Akroterion

Aimed at the non-specialist, articles cover all aspects of ancient Greek and Roman civilization, but focus especially on the influence and reception of the Classics.

Articles

Vol. 57, Annual

In Memoriam: S B Jackson: 8 December 1946-26 May 2012
Steven Brian Jackson was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and was educated at Campbell College in the same city. In his teens he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis and, after experiencing acute heart failure in his thirties, lived with a complex...
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Magic Realism in Aristophanes?
1. Introduction 'This sort of thing does happen, I suppose' (De Bernieres 2005:22). In Louis de Bernieres' magic-realist novel Birds without wings, Iskander the Potter confides that it was said that the beautiful Philothei was born with a full head...
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Plutarch, Plato and Sparta
I In the Life of Lycurgus, Plutarch represents Sparta as an ideal polity. This may seem a surprising view of a notoriously repressive regime which brutalised its helot slave class. (1) Not so, according to Plutarch: the exemplariness of the Lycurgan...
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Horace, the Liar Persona and the Poetry of Dissimulatio: The Case of Epistles 1
I Book 1 of the Epistles consists of 20 poems in the guise of letters in which Horace professes a desire to abandon his public role to recover his spiritual, physical and moral health and, most importantly, his freedom. The Epistles were written...
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Propertius 2.31: What the Poet Says He Saw
Much has been said about Propertius 2.31 and the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine. And, perhaps, too much has been deduced from the text about the temple and its contents. The aim of this paper is not to suggest new solutions to historical or archaeological...
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The Suicides of Otho and Nero in Suetonius
It is well known that Suetonius placed a good deal of import on the deaths of his imperial subjects, including the omens presaging them, and the precise context in which the emperors met their ends. (1) These death-scenes, it follows, are meant to...
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Fortuna in the Free State: An Analysis of Robert Grendon's Use of Fortuna in His Epic Paul Kruger's Dream
This article examines Robert Grendon's appropriation and use of Fortuna in his epic Paul Kruger's dream and the possible motivations for this. Of all the Classical figures Grendon makes use of, Fortuna is by far the most prominent and this paper sets...
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Looking Inside Votive Creatures: Computed Tomography (CT) Scanning of Ancient Egyptian Mummified Animals in Iziko Museums of South Africa: A Preliminary Report
The aim of this article is to inform on the scanning of ancient Egyptian animal mummies in Iziko Museums of Cape Town. It looks at the types of animal mummies, describes the way in which animal mummies are studied, the project itself, the Stellenbosch...
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W J Henderson, Die Berispende Stem. Vroee Griekse Jambiese Poesie Vertaal En Toegelig
W J Henderson, Die berispende stem. Vroee Griekse jambiese poesie vertaal en toegelig. Johannesburg: Universiteit van Johannesburg 2011. Pp. XI, 188. ISBN 978-0-86970-709-8. Prys R100. Bill Henderson, Emeritusprofessor in die Departement Griekse...
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'Scilicet Horrores Putares' Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage in the Early Empire
The early Empire has become almost a locus celeberrimus for popular histories of same-sex marriage, and the attraction is not difficult to understand. Regardless of polemical allegiance, the activist who chooses to focus on the occurrences of such...
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Vol. 56, Annual

