Scholia Reviews ns 14 (2005) 14.
A. F. Basson and W. J. Dominik (edd.), Literature, Art, History: Studies on Classical Antiquity and Tradition in Honour of W. J. Henderson. Peter Lang: Frankfurt am Main, 2003. Pp. xi + 355. ISBN 3-631-36837- 2. EUR52.80, US$62.95, UK£37.00
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa/Reed College, USA
Professor William J. Henderson, emeritus professor at Rand Afrikaans University in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Managing Editor of Acta Classica (a position that he continues to occupy since his retirement in 2000), will be a well-known name to readers of Scholia. In his honour André Basson and William Dominik have collected from friends and colleagues in four continents and seven countries an impressive array of thirty contributions.
The articles are organized in three sections: 'Latin Literature' (fifteen articles, pp. 1-168);[] 'Greek Literature' (seven articles, pp. 169-248);[] and 'Art and History' (eight articles, pp. 249-355).[] With a suitable emphasis on Henderson's philological and literary interests (his curriculum vitae lists no fewer than 91 publications ranging from Greek lyric through Augustan poetry to Prudentius), the papers traverse time and space from Lucretius to William of Conches, Homer to Heliodorus, and Athenian black-figure vases to late imperial sarcophagi from Gaul.
Appropriately the collection opens with Konstan's 'Lucretian Friendship' (pp. 1-7). Defending the irregular amicities (Lucr. 5.1019), he argues that Lucretius coined the form to distinguish it from the more precise (and restrictive) term amicitia 'to indicate an emotional capacity analogous to that of pity' (p. 7). His specific philological enquiry gives way to broader observations on the interrelationship of Lucretian ideas with Greek concepts of philia, philos, and philotes.
Seven articles on Augustan poetry (Harrison, Galinsky, Murgatroyd, Maurach, Coleman, Lambert, Gosling) pay homage to Henderson's primary research interest.[] Galinsky's interesting contribution argues for the convergence of concept between Horace's portrayal of Cleopatra (Carm. 1.37) and Vergil's Dido. His analysis seems to confirm the common-sense solution proposed by Helmbold: that Horace and Vergil spoke to one another and exchanged ideas. It also mirrors what we know about intellectual interaction in other periods: for example, the correspondence of Cicero with his brother and Julius Caesar or that of Pliny the Younger with Tacitus concerning their respective literary projects. For Coleman the speech given to Apollo at Propertius, 4.6.37-54 is inspired by the Hellenistic model of using a mythological character for an encomiastic narrative. The rhetoric of the speech is shown to be a suitably subtle appeal to the literary sophistication of Augustus, which derives from Rome's most literate god. Lambert's article is an intriguing examination of Tibullus 1.7 which argues that the novel fusion of genres (genethliakon, triumphal ode, and religious hymn) allows the poet to praise Messalla, the Republican aristocrat without giving offence to Augustus by appealing to his literary interests.
Naturally Augustan poetry makes way for Silver Age Latin: Calpurnius Siculus (Martin), two articles on Statius (Dominik and Fantham), and Juvenal (Tennant). The most successful of the four is probably Dominik's lengthy analysis of the meaning of the epilogue to Statius' Thebaid. He argues that it does not convey a sentiment of inferiority to Vergil but is rather a self-conscious, self-referential acknowledgement of the debt that Statius owes to his predecessors. Basson, van Zyl Smit, and Ronca complete the section with articles on Paulinus of Nola, Dracontius, and William of Conches. Basson's examination of Paulinus of Nola Carmen 15 which compares the conduct of Felix with that of Nola's bishop, Maximus, is the most engaging. Basson argues that the comparison between the two, despite the adherence of the poem to the conventions of Christian hagiography, serves to promote the ascendancy of a new monastic model, to deny the desert-based ascetic ideal of monasticism, and to argue for the promotion of ascetics in church structures.
Greek literature begins with articles by Farron and Whitaker on Homer. The former's contribution is a typically assiduous examination of the source material, albeit rather overworked, to reject the received view that archery and archers are always held in contempt within the Iliad. Gerber's diminutive re-evaluation of Allen's recent commentary on Mimnermus, fr. 1.3W, and Gentili and Lomiento's lexicographical analysis of Corinna, PMG 654 col. 3.12-51 reflect Henderson's interest in Greek lyric.[] The latter allows the authors to postulate the beginning of the fourth century B.C. as a terminus ante quem for Corinna's floruit. Contributions on Sophocles' Antigone (Conradie), Aristotle's Historia Animalium (Arnott), and Heliodorus (Hilton) make this a somewhat disparate selection of articles. However, Hilton's 'Heliodorus the Poet' (pp. 235-248), is a carefully considered analysis of the author's hymn to Thetis and other poetic fragments in the Aithiopika. He suggests that Heliodorus' debt to Philostratus and other poets contributes to the fuller development of Kalasiris and Knemon and the characterization of Charikleia as a ward of destiny, demonic and divinely empowered.
