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Les « bourgeoisies » municipales italiennes aux IIe et Ier siècles av. J.-C.

Domi nοbiles and the Roman cultural élite

T.P. Wiseman

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  • 1 That is the most natural explanation of Gell., ΝΑ, I, 24.2 on Naevius’ superbia Campana.
  • 2 Jer., Chron. ad Ol. 145.1, Festus, 274 L.
  • 3 Enn., Ann., 377 V (Cic., de or., III 168): Cic., Arch., 22, Strabo, VI, 281, Sil. It., Pun., XII, (...)
  • 4 Jer., Chron., ad Ol. 156.3 (Pacuvius), 172.4 (Pomponius); Juv., Sat., I, 20 and Schol., Auson., Ep (...)
  • 5 Cic., de or., III, 43 (L. Crassus loquitur): «nostri minus student litteris quam Latini». Arch., 5 (...)
  • 6 Cic., de or., III, 43; cf. Brut., 169 (Q.O. Valerii Sorani, docti et Graecis litteris et Latinis). (...)
  • 7 Cic., Brut., 205: eruditissimus et Graecis litteris et Latinis, antiquitatisque nostrae et in inve (...)
  • 8 Suet., Gramm., 3.1: eq. R. multi ac varii et in doctrina et in re publico usus. Cf. Cic., Brut., 2 (...)
  • 9 Verona. Mantua, Patavium: ius Latii 89 B.C. (Asc., 3C), Roman citizenship 49 B.C. (Dio, XLI, 36.3) (...)

1It is notorious that Roman literature was very largely written by men who were not themselves Romans - the Campanian Naevius1, Plautus from Umbrian Sassina2, Ennius from Messapian Rudiae3, Pacuvius, Lucilius and the dramatist L. Pomponius from the Latin colonies of Brundisium, Suessa Aurunca and Bononia4, and so on. At the turn of the second and first centuries B.C., as Cicero knew, literary culture flourished more in the towns of Latium and the rest of Italy than in Rome5. The two most conspicuous exponents of it at that time were Q. Valerius from the Latin colony of Sora, «litteratissimus togatorum omnium»6, and L. Aelius of Lanuvium7. (The latter was at least born a Roman citizen, and was indeed eques Romanus8, but he was a municipalis all the same, his origin comparable with that of M. Cato of Tusculum or M. Cicero of Arpinum.) In the first century itself, the familiar figures of Catullus, Horace, Virgil, Livy and Ovid need no comment: three of them were born in Transpadane territories with no more than the ius Latii, the other two in towns enfranchised only in their fathers’ time9.

  • 10 Cic., Brut., 242, on the Caepasii.
  • 11 Cic., Cluent., 23, 109, 196, on the local aristocrats of Larinum; Sall., Cat., 17.4, on Catiline’s (...)

2To understand the phenomenon, it is essential - and appropriate to the theme of this colloquium - that we look at it not from a Roman standpoint, as our literary sources naturally predispose us to do, but from the point of view of the Italian towns themselves. Men who at Rome appeared as upstarts, ignoti homines et repentini10, might well be aristocrats in their home towns, the heirs to generations of wealth and pride. We must think of them not as «new men», but as domi nobiles11.

***

  • 12 Hellenismus in Mittelitalien, Kolloquium in Göttingen vom. 5 bis 9. Juni 1974, herausgegeben von Pa (...)
  • 13 HMI, pp. 50f (Hercules Curinus), pp. 233 etc. (Pietrabbondante), pp. 337f (Praeneste). pp. 357f (Po (...)
  • 14 HMI. pp. 16f, 337-9; cf. G. Bodei Giglioni, RSI, 89, 1977, pp. 73-6, and E. Gabba, SCO, 21, 1972, p (...)

3I begin with the proceedings of the 1974 Göttingen colloquium Hellenismus in Mittelitalien12, which revealed with great clarity that remarkably widespread and ambitious building programmes were being undertaken in various areas of non-Roman Italy at the end of the second century B.C. In Pompeii the big theatre and the basilica, in Praeneste the great Fortuna Primigenia complex, in northern Samnium the theatre and temple at Pietrabbondante, in the Paelignian territory the terraced sanctuary of Hercules Curinus13 - all those and many others attest the Hellenistic taste and financial resources of local aristocrats - recently enriched, as it is convincingly argued, by the commercial exploitation of the Greek East14.

4The domi nobiles used their wealth, at least in part, in public munificence, adorning their native towns - or, where there were no towns in the proper sense, the common cult centres of their peoples - with splendid new buildings and works of art that reveal how great an impression the culture of the Greek world had made on them. The theatres and temples were an expression of the wealth, status and generosity of the local grandees who paid for them, but also of an aspiration to create a cultural environment comparable to that of a Greek polis. Hellenismus means more than just stone and stucco. The buildings were not merely beautiful objects; they were built to be used.

  • 15 Macr., Sat., II, 7.7.
  • 16 Athen., XIV. 620, b-d (citing Clearchus, Chamaeleon, Dicaearchus etc) on the poems of Homer, Hesio (...)
  • 17 Proclus Grammaticus up. Photius Bibl., 320a8 (Henry, vol. 5, p. 159) on varieties of poetry classi (...)

5One naturally thinks first of drama. Of course the Διονυσιαϰοὶ τεχνîται must have performed in the new theatres, at Pompeii and Praeneste, and as far afield as Pietrabbondante. Publilius Syrus a generation later made his reputation as a producer of mimes in Italiae oppidis before ever he went to Rome15. But it would be a mistake to think that Hellenistic theatres were intended only for the performance of plays. Poets too performed in theatres16, and the theatres put up by the commercially active domi nobiles of the Italian towns may have been particularly appropriate for two types of poetry - pragmatika and emporika - which otherwise remain wholly mysterious to us17. More important, however, the regular association of theatres with temples reminds us that they were primarily intended for religious festivals, at which another sort of performance took place as well.

