Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2003.08.14

Vanessa B. Gorman, Eric W. Robinson, Oikistes. Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World Offered in Honor of A.J. Graham. Mnemosyne Suppl. 234.   Leiden:  Brill, 2002.  Pp. 396.  ISBN 90-04-12579-5.  EUR 89.00.  

Contributors: Martin Ostwald, Charles W. Hedrick, Jr., Ellen Greenstein Millender, Eric W. Robinson, Harriet I. Flower, Gary Forsythe, Graham Burton, Gina Salapata, Lada Onyshkevych, Vanessa B. Gorman, Irad Malkin, Philip Kaplan, Mark Munn, Karl Maurer, Scott Rusch, Cynthia Harrison, David H. Conwell, William M. Murray, and David L. Kennedy

Reviewed by C. M. Fauber, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (
Word count: 6773 words

This Festschrift breaks with common practice in that its editors have filled out its pages wholly with contributions from former students of A. J. Graham (with the notable exception of the author of the introduction), a decision that the title ('Oikistes') implies. As such, its many and diverse essays are a testament not only to Graham's own broad research interests but also to the impact that he has made upon the study of the ancient Mediterranean as an educator and as a trainer of educators. The volume's many interesting essays, which cover a range of topics from Archaic Greek historiography to Nabataean archaeology, serve as a reminder that Festschriften can possess an intellectual vitality and value; it is noteworthy that the volume contains scholarship of substantial length and quality. Every teacher should aspire to such rewards.

After opening with a brief encomium to Graham's distinguished career by his friend and colleague Martin Ostwald (pp. 1-4) and an abbreviated curriculum vitae (pp. 5-10) that is nevertheless six pages in length,1 the editors have divided the eighteen contributions to the volume into three broad sections: (1) Law, History, and Constitutions; (2) Colonization and Cult; and (3) Military Matters. The essays themselves offer studious reading and represent well much of the wide interests that constitute current scholarship of the ancient Mediterranean world. Most are well written and the volume itself is well edited and produced. Because of the varied nature of the contributions (they have little thematic connection beyond the scholarly and pedagogic interests of Graham), I have made no attempt at synthesis in the following paragraphs. Instead, and in the interests of clarity, I have provided a summary of each contribution in combination with some critical observations, hoping that this will best inform the reader concerning the volume as a whole and each essay individually.

Section One: Law, History, and Constitutions

Charles W. Hedrick, Jr., 'The Prehistory of Greek Chronography' (pp. 13-32), examines the role of the 'monumental tradition' in the construction of early Greek chronographies. In doing so, Hedrick is rightly skeptical of the role of both unattested oral traditions and early (non-surviving) documents in the process of ancient historiography. He suggests ways in which public dedications and monuments may have served both to reinforce and to fashion oral traditions in lieu of written accounts, noting the association in several places of traditions about the past with dedications. Further, he suggests that inscriptions associated with these monuments sometimes might have served as important sources for those writing about the past and notes the significance of the public ownership of a tradition associated with the monumental dedications. Hedrick offers several examples to suggest how the monumental tradition could have served to reinforce, attest, and create oral traditions that historians may have incorporated into their works: from temple inventory documents, to Thucydides' use of the altar of Apollo Arkhegetes, to Herodotus's account of the early history of Egypt with recourse to the statuary in Egyptian temples. In doing so, Hedrick presents one plausible mechanism for the transmission of ideas about the past -- the mnemonic devices created by the monumental tradition -- in a largely oral society and suggests an important historiographical dimension of ancient chronography.

Ellen Greenstein Millender, 'Νόμος Δεσπότης: Spartan Obedience and Athenian Lawfulness in Fifth-Century Thought' (pp. 33-60), argues that we should understand the conversation between Demaratos and Xerxes reported by Herodotus at 7. 101-5 (esp. 7. 104. 4-5, on the valor of the Lakedaimonians) as part of a larger Herodotean program to cast Spartan legality in a negative light. Moreover, she argues that this program was itself part of a larger literary movement in later fifth-century Athens which contrasted an internalized legality for the Athenians with an externalized legality for the Spartans. On the surface, Millender's arguments are attractive: Demaratos is a strange choice for a discourse on Spartan legality, and the corruptibility of individual Spartans mentioned throughout the Historiai does seem to suggest that Herodotus intended to diminish the Spartan reputation for lawfulness even as he reported it. However, she discounts the individual context that helps explain each episode (while noting where others have) in her attempt to tie it to a general topos of Spartan corruption. Moreover, she attributes to the Spartans as a whole opprobrium that Herodotus surely intended especially for the likes of Kleomenes, Demaratos, and Pausanias, just as he singled out leaders of other peoples (e.g., Themistokles) when he believed them to have acted beneath their dignity, station, or even contrary to their (cultural) nature. In her discussion of 7. 104. 4-5, which she uses as the leaping off point for identifying the topos, Millender fails to connect the response of Demaratos to the rhetoric used by Xerxes in the previous paragraph (7. 103. 4) and to see how this may have affected Herodotus's particular choice of language, of which she otherwise makes much. She is, however, on much firmer ground in her discussion (pp. 47-57) of such themes as used by Thucydides, who clearly associated freedom of thought and action with a superlative character. There is much of interest in this article, and there can be no doubt that Herodotus intended the Athenians to be portrayed as the 'saviors of Hellas' (7. 139), but Millender also leaves much to be explained in her revision of Plutarch's thesis concerning the so-called malice of Herodotus.