The final section is even less cohesive than those on Greek and Latin literature. Mackay's initial offering discusses the influence of archaic festival performance on black figure vases. She suggests that certain vase types were associated with rituals; some represent festival events and practices, while others indicate that archaic painters were influenced by literary representations of mythological tales. These factors are seen to blur the distinction between ritual enactment and narrated myth. One significant question that is not addressed is whether the depictions on vase paintings might in turn have influenced the understanding and practice of festivals or the writing of later myth. Like Sivan's article that ends the section, the arguments could have been easily clarified and simplified with pictorial support.
Sandwiched between these articles are contributions more suited to this reviewer's expertise. Baldwin's entertaining paper tersely argues that a 244 year time period might be sufficient for the seven kings of Rome; that there is a lack of ancient evidence that Carthage was sown with salt; and that the death of Scipio Aemilianus by carbon monoxide poisoning (carbone -- as proposed by Bagnani) had been anticipated by the ancient historian Ammianus Marcellinus. His article is a cogent reminder to check the sources carefully. Evans continues his persuasive rehabilitation of Marius as 'a politician of inestimable capability'.[] He suggests that Marius oversaw the consular elections for 106 BC and, through a deep awareness of the political system, deliberately engineered the defeat of Q. Lutatius Catulus, a potential threat to his own military supremacy. Saddington's article is another lesson in the use of evidence. His paper traces the incorporation of intellectuals and professionals into the administrative structures of the Roman Empire. Through sheer weight of epigraphic and documentary evidence, his prosopographic enquiry guarantees the reader full insight into the paths for social advancement for the local elite, especially those from the Greek east.
Amidst this wealth of interesting articles some contributions seem less successful than others. Murgatroyd's article meanders through the spaces of Georgics 4.315-558 to a rather insubstantial conclusion. Van Zyl Smit argues that Dracontius' Medea represents a reworking of the traditional story by an intellectual and is not a Christianised version. The problem with this, as she points out (p. 159), is the Christianity of the author himself -- especially since texts are now seen to arise out of the social context and the self-reflexivity of the author. Ronca's discussion of the Prose Salernitan Questions and William of Conches' Dragmaticon is no easy read for a newcomer to the subject and seems largely to be an advertisement for his own edition of the gynaecological section of the former work; neither Whitaker, who discusses the ambiguity of audience reception of the Trojan War within the Odyssey, nor Cilliers who traces the development of ideas regarding the aetiology of disease from supernatural agents (Homer) to natural causes (Hippocrates), offer particularly radical interpretations of the evidence, although both articles will be useful reading for undergraduate courses. Sivan's Aquitanian perspective on the politics of death in late antiquity is a rather densely argued case for the sarcophagi from Narbonne to be dated no later than the second decade of the Fifth Century. The appendix, 'Ethnicity and Funerary Art', a series of further thoughts on the theories surrounding the Aquitanian sarcophagi, sits uneasily at the end of the article.
Nonetheless, the articles in this volume will appeal to a wide range of readers. Particular strengths lie in the intertextual readings of specific passages, the cross- fertilization and convergence of concept that is evident in ancient texts, along with the acknowledgement of a classical tradition within antiquity. The editors themselves have done an excellent job in welcoming a series of papers of appropriate length and intent. Each paper is usefully preceded by an abstract, and errors kept to a minimum.[] The editors are rightly unapologetic with regard to the scope of this volume. To be a Classicist in South Africa is to be a generalist and in this respect the book is a testament to Bill Henderson's remarkable flexibility as a teacher and as a scholar.
Ultimately a festschrift should be judged as to whether it succeeds in its encomiastic purpose. Although the editorial preface highlights Professor W. J. Henderson's career and devotion to the development of Classics, some readers might be disappointed, as I was, to find that the volume contains no picture nor record of the honorand's publications. However, this is a minor quibble. Aside from the personal associations that the contributors have with Bill Henderson, from Konstan's article to the end of the volume there is a warm tone of amicities which is exemplified in submissions that have an explicit South African connection. For example, Arnott's offering (pp. 225-34) arises out of his interest in the African eagles of the Kruger Park, visited with Bill Henderson and his wife. John Hale's theory in favour of a melodic salpinx draws on an Egyptian trumpet from the tomb of Tutankhamun (first tested in 1933 by Percival Robson Kirby, later Chair of Music at the University of the Witwatersrand) and East African finds (in the museum at UNISA). This festschrift marks a most appropriate distinction for an individual who has made, and continues to make, a significant contribution to the study of Classics in South Africa.
