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

By Simon Swain | Go to book overview

9
Lucian

INTRODUCTION--THE SEMITIC BACKGROUND

The satirist and essayist Lucian was born between 115 and 125 at Samosata, a city of Roman Syria.1 Samosata had been the capital city of the independent kingdom of Commagene until AD 72, when on the basis of unfounded allegations king Antiochus IV was removed by the legate of Syria, Caesennius Paetus.2 Antiochus and his family were well treated by the emperor Vespasian and enjoyed prominence in the Roman world. His grandson, Plutarch's acquaintance C. Julius Antiochus Epiphanes Philopappus ('Fond of Grandfather'), rose to a suffect consulship in 109, and his granddaughter Julia Balbilla the sister of Philopappus accompanied Hadrian and Sabina when they visited the 'singing' colossus of Memnon in Egypt on 19-21 November 130.3 Commagene was thoroughly Hellenized

____________________
1
Birth: Hall 1981: 13-16 ( 125) arguing from Double Indictment 32 ( Lucian was 'already almost forty' when he changed his literary interests) and 2 where Zeus has to attend to the sacrifice at Olympia and to 'those fighting at Babylon', in other words the Olympic games of 165 occurring during the Parthian war; Jones 1986: 8 n. 10 notes the conventional nature of Olympia and Babylon (not to mention Zeus' other tasks of 'hailing among the Getae and feasting among the Ethiopians'); forty is a conventional age for a change in direction at Hermotimus13. At Samosata: How to Write History24.
2
Josephus, Jewish War, vii. 219-43.
3
See Halfmann 1979: nos. 36, 36a, 36b, and the stemma on p. 121. Balbilla owes her name to her other grandfather Ti. Claudius Balbillus, prefect of Egypt under Nero. For the four poems she inscribed on Memnon in 130 (and for those by other tourists) see Bernand and Bernand 1960: esp. nos. 28-31; Bowie 1990: 61-6; cf. Debrunner and Scherer 1969: §68 on the pseudo-Aeolic dialect she employed to recall Sappho. Another possible scion of Commagenean royalty, Avidius Heliodorus, was prefect of Egypt in 137-42, when his son Avidius Cassius who was proclaimed emperor at Alexandria in 175 was born ( Syme 1985: 345, id. 1987: 215; against any relation with the royal house: Dörner and Naumann 1939: 47-51). On Lucian's own career in Roman government in Egypt see below, nn, 77-87.

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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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