Seneca, Apokolokyntosis and fritilli

  • Attilio Mastrocinque


The title of the Apokolokyntosis includes clues suggesting an identification of Claudius with a fritillus, a box for throwing dice. The fritillus was also deemed the king of Saturnalia while Claudius was also described as a Saturnalicius rex. On the other hand, archaeological evidence allows us to identify the fritilli with terracotta small objects whose form is similar to that of pumpkin flowers. Therefore it seems to be reasonable to recognize a transformation of the emperor into the flower rather than the fruit of pumpkin.

Author Biography

Attilio Mastrocinque

A. Mastrocinque is full professor of Roman history and coordinator of a doctorate in Archaeology, History and Art History in the University of Verona, he also carried out archaeological research in Lucania and Tarquinia.