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  • Robert Cowan (a1)


If satire is epic's ‘evil twin’, then tragedy is satire's ugly sister. Both epic and tragedy soar aloft in the stratosphere of the generic hierarchy, viewed humbly and from a distance by satire's pedestrian muse, who at the same time scoffs at their overblown irrelevance. Many of the same criticisms, often framed as back-handed compliments, are cast at both genres by their poor relation, but there are also distinctions. Epic, even if cloistered in an ivory tower, is constructed as sharing the impossible purity of that ivory, the better for its lofty and noble themes to be befouled, debased and perverted in the distorting mirror held up by its evil twin. Tragedy, however, is itself a perversion, ethically and aesthetically, a mishmash of vice and excess which is a natural target for satire, the self-appointed social policeman, but which also bears an uncomfortable resemblance to satire's own nature. Much work has been done in recent years on satire's engagement with and tendentious construction of tragedy, but very little on tragedy's reciprocal engagement with satire. The latter will be the focus of this article, approached from two, closely-related angles.

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1. Morgan (2004), 8: ‘Couching the anti-literature of satire in the metre of heroes clarified the status of Lucilius’ genre as the “evil twin” of respectable poetry, epic above all.’ Bartsch (2015), 201f.: ‘Persius … repeatedly depicts the body of poetry as the blemished body of a human. In satire 1, for example, we meet in short succession both “the veiny book of Accius” (1.76) and “Pacuvius and his warty Antiope” (1.77-79).’

2. See also Littlewood in this volume on tragedy and epic's sublime ambitions, briefly contrasted with satire.

3. On satire and epic, see esp. Winkler (1989); Schmitz (2000), esp. 208-21; Morgan (2004); Connors (2005); Jones (2007), 95-116; Cowan (2011).

4. On satire and tragedy: Smith (1989); Cowan (2009); Cowan (2013), 119-21; Keane (2003); Keane (2006), 13-41. Littlewood (2007) includes much discussion of satiric engagement with epic and tragedy as a pair.

5. In addition to Staley (2010), important contributions include Opelt (1972); Mazzoli (1997); Mazzoli (2014b); and Schiesaro (2003). The self-awareness of Senecan characters is a major motif of much recent criticism, but see esp. Fitch and McElduff (2002); Schiesaro (2003); Littlewood (2004).

6. Hinds (2000).

7. Hinds (2000), 226.

8. Satire: Coffey (1996), 81-86. For other genres, see nn. 83-86 below.

9. Hooley (2007), 11: ‘Satire's reiterated geneses, born again in Horace, Persius, and Juvenal, are inherently critical acts, reading-down forebears as they refashion something else in explicitly critical terms; criticism and creation fused.’ Most surveys of the genre (e.g. Knoche [1957], Witke [1970], Coffey [1976], Braund [1992], Morgan [2005], Hooley [2007]) include discussion of each satirist's engagement with his predecessors and with the satiric tradition as a whole, but for a particularly provocative reading see Freudenburg (2001). For the various binary relationships, see esp. Fiske (1920) on Lucilius and Horace; Tzounakas (2005) on Lucilius (and Horace) and Persius; Hooley (1997) on Horace and Persius; Anderson (1961) on Horace and Juvenal.

10. On satire and other genres (though with very little on tragedy), see esp. Jones (2007), 95-132.

11. Pacuvius: Lucil. fr. 587 Marx; Accius: fr. 794 Marx; lacrimosa poemata Pupi: Hor. Epist. 1.1.67; Telephus and Orestes: Juv. 1.4-6.

12. On literary criticism and parody in Menippean satire: Courtney (1962); Coffey (1976), 161f.; Relihan (1993), 25-28, 59-65; O'Gorman (2005).

13. Medea and Pelias: Marcipor frr. 284f. Astbury; Agamemnon and buskins: Virgula diuina fr. 570; Ennius, Pacuvius and Amphion: Ὄνος λύρας fr. 356 and 367; Medea Exsul: Γεροντοδιδάσκαλος fr. 189. For suggestions on what can be made of these fragments, see the various volumes of Cèbe (1972-98), ad locc.

14. Body: Braund and James (1998); disorder: Robinson (2005).

15. Courtney (1962), 92.

16. Eden (1984), 93.

17. On Lucilius and tragedy: Puelma Piwonka (1949), 117f.; Krenkel (1957-8); Ronconi (1963); Bramble (1974) 174 n.1; Schmidt (1977); Manuwald (2001b); Faller (2002); Mondin (2002-3); Boyle (2006), index s.v. ‘Lucilius’; Goh (2015), 111-13.

18. Lucilius and epic: Christes (2001). Lucilius and literary criticism: Krenkel (1957-8); Ronconi (1963); Coffey (1976), 52-54; Koster (2001).

19. The deracinated line (Nonius only cites it for the gender of anguis) could also mean ‘unless you write about…’, which suggests an apodosis something like ‘you are not writing tragedy’, and would have the same overall effect.

20. AP and Seneca: Rosati (1995); and satire: Seeck (1995); and tragedy: esp. Brink (1971), Aricò (1983), Martina (1993).

21. at hunc liberta securi / diuisit medium, fortissima Tyndaridarum (‘But him a freedwoman split in the middle with an axe, the bravest of the daughters of Tyndareus’, Hor. S. 1.1.99f.), with Mader (2014a), 432; flentibus hinc Varius discedit maestus amicis (‘From here Varius left, mournful, while his friends wept’, 1.5.93); ‘Varius leaves his friends wearing a tragic mask’, Gowers (1994), 65 n.56 (cf. Gowers [2012], 210 ad loc.)

22. nil illi larua aut tragicis opus esse cothurnis (‘that he had no need of a ghost of tragic buskins’, 1.5.64), with Gowers (1994), 59. Cf. Gowers (2012), 202 ad loc. on how ‘the rejection of tragic gear…suggests a programmatic preference for comedy.’

23. Muecke (1993), 153 ad 2.3.187-223: ‘Like Orestes, Ajax is another famous madman of tragedy known on the Roman stage.’ Of course, Stertinius’ Stoic point is that Orestes was as mad when he killed his mother as when afterwards pursued by the Furies, and Agamemnon as mad as Ajax, but the association of tragedy and madness remains.

24. On the passage, see esp. Bramble (1974), 2-12; Gowers (1993), 180-88; Hooley (1997), 64-80; Zietsman (2004); Bartsch (2015), 25-34.

25. On the Augustan idea: Weber (1981). In modern criticism: Anderson (1962); Schmitz (2000), 43-50; Keane (2006), 13-41; Ferriss-Hill (2015), 20-22.

26. Anderson (1962), 152f.; Morford (1972); Schmitz (2000), 43-50; Cucchiarelli (2001), 204f.; Keane (2003), 265-69; Cowan (2013), 120f.; Watson and Watson (2014), 275-77; Ferriss-Hill (2015), 20-22. Powell (1999), 317-19, makes the important point that, whatever else Juvenal is doing, he is not adopting a more elevated stylistic register.

27. Cucchiarelli (2001), 204 n. 64: ‘La scelta lessicale di hiatus, a prescindere dall'ovvio significato stilistico, forse vuole visualizzare la maschera dionisiaco-tragico, atteggiata abitualmente in un enorme grido’ (The choice of the word hiatus, leaving aside the obvious stylistic significance, is perhaps intended to conjure the image of the Dionysiac tragic mask, whose usual expression is an enormous shout); he further suggests (more tenuously) that the Rutulian hills might evoke maenads characteristically roaming the mountains.

28. On Martial and tragedy in general: Citroni (1968); Sullivan (1987b), 178-80; Sergi (1989); Spisak (1994), 303-05. On Martial and Attic tragedy: Mindt (2013), 529-32.

29. For Martial as a fully-fledged satirist, see esp. Sullivan (1987a). Many scholars (e.g. Mendell [1922]) write more vaguely of his ‘satiric epigram’ as an alternative term for skoptic, but without situating him in the Lucilian (as opposed to the Lucillian) tradition.

