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Lucius Anicius Gallus, Conqueror and Tripartite Divider

Kevin Scahill

University of Virginia

Although Livy admits that Lucius Anicius Gallus (cos. 160 BC) did not shine as brightly as Lucius Aemilius Paulus (45.43.2: similia omnia magis visa hominibus quam paria) and only acquired a moderate amount of glory compared to his fellow triumphator (Gallus’s triumph apparebatnequaquam esse contemnendum), this paper argues that Livy presents Gallus as an exemplum to imitate and contrasts him specifically with Julius Caesar.  Gallus is a model ‘not-Caesar’.

The contrast between Gallus and Caesar is created indirectly and allusively, and this paper begins by examining the role of Gallus in Livy’s narrative.  The first part argues that Livy’s use of language recalling Caesar’s de Bello Gallico, Livy’s reference to Gallus’s clementia (44.31), and Gallus’s conquest and tripartite division of Illyricum all encourage readers to see allusions to Caesar.  The second part of this paper examines Livy’s use of the speech of a certain Theodotus of Passeron, looking at what Luce (1993: 82) calls the “double purpose” of a Livian speech and examining the speech as a moral vignette, a term I have taken from Hau (2016:11–12).  By “double purpose” Luce means “on one hand, how a speech is fitted to the historical situation, the historical speaker, and his audience, and on the other how it is directed by Livy to both Augustan and future readers.”  A moral vignette is a scene “played out in ‘real time’, often described with visual details, and almost always featuring direct speech by one or more characters” with a moralizing purpose that is sometimes “deliberately multifaceted or ambiguous.” Theodotus’s speech, addressed to the citizens of Passeron, reproaches them for being willing to follow two men, who, rather than be willing to die pro patria, were instead willing to sacrifice their fatherland for themselves: qui patriam pro se perire aequum censerent, hi primi inventi sunt (45.26.8). I argue that this speech is another way for Livy to suggest that Gallus is a model ‘not-Caesar’.  The third part of this paper is concerned with the allusive interaction between Livy’s use of Gallus and the work of Cicero.  It begins by arguing that Livy’s use of Gallus alludes to Brutus 282, a passage which includes Cicero’s lament for the loss of those who, like Publius Crassus, were killed trying to be another Alexander or Cyrus: ita gravissumo suo casu, dum Cyri et Alexandri similis esse voluit, qui suum cursum transcurrerant, et L. Crassi et multorum Crassorum inventus est dissimillus (282.10). This paper ends by briefly suggesting that a reader familiar with Cicero would also recall that Cicero, at De Officiis 1.26 and 3.83, explicitly uses Caesar as an example of “the corruption brought about by the misguided pursuit of glory” and “desire for absolute power” (Graver 2016:138).  The overall suggestion of this vita Galli to Livy’s Augustan readers is that while striving toward Caesaresque heights will destroy both you and your fatherland, following a more moderate path could be part of the remedia for their vitia.

With respect to exemplarity and moral history in Livy, this paper engages with and builds primarily on Feldherr 1998, Stem 2007, Valette 2010, Feldherr 2010, Mineo 2015, Chaplin 2000 and 2015, Hau 2016, and Balmaceda 2017.  Moore 1989, Murgia 1993, and Briscoe’s 2012 commentary have been invaluable for close readings of Livy’s diction.  For the idea that being a ‘tripartite divider’ would recall Caesar, this paper draws on Krebs 2006: 114 and Kraus 2010: 41, and my discussion of Livy’s thinking on Caesar engages primarily with Mineo 2012.  My understanding of Livian intertextuality draws particularly on Levene 2006 and 2010: 86–163, and Vasaly 2015 has laid the groundwork for my understanding of the importance of Cicero’s thought on Livy.  My discussion of Cicero’s idea of the honestum and glory draws on the arguments most recently presented by Graver 2016. The ‘run-time’ of this talk’s current draft is about 18 minutes.

Session/Panel Title

Latin Prose Interaction

Session/Paper Number

24.4

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