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Saturday, May 05, 2007

REVIEW (2) of Parsons, City of the Sharp-nosed Fishes

The strangely familiar world of Oxyrhynchus

Mary Beard
From the Times Literary Supplement
Peter Parsons
Greek lives in Roman Egypt
320pp. Weidenfeld and Nicolson. £25.
978 0 297 64588 7

In AD 19, the Roman prince Germanicus paid a royal visit to Alexandria in Egypt. According to a surviving papyrus record, he was given a rapturous reception by the crowds. He had hardly got through the first sentence of his speech (“I was sent by my father, gentlemen of Alexandria . . .”) when they broke into applause. And cries of “Bravo” and “Good luck” continued to punctuate his address – as he begged for a chance to be heard in peace, explained how difficult his journey had been, and how much he was missing his family in Rome (including his adopted father, the Emperor Tiberius, and his “granny”, as he affectionately called the austere – and possibly murderous – Empress Livia), and complimented his listeners on their lovely historic town. The Alexandrians probably overdid their enthusiasm. Another papyrus preserves part of the text of an edict issued by Germanicus on this same visit. The gist of it is that if they continue to treat him like a god, then he will show his displeasure by staying away and making rather fewer epiphanies in the future. more at the Association for Latin Teaching

Source: Evanagelical textual Ciritism weblog, Fri. May 4 2007

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