Rawlings 2005

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Rawlings, Louis. 2005. “Hannibal and Hercules”, in Herakles and Hercules: Exploring a Graeco-Roman Divinity. H. Bowden & L. Rawlings (eds.). Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. 153-184.


155: “The hero of the Punica is not Hannibal, but the Roman people as a whole, and, in particular, Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus (Basset 1966, 272-3). Having toyed with the ideas that Marcus Atilius Regulus, Quintus Fabius Maximus, or even Quintus Fulvius Flaccus {notes for all} might be the Herculean saviour of Rome, Silius selects Scipio to demonstrate the strength of Roman virtus.”
Scipio descends to the underworld (where he speaks, among others, to Alexander) in 13.723f.; learns that his mother resides with Alkmene and Leda (other wives of Jupiter) in the Elysian fields 13.631; makes a Prodikos-type choice between Virtus and Voluptas in book 15 (@@@@@find locus@@@@@), and at the end of the poem “his descent from Jupiter is reaffirmed and he is likened to Hercules himself (17.651-4)”.
According to Statius (Silvae 4.6) Hannival woned a statuette of Hercules that had once belonged to Alexander and would later belong to Sulla. The statuette hated Hannibal despite sacrifices and prayers, because he had attacked Saguntum, Hercules’ foundation. Martial (Epig. 9.43), about the same statuette, puts it at Hannibal’s famous youthful vow to hate Rome.
Check again Nepos Hannibal 3.4 with Livy 21.38 to see if either actually says Alpes Graiae et Poenicae.

156: “Cicero, following a summary by Coelius Antipater, claimed that Silenos himself, who was attached to Hannibal’s army, recorded that: after capturing Saguntum, Hannibal dreamed that Jupiter called him to a council of the gods. On his arrival Jupiter ordered him to carry the war into Italy, and gave him one of the council as guide whom he employed when he began the march with the army (Cic. De Div. 1.49 = Silenos FHG 175 F3 J). It is not clear who the messenger is; in Punica 3.183-4 it is Mercurius. But it is possible that originally it was Herakles. The implication of the Silenos fragment is that a process of identification between Hannibal and Herakles “had been set in motion as early as the winter after the fall of Saguntum. It was probably reinforced by the actions of Hannibal himself at that time.” …

157: … referring to his visit in Gades before departure (there is some debate on the historicity of the visit by Rawlings argues convincingly in favor of historicity and adduces further support from other scholars in n. 17). “Hannibal’s actions were in the public domain, so to speak, and open to interpretation by any interested party. A pious act from a Carthaginian perspective could have a different resonance for Greeks who could draw on the mythical career of Herkales for parallels. Timaeus, amongst others, had located Geryon’s island of Erytheia at Gades, so it may have been natural for Greeks observing or participating in Hannibals expedition to make connections derived from the interface between Hellenic myth and Phoenician reflex. If the visit to Gades was historical, it should be inferred that from the very start, Hannibal’s campaign became associated with Herakles’ legendary march to Italy. The circulation of a story concerning Hannibal’s dream may have begun at a similar early point.”

158: a-propos the many-headed catastrophe following Hannibal into Italy, wreaking havoc behind him as he marches: “The belua Lernae is the Hydra slain by Hercules and this is, perhaps, the most direct way to understand the Ciceronian belua circumplicata serpentibus.”

159: A long digression in the Punica (6.140-293) details an event reported in other sources – Regulus’ battle in Africa against a giant serpent that attacked the Roman camp (256 BC). Silius Italicus likens it to the Hydra (6.182) and it is slain by Regulus himself.” Regulus is sorely missed as someone who would be able to thwart Hannibal after the Roman defeats at Trebia and Trasimene. Silius ignores the irony he creates, given that Regulus was actually sorely defeated by the Carthaginians in his own African campaign.
More in 159 on Melqart-Sid as Herakles-Iolaos as Hydra-slayers.

160: “Hannibal, who new the career of Pyrrhus (Plut. Pyrrh. 8.2), would also have been able to draw on this observation, and it is possible that Carthaginians and Macedonians alike visualized Rome as the monster to be overcome, expressing this in the 215 BC treaty through the invocation of Herakles-Melqart.”

161: The Romans reacted to Hannibal’s propaganda onslaught. In 217/6 Minucius dedicated an alther to Hercules. Following Hannibal’s appearance at the temple of Hercules near the Porta Collina in 211 (Livy 26.10.3), Fabius Maximus (himself descended from Hercules and the daughter of Evander) move the shrine to the Capitol. He also transported a statue of Hercules from the hostile Tarentum to the same location.
“After the disaster of Trebbia special prayers were offered at the shrine of Hercules by named individuals and by the whole community (Livy 21.62).
“…in the context of the devastating war with Hannibal, the Romans needed all the divine links they could muster.”

