28 38 46




Classical studies have a long tradition at the University of North Dakota. The earliest leaders of the university were men like Webster Merrifield and Henry Montgomery, who had thoroughly classical educations. Students were required to obtain some Latin training. Latin and, in some cases, Greek were offered almost continuously from the earliest days of the university. At the same time, the philological training offered through the rigorous instruction in languages found a complement in courses in ancient history. Since that time, the university has remained committed to training in Classics with a strong emphasis on Classical philology. By the middle of the 20th century, and the growing professionalization of the university, professionallytrained classicists and professionally-trained ancient historians continued the tradition of Classical education at UND. In the 1960s and 1970s, the university featured two preeminent scholars in their fields, Demetrius Georgakas, in Classics, and, at the same time, Charles Carter, in History, and their teaching and output elevated the study of the Ancient Mediterranean world at the university to impressive scholarly heights. Daniel Erickson continued in the tradition established in the early days of the university and kept alive through the 20th century through his dedication to teaching a generation of UND students the philological tools to understand the ancient world. His students have gone on to teach Latin in communities across the Northern Plains, to study for graduate degrees in history, Classics, and theology, and to express their love for the ancient world though a wide range of creative pursuits. This volume presents a testimony to Prof. Erickon’s tireless labors for his students. The contributions range

from traditional forms of scholarly expression to creative works and represent the wide range of professional and personal values that Prof. Erickson worked so hard to cultivate in his students.



Iabberwocus Brilligum erat, et toves slithi gyrebant gimblebantque in wabo: Omnes borogroves erant mimsi, et rathes momi egrabebant.

Translated into Latin by Martha Soli

“Cave Iabberwocum, fili mi, fauces qui mordent, ungues ut caperent! Cave Iubiubum avem, et Bandersnatchum frumium fuge!” Gladium vorplum in manu cepit; diu adversarium manxomium quaerebat Itaque Tumtume arbore requievit et dum cogitante stabat. Ut stabat cogitante uffe, Iabberwocus, oculis ignis, per silvam tulgam venit whifflans burblansque! Unum, duo! Iterum! Per ac per gladius vorplus in sono snicer-snace! Eum mortuum reliquit, et cum capite galumfans rediit. “Occidistis Iabberwocum? Veni ad amplexus meos, puer beami mi! O, frabies dies! Callio, callie!” in gaudium eius ridit. Brilligum erat, et toves slithi gyrebant gimblebantque in wabo: Omnes borogoves errant mimsi, et rathes momi egrabebant.


Sarah Walker I was long-immersed in Classical studies before I came to UND. I really followed in my older brother’s footsteps; he took Latin in high school. I came upon him doing his homework, one day. A quick conversation about Corneliae and Augusti ensued, and I was hooked—I enrolled in Latin as soon as I was able. Between that class and my love of mythology, I became fairly familiar with all things Roman. When I got to UND, my major decidedly declared “undecided,” I took as many classes in the Classics Department as I was able. I knew that I would be majoring in Classical studies, alongside whatever else might catch my fancy. I loved—and still love—Latin. So does Dr. Erickson. He was very passionate about his classes and the department. He encouraged studies in his department, rejoiced over students who declared majors in the field he held so dear, and worked hard to keep all of those classics classes going. And like so many others, I find that all of the classicsfocused classes I have taken have helped me in more ways than I could have realized. These classes have given me a base to better understand other languages; inspiration, for writing fiction; an insider’s look into the development of many cultures; and an expanded vocabulary. I use Latin every day in these and other ways, even in my employment. I do historical and genealogical research in an Archives as a Reference Specialist, and occasionally come across documents or references in Latin. I can easily read these items. I also tutor a young homeschooled boy in Latin, once a week.


The basics of the classical program have long been a part of me, and I am thankful that I was able to continue my education in this discipline at UND. __ Remus woke before the sun rose. He pushed back the skins adorning his tent, intent on the sound that had roused him from his sleep. The fire at the center of their encampment had long faded. Even Romulus’ tent was dark and still. He did not take more than a handful of steps when he found the source of the noise—an albatross, pure white and ancient, staring at him. Waiting for him. It was a sign from the gods. Another sign from the gods. He laid down a hide, and pulled out the knife that was now always strapped to his leg. The bird seemed to jump into his hands. He slew it and sliced it open in one clean, stroke, and its blood spilled out onto the leather. White feathers turned pink as he looked inside the body. The entrails told him nothing. The bird was for sacrifice. He wiped the blade of his knife clean, and then wrapped up the body of the bird. He took some water, some wine, and slipped away into the gray dawn. # He watched the rise of the hills as he approached. One sloped higher, one lower, but they were joined as one— that was what he and Romulus were. One—one, with two separate parts. And one would rule the other. It was the natural way; the only way. But who? Who should rule in the city they were building together? The question tormented him, awake or asleep.


He reached the base of the hill, and he wiped his hands on his tunic. The cloth was soiled with sweat and mud from the marshes surrounding the hill. He poured water over himself and sloughed away the sweat, cleaning himself as well as he could. He began to climb. What would their city be like, if Romulus ruled it? His brother had a temper, and a thirst for power, but he was strong, and guided well by the gods. He could easily take the challenge—raise a people from these grounds who could conquer all who surrounded them. A force against the rest of the world. Remus, too, could feel that instinct, just within reach— his blood burned, and he wondered again if it might be true that the war-god had fathered them. Or perhaps it was someone who acted on the war-god’s instincts, a mortal who breathed war with his presence. Romulus may not have concerned himself with these matters, but Remus knew it was necessary to recognize their forefathers. But then, there were many points they disagreed upon. The building of this city had taken its toll. For days, he and Romulus fought over where the walls of the city should lie, how to lay everything out. When it got to be too much, they broke away from each other and trained, more and more upset. He passed through a copse of trees, and climbed up the southern hill, the smaller of the two. The stones he had laid out before were still there. He added to them, and started a fire. He had celebrated here, just three days prior, since he had seen those six, beautiful vultures, flying low over his head. It was a sign he had waited for; he had sent a messenger to Romulus.


“You are sure to be the winner in this fight. You are sure to be our king!” The words came from one of his personal seers, from many others—until the sobering news came that Romulus had seen birds, as well. Double the number. “When?” Remus demanded. “They came to you first, but following that, twice the number flew over your brother’s head,” the messenger said. So now, he felt the heat of his blood rise with his heart beat, echoing louder and louder to the gods above. The fire was hot, and he sank to his knees. He did not know entirely why, but he felt compelled to swear an oath, whether Romulus could hear it or not. “Brother, I swear, that by our forefather, by our grandfather, by our father, unknown, we will be as one.” He felt it was true. They were already entwined. He took out the bird. The feathers were ruffled and more red than pink, now, and the entrails were partially pulled out of the body. It still smelled warm. He cut off the head and stared into its eyes, so white in death. He poured wine over it, and placed it in the fire. The flames jumped. “Oh, gods, I pray. Especially to you, whom we claim as patron. Parent of war, protector of the fields, and Father, Mars. “My brother grows in power, and so do I. We are evenly matched. And yet one must rule.” He pulled out the bird’s gizzard, its liver, other choice pieces of its entrails,


and doused them in wine. The heat blew over him, and then cooled. “You know what the fates hold; guide me, and I shall yield.” He pulled out the heart, and looked closer. Two. There were two hearts. He poured wine over them both, and put them into the flames, including even the pouch. The smell was terrible and beautiful, and the flames turned green and purple. Remus watched as the fire devoured the flesh, and then shrank back. Remus removed the rest of the bird, and then returned to the heat of the fire. He sat back on his heels, and closed his eyes. He wished for victory—victory of the people. He could feel the blood in his veins, racing into his extremities, warming his person as much as the heat from the flames. He could hear the rustling of bushes. A wolf stared at him with yellow eyes, then turned and ran. “Remus.” His twin stood before him, clothed in a clean tunic, covered in hides and metal that glinted in the sunlight, which was already dying. Remus had been on the hill longer than he realized. “What are you doing, brother?” Romulus asked. “The gods have already spoken.” “Yet I still do not understand their signs.” He wanted only to embrace his brother, but it was too late for that. “Why are you here?”


“I felt that I was to ascend the taller hill once more. Then I saw you here.” His eyes darted to the fire. “What is the meaning of this?” “I, too, needed to ascend.” “Are you training to jump some more?” Romulus’ voice turned snide, and Remus struggled to keep from smiling. It had bothered his brother more than he had said when Remus had jumped across the partially-built walls erected so far around the city. “No. I have come to meditate.” “Yet you have come ready for battle.” He nodded to Remus’ knife. “I always carry our grandfather’s knife, as I know you always carry his dagger.” He reached for the weapon, and tossed it aside. “Nevertheless, I am ready. With my hands, with my feet, with myself, I am ready to fight, for the fate of my people, and yours. One of us will rule, and the other will be ruled.” “I am ready,” Romulus said. “I am ready to lead this city we have prepared.” Remus closed his eyes, still drowsy from his meditation. “Except that the wall must still encompass this hill.” “The hill!” Romulus barked. “By the gods, all you talk about these days are the wall and the hill. That is why—” Remus watched Romulus’ face as he talked. He thought again about how Romulus would serve as king, how he would raise these men to their own glory. However necessary. Look how he had not given up on this fight! Of course, neither had Remus.


Romulus would never give way… no matter which of them ruled, neither of them would win. Because they were always two, and never one. Remus must give in. It was the only way. It was the winning way. To give up nobly and die for what was decreed by the fates. “I swear we will be one,” he breathed. He tackled Romulus to the ground, and saw the look of surprise on his brother’s face as he did so. The flames in the stone altar went out suddenly beside him. Remus understood, for once, and he was ready. “The walls must encompass this hill!” he yelled. The gods required this payment for answering his prayers. Romulus had always fought well, and it was not a stroke of luck that he knocked Remus off of him. Remus skidded across the ground and into the stones, now full of smoking ash and cool to the touch. Romulus did not or had not noticed. Remus launched himself at his brother again. “Enough, Remus!” Romulus roared, and Remus felt his body airborne. He struck the earth. He heard something crack, and felt a stabbing in his side. Romulus was on top of him, and he felt his head hit against stones. The hot blood inside his body roiled, itching to get out. He swung his fist and connected with Romulus’ jaw. Romulus growled. They rolled. Remus did not know how it happened, but he was ready. Romulus, his face twisted, arm outreached, and Remus launching backward, into air, falling, falling.


“No!” Romulus bellowed. “…One,” Remus breathed. His head hit a rock, the heat spilled out of him, and he saw no more.


Amalia T. Dillin The opportunity to study Latin and Classics at UND was an incredibly lasting and influential experience for me. From the study of Latin, my understanding of grammar improved dramatically – and I was already an English major. The foundation of Latin helped me in my independent study of Icelandic, where I would certainly have failed without it, and my degree in Classics has served me well as a writer by giving me a wealth of knowledge from which to work. I never expected my books and short stories would be so steeped in Classical myth and history, but nothing has given me greater joy to write. Classical studies are an incredibly important foundation for understanding everything from our own language to our history as a culture and a nation. But just as important is having a professor with the passion and enthusiasm for teaching it, paired with the drive to make it relevant. Dr. Erickson always fostered our love of Classics and was determined to find ways for his students to turn their study of Classics and Latin into viable career paths. If a student expressed an interest in continuing on in the field, Dr. Erickson would work tirelessly to provide them the encouragement and assistance they needed to make it happen. I couldn't have asked for a more passionate Latin professor and I would not trade my Classics degree for anything. __


I fell to my knees at my brother’s side, my heart pounding. “Remus?” Blood stained the pebbles beneath his head, leaking into the earth. Remus stared at the sky, eyes wide, his expression frozen in shock. I tried to call his name again, but my throat was too thick with agony and all that came out was a moan. I bent over his body, drawing his head into my lap. Blood covered my hands from the wound at the back of his skull. The place where his head had struck rock. If only he had come to me privately, instead of obstructing our progress and harassing the men. If only he had respected the augury! I never would have believed it could come to this. My brother, dead in my arms. My brother, dead. I cried out in anguish. “My lord!” Celer’s sandaled feet appeared at Remus’ side. He must have followed me up the hill. Remus’ hill. His worthless hill! “The others come.” Shadows fell across my brother’s legs and the vultures called to one another, but I did not look up. I already knew what they had come to say. I rocked Remus’ body in my arms. Celer crouched beside me. “If they believe you have done this, there will be no forgiveness. You will lose this city before it has even been born. Remus’ death will have been for nothing.” I took a ragged breath, but I could not bring myself to release my brother. “I should have let him have his hill.”


“It is too late for that now, Romulus,” Celer said. “We must act swiftly.” I shook my head. I could not wash the blood from my hands in time, nor would the others fail to see what had happened, and I would not betray Remus any further by hiding this. I would not shame him with anything less than the most proper funeral rites. “I will flee,” Celer said. “I will run from here, for your sake, and the others will believe the guilt is wholly mine. They will think it was I who killed him, and be satisfied that you have turned me out. These men need you, Romulus. They need your city.” “They can return to Alba. We can all return there.” “Even if your grandfather would welcome you after this—what will the others do? They would be made into beggars, without land, without fortune!” Celer clasped my shoulder, catching my eyes with his. My most trusted friend, but for Remus. And now, I might lose him too. “They depend upon you, Romulus. Remus would not have wanted them to suffer because of him. Even if the city is not what he wished it to be, he would not abandon them.” I closed my eyes and pressed my forehead to Remus’ cooling skin. “If this is to be done, I must go now,” Celer said. My brother. How could the gods have taken Remus so soon? Together, we were invincible. Together, nothing could ever have stood in our way. What was I now, without him? Half of the whole. Broken in spirit, if not in body. And these men expected me to lead them. “Go,” I rasped, my throat still aching.


