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Dr Gareth Wearne & Dr Bruce Marshall

By Departmental Research Seminar

Tuesday 1 October 2019 (Week 8), 2-3.30pm

The Department of Ancient History in conjunction with the Macquarie University Ancient History Association (MAHA) offers a research seminar series, intended to bring together those within Macquarie and outside who have an interest in the languages, histories, and cultures of the ancient world. View the schedule for the research seminar.

All are welcome! Please arrive on time and join us after the seminar for coffee, tea and biscuits!

Convenor: Dr Alexandra Woods Twitter


Dr Gareth Wearne | Lecturer in Biblical Studies, Australian Catholic University

The Dead Sea Scrolls in the Context of Hellenistic Historiography

It is often lamented that the Dead Sea Scrolls contain few historiographical texts, by which is usually meant narrative history of the kinds we find in the books of 1 and 2 Maccabees and later in the writings of Flavius Josephus. On the other hand, it is also widely recognised that many of the Scrolls evince a keen interest in the past, especially as this relates to communal self-definition and identity formation. The aim of this paper is to revisit the question of historiography in the Dead Sea Scrolls and to argue that the corpus reflects an historiographical interest every bit as developed as that of contemporary Hellenistic Jewish Writers. To that end, the paper will ask two questions: (1) In what ways are the Scrolls comparable to wider trends in Second Temple Jewish historiography—especially as attested in the fragments of writers such as Demetrius the Chronographer, Eupolemus, and Cleodemus Malchus? And (2) what functions did historiographical writings serve? By examining the scrolls in this comparative light it is possible to re-evaluate a number of texts and genres—including, inter alia, the admonitions of the Damascus Document, the category of rewritten scripture (e.g. 4Q252), the so-called ‘annalistic calendars’ and ‘historical texts’ (4Q322–4Q324b, 4Q331–4Q333), and the Aramaic chronograph (4Q559)— and to shed new light on the character and composition of the corpus more widely.

Dr Bruce Marshall | Honorary Research Associate, Macquarie University

Republican elogia and Augustus’ Res Gestae et Impensae

Augustus’ Res Gestae et Impensae belongs to the genre of the elogium, which covers not only tomb inscriptions but also is connected with laudationes delivered at the funerals of Roman nobles. The genre can also include honorific inscriptions set up even during the life of a prominent citizen. There are numerous examples extant of this genre from the middle and late republic. This paper analyses a range of elogia to see what the regular elements are, such as those of various Cornelii Scipiones from the ‘Tomb of the Scipios’, the inscriptions set up by Pompeius in temples at the time of his triumph in 61 BC, and the summary of the career of Marius, one of the retrospective elogia attached to the statues of past great figures in the Augustan forum. This analysis shows the common elements – offices held, victorious campaigns, building activities from war booty, special honours. The Res Gestae et Impensae ‘may be regarded as a development out of such elogia, more elaborate indeed, just as Augustus’ achievements were more grandiose’ (Brunt and Moore, 1967). Cooley on the other hand thinks it to be sui generis (Cooley, 2009). This paper asks: were new elements added by Augustus to the genre? And if so, what might be the import of those new elements?

References:

  1. Peter A. Brunt and John M. Moore (eds), Res Gestae Divi Augusti: The Achievements of the Divine Augustus (Oxford 1967).
  2. Alison E. Cooley, Res Gestae Divi Augusti: Text, Translation, and Commentary (Cambridge 2009).
  3. Atillio Degrassi, Inscriptiones Italiae, Vol. 13, fasc. 1 (fasti) and 3 (elogia) (Rome 1947).
  4. Harriet I. Flower, ncestor Masks and Aristocratic Power in Roman Culture (Clarendon, Oxford 1996).
  5. J. Geiger, The First Hall of Fame: A Study of the Statues in the Forum Augustum (Leiden 2008).
  6. Ronald T. Ridley, The Emperor’s Retrospect. Augustus’ Res Gestae in Epigraphy, Historio-graphy and Commentary (Leuven and Dudley MA 2003).

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Departmental Research Seminar

The Department of Ancient History in conjunction with the Macquarie University Ancient History Association (MAHA) offers a research seminar series, intended to bring together those within Macquarie and outside who have an interest in the languages, histories, and cultures of the ancient world.