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Consolatio as a literary genre

(1,022 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] A. General  Mourning and consolation are basic elements of the human condition. Should anyone encounter misfortune from the death of a friend or family member, banishment, loss of health, of property or of freedom, then friends and relations try to alleviate sorrow or improve morale by offering comfort and encouragement. Therefore, consolatory scenes and motives occur already in older Greek poetry (e.g. Hom. Il. 5,381─402; Archil. fr. 13 W.; Eur. Alc. 416─419). What is specifically meant by consolatio as a literary genre, though, are writin…

Scriba

(604 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
In Rome, scribae (plural) were professional literates with higher qualifications; they were thus not simple copiers ( librarii) but secretaries and accountants, in the early period even authors (Fest. p. 446). Scribae worked in both private and public spheres. [German version] I. Scribae in private households Slaves who assisted their masters in writing tasks were generally called (servi) librarii (Plin. HN 7,91; ILS 7398; 7401) or amanuenses (Suet. Nero 44,1; ILS 7395). The expression s. librarius is only rarely attested (CIL VI 8881). Secretaries entrusted with more …

Pollinctor

(201 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (originally also pollictor: Plaut. Poen. 63; Varro Sat. Men. 222,2) is what in the classical Roman period a slave (Dig. 14,3,5,8) or free employee of an undertaker ( L ibitinarii ) was called; he prepared corpses for the wake and burial (Non. 157,21: “pollinctores sunt qui mortuos curant”; similarly, but with erroneous etymology: Fulg. p. 112 Helm) by washing them (Serv. Aen. 9,485), embalming them with substances that prevented decay (esp. salt, cedar oil, myrrh: [1. 484, esp. note 7]), and…

Perideipnon

(205 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (περίδειπνον; perídeipnon) was the name given in Greece (until the 4th cent. BC at the latest: Dem. Or. 18,288; Men. Aspis 233 Sandbach; Men. Fr. 309) to the funeral banquet which was probably originally celebrated at the graveside (wrongly dismissed in [1. 175]), but from as early as the Archaic Period had usually taken place in the home of the next-of-kin of the deceased (Dem. Or. 18,288). As at other banquets, the garland (Wreath, garland) (Cic. Leg. 2,63) was worn at the perideipnon, which took place immediately after the burial ( ekphorá ) (cf. esp. Hegesippus, fr. 1,11: PCG 5, 549). …

Proconsul

(527 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
(originally pro consule, 'instead of the consul(es) ': attested in inscriptions from ILS 5945, i.e. 135 BC, on; in literature, e.g., Cic. Phil. 10,26; Liv. 8,23,12; for linguistic use cf. [1]; Greek ἀνθύπατος/ anthýpatos) was a state official in Rome who in the sphere of his office outside the city exercised full consular authority ( imperium ), but was not authorized to consult the auspicia (see  augures ) (Cic. Div. 2,76). [German version] I. Republican Period When there were insufficient magistrates with imperium, the Senate and the people extended imperium beyond the regular per…

Funus publicum

(317 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
(in the Imperial period also called funus censorium, Tac. Ann. 4,15,2 and passim) refers to a  burial whose costs and organization was covered by the state or the community, to honour the deceased. [German version] 1. Rome In early times, foreign delegates (Plut. Quaest. Rom. 43) as well as royalty imprisoned by Rome ( Syphax;  Perseus, cf. Val. Max. 5,1,1) were buried publice (‘at public expense’). The funus publicum (FP) which became typical of prominent citizens probably did not emerge until the late Republic (certain documentation exists for L.  Sulla…

Laudatio Turiae

(306 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] is the term (since [1]) given to the extensive remains (CIL VI 1527; VI 37053; AE 1951, 2) of a municipal Roman epitaph from the Augustan period (at the latest 9 BC: [2. 42]); it presents the text of the funerary oration for a woman of the Roman upper class who - because of similarities to Val. Max. 6,7,2 - was hypothetically identified with Turia, the wife of Q. Lucretius Vespillo (cos. in 19 BC). The eulogizer, who masters at least the basics of rhetoric [2. 124; 3], praises (c…

