In this contribution I will consider aspects and characters of the history of Sicily in the work of Valerius Maximus. After some introductory considerations on the island in the work, I will focus on the figures emerging in the plot of the collection, with particular attention to Dionysius the Elder. Actually the most of the anecdotes about the Siceliots are concentrated on him: Valerius collects a rich tradition, but it is clearly much more interested on the stereotyped image of the tyrant than to the correctness of the historical framework. The profiles of Dionysius the Younger and of Dione correspond to a established tradition, while the fihgure of Agathocles is less banal: Valerius emphasizes just only the African enterprise, evidently well known in Roman circles. The overall picture offered by Sicily and the Siceliotes (mostly Syracusans) allows us to grasp the nuances of the fortune of these characters in Roman culture between the late Republic and the early Empire; contra we can’t reconstruct in detail the historiographic tradition: Cicero obviously stands out, but we can’t exclude the mediation of other ancient scholars or of repertoires already prepared. In any case, I believe that Valerio pursued at least in part an autonomous project in the construction of the collection itself and in its political and moral message.

La Sicilia: storia e personaggi

Stefania De Vido
2022

Abstract

In this contribution I will consider aspects and characters of the history of Sicily in the work of Valerius Maximus. After some introductory considerations on the island in the work, I will focus on the figures emerging in the plot of the collection, with particular attention to Dionysius the Elder. Actually the most of the anecdotes about the Siceliots are concentrated on him: Valerius collects a rich tradition, but it is clearly much more interested on the stereotyped image of the tyrant than to the correctness of the historical framework. The profiles of Dionysius the Younger and of Dione correspond to a established tradition, while the fihgure of Agathocles is less banal: Valerius emphasizes just only the African enterprise, evidently well known in Roman circles. The overall picture offered by Sicily and the Siceliotes (mostly Syracusans) allows us to grasp the nuances of the fortune of these characters in Roman culture between the late Republic and the early Empire; contra we can’t reconstruct in detail the historiographic tradition: Cicero obviously stands out, but we can’t exclude the mediation of other ancient scholars or of repertoires already prepared. In any case, I believe that Valerio pursued at least in part an autonomous project in the construction of the collection itself and in its political and moral message.
Le exterae gentes in Valerio Massimo
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5006120
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