30. On Martial's self-representation see esp. Sullivan (1991), 56-77; Fitzgerald (2007); Neger (2012). On ‘Martial's branding of epigram as both memorialising and ephemeral’: Rimell (2008), 51-93, quoting from 63.

31. Watson (2003a), 4. Persius’ description of tragic themes as ‘dark-robed nonsense’ (pullatis…nugis, 5.19f.) does paradoxically brand an elevated genre as a trifle, but without the defensive implication that others would usually so describe satire.

32. Mart. 10.4; Watson and Watson (2003), 99: ‘[Callimachus’ Aetia] normally symbolises the “slender” style of poetry as opposed to the trite and inflated genus of epic but here is associated…with the unreal themes of elevated poetry.’ Cf. Citroni (1968), 280; Sergi (1989); Spisak (1994), 344f.; Mindt (2013), 547-49; Cowan (2014), 350-52. Hinds (2007), 136-39, also argues for an indirect engagement with Ovid's Metamorphoses here and in 4.49.

33. OLD s.v. caligo 2 1 ‘To…be shrouded in darkness’; 3 ‘To…be blinded in judgment’. Curiously, Mart. 10.4.1 is quoted under 2c ‘to see dimly (from external causes)’. ‘The Alexandra is ‘the dark poem’, σκοτεινὸν ποιήμα, in both senses: its vocabulary is arcane and its mode of reference is veiled; and it is full of blood, death, tombs, and laments.’ Hornblower (2015), 1.

34. On Senecan monstra: Staley (2010), 96-120, and section 3 below.

35. On this epigram, see Citroni (1968), 274f.; Spisak (1994), 303f.; Boyle (1995), 85-87,

36. OLD s.v. crudus 3b ‘dyspeptic’, 7 ‘fierce, wild, savage’, 2e ‘lacking in elegance, coarse, rude, unrefined’.

37. Moreno Soldevila (2006), 362.

38. Juv. 6.636 (quoted above). Mindt (2013), 530, describes Martial's references to Sophocles as follows: ‘Doch gerade in der Stellvertreterrolle, die Martial Sophokles zuweist, spiegelt sich die Wertung, der communis opinio der Zeit in Rom entsprechend, Sophokles sei der beste Tragiker’ (But it is precisely in the representative role that Martial assigns to Sophocles that the judgment is reflected, corresponding to the communis opinio of the time in Rome, that Sophocles was the best tragedian).

39. Ar. Av. 1372-1409, Ran. 939-43, Call. Aet. fr. 1.24, 1.12. Among the extensive bibliography, see esp. Wright (2012), 103-40, on Old Comedy; Hunter (2009), 10-52, on its afterlife; Asper (1997) on Callimachus.

40. κακοὶ δὲ ὄγκοι καὶ ἐπὶ σωμάτων καὶ λόγων, Longin. 3.4.

41. Hinds (1998), 10-16.

42. Bramble (1974), 158.

43. On ‘style is the man’ in satire, see now esp. Ferriss-Hill (2015), 171-216.

44. Hinds (2000), quoting from p.226.

45. Cf. Most (2000), 30: ‘a genre of “tragedy” was hypostasized and conceived as though it were somehow independent of all particular instances of tragedies.’

46. Ov. Tr. 2.529-36. Hinds (2000), 232.

47. Hinds (2000), 233.

48. reges et proelia, (‘kings and battles’, Virg. Ecl. 6.3); quam rem cumque ferox nauibus aut equis / miles … gesserit, (‘whatever a fierce soldier achieved with ships or horses’, Hor. Carm. 1.6.3); res gestae regumque ducumque et tristia bella, (‘the achievements of both kings and generals and grim wars’, Hor. AP 73).

49. Note Hinds's (2000), 230, acknowledgment that, at Tr. 2.529-36, ‘Ovid's purposes lead him to deemphasize Dido's more obvious affinities with tragedy in favor of her affinities with elegy and other “slight” genres.’

