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This book offers a radically new reading of Quintus' Posthomerica, the first account to combine a literary and cultural-historical understanding of what is the most important Greek epic written at the height of the Roman Empire. In Emma Greensmith's ground-breaking analysis, Quintus emerges as a key poet in the history of epic and of Homeric reception. Writing as if he is Homer himself, and occupying the space between the Iliad and the Odyssey, Quintus constructs a new 'poetics of the interval'. At all levels, from its philology to its plotting, the Posthomerica manipulates the language of affiliation, succession and repetition not just to articulate its own position within the inherited epic tradition but also to contribute to the literary and identity politics of imperial society. This book changes how we understand the role of epic and Homer in Greco-Roman culture - and completely re-evaluates Quintus' status as a poet.
Oppian's Halieutica is a dazzling five-book Greek didactic poem about the sea and its wily, chaotic inhabitants. This book offers the first sustained reading of the poem as a didactic epic that meditates on the place of human beings within the cosmos at large, and on the lessons we can learn from fish. Using a combination of close reading and wider interpretative lenses, this book examines the literary texture and cultural relevance of the Halieutica by analysing its sophisticated refraction of earlier literary-critical theories and hexameter traditions, its commentary on human-animal relations, and its contribution to imperial Greek literary, political, and cultural debates. The book demonstrates the importance and cultural centrality of this understudied Greek didactic epic; it is written for students and scholars of imperial Greek literature and culture (including the ancient novel), ancient heroic and didactic epics, and those interested in human-animal relations in the ancient world.
When does a continuum become a divide? This book investigates the genetic relationship between Linear A and Linear B, two Bronze Age scripts attested on Crete and Mainland Greece and understood to have developed one out of the other. By using an interdisciplinary methodology, this research integrates linguistic, epigraphic, palaeographic and archaeological evidence, and places the writing practice in its sociohistorical setting. By challenging traditional views, this work calls into question widespread assumptions and interpretative schemes on the relationship between these two scripts, and opens up new perspectives on the ideology associated with the retention, adaptation and transmission of a script, and how identity was negotiated at a moment of closer societal interaction between Cretans and Greek-speaking Mainlanders in the Late Bronze Age. By delving deeper into the structure and inner workings of these two writing systems, this book will make us rethink the relationship between Linear A and B.
The Mediterranean's Iron Age period was one of its most dynamic eras. Stimulated by the movement of individuals and groups on an unprecedented scale, the first half of the first millennium BCE witnesses the development of Mediterranean-wide practices, including related writing systems, common features of urbanism, and shared artistic styles and techniques, alongside the evolution of wide-scale trade. Together, these created an engaged, interlinked and interactive Mediterranean. We can recognise this as the Mediterranean's first truly globalising era. This volume introduces students and scholars to contemporary evidence and theories surrounding the Mediterranean from the eleventh century until the end of the seventh century BCE to enable an integrated understanding of the multicultural and socially complex nature of this incredibly vibrant period.
Decades after Michael Ventris deciphered Linear B and showed that its language was Greek, nearly one-sixth of its syllabic signs' sound-values are still unknown. This book offers a new approach to establishing these undeciphered signs' possible values. Analysis of Linear B's structure and usage not only establishes these signs' most likely sound-values – providing the best possible basis for future decipherments – but also sheds light on the writing system as a whole. The undeciphered signs are also used to explore the evidence provided by palaeography for the chronology of the Linear B documents and the activities of the Mycenaean scribes. The conclusions presented in this book therefore deepen our understanding not only of the undeciphered signs but also of the Linear B writing system as a whole, the texts it was used to write, and the insight these documents bring us into the world of the Mycenaean palaces.
The Moon exerted a powerful influence on ancient intellectual history, as a playground for the scientific imagination. This book explores the history of the Moon in the Greco-Roman imaginary from Homer to Lucian, with special focus on those accounts of the Moon, its attributes, and its 'inhabitants' given by ancient philosophers, natural scientists and imaginative writers including Pythagoreans, Plato and the Old Academy, Varro, Plutarch and Lucian. ní Mheallaigh shows how the Moon's enigmatic presence made it a key site for thinking about the gaze (erotic, philosophical and scientific) and the relation between appearance and reality. It was also a site for hoax in antiquity as well as today. Central issues explored include the view from elsewhere (selēnoskopia), the relation of science and fiction, the interaction between the beginnings of science in the classical polis and the imperial period, and the limits of knowledge itself.
