Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 46 (2006) 301 3 313 Menas and Thomas: Notes on the Dialogus de scientia politica L. S. B.
MacCoull CHOLARLY ATTENTION has recently been redrawn 1 to the sixth - century text known as the Dialogue on Political Science (hereafter DPS ). 2 When and where was it composed? Perhaps wr itten in the decade to decade and a half before A .
D . 565, in the latter part of Justinian 9s reign, 3 the dialogue has a dramatic date of ca. 528/9.
4 Its two speakers were called, ac - cording to Photius 9 reading, 5 Menas 6 and Thomas 7 : while in the actual text their names read Menodoros ( MhnÒdvrow ) and 1 D. O 9Meara, cThe Justinianic Dialogue On Political Science and Its Neo - platonic Sources, d in K. Ierodiakon ou (ed.), Byzantine Philosophy and its Ancient Sources (Oxford 2002) 49 3 62; idem, Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Oxford 2003) 171 3 184, part of ch.
13 (159 3 1 84) cIdeals of Church and State in the Sixth Century. d 2 Menae patr icii cum Thoma referendario De scientia politica dialogus , ed. C.
Maz - zucchi (Milan 1982). C. Pazdernik, cJustinianic Ideology and the Power of the Past, d in M.
Maas (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian (Cambridge 2005) 185 3 212, esp. 195, 208, also uses its Greek designation, Peri politikês epistêmês. 3 Earlier dated before A .
D . 532 (A. Sheppard, cPhilosophy and ... more.
Philo - sophical Schools, d CA H 2 XIV  835 3 854, here 853; cf.
A. S. Fotiou, cPlato 9s Philosopher King in the Political Thought of Sixth - Century Byzantium, d Florilegium 7  17 3 29, here 17), but the later dating seems preferable to most recent scholars.
4 O 9Meara, cDialogue d 49, 50; year of the cessation of Platonic teaching at Athens and of John Philoponus 9 Contra Proclum de a eternitate mundi at Alex - andria. 5 Bibl. cod.
37; transl. N. G.
Wilson, The Bibliotheca: A Selection (London 1994) 32, cMenas the patrician d and cThomas the referendarius . d Cf. O 9Meara, cDialogue d 50 3 51 with n.8, Platonopolis 173.
6 Possibly the PPO of 528 /9: PLRE II 755 ( cMenas 5 d), cf. 756 ( cMenas 6, d proposing the identification). 7 Also once possibly identified with a historical person: O 9Meara, Pla - tonopolis 173.
S 302 MENAS AND THOMAS Thaumasios ( Yaumãsiow ), forms which O 9Meara terms cno doubt Platonized versions of Menas and Thomas. d 8 Perhaps we may nonetheless discern some realia 9 beneath the cPlatoni - zation d: realia connected with a Byzantin e Egyptian/Alexan - drian origin. It helps to read the text with a papyrol ogist 9s eye.
While Menas/Menodoros are common enough, the mascu - line name Thaumasios is rarely attested 10 (though the feminine name Thaumasia is indeed known from Byzantine Egyptian do cumentation, e.g. P.Mich.inv. 6898 and its relatives).
11 I take it for a literary adaptation of the vocative address to the (rather dim) interlocutor in Platonic dialogues, R yaumãsie , cmy dear man d 4 since Menodoros is the character expounding the matter to be imparted, while Thaumasios is the not - so - bright responder who needs to be taught. 12 The author was writing for an audience who would have gotten the allusion. While what we have of the DPS does not indicate a specific setting, 13 we seem to be in a world o f elite people of the new aristocracy of service, comfortably moving between provincial origins and the society of the capital, such as that exemplified by the famous Flavius Apion and family.
14 Why was the dialogue form chosen, rather than that of a straig htforward narrative treatise? Probably because this was the form popular at the time for reaching a cultivated audience in the leading cities of the empire, people who would pass it 8 O 9Meara, cDialogue d 51, Platonopolis 174. 9 Cf.
also O 9Meara, cDialogue d 60 3 61. 10 E.g. S B I 115.
For its part d sØ yaumasiÒthw , cyour Admirability, d is at - tested as a form of address for a provincial governor in I.Sardis 18 (I thank Kent Rigsby for this information). 11 R. S.