Celer squeezed my shoulder. “May the gods forgive us both.” And then he ran. # I washed and anointed the body while others constructed a bier to carry him down the hill. The purple cloaks, gifts from our grandfather when we set out from Alba, became his shroud. While the men mourned, I carved through dirt and rock. My last gift to my brother would be this enduring tomb, in the place he had so wished our city to stand. The pyre waited, heaped with food and incense and oils. I sacrificed two bulls to the gods and poured the blood in libation, along with milk and wine, that the gods might bless my brother even in his death and speed him on his way to Pluto’s house. With the help of the others, I lifted the bier into its place. Then we lit the waiting wood, doused with pitch, and watched it burn. I could not bring myself to speak, my throat too tight with grief, but I wished we had never left Alba to found our own city. I wished I had never fought with Remus over where the wall should be built. I wished he had seen a hundred vultures that day, a thousand vultures, instead of six, and the gods had spared us this. Had it been their design from the start to drive this wedge between us, fearing what we might accomplish here? Remus, what we might have been! Not just kings, but as gods among men. Heroes and conquerors! The others stood in vigil by my side, their tears long dry. These men, who had followed me from the first cry, unflinching from war.


For you, Remus. I may have led them from the fields, but from the first, they marched for you. To liberate you, when our uncle gave you up. These men were always yours. These men – my citizens, now. Celer was right. My brother would not have betrayed his people. He would not have abandoned them to their own fortunes, after bringing them so far, after everything they had given up for his cause. Remus would not have let me die. I would not forget him. I could not forget him, my other half. I would make his virtues my own, remember them and raise them up. Remember him. Before sunrise, the pyre had burned to dust, collapsing beneath its own weight. I poured wine over the ash and collected the bones in our finest urn. We did not have time to seal the walls with plaster or paint murals in the tomb, but with my brother’s remains, I placed my finest spear and a shining chest plate of gold with a helm of the same artistry. We had no priests as yet, so it was up to me to say the words to give his spirit peace. But how could I, when the grief of his death still shook me to my core? When I looked at my hands, the wine had spilled over them like blood. I surrounded the urn with the ashes of the pyre and sealed the tomb without speaking. If Remus haunted me, it would be no less than I deserved. # Days later, I stood on the top of Remus’ hill. The men below had returned to work on the wall, though I had


not issued the command. They had not even questioned me, Celer’s flight confirming his guilt in their eyes. They cursed his name and turned their anger and grief to determination that Remus’ death would not limit his legacy. In these last days, the wall had soared, lifted up by their tears for Remus. By their love for the vision of this city, which Remus had inspired within their hearts and minds. He had always been better with words. Remus’ tomb tied me here, for I could not bring myself to abandon him in death. Surely that would be the greater insult to his spirit, to the gods. The greater insult to our bond as brothers. No. The city must be built, and it would encompass Remus’ sacred hill. The wind rose, whispering in my ears. For a moment, I thought I heard my brother’s voice, calling from the rock. I dropped to my knees, pressing my palm to the sun-warmed stone. The heat traveled up my arm, settling in my chest as a warm glow. And then I saw them. A flock so large I had mistaken their shadow for clouds passing over the sun, wheeling and circling so thickly, no light touched the stone wall below. The vultures bent their great wings and fell, a thousand cries from a thousand throats. The men working below shouted in alarm as the birds flared and settled all around them, covering every inch of the wall. Remus’ sign. Remus’ blessing.


The vultures rose again as one, swooping low, driving the men to the earth before soaring into the sky. Perhaps my brother could not bring himself to abandon me, either. I pressed my forehead to the earth, closing my fists in the dirt, and laughed. With this city, I would make us both immortal. Nothing would ever part us again. Not even the gods. “For you, Remus. For us.” I lifted my head to see the last of the vultures circling above. Two birds, flying so closely together I wondered they did not foul their wings. Two birds, and then only one. Joined together, at last. Remus was with me, and I lived for us both. Whole. One. One, in me. Roma. Rome. My city, now. And for my brother’s sake, I would make it everlasting.


Erienne Graten If you know Latin and the Classical World, you never walk alone. That’s because you walk with the greats of the past: Caesar, Augustus, Ovid, and Vergil, to name a few. Dr. Erickson helped open up the world of Latin to many students at UND. Majoring in Classical Studies allows many interdisciplinary options, in addition to the language. The best part of studying Latin is the tight knit group you form with your classmates. You frequently become lifelong friends, almost a family. I sincerely hope that UND keeps the department going because of its rich history both for the university and to humanity. With the closing of the Classical Languages department at NDSU, UND will be the only place for those interested in Classics to study in the state. I am grateful I had the option of majoring in Classical Studies. __ Cum perambulas procellam Sustine tuum capitem excelso Et noli timere tenebras In fine procella Est auro caelo Et alaudae carmen melitum Ambula… Per imbrem… Ambula… Per imbrem…


Perambula ventus Et somnia iactata sufflataque erunt. Ambula…(ambula) Ambula…(ambula) Cum spe (cum spe) In corde… Et numquam solum ambulabis Numquam solum ambulabis Solus… Ambula…(ambula) Ambula…(ambula) Cum spe (cum spe) In corde… Et numquam solum ambulabis Numquam solum ambulabis Solus… Numquam eris… Numquam solm ambulabis… Ambula…(ambula) Ambula…(ambula) Cum spe (cum spe) In corde… Et numquam solum ambulabis Numquam solum ambulabis Solus… Numquam eris… Numquam solum ambulabis…




Brandon R. Olson Fuere ea tempestate, qui dicerent Catilinam oratione habita, cum ad ius iurandum popularis sceleris sui adigeret, humani corporis sanguinem vino permixtum in pateris circumtulisse: inde cum post exsecrationem omnes degustavissent, sicuti in sollemnibus sacris fieri consuevit, aperuisse consilium suum; atque eo +dictitare+ fecisse, quo inter se fidi magis forent alius alii tanti facinoris conscii. Nonnulli ficta et haec et multa praeterea existumabant ab eis, qui Ciceronis invidiam, quae postea orta est, leniri credebant atrocitate sceleris eorum, qui poenas dederant. Nobis ea res pro magnitudine parum comperta est. (Sall. Cat. 22.) At this time, they say that when Catiline gave his speech, he compelled the participants of the crime to take an oath; he circulated human blood mixed with wine in bowls. Then when after all had tasted the solemn oath, just as they are accustomed to do in solemn rites, he disclosed his plan and did this for the following reason, so that they might be more faithful to one another because they shared knowledge of such a wicked deed. Some thought that these and many other details were invented by men who believed in Cicero’s unpopularity, which afterwards became known, they believed would be alleviated by exaggerating the guilt of the conspirators whom he had put to death. For us there is too little evidence in comparison to a matter of such magnitude. __


The Evolution of Lucius Sergius Catilina The above passage represents the apex of immorality in Sallust’s moral evolution of Lucius Sergius Catilina. Sallust describes Catiline as a youth preoccupied with civil wars, murder, pillage, and, as a young man, political dissension.1 Scion of a distinguished family, he possessed great vigor in both mind and body, but had a corrupted and evil nature. Catiline’s moral degeneration progressed into adulthood, as he not only maintained his character flaws, but also preferred to associate himself with all who were disgraced, poor, and of an evil conscious.2 Smitten by the profligate Aurelia Orestilla who hesitated to marry him on account of her fear of his stepson, Catiline murdered the young man to solidify the union.3 According to Sallust, Catiline’s pale complexion, bloodshot eyes, irregular manner of walking, and facial expressions projected his madness. Although Catiline walked, talked, and acted like an immoral scoundrel, Sallust reminds his readers that he was a member of one of the oldest patrician families of Rome. It is not until Catiline took an oath with his fellow conspirators at his home to overthrow the Republic that Sallust depicts the patrician as the other. The consumption of human blood was wholly nonRoman, and by associating Catiline with such a deed, Sallust ultimately strips him of his Roman virtus, strength of body and mind and distinguished pedigree, and depicts him as the other. At first glance, the above passage may indicate that the consumption of blood and wine was a typical Roman practice for taking an oath, as evidenced by the clause sicuti in sollemnibus sacris fieri consuevit, literally “just as they were accustomed to do in

Sall. Cat. 5. Sall. Cat. 14. 3 Sall. Cat. 14.
1 2


solemn rites.” It appears, however, that Sallust implies that making an oath was a practice done in solemn rites. In his published letters against Catiline, Cicero does not mention a vow involving the consumption of human blood, an act Cicero would have undoubtedly made known to the senate. Subsequent writers either embellish the event or state outright the wickedness of the deed to demonstrate that such an act would have been abhorred. Plutarch, writing in the early second century A.D., discussed the oath in his Lives noting that Catiline and his conspirators gave faith to one another by sacrificing a man and eating his flesh.4 Plutarch removed the consumption of human blood and wine and replaced it with an overt act of cannibalism. Florus, on the other hand, specifically mentions Catiline and his conspirators drinking human blood and describes the act as the mostwicked deed.5 Finally, writing in the third century A.D., Cassius Dio describes that Catiline forced his conspirators to take a monstrous oath. He sacrificed a boy and, having administered the oath over his vitals, ate these in company with the others.6 Dio not only relates cannibalism in his narrative, but also adds a homoerotic component to the act. In the Greco-Roman world, the voluntary consumption of human blood was a distinguishing factor between the civilized and the other. Herodotus notes that the Lydians and Medes made oaths in a similar manner to the Greeks, except that they pierce their arms and lick each other’s blood.7 The Scythians consumed a mixture of wine and blood in an earthen bowl to swear oaths.8 The

Plut. Cic. 10.3. Flor. 2.12.4. 6 Cass. Dio 37.30.3. 7 Hdt. 1.74. 8 Hdt. 4.70.
4 5


consumption of blood did not play a role in the praxis of oaths or religion in Greek or Roman culture. In reading Sallust’s narrative, one must question the actual oath. Sallust makes his reader believe that after all the conspirators took the oath, Catiline then described his plot. Apparently, if everyone took the oath Catiline could trust them with knowledge of the conspiracy. In a subsequent chapter, however, Sallust tells his readers that the plans had all been explained to the conspirators individually, demonstrating that the majority, if not all, of those who took the oath had prior knowledge of Catiline’s intentions.9 After describing the oath, however, Sallust notes that Catiline disclosed his plans, “so that they might be more faithful to one another because they shared knowledge of such a wicked deed.”10 The wicked deed, therefore, must refer to the actual vow and not the plot to overthrow the Republic. Since most of the conspirators had previous knowledge of the plot before taking the infamous oath, the act did not constitute an oath, but rather should be interpreted as a literary trope representing the apogee of Catiline’s moral degeneration in Sallust’s narrative. After Cicero informed the senate of the plot and Catiline’s army was forced to take the field, Sallust’s representation of Catiline changes. As a military commander, Catiline now is an able public speaker, valiant solider, and skillful leader.11 In battle, his heavily outnumbered army was routed, but with a handful of men, Catiline, mindful of his birth and former rank, plunged into the ranks of the enemy and fell fighting. He led an able fighting force that stood its ground. After the battle, most of Catiline’s men were found together. Even

Sall. Cat. 20. Sall. Cat. 22. 11 Sall. Cat. 60.
9 10


those scattered by the enemy sustained wounds to the front of their body, proving that they had not fled. Catiline was found amid several slain enemies, barely breathing and, according to Sallust, showing in his face the ferocity of his spirit.12 The patrician rediscovered his morality and regained his virtus in death. In his discussion of Catiline’s moral evolution, Sallust demonstrated the durability of Roman virtus in a character as seemingly despicable as Lucius Sergius Catilina.


Sall. Cat. 61.


Paul Ferderer Introduction The critical study of the Gospels spans almost two millennia and reflects a plethora of methodological paradigms and ideological commitments. Despite the various critical and theological traditions at work in their interpretation, for most of their history, the study of the Gospels retained the conviction that they were historical texts reflecting accurate renderings of past events. The assent of higher criticism in the nineteenth century marked the influence of modernity upon New Testament scholarship, and challenged their historical claims with the ruthless incredulity of Enlightenment thought.1 In essence, scholars in this tradition viewed the Gospels as ancient biographies which indulged in fantastic narratives to convince readers of early Christian claims regarding the person of Jesus. The shift toward postmodern thought and methodology in the latter half of the twentieth century was in part a critique of the limitations of modernity, particularly in the field of history. Two manifestations of this paradigm shift were the literary and cultural “turns” beginning in the second half of the twentieth century. Collectively, these historiographic methods indicated that in spite of its claims to objectivity, modern thought involved the

1 While conservative and fundamentalist Christian groups retain the working assumption that the Gospels constitute historical narrative, the academic mainstream often focuses on positioning their portrayals of the miraculous as tropes within the larger religious milieu of Late Antiquity. The works in this tradition are voluminous, but for an adequate summary, see Morton Smith, “Prolegomena to a discussion of Artalogies, Divine Men the Gospels and Jesus.” The Journal of Biblical Literature 90 (June, 1971), 174-199.


imposition of evidentiary and organizational principles, which were less operative in the literary culture of the Ancient World.2 The post-modern context encouraged the close reading of texts in light of their literary intent and immediate cultural context. In New Testament studies, the renewed appreciation for the cultural and literary context of the Gospels gave birth to a unique variety of form criticism which sought connections between the theological objectives of these texts and their expressions by means of their narratives. The following study of the so-called “Missionary Discourse” in Matthew has as its point of departure the work of Dr. David Scaer, Discourses in Matthew, and his contention that it was composed and organized as a text for the earliest, Jewish-Christian catechumens.3 Scaer argues that modern historical studies of Matthew imposed a linear chronology upon its narrative, and thus ignored its intent to present the doctrines and practices of its Christian community.4 Scaer locates the content of this catechesis as primarily within the realm of articulation and affirmation of proper doctrine. The contention of this paper is that in addition to its statement of early Christian doctrine, the Missionary Discourse exhorts its readers to an explicit imitatio Christi

For an examination of the potential applicability of Cultural and Linguistic analysis to early Christian texts, see Elizabeth A. Clark, History Theory Text: Historians and the Linguistic Turn (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2004), especially 105-110 in relation to narrative. 3 Dr. David P. Scaer, Discourses in Matthew: Jesus Teaches the Church. (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House 2004), 9-15. 4 The theological orientation of the books is particularly evident in chapters four and five, which discuss Matthew’s treatment of the Eucharist and Baptism. The author argues that the Gospel is an almost perfect reflection of Lutheran Orthodoxy. Scaer, 151-201.


in the context of his earthly ministry and passion as the means of obtaining eternal salvation.5 This study moves chronologically through selected portions of the Gospel of Matthew, focusing on the Missionary Discourse of 10.16-23. Part one examines this discourse within the Gospel’s wider narrative, specifically Jesus’ call for missionaries at 9.36-38. Part two explains the importance of linguistic parallelism in Jesus’ calling of the twelve Apostles and his description of their ministry in relation to his own. This section will show how the Gospel reuses certain words to illustrate theological concepts. This parallelism is reflected in two ways. First, Jesus gives the twelve his authority to heal the sick and exorcise demons, so that their actions imitate his. This authority marks their transition from disciples to Apostles. Second, Jesus tells his disciples to begin their ministry with the Jewish people before going into the larger Gentile world, in imitation of his own ministry earlier in the narrative. Finally, this discourse explains that those who follow Christ must mirror his sufferings, by facing incarceration and probably death at the hands of the Jewish establishment, and Roman State. Collectively, these events serve to teach the reader to imitate and the life of Christ and in so doing, gain eternal life. Part I: The Wider Context This study begins at 9:36-38 in order to provide the wider context for the missionary discourse. Verse 9.36 is a narration of Jesus’ thoughts as he surveys a crowd of unnamed Judeans, Ἰδὼν δὲ τοὺς ὄχλους ἐσπλαγχνίσθη

5 The title “Missionary Discourse” is a common term in New Testament scholarship and refers broadly to Matthew 10.5-25, but in this case is taken from Jeffery A. Gibbs, Matthew 1:1-11:1 Concordia Commentary St. Louis, Mo: Concordia Publishing House, 2006. 498.


