Talk:Mark Antony

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Radke and the Fasti Verulani[edit]

A depiction of Laughing Out Loud in the presence of the Fasti Verulani (I reckon; I've no idea what this is about, but it was only thing that turned up at Commons, alas, though we have images of other fasti)

Mes amis, I had a most merry time at the library. Seeing as how Radke's article was so short, I arrived with a few coins in my purse to make photocopies. What a Luddite! No photocopier in the entire library would accept my paltry offerings of coins rather than the magic campus e-Totenpass, and after misadventures, a kindly huntsman, I mean Charon, I mean a senior librarian, took pity on me and copied at no cost the two physical pages that Radke's little article, really just a note, consumes. I have made a solemn vow never to tell that freebies valued at at least a quarter were doled out to a member of the public, and so have no doubt brought down a curse upon myself, were my true identity to be revealed. Sssh!

I am pleased to report that Radke is just about the clearest writer of German prose I have ever tried to read in the field of classical studies. When I'm at greater leisure, I'll share the pertinent passages. For now, I will provide the full details of the inscription, which comes from the Fasti Verulani, a Roman calendar (fasti) dated to around 17–37 AD. As Linderski notes, and Radke too, this inscription was discovered in 1923, hence neither the Catholic Encyclopedia nor the 1912 Britannica would've had it, nor even the old RE ("unknown to Wissowa"!—words that thrill the heart of any classicist).

The Fasti Verulani notes January 14 as dies vitiosus ex. s.c. Ant. natal. As Radke observes, this dies vitiosus accords with the statement in Cassius Dio 51.19.3 that Antony's birthday was declared ἡμέρα μιαρά (hēmera miara). Ex s.c. is an abbreviation that means "by decree of the senate" (s.c. = senatus consultum). Natal. is the standard calendar abbreviation for [dies] natalis. Ant. is a standard abbreviation in inscriptions for the nomen Antonius, and the passage in Dio supports the identification, since it says (in Greek) that Antony's natalis was declared a dies vitiosus and there's no suggestion that some other Ant. had a birthday so declared. As Linderski notes in the passage linked just above, dies vitiosus seems to be a unique degradation of a day, not known to have been used other than in connection with Antony's birthday. This same calendar (the Fasti Verulani) gives the date of January 17 for feriae ex s.c. quod eo die Augusta nupsit Divo Augusto ("holidays decreed by a senatus consultum because on this day Livia married the Divine Augustus"), thus spawning the difficulties of chronology concerning the birthday of Drusus.

Radke's "article" (really a note of about one and a half pages of text, with the remaining half page of endnotes, followed by another half page, followed by a blank page) is about how to reconcile January 14, which he accepts as a given, with the statement in Suetonius, since Drusus was supposed to have been born intra mensem tertium after the wedding of Livia and Augustus. His argument is precisely not that Antony's dies natalis was "really" March 28, but that Claudius through clever calculations reckoned that if Antony had been born under the same calendar as Drusus, they would've had the same birthday. It matters not whether those calculations were correct; the point is that Claudius made calculations. There is nothing to suggest that Antony's birthday was "really" any other date, only that Claudius, because the original date had been formally besmirched, engaged in intellectual shenanigans to rehabilitate the commemoration of Antony's birth, and to show what it would've been had Antony been born under another star, as it were.

So this leaves us exactly where we were when I first added the date of January 14 with a lavish footnote citing blue-linkable scholars all accepting this as Antony's DOB. The summaries of Radke in Flory and Hurley are about the chronological problems of the DOB of Drusus, not Antony, for whom there is no conflicting evidence. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:45, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Bravo, bravissimo! As far as I'm concerned, this settles the issue. There's no truly contradictory evidence for January 14; Radke's explanation of Claudius' statement makes perfect sense; and none of the other sources that follow Radke assert that Claudius was giving the original date of Antonius' birth. So while I have absolutely no objection to including the emperor's own reckoning in an explanation of the date, I think that we can lay to rest any doubt as to the veracity of the January 14 date. P Aculeius (talk) 23:12, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Actually there is another personage who could have been dies vitiosus ex. s.c. Ant. natal. and the Ant. could possibly have been Marcus Antonius ANTYLLUS (the Archer), aka Marcus Antonius IV or Marcus Antonius Minor (Antony's eldest son). Augustus perceived him as a major threat and had him put to death shortly after both Antony's and Cleopatra's suicides. Hence, this inscription was discovered in 1923, and prior to that there was NO established DOB for Antony's birthday for the past two thousand years. That explains why all those classical scholars never documented Jan. 14 as Antony's birthday: It wasn't discovered until 1923. So Radke accepts Jan. 14 based on this 1923 discovery. It is strange that academia has yet to accept this 1923 inscription as conclusive enough to list it in their encyclopedias. To this day, neither of the renowned world references such as the Britannica, New World Encyclopedia, World Book, American Standard Dictionary, Catholic Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of World Biography, World Biography, Oxford's World Encyclopedia, etc., have accepted this 1923 inscription as historical evidence of it being Marc Antony's DOB. I still have solid doubts as to Jan. 14 being even the pre-Julian DOB of Antony, inscription or no inscription. I am still intrigued where Arthur S. Weigall got his information that Antony was born virtually at the same time of Lucius Cornelius Sulla's arrival in Italy (at Brundisium) in the SPRING (i.e., March-April) of 83 BC (?) After all, Weigall's book was first published in 1931, or 8 years after the discovery of this 1923 inscription. Weigall must have heard of it. Hmmm. Something to ponder...However, since even the Jan. 14 date is the product of 1923 onward, I would suggest leaving both dates of March 28 and January 14 in the infobox as primaries. Especially since P Aculeius has no objection to both dates being displayed in this WP article of Marc Antony. Flagrantedelicto (talk) 23:25, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

