Julia Domna was a Roman empress of Syrian origin, the second wife of Septimius Severus. She was born in Emesa in the Roman province of Syria, into a family of priests of the deity Elagabalus; as a powerful political figure and member of the imperial family, Julia received titles such as "mother of the army camps". She was famous for her philosophical influence. After Severus' death in 211, his two sons with Julia and Caracalla, ruled jointly over Rome. Caracalla had Geta assassinated that year. Julia continued to have a powerful role during the reign of Caracalla. Julia is thought to have committed suicide in 217 upon hearing of the assassination of Caracalla. After her death, her older sister Julia Maesa contended for political power. Julia Domna was born in Emesa in Syria around 160 AD to a family of Arab descent, her name, Domna, is an archaic Arabic word. She was the youngest daughter of the high-priest of Ba'al Gaius Julius Bassianus and sister to Julia Maesa. Through her sister and Maesa's husband Julius Avitus, Julia Domna had two nieces: Julia Soaemias and Julia Mamaea, the respective mothers of future Roman emperors Elagabalus and Severus Alexander.
Julia's ancestors were priest kings of the famous temple of Elagabalus. The family was promoted to Roman senatorial aristocracy. Before her marriage, Julia inherited the estate of her paternal great-uncle Julius Agrippa, a former leading centurion. In the late 180s, Julia married the Libyan Roman general Septimius Severus; the marriage proved happy, Severus cherished Julia and her political opinions, since she was well-read and a student of philosophy. They had two sons, Caracalla in 188 and Geta in 189. After the Roman emperor Commodus was murdered without an heir in 192, many contenders rushed for the throne, including Julia's husband, Septimius Severus. An elder senator, was appointed by the praetorian guard as the new emperor of Rome, but when Pertinax would not meet the guard's demands, he too was murdered. Another politician, Didius Julianus, was called to appointed emperor. Severus, coming from the north into Rome, had him executed. Severus claimed the title of emperor in 193. By offering Clodius Albinus, a powerful governor of Britannia, the rank of Caesar, Severus could focus on his other rival to the throne, Pescennius Niger, whom he defeated at the Battle of Issus in 194.
When afterwards Severus declared his son Caracalla as successor, Clodius Albinus was hailed emperor by his troops. At the Battle of Lugdunum in 197, Severus defeated and killed Albinus, establishing himself as Emperor, thus Julia Domna became Empress consort. Unlike most imperial wives, Julia remarkably accompanied her husband on his military campaigns and stayed in camp with the army. During this time, honorary titles were granted to Julia similar to those given to Faustina the Younger, including mater castrorum, mother of the camp, mater Augustus, mother of Augustus, mater patriae, mother of the fatherland; the empress was involved in building projects, most notably the aedes Vestae after the fire of Commodus in 192 destroyed areas of the temple and the home, or Atrium, of the Vestal Virgins. Julia was respected and viewed positively for most of her tenure, as indicators and evidence include the coins minted with her portrait, mentioning her with several honorary titles and simply as "Julia Augusta".
Julia is said to have exceeded all other Roman empresses in honours. The hairstyle that she used would be worn by Roman empress Cornelia Salonina and Palmyran queen Zenobia; when Severus died in 211 in Eboracum, Julia became the mediator between their two sons and Geta, who were supposed to rule as joint emperors, according to their father's wishes expressed in his will. The two young men were never quarrelled frequently. Geta was murdered by Caracalla's soldiers in the same year. Geta's name was removed from inscriptions and his image was erased. During his campaign against the Parthian empire in 217, Caracalla was assassinated by a Roman soldier. Julia chose to commit suicide after hearing about the rebellion a decision hastened by the fact that she was suffering from breast cancer, as well as a reluctance to return to private life, her sister Julia Maesa restored the Severan dynasty about a year after Julia Domna's death. Julia Domna's body was placed in the Sepulcrum C. et L. Caesaris. However, both her bones and those of Geta were transferred by Julia Maesa to the Mausoleum of Hadrian.
