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Biagio Virgilio (ed.), Studi ellenistici XX. Pisa/Roma: Fabrizio Serra Editore, 2008. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.4.59, http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2009/2009-04-59.html

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Biagio Virgilio (ed.), Studi ellenistici XX. Pisa/Roma: Fabrizio Serra Editore, 2008. Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.4.59, http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2009/2009-04-59.html
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  Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2009.04.59 Biagio Virgilio (ed.),  Studi ellenistici XX  . Pisa/Roma: Fabrizio Serra Editore, 2008. Pp. !. "SB# $%888&22%'0$. '$.00 (pb). Reie*ed b+ iia -appoi, #e*astle iersit+ (liia.appoi1l.a.3) Word count: 2072 words [Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]This volume of collected essays on Hellenism continues the series founded in 1!"# and directed since then $y %ia&io 'ir&ilio ()isa*. +t com,rises twenty essays on different as,ects of Hellenism# with no a,,arent thematic# chronolo&ical or &eo&ra,hical order. -verall# these studies are a hi&hly valua$le collective effort# which contri$ute si&nificantly to the current state of research# either $y analysin& new evidence# or $y redefinin& and challen&in& the eistin& consolidated scholarly views on this ,art of /editerranean history. The series Studi Ellenistici  has ,roven to $e an etremely useful tool for all students of ancient history# and the director should $e thaned for his wor. or reasons of s,ace# in this review# + will comment on a limitednum$er of contri$utions. The introductory essay $y milio 3a$$a eamines the rece,tion of 3ree 4lassical culture $y the u,,er classes of the ancient world# startin& from the Hellenistic and 5oman ,eriods# and continuin& u, to the admiration and emulation of 3ree culture as the locus of an ima&ined s,iritual ori&inality in 6eoclassical uro,e. After considerin& modern ty,es of ,hilhellenism (e.&. the uro,ean sym,athy for 3reece8s stru&&le for li$eration from the Turs* 3a$$a underlines how from the middle of the nineteenth century the ,ro&ression of nowled&e of the 6ear ast hel,ed scholars to shift from the worshi, of the 3ree miracle to a more $alanced# even anticlassical# consideration of the 3ree cultural hori9on.)ierre %riant8s first essay could $e $riefly summarised as 8the 5ostovt9eff delusion8. The scholar hi&hli&hts the contradictions and shortcomin&s in 5ostovt9eff8s teleolo&ical vision of the Achaemenid state as a ,reHellenistic reality# and criticises some ,assa&es where the 5ussian scholar minimised the ru,ture $etween the Achaemenid and the Hellenistic in&doms# and ea&&erated a stereoty,ed model of lon&ue dure. %riant shows that 5ostovt9eff ne&lected most documentary evidence availa$le a$out the )ersian domination# such as the le,hantine ,a,yri from &y,t. Althou&h 5ostovt9eff shows himself to $e aware of these documents and interested inthem# he does not tae account of them in his lar&er historical ,icture of AchaemenidHellenistic continuity. The stimulatin& essay $y /anuela /ari on the ruler cult in /acedonia ar&ues that divine honours were attri$uted to at least two Anti&onid in&s# Anti&onus 3onatas or ;oson# worshi,,ed in the area of -reseia in the <trymon valley (and ,erha,s in Am,hi,olis# too* and )hili, ' in Am,hi,olis# in %er&e# and in a city of 4halidie. )ro$a$ly# such an initiative followed the concession of ,rivile&es or mared the  s,ecial relationshi, $etween the ruler and a city (the e,ithet ktistes  is si&nificant and should $e taen in a flei$le and fi&urative sense*. +t must $e noted# however# that thisty,e of interaction $etween in& and cities was limited to the area outside the 8-ld =in&dom8 of /acedon# in other words# to the free ,oleis that had $een anneed $y )hili, ++ (e.&. )ydna# =assandreia# Am,hi,olis# )hili,,oi and )hili,,o,olis# /aroneiaand Thasos*. The author concludes that the interaction $etween local and state cults was never esta$lished in /acedonia in a standardi9ed way. ;ifferently from other areas of 3reece and Asia /inor# in /acedonia only a few cities# and a,,arently none of the 8-ld =in&dom8# felt the need to a,,roach the in&s to solicit their $enefactions throu&h the offer of divine honours. +f it is true that )hili, was the only in& who consciously tried to introduce a divine re,resentation of himself# his attem,t was a failure.