Annales maximi

(268 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Synonymous with annalespontificum maximorum (Cic. Leg. 1,6). Annales maximi is what the Romans called a chronicle-like work of history, which is based on the records of the pontifex maximus (Paul. Fest. p. 113 L; Macrob. Sat. 3,2,17; Serv. Aen. 1,373; implicitly already in Cic. De or. 2,52). The content was apparently identical to that of the tabula apud pontificem maximum (Cato orig. fr. 77 HRR), which in addition to details about dearths and eclipses surely also contained reports about prodigies ( pace [3]), temple dedications, additions to the priestly coll…

Fenestella

(270 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Roman historian of the early Imperial period. The exact dates of his life are uncertain: according to Jerome he died at the age of 70 in AD 19 (Chron. p. 172 Helm), according to Pliny only ‘late in the reign of Tiberius’ ( novissimo Tiberii Caesaris principatu; HN 33,146). F. wrote an annalistic history in more than 22 books (Fr. 21 Peter from book 22 [= HRR 2, 85f.] relates to 57 BC) that extended from the early Roman period to the late Republic and perhaps even included the Augustan period (Fr. 24 Peter [= HRR 2, 86]). The …

Prothesis

(231 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (πρόθεσις/ próthesis, first [1. 22B], 6th century BC; first in literature Pl. Leg. 947b 3; 959e 5). Term for the laying out of a corpse, which was an indispensable part of every burial in Greece from the earliest times. The dead person was laid on a klínē , usually covered by a pall (φᾶρος/ phâros), and was lamented and mourned both by family members and unrelated mourners. Prothesis scenes are described in the Homeric epics (esp. Hom. Il. 18,352-355; 24,719-776). Ritual gestures of grief are often depicted, particularly on Attic pottery (cf. [6…

Conclamatio

(176 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] An old element in Roman mortuary customs: when the eyes of the deceased were closed the attending relatives repeatedly called his name (Serv. Aen. 6,218; Luc. 2,23; Sen. Dial. 9,11,7; with the same meaning Ov. Tr. 3,3,43 clamor supremus ; Ps.-Quint. Decl. mai. 8,10 conclamata suprema). Since this word also describes the ordinary death lament (e.g., Tac. Ann. 3,2,2; Oratio imperatoris Hadriani in CIL 14, 3579, 19; Sen. Ep. 52,13 and passim), a lot of evidence cannot be clearly attributed. This custom, which was obviously no longer understood in the hi…

Tanusius Geminus

(126 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (the cognomen only in Suet. Iul. 9,2). Roman historian of the Late Republic of whose life nothing is known. It is also unclear whether his work, which (because of Plut. Caesar 22,3) was not finished until after 55 BC and contained accounts hostile to Caesar (especially fr. 1 P. = HRR 2, p. 50: on the 'conspiracy' of 66 BC), was an account of contemporary events only [1. 327] or whether it was organised as an annalistic comprehensive history (as in [2. 265]; annales in Sen. Ep. 93,11). According to Seneca, the work was voluminous and 'ponderous' ( ponderosi); he may have been…

Libitinarii

(196 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] was the name the Romans gave to undertakers because of their seat in the sacred grove of Libitina ( qui libitinam faciunt, ILS 6085,94). On behalf of the affected families (or the state: Sen. Dial. 9,11,10), they organized the burials and supplied the necessary implements as well as the personnel (partly slaves: Ulp. Dig. 14,3,5,8), e.g. pollinctores , bearers, musicians (cf. Petron. Sat. 78,6), specialists for burning the corpses ( ustores). The funeral practices in the Roman cities of Italy were apparently similarly organized (ILS 6726 attests a bu…

