Roman Republic

Rome in the Early Republic (509 - 241 BC)

Legend of Horatius Cocles

Horatius Cocles at the Pons Sublicius

Bronze medallion (140-3 AD) issued by Antoninus Pius

Reverse design: Horatius Cocles’ defence of Rome at the pons Sublicius

From Matthew Roller (referenced below, 2004, p. 17, figure 1)

According to Florus, who was probably writing at the time of the Emperor Hadrian (117-38 BC):

  1. “The first time that the Roman people took up arms after the expulsion of the kings, [traditionally in 509 BC], it was for the defence of their liberty.  For, Porsenna, king of the Etruscans, [approached Rome at the head of] a huge army and was eager to restore [the deposed Tarquinius Superbus] by force. ... [Although he] seized the Janiculum, [thereby controlling the only] approach to the city [from Etruria, the Romans stood firm, thereby inspiring] him with such admiration that ... he actually concluded a treaty of friendship with an all but conquered enemy.  It was on this occasion that Horatius, Mucius and Cloelia, the three prodigies and marvels of Rome, made their appearance: if they were they not recorded in our annals, they would seem fabulous characters at the present day:

  2. Horatius Cocles, finding that he could not single-handedly drive back the enemies who threatened him on every side, after the [pons Sublicius] had been broken down, swam across the Tiber without abandoning his arms.

  3. Mucius Scaevola ... [then] attempted an attack upon [Porsenna] in his own camp.  When he was seized after aiming a blow by mistake at Porsenna’s purple-clad attendants, he placed his hand in a blazing fire and ... doubled the king's alarm by saying:

  4. ‘Behold [this act] and know the character of the man from whom you have escaped: 300 more like me have sworn to attempt the same deed.’

  5. Meanwhile, incredible to relate, Mucius was unafraid, but the king was startled as though his own hand were burning. ...

  6. Cloelia, one of the hostages that had been handed over to the king, escaped from her guards and swam on horseback through the river of her native city.

  7. Porsenna, alarmed at all these prodigies of valour, bade the Romans farewell and told them to keep their liberty”, (‘Epitome of Roman History’, 1: 4: 10).

Shortly after Florus’ work was published, Hadrian’s successor, Antoninus Pius, issued a series of medallions, the reverses of which commemorated events from the early ‘history’ of Rome (summarised by Clare Rowan, referenced below, at p. 112, table 1).  One of these (illustrated above) depicted the fully-armed Horatius Cocles swimming the Tiber after his men had destroyed the pons Sublicius, under fire from  the stranded Etruscans.

It is possible that we can trace the existence of the legend of Horatius Cocles back Ennius’ ‘Annales’ (ca. 170 BC): the relevant fragment was cited by the Augustan grammarian M. Verrius Flaccus: according to the surviving epitome of this work by Festus (2nd century AD), this entry recorded that:

  1. Occasus [means] removal, as of the sun when it drops from the heavens below the earth.  Ennius, [however], used this word in place of occasio [(opportunity)] in Book 2:

  2. ‘Here, occasus datus est (an opportunity was given), but renowned Horatius, saltu (with a leap), ...’”, (‘De verborum significatione’, 188 and 190 L, translated as fragment 123 by Sander Goldberg, referenced below, at p. 171).

In his first edition of the ‘Annales’ (1853), Johannes Vahlen did indeed identify this ‘leaping Horatius’ as Horatius Cocles and therefore placed the fragment in Book IV.  However, in his second edition (1903), he privileged Festus’ assertion that the fragment came from Book II, where it would have related to the earlier battle between two sets of triplets, the Roman Horatii and the Alban Curiatii, which decided the fate of Alba.  While some scholars accepted this change, others did not: for example, in his review of Vahlen’s second edition, Cyril Bailey (referenced below, at p. 170) argued that Vahlen’s new location of the fragment:

  1. “... seems more than doubtful: its appropriateness [in relation to the battle of the Horatii and the Curiatii - see below] is, to say the least of it, questionable, whereas it would form an admirable part of a description of [the heroics of] Horatius Cocles [on the pons Sublicius].”

Otto Skutsch (referenced below, at pp. 274-6), in his edition of 1985, was unable to decide between these two possibilities:

  1. as Dan-el Padilla Peralta (referenced below, at p. 155) pointed out, Skutsch the association of an ‘Horatius’ with the word ‘saltu’ pointed towards Horatius Cocles and his leap from the pons Sublicius; but

  2. as Nora Goldschmidt (referenced below, at p. 159, note 46) pointed out, he doubted that the transmitted book number is wrong.

The matter is still debated:

  1. Sander Goldberg (in his note to the translation used above) argued that Ennius’ ‘renowned Horatius’ was:

  2. “... probably the last of the [three] Horatii, [in their combat with the Curiatii, rather than Horatius Cocles], the opportunity [mentioned by Ennius] being the momentary advantage of the [Curiatii before Horatius’ leap].”

  3. The relevant passage from Livy recorded that:

  4. “So that [the last surviving Horatius] might encounter each [of the Curiatii] individually, he took to flight, assuming that they would follow as fast as their [respective] wounds would allow, [and he duly killed each of them in succession]”, (‘History of Rome’, 1: 25: 9-12).

  5. Goldberg’ is thus among those who privilege Festus’ assertion that the fragment came from Book II.  However, it is possible that this passage actually appeared in Book IV, but that this became ‘Book II’ at some point in the centuries between Ennius’ original and the date of the surviving transcriptions of Festus. 

  6. Dan-el Padilla Peralta (referenced below, at p. 155) argued that Ennius’ phrase phrase: ‘Horatius inclutus saltu’ had ‘immortalised Horatius Cocles's jump from the pons Sublicius.   The problem here is that Verrius Flaccus chose this particular passage from Ennius, not because it recorded a particularly iconic Horatian leap, but because it happened to use used a particular word (‘occasus’) in a particular way.  It is therefore equally likely that this passage appeared in Book II in Festus’ original.

In other words, after more that a century, there is still no consensus as to whether the fragment from Ennius that was quoted by Verrius Flaccus recorded that:

  1. an opportunity was given to the Curiatii when it seemed that the Horatii had all been killed, but their hopes were dashed when the ‘renowned Horatius’ leapt up and took flight in order to split them up and then kill them one by one; or

  2. an opportunity was given to Porsenna and his men to kill the renowned Horatius Cocles, but their hopes were dashed when he leapt from the bridge, fully armed, and swam to safety on the Roman side of the river.

It seems to me that all we can say is that it is possible that the legend of Horatius Cocles can be traced back to Ennius, but that this cannot be proved beyond doubt.

As we shall see, the earliest secure reference to the legend of Horatius Cocles in our surviving sources was by the Greek historian Polybius (ca. 150 BC).  The earliest reference to it in the surviving Latin sources was by Cicero (ca. 45 BC), who pointed out to his son that:

  1. “No written law commanded that a man should take his stand on a bridge alone, against the full force of the enemy, and order that the bridge should be broken down behind him; yet we shall not, for that reason, suppose that the heroic Cocles was disobeying the [unwritten] law of bravery and following its decrees in doing so noble a deed”, (‘On the Laws’, 2: 10, translated by Clinton Keyes, referenced below, at pp. 381-3).

Cicero referred again to Cocles in a work of 44 BC:

  1. “For some reason, ... we Romans give the most fulsome praise to deeds done [by military heroes] ... Hence, [the famous battles of ancient Greece] have become battlefields for orators: hence also, our own Horatius Cocles ...  and countless others ... are [praised] for their greatness of spirit.  The very fact that the statues that we look upon [today] are usually in military dress bears witness to our devotion to military glory”, (‘On Duties’, 1: 61, adapted from the translation by Margaret Atkins, referenced below, at p. 25).

Thus, for Cicero (as for Polybius), Cocles led a long list of the great military heroes who lived on in Roman tradition.  For our purposes, the most important thing about Cicero’s observation is that one of the ancient statues of military heroes that were prominent in the monumental landscape of Rome in the late Republic was by then identified as a statue of Horatius Cocles.  More than a century later (in a work published in 77 AD), Pliny the Elder recorded that:

  1. “... the statue of Horatius Cocles was erected [because he had] single-handedly prevented the enemy from passing the pons Sublicius: this statue remains to this day”, (‘Natural History’, 34: 11).

In a subsequent passage, Pliny suggested that this statue and an ancient equestrian statue of Cloelia (which other sources thought had depicted Valeria):

  1. “... were the first [Roman statues] that were erected at the public expense”, (‘Natural History’, 34: 13).

Variant 1: Cocles Sacrificed his Life at the Pons Sublicius

The Greek historian Polybius (who was interned in Rome for 20 years, following the Roman victory in the Third Macedonian War of 167 BC) had good reason to ponder on the means by which the Romans had come  to dominate the Mediterranean world.  In his view, one factor that had contributed to their astonishing success lay in their practice of perpetuating the collective memory of their heroic forebears in order to inspire later generations of fighting men.  In this context, he singled out their custom of holding aristocratic funerals in the Forum, where the heroic deeds of the deceased and those of his ancestors were recited and sometimes re-enacted (with family members wearing death masks):

  1. “By ... this constant renewal of the good report of brave men, the celebrity of those who performed noble deeds is rendered immortal ... [and becomes] a heritage for future generations, ... [so] that young men are ... inspired to endure every suffering in the interests of the state, in the hope of winning the glory that attends on brave men”, (‘Histories’, 6: 54: 2-3).