περὶ αὐτῶν, (when he saw the crowds he was greatly moved concerning them). The participle Ἰδὼν is in predicate position and functions in relation to the main verb ἐσπλαγχνίσθη, conveying a temporal force to show that Jesus felt immediate and intense pity when he perceived the spiritually lost condition of the crowd.6 The verb ἐσπλαγχνίσθη is an aorist passive and pertains to a feeling in the stomach or inner bowels. His perception of the crowd’s spiritually lost condition provides the impetus for Jesus to declare the need for missionaries to proclaim his message of redemption. Jesus compares his ministry to the harvest of a bountiful crop and its missionaries to fieldworkers. The use of the µὲν…δὲ construction (Ὁ µὲν θερισµὸς πολύς, οἱ δὲ ἐργάται ὀλίγοι) highlights the contrast between the potential “harvest” and the scant supply of labor meaning literally, “on the one hand, the crop is great, but on the other hand, the workers few.” Chapter ten begins with Jesus supplying the workers for the harvest, προσκαλεσάµενος τοὺς δώδεκα µαθητὰς αὐτοῦ ἔδωκεν αὐτοῖς ἐξουσίαν πνευµάτων ἀκαθάρτων ὥστε ἐκβάλλειν αὐτὰ καὶ θεραπεύειν πᾶσαν νόσον καὶ πᾶσαν µαλακίαν προσκαλεσάµενος (Calling to himself the twelve disciples, he gave them authority against unclean sprits to cast them out, and to heal every kind of

Frederick Danker, Walter Bauer, and William Arndt. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 938. Subsequent references to this text are listed simply as BDAG. The participle is in the nominative case, but its position also determines its meaning. This participle is in predicate position because it does not follow a definite article. The force is determined contextually by examining the relationship between the participle and its referent. For an explanation of the relationship between a participle’s position and its meaning see, James W. Voelz, Fundamentals of Greek Grammar (St. Louis, 2007), 118123. For an explanation of Ἰδὼν in the context of 9:36 see, Gibbs, 495.


disease and every kind of malady). This description of the disciples’ authority parallels that of Jesus described earlier in Matthew at 8.16 and even more explicitly at 9.35.7 Once again, the participle προσκαλεσάµενος conveys a temporal force in relation to the verb ἔδωκεν. Because Jesus “gave” his Apostles (ἐξουσίαν) authority originating from the Father, they perform the same acts of healing and exorcism referenced in the above citations. The linguist parallelism narrates what W.D. Davies and Dale Allison call the “explicit imitatio Christi.”8 Matthew argues for a Christian life characterized by supernatural power over evil through Christ’s authority. The listing of the Apostles at 10.2 with the phrase Τῶν δὲ δώδεκα ἀποστόλων τὰ ὀνόµατά ἐστιν ταῦτα, “the names of the twelve Apostles are these,” reflects the uniform character of the apostolic ministry and further elucidates source of apostles’ authority from God in Christ. This is the only use of the term ἀποστόλων in the Gospel and signifies the specific nature of this group’s calling from among the more numerous µαθητὰς (disciples). Matthew’s reference to Peter as πρῶτος (first) in conjunction with his placing Judas the betrayer in the last position denotes Peter’s role as the “chief of the Apostles.”9 Without entering into the thorny topic of the precise extent of Peter’s authority in the context of apostolic succession, I defer to Davies and Allison, who note that the term probably reflects his place as the most

Matt. 8.16 and 9.35. D. Davies, and Dale C. Allison. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew Vol. II International critical commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988), 150-151. 9 Davies and Allison, 154.
7 8W.


active of the Apostles without conferring a sense of superiority over them.10 Part II: The Scope of Apostolic Ministry After listing the twelve, Matthew narrates Jesus sending his disciples out with careful instructions to ensure that their ministry mirrors his own, both in form and content. He gives them explicit instructions at 10. 5-6, Εἰς ὁδὸν ἐθνῶν µὴ ἀπέλθητε, καὶ εἰς πόλιν Σαµαριτῶν µὴ εἰσέλθητε (go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town among the Samarians). He confines their ministry to the τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ (literally: the sheep; the lost ones of the house of Israel).11 Once again, the evangelist uses linguistic and thematic parallelism to reveal the continuity between Jesus’ ministry and that of his Apostles by recalling previous episodes in the text, and alluding to those yet to come. In the healing the Centurion’s servant, Christ’s use of the emphatic pronoun at 8.7, Ἐγὼ ἐλθὼν θεραπεύσω αὐτόν, signals a question, (Shall I myself go and heal him?).12 The question acknowledges the Centurion’s status as Gentile and the Jewish focus of Jesus’ ministry. At 15.24, when a Canaanite woman approaches asking him to cast a demon from her daughter, he explains that he is sent τὰ πρόβατα τὰ ἀπολωλότα οἴκου Ἰσραήλ, performing the exorcism only after the woman acknowledges the primacy of the Jews in Jesus mission.13 Jesus’ instructions insist that the Apostles follow his example by beginning their work with the Jews. Matthew’s narrative assumes that the reader knows the Christian story and anticipates the resurrection of Christ, as the transition of the Apostles’ ministry from a limited

Davies and Allison, 154 10.5-6. 12 Gibbs, 415. 13 Matt. 15.27-28.
10 11Matt.


proclamation of salvation in Israel to one that reaches the Gentile world. Part III: The Suffering of Apostolic Ministry Because the Apostles’ ministry mirrors that of Jesus, he warns that they will encounter the same anger, violence, and rejection he faces. At 10.16, he notes that they are sent ὡς πρόβατα ἐν µέσῳ λύκων (as sheep in the midst of wolves), and called to be φρόνιµοι ὡς οἱ ὄφεις καὶ ἀκέραιοι ὡς αἱ περιστεραί (wise as the serpents and gentle as the doves). The pithy nature of this dictum should not lead the reader to truncate its significance. The reference to “serpents” recalls Gen. 3.1, where this reptile is pronounced the shrewdest of all creatures, and the illusion to doves is more than a call to meekness or purity. Davies and Allison note that the literal meaning of ἀκέραιοι is “unmixed.” The call is to one of “singleminded devotion” to Christ and his Gospel.14 This would bring to mind the importance of steadfastness for Christian converts who remained a maligned minority among the predominantly Jewish populous. Because they share in the authority of Christ in a hostile world, his followers must face its wrath in a way that parallels his experience. At 10.17-18, Jesus shifts his focus by discussing the coming persecutions of his followers. He explains that the opponents of the Gospel παραδώσουσιν γὰρ ὑµᾶς εἰς συνέδρια, καὶ ἐν ταῖς συναγωγαῖς (will indeed hand you over into the council and into their synagogues).15 The verb παραδὶδωµαι is used in the Gospel’s passion narrative to describe Judas’ betrayal of Christ to the Jewish leaders at 26.15, his appearance before Pilate at 27.2, and his sentencing to

14 15

Davies and Allison, 151. Matt. 10.16.17.


death by crucifixion at 27.26.16 This verb provides a linguist and thematic thread to unite the passion narrative with the persecution of Jesus’ followers. This parallel becomes more explicit when Jesus provides details regarding the official persecution his follower will encounter: ἐπὶ ἡγεµόνας δὲ καὶ βασιλεῖς ἀχθήσεσθε ἕνεκεν ἐµοῦ εἰς µαρτύριον αὐτοῖς καὶ τοῖς ἔθνεσιν (before governors and kings you will be led on account of me for a witness to them and to the Gentiles).17 Christians face an enemy led by the political and military power of the Roman Empire, standing before ἡγεµόνας δὲ καὶ βασιλεῖς (governors and also kings) just as Christ himself stood before the regional governor Pilate and the Judean king Herod in his passion. In contrast to the narrative of Acts in which the Roman state buffers Jewish attacks against Paul, in Matthew’s Gospel it becomes the lackey of the religious establishment. Jesus elaborates on the nature of persecution faced by the Christian moving from the macrocosm of the Roman state to the microcosm of the individual, noting that his Gospel will turn family members against one another. His use of παραδώσει “brother will hand over brother” at verse 21 maintains the linguist parallelism of the chapter, but uses the future tense. He also notes that many will be handed over εἰς θάνατον (into death), and that children θανατώσουσιν (will kill) their parents.18 Jesus explains at verse 22 that καὶ ἔσεσθε µισούµενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνοµά µου (and you will be hated on account of my name).19 The use of the second person plural verb ἔσεσθε provides the means for dual

Matt. 26.15, 27.2, 27.26. Matt. 10.17. 18 Matt. 10.21-22. 19 Matt. 10.22.
16 17


application of Jesus’ words concerning persecution.20 The verb functions within the narrative as an address to the disciples and to the reader as indication of the cost of discipleship. This warning is a precursor for a transition at verse 22 as Jesus moves from a discussion of hardships and persecutions to the rewards for those who endue in faith. Jesus declares that the Christian who ὑποµείνας εἰς τέλος οὗτος σωθήσεται (endures ultimately, this one will one will be saved).21 The use of the word τέλος, meaning end, leads many interpreters to view this passage in a strictly eschatological context, as referring to those who remain faithful until the world’s end.22 Jeffery Gibbs, however, notes that εἰς τέλος is better rendered “ultimately,” taking telos in an individual and existential sense. This ultimate endurance is the imatatio Christi described throughout the missionary discourse. Christ’s followers are revealed in their capacity to duplicate his ministry of victory over evil in their lives, through various forms of wonder-working. The same duplication occurs in death as the Christian faces the hostile forces of the Jewish religious establishment, the Roman state, and even his/her family. Conclusion Dr. Scaer’s Discourses in Matthew provides a compelling utilization of form criticism in the study of the New Testament. This paper reveals that his analytical framework of catechetics is not limited to a dogmatic context. Matthew’s Gospel offers a vision of Christian life grounded in the proper understanding of doctrine,

Matt. 10.22. Matt. 10.22. 22 W. D. Davies, and Dale C. Allison. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew Vol. III International critical commentary on the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988),189-90.
20 21


and this doctrine’s application through the imatatio Christi. This theme is of great importance in the study of the New Testament and its broader impact on the existential character of early Christianity. As early Christians confronted the Greco-Roman world, their early exemplars faced the persecution typical of minority groups within Judea and the larger Roman Empire. In this context, martyrdom became a means by which Christian could duplicate the passion of their Savior.23 Long after Christianity’s acceptance by the Roman Empire, the early monastic movement seized on the rhetoric of “spiritual martyrdom” as a new form of the imatatio Christi. Combining the skilled deportment of literary theory with careful philological study can enrich historians’ understanding of how the earliest Christians utilized the Gospels as catechetical texts to shape their lives and deaths in the mold of Christ.

For a discussion of martyrdom and its importance in early Christianity see, Edward E. Malone, The Monk and the Martyr: the Monk as Successor of the Martyr. (Washington D.C.: Catholic University of America, 1950), 2-19.


