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Urban Disasters and the Roman Imagination
 9783110674736, 9783110674699

Table of contents :
List of Figures
Part I: Literary Elaborations of the Urbs Capta Motif
Urban Disasters and Other Romes
“One city captures us”
Pliny’s Telemacheia
Part II: The Causes of Urban Disasters
Rome’s Sicilian Disaster
Winning Too Well
Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare
Part III: Commemoration of Disasters
The Unmaking of Rome
Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem
The Sacks of Rome, 390 BCE–2017 CE
List of Contributors
Index Locorum
General Index

Citation preview

Urban Disasters and the Roman Imagination

Trends in Classics – Supplementary Volumes

Edited by Franco Montanari and Antonios Rengakos Associate Editors Stavros Frangoulidis · Fausto Montana · Lara Pagani Serena Perrone · Evina Sistakou · Christos Tsagalis Scientific Committee Alberto Bernabé · Margarethe Billerbeck Claude Calame · Jonas Grethlein · Philip R. Hardie Stephen J. Harrison · Stephen Hinds · Richard Hunter Christina Kraus · Giuseppe Mastromarco Gregory Nagy · Theodore D. Papanghelis Giusto Picone · Tim Whitmarsh Bernhard Zimmermann

Volume 104

Urban Disasters and the Roman Imagination Edited by Virginia M. Closs and Elizabeth Keitel

ISBN 978-3-11-067469-9 e-ISBN (PDF) 978-3-11-067473-6 e-ISBN (EPUB) 978-3-11-067476-7 ISSN 1868-4785 Library of Congress Control Number: 2020943621 Bibliographic information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at http://dnb.dnb.de. © 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston Editorial Office: Alessia Ferreccio and Katerina Zianna Logo: Christopher Schneider, Laufen Printing and binding: CPI books GmbH, Leck www.degruyter.com

Contents Acknowledgments  VII List of Figures  IX Abbreviations  XI Introduction  1

Part I: Literary Elaborations of the Urbs Capta Motif C.S. Kraus Urban Disasters and Other Romes: The Case of Veii  17 Timothy Joseph “One city captures us”: Lucan’s Inverted Roman Disaster Narrative  33 Jacques A. Bromberg Pliny’s Telemacheia: Epic and Exemplarity under Vesuvius  49

Part II: The Causes of Urban Disasters Isabel Köster Rome’s Sicilian Disaster: Invective and the City in Cicero’s Verrines  73 Jessica H. Clark Winning Too Well: Pompey’s Victories as Urban Disaster at Rome  93 Jason Nethercut Urbs/Orbis: Urban Cataclysm in Lucretius’ De rerum natura  115 Andreas T. Zanker Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  131

Part III: Commemoration of Disasters Virginia Closs The Unmaking of Rome: Nero, Seneca, and the Fire(s) of 64 in the Roman Imagination  155

VI  Contents Honora Howell Chapman Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem: A Study in Urban Disaster  181 Joseph Farrell The Sacks of Rome, 390 BCE–2017 CE  201 Bibliography  235 List of Contributors  261 Index Locorum  263 General Index  273

Acknowledgments Six of the essays in this volume derived from a conference held at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in November 2015. We are grateful for the support of the departments of Classics at UMass Amherst, Amherst College, and Mount Holyoke College; Five Colleges, Inc., and the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at UMass Amherst, Julie Hayes, Dean. We also thank Geoffrey Sumi and Brian Breed who served as respondents. We are grateful to Lisa Marie Smith and Anthony Tuck for help in organizing the conference. We give special thanks to Serena Pirrotta and Katerina Zianna at De Gruyter and the anonymous referees for their cogent and helpful comments on the papers. Devon Thomas did valuable work compiling the general index. Mary Bellino, editor extraordinaire, deserves a special round of applause. Thanks, too, to Chris Kraus and Jane Chaplin for helping us clarify our plans at a key point, though they both deny it.


List of Figures Fig. 1: Fig. 2:

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Coin with Jerusalem Temple façade, Bar Kokhba revolt, 134/5 CE. Reproduced by permission of Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH  198 Fellini, La dolce vita (1960). Aqueducts and helicopters. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  203 Fellini, La dolce vita. Construction site or debris field? Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  204 Fellini, La dolce vita. The entry of Gesù into the Vatican City. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  204 Fellini, La dolce vita. Gesù regards his people. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  205 Rossellini, Roma città aperta (1945). The periphery of the city (1). Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Rossellini, Roma città aperta; covered by fair use laws  207 Rossellini, Roma città aperta. The periphery of the city (2). Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Rossellini, Roma città aperta; covered by fair use laws  207 Rossellini, Roma città aperta. A bread line. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Rossellini, Roma città aperta; covered by fair use laws  208 Rossellini, Roma città aperta. The decadent conquerors. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Rossellini, Roma città aperta; covered by fair use laws  208 Fellini, La dolce vita. The arrival of Sylvia. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  209 Fellini, La dolce vita. Sylvia ascending the dome of St. Peter’s. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  210 Fellini, La dolce vita. Sylvia regards her people. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  210 Brignone and Antonioni, Nel segno di Roma (1959). Queen Zenobia of Palmyra. Image capture from Medusa Video DVD of Brignone and Antonioni, Nel segno di Roma; covered by fair use laws  211 Fellini, La dolce vita. Caracalla’s nightclub. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  211 Fellini, La dolce vita. Frankie. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  212 Fellini, La dolce vita. Sylvia leads a revel. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  212 Fellini, La dolce vita. Marcello and Sylvia in the Trevi Fountain. Image capture from Janus Films, Criterion collection DVD of Fellini, La dolce vita; covered by fair use laws  213


X  List of Figures Fig. 18:

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The inhabited portion of Rome (darker) as compared to the total area within the Aurelian walls, c. 1250. Image adapted from The Mendicant Revolution (composite image based on R. Krautheimer, Rome: Profile of a City, 312–1308, fig. 199, and other sources)  216 Johannes Linglebach (1622–1674), Sacco di Roma. Wikimedia Commons image of “The Sack of Rome” by Johannes Lingelbach (public domain)  218 Figure 10.19. Anonymous photograph, “I nuovi Lanzichenecchi a Roma” (www.altritaliani.net/spip.php?article2186). Image capture from Telegraaf TV published by Altritaliani.net 219 The horses of San Marco, Venice. Wikimedia Commons photo of the Horses of San Marco, Venice (licensed for reuse with attribution to Petar Milošević via Creative Commons)  224 Roman Forum: Victory arch commemorating Titus’ triumph over Judaea. Wikimedia Commons photo of Arch of Titus, Rome (donated to the public domain)  229 Roman Forum: Victory arch commemorating Titus’ triumph over Judaea (detail). Wikimedia Commons photo of Arch of Titus, Rome, detail (free to use: author: [Dnalor_01], Source: Wikimedia Commons, license: CC-BY-SA 3.0)  229 Reconstruction of original inscription on the dedication of the Flavian amphitheater (or Colosseum). Reconstruction of lost Colosseum inscription by G. Alföldy, ZPE 109 (1995): 212 by permission of Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH, Bonn  230 Fellini, Roma (1972). Aftermath of the “Festa di Noantri” episode. Image capture from MGM “World Films” collection DVD of Fellini, Roma; covered by fair use laws  234 Fellini, Roma. Final sequence (1). Image capture from MGM “World Films” collection DVD of Fellini, Rom; covered by fair use laws  235 Fellini, Roma. Final sequence (2). Image capture from MGM “World Films” collection DVD of Fellini, Roma; covered by fair use laws  235


Bibliotheca Teubneriana Latina Online. Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. Cornell, T.J. (ed.) (2014), The Fragments of the Roman Historians, 3 vols., Oxford. Dessau, H. (ed.) (1892–1916), Inscriptiones Latinae Selectae, Berlin. Degrassi, A. (ed.) (1957–1963), Inscriptiones Liberae Rei Publicae, Firenze. Steinby, E. (ed.) (1993–2000), Lexicon Topographicum Urbis Romae, Rome. Stillwell, R., et al. (eds.) (1976), Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, Princeton. Pauly, A./Wissowa, G./Kroll, W. (eds.) (1894–1980), Real-Encyclopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaft, Stuttgart. Mattingly, H./Sydenham, E.A., et al. (eds.) (1923–1967), Roman Imperial Coinage, London. Crawford, M.H. (ed.) (1974), Roman Republican Coinage, Cambridge. Liddell, H.G./Scott, R./Jones, H.S. (eds.) (1968; 1996), Greek–English Lexicon, Oxford. Glare, P.W.G. (ed.) (1968–1982), Oxford Latin Dictionary, Oxford. Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (1900–).


Introduction This book explores the theme of urban disasters in the ancient Roman context. Certain disasters of the Roman era—for instance, the Great Fire of 64 CE or the eruption of Vesuvius—are well known, but existential threats to the ancient city took many forms, including military invasions or internal insurrections; natural disasters such as fires, earthquakes, and floods; public health crises, such as plague and famine; and more gradual systemic collapses brought on by political or economic factors. These disasters not only have irreversible effects on large groups of people, but also frequently alter the physical landscape in profound ways. When they occurred they left lasting imprints on the city in psychological as well as in material terms. For authors in the Roman world whose works react to disaster—or even to the prospect of it—the image of a destroyed city became the focal point for a wide range of emotions and memories. Thus, Elizabeth Keitel has argued, the destruction of cities constitutes the quintessential disaster not only in real terms, but also in literary ones.1 The contributors to this volume seek to understand the Roman conception of disaster in terms that are not exclusively literary or historical. Instead, we explore the connections between and among various elements in the assemblage of experiences, texts, and traditions touching upon the theme of urban catastrophe in the Roman world. While a substantial amount of work has been done in anthropology and sociology on disasters, this subfield in Classics is growing but is not yet widespread. Jerry Toner has presented an overview of the subject of disasters in the Roman world.2 His chapter on disaster narratives focuses on their use as a form of social control, first by Roman emperors and later by Christian apologists. Other books concentrate on individual kinds of disasters, for example floods or earthquakes.3 There are also studies of the role of government in crisis management and recovery.4 Gregory Aldrete uses passages from ancient authors to glean information about the geographic extent of floods and to speculate on what aid the government gave to traumatized victims. He also discusses Roman attitudes toward floods to explain why the Romans did not build embankment walls to control the

 1 Keitel 2010, 337–38. 2 Toner 2013. 3 Aldrete 2007; Olshausen/Sonnabend 1998. 4 Ñaco del Hoyo/Riera/Gómez-Castro 2015; McCoy 2014. On famine in Rome, see Virlouvet 1985. Klooster and Kuin 2020 focuses specifically on the aftermath of political and military upheavals across a wide range of Greco-Roman antiquity. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-001

  Introduction river. G.H. Waldherr analyzes the treatment of earthquakes by various writers including Cicero, Livy, and Tacitus, who focused not on giving a factual account of the earthquake for its own sake, but on the power of such events to amplify and illustrate their own thematic interests.5 About one-quarter of the thirty-eight essays in the volume edited by Eckart Olshausen and Holger Sonnabend deal with earthquakes in the Roman world. Approaches more akin to ours are those of Robin Mitchell-Boyask in his book Plague and the Athenian Imagination: Drama, History and the Cult of Asclepius, and of Maria Bachvarova, Dorota Dutsch, and Ann Suter in the edited volume The Fall of Cities in the Mediterranean: Commemoration in Literature, Folk Song and Liturgy. Each of these books makes a substantial contribution to scholarly understanding of its subject(s). The scope of this collection is both narrower, in the sense that it focuses exclusively on urban settings in the Roman world, and broader in that it looks at a wide range of events that could be defined as disastrous for these cities. Contributors to this volume examine the varying ways in which urban disasters functioned within both the lived reality and the literary consciousness of inhabitants of the Roman world. Some chapters explore historical disasters and their commemoration, while others consider of the effect of anticipated and imagined catastrophes. They analyze the destruction of cities both as a threat to be forestalled and as a potentially regenerative agent of change. We have grouped the contributions into three broad conceptual categories: 1) literary elaborations of the urbs capta motif, as applied to descriptions not just of captured cities, but also of internal political conflicts, battle narratives, and natural disasters (Kraus, Joseph, Bromberg); 2) the causes of urban disasters (Köster, Clark, Nethercut, Zanker); and 3) the ways in which destroyed cities are revisited—and in a sense, rebuilt—in literary and social memory (Closs, Chapman, Farrell).6 In the remainder of this introduction, we offer a brief tour of each of these concepts, aiming to show how the readings in this volume expand our understanding of them, as well as to offer some of the background that informs these pieces.

 5 Waldherr 1997; on earthquakes in Seneca see also G.D. Williams 2006 and 2012, 213–18; see also Ker 2009a, 107–9. 6 Geoffrey Sumi suggested these categories in his insightful and wide-ranging response to the papers delivered at the colloquium that inspired this volume. This response also included several of the historical parallels and other general observations offered below; the editors thank Geoff for generously sharing this material with us.

Introduction  

Literary Representations, Imagined Causes, and Enduring Memories When an unforeseen or unusually large-scale event occurs, people naturally assimilate it to the familiar. For Greek and Roman literary creators, this meant drawing parallels not only with history but also with myth and literature. The motif of the urbs capta, or captured city, was pervasive in ancient literature and rhetoric, meriting an explicit catalogue of its features by Quintilian (Inst. 8.3.67–70).7 Standard elements include widespread killing, the destruction of a city by fire, the abduction and assault of women, the plundering of temples, the murder of children in front of their parents, and the sounds of wailing and lamentation.8 Literary exploitation of this type-scene begins with Homer; Hector anticipates the fall of Troy in detail (Il. 6.440–66), while the bard Demodocus sings of the event after the fact (Od. 8.521–85).9 Authors across genres embraced this sensational imagery thereafter not only in fictional narratives, but also in histories, where scenes of horror at actual captures of cities include many of the same hallmarks. The narrative of Troy’s fall became deeply imprinted on the collective imagination of the ancient Greco-Roman world.10 For Romans, however, the sack of Troy took on a distinct dualism, viewed either as a foundational, even sacrificial event that initiated the rise of Rome and its empire, or as the onset of a destructive cycle that would inevitably claim Rome as well.11 According to Polybius, Scipio Aemilianus tearfully quoted a line from the Iliad about the fate of Troy as he watched Carthage burn on his orders.12 Scipio’s reverie exemplifies the Roman tendency to superimpose Troy’s memory over current destructions as a way of meditating on the eventual downfall of all great cities, even their own. Additionally, Romans frequently revisited the first and most signal threat to their own city’s existence, the legendary Gallic sack traditionally dated to 390 BCE. Whether the Romans of the republic and empire were commemorating an actual event or  7 The author of the Rhetorica ad Herennium offers a similar catalogue of tropes at 4.51. 8 G. Paul 1982 is the fundamental treatment of the urbs capta. 9 See also, e.g., Il. 9.590–94; 22.410–11. Rossi 2002, 234 discusses the transformation of the Iliupersis theme in Attic tragedy (cf. Euripidean tragedies of the Trojan War and its aftermath, e.g., Tro. and Andr.) into the urbs capta topos (cf. Aesch. Sept.). 10 For the site of Troy and the historical imagination, see C. Rose 1998. See also C. Rose 2012 on commemoration of Troy’s fall in Ilion (Ilium), Athens, and Rome. 11 Libby 2011; cf. Rossi 2004, esp. 29–30. 12 Polyb. 38.22; Hom. Il. 6.448–49: “A day will come when sacred Troy shall perish / And Priam and his people shall be slain.” Trans. Paton (Loeb, 1922).

  Introduction merely retelling legends, the tale of outsiders plundering and burning their city became an exemplary object of memory.13 Yet as with the fall of Troy, the Gallic sack came to represent not only a humiliating defeat, but also the city’s capacity to rise again, as Livy famously says of the aftermath of the sack, “more fruitfully and fertilely” (laetius feraciusque, 6.1.3) than before. In a related line of thought, a range of disasters, defeats, and depredations elsewhere in the Greco-Roman world is often imagined in terms of their potential impact on, or reflection of, Rome. Representations of urbes captae appeared in triumphal processions and on triumphal arches and columns, making the destructions wrought in Rome’s name abroad vividly real at the capital itself.14 Caesar’s triumph famously included a placard inscribed “Veni, vidi, vici,” succinctly commemorating the swiftness of his Pontic victory.15 Also paraded, however, were paintings depicting the suicides of Scipio and Cato the Younger.16 Dio informs us that amid such images even the sight of Arsinoë, a foreign queen in chains, compelled the spectators to lament “their own private misfortunes” as the sufferings they had endured during the civil wars bubbled to the surface.17 Importantly, as George Paul points out in his foundational analysis of the urbs capta motif, its “influence may be suspected even where there is no explicit mention of a captured city.”18 Studies by Elizabeth Keitel, Timothy Joseph, and Catharine Edwards, among others, have shown how Tacitus places the literary image of the captured or destroyed city in significant dialogue with his historical accounts of the conflicts that played out in Rome and around the empire in the first century CE.19 Perhaps due to the ubiquity of such imagery in Roman political rhetoric, anxiety about what might happen—catastrophic thinking, if you will— itself becomes a structuring principle of Roman thought on disaster.

 13 Cf. Gowing 2005, 132–58, esp. 145 n. 45, who draws on Freudian theory discussed by Roth 1995, 196 to articulate the process by which the republic becomes an “object of memory” in the imperial age. 14 Claudius staged the storming and plunder of a city in a show on the Campus Martius (Suet. Claud. 21.6). See also Ziolkowski 1993b and Purcell 1995 on the very real benefits Rome accrued from its own prodigious sacking capabilities. 15 Plut. Caes. 50; App. B Civ. 2.91; Suet. Jul. 37. 16 App. B Civ. 2.101; Holliday 1997 argues that the placards from this procession were later displayed in temples and other public spaces. 17 τὰ πάθη οἰκεῖα, Cass. Dio 43.19.4. 18 G. Paul 1982, 154. See Keitel 1984; Woodman 1998, 142–55; Ash 1999, 65–68; and Joseph 2012b, 98–106, 113–44, on the literary use of this motif in Tacitus. 19 Keitel 1984 and 2010; Joseph 2012a and 2012b; Edwards 2013.

Introduction  

In the dynamics of memory and identity explored by Christina Kraus in her contribution to this volume, the destruction of Veii becomes both a replaying of the memory of Troy and an instrumental figure of thought in anticipating the prospect of Rome’s own relocation, should it become necessary for political or economic reasons. Kraus considers the evidence in Livy for Veii’s status as Rome’s prospective “escape hatch” in the event of its obliteration—that is, the city loomed large in the Roman imagination because of its potential to embody “two mythico-historical themes prominent in narratives of ‘the ultimate disaster,’ the capture and sack of cities: first, the creation of ghost towns; second, the threat of a moveable Rome.” In the context of civil war, when the men on both sides hail from the same city the notion of the urbs capta becomes even more poignant. While the outcome of civil war leaves one side alienated or dispossessed (if they survive at all), the potential destruction of the capital city threatens the future of both sides regardless of the victor. Accordingly the literature associated with Rome’s civil conflicts displays a pervasive anxiety that Rome will fall—virtually, if not literally—to armies led by her own generals. As the chapter by Joseph further points out, in Lucan’s Pharsalia “[it] is civil crime (crimen ciuile, 7.398) that has hollowed out so many cities (tot uacuas urbes, 7.399)” rather than a natural disaster or military invasion. Joseph highlights the significance of Lucan’s pervasive imagery of the captured city at various points in his narrative of Caesar’s campaigns in the Civil War, pointing out that “in each case the disaster is imagined. It is as though Pompey’s troops, like Lucan’s readers, are familiar enough with the topos to call it to mind, in spite of the absence of the event itself.” Joseph concludes that Lucan’s battle of Pharsalus is indeed the image of an urbs capta, of a self-displaced, self-captured Rome that is “containing, capturing, squashing herself, and killing off her own citizens, present and future.” As these two contributions make clear, when we apply the urbs capta motif to Rome itself it seems that Rome cannot win, no matter which of the combatants, Pompey or Caesar, proves victorious; this is, of course, the real tragedy of civil war. Pompeii and the other cities destroyed in the Vesuvian eruption of 79 CE are perhaps the most enduring symbols of Roman urban disaster due to the public fascination with their remains, which have been rediscovered and excavated over the last three centuries.20 As Jacques Bromberg remarks in his essay here, “The infamous eruption that Pliny describes has become one of the most popular and enduring subjects for historical fiction of the last two centuries and a half, from  20 The cultural response to Pompeii’s rediscovery is incisively explored in Hales/Paul 2011; see also Zissos 2016b.

  Introduction Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s novel The Last Days of Pompeii (1834), itself the basis of seven films between 1900 and 1959, to Robert Harris’ historical novel Pompeii (2003).”21 Equally, however, the urban spaces destroyed by the volcano haunt the memory of the authors who composed literary responses to the eruption in the later first and early second centuries CE.22 New evidence from inscriptions analyzed by Steven Tuck provides further clues to the impact of the Vesuvian destruction on other cities in the region, mapping those in which many refugees settled.23 The Younger Pliny’s two “Vesuvius letters” provide the classic account of this destruction. As Andrew Zissos remarks, Pliny’s presence on the Bay of Naples when the disaster occurred, as well as his access to eyewitness accounts of his uncle’s death, “have afforded the letters a singular authority.”24 Consequently they often serve, as Victoria Gardner Coates observes, “as a sort of window through which to witness the eruption.”25 These letters, however, are equally notable for the discursive space they inhabit between poetry and historiography. Although Pliny’s allusions to Vergil’s description of the burning of Troy in Aeneid 2 are particularly well known, in this volume Jacques Bromberg argues that behind these highly recognizable Vergilian allusions lies “a Homeric, and particularly Odyssean framework, in which a courageous, absent father figure is contrasted with an anxious and unproven son.” The subtext Bromberg identifies here touches upon the theme of literary succession; thus this celebrated narrative gains new resonance, aligning Pliny’s dual claims to authority as the worthy adoptee of one of Rome’s intellectual giants, and as a capable adapter of the epic tradition. Less directly, the text also serves as a signifier of imperial power, as Bromberg further suggests: Pliny’s emphasis on his bond with his adopted father “offers valuable lessons about paternity in the age of Trajan,” in which the catastrophic politics of dynastic bloodline succession had “given way to the saner and safer practice of adoption.” This thematic connection to Rome’s newly revised mode of imperial succession suggests the importance often placed on individual leaders as the imagined cause of urban disaster, and the only potential remedy. Urban disaster is much more than the consequence of internal or external military forces exerted upon a city. While divine or cosmic mechanisms are often  21 For a list of the films see n. 6 in Bromberg’s essay. 22 See Newlands 2010 and J. Paul (forthcoming). 23 Tuck (forthcoming); see also Taylor 2015. Leach 2016 imagines Pompeii in the years immediately preceding its destruction, offering a lively and detailed tour of the city’s robust recovery from the earthquakes of the 60s CE. 24 Zissos 2016b, 518. 25 Gardner Coates 2011, 48.

Introduction  

blamed, Greek and Roman invective also frequently intimates that bad politicians are personally responsible for actual disasters, making decisions—especially in times of crisis—with potentially devastating consequences. Isabel Köster’s analysis of Cicero’s Verrine orations reveals the centrality of disaster-themed rhetoric to Cicero’s invective against those he casts as villains in Roman politics. Through a fusion of such figures’ innate destructive potential and the power accorded to their official roles in Roman society, Köster argues, “a single individual can be fashioned into a disaster with far more widespread and profound effects than many fires, floods, or military invasions.” Similarly, Jessica Clark concludes of the expanding footprint left by Pompey’s victory celebrations in Rome that the urban disaster here was not a physical demolition, but “the encouragement to autocracy that came as its corollary: when you change where people stand, perhaps, it is easier to change what they will stand for.” Embedded in a larger system of invective, the image of a leader destroying his own city offers a way of dramatizing the worst possible outcome of perceived instability in the Roman social or political order. Conversely, the notion of a leader as the agent of recovery after an urban disaster formed an important aspect of imperial ideology. Overall, many of the texts discussed in this volume share a concern that luxurious living and moral decay can plunge a society into ruin, either as divine punishment or as inevitable cosmic response. As Andreas Zanker reminds us in his essay here, this notion is suggested in the word’s etymological origins (dis- + aster, “ill-starred”). Jason Nethercut shows that Lucretius’ narrative of the Athenian plague must occupy a primary position in any assessment of how the Romans conceptualized urban disaster. Not only does it offer “one of the first extended descriptions of the dissolution of the fabrics of society in the face of natural disruption,” but Lucretius also portrays the convergence of the universal and the local in a way that “encourages his reader to understand the patriai tempore iniquo (DRN 1.41) as existing on the downward trajectory toward Rome’s destruction, a destruction that is inevitable, because it is atomically preordained.” As Nethercut demonstrates, the connection between the destruction of the moenia mundi and of the Roman city is reinforced primarily through intratextual echoes throughout the poem. By contrast, Zanker reads Horace’s Odes 3.6 alongside the Carmen saeculare, observing that while Horace conceives the causes of Rome’s collapses as gradual and societal rather than sudden and natural, the latter poem “envisions a future in which moral (and therefore actual) clades was no longer a threat, a future in which the passage back to civil war and collapse is denied with all of the elastic power that Rome’s new premier poet could muster.” Thus Horace’s manipulation

  Introduction of the tropes of decline and downfall in the Odes plays into his subsequent attempts in the poem of the new age, the Carmen saeculare, to annul his previous intimations of catastrophe. No less than the invasion of a city, natural phenomena such as floods and earthquakes are often associated with human failure, which itself is bound up with notions of divine anger. Tacitus and Suetonius, both highly hostile to Nero’s memory, nevertheless acknowledge that Nero’s initiatives made the city safer and more visually attractive after the Great Fire of 64.26 Similarly, Titus is credited with leading the recovery after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79, but at the news of the outbreak of a major fire in Rome in 80, the emperor’s only public comment was that he “was ruined” (Suet. Tit. 3.4). This terse response offers a marked contrast to Nero’s rumored poetic outpouring during the height of the 64 destruction. Yet it also suggests a recognition that the propaganda asserting Nero’s culpability for the fire of 64 could easily circle around now and attach to Rome’s new rulers. Possibly to avert some of this blame, Domitian built altars to Vulcan claiming to protect the city from future fires.27 Ultimately, the process of reinventing the meaning of catastrophe leads us to the concept of “memory” and how it informs the essays in this volume. There are profitable connections to explore between and among the strategies of memory employed in the aftermath of urban disasters in the Roman world. The susceptibility of ancient urban structures to various forms of disaster exposes the vulnerability of the social institutions that create and inhabit those structures. Recovering from disaster, however, itself yields new horizons of perception and social memory. A society constructs new memories implicating space and time in manifold ways: written texts and performances can represent events from the past; rituals and ceremonies can commemorate these events on the calendar; and significant monumental sites can alter the physical landscape.28 The inherently heterogeneous nature of this process generates a competing field of memories and countermemories.29 Literary authors often reached out to the distant past  26 Suet. Ner. 16.1; Tac. Ann. 15.45. On the complex dynamic between destruction and rebuilding in post-Neronian Rome, see Gallia 2016. 27 See Closs 2016. 28 J. Assmann 1992, 19; cf. Connerton 1989; Nora 1989, 1992; C. Bell 1992. See also A. Assmann 2011; Assmann/Shortt 2012; cf. Ginsberg 2017, 10–15. See also Caruth 1996, one of the seminal works in literary trauma theory, which draws heavily upon Freud (1920) 1955. 29 For good introductions to the concept of social memory, see Fentress/Wickham 1992, 1–40; Olick/Robbins 1998. For the related concept of cultural memory, see J. Assmann 1988a, 1988b, 1992. Stein-Hölkeskamp/Hölkeskamp 2006 and Galinsky 2014 offer overviews of cultural memory in the Roman world. Much recent work demonstrates the value of this approach in the

Introduction  

for guarantees of the city’s future survival, especially in response to destructive events that threatened that future. This sense of continuity, paradoxically, relies on local community identity and the social memory on which it was built. As Virginia Closs argues here, the rumor of Nero’s performance of an excidium Troiae during the Great Fire of 64 exploits an existing tradition of literary and historical memory to create a potent commentary on Nero’s shortcomings as a leader. Likewise, she examines Seneca’s epistolary response (Ep. 91) to the burning of the provincial capital of Lugdunum (Lyon) as an appeal to literary and historical memory in response to a recent catastrophe. In Seneca’s meditation on the recent destruction of Lyon, Closs identifies a series of targeted allusions that invite us to read the letter as a form of displaced commentary on Rome’s recent devastation, concluding that “both Seneca’s letter and Nero’s legendary performance elaborate a complex relationship between the past and the present, in which antiquity serves as an index not of permanent legacy, but of the ephemerality of human power.” Thus we confront the potential of the big city to become, almost overnight, a “ghost town,” and we turn away from the center of imperial power to its limits around the Mediterranean world. Josephus, as Honora Chapman shows, shapes the fall of Jerusalem in 70 CE in light of the biblical background as well as with an eye to the reality of Roman hegemony, consciously creating a memory of the city and temple that Romans destroyed. She discusses Josephus’ appeals to destruction narratives in both biblical and Greco-Roman literature as a way of making the sack of Jerusalem “legible” in light of the varying cultural backgrounds of the audience with whom Josephus was trying to communicate; in so doing, he also emphasizes and encourages Roman respect for Jewish traditions. Josephus describes how Titus preserved a portion of Jerusalem’s fortifications as a tribute to his soldiers’ manly virtue, while rendering the remainder of the city a wasteland; Chapman links this event to the famous dictum that Tacitus ascribes to Calgacus in the Agricola that Romans made a wilderness and called it peace (ubi solitudinem faciunt pacem appellant).30 Pax, indeed, was a loaded word in the imperial period, embraced especially by Augustus but by later emperors as well. S. D. Laruccia has argued in a brief but insightful study that Tacitus in this passage is less concerned about how Romans exerted pax in the provinces against recalcitrant and unruly tribes than about how imperial power manifested itself in Rome, where it could be just as

 study of Latin texts., e.g., Gowing 2005; Meban 2009; Seider 2013; Goldschmidt 2013; and Ginsberg 2017. 30 Tac. Agr. 30–32; the quotation is at 30.5.

  Introduction devastating and destructive when wielded by a despotic princeps.31 For Tacitus, so this argument runs, Calgacus’ solitudo was Rome. In the Flavian context, domestic disaster and foreign victory were especially closely connected in the destruction of two temples. Rome’s Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus burned in 69 CE during urban warfare between Flavian and Vitellian supporters at the end of the Year of Four Emperors; a scant year later, the great Jewish temple of Jerusalem was destroyed following a prolonged siege led by Vespasian’s heir, Titus. The Flavian reconstruction of the temple on the Capitoline was the harbinger of the new dynasty; likewise, the sack of Jerusalem adorned and in part funded Flavian Rome. The Flavian amphitheater, as the inscription on the monument testifies, was constructed from the manubiae of the Jewish Wars.32 Titus’ triumph, with its Jewish antiquities, processed across a panel on the Arch of Titus, while the spoils from the temple in Jerusalem filled the Templum Pacis.33 Additionally, a second arch in the Circus Maximus proclaimed Titus’ conquest over the nation of the Jews and the city of Jerusalem— “which all generals, kings, and nations before him had either assaulted in vain or avoided altogether.”34 In this case, an urban disaster at one end of the empire led to the renewal of the city of Rome under new leadership. To classicists “the sack of Rome” usually means a specific event (either the Gallic sack of 390 BCE or the Visigothic sack of 410 CE), but the phrase in broader culture refers to many other acts of urban destruction as well. Yet as Joseph Farrell concludes in this collection’s final essay, “every individual event or metaphorical comparison involving ‘the sack of Rome’ draws part of its meaning from that idea, but also contributes to it, so that to understand the phenomenon, we must consider its various instantiations.” Farrell’s wide-ranging examination of material—from postclassical invasions of the city to Fellini’s iconic films to headlines bemoaning vandalism committed by Dutch soccer hooligans—suggests that in modern evocations of Roman destruction, “development and ruin are almost indistinguishable.” In between the ideals of the urbs antiqua and the urbs nova, destruction always lies as the unspoken yet necessary catalyst.

 31 Laruccia 1980. 32 See Alföldy 1995; M. Miles 2008, 54–55. 33 See Noreña 2003. 34 Trans. Coleman 2000. On Titus’ claims here, see also den Hollander 2014, 197. On representations of the conquest of Jerusalem in Flavian Rome, see also Millar 2005; Chapman 2009 and 2012. On the impact of the Flavian siege on Jerusalem, see Brighton 2016, 240–46.

Introduction  

Further Connections and Future Directions Obviously, the essays in this volume can capture only a few select facets of the rich and complex topic they address. Each of the categories listed above bleeds into the others to a certain extent, and many lines of inquiry offer a segue into broader questions, e.g.: What constitutes a city—its buildings or its citizens? What lingering effects of civil war ultimately shaped imperial ideology concerning disasters? To what extent can disastrous events in the life of the city be blamed on failed leadership or on general moral decline? Romans were quite at home with the paradoxes of disaster, constantly tempering the triumphalist rhetoric that accompanied their stunning rise to world power with inveterate moralizing and persistent anxiety about their own eventual downfall. The core questions animating the studies in this volume are those of community, or rather, of communities: urban, literary, interpretive, and imaginary. Beyond the structure proposed above, the essays are bound together by multiple threads. When is a victory actually a defeat (Clark, Joseph)? What is the relationship between moral or political decline and disaster (Zanker, Nethercut, Closs, Bromberg)? Did the calamitous civil wars of the first century BCE produce a Rome resurgent under the principate or an ongoing disaster (Closs, Joseph)? For Romans, Troy, the quintessential urbs capta, is emblematic of both catastrophic defeat and possible renewal (Kraus, Joseph, Closs, Bromberg, and Farrell). More generally, the language of city sacking and lament adds urgency to many of the city’s political crises (Köster, Joseph, Chapman). Cities in Italy and the provinces experienced similar disasters—and sometimes renewals—which authors commemorated in terms borrowed from the mythopoetic traditions of Greece and Rome, shaping these events as a literary mirror of the fate that Romans dreaded for their own city (Bromberg, Chapman, Köster, Closs). Long after its rise and fall, Rome continued to be sacked and to recover many times over; metaphorically, she is still being sacked today (Farrell). Each of these topics could generate a volume unto itself, and it is our hope that the readings in this book will help stimulate such studies in the near future. A major outcome of the approach adopted by this volume’s contributors is the importance of the imaginary and literary possibilities offered by urban disaster as a figure of thought. Often old symbols and mythic narratives suddenly took on new meanings in light of recent events; thus the Gallic sack, the fall of Carthage, the civil wars of the first century BCE, the Neronian conflagration, and the Vesuvian disaster each in turn evoked the storied destruction of Troy. Likewise, several chapters in this volume explore what Steven Rutledge calls the Romans’

  Introduction “almost ineluctable inclination to draw parallels between the past and the present,” as well as between one type of disaster and another.35 Many of these essays reflect less on specific events than on the infinite replicability and reusability of certain literary and historical models of disaster to advance a range of literary and ideological agendas. While the contributions of Clark, Köster, and Joseph all show how rhetoric threatening Rome’s capture underpins many texts describing other types of political and military conflict, even actual destructions of cities are narrated and commemorated in terms shaped by the literary tradition concerning urban disaster. Chapman and Bromberg both implicate the eruption of Vesuvius in layered readings exploring connections between this quintessentially Roman disaster and (respectively) the biblical literature that Josephus interweaves with his classical allusions, and the Homeric and Vergilian legacy with which Pliny engages. These readings add dimension and nuance to our understanding of how history itself can offer a literary intertext—with or without a precise textual model.36 Overall, in moments of catastrophe, entire societies—along with the full panoply of cultural production enabled by urban living—were in danger not just of being altered or remade, but also of being erased. In imagining the ways in which a society could be unmade, Latin authors offered an outline of the expectations, social mechanisms, and metaphors that shaped their experience of life in the ancient city. Ultimately, the disasters (real and imagined) that this volume comprises evolved over several centuries of literary and cultural production; equally, they emerged out of a complex web of texts, images, and experiences. As the enduring cultural fascination with images such as the eruption of Vesuvius, Nero “fiddling” while Rome burns, and the sack(s) of Rome show, the Roman conception of urban disaster has continued to evolve over time in many media as one of the most potent symbols of the human condition available to the imagination. At the same time that we mourn things irrevocably lost in urban disasters, we venerate the precious remnants (dulces exuviae, Verg. Aen. 1.642) of these lost cities as we dream about our own future; this too constitutes a form of creative destruction. As Farrell concludes, “We who are perhaps [Rome’s] most ardent devotees are also its barbarian invaders, fated both to resist the forces that threaten to despoil it and to participate enthusiastically in the ongoing sack that is, at one and the same time, the highest tribute we can offer.” Questions about the displacement and dispersal caused by urban disasters open up new explorations about the symbolic allure of the city’s sense of place—a place whose appeal can survive  35 Rutledge 1998. 36 On history as intertext see O’Gorman 2007 and 2009; Damon 2010.

Introduction  

even after the physical structure has vanished. Thus in this volume’s essays, poetics, history, and politics converge and collide in surprising ways.

| Part I: Literary Elaborations of the Urbs Capta Motif

C.S. Kraus

Urban Disasters and Other Romes: The Case of Veii In Book 5 of the Ab urbe condita, Livy narrates two of the most famous urban disasters in early Roman history.1 Both Rome and the Etruscan city Veii fall to hostile armies: Rome to the Gauls, Veii to the Romans. In the early books of Livy Etruria and its leading city are key players whose importance rises steadily throughout the pentad, with Veii functioning as a counterweight to Rome. When one looks outside Livy, however, one finds Veii curiously absent—a kind of shadow of its former self. In what follows, I will use Veii as a lens to examine two mythico-historical themes prominent in narratives of “the ultimate disaster,” the capture and sack of cities:2 first, the creation of ghost towns; second, the threat of a moveable Rome. This chapter explores both the rhetoric of disaster narrative and some ways cultural memory operates in creating Roman identity. Veii is the geographical and thematic focus of 5.1–24, and Livy returns regularly to it thereafter in both political and military sections (e.g., 5.38.5, 45.4, 49.8). This prominence may seem remarkable—not even Alba Longa (1.29), after all, gets so much narrative attention. Livy has built Veii into the narrative of the first 350 years of Roman history in such a way that we are always mindful of its power and influence, as well as of its proximity to Rome (a scant ten miles). Veii is the site of several prominent episodes in the first five books: especially in Book 2, in the narrative culminating in the disaster at the Cremera where the gens Fabia is almost wiped out (2.44–50);3 in Book 4, where its king, Lars Tolumnius, is killed by Aulus Cornelius Cossus (generating the famous debate about the spolia opima:  1 I thank the editors for the invitation to participate in this volume and for their generous reactions to this piece; Luca Beltramini, Vincenzo Casapulla, Andrew Johnston, Colin McCaffrey, Andrew Riggsby, Peter Wiseman, and Tony Woodman for their constructive criticisms and help with bibliography; and audiences at the Classical Association in Exeter (UK), Padua, and at Yale for their questions and comments. 2 Keitel 2010, 337; see Toner 2013, 131 on warfare as “the ultimate man-made disaster in antiquity.” For examinations of urbs capta motifs as metaphors for (respectively) internal political conflicts and battle narratives, see also Köster’s and Joseph’s contributions to this volume. 3 As is his wont, the historian associates the larger picture with the significant actions of specific individuals. On this technique see Vasaly, esp. 2002, 282–83; 2009a; 2015. On the Fabii—who recur prominently in the Gallic sack narrative (35.4–36, 46)—see Richardson 2012 and Dillery 2009, 85–86 (on Fabius Pictor and the “telling of the Roman past through the lens of an aristocratic family’s past”). https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-002

  C.S. Kraus 4.17–20); and in Book 5, in which the city is sacked. Livy variously links that final defeat to the migration of the Gauls through the double ethnography of Etruria and Gaul (5.33–35.3). The book’s structure emphasizes this counterpoint. Though the action is continuous with Book 4 (the siege of Veii starts at 4.61) and with Book 6 (rebuilding after the Gallic sack continues until 6.4), as a narrative Book 5 is nearly as self-contained as Book 1 (the regal period), making the two urban disasters all the more prominent. The book is roughly divided in half, with a central interlude at Falerii Veteres after the Veientine sack and an offset ethnographic panel leading into the Gallic disaster.4 We begin cleanly with a new year, marked by elections, in both cities (comitia utriusque populi).5 Structural echoes and mirror scenes link the two sacks: the narrative is bookended by the speeches in oratio recta of Appius Claudius and Camillus; Juno’s evocatio from Veii is balanced by her protection of the Roman arx; the book is punctuated by a series of sacra or portentous objects snatched from their place; plebeian versus patrician debates over power and largitio structure the first half, while Veii—the primary source of the largitio problems—continues into the second as a marker of wealth and division (5.25.12, 30.8, 32.8). Aside from these architectonic patterns, a number of themes underscore the pairing of these doomed cities.6 In both stories Livy evokes the sack of Troy (for Veii explicitly at 5.4.11–12);7 in both cities Juno is a prominent state goddess;8 the  4 For a discussion of the center of the book and its implications for Livy’s historical method see Kraus 2021; for more on the structure of the second part of the book see Luce 2009 (1971). Though Ogilvie 1970 uses “Veian,” Livy uses Veientanus; I follow him. 5 There is continuity as well as separation on both ends of the book. The opening, Caesarian phrase (Pace alibi parta, 1.1) defines a contrasting narrative (“elsewhere”) which achieves continuation by suggesting an essential backdrop to the present; cf. BGall. 7.1.1: Quieta Gallia; BGall. 8.1.1: Omni Gallia deuicta; BHisp. 1.1: Pharnace superata Africa recepta (also at the end of books: e.g., 2.35.1: his rebus gestis omni Gallia pacata); and on place adverbs used to open narratives see Chausserie-Laprée 1969, 21–22. Though the book’s conclusion leaves historical loose ends (Kraus 1994b, 285–86), a strong closural textual effect comes from its finishing a publication unit of the AUC (for the new start and preface to Book 6 see Kraus 1994a, 83–89). 6 For more on Troy’s fundamental place in Roman accounts of disaster, see also the essays by Joseph, Closs, Bromberg, and Farrell in this volume, as well as briefer mentions by Clark and Zanker. 7 “Once, long ago, the whole of Greece besieged a city for ten years for the sake of one woman. How far from home were they? How many lands and seas lay between? Yet we are reluctant to endure a siege for one year, at a place fewer than twenty miles away, practically within sight of the City”; see Kraus 1994b, 270–73; Edwards 2011, 651. All translations of Livy 1 and 5 are from Luce 1998, with modifications. 8 Her evocatio to Rome marks the official end of the siege; her temple on the Capitol is the site of the sacred and noisy geese (5.47.3: sacris Iunonis). That geese are not well associated with

Urban Disasters and Other Romes  

question of religious propriety and how to properly understand omens looms large in both halves.9 The wealth of Veii has been emphasized to make it a match for, even perhaps superior to, Rome: it is the urbs opulentissima (5.20.1, 21.17, 22.8).10 Finally, on the level of character, M. Furius Camillus is the linking figure whose motion across the literary topography—mirroring his changing political position as military tribune with consular power, then interrex, dictator, military tribune again, then interrex, exile, and finally dictator again—unites the two major episodes.11 Not just a major neighboring conurbation, then, Veii is in many senses a pendant to Rome.12 Yet after Book 5, nothing happens at Veii in Livy. Instead, the city gradually disappears from the narrative proper.13 It appears as an exemplum or a comparandum in a few speeches up until the middle of the Hannibalic War, always in connection with Camillus14—but its usefulness even as an exemplum eventually fades.15 After Book 25, in the extant text it features a half a dozen times only, in

 Juno (Ogilvie 1970, 734) only underscores the artistic shaping of these narratives; see Wiseman 1979a and Ziolkowski 1993a. This topography is doubled at 6.20.13, where Manlius Capitolinus’ house is said to be ubi nunc aedes atque officina Monetae est; see Meadows/Williams 2001, and on Livy’s notices of divine monuments see Aberson 2014. On the parallel of Juno in Veii and in Rome, Cascino/Di Giuseppe/Patterson 2012, 6. 9 See further Kraus 2019. 10 “Such was the fall of Veii, the wealthiest [opulentissimae] city of the Etruscan nation [Etrusci nominis]. Proof of her might can be seen in her very overthrow: for ten summers and winters she endured a continuous siege, she inflicted somewhat more damage than she received, and, in the end, even when fate was working her ruin, she was taken by a stratagem and not by force.” 11 For the exemplary Camillus in this narrative see Gowing 2009, Chaplin 2015; for his role in Livy and contemporary political discourse see Gaertner 2008. 12 This has long been recognized: cf. e.g. Ogilvie 1970, 626; Luce 2009 (1971), 151; Vasaly 2002, 285. 13 It is the location of Manlius Capitolinus’ estate at 6.14.10. Oakley 1997–2008 ad loc. calls this “a curious piece of invented detail”; Kraus 1994a ad loc. has nothing, but wonders now if the association of Veii with Manlius is not born from his association with civil war and splitting the state in two. At 8.20.3 it is where a “huge” Roman army takes its stand against a tumultus Gallicus that proves to be a false alarm. Despite the obviously symbolic location, Livy specifies only that craftsmen and other unsuitable types were recruited; Oakley 1997–2008 ad loc. refers back to his note on 6.4.4: “After her defeat by Camillus in 396 Veii declined to become little more than a market and an exemplar for the evanescence of human glory.” 14 Starting with 6.7.4 Veii becomes a rhetorical precedent, in exhortations usually to soldiers: 6.8.10, 7.13.5, 9.4.14, 22.3.10, 22.14.11, 25.6.10. 15 It is deployed unsuccessfully by the survivors of Cannae and by Minucius, who misreads the past (Chaplin 2000, 90, 115); on obsolescent exempla see Chaplin 2000, 49, 164–67, 194–96.

  C.S. Kraus lists of territory (26.34.10) or of prodigies.16 It is not mentioned in the Periochae after Book 5. And the city also enjoys near total absence from Latin historiography after Livy, outside of references to its pre-conquest existence and its sack.17 In nonhistorical sources, aside from discussions of the Alban Lake prodigy and other divine signs associated with the city’s capture, Veii is spoken of infrequently, and almost always as a symbol of decay. By the second century, Florus could write: hoc tunc Veii fuere. nunc fuisse quis meminit? quae reliquiae? quod vestigium? laborat annalium fides, ut Veios fuisse credamus.18 In reality, as we will see, Veii and the ager Veientanus enjoyed, if not rude good health, at least a demonstrable commercial, cultic, and cultural existence from its capture by Rome well into the first millennium CE. It is this paradox that I explore here. How can we understand the tenuous presence and gradual disappearance of Veii in the Latin literary landscape?

Ghost Towns Veii was perhaps the best known of the Etruscan cities, and “the hub of commercial traffic and cultural interaction.”19 It could stand in for the whole of Etruria (e.g., Vell. Pat. 1.8.5: tam uicinis Veientibus aliisque Etruscis). Its monumental architecture was world-famous, its painted tombs luxuriant, its pottery and sculptural workshops influential, and its drainage and water systems nothing short of miraculous.20 Among its striking contributions to spectacular art was one of the pignora imperii, the quadriga made by Vulca and located on the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus at Rome.21 There is considerable evidence, as well, that reports of its demise in the Roman sack were considerably exaggerated: following the

 16 Briscoe 1973 ad Livy 32.9.2 cites other prodigies at Veii at 27.37.1 (207 BCE), 41.21.12 (174), 42.2.4 (173), 44.18.6 (169), Jul. Obs. 12 (166), 30 (125). 17 These are (in alphabetical order) Ammianus Marcellinus, Ampelius, Eutropius, Florus, Frontinus, the Liber de viris illustribus, Orosius, Valerius Maximus (with the exception of Val. Max. 4.4.8, quoted on p. 24), and Velleius Paterculus. Two instances in Suetonius are discussed below. For references to the historical city, including Greek sources, see Camporeale n.d. 18 1.6.11: “Such was Veii in those days. Who now ever remembers its former existence? What remains or traces of it are left? Our trust in our annals has a difficult task to make us believe that Veii ever existed” (trans. Forster 1929). 19 Cascino/Di Giuseppe/Patterson 2012, 339. 20 On all of these see the recent omnibus bibliography by Nagy 2016. 21 Servius ad Verg. Aen. 7.188; Pliny HN 35.157.

Urban Disasters and Other Romes  

conquest of 396 BCE, it continued to be inhabited for centuries, with especially important cultic activities, craft production, and villa life.22 Despite the undoubted complexity of Veientine settlement through the early empire, however, the city experienced gradual ruralization especially in the late republic, a decline which was not halted by Augustus’ creation of the municipium Augustum Veiens in 2 BCE.23 Picking up on this incipient decline, in authors from Cicero to Statius the city and its adjacent ager are a byword for no-place.24 In 80 BCE Cicero in the Pro Sexto Roscio25 is countering the argument that Roscius senior did not love the son whom he kept down on the farm (Rosc. Am. 46–47): To take an example from the stage, I ask you whether you really think that the old man in the play of Caecilius thinks less of Eutychus, who lives in the country, than of the other, Chaerestratus (I think that was his name); that he keeps the one with him in the city as a token of esteem, while he has sent the other into the country as a punishment. “Why go off into such irrelevancies [ineptias]?” you will say. … But it is a breach of good manners to take as examples men who are well known, since it is uncertain whether they would like their names to be given; besides, none of them is likely to be better known to you than Eutychus, and certainly it makes no difference to the argument, whether I quote the name of this young man in the comedy or of anyone from the territory of Veii [certe ad rem nihil intersit utrum hunc ego comicum adulescentem an aliquem ex agro Veiente nominem]. I think, in fact, that these fictions of the poets are intended to give us a representation of our manners in the characters of others and a vivid picture of our daily life. (trans. Freese 1930)

The argument concerns stock characters from the theater, a senex and a filius rusticus who is here given a name, “Lucky,” a character from the lost Hypobolimaeus of Caecilius.26 “Lucky” is balanced with an alternative: “somebody from the territory of Veii.” For Cicero, that anonymous Veientine is an equivalent to a comicus  22 Cascino/Di Giuseppe/Patterson 2012, 359–72; cf. 356: there is no evidence to “document the violent destruction of the city—but … rather, a levelling of the structures of the Archaic phases in order to allow the construction of the great villas and domus of the Republican period.” Consular roads had a greater impact on the settlement than the urban destruction: see Kahane/Threipland/Ward-Perkins 1968, 7, 166; Farrell 2014a, 226–29. 23 Liverani 1987; see now Farrell 2014b, 102–4. 24 Here I survey briefly the more significant places in classical and imperial Latin (antiquitas and aetas patrum in BTL series A, B) in which Veii is mentioned, outside of historical sources (above, n. 15). 25 The only earlier surviving attestation is in a dramatic fragment of Naevius: Romulus/Lupus fr. 4 Manuwald: uel Veiens regem salutat … Albanum Amulium (“or the Veientine greets … Amulius the Alban king”). But the city will have been discussed by early historians (cf. Cato fr. 69 FRHist). 26 On stock characters in Cicero and their use in making arguments see Geffcken 1973, May 1988, Riggsby 2004. I thank Ben Jerue for bringing this passage to my attention.

  C.S. Kraus adulescens like Eutychus—a creature of chance, and certainly a figure appropriate to ineptiae, things not well fitted to their context, as Cicero’s imagined opponent dubs this digression. Ineptiae in Cicero are especially connected to fabulae and rhetorical or histrionic cosmetics (e.g., Mur. 26: isdem ineptiis fucata sunt illa omnia). Those connotations—together with the idea that the aliquis might as well be a totally fictional character—contribute to the sense that Veii is a figure of thought rather than a real place. But equally, as Cicero says, these story-characters provide an imago vitae cotidianae, and we certainly think here of the Elder Cato’s bonus agricola, bonus miles, bonus uir (Agr. pref.). Veii is a plausible enough backwater that Cicero need name only this aliquis’s origin to make the point, that Veii also reflects the kind of old-fashioned Roman values that he wishes to motivate, even with a (typical) wink at his modern, sophisticated audience.27 For Horace, too, Veii is an old place, again with exemplary potential (Epist. 2.2.166–68): “What does it matter when you paid for the food you live on? / The buyer (long ago) of a farm at Aricia or Veii / eats, though he doesn’t know it, bought greens for his dinner” (trans. Rudd 2005). Aricia and Veii, leading towns of ancient allied leagues,28 may represent antique probity—or, as Brink suggests, they may paradoxically suggest the valuable suburban land that in Horace’s time was being taken over by aristocratic villas.29 Otherwise, Horace knows Veii only as a place that makes bad wine—a judgment that recurs in Persius and Martial. For all three poets, Veientine wine is a mark of the cheap and the non-urbane.30 Distance from Rome measured in physical and cultural terms was often also conceived of temporally.31 Lucan explicitly puts Veii into the realm of the storied (7.391–94):  27 Dyck 2010 ad loc. thinks the Veientine detail “may have been chosen at random,” though he points to a scholiast who tells us that Chrysogonus had a villa there (ad Rosc. Am. 132). The resonances of the countryside in promoting and recalling ancient Roman values are endless; see Farrell 2014a on Falerii Veteres and 2014b on the suburbium, both with further bibliography. 28 On Aricia (made a municipium after its capture in 338 BCE) see Bispham 2007, 109–10 and 442; Cornell 2014 ad Cato 36 FRHist; also Ogilvie 1970, 200–201: “its floruit was glorious but short-lived,” and 182: it was early on in “political and religious competition” with Veii. 29 Brink 1982, 375: “the combination of two municipia of long standing [sic: but cf. above, n. 28] … may suggest a particular point. Guesses have been made: proximity to Rome, value of land near Rome, fine scenery, etc. Of these the high rate of suburban land near Rome could be linked with H.’s argument.” 30 It was “particularly notorious” (Howell 1980 ad Mart. 1.103.9); cf. also Hor. Sat. 2.3.143; Pers. 5.146; Mart. 2.53.3, 3.49.1. 31 Cf. Vasaly 1993, 133; Farrell 2014b, 84: “access to different kinds of antiquity is among the benefits that suburban places provide”; Kraus 2014 on distance ~ time, and see further below.

Urban Disasters and Other Romes  

tunc omne Latinum fabula nomen erit; Gabios Veiosque Coramque puluere uix tectae poterunt monstrare ruinae Albanosque lares Laurentinosque penates, rus uacuum. Then all the Latin name will be a fable: Gabii, Veii, Cora hardly will be indicated by their dust-covered ruins, the hearths of Alba and the house-gods of Laurentum, an empty country. (trans. S. Braund 1992)

The poet is here quoting Anchises’ famous lines to Aeneas (Aen. 6.773–76): hi tibi Nomentum et Gabios urbemque Fidenam, hi Collatinas imponent montibus arces, Pometios Castrumque Inui Bolamque Coramque; haec tum nomina erunt, nunc sunt sine nomine terrae.32 They will set the fortress of Collatia on the mountain-top, and Nomentum, and Gabii, and the city of Fidenae, and Pometia, Castrum Inui, and Bola and Cora. One day, these will be great names; for now, they are lands without a name. (trans. Horsfall 2013)

Though Lucan looks back from the point of view of the future, after Pharsalus, by putting Veii into Vergil’s prophetic list he also reenergizes the distinctive Vergilian knot of times, which imagines the future in the past and vice versa. As Feeney and others have emphasized, Anchises’ selection of towns is notable precisely for being now—in the time of Vergil’s writing—again a list of sine nomine terrae.33 In its continuing expansion, Rome generates an impressive string of these deserted towns, as all attention focuses on the metropolis. Lucan’s Veii joins Vergil’s list of now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t ghost towns that precede Rome, but whose haunting afterimage remains.34

 32 On this passage see Feeney 1986, 7–8; Labate 1991, 177–79; and Horsfall 2000 ad Verg. Aen. 7.413: “Virgil is writing in the familiar tradition of lamenting the past glory of cities famed in myth or history but now reduced to insignificance,” with bibliography. For Lucan and Vergil see Thompson/Bruère 1968, 18 on “the reflection that the cities of Italy … will become ghost towns, as desolate as the ruins of Troy which now surround the dictator.” 33 Tesoriero 2005, 204–10 analyzes the effect of having the pre-Aeneid Caesar look at the ruins of Troy, while the post-Aeneid reader knows what the character does not. 34 Gossage 1955. Serres 1991 is the best treatment of this phenomenon in the very beginning chapters of Livy.

  C.S. Kraus Finally, in Statius Veii represents quies (Silv. 4.5.53–56): “But more often the country and seclusion [quies] beguile you, now in your father’s seat on Veii’s soil [solo Veiente], now above leafy Hernica, now at ancient Cures” (trans. Coleman 1988). Appearing again in venerable company, rural (rura) Veii here combines Horatian simplicity (rus vacuum) with Lucanian antiquity in a poem praising the talented Septimius Severus and inviting him to sing lyric verse in the country.35 Rural quies often connoted paupertas, as well, reinforcing the idea of the once powerful Veii as a backwater, as at Val. Max. 4.4.8, where Veii explicitly marks ancestral poverty: “Consider the Aelian family. What wealth! There were sixteen Aelii living at the same time. They had one little house, where the monuments of Marius now stand, and one farm in the district of Veii [in agro Veiente], which needed fewer hands than it had owners” (trans. Shackleton Bailey 2000). Just as Rome leaves Veii behind culturally, so it extracts all its substance, leaving only a name. When the geographer Pausanias muses on the fate of lost cities whose ruins he travels through, he notes what remains to be seen—statue bases, a tortoise of stone, a wall.36 For our authors, Veii has been so far absorbed that not even these survive—its very existence seems impossible.

Veii after Veii Farrell eloquently describes the phenomenon I have been attempting to outline, in a fascinating study of the suburbium as imaginary: I am tempted to suggest that the refounded municipium [sc. of Veii] was as much a ceremonial as a real place, so that the ager Veientanus could somehow remain “empty” in the collective imagination even as Augustan Veii took shape as a kind of commemorative monument to Rome’s ancient foe.… To what extent did the Romans try to maintain and develop the suburbium almost as an imaginary landscape dominated by ruins, cult sites and other institutions that helped make it a kind of time machine, a zone of virtual antiquity, a nearby area of chronological as well as other kinds of refuge from the modern city and its discontents?37

It is the cultural memories of literature, not life, that create and maintain the powerful effect of these places, giving them names and taking them away again.38 But

 35 For Coleman 1988 ad loc. the places, especially Veii, epitomize “rustic quiet and seclusion.” 36 Paus. 8.31–32, on Megalopolis; I thank Bryant Kirkland for this reference. 37 Farrell 2014b, 103, 104–5. 38 See Tesoriero 2005, 208.

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Veientine quies is not always unproblematic. The second theme I explore here is that of the threat posed by this (semi)destroyed ancient city. As it evolves from a pendant for Rome to a mere shadow of that metropolis, Veii serves in turn as a pale substitute for the very first city that disappears so that Rome can be born and thrive. Its slow, Cheshire-cat vanishing act is uncannily like that of the bestknown of these ghost towns, Troy itself (Lucan 9.964–69):39 circumit exustae nomen memorabile Troiae magnaque Phoebei quaerit uestigia muri. iam siluae steriles et putres robore trunci Assaraci pressere domos et templa deorum iam lassa radice tenent, ac tota teguntur Pergama dumetis: etiam periere ruinae. [Caesar] walks around a memorable name—burnt-out Troy— and seeks the mighty traces of the wall of Phoebus. Now barren woods and trunks with rotting timber have submerged Assaracus’ houses and, with roots now weary, occupy the temples of the gods, and all of Pergamum is veiled by thickets: even the ruins suffered oblivion. (trans. S. Braund 1992)

Despite Lucan’s rotting, abandoned landscape, at the date when the imagined Caesarian visit would have taken place the area around Troy was in good commercial health—much like the real Veii.40 And indeed, Veii is one of a group of Troy-like places—including Alexandria, Corfinium, and Capua—which were at various times regarded (whether in fact or in paranoid thinking) as potential alternatives for Rome. Petre Ceauşescu, who christened this a “folie politique,” traces its use in political propaganda from the Social War onward, especially in the second triumviral period, when Octavian accused Antony of wanting to move the capital to Alexandria.41 But Ceauşescu had little to say about Veii.  39 Wick 2004 ad 9.964 remarks on Lucan’s fondness for “Schattenexistenz”; for visitors to Troy in the imperial period see Sage 2000, and on the Lucanian Caesar’s visit see Rossi 2001 and Tesoriero 2005. 40 Tesoriero 2005, 205 with n. 13. On the literary aspects of these “dead cities” see Labate 1991. Livy was conscious of the overlap of Veii with Troy: above, n. 7. 41 Ceauşescu 1976, 86–87. According to Suetonius, a similar fear was one of the motives for killing Caesar (Iul. 79.3): “Indeed, various rumours were in circulation—that he was planning to move to Alexandria or to Troy, taking with him the riches of the empire, since Italy was now depleted by levies, and leaving the city of Rome to be looked after by his associates” (trans. Edwards 2009); see Ceauşescu 1976, 83–85. Vasaly touches on it in her discussion of Rome as a religious center, focusing on Camillus’ speech (1993, 135–36); she treats Cicero on Capua extensively (1993, 231–43).

  C.S. Kraus To understand how the Etruscan city fits into this dynamic, we need to return to Livy. Veii becomes a credible double for Rome even before disaster befalls the latter. The possibility of a Veientine supplement comes up almost as soon as the city has been captured. A proposed colony in Volscian territory angers the plebs (5.24.4–9): A movement began to reject such largess [ea largitio].42 People thought they had been thrown a sop to divert them from a greater prize: for why had the plebs been banished among the Volsci when the splendid city of Veii and its land were in plain sight [pulcherrima urbs Veii agerque Veientanus in conspectu sit, uberior ampliorque Romano agro]? The latter’s territory was richer and more extensive than that of Rome, and they exalted the city over the city of Rome [urbem 43 quoque urbi Romae], pointing to its site, its great extent, its buildings and neighborhoods, both public and private. This was in fact [quin illa] the beginning of the well-known proposal to move to Veii, which was even more widely discussed after Rome’s capture by the Gauls [quae post captam utique Romam a Gallis celebratior fuit, transmigrandi Veios].

Livy’s authorial intervention (quin illa …) adds historical perspective to the scene, directing us away from the plebeian proposal under discussion, which is in fact not to abandon Rome but to inhabit both cities at once (24.8).44 To the patricians, however, the wealthy, recently captured city poses an exaggerated threat. They sarcastically equate the motion’s proposer to a new “founder” (24.11): “[the nobiles said that] no force in the world would ever make them abandon their fatherland and citizens, or to follow Titus Sicinius to Veii as its founder … abandoning the deified Romulus, son of a god, father and founder of the city of Rome [conditorem Veios sequantur, relicto deo Romulo, dei filio, parente et auctore urbis Romae].”45 The proposal comes to nothing, but like many other elements in the first part of Book 5, this episode foreshadows the Roman urban disaster to come (on the structure see above, n. 3). After the defeat at the Allia, Veii becomes a de facto altera Roma, a refuge for the army, whose forgetfulness (38.5: tanta omnium obliuio) soon becomes complete silence, preventing any kind of communication: “yet the greatest part fled  42 This is the word used of the proposed distribution of the praeda Veientana (20.2, 5), and is strongly associated in this part of the narrative with the Etruscan city (Kraus 2021). 43 Tony Woodman points out to me that urbem here in pointed contrast to urbi Romae might suggest that Livy is inverting the regular use of urbs without qualification to denote “Rome.” Veii then becomes “the City” in place of Rome. 44 For the textual problems here see Ogilvie 1970 ad loc. On the two-city theme in Livy see Kraus 1994a ad 6.40–41, with especial relevance to the theme of plebeian seditio troped onto the conquest and threat of Veii. 45 G. Miles 1995, 91–92, 120.

Urban Disasters and Other Romes  

safely to Veii, whence not only no defense but not even a message of the disaster was sent to Rome” (38.9).46 Without mutual knowledge, the two cities remain in stasis until news reaches Camillus at Ardea of the Gallic sack. Though he routs the Gauls, residential Rome is now in large part pillaged and burned. The last long five chapters are devoted to renewed efforts to transfer the capital to Veii, this time with the aim of abandoning Rome for good. The speech with which Camillus attempts to defeat this proposal is redolent of contemporary concerns, and has been plausibly connected to the contemporary altera Roma debates.47 The proposal is defeated but, famously, not by Camillus’ oratory but by an omen oblativum, the centurion stopping in the Forum and saying hic manebimus optime (5.55.1). This is a not atypical Livian move whereby practiced speech (in this case Camillus’ extended oratio recta) is less effective than symbolic action.48 Veii remains just out of sight—reappearing around the corner in Book 6 as a lingering temptation for an easy life rather than the hard rebuilding of Rome. In Propertius’ hands, the Etruscan city threatens Rome not by its rich emptiness but by its lack, its ruined state a warning of Rome’s possible fate (4.10.23– 30): Cossus at inficitur Veientis caede Tolumni, vincere cum Veios posse laboris erat. necdum ultra Tiberim belli sonus: ultima praeda Nomentum et captae iugera terna Corae. heu Veii veteres, et uos tum regna fuistis et uestro posita est aurea sella foro; nunc intra muros pastoris bucina lenti cantat, et in uestris ossibus arua metunt.49

 46 In one tradition the sacra were also taken to Veii rather than to Caere (not mentioned by Ogilvie 1970 ad 5.40): cf. Flor. 1.7: “whatever was the most sacred [quidquid religiosissimi] in the temples, the pontiffs and flamens buried some in jars and carried some with them on wagons to Veii. At the same time, the Virgins from the shrine of Vesta accompanied the fleeing [fugientia] sacra barefooted. But a man from the plebs, Albinus, is said to have caught up with them as they fled [fugientes] and placed the Virgins in his wagon after removing his wife and children” (trans. Forster 1929). 47 Ceauşescu 1976, 88. 48 On the episode see Levene 1993, 201; for the ineffectiveness of long speech one might compare Thucydides’ Plataeans; cf. Macleod 1977, 237: “The historian, like the tragedians, here and often uses rhetorical skills in order that they should be seen to fail; that not only heightens the pathos but also draws our attention to the reasons why they fail.” 49 “Next comes Cossus through his slaying of Tolumnius of Veii, when it took much effort to conquer Veii. Alas, ancient Veii! You too were then a mighty kingdom, and a throne of gold was

  C.S. Kraus As Tara Welch argues, in 4.10 the poet’s evocation of the “nostalgic and melancholy Etruria” and his focus on the past “is not so much a nostalgic preference for simpler times as an examination of how Rome’s very beginnings contain the seeds of both its rise and its eventual fall.”50 The lines fit Propertius’ wider project of recasting the Aeneid’s Roman ethnography into an elegiac vision that repeatedly threatens the epic vision with its own past of civil discord and the death of Roman familial and state unity.51 Lucan takes the Veientine example in a Livian direction. After the senate flees Rome, his L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus argues that Rome is where the senate (ordo) is—just as it was where Camillus was when the Gauls burned the city (5.27–30): When the Tarpeian sanctuary was burnt by Gallic torches and Camillus lived at Veii [Veiosque habitante Camillo]— there, was Rome. Never has our Order lost authority by change of soil. (trans. S. Braund 1992)

The topos that the essence of a city or polis is not its buildings but its people is an old one; but Rome, with its inaugurated religious sites, is often presented as a special, contrary case.52 That is the whole point of Camillus’ speech at the end of Livy 5. But Lucan’s Lentulus misreads the example of Veii—indeed, puts Camillus in the wrong place altogether—thereby mobilizing its threatening doubleness.53 The misreading is made more sinister by the fact that Lentulus Crus seems to be taking his information not from Livy 5 but from Livy 9, where the Roman army captured at Caudium decides to surrender to the Samnites. It is no coincidence that it was also an L. Cornelius Lentulus who there argued for the same conjoin-

 set in your marketplace: now within your walls sounds the horn of the loitering shepherd, and men reap cornfields over your graves” (trans. Goold 1999). 50 Welch 2005, 153, 170; see Labate 1991, 173; and cf. Hutchinson 2006, 221: “Veii’s fall, and king, are sympathetically treated, and might suggest wider mutability.” The passage again evokes the Vergilian lines cited above (Nomentum … Corae ~ Nomentum … Coramque). 51 See Edwards 1996, 56–57: “Veii in Livy almost becomes Rome. Might Rome someday come near to becoming Veii? Propertius’ Elegies, in particular those of Book 4, open up fissures in the solid, confident Roman identity projected both by Augustus’ building projects and (at least on some readings) by Virgil’s epic.” 52 See Vasaly 1993, 133–36; Jaeger 2015; for specifics on the unmovable Roman cults see Ogilvie 1970 ad Livy 5.52.6–16. For the topos cf. Sil. 7.743 (of Fabius) “here is the patria: the walls of the city stand in one breast” and Oakley’s extensive note on Livy 9.4.11–12 (1997–2008 ad loc.). 53 Livy’s Camillus is in exile not at Veii but at Ardea (first mentioned at 5.43.6).

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ing of city and people, persuading the Roman legions to go under the yoke, a humiliating and never-forgotten defeat. He too used the exemplum of Veii (9.4.12– 14). What is really Rome, he asks? The roofs and walls of the City, someone may say, and the great number who inhabit it. But all these are surely betrayed, not saved, if this army is wiped out. For who will protect them then? … Or will they beg for an army from Veii and a Camillus to command it [an a Veiis exercitum Camillumque ducem implorabunt]? Here is where all our hopes and resources rest, and if we save these we save our country; but by giving them up to death, we abandon it. (trans. Radice 1982)

For this Lentulus, there is no chance of a rescue from Veii; instead he argues for accepting a humiliating price for survival, successfully advocating for a moment of abject defeat that echoes the first fall of Rome.54 Lucan’s Lentulus Crus seems to invite us to reread Livy’s threatening Veii as a harmless substitute for Rome, standing in for it only while Camillus lived there; but both the original narrative in Book 5, where Camillus is at Ardea, not at Veii, and the intermediary Caudine intertext resist that recuperative reading. There is no help from Veii for Rome. Finally, both Rome and Veii are associated with the emperor Nero, whose portrayal as the metaphorical sacker of his own city has been well explored.55 According to at least one ancient rumor, Nero himself may have actually destroyed Rome, or a large part of it. Whether he set the Great Fire of 64 deliberately or not (Tac. Ann. 15.38.1: forte an dolo principis), by rebuilding large parts of the city as his Golden House Nero acts as a victorious power, turning the ruins of a beaten enemy into his own colony.56 In his narrative of the fire Tacitus makes direct comparisons both to Troy—in the content of Nero’s song (Ann. 15.39.3, the excidium Troianum)—and to the Gallic sack, rounding off the episode with a kind of eulogy (Ann. 15.41.2):57 “There were those who noted that the start of this conflagration

 54 One could argue that Livy’s Lentulus means that the army was at Veii and Camillus in an unspecified other place—in which case the misreading belongs to Lentulus Crus. But Livy’s character himself supplements and misreads Livy 5 in other ways: he recalls his own father’s presence at the negotiations with the Gauls, where Livy did not (9.4.8 with Oakley 1997–2008); and he claims that Rome was ransomed from the Gauls (9.4.16), where Livy’s Camillus interrupted the ransom process (5.49.1); Chaplin 2000, 39–41 offers a productive reading of these differences as an “interpretive mechanism.” 55 Keitel 1984; Woodman 1992. 56 As the Romans recolonized—among others—Capua, Carthage, Corinth, and Troy. 57 On Troy here see Woodman 2012b, 387–92. For other commemorations which feature numbers, cf. Livy 1.60.3: “Lucius Tarquinius Superbus reigned for twenty-five years. The monarchy at Rome from her foundation to her liberation lasted two hundred and forty-four years”; Tac.