Gorgias and the Psychology of Persuasion
1 Although the stated objective of Gorgias' Encomium of Helen may be doubted (1) --to free Helen from blame for leaving her home and husband to go to Troy with Paris (2)--it surely contains a serious point. The speech seems more accurately an encomium...
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Vergilius Ecloga 1
Teks: Vergilius Ecloga 1 Agtergrond Ek het Vergilius se eerste Ecloga vir my vertaling gekies aangesien dit as 'n baie relevante gedig in die huidige Suid-Afrikaanse konteks beskou kan word. Die hooftema van hierdie gedig is die herverdeling...
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Why Did the Thebans Defeat the Normally Militarily Superior Spartans at the Battle of Leuctra (371 BC)?
Introduction The battle of Leuctra was fought in 371 BC and represents a turning point in Greek history. (1) For a long time the Spartans had held military dominance on any battlefield they entered, but this battle put an end to that dominance....
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In Memoriam: W J Richards 21 Mei 1922-28 April 2011
Willem Johannes Richards is op 21 Mei 1922 in Middelburg, Transvaal, gebore as die oudste van nege kinders. Nadat hy hier gematrikuleer het, gaan hy na die Potchefstroomse Universiteit vir Christelike Hoer Onderwys waar hy in 1942 die BComm-graad behaal....
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A Race-Horse Called Pherenikos
The aptly-named stallion Pherenikos (Victory-bearer) raced and won for Hieron, tyrant of Gela (485 BC) and Syracuse (485-467/6 BC). This is the only horse that is named in the surviving victory odes (epinikia) of Pindar and Bacchylides. (1) He makes...
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The Perfect King Bee Visions of Kingship in Classical Antiquity
Nam ut a minimis ordiamur, apes, quae natura duce coetum et societatem colunt mirumque inter se ordinem servant, uni regi obtemperant, quem non ipsae de turba temere delegerunt, sed ab ipsa natura insignem forma et diademate praeditum acceperunt. (1)...
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Some Classical Hypotexts in Margaret Doody's Aristotle and Poetic Justice
1. Introduction The aim of this article is to examine hypertextual allusions in Margaret Doody's novel Aristotle and poetic justice. (2) The novel is thus approached as a work of fiction which reflects literary and historical hypotexts rather than...
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The Ancient Drug Opium
The use of papaver somniferum (from the Latin fero ferre = 'to bear/bring' and somnium = 'sleep') as a narcotic, goes back to the 13th century BC. The works of ancient authors such as Dioscorides, Celsus, Galen, Theophrastus and Pliny the Elder provide...
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Signs and Narrative Design in Plutarch's Alexander
Plutarch's Alexander reflects the tendency among earlier Alexander sources to augment the life of the great Macedonian with a supernatural aspect. Plutarch himself selects from, dismisses and fashions this material in accordance with his own standards...
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Andrew Lang, Comparative Anthropology and the Classics in the African Romances of Rider Haggard
The long-standing friendship between Andrew Lang (1844-1912) (1) and Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) (2) is surely one of the most intriguing literary relationships of the Victorian era. (3) Lang was a pre-eminent literary critic and his support for...
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'Reality Worlds' Collide: Film and Videogames as Pedagogical Tools for the Classics
Since the early eighties, the personal computer has come to form an integral part of most aspects of our existence. In Hollywood this is no different. Indeed, the influence of the computer is so powerful that it is rare for an action-adventure film...
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Vol. 55, Annual

"Unhappily Ever After?" the Problem of Helen in Odyssey 4
Introduction In the Odyssey Troy has already happened; Troy is past: that is the single, great, unforgettable fact. At the same time, Troy continues to live on. Troy will not recede into the past: no one can forget it; it everywhere threatens to...
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Understanding Ancient Combatives: The "Heel Manoeuvre" in Philostratus' Heroicus 14.4-15.3
The above-cited passage--in the form of a dialogue between the Vinedresser and the Phoenician--reads as follows: (1) [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] V. For example, you have heard, I think, of the Cilician pancratic athlete, whom our fathers...
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The Amorous Queen and the Country Bumpkin: Clytaemestra and Egistus in Dracontius' Orestis Tragoedia
This paper investigates the depiction of Clytaemestra and Egistus in the narrative poem of the North African poet, Dracontius. A close reading of the Latin epyllion explores the similarities and differences between this Clytaemestra and Egistus and...
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Ambiguus Sexus: Epic Masculinity in Transition in Statius' Achilleid
Recent sociological and theoretical studies have commented on the paradox of masculinity: characterised as the norm, the point of fixity against which femininity is defined as "other", it has been silent and hidden from view in critical thought--in...
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Vergil, Propertius, and the Euphrates
Delphi and the springs on Parnassus, Helicon and the Capitoline hill before the arrival of Aeneas were important landmarks in the world of the Roman poets of the Augustan Age. Reference to them allowed the poets to discuss, through metaphor and intertext,...
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Dragonology: The Idea of the Dragon among the Greeks and the Zulu
Then a second sign appeared in the sky: there was a huge red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet. Its tail swept a third of the stars from the sky and hurled them to the ground ... (Rev. 12:3-4)....
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The Classical Association of South Africa: February 1979-January 1981
This instalment rounds off the history of the Classical Association of South Africa for the first twenty-five years. (1) 1. Thirteenth CASA conference, 30 January--2 February 1979, Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg 1.1 Conference proceedings...
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Roth, Jonathan P 2009. Roman Warfare
ROTH, Jonathan P 2009. Roman Warfare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pbk. R250. ISBN 978-0-521-53726-1. Jonathan Roth of San Jose State University, known as an expert on military logistics, has written this attractive Cambridge Introduction...
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Catullus 22 Hoi Neoteroi: Everyman's Verse or Supercillious Snobbery?
Catullus 22 (with own translation) Suffenus iste, Vare, quem probe nosti, homo est venustus et dicax et urbanus, idemque longe plurimos facit versus. puto esse ego illi milia aut decem aut plura perscripta, nec sicut fit in palimpsesto ...
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Annual