Eric W. Robinson, 'Lead Plates and the Case for Democracy in Fifth-Century BC Camarina' (pp. 61-78), reconsiders the significance of the nearly 150 lead tesserae discovered at the site of ancient Kamarina. Their editor, F. Cordano, believes the tablets -- most of which contained an individual's name and patronymic, his phratry and its number, and sometimes additional numeric notations as well -- were tokens used to identify citizens in lotteries for office.2 Robinson devotes considerable space to discussing both Cordano's premises (pp. 61-4) and those of the excavator, G. Manganaro (pp. 64-5), who believes that the tablets instead recorded payments to citizens for their attendance at public assemblies. Irrespective of the differences, both Cordano's and Manganaro's interpretations suggest a democratic form of government for Kamarina, and associate the tablets with the establishment of such a constitution after 461 BC (for which there is limited literary evidence), and in fact employ a good deal of circularity in linking the two. Robinson also briefly discusses (pp. 66-7) alternate views that the tablets were citizenship records (O. Murray) or military registers (D. Musti). In reconsidering these varied suggestions, Robinson begins with the proposition that the tablets' medium (lead) is a significant fact in understanding their purpose. He identifies several common uses of lead as a medium for writing: the well known defixiones, receipts of commercial transactions; oracular texts (from Dodona), an unknown use (though largely paralleling in form those from Kamarina) for tablets at Styra in Euboia, records of Athenian cavalrymen (at Athens), and private letters. Robinson agrees about their purported civic function, but argues that their material made them inappropriate for a token that would be used repeatedly. From their rolled form, he deduces that this served to seal the information within, just as it did with other forms of lead documents. Additionally, though they seem to serve as a record of some citizen activity, they do not seem to function either as permanent monuments (being enclosed in a chest in the backroom of a temple) or as a ready archive (lacking external notation to denote the contents of each roll). Robinson argues, in fact, that the tablets are inconclusive on all points except that they do not prove the existence of democracy at Kamarina in mid-fifth century BC. Though this sort of impasse is regrettable, it is the most reasonable (non-)interpretation of the documents without further evidence.

Harriet I. Flower, 'Rereading the Senatus Consultum de Bacchanalibus of 186 BC: Gender Roles in the Roman Middle Republic' (pp. 79-98), revisits the much-studied decree of the Roman Senate concerning the disposition of the Bacchic cult throughout Roman and Roman-allied territory (Flower includes a text and translation of the Teuranian copy as an appendix). In this, she examines gender roles within the cult and how the responses to the cult may represent contemporary gender ideologies. Flower opens with a careful contextualization of the sources for this decree, arguing that we have no source that represents any view other than that of the senatorial order and certainly none that represents those of the actual participants. Contrary to the Livian account (39. 8-18), Flower holds it impossible that the Senate 'discovered' the cult only in 186 BC: the cult has a long history in the Italian peninsula and is well attested archaeologically for some time prior to the decree of the Senate. Instead, she points out that the decree with its injunctions reveals the concerns of the Senate, which were essentially to inhibit the participation of men in the cult and to inhibit formalized places of worship. Moreover, she argues, the most important consideration in understanding the decree is in what it does not regulate. It does not interdict women from continuing as priestesses. It does not limit groups composed wholly of women. In fact, the decree's injunctions seem to imagine a continuation of cultic practices of women in non-formalized locations, perhaps envisioning even something like the Bacchic revels in the mountains of Greece. Such a scope would place the initiatory worship of Dionysos/Bacchus in the same conceptual category as the initiation cult of Persephone/Kore, which was enacted exclusively by women and had been entered among the state cults of Rome during the Second Punic War. It is even possible that the non-sanctioned introduction of the cult specifically at Rome threatened the previously established cult; it certainly challenged traditional perceptions of gender roles in allowing men to mix with women in the worship of the god. Flower suggests that the decree was meant both to return the worship of the god to the private realm by preventing its formal organization and to check the entrance of men into a traditionally female sphere of activity. As such, she interestingly notes that it was men and not women who were here limited in their activities: women could continue in their previous traditional positions and were perhaps even elevated in their status by the exclusion of men from similar positions. Thus she argues that the decree allows us to see the Roman Senate's active reinforcement of gender constructions, an act that Livy also associated with Roman identity formation.