Julia Domna is remembered for encouraging Philostratus to write the Life of Apollonius of Tyana. Julia is thought to have died. Minaud, Gérard. Les vies de 12 femmes d'empereur romain: intrigues & voluptés. Harmattan. Pp. 211–242. ISBN 978-2-3360-0291-0. Fejfer, Jane. Roman Portraits in Context. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-1101-8664-2
Life of Apollonius of Tyana
Life of Apollonius of Tyana is a text in eight books written in Ancient Greece by Philostratus. It tells the story of Apollonius of a Pythagorean philosopher and teacher; the book extensively describes the alleged travels of Apollonius to Italy, Nubia and India. Some scholars view it as fiction, contend that Apollonius never reached any of these countries, but spent his entire life in the East of the Roman Empire. According to Philostratus, his book relies on a multiplicity of sources: A book on the youth of Apollonius, written by Maximus of Aegae Memoirs written by a disciple of Apollonius, Damis; the "Memorabilia of Apollonius of Tyana and philosopher", written by a Moeragenes, although Philostratus considers that account rather unreliable. Local knowledge from towns like Ephesus, Tyana and Antioch; the eastward travel of Apollonius is described in Book I. Apollonius receives from the Parthian king Vardanes a safe-conduct to the Parthian ruler Phraotes in India: And with that, he showed them a letter, written to that effect, this gave them occasion to marvel afresh at the humanity and foresight of Vardanes.
For he had addressed the letter in question to the satrap of the Indus, although he was not subject to his dominion. But he said he would be grateful, if he could give a welcome to Apollonius and send him on wherever he wished to go, and he had given gold to the guide, so that in case he found Apollonius in want thereof, he might give it him and save him from looking to the generosity of anyone else. – Book II:17 The description of Apollonius's visit to India is made in Book II, the visit to the city of Taxila, described in chapters 20 to 24. He describes constructions of the Greek type in Taxila referring to Sirkap: Taxila, they tell us, is about as big as Nineveh, was fortified well after the manner of Greek cities. I have described the way in which the city is walled, but they say that it was divided up into narrow streets in the same irregular manner as in Athens, that the houses were built in such a way that if you look at them from outside they had only one story, while if you went into one of them, you at once found subterranean chambers extending as far below the level of the earth as did the chambers above.
– Book II:23 He explains that the Indo-Parthian king of Taxila, named Phraotes, speaks Greek fluently, a language in which he had been educated while in exile to the east, beyond the river Hyphasis: Tell me, O King, how you acquired such a command of the Greek tongue, whence you derived all your philosophical attainments in this place? – Book II:29 My father, after a Greek education, brought me to the sages at an age somewhat too early for I was only twelve at the time, but they brought me up like their own son. – Book II:31 Philostratus: The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, trans. F. C. Conybeare, vol. 1 and 2, Harvard University Press, Cambridge 1911, ISBN 0-674-99018-8 and ISBN 0-674-99019-6 Philostratus: The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, ed. Christopher P. Jones, vol. 1 and 2, Harvard University Press, Cambridge 2005, ISBN 0-674-99613-5 and ISBN 0-674-99614-3 Jaap-Jan Flinterman: Power and Pythagoreanism, Amsterdam 1995, ISBN 90-5063-236-X Maria Dzielska: Apollonius of Tyana in Legend and History, Rome 1986, ISBN 88-7062-599-0 Graham Anderson: Philostratus.
Biography and Belles Lettres in the Third Century A. D. London 1986, ISBN 0-7099-0575-0 Theios Sophistès. Essays on Flavius Philostratus' Vita Apollonii. Edited by Kristoffel Demoen and Danny Praet. Leiden, Brill, 2008, xvi, 405 pp. Dall'Asta, Matthias. Philosoph, Scharlatan und Antichrist: zur Rezeption von Philostrats Vita Apollonii in der Renaissance.. Heidelberg, Winter, 2008. Xii, 403 S. Flinterman, J.-J. "“The Ancestor of My Wisdom”: Pythagoras and Pythagoreanism in Life of Apollonius," in Philostratus. Ed. by E. Bowie and J. Elsner. Cambridge, 2009, 155–175; the Life of Apollonius, translated by F. C. Conybeare, 1912, Loeb Classical Library fresh translations by Mahlon H. Smith of passages related to spirit possession and exorcism Study Guide translated by F. C. Conybeare, with 56,000 words of notes and coordinates to many sites within the text Excerpt from the Life of Apollonius of Tyana The Life of Apollonius of Tyana public domain audiobook at LibriVox
Tyre, sometimes romanized as Sour, is a district capital in the South Governorate of Lebanon. There were 117,000 inhabitants in 2003. However, the government of Lebanon has released only rough estimates of population numbers since 1932, so an accurate statistical accounting is not possible. Tyre is located about 80 km south of Beirut; the name of the city means "rock" after the rocky formation on which the town was built. The adjective for Tyre is Tyrian, the inhabitants are Tyrians. Tyre is the legendary birthplace of Europa and Dido. Today it is the fourth largest city in Lebanon after Beirut, Tripoli and Sidon. and houses one of the nation's major ports. Tourism is a major industry; the city has a number of ancient sites, including its Roman Hippodrome, added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites in 1979. Tyre consisted of two distinct urban centres: Tyre itself, on an island just off shore, the associated settlement of Ushu on the adjacent mainland. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city, demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone.