Archaeologists, mirabile dictu, find new stuff all the time. Stuff even older than 2,000 years. That's how they stay in business. Give it up, or cite some sources. Arthur Weigall was, according to his article, an "Egyptologist, stage designer, journalist and author", not a scholar specializing in classics or ancient history. Linderski says plainly that we know of no date other than Antony's birthday that was declared a dies vitiosus. Your proposal of Antyllus is unsupported by even a shred of evidence, and not a single secondary source thus far: it's OR and unfounded speculation. March 28 should be the DOB of Drusus in his article; in Antony's, it's a footnote or explanation in the body text, not an alternate date. The date was commemorated on a Julian calendar as January 14, and there's no reason to believe that wasn't the date on the pre-Julian calendar under which he was born, since there is no evidence Romans switched birthdays on the new calendar (and much evidence that they retained their birthday, notably for Augustus). If you wish to contest the authenticity of the Fasti Verulani, this is not the forum. Cynwolfe (talk) 00:43, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I know first hand that archaeologists find new things all the time. I have been a part of a couple of such teams in the field. There is nothing to give up. Quoting me to me...LOL Did it ever occur to you that if March 28 was Antony's recalculated date on the Julian calendar, then technically that was the actual date back in 83 BC (not Jan. 14, which belonged to a faulty, inaccurate lunisolar cycle) (?) LOL The Fasti Verulani is not cited by any ancient historians. If the Jan. 14 date was so widely known, it should have appeared in some of their writings and not in an obscure calendar (Fasti) which turns up in 1923. And I don't need to be told which forum to contest what, thank you. If this calendar had so much weight, there is no reason in the world why academia would have ignored it. To this day, not a single encyclopedia has accepted Jan. 14 as Antony's undisputed birthday Fasti Verulani or no Fasti Verulani. It would also be nice if you present a link or some accessibility (if at all possible) of what Gerhard Radke wrote, for all to see who would be interested. This still presents an unexplained problem for what Suetonius recorded: That Claudius proclaimed Antony and Drusus shared the same birthday. If the Romans didn't change established days of importance (such as birthdays, death anniversaries, etc.,) from the pre-Julian calendar to the Julian calendar, then how could Claudius have made such a proclamation and have it accepted by the masses (?) Doesn't make any sense. This has vexed modern scholars and prompted an explanation and resolution for which Gerhard Radke took the initiative to resolve, so scholars like Hurley and Flory can explain this. Most of those other biographers of Antony didn't even come this far as you and I have right here on WP. Take Pat Southern for example. She is not even certain about Antony's birth year. I think you should feel elated at the research you accomplished, which Antony biographers Goldsworthy, Southern, and even Pelling didn't even cover. The Fasti Verulani was not cited by any of the Antony biographers or commentators (including Hurley). It is surprising that nearly all of them did not cite such a key source such as the Fasti Verulani...Makes anyone ponder. All said and done, it still does not explain why anyone would have inserted the Jan. 14 birthday for Drusus in three different WP articles. Nonetheless, the Fasti Verulani should have been known to any of the classical historians of Roman history post circa 17-37 AD (the timeframe attributed to the Verulani). It is curious that none of them cited it, even if it was lost to history and rediscovered in 1923. I am glad I reviewed your source of Hurley and discovered Gerhard Radke. Had I not pushed for Radke, we wouldn't have found out about the Fasti Verulani...Or that there even was a recalculation of the March 28 birthday for Antony to share with Drusus. Incidentally, did Radke openly state that March 28 was his calculated date for the elder Drusus (?) If so, we can cite the page number and enter it in the Drusus article. Flagrantedelicto (talk) 03:14, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I just saw a blow up of the actual Fasti Verulani Calendario Romano online. It is a magnificent piece of work. It was Prof. Camillo Scarafoni Scaccia, a distinguished scholar, who made the discovery, in the year 1922 (not 1923). It dates to 14 AD. And it also records the January 17 wedding of Augusta [Livia Drusilla] to Augustus [Octavian]. Flagrantedelicto (talk) 04:54, 28 January 2013 (UTC)


