La finzione del "re" da Ciro il Grande (Erodoto) a Nerone (Svetonio, Tacito)

Salvatore Costanza


Greek and Roman sources depict an ancient children´s game, wherein one was chosen by drawing lots as king (basileus) and his playmates were appointed as servants or soldiers and were obliged to obey him. Herodotus already accounts a story about this game with reference to Cyrus the Elder and his discovery as royal heir. In ball-games, the winner was also appointed as king, while the defeated player was called donkey (onos). The roles of king and servant were also acted out in Roman times (ducatus et imperia ludere), as Tacitus and Suetonius confirm in connexion with the Emperor Nero. In fact, power was highly attractive for children, as Ancient basilinda game clearly shows. Neverthless, playmates should previously know ultimate power before acting a role game upon sovereignty.


Gioco; Giochi di ruolo; Mimesis; Performance; Basilinda

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