  • 18 Philostratus, vit. soph., I, 481. For Hellenistic rhetoric, cf. for instance Pol. XII, 25a.5 (on T (...)
  • 19 Plut., Luc., 22.5; cf. A. Momigliano, Alien Wisdom: the Limits of Hellenization, Cambridge, 1975, (...)

6What could be more appropriate to a πανήyυϱις than a πανηyυϱιϰòς λòyoς? Of all the «carriers» of Hellenistic culture, the most characteristic was not the architect, nor the sculptor, nor even the «Dionysiac artist»: it was the rhetor, the sophist, the master of epideictic eloquence. The so-called «second sophistic», which we associate with its spectacular heyday in the second century A.D., had in fact begun with Aeschines, and the professional rhetorician was an indispensable part of Greek culture throughout the intervening period18. He was therefore particularly sought after, as a guarantee and certificate of that culture, by aspiring communities on the periphery of the Hellenistic world, like Seleucia-on-Tigris, which tried to tempt the Athenian rhetor Amphicrates. He declined a permanent position («you can’t keep a dolphin in a stew-pan»), but clearly was glad to show off his skills in such places «on tour», before an enthusiastic provincial audience19.

  • 20 Gell., ΝA, XV, 11.1-2, Suet., Rhet., 25.1 (161 and 92 B.C.).
  • 21 Cic., Arch., 4-6 (Archias); Index Stoicorum Herculanensis, lxxv, p. 95 Traversa (Sosus: I owe this (...)

7The surviving Greek cities of Italy will have had their own rhetores, though whether it was they or their imitators in Latin (objects of suspicion to the authorities in Rome)20 who performed with prose hymns and panegyrics at the festivals of Fortuna Primigenia or Hercules Curinus, we cannot tell. No doubt there were some who came from the great cities of the Hellenistic kingdoms to seek their fortunes in the newly affluent West, just like the poet Archias of Antioch, or the philosopher Sosus of Ascalon who took up residence at Teanum Sidicinum. A visit by a real «star» of Greek rhetoric would presumably draw crowds on a scale similar to those that Crates of Mallos and Carneades, in their different ways, had drawn in Rome earlier in the second century21.

  • 22 Ps.-Dionysius, 257R (on panegyrics), 275-6R (on addresses); Menander Rhetor, 353-5, who gives most (...)

8When a rhetor arrived in a city or a country, his first task was to praise it - its position and natural advantages, its buildings (and no doubt also those whose munificence had provided them), but above all its founders. On that the rhetorical handbooks give detailed and explicit instructions, varying according to the founder’s status - a god, a hero, a king, a general - and the antiquity of the foundation22.

  • 23 Pol., IX, 1.4. History and tragedy: F.W. Walbank, Historia, 9, 1960, pp. 216-34, esp. 230f. Histor (...)
  • 24 Historians performing in public: Lucian, Herodotus, 1, Thuc., I, 21.1, 22.4 (άϰρόασις), Athen., X, (...)

9The epic poet with his ktisis, the dramatist with his material from heroic legend, the historiographer with his tale of «genealogies, myths, the planting of colonies, the foundations of cities and their ties of kinship» (as Polybius contemptuously put it) - all these had much in common with the epideictic orator, and with each other23. Their material was the common culture of the Hellenistic world, their physical milieu the theatres and colonnades of Hellenistic architecture, and their audience the festival crowds in Hellenistic - or Hellenized - communities24.

  • 25 Note the Tiburtine altar CIL XIV, 3555 = Inscr. It., IV, 1.60: Iovi Praestiti Hercules victor dica (...)

10It is against that background that we should consider the foundation-legends of the towns of Italy, of which Virgil (and his scholiasts), Silius Italicus, Justin and Solinus give us a representative selection. To us it may seem absurd to attribute the foundation of Tibur to the sons of Amphiaraus after the fall of Thebes, but no doubt it sounded sensible enough to a Tiburtine audience in the great exedra of Hercules Victor25.

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  • 26 Hesiod, Theog., 1011-6; Dion. Hal., I, 12.2, 25.4 (Sophocles), 26.2, 35.1-2 (Hellanicus, Antiochus (...)
  • 27 On which see, respectively, A. Astin, Cato the Censor, Oxford, 1978, pp. 227-31, and E. Rawson, La (...)
  • 28 Rawson, op. cit., 713-7; for his date, see T.P. Wiseman, CQ, 29, 1979, pp. 142-4 on Cic., div., I, (...)

11Although there was a certain amount of early material for such stories, from Hesiod (or pseudo-Hesiod) on Latinus the son of Circe, through Sophocles’ Inachus and Triptolemus, to Hellanicus, Herodotus and Antiochus of Syracuse, it was clearly Timaeus who provided the most systematic archaiologia for the lands of Italy26. And from Timaeus and his successors it came into Latin literature through Cato’s Origines and the Histories of Cassius Hemina27. Two generations after those pioneering works, Cn. Gellius wrote his lengthy history, of which so tantalisingly little survives28. Gellius is an interesting character from more than one point of view, and particularly for our purposes, in that he was a contemporary of those proud and ambitious Italian aristocrats who spent their wealth in Hellenizing their homelands in the decades before the war of the allies.

  • 29 Solinus, 1.8-9 (Gellius, fr. 7P).

12One fragment in particular illustrates the intellectual background of their activities - an Italian «heroic past», no doubt created by Hellenistic poets and historians and suitably celebrated in Hellenistic theatres and recital-halls29:

13Hic [Cacus], ut Gellius tradidit, cum a Tarchone Tyrrheno, ad quem legatus venerat missu Marsyae regis, socio Megale Phryge, custodiae foret datus, frustratus vinculo et unde venerat redux, praesidiis amplioribus occupato circa Vulturnum et Campaniam regno, dum adtrectare etiam ea audet, quae concesserant in Arcadum iura, duce Hercule qui tunc forte aderat oppressus est. Megalen Sabini receperunt, disciplinam augurandi ab eo docti.