50. The dating of Seneca's tragedies, both relative and absolute, is almost endlessly controversial, despite the wide acceptance of the arguments in Fitch (1981), but except for the small difference it might make if some of the plays were written after, or at about the same time as, Persius’ Satires, the issue does not affect the current argument. See also Nisbet (1990). Dingel's (2009) argument that HF, with its probable terminus ante quem of the composition of the Apoc., was Seneca's first tragedy opens up the possibility that more of the other plays were Neronian and hence not necessarily antedating Persius.

51. The classic discussion of directionality in Graeco-Roman intertextuality (including the allusion to David Lodge's Small World) is Fowler (1997), esp. 27f.

52. ‘Jokes at the expense of epic and tragedy are common in Roman satire from Lucilius to Juvenal. The serious poetry of the Silver Age was particularly irrelevant to any actual human activity, and Persius’ criticisms were amply justified.’ Nisbet (1963), 60.

53. Giordano Rampioni (1983), 105: ‘All'inizio della V satira, quando polemizza col genere tragico, il suo non è un riferimento generico, come si legge nei commenti, al mito di Tieste portato sulla scena da tanti tragediografi greci e latini, bensì una puntuale allusione al Tieste senecano’ (At the beginning of the fifth satire, when he polemicizes against the tragic genre, it is not a general reference, as it is read in commentaries, to the myth of Thyestes put on the stage by so many Greek and Latin tragedians, but rather a precise allusion to the Senecan Thyestes)’; see also Bocchi (2004).

54. Staley (2010), 96.

55. Staley (2010), 156 n.3.

56. Cf. Wright (2010) on Euripidean references to poetics.

57. On the Senecan Orpheus: Segal (1983); Bocciolini Palagi (1998); Dangel (1999); and Littlewood in this volume.

58. On Apollo in this ode: Tarrant (1976), 231-39; Motto and Clark (1988), 208; Audano (1998). On Horatian intertexts: Spika (1890), 35.

59. Ag. 333-39, with Tarrant (1976), 238 ad 340ff. (his colometry differs from Zwierlein's) on Gigantomachy and epic, esp. in recusationes.

60. Cf. Littlewood in this volume on the sublime in the play and Sampson on Hercules as ‘a unique and irrepressible agent of disorder’.

61. The seminal work on the comparatiuus Senecanus is of course Seidensticker (1985), and see also Schiesaro (2003), esp. 34f., 130f.

62. The notion is recapitulated by Oedipus himself at Phoen. 264-73. On this passage and incest as a greater crime than parricide throughout the play, see Ginsberg in this volume.

63. Again, see also Ginsberg in this volume.

64. Esp. Boyle (1997), 112-37; Boyle (2006), 208-18; Mader (2002a); Schiesaro (2003); Littlewood (2004); Erasmo (2005), 122-39; Frangoulidis (2009); Winter (2014). See also Mowbray (2012) on internal audiences.

65. Barchiesi (1993), 343-45; Hinds (1993), 41-43; cf. Williams (2012). Hinds has more recently gone on to trace the motif through Senecan tragedy and to argue that characters as diverse as Phaedra, Oedipus and Atreus ‘in intertextual terms … are in a sense all becoming Medeas’ (Hinds [2011], 26, original emphasis).

66. Buckley (2013), 211.

67. Schiesaro (2003), 127-32. Cf. Littlewood in this volume on the sublime in HF.

68. Cf. Chaudhuri (2014), 136-44, on Hercules in HF as a failed sublime author figure, set in antithesis to Atreus’ mastery.

69. On the metapoetics of monstrosity, focusing on Augustan epic but applicable to other elevated genres in other periods, see now Lowe (2015).

70. Staley (2010), 96-120.

71. Staley (2010), 113.

72. E.g. Boyle (2014), 178 ad Med. 177f.

73. Anger: Ag. 126f., Pho. 352-54, Thy. 519, 737, Tro. 586; arrogance: Ag. 247f., 958, Med. 178, Pha. 137, Pho. 584f., Thy. 609.