Bagnall and K. A. Worp, cDating the Coptic Legal Documents from Aphr odite, d ZPE 148 (2004) 247 3 252, and a forthcoming article by the present writer.
12 Pace O 9Meara, Platonopolis 183, who does not hear the allusion. 13 Cf. A.
Kazhdan and I. ` evçenko, cDialogue, d ODB I 618 3 619. 14 For a good picture see T.
Hickey, A Public cHo use d but Closed: Fiscal Participation and Economic Decision Making on the Oxyrhnychite Estate of the Flavii Apiones (diss. Chicago 2001) 12 3 21; J. Banaji, Agrarian Change in Late Antiquity (Oxford 2001) 129 3 138, 149 3 152.
L. S. B.
MACCOULL 303 along to like - minded colleagues. 15 Not just a cmirror of princes for Justin ian d like Agapetos 9 Ekthesis , 16 the dialogue would have furnished discussion material for reading circles of students from whom future imperial officials would be recruited. 17 1.
The good fight The first and shorter preserved section of the DPS , the frag - men tary Book 4, deals with military matters (as a subset of what rulers need to know). 18 Immediate comparison with sixth - century military treatises, such as the Anonymous On Strategy (if indeed it is sixth - century) and the Strategikon of Maurice, 19 pro - vides bo th interesting convergences and interesting differences. As might be expected, the DPS is less closely tied to real - world military experience, being more about prescription for what ought to be done in an ideal world; and it is written, not in the more eve ryday language of the military manuals, filled with the loanwords of actual use, 20 but in what is usually called the high classicizing style of the sixth century, 21 appropriate, one would think, for a Neoplatonist context.
We are told that the general 15 See E. J. Watts, cAn Alexandrian Christian Response to Fifth - Century Neoplatonic Influence, d in A.
Smith (ed.), The Philosopher and Society in Late Antiquity (Swansea 2005) 215 3 229, esp. 218, 224. 16 See Pazdernik, in Maas, Companion 195 3 196; and C.
Rapp, cLit erary Culture under Justinian , d in Maas 376 3 397, here 392. 17 See E. J.
Watts, City and School in Late Antique Athens and Alexandria (Berkeley 2006) 213 3 222, 224 3 225, 229 3 230, 242, 254. 18 Cf. O 9Meara, cDialogue d 51, 54 3 55, Platonopolis 177.
19 G. T. Dennis, Three Byzantine Military Trea tises (Washington 1985) 1 3 135, and Maurice 9s Strategikon (Philadelphia 1984); idem and E.
Gamillscheg, Das Strategikon des Maurikios (CFHB 17 [Vienna 1981]); A. D. Lee, cThe Em - pire At War, d in Maas, Companion 113 3 133, esp.
122 3 123. 20 Cf. Dennis, Maurice 9s Strategikon xiii, xv, xxi; Dennis and Gamillscheg, Strat.Maur.
pp.556 3 557 (index of Latin words; other loanwords like bãndon are in the cIndex graecus d [514 3 556]). The DPS uses shme:on not bãndon , =ãbdow not b°rgion , and so on. But perhaps more than just vocabulary is involved.
21 A notion recently questioned by the acute discussion of A. Kaldellis, Procopius of Caesarea (Philadelphia 2004), esp. ch.
1, cClassicism and Its Dis - contents, d 17 3 61, esp. 24 3 38, 40 3 45. 304 MENAS AND THOMAS 4 perha ps the emperor himself 22 4 should lead in person and call his men by name: and we are told this by means of an exemplum of cCyrus the Persian d (4.3) 4 a double - edged exem - plum, since Cyrus was both a barbarian autocrat 23 and a biblical instrument of God 9s will.
24 The speaker who voices the author 9s viewpoint, Menodoros, also gives guidelines for mil - itary drill and provides a section on military justice (19 3 21) 25 according to which cowards in practice sessions should be pun - ished with head - shaving and even cashieri ng, while cowards in actual battle can suffer mutilation 26 or the death penalty. The whole matter of a soldier 9s timÆ is tied up with either timÆ or étim¤a for the state (25). The second part of book 4 as we have it is a debate over the respective ranking a nd value of cavalry versus infantry.