Please, dial back on the sarcasm a bit. Cynwolfe has gone to considerable trouble to dig up the sources of the dates we're talking about, but your tone is always dismissive of her work and conclusions. I think some of your argument proceeds from a misunderstanding of the Fasti Verulani. This wasn't a source that ancient writers would have relied upon; it was a calendar drawn up so that the ordinary citizens of Verulae (modern Veroli) would be able to keep track of what events should be celebrated (or in one remarkable case, not celebrated) on what days. Unless you lived in Verulae during the first century, you wouldn't have relied on them. We rely on the Fasti Verulani because they're the only extant ancient source (as far as we know) that states the exact date of Antonius' birth. Your argument is that the date should have appeared in other ancient sources; perhaps it did, but none of them have survived. Unlikely as that may seem to you, we don't know of any others. That fact, however, has absolutely no bearing on the accuracy of the Fasti Verulani, since it applies equally to every conceivable date.
It's not particularly persuasive that you haven't found an encyclopedia that provides January 14 as the date, since you haven't found any that list March 28 or any other date, either. But January 14 is accepted by pretty much every other scholar who gives a date. The only one who gives any support to the date of March 28 begins with the premise that Antonius was actually born on January 14, based on the calendar in use when he was born, and that Claudius chose to recalculate it for his own purposes. So there's absolutely no support for that date instead of January 14 in any source.
I don't see why you're so interested in Radke's explanation of why Drusus was probably born on March 28, since nobody here has argued that he was wrong, and he hasn't anything whatever to say about Marcus Antonius; moreover, according to your own account, you don't read German, so you wouldn't derive any benefit from it. But Radke did say that his date was an approximation, and not certain; so we don't really know that Drusus was born on that day. Only that it would have been about that day, or that that day seems to be the most likely of a range of days.
There's no "unexplained problem" here. It's been explained several times, and quite clearly. Claudius knew that his grandfather and father weren't born on the same day, at least under the calendars in use in the years they were born. But he was able to use the facts that the pre-Julian calendar could shift by several days from year to year, and even several months over the course of many years, and that the shift between 46 and 45 BC (when the Julian calendar was adopted) was 93 days, to assert that his grandfather's birthday co-incided with his father's. There was no objection to celebrating the birthday of Drusus, so if one adjusted the pre-Julian calendar for the year of Antonius' birth to match that day, one couldn't really object to celebrating them both together, the decree of Augustus notwithstanding.
Nobody claimed that "the masses" accepted Claudius' explanation. All Suetonius tells us is that he said it. But "the masses" didn't have to accept it, because by the time of his reign nobody outside the imperial family had any reason to, except to show their piety and fealty to the imperial family; and if you were going to do that, you were hardly going to argue that they had misinterpreted the dates for their own purposes.
It's not particularly relevant whether other modern historians cite the Fasti Verulani as their source, since as far as we know, there isn't another one. If they didn't state where they got the date, it isn't evidence that a different date is more probable. It's no more relevant than the fact that ancient historians didn't say where they got their information; much of the time, they didn't. The fact is that until modern times it wasn't common to cite the sources of all your information; even today we make exceptions on Wikipedia for things that are considered "common knowledge." These are things you can't fairly attribute to a single source, such as the date the Fourth of July, or that the sky is blue. Sure, you can find sources for these, but you can't point to an "official" source as the most authoritative on the point, and there's no reason why you should have to.
The date of Antonius' birth was common knowledge when he was alive, and presumably for some years after he died, which is why Augustus (apparently with the consent of the senate) decreed that it shouldn't be celebrated. But unless you were planning to draw up a calendar like the Fasti Verulani, you didn't need to report what that date was; and even if you were going to say when it was, you didn't need to explain how you knew it. That's why there aren't a lot of ancient sources for information like this. Just think what a small percentage of references to "Christmas" don't bother to explain that it's usually celebrated on (or beginning) December 25. Sure, some do, but most of the time you don't bother to say that when you mention Christmas. We only have two or three ancient sources that mention the birthday of Antonius in passing; it's not that surprising that they don't all say what day it was.
Which brings us back to the beginning. We have a date attested from an ancient source. This date is accepted by pretty much every scholar who gives any date at all. The only one who has anything to say about March 28 (based on Radke's work, which plainly stated it was only an approximation) also accepted that January 14 was the date commemorated by pretty much everyone before Claudius decided to adjust it to make it co-incide with his father's birthday. So there really isn't any evidence to support March 28 as the actual birthday of Marcus Antonius; that was an original interpretation made by Claudius, and our only source for that doesn't even provide the exact date that Claudius celebrated. It's time to finish this debate; there just isn't any reason for it to continue. P Aculeius (talk) 05:03, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Please don't advise me about sarcasm...You really have no idea who I am or what my credentials could possibly be (not that you or anyone could probably care). Agreed. The discussion (or debate) is over. But stop and pause for a little reflection: No one is denying the accomplishment and effort put in by the stated WP editor...Or did you miss that entirely from me. I have acknowledged the efforts even earlier, but could have done without the condescending tone towards me as well (little class or grace). Somehow, some of you seem to miss this aspect altogether. All is well that ends well. And keep in mind that had I not reviewed the stated WP editor's sources and pushed in the direction to where someone finally DID find an ancient source to verify Antony's birthday of Jan. 14, this WP article would have probably not known this (maybe for a very longtime). Now, because I kept pushing the envelope, someone finally found the Fasti Verulani (which none of the Antony biographers even seemed to have cited: Goldsworthy, Southern, Pelling, even Hurley & Flory...It has been engaging. Arrivederci. Flagrantedelicto (talk) 13:31, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Forgive my jocular tone above—I was just so relieved the question could be decided cleanly and easily that I was giddy. Precisely why I wanted a good solid piece of German scholarship. I've been called away to other things, but will try to tidy this all up later today, and may take a look at the article on Drusus as well, to correct the Jan. 14 (to answer the question, it seems fairly straightforward as to why someone would use that date: it's Antony's DOB, and the line in Suetonius seems to say they were born the same date—as P Aculeius points out so well, that isn't exactly what the sentence is saying). Cynwolfe (talk) 16:12, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Here is a link to Agnes Kirsopp Michels' The Calendar of the Roman Republic...[[1]]. In page 63 [in the actual book itself, not the pdf linked pages], note 9, Michels' writes about the Fasti Verulani stating that the date of Jan. 14 appeared in several Fasti, however none of those others identified the day as Antony's birthday until the 1922 discovery of Fasti Verulani was published in 1923. In all the other Fasti which commemorated the day of Jan. 14, the inscription for Jan. 14 read: Vitiosus ex senatus consulto...Until of course the discovery of Fasti Verulani in 1922 by Prof. Camillo Scarafoni Scaccia. She does not mention the professor or its discovery, though. Interesting bit. Btw, you should remove Weigall's citation from the Brundisium entry regarding Antony's birth (or re-word it). Even if he is erroneous, Weigall does NOT state that Antony was an infant when Sulla landed in Italy. This is misquoting. Flagrantedelicto (talk) 20:11, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