Horticulture in Antiquity, with Emphasis on the Graeco-Roman Era
Introduction Gardening and a respect for nature, often associated with supernatural beings and divine forces, go back to the dawn of civilization. Garden myths from the Middle East must be the earliest recorded manifestations of this culture; of...
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Aeschylus' Pandora-Helen in the Agamemnon
Introduction The phantom of Helen haunts the first play, Agamemnon. She is the most expensive female subject in tragedy, her autonomous transaction in taking charge of her sexuality by abandoning Menelaus for a new lover, Paris, results in a multitude...
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Understanding Ancient Combatives: How Did Dioxippus Take Coragus Down?
Accounts of a remarkable duel between the Athenian athlete Dioxippus (1) and the Macedonian warrior Coragus 2 are related by both Diodorus of Sicily (17.100.1-8) and Q. Curtius Rufus (9.7.16-22). Although there are some differences in the accounts,...
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Ianus Vitalis: In Christophorum Columbum Portrait of a Hero
Ianus Vitalis (Latin for Giano or Giovanni Vitale), a Sicilian poet, was born in Palermo c. 1485. He settled at Rome from at least 1512 onwards until his death in c. 1560. Though never considered to rank among the greatest of poets, he was known as...
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An African Thermopylae? the Battles of the Anglo-Zulu War, 1879
A traveller to the battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War in Northern KwaZulu-Natal will come across, at Isandlwana, a memorial to the Natal Carbineers, an infantry regiment that served on the side of the British during the war. (2) [FIGURE 1 OMITTED]...
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"Yonder Lies Your Hinterland": Rhodes, Baker and the Twisted Strands of the South African Architectural Tradition
In our many neo-classical buildings we South Africans are constantly reminded of various strands of an architectural tradition that reached us from Greece and Rome via both London and Amsterdam. Both strands need brief exploration. The blending of...
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Syracuse as Vietnam: The Classical Intertext of Joseph Heller's Picture This
1 Introduction This article explores the classical intertext of Joseph Heller's 1988 novel Picture This and its concern with ancient Greek and modern American wars. First, the challenges which the generic peculiarities of the work pose to its interpretation...
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Post-Traumatic and Post-Modern: A South African "Electra"
Of the countless tales in Greek and Roman mythology, the story of Electra can probably be considered as the most prominent saga about a family governed by feelings of hatred, anger, revenge, retribution, murder and a lack of understanding or forgiveness....
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From Foreigners to Citizens: Conceptualising Students' Entry into Disciplinary Communities of Practice
Introduction The status of Classics in higher education elicits a diverse array of opinions. These range from views that Classics are under threat as a discipline (Culham & Edmunds 1989) or that Classics are in need of radical change in order...
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Light, Space and Affluent Taste: Ancient Pompeian Houses and Their Decoration
On 24 and 25 August 79 AD, Vesuvius erupted and the consequences of that famous eruption are well known. The ancient cities on the Bay of Naples in Campania were affected in different ways by the eruption, Herculaneum and Pompeii being completely covered...
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Herodotus and Language
Herodotus has been described by some as "the first anthropologist" (Robinson 2002:1). Throughout his travels and inquiry, he came into contact with, or learnt about, countless different cultures and groups of people. While there has been much discussion...
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Annual