  C.S. Kraus arose on the fourteenth day before the Kalends of Sextilis, on which the Senones too ignited the captured city; others have gone to such trouble as to total the same number of years, months, and days between each of these conflagrations” (trans. Woodman 2004). The synchronicity of disasters is not just a well-worn topos but an essential way both of understanding the past and of anchoring one’s own experience. Synchronism creates parallel experiences, as it encourages us to see history as repeating across centuries and empires.58 When Nero takes the opportunity to build a house in the ruins of his country (Ann. 15.42.1), this occasioned a popular lampoon (Suet. Ner. 39.2): Roma domus fiet: Veios migrate, Quirites, / si non et Veios occupat ista domus (“Rome will become a house; run off to Veii, Quirites! / Unless that house takes over Veii, too”).59 Returning to the idea of Rome and Veii as shared property, Nero is recast first as a modern-day Sicinius, the plebeian anti-Romulus (above, 5.24.11), then as the Gauls. Rather than subsuming or replacing Rome, Veii is here again a possible refuge from an attacking barbarian—but a refuge that will itself be devoured in an endless loop of repeal—replace—destroy. In Nero’s story Veii’s shadow is cast far back into the past. Suetonius reports portents from early in Augustus’ principate predicting that the progenies Caesarum would end with Nero (Galb. 1): With Nero, the descendants of the Caesars died out. While the signs foretelling this were many, two in particular were quite unmistakable. Once, when, right after her marriage with Augustus, Livia was on a visit to her villa at Veii [Veientanum suum], an eagle flew by and snatched a white hen, which was clutching a sprig of laurel in its beak, and at once dropped the bird into her lap. She decided to rear the hen and to plant the sprig. The … laurel grew to such a size that, whenever the Caesars were about to celebrate a triumph, they would gather their laurels from it. It was also their practice when they held a triumph to plant other laurel branches in the same spot and it was noted that when each one’s death was near the tree he had planted would droop. Now, in the final year of Nero’s reign, the entire grove withered away completely, while every single chicken there died. (trans. Edwards 2009)

The villa, which had different names—Veientanum, Prima Porta, Ad Gallinas Albas—is located not in urban Veii proper but in the ager Veientanus, quite close to

 Hist. 3.34: “This was the end of Cremona in the two hundred and eighty-sixth year from its origin.” 58 See esp. Feeney 2007, chs. 1–2, and 105–7 on the fire. 59 Griffin 1984, 129 notes the epigram’s irony; Champlin 2003, 194–200 examines the parallels between Tacitus’ narrative of the fire and Livy’s of the sack.

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its border with Rome.60 Suetonius chooses to designate it by its geographical location, though the story he tells is of how it came to be called ad gallinas albas (cf. Plin. HN 15.136–37). In the context I have laid out of the ways Veii functions in Latin literature, its appearance here reads as another example of Veii’s symbolic function, serving in this instance as a guardian for Roman power. Just as Livia’s marriage to Augustus will produce no children, instead directing the imperial succession to Tiberius and ultimately to Nero, Veii’s is a guardianship doomed to fail as Rome destroys itself from within. That is the last of the references to Veii in our survey. There was a real city Veii, a town which was not a backwater as such, but which by the Augustan period was a place of luxury villas and cult sites rather than a thriving metropolis.61 In literary sources, however, it is consistently used symbolically either to represent “no place,” a remnant that testifies to the power of the expanding Roman empire, or a potential Other, a city whose latent power might once have replaced Rome’s, and whose vanishing offers a warning of Rome’s future.62 Disasters, in antiquity as in the present, are social constructions, which “represent a radically altered context in which the community suddenly finds itself” (Toner 2013, 13). By processing real urban catastrophes like the Veientine sack through the literary engine of cultural memory, the Romans reinterpreted and reframed their experiences of disaster, making the past both accessible and revisable by the future.63

 60 Champlin 2003, 144 discusses the laurels and their linkage of Apollo, Augustus, and Nero; on the placement of this paragraph in Suetonius see Power 2009. On the villa “ad Gallinas albas” see Messineo et al. 2001; on the “striking airborne phenomenon” see A. Barrett 2002, 29–30 and, in more detail, Flory 1989. 61 A favorite inscription mentioned in this connection is ILS 6579, recording the meeting of the centumviri municipii Augusti Veientis—at Rome. I thank Peter Wiseman for this reference. 62 For further discussions of strategies of memory when addressing the loss of individual monuments or entire urban landscapes, see the contributions in this volume of Clark on Pompey’s monuments, Closs on the fire of 64 CE, Chapman on Jerusalem, Bromberg on Pompeii, and Farrell on postclassical vandalism. 63 I owe the notion of “reinterpreting and reframing” in this context to Palazzolo 2016.

Timothy Joseph

“One city captures us”: Lucan’s Inverted Roman Disaster Narrative By the early imperial period the rhetorical convention of the urbs capta had become, in short, conventional.1 This set piece—in which an author describes the fiery destruction of a city, the suffering, lamentation, and flight of inhabitants of all ages, and the plundering of the city’s property—had appeared in Greek and Roman literature of all genres, going back to Homer.2 By the late first century BCE, the topos had come to seem tired: Sallust has Caesar refer in jest to the previous speakers in the senate who had employed its features (Cat. 51.9), and Livy notes that Hannibal’s sack of Victumulae “did not lack any of the misfortunes that usually seem worthy of recording by those who write about such events” (neque ulla, quae in tali re memorabilis scribentibus uideri solet, praetermissa clades est, 21.57.14).3 Near the end of the first century CE, Quintilian in his manual on rhetorical education details all of the features that a proper sack of a city should include. If the speaker wants to produce enargeia and capture the imagination of his audience, he should include: flames racing through houses and temples, the crash of falling roofs, the single sound made up of many cries, the blind flight of some, others clinging to their dear ones in a last embrace, shrieks of children and women, the old men whom an unkind fate has allowed to live to see this day; then will come the pillage of property, secular and sacred, the frenzied activity of plunderers carrying off their booty and going back for more, the prisoners driven in chains before their captors, the mother who tries to keep her child with her, and the victors fighting one another wherever the spoils are richer. (8.3.67–69)4

 1 I am thankful to Virginia Closs, Elizabeth Keitel, and the press’s anonymous readers for many helpful comments on this essay. For Lucan I have used the text of Housman 1926, and translations are my own, unless otherwise noted. 2 See the comprehensive study of the topos by G. Paul 1982, as well as Rossi 2004, 17–53, and Keitel 2010 and 2012. 3 See G. Paul 1982, 144 (on Livy) and 150 (on Sallust). Keitel 2010, 338–39 considers the passages in Sallust and Livy and notes “how hackneyed a topos the urbs capta had become” (338). 4 The Latin reads: effusae per domus ac templa flammae et ruentium tectorum fragor et ex diuersis clamoribus unus quidam sonus, aliorum fuga incerta, alii extremo complexu suorum cohaerentes et infantium feminarumque ploratus et male usque in illum diem seruati (69) fato https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-003

  Timothy Joseph The passage reads as a sort of schematic textbook assignment: by Quintilian’s time, the scene of a captured city had become so commonplace that it was the stuff of schoolboys’ exercises.5 A generation or so before Quintilian, however, came Lucan. Whatever he may have learned about this topos in his oratorical training,6 in the Pharsalia Lucan upends the convention entirely. He reimagines and expands the topos, making his permutation of it central to the argument of his poem. Lucan’s entire story of Rome and Pharsalia, I will argue in this essay, can be read as a sort of inverted disaster narrative. An innovative and bold poetic move of this kind by Lucan should not be surprising. His newness and pioneering poetics were feted in antiquity by the likes of Statius (Silv. 2.7.48–53) and Suetonius (Vita Luc. 1), and scholarship in recent years has focused on how Lucan overturns and sometimes tramples on the conventions of the epic genre. To note just a few examples of the poem’s celebrated unconventionality, it lacks a central hero,7 and its gods choose to abandon its characters.8 The catalogue in Book 1 enumerates not Roman armies on the march but lands abandoned by Roman armies;9 rather than depicting an earth-dweller who enters the Underworld, Lucan makes it clear in Book 6 that Hell is on Earth.10 Lucan runs roughshod over the epic tradition—his Caesar actually tramples Troy underfoot at 9.961–7911—and indeed much of the literary tradition as a whole. His subversion of the set piece of the urbs capta is part of this radical poetic agenda.12 This essay will explore this endeavor, namely, how Lucan transforms the convention of the captured city. In short, the Rome of the Pharsalia is not cap-

 senes: tum illa profanorum sacrorumque direptio, efferentium praedas repetentiumque discursus, et acti ante suum quisque praedonem catenati, et conata retinere infantem suum mater, et sicubi maius lucrum est pugna inter uictores. The translation is by D. Russell 2002. 5 This is not to say that authors did not bring variety and even surprise to their deployments of the motif. See, e.g., Walsh 1970, 195; G. Paul 1982, 151–53; and Kraus in this volume on Livy’s discretion and “freshness” in using the motif; and Rossi 2004, 17–53 on Vergil’s “novel revision and rewriting of the Iliupersis” (53). 6 The late-antique biography of Lucan by Vacca refers to extensive early oratorical training. 7 See Ahl 1976, 150 (“the search for a hero, in the conventional epic sense, is futile”) as well as Roche 2009 on 1.522. 8 See Feeney 1991, 274–85. 9 See Batinski 1992. 10 See Ahl 1976, 140–49. 11 See Rossi 2001 and Tesoriero 2005. 12 On Lucan’s radical poetics generally, see Henderson 1987; Conte 1988; Masters 1992; and Sklenár 2003; as well as Narducci 1979, who focuses on Lucan’s subversion of Vergil.

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tured. Rather, in this poem the Rome of the Caesars captures Rome’s citizens. Lucan makes this statement explicitly in Book 7 (urbs nos una capit, 7.402), amid a passage (7.387–459) that I will examine at length. Post-Pharsalian Rome, Lucan tells us there, is holding captive and killing off her citizens. As this central passage and others in the poem make clear, Lucan figures the capture of Rome’s citizens not as a freestanding episode but as a condition—a permanent, abiding condition.13 However, in the poem’s early books Lucan in fact carefully prepares the reader for the inclusion of a conventional urbs capta, as I will trace in Part I of this essay. I will move in Part II to analyze his upending of that expectation, as articulated especially in the authorial insertions amid the Battle of Pharsalia in Book 7. I will conclude in Part III by tying together Lucan’s use of the motif across the poem and considering how he shows that the elements of a captured city stretch beyond the scope of the poem’s events and into the autocratic reality of life under the Caesars.

 The action of the Pharsalia begins with Caesar crossing the Rubicon and marching through the towns of northern Italy (1.183–391). Following his catalogue of all of the northern lands abandoned by Caesar’s troops, Lucan turns to the reactions in Rome to the general’s advance (1.466–522). Word arrives that “the city has been ordered to be seized by savage nations, with Romans as spectators” (iussamque feris a gentibus urbem / Romano spectante rapi, 1.483–84). The result of this news—which Lucan characterizes as a mixture of “empty rumor” and “legitimate fear” (uana quoque ad ueros accessit fama timores, 1.469)—is panic in the city. To express this condition, the poet includes a number of familiar features of the urbs capta.14 The central tableau comes at 1.484–514. He begins by stating: sic quisque pauendo dat uires famae, nulloque auctore malorum quae finxere timent. nec solum uolgus inani percussum terrore pauet, sed curia et ipsi sedibus exiluere patres, inuisaque belli


 13 On Roman military victory as a form of civic defeat, see also Clark in this volume; on Rome’s leaders as the metaphorical attackers of its own citizens, see Köster in this volume. 14 Roche 2009, 300–301 notes the inclusion of conventional details in this passage.

  Timothy Joseph consulibus fugiens mandat decreta senatus. tum, quae tuta petant et quae metuenda relinquant incerti, quo quemque fugae tulit impetus urguent praecipitem populum, serieque haerentia longa agmina prorumpunt. credas aut tecta nefandas corripuisse faces aut iam quatiente ruina nutantes pendere domos, sic turba per urbem praecipiti lymphata gradu, uelut unica rebus spes foret adflictis patrios excedere muros, inconsulta ruit. (1.484–98)



And so each in his fear gives strength to the rumor; there is no source for the bad news: they fear what they themselves have made up. Not only the commoners are afraid and struck by this empty terror, but the senate house and the patres themselves leapt up from their seats; and the senate, in flight, passes the hated decrees of war to the consuls. Then, those who are unsure which shelters they should seek and which they should abandon out of fear press hard on the fleeing populace, to wherever the force of flight took each of them, and the columns, clinging together in a long line, rush forward. You would think that unspeakable torches had taken hold of their roofs or that, in a destructive earthquake, their homes were teetering and swaying; to such an extent does the crowd, maddened in their headlong pace, rush through the city, without plan, as though the one hope in this trying time was to exit their fatherland’s walls.

The central image is the conventional detail of panicked flight, first by the senate (1.489) and then by the populace at large (1.490–93). Lucan will go on to compare the Romans’ flight from the city to the escape of sailors from a shipwreck (1.498– 504) before zooming in on the experiences of different individuals: nullum iam languidus aeuo eualuit reuocare parens coniunxue maritum fletibus, aut patrii, dubiae dum uota salutis conciperent, tenuere lares ; nec limine quisquam haesit et extremo tunc forsitan urbis amatae plenus abit uisu : ruit inreuocabile uolgus. (1.504–9) Now the father slowed by age could not call back anyone, neither could the wife use tears to recall her husband, nor the fatherland’s household gods, until they could begin a prayer for their doubtful safety. No one lingered under his threshold, but, taking in a last glimpse of a city that he may well have loved, each left: the crowd rushed out, unable to be called back.

The pitiful old man, the mournful woman, and the endangerment of something sacred are all conventional details of the urbs capta, as is the prospect of plunder, which Lucan raises in the ensuing lines:

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urbem populis uictisque frequentem gentibus et generis, coeat si turba, capacem humani facilem uenturo Caesare praedam ignauae liquere manus. (1.511–14) A city that was packed with conquered races and, if the crowd were all there, could hold the human race was—with Caesar coming—left by cowardly hands as easy spoil.

By this point in the passage, the entire city has been left and reduced to easy spoil (facilem … praedam, 1.513). However, no plunder has taken place yet. No invasion has taken place yet. The panic, fear, tears, and flight of this passage belie a critical detail: the city is not in fact under attack. Lucan had begun the passage by noting that fear itself had given strength to the rumors of Caesar’s invasion (1.484–85), that Romans were afraid of things that they had made up (quae finxere timent, 1.486), that this was, in short, “empty fear” (inani … terrore, 1.486– 87). Soon afterward, in what reads as a knowing gesture to the conventionality of the urbs capta motif, the poet declares to his reader, “you would think (credas) that unspeakable torches had taken hold of their roofs or that, in a destructive earthquake, their homes were teetering and swaying” (1.493–95). This is the point when “you,” the reader, would expect disaster to strike.15 But disaster is not in fact befalling Rome, the city is not being captured, there is—in short—nothing to see here. Lucan’s conspicuous inclusion of the trappings of a captured city without the actual capture of a city continues in Books 2 and 3. At the outset of Book 2 he commits nearly fifty lines to the lamentations in Rome in early 49. The lament is muted at first (2.20–21), but then comes out in female mourning practice (2.28– 42) and in the complaints of men as they prepare for an unwanted war (2.43–63). The exercise of lament here is, as Elaine Fantham notes, paradoxical: before a conflict supplication would be fitting; the mournful disheveling of hair and ululating cries at temples (2.30–36) belong after the battle.16 Following the collective laments of women and men is a more sustained rumination from an older Roman man, who in a long speech recalls the horrors suffered under Marius and Sulla (2.68–232). The condition of the city under Marius’ grip has many of the familiar images of a city under siege:

 15 This is Lucan’s one use of the pointed credas, which Vergil also uses just once, at Aen. 8.691, in his description of Actium on Aeneas’ shield. 16 Fantham 1992 on 2.32–33: “L. stresses the paradox of mourning before the event, when supplication would be the proper ritual.”

  Timothy Joseph stat cruor in templis multaque rubentia caede lubrica saxa madent. nulli sua profuit aetas: non senis extremum piguit uergentibus annis praecepisse diem, nec primo in limine uitae infantis miseri nascentia rumpere fata. crimine quo parui caedem potuere mereri? sed satis est iam posse mori. (2.103–9) Blood gathers in temples, and the slippery streets grow red with the abundance of carnage. Age was of benefit to no one: there was no hesitation to hasten the last day of an old man of advancing years, nor to crush the nascent fates of a poor infant right on the threshold of life. On what charge could little ones deserve death? It was enough to be able to die.

Defiled temples and the indiscriminate slaughter of both the oldest and youngest are stock features of an urbs capta. These details, while giving color to the picture of the civil unrest of the 80s and 70s BCE, may also look ahead. For the old man’s extended recollection as a whole functions as foreshadowing writ large, encouraging the reader to see the future in the past, to see in Marius and Sulla’s bloody feuds a harbinger of the greater and gorier (see 2.230–32) contest between Pompey and Caesar.17 In this light the flashback to Rome’s bloody streets at 2.104–9 may serve to reinforce the build-up of 1.466–522, bracing the reader for another gruesome capture of Rome, further defilement, more massacre of young and old. Book 2 then moves to focus on Cato, who confers with Brutus about their best course of action in the civil war (2.234–325) and then weds Marcia, his ex-wife and the recent widow of Hortensius (2.326–91). The latter passage offers a stunning reversal of nuptial convention, operating essentially as an “anti-wedding,” as Fantham puts it.18 Bride and groom alike play the part not of jubilant wedding celebrants but of doomed, crestfallen mourners. It is as though Lucan has jarringly populated one conventional scene, the wedding celebration, with characters right out of another, the urbs capta. So, with the ostensible reason of Hortensius’ death hanging over the proceedings, Marcia arrives at the ceremony “after disheveling and tearing out her hair, pounding her chest with constant beatings, and covering herself with ashes from [Hortensius’] tomb (effusas laniata comas contusaque pectus / uerberibus crebris cineresque ingesta sepulchri, / non aliter placitura uiro, 2.335–36). The poet goes on to write that “with no other appearance would she have pleased her husband” (non aliter placitura uiro,  17 See Grimal 1970, 88–89; Henderson 1987, 129–33; Leigh 1997, 299–303; Fratantuono 2012, 65–66; and Dinter 2012, 125–26 on how the old man’s speech captures the sense of the repetitiveness of Roman civil war. 18 Fantham 1992 on 2.354–71.

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2.337), and then, to hammer home his point, he clarifies that the bride kept on this mourning attire and mien for the wedding ceremony (2.365–66). Marcia is, in her own words, “not a companion for happy times” (non me laetorum sociam, 2.346). Cato too is a dour sight, wearing the beard and stern brow of the mourner (2.376–77). For these newlyweds there will be no joy or, Lucan makes clear, sex (2.378–80, a detail to which we will return in Part III). Though not in fact under attack, the two have the markers and the misery of war captives, and the passage adds to the developing sense, drawn out so carefully by Lucan beginning at 1.466, of Rome’s imminent capture. In Book 3 Caesar at last arrives at Rome, beholds the empty city, and addresses it (3.91–97). Of his entrance into Rome Lucan writes: sic fatur et urbem attonitam terrore subit. namque ignibus atris creditur, ut captae, rapturus moenia Romae sparsurusque deos. fuit haec mensura timoris: uelle putant quodcumque potest. (3.97–101) So [Caesar] speaks and enters a city struck with terror. For it is believed that he will use black fires to take the walls of Rome—like a captured city; and that he will put the gods to flight. This was the measure of their fear: they thought he wanted whatever he could get.

The moment is here. Caesar menacingly enters the city—subit in 3.98 is a verb commonly used of wartime attack (OLD 7)—and nothing happens. The line break from ignibus atris19 in 3.98 to the enjambed creditur in 3.99 accentuates the disconnect between public fear and reality: while the threat of fires, a stock feature of the urbs capta, hangs over the city, creditur reveals that this is just belief. The expectation that Caesar will take hold of the city walls (3.99) and scatter the gods from their temples (3.100)—again, familiar features of the topos—will not become reality.20 Rome is not a captured city but “like a captured city” (ut captae). Just as with his insertion at 1.493–95 (credas, “you would think …”), Lucan includes a nod to the convention while withholding the convention itself. All of the elements of an urbs capta are in place, without an urbs capta.

 19 Virginia Closs has observed that Vergil describes Cacus as “vomiting out black fires from his mouth” (atros / ore uomens ignis), with the suggestion that the monstrous Cacus’ attack on Pallanteum/proto-Rome may lie behind Lucan’s picture of Caesar at 3.97–101. 20 Note also at 3.112–68 the tribune of the plebs Metellus who wants a fight with the “captor” Caesar but does not get it.

  Timothy Joseph What is Lucan up to in these opening books? To what is he building with all of these feints, these faux intimations of Rome’s capture? As the poem progresses, its action in fact moves further and further away from the city.21 The main event of the war and the poem will take place not in Rome or even in Italy but over in Greece. Lucan’s readers, living a century or so after Pharsalia, of course knew that; they knew well that Rome itself stayed preserved, that the critical battles occurred elsewhere. Why, then, all of this seeming misdirection? Why this elaborate set-up for a city—rather, the city—held captive?

 Lucan carefully draws out the build-up to his main event, the Battle of Pharsalia, over the poem’s first six books and into its seventh,22 with the battle-lines finally colliding at 7.385–86. Immediately before battle is joined, Pompey delivers a final speech to his troops (7.342–82). As part of his exhortation Pompey bids his men to imagine that they are defending a city under attack: credite pendentes e summis moenibus urbis crinibus effusis hortari in proelia matres; credite grandaeuum uetitumque aetate senatum arma sequi sacros pedibus prosternere canos atque ipsam domini metuentem occurrere Romam; credite qui nunc est populus populumque futurum permixtas adferre preces: haec libera nasci, haec uolt turba mori. (7.369–76) Believe that our mothers are hanging from the tops of the city walls, their hair let go, urging us into battle; believe that the old-aged senate, prevented by age from pursuing arms, are laying their sacred white hair at our feet, and that Rome herself is running forward, in fear of a master; believe that the current and future population is offering mixed entreaties; the one group wishes to be born free, the other to die free.

The passage includes many of the conventions of the topos of the urbs capta: mass flight, as captured here by the fearful dash of Rome herself (7.373); women engaged in lament (7.369–70); the helpless elderly (in this case, the “old-aged”  21 See Bexley 2009 and Pogorzelski 2011. 22 See Masters 1992, 43 on the build-up, as well as Bexley 2009, 464–69 on the centrality of the place of Pharsalia in the poem and Joseph 2017 on the centrality of the day of Pharsalia in the poem’s design.

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[grandaeuum] senate, 7.371–72); and the youngest in danger too (7.374–76). But, again, just as in the evocations of the topos in Books 1–3, the episode is not a reality. At the beginnings of lines 7.369, 7.371, and 7.374, Pompey orders his men to “believe”/“imagine” (credite) these familiar occurrences. His words recall the narrator’s address to his reader in Book 1 that “you would think (credas) …” that disasters were befalling the city (1.493–95) and then his statement in Book 3 that it was believed (creditur, 3.98) that flames had fallen upon Rome. In each case the disaster is imagined. It is as though Pompey’s troops, like Lucan’s readers, are familiar enough with the topos to call it to mind, in spite of the absence of the event itself. However, from this speech by Pompey we get a sense of where Lucan is taking all of this; and we can begin to answer the question of “Why and what for?” that I raised above. Pompey bids his men to imagine the Roman populace of their time (qui nunc est populus, 7.374) but also the populace of the future (populumque futurum, 7.374)—both those who wish to die free and those wishing to be born free (7.375–76). This latter group, the still unborn Romans, will soon become the focus of the poet’s attention. As I noted above, the battle-lines finally meet at 7.385–86. But rather than moving to describe the combat, Lucan immediately digresses into a long excursus on the consequences of Pharsalia (7.387–459). He begins by concentrating, as Pompey did a few lines earlier, on the death of future races that is taking place at Pharsalia: hae facient dextrae, quidquid non expleat aetas ulla nec humanum reparet genus omnibus annis ut uacet a ferro. gentes Mars iste futuras obruet et populos aeui uenientis in orbem erepto natale feret. tunc omne Latinum fabula nomen erit; Gabios Veiosque Coramque puluere uix tectae poterunt monstrare ruinae Albanosque lares Laurentinosque penates, rus uacuum.


These right hands will see to it that, whatever any age does not accomplish and whatever the human race does not recover from all those years, it will be free from war. This Mars will destroy races yet to be born and, snatching away birth, will take away populations of an age coming into the world. Then all of the Latin name will be a story. Ruins scarcely covered in dust will be able to mark Gabii and Veii and Cora, as well as the Alban household gods and the Laurentian penates—a deserted country.

The most significant victims in Lucan’s disaster narrative are a group much greater than the lamenting women, weakened elderly, and helpless youths of conventional cities under siege. At Pharsalia and in the Pharsalia the Roman race

  Timothy Joseph itself is being erased. More dramatically still, even the opportunity for the race to be born is being erased, an image tautly captured in the swift ablative absolute erepto natale (7.391).23 With the erasure of the Roman populace comes the destruction not of one city but of many, with the neighboring towns Gabii, Veii, and Cora now reduced to an evacuated country (rus uacuum, 7.395).24 Lucan moves then to emphasize the cause for the eradication of the race: non aetas haec carpsit edax monimentaque rerum putria destituit: crimen ciuile uidemus tot uacuas urbes. generis quo turba redacta est humani! toto populi qui nascimur orbe nec muros inplere uiris nec possumus agros: urbs nos una capit. uincto fossore coluntur Hesperiae segetes, stat tectis putris auitis in nullos ruitura domus, nulloque frequentem ciue suo Romam sed mundi faece repletam cladis eo dedimus, ne tanto in corpore bellum iam possit ciuile geri.



It was not time that carved up, ate, and left behind these decaying monuments of achievement. It is civil crime that we see in so many vacant cities. To such a point the mob of the human race has been reduced! We people who are born across the whole earth are able to fill neither walls nor fields with men. One city contains/captures us. The seeds of Hesperia are tilled by a plowman in chains. The decaying home under an ancestral roof is about to fall—on nobody! We have brought Rome—occupied by no citizen of her own, but filled with the shit of the world—to such a point of disaster that, in a body as large as this, civil war can no longer be waged.

It is civil crime (crimen ciuile) that has hollowed out so many cities (tot uacuas urbes) and that, in fact, the Romans of Lucan’s day still see (uidemus) occupying them. The future population was reduced so profoundly at Pharsalia that now “one city contains us” (urbs nos una capit, 7.402). I have translated capit here as “contains”; and Lucan surely wants to convey the sense that, after the reduction of the population brought on by Pharsalia, one city, Rome, is large enough to contain all the world’s population. But at the same time the sentence also evokes the image of capture, of Rome holding her inhabitants captive.

 23 See Dilke 1960 on 7.391 on the extraordinariness of the ablative natale, where natali is expected. 24 Day 2013, 200: “So far as the narrator is concerned, contemporary Rome may as well be a vagabond slum, its neighboring fields and cities crumbling into the dust.” On the topos of Veii and its crumbling ruins, see also Kraus in this volume.

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This is the captive city for which Lucan has been preparing us over the course of the poem: Rome containing, capturing, squashing herself, and killing off her own citizens, present and future. In an image that may operate alongside Lucan’s inversion of the urbs capta motif as a whole, he pictures a collapsing roof—one of the conventions of the topos—but a roof that crashes on no one (7.403–4). Rome is running out of citizens. She has captured and is destroying herself and her own, to the point that “civil war can no longer be waged” (7.407); that is, the Rome of Lucan’s time no longer has the manpower to even field armies for combat.25 Lucan then moves to give greater context to the Pharsalian disaster. At 7.408–9 he states that “the savage names of Cannae and Allia, long condemned on the Roman calendar, should give way” to the day of Pharsalia (cedant feralia nomina Cannae / et damnata diu Romanis Allia fastis). Livy had identified Cannae as worse than Allia (22.50.1) and then as “greater than all that preceded it” (22.61.1). Pharsalia now surpasses in infamy both prior Roman disasters.26 It is now the big one. Further still, the carnage at Pharsalia exceeds the combined wreckage of a variety of other disasters, natural and man-made alike: aera pestiferum tractu morbosque fluentis insanamque famem permissasque ignibus urbes moeniaque in praeceps laturos plena tremores hi possunt explere uiri, quos undique traxit in miseram Fortuna necem. (7.412–16) Pestilential air, widespread diseases, debilitating famine, cities subjected to flames, quakes that bring full civilizations crashing down—all [these disasters] could be filled up by these men whom Fortune dragged down from everywhere into miserable death.

The body count at Pharsalia, we read, matches or “fills up” (explere, 7.415) the toll brought on by plague, disease, famine, and earthquakes—as well as that of cities set to flame (permissasque ignibus urbes, 7.413). The Pharsalian disaster, then, while emphatically not the harrowing “captured city” to which Lucan had directed us in Books 1–3, in fact encompasses multiple other ravaged cities. In the scope of its carnage, Pharsalia is a sort of “super disaster” enfolding disasters of all other sorts into itself. What reads at first as hyperbole actually makes sense if read as an extension of the assertion made at 7.387–407, that the death toll at Pharsalia includes Rome’s future generations.

 25 On Rome’s self-destructive tendencies and the deceptive claims to global reach during the Neronian era, see also Closs in this volume. 26 See Joseph 2017, 125.

  Timothy Joseph Lucan returns to this point, but in an explicitly personal manner, later in Book 7, during another extended excursus on the ramifications of Pharsalia (7.617–46).27 At the climax of this screed he states: plus est quam uita salusque quod perit: in totum mundi prosternimur aeuum. uincitur his gladiis omnis quae seruiet aetas. proxima quid suboles aut quid meruere nepotes in regnum nasci? pauide num gessimus arma teximus aut iugulos? alieni poena timoris in nostra ceruice sedet. post proelia natis si dominum, Fortuna, dabas, et bella dedisses. (7.639–46) It is more than life and safety that are dying: we are being laid low for all of the world’s time. Every age that will be enslaved is being defeated by these swords. Why did the next generation or why did their descendants deserve to be born into slavery? Surely we did not wage war in fear or cover our throats. The penalty for another’s fear lies on our necks. If, Fortune, you gave a master to those born after the battles, then you also should have given them the wars.

Lucan again imagines the unborn (note nasci in 7.643 and natis in 7.645) as the most pitiful victims at Pharsalia. Even more poignantly, he uses first-person plural forms to make the “we” of his own time—that is, himself and his contemporaries living under the Julio-Claudian autocracy—among those who are “laid low” (prosternimur, 7.640) on the day of the battle. While “we” were not the ones who waged war (gessimus, 7.643) with cowardice or covered (teximus, 7.644) our throats, he states, the penalty lies around our necks (in nostra ceruice, 7.645).28 For Pharsalia, we see, Lucan has extended—really, blown up—the conventional detail of the indiscriminate slaughter of woman and man, young and old into the laying low of all Romans, present and future. Rome’s capture of itself, while begun on the day of Pharsalia, is ongoing: we are still being slain, we are still at war. Later in Book 7 Lucan goes still further, into the limitless future, when he asserts that we will always have the battle between freedom and Caesar (7.693– 96: pars maxima pugnae / … quod semper habemus, / libertas et Caesar, erit).

 27 See Connolly 2016, 289 on Lucan’s presentation in this passage of “death in the plural in an intense sensory cascade.” 28 See Leigh 1997, 79–80.

“One city captures us”  

 This expansive transformation of the topos of the urbs capta is fitting in this poem about civil war—Rome vs. Rome—and the long-term consequences of Caesar’s and the Caesars’ victory in that war. With Caesar’s victory Rome captured itself, and the capture and killing of Rome’s citizens is an abiding, sempiternal condition. The authorial outbursts in Book 7 about Rome’s present and future “captive state” thus come to make sense of the episodes in Books 1–3 that we examined in Part I. The evacuation of the city in Book 1 anticipates not the raid by Caesar that many fear, but rather the permanent condition that Caesar’s victory will create. When Lucan writes that “the crowd rushes out, unable to be called back” (ruit inreuocabile uolgus, 1.509), he is foreshadowing the lasting depletion of the populace that will become so central to the rhetoric of Book 7. His description in Book 2 of the grim and sexless marriage of Cato and Marcia may strike a similarly foreboding tone for Rome as a whole. Lucan casts Cato there as “father of the city and spouse of the city” (urbi pater est urbique maritus, 2.388). But just before applying this epithet the poet had written that “the bonds of the old marriage bed were not attempted; his strength stood up even against lawful love” (nec foedera prisci / sunt temptata tori: iusto quoque robur amori / restitit, 2.378–80).29 The father of the city in Lucan’s poem will beget no more children, the spouse of the city will no longer copulate. An infertile Cato does not bode well for Rome’s future. These forebodings of the erasure of Rome’s citizenry are joined at the very beginning of the poem by a vivid picture of the condition of Rome’s cities in Lucan’s time: at nunc semirutis pendent quod moenia tectis urbibus Italiae lapsisque ingentia muris saxa iacent nulloque domus custode tenentur rarus et antiquis habitator in urbibus errat, … (1.24–27) But now in the cities of Italy foundations sag and homes are half-destroyed, and huge rocks lie on the ground since the walls have crumbled; homes are maintained by no caretakers, and even in ancient cities only an occasional inhabitant wanders.

As he will go on to accentuate in Book 7 (7.392–95), the devastation stretches across Rome’s cities. The explanation for Italy’s wasted urban landscape lies not  29 See Gladhill 2016, 168–99 on the recurring theme of failed or violated foedera in Lucan’s poem.

  Timothy Joseph in any foreign attack (1.30–31) but in “the wounds of citizens’ hands” (ciuilis uolnera dextrae, 1.32). The ongoing self-capture of Rome that Lucan describes has none of the regenerative possibilities that are written into the stories of earlier captured cities in the Roman literary tradition. If the sack of Troy exists as Rome’s Ur-sack, the death that was necessary for the birth of the Roman race, then the self-sack of Rome in the Pharsalia consigns the race to death once more—but now a lasting one.30 And there are additional anti-models: the Roman race had grown and in fact expanded as a result of the sack of sibling city Alba Longa, and then from the calamitous but not fatal Gallic sack of Rome.31 The many Roman narratives of rebirth after urban devastation—as told by the likes of Virgil (Troy reborn in Rome), as well as Ennius (Alba Longa in Rome),32 and Livy (Alba Longa in Rome; Rome’s return after the Gallic sack)—are halted in Lucan’s tale of Roman self-destruction.33 If Lucan’s inversion of the urbs capta topos in a sense closes, kills off the story of the city’s and the Roman race’s pattern of rebirth, then it also gives the lie to another particular Roman myth, that of Julius Caesar’s clemency toward Roman citizens. At several points in the poem Lucan depicts Caesar’s ostentatious acts of pardoning, of, for example, his rival Domitius (2.479–525), the bold defender of the treasury Metellus (3.112–68), and Afranius’ army at Ilerda (4.337–64).34 In Book 9, after arriving in Egypt and seeing the decapitated head of Pompey, Caesar bemoans that he “has lost the one reward in civil war, the ability to grant life to the defeated” (unica belli / praemia ciuilis, uictis donare salutem, / perdidimus, 9.1066–68). Clemency is the calling card of Caesar, both the character in Lucan’s

 30 Conte 1988, 33–39 discusses this difference between the Aeneid and Lucan’s poem. Contributions in this volume by Kraus, Closs, and Farrell also highlight the central place of the Trojan destruction in the Greco-Roman cultural repertoire; see also briefer mentions of Troy by Clark and Bromberg. 31 See Kraus 1994b on the patterns of refoundation in Livy’s narration of the sacks of Veii (5.1– 23) and Rome (5.32–50). See also Kraus in this volume on Veii as a site of contested memory and Farrell in this volume on metaphorical and literal sackings of Rome. 32 The remarks by Servius on Aen. 2.313 and 2.486 seem to refer to an otherwise lost account by Ennius of the sack of Alba. See Skutsch 1985, 279–80. 33 Cf. Roche’s 2005 discussion of Stoic imagery in Lucan and his analysis of civil war in the poem as an ekpyrosis that results in no palingenesis. For further discussion of the cosmic dimensions of civic disaster, see the discussions of Nethercut (on Lucretius), Zanker (on Horace) and Closs (on Seneca) in this volume. 34 Ahl 1976, 172–77 considers how Lucan plays down Caesar’s mercifulness in the Ilerda episode in Book 4.

“One city captures us”  

poem and the Caesar of other sources.35 But Lucan demolishes “Caesar the merciful” by underscoring in the strongest possible terms in Book 7 how many Roman lives his victory took away and in fact continues to take away.36 I have focused in this essay on Lucan’s inversion of a critical element in the urbs capta topos: the loss of lives, both old and—most meaningfully—young. I want to close by considering in brief his creative transformation of another common ingredient of the topos: the act of lamentation. Just as the frenzied evacuation of Rome in Book 1 foreshadows the lasting depletion of Rome’s populace after Pharsalia, the acts of mourning at 2.16–64, while containing all of the hallmarks of captive lament, look ahead, long past the events of the poem. Fantham has described how the lamentations in Book 2 “force upon the reader a full awareness of the death of liberty foreshadowed by this war.”37 Even more poignantly, this passage anticipates the inability to lament that will come with the arrival of tyranny. One of the grieving women exclaims, “Now, while the fortune of the leaders is in the balance, we have the power to weep. Once one of them has won, we will have to rejoice” (nunc flere potestas / dum pendet fortuna ducum: cum uicerit alter / gaudendum est, 2.40–42).38 While living as permanent captives in the Rome of the Caesars, the Romans of Lucan’s time and future times are, he suggests, silenced. They are not afforded the release—the power to weep (flere potestas)—that is typically granted to those dwelling in a captive city, nor the glimmer of hope that is expressed in such acts of lament. However, a voice cries out from within Lucan’s poem. While giving the opportunity to lament to the women of Book 2 and also, for example, to Pompey’s wife Cornelia (8.639–61; see too 8.86–107) and to an imaginary group of Pompey’s admirers in Book 7 (7.29–44),39 Lucan also gives the space for strident and sustained lament to another important character: the narrator. The trope of narratorial apostrophe in the Pharsalia is pervasive; Francesca D’Alessandro Behr

 35 See Grillo 2012, 78–105, with a focus on Caesar’s own projection of his clementia in the BCiv. 36 Lucan’s rendering of Caesar’s victory as one that holds Rome in captivity also stands in counterpoint to Caesar’s own depiction in the early chapters of BCiv. 1, discussed by Keitel 2012, 40– 41, of Pompey holding Rome captive in the period leading up to war. On Lucan’s poem as a pointed response to Caesar’s BCiv., see most recently Masters 1992; Zissos 2013; and Joseph 2017, 130–37. 37 Fantham 1999, 222. 38 See Fratantuono 2012, 57 on the silence in this passage: “Here again we see the power of the princeps, the suppression of the freedom to speak as one will, the element of make believe.” 39 See Keith 2008 on episodes of lament in the poem, with a focus on the character of Cornelia.

  Timothy Joseph has tallied 197 such uses in the poem.40 D’Alessandro Behr argues that “apostrophes resemble miniature lamentations or perhaps failed lamentation.”41 Across the poem the narrator calls out—cries out. He addresses these cries to a host of human characters, gods, and regions of the world. His very first address is to Rome’s citizens: “What is this madness, citizens, what is this great license to kill?” (1.8: quis furor, o ciues, quae tanta licentia ferri?). This early call to Rome’s warring citizens is typical of the narrator’s apostrophes across the poem, which are often anxious and plaintive, articulating the suffering that Caesar’s victory has produced.42 The Rome of the imperial period, the Rome of the Caesars, holds its citizens captive and—perhaps just as devastatingly—squashes the captives’ opportunity to mourn this ongoing loss. But Lucan’s narrator keeps that pained, personal voice alive, lamenting and crying out in opposition to the capture of the state.

 40 D’Alessandro Behr 2007, 7. See also Bartsch 1997, 93–100, Asso 2008, and Roche 2009, 112– 13 on Lucan’s use of apostrophe. 41 D’Alessandro Behr 2007, 23, who builds on Murnaghan’s 1999 discussion of the centrality of lament in Homeric epic. 42 Roche 2009, 112 (on 1.8) discusses how apostrophes “serve to reinforce in Lucan’s audience the present-day implications of his epic subject matter.”

Jacques A. Bromberg

Pliny’s Telemacheia: Epic and Exemplarity under Vesuvius Few natural disasters of the ancient world have captured the popular imagination more successfully and enduringly than the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which consumed Herculaneum, Oplontis, Pompeii, and a handful of surrounding towns and villages on August 24–25, 79 CE.1 Even without the literary and historiographical accounts of the eruption and its effects by the Younger Pliny, Statius, Martial, and Dio Cassius, the enormity of the cataclysm and its fallout would be self-evident from the geological record.2 As it is, however, the fortuitous combination of archaeological, geological, historiographical, and literary sources offers us uniquely detailed knowledge of the disaster, allowing scholars, historians, and volcanologists over the last century to reconstruct the events of those terrifying days. Pliny’s descriptions of the Vesuvian eruption, in letters 16 and 20 from Book 6 of his collection, have become some of the most famous and widely read of all ancient epistulae and have generally been viewed as reliable accounts of the disaster.3 The two letters answer the historian Tacitus’ request for a description of the death of the Elder Pliny during the eruption of Vesuvius. They have traditionally been read together as a structural and thematic pair, interrupted (“artificially and rhetorically,” as one scholar puts it) by an aposiopesis, a deliberate breaking-off, that invites readers to contrast the two accounts.4 To anyone who has read letters 6.16 and 6.20, the reasons for their enduring interest are self-evident: the first narrates the Elder Pliny’s final hours, during which his scientific curiosity turns to heroism, cast in an overtly epic mold; the second, no

 1 Vesuvius is now thought by many not to have erupted on August 24, but later in the year (possibly October). See Cooley 2004, 43. This argument was first presented at the 2015 SCS/AIA Joint Annual Meeting in New Orleans, as part of the panel “Family Values: Fathers and Sons in Flavian Literature,” which I co-organized with my friend and colleague Micaela Janan. I am grateful to Dr. Janan and the other panelists, Antonios Augoustakis, Neil Bernstein, and Timothy Stover, for their questions and comments. 2 For volcanological reconstructions see Merrill 1918 and 1920; F. Sullivan 1968; Forehand 1971 and 1972; D. Barrett 1972; Sigurdsson/Cashdollar/Sparks 1982; Romer 1985; Sigurdsson/Carey 2002. 3 For the purposes of this essay, I will use the undifferentiated “Pliny” for the author of the letters, and refer to his uncle (the hero of letter 6.16) as “Elder Pliny.” 4 Marchesi 2008, 171. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-004

  Jacques A. Bromberg less captivating, describes the Younger Pliny’s rescue of himself and his mother from the flames and tumbling buildings of Misenum. Throughout both texts, Pliny vividly sets one terrifying scene after another, narrating the action with all the suspense and urgency of a blockbuster disaster movie.5 The infamous eruption that Pliny describes has become one of the most popular and enduring subjects for historical fiction of the last two centuries and a half, from Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s novel The Last Days of Pompeii (1834), itself the basis of seven films between 1900 and 1959, to Robert Harris’ historical novel Pompeii (2003).6 But in the decades before Pliny’s letters to Tacitus, Roman authors had already identified the eruption of Vesuvius as the cataclysm of their age. For instance, Martial’s epigram 4.44, written perhaps a decade after the eruption, adopts the conventions of the Hellenistic epigram on the fallen city to paint an idyllic portrait of the countryside around Vesuvius:7 Hic est pampineis viridis modo Vesbius umbris, Presserat hic madidos nobilis uva lacus: Haec iuga, quam Nysae colles, plus Bacchus amavit, Hoc nuper Satyri monte dedere choros. Haec Veneris sedes, Lacedaemone gratior illi, Hic locus Herculeo nomine clarus erat. Cuncta iacent flammis et tristi mersa favilla: Nec superi vellent hoc licuisse sibi. Here is Vesuvius, so recently green with the shadows of the vines; here had the noble grape loaded the drunken basins. Bacchus loved these mountains more than the hills of Nysa; on this mountain the Satyrs recently held their dances. This was the seat of Venus, more pleasing to her than Sparta; this place was made famous by the name of Hercules. All this lies plunged in flames and in sad ash: not even the gods would have wished that this be permitted them.

Of course, by 79 CE the primordial nature and destructive power of volcanoes, especially Mount Aetna, had become a favorite subject for Roman epic poets:8 Seneca calls the description of Aetna a “customary subject for all poets” (Ep. 79.5: sollemnem omnibus poetis locum), citing Ovid (Met. 15.340–55), Vergil (Aen. 3.571–82), and Cornelius Severus, who had written an epic poem on the Sicilian  5 Maritz 1974 expands this comparison. 6 Film versions of The Last Days of Pompeii appeared in 1900 (dir. W.R. Booth), 1908 (dir. A. Ambrosio and L. Maggi), 1913 (dir. M. Caserini), 1926 (dir. C. Gallone), 1935 (dir. E. Schoedsack and M.C. Cooper), 1950 (dir. M. L’Herbier and P. Moffa), and 1959 (dir. S. Leone). 7 Newlands 2010, 110–11, who goes on to compare the account in Stat. Silv. 3.5. 8 On Aetna, see G.D. Williams 2017, esp. ch. 2.

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

War (Quint. 10.1.89). As others have argued, Pliny’s Vesuvius letters therefore inhabit a discursive space in between poetry and historiography, embracing certain conventions from each genre, while rejecting others.9 Despite the letters’ popularity among historians, volcanologists, writers, artists, and filmmakers, who have used them to reconstruct the events of August 24– 26, 79 CE, their literary qualities have only recently begun to receive attention. Some scholars have addressed their social or political language,10 others Pliny’s role as historian or chronicler of his time,11 and still others his intertextual relationship with contemporary Latin literary and artistic forms.12 Particularly well known are the letters’ allusions to Vergil’s description of the burning of Troy in Aeneid 2, many of which are treated in detail by Gigante and Marchesi.13 Is Pliny vain in comparing the destruction wrought by Vesuvius to the fall of Troy, as Gigante has suggested? Such an assessment seems hardly fair.14 After all, he was describing the greatest natural disaster of its time, the destruction of several cities and the asphyxiation or incineration of thousands of their inhabitants; at the same time, he was recalling a formative moment in his own life, one which he was lucky to survive, but which challenged and perhaps helped to shape his understanding of heroism and piety. Pliny’s ability to recall the events of those terrible days in such graphic and terrifying detail nearly three decades later attests to their lingering power. Nevertheless, as vivid though they are to us, it need hardly be observed that these letters must pale in comparison with the lived experience of Vesuvius. The result is what Marchesi has called a “balancing act of modest self-promotion through careful self-effacement.”15 This essay offers a close reading of epic intertexts in letters 6.16 and 6.20, but with special focus on their Homeric parallels. Despite the general awareness that Pliny read widely and enthusiastically in Greek literature, allusions to Greek texts have rarely been observed or studied.16 Yet behind the Vergilian quotations and

 9 Ash 2003; Augoustakis 2005; Newlands 2010. 10 Leach 2003; Noreña 2007; Baraz 2012; Coleman 2012. 11 Traub 1955; Ash 2003; Augoustakis 2005. 12 Gigante 1979; N. Miller 1987; Schönberger 1990; Ludolph 1997; Hoffer 1999; N. Jones 2001; Henderson 2003; Marchesi 2008; Newlands 2010; Strunk 2012; G.D. Williams 2006 and 2012. 13 Gigante 1979; Marchesi 2008, esp. 171–89. 14 For Troy as the quintessential urban destruction narrative, see also the contributions of Kraus, Joseph, Closs, and Farrell in this volume. 15 Marchesi 2008, 174. 16 An exception is Johnson 2013. More generally, see discussions of how the mythopoetic traditions of Greece and Rome influenced the ways in which narratives of real-life catastrophes are shaped in the contributions to this volume by Chapman, Köster, and Closs.

  Jacques A. Bromberg allusions lies a Homeric, and particularly Odyssean framework, in which a courageous, absent father figure is contrasted with an anxious and unproven son. Pliny models his own youthful self-characterization more elaborately than has been observed on the Homeric Telemachus, Odysseus’ untested teenager, who stars in the initial four books of the Odyssey—sometimes called the “Telemacheia”—and later plays an important role in the epic’s dénouement. Structurally, Pliny’s decision to separate his experience of Vesuvius from the contemporaneous one of his uncle mirrors the narrative style of the Odyssey, in which son and father undergo simultaneous struggles, with parallels of which they are themselves unaware. In appropriating and adapting the literary figure of Telemachus, Pliny establishes an innovative model of youthful heroism that illustrates his complex understanding of kinship and adoptive paternity. In contrast to the heroic scientist/admiral of letter 6.16, the bookish, teenaged Pliny of letter 6.20 would rather stay home reading than accompany his uncle on his adventurous investigations; but the events of those terrible days in Campania would test his courage and judgment, leaving a lifelong impression. Many years later, when given an opportunity to write about and reflect on the experience of Vesuvius, Pliny appears to have identified in the figure of Telemachus a paradigm for his ordeal. The writing of these two letters therefore allows Pliny simultaneously to answer Tacitus’ requests for eyewitness accounts of Vesuvius and to promote his continuing interest in the nature of paternity and succession. At the same time, in composing accounts of Vesuvius that cross generic boundaries—at once epic, scientific, historiographical, didactic—Pliny positions himself as heir and successor to these traditions as well. His account of Vesuvius thus lays bare personal anxieties about his own father-figures (literary as well as personal) and offers valuable lessons about paternity in the age of Trajan, when imperial bloodline succession had given way to the saner and safer practice of adoption. Writing in the early years of a new imperial dynasty, Pliny implicitly invokes and unpacks the model of adoptive succession established after the collapse of the Flavian dynasty. A closer reading of the epic intertexts in these letters thus not only adds to our appreciation of two already famous documents from antiquity, but also allows us also to situate 6.16 and 6.20 within the broader sociopolitical project of Pliny’s letters. Let us begin, however, with a brief overview of the disaster itself.

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

The Vesuvian Eruption: Precedents and Parallels Even in antiquity, Vesuvius and the surrounding area were known and recognized for their volcanism. An early eruption known as the “Avellino Eruption,” sometime in the first half of the second millennium BCE, consumed several Bronze Age settlements and has sometimes been called “the first Pompeii.”17 Diodorus Siculus locates some of Herakles’ adventures in the area, which he called “the ‘Burning Fields’ because of the hilltop that in ancient times snorted out fire in the same manner as Etna in Sicily” (4.21.5: ὠνομάσθαι δὲ καὶ τὸ πεδίον τοῦτο Φλεγραῖον ἀπὸ τοῦ λόφου τοῦ τὸ παλαιὸν ἐκφυσῶντος ἄπλατον πῦρ παραπλησίως τῇ κατὰ τὴν Σικελίαν Αἴτνῃ); and he goes on to describe Mount Vesuvius as “showing many signs of having been burnt up in ancient times” (ibid.: ἔχων πολλὰ σημεῖα τοῦ κεκαῦσθαι κατὰ τοὺς ἀρχαίους χρόνους). In his explanation of the formation and character of Pompeian pumice, the Roman architectural writer Vitruvius describes “sources of heat, in ancient times swelling and overflowing from beneath Mount Vesuvius, and flame bursting forth from there upon the surrounding fields” (De arch. 2.6.2: non minus etiam memorantur antiquitus crevisse ardores et abundavisse sub Vesuvio monte et inde evomuisse circa agros flammam). The geographer Strabo, commenting on the “ashen” (τεφρώδης) color of the summit, writes that it appears “as if devoured by fire, which would lead someone to conclude that this place was formerly scorched and bore craters of fire” (5.4.8: ὡς ἂν ἐκβεβρωμένων ὑπὸ πυρός, ὡς τεκμαίροιτ᾽ ἄν τις τὸ χωρίον τοῦτο καίεσθαι πρότερον καὶ ἔχειν κρατῆρας πυρός). But each of these passages describes Vesuvius’ volcanism as a feature of its distant, ancient, and even (for Diodorus) mythological past,18 and no explicit connection seems to have been made between the seismic activity around Campania and the region’s clear and apparently well-known volcanic history.19 Such a connection could have saved thousands of lives, when Vesuvius sprang back into life in the years leading to the eruption. First, a strong local earthquake on February 5, 62 CE, with which Seneca opens the sixth book of his Quaestiones naturales (on the subject of earthquakes): it “wrought great destruction upon Campania, a region never safe from such calamity, but still unhurt and  17 See, e.g., Livadie 2002. 18 Wiseman 1979b. Another mysterious piece of the puzzle of Vesuvius’ mythology is the inscription from Capua (CIL x. 1, 3806) dedicated to “Jupiter Vesuvius” (IOVI VESVVIO). 19 Sigurdsson 2002; Connors 2015. See also the mention in Chapman’s contribution to this volume of two Jewish texts, a graffito from Pompeii and Sibylline Oracle 4, that appear to refer to seismic cataclysm in the region.

  Jacques A. Bromberg totally worn out from the constant state of alarm” (QNat. 6.1: qui Campaniam, numquam securam huius mali, indemnem tamen et totiens defunctam metu, magna strage uastauit).20 The cities ruined in the earthquake included Pompeii, “the famous city in Campania” (celebrem Campaniae urbem, ibid.), and parts of Herculaneum, Nuceria, and Naples. Tacitus also mentions this earthquake among the prodigies of 62 CE, recalling that it “demolished a large portion of Pompeii, a famous city in Campania” (Ann. 15.22: motu terrae celebre Campaniae oppidum Pompei magna ex parte proruit). Seneca’s characterization of the community’s complete psychological exhaustion from being constantly on guard against earthquakes (totiens defunctam metu) is a particularly striking observation. The insight is even more noteworthy after the detailed work over the past thirty years on the phenomenon of “alarm fatigue,” a concept first observed among workers in intensive care units, but now increasingly adopted by public safety specialists studying the efficacy of modern warning systems.21 For Seneca, the Campanian earthquake prompted a lengthy reflection on the psychological effects of earthquakes on their victims in QNat. 6.1.4–15: “What hiding-place can we look to, what source of security, when the earth itself falls to ruin, and that which supports and sustains us, upon which our cities are built, which some say is the ‘foundation of the world,’ totters and falls away” (ibid., 6.1.5: quam latebram prospicimus, quod auxilium, si orbis ipse ruinas agitat, si hoc quod nos tuetur ac sustinet, supra quod urbes sitae sunt, quod fundamentum quidam mundi esse dixerunt, discedit ac titubat). After breaking off abruptly at 6.2.1 (“What am I doing?” Quid ago?), Seneca is left with a literate, though perhaps unsatisfying answer, a quote from Vergil: “the only comfort for the defeated is the hope of none” (QNat. 6.2.2 = Verg. Aen. 2.354: una salus uictis nullam sperare salutem).22 Carole Newlands endorses Gareth Williams’ characterization of Seneca’s treatment of the earthquake as offering an “alleviating perspective” that rationalizes the event by framing it in cosmic terms: all livings things perish.23 Nevertheless, Seneca’s account of public disregard in the face of danger, conditioned by frequent false alarms, is perspicacious, and helps to explain why Pliny and his family (and many thousands of others) remained in their homes in the volcano’s shadow, despite many tremors in the days before the eruption of 79 CE: “There  20 The date of this earthquake is disputed, as Tacitus (Ann. 15.22) and Seneca (QNat. 6.1.2) appear to assign it different dates, though it is possible they refer to two different events. See Hine 1984; G. D. Williams 2012, 10 n. 26; and Wallace-Hadrill 2003. 21 See, e.g., Schondelmeyer/Brady/Landrigan 2016; and on perception of volcanic risk specifically, Donovan/Eiser/Sparks 2014. 22 G.D. Williams 2012, 226–30. 23 Newlands 2010, 107–8; G.D. Williams 2006, 125–26.

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

had been earthquakes for many days,” Pliny recalls, adding, “[but they were] less frightening, because [they are] typical for Campania” (6.20.3: Praecesserat per multos dies tremor terrae, minus formidolosus quia Campaniae solitus).

The Eruption of 79: Pliny’s Account and Its Literary Pedigree Pliny’s own account of the eruption begins with his mother’s observation around 1:00 pm on August 24 (6.16.4: Nonum Kal. Septembres hora fere septima) of an unusual cloud in the mountains: “A cloud was arising—it was unclear to those observing from far away from which mountain, but only after was it confirmed to have been Vesuvius—whose appearance and shape is best compared with a pine tree” (6.16.5: Nubes—incertum procul intuentibus ex quo monte; Vesuvium fuisse postea cognitum est—oriebatur, cuius similitudinem et formam non alia magis arbor quam pinus expresserit).24 Recognizing its importance (though not, it seems, its significance), the Elder Pliny decides to investigate, and orders ready a ship, giving his nephew the option of accompanying him. Pliny declines, preferring to remain home with his books and writing assignments (6.16.7). At this point, however, an urgent message arrives from Stabiae, forcing the Elder Pliny to change his scientific investigation into a rescue mission (6.16.8–10). Though falling ash and volcanic rock terrify his crew, he undertakes the five-hour sail to Stabiae, and after arriving he seeks even to relieve his companions’ fears by showing unconcern, ordering a bath, dining cheerfully, and going to sleep (6.16.11–12). His situation implicitly parallels that of the adventuring Odysseus: not only commanding a dangerous and heroic voyage by sea, but bravely facing a hail of terrifying projectiles. Meanwhile, back in Misenum, a series of strong tremors wakes both mother and son, becoming so strong at one point that “everything seemed not merely moving, but turned upside-down” (6.20.3: ut non moveri omnia sed verti crederentur). When his mother breaks into his room, Pliny asks for his Livy and resumes his assignments; “I was only eighteen, you see,” he explains (6.20.5: agebam enim duodevicensimum annum). His studies are interrupted, however, by the unexpected arrival from Spain of an unnamed friend of his uncle, who rebukes the  24 In reconstructing the timeline of events, the astute syntheses of literary and volcanological evidence in Sigurdsson/Cashdollar/Sparks 1982 and Sigurdsson/Carey 2002 remain of unmatched clarity and utility.

  Jacques A. Bromberg two for their indifference (6.20.4–5). The tremors continue all night, shaking the surrounding houses, and around 6:00–6:30 am (6.20.6: Iam hora diei prima), Pliny and his mother decide to leave Misenum, encountering “many remarkable and terrible things” on their way out of town (6.20.8: Multa ibi miranda, multas formidines patimur). He observes the sea retreat upon itself “as though repelled by the earthquake” (6.20.9: Praeterea mare in se resorberi et tremore terrae quasi repelli videbamus), leaving marine creatures stranded upon the shore, phenomena consistent with a tsunami resulting from the shifting sea bed. Again, the anonymous Spaniard urges flight, but Pliny and his mother refuse to leave without first ascertaining the Elder Pliny’s fate (6.20.10–11). A dark cloud descends, indicating that the volcanic ash is now beginning to fall on Misenum as well, and Pliny’s mother begs him to leave her and escape; he refuses, and she obeys reluctantly (6.20.12). The two abandon the road, and witness the black cloud enshroud Capri and Misenum, covering the land “like a flood” (6.20.13: torrentis modo). At Stabiae, the Elder Pliny is also awakened around this time, as the entrances to the villa threaten to become choked with ash and pumice (6.16.16), which had continued to fall throughout the night. The changing conditions that produced the black cloud observed by Pliny and his mother in Misenum manifest themselves here in “fires and a sulfurous smell” (6.16.18: flammae flammarumque praenuntius odor sulpuris), which put the Stabians to flight. The Elder Pliny leads an evacuation to the shore, where he collapses (6.16.17–19). His body is found “intact and unharmed” two days later, “more like someone sleeping than a corpse” (6.16.20: habitus corporis quiescenti quam defuncto similior). In Misenum, the ash continues to fall, now “abundant and heavy” (6.20.16: multus et gravis), and Pliny allows himself a proud moment, remarking that, “I made no complaints and no cowardly sound even among such trials” (6.20.17: non gemitum mihi, non vocem parum fortem in tantis periculis excidisse). Finally, light returns (6.20.18), and Pliny and his mother bear witness to the ruined, ash-covered landscape (6.20.19).25 After describing the Elder Pliny’s death in letter 16, Pliny appears about to narrate his own experiences (“Meanwhile, at Misenum my mother and I … ,” 6.16.21: Interim Miseni ego et mater—), when he immediately breaks off, claiming that his own activities that day are irrelevant to Tacitus’ historical account (sed nihil ad historiam). Scholars have proposed various explanations for the sudden  25 For further discussions of strategies of memory when addressing the loss of individual monuments or entire urban landscapes, see the contributions in this volume of Kraus on Veii, Clark on Pompey’s monuments, Closs of the fire of 64 CE, Chapman on Jerusalem, and Farrell on postclassical vandalism.

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breaking off of Pliny’s narrative: the principle, for instance, that each letter should only address a single subject;26 the wish, perhaps, by Pliny to emphasize the differing narrative styles of the two letters.27 If we take Pliny at his word that Tacitus had only asked for an account of the Elder Pliny’s final days, then Pliny may have suspended the narrative in such dramatic fashion in order to provoke a request for second letter. If so, the strategy clearly worked, as 6.20 presents another reply to Tacitus, who this time has expressed an interest in the Younger Pliny’s and his mother’s adventures during the eruption. Letter 20 too closes with the same self-abnegating rhetoric as occasioned it (in 6.16), claiming not only that its contents are hardly worthy of history (nequaquam historia digna), indeed perhaps even unworthy of a letter (digna ne epistula quidem): “You will read these things, which are hardly worthy of history, without any intention of writing about them, and perhaps you will blame yourself for asking if they appear to be unworthy even of a letter. Farewell.” (6.20.20: Haec nequaquam historia digna non scripturus leges et tibi scilicet qui requisisti imputabis, si digna ne epistula quidem uidebuntur. Vale.)28 Nevertheless, this is the crucial moment at which Pliny suspends his account, creating the impression of a corresponding adventure by him and his mother that parallels that of his uncle. If we are correct in recognizing an Odyssean framework to the letters’ epic narrative, then the ellipsis separating the Elder Pliny’s experience of Vesuvius from Pliny’s and his mother’s reflects the narrative structure of the Odyssey; there, the young Telemachus is also left with his mother to fight for themselves while his adventurous father figure is off on his heroic adventures. Despite Pliny’s pose of apparent humility, both 6.16 and 6.20 are unmistakably heroic in their tone. The earlier letter, 6.16, begins with praise first of his correspondent Tacitus for writing a lasting and glorious account, and second of his uncle for not only writing texts worth reading, but performing acts as well worthy of being read about (6.16.3). These two activities of course echo the dual characteristics of the ideal Homeric hero, as articulated (e.g.) by Phoenix in the Iliad: “to be a speaker of words and a doer of deeds” (9.443: μύθων τε ῥητῆρ᾽ ἔμεναι πρηκτῆρά τε ἔργων). Moreover, the epic framework established in this opening invokes the Greek conception of “famous stories of men” (κλέα ἀνδρῶν), which

 26 Sherwin-White 1966, 3–5. 27 Augoustakis 2005; Marchesi 2008, 171–75. 28 Ash 2003; Augoustakis 2005.

  Jacques A. Bromberg denotes the form of immortality granted by poets and chroniclers to extraordinary individuals.29 Claims about the immortalizing power of the spoken, sung, or written word are traditional in Greek and Latin literature, but they are especially ubiquitous throughout the Latin epic tradition, appearing, for example, in Vergil (Aen. 9.446–49), Statius (Theb. 10.445–48), Lucan (BC 9.980–86), Silius Italicus (Pun. 4.396–400), and Valerius Flaccus (Arg. 1.242–46).30 Pliny too knew Greek literature intimately; in his letter on the death of the epic poet Silius Italicus (6.7), he exhorts his friend Rufus, “if it is not possible to carry out deeds (for the opportunity of these is in the hands of another), at least let us carry out our studies, and in so far as it is denied to us to live long, let us leave something behind by which we will bear witness to having lived” (3.7.14: si non datur factis (nam horum materia in aliena manu), certe studiis proferamus, et quatenus nobis denegatur diu uiuere, relinquamus aliquid, quo nos uixisse testemur); he then cites a line from Hesiod’s Works and Days (24): “‘rivalry is a good thing’ when friends by mutual exhortations stimulate one another to the love of immortality” (3.7.15: Ἀγαθὴ δ’ ἔρις cum inuicem se mutuis exhortationibus amici ad amorem immortalitatis exacuunt).31 Likewise, it is hardly surprising that quotations from Homer abound in Pliny’s epistolography.32

 29 The phrase κλέα ἀνδρῶν appears in several well-known Homeric contexts including the most famous instance in Book 9 of the Iliad, when the Greek embassy of Odysseus, Ajax, and Phoenix finds Achilles “singing the famous stories of men” (ἄειδε δ’ ἄρα κλέα ἀνδρῶν, 9.189); cf. Il. 9.524– 25 and Od. 8.73. 30 Cf. also non-epic references such as Theognis’ elegies (237), Pindaric epinician (Nem. 7.12–13 and 30–33), Cicero (Arch. 24), and Horace (Odes 3.30.1–9 and 4.9.13–28). 31 Greek words and phrases occur in over fifty letters throughout the collection, including both technical terms and slang, some expressions with no clear Latin equivalent, others for which a Latin phrase could easily have been used, as well as literary quotations in both prose and verse; see Deane 1918a and 1918b. In letter 6.6.3, Pliny recalls his studies in Rome with Nicetes Sacerdos from Smyrna, and in 7.4 he recalls, in his characteristically self-deprecating fashion, how as an adulescens, he composed a drama in Greek: “You ask, ‘What it was like?’ I don’t know; it was called a ‘tragedy’!” (7.4.2: quin etiam quattuordecim natus annos Graecam tragoediam scripsi. ‘Qualem?’ inquis. Nescio; tragoedia uocabatur). 32 References to the Iliad appear at 1.7.1 (= Il. 16.250), 1.7.4 (= Il. 1.528), 1.8.1, 1.18.1 (= Il. 1.63), 1.18.4 (= Il. 12.243), three passages at 1.20.22 (= Il. 2.212, 3.214, 3.222), 4.3.3 (Nestor’s honeyed speech), 4.11.12 (= Il. 18.20), 5.2.2, 5.6.43, 6.8.3 (= Il. 1.88), 8.2.8 (= Il. 9.319), 9.13.20 (= Il. 8.102), 9.26.6 (= Il. 5.356), and 9.26.6 (= Il. 21.388); meanwhile, Pliny alludes to or quotes from the Odyssey at 1.12.11, 5.19.2 (= Od. 2.47), 5.20.8 (Od. 1.351–52), 8.2.3, and 9.1.3 (Od. 22.412). References without quotation appear at 2.14.2, 3.9.28, and 8.4.4. See Deane 1918a and 1918b; and Stinchcomb 1936, 164 and n. 73.

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

Even a cursory review of Pliny’s patterns of quotation from Greek authors reveals that he displays more familiarity with Homer than with any other Greek author, and this supposition finds further support in Pliny’s own words to his friend Atilius, in which he refers to Homer as “the greatest of poets” (2.14.3). Pliny’s facility with Homer surely resulted in part from the traditional Roman education that he had received, and may have been furthered by contemporary fashion.33 The number of quotations from the poems, the aptness of their contexts, and the span in the dates of letters containing allusions to Homer suggest that Pliny continued throughout his adult life to read and study the Homeric poems.34 Two examples from consecutive letters in the collection (5.19 and 5.20) will illustrate the point, while also offering insight into the version of Telemachus that Pliny brings into view for his readers. In letter 5.19 (undated), addressed to Valerius Paulinus, Pliny takes up the question of his relationship to his household, which he characterizes as one of tenderness (indulgentia): “I always keep in mind Homer’s expression, ‘he was as gentle as a father,’ as well as our own idiom ‘father of the household’” (5.19.2: Est mihi semper in animo et Homericum illud πατὴρ δ’ ὣς ἤπιος ἦεν et hoc nostrum ‘pater familiae’). The quote is from Telemachus’ speech before the Ithacan assembly, to whom (Telemachus reminds them) Odysseus was always “gentle as a father” (Od. 2.47: πατὴρ δ᾽ ὣς ἤπιος ἦεν). Letter 5.20 from 106– 7 CE, addressed to Cornelius Ursus, describes the prosecution by the Bithynians of the proconsul Varenus Rufus. Pliny mentions that he spoke in Varenus’ defense, “not without result (whether my speech was good or bad will be seen when it is published)” (trans. Radice) (5.20.3: non sine euentu; nam bene an male liber indicabit). He then closes the letter with another quotation from the Odyssey: Nam si uerum est Homericum illud: τὴν γὰρ ἀοιδὴν μᾶλλον ἐπικλείουσ’ ἄνθρωποι, ἥ τις ἀκουόντεσσι νεωτάτη ἀμφιπέληται, prouidendum est mihi, ne gratiam nouitatis et florem, quae oratiunculam illam uel maxime commendat, epistulae loquacitate praecerpam.

 33 Quintilian, Pliny’s mentor (2.14.9 and 6.6.3), famously promotes the study of Homeric poetry for oratorical training: “Therefore, as Aratus judges that ‘one must begin with Jupiter,’ so it is clear that we should begin with Homer; for just as he himself says that the paths of rivers and springs take their beginning from Ocean, so does he offer a paradigm and starting point for all the parts of eloquence” (Inst. 10.1.46: Igitur, ut Aratus ab Ioue incipiendum putat, ita nos rite coepturi ab Homero uidemur. Hic enim, quem ad modum ex Oceano dicit ipse amnium fontiumque cursus initium capere, omnibus eloquentiae partibus exemplum et ortum dedit). 34 It should not be forgotten, however, that the letters cover only the last fifteen years of Pliny’s life from ca. 97–112 CE. Still, the earliest datable letter containing a Homeric allusion is 1.8 from ca. 96–97 CE, and the latest is 8.2 from ca. 107–108 CE.

  Jacques A. Bromberg For if that line of Homer is true, “men praise more that song which hovers most recent about the listeners,” I must see to it that I not diminish with [this] letter’s chattering the grace and bloom of novelty which greatly recommends that little oration. (5.20.8)

Here, Pliny quotes another line by Telemachus (Od. 1.351–52), in which he rebukes his mother, Penelope, for demanding that the minstrel Phemius sing any song other than that of the returning Achaeans, a subject she calls “painful” (1.341: λυγρῆς).35 Telemachus remarks matter-of-factly that “Odysseus was not the only one who lost his day of return in Troy” (1.354–55: οὐ γὰρ Ὀδυσσεὺς οἶος ἀπώλεσε νόστιμον ἦμαρ / ἐν Τροίῃ), and Penelope is astonished (1.360: ἡ μὲν θαμβήσασα) at her son’s wisdom (1.361: μῦθον πεπνυμένον). This is the first scene in the Odyssey in which we see mother and son interact and, though perhaps surprisingly tense, it is an important characterizing moment for Telemachus, who is seen beginning to assert his power over the household. Pliny’s appropriations from and adaptations of Homeric epic in his Vesuvius letters are mediated by clear references to Vergil’s Aeneid. Letters 6.16 and 6.20 contrast the Elder Pliny’s curiosity and heroism in the first letter with the Younger Pliny’s anxiety and self-doubt in the second. Pliny’s allusions to and quotations from Vergil in both letters reinforce this reading, though the references in 6.16 have come under suspicion. Gigante notes two Vergilian allusions in the first letter, the first in Pliny’s use of the phrase “he held command of the fleet” (6.16.4: Erat Miseni classemque imperio praesens regebat), to describe his uncle, instead of his official title, praefectus. The suspected allusion is to Vergil’s famous formulation, “you, Roman, remember to hold command” (Aen. 6.851: tu regere imperio, Romane, memento), and as others have noted, if not for the word praesens, Pliny’s sentence could be a hexameter.36 The second allusion observed by Gigante is the Elder Pliny’s proverbial exhortation, “fortune favors the bold” (6.16.12: audaces fortuna iuvat), which recalls Turnus, “Fortune favors the brave” (Aen. 10.284: fortes Fortuna iuvat).37 Marchesi finds these two allusions unconvincing, the first because the phrase imperio regere is too common to link the two passages directly, and the second because the proverb audaces fortuna iuvat is a common Roman

 35 Other than attributing it to carelessness or to a lapse in memory, I am unsure how to explain satisfactorily Pliny’s error in this line, substituting the un-metrical ἀκουόντεσσι for Homer’s ἀϊόντεσσι. 36 Marchesi 2008, 175. 37 Gigante 1979, 341.