Polybius observed that a single example would be enough to prove his point:

  1. “It is said that, when Horatius Cocles was engaged in combat with two of the enemy at the far end of the bridge over the Tiber that lies in the front of  the city [i.e., the pons Sublicius], he saw heavy enemy reinforcements approaching ... [He] called to those behind him to retreat and cut the bridge ... [While his men were obeying] his order, he stood his ground ... and stopped the enemy advance ... Once the  bridge had been cut, ... [he] plunged into the river in full armour, ... deliberately sacrificing his life [for the good of his country, and] regarding the glory of his memory as of more importance than his [life]. ... [Cocles’ heroic action exemplified] the profound desire to emulate the noble deeds [of the past] that is engendered in the Roman youth by their ethismoi (shared cultural practices)”, (‘Histories’, 6: 54: 6 - 6: 55: 4). 

Polybius is alone among our surviving sources in recording that Cocles died at the pons Sublicius.  Matthew Roller (referenced below, 2018, at p. 65, note 43) argued that this does not necessarily represent an established version of the legend:

  1. “... Polybius has just described the moral inspiration young Romans receive from attending funerals and learning of past Romans’ great deeds.  [Cocles’] death, at the end of Polybius’ narrative, closes the loop: having received his own inspiration in this way, [Cocles’] imminent funeral will yield a narrative of his heroic deed to inspire other young Romans  in turn.”

In other words, Polybius might have invented Cocles’ self-sacrifice on this occasion in order allude to his own imminent funeral and thereby to make his case.  However, it seems to me that Polybius’ argument would have lost any meaning had Cocles not been remembered at that time for having given his life for his country.  It is certainly true that all of our other surviving sources recorded that he survived his leap into the Tiber, but none of these sources is earlier than the late Republic.  Furthermore, as we shall see, Livy (who recorded a tradition in which Cocles miraculously survived unscathed, despite the fact that he was leapt into the river fully armed and under enemy fire) observed that posterity considered this extraordinary achievement to be ‘more famous than credible’ (an opinion that Polybius, given his military experience, would surely have shared).  In short, I would argue that Polybius chose Cocles as his exemplar precisely because, at the time that he was writing, Cocles was indeed immortalised because he had chosen to sacrifice his life in order to save Rome.  It is possible that this act of self-sacrifice was still commemorated in family funerals in Polybius’ time (although the family seems to have disappeared from public life in the 4th century BC) or in other theatrical performances, and it is certainly likely that its memory was already perpetuated by the statue that Cicero recorded a century later.

Variant 2: Cocles Escaped Unscathed from the Pons Sublicius

Livy (ca. 27 BC) was our earliest surviving source for the historical context in which Cocles earned his place in Roman ‘history’.  He recorded that, in the aftermath of the expulsion of Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of Rome, in 509 BC, the Etruscan Lars Porsenna marched on the city in an attempt to restore the monarchy:

  1. “Horatius Cocles ... [happened] to be on guard at the pons Sublicius when Porsenna captured the Janiculum, [the hill just beyond the bridge. ... Cocles] commanded [his terrified colleagues] to break down the bridge ... and promised that he would [single-handedly] hold the enemy [while they did so] ... He held his ground ... [until the enemy advance was checked by] the crash of the falling bridge”, (‘History of Rome’, 2: 10: 2-10) . 

This part of Livy’s narrative is found (explicitly or implicitly) in all of our surviving sources (and is consistent with Polybius’ account above).  As we have seen, Polybius recorded that, at this point, the fully-armed Cocels leapt to his death.  However, according to Livy, as the noise of the falling bridge filled the air:

  1. “... Cocles cried:

  2. ‘O Father Tiberinus, I solemnly invoke thee; receive these arms and this soldier into your propitious stream’. 

  3. He then leaped, fully armed, into the Tiber and, with many spears raining over him, he swam across to his men incolumis (unscathed), a daring act that posterity considered plus famae habituram ... quam fidei (more famous than credible)”, (‘History of Rome’, 2: 10: 2-11). 

Livy suggested here that there was relatively widespread scepticism surrounding the claim that Cocles had escaped unscathed (or perhaps that he had escaped at all) after his leap into the Tiber.  However, for whatever reason, he made no reference to the account by Polybius (and possibly others) in which Cocles sacrificed his life.  At the end of his account of Cocles’ heroics, he recorded that:

  1. “The state was grateful for so brave a deed: a statue of Cocles was [therefore] set up in the Comitium, and he was given as much land as he could plough in a day”, (‘History of Rome’, 2: 10: 12).

None of the other surviving sources that recorded the Cocles escaped unscathed registered any doubts:

  1. Valerius Maximus (ca. 30 AD), who might well have relied on Livy for this passage, recorded that Cocles:

  2. “... threw himself in full armour into the Tiber.  In admiration of his bravery, the immortal gods kept him completely safe.   Unshaken by the height of the fall, uncrushed by the weight of his arms, unimpeded by the whirling current, unharmed by the missiles flung at him from every side, he swam safely to land.  ... In short, the defence that he afforded to our city with his shield was as effective as the defence that [Father] Tiber afforded with his channel”, (‘Memorable Deeds and Sayings’, 3: 2: 1, translated by David Shackleton Bailey, referenced below, at p. 237).

  3. The younger Seneca, in a letter written in ca. 65 AD, gave a much shorter account in which he observed that Cocles:

  4. “... plunged headlong, taking as great care to come out armed from the midst of the rushing river as he did to come out unhurt; he returned [to Rome] while preserving the glory of his conquering weapons as safely as if he had [walked] back over the bridge”, (Epistle 120, translated by Richard Gummere, referenced below, at p. 381).

Variant 3: Cocles Lost an Eye Before the Battle at the Pons Sublicius

The cyclops Polyphemos (2nd century BC ?) 

Unknown provenance: now in Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

This variant was almost certainly derived from the hero’s unusual cognomen: according to Varro, ‘cocles’ meant one-eyed:

  1. “In [Ennius’ ‘Satires’ (ca. 200 BC)], we find [the following line]:

  2. ‘Treasures that ten of the Coclites buried, high on the tops of Rhiphaean mountains.’

  3. Cocles ... was derived from [co-oculus (with an eye)] and denoted a person who had only one eye; therefore, we find [the following line] in the ‘Curculio’ [see below]:

  4. ‘I think that you are de Coclitum (one of the Coclites), for they are unoculi (one-eyed)’”, (‘On the Latin Language’, 7: 71, translated by Sander Goldberg, referenced below, at p. 329).

Ennius’ ‘Coclites’ were almost certainly the ‘mythical Arimaspi’ or ‘Arimapsians’, whom Pliny the Elder (‘Natural History, 4: 26) located at the foot of the Rhiphaean mountains, on the northern edge of the known world.  In a later book, Pliny recorded that they were:

  1. “...a nation remarkable for having only one eye, which was placed in the middle of the forehead.  They are said to have engaged in perpetual warfare with the griffins, a kind of monster, ... for [access to] the gold that they dig out of the mines, ... Many authors have written to this effect, among the most illustrious of whom are Herodotus and Aristeas of Proconnesus, [a semi-legendary Greek poet whom Hesiod cited]”, (‘Natural History’, 7: 2).

The passage by Herodotus (ca. 440 BC) to which Pliny referred is as follows:

  1. “... to the north of Europe, there is more gold by far than anywhere else.  ... [S]ome claim that one-eyed men called Arimaspians steal it from griffins.  But [I do not believe] that there can be men who are like all other men, except that they have only one eye”, (‘Histories’, 3: 116).

Thus, we learn from Varro that Ennius knew of Hesiod’s ancient tribe of one-eyed Coclites that had once lived at the northern edge of Europe.  He also pointed out that the playwright Plautus, who was a contemporary of Ennius, was also aware of this tradition: in Act 3 of his ‘Curculio’ (ca. 193 BC), which was set in Epidaurus and was probably based on a Greek original, the eponymous anti-hero Curculio wears a false eyepatch, and claims that he lost his eye in the defence of his country, when it had been hit by a missile fired from a catapult at Sicyon, in the northern Peloponnese.   A disreputable banker called Lyco meets him with the words quoted by Varro (above):

  1. Unocule, salve (Hello one-eyed), I suppose that you are de Coclitum (one of the Coclites), for they are unoculi (one-eyed).”

Plautus obviously expected his largely illiterate audiences to appreciate the joke, presumably because they had already seen and/or heard of fights between the griffins and the Coclites/ Arimaspi over the gold from the mines ‘high on the tops of Rhiphaean mountains’.  (Indeed, it is possible that he expected his audience to be familiar with Ennius’ ‘Satires’.  What is important for our present purpose is that Varro’s aetiology for the adjective ‘cocles’ (one-eyed) clearly reached back, via Plautus and Ennius, to much older Greek sources such as Hesiod. 

In fact, the cognomen Cocles was only one of a number of Roman cognomina that were derived from conditions of the eye: as Pliny the Elder observed:

  1. “Man is the only living creature the eyes of which are subject to deformities, from which, in fact, arose the cognomina of  ‘Strabo’ [cross-eyed] and Paetus [cock-eyed].  The ancients used to call: men who were born with only one eye, ‘Coclites’; those whose eyes were remarkably small ‘Ocellae’; and those who had lost an eye through injury ‘Luscini’”, (‘Natural History’, 11: 55).

Patricia Watson (referenced below, at p. 76, note 21) observed that:

  1. “In every case where the origin of the condition is specified, ‘luscus’ refers to a person who has lost their sight.  According to Pliny [in the passage quoted above], the word for congenital blindness in a single eye is 'cocles', though this term occurs in classical Latin only as a proper name.”

In fact, as far as I am aware, the adjective cocles only appears in our surviving sources as the cognomen of Horatius Cocles.  Furthermore, only four of these sources actually explained why Cocles was so-named, and only one of these wrote in Latin: Servius (4th century AD), in his commentary on a passage from Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’ (discussed below) on the presence of an image of  Horatius Cocles on Aeneas shield, explained that:

  1. “The ancients referred to a one-eyed person as ‘cocles’, and thus we read of the Cyclops called Coclites, because they were thought to have been one-eyed”, (‘ad Aen’, 8: 649).

