a[kra"…frenov" Plutarch), (‘We play no clever tricks with the gods; our fathers’ traditions and those we have which are coeval with time – no argument will throw these down, even if top minds have found their clever way’). 6 For the evidence, see Euripides fr. 480–1 (Nauck), and (most recently) Dover on Frogs 1244. Barigazzi argues, with good reason, that ejkeivnh" should be read for ejkeivnhn in 756B = 355. 4. This makes Plutarch refer to ‘the famous Melanippe’, or perhaps to Melanippe the Wise as opposed to Melanippe Desmotis.

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Donald Russell 7

355. 16: w{ste pareisgrafh'" ( = pareggrafh'", ‘fraudulent enrolment’) divkhn feuvgein kai; noqeiva" th'" ejn qeoi'". Plutarch imagines heaven as operating something like Pericles’ citizenship law at Athens. 8 Wilamowitz’s addition of in 355. 21 seems wrong; Plutarch’s point is not only that what is here said of Filovth" (viz. that it is to be seen only by reason) is true also of Eros, but that the two are identical, and Eros is therefore very old, a primal thing (cf. Plato, Symposium 178A ejn toi''" presbuvtaton). 9 De defectu 409F: muqou' palaiou' kaqavper zwgrafhvmato" aJfh'/ diapeirwvmenou, ‘trying out an old story, like a picture, by touch’: QC 8. 10. 735B: dovxh/ palaia'/ kaqavper grafh'/ prosfevronta" aJfhvn , ‘applying touch to an old belief as if it was a picture’. 10 povrrw ga;r oujk a[peimi (356. 3) could be part of an iambic line, presumably (like the following lines) from tragedy. 11 Barigazzi’s e[rwti at 356. 14 is an improvement. 12 ajpo; mia'" skhvnh": for this use of ei|" see, e.g. Arndt and Gingrich, A GreekEnglish Lexicon of the New Testament, s.v. 2. note also Clem. Alex. Strom. V p. 717, where ejpi; th'" aujth'" skhnh'" refers to Euripides, and Sophocles has just been mentioned. 13 Iliad 5. 831: mainovmenon, tukto;n kakovn, ajlloprosavllon. 14 Isis and Osiris 360A, 377D. 15 At 358. 12–13, read (following Pohlenz) pav q ou" de; gav m ou… teleutw'nto". 16 e.g. Plato, Sophist 221–2, 231D; Laws 831B; Xenophon, Cyneg. 13. 9. 17 The god who speaks in the tragedy (360. 7–9) is undoubtedly Thanatos. That he proclaims his lack of attributes which are specifically Apollo’s suggests that this is part of a confrontation with Apollo, such as Phrynichus’ Alcestis (fr. 1c, Snell), like Euripides’, apparently contained. 18 For another relevant (‘Peripatetic’) classification, see Stobaeus 1. 143: eJtairikhv, suggenikhv, xenikhv, ejrwtikhv, eujergetikhv, qaumastikhv, (‘friendship of companionship, of kinship, of guest and host, of love, of benefactors, of admiration’). 19 Cf. Dio Chrysostom 1. 39 ff., 12. 75 ff., Cornutus 9. 14–40 Lang. 20 Winckelmann’s parexiovnto" (361. 13) is quite right; and the reference to Plato Rep. 503A is clear. 21 ‘Third’ in Plato also (Phaedrus 245A, which Plutarch quotes), but in another list; Plato’s two preceding kinds – the divinatory madness of Delphi and the Sibyl, and Corybantic or purificatory rites which cure disease – are both part of Plutarch’s second category. 22 Antisthenes fr. 136 Giannantoni, Diogenes epist. 12, Crates epist. 21, etc. 23 These are natural hymn topics: cf. e.g. Aristides’ Hymn to Dionysus, and my analysis in Antonine Literature (Oxford, 1990), 211–5. 24 Martial 1. 41. 16, 10. 101; Juvenal 5. 4. The same story of Cipius, Lucilius 1223 Marx = 251 Warmington. 25 Fr. 322, 1. Compare the reversal of Cato’s dictum (759C); this is a quite common way of arousing interest and displaying learning. 26 Sophocles fr. 410 Nauck. 27 In 369. 17 the traditional reading ejrwmevnw/ d∆ aujtou' genomevnw/ is surely right.

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Plutarch, Amatorius 13–18 28

Contrast this with the assumptions of Plutarch’s work on ‘Virtues in Women’ (Moralia 242–63), which make it clear that all the virtues can exist in both sexes, with not much more difference of character than between individual members of the same sex. 29 Or rather his two speeches; the end of the first, a narrative interlude, and the beginning of the second are all lost in the long lacuna at 766D. 30 “Erw" didavskei, ka]n a[mouso" h/\ to; privn . Aristophanes (Wasps 1074) used the line; Plato quoted it (Symposium 196E), and this may account for its popularity later (Plutarch has it also in Moralia 405F, 622C), and there are several other quotations: cf. E. Stemplinger, Das Plagiat in der griechischen Literatur (1912), 249. 31 Also in Alcibiades 4. 32 Certamen Homeri et Hesiodi 274: for the text, see Barigazzi’s note on our passage. 33 We may think also (and perhaps Plutarch did) of Xenophon’s dream (Anabasis 3. 1. 11); and of Hipposthenidas’ dream in de genio Socratis and Theocritus’ favourable interpretation of it (587A–C). 34 A bizarre comparison: the point seems to lie in the contrast between myth and truth (ajlhqw'", 372. 20); since Virgil and Ovid are our only evidence for this aspect of Cacus’ character, we must conclude that Plutarch knew, or knew of, their versions of the story. 35 Fr. 31 Lobel-Page (‘Longinus’ 10. 2). The lacuna in EB at 373. 3 may indicate the omission of the actual quotation (possibly of lines 7–16 of the poem?); but Plutarch need not have quoted so well-known a piece, and probably did not. 36 A fragment of peri; e[rwto" (fr. 134) discusses this passage of Menander (fr. 541 Körte), and takes a more positive view. The speaker (peri; e[rwto" may have been a dialogue) approves the notion of a ‘moment’ (kairov"), on the ground that there must be a meeting of the active and passive partners, having a certain relationship to each other; the lucky moment joins the partner ready to ‘experience’ with the partner who acts. A much longer extract of Menander is quoted. 37 See Hermogenes de ideis 359 Rabe. 38 See the brief account in my note on Dio 12. 39–48 (p. 188, in Dio Chrysostom: Orations VII, XII, XXXVI, Cambridge 1992): a recent full discussion is that of G. Lieberg in ANRW 1. 4. 63–115 (1973). 39 Hesiod, Works and Days 11: Iliad 9. 502, 13. 29, 15. 119. It is noticeable that the list is of beings who are disagreeable in one way or another. The examples are thus tendentiously chosen. 40 Euripides fr. 136 (Andromeda) has the often-quoted line su; d∆ w\ qew'n tuvranne kajnqrwvpwn “Erw". 41 Cf. Quaest. Conv. 2. 5. 2 (639E): a breach is made in the wall for the returning victor. See S.-T. Teodorsson ad loc. 42 Fr. 595: used by Plutarch also at Mor. 96C, 482A and 533A.

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HEALTH AND POLITICS IN PLUTARCH’S DE TUENDA SANITATE PRAECEPTA1 Luigi Senzasono The clear connection between health and ethics in De Tuenda Sanitate Praecepta implies also a connection between health and what one might call a subsection of ethics, namely the world of politics. 2 This element, however, remains in the background for much of the text, without appearing in an explicit form as a theme of thought; for much of the work, almost until the end, the political world only appears as a paradigm, mostly in the form of a comparison or analogy, in order to illuminate aspects of the nature of health or to endow it with greater significance for a connotative purpose by suggesting a parallelism between their two natures. The connotative aspect may be absent, as in 124D–E, where the writer reports the Socratic exhortation, to use them [sc. foods and drinks] only if we needed them, and to make the pleasure in them serve our necessity, just as our statesmen do who turn to military uses their funds for amusements (qewrikav).3

Here the comparison helps only to clarify and determine the thought, and so is different from other comparisons and similes appearing in this work. By contrast, in 125F we find a humorous saying of the cynic poet Crates, the original application of which was to politics, transformed into a humorous remark about healthy living: So Crates, thinking that luxury and extravagance were as much to blame as anything for the growth of civil discords and the rule of despots in states, humorously advised: ‘Do not, by always making our fare more ample than lentils, | Throw us all into discord.’ 4 And let everybody exhort himself ‘not to make his fare always more ample than lentils’, and by all means not to proceed beyond cress and olives to croquettes and fish, and by overeating throw ‘his body into discord’, that is to say, into derangements and diarrhoeas.

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Luigi Senzasono The political thought of Crates is connected with an individual ethical theme (luxury and extravagance); Plutarch transforms the ethical admonition into a dietary one by maintaining the jocular tone. But Plutarch’s humorous transference of Crates’ advice from one sphere to another nonetheless manages on a metaphorical level to unify the medical meaning with the political sense of Crates’ remark. The expression eij" stavsin bavlhi" (‘throw into discord’), in itself political, acquires a pathological meaning through a parodic process that recalls some similar passages of Attic Old Comedy.5 In 126D–E the sphere of health is approximated to the political sphere by means of a saying of Demades: As Demades used to say that the Athenians, who were for making war in season and out of season, never voted for a peace save when wearing black, so we never give a thought to a plain and restrained way of living except when using cauterizations [enemas: Babbitt] and poultices. 6

Here the introduction to the comparison, which is made in the most common manner by the simple comparative nexus w{sper…ou{tw", (‘just as…so’) has a serious tone, or rather the comparison with the dramatic historical anecdote and the orator’s sad hint at wearing black in mourning, raises to a solemn level the humble affairs of the sphere of health. Soon afterwards,7 in 126E, we find a development of a similar medical theme through a comparison with military matters, which, by and large, are part of the political sphere: Nay, we should recall how Lysimachus among the Getae was constrained by thirst to surrender himself and the army with him as prisoners of war, and afterwards as he drank cold water exclaimed, ‘My God, for what a brief pleasure have I thrown away great prosperity!’ And in the same way we ought in our attacks of illness to remember that for a cold drink, an illtimed bath, or a social party, we have spoiled many of our pleasures and have ruined many an honourable enterprise and delightful recreation.

Here the theme of healthy living, illuminated by the comparison introduced by the usual expression w{sper…ou{tw", is already present within the anecdote from the political sphere (the theme of thirst), and so is better connected with it, but the famous personage (a general) and the historical flavour to the story bestow solemnity on the theme of health. In 128C we find as a paradigm of dietary advice the Spartan manner of cooking, which may be looked on as political in as much as it represents at an emblematic level the customs of a whole people: And as the Spartans give to the cook vinegar and salt only, bidding him

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Health and Politics in Plutarch’s De Tuenda Sanitate Praecepta seek whatever else he needs in the slaughtered animal itself, so in the body are the best of sauces for whatever is served, if so be that it is served to a body which is healthy and clean.

Here too the comparison is introduced in the most usual manner through the comparative nexus kaqavper…ou{tw" (‘just as…so’) and raises to a solemn tone the dietary theme by evoking the sense of the austere frugality of the Spartans. We may deem political in a broad sense other references to the customs of peoples, as in the instance of the Lydians in 132F. They are introduced as an example for the lover of learning and poetry: a custom due to economic necessity becomes the paradigm for a piece of advice suggested both by health considerations and by a feeling for ethical dignity. Immediately afterwards, in 133A, this exemplum is extended by a comparison between a Greek man and a Scythian. We find another reference to foreign peoples in 134D, where the inappropriate use of emetic and purgative substances is compared to receiving into a Greek town a crowd of Arab and Scythian immigrants: Just imagine that anybody, feeling much troubled at the crowd of Greeks living in his city, should fill up the city with Arab and Scythian immigrants!

The Arabs and the Scythians are peoples not only living far from the Greek world as far as geographical distance is concerned, but also remote from it in terms of culture and civilization. Once again the nexus w{sper…ou{tw" (‘just as…so’) determines in a clear and simple way the approaching comparison; and here too the healthy body and the political world are connected so that the former acquires from the latter a paradigm which raises it from its natural humble importance to a level of moral dignity at a metaphorical level. These political elements may easily be traced back to the moral thesis that runs through the whole opusculum and reveals itself to be closely connected with the theme of health;8 however, whereas the moral thesis is showing itself more and more as the real aim of the discourse on health, the more specific political theme, in abeyance earlier, comes to the foreground at the end of the book. On this reading, we may consider that the connotative and paradigmatic approximation of health and the political sphere in the passages we have quoted constitutes in fact a prelude, reiterated from time to time, to a topic which will emerge fully at the end of the work: namely, the ethical theme of the importance of health to the collective, public, interest, not on a connotative, but actually on a denotative level. This full expression of the political theme takes root in the dietary

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Luigi Senzasono rules at 135A–B, where Plutarch indicates that a liberal regime is preferable for the body, not enslaved or bound to one formula of life, which has trained itself to be guided by certain seasons, or numbers, or schedules.

Otherwise we shall have a retired, idle, solitary, friendless, and inglorious life, far removed from the duties of citizenship (ajpwtavtw th'" politeiva").

Indeed, health is not purchased by idleness and inactivity.

Up to this point the ethical and political theme is subordinated to the medical aim, but in 135B–C the reverse is true; after asserting the importance of political life, the writer presents it as an aim to be aspired to: For a man in good health could not devote himself to any better object than to numerous humane 9 activities.

On the other hand, least of all is it to be assumed that laziness is healthful, if it destroys what health aims at.

Phocion and Demetrius did not keep in better health than their philosopher teachers Xenocrates and Theophrastus. Thus we have an interaction of the health theme and the political theme. At this point a hint of anti-Epicureanism appears: The running away from every activity that smacked of ambition did not help Epicurus and his followers at all to attain their much-talked-of condition of perfect bodily health.10

filotimiva (‘ambition’) is precisely the mainspring of men in public life, and may be reconciled with sarko;" eujstavqeia (‘perfect bodily stability’); here we touch on a basic theme of this work, namely conformity with nature.11 Thus the medical ideal of stability in the soul and in the body, which is necessary for an ethical life,12 becomes also a goal for which political life is necessary. So the interacting relationship between the two which we have indicated is confirmed. So, statesmen must give up addressing their efforts to worthless matters and thus subjecting their physical capabilities to unnecessary stress (135D) and they must take some rest in order to have their bodies ready for action (135F–136A). Once more the medical aspect is seen as a necessary precondition for political activity, which is in turn its telos. 116 Return to Table of Contents

Health and Politics in Plutarch’s De Tuenda Sanitate Praecepta Because the connection between the two can on the whole be seen to be reciprocal one, Plutarch’s argument arrives at a point where in a profound sense both elements become a single reality in 136D, with regard to a man who has in hand some public activity or philosophic meditation;

the writer adapts for him a saying attributed to Epaminondas: 13 What time has this man now for indigestion or drunkenness or carnal desires?

Here health, morality and statecraft are bound together with an indissoluble bond. Moreover here political activity is coupled with philosophic activity. Likewise, almost at the end of the treatise (137C), Plutarch mentions scholars and men in public life, with reference to whom our discussion has taken its present form.

Cultural and speculative activity and political activity, the highest form of activity at a practical level,14 are united by their value and their dignity and consequently their representatives are united as the addressees of the opusculum.15 So here politics acquires that dignity which emerges fully and frequently in other specific works of the Moralia devoted to it16 and is most completely realised in the exemplary purpose of the Parallel Lives. Rome

Notes 1

Quotations in English are taken from the translation of F.C. Babbitt, Plutarch’s Moralia II, Advice about Keeping Well, London, New York, 1928. At 126E I follow a different reading from Babbitt, preferring the reading of the MSS kauvsewn to his correction kluvsewn: see below, p. 114. 2 Well before Plutarch’s time the mainstream of the Greek philosophic tradition had established a close connection between the ethical sphere and the political; indeed the political world was a subsection, or at any rate a part, of the ethical sphere; thus in De Tuenda Sanitate Praecepta Platonic and Stoic ethical thought, which looks upon participation in public life as a duty, is set in opposition to Epicureanism in 135C. 3 The source for this passage is most probably Dem. Ol. III 11. 4 See ALG, I, p. 123, Crates n. 6, Diehl3 (H. Diels, PPF, p. 219, Crates Theb., fr. 6). 5 See e.g. Ar. Frogs 1264–95, where Euripides parodies Aeschylus’ lyrics by quoting at random some of his rival’s verses, and Frogs 1309–22 and 1331–63,

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Luigi Senzasono where Aeschylus in turn mocks Euripides’ lyric poetry by a parody of its most typical characteristics. Of course in comedy there is a leap from the serious tone of the tragic text to the comic one, whereas Plutarch starts from one humorous remark and progresses to another. 6 See V. De Falco, Demade oratore. Testimonianze e frammenti, Napoli 1954, fr. 3, p. 21. 7 The transition from the former comparison to the latter consists of a psychological explanation of the way in which we tend to repress our consciousness of mistakes in our health regime and resist remembering them. 8 See Plutarco, Precetti igienici. Introduzione, testo critico, traduzione e commento a cura di Luigi Senzasono, Napoli 1992, Introduzione, pp. 16–7 and n. 21; p. 19, n. 24. 9 In the text filanqrwvpou": the term recurs in Plutarch’s works and appears in Plato, Aristotle, and Theophrastus along with filanqrwpiva. See LSJ s.v., and Plutarco, Sul controllo dell’ira. Introduzione, testo critico, traduzione e commento a cura di Renato Laurenti e Giovanni Indelli, Napoli 1988, p. 38, n. 109. Here the word, which ordinarily indicates an ethical and psychological attitude, overcoming the self in feeling goodwill towards one’s fellow man, acquires a political dimension when the context as a whole is taken into account. 10 On Plutarch’s polemic against the Epicurean abstention from public life, see Adversus Colotem, 1127D–E and An recte dictum sit latenter esse vivendum, 1129B, 1129C, 1129D. 11 Indeed the stability of the body is an aspect of conformity to nature, a theme which is present in most of this treatise. So Plutarch does not reject some Epicurean ethical ideas. See Plutarco, Precetti igienici, op. cit., pp. 25 ff. 12 See the end of this treatise, 137E: ‘And we should feel that of the good gifts which fair and lovely Health bestows the fairest is the unhampered opportunity to get and to use virtue both in words and in deeds.’ 13 Here too the historical world impinges, through the reference to the battle of Leuctra. 14 Tyranny, however, is excluded by Plutarch from this high esteem: see the quotation from Eur. (Pho. 524–5) in 125D–E, where the usual comparison of the sphere of health with the political world contains a derogatory remark about those who do wrong for the sake of gaining power: ‘the Theban, who is not correct in saying…’ (oujk ojrqw'" levgwn). See also 135F, where a saying of Jason, the tyrant of Pherae, is quoted for the customary parallel without explicit disapproval, but without sympathy either: ‘I do not know what possessed Jason to say…’ (oJ me;n ou\n Ijavswn oujk oi\d'∆ o{ti paqwvn…e[legen). 15 See Plutarco, Precetti igienici, op. cit., pp. 48–54. 16 See especially Praecepta gerendae reipublicae, An seni respublica gerenda sit, Maxime cum principibus philosopho esse disserendum; perhaps the first mentioned may have been influenced by De tuenda sanitate praecepta in some passages, in its general conception and in its structure: see J.-C. Carrière, Plutarque, Oeuvres morales, XI, deuxième partie, Préceptes politiques, Paris 1984, p. 19, n. 1.

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PLUTARCH’S DINNER OF THE SEVEN WISE MEN AND ITS PLACE IN SYMPOSION LITERATURE1 Judith Mossman nu'n ga;r dh; zavpedon kaqaro;n kai; cei're" aJpavntwn kai; kuvlike": plektou;" d∆ ajmfitiqei' stefavnou", a[llo" d∆ eujw'de" muvron ejn fiavlhi parateivnei: krath;r d∆ e{sthken mesto;" ejufrosuvnh": a[llo" d∆ oi\no" eJtoi'mo", o}" ou[potev fhsi provdwsein meivlico" ejn keravmoi", a[nqeo" ojzovmeno": ejn de; mevsoi" aJgnh;n ojdmh;n libanwto;" i{hsin, yucro;n d∆ ejsti;n u{dwr kai; gluku; kai; kaqarovn: pavrkeatai d∆ a[rtoi xanqoi; gerarhv te travpeza turou' kai; mevlito" pivono" ajcqomevnh: bwmo;" d∆ a[nqesin a]n to; mevson pavnthi pepuvkastai, molph; d∆ ajmfi;" e[cei dwvmata kai; qalivh. crh; de; prw'ton me;n qeo;n uJmnei'n eu[frona" a[ndra" eujfhvmoi" muvqoi" kai; kaqaroi'si lovgoi", speivsantav" te kai; eujxamevnou" ta; divkaia duvnasqai prhvssein: tau'ta ga;r w\n ejsti; proceirovteron, oujc u{brei": pivnein d∆ oJpovson ken e[cwn ajfivkoio oi[kad∆ a[neu propovlou mh; pavnu ghralevo". ajndrw'n d∆ aijnei'n tou'ton o}" ejsqla; piw;n ajnafaivnei, w{" h\i mnhmosuvnh kai; tovno" ajmf∆ ajreth'", ou[ ti mavca" dievpein Tithvnwn oujde; Gigavntwn oujdev < > Kentauvrwn, plavsma tw'n protevrwn, h] stavsia" sfedanav": toi'" oujde;n crhsto;n e[nestin: qew'n promhqeivhn aije;n e[cein ajgaqhvn. For now the floor is clean, and everybody’s hands and cups; a servant garlands us with wreaths; another offers fragrant perfume from a dish; the mixing-bowl’s set up, brimful of cheer, and further jars of wine stand ready, promising never to fail – soft wine that smells of flowers. The frankincense sends out its holy scent all round the room; there’s water, cool and clear and sweet; bread lies to hand, gold-brown; a splendid table, too, with cheeses and thick honey loaded down.

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Judith Mossman The altar in the middle’s decked about with flowers; festivity and song pervade the house. The first thing men of sense should do is sing of God in words of holiness and purity, with a libation and a prayer for means to do what’s right; that’s more straightforward, after all, than crimes. Then drink what you can hold and still get home unaided (if, of course, you’re not too old). Applaud the man who brings out good things in his cups, so that attention is attuned to good: don’t be relating wars of Titans or of Giants or Centaurs, fictions of the men of old, or strife and violence. There’s no benefit in that. No, always keep the gods duly in mind. 2

The symposion was such an important and fertile cultural institution in the ancient world that it not only generated literature which was to be performed at it, but also literature which described and prescribed what a symposion should be like, and, further, literature which purported to record what happened at specific symposia, real or imaginary. This essay will be primarily concerned with the third type of literature, and that is what is meant by the term ‘symposion literature’ in its title, but all three types of symposiac works overlap with each other on occasion. Such overlaps, when they occur, lead to interesting and complex literary constructions: Xenophanes fr. 1 is a case in point. On the one hand it is hard to envisage any performance context for this poem other than a symposion;3 on the other hand the opening description is clearly idealized, and the poem becomes overtly prescriptive in line 13; finally, present tenses and the careful ordering of details in the opening description conspire to suggest that the poet is describing the actual symposion at which he is performing the poem. The impression given is that he surveys the scene around him, and, just before the serious business of the evening begins, breaks off from his observation of the dining room to deliver a stern injunction to keep the standard of conversation high. So the poem can be fitted into all three categories, without belonging exclusively to any one. In particular, prescriptive symposion literature is often combined with a description of an actual symposion: Plutarch’s Table Talk and Athenaeus are the obvious examples.4 The type of symposion literature which describes specific symposia has been very well discussed by Hug, Martin, Gera, and most recently by Rutherford,5 and has its origins (as Gera and Rutherford point out) in descriptions of feasting in Homer. By the time of Plutarch it is clearly a very well-established genre, dominated by Plato’s Symposium (this must 120 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men be the case, whatever else has been lost). Given such Platonic authority, it is hardly surprising that Plutarch decided to attempt a variation on the theme, and the result is the Dinner of the Seven Wise Men. It seems probable that Plutarch was by no means the first to imagine a banquet of the Seven Wise Men:6 Plato seems to envisage such a gathering at Protagoras 343a ff. (cf. 343b1 koinh'i xunelqovnte", ‘coming together in common’), and Diogenes Laertius I 40–4 is quite specific: ∆Arcevtimo" de; oJ Surakouvsio" oJmilivan aujtw'n ajnagevgrafe para; Kuyevlwi, h|i kai; aujtov" fhsi paratucei'n: “Eforo" de; para; Kroivswi plh;n Qalou'. fasi; dev tine" kai; ejn Paniwnivwi kai; ejn Korivnqwi kai; ejn Delfoi'" sunelqei'n aujtou;". Archetimus the Syracusan describes their [the Seven Sages] gathering at the court of Cypselus, at which he said he happened to be present himself; Ephorus [sc. set it] at the court of Croesus, without Thales. Some say that they came together at the Panionion and in Corinth and in Delphi.

We have no evidence for what these works were like, and this is unfortunate; but even the bare notice in Diogenes Laertius shows that if Plutarch knew them, he was not following them at all slavishly. He does not mention either work in his list of symposion literature in the address to Q. Sosius Senecio at the start of Table Talk (612D), but it is specifically a list of philosophic symposia, so perhaps Ephorus at least would not have fitted there. 7 Sources whose influence can easily be discerned, and whose relationship to Plutarch I would like to discuss in detail, are the Symposia of Plato and Xenophon, and Herodotus’ Histories. Herodotus might also have been listed by Rutherford as having passages which lie behind more developed symposion literature of the third type, since there are some memorable dinner parties in the work; 8 and of course Herodotus provides much of the detail for Plutarch’s historical setting. The dramatic date of the Dinner is in fact one of its most distinctive features in terms of Plutarch’s other work; of the other dialogues, only Socrates’ Daimonion is set before Plutarch’s lifetime. There are several anachronisms and chronological impossibilities in the dialogue, as there are in Herodotus, and the most striking of these is indeed one which Plutarch has taken over from Herodotus: namely, the contemporaneity of Solon with Croesus and Amasis. Periander (possible reasons for his participation will be suggested later) also seems to have wandered in from an earlier period; if Archetimus’ work was really set at the court of Cypselus he was even bolder with chronology than Plutarch. 9 But it is clear that chronological impossibilities are implicit in the very existence of the canon of the Seven Sages as set down by Plato: it would be astonishing if Plutarch had even wanted to eliminate 121 Return to Table of Contents

Judith Mossman them, let alone succeeded. 10 It is clear that Plutarch’s attitude in this dialogue is very much the same as that expressed in the Life of Solon, 27. 1: he is not going to let a little thing like chronology stand in his way when he wants to use a story to express a wider and more important truth.11 Wilamowitz was of the opinion that Plutarch was just not very bothered about historical realism: ‘Er hat keinen archäologischen Roman geschrieben, sondern Solon und Thales ruhig sich tragen und betragen lassen, als wären sie Papa Lamprias und Schwager Soklaros.’12 This seems right to the extent that most Greek literature – tragedy, for example – is more interested in playing with anachronism than in banishing it;13 but Wilamowitz goes on to imply that the dialogue is badly and undramatically written, and this seems quite wrong: ‘Aber für poetisches Schaffen war Plutarchos noch viel weniger begabt als für geschichtliches Urteil, und gar einen Stoff, so einfach er auch war, zu dramatisieren, ging weit über seine Kräfte. [Nichts ist bezeichnender, als daß Plutarch seine Personen lachen und immer wieder lachen läßt, offenbar weil er zeigen will, wie witzig sie ihre Reden finden und wie wohl ihnen allen ist. Dem Leser kommt daß freilich schließlich recht albern vor, nam risu inepto res ineptior nullast.]’ 14 In fact, the Dinner is a richly and allusively written piece whose dramatic context and narrative are inextricably entwined with its content and should give the reader more to think about than counting cacchinnations; in any case, as Gera has shown, the mixture of laughter and seriousness is already central to the genre by the time of Xenophon.15 The Dinner is a difficult piece in many ways: the subject matter of the dinner conversation is very diverse, and, partly in consequence of that diversity and the subtle nature of the logical connections in the discussion, the structure is very delicately hinged together and takes some time to perceive. Defradas has some interesting remarks on the structure of the dialogue: ‘Depuis le procédé du dialogue rapporté jusqu’ au mythe final où l’idée s’épanouit, tout le plan du Banquet répond au schéma suivi par Platon: le préambule dramatique, la première partie morcelée en un dialogue fait de courtes répliques, la seconde partie, constituée d’exposés plus substantiels, cette conclusion abrupte enfin, qui donne l’impression que bien des questions restent en suspens et que l’auteur fuit devant une conclusion.’ 16 On this topic I will not be materially altering his conclusions so much as filling them out. Before looking at the discussion and events of the Dinner in detail, I would like to focus more closely on some of the personae of the dialogue. Plutarch takes some trouble to point out in the opening conversation of the dialogue that the dinner-party included people 122 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men other than the Seven themselves (146C1 ff.), and in fact in all there are nineteen characters in the dialogue. The Seven are not necessarily whom we would expect, though there was a good deal of dispute about who should be included in the canon in antiquity: this is discussed at length by Diogenes Laertius I. 40–4: stasiavzetai de; kai; peri; tou' ajriqmou' aujtw'n. Maiavndrio" me;n ga;r ajnti; Kleobouvlou kai; Muvswno" Lewvfanton Gorgivada, Lebevdion h] ∆Efevsion, ejgkrivnei kai; ∆Epimenivdhn to;n Krh'ta: Plavtwn de; ejn Prwtagovrai Muvswna ajnti; Periavndrou: “Eforo" de; ajnti; Muvswno" ∆Anavcarsin: oiJ de; kai; Puqagovran prosgravfousin. Dikaivarco" de; tevssara" wJmologoumevnou" hJmi''n paradivdwsi, Qalh'n, Bivanta, Pittakovn, Sovlwna. a[llou" de; ojnomavzei e{x, w|n ejklevxasqai trei' " , ∆Aristov d hmon, Pav m fulon, Civ l wna Lakedaimov n ion, Kleov b oulon, ∆Anavcarsin, Perivandron. e[nioi prostiqevasin ∆Akousivlaon Kavba h] Skavbra ∆Argei'on. ”Ermippo" d∆ ejn tw'i Peri; tw'n sofw'n eJptakaivdekav fhsin, w|n tou;" eJpta; a[llou" a[llw" aiJrei'sqai: ei\nai de; Sovlwna, Qalh'n, Pittakovn, Bivanta, Civlwna, , Kleovboulon, Perivandron, ∆Anavcarsin, ∆Akousivlaon, ∆Epimenivdhn, Lewvfanton, Ferekuvdhn, ∆Aristovdhmon, Puqagovran, La'son Carmantivdou h] Sisumbrivnou, h] wJ" ∆Aristovxeno" Cabrivnou, ÔErmioneva, ∆Anaxagovran. ÔIppovboto" de; ejn th'i Tw'n filosovfwn ajnagrafh'i: ∆Orfeva, Livnon, Sovlwna, Perivandron, ∆Anavcarsin, Kleovboulon, Muvswna, Qalh'n, Bivanta, Pittakovn, ∆Epivcarmon, Puqagovran. Nor is there any agreement how the number is made up; for Maeandrius, in place of Cleoboulos and Myson, includes Leophantus, son of Gorgias, of Lebedus or Ephesus, and Epimenides the Cretan, in the list; and Plato in the Protagoras names Myson instead of Periander; Ephorus substitutes Anacharsis for Myson, and others add Pythagoras. Dicaearchus reports four agreed names, Thales, Bias, Pittacus, and Solon. He names six others, from whom he says three have been selected, Aristodemus, Pamphylus, Chilon the Spartan, Cleoboulus, Anacharsis, and Periander. Some add Acusilaus son of Cabas or Scabras the Argive. Hermippus in the On the Wise Men names seventeen, from whom he says some choose the seven in one combination, others in another; they are: Solon, Thales, Pittacus, Bias, Chilon, , Cleoboulus, Periander, Anacharsis, Acusilaus, Epimenides, Leophantus, Pherecydes, Aristodemus, Pythagoras, Lasus son of Charmantides or Sisymbrinus, or, as Aristoxenus says, Chabrinus, of Hermione, and Anaxagoras. Hippobotus in Of the philosophers cites Orpheus, Linus, Solon, Periander, Anacharsis, Cleoboulus, Myson, Thales, Bias, Pittacus, Epicharmus, Pythagoras.17

Faced with various possible combinations of pick-and-mix Sages, Plutarch has been fairly conservative, following Plato in that he excludes Periander, but substituting Anacharsis instead of the mysterious Myson; in that he apparently follows Ephorus. Periander is undoubtedly excluded from the Seven, as Aalders suggests,18 because he is a tyrant, but his role as host is an important one. 123 Return to Table of Contents

Judith Mossman Why Anacharsis, though? There are several possible reasons. First, he seems to have been a figure whose stature grew in the literary tradition as time went on, as Kindstrand has shown.19 Secondly, as a barbarian he has a far more easily defined personality than Myson, whose place of origin is uncertain, and who generally seems a rather shadowy figure;20 Plutarch makes play with Anacharsis’ barbarian origin as soon as he is introduced, in the rather charming picture of Cleoboulina arranging his shaggy hair at 148C, and continues to do so. Thirdly, Anacharsis appears in Herodotus and his presence can thus be said to contribute to the Herodotean, and therefore archaic, colouring of the piece.21 He can also be seen as balancing the presence of the Egyptian Neiloxenus, the envoy of the pharaoh Amasis; in Herodotus, of course, the two great gatherings of ethnographic material concern the Egyptians on the one hand and the Scythians on the other. In Herodotus part of the significance of that is to show the diversity of the peoples threatened by Persia: in the south the historically sophisticated and cultivated Egyptians with their great buildings, and in the north the nomadic and uncounted Scythians.22 In the context of the Dinner, the cosmopolitan company creates the impression that this galaxy of wisdom has been collected from all parts of the world and represents all kinds of intelligence and every tradition of thought. This is a point reinforced by the presence of other characters, not (indeed, never by anyone) included among the Seven, namely Aesop and Cleoboulina. The role of Aesop has rightly been compared to that of Aristophanes in Plato’s Symposium,23 in that both are representatives of more popular culture than the other participants, and both tend towards a lighter tone. Aesop is distinguished by having been a slave, and yet still possessing wisdom,24 and his wisdom in particular is seen as culled from unexpected sources: it is ‘beautiful, colourful and with many voices (poluvglwsso")’ according to Cleodorus (158B), and was suggested by the fable of the hawk and the nightingale in Hesiod.25 It is important that Aesop is seated rather than reclined (150A4); he remains a little on the edge of the company. He is a kindly soul, who twice intervenes in the discussion to rescue participants under pressure: Periander,26 and Cleoboulina. Cleoboulina is obviously extraordinary because she is a woman, one of two at the dinner-party, the other being Melissa, Periander’s wife. The presence of women other than hetairai, flute- or dancing-girls at the symposion is extraordinary, and has been interpreted in several ways. It has been claimed 27 that by Plutarch’s time the symposion was no longer a male preserve, and therefore that there is nothing remarkable

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Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men about his including them, but this seems quite wrong: the passage from Table Talk which Martin tries to use to defend this (712E–F) is actually talking about the presence of women and children at mimes, not dinner-parties (the mimes are unsuitable for dinner-parties because they are vulgar).28 Ullrich29 suggests that their presence was prompted by Plato, Laws 780E, where it is claimed that allowing women to eat on their own encourages their secretive and antisocial tendencies, and that they should have to take part in xussivtiai (‘public dinners’). But, although interpreting Plato’s attitude to women in the Laws is notoriously difficult, 30 these xussivtiai are clearly not mixed occasions, but separate, all-female dinners, which is rather different. Ullrich then supposes that Plutarch has a didactic purpose in including the women, but this seems less than appealing: as Martin points out,31 there are no female participants in Table Talk, and didactic symposion literature is usually pretty direct in its prescriptions for successful parties. I will suggest in a moment a possible reason for the appearance of Melissa; Cleoboulina seems to me again to function as the representative of a less than orthodox type of wisdom which nonetheless has something to offer. This is strongly suggested by the conversation between Diocles, Neiloxenus, and Thales when she first appears at 148C–E: she is sofhvn…kai; peribovhton (‘wise…and famous’), her riddles are known as far off as Egypt,32 but above all she has nou'"… politiko;" kai; filavnqrwpon h\qo" (‘political intelligence and a philanthropic character’), and influences her father, the tyrant of Lindos, to rule pravoteron…kai; dhmotikwvteron (‘more gently and democratically’). This provides the reason why Cleoboulos is allowed by Plutarch to retain his place among the Seven while Periander is displaced, and it is all highly complimentary to her, as is her alternative name, Eumetis. When she is snubbed by the grumpy Cleodorus (who ‘fait figure de trouble-fête’, in Defradas’ phrase33), Aesop successfully rescues her, using one of her riddles to puzzle the man who has undervalued them. 34 The thrust of the conversation at that point in the dialogue supports the value of her wisdom, since Thales and Periander between them have just demonstrated the potential philosophical value of riddles, and she is vindicated as an intelligent person. Later, at 157A– B, another of her riddles introduces a discussion about moderation and excess, which confirms this impression. Despite all this esteem, she never actually speaks, in demurely modest fashion, and she too sits at dinner, unlike Melissa, which perhaps parallels her with Aesop.35 So the wisdom aired at the dinner-party is characterized as being of all kinds and coming from all possible sources, even some pretty

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Judith Mossman unlikely places; and yet, as Defradas has shown, it is in substance overwhelmingly Platonic in tone. But this is by no means unselfconscious on Plutarch’s part: it suits him very well to give the impression that truth, by whomsoever it may be spoken among the wisest of the world, remains Platonic truth. What of Periander and Melissa? I would argue that their presence is of great importance and forms a key part of an important and neglected theme in the dialogue: namely, love. Love, especially homosexual love, is a key theme of all symposion literature, from the songs of Anacreon to Plato’s Symposium.36 The location of Plutarch’s Dinner is para; to; th'" ∆Afrodivth" iJerovn (‘by the sanctuary of Aphrodite’). Its occasion is the conciliation of the goddess with sacrifices by Periander, after a long interval during which he refused to sacrifice to her because of the suicide of his mother as the result of an unhappy love-affair, 37 and yet love in the dialogue is largely undiscussed. This is the more surprising because the dialogue is remarkable for the prominence it gives to heterosexual, and particularly connubial, love. In this it resembles Plutarch’s Erotikos, and to some extent Xenophon’s Symposium, although in both of these works both heterosexual and homosexual love receive attention, even if the ending in both cases is devoted to a pageant of connubiality.38 But in the Dinner, the contrast seems to be very much between connubial love and dysfunctional heterosexual love; homosexual passion does not figure at all.39 This is quite contrary to the conventions of the genre, and Martin felt this so strongly that he very oddly attempted to insert a homosexual exchange into the Dinner by claiming: ‘So scheint Plutarch im Weisengastmahl, bezeichnend genug für den tovpo", ein sonst nicht bekanntes Liebesverhältnis zwischen Solon und Äsop vorauszusetzen, wenn er den Weisen den Fabeldichter, der zu seinen Füßen Platz genommen hat, ihn zulächelnd am Kopfe fassen läßt.’ 40 Of course, when we think of connubial love in connection with Periander and Melissa, it becomes apparent that there is a good deal of underlying sadness and irony throughout the Dinner. The first mention of Melissa in Herodotus, at III. 50, is brutally casual. She is confined to a subordinate clause: ejpeivte ga;r th;n eJwutou' gunai'ka Mevlissan Perivandro" ajpevkteine... (‘for when Periander had killed his wife Melissa’), and this introduces the tragic tale of Periander’s relations with his beloved younger son.41 I use the word ‘tragic’ advisedly: the episode has something of the same quality as the confrontation between Oedipus and Polyneices in Sophocles. Her ghost appears in book V, with its Gothic complaint of feeling cold and its revelation of

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Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men Periander’s necrophilia, all, presumably, to illustrate the faults of tyrants. That Periander will murder his wife is hinted at in the Dinner by the portent of the centaur, and cannot be forgotten. The creation of sadness and irony in a literary symposion is hardly without precedent: Plato’s Symposium is redolent with touches which remind us that many of the participants of this happy evening will come terribly to grief, and some will not be without responsibility for the sorrows of others. Alcibiades, who enters with a flute-girl, will be buried by a hetaira;42 Socrates will die for ‘corrupting’ young men like Alcibiades, whose follies will be laid unjustly at his door; and (perhaps) the lightheartedness of Aristophanes will unintentionally convince the Athenians of Socrates’ dangerous worthlessness. 43 There are no grounds for supposing that the unhappy end of Periander’s and Melissa’s marriage in Plutarch is supposed to contradict the features of the dialogue which tend to extol the virtues of happy marriage in general, any more than Socrates’ death undermines his arguments in Plato. The shipwreck of the marriage is hinted at partly through the constant disparagement of tyranny (here the love-theme and the important political theme meet44 ), and partly through implicit contrasts with other love-affairs conducted more moderately than one can expect a tyrant like Periander to conduct his emotions. Tyrants in general, not just Periander, are bad with women in Herodotus: this is one of the complaints made against them in the debate on government at III. 80. 5. In general in the Dinner, good government,45 happy connubiality and the welfare of the soul are linked, and tyranny, dysfunctional sexual relations, and sickness of the spirit are associated. In what remains of this essay, I intend to try to illustrate the connections of thought in the dialogue, and, among other themes, to show the importance of love and its connection with the other concerns of the piece. After the opening address to Nicarchus46 and the explanation for Periander’s sacrifice to Aphrodite (the irony begins early: he is motivated to sacrifice by Melissa’s dreams),47 Plutarch describes the journey of Diocles the narrator, Thales, and Neiloxenos to the banquet. This initial conversation introduces mostly political themes, and in particular the anti-tyrannical tone of the dialogue is set up (147B) in the hostility towards despots ascribed to Thales, who dominates the first part of the dialogue. Thales lightheartedly compares his feelings on having an anti-tyrannical saying falsely ascribed to him with those of a young man who threw a stone at his dog, but hit his step-mother 127 Return to Table of Contents

Judith Mossman instead, and exclaimed ‘Not so bad after all!’ This is obviously a wellworn joke against the wicked step-mother, but it constitutes a small straw in the wind which suggests that an association of domestic and political issues will develop. When they arrive at the house, the first people they see are Anacharsis and Cleoboulina, whom we have already discussed, and whose intellectual relationship Plutarch depicts with complete approval; the charming and affectionate girl is delighting her male companion by her care for him, and he is instructing her in Scythian medicine. This is somewhat like the desired relationship between husband and wife as sketched by Plutarch in the Coniugalia Praecepta (141F–142C and 145B–E).48 It is in stark contrast to the next person they encounter. Alexidemus of Miletus is the illegitimate son (novqo") of Thrasybulus of Miletus, the tyrant who, in Herodotus, gave Periander a sinister political tip by slashing off the heads of the tallest ears of wheat in the field.49 He is angry because he claims to have been assigned an inferior place at the banquet, and is storming out. The guest who becomes angry and leaves a dinner-party, often because of discontent with his place, is a symposion-topos, 50 but it is significant that this guest leaves, and that he leaves right at the start of the meal, and that he interprets his unsatisfactory placement as an insult to his father, whose advice Periander has earlier been said to be ignoring. He is soundly rebuked by Thales, but is unable to derive benefit from his wisdom, and crudely rejects it before leaving. Thales finishes off the interlude with this product of extra-marital sex with an extraordinary story about him: as a lad, he drank some expensive perfume which had been sent to his father as a gift, which reflected badly on Thrasybulus. Alexidemus’ claim to be offended on his father’s behalf thus looks thin; the overall effect of the encounter is that sexual incontinence is connected with tyranny, and is seen to rebound on it. This connection is continued by the portent of the centaur, which follows immediately. This is an excellent example of the spoudaiogevloion which Gera identifies as so characteristic of the genre of symposion-literature.51 On one level, the portent is very serious, and Diocles’ interpretation of it points inexorably to Melissa’s murder; but Thales merely advises Periander to find wives for his grooms, and then, rather cruelly, suggests that the portent has already been fulfilled by the departure of Alexidemus. This is taken up by Aesop, in his fable of the mule who suddenly realises that he is only half a horse and gives up his airs. So the pompous young man’s pretensions to dignity on the grounds of his father’s status are thoroughly demolished, and 128 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men the dangers of unorthodox sexuality underlined: it produces half-andhalf things like centaurs, mules, and Alexidemus. At this point a transition is made by the arrival of Melissa and Cleoboulina / Eumetis; as Martin points out, making transitions in the conversation depend on stages of the meal is a feature the Dinner has in common with Xenophon’s Symposium.52 Diocles notes the unusual absence of luxury from the dinner, imposed by Periander out of consideration to his wise guests. Periander has extended this to having Melissa dress more quietly than usual, and this is creditable to him, as husbands should, according to Plutarch, set a good example to their wives in such matters.53 The sinister moment of the portent is past, and Periander is for most of the rest of the dialogue seen as one who, as Thales puts it, is making a good recovery from tyranny (147C), though he obviously has a relapse at 152B. The flute-girl’s modest, indeed religious performance (she accompanies the libations and then leaves – very different from Xenophon’s Symposium), prompts a discussion of flutes before Periander turns the conversation to Neiloxenos’ mission to Bias. The conversation then revolves around politics and law-giving for some considerable time, as a committee of the wise men solves the problems set for Amasis by the king of the Ethiopians. This in many ways is the most difficult part of the dialogue, as the transitions in the disscussion are sometimes unexpected. They might schematically be represented thus: 150F Periander introduces letter of Amasis 151B Letter of Amasis: first problem 151C–D Bias: Solution 151D–E Chilon: Amasis should learn how to govern from Bias 151E–152B Opinions on despotic government 152B Aesop objects in defence of Periander 152C–E Aesop and Solon 152E Periander introduces set of subsidiary problems 152F–153A Letter of Amasis: subsidiary problems 153A–E Thales’ solutions 153E Cleodorus: riddles are a waste of time 153E–154A Periander: riddle decides contest of Homer and Hesiod 154B Cleodorus: attack on Eumetis’ riddles 154B–C Eumetis silent, Aesop defends her successfully 154C–D Mnesiphilus calls for opinions on democratic government 154D–F Opinions on democratic government 154F Diocles calls for opinions on household management 129 Return to Table of Contents

Judith Mossman 155A Aesop: Anacharsis has no home 155A–C Anacharsis attacks Aesop’s conception of a home 155C–D Opinions on household management There is a strong contrast set up by the balancing sets of opinions on despotic and democratic government (151E–152B; 154D–F). The integration of domestic matters into the political discussion is achieved by the third set of opinions on household management (155C–D), which are given a more philosophical significance by Anacharsis’ attack on Aesop’s superficial conception of a home. It is important that Anacharsis attacks Aesop’s attitude to Croesus, the king of Lydia, contrasting it with Solon’s,54 and that he includes gavmo" among the really important elements of a true home. Again, tyranny is contrasted with the good life, which includes a good marriage. This phase in the discussion is brought to a conclusion by the withdrawal of Cleoboulina / Eumetis and Melissa and the beginning of the heavy drinking portion of the evening is marked by a lighthearted series of exchanges on the subject of drinking. In the most thoughtful of these, that of Mnesiphilus, who is maintaining that drinking should not be done for its own sake, but for the bonhomie which it produces, once again love begins to emerge as a theme: Aphrodite is closely associated with Dionysus in this speech. This in itself is hardly surprising, and is regularly the case in sympotic poetry,55 but once again it is very specifically heterosexual love, and of a spiritual kind (156C–D): oujkou'n ojude; th'" ∆Afrodivth" e[rgon ejsti; sunousiva kai; mei'xi", oujde; tou' Dionuvsou mevqh kai; oi\no", ajll∆ h}n ejmpoiou'si dia; touvtwn filofrosuvnhn kai; povqon kai; oJmilivan hJmi'n kai; sunhvqeian pro;" ajllhvlou"…e[sti de; th'" me;n pro;" gunai'ka" ajndrw'n oJmofrosuvnh" kai; filiva" dhmiourgo;" hJ ∆Afrodivth, toi'" swvmasin uJf∆ hJdonh'" a{ma summignuvousa kai; sunthvkousa ta;" yucav"… And so again the task of Aphrodite is not carnal intercourse, nor is that of Dionysus strong drink and wine, but rather the friendly feeling, the longing, the association, and the intimacy, one with another, which they create in us through these agencies… And Aphrodite is the artisan who creates concord and friendship between men and women, for through their bodies, under the influence of pleasure she at the same time unites and welds together their souls.