It isn't a quote. There are no quotation marks around that statement. It is a paraphrase. If Weigall says Antony had been born "just about that time" (and as P Aculeius recognizes, Weigall's point is to describe the world into which Antony enters, not to establish a DOB as such), then Antony was indeed an infant: what else was he? He was no longer a fetus in his mother's womb, nor was he yet a toddler. If you follow the link, dies vitiosus is explained. Actually, it seems consonant with the Roman practice of damnatio memoriae not to name him (though I think Flower showed that Antony's reputation was suppressed rather than under a complete damnatio, because he couldn't be erased from the intertwining lineage of the imperial family), but the identification of Antony in the Fasti Verulani is supported by Cassius Dio. Cynwolfe (talk) 20:36, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
Doesn't Michels' note confirm January 14 as Antony's birthday? Cynwolfe (talk) 20:46, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

OK..A mis-paraphrase then. I disagree with P Aculeius and yourself. Weigall is describing both: The situation in Rome when Antony was born and at just about the time that he do so....Julia gave birth to male child... This is easily interpreted to mean that Antony's birth (not infancy) coincided with Sulla's landing in Italy. Besides, the Verulani does not establish the year of Antony's birth. Antony could have been over 3 years old. And your tone is still condescending...And as I stated earlier (very) little class or grace (in it)...I have openly commended your research as excellent and have acknowledged your earnest effort...Now go and whine to the WP administrators at ANI... Flagrantedelicto (talk) 21:03, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

That sentence was rewritten to encompass the proscriptions, since Weigall goes on to imagine the family with their baby living in terror, and Goldsworthy presents a similar if less empurpled setting-of-the-scene. So Wiegall's page numbers just need expanded. I wouldn't have chosen Weigall as a source, but see no reason to take out what someone else put in if it fits at this point and doesn't mislead about the chronology. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:46, 28 January 2013 (UTC)
I'm probably going to regret sticking my nose into this conversation, but there have been times when I've been in Cynwolfe's position and could have used some support, so what the hell. Flagrantedelicto, you accuse Cynwolfe of having a condescending tone. Meanwhile, your tone throughout the whole conversation has been hectoring, aggressive, wilfully difficult, and dismissive of her efforts to find reliable sources to accommodate as many points of view as possible - an effort you have not been willing to go to yourself. You reflexively refuse to take on board anything that's said to you. The only "condescension" I can detect in Cynwolfe's tone has been her strenuous effort to remain polite to you in the face of your relentless provocation. The dispute has now been resolved, thanks entirely to Cynwolfe's efforts. Rather than keep picking at it, I suggest you let it drop, and shut up. --Nicknack009 (talk) 22:16, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

