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  • Response
  • Andrew M. Riggsby


The modest ambit of this panel was "space, time, and memory." To try to get a little bit of a handle on this topic, I will restrict my remarks to space.1 For the most part, in fact, I want to treat a single spatial motif that strikes me as implicitly or explicitly important to all of the papers: the container. Now what I'm speaking of here is not a specific space, but a spatializing scheme. George Lakoff (1987), in particular, argues that there are a number of such schemata (also, e.g., source-path-goal, part-whole) which are used to structure understanding of a variety of domains, spatial and otherwise. While the schemata appear to be human universals, their specific applications are essentially metaphorical and thus subject to considerable cultural and individual variation. So, for instance, the cases I will discuss below all employ the container notion to set up an "us versus them" distinction, but the same scheme could also be used as part of a folk "physics" of anger: anger is heat acting on fluid inside a person (= the container) as they grow angry, applying pressure, and, perhaps, eventually bursting out.2 Hence: "She got all steamed," "He was bursting with anger," "She blew up at me," "He just erupted."3

One piece of evidence for this kind of systematic use of basic metaphors, and also one of the most important consequences of their existence, is the fact that different metaphors generate different sets of entailments. [End Page 93] So, for instance, figuring "us versus them" in terms of battlelines is inherently conflictual; using a container schema is not, though, of course, it can be made so. (The metaphorical scheme may also be elaborated further, generating additional entailments. Thus there is a difference between a "mere" container and one that is imagined to be locked.) Therefore, the choice of scheme will be significant for anthropological and/or rhetorical analysis. In the comments that follow, I will move roughly from the "smallest" container discussed in the papers to the largest.

Augustan Marriage Laws

Milnor, Ramsby and Severy-Hoven, and others (including myself in other contexts) have described these laws as an "intrusion" or "incursion" on some private or domestic realm. If this is a correct interpretation, then one might expect metaphorical expressions of the home-as-castle or privacy-of-the-bedroom type—or at least some obviously parallel Roman version. Sure enough, Milnor is able to point to this in omnis domus . . . subverteretur (Tac. Ann. 3.36; see Milnor p. 12). Each house is being threatened individually. In this light, it is interesting how differently Livy figures a closely parallel situation, when plebeians are forbidden intermarriage with patricians. In Canuleius's speech, plebeians are not being dragged from their homes, but excluded from the common spaces of the city, the streets and Forum. Houses appear only relationally, as destinations in the exchange of women. "Ut in quam cuique feminae convenisset domum nuberet, ex qua pactus esset vir domo, in matrimonium duceret" (4.4.10; see Milnor pp. 17–18). Thus Livy's version of marriage is inherently public in some respects, that is, it is always already politicized. In terms of specific policies, Livy is not clearly taking a position on Augustus's legislation. At the time he is writing, he was likely not even aware of any specific proposals. But Livy does cut off at the knees one of the major lines of anti-Augustan attack. If marriage is ancestrally a public matter, then Augustus's legislation is not (distinctively) intrusive.

The appearance in Livy of walls (intra eadem moenia, 4.3.1; see Milnor p. 17) as the container that separates us (citizens) from them (non-citizens) seems almost inevitable in retrospect. Ramsay MacMullen (2001.44) points out the symbolic and juridical importance of town walls to city-formation across the empire. In the illustrations in surveyor's manuals, cities are often represented by nothing but their walls. Thomas Habinek (1998.73–74, 85) shows how transgressive was the image of bandits [End Page 94] lurking within the walls of Rome, as Cicero suggests in the Catilinarians. This...


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