As we shall see, the other three sources in this group, all of whom were Greek, recorded that, pace Pliny, Cocles’ missing eye was the result of a war wound.

Polybius, our earliest surviving source for Cocles’ legend, made no mention of the unusual nature of his cognomen: he simply transliterated it into Greek as Κόκλης (Coclis).  However, two other ‘mainstream’ Greek sources did address this issue:

  1. Dionysius of Halicarnassus (who arrived in Rome in ca. 30 BC and whose ‘Roman Antiquities’ was published in 7 BC) informed his readers that:

  2. “... Horatius, [the hero of the battle at the pons Sublicius], ... was called Κύκλωψ (Cyclops) from an injury to his sight, one of his eyes having been struck out in [an earlier] battle, [albeit that ?] he was the fairest of men in philosophical appearance [whatever that means], and the bravest in spirit”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 5: 23: 2).

  3. Plutarch (who spent some time in Rome in the 70s AD) similarly introduced Cocles as follows:

  4. “Horatius, [the hero of the battle at the pons Sublicius], had been given his surname Κόκλιον (Coclion) because he had [already] lost one of his eyes in the wars”, (‘Life of Publicola’, 16: 5).

  5. However, he then added a second aetiology for this cognomen, which was almost certainly his own:

  6. “Some, however, say that [Horatius’] nose was flat and sunken, so that there was nothing to separate his eyes and his eye-brows ran together, and that, for this reason, the multitude wished to call him Κύκλωπας (Cyclopas) but, by a slip of the tongue, [this became] Κόκλιον (Coclion) ... ”, (‘Life of Publicola’, 16: 5).

As I discuss further below, I think that both men had seen an ancient statue that was believed to depict Cocles, the facial features of which were reminiscent of the traditional Cyclops.  Dionysius thought that  it depicted the one-eyed Cocles, although Plutarch was less sure that Cocles (as depicted) had actually lost an eye.  (The reason for this uncertainty is understandable if one imagines a more damaged version of the bust of the cyclops Polyphemos (ca. 2nd century BC) illustrated above. 

Both Dionysius (in his naming of our hero as Horatius Cyclops) and Plutarch (in his suggestion that our hero might originally have been known as Horatius Cyclopas) would have drawn on the Greek custom of associating people who had only one eye with the Cyclops.  For example, it seems that this nickname was sometimes given to King Philip II of Macedonia (the father of Alexander the Great) after he lost his eye in battle at Methonê in 354 BC (see below): according to Marsyas of Pella (who probably fought under Alexander), as cited by the Alexandrian scholar Didymus (1st century BC), Philip’s injury was foretold during a contest between three musicians, each of whom played a different piece that happened to be entitled ‘The Cyclops’”, (see Timothy Howe, in I. Worthington, referenced below, at entry BNJ 135-136 F 17: “Marsyas (135-136)”).  Alice Swift Riginos (referenced below at p. 110) referred to this passage alongside a passage by a literary critic conventionally known as Demetrius (who, according to her note 25, could have been writing at any time between the 3rd and the 1st century BC): Demetrius observed that:

  1. “One has often to be careful when dealing with the great.  For example, because Philip had only one eye, he would react angrily if anyone spoke of the Cyclops in his presence, or [even if they] used the word ‘eye' at all”, (‘On Style’, 293).

She concluded that:

  1. “It is a reasonable inference that 'the Cyclops' was an epithet applied to Philip during his lifetime.”

This tradition was apparently not confined to Philip: for example, a pseudo-Plutarch recorded that the sophist Theocritus of Chios, who had once angered Alexander with  his sarcasm, subsequently:

  1. “... greatly annoyed King Antigonus [Monophthalmus, one of Alexander’s successors] by reproaching him with his defect, as having only one eye.  [The trouble started when] Antigonus sent Eutropion, his master-cook, ... to  Theocritus ... When [Eutropion] announced his errand to Theocritus  ... , the latter said:

  2. ‘I know that you have a mind to dish me up raw to that Cyclops’;

  3. thereby reproaching both the the king because of the loss of his eye and the cook because of his profession.  Eutropion replied:

  4. ‘Then you shall lose your head, as the penalty of your loquacity and madness.’

  5. And he was as good as his word; for he... informed the king, who sent for Theocritus and put him to death”, (On the Education of Children, 13).

Thus, Dionysius and Plutarch would have imagined that, like Philip II and Antigonus Monophthalmus  (among others), Horatius Cocles had acquired his nickname because he had lost an eye in battle.  The important point for the present discussion is that, for whatever reason, both of them recorded that Cocles had lost his eye before his engagement with Porsenna at the Pons Sublicius

Variant 4: Cocles Lost an Eye at the Pons Sublicius

A passage in the so-called ‘Parallela Minora’ (see below) drew a direct comparison between the wounding of Philip II on the river Sandanus and that of Cocles at the Pons Sublicius, when each (according to the author of this work) was wounded in the eye:

  1. when Philip wished to plunder Methonê and Olynthus:

  2. “... while he was attempting to force a crossing at the Sardanus river, his eye was pierced by an arrow from the bow of a certain Olynthian named Aster, who uttered these words:

  3. ‘Aster sends this deadly shaft to Philip.’

  4. But Philip swam back to his friends and was saved, although he lost his eye.  So Callisthenes [see below], in the third book of his ‘Makedonika’; and

  5. when Porsenna attempted to march on Rome:

  6. “... Horatius Cocles, who [commanded the Roman army that opposed him], took possession of the [pons Sublicius] and checked the barbarian horde that sought to cross [the Tiber].  As the enemy [seemed likely to prevail], he ordered his men to cut down the bridge, thereby preventing the barbarian horde from crossing.  When his eye was struck by an arrow, he threw himself into the river and swam across to his friends.  So Theotimus [see below], in the second book of his ‘Italika’”, (‘Parella Minora’, 8).

This passage belongs to a compilation of 41 pairs of parallel Greek and Roman stories that were attributed to Plutarch from at least the 11th century, although this attribution is generally no longer accepted.  As Giovanna Pace (referenced below, at p. 44) pointed out, part of the directly-transmitted version of this compilation survives only in summary form, although it can be supplemented by an indirect line of transmission, through:

  1. Clement of Alexandria (died ca. 215 AD);

  2. Ioannes Stobaeus (5th century AD); and

  3. Ioannes Lydus (died ca. 565 AD).

As Álvaro Ibáñez Chacón (referenced below, at pp. 168-9) pointed out, Stobaeus transmitted many more fragments of the ‘Parallela Minora’ than either Clement or Lydus.  Furthermore, although the latter two knew of and cited works by Plutarch, neither of them cited him in relation to stories from this compilation.  This suggests that:

  1. at least some of the stories in it circulated before the early 3rd century AD; and

  2. the mistaken attribution to Plutarch was made at some time after the late 6th century AD.  

As we have seen, the author of the ‘Parallela Minora’ did not claim to be the originator of either of the stories under discussion here: he attributed the Roman one to the ‘Italika’ of ‘Theotimus’ and the Greek one to the ‘Makedonika’ of ‘Callesthenes’.  However, as Giovanna Pace (referenced below, at p. 45) pointed out:

  1. “Of the numerous sources cited in the text of the ‘Parallela [Minora]’, ... many are probably invented authors ... and only a few can definitely be held to be authentic.”

Thus, we need to look at the citations of ‘Theotimus’ and ‘Callisthenes’ in turn, before assessing their authenticity (or lack of it).


Carolyn Higbie and Marietta Horster  (see their “Theotimos : On Cyrene, Against Aielouros (470)”, in I. Worthington, referenced below) reproduced and commented on the six known fragments of the work of a Greek historian called ‘Theotimus’:

  1. two (F 1-2) from a work called ‘On Cyrene’, a history of Cyrene (modern Libya);

  2. three (F 3-5) from one called ‘Against Aielouros’, probably a history of Rhodes; and

  3. the fragment under discussion here, from a work called ‘Italika’ (F 6).

It is generally accepted that both ‘On Cyrene’ and ‘Against Aielouros’ were authentic works by the same historian, who was writing  in the 2nd century BC: indeed, the fragment F 1 contains a direct quotation from ‘On Cyrene’ by the reliable Didymus (1st century BC).  However, these works were relatively limited in scope, while the ‘Italika’, if it existed, would have dealt with the history of Rome, at least in the early Republic and presumably in a wider ‘Italian’ context: if this was also the work of the Theotimus of F 1-5, then, as Higbie and Horster observed, he:

  1. “... might be seen as a Greek historian or antiquarian with a remarkably broad range of interests that spanned the Mediterranean; we might compare him with writers like Fabius Pictor, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, and even Polybius.”

However, they (like Giovanna Pace, above) cautioned that the author of the ‘Parallela Minora’ is widely thought to have:

  1. “... invented many of his cited authorities.  Thus, the ‘Italika’ might have been invented by him and attributed to Theotimus.”

However, they concluded that:

  1. “... the questions about the authenticity of an ‘Italika’ of Theotimus and, [if it was an authentic source], the identity of the author [i.e. whether he was also wrote ‘On Cyrene’ and  ‘Against Aielouros’] should stay open.”

It seems to me that, given the fact that the ‘Italika’ is known only from its citation in the ‘Parallela Minora’, its authenticity has to be in considerable doubt.  However, before reaching a final conclusion, we should first to look at the  similar issues that arise in relation to the citation of the ‘Makedonika’ of ‘Callisthenes’. 