The original island city had two harbours, one on the south side and the other on the north side of the island. It was the two harbours; the harbour on the south side has silted over. In ancient times, the island-city of Tyre was fortified and the mainland settlement called Ushu was more like a line of suburbs than any one city and was used as a source of water and timber for the main island city. Josephus records that the two fought against each other on occasion, but most of the time, they supported one another because they both benefited from the island city's wealth from maritime trade and the mainland area's source of timber and burial grounds. According to Herodotus, Tyre was founded around 2750 BC and built as a walled city upon the mainland. Tyre's name appears on monuments as early as 1300 BC. Philo of Byblos quotes the antiquarian authority Sanchuniathon as stating that it was first occupied by Hypsuranius. Sanchuniathon's work is said to be dedicated to "Abibalus king of Berytus"—possibly the Abibaal, king of Tyre.
There are ten Amarna letters dated 1350 BC from the mayor, written to Akenaten. The subject is water and the Habiru overtaking the countryside of the mainland and how that affected the island-city. Commerce from throughout ancient world was gathered into the warehouses of Tyre. Tyrian merchants were the first. Tyre became one of the more powerful cities in Phoenicia. One of its kings, the priest Ithobaal, ruled Phoenicia as far north as Beirut, part of Cyprus. Carthage was founded in 814 BC under Pygmalion of Tyre; the collection of city-states constituting Phoenicia came to be characterized by outsiders and the Phoenicians as Sidonia or Tyria. Phoenicians and Canaanites alike were called Sidonians or Tyrians, as one Phoenician city came to prominence after another; the city of Tyre was known for the production of a rare and extraordinarily expensive sort of purple dye, produced from the murex shellfish, known as Tyrian purple. The colour was, in ancient cultures, reserved for the use of royalty or at least the nobility.
Phoenicians from Tyre settled in houses around Memphis in Egypt, south of the temple of Hephaestus in a district called the Tyrian Camp. Tyre was attacked by Egypt and was besieged by Assyrian king Shalmaneser V, assisted by the Phoenicians of the mainland, for five years. From 586 until 573 BC, the city was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon until it agreed to pay a tribute; the Achaemenid Empire of King Cyrus the Great conquered the city in 539 BC and kept it under its rule until 332 BC. The Persians divided Phoenicia into four vassal kingdoms: Sidon, Tyre and Byblos, they prospered. Phoenician influence declined after this. After his conquest of Persia, Alexander the Great moved his armies south towards Lebanon sieging and sacking the City of Tyre. Alexander the Great connected the island to the mainland by constructing a causeway during his siege of the city in 332 BC, demolishing the old city to reuse its cut stone. In 315 BC, Alexander's former general Antigonus began his own siege of Tyre, taking the city a year later.
In 126 BC, Tyre regained its independence from the Seleucid Empire. Tyre was allowed to keep much of its independence, as a "civitas foederata", when the area became a Roman province in 64 BC. Tyre continued to maintain much of its commercial importance until the Common Era; the Tyrians, or "people of Tyre" during the Roman period, extended their areas of hegemony over the adjoining regions, such as in northern Palestine region, settling in cities such as Kedesh, Mount Carmel and north of Baca. It is stated in the New Testament that Jesus
Benjamin Jonson was an English playwright, poet and literary critic, whose artistry exerted a lasting impact upon English poetry and stage comedy. He popularised the comedy of humours, he is best known for the satirical plays Every Man in His Humour, Volpone, or The Fox, The Alchemist and Bartholomew Fair and for his lyric and epigrammatic poetry. "He is regarded as the second most important English dramatist, after William Shakespeare, during the reign of James I."Jonson was a classically educated, well-read and cultured man of the English Renaissance with an appetite for controversy whose cultural influence was of unparalleled breadth upon the playwrights and the poets of the Jacobean era and of the Caroline era. In midlife, Jonson claimed that his paternal grandfather, who'served King Henry 8 and was a gentleman', was a member of the extended Johnston family of Annandale in the Dumfries and Galloway, a genealogy, attested by the three spindles in the Jonson family coat of arms: one spindle is a diamond-shaped heraldic device used by the Johnston family.
