Posted by Dennis » 3 Comments »
In Sermones 1.5, Horace describes a journey often referred to as the iter Brundisium because his “page and road end” there. I drew the map you see here as I worked through the poem (click the image to see the larger version).
I was interested by the fact that you can easily work your through the map except for the middle of the journey, where we’re physically closest to the poet’s hometown. We expect him to stop there, since it’s on the way, and since the poem seems to respond to the iter Siculum of Lucilius. But Horace doesn’t show Venusia to us, or at least doesn’t show it to us clearly.
We see Horace from his arrival at Aricia after departing from Rome (v. 1) through to a series of clear destinations along the Via Appia:
- Forum Appii (v. 3)
- Anxur (v. 26)
- Fundi (v. 34)
- Formiae (v. 37)
- Sinuessa (v. 40)
- Pons Campanus (v. 45)
- Capua (v. 47)
- Caudium (v. 51)
- Beneventum (v. 51)
Here, at the midpoint of the journey, we can no longer confidently use our map. Villa Trivici and the little town that can’t be named in verse (versu dicere non est) have troubled scholars.
But once we move past them, we come out not on the Via Appia but on the Via Minucia where the signposts are once again as clear as they were before, moving down the Adriatic coast:
- Canusium (v. 91)
- Rubi (v. 94)
- Barium(v. 97)
- Gnatia (v. 97)
- Brundisium (v. 104)
How did they get from the Via Appia to the Via Minucia, and where were they in that middle portion of the journey?
I’ve got my thoughts, but I’ll save them for another post. For now, enjoy the map. I hope it comes in handy when you read the poem.
Posted by Eric » 3 Comments »
According to Plutarch’s Life of Alexander 8, Alexander the Great slept with a copy of the Iliad (along with his dagger) beneath his pillow. In reading Charles Norris Cochrane’s Christianity and Classical Culture a few minutes ago, I came across the following: “[I]t is recorded that Charlemagne habitually slept with a copy of [Augustine’s City of God] beneath his pillow” (377). This seems to be in imitation of the practice of Alexander, transposed into a Christian key. Does anyone know the source(s) of this claim about Charlemagne?
Posted by Eric » Add Comment »
Count Claudian as a witness to Galatia in Asia Minor having been settled by Celtic Gauls (I don’t have time at the moment to gather other ancient sources on this):
Pars Phrygiae, Scythicis quaecumque Trionibus alget
proxima, Bithynos, solem quae condit, Ionas,
quae levat, attingit Galatas. utrimque propinqui
finibus obliquis Lydi Pisidaeque feroces
continuant australe latus. gens una fuere
tot quondam populi, priscum cognosmen et unum
appellata Phryges; sed (quid non longa valebit
permutaure dies?) dicti post Maeona regem
Maeones. Aegaeos insedit Graecia portus;
Thyni Thraces arant quae nunc Bithynia fertur;
nuper ab Oceano Gallorum exercitus ingens
illis ante vagus tandem regionibus haesit
gaesaque deposuit, Graio iam mitis amictu,
pro Rheno poturus Halyn. dat cuncta vetustas
principium Phrygibus; nec rex Aegyptius ultra
restitit, humani postquam puer uberis expers
in Phrygiam primum laxavit murumura vocem. (In Eutropium 2.238-54)