Christian Preus It is no surprise that Vergil presents his reader with more uncertainty as he narrates Aeneas’ arrival in Italy in Books 7 and 8 of the Aeneid. Reckford describes the scene in which Aeneas and his men finally see the Tiber and set foot on Italy: “Nowhere in the Aeneid is there a more joyful scene than Aeneas’ sailing into Tiber in a glowing dawn to the accompaniment of a choir of birds.”1 And yet, there are tones of foreboding. Reckford points out the ambiguity displayed by Vergil using the word opaco to describe the Tiber, as well as describing it as amoeno; here is presented the long hoped for Italy, but an Italy that offers resistance.2 This ambiguity goes deeper. In the beginning of Book 7, Vergil presents Aeneas as one who brings war to a peaceful land. He makes it clear that Italy was at peace, and presents Aeneas as one who makes the fluvium amoenum a fluvium opacum. The armies of Aeneas are repeatedly contrasted with the peaceful nation which he comes to inherit by command of the fates.3 But this simple paradigm—Aeneas the warrior bringing war to peaceful Italy—is neither to be expected for the great hero of the story, nor complex enough to suit the

1 Kenneth J. Reckford, “Latent Tragedy in Aeneid VII, 1-285,” AJP 82 (1961), 255. 2 Reckford, 255. 3 Richard F. Moorton (“The Innocence of Italy in Vergil’s Aeneid,” AJP 110 (1989), pp. 105-130) argues against Adam Parry (“The Two Voices of Virgil’s Aeneid,” Arion 2 (1963), passim.) that Vergil portrays Aeneas as bringing war to a serene Italy. Cf. Nicholas Horsfall (Vergil, Aeneid 7: A Commentary. (Leiden 2000)), “But Vergil is never quite as naïve as that, ethically.” Reckford has shown the many allusions that predict tragedy even in the first 285 lines of Book 7, but these remain below the surface and say nothing about who is presented as the party at fault in the war that comes to a peaceful Italy.


author. Nothing is so simple in the Aeneid. As Book 7 continues and 8 begins, the reader is shown again and again that the lands “longa placidas in pace”4 were in fact held with a fragile peace, if the word peace should even be used. More than this, as the trouble latent in Italy becomes patent, Latinus, a foil for Aeneas, displays by his actions the need for a strong leader, bello expertus. Vergil, then, even as he shows Aeneas bringing war to a peaceful land, calls into doubt that peace and presents Aeneas both as the aggressor and as the savior. In so doing, he increases the pathos of the narrative, letting the reader both sympathize with the Italians and perhaps realize the sad necessity of war fated to occur before true peace.5 The scene in which Aeneas views the Tiber is idyllic, with birds which aethera mulcebant cantu lucoque volabant6 as Aeneas views the Tiber with its fluvio amoeno.7 It is only when Aeneas orders his men to make for the shore that opaco, with its slight shade of tragic foreshadowing, occurs. As usual, Aeneas is unaware of anything grim when he laetus fluvio succedit opaco.8 But it is when Aeneas enters the picture that war comes. As soon as Aeneas hits the river (now suddenly dark), Vergil calls on the Muse, Erato, to hear him unfold the horrida bella9 and actos…in funera reges10 and sub arma coactam Hesperiam.11 Then, again, he returns to Italy, to Latinus this time, who urbes…iam

Verg. Aen., 7.46 Cf. Reckford, 255: “The divine economy provides for an isonomic balance of creation and destruction: for one nation to rise and one man to succeed, other nations and men must fall and die.” 6 Verg. Aen., 7.34 7 Verg. Aen., 7.30 8 Verg. Aen., 7.36 9 Verg. Aen., 7.41 10 Verg. Aen., 7.42 11 Verg. Aen., 7.43-4
4 5


senior longa placidas in pace regebat.12 Latinus and his people claim Saturn as their father. Even Turnus is described not as audax,13 but as ante alios pulcherrimus omnis.14 Next, when Vergil describes the portents given to Latinus, he likens Aeneas and his army to bees who obsedere,15 and when Lavinia’s hair seems to light on fire, the explanation is sure – populo magnum portendere bellum.16 Aeneas, it seems, brings war to a tranquil Italy. Vergil stresses this point further in the embassy which Aeneas sends to Latinus. Latinus greets the Trojans well, and tells of the glorious peace of his land, ne fugite hospitium, neue ignorate Latinos Saturni gentem haud uinclo nec legibus aequam, sponte sua ueterisque dei se more tenentem.17 This peace is ostensibly the hallmark of Italians. Ilioneus’ speech is in marked contrast to Latinus’. He speaks of the destruction of Troy, Aeneas experienced in war. His request for humble abodes in Italy only serves to mark the irony of the expansion through slaughter that is to come. As Putnam notes, Vergil has the embassy pacem…reportant18 to Aeneas.19 Peace abounds in Italy. So, Book 7.1-285. This opening picture effectively presents Aeneas bringing war to a peaceful Italy. This has led some scholars to conclude that this is Vergil’s overall message.20 But the narrative now turns to Juno, Allecto,

Verg. Aen., 7.45-6 Cf. Verg. Aen., 7.409; 9.3; 9.126; 10.276; 12.326 14 Verg. Aen., 7.55 15 Verg. Aen., 7.66 16 Verg. Aen., 7.80 17 Verg. Aen., 7.202-4 18 Verg. Aen., 7.285 19 Michael J. Putnam, “Aeneid VII and the Aeneid,” AJP 91 (1970), 411, esp. n.3. It is perhaps significant that pacemque is the second to last word in the first part of the poem, given that 1-285 mark the introduction of Aeneas to Italy and King Latinus. 20 E.g. Parry, William R. Nethercut, “Invasion in the ‘Aeneid,’” Greece & Rome 15 (1968), 82-95.
12 13


Amata, and Turnus, the last two stirred up to war by the first two. Vergil begins to reveal more clearly what was already latent in the text of 1-285.21 Perhaps not all things were so placid in Italy after all, even before the coming of Aeneas. In fact, Allecto has no real problems stirring them up for war.22 This is because they already have in themselves the seed of fury. Otis puts it well: Allecto symbolizes the fury within the human heart that is ever ready, given the proper motivation, to burst into flame and overwhelm the more rational part of the soul. But there is no madness in the strict sense and no diminution of moral responsibility.23 By thus framing the furor of Amata and Turnus, Vergil begins to show that the breaking of the peace in Italy cannot be placed solely on the head of Aeneas, who thus far has been painted as the aggressor. But Vergil is not done painting the Trojan newcomers as aggressors. After Allecto arouses the latent furor in Amata and Turnus, the scene changes to Iulus, who is on a hunt and, eerily like his father,24 unknowingly shoots the pet

See e.g. Queen Amata’s rather excessive fondness of Turnus, 7.5557. Cf. Reckford and R. Deryck Williams, Vergil: Aeneid VII-XII (London 1996), 185, “It is true that there have been undertones of foreboding, but they have not been allowed to come to the surface.” 22 B. Otis, Vergil: A Study in Civilized Poetry, (Oxford 1963), 235, points out that Turnus’ initial reluctance was due only to his juvenile misogyny, not to lack of agreement with the sentiments of Allecto. 23 Otis, 325. 24 The allusion to Aeneas and Dido, along with the simile of Book IV.70-73 is unmistakable. Cf. Reinhold F. Glei, Der Vater der Dinge: Interpretationen zur politischen, literarischen und kulturellen Dimension des Krieges bei Vergil (Trier1997), 320, “Dieses Gleichnis, in dem eine Hirschkuh unwissentlich getroffen wird, führt uns zur nächsten wichtigen Jagdzene der Aeneis, in der Ascanius “versehentlich” einen zahmen Hirsch verletzt.“ Williams (1996) p. 203, allows only “a faint reminiscence (no more) of the simile in 4.69f. where Dido is compared with a wounded deer.” Horsfall takes this connection as


deer of Tyrrheus, the master of King Latinus’ flocks. Vergil immediately makes known that this prima laborum / causa fuit belloque animos accendit agrestis.25 Vergil places this scene, like the opening scene along with the scene with Latinus and the Trojan ambassadors, in a peaceful, serene, and idyllic Italy, in which the Trojan Ascanius is an intruder. Yet, although Ascanius’ action is the prima causa of war, the Italians come to fight improvisi,26 so the war would have come in any event, even had Ascanius not shot the stag. The simple paradigm—Aeneas and his Trojans bringing war to a peaceful Italy—is still subtly challenged. One more event presents the progression of Vergil’s narrative scheme gradually showing that Aeneas is not, as it first seemed, disrupting idyllic Italy with war. After this scene, Vergil shows it more openly. The frenzied Latins, with Turnus in the lead, bear some of the Italian dead from the battlefield, and excite a ruckus outside Latinus’ home. Vergil compares Latinus to a rock, unmoved as it is beaten by the stormy waves of the sea. Yet curiously, Latinus is unable to stand the abuse for long. He announces a curse on Turnus and saepsit se tectis rerumque reliquit habenas.27 Latinus is incapable of leading his people in time of strife. Aeneas can. This is doubly important, given the information that Vergil will shortly give the reader, and which we will treat in the coming paragraphs: Peace was not, after all, the reality in Italy.

obvious, though he takes issue with Viktor Pöschl, The Art of Vergil: Image and Symbol in the Aeneid (Ann Arbor 1962), A.J. Boyle, “The Canonic Text: Virgil’s Aeneid” Roman Epic, ed. A.J. Boyle, (London 1993), and Glei for blaming Iulus for his mistake, just as Dido’s death is not to be placed simply on Aeneas. 25 Verg. Aen., 7.481- 2 26 Verg. Aen., 7.506; Williams’ note is helpful: “‘all of a sudden’, i.e. they were already preparing for trouble before Silvia called them, because Allecto was arousing them.” Cf. Horsfall, p. 338. 27 Verg. Aen., 7.600


The catalogue of warriors begins with Mezentius, Primus init bellum Tyrrhenis asper ab oris / contemptor divum Mezentius agminaque armat.28 Moorton has aptly pointed out that whatever Aeneas may be, aggressor or savior, he is no contemptor divum.29 Mezentius asper is given no further explanation until Book 8, and thus Book 7 leaves the reader uncertain what the state of Italy was at Aeneas’ arrival. The façade of a peaceful Italy has certainly been set up, and as we have seen, slowly and subtly challenged. That Italy is no longer peaceful is sure. The question is, was it peaceful at Aeneas’ coming, and if so, who is to blame for the current disruption? Thus suspense over the state of Italy connects books 7 and 8.30 Book 8 tells of Aeneas’ journey up the Tiber to seek alliance with Evander. Before Aeneas arrives in Evander’s kingdom, Vergil makes the reader acutely aware that pax was never really the reality in Italy. The Tiber itself speaks to Aeneas in a dream of Evander and his people, hi bellum adsidue ducunt cum gente Latina.31 When Aeneas and his men reach Pallanteum, Pallas meets them rapto telo32 and is wary that they may be enemies, hardly the reaction of a prince accustomed to peace. Pallas, learning that they are Trojans and hostile to the Latins, leads them as hospes to his father, Evander. It is significant that at this point, when Aeneas and Evander have met, Vergil decides to have Evander explain the history of Italy,

Verg. Aen.,7.647-8 Moorton, 108: “Italians do not need Trojans to teach them how to sin.” 30 Cf. Karl Galinsky, “The Hercules-Cacus Episode in Aeneid VIII,” AJP 87 (1966), 24: “VII and VIII are linked, then, by a common theme rather than by alternation and contrast.” While he pointed this out, Galinsky left it to others to elucidate this common theme. This connection perhaps helps in part to explain the link. 31 Verg. Aen., 8.55 32 Verg. Aen., 8.111
28 29


Primus ab aetherio venit Saturnus Olympo / arma Iovis fugiens et regnis exsul ademptis. / Is genus indocile ac dispersum montibus altis / composuit legesque dedit, Latiumque vocari / maluit…sic placida populos in pace regebat, / deterior donec paulatim ac decolor aetas / et belli rabies et amor successit habendi.33 This is a far different story than the reader was told in Book 7.202-4, in the words of Latinus, neve ignorate Latinos / Saturni gentem haud vinclo nec legibus aequam, / sponte sua veterisque dei se more tenentem. Latinus, in other words, turns out to have been quite out of touch with reality.34 Evander further makes known more specifics about Mezentius, the contemptor divum of Book 7. He was king in Etruria, but committed so many infandas caedes35 and facta effera36 that his own people torched his house: ille inter caedem Rutulorum elapsus in agros / confugere et Turni defendier hospitis armis.37 This murdering king was Turnus’ guest friend. Latium is not at peace. It is not without need of laws, nor has Saturn’s influence lasted up to the time of Aeneas’ arrival. But Vergil, by feeding the reader Latinus’ naïve belief in peace, makes it seem so. Point by point, he makes the reader second guess the existence of this peace, until he reveals in Book 8 that no such peace existed. Whether Vergil is here commenting on the impossibility of peace without war,38 or the perversity of

Verg. Aen., 8.319-23; 325-7 Cf. Reckford p. 257, “At the time of Aeneas’ arrival Latium is almost anachronistically at peace.” Given Latinus’ neighbors, in fact, Latium should not be at peace at all. 35 Verg. Aen., 8.483 36 Verg. Aen., 8.483-4 37 Verg. Aen., 8.492-3 38 Cf. the 4th Eclogue, in which a new Achilles achieves a Golden Age only after war.
33 34


any Golden Age without law, order, and balance,39 his masterful treatment of the narrative in Books 7 and 8 leads to suspense, structure, and the increase of pathos. In the end, the reader may both pity the Latins and esteem Aeneas as a hero.

Cf. Christopher Nappa, Reading After Actium, (Ann Arbor 2005), 146. He comments on the close of the 3rd Georgic: “Thus, the idea of a Golden Age is introduced only to reveal itself as perverse and undesirable.” Also cf. Reckford’s comments on Vergil’s belief in “isonomic balance.” (255)


Todd Roman The Roman Empire of Valens was not the Roman Empire of Augustus. One obvious manifestation of this lies in the consequences of the most dramatic defeats within their respective reigns, Teutoburg Forest and Adrianople. If the former was maddening, the latter both killed an emperor and drastically disrupted the security of the empire. Beyond the clash of armies, however, the three intervening centuries saw considerable evolution in nearly every facet of Augustus’ legacy, from the vast enfranchisement of Caracalla’s 212 AD edict, to the near endemic rise of military men, especially during the Crisis of the Third Century, to the four emperor system of Diocletian and the creation of a second capital by Constantine. Given these changes, it is not difficult to understand why an overview of Roman history, with special emphasis on the wars and military achievements of the past, would have been popular in the late fourth century. The Breviarium of Eutropius was just such a text. It was a condensed overview of significant points, one might go so far as to say exempla, for a generation of Romans that may have had little, if any, direct experience of Rome.1 The Breviarium is not just a summary, however; it also advocated a particular line of policy to maintain and secure the emperor, one that can somewhat lightly be characterized as ‘rarely retreat, and never surrender.’ The didactic text is dedicated to the eastern emperor Valens, and proceeds from the founding of Rome to the end of the reign of Jovian, Valens’ predecessor—hence

1 For background on the genre of breviaria, and the broader historiography of the fourth century, see Gian Biagio Conte, Latin Literature: A History, transl. Joseph B. Solodow (Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press, 1987), 645-655, esp. 646-7.


likely completed by request in 369 or 370 AD.2 Through his descriptions of the rise and fall of emperors, Eutropius stresses one theme in particular, that of military virtue. The emperor defended the Empire, and several offered lessons for the contemporary generation. It is near the end of his Breviarium that Eutropius best expresses the value of a certain emperor. In the midst of a war against the Persians, the emperor Jovian made peace, losing territory to the enemy: Post hunc Iovianus, qui tunc domesticus militabat, ad obtinendum imperium consensu exercitus lectus est, commendation patris militibus quam sua notior. Qui iam turbatis rebus exercitu quoque inopia laborante uno a Persis atque altero proelio victus pacem cum Sapore, necessariam quidem, se ignobilem, fecit multatus finibus ac nonnulla imperii Romani parte tradita. Quod ante eum annis mille centum et duobus de viginti fere, ex quo Romanum imperium conditum erat, numquam accidit. Quin etiam legiones nostrae ita et apud Caudium per Pontium Telesinum et in Hispania apud Numantiam et in Numidia sub iugum missae sunt, ut nihil tamen finium traderetur. Ea pacis condicio non penitus reprehenda foret, si foederis necessitatem tum cum integrum fuit mutare voluisset, sicut a Romanis omnibus his bellis, quae commemoravi, factum est. Nam et Samnitibus et Numantinis et Numidis confestim bella inlata sunt neque pax rata fuit. Sed dum aemulum imperii veretur, intra Orientem residens gloriae parum consuluit. Itaque iter ingressus atque Illyricum petens in Galatiae finibus repentina morte obiit, vir alias neque iners neque imprudens.=

For a solid introduction to the text and its background, it seems fitting to cite the Introduction to Daniel Erickson, Eutropius’ Compendium of Roman History: Introduction, Translation, and Notes (Phd diss., Syracuse University, 1990), 1-18; for a more pointed argument regarding issues of the text, see R. W. Burgess, “Eutropius v.c. ‘Magister Memoriae?’” Classical Philology 96, no. 1 (Jan. 2001): 76-81.