162: the Romans were also deeply involved with the cult of Juventas, the Latin parallel of Greek Hebe, consort of Herakles after his death and apotheosis. In this context note also the ver sacrum of 217 (Livy 22.10.2-6).

163: “In 217/16 BC, as dictator, Fabius was selected to introduce the cult of Venus Erycina (Astarte) to Rome.”
“The region of Eryx had rich associations of its own with Melqart-Herakles”. Herodotus 5.42-3 on Dorieus, thwarted in Sicily by the Carthaginians. Plutarch Pyrrh. 22.5-6 “records that when Pyrrhus later captured Eryx from the Carthaginians, he celebrated games in Herkles’ honour, yet Diodorus (22.10.3) goes as far as to suggest that Pyrrhus attacked Eryx to rival Herakles. (imitation of Alexander at Aornos? OA).
“The divergence between Diodorus and Plutarch reinforces the observation made earlier that different slants could be places on the relationship of a military figure to this god; it is possible to see that piety could be easily transformed into rivalry, and vice versa. Either way, it is worth noting that Herakles was invoked in the context of a war with the Carthaginians. It suggests that the experiences of the Romans in facing or enlisting this deity were part of a well-established religious, military and political discourse in the Western Mediterranean.”

164: Agathokles “appears to have enlisted the image of Herakles against Carthage and alluded to the hero on a number of wartime coinage issues between 310-307 BC.” These display the images of a club over a lion, and one gold stater issue has Herakles with an elephant scalp (Fig.1), following the coinage of Ptolemy I (and possibly of Alexander himself; Mir-Zakah problem; OA).

166: “The connections between Herakles, Alexander Agathokles and Pyrrhus are clearly part of a shifting discourse of power, conquest and legitimacy that could be directed at Greeks and (Phoenician) Barbarians.”
“Given the conservative tradition of Punic coinage, primarily limited to the representations of the goddess Tanit on the obverse, and reverses usually depicting either horse of palm tree…these designs are striking.”

168: “The reverses depict elephants, unknown in the issues of Carthage itself but common for Barcid Spain…”
Concerning the mercenary rebellion during the “Truceless War” (241-237 BC): “A lion appears on the reverse of these issues, often with ΛΙΒΥΩΝ

169: “in the exergue. The invocation of ‘Libya’ helps to transform the character of these issues. The rebels … proposed through this coinage an alternative to the hated Carthaginian enemy”.
Hannibal’s father, Hamilcar, centered much of his operations in IPW on Eryx.
“it may have been from Eryx that Hamilcar’s veterans derived an association with the god that they were to utilize in their rebellion against Carthage after the First Punic War.”
On the rebels and their intention in minting see Robinson, E.S.G. 1953. “A Hoard of coins of the Libyans”, NC Numismatic Chronicle, 27-32 (on p. 30).
Further on 180 n. 75 on the rebel coins: “the recent campaigning at Eryx suggests that they had made their own connection with the god. The revolutionary invocation of “Libya” on their issues points to an ability to go beyond the purely Punic precedents. Indeed, if there had been a general awareness, both among the army and the Carthaginians, of the earlier precedent, then the combination ‘of the camp’ and ‘Libya’ makes their point even more emphatically – the Carthaginians were on their own; their army, their subjects and even Melqart-Herakles opposed them.”

170: “The concepts of Herakles as a dynast, general, liberator and traveler were available for manipulation by the Barcids if they so chose. The symbolism of the god, with its Hellenistic pedigree in coinage and for propaganda, provided a unifying image for Hannibal. Herakles, being multiform and unitary, was a useful icon for a commander leading many nations of allies and mercenaries. The analogues of the god, Punic Melqart, Italian Hercules, Greek Herakles, but also possibly Gallic Omigos and African Makeris, could be harnessed and marshaled for service under the single banner of Hannibal.” (With Brizzi, G. 1994. Studi di storia annibalica, 50).

171: “In particular , with the absence of Hannibal, the Spanish mints began to produce portraits devoid of laurel and club. The elephant reverse cam to be replaced by the more traditional horse and palm types…”.
“It seems clear that the Romans were capable of engaging both Greeks and Punic analogues, in a rich and complex manner. The promotion and importation of certain cults and rituals indicate how, in the short-term, the Republic and the Roman elite felt and addressed the multi-levelled threat posed by association of Hannibal and Hercules.”

172: The Barcids “appear to have taken on the revolutionary symbolism of Melqart-Herakles generated in the African wars, and to have fed it back into the Italian and Greek world…”