Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 1998.7.15


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1.   I have seen only the one lecture by Graf. The previous Lectiones are: (I) R. Merkelbach, Die Bedeutung des Geldes für die Geschichte der griechisch-römischen Welt; (II) W. Burkert, Platon in Nahaufnahme. Ein Buch aus Herculaneum; (III) J. Latacz, Achilleus. Wandlungen eines europäischen Heldenbildes; (IV) A. Henrichs, [quot ]Warum soll ich denn tanzen?[quot ] Dionysisches im Chor der griechischen Tragödie; (V) M. West, Die griechische Dichterin. Bild und Rolle.

2.   The point is elsewhere illustrated perfectly, and amusingly, by the (supposed) experience of a Turkish writer, residing in contemporary Germany, who returns to his home village so as to discover the exact calendar date of his birth--a necessity in European society. He first attempts to solicit this information from his mother, who, he remarks in passing, neither reads nor writes. After thinking for half an hour, she informs him that he was born on the day when she, having sent his father off to the forest to cut wood, and all the other children out to the fields to work, suddenly went into labor. The author's birth caused her not to notice the disappearance of the family's valuable bull, which made the day doubly (and highly) significant in the family's history. That is the [quot ]date[quot ] of his birth. Various similar calculations by others in the village follow. See S. Dikmen, Wir werden das Knoblauchkind schon schaukeln. Satiren (Berlin: EXpress Edition, 1987) 24 ff.

3.   The very thin Roman line between the public and private spheres, especially for the elite, might profitably be worked into Graf's line of thought here--or vice versa. In this regard, cf. in particular A. Wallace-Hadrill, Houses and Society in Pompeii and Herculaneum (Princeton 1994). It is perhaps also worth mentioning two fairly recent books on markets and fairs in the Roman world, although they are not essential to Graf's line of argument: J.M. Frayn, Markets and Fairs in Roman Italy. Their Social and Economic Importance from the Second Century BC to the Third Century AD (Oxford 1993); L. de Ligt, Fairs and Markets in the Roman Empire. Economic and Social Aspects of Periodic Trade in a Pre-Industrial Society (Amsterdam 1993).

4.   D. Feeney, Literature and Religion at Rome. Cultures, Contexts, and Beliefs (Cambridge 1998) 125 ff. on Ovid and the Fasti. [I thank my colleague Michèle Lowrie for bringing this book to my attention.] To suggest (tentatively) another example, Graf's ideas might also have a place when thinking about what has been called Horace's calendar-like self-description in Odes 3, on which, J. Griffin, [quot ]Cult and Personality in Horace[quot ] JRS 87 (1997) 55 ff.

5.   The reference to Bourdieu (1972) in n. 6, which, so far as I can see, is nowhere clarified, should probably be to P. Bourdieu, Esquisse d'une théorie de la pratique, précédé de trois études d'ethnologie Kablye (Geneva 1972). The book edited by Binder and Ehlich (n. 15) was published in 1996. Also on nundinae (n. 15), see L. de Ligt, [quot ]Ius nundinarum and immunitas in I. Manisa 523[quot ] EA 24 (1995) 37-54. On the beginning of the Roman calendar year and the festivals of March (pp. 35 ff.), see G. Radke, [quot ]Römische Feste im Monat März[quot ] Tyche 8 (1993) 129-142. I list two further items, which happen to have come to my notice, and which may be of interest to those working on the kind of matters raised here: M. Cristofani, Tabula Capuana. Un calendario festivo di età arcaica (Florence 1995); L. Magini, Le feste di Venere. Fertilità femminile e configurazioni astrali nel calendario di Roma antica (Rome 1996).

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