Next Jovian, who was serving as a bodyguard, and who was a man better known among the soldiers for the reputation of his father than his own, was elected with the consent of the army. Since matters were in confusion and the army in distress, he made peace, certainly necessary but ignoble, with Shapur, after defeat by the Persians in two battles. He was punished in territory, and a considerable part of the Roman dominion was surrendered, which had never happened before him for nearly one thousand, one hundred, and eighteen years from the beginning of the Roman empire. Moreover, our legions were thus sent under the yoke at Caudium by Pontus Telesinus, and at Numantia in Spain, and in Numidia, still no territory was given away. Such a peace agreement would not be thoroughly reprehensible if he was next able to undo the necessity of the treaty, as was done by the Romans in all the wars which I have described. For wars with the Samnites, Numantines, and Numidians were conducted rapidly and peace was not official. But as long as he was residing in the East, he feared an imperial rival, he looked out too little for his reputation. Therefore traveling for Illyricum, he died suddenly on the border of Galatia, a man neither weak nor unsuspecting in other things.3 Eutropius agrees that the emperor had little choice, as circumstances had seriously compromised the army’s ability to fight. Nonetheless, he describes the peace as shameful. To underscore the point, Eutropius mentions legendary disasters from the wars of the Republic, in which large forces suffered defeat or humiliation. The difference, however, lay with the consequence. None of those disasters altered the progression of Rome’s hegemony. The Romans could suffer defeat, they could lose many men, and they could harbor shame for a long

3 Eutr. 10.17. The edition used here is J. C. Hazzard, Eutropius: Edited For School Use (New York 1898). All translations are my own.


time. That said, it was not acceptable to lose a piece of the Empire. Troops and supplies could be replaced. Losing ground, however, inhibited the state’s ability to demonstrate its strength to its advocates and fear among its enemies. The Breviarium’s evaluations of the emperors do not exclusively rely upon military skill or success. Eutropius notes character traits and celebrates those who act fairly. Even Jovian, who receives a clear remonstration for a necessary act, is not subject to a personal attack because of a defeat, no matter how damaging. Nonetheless, the virtue of the emperor and the security of the empire went hand in hand. This is not to say that Romans made war for no reason, or that Eutropius advocates that they do. The Republic was characterized by, and likely failed due to, the systemic competition among the aristocracy for honors and spoils, with the long-term increase in magnitude of conflicts undoing the customary balance between worthy men and public honors.4 The republican system transforms into a series of contests between potential dynasts, which ultimately results in the Augustus and the Empire in the late first century BC. He ensured at least some stability by eliminating the previous arenas of competition through measured control of titles and offices, while restricting the chance at military glory to designated lieutenants and successors. In short, Augustus not only prevented others from gaining the means of

Christian Meier, Caesar, trans. David McLintock (New York 1982), 484-496. Meier’s famous “Crisis Without Alternative,” itself a response to Syme’s conception of the Roman Revolution, places the lasting blame on Caesar’s successes. He won too much for the Republican system to manage. One might also apply this theory to much of subsequent Roman history. The barracks emperors, for example, were a response to the crisis of enemies at several frontiers simultaneously, yet this solution led to a series of civil wars that ultimately culminates in the permanent split between the East and West.


overcoming the state, but removed the greatest impetus for them to do so. This political structure also tied the chief man of the state, the soldiers, and the integrity of the provinces together, while arguably intensifying competition among the narrower band of contenders.5 Augustus preserved Rome by ensuring the battles would be fought in the provinces, where the opportunities, resources, and enemies were concentrated. The “Crisis of the Third Century,” or any of the Empire’s many dynastic struggles up to the fourth century, demonstrated the deficiencies of the so-called Pax Romana. It perhaps is safe to say that warfare during the Empire followed one basic principle: A worthwhile war ended with increased consolidation and prosperity, while a bad, unjust, or foolish war inspired courage in the enemy and reduced the Empire’s manpower and image.6 Eutropius does not emphasize the constitutional elements, but overwhelmingly concentrates on warfare.7 The timing of the Breviarium, after its author’s involvement in Julian’s Persian campaign of 363 AD, and the frontier conflicts of Valens’ own reign prior to Adrianople, suggests the

5 For an analysis of this concentration of honors fit into the larger fabric of the empire, see J. E. Lendon, Empire of Honor (Oxford 1997), 1-27. Lendon further argues that honor operated as social currency at all levels of the empire, at least in those areas like the capital dependent upon the dominant cultural form. The emperor’s power came not from any abstract concept of state, but from the greatest degree of honor and, thus, authority. 6 Susan Mattern, Rome and the Enemy: Imperial Strategy in the Principate. (Berkeley 1999), 109-122. Cf. Eutr. 10.12 and the costs of Magnentius’ defeat. 7 Arthur Moser, “The Relative Importance of Historical Facts in Breviaria,” TAPA 62 (1931), 38. Moser ranks the subjects of Eutropius’ interest by analyzing an index of related words. The result confirms the impression that social or cultural topics did not feature particularly highly, and even the treatment of officials or private individuals, ‘great men,’ is minimal compared to the succession of generals and battles.


text was not just due to popular interest in the great men of history but also represents advocacy. The favorite emperor of Eutropius, by far, seems to be Trajan,8 and a comparison between his successor, Hadrian, and Jovian makes the association between a worthy emperor and the security of territory clear. Trajan unquestionably is portrayed as an ideal. He was successful in war, adding provinces and even pressing into India. He was moderate in government, levying no taxes, treating Senators with respect, building monuments, and advocating the golden rule.9 Hadrian next gained dominion and is treated by Eutropius more succinctly. While the portrayal is not negative, Eutropius describes Hadrian as envious and provide this as a reason for yielding Mesopotamia, even offering that he wanted to do the same with Dacia.10 Despite this negative, Hadrian did oversee a period of peace, even if Eutropius offsets this statement against the abandonment of provinces, so it is likely that he mentions this factor more

Trajan is allotted four chapters, 8.2-8.5, while Hadrian is provided only two, for example. In addition, the main deed of Nerva is that he paid attention to a divine vision in adopting Trajan (8.1). The final chapter describing Trajan (8.5) notes several honors, particularly that he was allowed to be buried within the city. 9 One of the clear biases of Eutropius is his pro-senatorial attitude, typically said to be exemplified by his omission of the Gracchi in his treatment of Republican history. For a discussion of this attitude and an additional example of it, see H. W. Bird, “Eutropius on Numa Pompilius and the Senate,” CJ 81 (1981), 243-8. 10 Eutr. 8.6: “Qui Traiani gloriae invidens statim provincias tres reliquit, quas Traianus addiderat, et de Assyria, Mesopotamia, Armenia revocavit exercitus ac finem imperii esse voluit Euphraten. Idem de Dacia facere conatum amici deterruerunt, ne multi cives Romani barbaris traderentur . . .” Since he was envious of Trajan’s reputation, he immediately relinquished three provinces which Trajan had acquired, and recalled the army from Assyria, Mesopotamia, and Armenia, wanting to set the empire’s border at the Euphrates. His friends deterred him from trying to do the same with Dacia, lest many Roman citizens be abandoned to barbarians . . .


as a warning. Hadrian nonetheless had net positives in his economy, industry, and attention to the army, so the lack of expansion notwithstanding, he did not actually weaken the empire. It seems difficult not to compare Hadrian and Jovian in this context. Both retreated from areas acquired by their predecessors, but Hadrian does not draw the same ire. The key difference appears to be that Hadrian gave up provinces, while Jovian actually lost them. According to the Breviarium, Hadrian envied Trajan’s reputation, so he tried to abandon the rewards of his predecessor’s talents, which is to say he did not want to compete. There is little room for surprise about Jovian’s worth. Jovian, “at other times neither incompetent nor imprudent,”11 lacked the attention to his image, that of the emperor so by extension that of the Romans, that would lead to reneging on his treaty. Giving up ground is undesirable. Accepting the terms of the enemy is terrible.12 The education of an emperor as to the value of military virtue and the absolute necessity of upholding the dignity of Roman history is necessary enough. When one particular enemy, Persia, had consistently repelled attacks by Rome ever since the two had come into contact and continued to plague the eastern provinces, the matter reached a new level. Trajan had finally won a lasting victory. Hadrian gave it up. Then, out of considerable civil strife, came Julian, a man whose disposition is

Eutr. 10.17 Fergus Millar, “Emperors, Frontiers and Foreign Relations, 31 B.C. to A.D. 378,” Britannia 13 (1982), 1-23. Millar suggests that one consequence of the non-expansion following Augustus was a conceptual unity bounded by the great rivers (Euphrates, Danube, and Rhine). This unity was what allowed Hadrian to abandon any territory at all. Millar also points out that (p. 20) even Eutropius, who mentions that Hadrian almost gave up Dacia, does not say anything regarding that province when the Romans actually did abandon it.
11 12


reminiscent of the former emperor.13 Julian won the territory back. He reasserted Roman power and reclaimed Roman honor by occupying land near the enemy’s capital. Mesopotamia, the provinces first won by Trajan, are again part of the Empire. Unfortunately, Julian died in combat and the army rallied behind Jovian. Now, at the time of the Breviarium’s composition, Jovian was gone, so whose example would Valens follow? The question is no minor one, especially given the circumstances. The fourth century had seen the weight of Roman concerns shift to the east, with the main provincial concerns focusing much more on Syria.14 Showing weakness always posed dangers, but against the Persians, it was life-threatening for the Empire. Barbarians of every stripe had invaded virtually every frontier, but only the Persians had succeeded in defeating an emperor, taking him alive, and displaying its domination of the Romans.15 This meant that the provinces in Mesopotamia, which Trajan perhaps intended to help defend Armenia, had become more than just another war zone, symbolic or otherwise.16 They were necessary battlefields on which the Romans

Eutr. 10.16. Eutropius offers a fairly detailed account of Julian, but this passage is also notable for providing some of the little information about the author, namely that he was among the expedition against Persia in 363 AD. 14 Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity (New York 1971), 115-117. 15 Eutr. 9.7. Eutropius describes Valerian’s reign as especially damaging due to this. 16 C. S. Lightfoot, “Trajan’s Parthian War and the Fourth-Century Perspective,” JRS 80 (1990), 115-126. Lightfoot notes that the only authors to even mention one of these provinces, Assyria, are Eutropius and Festus. Given that Eutropius at least admits to serving in the army there, it makes sense that he would emphasize the area as much as possible. Lightfoot proceeds to compare the reaction with other historians, notably noting that Cassius Dio thought Mesopotamia a waste of resources, while Ammianus Marcellinus, something of a devotee of Julian, minimized Trajan’s previous conquest of the region.


could show their spirit and strength. To give up these lands was to admit weakness of a national character. Hadrian had peace; Jovian did not. But then, Hadrian had been concerned with different frontiers and enemies, and at least did not weaken the Empire in giving up a few areas to ensure control of the rest. Plus, he succeeded the greater emperor Trajan, while Valens succeeded a substantially weaker leader. Could Valens afford to gamble the entire Empire on the possibility? Without peace, the only salvation of the Empire would be the same quality that had won it in the first place, that of valor. As the focal point of Roman civilization and all it stood for, the emperor had to demonstrate this quality. Military virtue would not only lead to the defeat of enemies on the battlefield, but would also keep the Empire safe by dissuading others from becoming foes. Those emperors who demonstrated the quality were the best, and also tended to govern well. Emperors who did not pursue this quality could endanger themselves and the state, although fortune sometimes prevented this. Those emperors who would not take up the moral legacy of Rome when an enemy had, had shamed the Roman memory by seizing territory. However, what fate could they hope for? An emperor must not shirk his duties. This is one lesson, at least, of Eutropius’ Breviarium. The final note of irony, of course, is that it was a lesson the emperor Valens evidently took to heart. His defeat and death in the Battle of Adrianople in 378 AD saw fortune go the other way: Unlike prior military disasters, such as Augustus’ attempts to conquer Germania, the outcome was never satisfactorily resolved in the Romans’ favor. In taking good advice, a noble emperor came to bad ends, and it is certainly difficult to characterize the defeat as a net positive. The Breviarium of Eutropius is not generally considered an important historical or literary text, but in light of the author’s apparent advocacy, it perhaps can, and should, be reexamined as an interesting political one.