You are right, you should keep your nose out of this and shut the hell up yourself. I am not picking at it, if you can grasp that. I just provided some more interesting knick-knacks about the Verulani including this translated excerpt:

Between days in character commemorative, January 14 auspi what is bad because it recalls the birth of Antonio: D (ies) VITIOSUS EX S (enatus) C (onsulto) ANT (onii) NATAL (is). "It was the chief who succeeded Caesar, in 43 BC, a decree by the Senate to Antonio enemy of his country. The greatest enemy of Octavian, therefore born January 14 83 BC, was covered with ignominy, although the infamous decree was revoked in the same year. On January 17, remembers the wedding of Augustus Livia: Feriae EX S (enatus) C (onsulto) QUOD EO AUGUST TO DIE NUPSIT DIVO AUG (usto). Livia verolano in the text is indicated by the noble name of Augusta, a title which she received a will after the death of her husband, who, in the same memory, is called "divus" because now counted among the deities. Another note which is found in the Fasti Verulani is that of the February 22, where it is written: LOWER (iae) C. Caesaris. Gaius Caesar, the adopted son of Augustus, was sent, still a youth, during the first century BC, in the provinces of Asia. On September 9, the second A.D. Gaius Caesar, during the siege of Artagena, Armenia, suffered a wound so severe that on February 21, 4 BC died. Augustus, who had no children by Livia, adopted grandchildren Gaius and Lucius, sons of Agrippa, targeting it, then the succession. The death, however, surprised the kids early. On March 27, our calendar recalls the capture of Alexandria (47 BC) by Caesar Feriae QUOD EO DIE CAESAR ALEXANDRIAM RECEPIT.

Considering the record of January 17, when Augustus is called "divus", we can say that the Fasti Verulani are back to 14 AD, the year of death of the founder of the Roman Empire. Livia, however, is still alive as they do not mention the name sacred. It follows then that the calendar Veroli had to be drawn up within the first half of the first century AD "(MARIO Mezzacapo Historical Notes ..., cit.).

Flagrantedelicto (talk) 22:37, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Well, er, lifting jaw up from floor … ahem. I have been in Nicknack009's position at this moment, too. Wikipedia is a volunteer collaborative effort, and any editor in good standing can participate on any talk page he pleases. I myself would rather be at the Festival of Veroli, watching the fire-breathers, and Nicknack009 is welcome to join the company at either venue. I'm not sure what the purpose of the quoted passage is: the dating of the FV, I take it? That Livia hadn't been divinized? Since Claudius did that, that would seem to support the view that January 14 won't appear as a dies vitiosus after the time of Claudius, because he will have rehabilitated the date. I don't know whether that's the case, since I don't know what all the other fasti are. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:58, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

LOL...Just an interesting excerpt I thought to share here in the Talk Page. It was intended to be my last post in this particular WP Talk Page (of Antony)...Unless I end up being blocked from any further editing. Instead, this one will be. Flagrantedelicto (talk) 23:10, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

Postscript enty: Arthur S. Weigall's cited source for Antony's birth coinciding with Sulla's landing in Italy was Viktor Emil Gardthausen's Augustus und seine zeit Volume II (1921 edition). This is part of a 4 part volume entitled Augustus und seine zeit first published in 1904. Flagrantedelicto (talk) 16:46, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