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

expression, and not specifically Vergilian.38 Instead, she argues that Pliny’s portrait of his uncle is informed by the moral ideal of the Stoic sage: “Pliny the Elder acts the part of the Stoic sage when he consoles his terrified friend and displays an absolute tranquility bathing, dining, and putting on a smile in the face of danger.”39 Marchesi calls Pliny’s modeling of his uncle on this moral type “more relevant” for understanding 6.16; but tacitly assumes, in her critique of Gigante’s reading, that Pliny’s characterization of his uncle as a Stoic sage is incompatible with allusions to Vergil. But the Vergilian background of 6.16 cannot be so easily dismissed. Pliny’s characterization of his uncle as a Stoic sage draws at least in part upon Vergil’s Stoic Aeneas. In mid-disaster at Stabiae, the Elder Pliny puts on an apparently cheerful disposition for the benefit of his terrified companions: “in order to relieve his friend’s fear by a show of confidence, he ordered a bath to be drawn; bathed, he reclined and dined, either cheerfully or (which is just as impressive) apparently cheerfully” (6.16.12: utque timorem eius sua securitate leniret, deferri in balineum iubet; lotus accubat cenat, aut hilaris aut (quod aeque magnum) similis hilari). The reference is indirect, but calls to mind Aeneas’ own desire in Book 1 to calm his companions with a show of confidence, which Vergil captures in the line “he made a show of hope in his face, concealed the deep pain in his heart” (Aen. 1.209: spem vultu simulat, permit altum corde dolorem). As he closes his account of his uncle’s death, Pliny breaks off his narrative with the remark, “therefore, I shall make an end” (6.16.21: finem ergo faciam). While this may seem like a perfectly ordinary way to finish a letter, in fact the word finis appears nowhere else in Book 6 of the letters, and Pliny uses the closing expression finem faciam only in two other contexts (2.5.13 and 5.21.6). Given the degree to which Pliny draws from Vergil to frame his accounts of Vesuvius, it may be reasonable to suggest that here he is deliberately deploying another important Vergilian expression. Vergil, of course, uses finis throughout the Aeneid to punctuate the narrative at pivotal points, especially in the first book: in Aeneas’ first speech to his comrades (1.199: dabit deus his quoque finem), in closing the storm narrative (1.223: et iam finis erat), in describing the endless imperium of Rome (1.278–79: His ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono; / imperium sine fine dedi), and in the final reconciliation of Juno (12.793: Qua iam finis erit, coniunx?). Recognizing the Vergilian intertexts behind the heroic representation of the Elder Pliny in letter 6.16 is vital to understanding Pliny’s own self-characterization in 6.20. As I  38 Marchesi 2008, 176 n. 58 cites parallels in Ennius (in Macr. 6.1.62), Terence (Phorm. 203), and Cicero (Tusc. 11.4.11). 39 Marchesi 2008, 176 n. 57.

  Jacques A. Bromberg demonstrate below, Pliny’s second Vesuvius letter continues to advance a significant Vergilian subtext while also appropriating Homer’s Telemachus as a model for the younger Pliny’s plight during the fateful hours of the eruption. When Pliny turns in letter 6.20 to retelling his own story, the epic models become even more apparent. His account of the terrifying night of August 24th opens with the same words Aeneas uses in recounting to Dido’s court the destruction of Troy: Ais te adductum litteris quas exigenti tibi de morte auunculi mei scripsi, cupere cognoscere, quos ego Miseni relictus (id enim ingressus abruperam) non solum metus uerum etiam casus pertulerim. ‘Quamquam animus meminisse horret, … incipiam.’ You say that you are driven by the letter I wrote to you about my uncle’s death to wish to know (for indeed, I broke off just as I was beginning to tell you) what terrors, indeed what misfortunes, I endured after I had been left in Misenum. ‘Although my soul shudders to recollect … I shall begin.’ (6.20.1)

Even before the quotation of Aeneas’ well-known formula (Aen. 2.12–13), “Quamquam animus meminisse horret …,” the letter invokes its Vergilian model in Tacitus’ desire “to know … the misfortunes” (cupere cognoscere … casus). Aeneas uses the same phrase, of course, to describe Dido’s desire to hear the story of Troy: “if you desire so much to know my misfortunes …” (Aen. 2.10: sed si tantus amor casus cognoscere casus …). Allusions to Aeneid 2 continue later in the letter, when Pliny’s mother begs him to leave her behind and save himself: Tum mater orare hortari iubere, quoquo modo fugerem; posse enim iuuenem, se et annis et corpore grauem bene morituram, si mihi causa mortis non fuisset. Ego contra saluum me nisi una non futurum; dein manum eius amplexus addere gradum cogo. Paret aegre incusatque se, quod me moretur. Then my mother began to beg, urge, order that I should escape by any possible means; for I could, being young, while she, heavy with an aging body would die happily, if only she would not be the cause of my death. I refused, saying that I would not save myself without her. So taking her hand I compel her to walk, while she obeys reluctantly, blaming herself for having delayed me. (6.20.1)

The confrontation between parent and child seems to recall Anchises’ plea (a memorable Vergilian half-line) that Aeneas leave him behind: “go, take flight: if the gods who live in heaven had wanted me to go on living, they would have saved my home” (Aen. 2.640–42: vos agitate fugam: / me si caelicolae voluissent ducere vitam, / has mihi servassent sedes). Meanwhile, the devastation of Misenum that Pliny and his mother encounter in their flight evokes the epic destruction of Troy in numerous places (6.20.8, 14,

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

18–19). A particularly striking allusion, which serves to cast Pliny in the role of the fugitive Aeneas witnessing the destruction of his hometown, is in the use of the first-person present verb respicio. During the heaviest fallout in Misenum in the late morning of August 25, Pliny and his mother escape their house and witness the first nuée ardente descend and enshroud Capri and the cape at Miseunum. “I look back,” he recalls, “a thick blackness loomed from behind which, poured over the ground like a flood, pursued us” (6.20.13: Respicio: densa caligo tergis imminebat, quae nos torrentis modo infusa terrae sequebatur). The sight of Priam’s pathetic slaughter by Pyrrhus (2.533–58) causes Aeneas to abandon his fight against the invading Greeks and instead to seek out his family’s safety. Vergil characterizes Aeneas’ change of mindset, after the shock of witnessing Priam’s death, in the following way: “I look back, and survey what aid lies around me: all had fled, exhausted, some throwing their bodies miserably from the buildings, others giving [themselves] to the fire out of grief” (2.564–66: Respicio, et quae sit me circum copia lustro. / Deseruere omnes defessi, et corpora saltu / ad terram misere aut ignibus aegra dedere). Having emphasized his account’s authenticity with this reference to his own view of the scene, Pliny then employs an abundance of tropes associated with sacked cities that are well known from other literary contexts.40 Pliny’s teacher, Quintilian, under his discussion of “vivid illustration” (8.3.61: ἐνάργεια) gives detailed instructions for treating the subject (8.3.67–70).41 Quintilian goes on to advise his reader, “We shall succeed in making the facts evident, if they are plausible; it will even be legitimate to invent things of the kind that usually occur” (8.3.70: Consequemur autem ut manifesta sint si fuerint ueri similia, et licebit etiam falso adfingere quidquid fieri solet; trans. D.A. Russell). But the reason that such fictions are so effective, Quintilian explains, is that “everyone applies to himself that which he hears from others” (8.3.72: ad se refert quisque quae audit). The literary qualities of Pliny’s letters seem to fit this mold exactly, adding elements of fiction to an

 40 “You could hear the wails of women, the cries of young children, and the shouts of men; some were searching for parents, some for children, others for spouses; some bewailing their own misfortune, others that of their family; there were even some in their fear of death praying for death” (6.20.14: Audires ululatus feminarum, infantum quiritatus, clamores virorum; alii parentes alii liberos alii coniuges vocibus requirebant, vocibus noscitabant; hi suum casum, illi suorum miserabantur; erant qui metu mortis mortem precarentur). For discussion of the literary tropes of sacked cities, see Woodman 1972 and 2012b, 387–94; Keitel 2010. 41 The author of the Rhetorica ad Herennium offers a similar list of tropes associated with sacked cities in his discussion of “representation” (descriptio, 4.51). See discussions in Woodman 1972, 155–56; and Keitel 2010, 339.

  Jacques A. Bromberg otherwise straightforward “eyewitness” account of the eruption of Vesuvius and implicitly aligning the author with the narrators of other such catastrophes.

Pliny, Telemachus, and Symbolic Succession Pliny’s allusions to the highly allusive Aeneid add texture to the intertextual latticework of the epistles. Yet the Odyssean character of the second letter has never been observed, despite the degree to which it enriches the Vergilian references and illuminates Pliny’s self-characterization in the letters. If Pliny deliberately suspended the beginning of his own narrative in his first letter (6.16.21) to facilitate a comparison between his uncle’s adventures and his own, then the “Telemacheia” offers the clearest structural and thematic model for such a contrast; and in fact, the situational parallels with Telemachus appear more apt than with Aeneas. Telemachus has no less anxiety than Pliny when it comes to his father. The disguised Athena finds him despondent and confused, and when she tells him how much he resembles Odysseus (1.206–10), he coolly replies: τοιγὰρ ἐγώ τοι, ξεῖνε, μάλ᾽ ἀτρεκέως ἀγορεύσω. μήτηρ μέν τέ μέ φησι τοῦ ἔμμεναι, αὐτὰρ ἐγώ γε οὐκ οἶδ᾽: οὐ γάρ πώ τις ἑὸν γόνον αὐτὸς ἀνέγνω. ὡς δὴ ἐγώ γ᾽ ὄφελον μάκαρός νύ τευ ἔμμεναι υἱὸς ἀνέρος, ὃν κτεάτεσσιν ἑοῖς ἔπι γῆρας ἔτετμε. νῦν δ᾽ ὃς ἀποτμότατος γένετο θνητῶν ἀνθρώπων, τοῦ μ᾽ ἔκ φασι γενέσθαι, ἐπεὶ σύ με τοῦτ᾽ ἐρεείνεις. Well then, stranger, I shall tell you quite precisely: my mother tells me that I am his [son], but me, I don’t know. For no one can bear witness to his own parentage. Oh, how I wish I could have been the son of some blessed man, whom old age found among his own possessions. But instead, they say I am [the son of] the most ill-fated man of all mortal men, since you asked me this. (Od. 1.214–20)

When Athena, disguised as Mentes, has exhorted him to action, advising him to call an assembly and set out in search of news regarding Odysseus, Telemachus responds gratefully: “Stranger, you say all these things with good intensions, as a father would to a son, and I will never forget them” (Od. 1.307–8: ξεῖν᾽, ἦ τοι μὲν ταῦτα φίλα φρονέων ἀγορεύεις, / ὥς τε πατὴρ ᾧ παιδί, καὶ οὔ ποτε λήσομαι αὐτῶν). Like the fatherless Telemachus of the Odyssey, the teenaged Pliny of letter 20 is tested in the absence of an influential male parent. The tense scene between Pliny and his mother no doubt resembles Aeneas’ confrontation with Anchises in the burning of Troy but, being between a mother and her son, it evokes

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

equally the tension between Telemachus and Penelope in the Odyssey’s opening books: first when Telemachus reprimands Penelope for her harsh treatment of the bard Phemius, and later, when he departs for Sparta without her knowing. Like Penelope in the Odyssey, Pliny’s mother plays an active role in Pliny’s story, being first to notice the cloud, and to awaken her son when the tremors threaten the stability of their home. Also like Penelope, she resists (even at times opposes) her son’s attempts to claim authority in his father’s absence. She begs her son to take flight without her, but he grabs her hand and “urge[s] her to quicken her pace” (6.20.12: addere gradum cogo), and she “reluctantly obeys” (paret aegre). Likewise, the miraculous appearances of the Elder Pliny’s Spanish friend lack a satisfactory Vergilian parallel.42 On the other hand, the Homeric antecedent is evident, with the Spaniard playing a role comparable to that of the disguised Athena, who appears fortuitously to goad the young man into action. While the Spaniard urges flight, Pliny acknowledges his duty to ascertain his uncle’s fate. This recalls Telemachus’ feeling of obligation toward Odysseus in the early books of the Odyssey: as she departs, Athena inspires Telemachus to remember his father even more strongly than before (1.321–32: ὑπέμνησέν τέ ἑ πατρὸς / μᾶλλον ἔτ’ ἢ τὸ πάροιθεν), and in the opening verses of Book 2, Telemachus is reintroduced as “Odysseus’ own true son” (2.2: Ὀδυσσῆος φίλος υἱός).43 In letter 6.25, on the disappearance of Robustus, Pliny praises his son, “that most honorable young man, who with admirable devotion and equally admirable wisdom is searching for his father. May the gods favor him in finding the man himself …” (6.25.5: demus optimi adulescentis honestissimis precibus, qui pietate mira mira etiam sagacitate patrem quaerit. Di faueant ut sic inueniat ipsum …). His attitude here reflects his experiences and uncertainty at Misenum, which he refuses to leave while the Elder’s fate is unclear. The demands of pietas exert a powerful force on the Younger Pliny, as they do upon Robustus’ son, and Pliny’s two Vesuvius letters fit his commitment throughout the collection of letters to exploring models of relatedness that privilege selection over kinship. Neil Bernstein in particular has offered a compelling reading of letters from the eighth book to demonstrate how Pliny adapts the rhetoric of paternity to characterize himself as an exemplary model for young men: “Though childless and heirless, Pliny represents in symbolically paternal terms his mentorship of young

 42 Gigante 1979 compares the scene to Aeneas’ encounter with Androgeos, linking Pliny’s quid cessatis evadere (6.20.10) with Vergil’s Festinate viri! Nam quae tam sera moratur / segnities? (Aen. 2.373–74); but again Marchesi 2008, 181 is unconvinced, preferring an elaborate (and, as she admits, equally subtle) comparison with the parva Troia episode from Aeneid 3. 43 For this meaning of φίλος, “one’s own,” in Homer and early Greek poetry, see LSJ s.v. φίλος 2c.

  Jacques A. Bromberg men through the example of his own life and work.”44 In many instances, Pliny celebrates young men who embrace the moral and professional examples offered by their elders, and a similar understanding of kinship through exemplarity informs Pliny’s notions of fatherhood.45 These passages demonstrate, as Bernstein explains, the role that the rhetoric of paternity plays in Pliny’s self-characterization as “the figurative son of the older men who once supported his early political career.”46 Nevertheless, this understanding of kinship through exemplarity is clouded by an anxiety that figurative son may not live up to figurative father, a theme that is prominent in Pliny’s memories about the Elder Pliny, his uncle and “adoptive father” (5.8.5: per adoptionem pater). Pliny’s anxiety is perhaps most clearly articulated in 3.5, in which he follows a catalogue of the Elder Pliny’s works with a description of his rigorous lifestyle, beginning before dawn (3.5.9: ante lucem) and continuing with reading through dinnertime (3.5.11–12). By contrast, he writes, “I often laugh when someone calls me ‘studious,’ since compared to him I am exceedingly indolent” (3.5.19: itaque soleo ridere cum me quidam studiosum uocant, qui si comparer illi sum desidiosissimus). A similar perspective appears in letter 5.8 when, asked by Titinius Capito to compose a history, Pliny replies (5.8.4–5): Me uero ad hoc studium impellit domesticum quoque exemplum. Auunculus meus idemque per adoptionem pater historias et quidem religiosissime scripsit. Inuenio autem apud sapientes honestissimum esse maiorum uestigia sequi, si modo recto itinere praecesserint.

 44 N. Bernstein 2008, 204; cf. Hoffer 1999. 45 For example, in letter 8.13 Pliny praises Genialis for reading his published speeches with his father: “O how fortunate you are, to have seized upon that one, best, and most closely related exemplar to you” (8.13.2: O te beatum, cui contigit unum atque idem optimum et coniunctissimum exemplar); and in letter 8.23 he laments the death of Junius Avitus, a young man who “loved me so much, revered me so much, that he made me a fashioner of his character, like a teacher” (8.23.2: ad hoc ita me diligebat, ita uerebatur, ut me formatore morum, me quasi magistro uteretur). In letter 2.13 he describes his childhood friend Voconius Romanus as son of “a famous equestrian” (2.13.4: in equestri gradu clarus), but then adds “his step-father was more famous still, indeed a second father (for he approached this name through his devotion to [Voconius])” (2.13.4: clarior uitricus, immo pater alius (nam huic quoque nomini pietate successit); likewise in 6.6, Pliny declines to compare his friendship with Julius Naso to that of a father (6.6.3: non sane paterna amicitia), but clearly implies that he conceptualizes relationships of political support and patronage in these terms. Moreover, he goes on to describe how Naso’s own father “was often pointed out to me with great praise, when I was barely a teenager” (6.6.3: solebat tamen uixdum adulescentulo mihi pater eius cum magna laude monstrari). 46 N. Bernstein 2008, 205–6.

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

In fact, the example of my own family stimulates me to this work. My uncle, and indeed my father by adoption, wrote histories with most careful attention. Furthermore, I have learned from the sages that it is most honorable to follow in the footsteps of one’s forebears, as long as they trod an honest path.

Despites the example offered by his uncle’s literary and historiographical accomplishments, Pliny demurs (5.8.5: Cur ergo cunctor?). Marchesi has offered a perceptive reading of this letter in the context of Pliny’s distinction in letter 6.16 between facere scribenda and scribere scribenda.47 Pliny’s filial rhetoric is therefore complicated by anxieties, and in fact he often prefers in the letters to identify as father figures men who supported his early political career.48 The same tendency to employ exempla also characterizes Pliny’s desire to recommend Trajan as a model for his successors, as he explains in letter 3.18:49 primum ut imperatori nostro uirtutes suae ueris laudibus commendarentur, deinde ut futuri principes non quasi a magistro sed tamen sub exemplo praemonerentur, qua potissimum uia possent ad eandem gloriam niti. Nam praecipere qualis esse debeat princeps, pulchrum quidem sed onerosum ac prope superbum est; laudare uero optimum principem ac per hoc posteris uelut e specula lumen quod sequantur ostendere, idem utilitatis habet adrogantiae nihil. First, I hoped to celebrate our emperor’s own virtues with sincere praises, and second, to advise future emperors—not as a school teacher might, but through example—by what means they might best achieve the same renown. For it is certainly a noble task to prescribe how an emperor should be, but it is burdensome and close to arrogant. But to praise the best emperor and thereby show, as from a look-out, his successors the guiding light that they are to follow, has the same utility with none of the arrogance. (3.18.2–3)

The key to delivering a useful message to future generations is to do so “through example” (sub exemplo). The two Vesuvius letters shed further light on Pliny’s attitude toward fatherhood, and the epic allusions allow Pliny to establish and elaborate a paradigm of heroism that illustrates the promise of a particularly Roman understanding of paternity. For Pliny, the Odyssey is a foundational text in this regard. We have already seen how in describing his relationship with his household in letter 5.19.2 (above), Pliny quotes from Telemachus’ speech to the Ithacan assembly, to whom (Telemachus reminds them) Odysseus was always “gentle as a father” (Od. 2.47: πατὴρ δ᾽ ὣς ἤπιος ἦεν). Without the first-hand experience of a biological father,  47 Marchesi 2008, 153–54. 48 N. Bernstein 2008, 205. 49 Noreña 2007, 268–69.

  Jacques A. Bromberg both Telemachus and Pliny resort to proxies and exemplars, learning how to behave sub exemplo. Athena’s Mentes is the first of Telemachus’ surrogates whom we meet, advising him to put an end to his “childish ways” (Od. 1.296–97: οὐδέ τί σε χρὴ / νηπιάας ὀχέειν, ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι τηλίκος ἐσσί), and inspiring him with the model of Orestes’ own glorious (1.298: κλέος) revenge. Telemachus recognizes and appreciates the value of these lessons, which he characterizes as those “a father would [say] to a son” (Od. 1.308: ὥς τε πατὴρ ᾧ παιδί). The simile recalls Athena’s patronage of Odysseus, and is marked by its sincerity; by contrast, Telemachus later uses the same phrase sarcastically to the ruthless suitor Antinoös: “Antinoös, you take good care of me like a father does a son …” (17.397: Ἀντίνο’, ἦ μευ καλὰ πατὴρ ὣς κήδεαι υἷος). The swineherd Eumaeus is Telemachus’ other parental proxy: when Telemachus returns from Sparta in Book 16, Eumaeus welcomes him affectionately, calling him “sweet light” (16.23: γλυκερὸν φάος) and “my dear child” (16.25: φίλον τέκος). Telemachus lovingly addresses him as “papa” (16.31: ἄττα), an archaic and puzzling term, appearing only in Homeric Greek of Eumaeus (also at 16.130) and of Achilles’ surrogate father-figure, Phoenix (Il. 9.607 (cf. 17.561): Φοῖνιξ ἄττα γεραιὲ).50 It may not be too much to suggest that the pyroclasm of 79 CE appeared, in hindsight, as Pliny’s single most vivid and formative experience. As wealthy and successful as he would become later in life, the terror of those three days in August 79 CE lingered, and years later they resurfaced in his descriptions of political life under Domitian, in which he describes some being “engulfed in flames of hatred” (3.9.31: tanta conflagrauit inuidia homo alioqui flagitiosus), and himself “scorched with bolts of lightening hurled about me” (3.11.3: tot circa me iactis fulminibus quasi ambustus mihi quoque impendere idem exitium certis quibusdam notis augurarer). Pliny’s bitter memories of life under Domitian echo in his description of the Elder Pliny’s activities under Nero: in his catalogue of his uncle’s works, Pliny describes “Eight Books on Grammar, written in the final years of Nero’s reign, when political slavery had made dangerous every kind of study even slightly free or noble” (3.5.5: “Dubii sermonis octo”: scripsit sub Nerone nouissimis annis, cum omne studiorum genus paulo liberius et erectius periculosum seruitus fecisset). Here, Pliny appears to apologize for the work’s banality by observing that the dangerous political climate of Nero’s later years precluded a more serious topic; but this characterization of the dangers of free speech resembles Pliny’s characterization of the cowed senate under Domitian (e.g., Pan. 13.3), which he

 50 The LSJ s.v. ἄττα suggests that the word derives “from child-language.” For Phoenix as Achilles’ surrogate father at Troy, see Il. 9.438–43.

Pliny’s Telemacheia  

contrasts with the delight of offering genuine praise for a virtuous ruler (1–3).51 Pliny’s description of the Vesuvian destruction and the helpless terror of the surrounding populations finds close parallels in the violence with which Nero and Domitian terrorized both his father’s generation and his own.52 Thus his thematization throughout the letters of paternity and kinship through exemplarity takes on an ideological significance. Written in the early years of a new dynasty, letters 6.16 and 6.20 fit Pliny’s project of reassessing aspects of paternity and succession. The vivid language he employs to narrate the Vesuvian eruption echoes his recollections of atrocities committed under Nero and Domitian, leaving the impression that tyrannical hereditary rulers are a menace equaled only by a natural disaster. In this way, his accounts of Vesuvius can be read as a conceptual analogue for the political upheavals of the mid-to-late first century CE, in the wake of which adoptive succession is normalized as a means of avoiding similar disruptions.53 Pliny thereby implicitly contrasts the model of adoptive imperial succession established by Nerva with the dangers of Julio-Claudian and Flavian succession by blood. The promise of political stability offered by this model of imperial succession depends on the same understanding of adoptive paternity and exemplarity that Pliny endorses throughout the letters. The Odyssean parallels in letters 6.16 and 6.20 between the youthful Pliny and Telemachus, two boys whose admirable pietas puts them in harm’s way, reinforces Pliny’s commitment to these forms of kinship.

 51 Cf. the direct comparison of the dangers under Nero and Domitian in 1.5.1, and other mentions of Nero in 3.8.11, 5.3.6, and 5.5.2. Closs in this volume also mentions the danger of criticizing Nero. 52 On the connections between moral or political decline and disaster imagery, see also the contributions of Clark, Zanker, Nethercut, and Closs in this volume. 53 I am grateful to the volume’s editors for suggesting language that helped clarify this point.

Part II: The Causes of Urban Disasters

Isabel Köster

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster: Invective and the City in Cicero’s Verrines In his book on Roman disasters, Jerry Toner discusses a wide range of experiences that qualify as calamities.1 These include war, natural disasters, and diseases.2 All of these happen suddenly, have a profound and irreversible effect on large groups of people, and frequently also alter the physical landscape. As Toner states (Toner 2013, 12–13), “Disasters have various aspects—social, cultural, environmental, political, economic—which vary considerably from one event to another. Disasters are generally a world where “un-ness” rules: the unexpected, the unmanageable and the uncertain take over. People are caught unawares and left unable to cope.” Given the widespread consequences of disasters, it may be hard to imagine that a single individual could cause them. Yet in addition to a rich discourse about war and other catastrophes, Greek and Roman invective also imagine particularly bad politicians as being akin to disasters. Sometimes they make decisions—especially in war—that have devastating consequences for their subjects. Even more pronounced, however, is the notion that their very lifestyle threatens to plunge society into ruin. One need only think of the lavish spending of various Roman emperors while the people suffer. In this chapter I examine the earliest extant fully developed portrait of a bad ruler in Latin literature: Cicero’s prosecution of C. Verres, governor of Sicily from 73 to 71 BCE.3 The comprehensive destruction of Verres’ character in the Verrines owes much to Greek political invective.4 Like a Greek tyrant, the Roman official surrounds himself with luxury, passes arbitrary judgments, and endangers the

 1 I thank the two editors of this volume and the anonymous referee for their feedback on earlier versions of this chapter. Any errors are of course my own. 2 Toner divides Roman disasters into four categories: “[C]lades, embracing exile, military defeat, slaughter, the devastation of war and physical ruin; calamitas, for crop failure, blight, disease or military disaster; casus, for military or political disaster and violent death; and pestis, which is applied to physical destruction, plague, pestilence or the overthrow of a people or institution” (Toner 2013, 7). 3 For the circumstances of the trial, see, for example, Lintott 2008, 81–100; M. Miles 2008, 119– 37; Vasaly 2009b. 4 See Frazel 2009 for the influence of Greek progymnasmata on the rhetoric of the Verrines and Tempest 2019 for a case study of Cicero’s use of Demosthenes in the speeches. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-005

  Isabel Köster welfare of his subjects.5 Cicero’s characterization of the defendant is a useful template for the descriptions of various other villains in later historiography and oratory and an important precursor to the portrayals of emperors such as Caligula and Nero.6 Yet there is a striking aspect of Cicero’s portrayal of Verres that has not been fully examined: the defendant’s destructive relationship with Greek cities. His conduct reflects many of the features of Roman disasters listed by Toner: Verres’ actions have social consequences because they rip families apart, cultural consequences because they target artistic treasures, political consequences because they incite loyal subjects to rise up against the oppressiveness of Roman rule, and economic consequences because they plunge prosperous cities into ruin. The effects of his governorship are felt most strongly in urban areas since the defendant gravitates toward them. He sees himself as a sophisticated admirer of Greek culture who seeks to surround himself with the vibrant life of places such as Syracuse. Because of Verres’ vices and destructive potential, however, the result is a complex urban disaster: like a parasite, he needs cities to thrive, but at the consequence of endangering his host.

The Failed Urban Sophisticate Cicero’s Verres is an urban villain from the beginning of the speeches against him.7 The destruction he brought upon Sicily is the culmination of a career that is focused on the increase of his personal wealth. All the while, according to Cicero, the defendant prefers to present himself not as a Roman, but as a sophisticated inhabitant of the Greek world. He thereby deliberately excludes himself from Roman society and uses his chosen cultural affiliation to justify a lifestyle  5 Cicero’s use of Greek invectives against tyrants in the Verrines is discussed in Tempest 2007, 27–35, and Frazel 2009, 125–85. On invectives against tyrants in general, see esp. Dunkle 1967 and Erskine 1991. 6 So Miles identifies Caligula and Nero as “Verrine Emperors” (M. Miles 2008, 252–59). On the intellectual background for Nero’s alleged arson of Rome, see also the contribution Closs in this volume. 7 I treat the speeches as a continuous narrative even though the second actio of the Verrines, from which much of my material is drawn, is a fiction: Verres fled into exile after the first two speeches concerning the case were delivered. The rest (the second actio) were only circulated in written form (see, for example, Butler 2002, 71–84, and M. Miles 2008, 137–43). Since I am interested in the characterization of Verres, I do not consider the various circumstances of circulation and delivery in this chapter.

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster  

centered on luxury and drunken depravity. This, in turn, as Cicero repeatedly argues, has nothing to do with Greek norms of behavior either. The former governor is the antithesis of both proper Greek and Roman conduct. The double cultural exclusion on display is typical for Roman invective, which likes to draw a sharp dividing line between the person being attacked and the rest of society.8 Verres accordingly fails not just as a Greek and a Roman, but, more generally, also as a human being. Ingo Gildenhard states (Gildenhard 2011, 211): “As Cicero’s outrage at the inhuman conduct of Verres indicates, he reckoned with the possibility that the ferociousness, which Roman society overcame in time and considered as a trait of the “ethnic other,” could resurface within. This reentry of the savage is imagined as threatening a return to the pre-civilized past and the collapse of the distinction between self and other, Roman and barbarian.” Cicero’s villain is set up to pose a threat to civilization itself. He is therefore a particular danger to the peaceful, sophisticated life offered by urban areas. Verres is consistently attracted to the worst elements of the city. He spends his time with pimps, gamblers, and prostitutes at the expense of receiving an education and making appropriate political friendships.9 As he embarks on his career, things only become worse. He befriends thugs and pirates, people whom he considers exceptionally refined and sophisticated. So Cicero observes about the publicanus Apronius, who in the Verrines serves not only as a Roman tax collector, but also as Verres’ henchman and close friend (Verr. II.3.23): Tantamque habet morum similitudo coniunctionem atque concordiam ut Apronius, qui aliis inhumanus ac barbarus, isti uni commodus ac disertus videretur; ut quem omnes odissent neque videre vellent, sine eo iste esse non posset; ut cum alii ne conviviis quidem isdem quibus Apronius, hic isdem etiam poculis uteretur. The similarity of their characters creates such an affinity and harmony that Apronius, who to others seems inhuman and uncivilized, to Verres alone seems agreeable and learned; that Verres is unable to be without someone whom everyone else hates and does not want to see; that when others do not even go to the same dinner parties as Apronius, Verres drinks from the same cup as him.10

 8 See Corbeill 1996, esp. 5–9. 9 For example, Verr. II.1.33. 10 The text of the Verrines follows Peterson’s OCT. Translations are my own.

  Isabel Köster Verres clearly perceives the world with different eyes. Everything that seems objectionable to others is desirable to him. His friends are those whom no reasonable person would even want to spend time with.11 Given his poor taste in friends, it is unsurprising that the former governor has wider problems with following established custom.12 As the passage above shows, Verres and his friends are very close.13 Their degree of intimacy is surprising given the status differences between them: even when the governor befriends other Romans, they are not members of the elite. In fact, the citizenship and social status of Verres’ friends are often unclear: Cicero tends not to give their full names or discuss their official roles in the province beyond the nefarious services that they provide to the governor. Apronius is a good example of the effect of this technique—it is challenging to work out that he is a publicanus and not some lowranking member of the governor’s household staff. Rome’s rigid social distinctions based on class and citizenship collapse in the vicinity of Verres. This kind of egalitarianism makes the governor’s social gatherings not a mirror of Roman society, but an alternative to it.14 In the Roman world, groups of pirates or bandits are often cast as organizing themselves on the principle of radical equality.15 Through the invocation of this stereotype, then, Cicero has Verres

 11 Damon 1997, 207–22 discusses Cicero’s portrayal of Verres’ friends as an adaptation of the comic paradigm of the parasite. Such a reading also emphasizes the gulf of perception between Verres and the rest of society. 12 The extent to which the bad character of Verres’ close associates in turn inspires the governor’s actions has been debated. So Catherine Steel sees them as an important driving force behind what Verres does (Steel 2001, 37–42), but for Serafina Cuomo they are simply his tools (Cuomo 2011). 13 For the similarities in appearance and general characterization between Apronius and Verres, see Corbeill 1996, 106–12. Alexandra Forst goes further by arguing that “Apronius” must be a made-up name derived from aper, boar, which serves to stress the character’s closeness to Verres, who takes his name from verres, another word for boar (for Cicero punning on the etymology of Verres’ name, see below). Cicero, she suggests, picked Apronius’ name to protect his true identity, while still deriving some invective benefit from it (Forst 2016). I am skeptical that the orator would use fake names to protect the guilty, but agree that the etymological closeness between Verres’ and Apronius’ names is uncanny. 14 This paragraph owes much to Brent Shaw’s foundational study of banditry in the Roman world (Shaw 1984), which casts bandits as marginal figures who challenge the state’s monopoly on violence, and to Thomas Habinek’s further development of Shaw’s model of a struggle for legitimacy, which argues that bandits presented “an organized ‘counterstate’ within society” (Habinek 1998, 69–87, quotation on 70). 15 See esp. Sintes 2016, 51–53.

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster  

transform the governor’s palace into a pirate den.16 Unlike a group of brigands, however, he and his friends appear to be unaware of what they are doing. For the governor, his social group reflects his understanding of how society is supposed to be organized: egalitarianism becomes a desirable model of sophistication. Verres does not just misunderstand Roman social codes; he is so unaware of them that he does not realize the extent to which his behavior is aberrant. The governor does not attempt to offer his followers a coherent alternative to Rome—he thinks that his conduct is not only acceptable, but highly sophisticated. His activities in the provinces unravel everything that Romans hold dear, including what was held to be the proper way of organizing a society. It is therefore a theme in the Verrines that the defendant’s activities threaten to undo the structure of the empire on a fundamental level.17 In addition to social conventions, Verres also struggles with broader cultural norms and expectations. He presents himself as a Greek, but is too uneducated to know even the basics of mythology. Cicero makes a dramatic show of this by lecturing the defendant on the significance of the island of Delos.18 Verres claims to be a connoisseur of Greek art and architecture, but has no knowledge of the appropriate price he should pay for expensive works of art or of the basics of temple construction.19 His grasp of Greek is questionable at best.20 When he arrives on Sicily, he decides to showcase his supposedly deep cultural knowledge by creating a fantasy costume for himself that he thinks is Greek, but that leaves him standing in the harbor of Syracuse wearing slippers and a floor-length gown that would only be appropriate for a woman.21 It is a good example of how far Verres’ behavior and cultural codes depart from each other.

 16 As discussed below, the idea reaches its culmination in Verrines II.5, where the governor plays host to an actual pirate. 17 On the point that Verres’ actions are conceived of as attacks on Rome, see also John Noël Dillon’s work on provincial sacred spaces in the Verrines, in which he demonstrates Cicero’s efforts to stress that the sanctuaries plundered by the governor are also important in Roman religious practice (Dillon 2013 and 2016). For the idea that one of the duties of a Roman governor was to reflect Roman values and that bad governors were seen as a danger to Rome, see D. Braund 2002. 18 Verr. II.1.47. 19 For ignorance of appropriate prices on the art market, see, for example, Verr. II.4.12. For not knowing the basics of temple construction, see Verr. II.1.133–34. 20 See esp. Verr. II.4.127. 21 Verr. II.5.86. The significance of Verres’ dress choices in the invective has been discussed extensively; see Heskel 1994, Dyck 2001, and, more generally, Meister 2012, 41–51. Suetonius’ Caligula mirrors Verres’ fondness for women’s clothes (see esp. Suet. Calig. 52).

  Isabel Köster To make matters worse, Verres’ outfit is just one way in which, according to Cicero, the defendant shows his disregard for the demands of his office.22 Another important piece of evidence for his lack of concern are his movements once he gets to Sicily. As a governor, he would have been expected to travel widely, but only city life appeals to Verres. Syracuse becomes his home base, but the governor’s official residence—Hiero’s old palace—quickly grows too stuffy for him. He creates an elaborate tent city along the city’s harbor and uses it as the staging ground for parties and debaucheries.23 Two markers of life in transition—the harbor and the temporary structures—therefore indicate that the governor has settled in and has chosen to remain stationary in Syracuse.24 Instead of traveling to take care of agricultural and defensive matters, the governor only moves when a trip promises the opportunity to enrich himself with spectacular plunder.25 Since Verres understands neither Greek urban culture nor the proper role of a Roman official, things become dangerous when he is placed in a situation that requires knowledge of both these areas. The defendant’s definition of what it means to be civilized is so far away from the cultural understanding of actual Greeks that the two cannot coexist. The power bestowed on him by Rome, in turn, gives him the ability to destroy whatever does not conform to his expectations. This fusion of innate destructive potential with official purpose turns Verres into an urban disaster. He does not have the randomness of a storm or a fire or the force of a military attack, but his destructive potential is triggered by being in a city. The richer and more peaceful the city, the worse things are going to be.26 A famous episode from near the beginning of Verres’ career provides a template for how the defendant’s efforts at sophistication trigger destruction.27 Verres has been assigned to the staff of Cn. Cornelius Dolabella in Cilicia.28 On the way

 22 Guérin 2015 offers a good discussion of Verres’ administrative incompetence in its invective and political context. 23 Verr. II.5.30–31 discusses the creation of Verres’ tent city and discusses some of the activities that supposedly went on in it. 24 Verr. II.5.80. On Verres’ lack of movement see also Steel 2001, 26–28. 25 So, despite its remote location and the steepness of the surrounding landscape, Verres has little difficulty getting himself to Henna because there is a temple of Ceres there that promises rich plunder (Verr. II.4.106–12). His plundering generally covers the island quite thoroughly. On the geographical spread of Verres’ activities, see Vasaly 1993, 125, and Lazzeretti 2006, 52–56. 26 On success and prosperity bringing about civic ruin see also the contributions in this volume by Clark, Closs, and Joseph. 27 Verr. II.1.63–67. 28 For an outline of Verres’ career, see RE s.v. C. Verres (H. Habermehl) and Broughton 1952, 61 and 81.

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster  

to his post, he arrives at the “distinguished and famous”29 town of Lampsacus in Asia Minor. Its inhabitants are peaceful and well-disposed toward the Romans. This is an ideal setting for Verres’ antics, and so he appears in the town “with great disaster and almost to the ruin of the community.”30 He is not a Roman official on the move, but a calamity.31 The house of Philodamus, a prominent citizen of the town, becomes a microcosm of Verres’ effect on sophisticated urban spaces. The defendant invites himself and members of his staff as guests. After they have drunk too much at dinner, the men decide to attempt to kidnap their host’s daughter. The resulting brawl leads first to the death of one of the Romans in a fight and then to a general uprising in the town, in which Verres narrowly escapes death. Eventually matters culminate in the execution of Philodamus and his son after a sham trial orchestrated by Verres. Two aspects make these events particularly remarkable. There is the question of responsibility, since, as Catherine Steel has shown, Cicero’s narrative skillfully obscures the question of whether Verres was physically present at the banquet that caused the riot.32 More importantly, however, the episode illustrates the profound effect that Verres and those he inspires to join him have on urban communities: even a seemingly normal act (a Roman official having dinner with a prominent local) has severe repercussions for other humans, including death and the destruction of property. Even a peaceful town such as Lampsacus rises up in rebellion because his actions are so untenable. When the defendant attempts to engage in civilized activities, the result is an existential threat to the urban community.33

 29 Oppidum est … clarum et nobile (Verr. II.1.63). 30 Cum magna calamitate et prope pernicie civitatis (Verr. II.1.63). 31 For a different kinds of urban calamity allegedly caused by Roman leaders, see the contributions of Clark, Joseph, and Closs in this volume. 32 “The interpretation of the nature of the banquet and of Verres’ culpability depend crucially on the issue of Verres’ presence or absence on this occasion. It is important to note that Cicero never says Verres was there, and his whole argument to implicate Verres in the attempted kidnap depends upon statements about Verres’ thoughts and intentions and not his actions” (Steel 2004, 237). 33 On other Roman leaders as metaphorical conquerors or attackers of Rome, see also the contributions to this volume by Clark (Pompey) and Closs (Nero).

  Isabel Köster

Physical Destruction As the Lampsacus episode shows, the destruction brought on by Verres is unforeseen. A peaceful and prosperous town is pushed to rioting by the actions of one man. It is therefore fair to say, as Cicero puts it, that Verres conducts himself “not as a legate of the Roman people, but as some sort of disaster.”34 Since the people of Lampsacus are persuaded not to burn down buildings, widespread physical destruction is merely a threat in that episode. This is a general pattern in the speeches: while upset provincials threaten violence, only Verres and his henchmen actually dismantle the physical fabric of towns and cities.35 His arrival in Aspendos, again early in his career, is indicative of how Verres interacts with the urban areas that he encounters. Cicero starts (Verr. II.1.53): Aspendum vetus oppidum et nobile in Pamphylia scitis esse, plenissimum signorum optimorum. Non dicam illinc hoc signum ablatum esse et illud. hoc dico, nullum te Aspendi signum, Verres, reliquisse, omnia ex fanis, ex locis publicis, palam, spectantibus omnibus, plaustris evecta exportataque esse. You know that Aspendos is an old and distinguished town in Pamphylia, very full of the finest statues. I shall not say that you took away this one statue or that. I say this: you, Verres, left no statue in Aspendos. With everyone looking on, everything was openly taken away from the shrines and public places and driven off on carts.

This is what Verres targets: old, established settlements with prominent sanctuaries and an abundance of artwork. He plunders openly, and the inhabitants, who have never seen such unspeakable acts, are left to look on in horror and surprise. The disastrous effects of Verres are amplified by Cicero’s careful creation of a fantasy Mediterranean in which he places his opponent. It is a prosperous and highly urbanized region that has never seen anything like him. Military conquests are effectively erased from the record, and any activity by pirates around Sicily prior to Verres’ arrival is treated as a marginal phenomenon. As at Lampsacus, everyone is happy with Roman rule and does not think about resisting until Verres’ actions leave them with no other choice. The idea that Verres’ acts are

 34 Non ut legatus populi Romani, sed ut quaedam calamitas (Verr. II.1.44). 35 Similarly, as the Lampsacus episode shows, if the inhabitants of a province kill a Roman, they do so by accident and in confusing circumstances. When Verres kills, however, he does so in a premeditated fashion.

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster  

judged to be unparalleled is of course a trope of Latin invective, but it is uncommonly well-developed in the speeches because of how they treat historical events.36 The Sicily of the Verrines makes it especially clear that the speeches operate in an alternate historical reality.37 The destructive effects of prior military conquest by the Romans are elided, as is especially clear in the case of Marcellus, whose conquest of Syracuse in 212 BCE is interpreted as a positive development for the city.38 On this model, Verres is the first to bring the devastation of war to Sicily.39 It is therefore fitting that at various points in the speeches, Cicero invokes the image of the urbs capta, the city that has fallen into enemy hands and is now left to the whims of marauding soldiers and greedy plunderers. This is a well-developed trope in Latin literature: the conquered are left to mourn widespread slaughter and physical destruction that follows no rules.40 The idea that the Sicilians helplessly lament in the face of devastation is a guiding motif in the speeches that we first encounter near the beginning of the Divinatio in Caecilium, Cicero’s first speech concerning the case against Verres. He relates how he was approached and asked to undertake the prosecution (Div. Caec. 3): Venisse tempus aiebant … ut vitam salutemque totius provinciae defenderem: sese iam ne deos quidem in suis urbibus ad quos confugerent habere, quod eorum simulacra sanctissima C. Verres ex delubris religiosissimis sustulisset: quas res luxuries in flagitiis, crudelitas

 36 For Roman invective stressing the uniqueness and unprecedentedness of the conduct at issue, see Seager 2007. 37 For a survey of recent work on Sicily during the Roman republic, see Prag 2009, who notes a trend toward questioning the accuracy of Cicero’s statements about Sicilian civic structures and the island’s economic situation. A broader consideration of archaeological and epigraphical evidence also suggests that the orator’s picture of Sicily is rhetorically slanted to make Verres’ conduct seem especially destructive. R. Wilson 2000, which is exclusively focused on archaeological evidence, labels Cicero a largely unreliable source for life on the island. 38 As Cicero remarks about Marcellus: “He so carefully spared all the buildings, public and private, sacred and profane, as if he had come to defend them with his army, not attack them” (Itaque aedificiis omnibus, publicis privatis, sacris profanis, sic pepercit quasi ad ea defenda cum exercitu, non oppugnanda venisset, Verr. II.4.120). For the effort to deny any wrongdoing on the part of Marcellus in the Verrines, see Östenberg 2009, 80–81. For Baldo 2004, 47, the nonconquering Marcellus of the Verrines is a variation of a long-standing tradition of the general as a compassionate victor that finds its fullest expression much later in Plutarch’s Life of Marcellus. 39 Clara Berrendonner argues that Verres behaves as if he is unaware that he is supposed to be a peacetime governor, as illustrated, for example, by his efforts to seek a triumph (Berrendonner 2007). 40 For a discussion of the urbs capta motif in Latin literature, see G. Paul 1982.

  Isabel Köster in suppliciiis, avaritia in rapinis, superbia in contumeliis efficere potuisset, eas omnes sese hoc uno praetore per triennium pertulisse. They said that the time had come for me to defend the life and safety of the entire province. They themselves now had not even the gods in their cities to whom they could flee, because C. Verres had removed their most sacred statues from the most revered temples. Whatever extravagance could be displayed in excess, cruelty in punishment, greed in plundering, and insolence in abuse, all these things they had suffered for three years because of this one praetor.

Sicily has been entirely ruined and has been left virtually defenseless by its former governor. The detail about the absence of the gods further invokes a captured city: it is a conventional image in ancient literature that divine powers abandon a doomed or fallen city.41 Sicily’s gods, however, have not departed voluntarily, but were taken by Verres. Once more the defendant’s actions are cast as worse than those of an army, and hence the treatment of cities in his governorship surpasses even the horrors of the urbs capta. What Cicero is seeking is not only justice, but also disaster relief. As Verres’ main operating base, Syracuse suffers the most. Not content with merely seizing artifacts from private households, the Roman official plunders the famous sanctuary of Minerva so thoroughly that he even rips the decorations off the doors.42 Elsewhere in the city he carries off a statue of Sappho and leaves behind the inscribed pedestal, which reminds passers-by of what has been taken.43 These last two incidents emphasize that many of Verres’ actions leave visible physical traces. They serve as memorials of how splendid the cities of the island were only a few years ago and are evidence of Verres’ guilt.44 Unlike a natural disaster, however, Cicero’s Verrine disaster is selective about whom and what it targets. It seeks to destroy Roman citizens and innocent allies and targets rich, beautiful cities. In a long section in Verrines I, Cicero paints the picture of an inverted world in which the governor does the opposite of what he is supposed to do (Verr. I.13): Cives Romani servilem in modum cruciati et necati, homines nocentissimi propter pecunias iudicio liberati, honestissimi atque integerrimi, absentes rei facti, indicta causa damnati et  41 See, for example, Poseidon’s justification of why he is leaving Troy in Eur. Tro. (1–47) or the abandonment of the same city by the gods at Verg. Aen. 2.351–52. The trope is also attested in other ancient Mediterranean literatures, as shown in Bachvarova 2016, esp. 64–70. 42 Verr. II.4.122–24. 43 Verr. II.4.127. 44 For further discussion of the connection between spoliation and memorials, see the contribution of Clark in this volume.

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster  

eiecti, portus munitissimi, maximae tutissimaeque urbes piratis praedonibusque patefactae, nautae militesque Siculorum, socii nostri atque amici, fame necati. Roman citizens were tortured and killed in the manner of slaves; the guiltiest men escaped judgment on account of their money; the most upstanding and honorable men were tried while absent and condemned and driven into exile on unknown charges; the most fortified ports, the largest and most protected cities were opened to pirates and robbers; the sailors and soldiers of the Sicilians, our friends and allies, were killed by hunger.

Not only does Verres therefore cause destruction with his own conduct, he also paves the way for further disasters. Formidable soldiers are killed off by hunger. Cities that have never had to fear pirates because of their size and fortifications are suddenly open to attack.

Pirates A particular source of fascination for Cicero throughout the speeches is Verres’ relationship to pirates. The governor’s interactions with “the common enemy of all people”45 allow Cicero to further emphasize several motifs: the defendant’s destructiveness, his dangerous misunderstanding of his role as governor, and his poor choice of friends. Not only does he aid and abet their activities, he makes their actions look comparatively mild by routinely plundering places not even pirates dare to plunder.46 In this regard, Verres fails even as a pirate since he does not recognize that even Roman criminals are supposed to have limits. More important from a standpoint of urban disasters, however, is the idea that the governor’s rapaciousness and friendliness toward outlaws weakens the defenses of towns and greatly increases the risk of attack. It is no surprise that Cicero characterizes the defendant as a “horrible storm for our allies.”47 A minor episode narrated immediately after the events at Lampsacus serves as a preview of how Verres’ greed breaks down urban defenses. When he arrives  45 Hostes communes … omnium (Verr. II.4.21). “Pirate” and related terms are favorites in Roman political invective; see Opelt 1965, 133–34. 46 See, for example, Verr. II.1.46; 1.57; 1.154; 4.21; 4.23; 4.104; and 4.122 with the discussion in de Souza 1999, 150–57. As is common in Roman texts, the passages see bandits and pirates as equivalent and do not clearly distinguish between the two groups of criminals. For a discussion of this phenomenon see D. Braund 1993, 196, and de Souza 1999, 9–13. It is also worth noting the particularly striking image of Verres’ henchman Apronius who is at one point referred to as a “land-based pirate chief” (terrestris archipirata, Verr. II.5.70). 47 Horribilis tempestas sociorum (Verr. II.1.89).

  Isabel Köster in the town of Miletus, he demands that he be supplied with a ship.48 He promptly sells it at great profit and apparently without concern that the new owners use the vessel to ferry messages between various Roman enemies. A ship that used to be part of the town’s defensive strategy has now become a threat to it. This pattern of trying to profiteer from the navy repeats itself throughout the speeches. The audience is repeatedly told that the governor permitted the town of Messana to bribe him to exempt them from supplying ships for the Roman navy, which weakened Sicily’s defenses against pirates.49 Moreover, the warships supplied by various Sicilian cities to guard against attacks are used as private transport vessels for the governor.50 To make matters worse, Verres does not give the fleet its full complement of rowers in order to make more space for his cargo. The navy that is supposed to be guarding Sicily, then, is reduced to a badly undermanned personal cargo fleet.51 So it is by accident that the first extensive encounter that Verres has with pirates on Sicily ends in success. A fleet of ten mighty Sicilian warships happens upon a pirate ship, which, although it is fully manned and teeming with cargo, puts up no resistance.52 What Verres later celebrates as a great victory over pirates is therefore merely an improbable stroke of luck that relied on an overwhelming imbalance of numbers. The fleet, as Cicero mentions repeatedly, would not have been ready for an engagement with multiple pirate ships. To make matters even worse, the pirates on the ship are not publicly executed, and their captain even ends up becoming Verres’ honored houseguest.53 Given that it takes a considerable number of Roman vessels to capture a single ship and that Verres has no interest in the appropriate punishment of prisoners, it is no wonder that the pirates end up becoming a serious problem for Sicily. The governor has all but invited them. Nevertheless he needs to be seen to do something, so he puts his associate Cleomenes in charge of a large but undermanned fleet to go looking for pirates.54 When some appear nearby, Cleomenes’ ships are either captured or run ashore while trying to escape. The pirate captain Heracleo decides to burn the ships he cannot easily tow, resulting in the loss of the fleet.  48 Verr. II.1.86–90. 49 For example, Verr. II.4.23, 5.43, and 5.59. 50 For example, Verr. II.1.59, where a bireme becomes a cargo ship. 51 For the charge of not staffing vessels properly, see, for example, Verr. II.5.63. 52 Verr. II.5.63. 53 This move becomes a regular source of outrage in the Verrines. See, for example, Verr. II.1.12, 5.65 and 5.77. 54 Verr. II.5.86–92.

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster  

Cicero labels the ignominious end to Cleomenes’ campaign “a disastrous and deadly calamity for many innocent people,”55 and it is made worse when the pirates next turn their attention to Syracuse. Seeing the burning ships on the horizon warns the inhabitants of what may be to come. On the next day, the pirates arrive in the harbor, but luckily for the city, they have come merely to mock, not plunder (Verr. II.5.97): Hic te praetore Heracleo pirata cum quattuor myoparonibus parvis ad arbitrium suum navigavit. Pro di immortales! piraticus myoparo, cum imperi populi Romani nomen ac fasces essent Syracusis, usque ad forum Syracusanorum et ad omnis crepidines urbis accessit, quo neque Carthaginiensium gloriosissimae classes, cum mari plurimum poterant, multis bellis saepe conatae umquam aspirare potuerunt, neque populi Romani invicta ante te praetorem gloria illa navalis umquam tot Punicis Siciliensibusque bellis penetrare potuit. When you were praetor, this pirate, Heracleo, sailed around as he liked with four small galleys. By the immortal gods! A pirate galley, when Syracuse was under the administration of the Roman people, made it as far as the Syracusan forum and all the quays of the city. This is a place to which the most glorious fleets of Carthage, when they were lords over most of the sea, could never aspire to even though they often tried in many battles. Nor was that naval glory of the Roman people—unconquered before you became praetor—ever able to penetrate this place in so many Punic and Sicilian wars.

Cicero’s emphasis is not on the relief that there was no outright attack, but on showing how unparalleled Heracleo’s actions are historically. Only during the Peloponnesian War had Syracuse seen its harbor occupied by hostile forces, and even that move ended with the eventual defeat of the Athenian fleet.56 Syracuse, then, was impenetrable by sea until Verres mismanages its defenses so badly that four small pirate ships could do what mighty enemy fleets could not. To add insult to injury, they are free to sail around until they get bored. Only the apparent lack of Heracleo’s ambitions, it seems, prevents a real disaster. It is a scene that fits well into the inverted world that Verres has managed to create on Sicily: pirates are free to roam, whereas the fleet officially tasked with the island’s defense is left undermanned and helpless. Historically impenetrable defenses have no effect because Verres has depleted them. The governor is not just a friend to pirates, but behaves like a pirate himself. Verres is lawless; plundering is his most important goal in life. The economic devastation brought on by Verres is incalculable, and the potential for a military disaster is ever-present.

 55 Casum … multis innocentibus calamitosum atque funestum (Verr. II.5.92). 56 Verr. II.5.98.

  Isabel Köster

The Cyclops’ Justice The human cost of Verres’ rule is also immense. Not only do the houses of innocent people easily become the governor’s targets if he desires anything from them, he also does not hesitate to dispose of anyone who threatens to stand in his way. The executions at Lampsacus are only a foreshadowing of what is to come once Verres no longer has to worry about having to clear his decisions with a superior. He is described as a “most cruel carnifex of citizens and allies.”57 The word carnifex can mean both “executioner” and “butcher” and illustrates how Verres goes about the killing of innocent people: he abuses the official justice system to cause a literal bloodbath.58 Fair trials and proper respect for the status of Roman citizens have no place in Verres’ world. The former governor’s lack of regard for judicial procedures is a frequent theme in the narrative. At the beginning of Verrines I, the first speech in the actual trial, Cicero introduces the defendant with the words: “I have brought to court … a plunderer of the treasury, a harasser of Asia and Pamphylia, a plunderer in regard to the law of the city [praedonem iuris urbani], the destruction and ruin of the province of Sicily.”59 The phrase praedo iuris urbani is an allusion to Verres’ term as a praetor back in Rome, which, according to Cicero, was also marked by a number of abuses of power.60 The phrase, however, also has wider implications as it characterizes the defendant as someone who exploits the law for his own personal gain and pursues his aims at a high cost to innocent people who get in the way. Verres transforms the very institution of Roman justice into a disaster by misunderstanding its fundamental logic and hence turning a system designed to protect people—especially Roman citizens—into an arbitrary mechanism for getting rid of them. As the events at Lampsacus showed, he has no qualms about sentencing innocent people to death. This pattern repeats itself numerous times during the

 57 Crudelissimus carnifex civium sociorumque (Verr. II.1.9). For the various associations of the word carnifex and its role as an insult, see TLL s.v. carnifex (Meister). 58 For example, Verr. II.3.186, where Cicero recounts how the forum of Syracuse gushed with the blood (sanguine redundavit). 59 Adduxi enim hominem in quo reconciliare existimationem iudiciorum amissam, redire in gratiam cum populo Romano, satis facere exteris nationibus, possetis; depeculatorem aerari, vexatorem Asiae atque Pamphyliae, praedonem iuris urbani, labem atque perniciem provinciae Siciliae (Verr. I.2). 60 Hence Greenwood’s Loeb translation: “he has behaved like a pirate in his city praetorship.” Cicero discusses the urban praetorship at Verr. II.1.103–58.

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster  

Verrines and often presents a complete inversion of how justice was supposed to be administered in a Roman city. Trials and hearings normally take place in public and follow strict rules.61 Furthermore, any punishment needs to take into account the citizenship and social status of the offender.62 Verres respects neither of those principles: judgments are determined in private—usually with the guilty party absent—and the public spaces of the city become places to fear because they host violent spectacles of injustice. A visit by Apronius to the town of Aetna offers an elaborate illustration of how much the administration of justice in public spaces has been transformed under Verres’ rule. Farmers were supposed to come to Aetna’s central marketplace to hand over part of their grain as tribute. This had been a long-established custom dating back to the days of Hiero.63 Under Apronius’ supervision, however, an unremarkable annual taxation procedure turns into a scarring event.64 It all starts with a man named Nymphodorus, whose farm Apronius had plundered on his way to Aetna. When the farmer comes into town to seek justice, Verres’ henchman deals with him (Verr. II.3.57): Postea cum ad eum Nymphodorus venisset Aetnam et oraret ut sibi sua restituerentur, hominem corripi ac suspendi iussit in oleastro quodam, quae est arbor, iudices, Aetnae in foro. Tam diu pependit in arbore socius amicusque populi Romani in sociorum urbe ac foro, colonus aratorque vester, quam diu voluntas Aproni tulit. Afterward when Nymphodorus came to him in Aetna and begged him to restore his property, Apronius ordered the man to be seized and hung from a certain wild olive tree, which, members of the jury, is a tree in the marketplace of Aetna. A friend and ally of the Roman people—your farmer and cultivator of land—hung from a tree in a city and marketplace belonging to allies, for as long as it was Apronius’ pleasure.

Nymphodorus has followed standard procedures: an injustice has been committed, and he has come to the central marketplace of the nearest town to address the situation. He seeks justice in public with his fellow citizens as witnesses. Apronius, in turn, has him hanged without so much as a formal hearing. Aetna’s

 61 For regulations concerning judicial procedure, see, for example, Tellegen-Couperus 1993, 48–59. For “spaces of justice” see now de Angelis 2010 and, more broadly, the other essays in that volume. 62 See Harries 2007, 35–38, and Riggsby 2010, 99–110, both with further references. 63 See, for example, Pritchard 1970 and 1971. 64 For the marketplace as a place from which a ruler asserts his authority over the entire town, see M. Bell 2007, esp. 117–18.

  Isabel Köster marketplace has therefore been transformed from a space of justice into a testament to the arbitrary cruelty of Verres’ rule. Nymphodorus’ fate serves as a warning to anyone else who thinks that the established customs are still valid. After several other violent excesses, Apronius’ stay culminates with a private banquet staged in the marketplace.65 It is yet more evidence for the fact that Verres and his men have no use for properly functioning public spaces. Apronius’ conduct is one of several examples in which the governor and his associates mishandle the notoriously fluid boundaries between public and private in the Roman world.66 In the Verrines, however, a clear overall picture emerges: public spaces are mostly the domains of Verres’ henchmen, whereas Verres keeps himself hidden from view and directs things from behind the scenes. The administration of justice takes place in his bedroom rather than in public, and instead of collecting grain or money for taxes, Verres selects women for his orgies.67 It is of course unacceptable for a Roman official to spend so little time in public, but in Verres’ case people welcome the fact that cities serve as his hiding place. So Cicero gives us the following vision of Syracuse under Verres: “That the marketplace was completely silent concerning legal cases is not something people took badly. For it did not seem like the law or a judge was absent from the marketplace, but violence, cruelty, and the bitter and unbecoming plundering of good people.”68 Civic institutions may have been abandoned, but at least things are not getting worse. The persistent idea of Verres hiding in his lair gives him a monstrous quality that Cicero is keen to exploit. Human analogies do not convey the full picture of what Verres has done to Sicily. Initially the orator regularly puns on Verres’ name, which is identical to one of the Latin words for a boar (verres), an animal whose destructive potential he mirrors.69 Then, as we move to the end of the speeches, the defendant even transcends his animal counterpart and has to be

 65 Verr. II.3.61. Elizabeth Keitel suggested to me that Apronius’ activities may find an echo in Nero’s public feasting in Rome (Tac. Ann. 15.37). While, unlike Tacitus, Cicero does not emphasize Apronius’ conspicuous consumption, the contrast between the feast and the destitution that Verres’ henchman has brought on the wider community is notable. 66 See Riggsby 1997 for a discussion of relevant literary sources, Treggiari 1998 for Cicero in particular, and Allison 2001 for an archaeological perspective. 67 For example, Verr. II.5.27–28. 68 In foro silentium esse summum causarum atque iuris, non ferebant homines moleste; non enim ius abesse videbatur a foro neque iudicia, sed vis et crudelitas et bonorum acerba et indigna direptio (Verr. II.5.31). 69 See Div. 57, Verr. II.1.121, Verr. II.4.95, where he is compared to the Erymanthian boar, and the discussion of these passages in Corbeill 1996, 91–95.

Rome’s Sicilian Disaster  

compared to horrific mythological creatures. Such comparisons, as James May has shown, are a standard feature of Ciceronian invective and serve to dehumanize the orator’s opponents.70 Following this argument, the governor of Sicily undergoes a particularly striking transformation: first only human analogies fail to provide a description for his behavior; then, as he settles into his office as governor, the natural world fails as well. So Cicero describes the risk that the governor poses to those who sail to or from the island on legitimate business with the words: “I think that neither Scylla nor Charybdis were so dangerous to sailors in that strait as he was.… He was another Cyclops, much more difficult to handle: for he occupies the whole island; the original is only said to have possessed Aetna and that corner of Sicily.”71 Verres is more dangerous than Scylla and Charybdis and also outdoes the Cyclops. The combined forces of the mythological terrors that have beset Sicily in the past pale in comparison to Verres.72 Cicero’s use of the myth of the Cyclops does not end with this brief remark. Now that the audience has called to mind the story of Ulysses’ difficult escape, the orator goes on to explore what happens when one attempts to escape the horror’s Roman incarnation. He tells the story of Gavius, who innocently becomes the focus of Verres’ attention.73 This is the last narrative episode before the peroration and details an especially shocking transgression on the part of the former governor: the public whipping and then crucifixion of a Roman citizen. Verres, according to Cicero, showed that he is capable of the utmost cruelty and displays no respect for Roman laws and institutions. In addition to providing an effective summary of everything that Verres has done wrong during his time in office, the Gavius episode also gives new meaning to the seemingly casual comparison of the former governor to the Cyclops. The cross is erected to face the Italian mainland, and Verres comments with the words: “Let him [Gavius] look upon his fatherland. Let him die in sight of law and liberty.”74 He thereby makes a profound statement: his island exists not just outside the realm of Roman law, but of all civilization. Gavius, although Sicilian in  70 May 1996. 71 Non enim Charybdim tam infestam neque Scyllam nautis quam istum in eodem freto fuisse arbitror … Cyclops alter multo importunior; hic enim totam insulam obsidebat, ille Aetnam solam et eam Siciliae partem tenuisse dicitur (Verr. II.5.146). 72 So, in addition to Scylla and the Cyclops, Verres is also cast as another Orcus, alter Orcus, at Verr. II.4.111. As Cicero points out, his opponent also outdoes the god of the underworld: whereas the mythological original abducted Persephone, Verres, by carrying off a cult statue from a temple, took Ceres herself. 73 Verr. II.5.158–72. 74 Spectet … patriam. in conspectu legum libertatisque moriatur (Verr. II.5.170).

  Isabel Köster origin, has become a stranger who is removed from his actual fatherland. Like a traveler, he has accidentally come to the Cyclops’ island, a threatening landscape that is run according to rules that he does not understand. Unlike Ulysses, however, he has no option of escape. The Cyclops Verres does not just have the whole island under his control, but also makes sure that civilization is merely a distant, unattainable dream on the horizon.

Conclusion At the end of the Verrines, then, civilization has to be rebuilt. This requires the help of the gods, and so Cicero turns the peroration of Verrines II.5 into a prayer in which he calls for divine assistance in bringing Verres to justice.75 This is vital not just to Sicily and the other locations that have suffered under his rule, but also to Rome as a whole. As Cicero has repeatedly emphasized, the defendant’s extreme conduct has jeopardized the foundations of the Roman empire as it made previously content allies question their loyalty to Rome. Verres has therefore paved the way for uprisings and rebellions. Cicero deploys a wide range of invective tropes in the Verrines, and fashioning the defendant into an urban disaster is just one element of the attack. It is, however, one of the orator’s strongest tools for demonstrating the profound effect that Verres has on physical spaces. The former governor sees himself as someone deeply knowledgeable about Greek culture who is attracted to life in Greek cities. His poor cultural understanding and his general character flaws, however, mean that his definition of urban sophistication and the normal life of a peaceful city cannot coexist. Verres destroys his host cities in the name of practicing what he identifies as a proper urban lifestyle. As a Roman official, too, Verres is a profound failure and destroys the civic institutions that are meant to support the peaceful administration of the empire. Verres and cities cannot coexist on any level. Although most of Cicero’s invective against Verres was never delivered as part of the trial, the idea of the defendant as a particularly frightening urban disaster that affects wide parts of the Roman world was clearly one that the orator considered effective. In later speeches, Aulus Gabinius, L. Calpurnius Piso, and

 75 Verr. II.5.184–89.

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Mark Antony are all cast in the role of the ruler who does not understand the conventions of sophisticated urban life and hence turns into a destructive force.76 Cicero’s villains attest that a single individual can be fashioned into a disaster with far more widespread and profound effects than many fires, floods, or military invasions. As in the case of Verres, the image requires considerable exaggeration and some revisionist history to work.

 76 As I have argued elsewhere (Köster 2014), this is particularly pronounced in the case of Piso.

Jessica H. Clark

Winning Too Well: Pompey’s Victories as Urban Disaster at Rome Pompey “the Great” celebrated three triumphs. The first came in 81 or 80 BCE, and ostensibly recognized Pompey’s successful campaign in Africa.1 The second, in 71, celebrated victories in Spain. And the third, another decade later, marked the conclusion of Pompey’s most profound suite of conquests, victories on land and sea that swept across the eastern Mediterranean. In the year 61 he was fortyfive, he had transformed the known world, and, for the third time, he was coming home. The ultimate consequences of Pompey’s exceptionalism for the Roman republic are well known, and it is not controversial to posit that his military success was, and was seen as, trouble.2 While it would be both unjust and inaccurate to lay the blame for Rome’s first-century problems on Pompey’s triumphs, they do thus invite us to explore the idea that victory at Rome could be an actively destructive force.3 A Roman audience in the theater in 59 already saw the potential here, when it greeted with acclaim an actor’s pun: “to our sorrow, you are Great.”4 The fruits of victory might be neither sweet nor seasonable. This chapter will take each of the three celebrations in turn, in order to ask how victory might be said to injure the material fabric of the city and how that might correlate to Romans’ experience of victory within this altered urban landscape.5 In cultural terms, the deleterious consequences of victory are all but cliché: Roman writers are repetitive on the corrosive power of success, and, particularly, of its celebration. In the second century, the legacy of M. Claudius  1 All dates are BCE, and all translations are my own unless otherwise noted. For the disputed date, see Badian 1955. 2 See most recently, if with reservations, Vervaet 2014; Seager 2011. For the political side of this issue, see Evans 2016, discussing the deleterious effects of the unusual electoral circumstances in which Pompey achieved his three consulships. 3 On victory abroad as a form of defeat, see also Joseph’s discussion in this volume of Lucan’s depiction of the battle of Pharsalus. 4 Cicero relates the episode in a contemporary letter to Atticus (2.19.3 Shackleton Bailey); the crowd demanded that the actor Diphilus repeat the line nostra miseria tu es magnus (or Magnus); see further Bartsch 1994, 74–75. 5 On strategies of memory in the urban landscape, see also the contributions in this volume of Bromberg, Closs, Chapman, and Farrell. On the connection between conquest (and spoliation) elsewhere in the empire and the representation of these events at Rome or in Roman texts, see the contributions of Köster, Joseph, and Chapman. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-006

  Jessica H. Clark Marcellus was challenged on the grounds that his display of plunder from the sack of Syracuse sapped the moral fiber of the Roman people.6 Similar arguments would be repurposed to reprehend C. Mummius after his sack of Corinth, and to lament the fall of Carthage and Rome’s concomitant loss of a salutary rival.7 Examples from the Augustan poets abound, but they and their historiographic counterparts had the examples of Pompey and Caesar to mind and were perhaps less contrived in their critique of glory.8 In a parallel phenomenon, cataclysms like the fall of Troy, the Gallic sack, and even the battle of Cannae paradoxically became focal points for expressions of Roman triumphalism.9 This is not to say that first-century Romans regretted their victories, only that they might be aware of their consequences. There is undoubtedly something forced in treating victory celebrations as a species of disaster for the city. It is not as far a leap as it first appears, however; there are myriad examples of manifest success with negative consequences for successful individuals and communities, and the modern field of cultural heritage studies is rich with examples.10 Moreover, the artificial is not without hermeneutic value. While we cannot build upon conclusions that have passed beyond the limits of the evidence, we cannot know those limits unless we come up against them. The Roman triumph was a political and military phenomenon, but it was also a ritual, a party, and a focal point for a wide range of emotions and

 6 Polybius (9.10) is explicit on this point; note also Livy’s juxtaposition of the display of spoils during Marcellus’ ovation and the Carthaginian successes enabled by his absence from Sicily (26.21). See Flower 2003, 47–48, with references. 7 On the spoils from Mummius’ triumph, see most recently Cadario 2014. Yarrow 2006 provides a discussion of particular relevance here for its argument that Mummius engaged positively with the cultural patrimony of the cities he defeated. Morello 2002, 82–83 brings the question of the metus hostilis into a first-century context, in her discussion of Pompey’s unspoken presence within Livy’s “Alexander Digression.” Barton 2007, 246–47 highlights the negative connotations of pax in the republic. 8 See recently Pitcher 2011, discussing Vell. Pat. 1.13.4–5. 9 Further discussion in Clark 2014, 29–47. For further discussion of the centrality of the Fall of Troy to the concept of destroyed cities in the Greco-Roman imaginary, see the contributions in this volume of Joseph, Closs, and Farrell, as well as briefer mentions by Zanker and Bromberg. 10 Perhaps the most extreme modern illustration is the ultimate cost of a nation’s successful bid to host the Olympic Games. On the social costs for people and communities, see Ward 2013; on concomitant economic losses, see Baade/Matheson 2016.