Tom Backerud I owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Erickson for fostering my successful career as a graduate student in history. I have always been particularly interested in Roman history, the study of which is fulfilling, albeit exceedingly difficult at times. I quickly learned that having a reading sufficiency in Latin is imperative to the study of Rome, since sources are most often written in Latin. Many of my colleagues, myself included, were intimidated by the prospect of studying an ancient language. Many of them elected to adopt new historical interests, but I took the risk of learning a difficult language in order to maintain my historical interests. My experience with Latin was eased by Dr. Erickson’s profound dedication to his profession and students. Although I was often discouraged by the difficulty of learning a language as grammatically alien as Latin seemed, Dr. Erickson’s patient and sincere assistance was invaluable to my experience. Not only was I encouraged in my studies of Roman history, I also developed a fondness and appreciation for the Latin language. My recent trip to Rome in the winter of 2009-2010 gave me a much deeper intimacy with Latin and the people of Ancient Rome. One of the most memorable aspects of the trip was my ability to translate Latin inscriptions on Roman buildings and monuments. In particular, I enjoyed reading the Latin inscriptions on burial monuments at the Capitoline Museum. For example, one memorial stone featured a husband’s fondness for his late wife. Such experiences enable one to close the gap from our time to the distant past if only for a minute,


reminding one of the personalities, and humanity of those long since forgotten. Dr. Erickson’s Latin class was one of the primary elements that contributed to my unforgettable experience in Italy. Without his instruction and dedication to teaching, my trip would not have been as memorable and I would have a lesser sense of intimacy with the subjects of my historical research. Furthermore, Dr. Erickson’s class provided me with the tools necessary to compose a master’s thesis on the Late Roman Empire. As you can see from the following short selection from my thesis, Dr. Erickson was invaluable to my education as a historian of Late Antiquity. Without his dedication and encouragement, I am not sure I would be following my passion for Roman history. I am indebted to Dr. Erickson for the success I have enjoyed at the University of North Dakota and the pleasant experience I had studying classics. Classical studies as a department is crucial to students of ancient history and philosophy, the loss of which would have severe ramifications for the state of academia and the future success of historians and intellectuals. Dr. Erickson’s contributions to his students and to the University of North Dakota will be appreciated well into the future as his former students, including myself, continue to utilize Latin to foster our success in academia and elsewhere. __ The subject of my thesis is the development of a monolithic, monotheistic discourse among the fourth century Roman elite in the Western Roman Empire. Utilizing Latin sources, I hope to demonstrate that the Roman Aristocracy had a common, monotheistic, religious discourse, influenced primarily by the Neoplatonism of Plotinus. This type of academic


research is impossible without a proper understanding of the Latin language and the context in which it was used. I hope the following excerpt from my thesis will demonstrate Dr. Erickson’s profound agency in my success as a Roman historian. Contextually, the following excerpt is one case study highlighting the influence of Neoplatonism on late Roman conceptions of paganism and religion. The subject text is the Saturnalia, which was most likely composed circa 430 C.E. by the Roman aristocrat, Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius: Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius (c. 399-450) wrote a Neoplatonist commentary on Cicero’s Dream of Scipio, and a work called the Saturnalia (c. 430), which he intended as a manual of living for his son. The fact that he intended the Saturnalia for his son is significant because it reveals what Macrobius considered to be the most essential aspects of an aristocratic education. The Saturnalia lucidly illustrates the nature of elite paganism in the late fourth century. The following passage from Macrobius is significant for my argument for a Neoplatonic and monotheistic basis for Late Roman aristocratic religion: Non quae ad arcanam divinitatis naturam refertur, sed quae aut fabulasis admixta disseritur aut a physicis in vulgus aperitur. Nam occultas et manantes ex mero very fonte rationes ne in ipsis quidem sacris enarare permittitur, sed si quis illas adesquitur, continere inta conscientiam tectas iubetur.1 But of the secret nature of the deity I may not treat, for it is not permissible even at the sacred rites themselves to tell of the hidden principles which flow from the fountain of pure truth, and whoever attains to knowledge


Macrob. Sat., 7.15-19


of them is bidden to keep such knowledge locked in his breast. This passage implies that philosophy and esoteric theosophy were very significant interests among the Roman elite, and also that esoteric knowledge was particularly valuable and sought after. Percival Vaughan Davies, Charles Hedrick Jr., and Averil Cameron suggested on the basis of Macrobius’ position as prefect within the administration of the Roman Empire that he was surely Christian.2 After all, such positions were not open to pagans in the fifth century. Macrobius’ own writing, however, suggested that like many of his contemporaries, he was Christian only on the surface as a way of protecting both himself and his property. Nothing in his writing suggests that he was in any way Christian. If he was, then his Christianity was rooted deeply in Neoplatonism such as Saint Augustine and Bishop Ambrose of Milan. The Saturnalia itself makes no reference to Christianity. Instead, it contains copious descriptions of pagan rites and festivals, and various discussions of religion and philosophy. The speech of Praetextatus from Macrobius’ Saturnalia contains the most significant Neoplatonic influence in the entire work: Et sicut Maro, ostendit unius dei effectus varios por varriis censendos esse numinibus, ita diversae virtutes solis nomina dis dederunt. Unde “ευ το παυ” sapientum principes prodiderunt.3 Maro showed that the various activities of a single deity are to be regarded as equivalent to as many various divinities, so the diverse powers of the sun have given

2 3

Charles W. Hedrick Jr. History and Silence, 81 Macrob. Sat., 1:17.4


names to as many gods. And this is the origin of the maxim proclaimed by the leading philosophers: that the whole is One. This passage shows that Plotinian Neoplatonism in particular had a profound influence on Macrobius. It also challenges Charles Hedrick’s assertion that Neoplatonism was too intellectual for most aristocrats. Both Macrobius and Symmachus displayed a relatively advanced understanding of Plotinian metaphysics.4 Praetextatus addressed the use of symbolic designators to explain the plurality of deities in the Roman pantheon and implied that there is one omnipotent god, the One, from which all subsequent actions and forces of nature derive. Therefore, for Macrobius, these various forces of the One merely have different descriptive designators such as Mercury, Janus, or Cybele.5 It is difficult to refute the notion that Neoplatonism and monotheism in general was not only understood by Roman elites, but it also had a significant influence. The speech of Praetextatus in the Saturnalia illustrates how well Macrobius understood the basic principles of Plotinus’ philosophy: Si enim sol, ut veteribus placuit, dux et moderator est luminum reliqourum et solus stellis errantibus praestat, ipsarum vero stellarum cursus ordinem rerum humanarum, ut quibusdam videtur, pro potestate disponunt, ut Plotino constat placuisse, significant: necesse est ut solem, qui moderator nostra moderantes, omnium quae circa nos geruntur fateamur auctorem.6 For if the sun, as men of old believed, “guides and directs the rest of the heavenly lights” and alone presides over the planets in their courses, and if the movements

John Matthews. “Symmachus and Oriental Cults”, 194 Macrob. Sat., 1:14. 4 (114) 6 Macrob. Sat., 1:14.4
4 5


of the planets themselves have power, as some think, to determine or (as it is agreed that Plotinus held) to foretell the sequence of human destines, then we have to admit that the sun, as directing the powers that direct our affairs, is the author of all that goes on around us. This passage clearly resembles the quote I gave from Plotinus earlier in relation to the sun as providing divine guidance. Marla Cerutti suggested that Macrobius’ purpose here was to show that all the main Hellenic and Oriental divinities referred to the Sun, thereby reducing the seemingly diverse nature of Roman polytheism to aspects of a supreme divine reality.7 The character giving these speeches, Vettius Agorius Praetextatus (c. 315-384 C.E.), was a contemporary of Symmachus and one of the leading pagan senators in Rome. Ammianus depicted Praetextatus as brilliant senator and politician, but revealed little about his religious sentiments.8 The most convincing evidence that Macrobius was a Neoplatonist is the names of his descendants. His son was given the name Macrobius Plotinus Eustathius, and another relative was named Macrobius Plotinus Eudoxius.9 One would expect that Plotinus was particularly influential to Macrobius to inspire him to name his descendants after him. Moreover, whether Macrobius was a Christian or a Neoplatonist pagan is ultimately irrelevant given his clear Plotinian influence, which was central to his writings.

7 Marla V. Cerutti, “Pagan Monotheism? Towards a Historical Typology,” 27 8 Amm. Marc., 27: 9, 343 9 Alan Cameron. The Last Pagans of Rome, 238


Nathan Leidholm At the outset of this study, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. Erickson for graciously and enthusiastically encouraging my love of all things Greek and Latin. It is largely due to his kind tutelage in my first years of study that I find myself where I am today. Any merits that are to be found in this or any other work that I have completed would not have been possible without his contribution. __ On Christmas Day, 886, the young emperor Leo VI, just months into his reign, appeared before a crowd of senators, bishops, and other dignitaries who had gathered in the Hagia Sophia for the consecration of Stephen, the new Patriarch of Constantinople. It was a day of special significance for Leo, for the incoming patriarch was his own brother, whom Leo himself had placed on the patriarchal seat. Stephen was replacing Photios, that famous Patriarch who, for the previous decade, had risen to the height of ecclesiastical and political power under the reign of Basil I. By forcibly deposing the powerful patriarch at the very outset of his reign, Leo was making an unmistakable statement of his own authority, announcing to all that the imperial throne would no longer be subject to the whims of the hierarch. In the ultimate expression of this change in policy, Leo ascended the pulpit and personally delivered the consecrating homily for his younger brother. In his sermon, Leo made it clear that he had decided of his own volition to preach on this occasion: “I have come now


unbidden and in anticipation of your questions.”1 Leo knew well that the clergy would indeed have many questions, to say the least, for Photios had been immensely popular both within and outside of the church, and Stephen, at the young age of 19, would seem an unlikely and potentially unpopular replacement for the highest position in the Byzantine Church. Nonetheless, the bishops and other clergy are depicted in his address as “faithful subjects who have no objections to the elevation to the patriarchal throne of Stephen at the uncanonical age.”2 There is more than a hint of sarcasm when Leo claims that Stephen “indeed has a young life, but [one which] is illuminated by an unfading beauty, on account of which the blameless bride, the Church of Christ, should be delighted.”3 Leo was fully aware that many in the Church were, in fact, far from delighted, for Stephen’s appointment was clearly a move intended to guarantee the patriarch’s docile cooperation with imperial wishes. Leo’s speech reinforced this image of imperial strength, for, in doing so, he was the first emperor since Constantine the Great to personally deliver a homily to his subjects, the political implications of which Leo perfectly understood.4 This was a grand gesture, and the political mileage inherent in such an obvious parallel to the archetypal

1 Theodora Antonopoulou (ed.), Leonis VI Sapientis Imperatoris Byzantini Homiliae, Corpus Christianorum: Series Graeca 63 (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008), p.301. (Hereafter cited as CChr). “ἥκω νῦν αὐτόκλητος ἐγὼ καὶ τὰς ὑµῶν ἐπερωτήσεις προφθάνω.” (My translation). The term “autoklētos,” translated as “unbidden” above, holds extra significance, as it really denotes a self-appointment, literally meaning “called by oneself.” 2 Theodora Antonopoulou, The Homilies of Emperor Leo VI (New York: Leiden-Brill, 1997), p.246. 3 Antonopoulou, CChr, 301. “Ἀλλ’ἔχει τὸν βίον κοµῶντα φαιδρότησιν καὶ ἀµαράντωι κάλλει, ἐφ’ὧι ἂν ἡ ἄµωµος νύµφη, ἡ τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐκκλησία, ἡσθείη.” (My translation). 4 Antonopoulou, Homilies, pp.40-41.


Byzantine emperor has been recognized by some.5 As early as 1932, Vogt and Hausherr recognized the political motivation and use of Leo’s funeral oration for Basil and his wife, which, delivered early in his reign in 888, did much to solidify his dynastic legitimacy.6 Others have recognized a similar use for his homily on the Feast of the Prophet Elijah.7 Beyond these specific examples, however, the majority of Leo’s sermons have been almost completely disregarded by historians of his reign.8 Theodora Antonopoulou, the only modern scholar to have studied Leo’s corpus more extensively as a whole, approaches the subject from a homiletic perspective, tending to downplay their political or ideological content. Paul Magdalino has been widely and consistently praised for his innovative use of political rhetoric as a vital source for the inner workings of the empire of Manuel I Komnenos.9 I hope that this short introduction may

Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.80; Tougher, “The Wisdom of Leo VI,” In New Constantines: The Rhythm of Imperial Renewal in Byzantium, 4th-13th Centuries: Papers from the 26th Annual Spring Symposium of Byzantine Studies, St. Andrews, March 1992, ed. Paul Magdalino (Aldershot, Hampshire: Variorum, 1994), p.173. 6 A. Vogt and S. Hausherr, “Oraison funèbre de Basile I par son fils Léon VI le sage,” Orientalia Christiana vol. 26.1, no.77 (April 1932), pp.1-33. 7 Paul Magdalino, “Basil I, Leo VI, and the Feast of the Prophet Elijah,” Jahrbuch der österreichischen Byzantinistik 38 (1988), p.193. 8 Leo composed at least 40 separate homilies (with two more extant homilies arguably ascribable to him). Of these, most were collected into a single collection by Leo himself, thereby leading to the conclusion that he may have been trying to put together a homiletic corpus that could be reused each year covering every major feast day, somewhat akin to the collection of Gregory of Nazianzus’ homilies gifted to Basil I by Photios or other similar collections, usually of the Church Fathers (see Theodora Antonopoulou, “Homiletic Activity in Constantinople around 900,” in Preacher and Audience: Studies in Early Christian and Byzantine Homiletics, eds. Mary B. Cunningham and Pauline Allen [Leiden: Brill, 1998], p.323). 9 See especially Michael Angold’s review of The Empire of Manuel I Komnenos in the 1996 edition of The English Historical Review (Vol. 111, no. 440: pp.149-50).


serve to illuminate similar possibilities in the rhetoric composed and delivered by Emperor Leo VI himself. The utility of public preaching for Leo’s goal of asserting his influence over the Church went beyond mere form, beyond the simple act of ascending the pulpit, to include the content of the homilies themselves. His homilies became an ideal medium through which Leo could demonstrate directly to his subjects his position as God’s representative on earth, a kind of liaison between the people and the Supreme Deity and one who had a special, intimate relationship with the Heavenly Court, on which the emperor’s own court was modeled. Unlike many who ascended the pulpit, Leo ensured that his own voice, his own involvement, and his own agency were not difficult to ascertain in the sermons themselves. For instance, in his homily on the Feast of the Prophet Elijah, the prophet is not once named in the body of the text itself, nor is there a single mention of the prophet’s life. Instead, the events recalled are those surrounding Leo’s time in prison and how the “fiery man” (Elijah)10 had interceded on his behalf to have him released and given the throne.11 In his homily on St. Clement, Leo concludes with a prayer asking the saint to grant him personal glory.12 His homily on St. Nicholas thanks the saint for saving him from illness. The homily on St.