[] D. Konstan, 'Lucretian Friendship' (pp. 1-7); S. Harrison, 'Meta-imagery: Some Self-reflexive Similes in Latin Epic' (pp. 9-16); K. Galinsky, 'Horace's Cleopatra and Virgil's Dido' (pp. 17-23); P. Murgatroyd, 'Space and Movement through Space at Virgil, Georgics 4.317-558' (pp. 25-30); G. Maurach, 'Zu einigen Buchenden bei Horaz' (pp. 31-35); K. Coleman, 'Apollo's Speech before the Battle of Actium: Propertius 4.6.37- 54' (pp. 37-45); M. Lambert, 'Tibullus 1.7: A Question of Tact?' (pp. 47-60); A. Gosling, 'Rewriting Virgil: Ovid's Mezentius (Fasti 4.877-900)' (pp. 61-72); B. Martin, 'Calpurnius Siculus: the Ultimate Imperial 'Toady'?' (pp. 73-90); W. J. Dominik, 'Following in Whose Footsteps? The Epilogue to Statius' Thebaid' (pp. 91-109); E. Fantham, 'Chiron: the Best of Teachers' (pp. 111-22); P. Tennant, 'Queering the Patron's Pitch: the Real Satirical Target of Juvenal's Ninth Satire' (pp. 123-32); A. Basson, 'Felix, the Ascetic Hero in Paulinus of Nola's Carmen 15' (pp. 133-49); B. van Zyl Smit, 'A Christian Medea in Vandal Africa? Some Aspects of the Medea of Blossius Aemilius Dracontius' (pp. 151-60); I. Ronca, 'A Critical Note on the Prose Salernitan Questions' (pp. 161-67).
[] S. Farron, 'Attitudes to Military Archery in the Iliad' (pp. 169-84); R. Whitaker, 'The Reception of the Trojan War in the Odyssey' (pp. 185-91); D. E. Gerber, 'Mimnermus, Fragment 1.3W' (pp. 193-95); P. J. Conradie, 'Recent Criticism and Hegel's Interpretation of Sophocles' Antigone' (pp. 197- 210); B. Gentili and L. Lomiento, 'Corinna, Le Asopidi (PMG 654 Col. 3.12-51)' (pp. 211-23); G. Arnott, 'Peripatetic Eagles: A New Look at Aristotle, Historia Animalium 8(9).32, 618b18-619a14' (pp. 225-34); J. Hilton, 'Heliodorus the Poet' (pp. 235-48).
[] A. MacKay, 'Feasts of Images' (pp. 249-66); J. R. Hale, 'Salpinx and Salpinktes: Trumpet and Trumpeter in Ancient Greece' (pp. 267-73); L. Cilliers, 'Graeco-Roman Views on the Aetiology of Disease' (pp. 275-87); B. Baldwin, 'Keep the Kings, Shake the Salt, Coals to Scipio: a Methodological Auto-da-fé' (pp. 289- 94); R. Evans, 'Gaius Marius and the Consular Elections for 106 BC' (pp. 295-303); B. Levick, 'Augustan Imperialism and the Year 19 BC' (pp. 305-22); D. Saddington, 'Paideia, Politeia and Hegemonia: a Route of Social Advancement in the Early Roman Empire' (pp. 323-39); H. Sivan, 'Politics of Death in Late Antiquity: an Aquitanian Perspective' (pp. 341-55).
[] Henderson's D. Litt was 'The Imagery of Horace's Odes: A Study in Latin Poetic Imagination' (Stellenbosch 1971).
[] Specifically, W. J. Henderson, 'Mimnermus' Images of Youth and Age' Akroterion 40.3-4 (1995) 98- 105; 'Corinna of Tanagra on Poetry' Acta Classica 38 (1995) 29-42.
[] Richard J. Evans, Marius: A Political Biography (Pretoria 1994) 174.
[] I noticed only a few errors: p. 74, n. 5: it is not clear why Martin uses culpa for error as the reason behind Ovid's exile; pp. 116 and 117 a 'to' for 'do' and a 'was' for 'were' in the translations of Ovid make him sound like a Pontic peasant rather than an erudite poet; p. 152 the schematic structure of Dracontius' work is confusing and there are errors in the grammar of the sentence that breaks up the parallelism; p. 159 Dionysica needs an 'a'; p. 189 'ptoli/porqoj' is not used as an epithet of Odysseus at 8.494f.; 13.388; 22.230 as implied; pp. 246-247 Aithiopika inconsistently becomes Ethiopian Story; p. 310 'Julius Obsequens 130' refers to editions published with Lycosthenes' supplement. The correct reference is 'Obs. 70'. Furthermore this reference does not illuminate the point being made; p. 317 'Ceasar' for 'Caesar'; p. 350 'melange' has lost its accent; p. 354 'the British museum' lacks the necessary capitalization.