Skip to main content


S. Georgia Nugent - "From Chiron to Chiron: Crossing over to the Dark Side"

2018 Presidential Address

Andrew T. Alwine - "The Soul of Oligarchy: The Rule of the Few in Ancient Greece"

The Greeks of the Classical Era were familiar with many of the complications that could result from the traditional tripartite division of possible regimes into monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. This article reexamines the definition and pragmatics of the “rule of the few.” It argues that the touchstone of oligarchic politics, a firm distinction between rulers and ruled, was the guiding principle for the arrangement and distribution of political offices, and a variety of different combinations of institutions and practices were able to achieve this end.

Jennifer Starkey - "The Origin and Purpose of the Three-Actor Rule"

This paper explores the motivation for the “three-actor rule” and attempts to define its purpose, arguing that the limitation was a practical one due to the use of a lottery to match actors to poets. The archon who presided over the lottery had to know how many actors would be involved, but the choregos actually hired the actors, and he was able to hire extra (speaking and silent) actors after the lottery if he chose. For a certain time in the middle of the fifth century the poets were both able and eager to experiment with different numbers of actors.

N. Bryant Kirkland - "Herodotus and Pseudo-Herodotus in the Vita Herodotea"

This article analyzes the construction of “Herodotus” in the Pseudo-Herodotean Life of Homer, furthering recent work on ancient reception and authorial lives. Rather than focusing on the historical authenticity of the text’s content, I instead analyze narrative features that figure the text as Herodotean, and I explore the interpretive consequences of its Herodotean pose. I suggest that the biographer played to a learned audience by exploiting comparisons drawn in antiquity between Homer and Herodotus. I also propose that Pseudo-Herodotus adopted a problematic narratorial mode well-suited to the problems of the Homeric biographic tradition.

Charles E. Muntz - "The Argonautica of Diodorus Siculus"

The Argonautica in Book 4 of Diodorus Siculus’s Bibliothekehas long been seen as a simple abridgment of a work by the Hellenistic author Dionysius Scytobrachion. However, while Diodorus undoubtedly used Scytobrachion, he exerts a substantial measure of control over his material and should be read in his own historical context. Diodorus’s Argonautica is closely connected to the Roman penetration of the Black Sea and their wars with Mithradates. It sets up the Romans as successors to the Argonauts in their encounter with this often hostile region while validating the myths the Romans were developing about their own origins.

Christopher V. Trinacty - "The Surface and the Depths: Quotation and Intertextuality in Seneca's Naturales Quaestiones"

Seneca scaffolds the text of Naturales Quaestiones 3 to mimic the physics of the subject of the book: terrestrial waters. As waters below the earth correspond to those above, so Seneca utilizes specific textual references. Quotations, like visible waters, can be recognized and understood by all. Seneca, however, encourages his reader to move beyond the surface to the intertextual substrata through his advice in the preface and the various signposts to such allusive material in this opening book. Intertexts to Vergil and Ovid (among others) act like underground waters to be understood through the employment of ratioand careful study.

Barbara Blythe - "Apples to Apples: Forbidden Fruit in Petronius's Cena Trimalchionis"

Apples in classical antiquity were often given as love gifts and could also be employed as erotic magic intended to produce sexual desire against the recipient’s will. Trimalchio’s apples are likewise both desirable and deceptive and suggest erotic danger. They also form a thematic network strengthening the Cena’s katabasismotifs. Since Priapus protects garden fruit and punishes fruit thieves, dangerous apples (along with the god’s pastry epiphany) reinforce the theme of Priapus’s wrath and suggest that Petronius may have structured the Satyricaaround the conceit that the novel is a metaphorical assortment of first fruits (lanx satura) for Priapus.


148 (2018)