Gary Forsythe, 'Dating and Arranging the Roman History of Valerius Antias' (pp. 99-113), attempts to reconstruct both the floruit of the first-century BC historian Valerius Antias and the contents and ordering of his work. Valerius Antias wrote the history of the Roman people in 75 books, of which 66 fragments survive. In what is sometimes a difficult read, Forsythe first discusses the relative chronological clues for reconstructing the floruit of Antias, which is usually assigned to the 'Sullan' era. Instead, Forsythe proposes that we see Antias as a 'Ciceronian' era author, based upon a series of tenuous but plausible arguments (and at times assumptions). Forsythe concludes that Antias was writing his early Republican history between the years 66 and 44 BC, and draws upon a similar discussion by T. P. Wiseman to limit this particular activity to 63-46 BC,3 and suggests 25-30 years for a total length of time for Antias to have completed the entire work. These arguments would assign Antias a floruit of ca. 70-40 BC. Forsythe then turns to the actual arrangement of his history. There are 11 fragments that contain book references. The most problematic is Peter's fragment 57, which discusses the Mancinus affair in Hispania, events of which occurred in 137/6 BC, and attributes these to book 22. Forsythe proposes that this event was discussed in connection with the Caudine peace of 321 BC, an episode whose narration was so clearly modeled upon the Mancinus affair. Forsythe's reconstruction of Antias's arrangement presents both a cogent picture of Antias's work and offers interesting comparisons with Livy's work: Antias devoted 45 books to the pre-Hannibalic period, whereas Livy devoted only 29. Thus Antias's work seems to have provided a more expanded coverage of the early Republic than did that of Livy.

Graham Burton, 'The Regulation of Inter-Community Relations in the Provinces and the Political Integration of the Roman Empire (27 BC-AD 238)' (pp. 113-28), posits a stabilizing effect for the role allotted to the provincial governors under the Principate in adjudicating local disputes and administering awards of status and honors. In doing so, he adds these functions of provincial government to a long list of previous explanations for the long-term local stability of the early empire. Burton observes that local disputes between communities were routinely resolved through the offices of the provincial governor. Such local disputes often stemmed from questions of material resource allocation, and thus any decision would have had an enormous economic impact upon the local communities involved. This normative functioning of the provincial executive (and not the provincial council) served to legitimize the imperial administration at the local level. Burton further observes that, though the imperial center allocated privileges and honors to local communities, the provincial governor in many cases would have been involved in an advisory capacity during the initial allocation decision and would have been responsible for administering the privileges and honors after these had been awarded. This affirmative role again led local communities increasingly to invest the provincial government, and thereby the imperial structure, with legitimacy and control over local matters. Both of these observations merit more extensive consideration, though the direct evidence is, as Burton admits, limited.

Section Two: Colonization and Cult

Gina Salapata, 'Myth into Cult: Alexandra/Kassandra in Lakonia' (pp. 131-60), discusses many of the problems surrounding the cult of Alexandra at Amyklai. She disputes the idea that the dually named Alexandra/Kassandra represented the syncretic fusion of a local power, Alexandra, with the panhellenic heroine Kassandra.4 Though both names bear a discrete etymology, Salapata claims that there is no reason to associate cultic activity at the sanctuary of Alexandra with any act other than the veneration of Agamemnon and Alexandra/Kassandra, the former name merely representing a local alternative. This assertion, however, flies in the face of the evidence that she brings to bear upon the problem. First is the antiquity and differing origins of each of the female names (both appear in Linear B), making it unlikely that they were (originally) interchangeable. In fact, the equation of the two names by post-Classical writers likely derives from the cult and not the reverse (contra Salapata, pp. 133-4). Second is the evidence that she cites for continuity of cult. Salapata asserts that Agamemnon and Kassandra received joint cultic dedications from at least the early seventh century BC (or late eighth century, when dedications begin) until the second century AD (when Pausanias visited the site). However, it is only from the late sixth century (and continuing into the fourth century) BC that items (terracotta plaques and inscribed hydriai rims) iconographically or epigraphically representing Agamemnon are found, and it is not until the later fifth century BC that images which can be interpreted as Kassandra are found. Kassandra is not found alone until the fourth century BC, at about the time that Agamemnon disappears from the dedicatory record. Consequently, there is no indication that the power recognized at the sanctuary during its first two centuries of use was identified with either of the pair.5 Moreover, because the sanctuary was always referenced as that of Alexandra, it is not unreasonable to suppose that the veneration of Agamemnon and Kassandra was incorporated at some time after this designation of the site, the similarities of the latter's name perhaps a happy coincidence. On the whole, then, Salapata's arguments against syncretism are not convincing. She does make an interesting connection between the introduction of Agamemnon to the site and Spartan political aspirations, arguing that the Spartans' mythic contest with the Argives over the burial spot of Agamemnon mirrors the political struggle that the two peoples waged for hegemony over the Peloponnesos and the rest of the Greek world. Though I would date this activity to the sixth century (approximately timed with the appearance of Agamemnon on the plaques at Amyklai) rather than the early seventh century and see it as a programmatic reorganization of cult at the site, Salapata certainly has identified a plausible and probable explanation behind the activity at Amyklai.6 The decline of Agamemnon during the fourth century BC further supports this interpretation. Finally, Salapata plausibly suggests that Alexandra/Kassandra was venerated there as a vengeful spirit in need of placation (on etymological and cultic bases); though this is tenuous.

