Caligula, Ptolemy of Mauretania, and the danger of long hair

Show simple item record Woods, David 2009-04-21T14:20:01Z 2009-04-21T14:20:01Z 2005
dc.identifier.citation Woods, D., 2005. Caligula, Ptolemy of Mauretania, and the danger of long hair. Arctos Acta Philologica Fennica, 39, 207-214. en
dc.identifier.volume 39 en
dc.identifier.startpage 207 en
dc.identifier.endpage 214 en
dc.identifier.issn 0066-6998
dc.description.abstract The purpose of this note is to offer a new interpretation of the passage where Suetonius claims that Caligula had king Ptolemy of Mauretania executed simply because the splendour of his cloak (abolla) had attracted popular attention during the games one day (Calig. 35,1–2). While the testimony of Dio (59,25,1) allows us to date this execution to AD40, it throws no light on the substance of Suetonius' allegation since it merely asserts that Caligula had Ptolemy executed because he was rich. Hence most scholars have traditionally dismissed this tale as a typically fanciful product of the hostile source used by Suetonius for much of his material on the Julio-Claudians, and have sought to explain Ptolemy's death in political terms instead. It is arguable that this anecdote derives from a Greek source which had described Ptolemy in reference to his full head of hair, but that a subsequent Latin translator misunderstood this term to describe the wearing of an abolla instead. In reality, Ptolemy was probably put to death because of a witticism by the mob at the games punning upon his long hair (caesaries) and the office of emperor (Caesar), and his reaction to the same. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Klassillis-filologinen yhdistys–Klassisk-filologiska föreningen (The Classical Association of Finland) en
dc.subject Caligula en
dc.subject Suetonius en
dc.subject Dio en
dc.subject Ptolemy of Mauretania en
dc.subject Roman history en
dc.subject.lcsh Caligula, Emperor of Rome, 12-41 en
dc.subject.lcsh Ptolemy, King of Mauretania, ca. 19 B.C.-40 A.D. en
dc.subject.lcsh Rome -- Foreign relations -- Africa, North en
dc.title Caligula, Ptolemy of Mauretania, and the danger of long hair en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorurl en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Dr. David Woods, Department of Classics, UCC. Email: Tel. +353 21 490 3491 en
dc.internal.availability Full text available. en
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Arctos Acta Philologica Fennica en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress en

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