Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250

By Simon Swain | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B
Sosius Senecio's Alleged Eastern Origin

Opinion divides about the provenance of Q. Sosius Senecio, addressee of Plutarch On Progress in Virtue, Table Talks, and Parallel Lives, between a western, Roman origin and an eastern, Greek one. The matter is important, since in his essay On Progress in Virtue Plutarch takes a special interest in his friend's philosophical education, and, if Sosius is a westerner, the essay (and the presentation of Sosius in the Table Talks) is further evidence of Plutarch's close interest in Romans' ability to absorb the spiritual and intellectual benefits of Greek culture.

It has been proposed that Sosius was a descendant of a Cilician dynastic family.1 Alternatively his family has been located in southern Phrygia on the basis of an honorary inscription for his daughter, Sosia Polla ( RE15), and her grandfather, Sex. Julius Frontinus, the soldier and author who was Sosius' father-in-law.2 Eastern origin has also been put forward for Sosius' son-in-law, Q. Pompeius Falco.3 However, it is hardly secure. The only probable basis for Sosius' eastern origin are the two inscriptions from Phrygian Apamea honouring Sosia Polla and her husband Falco.4 In the first of these among the reasons for honouring Sosia is 'the good will of her ancestors [progonoi] to the city'. Neither inscription names any member of Sosia's family before her grandfather Frontinus.5 Frontinus was her maternal grandfather. If Sosius' own family is to be identified with the ancestral benefactors of Apamea, it would seem strange that it is not named outright. It also seems problematic to include Sosius in the term progonoi, 'ancestors'. A better candidate is Frontinus himself, whose ekgonê, 'granddaughter', Sosia is stated to be. During his proconsulship of Asia in 84-5

____________________
1
Syme 1968a: 101 n. 127. Greek origin was posited to account for elements in the name of Sosius' son-in-law, Q. Pompeius Falco (see below), which derive from the Spartan C. Julius Eurycles Herculanus ( Halfmann 1979: no. 29; Cf. Plutarch, How to Praise Oneself 1); Sosius' connections with Sparta attested by citizens bearing his name ( Ogilvie 1967: 114 n. 21) presumably derive from his quaestorship in Achaia.
2
Jones 1970: 103.
3
For literature see Halfmann 1979: 211 (who is against); further McDermott 1976: 242 (with some reservations).
4
GR iv. 779, IGR iv. 780 ( = ILS 8820 = MAMA vi. 182 = OGIS490).
5
Cf similarly CIL viii. 7066 ( = ILS 1105) for Sosia Falconilla ( RE12), the granddaughter of Sosia Polla and Pompeius Falco.

-426-

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Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - Greeks 15
  • 1 - Language and Identity 17
  • 2 - The Practice of Purism 43
  • 3 - Past and Present 65
  • 4 - The Greek Novel and Greek Identity 101
  • Part Two - Greeks and Rome 133
  • 5 - Plutarch 135
  • 6 - Dio of Prusa 187
  • 7 - Arrian and Appian 242
  • 8 - Aristides 254
  • 9 - Lucian 298
  • 10 - Pausanias 330
  • II - Galen 357
  • 12 - Philostratus 380
  • 13 - Cassius Dio 401
  • Conclusion 409
  • APPENDIX A The Dating of the Greek Novels 423
  • APPENDIX B Sosius Senecio's Alleged Eastern Origin 426
  • APPENDIX C The Dating of Dio of Prusa's Rhodian and Alexandrian Orations 428
  • APPENDIX D Galen's On Theriac to Piso 430
  • Bibliography 433
  • Index 475
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