Lada Onyshkevych, 'Interpreting the Berezan Bone Graffito' (pp. 161-80), offers both a summary of past scholarship concerning an odd inscription found at Berezan (on the Black Sea) and a new suggestion for understanding its context. The so-called Berezan Bone Plaque was discovered posthumously amongst the private effects of V. V. Lapin, the excavator of ancient Berezan.7 It thus lacks both a chronological and an associative context, but Onyshkevych assumes (p. 162 n. 7) that the polished shinbone (probably from a horse or a bull) is authentic and comes from early colonial Berezan; its letter forms suggest a date around 500 BC. The small plaque contains seven separate texts, each brief and cryptic in content. Apollo and Apollonian epithets feature prominently, as do numbers in multiples of seven. The whole seems to have had a cultic significance and others have interpreted its texts as being possibly Orphic or oracular in nature. Onyshkevych rejects these suggestions, however, noting that Apollo is not properly a recipient of Orphic cult nor do the texts preserved by the inscription resemble other known Didymaian oracular responses. Instead, she reasonably suggests that the plaque served as a 'membership token' for a pre- or proto-Orphic, Hebdomadic Apollonian cult, which other evidence indicates may have been a constitutive element of the regional belief system. As such, the texts of the plaque may have recorded prayers and other prompts or may have simply served a dedicatory function.

Vanessa B. Gorman, 'Milesian Decrees of Isopoliteia and the Refoundation of the City, ca. 479 BCE' (pp. 181-94), attempts to explain the repopulation of Miletos following the Persian destruction of that city after the Battle of Lade in 494 BC. The main literary source for the extent of this devastation is Herodotus, and both his writings and archaeological investigations support arguments for a near-complete razing of the city's structures and a population transfer following the sack of Miletos. However, the descriptions of these events seem to run contrary to later Milesian participation at the Battle of Lade (479 BC) and their involvement in subsequent events (the city contributed 10 talents to the Delian League in 450/49, implying a population estimated at between 7,500-20,000 [p. 184-5]). Additionally, the later occupants of Miletos exhibited a cultural continuity (both politically and materially) with the earlier Milesians. Gorman rightfully discredits the method that rejects one passage of Herodotus for another (i.e., Miletos was not really depopulated). Instead, she argues that Herodotus was correct in both passages and asks how such a rapid recovery was possible. Disappointingly, she rejects without discussion the possibility that large numbers of refugees had escaped the Persian dragnet following Lade; it is not an unreasonable conjecture, but a quantification (or even qualification, to the extent that either is possible) of the expectations would be welcome. Instead, she posits only a small number of returned refugees who occupied only a small section of the former site until the battle of Mykale rid Ionia of the Persian suzerainty. Gorman argues that these inhabitants then turned to those settlements upon the shores of the Propontis and Pontos regions that claimed (most only in later sources) to be apoikiai of the Milesian metropolis as a source for new settlers at Miletos, re-founding the city in orthogonal design and regaining much of their former station in the Aegean. In doing so, she revisits an inscription of ca. 330 BC that recognizes reciprocal citizens' rights for the Milesians and the Olbiopolitans.8 The inscription identifies these as traditional rights (τὰ πάτρια) shared jointly, which Gorman asserts derived, if not from the foundation of Olbia (Eusebian date ca. 647 BC), then at least from the refoundation of Miletos following the Persian depopulation, and remembered the special debt that the new city owed its widespread benefactors. Again, this is not an unreasonable conjecture, but it is without strong evidentiary support. Another contemporary inscription (ca. 330 BC) seems to grant similar 'traditional' rights to the Kyzikenoi, but breaks off before this can be confirmed. Gorman can point only to other Hellenistic and historically mute, fragmentary inscriptions as potentially comparative examples of similar treaties linking early fifth-century Miletos to its benefactors, none of which denies the plausibility of her suggestion.9