Although the cited passage from the ‘Makedonika’ of ‘Callisthenes’ was presented as a parallel to the legend of Horatius Cocles, it actually recorded an authentically historical event: according to Didymus (1st century BC):

  1. “... at around the time of the siege of Methonê [in 355-4 BC, Philip] lost his right eye when he was struck by an arrow while overseeing the siege engines and their ‘sheds’, just as Theopompos narrates in (Book 4) of his [Philippika].  On this matter, Marsyas agrees”, (based on the translation  by William Morison, “Theopompos of Chios (115)” at BNJ 115 F 52, in I. Worthington, referenced below). 

Didymos’ first source, Theopompos of Chios (4th century BC) was writing while Philip was still alive and, as Alice Swift Riginos (referenced below, at pp. 106-7) observed, he:

  1. “.. may have been a visitor to Philip's court at Pella; it is surely safe to [accept] that the details that he recorded of Philip's wounded eye summarised the version approved by, and circulated in, Macedonian court circles.”

This assertion is reinforced by the fact that, as we have already seen, Didymos’ second source, Marsyas, had been extremely well-connected at the court of Philip’s son, Alexander. 

Duris of Samos was apparently responsible for an early elaboration of this historical tradition, presumably in his ‘Makedonika’: as Frances Pownall, “Duris of Samos (76)” in I. Worthington, referenced below) observed, surviving fragments indicate that it covered events from the death of Philip’s father until the the death of King Lysimachos in 281 BC, and it was probably written shortly thereafter.  The fragment of interest here is by Didymus: after recording the fragments from Theopompus and Marsyas discussed above, he recorded that:

  1. “... Aster was the name of the man who threw the javelin at [Philip] at just the right moment, although almost everyone who was [actually] on campaign with [Philip at Methonê] claims that he was wounded by an arrow”, (translated by Frances Pownall (as above) as fragment F 36).

Didymos was surely correct in doubting Duris’ later testimony, not least because (as Pownall pointed out) Philip could surely not have survived if a javelin had pierced his eye.  Nevertheless, as Alice Swift Riginos (referenced below, at p. 108) observed:

  1. “... Aster the archer, [unlike the javelin], becomes an integral part of the story ...”,

Thus, for example, some five centuries after the time of Duris, the Greek rhetorician Lucian (2nd century AD) insisted that anyone aspiring to be a good historian must not shrink from unpalatable truths:

  1. “He must not, [for example], be concerned that Philip has had his eye put out by the archer Aster of Amphipolis at Olynthus: he must show [Philip] exactly as he was”, (‘How to Write History”, 38, translated by Kenneth Kilburn, referenced below, at p. 53).

Lucian’s source must have been mistaken in locating this event at Olynthus: although Philip had besieged and destroyed Olynthus in 348 BC, the contemporary records discussed above make it almost certain that, by that time, he had already lost his eye (at Methonê). 

We can now consider where the cited passage from the ‘Makedonika’ of ‘Callisthenes’ might fit into this evolving quasi-historical tradition.   This passage was also transmitted indirectly by Stobaeus (see above):

  1. “[According to] Callisthenes, in the third book of his [‘Makedonika’]: Philip, the king of the Macedonians, ... started to ravage Methonê and Olynthus.  While he was at the bridge over the Sardonus river and attempting to force a crossing, he faced the armed resistance of the Olynthian army.  A certain Olynthian archer named Aster ... blinded Philip and said:

  2. ‘Aster to Philip sends this deadly shaft.’

  3. Philip, having lost his eye, threw himself to the river.  He swam to his people and thus escaped a danger”, (‘Anthologium’, 3: 7: 67, translated by Jacek Rzepka, “Kallisthenes (124): BNJ 124 F 57”, in I. Worthington referenced below).

Giovanna Pace (referenced below, at p. 44) observed that, in cases like this, where comparison can be made, indirectly transmitted passages, including those by Stobaeus, are generally less concise than the originals from which they were derived.  In the case of the fragment under discussion here, Stobaeus:

  1. explicitly placed Philip on the bridge over the river (perhaps because he had read the parallel legend of Cocles in the ‘Parallela Minora’);

  2. named the river as the Sardonus, while it was named as the Sandanus in the ‘Parallela Minora’; and

  3. explicitly located this event at Olynthus (as did Lucian, above), while the ‘Parallela Minora’ merely recorded that Aster came from Olynthus (although it is likely that the readers of the original would have known that the Sardonus/ Sandanus was at Olynthus).

However, Stobaeus gave an exact rendition of the message on the arrow in the ‘Parallea Minora’, and similarly recorded that Philip managed to swim to safety, albeit that he lost his eye.

Jacek Rzepka (above) pointed out that the ‘Parallela Minora’ contains a total of four citations of works by ‘Callisthenes’:

  1. three that were also transmitted by Stobaeus, which allegedly came from:

  2. the ‘Metamorphoses’ (F 56); and

  3. the ‘Makedonika’ (F  57, which is under discussion here, and F 59); and

  4. one that allegedly came from the ‘Thrakika’ (F 58) and is known only from the direct transmission of the original.

He argued that:

  1. “... due to theme and, above all, the purported titles of original [three] works (especially the ‘Makedonika’ and the ‘Thrakika’), they were [probably] intended to be understood as citations from [the prolific and well-documented] Callisthenes of Olynthus ...”

In his biography of this Callisthenes, he noted that Alexander commissioned him to write a history of the Persian campaign, but that he subsequently fell from favour and died in mysterious circumstances in 327 BC.  He accepted the view of Felix Jacoby (referenced below, at pp. 133-4) that all four of the citations above (and, indeed, all the citations in the ‘Parallela Minora’ from works that are unattested elsewhere) are:

  1. “... false quotations from false authors, modelled after the most famous bearers of their names.”

Thus, he argued that the citation under discussion here was invented by the author of the ‘Parallela Minora’, with a false citation that that was intended to imply that it was taken from a passage in a work entitled ‘Makedonika by Callisthenes of Olynthos.  However, this argument is not universally accepted: for example:

  1. Christopher Smith (referenced below, at p 120) pointed out that the citation might have been taken from an otherwise unattested  ‘Makedonika’ by Callisthenes of Olynthos; while

  2. Alice Swift Riginos (referenced below, at p. 112) assumed that it was an authentic work of a later author named Callisthenes, whose dating, while not secure, was probably not later than the 2nd century AD.

Authenticity of Variant 4: Conclusions

It seems to me that the key point is that each of the Roman and the Greek stories in this passage from the ‘Parella Minora’ represented a major and otherwise unattested variant of a well-established tradition.  Thus:

  1. commenting on the Roman story, Matthew Roller (referenced below, 2004, at p. 16 and note 32) suggested that:

  2. “This unique version [of the legend of Horatius Cocles] ... was [probably] generated to bring the [Roman] story into line with the Greek ‘parallel’ ... , [in which] Philip II of Macedon [suffered] an arrow to the eye while swimming a river near Olynthus”; while

  3. commenting on its Greek story, Alice Swift Riginos argued (at p. 112) suggested that:

  4. “The portrayal of Philip's heroism has here been recast  to evoke the legendary stand of the early Roman hero Horatius against the Etruscans at the Sublician bridge.  Although [Horatius] was the defender [while Philip was] the aggressor, the solitary swim to safety by the wounded hero is a motif taken from the legend of Horatius at the Tiber and ascribed to Philip [at the Sandanus]. [We might ask] what may have prompted this variant, first seen in the relatively late source ‘Callisthenes’, in [a departure from] the firmly established saga of Philip's eye wound at the walls of Methonê.  The probable answer lies in consideration of the common disability of [both Philip and] ... Horatius, [who], as his cognomen Cocles commemorates, is said to have had but a single eye.”

It is, of course, possible that:

  1. a Greek historian called Theotimus (whether or not he was Theotimus of Chios), in the second book of his otherwise unattested ‘Italika’, recorded the otherwise unknown variant of the Roman legendary tradition, according to which, while thwarting Porsenna’s attempt to cross the Tiber at the pons Sublicius, Cocles lost an eye to an enemy arrow but was able to swim back to safety; and

  2. a Greek historian called Callisthenes (whether or not he was Callisthenes of Olynchus), in the third book of his otherwise unattested ‘Makedonika’, recorded the otherwise unknown variant of the Greek quasi-historical tradition, according to which, while trying to fight his way across a bridge on the Sardonus/ Sandanus at Olynthus, Philip similarly lost an eye to an enemy arrow but was able to swim back to safety.

However, it seems to be that it is much more likely that the author of the ‘Parallela Minora’:

  1. introduced both of these variants precisely in order to portray his Roman and Greek stories as parallels; and

  2. invented both the ‘Italika’ of ‘Theotimus’ and the ‘Makedonika’ of ‘Callisthenes’ in order to disguise his invention.

As Christopher Smith (referenced below, at p. 109) observed, the Parallela Minora’ was probably:

  1. “... never meant to be scholarship, and nothing was at stake except the presentation of a good story, to which the named sources added a frisson of learning and perhaps exotic appeal that was as much a part of the experience as the myth itself.”

  2. It is also possible that this combination of invented stories from invented works by invented authors was  simply offered as a parody of earlier, serious works such as Plutarch’s ‘Parallel Lives’.  If so, then the fact that the solidly historical Philipp II was paralleled by the clearly unhistorical Horatius Cocles  would have added to the fun. 

  3. Thus, we can clearly reject my Variant 4 from our consideration of how the Cocles legend evolved over time.  However, the fact that it existed at all supports the suggestion that I made in connection with Variant 3: that, at least among Greek scholars, the Cocles legend was redolent of the quasi-historical traditions surrounding Philip’s loss of his eye.