  • 30 Sil. It., Pun, VIII, 502-4; Pliny, NH, III, 108 (from «Gellianus», accepted by Peter as Gellius fr (...)
  • 31 Serv., Aen., III, 359; cf. Cic., div., I, 92, 95, II, 80 on Phrygian augury, I, 132 (from Ennius?) (...)
  • 32 Cic., Brut., 205 (n. 7 above); Gellius, frr. 2-3P (letters), 4P (brick-making), 5P (medicine), 6P (...)

14Like Cassius Hemina. Gellius was a Euhemerist and a rationaliser. Marsyas, therefore, was not a presumptuous satyr, but king of the Phrygians. Worsted by Apollo, he left his home and settled in Italy, founding a city by the Fucine Lake and giving his name to the Marsi30. The Phrygians were the originators of the science of augury, which messengers from Marsyas taught to the peoples of Italy, as Megales the Phrygian teaches the Sabines in this extract31. (Like his contemporary, the learned L. Aelius of Lanuvium, Gellius was interested in inventa)32.

  • 33 Hdt, I, 94, Strabo, V, 219, Cato, fr. 45P. Strabo and Cato refer to Tarquinii and Pisae respective (...)
  • 34 Lyc., Alex. 1238ff, with N. Horsfall, JRS, 63, 1973, p. 73 on the story of Telephus as the founder (...)

15Marsyas’ embassy comes to «Tarchon the Tyrrhenian». In Herodotus’ story, Tyrrhenus, son of the Lydian king Atys, leads the colonists from Lydia to Etruria and gives his name to the newly-settled people. Later elaborations made Tarchon the son of Tyrrhenus, appointed by him as οἰϰιστής to found the twelve cities of Etruria33. (The implied chronology suggests that Gellius did not accept the alternative story, in existence already by the time of Lycophron, that Tarchon and Tyrrhenus were brothers, sons of the Mysian Telephus, and that Aeneas met them - and Odysseus - when he came to Caere and Pisae)34.

  • 35 Livy, XXXII, 29.3-4, XXXIV, 45.1-2 (ager divisus est qui Campanorum fuerat).

16One of Marsyas’ messengers is imprisoned by Tarchon, but escapes «back to where he had come from» - not to the Marsic land, much less to Phrygia, but to the plain of northern Campania, where he sets up a sort of barony in the territory later occupied by the Roman citizen colonies of 194 B.C., Volturnum and Liternum. Cacus is a villain, as his very name implies, and it is tempting to see the story of his seizure of this territory, praesidiis amplioribus, as a reflection of Campanian resentment at the loss of their land to Roman colonists35.

  • 36 Dion. Hal., I, 31.2 (δεξάμενος ϰατὰ πολλὴν ϕιλότητα), Justin, XLIII, 1.6 (benigne), Origo gentis R (...)
  • 37 Serv., Aen., III, 359; Dion. Hal., I, 42.1-3 (cf. 41.1 on Heracles’ establishment of civilised com (...)

17Next, Cacus tries to encroach on the land granted to Evander’s Arcadians. Solinus’ phraseology is not very clear (what is the subject of concesserant?), but he seems to mean that it had been granted to them by Marsyas’ embassy and Tarchon. The usual story is that Faunus, king of the Aborigines (later Latini), received Evander’s small group of colonists with hospitable generosity and gave them land at the site of the future Rome36. Marsyas’ embassy is dated regnante Fauno by Servius, and Dionysius’ story of Cacus as a δυνάστης βάϱβαϱος - which is clearly similar to that of Gellius - includes Faunus and the Aborigines along with Evander and the Arcadians as the allies of Herakles’ army in the defeat of Cacus. They captured his fortresses by siege, killed him, and took over his territory37. Perhaps it was only after that, in Gellius’ version, that Faunus and his people settled in the territory of Laurentum.

***

  • 38 Silenus, FGrH 175F8 (Sol. 1.15), Festus (Paulus), 245L; Dion. Hal., I, 43.1; Justin, XLIII, 1.8-9. (...)
  • 39 Pallantia: Serv., Aen., VII 51. Lavinia: Dion. Hal., I, 43.1. Fabii: Festus (Paulus), 77L, Plut., (...)

18Wherever Herakles went in his western journeys, he fathered genealogically significant children. According to Silenus of Caleacte, who accompanied Hannibal to Italy and wrote the history of his campaigns, Herakles ravished Palanto the daughter of Hyperboreus, who bore him Latinus (and gave her own name to the Palatine). In Dionysius’ version, the girl was a hostage whom Herakles had brought with him from the Hyperboreans; having made her pregnant he married her to Faunus, who was thus supposedly Latinus’ father. Pompeius Trogus makes Latinus the son of Herakles by Faunus’ daughter; in this version Faunus’ wife is Fatua, a prophetess38. Herakles paid his attentions to Evander’s daughters too: Pallantia (another Palatine eponym), and Lavinia, on whom he fathered Pallas. The first of the Fabii was born to a local girl whom Herakles ravished in a pit by the Tiber - not a very flattering origin, and if it were not for the Latin etymology implied by fovea, one would suspect the hand of the pro-Carthaginian Silenus in the story. Later versions made it more honorific: the mother was a nymph, or else (again) a daughter of Evander39.

  • 40 Antiquity of Phrygians: Hdt, II, 2. Of Arcadians: Aristophanes, Clouds, 398, Steph. Byz., s.v. Ark (...)

19But we must not be side-tracked on to Roman origins. The importance of the Gellius fragment is that it illustrates the pseudo-history of independent Italy. Moreover, that history was derived from the immemorially ancient Phrygians and Arcadians, bringers of augury and letters, and from the triumphant progress of Herakles, the civilising hero par excellence. (Literally triumphant, in fact, since Pompeii was named after his triumphal procession)40. Any poet, rhetor or historian could make that into a story more honorific than Aeneas’ defeated Trojans or the fratricidal nurslings of the she-wolf. If the Romans appear at all in this dignified and edifying world, it is under the guise of Cacus the bandit.

