Classical Philology

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 0009-837X / 1546-072X
Published by: University of Chicago Press (10.1086)
Total articles ≅ 10,569
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Latest articles in this journal

Stephen O’Connor
Published: 1 October 2021
Classical Philology, Volume 116, pp 515-536;

Modern discussions of the markets in which classical Greek military forces participated commonly state that traders regularly exploited sailors and soldiers in these markets. This article demonstrates that the ancient texts usually cited in support of this view have been misinterpreted by modern scholars and do not represent usual practices. Rather, the markets in which Greek sailors and soldiers took part possessed an efficient and stable institutional infrastructure. This institutional framework, which provided the same protections to sailors and soldiers against opportunistic behavior by traders as those provided to all other participants in markets in the Greek world, deterred and limited their exploitation.
Jessica L. Lamont
Published: 1 October 2021
Classical Philology, Volume 116, pp 471-497;

This article suggests that the mythical bindings of the Titans, Hekatoncheires, and other divinities served as powerful models for some private Greek curse tablets; these inscribed lead curses echo much older binding traditions known from hexameter poetry. The presence of dactylic hexameter, epic diction, and deictic language hints that some private curse tablets preserve fossils of early ritual speech—namely, performed binding incantations—and that cosmogonic myth could inform and sculpt private curse practice. The Titans’ binding in Tartarus made them particularly apt figures for supernatural exploitation in binding spells, and this myth undergirds several Greek curse texts. Embedded in theogonic myth, such cosmogonies recalled moments in which the order of the cosmos was shifted and reset, times in which enemies were overthrown and “bound” in punishment. An allusion to the Titans’ “binding” in Tartarus thus became an authoritative paradigm for binding spells meant to analogically “bind” or restrain a flesh-and-bone human enemy. In approaching that elusive common ground shared by myth and ritual, we can observe how the former could shape the latter in everyday thought and practice.
René de Nicolay
Published: 1 October 2021
Classical Philology, Volume 116, pp 537-562;

This paper studies the term and concept of licentia in the Latin Republican corpus, focusing on Cicero’s political theory. Its first part is a philological analysis of the term. It concludes that in the first century BCE licentia had three core meanings: permission, permission to do wrong, and permissiveness. The second part is a study of the concept licentia in Cicero’s rhetoric and political theory. It shows Cicero’s awareness of the effect of permissions unduly given and permissiveness on the force of social standards at Rome.
Bart Van Wassenhove
Published: 1 October 2021
Classical Philology, Volume 116, pp 613-623;

In his Letters to Lucilius, Seneca frequently discusses moral sententiae and their ability to elicit strong reactions of agreement and inspiration in readers or listeners. Commentators often gloss Seneca’s comments on the effect of sententiae by suggesting that he uses both rational and emotional means of persuasion, without addressing the problematic implications of this strategy. In this paper, I argue, building on Margaret Graver’s recent work, that the affective responses to moral sententiae that Seneca discusses are not ordinary, irrational emotions but stem from people’s inborn attraction toward the moral good.
Matthew A. Keil
Published: 1 October 2021
Classical Philology, Volume 116, pp 623-634;

A growing number of scholars in recent decades have begun to appreciate Lactantius’ interaction with Lucretius on the level not only of language and poetics, but one which also reveals a careful and profound study of the Roman poet’s epic. The present discussion addresses the hitherto unnoticed point about Lactantius’ adaptation of Lucretius’ famous wormwood simile, that it entails a utilization of the same polemical method that Lucretius himself employs when adopting the language and style of his philosophical opponents.
Jakub Gruchalski
Published: 1 October 2021
Classical Philology, Volume 116, pp 599-603;

The paper argues that contrary to widespread belief, the toponym Capitolium Vetus mentioned in Varro De lingua latina 5.158.3 designates an ascending street (clivus), and not a shrine or an eminence.
Marcus Folch
Published: 1 October 2021
Classical Philology, Volume 116, pp 498-514;

Part I of this study, a survey of inmates in the Athenian prison, traces the emergence of imprisonment as a political weapon in periods of partisan tension, civil discord, and breakdown in intra-elite cooperation in classical Athens. Part II complements the aggregative and quantitative analysis of Part I with close readings of Athenian accounts of incarceration from the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. Athenian narratives of imprisonment reveal profound shifts in perceptions of the prison particularly in response to the undemocratic regimes of 411/10 BCE and 404/3 BCE. Early and mid-fifth-century authors often portray imprisonment as a mechanism of democratic self-governance, a judicial procedure used (and abused) by the dêmos and its leaders to check antidemocratic factions, seeking to destabilize popular rule. Post-404/3 BCE narratives of imprisonment, by contrast, represent the prison as coopted by elites hostile to democracy in Athens and abroad, and emblematic of antidemocratic subversion, oligarchy, and tyrannical ambition. The conclusion attempts to reconcile ancient perceptions of the prison as a political institution with the conventional tripartite classification of Athenian imprisonment as custodial, coercive, and punitive.
Laurialan Reitzammer
Published: 1 October 2021
Classical Philology, Volume 116, pp 588-592;

In Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus, Ismene wears a broad-brimmed hat, a hat that is not normally worn by women or female mythical figures in literature or iconography. This essay suggests that Ismene dons this male travel accessory as she performs activities normally associated with the masculine sphere, namely, to travel alone on a horse, in secret, to convey information to Oedipus.
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