How does literary form change as Christianity and rabbinic Judaism take shape? What is the impact of literary tradition and the new pressures of religious thinking? Tracing a journey over the first millennium that includes works in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic, this book changes our understanding of late antiquity and how its literary productions make a significant contribution to the cultural changes that have shaped western Europe.
Roman Frugality offers the first-ever systematic analysis of the variants of individual and collective self-restraint that shaped ancient Rome throughout its history and had significant repercussions in post-classical times. In particular, it tries to do the complexity of a phenomenon justice that is situated at the interface of ethics and economics, self and society, the real and the imaginary, and touches upon thrift and sobriety in the material sphere, but also modes of moderation more generally, not least in the spheres of food and drink, sex and power. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach drawing on ancient history, philology, archaeology and the history of thought, the volume traces the role of frugal thought and practice within the evolving political culture and political economy of ancient Rome from the archaic age to the imperial period and concludes with a chapter that explores the reception of ancient ideas of self-restraint in early modern times.
Migration, Mobility and Language Contact in and around the Ancient Mediterranean is the first volume to show the different ways in which surviving linguistic evidence can be used to track movements of people in the ancient world. Eleven chapters cover a number of case studies, which span the period from the seventh century BC to the fourth century AD, ranging from Spain to Egypt, from Sicily to Pannonia. The book includes detailed study of epigraphic and literary evidence written in Latin and Greek, as well as work on languages which are not so well documented, such as Etruscan and Oscan. There is a subject index and an index of works and inscriptions cited.
Dionysus after Nietzsche examines the way that The Birth of Tragedy (1872) by Friedrich Nietzsche irrevocably influenced twentieth-century literature and thought. Adam Lecznar argues that Nietzsche's Dionysus became a symbol of the irrational forces of culture that cannot be contained, and explores the presence of Nietzsche's Greeks in the diverse writings of Jane Harrison, D. H. Lawrence, Martin Heidegger, Richard Schechner and Wole Soyinka (amongst others). From Jane Harrison's controversial ideas about Greek religion in an anthropological modernity, to Wole Soyinka's reimagining of a postcolonial genre of tragedy, each of the writers under discussion used the Nietzschean vision of Greece to develop subversive discourses of temporality, identity, history and classicism. In this way, they all took up Nietzsche's call to disrupt pre-existing discourses of classical meaning and create new modes of thinking about the Classics that speak to the immediate concerns of the present.
It has traditionally been assumed that biblical writers considered Nero to be the Antichrist.. This book refutes that view. Beginning by challenging the assumption that literary representations of Nero as tyrant would have been easily recognisable to those in the eastern Roman empire, where most Christian populations were located, Shushma Malik then deconstructs the associations often identified by scholars between Nero and the Antichrist in the New Testament. Instead, she demonstrates that the Nero-Antichrist paradigm was a product of late antiquity. Using now firmly established traits and themes from classical historiography, late-antique Christians used Nero as a means with which to explore and communicate the nature of the Antichrist. This proved successful, and the paradigm was revived in the nineteenth century in the works of philosophers, theologians, and novelists to inform debates about the era's fin-de-siècle anxieties and religious controversies.
Nineteenth-century German classical philology underpins many structures of the modern humanities. In this book, Constanze Güthenke shows how a language of love and a longing for closeness with a personified antiquity have lastingly shaped modern professional reading habits, notions of biography, and the self-image of scholars and teachers. She argues that a discourse of love was instrumental in expressing the challenges of specialisation and individual formation (Bildung), and in particular for the key importance of a Platonic scene of learning and instruction for imagining the modern scholar. The book is based on detailed readings of programmatic texts from, among others, Wolf, Schleiermacher, Boeckh, Thiersch, Dilthey, Wilamowitz and Nietzsche. It makes a case for revising established narratives, but also for finding new value in imagining distance and an absence of nostalgic longing for antiquity.
This book explores the ways in which Aristotle's legacy was appropriated and reshaped by vernacular readers in Medieval and Renaissance Italy. It considers translation in a broad sense, looking at commentaries, compendia, rewritings, and abridgments alongside vernacular versions of Aristotle's works. Translation is thus taken as quintessential to the very notion of reception, with a focus on the dynamics - cultural, social, material - that informed the appropriation and reshaping of the 'master of those who know' on the part of vernacular readers between 1250 and 1500. By looking at the proactive and transformative nature of reception, this book challenges traditional narratives about the period and identifies the theory and practice of translation as a liminal space that facilitated the interaction between lay readers and the academic context while fostering the legitimation of the vernacular as a language suitable for philosophical discourse.
