The refreshed insights into early-imperial Roman historiography this book offers are linked to a recent discovery.
In the spring of 2014, the binders of the archive of Robert Marichal were dusted off by the ERC funded project PLATINUM (ERC-StG 2014 n°636983) in response to Tiziano Dorandi’s recollections of a series of unpublished notes on Latin texts on papyrus. Among these was an in-progress edition of the Latin rolls from Herculaneum, together with Marichal’s intuition that one of them had to be ascribed to a certain ‘Annaeus Seneca’. PLATINUM followed the unpublished intuition by Robert Marichal as one path of investigation in its own research and work. Working on the Latin P.Herc. 1067 led to confirm Marichal’s intuitions and to go beyond it: P.Herc. 1067 is the only extant direct witness to Seneca the Elder’s Historiae. Bringing a new and important chapter of Latin literature arise out of a charred papyrus is significant.
The present volume is made up of two complementary sections, each of which contains seven contributions. They are in close dialogue with each other, as looking at the same literary matter from several points of view yields undeniable advantages and represents an innovative and fruitful step in Latin literary criticism. These two sections express the two different but interlinked axes along which the contributions were developed. On one side, the focus is on the starting point of the debate, namely the discovery of the papyrus roll transmitting the Historiae of Seneca the Elder and how such a discovery can be integrated with prior knowledge about this historiographical work. On the other side, there is a broader view on early-imperial Roman historiography, to which the new perspectives opened by the rediscovery of Seneca the Elder’s Historiae greatly contribute.
Maria Chiara Scappaticcio, University of Naples 'Federico II', Italy, P.I. of the ERC-StG project PLATINUM (no. 636983).