Irad Malkin, 'Exploring the Concept of "Foundation": A Visit to Megara Hyblaia' (pp. 195-225), offers a critique of recent intellectual trends (fairly summarized at pp. 195-6, except as noted below) in discussing the settlements made abroad by Greeks during the Archaic period ('colonization'). Though generally rehearsing much of his and other earlier scholarship upon the site of Megara Hyblaia, he seems to have missed the core of these trends and instead sets up something of a straw man to debate, arguing that some historians and archaeologists now reject the idea of a foundation in creation of new settlements (p. 195). Ultimately, Malkin fails to convince that the highly organized site of Megara Hyblaia should serve as a representative sample for other early settlements that have been obscured by later activity on their respective sites (p. 197). Few, I think, would reject the notion of 'foundation' in the processes of migration and settlement that are attested for the Greeks during the Archaic period; clearly there existed moments of social organization at newly settled sites that could only be called 'foundations' (even if there were many such 'foundations' at the same site). Instead, current scholarship seeks to diminish the importance of the literary traditions concerning the foundations of apoikiai to the explanation of this phenomenon, as being both late and, in many cases, apparently self-serving.10 Yet Malkin treats the transmission of the traditions as self-evident and assumes that the organization physically visible at the site of Megara Hyblaia and dated to the last third of the eighth century BC is the act that the ktisis tradition remembered for that settlement. He speculates that that such an organization would have provided a continued meaningful reference to the community throughout its lengthy existence (which he relates to an 'Independence Day' celebration surrounding a cult of the oikistes). On the other hand, Malkin allows that the concept of 'foundation' could be extended throughout the lifespan of the first generation of settlers at the site, a concession that dilutes the moment of organization to which he wants to tie the ktisis tradition ('foundation date') and in which he comes close to privileging process over event (which he criticizes). A considerable portion of the essay is devoted to engaging the work of two individuals, F. de Polignac and R. Osborne. Much of his response to de Polignac, concerning the designation of sacred or profane space within the newly founded city, relies upon using one 'empty' space in the urban grid that exhibits characteristics (an altar and perhaps temenos) consistent with sacred use from its conception as the rule for the rest; yet we cannot know how or if empty spaces were designated, and later use does not prove an initial scheme. With Osborne, Malkin takes up the question of the reliability of the traditions surrounding the oikistai, criticizing Osborne's position that many of the ktisis traditions arise from the political situation and social needs of later society and do not (at least not in any sense that we would regard as accurate) describe the origins of the apoikiai. From these otherwise redacted traditions, Malkin would preserve information about individuals and the identity of settlers participating in the migrations.11 Whereas he reasonably problematizes generalizations rooted in Classical-era settlement 'models', he fails to note that the earliest recorded traditions are nevertheless a product of that era and he accounts for the historicity of oikistai by observing that the 'obscurity and non-legendary nature of the majority of named oikists ... seem to guarantee their authenticity' (p. 212). More instructively, he notes that, just as pots do not equal people, a diversity of ceramics types does not indicate a multi-ethnic population. Finally, he reminds us of the different perspectives that location imposes upon the historian, with informative observations on the importance of foundation to the settlements in modern Israel. Though these too have an historical context with significant differences from the ancient Greek experience, the study of the kibbutzim, moshavim, and newly founded cities of Israel could provide illuminative comparative material for the study of Archaic Greece.

Section Three: Military Matters

Philip Kaplan, 'The Social Status of the Mercenary in Archaic Greece' (pp. 229-44), explores the role of the soldier for hire in Archaic Greek society, a period often given scant attention or even ignored in studies of Greek mercenary activity. This situation arises primarily from the available source evidence for military matters, which increases exponentially in the post-Peloponnesian War era. While few modern historians would deny a role for mercenaries ('soldiers for hire') in the Archaic period, the exact nature of their significance and experience has proven difficult to describe. We have contemporary innuendo suggesting Lydian employment of mercenaries, perhaps as early as Gyges (mid-seventh century BC?). We have references also to 'Babylonian' and Egyptian service for 'Ionian' and 'Karian' individuals, supported in part by epigraphical and later historical information. What Kaplan sees in this complex is a reaction to the coalescing of communities throughout the Aegean as many elite individuals found themselves exiled from their ancestral homelands as a result of political disaffection. Lacking any other means by which to protect and support themselves, many turned to piracy, brigandage, and, when paid by another, mercenary employment. I would suggest that his mercenaries belong fully within the company of other mobile individuals present in accounts of the early Archaic period that include itinerant merchants and leaders of settlements. The most significant contribution Kaplan makes in this essay concerns his observations on the dominant term used to designate a mercenary in the Archaic period, epikouros.12 Kaplan suggests that we understand the use of this terminology as a strategy of those displaced individuals to associate their new status with the ideal of the epikouroi expressed most vividly in the Iliad, where the term designated the heroic allies and, most importantly, social equals of the besieged Trojans. Though it would be used still into the Classical period with the neutral meaning of 'ally', it also was used increasingly to connote 'mercenary' and to imply subordination, an evolutionary semantic extension from the early Archaic usage. Moreover, by the end of the fifth century BC, such euphemistic language gave way before more pointed terminology, misthoporos (stratiotes) or misthotos (according to Kaplan [p. 231], neither appears before the fifth century BC).

