BMCR 2010.08.54

Response: Jones on Amato on Bekker-Nielsen on Nesselrath, Dion von Prusa: Der Philosoph und sein Bild

Response to 2010.08.14

Response by

E. Amato in reply to T. Bekker-Nielsen discusses Dio Chrysostom, Or. 72, 5.The speaker refers to the addressee’s city (usually assumed to be Rome) where “in the agora and in the sanctuaries there are images of generals and kings… with long beards ( στρατηγῶν καὶ βασιλέων… γένεια καθεικότων).” Amato thinks it “evident that Dio is satirizing those emperors who, by having themselves portrayed with a beard, suppose that they can be identified with Greek poets and philosophers… What therefore prevents us from supposing that Dio is alluding precisely to the emperor Hadrian, who came to the throne in 118? Thus, from this point of view, the element of the beard would constitute an interesting starting-point for discussing the chronology of Dio.” Before such a discussion begins, it would be worth consulting the commentators on Juvenal 4, 103, facile est barbato imponere regi. Friedlaender cites Cicero referring to Appius Claudius Caecus, Cael. 14, 33, aliquis mihi excitandus est ex barbatis illis, … illa horrida (barba) quam in statuis antiquis atque imaginibus videmus. Courtney cites Varro, De re rust. 2. 11. 10, to the effect that the first barbers came to Italy from Sicily in AUC 453 (300 BCE): olim tonsores non fuisse adsignificant antiquorum statuae, quod pleraeque habent capillum et barbam magnam. The year of Hadrian’s accession is, by the way, 117.