Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ Doubled

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by

Damien F. Mackey





As if one king Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ were not enough, there was another such named king, at least according to the history books, ruling in the C1st AD.






King Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ of Commagene (Armenia) and Cilicia Tracheia was, just like his Seleucid namesake, Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’, born to a king Antiochus III - Commagene being the region ruled by the Seleucid tyrant: “Another Epiphania was founded [by the latter] in Armenia”. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Antiochus-IV-Epiphanes
For the massive impact upon Cilicia Tracheia by the Seleucid ‘Epiphanes’, see C. Tempesta’s

"Antiochus IV Epiphanes and Cilicia", in Adalya VIII, Istanbul, 2005, pp. 59-81.


Both the Commagene version, who “reigned … as a client king to the Roman Empire” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antiochus_IV_of_Commagene), and the Seleucid one, were servants of Rome (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Antiochus-IV-Epiphanes):

After his father’s defeat by the Romans in 190–189, [Antiochus IV] served as hostage for his father in Rome from 189 to 175, where he learned to admire Roman institutions and policies. His brother, King Seleucus IV, exchanged him for Demetrius, the son of Seleucus; and after Seleucus was murdered by Heliodorus, a usurper, Antiochus in turn ousted him. During this period of uncertainty in Syria, the guardians of Ptolemy VI, the Egyptian ruler, laid claim to Coele Syria, Palestine, and Phoenicia, which Antiochus III had conquered. Both the Syrian and Egyptian parties appealed to Rome for help, but the Senate refused to take sides. In 173 Antiochus paid the remainder of the war indemnity that had been imposed by the Romans on Antiochus III at the Treaty of Apamea (188).

[End of quote]

The Commagene version also grew up in Rome: “Antiochus seems to have gained Roman citizenship. He lived and was raised in Rome, along with his sister. While he and his sister were growing up in Rome …” (Wikipedia).
Both were descended form a Queen Laodice.
In the case of Commagene: “Through his ancestor from Commagene, Queen Laodice VII Thea, who was the mother of King Antiochus I Theos of Commagene, he was a direct descendant of the Greek Seleucid kings” (Wikipedia).
So, there is a blood connection here between the supposedly two dynasties.
In the case of the Seleucid: “Mother: Laodice III (daughter of Mithradates II of Pontus)”: http://www.livius.org/articles/person/antiochus-iv-epiphanes/?
That name, “Mithradates”, was in fact the Seleucid’s original name: “Antiochus IV Epiphanes (Επιφανής, Greek: Manifest), originally named Mithradates, but renamed Antiochus either upon his ascension or after the death of his elder brother Antiochus …”. (http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Antiochus_IV_Epiphanes).

Finally, we learn of another connection of an Antiochus IV ‘Epiphanes’ with the emperor Hadrian, over and above what I wrote about this in:

Antiochus 'Epiphanes' and Emperor Hadrian. Part One: "… a mirror image"


The Commagene version’s grand-daughter, Julia Balbilla, became a travelling companion of the emperor Hadrian in Egypt (http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2003/2003-07-30.html):

Perhaps the best candidate for such a figure of females [re “prominence and visibility to females in the domain of cult”] is Julia Balbilla, a granddaughter of Antiochus IV who accompanied Hadrian and Sabina on a trip to Egypt in A.D. 130 (the visit to Sparta was not to occur until late in life for the purpose of attending to the construction of a heroon in honor of her cousin Herculanus). Writer of poetry in the Aeolic dialect of Sappho, with no recorded husband or child, a possible exemplar of lesbian relationships, if she was the lover of Sabina (perhaps modeled on the emperor's own liaison with Antinous) (pp. 128-129) -- a more unconventional female figure (by the standards of Greek antiquity) would be difficult to imagine, but strictly speaking we are no longer here within the limits of religion, much less religion at Sparta. ….


It is unfortunately upon such a dubious historical figure as Julia Balbilla that we must be reliant for much of the account of the emperor Hadrian’s visit to Egypt.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pericles (Peisistratus) and emperor Hadrian



by

Damien F. Mackey



“The Panhellenion was devised with a view to associating the Roman Emperor with the protection of Greek culture and of the "liberties" of Greece – in this case, urban self-government. It allowed Hadrian to appear as the fictive heir to Pericles, who supposedly had convened a previous Panhellenic Congress …”.

