The Taurobolium. Its Evolution and Terminology.
Brill, Leiden, 1969. XVI,129p. Frontispiece. Map. Original green gilt titled cloth. ‘The taurobolium has long interested modern scholars and essentially the same ground as is covered by the book under review has also been covered more competently in a recent article: J.B. Rutter, The Three Phases of the Taurobolium, Phoenix 22, 1968, 226-249). Duty’s book consists of three parts: I the sources, i.e. inscriptions (…) and literary texts; II an analysis of taurobolic terminology; III the evolution of the rite. There is a concordance with CIL, but not with ILS or anything else, and no index. (…) Part I is open to serious criticism on three counts. First, despite a claim of completeness, Duthoy omits several items of evidence (…). Secondly, Duthoy arranges the inscriptions geographically by find-spot and by number in CIL, thus sometimes separating what belongs together (…). Third, and most serious, Duthoy has not attempted a critical collection of texts. (…) Part II analyses the language of the inscriptions collected in Part I, and Part III infers an evolution in the taurobolium from this analysis. Duty divides the inscriptions into three main groups, each characterised by the verb used to describe the performance of the rite (…) He then asserts that ‘it would seem reasonable to regards two inscriptions containing verbs to different meaning as referring to two unlike ceremonies and deduces that his three groups represent three successive stages in the evolution of the taurobolium (…). Unfortunately, as Duthoy concedes, the assumption upon which the deductions are all founded ‘has no demonstrable basis except in commonsense’ (p.87). (…) Throughout the book, Duthoy makes forceful and valid criticism of the theories of others. (…) His own approach, however, is inflexible and unimaginative.’ (T.D. BARNES in Gnomon, 1971, pp.522-523). From the library of Prof. Carl Deroux.