%ia&io 'ir&ilio contri$utes to this series with a learned essay on the ,ortrayal of Hellenistic in&shi, in )oly$ius. Throu&h the investi&ation of different ,assa&es# the author shows that )oly$ius8 ne&ative ,ortrayal of Hellenistic monarchies is $oth ea&&erated and instrumental to his >ustification of the rise of 5ome. )oly$ius ,laces a &reat em,hasis on the ,olitical constitution of a state as a su$stantial reason for its success or failure# thus it seems natural and even inevita$le that the 5oman constitution ,revails over the declinin& institutional framewor of the Hellenistic in&doms. )oly$ius8 analysis of the failure of these in&doms ,oints to different causes: the moral de&radation of individual rulers (e.&. )tolemy +' )hilo,ator# caricaturised as a drunard# or Antiochus ,i,hanes# the 8madman8* is made worse $y the intri&ues of Hellenistic courts and the su,er,ower of courtiers# constantly ,lottin& a&ainst the in&s# and $y the financial ,ro$lems of the in&s who often $e&&ed for loans of cash from the haute $our&eoisie. )oly$ius8 view is that the chaos and ar$itrary ?uality inherent to the Hellenistic monarchies would never $e ,ossi$le in 5ome. The other ideolo&ical focus of )oly$ius is the 8ideal democracy8 of the Achaean@ea&ue# which remains however sus,ended in a nostal&ic and ,atriotic lim$o. )oly$ius thus e,lains the rise of 5ome in terms of technical su,eriority: stron&er army and more efficient institutions# $ut no $etter culture. 4ulture remains firmly anchored to the side of the losers.@ucio Troiani ,rovides a new com,arative analysis of 1 and 2 /acca$ees. Throu&h anattentive eamination of the differences in $ac&round# readershi,# lan&ua&e and style# and a careful consideration of the different em,hasis that each $oo ,laces on different ,arts of the same story (the /acca$ean revolt a&ainst 8Hellenism8* he shows that the ,ur,ose# ori&in and date of com,osition of the two wors are radically different. 1 /acca$ees is a local history# written $y an inha$itant of udea# of the deeds of the /acca$ean $rothers udas# onathan and <imon# that loos at circa forty years and sto,s with the rise of ohn Hyrcanus +. The historical and cultural  $ac&round of this wor remains a mystery. However# it seems clear that its main concern is to show how the /acca$ean heroes defended the national reli&ious and le&al tradition a&ainst a ,olicy of forced assimilation and homo&eni9ation. This ,olicy $rou&ht a revival of )alestinian cults which culminated in the construction of a bomos # an altar# in the tem,le of erusalem (the litholatric cults were ty,ical of the 4aananite tri$es# the historical enemies of the ews*. +n 1 /acca$ees# thus# the enemy of udas is not 3ree culture# $ut rather &lo$alisation. 2 /acca$ees is a more so,histicated and stratified wor. +t is a collection of documents with an edifyin&  ,ur,ose# a,,arently aimin& to recall the ;ias,ora ews to the cele$ration of the  traditional cult of erusalem (as is clear from the two introductory letters from the ews of erusalem to the ews of &y,t of 1"B and 12" %4*. /any of the ,ro$lems em,hasised $y the $oo# e.&. the laws of ,urity ( amixia * and the sa$$ath# were  $urnin& issues of discussion amon& the ews of the ;ias,ora cities. or Troiani# the slo&an 8ado,t 3ree customs8# which the author of 2 /acca$ees attri$utes to the reform of Antiochus +'# is ,ro$a$ly a ,olitical catchword that circulated amon& the ews who lived in the 3ree ,oleis. +n su$stance# while 1 /acca$ees loos at the effects of the reform within udaea# the dossier contained in 2 /acca$ees shows the re,ercussions and conse?uences that the reform at erusalem and the /acca$ean movement had for the ;ias,ora. The differences $etween these two ,ers,ectives do not im,ly that one is $etter or more relia$le than the other.The ,erce,tive essay $y ohn /a surveys the ,aradi&matic modern a,,roaches to various as,ects of Hellenism. He starts $y contestin& two $inary models. The first is the alle&ed Hellenistic fusion $etween cultures# versus  a colonial ,aradi&m of radically se,arate cultures# with 3ree culture of the ethnolite $ein& com,letely detached from the local cultures of the dominated &rou,s. The second is the  >uta,osition of a su,,osed decline versus  a continued vitality of the ,olis. The author su&&ests that we should hold $oth ,aradi&ms in our field of vision# and wonders whether all these cate&orisations are a modern ,ro$lem# rather than an ancient one. Hellenistic &y,t# for eam,le# is a land of ,aradoes. The ima&es of the )tolemaic rulers# often miin& 3ree style ,ortraits with &y,tian motifs# &ive us the im,ressionof 8seein& dou$le8# and documents such as the 5osetta stone# ,roduced $y &y,tian  ,riestly lites on the model of the 3ree honorific decree# seem 8stran&e8 to $oth 4lassicists and &y,tolo&ists. /oreover# the &radual 8&y,tianisation8 of the )tolemaic rulers seems to tae ,lace ,recisely when the &y,tian native ,o,ulation is shaen $y re$ellions# and loses for &ood any ,ower of real interaction with the /acedonian rulers. -ther ,aradoes may $e seen at the local level in =aria# @yia# and Hasmonean udaea# where cultural and military resistance to a Hellenistic in&dom leads to the creation of an im,erialist and e,ansionist ,ower# a Hellenistic in&dom such as that which the ,ious ews re$elled a&ainst. The author raises the ?uestion whether all these ,aradoes are inherent to the o$>ect studied# or may have  $een su,erim,osed $y the inter,reters. He concludes that ,aradoes (or# one mi&ht say with inley# 8models8* should emer&e from the ancient documents throu&h an eercise of induction. +n other words# only a com,arison and analysis of the documents can ,rovide conce,tual models that# in turn# need to $e constantly ?uestioned.The essay $y 3ianluca 4asa is a useful survey of a s,ecific oath formula ( exomosia * in Hellenistic ,a,yri. This contri$ution shows the heavy de,endence of Hellenistic le&al terms on &y,tian# or even on 6ear astern institutions# and raises the interestin& ?uestion of the contri$ution of )ersian institutions and $ureaucratic terminolo&y to the )tolemaic state. ;omitilla 4am,anile loos at the introduction of the 5oman conventus  in the ,rovinces and ar&ues that this too ,lace around 1212C %4# when /anius A?uillius reor&anised the new ,rovince of Asia. 4am,anile then turns to loo at the role of the city lites in the echan&e of favours with the 5oman &overnment# down to the im,erial ,eriod# and finds that a ma>or turnin& ,oint was the re?uest in 2 %4 on the ,art of the Asian le&ates to $uild a tem,le to -ctavian and dea Roma  in )er&amum and 6icomedia. This &esture ,rofoundly affected the life of the assem$lies in the cities of Asia# allowin& them to stren&hten their ties with the  centre of ,ower and to insert the local lites into the im,erial administration. inally# the most ori&inal contri$ution is that of -mar 4oloru# who setches a fascinatin&  ,icture of the reminiscences of the 3raeco%actrian in&s in /ediaeval and /odern literature# from %occaccio and 4haucer to =avafis# down to the sciencefiction novels of the American writer H.). @ovecraft.-verall# this collection of essays re,resents a vital contri$ution to the scholarly research on Hellenism. +t is ,resented in a learned# yet accessi$le manner# and is enriched $y an o,enminded# international and interdisci,linary a,,roach. The hu&e si9e of the wor (DDB ,a&es* is ,erha,s $ehind the editor8s choice of havin& neither indees nor &eneral $i$lio&ra,hy. 6onetheless# this is a very welcome contri$ution to Hellenistic <tudies# and a necessary reference wor for all students of ancient history.Ta$le of 4ontentsmilio 3a$$a# E+l mondo culturale del /editerraneo antico e l8idea del classicoE# 4hristian Ha$icht# Eudicial 4ontrol of the @e&islature in 3ree <tatesE# 17%runo Helly# Encore le $l thessalien. Trois dcrets de @arisa (+3 +F 2# D0C* accordant au Athniens licence d8e,ortation et rduction des droits de douane sur leurs achats de $lE# 2Dedericomaria /uccioli# E<tratocle di ;iomeia e la reda9ione tre9enia del 8decreto di Temistocle8E# 10)ierre %riant# E/ichael 5ostovt9eff et le ,assa&e du monde achmnide au monde hellnisti?ueE# 1B7)ierre %riant# E5etour sur Aleandre et les atarrates du Ti&re: l8histoire d8un dossier (suite et fin*E# 1DD/anuela /ari# EThe 5uler 4ult in /acedoniaE# 21)ierre@ouis 3atier# EHraclesurmer et la &o&ra,hie histori?ue de la cGte syrienneE# 2C5aymond ;escat# E+sa$elle )ernin# 6otes sur la chronolo&ie et l8histoire des $au de /ylasaE# 2!D%ia&io 'ir&ilio# E)oli$io# il mondo ellenistico e 5omaE# B1D@ucio Troiani# E6ote storio&rafiche so,ra + e ++ /acca$eiE# B"7ohn /a# E)aradi&ms and )aradoes in the Hellenistic WorldE# B715o$erto /a99ucchi# E/ileto e la sym,oliteia con /iunteE# B!7Andrea )rimo# E<eleuco e /itridate =tistes in un e,isodio del &iovane ;emetrio )oliorceteE# "0  3ianluca 4asa# E3iuro di no. 6ote a )<+ com. '+ 11E# "27rancis F. 5yan# E%readth and ;e,th in the Account of the ;edications to Athana @indiaE# "DD5o$erto <ciandra# E+l 85e dei 5e8 e il 8<atra,o dei <atra,i8: note sulla successione tra /itridate ++ e 3otar9e + a %a$ilonia (ca. "!0 a.e.v.*E# "71;omitilla 4am,anile# E'ita da ,rovinciali: Asia e %itinia in et romanaE# "!)atric 5o$iano# E4as,rius Ilien# ou 4laude IlienJ -u comment )hilostrate crit l8histoireE# D0B-mar 4oloru# E5eminiscen9e dei re &reco$attriani nella letteratura medievale euro,ea e nella sciencefiction americanaE# D1
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