20Let us return to the physical background of these stories, the newly Hellenized towns and cult centres of central Italy. Hellenistic learning provided an honorific past not only for the communities themselves but also for the local principes whose wealth adorned them. Our knowledge of the legendary genealogies of Italian aristocratic families is very fragmentary - as compared, for example, with the Roman familiae Troianae - but enough survives to give us an idea of what the poets and historians provided, and the rhetor’s flattery elaborated.

  • 41 Mamilia: Festus, 116L, Livy. I, 49.9. Dion. Hal., IV, 45.1; M.H. Crawford. Roman Republican Coinag (...)

21Telegonus, son of Odysseus and Circe, founded Tusculum; his daughter Mamilia may already have been the eponymous ancestor of the Tusculan Mamilii in the days of the city’s independence in the fourth century B.C. Ennius was supposedly descended from Messapus, who left Boeotia to settle in Messapia, and the Dasii of Apulian Arpi claimed descent from Diomedes. (The Dasummus who founded Lupiae, however, may owe his existence only to the consular Dasumii of the second century A.D.)41.

  • 42 M. Torelli, Elogia Tarquiniensia (Studi e materiali di etruscologia e antichità italiana, XV), Flo (...)
  • 43 Suet., Vesp., 12; cf. Varro ap. Dion. Hal., I, 14 for the conditores Reatini. Curinus: HMI (n. 12 (...)

22As for the characters of Gellius’ narrative, Tarchon appears among the local worthies whose honorific elogia were set up at Tarquinii in the early empire - one thinks naturally of the gentes Tarquinii and Tarquitii as his descendants - and Faunus was the ancestor of the Vitellii of Nuceria, his wife Vitellia bearing a name clearly derived from Hellanicus’ ancient etymology of Italy from vitulus42. Herakles and his forces had passed through what was later the Sabine country, and one of the hero’s companions was supposedly buried beside the Via Salaria; an attempt to trace Vespasian’s descent from him was ridiculed by the emperor himself, but no doubt there were Sabine families more ancient than the Flavii who did claim an origin from Herakles, or from the Aborigines whose «cities» were recorded by Varro. It is worth remembering, too, that the Paelignian cult centre of Hercules Curinus (surely a Sabine name?) was on a tratturo, where the story of Herakles and the cattle of Geryon would have a particular relevance43.

  • 44 T.P. Wiseman. Greece and Rome, 21, 1974, pp. 153-64. esp. 162f. The argument there involves the in (...)
  • 45 Son of Antiphata: Alexander Polyhistor ap. Isid., Orig., IX, 2.88 (Lindsay). Aelii Lamiae: Hor., O (...)

23Gellius’ own family is of some interest in this context. I have suggested elsewhere that it may have derived its legendary origin from Gello (alias Lamia), daughter of Poseidon and queen of the Laestrygonians44. In historical geography, that points to the Volscian territory - according to Alexander Polyhistor the Volsci were named after the son of the Laestrygonian Antiphata - and in particular to the town of Formiae, where the wealthy and distinguished Aelii Lamiae claimed descent from the Laestrygonian king Lamus. At Minturnae, next to Formiae, a Gellius of the Roman senatorial family was a magistrate in the first century A.D.45.

  • 46 Livy, XXXVIII, 36.7-8 (188 B.C.); Gell., ΝA, XIV, 2.21, 26 (Cato fr. 206 Malc.); Crawford, op. cit (...)
  • 47 Cic., leg., I, 53, Sest., 110, Cat., 91.7, 116.2; for the relationships, see Cinna the Poet (n. 38 (...)

24Formiae, like Fundi and Arpinum, received the full Roman citizenship only in 188 B.C. The first known Cn. Gellius is attested at Rome in the following generation by the title of Cato’s (undated) speech pro L. Turio contra Cn. Gellium; then there is a moneyer of 138 B.C., who may perhaps be the historian as a young man46. The moneyership implies a senatorial family, and so the L. Gellius who became praetor in 94 - and then, in his old age, consul in 72 and censor in 70 - is likely to have been closely related, possibly a son, or even brother, of the historian. The praetor was a man of cultural interests (offering, it was said, to arbitrate between the Athenian philosophical schools!); his son too was an intellectual and something of a philosopher, mocked by Cicero as a Graeculus; his grandson, who became consul in 36 B.C., was a friend - later enemy - of Catullus, and shared his Callimachean tastes47.

  • 48 Cic., de or., II. 262 (father of Cicero’s friend?); fam., XI, 16.2, Pis., 64, QF, II. 11.2 (Syria) (...)
  • 49 T.P. Wiseman, New Men in the Roman Senate 139 B.C.-A.D. 14, Oxford, 1971, esp. pp. 6-12.

25If Gellius’ historical work gives us an insight into the mental world of the Hellenized domi nobiles, his family offers an example of how, on receiving the Roman citizenship, they could pass swiftly into the élite of Rome itself. The Aelii of Formiae offer an exact parallel two generations behind: first attested at Rome in the nineties B.C., in Cicero’s day they were represented by L. Aelius Lamia, princeps ordinis equestris, praestantissimus et ornatissimus, a man with wide business interests in Syria, Asia Minor and Africa; their first consul held office in A.D. 3, and by Juvenal’s time their name was synonymous with high nobility48. For many Italian aristocrats, of course, the process only begins after the war of the allies49.

  • 50 Suet., Galba, 2 (cf. Sil. It., Pun., VIII, 470f); Wiseman, op. cit. (n. 44 above) p. 156, suggesti (...)
  • 51 For intermarriage between domi nobiles of different parts of Italy (including the nobiles of Rome) (...)