Jonson's father lost his property, was imprisoned, suffered forfeiture under Queen Mary. Jonson's mother married a master bricklayer two years later. Jonson attended school in St Martin's Lane. A family friend paid for his studies at Westminster School, where the antiquarian, historian and officer of arms, William Camden was one of his masters. In the event, the pupil and the master became friends, the intellectual influence of Camden's broad-ranging scholarship upon Jonson's art and literary style remained notable, until Camden's death in 1623. On leaving Westminster School, Jonson was to have attended the University of Cambridge, to continue his book learning but did not, because of his unwilled apprenticeship to his bricklayer stepfather. According to the churchman and historian Thomas Fuller, Jonson at this time built a garden wall in Lincoln's Inn. After having been an apprentice bricklayer, Ben Jonson went to the Netherlands and volunteered to soldier with the English regiments of Francis Vere in Flanders.
The Hawthornden Manuscripts, of the conversations between Ben Jonson and the poet William Drummond of Hawthornden, report that, when in Flanders, Jonson engaged and killed an enemy soldier in single combat, took for trophies the weapons of the vanquished soldier. After his military activity on the Continent, Jonson returned to England and worked as an actor and as a playwright; as an actor, Jonson was the protagonist “Hieronimo” in the play The Spanish Tragedy, by Thomas Kyd, the first revenge tragedy in English literature. Moreover, by 1597, he was a working playwright employed by Philip Henslowe, the leading producer for the English public theatre. Regarding his marriage Jonson described his wife to William Drummond as "a shrew, yet honest"; the identity of Jonson's wife has always been obscure, yet she sometimes is identified as "Ann Lewis", the woman who married a Benjamin Jonson in 1594, at the church of St Magnus-the-Martyr, near London Bridge. Concerning the family of Anne Lewis and Ben Jonson, the St. Martin's Church registers indicate that Mary Jonson, their eldest daughter, died in November 1593, at six months of age.
A decade in 1603, Benjamin Jonson, their eldest son, died of Bubonic plague when he was seven years old. Moreover, 32 years a second son named Benjamin Jonson, died in 1635. In that period, Ann Lewis and Ben Jonson lived separate lives for five years. By summer 1597, Jonson had a fixed engagement in the Admiral's Men performing under Philip Henslowe's management at The Rose. John Aubrey reports, on uncertain authority. By this time Jonson had begun to write original plays for the Admiral's Men. None of his early tragedies survive, however. An undated comedy, may be his earliest surviving play. In 1597 a play which he co-wrote with Thomas Nashe, The Isle of Dogs, was suppressed after causing great offence. Arrest warrants for Jonson and Nashe were issued by Queen Elizabeth I's so-called interrogator, Richard Topcliffe. Jonson was jailed in Marshalsea Prison and charged with "Leude and mutynous behaviour", while Nashe managed to escape to Great Yarmouth. Two of the actors, Gabriel Spenser and Robert Shaw, were imprisoned.
A year Jonson was again imprisoned, this time in Newgate Prison, for killing Gabriel Spenser in a duel on 22 September 1598 in Hogsden Fields. Tried on a charge of manslaughter, Jonson pleaded guilty but was released by benefit of clergy, a legal ploy through which he gained leniency by reciting a brief bible verse, forfeiting his'goods and chattels' and being branded on his left thumb. While in jail Jonson converted to Catholicism through the influence of fellow-prisoner Father Thomas Wright, a Jesuit priest. In 1598 Jons
Pythagoreanism originated in the 6th century BC, based on the teachings and beliefs held by Pythagoras and his followers, the Pythagoreans. Pythagoras established the first Pythagorean community in Italy. Early-Pythagorean communities lived throughout Magna Graecia. Espousing a rigorous life of the intellect and strict rules on diet and behavior comprised a cult of following Pythagorean's Code. For example, the Code's diet prohibits the consumption or touching any sort of bean or legume. Pythagoras’ death and disputes about his teachings led to the development of two philosophical traditions within Pythagoreanism; the practitioners of akousmatikoi were superseded in the 4th century BC as a significant mendicant school of philosophy by the Cynics. The Pythagorean mathēmatikoi philosophers were in the 4th century BC absorbed into the Platonic school. Following the political instability in the Magna Graecia, some Pythagorean philosophers fled to mainland Greece while others regrouped in Rhegium. By about 400 BC the majority of Pythagorean philosophers had left Italy.
Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato and through him, on all of Western philosophy. Many of the surviving sources on Pythagoras originate with Aristotle and the philosophers of the Peripatetic school; as a philosophic tradition, Pythagoreanism was revived in the 1st century BC, giving rise to Neopythagoreanism. The worship of Pythagoras continued in Italy and as a religious community Pythagoreans appear to have survived as part of, or influenced, the Bacchic cults and Orphism. Pythagoras was in ancient times well known for the mathematical achievement of the Pythagorean theorem. Pythagoras had discovered that "in a right-angled triangle the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the squares of the other two sides". In ancient times Pythagoras was noted for his discovery that music had mathematical foundations. Antique sources that credit Pythagoras as the philosopher who first discovered music intervals credit him as the inventor of the monochord, a straight rod on which a string and a movable bridge could be used to demonstrate the relationship of musical intervals.
Much of the surviving sources on Pythagoras originate with Aristotle and the philosophers of the Peripatetic school, which founded histographical academic traditions such as biography and the history of science. The surviving 5th century BC sources on Pythagoras and early Pythagoreanism are void of supernatural elements. While surviving 4th century BC sources on Pythagoreas' teachings introduced legend and fable. Philosophers who discussed Pythagoreanism, such as Anaximander, Andron of Ephesus and Neanthes had access to historical written sources as well as the oral tradition about Pythagoreanism, which by the 4th century BC was in decline. Neopythagorean philosophers, who authored many of the surviving sources on Pythagoreanism, continued the tradition of legend and fantasy; the earliest surviving ancient source on Pythagoras and his followers is a satire by Xenophanes, on the Pythagorean beliefs on the transmigration of souls. Xenophanes wrote of Pythagoras that: Once they say that he was passing by when a puppy was being whipped, And he took pity and said: "Stop!
Do not beat it! For it is the soul of a friend That I recognized when I heard it giving tongue." In a surviving fragment from Heraclitus and his followers are described as follows: Pythagoras, the son of Mnesarchus, practised inquiry beyond all other men and selecting of these writings made for himself a wisdom or made a wisdom of his own: a polymathy, an imposture. Two other surviving fragments of ancient sources on Pythagoras are by Ion of Empedocles. Both were born after Pythagoras' death. By that time he was known as a sage and his fame had spread throughout Greece. According to Ion, Pythagoras was:... distinguished for his many virtue and modesty in death has a life, pleasing to his soul, if Pythagoras the wise achieved knowledge and understanding beyond that of all men. Empedocles described Pythagoras as "a man of surpassing knowledge, master of all kinds of wise works, who had acquired the upmost wealth of understanding." In the 4th century BC the Sophist Alcidamas wrote that Pythagoras was honored by Italians.
Today scholars distinguish two periods of Pythagoreanism: early-Pythagoreanism, from the 6th till the 5th century BC, late-Pythagoreanism, from the 4th till the 3rd century BC. The Spartan colony of Taranto in Italy became the home for many practitioners of Pythagoreanism and for Neopythagorean philosophers. Pythagoras had lived in Crotone and Metaponto, both were Achaean colonies. Early-Pythagorean sects lived throughout Magna Graecia, they espoused to a rigorous life of the intellect and strict rules on diet and behavior. Their burial rites were tied to their belief in the immortality of the soul. Early-Pythagorean sects were closed societies and new Pythagoreans were chosen based on merit and discipline. Ancient sources record that early-Pythagoreans underwent a five year initiation period of listening to the teachings in silence. Initiates could through a test become members of the inner circle. However, Pythagoreans could leave the community if they wished. Iamblichus listed 235 Pythagoreans by name, among them 17 women who he described as the "most famous" women practitioners of Pythagoreanism.