74. Tarrant (1985), 178 ad loc.

75. Exposure: Oed. 857-59; etymology: 812f. Boyle (2011), 305f. ad 857-9: ‘Phorbas is about to experience the tumor of Oedipus in a different sense: the anger of the tyrant. …. the use of lues to connote the “infection” attacking the baby's wounds is not accidental. Seneca suggests verbally the origins of the Theban plague in the wounds of Oedipus.’

76. HF 1279-81; cf. 939. Chaudhuri (2014), 125: ‘Hercules is assimilated to the monsters he has conquered’; Bishop (1966), 220: ‘Hercules and Lycus … are men of the same basic quality.’

77. In addition to the passages quoted below, Thy. 957-60 also explicitly links the swollenness of the sea and the passions. Swollen seas with no such explicit link: Ag. 408, 450, 469, HF 550f., 955, Oed. 450, Thy. 291, 361f., Tro. 880; cf. Phoen. 609 on the River Xanthus, swollen with the snows of Mt. Ida.

78. On ‘trespass’ in similes: Lyne (1989), 73f. As Fitch (1987), 401 ad loc., notes, this also applies to the resumptive fluctus (‘waves’) in line 1092.

79. ‘A series of analogies between the force of Medea's anger and hate and that of violent natural phenomena which destroy the works of man’, Boyle (2014), 275 ad 579-94. ‘The passions, the tides and the orbits are phenomena of the same kind, are causally interrelated, and can be discussed in interchangeable terms.’ Herington (1966), 433 on Senecan tragedy in general, aptly applied by Henderson (1983), 96 to this stanza. Henderson (1983), 95: ‘Medean uis … beggars description: woman, “locus of disorder”, exceeds language, normal categories are inadequate.’

80. On the image of the sea as epic: Lieberg (1969); Morgan (1999), 32-39 (specifically Homer); Harrison (2007b). On swollen seas and epic: Ov. Met. 14.4, with Myers (2009), 53f., and Tr. 1.2.23f., with Ingleheart (2006), 87f.

81. non ego uelifera tumidum mare findo carina (‘I do not cleave the swollen sea in a sail-bearing ship’, Prop. 3.9.35). Ross (1975), 123 n.1, notes that ‘the epic formation velifera is a nice touch’; Heyworth and Morwood (2011), 191 ad loc.: ‘the return to sailing imagery…is compounded by the epic compound epithet and the anti-Callimachean tumidus.

82. Ag. 408, 450. Cf. agitata uentis unda uenturis tumet (‘the wave swelled, stirred by winds to come’, 469). On epic features in this speech, see Baertschi (2010) and Gunderson in this volume.

83. Horatian lyric in Seneca: Spika (1890); Degl'Innocenti Pierini (1992); Stevens (1999); Lenzi (2006); Trinacty (2014), 144-64. Lyric genres in Attic tragedy: Swift (2010).

84. Tietze (1989); Aygon (2010); Pypłacz (2010), 29-59; Baertschi (2010); Baertschi (2015); Schiesaro (2014).

85. Elegy: Janka (2004); Morelli (2004); Littlewood (2004), 259-301; Rosati (2006); Trinacty (2007); Trinacty (2014), 65-126; Ginsberg (2015). Ovid: Hinds (2011); Walsh (2012).

86. Pastoral: Schiesaro (2006). Iambos: Degl'Innocenti Pierini (2013).

87. Tarrant (1995), 225: ‘Seneca applies to tragedy the blending of genres so widely practiced by the major Augustan poets.’

88. Trinacty (2014), 84; Ginsberg (2015), 228.

89. Coffey (1996).

90. Moralizing is so fundamental to the theory and so pervasive in the practice of Roman satire that it is almost redundant to provide examples, though instances of specific techniques and targets of satiric moralizing are provided in the paragraphs below. Some notable instances (among many) of satire's self-construction as a moralizing genre include Hor. S. 1.4.103-31, 2.1.62-65, Pers. 5.15f., Juv. 1.81-90 (indeed Juv. 1 passim). Praise of the simple life (often ironized or undercut) is especially prominent in Hor. S. 2.2, Pers. 6, Juv. 3 and 14.