26It is no accident that much of our evidence for Italian legendary genealogy comes from the biographies of emperors (in addition to those mentioned above, there is the descent of Galba’s mother from Pasiphae)50; by the end of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, some Italian families were so high in the new Roman aristocracy that they could without absurdity aim at the highest place of all. After all, they were descended from kings and gods; and if some of them considered themselves as good as Roman patricians of merely Trojan descent, so far as wealth, pride and munificence were concerned perhaps they were right51.

***

  • 52 Cicero: see n. 5 above. Effect of direct rule: Clio’s Cosmetics (n. 23 above), pp. 154-7.

27As for the world of literary culture, the phenomenon from which we began may perhaps be regarded as a direct result of the «Italianisation» of the Roman élite, especially in the two generations immediately following the war of the allies. Already in the years before the war, as Cicero recognised, many of the towns and cities of central Italy were culturally more sophisticated than Rome. What happened in the course of the first century B.C. was that their domi nobiles became equites and senators, based on Rome itself rather than their own patriae, just at the time when the extension of direct Roman rule over the kingdoms of Pergamum, Cyrene, Bithynia, Pontus, Syria, Cyprus and Alexandria was turning Rome into the centre of patronage for the whole Greek cultural world52. In this newly-hellenized Rome, the already-hellenized senators and equites from the towns of Italy naturally became the leaders of the intellectual élite.

  • 53 Prop., III, 9.1; Hor., Sat., I, 6.1, Odes, I, 1.1, III. 29.1 etc. For Etruscan pride of birth, cf. (...)
  • 54 Hor., Sat., I, 5.92 (Diomedes), Odes, III, 30.11, IV. 14.26 (Daunus); Serv. Aen., X, 198 (Manto), (...)

28The figure who stands out, of course, is C. Maecenas, descended from Etruscan kings - and ultimately, no doubt, from Tarchon or Tyrrhenus, though his poet friends had the good taste to leave it impressively vague53. And if those poets themselves were not all domi nobiles, the degree of their literary sophistication is testimony to the cultural hellenization of their native towns. Horace, son of an ex-slave, grew up in a region where people were conscious of Daunus and Diomedes; Virgil, son of a smallholder, in the newly civilised Transpadane area where respectably ancient founders, like Tarchon or Manto the prophetess, were even more eagerly insisted on54.

  • 55 Mattingly and Sydenham. Roman Imperial Coinage I, 81 (Augustan moneyer); CIL XIV, 2466 (cos. suff.(...)
  • 56 Cat., 9.6-8; for their origin, see R. Syme, CQ, 7, 1957, pp. 123-5; Roman Papers, Oxford, 1979, pp (...)
  • 57 Sen., Quaest. Nat., II, 56.1; Cic., fam., VI, 6.9 (cf. 6.3 on his father, nobilissimus atque optim (...)

29In the previous generation, Catullus’ family was certainly domi nobilis; the owners of Sirmio were senatorial in rank under Augustus, consular under Tiberius, and high in the friendship of Caligula and Domitian55. Catullus’ antiquarian friend Veranius belonged to a family (probably Sabine or Umbrian) which reached the consulship under Claudius, and might have boasted an empress if Galba’s succession plans had worked out56. But the most characteristic of all these hellenized Italian aristocrats was a man whose works are wholly lost, though Seneca thought his style second only to Cicero. A. Caecina, «in parte Italiae minime contemnenda facile omnium nobilissimus», was a wealthy eques with business interests in Asia Minor, who wrote on the characteristically Etruscan subject of brontoscopy, but also on legendary Italian origins; his family, which included two consuls under Augustus and a trusted confidant of the emperor Claudius, was responsible for the erection of the theatre in its native Volaterrae57.

  • 58 See E. Gabba, Urbanizzazione e rinnovamenti urbanistici nell’Italia centro-meridionale del I. sec. (...)

30The theatre brings us back to Hellenismus in Mittelitalien. Building programmes in the towns of Italy went on in the first century B.C. as they had in the second58, though the munificent local principes who paid for them were now also Roman citizens of equestrian or senatorial rank. Hellenization was now also Romanization - a gradual merging of two traditions which finds its reflection both in the monumental architecture of Rome and Italy and in the great works of Augustan literature. Hellenism had been, as it were, successfully digested; the resulting organism was something simultaneously Greek, Roman and Italian, and it was largely the hellenized domi nobiles of Italy who had made it so.

Notes

1 That is the most natural explanation of Gell., ΝΑ, I, 24.2 on Naevius’ superbia Campana.

2 Jer., Chron. ad Ol. 145.1, Festus, 274 L.

3 Enn., Ann., 377 V (Cic., de or., III 168): Cic., Arch., 22, Strabo, VI, 281, Sil. It., Pun., XII, 393-7, etc.

4 Jer., Chron., ad Ol. 156.3 (Pacuvius), 172.4 (Pomponius); Juv., Sat., I, 20 and Schol., Auson., Epist., 15.9 for Lucilius.

5 Cic., de or., III, 43 (L. Crassus loquitur): «nostri minus student litteris quam Latini». Arch., 5 (of the years immediately before 102 B.C.): erat Italia turn plena Graecarum artium ac disciplinarum; studiaque haec et in Latio vehementius turn colebantur quam nunc isdem in oppidis, et hic Romae propter tranquillitatem rei p. non neglegebantur (note the significant difference between the oppida and Rome itself).

6 Cic., de or., III, 43; cf. Brut., 169 (Q.O. Valerii Sorani, docti et Graecis litteris et Latinis). For his επόπτιδες (Plin., NH, pref.), compare L. Cincius’ antiquarian Mystagogica (Festus, 498L): ὲποπτεία was the highest stage of initiation into the mysteries, here no doubt used as a metaphor for cultural erudition.