I've reviewed this book, which is available HERE. As Flagrantedelicto pointed out, it was published before the discovery of the Fasti Verulani. My German is practically non-existent, but just for figuring out what Gardthausen was saying, Google Translate was adequate. I typed my own transcription of the relevant passages on pages 5 and 6 of volume 2, since the transcribed versions of other books I've seen at this site are full of typos due to stray marks and punctuation being confused; and of course this book is full of umlauts and long S's.
The gist of it is that Gardthausen assumed, based entirely on the passage in Suetonius, that Antonius and Drusus were born on the same day. However, he points out that there's no source for either one of these dates in extant inscriptions, and laments the lack of a stone calendar (such as the Fasti Verulani) that would provide a specific date for one or the other. Gardthausen then attempts to use other circumstantial evidence to narrow down the time frame. First, using both statements in ancient authors (Plutarch for one) and evidence of Antonius' age from coins and the dates that he held various magistracies, Gardthausen concludes that Antonius was probably born in 83 BC. The rest of his speculation is based on the fact that Cleopatra gave him a lavish birthday party at some point between the Battle of Actium (2 September, 31 BC) and the capture of Alexandria (1 August, 30 BC).
Gardthausen assumes that no such event would have taken place in the months immediately following the defeat at Actium, and so eliminates the months from September to December. He then eliminates the period from January to the middle of March, on the grounds that Antonius lazed about in complete apathy following his return to Alexandria. From this, Gardthausen concludes that Antonius was probably born between late March and early July. But he also repeatedly laments the lack of anything solid to substantiate his guess.
As far as I can tell, Gardthausen says absolutely nothing to the effect that Antonius was born at the time that Sulla landed at Brundisium. From this I would suppose that the period of Antonius' birth was the only thing Weigall was attributing to him. And, since nobody seems to know exactly what date that occurred, and Weigall didn't know either date with any certainty, all we can assume is that he meant that the two events occurred during the same period of time. We have no way of knowing how far apart they would have to have been in order for Weigall not to make that statement, since clearly he did so for dramatic effect and not historical exactitude. And if Weigall's source for the date of Antonius' birth was indeed Gardthausen, then we know that it was only a guess, a rough approximation based on purely circumstantial evidence, and no more.
One thing we do know with certainty is that despite exhaustive efforts to find anything conclusive, Gardthausen was unaware of anything that would pin down the date of Antonius' birth with any certainty; and presumably so was Weigall. So you can't use either of them to assert that a date of March 20 or April 17 or July 20 was known by any scholar prior to the discovery of the Fasti Verulani, which provided the date of January 14. At best, one might intuit that the span of days from March 20 to July 20 was roughly the period postulated by Gardthausen. But certainly, there was and has been no effort to displace a "known" or "accepted" date with that of the Fasti Verulani; the date from that calendar appears to be the only specific date attested in any existing source from antiquity. P Aculeius (talk) 22:52, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Interesting commentary of Gardthausen's work. I have only one problem with the inscription for January 14th in the Fasti Verulani: That several subsequent Fasti from post-Augustus' reign do not bear the inscription of Ant(onii) Natal(is). January 14th being Antony's publicly known birthday had to be a Dies Fasti, so when Augustus wanted to malign his memory, he had the Senate decree the addition of Vitiosus Ex Senatus Consulto to it. However, in several subsequent Fasti Calendario Romano which listed the day of January 14th, it would have made a lot more sense to just omit the inscription of Vitiosus Ex Senatus Consulto, rather than Ant(onii) Natal(is), if Claudius wanted to make an honorable gesture in memory of his maternal grandfather. I wonder if the January 14th day appears in any earlier Fasti Romano Calendario (?) Maybe even the Fasti Antiates of the pre-Julian Republican era circa 60 BC, perhaps (?) Just a thought... Flagrantedelicto (talk) 06:02, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Drawing of the reconstructed Fasti Antiates
Claudius would not have gone so far to mark Antony's birthday as an official observance: he merely removed the novel stain of declaring it vitiosus. On Imperial calendars, the natales celebrated are those of emperors and Caesars, their wives, and sometimes (I think) their heirs or the men they hoped would be their heirs. Julius Caesar was, if I'm not mistaken, the only figure from the Republic to be so commemorated, and to elevate Antony to that status would've been a radical and combative gesture that undermined Augustan ideology. During the Republic, people were not honored by having their birthdays placed on the official calendar of religious observances issued by the pontiffs; this is a development in association with Imperial cult. However, the birthdays of major public figures might be noted and celebrated; Pompey took care to hold one of his triumphs on his birthday. Sacrifices or offerings might've been made on a birthday to the Genius of a powerful person regarded as a patronus, but during the Republic, such would not appear on an official calendar. (BTW, dies fasti is a plural, though when the word fasti is used as a synonym for "calendar" in English it is sometimes treated as a singular; the construction Fasti Calendario Romano would not be a proper noun even if it made sense as Latin.) I'm awestruck by the lengths P Aculeius has gone to by checking with NASA on the eclipse and summarizing the superseded Gardthausen. The fragmentary Fasti Antiates, as you may check for yourself at right, preserve no observances on January 14, but the day is marked as intercissus (EN), the meaning of which (see Ianuarius#Dates) suggests that it was not regarded as vitiosus at that time. Cynwolfe (talk) 13:33, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