Some Commonalities

The famous beard

We read about it, for instance, in the book, Rethinking Revolutions Through Ancient Greece (ed. Simon Goldhill, Robin Osborne):

But if Hadrian's beard is not that of a philosopher, what are we to make of it? Susan Walker has recently refined her answer to this question to describe the beard ‘as worn in the style of Pericles’. …. Pericles’ short, curly beard and moustache put her on safer ground art-historically than those who favour a philosophical reading …. Historiographically it lends him an identity that complements his building in Athens. But the more one pursues the implications of this hypothesis, the more one is made to doubt it. If one reads Plutarch to get a sense of Pericles’ reputation under Hadrian, one encounters an icon whose physical appearance is similar to Pisistratus. …. In some ways this is eminently suitable: Pisistratus is a prolific builder in Athens and inaugurates the Olympeion that Hadrian is to finish. …. But were Hadrian attempting to instigate a revolution, there is danger in even the slightest whiff of tyranny. Rest-assured, there is little additional evidence to support a Pericles-Hadrian parallel, at least not compared to stronger associations with a bearded Zeus or Jupiter ….
[End of quote]




Eleusinian mysteries

Under Pericles

The Eleusinian mysteries attracted many initiates in Athens from about the seventh century BC, and the epics of Homer prove that, even that early, Greeks believed that the Eleusinian rites granted the initiates happiness after death. The citizens of Athens adopted the Mysteries of Eleusis as a feature of the state cult, then, at the time of Pericles, other Greek cities were admitted and later everyone who could speak Greek and had shed no blood or had subsequently been purified.

Under Peisistratus

Since religion was closely interwoven with the structure of the Greek polis, or city-state, many of [Peisistratus’] steps were religious reforms. He brought the great shrine of Demeter at Eleusis under state control and constructed the first major Hall of the Mysteries (Telesterion) for the annual rites of initiation into the cult. Many local cults of Attica were either moved to the city or had branch shrines there. Artemis, for instance, continued to be worshiped at Brauron, but now there was also a shrine to Artemis on the Acropolis. Above all, Athena now became the main deity to be revered by all Athenian citizens. Peisistratus constructed an entry gate (Propylaea) on the Acropolis and perhaps built an old Parthenon under the temple that now stands on the crest of the Acropolis. Many sculptured fragments of limestone from Peisistratid buildings have been found on the Acropolis, and the foundations of a major, unfinished temple can still be seen.

Under Hadrian

Emperor Hadrian was initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries; he and his successors Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius and Commodus all protected the shrine and contributed to its embellishment ….

In September 128 [sic], Hadrian attended the Eleusinian mysteries again. This time his visit to Greece seems to have concentrated on Athens and Sparta – the two ancient rivals for dominance of Greece. Hadrian had played with the idea of focusing his Greek revival around the Amphictyonic League based in Delphi, but by now he had decided on something far grander.

Panhellenion and Olympeion

Peisistratus

Rethinking Revolutions Through Ancient Greece: “Pisistratus is a prolific builder in Athens and inaugurates the Olympeion that Hadrian is to finish”.

Dedicated to Olympian Zeus, the Olympieion was situated on the bank of the river Ilissus southeast of the Acropolis. It was built on the site of an ancient Doric temple, the foundation of which had been laid out by the tyrant Pisistratus, but construction was abandoned several decades later in 510 BC when his son Hippias, whose rule had become increasingly despotic, was expelled from Athens and a democracy established (he would return twenty years later with the Persians at Marathon, Thucydides, Peloponnesian War, VI.54ff). Aristotle cites the temple and the pyramids of Egypt as examples of how rulers subdue their populations by engaging them in such grandiose projects. Kept poor and preoccupied with hard work, there was not the time to conspire (Politics, V.11). Over three centuries later, in 174 BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (king of Syria and the "vile person" of Daniel 11:21) commissioned the Roman architect Cossutius to begin work again on the same ground plan. He did so "with great skill and taste," says Vitruvius, constructing a temple "of large dimensions, and of the Corinthian order and proportions" (On Architecture, VII, Pref.15, 17). Of all the works of Antiochus, the Temple of Jupiter Olympius or Olympian (as the Romans called it) was the "only one in the world, the plan of which was suitable to the greatness of the deity" (Livy, History of Rome, XLI.20). But when the king died a decade later, the temple still was "left half finished" (Strabo, Geography, IX.1.17), although it extended at least to the architrave of the columns still standing at the southeastern corner.