7 Cic., Brut., 205: eruditissimus et Graecis litteris et Latinis, antiquitatisque nostrae et in inventis rebus et in actis scriptorumque veterum litterate peritus. Varro, LL, VII 2 (homo in primis in letteris Latinis exercitatus) and ap. Gell., ΝA, I, 18.2 (litteris ornatissimus memoria nostra).

8 Suet., Gramm., 3.1: eq. R. multi ac varii et in doctrina et in re publico usus. Cf. Cic., Brut., 205-7.

9 Verona. Mantua, Patavium: ius Latii 89 B.C. (Asc., 3C), Roman citizenship 49 B.C. (Dio, XLI, 36.3). Venusia, Latin colony; Sulmo, capital of allied Paeligni; both enfranchised after the Social War.

10 Cic., Brut., 242, on the Caepasii.

11 Cic., Cluent., 23, 109, 196, on the local aristocrats of Larinum; Sall., Cat., 17.4, on Catiline’s followers from the coloniae and municipia. Cf. Q. Cic., comm. pet., 24 on homines in suis vicinitatibus et municipiis gratiosi.

12 Hellenismus in Mittelitalien, Kolloquium in Göttingen vom. 5 bis 9. Juni 1974, herausgegeben von Paul Zanker (Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenchaftes in Göttingen, philologisch-historische Klasse, dritte Folge, n. 97), Göttingen, 1976. Abbreviated below as HMI.

13 HMI, pp. 50f (Hercules Curinus), pp. 233 etc. (Pietrabbondante), pp. 337f (Praeneste). pp. 357f (Pompeii, cf. P. Castrén, Ordo Populusque Pompeianus, Rome, 1975, pp. 40f). For municipal building projects in general, see the inscriptions listed in Index Xb (pp. 488-92) of ILLRP vol. 2.

14 HMI. pp. 16f, 337-9; cf. G. Bodei Giglioni, RSI, 89, 1977, pp. 73-6, and E. Gabba, SCO, 21, 1972, pp. 92f. For the background, see M.H. Crawford, Econ. Hist. Rev., 30, 1977, pp. 42-52.

15 Macr., Sat., II, 7.7.

16 Athen., XIV. 620, b-d (citing Clearchus, Chamaeleon, Dicaearchus etc) on the poems of Homer, Hesiod, Archilochus, Minnermus. Phocylides, Simonides and even Empedocles being «performed» in theatres at festivals. For the Roman period see for instance Hor., Sat., I, 19.41, Petr. Sat. 90; cf. also Serv., Ecl., 6.11, Donatus, vita Verg., 26.

17 Proclus Grammaticus up. Photius Bibl., 320a8 (Henry, vol. 5, p. 159) on varieties of poetry classified under lyric but in reality «invented by the poets themselves»: τούτων δε ἐστι πϱαγματιϰά, ἐμποϱιϰά, ἀποστολιϰά, yvωμoλoyιϰά, yεωϱνιϰά, ἐπισταλτιϰά. Proclus’ date is unknown (perhaps second century A.D.), but he drew on Hellenistic sources: cf. D.A. Russell, Criticism in Antiquity, London, 1981, pp. 155, 201.

18 Philostratus, vit. soph., I, 481. For Hellenistic rhetoric, cf. for instance Pol. XII, 25a.5 (on Timaeus), Philodemus, Rhet., II, 233-46 Sudhaus (Teubner). See now the introduction to D.A. Russell and N.G. Wilson, Menander Rhetor, Oxford, 1981.

19 Plut., Luc., 22.5; cf. A. Momigliano, Alien Wisdom: the Limits of Hellenization, Cambridge, 1975, p. 139.

20 Gell., ΝA, XV, 11.1-2, Suet., Rhet., 25.1 (161 and 92 B.C.).

21 Cic., Arch., 4-6 (Archias); Index Stoicorum Herculanensis, lxxv, p. 95 Traversa (Sosus: I owe this reference to Miss E. Rawson); Suet., Gramm., 2 (Crates, 168 B.C.); Plut., Cato minor, 22 etc. (Carneades, 155 B.C.).

22 Ps.-Dionysius, 257R (on panegyrics), 275-6R (on addresses); Menander Rhetor, 353-5, who gives most detailed instruction; Quintilian, III 7, 25-6. See now I.M.le M. DuQuesnay, Papers of the Liverpool Latin Seminar, 3, 1981, p. 149, n. 196.

23 Pol., IX, 1.4. History and tragedy: F.W. Walbank, Historia, 9, 1960, pp. 216-34, esp. 230f. History and epic: T.P. Wiseman, Clio’s Cosmetics, Leicester, 1979, pp. 143-53, esp. 150f. History and epideixis: P.A. Brunt, in φιλάς χάριν: Miscellanea in onore di Eugenio Manni, Rome, 1979, pp. 311-40, esp. 330f.

24 Historians performing in public: Lucian, Herodotus, 1, Thuc., I, 21.1, 22.4 (άϰρόασις), Athen., X, 432b (Mnesiptolemus), Cic. fin., V, 52, Lucian, de hist, conscr., 14-32 passim; T.P. Wiseman, History, 66, 1981, pp. 383-7.

25 Note the Tiburtine altar CIL XIV, 3555 = Inscr. It., IV, 1.60: Iovi Praestiti Hercules victor dicavit, Blandus pr. restituit; as at Rome (the Ara Maxima story), so too at Tibur the presence of Hercules was accepted as a historical datum. Foundation-legends: Virg., Aen., VII, 641ff, Sil. It., Pun., VIII, 356-616, Justin, XX, 1, Solinus, 2.5-18.

26 Hesiod, Theog., 1011-6; Dion. Hal., I, 12.2, 25.4 (Sophocles), 26.2, 35.1-2 (Hellanicus, Antiochus); Hdt. I, 94. See especially L. Pearson, YCS, 24, 1975, pp. 171-95, on Timaeus and his predecessors.

27 On which see, respectively, A. Astin, Cato the Censor, Oxford, 1978, pp. 227-31, and E. Rawson, Latomus, 35, 1976, pp. 690-702.