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memories.11 We will never reach the same level of confidence in our reconstructions of emotions and memories that we enjoy with regard to politics and war, but we may nevertheless articulate, within the broad realm of the possible, alternative implications of the Roman triumph for the residents whose city was its stage set. Pompey’s first triumph provides an opportunity to consider the differences between asserting, as opposed to celebrating or commemorating, victory within the city of Rome. It also illustrates the phenomenon of “belated” victories—military glory of an order of magnitude less than that accrued in the great wars against commanders like Hannibal, Antiochus, or Perseus.12 Pompey’s second triumph is a chance to juxtapose some unlikely source materials, and to examine the connections between textual and architectural monuments. And finally, the grand spectacle of the third triumph, and especially the construction of Pompey’s theater complex, gives us a metaphor for the destruction that adhered to every successful commander’s return, and a more subtle opportunity to consider how various aspects of a culture might combine to create a paradox: victory as disaster. Like many paradoxes, this one may overstate the polarity of its terms, but— also like many paradoxes—perhaps not without contributing to our definitions of both subjects.

 The Triumph Out of Africa The year 82 was not a highpoint for Rome. The city was back in the hands of Sulla and his supporters, but a decade of war in Italy had left more than psychic scars.13 One small detail is metonymic: according to Valerius Maximus, in that year the senate authorized the melting down of gold and silver ornaments in the temples in order to pay Rome’s soldiers:  11 Rich 2014 offers a comprehensive analysis from a historical perspective, with bibliography; Pittenger 2008, 25–53 is an eloquent summation of what was at stake in triumphal decisions and their historiographic legacies. 12 The concept of “belated” epic has a deep bibliography; Stover 2010 (with references) highlights the difficulties and the opportunities presented by the need both to engage with and set oneself apart from predecessors and their material. The concept has extra-literary force, as well; Damon 2010 is the now-classic treatment of the ways in which historical actors (as well as the writers who immortalized them) engage with precedent. 13 See, succinctly, Flower 2010, 90–96, 110–14; Badian 1962 remains essential. Corbellini 1976 is a brief but illustrative analysis of one strand of the tradition concerning the violence of this period; on the legacy of the Social War, see also Clark 2020.

  Jessica H. Clark C. autem Mario Cn. Carbone consulibus civili bello cum L. Sulla dissidentibus, quo tempore non rei publicae victoria quaerebatur sed praemium victoriae res erat publica, senatus consulto aurea atque argentea templorum ornamenta, ne militibus stipendia deessent, conflata sunt: digna enim causa erat, hine an illi crudelitatem suam proscriptione civium satiarent, ut di immortales spoliarentur. (Val. Max. 7.6.4) When the consuls C. Marius and Cn. Carbo were contending with L. Sulla in civil war, a war not fought for the victory of the commonwealth but with the commonwealth as victory’s reward, by decree of the senate gold and silver temple ornaments were melted down to provide pay for the troops. To be sure it was a worthy cause, for one side or the other to glut their cruelty by proscription of their fellow countrymen, to despoil the immortal gods! (Trans. Shackleton Bailey, modified slightly)

The key point, for us, is the last word, spoliare. Who oversaw the removal of these objects? Were there carts that traveled from shrine to shrine? Where were the crucibles and forge set up? What were the coins that came from this reclaimed bullion, and were they overseen by particular moneyers?14 Were these ornamenta objects of primarily decorative significance, or did they include dedications, the spoils of past wars? This was not the first time that Rome’s monuments were its storehouses, with the result that the cost of victory became inscribed in empty spaces.15 We cannot know the answers to these questions, nor how, when, or by whom the ornamenta were replaced, but some Romans will have remembered. When the war was over and the triumphs began, the city will have remained a witness to the reality behind the show. Pompey had been fighting in Sulla’s civil war, and largely against Romans, but the involvement of a Numidian king allowed his triumph a partially foreign focus.16 This does not make it conventional. Famously, Pompey was only twentyfour years old, he had held no elected office, and he possessed no formal authority. He did have an army, and moreover seems already to have been using it for more than military advantage: Italian businessmen with interests in Agrigento

 14 Rowland 1966, 414 identifies the coins struck from this treasure (unfortunately without further comment), in the context of his larger discussion of the dramatic use of coinage during this period. 15 On the reuse of weapons after Cannae, see Clark 2014, 73–75, with references. Compare also the comment which Livy puts in the mouth of the tribune Valerius, during the debate over the repeal of the lex Oppia, that women’s treasures had served as financial reserves in emergencies (34.5.9–10); mechanisms and contexts for appropriation were remembered and discussed. 16 Lange 2016, 82–83, 105–7, briefly situates Pompey’s first two triumphs in their civil-war context, and argues that the “civil” aspects of these victories were not actively denied.

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set up an inscription in Rome labeling Pompey imperator.17 Ultimately, however, his triumph was one of bravado as much as arms. When Sulla opposed Pompey’s request, the younger man supposedly quipped that “more men worship the rising than the setting sun.”18 Whatever Sulla thought privately about the impertinence, Pompey was allowed his triumph. Our focus here is on one aspect of the procession itself. When Pompey mustered his procession and came to enter the city of Rome, he had his chariot yoked to elephants instead of the traditional (but admittedly rather quotidian) horses.19 The arch into the city proved too narrow, and the plan faltered; someone had to lead away the elephants and bring their equine replacements. Pompey’s vision of his victory had been grander than the stage he had for its display, and in this case it was the vision that compromised. Plutarch includes a brief mention of the tale (Pomp. 14), primarily for the point that Pompey had been trying to annoy his detractors. More interesting for our purposes is the fragmentary historian Granius Licianus’ (admittedly heavily reconstructed) note that there were four elephants, and, having once failed to get through the arch, “they tried twice.”20 The ultimate authority behind the preservation of the anecdote may be the elusive antiquarian Procilius, possibly a contemporary of Pompey, who is cited by Pliny in reference

 17 CIL I2.2710 (ILLRP 380): [C]n(aeo) Pompeio / Magno / [i]mperatori / Italicei qui / Agrigenti / negoti[antur]. 18 The anecdote is related by Plutarch (Pomp. 14). Cicero is able to assert that Pompey triumphed because of public acclaim (Man. 61) and Pompey’s first triumph is an example to be emulated in a speech that the Bellum Africanum puts in the mouth of Cato, addressing Pompey’s son (22.3). See further, with references, Mader 2006, 400–401. 19 On the triumphal route, a much-disputed topic, see Östenberg 2010 n. 1, with references to previous opinions. 20 Granius Licinianus’ work survives as a few fifth-century fragments preserved in palimpsest (twice overwritten); Reynolds 1983, 180. The portion of Book 36 with which we are concerned reads, with Criniti’s extensive suggestions: et Pompeius annos natus XXV, equs Romanus, od nemo antea, pro praetore ex Africa triuavit IIII idus Martias. quia memorant eo elephaiie. urem ingretnreuisse eler ad currum unca, quamquis experirentur (“and Pompey, twenty-five years old, a Roman knight, as no one before, triumphed pro praetore out of Africa, on March 12; certain [authors] record that on that day, the Roman people saw elephants in his triumph. But when he was entering the city, the triumphal gate was too small for the four elephants yoked to the chariot, although they tried twice”).

  Jessica H. Clark to Pompey’s elephants.21 We have rather less on this episode than we would expect, however, and can only imagine the frustration that our ersatz Alexander may have felt.22 The stakes at Rome were high, and this may be why several scholars have posited that the whole affair was staged by Pompey.23 It is, after all, reasonable to assume that Pompey and his aides knew how wide the gates were, or that they might have checked. By this reading, Pompey’s elephants were intended to allow him to perform a concession: though he had bullied his way to a triumph, here he could show himself physically compromising the scale of his glory. The idea is attractive, but risks crediting the young Pompey with a level of political acumen his older self would not display. Furthermore, the suggestion of compromise in this context is itself anachronistic. The idea of the conqueror’s grand boulevard, the metaphorical bulldozer of victories, is ingrained in our modern experience of Europe’s great capital cities. Kings and generals transformed their own narrow streets into panoramas of great splendor—but Pompey had no Haussmann. Essentially, the idea that Pompey’s unyoking of his elephants could have been seen as the staging of compromise assumes that in so doing, he was enacting his decision not to knock down part of Rome’s wall. Second and perhaps more important is the representation of the event. Young Pompey had a smart mouth, and the Romans loved a good one-liner. If his traffic jam were really street theater, we might expect it to be better directed. Something like this: he laughs, tries to look rueful, and quips that the porta did what the patres could not, or ponders rhetorically how it could be that his elephants were so much larger than those of Dentatus or Metellus.24 He might even  21 Pliny HN 8.4: Romae iuncti primum subiere currum Pompei Magni Africano triumpho, quod prius India victa triumphante Libero patre memoratur. Procilius negat potuisse Pompei triumpho iunctos egredi porta (“At Rome, they were first yoked to the chariot of Pompey the Great for his African triumph, as earlier it was noted for Liber Pater triumphing over conquered India. Procilius says that they were not able to enter the gate in Pompey’s triumph”). Cic. Att. 2.2.2 negatively compares a Procilius to Dicaearchus on constitutions, but this may not be Pliny’s man. 22 For the practice of comparing Pompey and Alexander, see Plut. Pomp. 2, 46; Mader 2006, 397 n. 2 compiles the evidence for Alexander’s association with elephants and its likely evocation here by Pompey, and, 398–403, develops the implications. See also Beard 2007, 15–18; Luke 2014, 68–69. 23 Most recently Havener 2014, 169–70, building on Hölscher 2004, 83–84. 24 See van der Blom 2011, 564–65 on Pompeian “sound bites,” in the context of a larger discussion of Pompey’s public oratory. Östenberg 2009, 173–79 provides a detailed discussion of these first encounters with elephants at Rome, and suggests that, since those paraded by Scipio Africanus after Zama were the last until the first century, they had lost their novelty (brief mentions of Pompey’s elephants: 179–80).

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propose a very small temple to commemorate it. Instead, all of our evidence points to a different sort of conclusion, that the very fabric of the city was squeezing Roman glory into the limits of antique forms, so that the true measure of Pompey’s success must be drawn outside the walls (as indeed it would be, decades later, in the form of his massive theater complex). Maybe that is what he intended, but if so, it was a revolutionary suggestion for him to make in the year 80, and one we should not accept on the basis of its appeal alone. This is underscored by the historical context of Pompey’s first triumph. As represented in the Periocha of Livy’s Book 89, the triumph is dramatically a product of Sulla’s civil war. It appears between the murder (in the Roman Forum) of a candidate for the consulship and, in sequence, the suicide of a proscribed consular in Rhodes, the killing of another proscribed man after his wife barred the door to him, Sulla’s victories in Italy, and the sack of Mytilene. Pompey’s triumph is thus embedded within anecdotes of bloody violence at Rome, in which a man is killed in the Forum and another on his own threshold.25 In this alternatively succinct and expansive summary, we find two parallel waves of war: Romans cause the deaths of Romans outward from the heart of the city, across the Mediterranean, while Sulla spreads destruction from Italy to Asia.26 Even more explicitly, Eutropius (5.9) has the triumphs of Sulla and of Pompey mark the conclusion of the Social and the Civil Wars, which, he says, cost the lives of more than 150,000 men. With these events unfolding as Pompey triumphed ex Africa, we should be doubly cautious about any reconstruction of his intentions, or Roman receptions, which does not evince the participants’ consciousness of their own context. A triumph, in a more typical war, might let its audience reconcile personal losses with collective success. Consensus on the meaning of a given victory was achieved through celebrations of thanksgiving, public speeches, and a vote, all of which tied together the citizens and their city. It was, as many have noted, profoundly (if by no means exclusively) a ritual of closure.27 The problem with a triumph like Pompey’s is that it used the architectural fabric of the city and the bodies of its residents to stage a victory celebration that was not about them.28 This  25 On rhetoric of Rome’s self-conquest underpinning claims to political or military success, see also the contributions of Köster and Joseph in this volume. 26 On Roman leaders as the literal or metaphorical causes of urban disasters in Rome and around the empire, see the contributions in this volume of Joseph, Köster, Closs, and Chapman. 27 In sociological terms and in reference to its origins, Armstrong 2013; in terms of its literary representation, Westall 2014, 34–36; in the politics of the republic, Clark 2014, 108–33 (to which add Bastien 2007, 276–301). 28 On the coopting of civic space for the aggrandizement of one individual as a form of destruction, see also the contributions of Köster and Closs in this volume.

  Jessica H. Clark theatricality renders a dynamic cityscape into an inert backdrop, and, in a manner better documented for the imperial period, thereby coopts civic space for the aggrandizement of one individual.29 It is not a “disaster” to use a city thus, but it is not without consequences, either.

 Pompey’s Spanish Triumph The decade that followed was not one of greater peace, although the worst of the violence was located away from Rome. After Sulla’s death, a new crop of warlords emerged and fought brutally for their own power, or for their own definition of “liberty.” Many of these enemies had names like Marcus and Quintus, and it is hard to analyze the process of victory in conflicts for which only hindsight determined the “legitimately” Roman side; Spartacus’ war is an exception, but not one that will have brought much comfort at Rome. Inevitably, this ambiguity influenced commanders’ commemorative decisions. If Pompey’s African triumph was a celebration of youth, of bluff, and of an optimism that proved illusory, his Spanish triumph illustrates how received tradition and the constraints of genre work together to normalize what might otherwise be regarded as transgressive acts of appropriation and ambition. Pompey’s campaign in Spain involved Romans and Iberians on both sides. In the aftermath of Marius’ death, his supporter Q. Sertorius (quaestor, 90) had set himself up as the leader in a breakaway Spanish Republic.30 Q. Caecilius Metellus had been fighting him with little success, and Pompey was sent in support. Further defeats followed and losses mounted, until Sertorius was betrayed and murdered by his ally M. Perpenna Vento. Pompey did achieve victory against Perpenna in 72, and also turned his army on some Lusitanian towns that had supported Sertorius. It was not what one would call a campaign for the ages. Nevertheless, its importance seems clear at least in historiographic terms, as Pompey took his place as a central figure in Sallust’s Histories beginning with his Spanish

 29 As developed in detail by Bartsch 1994; of the many excellent works that explore these ideas further, Benton 2002, 41–45, discussing the connections between visual power in the republic and empire, is particularly relevant here. 30 For an overview of the campaign, with detailed attention to ancient and modern views, see Brennan 2000, 503–9, 511–15.

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campaign.31 Those fragments alone suggest that we should not discount the importance of the reception of this episode. Though we can read only a handful of relevant lines of Sallust’s Histories, an interesting perspective on that lost work comes to us from a late and curious text. In (perhaps) the fourth century, a man named Julius Exuperantius created a very short history of a very small part of Rome’s first-century civil wars, adapting part of Sallust’s Jugurthine War and a bit more of his Histories.32 Exuperantius’ text amounts to approximately 1,400 words, in which he takes the reader from Marius’ rise to Perpenna’s fall. Where we are able to compare his text with that of Sallust, however, Exuperantius’ shifts in characterization and emphasis show him to have an independent, if indebted, hand. For example, Sallust writes that Marius, even before he received encouragement from a (single) soothsayer at Utica, had aspired to the consulship (at illum iam antea consulatus ingens cupido exagitabat, Iug. 63). Exuperantius has multiple soothsayers offer the encouragement, and states that it was this omen specifically that fired Marius’ ambition (tunc capiendi consulatus invasit magna cupiditas, 4). Certain changes in vocabulary and word order may be no more than creative adaptation, but here, Exuperantius has made a change in historical causality, crediting Marius’ ambition to a specific moment of external inspiration. As a result, this text cannot give us “fragments” of Sallust, but it might give us a sidelong glance back to the first century.33 Exuperantius’ decision to conclude his work with the defeat of Perpenna and Pompey’s consequent triumph is intriguing.34 The final sentence of the text is worthy of an epitaph: “Afterwards Pompey overcame Perpenna, he destroyed the cities Uxama, Clunia, and Calagurris, and, having made trophies in the Pyrenees, he returned to Rome” (postea Pompeius Perpennam subegit, Auxummen Cluniam  31 As importantly discussed now by Gerrish 2015/16, 211–13, including an analysis of the relevant fragments; see also Konrad 1997, 46–48. 32 References to Exuperantius’ text are to Zorzetti’s critical edition (Teubner, 1972). His relationship to Sallust is disputed; see further, if briefly, Rawson 1987, 178–79 (also relevant for Sallust’s treatment of events); Konrad 1997, 40–41. The important analysis of Beschorner 1999, which takes Exuperantius as an author in his own right as well as a source for lost Sallust, is (to my mind) convincing on both points, although it is worth noting that he sees a much smaller role for Pompey in Exuperantius’ work than others have posited for Sallust’s (e.g., at 252). 33 I concur with the objections of Jakobi 2002, who argues that Exuperantius so substantially reworked his material to reflect the political concerns of his own time that he cannot be read as a source for earlier events. How this should affect our triangulation to Sallust’s Histories is another matter. 34 On ancient historians’ final sentences, see Marincola 2005, 302–6 (on Sallust’s endings) and passim.

  Jessica H. Clark Calagurrim civitates delevit, et factis in Pyranaeo trophaeis, Romam regressus est, 56). The choice of destroyed cities, their juxtaposition with the monument in the Pyrenees, and the structure of the sentence all raise questions about the reception of Pompey’s Spanish victory and the issues attendant upon commemorating Roman victories during this period. Although the historical tradition preserved the names of more than three towns affected by Pompey’s victory, Exuperantius selected three that were the victims of deliberate destruction. Two overlap with those named in the Livian Periochae as the sites of fighting against Sertorius—the sieges of Clunia and Calagurris.35 Florus (2.10.8–9) named six towns which came over to Rome, in the context of implying that Roman commanders directed their armies against Iberian settlements in order to give their victories a foreign object. Uxama, Clunia, and Calagurris are among the six, and Calagurris is singled out for the extent of its privation. Orosius (5.23.14) had many unnamed communities surrender without incident, but names Uxama and Calagurris as the two sites of resistance, noting that Pompey sacked the former, and his legate Afranius the latter. Orosius provides no details for Uxama, but describes some of the horrors that attended the siege and fall of Calagurris. The separation of Pompey from the fate of that town is not trivial; Valerius Maximus and Juvenal, each to rather different effect, immortalized the horrific last days of the siege there, and a fragment from Sallust’s Histories has been taken to suggest that he did as well.36 Like the tragedy of Numantia—located, perhaps not coincidentally, in the center of the nexus of these three towns—the inhabitants of Calagurris conceded only after being starved into submission.37 Afranius was serving as Pompey’s legate, and Exuperantius does not grant Pompey the same distance from his subordinate’s actions as Orosius does. He shares with these other authors, however, the device of making the destruction of these towns a culminating act in his succinct conclusion to Pompey’s campaign. The three towns all went on to have reasonably prosperous futures. Later in the first century, the patronage of Julius Caesar and Augustus brought wealth and importance to Calagurris. It went on to have a mint and large public buildings,

 35 Livy Per. 92 and 93. While Livy’s complete narrative will of course have included many more place-names, the author of the epitome may have selected the two that s/he did because of their prominence in later literary tradition. 36 Val. Max. 7.6.3; Juv. 5.15.97–106; discussed by Keane 2007, 47–48. Sall. Hist. fr. 3.60 R/3.86 M: ubi multa nefanda esca super ausi atqui passi (“when, after committing and suffering many abominations respecting their food” [trans. Ramsey], cf. fr. 3.61 R/3.87 M). 37 On the importance of the siege of Numantia, see Clark 2014, 163–69, with references.

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and would be the birthplace of Quintilian and, perhaps, Prudentius.38 Uxama enjoyed municipial status under Tiberius, while Clunia, now Colonia Clunia Sulpicia, would become a regional center on a major road, receiving support from Tiberius and at least one of the Antonines.39 As a textual monument, therefore, Exuperantius’ list is ambiguous. His readers could know these towns as thriving Roman communities, places where the violence of Pompey’s armies was rebuilt under the care and patronage of the Caesars. This is not solely an anachronism, since the victory of Scipio Aemilianus at Numantia in 133 brought the region into ostensible Roman control, and, after all, Pompey’s main opponents, Sertorius and Perpenna, were not Iberian. The location of Pompey’s trophy complex perhaps reflected his own interest in creating distance between the sites of his campaign and its commemoration.40 Their modern iconographic resonance notwithstanding, battlefield trophies were not commonly constructed as durable monuments in the Roman republic.41 Exuperantius’ readers might be able to call a dozen imperial examples to mind, but Sallust’s readers, and Pompey’s contemporaries, would not.42 What, then, were these tropaea, erected far from the sites of fighting, for inglorious success in an unnecessary war, in which Roman adventurers incited rebellions with brutal costs for their local allies? Located where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean, the trophies seem to have demarcated a border between the Gallic and Spanish provinces.43 In his discussion, Pliny (HN 7.96–97) says that

 38 On the subsequent literary prominence of these towns, see R. Cowan 2006 and Stanley 2014, both with references. 39 Fabre 1970 discusses the importance of Clunia in the region. 40 This may partly account for the relative paucity of information about the second triumph itself; by the time of its celebration Pompey was already looking ahead to his first consulship. There is something to be explained here; as Rehak 2006, 4–5 notes, the association “between political power and impressive architecture” was well established at Rome, and yet in his own account of Pompey’s interactions with the city of Rome, he must move directly from the elephants of the first triumph to the splendor of the third and the monument that Pompey at last commissioned (16–21). 41 For the essential impermanence of tropaia in the Greek world, see Trundle 2013, 138. On Roman reticence (real or contrived), Flor. 1.37.4: numquam enim populus Romanus hostibus domitis victoriam exprobravit (“never before did the Roman people make their victory a matter of reproach for defeated foes”). 42 Sall. Hist. fr. 3.63 R/3.89 M: de victis Hispanis tropaea in Pyrenaei iugis constituit (“he [Pompey] set up on the slopes of the Pyrenees trophies for his conquests of the Spaniards” [trans. Ramsey]). The manuscript tradition for the source, Serv. ad Aen. 11.6, reads devictis Hispanis. 43 On Pompey’s march from Gaul into Spain, and the probability that he opened a new pass, Brennan 2000, 507–9.

  Jessica H. Clark Pompey did not mention Sertorius in the trophies’ inscription, an omission Pliny effectively corrects. Thus while Pompey’s trophy complex both literally and figuratively moved his war into a different commemorative landscape, away from the brutal nexus of Numantine territory and history, it was not a move that later writers allowed to stand. We may see more clearly what is at stake here by juxtaposing Exuperantius’ sentence with one of the earliest Latin inscriptions, the elogium of L. Cornelius Scipio Barbatus. The final clauses of the elogium inform its readers that “he took Taurasia and Cisauna from Samnium, he subdued all Lucania, and he led away hostages” (Taurasia Cisauna Samnio cepit / subigit omne Loucanam opsidesque abdoucit).44 Here the defeat of Rome’s opponents is framed in simple but comprehensive terms, providing geographical specificity, totalizing generalization, and diplomatic proofs. While this exemplifies the manner in which Romans wrote their victories across the centuries, it was rarely that simple.45 The triumphal lists record no triumph for Scipio Barbatus; that inscription gives the Samnite victory in the year of Barbatus’ consulship instead to Cn. Fulvius Centumalus, to whom it also accords a triumph in Etruria.46 Livy (10.11–12), for his part, places Barbatus in the north, fighting Etruscans in a costly draw that only the Etruscans’ nocturnal abandonment of their camp transforms into a species of victory; there is no mention of a triumph.47 Thus Barbatus’ glory was ultimately inscribed only in his tomb, if, thereby, also on his descendants’ memories. It is interesting that Exuperantius describes Pompey’s victory, and concludes his own work, in a manner reminiscent of Barbatus’ epigram. When viewed through this generic frame, Exuperantius appears to decline the invitation to tragic history offered by the fall of Calagurris, and to prefer instead an efficient and traditional representation of a campaign that was anything but. This is not an uncritical decision, however. Victory at Rome was always partly about representation, and

 44 Note that the translation must remain speculative, as scholars disagree on the sense of Samnio and Loucanam. ILLRP 309 = CIL 12.7 = ILS 1; illustration, discussion, and commentary in Kruschwitz 2002, 32–47, who also adduces a valuable parallel for our concerns here: Sicilienses paciscit obsides ut reddant, Naevius Bel. Pun. fr. 46 (FPL). 45 Barton 2007, 248–51 on the importance of the narrative of demonstrated capitulation. 46 For the phenomenon of false triumphs in relation to family politics, see Bastien 2007, 93– 101; on the consequences for the history of the period, Rich 2014, 198–206. 47 Livy 10.11–12; full discussion in Oakley 2005, 161–75, comparing the Scipionic elogium and Livy.

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therefore about competition over representation.48 By custom, this was made manifest in constructive terms: celebrations and temple building performed glory on the city streets. While we do not know why Fulvius Centumalus was the historiographic winner in the early third century, the net gain for the republic was positive. We cannot say the same for the ways in which Calagurris’ cannibalism defeated Pompey’s trophies, though we may perhaps be in a better position to speculate on the reasons. The legacy of Pompey’s early victories was not independent of his subsequent fate. There is a further point to the comparison. The example of Barbatus and Centumalus illustrates how, at some level, Romans in the mid-republic might accept a certain level of contradiction and repetition within their historical narratives. As the genre of formal literary history developed at Rome, the family chronicles and received traditions that had coexisted for generations sat uneasily, and at times impossibly, beside one another, tolerated by means of an inherent expansiveness within the Roman historical imagination. Monuments like Pompey’s trophies in the Pyrenees, however, would seem to insist on a more univocal understanding of events. By design, and very much unlike votive temples in a row or triumphs in a list, they do not assume there will be others beside them. Moreover, a trophy is about defeat, and despite their interdependence, defeat and victory are not two sides of the same coin. A trophy speaks to the defeated on their own soil; it is a garrison of memory, an occupying force, with all that that implies. It thus stands outside the notion of cyclicality in victory that had previously been an important factor in the construction and maintenance of public space at Rome, where there had to be room, both physically and ideologically, for men of every generation to inscribe their successes. Pompey’s Spanish campaign suggests a hermeneutics of the trophy over that of the triumph, and a more ominous cast to Exuperantius’ concluding words: Romam regressus est.

 Pompey’s Eastern Triumph Pompey’s third triumph is the best-studied of the set, and the one that allows us to explore the idea of victory-as-disaster in the most concrete terms. Throughout the 60s, Pompey had been fighting in the eastern Mediterranean, expanding his

 48 Van der Blom 2016, 113–31 emphasizes Pompey’s own skill in representing himself as a victor in his public speeches, even when the ostensible occasion for those appearances was not his own martial accomplishments.

  Jessica H. Clark mandate against piracy to encompass a staggering array of peoples and kingdoms. When he returned to Rome, he celebrated a triumph that was unprecedented in its magnificence.49 For his part, Appian is skeptical on whether Pompey did actually wear a cloak that had belonged to Alexander the Great, but the possibility is itself enough for our purposes. Nevertheless, it is not the triumphal celebration itself that concerns us here, but rather the monument that came after.50 Pompey’s famous theater complex, an extraordinary architectural innovation in the context of mid-first-century Rome, brought the mentality of his Pyrenees trophy home to the city, recapitulating the power of a monument to create, as well as represent, the record of the events that inspired it—and, in imposing a space at last sufficient for his elephants, forced Rome’s emerging political schism into the urban fabric of the city. Roman triumphs were inherently ephemeral, and thus as early as the fourth century, triumphing commanders sought ways to extend the commemorative life of their victories.51 Selections of spoils could turn votive temples into miniature museums, but the preference for captive armaments or crowded, commodified statue groups should make us wary of equating these spaces with modern galleries unless specific evidence supports such a reconstruction.52 We have almost no information regarding the Roman people’s reception of these objects or their sites, and little more for the ultimate disposition of objects and paintings displayed in triumphal processions.53 Moreover, a certain proportion of the spoils (and perhaps a large one) might be converted into coinage before the triumph, treated as bullion or sold near the site of a victory, and subsequently dispersed.54

 49 On the historical context and the relation between Pompey’s eastern campaigns, his triumph, and his political use thereof, see Morell 2017, 73–76; on the triumph, see also Beard 2007, 7–14, 36–41. 50 Kuttner 1999, A. Russell 2015, 127–52, and P. Davies 2018, 491–500 have offered comprehensive (if differing) assessments of the role that Pompey’s theater complex played in the culture of his day. Here, I review the details only insofar as is necessary for my theme. 51 Thus P. Davies 2012, in a well-supported discussion of fourth-century commemorative practices. 52 Holz 2009 discusses the evolution of the display of spoils and the innovations of the first century BCE; see in particular Holz 2009, 199–202 on the display of spoils in Pompey’s theater complex. Rowan 2013, 371 n. 70 collects Livian examples for the deposition of spoils in temples. 53 For the mechanics of transport and an analysis of three second-century examples, see PietiläCastrén 1982. We do not know whether the paintings of the first Fabius Pictor, displayed in the Temple of Salus vowed by C. Junius Bubulcus and constructed after his victory over the Aequi in 302, were historical in subject (Livy 10.1.9; Pliny HN 35.19). 54 This important thesis is developed in detail by Rowan 2013, 369–72.

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Thus while it is undeniable that works of art (whether captured or commissioned), inscriptions, and monuments proliferated during the Roman republic and filled the visual landscape of the city with competing narratives of victory and profit, the fact remains that little of this material, prior to the mid-first century, set forth a clear and specific historical message. While Ovid is far from a straightforward witness to Roman triumphalism, the place of votive monuments and victory celebrations in his poetry reminds us that those who commission monuments do not have a monopoly on their interpretation. In Ovid’s Fasti, for example, the dates of temple dedications inspire verses that do not necessarily share any connection to the men or the wars that enabled construction.55 More explicitly, a wonderful vignette in the Ars amatoria (1.219– 28) advises an aspiring lover to improvise commentary on triumphal displays, augmenting any gaps in his own knowledge with confident fabrication.56 This is satire, perhaps, but it is also a reminder that Romans might take winning very seriously, without always being tedious about the details. Even when the docent was himself a participant in the subject of his ekphrasis, as when L. Hostilius Mancinus explained scenes of his valor at the siege of Carthage, one might reasonably suspect a certain license.57 One fairly obvious point, for our purpose here, is that Romans lived in their city and made use of its fabric to suit their needs. The commemoration of victories in various media served one purpose within the dynamics of elite competition and self-representation, but these very sites and objects, to which we attach great historical interest, could be enjoyed or occupied by other people for other reasons.58 Victory monuments, and especially victory temples, did not insist on a fixed historical reading, or indeed any historical reading at all. That said, they did make one demand: the recognition of their past-ness, of the temporal dynamics of a commander’s contribution to the state (whether anyone recalled the specifics or not). In this regard, Pompey’s massive theater complex, dedicated in 55 and centered on a temple to Venus Victrix, is not comprehensible in terms of a  55 Among other possible examples, note Fast. 3.429–48 on the Temple of Veiovis; Fast. 6.199– 204, App. Claudius Caecus’ Temple of Bellona, with Rüpke 1994. Bastien 2007, 381–94 discusses the use commanders might make of significant dates, which does suggest that some retained a more historical understanding of temple dedication dates than Ovid represented. 56 Clarke 2003, 10. 57 For the anecdote, Pliny HN 35.23; Riggsby 2006, 201 includes discussion of this and other evidence for triumphal painting in the context of commanders’ self-representation. 58 Compare here Richlin 2018, on the different ways different members of the audience for Roman comedy could have heard Plautus’ topical references to war and slavery (thus “places do not mean the same thing to all people,” 221).

  Jessica H. Clark republican victory monument. In both plan and elevation, the complex transformed the southern Campus Martius, defining its axes and subsequent development. Its remarkable scale was permitted in part by new developments in concrete building, which permitted monumental construction on the Tiber’s marshy floodplain, but would not have been possible without the wealth and power commanded by Pompey himself.59 If it is correct to reconstruct the height of its elevation as approximately forty-four meters, it stood as high as the Capitoline hill—a revision of Rome’s panorama it is almost impossible to visualize, but which it will have been impossible to ignore.60 Thus we might say that Pompey initiated the first imperial forum, even if neither he nor his audience could have known it at the time.61 The complex included a temple with personal significance to Pompey that overlooked a large and ornate portico, complete with galleries of statuary, food vendors, and leisure areas, attributes shared by the fora built by Caesar and Augustus.62 Shortly after its dedication, Catullus could give us a lively insight into its use, as he describes seeking his friend Camerius: “when in Magnus’ Promenade, my friend, I grasped at all

 59 Albers 2013, 191 and Jacobs/Conlin 2014, 73–80 emphasize the axial impact of the theater complex and its influence on the Campus Martius more generally. 60 Kuttner 1999, 346 evocatively refers to it as a “theater-mountain”; the precise height is not known, but modern estimates do not vary wildly. Gros 1999, 37–38 explicitly connects the complex’s elevation to that of the arx of the Capitoline. 61 Thus Holz 2009, 203, concluding her fundamental assessment of Pompey’s theater complex. Sumi 2005, 50–53 connects the dedication of Pompey’s theater complex with Caesar’s plans for the Forum Romanum, Forum Iulium, and Saepta. Here I depart only in part from Popkin 2016, 126, who sees the complex as a whole as a victory monument (thus also Rehak 2006, 19), A. Russell 2015, 164, who places it as “the last and greatest of the series of Republican victory complexes,” and P. Davies 2018, 500, who associates Pompey’s architectural choices with royal palaces and public spaces in the Hellenistic east and Persian empire; this is a monumental complex that looks backward and forward, and which, as all these scholars note, allowed for more than one interpretation in antiquity. 62 A. Russell 2015 (e.g., 153–68, 178–86) argues for Pompey’s theater complex as asserting, in the style of a Hellenistic monarch, Pompey’s lack of separation between (his) public and private space. The literary evidence for Pompey’s house and park (horti) as near the theater complex cannot be ignored, but Plut. Pomp. 40.5 does not prove that they abutted; the metaphor of a small boat towed by large ship (epholkion) could describe a location a short walk away, and while we know that Pompey would never reoccupy his original domicile (since he could not cross the pomerium), we do not know whether his Roman audience would have seen his move to the Campus Martius as (in any ideological sense) a permanent one. It may be enough to posit that the patrons of subsequent monumental complexes avoided the association; Jolivet 1983 discusses the particular setting of the Campus Martius as shaping the multivalence (and multiple purposes) of the theater complex.

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the girls, who regardless, looked at me calmly” (in Magni simul ambulatione / femellas omnes, amice, prendi / quas vultu vidi tamen sereno, 55.5–8), before one of them claims to have Camerius concealed in her cleavage. To be sure, there could be no Theater of Pompey without Pompey’s victories, and it is in that sense a monument to those victories—but insofar as its genesis and execution have little in common with the vowing, authorization, and dedication of republican manubial temples, Pompey’s complex was as much a monument to the power and wealth he, individually, commanded, as it was to his discrete accomplishments. Its sculptural programs alone point to the difficulty of interpreting the theater as a scaled-up version of a republican victory temple: in addition to representations, in female form, of fourteen nations that Pompey had subdued, the complex housed artworks of varied provenience and subject, including, perhaps, statue groups of notable (and notably non-Roman) women.63 While we do not know what information was inscribed upon or within the complex, Pompey’s own descriptions of his own victories, as preserved by Pliny, are suggestive: they included tallies of towns in the thousands and casualties in the millions, and half the known world as the subject for his triumph.64 Who could claim to command the details behind such extraordinary numbers, or so dizzying a litany of places and peoples? The closest comparanda, commemorating victories over Carthage, Perseus, and Antiochus, include only a few proper names within notably more detailed contexts.65 Pompey so exceeds the precedents of the genre as to render competition in such terms effectively impossible. That Caesar would nevertheless try to compete points to the conclusions here. The complex, as partially excavated and as illustrated on the Severan marble plan of the city, backed onto the row of republican victory temples known now as the Area Sacra di Largo Argentina. Latrines were added, or perhaps enlarged, under Augustus, and bordered the theater’s architectural neighbors. The older temples were subordinated visually but also, thus, suborned: they became foils for a different Rome.66 Furthermore, his enormously popular portico could not be any larger because it was limited by the presence of the older temples. Like the gate that unyoked Pompey’s elephants in his first triumph, here we see the existing

 63 Kuttner 1999, 345–50; A. Russell 2015, 176–78, with references. 64 Pliny HN 7.98: … ex Asia Ponto Armenia Paphlagonia Cappadocia Cilicia Syria Scythis Iudaeis Albanis Hiberia insula Creta Basternis et super haec de rege Mithridate atque Tigrane triumphavit. 65 Here I am indebted to the compilation of “generals’ inscriptions” in Riggsby 2006, 217–21. 66 Further discussion in Popkin 2016, 99.

  Jessica H. Clark cityscape working to constrain something outsize, but in a way that seems to impugn its own relevance. Lest this seem to abuse the potential of metaphor here, it is worth recalling that, while Pompey retained his imperium and was theoretically prohibited from crossing the pomerium into Rome, the senate met outside the walls so that he could attend.67 In 80, Pompey cut his vision down to scale; in the 50s, he remade the map. It is this, ultimately, that justifies the reading of Pompey’s victories as an escalating species of disaster. At the simplest level, if something appears to trivialize tradition, it in fact does so regardless of intentions. Prior to Pompey’s first triumph, Romans had one set of stories about elephants and triumphs. These were great, archaic tales about the first wars against the successors of Alexander and Rome’s first clash with Carthage, tales in which iconic ancestors made manifest Roman virtues and Roman power for the betterment of all: Fabricius, unfazed by Pyrrhus’ hidden elephant, or Metellus’ victory against Hasdrubal in the First Punic War.68 After Pompey’s triumph, those stories had an irreverent coda: the adulescens carnifex with the bad party planner. The story was well known, and it changed the way Romans would apprehend (one aspect of) their past. Pompey himself may have lived to see one consequence of this; the games with which he opened his theater complex featured a staged wild-beast hunt, at which the pathetic slaughter of so many elephants evoked pity among the spectators. Pliny could even record a tradition that asserted that the crowd’s cursing of Pompey on this occasion led to his death.69 Thus in more than one way, Pompey’s misuse of elephants undercut their historical value as symbols of Roman power and empire. Julius Caesar’s decision to feature a rather charming (live) elephant on his first coin issue suggests that this is not only a modern impression.70  67 Caes. BCiv. 1.6; Cass. Dio 41.3.3–4. For discussion of the issue, see Drogula 2007, 448 n.179 and passim; it is Drogula’s analysis of exceptions to the rule that leads me to say “theoretically” above. 68 King Pyrrhus of Epirus attempted to bribe Fabricius with gold, and when that failed, to frighten him with an elephant he had hidden behind a curtain (Plut. Pyrrh. 20); L. Caecilius Metellus’ defeat of Hasdrubal at the Battle of Panormus (251 BCE) was one of the war’s signal victories, in which Metellus was able to turn the Carthaginians’ elephants against them; the captured elephants were transported to Rome and displayed in his triumph (Polyb. 1.40; Plin. HN 7.39; Livy Per. 19). 69 Pity: Cic. Fam. 7.1.3; cursing: Pliny HN 8.7; Gordon 2002, 101–3 (with further ancient references) discusses the episode in the context of the relationship between Pompey’s temple to Venus and Lucretius’ representation of that goddess. 70 RRC 443/1, denarii featuring an elephant and “CAESAR”; an astonishing quantity (many millions) were minted to pay Caesar’s legions upon the conclusion of his Gallic campaigns. Further discussion, including the connection with Pompey, in Backendorf 1998, 210–12; see also Rowan

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Conversely, Pompey’s physical instantiation of his victories suggests that victory monuments can, in fact, be too much about victory. The Pyrenees trophy and his theater both, in their way, insist upon an absolute reading of Roman victory; they inscribe it in the sightlines and walking paths of their audiences. Smaller monuments and different sorts of monuments, monuments with connotations that could more easily evolve over time, did a different sort of memorial work: they showed the patterns of war and peace, punctuating cycles that had room for setbacks, and losses, and all the sorts of historical ambiguities that a massive, shining victory park elides.71 Days of thanksgiving require days of doubt and danger. The very fact of a temple in a row assumes that there will be more temples, and there will be more temples because there will be more wars, and because Romans will win those wars and come home. This is, of course, to simplify, but the point is that significant changes in a city’s monumental landscape are more than cosmetic, and they are not without civilian casualties. Scholars and policy-makers in the modern field of cultural heritage have long taken this as given. At the far end of the spectrum, international humanitarian law recognizes, among more minor violations, the reckless endangerment of cultural heritage (excluding the exigencies of combat). This becomes a “serious” violation if the act involves the targeting of cultural property or aims to “breach important values, even without physically endangering persons or objects directly.”72 This category can also include projects that sacrifice the lifeways of one

 2016, 49, and, for a more detailed analysis of Caesar’s “elephant denarius” and its context, Nousek 2008 (while Nousek, 296–98, rejects the etymological connection between Caesar and caesai, a Punic word for “elephant,” as an explanation for its presence on this coin, it remains an interesting angle). I owe the reference to Backendorf’s study to Rowan/Horne (n.d.). 71 While the idea that monuments might have deliberately shifting referents is a modern one, Romans’ monuments had their own dynamism. The Temple of Concord in the Roman Forum, for example, seems to have originally commemorated political compromises between patricians and plebeians in the mid-fourth century, but was restored (by order of the senate) by L. Opimius, who as consul in 121 oversaw the massacre of C. Sempronius Gracchus and 3,000 other Romans (App. BCiv. 1.26; Plut. C. Gracch. 17; Cic. Sest. 140). 72 Rule 156 of 161 “rules of customary international humanitarian law,” as compiled by the International Committee of the Red Cross (published as Henckaerts/Doswald-Beck 2005): ICRC, Customary IHL Database, www.icrc.org/customary-ihl/eng/docs/v1_rul_rule156. Civil wars and “internal armed conflicts” constitute a potentially different area of regulation for collectives, but individuals’ responsibilities have been adjudicated under the same rules (e.g., La Haye 2008, 175). Relevant to both contexts is Pompey’s decision to profane the Holy of Holies in the Temple at Jerusalem, after his victory against its defenders in 63. A contemporary text alleges that his soldiers also offered sacrifice to their standards within the temple (Dead Sea Scrolls, 1QpHab 6.1–6).

  Jessica H. Clark group for another, or which target traditional networks and spaces deliberately. Put another way, beautification projects and improvements in infrastructure may commit deliberate cultural violence while at the same time invoking unassailable cultural values.73 There is a growing body of research on the consequences of “Haussmannization”—or, in Augustus’ terms, the destruction of a city of brick and its replacement with a city of marble.74 From roads that sever neighborhoods to the wholesale architectural transformation of public spaces, major infrastructure projects have an undeniable political message.75 They insist on the primacy of progress over the past, and on the right of one group to determine the lived environment of another. It is perhaps ironic that we now decry Fascist programs of demolition and the construction of the Via dei Fori Imperiali through the heart of the city of Rome, while still allowing the building projects of Mussolini’s forebears to redound uncritically to their credit. Wide streets, public parks, and sanitation have undeniable advantages, of course, but that does not require us to ignore the costs of their construction and the implications of choices in location and design.76 Even beautiful and innovative interventions in a landscape can have a certain violence, and Pompey’s commemorative trajectory in his first two triumphs, at the very least, justifies our suspicion that this was not an unintentional effect of his third. The various international codes and regulations regarding cultural heritage invite us to recognize that physical representations of the past, whether constructed as deliberate monuments or not, are essential extensions of our humanity. Our built environments construct us, and it is our right to have them do so, just as it is the right of every society to set forth its own history. Pompey was not the first to impose himself on narratives and spaces not his own, and he did not

 73 For a breach of civic values as a form of urban disaster, see also the contributions in this volume of Joseph, Köster, Nethercut, Zanker, and Closs. 74 For “Haussmannization,” see C. Jones 2004, 299–319; the particular value of the analogy here lies in the deliberate choice, in nineteenth-century Paris, to devalue the same physical traces of the past that had previously been seen as evidence of, and integral to, the importance of the city. Roller 2010 provides a clear demonstration that demolition could be seen in deeply political terms at Rome. 75 The debates surrounding urban highway construction in American cities are a prime example, on which see DiMento/Ellis 2013. 76 Of the many excellent works on this topic, Nelson/Olin 2003, 1–5 is a representative introduction (e.g., 4: “Th[e] potential to redirect cultural memory tempts some people to destroy or appropriate what has been built, protected, or restored with great care”; for Rome, Elsner 2003 in that volume).

Winning Too Well  

do it alone; yet in hindsight, what Rome lost to his victories can seem more valuable than what it gained. The urban disaster is not, then, physical demolition, but the encouragement to autocracy that came as its corollary: when you change where people stand, perhaps, it is easier to change what they will stand for.

Jason Nethercut

Urbs/Orbis: Urban Cataclysm in Lucretius’ De rerum natura The description of the Athenian plague that closes Lucretius’ De rerum natura (6.1138–1286) is perhaps the most famous literary presentation of an urban disaster (and the earliest poetic description of one) that we have from the Roman period. Furthermore, the influence of this episode on later authors’ presentation of calamity (e.g., Verg. G. 3.478–566, Ov. Met. 7.517–660, Manil. 1.884–91, Luc. 6.84–103, and Sen. Oed. 52–70, 133–59) means that Lucretius’ account of the plague must occupy a primary position in any assessment of how the Romans conceptualized urban disaster. While Lucretian scholars have long remarked on certain oddities of this seminal passage, and while commentators have been quick to point out later allusions to it, there is still work to be done on the connections between the plague and the wider Lucretian worldview (or perhaps I should say end-of-worldview). To allude to the Lucretian plague is to signify not just calamity, in fact, but cosmic catastrophe, or cataclysm.1 In this essay, I argue that, owing to different vectors of Lucretian thought that converge in the plague narrative, Lucretius encourages his reader to see in the Athenian plague a reminder that all cities and civilizations will be destroyed, as will the entire world. Lucretius’ emphasis on this cosmic disaster—a perfectly natural, and logically necessary, eventuality in the Epicurean system—actively counters the prevailing contemporaneous view of the Roman urbs as equivalent to the entire orbis terrarum. Read in this way, therefore, the finale of the DRN is a powerful political statement about the futility of empire, in the midst of the destructive civil wars of the last century BCE. First, I offer a reminder of a few relevant details regarding the content of Lucretius’ DRN. Lucretius provides a thorough explanation of atomic physics in six books, focusing both on the abstract principles behind his subject (Books 1–3) and an explanation of these principles at work in our world (Books 4–6). In the middle of this second part of his poem (DRN 5.925–1457), Lucretius offers a history of humanity and its rise to prominence in a section that is often referred to as the “Anthropology.” Beginning with the earliest phases of human life, where nomadic humans wandered the earth amongst the other animal species (5.925–  1 For further discussion of the cosmic dimensions of civic disaster, see the contributions of Zanker and Closs in this volume. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-007

  Jason Nethercut 1010), Lucretius describes the emergence of the first communities as a safety mechanism against the harsh realities of early human life, including in his description an account of the origin of language and the discovery of fire that resulted from this new human interaction (5.1011–1104). Lucretius then outlines the evolution of society into a republican system of government (5.1105–60), detailing the many discoveries that accompanied this evolution, such as religion, metals, weapons, weaving, agriculture, music, astronomy, and poetry (5.1161–1447). He ends the anthropology and Book 5 with the observation that by gradual steps human society reached its zenith thereafter (5.1448–57). Lucretius begins the next, and final book, by praising Athens as the high point of civilization, not least because Athens gave birth to Epicurus, whose discoveries have freed humans from the anxieties which prevent them from leading a fulfilling life (6.1–42). The bulk of Book 6 is concerned with explaining the atomic dynamics of natural phenomena that give rise to this anxiety, including atmospheric phenomena such as thunder and lightning (6.96–534), terrestrial phenomena like earthquakes and volcanoes (6.535–1089), and, finally, pestilences (6.1090–1286). This last discussion leads into the final vignette of the poem, and the subject of this essay, the narrative of the unmitigated horrors of the plague at Athens in 430 BCE (6.1138– 1296). The plague counterbalances Lucretius’ discussion of the rise of civilization at the end of DRN 5.2 In the proem to DRN 6, Lucretius praises Athens as the pinnacle of human civilization, the first to produce many of the boons that enrich human life, such as laws (6.1–3). These lines are properly read as a continuation of the discussion that concludes DRN 5, presenting Athens as the zenith of human civilization that was invoked in the last lines of the anthropology.3 Given the explicit singling out of Athens in this trajectory, the conclusion presents itself naturally that the dissolution of Athenian society at the end of DRN 6 is meant to provide some sort of conclusion to Lucretius’ story of human progress.4

 2 Gale 1994, 226–27 observes how the plague emphasizes the uselessness of the fruits of civilization, like medicine and clothing, in the face of the calamity, but does not tie this specifically back to the anthropology; cf. Segal 1990, 230–31. 3 See esp. Segal 1990, 231–32; and P. Fowler 1997, 122–23 (= 2007, 212–13). 4 See Nethercut 1967, 104–5; Müller 1978, 215–21 (= 2007, 248–54); Segal 1990, 231–32; Gale 1994, 226–27; P. Fowler 1997, 123 (= 2007, 213); and Gale 2000, 22–23.

Urbs/Orbis  

Urbs et Orbis: Athenian Plague and Cataclysm The abrupt and horrific conclusion of the DRN has long puzzled readers trying to make sense of Lucretius’ vision of the cosmos. There is, to be sure, something disquieting about beginning a work with the inauguration of Spring, and a vivid celebration of Venus’ generative life-force, only to end it with a description of pestilential rot and decay. The plague narrative has thus understandably stood out as warranting interpretation.5 One fruitful approach to integrating the apparently disjointed conclusion of the DRN has been to hypothesize a connection to the rest of the poem. The most popular manifestation of this tendency is that scholars beginning with Diskin Clay (1983, 262) have suggested that the plague serves as a sort of final examination for readers, a test to ensure that they have fully absorbed the lessons of Epicureanism. If we truly understand the nature of death, the argument goes, we should read the insistent horror of the DRN’s conclusion with complete ataraxia. Though there have been some objections to this interpretation, I think it is safe to say that there is general agreement with this proposition regarding the function of the plague passage.6 The final-examination hypothesis encourages us to extend the lessons of the plague narrative beyond the immediate context of the disaster at Athens. Clay’s hypothesis thus can be situated within another strand of Lucretian scholarship that emphasizes the synchronic aspects of Lucretius’ narrative of human progress and decline. Joseph Farrell, for example, has shown how the strict chronology of Lucretius’ anthropology is supplemented by synchronic observations about the human condition. The anthropology, therefore, transcends the limits of history to offer more universalizing truths.7 Similarly, Monica Gale has called the plague narrative “an Epicurean myth,” emphasizing the symbolic significance of the fi-

 5 Perhaps more than all other sections of the DRN, the plague narrative has captivated the attention of Lucretian scholars. On the relationship between Thucydides and Lucretius, see esp. Lück 1932, 175–90; Bailey 1947, 1723–44; Commager 1957 (= 2007); Stoddard 1996; and Foster 2009; on the plague and its relationship to the rest of the DRN, see Bright 1971; Müller 1978; Clay 1983, 262–66; Jope 1989, 32–33; Segal 1990, 228–37; Gale 1994, 223–28; P. Fowler 1997; Penwill 1998; Stover 1999; and Schiesaro 2007a, 55–58. 6 See, most recently, Morrison 2013. The only sustained case that has been made against Clay’s hypothesis that I know is Penwill 1998, 151–52. 7 Farrell 1994, esp. 94: “what is usually taken as historical speculation alone should also be read as having direct relevance to the human condition in any period”; cf. ibid., 95: “each new phase in the human experience amounts to little more than a morally indifferent rearrangement of the same elements that have characterized the human condition from the beginning.”

  Jason Nethercut nal ekphrasis over any literal, historically-bound meaning inherent in the passage.8 It is worth adding that all of these approaches more generally conform to and reinforce the Epicurean perspective on historical events and time that we find in Lucretius’ explanation of properties (coniuncta) and accidents (eventa) at DRN 1.449–82. There, we learn that time and chronology (1.459–61) are merely accidents of atoms and void, and, therefore, that neither actually exists in any real way. While this is a notoriously complicated argument that Lucretius makes, at the very least it suggests that we are misguided in elevating the local, temporallybound events in the history of humanity (such as the plague) over the overarching truths of which such events are mere accidents. Lucretius himself, then, should be added as a sanctioning voice for taking a broader view of the plague narrative that concludes the DRN. I would contribute to this scholarship that has identified a broader context into which Lucretius situates the Athenian plague, by observing that Lucretius also draws an association between the disaster at Athens and the future end of the cosmos. During his discussion of earthquakes at 6.535–607, Lucretius imagines how, for the humans experiencing such a massive disruption, it may feel like the world itself is coming to an abrupt end (DRN 6.588–90, 596, 601–7): multaque praeterea ceciderunt moenia magnis motibus in terris et multae per mare pessum subsedere suis pariter cum civibus urbes. … ancipiti trepidant igitur terrore per urbis, … proinde licet quamvis caelum terramque reantur incorrupta fore aeternae mandata saluti: et tamen interdum praesens vis ipsa pericli subdit et hunc stimulum quadam de parte timoris, ne pedibus raptim tellus subtracta feratur in barathrum rerumque sequatur prodita summa funditus et fiat mundi confusa ruina.



And besides many walls have fallen through huge movements on land and many cities have sunk down through the sea along with their citizens … so humans tremble with uncertain fear throughout cities …

 8 Gale 1994, 225, and more broadly ibid., 223–28. See Stover 1999 for an argument against Gale’s reading of the plague.

Urbs/Orbis  

let them then believe, however they will, that heaven and earth will be indestructible, entrusted to eternal safety; and yet every now and then the very present force of danger supplies from one direction or another this goad of fear, lest the earth, removed quickly from beneath their feet be carried off into the abyss and the sum of things, left utterly without foundation, follow on, and there come to pass a confused collapse of the world itself.9

In the lines that lead into the plague narrative, Lucretius summarizes how the Athenian plague destroyed the Attic farmland (funestos reddidit agros, 6.1139), laid waste the city’s streets (vastavitque vias, 6.1140), and drained the city of its citizens (exhausit civibus urbem, 6.1140).10 This last phrase alludes back to the collocation civibus urbes (6.590) from the earthquake passage. The effect is that Lucretius insinuates at the outset that the Athenian plague, just like earthquakes, represents a disruption on par with the end of the world. Lucretius thus connects the dissolution of human civilization to the destruction of the world. Relevant to this association in Lucretian thought between human society and the world is the idea in Roman culture that the walls of the city of Rome were coextensive with the limits of the cosmos, that the urbs was equivalent, in some sense, to the orbis terrarum.11 Though no systematic study of this idea in Lucretius exists, scholars have often remarked on the way in which Lucretius’ conceptualization of the cosmos and its contours reflects aspects of cities. So, for example, Lucretius frequently speaks of the moenia mundi when describing the limits of the world.12 Moenia is almost always used outside of Lucretius to describe defensive fortifications that surround a city, and it can even denote the city itself.13 Else-

 9 All quotations from Lucretius come from Smith’s revised Loeb edition. All translations are my own. 10 For detailed explorations of other urban landscapes imagined as abandoned “ghost towns,” see the contribution of Kraus in this volume. See also Joseph’s discussion in this volume of destroyed landscapes in Lucan. 11 For explicit etymology of the two words, see Varro Ling. 5.143. For the deployment of the pun, see, for example, Cic. Cat. 1.4.9, Cat. 4.6.11, Fam. 4.1.2, Prop. 3.11.57, Ov. Fast. 2.683–84 and Ars am. 1.174. Fundamental for universalism in the Roman imagination is Hardie 1986 (see 364–66 for a discussion of urbs/orbis with further bibliography). For further discussion of the urbs/orbis theme, especially in the poetry of Martial, see Farrell’s contribution to this volume. 12 moenia mundi: 1.73; 1.1102; 2.1045; 2.1144; 3.16; 5.119; 5.371; 5.454; 5.1213; 6.123. For the most comprehensive treatment of this aspect of Lucretius’ poetic vision, see Hardie 1986, 157–240, but esp. 168–72 and 187–93; and Gale 1994, 122–24. 13 For moenia as synecdoche for a city, see, e.g., Lucil. 104 M; Cic. Verr. 5.160; Verg. Aen. 6.541; Luc. 1.248.

  Jason Nethercut where in the DRN, we find machina mundi (5.96), regio mundi (5.534), and the Lucretian metaphors of fines and alte terminus haerens (1.75–77, 594–96, 670–74, 792–97, 3.519–24); all of these imply the urban aspects of the cosmos. Lucretius’ image of the world as city was not, of course, unique to him. After all, we have evidence that Epicurus himself may have referred to the universe as a city.14 In the philosophical tradition, many authors develop the connection between city and cosmos. This connection appears most extensively in Plato’s Republic and, after him, in the Stoic idea of the cosmic city.15 Clement (Strom. 4.26) records the idea in its most direct form: λέγουσι γὰρ καὶ οἱ Στωϊκοὶ τὸν μὲν οὐρανὸν κυρίως πόλιν, τὰ δὲ ἐπὶ γῆς ἐνταῦθα οὐκέτι πόλεις· λέγεσθαι μὲν γάρ, οὐκ εἶναι δέ· σπουδαῖον γὰρ ἡ πόλις καὶ ὁ δῆμος ἀστεῖόν τι σύστημα καὶ πλῆθος ἀνθρώπων ὑπὸ νόμου διοικούμενον For the Stoics say that the universe is properly a city, but that those things here on earth are not cities. For they are called cities, but they are not really. For a city and a people is something (ethically) good, a refined system and group of humans organized by law.

Similarly, we find in Cicero an elaborate development of the idea, complete with robust metaphysical inferences. The resulting passage has generally been taken as reliable Stoic doxography (Nat.D. 2.154):16 Principio ipse mundus deorum hominumque causa factus est, quaeque in eo sunt ea parata ad fructum hominum et inventa sunt. Est enim mundus quasi communis deorum atque hominum domus aut urbs utrorumque; soli enim ratione utentes iure ac lege vivunt. ut igitur Athenas et Lacedaemonem Atheniensium Lacedaemoniorumque causa putandum est conditas esse, omniaque quae sint in his urbibus eorum populorum recte esse dicuntur, sic quaecumque sunt in omni mundo deorum atque hominum putanda sunt. In the first place, the universe itself was made for the sake of gods and humans, and the things which exist in it were prepared and contrived for the enjoyment of humans. For the universe is as it were the common home of gods and humans, or a city that belongs to both. For they alone live according to justice and law, employing reason. Therefore, just as one must think that Athens and Sparta were founded for the sake of the Athenians and the Spartans, and all the sorts of things in these cities are correctly said to belong to these people, thus must whatsoever exists in the whole universe be thought to belong to the gods and humans.

 14 πάντες ἄνθρωποι πόλιν ἀτείχιστον οἰκοῦμεν (Sent. Vat. 31). 15 The bibliography on the Stoic cosmic city is vast, but see Schofield 1991, 57–92. 16 See Schofield 1991, 66–67. We have a similar discussion by Arius Didymus in Eusebius (Praep. evang. 15.15) that presents much of the same material as we find here in Nat.D. 2.

Urbs/Orbis  

When Lucretius draws a connection between the mundus and a city, therefore, he participates both in a particularly Roman conception of the Roman cosmos (urbs/orbis) and in a philosophical tradition that culminates in the Stoic idea of a cosmic city that is shared by the gods and humans, orderly and governed by reason and law. For Lucretius, of course, the metaphysical implications of this tradition run contrary to his own philosophical system. The teleology of Roman hegemony can find no place in his anti-teleological cosmos, while the Stoic emphasis on providence and design obviously runs counter to the frenzied, haphazard activity of atoms in Lucretius’ cosmos.17 Given this tension, it should not surprise us that Lucretius focuses especially on the destruction of the cosmic city he presents. The moenia mundi are regularly threatened. For example, the first time the reader encounters this phrase, it is in the context of Epicurus’ philosophical siege on the cosmos, where he ultimately breaks down the limits of the cosmos with his mental triumph (1.62–79; moenia mundi: 1.73).18 Elsewhere, the moenia mundi are presented as flying asunder (1.1102; 3.16; 5.371) and being torn down (2.1144; 5.119; 6.123).19 Lucretius’ image of the world as city almost always implies the destruction of the world-city. Given this background, it is even more pointed that the last time Lucretius uses the word moenia in this poem, it is precisely to describe the walls of Athens itself just before the plague narrative (Athenais in moenibus, 6.749). The association of the Athenian plague with the future cataclysm of the world, therefore, is thoroughly prepared for, and enhanced, by Lucretius’ metaphor of the moenia mundi throughout the rest of the DRN.20

 17 This is not to suggest that Epicureans and Stoics disagreed about the eventual destruction of the cosmos; on the contrary, both systems of thought emphasize the impermanence of the cosmos. Nevertheless, the mechanisms at play in this cosmic destruction are fundamentally different. 18 Epicurus has often been seen in this passage as a triumphant general leading a siege campaign, because Lucretius uses language evocative of the Roman Triumph. See H. Davies 1931– 1932, 37; Buchheit 1971; Hardie 1986, 194–95; Gale 1994, 122–24. 19 The only two exceptions are where Lucretius discusses the original formation of the world (5.454 and 5.1213). 20 Lucretius’ association of the dissolution of society inside the city of Athens with the destruction of the world provides a cosmic context for the chaos of the plague. This effect is suggestive when combined with Clay’s final-exam hypothesis. A successful, Epicurean reading of the plague that employs these considerations could emphasize the insignificance of the human suffering at Athens compared to the destruction of the entire world. We should approach the Athenian plague narrative with ataraxia, secure in our knowledge that this event is but a nanosecond in the cosmic doomsday clock.

  Jason Nethercut

Plague and Society: Growth and Decay Lucretius situates the events at Athens within a wider vision of the cosmos that sees the plague as merely one episode of destruction in the general trajectory of cosmic dissolution. The plague does not simply look forward to the end of the world, however. It also looks backward to the origin of human society. Lucretius goes to great lengths to associate the chaos that sets in during the plague with the chaos that attended the earliest stages of pre-urban human life. This association is accomplished by verbal parallels in the anthropology and the plague, that sometimes approximate to identical phrasing. One interpretation of this poetic gesture is to understand the devolution of plague-ridden Athens into a pre-communal wasteland fraught with terrors. For example, in order to emphasize the harshness of primitive humans’ lifestyle, Lucretius reminds the reader that the luxury of agriculture was not yet invented, implying this technological development by invoking its absence in early human society (nec robustus erat curvi moderator aratri / quisquam, 5.933–34). At 6.1253–54, the plowman must stop his civilized work because he has succumbed to the ravages of plague (et robustus item curvi moderator aratri / languebat). Lucretius thus uses the same image to connect the growth of human society with its dissolution.21 Similarly, those who contract the plague—despite their refusal to visit the sick—are as resourceless (opis expertis, 6.1242) as early cave-dwellers who were mauled by wild animals (expertis opis, 5.998). These two occurrences of this collocation, repeated nowhere else in Lucretius, suggest that the deaths of those afflicted by the plague are no different than those of the earliest humans who did not have the protections a city affords. Another example concerns the early humans who die of hunger, whose limbs are limp with death (languentia leto, 5.1007), and who return in the Athenian whose body grows limp on the threshold of death (languebat … leti iam limine in ipso, 6.1157). Again, these are the only two examples of the collocation of languere and letum in the DRN. At another point, Lucretius associates the thirsty afflicted with the wild lions which early humans sent into battle. Both toss their bodies about (iaciebant corpora, 5.1318; iacientes corpus, 6.1173): the lions so that they can go after the faces of those coming before them (venientibus ora petebant, 5.1319), the afflicted so that they can gulp down as much water as possible (venientes ore patente, 6.1175). These verbal echoes function similarly to

 21 For further connections between success/prosperity and decline/ruin, see the contributions in this volume of Clark and Joseph on victory as defeat, Zanker on escaping cycles of decline, and Closs on Seneca’s rhetoric of urban growth as an invitation to further disaster.

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those I have been adducing in this paragraph, but here we see that Lucretius insinuates that even in the progress of civilization, humans have not fully shed their primitive instincts. No wonder, therefore, that an urban disaster like the plague could undo centuries of social evolution. As a result, these examples cumulatively suggest that the plague in Athens returns human existence to the primitive state that is found in the earliest stages of society. The overarching story of gradual human progress toward the pinnacle of Athenian society is thus counterbalanced explicitly with its swift decline and destruction during the plague narrative. Such a trajectory finds corroboration also in the fact that many scholars have argued that Lucretius inscribes the cycles of nature into his poem, in order to demonstrate, in microcosm, the functioning of our universe.22 Most conspicuously, scholars have shown how the plague, with its unrelenting emphasis on decay and death, counterbalances Venus in the proem, who oversees uninterrupted growth and birth. As I have been arguing, the plague also counterbalances the birth and rise of civilization amongst humans at the end of DRN 5, returning human life to a pre-urban state. Further evidence that the reader is meant to recognize this counterpoint comes as the anthropology ends, with an optimistic assertion of human ingenuity bringing civilization to its zenith (DRN 5.1452–57): usus et impigrae simul experientia mentis paulatim docuit pedetemptim progredientis. sic unum quicquid paulatim protrahit aetas in medium ratioque in luminis erigit oras; namque alid ex alio clarescere corde videbant, artibus ad summum donec venere cacumen.


Practice, as well as the testing of the eager mind, taught them little by little as they advanced step by step. Thus, little by little time drags every single thing into our midst and reason raises it into the coasts of light. For they were seeing one thing from another grow clear in their mind, until they arrived at the highest pinnacle with their arts.

This use of cacumen, however, should provide pause, especially in the context of the Epicurean system. The only other use of cacumen in verse-final position in Lucretius refers to the minima of the atoms (1.599; 1.749), those subatomic points

 22 Fundamental here is Minadeo 1969, but see also Nethercut 1967; Müller 1978; Thury 1987; Schiesaro 1994; D. Fowler 1995; Kennedy 2000; and Gale 2004.

  Jason Nethercut which are inextricably connected and solidly secure in each and every atom.23 Lucretius thus juxtaposes the heights of human civilization with the most indestructible, eternal unit in the universe. One inference the reader can draw from this juxtaposition is that this cacumen is transitory. In the end, only atoms are eternal; everything else—including human achievement—is but an epiphenomenon. This inference is justified, furthermore, because the reader knows that in the Epicurean system a zenith can only ever be a turning point, where growth transforms into gradual decay and, ultimately, death. This point is reinforced by the fact that Lucretius appropriates the collocation summum donec … cacumen from its only other occurrence in the poem during an explicit articulation of the same axiom (DRN 2.1128–32): nam certe fluere atque recedere corpora rebus multa manus dandum est; sed plura accedere debent, donec alescendi summum tetigere cacumen. inde minutatim vires et robor adultum frangit et in partem peiorem liquitur aetas. For certainly we must confess that many elements flow out and pass away from things; but still more must be absorbed, until they have touched the highest pinnacle of growing. After that little by little age breaks the power and mature strength and flows into a weaker direction.

A few lines earlier in this passage, Lucretius describes the natural process of growth and decay (DRN 2.1105–11, 1120–21): Multaque post mundi tempus genitale diemque primigenum maris et terrae solisque coortum addita corpora sunt extrinsecus, addita circum semina, quae magnum iaculando contulit omne, unde mare et terrae possent augescere et unde appareret spatium caeli domus altaque tecta tolleret a terris procul et consurgeret aër. … omnibus hic aetas debet consistere rebus, hic natura suis refrenat viribus auctum.




 23 For this association, see Fratantuono 2015, 394. Cacumen is not a frequently-occurring word in the DRN. Aside from the four instances (1.599, 1.749, 2.1130, and 5.1457) I discuss in this paragraph and the pages that follow, we find cacumina three times (1.898, 6.459, and 6.464) to describe both the tops of trees and peaks of mountains.

Urbs/Orbis  

And after the time of the world’s birth and after the first birthday of sea and earth and since the rising of the sun, many bodies have been added from outside, seeds have been added all around, which the huge everything in buffeting about has brought together; and from these the sea and the lands might be able to increase and from these also the house of the sky might gain room and might lift its high roof far from the lands, and the air might rise up … (this process continued until all things reached their limit of growing). Here the time of growing must stop for all things; here nature with her own strength curbs increase.

Once things reach their capacity for increase, they slowly begin to decline from this zenith, until eventually they lose so many atoms that they die. Lucretius insists that all phenomena follow this same process. The verbal echo of 2.1129 at 5.1457 suggests, therefore, that Lucretius inscribes into the zenith of civilization its decline and fall; Lucretius thus reminds his reader that human civilization is subject to the same laws of nature that govern all things. The immediate context of this verbal echo in DRN 2 may imply an even more powerful idea: not only is all human civilization necessarily going to degrade and dissolve, but so is the entire cosmos. In order to explain the law of growth and decay in this passage from DRN 2, Lucretius describes the future cataclysm of our world, presenting a proper Epicurean account of the process of cosmic destruction (DRN 2. 1144–52): Sic igitur magni quoque circum moenia mundi expugnata dabunt labem putrisque ruinas; omnia debet enim cibus integrare novando et fulcire cibus, cibus omnia sustentare, nequiquam, quoniam nec venae perpetiuntur quod satis est, neque quantum opus est natura ministrat. Iamque adeo fracta est aetas effetaque tellus vix animalia parva creat, quae cuncta creavit saecla deditque ferarum ingentia corpora partu.



Thus therefore even the walls of the huge universe, stormed all around, will decay and turn to rotten ruin. For food is needed to repair all things by renewing them, food must support them, and food must sustain all things; all in vain, because the veins can neither endure what is enough (for this renewal), nor does nature supply what is needed. Even now its life has been broken and the earth, worn-out, scarcely creates small animals, all the species of which it once created and gave forth through birth huge bodies of wild beasts.

  Jason Nethercut This passage represents the first and only explicit account of the dynamics of cataclysm according to the laws of atomic physics.24 Here we learn that, from the Epicurean perspective, the death of the cosmos mirrors the death of any other compound entity, be it an animal, a plant, a city, or the soul. The pinnacle of life is followed by slow decay and decomposition which after some period of time leads to death. Epicurean cataclysm is thus a gradual affair, as Lucretius puts it succinctly in the final lines of the book: omnia paulatim tabescere et ire / ad capulum (DRN 2.1173–74). Not only does the mention of a cacumen (DRN 5.1457) insinuate the world’s destruction into humanity’s zenith, but the way Lucretius explains how this zenith is achieved (namque alid ex alio clarescere corde videbant, 5.1456) directs the reader back to another, different discussion of cataclysm at the end of DRN 1 (namque alid ex alio clarescet, 1.1115). There, Lucretius argues against those, like the Stoics, who maintain that the elements earth and water tend toward the center of the universe and that fire and air flee away from the center. Lucretius objects that there is, in fact, no center to the universe at all, insofar as the universe is boundless. Lucretius proves his point by describing the cataclysm that would take place if the Stoics’ theory were valid. This is a cataclysmic event that Lucretius rejects as impossible, even as he inscribes into it Epicurean terminology (e.g., corpora, 1.1111; inane, 1.1108; primordia, 1.1110). By doing so, he implies what cataclysm actually looks like, with a proper understanding of atomic physics: the elements will not tear apart the cosmos because of their natural tendencies, but atoms will absolutely disaggregate through some ianua leti (1.1112), and the world will come to an end.25 As a result, at DRN 5.1456–57, Lucretius doubles the cosmic context of humanity’s achievement, yet he undermines the durability of this achievement by reminding the reader that the cosmos will inevitably waste away. So, too, the reader infers, will the glories of human civilization degrade and disappear.26

 24 Lucretius imagines the end of the world in five different passages: 1.1083–1117; 2.1105–74; 5.91–109; 5.351–415; and 6.588–607. 25 Müller 1978, 198–99 (= 2007, 235–37) discusses how this passage both looks backward to earlier parts of Lucretius’ argument in DRN 1 and relies on information that only properly is introduced in his larger discussion of atomic kinetics in DRN 2. 26 On the “cosmic viewpoint” as a philosophical remedy for distress at human mortality, see also Closs on Seneca in this volume.