27 Men - odoros tries to frame his answer in a Platonizing way, by re - ferring to first principles and ultimate ends (31 3 33, 36, 39). Perhaps somewhat surprisingly to a reader familiar with the usual picture of the late Roma n military, he, the speaker we are supposed to come away agreeing with, takes the part of the in - fantry, prop and stay of the world - dominating greatness of Old Rome as well as other warlike states such as Sparta (35 3 36, 42). 22 See Kaldellis, Procopius 65 3 67.
23 See Kald ellis, Procopius 54 3 55, for that writer 9s use of him vis - à - vis Jus - tinian in Buildings 1.1.12. (Cyrus is called cthe Persian d in Daniel 6:28.) This positive view might point to a date after the cEternal Peace d with Persia of 532. 24 2 Chronicles 36:22 3 23; E zra 1:1 3 4, 7 3 8, 5:13 3 17, 6:14; Isaiah 44:28, 45:1.
25 Cf. Strat.Maur. 1.6 3 8, which however mentions neither head - shaving nor mutilation as penalties.
26 A. Kazhdan, cMutilation, d ODB II 1428; cf. Nov.Just.
134.13. 27 See Lee, in Maas, Companion 122; and cf. K aldellis, Procopius 23, 74.
This sixth - century controversy is discussed by Kaldellis, cClassicism, Bar - barism, and Warfare: Prokopios and the Conserva tive Reaction to Later Roman Military Policy, d AJAH N . S . 3 (2006) (forthcoming) (I thank him for an advan ce copy): cthe discussion of tactics in antiquity was never purely technical.
It was infused with moral overtones, owing to the connection between combat and courage, and hence virtue. d He discusses the DPS in part II of his article (with n.37). L.
S. B. MACCOULL 305 Although Thaumasios protests th at cthat was then, this is now d (38), Menodoros claims that infantry are superior fÊsei ka9 lÒg?
(46) since the foot - soldier directs himself rather than being directed by another (nature) and is motivated by the de sire for honor (reason). This argument i s adorned by another ex emplum from Old Rome showing how soldiers are the true cimpregnable wall d of the city. The author also cites (a lost bit of) Cicero 28 on infantry (53), but then brings us back to Byzantine reality with a section (55 3 56) on the import ance of entrenchment, the staked pal - isade ( skÒloc ), and caltrops ( tr¤ boloi ) that closely recalls Strat.
Maur. 12.B.22 on how to make camp. The mention of uniforms 4 so that no one soldier excels his fellow prÚw éj¤an (58) 4 segues nicely into the deeper mea n ing of conflict, illustrated with a (positive again) story 29 about the Persian king Peroz (459 3 484) that depicts the Sasanian mon - archy in a favorable light as a state governed by dikaio sÊ nh (63 3 70).
This is interesting when com pared with Procopius 9 us e of the same king in the introduction to his Per sian Wars . 30 Here the dialogue author presents the Great King of Persia as a Platonic philosopher - king concerned that the fÊlakew , in deed the cguardians d of Plato 9s Republic , par tici pate in and re - transmi t justice. And in fact the opening section of Book 5 moves from the cguardians d and their polemikØ §pi stÆmh to the next kind of knowledge, 31 as shall see.
This is Platonism, yes; it 28 There ar e at least five unidentified quotations from Latin writers (in Greek translation of course) in the work: see Mazzucchi, Dialogus 136. The DPS clearly shows awareness of the still - alive world of sixth - century Constantinopolitan Latinity, the world of Prisci an and Maximian. Cf.
R. Browning, cEducation in the Roman Empire, d in CAH 2 XIV (2000) 855 3 883, here 872, 876, 878. 29 Only in this anecdote is the fraught word despÒthw used (64), and it is applied (ironically?) to the cmaster d of the fodder harvest, not th e Persian monarch: cf.
Kaldellis, Procopius 128 3 142. 30 Kaldellis, Procopius 69 3 70, 75 3 77, 94, 97; on 99 he mentions this exem - plum and its Platonic roots. 31 The link between arms and the law is made explicit in the opening words of the preface to Justinian 9s Codex : summa rei publicae tuitio de stirpe duarum re rum, armorum atque legum, veniens (II p.2 Krueger).
Cf. also C. Humfress, cLaw and Legal Practice in the Age of Justinian, d in Maas, 306 MENAS AND THOMAS is also Christian - in fluenced Platonism, Platonism aware of and inflected by the dominant Christianity of the time, recalling by means of its Demosthenes allusion (70) also the parable of the sower (Matthew 13:3 3 23, esp.