Editorial/Redaksioneel
It has been a great honour for me as outgoing editor to be able to see this specific volume of Akroterion through to its final stages. Writing the editorial column gave me the opportunity to reflect on what the journal has accomplished since 2001....
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Monica Anne Gosling (01.01.1944-14.08.2008)
Anne Gosling (nee Scott) was first appointed as a temporary lecturer in Classics at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg in 1967. The next year she moved to the Durban campus of the University in the same capacity. After a year of teaching Latin...
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Bees, Honey and Health in Antiquity
Introduction In antiquity bees and honey had a very special significance. Honey was indeed considered to drip from heaven as the food of the gods. As an infant Zeus was fed on honey in the cave of Dicte, by bees and the beautiful Melissa, whose...
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The Character of Circe in the Odyssey
One of the most noteworthy incidents in the Odyssey is the visit of Odysseus to Aeaea, where the enchantress Circe turns his crewmen to animals. Circe is the most well-known witch-figure in Greek mythology, and indicates an early presence of belief...
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Reading between the Loins:a Curious Anomaly in the Portrayal of the Male Physique in Greek Sculpture
A cursory glance at three examples of ancient Greek sculpture--spanning the early and late Archaic periods and the early Classical era--creates the overriding impression of a progression towards anatomical realism. [FIGURE 1 OMITTED] [FIGURE...
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Celebrating the Past: Horace's Odes as Aide Memoire
In Travels with Herodotus Ryszard Kapuscinski writes: Herodotus admits that he was obsessed with memory, fearful on its behalf. He felt that memory is something defective, fragile, impermanent--illusory, even. That whatever it contains, whatever...
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The Laodamia Simile in Catullus 68: Reflections on Love and Loss
Introduction It is perhaps unnecessary to defend the principle that mythical exempla in ancient poetry are not merely decorative, but serve in the expression of "significant emotion"; it would still be welcome to see it more frequently and more...
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Mandrake from Antiquity to Harry Potter
Introduction The main focus of this article is an examination of the most important ancient descriptions (200 BC to 650 AD) of the medical drug known as "mandrake" (Mandragora). All the ancient sources on mandrake are briefly mentioned in the first...
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The Classical Association of South Africa: January 1975-January 1979
This account is the fifth in the series documenting the history of the Classical Association of South Africa. (1) 1 Eleventh CASA conference, 27-30 January 1975, Bloemfontein 1.1 Conference proceedings At the Opening Meeting, on 27 January...
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In the Museum: Containing Antiquity an Exhibition in the Sasol Art Museum, Stellenbosch
A selection of ancient Classical and Near Eastern artefacts belonging to the Iziko Museums of Cape Town (1) is currently on display at the Sasol Art Museum (a Stellenbosch University Museum) (2) as the remodelled exhibition, Containing Antiquity. The...
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A Comparative Study of the Dido-Aeneas Episode in Virgil's Aeneid and Christopher Marlowe's Dido, Queene of Carthage
The paper judged to be the best student essay submitted to Akroterion by November 30, preceding publication of the volume for that specific year, is published annually as the CASA / KVSA Essay. The competition, which is sponsored by the Classical Association...
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Study Supports Accuracy of Greek Poet Homer, Sets Date for Odysseus' Return from Trojan War
Using clues from star and sun positions mentioned by the ancient Greek poet Homer, scholars think they have determined the date when King Odysseus returned from the Trojan War and slaughtered a group of suitors who had been pressing his wife to marry...
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