Urbs/Orbis  

Conclusions Over the course of Books 5 and 6, Lucretius narrates the story of human progress and decline, beginning with the earliest phases of human life in the anthropology, advancing all the way to the zenith of Athens and the boons civilization affords, and concluding with an account of the plague and the destruction of human society. This narrative of human society exemplifies the atomic dynamics of growth and decline that govern all creation and destruction in the cosmos, encouraging us to read human society as a quasi-biological phenomenon in Lucretian thought. Moreover, Lucretius frequently reminds the reader both that progress has a terminus from which comes decline, then death, and that this process obtains for even higher-level phenomena than human society. This serves to minimize the importance of humanity in the wider scheme of things, paradoxically by providing a cosmic context against which we are meant to plot the story of human progress. Just as human achievement reached its zenith and began its decline into the plague of Athens, so has our world begun the gradual decline toward cataclysm. All of this is regular, the result of the first principles of Epicurean atomism. Reading the plague passage with all of this in mind, we must conclude that what happened in Athens will happen in all cities, what will happen to this world will happen to all worlds. Sitting uncomfortably in the background here, never mentioned, but everpresent, of course, is the city, the world: Rome, the urbs et orbis.27 Writing in the 50s BCE, Lucretius would have lived through Marius, Cinna, Sulla, and the opening years of the first triumvirate. The breakdown of society on display in the plague narrative would, therefore, have been especially relevant to the lived experience of Lucretius’ contemporaries. Of course, Lucretius puts his own Epicurean slant on the issue. Given that the plague passage counterbalances Epicurus’ “triumph” over the moenia mundi in the proem to Book 1, Lucretius offers Epicurean intellectual mastery over the inner workings of nature as the solution to the inevitable dissolution of the urbs et orbis, the beginning of which many of his readers may have considered they were witnessing in the first century BCE. Whereas all cities, empires, even the world itself—all three of which were conflated in Rome—are destined for destruction, Lucretius offers the consolation of ataraxia that comes from understanding what Epicureanism teaches. In effect,

 27 Schiesaro 2007a, 55–56.

  Jason Nethercut however, through the passages I have analyzed in this essay, Lucretius categorically deconstructs the discourse of empire, whose essence is unbounded and eternal expansion. Some readers may object at this point, however, because on the basis of the philosophical orientation of Lucretius’ De rerum natura, one would not expect to find politics in the poem. After all, Epicurus famously rejected the value of politics tout court, often explicitly forbidding political engagement as hostile to ataraxia, the supreme ethical goal of Epicureanism.28 Over the last thirty-five years, however, a consensus has been growing in Lucretian studies that Lucretius does insinuate political elements into the DRN and that he does so quite—literally— fundamentally.29 It is no accident that many scholars have seen elements of Roman history inscribed into the anthropology’s discussion of the evolution of human governmental systems.30 Taken together, the evidence I have adduced contributes to these political readings of Lucretius, because it suggests that Lucretius encourages his reader to understand the patriai tempore iniquo (1.41) as existing on the downward trajectory toward Rome’s destruction: a destruction that is inevitable because it is atomically preordained.

 28 Epicurus, Sent. Vat. 58; frs. 8, 548, 551 Usener; cf. Cic. Rep. 1.1–12, Pis. 53–63 and Plut. Adv. Col. 1124d–1127e, An recte 1129b–d. More generally, see D. Fowler 1989, 122–26 (= 2007, 400– 404). 29 Though there were many political readings of Lucretius in the first part of the twentieth century, D. Fowler 1989 (= 2007) was a watershed for subsequent readings of the political elements in the De rerum natura. D. Fowler 1989, 122 (= 2007, 399) could already speak of “a commonplace of modern scholarship that the De rerum natura is a political work.” Especially useful in Fowler’s piece is what amounts to a typology of the political aspects of Lucretius’ poem. So, for example, Fowler differentiates between aspects of Lucretius’ poem that could be seen to resonate with contemporary Roman society or Roman political history (these include the few explicit passages in the DRN that treat political subjects like the growth of human societies in DRN 5) and aspects of Lucretius’ language and metaphor that imply connections between politics and physics (e.g., the phrase foedera naturae). Scholarly attention to these two political aspects of the DRN has been especially prominent recently, as the last decade alone has seen five different contributions (Schiesaro 2007a and 2007b; McConnell 2012; Kennedy 2013; and Gladhill 2016, 69–96). Among the many political readings of Lucretius before Fowler, see Farrington 1939, 160–216, and 1967, 136–42; Howe 1948 and 1951; Nichols 1976; Maslowski 1978; Grimal 1978; Conti 1982; Minyard 1985, esp. 33–70; and Cabisius 1985. 30 D. Fowler 1989, 143–45 (= 2007, 424–26) with further bibliography. It is worth observing that both Lucretius and Epicurus lived in notoriously precarious political times. To reject politics as pointless under such circumstances thus would have been a powerful commentary on the state of contemporary politics. For Lucretius, such political nihilism would also have served as a damning counterpoint to the Stoic worldview that undergirded much of Roman politics at the time he was writing.

Urbs/Orbis  

Lucretius’ narrative of the Athenian plague, therefore, turns out to be quite consequential for the Roman imagination of urban disaster, and not only because it was one of the first extended descriptions of the dissolution of the fabrics of society in the face of natural disruption. The plague is important also because it was so influential on subsequent literary presentations of similar subjects. Lucretius’ plague narrative also is the earliest surviving Latin text to connect the local with the universal, lending cosmic significance to human disaster. Paradoxically, however, this universalizing presentation of a historicallyand geographically-bound event may actually minimize the individual suffering with which most readers were surely inclined to empathize. For Lucretius, of course, such empathy runs contrary to the highest ethical goals of the Epicurean system, and it is for this reason most of all that Clay’s final-examination hypothesis has proven so compelling. Subsequent authors like Vergil, Ovid, Manilius, Lucan, and Seneca appear to have taken up the universalizing orientation of Lucretius’ plague, even as they force the reader to make different conclusions about the nature of calamity and the responses it should engender.31 The convergence of the universal and the local in the Lucretian plague passage and the implications of this convergence for Roman power that I have outlined, therefore, were pivotal contributions to the Roman imagination of urban disaster.

 31 Hardie 1986, 167–93, esp. 168–76, has shown how influential Lucretius’ “cosmic outlook” was for Vergil. On the subsequent authors’ use of Lucretius’ plague narrative, see (generally) Finnegan 1999 and Hutchinson 2013, 210–19; (for Vergil) Harrison 1979, West 1979, Thomas 1988 at 3.478–566, Farrell 1991, 84–94, Clare 1995, Gale 2000, 45–48, 76–77, and 178–79; (for Ovid) W. S. Anderson 1972, 295–311, Galinsky 1975, 113–26, Pechillo 1990, Heerink 2011, and Kenney/Chiarini 2011, 277–86; (for Manilius) Lühr 1973; and (for Lucan and Seneca) S. Braund 2016, ch. 3, esp. 48–62. Galzerano 2018 and 2019 were not available to me during the writing of this piece, nor could I consult them before it left my desk for good. Generally, I think that what I argued here is corroborated by the analysis in these studies.

Andreas T. Zanker

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare When people think of urban disaster in Horace, Odes 1.2 is usually the poem that springs to mind.1 Here, Horace describes the flooding of the Roman forum by appeal to divine agency: Jupiter unleashes thunderbolts on the sacred hills with “red right hand,” father Tiber sweeps through the city in order to avenge the drowning of his wife, Ilia, while Vesta refuses to listen to the prayers of the Roman people. At the close of the poem, Horace casts about for a suitable divinity to save Rome—be it Apollo, Mars, or Mercury in the form of Octavian. The entire ode in fact bears down on this last idea—that Octavian can act as the expiator for the ill-defined crimes that have led to the acute threat of flooding. And while the ultimate cause of disaster remains unclear, the solution is unmistakable, the adonic of the final stanza stating clearly how salvation will be accomplished: te duce, Caesar. Even in Odes 1.2, then, disaster involves more than the simple encroachment of natural phenomena on the man-made city: the flooding is bound up with vitium and divine anger, which can be offset by human choices.2 In this essay, however, I do not wish to focus on Odes 1.2, but shall instead look at two other poems where we find the idea of urban disaster, in the word’s etymological sense of “ill-starred” (dis- + aster), thematized. To be specific, I would like to focus on how Horace could (1) close off the possibility of improvement in Rome’s condition, or conversely (2) close off the possibility of fresh catastrophe. My two texts will be Horace’s Odes 3.6 and Carmen saeculare: in the first, the closing off of the pattern of decline is clear and unmistakable, although its precise motivations remain a matter of debate, while in the second the poet applies a great deal of nuance in his attempt to disguise the way in which he assures his audience that the threat of Roman disaster belongs definitively to the past.

 1 My thanks to the editors for their help in preparing this contribution, and to A.J. Woodman for his comments and for sharing his draft commentary of Odes 3.6 with me. 2 For a classic article concerning this aspect of Odes 1.2, see Commager 1959. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-008

  Andreas T. Zanker

 Odes 3.6 The interpretation of Odes 3.6, the final poem in the series of Horace’s six Roman odes, has so far proved intractable for scholars. One cause of this is the inconsistency in tone between the first part of the poem and its close: Delicta maiorum inmeritus lues, Romane, donec templa refeceris aedisque labentis deorum et foeda nigro simulacra fumo… (1–4) damnosa quid non inminuit dies? aetas parentum peior avis tulit nos nequiores, mox daturos progeniem vitiosiorem. (45–48) You will pay for the omissions of your elders, Roman, even though you are innocent yourself, until you have refurbished the temples and crumbling shrines of the gods, as well as the statues that are dirtied by black smoke … (1–4) What does destructive time not diminish? The generation of our fathers, worse than our grandfathers, brought forth ourselves, who are more wicked than they and are soon about to produce an offspring even more tainted. (45–48).3

The first stanza links the collapse and disfigurement of the city’s temples with the fate of Rome itself; should the Romans fail to refurbish them, they will continue to suffer (ironically, the phrase foeda nigro simulacra fumo would suggest religious observance rather than negligence—the altars near the statues are in heavy use). The final stanza, however, appears to be a powerful statement of hopelessness: time ruins everything. The current generation is worse than its forefathers, and is about to give rise to a generation even more wicked than itself. The decline is framed in terms of morality, as suggested by the comparative form of nequam, nequiores, which has a moral connotation when used of human beings;4 the adjectives peior and vitiosiorem compound the sense that this is an issue of immorality. One question, then, is how to reconcile this depiction of the current generation as wicked with the presentation of the same generation in the first line of

 3 The text of Horace is from Klingner’s Teubner; all translations are my own. 4 OLD s.v. nequam 2; cf. nequitia.

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

the poem, where it was given the adjective inmeritus (“innocent” or “undeserving”).5 This issue highlights a deeper tension within the poem that many have remarked upon—the fact that the ode itself is apparently split into two parts: the only mildly pessimistic beginning, which suggests that there is a way to expiate the curse that afflicts the city, is contradicted by the mechanical decline of generations at the end of the poem. The point at which the tone of the poem changes was placed by Gordon Williams at line 17, where Horace abandons the idea of the collapsing temples and concentrates on actual sin in a domestic setting.6 It is only a short step from this to the pointed statement at the poem’s close, whose pessimism—the most intense strand in Horace’s Odes—is made all the more strange by its situation at the very end of the series of Roman Odes, poems supposedly designed to (cautiously) celebrate the still-emerging Augustan regime. There have been a number of attempts over the past century or so to reconcile (1) the lexical tension between inmeritus and nequiores, and (2) the apparent fracture in general tone between the beginning and end of the poem. Theodor Plüss suggested in 1882 that we should read nequiores and vitiosiorem in the milder sense of “weaker,” “less capable,” so removing the moral implications and the contradiction with inmeritus. This, according to Plüss, would also negate the contradiction between beginning and end of the poem: the current generation of Romans is offered a way out of its quandary, but is simply too weak to take it—a dark reading indeed.7 Plüss’ solution, however, probably puts too much strain on the Latin. Kiessling/Heinze thought that the issue could be resolved by taking inmeritus as meaning not that the present generation was entirely innocent, but rather that it had simply had no hand in the abandonment of the temples—an idea that has become a standard, if ultimately frustrating, answer to the lexical issue.8 The commentary takes the pessimistic close of the poem as a scare tactic to promote change (“Zweckspessimismus”).9 Eduard Fraenkel did not address the dissonance between inmeritus and nequiores, choosing to read the ode simply as a commemoration of the miserable despondency of the thirties; such a poem would

 5 Nisbet/Rudd 2004, 101. 6 G.W. Williams 1968, 615. 7 Plüss 1882, 278–89. 8 Kiessling/Heinze 1930, 289. 9 Kiessling/Heinze 1930, 294.

  Andreas T. Zanker remind a forgetful populace of the benefits that the Augustan regime had brought with it.10 In 1968, Gordon Williams supplied a novel historical explanation, alleging that the tension between the two movements of the poem could be traced back to the different fates of two of Augustus’ policies for the year 28 BCE, the standard date for the composition of the ode:11 on the one hand, Augustus’ temple renovations of 28, noted in the Res gestae (20.4), had been a success, and so the first part of the poem is reservedly optimistic. Rome, it turns out, is at this stage already performing the expiatory function that the prophet-persona demands of it.12 However, the marital laws that the princeps supposedly attempted to enact in the same year failed; it was not until 18–17 BCE that Augustus finally got his reforms passed in the form of the leges Iuliae. According to Williams, it is for this reason that Horace sets the crimes of the girl between lines 21 and 32 in the present tense—Roman society continues to indulge in sin even though its temples are being rebuilt; it is on account of this that Rome is still on a downward trajectory. The Roman people must embrace Augustus’ moral legislation as well as his building program if it is to be redeemed.13 The idea proved influential, but Ernst Badian argued that there is no positive evidence for what he termed the “phantom marriage law” of 28 BCE.14 The debate continued: in 1995, R.O.A.M. Lyne suggested that an escape out of the pessimism of the final stanza might reside in the future participle, daturos— the current generation is indeed about to produce more wicked offspring, but this might be averted if it takes Horace’s advice and repairs the temples in line with

 10 Fraenkel 1957, 285–88. Pöschl argued that the end of the ode simply reactivates the idea of guilt, sin, and downfall that can be found throughout the Roman odes; yet the theme that predominates at the end of the poem is not that of guilt, but rather belongs to a very different sphere; Pöschl 1979, 190. 11 G.W. Williams 1968, 610–15. See, however, the reservations of Kraggerud 1995. For simplicity’s sake, I use the name “Augustus” even though Octavian would not receive it before 27 BCE. 12 On this instance of vaticinium ex euentu see Lowrie 1997, 262–65. Cf. qui monet ut facias, quod iam facis, ille monendo / laudat et hortatu comprobat acta suo (Ovid, Tristia 5.14.45–46). Kraggerud 1995 argues that Odes 3.6 was composed around 25 BCE (i.e. three or four years after the dramatic date of the poem). 13 Williams strengthens his argument by qualifying it, averring that the contradiction remains problematic: “Much is left to the reader and there is a sense of mystery and of things unsaid that belongs to great poetry.” G.W. Williams 1969, 66. 14 Badian 1985, 92–94. Already prior to Badian, however, Syndikus had argued against Williams’ suggestion, siding with Kiessling/Heinze in reading the final strophe as a kind of provocation to the reader, a challenge to prove the poet wrong; Syndikus 1973, 90–91.

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

Augustus’ policy.15 On this model the degeneration remains merely contingent. It was a clever idea, but it must be said that it does not explain the lexical tension between inmeritus and nequiores, both of which characterize the current generation. Nor does it seem to be a sufficient reply to the phrase damnosa quid non inminuit dies?. The 2004 commentary of Nisbet/Rudd reservedly takes up Gordon Williams’ view, but its authors state in a resigned fashion that “perhaps in combining the promise of the building programme with the failure of the social programme Horace has not achieved total consistency.”16 Tobias Reinhardt has ingeniously pointed to the similarity of thought between the final stanza in Odes 3.6 and the close of the second book of the De rerum natura, where Lucretius suggests that the pessimism of the cultivator of the vine, an incurable laudator temporis acti (to use Horace’s own phrase), is misguided: the farmer implicitly blames the impiety of his age for his poor crop without realizing that it is the fate of all things to decay.17 Yet such an undercutting of Horace’s final stanza would also undercut the earlier part of the poem—and it is unclear how many scholars would be willing to read Odes 3.6 as a pastiche. Finally, A.J. Woodman in his forthcoming commentary to Odes 3 offers the intriguing argument that the Romane of the second line does not refer collectively to the Roman people, as most critics take it, but rather to Augustus: the princeps remains innocent, yet his subjects may yet themselves be sinful, which would neutralize the lexical tension between inmeritus and nequiores.18 While this thesis would seem highly attractive, it still awaits publication and therefore the verdict of the scholarly community. Textual conjecture has been used as a means of eliminating the lexical contradiction, whereby the word immeritus is usually modified. Peerlkamp proposed delicta maiorum meritus lues in 1834, a suggestion that Nisbet/Rudd find problematic for prosodic reasons.19 Others have suggested that immeritus is to be changed to heu meritus or et meritus. No conjecture has been decisive.20 Corruption is unlikely to have occurred in the first line of a Horatian ode at any rate, given that these lines

 15 Lyne 1995, 173–75. 16 Nisbet/Rudd 2004, 100. 17 Reinhardt 2009. On Lucretius and societal collapse, see also the contribution of Nethercut in this volume. 18 Woodman, forthcoming. 19 Peerlkamp 1862, 277; Nisbet/Rudd 2004, 101. Fenik 1962, 88 n. 3, notes an earlier attempt by P. Trenkel to obviate the difficulties by punctuating the final sentence with a question mark; Woodman also argues for this. 20 Nisbet/Rudd 2004 ad loc.

  Andreas T. Zanker constituted an important means of referring to and indexing the poems.21 It seems as if there is no real reason to doubt the text as it has been received.22 So the problem remains: what to do with the strain between inmeritus and nequiores, and between the potentially optimistic, or at least not entirely pessimistic, first part of the poem and its rather gloomy close? An explanation, if not a motivation, for the opposing currents may, I contend, be found in a consideration of the ode’s structure and of the arrangement of its ideas. There seems to be no reason to split the poem merely into two parts—the first hopeful and the second hopeless. Indeed, Charles Witke has noted that the poem can be divided into three sections, each consisting of four stanzas. The same structure can be found in Odes 3.1—twelve stanzas, arranged into three four-stanza sections—and it makes sense that the final Roman Ode should revisit the configuration of the first.23 If we adopt Witke’s division, the question is whether the different thirds of the poem display any thematic divisions. I suggest that such divisions can be found in reading each of the three sections as applying a different model of decline or disaster to Roman culture: Horace’s attack on the blights of the modern age within the poem is nothing if not sustained, but the modes by which he characterizes contemporary Rome’s situation differ dramatically in terms of their implied structures, and indeed it is only the final narrative that fully closes off the downward trajectory of Rome. In what follows, we shall go through the poem section by section, establishing the respective provenances of the narratives in play and their irreconcilability. Delicta maiorum inmeritus lues, Romane, donec templa refeceris aedisque labentis deorum et foeda nigro simulacra fumo. dis te minorem quod geris, imperas. hinc omne principium, huc refer exitum: di multa neglecti dederunt Hesperiae mala luctuosae.


 21 On first lines used in indexing, see Feeney 1993, 44. 22 One might, in one’s interpretation of the poem, have recourse to methods such as those discussed by O’Hara, whereby inconsistency within a poem can be read as being as much a part of the poet’s craft as a genuine critical problem. Yet in Horace’s poem it is difficult to pin down any such constructive contradiction. See O’Hara 1990, 132–63; cf. 2007. 23 Witke 1983, 67. Richard Tarrant points out to me that Odes 3.1 and 3.6 also resemble each other in the prosody, syntax, and word division of the final adonic: divitias operosiores (3.1.48) and progeniem vitiosiorem (3.6.48).

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

iam bis Monaeses et Pacori manus inauspicatos contudit impetus nostros et adiecisse praedam torquibus exiguis renidet; paene occupatam seditionibus delevit urbem Dacus et Aethiops, hic classe formidatus, ille missilibus melior sagittis.



[Translation of first stanza supplied above.] You rule because you hold yourself beneath the gods; from this derive every beginning, to it ascribe every outcome. The neglected gods have given many woes to sorrowful Italy. Now twice have Monaeses and the band of Pacorus smashed our unsanctified attacks, and they grin at having added plunder to their meager torques. The Dacian and Ethiopian have almost destroyed our city, occupied by civil strife, this one to be feared on account his fleet, the other more skilled with projectile darts.

The first stanza makes clear use of a narrative of communal ancestral fault. The language of the first line mirrors that found in archaic poets such as Solon,24 who described guilt as transcending the natural time-limit of death and spoke of the punishment of the father being visited on the son.25 Every term in the first line contributes to this, but perhaps the key word is inmeritus: the current generation is innocent of the crimes of its forefathers, but nevertheless will continue to pay for them (lues). The scholiast Porphyrio already noted the motif of inherited guilt in this opening narrative.26 The second line begins with the word Romane, which immediately gives this archaizing opening a contemporary relevance: the curse specifically involves Rome. Yet the word that immediately follows, donec, comes as a relief, emphasizing the contingent nature of the blight—the Romans (Romane is generally taken as indicating the Roman people at large) can make good their parents’ omissions by repairing the temples of their gods. The opening stanza of  24 Cf. ἀλλ᾽ ὁ μὲν αὐτίκ᾽ ἔτεισεν, ὁ δ᾽ ὕστερον. oἳ δὲ φύγωσιν / αὐτοί, μηδὲ θεῶν μοῖρ᾽ ἐπιοῦσα κίχῃ. / ἤλυθε πάντως αὖτις. ἀναίτιοι ἔργα τίνουσιν / ἤ παῖδες τούτων ἤ γένος ἐξοπίσω (“but the one pays immediately, the other later; and some may flee themselves, and the approaching fate of the gods may not meet them. Yet it comes at any rate at another time, and the innocent pay for their acts, either their children or later progeny”; Solon fr. 13.29–32 West). The idea of course crops up elsewhere in Horace; cf., for example, Odes 1.28.30–34, and most notably the sacer cruor of Romulus in Epode 7 (although A.J. Woodman points out to me that the Romans are described as scelesti in the first line). 25 Cf. Dodds 1951, 33–34; and more recently Gagné 2013. 26 Delicta m. imm. lues. Hoc ex tradita persuasione scriptum est qua aiunt poenas posteros expendere saepe quas maiores effugerint (“This is derived from the tradition in which they say that the children often pay the punishment that their elders have escaped”; Porphyrio on Odes 3.6.1).

  Andreas T. Zanker the poem, therefore, clearly demonstrates the discourse from which the ode’s opening narrative of decline ultimately derives. This internal consistency at the beginning of the ode would incidentally seem to be a further argument against emendation of the word inmeritus: while it conflicts with Horace’s word-choice at the end of the poem, it is perfectly apt in terms of its immediate context. The second stanza continues the idea, noting that the Romans’ attitude toward the maintenance of divine cult determines the nation’s success in the world: Rome’s preeminence is dependent on its deference toward the gods (line 6): “from this derive every beginning, to it ascribe every outcome.” This deference has been forgotten by the maiores, however, and the result is military disaster overseas: Rome’s external campaigns have been unsanctioned (inauspicatos) by the neglected (neglecti) gods, and have met with defeat at the hands of the Parthians. Such disasters, however, need not go on forever, and the indicative mood of line 5 indicates that governing is Rome’s natural state: “You rule because you hold yourself beneath the gods.” As soon as the old balance is reestablished, Rome’s fortunes in war will improve. The anger of the gods is still at issue and the idea is broadly compatible with what precedes it: while the first stanza had invoked the Greek idea of an ancestral fault, the second links this to Roman military failure. The third and fourth stanzas in turn describe the losses on the eastern frontier, and may thereby contain a veiled attack on Marcus Antonius (who was active there in the 30s BCE). From line 17, however, we witness an abrupt change in the character of the poem. Neglect of religion as a cause for the decline is forgotten—as is the threatening enemy—and Horace instead embarks on a sustained attack on declining morality as a source for Rome’s woes: fecunda culpae saecula nuptias primum inquinavere et genus et domos: hoc fonte derivata clades in patriam populumque fluxit.


motus doceri gaudet Ionicos matura virgo et fingitur artibus iam nunc et incestos amores de tenero meditatur ungui. mox iuniores quaerit adulteros inter mariti vina neque eligit cui donet impermissa raptim gaudia luminibus remotis,


Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

sed iussa coram non sine conscio surgit marito, seu uocat institor seu navis Hispanae magister, dedecorum pretiosus emptor.


Generations fertile when it comes to sin first sullied marriages, the family line, and the home. Channeled from this wellspring, disaster has flowed into the fatherland and people. The virgin of marriageable age rejoices to be taught Ionian movements, is even now formed by the arts that go with it, and from an early age plans unchaste love affairs. Soon, she seeks younger adulterers at the dinner party of her husband, nor does she choose to whom she gives illegal pleasures, done fast while the lamps are removed, but rises openly upon command, not without her husband in the know, if a businessman or captain of a Spanish ship— an extravagant purchaser of disgraces—summons her.

Generations pregnant with sin first began to infect home and family: it is from this wellspring (fons) that disaster (clades) flowed down into society at large.27 In this context, the noun culpa takes on new resonances—it does not correspond with the delicta of the poem’s opening, which had merely described previous generations’ dereliction with regard to the maintenance of their public temples,28 but serves as vehicle for a critique of Roman mores in the private sphere. Horace confirms that he is using the word culpa in this sense in the language of the stanzas that follow (incestos amores; impermissa … gaudia). Nowhere do we find hints of the discourse with which the poem opened—the narrative of decline Horace uses has changed, and the links with the late Republican historiographical tradition, especially Livy’s preface and the “anthropology” of Sallust, are clear.29 So far it might be argued that Horace is simply reconfiguring the same phenomenon in different ways: in the first stanza, he conceives of a religious reason for Rome’s woes, and now complements it with a moral one. But this is to ignore the fact that in the first stanza the possibility for religious expiation had existed (luere), in that the Roman people could repair its temples, whereas in this middle section no such possibility is presented—the past may be implicitly held up as a model, but a different path back is required. Repairing Rome’s crumbling temples will not refurbish the old virtue, itself depicted here in ruins. What is needed, it appears, is a reestablishment of the old customs through better education and  27 Barwick 1935, 275–76, reads the moral collapse as the result of the Romans’ neglect of the gods referred to in the first stanza. Yet Horace’s emphasis on the causal nature of the moral slide (primum, hoc fonte) would seem to argue against this. 28 Nisbet/Rudd 2004, 100. 29 Cf. Sallust, Bellum Catilinae 10.6; Livy, 1 Praef. 9. See also Sallust’s portrait of Sempronia (Bellum Catilinae 15.2), an important antecedent for the girl portrayed in Odes 3.6: litteris Graecis et Latinis docta, psallere et saltare elegantius quam necesse est probae….

  Andreas T. Zanker tighter strictures on transgression. There is also the deeper indication that the poem’s tectonics have shifted: at the poem’s opening the word inmeritus had suggested that the present generation is undeserving of the punishment of the gods, whereas in the present narrative is it is precisely the current generation that it is morally inferior to its forebears.30 The relationship between this moral abasement and Roman clades is made explicit in the final third of the poem by the evocation of the uprightness of earlier generations (33–44): non his iuventus orta parentibus infecit aequor sanguine Punico Pyrrhumque et ingentem cecidit Antiochum Hannibalemque dirum, sed rusticorum mascula militum proles, Sabellis docta ligonibus versare glaebas et severae matris ad arbitrium recisos



portare fustis, sol ubi montium mutaret umbras et iuga demeret bobus fatigatis, amicum tempus agens abeunte curru. damnosa quid non inminuit dies? aetas parentum peior avis tulit nos nequiores, mox daturos progeniem vitiosiorem.


Young men sprung from parents unlike these tinged the sea with Punic blood, and cut down Pyrrhus, great Antiochus, and the dire Hannibal; they were the masculine offspring of farmer-soldiers, and were taught to turn the clods with a Sabellian mattock and to carry back chopped kindling on the command of their severe mother, when the sun altered the shadows of the mountains and removed the yokes from the exhausted oxen, bringing on the friendly time [of evening] with his departing chariot. [Translation of final stanza supplied above.]

 30 Reinhardt 2009, 162, points out a different fissure: Sallust, whose discussion of Rome’s downfall seems to be incorporated into the weft of the second section, makes no mention of religious dereliction, which had provided the subject matter of the first. Livy, of course, does stress the importance of religious propriety, for example in the speech of Camillus: “Evil times came— and then we remembered our religion.” Livy 5.51; trans. de Sélincourt (Penguin, 1960).

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

The education of the Italian youths at line 37 corresponds to and contrasts with that of the girl in the previous section (doceri—docta; motus … Ionicos—Sabellis … ligonibus).31 The poem’s final stanza takes things a stage further, introducing the idea of the necessity of decline in human affairs. Here, the word nequiores is, as noted, explicitly at odds with the inmeritus of the poem’s opening. But this contradiction helps us pin down the differences between the narratives used: the comparatives peior, nequiores, and progeniem vitiosiorem, while virtuosic in their compression, can be compared in broad terms with the Hesiodic conception of the decline from the golden age. Use of comparative forms is in fact fundamental to this kind of narrative, and they appear in the relevant passages of both Hesiod and Aratus: the current generation has to be worse than its parents, yet better than its children.32 As such, nequiores seems to play a pointed role in this particular narrative of decline, just as inmeritus had done in the narrative found at the beginning of the poem. Both words are perfectly apt in their respective contexts. The lexical tension between the two adjectives therefore arises from the conflation of three different narratives of decline within the same poem, which in turn accounts for the shift in general tone between its beginning and end. But to dwell on this final stanza a little longer—the key phrase here is in actual fact the one with which the stanza opens: that time diminishes all things. If the subsequent three lines had stood by themselves, there might have been some way out of the bind: the narrative of decline would have remained contingent. By appending to them a rhetorical question that alludes to the inevitability of time’s encroachment, Horace, or at least the narrator, essentially closes it off. That Horace’s statement might be proven wrong is unlikely: the theme of time as the ultimate destroyer, edax rerum, was far too ingrained in Roman consciousness via (e.g.) philosophical texts such as Lucretius’ De rerum natura, and was indeed pervasive throughout Horace’s own poetry: dum loquimur, fugerit invida / aetas (“while we speak, jealous time will have fled”; Odes 1.11.7–8).33 Line 45 of Odes 3.6 takes the form of a gnomic statement, irrefutable and immutable: in order to avoid the decline of their city, the Roman people would need somehow to hold up time itself. With this statement, the speaker, to the consternation of his modern readers, apparently states that disaster is unavoidable and thus closes off the  31 West 2002, 70. 32 Cf. Hesiod, Works and Days 109–201 (γένος πολὺ χειρότερον …, “a much inferior race”; 127); Aratus, Phaen. 123–26 (γενεὴν … χειροτέρην, “an inferior offspring”; 123–24). 33 Cf. Reinhardt 2009. In Odes 2.16.30, we find that even Tithonus, doomed to immortality, suffered time’s encroachment; the language reminiscent of the final stanza of Odes 3.6: longa Tithonum minuit senectus. Elsewhere, we hear of Tithonus in fact dying: occidit et Pelopis genitor, conviva deorum, / Tithonusque remotus in auras (Odes 1.28.7–8).

  Andreas T. Zanker narrative of decline. We may never know for certain why he did this, despite the arguments rehearsed at the beginning of this essay, since it apparently goes against the idea that Octavian can offset the threat of disaster on display in Odes 1.2; one appealing view is that it has something to do with the aesthetic potential of descriptions of decline—a prominent aspect of Roman literary culture, reflected in the near-contemporaneous declamatory tradition.34 Now, however, let us turn to a very different poem written about a decade after Odes 3.6.

 Carmen saeculare The Carmen saeculare, commissioned for performance on the final day of the sacrificial program of the saecular games of 17 BCE, must have been a difficult poem to compose.35 Horace’s task was effectively a dual one: on the one hand, the Carmen saeculare was to take the form of a prayer for the continued well-being of Rome at the beginning of a new age, integrated into and capping the rituals that comprised the games.36 Yet at the same time it was something of a public relations exercise, designed to advertise the success of the new regime in the here and now.37 The poem’s principal functions therefore diverged strongly—to use J.L. Austin’s terminology, they reflect different illocutionary acts—and this is reflected in a structural peculiarity. The Carmen saeculare begins as a prayer, with its verbs firmly embedded in the subjunctive and imperative moods, but ends as a series of statements cast in the indicative that document the present happiness of Augustan Rome. It is certainly unremarkable for indicative verb forms to be

 34 The examples in Seneca the Elder are indexed by Winterbottom 1974, 635, under “commonplaces on the age.” I intend to discuss the issue further in separate publications. 35 My approach in this section, and interpretation of the Carmen saeculare in general, owes much to Davis 2001 and Thomas 2011. 36 The precise status of the Carmen saeculare within the celebrations has been debated; see Feeney 1998, 37; Davis 2001; Barchiesi 2002; Lowrie 2009, 123–41. 37 On this aspect of the ludi saeculares in general, see Davis 2001, 111–27. White 1993, 124–27, provides some important cautions. Thomas 2011, 66, cites Page on Horace’s predicament: “if, as in stanza 5, even Horace halts, we may well pity the genial bard, who finds himself compelled to invoke a poetical blessing on legislation which his taste must have led him to dislike, and his common sense must have despised as visionary.”

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

found in prayers, yet the Carmen saeculare is unusual in that it seems to announce the fulfillment of its own requests,38 as a long series of scholars from Richard Bentley to Richard Thomas has noted.39 On this reading, Horace’s chorus senses that its prayers have been accepted and modifies the mood of its expressions accordingly: the narrative of re-ascent, i.e. the description of Rome’s resurgence, is closed off, so to speak. This much seems clear. I would, however, also stress that the break between the two parts of the Carmen saeculare is hardly pronounced: Horace in fact attempts to smooth it over as much as possible. After emerging from the subjunctive mood and making a strong and unmistakable expression of confidence in the city’s well-being (at line 53), the poet subsequently retreats and invests his final stanzas with the trappings of traditional prayer, thus softening the shift and closing what had, after all, started as a prayer with the appropriate stylistic features. He in fact did such a good job that one of the two traditions of manuscripts, one of the early sets of scholia, several of the first printed editions, and a handful of modern editors have read subjunctives instead of indicatives in these lines.40 Richard Bentley, in his commentary of 1711, showed that they are mistaken,41 but

 38 This finds support in Horace’s later description of the chorus in his Epistle to Augustus: poscit opem chorus et praesentia numina sentit … (“the chorus asks for aid and senses the divine presence”; Horace, Epistles 2.1.134). The content of this line, according to Bentley, corresponds with the two parts of the Carmen saeculare: at its opening, the chorus makes its appeal, at the hymn’s close, it announces that the gods have made their answer. At the beginning, Horace prays that the gods smile upon Augustus’ marriage laws (17–20), yet after the shift to indicatives Pudor and Virtus are shown in the process of returning (57–59); a request for agricultural fertility (29–33) is met with Copia (59–60); while Apollo was earlier asked to put aside his bow (33), later Rome’s foreign enemies are shown to have been subdued (53–56). 39 Bentley 1711, 222: Tandem quasi praesenti numine afflatus toti coetui & coronae circumstanti fidenter narrat, vota sua ab diis exaudiri, precesque ratas haberi. Putnam 2000, 94: “Finally, it is [Horace] who fulfills not only the prayers of Augustus but the verses of the Sibyl and the chantings of the Fates, incorporating them into his still grander imaginative gesture. Once more Rome and Augustus are his dependents, brought into being and secure in the god’s blessing through the poet’s magic.” Lowrie 2009, 135: “The poem is unusual in Latin poetry in leading up to the performative accomplishment of its own prayers.” Thomas 2011, 82: “The hymn states the fulfillment of its imprecations even in the course of its own performance.” 40 See below. 41 Bentley 1711, 221–22, took his initial cue from the fact that Horace’s chorus had already prayed that Apollo and Diana listen to its requests at line 33; for the chorus of boys and girls to pray twice that the gods pay attention to its prayers would be, Bentley tells us, to pray loquaciter & stolide. He endorses the reading of the other tradition of manuscripts, in which the indicatives prorogat, curat, and applicat stood. Bentley argues convincingly that the alteration of prorogat

  Andreas T. Zanker their intuition is at least suggestive, illustrating the way in which the final lines come close to (although they never fully reattain) the mode of prayer that had prevailed throughout the earlier part of the poem. First it will be useful to give some background regarding one particular aspect of Greek and Roman prayer.42 Almost one-fifth of the prayers in Homer involve a conditional beginning with the words “if ever…”; the idea was to list reasons for why the divinity should support the suppliant, and this could take forms such as “give because I have given [you something]” as well as “give because you have already given.” Actions in the past are brought forward to enlist the god’s help in the present. The convention could be found in Roman prayer as well, and is well-attested in Horace, for example in the following passage from the opening of Odes 1.32 (where it is applied to the poet’s lyre): Poscimus, si quid vacui sub umbra lusimus tecum, quod et hunc in annum vivat et pluris, age dic Latinum, barbite, carmen … I ask you, lyre, if we have played anything with you at ease beneath the shade that might live for this and many other years, come, sing a Latin tune …

We are dealing with a form of leverage over the divine: if (note the si here) a divinity has helped you in the past, it is reasonable for him or her to help you also in the present. Toward the middle of the Carmen saeculare itself we find a prayer beginning with si that corresponds precisely to this form of Greek and Roman prayer: Roma si vestrum est opus Iliaeque litus Etruscum tenuere turmae, iussa pars mutare lares et urbem sospite cursu … … di, probos mores docili iuventae, di, senectuti placidae quietem, Romulae genti date remque prolemque et decus omne.

40 45

 to its subjunctive form came about by scribal emendation, in that the ancient copyists assumed that after the si there should follow a verb in the subjunctive mood. 42 On the εἴ ποτε construction in Greek literature with copious examples, see Ausfeld 1903, 525– 26; Norden 1913. On the continuities in its use between Greek and Roman literature, see Buchholz 1912, 3. For the definitions found in the following paragraphs, see Bremer 1981, 196; Pulleyn 1997, xv.

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

If Rome is your handiwork and the Ilian squadrons reached the Etruscan shore, a group commanded to change its lares and city by means of a salvific voyage … gods, give upright customs to youth, eager as it is to learn, give repose to the placid elderly, and give to the people of Romulus wealth, offspring, and every ornament.

The prayer formula “si + imperative” is therefore represented in the Carmen saeculare.43 Horace states that because Rome came into being through the will of the gods, the chorus has the right to ask them now for good morals, peace, and prosperity. A previous disaster (the fall of Troy) is used as the basis for a plea to avert disaster in the future (one might contrast this with the threat of disaster in Odes 3.3, where Rome is fated to relive the fall of Troy should it try to rebuild the city).44 The declarative core of the Carmen saeculare—the part that most clearly articulates praise for the Augustan regime—falls between lines 53 and 60:45 iam mari terraque manus potentis Medus Albanasque timet secures, iam Scythae responsa petunt, superbi nuper et Indi. iam Fides et Pax et Honos Pudorque priscus et neglecta redire Virtus audet adparetque beata pleno Copia cornu.



Now on land and sea, the Mede fears our mighty hands/bands and the Alban axes, now the Scythians ask for instructions, as well as the Indians who were proud but of late. Now Trust, Peace, Honor, and ancient Modesty, and neglected Manliness dares to return and blessed Copia appears with her full horn.

The verbs here stand in the indicative in the wake of fifty lines of subjunctives and imperatives: they starkly and resolutely set the state of affairs that Horace describes in the present day—as already being actualized. The repetition of iam in conjunction with the present tense emphasizes that these things are happening ‘now/already’. Rome’s military supremacy is linked with the city’s security— a reversal, incidentally, of the disastrous situation depicted in Odes 3.6.  43 On this instance, see Buchholz 1912, 61–62. 44 For more on the Trojan destruction and its central place in the Greco-Roman cultural repertoire, see the contributions in this volume of Joseph, Closs, and Farrell, as well as briefer mentions by Clark and Bromberg. 45 One ought to note that these statements should not be construed as the fulfillment of Augustus’ sacrifice depicted in the preceding stanza, even though it may be tempting to associate the two. The “subduing” of the foreign peoples referred to occurred prior to the ludi saeculares.

  Andreas T. Zanker In the final four stanzas of the Carmen saeculare, however, Horace’s bold indicatives become tempered by the admixture of the deferential language associated with traditional prayer. Indeed, at line 65 Horace introduces another a statement with si, this time referring to Apollo: Augur et fulgente decorus arcu Phoebus acceptusque novem Camenis, qui salutari levat arte fessos corporis artus, si Palatinas videt aequos aras, remque Romanam Latiumque felix alterum in lustrum meliusque semper prorogat aevum, quaeque Aventinum tenet Algidumque, quindecim Diana preces virorum curat et votis puerorum amicas adplicat auris.



Phoebus the augur, adorned with a gleaming bow, and dear to the nine Camenae, who supports the exhausted limbs of the body with his health-bringing art—if he looks fairly upon the Palatine altars [as he does], he prolongs both the Roman state and blessed Latium for another lustral cycle and an ever-improving age. And Diana, who holds the Aventine and Algidus, takes notice of the prayers of the Fifteen Men and applies friendly ears to the prayers of the children.

The indicatives continue from the previous two stanzas, Horace apparently still speaking about how Rome is, not how he hopes it will be.46 Yet the si at line 65 would initially seem to introduce a prayer on analogy with line 37, “If Rome is your handiwork…”; once again, we find what seems to be a conditional, with a divinity this time as the subject of both clauses. And indeed, a number of readers both ancient and modern have read proroget for prorogat in particular, interpreting Horace as invoking the “let him give because I have given” prayer formula.47

 46 A selective list of the key modern editors of Horace who print the uniform indicatives: Wickham 1881; Vollmer 1907; Kiessling/Heinze 1930; Klingner 1950; Borzsák 1984; Shackleton Bailey 1985. The opposition of Fraenkel 1957, 377 n. 6, to the subjunctives was authoritative; he notes that there are no instances of third-person prayers elsewhere in Horace’s Odes. 47 Among whom we may count the scholiast Porphyrio and the Ψ class of manuscripts, together with Orelli 1850 and Page 1883 (the latter with hesitation). In the fourth edition of Orelli’s commentary, however, Hirschfelder changed Orelli’s original subjunctives to indicatives: Indicativos ex codicibus restituimus; nam, ut recte monuit Bentleius, ad preces et uota redire extremo carmine

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

This reading is now considered incorrect: Bentley pointed out that si may in fact introduce certainty.48 It seems as if formula found in line 65 of the Carmen saeculare must be construed as “he gives because I have given,” which is not in fact a request but a statement.49 The key point, however, is that Horace retains the conditional construction here in order to echo the real conditional that had gone before (Hor. Saec. 37–48) and to maintain the syntactic structures of petitionary prayer while at the same time attempting to eliminate their pro forma conditionality. There can be no doubt that the phrasing was intentional: Horace certainly did not have to use a si clause in order to frame Apollo’s stance toward the city, in that ordinary subordinating conjunctions such as quod, quia, or the like were available to him. That he does in fact use it can be ascribed to a strong desire to sustain the ghost of a deferential prayer formula in what has actually become a series of statements. There is, then, a very good reason for a desire on the part of readers to see a prayer following line 65: despite Bentley’s clear assertions that Horace is making statements rather than prayers in these concluding stanzas, the style that the poet adopts makes them look like a continuation of his hymn. Fraenkel hints at this, noting how in these lines “certain characteristic forms of prayer are maintained, but it is no longer a prayer…”; in a footnote he specifies what these forms are: “Notice especially the ‘relative predications’ at ll. 63 f. and 69 and the si clause at 65.”50 The remainder of this essay will expand on Fraenkel’s insight, and will argue that this blurring is in fact intentional: Horace has been required to exit from the mode of prayer in order to speak about Augustus’ successes, but still feels it necessary to suffuse the final section of the poem with the stylistics of prayer.

 poeta non potuit. A. J. Woodman suggests to me that readings of the indicative adplicat auris of line 72 as a subjunctive may have been influenced by the subjunctive adplicet auris (“let her apply her ears”) at Odes 3.11.8, a true prayer composed in Sapphic stanzas. 48 Bentley 1711, 221–22, gives two examples from Ovid: o, referant grates, quoniam non possumus ipsi, / di tibi! qui referent, si pia facta vident … (Ovid, Epistulae ex Ponto 2.11.25–26); per superos igitur, qui dent tibi longa dabuntque / tempora, Romanum si modo nomen amant … (Ovid, Tristia 2.155–56). Cf. J. Miller 2009, 284–85. I resist the simple translation of si as “since” or “because”: the conditionality built into the formula remains, no matter the confidence of the request. 49 Present indicative third-person imperatives are used in didactic poetry; cf. multi etiam excretos perhibent a matribus haedos (Vergil, Georgics 3.398). Here, the author apparently suggests that actions of the multi should serve as the basis for the reader’s own. The situation in the Carmen saeculare is of course different, as it is hard to imagine such authoritative strategies being used to influence divinities. See Gibson 1997. 50 Fraenkel 1957, 377 and 377 n. 3.

  Andreas T. Zanker We might note, for instance, the careful naming of Apollo and Diana,51 in general a key feature of prayer in the ancient world; the idea was that if one could define a god properly one could exert a certain amount of control over him or her.52 The impulse toward comprehensiveness resulted in hypotactic constructions making use of the pronouns qui and quae (which Norden terms “Relativstil der Prädikation”),53 as well as running participles and adjectives (“Partizipialstil”). Also typical in the naming of deities was the listing of the god’s powers and gifts to mankind in an aretalogy, and the specification of his or her cult site. Four of Apollo’s chief attributes (soothsayer, archer, musician, healer) are carefully listed in what almost appears to be a re-invocation of the god (61–64).54 Two different cult sites of Diana are mentioned. Besides this, we have the references to prayers, vows, altars, and the quindecimuiri sacris faciundis. Although the force of the poem has changed from prayer to statement, Horace still imbues these stanzas with stylistic features peculiar to prayer in order to camouflage the sleight of hand necessitated by the occasion and to provide unity between the poem’s beginning and end. As pointed out by Richard Thomas and Duncan MacRae, another example of a labored attempt to blend the language of prayer with assertions of divine support follows soon afterward in the Carmen saeculare.55 The word certus, toward which Horace shows no particular partiality elsewhere in his Odes and Epodes,56 is used twice in the Carmen saeculare—both instances at times when Horace would seem to be on the defensive. The first relates to the certus… orbis, the “definite circle” of 110 years that supposedly separated each saecular celebration. This number is generally acknowledged to have been an Augustan fabrication:57 prior to the games of 17 BCE, approximately 100 years had been the traditional

 51 Much work on the stylistics of prayer was undertaken at the beginning of the previous century; see Ausfeld 1903; Ziegler 1905; Appel 1907; Norden 1913. 52 A concern already explicitly theorized by Arn. Adv. Nat. 3.43: the gods would not listen if the wrong name were used. Cf. Ausfeld 1903, 518–20; Appel 1907, 75–82. 53 Norden 1913, 168–76. This was well represented within Horace’s prayers: Horace, Odes 1.2.29–40; 1.10.1–4; 1.12.13–20; 1.26.9–12; 1.28.13–15; 1.35.1–4; 3.22.1–4; 4.6.1–4, 25–28; Carmen saeculare 9–11. 54 Only the vocatives are missing; for analyses, see Buchholz 1912, 63–64; Putnam 2000, 86– 89. 55 Thomas 2011, 84; MacRae 2016, 106–7. 56 The adjective appears twice in the Epodes, eight times in the Odes; therefore, ten times in over one hundred poems. 57 Radke 1978, 1093–1116; Davis 2001; Thomas 2011, 55–57.

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

period.58 The odd number is “normalized” by the choice of 110 mothers to hold feasts (sellisternia) during the ludi, described in the Acta (CIL VI 32323.123–25), and possibly by the fact that 27 boys and girls sang the Carmen saeculare twice (on the Capitoline and Palatine hills), to give a total of 108 individual recitations (110 could not be divided cleanly by four). The circle of 110 years was a recent ad hoc invention and was in fact anything but certus, yet Horace attempts in his poem to impress on his audience that it was. The adjective is highly self-conscious—it would serve no purpose if the orbis were generally acknowledged fact; Horace uses the word certus here in order to give something uncertain the sheen of certainty.59 Bearing this in mind, let us now turn to the other appearance of the word certus occurring in the poem’s final stanza, which again brings out the tension between prayer and assertion in the Carmen saeculare. At the close of their song, the boys and girls break off to speak of their confidence in the fulfillment of their prayers, before reasserting that the poem they have been singing is a hymn: Haec Iovem sentire deosque cunctos spem bonam certamque domum reporto, doctus et Phoebi chorus et Dianae dicere laudes.


I, the chorus taught to sing the praises of Phoebus and Diana, take home the good and certain hope/expectation that Jupiter and all the gods hear/assent to these things.

The use of the word spes augments the sacral character of the passage; this is why Horace chose it. But it also opens up the possibility that the gods might not assent to the prayer, and represents, as Richard Thomas notes, a definite retreat from the present indicative verbs of the previous stanzas.60 Horace, however, by means of the word certus, gives the impression that there is in fact no doubt that they will do so: just as was the case with the anomalous si clause at line 65, the poet’s  58 Cf. Censorinus, DN 17.8–13. Horace’s authority gave the 110-year reckoning added prestige for those writing later, as Servius, ad Eclogum 4.5, notes: saeculum quidam centum annorum definiunt, quidam centum decem: Horatius ‘certus . . . annos.’ 59 We can see the same effort to spell out the new time-scale being made in the edict of the Xuiri, recorded in the Acta of the saecular celebrations (although the crucial word, decimo, is a restoration): … ludosque qui centesimo et d[ecimo anno recurrunt] (CIL VI 32323.25). 60 Thomas 2011, 84: “The wording, both sentire and spem certam, seems to back off from some of the certainty communicated by the indicatives of 65–72.” A reader has suggested to me the words of the Church of England burial service as a comparison: “we therefore commit his body to the ground; earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in the sure and certain hope of the Resurrection unto eternal life.”

  Andreas T. Zanker spem … certamque reflects an attempt to blend the force of statement with the language of prayer. Once again, however, his project is betrayed by the fact that the two ways of speaking are incompatible: while the expression bonam spem would appear to be unproblematic, the adjective certus is a strange modifier for the word spes when speaking of the intentions of Rome’s gods. Other lexical choices within this stanza further suggest that Horace’s choir is treading a thin line between presenting a prayer and making a statement, exploiting the ambiguities of words in order to resolve its song in the right way. Spes can, of course, connote both ‘hope’ and ‘expectation, anticipation’; it can therefore fit equally well in the contexts of prayer and statement, allowing the poet to commit fully to neither. The verb sentio similarly contributes to Horace’s project, having the primary meaning ‘to perceive by any one of the senses,’61 but also carrying the meaning ‘to hold or express a given belief or opinion.’62 Thus Page comments on sentire: “A formal word, ‘this is the judgment (sententia) of Jove’; [cf. the ita sentio used by senators in recording their opinion].”63 The phrase can therefore be read on the one hand as communicating (1) the good and certain hope that the gods have perceived the chorus (which would seem to be a fairly unremarkable and modest statement), but also as broadcasting (2) the good and certain expectation that the gods assent to its requests; no translation can do full justice to such subtle ambiguity. The poet has committed the end of his poem to the register of outright statement, thus closing off the narrative of re-ascent, but does his best to disguise this move.64

 I have discussed two Horatian poems and the way in which the poet closes off historical patterns within them, in the first apparently dooming Rome to further disaster, laboriously disavowing the possibility of renewed decline in the second. Whether this preemption was intentional or not is unclear in the case of Odes 3.6: the introduction of the statement that all decline follows naturally may have simply been aesthetically compelling—and Horace was certainly aware of this aspect of such descriptions—but it certainly has consequences for our reading of the poem. In the Carmen saeculare, however, we see Horace trying to smooth over  61 OLD s.v. sentio 1. 62 OLD s.v. sentio 6; cf. s.v. sentio 7: ‘To express one’s opinion in the senate.’ 63 Page 1883, 463. Cf. Ps.-Acr. (Γ1b) Idest haec velle Iouem et ceteros deos satis credo. 64 See Thomas 2011 ad 75–76.

Horace on Moral Clades in Odes 3.6 and the Carmen saeculare  

his unmistakable attempt to close off the historical model of ascent that he had chosen and that befitted the context of the song’s performance: subjunctives are expelled from the second half of the poem, yet Horace retains the stylistics of prayer in order to maintain a sheen of continuity between the song’s opening and close. In closing my own essay, I would simply note that clades, disaster, could feature in Roman literature on levels beyond the physical; and, as we saw in Odes 3.6, its causes could be conceived of as gradual rather than sudden. Conversely, it was possible for a Roman poet to envision a future in which moral (and therefore actual) clades was no longer a threat, a future in which in which the passage back to civil war and collapse is denied with all of the elastic power that Rome’s new premier poet could muster. That these two poems could be written within a decade or so of each other serves as testament to the vicissitudes and versatility of the Roman imagination at the beginning of the principate.

Part III: Commemoration of Disasters

Virginia Closs

The Unmaking of Rome: Nero, Seneca, and the Fire(s) of 64 in the Roman Imagination Despite its doubtful veracity, the legend that “Nero fiddled while Rome burned”1 has long functioned as an important cultural touchstone, bringing urban disaster, leadership, and creative expression together in a single potent image. The baroquely villainous portraits drawn by later authors, working under new regimes and concerned with casting Nero as an exemplar of the “bad emperor,”2 have contributed much to the story’s enduring mystique. Historians including Tacitus, Suetonius, and Dio found notable success in portraying Nero as a decadent and depraved ruler who, at best, failed his city in its most disastrous hour, and, at worst, may have been responsible for the conflagration.3 In this essay, rather than attempting to evaluate the accuracy—or lack thereof—of the various historical accounts of the fire, I explore the two earliest surviving creative responses to the 64 disaster.4

 1 On the development of this phrase in the English language see Gyles 1947. This essay has benefited immensely from the comments and suggestions of Catharine Edwards, Kirk Freudenburg, Elizabeth Keitel, Timothy Joseph, James Ker, and Lauren Donovan Ginsberg. My student assistants Dina Al Qassar and Luke Morrell were of the utmost assistance in proofing and editing. 2 The point is summed up well in the introduction of Elsner/Masters 1994, 4–5. See also Champlin 2003 passim, and Libby 2011, 209–11. With Libby 2011, 211, when I speak of Nero, I refer “to the legendary Nero as characterized by the historiographical sources and the poetry of the first and second centuries.” 3 Eleven ancient authors mention the fire altogether: Tac. Ann. 15.38–43; Suet. Ner. 21.1, 38; Cass. Dio 62.16–18; Plin. HN 18.5; Pseud. Sen. Ep. ad Paul. 11 (12); Stat. Silv. 2.7.60–61; anon. Oct. 831–33; Aur. Vict. Caes. 5; Euseb. Chron. 64; Eutr. Brev. 7.14; Sulp. Sev. Chron. 2.29; Oros. 7.7.4– 6. Lucan’s De incendio urbis does not survive. Most scholars are of the opinion that Nero is unlikely to have started the fire deliberately. The argument for Nero’s innocence is most clearly laid out in Bradley’s 1978 commentary on Suetonius. See also (e.g.) Warmington 1969, 123–24; Griffin 1984, 133; Wiedemann 1996, 250–51; Dyson 2010, 164–65; Panella 2011a, 85–86; see also Pollini 2017, 213–14 and n. 1. The outlier is Champlin 2003, 178–209, who asserts Nero’s probable guilt. 4 Tacitus’ Annals 15.38–41, the earliest historical account to survive, already shows every sign of having borrowed heavily from a rich supply of previous accounts of disaster, both poetic and historical. See Keitel 2010 and 1984; Woodman 1992, 173–88. Woodman 2012b, 392 suggests both Lucan’s De incendio urbis and Nero’s own Troy composition as possible stylistic models for Tacitus’ account. For the use of Troy in Roman disaster narratives, see the contributions of Bromberg, Farrell, and Joseph in this volume. https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-009

  Virginia Closs I first examine Nero’s rumored performance of an excidium Troiae as he watched Rome burn; I treat this story as a “text,” i.e., a meaningful story that can be analyzed both for the cultural import it carried and for the ideological signals it sent to its contemporary audience. In my reading, the unverifiability, even the probable falsity of this tale is perhaps the most important thing about it; the tenacity with which it has endured in the popular imagination is a testament to the appeal of its folkloric and mythic dimensions. I consider how the Nero of legend, and his use of Troy and other mythic tropes, played into his rumored response to the Fire of 64 CE.5 After considering Nero’s storied performance as the “ground zero” event of imaginative responses to the 64 fire, I turn to a less well-known text that effectively constitutes the second such response to survive. In Seneca’s Letter 91, the ostensible topic is a fire that occurred in the provincial capital of Lugdunum shortly after Rome’s own catastrophe. Yet the specific site of the conflagration quickly recedes from focus, as Seneca offers an array of targeted allusions to Rome’s Augustan past, set alongside suggestive meditations on the fate of all great cities. Just as Nero’s excidium Troiae likens a past calamity to a present one, Seneca’s allusions invite us to read Letter 91 as a form of displaced commentary: not only on Rome’s recent devastation, but also on its ideological unmaking.

Nero’s Song of Troy: An Instant Classic? No story from Roman history is more widely circulated than the allegation that when the Great Fire of 64 was at its height, Nero took the opportunity to perform a song on the fall of Troy.6 Even (or especially) if the story is an inspired fabrication, it is a strong reflection of popular sentiment; as Edward Gibbon comments wryly in his account of the fire, “the most incredible stories are the best adapted to the genius of an enraged people.”7 The concerns and values this image evokes—of the failure of leadership to respond appropriately to an emergent situation, of Nero’s retreat into artistic fantasy during his city’s hour of need, and, of course, of his rumored responsibility for the disaster itself—offer a powerful

 5 This analysis applies whether Nero’s rumored performance during the Great Fire actually happened or was simply a popular accusation. Either way, it reflects a strong sense for what sorts of behavior could plausibly be attributed to Nero in the aftermath of the crisis. On considering actual events as “intertexts” in historiography, see Damon 2010 and O’Gorman 2009. 6 See Champlin 2003, 60–65, and Gyles 1947. 7 Gibbon 1776–1789, vol. I, IX.3 (= 1994, 527).

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window into the fears and fantasies that occupied the Roman imagination. Striking as the image of Nero’s fire-inspired performance is, a preliminary look at the testimonia immediately fragments it into an assortment of inconsistent details, each with its own set of possible literary precedents and intractable source problems.8 Tacitus, our earliest source, tells us: pervaserat rumor ipso tempore flagrantis urbis inisse eum domesticam scaenam et cecinisse Troianum excidium, praesentia mala vetustis cladibus adsimulantem (“the rumor had spread that at the very time the city was in flames, [Nero] had made his entrance on a private stage and sung the Trojan destruction, likening present catastrophes to ancient”; Tac. Ann. 15.29.3). Tacitus presents the story as an explanation for why the Roman vox populi did not praise Nero more for his outstanding relief efforts in the wake of the fire, but ultimately reminds us that it was no more than a rumor (Ann. 15.39). Within a generation, Tacitus’ rumor has calcified into accepted fact for Suetonius; Cassius Dio, writing over a century later, follows suit. Yet, like shaky witnesses in a murder case, these authors vary significantly in the details they add to support their assertions. Suetonius puts Nero at the top of a tower in the Gardens of Maecenas on the Esquiline Hill, Dio puts him on “the highest point” of the Palatine Hill.9 Suetonius reports that Nero wore a stage costume, while Dio describes him in the beltless frock of a citharode.10 Each of these costumes has different implications for the type of performance Nero is implied to have given.11

 8 Champlin 2003, ch. 2 makes this point about a great number of stories concerning Nero; on the ones discussed here, see esp. 48–50. 9 Suet. Ner. 38.2: e turre Maecenatiana prospectans; Cass. Dio 62.18.1: ἔς … τὸ ἄκρον τοῦ παλατίου … ἀνῆλθε. It seems unlikely that Nero would have come as close as the Palatine, which was extensively damaged in the fire (cf. Champlin 2003, 123). Dio may have been using the term in a more generic sense of “imperial residence.” Labate 2016, 79–80 remarks astutely on the “symbolic value” of the Gardens of Maecenas (an emblematic figure of poetic patronage) as a locus amoenus for Nero’s own poetic performance; as Labate further suggests, Horace’s characterization (Carm. 3.39.5–12) of a “huge pile whose neighbors are clouds” as a place to admire Rome’s “smoke, wealth, and noise” may also implicate Maecenas’ tower. Such a literary pedigree would suggest Maecenas’ property as an ideal “observatory” for Nero to perform his song as he gazes upon the city in flames. See also Wiseman 2016. 10 Suet. Ner. 38.2: in illo suo scaenico habitu decantavit; Cass. Dio 62.18.1: τὴν σκευὴν τὴν κιθαρῳδικὴν λαβὼν. 11 If we imagine Nero performing with a cithara, as the costume Dio describes would suggest, the song would presumably be long-format narrative poetry, while the costume described by Suetonius suggests a tragic monologue. See Fantham 2013, 21–25 on the significant differences between these two styles of performance.

  Virginia Closs The versions of Dio and Suetonius do share some common points. Both place Nero at a high vantage point on one of his properties, from which he could watch as the catastrophe unfolded below him. Both comment on Nero’s aesthetic appreciation of the view;12 and both affirm, as does Tacitus’ rumor, that Nero sang of Troy’s destruction. Still, further questions remain. Was the song in Latin or in Greek?13 Did he perform an excerpt from some classic text, or his own poetry? Nero is known to have composed a Troy-themed poem, which the scene below him may have prompted him to recite;14 but we might also imagine that Nero extemporaneously produced original verse inspired by the event itself. The discrepancies obscuring this widely disseminated story reflect a larger truth of the era; or rather, they point toward the reasons that the “truth” of this event is inaccessible. Certainly the later historians who report Nero’s actions are likely to have added literary flourishes designed to align him more closely with despotic or destructive figures from the Greco-Roman tradition. Yet the living Nero himself appears to have been an energetic creative force behind many of the anecdotes characterizing him in terms borrowed from myth and literature.

Dress Rehearsal for Destruction: Nero’s Performative Precedents for the 64 Event Nero seems to have developed, in a self-aware fashion, a type of category confusion that exacerbates the problem of trying to separate fact from fiction.15 His re-

 12 Dio tells us that from Nero’s high vantage point “the overview of the majority of the conflagration would be best” (μάλιστα σύνοπτα τὰ πολλὰ τῶν καιομένων ἦν); Suetonius tells us Nero said he “delighted in the fire’s beauty” (laetusque “flammae,” ut aiebat, “pulchritudine”). 13 Dio calls Nero’s song ἅλωσιν Ἰλίου; Suetonius uses a Latinized version of the same Greek term, Halosin Ilii. This may be a generic term for the song’s topic, however, rather than an indication of the language Nero used. 14 Dio (62.29.1) describes Nero’s performance of the Troica at the Second Neronia in 65. The poem was probably either an epic or a series of smaller vignettes. Courtney 1993, followed by Rudich (1997) 2013, 229, and Rimell 2002, 66 n. 14, posits that the Fall of Troy that Suetonius reports as Nero’s “performance” during the fire is drawn from this work. On Nero’s poetry, see notes to Champlin 2003, 82–83, with bibliography. On the Troica, see J. Sullivan 1985, 91–92; the fragments, with commentary, in Courtney 1993, 359; further discussion in Morelli 1914, 135–38. 15 Champlin 2003 presents the definitive case for Nero’s own agency in advancing his identity as a mythic figure, but see also Boyle’s comments on the “histrionic culture” of early imperial

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ported actions in the months leading up to July of 64 bear the hallmarks of mythically inspired stagecraft, inviting suspicion that Nero planned the destruction of Rome as a particularly perverse form of role-play.16 The rumor of Nero’s performance in 64 certainly suggests his relish of the conceit that he, a Roman monarch who claimed kinship with figures such as Aeneas and Priam, would reenact their experience of watching their city burn. Allusion likewise played a part in Nero’s actions in the immediate aftermath of the 64 calamity. The emperor swiftly identified members of Rome’s nascent Christian sect as the “guilty” party to be blamed for the fire, and numerous Christians duly perished as public entertainment. In a punishment befitting their alleged crime, some were fashioned into “human torches” set throughout the imperial properties in the Vatican plain.17 Other spectacular executions, as Champlin suggests, represented mythological punishments alluding to the destroyed landmarks in the city.18 Rome’s Christians were thus incorporated into Nero’s larger program of allusive self-representation as the city’s champion and protector in the wake of disaster.19 Yet throughout his life, Nero had provided ample material for those wishing to view him in retrospect as a character obsessed with recreating family history

 Rome more generally (Boyle 2008, xxii–xxiii). See also Woodman 1993; Bartsch 1994; and Edwards 1994. 16 Champlin 2003, 185–91 cites, e.g., Nero’s sudden fit of temporary blindness at the threshold of the Temple of Vesta as a variation on the legend of Pontifex Maximus L. Caecilius Metellus, who lost his sight rescuing the Palladium from a fire in the temple (cf. Ov. Fast. 6.453–54). 17 Tac. Ann. 15.44. The tunica molesta or flaming shirt was commonly used to execute criminals in ancient Greece and Rome (cf. Juv. 8.235; Mart. Ep. 10.25.5; Sen. Ep. 14.5), but its widespread use elsewhere does not preclude the idea that it would have a special significance for accused arsonists. See Mans 1984; A. Barrett 1977; Pellegrino 2000. On the theatricalization of death as punishment and entertainment: Coleman 1990, 44–73 discusses the term “fatal charade” and vets the ancient sources. See also Kyle 1998, 53, 168–71, 222–44; Erasmo 2008, 217 n. 12. 18 These punishments, as Champlin 2003, 136–39 has shown, employ a highly allusive form of poetic justice: some female victims were dressed as Danaids commemorating the damage to the Augustan domus / Apollo temple on the Palatine, with its famous Danaid portico; another starred in a re-creation of the gruesome death of Dirce, tied to a rampant bull, reflecting the lost Amphitheater of Statilius Taurus. 19 Shaw 2015 has recently advanced the controversial premise that the Christians were not specifically targeted as arsonists, but rather that they were punished (or rather “persecuted”) for their faith alone. C.P. Jones 2017 rebuts these claims at length, while Pollini 2017, 213 does so more briefly. See also van der Lans/Bremmer 2017. Ultimately, the accuracy or falsity of Nero’s accusations against the Christians—as well as what exactly these accusations entailed—is irrelevant to the arguments advanced in this essay, which focuses more on the myths and legends that attached to Nero as creative expressions in their own right.

  Virginia Closs as well as with imitating literary models.20 Growing up amidst the toxic politics of imperial succession and intensively schooled in the literature and theater of the day, Nero could hardly have avoided recognizing himself and his imperial rivals in the tales of gods and mythical rulers retailed in popular texts.21 Images and behaviors associated with Nero’s earlier life may, in fact, have influenced the way in which the account of his fire-inspired Troy song was constructed and promoted. I do not underestimate the designing eye with which later sources, especially Tacitus, select and shape this material; nevertheless, if these anecdotes were part of Nero’s history (actual or rumored), then they were equally available to anyone who wished, during or after Nero’s lifetime, to fashion him as a figure destined to bring Rome back in touch with its roots in Trojan conflagration.22 Nero made his debut as a public figure at the age of ten, according to Tacitus, at a reperformance of the Trojan Games sponsored by Claudius in 47 CE.23 For many onlookers, Nero’s appearance evoked not just the memory of his grandfather Germanicus, but also Vergil’s treatment of the Trojan games in Aeneid 5 (5.545–603). In this scene, it is Aeneas’ son Iulus, founder of the Julian line, who leads the youth in an elaborate equestrian drill. Iulus’ performance here symbolizes a renewal of Trojan memory among Aeneas’ band of survivors. Likewise, as O’Gorman argues, Nero’s appearance in the game of Troy introduces him to Rome as a “copy or a copyist” in general, and specifically as a reenactor of Trojanthemed events and narratives.24 For a Roman audience, Troy’s primary significance would always lie in its fall, the fiery sine qua non of Rome’s own foundation, a link Nero articulated even more directly at an early public oration in 53, in which he “advocated the cause of the people of Ilium [i.e., Troy].”25 Basing his argument not on recent events, but on the mythical tradition that “Rome was the  20 Champlin 2003, 96–111 lays out in detail the evidence for Nero’s embrace of the roles of Oedipus, Orestes, and Periander of Athens as figurations for his rumored acts of incest with his mother and partial responsibility for (respectively) his adopted father’s death, his subsequent assassination of his mother, and his murder of a pregnant wife. 21 Two of Nero’s more notorious attributed remarks suggest a desire to imitate Priam (Cass. Dio 62.16.1) and see his city burn (Suet. Ner. 38.1). Yet as Champlin 2003, 319 n. 13 convincingly demonstrates, both comments are also attributed to Tiberius, and have denser contexts in the Tiberian narratives in which they appear. Suetonius and Dio may simply have “harvested” these anecdotes and replanted them in their respective Neronian narratives, where they found abundant company amidst the profusion of other incendiary material. 22 See Feeney 2007, 105–7. 23 Tac. Ann. 11.11.5 and Suet. Ner. 7. For precedents under Nero’s Julian predecessors, see Suet. Iul. 39 and Aug. 43.2. See O’Gorman 2000, 162–75; Edwards 2013, 553, and 2011. 24 O’Gorman 2000, 179. 25 Nero assumed the toga virilis a year early, at the age of thirteen; see Tac. Ann. 12.41.

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offspring of Troy, and Aeneas the founder of the Julian line, with other old traditions akin to myths” (Tac. Ann. 12.58), Nero secured Roman Ilium’s permanent exemption from Roman taxation.26 The young Nero also intervened successfully on behalf of Bononia (Bologna), a town closely associated with his ancestor Mark Antony, when the city required assistance after a devastating fire.27 These anecdotes adumbrate not only Nero’s pride in the Julian family’s claimed Trojan ancestry, but also the dynasty’s own history of internecine strife. In Bononia’s association with Antony there lies an implied predilection for louche living and Hellenizing tendencies, as well as accusations of intent to destroy Rome;28 and in Bononia’s destruction by fire, an early interest in urban conflagration. Thus, well ahead of his ascent to power, Nero’s public actions begin to form a metaphorical frame around the catastrophic events that would come to exemplify his reign. During his principate, Nero also oversaw a revival of Afranius’ Incendium, a farce in which characters escape from an urban conflagration.29 According to Suetonius, the play became a perverse kind of game show as the set was actually torched and performers were allowed to keep the items they seized, Supermarket Sweep-style, as they scrambled to evade the eponymous blaze. Nero, meanwhile, watched all this from a specially built balcony on the set.30 Although Suetonius gives no firm date for this performance, he does specify it as part of festivities sponsored by Nero “for the Eternity of Empire,” a probable reference to Nero’s  26 In this same discussion, Tacitus notes that Nero also secured concessions for Apamea after a major earthquake, again suggesting urban disaster as his signature event. Suetonius (Ner. 6) specifies that the speech for Bononia, in Latin, was Nero’s first, but Tacitus (Ann. 12.58) identifies the Troy speech (in Greek) as his first. See Freudenburg 2009, 204 and Edwards 2013, 553. 27 Bononia had been under the patronage of the Antonii in the late republic, and followed Antony, who reestablished a colony there, in his war against Octavian (PECS s.v. Bononia). Bononia was also the site of the meeting between Antony, Octavian, and Lepidus in 43 BCE, which resulted in the formation of the Second Triumvirate (Cic. Fam. 11.13, 12.5; Cass. Dio 46.36.54; Suet. Aug. 96). Appian (B Civ. 3.69) alone gives a different location. See Southern 1998, 53 for discussion of sources. An inscription found at Bononia shows that Nero followed through, providing a new bath complex (CIL 11.720), cf. Collins-Clinton 2000, n. 11. 28 On the vituperation of Antony’s memory, see Gurval 1995, 234; Flower 2006, 116–18. On Nero’s “blend of Antony and Augustus”: Libby 2011, 219–23. 29 The text does not survive, but the play was presumably a broad comedy set, as Afranius’ other works were, at Rome. On Afranius generally, see, e.g., Gratwick 1982; see also Stärk 2002 (with bibliography); RE s.v. Afranius. On the surviving fragments of other works by Afranius: Manuwald 2010, 150–52. 30 On the performance of Incendium: Suet. Ner. 11.2. On the balcony: Suet. Ner. 12.1. See also Kelly 1979, 30 n. 6; Champlin 2003, 287 nn. 46–47. Freudenburg 2017, 112 touches upon the idea of the Great Fire as a version of the Incendium, but focuses more on the implications for Petronius.