28 Rawson, op. cit., 713-7; for his date, see T.P. Wiseman, CQ, 29, 1979, pp. 142-4 on Cic., div., I, 55.

29 Solinus, 1.8-9 (Gellius, fr. 7P).

30 Sil. It., Pun, VIII, 502-4; Pliny, NH, III, 108 (from «Gellianus», accepted by Peter as Gellius fr. 8P) and Solinus, 2.6 call Marsyas «dux Lydorum», which is unexplained.

31 Serv., Aen., III, 359; cf. Cic., div., I, 92, 95, II, 80 on Phrygian augury, I, 132 (from Ennius?), II, 70 on Marsic augury; Hor., Sat., I, 9.29f on Sabine fortunetelling. Marsic magic and snake-charming were attributed to descent from Circe (Pliny, ΝΗ, VII, 15, XXV, 10, Gell., ΝA, XVI, 11.1-2), or to instruction from Angitia, whom some (Serv., Aen., VII 750) identified as Medea, others as the sister of Medea and Circe (Sil. It., Pun., VIII, 495-501, «C. Coelius» ap. Solinus, 2.27-30, accepted by Peter as Gellius, fr. 9P), though admitting that Medea’s son was king of the Marsi («Coelius», loc.cit.).

32 Cic., Brut., 205 (n. 7 above); Gellius, frr. 2-3P (letters), 4P (brick-making), 5P (medicine), 6P (weights and measures).

33 Hdt, I, 94, Strabo, V, 219, Cato, fr. 45P. Strabo and Cato refer to Tarquinii and Pisae respectively; Flaccus and Caecina ap. Schol. Ver., Aen., X, 200 name Tarchon as the founder of Mantua (i.e. attributing to him the supposed twelve cities of Transappenine Etruria as well?), and Sil. It., Pun., VIII, 472f calls Cortona «proud Tarchon’s home», though Nicholas Horsfall (JRS, 63, 1973, p. 71) sees this as a reference to Tarquinii.

34 Lyc., Alex. 1238ff, with N. Horsfall, JRS, 63, 1973, p. 73 on the story of Telephus as the founder of the Etruscans, and 77f on its connection with the Roman foundation story.

35 Livy, XXXII, 29.3-4, XXXIV, 45.1-2 (ager divisus est qui Campanorum fuerat).

36 Dion. Hal., I, 31.2 (δεξάμενος ϰατὰ πολλὴν ϕιλότητα), Justin, XLIII, 1.6 (benigne), Origo gentis Romanae 5.3 (hospitaliter benigneque), etc. Faunus was derived from fauere.

37 Serv., Aen., III, 359; Dion. Hal., I, 42.1-3 (cf. 41.1 on Heracles’ establishment of civilised communities, and mixing of Hellenes and barbarians). The Aborigines were so called, in one version, from their mountain homes (όρη: Dion. Hal., I. 9.2, 13.3, Origo g.R., 4.1); in another they were Aberrigines, from their wanderings (Dion. Hal., I, 10.2, Origo g.R., 4.2); either version is consistent with their having been first settled in Latium by Herakles.

38 Silenus, FGrH 175F8 (Sol. 1.15), Festus (Paulus), 245L; Dion. Hal., I, 43.1; Justin, XLIII, 1.8-9. Fatua: Plut., Mor., 268d-e, Arnobius, adv. nat., V, 18 (from Sex. Clodius); cf. T.P. Wiseman, Cinna the Poet and other Roman Essays, Leicester, 1974, p. 135f on the different accounts of Fatua, who was also identified as the Bona Dea.

39 Pallantia: Serv., Aen., VII 51. Lavinia: Dion. Hal., I, 43.1. Fabii: Festus (Paulus), 77L, Plut., Fab., 1.2 (who adds the «nymph» variant), Sil. It., Pun., VI, 627-36 (Evander’s daughter).

40 Antiquity of Phrygians: Hdt, II, 2. Of Arcadians: Aristophanes, Clouds, 398, Steph. Byz., s.v. Arkas, Ap. Rhod.
Arg., IV, 264, etc. (πϱοσέληνοι). Augury: n. 31 above. Letters: Fabius Pictor, Cincius Alimentus and Gellius ap. Mar. Victor. Gramm. Lat., VI 23K, Cato and Varro, ap. Lyd. de mag., I, 5, etc; E. Gabba, Miscellanea di studi alessandrini in memoria di Auguste Rostagni, Turin, 1963, pp. 188-94. Pompeii: Serv., Aen., VII, 662..

41 Mamilia: Festus, 116L, Livy. I, 49.9. Dion. Hal., IV, 45.1; M.H. Crawford. Roman Republican Coinage, Cambridge, 1974, pp. 219f, 375-7 (coins of 189-190 and 82 B.C.); Hor., Epod., 1.29f, Odes, III, 29.6-8. Prop., II, 32.4, Ovid, Fasti, III, 91 for Telegonus. Messapus: Strabo. IX. 405, Steph. Byz., s.v. Messapion, Serv., Aen., VII, 691. Dasii: App., Hann., 31, Sil. It., Pun., XIII, 30-2; cf. Livy, XXI, 48.9f, XXVI 38.6 for Dasii of Brundisium and Salapia. Dasummus: Marius Maximus aρ. HA M. Aur., 6.1; PIR 2 D. 13-17 for the Dasumii.

42 M. Torelli, Elogia Tarquiniensia (Studi e materiali di etruscologia e antichità italiana, XV), Florence, 1975, pp. 142-6; Suet., Vit., 1.2-3 (from a work addressed to Q. Vitellius, quaestor divi Augusti), cf. Hellanicus ap. Dion. Hal., I, 35.2 (FGrH 4F111).

43 Suet., Vesp., 12; cf. Varro ap. Dion. Hal., I, 14 for the conditores Reatini. Curinus: HMI (n. 12 above), pp. 147, 151, 242, 261 n. 18.