This is a very authoritative statement to find in the mouth of a character who has only spoken once before in the dialogue (154C–D); it is perhaps surprising that it was not given to, say, Solon.56 It has parallels in the Erotikos, 752D, 769A, and 769E–770A.57 The idea is Platonic, as is the metaphor in dhmiourgo;": at Plato, Symposium 192D, in Aristophanes’ speech, he envisages Hephaestus, the divine dhmiourgo;", offering to 130 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men smelt two lovers together (qevlw uJma'" sunth'xai kai; sumfush'sai eij" to; aujtov ). Mnesiphilus’ remark functions as a statement of the nature of proper love, as the corresponding words on Dionysus function as a statement of the nature of a proper symposion; and the prescriptive tone of both chimes well with the ensuing discussion of what sufficiency is. This in turn leads to the topic of food – frugality with food, which reminds us that Periander had restrained his usual luxurious habits in deference to his philosophical company, and the social importance of food – a wide-ranging discussion dominated by Solon and Cleodorus. There is a good deal of praise of Hesiod in this section (and he was adjudged the winner of the contest with Homer in Periander’s story, too), and this will be important later. The discussion of food concludes, and the final action of the dialogue begins, with the arrival of Gorgos, Periander’s brother, not known from Herodotus. What follows is in effect a dramatized version of the story of Arion from Herodotus I, and it in turn sparks off two more dolphin stories. I would like to argue that these stories and their subject matter are not arbitrarily chosen, but sum up some of the most important themes of the dialogue, including the theme of love, which, having been dormant for some time, now comes to the fore again and adorns the end of the dialogue. Plutarch knew more stories about dolphins than he uses here, as we know from On the Intelligence of Animals: that in itself implies that these tales have some special appropriateness for their context. The story of Arion can be explained as a straightforward piece of archaic colouring, brought in from Herodotus simply because it is an event which Plutarch associates with the court of Periander. But there is, I think, more to it than that. One advantage it has is that it can be presented directly as well as narrated: Periander’s reactions to Gorgos’ story are calculated to arouse the interest of the others at the dinnerparty, and therefore of the reader, and the tale is vividly told, from the point of view of Gorgos and his companions, which enhances its aweinspiring nature. Two features of this tale invite comparison with aspects of Plato’s Symposium: first, the arrival of Gorgos structurally resembles the arrival of Alcibiades in Plato in that it changes the direction of the discussion;58 and secondly, the complexity of the levels of narration (Diocles saying what Gorgos said Arion said), but of course a number of other stories might be lent those features. But in fact the tale is particularly suited to a symposion context: Arion was the inventor of the dithyramb, and therefore associated with Dionysus (the 131 Return to Table of Contents

Judith Mossman dithyramb is mentioned as newly invented by Bias in urging Gorgos to speak out loud at 160E); and dolphins are associated with Dionysus, with Delphi, to which the discussion is about to turn,59 and with erotic contexts (see below). Burkert60 has shown that the stories of dolphins rescuing live or dead heroes from the sea (Arion, Melikertes / Palaimon, in whose honour the Isthmian Games were founded) have cultic significance; the return of Arion can be associated with the arrival of Dionysus from over the sea in his ship, while the rites of Palaimon seem to function as a chthonic counterpart to those of Poseidon at the Isthmus. Plutarch does full justice to the religious implications of the Arion story. The arrival of Arion in the middle of the festivities sacred to Poseidon is calculated to inspire religious awe: the contrast between the absolute calm and the rush of the dolphins’ approach, the strict formation kept by the dolphins,61 and the fear the phenomenon inspires, are all vividly described. The account of Arion’s adventures on ship-board bears some resemblance to the Homeric Hymn to Dionysus’ account of the god’s adventure with the Tyrrhenian pirates, in that in both cases the steersman is on the side of the passenger; the pirates in the hymn are turned into dolphins. Arion is inspired by oJrmh'i tini... daimonivwi (‘some divinely-inspired impulse’) to take his course of action, and as he is carried along by the dolphins, he muses on the role of Justice in the world and decides that he wishes to survive wJ" qeofilh;" ajnh;r faneivh kai; lavboi peri; qew'n dovxan bevbaion (‘that he might be manifest as a man loved by the gods, and might conceive a firm opinion about them’). The arrest of the murderers is reported by Gorgos as a qeiva tuvch (‘a divine chance’) . Aesop’s slightly frivolous reaction is not allowed to distract the discussion from religious matters: Diocles’ mention of Ino and Athamas recalls the chthonic rites of Palaimon (Ino’s son Melikertes was renamed Palaimon after his death), and that prompts the story of the death of Hesiod. As we noted, Hesiod has been important in the dialogue before now; his story represents another example of the punishment of crime brought about by dolphins, and another instance of the harmfulness of disorderly sexual conduct.62 But here again we find that the hero of the story, dead this time, is brought back in the middle of a festival of Poseidon, and Burkert, at least, has argued for the sacral significance of this story too.63 Solon concludes his speech by speaking generally of dolphins’ friendliness and love of music,64 and thus introduces the last story, which is told by Pittacus. This is an unusual dolphin story in that it

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Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men deals with a pair of (heterosexual) lovers rescued by dolphins. Dolphins are associated regularly with erotic contexts, particularly in art, where, as Stebbins points out, they are constantly connected with Aphrodite,65 but most of the stories in which they figure as protagonists are homoerotic. Dolphins occur in lesser roles, as agents for, or accessories to, heterosexual love in a number of texts: in Moschus the bull who will abduct Europa swims like a dolphin (2. 113), and a dolphin leaps around him as he carries her off (2. 117); at the start of Leucippe and Clitophon, Achilles Tatius describes the abduction of Europa and has dolphins and Erotes sporting around the bull, and Flavius Philostratus (Heroicus 45. 3) has Thetis come to Peleus on dolphins and hippocamps. 66 In the Greek Anthology (2. 1. 6) Poseidon is envisaged as presenting Amymone with a dolphin as an erotic gift. 67 The constellation of the dolphin was explained as the result of a dolphin being rewarded with catasterism for betraying Amphitrite to the amorous Poseidon. 68 Keller69 even adopted an orientalizing explanation of the frequency of male dolphin-riders and regarded the dolphin as the female principal in nature, 70 the dolphin-rider as the male.71 However that may be, it is quite understandable that Plutarch should choose to work in a dolphin-story with erotic overtones, but it is interesting that he has not drawn on the much wider pool of homoerotic dolphin stories, such as figure in On the Intelligence of Animals and elsewhere.72 Instead we have a story which deals with successful, heterosexual, true love in the face of adversity.73 Its religious and cultic significance74 ties it in with the Arion story: Enalus can be seen as a figure analogous to Arion, a sacrifice who is returned by the sea. This is particularly clear in Enalus’ case, for it happens twice, and in the end a stone provided by an octopus is substituted for him. Pittacus ends the story with an injunction to observe to; mhde;n a[gan, ‘Nothing in excess’, which will be mentioned again in a moment; and Anacharsis concludes with an important speech on the rightness of seeing all creatures of the world as the instrument for the will of God. The final discussion is turned by Chersias to the miraculous escape of Cypselus from his enemies and his construction of a treasury at Delphi in gratitude to the god. Pittacus then inquires as to the significance of the dedication of Cypselus, of a palm-tree surrounded by frogs. But Chersias, who is said to know the answer, declines to say, and postpones his explanation until he hs been told the significance of the Delphic maxims: mhde;n a[gan (‘Nothing in excess’), gnw'qi sautovn (‘Know thyself’), and in particular ejgguva pavra d∆ a[ta (‘Where there is a pledge, ruin is at hand’).

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Judith Mossman What is the significance of this? The dedication is also mentioned by Plutarch at De Pythiae Oraculis 399E–400C. There, a possible interpretation of it offered by Sarapion is rejected by Philinus as Stoicizing, even though Plutarch accepts the substance of part of Sarapion’s explanation in another context at de Iside et Osiride 355A. Philinus’ puzzlement in De Pythiae Oraculis does not mean that we have to conlude, as Deonna does,75 that Plutarch did not in fact know perfectly well what the dedication implied. Deonna is almost certainly right, I think, about the true significance of the dedication: ‘À l’arbre de fécondité et de vie, de puissance et de domination, de durée et de stabilité, qui représente le tyran et sa lignée, les grenouilles et les serpents ajoutent leur symbolisme de fécondité et d’ éternité.’76 Chersias’ refusal to comment on this therefore becomes significant: even though he has a reason to flatter Periander (156E–F), he draws the line at explaining Cypselus’ self-glorificatory dedication. Instead he turns the discussion back to the subjects of moderation and good sense. But the last saying which he wants discussed, and which they in fact spend most time on (two examples, not one), is the one with the most ironic force for Cypselus’ descendants: it is described as keeping many ajgavmou" (‘unmarried’), and is illustrated by an example from Homer narrating a quarrel between husband and wife. Solon’s bringing the dialogue to an abrupt end, we feel, prevents the conversation from straying further on to dangerous ground, as the irony of Periander’s disastrous marriage break-up threatens to re-emerge. I hope to have shown that the Dinner of the Seven Wise Men is less of a thematic fricassée than has been thought, and that the dialogue has many interesting and distinctive features, in particular its deliberate omission of homosexual themes and its substitution of heterosexuality into the traditional symposion context. It provides a healthy diet of philosophical and political thought leavened with lively characterization and a picturesque setting which the conversation, sometimes with undertones of irony and sadness, brings vividly to life. Trinity College, Dublin

Notes 1

This paper was not given at the original Dublin conference, owing to the inevitable Martha-like cares of a conference organizer. It was written some time later, and delivered to the North Eastern Classical Research Seminar (NECROS), and to a discussion group in Oxford. I am most grateful for the warm hospitality shown me in Newcastle by Jonathan Powell and others, and

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Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men for the helpful comments of Trevor Saunders, Rowland Smith, John Moles, Christopher Pelling, and Ewen Bowie. 2 Xenophanes fr. 1, text in M.L. West, Iambi et Elegi Graeci II, Oxford 1972, and see M.L. West, Studies in Greek Elegy and Iambus, Berlin 1974, 89; tr. M.L. West, in Greek Lyric Poetry, Oxford 1994, 157. 3 For the symposion as a context of performance for early elegy see E.L. Bowie, ‘Early Greek elegy, symposium and public festival’, JHS 106 (1986), 13–35 and ‘Greek table-talk before Plato’, Rhetorica 11.4 (1993), 355–71, esp. 358–66. 4 Plutarch, Table Talk 612c–e, esp. e (Plutarch writes to Q. Sosius Senecio): ejpei; …wjihvqh" te dei'n hJma'" tw'n sporavdhn pollavki" e[n te ÔRwvmhi meq∆ uJmw'n kai; ejn th'i ÔEllavdi parouvsh" a{ma trapevzhi kai; kuvliko" filologhqevntwn sunagagei'n ta; ejpithvdeia (‘Since…you thought that I ought to collect suitable conversations from the learned discussions in which I have often taken part in various places, both in Rome with you and among us in Greece, with table and goblet at hand’); this and I. 1–4 are prescriptive; Athenaeus I. 1. a, cf. also 2. a: the dialogue is set at a ‘real’ dinner-party, and (1. b) its structure is mimetic of a banquet: kaiv ejstin hJ tou' lovgou oijkonomiva mivmhma th'" tou' deivpnou poluteleiva", kai; hJ th'" bivbliou diaskeuh; th'" ejn tw'i deivpnwi paraskeuh'" (‘And the plan of the discourse is an imitation of the bounty of the dinner, and the arrangement of the book imitates the courses of the dinner’). On Athenaeus see Alessandra Lukinovich, ‘The play of reflections between literary form and the sympotic theme in the Deipnosophistae of Athenaeus’, in O. Murray (ed.) Sympotica: A Symposium on the Symposion, Oxford 1990, 263–71. 5 A. Hug, RE 4a. 1273 ff.; J. Martin, Symposion, Paderborn 1931; D.L. Gera, Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, Oxford 1993, 132–54; R.B. Rutherford, The Art of Plato, London 1995, 179–81. 6 See also Richard P. Martin, ‘The Seven Sages as performers of wisdom’ in C. Dougherty and L. Kurke (eds.) Cultural Poetics in Ancient Greece: Cult, Performance, Politics, Cambridge 1993, 108–28, esp. 123 n. 59. I owe this reference to Peter Wilson. 7 He lists Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle, Speusippus, Epicurus, Prytanis, Hieronymus, and Dio to;n ejx ∆Akadhmiva". See also B. Snell, ‘Zur Geschichte vom Gastmahl der Sieben Weisen’, in O. Hiltbrunner, H. Kornhardt, F. Tietze (eds.) Thesaurismata: Festschrift für Ida Kapp, Munich 1954, 105–11, who discusses a possible fragment of a verse Banquet. 8 Gera (n. 5 above), 146–7, mentions some examples, but does not discuss them very fully. 9 His claim to have been present himself, reported by Diogenes Laertius (see above), must have been a literary device. 10 D. Fehling, Die sieben Weisen und die frühgriechische Chronologie: Eine traditionsgeschichtliche Studie, Bern 1985, reacts to the chronological anomalies by claiming that the canon of the Seven Wise Men was invented, in no very serious spirit, by Plato (9–18), and discusses the effects on early Greek chronology of the later assumption that the Seven were contemporaneous (67– 142). This thesis is disputed by R.P. Martin (n. 6 above). For more traditional views of the Seven and the formation of the canon over time, see O. Barkowski

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Judith Mossman in RE 33a/34a, 2242–64 s.v. Sieben Weise, and further bibliography in R.P. Martin (n. 6 above). 11 Plutarch, Life of Solon, 27.1: Th;n de; pro;" Kroi'son e[nteuxin aujtou' dokou'sin e[nioi toi'" cronoi'" wJ" peplasmevnhn ejlevgcein. ejgw; de; lovgon e[ndoxon ou{tw kai; tosouvtou" mavrtura" e[conta, kai;, o} mei'zovn ejsti, prevponta tw'i Sovlwno" h[qei kai; th'" ejkeivnou megalofrosuv n h" kai; sofiv a " a[ xion, ou[ moi dokw' prohvsesqai cronikoi'" tisi legomevnoi" kanovsin, ou}" murivoi diorqou'nte" a[cri shvmeron eij" oujde;n auJtoi'" oJmologouvmenon duvnantai katasth'sai ta;" ajntilogiva", ‘As for his encounter with Croesus, there are those who think to show by chronology that it is fictitious. But when a story is so famous and so well-attested, and, which is more important, when it is so appropriate to the character of Solon and so worthy of his magnanimity and wisdom, I do not propose to reject it on socalled chronological criteria, which thousands are to this day revising, without being able to bring their disputes to any agreement.’ See C.B.R. Pelling, ‘Truth and fiction in Plutarch’s Lives’ in D.A. Russell (ed.) Antonine Literature, Oxford 1990, 19–50. 12 U. von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff, ‘Zu Plutarchs Gastmahl der sieben Weisen’, Hermes 25 (1890), 196–227, repr. Kleine Schriften vol. III, Berlin 1969, 117–48, esp. 196/117: ‘He did not write an antiquarian novel; instead, Solon and Thales calmly act and allow themselves to behave as if they were Papa Lamprias and brother-in-law Soclarus.’ So also J. Defradas (ed.) Plutarque: le Banquet des Sept Sages, Paris 1954, 7–8, rightly demolishing the suggestion that the anachronisms are an argument against the Dinner’s authenticity. 13 On the fruitfulness of anachronism in Greek tragedy see P.E. Easterling, ‘Anachronism in Greek Tragedy’, JHS 105 (1985), 1–10. 14 Wilamowitz (n. 12 above), 117/196 and n. 1: ‘But Plutarch was much less gifted still for poetic composition than for historical judgement, and dramatizing a plot, however simple, went far beyond his powers. [Nothing is more characteristic of this than that Plutarch has his characters laugh and endlessly laugh again, obviously because he wants to show how witty they find their speeches and how well everything is with them. To the reader, though, in the end it actually comes across as really silly, nam risu inepto res ineptior nullast.]’ 15 Gera (n. 5 above), 136–40. 16 Defradas (n. 12 above), 15. See also J. Martin (n. 5 above), 258. 17 Fehling (n. 10 above), 19–65 gives an account of the post-Platonic tradition of the Seven. 18 G.J.D. Aalders H. Wzn., ‘Political thought in Plutarch’s Convivium Septem Sapientium’, Mnemosyne 30 (1977), 28–39, esp. 32–3. 19 J.F. Kindstrand, Anacharsis: the Legend and the Apophthegmata, Uppsala 1981, 3, and 44–8 on Plutarch. 20 The place of origin ascribed to him in Plato (he is called Chneuv", which could mean that he came from Chen or Chenae) is obscure (see J. Adam and A.M. Adam (eds.) Platonis Protagoras, Cambridge 1905, on 343a, p. 159); this leads Fehling (n. 10 above), 15 and 22, to refer to the mention of Myson in Hipponax fr. 63 West and to suppose that the Hipponactean context was such that his inclusion in the canon is an elaborate joke on Plato’s part, like the

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Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men inclusion of Cleoboulos of Lindos, who is upbraided for folly by Simonides fr. 581 PMG. 21 On Anacharsis in Herodotus, see F. Hartog, The Mirror of Herodotus, tr. J. Lloyd, Berkeley 1988, 64–82. 22 See J. Gould, Herodotus, London 1989, 100; Hippocrates, Airs, Waters, Places, 18. 1 and 19. 1. 23 J. Martin (n. 5 above), 58. 24 See Defradas, (n. 12 above), 23–5. 25 Hesiod, Works and Days, 202–12 and West ad loc. It is perhaps significant that this fable is addressed by Hesiod to kings (basileu'si) as so much of the Dinner will be concerned with politics. 26 Aesop’s intervention on his behalf (152B–C), for which he is gently rebuked by Solon, is reminiscent of a story in the Life of Solon, ch. 28. 27 J. Martin (n. 5 above), 34. 28 Plutarch, Pelopidas 9. 4 speaks of guvnaia tw'n uJpavndrwn, lit. ‘females who were subject to men’ as present at a banquet in Thebes at the time of the overthrow of Spartan rule in 379 BC. tw'n uJpavndrwn is sometimes translated as ‘married’, but as the women are in this context being used as decoys to catch out the pro-Spartan tyrants and their friends, it seems at least probable that the women are less than respectable – ‘concubines’ rather than ‘wives’. See also Blomqvist in this volume, p. 77 and n. 33. Diogenes Laertius VI. 96–8 tells of the wife of Crates, the female philosopher Hipparchia, going to dinners with her husband, but this is clearly meant to be shocking and unusual. However, in the fragment of the novel Metiochus and Parthenope (B.P. Reardon (ed.) Collected Ancient Greek Novels, Berkeley 1989, 813–5; see now Susan A. Stephens and John J. Winkler (eds.) Ancient Greek Novels: The Fragments, Princeton 1995, 72–100), set apparently at the court of Polycrates of Samos, the heroine Parthenope, daughter of the tyrant, is not only present at a dinner but also spiritedly enters into a philosophical discussion on love. The date of this novel is thought to be early, first century BC /AD (Stephens and Winkler, pp. 80–1). Much later, Methodius in the Symposium decem virginum (tr. and ed. H. Musurillo, Westminster, Md., 1958; Ancient Christian Writers 27) depicts ten wise virgins discussing chastity at a symposium: the resonances from Plato show that the genre has come full circle. I owe this reference to Rowland Smith. 29 F. Ullrich, Entstehung und Entwicklung der Literaturgattung des Symposion, two vols., Würzburg 1908, 1909, II, 44. 30 See T.J. Saunders, ‘Plato on women in the Laws’, in A. Powell (ed.) The Greek World, London 1995, 591–609. 31 J. Martin (n. 5 above), 260. 32 The riddles attributed to Cleoboulina in antiquity are collected in M.L. West, Iambi et Elegi Graeci II, Oxford 1972, 50–1. See also M. Detienne and J.P. Vernant, Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society, tr. J. Lloyd, Chicago 1978, 304–5. 33 Defradas (n. 12 above), 26. 34 He is made to look particularly silly, as the answer to the riddle is a physician bleeding a patient, and he is a great proponent of this treatment.

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Judith Mossman 35

See Defradas (n. 12 above), 97, n. 66; 150B3–4. See Gera (n. 5 above), 140–1. 37 See further below, n. 47. 38 See Russell in this volume, above pp. 99–111. S. Goldhill, Foucault’s Virginity: Ancient Erotic Fiction and the History of Sexuality, Cambridge 1995, 144– 61, however, gives an interesting account of the shades of ambiguity in the Erotikos: Ismenodora’s abduction of Bacchon, he argues, is vindicated by the narrative rather than by the argument. 39 This point, oddly, is not made by M. Foucault, The History of Sexuality III: The Care of the Self, tr. R. Hurley, 193–210. 40 J. Martin (n. 5 above), 115: ‘In this way, Plutarch, in the Dinner of the Seven Wise Men, appears to presuppose, characteristically enough for the tovpo", an otherwise unknown love-affair between Solon and Aesop, when he has the Sage touch the teller of fables, who has taken a place at his feet, on the head.’ 152C: but Aesop is on a chair, not ‘zu seinen Füßen’, and the gesture is admonitory, not romantic: Solon is remonstrating with Aesop for standing up for Periander. 41 On this see Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, Reading Greek Culture, Oxford 1991, 244–84. 42 Timandra is not named before Plutarch (Alc. 39. 1); but Nepos (Alc. 11) mentions an unnamed mulier who buried him; probably both used Ephorus. I owe this suggestion to Simon Hornblower. 43 See Rutherford (n. 5 above), 181, 205. 44 Politics in the dialogue are discussed by Aalders (n. 18 above), passim, and id., Plutarch’s Political Thought, Amsterdam 1982, 9–10, 35, 44, and 62–3. 45 This is often, though not always, democratic government. 46 The sense that Nicharchus has enquired about the occasion lends importance to the account and is reminiscent of Plato’s Symposium, which carries this technique to extremes, and the Erotikos. 47 The source for Periander’s mother’s suicide seems to have been Parthenius, Erotika Pathemata 17. Plutarch is being discreetly allusive when he refers simply to to;n e[rwta th'" mhtro;" aujtou' proemevnh" to;n bivon eJkousivw" (‘his mother’s love-affair which had led to her willingly laying down her life’) at 146D: Parthenius reveals that the object of her passion was none other than Periander himself, whom she tricked into sleeping with her. But, eventually growing curious as to the identity of his unseen partner, he discovered the deception and turned from her in horror. She killed herself, and the shock transformed him from a reasonable ruler into a murderous tyrant. Parthenius twice specifically makes the connection, so harmonious with Plutarch’s thought in the Dinner, between this unhappy love-affair and Periander’s tyranny: see §§ 1 and 7. 48 And, indeed, by Jane Austen, in Pride and Prejudice, of Elizabeth and Darcy (ch. 50): ‘It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness his mind might have been softened, his manners improved, and from his judgement, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance.’ 49 Hdt. 5. 92, part of an account of Periander’s bloodthirstiness which 36

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Plutarch’s Dinner of the Seven Wise Men culminates in the story of Melissa’s ghost: this incident is referred to earlier in the Dinner by Thales at 147D. 50 J. Martin (n. 5 above), 102–3. 51 Gera (n. 5 above), 136–7. 52 J. Martin (n. 5 above), 259 n. 2. 53 See Con. Praec. 145A–B: if Herodotus’ story about the way clothes were provided for Melissa’s ghost is in the background, it remains a long way off. 54 See also Solon, 27–8. 55 See for example Anacreon frs. 357 and 396 PMG, and Carmina Convivialia 900 PMG. 56 I am presuming that Mnesiphilus is identical with the character mentioned at Hdt. 8. 57 ff. as the man who advises Themistocles not to allow the Spartans to lead the Greeks in a retreat to the Isthmus, despite the further chronological stretch this entails. Mnesiphilus is mentioned by Plutarch as the teacher of Themistocles and a disciple of Solon at Them. 2. 6 and An seni 795C: the presentation of him in the dialogue at 154C, accords well with these passages. 57 This is the only passage in the dialogue discussed by Foucault (n. 39 above), 181–2, who also links it with the Erotikos. He regards it as specifically a statement about marriage. 58 J. Martin (n. 5 above), 258. 59 The Homeric Hymn to Apollo (III) tells how the god guided the Cretans to the site by leaping onto their ship in the form of a dolphin: hence he claims the name Delphinios: 399–401, 493 ff. 60 W. Burkert, Homo Necans, tr. Peter Bing, Berkeley 1983, 196–204. 61 Plural, as in PMG 939, not singular, as in Herodotus. On PMG 939, the ‘hymn of Arion’, see C.M. Bowra, ‘Arion and the Dolphin’, MH 20 (1963), 121–34 = On Greek Margins, Oxford 1970, 164–81. 62 The man from Miletus whose seduction of his host’s daughter is blamed on Hesiod and causes his death is not mentioned in the Certamen, 215–54, the oldest source for this story of Hesiod’s demise: are we meant to think back to Alexidemus of Miletus? Miletus, however, has generally licentious connotations: the Milesiaca of Aristides seem to have been notoriously dirty: see Plutarch, Life of Crassus 32. 3–5, and E. Rawson, ‘L. Cornelius Sisenna and the early first century BC’, CQ 29 (1979), 327–46 = Roman Culture and Society: Collected Papers, Oxford 1991, 363–88. 63 See above, n. 60. 64 This is a regular feature of the sources: for their friendliness to man see e.g. Aristotle HA 631a, Plutarch, On the Intelligence of Animals, 977F, 979D and 984A–985C, and Oppian Hal. I 646 ff., V 42 ff. For their love of music see e.g. Eur. El. 43, Hel. 145, Ar. Frogs 131, Plutarch, Table Talk 705A and Sextus Empiricus, Adv. Math. 6. 32. 65 E.B. Stebbins, ‘The Dolphin in the literature and art of Greece and Rome’, diss. Baltimore 1929, esp. 59–96, and 83 on dolphins and Aphrodite: at Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13. 439–43, the newly-born goddess is conveyed ashore by dolphins. 66 See also Philostratus the Elder, Im. 2. 18. 4 and Nonnus, Dionysiaca 6. 308,

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Judith Mossman for Galatea in similar circumstances. 67 See also AG 16. 207, where a statue of Eros holds a dolphin and a flower. For Amymone’s abduction with the help of dolphins see Lucian, DMar. 8, and Philostratus the Elder, Im. 1. 8. 1. 68 See Eratosthenes, Catast. 31, Hyginus, Astr. ii. 17, and Oppian, Hal. I. 386–93. 69 O. Keller, Thiere des klassischen Altertums, Innsbruck 1887, 224. 70 The dolphin was famous for its maternal qualities: see Aristotle, HA 504b2, 566b, 631a; Flavius Philostratus, VA 2. 14. 5, Oppian, Hal. I. 646–85. Keller (n. 69 above) assumed an etymological link between delfiv" ‘dolphin’ and delfuv" ‘womb’, but there seems to be no ancient evidence for such an assumption. 71 Stebbins argues against this view, though, on the grounds that the myths involving dolphin-riders are Greek, not Near Eastern, in origin, and usually homoerotic in character: Stebbins (n. 65 above), 83. 72 See e.g. Aristotle, HA 631a, Antigonus I. 55. 1, Pliny the Elder, NH IX. 26, Pliny the Younger Ep. IX. 33, Athenaeus, Deipn. xiii. 606b–f, Oppian, Hal. V. 458–518, and Plutarch, de soll. anim. 984e ff. 73 This is unusual but not unique: Longus makes dolphins help Daphnis and Chloe at 2. 26. 2 and 29. 3, and a dead dolphin comes in handy at 3. 27–8. It is perhaps also relevant that Euphorion seems to have dealt with the rescue of Apriate by dolphins at Thrax 24c. 16 (though in Parthenius 26 she drowns while avoiding an amorous hero). 74 See Bowra (n. 61 above), 132–3. 75 W. Deonna, ‘L’ex-voto de Cypsélos à Delphes: le symbolisme du palmier et des grenouilles’, Revue de l’histoire des religions 139 (1951), 162–207 and 140 (1951), 5–58. See 165 on 399E–400C. 76 Deonna (n. 75 above), 58.

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PLUTARCH, BRUTUS AND BRUTUS’ GREEK AND LATIN LETTERS1 John Moles Plutarch’s Brutus sources – which exhibit the richness, diversity and conscientious recourse to contemporary evidence that are thoroughly characteristic of the late Republican Lives 2 – include letters, both Greek and Latin, purportedly written by Brutus.3 No evidence concerning the subject of a biography should be more revelatory. In the words of the Greek rhetorician and literary critic Demetrius, ‘a letter should be very largely an expression of character, just like the dialogue. Perhaps everyone reflects his own soul in writing a letter. It is possible to discern a writer’s character in every other form of literature, but in none so fully as in the letter’ (On Style 227, tr. D.C. Innes).4 These letters bear on Brutus’ public and private lives, and it is above all on letters that the moralising Plutarch rests his claim for Brutus’ great virtue. There are two key passages. (i) Brut. 22. 4–6 When Cicero acted on Caesar’s [i.e. Octavian’s] 5 side, Brutus rebuked him strongly, writing that Cicero did not find a despot intolerable but feared a despot who hated him, and pursued policies which meant the choice of humane slavery, when he declared in letters and speeches that Caesar was a good man. ‘Our ancestors, however,’ he says, ‘would not endure even gentle despots.’ (5) He himself, up to this point in time, had not definitely decided whether to fight or remain quiet, but of one thing only he was determined – not to be a slave. (6) He was amazed that Cicero dreaded a civil war with all its perils but did not fear a shameful and ignoble peace, and that, as the price of expelling Antony from the tyranny, he requested the establishment of Caesar as tyrant.

This passage reworks sentiments from Ad Brutum 1. 16 and 1. 17.6 The allusions to ‘Caesar’ within the letters as quoted naturally follow the allusion to ‘Caesar’ in the introductory comment, which itself follows allusion to ‘the young Caesar’ in the preceding narrative (22. 1). ‘Caesar’ glosses the originals’ problematic ‘Octavius’.7 The different 141 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles ordering of the material in Plutarch from the originals might indicate use of memory,8 but more likely conscious re-writing, since the passage is in fact well structured. 9 The quotation echoes, but adapts to Plutarch’s re-ordering, Ad Brutum 1. 17. 6 ‘but our forefathers were not willing that even a parent should be a master’. Thus ‘gentle despots’ picks up from ‘humane slavery’.10 In one section Plutarch’s rendering surpasses the existing manuscript readings: ‘he declared in letters…that Caesar was a good man’ glosses Ad Brutum 1. 17. 6, where (a) the manuscripts’ ‘Antonius’ should be corrected to ‘Octavius’; (b) the manuscripts’ ‘scribis’ (‘you’ [Atticus, addressee of this particular letter] write’) should be corrected to ‘scribit’ (‘he [Cicero] writes’). That is: ‘however good a man, as he writes, Octavius may be’.11 Plutarch had already exploited these two letters in Cicero (45. 2 ‘The youth [Octavian] made up to him [Cicero] to such an extent as actually to call him father. Brutus was extremely indignant at this and in his letters to Atticus 12 attacked Cicero, saying that in courting Caesar through fear of Antony he was clearly not trying to achieve freedom for his country but wooing a humane master for himself ’; also Comparison 4. 4 ‘Brutus also wrote to him, accusing him of having reared a greater and more grievous tyranny than the one which had been overthrown by himself’). (ii) Brut. 29. 8–11 That Brutus trusted not so much in his power as in his virtue is clear from what he writes. (9) When he was already nearing the moment of danger, he wrote to Atticus that his affairs were in the fairest position that fortune could bestow, for he would either conquer and free the Roman people, or die and be released from slavery; while all their other circumstances were safe and secure, only one thing was uncertain – whether they would live with freedom or die. (10) He says that Mark Antony was paying a fitting penalty for his folly, inasmuch as, when he could have been numbered with men such as Brutus and Cassius and Cato, he had given himself to Octavius as a mere appendage; (11) and that if he should not now be defeated with him, in a little while he would fight against him. In these things, then, he seems to have prophesied excellently as regards the future.

The letter quoted here is otherwise unattested (though it influenced the historical tradition).13 Note that Octavian is explicitly ‘Octavius’. There are, however, major problems. First, the authenticity of the Greek collection and of the three Latin letters here attributed to Brutus has been questioned by some modern scholars; if these scholars are right, the objective foundation of Plutarch’s interpretation of Brutus is weakened.14 Secondly, Plutarch’s own words (53. 7)15 indicate 142 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters the existence of scholarly debate about some of the letters already in the first and second centuries AD; the Greek letters certainly aroused scepticism in the ancient world;16 and, as we shall see, the Latin manuscript tradition has also been invoked as evidence of ancient rejection of the two Latin letters quoted in 22. 4–6. Hence the still more embarrassing possibility that even by the critical standards of his own age Plutarch was building his interpretation upon unsound material. This paper is concerned alike with the question of the authenticity of the letters and with Plutarch’s handling of them. The two topics are not finally separable. As regards the authenticity question, it will be argued that in several key respects the significance of Plutarch’s evidence has been overlooked, indeed that the whole authenticity question (the question, that is, of both the Greek and the Latin letters) hinges crucially on a single passage of Brutus. Conversely, assessment of the validity of Plutarch’s interpretation of Brutus involves the authenticity question; here it will be claimed that (with the importation of some obvious and necessary qualifications) Plutarch was essentially right. I. The Greek letters 17 There is extant a collection of seventy Greek letters attributed to Brutus, with avowedly invented replies from the various recipients. The collection is effectively undatable and the introductory wording implies the prior existence of at least one other such collection. Plutarch quotes three of these letters in Brutus 2. 6–8; despite small textual divergences, he is using the extant collection or something very like it.18 The letters’ authenticity has been discussed quite extensively. Believers in varying degrees of authenticity (ranging from the whole collection to a small core) include some very distinguished scholars: Gelzer, Ramsay MacMullen, Wardman, M.L. Clarke, and Torraca in his full edition and commentary of 1959. 19 However, in 1936 R.E. Smith argued strongly for complete forgery, largely on the basis of conflict between the historical data of the letters and those of ‘the historical sources’ (the narratives of Appian, Dio and Plutarch; the Latin letters of Cicero and Brutus).20 These days, thanks to the work of such scholars as Fehling, Hartog, Woodman and Pelling, we should be less impressed by the notion of the objectivity of so-called historical sources; nevertheless, given the problematic status of many ancient letter-collections, Smith’s basic criterion retains validity. Even more trenchantly, Elizabeth Rawson emphasised the discrepancy between ‘the exaggeratedly brief, unremittingly gnomic and antithetic Brutan 143 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles letters’ and real contemporary letters from Roman generals to Greek cities as preserved on stone.21 Personally, I am convinced that all the letters are spurious. They are rhetorical exercises of a familiar kind – the invented letters of great political figures of the past.22 Yet Plutarch’s treatment of the Greek letters deserves detailed consideration. For there remain a few scholars who believe that, as regards the authenticity of the three Greek letters cited – which happen to be invulnerable to Smith’s criterion of incompatibility with the historical record – Plutarch’s evidence has ‘an incontestable value’.23 On the contrary, when analysed in detail, Plutarch’s subtle treatment shows that he believes not in the letters’ authenticity but in their spuriousness. Brut. 2. 5–8 runs as follows: In Latin, then, Brutus was competently trained for narrative and pleading cases, but in Greek he is sometimes in his letters [ejpistolai'"] remarkable [paravshmo"] 24 in his practice of apophthegmatic and Spartan brevity. (6) He writes for example, when he had already embarked on the war, to the Pergamenes: ‘I hear that you have given money to Dolabella; if you gave it willingly, confess that you have been wronging me; if unwillingly, prove it by giving willingly to me.’ (7) Again, to the Samians: ‘Your plans are paltry, your services slow. What do you envisage as the end of this?’ And another: ‘The Xanthians, looking down on my benefactions, have made their country a grave for their madness, but the Patareans, entrusting themselves to me, lack nothing in administering every detail of their freedom. So it is possible for you to choose either the decision of the Patareans or the fate of the Xanthians.’ (8) Such, then, is the type (gevno") of his remarkable (little) letters [ejpistolivwn].

A preliminary point already noted is that Plutarch elsewhere (53. 5– 7) reveals full awareness that there was an authenticity problem about some of the letters attributed to Brutus, and indeed that some of them were inauthentic. The passage comes at the very end of the Life, just before the commencement of the formal Comparison, and requires full quotation: As for Porcia, Brutus’ wife, Nicolaus the philosopher [FGrH 90 F 99] and also Valerius Maximus [4. 6. 5] record that, when she wished to die, none of her friends would allow her to do so but stayed with her and kept close watch; so she snatched coals from the fire, swallowed them, kept her mouth fast closed and so perished. (6) And yet there is extant a letter [ejpistolhv] of Brutus to his friends blaming them and lamenting concerning Porcia, on the ground that she had been neglected by them and had chosen to depart from life because of illness. (7) So Nicolaus seems to have been ignorant of the chronology, since the (little) letter [ejpistovlion]

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Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters actually allows one to infer the suffering 25 and the love of the wife and the manner of her end, if, that is, it is one of the genuine [gnhsivwn] ones.

Plutarch’s meaning at 2. 5 seems straightforward: Brutus’ Greek epistolary style is sometimes paravshmo", ‘remarkable’, a term which alludes to the common idea of style as carakthvr (‘stamp’; LSJ II. 5). The basic image is one of coinage or metal-engraving. The syntax of the sentence works like fanerov" /dh'lov" eijmi + participle (= ‘I am clear[ly] doing’). I have chosen the translation ‘remarkable’ (‘remarquable’ [Flacelière–Chambry] ), because it retains the notion of ‘marking’; it can be applied to a person or his activities or literary products, and it can be used ironically (‘a remarkable coincidence’ can mean what it says, or, facetiously, the opposite). The introduction to the letter to the Pergamenes maintains the innocent tone. But in sections 6 and 7 Plutarch’s own staccato phrasing seems almost to outdo, or parody, Brutus’ ‘Laconic’ style, exceeding the requirements of the ‘trick of style…by which one imitates the writer one is talking about.’ 26 He then repeats the word paravshmo", but now attaches it to the letters themselves. In contrast to the first use, where the sentence structure is such as to render the word relatively innocuous, it is here thrust into prominence. Moreover, whereas at the beginning Brutus was only ‘sometimes’ paravshmo" in the letters, now the letters in general are paravshma. The effect, surely, is to suggest another, and extremely common, application of the word: ‘counterfeit’.27 The letters have also changed from ejpistolaiv in 2. 5 to ejpistovlia in 2. 8. At first sight, this is simply explained: whereas ejpistolaiv refers to a genre, ejpistovlia is descriptive, and the diminutive form matches both Brutus’ and Plutarch’s own stylistic brevity. But Plutarch, like other ancient writers, often uses diminutives to convey distance or irony,28 and the diminutive strengthens the effect suggested by parashvmwn. Chapter 2. 5–8 is also a passage whose full meaning only becomes clear later, or through re-reading. The reader whose suspicions have been aroused by the phrasing of 2. 5–8 can only have them confirmed by the explicit admission at 53. 7 that some of Brutus’ letters were inauthentic. And chapter 53 makes exactly the same move from the seemingly neutral ‘letter’/ejpistolhv (53. 6), to the playful (53. 7) ‘the (little) letter/ejpistovlion …if, that is, it is one of the genuine ones’, from the apparently authentic to the possibly spurious. There will be more to say about the function of 53. 7. Wider structural considerations support this reading of chapters 2 and 53. First, chapters 1 and 2 are thematically intertwined. Chapter 1 focuses on the debate over the authenticity of Brutus’ claimed ‘birth’/ 145 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles ‘family’ (gevno"): was he descended from the first consul? The end of 2 treats ‘the type [gevno"] of his striking (little) letters (ejpistolivwn)’. The debate about gevno" in 1 activates the possibility of debate about gevno" ejpistolivwn in 2. This possibility is then explicitly mentioned in 53. 7; it is also worth recalling the literal meaning of ‘genuine’ (gnhsivwn) in 53. 7: ‘truly belonging to the gevno"’. Another link between chapters 1 and 2 consists of metallic imagery. In 1. 1–8 Plutarch richly develops the moral implications of L. Brutus’ bronze statue: (1) The ancestor [provgono"] of Marcus Brutus was Junius Brutus whom the ancient Romans set up in bronze on the Capitol in the middle of the kings with drawn sword, as having most steadfastly overthrown the Tarquins. (2) But that Brutus, like cold-forged swords,29 having a character which was hard by nature and not softened by reason, ran aground to the extent of son-slaying in his passion against the tyrants, but this one, with whom this writing is concerned, thoroughly mixing his character with education and reason by means of philosophy…seems to have been most harmoniously attempered for the good, (4) so that even those who hated him because of the conspiracy against Caesar attached to Brutus whatever noble [gennai'on] thing the deed bore, but ascribed the more unpleasant features of what was done to Cassius, who was a kinsman of Brutus and a friend but who was not so unalloyed 30 and pure in his disposition.

