Sullan Hercules?

As so often happens I was reading for something else and I came across this article.

Keaveney, Arthur. “Sulla and the Games of Hercules.” L’Antiquité Classique 74 (2005): 217–23.

and now I have an addition for any future edition of my book. This should have been cited in footnote 24 of chapter 4 (see pages 168 and 233).

Keaveney is a blistering invective against Wiseman’s interpretations of RRC 385/2. While it is not particularly collegial in tone, he raised some valid points and the two pieces of scholarship must be read in tandem.

BUT if I’ve read it correctly after all the criticism of Wiseman’s reading of Sullan evidence. He seems to accept there were games of Heracles and that this coin likely celebrated them. He suggests at the very end that maybe the games were not down graded because of Sulla but continued much like his ludi Victoriae. I still have no strong opinion.

I would note that Keaveney’s use of RRC 205/5 (n. 14 and corresponding text) shows a lack of awareness of Hercules as a standard god for any quadrans.

Besides the coin the certain evidence for the games includes two inscriptions

publication: CIL 06, 00335 (p 3004, 3756) = CIL 01, 00985 (p 728, 840, 964) = ILLRP 00703 = AE 1999, +00169         EDCS-ID: EDCS-17300541 province: Roma         place:Roma

]r mag(ister) ludos / [3 Her]colei magno / [3]neo fecit

ILLRP says of it “saxum magnum in via Appia inter Casal Rotondo et Tor dei Selci”.

publication:CIL 06, 30888 (p 3758) = CIL 01, 00984 (p 964) = D 06081 = ILLRP 00701 = AE 1888, 00033 dating: -70 to -31         EDCS-ID: EDCS-18300897 province: Roma         place:Roma

] / mag(istri) He[rc(ulis)] / suffragio pag(i) prim[i creati] / ludos feceru[nt]

ILLRP says of it “Fragmentum mamoris Graeci litteris aetatis Ciceronianae repertum Romae in monte Caelio”


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