6). 32 2. What emperors should know The second and principal section of the DPS , Book 5, is about basilikØ §pi stÆmh , ckingly science d (O 9Meara) or crulership knowledge.
d This is a kind of epistêmê which when possessed by the ruler ( basileus ) enables him to imitate God ( mime:syai yeÒn , 5.132), 33 so that thereby all his subjects in their duly - ranked hierarchy can als o become assimilated to God. Ruler and subjects together thus seek eventually, after their efforts here on earth, to return home to d ênv mhtrÒpoliw (194), the city (not made with hands) which is above (Galatians 4:26), not the passing one here but the abiding one to come (Hebrews 13:14, cf. 11:14 3 16).
Of course this is Neoplatonism, and Christian Neoplatonism at that. 34 It is also Just inianic state thought directly comparable to that expounded by the emperor himself in his legal prefaces. The basileus must preserve the law (132) 35 and imitate divine justice in his own person and actions (138).
36 This is exactly what Justinian (or the writ er he employs) expresses in the constitution Tanta of A . D . 533, especially the preamble and sections 18 and 23 ( Cod.Just .
1.17.2). 37 ___ Companion 161 3 184, here 165 3 166 on the Codex ; also Pazdernik, in Ma as 195. 32 Also allusions to Isaiah 28:4 and esp.
40:6 3 8 (quoted in 1 Peter 1:24) and James 1:10 3 11 are discernible. 33 On the concept see O 9Meara, Platonopolis 178 3 180. 34 cA bureaucrat 9s notion of the Christian oikoumen ê d : Pazdernik, in Maas, Companion 195.
35 Cf. O 9Meara, Platonopolis 180 3 182. 36 Cf.
again Pazdernik, in Maas, Companion 195; and Humfress in Maas 162, 167 3 168, cf. 173. 37 The medical analogy 4 like the physician with his Hippocratic oath, the legislating emperor intends to heal the body politic an d effect its members 9 salvation 4 in 5.10 3 16 (esp.
13) recalls the fact that Justinian in 531 required a Gospel oath in all law courts: Humfress, in Maas, Companion 179 3 180 ( Cod. Just. 2.58.2).
L. S. B.
MACCOULL 307 As said above, links to realia of Byzantine society are to be discerned throughout this text. For example, at 5.50 3 51 it is suggested that in the ideal state the basileus should be chosen by lot ( kl e row ), from among three nominees, after koina9 eÈxa¤ (litanies in the Great Church?) and ègnismo9 pãndhmoi (eu - charists in local parishes?) for three days. The lot - casting is to be d one by priests in church caccording to divine law and custom.
d Not only is this a deliberate recall of the choosing of Matthias for the apostolate in Acts 1:24 3 26, 38 but it also plays on the phenomenon of ecclesiastical selections by means of lots, such as came to be developed in some eastern churches as a way to avoid government control. Notably, this flies directly in the face of Cod.Just. 1.3.46(47).2 , forbidding selection by lot.
39 The dialogue emphasizes (65 3 71) the importance the ruler must place on ord aining worthy clergy ( mÒnouw toÁw éj¤ouw ), specifically bishops (the closest to the top), 40 and of professing worthy monastic members of koinÒbia . 41 The former are re - sponsible for seeing to it that their souls are truly fitted to their holy office ( 2eroprep e:w ) so as to exercise care ( yerape¤a ) con - cerning God and divine things, by which humans can look up ( prÚw tå ênv bl°pein ) in their troubles (65). The latter, if or - 38 While there are Platonic parallels (O 9Meara, Platonopolis 181 n.80 with cross - reference), the New Testament model is what springs to mind.
39 A. Laniado, Recherches sur les notables municipaux dans l 9empire protobyzantin (Paris 2002) 237 with nn. 86, 87: cthe best d are to be selected by merit (as also recommended by A gapetus 9 Ekthesis [ PG 86.1 1173 B ]).
40 Cf. O 9Meara, Platonopolis 164 3 166, 169; and Nov.Just . 6.1 and esp.
137.1. See also C. Rapp, Holy Bishops in Late Antiquity (Berkeley 2005) ch.
6. The raw data in K. A.
Worp, cA Checklist of Bishops in Byzantine Egypt ( A . D . 325 3 c.750), d ZPE 100 (1994) 283 3 318, will repay further analysis.
