This paper is to be read in conjunction with Robert Daniel’s introductory account of the somewhat earlier curse found by Barbara Burrell and Kathryn Gleason in a well in a courtyard of the Promontory Palace at Caesarea Maritima (Israel) against the pantomime Porphyrios. Its limited aim is to complement my recently-published commentary on the sixth-century CE curse against the pantomime dancer Manna, son of Rufina, which had been recovered in Italian excavations of the theatre of Caesarea in the period 1949-54 but has only recently been re-discovered in the Civico Museo Archeologico of Milan. The present article reprints a translation of the curse and then focuses more closely on the figure of Petbe, ‘the Requiter’, the main god invoked, than was possible in the original commentary, and explores the influence of late-antique ‘Orphic’ cosmological myth on the text. Further sections discuss the relation between the Milan text and a pair of related curses from Apheca (Fiq, Mt. Lebanon) against a dancer who was a member of the Blue faction, and the intermittent attempts by the imperial

Cursing Dancers in the Roman Levant: A Forgotten Text in Milan

Mastrocinque, Attilio
2021

Abstract

This paper is to be read in conjunction with Robert Daniel’s introductory account of the somewhat earlier curse found by Barbara Burrell and Kathryn Gleason in a well in a courtyard of the Promontory Palace at Caesarea Maritima (Israel) against the pantomime Porphyrios. Its limited aim is to complement my recently-published commentary on the sixth-century CE curse against the pantomime dancer Manna, son of Rufina, which had been recovered in Italian excavations of the theatre of Caesarea in the period 1949-54 but has only recently been re-discovered in the Civico Museo Archeologico of Milan. The present article reprints a translation of the curse and then focuses more closely on the figure of Petbe, ‘the Requiter’, the main god invoked, than was possible in the original commentary, and explores the influence of late-antique ‘Orphic’ cosmological myth on the text. Further sections discuss the relation between the Milan text and a pair of related curses from Apheca (Fiq, Mt. Lebanon) against a dancer who was a member of the Blue faction, and the intermittent attempts by the imperial
ancient theatre
Storia romana
ancient magic
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1050287
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