Brutus does belong to the gevno" of his claimed provgono", L. Brutus, but he is of better metal than he and of better metal also than Cassius, another kinsman, and consequently his participation in the assassination of Caesar is truly ‘noble’ (gennai'o"). The argument moves from mere nobility of birth to true nobility, that of character. It is then shocking to learn in 2 that Brutus is ‘counterfeit’/paravshmo" – or rather that some of his letters are. Those letters, then, are of base metal. How to distinguish the flatterer from the friend 65B illustrates the same use of paravshmo" within a mixture of metallic and ‘genetic’ imagery: ‘but the flatterer is false, illegitimate and debased, inasmuch as he fully understands that he is committing a crime against friendship, which in his hands becomes a counterfeit [paravshmon] coin, as it were.’ Secondly, as usual, ring structure contributes vitally to the creation of meaning.31 The reference at the beginning and end of chapter 1 to L. Brutus’ statue is ringed by the reference to Brutus’ statue at the end of the Comparison, i.e. at the end of the whole Dion–Brutus pair;32 similarly, the reference in 2 to letters of Brutus is ringed by the reference to possibly inauthentic letters of Brutus at the end of the Brutus narrative; similarly also, the word provgono" of Brutus’ family gevno" in 1. 1 is ringed by the word gnhsivwn (or not-gnhsivwn) of Brutus’ letters in 53. 6. By 53. 7, then, the reader should be in no doubt about 146 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters Plutarch’s view of the authenticity problem presented by Brutus’ ‘remarkable’ Greek letters. What, then, does 2. 5–8 do? The section has some justification in formal terms (a statesman’s literary and oratorical abilities being a standard element of Plutarchean biography); its particular flavour is rather similar to the many passages in the Lives collecting notable dicta.33 Plutarch himself greatly approves of ‘brevity’ (braculogiva) as a rhetorical mode (as the opposite of mere rhetorical flummery).34 The section has still other thematic implications: it evokes Brutus’ philolaconism35 and helps to maintain the central theme of the struggle against tyranny (for which the Spartans were proverbially famous; cf. also 2. 7 ‘freedom’). It also intersects with a genuine and important aspect of Brutus’ character, well illustrated in the Life36 – his penchant for brief, pregnant, utterances. But there is more. Just as we are already in the age of a postmodernist Thucydides, so we are now perhaps entering the age of a post-modernist Plutarch.37 This is, I believe, a promising, but perilous, road. Nevertheless, I would maintain that Brutus is rather more complex and ambivalent morally than is generally supposed. Chapter 2 contributes to this process. For it seems to provide evidence that casts Brutus in rather a harsh light (if letters naturally reveal character [Eum. 11. 3, cf. the introductory passage from Demetrius], brevity of utterance is particularly revelatory: Lyc. 20). What price the Brutus upon whose ‘mildness’/praovth" Plutarch lays such stress (1. 3, 29. 3)? Is Brutus truly of the true metal of chapter 1, or he is in some latent sense ‘debased’? At the end of the Life, at 53. 7, one of the functions of the renewed doubt over one of Brutus’ letters is to reactivate the question of Brutus’ ‘nobility’ (gennaiovth") just before the formal Comparison, in which Brutus’ merits are re-weighed by comparison with those of Dion.38 It is true that on my earlier analysis the evidence of the Greek letters is finally rejected, the letters themselves being counterfeit, but these troubling questions about Brutus have been raised and they link with other questionings in the narrative, and in any case Plutarch’s rejection of the authenticity of the Greek letters is not formally unequivocal.39 Finally, chapter 2 enables Plutarch to introduce some remarkable and (even in his own day) controversial material and to imply his own opinion of its authenticity. All in all, the function of 2. 5–8 is extremely complex and such complex ambiguity is, I would maintain, not untypical of Plutarch’s art. To return to the historical problem. In so far as there remains any authenticity question about the Greek letters attributed to Brutus, this 147 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles analysis of 2. 5–8 disposes of any lingering appeals to the incontestable value of Plutarch’s evidence on the side of the authenticity of even a few of the letters: rather, it is his evidence which drives home the case for the spuriousness of the entire collection. II. The Latin letters Since the end of the nineteenth century most scholars have held the Cicero–Brutus collection as a whole to be authentic40 and controversy has confined itself to two letters: Ad Brutum 1. 16 (Brutus to Cicero) and 1. 17 (Brutus to Atticus). In order to sidestep the irritating complexities of numeration spawned by numerous different editorial recensions, I shall refer to the two letters together as ‘the letters in question’ and separately to ‘1. 16 (to Cicero)’ and ‘1. 17 (to Atticus)’. As we have seen, these letters are extensively quoted or paraphrased by Plutarch, in Cicero, as well as in Brutus. The best argued and most influential rejectionist case of the nineteenth century was that of O.E. Schmidt in 1884.41 From 1899 for about eighty years most Anglo-Saxon and Irish scholars relied upon Tyrrell and Purser’s great Trinity edition of Cicero’s correspondence for a sober, though mostly negative, defence of authenticity, even though Tyrrell and Purser held both Brutus and the letters in question in low esteem.42 But in 1980 the leading Ciceronian scholar Shackleton Bailey, who had first accepted the letters as genuine and then become agnostic, pronounced them to be unquestionably spurious, a pronouncement which he has since reiterated.43 Recently Harvey and Beaujeu have argued in his support, though both largely summarize his treatment.44 Otherwise there have been occasional squeaks of protest from unreconstructed believers such as Miriam Griffin and myself;45 Shackleton Bailey’s pronouncement also impelled three distinguished Oxford historians, Miriam Griffin, Elizabeth Rawson and David Stockton (hereafter referred to as ‘the Oxford triumvirate’), to meet informally to decide whether the letters in question should be abolished from the Oxford ancient history syllabus. They decided that the letters were genuine.46 Nevertheless, in print there has hitherto been no systematic statement of the case for authenticity. To rejectionists the letters in question are rhetorical ‘blow-ups’ of two genuine Brutan letters, Ad Brut. 1. 4 and 1. 4a, with which they have clear conceptual and verbal similarities. On the rejectionist view the letters are of poor quality, alike on literary, political and moral planes. Believers, however, differ widely in their qualitative assessments. 148 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters Tyrrell and Purser’s negative judgement is not shared by the greatest Roman historian of this century, who invests the letters with an almost choric solemnity to bring out the deeper realities (as he sees them) of the struggle between Octavian, Antony and Cicero.47 Rejectionists and believers alike hold that the two letters in question stand or fall together, which is clearly correct (most of the concrete arguments in fact concern the letter to Atticus). As we assess the arguments, we should remember that the writer of both letters is supposedly angry and that the historical Brutus did have a temper, though he lost it only occasionally (e.g. Brut. 34. 3, 45. 9). Consequently, while appeals to writers’ (or speakers’) subjective emotions as explanations for inconsistency are easily overplayed, we should not be disconcerted by a little exaggeration or distortion. The main arguments, most of which involve consideration of Plutarch’s evidence, are as follows: i) Transmission. Rejectionists find two peculiarities. First, in two manuscripts one or both of the letters is/are found apart from the rest of the collection: Bodleianus Canonicus Lat. 244 has both after Ad familiares; Bodleianus 197 has only 1. 17 (to Atticus), between Somnium Scipionis and an Ars metrica. Secondly, why is a letter to Atticus found in a collection of Ciceronian letters ‘To and from Brutus’?48 The latter point seems trivial: Atticus might easily have sent a copy to Cicero, just as, according to the letter to Cicero (1. 16. 1), he sent Brutus a copy of Cicero’s letter to Octavian, or Cicero sent Atticus a copy of Antony’s letter, which duly appears in the Ad Atticum collection (Att. 14. 13a); and/or Tiro or a later editor might have been responsible for introducing into the collection a letter so closely parallel to the letter to Cicero, borrowing the letter to Atticus from a collection of letters not in Cicero’s name but in Brutus’ (below). The first argument is even weaker. Non-textual critics can only marvel that rejectionists apparently give greater weight to the dislocation of the letters in question in only two minor manuscripts than to their presence in the tradition as a whole. The Oxford triumvirate rightly emphasises that even in the manuscript tradition as we have it the two letters always occur with genuine Ciceronian material, and that they also occur along with the others (except the first five) in manuscripts transmitting the letters to Quintus and the letters to Atticus. Still more important is the fact that Plutarch’s evidence shows that the letters in question were part of a collection of letters attributed to Brutus already in the early second century.49 This collection must have been quite extensive and looks perfectly reliable. Not only does 149 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles Plutarch’s summary ‘such was Brutus in his first letters’ (Brut. 23. 1) indicate access to more such letters, but he elsewhere cites several otherwise unknown letters of Brutus, presumably Latin, whose content appears entirely unobjectionable, and whose authenticity (with the single exception, to which I shall return, of the already-quoted Brut. 29. 9–11) is freely conceded by rejectionists of the two letters in question. 50 He also cites (Brut. 21. 6) a letter from Brutus to Cicero which is lost but to which Cicero himself refers (Ad Att. 15. 26. 1). Use by Plutarch of Cicero’s letters to Brutus seems excluded by Brut. 26. 6: ‘For a long time, then, he held Gaius (Antonius) in honour and would not take away the insignia of his command, although, so they say, many, including Cicero, wrote and told him to kill him.’ 51 Furthermore, as we have seen, Plutarch knows and acknowledges the existence of inauthentic Brutan letters, but is absolutely committed to the two letters in question, whose authenticity is one of the bedrocks of his claims for Brutus’ moral integrity. No doubt it would be naive to uphold Plutarch himself as any sort of authority in such questions of authenticity. But not only did Brutus’ works survive up to Plutarch’s own day, they were widely read,52 and would have had particular appeal to the sort of Roman philosophical or ‘philosophical-opposition’ circles with which Plutarch was personally acquainted.53 So it is not a matter of Plutarch’s individual judgement, but of an ancient consensus on the authenticity of these letters. It may be said that such an ancient consensus carries little weight, but this particular consensus is fully cognisant that other letters attributed to Brutus were spurious. There is no parallel between Plutarch’s use of the two letters in question and his use of the (as we have seen, obviously spurious) Greek letters, since (as we have also seen) Plutarch does not naively accept the authenticity of the latter. Moreover, the letters in question were attested in at least two separate ancient manuscript traditions: one, under Cicero’s name, which Plutarch did not use but which issued in the surviving collection; another, under Brutus’, which Plutarch did use (and which, incidentally, as we have seen, twice provided a better reading than the surviving collection). 54 Thus transmission supports authenticity, not inauthenticity. ii) Dating. This difficult and technical question cannot be totally ignored: one of Schmidt’s arguments for the letters’ spuriousness was that they could not be fitted chronologically into the series, and Schmidt made major contributions to the establishment of the chronology of the whole Ciceronian collection. Plutarch’s contextualizations, though sometimes adduced, are of course chronologically 150 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters worthless, as usual. I imply here no criticism: he is motivated by thematic considerations, though, of course, also as usual, he provides a specious chronological framework.55 On various internal grounds, 1. 17 (to Atticus) implies May/June 43; 1. 16 (to Cicero) c. mid-July.56 The chronology and interrelationships with undisputed letters are tight (as is natural), but in my opinion possible, and Shackleton Bailey and his followers have in fact not invoked the chronological argument.57 But one important point should be made: the later the letters, the better their political analysis. For it was in this period that Cicero’s policy of elevating Octavian allegedly only in order to crush Antony was beginning to unravel, as Octavian proved ever less malleable and ever more ambitious; and it looks as if Cicero himself was in shady negotiations with Octavian (which he could never reveal to Brutus) over a joint consulship. This latter point is controversial. Suffice it to say that the evidence of Plutarch, Appian and Cassius Dio cannot be dismissed (as it often is) as a concoction of ‘late sources’, since one of the ultimate sources was Augustus’ own Autobiography, and, almost certainly, Asinius Pollio’s Histories agreed.58 This background gives particular urgency to 1. 16 (to Cicero) in mid-July, whose startingpoint is the pleading letter Cicero allegedly wrote to Octavian about the position of Caesar’s assassins, a letter which naturally outraged ‘Brutus’/Brutus (1. 16. 1). Cicero was in a very difficult position: Octavian was out of control, demanding a consulship, Cicero wanted to be consul himself and would have to have Octavian as his colleague, he was still officially allied with the Liberators and was urging Brutus to return to Italy, and yet Octavian had already broken with D. Brutus and the first the thing he did when he actually became consul by force on 19 August was to establish a court to try Caesar’s assassins. At that point, who had proved the better judge of Octavian: Cicero, or the writer of these allegedly forged letters? The question of political insight naturally involves the letters’ judgement of Cicero, as well as Octavian. Here we must consider a charge commonly made by modern scholars (rejectionists and believers alike) against Brutus, and against his biographer Plutarch, a charge which does not necessarily affect the authenticity of the letters but certainly does influence scholars’ attitudes to their quality, and their assessment of Plutarch’s political understanding. The charge is that simple souls like Brutus and Plutarch did not comprehend the wonderful subtleties of Cicero’s policy towards Octavian. But we are surely all familiar with the experience of having quarrels where one person claims: ‘You don’t understand what I’m saying,’ when we know (and they know) that

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John Moles what’s actually happening is that we understand them perfectly well but simply don’t agree with them. So here. Plutarch understood Cicero’s policy of distinguishing Octavian in order to extinguish him, as I think I showed in a 1992 article, 59 but he thought it was wrong, because it gave Octavian too much power and was in any case compromised by Cicero’s own ambition for a second consulship. Cicero was doing too many splits and the inevitable result was an unseemly and fatal rupture. Similarly, the historical Brutus writes in Ad Brut. 1. 4a. 3 (in Shackleton Bailey’s superb translation): ‘I only wish you could see into my heart, how I fear that young man.’ The judgement is all the more penetrating because Brutus, unlike Cicero, had no personal contact with Octavian in 44–43. And in 1. 17. 2 (to Atticus) the writer clearly understands that Cicero has used Octavian to crush Antony, but fears that the ‘price’ (merces) is too high (danegeld never works). Finally, who can dispute the writer’s insistent allegation that Cicero was a dreadful sycophant? So we should not accept Shackleton Bailey’s claim that, if genuine, the letters give ‘a poor impression of Brutus’ intellect and personality’.60 On the contrary, they throw a harsh and penetrating light on Cicero’s folly. If their relentless moralizing produces a rather chilling detachment from Cicero, this is consistent with the character and epistolary style of the historical Brutus, who responded to the news of Cicero’s murder with the sentiment that ‘he felt shame at the responsibility61 for Cicero’s end rather than a shared sense of grief at the disaster itself, and he blamed his friends in Rome; for they were slaves through their own responsibility rather than the tyrants’ and tolerated being eye-witnesses of things of which even to hear was unendurable’ (Brut. 28. 2). iii) Style. 62 This is also a difficult and technical area which exceeds the bounds of the present discussion. There are, however, obvious points. One is pragmatic: scholars of wonderful Latinity (Gelzer, Syme) have accepted the letters; scholars of wonderful Latinity (Schmidt, Shackleton Bailey) have rejected them. Our aesthetic response to the letters is necessarily to some extent subjective and does not allow of conclusive judgements. However, one must agree that there are objective anomalies of language and usage in the collection of Brutus’ letters as a whole, but that they are much more numerous and concentrated in the letters in question. This discrepancy can theoretically be explained in two ways: the letters in question are spurious; or they are legitimately different, because they are long, manifesto-like, letters, in which Brutus naturally adopts the periodic style which he does not elsewhere employ. In itself, the manifesto character of the letters is not 152 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters implausible, as the leading actors of the drama moved ever closer to the crises which would resolve their various policies – witness Cicero’s own ‘manifesto’ of Ad Brutum 1. 15 (July 43) or Plutarch’s contextualization of the letter of Brut. 29. 9–11: ‘when he was already nearing the moment of danger’. In my view, the linguistic arguments are insufficient to prove forgery, and I would like to cite for the defence the observations about the writer’s use of the participle in Laughton’s study of the participle in Cicero.63 He writes: ‘The seven letters from Brutus reveal a strikingly similar tendency (sc. to those of Cicero); participles are infrequent except in two letters, in both of which Brutus is writing about the subject which most preoccupies him – Cicero’s attitude to Octavian. In 12, the letter in which the anxiety first appears (sc. one of the undisputed letters), there are 7 participles in little more than a page. Later Brutus devotes to the theme a whole letter (sc. 1. 16 [to Cicero] ), the five pages of which contain 20 participles…Brutus is genuinely convinced of the falsity of Cicero’s position, and tries every means to demonstrate it. It is this concentration of thought which is reflected in the style of the letter…and particularly in the large number of participles, which…Brutus uses more effectively than any other of Cicero’s correspondents’ (my italics). That is an interesting judgement – and it is not just a subjective judgement; it is a quasi-technical observation, and one should set it against the contempt for the style of the letters exhibited by Shackleton Bailey and his followers. Note that Laughton, consciously or not, here echoes ancient estimates of Brutus’ style,64 that, in the case of the participle, he finds the discrepancy in usage between the rest of Brutus’ letters and the manifesto letter exactly paralleled in Cicero’s letters, 65 and that he is able to give positive value to what others denigrate as mere repetitiveness. The polarization in the scholarly response to the literary quality of the letters is similar to the situation regarding other Latin authors such as Sallust, Seneca and Lucan: what for some is tedious repetitiveness for others is density and intensity of meaning. iv) The use of the name ‘Octavius’ for Octavian, which occurs in 1. 16 (to Cicero) in 1, 2, 7, 8 and 11, and in 1. 17 (to Atticus) in 5 and 6. Rejectionists raise three objections: (a) the usage is inconsistent with the descriptions of Octavian as ‘Caesari tuo’ and ‘Caesari’ in 1. 16 (to Cicero) in 6 and 7, and as ‘Caesar tuus’ and ‘Caesarem’ in Ad Brutum 1. 4a 2–3; (b) it has no parallel in Brutus’ genuine letters; (c) it is anyway incomprehensible and hence the work of an incompetent forger.66 153 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles In fact, believers from Tyrrell and Purser on have provided at least the rudiments of a satisfactory answer to all three objections. (a) The description of Octavian as ‘Caesar tuus’ is not objective: it is sarcastic – many times over, in fact, 67 and, because the references to ‘Caesar’ follow, they remain as it were in inverted commas. These references, two of which are authentically Brutan, actually support the use of a name for Octavian which does not concede his status as Caesar. (b) There is a parallel for ‘Octavius’: the letter of Brut. 29. 10–11. Rejectionists have to reject this letter also, in a telling forced escalation of their case. In 1983 I argued for the authenticity of this letter, partly on the ground that it is consistent with the letters in question (which is true, but here circular), but partly also on independent grounds. The arguments are too fiddly for discussion here, but they have not been addressed by the rejectionists and, in my opinion, remain strong.68 (c) The use of ‘Octavius’ seems much more problematic, because it introduces the vexed topics of so-called ‘testamentary adoption’ and Caesar’s will. 69 Yet we should note two preliminary, pragmatic, points: (i) whoever wrote the letters, ‘Octavius’ is a problem requiring explanation; (ii) the ‘incompetent-forger’ hypothesis entails an extraordinarily stupid forger, who could not grasp that on taking Caesar’s name ‘Octavius’ would have become ‘Octavianus’. Could such a forger have been a Roman at all? 70 To brave the legal controversies. On the current communis opinio (Weinrib, Schmitthenner, Champlin) ‘testamentary adoption’ is a misconception for ‘the institution of an heir under a condicio nominis ferendi, a condition that the heir take the testator’s name. As with regular adoption…there was no change in agnatic position, that is, the new heir did not enter the testator’s family… Testators did not want such heirs to carry on their family, they wanted them to perpetuate their own name.’ 71 How does this model affect the various arguments about ‘Octavius’? On one view (Harvey, Beaujeu) ‘Octavius’ cannot be justified by the hypothesis that Brutus did not accept Octavian’s adoption (Tyrrell and Purser, Stockton), because that adoption was ratified by Octavian’s formal acceptance of the inheritance in May 44, after which Octavian became, and (according to Harvey and Beaujeu) was universally referred to as, Caesar (or Octavianus, conceding ‘Caesar’). This view, however, fails to take account of the communis opinio concerning ‘testamentary adoption’. For, on Schmitthenner’s reconstruction Octavian’s adoption was not entailed by the condicio nominis ferendi: rather, it was a political master-stroke of questionable legality. Hence on this reconstruction it 154 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters might appear that Brutus could reasonably deny the legality of the adoption and refer to Octavian as Octavius. Nevertheless, there is a big problem with this claim also: on Schmitthenner’s reconstruction denial of the legality of the adoption has strictly nothing to do with the the legality of the name, which (again on that reconstruction) was not in question at all. So much on the implications of the communis opinio. Shackleton Bailey, however, has challenged the communis opinio and argued that ‘testamentary adoption’ (which concept he maintains) did, at least sometimes, and in some important practical senses, involve ‘change in agnatic position’, and that in Octavian’s case this was recognised by Cicero, Antony, Plancus and many others.72 But even more important, Shackleton Bailey notes that in his letter to Cicero (Fam. 10. 24. 5) Plancus observes that it would have been ‘turpe’ (‘dishonourable’) for him not have recognised Octavian as Caesar’s son. From this Shackleton Bailey draws a key inference: ‘The Dictator deliberately chose Octavian as his son. The Senate…had ratified the choice, along with the rest of Caesar’s acta, or, if this as a private matter did not come under the general ratification, by their acceptance of his new name in their decrees, etc. But it seems to be implied that they could have ignored it, and that Plancus himself could ignore it, though it would be dishonourable…to do so. Are we to conclude that the consequences of a testamentary adoption might be greater or less according to the view of the persons most concerned, primarily the heir but also the family and friends [I would add, the enemies] of the deceased? That is all the more believable because even inter vivos the usual consequences could be ignored in practice, as Clodius and others go to show.’ Further, Shackleton Bailey produces a case of ‘testamentary adoption’ where the adoptee’s vulgar and over-precipitate display of his illustrious new family’s imagines aroused aristocratic hostility. 73 Now, whether or not Shackleton Bailey’s continuing defence of the concept of ‘testamentary adoption’ is justified, he has certainly demonstrated the possibility of fluidity in other people’s response to legatees’ changes of name (whatever precisely those changes imply), and of a fluidity of response which could be diversely motivated. Against this background, Brutus, as Octavian’s enemy, could surely have refused to dignify him as Caesar, thereby behaving ‘dishonourably’ in the eyes of Caesarians, and taking a radically different position from that of those non-Caesarians such as Cicero who had compromised with the new Caesar, but exploiting the fact that the consequences of such changes of name were in practice open to diverse response. There seems indeed to be a good parallel for such behaviour 155 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles (even though Shackleton Bailey’s material itself suffices). Obscenities hurled by L. Antonius’ troops against Octavian during the siege of Perusia refer to him both as ‘Octavianus’ and as ‘Octavius’. The former is pejorative (because, while technically entailing ‘Caesar’, it avoids direct use of that august name), the latter, obviously, still more so.74 Shackleton Bailey’s admirably empiricist discussion allows us to some extent to bypass questions of strict legality. It also allows the writer of the disputed letters to refer to Octavian variously, and perfectly consistently, as ‘your Caesar’, ‘Caesar’ (not really a Caesar), and ‘Octavius’ (a miserable parvenu), and to attack ‘Octavius’ for using ‘Caesar’s name’ against ‘Caesar’s assassins’ (1. 16. 5–6). The implication that Octavius is a miserable parvenu is surely also part of the point in the letter of Brut. 29. 9–11. ‘Bruti, Cassii, Catones’ – great Roman names, rich in historical association; ‘Antonius’, whose name and character should have put him in the same illustrious company, has attached himself not even to ‘Caesar’, a hateful name but a great one, but to…‘Octavius’ – mere dirt. (I do not pretend that the attitude is attractive, though it is not simply snobbish, and Brutus famously promoted a freedman’s son). The stance in the letters in question is not far from Antony’s furious and contemptuous ‘and you, boy, who owe everything to a name’ (Cicero, Philippics 13. 24–5), but more nuanced and more complicatedly expressed: Octavian both does, and does not, have the name Caesar; he has it in the sense that he uses it and abuses it; he does not have it in the sense that he does not deserve it and is a mere Octavius.75 The stance is also not merely contemptuous: the writer fully recognises Octavian’s formidableness. So interpreted, the writer’s onomastics are alike rhetorically, politically and socially pointed. The use, then, of the name Octavius is quadruply validated: it is consistent (a) with the fact that, whoever he is, the writer of the letters cannot be an idiot; (b) with the withholding of the name Caesar implicit in the ‘inverted-commas’ use of Caesar; (c) with the letter of Brut. 29. 9–11, which has strong claims to be genuine; (d) with contemptuous rejection of Octavian’s status as a Caesar. So far from counting against the authenticity of the letters in question, ‘Octavius’ strongly supports it. v) Shackleton Bailey’s big argument, which he regards as decisive 76 is the implication in 1. 17. 1 (to Atticus) that Cicero had called Casca, one of Caesar’s assassins, a sicarius (‘assassin’, ’murderer’: the term is opprobrious). Shackleton Bailey argues that Cicero could never have done this, since he regarded the assassination as a pulcherrimum factum 156 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters (‘most beautiful deed’), and that there is, moreover, no external evidence for a quarrel with Casca. The Oxford triumvirate replies that Brutus could, in anger, have exaggerated what Cicero does say in Phil. 2. 31, where he uses the word sicarios, and in 10. 16, where, in order to praise Octavian more, he implies that he was better because untainted by murder. These suggestions seem to me unhappy. How could Brutus have misinterpreted Phil. 2. 31?77 And 10. 16 does not carry the implication alleged. Moreover, neither passage explains the allusion to Casca. The objection to Shackleton Bailey’s argument is more fundamental. His starting-point is misconceived. What matters is not Cicero’s true attitude to the assassination but whether one can conceive of a context where for reasons of his own Cicero the chameleon might have found it politic so to blacken one of the assassins. And this is easy – and explicit in the letter: it is when Cicero is flattering Octavian. Tyrrell and Purser are absolutely on target: ‘We must suppose that Cicero had on some occasion, when wishing to ingratiate himself with Octavian, said that Casca was a murderer.’ Of course, we cannot know what Cicero said to Octavian about Caesar’s assassination, but of one thing we can be certain: he did not describe it as a pulcherrimum factum (in which case, by his own unwise logic, he was even bound to describe it as ‘murder’). Why Casca? The answer is that Casca was in Rome at the time and, like many of the liberators, including the historical Brutus, may well have felt that Cicero’s elevation of Octavian was altogether excessive; he may indeed have been one of Brutus’ partisans whom Cicero records as having opposed Octavian’s ovatio (Ad Brut. 1. 15. 9). There is another interesting aspect of this passage: the writer’s allusion to Cicero’s dubious legal position in having the captured Catilinarians executed. For in Ad Brut. 1. 4 (c. May 43) the historical Brutus, in justifying his own refusal to execute C. Antonius without proper legal sanction, is clearly needling Cicero by implicit allusion to 63, even though he in fact approved of the Catilinarians’ execution. 78 Furthermore, if Brutus could chide Cicero in this way against his considered view, the reverse could surely happen. All in all, the rejectionist argument based on the allusion to Casca is easily parried. vi) In the same passage the writer complains of Cicero’s excessive boastings about his consulship in contrast to the Liberators’ relative restraint about the Ides of March. Shackleton Bailey argues that Cicero did not so boast in 43 and that this complaint reflects the perspective of imperial times, when Cicero’s boasting became a commonplace of his portrayal.79 The Oxford triumvirate reasonably responds 157 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles that in Phil. 2. 28 the comparison of the two deeds is explicitly made and that this is what will have irked Brutus. Cicero also boasts of his deed in De officiis written in late 44. There are other references too in the Philippics. There is nothing here for the rejectionists, or nothing that could not be explained as pardonable exaggeration. vii) Shackleton Bailey next writes: ‘§ 3 alludes to the unsuccessful attempt by Flavius to get Atticus’ support for a republican party fund! A forger would know of this from Cornelius Nepos’ biography of Atticus [Att. 8. 3–4], an obvious source, and be sure to drag it in.’ The triumvirate rightly replies that a forger eager to ‘drag it in’ would surely have been more explicit about it. If anything, the very allusive allusion points to authenticity. viii) Shackleton Bailey finds the sentiment of section 5 80 incompatible with Brutan authorship on the ground that Brutus himself was a philosopher and had written philosophical works.81 The Oxford scholars reply: ‘But Brutus here wants to convict Cicero of hypocrisy, as the next sentence shows. In any case, he seems to be alluding particularly to Stoic moral philosophy, which Cicero tended to favour, whereas Brutus was a member of the old Academy, whose ethical theory was less extreme.’ This latter point assumes strict correspondence between the doctrines ancient philosophers expound and the school affiliations they so vigorously assert. In my view, the relationship was not always so tight: Brutus’ formal Academicism, based on the teachings of Antiochus of Ascalon, was in some respects very close to Stoicism, especially in ethics; he himself sometimes adopted Stoic positions; and he could indeed be described loosely, but with some truth, as effectively Stoic.82 Nor does the context of the letter suggest a ‘school’ disagreement. But the wider point is right. The historical Brutus, himself a writer of philosophical works who believed in the efficacy of his philosophy, could surely have thus scorned the inefficacy of Cicero’s philosophical writings; the attack is not on philosophy per se but on the fraudulence of Cicero’s philosophy, voluminous as it was: cf. artibus (pejorative of skills without real moral content), prosunt, copiosissime. Indeed, Cicero had found Brutus’ letter of philosophical consolation on the death (which Cicero took very badly) of his beloved daughter Tullia a ‘scolding letter’ (Att. 13. 6. 3). ix) Shackleton Bailey argues that the subsequent contrast between Philippus’ restraint and Cicero’s prodigality in honouring Octavian reflects the situation of May 44, not of 43: ‘Brutus would surely have known and remembered that in the same session of the senate at which 158 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters Cicero proposed imperium for Octavian, Philippus had proposed a statue’, facts recorded in Cicero’s own manifesto/apologia to Brutus in 1. 15, written in mid-July.83 This is a positively bad argument: on any view the date, genuine or dramatic, of the letter to Atticus is before Cicero’s manifesto letter; and, even if Brutus did know of Philippus’ proposal, a statue is not an imperium or an army – the point would still be valid. x) The reference in 1. 17. 7 (to Atticus) to the serious ill health of Brutus’ wife Porcia. This raises the question of the date and circumstances of her death. 84 Shackleton Bailey is here at his most cavalier, though, unlike Harvey and Beaujeu, he at least grasps that there is a problem. He writes: ‘Plutarch (Brut. 53) says that in a letter of doubtful authenticity ‘Brutus’ wrote of disease as the cause of Porcia’s suicide. That her death was suicide (by swallowing hot coals) is stated in several later sources and need not be doubted, though some of them erroneously place the event after Philippi.’ We note an immediate paradox: to sustain the case that the letters in question are gross rhetorical forgeries, rejectionists are committed to accepting a version of Porcia’s suicide which has traditionally been regarded as a gross rhetorical invention. But there are more concrete objections. First, it is a misreading of Brut. 53. 5–7 to infer that this otherwise unattested letter was in fact of doubtful authenticity. Rather, Plutarch starts off with the juicy version of Porcia’s death, which makes it (a) post-Philippi (hence a suitable pendant to Brutus’ suicide in ch. 52) and (b) highly dramatic (hence worth retailing in its own right and of a piece with Porcia’s characterisation in the Life [cf. 13. 3–11; 15. 5–9; 23. 2–7] ). He shores the story up with a characteristic emphasis on ‘Nicolaus the philosopher’ (for philosophers as reliable witnesses cf. e.g. Dion 2. 5; Them. 13. 5). He then cites contrary, and seemingly superior, evidence: the letter attributed to Brutus (who might be expected to know the facts), which is less juicy in making the suicide (a) pre-Philippi and (b) presumably less heroic – the implication is that Porcia simply abandoned her fight against disease, weakened as she was by longing for Brutus. The citation of the letter is, as it were, the voice of Plutarch the historian, but for moral and artistic reasons he does not want formally to ditch the Nicolaan version, so in turn he raises a question-mark over the letter. But his motive is artistic convenience, even artistic opportunism, not historical scepticism. There is a rather similar messy confusion of Plutarchean roles at the end of Cicero, though there Plutarch jumps the other way – in the direction of historicity.85 Also, as we have seen, the dubiety about the letter links back to the discussion about Brutus’ Greek letters in chapter 2 and 159 Return to Table of Contents

John Moles thus contributes to a much wider discourse. In short, Plutarch’s evidence does not in fact cast doubt on the letter – rather the reverse. Plutarch actually thinks the letter genuine, but cannot admit it. Second, Shackleton Bailey is simply wrong in claiming that some of the suicide-by-coal versions (besides Nicolaus and Valerius, Martial 1. 42, Appian 4. 136. 574, Cassius Dio 47. 49. 3, Polyaenus 8. 32) make the suicide pre-Philippi: they all make it post-Philippi, which is clearly in the spirit of the story (the grand suicide after the catastrophe). Clearly, too, Nicolaus is the ultimate source and Plutarch is emphatic that he made it post-Philippi. But Porcia died in c. May 43, as proved by Cicero’s Consolation to Brutus in June (Ad Brut. 1. 9). Hence the ‘suicide-by-coal’ version is wrong on chronology. Its account of the manner of Porcia’s death is therefore already suspect (above), even though the viability of suicide by coal has been disputed by scholars.86 Some think it virtually impossible, others (including Shackleton Bailey) find no problem. I find it incredible. One might suggest that the coal story has something to do with the association of Stoics and fire (this is the ultimate personal ‘conflagration’/ejkpuvrwsi", as in Heracles’ suicide), and/or something to do with Nicolaus’ Jewish background (because coals in the mouth purify Moses and other prophets). But the origins of the unhistorical Nicolaan story are irrelevant. It comes to this. The suicide-by-coal version is wrong on the date and surely, on any reasonable view, rather over-heated in its account of the manner of the suicide. By contrast, the letter cited by Plutarch is broadly right on the date, it is far less sensational, and it includes an element absent from the suicide-by-coal versions – namely the role of sickness in Porcia’s suicide. Now 1. 17 (to Atticus) refers to Brutus’ and Atticus’ anxieties about Porcia’s health; it is of the right general dramatic date for Porcia’s illness; there was a plague in Italy at that time (Cassius Dio 45. 17. 8); and neither this letter nor the letter cited by Plutarch exploits the exciting but unhistorical Nicolaan version (as they could easily have done by antedating the suicide), even though that version became rapidly and widely available. For rejectionists the only possible conclusion is that the forger of these two letters is a better historian than Shackleton Bailey and his followers. For the rest of us, the conclusion is easier: the writer in both cases is Brutus. The argument from the allusion to Porcia’s ill health in 1. 17. 7 is itself, therefore, virtually decisive for authenticity.87 Note that it is the much maligned Plutarch who provides the final evidence to puncture the rejectionist balloon. Note also that Plutarch has a better nose for distinguishing fictional tragic history from historical fact than have

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Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters Shackleton Bailey and his followers. 88 Note, finally, that Brut. 53. 7 is the single passage which enables us to resolve the remaining authenticity problems concerning both Brutus’ alleged Greek letters and the Latin letters in question. I conclude that the case for the authenticity of the letters in question is overwhelming; it is not just an arid ‘burden-of-proof’ stand-off; there are strong positive arguments for authenticity (nos. i, iv and x). So what? What does it matter? After all, many scholars, both rejectionists and believers, think that these letters have little or no historical value. But I have already mentioned one reason why they are valuable: namely that they show, on the part of one of the key actors in the political and military drama, and one usually dismissed as rather obtuse (B/brutus), a far shrewder appreciation of Octavian, of the dangers he represented and of the aggravation of those dangers by Cicero’s misguided policies, than Cicero himself ever achieved – at least until he was proscribed, when he did indeed attain to tragic recognition of his folly. 89 But there is an even more important and fundamental point, and it is a point that has implications both for our understanding of the historical Brutus and for our assessment of the quality of Plutarch’s portrayal of him. The point is this: when Plutarch appeals to these letters as evidence for the serious and profound moral grounding of Brutus’ political activity, he is absolutely right. To say this is not to discount Brutus’ personal ambitions, or the many dreadful things that he did, which do not include his assassination of Caesar, or the various moral agendas and biases and distortions of the moralising Plutarch, or the contrary tendency, his interest in tracing Brutus’ shortcomings and, perhaps, his decline in the period before the battles of Philippi. But the essential point remains: for all his faults, Brutus was a man of formidable political virtue, and Plutarch does right to emphasise it, for such virtue can be a fact of history as important as any other. University of Durham

Notes 1

This rather oral text fairly reflects the paper delivered as ‘The Greek and Latin Letters of Brutus’ at the IPS Conference in Dublin on September 9, 1994, but it has been expanded and modified to accommodate criticisms and increase its application to Plutarch. I thank: all those who commented at the time; Michael Crawford for his magnanimity; Miriam Griffin for written comments and other kindnesses; Tony Woodman for his customary rigour

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John Moles and penetration; Donald Russell, most urbane of chairs; and Judith Mossman, most humane of editors. In accordance with editorial policy, all Greek and Latin is translated; the Greek translations adapt (and correct) B. Perrin, Plutarch’s Lives VI (Cambridge Mass., and London 1917). Although translations are not ideal for close textual interpretation, I have tried to convey all important nuances of the Greek (as I see them), in the belief that meaning matters more than elegance; linguistic Hellenists will decide for themselves whether these nuances exist. 2 C.B.R. Pelling, ‘Plutarch’s method of work in the Roman Lives’, JHS 99 (1979), 74–96 (reprinted, with postscript, in B. Scardigli (ed.) Essays on Plutarch’s Lives (Oxford 1995), 265–318), esp. 78–9 and 86–7 (on Brutus); J.L. Moles, A Commentary on Plutarch’s Brutus (unpublished Oxford D.Phil. thesis 1979), xxvii–lxi; Plutarch: the Life of Cicero (Warminster 1988), 26–32. 3 2. 4, 5–8 (the Greek letters); 21. 6, 22. 4–6, 24. 3 (by implication); 28. 1, 2 (by implication); 29. 9–11; 53. 6–7; letters probably also underly 28. 4–5 (cf. 29. 5) and 38. 6–7, and perhaps more of ch. 21: Moles, Commentary (n. 2), l and nn. ad loc. 4 D.A. Russell and M. Winterbottom (eds.) Ancient Literary Criticism: the Principal Texts in New Translations (Oxford 1972), 211; the judgement is also exploited by Stephen Harrison, ‘Poetry, philosophy, and letter-writing in Horace, Epistles I ’, in D. Innes, H. Hine and C. Pelling (eds.) Ethics and Rhetoric (Oxford 1995), 47–61 at 59. 5 Octavian who became Augustus was born C. Octavius; ‘Octavianus’ is the modified gentilicium (clan name) of ‘Octavius’, acquired when, under Julius Caesar’s will, he got the name ‘Caesar’. In modern usage ‘Octavian’, while retaining an allusion to his birth name, usefully distinguishes him (a) from Julius Caesar; (b) from his own ‘reinvention’ as Augustus in 27 BC. Although others applied the name Octavianus to him in the early period after his formal acceptance of Caesar’s will, whether he himself ever did is unclear: cf. R. Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford 1939), 112, ‘it will be understood that the aspirant to Caesar’s power preferred to drop the name that betrayed his origin’; contra D.R. Shackleton Bailey, Two Studies in Roman Nomenclature (Atlanta 1991) (first edition State College 1976), 60 (cf. 75): ‘that he did not combine [the name Caesar] with…‘Octavianus’ is sometimes asserted but for this period not proved’; cf. also my p. 156 and n. 74. Nomenclature becomes crucial in Ad Brutum 1. 16 and 1. 17 (p. 153), but ‘Octavian’ remains a convenient term. 6 Which are too long for quotation but will need to be consulted (for a convenient translation see n. 11). 7 See p. 153. 8 Pelling, ‘Plutarch’s method’ (n. 2), 93 and n. 140. 9 Moles, Commentary (n. 2), 298 (requiring modification in the light of n. 11 [‘scribit’ ] ) . 10 Unless in Plutarch patevra" (Coraes, Ziegler) is read, glossing ‘parentem’; the decision is delicate, but I (now) think it is better to retain the MSS reading, especially as ‘gentle despots’ seems to interact with the emphasis in 1. 2–3 (p. 146) on Brutus’ own ‘gentleness’, which contrasts with his ancestor’s

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Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters ‘hardness’ in his rage against ‘the tyrants’. 11 ‘Octavius’ (Tunstall) is accepted by most editors (allusion to Octavian is certain); ‘scribit’ is Shackleton Bailey’s emendation in D.R. Shackleton Bailey (ed.) Cicero: Epistulae ad Quintum Fratrem et M. Brutum (Cambridge 1980), 143 and 254, bettering his translation, Cicero’s Letters to his Friends 2 (Penguin 1978), 370. 12 A slip, since the following sentiment glosses Ad Brutum 1. 16. 7 (to Cicero); explained by the fact that the information about Octavian’s calling Cicero father derives from Ad Brutum 1. 17. 5, which is addressed to Atticus: Moles, Plutarch: Cicero (Warminster 1988), 196. 13 See n. 68 below. 14 Naturally, disputed letters are not Plutarch’s only evidence for Brutus’ character. 15 See p. 144. 16 Philostratus II, 258K = nr. IV, p. 14 Hercher; Photius Ep., nr. VI, p. 16 Hercher, with R.E. Smith, CQ 30 (1936), 194–5. 17 R.E. Smith, ‘The Greek letters of M. Junius Brutus’, CQ 30 (1936), 194– 203; P.L. Meucci, ‘Le lettere greche di Bruto’, SIFC 19 (1942), 47–102; L. Torraca, Bruto: Epistole greche (Naples 1959); J. Deininger, ‘Brutus und die Bithyner. Bemerkungen zu den sog. griechischen Briefen des Brutus’, RhM 109 (1966), 356–72; Moles, Commentary (n. 2), 44–55 (anticipating some of the following arguments); E. Rawson, ‘Cassius and Brutus: the memory of the Liberators’, in I.S. Moxon, J.D. Smart and A.J. Woodman, Past Perspectives (Cambridge 1986), 101–19 at 107. 18 Details (here irrelevant) in Moles, Commentary, 44–55. 19 M. Gelzer, RE 10 (1917), 1011–12; R. MacMullen, Enemies of the Roman Order (Cambridge Mass. 1967), 6; A.E. Wardman, Plutarch’s Lives (London 1974), 227; M.L. Clarke, The Noblest Roman: Marcus Brutus and his Reputation (London 1981), 61, 141 n. 4; Torraca (n. 17). 20 Smith has no occasion to use the disputed Ad Brut. 1. 16 and 17. 21 Rawson (n. 17). 22 At the conference John Dillon suggested that the letters might be authentic in the sense of being fictional compositions in aphoristic ‘Seven-Sages’ style by Brutus himself. But, although this suggestion coheres with one element of the epistolary style, with Brutus’ general philosophical interests and (to some extent) with his style of utterance, it sits ill with the political Realien of the letters and with what might appear to be the menacing unpleasantness of their tone. 23 Torraca (n. 17) XXII. 24 The characterization applies only to some of the Greek letters, not to Brutus’ general Greek style, pace the translations of Perrin (n. 1) 131 and R. Flacelière and E. Chambry, Plutarque Vies XIV (Paris 1978), 96; on the Greek construction and the translation ‘remarkable’ see the text. 25 ‘Suffering’ essays a double reference: to Porcia’s mental and emotional ‘suffering’ and to her ‘suffering’ through illness; Perrin’s out-dated ‘distemper’ suggests the same effect. There are other ways of interpreting pavqo". 26 R.G.M. Nisbet and M. Hubbard, A Commentary on Horace: Odes 1 (Oxford 1970), xii.

