Classics - Journal Articles

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    Rethinking the early pennies of the MONITASCORVM and SEDE types
    (British Numismatic Society, 2022) Woods, David
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    ‘Abd al-Malik and the Shahāda Solidus
    (The Israel Numismatic Society, 2022) Woods, David
    It is argued that ‘Abd al-Malik (685–705) chose the obverse of the so-called shahāda solidus that he began striking in c. 691 in order to provoke Justinian II (685–695, 705–711) into refusing to accept tribute in this coin. In this way, he hoped to manipulate Justinian into breaking the treaty between the Arab and Byzantine empires. His choice of obverse had nothing to do with Emperor Heraclius (610–641), even though it was based on a Heraclian prototype, but it alluded rather to the manner in which Justinian had risen to power and implicitly questioned the legitimacy of his rule.
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    Claudius and the elephants for Britain (Cassius Dio 60.21.2)
    (Cambridge University Press, 2023-09-04) Woods, David
    Charles and Singleton have explained why Cassius Dio's claim (60.21.2) that elephants were among the equipment prepared for use in Britain during the Claudian invasion of A.D. 43 is probably untrue, if one assumes that by ‘elephant’ he means the animal of that name. It is argued here that the best explanation of this apparent error is that Dio preserves a reference to a type of military machine, probably a siege-tower, rather than to the animal of this name.
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    Two misunderstood visual puns in public protests against Nero in A.D. 68 (SUET. NERO 45.2)
    (Royal Danish Library, 2023-12-21) Woods, David
    Suetonius records a short list of four different examples of public protest against Nero at Rome during early A.D. 68 (Nero 45.2). One allegedly involved the adornment of a statue of Nero with an inscription and a lock of hair (cirrus), the other the adornment of his statue with an inscription and a leathern canteen (ascopa). It is argued here that the true significance of these two protests has been lost because the key terms used to describe the objects placed on the statues were altered during the transmission of the accounts of these events resulting in the obscuring of the puns that had been central to their understanding.
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    Tertullian's Christian chameleon
    (Cambridge University Press, 2023-06) Woods, David
    It is argued that Tertullian's relatively lengthy description of a chameleon in his De pallio serves as a metaphor not so much for the convert to a philosophical way of life in general but for the convert to Christianity in particular. The argument rests on the unusual emphases within this description which recall different features of Christianity or popular beliefs about the same.