41 This especially is an example of what is usually termed the ccircum - locution d typical of the cclassicizing style d: the phrase in 69 is to:w t«n monax«n legom°nvn koinob¤oiw , cthe comm unities of those called monks d 4 com par able to Procopius Persian Wars 1.7.22 (cf. Vandal Wars 2.26.17), cthose who are the most ascetic of all Christians, whom they call monks d ( oÏsper kale:n monaxoÁw nenom¤kasi ) (cf. Av.
Cameron, Procopius and the Sixth C entury [Lon don 1985] 96); let alone Agathias 9 paraphrases in Hist. 5.5.5, 5.13.2, never using the word (cf. Av.
Cameron, Agathias [Oxford 1970] 85 3 87). But the notion is now called into question (see n. 21 above).
The term koinobion is used in, e.g., Nov. Just. 123.36.
308 MENAS AND THOMAS ganized by ability, could be useful to the politeia , states the author interestingly, espe cially in the areas of warfare and farming (70). This recalls Justinian 9s Novels 7.11, 46.1, 120 (and 123) on monastic and ecclesiastical property, as well as the Pachomian organization of Egyptian monks by agricultural and craft skills. 42 The circus factio ns of the capital, groups given to nothing but cpointless spectacles d ( étÒpoiw yeãmasi ), are seen by the dia - logue 9s author as a problem (75): indeed a real concern in the sixth century, as recent work has shown.
43 Domestic tranquility should rather be enfo rced by leading citizens acting in the capacity of cwhat are called égoranÒmoi d (89) 4 a Roman im - perial administrative term attested for Greek poleis, including in second - and third - century papyri. 44 While this might look like an archaism, another feature of the cclassicizing style, d it may also be an allusion to Justinian 9s measures to reform the civil service 45 and perhaps reflect the author 9s own background. Yet another Justinianic reference may lurk in 158 3 168, the succession question.
Even a philosopher - e mperor in the ideal state is human and can see his dignity ( éj¤a ) being lessened by illness and old age. Menodoros, classically quoting Seneca and Livy, proposes for such a ruler as he approaches age sixty the alternatives of (1) abdication or (2) keeping a designated - suc - cessor aide ( bohyÒw ) at his side (164), so as to live honored like a Homeric god (166) in the confidence of an instantaneous trans - fer of power at death. Succession to the childless Justinian was a constant worry.
Menodoros proposes age fi fty - seven (167) as the age at which the basileus should make that choice between retirement and naming a partner - successor. If Jus tinian was 42 See J. Goehring, Ascetics, Society and the Desert: Studies in Early Egyptian Monasticism (Harrisburg 1999) 47 3 49, 52, 95 3 96, 105 3 108.
Pachomius had been a Roman soldier who applied notions of military organization to monastic house structur e. (I thank Giles Constable for helpful discussion on this topic.) 43 Still standard is Al. Cameron, Circus Factions (Oxford 1976), esp.
here 271 3 280. For a provincial version of faction violence in Egypt see G. Ioan - nidou, cA Riot in the Hippodrome, d ArchP F 46 (2000) 51 3 61.
44 Preisigke, WB III 92. 45 Kaldellis, Procopius 225 3 226. L.
S. B. MACCOULL 309 born in 482, he would have been fifty - seven in 539; and a successor did not begin to look likely until his nephew Justin, kouro palates ca.
550 3 552, began to play a larger state role (in negotia tions with the papacy leading up to the Constantino - politan general council of 553). Hence perhaps the heavy hint: this may be a further clue for dating the dialogue 9s com po si - tion. One more topic remains to be explored: biblical allusions in the DPS .
Though over a century ago only that to Genesis 1:26 46 was noticed, 47 we have already seen that there are many. Here I should like to signal just two more: 5.191, cwalking in the l ight d, and 5.107, an at first seemingly enigmatic quotation that turns out to be a line of iambic verse. cWalk in the light d is a New Testament, indeed a Johannine, locution.