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John Moles 27

LSJ s.v.; for a good Plutarchean parallel see p. 146. Cf. Brut. 5. 3, 4; 13. 3; 53. 7 (text). 29 Perrin’s ‘like the tempered steel of swords’ misses the point: ‘cold-forged’ metal is unyielding and brittle. 30 aJplou'" used of metal: LSJ III. d; the inspiration of the general psychology of ch. 1 is Plato, Rep. 410C–412B, which also contains the germ of Plutarch’s metallic imagery (411A 10–B 1): a further indication of how integral this imagery is to Plutarch’s thought. 31 Cf. Moles, Plutarch: Cicero (n. 2), 12–16, for a quasi-theoretical discussion. 32 Comparison 5. 2–4: ‘A bronze statue of Brutus stood in Mediolanum in Cisalpine Gaul. This statue Caesar [Augustus] later saw, as it was a good likeness and charmingly worked, and passed by; then, having stopped, after a little in the hearing of many he called the magistrates, claiming that their city had been caught violating its treaty, since it had an enemy in its midst. (3) At first, then, as was natural, they denied it, and looked at each other at a loss as to whom he meant. Caesar turned towards the statue and knitting his brows said: ‘But is not this our enemy who stands here?’ All the more dumbfounded, they fell silent. (4) But he, smiling, praised the Gauls for being steadfast to their friends even in adversity, and ordered the statue to remain in place’ (note the further ring between ‘steadfast’ [bebaivou"] here and ‘most steadfastly’ [bebaiovtata] in Brut. 1. 1 ). On Plutarch’s rich and evocative use of statues in the Lives see J.M. Mossman, ‘Plutarch’s use of statues’, in M.A. Flower and M. Toher, Georgica: Greek Studies in Honour of George Cawkwell, BICS Supplement 58 (1991), 98–119. 33 e.g. Lyc. 19–20; Them. 18; Cat. mai. 8–9; Lys. 22; Gracc. 25. 4–6; F1am. 17; Dem. 11. 5–7; Cic. 25, 38; Phoc. 9. 8. 34 Wardman, Plutarch’s Lives (n. 19), 227–8. 35 Ad Att. 15. 9. 1; this theme will be chillingly reversed at 46. 1–5, where Brutus promises that, if they fight well, his men can plunder Sparta. 36 J. Moles, ‘Some “Last Words” of M. Iunius Brutus’, Latomus 42 (1983), 763–79. 37 W.R. Connor, ‘A post-modernist Thucydides?’, CJ 72 (1977), 289–98; in Plutarchean scholarship I think, for example, of Tim Duff’s paper in the present volume and Chris Pelling’s ‘Is death the end? Closure in Plutarch’s Lives’, in D. Roberts, D. Fowler and F. Dunn, Classical Closure (Princeton, forthcoming). 38 For the Comparisons’ role in reactivating and reinterpreting the moral problems of the narratives see Pelling (n. 37), making the best possible case for them. 39 The ‘Caesar’s ghost’/daivmwn story in Brutus achieves even greater complexity through similar indeterminacy of truth status: cf., briefly, Moles, ‘Plutarch, Brutus and the Ghost of Caesar’, Proceedings of the Classical Association 82 (1985), 19–20. 40 A rare recent exception is P. Vozza, ‘Sul II libro delle lettere a Bruto’, Annali della facolta di Lettere e filosofia a Bari 19–20 (1976/77), 117–28, whose arguments have attracted little attention and less assent. 41 O.E. Schmidt, ‘Zur Kritik und Erklärung der Briefe Ciceros an M. Brutus’ , 28

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Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters NJPhP 129 (1884), 617–44, esp. 630–5. 42 R.Y. Tyrrell and L.C. Purser, The Correspondence of M. Tullius Cicero VI (Dublin/London 1899), cxi–vii; 153–4; id., VI (1933), cxxv–viii; cxxxi. 43 Acceptance: Shackleton Bailey, Two Studies (n. 5), 75 (piquantly, therefore, Shackleton Bailey is in print in 1991 as accepting letters whose authenticity he himself had rejected in 1980, the explanation being incomplete revision of the first edition); agnostic: Shackleton Bailey, Cicero’s Letters to his Friends 2 (n. 11), 343; pronouncement: Cicero: Epistulae (n. 11), 10–14; id., Cicero: Epist. ad Quintum fratrem; Epist. ad M. Brutum (Teubner ed. 1988), ‘praefatio’; id., review of J. Beaujeu, Cicéron, Correspondance, Tome X (Budé ed., Paris 1991), Gnomon 65 (1993), 546–7 at 547. 44 P.B. Harvey, ‘Cicero Epistulae ad Quintum Fratrem et ad Brutum: content and comment’, Athenaeum 69 (1991), 17–29, esp. 22–9; Beaujeu, Cicéron: Correspondance (n. 43), 251–5; cf. also A.M. Gowing, The Triumviral Narratives of Appian and Cassius Dio (Michigan 1992), 152–3 (nn. 29 and 31). 45 Moles, review of Clarke (n. 19), LCM 7 (1982), 138–9; ‘Some “Last Words” ’ (n. 36), 765 and nn. 6–8; Plutarch: Cicero, 196; M.T. Griffin in M.T. Griffin and J. Barnes (eds.) Philosophia Togata (Oxford 1989), 19 n. 32; T.N. Mitchell, Cicero: the Senior Statesman (Yale 1991), 321; E. Rawson in CAH 2 IX (1994), 487 and n. 111; C. Habicht, Cicero the Politician (Baltimore and London 1990), 79 and 128 n. 55 (apparently unaware of current controversy) and D.N. Sedley, ‘The ethics of Brutus and Cassius’ (forthcoming in BICS) also believe the letters authentic. I thank Dr Sedley for sending me this important paper, which strengthens the case for substantive philosophical influence upon both Brutus and Cassius. 46 Miriam Griffin kindly sent me a copy of the brief summary of the triumvirate’s deliberations which she gives her students, and I have taken the liberty of citing it hereafter. 47 Syme, The Roman Revolution, 184: ‘Octavianus was a greater danger to the Republic than Antonius: that was the argument of the sombre and perspicacious Brutus. Two letters reveal his insight…’ Indeed, in The Roman Revolution Brutus plays a role rather like that of Asinius Pollio, albeit much smaller (cf. 58–9, 138, 143, 203, 320). 48 Schmidt; Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 11; Harvey, ‘Cicero Epistulae’ (n. 44), 29 n. 67. 49 For such collections see M. Schanz and C. Hosius, Geschichte der römischen Literatur (Munich 1927), i. 4 397. 50 Brut. 2. 4, 21. 6, 24. 3 (concerning Cicero’s son), 28. 1–2, 28. 4–5, 38. 6–7; n. 3. 51 Pelling, ‘Plutarch’s method’ (n. 2), 87 n. 93. 52 Philosophy: Sen. Cons. Helv. 9. 4–8; Quint. 10. 1. 123; Tac. Dial. 18. 25; oratory: Quint. 10. 1. 123, 12. 10. 11; Tac. Dial. 18. 25, 21. 26. 53 C.P. Jones, Plutarch and Rome (Oxford 1971), 23–4. 54 See p. 142 and n. 11. 55 Cic. 45. 2 implies end-44: Moles, Plutarch: Cicero, 194 (on 44. 1); Comp. 4. 4 is effectively timeless; Brut. 22. 4–6 implies post-October 44, but the chronology, even on its own terms, fails: Moles, Commentary, 290–2. These datings are anyway untenable.

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John Moles 56

Lucid observations (shackled only by failure to integrate the vital Porcia evidence [p. 159] ) in Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 250; 251–2. 57 Harvey, ‘Cicero Epistulae’, 29, even concedes that ‘both letters fit the chronological context of the authentic letters’. 58 P. Cic. 45. 5–6, cf. Comp. 3. 1, 4. 4; App. 3. 82; C.D. 46. 42. 2; Moles, Plutarch: Cicero, 52, 197; Gowing, The Triumviral Narratives of Appian and Cassius Dio (n. 44), 151–3. Mitchell’s argument, Cicero: the Senior Statesman (n. 45), 321, that Cicero’s evidence excludes this possibility seems credulous. 59 ‘The text and interpretation of Plutarch, Vit. Cic. 45. 1’, Hermes 120 (1992), 240–4. 60 Cicero: Epistulae, 10. 61 As often, aijtiva pivots between ‘objective cause’ and ‘moral responsibility’/ ‘blame’. 62 Schmidt; Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 11; Beaujeu, Cicéron: Correspondance, 253; Harvey, ‘Cicero Epistulae’, 24–6 (with useful detail). I doubt whether the surviving specimens of Brutus’ Latin suffice to make a computer analysis profitable. 63 E. Laughton, The Participle in Cicero (Oxford 1964), 154–6. 64 Ad Att. 14. 1. 2 (‘whatever he wants, he wants it badly’), cf. P. Brut. 6. 7; Quint. 12. 10. 11 (‘gravitas’/weight Brutus’ distinguishing characteristic); Quint. 10. 1. 123 (on Brutus’ philosophical works: ‘you know that he really feels what he’s saying’). 65 Harvey’s remark (‘Cicero Epistulae’, 25) that ‘Laughton did not comment on the authenticity of this letter’ is misleading. 66 Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 11 and 251; Harvey, ‘Cicero Epistulae’, 26–7; Beaujeu, Cicéron: Correspondance, 253. Alone among rejectionists Shackleton Bailey omits (c), whether because he thinks the case sufficiently proved already, or (I suspect) because he thinks it valueless (p. 155). 67 Sarcastic: Tyrrell and Purser on 1. 16. 1; D. Stockton, Cicero: a Political Biography (Oxford 1971), 324 n. 64; many times: (a) it is anomalous that Cicero of all people should champion a ‘Caesar’, hence ‘tuus Caesar’ is practically an oxymoron; (b) Octavius/Octavian is of course trying to be another Caesar; (c) he is not properly a ‘Caesar’ at all (see on ‘Octavius’ ). 68 Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 251, does not consider this letter (though citing it as genuine in Two Studies, 75: cf. n. 43); Harvey, ‘Cicero Epistulae’, 26 n. 56, notes the problem. Authenticity: Moles, ‘Some “Last Words” ’ (n. 36), 763–7. Note especially the argument that Val. Max. 6. 4. 5 and App. 4. 130. 546 f. (the latter based on Asinius Pollio and including the form ‘Octavius’), which are both in their different ways unhistorical, both rework the letter attributed to Brutus. Hence: (a) the letter is very early (because available not only to Val. Max. but also to Pollio); (b) ‘the presumption is strong that these two fabrications, set as they are in different contexts, derive from something that is itself authentic’ (766). If I were a rejectionist, this letter would make me uneasy. 69 E.J. Weinrib, ‘The family connections of M. Livius Drusus Libo’, HSCP 72 (1967), 247–78; W. Schmitthenner, Oktavian und das Testament Cäsars2 (Munich 1973) (with useful earlier analytical bibliography at 104–5); R. Syme,

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Plutarch, Brutus and Brutus’ Greek and Latin letters ‘Clues to testamentary adoption’, Tituli 4 (Rome 1982) 1. 397–410 = Roman Papers (Oxford 1988), 4. 159–73; Shackleton Bailey, Two Studies, 60–4; E. Champlin, Final Judgements: Duty and Emotion in Roman Wills 200BC–AD 250 (Berkeley, Los Angeles and Oxford 1991), 144–6; B. Salway, ‘What’s in a name? A survey of Roman onomastic practice from c. 700 BC to AD 700’, JRS 84 (1994), 124–45 at 132. 70 Harvey’s observation, ‘Cicero Epistulae’, 26–7: ‘we may suspect that the author of 25 and 26 (i.e. the letters in question), unlike others who concocted literature purporting to be of this age, simply did not know the precise onomastic history of C. Iulius Caesar Octavianus’, is disingenuous: ‘precise onomastic history’ is not in question. 71 Champlin, Final Judgements (n. 69), 144–6. 72 Two Studies, 60–4. Champlin’s counter-argument – ‘Shackleton Bailey’s lingering fears that the adoption might have had a legal basis are dealt a serious blow by the fact that women were legally incapable of adoption, yet a certain Livia is recorded as “adopting” Dolabella testamentarily’ (Final Judgements, 145 n. 60) – does not seem (to me) quite to intersect with Shackleton Bailey’s arguments, which (as I read them) are concerned with practical, de facto, consequences (which, nevertheless, are recognised by Romans as real and important) rather than strictly legal considerations. Shackleton Bailey’s case naturally coheres with Suetonius’ words: DJ 83. 2 ‘Gaium Octavium etiam in familiam nomenque adoptavit’; Schmitthenner and his followers necessarily dismiss as inaccurate such source formulations, and, still more, those formulations only mentioning adoption (listed in Schmitthenner, Oktavian und das Testament Cäsars, 59). 73 Cornelius Scipio Pomponianus Salvitto: Two Studies, 63, 73–4. 74 CIL XI 6721 6–11, cited by Schmitthenner 74 n. 1, cf. also A. Degrassi, Inscriptiones Latinae Liberae Rei Publicae II (Florence 1963), 1107 (p. 303); on ‘Octavianus’ see n. 5 above; intriguingly, ‘Octavius’ is far better attested in the manuscripts of Ad Fam. 16. 24. 2 (Cicero to Tiro) and retained by Shackleton Bailey, who comments (Two Studies, 75); ‘the paradosis Octavius need not be wrong’. This example, if accepted, is hardly pejorative but reinforces the arguments for general fluidity of nomenclature, and would show that even Cicero, even after Octavian’s formal acceptance of his legacy, could describe him as Octavius. 75 David Levene reminds me of a lovely modern parallel: Churchill’s allusions (derived from anti-Nazi Viennese journalists of the 30s) to Hitler as Schicklgruber (the former family name). 76 Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 11–12; Harvey, ‘Cicero Epistulae’, 23–4; Beaujeu, Cicéron: Correspondance, 253–4. 77 ‘I, who am those men’s friend, as I myself admit, or ally, as I am accused by you, say that there is no middle course; I confess that they, if they are not liberators of the Roman people and saviours of the Republic, are worse than murderers (sicarios), worse than assassins, worse even than parricides…What do you, wise and thoughtful fellow, call them?’ Cicero is trying to force Antony into a dilemma, so that Antony’s honouring of Caesar’s assassins should entail his regarding them as liberators and saviours.

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John Moles Habicht, Cicero the Politician (n. 45), 115 n. 12; Att. 12. 21. 1; cf. Brutus’ defence of Milo for the murder of Clodius (Quint. 3. 6. 93). 79 Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 12–13, cl. Plut. Cic. 24, Quint. 11. 1. 24, [Sall.], Invect. 6–7. 80 ‘For myself, I no longer allow any value to those arts in which I know Cicero is so well versed. What do they do for him, all his copious writings in defence of national freedom, on dignity, on death, banishment, and poverty?’ 81 Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 13; Beaujeu, Cicéron: Correspondance, 254. 82 J.L. Moles, ‘Politics, philosophy, and friendship in Horace Odes 2, 7’, QUDCC 25 (1987), 61–72 at 64–5; I should say that Dr Sedley does not at the moment agree that Brutus sometimes adopted Stoic positions; these are difficult areas, involving both the controversial question of how to understand Antiochan ‘syncretism’ and the reconstruction of Brutus’ own philosophical works; but, for example, if the evidence of Cicero and Seneca is right, Brutus’ De virtute was Stoic rather than Antiochan Academic: see E. Rawson, Intellectual Life in the Late Roman Republic (London 1985), 285, to which I would add the observation that Seneca’s account (Ad Helv. 8. 1, 9. 4–6) does not look like a superficial ‘Stoicisation’ but makes Stoic thinking absolutely integral to the work. 83 Shackleton Bailey, Cicero: Epistulae, 13–14; Beaujeu, Cicéron: Correspondance, 254. 84 I here resuscitate and, I hope, greatly strengthen, an argument which has disappeared from modern discussion, although its germ is already present in Tyrrell and Purser’s introductory comments on Ad Brutum 1. 9 and notes on 1. 17. 7. 85 Cic. 48. 2–49. 4, with Moles, Plutarch: Cicero, 200–1; Cat. min. 73. 6, where Porcia gives up her life ‘in a manner worthy of her good birth and virtue, as has been written in the Life of Brutus’, is not evidence for ‘what Plutarch really believed’ about Porcia’s death: the moral and artistic requirement there is for a heroic death parallel to that of Cato’s son (73. 1–5). 86 P. Howell, A Commentary on Book One of the Epigrams of Martial (London 1980), 199–200; A.J. Woodman, Velleius Paterculus: the Caesarian and Augustan Narrative (2.41–93) (Cambridge 1983), 246–7. 87 Unless, most desperate of expedients, 7 is detached from the rest of the letter; true, Gurlitt wanted this, arguing that 7 is the letter from Brutus to Cicero referred to in Ad Brutum 1. 14. 1, but, quite apart from the arbitrariness of the severance (7 makes the familiar epistolary transition from public affairs to private), his detailed reconstruction fails: see both Tyrrell and Purser and Shackleton Bailey on 1. 17. 7. 88 Plutarch of course has views about ‘tragic history’ and some discrimination therein: P.H. de Lacy, ‘Biography and tragedy in Plutarch’, AJP 73 (1952), 159 ff.; J.M. Mossman, ‘Tragedy and epic in Plutarch’s Alexander’, JHS 108 (1988), 83–93 (reprinted in Scardigli [n. 2], 209–28), esp. nn. 6 and 8; which is not to deny (a) that he himself is fully capable of writing ‘tragic history’ when he wishes; (b) that the distinction between ‘tragic history’ and ‘serious’ ancient historiography is itself less than absolute. 89 Cf. P. Cic. 46. 1, with Moles, Plutarch: Cicero, 198, and indeed the whole harrowing narrative of chs. 47–8. 78

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One of the most important developments in modern approaches to Plutarch’s Lives has been the renewed recognition that the Lives are, above all, moral tracts, and that Plutarch often shapes his narrative to privilege the moral import. For Plutarch, as for most Greek and Roman writers of history or biography, it was the lessons which the past could teach which provided the justification for studying it. Thus, when Plutarch talks of his intentions in writing the Lives, he emphasises the moral benefit which the reader will gain from reading about the heroes or villains of the past (e.g. Aem. 1. 1–5; Per. 1. 1—2. 4; Demetr. 1. 1–7). In practice, however, some Lives do not seem to conform so easily to this paradigm of moral instruction. For example, the Antony2 or the Caesar seem to contain no obvious imperative, implicit or explicit, and issues of morality are not highlighted. One approach to Lives such as these was taken by Christopher Pelling. Pelling’s answer was to formulate an extremely useful distinction between two forms of moralism which he sees working within the Lives: protreptic and descriptive. Protreptic moralism is that which provides a clear imperative or lesson; descriptive moralism, such as we see in the Antony, is more concerned with pointing to a truth in human nature than with presenting a model for imitation or avoidance. 3 But this cannot be the whole answer. I want to suggest here that the Lysander– Sulla pair fits easily into neither of Pelling’s two categories. This is a pair of Lives in which, both implicitly and explicitly, evaluative judgements are encouraged; the subjects are viewed from an ethical perspective. But, significantly, these judgements are contradictory and the ethical status of the pair remains deliberately ambiguous right through to the end. Philip Stadter, in a recent study, argued persuasively that these Lives, taken together, highlight the danger of excessive ambition and the violence to which it leads.4 There is, as Stadter maintains, a 169 Return to Table of Contents

Tim Duff progression across the two Lives of the pair: bad traits in Lysander are shown to reach a peak in Sulla. But there is more to say. As I shall argue here, the moral message of these Lives is more complex than this analysis allows. In short, Plutarch seems in the Lysander–Sulla to problematize the moral status of the subjects. Why did Plutarch make it so hard to draw moral lessons from the Lysander–Sulla? Several reasons may be suggested. First, the moral opaqueness of the Lives of Lysander and Sulla reflects both the traits of cunning and deceptiveness and the contrast between appearance and reality, which Plutarch saw as central to these two figures. Plutarch’s concern with appearance and reality in this pair is not typical of Plutarchan biography as a whole, where character is generally presented as directly reflected in deeds. The way in which these two Lives are fashioned seems to be deliberately mimetic of the character and career of the subjects. Secondly, Plutarch was here dealing with figures whose lives offered fewer possibilities than many of his other subjects for paradigmatic treatment. While he was prepared to construct some of his subjects as almost wholly virtuous (for example, Timoleon or Flamininus), he seems less willing – despite the claims of Demetr. 1. 6 – to write the opposite: that is, Lives wholly concerned with invective. By refusing to see Lysander and Sulla as wholly ‘bad’ (cf. Cimon. 2. 4–5), Plutarch is forced to look for ways in which their behaviour could be seen as positive, or, at least, as open to different interpretations. Most important, the lack of moral clarity in these Lives causes us to reflect on the difficulties which arise in practice when one attempts to judge great men on a moral scale. Indeed it causes us to reflect on the whole concept of morality. The moral questions asked of this pair thus become more complex and challenging than Plutarch’s own programmatic statements of intent may have led us to expect. In particular, as we shall see, the Lysander–Sulla highlights the conflict between private virtue and the national interest, between ineffective good deeds and effective bad ones. 1. The ambiguity of images a) The statue of Lysander (Lys. 1. 1–3) The ambiguity of the moral status of Lysander and Sulla is conveyed throughout the pair of Lives by the recurrent motif of the statue. At the opening of the Lysander, a statue of the subject, which stood outside the Akanthian treasury at Delphi, is described (1. 1): ÔO ∆Akanqivwn qhsauro;" ejn Delfoi'" ejpigrafh;n e[cei toiauvthn: B RASIDA" KAI A KANQIOI AJP ∆ AQHNAIWN. dio; kai; polloi; to;n ejnto;" eJstw'ta tou' oi[kou para; tai'"

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Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla quvrai" livqinon ajndriavnta Brasivdou nomivzousin ei\nai. Lusavndrou d∆ ejstin; eijkonikov", eu\ mavla komw'nto" e[qei tw/' palaiw/', kai; pwvgwna kaqeimevnou gennai'on. The treasury of the Akanthians at Delphoi bears this inscription: BRASIDAS AND THE AKANTHIANS BUILT WITH SPOILS FROM THE ATHENIANS . For this reason, many think that the marble statue standing within the temple, by the doors, is a statue of Brasidas. But it is really a representation of Lysander, with his hair very long, after the ancient custom, and with a generous beard.

The way in which the Lysander opens alerts the reader to a number of themes which will be important in the pair as a whole. The difficulty in identifying the statue as Lysander’s suggests at the outset the difficulty of coming to any conclusions about him. One must presume that Plutarch had good reason for asserting that this statue be identified with Lysander and not Brasidas, but it is described here in terms which seem to make any positive identification difficult; it is given no individualized features at all, but is a stereotypical representation of a Classical Spartan. In what way then is the statue ‘a representation of Lysander’ (Lusavndrou eijkonikov")? Plutarch seems here to be playing with two related meanings of eijkwvn (‘representation’), that is, first, a physical portrait or statue, and, second, metaphorically, a likeness or simile.5 The statue is to be read as an ‘image’ of Lysander in this second, broader sense: it communicates an important truth about him. As will become clear, the moral status of Lysander is as ambiguous as his statue is hard to identify. More particularly, the statue suggests a tension, which becomes clearer as the Life progresses, between Lysander’s unorthodox behaviour and traditional Spartan values. The statue presents him as a traditional Spartan; as the Life progresses his behaviour is shown to be very different from what is expected of a Spartan. This tension is emphasised by means of several digressions on elements of Spartan tradition, which serve to set Lysander against the traditional background. Such is the function of the discussion about wealth in Sparta (17. 1–11) and about the Spartan method of sending secret messages (the skytale: 19. 8–12); such is also the function of the comparison which is explicitly encouraged between Lysander and the traditional Spartan Kallikratidas (7. 5). 6 The same effect is achieved by the discussion of Spartan hairstyle, which comes immediately after the passage quoted above (1. 2–3). Furthermore, Lykourgos’ saying (1. 3) that long hair makes the fine (kaloiv) more beautiful and the ugly (aijscroiv) more terrible (foberwvteroi) raises the question of whether Lysander himself

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Tim Duff is to be regarded as good or bad; the words ‘fine’ or ‘ugly’ can refer to moral character as well as to appearance.7 No explicit answer is given to this question, but it underlies the whole of the Life. Much of the Lysander is taken up with showing how unlike a traditional Spartan Lysander was, a fact which is stated explicitly at 2. 4 (cf. also 8. 5, 20. 8). Later in the Life, when Lysander reaches the peak of his power, he sets up a statue of himself at Delphi (18. 1). This is the locus for further ambiguity about his character. Plutarch introduces a remark from a certain Anaxandrides of Delphi (18. 3) that Lysander had a secret store of money at Delphi. This is neither accepted nor denied; Plutarch simply points out that the report contradicts other evidence of Lysander’s poverty (cf. 2. 2). The unresolved contradiction underlines the difficulty of reaching any firm moral conclusions about Lysander. b) The statue of Sulla (Sulla 2. 1–2) The theme of statues and the difficulties of interpreting them recurs throughout the Sulla too. Early on in the Life there is a discussion about the physical appearance of Sulla (2. 1–2).8 His statues, Plutarch tells us, did not convey the terrifying gleam of his eyes (2. 1): Tou' de; swvmato" aujtou' to; me;n a[llo ei\do" ejpi; tw'n ajndriavntwn faivnetai, th;n de; tw'n ojmmavtwn glaukovthta deinw'" pikra;n kai; a[kraton ou\san hJ crova tou' proswvpou foberwtevran ejpoivei prosidei'n. (2) ejxhvnqei ga;r to; ejruvqhma tracu; kai; sporavdhn katamemeigmevnon th/' leukovthti: His physical appearance in general is seen in his statues; but the greyness of his eyes, which was terribly bitter and unmixed, was rendered even more terrible by the complexion of his face. (2) For the redness of his skin, which was covered in sores, was coarse and intermingled with whiteness.

The parallel with Lysander’s statue is made more obvious by the repetition of foberwtevrou" (Lysander 1. 3) ...foberwtevran (Sulla 2. 1). Sulla’s statue, like Lysander’s, is deceptive. Once again we are faced with a gap between artistic representation and real character. The terms used to describe Sulla’s real appearance, ‘bitter and unmixed’ (pikra;n kai; a[kraton, cf. tracuv), relate primarily to character rather than to appearance,9 and it is Sulla’s character which is the subject of the discussion which follows. Appearance and character are here, as often in the Lives, implicitly connected.10 Both his appearance, not adequately represented on his statues, and his character, are distasteful. In fact, there may well be a physiognomic theory lying behind the description of Sulla’s appearance here; later on, in 5. 11, a 172 Return to Table of Contents

Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla Chaldean soothsayer does indeed give an explicitly physiognomic reading of Sulla’s face.11 The contradictions of Sulla’s character are particularly clear from the discussion in 6. 11–17. Once again appearance is related to character: soothsayers declare that a man who is ‘unique in appearance’ (o[yei diavforo") will free the city from its troubles, and Sulla declares himself to be that man (6. 12–13). A little later (6. 14) Plutarch echoes this phrase by describing Sulla as being, in his character, ‘uneven and unique unto himself’ (ajnwmalov" ti"…kai; diavforo" pro;" eJautovn).12 This inconsistency in his character, implicitly linked to his appearance, is then illustrated in the discussion which follows (6. 15–17): he bestows honours and insults without reason, is excessive in both his flattery and his brutality to others, and can be variously both cruel and indulgent in response to the crimes of his troops. At the very end of this pair of Lives, a statue is used once again to convey ambiguity and inconsistency. We are told at 38. 3 that images (ei[dwla) of Sulla and of a lictor were moulded out of incense and cinnamon to be used at his funeral. The word translated ‘moulded’ is plasqh'nai, which also carries with it the connotations of forgery or fiction, a sense which cognates of this word carry in Lys. 14. 7, 25. 5 and 26. 5 (cf. also Sulla 27. 3). Monuments can be deceptive, and the pair of Lives ends where it began. 2. The comparison of Lysander and Kallikratidas a) The statue of Kallikratidas (Lys. 5. 7–8) It is in the comparison of Lysander and Kallikratidas that the themes of the opening sections are picked up again most clearly. This use of a minor figure to throw into relief the qualities of the subject of the Life is not an uncommon one in Plutarch. 13 But in this Life it is not wholly clear which of the two figures the reader is meant to admire. In 5. 7–8, Kallikratidas’ arrival on the scene of operations is described, and his truly Spartan virtue (ajrethv) is compared to the beauty of a heroic statue: dio; kai; Kallikrativdan ou[t∆ eujqu;" hJdevw" ei\don ejlqovnta tw/' Lusavndrw/ diavdocon th'" nauarciva", ou[q∆ wJ" u{steron didou;" pei'ran ajnh;r ejfaivneto pavntwn a[risto" kai; dikaiovtato", hjrevskonto tw/' trovpw// th'" hJgemoniva", aJplou'n ti kai; Dwvrion ejcouvsh" kai; ajlhqinovn. (8) ajlla; touvtou me;n th;n ajreth;n w{sper ajgavlmato" hJrwikou' kavllo" ejqauvmazon, ejpovqoun de; th;n ejkeivnou spoudhvn, kai; to; filevtairon kai; creiw'de" ejzhvtoun, w{st∆ ajqumei'n ejkplevonto" aujtou' kai; dakruvein. Therefore, too, they neither looked kindly on Kallikratidas at first, when he came to succeed Lysander in the admiralty, nor afterwards, when he had shown by clear proofs that he was the most just and noble of men,

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Tim Duff were they pleased with the manner of his leadership, which had a certain Doric simplicity and sincerity. (8) They did, indeed, admire Kallikratidas’ virtue, as they would the beauty of a hero’s statue; but they yearned for the zealous support of Lysander, and missed the interest he took in the welfare of his partisans, so that when he was sailing away they were dejected and began to shed tears.

The use of the statue metaphor here recalls the statue of Lys. 1: it is Kallikratidas, not Lysander, who is the true Spartan and who truly deserves the comparison to a Spartan statue; with him appearance and reality meet. In the following chapters Kallikratidas’ high moral standards are set against Lysander’s pragmatic methods, especially in 6. 3–8.14 But the Lysander seems to work against such clear-cut moral responses. Though Kallikratidas’ virtue (ajrethv) is admired, its inefficacy is also suggested. In this respect, Plutarch follows what is hinted at in Xenophon, who remains in the Hellenica ambivalent in his moral responses to the noble Kallikratidas and the more sinister, but successful Lysander.15 But Plutarch makes the moral ambiguity much more explicit. This is achieved in two ways. First, Kallikratidas’ virtue is compared to a statue. This might on first hearing sound complimentary. But comparison to a work of art may be distinctly two-edged. In Per. 1. 2—2. 4 Plutarch argues that there is an essential difference between works of art and virtue, in that the latter elicits imitation, while the former only admiration (to; qaumavsai: Per. 1. 4; cf. 2. 2). The assimilation of Kallikratidas’ virtue to a work of art could thus be read as damning; the implication is made clear by the antithesis here between the ‘admiration’ of the allies for Kallikratidas and their ‘yearning’ for Lysander. Furthermore, Kallikratidas is not being compared to any ordinary work of art. An a[galma is specifically a cult statue,16 in this case that of a deified hero. The comparison is complimentary, suggesting that his virtue seemed almost divine.17 But it also suggests his remoteness from the world of real action, and perhaps also his unbending stiffness: he lacks the ability to ‘cultivate’ others (qerapeiva) which Lysander and Sulla share.18 The second way in which Plutarch here challenges a simple reading of Kallikratidas as superior to Lysander is by the brief and almost off-hand mention of his death at Arginousai (7. 1), which brings into close juxtaposition his Spartan virtue and his defeat and death. His intentions were ‘worthy of Sparta’ (a[xia th'" Lakedaivmono" dianohqeiv"); by his ‘justice, highmindedness and bravery’ (dikaiosuvnh, megaloyuciva, and ajndriva) he ranked alongside the foremost of the Greeks. But, despite this, he was responsible for one of the major Spartan defeats of the war, and was himself lost overboard (hjfanivsqh). 174 Return to Table of Contents

Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla b) The characters of Lysander and Kallikratidas compared (Lys. 7. 5–6) A little later, on the occasion of Lysander’s return to the scene of operations, a direct comparison of Lysander and Kallikratidas is put into the minds of the different groups of allies (7. 5–6): toi'" de; to;n aJplou'n kai; gennai'on ajgapw'si tw'n hJgemovnwn trovpon oJ Luvsandro" tw'/ Kallikrativda/ paraballovmeno" ejdovkei panou'rgo" ei\nai kai; sofisthv", ajpavtai" ta; polla; diapoikivllwn tou' polevmou, kai; to; divkaion ejpi; tw'/ lusitelou'nti megaluvnwn, eij de; mhv, tw/' sumfevronti crwvmeno" wJ" kalw/', kai; to; ajlhqe;" ouj fuvsei tou' yeuvdou" krei'tton hJgouvmeno", ajll∆ eJkatevrou th/' creiva/ th;n timh;n oJrivzwn. (6) tw'n d∆ ajxiouvntwn mh; polemei'n meta; dovlou tou;" ajf∆ ÔHraklevou" gegonovta" katagela'n ejkevleuen: Æo{pou ga;r hJ leonth' mh; ejfiknei'tai, prosraptevon ejkei' th;n ajlwpekh' n .Æ But to those who loved simplicity and nobility in the characters of their leaders, Lysander, compared with Kallikratidas, seemed to be unscrupulous and subtle, a man who adorned most of what he did in war with the varied colours of deceit, extolling justice if it was at the same time profitable, but if not, adopting the advantageous as the honourable course, and not considering truth as inherently better than falsehood, but bounding his estimate of either by the needs of the hour. (6) Those who demanded that the descendants of Herakles should not wage war by deceit he held up to ridicule, saying, ‘Where the lion’s skin will not reach, it must be patched out with the fox’s.’

At first sight, this comparison, which emphasises Lysander’s use of deception, might seem damning, though it is left unclear to what extent this judgement is supported by the narrator. Lysander is shown not to fight in the more open, noble way. But, of course, as we have just been reminded by the mention of Kallikratidas’ death (7. 1), Lysander, unlike Kallikratidas, is successful; throughout this pair of Lives noble morality and success do not accompany each other. But this passage contains more ambiguities. The use of deception and trickery in warfare was not always regarded in Greek and Roman thought as morally wrong. Indeed it is often seen as one of the marks of the good general, 19 and was considered particularly characteristic of Spartans. This is especially clear from an analysis of Xenophon’s advice in Hipparchicus 4. 7—5. 15, where words implying deception or trickery are used to characterize the shrewd cavalry commander’s activities. 20 The words applied to Lysander in this passage do not, then, necessarily carry a pejorative tone. Deception (ajpavth: Lys. 7. 5, 8. 5) and guile (dovlo": 7. 6) are standard words for ‘military stratagem’; their tone is defined by context. After all, deception against an enemy could be considered just.21 For Xenophon, Agesilaos’ use of deception is a mark of good generalship (1. 17, 6. 5).22 Similarly, Lysander’s use 175 Return to Table of Contents

Tim Duff of ‘falsehood’ in warfare (7. 5) need not of itself be taken as reprehensible: compounds of yeu'do" commonly describe stratagems (e.g. Diodoros 20. 17. 5; Polyainos 3. 9. 32), and may well have formed part of a technical vocabulary of military trickery.23 Certainly, at any rate, it is Lysander’s cunning (deinovth"), along with his good planning (eujbouliva), which lead to victory at Aigospotamoi (11. 12). The description of Lysander as unscrupulous (panou'rgo") and subtle (sofisthv") carries similar ambiguities. 24 The pejorative sense which panourgiva bore in fifth- and fourth-century Athenian literature,25 seems to have been lost in many examples from later periods (e.g. Polyb. 5. 75. 2), though the Suda (s.v. panou'rgo") states that Atticists continued to use it in that sense. The word could be used as a compliment;26 what is more, Plutarch saw it as a quality which the Spartan education system (agoge) encouraged (Lyc. 17. 5–6). The only other occurrence of the word in the Lysander–Sulla shares the ambiguity. The speech written for Lysander by Kleon of Halikarnassos is described by the Ephor Kratidas27 (30. 5) as suntetagmevnon piqanw'" kai; panouvrgw": ‘put together persuasively and wickedly’ or ‘persuasively and cleverly’? Sovfisma could be used in a neutral sense for a military or political ruse. 28 But the word sofisthv", combined with the stress here on Lysander’s preference for expediency over the strict claims of truth and falsehood, recalls the criticisms made of the sophists in the fourth and fifth centuries, that they could make the weaker or morally inferior argument seem the stronger.29 The report of the saying, or apophthegm, which shows Lysander implicitly comparing himself to a fox (7. 6), continues the ambiguity. Foxes were known for their cunning; Pindar, for example, (Isthmian 4. 45–7) contrasts the bravery of lions with the cunning of foxes as here.30 The story which follows of Lysander’s murder of the Milesian democrats (8. 1–3) is highly appropriate as an illustration of this apophthegm. Lysander lures them into his trap by pretending to mean them no harm; compare Oppian’s description (Halieutica 2. 107–19) of the fox playing dead or pretending to be asleep in order to lure birds to attack it. Lysander’s deceit is described with the word diepoivkille (‘variegate’, ‘adorn’);31 poikivlo" is a common epithet for the fox, as is panou'rgo".32 That this deception is most probably to be regarded as culpable is apparent from a comparison with Alex. 59. 6–7, where a similar act is said to be a ‘stain’ (khliv") on Alexander’s military deeds. But admiration of the fox’s cunning was also possible.33 This section on Lysander’s deceitfulness is rounded off by a second apophthegm (8. 5), recorded by a certain Androkleides, otherwise

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Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla unknown, showing Lysander’s ‘indifference’ (eujcevreia) to oaths: [A] ejkevleue ga;r w{" fhsi tou;" me;n pai'da" ajstragavloi", tou;" d∆ a[vndra" o{rkoi" ejxapata'n, [B] ajpomimouvmeno" Polukravth to;n Savmion, oujk ojrqw'" tuvrannon strathgov", oujde; Lakwniko;n to; crh'sqai toi'" qeoi'" w{sper toi'" polemivoi", ma'llon d∆ uJbristikwvteron: oJ ga;r o{rkw/ parakrouovmeno" to;n me;n ejcqro;n oJmologei' dedievnai, tou' de; qeou' katafronei'n. [A] It was his policy, according to Androkleides, ‘to deceive boys with knuckle-bones, but men with oaths’, [B] thus imitating Polykrates of Samos; not a proper attitude in a general towards a tyrant, nor yet Lakonian to treat the gods as one treats one’s enemies, no, it was even more outrageous; since he who deceives his enemy by means of an oath admits that he fears him, but despises God.

