Valentina Prosperi

Dracontius and Dictys of Crete: The Ephemeris belli Troiani as Source of Romuleon ix, Deliberativa Achillis, an corpus Hectoris vendat

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This paper identifies the source of Dracontius’ Romuleon ix, Deliberativa Achillis, an corpus Hectoris vendat with the Ephemeris belli Troiani of the so-called Dictys Cretensis. By accepting Dictys and not, as has generally been done, book xxiv of the Iliad as Dracontius’ source, many open problems in the interpretation of Romuleon ix are resolved: its genre (it is a suasoria not a deliberativa), the related problem of its title, the identity of the nameless orator. Reading Dracontius’ text on the backdrop of the Ephemeris changes the overall interpretation of the Romuleon ix, which acquires an anti-providentialist and pessimistic perspective about the fate of the Roman empire entirely congruent with that of Romuleon viii, similarly derived from the Trojan pseudo chronicle of the Latin Dares. Finally, finding that Dictys (and Dares) were read, trusted, and used at such an early age in Vandal Africa will be of interest to all those studying this topic.


  • Dracontius
  • Romuleon ix
  • Dictys
  • Dares
  • Homer
  • Vandal Africa


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