Variant 5: Cocles Sustained a Leg Wound at the Pons Sublicius

This variant appears in only two of our surviving Latin sources:

  1. The military strategist Frontinus (ca. 90 AD), in a section on the strategies that Roman commanders had employed while retreating, recorded that:

  2. “When Porsenna's army was pressing hard upon him, Horatius Cocles commanded his men to retreat over the bridge to the City and then to destroy the bridge in order that the enemy might not follow them.  While this was being done, Cocles himself, as defender of the bridgehead, held up the oncoming enemy.  Then, when the crash told him that the bridge had been destroyed, he threw himself into the river and swam across it in his armour, exhausted though he was by wounds”, (‘Stratagems’, 2: 13: 5).

  3. Frontinus did not describe the nature of Cocles’ wounds, but it is likely that he was referring to the tradition under discussion here, in which the most serious of them had lamed him.

  4. The Virgilian commentator Servius (4th century AD) referred to Cocles’ leg wound  in his gloss on the following passage from the ‘Aeneid’ in which Virgil described the images on Aeneas’ shield:

  5. “There, too, was [an image of] Porsenna [approaching Rome] ... You could see that Porsenna was  angry and  threatening because Cocles had dared to tear down the bridge”, (‘Aeneid’, 8: 646. translated by Henry Rushton Fairclough, referenced below, at p. 105).

  6. Virgil said nothing more about Cocles’ heroics, but Servius completed his account as follows:

  7. “Once the bridge was down, [Cocles] threw himself into the Tiber wearing his armour and, though wounded in the hip, he still overcame its current”, (‘ad Aen.’, 8: 646, based on the translation by Matthew Roller, referenced below, 2004, at p. 12).  

The most important surviving accounts of this variant are by the Greek authors Dionysius and Plutarch:

  1. According to Dionysius, as Cocles held Porsenna’s army at bay on the pons Sublicius and:

  2. “... he was overwhelmed by missiles and [sustained many injuries, including] one in particular that had been inflicted by a spear that had passed straight through one of his buttocks above the hip-joint,  ... [Despite his wounds, when] he heard the men behind him shouting out that the greater part of the bridge was destroyed, ... he leapt with his arms into the river and, swimming across the stream with great difficulty (for the current ... ran swift and formed large eddies), he emerged upon the shore without having lost any of his arms in swimming”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 5: 24: 3 ).  

  3. Dionysius the observed that, although Cocles managed to return to a rapturous welcome in Rome, where:

  4. “... expected that [he] would soon succumb to his wounds: [however], when he escaped death, [they] erected a bronze statue of him, fully armed, in the principal part of the Forum, and gave him as much public land as he could plough in a day”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 5: 25: 1-2).

  5. Plutarch included this variant in in his account of the life of the consul P. Valerius Publicola: although Porsenna had driven the wounded Publicola back over the pons Sublcius:

  6. “... Cocles kept the enemy back until his companions had cut the  bridge and then, while still fully armed, he plunged into the river and swam across to the other side, in spite of a wound in the buttocks from an Etruscan spear (‘Life of Publicola’, 16: 6). 

  7. Plutarch referred again to Cocles’ lameness in an oration that he probably delivered during his stay in Rome, which addressed the question of whether ‘Virtue or ‘Fortune’ had done more to promote Roman hegemony.  His list of those military heroes who supported ‘Virtue’ included:

  8. “... Mucius Scaevola, exhibiting his burning hand and crying:

  9. ‘Do you graciously attribute this also to Fortune?’; and

  10. Marcus (sic) Horatius, the hero of the battle by the Tiber, weighed down by Etruscan shafts and showing his limping limb, who cries aloud from the deep whirl of the waters:

  11. ‘Then am I also maimed by Fortune's will?’”, (‘The Fortune of the Romans’, 3).

  12. Plutarch (like Dionysius) also referred to the erection of a statue of Cocles after his return to Rome:

  13. “[The consul] Publicola, out of admiration for [Cocles’] valour, proposed that every Roman should at once contribute for him as much provision as each consumed in a day, and that afterwards he should be given as much land as he could plough round in a day.  Besides this, they set up a bronze statue of him in the shrine of Hephaestus to console him with honour for the lameness consequent upon his wound”, (‘Life of Publicola’, 16: 6). 

Dionysius, Plutarch and the Statue of ‘Cocles’

As we have seen, Cicero is our earliest surviving source for the existence of this statue and Livy gave the earliest surviving account of the presumed circumstances in which it had been awarded:

  1. “The state was grateful for so brave a deed: a statue of Cocles was [therefore] set up in the Comitium, and he was given as much land as he could plough in a day”, (‘History of Rome’, 2: 10: 12).

Dionysius and Plutarch each elaborated on Livy’s minimalist account:

  1. Dionysius add that the statue was made from bronze and (with Cicero) that it depicted Cocles fully armed and, while Livy explicitly stated that it had been erected in the Comitium, he located it more generally ‘in the principal part of the Forum’.

  2. Plutarch said nothing about the statue itself but he claimed that Publicola had erected it in the shrine of Hephaestus/ Vulcan so that Cocles might find consolation in the fact that he shared his lameness with its patron.  Pliny the Elder recorded that, at his time of writing (ca. 77 AD):

  3. the Volcanal still existed in an apparently archaic form next to an ancient lotus tree (‘Natural History’, 16: 86); and  

  4. the statue of Cocles could also still be seen (‘Natural History’, 34: 11).

  5. In other words, the statue might well have been in the Volcanal by this time and Plutarch might well have seen it there.

In order to understand this lack of consensus as to the location of the statue, it is important to bear in mind that, by the time that they were writing, the Comitium had lost any semblance of its original function as a large open-air space in which public assemblies were held: although the written and archeological evidence is difficult to evaluate, it seems that this rapidly dwindling and much-repaved area had become little more than a repository for commemorative statues (both ancient and contemporary) by the late Republic.  Although Cicero would have witnessed the later stages of these upheavals, none of the other sources would have had much idea of the statue’s history.  It therefore seems to me that:

  1. Livy probably took the statues’ original erection in the Comitium from a literary source; while

  2. Dionysius and Plutarch each assumed that it had been erected in the location in which he had actually seen it:

  3. ‘in the principal part of the Forum’ (Dionysius); or

  4. in the shrine of Vulcan (Plutarch).

I return to the complex matter of the statue’s antecedents and successive locations below: for the moment, I would like to concentrate on what each seems to have deduced on the basis of his ‘autopsy’ of the statue:

  1. I suggested in my section on Variant 3 that Dionysius had rendered Cocles’ praenomen into Greek as Κύκλωψ (Cyclops) because the figure in the statue appeared to have only one eye. I now suggest that Dionysius had seen marks on the statue that pointed to a leg wound that had been inflicted by ‘a spear that had passed straight through one of his buttocks above the hip-joint’.

  2. I also suggested in my section on Variant 3 that Plutarch had based his second aetiology for Cocles’ cognomen on its facial features of this statue, which was presumably included a ‘nose was flat and sunken, so that there was nothing to separate his eyes and his eye-brows ran together’.  I now suggest that Plutarch concluded from his examination of the statue in the shrine of Vulcan in the Forum that:

  3. Dionysius had correctly described the wound that Cocles’ had sustained at the pons Sublicius; and

  4. Publicola had erected the statue in the archaic shrine of  Vulcan so that Cocles might find consolation in the fact that he shared his lameness with its patron.

I now look at the possibility that earlier Greek traditions might explain why both of them assumed that the Cyclopean facial features that they had probably also taken from examining the statue, corresponded to a wound that Cocles had sustained in an earlier battle, and that he sustained the leg wound that ended his career at the pons Sublicius.

Influence of Greek Tradition on Variant 5 (?)

Some scholars argue that we can trace this variant back to a verse in the ‘Aetia’ (Causes) by the Greek poet Callimachus (ca. 250 BC).  Yannick Durbec, referenced below, at p. 490) observed that: 

  1. “In all of Callimachus’ extant work, only a single fragment ... has a Roman protagonist.” 

The fragment to which Durbec referred is, in fact, uninformative:

  1. “As you were ...the whole of Greece ... so accomplish...”, (‘Aetia’, 4: fragment 106, translated by Susan Stephens, tab ‘Translation’) .

However, as he pointed out, the so-called Milan papyrus of the ‘Diegeseis’ (prose summary) of the ‘Aetia’, which was written in the early Empire, named the Roman hero that was apparently the subject of this verse and described the action for which he was celebrated:

  1. “[Callimachus] says that, while the Peucetians [a partly Hellenised tribe of Apulia in southern Italy] were conducting a siege, Ῥωμαίων Γάϊον (Gaius of the Romans) leapt from the walls and killed their leader but was wounded in the thigh.  And that, after these events, he complained that he was limping but that, once his mother cajoled him, he put a stop to his worrying”, (‘Diegeseis’, 5: 25–32, based on the translations by Dan-el Padilla Peralta, referenced below, at p. 152 and Susan Stephens, tab ‘Scholia’)”.

Some scholars have argued that, at this relatively early date, a Greek author such as Callimachus is unlikely to have included a Roman exemplar in a work such as this.  However, Peter Wiseman (referenced below, 2008, at p. 233) argued that the Greeks had perceived Rome as part of the Hellenic world from at least the late 6th century BC, and that:

  1. “... it is not at all paradoxical that  ... [Callimachus] used the story of ‘Gaius the Roman’ as one of a number of examples illustrating the virtues of Panhellas.”

Annette Harder (referenced below, at pp. 785-6) suggested that the Greeks might well have become particularly interested in tales of Roman virtus in the aftermath of the Roman victory over King Pyrrhus in 275 BC.  Thus, we cannot rule out the possibility that ‘Gaius of the Romans’ did indeed feature in Callimachus’ original.  However, having said that, it is important to bear in mind that the appearance of this name in the ‘Diegeseis’ represents the only evidence that this verse had anything at all to do with Rome: as Susan Stephens pointed out:

  1. “The exact Roman context [of this event] is much debated, and possibly did not even exist.”