  Virginia Closs Ludi Maximi in 59 CE.31 As Manuwald has shown, the real fire on the set of the Incendium is likely to have been an imperial innovation.32 Blurring the line between performance and reality, this event offered the public the striking image of Nero observing from the safety of a high vantage point, enjoying the spectacle of a conflagration that he had commissioned as entertainment.33 If the Incendium performance really did predate the Great Fire by several years, the impression made on the public by such an image becomes a significant factor in the evident tenacity with which rumor took hold about his behavior during the 64 blaze.34 Finally, in the years immediately prior to 64, confidence in Nero’s leadership may have been shaken by several civic disturbances, natural disasters, and other misfortunes. Public rioting broke out in 62 in response to Nero’s repudiation of his dynastic bride Octavia, an unusual moment of disharmony between the emperor and the Roman populace.35 In the same year a fire started by lightning consumed his newly built public gymnasium, and the likeness of Nero within it “melted into a shapeless mass of bronze” (Tac. Ann. 15.22). This unpleasant omen seemed to find confirmation in 63 with the death of Nero’s own little “copy”: his four-month-old daughter Claudia Augusta.36 After July of 64, however, such a portent may well have been open to reinterpretation as a sign of Nero’s incendiary tendencies. Additionally, in the early 60s a massive earthquake (or series of quakes) leveled several towns in Campania.37 Seismic disturbances in the region continued into the early summer of 64, when Nero’s debut performance of epic poetry in Neapolis (Naples) was interrupted by tremors, as Suetonius tells us: “although  31 Champlin 2003, 69. 32 See Manuwald 2011, 119. 33 On the blurring of performance and reality in the era, see Boyle 2008, xxii–xxiii, and 2006, 145, 160–88; Bartsch 1994, 155–80 on Nero’s propensity for “stage invasion.” 34 If, on the other hand, Champlin is wrong and the performance took place after the fire, Nero could be seen as provocatively addressing recent rumors of his enjoyment of the Great Fire. 35 During his lifetime, Nero generally enjoyed great popular favor and was mourned after his death for many years. See Flower 2006, 198–99. 36 Tac. Ann. 15.23. The melted portrait also compares unfavorably with a prior incident during Tiberius’ reign, when, as Tacitus reports (Ann. 4.64), a statue of the emperor had miraculously survived a fire on the Caelian in 27 CE, providing the unpopular ruler with a handy diversion from accusations that he was in some way responsible for the misfortune. 37 Tac. Ann. 15.22 and Sen. QNat. 6.1.2 appear to assign different dates to a major earthquake in the region, but it is also possible they refer to different events. On the disputed date of the Pompeii/Campania earthquake(s), see Hine 1984; see also G.D. Williams 2012, 10 n. 26 and WallaceHadrill 2003. For discussion of the event in Seneca’s writings, see G.D. Williams 2012, 213–18, and Ker 2009a, 107–9.

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the theater was actually struck suddenly by an earthquake, he did not quit singing until he finished the melody he had begun” (Suet. Ner. 20.1–2). According to Tacitus the audience was able to exit the theater before the building collapsed, a stroke of luck that Nero claimed as evidence of divine favor; he later went on to compose a song about his good fortune (Tac. Ann. 15.33). The logical converse of this rhetorical stance, of course, is that when misfortune does strike, the ruler must somehow have failed to avert (or even actively encouraged) the disaster. Moreover, here again we have an image of Nero strikingly similar to his reported performance during the Great Fire just a few weeks later: reciting poetry with an apparent unconcern for the fate of those endangered by a proximate disaster. Overall, there seems to have been a considerable amount of material available for those interested in bending Nero’s narrative toward the telos of the fire by highlighting aspects of his record that suggest an obsession with disasters and incendiary spectacles, as well as with replaying myth. These anecdotes could easily have served as a catalyst to Rome’s widespread cultural tendency to assign responsibility, on a cosmic as well as a practical level, to leaders in times of emergency. Clearly, poor leadership can be a contributing factor in catastrophic events. The question that this rumor raises is to what degree, and how readily, the Roman imagination went one step beyond this truism, inferring that catastrophes were necessarily attributable to bad leaders. Although the historical Nero may indeed have provided grounds for suspicion, accounts of his behavior before, during, and after the 64 destruction blend so well with the larger penumbra of transgressive performance and spectacle characterizing his persona that it becomes impossible to separate fact from fantasy. Moreover, the line between Nero’s alleged behavior and the literary models that, in all likelihood, shaped both the man himself and later accounts of him is vanishingly thin.

Likening Present Disasters to Ancient Ones: A Roman National Pastime The story of Nero’s performance commemorating Troy’s fall trades upon his known propensity for taking the stage and singing before an audience. This be-

  Virginia Closs havior was already sufficiently aberrant for a Roman princeps as to suggest a limitless capacity for deviance.38 Additionally, Nero’s affinity for literature, especially for long-format narrative poetry, inevitably brought him into contact with themes such as the fall of cities, doomed leaders, and catastrophic destructions. Yet the rumor reflects more than the poetry-mad emperor’s wanton disregard for traditional values. It holds several specific types of appeal for an audience with sophisticated literary sensibilities.39 The tale of Nero’s performance as he views his city in flames strikes several chords suggesting a nuanced relationship with the epic tradition. Troy and its fall, an evergreen topic for Roman poets, was very much in vogue at the time, making the narrative a likely refrain for anyone composing at the moment of the fire.40 Nero’s aforementioned Troy poem apparently included a passage in which Paris, a figure of dubious merit elsewhere in literature, is rewritten as the bravest of the Trojans.41 This Paris reflects the paradoxes of Nero’s own character: a combination, as Champlin puts it, “of sensual living and careful training.”42 Yet Paris, according to legend, was foreseen in a dream by his mother, Hecuba, as a flaming torch, destined from birth to play the key role in his city’s incendiary undoing.43 Nero’s apparent willingness to be identified not just with a “positive” Trojan exemplar on the model of his progenitors Aeneas and Iulus, but also (to borrow a Vergilian slur) as a Paris alter may have made him a tempting  38 Tacitus (Ann. 14.14), Suetonius (Ner. 19), Cass. Dio (61.17.5, 62.6.3–5, 62.24.2, 62.29.1, 63.1.1), and Juvenal (8.219–30) all view Nero’s interest in creative expression as unforgivably inappropriate. See Erasmo 2004, 117–21 and Fantham 2013, with bibliography. 39 Nero’s cultivation of a literary circle at Rome: Griffin 1984, 146–55; Morford 1973 and 1985; J. Sullivan 1985, 19–56; Sen. Apocol. 4; Calp. Ecl. 1.33–88; Einsiedeln Eclogues 1.38–41 and 2.15–38. See Libby 2011, 212 n. 259. 40 On Troy’s foundational role in Latin literature: for Naevius, see M. Barchiesi 1962, 349–58; for Ennius, see Libby 2011, 41–67 and Elliott 2013, 277, Table A1.1. On early Latin tragedies with Trojan themes, see F. Bernstein 1998, 238–43; Boyle 2006, 28–30; Wigodsky 1972, 84–85. Surviving indications of the Trojan trend in the Neronian era include Seneca’s Troades and Agamemnon; Lucan’s Bellum civile 10 and (lost) Iliacon; the Ilias latina, produced around 60–70 CE; Petronius’ spoofy “Halosis Troiae” at Satyricon 89 and Calpurnius Siculus’ first Eclogue, both argued by Freudenburg 2009, 204–6 to be probable parodies of Nero’s own Troica. See also Pers. Sat. 1.1–5, which mocks Attius Labeo, a Neronian-era poet who translated the Iliad and the Odyssey. Persius also mentions here his own Polydamas et Troiades (Sat. 1.4). 41 Serv. ad Aen. 5.370: sane hic Paris secundum Troica Neronis fortissimus fuit, adeo ut in Troiae agonali certamine superaret omnes, ipsum etiam Hectorem. See Freudenburg 2009, 204, and 2001, 156. 42 Champlin 2003, 83. 43 The tradition of Hecuba’s dream is at least as old as Pindar (Pae. fr. 8 Loeb) and is further elaborated in Euripides (Tro. 595–600, 922). See Koniaris 1973.

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target for those interested in criticizing him in the period following the 64 disaster.44 Moreover, Nero’s simultaneous role as witness to and performer of a legendary destruction narrative suggests formal parallels with a famous scene from Homeric epic. At Iliad 9.189, Achilles, setting himself apart from the carnage raging outside his camp, takes up his lyre and sings the “glories of men,” usually understood to mean that his song was a war poem.45 Nero’s performance of a fiery destruction narrative as he witnesses Rome’s conflagration produces a mise-enabyme effect much like that of Achilles’ song. As Lovatt argues, “viewing is always potentially a metaphor for reading,” and viewing a violent or destructive situation can easily become a metaphor for epic poetry itself.46 Similarly, both Nero’s subject matter and his elevated position for viewing the unfolding catastrophe are reminiscent of Aeneas’ recollection of his experiences during the fall of Troy in Aeneid 2; by his own account, Aeneas witnesses the destruction first from the roof of his own house, and then from a series of mysteriously panoptic yet safe locations thereafter.47 In climbing to a high point on his property to view his city’s conflagration as he sings of Troy’s fall, Nero superimposes literary and historical memory. He simultaneously performs both his legendary ancestor’s “lived” experience of Troy’s fall and the poetic recounting of the event that Aeneas delivers in Aeneid 2. Finally, the rumor exploits literary and historical memory to create a potent commentary on Nero’s warped priorities as a leader, as well as on his fatal misreading of his own heritage. Both the imperium sine fine advanced in Augustanera rhetoric and Nero’s own efforts in promoting games “for the eternity of the empire” seem contradicted by the tragic outlook on history that he appears to

 44 See (e.g.) Amata’s lines at Verg. Aen. 7.319–22. 45 A parallel also apparently recognized by the chorus of the Octavia (800–819). 46 See Lovatt 1999, 126; see also La Penna 1987; Mader 1997; Feldherr 1995; cf. N. Bernstein 2004, 62. See also Lovatt 2013 and 2015 and N. Bernstein 2015 on questions of Latin epic’s preoccupation with “who sees” and “how do they see?” in scenes of violent conflict. 47 summi fastigia tecti, Verg. Aen. 2.303. At Aen. 2.469–558, Aeneas witnesses the death of Priam inside the palace, apparently from the rooftop where he and his doomed troop of warriors have just toppled a tower onto a column of Greeks. Again at Aen. 2.760–67, Aeneas watches helplessly from a distance as Trojan women and children are distributed as spoils. Further implicating this narrative in the net of Roman history is the well-known status of Aeneid 2 as an analogue for the fall of the Roman republic; see (e.g.) Morgan 2000 and Hardie 2013. See Sage 2000 on the Trojan landscape in the Roman imagination. Rossi 2004, esp. 29–30, points to Troy’s “inherent reusability and thus to the potential for its endless repetition.” On echoes of Aeneid 2 in Tacitus’ account of the fire: Edwards 2013, 552–53 and Woodman 2012b, 387–94.

  Virginia Closs adopt in performing his song.48 The Augustan principate had established an especially close connection between the ruling house and Rome’s roots in Troy; the first princeps and his literary supporters strategically selected aspects of the Trojan myth to reflect contemporary circumstances and signal future goals in the wake of political collapse. By contrast, the Nero of legend appears to reverse this process, shaping his present to echo the catastrophic models of the past.49 The idea of destroying Rome becomes a vehicle for the Nero of legend both to reenact the mythic tale of Troy’s fall—which Augustus had so skillfully exploited—and to reprise Augustus’ role as Rome’s rebuilder after the fall of the Roman republic.50 Assessing a critical moment’s magnitude by drawing parallels with mythopoetic narrative was an entirely natural, in fact an expected, response to any significant event in Roman culture.51 For instance, Tacitus records the zeal with which survivors set about constructing the similarities between the 64 destruction and the Gallic sack of 390 BCE, even reckoning the interval between these two conflagrations as a magic square–like diminution into equal numbers of years, months, and days.52 Likewise, Suetonius reports that when Nero built his Golden House complex over space cleared by the fire, a jingle circulated comparing the house itself to the Gallic sack.53 Moreover, figures from Rome’s storied republican past exhibit a similar impulse. According to Polybius, Scipio Aemilianus was inspired by the fall of Carthage to anticipate Rome’s own eventual collapse, likening a present catastrophe to a future one; yet he did so by, like Nero, reciting poetry about the fall of Troy.54 In

 48 Owen/Gildenhard 2013, 192. 49 Cf. Libby 2011, 250; Feeney 2007, 105–7. 50 According to Suetonius (Ner. 10.1), Nero “proclaimed that he would rule according to the model of Augustus” (ex Augusti praescripto imperaturum se professus). For Augustus as Nero’s model, see Champlin 2003, 139–44; Griffin 1984, 50–66 (esp. 62–63), 96, 115, 200–205, 216; Drinkwater 2012 and 2018, 20. 51 Cf. Champlin 2003, 237. 52 Tac. Ann. 15.41. For interpretation and bibliography, see Feeney 2007, 205–6 and n. 222. On magic squares and the Roman impulse to impose ordo on art and text alike, see Squire 2014, esp. 413–14. See also the contribution of Kraus to this volume. 53 Suet. Ner. 39, cf. Liv. 5.49–55. Additionally, as Kraus 1994b has shown, the Gallic sack itself was pervasively analogized with the Fall of Troy in Livy. On Aeneid Book 2’s depiction of the Fall of Troy as an analogue for various aspects of Roman history and topography, see Hardie 2013. See also Aeneid 9.150–55, 599, 10.74, 213–14, and 378 for the besieged Trojan camp in Italy as a Troy redux (after Keitel 2012, n. 16); see also Rossi 2002 and 2004, esp. 29–30 on Troy’s “inherent reusability and thus … the potential for its endless repetition.” 54 Scipio (Polyb. Hist. 38.22) quotes Il. 6.448–49: “A day will come when sacred Troy shall perish / And Priam and his people shall be slain.” Citing Polybius, Appian (Pun. 19.132) says that

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a sense, Nero is simply fulfilling the quasi-prophetic utterance of Scipio; he uses the lessons of Troy and Carthage to comment wryly on Rome’s prospects as he watches his city replicate those historic destructions.55 In creating allusive parallels with Rome’s foundational narratives as he witnesses a scene of widespread devastation, Nero takes a tendency widely observable in Roman culture to a characteristically perverse extreme. Thus Nero’s alleged performance of a Troy song— whether he actually enacted such a scene or simply invited its fabrication—constitutes the first of many imaginative, even “literary” responses to the 64 disaster.56 Let us now turn to a text that may well be understood as the second surviving literary response to the Neronian fire. In Seneca’s Letter 91, the author describes the devastation of the Gallic provincial capital Lugdunum (modern Lyon) in a fire thought to have occurred shortly after the Roman conflagration, in the late summer or early autumn of 64 CE.

Seneca and the Fire(s) of 64: Epistulae morales 91 Two years prior to the events of 64, Seneca had largely withdrawn from public life; he hoped, perhaps, to avoid becoming the target of a denunciation or otherwise giving offense to the ruler who had recently ordered the killing of his own mother and first wife, among other intimates.57 The effort was at least temporarily successful, and it was during this period that Seneca produced the series of letters known as the Epistulae morales ad Lucilium.58 In the 124 letters that survive, Seneca’s general avoidance of current events at Rome means that many of them are

 Scipio went on to explain that this reaction was prompted by his dread of his own country one day meeting the same fate. See Astin 1967, 282–87; O’Gorman 2000, 168–73; Edwards 2013, 542– 43. 55 Cf. Owen/Gildenhard 2013, 192. 56 Imaginative operations including rumors, rituals, performances, and legends are no less based on literary impulses—pattern recognition, memory, allusion, audience—than written texts. See, e.g., Colebrook 1997, 24; Laden 2004, 2–4. 57 For an up-to-date overview of Seneca’s life and career, see S. Braund 2015. Death of Agrippina: Tac. Ann. 14.1–9; death of Octavia: Tac. Ann. 14.60–64; suspicion of poisoning the praetorian prefect Burrus: Tac. Ann. 14.51. According to Tacitus, Seneca survived Nero’s attempt to poison him in 64 following the philosopher’s attempt to further distance himself from the emperor in the fire’s aftermath (Ann. 15.45.3). 58 For discussion of these letters and the questions surrounding their composition and publication, see Griffin 1976, 416–19; M. Wilson 1987, 103–4 and n. 3, with bibliography; RichardsonHay 2006, 34 n. 55; Ker 2009a, 149 n. 10.

  Virginia Closs impossible to date.59 Such obscurity was probably both deliberate and necessary in the political climate in which he wrote; the volatile personal and political dynamic of his relationship with Nero, whom he had once served as tutor and chief advisor, would no doubt have made his work subject to especially close scrutiny. Ep. 91, however, is exceptionally precise in its relevance. Seneca takes as his starting point the news of Lugdunum’s devastation by fire, an event which most scholars agree occurred (at most) only a few months after the Great Fire of Rome.60 Previous scholarship has already suggested that Ep. 91 exaggerates the impact of the Lugdunum fire to a scale that more accurately describes Rome’s.61 The letter’s extensive array of cues to make this inference, however, have not yet been fully explored; nor have the far-reaching implications of this insight been traced throughout the text. By synchronicity, the devastation of Rome, center of the empire, is twinned with that of the provincial capital of Lugdunum. Seneca exploits the ready analogy between these events to create a displaced or “shadow” commentary on the destruction of Neronian Rome.

 59 Only one contemporary event at Rome (mentioned only in passing) can be assigned a firm date: at Ep. 70.26, Seneca mentions a water-combat show (secundo naumachiae spectaculo) which ought to be that of 64 CE. So K. Rose 1971, 70–71. See now also M. Wilson 2015 on “outspoken silence” in Seneca’s Letters and Edwards (forthcoming) on Seneca’s reticence in the Letters vs. some of his early Neronian works. 60 Tacitus (Ann. 16.13) dates the Lugdunum fire to shortly after the Rome conflagration of July 64. The date of Letter 91 has most recently and thoroughly been discussed by Griffin 2013, 95–97 and G. D. Williams 2014, 138–39 with bibliography. 61 See Bedon 1991, 47–48; Viti 1997; André 2002, 171; Ker 2009a, 149; Edwards 2011, 651, and 2013, 549–50, and a briefer mention in Edwards (forthcoming); see also G.D. Williams 2014, 138– 46. Modern archaeological efforts have yet to uncover a trace of any destruction at Lyon datable to this period. See Pelletier 2004 and 1999, 21, although Griffin 1984, 267 n. 21 speculates that fire damage caused an apparent gap in the chronology of the Lugdunum mint in 65. See Ker 2009a, 108 for comments on disagreements in the sources about Seneca’s potential contributions to Nero’s rebuilding program at Rome, as well as for indications in Tacitus that the two fires were seen as reciprocal events. Meyboom/Moormann 2013, vol. I, compile a range of Senecan texts that they speculate are covert responses not to the fire per se, but to Nero’s elaborate Golden House; on which, see now also Edwards (forthcoming).

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Urbs Maxima and Urbs Nulla: Lugdunum as a Proxy for Rome Seneca begins Ep. 91 by creating a suggestively elastic civic terminology, referring to Lugdunum as a colonia and then to comparable cities as civitates and oppida. Thereafter, Seneca largely abandons specific connections to Lugdunum, instead meditating on the public disaster of an unnamed urbs (Ep. 91. 1–2): Liberalis noster nunc tristis est nuntiato incendio quo Lugdunensis colonia exusta est; movere hic casus quemlibet posset, nedum hominem patriae suae amantissimum. Quae res effecit ut firmitatem animi sui quaerat, quam videlicet ad ea quae timeri posse putabat exercuit. Hoc vero tam inopinatum malum et paene inauditum non miror si sine metu fuit, cum esset sine exemplo; multas enim civitates incendium vexavit, nullam abstulit. Nam etiam ubi hostili manu in tecta ignis inmissus est, multis locis deficit, et quamvis subinde excitetur, raro tamen sic cuncta depascitur ut nihil ferro relinquat. Terrarum quoque vix umquam tam gravis et perniciosus fuit motus ut tota oppida everteret. Numquam denique tam infestum ulli exarsit incendium ut nihil alteri superesset incendio. [2] Tot pulcherrima opera, quae singula inlustrare urbes singulas possent, una nox stravit, et in tanta pace quantum ne bello quidem timeri potest accidit. Quis hoc credat? ubique armis quiescentibus, cum toto orbe terrarum diffusa securitas sit, Lugudunum, quod ostendebatur in Gallia, quaeritur. Omnibus fortuna quos publice adflixit quod passuri erant timere permisit; nulla res magna non aliquod habuit ruinae suae spatium: in hac una nox interfuit inter urbem maximam et nullam. Denique diutius illam tibi perisse quam perit narro. Our friend Liberalis is depressed just now over news of the fire in which the colony of Lugdunum was burned to the ground. This calamity would upset anyone, let alone a man so much in love with his homeland. The effect of the event has been that he must seek out his own inner strength—which, clearly, he has trained for the situations that he thought might invite fear. In the case of this evil—so unexpected, practically unheard of—if it lacked prior alarm, I’m not surprised; it was without precedent. Fire, indeed, has harassed many societies, but none has it annihilated. For even when enemy hands hurl fire upon roofs, in many places it fails, and however much thereafter stirred up, it rarely eats up all, leaving nothing to the sword. An earthquake, too, has scarcely ever been so serious and damaging that it overthrew towns altogether. Never, to sum up, has there blazed a conflagration so aggressive (in any city) that nothing survived for the next. [2] So many buildings, most beautiful, any single one of which would bring fame to a single city: one night leveled them; and in such peaceful conditions, an event on a scale that can’t even be feared in time of war. Who would believe it? Everywhere, weapons at rest; when peace prevails throughout the world, Lugdunum, given pride of position in Gaul, is missing! To all those whom Fortuna has assailed at large, she has at least permitted them to fear what they would undergo. No great state has had no measure at all of anticipation before its collapse; here, a solitary night stood between a city at its greatest, and no city at all. In short, it’s taking me longer to tell you about the destruction than the destruction actually took.

  Virginia Closs Despite the letter’s early assertion that Lugdunum’s many lost buildings were “most beautiful” (91.2: Tot pulcherrima opera), Seneca does not name or describe a single monument that would tie his commentary specifically to the provincial capital.62 The city at 91.2 is a megalopolis of fabulous proportions, its devastation rivaling that of Troy or Carthage: “So many buildings, most beautiful, any single one of which would bring fame to a single city: one night leveled them.” Seneca insists on the massive civic magnitude of the event, commenting that no “great state” (res magna, suggesting a stature exceeding that of Lugdunum proper) had ever before been denied some warning period before its ruin. Yet “this one night” had made the difference between urbem maximam, “a city at its greatest” (or perhaps, in another nod to Rome’s status, “the greatest city”), and [urbem] nullam, “no city at all.” Later, at Ep. 91.10, Seneca makes the letter’s only reference to Lugdunum’s topography, remarking that it was magnificent, “but then again, occupied only one hill, and not such a large one” (uni tamen inposita et huic non latissimo monti). This point appears to have little relevance other than to evoke Rome’s famous seven hills.63 Together, these elements strengthen the impression that Seneca is using Lugdunum’s fire as a proxy for Rome’s recent disaster. Yet Seneca’s claim that the event at Lugdunum was without a precedent (sine exemplo, 91.1) is not rendered false by the glaring omission of Rome’s own recent conflagration. Rather, as Seneca offers a series of examples of destroyed cities all over the empire, the remark casts an ironic glance at those who would insist on the exceptionalism of their own city’s calamity.64 As Ker argues, Ep. 91 “presents [Seneca’s] Roman audience with much-needed perspective about their seemingly singular event.”65 This strategy contributes to the universal outlook that Seneca advises, allowing us to apply the letter’s lessons to disasters far and wide: including Rome’s, but not limited to it. Thus Seneca draws recent catastrophe into his broader complex of recurrent meditation on human mortality, the inevitability of decay, and how best to face reversals of fortune. As general as Seneca’s observations may be, they nevertheless convey some pointedly Rome-centric historical commentary. Seneca counsels at Ep. 91.16: “It’s not by burial mounds, or those monuments of varying sizes which line the road

 62 Siwicki 2015, 257. 63 Gummere 1920 ad loc. 64 Seneca mentions destructions in Asia, Achaea, Syria, Macedonia, and Cyprus (Sen. Ep. 91.9). For strategies of memory in describing destroyed cities and landscapes, see the contributions of Bromberg, Chapman, Clark, and Farrell in this volume. 65 Ker 2009a, 108.

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that you should measure things; ash puts everyone on the same level (aequat omnis cinis). We’re born unequal, but as equals we die (inpares nascimur, pares morimur). I say the same thing about cities that I say about their inhabitants: Ardea was captured as well as Rome.” Mentioning Ardea in company with Rome’s Gallic catastrophe may signal yet another agenda for Seneca. This reference recalls Rome’s legendary sack at the hands of the invading Gauls; after sacking Rome, the Gauls headed for Ardea but were repelled by the Roman general Camillus, who had retired there after his exile. The allusion to Camillus in exile is subtle, but nevertheless highlights the difficulties of Seneca’s situation following the fire of 64. Seneca elsewhere in his letters uses allusions to Rome’s exiled luminaries to situate himself in a lineage of “great exiles.”66 Seneca’s retreat from his role as Nero’s advisor has displaced him from his onetime position of power and influence, and he cannot return to assist Rome as Camillus once did. Yet as Nero’s departed advisor and Rome’s would-be consoler in this moment of crisis, he uses another form of displacement to communicate his views. In transferring his reaction to Rome’s conflagration onto the destruction of the provincial capital at Lugdunum, Seneca finds an ideal vehicle not just for dramatizing his response to Rome’s recent misfortune, but for commenting indirectly on the instability that has led to his own departure from the city. Moreover, Seneca reminds us that Ardea too had suffered and recovered from a sack, but eventually faded into obscurity and by the Augustan period was a byword for ruined grandeur; after this destruction, he implies, Ardea’s model of decline is just as possible as Rome’s triumphant reemergence.67 Equally pointedly, Ep. 91 creates a sense of temporal displacement with a series of telling allusions to Augustan Rome.68 In the De clementia, a work dedicated to Nero in the early days of his reign, Seneca commends Augustus to Nero as a model for his future leadership.69 In Ep. 91, however, his appeals to the Augustan legacy evoke failure, loss, and reversal. Seneca repeatedly emphasizes the current peaceful conditions (ubique armis quiescentibus, cum toto orbe terrarum dif-

 66 Most notably in Ep. 86: see esp. Henderson 2004, 53–61, 93–176; Ker 2009a, 344–51; and Rimell 2013. See also Gowing 2005, 80–81. 67 Possible dates for the sack of Ardea: see Gummere 1920 ad loc. Ruins of Ardea: Verg. Aen. 7.411–13; Ov. Met. 14.573–80. See also Edwards 2011, 651 on the topos of once-great Italian cities now depopulated and ruined in Propertius (e.g., Gabii and Alba, 4.1.34–35; Veii, 4.10.27–30). 68 For a survey of the main literary devices through which Seneca recalls Augustan culture in all its variety, see Ker 2015. 69 Sen. Clem. 1.9–11; see S. Braund 2009, 61–64 on this passage. On Seneca’s use of multiple Augustuses to help craft his specular and risky partnership with Nero, see Rimell 2015.

  Virginia Closs fusa securitas sit) in language that evokes the Augustan era of stability and prosperity that Nero claimed to replicate.70 He continues to build the letter’s connection to the dynasty’s foundational era, commenting at 91.6.1: Quidquid longa series multis laboribus, multa deum indulgentia struxit, id unus dies spargit ac dissipat (“Whatever a long sequence of years has built, with much struggle and much divine bounty, a single day scatters and squanders”). The repetition of multa … multa echoes the Aeneid’s iconic proem, further advancing Vergil’s vision of Rome (and by association Augustus’) as a major subtext here.71 Both of these passages respond to the rhetoric of state formation, empire building, and Roman identity as expressed in Aeneid 1. The explicit reference to the gods’ favor (deum indulgentia) seems particularly indebted to the claims of divine support for Rome advanced in Latin epic, as does the emphasis on labor, a term heavy with Vergilian connotations.72 Seneca goes on at 91.6.3 to develop the theme of reversal: Esset aliquod inbecillitatis nostrae solacium rerumque nostrarum, si tam tarde perirent cuncta quam fiunt; nunc incrementa lente exeunt, festinatur in damnum (“It would be some kind of comfort for our helplessness and our state of affairs, if everything died out as gradually as it comes into existence; now progress advances slowly, the rush is into destruction”). The gnomic final sententia unmistakably echoes of the oxymoron Augustus is alleged to have lived by: σπεῦδε βραδέως, i.e., festina lente.73 Here, however, Seneca flips the formula: at present (nunc), the gains (incrementa) accomplished by the erstwhile labores of Roman

 70 This remark is generally taken to refer to the peace following cessation of campaigns against the Parthians in 63 (Tac. Ann. 15.29). Nero went on to issue coins (e.g., RIC 50) that bore the legend PACE P R TERRA MARIQ PARTA IANVM CLVSIT, “The Peace of the Roman People having been established on Land and Sea, [he] closed (the Temple of) Janus.” 71 Cf. Verg. Aen. 1.2 (multum ille et terris iactatus et alto) and 1.5 (multa quoque et bello passus). Seneca offers a variation on this theme at QNat. 3.29.9, which also offers a pointed inversion of the Vergilian vision of Rome’s destiny: Unus humanum genus condet dies; quicquid tam longa fortunae indulgentia excoluit, quicquid supra ceteros extulit, nobilia pariter atque adornata magnarumque gentium regna pessum dabit, “One day will lay the human race to rest; whatever fortune’s bounty has for so long cultivated, whatever it has raised above the rest, the noble, the adorned, even the realms of great nations—fortune will bring equally low”; cf. Verg. Aen. 1.5 (dum conderet urbem); 1.33 (Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem). Condere opens Vergil’s epic on a note of foundation and progress, but Seneca perversely uses it to anticipate universal destruction. 72 On Vergilian labor, Altevogt 1952 remains fundamental; for more recent reevaluations see (e.g.) Ross 1987, 76–81, 139–42; Thomas 1988, 16–24; Batstone 1997, 137–38; Cramer 1998, 28– 43; Jenkyns 1998, 678–84; Nappa 2003. 73 Suet. Aug. 25. On Augustan poets’ playful variations on the Latinized motto, Savage 1966.

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leaders and the gods’ indulgentia are racing into a final, Trojan-esque ruin. Augustus’ “slow hustle,” a model for city-building as much as for stable government, is decoupled and inverted. The human effort and divine support celebrated in the Aeneid’s proem are evoked only to be undone, and the city itself is unmade by reversing Augustus’ own motto.

The Day of Doom: Stoic Ekpyrosis and Expiring Saecula Seneca writes near the letter’s end at 91.14: nam huic coloniae ab origine sua centensimus annus est, aetas ne homini quidem extrema (“For it’s only the hundredth year since this colony was founded, not even the outer limit of the human lifespan”). The founding of Lugdunum as a Roman colony only a century earlier ostensibly returns readers to the context of the provincial capital; yet it also invites comparison with the far greater antiquity of many of the structures destroyed in the Roman conflagration.74 Moreover, in the reference to the colony’s founding in 43 BCE, Seneca invites us to meditate on the century (give or take) that had passed between the collapse of the republic in the 40s BCE and the present day under Nero.75 The phrase aetas … homini … extrema alludes to the saeculum, supposedly the longest possible length of human life. Saecula were believed to last between 100 and 120 years, and Roman authors frequently debated the number of saecula that Rome had been allotted.76 Fears of an end to Rome’s cosmic cycle and of impending apocalypse naturally proliferated amidst the chaos of the mid-first century BCE; the resolution of these concerns, in turn, became central to Augustan rhetoric of cosmic renewal.77 Thus the historical reference reminds us that the Augustan “re-setting” of the cosmic clock is due to expire in the Neronian present.  74 Tacitus (Ann. 15.41) reports the destruction of buildings in Rome in 64 dating back to Rome’s mythic regnal period, although this is somewhat tendentious—e.g., the Temple of Vesta and the Regia of Numa had already burned and been rebuilt on multiple occasions. See Platner/Ashby 1929, 58–60 and 440–43. 75 Dio (46.50) says the senate ordered the foundation of Lugdunum to keep a group of displaced Roman citizens from joining Mark Antony’s side and bringing their armies into the conflict with Octavian. 76 Cens. DN 17.5–6. See Hall 1986; Feeney 2007; Forsythe 2012; Luke 2014. 77 On the cosmological anxieties of the mid-first century BCE, see J. Miller 2009, 254–60. Augustan poets in particular display concern over the temporal boundaries of Rome’s imperium

  Virginia Closs Further developing the letter’s theme of time’s acceleration and collapse in moments of crisis is Seneca’s emphasis on the shock of total destruction id unus dies (in a “single day,” 91.6.2), a dissonant echo of his own remark at the letter’s outset that one night leveled Lugdunum (una nox stravit, 91.2). The motif of destruction wrought in a single day had been used from Greek tragedy onward to suggest the caprice of Fortune, and Roman epic in particular displays an obsession with anticipating the specific day of the world’s doom.78 In Seneca’s work, however, the “single day” evokes the Stoic doctrine of ekpyrosis, a cosmological process by which the universe is destroyed in flames and then regenerated in eternally recurring cycles of predetermined length.79 Seneca also nods to earlier figurations of urban fire as analogues to civil war and foreign invasion, remarking at 91.5: “absent an enemy, we suffer things such as enemies would inflict, and as for causes of disaster, if others fail, excessive Prosperity (nimia … felicitas) finds them for herself.”80 Seneca seems to call attention to the collapsing distinction between internal and external threats, suggesting that the fire of 64 is less a condemnation of Nero as a ruler than it is a confirmation of the potential for systemic failure innate to the vast consolidation of power under the principate.81 Finally, Seneca advises that those aspiring to wisdom must prepare themselves against  sine fine. See (e.g.) Verg. G. 1.489–500; Hor. Epod. 16. On the so-called aureum saeculum of Augustus: Verg. Aen. 6.791–95 and 8.314–36; Ov. Am. 2.276–78; Germanicus Arat. 103–41. For ironic commentary on the concept in later Julio-Claudian literature, see (e.g.) Sen. Controv. 2.7.7; Sen. Apocol. 4.1; Sen. Ep. 90.5 and Ep. 115.14.1; Calp. Ecl. 4.5–8. 78 Lucretius famously argues at DRN 5.92–96 that the world will perish because it is mortal, and that this will happen in a single day (una dies dabit exitio); variations on the phrase also appear at DRN 5.1000 and 3.898–99. Lucan BC 5.615–17 and Ovid Am. 1.15.23–24 allude to this passage (cf. Matthews ad BC 5.615–17); see also Ov. Fast. 2.235–36 (cf. Campbell ad Lucr. DRN 5.999– 1000) and Met. 1.253–58. Vergil’s emphasis on the impact of the “one night” (illius noctis) in which Troy fell at Aen. 2.361 may also owe something to this theme (cf. Hardie 1986, 190 n. 85). Ov. Trist. 2.425–26 also refers directly the Lucretian passage (cf. A. Barchiesi 1997, 24 n. 22). On the “day of doom” in Lucan, see Joseph 2017. For further comparisons between Seneca’s Stoicism and Lucan’s poetics, see Weiner 2006 and 2010. 79 See (e.g.) Sen. QNat. 3.29.9, quoted above; Sen. Polyb. 1.2 (dies aliquis); Sen. Ep. 102.22 (dies ille). On cosmic dissolution generally, see Sen. Ben. 6.22.1; Sen. Marc. 26.6–7. See also Luc. BC 1.72–80, 1.520, and Roche 2009, BC 1 ad loc. Cf. Lapidge 1979; Mader 1983; Roche 2005; Long 2006, ch. 13; G. D. Williams 2012, 34, 37, 125 n. 112. 80 Cf. nimium felix (Cic. Phil. 2.39.8; Verg. Aen. 4.657; Luc. BC 8.139); nimia felicitate (Curt. Hist. Alex.; Prop. 2.32.43 (o nimium nostro felicem tempore Romam). On success and prosperity leading to ruin, see the contributions of Clark, Joseph, and Nethercut in this volume. 81 Much as Lucan more famously suggests in his proem: in se magna ruunt (“great things collapse into themselves”), BC 1.81; cf. also Hor. Epod. 16.1–2: suis et ipsa Roma viribus ruit (“and Rome is brought down by her own strength”).

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the possibility of urban destruction, tellingly described now in the plural: “We should bear with untroubled minds the destruction of cities (urbium excidia). They stand only to fall” (Ep. 91.11–12).82 As the Stoic practice of praemeditatio malorum dictates, we must realize that disaster never lies far outside our horizon of experience, but can occur at any time.83 Thus Seneca pulls the poetics of catastrophe out of the mythic and cosmic realms, asserting their relevance to the here and now.

Re-igniting History: Liberalis, Timagenes, BookBurning, and Rebuilding Rome Liberalis, whose distress at his destroyed capital (and implied responsibility for rebuilding it) are the purported inspiration for Ep. 91, is presumed to be Aebutius Liberalis, addressee of the De beneficiis.84 As Ker suggests, the letter’s presentation of the disaster may offer an opportunity for Liberalis “to live up to his name and contribute beneficia for the rebuilding of his native city” at Ep. 91.13.1: Haec ergo atque eiusmodi solacia admoveo Liberali nostro incredibili quodam patriae suae amore flagranti, quae fortasse consumpta est ut in melius excitaretur (“So these thoughts, and similar consoling ideas are what I’m encouraging for Liberalis, aflame with what you might call an unbelievable love of his homeland, which perhaps has burned only so it might be spurred on for the better”). Liberalis is described as “aflame” (flagranti) with patriotic passion; the qualification  82 So Edwards 2011, 651. As Edwards (ibid.) further notes, these lines owe a debt to Sulpicius’ letter of consolation to Cicero (Fam. 4.5.4.). On the theme of Rome’s eternal durability in Augustan literature, see Edwards 2011, 650. 83 See Colish 2014, 97–100. At Ep. 91.4, Seneca specifically invokes the technique of prerehearsal. Weiner 2010, 164–65 offers a brief but revealing analysis of Ep. 91 as a form of Stoic praemeditatio. 84 See Griffin 1992, 455–56. In both texts, Liberalis is characterized as a prominent young civic benefactor and the object of Seneca’s didactic efforts, making him a possible proxy for Nero. As Too 1994 argues, Seneca’s Letters overall may present a version of Seneca’s didactic persona that both recalls and rejects his former role as Nero’s teacher. The notion of Lucilius as a fictional construct (cf. Too 1994, 214–15) is not germane to the major interpretive issues of the argument presented here. For arguments against this idea see Griffin 1992, 416–19; similarly, Griffin 2013, 97–98 dismisses the idea of Liberalis as a fictional character. As Edwards 2015, 42 points out, however, it is also implausible that these letters were originally written only for Lucilius, given their “comprehensive philosophical agenda—and their self-conscious aspiration to a broad and enduring readership.”

  Virginia Closs of the “love of his country” (patriae suae amore) with which Liberalis is “inflamed” (flagranti) as “sort of unbelievable” (incredibili quodam) implies Seneca’s awareness of the pun he is perpetrating.85 Yet if we consider another sense of incredibilis, “not deserving to be believed,” the phrase may subtly acknowledge the resentment and skepticism with which leaders’ recovery efforts are often met in the aftermath of catastrophe; it may also signal, albeit obscurely, Seneca’s awareness of the rumors swirling around Nero after the Roman conflagration.86 Seneca seems to suggest that disaster can ultimately have positive consequences for a city (ut in melius excitaretur), a theme he expands on at 91.13.2: Saepe maiori fortunae locum fecit iniuria. Multa ceciderunt, ut altius surgerent (“Many’s the time that damage has made room for greater fortune. Many structures have fallen only to rise higher”). Seneca intimates that disasters are moments to shine for a polity’s leadership, urging them and their societies on to better things (melius, maiori, altius), echoing rhetoric of rebuilding under Augustus that Seneca describes in the De beneficiis: saevitum est in opera publica ignibus, surrexerunt meliora consumptis (“when fire ravaged public buildings, there arose better ones than those destroyed”).87 This is, in fact, the very thing that Nero’s accusers believed him to have done, but taken too far. Thus the princeps is invested with a totalizing force: the city’s destruction clears the way for him to build bigger and better monuments to his own greatness. Seneca undercuts the ostensibly encouraging tone of these sentiments with a remark he attributes to Timagenes of Alexandria, a rhetor and historian remembered as one of Augustan Rome’s most prominent dissident voices. Timagenes came to Rome as an enslaved war captive around 55 BCE, and later gained prominence under the patronage of Augustus and Asinius Pollio.88  85 Ker 2009a, 107–8. Cf. also the description of Liberalis at 91.1 as hominem patriae suae amantissimum, a striking phrase in light of Seneca’s praise of Nero (QNat. 6.8.3) because, amantissimus veritatis, the princeps sent a mission to investigate the source of the Nile. On Liberalis and euergetism, see Griffin 2013, 75–76, 97. On Seneca’s use of the metaphor of fire to express love for philosophy (Ep. 115.6), see Armisen-Marchetti 2015, 152. 86 OLD s.v. incrēdibilis; cf. TLL vol. VII 1, p. 1037, lin. 40–41 (I. sensu passivo, i.q. fide non dignus, quod credi non potest). Note also Seneca’s emphasis on disregarding rumor at Ep. 91.20. Bedon 1991, 55 argues that Seneca’s silence on the Rome conflagration is an indication of his belief that Nero was responsible for the fire, but given Seneca’s general silence in the Ep. ad Luc. about current events in Rome, this may be overstating the case, cf. Henderson 2004, 158–59. 87 Sen. Ben. 6.32.3. At Ep. 81.3, Seneca refers to the De beneficiis as a completed work, implying that it was finished by the letter’s dramatic date of June 64. See Griffin 2013, 91–96, with bibliography. 88 For an up-to-date assessment of Timagenes’ life and works, see McInerney 2010.

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Both Senecas write of Timagenes’ penchant for bitter quips that risked offending the powerful, and both recall how Timagenes was barred from the imperial residence after falling out with Augustus.89 In retaliation, Timagenes had his own account of the princeps’ achievements publicly burned.90 Seneca writes at Ep. 91.13.3: Timagenes, felicitati urbis inimicus, aiebat Romae sibi incendia ob hoc unum dolori esse, quod sciret meliora surrectura quam arsissent (“Timagenes, who had a grudge against the City’s prosperity, used to say that conflagrations at Rome upset him only because he knew that better buildings would arise than those which had burned”). Here, in recalling Timagenes’ hostility to “the City’s prosperity” (felicitati urbis inimicus), Seneca refers unambiguously to Rome, reinforcing the impression that the letter’s other references to a destroyed urbs also apply to Rome. Timagenes, as quoted in Ep. 91, ironizes the Augustan narrative of progress in the wake of misfortune—a theme that Seneca himself had once presented in a positive light (Ben. 6.32.3, surrexerunt meliora ~ Ep. 91.13.3, meliora surrectura). The disfavor with which Seneca’s Timagenes views Roman “progress” should give us pause; new structures will rise, but Seneca seems implicitly to ask whether they should. Finally, in conjuring Timagenes’ grim perspective on Rome’s conflagrations, Seneca also reminds us of how fire consumed Timagenes’ own works—a fate that the writings of a number of later imperial dissidents had met since Augustus’ time.91 Yet Seneca, now writing in a state of ambiguous selfexile roughly analogous to, and yet more precarious than, that of Timagenes, offers a wistful echo of the relative safety with which Timagenes aired his critical views: though his works may have burned, the man himself survived.92 Just as the emperor can remake Rome in his own image, he can silence those promoting inconvenient versions of Rome’s past—or future. Overall in Seneca sharpens the sense that Rome and its leadership are his major subtexts with a series of appeals to Augustan Rome and its cultural legacy. He calls into question the supposed permanence of this legacy, pointing to achievements of the Augustan era only to highlight the present state of urban

 89 Controv. 10.5.22; De ira 3.23. 90 On interdictio domo as a de facto act of censorship, see Fear 2010. Timagenes lived out the rest of his life on a property belonging to Pollio (Sen. De ira 3.23.5–8). 91 On book-burning in the Julio-Claudian period, see Howley 2017, esp. 219–30. 92 As Ker 2015, 110 notes, Seneca repeatedly recalls Augustus’ “cheerful tolerance” of Timagenes’ insults (e.g., De ira 3.23.4–8; De ira 3.40.2–4; Ben. 3.27). On Seneca’s assumption of the persona of “departed consoler” during his earlier relegation to Corsica, see Ker 2009a, ch. 4. For similar interpretations of Senecan tragedy, see, e.g., Lawall 1982, which argues that the destruction of Troy in the Troades mirrors the dissolution of contemporary Roman society.

  Virginia Closs devastation. Moreover, the potential to personalize the letter’s repeated meditations on the demise of once-great cities is arresting—every “we” might be an “I.”93 The disruption, displacement, and loss created by urban conflagration and civic crisis become a mirror for his own current state of political “exile” from Rome. Thus Seneca uses the two fires of 64 to reflect on the collapse of Roman leadership, as well as to suggest the city’s (perhaps) inevitable failure to live up to the predictions of eternal greatness and imperium sine fine set out in the Augustan era.

Conclusion The original poetry over which Nero expended such efforts is now lost, but through the legend of his performance in 64 he has nevertheless inscribed himself into the shared imaginary of the Greco-Roman tradition.94 Nero is condemned by popular history for allegedly using Rome’s destruction as inspiration to recall the fall of Troy, “likening present misfortunes to past ones”; yet this tendency was far from unique to him. The events of 64 must be read in light of Rome’s pervasive cultural tendency to draw comparisons between current events and those of myth and literature. Later, this same impulse informed Nero’s posthumous critics, who used the legend of his performance while Rome burned, as well as the memory of his extravagant Golden House, to portray him as a tyrant of mythic and cosmic dimensions.95 The Nero of legend can credibly be imagined as reaching for his lyre (or cithara) to align his burning city more closely with Troy, her mythic predecessor. Yet by the same token Romans, accustomed to drawing these same parallels, can easily be believed to have used them to construct both the story of Nero’s alleged arson and the rumor of performance during the fire. In Ep. 91, Seneca likewise appeals to literary and historical memory in response to a recent catastrophe, gradually expanding his outlook to reflect on the

 93 I thank Kirk Freudenburg for this insight. 94 So Libby 2011, 229. 95 Nero’s Golden House is also a creative response to the fire; although further discussion is beyond the scope of the current study, the treatments of Panella 2011b, Meyboom/Moormann 2013, and La Rocca 2017 are good starting points. As La Rocca 2017, 195 points out, Nero’s purposeful assimilation to Helios/Sol only became more pronounced after the fire, in a possible attempt to remake his image as “bearer of light, a rising sun, and the herald of a new golden age” in the wake of the disaster.

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inevitable doom of all great states. The destruction of the Gallic capital at Lugdunum provides Seneca with the scope both to transcend the immediacy of any one disaster and, paradoxically, to allude to Rome’s conflagration in pointed terms. The notion of Rome’s triumphant reemergence from destruction again evokes Roman rhetoric vis-à-vis Troy and the Gallic sack, and is traceable to the earliest stages of Latin literature.96 Yet Seneca uses this very history to suggest that the values underpinning Rome’s revival under Augustus have dissolved, and presents his own ethical models of Stoic detachment and universal perspective as the superior answer to the current crisis. Nero is accused of burning Rome both in imitation of Troy and in order to rebuild it as “Neropolis”: a citywide reflection of his fantastical priorities as a leader and artist.97 Lugdunum’s “imitation” of Rome’s great fire, in turn, provides Seneca with the opportunity to explore another kind of specular game.98 Roman audiences still reeling from the destruction of their own capital reflexively reached out for parallels from myth, history, and literature. Similarly, Seneca’s letter invites an analogy between the fire described in Ep. 91 and Rome’s nearconcurrent disaster. Thus both Seneca’s letter and Nero’s legendary performance elaborate a complex relationship between the past and the present, in which antiquity serves as an index not of permanent legacy, but of the ephemerality of human power. Equally, conflagration itself, with its all-consuming power, becomes a strong figurative device for representing the ruler’s capacity to unmake Rome—or to remake it in his own image.

 96 On Ennius’ Gallic sack (154–55 Skutsch), G. Paul 1982, 148–50, with bibliography; see also Feeney 2007, 93–95. 97 Neropolis: Suet. Ner. 55. 98 Important discussions of specular strategies in Seneca include Armisen-Marchetti 2006; Bartsch 2006; Ker 2009b; and Rimell 2015.

Honora Howell Chapman

Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem: A Study in Urban Disaster Imagine a contrafactual perfect storm: the Great Fire in 64 CE causes Rome to cease to function as a capital city and the fire during the civil war of 69 destroys the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus permanently.1 Combining these two disasters, one can begin to comprehend the very real effects of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE upon the Jews who lived and worshipped there, including a priest who was captured, released, and renamed Flavius Josephus.2 Yet the Jews had seen this very disaster happen centuries before when the Neo-Babylonians captured their city and burned Solomon’s Temple in 586 BCE, and their conscious memorializing of the causes and effects via their scriptures provided both guidance and even hope for Josephus as he wrote his Jewish War at Rome in the 70s. No other contemporary accounts of the Jewish War survive, not even Tacitus’ account of the siege of Jerusalem in his Histories from a generation later. Therefore, in conjunction with the archaeological record (Galor/Bloedhorn 2013; Mason 2016b, 466–68), we read Josephus within his larger historical context—and with hindsight—in order to learn about the fall of Jerusalem. We know that the horrible events Josephus describes had an unintended and hideous afterlife in Christian hermeneutics as divine vengeance for the Jews supposedly killing Jesus (e.g., Euseb. Hist. eccl. 3.5–7; Inolowcki 2016). Furthermore, we know that the Jewish Temple has never been rebuilt in Jerusalem, and that Jews each year still commemorate the terrible synchronicity of the destructions of both the First and Second Jerusalem Temples with a fast on Tisha B’Av (the 9th day of the lunar month Av, in July or August). Josephus, however, knew none of this about the future, and we need to read his Atticized Greek text, which was written for a sophisticated audience, from the perspective of his situation in the first century instead of ours (G. Anderson 2015; Mason 2016c, 68–69). Curiously, we shall see that the biblical disaster of the destruction of the city of Sodom provides a touchstone for Jewish interpretation of urban disasters at both Jerusalem and Pompeii

 1 The Greek text of Josephus comes from Niese’s edition, and the translations are my own. I am grateful to the editors for their invitation and helpful suggestions. 2 Josephus claims to be of the first Jewish priestly division and even descended from the Hasmonean royal house on his mother’s side (Vit. 2). https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-010

  Honora Howell Chapman in the 70s. By examining how Josephus in his War attributes disasters to God’s will in “dialectical tension” (Alter 1981, 33) with human choices and actions in history, a narrative approach he learned from ancient Hebrew writings, we can better understand his interpretation of the destruction of Jerusalem, as well as his hopes for the future after this disaster. First, we should look briefly at the “act of God” in the Hebrew book of Genesis that Josephus uses as a prelude to Jerusalem’s fall in his Jewish War: God’s destruction of Sodom,3 the first urban disaster described in Jewish literature.4 Unlike the modern legal use of the term “act of God,” whereby no one is found responsible for a natural catastrophe beyond human control,5 the act of God at Sodom is a direct divine response to “bad” human behavior, with the result that “Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens” (Gen. 19:24).6 In the previous chapter, God had not explained to Abraham what exactly the “sin” (Gen. 18:20) of Sodom was, and Abraham, father of a nation commanded “to maintain the way of Yahweh by just and upright living” (Gen. 18:19), valiantly tried to defend potentially innocent victims of this impending doom, but we know from the subsequent story of Lot that the local men wish to have sex with his male houseguests, who happen to be angels; God’s vengeance is swift, only sparing Lot and his daughters, but not Lot’s wife, who disregarded the command not to look back (Gen. 19:17, 26). When Josephus retells this story in Book 1 of his Jewish Antiquities, he gives it his own twist. For instance, he embellishes with the observation that these visiting angels “were outstanding in beauty of appearance” and that the men of  3 Note that Josephus never even mentions Gomorrah, though the two towns are linked biblically. 4 There were no cities destroyed by the Flood (Gen. 6–9), and in the Tower of Babel incident (Gen. 11:1–9) there is no major loss of life, simply the dispersion of people speaking different languages and the end of the city’s construction. 5 This does not, however, prevent some American religious authorities from blaming scapegoats for what are legally known as “acts of God”; for ten examples, including Hurricane Katrina, see www.advocate.com/politics/2012/10/31/10-disasters-gays-were-blamed-causing. 6 On the geology of the event, see Neev/Emery 1995, 148: “The severe earthquake that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in 4350 B.P. was followed by a 300-year long subphase of gradually warming climate that became extremely dry during the latter part of the Intermediate Bronze age. Climatic Wet Phase III began about 3900 B.P. It was the longest, about 800 years, and most intense wet phase of the Holocene and it probably was associated with volcanism”; Harris/Beardow’s 1995 abstract states: “The destruction of the cities was the consequence of a seismic event leading to liquefaction of the alluvial plain constituting the Vale of Siddim. The event thus represents the first liquefaction event in recorded Judaeo-Christian history. The cities of Sodom and Gomorrah were lost beneath the waters of the North Basin as a consequence.”

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Sodom had “set about to do violence and outrage to their youthful beauty” (AJ 1.200; Feldman 2000, 76).7 For the sake of accuracy, the historian also addresses readers who might not believe that Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt by referring to his previous account in War and saying that he himself has seen the pillar, “for it even now still remains” (AJ 1.203; Feldman 2000, 77 and n. 630). Josephus understands the rules of evidence for Greek historiography, and makes the best of this incredible metamorphosis. But to paraphrase Tertullian, what does Sodom have to do with Jerusalem? We shall learn how this story in Genesis foreshadows the destruction of Jerusalem in Josephus’ War, but before doing so, it is helpful to see how anonymous Jewish contemporaries of Josephus connected God’s punishment of Sodom to another cataclysmic event: the eruption of Vesuvius in August 79, only nine years after the fall of Jerusalem and right after Titus, the conqueror of the Jewish capital, had ascended to the throne. Scholars surmise that either during or after the eruption of Vesuvius, someone who might have lived in the city—probably a Jew, since there was a community there—wrote in big letters in charcoal on the wall of what we call House 26 in Region 1, Insula 9: “Sodom[a] Gomor[ra]” (CIL IV.4976). Carlo Giordano and Isidoro Kahn (2001, 57) suggest, “To a Jew, because of the resemblance of its destruction to that of the two cursed cities, the divine punishment of Pompeii appeared evident in the rain of fire.”8 Another Jewish text, Sibylline Oracle 4, “written towards the end of the first century” (J. Collins 1986, 166), connects the eruption with divine retribution (though it does not mention Sodom): “But when, some day, fire escapes from an underground fissure in the land of Italy and reaches the expanse of the heavens, it will destroy many towns and men with its flames, and much dense ash will fill  7 This idea of beauty as the cause of the attraction reappears when discussing the laws of Moses: “The motive of homosexuality, because of the beauty of the male, is Josephus’ addition” (Feldman 2000, 313 n. 831 on AJ 3.275, which deals with sex with menstruating women, animals, and other men). For Titus’ association with youth, beauty, and a strong and varied libido, see Suet. Tit. 7.1, as well as the opening remark at 1.1, if taken as double entendre and not just a compliment: amor ac deliciae generis humanae (“the love object and sweetheart [sex toy?] of the human race”). 8 Small 2007, 195 agrees with this graffito being the work of a Jew or a Jewish Christian, and asserts that “Jews are well attested at Pompeii and there is some evidence of them at Herculaneum”; he also describes a Pompeian painting “on a wall of the peristyle of the House of the Doctor at VIII.5.24, which shows pygmies enacting a scene resembling the judgment of Solomon in 1 Kings 3.16ff.” Mary Beard 2010, 25 sees the biblical reference making sense to the locals and muses whether (if not written by “some later looter”) it is “an eyewitness comment—or joke—on the morality of Pompeian social life.” Josephus says that he came to Puteoli on a mission to free Jewish priests before the war in 63/64 CE (Vit. 16).

  Honora Howell Chapman the great sky, and drops will fall from heaven like red ochre, then know the wrath of the heavenly God, on those who destroyed the blameless race of the pious” (Sibylline Oracle 4.130–36; Cooley/Cooley 2013, 56). In this oracle, the “blameless” Jews are the victims of the Romans in the Jewish War, and thus God punishes the Romans with Vesuvius. The oracle ignores the possibility that Jews might have also perished in this eruption, though we know from the end of Josephus’ Antiquities that Herod the Great’s great-great-grandson Agrippa, along with his wife, died in the eruption of Vesuvius (AJ 20.144); Josephus promises that he will tell the story of how they died later, but this account does not exist in his four extant works. For the destruction of Jerusalem, Josephus will use the connection to Sodom found in the Pompeian graffito, but unlike in Sibylline Oracle 4, not all the Jews in his account are “blameless.” Instead, following the allusive logic found in the Hebrew book of Lamentations, which was composed in response to the previous destruction of Jerusalem, Josephus will recount, to use the words of Lamentations 4:6, “the crimes of the daughter of my people, the sins of Sodom, which was overthrown in a moment” (Chapman 2018). As in Lamentations, the “sins” of the rebels in Josephus’ Jewish War do not have to be the exact same as those in biblical Sodom, but they merit divine punishment nonetheless. Josephus stresses memory twice in his introduction: his text comes from his own memory of events that he has previously researched and arranged himself (BJ 1.15), and he, as a foreigner, dedicates it as a μνήμη (BJ 1.16),9 his personal, carefully crafted, historiographical text.10 In his War, Josephus is memorializing, consciously creating a memory of a temple and a city that have been destroyed, something Tacitus will do later for Rome in his Histories and Annals, as Elizabeth Keitel has explained in her work on Tacitean disaster narrative (Keitel 2010, 351– 52; cf. Pelling 2010, 366–68 on destroying and distorting memory). Josephus is

 9 LSJ I.3: “memorial, record, history”; likewise for Latin: Gowing 2005, 9: “It is not without reason that the Oxford Latin Dictionary offers ‘history’ as one definition of memoria (OLD s.v. 7).” Josephus uses this word μνήμη thirty times in War, mostly to indicate someone’s memory (in the mind), but also for a memorial monument, such as Herod’s at Herodium (BJ 1.419); cf. van Henten 2014 on AJ 15.380, Herod the Great’s reconstruction of the Temple as a μνήμη αἰώνιος. At War 6.105, Josephus in his speech exhorts John to follow the example of King Jeconiah, whom scripture celebrates and memory / the record makes immortal (quite poetically here). Josephus’ last use of this word in War at 7.269 occurs in a phrase denouncing the Zealots for trying to match any “record’ of an evil deed that should not be imitated (wordplay here: ἐξεμιμήσαντο … ἡ μνήμη). 10 Gelardini 2014 examines “Josephus as Social Remembrancer” but does not examine his constructions of the Temple within the narrative context of War.

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not merely writing history to set the record straight against the other accounts being written about the war (BJ 1.1–2), or to blame the rebels or the Romans. Instead, through this memorializing text, Josephus ultimately glorifies his God and the Temple he once occupied in a beautiful city with a mostly innocent population, all of which deserve respect from any reader. And by inscribing this memory, Josephus also leaves behind a literary monument pointing to a better future.11 As Jonathan Boyarin (1992, 35) has argued, “For Jews memory has also worked to plaster the ruptures in collective existence caused by repeated catastrophe and dispersal.” Why, then, does Josephus lavish so much attention specifically on Jerusalem in his account? To put it simply, as Josephus makes clear in his obituary for the destroyed city at the end of War 6, this city is the foundational city for Jews, the city where King David settled his own people after driving out the Canaanites, a city destroyed by the Babylonians but then rebuilt again, and now destroyed again by Titus. Neither its age, its wealth, its people scattered all over the oikoumene (“the whole inhabited earth”), nor even “the great glory of its ritual” could protect it from destruction (BJ 6.442).12 This last item capping Josephus’ carefully crafted tetracolon emphasizes the primacy of the Temple’s rituals over all else for the author, who also happened to have served as a priest at this Temple. Worship of God at the Temple is the final defense against destruction, yet this is exactly what the Jewish rebels in War ended up polluting and preventing when they occupied the Temple as a physical defense against the Roman army (Gambash 2015, 144–95; Mason 2016b, 116–18). One could go so far as to claim that the Temple is the main focus of this account, and its destruction at the hands of flawed humans is written as a great tragedy (Chapman 1998; Mason 2016b). In Josephus’ War narrative, the rebels are warned repeatedly of their own direct responsibility for the destruction of the Temple. King Agrippa delivers in the middle of War, Book 2, a long and clairvoyant set speech (Mason 2008, 265–68) about the inevitability of Roman rule, including the fact that if the Jews choose to go to war, the Romans will burn down their holy city and commit genocide against the Jewish “tribe” as an example for other peoples (BJ 2.397). Agrippa then shifts the blame to the revolutionaries for luring arms against such “clement” Jewish civilians (BJ 2.399). The Jewish rebels’ responsibility for preserving the city, its Temple (BJ 2.400), and its people is paramount in Agrippa’s argu-

 11 Livy in his preface refers to his own history as a monumentum, and Jerome (Ep. Eust. 22.35.8, in PL 22.24) calls Josephus Graecus Livius, “the Greek Livy.” 12 Barton/Boyarin 2016 do not discuss this crucial appearance of τῆς θρησκείας.

  Honora Howell Chapman ment, but they will fail miserably. When the rebellious priest Eleazar soon afterward refuses gifts from foreigners and sacrifices on behalf of the Romans and Caesar at the Temple, Josephus declares that the insurgents lay “a foundation” for war (BJ 2.409; cf. 2.417), which will lead to total destruction. Mention of Sodom by name will not occur until later. After detailing the horrors of Jewish civil strife in Book 4, including the pivotal murder of two priests that Josephus claims provoked God to wish to destroy the city (BJ 4.318), the historian turns his account to the movements of the Roman commander Vespasian, which sets up a geographical digression normal for Graeco-Roman historiography but atypical of ancient Jewish literature (Hezser 2011, 36). Josephus claims that Vespasian was intending to “deliver it [Jerusalem] from siege” but that he thought he should first subdue other areas outside of the city in order to achieve this goal (BJ 4.412–13). A great deal of slaughter ensues, but when Vespasian learns that Vindex has revolted in Gaul, he redoubles his efforts to “pacify” Judaea, which amounts to both slaughter and arson (BJ 4.441–50). Josephus then pauses to provide a geographical digression as an orientation for his readers, explaining the Jordan Valley, its water supply and crops, and finally the Dead Sea (Lake Asphaltitis). He ends with: “the territory of Sodom adjacent to it, a land once upon a time blessed on account of its crops and its urban wealth, but now it is all laid waste by fire. They say that due to the impiety of the inhabitants it was burned up by lightning bolts; it is possible at any rate to see remnants of the divine fire and shadows of the five cities” (BJ 4.483–84). Josephus does not expatiate further on impiety or divine vengeance but instead then describes the invitingly colorful but deceptive fruit at Sodom that dissolves into smoke and ash when touched (BJ 4.484); Tacitus will retell this intriguing factoid when describing the Jewish War in Histories 5.7. Again, as with Lot’s wife, Josephus claims this can be proven with visual evidence (BJ 4.485), thus supporting his Hebrew scriptures and tradition (Loader 1990, 98) as well as the veracity of his own account in the Greek historiographic tradition. But what makes this Sodom passage even more intriguing is that in the very next sentence Josephus focuses on Vespasian’s efforts to set up the siege of Jerusalem (BJ 4.486): Lucius Annius is sent to attack Gerasa; thousands of young men are killed, women and children enslaved, soldiers allowed to plunder, and then after burning down the houses there, they advance upon surrounding villages. This stark juxtaposition of God’s punishment of Sodom and the effects of the Roman army on Judaea cannot be accidental, especially in light of his startling editorial aside toward the end of the next book of War, Book 5. There, horrified by the rebel leader John’s decision to break into the Temple’s “sacred wine and

Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem  

oil” supply and distribute it to the masses in Jerusalem, Josephus offers a biblically inspired editorial pronouncement on this “temple-robbery” (BJ 5.562, ἱεροσυλίαν),13 whereby the Romans are God’s agents, and had they been delayed in their siege, all hell would have broken loose on Jerusalem akin to what happened to Korah and company swallowed up by the earthquake (Numbers 16:32), or virtually all of humanity with the flood (Gen. 6–8), or at Sodom (Gen. 19), which is most fitting, since it was destroyed by fire (BJ 5.566). The men of Sodom may have wished violence on God’s really good-looking angels in his later book Antiquities, but Josephus’ rebels in War are even worse: they don’t even believe in God by this point in his account (BJ 5.566). By charging the “guilty” rebels with atheism (τοὺς ἀλιτηρίους … γενεὰν ἀθεωτέραν), which he does only once here in his extant corpus of thirty volumes, Josephus has entered tricky territory. As he later reports in Against Apion 2.148, Apollonius Molon had accused the entire Jewish people of atheism (Barclay 2007, 251 n. 552), along with misanthropy, cowardice, rashness, recklessness, and even a lack of talent and inventiveness; interestingly, Josephus will also accuse the rebels of rashness and recklessness, especially in War 7 when they futilely resist the Roman army after the fall of Jerusalem (Chapman 1998, 122–93; Chapman 2007a). What has driven the rebels to such sinful desperation in Book 5 is the arrival of Titus and his legions at Jerusalem. Unlike the Rome-oriented gaze of Titus in Tacitus’ Histories 5.11, all eyes in Josephus’ War 5 are firmly on Jerusalem, not Rome, and will remain so into Book 7, when Titus will take one last look at the city he destroyed (just as Scipio did Carthage), “lodging into his memory” its former beautiful qualities and also cursing the rebels (BJ 7.112–13).14 Titus’ memory, therefore, becomes that of the narrator Josephus. The city as a sight to behold will dominate Josephus’ narrative of Book 5, as he carefully focuses the attention of both the internal audience (the Roman army and Titus) and of his own readers upon the main spectacle of the city when the Romans approach: “from there now

 13 This is a hapax in War and is found only twice elsewhere in his works: (1) AJ 12.359, where he disputes Polybius’ claim about why Antiochus IV died (Polybius says for wishing to plunder the temple of Artemis in Persia, whereas Josephus knows it was for plundering the Temple in Jerusalem), and (2) Ap. 1.318, where he lambasts Lysimachus for claiming that the name of Jerusalem was originally Hierosyla, derived from this word, and only later changed (Ap. 1.311). 14 Chapman 2005, 309 observes: “We should notice that Titus does not draw any connection between the fate of Jerusalem and that of Troy and Rome as does Scipio when viewing Carthage (Polyb. 38.22).”

  Honora Howell Chapman became visible both the city and the magnitude of the Temple gleaming afar” (BJ 5.67).15 After documenting the early successes of the united Jewish forces in skirmishes against the Romans, Josephus in War 5 prepares for the Roman assault on Jerusalem by conjuring up for his readers a highly detailed mental image of the terrain and fortifications of the city: its two main hills, its three walls, and its magnificent towers. When attempting to recount the wonders of Herod’s palace, inside and out, in a few sentences, Josephus again mentions the limitations of his account to capture the true magnificence of the royal palace and offers deeper psychological insight here: “But it is not possible to describe fittingly the palace, and the memory of it brings torture, as it brings up the consuming flames of the brigands’ fire” (BJ 5.182). Just as the rebels have torn the people of Jerusalem limb from limb (BJ 5.27), these rebels even now torture the author himself when he feels compelled to recall the spectacle of his city’s former glory for his audience.16 The Temple appears as the crowning glory in his explanation of the city’s topography and monumental defenses, setting the stage for the climax of the narrative, the Temple’s destruction in Book 6. In his extensive description in War 5.184–237,17 Josephus the priest conducts his readers on a tour that progresses from the outermost court of the entire complex to the inside of the Temple itself, a veritable house of memory (Quint. Inst. 11.2.21), providing the gentile audience, who could never normally enter it, with his insider’s perspective. By leading the reader from the outside into the interior, his itinerary matches the same trajectory of periphery to center used by Strabo to describe the oikoumene (Shahar 2004, 232). Josephus goes to great lengths to emphasize the grandeur of the Temple. He mentions the foundation of the Temple by Solomon (BJ 5.185), but only in regard to the process of the widening of the Temple Mount as a whole, while providing no description of the First Temple (or of the effects of its destruction in the sixth

 15 Huitink/van Henten 2012, 208–10 explain that when the Roman army (which enjoys orderly space in its camp and training as outlined in War 3) approaches a place in War, such as Gamala in Book 4, Josephus provides a description, but nothing matches the extent of that offered of Jerusalem in Book 5. 16 T. Collins 2009 observes, “Spatial memories of combatants are often highly detailed and accurate” (93), whereas stories of dramatic episodes experienced in war zones increased numerically and in intensity over time in those interviewed for a study on stress-related disorders (26). 17 This excludes the Antonia tower (BJ 5.238–47), which Josephus explicitly contrasts to the Temple at 5.245: “the Temple lay over the city as a fortress, while the Antonia [did the same for] the Temple.”

Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem  

century).18 Instead, the additions to and enclosure of the hill are the main feat he wishes to underline, deeming that “they completed a deed greater than one could hope for” (BJ 5.187). He reports that this was financed by funds from all over the world, thereby stressing the universal appeal of the Jerusalem Temple, even while it was still under construction. When Josephus actually enters the structure of the Temple itself, he explains the division of its sixty-cubit length into two chambers and their contents. He first details the contents of the outer room, which held “the three most wonderful and universally acclaimed works: a lampstand, a table, and a censer” (BJ 5.216). Josephus explains specifically the allegorical significance of each, just as he has expounded on the veil hanging at the entrance (BJ 5.212–14). In his interpretation, all of these objects represent aspects of the universe; he has already remarked that the mixture of colors on the veil work together as an εἰκόνα τῶν ὅλων (“icon of the universe,” BJ 5.212). The seven branches of the lampstand represent the seven planets, the twelve loaves on the table stand for the twelve signs of the zodiac, and the spices from everywhere on the earth signify that τοῦ θεοῦ πάντα καὶ τῷ θεῷ (“all things are of God and for God,” BJ 5.218). God literally embraces all things in and beyond the oikoumene that is seemingly controlled by Rome, and the Temple is the physical manifestation of this for the historian. His readers are meant to marvel at all of these objects and to be swept up in the widespread positive opinion about them. Josephus has clearly underlined universality on all levels as a key feature of the Temple.19 His tour finally arrives at the most sacred space, the inner chamber of the sanctuary. This room, however, presents a remarkable contradiction to the rest of the building: it hosts no spectacle. Though the exterior of the Temple may be the greatest spectacle in the whole world, its innermost room is void. He states, “Nothing at all was resting inside it: untrodden, undefiled, unseen to all, it was

 18 Huitink/van Henten 2012, 211–12 examine the centrality of Jerusalem in connection with the description of the Temple in AJ 15.380–425; I would add that in this latter text the author concentrates on the compound’s enhancements by Herod and does not take the reader inside the Temple building itself as in War. Kaden 2016 argues that the War and Antiquites descriptions of the Temple are written to be complementary, and that the latter is colored by the paranoia about security prevalent during the reign of Domitian; Kaden also notes (255) that “Sanders 1992, 60 argues that the description of the temple in Ant. derives from memory.” There is no doubt that Josephus has used his own memory, as he himself states, but this does not preclude written sources, too. 19 Shahar 2004, 266 sees that in AJ 3.180–85, Josephus adds to preexisting ideas about Jerusalem being the omphalos of the world by associating it with the high priest’s garb, along with the Ocean and the land, in a distinctively geographical way.