Laudatio funebris

(1,002 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] A. General According to Roman linguistic usage, laudatio funebris (LF; Quint. Inst. 3,7,2; Gell. NA 13,20,17; mostly just laudatio: Cic. Mil. 33; Liv. 27,27,13; Tac. Ann. 13,3,1; explanatory laudatio pro rostris: Tac. Ann. 3,76,2 et passim) means the eulogy for the deceased, held in connection with the burial ( funus). At upper class funerals, the funeral procession stopped (probably from the end of the 4th cent. BC) at the forum, where a son or other close relative gave the speech from the rostrum ( pro rostris: Sen. Dial. 6,15,3; Tac. Ann. 3,5,1 et passim), which along …

Praerogativa centuria

(218 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] (also briefly praerogativa: e.g. Cic. Ad Q. Fr. 2,14,4; Cic. Phil. 2,82; Liv. 24,7,12) was the name in Rome of the centuria , determined by lot from the centuries of the first wealth class, which probably since the reform of the comitia centuriata (between 241 and 218 BC) had advance voting in elections (uncertain whether this also applied to legislative decisions). Since the result of the PCwas announced immediately (Liv. 24,7,12; Cic. Phil. 2,82), it had a considerable impact on further voting. This effect had probably been intended when creating the PC, to avoid a sp…

Funus imaginarium

(194 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] Funus imaginarium (FI) was the name given in Rome (ILS 7212 II 4-5, dated AD 136; SHA Pert. 15,1) to a special type of  burial: since the dead body was usually visible on the bier during the funeral procession, a replacement body made of  wax ( imago or effigies) was used when the body was not available, for instance in cases of death at sea or after cremation at war or in foreign countries. Tac. Ann. 3,5,2 correctly regards this custom as one of the ‘customs of old time’ ( veterum instituta; taken for granted already in the Lex XII tab. 10,5: [1. 80]).The FI received s…

Senatus consultum

(910 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Klose, Dietrich (Munich)
[German version] [1] A formal resolution of the Roman Senate (SC; sometimes senatus sententia: ILS 18; 35a; 8208; informally also senatus decretum, e.g. Cic. Mil. 87; Cic. Sest. 32, or in archaic form senati decretum: Sall. Cat. 30,3 and passim). The formal resolution by which the Roman Senate pronounced advice or instructions at the request ( consulere) of magistrates; while not binding legally, it was in practice: in the Imperial Period, to some extent it even acquired force of law (Gai. Inst. 1,4; Pompon. Dig. 1,2,12; cf. [3. 432]). An SC that was…

Burial

(2,525 words)

Author(s): Hauser, Stefan R. (Berlin) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] A. General After a person's death the treatment and taking of his body to a particular place called grave ( Funerary architecture), mostly connected with death rituals. Burial customs varied depending on the society's religious concepts and particularly the concepts of  afterlife and the (social) status of the deceased or those organizing the burial. The main types of burial are inhumation or cremation (ash burial). There is also evidence of individual cases from the Neolithic Peri…

Volumnia

(194 words)

Author(s): Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
[German version] [1] Wife of Marcius Coriolanus According to a much-related story about Marcius Coriolanus (in which V. plays only a subordinate role, however), when he and a Volsci army are outside Rome, the pleas of his wife V. and his mother Veturia cause him to refrain from attacking his home city (the story in e.g. Liv. 2,39,1-2,40,11; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 8,40-54; Val. Max. 5,2,1; 5,4,1; Plut. Coriolanus 33,1-36,6, but there, it is not his wife but his mother who bears the name V.). Müller, Christian (Bochum) [German version] [2] Pantomime actress, 1st cent. BC Freedwoman (and lover:…

Vennonius

(183 words)

Author(s): Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Fündling, Jörg (Bonn)
[German version] [1] Roman historian, 2nd cent. BC Roman historian of the late 2nd cent. BC (in Cic. Leg. 1,6 ordered after C. Fannius [I 1]); nothing is known of him as a person. His presumably annalistic work (Annalists) began with stories of the founding of Rome and the period of the kings (Origo gentis Romanae 20,1; Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 4,15,1), but its scope and end point are unknown. Cicero felt the need of it in 46 BC in his literary work in Tusculum (Cic. Att. 12,3,1). Fr. in HRR I2 142 and [1]. Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) Bibliography 1 M. Chassignet (ed.), L'annalistique romain…
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