10 Antonopoulou, CChr, pp.448-49. “...ἐπικαµφθέντος δὲ καὶ τῆι θερµῆι τοῦ τῶι ὄντι πυρίνου ἀνδρός µεσιτίαι, ὅς...παρακαλέσας βασιλεῖς, τὸν µὲν ἄνω, τὸν δὲ κάτω, τὸ πῦρ τῆς ὀργῆς, τῶι πυρὶ τῆς οἰκείας ἔσβεσε προστασίας.” (“…having been turned/won over by the hot meditation of the truly fiery man, who…beseeching kings both on heaven and on earth, extinguished the fire of anger with the fire of his own authority” – my translation). Cf. 2 Kings 2:11. 11 Antonopoulou, CChr, pp.447-50. Leo had been imprisoned for nearly three years on charges of conspiracy against his father, the emperor Basil I (r.867-886). 12 Antonopoulou, CChr, p.367-69.


Trypho states that, in his martyrdom, Trypho “is receiving the glorious crown,” and Leo “the imperial glory.”13 In the homily on Palm Sunday, as in many others, Jesus is “my God and my king,” and in the same sermon, Leo both addresses the Logos and most explicitly compares himself to David.14 Apostrophe (like this address to the Logos) is especially common in Leo’s homilies, perhaps because of the device’s ability to quite literally place the preacher in direct conversation with the divine. In many instances, Leo is a “shepherd” (ποιµήν) or “pilot” (κυβερνήτης) for his congregation.15 Every time Leo knowingly introduces something new to the homiletic tradition in his homily on Christ’s Ascension (Homily 5),16 he highlights it with phrases like “As it seems to me… (ἐµοὶ δὲ δοκεῖ)” or “I say... (ἐγῶ φηµί),” or “I think… (ὡς οἶµαι).”17 Throughout all of the homilies, instances of the first person singular abound, done in favor of the more usual plural, which is what one would expect both from a homilist and an emperor. It was not unusual for homilies, especially in Constantinople, to end with prayers for the emperor’s protection or guidance, but such prominence of the homilist’s self in his homilies was very noteworthy indeed.18 Leo once even ordered a man who had

Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.130. Antonopoulou, CChr, pp.13-26. “ὁ ἐµὸς καὶ βασιλεῦς καὶ Θεός.” Having Leo refer to Jesus as “basileus,” which was indeed common practice, nevertheless would have reinforced the idea that Leo was God’s sole representative on earth, for the term used to refer to the emperor was the same, i.e. basileus. 15 Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.74; Antonopoulou, CChr p.296 (e.g.). 16 The system of numbering Leo’s homilies is taken from Antonopoulou, who follows the order generally found in the most complete manuscript collections of the works themselves. 17 Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.215. 18 Cyril Mango, The Homilies of Photius Patriarch of Constantinople: English Translation, Introduction, and Commentary (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958), p.212.
13 14


previously made an attempt on his life to come forward as an example of the penalty for injustice and covetousness in one of his homilies on the beginning of Lent.19 The effect of such repeated and prominent references to the speaker himself, especially when the speaker happened to be the emperor, should not be underestimated. Leo’s personal devotion to Mary Theotokos, witnessed by her inclusion on his coinage (the first emperor to do so) and his unique ceremonial ivory scepter,20 also comes through in his homilies. Leo composed four homilies to the Virgin, covering the major celebrations of her birth (Homily 15), the Annunciation (1), the Presentation (20), and the Koimesis/Dormition (Homily 12). All of them come from the period 886-896.21 The latter date is significant, for it was shortly after an unsuccessful attempt against Leo’s life had been made by relatives of his advisor, Stylianos Zaoutzes, at Damianou. Thus, at the end of his homily on the Koimesis, Leo gives the following address to Mary: I am offering you this speech honouring your assumption to the best of my ability; near (the date of)

19 Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.225; Antonopoulou, CChr, pp.407-08. The homily is no. 29, and was probably delivered in 904, the Spring after a conspirator had managed to strike a blow to Leo’s head in the Church of St. Mokios during the ceremony for Christmas. Leo calls out to the audience, “Let him come forward, he who changed the holy incarnation into a tragedy.” (Ἀλλὰ γὰρ ἡκέτω πλησίον ὁ εἰς τραγωιδίαν τὴν ἱερὰν µεταποιήσας ὑπόθεσιν). 20 For a more complete discussion of this ivory scepter, see: K. Corrigan “The Ivory Scepter of Leo VI: A Statement of PostIconoclastic Imperial Ideology.” The Art Bulletin 60 (1978), pp.40716. 21 Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.69. This time frame, significantly, is consistent with the majority of Leo’s legal reforms, building programs in Constantinople, and his alterations to the imperial ceremonial celebrations.


this (feast), you consented that my life should endure contrary to the hopes of those who did not correctly reckon the days of my life, of which they are not the providers.22 Again, at the end of his homily on the Presentation of the Virgin, Leo prays, “May you also grant that we remain unharmed by the storm of our enemies, which rises both among foreigners and our fellowcountrymen.”23 In statements like these, Leo personalized the celebrations of the Mother of God by stressing the divine protection she offered him. As in his homily on the Feast of Elijah, it is Leo’s personal relationship with the saints and biblical figures that takes center stage. His prayers are often of an intensely personal character, giving thanks for saintly intercession on his behalf, and the presence of the audience can even be hard to make out. One can imagine those in the congregation feeling as though they were simply witness to a conversation between Leo and God, rather than being preached to. This was almost certainly intentional. We also find similar tendencies in his homily On Pentecost. In the prooimion the emperor reminds his listeners that his act of delivering a homily is the most appropriate gift on the day of Pentecost.24 Unlike in Gregory of Nazianzos’ oration, Leo’s model for the sermon, Leo frequently uses

Antonopoulou, CChr, p.179. “...αὕτη σοι παρ’ἡµῶν ἡ τοῡ λόγου προσένεξις, τὴν σὴν ὅσον ἡµῖν ἐξήκει τιµῶσι µετάστασιν, πρὸς ἣν παρ’ἐλπίδας τῶν οὐκ εὖ τὰς ἡµέρας, ὧν οὐκ εἰσὶ χορηγοί, τῆς ἡµῶν βιώσεως ἐπιµετρούντων, τὸν ἡµέτερον βίον διαρκέσαι εὐδόκησας.” (Translation by Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.58). 23 Antonopoulou, CChr, 275. “...δοίης δὲ καὶ τῆς τῶν ἐχθρῶν τρικυµίας, ὅση τε ἀλλοφύλων καὶ ὅση τῶν ὁµογενῶν ἐπανίσταται, τὸ ἀπήµαντον.” (Translation by Antonopoulou, Homilies, 59). 24 Antonopoulou, CChr, p.69. “Τίς δὲ ἄλλη συνεισφορὰ λόγου οἰκειοτέρα; Οὐ µόνον ὅτι πάντων ἐντιµότατον λόγος, ἀλλ’ὅτι καὶ τῶι καιρῶι ἀκριβῶς ἡ τοῦ λόγου ἁρµόσει προσένεξις.”


various forms of the first person singular to stress his own involvement in the homily. Several times, when asking his listeners to consider something or exhorting them to think a certain way, Leo inserts so-called “ethical datives” in the first person. Thus, we see phrases that begin “Πλὴν σκόπει µοι...”25 and “Ἐπιτήρει δή µοι...”26 Leo will often insert verbs such as “εὑρίσκω”27 and “οἶµαι,”28 thereby stressing his own place at the center of the homily’s content. At the very beginning of his homily on the dedication of the monastery of Kauleas (31), in another move toward identification with biblical figures, Leo directly juxtaposes himself with Solomon: “Solomon says that the people will be gladdened when just men have been praised; I say that they will be gladdened when houses of God have been dedicated.”29 Not only does Leo appear as an equal to the Old Testament king, he even sounds as if he has bested him in a game of words. This monastery, which Leo had built for his spiritual father, Euthymios, was located adjacent to the Great Palace complex (in Psamathia), which the Vita Euthymii attributes to Leo’s desire to have his spiritual father nearer to him.30 Its location is significant, for the land on which the monastery was built had been confiscated from a relative of Photios, whom Leo had exiled along with the deposed

Antonopoulou, CChr, p.75. Antonopoulou, CChr, p.76. 27 Antonopoulou, CChr, p.73. “Εὑρίσκω δὴ οὖν τιµωµένην τὴν πεντηκοστήν...” 28 Antonopoulou, CChr, p.73. “…δηλούντων οἶµαι τῶν τελουµένων...” 29 Antonopoulou, CChr, p.423. “Ἐγκωµιαζοµένων δικαίων εὐφρανθήσονται λαοί, ὁ σοφὸς φησί Σολοµῶν · ἐγὼ δὲ φηµὶ, ὲγκαινιζοµένων οἳκων Θεοῦ, εὐφρανθήσονται λαοί.” 30 Homily 31. Antonopoulou, Homilies, 77-8; Antonopoulou, CChr, 423-29; Vita Euthymii, V, ed. and trans. Karlin-Hayter, p.28.
25 26


patriarch at the beginning of his reign.31 Interestingly, the church attached to this monastery was dedicated to saints Kosmas and Damian, the same two personalities whose busts are found on Leo’s ceremonial ivory scepter, probably as a result of gratitude to the saints for their perceived role in saving the emperor from an earlier illness.32 If we return to the homily on the consecration of his brother Stephen as Patriarch of Constantinople, we find it represents one of the best examples of Leo’s homilies contributing to his vision of imperial ecclesiastical authority. First and foremost, the fact that it was Leo who delivered the homily on this occasion singularly exemplifies his attempts at subordinating the patriarchate.33 In the content of the oration, Leo’s language is as elevated as it is unapologetic, and his agency in the contested elevation of his brother to the patriarchal seat is thinly veiled.34 Traditionally, one was not eligible for ordination until the age of 25, making Leo’s appointment of his nineteen year-old brother even more controversial. We do not possess any manuscripts containing homilies attributed to Patriarch Stephen, and, given the significant number of Leo’s homilies that were written and delivered in the period of Stephen’s patriarchate (886-893),35 it is not unreasonable to suggest

Vita Euthymii, V, ed. and trans. Karlin-Hayter, p.30. The dispossessed owner was a man by the name of Katakoilas. 32 Corrigan, “Ivory Scepter,” p.413. 33 Throughout his reign, Leo continued to appoint individuals to the patriarchate who he felt he could control or who he deemed amenable to his own policies. This, of course, did not work out as he had hoped during the infamous Tetragamy affair in the latter portion of his time as emperor. 34 Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.246; Antonopoulou, CChr, pp.299-303. 35 Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.69. While many of the homilies are difficult or impossible to securely date, at least fifteen of them (Homilies 1, 6, 7, 11, 14, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 27, 32, 33, 34, and 37) can be dated to this period.


that Leo may have routinely preached in place of his brother, especially since many of Leo’s homilies were delivered in the Hagia Sophia.36 Homily 36 of Leo’s corpus is an especially unique contribution to Leo’s vision. This homily is, in fact, not a homily at all. Instead, Leo calls it an epistle (epistolē), and in it, he consciously and clearly imitates the form of the New Testament Epistles.37 According to the manuscript tradition, Leo delivered this epistle sometime during Lent, and, although it is unclear based on the text of the epistle itself, there should be little doubt that this work was read aloud to an audience, much as the New Testament versions were during regular liturgies.38 Leo faithfully follows the form and style of several New Testament epistles, especially II Corinthians, Ephesians, and I Peter, including a reproduction almost verbatim of the opening lines and closing farewells of these letters.39 Like the New Testament Epistles, Leo adopts here the persona of a daskalos, a teacher to his people.40 This kind

36 Antonopoulou, Homilies, pp.36-7. Homilies 22 and 35 name the Hagia Sophia in their titles, and the Great Church is implied in Homily 1. One can assume that many others, especially those delivered on important feast days, were delivered in the Great Church, since imperial ceremonial called for the emperor to celebrate them there. 37 Antonopoulou, CChr, p.459; Antonopoulou, Homilies, 231-32. 38 Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.231. This is further attested by the manuscript tradition, as the epistle is included in several collections alongside and mixed in with Leo’s other homilies. Furthermore, the audience is still just as visible (or invisible) in the epistle as in any of Leo’s other sermons. 39 Antonopoulou, CChr, 459. Compare Leo’s opening words: “Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς ὁ διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπητοῦ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ τοῦ Κυρίου ἡµῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ...” with 2 Cor. 1.3: “Εὐλογητὸς ὁ Θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ τοῦ κυρίου ἡµῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ...” Taken from the NestleAland Novum Testamentum Graece, 27th Edition, eds. Barbara and Kurt Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo M. Martini and Bruce M. Metzger (Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993), p.472. 40 Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.231.


of Scriptural imitation has no parallels with earlier Church Fathers, and appears to have been entirely an innovation from Leo’s own imagination.41 What better way to demonstrate one’s rightful position in close proximity to God than to directly and publicly imitate the epistles of Paul or other Apostles contained in scripture? The evidence, based on both the content and the dating of the homilies, strongly suggests that Leo’s homilies belong as a part of the emperor’s comprehensive efforts to rein in control of the Church. Leo preached on the same saints whose feasts he added to the liturgical calendar and to whom he built and dedicated churches. His devotion to Mary and Elijah were demonstrated not just in his orations, but also in their own ceremonies and even on images on Leo’s coins. His numerous other writings, legal novellae, additions to court ceremony, and extensive building projects in and around Constantinople all point to a singular political program, conceived and executed as a composite whole. Even without these kinds of coincidences, Leo’s homilies themselves exhibit enough discontinuity with the homiletic tradition to warrant a search for ulterior motives in their composition. Their special importance for Leo’s reign, we must remember, lay in his innovations. His special emphasis on the direct address of biblical personages, their very personal nature, and such unique compositions as his Epistle represent total departures from typical Byzantine homiletics, and it is here that one can discern more precisely Leo’s own theories and ideas. His homilies acted as the perfect opportunity for Leo to demonstrate just the kind of spiritual leadership his legislation, clerical appointments, building projects, and court ceremonial advocated. A close reading of the homilies indicates quite clearly that Leo viewed them as an opportunity to directly expound his vision of the


Antonopoulou, Homilies, p.232.


imperial office. There is much more to be gained from their study than has previously been recognized, and the trove of information they contain is certainly not limited to Leo’s claims to spiritual authority. It is my hope that even a rather superficial analysis of this fascinating corpus (as this brief article admittedly is) will bring Leo’s homilies more directly into focus in the study of the often underappreciated reign of the second Macedonian emperor of Byzantium.


