Ninus


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Ninus

a king of Assyria and the legendary founder of Nineveh, husband of Semiramis
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The contents of Ninus' speech, particularly the arguments stemming from his role as king, also highlight masculine preoccupations.
Whereas Ninus stresses that he has entered the ranks of manhood (A,II,22-23), the narrator now introduces Semiramis as a 'girl' ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]--A,IV,20) and a 'maiden' ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]-A,IV,23).
We might infer that her rhetorical training is not equal to that of Ninus, although one wonders how much rhetorical training is needed to address a beloved aunt.
Semiramis' silence is therefore a measure less of rhetorical skill than of ethical character, and at the heart of the distinction between Ninus' and Semiramis' appeals lie their differing ethical responses to erotic desire.
The author first signals the importance of shame when Ninus and Semiramis make plans to address their aunts.
Diodorus of Sicily's story of Semiramis is the lengthiest and most detailed rendering of the deeds of the woman whom he calls "the most renowned of all women of whom we have any record" (2, 4:1).(43) He tells the history of her rise to power through marriage to Ninus (father of Ninyas, her son) and how she was "endowed with understanding, daring, and all the other qualities which contribute to distinction" (2, 6:5, 367).
In the edition of Justinus edited by the Strassburg professor Matthias Bernegger and printed in 1631, for example, it is Diodorus's version of Semiramis's life, along with Plutarch's and Aelianus's high-lighting of the clever way in which she usurped Ninus's throne, that are referenced in the notes to the final line of Justinus's book 1, chapter 1, when Semiramis's name is mentioned for the first time.(49) Lohenstein used Bernegger's Justinus commentary in another play about the African queen Sophonisbe, made famous for her resistance to the Romans in the Second Punic War.(50) We can surmise that it is this edition that he used in composing the Agrippina as well.
In Bernegger's notes on Justinus, then, it is the matricide Ninus and not Semiramis who commits the clearly immoral act.
What are the props of this inclination to set the composition of the Ninus a century or more before the papyrus?
The fragments of Ninus are not extensive enough for a telling analysis such as has been done for Chariton.
[TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] A.III 38 for Attic [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] Again the Ninus does not stand alone.
The form that the author of Ninus needs for his purpose and uses is a comparative: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.].