It is unclear whether the judgement [B] represents the views of Androkleides alone, or whether it is shared by the narrator. This has the effect of distancing Plutarch from the criticism of Lysander expressed and contributes to the continuing difficulty of forming a moral judgement on Lysander’s behaviour. The theme of deception continues throughout the Life. Lysander’s fall from power occurs when Pharnabazos uses deception against him (20. 1–5). After his death, his plans to overthrow the Spartan state are kept secret, despite Agesilaos’ desire (30. 4) to expose ‘what sort of a citizen he really was’ (oi|o" w]n polivth" dialavqoi). 34 His death at the ‘Hill of Foxes’ (∆Alwvpekon) near Haliartos (29. 11–12) appears as a kind of retribution for his treacherous behaviour, which he himself had associated with that of a fox. Deception is a trait which is shared by Sulla (e.g. 28. 1–6). Furthermore, the continuity of the theme is marked by a recurrence of the comparison of the fox and the lion (Sulla 28. 6): Sulla’s enemy Carbo is reported as declaring that ‘in making war upon the fox and the lion living in Sulla’s soul, he was more annoyed by the fox’. 3. Lysander’s upbringing and character (Lys.. 2. 1–6) The ambiguity inherent in Lysander’s character, and the difficulty of forming moral judgements on him, can also be seen in the discussion of his upbringing and character near the start of the Life (2. 4–6): to; me;n ou\n filovtimon aujtw'/ kai; filovnikon ejk th'" Lakwnikh'" parevmeine paideiva" ejggenovmenon, kai; oujdevn ti mevga crh; th;n fuvsin ejn touvtoi" aijtia'sqai: qerapeutiko;" de; tw'n dunatw'n ma'llon h] kata; Spartiavthn fuvsei dokei' genevsqai, kai; bavro" ejxousiva" dia; creivan ejnegkei'n eu[kolo": o} politikh'" deinovthto" ouj mikro;n e[nioi poiou'ntai mevro". (5) ∆Aristotevlh" de; ta;" megavla" fuvsei" ajpofaivnwn melagcolikav", wJ" th;n Swkravtou" kai; Plavtwno" kai; ÔHraklevou", iJstorei' kai; Luvsandron oujk eujqu;" ajlla; presbuvteron o[nta th'/

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Tim Duff melagcoliva/ peripesei'n. (6) i[dion d∆ aujtou' mavlista to; kalw'" penivan fevronta, kai; mhdamou' krathqevnta mhde; diafqarevnta crhvmasin aujtovn, ejmplh'sai th;n patrivda plouvtou kai; filoploutiva"… Love of honour and love of victory, then, were firmly implanted in him by his Lakonian training, and no great fault should be found with his natural disposition on this account. But he seems to have been by nature more given to cultivating the powerful than was usual for a Spartiate, and content to endure an arrogant authority for the sake of gaining his ends, a trait which some hold to be no small part of political ability. (5) And Aristotle (Problems 30. 1, 953a10–32), when he set forth that great natures, like those of Sokrates, Plato and Herakles, have a tendency to melancholia, writes also that Lysander, not immediately, but when well on in years, was a prey to melancholia. (6) What is most peculiar in him is that, though he bore poverty well, and though he was in no way mastered or corrupted by money, yet he filled his country with wealth and the love of wealth…

This section of direct character analysis at the start of the Life, a common feature of Plutarchan biography, here performs several functions. First, it signals the character traits which are significant in this pair of Lives:35 ambition (2. 4: literally ‘love of honour and love of victory’), the ability to flatter and a tendency to melancholia (2. 5), that is, a temperament which inclines to violence and anger.36 The second function of this section is to suggest the moral ambiguity of Lysander. He is said to be more ‘given to cultivating the powerful than was usual for a Spartiate’ (2. 4). Such a tendency to flatter others, a recurrent theme of this pair (Sulla ingratiates himself frequently with the army or the people), is a wholly negative trait elsewhere in Plutarch.37 But any easy condemnation of Lysander is undercut by the narrator’s following statement that many see this ability to court the powerful as an important part of political ability (politikh; deinovth"). Similarly, Lysander’s tendency to anger is made to cut both ways. By following Aristotle’s lead and relating it to melancholia (2. 5), Plutarch is able to associate Lysander with three of the greatest figures of the Greek past, Sokrates, Plato and Herakles, and to relate his worst trait to his having, like them, a ‘great nature’.38 Furthermore, the good traits of Lysander’s austerity and financial honesty are undercut by the paradoxical statement (2. 6) that, though incorruptible himself, he filled Sparta with wealth and the love of it. This paradox turns any ordinary moral scheme on its head. And what of Lysander’s ‘love of honour’? Elsewhere in Plutarch, ambition in young men is morally problematic: a good thing (e.g. De Virt. Moral. 451b–452d; Them. 3. 4–5; Thes. 6. 8–9; Cor. 4. 1–2), but not without its dangers (e.g. Cim. 17. 9; Ag./Cleom. 2. 3).39 But the problem 178 Return to Table of Contents

Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla of judging Lysander is intensified by the injunction not to blame him ‘too much’ for this trait since it was engendered by his Spartan education (2. 4).40 The possibility of a critical assessment of Lysander’s character has already been raised by the discussion of the central place which praise and blame held in Spartan society (2. 2–3). But the results here are ambiguous – do we blame Lysander for his love of honour or not? In his dealings with Kyros, filotimiva has a good sense (‘disinterestedness’, ‘public-spiritedness’): 41 it is the motive for Lysander’s request for extra pay for his fleet (4. 6); significantly, Xenophon does not attribute Lysander’s action to this trait – it is a Plutarchan concern. Later (6. 2), Kallikratidas is said to want to prove that Lysander’s filotimiva is empty and boastful (ajlazonikh;n kai; kenh;n). It is unclear whether Kallikratidas’ negative judgement is shared by the narrator or not. The moral complexity of the picture of Lysander is further developed by a Thucydidean reminiscence at this point. His witty reply to Kallikratidas in 6. 3 (‘that it was not he but the other who was in charge of the fleet’) recalls a similar reply by Thucydides’ Kleon (Thuc. 4. 28. 2)42. The association of Lysander with Kleon, and, by implication, Kallikratidas with Nikias, is at first sight damning to Lysander; for elsewhere Plutarch presents Kleon in an even more unfavourable light than Thucydides had done.43 But then, like Kleon at Pylos, Lysander is successful, despite his moral shortcomings. This raises once again the whole dilemma of how to judge Lysander. For he appears to put his country first: he is said later (21. 7) to have gained a reputation (dovxa) as one who worked ‘not for the sake of others, nor for display, but for the good of Sparta’ (ouj pro;" eJtevrwn cavrin oujde; qeatrikw'" ajlla; pro;" to; th/' Spavrth/ sumfevron). According to Plutarch (Ages. 37. 11; Alc. 31. 8), working for one’s country’s benefit is the highest good in the Spartan moral code. Significantly also this sort of phrase (to; th/' povlei sumfevron) seems standard in second-century laudatory inscriptions.44 Which is preferable, a noble but defeated hero, or a trickster who takes his country to the pinnacle of its power? Lysander does not exhibit traditional Spartan values, but unlike Kallikratidas he benefits Sparta. This is one of the major moral questions raised by the Lysander: which is preferable, personal virtues or the ruthless championing of the national interest? Similar ambiguities are clear in the treatment of Lysander’s activities after his fall from grace in Sparta towards the end of the Life. He leaves for Libya, and Plutarch tells us that he was compared to a horse which could not endure to be ruled but desired to range free. This comparison is presented as the thoughts of ‘the majority’; once again, Plutarch 179 Return to Table of Contents

Tim Duff seems to distance himself from a particular value-judgement of Lysander, though it can be demonstrated from other Lives that Plutarch does often use ‘the majority’ as a mouthpiece for his own views. 45 The image of Lysander as a horse which ‘cannot endure being ruled’ (oujd∆ uJpomevnwn a[rcesqai) presents him as unlike a traditional Spartan. For in Ages. 1. 2–3, for example, the Spartan education system is said to ‘train youths to be ruled’ (paideuvousan…tou;" nevou" a[rcesqai); it makes Spartans obedient, says Plutarch, quoting Simonides, ‘like horses that are subdued from the start’ (w{sper i{ppou" eujqu;" ejx ajrch'" damazomevnou"). The image here also recalls the Homeric similes, in which Paris (Iliad 6. 506–11) and Hektor (15. 263–8) are compared to horses; nomov" and favtnh occur in both the Homeric and Plutarchan passages; suvnhqe" recalls the Homeric eijwqw;" louvesqai and h[qea. Ancient commentators were struck by the fact that the same Homeric simile was applied to both Hektor and Paris:46 the reader of Plutarch is left to decide which paradigm, Paris or Hektor, is more appropriate for Lysander. Once again two conflicting ways of reading him are presented. When the narrative resumes (21. 1), Lysander is said to have ‘procured his release with difficulty and sailed away’. The word used is ajfeqh'nai, which echoes the nomh''" ajfevtou of the simile: the horse goes back to his pasture. A reversal of the terms of the simile then takes place. Pausanias’ attempt to undermine Lysander’s power in Athens leads, according to Plutarch, to its complete emancipation from Spartan control (21. 2–7). Lysander’s policy is vindicated. Pausanias is accused (21. 7) of ‘letting loose the people, when it was bridled by the oligarchy,47 to grow insolent and powerful again.’ Lysander was the Spartan horse which could not be tamed; here he is the one who succeeded in taming the Athenian people. Once again, we have unSpartan behaviour combined with success for Sparta. 5. The ‘formal’ comparison The ‘formal’ comparison, finally, which follows the two Lives, does not solve the moral problem raised by these Lives; in fact, it contributes to the difficulties involved in a moralizing reading. The first three chapters demonstrate that Lysander was more virtuous than Sulla. However, there is a paradox in all this. As the fourth chapter of the comparison reminds us, Sulla was successful whereas Lysander was not. Indeed Sulla was successful partly because he was so ruthless. Furthermore Lysander’s behaviour went much further in harming the state than Sulla’s did. This paradox is at the heart of the Lysander– 180 Return to Table of Contents

Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla Sulla. As we have seen, the fact that Lysander’s financial honesty resulted in the beginning of corruption in his own country, is stated directly at the start of the Life (2. 6) and is later illustrated by the attempted fraud of Gylippos (16. 2–4); the implications of this episode are made clear by the discussion which follows about the issue of wealth in Sparta and the bad effects of Lysander’s introduction of foreign coinage (17. 1–10). In the formal comparison (Lys.–Sulla 3. 6– 8) this paradox is again stated forcefully. Good moral traits have a bad effect on the hero’s society, and vice versa. Furthermore there are several other instances within the comparison which add to the ambiguity of Lysander’s position. First, we are told (3. 2) that Lysander performed ‘no act of wantonness or of youthful irresponsibility’ (oujde;n ajkovlaston oujde; meirakiw'de")48 and ‘avoided the saying “Lions at home but foxes abroad” ’, which alludes to the belief that Spartan kings and commanders from Pausanias onwards, when serving overseas, fell below the traditional standards of Spartan morality. This is disconcerting as Lysander is shown in the Life as applying this proverb to himself (7. 6). His conduct, furthermore, is here said to be ‘sober, Laconic and restrained’ (swvfrwn, Lakwnikhv and kekolasmevnh). This does not agree at all with the picture of Lysander presented in the Life. To call Lysander’s conduct ‘Laconic’ raises a host of questions. Part of the interest of the Life has been to show how problematic Lysander’s status as a Spartan was. Secondly, Lysander is criticised at length (4. 1–5) for throwing away his life unnecessarily on the battlefield. Now the unnecessary death of a hero through reckless conduct seems to have been especially distasteful to Plutarch. Indeed, at the start of the Pelopidas–Marcellus pair Plutarch makes explicit his aversion for generals who die unnecessarily on the battlefield (Pel. 1. 1—2. 12). One of the reasons for Plutarch’s condemnation of such deaths is that he saw them as a failure to control the passions (e.g. Pel. 32. 9; Pel.-Marc. 3. 6–8; Phoc. 6. 2). In the case of Pelopidas and Marcellus, however, credit is still given for their bravery (Pel.–Marc. 3. 8); no such credit is given here to Lysander. Furthermore, although so much space is given to the rather unfair criticism of Lysander’s death, Sulla’s is not mentioned at all. This is surprising as his death had been presented in the Life as particularly foul: infested with worms, he bursts a blood vessel through the excitement of having someone murdered in his bedroom (Sulla 36. 3, 37. 5–6). One would have expected this more than Lysander’s death to be condemned by Plutarch; but not a word is said in comment on it. Surely the reader is not to prefer Sulla’s unworthy end to Lysander’s foolish but brave death in battle? 181 Return to Table of Contents

Tim Duff Plutarch seems consistently to work against any easy moral conclusions about these two figures. The last part of the formal comparison deals with the way the two heroes treated Athens (Lys.–Sulla 5. 5). Here Sulla is commended for granting freedom to the city, whereas Lysander is criticised as the man who ‘took away democracy and appointed the most brutal and lawless tyrants’. This is extremely puzzling. Plutarch’s discussion flies in the face of historical fact and the emphasis of his own narrative. Lysander did install the Thirty Tyrants in Athens but he did not sack it like Sulla. Great play was made, in the narrative, of the slaughter which attended Sulla’s taking of the city in 86 BC ; the blood of those slaughtered deluged the Kerameikos and the suburb beyond and left a mark still visible in Plutarch’s own day (Sulla 14. 5–7). Frederick Brenk argues that Plutarch for some reason unknown to us wanted to defend Sulla from the worst criticisms which could be made against him.49 We do know, for what it is worth, that one of Plutarch’s friends, the speaker in the De Facie, was a Sulla, perhaps a descendant of the dictator.50 If such was Plutarch’s purpose, however, the job has not been done very effectively, as the narrative has already given a very full treatment to Sulla’s brutality at Athens and degrading death; in fact, Plutarch’s narrative gives much more emphasis to the violence of the sack than does Livy’s epitome (Book 81) or Appian (Mithridatic Wars 38–9). Perhaps, however, we can see the very dissonance itself as having an important function within the moral programme. The shocking contrast between Life and comparison forces the reader to assume a more active role in assessing the good and the bad. Such judgements are not always easy, and, in thus problematizing the moral status of Lysander and Sulla, the comparison picks up and continues a theme which had been important throughout the two Lives. To conclude, the reader has been encouraged throughout the Lysander–Sulla to make moral judgements, but no simple classification of actions and men as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ has emerged. In fact, the moral import of this pair is more challenging and in many ways more satisfying than a simple paradigm. Lysander, the apparently better of the two men, is unsuccessful; Sulla, through the greater use of violence, succeeds where Lysander had failed. Lysander’s honesty in returning wealth to the Spartan state harmed it more than Sulla’s greed harmed Rome. Two very important questions are raised. First, to what extent is service of the state a good in itself? What happens when the demands of personal virtue conflict with the good of one’s state (to; th/' povlei sumfevron)? Secondly, what happens to a moral programme when a 182 Return to Table of Contents

Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla good man harms his city by his very virtue, and when a bad man is shown to succeed because of his very wickedness? University of Reading

Notes 1 A fuller version of this discussion will appear in my forthcoming book on the moralism of Plutarch’s Lives, to be published by Oxford University Press. I am grateful to Frederick Brenk, Paul Cartledge, Richard Hunter, Christopher Kelly, and Christopher Pelling for their help and encouragement. 2 At least from the start of chapter 25; see Pelling (1988b), 12–16. 3 Pelling (1988a), 274. 4 Stadter (1992). The moral lessons of the Lysander alone are also examined by Russell (1966), 151–4 (= 1995, 90–4) and Pelling (1988a), 268–74. 5 Mossman (1991), 108–11. For eijkwvn as ‘likeness’, a Platonic usage (e.g. Plato, Symp. 215a; Laws 644c; Gorgias 493d; cf. Ar. Clouds 559; Frogs 905–6), cf. Adv. Col. 1115e; De Defect. Orac. 416d; Plat. Quest. 1001c–d, 1007c, 1029d. Eijkonikov" implies individualized representation in a portrait statue; cf. DionBrut. 5. 2, where a statue of Brutus is described as eijkoniko;n o[nta kai; carievntw" eijrgasmevnon (‘a good likeness and gracefully executed’); Pliny, N.H. 34. 16 (on which, cf. Hyde 1921, 54–5). 6 Pelling (1988a), 269–70 and 272 n. 32. Cf. also Lys. 2. 3–4 and 30. 7. 7 Stadter (1992), 42. 8 For a brief discussion of this passage, cf. Stadter (1992), 42–3. 9 For ‘unmixed’ (a[krato") referring to character, a term of moral criticism, cf. Phoc. 6. 1; Mar. 2. 1; Cor. 15. 4; Quomodo Adulator 49e. Good character is sometimes conversely said to be ‘mixed’ or ‘well-mixed’ (Tim. 3. 5; Dion 52. 6; Brut. 1. 3). 10 Plutarch often uses generalised and non-specific descriptions of appearance as a key to character; cf. Georgiadou (1992), 4617–8. Contrast the detailed descriptions of individual physical features in Suetonius (ibid. 4619– 20; cf. Evans 1969, 51–6; Wardman 1974, 140–52). 11 Evans (1941), 104–5; (1969), 56–7. 12 Stadter (1992), 51 n. 7. 13 For example, the Macedonian king Perseus is contrasted with the subject of the Life of Aemilius: Swain (1989), 324–5; Desideri (1989), 205–6. Similarly, but on a smaller scale, Pausanias’ treason, arrogance and severity are contrasted with Cimon’s mildness and justice (Cim. 6. 1–7). 14 Pelling (1988a), 269–70; Mossman (1991), 114. 15 Moles (1994). 16 See Bloesch (1943). On the distinction between a[galma, ajndriva" and eijkwvn, see Nock (1930), 3 n. 2 (= 1972, 204 n. 5); (1933), 138 n. 8 (= 1972, 346, n. 8); Kerenyi (1962), 168–71. 17 Compare the description of Kallirhoe (Chariton 1. 1. 1–2) as the a[galma of all Sicily, ‘for her beauty was not human but divine’. This begins a series of

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Tim Duff explicit and implicit references to Kallirhoe as a goddess. See Scott (1938), 383–6. Cf. also Alex. 21. 11. 18 e.g. Lys. 2. 4, 4. 3; Sulla 5. 4, 6. 14, 6. 17, 10. 6, 12. 12–14. On qerapeiva in the Lysander–Sulla, see Pelling (1988a), 272–3; Stadter (1992), 44–5. 19 Wheeler (1988). 20 These include cognates of yeu'do" (falsehood: 4. 7, 5. 8), ejnevdra (ambush: 4. 10, 12), klevptw (steal or hide: 4. 17, 5. 2, 5. 7), mhcanhv (device: 5. 2–3, 5. 9– 10, 5. 14), ajpavth (deceit: 5. 5, 5. 10–12, 5. 15), and tevcnh (skill: 5. 14). 21 Xen. Mem. 4. 2. 15–17; Cyr. 1. 6. 27–40; Andokides, On the Peace 33–4; Plut. De Cap. ex Inim. 91b–c. 22 Cf. Hell. 3. 4. 11–12; Anab. 2. 6. 7; cf. Plut. Ages. 9. 3: ajpavth dikaiva. 23 Cf. Sulla 15. 5; Ages. 10. 1. On dovlo" and ajpavth, cf. Wheeler (1988), 30–2 and 105–6; on words in yeud-, ibid. 38–41 and 43. 24 On panourgiva , cf. Wheeler (1988), 33–5 and 107–8; on sofisthv", ibid. 27–8. 25 e.g. Eur. Alc. 766; Hipp. 1400; Ar. Knights 249. 26 e.g. Men. Epitrep. 535, with Gomme and Sandbach (1973), note ad loc.; cf. Plut. Quomodo Adulator 28a: komyovn…kai; panou'rgon; Quaest. Conv. 673f. 27 Emending the MSS reading Lakrativda" to Krativda": see Piccirilli (1993), 28–9. 28 e.g. De Fort. Rom. 320e; Sol. 15. 2; Fab. 5. 4; Ages.–Pomp. 2. 3. 29 The term sofisthv" is often used by Plutarch and other writers of the first and second centuries AD as a term of abuse: Stanton (1973), 351–8. 30 The supposed cunning of foxes is mentioned in Solon 11. 5–8, West; Aisop, Fab. 192; Ar. Lysist. 1269–70; Peace 1067–8; Plato, Republic 365c; Ailian, De Nat. Anim. 6. 24. 31 On this word, see De Decker (1951). 32 Poikivlo": Aisop, Fab. 119; panou'rgo": Arist. Hist. Anim. 1. 1, 488b20–1; Physiogn. 6, 812a16–17; cf. Plut. Terrest. an Aquat. 971a. 33 e.g. in Archilochos, fr. 81–3 and 85–95; cf. Aisop, Fab. 6 and Plato, Rep. 365c. On the associations of the fox, see Bowra (1940); Detienne and Vernant (1974), 41–5 (= 1978, 34–7). 34 The use of imagery from the tragic stage also contributes to the impression of deception surrounding Lysander: cf. Pelling (1988a), 273. Cf. Marius 17. 5. 35 Pelling (1988a), 269–70, describes this section as a rather crude presentation of character traits, which are then progressively redefined as the Life continues. 36 Cf. 19. 1–6, 22. 1–5, 24. 1–2, 27. 4 and especially 28. 1. On melancholia, see Toohey (1990). On Lys. 2. 5, cf. also Bommelaer (1981), 56–7 and Sansone (1980), 67. 37 On this theme in the Roman Lives, see de Blois (1992), 4590–9. 38 In Arist. Post. An. 2. 13 (97b15–25), Alkibiades, Achilles, Ajax, Lysander and Sokrates are suggested hypothetically as examples of ‘greatness of soul’ (megaloyuciva). On ‘great natures’, see Demetr. 1. 7, where the notion is attributed to Plato; it is seen also in Xen. Mem. 4. 1. 4; Plato, Gorgias 525e; Rep. 491e; Plut. De Sera Num. 552c–d. 39 On filotimiva in Plutarch, cf. Wardman (1974), 115–24; Bucher-Isler

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Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla (1972), 12–13, 31, 41, 58–9; Frazier (1988). Cf. also Walsh (1992), 219–20 on its ambiguous moral status. 40 On this passage, cf. Pelling (1988a), 269 and 272–3. Plutarch, like Plato (Rep. 545a), saw Spartan society as particularly prone to the love of honour (filotimiva): e.g. Ages. 5. 5–7; Ag./Cleom. 1. 1–2. 6; De Virt. Moral. 452d. 41 For this meaning, see Robert (1940), 276–80; Frazier (1988), 123. 42 Lys. 6. 3: o{ti oujk aujto;" ajll∆ ejkei'no" a[rcoi tw'n new'n; Thuc. 4. 28. 2: oujk e[fh aujto;" ajll∆ ejkei'non strathgei'n , ‘he said that not he, but the other, was general’. 43 Nic. 2. 2–3, 8. 5–6; Nic.-Crass. 3. 5; Demetr. 11. 2. For Thucydides on Kleon, see Thuc. 2. 65. 10, 3. 36. 6, 4. 28. 5. 44 e.g. OGI, 220, 5–8; IG, XII, 5, 278; IG, V, 1432, 33: Robert (1927), 110. 45 e.g. Flam. 11. 3–7; Nic. 26. 4–6; Crass. 27. 6; Phoc. 28. 1–6, 37. 1–2; Cato Min. 26. 5; Pomp. 70. 1–7; Pyrrh. 26. 1; Mar. 34. 6–7. For this technique, see Pelling (1988b), 40. 46 Aristonikos on Iliad 6. 506–11. He thought (comment on 15. 263–4) that the simile was less appropriate for Hektor than for Paris. 47 ejgkecalinwmevnon th/' ojjligarciva./ For this metaphor, cf. Per.–Fab. 1. 4 and Cato. Maj. 27. 3, in both of which the reference is, as here, to the control of the ‘audacity’ (qrasuvth") or ‘outrageousness’ (u{bri") of the demos (cf. Per. 7. 8): Fuhrmann (1964), 141–3. 48 For meirakiwvdh" (literally, ‘characteristic of a youth’) as ‘foolish’ or ‘irresponsible’, cf. Plato, Rep. 466b; Polyb. 10. 33. 6. 49 Brenk (1977), 265–7. 50 See Brenk (1977), 265–6 n. 10.

Bibliography Bloesch, H. 1943 Agalma: Kleinod, Weihgeschenk, Götterbild. Ein Beitrag zur frühgriechischen Kultur- und Religionsgeschichte. Bern. Bommelaer, J-F. 1981 Lysandre de Sparte. Histoire et Traditions, Bibliothèque des écoles françaises d’ Athènes et de Rome 240, Athens and Paris. Bowra, C.M. 1940 ‘The fox and the hedgehog’, CQ 34, 26–9. Brenk, F.E. 1977 In Mist Apparelled. Religious Themes in Plutarch’s Moralia and Lives, Leiden. Bucher-Isler, B. 1972 Norm und Individualität in den Biographien Plutarchs, Noctes Romanae 13, Bern and Stuttgart. De Blois, L. 1992 ‘The perception of politics in Plutarch’s Roman “Lives” ’, ANRW 2. 33. 6, 4568–4615. De Decker, J. 1951 ‘Semantische Beschouwing’, Hermeneus 22, 142–6.

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Tim Duff Desideri, P. 1989 ‘Teoria e prassi storiografica di Plutarco: una proposta di lettura della coppia Emilio Paolo – Timoleonte’, Maia 41, 199–215. Detienne, M. and Vernant, J.-P. 1974 (reprinted 1989) Les ruses de l’intelligence. La mètis des grecs, Paris. English translation by J. Lloyd (1978), Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society, Sussex and New Jersey. Evans, E.C. 1941 ‘The study of physiognomy in the second century A.D.’, TAPA 72, 96–108. 1969 ‘Physiognomics in the Ancient World’, TAPS 59. 5, 1–101. Frazier, F. 1988 ‘À propos de la “philotimia” dans les “Vies”: quelques jalons dans l’histoire d’ une notion’ (‘About the “philotimia” in Plutarch’s “Lives”: a contribution to the history of the notion’), RPh 62, 109–27. Fuhrmann, F. 1964 Les Images de Plutarque, Paris. Georgiadou, A. 1992 ‘Idealistic and realistic portraiture in the Lives of Plutarch’, ANRW 2. 33. 6, 4616–23. Gomme, A.W. and Sandbach, F.H. 1973 Menander: A Commentary, Oxford. Hyde W.W. 1921 Olympic Victor Monuments and Greek Athletic Art, Washington. Kerenyi, K. 1962 ‘Agalma, Eikon, Eidolon’, in Demitizzazione e Immagine (Archivio di Filosofia), 161–71. Italian translation by O.M. Nobile. Padua. Moles, J.L. 1994 ‘Xenophon and Callicratidas’, JHS 114, 70–84. Mossman, J.M. 1991 ‘Plutarch’s use of statues’. In M.A. Flower and M. Toher (eds.) Georgica. Greek Studies in Honour of George Cawkwell, BICS Supplement 58, 98–119. Nock, A.D. 1930 ‘Suvnnao" Qeov"’, HSCP 41, 1–62. Reprinted in Z. Stewart (ed.) Arthur Darby Nock. Essays on Religion and the Ancient World, volume 1, Oxford 1972, 202–51. 1933 The vocabulary of the New Testament, JBL 52, 131–9. Reprinted in Z. Stewart (ed.) Arthur Darby Nock. Essays on Religion and the Ancient World, volume 1, Oxford 1972, 341–7. Pelling, C.B.R. 1988a ‘Aspects of Plutarch’s characterisation’, ICS 13. 2, 257–74. 1988b (ed.) Plutarch. Life of Antony, Cambridge. Piccirilli, L. 1993 ‘In margine alla plutarchea “Vita di Lisandro” ’, Civiltà Classica e Cristiana 14, 25–9.

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Moral Ambiguity in Plutarch’s Lysander–Sulla Robert, L. 1927 ‘Études d’épigraphie grecque’, Revue de philologie de littérature et d’ histoire anciennes, series 3, 1, 97–132. Reprinted in Opera Minora Selecta. Épigraphie et antiquités grecques. Tome II, Amsterdam 1969, 1052–87. 1940 Les gladiateurs dans l’Orient grec, Limoges. Reprinted, Amsterdam 1971. Russell, D.A. 1966 ‘On reading Plutarch’s Lives’, G&R n.s. 13, 139–54. Reprinted in B. Scardigli (ed.) Essays on Plutarch’s Lives, Oxford 1995, 75–94. Sansone, D. 1980 ‘Plutarch, Alexander and the discovery of Naphtha’, GRBS 21, 63–74. Scott, K. 1938 ‘Ruler cult and related problems in the Greek Romances’, Cl. Phil. 33, 380–9. Stadter, P.A. 1992 ‘Paradoxical paradigms: Lysander and Sulla’. In idem (ed.) Plutarch and the Historical Tradition, London and New York, 41–55. Stanton, G.R. 1973 ‘Sophists and philosophers: problems of classification’, AJPh 94, 350–64. Swain, S.C.R. 1989 ‘Plutarch’s Aemilius and Timoleon’, Historia 38, 314–34. Toohey, P. 1990 ‘Some ancient histories of literary melancholia’, ICS 15, 143–61. Walsh, J.J. 1992 ‘Syzygy, theme and history. A study in Plutarch’s Philopoemen and Flamininus’, Philologus 136, 208–33. Wardman, A. E. 1974 Plutarch’s Lives, London. Wheeler, E.L. 1988 Stratagem and the Vocabulary of Military Trickery (Mnemosyne Supplement 108). Leiden.

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SEVERED HEADS Individual Portraits and Irrational Forces in Plutarch’s Galba and Otho Rhiannon Ash Plutarch’s Galba and Otho are often characterized as being rather unsatisfactory biographies. Not only do they appear to be distinctly episodic, but they also provide frustratingly little detail about the actual lives and personalities of the two imperial protagonists. 1 Unusually, in these two surviving imperial Lives, Plutarch has chosen to take a specific biographical sliver from AD 68–9 without bothering to provide as a backdrop any colourful stories from childhood or illuminating anecdotes from early adulthood. Certainly, it was not the case that such distinctive and revealing material did not exist or, at the very least, was difficult to make up; this is clear from a brief comparison with Suetonius’ Galba. Consider the engaging tale of Galba’s hunchbacked father, who revealed his hump to Galba’s beautiful mother in a theatrical gesture, to prove that he wished to hide nothing from her (Suetonius Galba 3. 4):2 uxores habuit Mummiam Achaicam, neptem Catuli proneptemque L. Mummi, qui Corinthum excidit; item Liviam Ocellinam ditem admodum et pulchram, a qua tamen nobilitatis causa appetitus ultro existimatur et aliquanto enixius, postquam subinde instanti uitium corporis secreto posita veste detexit, ne quasi ignaram fallere videretur. His first wife was Mummia Achaica, the granddaughter of Catulus and great-granddaughter of Lucius Mummius, who sacked Corinth. His second wife was Livia Ocellina, who was exceedingly rich and beautiful. The common opinion is that although she originally fell in love with him because of his high rank, she subsequently became even more eager when, in response to her repeated advances, he took off his clothes in private and revealed his hump to her in order to stop people thinking that he was pulling the wool over the eyes of an ignorant woman.

In fact, Galba’s hunchbacked father seems to have achieved a certain notoriety. Macrobius at Saturnalia 2. 4. 8 preserves Augustus’ witticism 189 Return to Table of Contents

Rhiannon Ash about his deformity. The story goes that Galba’s father was pleading a case before the emperor one day in which he repeatedly used the phrase ‘Corrige, in me si quid reprehendis’, ‘Set me straight, if you have any criticisms to make of me’. Quick as a flash Augustus is supposed to have responded, ‘Ego te monere possum, corrigere non possum’, ‘I can give you advice, but I can’t possibly set you straight.’ This may tell us more about Augustus’ sense of humour than it does about Galba’s father, but it is surely the kind of incident which would normally have appealed to Plutarch. Galba’s father was clearly a colourful figure.3 Why does Plutarch not mention him, even in passing? Of course, one must always allow for the possibility that we have been deprived of such an anecdotal introduction to the elderly princeps and his family in the lost Nero. 4 Plutarch’s Otho, after all, makes his debut at Galba 19, and if one was reading the Otho without access to the Galba, the weak opening of this short biography would seem very puzzling. However, even if Galba was originally introduced in the lost Nero, Plutarch has still largely omitted items which it is hard to think featured there, such as anecdotes from childhood which would have belonged more naturally in Galba’s own biography. The reason seems to be Plutarch’s strict limitation to the events of AD 68–9, which suggests that his usual priority of understanding the whole of a man’s life does not work in this case. For instance, in another anecdote, Suetonius illustrates Galba’s black sense of humour: a man has murdered his ward in order to get his hands on an inheritance, but after being caught, he tries to protect himself by protesting that he is a Roman citizen. Suetonius at Galba 9. 1 records Galba’s sarcastic response to this plea: quasi solacio et honore aliquo poenam levaturus, mutari multoque praeter ceteras altiorem et dealbatam statui crucem iussit. Galba gave orders that the man’s cross was to be changed and that, instead, one which had been painted white should be set up much higher than the rest, as if in this way he would somehow alleviate the man’s punishment through the comfort of some special honour.

Even though Galba’s quip is preserved in indirect speech it still adds an extremely lively dash of colour to the emperor’s personality through an event which takes place outside the immediate confines of AD 68–9. Yet Plutarch chooses to pass over such vivid methods of characterization. In comparison with Suetonius’ anecdotal biographies which follow the imperial lives in a way that is more straightforwardly linear and chronological, Plutarch’s Galba and Otho are very different. This approach appears to have been novel, even within the series of 190 Return to Table of Contents

Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho the Lives of the Caesars, of which the Galba and Otho are the only surviving examples. 5 By looking at Moralia 206 ff., where fifteen citations of sayings and stories about Augustus survive, fairly reliable suppositions can be made about the tone of Plutarch’s lost Augustus.6 The extracts deal much more closely with Augustus’ personal life over a far greater period of time than is covered in the Galba or Otho. In addition there are striking instances of Plutarch’s fondness for the pra'gma bracuv (‘insignificant detail’),7 which progressively helps a reader to understand a man’s character in greater depth, and also of the chreiai, the short historical anecdotes focusing on the actual words of the character. One interesting fragment is to be found at Plutarch Moralia 207B: ∆Akouvsa" de; o{ti “Erw" oJ ta; ejn Aijguvptwi dioikw'n o[rtuga to;n kratou'nta pavntwn ejn tw'i mavcesqai kai; ajhvtthton o[nta priavmeno" ojpthvsa" katevfage, metepevmyato aujto;n kai; ajnevkrinen: oJmologhvsanta d∆ ejkevleusen iJstw'i nho;" proshlwqh'nai. When Augustus heard that Eros, procurator of Egypt, had bought a champion quail which had defeated all others in fighting, but that Eros had roasted this quail and eaten it, the emperor sent for him and questioned him about the matter. When the man admitted what he had done, Augustus ordered him to be nailed to a ship’s mast.

There is a definite similarity between Plutarch’s focus on Augustus here and the passage from Suetonius quoted above which deals with Galba and the inheritance case. Both cases of rough justice tell us something about the personality of each emperor. Yet the character of Galba in Plutarch’s biography remains largely undeveloped in this respect.8 It looks, then, as if Plutarch has diverged from his usual technique even within the Lives of the Caesars sequence. By exploring Plutarch’s imagery within the Lives themselves, I hope to elucidate why this might be so. What, then, was the purpose of the Galba and Otho if it was not to present a close biographical portrait of the two emperors? Plutarch warns the audience to expect something different in the first chapter of the Galba (1. 4): a[lla te pavqh polla; kai; ta; ÔRwmaivoi" sumpesovnta meta; th;n Nevrwno" teleuth;n e[cei martuvria kai; paradeivgmata tou' mhde;n ei\nai foberwvteron ajpaideuvtoi" crwmevnh" kai; ajlovgoi" oJrmai'" ejn hJgemonivai stratiwtikh'" dunavmew". Many events, and in particular those which the Romans experienced after the death of Nero, testify and illustrate that nothing is more terrifying in an empire than a military force which is governed by untrained and irrational impulses.

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Rhiannon Ash Plutarch’s interest is in neither Galba nor Otho as individuals, but in the similar forces to which they both fell prey, even though they were very different men. Perhaps this should not strike us as being all that surprising: Galba and Otho were engaging subjects for biography mainly because they both became principes in unusual circumstances, and not necessarily because they were intrinsically exciting individuals in their own right. He has chosen to shift the style of his Galba and Otho to allow for this fact. With this consideration in mind, one might easily propose instead that Suetonius’ Galba and Otho are the more peculiar biographies, as he struggles to locate short-lived emperors within a format that was better suited to men who had ruled for a much longer period. In contrast, Plutarch is concerned to explore a universal truth about the potential destructiveness of soldiers in the grip of irrational forces.9 Hence, he does not really need to trace the idiosyncrasies of character or the engaging personal anecdotes that are an important concern of a strictly chronological birth-to-death narrative sequence. It was enough for him to establish broadly, with minimal elaboration and illustration, that Galba was old (Galba 8. 1 and 16. 5), parsimonious (Galba 3. 4 and 16. 4) and honourable (Galba 29. 2), and that Otho was unworthy of power while alive, though he died nobly (Otho 18. 3). Even when Otho’s extravagant nature is illustrated by anecdote, as at Galba 19. 5 with the story about his elaborate perfume-fountains at a dinner party for Nero, this character trait is not developed or explored any further. In Plutarch’s biographies, the two emperors display generic qualities that are almost diametrically opposed; but in spite of this wide gulf between them and their differing approaches, they are equally incapable of controlling the military with any degree of success, or of manipulating the collective energy of the soldiers.10 This is not an instance of gradually developing tension or divergence between the individual and the collective.11 In Plutarch’s Galba and Otho, the individual is completely dominated from the very start by a stratiwtikhv duvnami", a ‘military force’, which is gripped ajpaideuvtoi"…kai; ajlovgoi" oJrmai'", ‘by untrained and irrational impulses’ (Galba 1. 4).12 i. Plutarch’s imagery and Plato’s Phaedrus This dominance registers sharply at Galba 6. 4 when Plutarch describes the battle at Vesontio. ejpei; de; ta; Oujerginivou kai; Oujivndiko" strateuvmata trovpon tina; bivai tou;" hJgemovna", w{sper tou;" hJniovcou" krath'sai calinw'n mh; dunhqevnta", eij" mavchn ejxenegkovnta megavlhn sunevrraxan… Then the armies of Verginius and Vindex clashed together, somehow

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Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho forcing their leaders, like charioteers who had lost control of the reins, into a tremendous battle.

There is a suggestive simile introduced here, which proves particularly illuminating in a discussion of the apparent oddness of the Galba and Otho as biographies. The language of charioteers and reins echoes a memorable passage from Plato’s Phaedrus at 253c ff., where the soul is divided into three forms, ei[dh, two of which are like horses while the third has the role of charioteer. 13 According to Plato’s analogy, the charioteer constantly has to restrain the bad horse, which is frequently overcome by surges of passion (Plato Phaedrus 254e): oJ d∆ hJnivoco"…e[ti ma'llon tou' uJbristou' i{ppou ejk tw'n ojdovntwn bivai ojpivsw spavsa" to;n calinovn, thvn te kakhgovron glw'ttan kai; ta;" gnavqou" kaqhvimaxen. With an even greater force the charioteer pulls the bit back from the teeth of the unruly horse and spatters its abusive tongue and mouth with blood.

There may be a hint in the simile which Plutarch uses at Galba 6. 4 that the reckless soldiers at Vesontio are to be identified with the lusty Platonic horse. However, the image has been turned on its head. In Plato’s Phaedrus 254e, the charioteer succeeds in forcing the bit back from the teeth of the unruly horse, whereas in Plutarch’s simile, the charioteers have completely lost control of their horses. 14 Plutarch may be evoking Plato’s imagery to emphasise the fundamental concept in his distinctive analysis of AD 69, namely that it was impossible for any individual ultimately to control a military force gripped by irrational impulses. Certainly in a recent article,15 Michael Trapp has referred to ‘the Phaedrus’s potential as an object of classicizing mimesis’ and Plutarch’s turn of phrase at Galba 6. 4 may be a case in point. Nevertheless the biographer has made Plato’s chariot image more specific by putting it in a military context, although even in this he may have been influenced by other Platonic passages. Elsewhere, Plato had characterised the qumoeidev" (‘passionate’) side of the soul as a valuable prerequisite for the art of soldiering, provided that it could be controlled by to; logistikovn (‘the rational faculty’) as the occasion demanded.16 The particular setting in which Plutarch uses Plato’s chariot image is thus very appropriate. Plutarch may also have been influenced by his reading of Posidonius, who claimed that it was only at the age of fourteen that a child’s rational faculty became strong enough to control the horses of desire and anger in the soul, like a charioteer.17 In another case, Posidonius saw the irrational part of the soul as a runaway horse which was carrying off its rider by force before being brought under control. 18 Whether it was Plato or Posidonius who provided the 193 Return to Table of Contents

Rhiannon Ash inspiration for Plutarch, his choice of chariot imagery suggestively underlines the main thesis of the Galba and Otho. In addition, it is significant that traditionally chariots and their drivers served as symbols of Rome’s extensive imperial power.19 Thus Plutarch’s image of Verginius and Vindex as charioteers who have lost control of the reins is particularly suggestive. It simultaneously indicates the destructiveness of the soldiers and the helplessness of their leaders, which are both crucial themes in Plutarch’s distinctive analysis of the civil war in AD 69. In a similar vein, Silius Italicus saw how attractive this image of a runaway chariot was in a military context. Notice the point of comparison at Punica 8. 279–83 when Silius describes the consul Terentius Varro as he rashly leads his troops from Rome before the disastrous battle of Cannae: Varro is ‘...veluti cum carcere rupto | auriga indocilis totas effudit habenas | et, praeceps trepida pendens in verbera planta | impar fertur equis...’ (‘as, when the starting-gate is broken down, the unskilful charioteer loses all control of the reins and, bending forward with unsteady foothold to flog his team, he is borne on headlong at the mercy of the horses…’). The particular relationship between the leader and his troops which Silius encapsulates in this simile dramatically foreshadows the final defeat at Cannae. Likewise Plutarch’s use of chariot imagery, with its echoes of Plato’s Phaedrus, may also foreshadow the self-destruction of later battles in the civil war. At the very least, it reinforces a crucial point about the mentality of the soldiers and the powerlessness of their leaders. Even those individuals who do temporarily manage to command this collective force are all destroyed in turn despite their efforts. The narrative is punctuated by their deaths: Vindex dies by his own hand after a disastrous defeat at Vesontio initiated not by him but by the soldiers (Galba 6. 4), Nymphidius Sabinus is butchered by a group of furious soldiers while he is trying to get them to proclaim him emperor (Galba 14. 10), and Sempronius Densus is slaughtered in front of Galba’s litter as he holds up to; klh'ma, the ‘vine-whip’, trying in vain to restrain the soldiers (Galba 26. 8–10). It is worth noting in passing that Tacitus at Histories 1. 43. 1 says only that Densus met them ‘stricto pugione’ (‘with drawn sword’) and he avoids Plutarch’s symbolism whereby the troops ruthlessly scorn the hallmark of military discipline, the centurion’s vine-whip. 20 Finally, Galba himself is killed brutally: one soldier is said to inflict the death blow, but they all hack at his arms and legs together (Galba 27. 2 ff.). The succession of deaths is relentless.

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Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho It is also relevant that Plutarch recounts the consecutive deaths in such careful physical detail, and names each commander butchered by the soldiers;21 thus the peripeteia of each individual is made more conspicuous. This technique recalls Homer, where the names of even the most minor warriors are often given in order to make the moment of death more significant. When Sempronius Densus is killed, for example, Plutarch observes (Galba 26. 10): e[peita sumplekomevnwn aujtw'i, spasavmeno" to; xivfo" hjmuvnato polu;n crovnon, e{w" tufqei;" ta;" ijgnuva" e[pese. Once the soldiers had engaged with him at close quarters, Sempronius Densus drew his sword and warded them off for a long time, until he was struck across the back of his legs and fell.

Tacitus, it should be noted, gives no details about the nature of the wound by which the heroic Densus was brought down, and his narrative moves swiftly on. 22 Yet Plutarch chooses to linger here, forcing his readers to consider the ruthless way in which the soldiers treated the centurion who was notionally in charge of them. In addition, the type of wound is suggestive: Sempronius Densus was struck across the back of the legs, which implies a rather ungentlemanly form of attack. In spite of being outnumbered, he was still plucked off from behind. In Homer’s Iliad, it is the unsoldierly Paris who uses this method to kill Deiochus who appears only once in the text at 15. 341, and at Plutarch Artaxerxes 11, Cyrus is said to have been killed in exactly this way by a low-born menial servant from Caria.23 Indeed, Plutarch’s narrative sequence which traces the chain of deaths so specifically is peculiar, given his self-imposed parameters. He focuses on so many individuals, even though he is not writing a pragmatikh; iJstoriva, ‘a systematic history of actions’ (Galba 2. 5), whose concern was above all the accurate narration of events in detail. 24 Suetonius does not even mention the deaths of Sempronius Densus, Nymphidius Sabinus, Titus Vinius or Ofonius Tigellinus; and he only alludes in passing to Piso’s murder by referring to the men ‘missi qui Galbam et Pisonem trucidarent’, ‘sent to kill Galba and Piso’ (Otho 6. 3), but this is not followed up in any detail, as in Plutarch’s account of Piso’s murder in the Temple of Vesta (Galba 27. 6). While Suetonius tends to omit the deaths of subsidiary figures, Plutarch, by contrast, is very careful to name each new victim, even if he is of relatively minor importance. The most likely reason for this is that the more opportunities he has to illustrate the violence of the soldiers against individual commanders, the more cogent he makes his original premise at Galba 195 Return to Table of Contents

Rhiannon Ash 1. 4. Tacitus, it is true, also gives extended accounts of the deaths of Vinius (Histories 1. 42) and Tigellinus (Histories 1. 72), but these are major players in the narrative and such thoroughness is in any case to be expected in a historical work. Plutarch did not have to go into such detail and clutter his biography with a string of minor figures, but it is revealing that he chooses to do so. By setting up a catalogue of these gory deaths, as a string of named protagonists die violently in the face of pressure from a consolidated group, he creates an antithesis between successful (albeit irrational) collective military force and unsuccessful individual initiative. ii. The symbolism of decapitation This antithesis is heightened by pervasive imagery derived from the human body and more specifically, from decapitation. At Galba 4. 5, Plutarch reports that Vindex wrote to Galba: …parakalw'n ajnadevxasqai th;n hJgemonivan kai; parascei'n eJauto;n ijscurw'i swvmati zhtou'nti kefalhvn, tai'" Galativai", devka muriavda" ajndrw'n wJplismevnwn ejcouvsai", a[lla" te pleivona" oJplivsai dunamevnai"… ...inviting him to take up imperial power and to put himself at the disposal of a strong body which was in search of a head, namely the Gallic provinces which already had one hundred thousand men under arms and the capacity to arm many others besides.

Plutarch thereby sets up the notion of the leader or general as a head, and the soldiers/armies as a body, building on a concept he has already used in the very first chapter of the Galba where he likened the army to a strong and healthy human body, ejrrwmevnon sw'ma.25 Significantly, the wording of Vindex’s request was Plutarch’s innovation. Suetonius at Galba 9. 2 preserves a rather different version whereby Vindex asked Galba ‘…ut humano generi assertorem ducemque se accommodaret’, ‘…to make himself general and liberator of humanity’. The image of Galba as a liberator of humankind evokes a rather different ideology and derives from the historical reality of his propaganda from AD 68– 9.26 Certainly, this general concept of the leader as a head was fairly pervasive in ancient literature. Note Quintus Haterius’ dangerous question to Tiberius at Tacitus Annals 1. 13. 4 where he uses the notion to describe the position recently left vacant by Augustus: ‘quo usque patieris, Caesar, non adesse caput rei publicae?’, ‘How long, Caesar, will you allow the state to have no head?’ There is a slightly more complex set of images at Cicero Pro Murena 51, where Catiline says that: …duo corpora esse rei publicae, unum debile infirmo capite, alterum

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Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho firmum sine capite; huic, si ita de se meritum esset, caput se vivo non defuturum, …there were two bodies in the state – one frail with a weak head and the other sturdy but without a head; this body, if it deserved his support, should not lack a head as long as he lived.