LOL...The NASA bit is in connection to what I don't know...(!?) I guess I must have missed something below. Btw, I do know enough Latin to know that Fasti is plural of Fastus, and its root, the noun Fas. And their collective definitions as well. I was being rather loose in my usage of some of the Latin. Gardthausen wrote an impressive 4 volume work on Augustus. Anyhow, still not fully satisfied with why the inscription Vitiosus Ex Senatus Consulto was not omitted along with Antonii Natalis. Whether it was indeed Claudius, or perhaps even the earlier emperors Caligula or Tiberius. If Antony's natalis was omitted, then the entire inscription should have been as well. It has no point even being commemorated among the Fasti or Nefasti. Especially if the entire point & purpose of the inscripiton Vitiosus Ex Senatus Consulto was to vilify Antony's birth. I did find some explanation on the inscription for Jan. 14 in Stephanus Antonius Morcelli's book Di Stilo Inscriptionvm Latinarvm (from the last paragraph at the bottom of pg 71 to the top sub-paragraph of pg 72 of the actual book itself). It is entirely in Latin, which required auto-translation if one doesn't know Latin. Essentially, it states that days following the Ides of a month were considered unfavorable. And in the case of the ominous inscription Vitiosus Ex Senatus Consulto, that it was sandwiched between two rather auspicious days: The Idus of Iunarius and the 15 Iunarius; the latter day honoring the muse Carmentis (mother of Evander). It also mentions that Augustus found the day unfavorable as well, although no mention of Antonii Natalis or any connection to Marc Antony. I am obviously assuming that this book was also published before Camillo Scarafoni Scaccia's 1922 discovery. I didn't really check its publication info.[[2]] I have pretty much concluded this topic here. I did see you have been busy updating & re-editing the WP article about the month of Januarius in the view history section. I also found a New World Encyclopedia entry of Antony which recently added his Jan. 14 natalis as circa Jan. 14, as well. Flagrantedelicto (talk) 18:27, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

Saturnalia, January 14, and the Verolani[edit]

I am frequent Wiki reader but joined up when I came across this long debate about Mark Antony's birthday. I found a couple of articles in internet about Saturnalia and the Ides of the Roman calendar months, but could not trace original authorship to either. I thought I would post it here as they are relevant to talk page (plz forgive their length) -- [copyvio & possible copyvio deleted Dougweller (talk) 21:41, 30 January 2013 (UTC)]

LiShihKai (talk) 20:43, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

Such long quotations of material found on the net are assumed copyvio unless otherwise shown. The first can ber seen at [3] anyway, the second I'm not sure about but as LiShihKai says they are from the net we assume copyright exists until we are shown otherwise. Dougweller (talk) 21:41, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
The first half of the material LiShihKai quoted seems to be taken from Encyclopaedia Romana by James Grout, an on-line reference subtitled "Rome, the Home of Empire and of all Perfection." http://penelope.uchicago.edu/~grout/encyclopaedia_romana/calendar/saturnalia.html That alone calls the author's scholarship into doubt, since it's not a source we can accept as a neutral point of view. While the article itself seems well-written and includes some source citations, it also includes dubious inferences and some genuine misunderstandings about the Roman calendar. Specifically relevant to this talk page: the Romans rarely, if ever, counted the number of days in a month up from the Kalends. They simply wouldn't have referred to January 14 at all; that would have been as foreign to them as counting back from the Kalends of February does to us.
Secondly, the reasoning that the day of Antonius' birth was somehow erased from the calendar due to Caesar's reforms makes no sense. The day we today count as the 14th of January was the seventeenth day before the Kalends of February when Antonius was born, and that date would still have existed after the adoption of the Julian calendar, although today we would count it as January 16. If Antonius was born the day after the Ides of January, then he might have had the choice of the seventeenth or the nineteenth day before the Kalends of February, but the day he was born didn't cease to exist simply because you could interpret it in either of two ways. If the Julian calendar had removed two days from January, then the nineteenth day before the Kalends of February might be said to have vanished, although in that case you could just as easily interpret it to be the day before the Ides under the new calendar, or if it were important that it occur the day after the Ides, you'd simply celebrate it on the seventeenth day before the Kalends of February instead of the nineteenth. So even then, the day wouldn't have ceased to exist, as this article asserts. But in order for Grout's premise to be correct, the Julian calendar would have to have done the opposite of what it in fact did, by removing days from January instead of adding them.
Google can't seem to locate any of the text from the second article that you appear to be quoting. Various phrases and clauses (such as "harrowing total solar eclipse") produce no exact matches. Unlike the first article, this one contains no citations to any authority, and isn't clearly written. So far, nobody's found any sources other than Weigall who equated Antonius' birth with the landing of Sulla at Brundisium, much less a law passed by the Roman senate doing so; nor can I imagine any plausible reason why the senate would even take it up, or why Antonius would ask them to. This article asserts that Augustus "reassigned" Antonius' birthday to an inauspicious day on the calendar, contradicting the other article you posted; and cites no source for an event not mentioned in any source we've located so far. I can't find any source to suggest that the Roman calendar was ever altered due to a solar eclipse on January 14, 597 BC, although the list of solar eclipses does indicate one occurred on that date. However, a check of NASA's Eclipse Database shows that that eclipse occurred over the Indian and South Atlantic Oceans, and would never have been visible at Rome. So this article, if it even is an article you found on the internet, appears to be a complete hoax. None of it belongs on Wikipedia. P Aculeius (talk) 22:02, 30 January 2013 (UTC)
And this recent series of edits shows why devoting so much time and energy to a point of trivia doesn't help the encyclopedia. Although the sourcing isn't excellent, the editor has tried to improve the overall narrative of the article, and addressed a real problem. The DOB is a minuscule item compared to the vast amount of improvement this top-priority article could use, and think what larger goals we could've accomplished with all our time and effort—which only takes us back repeatedly to the same point of fact attested by sufficient secondary sources in the first place. (That NASA cite is still awesome, though.) Cynwolfe (talk) 15:29, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

I think you are being a little hypocritical here. Rather than preaching to other WP editors / users about what is and what is not "trivia", you should perhaps reflect on you own actions. If you thought that the DOB topic was miniscule, why then did you spend so much time debating it ? You obviously did not feel it miniscule, or you would not have spend so much time in it yourself. LiShihKai (talk) 19:18, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Because modern reliable sources gave the January 14 date, and WP has a policy against fringe views. There was no need for such a lengthy debate unless modern RS supported some other date; they didn't, and the discussion was based on a confusion about Radke's efforts to explain the problems of chronology in regard to the DOB of Drusus, not of Antony. The discussion didn't remain on the talk page, but was causing misleading entries to be introduced into article space. I don't see how it's "hypocritical" to make sure that the encyclopedia doesn't contain inaccuracies. So please don't make personal attacks. Your personal opinion of me doesn't belong here. Cynwolfe (talk) 19:36, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

Ensuring that there are no inaccuracies is all fine. The "hypocrisy" comes in when remarks are posted about what is "miniscule". Again, if you thought that the DOB issue was "miniscule", you would not have debated it to the extent that you did. Even to the point of actually arriving at an ancient source which confirmed Anthony's DOB (which you didn't even know yourself for nearly the entire length of the DOB debate, almost until its culmination). Technically, one cannot have a personal opinion of somenone without knowing someone personally. This debate attracted a lot of people (including myself, a frequent Wiki user). It had its own value, I would say. And if my "opinion" doesn't belong here in this Talk Page, then where would you suggest it belongs ? Perhaps, the Cleopatra or Augustus Talk Pages, maybe ? It is not up to you to advise other WP users where their "opinion" belongs. That Flagrantdelicto editor appears to be right about one thing: You do come across as a bit condescending. LiShihKai (talk) 20:09, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm aware that I can sound condescending, but it's a schoolmarmish tone of voice that creeps in when I'm frustrated but trying to be polite. I apologize. A talk page is open to anyone for discussing the content of the article. I said it isn't a place to discuss "your personal opinion of me." The focus needs to remain on the content and how to improve it (please review WP:NPA). Since you have made fewer than ten edits, you may not be fully aware of WP policies and guidelines. We had several RS that gave the DOB. If we cite RS, we don't always need to establish their precise assemblage of primary sources (the "chain of evidence"), though I try to read the primary passages cited so I can make sure I understand the secondary sources accurately and in context, and in classical studies it's conventional to cite the primary sources on which the secondary sources base their views. As I said above, this article could use a lot of attention and improvement, and the DOB seems to me to be a dead-end issue, since no one is bringing forth any new secondary sources. Cynwolfe (talk) 23:02, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

So you have acknowledged that you can sound condescending. Apology accepted. No big deal. Playing a little hide-the-salami (not hide-the-Verulani) a little more often could do wonders for schoolmarmish frustation. Just a general analysis (not an advice), if you will. G'day. LiShihKai (talk) 20:56, 20 March 2013 (UTC)

Gay young Antony[edit]

I don't want to delete this, but I do worry that it's a little misleading. To say that Cicero "accused" Antony of having a homosexual relationship would sound like there's something wrong with having a gay love affair; at the same time, from Cicero's perspective, it was indeed intended to be an insult: not so much because Antony had sex with a man (we don't actually know whether Cicero's characterization is correct, though I seem to recall Plutarch expanding on it), but because he took the passive/"feminized" role. What Cicero actually said is that Curio turned Antony into a wife. Craig Williams, I think it was, pointed out that this is the first reference in Latin literature to same-sex marriage between men—while also pointing out that unlike the later Imperial references, it can't be taken seriously. Anyway, there's a bit about this at Homosexuality in ancient Rome#Gay marriage. I don't want to explain the point out of due proportion in this article, but it rather lacks the context. Cynwolfe (talk) 22:49, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Add a novel?[edit]

Can Alan Massie's 'Augustus' be added to the list of fictional representations? There's a lot of references to MA in it even when he's not actually present. The Old Trout (talk) 20:40, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Substantial Revision[edit]

Various WikiProjects have listed this article as an article of Top-Importance/High-Important to their project's efforts. I am in the in process of translating text from the Spanish, French, German, and Italian versions of this article into English and incorporating there information into this version. Any assistance regarding general edits, such as punctuation, spelling, grammar, and the like, would be greatly appreciated. - Rougher07 (talk) 06:40, 21 March 2014 (UTC)