Pericles

Plutarch writes that Pericles “introduced a bill to the effect that all Hellenes wheresoever resident in Europe or in Asia, small and large cities alike, should be invited to send deputies to a council at Athens.” The aim was to discuss matters of common interest—restoration of the temples the Persians had burned down, payment of vows to the gods for the great deliverance, and clearing the seas of pirates.

Hadrian

More than half a millennium later [sic] Hadrian picked it up where it had fallen. During his previous visit, his attention had been caught by the synedrion, or council, at Delphi for the Amphictyonic League, but it did not include enough Greek cities. He decided to launch a new Panhellenion along Periclean lines. As before, a grandly refurbished Athens was to be the headquarters and Greek cities would be invited to send delegates to an inaugural assembly. Member communities had to prove their Greekness, both culturally and in genetic descent, although in practice some bogus pedigrees were accepted.
The enterprise had a somewhat antiquarian character. So far as we can tell from the fragmentary surviving evidence, Hadrian aimed at roughly the same catchment area as Pericles had done—in essence, the basin of the Ionian Sea. Italy and Sicily were excluded once again, and there was no representation of Greek settlements in Egypt, Syria, or Anatolia. The emperor made a point of visiting Sparta, presumably to ensure that it did not stay away as it had done in the fifth century.
A renaissance of old glories was reflected in the development of archaized language; so, for example, Spartan young men (epheboi) suddenly took on an antiquated Doric dialect in their dedications to Artemis Orthia, a patron goddess of the city. It seems clear that one of the purposes of Hadrian’s policy was to recruit the past to influence and to help define and improve the decadent present.
Hadrian began to call himself the “Olympian,” echoing the example of Pericles as well as reflecting the completion of the Olympieion, the vast temple to Olympian Zeus. He was soon widely known throughout the Hellenic eastern provinces as “Hadrianos Sebastos Olumpios,” Sebastos being the Greek word for Augustus, or indeed “Hadrianos Sebastos Zeus Olumpios.”

What did the Panhellenion actually do? It administered its own affairs, managed its shrine not far from the Roman Agora and offices, and promoted a quadrennial festival. It also assessed qualifications for membership. But Hadrian was careful to give it no freestanding political powers. All important decisions were referred to him for approval. Rather, the focus was cultural and religious, and a connection was forged with the Eleusinian Mysteries. In essence, the task was to build spiritual and intellectual links among the cities of the Greek world, and to foster a sense of community. The Panhellenion also furthered the careers of delegates, who were usually leading members of Greek elites (but not necessarily Roman citizens), and created an international “old-boy network” of friends who advanced one another’s interests. ….

Ptolemy IX “Chickpea” and Cicero “Chickpea”


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by
Damien F. Mackey
“… I suggest that Cicero explicitly employs unhistorical (or at least not certifiably true) exempla, with a view to the internal consistency of the dialogues' fictional world”.
Dan Hanchey
Some Commonalities
Some obvious similarities between the text-book Ptolemy Soter (so-called IX) and Cicero are their supposed beginnings before 100 BC, and their sharing of a name, or nickname, meaning “Chickpea”. In the book, Language Typology and Historical Contingency: In honor of Johanna Nichols (eds. B. Bickel et al.), we read as follows about this name (p. 303):
The possible prehistory of *ḱiḱer- is more interesting. The attested forms are Latin (Glare 1996) cicer ‘chickpea’ (Cicer arietinum), cicera ‘chickling vetch’ (Lathyrus sativus), Armenian siseṙn ‘chickpea’, Macedonian (Hesychius) kíkerroi (Lathyrus ochrus), and Serbo-Croatian sȁstrica (Lathyrus cicera or Lathyrus sativus). …. There is also the possibility of Greek kriós, ‘chickpea’, which Pokorny (1994: 598) tentatively suggests might be from *kikriós with dissimilation, and Hittite kikris, a food item used in a mash, and measured in handfuls. ….
[End of quote]
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Cicero                                                             Ptolemy IX