Mark Munn, 'Thucydides on Plataea, the Beginning of the Peloponnesian War, and the "Attic Question"', (pp. 245-70), examines the ideological framework within which Thucydides constructed his account of the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. As has become common in recent Thucydidean studies, Munn's essay is as much about that which Thucydides did not say as that which he did. In this intriguing essay, Munn reconsiders the boundaries of Periklean Attika with especial reference to the Theban attack on Plataia, an attack that Thucydides oddly described as breaking the truce between the Athenians and Spartans (2. 2. 1) and indirectly characterized as an attack on Attika (5. 20. 1). Munn sets aside the common explanation of this set of events (that the attack represented something of a proxy opening for the war, with the Spartan-allied Thebans attacking the Athenian-allied Plataians, followed by an escalation of the Lakedaimonians) and instead explores the complex of ideas that he argues Thucydides' narration of events disguises. He suggests that at the time of the outbreak of war (and at various times throughout the Classical period), the Athenians regarded not only Oinoe and Hysiai, areas on the border between Attika and Boiotia, as Athenian territory, but also Plataia and possibly parts of the Megarid. Munn points out that Thucydides' designation of the Theban attack on Plataia as the beginning episode of the war was contested by other ancient observers, some of whom seem to have thought that the war began with events in the Megarid or possibly even at Kerkyra in 433/2 BC.13 By relegating the start of the war to an attack by the Thebans on the Plataians, Munn argues, Thucydides diverted attention away from contested Athenian territorial claims (his 'Attic Question'). This reading proves not only to be a novel look at Athenian political ideology during the Classical period but also a critical element of his dating of the composition of the Historiai to 396-5 BC. This last component of his argument appears in the essay a bit too abruptly: though Munn cites his earlier work,14 he here presents such a dating scheme as straightforward and without historiographical problems (e.g., most scholarship assigns a date for the death of Thucydides, ca. 400-397 BC). Despite this problem, and even if one does not accept such a dating, Munn's essay provides a vigorous new look at a text that has seen much scholarship.

Karl Maurer, 'Thucydides 7.63.3 on the Sailors "Considered" Athenian' (pp. 271-84), argues for an emendation of the received text of Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War. Maurer examines the problems posed by the speech of Nikias exhorting the Athenians and their allies before the fateful battle in the harbor at Syracuse. This speech has known corruptions and has been acknowledged as awkward in its language, not least at 7. 63. 3 where the text makes Nikias seem to imply that all the sailors in the Athenian fleet in Sicily are non-Athenian. Maurer's suggestion for this problem is to excise the clause ἐκείνην . . . διασώσασθαι and to place it between καταπροδίδοτε, καταφρονήσαντες along with other minor revisions proposed as a result of the change. These clearly include the change of οἳ τέως to οἵ τε ὡς, the favoring of ὑμῶν for ἡμῶν (a manuscript variant), and the removal of the conjectured [ἄν]. However, in an editorial lapse, Maurer fails to note other variations from the OCT text (Maurer's baseline) that appear in his text printed at p. 279. These include, in 7. 63. 4, changing δικαίως to δικαιώσατε and καταπροδίδοτε to καταπροδίδοναι, emendations that are necessary for his understanding of the passage but that receive little discussion within his essay. Despite the difficult reading that results from the author's style and editing, both Maurer's correction and his attribution of the errors to a copyist (or multiple copyists) seem reasonable; he rightfully observes that the changes improve the structure of the speech, eliminate syntactic problems, and lose nothing of Thucydides. However, Maurer relegates much of his discussion, including that of previous attempts to treat the textual problem, to his footnotes. I estimate that roughly half his essay is found in the footnotes -- in fact, I found myself at one point reading the text as an annotation to the footnotes. Likewise, his appendix seems to belong within the larger arguments of the text, where it would serve to justify better his emendation of δικαίως (as above).

Scott Rusch, 'Agis Threatens Athens: The Plausibility of Diodorus 12. 72. 3-73. 2' (pp. 285-300), contextualizes the description of an attack upon Athens that Diodoros (solely) reports occurred during 408 BC (presumably: before the exile of Alkibiades). Rusch writes in response to several historians (p. 286 n. 2) who have discounted the account, in whole or in part, as manufactured by Diodoros or his sources.15 Parsing each element of the Lakedaimonian advance and attack (and Athenian counter-attack), Rusch shows how the account conforms to the expectations of the war and its developments by 408 BC, persuasively showing that the description either remembers an actual event or is an artful piece of historicizing fiction.16 However, having persuaded the reader that Diodoros has preserved the record of a battle that all other historians have missed, Rusch fails to explain the importance of accepting the historicity of such a seemingly unimportant episode in a generation-long war -- whatever they were to the prosecution of the war, surely the significances are far greater for our historiographic understanding of both the later portions of the war and our sources and methods.

Cynthia Harrison, 'Numismatic Problems in the Achaemenid West: The Undue Modern Influence of "Tissaphernes"' (pp. 301-19), argues against the long-standing identification of 'satrapal portraits' on coins minted in the western Achaemenid empire. In this interesting and well-developed essay on Persian numismatic habit, Harrison first traces the genesis and development of the idea that representations of profile heads in Persian military dress are to be identified as images of the satrapal rulers of the western Persian empire, most notably Tissaphernes and Pharnabazos.17 In her discussion, Harrison dispels the notion that Greek mercenaries in Persian service required payment with coins either on the Attic standard or type. Her examination of both the literary and numismatic evidence instead points to the satrapal use of local provincial mints to produce coins when the Daric stater or the silver siglos was not used. This contracting for coins produced identifiable examples of local standards and of types created locally for the issue. Harrison, in fact, shows that the particular type, the profile Persian head, is a Hellenic adaptation of a Persian motif, combining iconographic elements of the 'Seven Persians' who had established Dareios's rule (the front-knotted headband) with those of the common Persian battle dress (the tiara) in non-Achaemenid style. She associates these issues with other known satrapal and royal issues that exhibit both the long-established practice of depicting divinities on coinage and the adaptation of motifs (either Hellenizing or Medizing) for these (e.g., a Hellenized Baal, and a Medized Aphrodite and Zeus). Harrison locates the bearded Persian type within this cultural milieu, suggesting it is a Hellenized representation of the Seven, who had obtained heroic status in the Hellenic (and Persian?) tradition, and, it is to be assumed, naturally would have been associated with Persian authority.