In other words, it is possible that the name ‘Gaius of the Romans’ had been inserted by the author the ‘Diegeseis’ and, even if it is, in fact, authentic:

  1. the name is suspiciously general (as in ‘John Smith, the Englishman’);

  2. the location of the siege is unspecified (although some scholars assume that it was at Rome); and

  3. none of our other surviving sources described an occasion on which a Roman (whether or not named Gaius) who was trapped inside a besieged location (whether Rome itself or a Roman allied city, colony or garrison) leapt from the walls and killed the leader of the besieging army (whether Peucetian or otherwise). 

Despite these potential problems, a number of scholars have sought to equate ‘Gaius of the Romans’ with one of the heroes of Roman tradition, and a group of them, starting with Gaetano De Sanctis (referenced below, 1934) proposed Horatious Cocles: as Arnoldo Momigliano (referenced below, at p. 57) pointed out in his obituary of De Sanctis (who died in 1957), he had made this suggestion:

  1. “... in spite of the fact that it was in none of the sources known at that time.  This suggestion was not generally accepted at that time but, a few years later, it was observed [by Rudolf Pfeiffer, referenced below, at p. 114] that the connection already existed in a passage of the ‘Stromata’ of Clement of Alexandria.”

In fact, the evidence from Clement of Alexandria (a Christian theologian who was writing in ca. 200 AD) is only circumstantial: in a chapter on martyrdom, he included (inter alia):

  1. “... Posthumus the Roman, [who] did not divulge a single secret when he was captured by Peucetion: rather, putting his hand on the fire, [he] held it as if to a piece of brass, without moving a muscle of his face”, (‘Stromateis’, 4:8, search on Peucetion).

This is actually a Greek version of the Roman tradition in which, soon after Cocles had repulsed Porsenna’s army at the pons Sublicius, Mucius Scaevola attempted to murder Porsenna in his camp on the Janiculum but only succeeded in killing his scribe.  The Roman story can be traced back, via the grammarian Nonius Marcellus (ca. 400 AD), to L. Cassius Hemina (ca. 150 BC): according to Nonius:

  1. “Cassius Hemina, in Book II of the ‘Histories’, [recorded that a now-unidentified Roman] thought that he was killing King Porsenna ... ”, (‘De compendiosa doctrina’, 408 Lindsay, translated by John Briscoe, in Timothy Cornell (editor), referenced below, in Vol. II, at p. 257).

Thus, it seems that Clement relied on (a presumably Greek) source that had followed a variant of a story that is known to us only from Livy, in which Porsenna threatened to burn Mucius alive unless he identified other would-be assassins, at which point, Mucius:

  1. “... thrust his hand into the fire that was kindled for the sacrifice, [and] allowed his hand to burn, as if unconscious of pain ... [He was thereafter] known as Scaevola [left-handed]”, (‘History of Rome’, 2: 12: 13 - 13: 1).

In short, there is circumstantial evidence for Greek versions of the Roman legends that grew up around Porsenna’s siege of Rome at the start of the Republic:

  1. in the tradition known to Callimachus (ca. 250 BC), ‘Gaius of the Romans’ (= Horatius Cocles ?; = Gaius Mucius Scaevola ?; = another Roman hero ?) killed the leader of the Peucetians (= Porsenna ?) at an unspecified location but became lame after sustaining a thigh wound and was despondent about his infirmity until cajoled by his mother; and

  2. in a Greek tradition known to Clement of Alexandria (which paralleled a Roman tradition that had appeared in the ‘Histories’ of Cassius Hemina,  published in ca. 150 BC), Posthumus (= Gaius Mucius Scaevola) impressed Peucetion (= Porsenna) by thrusting his right hand into a fire, presumably in Porsenna’s camp on the Janiculum.

However, this evidence alone does not prove that the hero of Callimachus’ ‘Roman’ verse was a Greek parallel of Horatius Cocles: after all, even if we accept that Peucetians = Peucetion = Porsenna (albeit the first equation is not certain), and thus that both stories were related to Porsenna’s siege of Rome, then we still face the problem that:

  1. Gaius leapt from the city walls and killed Porsenna; while

  2. Cocles leapt from the pons Sublicius, leaving Porsenna apparently unharmed and able to fall back on the Janiculum.

For this reason, Yannick Durbec( referenced below, at p. 491 and note 56), for example, argued that:

  1. “... [the] absence of any detail [in our surviving sources] allowing [secure] identification suggests ... that we should see in Gaius, not a specific individual, but a Roman type [exemplar ?] of exalted martial prowess.”

More recently, Dan-el Padilla Peralta (referenced below, at p. 155) used a different approach to make the case for ‘Gaius = Cocles’.  He started with the observation that:

  1. “The identification of Gaius with Horatius Cocles was first proposed in the scholarship in part because of the immortalisation of Horatius Cocles's jump in Ennius: ‘Horatius inclutus saltu’ [discussed above].”

However, as argued above, it is by no means certain that Ennius’ ‘renowned Horatius’ was Horatius Cocles rather than the victor in the famous battle between the Horatii and the Curiatii.  On the other hand, it is certainly true that each of ‘Gaius’ and Cocles was celebrated for an iconic leap, and it was on this basis that Padilla Peralta argued (at p. 156) that:

  1. “... the [putative] ‘Gaius’/ Cocles aition in Callimachus may have taken shape in a performative, festival setting: the saga of a man whose martial excellence came into full view as he jumped, only for him to end up lame, has a strong whiff of the Roman stage about it ... .”

Padilla Peralta therefore argued that the tradition known to Callimachus might well have been taken to Greece by one or more Greek visitors to Rome who had witnessed a theatrical performance of Horatius Cocles’ leap and his reaction to his subsequent lameness.  The problem with this is that, even if the story of ‘Gaius’ reached Callimachus from fellow-Greeks who had ‘witnessed’ it in theatrical performances in Rome, it cannot be taken for granted that the putative ‘man whose martial excellence came into full view as he jumped, only for him to end up lame’ was necessarily Cocles.

There is, however, another part of Callimachus’ verse (as represented in the ‘Diegeseis’) that might link ‘Gaius’ to Variant 5 of the Cocles legend:

  1. in the ‘Diegeseis’, as we have seen, Gaius was distressed by the fact that his leap from the walls had left him with a limp until his mother’s chiding put a stop to his worrying; and

  2. in two of the three records of Variant 5 of the Cocles legend, Cocles was consoled for the distress caused by his lameness:

  3. by the award of a statue in the shrine of Vulcan (Plutarch, above); or

  4. by his own knowledge that:

  5. ‘With every step, I am reminded of my triumph’”, (Servius, ‘ad Aen.’, 8: 646, based on the translation by Matthew Roller, referenced below, 2004, at p. 12).

However, this motif is known to have been applied to other Roman heroes besides Cocles.  For example:

  1. Plutarch had used Servius’ version of this motif in his life of the Roman commander Q. Sertorius (ca. 126-73 BC):

  2. “[Sertorius] ... displayed astonishing deeds of prowess and exposed his person unsparingly in battle, in consequence of which he took a blow that cost him one of his eyes.  [He took great pride in this wound, ... saying that] the marks of his bravery remained with him and, that, when men saw what he had lost, they also saw evidence of his valour” (‘Life of Sertorius’, 4: 2); and

  3. Cicero, more than a century earlier, had referred to a tradition in which, after Spurius Carvilius (the consul of 293 and of 272 BC) had been lamed in a now-unknown battle, his mother had urged him:

  4. “... to go out and let every step you take remind you of your gallantry”, (‘On Oratory’, 2: 62: 249, translated by Edward Sutton, referenced below, at p. 383).

Yannick Durbec, referenced below, at p. 491) pointed out that Johannes Stroux (referenced below, a paper that I have not consulted directly) used this passage by Cicero to equate Gaius with Carvilius: although his second consulship took place in a period for which we have only scant surviving sources, the fragmentary entry in fasti Triumphalis recorded his triumph in that year:

  1. “[Sp. Carvilius C.f. C.n. Ma]ximus {II}, [consul {II}, over the Samnites, Lucani, Bruttii] and Tarentines, non.[...]”

It is therefore possible that:

  1. Cicero drew on a tradition in which Carvilius was said to have leapt from the walls of a Roman garrison and killed the leader of a Peucetian army during this campaign, after which he was distressed by his consequent lameness until cajoled by his mother;

  2. this scene found its way into Roman tradition, perhaps having been re-enacted at the funerary games that were doubtless held for Carvilius at some time after 272 BC; and

  3. the story reached Callimachus in Alexandria via Greek visitors to Rome who had witnessed this putative re-enactment. 

Durbec (at note 56) rehearsed three objections that De Sanctis had made to Stroux’s hypothesis:

  1. De Sanctis argued that Callimachus could not have known of a variant of a story concerning a Roman event dated to 272 BC: however:

  2. although Carvilius was a Roman, his putative leap had been made in Magna Graecia; and

  3. as Constantine Trypanis (referenced below, at p. x) pointed out :

  4. -one of Callimachus’ poems referred to the the incursion of the Gauls into the Greek world in 278 BC; and

  5. -another two must have been composed after the death of Queen Arsinoë in 270 BC.

  6. He objected that the fasti do not mention the Peucetii: however, that does not rule out their involvement in the hostilities in Magna Graecia in 272 BC.

  7. He also objected that Gaius was not Carvilius’ praenomen: however, as far as we know, neither was it Cocles’ praenomen (which was usually recorded as Publius).

Furthermore, this motif is also known to have been applied to Greek heroes.  For example, Plutarch included it in three consecutive passages in his ‘Sayings of Spartan Women’:

  1. “[A Spartan woman], as she accompanied a lame son on his way to the field of battle, said:

  2. ‘At every step, my child, remember your valour.’

