SECOND MEETING OF THE
NORTH AMERICAN SECTIONS
INTERNATIONAL PLUTARCH SOCIETY
"Plutarch's Unexpected Silences"
15-18 May, 2019
HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE THEME
SECOND MEETING OF THE
NORTH AMERICAN SECTIONS
INTERNATIONAL PLUTARCH SOCIETY
"Plutarch's Unexpected Silences"
15-18 May, 2019
HIGHLY CUSTOMIZABLE THEME
SECOND MEETING OF THE
NORTH AMERICAN SECTIONS
INTERNATIONAL PLUTARCH SOCIETY
"Plutarch's Unexpected Silences"
15-18 May, 2019
By Itidorfa07 (Own work) CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons (cropped from original)
Lion of Chaeronea Statue

Abstract Details

<< Back to Schedule

5/15/2019  |   2:00 PM - 2:30 PM   |  Hampton Inn Conference Room

Cherchez la femme? Plutarch, Antony, and Fadia

In his Philippics Cicero more than once refers to Fadia, characterised by the orator as Antony’s wife, and to the children she bore him (Cic. Phil. 2.3; 3.17; 13.23). He also discusses this matter, and its role in his Second Philippic, in a letter to Atticus (Att. 16.11.1). Plutarch was aware of these sources and yet, in his Life of Antony, remains silent on the topic of Fadia. Perhaps Plutarch, who knew something about invective invention, believed Cicero was making it all up. After all, marriage to the daughter of freedman, even a rich freedman, could only have been disgraceful in the extreme, and Plutarch may have observed that this was not the first time an imputation of this brand of gross mésalliance appeared in Ciceronian calumny (cf. Sest. 111). But even if he had his doubts, here was material one might have expected the biographer to put to work in his elaboration of Antony’s nature. The Fadia affair could have been rendered (for example) in such a way as to exhibit Antony’s habit of excessively indulging (often by way of personal eroticism) his vulgar connections (e.g. Ant. 4.5) or his recurring failure to get marriage right. This paper, then, will consider both what Plutarch could have done with Fadia and suggest various reasons why, in the end, he left her out. These negative considerations will include her bad timing (the relationship comes too early in his life, during a phase for which Plutarch was disinclined to emphasise Antony’s erotic attachments), her bad fit with the powerful women in Antony’s life (a factor that led to the near elimination of Antonia from Plutarch’s biography), and the sympathy with which Plutarch fashions even the noble ruin which was Antony.

Jeff Tatum (Primary Presenter), jeff.tatum@vuw.ac.nz;
Professor of Classics at the Victoria University of Wellington. Author or editor of several books, including The Patrician Tribune (1999), Always I am Caesar (2008), Plutarch: The Rise of Rome, with Chris Pelling (2013), and Quintus Cicero: A Brief Handbook on Canvassing (2018), and numerous article on Roman history, Latin literature, and on Plutarch.

Presentation:
This presentation is not available online.

Handouts:
Handout is not Available