It was customary that family members became Pythagoreans, as Pythagoreanism developed into a philosophic traditions that entailed rules for everyday life and Pythagoreans were bound by secrets. The home of a Pythagorean was known as the site of mysteries. Pythagoras had been born on the island of Samos at around 570 BC and left his homeland at around 530 BC in opposition
The Academy was founded by Plato in c. 387 BC in Athens. Aristotle studied there for twenty years before founding the Lyceum; the Academy persisted throughout the Hellenistic period as a skeptical school, until coming to an end after the death of Philo of Larissa in 83 BC. The Platonic Academy was destroyed by the Roman dictator Sulla in 86 BC; the Akademia was a school outside the city walls of ancient Athens. It was located in or beside a grove of olive trees dedicated to the goddess Athena, on the site before Cimon enclosed the precincts with a wall; the archaic name for the site was Ἑκαδήμεια, which by classical times evolved into Ἀκαδημία, explained, at least as early as the beginning of the 6th century BC, by linking it to “Akademos”, a legendary Athenian hero. The site of the Academy was sacred to Athena; the site was also associated with the twin hero-gods Castor and Polydeuces, since the hero Akademos associated with the site was credited with revealing to the brothers where the abductor Paris had hidden their sister Helen.
Out of respect for its long tradition and its association with the Dioscuri – who were patron gods of Sparta – the Spartan army would not ravage these original ‘groves of Academe’ when they invaded Attica. Their piety was not shared by the Roman Sulla, who axed the sacred olive trees of Athena in 86 BC to build siege engines. Among the religious observances that took place at the Akademeia was a torchlit night race from altars within the city to Prometheus’ altar in the Akademeia; the road to Akademeia was lined with the gravestones of Athenians, funeral games took place in the area as well as a Dionysiac procession from Athens to the Hekademeia and back to the city. The site of the Academy is located near Colonus 1.5 kilometres north of Athens' Dipylon gates. The site was rediscovered in the modern Akadimia Platonos neighbourhood. Visitors today can visit the archaeological site of the Academy located on either side of the Cratylus street in the area of Colonos and Plato's Academy. On either side of the Cratylus street are important monuments, including the Sacred House Geometric Era, the Gymnasium, the Proto-Helladic Vaulted House and the Peristyle Building, the only major building that belonged to the actual Academy of Plato.
What was to be known as Plato's school originated around the time Plato inherited the property at the age of thirty, with informal gatherings which included Theaetetus of Sunium, Archytas of Tarentum, Leodamas of Thasos, Neoclides. According to Debra Nails, Speusippus "joined the group in about 390 BC", she claims, "It is not until Eudoxus of Cnidos arrives in the mid-380s BC that Eudemus recognizes a formal Academy." There is no historical record of the exact time the school was founded, but modern scholars agree that the time was the mid-380s sometime after 387 BC, when Plato is thought to have returned from his first visit to Italy and Sicily. The meetings were held on Plato's property as as they were at the nearby Academy gymnasium. Though the Academic club was exclusive and not open to the public, it did not, at least during Plato's time, charge fees for membership. Therefore, there was not at that time a "school" in the sense of a clear distinction between teachers and students, or a formal curriculum.
There was, however, a distinction between junior members. Two women are known to have studied with Plato at the Academy, Axiothea of Phlius and Lasthenia of Mantinea. In at least Plato's time, the school did not have any particular doctrine to teach. There is evidence of lectures given, most notably Plato's lecture "On the Good". According to an unverifiable story, dated of some 700 years after the founding of the school, above the entrance to the Academy was inscribed the phrase "Let None But Geometers Enter Here."Many have imagined that the Academic curriculum would have resembled the one canvassed in Plato's Republic. Others, have argued that such a picture ignores the obvious peculiar arrangements of the ideal society envisioned in that dialogue; the subjects of study certainly included mathematics as well as the philosophical topics with which the Platonic dialogues deal, but there is little reliable evidence. There is some evidence for what today would be considered scientific research: Simplicius reports that Plato had instructed the other members to discover the simplest explanation of the observable, irregular motion of heavenly bodies: "by hypothesizing what uniform and ordered motions is it possible to save the appearances relating to planetary motions."