  3. Another, when her son came back to her from field of battle wounded in the foot and in great pain, said:

  4. ‘If you remember your valour, my child, you will feel no pain, and be quite cheerful.’

  5. When a Spartan who was wounded in battle and unable to walk was crawling on all fours was mortified at being so ridiculous, his mother said to him:

  6. ‘How much better it would be if you rejoiced over your bravery, rather than [allowing yourself to be] mortified by silly laughter’”, (‘Moralia: Sayings of Spartan Women’, 241: 13-15).

Plutarch also employed it in a quasi-historical Greek tradition:

  1. “When the thigh of Philip II had been pierced by a spear in battle with the Triballi, and Philip, although he escaped with his life, was vexed with his lameness, [his son], Alexander said:

  2. ‘Be of good cheer, father, and go on your way rejoicing, that you may recall your valour at each step’”, (‘Moralia: On the Fortunes of Alexander’, 9).

Alice Swift Riginos (referenced below, at p. 118) observed that, in this second passage, Plutarch inverted the motif that had been applied to the generic Spartan mother by having the son comfort the lamed father, presumably because:

  1. “... Philip's leg injury is secondary to the portrayal of his son’s ethos [in relation to war wounds].”

Annette Harder (referenced below, at p. 783) reasonably argued on the basis of this evidence that the motif that Callimachus applied to Gaius the Roman:

  1. “... may be an originally Greek tradition that, in the course of time, became attached to various historical characters in order to illustrate their fortitude.”

She observed (at p. 785) that:

  1. Callimachus’ source for the story of Gaius the Roman is unknown, but pointed out that possible candidates include Timaeus and Callias (both active at Syracuse in (ca. 300 BC); and

  2. it is likely that Gaius initially represented an exemplary Roman who was first equated in Roman tradition to Horatius Cocles and then to Spurius Carvilius, in order to endow Carvilius with Cocles’ ancient virtus.

Thus, it is at least possible that both Dionysius and Plutarch would have recognised parallels between Cocles and Callimachus’ ‘Gaius the Roman’, both had been lamed in battle.  Perhaps more importantly for our purposes, Plutarch located both Cocles and Philip II within the Greek tradition in which, like Gaius the Roman, they were consoled in some way for their lameness.

Leg Wound of Philip II

Parallels between Cocles and Philip II have cropped up so far in relation to:

  1. Variant 3: both men had lost an eye in battle and were nicknamed Cocles/ Cyclops;

  2. Variant 4: the author of the the so-called ‘Parallela Minora’ claimed that both men had lost an eye in a battle fought on a bridge but managed to swim to safety; and

  3. Variant 5:  according to Plutarch quoted above reflect both men  had subsequently sustained a severe leg wound in battle and each had been consoled in some way for his lameness.

The circumstances in which Philip sustained his leg wound are well-documented: according to the Athenian statesman Demosthenes (384-322 BC), by the time that Philip conquered Athens, he had already:

  1. “... endured: the loss of his eye; the fracture of his collar-bone; and the mutilation of his hand and his leg: [indeed, he] was ready to sacrifice any and every part of his body to the fortune of war, if only the life of the shattered remnant should be a life of honour and renown”, (‘On the Crown’, 18: 67).

Alice Swift Riginos (referenced below, at p. 105) observed that other reliable historical sources indicate that Demosthenes had listed Philips’ major injuries in chronological order: he had indeed:

  1. lost an eye at Methone in 354 BC (as discussed above);

  2. broken his collar bone in a war with the Illyrians in 344 BC; and

  3. sustained the mutilation of his hand and his leg in a skirmish with the Triballi after his war with the Scythians in 339 BC.

The circumstances in which he sustained his leg wound are recorded with notable consistency in the surviving sources.  The earliest of these was Demosthenes (above): in his analysis of Demosthenes’ speeches, Didymus (above) recorded that:

  1. “[Philip] received his third wound in the assault on an Triballi, when one of the men that he was pursuing thrust his sarissa [a very long and heavy spear] into his right thigh and maimed him”, (‘On Demosthenes’, column 13: lines 3-7, translated by Phillip Harding, referenced below, at p.89).

The context in which this occurred is found in the account of Justinus (late 4th century AD), in his epitome of Pompeius Trogus' ‘Philippic Histories’ (late 1st century BC): when the victorious Philip:

  1. “... was returning from Scythia, the Triballi met him and refused to allow him to pass unless they received a share of the spoils.  [This led to] a battle in which Philip received a wound through the thigh that was so severe that his horse was killed [under him], and ... the booty was lost.  Thus the Scythian spoils, as if cursed, had almost proved fatal to the Macedonians.  However, as soon as [Philip] had recovered from his wound, he made war upon the Athenians ...”, (‘Epitome of Pompeius Trogus’, 9: 9: 1-4).

Alice Swift Riginos (referenced below. at p. 117) observed that only two later embellishments of this historical record are known:

  1. According to Athenaeus (ca. 200 AD), Satyrus the Peripatetic (late 3rd or early 2nd century century BC - see Adrian Tronson, referenced below, at p. 117):

  2. “... writes in his ‘Life of Philip’: ‘When Philip lost his eye, [a sycophantic courtier], Cleisophos followed him with the same eyed bandaged  And, later, when Philip’s leg was wounded, Cleisophos accompanied the king, limping’”, (‘Deipnosophists’, 6: 248f-249a).

  3. As we have seen, Plutarch claimed that Alexander had comforted Philip with the thought that his lameness attested to his valour.

It seems to me that, when Dionysius became aware (from an earlier source and/or from his ‘autopsy’ of the statue in the Forum) that Cocles had been wounded in battle, losing an eye and the full use of a leg, he would have associated this combination of wounds with the wounds of Philip II, which might well explain why he assumed that Cocles had been wounded on two separate occasions: first in the eye (in an unspecified battle); and then in the buttocks (at the pons Sublicius).  However, he drew an important difference between the leg wounds that Philip and Cocles had sustained: he would have known that Philip had still been able to lead his army against Athens, but he recorded that Cocles:

  1. “... was rendered useless for further services to the state by his  lameness; and, because of this misfortune, he obtained neither the consulship nor any other military command”, (‘Roman Antiquities’, 5: 25: 3). 

It was presumably his ‘autopsy’ of the statue that lead him to the conclusion that Cocles’ leg wound would have seriously incapacitated him, which allowed him to explain the otherwise surprising fact that, having saved Rome from Porsenna, Cocles disappeared from public life.

Variant 5: Cocles Sustained a Leg Wound at the Pons Sublicius: Conclusions

It seems to me that this variant probably originated with Dionysius, following his examination of the statue in ‘the principal part of the Forum’ that was thought to represent Horatius Cocles.  He would have located Cocles’ legend within the strands of Greek historiography discussed above, including those that related to Philip II, which probably explains why he imagined that Cocles had already lost his eye before the engagement with Porsenna on the pons Sublicius that ended his career. 

We know from Pliny the Elder that Cocles’ statue could still be seen in Rome at the time of Plutarch’ visit(s) there in the 70s AD, and there is no reason to doubt that Plutarch had seen it in the shrine of Vulcan in the Forum (see below), and it is entirely possible that it had been moved there at a time at which markings on it it suggested the ‘Cocles’, like Vulcan, was lame.

Locations of the Statue of ‘Horatius Cocles’

As discussed above:

  1. the earliest surviving reference to this ancient statue of a Roman hero in military dress was by Cicero, who noted that it could still be seen in Rome in 44 BC; and

  2. the testimony of Livy suggests that, when it had first been ‘recognised’ as a statue of Horatius Cocles, it had been standing in the Comitium.

However, it is highly unlikely that the statue was still in the Comitium in 44 BC: as I mentioned above, the Comitium had lost any semblance of its original function by the late Republic, when the structures associated with it had been demolished and its memory survived only in the name that was given to a much-repaved area of the northern part of the Forum.  Many statues had been destroyed during these upheavals: for example, in another passage that Cicero wrote in 44 BC, he noted that: 

  1. “Lar Tolumnius, the king of Veii, killed four ambassadors of the Roman people at Fidenae, whose statues were still standing in the rostra, [on the southern part of the Comitium], within my recollection”, (‘Philippics’: 9:4). 

It is likely that Cicero had similarly seen the statue of Cocles in the Comitium, and that he had witnessed at least some of its its subsequent relocations.  I argued above that:

  1. Dionysius had seen it in what he regarded as the ‘principal part of the Forum in the late 1st century BC; and

  2. Plutarch had seen it in the Volcanal in the 70s AD.

We can this matter further by considering an important passage by Aulus Gellius (2nd century AD):

  1. “The statue of Horatius Cocles, ... which was placed in the Comitium at Rome, was struck by lightning.  Haruspices were summoned from Etruria to expiate that thunderbolt.  [However], through enmity and hostility towards the Roman people, ... [these haruspices] wrongly directed them to move the statue to a lower position, [one] that the sun’s rays never reached due to the obstruction of high buildings around it on every side.  [After the Romans had acted on this direction, the haruspices] were betrayed and brought to trial before the people: having confessed their perfidy, they were killed.  ... [T]he true directions, which were later discovered, had recommended that the statue should be relocated in locum editum (in a high place): ... accordingly, [the statue was moved again, this time to] sublimiore loco (a more elevated position) in area Volcanali (the precinct of Vulcan), after which, things turned out well and prosperously for the Roman people.  ... This story about the haruspices ... is written in the 11th book of the ‘Annales Maximi’ and in 1st book of Verrius Flaccus' [now lost] ‘rerum memoria dignarum’ (‘Memorable Facts’)”, (‘Attic Nights’, 4: 5: 1-6, based on the translation by John Rich, in T. J. Cornell (editor), referenced below, Volume II, at p. 23).