48 When the dialogue 9s authorial spokesman has gotten his interlocutor to grasp the notion that the cperfect and blessed life d is that having yeoË m¤mhsin (186), Thaumasios goes on to equate that m¤mhsiw with benefiting humanity (the way God does, and by creating a just polity). But Menodoros reminds him of the many ways this has to be done, according to the subjects 9 capacities, and that those who live by this rulership epistêmê must cwalk in the light d so as to lead the less well sighted. 49 Likewise in 107: again deploring disunity in the un - ideal state, after Menodoros has laid out his plan for magistracies to superintend the desired unity, Thaumas ios renews his lament over a state that seems to have had the Homeric apple of discord thrown into its midst (104).
50 He calls the dêmos cdi - 46 To the exegesis of which Philoponus devoted an entire book (Book 6) of his De Opificio Mundi ; cf. L. S.
B. MacCoull, ZAC 9 (2006) 397 3 423. 47 By K.
Praechter in BZ 9 (1900) 629, 63 1: O 9Meara, cDialogue d 59; Platonopolis 183, calling it an cisolated and rather weak indication d of the author 9s Christianity. Hardly isolated, as we have seen. 48 1 John 1:7; John 11:9 3 20, 12:35; Revelation 21:24.
Cf. also Ephesians 5:8. The DPS uses bad¤z ein , not the NT peripate:n .
49 Cf. Matthew 15:14/Luke 6:39 and John 9:39 3 41. 50 Citing the same skaiÚw da¤mvn (104) that is named as the cause of marital strife in papyrus divorce contracts from the sixth - century archive of Dioscorus of Aphrodito: e.g.
P.Cai r.Masp. III 67311.15 (Preisigke, WB II 465). 310 MENAS AND THOMAS vided against itself d (106); 51 and then renews a call for higher authority, saying, cAs the saying goes, 8As from the depths of the soul you have cried out 9 d 4 a version of Psalm 129:1, §k bay°vn §k°krajai , De profundis clamavi .
baye¤aw Àsper §k cux e w én 3 mvjaw is metrical, an iambic - line paraphrase (with change to second person) of that psalm verse, a verse, more over, tha t serves as the second introductory antiphon of the service of vespers. 52 Though I know of no early Byzantine iambic verse psalter paraphrase to stand beside the hexameter one, 53 such composition is typical of late antique learned culture, and such a quotati on would fit both the author 9s paideia and the char - acter 9s persona. 3.
Alexandria ad Aegyptum? After this survey of the text, what do we have? I think we have a number of clues telling us to look in the world of sixth - century Egypt and specifically that o f Alexandrian Christian Neoplatonism for our anonymous author.
In addition to the papyrus - attested terminology mentioned above, we find other expressions characteristic of Egyptian documentary usage. In calling for a cabinet post for land survey and apport ionment ( gevmorikÒn ) and tax registration and collection ( forologikÒn , 5.80), the author uses terminology long in use and also still found in such sixth - century documentary texts as P.Cair.Masp. I 67097.37, II 67169.7, and P.Mich.
XIII 659.72. For resettli ng inhabitants from other localities we find époik¤a and époi k¤ - zein (194), already used of the creation of the city of An tin - oöpolis (Preisigke, WB I 179). Most of all, we should look at the striking image of the Mother and Queen of Cities com forting h er com plaining children (5.108 3 112), not discussed at all in recent studies.
Menodoros replies to Thaumasios 9s cWhy 8De profundis 9? d (109 3 112): because you have rubbed my nose in the problem, a problem I loathe, yourself placing it before my eyes &w §n gr af e w 2stor¤& , 51 Cf. Matthew 12:25/Mark 3:25/Luke 11:17.
52 I thank Aristeides Papadakis for his expertise. 53 J. Golega, Das homerische Psalter (Ettal 1960).
L. S. B.
MACCOULL 311 as though in the description of a painting. 54 Turning suddenly, I as it were saw the cities as in a painting [ pinax ] standing in a circle around their mother and queen, insulted by those they had nourished and telling one another of both the act s of violence and the attacks occurring within them and the mis - fortunes and sackings brought on them from outside; and, feel - ing pity, I could not help bemoaning their suffering. I seemed to hear, as if from people celebrating a pagan ritual ( §p9 t«n koru ba nti H n tvn ), the ruler 9s words to them for comforting their souls ( cuxagvg¤a ), 55 words spoken in a double sense to them by one who was suffer ing with them in the same fashion.