Likewise, Ptolemy was, Cicero was, contemporaneous with a Cleopatra, who had no great love for the “Chickpea”, or vice versa.
In the case of Ptolemy, we read (https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ptolemy-IX-Soter-II): “Although [Cleopatra, so-called III] preferred his younger brother, Ptolemy Alexander, popular sentiment forced the dowager queen to dismiss him and to associate Ptolemy Soter on the throne with herself”.
In parallel fashion, Cleopatra [so-called VII] ruled as co-regent with Ptolemy [so-called XII]: “Before his death, Ptolemy XII chose his daughter Cleopatra VII as his coregent. In his will, he declared that she and her brother Ptolemy XIII should rule the kingdom together”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy_XII_Auletes). Interestingly, Cicero, according to what we read at this site, is supposed to have commented unfavourably on this latter situation:
Throughout his long-lasting reign the principal aim of Ptolemy [XII] was to secure his hold on the Egyptian throne so as to eventually pass it to his heirs. To achieve this goal he was prepared to sacrifice much: the loss of rich Ptolemaic lands, most of his wealth and even, according to Cicero, the very dignity on which the mystique of kingship rested when he appeared before the Roman people as a mere supplicant.
[End of quote]
As for Cicero and Cleopatra: “Without doubt Cicero was hoping for bad news about Cleopatra. He did not like Greeks and he did not like women, and most of all he hated the Greek woman Cleopatra ...”. (Michael Foss, The Search for Cleopatra, 1999).
Exiles
…. The latent hostility between the son and his mother finally erupted in October 110, when Cleopatra expelled him from Egypt and recalled his brother from Cyprus. Soter II returned in early 109 but was evicted anew by his mother in March of the following year.
After a reconciliation in May 108 he fled a third time and established himself in Cyprus, from where in 107 he invaded northern Syria to assist one of the claimants to the Seleucid empire, while his mother, allying herself with the Jewish king in Palestine, actively aided another Seleucid pretender. ….
[End of quote]
Nor was Cicero a stranger to exile, as we learn at: http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/marcus-tullius-cicero
Cicero was elected quaestor in 75, praetor in 66 and consul in 63—the youngest man ever to attain that rank without coming from a political family. During his term as consul he thwarted the Catilinian conspiracy to overthrow the Republic. In the aftermath, though, he approved the key conspirators’ summary execution, a breach of Roman law that left him vulnerable to prosecution and sent him into exile.

 

Cicero: Alliances, Exiles ….

