I. Presidential Address: Dee L. Clayman, "Berenice and her Lock"
Deus ille noster: Platonic Precedent and the Construction of the Interlocutors in Cicero’s De oratore
In a letter to Atticus defending the treatment of Scaevola in De oratore, Cicero appeals both to the example of Plato, “that god of ours,” and to the memory of what the real Scaevola was actually like. Turning from the letter to De oratore itself, I show how this juxtaposition of Platonic divinity and Roman memory reflects a pattern present in the prefaces to each of the three books. I argue that Cicero presents his characters, in pointed response to Plato in general and the Phaedrus in particular, in such a way as to privilege history and oratory over philosophy.
Jennifer L. Ferriss-Hill
Virgil’s Program of Sabellic Etymologizing and the Construction of Italic Identity
I argue that several Sabellic glosses, in addition to the two already recognized by Servius, are to be found in Aeneid 7, and that the preponderance of Sabellic etymological plays in this book constitutes an implicit declaration by Virgil that the remaining half of the epic is to be anchored to Italian soil.
Julia D. Hejduk
Death by Elegy: Ovid’s Cephalus and Procris
This paper examines how Ovid manipulates the elegiac trio of love, art, and disease/wounding/medicine. In particular, it argues that the stories told by, to, and about Cephalus and Procris in the Ars Amatoria and Metamorphoses reify the clichés of elegy, showing art—like love—to be both deadly and salvific. These themes parallel the affairs of Apollo and the poet’s own narrative autobiography.
Sex on Capri
This paper discusses words notoriously coined to convey the “dark pleasures” of Tiberius Caesar in his last years on Capri (27-37 C.E.). The OLD defines them thus: sellarium “A privy”; sellarius “A type of male prostitute”; spintria “A type of male prostitute.” These definitions are both wrong and misleading. Sellaria (sic) should be taken as a proper noun connoting “The Brothel”; sellarius does not exist; and spintria should be understood as “bracelet worker,” including both males and females. Real prostitution is not involved, but rather an extreme form of traditional elaborate private theatricals.
The Strange Love of the Fish and the Goat: Regional Contexts and Rough Cilician Religion in Oppian’s Halieutica 4.308-73
This paper examines one of the better-known episodes in Oppian’s Halieutica, an unusual account that describes first the strange desire of a fish, the σαργÏŒς, for the goat, and then the bizarre way in which that desire is manipulated by humans to capture the fish (4.308-73). Although it has been dismissed by most previous scholars as the product of ignorance, misunderstood source material or poetic imagination, I argue that this account can be elucidated by evidence for social, economic and religious contexts in the poet’s native Rough Cilicia.
Religious Feasting in Apuleius’s Metamorphoses: Appetite for Change?
The phenomenon of religious feasting in Apuleius’s Metamorphoses has been largerly overlooked or played down by scholarship so far. In fact, food and feasting constitute a significant part of the last, so-called Isis Book of the Metamorphoses, all too often reduced to the story of a more or less ascetic religious experience. The significance of shared meals at the ultimate stage of Apuleius’s narrative has consequences for our interpretation of the Metamorphoses in general and allows some conjectures about its potential secondary reception through recitals.