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Showing papers in "Journal of Roman Studies in 1985"


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present an account of viticulture in Italy during the period from the Punic Wars to the crisis of the third century A.D. This account is based on a traditional and limited selection of evidence and is unable to answer many of the questions which are increasingly being asked about production and exchange in the ancient world, questions about the social background and cultural preferences which underlie production strategies and the evolution of demand.
Abstract: This account of viticulture in Italy during the period from the Punic Wars to the crisis of the third century A.D. is written in the conviction that the ‘economic’ history of the ancient world will remain unacceptably impoverished if it is written in isolation from the social and cultural history of the same period. The orthodoxy which sees a revolution in Italian agriculture in the age of Cato the Censor and a crisis in the time of the emperor Trajan seems to me to be an example of this. It is based on a traditional and limited selection of evidence, and is unable to answer many of the questions which are increasingly being asked about production and exchange in the ancient world, questions about the social background and cultural preferences which underlie production strategies and the evolution of demand. I hope that this study may show some other possibilities, which have still been only partly explored by researchers, of illuminating the changing patterns of Roman agriculture and trade, through the use of comparative evidence and the re-examination of the relevant literary texts for data that are more than simply ‘economic’ in the most restricted sense.

190 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The twenty-three Demonstrations of Aphrahat are not likely to be familiar to most students of Roman history or of Constantine as discussed by the authors, but they provide crucial evidence not only for the attitude of Persian Christians towards Rome, but also for the military situation on Rome's eastern frontier at the end of the reign of Constantine.
Abstract: The twenty-three Demonstrations of Aphrahat are not likely to be familiar to most students of Roman history or of Constantine. Aphrahat was head of the monastery of Mar Mattai, near modern Mosul, with the rank of bishop and, apparently, the episcopal name Jacob: as a consequence, he was soon confused with the better known Jacob of Nisibis, and independent knowledge of his life and career virtually disappeared. Fortunately, however, twenty-three treatises survived, whose attribution to ‘Aphrahat the Persian sage’ seems beyond doubt. Aphrahat wrote in Syriac and composed works of edification and polemic for a Mesopotamian audience outside the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, he provides crucial evidence not only for the attitude of Persian Christians towards Rome, but also for the military situation on Rome's eastern frontier at the end of the reign of Constantine. It is worth the effort, therefore, to set Aphrahat's fifth Demonstration, which bears the title ‘On wars’ or ‘On battles’, in its precise historical context. The present paper begins by considering the place of this Demonstration in Aphrahat's oeuvre and its exact date (I–III); it then argues that in 337 Constantine was preparing to invade Persia as the self-appointed liberator of the Christians of Persia (IV, VI), that Aphrahat expected him to be successful (V), and that Constantine's actions and the hopes which he excited caused the Persian king to regard his Christian subjects as potential traitors—and hence to embark on a policy of persecution (VII).

157 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: One of the measures carried by Gaius Gracchus in the course of his first tribunate in 123-2 B.C. provided for the regular sale of grain to citizens of Rome at the price of 6⅓ asses per modius as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: One of the measures carried by Gaius Gracchus in the course of his first tribunate in 123–2 B.C. provided for the regular sale of grain to citizens of Rome at the price of 6⅓ asses per modius. Gracchus also, presumably by the same law, provided for the construction of state granaries.The sources for the law are meagre. None of them is contemporary, and those later writers who do comment on the law furnish few details. What is known of its content is conveyed in a brief sentence from Livy's Epitomator supported by a scholiast on Cicero's pro Sestio, and in a few words of Appian. The Epitomator and Scholiast give the price at which the grain was sold.

121 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In A.D. 131/2 the emperor Hadrian created a new organization of Greek cities, the Panhellenion, and explored, from a provincial perspective, the implications of this novel initiative by Rome in Greek affairs as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: In A.D. 131/2 the emperor Hadrian created a new organization of Greek cities, the Panhellenion. This paper is the first of two in which we explore, from a provincial perspective, the implications of this novel initiative by Rome in Greek affairs.The foundation of the Panhellenion belongs to a series of interventions by Hadrian in the Greek world, the others mostly in the form of acts of benefaction towards individual communities. Although Hadrian's reign marked a watershed in Greek relations with Rome, these relations had already evolved significantly over the previous two generations. The two most obvious developments lay in the overlapping areas of cultural and political life. Not only did educated Greeks and Romans now share an intellectual milieu, but a renaissance of Greek literary and rhetorical activity had begun under the leadership of provincials enjoying (more often than not) close ties with Rome. At the same time, a Roman career had become more available to ambitious Greeks; a marked increase in the numbers of Greek senators may be dated to the last quarter of the first century.