The first body seems to be the senate with its weak consuls while the second body is the leaderless plebs.27 Furthermore, the notion is often used by ancient writers in a military context, so that when an army, for whatever reason, is deprived of its leader, it is often likened to a decapitated body. 28 Dionysius of Halicarnassus at 1. 48. 3 quotes Menecrates of Xanthus’ observation that after Achilles’ funeral, the Achaeans ejdovkeon th'" stratih'" th;n kefalh;n ajphravcqai, ‘…felt that the army had had its head lopped off ’. Silius Italicus uses the same image at Punica 10. 309–11 to describe the Roman army after the death of Aemilius Paulus at Cannae: ‘Postquam spes Italum mentesque in consule lapsae | ceu truncus capitis, saevis exercitus armis | sternitur...’, ‘After the hope and courage of the Romans fell along with their general, the army, like a body without a head, was overthrown by fierce assaults…’ 29 Yet this association between real and metaphorical heads perhaps receives its most extreme and graphic expression at Livy 1. 55. 5. Tarquin is in the process of digging the foundations for the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitol when his builders make a gruesome discovery, namely a decapitated human head with its features intact. Perhaps surprisingly, this macabre find does not disturb the soothsayers, as they quickly see the connection between real and metaphorical heads and interpret the omen as a symbol that Rome would surely become ‘caput rerum’, ‘head of affairs’.30 In contrast there is a slightly less reassuring instance of this symbolism at Tacitus Annals 15. 47 in a list of omens which mark the end of the year AD 64 and coincide with the genesis of the Pisonian conspiracy. On a general level it seems that there was an alarming rise in the number of human and animal offspring born with two heads, but more specifically Tacitus describes the birth of a calf on the road near Placentia which has its head fastened to one of its legs. Once again the soothsayers exploit the connection between real and metaphorical heads as they deduce that a new head is being prepared for the world. Yet since the calf has been deformed in the womb and born by the roadside, they conclude that the new head will be neither powerful nor secret. All of these examples suggest that this caput imagery was firmly rooted in the Roman literary tradition. Perhaps after all there is 197 Return to Table of Contents

Rhiannon Ash nothing very unusual about the way in which Plutarch recasts Vindex’s letter to Galba at Galba 4. 5 in terms of bodies and heads. Yet Plutarch goes on to use the idea extensively and in a highly suggestive way. The armies may be searching for a head to complement their leaderless body, but they remain unable to retain any head that they do find. The climax comes at Galba 27. 5–8, where no less than four severed heads are brought on to the stage – those of Galba, Piso, Vinius and Laco. The word kefalhv, ‘head’, thus appears four times in one chapter. The implications for the new head, Otho, giving directions so ruthlessly, are surely suggested by this succession of decapitations which take place before him and which recall the original head–body metaphor of Galba 4. 5. Forcefully, at Galba 24. 4, Plutarch makes the priest, Umbricius, describe the mixture of danger and treachery that hung over Galba’s head, ejk kefalh'" .31 This threat is realised by the finale of decapitations which soon follows. Although Suetonius also gives details about Galba’s decapitation at Galba 20. 2, including the peculiar point that Galba’s thumb had been cut off and thrust into the severed head’s mouth, his narrative lacks the tightly knit series of related images with which Plutarch plays.32 Indeed the tone suggests that Suetonius wanted to provide his audience with a gory anecdote specific to Galba rather than an account hinting at the universal forces of turbulence prevalent in the empire in AD 69.33 This decapitation theme has some resonances which can be pursued further. The first point relates to structure. If, as Aristotle said at Poetics 1450b, the well-made plot is like a living animal, whose body parts are harmoniously ordered together, one might be able to make a connection between the theme of decapitation within the civil war narrative and the fragmented form of the text itself. Plato also uses the image of a speech as a living creature at Phaedrus 264c, where he stipulates that it should be mhvte ajkevfalon… mhvte a[poun, ‘neither headless nor footless’.34 Yet Plutarch’s Galba and Otho are distinctly acephalous, with weak opening and closure, particularly in the Otho. It may be the case that turbulent subject matter called for an unconventional format of the sort with which Plutarch has experimented. It does seem suggestive that two modern authors, addressing two very different eras, have both used the theme of ‘headlessness’ to analyse literary texts about civil war. Linda Orr35 has examined nineteenth-century French historiography of the revolution by using the metaphor of headlessness to refer firstly to the guillotined king who thus left French society literally without a head, and secondly to analyse the French historians such as Blanc, Lamartine and Michelet, who struggled 198 Return to Table of Contents

Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho to understand this situation in their own structurally ‘headless’ works. Similarly, David Quint36 has related Lucan’s fascination with fragmented bodies to the unconventional form of his epic narrative. Can Plutarch’s Galba and Otho benefit from being seen in the context of this kind of pattern?37 The second point I want to make relates to content. Frederick Brenk calls the following passage at Galba 28. 1 ‘bizarre’:38 …kai; Kaivsara kai; Sebasto;n ajnhgovreuon, e[ti tw'n nekrw'n ajkefavlwn ejn tai'" uJpatikai'" ejsqh'sin ejrrimmevnwn ejpi; th'" ajgora'". …the senators gave Otho the titles of Caesar and Augustus, while the dead bodies, all headless in their consular robes, were still strewn over the forum.

The image here is indeed bizarre, but it has a point. There is an important focus on the relationship between real power and its trappings. Otho, the new head of state, is being given the very titles which legitimise his rule; yet all around him are headless dehumanised corpses. They retain no identity except their consular robes, which, as symbols of their office, should have protected them. How much power does Otho really have? The notion of the headless bodies still wearing their consular uniform has a levelling effect; these leaders seem almost as ephemeral as the statues which normally represent them in the forum.39 The trappings of power prove to be no protection against brute force, and inevitably, the outlook for Otho, being awarded his lofty titles amidst the mutilated bodies, is not good. One man stands as good a chance as the next at achieving his aims, and the decapitated corpses suggest that the succession will continue, as long as there emerge other challengers to replace the nameless decapitated predecessors. While Nymphidius, Tigellinus, Galba, Vinius and Laco are separate individuals differentiated by Plutarch both before death and even at the moment of death, their dead bodies subsequently become indistinguishable from one another. Together, they serve as a symbolic representation of failed individual initiative and as a tacit appraisal of Otho’s chances of success. Yet Plutarch did not usually reduce dead bodies to such anonymity in his other biographies. Compare Pompey 80. 2 where the Egyptians cut off Pompey’s head and throw his naked body overboard for curiosity seekers to gaze at. The body has no distinguishing signs and it is not even clothed, but it remains a unique and compelling object precisely because it had once belonged to Pompey.40 Naked, battered and without a head, the otherwise ordinary looking corpse still retains distinctive power because of the strength of feeling towards Pompey 199 Return to Table of Contents

Rhiannon Ash when he was alive, whereas the bodies in the forum at Galba 28. 1 retain none of the influence their owners temporarily held in life. Similarly, at Cicero 49. 2, Antony gives orders for the head and hands of Cicero to be placed over the ships’ beaks on the rostra.41 Those hands which wrote the Philippics have no distinguishing features other than having belonged to Cicero, but because of this they retain a symbolic importance even after the orator’s death.42 Dead bodies and body parts could retain a powerful magnetism even after the demise of an individual. 43 Consider an example from a very different era which suggests this graphically. When Georges-Jacques Danton walked on to the platform to face the guillotine in April 1794, an eye-witness recorded his defiant last words: ‘Above all, don’t forget to show the people my head – it’s worth seeing.’ Such capacity to see beyond the actual moment of his death and to visualise his own freshly severed head in such a dramatic way is both chilling and admirable. Even though the execution would put an end to his powers, his severed head could still serve as a unique focus for attention after his death and his final words reflect this vividly. 44 iii. Plutarch’s imagery and bacchic forces Often, the most revealing insights into Plutarch’s narrative technique are provided by those instances where he momentarily diverges from the main flow of the parallel accounts to add flourishes which are uniquely his own. Let us dwell on the theme of severed heads for a little longer. At Galba 27. 4, Plutarch describes how Fabius Fabulus, urged by his companions to display Galba’s dripping head, impales it on a spear and runs around with it like a bacchant, w{sper aiJ bavkcai. Significantly, the image appears only in Plutarch’s text; Tacitus, Dio and Suetonius contain no hint of it.45 The moment is dramatic in a very literal sense, since Plutarch is surely evoking the formal genre of tragedy at this point in his narrative. The biographer offers a strong hint to his audience in the particular word which he uses to describe Galba’s severed head at Galba 27. 4. Instead of kefalhv (‘head’), which has already appeared four times in the chapter, Plutarch substitutes the word provswpon (‘face’). This is an evocative choice, since provswpon can also mean ‘mask’, in the dramatic sense of the word.46 This appropriately links the scene with the earlier image at Galba 1. 8 of the soldiers ushering one emperor in and another out, as if they were crossing a stage. 47 Indeed, in the Galba especially, Plutarch has shown a sustained interest in the notion of tragedy and the concept of spectatorship.48 The simile which Plutarch uses at Galba 27. 4 is the 200 Return to Table of Contents

Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho climax of these references. With one deft stroke, Galba is cast as Pentheus and the soldiers become bacchant women. Plutarch is blurring the boundaries between history and tragedy just as Jason of Tralles did during a timely production of the Bacchae at the Parthian Court in 53 BC. On that occasion, the ingenious actor threw off his Pentheus costume, took on the role of Agave and grabbed Crassus’ freshly severed head for use as a gruesome stage-prop.49 In the Galba, it is Fabius Fabulus who plays Agave and the forum has turned into his stage, which is particularly appropriate since it is something precisely like this Dionysiac form of collective madness that Plutarch wants to identify in the military. Plutarch’s unique emphasis on Dionysiac madness may underpin other sections of his narrative as well. At Galba 14. 2, Antonius Honoratus, the leading military tribune, is said to have issued the following reprimand: …ejkavkize me;n auJtovn, ejkavkize d∆ ejkeivnou", ejn ojlivgwi crovnwi tropa;" tosauvta" trepomevnou" kat∆ oujdevna logismo;n oujd∆ ai{resin ajmeinovnwn, ajlla; daivmonov" tino" aujtou;" ejk prodosiva" eij" prodosivan ejlauvnonto". …he rebuked himself and he rebuked his men because they had changed their position so often in such a short time, not for any logical reason, nor because they were choosing a better course of action: it was some evil spirit that was driving them from one bout of treachery to the next.50

Plutarch’s use of the word daivmwn ( in this context = ‘evil spirit’) here 51 forms a nice precursor to the Bacchic imagery of Galba 27. 4. Antonius Honoratus’ early misgivings about his whimsical men are graphically vindicated as Fabius Fabulus finally raises Galba’s severed head aloft on his spear. 52 The theme is hinted at again at the opening of the Otho 1. 5, where Plutarch registers the fears which had prevailed amongst the aristocrats who had imagined that Otho, the temporary stirrer of collective madness, might embody some sort of avenging spirit, palamnai'o" daivmwn. However, this only serves as a reminder that the real threat is not Otho himself but the large numbers of soldiers each gripped by a disruptive daivmwn which results in only short-lived loyalty to any individual. Nor is it just the soldiers who are characterised in this way. The same irrational frenzy also seizes the enraged dh'mo" (‘people’), who, in the aftermath of Nero’s downfall, indiscriminately tore many men to pieces, (dievspasan, Galba 8. 7). The choice of this verb here is highly suggestive of the Dionysiac sparagmov" , the ecstatic ripping apart of some animal. 53 So, when Plutarch uses Bacchic imagery in his description of Galba’s death, his emphasis on the irrational coheres forcefully with his wider theme within these two 201 Return to Table of Contents

Rhiannon Ash biographies. Brevity was important to him and the concept of Dionysiac madness was an economical way to communicate his ideas. Why was it that this emphasis in the Galba and Otho on grand forces running beyond the control of individuals was so appealing to Plutarch? Are there any clues outside the narrative of the Lives? At Moralia 316E in his epideictic speech De Fortuna Romanorum, Plutarch introduces some related ideas which have a bearing on the two biographies. In laudatory tones, Plutarch discusses whether Tuvch (‘Fortune’) or ∆Arethv (‘Virtue’) played a more important role in the establishment of the Roman State. In the course of this discussion, he introduces an interesting metaphor when he refers to Rome as a sacred hearth, eJstiva iJerav (317A). Strikingly Plutarch uses the same concept at Galba 1. 8, when he talks of the Palatine as hJ de; tw'n Kaisavrwn eJstiva (‘the hearth of the Caesars’), which suggests that there may be some interesting links between these different works.54 One passage in particular is worth quoting more fully. At Moralia 317B–C Plutarch describes the fusikoiv (‘physicists’) and their theory of original cosmological chaos, which prevailed until the earth organised the surrounding elements, and then he observes: ou{tw tw'n megivstwn ejn ajnqrwvpoi" dunavmewn kai; hJgemoniw'n kata; tuvca" ejlaunomevnwn kai; sumferomevnwn uJpo; tou' mhdevna kratei'n bouvlesqai de; pavnta", ajmhvcano" hJ fqora; kai; plavnh kai; metabolh; pa'sa pavntwn, mevcri" ou| th'" ÔRwvmh" ijscu;n kai; au[xhsin labouvsh" kai; ajnadhsamevnh" tou'to me;n e[qnh kai; dhvmou" ejn auJth'i tou'to d∆ ajllofuvlou" kai; diapontivou" basilevwn hJgemoniva" e{dran e[sce ta; mevgista kai; ajsfavleian, eij" kovsmon eijrhvnh" kai; e{na kuvklon th'" hJgemoniva" a[ptaiston periferomevnh"… So, as long as the greatest powers and empires among men were being driven about at random and were coming into conflict with one another because nobody was in charge (although everybody wanted to be), the constant deterioration, drift and change in all things was intractable. This was the case until Rome grew strong and expanded, taking under her wing not only the nations and peoples within her own borders, but also foreign empires of kings overseas. The greatest powers now had a safe resting-place, since there had been a cyclic development into a world of peace and into one unfaltering circle of empire.55

It is easy to dismiss this speech as encomium and to claim that Plutarch was speaking under the constraints of a Roman audience in Rome, but the images it contains also appear in a related form in the Galba and Otho pair. Both the De Fortuna Romanorum and the biographies lay a similar emphasis on forces of chaos, except that in the essay the Roman empire successfully and finally asserts her power over these turbulent elements, whereas in the Galba and Otho these forces, which are embodied 202 Return to Table of Contents

Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho by the soldiers, reassert control. What accounts for Plutarch’s change of tack? It may be that the biographer was not simply paying lip service to the authorities in the De Fortuna Romanorum, nor that the events of AD 69 seemed quite so far removed to someone with his historical perspective.56 Though there are inevitably disagreements, there is a strong possibility that Plutarch may have composed the Galba and Otho in the aftermath of AD 96.57 Hence the circumstances of Nerva’s adoption of Trajan as his associate in power would have made the events of AD 69 frighteningly relevant. Plutarch could easily have mapped one set of events on to the other, which caused him to recast the soothing images of the De Fortuna Romanorum. Furthermore, if he was seeing the circumstances of AD 69 through the filter of AD 96, then it made sense to play down the individual personalities and to focus more closely on the over-arching phenomenon, the collective power of the soldiers. At the opening of the Galba at 1. 6, Plutarch provides a graphic picture of the destructive forces at work in AD 69: th;n de; ÔRwmaivwn hJgemonivan o{moia toi'" legomevnoi" Titanikoi'" pavqesi kai; kinhvmasi katelavmbanen, eij" polla; diaspwmevnhn a{ma kai; pollacovqen au\qi" eJauth'i sumpivptousan, oujc ou{tw" uJpo; filarciva" tw'n ajnagoreuomevnwn aujtokratovrwn, wJ" filoploutiva" kai; ajkolasiva" tou' stratiwtikou', di∆ ajllhvlwn w{sper h{lou" tou;" hJgemovna" ejkkrouvonto". Calamities and convulsions similar to those said to have been released by the Titans gripped the Roman empire as it was torn into many pieces and collapsed in upon itself in many places, not so much through the ambition of those who were proclaimed emperors, but because of the greed and unruliness of the army which drove out one commander with another, just as nail drives out nail.

This passage uses two interrelated sets of images to communicate the huge scale on which damage was inflicted in AD 69. The first is of the Roman empire being torn apart as if it were a human body – the same verb diaspavw is used to describe both the disintegration of the empire and the ripping apart of human victims in the forum by the enraged dh'mo" (‘people’).58 The second image is of the Roman empire as a cosmos which is collapsing in upon itself. 59 Plutarch uses both of these notions in combination to suggest how comprehensive and widespread the devastation was. Perhaps the most striking aspect of his analysis, however, is his consideration of who was responsible for the damage. He does not deny that the individual emperors bore some of the blame, but their contribution is far outweighed by the greed and frenzy of the army. The simile which Plutarch uses is interesting in this respect: he compares the effect which the army has on the individual 203 Return to Table of Contents

Rhiannon Ash emperors to the way in which (presumably) a carpenter can quickly replace an old nail with a new one. This is an image which stresses how interchangeable these emperors were. A nail may temporarily hold an object together, but with one violent blow it was always possible to put in a fresh nail, if the old one was no longer doing its job properly.60 Plutarch’s decision not to lavish too much attention on the delineation of Galba and Otho as fully rounded personalities is only a reflection of the limited role he saw them as playing in the vicissitudes of the civil war. The frustrating sense that a reader of these biographies comes away with, of not really having got to know Galba or Otho as human beings, probably mirrors how people felt at the time; after all, each princeps ruled for such a short time that anything deeper than a fleeting impression would have been difficult to acquire. Above all it was Plutarch’s fear of irrational forces which explains his distinctive portrayal of Galba and Otho. I am not arguing that the principle of turbulent military forces, which devastated the imperial structure of the empire as well as the individuals who tried to gain mastery over it, is particularly innovative and does not form a component of other analyses.61 However, Plutarch’s privileging of this notion over all other explanations to create such an interdependent sequence of biographies is unusual.62 As has been seen, his decision to articulate this idea in such a compact way within the biographical format underpins the narrative and acts as a pervasive link in the imagery and language of the Galba and Otho. We will surely begin to appreciate Plutarch’s two shortest biographies much more, if we accept this concept and stop expecting the biographer to use the same techniques as Suetonius or Tacitus. St. Hugh’s College, Oxford

Notes I would like to thank Judith Mossman and John Dillon for the invitation to speak at the International Plutarch Society Conference at Trinity College, Dublin, between September 7th–11th 1994, as well as Anton Powell, who raised some extremely interesting points after my paper. Richard Rutherford, Michael Winterbottom, Peter Derow and Barbara Levick have all read and made valuable comments on earlier versions of this paper. I remain particularly grateful to Chris Pelling for all his incisive and good-humoured help along the way. 1 Or at any rate they do in comparison with Plutarch’s lavish portrayal of protagonists in his other biographies. I would disagree with A. Georgiadou’s

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Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho proposal on p. 353 of ‘The Lives of the Caesars and Plutarch’s other Lives’ ICS 13.2 (1988), 349–56 that in the Galba, Plutarch displays ‘…deep interest in the study of character…’ and that this is the most important way that it differs from the more militarily orientated Otho. His levels of characterization are uneven in both biographies, even allowing for the mileage to be gained from synkritic characterization (whether implicit or explicit) between any two characters (e.g. Galba 29. 5, Galba and Nero). 2 Main texts used are: K. Ziegler, Plutarchi Vitae Parallelae Volume III. 2 (B.G. Teubner, Leipzig 1973), H. Heubner Cornelius Tacitus Historiae Volume II. 1 (B.G. Teubner, Leipzig 1978), and M. Ihm, Suetonius De Vita Caesarum Libri Volume 1 (B.G. Teubner, Stuttgart 1978). 3 On Galba’s father, see J. Sancery, Galba, ou l’armée face au pouvoir (Paris 1983), 11–12. 4 See F.E. Brenk, ‘From Rex to Rana: Plutarch’s treatment of Nero’, 121–42 in Il Protagonismo nella Storiografia Classica (Genova 1987) and note especially his remarks on 126–7 about using the Galba and Otho to reconstruct a lost Nero. 5 See K. Ziegler, Pauly-Wissowa Realencyclopädie 21. 1, Column 697 for the Lamprias Catalogue listing the eight imperial biographies. 6 The reconstruction is more credible if one compares the extracts about Julius Caesar at Moralia 205 ff. with Plutarch’s surviving Caesar. All citations except one appear in the Caesar. Correspondences are: (a) Moralia 205E / 1 = Caesar 1–2, (b) Moralia 206A / 2 = Caesar 7, (c) Moralia 206A / 3 = Caesar 10, (d) Moralia 206B / 4 = Caesar 11, (e) Moralia 206B / 5 = Caesar 11, (f) Moralia 206B / 6 = no correspondence in Caesar, (g) Moralia 206C / 7 = Caesar 32, (h) Moralia 206C / 8 = Caesar 25, (i) Moralia 206C / 9 = Caesar 38, (j) Moralia 206D / 10 = Caesar 38, (k) Moralia 206D / 11 = Caesar 44, (l) Moralia 206E / 12 = Caesar 50, (m) Moralia 206E / 13 = Caesar 54, (n) Moralia 206E / 14 = Caesar 62 and (o) Moralia 207F / 15 = Caesar 63. On the lost biography of Augustus see C.P. Jones, Plutarch and Rome (Oxford 1971), 79–80. 7 See Plutarch Alexander 1. 2 where he proposes the general rule that it is kai; rJh'ma kai; paidiav ti", ‘the odd word or joke’, rather than great battles or sieges of cities which reveal most about a man’s character. 8 On a similar note, five of the fifteen extracts from the Augustus in the Moralia contain some kind of spoken aphorism, but most of these are put in the less dramatic context of Augustus going about his daily business. Plutarch’s Galba and Otho do contain chreiai, but they tend to appear only at momentous instances, such as Galba 27. 1 at the death of the emperor, rather than at more routine junctures. 9 On the possible influence of Cluvius Rufus as a source for this notion, see F.R.B. Godolphin, ‘The source of Plutarch’s thesis in the Lives of Galba and Otho’ AJPh. 56 (1935), 324–8. Cf. G.B. Townend, ‘Cluvius Rufus and the Histories of Tacitus’ AJPh. 85 (1964), 337–77, and D. Wardle, ‘Cluvius Rufus and Suetonius’, Hermes 120 (1992), 466–82, who criticizes Townend’s characterization of Cluvius Rufus as a writer of a scabrous, unchronological ‘chronique scandaleuse’. A. Powell, ‘Deum Ira, Hominum Rabies’ Latomus 31 (1972), 833–48, substantially broadens the scope of the source question by suggesting a connection between the irrational love of turbulence by the

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Rhiannon Ash soldiery as depicted in Tacitus and Plutarch and the common source’s desire to meet the approval of a Flavian emperor. The wilder the soldiers were, the less culpable Vespasian was for aiming at the principate, and of course the more he was to be commended for quelling such turbulent creatures. 10 Differences between armies are also elided. Plutarch creates an interesting mirroring effect between the Othonian and Vitellian forces, which can be related to his desire to illustrate the Platonic generalization he makes at Galba 1. 4 rather than to elucidate the particular civil war situation in 68–69 BC . For example, the Othonian soldiers are said to accuse their commander Paulinus of treachery (Otho 7. 5), at the same time as the Vitellian soldiers stone their general Valens, because he did not lead them to Ad Castores and enable them to save the lives of their fellow soldiers (Otho 7. 8). Thus, the soldiers on both sides show common behaviour patterns which transcend partisan loyalty to either Otho or Vitellius, or to any of their generals. To bring about this effect, Plutarch has omitted the detailed mutiny sequence preserved by Tacitus at Histories 2. 27–30. Instead, he has placed a highly condensed version of events at exactly that spot in the narrative where Tacitus relates that, when news was brought to the Vitellian troops after Caecina’s defeat, ‘prope renovata seditione’ (2. 30. 2). 11 Cf. Tacitus’ subtle analysis of the progressive deterioration of the relationship between the German/Gallic forces and their leaders in Book 4 of the Histories. The succession of oaths in Book 4 neatly marks the decline: the varying degrees of success in administering these oaths reflect the changing levels of cohesion and unity between soldiers and generals. See 4. 15, 4. 31, 4. 59, 4. 70. The relationship is a binary one, in that Roman military cohesion is growing in inverse proportion to the increasing fragmentation amongst the heterogeneous barbarian forces. 12 L. Braun, ‘Galba und Otho bei Plutarch und Sueton’, Hermes 120 (1992), 90–102 complains on p. 102 that ‘dies ist eine geschichtliche Erklärung für einen geschichtlichen Vorgang, nicht aber eine biographische Erklärung für den Verlauf eines Lebens…Plutarch fragt nicht nach dem Wesenkern Galbas und Othos und nach dessen Entfaltung im Lauf des Lebens, sondern verfolgt eher, wie Kräfte von außen auf die Personen einwirken, besonders die Soldaten oder einzelne Berater.’ Quite; but to reject this as inappropriate for biography shows a failure to grasp the flexibility of Plutarch’s biographical form. 13 Cf. Plato’s Republic 439E. For direct quotations of Plato’s Phaedrus by Plutarch, see W.C. Helmbold and E.N. O’Neil, Plutarch’s Quotations (Baltimore 1959) p. 59. For example, at Alcibiades 4.4 he cites Phaedrus 255d10–e1 and at Antony 36. 2 he cites Phaedrus 254a. 14 The same word is used in both the Plutarch passage and the Plato: calinov" is also used metaphorically to mean anything which curbs or restrains. Cf. Pindar Isthmian Odes 8. 48, of female chastity, and Aeschylus Prometheus Vinctus 672, of the will of Zeus. Plutarch himself uses it in this metaphorical sense at Comp. Pericles/Fabius Maximus 1. 4, spargw'nti tw'i dhvmwi calino;n ejmbalei'n u{brew" kai; qrasuvthto", ‘…to bridle a people swollen with insolence and boldness’. For Plutarch’s sunevrraxan (‘they clashed together’) at Galba

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Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho 6. 4, cf. Thucydides 1. 66 who uses the same verb to describe the early stages of the war between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians: ouj mevntoi o{ ge polemov" pw xunerrwvgei, ‘The war had not yet broken out…’. 15 M. Trapp, ‘Plato’s Phaedrus in second century Greek literature’ in Antonine Literature, ed. D.A. Russell (Oxford 1990), 141–73. 16 See Plato Republic 374–6 and 410–12. Such Platonic psychology is also in the background of Plutarch’s characterization of Coriolanus: see particularly Coriolanus 1 and 15. 17 See I.G. Kidd and L. Edelstein, Posidonius I: The Fragments (Cambridge 1989, 2nd edn), Fragment 31 (Galen De Placitis v. 446–8 = pp. 444. 11— 448. 2 Müller, 322. 28—326. 8 DeLacy) with I.G. Kidd’s commentary on pp. 155–62 of Posidonius II: The Commentary (i) Testimonia and Fragments 1–149 (Cambridge 1988). 18 See I.G. Kidd and L. Edelstein, Posidonius I: The Fragments (Cambridge 1989, 2nd edn), Fragment 166. 11 and following (Galen De Placitis Hippocratis et Platonis v. 474–6 = pp. 454. 15—456. 14 Müller, p. 332. 5–31 DeLacy) with I.G. Kidd’s commentary on pp. 608–9 of Posidonius II: The Commentary (ii) Fragments 150–293 (Cambridge 1988). Plutarch at Lysander 20. 8 compares Lysander, unable to endure being under authority at home, with a horse which temporarily goes off to unfamiliar pastures and meadows. The image of the high-spirited horse galloping in the fields also appears at Homer Iliad 6. 506–11 (Paris) and 15. 263–8 (Hector). See also Duff in this volume, above pp. 179–80. 19 For the notion of the chariot as symbol of Rome’s power and as the expression of abstract ideas such as victory, see Melinno’s Hymn to Rome, which is preserved by Stobaeus at Eclogae 3. 7. 12 and discussed by C.M. Bowra, ‘Melinno’s Hymn to Rome’ JRS 47 (1957), 21–8. In the third stanza, the Goddess Rome, daughter of Ares, drives a chariot whose yoke, sdeuvgla, and straps, levpadna, are fastened to the breasts of land and sea. See further Virgil Aeneid 6. 784–7 and 7. 600, Georgics 1. 511–4, Tacitus Histories 1. 86 with Livy 22. 37, Silius Italicus Punica 1. 433–6 and 17. 486–90, and Statius Silvae 5. 1. 37. Note the symbolism of the unfortunate Salmoneus and his chariot at Virgil Aeneid 6. 587–91 and Manilius Astronomica 5. 91–6. Livy at 22. 52. 3 refers to nummi quadrigati used to pay a ransom to Hannibal after Cannae: these were silver denarii stamped with the image of a four-horsed chariot. It was especially ironic that these coins, so symbolic of Roman power, should be used in such a humiliating situation. See F.W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius Volume 1 (Oxford 1957) p. 746 for further details. 20 On the centurion’s vine-whip and its associations with military discipline see Ovid Ars Amatoria 3. 527, Lucan Pharsalia 6. 146, Martial 10. 26. 1, Silius Italicus Punica 12. 395, Juvenal 8. 247 and 14. 193, Tacitus Annals 1. 23. 3 and Pliny NH 14. 19. The total disregard of the soldiers at this point for the authority of the centurion’s vine-whip is reversed in an interesting way subsequently at Galba 27. 4. Here the soldiers create a new and disturbing symbol of their own power when Fabius Fabulus impales Galba’s head on a spear and runs around with it, w{sper aiJ bavkcai, ‘like bacchants [do]’). See below, pp. 200-2, for a discussion of Plutarch’s use of Bacchic imagery.

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Rhiannon Ash 21

Naming a character when it was not strictly necessary to do so could be a very useful device. Cf. Tacitus Annals 1. 35. 5 (Calusidius) or Annals 11. 16. 1 (Italicus). 22 M. Gwyn Morgan, ‘Commissura in Tacitus Histories 1’ CQ 43 (1993), 274– 91, notes on pp. 288–91 the discrepancy between Tacitus’ and Plutarch’s accounts in this respect. At Histories 1. 42, it is Titus Vinius who is felled by the wound which Plutarch attributes to Sempronius Densus. Morgan thinks that Plutarch and not Tacitus has tampered with the source material in this particular case. 23 Cf. G. Strasburger, Die kleine Kämpfer der Ilias (diss., Johann Wolfgang Goethe Universität, Frankfurt-am-Main, 1954), B. Fenik, Typical Battle Scenes in the Iliad (Wiesbaden 1954) and J. Griffin, Homer on Life and Death (Oxford 1980), esp. Ch. 4 ‘Death, pathos and objectivity’, 103–43. 24 Cf. Polybius 1. 2. 8, oJ th'" pragmatikh'" iJstoriva" trovpo", ‘the systematic treatment of a history of actions’. F.W. Walbank, A Historical Commentary on Polybius: Volume 1 (Oxford 1957) p. 42 observes: ‘Applied to history pragmatikov" in Polybius connotes a narrative of events (political, military, etc.) as opposed to any kind of category (e.g. a history of colonization)’. 25 Cf. Plutarch Pelopidas 2. 1, quoting the great Athenian general Iphicrates, where an even more detailed simile is established. The light-armed troops are said to be like the hands, the cavalry like the feet, the phalanx like the chest and breast-plate, and the general (again) like the head. Iphicrates was clearly a favourite source for Plutarch: he also appears at Galba 1. 1 for an aphorism about the mercenary soldier. A refinement of the head–body imagery occurs at Plutarch’s Otho 10. 1, where the best troops are described as the stovmwma (lit. ‘mouth’). Cf. Plutarch Flamininus 2. 4 and 3. 3. 26 On Galba’s use of the language and imagery of liberation, see M. Hammond, ‘Res olim dissociabiles: Principatus ac Libertas’ HSPh. 67 (1963), 93–113, A. Watson, ‘Vespasian: adsertor libertatis publicae’ CR 23 (1973), 127–8, B. Baldwin, ‘Vespasian and freedom’ RFIC 103 (1975), 306–8, E.S. Ramage, ‘Denigration of predecessor under Claudius, Galba and Vespasian’ Historia 32 (1983), 201–14, and C.H.V. Sutherland, ‘The concepts Adsertor and Salus as used by Vindex and Galba’ NC 144 (1984), 29–32. On p. 207 E.S. Ramage stresses the symbolism of Galba’s coin issues (particularly Roma Victrix, Roma Restituta, and Roma Renascens): ‘With Galba Rome had been victorious over Nero; she has been restored from the earlier tyranny and is experiencing a welcome rebirth.’ 27 See J. Adiemietz, Marcus Tullius Cicero: Pro Murena (Darmstadt 1989) p. 191. 28 Livy used head–body language particularly when writing about Camillus, 5. 46. 5–6 ‘...sed corpori valido caput deerat. Locus ipse admonebat Camilli et magna pars militum erat qui ductu auspicioque eius res prospere gesserant’, ‘…but their strong body lacked a head. The place itself reminded men of Camillus, and there were many of the soldiers who had fought successfully under his leadership and auspices’, and 6. 3. 1 ‘Cum in ea parte in qua caput rei Romanae Camillus erat ea fortuna esset, aliam in partem terror ingens ingruerat’, ‘Although there was good fortune in that region where Camillus was in charge for Rome, a great danger threatened in another area’. Plutarch

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Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho makes Galba see himself in terms of Camillus at Galba 29. 4. 29 F. Spaltenstein, Commentaire des Punica de Silius Italicus (Livres 9. à 17) Volume 2 (Lausanne 1990) ad loc. aptly compares Curtius Rufus 6. 9. 28 where Amyntas, in his attempt to stir up feelings against Philotas, describes the army as ‘velut truncum corpus dempto capite’, ‘like a body with the head removed’. Tacitus at Histories 2. 28. 2 makes the Vitellian troops draw upon related imagery when they complain about the plan to remove the Batavian troops to Gallia Narbonensis: ‘sin victoriae columen in Italia verteretur, non abrumpendos ut corpori validissimos artus’, ‘Yet if victory hinged on the preservation of Italy, the body of the army must not be mutilated by the amputation of its strongest limbs’. 30 For a discussion of this passage see R.M. Ogilvie, A Commentary on Livy Books 1–5 (Oxford 1965), 211, and P. Borgeand, ‘Du mythe à l’idéologie: la tête du capitole’, MH 44 (1987), 86–100. There is a fuller version of this story at Pliny NH 28. 15–17. Note the parallel myth about Carthage: Virgil Aeneid 1. 444 refers to Dido’s discovery of a horse’s head in the grove where the Carthaginians first landed and to her construction of Juno’s temple there. Silius Italicus Punica 2. 410–11 also mentions this ‘caput…bellatoris equi’, ‘head of a war-horse’. There is an interesting variant of this story at Justin Epitoma 18. 5. 15–16 involving both a cow’s head and a horse’s head. Titus Sextius’ discovery of a bull’s head buried at Tucca, described by Cassius Dio at 48. 21, presages his invasion of Africa. 31 The imagery seems to be Plutarch’s own. Tacitus has no hint of this usage at 1. 27. 1, where ‘haruspex Umbricius tristia exta et instantes insidias ac domesticum hostem praedicit…’, ‘the soothsayer Umbricius pronounced that the entrails were ill-omened and predicted an imminent plot and an enemy who was close to home’. Cf Suetonius Galba 19. 1 and Cassius Dio 64. 5. 3, which also lack this imagery. 32 P. Venini, Vite di Galba, Otone, Vitellio (Turin 1977) p. 66 observes that ‘…solo in Suetonio ricorre il macabro particolare del pollice in bocca’. By cutting off Galba’s thumb and placing it in the severed head’s mouth, the ‘gregarius miles’ may perhaps have been thinking of the custom in the amphitheatre whereby the vulgus temporarily had the power of life or death over a gladiator whose life hung in the balance, ‘verso pollice’. See Juvenal 3. 36, Pliny NH 28. 25 and Horace Epistle 1. 18. 66. Thus the removal of the emperor’s thumb may have been a symbolic way of asserting how impotent Galba now was, as well as being a macabre and humiliating gesture in itself. On the gesture of turning the thumb (attested in literary but not visual sources) see T. Wiedemann, Emperors and Gladiators (London 1992) p. 95. 33 Note too Suetonius’ detail that a private soldier had to stuff the head into his cloak since he was unable to carry it by the hair because Galba was bald. Plutarch also focusses on this at Galba 27. 3, although this element is, perhaps predictably, absent from Tacitus’ account at Histories 1. 41. 34 Cf. Quintilian, Institutiones Oratoriae 7. 10. 16, ‘Neque enim partium est demum dispositio, sed in his ipsis primus aliquis sensus et secundus et tertius; qui non modo ut sint ordine collocati, laborandum est, sed ut inter se vincti atque ita cohaerentes, ne commissura perluceat; corpus sit, non membra’, ‘For it

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Rhiannon Ash is not enough merely to arrange the various parts [sc. of a speech], since amongst them all one thought will fit best in first place, another in second place and another in third place. We must struggle not only to place these thoughts in their proper order, but also to link them together and to give them such cohesion that the joins do not show; they should form a body, not a collection of limbs’. 35 L. Orr, Headless History (Ithaca 1990) reviewed by L. Shiner in History and Theory 32 (1993), 90–6. 36 D. Quint, Epic and Empire (Princeton 1993) Chapter 4, 131–57 ‘Epics of the defeated: the other tradition of Lucan, Ercilla and D’Aubigne’. Note especially his discussion of broken bodies on 140–7. G.W. Most, ‘Disiecti membra poetae: The rhetoric of dismemberment in Neronian poetry’, in Innovations of Antiquity, ed. R. Hexter and D. Selden (New York and London 1992), 391–419, discusses the tendency of ancient writers to use the metaphor of the body as a way to describe literary style and interestingly relates this notion to Seneca and Lucan’s grisly fascination with dismembered bodies. 37 Cf. D.S. Levene, ‘Sallust’s Jugurtha: an “historical fragment” ’, JRS 82 (1992), 53–70, who discusses the Jugurtha as ‘…a deliberate fragment: a work that is notionally complete, in that it is written and presented as something finished and whole, but which at the same time draws the reader’s attention in a more or less systematic fashion to the fact that it is incomplete; it shows itself to be only part of the whole’ (p. 53). 38 F.E. Brenk, In Mist Apparelled: Religious Themes in Plutarch’s Moralia and Lives (Leiden 1977), p. 267. 39 Statues too were often decapitated in accordance with the changing political climate. At Tacitus Annals 1. 74. 3, Romanius Hispo accuses Granius Marcellus because on one statue Augustus’ head had been cut off and replaced with the image of Tiberius, and at Suetonius Galba 1, during the last year of Nero’s reign, a thunderbolt struck the temple of the Caesars, so that the heads simultaneously fell off all the statues. Note Caligula’s tyrannical gesture at Suetonius Caligula 22. 2 where he orders statues of gods to be brought from Greece only to have their heads removed and replaced with his own. See further J.M. Mossman, ‘Plutarch’s use of statues’, in Georgica, edited by M.A. Flower and M. Toher, BICS Supp. 58 (London 1991), 98–119, and especially p. 108 where she discusses the metaphorical tradition of statue imagery. 40 Cf Lucan Pharsalia 8. 711 with his typical perversity, ‘Una nota est Magno capitis iactura revolsi’, ‘The one mark to identify Magnus is the absence of the severed head’. R. Mayer, Lucan Civil War VIII (Warminster, Wilts., England 1981) comments ad loc., ‘His final version of Pompey is not a dignified reflection, but a teasing paradox. One expects a headless body to be unrecognisable, hence Virgil’s “sine nomine corpus” ; but Lucan fancies that the loss of his head is the very thing that identifies Pompey’. See Virgil Aeneid 2. 557– 8 on Priam with J.L. Moles, ‘Virgil, Pompeius and the histories of Asinius Pollio’ CW 76 (1983), 286–7, and note the general discussion of A.A. Bell, ‘Fact and Exemplum in the accounts of the deaths of Pompey and Caesar’ Latomus 53 (1994), 824–36.

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Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho See too Antony 20. 3–4, which is much more explicit than this passage about Antony’s joy upon seeing the head and (in this instance) right hand. Antony’s pleasure was traditional: note Appian BC 4. 20 and Dio 47. 8. 2. 42 For another instance of symbolic revenge, see Herodotus Histories 1. 214, Tomyris’ treatment of Cyrus’ head. On decapitation and scalping in Herodotus in general see F. Hartog, The Mirror of Herodotus (Berkeley and Los Angeles 1988), 156–62. 43 Cf. Caesar’s funeral described at Plutarch Caesar 68, Antony 14. 3–4, Brutus 20, Cicero Att. 14. 10. 1, Phil. 1. 5 and 2. 91, Suetonius Divus Iulius 84. 3–4, Dio 44. 50 and 45. 23. 4, and Appian BC 2. 146–8 and 3. 2. The angry populace put the body on a makeshift funeral pyre and burn it defiantly in the Forum. Caesar’s body, mutilated by wounds, stirs up tremendous emotions in the spectators. For a useful discussion of the details of Caesar’s funeral, see S. Weinstock, Divus Iulius (Oxford 1971), 346–55. His funeral was perceived as a yardstick: see Tacitus Annals 1. 8 for Tiberius’ edict to prevent the people responding to Augustus’ burial with similar scenes of violence. 44 For Danton’s last words see N. Hampson, Danton (London 1978), p. 174 and A. Aulard, ‘Derniers moments et exécution de Danton’ in Etudes et Leçons sur la Révolution Française (Paris 1924). 45 For a thorough comparison of similarities and differences between Tacitus, Plutarch, Dio and Suetonius, see E.G. Hardy, Plutarch’s Galba and Otho (London 1890) Introduction xi ff., and also P. Fabia, Les Sources de Tacite dans les Histoires et les Annales (Paris 1893), 1–129 Chapter I, ‘Tacite et Plutarque’ and 130–68 Chapter II, ‘Tacite et Suétone’. 46 For provswpon as a mask see Demosthenes 19. 287 and Aristotle Poetics 1449a36 and 1449b4. The term may also enhance Galba’s dramatic peripeteia in another sense in that Polybius at 6. 53. 5 uses it to refer to Roman imagines. Cf. N. Rudd, Lines of Enquiry (Cambridge 1976) Ch.6, 145–81 on the metaphor of the mask/persona and Suetonius Vespasian 19. 2, the antics of an actor in Vespasian’s funeral procession. 47 On this passage, see E. Keitel, ‘Plutarch’s tragedy tyrants: Galba and Otho’, PLLS 8 (1995), 275–88. She argues that Plutarch has added the image of the tragedy tyrant to the account of the common source to give his own version coherence. 48 As well as Galba 1. 8, see Galba 12. 5 (Titus Vinius’ influence over Galba caused tragic events), Galba 17. 3 (the people applaud as Nero’s supporters are led across the forum to their deaths), Galba 17.5 (the people have set their hearts on the qevama, ‘spectacle’, of Tigellinus’ death), Galba 26. 6 (the people rush to the porticoes in the forum to watch Galba’s downfall just as if it were a qeva , ‘spectacle’) and Galba 27. 4 (Fabius Fabulus wields Galba’s head like a bacchant). M. Gwyn Morgan, ‘A lugubrious prospect: Tacitus Histories 1.40’ CQ 44 (1994), 236–44, sees some of these spectatorship passages as being more amphitheatrical than theatrical. 49 See Plutarch, Crassus 33. 5, where he cites Euripides Bacchae 1169–71, suggesting that he knew this portion of the play in detail. For a discussion of the profound importance of tragedy, particularly of Euripides’ Bacchae, to the Carrhae narrative in Plutarch’s Crassus, see D. Braund, ‘Dionysiac tragedy in 41

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Rhiannon Ash Plutarch, Crassus’ CQ 43 (1993), 468–74. 50 Note how at Euripides’ Bacchae 200, Teiresias pronounces, ouj d e; n sofizovmesqa toi'si daivmosin, ‘We cannot rationalize with respect to the divine powers’. Whatever the exact force of the dative, Euripides contrasts the power of the daivmone" with rational human thought, though see E.R. Dodds, Euripides Bacchae (Oxford 1960 2nd edn), p. 94, for detailed discussion of precise meaning. Antonius Honoratus, at Galba 14.2, also notes the gulf between any rational action on the part of the soldiers, and their treacherous deeds inspired by some divine spirit. 51 S.C.R. Swain, ‘Plutarch: chance, providence and history’ AJPh. 110 (1989), 272–302, suggests on p. 299 that in this instance daivmwn stands loosely for qevo", ‘god’. Cf. Polybius 36. 17. 16, where a Macedonian victory over P. Iuventius in 148 BC is attributed to daimonoblavbeia, ‘harm caused by a daimon’. 52 To stick a severed head on the end of a spear and carry it around in public was a tried and tested form of ritual humiliation: Cicero Philippics 11. 2. 5, Virgil Aeneid 9. 465–7, Livy 4. 19. 5, Justin 24. 5, Lucan Pharsalia 2. 160–1, Silius Italicus Punica 2. 201–5, 5. 151–3, 7. 704, 15. 813–4 (with Livy 27. 51. 11) and 17. 307–8, Tacitus Histories 1. 44. 2, Suetonius Galba 20. 2, and Claudian In Rufinum 2. 433–5. Exposure of the head on the rostra was a similar disgrace: Dio 47. 3. 2, 47. 8. 3–4, 60. 16. 1 and 67. 11. 3, Appian BC 1. 71, 1. 73, 4. 20 and 4. 95, [Seneca] Octavia 510–3, Velleius Paterculus 2. 19. 1, Florus 2. 9 and 2. 16, Lucan Pharsalia 7. 305–6, Plutarch Cicero 49 and Seneca Suasoria 6. 17 and 6. 26. Note Cicero’s version of the death of Marius Gratidianus preserved at Asconius 75, 78 and 80 (Oxford 1907) and commented on by B.A. Marshall, A Historical Commentary on Asconius (Columbia 1985), 291–2. Catiline is presented as a total villain as he cuts off Gratidianus’ head and ‘quod caput etiam tum plenum animae et spiritus ad Sullam usque ab Ianiculo ad aedem Apollinis manibus ipse suis detulit’, ‘carried the head with his own hands from the Janiculum to the Temple of Apollo and delivered it to Sulla, as it was even then still alive and breathing’ (Asconius 80). 53 Plutarch went on to use similar images in his description of Julius Caesar’s murder at Caesar 66: Caesar is hemmed in on all sides and driven this way and that w{sper qhrivon, ‘like a wild beast’, and it was necessary for everyone katavrxasqai, ‘to take part in the sacrifice’, and geuvsasqai tou' fovnou, ‘to taste of the slaughter’. See also Pelling in this volume, pp. 215–31. Interestingly, Plutarch uses this appetitive verb at Galba 13. 4. The soldiers object to Nymphidius Sabinus’ speech about the relationship between Galba and his advisors; the princeps after all was not a young man tasting, geuovmenon, power for the first time. 54 Note too that at Moralia 318A when Tuvch travels to Rome, it is the Palatine which is her destination. 55 a[ptaisto" was originally a metaphor from horse-training meaning ‘not stumbling’, as at Xenophon De Equitandi Ratione 1. 6, but it was also used metaphorically. The word may therefore evoke images of the Roman empire as a chariot commensurate with the cosmos. See Dio Chrysostom Oratio

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Severed Heads…Plutarch’s Galba and Otho 36. 39–61 (the myth of the Magi) for the notion of chariots and the cosmos, with D.A. Russell, Dio Chrysostom Orations VII, XII and XXXVI (Cambridge 1992), 231–47, and Pliny NH 28. 17, where the clay four-horse chariot team, which is being created for the roof of the new Temple to Jupiter, suddenly grows bigger in the furnace. This is interpreted as a symbol of Rome’s growing imperium. 56 S.C.R. Swain, in ‘Plutarch: chance, providence and history’, AJPh. 110 (1989), 272–302, examines Plutarch’s views on the Roman rule and concludes that Plutarch genuinely believed ‘that providence had encouraged the establishment of monarchy at Rome to bring an end to kakopoliteiva [‘bad government’] ’. See also J. Palm, Rom, Römertum und Imperium in der griechischen Literatur der Kaiserzeit (Lund 1959), 30–43, and Dillon, in this volume, pp. 233–40, esp. pp. 237–8. 57 For conflicting views on the dating of Plutarch’s Galba and Otho, see C.P. Jones, Plutarch and Rome (Oxford 1971), p. 72, who suggests that the composition date was before Domitian’s death in AD 96, J. Geiger, ‘Zum Bild Julius Caesars in der römischen Kaiserzeit’, Historia 24 (1975), 444–53, who first suggested a date of composition under Nerva, and R. Syme, ‘Biographers of the Caesars’ MH 37 (1980), 104–28 and Roman Papers Volume 3, ed. A.R. Birley (Oxford 1984), 1251–75, who proposes the aftermath of AD 96 as a likely composition date. 58 Seneca at Epistulae Morales 95. 52 proposes that all things, whether divine or human, are ‘membra’, ‘limbs’ of one huge ‘corpus’, ‘body’. Posidonius thought of the universe as a zw'ion, a living creature. A.D. Nock, ‘Posidonius’ JRS 49 (1959), 1–15 discusses this view. On Posidonius and his attitude to Roman rule in general see H. Strasburger, ‘Poseidonios on the problems of the Roman Empire’, JRS 55 (1965), 40–53 and A. Erskine, The Hellenistic Stoa (London 1990), 200–3. For Plutarch quoting Posidonius directly, see W.C. Helmbold and E.N. O’Neil, Plutarch’s Quotations (Baltimore 1959), p. 64. 59 For some images of the Roman empire collapsing upon itself, see Livy Praefatio 4 and 7. 92. 2, Florus 1. 47. 6, Horace Epode 16. 1–2, Propertius 3. 13. 60, Seneca De Constantia Sapientis 2. 2, Petronius 120. 84–5, and Lucan Pharsalia 1. 81. The unwieldiness of the empire is also suggested by Tacitus’ reference to ‘tanta moles [sc. imperii] ’ at Annals 1. 4. P.A. Brunt, ‘Roman imperial illusions’, in Roman Imperial Themes (Oxford 1990), 433–88, discusses on p. 433 the tendency of imperial writers ‘to equate the extent of Roman dominion with that part of the earth’s surface within which were to be found all lands known to be inhabited, enclosed (so the Greeks and Romans thought) by the encircling Ocean, and called by the Greeks oikoumene and by the Romans orbis terrarum’. See further C. Nicolet, Space, Geography and Politics in the Early Roman Empire (translated by H. Leclerc, Michigan 1991). 60 The proverb of nail replacing nail also appears at Lucian Pro Lapsu 7 and Aristotle Politics 1314a5, but neither context is military. Perhaps the image derives not from the carpenter’s but the cobbler’s trade. This might call to mind a soldier’s hob-nailed boots, which would be appropriate enough in the circumstances. Josephus BJ 6. 85 describes Roman soldiers’ boots as peparmevna puknoi'" kai; ojxevsin h[loi", ‘studded densely with sharp nails’.