(For it is an encouraging speech, and one that follows the order of nature, to sa y that the great suffers the same as the lesser.) She said: cHold on, chil dren; hold on, my daughters; 56 willingly bear up under nature 9s works. For the Demiurge of the universe himself, in his great goodness and wisdom, has assigned to human beings cycles of times ( kair«n ) of plenty and of want, for the sake of good order ( eÈ taj¤a ). We profit from both, becoming col labora - tors with the will of God according to the law of nature, and more easily bearing the vicissitudes of changing times, which are not truly vicissitudes 4 for nothing at all exists, in whole or in part, against nature 4 but only seem to be, because of the in - completeness of our knowledge ( gn«siw ) and the short ness of human life.
d Menodoros then gives this philosophical vision as a reason for opposing the suggestion to favor the young for office since they are as y et incapable of such responsibility (because they do not yet grasp God 9s plan). This striking image of the Queen Mother City might in - stantly recall either a personified Constantinopolis, the Queen City, or else a personified Alexandria, queen city of the Medi - terranean and mother of Egypt 9s nome cities, both personified 54 So Mazzucchi p.80, i.e. an ekphrasis; or possibly cas though in a n ar - rative painting.
d 55 Contrast the use of this word by the Christian David in his Pro legome non ( Comm. in Arist. Graeca XVIII.2 1.7) with that by the pagan Simplicius in his In Cat .
(VIII 7.10; transl. M. Chase, Simplicius on Aristotle 9s cCategories d 1 3 4 [Ithaca 2003] 22).
56 Cf. Iliad 2.299, in Odysseus 9 speech advising perseverance. 312 MENAS AND THOMAS and depicted in late antique visual art.
57 The cycles of plenty and want might well be connected with the failed harvests and subsequent great plague of 541/2, which struck both the cap i - ta l and the provinces. 58 On the whole, though, the phraseology is that of the Alexandrian late antique philosophy commenta - tors, who were profoundly embedded in their social context. 59 The dia logue 9s author clearly was concerned to make the philosophical anal ysis of politics intellectually respectable to his audience.
I think it constructive to see this text that puts New Rome into a meaningful relation with Old Rome as a product of the same Alexandrian philosophical school 60 as the Aristotle and Plato commenta ries of late antique scholars so different as Olympio dorus and John Philoponus 4 the latter, of course, the first to provide the newly separated church of Egypt with its in - tel lectual foundations and the only philosopher - theologian to engage directly (if b y letter) with Justinian himself. In Philopo - nus 9 world, the world of Byzantine Egypt tensely negotiating its 57 A. Cutler, cTyche: Representation in Art, d ODB III 2131; L.
James, cGood Luck and Good Fortune to the Queen of Cities: Empresses and Tyches in Byzantium, d in E. Stafford an d J. Herrin (eds.), Personification in the Greek World (Aldershot 2005) 293 3 307 (not, however, discussing the DPS ).
(If the reader is meant to envision a mural - crowned city Tyche, might this be an allusion to the ironic [lower - case] tyche invoked by Procop ius? For more on this controversial topic see Kaldellis, Procopius 165 3 221, esp. here 218 3 219.) Might the provision for a public library in the author 9s ideal state (83) recall what was left of Alexandria 9s, rather than Constantinople?
(See R. Bagnall and D. Rathbone, Egypt from Alexander to the Copts [London 2004] 54, 60.) 58 See most recently (summing up a decade of research) A.
Arjava, cThe Mystery Cloud of A . D . 536 in the Mediterranean Sources, d DOP forth - coming (I thank him for a copy), including on the relation between the cdark skies d event and the much - discussed plague.
59 See L. S. B.
MacCoull, cPhilosophy in its Social Context, d in R. S. Bagnall (ed.), Egypt in the Mediterranean World, A.D.
450 3 700 (forthcoming); C. Wildberg, cPhilosophy in the Age o f Justinian, d in Maas, Companion 316 3 340 (though 329 3 333, cPhilosophy and Politics, d does not discuss the DPS ) . 60 Cf.
Watts, City and School ch. 9. L.
S. B. MACCOULL 313 own contested relation with the imperial capital, a dream of the ideal state might be more than just a dream.
61 June, 2006 Societ y for Coptic Archaeology (North America) 914 East Lemon St., #108 Tempe, AZ 85281 email@example.com 61 In loving memory, as always, of Mirrit Boutros Ghali ( enesôf hmpefsa para * nshêre * n * nrôme [Ps 44:2a]).