During his exile, Cicero refused overtures from Caesar that might have protected him, preferring political independence to a role in the First Triumvirate. Cicero was away from Rome when civil war between Caesar and Pompey broke out. He aligned himself with Pompey and then faced another exile when Caesar won the war, cautiously returning to Rome to receive the dictator’s pardon. ….
[End of quote]
Cyprus
Continuing with the Encyclopædia Britannica account of Ptolemy, we read of his lengthy sojourn in Cyprus:
After a reconciliation in May 108 [Ptolemy] fled a third time and established himself in Cyprus, from where in 107 he invaded northern Syria to assist one of the claimants to the Seleucid empire, while his mother, allying herself with the Jewish king in Palestine, actively aided another Seleucid pretender. During the protracted war his mother died (101) and Ptolemy X Alexander became the sole ruler of Egypt, while Soter II remained entrenched in Cyprus. ….
[End of quote]
As for Cicero, Ismail Veli has called him “Cicero The Most Famous Governor in Cypriot History!” (http://cyprusscene.com/2014/11/26/cicero-the-most-famous-governor-in-cypriot-history/):
If I was to choose the most famous Governor in Cypriot history I would choose the great Marcus Tullius Cicero ….
In 51 BC and much against his will he was  assigned to Cilicia which was associated to Cyprus. As usual the previous Governor’s considered their post as an opportunity to enrich themselves at the expense of the local people. Arriving in August 51 B.C he remained until the following year until 3rd August 50 B.C. Though not pleased on his post Cicero as usual set about his task with honesty, hard work and aimed at making the lives of the locals much more comfortable. In addition to the corruption, Cilicia was in an unsettled state due to the Parthian wars. His first order was that the locals need not present him with gifts they could ill afford. He also did away with spending on many forms of Roman entertainment. He only accepted invitations to modest dinner parties so as not to force the locals extra spending. He himself restrained from having extravagant dinner parties, only well served and delicious food at the lowest cost possible was on offer. He never ordered anyone to be beaten with rods or stripped of their clothing. His biggest achievement was in fighting the embezzlement of public funds which was at a chronic level. He invited the culprits to hand over the funds on the condition that they would  not be charged and allowed to retain their citizen rights. The effect was that much money was given back to the point that financial stability and prosperity grew. Any chiefs who refused were met with the wrath of the Roman army at Cicero’s disposal. By the time he left Cilicia the people honoured him with the title of ‘Imperator’.
Meanwhile in Cyprus he found the same if not worse problems as he confronted in Cilicia.
He assigned one of his most trusted men Q. Volusius as prefect to help with the task.  The previous Governors had exacted large sums of money from the locals in compensation for not stationing Legionaries on the Island in winter at their expense. Instead they blackmailed the local cities to pay a charge amounting to over 200 Attic talents (one talent was worth 6000 Denarii. The average pay for a citizen was about 1-2 denarii a day). In addition when the city of Salamis needed a loan, Marcus Brutus levied a charge of 48% interest which was crippling the local economy.  Raising loans by provincials  in Rome  was illegal under the Gabinian law (introduced in 67 B.C) Therefore Brutus together with Cato raised it on their behalf. The reason for their exorbitant interest was the excuse that times were volatile and with wars raging in Asia Minor and the Middle East they were at great risk of losing their money. In the end after heavy negotiation the locals were happy to settle for 106 Talents therefore reducing their heavy burden by almost half. Cicero made good the rest from some of the money he had won back from the embezzlers in Cilicia. A Scaptius complained bitterly to M. Brutus that Cicero was so unreasonable that he was not even allowed fifty troopers to have with him in Cyprus, to which Cicero replied that ”Fifty troopers could do no little harm among such gentle folk as the Cypriotes. Spartacus had begun his insurrection with a smaller troop”.
After leaving Cyprus, Cicero retained an interest in Cypriot affairs. In 47 B.C he wrote to C Sextilius Cicero 2Rufus who was quaestor for the Island in that year warmly commending to him all the Cypriotes, especially the Paphians; and suggesting that he would do well to set an example to his successor, instituting reforms in accordance with the law of P.Lentulus and following Cicero’s decisions and policies on the Island.
So ended Cicero’s period of short but effective Governorship of the Roman province of Cyprus. Not many rulers treated the Cypriots with the care and concern as did Cicero. Even if some did I don’t have any doubt that anyone more famous in history can claim to have presided over the people of the Island. ….
[End of quote]
Sack of Athens
An event that occurred at the hands of the Romans in the lifetime of Ptolemy IX, of Cicero. Thus, according to: Encyclopædia BritannicaPtolemy Soter refused to give aid to the Romans in the course of their war with Pontus, a Black Sea kingdom, and after the Roman sack of Athens in 88 the Egyptian rulers helped rebuild the city, for which commemorative statues of them were erected”.
Roman aristocrats returned to Athens soon after Sulla’s sack, in search of education and high culture. A shipwreck, found a century ago by sponge divers off the island of Antikythera at the southern point of Greece, revealed a cargo of extraordinary statues and other treasure en route for Italy. Excavations of the luxurious villas constructed in the last century BC show the probable destinations of such cargoes. Ancestral mansions in the city had been rebuilt on ever more lavish scales since the sixth century, but from the later second century Roman aristocrats had begun to expand their property portfolios. Cicero was far from the richest of senators, but even he owned eight villas.
[End of quote]

Dan Hanchey may be closer to the truth than he realises when he writes of Cicero’s employment of “unhistorical (or at least not certifiably true) exempla” (https://cj.camws.org/abstracts110.1):

 

DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED: FICTION FORMING FACT IN CICERO'S DIALOGUES

….
This paper analyzes Cicero's citations of the not-always-historical past in his theoretical corpus. Examining both the Marian oak in the prologue of De Legibus and Cicero's overall use of historical references, I suggest that Cicero explicitly employs unhistorical (or at least not certifiably true) exempla, with a view to the internal consistency of the dialogues' fictional world. By encouraging the reader's acceptance of such fictional examples, Cicero establishes an intersubjective and empathetic relationship with his audience. Ultimately, Cicero seeks to uphold and use others to confirm his internal world as an alternative to the tense world of Roman politics. ….
[End of quote]
Image result for DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED: FICTION FORMING FACT IN CICERO'S DIALOGUES DAYS OF FUTURE PASSED: FICTION FORMING FACT IN CICERO'S DIALOGUES