  Honora Howell Chapman called the holy of holy” (BJ 5.219), while ignoring the fact that Pompey and his staff had entered this “hitherto unseen place” back in War 1.152. Josephus builds up with a succession of alpha-privative adjectives to the crowning idea that nothing is to be seen there, but he does not explain the lack of a cult statue, the Temple’s main oddity. He has carefully designed this entire description with a keen eye to his audience and his apologetic aims, stressing the emptiness of the chamber for a reason which he does not express here, but which we can supply from his later tract, Against Apion: there he combats Apion’s claim that the Jews dedicated and worshipped the “head of an ass” (Ap. 2.80), and even that, during the time of Antiochus IV, each year they would imprison a Greek, whom they would fatten up with feasts and then sacrifice and eat (Ap. 2.95–96). Josephus counters these “lies” (Ap. 2.90, 98) by observing that no Greek or Roman conqueror ever found an ass’s head when he went inside the Temple (Ap. 2.82) and that Antiochus’ historians made up the latter story to justify his sacrilege (Ap. 2.97).20 Josephus then quickly steps outside to explain the arrangement of the Temple’s storerooms (BJ 5.220–21), saving the best sight for last: “The exterior of the building lacked nothing to astonish either the soul or the eyes. For being covered all over with massive plates of gold, as soon as the sun was up, it radiated so fiery a beam of light that it forced those straining to look at its emanations to turn away their eyes, as if from solar rays” (BJ 5.222). Josephus seems to invite a deeper reading of the Temple’s façade by mentioning the soul and the sun’s rays, but he does not take it a step further by intimating that the viewer then falls in love with the structure and wants to possess it; this kind of erotic gaze upon the Temple and its contents only comes later with the rabbis (Neis 2013, 90–96). Instead, Josephus relates how it appears to be a snowy mountain from afar, with golden spikes to ward off birds, and is constructed from stones that reached forty-five cubits long (BJ 5.224; he scales back the measurement to twenty-five at AJ 15.392).21

 20 To counter all this mendacity, Josephus observes, “it is appropriate to argue with irrational people not with words but works”; the works he refers to, however, are not his own texts of War and Antiquities but the construction and integrity of the Temple witnessed by all those who saw it: insensatos enim non uerbis sed operibus decet arguere. sciunt igitur omnes qui uiderunt constructionem templi nostri, qualis fuerit, et intransgressibilem eius purificationis integritatem (Ap. 2.102)—here only the Latin text survives. 21 At Josephus, AJ 15.392, van Henten 2014 notes, “He refers to even higher numbers in connection with the stones of the sanctuary: some of them were 45 cubits long, 5 cubits high, and 6 cubits wide (5.224), while the stones of the foundation measured 40 cubits (5.189). The largest stone found so far, at the western side north of Wilson’s Arch, is 12 m long, 3 m high, and ca. 4 m thick (the weight of this stone is estimated at 400 metric tons).”

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Josephus dwells upon the measurements of the Temple’s various courts and of the structure itself, while detailing its contents, some of its purity restrictions, and the garb of its priests, including the high priest. As an ekphrasis on a work of art, these fifty-three sections on just the Temple surpass the remarkable description of the Flavian triumph in War 7.123–57 by nineteen sections, as well as the more focused explanation in War 7.132–52 of the objects carried in the procession, including the Flavians themselves, by thirty-three sections. The Jerusalem Temple as a building—and an institution—is the author’s ultimate concern. In this expansive digression on the Temple, Josephus clearly is determined both to impress his audience and to preserve an intelligibly organized and detailed memory of a place whose permanent loss would perhaps be unfathomable for him.22 How then could such a beautiful building end up torched and the city destroyed? Despite repeated efforts to get the Jews to surrender, the rebels refuse to entertain the Romans’ offers, and famine deepens in the city, reminiscent of the famine the prophet Jeremiah describes during the Neo-Babylonian siege of Jerusalem, the previous great disaster to strike the city (Jeremiah 52:6; Cohen 1982). Josephus dramatically reports that a starving woman named Maria resorts to killing and eating her own baby, and even offers it to the rebels when they smell it roasting (BJ 6.201–13; Chapman 1998, 2000, 2007b, and 2018). Word of the cannibalism spreads, and Titus vows he will “bury this abomination of infant-cannibalism beneath the ruins of their country” (BJ 6.217).23 As a point of contrast, it is an interesting mental exercise to imagine what Tacitus might have written in the lost portion of Histories 5 about Roman decision-making regarding the Temple at the height of the siege. Timothy Barnes (2005, 134) follows Jacob Bernays: “Let it be repeated, therefore, that Bernays’ proof that Severus used Tacitus’ account of the sack of the Temple in 70 is incontrovertible,” and he confidently states, “Tacitus’ version of the destruction of the Temple must surely be preferred to that of Josephus” (Barnes 2005, 143). Saying this without a text of Tacitus for the episode, however, seems over-confident, despite Bernays’ fine detective work. Steve Mason (2016b, 494–97), on the other hand, argues that Sulpicius Severus is rewriting Josephus’ War here with a

 22 Yaron Eliav, inspired by Pierre Nora’s lieux de mémoire, has used the phrase Locus memoriae as a chapter heading in his 2005 book, God’s Mountain, in relation to Christian textual commemoration of the Temple Mount (but not Josephus’). 23 Steve Mason 2016a, 22 has observed that Book 6 as a whole revolves around this scene: “The nearly precise halfway point of Book 6’s 12,462 words comes at the dramatic conclusion of Maria’s cannibalism, itself the climax of increasingly desperate famine and brutality, with Titus’ resolve to bury the city (6.219 ending 6,202 words).”

  Honora Howell Chapman strongly Christian focus. But if we do for a moment consider Severus’ fourth-century passage to be a Christian riff also on Tacitus’ account of Titus putting the question to his consilium about whether to “overthrow a temple of such workmanship” and that “some thought that a consecrated shrine which was distinguished beyond all mortal things should not be destroyed, because if it were preserved it would be a testimony to Roman moderation, but if it were destroyed it would forever exhibit [Rome’s] cruelty,”24 then we find two things, among others: (1) Tacitus has the interlocutors show respect for the high quality and sacredness of the Temple, and (2) a typical Tacitean antithesis regarding interpretations of the nature of Roman rule: modestia vs. crudelitas. By analyzing Tacitus’ (hypothetical) account together with War, we can see that the texts have very different thematic concerns. Tacitus may have recognized the splendor of the Temple, but he would have been more interested in focusing on the character of Roman rule. After all, in the portion of Histories 5 that does exist and would have set up this scene, Tacitus explains that royal rule in Judaea devolved under Claudius, who made it a province and put a freedman in charge of it, Antonius Felix, who “exercised the right of kings with the character of a slave through every form of cruelty and lust” (Hist. 5.9: per omnem saevitiam ac libidinem ius regium servili ingenio exercuit) and was married to “Drusilla, the granddaughter of Antony and Cleopatra,” both spouses the antithesis of republican values. Clearly, Roman rule under the Julio-Claudians in Histories 5 exhibits the pathologies documented later in greater detail in the Annals,25 and the Tacitean moral denunciation here also foreshadows the rhetorical antithesis expressed in Titus’ consilium in Sulpicius Severus’ Chronica quite well. In the lost portion of Histories 5, Tacitus might have injected pathos into his description of

 24 Sulp. Sev. Chron. 2.30.6: fertur Titus adhibito consilio prius deliberasse, an templum tanti operis everteret. etenim nonnullis videbatur, aedem sacratam ultra omnia mortalia illustrem non oportere deleri, quae servata modestiae Romanae testimonium, diruta perennem crudelitatis notam praeberet. 25 At Ann. 16.16, Tacitus states that due to the depressing amount of slaughter at home in Rome under Nero he must provide a “proper memorial” to these good men who died, instead of just mentioning their deaths briefly, as one might with the “capture of cities”; Wyke 2014, 194 encapsulates Tacitus’ aims as an historian: “Tacitus writes from the centre of imperial government in order to preserve the memory of past excellence and evil, and provide a moral investigation of power…. His focus is therefore on exemplary characters and their actions, beginning in his Histories with an analysis of their collapse (69 to 96 CE) and then moving further back in time in his Annals to an analysis of Rome’s decline (14 to 68 CE).” Weisweiler 2015, 66 argues, “The Romans were convinced that the chief purpose of memory was not to preserve the past but to shape the future.”

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the “famous city” (Hist. 5.2) being destroyed, but his authorial concern would ultimately have been for Rome (Feldherr 2009b, 315), not Jerusalem or its Temple. Though we surely cannot know exactly what Titus said and did at the height of the siege when considering what to do about the Temple (Mason 2011, 228–33), Josephus the author wants the Temple to remain, at the very least in the reader’s memory if not in reality, and the Roman general Titus to uphold its preservation on principle. Titus reasons that, even if the Judaeans should use the Temple as a citadel, the Romans should take vengeance on the rebels, not “inanimate objects” (BJ 6.241).26 Despite Titus’ ostensible respect for “such a work” as an “ornament of [Roman] hegemony” should it remain standing, Josephus in his obituary for the burned Temple will treat the Temple not as a reflection of Roman rule but as a personified representative of what makes the Jewish nation worthy of respect. The stage has been set for the Temple’s destruction. Titus plans an assault to take hold of this sanctuary being used as a stronghold, but according to the historian, God has long since condemned it to fire. Even the date of the event in his text, the 10th of Lous/Av (BJ 6.250), aligns perfectly with the destruction of the First Temple in Jeremiah 52:12. Josephus again blames the Jewish rebels for the Temple’s destruction: “But the flames got their start and their cause from their own countrymen” (BJ 6.251), yet the historian does record that a Roman soldier, “urged by some supernatural impulse” (BJ 6.252; Leoni 2007, 40), threw a flaming torch through a golden door of one of the Temple’s chambers. Josephus shifts back and forth between levels of responsibility, from God to the Jews to the Romans, now adding “supernatural impulse,” which will return as an explanation for the mass suicide at Masada at the end of the war in 74 CE (BJ 7.348). The Jews rush to save the burning building, and Titus pleads with his soldiers to put out the fire, but for a variety of reasons they do not, and “the Temple thus was set on fire against Caesar’s will” (BJ 6.266). Josephus’ readers must realize by now that the Jewish God is most definitely superior to and more powerful than “Caesar.” Josephus then pauses from his narrative to provide an obituary for the Temple (BJ 6.267–70). Subject to fate, the Temple is just as much a victim of circumstances as any human being is in this war. Furthermore, this cycle of fate is based on “accuracy” (like Josephus’ own account: BJ 1.9, 7.454), coming around to the

 26 Levithan 2013, 142–69 states, “This was probably the longest and most difficult of all the sieges waged by the Roman troops during the imperial period, and it was almost certainly the most destructive: this was no war of conquest or pacification, but the vengeful suppression of a stiff-necked people who, despite their long experience as Roman subjects, had chosen revolt and driven out the local garrisons” (142).

  Honora Howell Chapman very month and day of the destruction of the First Temple (BJ 6.268).27 Josephus dates (by years, months, and days) the destruction of the Second Temple during the second year of the reign of Vespasian from the point of both its first foundation by King Solomon and its second with Haggai in the second year that Cyrus ruled as king. These calculations of dates (cf. BJ 6.435–41) offer a greater truth: the Temple may have been destroyed once before, but in a matter of years it was rebuilt again, according to the Hebrew Scriptures. He may very well be suggesting here indirectly that the cycle could begin anew, implying that this urban disaster could lead to urban renewal. In the meantime, in War 7, Josephus explains that the Temple’s most precious objects, after surviving the fire and being obtained by the Romans, were carried in the triumphal procession at Rome (BJ 7.148–49), as was later depicted on the Arch of Titus.28 Josephus then artfully jumps several years in time in his narrative here29 and specifies that Vespasian dedicated the golden items from the Jerusalem Temple at a new Temple of Peace, and ordered purple hangings and a Torah from the Temple to be placed in his palace, since Josephus is shaping the reader’s memory of the Jerusalem Temple, not really that of the Flavian Temple of Peace (BJ 7.161–62; Chapman 2009). The tragedy of the Temple’s destruction is perhaps only surpassed in the reader’s mind when learning, toward the end of War 6, that 1.1 million Jews died and 97,000 were captured and enslaved (BJ 6.420–21). At the beginning of War 7,  27 On the Roman penchant for likening present disasters to ancient ones, see Closs in this volume. 28 See Favro 2014, 95–99: “The viewing and reviewing of such processional scenes reshaped memories of those who had seen a triumph and fostered pseudo-memories for those who had not” (97). Touati 2015, 208 observes that “as a means to underline the importance of the new palace and its master” (the Domus Flavia and Domitian), the movement of the procession in the frieze with the Jerusalem spoils “and its illusionist space … makes the march look like it turned towards the Palatine,” but ultimately as directed by the other relief with Titus, “the pageant with the spoil litters must be understood as heading down the Via Sacra towards the Capitoline hill.” 29 Beard 2003, 555 comments on this temporal leap as “wilfully out of chronological order (as Josephus’ critics have often gleefully pointed out, we have suddenly jumped four years to 75 CE),” but she grants Josephus some agency as an outsider “seeing connections and significances that insiders might have missed”; Beard ultimately denigrates the Jewish historian’s perspective (556): “If we want to understand how any political regime wants itself to be seen, where better to go than to the writings of one of its lackeys?” Mason 2016b, 18–31 takes the opposite view: not only was the Flavian triumph “an exercise in deception and misdirection” but also “Josephus was fully alert to the sham” and hardly “shilling for the regime on their big day” (18); examining the ring composition with Pompey in War 1 not despoiling the temple vs. the Flavian parade of pillaged golden objects in Book 7, Mason (31) shows that Josephus’ Flavians more resemble Antiochus IV in Antiquities, Book 12.

Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem  

Josephus reports that Titus “gave orders to raze the whole city and the Temple,” but he left three of Jerusalem’s towers and a portion of the city’s west wall standing as a symbol of the ἀνδραγαθία of the Romans, a memory of their “manly virtue” (BJ 7.2), but not that of the Jews,30 while the rest is a wasteland (BJ 7.3)—the same solitudo for which Tacitus has Calgacus denounce the Romans (Agr. 30). We can hear an echo of Josephus’ anguish in his later magnum opus, the Jewish Antiquities, in the prayer of Nehemiah in Book 11. The Persian king’s cupbearer Nehemiah prays, “Lord, how long will you overlook our nation suffering these things, thus having become the prey and plunder (λάφυρον) of all?” (AJ 11.162). In the corresponding biblical account of Nehemiah’s prayer (Neh. 1), however, there is no reference to spoils: Josephus has added it.31 There is hope though, since at the beginning of Book 11 of Antiquities, God had taken pity on the Israelites in their exile and worked through King Cyrus to have them return home after seventy years of exile and rebuild their Temple (AJ 11.2–4), and Cyrus had sent the Temple’s vessels back to Jerusalem (AJ 11.10; Weitzman 2005, 92–95; Magness 2008, 216 n. 102). After Nehemiah prays, King Xerxes grants Nehemiah’s wish to go to Jerusalem to finish rebuilding the Temple (AJ 11.165–66). By the time Josephus was writing about Nehemiah in Antiquities, the Colosseum had been built with some of the proceeds from the Jewish War, as its inscription proclaimed,32 and had been inaugurated in 80 CE, presumably as a tenth-anniversary celebration of the fall of Jerusalem (Chapman 2012). Yet Josephus is offering consolation and hope for a better future in Antiquities to his compatriots who could see the Jewish spoils being put to ignominious use in downtown Rome but could also  30 Through ring composition, Josephus balances out Herod the Great exhorting the Judaeans to display their manly virtue (when the Arabs attack at War 1.376) with this Roman declaration in Book 7; this word also appears again at War 7.86 to describe Domitian. The only other possible appearance of this word in War may occur at 5.314, where ms. L reads it to describe the Roman soldier Longinus. This word also appears thirteen times in Antiquities. 31 Drawing on Berosus, Josephus reports in Against Apion 1.139 that Nebuchadnezzar had decorated his temples with the spoils of war from Jerusalem among other places—and we might add, just as Vespasian had decorated his new Temple of Peace; see Barclay 2007, 84 n. 460. These spoils are more than mere “arms from foreigners” (σκῦλα βαρβαρικά), such as the ones Herod the Great captured from the Arabs and placed around the outside of his Temple in AJ 15.402. 32 Alföldy 1995: manubIs. Mason 2016b, 35–36 accepts Alföldy’s reading of this “ghost” inscription, but he doubts the claim that the spoils of the war actually paid for the construction of the Colosseum; in keeping with his argument that after the war the Flavians were crafting illusions and that Josephus is cleverly undermining them in his description of the “Potemkin” triumph (21–33), Mason states: “We do not know where the Flavians found the resources to rebuild Rome with a verve not seen since Augustus, but the perception of an infusion of Judaean wealth counted more than any reality” (36).

  Honora Howell Chapman dream of another rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem. The historian may even be alluding in Antiquities 11.80–83 to help for this project coming from Parthia, not Rome (Almagor 2016, 115). Paul Spilsbury agrees with this idea of a hope for the future: “There is little to suggest that Josephus envisioned a temple-less form of Judaism despite the fact that at the time of writing the temple had been destroyed and the priesthood was inoperative.”33 As in Italy after the devastation of Vesuvius, life did go on, even if not in the same place.34 The archaeological record of Jerusalem shows that the Jews no longer buried their dead there after 70 CE, but up in Galilee Jews lived in the same places (except at Yodefat and Gamla, which remained destroyed) and used the same burial grounds in the second century as in the first (Weiss 2016, 188). Weiss (2016, 191) explains: “The rehabilitation of Jewish society after the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem, and its recovery from the ravages of war, were made possible in no small measure by the stability of the Galilean settlements to which Judaea refugees had fled.” Thousands of surviving Jews, however, like Josephus after his capture at Yodefat, found themselves enslaved, and some ended up in Italy, as did Josephus himself. Though he went there as a free man,35 Josephus tells us that seven hundred of his captured compatriots, selected for their “size and beauty” (BJ 7.118), were transported to Rome to march in the Flavian triumph (BJ 7.138). Jerusalem did not end up permanently destroyed like Sodom in Genesis: the Romans rebuilt at least a portion of it in the 130s with a new name, Aelia Capitolina. Had Josephus’ three surviving sons continued to own and visit Josephus’  33 Spilsbury 2016, 131 (citing Goodman 2007, 426). 34 Another Flavian writer, the poet Statius, who hailed from Naples, shared Josephus’ experience with survival after disaster by pursuing a “life of ‘learned leisure’” as a writer (Newlands 2013, 8, 19). Statius optimistically depicts Judaea producing the fruits from palms (1.6.8) and from the balsam trees (2.1.161: “the juices of Palestine,” Palaestinique liquores; this phrase reappears slightly altered in another funerary setting in poem 5.1.212–13: “the incense snatched away from Palestinian temples, together with Hebrew perfumes,” trans. B. Gibson 2006, 17 and 155). In Silvae 3.2, Judaea is “a sweet grove” and a source of the opobalsama (3.2.138, 141); cf. Pliny HN 12.54.111–13. In Silvae 5.2, Jerusalem is associated with cinerem, echoing Valerius Flaccus’ pulvere (Argonautica 1.12–15), but the focus becomes the trees: “Or will you go to the ash of Jerusalem and the captive palm groves / of Idumea, planter of trees that do not bring her good fortune?” (Silv. 5.2.138–39, trans. B. Gibson 2006, 31); cf. Flavian IVDEA CAPTA coinage with Judaea weeping under a palm tree. For Statius, Jerusalem is still burnt down over twenty-five years later (Newlands 2013, 161 n. 11: Silvae 5 published after Statius’ death in 96 CE), but the fruits of victory continue to come to Rome while Statius’ friends and patrons carry out their duty to keep the peace. 35 See BJ 4.628–29 on his release from slavery; Vit. 423 on his trip to Rome with Titus.

Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem  

property in Judaea,36 they might have seen the new colony and even the statues erected near or on the site of the Temple where their father was once a priest.37 If they had held on to this land after Josephus’ death sometime around 100 CE, his heirs would have enjoyed having property in Judaea with the tax-exempt status granted by Domitian, “which is indeed the greatest honor for the beneficiary.”38 Josephus ends the story of his life with this imperial honor and other unspecified ones bestowed by Domitian’s wife as a way of signaling his overall remarkable success, despite losing to the Romans when serving as a general on the Jewish side during the war (the main focus of Life). Much like Joseph’s family at the end of Genesis (47–50), Josephus’ family also has a happy ending at the end of his Life. We have seen that the Genesis story of God’s destruction of Sodom influenced Jewish interpretations of the urban disasters at both Pompeii and Jerusalem. Josephus explicitly mentions Sodom at two crucial points in his account of the Jewish War, since for Josephus all disasters, including the granddaddy of them all at Sodom, are “acts of God.” Only God’s will in punishing the rebel malefactors makes the destruction of his Temple by fire on the fated day possible. In his War, Josephus preserves a memory of Jerusalem and the Temple, possibly in hopes of a future restoration; his Antiquities hints at the same. No doubt this kind of hope fueled the Jewish uprising in the 130s under Bar Kokhba (Horbury 2014, 294– 307): a Jewish coin type from the third year of this rebellion clearly shows “the Temple façade” (Mor 2016, 417; see fig. 9.1).39

 36 His sons Hyrcanus, Justus, and Agrippa (Simonides): Vit. 5, 426–27. Josephus received land “on the plain” from Titus as a swap for his holdings at Jerusalem (Vit. 422) and then from Vespasian (Vit. 425); Rajak 2005, 88–89 envisions him visiting his property. 37 The Temple Mount may have lain outside the boundaries of the new city (Horbury 2014, 407). 38 Vit. 429. “Until the reign of Diocletian (284–305), land with ius Italicum, like land in Italy, was exempt from the taxes generally imposed on provincial land” (du Plessis/Ando/Tuori 2016, 648). 39 This coin can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bar_Kokhba_revolt#/media/ File:Barkokhba-silver-tetradrachm.jpg and is identified as “JUDAEA, Bar Kochba Revolt. 132–135 CE. AR Sela – Tetradrachm (28mm, 14.07 g, 11h). Undated issue (year 3 – 134/5 CE). Temple facade, the Ark of the Covenant within; star above / Lulav with etrog. Mildenberg 85.12 (O127/R44´); Meshorer 233; Hendin 711. Near EF, toned, light deposits.” On the obverse: “Shimon [Bar Kokhba]”; on the reverse: “to the freedom of Jerusalem.” One should note that the Ark of the Covenant did not exist in the Second Temple, having disappeared before the destruction of the First, and that extant coins of the First Revolt never depict the Temple’s façade, just its vessels (among other symbols).

  Honora Howell Chapman

Fig. 1: Coin with Jerusalem Temple façade, Bar Kokhba revolt, 134/5 CE.

Wars inspire both memorials and monuments. Art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto (1985, 152) observed regarding the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.: “We erect monuments so that we shall always remember, and build memorials so that we shall never forget…. Monuments commemorate the memorable and embody the myths of beginnings. Memorials ritualize remembrance and mark the reality of ends.” In the 70s at Rome, the Flavians were building monuments to their beginning as a new dynasty, including the Temple of Peace and the Flavian amphitheater; the latter continues to be the single greatest icon of ancient Rome, though most tourists now have no idea about its connection to the Jewish War. In the same decade at Rome, Josephus was not only memorializing the suffering of his fellow Jews in his War but also constructing a monumental literary Temple for his readers in the space left by the Roman destruction of Jerusalem.40 This imaginative space—one filled quite differently by the Romans,  40 Architect and designer Daniel Libeskind (2014, 175) also speaks of this dual memorial/monument purpose: “I was ultimately the one chosen to design the overall rebuild project at the site of Ground Zero—a site that is not just about the real estate and physical infrastructure but is also about profound and powerful memories and the foundation for new ones…. I decided not to build anything on the building sites where people had died. This left half of the 16-acre site open, pushing the new construction to the periphery. I designed the new towers to form a crown, reflecting that of the Statue of Liberty, which faces the site from the south. I thereby sought a symbolic encounter between a memorial for 9/11 and a resurgence of life in the city” (i.e., a monument, by Danto’s definition).

Josephus’ Memory of Jerusalem  

Christians, and Jewish rabbis in later centuries—continues two millennia later to host physical monuments to Muslim conquerors while inspiring some Christians’ and Jews’ dreams of a Third Temple, a testament to the lasting legacy of the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70.41

 41 Goldhill 2005; Cohn 2012; Rollason 2016, 273–89. Cline 2004, 301–3 documents attacks on the Temple Mount / Haram al-Sharif motivated by a desire to prepare for a Third Temple; see more recently http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/10/15/third-temple-jerusalem-messi anic-dream.html, including “an activist group’s drawing of its planned Third Temple, superimposed on the Dome of the Rock.”

Joseph Farrell

The Sacks of Rome, 390 BCE–2017 CE To classicists, “the sack of Rome” usually means the Gallic sack of 390 BCE, or the Visigothic sack of 410 CE.1 But my title, the “sacks” of Rome, refers to many more than those two events, some more serious and some less so, but all important in their way. The point is that drawing attention to the sheer number of sacks that Rome has endured, real and metaphorical, is a way of illustrating how powerful and varied a concept “the sack of Rome” really is. I say “is” very deliberately here, because the phrase is probably used now, even with contemporary reference, more widely than ever. And in addition to that point, the main idea I want to illustrate is that every individual event or metaphorical comparison involving “the sack of Rome” draws part of its meaning from that idea, but also contributes to it, so that to understand the phenomenon, we must consider its various instantiations. For instance, the Gauls of 390 BCE and the Visigoths of 410 CE were both northern invaders, a common concern throughout much of ancient Roman and medieval Italian history. And, mutatis mutandis, they remain so today. A couple of years ago, an article appeared under the title “The Sack of Rome in the year 2015 by Dutch soccer fans.”2 It dealt with the behavior of an estimated seven thousand supporters of a Rotterdam team that came to Rome and played the home team to a 1–1 draw. The days surrounding the match were characterized by NPR as “two days of street battles,” during which the Campo de’ Fiori was trashed and La Barcaccia, the Bernini fountain that graces the Spanish Steps, was “chipped and splintered” to the tune of an estimated million euro in damages.3 I note in passing that these two reports accurately represent different national perspectives in a way that bears on my central theme: while American and other foreign news outlets generally did not invoke “the sack” motif, Italian journalists eagerly exploited the image of barbarians  1 I would like to thank the organizers of the “Urban Disasters” conference, the other participants, and all those who were in attendance for their discussion and encouragement. I am also grateful to audiences at San Francisco State University, Yale University, and Swarthmore College who heard and discussed later versions of this essay. Particular thanks to Kirk Freudenburg, Andrew Johnston, Chris Kraus, Jeremy Lefkowitz, David Leitao, Gillian McIntosh, Alex Pappas, and David Quint for their hospitality and their generous advice on those occasions. 2 Claudio Antonelli, “Anno 2015: Il Sacco di Roma perpetrato dai tifosi olandesi,” Altritaliani.net, February 27, 2015, www.altritaliani.net/spip.php?article2186. 3 Sylvia Poggioli, “Dutch Soccer Fans Vandalize Rome’s La Barcaccia Fountain,” February 20, 2015, www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/02/20/387758334/dutch-soccer-fans-vandalizeromes-la-barcaccia-fountain). https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-011

  Joseph Farrell from the north to criticize the Dutch tifosi, who from a Roman perspective resembled the ancient invaders in all the ways that count. The “sack” of 2015 involved a certain amount of violence, and we will return to that point; but it is not necessary to do physical violence in order to sack Rome.4 At the 1989 “Magistrale di Roma” chess tournament, a young woman named Sofia Polgar, who was just fourteen years old at the time, scored eight successive victories, including four over grandmasters, en route to winning the entire event. Her feat is still remembered by chess aficionados, with admiration, as “the sack of Rome.”5 Polgar is Hungarian, and therefore, arguably, a type of the northern invader; but in truth, it is not necessary to be foreign to sack Rome, either. If one is Italian, however, it helps to be, or to be perceived, as criminally corrupt. Thus the discovery in 2014 of extensive Mafia infiltration of the city government was labeled by journalists “the sack of Rome.”6 There is also a book by Alexander Stille on the government of Silvio Berlusconi, published with two different subtitles, but both times with the title The Sack of Rome, which succinctly makes the essential point, even against certain facts.7 Stille’s subject is obviously not a real sack or invasion, much less a foreign one, nor is the book really about Rome. Rome is, of course, the capital of Italy; but everyone knows that Italians mainly distinguish Rome from the rest of the country in precisely this respect. Only in a limited sense does “Rome” stand for “Italy” as a whole; but in the multi-referential phrase “the sack of Rome,” even this is possible. To understand why this is so, let us consider a film that offers an intense and emblematic meditation on our theme in a brilliantly evocative series of images. Federico Fellini’s La dolce vita (1960) opens with an iconic confrontation of ancient and modern Rome, focusing on an aqueduct and a helicopter, technological symbols of two civilizations at their respective heights. The aqueduct is crumbling and disused, but the helicopter, while rising above it, follows where it

 4 The most lighthearted use of the phrase that I have found involves a pun: “sacco” being the Italian for “bag” as well as for the “sack” of a city, there is a line of designer handbags that goes by the name “Sacco di Roma.” Fabiola Cinque, “Un bel nuovo Sacco di Roma,” formiche: analisi, commenti e scenari, January 29, 2016, http://formiche.net/2016/01/29/un-bel-nuovo-sacco-di-roma/. 5 Anonymous, “Sofia Polgar’s Sack of Rome—14 Year Old Scores 2900 Performance!” ichess.net, November 2, 2016, www.ichess.net/blog/sofia-polgars-sack-of-rome/). 6 Anonymous, “Mafiacapitale oltre il sacco di Roma,” Malitalia globalist syndication, December 6, 2014, www.malitalia.it/2014/12/mafiacapitale-oltre-il-sacco-di-roma/. 7 Stille 2006. The original was published by Penguin with the subtitle How a Beautiful European Country with a Fabled History and a Storied Culture Was Taken Over by a Man Named Silvio Berlusconi; it was republished the following year with the shorter subtitle Media + Money + Celebrity + Power = Silvio Berlusconi.

The Sacks of Rome, 390 BCE–2017 CE  

leads—into the city. In fact there are two helicopters, and the first one is carrying some object suspended below it; it isn’t immediately clear what this is (fig. 10.1). The helicopters’ journey then takes the viewer’s gaze across a more modern, urban landscape; but it is hard to say whether this area of, frankly, not very attractive buildings is a construction site or a debris field (fig. 10.2). Then, the choppers are noticed by some rooftop sunbathers, who identify the object that the first one is carrying as “Jesus.” As the lead chopper goes on its way, the young men in the second one stop to flirt with the sunbathers. However, when the young ladies refuse to give out their phone number, the second chopper resumes following the first to their destination, the Vatican City, where the camera rewards us with the statue’s veduta of the piazza di San Pietro, crowded with pilgrims—possibly the devout, perhaps merely tourists (figs. 10.3, 10.4).

Fig. 2: Fellini, La dolce vita (1960). Aqueducts and helicopters.

Fig. 3: Fellini, La dolce vita. Construction site or debris field?

  Joseph Farrell

Fig. 4: Fellini, La dolce vita. The entry of Gesù into the Vatican City.

Fig. 5: Fellini, La dolce vita. Gesù regards his people.

This episode is widely recognized as a cinematic tour de force. With almost no dialogue, Fellini recapitulates in images Edward Gibbon’s conception of how the Roman empire met its end, as a rational, pagan civilization gradually overwhelmed by an irrational mystery cult from abroad. In Fellini’s allegory, the sack is represented by decaying aqueducts and unfinished construction projects in a half-ruined, half-developed landscape where development and ruin are almost indistinguishable.

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This strange linkage between ruin and development appears in many guises.8 Benito Mussolini’s program of restoring Rome’s imperial glory entailed the architectural renewal of an ancient inheritance.9 Predictably, contemporary critics immediately condemned Mussolini’s urbanistic revolution as “the sack of Rome.” In an essay under that title, the critic Leo Longanesi objected specifically to the militaristic character of the Fascist urban intervention.10 Architecture in Italy, Longanesi wrote, perhaps somewhat wishfully, “has never been militaristic. Squares and streets have never been intended to be parade grounds. The military parade does not figure in our history, as our culture has never been militaristic.”11 Whether or not this is strictly true, Longanesi finds it possible to label the Fascist promotion of militaristic architecture as an instantiation of “the sack of Rome.” And long after Mussolini’s dreams of a new Roman empire had faded, later critics applied the same label to the Christian Democratic continuation of Mussolini’s unfinished plan.12 Both the unrealized plan itself and its postwar continuation were responsible for creating the typical landscape of Italian Neorealist films, in which “renewal” always entails the brutalization of Rome and its people. For example, in Roberto Rossellini’s Roma città aperta, the half-built landscape of the periphery of Rome is where patriots are executed by an occupying force—Germans, of course, even if elsewhere in the film, American bombardment does as much or more damage to the city as does the Wehrmacht (figs. 10.5, 10.6). Moreover, in a kind of thematic reversal that one finds over and over in different versions of the sack of Rome, Rossellini portrays Rome as anything but a once powerful, decadent empire about to

 8 For further discussion of the connection between urban destruction and renewal, see the discussions of Zanker, Chapman, and Closs in this volume. For the trope of success and development precipitating ruin, see the contributions of Clark, Closs, Joseph, and Nethercut. 9 On Mussolini’s urbanistic program, see Painter 2005; Baxa 2010; Kallis 2014. 10 Leo Longanesi, “Il sacco di Roma,” Il Selvaggio 8 (May 15, 1931). 11 Longanesi (see note 9), quoted in translation by Baxa 2010, 98. 12 Aldo Natoli, Il sacco di Roma: La speculazione edilizia all’ ombra del Campidoglio, Discorso pronunciato al Consiglio Comunale nella discussione sull’ urbanistica di Roma, febbraio 1954, supplemento a Quaderno dell’ attivista (Roma: Commissione propaganda della Direzione del P.C.I., 1954); Manlio Cancogni, “Capitale corotta Nazione inefetta,” L’Espresso, December 11, 1955 (“sacco di Roma”). Inevitably, the title of Italo Insolera’s “Il nuovo sacco di Roma” (in Roma Moderna: Un secolo di storia urbanistica, 1962) has become an overused polemical cliché among architectural preservationists and political commentators, as will become evident to anyone who cares to Google the string “nuovo sacco di roma”; there is even a Facebook group, “Il Nuovo sacco di roma e di tutto quello che c’è intorno” (“The new sack of Rome and everything around it”), which describes itself with the words, “Ogni giorno un articolo per capire insieme quello che sta succedendo, gli interessi economici e politici. Per resistere al nuovo sacco di Roma” (“An article a day to figure out what is happening, the economic and political interests. To resist the new sack of Rome”).

  Joseph Farrell collapse under the weight of its own luxurious ways. Virtually all of the Romans Rossellini portrays are poor people whose lives are dominated by rituals such as competing to buy scarce staples like bread, if they can afford to buy anything at all. Meanwhile, the German conquerors and their corrupt Roman collaborators enjoy the kind of sensuous excess classically associated with ancient Roman decadence (figs. 10.7, 10.8). Within the film, the Germans do not get their just deserts, but by the time the film was released, on September 27, 1945, the Third Reich had collapsed, and Germany had surrendered unconditionally to the allied powers.

Fig. 6: Rossellini, Roma città aperta (1945). The periphery of the city (1).

Fig. 7: Rossellini, Roma città aperta. The periphery of the city (2).

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Fig. 8: Rossellini, Roma città aperta. A bread line.

Fig. 9: Rossellini, Roma città aperta. The decadent conquerors.

Again in La dolce vita, a different series of parallels and reversals occurs as Fellini develops the theme of universal northern barbarism while reprising those of religious parousia and theophany. An important sequence of episodes begins with

  Joseph Farrell an American film goddess, Sylvia Rank, descending from heaven on the wings of Alitalia; later, Sylvia ascends the dome of St. Peter’s, dressed as a priest or a nun, to enjoy a perspective similar to that of Jesus’ statue in the film’s opening sequence (figs. 10.9, 10.10, 10.11). Anita Ekberg, who played Sylvia, was really Swedish; but her specific nationality is less important than Hollywood’s predilection for statuesque blonde starlets, media and celebrity combining to form the latest wave of barbarians from the north. Ekberg herself, just a year before the release of La dolce vita, had picked up some excellent sack-of-Rome credentials. Appearing in a 1959 peplum film, Nel segno di Roma—directed by Guido Brignone and, amazingly, Michelangelo Antonioni—she played Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, leader of a Syrian rebellion against Roman rule during the chaotic third century CE—and a woman whose ethnicity was anything but Nordic (fig. 10.12). No matter: such is the fuzzy but compelling logic of “the sack of Rome” that rebels on the eastern frontier can be played by fantasy descendants of Alaric himself. As Zenobia, Ekberg makes it to Rome, but as a prisoner instead of a conqueror.13 As Sylvia, however, she did conquer, and her triumphal entry represents the conquest of Rome by a new cult, the cult of celebrity that Fellini seems to say is even more irrational—and more hollow—than devotion to a gilded plaster Jesus.

Fig. 10: Fellini, La dolce vita. The arrival of Sylvia.

 13 Although Zosimus (1.59) states that Zenobia died en route to Rome and Malalas (Chron. 12, p. 300.17–20 Dindorf) that she was executed there, most ancient authorities state that Aurelian treated her courteously and that she lived out her days in comfort as the wife of a Roman nobleman: see the testimonia collected in Dodgeon/Lieu 1991, 101–8.

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Fig. 11: Fellini, La dolce vita. Sylvia ascending the dome of St. Peter’s.

Fig. 12: Fellini, La dolce vita. Sylvia regards her people.

Fig. 13: Brignone and Antonioni, Nel segno di Roma (1959). Queen Zenobia of Palmyra.

  Joseph Farrell Later in La dolce vita, Sylvia the barbarian conqueror goes to a party in the Baths of Caracalla, itself a compelling symbol, once of imperial Rome at its most grandiose, and now of its ruined decadence. To emphasize this aspect, Fellini decorated the baths for the occasion with spoils plundered from elsewhere in the city. But the party, evidently arranged by Sylvia’s Italian producer, seems rather sedate until it is crashed by Frankie, an American actor of distinctly satyr-like appearance. When Frankie releases Sylvia’s inner party animal, her enthusiasm turns what had been a tame affair into a riotous revel. She is clearly not an evil conqueror, like the Germans in Roma città aperta, but she, and for that matter Frankie, are evidently both decadent ones, teaching the Romans how to make the most of their decaying patrimonio (figs. 10.13, 10.14, 10.15).

Fig. 14: Fellini, La dolce vita. Caracalla’s nightclub.

Fig. 15: Fellini, La dolce vita. Frankie.

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Fig. 16: Fellini, La dolce vita. Sylvia leads a revel.

But Sylvia herself is a conqueror in another sense. The film’s hero, Marcello (played by Marcello Mastroianni), is a journalist who previously covered the arrivals of both the gilded Jesus and the platinum Sylvia. His devotion to any of the old gods is very much in doubt, but inevitably, he falls in love with the new diva. When the besotted Marcello tries to express his feelings in the famous Trevi Fountain episode, Sylvia is revealed to be a kind of water nymph, and thus a Muse, or maybe a Camena, as well as a baptizing priestess (fig. 10.16). In an earlier scene, she had claimed the primitive Roman, “sylvan” associations implicit in her name by calling out to a pack of wolves (or, at least, feral dogs) who answer her from off screen. She is in this way more Roman than Marcello, who we later learn is Italian, but (like Fellini himself) not from Rome at all.

Fig. 17: Fellini, La dolce vita. Marcello and Sylvia in the Trevi Fountain.

  Joseph Farrell The various dynamics of power, ethnicity, inspiration, and erotic attraction that Sylvia represents derive in complex ways from Porcius Licinus’ ancient warrior Muse, who marched into Rome during the Second Punic War. Equally, it bears traces of Horace’s Graecia capta, who turned the tables on her barbarian conqueror.14 But this type of female conqueror is most familiar in the form of the exotic puella celebrated by Roman elegiac poets, and not only those of antiquity. Everyone is familiar with the figure of the domina in Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid. She is defined as exotic by her Greek name, be it Delia, Nemesis, Cynthia, or Corinna. The poet/lover, meanwhile, is a Roman citizen of the equestrian order. Every legal and social privilege is on his side, and yet he feels himself to be the prisoner of a woman who may even have come to Rome as an actual prisoner herself. This is the essence of the canonical elegiac predicament that our poets explore, over and over, in Latin love elegy.15 Possibly less familiar is the way in which Johann Wolfgang von Goethe adapted the situation of those poets in his Römische Elegien or Roman Elegies, the poetic celebration of his relationship with a young widow—whom the poet of Faust, inevitably, calls Faustina—who was his mistress during an extended Roman permanenza that began in October 1786 and continued until April 1788, with a lengthy trip to Naples and Sicily taking place during the first half of 1787. The Roman Elegies focus only on Rome and on the affair with Faustina. A fuller account of the entire period is available in Goethe’s more famous memoir, entitled Italienische Reise or, in English, “Italian Journey”—which however makes no mention at all of the affair.16 What the two works do share is an insistence on Goethe’s German identity and the refreshing contrast that he finds between all parts of Italy and his northern home. In the Roman Elegies, his love affair with a Roman woman is obviously the most powerful symbol of this transnational encounter, and in this and other ways, Goethe clearly represents himself as a lineal successor to Catullus, Tibullus, and Propertius, the three ancient love poets whom he calls, following Joseph Scaliger, the triumviri amoris, a triumvirate

 14 Porcius Licinus fr. 1 Courtney: Poenico bello secundo Musa pinnato gradu / intulit se bellicosam in Romuli gentem feram (“At the time of the Second Punic War, the Muse with winged gait / brought herself, ready for war, into the wild people of Romulus”); Hor. Epist. 1.1.156–57: Graecia capta ferum uictorem cepit et artes / intulit agresti Latio (“captive Greece took captive her wild conqueror and brought the arts into rustic Latium”). 15 For an authoritative account of the issues involved, with further references, see Keith 2012. 16 On the relation between these works and that of Goethe’s elegiac project to ancient Roman love poetry, with full bibliography, see Farrell 2010.

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of love.17 Thus at the end of the fourth elegy, Goethe follows convention by writing that he is “entwined [or] bound up” (umwunden)—which is to say, taken captive and imprisoned—in Faustina’s braids, much as Propertius says that he was taken captive by Cynthia’s eyes.18 But Goethe’s particular situation, especially as regards his relationship to Rome, invites him to adapt certain classical conventions. So, in the example just cited, Goethe speaks very explicitly of “Roman braids,” noting, as he does so frequently, that Faustina is the native Roman and he the foreigner, almost as if it were he who had been brought to Rome as a prisoner. That is one way of adapting conventions to new realities. A different one is found in what is evidently a late revision of poem 2, where Goethe reverses the conventional ethnic and power dynamics of ancient elegy, basking in his role as barbarian conqueror of his Roman mistress: Teilt die Flammen, die sie in seinem Busen entzündet, Freut sich, daß er das Gold nicht wie der Römer bedenkt. Besser ist ihr nun Tisch bestellt, es fehlet an Kleidern, Fehlet am Wagen ihr nicht, der nach der Oper sie bringt. Mutter und Tochter erfreun sich ihres nordischen Gastes, Und der Barbare beherrscht römischen Busen und Leib. She shares the flames that she has kindled in his breast, she rejoices that he does not think about money as Romans do (i.e., stingily), her table is better set, she has no shortage of clothes or of carriages to take her to the opera. Mother and daughter rejoice in their Nordic guest, And the barbarian is lord over Roman breast and body. Goethe, Romische Elegien 2.23–28 (= Goethe 1985–2013, 1.1: 402)

Thus classical convention merges with the motif of the northern invader to produce an erotic variation on the sack of Rome that anticipates Fellini’s kaleidoscopic rearrangement of similar themes.19  17 Goethe, Römische Elegien 5.19–20 (Goethe 1985–2013, 15.1: 515; cf. Italienische Reise 386); Scaliger 1670, 32; Bernays 1899. 18 Propertius 1.1.1: Cynthia prima suis miserum me cepit ocellis (“Cynthia was the first to capture me with her gaze”). On the polymorphous image of the captured city in classical literature, see G. Paul 1982. For more direct evocations of the urbs capta motif, see the contributions in this volume of Clark, Köster, and Joseph. 19 The persona of the “barbarian” or “Nordic” invader that Goethe adopts in the Römische Elegien stands in poignant contrast to that of the cultivated visitor in the Italiensiche Reise who, near the end of his permanenza, becomes a kind of naturalized Roman citizen when he is inducted into the Arcadians, only to undergo the pangs of exile when the time comes for him to return to his former life (Goethe 1985–2013, 15.1: 596; cf. Farrell 2010, 273–74).

  Joseph Farrell Now, it seems clear that Fellini follows Gibbon as well as such ancient commentators as Augustine, Jerome, and others, in treating the Visigothic invasion of 410 as the definitive sack of Rome, because it is associated with the fall of the ancient empire. But even for late antique witnesses, this sack was more a symbol than a real event. In 410, no emperor had held court at Rome for over a century. And, though shocking, the sack itself did not really change very much—certainly not immediately. Nevertheless, it is associated with a long-term process of political and social disintegration that would ultimately leave medieval Rome an almost abandoned ruin. The process took a great deal of time, but by the end of the Middle Ages, the area near the Vatican in the western Campus Martius had come to be known as the abitato or “inhabited” district, while everything else—Forum, Palatine, Colosseum area, and so on—was the disabitato, or “formerly inhabited” district (fig. 10.17). So in this sense, it is hard to deny that Alaric’s sack contributed to, or at least revealed the existence of, forces that would be eventually lead to a period of protracted urban decline.20

Fig. 18: The inhabited portion of Rome (darker) as compared to the total area within the Aurelian walls, c. 1250.

 20 For further discussion of the relationship between (and sequence of) moral or political decline and urban disaster, see the contributions in this volume of Köster, Clark, Nethercut, Zanker, Closs, and Chapman.

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In this respect, the sack of 410 is very much unlike the German occupation of 1944, for instance, which did not lead to decline, but rather preceded il boom, that astonishing period of postwar economic recovery that lifted Rome from near third-world conditions to the status of glamorous world capital in just ten or fifteen years.21 And in truth, this pattern is more typical of the sacks of Rome, including the most traumatic and emblematic one of all, the sack of 1527. Outside of Italy, this event may not be as famous as the sack of 410, but it was much more devastating, and it is certainly better attested in the literary record, having been described in Francesco Guicciardini’s History of Italy, a historiographical landmark in twenty books.22 This sack was the result of a war between the Holy Roman Empire and a confederation of states (called the League of Cognac) that wished to limit the Emperor’s power. An imperial army of German mercenaries, the Landesknechte, or lanzichenecchi in Italian, made short work of the League’s resistance in Lombardy, where the Duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan quickly capitulated, allowing the invaders to turn their attention to Rome. The Papal armies, commanded by Guicciardini, the future historian of these events, were no match for the lanzichenecchi, who entered Rome on May 6, 1527. They immediately began looting, and did not stop until Pope Clement VII surrendered a month later, paying a ransom of 400,000 ducats and ceding territories to the Emperor in order to purchase his own safety. Even so, the lanzichenecchi—who were not only Germans, but Lutherans, and so anything but respectful toward Rome as the putative seat of Christianity—continued to occupy the Eternal City for an additional nine months, during which time the urban population dropped from 55,000 to about 10,000, as 6,000 to 12,000 people were murdered and unburied bodies lay everywhere in the streets. The occupiers ended their pillaging and left Rome only when confronted with an outbreak of plague. The Germanic origin of the lanzichenecchi aligns them with earlier invaders from the north.23 But the sack of 1527 is the only one that is still officially commemorated each year in Rome; and when modern Italians mention il sacco di  21 Nardozzi 2003; Barański/Lumley 1990. 22 Guicciardini’s Storia d’ Italia, first published in Florence in 1561, deals with events throughout Italy during the period from 1492 to 1534 in twenty books; the sack of Rome is among the events covered in Book 18. In addition, Francesco’s older brother Luigi wrote a history of Il sacco di Roma in two books devoted entirely to the events of 1526–1527; it was not published for more than a century after the appearance of Francesco’s work (Paris, 1664), and it was later republished under Francesco’s name (Paris, 1758). 23 The importance of religious difference in 1527 recalls earlier events in complex ways: Charles was a Catholic emperor, but also the commander (or employer) of a Protestant army against the forces of the Pope; centuries earlier, Augustine in The City of God had to refute the idea that the

  Joseph Farrell Roma, this is the usual point of reference. For instance, the article about soccer hooliganism cited above deplores official efforts to control the situation by drawing a pictorial comparison between a seventeenth-century painting of “i lanzichenecchi a Roma” and a photograph of riot police, labeled “i nuovi Lanzichenecchi a Roma” (figs. 10.18, 10.19).24 The 1527 sack left such an impression in part because it was so horrific. But it also weakened the papacy to such an extent that Clement VII found it impossible to risk further alienation of Charles V by granting the request of Henry VIII to annul his marriage to the Emperor’s aunt, Catherine of Aragon. Henry of course divorced Catherine anyway, bringing about the formation of the Church of England, thus furthering the cause of the Reformation. As Martin Luther gloated, “Christ reigns in such a way that the Emperor who persecutes Luther for the Pope is forced to destroy the Pope for Luther.”25 In this sense, the sack of 1527 was not just an urban disaster, but one that had decisive consequences for all subsequent European history.

Fig. 19: Johannes Linglebach (1622–1674), Sacco di Roma.  sack of 410, perpetrated by the forces of Alaric, an Arian Christian and thus a confessional opponent of the orthodox Augustine, was to be understood as punishment of the Romans’ neglect for their traditional pagan cults. 24 Note the inconsistent logic by which both the Dutch soccer tourists (cf. n. 2 above), because they behaved like hooligans, and the Italian riot police who tried to control them, because they were armed in the service of the state, are both identified with previous invaders of myth and history (disorganized hordes of nomadic northerners and Germanic mercenaries, respectively), as if the two groups had cooperated in sacking the city. 25 Luther 1972, 169.

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Fig. 20: Figure 10.19. Anonymous photograph, “I nuovi Lanzichenecchi a Roma” (www.altritaliani.net/spip.php?article2186).

As befits such an epoch-making event, modern evocations of 1527 go well beyond complaints about rowdy sports tourism. A book published in 2014 goes into extraordinary detail in mapping modern Italian history onto that of the early sixteenth century, suggesting that our own century has experienced yet another sack of Rome.26 Arguing that “Only history can give answers to the [contemporary] Italian crisis … [authors] Lodovico Festa and Giulio Sapelli explore the theme of ‘Italian history repeating itself,’ to draw comparisons, in order to understand the time in which we live.”27 The comparisons are pointed: the feckless Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, is the historical forerunner, by five hundred years, of his concitadino, banker Enrico Cuccia, who has been called “the principal dealmaker (and breaker) in the secretive world of large private Italian capitalism” during the twentieth century;28 Cesare Borgia is compared to socialist prime minister Bettino Craxi; the doges of Venice to Berlusconi; Martin Luther to Pope Benedict XVI; Clement VII to President of the Republic Giorgio Napoletano—and of

 26 Festa/Sapelli 2014. 27 “Solo la storia può dare delle risposte alla crisi italiana. Ecco perché due voci indipendenti e fuori dal coro, come Lodovico Festa e Giulio Sapelli, esplorano il tema dei ricorsi nella storia d’Italia per trarne delle lezioni e delle tracce con l’intento di comprendere il tempo che viviamo,” www.goware-apps.com/italia-se-la-merkel-e-carlo-v-lodovico-festa-e-giulio-sapelli/. 28 Deeg 2005, 526.

  Joseph Farrell course, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is presented as an avatar of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.29 Here is a much more extensive set of historical parallels than in the case of the football riots, and perhaps a measure of humor, as well— the authors admit that some of their comparisons are a bit forced.30 After all, does it really make sense to cast the ultra-orthodox Pope Ratzinger as the heretical Luther? It helps, of course, that both are German; so, of course, is Merkel, but her opposite number, Charles V, is difficult to identify with any single nationality.31 But Merkel is the de facto leader of a politically and economically united Europe, much as Charles, as heir to the crowns of Aragon and Castile in the Iberian Peninsula, was the de iure leader of a religiously divided Europe. But the territories of the empire were mainly German, and Charles’ employment of the Landesknechte can certainly be felt to align him with previous invaders of Italy from the Teutonic sphere. Of course, there is an element of humor in all of this, but at the same time, such comparisons represent Festa and Sapelli at their most serious. In the grand style typical of certain Italian intellectuals, they place their work in the tradition of such political thinkers as Guicciardini and even Machiavelli, finding the situation of Italy vis-à-vis the Holy Roman Empire then predictive of Italy’s situation vis-à-vis the European Union now. And just in case there were any remaining doubt about their seriousness, Festa and Sapelli published their book in a series called “Dialoghi sull’ apocalisse,” “Dialogues on the apocalypse.” The sack of 1527, then, is in some sense the most definitive urban disaster ever to befall Rome. Among other results, it effectively ended the Roman Renaissance, a period of significant civic renewal following the relative dormancy of the medieval city. However—and this is my main point—far from inaugurating another long period of irrelevancy, the sack preceded an explosion of urbanistic energy in the Baroque period. In terms of papal imperialism, as well, this was an era of dramatic overseas expansion by the Church. And in this respect, the sack of

 29 “Ludovico il Moro come Cuccia, Cesare Borgia come Craxi, i dogi come Berlusconi, Lutero come Ratzinger…” (Festa/Sapelli 2014). For more on the Roman tendency to attribute disasters to leaders, see the contributions to this volume of Clark, Joseph, Köster, Closs, and Chapman. 30 “… con questi dialoghi, non privi in certi punti di consapevoli forzature…” (Festa/Sapelli 2014). 31 Born in 1500 in Ghent and raised speaking French and Dutch, Charles succeeded his father, Philip I of Castile, as ruler of the Habsburg Netherlands in 1506. In 1516 he inherited the Kingdoms of Aragon and Castile, and in 1519 he was elected to succeed his grandfather, Maximilian I, as Holy Roman Emperor, having been required to learn Spanish and German before ascending these thrones. On Charles’ life and career, see Maltby 2002. I am grateful to David Quint for discussion of these points.

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1527 was perhaps not only worse in itself, but also more typical in its aftermath than the sack of 410. It is true, of course, that the sixteenth-century boom was compromised by factors probably unrelated to the sack. For instance, the Papacy certainly prevented Italy from uniting as a nation-state, and while the Church was building its extensive spiritual empire overseas, other early modern powers were building vast political and mercantile ones. Should we see a parallel between this experience and other troubled recoveries from various later sacks? The ambiguous legacy of World War II and the subsequent “boom” years is impossible to ignore here. What about the Battle of the Vascello in 1849, when Giuseppe Garibaldi tried to uphold the short-lived Roman Republic against French troops sent by Napoleon III to occupy the city and defend Pope Pius IX against nationalist insurgents? Or, what about the capture of the city in 1870 by Raffaele Cadorna in the name of King Vittorio Emanuele? This act completed the unification of Italy, ending a ten-year period during which the entire peninsula had been united as single nation-state—with the exception of Rome, its putative capital.32 Even after 1870, the Popes regarded the city as under enemy occupation, remaining voluntarily imprisoned within the walls of the Vatican and refusing to recognize the Kingdom of Italy as legitimate for almost sixty years, until the Lateran Pacts of 1929 between Pius XI and the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini, which created the Vatican City as an independent state.33 And here it should be remembered as well that Mussolini himself, would-be successor to Augustus and the ancient Roman emperors, came to power as the result of a paramilitary march on Rome by Fascist squadristi in 1922. But however one evaluates them, most of these later events preceded and in some sense helped bring about periods of growth. In this respect, they resemble not the sack of 410, but the “original” sack of 390 BCE by the Gauls, in which the entire city was largely destroyed, except for the Capitoline citadel, which according to tradition remained defended by a small garrison.34 Whether the citadel really held is

 32 From the Roman perspective, the installation of a Savoyard dynasty on the throne of a unified Italy could easily be understood as another conquest of the city by northern invaders. But the location of the state bureaucracy in Rome was responsible for the modern redevelopment of the city. Irene Peirano suggests to me that it would be interesting to study from this point of view the brief period when Florence was capital of the new Italian state (1865–1870), and to imagine what would have become of both cities if the government had not moved to Rome. 33 The story of this period is brilliantly told by David I. Kertzer (2004). 34 For further discussion of the Gallic sack vis-à-vis Veii, see the contribution of Kraus to this volume.

  Joseph Farrell just one of the things that we cannot know about this event.35 Ancient historians themselves considered this sack as an evidentiary threshold, reasoning that any records that existed before it had probably been destroyed in it. For this reason, no matter how badly we may want to know what happened in 390, all we can actually study is how it was remembered; and here, Livy has been decisive. As everyone knows, he ends Book 5 of his history with Camillus’ rousing speech, urging the Romans not to migrate to Veii, a nearby city that they had only recently destroyed themselves; instead, they must stay and rebuild what the Gauls had destroyed (Livy 5.51–55). Livy then starts Book 6 with a proem that, in effect, begins his history anew, stressing not only that sources for the period following the Gallic destruction would be more plentiful, but also because Camillus had virtually refounded a city that the Gauls had left in ruins (6.1.1–3). At the end of this passage, Livy compares Rome to a tree that has been severely pruned back, only to gather its strength and grow even more exuberantly than before. His perspective here is entirely representative. The idea that every loss produced a vigorous recrudescence informed the Romans’ thinking about their remarkable growth from city-state to world empire: every setback fueled expansion, and it is in reflecting on the Gallic sack that Livy most forcefully articulates this theme.36 But Livy’s rendition of this episode possesses another, crucial aspect, which has been analyzed very well by Christina Kraus.37 In narrating the events of 390, Livy develops the idea that the sack of Rome by the Gauls reinstantiates the sack of Troy by the Greeks. In doing so, he is obviously preparing to develop the recrudescence motif in the following book: the rebirth of Troy as Rome is the greatest regeneration of all. But development of this motif inevitably involves humane reflection on the themes of translatio imperii and the brief duration of all worldly things. Troy may be reborn as Rome, but Troy is gone; what does that imply about

 35 Ancient evidence that the Capitol itself was taken is collected and discussed by Otto Skutsch 1978, with further references; cf. esp. Ennius Ann. 217–18 Sk with Skutsch’s commentary, in Skutsch 1985, 405–8. The much more widespread tradition was that a small garrison held out in the Capitol until Camillus, who had gone into exile and was living in Ardea, could be summoned to drive the invaders away. The episode is a cornerstone of legends concerning the city’s invincibility, which came to be seen as a Trojan inheritance (cf. Ennius Ann. 344–45 Sk, Verg. Aen. 7.294–95). During the fifth century, when Rome was no longer an imperial capital and was sacked several times, a number of coins were minted bearing the legend Roma invicta aeterna (Kent 1994, nos. 1403–1412). I am grateful to Andrew Stewart for discussion of these points. 36 On this theme see in particular the wide-ranging discussion of Mario Labate 2013. 37 Kraus 1994b. For more on Troy as the archetypal urban disaster in the Roman world, see also the contributions in this volume of Kraus, Joseph, Closs, and Bromberg, with briefer mentions from Clark and Zanker.

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Rome itself? Camillus barely prevented the Romans from abandoning their city and migrating to Veii, even as the Trojans had migrated to Rome. This is pertinent to the sack of 410 CE. That time there was no regeneration in situ because Constantine had already created, almost a hundred years earlier, an entirely new Rome, named after himself, just across the Bosporus from Troy on the site of another old city called Byzantium. Constantinople was, in every sense, a new Rome, one that involved a transferral of cults and institutions in much the same sense that Camillus had feared seven centuries before, but on a vastly greater scale.38 When the Visigoths sacked the ancient capital, there was no need for regeneration, because there was already a new one, and one close enough to ancient Troy to create a sense not of migration, as if to Veii, but of return to an ancestral home. Indeed, according to a legend recorded by Zosimus and other ancient historians, Constantine considered building his new capital on the site of Troy, and it was inevitable that later emperors and intellectuals would draw the connection between the two cities.39 Constantinople itself would be sacked in 1204 by Western Crusaders; the Venetian contingent would bring home the magnificent bronze horses looted from the Hippodrome, a structure built in the days of Septimius Severus and then enlarged by Constantine to a size that rivaled the Circus Maximus in Rome itself.40 The original horses, once gilded, and certainly of ancient provenance, are preserved inside the Basilica of San Marco, but exact replicas are still proudly displayed high on the basilica’s façade (fig. 10.20). The Byzantine empire never really recovered from the sack of 1204, and when Constantinople eventually fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453, historians would describe the event in terms that recall the sack of Troy. In fact, the humanist Adamo di Montaldo, writing just a few years after the event, would even describe the last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI, in terms that derive from classical descriptions of the aged Priam.41 But here, too, the theme of rebirth asserts itself, together with that of translatio studiorum: for the precarious position of Constantinople, its ultimate fall to the Ottomans, and the attendant migration of so many Greek scholars and Greek books to the Latinate West were among the factors that fueled humanist scholarship in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. In this sense, the renaissance that was  38 During Constantine’s reign, the city was commonly referred to as “new,” “second,” or “eastern Rome” or as Roma Constantinopolitana (Georgacas 1947). 39 Zosimus 2.30.1; cf. Sozomenus, Hist. eccl. 2.3.2. 40 On the relationship between the two hippodromes, see Bassett 2007, 24–28. On the sculpted horses, see Vlad/Toniato 1979; Freeman 2004. 41 See the discussion in Philippides/Hanak 2011, 202–14. On the topos of Priam’s fate, see Delvigo 2013.

  Joseph Farrell abruptly terminated by the sack of Rome in 1527 was just the natural result of the sack of Constantinople in 1453.

Fig. 21: The horses of San Marco, Venice.

This theme of fall, transference, and renewal appears constantly in Roman literature, until individual cities lose their distinct identities and become avatars of one another, or of the one city of which we are all citizens. Servius states that Vergil modeled his sack of Troy in Book 2 of the Aeneid on the Romans’ sack of their parent city, Alba Longa; and most critics accept that Vergil’s source for the sack of Alba must have been Ennius. Here the identities of conqueror and conquered tend to merge. Servius again helps us understand a crucially emblematic allusion to this theme at the very beginning of Vergil’s narrative, which begins with the words Vrbs antiqua fuit, “An ancient city there was….” How could this city be any other than Troy? But the reader immediately learns that it is not Troy, because “colonists from Tyre occupied it” (Tyrii tenuere coloni), and it was called “Karthago,” which Servius tells us is the Punic word for “new city” (nova civitas).42 So, the urbs antiqua is an urbs nova; and, further, when Aeneas lands on the coast of Africa, finding refuge in a sheltered harbor not far from Carthage, it

 42 Servius in Aen. 1.366.

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seems likely that Vergil’s topothesia is based in part upon descriptions of a Punic colony in Iberia, also called Carthage by its founders, but known to the Romans as Karthago Nova, “New Carthage”—which is to say, “New ‘New City.’”43 And when the city that Dido builds before Aeneas’ eyes is described as if it were the construction site that Augustus’ own Rome must have resembled during the 20s BCE, the circle is complete.44 To drive the point home, Aeneas next turns to the scenes of Troy’s destruction depicted in Juno’s temple precinct (Aen. 1.441–93); and the tears that he sheds while gazing upon those scenes are in some sense the same tears that Scipio Africanus the younger shed when looking upon the sack of Carthage in 146.45 It was at that moment, we remember, that Polybius, who was with Scipio, asked the meaning of those tears, and Scipio replied by quoting Homer: ἔσσεται ἦμαρ ὅτ’ ἄν ποτ’ ολώλει Ἴλιος ἱρὴ / καὶ Πρίαμος καὶ λαὸς ἐυμελίω Πριάμοιο, “There will be a day when sacred Ilium will be destroyed, and Priam and the people of Priam of the good ash-spear.”46 Here I would just note in passing some of the events in recent years have renewed the relevance of these themes in tragic ways. Just after the attacks on Paris in November 2015, the historian Niall Ferguson invoked comparison to the sack of Rome. Citing Edward Gibbon’s evocation of the ancient event, and focusing on slaughter and a barbarian disregard for limits of any sort, Ferguson drew the obvious, but simplistic parallel, and went on to warn that the Paris attack, just as much as the Visigothic sack, is but one symptom of a clash between antithetical cultures that he fears will not end any better for modern Europe than it did for ancient Rome.47 This is a familiar line of argument, and in many ways a much more serious one than any number of references to the sack of Rome that I have mentioned; and it remains in our minds, because the attack about which Ferguson wrote has of course not been the last; not only has Paris been hit again, but

 43 Llewellyn Morgan, “Dunno much about γεωγραφία…,” Lugubelinus: The Marginalia of an Easily Distracted Classicist, August 8, 2014, https://llewelynmorgan.com/2014/08/08/dunnomuch-about-γεωγραφία/. 44 For a recent discussion of this relationship, see Philips 2015, with further references. 45 A. Barchiesi 1994. 46 Il. 6.448–49; Polyb. 38.22.2; Diod. Sic. 32.24; App. Pun. 132; discussed by Sommer 2013. 47 Niall Ferguson, “Like the Roman Empire, Europe has let its defenses crumble,” The Times, November 15, 2015: “Here is how Edward Gibbon described the Goths’ sack of Rome in August 410 CE: ‘In the hour of savage license, when every passion was inflamed, and every restraint was removed … a cruel slaughter was made of the Romans; and … the streets of the city were filled with dead bodies…. Whenever the Barbarians were provoked by opposition, they extended the promiscuous massacre to the feeble, the innocent, and the helpless.…’ Now, does that not describe the scenes we witnessed in Paris on Friday night?”

  Joseph Farrell also Brussels, Nice, and other cities. But in the light of the ancient Roman meditations that I have just been discussing, I am struck by the difference between the Manichaean nature of Ferguson’s comparison and the Romans’ own tendency to regard the fall of every city as tragic, and as somehow related to the inevitable fall of their own. I certainly don’t want to exaggerate this point, because of course the Romans destroyed so many cities themselves and could be extremely brutal when they thought it necessary; so it goes without saying that Scipio’s humane perspective on human vicissitudes has to be understood from this point of view. Still, that perspective contrasts with what has been called “the empathy gap” between reactions to last the Paris attack on November 13, 2015 and those that took place in Beirut the day before, or the later attacks in Istanbul, and then in Lahore, and then elsewhere.48 The continuing disaster in Aleppo must be the worst instance to date. If historical reflection has anything to teach us about such events, it is that the relationship between and among them is not simple, and that drawing inferences about the present and the future is anything but a mechanical process. Above all, a triumphalist or alarmist reaction to any such episodes would impoverish our understanding of them all. It is not just that the rise of Rome redeems and avenges the sack of Troy by enabling the Romans to revisit similar misfortune on their former conquerors. Equally, every city the Romans sack prefigures the fate of Rome itself. If at least some Romans understood and felt this, it would certainly be depressing to admit that we had not learned the lessons they had, and that our own perspective on the rise and fall of all great cities were less empathetic than theirs. Conversely, one has to admit that not all Romans were as empathetic as Scipio, and that the ways in which history has dealt with them are instructive, as well. The poet Martial, for instance, in his literary celebration of the games that Titus gave in order to mark the opening of the Colosseum, fully exploits the urbs/orbis motif, according to which Roman conquest is merely the realization of Rome’s destiny as a world state.49 Epigram 1 in the Liber spectaculorum develops the theme of translatio imperii via the motif of the seven wonders of the world, each of which is, and all of which are, surpassed by the Colosseum alone. Epi-

 48 See (e.g.) David A. Graham, “The Empathy Gap between Paris and Beirut: Why have attacks in France gotten so much more attention than bombings in Lebanon?” The Atlantic, November 16, 2015, www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/11/paris-beirut-terrorism-empathygap/416121/. 49 This is the traditional view of the occasion celebrated by Martial; for a different interpretation, see Coleman 2006, liv–lix. For discussion of the urbs/orbis theme in Lucretius, see Nethercut’s contribution to this volume.

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gram 2 contrasts the Emperor’s public munificence with Nero’s selfish appropriation of almost the entire city for his Domus Aurea, which the Colosseum in part replaces. (Here Martial’s reader may recall that Nero built the Domus Aurea on areas cleared by the Great Fire of 64, and that he is supposed to have watched the spectacle while performing a poetic composition of his own—upon the sack of Troy.)50 Martial’s third epigram celebrates the Flavian amphitheater as an imago mundi containing, as witnesses of these games, not just the city populace, strictly arranged according to social rank, but representatives of all the farthest-flung corners of the empire. In the epigrams that follow, each of which commemorates something that happened during the hundred-day celebration of the edifice, Martial repeatedly invokes the theme of the emperor’s power over time and space, over history and myth, over the very elements—all within the confines of the Colosseum.51 Martial’s work is fragmentary, and unlike the Colosseum itself, we do not know how much of it is missing. This is a suitably ironic comment on his pretension that Roman rule is coterminous with the natural order and equally permanent. It also hampers our ability to understand fully the extent to which Martial developed his encomium to the Colosseum in relation to the theme of the rise and fall of cities. Perhaps he glossed over this almost entirely: by contrasting the public munificence of the Flavian emperors with the private indulgence of Nero, Martial ignores the events of 69, the infamous year of the four emperors, when Rome was at war with itself both as a city and as an empire.52 It was in this context that the Jewish rebellion took place between 66 and 70.53 The opportunity to crush this rebellion, which ended in the sack of Jerusalem and the destruction of its temple along with much of the city, was a convenient distraction from the civil wars being waged in the capital between Roman legions, and it offered a welcome pretext

 50 On the motif of Nero’s selfish appropriation of public space in contrast to Flavian munificence, see Mart. Spect. 2; Coleman 2006, lxv–lxvii. On Nero’s recitation of an Iliupersis during the Great Fire of 64 CE see Tac. Ann. 15.39.3, Suet. Ner. 38.2, Cass. Dio 62.18.1. See also the contribution of Closs in this volume. 51 For further discussion of the emperor’s ultimate responsibility for the city’s well-being, see the contributions in this volume of Closs and, more briefly, Bromberg. For more on the universal and cosmic aspect of a city’s rise and fall, see the contributions in this volume of Nethercut, Zanker, and, more briefly, Joseph. 52 The principal ancient sources for the civil conflicts of 69 CE are the surviving books of Tacitus’ Histories (1–5.26); Suetonius’ lives of Nero, Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian, and Titus; Plutarch’s lives of Galba and Otho; Cassius Dio 63–65. 53 On the Jewish War see, in addition to the sources listed in the previous note, Josephus’ De bello Iudaico. See also the contribution of Chapman in this volume.

