Joseph Pharrell – “Ancient and Modern: A Critical Reflection”
SCS Presidential Address
Jeremy McInerney – “The Location of the Hephaisteion”
This paper argues that the Hephaisteion was erected on Kolonos Agoraios as the spot identified in Athenian topographic myth with the place of Hephaistos’s pursuit of Athena that led to Erichthonios’s birth. The complex association of semen with pollution kept the location of the foundation story of Athens separate from the Acropolis, offering a visual and topographic counterpoint to Athena’s temple. Kolonos Agoraios also had powerful connections with the Philaid family, through the cult of Eurysakes, which made it attractive for a temple commemorating the successes of Miltiades and Kimon in the Aegean, notably on Hephaistos’s island of Lemnos.
Benjamin McClosky – “On Xenophontic Friendship”
This article argues that within Xenophon’s corpus, the Memorabilia and Cyropaedia construct incompatible forms of friendship. Socrates’ friendship in the Memorabilia is based upon the sharing of possessions and wisdom, transcending boundaries of class, gender, and citizenship. In the Cyropaedia, Cyrus the Elder employs his friendship, which is limited to the elites, to brutally suppress internal threats by subordinating elites to his regime. The article concludes by aligning Xenophontic polyphony and Socratic communal friendship, arguing that Cyrus and his exploitative friendship are employed as negative examples within the corpus, serving as foils for Socrates and Xenophon’s philosophy.
Kathleen Kidder – “From ‘Bane Helen’ to Queen Helen: Helen as Savior and Analogue for Ptolemaic Queens in Theriaca 309-19”
In this paper, I argue that Nicander represents a benign Helen in his myth at Theriaca 309–19. Despite her ominous name Αἰνελένη (“Bane Helen,” 310) and her violence towards the snake in the narrative, this Helen is ultimately a savior for mankind. For this reason, I connect Nicander’s positive portrayal to the Ptolemaic treatment of Helen. Much like the Egyptian goddess Isis, Helen became an analogue for the divinized and benevolent Ptolemaic queens.
Nicole G. Brown – “A Res Rustica for All the People? Varro, Villatica Pastio, and the Villa Publica”
While recent readings of Varro’s De Re Rustica have emphasized a negative view of contemporary politics and mores across all three books, this article identifies an oppositional contrast between Rust. 1 and 3, set in the temple of Tellus and the Villa Publica, respectively. Arguing that Varro intentionally casts the Villa Publica—and its analogue, villatica pastio—as the more successful integration both of Rome’s rural past and urban present, and of its elite and non-elite citizens, it suggests that Varro took a more populist view—of the Villa Publica, villatica pastio, and the governance of the res publica itself.
Grant A. Nelsestuen – “A Matter of prudentia: Atticus and His Friends in Nepos and Cicero”
In Life of Atticus, Nepos offers amicitia as a defining feature of his subject’s remarkable life, yet a critical re-examination of the biography and a recognition of the terms of its intertextual engagement with Cicero’s De Amicitia and De Republica reveal that, for as much as Nepos valorizes Atticus’s practice of friendship, he also offers up a subtle critique of it. In so doing, Nepos presents Atticus as an exemplum of a new “prudential” form of amicitia—one that aids some friends and benefits himself at the expense of core Republican political values and civic virtues.
Kathrin Winter – “Taking a Stance: Two Vignettes in Lucretius’s De Rerum Natura and Seneca’s Troades”
The famous shipwreck episode at the beginning of Lucretius’s book 2 and the last choral ode in Seneca’s Troades are examples of the “vignette,” i.e., a spatially vivid scene that achieves its vivid effect through an appeal to corporeal experience. The literary technique applied here relies on the recipient’s knowledge of her physical capabilities and her body’s sensorimotor system and can be described with approaches from cognitive studies. This article argues that both passages use the vignette as a means to convey a fixed point of perception within an imagined environment to reflect on proper comportment in a disastrous situation.
Edward Kelting – “Am I the Ibis or the Snake? Totemism, Satire, and Community in Juvenal Satire 15”
Totemism, more than cannibalism, defines Juvenal’s Fifteenth Satire. Juvenal opens the poem with a totemic analogy between natural species and Egyptian towns that emphasizes an animal’s role as a totem which is identified with, and thus strengthens the bonds of, a community. With one such animal, “an ibis, sated (saturam) on snakes,” Juvenal links the practice of satire (satura) with this totemic representation of communal cohesion. This meditation on satire and its importance for communal self-definition directly responds to Hadrianic visions of imperial unification that wrongly assume that internal cohesion can come without externally directed anger.