David H. Conwell, 'What Athenian Fortifications Were Destroyed in 404 BC?' (pp. 321-37), reconsiders the implementation of the peace that ended the Peloponnesian War. Conwell begins by observing that most modern scholars follow the account of the peace as presented by Thucydides (5. 26. 1; cf. 1. 93. 3) and Xenophon (2. 2. 20) in accepting only the destruction of the Peiraieus fortifications and the Long Walls. However, he notes that there are a number of other ancient literary sources ('often forgotten') that suggest the circuit walls of Athens also were destroyed as part of the agreement that ended hostilities. In what seems in the end a tautological exercise, Conwell discusses those sources that originate from contemporary information (the Attic orators, the Oxyrhynkhos historian through Diodoros Sikeliotes, et al.), concluding that only those sources that mirror the versions of Thucydides and Xenophon are reliable; he does not consider 'late' sources, deeming them incapable of illuminating the discussion. Next, Conwell quickly surveys those modern scholars who (casually or otherwise) assert (or suggest) that, in whole or in part, the Athenian circuit walls were destroyed in 404 BC. For these, Conwell argues that 'common sense' without reference to the ancient sources (physical or literary) is the most abundant source for the claim -- few refer to physical evidence to support their contentions (Conwell discredits the use of the Kerameikos constructions of the 390s BC, the so-called Cononian phase, for this purpose) and few admit the literary evidence dismissed by Conwell. Clearly, Conwell has put forward a reasonable understanding of the literary sources, persuasively arguing that evidence for the destruction of Athens' circuit walls cannot be found in ancient literary accounts. However, he largely ignores the extent to which the remaining walls were destroyed, a physical question that several literary sources suggest might not have been as complete for even the Long Walls and Peiraieus as some imagine; Conwell's thesis surely should have subsumed this latter question as well.18

William M. Murray, 'Reconsidering the Battle of Actium -- Again' (pp. 339-50), offers the volume's only reprint.19 This essay takes up the old debate of both the momentousness of the sea battle at Actium and the strategies of its belligerents, traced ultimately by Murray to J. Kromayer and W. W. Tarn (see esp. p. 345 n. 27). Murray's essay reveals how the introduction of new evidence can positively infuse an historical problem. Essentially, partisans of both Kromayer (significant action, tactically fought) and Tarn (insignificant action, fought ad hoc by M. Anthony) had fought the historiographical battle over the engagement to a standstill, with both sides admitting the perils of a literary tradition inherently favorable to an Augustan version. Into this quandary, however, Murray has introduced physical evidence from the recently found and even more recently definitively excavated Augustan Campsite Memorial, with its stoa and rostra celebrating the victory at Actium. From its remains, Murray is able to suggest that Octavian had captured some 330-350 ships from Anthony during the Adriatic campaign in 31 BC, of which a tenth (a tithe) was dedicated to Neptune and Mars in the form of prows placed on display at the memorial. From this reasonable interpretation, Murray is able to re-read the ancient evidence and theorize about the nature of the battle itself. Murray argues that the battle itself was a defensive action designed to allow Anthony and Kleopatra to escape with the bulk of their fleet to Egypt. However, because Agrippa (and Octavian) refused to engage the Antonine fleet on its terms, Anthony was forced to make a hotly contested fighting retreat favorable to the opposing forces in which his fleet was significantly defeated (though he and Kleopatra did escape). This essay proves to be an interesting and refreshing re-examination of an old debate, lifting it beyond its previous textual boundaries.