The Roman sanctuary at Bath has long been used in scholarship as an example par excellence of religious and artistic syncretisms in Roman Britain. With its monumental temple, baths, and hot springs, its status as one of the most significant Roman sites in the province is unquestioned. But our academic narratives about Roman Bath are also rooted in the narratives of our more recent past. This book begins by exploring how Georgian and Victorian antiquaries developed our modern story of a healing sanctuary at Roman Bath. It shows that a curative function for the sanctuary is in fact unsupported by the archaeological evidence. It then retells the story of Roman Bath by focusing on three interlinked aspects: the entanglement of the sanctuary with Roman imperialism, the role of the hot springs in the lives of worshipers, and Bath's place within the wider world of the western Roman Empire.
This book sheds light on a relatively dark period of literary history, the late third century CE, a period that falls between the Second Sophistic and Late Antiquity. It argues that more was being written during this time than past scholars have realized and takes as its prime example the understudied Christian writer Methodius of Olympus. Among his many works, this book focuses on his dialogic Symposium, a text which exposes an era's new concern to re-orient the gaze of a generation from the past onto the future. Dr LaValle Norman makes the further argument that scholarship on the Imperial period that does not include Christian writers within its purview misses the richness of this period, which was one of deepening interaction between Christian and non-Christian writers. Only through recovering this conversation can we understand the transitional period that led to the rise of Constantine.
Conscious of ancient modes of reading poetry 'for the life', Roman poets encoded versions of their lives into their texts. The result is a body of literature that cries out to be read in terms of lives in reception. Afterlives of the Roman Poets shows how the fictional biographies (or 'biofictions') of its authors have shaped the reception of Latin poetry. From medieval biographies of Ovid inscribed in the margins of his texts to republican readings of Lucan's death in periods of revolution to the 'death of the author' in Hermann Broch's Der Tod des Vergil, the book tells a cultural history of the reception of ancient literature as imagined through the lens of poets' lives. Putting modern life-writing studies and ancient poetry into dialogue, it brings biofictional reception to debates in classics, and puts antiquity and its reception onto the map of modern studies in life-writing.
Roman letters demonstrate that language has imperium: the power to resolve problems, to negotiate relationships and to construct identities. This book combines sociolinguistic and historical approaches to explore how that power is deployed by the bilingual elite of the Roman Republic and Empire, offering the first systematic analysis of Greek code-switches in the letters of Cicero, Pliny, Marcus Aurelius and Fronto and in the Lives of Suetonius. Greek was a subtle tool within Latin epistolary communication, and an analysis of letter writers' bilingual practices reveals their manipulation of language to manage relationships between peers and across hierarchical or political divides, uncovering the workings of politics and society. Comparative analysis of Roman and modern code-switching contributes to the debate on how bilingual strategies in letters evolve and how they relate to oral and literary language. The language of letters illuminates the Roman world and its entanglements with Greek language and culture.
What would Pindar and Aeschylus have talked about had they met at some point during their overlapping poetic careers? How do we map the space shared by these two fifth-century choral poets? In the first book-length comparative study of Pindar and Aeschylus in over six decades, Anna S. Uhlig pushes back against the prevailing tendency to privilege interpretive frames that highlight the differences in their works. Instead, she adopts a more inclusive category of choral performance, one in which both poets are shown to be grappling to understand how the vivid here and now of their compositions are in fact a reenactment of voices and bodies from elsewhere. Pairing close readings of the ancient texts with insights from modern performance studies, Uhlig offers a novel perspective on the 'song culture' of early fifth-century BC Greece.
This volume explores journeys across time and space in Greek and Latin literature, taking as its starting point the paradigm of travel offered by the epic genre. The epic journey is central to the dynamics of classical literature, offering a powerful lens through which characters, authors, and readers experience their real and imaginary worlds. The journey informs questions of identity formation, narrative development, historical emplotment, and constructions of heroism - topics that move through and beyond the story itself. The act of moving to and from 'home' - both a fixed point of spatial orientation and a transportable set of cultural values - thus represents a physical journey and an intellectual process. In exploring its many manifestations, the chapters in this collection reconceive the centrality of the epic journey across a wide variety of genres and historical contexts, from Homer to the moon.