  Joseph Farrell for settling on Vespasian as a man strong enough to steady the tottering empire. It is not hard to imagine that one element of Flavian propaganda was that—while Galba, Otho, and Vitellius fought over Rome—Vespasian waged a successful war against a foreign enemy in the rebels of Judaea. But it was Vespasian’s son Titus who completed the Judaean campaign and who made the most of it within a Roman civic context. Emblems of the sack of Jerusalem form a well-known part of the imagery that adorns the triumphal arch erected by Titus at the south end of the Forum (figs. 10.21, 10.22). Likewise, evidence suggests that the Flavian amphitheater itself was explicitly involved in such propaganda. We have an inscription that records certain repairs made to the Colosseum during the fifth century, long after the Flavian period. But the marble used for this inscription was reused, as can be told from the pattern of holes drilled in it, which used to hold the bronze letters of a different inscription (fig. 10.23). In 1995, the epigrapher Géza Alföldy deciphered the “ghost” inscription, and his reconstruction of it translates as “The Emperor Titus Caesar Vespasian Augustus ordered the new amphitheater to be made from the spoils of war.” If Alföldy is right, then these “spoils of war” must be from Titus’ triumph over Jerusalem—the only triumph that Titus is known to have celebrated.54 Moreover, the hundred days of games given to celebrate the opening of the Colosseum, which are the subject of Martial’s liber spectaculorum, took place in 80 CE, exactly ten years after the fall of Jerusalem. We do not know for sure whether Titus referred to the anniversary in the propaganda surrounding this celebration, nor, if he did, do we know whether Martial made explicit reference to the war that funded the Colosseum in the lost portions of his book of spectacles. But from a modern perspective, ending the Jewish War in 70 effectively confirmed the results of Rome’s first civil war in a hundred years, which brought the Flavians to power in 69. In that sense, the sack of Jerusalem by Titus looks very much like a surrogate event that may have, in effect, prevented the sack of Rome by her own warring legions.

 54 Alföldy 1995. Further discussion of spoliation and memorials in the urban landscape is in the contributions to this volume of Köster, Clark, Joseph, and Chapman. See also Chapman’s contribution for further discussion of the Colosseum’s inscription.

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Fig. 22: Roman Forum: Victory arch commemmorating Titus’ triumph over Judaea.

Fig. 23: Roman Forum: Victory arch commemmorating Titus’ triumph over Judaea (detail).

  Joseph Farrell

Fig. 24: Reconstruction of original inscription on the dedication of the Flavian amphitheater (or Colosseum).

It may be that Martial simply avoided any explicit mention of such things as too sensitive or too ill-omened for the message that his imperial patrons wanted to hear. But across the centuries, we find a beautifully melancholy response to Martial in Joachim du Bellay’s Les antiquités de Rome, a sonnet cycle composed during the poet’s four-year residence in Rome between 1553 and 1557—about twentyfive years after the 1527 sack and before the city’s Baroque redevelopment had yet taken place. Du Bellay clearly takes his bearings from Martial, because his second sonnet invokes the “seven wonders” motif order to state once again that the wonders of Rome outshine them all. But this time it is no individual building or even collection of buildings, but the seven hills of Rome that surpass the seven ancient wonders.55 This is no chance alteration, because in the collection as a whole, the

 55 De marcher en ce ranc, quelque plus grand’ faconde / Le dira: quant à moy, pour tous je veux chanter/Les sept costaux Romains, sept miracles du monde (2.12–14, “And what els in the world is of like worth, / Some greater learned wit will magnifie. / But I will sing above all moniments/ Seven Romane hils, the worlds seven wonderments,” trans. Edmund Spenser).

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familiar motif of urbs and orbis as exploited by Martial is transformed: while acknowledging that all of nature had once been subsumed by Roman rule, what impresses the poet now is the reabsorption of monumental Rome into what has become once again a natural landscape.56 Du Bellay’s younger contemporary, Michel de Montaigne, would pick up on this theme in writing of his own visit to Rome not long afterward, correctly inferring that the hills and the very ground on

 56 Et si par mesmes noms mesmes choses on nomme, / Comme du nom de Rome on se pourroit passer, / La nommant par le nom de la terre et de l’onde: / Ainsi le monde on peut sur Rome compasser, / Puis que le plan de Rome est la carte du monde (26.11–14, “When land and sea ye name, then name ye Rome, / And naming Rome, ye land and sea comprize: / For th’ auncient plot of Rome, displayed plaine, / The map of all the wide world doth containe,” trans. Edmund Spenser); but compare sonnet 5: Qui voudra voir tout ce qu’ont peu nature, L’art, et le ciel (Rome) te vienne voir: J’entens s’il peut ta grandeur concevoir Par ce qui n’est que ta morte peinture. Rome n’est plus, et si l’architecture Quelque ombre encor de Rome fait revoir, C’est comme un corps par magique sçavoir, Tiré de nuist hors de sa sepulture. Le corps de Rome en cendre est devallé, Et son esprit rejoindre s’est allé Au grand esprit de ceste masse ronde, Mais ses escrits, qui son los le plus beau Malgré le temps arrachent du tombeau, Font son idole errer parmi le monde. Who lists to see what ever nature, arte, And heaven could doo, O Rome, thee let him see, In case thy greatnes he can gesse in harte By that which but the picture is of thee. Rome is no more: but if the shade of Rome May of the bodie yeeld a seeming sight, It’s like a corse drawne forth out of the tombe By magicke skill out of eternall night: The corpes of Rome in ashes is entombed, And her great spirite, rejoyned to the spirite Of this great masse, is in the same enwombed; But her brave writings, which her famous merite, In spight of Time, out of the dust doth reare, Doo make her idole through the world appeare. (trans. Edmund Spenser)

  Joseph Farrell which one walks in Rome are in fact composed of the dust into which the bricks and mortar of the ancient city have crumbled.57 By the same token, du Bellay reimagines the ancient city’s grandeur as if it had been collected only in order to be despoiled by barbarian conquerors. We see this in sonnet 22, which observes that all the most distant peoples ruled over by the ancient Romans have now descended upon the city to reclaim the spoils that Rome had taken from them.58 And in sonnet 30, spoliation is extended to a present in which Rome is a ruined landscape that resembles an already harvested field, a place “Of which all passers by doo somewhat pill, / As they which gleane, the reliques use to gather / Which th’ husbandman behind him chanst to scater” (trans. Edmund Spenser).59 In this way, the modern visitor, especially the collector of antiquities, merely continues the work of the barbarian conqueror, making the sack of Rome continuous and coterminous with the city’s very existence as a tourist attraction and a monument to its former greatness. Du Bellay and Montaigne wrote almost three centuries after the first Jubilee year of 1300, the year that Dante made the dramatic date of the Divine Comedy. It

 57 Montaigne in Waters 1903, 2.94–100. For further discussion of the phenomenon of once-great cities reduced to “ghost towns” or rubble, see the contributions of Kraus and Closs in this volume. For more on strategies of memory concerning ruined or vanished urban landscapes, see also the contributions in this volume by Clark, Bromberg, and Chapman. 58 Quand ce brave sejour, honneur du nom Latin, Qui borna sa grandeur d’Afrique, et de la Bise De ce peuple qui tient les bords de la Tamise, Et de celuy qui voit esclorre le matin Anima contre soy d’un courage mutin Ses propres nourrissons, sa despouille conquise, Qu’il avoit par tant d’ans sur tout le monde acquise, Devint soudainement du monde le butin. When that brave honour of the Latine name, Which mear’d her rule with Africa and Byze, With Thames inhabitants of noble fame, And they which see the dawning day arize, Her nourslings did with mutinous uprore Harten against her selfe, her conquer’d spoile, Which she had wonne from all the world afore, Of all the world was spoyl’d within a while. (trans. Edmund Spenser) 59 Que chacun va pillant, comme on voit le glenneur / Cheminant pas à pas recueillir les reliques / De ce qui va tombant apres le moissonneur (30.12–14).

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was this Jubilee that began the transformation of an ancient tradition, that of religious pilgrimage, into the modern tourist industry. The visits of du Bellay and Montaigne themselves were forerunners of the Grand Tour that would become an essential element of the young gentleman’s cultural formation. It goes without saying that I am speaking of the young gentleman from the north, particularly English milordi, who would arrive in Rome with their ciceroni looking to acquire a bit of culture and a bit of adventure, and intending to return home with a number of trophies attesting the former, if not also the latter. One tends to focus on the educational aspects of this experience, but it is not misguided to see these granturisti as a species of northern invader, certainly more benign than Visigoths or Nazi occupiers, but nevertheless involved, however unwittingly, in serving and perpetuating mechanisms of elite control. As the social historian E. P. Thompson has put it, “ruling-class control in the eighteenth century was located primarily in a cultural hegemony, and only secondarily in an expression of economic or physical (military) power.”60 With this, we are brought to realize that every visitor is a barbarian invader participating in a continuous sack of the Eternal City. When talking of the sack of Rome, we may think we are all Romans, and perhaps in some sense we are; but we are certainly all “Germans,” whatever passport we carry, all “invaders from the north,” whatever direction we come from, all “barbarians,” whatever our purpose in visiting Rome. As my final example, I would like to return to Fellini—not to La dolce vita, but to the last of his three great Roman masterpieces, the 1972 film that he called, simply, Roma. Here I cannot explain how the entire structure of the film, which is so baffling on the surface, mimics the very familiar plot of a typical film epic on “the fall of Rome.” Suffice it to say that one of the last episodes, set amidst Trastevere’s “Festa di Noantri,” insistently recalls the theme of Roman decadence. To make sure we understand the universality of this decadence, Fellini incorporates an interview with the American writer Gore Vidal, who explains that Rome is the perfect place to enjoy the spectacle of the world’s end. So many of the motifs that converge on this amazing sequence—the rampant sensuality of the hippies who appear throughout the film and are insistently associated with the theme of free love, but who in this episode are inexplicably and brutally set upon by riot police; that of modern blood sport in the form of a boxing match improbably held in the piazza de’ Renzi; the closing shots of the piazza in “ruins” after the festivities, complete with extras in quasi-classical costume looking almost like refugees from the set of Satyricon (fig. 10.24)—all of these elements

 60 Thompson 1974, 387.

  Joseph Farrell are unexpectedly drawn together by Vidal’s reflections on Rome as the locus proprius to experience the end of times.

Fig. 25: Fellini, Roma (1972). Aftermath of the “Festa di Noantri” episode.

But the Festa di Noantri is not itself the end; it is merely the harbinger of the frightening but strangely energizing final episode, in which a motorcycle gang roars existentially in the dead of night through uncannily empty Roman streets, representing the generations of hurried tourists and barbarian conquerors who have rushed to and through Rome (figs. 10.25, 10.26).61 The imagery of this final episode evokes diverse reactions, but in keeping with other instantiations of the sack of Rome that we have been reviewing, I want to close with the thought that many of them individually, and all of them collectively, represent the city as a kind of historical and cultural singularity. In alternation and continually, successively and simultaneously, Rome keeps rising and falling. We who are perhaps its most ardent devotees are also its barbarian invaders, fated both to resist the forces that threaten to despoil it and to participate enthusiastically in the ongoing

 61 The biker gang at the conclusion of Roma prefigures, as David Quint points out to me (viva voce), the lone motorcyclist, a figure who seems clearly aligned with the theme of Fascism, who roars through the streets of Rimini at odd moments in Amarcord, which was released the following year, 1973.

The Sacks of Rome, 390 BCE–2017 CE  

sack that is, at one and the same time, the highest tribute we can offer. In this sense, I would suggest, the tragicomic theme of the sack of Rome as it continues to evolve over time in so many media is one of the most potent images of the human condition available to the imagination; and it is in this, I believe, that its extraordinary and seemingly endless attraction resides.

Fig. 26: Fellini, Roma. Final sequence (1).

Fig. 27: Fellini, Roma. Final sequence (2).

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List of Contributors Jacques A. Bromberg is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics at the University of Pittsburgh (USA). His research focuses chiefly on the intersecting intellectual and literary histories of classical Athens, and he has published work on ancient academic disciplines, the Socratic tradition, the history and philosophy of sport, and Latin American receptions of Greek tragedy. He is a contributor to the Brill New Jacoby and the Digital Corpus of Literary Papyri, and he is co-editing the forthcoming A Companion to Aeschylus. Honora Howell Chapman is Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Classics and Humanities at California State University, Fresno. She has published articles and book chapters on Joseph and co-edited with Zuleika Rodgers A Companion to Josephus (2016). She is currently working on Book 5 of Judean War for the Brill Josephus Project. Jessica H. Clark is Associate Professor of Classics at Florida State University. Her research focuses on the representation of war in Latin literature, and she is the author of Triumph in Defeat: Military Loss and the Roman Republic (2014) and co-editor of Brill's Companion to Military Defeat in Ancient Mediterranean Society (2018). Virginia Closs is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is the author of While Rome Burned: Fire, Leadership, and Urban Disaster in the Roman Cultural Imagination (2020) and several articles and edited volume contributions on topics including Roman memory, Latin epigraphy, and imperial Latin literature. Joseph Farrell is Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where he teaches and writes mainly about Latin poetry and related subjects. His current projects focus on the literary history and periodization of classical antiquity, late antiquity, and the Middle Ages. Timothy Joseph is Associate Professor of Classics at the College of the Holy Cross. His publications include the monograph Tacitus the Epic Successor (2012) and numerous articles on Latin epic and historiography. He is currently writing a book on Lucan’s engagement with the beginnings of the Greek and Latin epic tradition. Elizabeth Keitel is Professor Emerita of Classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has published numerous articles on Latin historiography with a special interest in Tacitus. She has recently edited (with Brian Breed and Rex Wallace) Lucilius and Satire in Second-Century BC Rome (2018). Isabel Köster is Assistant Professor in Classics at the University of Colorado Boulder. She has published primarily on Cicero and Livy and is currently completing a book on temple robbery in the Roman world.

  List of Contributors Christina Shuttleworth Kraus is Thomas A. Thacher Professor of Latin at Yale. She has research interests in Latin historiography and biography, commentaries and the commentary tradition, and Latin prose style. She has recently published (with C.A. Stray) Classical Commentaries: Explorations in a Scholarly Genre (2016) and (with Marco Formisano) Marginality, Canonicity, Passion (2018). Jason Nethercut is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of South Florida. His research focuses broadly on Latin poetry of all periods, with special emphasis on Lucretius, Ennius, Vergil, and Ovid. Andreas T. Zanker is Assistant Professor of Classics at Amherst College. He is the author of Greek and Latin Expressions of Meaning: The Classical Origins of a Modern Metaphor (2016) and Metaphor in Homer: Time, Speech, and Thought (2019), and is a co-editor of Horace and Seneca: Interactions, Intertexts, Interpretations (2017).

Index Locorum Appian Bellum Civile 1.26 2.91 2.101 3.69 Bellum Punicum 132


Aratus Phaenomena 123–26


Aurelius Victor De Caesaribus 5


Bellum Africanum 22.3


111n.71 4n.15 4n.16 161n.17

Bellum Hispaniense 1.1 18n.5 Books of the Bible Genesis 6–9 11:1–9 19:17, 24, 26 18:19, 20 1 Kings 3.16 Lamentations 4:6 Nehemiah 1 Caesar Bellum Civile 1.6 Bellum Gallicum 2.35.1, 7.1.1, 8.1.1

182n.4 182n.4 182 182 13n.8 184 195

110 n.67 18n.5

Calpurnius Siculus 1.33–88 164n.39 https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-014

Cassius Dio 41.3.3–4 43.19.4 46.36.54 46.50 61.17.5 62.6.3–5 62.16–18 62.16.1 62.18.1 62.24.2 62.29.1 63.1.1

110n.67 4n.17 161n.27 173n.75 164n.38 164n.38 155n.3 160n.21 157n.9–13, 225n.50 164n.38 158n.14, 164n.38 164n.38

Cato fr. 36 (Cornell) fr. 69 (Cornell)

22n.28 21n.25

Catullus 55.5–8


Censorinus De Die Natali 17.8–13 17.5–6

149n.58 173n.76

Cicero Ad Atticum 2.2.2 98n.21 2.19.3 93n.4 Ad familiares 4.1.2 119n.11 4.5.4 175n.82 7.1.3 110n.69 11.13, 12.5 161n.27 De divinatione 57 88n.69 De natura deorum 2.154 120 De republica 1.1–12 128n.28 Divinatio in Caecilium 3 81–2 57 88n.69

  Index Locorum In Catilinam 1.4.9 4.6.11 In Pisonem 53–63 In Verrem I.2 I.13 II.1.9 II.1.12 II.1.44 II.1.46 II.1.47 II.1.53 II.1.57 II.1.59 II.1.63 II.1.63–67 II.1.86–90 II.1.89 II.1.103–58 II.1.121 II.1.133–34 II.1.154 II.3.23 II.3.57 II.3.61 II.3.186 II.4.12 II.4.21 II.4.23 II.4.95 II.4.104 II.4.106–12 II.4.111 II.4.120 II. 4.122 II.4.122–24 II.4.127 II.5.27–28 II.5.30–31 II.5.31 II.5.43, 5.59 II.5.63 II. 5.65 II.5.70 II.5.77

119n.11 119n.11 128n.28 86n.59 82–83 86n.57 84n.53 80n.34 83n.46 77n.18 80 83n.46 84n.50 79n.29, n.30 78n.27 84n.48 83n.47 86n.50 88n.69 77n.19 83n.46 75 87 88n.65 86n.58 77n.19 83n.46 83n.46, 84n.49 88n.69 83n.46 78n.25 89n.72 81n.38 83n.46 82n.42 77n.20, 82n.43 88n.67 78n.23 88n.68 84n.49 84n.51, n.52 84n.53 83n.46 84n.53

II.5.86 77n.21 II.5.86–92 84n.54 II.5.92 85n.55 II.5.98 85n.56 II.5.97 85 II.5.146 89n.71 II.5.158–72 89n.73 II.5.160 119n.13 II.5.170 89n.74 II.5.184–89 90n.75 Orationes Philippicae 2.39.8 174n.80 Pro lege Manilia 61 97n.18 Pro Sexto Roscio Amerino 46–47 21 Pro Sestio 140 111n.71 Tusculanae disputationes 11.4.11 61n.38 Clemens Alexandrinus Stromateis 4.26 120 Dead Sea Scrolls 1QpHab 6.1–6


Q. Curtius Rufus


Diodorus Siculus 32.24 4.21.5

223n.46 53

Einsiedeln Eclogues 1.38–41, 2.15–38 164n.39 Ennius fr.154–55 (Skutsch) 179n.96 fr. 217–18 (Skutsch) 220n.35 fr. 233 (Skutsch) 61n.38 fr. 344–45 (Skutsch)220n.35

Index Locorum  

Epicurus Sententiae Vaticanae 31 120n.14 58 128n.28 Euripides Trojan Women 595–600, 922 164n.43 Eusebius Chronica 64 155n.3 Praeparatio evangelica 15.15 120n.15 Eutropius 7.14


Florus 1.6.11 1.7 1.37.4 2.10.8–9

20 27n.46 103n.41 102

Germanicus Aratea 103–41


Granius Licinianus 36 97n.20 Hesiod Works and Days 24 109–201 Homer Iliad 6.448–49 9.189 9.438–43 9.443 9.524–25 Odyssey 1.206–10 1.296–97 1.307–8 1.321–22

58 141n.32

3n.12, 166n.54, 223 58n.29 68n.50 57 58n.29 64 68 64, 68 65

1.351–61 2.2 2.47 8.73 16.23, 31 17.397 Horace Carmen saeculare 17–20 29–33 37–40 45–48 53–60 61–72 73–5 Epistles 1.1.156–57 2.1.134 2.2.166–68 Epodes 16.1–2 Odes (Carmina) 1.2 1.28.7–8 1.28.30–34 2.16.30 3.1.1–16 3.1.17–32 3.1.33–44 3.6.1–4 3.6.45–48 3.39.5–12 2.3.143 Jerome Epistulae 22.35.8

60 65 60, 67 58n.29 68 68

143n.38 143n.38 144–45 144–45 143n.38, 145 146–47 149–50 214n.14 142n.38 22 174nn.77, 81 131 141n.33 137n.24 141n.33 136–38 138–39 140–42 132–36 132–36, 141n.33 157n.9 22n.30


Josephus Antiquitates Judaicae 1.200, 203 182–83 3.180–85 189n.19 11. 2–4, 10 195 11.80–83 196 11.162, 165–66 195 12.359 187n.13 15.380 184n.9

  Index Locorum 15.380–425 15.392 20.144 Bellum Judaicum 1.1–2 1.9 1.15, 16 1.376 1.419 2.397, 399, 400 2.409 4.318 4.412–1 4.441–50 4.483–84 4.485, 486 4.628–29 5.27 5.67 5.182 5.185 5.187 5.212–14 5.216, 218 5.219 5.220–21, 222, 225 5.238–47, 245 5.562 5.566 6.105 6.217 6.241 6.250, 251, 252 6.266 6.267–70 6.268 6.420–1 6.435–41 7.2, 3 7.112–13 7.118, 138 7.148–49 7.161–62 7.269 7.348 7.454 6.420–21

189n.18 190, 190n.21 184 185 193 184 195n.30 184n.9 185 186 186 186 186 186 186 196n.35 188 187–88 188 189 189 189 189 188–89 190 188n.17 187 187 184n.9 191 193 193 193 193 194 194 194 195 187 196 194 194 184n.9 193 193 194

6.442 Contra Apionem 2.80, 82, 2.90, 95–96, 97, 98 2.102 2.148 1.318 Vita 2 5 16 422 423 425, 426–27 429

185 190 190 190n.20 187 187n.13 181n.2 197n.36 183n.8 197n.36 196n.35 197n.36 197n.38

Julius Exuperantius 4, 56 101–102 Juvenal 5.15.97–106 8.219–30 8.235

102n.36 164n.38 159n.17

Livy Ab Urbe Condita 1 pr. 9 1.60.3 5.1–23 5.24.4–9 5.24.11, 12 5.38.5 5.47.3 5.49–55 5.49.1 5.51 5.51–55 5.52.6–16 6.1.1–3 6.1.3 6.7.4 6.14.10 6.20.13 6.40–41 9.4.8, 16 9.4.11–12 9.4.12–14

139n.29 30n.57 46n.21 26 18n.7, 26 17, 26–27 18n.8 166n.53 29n.54 140n.30 220 28n.52 220 4 19n.14 19n.13 19n.8 26n.44 29n.54 28n.52 29

Index Locorum  

10.1.9 10.11–12 20.2, 5 21.57.14 22.50.1 22.61.1 26.21 32.9.2 34.5.9–10 35.4–36, 46 Periochae 19 92, 93

106n.53 104n.47 26n.42 33 43 43 94n.6 20n.16 96n.15 17n.3 110n.68 102n.35

Lucilius fr. 104 (M)


Lucan 1.8 1.24–27 1.30–32 1.72–80 1.81 1.248 1.469 1.483–84 1.484–514 1.504–9 1.511–14 1.520 2.40–42 2.103–9 2.335–37 2.346 2.388 3.97–101 3.112–68 5.27–30 5.615–17 7.369–76 7.387–95 7.391–94 7.397–407 7.402 7.408–9 7.412–16 7.639–46

48 45 45–6 174n.79 174n.81 119n.13 35 35 35–37, 39 36, 45 36–37 174n.79 47 38 38–39 39 45 39–40, 39n.17 39n.20 28 174n.78 40–41 41 22–23 42–43 35, 41 43 43 44

7.693–96 8.139 9.964–69 9.980–86 9.1066–68

44 175n.80 25 58 46

Lucretius 1.73 1.75–77 1.594–96 1.670–74 1.792–97 1.898 1.1083–1117 1.1115 2.1105–11 2.1105–74 2.1120–21 2.1128–32 2. 1144–52 2.1173–74 3.519–24 3.898–99 5.91–109 5.92–96 5.96 5.351–415 5.454 5.534 5.933–34 5.998 5.1000 5.1007 5.1213 5.1318 5.1452–57 6.459, 464 6.588–90 6.588–607 6.596 6.601–7 6.749 6.1139, 1140 6.1157 6.1173 6.1242 6.1253–54

121 120 120 120 120 124n.23 126n.24 126 124 126n.24 124–25 124 125–26 126 120 174n.78 126n.24 174n.78 119 126n.24 120n.19 120 122 122 174n.78 122 120n.19 122 123, 126 124n.23 118–19 126n.24 118–19 118–19 121 119 122 122 122 122

  Index Locorum Malalas Chronographia 12


Martial Epigrams 1.103.9 22n.30 2.53.3 22n.30 3.49.1 22n.30 4.44 50 10.25.5 159n.17 Liber Spectaculorum 1 224 2 225 Naevius Romulus/Lupus fr. 4 (Manuwald) 21n.25 Bellum Punicum fr. 46 (Fr.Poet.Lat.) 104n.44 Octavia 800–819 831–33 Ovid Amores 1.15.23–24 2.276–78 Ars Amatoria 1.174 Epistulae ex Ponto 2.11.25–26 Fasti 2.235–36 2.683–88 3.429–48 6.199–204 6.453–54 Metamorphoses 14.573–80 Tristia 2.155–56 2.425–26 5.14.45–46

165n.45 155n.3

174n.78 174n.77 119n.11 147n.48 174n.78 119n.11 107n.55 107n.55 159n.16 171n.67 147n.48 174n.78 134n.12

Orosius 7.7.4–6 Pausanias 8.31–32

155n.3 24n.36

Persius 1.1–5 5.146

164n.40 22n.30

Pliny the Elder Historia Naturalis 7.39 7.96–97 7.98 12.54.111–13 15.136–37 18.5 8.4 8.7 35.19 35.23 35.157

110n.68 103–104 109n.64 196n.34 31 155n.3 98n.21 110n.69 106n.53 107n.57 20n.21

Pliny the Younger Epistulae 1.8 2.13.4 2.14.9 3.5.5 3.5.6, 11–12, 19 3.7.14, 15 3.9.31 3.11.3 3.18.2–3 5.8.4–5 5.19.2 5.20.3, 8 6.6.3 6.20.10 6.20.14 6.16.4 6.16.5 6.16.12 6.16.16,18, 20 6.16.21 6.20.1

59n.34 66n.45 59n.33 69 66 58 68 68 67 66–67 59 59–60 58n.31, 59n.33, 66n.45 65n.42 63n.40 55, 60 55 60, 61 56 56, 60 62

Index Locorum  

6.20.3, 5 6.20.6, 8, 9 6.20.12 6.20.13 6.20.16, 17 6.20.20 6.25.5 7.4.2 8.2 8.13.2 8.23.2 Panegyricus 13.3. 1–3

55 56 65 56, 63 56 57 65 58n.31 59n.34 66n.45 66n.45 68

Plutarch Adversus Coloten 1124d–1127e 128n.28 An Recte Dictum Sit Latenter Esse Vivendum 1129b–d 128n.28 Caesar 50 4n.15 C. Gracchus 17 111n.71 Pompey 2, 46 98.22 14 97n.18 40.5 108n.62 Pyrrhus 20 110n.68 Polybius 1.40 9.10 38.22.2

Porcius Licinus fr. 1(Courtney)

110n.68 94n.6 3n12, 166n.54, 187n.14, 223n.46


Porphyrio Commentary on Horace’s Odes 3.6.1 137n.26 Propertius 1.1.1 213n.18 2.32.43 174n.80 4.1.34–35 171n.67

3.11.57 4.10.23–30 4.10.27–30

119n.11 27–28 171n.67

Pseudo-Seneca Epistulae ad Paulum 11 (12).20–21 153.3 Quintilian Institutio oratoria 8.3.61, 67–70, 72 10.1.46 11.2.21

63 59n.33 188

Rhetorica ad Herennium 4.51 3 n.7, 63n.41 Sallust Bellum Catilinae 10.6, 15.2 139n.29 Historiae fr. 3.60 R/3.86M 102n.36 fr. 3.61 R/3.87 M 102n.36 fr. 3.63 R/3.89 M 103n.42 Bellum Iugurthinum 63 101 Seneca the Elder Controversiae 2.7.7 10.5.22

174n.77 177n.89

Seneca the Younger Apocolocyntosis 4 164n.39 4.1 174n.77 Consolatio ad Marciam 26.6–7 174n.79 Consolatio ad Polybium (Dial. 11) 1.2 174n.79 De Beneficiis 3.27 177n.92 6.22.1 174n.79 6.32.3 176–77, 176n.87 De Clementia 1.9–11 171n.69

  Index Locorum De Ira 3.23 177n.89 3.23.5–8 177n.90 3.23.4–8 177n.92 3.40.2–4 177n.92 Epistulae 14.5 159n.17 70.26 168n.59 79.5 50 81.3 176n.87 90.5 174n.77 91.1–2 169–72, 174, 176n.85 91.4 175n.83 91.6.1, 3 172–73 91.9 170n.64 91.11–12 175 91.13.1, 2 175–76 91.13.3 177 91.14 173 91.16 170–71 91.20 175n.85 102.22 174n.9 115.6 176n.86 115.14.1 174n.77 3.29.9 172n.71, 174n.79 Quaestiones Naturales 6.1.2 54n.20, 162n.37 6.1 53–54 6.1.4–15 54 6.8.3 176n.85 Servius Commentary on Vergil’s Aeneid 1.366 222–23 2.313, 486 46n.32 5.370 164n.41 7.188 20n.21 11.6 102n.42 Commentary on Vergil’s Eclogues 4.5 49n.58 Sibylline Oracles 4.130–36


Silius Italicus Punica 4.396–400 7.743

58 28n.52

Solon fr. 13.29–32 (West) 137n.24 Sozomen Historia ecclesiastica 2.3.2 221n.39 Statius Silvae 1.6.8 2.1.161 2.7.60–61 3.2.138, 141 3.5 4.5.53–56 5.2.138–39 Thebaid 10.445–48 Strabo 5.4.8 Suetonius Augustus 25 43.2 96 Galba 1 Julius 37 39 79.3 Nero 6 7 10.1 11.2, 12.1 16.1 19 20.1–2 21.1, 38

196n.34 196n.34 155n.3 196n.34 50n.7 24 196n.34 58


171n.73 160n.23 161n.27 30 4n.15 160n.23 25n.41 161n.26 160n.23 166n.50 161n.30 8n.26 164n.38 163 155n.3

Index Locorum  

38.1 38.2 39 39.2 55 Titus 1.1, 7.1

160n.21 157n.9–13, 225n.50 166n.53 30 179n.97 183n.7

Sulpicius Severus Chronicorum Libri duo 2.29 155n.3 2.30.6 192n.24 Tacitus Agricola 30.5 Annales 4.64 11.11.5 12.41 12.58 14.1–9 14.14 14.51 14.60–64 15.22 15.23 15.29 15.38–43 15.38.1 15.39.3 15.41 15.41.2 15.44 15.45 15.45.3 16.13 16.16 Historiae 3.34 5.2 5.9

30n.57 193 192

Terence Phormio 203


9, 195 161n.26 160n.23 160n.25 161n.26 167n.57 164n.38 167n.57 167n.57 54n.20, 162n.37 162n.36 172n.70 155n.3 29 29, 157, 225n.50 166n.52, 173n.74 30 159n.17 8n.26 167n.57 168n.60 192n.25

Valerius Flaccus Argonautica 1.12–15 1.242–46

196n.34 58

Valerius Maximus 4.4.8 7.6.3 7.6.4

20.17, 24 102n.36 95–96

Varro De lingua Latina 5.143


Velleius Paterculus 1.8.5 20 1.13.4–5 94n.8 Vergil Aeneid 1.2, 5, 33 1.199 1.209 1.223 1.278–79 1.441–93 1.642 2.10, 12–13 2.303 2.354 2.361 2.373–74 2.469–558 2.564–66 2.640–42 2.760–67 4.657 6.541 6.773–76 6.791–95 6.851 7.294–95 7.319–22 7.411–13 8.314–36 8.691 9.150–55

172n.71 61 61 61 61 223 12 62 165n.47 54 174n.78 65n.42 165n.47 63 62 165n.47 174n.80 119n.13 23 174n.77 60 220n.25 165n.44 171n.67 174n.77 37n.15 166n.53

  Index Locorum 9.446–49 9.599 10.74, 213–14 10.284 10.378 12.793 Georgics 1.489–500 3.398

58 166n.53 166n.53 60 166n.53 61 174n.77 147n.49

Vitruvius De architectura 2.6.2


Zosimus 1.59 2.30.1

208n.13 221n.39

General Index Abraham, 182 Ab urbe condita (Livy), 17–20, 26–27 Achilles, Nero compared to, 165 adoptive succession, 6, 52, 67, 68–69 Aebutius Liberalis, 175–176 Aeneas, 61, 165, 223 Aeneid (Vergil) —allusions to, 6, 23, 51, 60–63, 172–173 —destruction in, 222–223 —leaving of gods, 82 n.41 —and Nero, 160, 165 —time and temporality in, 23, 173 n.78 Aetna (mount), 50 Aetna (town), 87–88 L. Afranius (general), 46, 102 L. Afranius (playwright), 161–162 Against Apion (Josephus), 187, 190, 195 n.31 Agrippa, 184, 185 alarm fatigue, 54 Alba Longa, 17, 46, 222 Aldrete, Gregory, 1 “Alexander Digression” (Livy), 94 n.7 Alexandria, as replacement for Rome, 25 Allia, 43 Amarcord (1973), 232 n.61 Anchises, 23 Annals (Tacitus), 155 n.4, 184, 192 anthropology in Lucretius, 115–116, 117, 122–125, 127, 128–129 Antinoös, 68 Antiochus IV, 187 n.13 Antonia tower, 188 n.17 Antonius Felix, 192 Apamea, 161 n.26 Apion, 190 Apollo, naming of in prayers, 148 Apollonius Molon, 187 apostrophes, 47–48 Appian, 106 Apronius (publicanus in Cicero’s Verrines), 75, 76, 87–88 architecture —Fascist, 205 https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110674736-015

—of Pompey’s theater complex, 108, 109– 110 —of Temple of Jerusalem, 188–191 —and urban renewal, 205–207 —of Veii, 20 See also rebuilding and restoration Arch of Titus, 10, 194, 226–227, 228 Ardea, 28 n.53, 29, 171 Aricia, 22 Arius Didymus, 120 n.16 Ark of the Covenant, 197 n.39 Ars amatoria (Ovid), 107 Arsinoë IV of Egypt, 4 Aspendos, 80 ataraxia, 117, 121 n.20, 127–128 atheism, 187 Athena, 64–65, 68 Athenian plague, See plague Athens, in Lucretius, 116, 119, 122, 127 atomic dynamics, in Lucretius, 115, 116, 118, 123–125, 126, 127 Augustine, 215 n.23 Augustus —building and renovations by, 108, 134– 135 —in Horace, 131, 145, 147 —marriage laws, 143 n.38 —in Seneca, 171–173, 176, 177–178, 179 —and Timagenes of Alexandria, 176, 177 Aulus Cornelius Cossus, 17 Aulus Gabinius, 90–91 Avellino Eruption, 53 Bachvarova, Maria, 2 Badian, Ernst, 134 bandits/pirates, 75, 76–77, 80, 83–85 barbarians from the North —Goethe as, 212–213 —in modern usage, 12–13, 201–202, 207– 208, 216, 217, 231–233 —and sack of 1527, 215 —tourists as, 231–233 —and unification of Italy, 219 n.32

  General Index Bar Kokhba revolt, 196, 198 Barnes, Timothy, 191 Baths of Caracalla, 210 Battle of the Vascello (1849), 219 Beard, Mary, 183 n.8, 194 n.29 beauty, 183 Benedict XVI, 217 Bentley, Richard, 143, 147 Berlusconi, Silvio, 202, 217 Bernays, Jacob, 191 Bernstein, Neil, 65–66 Bononia/Bologna, 161 book burning, 177 Borgia, Cesare, 217 Bromberg, Jacques A., 5–6, 11, 12, 49–69 cacumen, in Lucretius, 123–125, 126 Cacus, 39 n.19 Cadorna, Raffaele, 219 L. Caecilius Metellus (consul 251 and 247 BCE), 98, 100, 158n.16 L. Caecilius Metellus (tribune of the plebs 49 BCE), 39n.20, 46 Q. Caecilius Metellus (consul 80 BCE), 100 Calagurris, 101–103, 105 Calgacus, 9 Caligula, 74, 77 n.21 L. Calpurnius Piso, 90–91 Camillus, M. Furius —in Livy, 18, 19–20, 27, 140 n.30, 220, 221 —in Lucan, 28–29 —in Seneca, 171 Campus Martius, 108 Cannae, 19 n.15, 43, 94 cannibalism, 105, 191 Capitoline citadel, 219–220 Carmen saeculare (Horace), 7–8, 131, 142–151, 157 n.9 Carthage, fall of, 3, 166–167, 187, 223 Cato, 38–39, 45 Catullus, 108–109, 212 Ceauşescu, Petre, 25 celebrity, cult of, 208 certus in Horace, 148–150 chaos in Lucretius, 121 n.20, 122–123 Chapman, Honora Howell, 9, 11, 12, 181–

199 Charles V, 216, 218 chess, 202 children —killing of as trope in urbs capta, 3, 33, 38, 41, 63 n.40 —sons in Odyssey (Homer), 64–65 —sons in Pliny the Younger, 52, 59, 62, 64–69 —unborn children in Lucan, 41–42, 43– 44, 45 Christians and Great Fire of 64, 159 Chrysogonus, 22 n.27 Cicero —on cosmos, 120 —on greatness as dangerous, 93 n.4 —Pompey in, 97 n.18 —reliability of, 81 n.37 —Sulpicius’ letter of consolation to, 175 n.82 —on Veii, 21–22 —Verres in, 7, 73–91 civilization —decline of in Horace, 131–142 —end of in Lucretius, 7, 115, 118–129 —history of in Lucretius, 115–116, 117, 122–125, 127, 128–129 —Verres as threat to in Cicero, 7, 75–78, 90–91 civil war —and cultural violence, 111 n.72 —and increased threat of urbs capta, 5, 15, 19 —in Lucan, 5, 33–48 —siege of Jerusalem as distraction from, 225–226 —and Sulla, 96–97, 99 Clark, Jessica H., 7, 11, 12, 93–113 Claudia Augusta, 162 Clay, Diskin, 117, 129 Clement of Alexandria, 120 Clement VII (pope), 215, 216, 217 Cleomenes, 84–85 Closs, Virgina, 9, 11, 155–179 clothing and costume, 77, 106, 157 Clunia, 101–102, 103

General Index  

Cn. Fulvius Centumalus, See Fulvius Centumalus Coates, Victoria Gardner, 6 coins and coinage, 95–96, 106, 110, 172 n.70, 197–198 Colonia Clunia Sulpicia, 103 Colosseum, 10, 195, 198, 224–228, 226 compassion of generals, 81 n.39 Constantine XI, 221 Constantinople as new Rome, 221 Cora, 42 Corinth, 94 L. Cornelius Lentulus Crus, 28–29 L. Cornelius Scipio Barbatus, See Scipio Barbatus Cornelius Severus, 50–51 corruption as modern sack of Rome, 202, 206 cosmology —cosmic city, 120 —cosmic renewal, 173 —end of world, 115, 118–129, 173–175 —in Epicurus, 120, 121 —in Josephus, 189 —in Lucretius, 115, 118–129 —Stoics on, 120, 121, 126 costume, See clothing and costume Craxi, Bettino, 217 crime —and citizens as captives to Rome, 42 —in Horace, 134, 137, 139 n.29 Cuccia, Enrico, 217 cultural heritage, 111–113 cultural violence, 111–112 Cyclops, Verres as, 89–90 D’Alessandro Behr, Francesca, 47–48 Danaids, 159 n.18 Danto, Arthur, 198 De beneficiis (Seneca), 175, 176, 177 decemvri, 149 n.59 De clementia (Seneca), 171 De incendio urbis (Lucan), 155 n.3–4 De rerum natura (Lucretius), 115–129, 135, 141 destruction and renewal, cycle of —and celebrations of victory, 94, 105, 111

—in Cicero, 78 —and Constantinople, 221–222 —and creation of Rome, 3–4, 28, 220–221 —in Horace, 131 —in Josephus, 193–194 —in Livy, 46, 220–221 —in Lucan, 42–44, 46 —in Lucretius, 115, 121–129 —and plague, 115, 121–129 —as popular theme, 46, 222–224 —and renewal of Rome, 10, 94, 166 —in Seneca, 173–175, 178–179 —and Veii, 25–31 —in Vergil, 46, 222–223 See also end of world Diana, naming of in prayers, 148 Dido, 62 Dio, 4, 155, 157–158, 160 n.21, 164 n.38, 173 n.75 Diodorus Siculus, 53 Diphilus, 93 n.4 disasters —categories of, 1, 73 —as popular theme, 1–5, 163–167, 178 —social control of disaster narratives, 1 See also destruction and renewal, cycle of; earthquakes; fire; floods; Gallic sack of Rome (390 BCE); Great Fire of 64; Jerusalem, siege of; plague; rulers as disasters; sacks; Troy, fall of; Veii; Vesuvius, eruption of Divinatio in Caecilium (Cicero), 81–82 domina, 212 Domitian, 8, 68–69, 197 Domitius, 46 du Bellay, Joachim, 228–230 Dutsch, Dorota, 2 earthquakes —in Lucretius, 118–119 —and Nero, 161 n.26, 162–163 —as popular theme, 1–2 —in Seneca, 53–55 —and Sodom and Gomorrah, 182 n.6 —in Tacitus, 54, 162 n.37 —and Vesuvius, 6 n.23, 53–56 economic booms, 215, 218–219

  General Index Edwards, Catherine, 4 egalitarianism as threat, 76–77 Ekberg, Anita, 208, 209 ekpyrosis, 46 n.33, 173–175 See also end of world Eleazar, 186 elephants, 97–99, 110 Eliav, Yaron, 191 n.22 empathy gap, 224 end of world, 115, 118–129, 173–175 Ennius, 46, 222 Epicureanism —ataraxia, 117, 121 n.20, 127–128 —cosmology, 120, 121 —and end of world, 115, 121, 123–124, 125–126, 127 —and plague in Lucretius, 115–119, 121, 122–123, 127, 129 Epicurus —birth, 116 —cosmology in, 120, 121 —and politics, 128 Epistles (Horace), 143 n.38 Epistulae morales 70 (Seneca), 168 n.59 Epistulae morales 91 (Seneca), 155, 156, 167–179 Epodes (Horace), 137 n.24, 148 Eumaeus, 68 European Union, 218 Eusebius, 120 n.16 Eutropius, 99 exile —in Goethe, 213 n.19 —of Jews, 195 —and Seneca, 171, 177, 178 —of Verres, 74 n.7 Exuperantius, 100–102, 103, 104–105 Fabii, 17 Fabius Pictor, 106 n.53 C. Fabricius Luscinus, 110 Fantham, Elaine, 37, 38, 47 Farrell, Joseph, 10, 11, 12, 24, 117, 201– 232 Fasti (Ovid), 107 fatherhood —in Odyssey (Homer), 6, 64–65, 67–68

—in Pliny the Younger, 6, 52, 59, 62, 64– 69 feasting, 88, 88 n.65 Fellini, Federico, 202–204, 207–211, 231– 233 Ferguson, Niall, 223–224 Festa, Lodovico, 217–218 films —and sack of Rome, 202–211, 231–233 —on Vesuvius, 6, 50 fire —book burning, 177 —discovery of, 116 —and Domitian, 8 —Great Fire of 64, 1, 9, 29–30, 155, 156– 160, 162, 163–179 —Lugdunum fire, 9, 155, 156, 168, 169– 173, 179 —Nero’s gymnasium, 162 —Temple of Jerusalem, 193, 197 —Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, 10 —and Tiberius, 162 n.36 —as trope in urbs capta, 3, 33, 39 Flavius Josephus, See Josephus flight as trope in urbs capta descriptions, 33, 35, 36, 40–41, 45 floods, 1, 131, 182 n.4, 187 Florus, 102 Forst, Alexandra, 76 n.13 forum —Arch of Titus, 10, 194, 226–227, 228 —crimes at in Livy, 99 —flooding of, 131 —forum of Syracuse, 86 n.58 —Pompey’s theater complex as, 108–109 —Temple of Concord, 111 n.71 Fowler, D., 128 n.29 Fraenkel, Eduard, 133–134, 147 free speech, dangers of, 68–69 Cn. Fulvius Centumalus, 104, 105 M. Furius Camillus, See Camillus Gabii, 42 Gale, Monica, 117–118 Galen, 116 n.2 Gallic sack of Rome (390 BCE) —in Augustine, 215 n.23

General Index  

—and dangers of triumphs, 94 —Great Fire of 64 comparisons, 29–30, 166, 179 —Livy on, 4, 17–19, 26–27, 46, 166 n.53, 220–221 —modern comparisons to, 219–221 —as popular theme, 3–4, 46 —in Seneca, 171 —in Tacitus, 29–30 —Veii as refuge from, 26–27, 30 See also sacks Gardens of Maecenas, 157 Garibaldi, Giuseppe, 219 Gavius, 89–90 geese, 18 n.8 generals, compassion of, 81 n.39 Genialis, 66 n.45 ghost towns —Athens as, 119, 122 —in Lucretius, 119, 122 —in Montaigne, 230 —Troy as, 25 —Veii as, 5, 17, 20–24, 31 —in Vergil, 23 Gibbon, Edward, 156, 204, 223 Gigante, M., 51, 60 Gildenhard, Ingo, 75 Giordano, Carlo, 183 gods —absence of as trope in urbs capta, 82 —disasters as divine will, 182, 183, 197 —leverage over in Horace, 144–147 —naming of in prayers, 148 —neglect of, 138 Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von, 212–213 golden age —Augustan, so-called, 173 n.77 —Golden House as manifestation of, 178 n.95 —Hesiodic conception of, 141 Golden House, 166, 178, 225 Gomorrah, 182 n.3 See also Sodom government corruption as modern sack of Rome, 202, 206 Graecia capta, 212 Grand Tour, 231

Granius Licinianus, 97 Great Fire of 64 —Nero as cause of, 8, 29–30, 155, 156, 159, 162, 176, 178–179 —Nero’s performance during, 9, 29–30, 156–159, 163–167, 178–179, 225 —in overview, 1, 8, 9 —Seneca on, 155, 156, 167–179 —Tacitus on, 29–30, 155, 157, 158, 166 Greece —political invective, 73–74 —Verres alignment with, 74–75, 77 See also Homeric texts Ground Zero memorial, 198 n.40 Guicciardini, Francesco, 215 Guicciardini, Luigi, 215 n.22 guilt —of Christians for Great Fire of 64, 159 —in Horace, 134 n.10 —inherited, 137 Haussmannization, 112 Heinze, R., 133, 134 n.14 Henna, 78 n.25 Henry VIII, 216 Heracleo, 84, 85 Herod, 184 n.9, 195 n.30–31 heroism —in Iliad (Homer), 57 —in Pliny the Younger, 49, 51, 52, 55, 57– 58, 60–61, 67–68 Hesiod, 58, 141 Hippodrome, 221, 222 Histories (Sallust), 100–101, 102 Histories (Tacitus), 181, 184, 186, 187, 191, 192 history —of civilization in Lucretius, 115–116, 117, 122–125, 127, 128–129 —role of historian, 192 n.25 History of Italy (Guicciardini), 215 Homeric texts —allusions in Pliny the Younger, 6, 51–52, 55, 57–60, 62–69 —urbs capta in, 3 See also Iliad (Homer); Odyssey (Homer) homosexuality, 182–183

  General Index Horace —Gardens of Maecenas in, 157 n.9 —Graecia capta in, 212 —morality and decline in Carmen saeculare, 7–8, 131, 142–151 —morality and decline in Odes 3.6 (Horace), 7–8, 131–142, 150–151 —Veii in, 22 horses, 221, 222 L. Hostilius Mancinus, 107 House of the Doctor (Pompeii), 183 n.8 Iliad (Homer), 3, 57, 58, 165 immortality —in Latin epic, 58 —of Tithonus, 141 n.33 imperative mood in Carmen saeculare (Horace), 142–150 Incendium (Afranius), 161–162 incest, 160 n.20 ineptiae, 21–22 inmeritus, 132–142 innocence, 132–142 inscriptions —on Arch of Titus, 10, 226, 228 —on Colosseum, 10, 195, 226, 228 —and Pompey, 97, 104, 109 —and Scipio Barbatus, 104 —and Vesuvius, 6, 53 n.18 International Committee of the Red Cross, 111 n.72 Italienische Reise (Goethe), 212 Italy —Rome as proxy for, 202 —Rome as separate from, 202, 211 —unification of, 219 Iulus, Nero as, 160 Jerome, 185 n.11 Jerusalem, siege of —as distraction from civil wars, 225–226 —in Josephus, 9, 181–182, 184–188, 191, 193–199 —and Pompey, 111 n.73, 190 —spoils from, 10, 195, 198, 226 —and Tacitus, 181, 191–193 Jewish Antiquities (Josephus), 182–183,

184, 187, 195, 197 Jewish War —as distraction from civil wars, 225–226 —in Josephus, 9, 181–182, 184–188, 191, 193–199 —spoils from, 10, 195, 198, 226 —and Tacitus, 181, 191–193 Jewish War (Josephus), 181–199 Joseph, Timothy, 4, 5, 11, 12, 33–48 Josephus —on siege of Jerusalem, 9, 12, 181–182, 184–188, 191, 193–199 —Sodom in, 181–184 —on Temple of Jerusalem, 9, 184, 185–191 —Vesuvius eruption in, 181–182, 183–184, 197 Jugurthine War (Sallust), 101 Julius Caesar —clemency of, 46–47 —and coinage, 110 —forum of, 108 —in Lucan, 35, 39, 45, 46–47 —threat of moving Rome, 25 n.41 —triumph of, 4 Julius Exuperantius, See Exuperantius Julius Naso, 66 n.45 Junius Avitus, 66 n.45 Juno, 18 justice and Verres, 86–90 Juvenal, 102, 164 n.38 Kahn, Isidoro, 183 Keitel, Elizabeth, 1, 4, 184 Ker, James, 170, 175 Kiessling, A., 133, 134 n.14 Köster, Isabel, 7, 11, 12, 73–91 Kraus, C.S., 5, 11, 17–31 La dolce vita (1960), 202–204, 207–211 lamentations, as trope in urbs capta —in Cicero, 81–82 —in Lucan, 36, 37, 40–41, 47–48 —in Pliny the Younger, 63 n.40 —in Quintillian, 3, 33 Lamentations, Hebrew book of, 184 Lampsacus, 79, 80, 86 landscape, urban

General Index  

—alterations wrought by disaster, 73 —of Athens, depopulated in Lucretius, 119 —empty cities in Latin literature, 24–25, 41–42, 45–46, 171 n.67 —Haussmannization, 112 —of Rome, after Pompey’s triumphs, 93– 94, 106–110 —of Rome, disinhabited in the middle ages, 214 —of Sicily, after Verres’ plundering, 78 n.25, 90 —of Troy, ruined in Lucan, 25 —of Veii, ruined in Propertius, 27–28 —and Vesuvius destruction, 50, 56 See also flight as trope in urbs capta descriptions; ghost towns; monuments; urbs capta motif language, orgins of, 116 lanzichenecchi/Landesknechte, 215–216 Lars Tolumnius, 17 Laruccia, S.D., 9 Lateran Pacts of 1929, 219 Latin love elegy, 212 laurels, 30 League of Cognac, 215 Letters (Pliny the Younger) —6.16, 49, 51–52, 55–57, 60–61, 64, 67, 69 —6.20, 49, 51–52, 55–57, 60, 61–63, 65, 69 Letters (Seneca) —70, 168 n.59 —91, 155, 156, 167–179 Liberalis, 169, 175–176 Libeskind, Daniel, 198 n.40 Life of Marcellus (Plutarch), 81 n.39 Life (Josephus), 197 Linglebach, Johannes, 216 Livy —allusions in Horace, 139 —on displays of plunder, 94 n.6 —Gallic sack of Rome (390 BCE) in, 4, 17– 19, 26–27, 46, 166 n.53, 220–221 —memorialization by, 185 n.11 —Pompey in, 94 n.7, 99, 102 —on religious propriety, 140 n.30 –on Scipio Barbatus, 104

—Veii in, 5, 17–20, 26–27, 220, 221 —on women’s treasures, 96 n.15 Longanesi, Leo, 205 Lot and Lot’s wife, 182, 183 Lovatt, H., 165

Lucan —conventional use of urbs capta, 5, 35– 40 —and end of the world, 173 n.78 —on Great Fire of 64, 155 n.3–4 —immortality in, 58 —plague in, 129 —subversion of urbs capta, 5, 33–35, 38– 39, 42–48 —Troy in, 25, 164 n.40 —on Veii, 22–23, 28–29, 42 Lucretius, 7, 115–129, 135, 141, 173 n.78 Ludovico Sforza of Milan, 215, 217 Lugdunum fire, 9, 155, 156, 168, 169–173, 179 Luther, Martin, 216, 217 Lyne, R.O.A.M., 134–135 Lysimachus, 187 n.13 MacRae, Duncan, 148 magic squares, 166 Manlius, 19 n.13 manly virtue, 195 Marcellus, 81, 93–94 Marchesi, I., 51, 60–61, 67 Marcia, 38–39, 45 Marilius, 129 Marius, 36–37, 101 Mark Antony, 25, 91, 138, 173 n.75 marketplace, as place of justice, 87–88 marriage —Augustan laws on, 143 n.38 —in Lucan, 38–39, 45 Martial, 22, 50, 224–228 Mason, Steve, 191–192, 194 n.29, 195 n.32 May, James, 89 M. Claudius Marcellus, See Marcellus memorials —in Cicero, 82

  General Index —memorialization by writers, 184–185, 192 n.25 —role of, 8–9, 198 See also monuments; trophies memory —in Josephus, 184–185 —and memorialization, 184–185, 192 n.25 —objects of memory, 4 —pseudo-memories, 194 n.28 —role of monuments and memorials, 8–9, 198 —as social construct, 2, 8–9 —spatial memory, 188 n.16 —and triumphs, 194 n.28 Merkel, Angela, 218 Metelli, various, See Caecilius Metellus Minucius, 19 n.15 Mitchell-Boyask, Robin, 2 moenia mundi in Lucretius, 119–121 monster, Verres as, 88–90 Montaigne, Michel de, 229–230 Montaldo, Adamo di, 221 monuments —and Pompey’s triumphs, 95, 106–110 —role of, 8–9, 198 —as storehouses, 96 —and trophies of Pompey, 103–104, 105, 111 —urbs capta in, 4 See also memorials morality —and decline in Carmen saeculare (Horace), 7–8, 142–151 —and decline in Odes 3.6 (Horace), 7–8, 131–142 —and displays of plunder, 94 —as general concern, 19 —of Stoic sage, 61, 66 —in Tacitus, 192 motherhood in Pliny the Younger, 64–65 C. Mummius, 94 mundus in Lucretius, 119–121 Muse, 211, 212 Mussolini, Benito, 205, 219 Naevius, 21 n.25, 104 n.44, 164 n.40 naming of deities in prayers, 148

Napoletano, Giorgio, 217 Nebuchadnezzar, 195 n.31 Nehemiah, 195 Nel segno di Roma (1959), 208, 209 nequiores in Horace, 132–142 Nero —and Aeneid (Vergil), 160, 165 —blindness of, 159 n.16 —as cause of Great Fire of 64, 8, 29–30, 155, 156, 159, 162, 176, 178–179 —composition on Troy, 155 n.4, 158, 164– 165, 178, 225 —Golden House, 166, 178, 225 —and incest, 160 n.20 —Liberalis as proxy for, 175 n.84 —performance during Great Fire of 64, 9, 29–30, 156–159, 163–167, 178–179, 225 —performativity of before fire, 158–163 —and Pliny the Younger, 68, 69 —popularity of, 162 n.35 —as popular theme, 12, 155, 167 —and Seneca, 167–168, 171, 175 n.84 —in Seneca, 9, 155, 156, 167–179 —and Veii, 29–30 —Verres as precursor to, 74 Nethercut, Jason, 7, 11, 115–129 Newlands, Carole, 54 Nicetes Sacerdos, 58 n.31 9/11 memorial, 198 n.40 Nisbet, R.G.M., 135 North, See barbarians from the North Numantia, 102, 103 nuptial convention, inversion of, 38–39 Nymphodorus, 87–88 Octavia, 162 Octavia (anon.), 165 n.45 Odes 3.6 (Horace), 7–8, 131–142, 145, 150–151 Odyssey (Homer), 3, 6, 52, 55, 57–60, 62– 69 O’Gorman, Ellen, 160 old people, plight of as trope in urbs capta, 33, 36, 38, 40–41 Olshausen, Eckart, 2 Olympic Games, 94 n.10

General Index  

Orcus, Verres as, 89 n.72 Orosius, 102 Ovid, 50, 107, 129, 173 n.78 parasites, 76 n.11 Paris (France) —Haussmannization of, 112 n.74 —terrorist attacks, 223–224 Paris, Nero as, 164 paternity in Pliny the Younger, 6, 52, 59, 62, 64–69 Paul, George, 4 pax, 9–10, 94 n.7 peace coin, 172 n.70 Peerlkamp, P.H., 135 Penelope, 65 Periochae (Livy), 99, 102 M. Perpenna (Veiento), 100 Persius, 22 Pharsalia (Lucan), 5, 33–48 Pharsalia, Battle of, 40–44 Philodamus (of Lampsacus), 79 physics in Lucretius, 115, 116, 118, 123– 125, 126, 127 pietas, 65, 69 pirates/bandits, 75, 76–77, 80, 83–85 Pius XI, 219 plague, 7, 115–119, 121, 122–123, 127, 129 Plato, 120 Plautus, 107 n.58 Pliny the Elder —and eruption of Vesuvius, 5–6, 49, 50, 52, 55, 56, 60–61, 67 —as father figure, 66–67, 68 —on Procilius, 98 n.21 —on triumphs of Pompey, 98 n.21, 103– 104, 110 Pliny the Younger —and Domitian, 68–69 —and eruption of Vesuvius, 5–6, 49–52, 55–69 —on Homer, 59 —and Nero, 68, 69 —reliability of, 49 plunder —in Cicero, 78, 80, 81, 82, 83, 85 —display by Marcellus, 93–94

—in Fellini, 210 —in Lucan, 36–37 —as trope in urbs capta, 3, 33, 81 —by Verres, 78, 80, 82, 83, 85 See also spoils Plüss, Theodor, 133 Plutarch, 81 n.39, 97, 108 n.62 Polgar, Sofia, 202 politics —cosmic city as model of, 120 —and Epicurus, 128 —and Lucretius, 128–129 —and rebuilding, 112 —and Seneca, 167–168, 177, 178 —succession in Pliny the Younger, 6, 52, 67, 68–69 See also Nero; Pompey; rulers as disasters; Verres Polybius, 3, 94 n.6, 166, 187 n.13, 223 Pompeii, See Vesuvius, eruption of Pompey —Africa triumph, 93, 95–100, 110 —and destruction of Jerusalem, 111 n.73, 190 —as disaster, 7, 93–113 —Eastern Mediterranean triumph, 93, 105–113 —as greater than Rome, 99, 109–110 —in Livy, 94 n.7 —in Lucan, 5, 13, 40–41 —Spain triumph, 93, 100–105, 111 —theater complex, 95, 106–110 Porphyrio, 137 Pöschl, V., 134 n.10 praemeditatio malorum, 175 praetor, Verres as, 86 prayers and Carmen saeculare (Horace), 142–151 prisoner trope in Latin love elegy, 212 Procilius, 97–98 prodigies, 20 Propertius, 27–28, 212–213 Pro Sexto Roscio (Cicero), 21–22 public/private space —boundary crossing by Verres, 88 —and Pompey’s theater complex, 108 n.62

  General Index —and triumphs, 99–100 puella, as trope in love elegy, 212 punishments and Great Fire of 64, 159 Q. Caecilius Metellus, See Caecilius Metellus quies, Veii as, 24 Quintillian, 3, 33–34, 59 n.33, 63 rebuilding and restoration —by Augustus, 176 —of civilization in Cicero, 90 —closing off of in Horace, 143–151 —of Jerusalem, 196–197 —in Livy, 4 —in modern Rome, 112, 205–207 —by Nero, 8, 225 —in Seneca, 176 —of Temple of Jerusalem, 195–196, 197, 199 —of Veii, 21 Red Cross, International Committee of the, 111 n.72 Reformation (Protestant), 216 Reinhardt, Tobias, 135 renewal, See destruction and renewal, cycle of rhetorical training, 59 n.33 Roma (1972), 231–233 Roma città aperta (1945), 205–207 Roman Elegies (Goethe), 212–213 Rome —as cosmos, 118–122, 127 —creation of, 3–4, 28, 220–221 —as holding its citizens captive, 33–35, 39, 42–48 —Lugdunum as proxy for, 168, 169–173, 179 —medieval and Renaissance Rome, 214– 219 —modern Rome, 112 —as movable/replaceable, 5, 17, 24–31, 221 —peril of Roman race, 41–42, 43–44, 45 —as proxy for Italy, 202 —renewal of, 10, 94, 166 —as separate from Italy, 202, 211

—and Verres, 90 —as world (urbs/orbis motif), 42, 115, 118–122, 127, 224–228 See also Great Fire of 64 Römische Elegien (Goethe), 212–213 roofs, collapsing as trope in urbs capta, 33, 43 Rossellini, Roberto, 205–207 Rudd, N., 135 rulers as disasters —and economic devastation, 83–85 —greatness as potential threat, 93 —and justice, 86–90 —as paving way for more disasters, 82– 84 —in Pliny the Younger, 68–69 —Pompey as, 7, 93–113 —as popular theme, 6–7, 73 —and responsibility, 79, 163 —Verres as, 7, 73–91 See also Nero; politics Sacco di Roma (Linglebach), 216 sacks —association with the North, 201–202 —contemporary use of phrase, 10, 12–13, 201–202, 216–219, 223–224 —of Corinth, 94 —corruption as, 202, 206 —in du Bellay, 228–230 —Fascist architecture as, 205 —1527 sack of Rome, 215–219, 228–230 —in film, 202–211, 231–233 —Goethe’s love affair as, 212–213 —in Martial, 224–228 —numbers of, 201 —soccer hooligans as, 201–202, 216, 217 —tourism as, 230–233 —urban renewal as, 205–207 —Visigothic sack of Rome (410 CE), 214– 215, 221, 223 See also barbarians from the North; Gallic sack of Rome (390 BCE); Jerusalem, siege of; Troy, fall of; Veii sacred objects —defiling of as trope in urbs capta, 33, 38, 39

General Index  

—and Gallic sack of Rome (390 BCE), 27 n.46 —in Lucan, 33, 38, 39 —melting down of ornaments to pay soldiers, 95–96 —and siege of Jerusalem, 186–187, 191, 194 sacrifices, 190 saecula —as corrupted age, in Horace, 138–139 —as definite circle (certus...orbis) in Horace, 148–149 —notional length of, 147–149, 173 —number allotted to Rome, 173 —saecular celebration, 148, 149 n.58–59 See also destruction and renewal, cycle of; golden age Sallust, 100–101, 102, 139, 140 n.30 Sapelli, Giulio, 217–218 savagery of the Other, 75 Scipio Aemilianus, 3, 166–167, 187 Scipio Africanus, 98 n.24, 223 Scipio Barbatus, 104, 105 Sempronia, 139 Seneca the Elder, 142 n.34 Seneca the Younger —on Aetna, 50 —dating of letters, 167–168 —on earthquakes, 53–55 —and exile, 171, 177, 178 —and Nero, 167–168, 171, 175 n.84 —on Nero and Great Fire, 9, 155, 156, 167– 179 —plague in, 129 sentio in Horace, 150 Q. Sertorius, 100, 104 Servius, 222 sex —in Josephus, 182–183 —in Lucan, 39, 45 See also morality Sibylline Oracle, 183–184 Sicily as urbs capta in Cicero, 73, 74, 78, 81–86, 88–90 si conditional, 144–147 Silave (Statius), 196 n.34 Silius Italicus, 58

sin —in Horace, 134, 135, 139–141 —inherited, 139–141 —in Josephus, 184 slavery of Jewish people, 196 soccer hooligans, 201–202, 216, 217 Sodom, 181–184, 186–187, 197 Solon, 137 Sonnabend, Holger, 2 spes in Horace, 149–150 Spilsbur, Paul, 196 spoils —coinage from, 106 —displays of, 10, 106–107, 194, 195 —in Fellini, 210 —and Jewish War, 10, 195, 198, 226 See also plunder Statius, 24, 34, 58, 196 n.34 Steel, Catherine, 79 Stoicism —of Aeneas, 61 —of cosmic city, 120 —in Lucan, 46 n.33 —Lucretius on, 126 —of Pliny the Elder, 61, 66 —and preparing for disaster, 175, 179 See also ekpyrosis; Seneca the Younger Strabo, 53 subjunctive mood in Carmen saeculare (Horace), 142–150 succession in Pliny the Younger, 6, 52, 67, 68–69 Suetonius —on Caligula, 77 n.21 —on Great Fire of 64, 155, 157–158, 160 n.21 —on Incendium (Afranius), 161 —influence on Lucan, 34 —on Nero, 8, 30, 162–163, 164 n.38, 166 —on threat of moving Rome, 25 n.41 —on Titus, 183 n.7 —on Veii, 20 n.17, 30 suicide, 193 Sulla, 36–37, 96–97, 99 Sulpicius, 175 n.82 Sulpicius Severus, 191–192 Suter, Ann, 2

  General Index Syndikus, H.P., 134 n.14 Syracuse —conquest of, 81, 94 —and disaster of Verres, 78, 81, 82, 85, 88 Tacitus —on destruction of buildings, 173 n.74 —on earthquakes, 54, 162 n.37 —on Great Fire of 64, 29–30, 155, 157, 158, 166 —and Jerusalem, 181, 191–193 —memorialization by, 184 —on Nero, 8, 29–30, 88 n.65, 160, 161, 162, 163 —on pax, 9–10 —on Seneca, 167 n.57 —on Sodom, 186 —on Titus, 187 —use of urbs capta, 4 taxation, 161, 197 Telemachus and Pliny the Younger, 52, 57–60, 62–69 Temple of Concord, 111 n.71 Temple of Jerusalem (Second) —coin image, 197–198 —destruction of, 9, 10, 181, 184, 185–194, 225–226 —hopes for rebuilding, 195–196, 197, 199 —in Josephus, 9, 184, 185–191 —and Pompey, 111 n.73, 190 —structure of, 188–191 Temple of Jerusalem (First), destruction of, 181, 188, 194 Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, 10, 20 Temple of Peace, 194, 198 Temple of Solomon, 181 temples —defiling of, 38, 132–133, 185–187, 193, 216 n.23 —repairs to, 134–135, 137–138, 139 —temporality of, 107 terrorist attacks, 198 n.40, 223–224 theater complex of Pompey, 95, 106–110 Thomas, Richard, 143, 148, 149 Thompson, E.P., 231

Tiberius, 162 n.36 Tibullus, 212 Timagenes of Alexandria, 176–177 time and temporality —and Haussmannization, 112 —in Horace, 131, 136–142, 145, 148–151 —in Josephus, 194 —in Lucretius, 118, 122, 123–124, 141 —of monuments, 107 —in Seneca, 171–172, 173–174 —of triumphs, 106 —of Veii, 22–23 —in Vergil, 23, 173 n.78 See also destruction and renewal, cycle of; golden age; saecula Tithonus, 141 n.33 Titus —beauty of, 183 n.7 —and siege of Jerusalem, 9, 10, 183, 185, 187, 191, 193, 194–195, 197 n.36, 226 —and Vesuvius, 8 Toner, Jerry, 1, 73 tourism as sack of Rome, 230–233 Trajan, 67 Trenkel, P., 135 n.19 triumphs —of Caesar, 4 —as corrosive, 93–95 —as ephemeral, 106 —false, 104–105 —language use in Lucretius, 121 n.18 —of Pompey, Africa, 93, 95–100, 110 —of Pompey, Eastern Mediterranean, 93, 105–113 —of Pompey, Spain, 93, 100–105, 111 —and pseudo-memories, 194 n.28 —of Titus, 10, 194, 196, 226 —urbs capta imagery in, 4 —and use of public space, 99–100 Troades (Seneca), 164 n.40, 177 n.92 Troica (Nero), 155 n.4, 158, 164–165, 178, 225 Trojan games, 160 tropaea, See trophies trophies, 103–104, 105, 106, 111 Troy, fall of —and Constantinople, 221

General Index  

—and cycle of creation and destruction of Rome, 3–4, 28, 94, 220–221 —in Homer, 3 —in Livy, 18, 220 —in Lucan, 25 —Nero’s association with city, 160–161 —Nero’s composition on, 155 n.4, 158, 164–165, 178, 225 —Nero’s singing of during Great Fire, 9, 29–30, 156–159, 163–167, 178–179, 225 —in Pliny the Younger, 51 —as popular theme, 3–4, 46, 164–167 —in prayers, 145 —in Seneca, 177 n.92 —and triumphs, 94 —Troy as ghost town, 25 —and Veii, 18, 25 —in Vergil, 62–63, 222–223 tsunamis, 56 Tuck, Steven, 6 tunica molesta, 159 n.17 urban renewal, 205–207 urbs capta motif —conventional use by Lucan, 35–40 —inversion by Lucan, 5, 33–35, 38–39, 42–48 —as popular convention, 3, 11, 33–34, 81 —Quintillian’s guide to describing, 63 —Sicily as described in Cicero, 73, 74, 78, 81–86, 88–90 —in Tacitus, 4 —tropes, 2, 33–34, 35–41, 63, 81, 82 See also destruction and renewal, cycle of; earthquakes; fire; floods; Gallic sack of Rome (390 BCE); Great Fire of 64; plague; rulers as disasters; sacks; Troy, fall of; Veii; Vesuvius, eruption of Uxama, 101, 102, 103 Valerius Flaccus, 58 Valerius Maximus, 95–96, 102 Varenus Rufus, 59 Vatican City, 219 Veii, 5, 17–31, 42, 220, 221 Venus Victrix, temple to, 107

Vergil —allusions to, 6, 23, 51, 60–63, 172–173 —destruction in, 222–223 —immortality in, 58 —plague in, 129 —time and temporality in, 23, 173 n.78 —Trojan games in, 160 —volcanoes in, 50 C. Verres, 7, 73–91 Verrines (Cicero), 7, 73–91 Vespasian, 186, 194, 197 n.36, 226 Vestal Virgins, 27 n.46 Vesuvius, eruption of —Avellino Eruption, 53 —date of, 49 n.1, 55 —and earthquakes, 6 n.3, 53–56 —in Josephus, 181–182, 183–184, 197 —in Pliny the Younger, 5–6, 49–52, 55–69 —as popular theme, 5–6, 11, 49, 50 —precedents for, 53–55 —and Titus, 8 victory —belated victories, 95 —and cycle of destruction, 94, 105, 111 —as damaging or corrosive, 93–95 —inscription style and format, 104 See also triumphs Vidal, Gore, 231, 232 Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 198 Visigothic sack of Rome (410 CE), 214– 215, 221, 223 Vitruvius, 53 Voconius Romanus, 66 n.45 Waldherr, G.H., 1 Williams, Gareth, 54 Williams, Gordon, 133, 134 wine, 22 Witke, Charles, 136 women —clothing, 77 —and Great Fire of 64, 159 n.18 —lamentations of, 3, 33, 36, 37, 40–41, 47–48 —statues of at Pompey’s theater complex, 109 —women’s treasures, 96 n.15

  General Index wonders of the world, 228–229 Woodman, A.J., 135 Works and Days (Hesiod), 58 world —end of, 115, 118–129, 173–175 —Rome as, 42, 115, 118–122, 224–228 World War II economic boom, 215, 219

Xuiri, See decemvri Year of Four Emperors, 10, 225 Zanker, Andreas T., 7–8, 11, 131–151 Zenobia, 208, 209 Zissos, Andrew, 6