Saturday, May 9, 2020

M/M: In Honor of Their Love & Service: Harmodius & Aristogeiton, Val. Max. II.10.ext.1

Harmodii et Aristogitonis, qui Athenas tyrannide liberare conati sunt, effigies aeneas Xerxes ea urbe devicta in regnum suum transtulit. Longo deinde interiecto tempore Seleucus in pristinam sedem reportandas curavit. Rhodii quoque eas urbi suae appulsas, cum in hospitium publice invitassent, sacris etiam in pulvinaribus collocaverunt. Nihil hac memoria felicius, quae tantum venerationis in tam parvulo aere possidet.

--Valerius Maximus, Fact. Mem. II.10.ext.1

When Xerxes captured Athens, he removed the bronze statues of Harmodius and Aristogeiton (who tried to liberate the city from a tyrant) and brought them back to his kingdom. After a long time had passed, Seleucus returned them to their original location. On the statues’ way back to Athens, the townspeople of Rhodes invited them to be public guests, and displayed them on their sacred couches*. There is nothing more blessed than this memory: that such reverence was held for such a meager amount of bronze.

*During festivals, cult statues would be removed from temples and put on display in special litter-like "couches" and paraded throughout the city.

Name:  Valerius Maximus
Date:  1st c CE.
Works:  Memorable Deeds and Sayings

Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans

Little is known about the life of Valerius Maximus except that he wrote during the reign of the emperor Tiberius. His work, Memorable Deeds and Sayings, is a collection of examples from Roman and world history categorized by theme for the purpose of rhetorical exercises.
Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE