Mapping Augustan (and Republican!) Rome

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While looking for a way to visually represent Dionysius’ understanding of the City of Rome I finally came across this website which I feel I should have known about much earlier.  I had resorted to the pulling the large paper maps out of my hard copy of the original publication and marking each spot with a penny to get an idea of his coverage.

Those interested in the republican coin series will immediately recognize the utility of having a searchable map of urban topography.  I give the screen shot above just to show you what can be done.

Check out Digital Augustan Rome!

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Trigas

Reverse of RRC 382/1b. ANS 1944.100.1925

There are two coins in the Roman republican coin series and one from Teanum from the time of the First Punic War that display a triga, a three horse chariot.  All have Victory (Nike) as the driver.  I’ve always found this a rather weird design as opposed to the biga or quadriga (2 and 4 horse chariots), but not worried too much about it.  For my previous thoughts on these coins and more images follow this link.

Anyway, as I settled back in Dionysius this morning (It’s Yom Kippur today.  No classes and thus a much welcome writing day from me!), I came to this passage in his description of the ludi Romani:

 In the chariot races two very ancient customs continue to be observed by the Romans down to my time in the same manner as they were first instituted. The first relates to the chariots drawn by three horses, a custom now fallen into disuse among the Greeks, though it was an ancient institution of heroic times which Homer represents the Greeks as using in battle. For running beside two horses yoked together in the same manner as in the case of a two-horse chariot was a third horse attached by a trace; this trace-horse the ancients called parêoros or “outrunner,” because he was “hitched beside” and not yoked to the others.  (Dion Hal. 7.73.2)

I think this well explains the one horse on the Roman republican coins looking back at the others as if it were loose.  This may be trying to represent the trace horse.  I might also want to investigate further a connection between the moneyers of RRC 299/1 and 382/1 and these ludi.  It also makes me revisit my earlier thoughts about trying to connect the Roman triga to the Teanum triga.  Perhaps this is a mistake as the Teanum coins do not seem to attempt to represent the third horse as on a trace.

So finally after a very long time this blog says something about coins again.  That feels good.  I’m sad I’m not in Taormina but 5.5 month old twin girls and a full teaching load are not really compatible with mid-semester international travel….

Other names for (and stories about) the Augur’s Lituus

In Rome likewise a sacred hut of Mars, built near the summit of the Palatine, was burned to the ground together with the houses round about; but when the area was being cleared for the purpose of restoring the buildings, it preserved unharmed in the midst of the surrounding ashes the symbol of the settlement of the city, a staff curved at one end, like those carried by herdsmen and shepherds, which some call kalauropes and others lagobola. With this staff Romulus, on the occasion of taking the auspices when he was intending to found the city, marked out the regions for the omens. (Dion. Hal. RA 14.2.2).

We often see the lituus on republican coins and interpret it as a symbol of an augurship in the family or of the money himself.  I thought I’d just file this passage away here, so that I keep in mind that at lease in the Augustan era it was associated with the city founding and the pastoral origins of Romulus, and that Dionysius gives us here a variety of Greek names for the implement (Greek below).  In this fragment the survival of the lituus is compared to the survival of the sacred olive tree on the acropolis in Athens, a symbol of the life of the city itself.  This seems to me to indicate that the lituus might just be able to be read as a symbol of Rome itself…at least to some Greek scholars residing in Rome at the end of the first century.

Cf. Cic. Div. 1.30

And whence, pray, did you augurs derive that staff, which is the most conspicuous mark of your priestly office? It is the very one, indeed, with which Romulus marked out the quarter for taking observations when he founded the city. Now this staff is a crooked wand, slightly curved at the top, and, because of its resemblance to a trumpet, derives its name from the Latin word meaning ‘the trumpet with which the battle-charge is sounded.’ It was placed in the temple of the Salii on the Palatine hill and, though the temple was burned, the staff was found uninjured.

and Cic. Div. 2.80

Then dismiss Romulus’s augural staff, which you say the hottest of fires was powerless to burn, and attach slight importance to the whetstone of Attus Navius.

Omitte igitur lituum Romuli, quem in maximo incendio negas potuisse comburi; contemne cotem Atti Navi.

Greek of DH quoted above:

Ἐν δὲ τῇ Ῥώμῃ καλιάς τις Ἄρεος ἱερὰ περὶ τὴν κορυφὴν ἱδρυμένη τοῦ Παλατίου συγκαταφλεγεῖσα ταῖς πέριξ οἰκίαις ἕως ἐδάφους, ἀνακαθαιρομένων τῶν οἰκοπέδων ἕνεκα τῆς ἐπισκευῆς, ἐν μέσῃ τῇ περικαύστῳ σποδῷ τὸ σύμβολον τοῦ συνοικισμοῦ  τῆς πόλεως διέσωσεν ἀπαθές, ῥόπαλον ἐκ θατέρου τῶν ἄκρων ἐπικάμπιον, οἷα φέρουσι βουκόλοι καὶ νομεῖς οἱ μὲν καλαύροπας, οἱ δὲ λαγωβόλα καλοῦντες, ᾧ Ῥωμύλος ὀρνιθευόμενος διέγραφε τῶν οἰωνῶν τὰς χώρας, ὅτε τὴν πόλιν οἰκίζειν ἔμελλεν.

The Greek Vocabulary of Clemency

I’m trying to figure out who (if anyone) has talked about Larcius the first dictator in Dionysius of Halicarnassus as model for good Roman leadership at the end of the Republic and beginning of the Principate. Basically, I’m checking to see who has read the passage the way I want to read it.  This brought me to Dowling’s book on Clementia, p. 4.   She mostly focuses on the Empire, but puts the concept in an earlier context.  Here’s the bit I wanted to share with you (Clicking on this photo will make it bigger):

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Basically, I just want to put in a footnote pointing out that ἐπιείκεια as the Greek word for Clementia can be pushed much earlier on the basis of Dionysius 5.76.1:

οὓς πρὸς συγγενεῖς καὶ φίλους ἀναγκαζόμενοί τινες ἀναιροῦνται, ἐπιεικεστέρων μᾶλλον ἢ δικαιοτέρων ᾤετο δεῖν αὐτοῖς διαλύσεων.
those [sc. wars] which men are forced to undertake against kinsmen and friends, he thought they ought to be settled by an accommodation in which clemency outweighed the demands of justice.  (Cary Trans.)