44 T.P. Wiseman. Greece and Rome, 21, 1974, pp. 153-64. esp. 162f. The argument there involves the interpretation of the so-called «altar of Domitius Ahenobarbus», on which see now T. Hölscher, Arch. Anz., 1979, pp. 337-42, and soon also M. Torelli’s forthcoming Ann Arbor lectures on Roman historical reliefs. Whatever view one takes of that monument - and I still think the legendary genealogy of L. Gellius cens. 70 is a likely interpretation - the combination of Gello (Schol. Theocr., 15.40) and the Minturnae inscription (see below) may still suffice to place the Gellii in a Volscian context.

45 Son of Antiphata: Alexander Polyhistor ap. Isid., Orig., IX, 2.88 (Lindsay). Aelii Lamiae: Hor., Odes, III, 17.1-9 (with Porph.), cf. Schol. Horn., Od., X, 81 on Lamus son of Poseidon. Formiae: Cic., Att., II, 13.2, Hor., Odes, III, 16.35, Pliny, NH, III, 59, Sil. It., Pun., VII, 276, 410, VIII 529 (Caieta), Solinus, 2.22. Minturnae: CIL X, 6017.

46 Livy, XXXVIII, 36.7-8 (188 B.C.); Gell., ΝA, XIV, 2.21, 26 (Cato fr. 206 Malc.); Crawford, op. cit. (n. 41 above) p. 265. See now R.J. Evans, LCM, 5.9, November 1980, pp. 201-3, though I do not think it likely that Cato’s opponent, the moneyer and the historian could all be the same man.

47 Cic., leg., I, 53, Sest., 110, Cat., 91.7, 116.2; for the relationships, see Cinna the Poet (n. 38 above), pp. 119-29.

48 Cic., de or., II. 262 (father of Cicero’s friend?); fam., XI, 16.2, Pis., 64, QF, II. 11.2 (Syria), fam., XIII, 62 (Cilicia, Bithynia). XII, 29 (Africa); Juv., Sat., IV, 154, VI, 385 («quaedam de numero Lamiarum ac nominis Appi»).

49 T.P. Wiseman, New Men in the Roman Senate 139 B.C.-A.D. 14, Oxford, 1971, esp. pp. 6-12.

50 Suet., Galba, 2 (cf. Sil. It., Pun., VIII, 470f); Wiseman, op. cit. (n. 44 above) p. 156, suggesting a connection with Serv., Aen., VII, 796 on the origin of Labici.

51 For intermarriage between domi nobiles of different parts of Italy (including the nobiles of Rome), see New Men (n. 49 above), pp. 59-64.

52 Cicero: see n. 5 above. Effect of direct rule: Clio’s Cosmetics (n. 23 above), pp. 154-7.

53 Prop., III, 9.1; Hor., Sat., I, 6.1, Odes, I, 1.1, III. 29.1 etc. For Etruscan pride of birth, cf. Persius, 3.28 and the Tarquinii elogia (n. 42 above).

54 Hor., Sat., I, 5.92 (Diomedes), Odes, III, 30.11, IV. 14.26 (Daunus); Serv. Aen., X, 198 (Manto), cf. n. 33 above.

55 Mattingly and Sydenham. Roman Imperial Coinage I, 81 (Augustan moneyer); CIL XIV, 2466 (cos. suff. A.D. 31); Suet., Gaius, 36.1; Pliny, Ep., IV, 22.5 etc on L. Valerius Catullus Messallinus. For a history of the family, see T.P. Wiseman, Le grotte di Catullo: una villa romana e i suoi proprietari, Brescia, 1983.

56 Cat., 9.6-8; for their origin, see R. Syme, CQ, 7, 1957, pp. 123-5; Roman Papers, Oxford, 1979, pp. 333-5; Suet., DA, 86.3 (antiquarian - identical with Catullus’ friend?); AE, 1953, 251 for the cos. A.D. 49, adlectus interpatricios by Claudius; CIL VI, 31723 and Tac., Hist., I, 14-15 for the wife of L. Piso, Galba’s adopted successor.

57 Sen., Quaest. Nat., II, 56.1; Cic., fam., VI, 6.9 (cf. 6.3 on his father, nobilissimus atque optimus vir), Caec., 104 (amplissimo totius Etruriae nomine); S. Weinstock, PBSR, 36, 1962, 102-30 on brontoscopy; Schol. Ver., Aen., X, 200 for Caecina on the foundation of Mantua. Consuls: A. Caecina Severus suff., 1 B.C., A. Caecina Largus suff. A.D. 13, C. Caecina Largus cos. ord. A.D. 42 (on whom see Tac., Ann., XI, 33-4). Theatre: Not. Scav., 1955, p. 145, M. Torelli, Etruria (Guide archeologiche Laterza), Bari, 1980, pp. 260f. In general on A. Caecina, see P. Hohti in P. Bruun et al., Studies in the Romanization of Etruria (Acta Instituti Romani Finlandiae V) Rome, 1975, pp. 409-33.

58 See E. Gabba, Urbanizzazione e rinnovamenti urbanistici nell’Italia centro-meridionale del I. sec. a.C., SCO, 21, 1972, pp. 74-112. Professor Gabba’s mastery of the archaeological and social-historical evidence for Roman Italy is matched by his brilliant assessment of the cultural significance of Hellenistic historiography: see for instance his recent articles in RSI, 86, (1974), 625-42, Rend. Lincei, 30, 1975, 35-49, Contr. Ist. Storia Antica, 4, 1976, pp. 84-101, Athenaeum, 55, 1977, pp. 49-74; his forthcoming Sather Lectures on Dionysius are eagerly awaited. This paper, which tries, in a very limited way, to explore some of the same ground, has been written in the constant awareness of my debt to Professor Gabba’s work, and the hope that he in particular will find in it something of interest.

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University of Exeter

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