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Ancient Supplication by F. S. Naiden

By F. S. Naiden

This is often the 1st book-length remedy of supplication, an enormous social perform in historic Mediterranean civilizations. regardless of the significance of supplication, it has bought little consciousness, and no prior research has explored such a lot of features of the perform. Naiden investigates the various gestures made by means of the supplicants, the kinds of requests they make, the arguments utilized in safety in their requests, and the function of the supplicandus, who evaluates and makes a decision even if to meet the requests. various and ample assets invite comparability among the societies of Greece and Rome and in addition between literary genres. also, Naiden formulates an research of the ritual in its criminal and political contexts. In developing this wealthy and thorough examine, Naiden thought of over 800 acts of supplication from Greek, Hebrew, and Roman literature, artwork, and clinical assets. 30 illustrations and a map of the appropriate destinations accompany the textual content.

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Other sources: Arr. An. 5, App. 9, Just. 8. Other temples: Just. 4–7. S. 1–4. 24 Ancient Supplication pre-Hellenistic Egypt, one important source, Herodotus, makes the mistake of reporting temple refuge where none existed. 95 The Egypt of the Ptolemies does, of course, provide the evidence for supplication analyzed by Woess, but this evidence concerns only the shrines of several Greek gods and of Isis and Serapis. 97 Also irrelevant is any refuge provided by a Semitic temple in Mesopotamia. 98 The same objection, a lack of instances, applies to supplication among the tribes of ancient Europe, among whom evidence for pledges is entirely missing, as is evidence for supplication at altars.

73. 4 Gilgamesh, Humbaba, and Enkidu, but a less supplicatory pose. Courtesy of Preussischer Kulturbesitz. 89 Missing only is some royal gesture to show that the king has given a pledge. 90 Other surrenders differ from supplication because the king does not allow the defeated to take any initiative. Rather than let them approach, he subdues them; rather than let them fall at his feet, he compels them to lie there, and sometimes places his own foot on their necks. 92 These two kinds of surrenders explain why supplication by the defeated, which surely occurred many times—perhaps as many as in Greece, given Assyrian successes—does not bulk large in the Assyrian records.

15 The reason for this ranking is not simply that these three rulers fight more, or even that they win more. 16 Rather, Alexander and Caesar (and, to a lesser degree, Trajan) serve as paragons of success. They thus deserve the most suppliants. If more Near Eastern evidence survived, this conclusion would be all the stronger. The reason is that of all sources for supplication, none is so favorable to the conqueror as Near Eastern stelae commemorating military victories. These stelae contain long lists of the defeated, all candidates for acts of supplication.

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