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Rhiannon Ash Tacitus also uses it at Histories 1. 46. 1 ‘Omnia deinde arbitrio militum acta’, ‘Everything was carried out as the soldiers decided’, 1. 63. 1 ‘raptis repente armis ad caedem innoxiae civitatis, non ob praedam aut spoliandi cupidine, sed furore et rabie et causis incertis’, ‘The troops hastily seized arms with the intention of slaughtering an innocent community; they were prompted not by a desire for booty or by a taste for plunder, but by frenzy, madness and reasons which are hard to explain’, 2. 79 ‘cuncta impetu militum acta’, ‘Everything was carried out in accordance with the enthusiasm of the soldiers’, and 3. 49. 2 ‘nec miles in arbitrio ducum, sed duces militari violentia trahebantur’, ‘The troops were not at the disposal of their officers, but the officers were dragged along by the violence of their men’. 62 Plutarch’s Otho is particularly dependent on the Galba which precedes it. Judging by the weak closure of the Otho, the opening of the lost Vitellius is likely to have been equally dependent on the Otho. Cf. D.P. Fowler, ‘First thoughts on closure: problems and prospects’ MD 22 (1989), 75–122. 61

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PLUTARCH ON CAESAR’S FALL1 Christopher Pelling I. Introductory: structure and audience expectations My theme in this paper is a limited one, largely confined to a single Life, the Caesar, and concentrating on a few chapters at the end. I shall try to bring out the ways in which the important strands in Caesar’s fall recall and develop themes already familiar from the earlier part of the Life, themes such as Caesar’s ambition, the power of the demos, the intractability of the political situation, the awkwardnesses posed by Caesar’s friends. These points can be put in ‘literary’ terms, underlining the tight structure and thematic unity of the Life; they can also be made points about historical interpretation, stressing the ways in which the same political and personal factors both build and destroy the great man. One implication is the manner in which these two ways of putting it merge, and any distinction between ‘literary’ and ‘historical’ approaches disappears; form and content become one. Another is the strong linkage between closure and historical explanation, something which has attracted interest from theorists of historiography; the choice of how and when to finish a historical work is intimately connected with its dominant interpretative strands. 2 There is, however, a natural danger in this sort of structural analysis. It can easily represent a Life as very predictable: the early chapters set up the thematic tramlines, and the rest of the Life runs smoothly forward along them. Yet there is clearly more than this to Plutarch’s technique: even in the most tightly-structured Lives one often finds arresting new insights crowding in towards the end of the Life, invitations to reassess what one has already read or heard. Flamininus, for instance, for most of its course develops a highly positive view of its hero, yet the final chapters dwell on the killing of Hannibal, something which is far more morally disquieting. There is no structural inconcinnity there; Flamininus’ distinctive filotimiva (‘ambition’), the Life’s principal controlling theme, is still at work, and there is considerable continuity with the earlier parts of the Life; but the reader would not 215 Return to Table of Contents

Christopher Pelling have predicted it would end like this. Elsewhere in this volume Timothy Duff has more to say about such judgemental surprises, the way in which a reader’s initial moral assumptions are disoriented and the text encourages continual reassessment and re-evaluation; my theme is more concerned with historical interpretation than moral evaluation, but has something in common with Duff’s approach. For in Caesar too this tightness of structure, with the familiarity of the central themes, coexists with an element of surprise, or at least unpredictability. The themes are developed in ways which the audience would not have expected, and the result is a powerfully thought-provoking conclusion. Evidently, this thesis must not be overstated. The audience know perfectly well that Caesar will become tyrant, and that he will be killed. Everyone knew that; and earlier in the Life references to ‘Brutus’ convey ironies which depend on the audience’s familiarity with the role he will play (46. 4, 57. 5; below, 225). This sort of ‘surprise’ is a subtler one, a question not of plot but of interpretation. Caesar is heading for tyranny; that is made clear from the Life’s early chapters. The audience would have various expectations of tyranny and a tyrant’s fate, drawn from different sources: from literary antecedents, from the earlier parts of Caesar, from its pair Alexander, from Plutarch’s own work elsewhere – Timoleon and Dion, for instance, both Lives which seem to belong to more or less the same stage of Plutarch’s production as Alexander and Caesar. Not all these suggestions would be quite identical, but most would point in the same direction. Tyrants do not prosper; in particular, tyrants destroy themselves. That is familiar from Herodotus, with the string of tyrants who reproduce similar selfdestructive courses of action, launching on campaigns where the risks are immeasurably greater than the potential gains; or more particularly from Plato, whose analysis in Republic 8–9 is often felt in the early chapters of Caesar, with the tyrant rising to power on a surge of popular support but then generating popular opposition by his ruthless egotism. A different type of self-destruction would be familiar to Plutarch’s audience from Alexander, the first Life of this pairing, where Alexander’s brilliance is compromised by his flaws, and we are presented with Plutarch’s clearest portrait of a self-destructive absolute ruler.3 It is one of Plutarch’s most regular and powerful insights that the same qualities build, then destroy, a person’s greatness: that is true of his Antony, his Demetrius, his Alcibiades, his Fabius, his Philopoemen, and many more. There was a clear way in which this insight could have been pursued here in this same self-destructive register. We could have been presented with a Caesar who, once tyrant, blindly pursues 216 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch on Caesar’s fall courses which are conditioned by the same ruthlessness and ambition which carried him to power – and who makes mistakes which turn out catastrophic, generating this classic tyrannical self-destruction. Such a portrait would have done Plato as well as Plutarch proud; such a portrait might seem to be where the Life is heading. One can trace similar analyses of Caesar’s fall in Suetonius (below, 218) and in Seneca: ‘what drove Caesar to his own fate, and that of the state? It was glory, it was ambition, it was pre-eminence without restraint…’ 4 And, indeed, we do find something of that here as well. Caesar’s ‘lust for kingship’, oJ th'" basileiva" e[rw", is explicitly a vital factor in stimulating the forces which are gathering against him (60. 1). That would seem to fit such an analysis perfectly, with the same old ambition now producing self-destructive excess and failure rather than glorious success. Still, rather less is made of this than we might have expected. The episodes which that phrase introduces are surprisingly enigmatic, even the Lupercalia episode, where it is anything but clear what Caesar is up to. On the whole those episodes tend to point the excesses of his friends rather than Caesar himself: of Antony, whose antics so embarrass Caesar at the Lupercalia (61–2); of Cornelius Balbus, who is the motive force behind a particularly disastrously humiliating gesture towards the senate, when Caesar fails to rise from his seat to receive them (60. 7).5 This reflects a more typical emphasis of these chapters: not so much Caesar’s mistakes, but much more the pressures of rule. This theme is emphasised at ch. 51. [On his return to Italy] Caesar was met by disapproval. That was partly because some of his soldiers had mutinied and killed two former praetors, Cosconius and Galba, but Caesar had ventured no harsher punishment than to call the men ‘citizens’ instead of ‘soldiers’; he had then given each of them a thousand drachmas, as well as parcelling out a large part of the Italian countryside in land-grants. Dolabella’s madness also started tongues wagging against Caesar, and so did Matius’ avarice; so too did Antony’s drunken excesses, and Corfinius’ ransacking and rebuilding of Pompey’s private house, as if it was not big enough already. The Romans did not like all this. Caesar himself knew what was going on, and it was against his will. But he had no choice. His political programme6 forced him to make use of the men who were willing to be his agents.

Notice the three elements: troops, friends, and popular reaction. These were precisely the three most important elements in building Caesar’s power. Now everything is turning sour, and Caesar can do nothing about it; he owes too much to his friends, just as he owes too much to his troops, and the political conditions leave him no choice but to indulge them; and the goodwill of the Roman people, crucial in 217 Return to Table of Contents

Christopher Pelling Plutarch’s analysis of Caesar’s rise,7 is consequently alienated. He has unleashed forces which are now beginning to threaten, rather than to bolster, his position. That is still a form of self-destruction, but it is one of a rather different and subtler type. It is not his present mistakes, but his past actions, which destroy Caesar. He is very alert to the danger, but, as we shall see, his very counter-measures turn out to fuel the flames which he is trying to quench. Caesar is trapped: trapped by his own past, by the forces he has himself fostered and nourished. The contrast with Suetonius makes the point clearer. Suetonius’ preparation of the assassination is not inartistic: the final ‘categories’ of his description move from rapport with his friends (72) to generosity to his enemies (74–5), culminating in his forgiveness to conspirators (75. 5); 8 we are left in no doubt that enemies and conspirators exist. As he moves from positive to negative qualities, Suetonius increasingly concentrates on the aspects which inspired unpopularity, inuidia (77): these include such remarks as Caesar’s claim that ‘the state is a mere bodiless, formless name’; ‘Sulla must have been illiterate to lay down his dictatorship’; ‘people need to take more thought before speaking to him, and to regard his words as law’. We can recognise the man who was earlier always quoting Euripides, ‘if you are going to commit wrong, do it for tyranny: otherwise, be just’ (30. 5, quoting Phoenissae 524–5 from Cic. de Off. 3. 82); or who boasted that ‘he had gained what he wanted against his groaning enemies’ will, and now he would dance on their heads’ (22. 2). The same qualities are still active now. This is the background against which Suetonius describes Caesar’s tactless behaviour as dictator. The incidents are much the same as in Plutarch: the failure to rise before the senate, the insulting behaviour to tribunes, the Lupercalia incident (78–9). But Suetonius leaves us in no doubt that these incidents are revealing of Caesar’s present arrogance, and the emphasis is quite different. Plutarch gives us a Caesar who is trapped by his past, who sees the dangers, who cannot do anything about it; Suetonius’ Caesar is much closer to the classically blind tyrant, insensitive to the offence which his present demeanour is causing. In Plutarch, then, we still see the same forces building and destroying Caesar’s greatness, but these forces go beyond Caesar’s own remarkable personality and character. They are forces as concerned with Rome as with Caesar, and they convey a powerful picture of the political forces at work. 9 This renders it an unusual and ambitious type of biography, but we should be used to Plutarch essaying unusual and ambitious Lives. The effect here partly depends on the way in which this historical analysis goes beyond what the audience might have been

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Plutarch on Caesar’s fall expecting, and provides something subtler; and that effect itself is reinforced by the strong thematic echoes of earlier sections of the Life, those sections which have played their part in creating those original audience expectations. II. The creation of expectation There are, indeed, many ways in which the early chapters of Caesar lay tracks which lead to the end. The text as we have it begins with a reference to ‘monarchy’, in this case Cinna’s monarchy, and we see the young Caesar establishing a marriage link with this particular ‘sole ruler’. True, the rest of the first chapter goes on to stress his opposition to the more famous ‘monarch’ Sulla, but it is noticeable that there is no hint that he is ideologically opposed to tyranny; Sulla simply sees that ‘there is many a Marius’ in this young man, and it is his ambition and his formidable qualities which old Sulla fears. So the qualities which Sulla already senses are precisely those which will finally carry Caesar to the power which Sulla himself now enjoys. Other themes in the early chapters leave us in no doubt where the Life is going to end. The third chapter discusses his rhetorical skills (2–4): The second place was unquestionably his, but he allowed the first to escape him; his attention was devoted to becoming first in armed strength. His campaigns and his politics won him dominion in the state, but robbed him of that first prize in eloquence for which he was naturally fitted. Later, in his reply to Cicero’s essay on Cato, he himself begged his readers not to compare his style with Cicero’s: he was the military man, Cicero the skilled orator, with natural talent and the time to cultivate it.

This is doubly interesting, not merely for the indication of where Caesar’s ambition and forcefulness will take him, but also for the contrast with Cicero. For Cicero will fulfill an important and suggestive role in the final chapters, when we shall hear a good deal more of that eloquence, especially as it emerges in several well-turned witticisms and barbs at Caesar’s expense. These, in their turn, will be important in pointing the factors which articulate Caesar’s fall. Caesar’s choice (‘his attention was devoted to becoming first in armed strength’) brought him that success and that dominion; but – though the theme is not yet developed – this eloquence which he neglected will play its part in destroying it. We soon hear more of the sources of that power, as chs. 4–6 go on to dwell on Caesar’s programme – in particular, the skill and assiduity with which he wooed the urban demos, who responded with the sort of enthusiasm which carried him on to tyranny. That process is itself 219 Return to Table of Contents

Christopher Pelling pointed by ajpofqevgmata, bons mots, that of Cicero in 4 (he could see the tyrannical ambition in all Caesar’s other plans and political ploys, ‘but when,’ he added, ‘I see that exaggerated hair-style, and the way he parts it with a single finger, I cannot bring myself to believe that this man would ever conceive anything so dreadful as the overthrow of the Roman constitution’) and of Catulus in 6 (‘you are no longer undermining the state, Caesar; you are assailing it with your siege-engines’). For the moment such gibes are ineffective; but they are already a sort of refrain, tracing the growth of this political power just as later they will trace its demise.10 One can follow such themes through the rest of the Life, seeing how the shadow of the coming tyranny falls more and more clearly over events (more clearly than in the parallel narratives in other Lives).11 The forces which carried him are characterized with increasing intensity, especially the support of the people, but also the devotion which he inspired in his troops and his friends – those friends who will play a more counterproductive and embarrassing role in his fall. Particular emphasis falls on those scenes which will have their counterparts or reverses at the end (‘mirror-scenes’): for instance, the moments when Caesar’s allies and supporters intimidate the senate by threatening to draw their swords or even fingering them (Pompey at 14. 4–6, the centurion at 29. 7). Swordplay and the senate should not mix, but on the Ides they will mix murderously. Similar emphasis is given to the scene when the senators contemptuously insult Caesar’s supporters (ch. 29), rather as Caesar will himself insult the senate at the end (60. 4–8); then to the humiliation of Caesar’s tribunes in the first days of 49 and its shattering consequences (31. 2–3), rather as Caesar himself will trigger his own fall by humiliating a new set of tribunes at 61. 1. We can also see how subtly Plutarch insinuates an ominous note even at the moments of success: Caesar’s dream, for instance, of intercourse with his mother, ‘the unspeakable union’, just before he crosses the Rubicon – an item Plutarch has apparently delayed by some twelve years to set in this particularly suggestive context (32. 9: cf. the different setting in Suet. Diu.Iul. 7. 2). The audience might well think of Hippias’ famous dream before Marathon (Hdt. 6. 107. 1), and what that portended for the hapless dreamer. III. The final scenes Let us move forward to those final scenes, and see how elaborately Plutarch develops the themes he has so carefully prepared. The Thapsus and Munda campaigns (52–4, 56) have a strongly closural air,

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Plutarch on Caesar’s fall as they reprise themes and episodes from the most critical moments of Caesar’s early campaigns, often with verbal echoes.12 Thus the chafing eagerness to cross to Africa (52. 2–3), ‘pitching his tent by the breaking surf’, brings back his audacious attempt to force his small boat through the breaking surf back to Italy, desperate to bring over the dawdling reinforcements for the Dyrrhachium campaign (38). The hardships and the improvised food (52. 4–5) recall another famous moment of that campaign (39. 2–3), and the same is true of his physical grabbing of a panicked standard-bearer (52. 9, cf. 39. 6–7); the speed and decisiveness of Caesar’s advance through difficult terrain (53. 2) are exactly what we became used to in the Gallic Wars (e.g. 26. 3–4). When we reach Munda, the account is ring-compositionally begun and ended with the word e[scato": this campaign brought Caesar into the ‘utmost’ or ‘ultimate’ danger (56. 1); this was the ‘ultimate’ or ‘final’ war that he fought (56. 7). That reflects the common narrative pattern whereby a protagonist’s peril is at its greatest just before sudden and total delivery (that is as old as the Odyssey); and it is marked by another bon mot, this time one of Caesar himself: ‘He had often fought to win, but never before for his life’, he said to his friends as he went away (56. 4). That may again remind us of what he said after the critical moment at Dyrrhachium: he said to his friends as he went away that today the enemy could have won if they had only had a winner to lead them (39. 8). The rhythm is a suggestive one, first at Dyrrhachium the struggles for victory, now those for survival; but the real fight for survival will await when Caesar returns to Rome. The closural flavour persists at the beginning of ch. 57: Still, the Romans bowed before the man’s fortune, and accepted his bridle. Thinking that monarchy could afford a respite from civil war and national calamities, they proclaimed him dictator for life. This was acknowledged tyranny: he already enjoyed a monarch’s unaccountability, and now he had a monarch’s permanence as well.

‘Acknowledged tyranny’, oJmologoumevnh turanniv": it is a tyranny that has been insistently signalled and prepared earlier in the Life, and now it is at last his, with that distinctive ‘unaccountability’ which so often figures in classical Greek analyses of tyranny. The phrase ‘acknowledged tyranny’ is a strong one, and Plato employs it in a forcefully closural context at the very end of Republic 8 (569b), summing up how the demos finds itself falling from the excessive and untimely freedom of democracy into the genuine slavery of an ‘acknowledged tyranny’. But here we are in no danger of regarding it as a genuine closure, however many of the Life’s threads may here be seeming to be finally 221 Return to Table of Contents

Christopher Pelling tied; there is a familiar tension between continuation and finality. In formal terms we know that a Life will continue to death, and anyway we are aware of a good deal of unfinished business. As for this acknowledged tyranny, ‘unaccountability’, to; ajnupeuvqunon, is one thing; ‘permanence’, to; ajkatavpauston, is quite another; and we are already familiar with several of the strands which will ensure that Caesar’s tyranny is anything but permanent, themes which will bring it to its end (katapauvein) all too soon. The most important of these strands centres on the level of his popular support. In ch. 51 we saw how the ‘political conditions’, or his ‘political programme’, forced him to indulge troops and friends in ways which provoked disapproval at Rome. This disapproval has by now been intensified by the way in which Caesar handled his final victories. As we saw, those victories echoed earlier campaigns, particularly Dyrrhachium and Pharsalia; but now there is a difference, for Caesar had insensitively celebrated a triumph over Pompey’s sons, the most distressing thing of all to the Romans. These were not foreign or barbarian generals he had defeated: Caesar had destroyed the sons and the entire family of the man who had been the greatest of the Romans, and who had fallen on misfortune…’ (56. 7–8).

Before he had always been discreet, celebrating his victories as if they were won over Rome’s enemies; now, for the first time, Caesar has misjudged the popular mood, and the triumphalism is out of place. This is unfinished business, indeed; all those forces which bore Caesar to success – troops, friends, popular enthusiasm – are beginning to turn against him. The continuation of ch. 57 is therefore all the more suggestive: The first honours were proposed to the senate by Cicero, and these at least had some sort of human restraint. But then others suggested more and more, and it became a sort of competition. The result was that they rendered the man offensive and loathsome even to the most mildmannered of observers, so extravagant and bizarre were the decrees. They say that Caesar’s enemies were no less active here than his flatterers; their aim was to collect as many grievances against him as they could, so that they would seem to have the best possible case for their attack. For Caesar himself offered no other grounds for criticism at all, now that the civil wars were over. It seems utterly natural that in gratitude for his moderation they decreed a temple to Clemency. He pardoned many of those who had fought against him, and even gave offices and honours to some, such as Brutus and Cassius. (Both men became praetors.) Nor did Caesar allow the statues of Pompey to remain lying on the ground; when he restored them, Cicero remarked that by raising up Pompey’s statues

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Plutarch on Caesar’s fall he had firmly fixed his own. His friends urged him to use a bodyguard and many offered their own services, but he would not allow it. Better to meet death once, he said, than to be always anticipating it. He put on popularity around himself as a sort of magic charm, regarding it as at once the fairest and the firmest protection – so once again he cultivated the people with banquets and doles, and the military with colonies. The most celebrated of these were Carthage and Corinth, two cities whose destinies were linked for a second time, now in their restoration as once in their fall.

Carthage and Corinth: that is an interesting way of ending the chapter, and an interesting selection of detail from what was evidently a much more extensive stock of material. The fates of Carthage and Corinth always tend to point reflective morals of human transience and fragility, and Caesar’s glory is coming to seem very fragile indeed. There are more basic points to make: first, the way in which this passage looks backwards, picking up themes from earlier in the Life. The Roman people had once been the ones who had encouraged him ‘not to bow to anybody. He had the people’s support; with it he would conquer everyone, and win the highest place of all’ (6. 7).13 At that time they had been the ones looking for ‘new offices and new honours with which to repay him’ (5. 9), a phrase which, at the expense of considerable anachronism, clearly prepares for these later themes. That was when Caesar was being the subtle one, knowing how to manipulate that popular support, and his opponents had been the ones who were helpless and bemused. Now the tables are turned, and it is the opponents who are looking for the new honours and playing the subtle, manipulative, popular game. Caesar is more alert to the danger now than they were then, but is equally helpless. That points to the way in which this chapter looks forwards too, to the threat which Caesar has to face. He is alert to it; he does what he can, in ways which are genuinely laudable (that famed ‘Clemency’), and in particular he reverts to the same old popular techniques at the end of the chapter – the banquets, the doles, and the colonies. Yet by now these have an air of desperation, and these too look both backwards and forwards – backwards to the time when such ploys built his power, forwards to the time when they serve no longer, for the popular goodwill is lost. The phrase ‘he put on popularity around himself as a sort of magic charm, regarding it as at once the fairest and the firmest protection’ is especially interesting. periballovmeno" treats this popularity as a sort of necklace or amulet, which will serve as a magical protection.14 But this too does not work, for the goodwill is no longer firmly based. Caesar’s neck goes on to figure suggestively in two 223 Return to Table of Contents

Christopher Pelling further places: once when he senses that unpopularity, tears the toga from his neck, and bids his enemies strike (60. 6); and then during the assassination itself, when the first assailant Tillius Cimber pulls Caesar’s toga from his neck as a sign, then the first blow strikes ‘by the throat’ (66. 6–7). The parallel account in Brutus speaks of the ‘shoulder’ rather than the ‘neck’ at both points, and ‘shoulder’ is what dominates in the non-Plutarchan tradition.15 Here the ‘neck’ is becoming a charged motif. One way or another, the forces against Caesar are gathering. Still, who are these ‘opponents’? By the equivalent point of Brutus we have already heard a good deal about Brutus and Cassius, with some delving into their own individual backgrounds and motives; but the counterpart of that material is delayed to a later point of Caesar (ch. 62), delayed indeed to a point where Caesar’s downfall already seems inevitable. This is a Life where the explanation for that downfall is sought in Caesar’s own decisions, policies, and actions, not in anything very specific to Brutus and Cassius. Thus for the moment these opponents are left vague; it is all a question of ‘theys’ – the unnamed e{teroi (‘others’) who launch the escalation of honours, the unnamed misou'nte" (‘haters’) whose ‘aim was to collect as many grievances against him as they could, so that they would have the best possible case for their attack’; and it is only later that the opposition is given more body and substance. The first named person is Cicero; true, he is not orchestrating this opposition or even particularly representative of it – his followers are the ones who do the real damage; but he is still the one who starts the movement, and his name serves as a significant marker for these damaging forces, just as it did in those early ‘refrains’. This emphasis on the damaging forces has a further aspect, one more relevant to Brutus and Cassius. These forces trap Caesar; there is a sense in which they trap Brutus and Cassius too, and Brutus in particular ends up as being as ensnared as Caesar himself. In Caesar, more clearly than in Brutus itself, the genuine reluctance of Brutus to be involved is emphasised: he is ‘blunted’ by Caesar’s gestures of favour and trust (62. 3). It is precisely the pressure of popular opinion that forces him on, as oiJ povlloi (‘the many’) turn to him (62. 1), and messages are left on his official tribunal, ‘you’re no true Brutus’, and ‘Brutus! You sleep’. One of the great themes of Shakespeare’s play is the curious symmetry of Caesar’s fate and that of Brutus, both trapped into playing an indispensable public role at odds with their true instincts and natures. Shakespeare goes some way beyond Plutarch, but the seeds of that portrayal are already germinating here, as the

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Plutarch on Caesar’s fall pressures of public life force each one of them, slayer and slain, to a role which he cannot evade. Not that Brutus and Cassius are absent from this chapter 57: ‘Caesar pardoned many of those who had fought against him, and even gave offices and honours to some, such as Brutus and Cassius. (Both men became praetors.)’ (57. 5). Just as on the battlefield of Pharsalia (46. 4), when Caesar is so relieved when Brutus is found, that reference relies on the audience’s general familiarity with the subsequent story; and several of the chapters in this part of the Life follow the same rhythm, with Caesar trying to counter the forces gathering against him, but only serving to lend them greater strength. Here he gives ajrca;" kai; timav" to Brutus and Cassius; the language picks up the emphasis on Caesar’s own ‘rule’ and ‘honours’ of the beginning of the chapter, as despite that personal pre-eminence Caesar tries to deflect unpopularity by giving some similar recognition to others. But of course it will not work: the favours simply give Brutus and Cassius a more effective power-base to deploy against their benefactor. Similarly, in the next chapter Caesar is anxious to win goodwill from the senators by promising consulships and other offices to many, mnhsteuovmeno" a[rcein eJkovntwn, ‘eager to rule over willing subjects’. But this too doesn’t work, and again the reason is crystallized in an apophthegma of Cicero: when Caninius Rebilus is made consul for a single day, ‘many people were making their way to greet and escort him; “Let’s hurry,” said Cicero, “or his consulship will be over” ’ (58. 3). (This was not in fact the best, or the best-known, bon mot of Cicero on the subject: better was his remark that ‘Caninius was so conscientious a consul that he never slept a wink in office’. But this one focusses more tellingly on the humbling plight of the courtier, and that points the resentment which is gathering.) Once the gibes of malicious opponents served as a sort of refrain, tracing the growth both of Caesar’s power and of the resentment it stimulated; now a similar refrain charts the way in which the same forces are gathering against him. The rhythm repeats itself in the next chapter, with the last plans and the reform of the calendar, enterprises which excite Plutarch’s genuine admiration – but again we end with yet another crystallizing Ciceronian apophthegma. Still, this too fuelled the grumbles of those who criticized Caesar and resented his power. That seems to be the point of the orator Cicero’s remark. Someone said that tomorrow the constellation Lyra would rise; ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘by decree’ – as if this too was an imposition which mortals had to accept.

As we move on to the killing itself, many related themes are brought 225 Return to Table of Contents

Christopher Pelling to the surface. When Caesar wishes to put off the senate-sitting, Decimus Brutus argues powerfully that this is simply not possible: The senators had already taken their seats; if anyone told them now to leave and reconvene on some day when Calpurnia’s dreams had improved, what would be said by those who envied him? Who would listen to his friends if they denied that this was tyranny and slavery?

The envious enemies, still, and the friends, the two groups whose actions had combined to create so hazardous an atmosphere. Caesar has no choice, the pressures of rule force him to attend.16 So Decimus leads him by the hand, a powerfully suggestive gesture, as the great man is forced to be the dependent follower (one is reminded of Heracles led away by Theseus at the end of Euripides’ play 17). As he makes his way towards and into the senate-house, he is notably accessible, with onlookers thrusting papers and petitions into his grasp, and the insidious senators clustering clamorously around. This is not the stage-tyrant of the Greek world, adopting remote inaccessibility as part of the trappings of office; this is still a man who is striving to obviate and counter the dangers of unpopularity. But once again his very efforts only make him more vulnerable: he is not able to read the vital paper with details of the plot, though it has been pressed into his hand; and the senators can crowd around him unsuspected until the moment of the first blow. IV. Natural and supernatural forces So far these forces gathering against Caesar are explicable in ‘human’, naturalistic terms. This is a question of the resentments of the powerful and the suspicions of the people, and these combine to give power to the conspirators’ cause. We have one last Ciceronian apophthegma to consider, the most interesting of them all, and one which moves us to a new level – that remark at 57.6 on the restoration of Pompey’s statues, ‘by raising up Pompey’s statues he had firmly fixed his own’. Once again this points a laudable and timely measure of Caesar, and once again it turns out only to fuel the forces which will bring him down – but this time it is a different, more enigmatic sort of force. It will be Pompey’s statue which will preside over the scene when Caesar is killed. That is the way the assassination account begins: All that [sc. the various ways in which the conspiracy came within an ace of discovery] might simply be the result of coincidence, but it is harder to explain the place where the senate had gathered on that day, the scene of the murder and the violence. For it had a statue of Pompey on the ground there, and the whole building had been dedicated by Pompey as

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Plutarch on Caesar’s fall one of the additional decorations to his theatre. That gave an indication that there was some heavenly power directing events and guiding the plot into action at this very spot…

And that is the way it ends: He fell by the pedestal on which Pompey’s statue had stood, perhaps by chance, perhaps dragged there by the assassins. It was drenched in streams of blood, so that it appeared that Pompey himself had presided over the vengeance inflicted on his enemy, lying there beneath his feet, still writhing convulsively from his many wounds…

Some aspects of this are potentially explicable in non-supernatural, human terms: it is conceivable, Plutarch acknowledges, that the conspirators dragged Caesar’s body to the base of the statue. But even that is not certain, as again Plutarch says; it might also have been chance, tuvch (and we have heard something of Caesar’s tuvch, ‘fortune’, as it bore him to success: cf. especially 38. 6). Some sort of supernatural involvement here is undeniable, as Plutarch insists as he leads into this chapter; other things might be coincidence, but not this; it is a genuine ‘indication that there was some heavenly power directing events and guiding the plot into action at this very spot…’18 When Caesar gave Cassius and Brutus honours and offices, he was feeding the forces which would destroy him in a very obvious and human way; when he raised Pompey’s statues, he may have been doing the same, but we are moving in a quite different register. And here too the closing chapters redirect the audience to view events in an arrestingly and subtly new way. True, there have already been some hints of the supernatural register in the Life and the pair: there were the omens which foretold Caesar’s death (63), omens which Shakespeare would find most useful for Julius Caesar; even Plutarch’s Caesar is a little disturbed. Yet he is still inclined to minimize them. What he finds unsettling is Calpurnia’s reaction rather than the omens themselves (63. 11), and it is a point about people rather than about the firmament. Most of the emphasis up to this point has rested firmly on that human level which we have seen, the political forces which had built Caesar up and were now to destroy him. Those forces had centred on the role of both ‘friends’ and ‘enemies’, but they were human friends and human enemies. This sudden emphasis on the supernatural level is something new. In the sequel, too, we at first revert to the human violence and human passions – the outburst of that popular fury which Caesar was unable to harness while alive and which becomes uncontrollable after his death. It finds its first victim in the luckless poet Cinna, one of Caesar’s ‘friends’ who is mistaken by the mob for one of his ‘enemies’, 227 Return to Table of Contents

Christopher Pelling the tribune who was involved in the assassination. But here too there is a hint of something more than human. Cinna ventures into public because, suffering from a fever, he had a dream of Caesar himself, bidding him follow and leading him by the hand – exactly as Decimus Brutus had led Caesar himself by the hand to his death. Events are repeating themselves in a way that does not seem coincidental, and Caesar’s own fate is re-enacted, first by a ‘friend’, and then by his ‘enemies’ Brutus and Cassius, as the memorable last chapter of the book traces their ends. And by now the supernatural level is even clearer: His great guardian spirit, which had watched over him in life, continued to avenge his murder, pursuing and tracking his killers over every land and sea, until not one remained, but everyone had been punished who had any contact with the killing in thought or in execution… (69. 2)

That great guardian spirit produced an even more remarkable set of omens; it also issued in that miraculous favsma (‘apparition’) which appeared twice to Brutus, and led him too to the death which awaited, the death which is described in the Life’s final words. Then, and only then, is Caesar’s story concluded. This powerful supernatural level is something new, not merely in Caesar, but in the pair. Despite the absence of a formal comparative epilogue in this pairing, it is arguable that the comparative technique is fundamental, and particularly relevant to the two Lives’ closing chapters.19 In Alexander one theme is continuous from beginning to end, Alexander’s divine aspirations. The end of Alexander has been lost, but we arguably now have a fragment from it:20 Levgetai de; wJ" gnou;" h[dh ejkleivpein aujtw'i to; biwvsimon hjboulhvqh ej" to;n Eujfravthn katapontw'sai laqrhdo;n eJautovn, i{na genovmeno" ajfanh;" paravschi dovxan wJ" eij" qeou;" metelhvluqen, ejx ejkeivnwn genovmeno", hJ de; JRwxavnh tou'to gnou'sa ei\rgen aujtw'i to; ejgceivrhma, oJ de; met∆ oijmwgh'" e[fh wJ" ∆Efqovnhsa", a[ra, guvnai, moi dovxh" tou' qewqh'nai kai; mh; qanei'n. It is said that, as Alexander realised his life was departing, he wanted to drown himself secretly in the Euphrates: his object was to disappear and leave behind the story that he had now returned to the gods, just as he had come from them. But Roxane realized what was in his mind, so they say, and stopped the plan; Alexander said to her with a groan, ‘So you envied me, wife, the fame of apotheosis and immortality.’

The passage expressly recalls the beginning of the Life – ‘he had now returned to the gods, just as he had come from them’. That is the ‘story’ which Alexander now wants to ‘leave behind him’ – but Plutarch’s early narrative had left a different impression. Chs. 2–3 raised the possibility

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Plutarch on Caesar’s fall of divine birth, but the end of each section was there rationalistic and deflating. Plutarch discussed whether Olympias had been visited by a snake; he aired several possibilities, but gave most emphasis to the most rationalistic, the version that Olympias simply practised cultic snake-handling. He also included the story that Olympias confided a divine secret to Alexander, but again ended with an alternative and less supernatural version, with Olympias bursting out, ‘won’t Alexander stop slandering me before Hera?’ The Life includes other Hammon material as well, but Plutarch remains largely detached and non-committal. The new fragment fits perfectly. Alexander is pathetically foiled, and the divine aspirations are deflated yet again, here by his wife as initially by his mother. The contrast with the end of the Caesar is clear. Most of the second Life has indeed remained on the non-supernatural level. Caesar has been a very no-nonsense sort of figure, and we saw how he played down the importance of the omens; there are no divine aspirations here. But the new direction of the end suggests that there is something more to it as well, something supernatural, however much Caesar had tried to play it down. Alexander may have aspired to play a divine game, but it is Caesar who ultimately plays it. I do not suggest that there is a crude or straightforward conclusion to draw from this. It is surely not that ‘the divine ultimately took more thought for Caesar, so Caesar must have been greater than Alexander’, even though Plutarch is more inclined than we are to phrase questions in this ‘who is the greater?’ mode. It may even be that the final intrusion of the supernatural is a sort of commentary on the whole pair. However much anyone – Olympias, Roxane, Plutarch himself, Caesar – tries to evade a divine involvement, there will still be some supernatural accompaniment and concern with events as momentous as these, and men so great. But there is no need to pin down the suggestions in that way either. We can surely leave the end as it is, open and thought-provoking; and – to conclude on the theme with which we began – it is all the more thought-provoking because of Plutarch’s capacity not merely to continue the themes which he has earlier prepared, but to develop them at the end in ways which open new perspectives, inviting us to reassess all that we have already heard. University College, Oxford

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Christopher Pelling Notes 1

A shorter version of this paper was delivered at the IV Simposio Español sobre Plutarco, held in Salamanca in May 1994, and will be appearing in the Proceedings of that conference; other versions were given in Dublin and at seminars in London (January 1995) and in Cambridge (May 1995). I am most grateful to all these audiences, Spanish, Irish, and British, for generous hearings and interesting discussion. My final pages on synkrisis approach, from a different angle, some questions I address in a paper to be published in Classical Closure: Endings in Ancient Literature, ed. by F. Dunn, D. Fowler, and D. Roberts (Princeton); I have tried to reduce the overlap to the minimum, but some duplication of material has been unavoidable, and I apologise for it. 2 Cf. e.g. L.O. Mink, Historical Understanding (Ithaca, 1987), 42–60, 136–7, 197. 3 Plato’s tyrant: esp. Republic 8. 562a–569b, together with the corresponding section on the turanniko;" ajnhvr , ‘the tyrannical man’, 9. 571a–580a. Alexander as a study in self-destruction: J.M. Mossman, JHS 108 (1988), 83–93, reprinted in B. Scardigli, Essays on Plutarch’s Lives (Oxford, 1995), 209–28. Note especially her comparison of Alex. and Caes. at 92 (226): ‘for Plutarch, external factors destroyed Caesar, whereas internal forces worked on Alexander ...’ 4 ‘Quid C. Caesarem in sua fata pariter ac publica immisit? gloria et ambitio et nullus supra ceteros eminendi modus...’, Epist. 94. 65: cf. M. Griffin, Seneca: a philosopher in politics (Oxford, 1976), 184–8. 5 An episode which those sympathetic to Caesar found particularly difficult to explain. Notice in particular Nic. Dam. FGrH 90 F 130. 79, Caesar was distracted by his conversation as the magistrates approached, but then paid full attention; Dio 44. 8. 3, supporters explained that he was suffering from diarrhoea, and a sudden movement might be unfortunate. (Dio is sceptical.) 6 The phrase is th;n uJpovqesin th'" politeiva". Plutarch’s usage elsewhere suggests that uJpovqesi" probably means the ‘principle’ or ‘aim’ of his politeiva (‘political line’): cf. especially Lyc. 31. 2, Ag.–Cl. 2. 7, Arat. 43. 2. But Arist. 25. 2 suggests that ‘political conditions’ or ‘needs of the state’ is also possible: Aristides was said by Theophrastus to have done many questionable things pro;" th;n uJpovqesin th'" patrivdo", wJ" sucnh'" kai; ajdikiva" deomevnhn. Either way, Plutarch is here stressing how Caesar’s position forced his hand. 7 Demos supporting Caesar earlier in the Life: cf. esp. 4. 4–5, 4. 8, 5. 3, 5. 8– 9, 6. 9; subtle touches at 20. 2, 21. 2, 21. 8–9, 23. 7. Popular reactions emphasised in closing chapters: 60. 3, 60. 5, 61. 6, 61. 9–62. 1. I discussed this theme in JHS 99 (1979), 78–9 (= Scardigli [*n.3], 272–7), where I compared the treatment in Brutus and argued that Plutarch had reworked his sourcematerial in Caesar to emphasise this theme. For the implied picture of Roman politics cf. Pelling, in Past Perspectives (ed. I.S. Moxon, J.D. Smart, and A.J. Woodman, Cambridge 1986), 159–87 (= Scardigli [*n.3], 319–56), and L. de Blois, ANRW ii. 33. 6 (1992), 4568–615. 8 Some aspects of this smoothness of technique are brought out by W. Steidle, Sueton und die antike Biographie (München, 1951), 56–8. 9 The treatment is surely perceptive as well as subtle. Compare, for instance, the way in which Cicero’s letters of late 46 emphasise Caesar’s

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Plutarch on Caesar’s fall uncomfortable obligations to his friends: Fam. 19. 17. 2 (195 SB), 12. 18. 2 (205 SB), 4. 19. 3 (231 SB). Matius’ story of Att. 14. 1–2 (355–6 SB) – Caesar disconcerted to find Cicero having to wait on his pleasure, and commenting that even so easygoing a man must surely now hate him – is also suggestive. 10 In the proem to this pair Plutarch famously comments that ‘a small thing, a word or a jest’ can often illuminate character more tellingly than battles where thousands die, or the greatest military engagements, or the sieges of cities (Alex. 1. 2). That prepares Caesar’s own revealing bons mots (such as 10. 9, 11. 4–6, 32. 8, 35. 7–10, 38. 5, 46. 1, 54. 2); but his story remains distinctively one of battles, fighting, and sieges. It is these words and jests of others which prove even more suggestive in charting the Life’s major themes. As so often, a proem is very much a first bid in sketching how a work will proceed; the narrative itself can expand the proem’s ideas and develop them in a significantly different key. 11 Cf. JHS 100 (1980), 136–7 (= Scardigli [*n.3], 145–7). Other important early passages are 5. 8–9, 6. 3, 6. 9. Later cf. 29. 5, fear of monarciva; 30. 1, 35. 6–11. 12 For such recall of past themes and language as a closural feature cf. esp. Barbara Herrnstein Smith, Poetic Closure (Chicago and London, 1968), index s.v. ‘repetition’. 13 This is triggered by the display of the Marian imagines: in the first of the opponents’ apophthegmata Sulla had feared that there would be ‘many a Marius’ in the young Caesar (1. 4), and in chs. 5–6 Plutarch traces the steps whereby Caesar emerges as a more adept and menacing equivalent of his symbolic predecessor. The Marius theme re-emerges in the account of the Gallic War (19. 4). 14 Cf. P.A. Stadter, A commentary on Plutarch’s Pericles (Chapel Hill and London, 1989), 343–4 (note on Per. 38. 2). 15 Caes. 66. 6, Cimber drags the toga ajpo; tou' trachvlou; 66. 7. Casca strikes para; to;n aujcevna. Contrast Brut. 17. 4, ejk tw'n w[mwn (Cimber)…para; to;n w\mon (Casca). Non-Plutarchan tradition: Suet. Div.Iul. 82. 1 has ab utroque umero (Cimber), but then paulum infra iugulum (Casca). Dio 44. 19. 4 has the toga dragged ajpo; tou' w[mou. Nic. Dam. FGrH 90 F 130. 89 has Casca strike kata; to;n ajristero;n w\mon…mikro;n uJpe;r th;n klei'n. Appian however does have Cimber pulling away the toga ejpi; to;n travchlon, and Casca striking ejpi; th;n sfaghvn (‘the throat’, presumably as Cimber has exposed it), B.C. 2. 117. 491; it is conceivable that Appian is himself influenced by Plutarch’s account, here as elsewhere (e.g. B.C. 2. 14. 51 and 2. 27. 106, cf. Caes. 14. 8 and 30. 2): cf. E. Gabba, Appiano e la storia delle guerre civili (Firenze, 1956), 225–8 and Rend.Acc.Lincei (1957), 340; Pelling, Miscellanea Plutarchea (Ferrara, 1986), 84; R. Fehrle, Cato Uticensis (Darmstadt, 1983), 29–32. 16 Contrast the arguments used by Dio’s Decimus, 44. 18. 2: he said that the senate were ‘exceedingly eager to see him’. That fits Dio’s Caesar, who has been so ‘inflated’ (fushvsante" 44. 3. 1) by the senate’s flatteries as to believe that they were genuine: cf. 44. 7. 4. Plutarch’s Decimus needs to be subtler. 17 The intertextuality may well be significant: cf. the similar play with the Heracles at Ant. 62. 1, with my commentary (Cambridge, 1988) ad loc.

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Cf. J.M. Mossman, in Georgica (ed. M.A. Flower and M. Toher, BICS Supp. 58, 1991), 117–8. 19 In my paper in Classical Closure (*n.1) I argue that this subtle underlying synkrisis may explain the absence of a formal synkritic epilogue. 20 Along with a fragment from the lost beginning of Caesar: both come from Zonaras, this one from Zonaras 4. 14. p. 304. I argued for Plutarchan provenance in CQ n.s. 23 (1973) 343–4. 18

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This essay is provoked, as its title implies, by a reading of Francis Fukuyama’s recent controversial work, The End of History.1 It was also stimulated by my attendance at the June 1993 conference of the International Plutarch Society in Siena, on the topic of ‘Plutarch on the Theory and Practice of History’, a subject on which I did not really think I had very much to say, but which turned out in the event to call forth various reflections. As anyone who has read Fukuyama’s book (or who has even paid some attention to the controversy surrounding it) will know, he is advancing the theory that, in the wake of the inexorable triumph throughout the world of the idea and practice of liberal democracy, ‘History’ (in what one might term the German sense) has ‘come to an end’, in the sense that we need not any longer expect to witness the cyclical, or dialectical, progression of different types of society, warring against each other and with themselves, in their advance towards some universal goal, whether Hegelian, Marxist or other. Fukuyama turns back, triumphantly, from the Marxist version of the theory, which he sees as now entirely discredited, to what he sees as the Hegelian one, according to which ‘history’ came to an end after Napoleon’s victory over the Prussians at the Battle of Jena in 1806, when it seemed to Hegel that the concept of liberal rationalism had triumphed. This might seem thoroughly absurd now (though Alexandre Kojève, in his lectures in Paris in the 1930s, was still, it seems, inclined to maintain that Hegel in some significant sense was right2), and it may be that even by the time this is published events may already have begun to make Fukuyama’s theory look equally silly, but for the purpose of the present investigation that, fortunately, does not much matter. What I am interested in is the state of mind evinced by both Hegel and Fukuyama, as it seems to be one that manifests itself also, albeit not so explicitly, in Plutarch. First, however, a quotation from Fukuyama (p. 51): 233 Return to Table of Contents

John Dillon The question of whether there is such a thing as a Universal History of mankind that takes into account the experiences of all times and all peoples is not new; it is in fact a very old one which recent events compel us to raise anew. From the beginning, the most serious and systematic attempts to write Universal Histories saw the central issue in history as the development of Freedom. History was not a blind concatenation of events, but a meaningful whole in which human ideas concerning the nature of a just political and social order developed and played themselves out. And if we are now at a point where we cannot imagine a world substantially different from our own, in which there is no apparent and obvious way in which the future will represent a fundamental improvement over our current order, then we must also take into account the possibility that History itself might be at an end.

It is mainly the last part of this passage which, I believe, is of relevance to Plutarch, but it is arguable that, to some extent, all of it is. Plutarch did indeed have a concept of historical development, of History with a capital H. As the heir to the whole of Classical and Hellenistic Greek culture he could hardly have avoided this. It may seem absurd to suggest that he would have seen ‘the central issue in history as the development of Freedom’, but I am not sure that even this suggestion does not have some validity. We know, after all, that for Plutarch, monarchy is the best constitution. There is a nice passage illustrating this at the end of the little sketch or fragment On Monarchy, Oligarchy and Democracy (827BC),3 where he is saying that the accomplished statesman, like a first-rate musician, will be able to make the best of any of the three basic constitutions that he is given to work on: But if he is given the choice among governments, like so many tools, he would follow Plato’s advice and choose no other than monarchy, the only one which is able to sustain that top note of virtue, high in the highest sense, and never let it be tuned down under compulsion or expediency. For the other forms of government in a certain sense, although controlled by the statesman, control him, and although carried along by him, carry him along, since he has no firmly established strength to oppose those from whom his strength is derived, but is often compelled to exclaim in the words of Aeschylus which Demetrius the City-Stormer employed against Fortune after he had lost his hegemony: ‘Thou fan’st my flame, methinks thou burn’st me up’ [trans. Fowler].

This, of course, is a praise of monarchy as conferring freedom upon the monarch, but I think it is fair to say that Plutarch felt also that good monarchy, as opposed to tyranny, conferred true freedom also upon its subjects, and that the world-monarchy of the Roman Empire conferred this freedom upon the whole civilized world.4 Certainly he held that the monarch is the image (eikoµn) of God on earth, and that he is 234 Return to Table of Contents

Plutarch and the end of history God’s agent in the administration of men (Ad princ. inerud. 780DE), and in obedience to God there lies true freedom, so that it seems safe to assert that for Plutarch the Roman principate constituted the ultimately rational form of government. We find a most significant passage on this question near the end of the dialogue On the Oracles at Delphi (408BC), in connection with the circumstance that the priestess no longer delivers her responses in verse. The explanation given by Plutarch’s spokesman Theon is that there are no issues now coming before the Oracle of sufficient weight to merit a reply in hexameters. He also adds some comments of a most revealing nature about his attitude, which is presumably that of Plutarch, to the current world order: For my part, I am well content with the conditions prevailing at present, and I find them very welcome, and the questions which men now put to the god are concerned with these conditions. There is in fact profound peace and tranquillity; war has ceased, there are no wanderings of peoples, no civil strifes, no despotisms nor other maladies and ills in Greece requiring special or elaborate remedies.

In other words, history, in the form in which Plutarch has dealt with it in his Lives, and which serves as such a copious source of exempla in his Moral Essays also, is at an end, and he welcomes that. It pleases him to record that the only sort of questions that the priestess gets now from individuals are such as ‘Should I marry?’, ‘Should I undertake a voyage?’, or ‘Should I make a loan?’; and from states, queries concerning the yield from crops, the increase of herds, and issues of public health. The same attitude comes through very strongly in the essay on Precepts of Statecraft (824CD), composed in about 100 AD, shortly after the death of Domitian, where Plutarch breaks off from his advice that a statesman should strive above all to prevent the causes of stasis from arising in the state to remark: For observe that of the greatest blessings which states can enjoy – peace, freedom, plenty, abundance of men, and concord – so far as peace is concerned the peoples have no need of statesmanship at present; for all war, both Greek and foreign, has been banished from among us and has disappeared; and of freedom the peoples have as great a share as our rulers grant them, and perhaps more would not be better for them; but bounteous productiveness of the soil, kindly tempering of the seasons, that wives may bear ‘children like to their sires’ [Hesiod, Works and Days 233], and that the offspring may live in safety – these things the wise man will ask the gods in his prayers to grant his fellow-citizens [trans. Fowler, slightly adapted].

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John Dillon Plutarch’s view is, then, that peace and freedom are now taken care of, and the statesman may address himself to more properly economic issues. ‘Freedom’ (eleutheria), as we know, takes on rather different meanings in later antiquity from what it would have meant in Classical Greece, but we can see from a passage like this how, from the point of view of a provincial aristocrat, or even an haut bourgeois, if we may thus characterize Plutarch, the Roman imperial regime might well seem to confer upon the peoples ‘as much freedom as is good for them’. His enthusiasm for the Roman imperial regime is carried a stage further (though the essay concerned may well be much earlier than either De Pyth. orac. or Praec. ger.) in his remarks at the beginning of his rather hyperbolic encomium of Rome in the epideictic oration De Fortuna Romanorum.5 He begins this by raising the question whether virtue or fortune may be deemed to have the greater role in the creation of the Roman Empire, and this in turn leads him on to a most interesting and significant speculation, drawn from his version of Platonist philosophy. He chooses to view the Empire as a natural growth, analogous to the cosmos itself, which has come together either by accident or design – depending on whether one is an Atomist or a Platonist. Plutarch himself, of course, is a Platonist, but, within Platonism, he holds to the view that the Timaeus account is to be taken literally, and that the world had a beginning in time.6 This is of crucial importance for the comparison he wants to make, since in the sphere of human affairs, as he argues, what is observable is initially (and for most of human history hitherto) a chaotic jumble of political entities constantly bumping up against each other, destroying and being destroyed in turn, constantly changing their conformations, very like Democritean atoms or the traces of the elementary bodies in the Receptacle before having form imposed upon them by the Demiurge. In this scenario, the Roman Empire becomes analogous to the orderly cosmos, which, now that it has been established, will continue, by the will of God, to subsist forever.7 The passage is worth, I think, quoting in full (316E ff.):8 I believe myself to be right in suspecting that, even if Fortune and Virtue are engaged in a direct and continual strife and discord with each other, yet, at least for such a welding together of dominion and power, it is likely that they suspended hostilities and joined forces; and by joining they cooperated in completing the most beautiful of human works. And even as Plato9 asserts that the entire universe arose from fire and earth as the first and necessary elements, that it might become visible and tangible, earth contributing to it weight and stability, and fire contributing colour, form and movement; but the median elements, water and air, by

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Plutarch and the end of history softening and quenching the dissimilarity of both extremes, united them and brought about the composite nature of matter through them; in this way, then, in my opinion, did Time lay the foundation of the Roman State and, with the help of God, so combine and join together Fortune and Virtue that, by taking the peculiar qualities of each, he might construct for all mankind a hearth, in truth both holy and beneficent,10 a steadfast ‘cable’, a principle abiding forever, ‘an anchorage from the swell and drift’, as Democritus says, 11 amid the shifting conditions of human affairs.

It is interesting that Democritus should be brought in here, since he is in fact the great enemy, hovering in the background of the Timaeus, never mentioned, but constantly being argued against. However, Plutarch is concerned here to wed Fortune to Virtue (or Divine Providence), and Democritus is adduced as the representative of the former. Having thus introduced him, however, as the author of a striking turn of phrase, Plutarch continues (317A): For even as the physicists 12 assert that the world was in ancient times not a world nor were the atoms willing to coalesce and mix together and bestow a universal form upon Nature, but, since the atoms, which were yet small and were being borne hither and thither, kept eluding and escaping incorporation and entanglement, and the larger, close-compacted were already engaging in terrific struggles and confusion among themselves, there was pitching and tossing, and all things were full of destruction and drift and wreckage until such time as the earth, by acquiring magnitude from the union of the wandering atoms, somehow came to be permanently abiding herself, and provided a permanent abode in herself and round about herself for the other elements; even so, while the mightiest powers and dominions among men were being driven about as Fortune willed, and were continuing to collide with one another because no one held the supreme power, but all wished to hold it, the continuous movement, drift, and change of all peoples remained without remedy, until such time as Rome acquired strength and growth, and had attached to herself not only the nations and peoples within her own borders, but also royal dominions of foreign powers beyond the seas, and thus the affairs of this vast empire gained stability and security, since the supreme government, which never knew reverse, was brought within an orderly and single cycle of peace; for though Virtue in every form was inborn in those who contrived these things, yet great Good Fortune was also joined therewith, as it will be possible to demonstrate as the discourse proceeds.

What we have here is a remarkable blending of a description of the random activity of Democritean atoms with that of the ultimate purposiveness of the world as brought to order by the Demiurge in Plato’s Timaeus. As transferred to the political plane, what we are presented with is a picture of the disconnected existences and random 237 Return to Table of Contents

John Dillon clashing of states before Rome (through the providence of God) came on the scene, followed by the formation of an initial focus of order, which grows by progressively attaching more and more ‘atoms’ to itself, until the great bulk of the universe is reduced to order, and the random element (represented in this image by the client kingdoms on the fringes of the empire) is, if not entirely eliminated, at least reduced to impotence. The significance of this for Plutarch’s political philosophy seems to me very considerable. If we bear in mind that what is being presented to us is the ordered world of the Timaeus (in Plutarch’s interpretation), which, although it has a beginning in time, and is preceded by a period of random disorder, once brought to order will never be allowed by God to disintegrate (cf. Tim. 41AB), then we must, I think, conclude that Plutarch has arrived at a theory very like the Hegelian one of the ‘end of history’ recently revived by Fukuyama.13 I have not gone into the interesting question of how widespread such a view as Plutarch’s was at the turn of the first century and later.14 It is true that in such authorities as, for example, Pliny on the Roman side (in his Panegyricus) and Aelius Aristides on the Greek side (in his speech On Rome) one may find many of the same sentiments expressed as those aired here and elsewhere by Plutarch, 15 but no one else, I think, has provided the same degree of philosophical underpinning for his position as we find set out in the De Fortuna Romanorum. Hyperbolic though it undoubtedly is, it yet seems to embody an important contribution to the political theory of later antiquity.16 Trinity College, Dublin

Notes The End of History and the Last Man, New York: Free Press, 1992. I have derived much benefit in composing this from previous discussions of Plutarch’s attitude to the Roman Empire, since that topic is closely allied to my present one, and in particular from R.H. Barrow’s remarks in ch. 10 (‘Plutarch and the Roman Empire’) of his Plutarch and His Times (Bloomington and London, 1969). Other useful discussions of this general theme are C.P. Jones, Plutarch and Rome (Oxford, 1971); G.J.D. Aalders, Plutarch’s Political Thought (Amsterdam: North-Holland Publ. Co., 1982), and A. Barigazzi, ‘Plutarco e il corso futuro della storia’, Prometheus X (1984), 264–86. Aalders, however, is moved to remark (p. 60) that ‘one searches Plutarch in vain for a historical vision.’ As will be seen, I venture to disagree with this. As for Barigazzi, though he actually quotes the key passage with which I shall be dealing (De Fort. Rom. 316F, p. 269), he is more concerned with Plutarch’s 1

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Plutarch and the end of history vision of the future (viz. man’s progressive perfectibility through the application of philosophical principles to political life) than with his view of the age in which he lives. This, however, must not be taken to impugn the value of his discussion. I am most grateful to Christopher Pelling for bringing these latter two texts to my attention. 2 Fukuyama, p. 66 f. 3 I must say that the style of this sounds thoroughly Plutarchan to me. I can see no serious reason to deny his authorship of it. 4 Cf. Praec. ger. 824C (quoted below): ‘of liberty the peoples have as great a share as our rulers grant them, and perhaps more would not be better for them’. 5 Editors have puzzled over the dating of this, since, while it seems to exhibit a certain youthful exuberance, it nevertheless shows evidence of wide reading in Roman historical sources. It cannot, therefore, be too early a work. It has been suggested (by J.J. Hartmann, de Plutarchi scriptis et philosophia, Leiden 1916) that it was composed for delivery to a Roman audience on the occasion of Plutarch’s first visit to the City in 67 AD, but he was still very young then. A more probable occasion would be his later visit in c. 78. 6 In this he was at odds with most of his predecessors and contemporaries, and with all subsequent Platonists, for whom his position (shared by the later second-century Platonist Atticus) became a notorious ‘heresy’. Cf. Dillon, The Middle Platonists, Duckworth 1977, pp. 206–8. 7 This analogy, incidentally, would give Augustus a position very similar to the Platonic Demiurge, though I am not aware that Plutarch explicitly made the comparison. 8 I borrow Babbitt’s Loeb translation (Plutarch’s Moralia Vol. IV, Harvard and London, 1936). 9 sc. in the Timaeus, 31B–32B, where, however, Plato does not specify the qualities contributed by the four elements, except to attribute visibility to fire and solidity to earth. All the rest Plutarch has picked up from the scholastic tradition. 10 The word here used is ajnhsidwvra, an epithet of Gaia and Demeter. 11 68B 148D–K, also quoted by Plutarch at De amor. prol. 495E, where it becomes plain that Democritus is talking about the umbilical cord. 12 In the present context, necessarily the Atomists. 13 We may note that, in the early part of the first century, the Jewish philosopher Philo of Alexandria presents an interestingly different view of history as the endless ‘dance of the Logos’ (Quod Deus 176), with the implication that there will be no end to the rise and fall of empires, and that the Romans too (though Philo does not care to say so directly) will get their comeuppance in due time. 14 The idea that Roman rule is a kind of culmination of all previous political arrangements had been widespread since at least the early Empire. For the evidence see F. Klingner, ‘Rom als Idee’, Die Antike 3 (1927), 17–34, and W. Schubart, ‘Das Gesetz und der Kaiser in griechischen Urkunden’, Klio 30 (1937), 54–69. Schubart produces much interesting evidence from papyri and inscriptions of the Emperor being portrayed as a quasi-divine benefactor of

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John Dillon the human race, and even as the Agathos Daimon, which would provide a background for an identification of him with the Demiurge such as Plutarch seems to be adumbrating. 15 James H. Oliver, in the introduction to his edition of Aristides’ Roman Oration, The Ruling Power, Philadelphia 1953 (Trans. Am. Philos. Soc. 43, 4), while presenting much useful evidence, is much too optimistic in his identification of Plato’s Timaeus and his portrayal of the demiurgic ordering of the cosmos as an influence on Aristides. Even in the closing portion of the oration (ss. 92–107), there is very little explicit influence of the Timaeus. Oliver’s remarks are in fact far more applicable to Plutarch. 16 I have benefited much, since the first presentation of the paper, from conversation and correspondence with Dr Simon Swain, who has provided various useful references and ideas; I derived particular benefit from his article ‘Plutarch’s De Fortuna Romanorum’, CQ 39 (1989), 504–16.

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Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon 1.1, 133

Euripides, Ba. 203, 100; HF 1263, 101; Pho. 524–5, 218; fr. 663, 107

Aeschines, Against Ctesiphon 16, 48–9 Anthologia Graeca 2.1.6, 133 Apollodorus of Damascus, On siege engines, preface, 9–11 Appian, Civil Wars 4.136.574, 160; Mithridatic Wars 38–9, 182 Aristotle, Poetics 1450b, 198; Problems 30.1, 953a10–32, 178 Aulus Gellius, NA 12.1.20, 63; 12.5.5, 54–5

Flavius Philostratus, Heroicus 45.3, 133 Galen, On the best instruction 40, 19– 20; 41, 20; 43–4, 19; 48–51, 21; 51, 20, 22; 52, 22, 23 ‘Heraclitus’, Homeric Questions 31, 102 Herodotus, 3.50, 126; 3.80.5, 127; 6.107.1, 220 Hesiod, Works and Days 233, 235 Homer, Iliad 6.506–11, 180; 15.263–8, 180; 15.341, 195; Odyssey 19.40 ff., 107 Livy 1.55.5, 197; epit. 81, 182 ‘Longinus’, On the Sublime 15, 104

Cassius Dio 45.17.8, 160; 47.49.3, 160 Cicero, Acad. 1.45, 43; 2.60, 43; 2.132–3, 43; Ad Att. 13.6.3, 158; 14.13a, 149; 15.26.1, 150; Ad Brut. 1.4, 148, 157; 1.4a, 148, 152–3; 1.9, 160; 1.12, 153; 1.15, 153, 157, 159; 1.16, 141–2, 148– 61; 1.17, 141–2, 148–61; Ad fam. 10.24.5, 155; De fin. 2.2, 45; 3.41, 46; 4.78, 46, 48; De off. 3.82, 218; Phil. 2.28, 158; 2.31, 157; 10.16, 157; 13.24–5, 156; Pro Murena 51, 196–7 Cornelius Nepos, Atticus 8.3–4, 158

Macrobius, Saturnalia 2.4.8, 189–90 Martial 1.42, 160 Moschus 2.113, 133; 2.117, 133 Nicolaus of Damascus, FGrH 99 F 99, 144, 159, 160 Numenius fr. 24, 55; fr. 25, 55 Oppian, Halieutica 2.107–19, 176

Demetrius, On Style 227, 141 Diodorus Siculus 20.17.5, 171 Diogenes Laertius, 1.40–4, 121, 123; 3.81, 103; 9.61, 3 Dionysius of Halicarnassus 1.48.3, 197

Pindar, Isthmian 4.45–7, 176 Plato, Laws 780e, 125; Phaedr. 244a ff., 103; 253c ff., 193–4; 264c, 198; Prt. 321, 60; 343a ff., 121, 123; Rep. 491e, 61; 569b, 221; Symp. 178b, 101; 192d, 130– 1; Tim. 26c, 104; 41a–b, 238; 86a ff., 103–4

Epictetus, Dissertation, 1.27, 25; 2.20, 25–8

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Index of Passages Plutarch, Lives Aem. 1.1–5, 169; Ages. 1.2–3, 180; 37.11, 179; Agis/Cleomenes 2.3, 178; Alc. 2.2, 66; 16.1, 66; 31.8, 179; Alex. 2–3, 228–9; 2.6, 80; 2.9, 79; 5.7, 81; 9.5, 80; 9.7–10, 80; 10.6, 80; 10.8, 80; 22.10, 81; 39.12–3, 81; 59.6–7, 176; 68.4–5, 81; 77.2, 80; 77.7–8, 80; Ant. 1, 64, 79; 2.1, 79; 10.6, 79; 31.4, 83; 53.5, 83; 56.4, 83; 57.2, 83; 57.5, 83; 76.3, 79; 85.4–8, 79; 87.1–6, 83; 90.2–5, 79; Art. 11, 195; Brut. 1, 64, 145–6, 147; 2.5– 8, 143–4, 145–7; 13.3–11, 159; 15.5–9, 159; 21.6, 150; 22.4–6, 141, 143; 23.1, 150; 23.2–7, 159; 26.6, 150; 28.2, 152; 29.3, 147; 29.8–11, 142, 150, 153, 154, 156; 34.3, 149; 45.9, 149; 53.7, 142, 144–7, 159, 161; Caesar 3.2–4, 219; 4–6, 219–20; 5.9, 223; 6.7, 223; 14.4–6, 220; 22.2, 218; 26.3–4, 221; 29, 220; 30.5, 218; 31.2–3, 220; 32.9, 220; 38, 221, 227; 39.2–3, 221; 39.6–8, 221; 46.4, 216, 225; 51, 217, 222; 52– 4, 220–1; 56, 220–2; 57, 221–3, 225–6; 57.5, 216, 225; 58.3, 225; 60.1, 217; 60.4–8, 217, 220, 224; 61–2, 217, 224; 61.1, 220; 62, 224; 63, 227; 66.6–7, 224; 69.2, 228; Cato Major 20, 65, 67; Cato Minor 25, 61; Cicero 45.2, 142; 49.2, 200; Cimon 2.4–5, 61, 170; 4, 64; 17.9, 178; Cor. 4.1–2, 178; 4.7, 66; Crassus 1, 65; Demetr. 1.1–7, 61, 169, 170; Dem. 3.2, 61; Dion 2.5, 159; Eum. 11.3, 147; Fab. Max. 24, 67; Galba 1.4, 191, 192, 196; 1.6, 203; 1.8, 200, 202; 2.5, 195; 3.4, 192; 4.5, 196, 198; 6.4, 192–4; 8.1, 192; 8.7, 201; 14.2, 201; 14.10, 194; 16.4, 192; 16.5, 192; 19, 190; 19.5, 192; 24.4, 198; 26.8–10, 194–5; 27.2 ff., 194, 195, 198, 200, 201;

28.1, 199, 200; 29.2, 192; Lyc. 17.5–6, 176; 20, 147; Lys. 1.1–3, 170–2; 2.1–6, 177–9, 181; 2.2, 172; 2.4, 172, 178; 3.2, 181; 4.6, 179; 5.7–8, 173–4; 6.2, 179; 6.3– 8, 174, 179; 7.1, 174, 175; 7.5–6, 171, 175–6, 181; 8.1–3, 176; 8.5, 172, 175, 176–7; 11.12, 176; 14.7, 173; 16.2–4, 181; 17.1–11, 171, 181; 18.1, 172; 18.3, 172; 19.8–12, 171; 20.1–5, 177; 20.8, 172; 21.1, 180; 21.2–7, 179, 180; 25.5, 173; 26.5, 173; 29.11–2, 177; 30.4, 177; 30.5, 176; Lys./ Sulla Comp. 3.6–8, 181; 4.1–5, 181; 5.5, 182; Otho 1.5, 201; 6.3, 195; 18.3, 192; Pel. 1.1–2.12, 181; 32.9, 181; Pel./Marc. Comp. 3.6–8, 181; Per. 1.1–2.4, 169, 174; 5–7, 78; 7.5–6, 78; 24.2, 77; 24.3–4, 78; 24.5, 78; 24.7, 77; Phoc. 6.2, 181; Pomp. 80.2, 199; Sert. 1.1–4, 64; 22.6, 66; Solon 1– 2, 64; 27.1, 122; Sulla 2.1–2, 172–3 ; 5.11, 172–3; 6.11–17, 173; 14.5–7, 182; 27.3, 173; 28.1–6, 177; 36.3, 181; 37.5–6, 181; 38.3, 173; Them. 1.3, 67; 3.4–5, 178; 13.5, 159; Thes. 6.8– 9, 178; Tim. 3, 67; 5, 67; 6, 68 Plutarch, Moralia Adv. Col. 1108b, 26; 1120c, 44; 1121e–1124b, 42; 1122e, 25; Ad princ. inerud. 780d–e, 235; Amatorius 752d, 130; 753f, 105; 756a–763f, 99–111; 756a–b, 100– 1; 756c, 101; 756f, 101, 105; 757d–e, 102,105; 757e–758a, 102; 758a–c, 103; 758c–d, 103; 758d– 759a, 103, 107; 759d, 102; 759e, 101; 760d, 102; 762a, 106; 762e, 107; 763b, 107; 763b–f, 108; 763d, 108; 764a, 106; 764a–771c, 106; 764b–766d, 109; 766e–771c, 109; 767e, 62; 769a, 130; 769e– 770a, 130; Apophth. reg. et imp. 206 ff., 191; 207b, 191; Coni.

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Index of Passages praec. 139d, 63; 140e, 62; 141f– 142c, 128; 145b–e, 128; Cons. ad uxor. 609e, 62; Conv. sept. sap., 119–40; 146c1 ff., 123; 147b, 127; 147c, 129; 148c–e, 124, 125; 150a4, 124; 150f–155d, 129–30; 152b, 129; 154c–d, 130; 156c–d, 130; 156e–f, 134; 157a–b, 125; 158b, 124; 160e, 132; De adul. et am. 59f, 63; 60f, 63; 63e, 60; 65b, 146; De am. prolis 493e, 60; 494a, 63; 494c, 62–3; 495c, 60, 63; De aud. poet. 28c–d, 61; De comm. not. 1059a, 42; 1063c–d, 53; 1069e–f, 51; De fort. 98e, 60; De fort. Rom. 316e ff., 202, 236–8; 317a, 202, 237–8; 317b–c, 202; De frat. am. 479a, 67; 485a, 67; De Is. et Osir. 355a, 134; 359e, 100 ; De lib. ed. 2a, 59; De prim. frig. 953c–d, 2; 955c, 18, 21, 44; De prof. in virt. 79d–f, 63; De Pyth. Or. 399e–400c, 134; 402e, 100; 408b–c, 235; 409c, 1; De sera num. vind. 552c, 61; 559d, 60; 562b, 60, 61; 563a, 61; De soll. animal. 959c, 99; De Stoic. rep. 1034c, 51; 1036a–b, 43; 1037c, 42, 43; 1047e–1048b, 46; De tuend. san. praec. 124d–e, 113; 125f, 113; 126d–e, 114; 128c, 114–5; 132f, 115; 133a, 115; 134d, 115; 135a–b, 116; 135b–c,

116; 135d, 116; 135f–136a, 116; 136d, 117; 137c, 117; De unius in rep. 827b–c, 234; De virt. moral. 451b–452d, 178; Praec. ger. reip. 824c–d, 235–6; Quaest conv. 612d, 121; 700b, 44; 712e–f, 125; fr. 135, 103; Polyaenus 3.9.32, 176; 8.32, 160 Polybius 5.75.2, 176 Quintilian 6.2.29, 104 Silius Italicus, Punica 8.279–83, 194; 10.309–11, 197 Strabo 353c, 10–11 Suetonius, Julius Caesar 7.2, 220; 72, 218; 74–5, 218; 75.5, 218; 77, 218; 78–9, 218; Galba 3.4, 189; 9.1, 190; 9.2, 196; 20.2, 198 Tacitus, Annals 1.13.4, 196; 15.47, 197; Dialogus 28 ff., 62; Germania 20.1, 62; Histories 1.42, 196; 1.43.1, 194; 1.72, 196 Thucydides 4.28.2, 179 Valerius Maximus 4.6.5, 144, 160 Xenophanes fr. 1, 119–20; Xenophon, Agesilaos 1.17, 175; 6.5, 175; Hipparchicus 4.7–5.15, 175

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Academic instruction, 21 Academic scepticism, 17–9, 21, 24– 9, 42–55 Achilles, 197 Actium, 79 Acusilaus, 101, 123 Admetus, 106 Adonis, 101 Aelius Alcibiades, P., 4 Aelius Aristides, 7, 238 Aelius Phlegon, P., 4 Aemilius Paulus, 197 Aeschines, 48–9 Aeschylus, 234 Aesop, 124–6, 128, 130, 132 Agaue, 201 Agesilaos, 175, 177 Aigospotamoi, 176 Alcaeus, 108 Alcestis, 106 Alcibiades, 65–6, 107, 127, 216 Alexander the Great, 76, 77, 79–81, 106, 228–9 Alexidemus of Miletus, 128 Amasis, 121, 124, 129 Amphitrite, 133 Amymone, 133 Anacharsis, 123, 124, 128, 130, 133 Anacreon, 126 Anaxagoras, 123 Anaxandrides of Delphi, 172 Androcleides, 176–7 Anthemion, 99 Antigonus, 64 Antinous, 11 Antiochus of Ascalon, 17, 158 Antipater of Tarsus, 50, 51, 74 Antonius Honoratus, 201 Antonius Polemo, M., 6–8, 11, 51, 55

Antony, 64–6, 77, 79, 81–3, 141–2, 149, 151–2, 155–6, 216–7 Aphrodite, 76, 101–2, 105, 126, 127, 130 Apollodorus of Damascus, 7–11 Appian, 143, 151, 160, 182 Arcesilaus, 17, 21, 42–5, 55 Archetimus, 121 Ares, 102, 105–6 Aretaphila of Cyrene, 76, 84–6 Arginousai, 174 Argos, 105 Arion, 131–3 Aristo, 46, 49, 50, 53 Aristodemus, 123 Aristophanes, 124, 127, 130–1 Aristotle, 49, 51, 178, 198 Aristoxenus, 123 Artemidorus, 7 Asinius Pollio, 151 Aspasia, 75, 77–83 Athamas, 132 Athenaeus, 120 Atticus, 142, 148–9, 151–3, 156, 158–60 Attis, 101 Auden, W.H., x Augustan History, 4, 5 Augustus, see Octavian Aulus Gellius, 4 Autobulus, 99 Avidius Heliodorus, 8 Avidius Nigrinus, C., 11 bacchic imagery, 200–2 Bacchon, 99–111 barbarians, 82, 85 beauty, 83–4 Bias of Priene, 123, 129, 132

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General Index breast–feeding, 59, 62–3, 65 brevity, 147 brothers, 67 Brutus, 64, 141–68, 216, 222, 224– 5, 227–8

Corybantes, 104 Cosconius, 217 Crassus, 65, 201 Crates, 113–4 Critias, 107 Croesus, 121, 130 Ctesiphon, 48–9 Cypselus, 121, 133, 134

Cacus, 107 Calbia, 84 Calpurnia, 226–7 Calvenus Taurus, 54 Calvisius Tullus Ruso, P., 3 Camus, A., x Caninius Rebilus, 225 Cannae, 194, 197 Carbo, 177 Carneades, 20, 21, 24, 42, 43, 45, 46, 50–2 Casca, 156–7 Cassius, 142, 146, 222, 224, 227–8 Cassius Dio, 4, 5, 8–11, 88, 143, 151, 160, 200 Cato Major, 65, 67 Cato Minor, 66, 142 Catulus, 220 Chaeronea, 2, 11 Chaos, 101 Chersias, 133 Chilon, 123 Chilonis, 86 Chrysippus, 52–4 Cicero, 141–3, 148–61, 196–7, 200, 219–20, 222, 224–5 Cimon, 64 Cinna, 219 Cinna the Poet, 227–8 Cleoboulina, 124, 125, 128–30 Cleoboulos, 123, 125 Cleodorus, 125, 131 Cleomachus of Chalcis, 106 Cleopatra, 76–83 Clodius, 155 Colotes, 25, 26, 42 comparisons, 180–3 Corfinius, 217 Coriolanus, 65, 66, 85 Cornelius Balbus, 217 Cornelius Nepos, 158

Danton, Georges–Jacques, 200 Daphnaeus, 99, 107 decapitation, 196–200 Decimus Brutus, 151, 226, 228 Deiochus, 195 Delphi, 1, 2, 24, 100, 107, 132–3, 170, 172 Demades, 114 Demetrius, 141 Demetrius Poliorcetes, 79, 116, 216, 234 Democritus, 236–7 Demosthenes, 5 Dicaearchus, 123 Dio of Prusa, 2, 5–7, 75, 108; Olympicus, 108; Or. 37, 6 Diocles, 125, 127–9, 131–2 Diogenes Laertius, 121, 123 Dion, 147 Dionysus, 130–2 Dionysius of Halicarnassus, 197 Dionysius of Miletus, 4, 7–8 Dolabella, 217 Domitian, 235 dolphins, 131–3 Dyrrhachium, 221–2 Egeria, 75 Einstein, Albert, 1 Eleusis, 106 Empedocles, 101 Enalus, 133 Epaminondas, 117 Ephorus, 121, 123 Epicharmus, 123 Epictetus, 3, 18, 23–9 Epicureans, 25, 26, 29, 88, 116 Epimenides the Cretan, 123

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General Index Erasmus, Desiderius, x Eros, 76, 87, 100–111 ethos, 59, 62–5 Eumetis see Cleoboulina Euripides, 100–2, 106–8, 201, 218, 226 Europa, 133 Eurydice, 106

Hippobotus, 123 Homer, 102, 120, 131, 134, 195 intellectual, defined, ix–x Ino, 132 Isis, 76 Ismenodora, 86–7, 99–111 Jason of Tralles, 201 Jena, Battle of, 233 Julia, 79, 83 Julius Caesar, 77, 146, 154–5, 161, 215–31 Juvenal, 87

Fabius Fabulus, 200–1 Fabius Maximus, 67, 216 father, role of in education, 59 Favorinus of Arelate, 1–7, 11, 18– 24, 26–9; on cognition, 23; works: Against Epictetus, 3, 4, 18, 22–3, 27; Alcibiades, 3, 4, 18, 22; Memoirs, 5, 11; On the cataleptic phantasy, 18; On Exile, 4, 5; Plutarch/On the Academic disposition, 2, 18, 20, 22 Flamininus, 170, 215 food, 131 foxes, 176–7, 181 French Revolution, 198–9 Fukuyama, Francis, x, 233–4, 238 Fulvia, 79, 83

Kallikratidas, 171, 173–5, 179 kissing, 76 Kleon, 179 Kleon of Halikarnassos, 176 Kojève, Alexandre, 233 Kratidas, 176 Kyros, 179 Laco, 198–9 Laodamia, 106 Lasus, 123 Leander, 84–5 Leophantus, 123 Linus, 123 Livia, 88 Livius Drusus, 66 Livy, 182, 197 logos, 59–61, 64–5 ‘Longinus’, 104 Lucan, 153, 199 Lycurgus, 171 Lysander, 169–183 Lysimachus, 114

Gabba, 105 Galba, 189–214 Galen, 4, 18–23, 28–9 Gorgos, 131–2 Hades, 106 Hadrian, 88–9; and Favorinus, 1– 16; and Plutarch, 1–16 Hannibal, 64, 215 Hegel, 233, 238 Hektor, 180 Hephaestus, 130–1 Heracles, 67, 79, 106, 160, 178, 226 ‘Heraclitus’, 102 Hermippus, 123 Herodes Atticus, 3, 4 Herodotus, 121, 124, 126–8, 131, 216 Hesiod, 101, 108, 131–2, 235 Hippias, 220

Maeandrius, 123 Maecenas, 105 Magna Mater, 104, 107 Marathon, 220 Marius, 219 Martial, 160 Matius, 217 Melikertes, 132

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General Index Melissa, 124–30 Menander, 107 Menecrates of Xanthus, 197 Messalina, 88 Metrodorus, 43 Mnesiphilus, 130–1 Monroe, Marilyn, 1 moralism, 169–83 Moschus, 133 Moses, 55, 160 Munda, 220–1 Musonius Rufus, 73 Myson, 123–4

Parysatis, 82 Pausanias, 180 Peleus, 133 Pemptides, 100, 102 Pentheus, 201 Periander, 121, 123–9, 131, 134 Pericles, 65–6, 77–8, 79, 81 Peripatetics, 46, 48–9, 51 Pharnabazos, 177 Pharsalia, 222, 225 Pheidias, 10–1 Pherecydes, 123 Philinus, 134 Philip II of Macedon, 64, 79–81 Philip V of Macedon, 105 Philippi, 159–61 Philippus, 158–9 Philo of Larissa, 17, 43 Philopoemen, 216 Philostratus, 5–8 Phocion, 116 Phryne, 105 physis, 59–64 Pindar, 176 Pisias, 99 Piso, 195, 198 Pittacus, 108, 123, 132–3 Plancus, 155 Plato, 4, 5, 41, 42, 50–3, 55, 101, 103–6, 108, 120, 121, 123–7, 130, 131, 178, 193–4, 198, 216, 217, 221, 234, 236; Rep., 216; Symp., 120–1, 124, 1226–7, 131; Tim., 236–8 Platonism, 17, 22, 41, 44, 52, 54–5, 236 Pliny, 238 Plutarch: and Delphi, 1, 24; and Epictetus, 24–29; and Favorinus, 1–16; and Hadrian, 1–16; and his sources, 141–68; and history, 233–40; and Platonism, 17–39, 41–58; and scepticism, 17–39, 41–58; and Stoicism, 17–39, 41– 58; as intellectual, x; as moralist, 169–87; on education and the family, 59–71, 87; on health,

Napoleon, 233 Neiloxenus, 124, 125, 127, 129 Nero, 192, 201 Nerva, 203 New Academy, 17, 20, 27 Nicharchus, 127 Nicocrates, 84–5 Nicolaus of Damascus, 144, 159–60 Nikias, 179 Niobe, 106 Numa, 65, 75 Numenius, 55 Nymphidius Sabinus, 194–5, 199 Octavia, 76, 79, 82–4 Octavian, 79, 82–3, 141–2, 149, 151–61, 189–90, 191, 196 Oedipus, 126 Ofonius Tigellinus, 195–6, 199 Old Academy, 51, 158 Olympias, 76, 77, 79–81, 82, 228–9 Omphale, 79 One Academy, 42 Oppian, 176 Orpheus, 123 Otho, 189–214 Palaimon, see Melikertes Pamphylus, 123 Pan, 104 Pancrates, 8 Paris, 180, 195 Parmenides, 101

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General Index 113–118; on love, marriage and sexuality, 73, 87, 99–111, 126– 34; on politics, 113–118, 127, 234–8; on women, 73–97 Plutarch’s works: Alex., 216, 228; Ant., 169; Brut., 141–68, 224; Caes., 169, 215–31; Cic., 148, 159; Dion, 216; Flam., 215; Galba, 189–214; Lives of the Caesars, 189–214; Lys.–Sull., 169–87; Otho, 189–214; Tim. 216; Amat., 76, 86–7, 99–111, 126; De fort. Rom., 236; De gen. Soc., 121; De Is. et Osir., 76; De lib. ed., 59–71; De tuend. san. praec., 113–118; De soll. animal., 131, 133; De Stoic. rep., 41–58; Mul. Virt., 90; QC, 2, 120, 125; QR, 76 Polyaenus, 160 Polyneices, 126 Pompeia Plotina, 88–9 Pompey, 64, 199, 217, 220, 222, 226–7 Porcia, 144, 159–60 Poseidon, 132–3 Poseidonius, 193 Praxiteles, 105 Protogenes, 99 Pylos, 179 Pyrrhonism, 3, 18, 29 Pythagoras, 55, 123 Pythia, 27, 104

Schweitzer, Albert, x Sempronius Densus, 194–5 Seneca, 153, 217 Sertorius, 65–6 Seven Wise Men, 119–40 Shakespeare, William, 224, 227 Silius Italicus, 194 Simonides, 180 Soclaros, 106 Socrates, 26, 29, 42, 43, 78, 113, 127–8 Solon, 64, 108, 121, 123, 126, 130– 2, 134 Sophocles, 102, 126 Sosius Senecio, Q., 121 Spartan cooking, 114–5 Spartan women, 74, 84–6 statues, 146, 170–4, 222, 226–7 Stoics: attacked by Plutarch, 41–58; moral philosophy, 45–7, 48–53, 158; on cognition, 2, 18–20, 23, 26; on divination, 24; on Socrates, 29 Strabo, father of Pompey, 64 Suetonius, 87, 189–92, 195, 196, 200, 204, 217, 218; Galba, 192; Otho, 192 Sulla, 169–83, 218–9 symposia, 119–40 Syncellus, 1 Tacitus, 87, 194–7, 200, 204 Tarpeia, 76 Tarquin, 197 Telemachus, 107 Temple of Venus and Rome, 9–10 Terentius Varro, 194 testamentary adoption, 154–5 Thales, 123, 125, 127–9 Thapsus, 220 Thargelia, 78 Thebe, 85 Themistocles, 67 Theon, 235 Theophrastus, 51, 116 Theseus, 226 Thespiae, 99, 100, 105

Quintilian, 104 Quintus Haterius, 196 Roman nomenclature, 154–6, 162 n. 5 Roman women, 76, 82, 85, 87, 90 Romulus, 76 Roxane, 228–9 Rubicon, 220 Sabine women, 76 Sallust, 153 Sappho, 107 Sarapion, 100, 134

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General Index Thetis, 133 Thrasybulus of Miletus, 128 Thucydides, 147, 179 Tiberius, 196 Tillius Cimber, 224 Timoleon, 67–8, 170 Timophanes, 67–8 Tiro, 149 Titus, 10 Titus Vinius, 195–6, 198, 199 tragedy, 126–7, 160–1, 200–1, 226 Trajan, 9, 11, 88–9, 203

Vergilia, 85 Verginius, 192–4 Vesontio, 192–4 Vespasian, 10 Vindex, 192–4, 196, 198 Volumnia, 85 Xenocrates, 51, 116 Xenophanes, 119–20 Xenophon, 5, 103, 121–2, 126, 129, 174–5, 179; Symp. 121, 126, 129 Zeno, 46, 50–2, 55 Zeus, 103 Zeuxippus, 101

Umbricius, 198 Valerius Maximus, 144, 160

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