Plato's Academy is said to have been a school for would-be politicians in the ancient world, to have had many illustrious alumni. In a recent survey of the evidence, Malcolm Schofield, has argued that it is difficult to know to what extent the Academy was interested in practical politics since much of our evidence "reflects ancient polemic for or against Plato", it is believed that above the door of Plato's Academy was written Ἀγεωμέτρητος μηδεὶς εἰσίτω ("Let
The Metamorphoses is a Latin narrative poem by the Roman poet Ovid, considered his magnum opus. Comprising 11,995 lines, 15 books and over 250 myths, the poem chronicles the history of the world from its creation to the deification of Julius Caesar within a loose mythico-historical framework. Although meeting the criteria for an epic, the poem defies simple genre classification by its use of varying themes and tones. Ovid took inspiration from the genre of metamorphosis poetry, some of the Metamorphoses derives from earlier treatment of the same myths. One of the most influential works in Western culture, the Metamorphoses has inspired such authors as Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare. Numerous episodes from the poem have been depicted in acclaimed works of sculpture and music. Although interest in Ovid faded after the Renaissance, there was a resurgence of attention to his work towards the end of the 20th century. Today the Metamorphoses continues to be retold through various media.
The work has been the subject of numerous translations into English, the first by William Caxton in 1480. Ovid's decision to make myth the dominant subject of the Metamorphoses was influenced by the predisposition of Alexandrian poetry. However, whereas it served in that tradition as the cause for moral reflection or insight, he made it instead the "object of play and artful manipulation"; the model for a collection of metamorphosis myths derived from a pre-existing genre of metamorphosis poetry in the Hellenistic tradition, of which the earliest known example is Boio' Ornithogonia—a now-fragmentary poem collecting myths about the metamorphoses of humans into birds. There are three examples of Metamorphoses by Hellenistic writers, but little is known of their contents; the Heteroioumena by Nicander of Colophon is better known, an influence on the poem—21 of the stories from this work were treated in the Metamorphoses. However, in a way, typical for writers of the period, Ovid diverged from his models.
The Metamorphoses was longer than any previous collection of metamorphosis myths and positioned itself within a historical framework. Some of the Metamorphoses derives from earlier poetic treatment of the same myths; this material was of varying quality and comprehensiveness—while some of it was "finely worked", in other cases Ovid may have been working from limited material. In the case of an oft-used myth such as that of Io in Book I, the subject of literary adaptation as early as the 5th century BC, as as a generation prior to his own, Ovid reorganises and innovates existing material in order to foreground his favoured topics and to embody the key themes of the Metamorphoses. Scholars have found it difficult to place the Metamorphoses in a genre; the poem has been considered as a type of epic. The poem is considered to meet the criteria for an epic. However, the poem "handles the themes and employs the tone of every species of literature", ranging from epic and elegy to tragedy and pastoral.
Commenting on the genre debate, G. Karl Galinsky has opined that "... it would be misguided to pin the label of any genre on the Metamorphoses."The Metamorphoses is comprehensive in its chronology, recounting the creation of the world to the death of Julius Caesar, which had occurred only a year before Ovid's birth. In spite of its unbroken chronology, scholar Brooks Otis has identified four divisions in the narrative: Book I–Book II: The Divine Comedy Book III–Book VI, 400: The Avenging Gods Book VI, 401–Book XI: The Pathos of Love Book XII–Book XV: Rome and the Deified RulerOvid works his way through his subject matter in an arbitrary fashion, by jumping from one transformation tale to another, sometimes retelling what had come to be seen as central events in the world of Greek mythology and sometimes straying in odd directions, it begins with the ritual "invocation of the muse", makes use of traditional epithets and circumlocutions. But instead of following and extolling the deeds of a human hero, it leaps from story to story with little connection.
The recurring theme, as with nearly all of Ovid's work, is love—be it personal love or love personified in the figure of Amor. Indeed, the other Roman gods are perplexed and made ridiculous by Amor, an otherwise minor god of the pantheon, the closest thing this putative mock-epic has to a hero. Apollo comes in for particular ridicule as Ovid shows how irrational love can confound the god out of reason; the work as a whole inverts the accepted order, elevating humans and human passions while making the gods and their desires and conquests objects of low humor. The Metamorphoses ends with one of only two surviving Latin epics to do so; the ending acts as a declaration that everything except his poetry—even Rome—must give way to change: "Now stands my task accomp