Although Gellius is our only surviving source for the information in this passage, there is no reason to doubt that he derived most of it from the sources that he cited.  However, as John Rich (in Volume I, at p. 154) pointed out:

  1. “... in view of the later obscurity of the ‘Annales Maximi’ [see below], it is likely enough that he only consulted this work indirectly.”

In other words, Gellius probably took his material from Verrius Flaccus, who had presumably cited the ‘Annales Maximi’ for some, if not all, of it. 

Our analysis of the information provided by Gellius must therefore take careful account of the little we know about the ‘Annales Maximi’.  John Rich (in Volume I, at p. 144) summarised the few undisputed facts about them:

  1. from an unknown date in the Republic, the serving Pontifices Maximi displayed a list of the important events of each year of his time in office;

  2. the events that were recorded are known to have included eclipses and corn shortages;

  3. this accumulating annalistic record was preserved in permanent form; but

  4. the practice of recording and preserving these annalistic records ceased during the period 130 - ca. 115 BC, when P. Mucius Scaevola was serving as Pontifex Maximus.

We learn more about the resulting ‘Annales’ from the Virgilian commentator known as Servius Danielis (ca. 700 AD), who commented on a line in the ‘Aeneid’ in which Aeneas lamented that it would take an inordinate amount of time to relate “annalis nostrorum ... laborum” (the annals of our labours) during his flight from Troy.  The commentator suggested (somewhat speculatively) that Virgil had chosen the word annales rather than ‘historia’ here in order to present Aeneas as a pontifex.  More importantly, he then set out how he thought that the pontifical ‘Annales Maximi’ had been compiled, and his account included an important piece of information that is otherwise unattested:

  1. “... men of a former time put the annual records  into 80 books, and they called them the ‘Annales Maximi’, from the Pontifices Maximi by whom they were composed (‘ad Aen.’, 1:373, translated by John Rich, in Volume II, at p. 13).

The question of whether or not the ‘Annales Maximi’ were actually so-named for this reason need not detain us; the important point for our purposes is that the information that Verrius Flaccus had taken from Book 11 of the ‘Annales Maximi’ must have come from this huge 80-book edition.  Rich outlined (in Vol. I, at p. 156), a number of uncertainties relating to this edition:

  1. “It may have consisted simply of the [‘bare-bones’] annual records made by the Pontifices Maximi, [in which case, it would have ended with an account of the significant events of the year in the period 130 - ca. 115 BC in which Scaevola ended the practice.]  Alternatively, it may have been a massively expanded compilation produced [either] by Scaevola’s time or during the Augustan age [when Verrius Flaccus was also writing]”.

Bruce Frier (referenced below, at pp. 194-200) argued strongly that it was produced in the Augustan age, but Rich observed (in Vol. I, at p. 155 and p. 156) that, while  this theory was attractive, no solution yet proposed for the ‘problem’ of this edition was without difficulties.  In any event, there is no reason to doubt that it was available to Verrius Flaccus (who became the tutor  of Augustus’ grandsons in the last decade of the 1st century BC and died in ca. 20 AD). 

We might now address how much of Verrius Flaccus’ account of the relocation of Cocles’ statue actually came from the ‘Annales Maximi’.  John Rich argued (in Volume I, at p. 154) that the information at the start of Gellius’ passage that related to:

  1. the portent represented by the lightening that struck the statue in the Comitium; and

  2. the Romans’ subsequent consultation of haruspices, who advised that the statue should be moved;

is likely to have derived ultimately from an entry in the record by the contemporary record of the serving Pontifex Maximus.  However, this ‘bare-bones’ annalistic record is unlikely to have been the source of the more anecdotal information that was contained in the rest of the passage, in which:

  1. the haruspices malevolently advised that the statue should be moved in inferiorem locum (to a lower position - not necessarily in the Comitium);

  2. the Romans initially acted on this advice;

  3. they then discovered that the gods had actually directed that the statue should be taken to a prominent place; at which point

  4. they punished the malevolent haruspices and moved the statue to a more conspicuous position in area Volcanali (the precinct of Vulcan).

This material was almost certainly the work of an antiquarian who was writing at a time at which the statue was in the area Volcanali for the purpose of explaining this fact:

  1. It is possible that this antiquarian material was added to the ‘bare-bones’ pontifical record when the 80-book edition of the ‘Annales Maximi’ was compiled, in which case, as John Rich pointed out (at Volume 1, at p. 154):

  2. “... the literary and anecdotal character of the [80-book edition] is confirmed.”

  3. In this case, Verrius Flaccus could have taken all the material cited by Gellius from the 80-b00k edition of the ‘Annales Maximi’.

  4. Alternatively, Verrius Flaccus might have devised this aetiology himself or taken it from an earlier work by another, now-unknown antiquarian.

It seems to me that the key points that we can take from Gellius’ passage (above) are that:

  1. the lightening strike on the statue in the Comitium was probably recorded in contemporary record displayed by the serving Pontifex Maximus;

  2. these basic date would have appeared in Book 11 of the 80-book edition of the ‘Annales Maximi’;, either as originally recorded or perhaps in expanded form.

Unfortunately, Gellius gave no indication as to the date of the lightening strike on the statue in the Comitium.  Rich argued (in Vol. 1, at p. 151) that the annual records of this kind:

  1. “... may have begun to be kept during (and perhaps early in) the 5th century BC: and [at least] some entries may have survived from that period and been used by later historians.  [For example], Cicero’s citation [at ‘On the Republic’, 1: 25; Rich’s F5] of the ‘Annales Maximi’ for the eclipse [that probably occurred on June 21, 400 BC] in all probability derives from an authentic entry made by the Pontifex Maximus of the day ... .”

In other words, the lightening strike on the statue of Cocles in the Comitium could have appeared in the annual pontifical record at any time between the early 5th and the last 2nd century BC.  Furthermore, since we know neither:

  1. when the the 80-book edition of the ‘Annales Maximi’ was compiled; nor

  2. whether this edition would have recorded that the statue was moved to a more elevated position in area Volcanali;

all we can say about its subsequent history is that it must have been in this location when Verrius Flaccus wrote the ‘rerum memoria dignarum’, probably in the early 1st century AD.

Read more:

I. Worthington (General Editor), “Brill’s New Jacoby” 2021 Online

D. Padilla Peralta, “Divine Institutions: Religions and Community in the Middle Roman Republic”, (2020) Princeton NJ and Oxford

S. Goldberg (translator), “Ennius. Fragmentary Republican Latin, Volume I: Testimonia; Epic Fragments”, (2018) Cambridge, MA 

G. Pace, Parallela Graeca et Romana 20A: Sources and Narrative Structure”, Ploutarchos, 15 (2018) 43-58

M. Roller, “Models from the Past in Roman Culture: A World of Exempla”, (2018) Cambridge and New York

C. Rowan, “Showing Rome in the Round: Reinterpreting the 'Commemorative Medallions' of Antoninus Pius”, Antichthon, 48:1 (2014) 109-25

T. J. Cornell (editor), “The Fragments of the Roman Historians”, (2013) Oxford

N.Goldschmidt, “Shaggy Crowns: Ennius' Annales and Virgil's Aeneid”, ( 2013) Oxford and New York

A. Harder, “Callimachus: Aetia”, (2o12) Oxford

A. Ibáñez Chacón, “Los Parallela Minora Como Pseudepigrafía: Criterios Externos” in:

  1. J. Martínez (editor), Mundus Vult Decipi: studios Interdisciplinares Sobre Falsificación Textual y Literaria”, (2012) Madrid, at pp 159-70

Y. Durbec, “Individual Figures in Callimachus”, in

  1. B. Acosta-Hughes et al. (editors), “Brill's Companion to Callimachus”, (2011) Leiden and Boston, at pp. 474-92

T. P. Wiseman, “Unwritten Rome”, (2008) Exeter

C. Smith, “The Origo Gentis Romanae: Facts and Fictions”, Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies, 48 (2005) 97-136

M. Roller, “Exemplarity in Roman Culture: The Cases of Horatius Cocles and Cloelia”, Classical Philology , 99:1 (2004), 1-56

D. Shackleton Bailey (translator), “Valerius Maximus: Memorable Doings and Sayings, Volume I: Books 1-5”, (2000) Cambridge MA

E. M. Atkins, (translator), “Cicero: On Duties”, (1991) Cambridge

A. Tronson, “Satyrus the Peripatetic and the Marriages of Philip II”, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 104 (1984) pp. 116-126

P. Watson, “Martial's Fascination with 'Lusci'”, Greece and Rome”, 29:1 (1982) 71-6

A. S. Riginos, “The Wounding of Philip II of Macedon: Fact and Fabrication”, Journal of Hellenic Studies, 114 (1994) 103-19

O. Skutsch, “The Annals of Quintus Ennius”, (1985) Oxford and New York

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K. Kilburn (translator), “Lucian: How to Write History [and Other Works]”, (1959) Cambridge, MA

C. Trypanis (editor and translator), “Callimachus: Aetia” in:

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R. Pfeiffer, “Callimachus: Volume II: Hymni et Epigrammata”, (1953) Oxford

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G. De Sanctis, “Callimaco e Orazio Coclite”, Rivista di Filologia e di Istruzione”, Classica, 14 (1935) 289-301

J. Stroux, “Erzählungen aus Kallimachus”, Philologus, 43 (1934), 301-19

C. Keyes (translator), “Cicero: On the Republic: On the Laws”, (1928) Cambridge, MA

R. Gummere (translator), “Seneca: Epistles, Volume III: Epistles 93-124”, (1925) Cambridge MA

H. Rushton Fairclough (translator), “Virgil: Aeneid, Books 7-12; Appendix Vergiliana”, (1918) Cambridge, MA

C. Bailey, “Review of Ennianae Poesis Reliquiae by Johannes Vahlen”, Classical Review, 18:3 (1904) 169-72

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