The late antique afterlife of Roman exemplarity : The case of Scipio Nasica in Livy, Ab urbe condita 29 and Augustine, De civitate Dei 1.30-2.5

Journal article


Krauss, Katherine. (2021). The late antique afterlife of Roman exemplarity : The case of Scipio Nasica in Livy, Ab urbe condita 29 and Augustine, De civitate Dei 1.30-2.5. Classical Quarterly. 71(2), pp. 676-687. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009838821000793
AuthorsKrauss, Katherine
Abstract

This article calls for a new understanding of the relationship between classicizing and Christian discourses of exemplarity through a close reading of the figure of Scipio Nasica in Livy, Ab urbe condita Book 29 and Augustine, De ciuitate Dei Books 1–2. Nasica, whose selection as a uir optimus by the Senate in 204 B.C.E. has puzzled modern scholars, was a source of historiographical difficulty for Livy that prompted him to reflect upon exemplarity, mythmaking and the tenuous relationship between past and present. For Augustine, on the other hand, Nasica was a pagan, and thus imperfect, realization of Christian pietas and restraint from luxurious behaviour. Although differing in their interpretations of the Republican exemplum, both Livy and Augustine point to the complexities inherent in invocations of paradigmatic Roman maiores. The close study of Scipio Nasica thus reveals the classicizing precedent lingering behind the supposedly ‘Christian’ rejections of pre-Christian Roman culture in the De ciuitate Dei.

KeywordsLivy; Augustine; Scipio Nasica; Magna Mater; exemplarity
Year2021
JournalClassical Quarterly
Journal citation71 (2), pp. 676-687
PublisherCambridge University Press
ISSN0009-8388
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/S0009838821000793
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85119207292
Page range676-687
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online02 Nov 2021
Publication process dates
Deposited18 Jul 2023
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