David L. Kennedy, 'Two Nabataean and Roman Sites in Southern Jordan: Khirbet el-Qirana and el Khalde' (pp. 361-86), closes the volume with an attempt to clarify a complex of archaeological (mis-)information at two sites in southern Jordan. Kennedy sketches occupation at both sites and suggests that each was likely an isolated military post used first by the Nabataeans and later by Roman legionnaires and auxiliaries after the annexation of Roman Arabia in AD 106. In his examination, Kennedy focuses on the remains of fortified buildings at each site, revisiting old travelogues (he appends reports from A. Musil and N. Glueck) and previous studies in combination with aerial photography 'to advance our understanding of these two places'. After relating published descriptions of each site, Kennedy turns to aerial photographs (which unfortunately are not all reproduced at high resolution), from which he is able to qualify the overall nature of each site and to suggest actual building measurements. His method of combining these various elements of evidence, however, is unsettling: while noting serious discrepancies in the observations of various visitors ('problematic and sometimes unreliable', p. 361), he cuts and pastes from each to match what he sees in the photographs (pp. 364-6, 370-2, and see esp. nn. 23-40). I have little doubt that the structures Kennedy identifies in the photographs exist, but it would seem that a proper description of these cannot be made by recourse to flawed reports. What is not certain (from the photographs or from Kennedy's descriptions) is the extent to which there are structures visible at each site (especially at Qirana) -- his description suggests that there may be visible remains (e.g., pp. 364-5: 'structures' and 'buildings') while at the same time indicating significant ruination. Kennedy himself has visited at least the site of Khalde (p. 371 n. 34), and so it is unclear why he does not report his own observations and measurements from the ground; if this is the basis for his sortation, then it should be so stated. The inexactness of and discrepancy among earlier studies suggest that each of these sites needs extensive study and excavation to properly understand the remains present; aerial photography (at least with the current limitations of those resources available to academics) appears unable to replace this (Kennedy seems to regard his essay as a 'pre-excavation' report: p. 362). Ultimately, this essay succeeds in identifying sites of interest that should be investigated further, but fails to augment greatly our understanding of the use of each site.


1.   I was disappointed to see that specific pedagogical activities -- what courses did he teach? whose dissertations did he direct? -- were not included in his curriculum vitae, especially given the thematic focus of the volume.
2.   F. Cordano, Le tessere pubbliche del tempio di Atena a Camarina (Rome 1992).
3.   T. P. Wiseman, 'Valerius Antias and the Palimpsest of History', in Roman Drama and Roman History (Exeter 1998) pp. 75-89.
4.   E.g., see C. M. Antonaccio, An Archaeology of Ancestors (Lanham 1995) 181-2.
5.   Or identified at all: e.g., see J. Whitley, 'Tomb and Hero Cult in Archaic Greece', Time, Tradition and Society in Greek Archaeology, edited by N. Spencer, (London and New York 1995) esp. 43-63, 54-8.
6.   This argument was presented earlier by J. M. Hall, 'Beyond the Polis: the Multilocality of Heroes', in Ancient Greek Hero Cult [Stockholm 1999], pp. 49-59, esp. 58-9, apparently unknown to the author.
7.   The editio princeps was published (in Russian with English summary) by A. S. Rusiaeva, 'Miletus-Didyma-Borysthenes-Olbia. Issues in the Colonization of the Lower Buh River Region', Vestnik Drevnei Istorii 177 (1986): 25-64.
8.   Treated extensively by Graham, Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece (Chicago 1983) 98-117.
9.   Gorman should have used square brackets to delimit the last line of the translated text on p. 190 instead of round brackets/parentheses (the translation results from a restoration, despite her assertion that the restoration is formulaic [p. 190 n. 19]).
10.   For Megara Hyblaia: Ephoros, FGrHist 70 F 137; Polyainos, Strategemata 5. 5; [Skymnos] 270-82; Strabon 6. 267; Thucydides 6. 4.
11.   Yet Malkin is sympathetic to discounting both the role of the metropolis, qua political community, and that of a putative oikistes, qua representative of said metropolis, as agents of action in accounts of the period (pp. 211-6, esp. 215).
12.   On this he overlooks B. M. Lavelle, 'Epikouros and Epikouroi in Early Greek Literature and History', GRBS 38 [1997 (2000)]: 229-62.
13.   Andokides 3. 8; Aristophanes, Akharneis 528, Eirene 990.
14.   M. Munn, The School of History: Athens in the Age of Socrates (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 2000) chs. 10-2, esp. 315-23.
15.   Which Rusch, as do most, holds (p. 286 n. 4) to have been Ephoros and, probably ultimately, the author of the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia.
16.   Though Rusch is the latest to make the case and certainly here presses it the most strongly, he is hardly alone in accepting the account as 'highly plausible': e.g., D. Kagan (The Fall of the Athenian Empire [Ithaca 1987] p. 321 and n. 113), whom Rusch does not explicitly credit, but rather seems (at p. 289 n. 14) to mischaracterize as suggesting reasons for a general mobilization rather than for the very attack that Diodoros records.
17.   Ultimately to E. S. G. Robinson, 'Greek Coins Acquired in the British Museum, 1938-1948', NC Ser. 6 Vol. 8 (1948): 43-59.
18.   Conwell's failure to inject his essay with a positive discussion of the archaeological situation of all the late fifth-century walls leaves a noticeable void in the essay. This is all the more apparent as the title of his Ph.D. dissertation ('The Athenian Long Walls: Chronology, Topography and Remains', University of Pennsylvania, 1992) suggests an expertise in this matter.
19.   An earlier version of the essay appears under the title of 'Reconsidering the Battle of Actium' in New Interpretations in Naval History. Selected Papers from the Eleventh Naval History Symposium, edited by R. W. Love, et al. (Annapolis 2001).

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