Megasthenes was the first Greek ambassador known to have been sent to the court of a Mauryan ruler. He wrote an Indica based on his travels and experiences in India, which survives in fragmentary form in the work of later authors. This was the first work to provide a Greek audience with first-hand knowledge of the Indian interior and Mauryan court. Traditionally, Megasthenes’ Indica has been excavated for information to reconstruct knowledge of Mauryan India, Seleucid-Mauryan relations or other aspects of this period and the personalities involved, either by focusing on individual fragments or collating fragments thematically. In contrast, instead of treating Megasthenes’ work as a mine for information, I evaluate the remaining fragments chronologically, and according to the type and range of information derived from Megasthenes. The aim is to better understand the thematic differences and chronological changes in the way later authors consulted and used the Indica, and therefore, why certain parts of the Indica, and information about Megasthenes himself, have survived.
Egypt of the Hellenistic and Roman periods remains the most thoroughly documented multilingual society in the ancient world, because of the wealth of texts preserved on papyrus in Egyptian, Greek, Latin and other languages. This makes the scarcity of interpreters in the papyrological record all the more curious. This study reviews all instances in the papyri of individuals referred to as hermēneus in Greek, or references to the process of translation/interpreting. It discusses the terminological ambiguity of hermēneus, which can also mean a commercial mediator; the position of language mediators in legal cases in Egyptian, Greek and Latin; the role of gender in language mediation; and concludes with a survey of interpreting in Egyptian monastic communities in Late Antiquity.
The recognition of the similarities between Roman epic poetry and historiography have led to valuable studies such as Joseph’s analysis of the relationship between Lucan’s Bellum Civile and Tacitus’ Histories. Traces of Lucan’s Bellum Civile can also be observed in Tacitus’ Annals 1 and 2, causing the beginning of Tiberius’ reign to look like a civil war in the making. The charismatic Germanicus sits with a supportive army on the northern frontier, much like Caesar, causing fear for Tiberius at Rome. Germanicus denies his chance to become the next Caesar and march on the city, but he exhibits other similarities with Lucan’s Caesar, including an association with Alexander the Great. Although at some points Germanicus seems to be repeating the past and reliving episodes experienced by Caesar in Bellum Civile, he prevents himself from fully realizing a Caesarian fate and becoming Lucan’s bad tyrant. The similar images, events, and themes presented by both authors create messages that reflect experiences from the authors’ own lives during dangerous times.
The fate of war captives has been extensively explored, as, indeed, has the way that fate affects both the conduct and course of hostilities. Nevertheless, little research has been conducted on the link that connects the two, namely the act of surrender, and this is especially true of classical Greece. This article seeks to remedy this situation by answering three interlinked questions, namely: how men attempted to surrender on the battlefields of classical Greece; in what tactical conditions they did so; and finally, what prospects they had of surviving the process.
Auxiliaries are usually studied in the late Republic or the Imperial period. Despite this emphasis in modern research, auxiliaries were employed in substantial numbers during the third and second centuries BCE. Auxiliaries did make a crucial contribution to the Roman war effort in the Middle Republic, providing a substantial part of Rome’s military manpower. These troops were most often financed by the community providing them, allowing the Roman state to save a great deal of money if similar numbers of Roman citizens had been deployed instead. This enabled the Roman state to significantly bolster its ability to project military power without having to implement additional financing mechanisms. Along with the use of auxiliaries, the suspension of tributum after the third Macedonian War seemed to have followed a policy of decreasing the burden of financing war for Roman assidui.
Writing in the early third century AD, Julius Africanus claimed to have built a library “in the Pantheon” in Rome, the exact location of which remains elusive. In considering the competing possibilities for the site of the library, this paper argues that the building we commonly refer to as the Pantheon does not correspond to the ancient understanding of what the Pantheum was. The case is made that it was not a single building, but instead comprised a larger complex, of which the still-standing structure was only one part. This interpretation allows for a number of details associated with the Pantheon to be rethought within a wider context and alternative proposals advanced regarding the forecourt in front of porch, the “arch” in the centre of this space, the location of the now lost caryatids and bronze columns, the little understood Severan restoration, and the meanings of the much-discussed inscriptions on the façade.