Christopher Gust Stephānus dē Borbōne, O. P., Tractatus de diuersis materiis praedicabilibus IV: Dē fortitūdine XXII: Dē luxuriā (Dē adulteriō) CDLXVI Adulteri puniuntur in futuro, primo eterni boni priuacione; item puniuntur pena ignis infernalis. Audīuī a quadam persona, quod, cum fuisset peccatrix mulier et multum uideretur penitens, ista fuerat occasio sue conuersionis. cum ipsa esset coniugata, quidam iuuenis, inardenscens in amore eius, traxit eam ad amorem suum. unde, cum diu in adulterio fuissent, illo mortuo in peccato, illa multum affectabat scire quomodo esset ei. cum quadam nocte sola esset in quadam camera, ille uisibiliter apparuit ei nudus, totus succensus quasi ferrum candens, dicens ei : Ecce uides exterius qualiter ardeo propter ardorem libidinis, et uidere poteris per urinam meam qualiter ardeo interius. Quo dicto, fecit urinam coram ea tanti ardoris ac si esset cuprum bulliens, que ardore suo penetrabat solarium domus et in terram descendebat, ardore suo omnia penetrans. Ecce, ait, sic mihi est et mihi similibus. Hec mihi retulit ualde territa et compuncta, et magnam penitenciam agens. ille autem post hec disparuit.


Treatise of Sundry M atters for Preaching Part 4: On Fortitude Title 12: On Sins of Excess (On Adultery) 466 Adulterers are punished in the future, first with the loss of eternal bliss; then they are punished with the pain of hellfire. I heard concerning a certain person, which, although she had been a sinful woman and often might have seemed to be penitent, that wretch had been the occasion for her own conversion. Although she was herself wed, a certain youth, inflamed in [his] love of her, led her towards his love. On which account, since they had been quite a while in their adultery, he dying in his sin, she often sought to know how she was being to him. One night, while she was alone in her own bedroom, he visibly appeared to her naked, completely burning like a glowing iron, [and] saying to her: “Lo, you see externally how I burn on account of the heat of lust, and you can see [at once] by my bodily fluid how I burn internally.” Which saying, before her very eyes he produced bodily fluid of such heat as if it were a boiling cauldron, by which his ardor was penetrating the entryway of her house and was descending into the earth – penetrating everything with his heat. “Lo,” said he, “thus it is for me and for me in similar things.” This woman related [the preceding] to me, greatly terrified and goaded, and doing much penance. Then, after this, he went away. __


Stephen of Bourbon, a Dominican preacher and inquisitor who was active in the mid-thirteenth century, includes in his compilation of exempla this account of an apparition which he claims was related to him by the witness herself, by way of confession. The woman’s youthful beau has died and appears to her “nudus, totus succensus quasi ferrum candens.” He informs her that he must suffer in this form on account of his “ardorem libidinis.” Stephen has plenty of fun with the situation, by way of double entendre. Yet, in doing, he still provides a useful moral anecdote, flavored with hellfire, which any of his colleague preachers could use to exhort their flocks. Stephen’s storytelling skill is evident in this exemplum: we, the audience, are compelled to “feel” sexual excitement and orgasm with all of its sinful, sensual excess but without the gratification as he relates to us the gory details of his correspondent’s spiritual experience. In effect, it is pornography turned into sheer terror with the otherwise titillating elements acting mockingly to enhance the horror like so many fiends. That is Hell, or so we are meant to understand. In Hell,1 each person suffers according to their sins2 in an ironic manner, strikingly reminiscent of ancient Greek lore.3 Here, the illicit lover’s soul is tormented by what once gave him pleasure and he is unable now to restrain what he did not restrain in life, that is, the burning of the “urina” within his members. A slave to his lust-heated member–as, evidently, Stephen interprets the much-celebrated romantic lover to be, in essence–he is doomed to become like his own member in the hereafter. While

Or Purgatory. It is not clear as to which place the young man’s soul has gone, if it has gone to a place at all. 2 “Hic mihi est et mihi similibus.” 3 Consider in particular the plight of the god Priapos, as well as the other ironic torments suffered by the human sinners Tantalos and Sisyphos in Tartaros.


Stephen does not go so far as to imply that there is no actual locus infernus, still, as with Marlowe’s Mephistopheles, so with this ghost, the torment of Hell (or Purgatory) is ultimately internal and, moreover, its nature derives from and parodies experience in life.4 The adulterous woman shows up on Stephen’s doorstep, thoroughly terrified and more than willing to do penance for her sin in order to cheat perdition. For Stephen, she serves as a very rare example of an adulteress who is actually saved in the end. Furthermore, there is room in this story for the possibility that her penitence also saved her lover, depending on how one interprets the end of the haunting. Moreover, one is tempted to wonder whether or not Stephen would have interpreted the “ardor” which “penetrated” the woman’s “house” through the “entryway” and descended into the “earth” as being purgative in effect, for the woman if not for the couple, together. If so, he was wise to keep that idea implicit lest he draw the attention of his inquisitive colleagues at a time when and in a place where a sort of McCarthyism reigned in the ranks of the clergy on account of the prevalence (and perceived prevalence) of heresy and heterodoxy. Purgatory was a useful concept on a number of levels, but, for the theologian and the preacher, to expound upon it was to play with fire. In this story, as elsewhere, the woman is assumed to be the passive actor (the youth, overcome with his own ardor, takes her to be his mistress), but she is nonetheless guilty for her sin of adultery. A man’s actions on a woman make her a sinner and a man’s actions on her to absolve her sins on God’s behalf save her. The first man’s actions are both positive and negative–to engage in an illicit relationship with her and to not keep his “members”

4 “Ecce vides exterius qualiter ardeo propter ardorem libidinis, et videre poteris per urinam meam qualiter ardeo interius.”


which are inflamed by her in subjection.5 This exemplum, after all, is recorded under the heading of De luxuria, that is, On Excess. There is no effort to explain an internal battle on the man’s part; he simply is inflamed by lust for the woman, acts upon it, dies unshriven and burns without relent in the hereafter. One may well ask, then, whether she caused him to burn, therefore to sin, therefore to burn.6 The answer may be implied in the phrase which preludes the apparition scene: “illa multum affectabat scire quomodo esset ei.” Once again, Stephen seems to be having fun with semantics. “She (the adulterous woman) sought to know how much she used to be (i.e. used to mean) to him” is the face-value meaning, but Stephen uses the imperfect “esset” which may just as well denote an ongoing state of being as a repeated one, on account of the aspect of the verb. This is to say that, as it turns out, she “was being” much to him, considering that he was being tormented in the hereafter on account of her. Stephen of Bourbon is employing a trope very familiar in this period to clerical writers and to their readers/auditors; one which may be termed the “antiromance.” In many respects, it is an alternative manifestation of the fabliau, except, whereas the fabliau was meant in humor and did not pretend to have a high moral, exempla like this one by Stephen were intentionally didactic, at least on face value.7 Both the fabliau and this sort of exemplum join in mocking the key plot motifs of the romance: boy meets (or simply sees) girl, boy is

My allusion here is to Paul, Romans 7 and to his Paul, Col. 3:5. Nevertheless, the legacy of Stoïcism is quite as pertinent here as that of the Pauline epistles. 6 Stephen’s choice of words is probably inspired by Paul, 1 Cor. 7:9: “It is better to marry than to burn.” 7 One never knows for sure with a writer like Stephen; he does have a marked taste for the ironic.


smitten with true love for girl, hearts join before bodies, boy loses girl, boy undergoes trial of love, boy regains girl, boy and girl consummate their love and live happily ever after. Instead, the “true love” of the romance is reinterpreted as being merely a pretty external cover for carnal, animal desire. Furthermore, the preacher knows through his education if not through his personal experience that sexual intercourse is inherently unclean, ugly, even violent, and thus it is easily sinful, thus damnable, thus a very grave matter. That sex is not always pretty is hardly news to the laïty, of course, but it is no fun to dwell on that reality. Indeed, the fabliau focuses on humorous social repercussions, tricksters, wild women and buffoons, while the exemplum warns against the “wages of sin”8 and has a tendency to include references to Hell and, as it came into vogue in the thirteenth century, to Purgatory.9 One is not expected to laugh at such an exemplum, but rather to be smitten with a fear of divine punishment for one’s sins. If the fabliau is the third estate’s lampoon of the second estate’s smug narcissism, then the first estate’s often clumsy attempt at dignified, fatherly correction of the same found an outlet in the genre of the sermon exemplum.10

Paul, Romans 6:23 Le Goff, Jacques. The Birth of Purgatory. Arthur Goldhammer, translator. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press 1984 [1981].) 12-13. 10 At the risk of running much too far with my generalization, I would posit that the high medieval vita attempted to salvage more of the form of the romance (the Life of Saint Julian being an extreme example), even while it criticized it. The vita, then, is more directly comparable to the romance and the exemplum concerning adultery is more directly comparable to the fabliau. This likely has something to do with the slightly broader, slightly more popular audience of the exempla relative to that of the vitae.
8 9


David Terry Knowledge of Latin has served as the quintessential research skill in my pursuit of medieval history. For this, I have none more to thank than Dr. Dan Erickson, who laid my foundations in the language over two years of study at the University of North Dakota. Without his understanding and encouragement, none of my current scholarly pursuits in medieval history would be possible. __ In the early modern era Venice was known for its many elaborate civic rituals that reflected the many myths surrounding Venice: the myth of democracy, the myth of the Serenissima, and the myth of St. Mark. They also reflected the city’s connection with the sea, which by the sixteenth century was rapidly becoming more myth than reality as Venice’s economy turned toward the mainland. The Relatio de electione Dominici Silvi Venetorum ducis is a one-of-a-kind document from eleventh-century Venice that describes the election of Doge Domenico Silvo in 1071 and the ceremonies that surrounded it. Written by eyewitness Domenico Tino, it yields unique insight into the developing civic ritual of the maritime republic, which at the time was beginning its unmatched rise to power in the Mediterranean.1 Note especially the maritime imagery and the connection with the divine through St. Mark: a city built on islands, the election ritual has citizens gathering together on ships

This translation is based on the edition published by Luigi Andrea Berto, ed., Testi Storici Veneziani (XI-XIII secolo) (Padua: Cooperativa Libraria Editrice Università di Padova, 1999), pp. 102-104.


ceremonially equipped for war and a ‘water procession’ accompanying the Doge to the Basilica of St. Mark. The Doge then received his vestments of rule from the holy altar. The Basilica itself was the private chapel of the Doge, who was nominally a secular official, but became the epicenter of Venetian spirituality after the illicit translatio of the saint’s relics in the ninth century. The document also describes a gifting ritual where the Doge would throw coins to the gathered crowds; this ritual would persist for several centuries but be increasingly limited by governing assemblies ever-wary of dictatorial behavior.2 It also gives a rare glimpse into a ritual sacking, where the people would raid the ducal palace after the death of a doge: if not legal, it was common in the middle ages as a public release and part of the transition of power.3 The document itself survives in two codices from the sixteenth century.4 __ With Doge Domenico Contarini having died, nearly all of the countless multitude of Venetian people came together in their armed ships and gathered on the shore of Olivolo, as is the usual custom for electing a Doge. In the church of the monastery of St. Nicholas, which was situated on that same beach next to the port of Olivolo, the bishops, clerics, and the monks of that monastery appealed to the mercy of our omnipotent God and Savior with psalms, missals, litanies, and other prayers, so that He might grant them and the people of Venice a pleasing and suitable Doge, without any sort of danger to their homeland.

2 Edward Muir, Civic Ritual in Renaissance Venice (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), 253. 3 Berto, Testi Storici, xxiv. 4 Berto, Testi Storici, xxvii.


In that place, the cry of the people rose up to the stars, and all the voices repeatedly shouted in unison, “we want and we praise Lord Silvo!” faster and faster, without ceasing. At once, with no one nay-saying, he was gloriously accepted by many noblemen of Venice. Joyously, he was held and carried honorably on their shoulders, and he was led to a ship accompanied by a large crowd. When he stepped aboard, he ordered that they all remove their shoes. Barefoot, humbly, they departed for the church of the most-blessed Mark, from whose venerable altar he would receive the ducal investiture. I, Domenico Tino, the author of these accounts, was also on that ship. Disembarking onto the shore, I was the first to begin singing Te Deum Laudamus in praise of God and our new lord prince, and then other voices followed mine. So great was the shout of the people singing Kyrie Eleison and rendering other praises to that magnificent prince; so great was the joy of everyone and the noise of the oars of so many ships striking the water; so great was the sound of the bells, that nothing in the manner of speech or writing could possibly give life to it. Adorned by such praise, he was carried to the shore of the territory of most-blessed Mark. Then he was embraced by his nobles and carried to the doors of the Church of blessed Mark; there he was received appropriately, with a great procession, by the chaplains and many other clerics. They sang such a powerful song, in such high voices, that many people thought the walls of the temple shook. Having entered the church with bare feet, he prostrated himself on the floor and gave thanks to omnipotent God and the most holy Mark, who raised him to such a position of honor. For the sake of his ducal investiture, he received the scepter from the altar of most holy Mark;


taking this, he departed for the ducal palace accompanied by a vast army. He received an oath of fidelity from the people and he began to give them gifts. Without delay, he ordered the doors, chairs, tables, and dining rooms of the ducal palace, which had been wrecked after the death of Doge Domenico Contarini, to be restored and improved.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful