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Mummius

(1,428 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Blänsdorf, Jürgen (Mainz) | Nadig, Peter C. (Duisburg) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Eck, Werner (Cologne)
Name of a Roman plebeian family of little political significance except for L. M. [I 3], the destroyer of Corinth. Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) I. Republican period [German version] [I 1] Author of Atellan farces, propably Augustan According to Pomponius Bononiensis and Novius [I 1], who presumably lived about 90 BC, M. revived the atellan farces, which had laid dormant for some time (Macrob. Sat. 1,10,3). His Old Latin metre (use of iambic shortening) and language (abl. testu) suggest that he probably did not write later than the Augustan period, during which other …

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 …

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…

Cato

(1,353 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne)
Roman cognomen perhaps of Etruscan origin [1. 310, 315, 418], in conjunction with catus (‘astute’, ‘crafty’ [2; 3. 250]. In Republican times widespread in the families of the Hostilii and Valerii, prominent among the Porcii, according to whose model C. is used now and again as a synonym for a conservative Roman; quite rarely also as gentilicium [1. 303].  Porcius Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [1] Porcius C., M. Cato the Elder, 234-149 BC (234-149 BC), ‘Cato the Elder’, ‘Censorius’, energetic politician and founder of Roman prose literature, is the b…

Sempronius

(6,399 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Müller, Christian (Bochum) | Bartels, Jens (Bonn) | Schmitt, Tassilo (Bielefeld) | Et al.
Name of a Roman family. According to tradition, its members of the 5th cent. BC (Atratini, S. [I 3-8]) are supposed to have been patricians and champions of patrician privileges (Dion. Hal. Ant. Rom. 10,41,5; 10,42,3), an assumption that may have been a retrospective invention (the Sempronii only became patricians under Caesar or Augustus); in the historical period, we know only of plebeian branches of the family during the Republic (Asellio, Blaesus, Gracchus, Longus, Tuditanus) who played an important role in the 3rd and 2nd cents. Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) I. Republican Period …

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…

Fabius

(6,346 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Dorandi, Tiziano (Paris) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Scholz, Udo W. (Würzburg) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Et al.
Roman patrician family name, probably derived from Etruscan fapi [1. 162]. According to ancient etymology, however, either from faba ‘(broad)bean’ (‘legume grower’: Plin. HN 18,10; [2]) or from the original ‘Fodius’, ‘Fovius’ (‘wolf pit hunter’: Plut. Fabius 1,2; Fest. 77 L.) because the Fabii with the Quinctii originally appointed the priesthood of the Luperci; the  Lupercalia were also the family celebration of the Fabii (Ov. Fast. 193ff.). Early Imperial pseudogenealogy, which perhaps arose in the literary ci…

Pomponius

(5,501 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Nadig, Peter C. (Duisburg) | Kierdorf, Wilhelm (Cologne) | Schmitt, Tassilo (Bielefeld) | Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Et al.
Name of a Roman plebeian family probably deriving from the Italic praenomen P…

Cassius

(5,432 words)

Author(s): Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) | Eder, Walter (Berlin) | Eck, Werner (Cologne) | Giaro, Tomasz (Frankfurt/Main) | Birley, A. R. (Düsseldorf) | Et al.
Name of a plebeian gens (cf. Tac. Ann. 6,15,1), the representatives of whom have been known historically since the middle of the 3rd cent. BC. The most important family, especially in the 1st cent. BC, are the Cassii Longini. A patrician C. (around 500 BC, C. I 19) is rare. I. Republican age [German version] [I 1] C., C. Governor of Asia 89-88 BC Praetor 90 BC (?), in 89-88 governor of the province of Asia whence he, with M'. Aquillius [I 4], induced Nicomedes of Bithynia to attack  Mithridates (MRR 2,34). He then had to retreat from the victorious Mithridates to Phrygia and Apamea, and finally to Rhodes (Syll.3 741; App. Mith. 17; 19; 24). It is not clear that he was captured by Mithridates and not freed until after the end of the war (App. Mith. 112). Elvers, Karl-Ludwig (Bochum) [German version] [I 2] C., L. Tribunus plebis 89 BC as the tribune of the people …

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 burial fee for Bergamo, lucar Libitinae; the burial regulations of Puteoli mention a lucus Libitinae, AE 1971, 88 II 3). The libitinarii were often freedmen and quite w…
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