98 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: One of the most dramatic expressions of Christian charity in late antiquity was the practice of ransoming captives taken in brigandage, piracy, or war as mentioned in this paper, and the redemption of captives eventually came to be included in the duties of local bishops.
Abstract: One of the most dramatic expressions of Christian charity in late antiquity was the practice of ransoming captives taken in brigandage, piracy, or war. Involving, as it did, the collection and disbursement of large sums of money, and delicate negotiations with hostile parties, the redemption of captives eventually came to be included in the duties of local bishops. Bishops, in turn, not only accepted, but actively solicited this responsibility, for, like other charitable activities, the liberation of captives enabled them to reinforce or expand ties of clientela, enhance their own status as local patrons, and publicly enact, and so promote and validate, the Christian ideal of caritas.

81 citations




Journal ArticleDOI
Oswyn Murray1

58 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors focus on the social background and functions of philanthropy, and the ability of benefactors to enforce the conditions of an endowment and the extent to which variation of the object of the endowment by the town might be possible.
Abstract: Extensive epigraphic evidence, juristic discussion, and mention in the letters of Pliny combine to show that testamentary munificence during the principate was a phenomenon of both social and economic importance. Beyond a few introductory remarks, however, this paper is not concerned with the social background and functions of philanthropy. Rather, how was munificence regulated? On what conditions for the use of their bequests would benefactors insist? And on what terms would towns accept them? These questions raise a whole complex of further issues such as the ability of benefactors (or their descendants) to enforce the conditions of an endowment, and the extent to which variation of the object of the endowment by the town might be possible. Previous discussions of towns and their capacities in relation to the law of succession have been concerned largely, if not exclusively, with issues of juristic personality. While some understanding of those issues is essential for any useful discussion, they are left aside here so far as possible.

21 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Barbieri as mentioned in this paper published a new dedication from Capua that raised a whole new set of problems, and in 1971 G. Barbieri published another new dedication to Petronius Probus.
Abstract: No aristocrat of the fourth century A.D. was so brilliantly successful or so widely hated as S. Petronius Probus. Greedy for public office when his peers preferred opulent leisure, more at home amid the intrigues of court than the salons of Rome, a Christian when most of his peers were still pagan, he rose to a pinnacle of wealth and power.His unusually long career is abundantly documented by literary, legal and epigraphic sources. But the details have always been problematic. And in 1971 G. Barbieri published a new dedication from Capua that raised a whole new set of problems.

8 citations


Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the course of this century fashions in classical scholarship have come and gone; out in the wider world the Victorians have fallen from grace and been restored to it again; but throughout this time there seems to have endured a picture of Virgil as a Victorian poet avant la lettre, a Tennysonian aesthete, languidly and compassionately melancholic, shedding warm soft tears as he contemplates the perennial sorrows of humanity as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: In the course of this century fashions in classical scholarship have come and gone; out in the wider world the Victorians have fallen from grace and been restored to it again; but throughout this time there seems to have endured a picture of Virgil as a Victorian poet avant la lettre, a Tennysonian aesthete, languidly and compassionately melancholic, shedding warm soft tears as he contemplates the perennial sorrows of humanity. ‘Sunt lacrimae rerum’—we are wary of that phrase now, conscious that it cannot bear the significance traditionally attributed to it; but the idea persists that Virgil views the world as a vale of tears. The modern critics do not put it quite that way—they prefer longer and less perspicuous words–but that is none the less, I think, what many of them are really saying.







Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In the fourth book of the Aeneid Mercury flies to Carthage on the orders of Jupiter to bid Aeneas be mindful of his destiny and sail away as discussed by the authors, and before reaching the island of Atlantis he observes and touches down on Mount Atlas, which is arrestingly personified as an old man.
Abstract: In the fourth book of the Aeneid Mercury flies to Carthage on the orders of Jupiter to bid Aeneas be mindful of his destiny and sail away. First he binds his winged sandals on his feet; then he takes up his mystical wand, which he uses to make his way through the sky. Next, before he comes to Carthage and sees the glittering figure of Aeneas, he observes and touches down on Mount Atlas, which is arrestingly personified as an old man: iamque volans apicem et latera ardua cernit Atlantis duri caelum qui vertice fulcit, Atlantis, cinctum adsidue cui nubibus atris piniferum caput et vento pulsatur et imbri, nix umeros infusa tegit, turn flumina mento praecipitant senis, et glacie riget horrida barba.

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The Corpus of Sculpture of the Roman World (Signorum Imperii Romani) was launched in Paris in 1963 and was from the outset accepted by an encouragingly large number of countries, each of which is to contribute comprehensive and fully illustrated catalogues of Roman sculpture.
Abstract: The scheme for an international Corpus of Sculpture of the Roman World ( Corpus Signorum Imperii Romani ) was launched in Paris in 1963. It was from the outset accepted by an encouragingly large number of countries, each of which is to contribute comprehensive and fully illustrated catalogues of Roman sculpture. These are to be in the form of regional fascicules, and each country is responsible for its own publication. A central committee, under the auspices of the International Association for Classical Archaeology, has laid down general rules governing the scope, format, and arrangement. Its present chairman is Prof. F. Braemer. All stone sculpture is included and large bronzes, but not figurines, whether of bronze or clay; unfigured architectural elements are omitted. The principle of some flexibility for each country in its interpretation of the rules is recognized.