91. Coffey (1996), 86.

92. olla Thyestae, Pers. 5.8; Bramble (1974), 56: ‘He then proceeds to mock the two most horrific tragic banquets, which he dubs with the vulgar deflatory olla.’ Compare prandia saeui / Tereos, Mart. 4.49.3f., diri prandia…Thyestae, 10.35.6. Citroni (1968) 279, argues that Martial is directly alluding to Persius 5: ‘Le « mensae » di Micene sono i « prandia saeui Tereos » di Marziale IV 49, 3 sg. Abbandonare i banchetti di Micene significa accostarsi ai banchetti di ogni giorno: «plebeia prandia»’ (The mensae of Mycenae are the prandia saeui Tereos of Martial 4.49.3f. To abandon the banquets of Mycenae means to turn to the banquets of everyday life: plebeia prandia). Of course, this directly transgresses the rule laid down at Hor. AP 90f. On incongruous diction in Juvenal, see esp. Schmitz (2000), 97-107. Cf. Morgan (2005), 185, on epic and unepic language at Juv. 10.61-64: ‘The violence done to elevated modes of speech precisely reflects the violence being done to a former symbol of authority. Sejanus was great, and the epic language of toto orbe secunda expresses this at a stylistic as well as semantic level. What he, or rather his statue, becomes, on the other hand, is both base—kitchenware and toiletries—and basely expressed in a plain, unembellished list of words which themselves have no possible place in respectable literature.’

93. stagnum only occurs in satire at Juv. 12.81, hyperbolically evoking the calmness of Trajan's rebuilt Portus Augusti at Ostia (see Courtney [1980], ad loc.); silua occurs five times each in Horace's Satires and Juvenal, always of actual forests except at Juv. 9.13, where it is used metaphorically of hair; Bacchus does not occur in extant satire, either as metonymy for wine or in any other sense.

94. Hutchinson (1993), 28.

95. Gigon (1938), 180-83; Marti (1945), 239-41; Herington (1966), 458-60; Hine (1981), 272f.; Monteleone (1991), 253-55.

96. Schiesaro (2003), 149 (cf. 57). Cf. Boyle (1983b), 216: ‘Dissidence between personal appetite, on the one hand and moral knowledge and moral responsibility on the other seems central to Thyestes’ dramatisation’; cf. id. (1997), 23f. Similar is Littlewood (1997), 69, on the dehumanizing hunger which produces ‘such a violent dislocation in the characterisation of Thyestes'. Even more cynical about Thyestes are Tarrant (1985), 43-45, 148-59 and Davis (2003), 66f.

97. In general, see Plaza (2006), 167-256. Damasippus and Horace: Harrison (2013), 158-60. Umbricius as Juvenal: e.g. Keane (2002), 227f. ; Umbricius as not-Juvenal, see Staley (2000), 86: ‘Umbricius is [not] an alter ego for Juvenal himself…but rather…an embodiment of Juvenal's constructed image of the “satirist”.’ Naevolus: Braund (1988), 130-77, esp. 170; Rosen (2007), 223-35. Moodie (2012) even makes a (convincing) case for the thug of Juv. 3.278-301 as a satirist-figure.

98. Boyle (1983b), 216: ‘though he praises the life of hardship and obscurity, Thyestes’ defence of that life is in decidedly negative terms … and results in his dwelling on those aspects of the life of power in virtue of which it is normally desired.’ Davis (1989), 427: ‘Thyestes … juxtaposes a fairly colourless account of the life of virtue … with a vivid account of the life of vice in very Roman terms’. Cf. Tarrant (1985), 155f., esp. ad 446-70 (‘gusto’) and 455-69.

99. E.g Littlewood (2002), 57, on Persius’ Socrates; Braund (1988), 130-77; and Rosen (2007), 223-35 on Juvenal's Naevolus.

100. Sen. Pha. 204-14; Dupont (1995), 239: ‘elle s'attaque, dans des termes qui sont ceux de la satire traditionnelle, à l'hypocrisie des classes supérieures et à leurs caprices d'enfants gâtés.’

101. turpi fregerunt saecula luxu / diuitiae molles. quid enim uenus ebria curat? (‘Enervating riches enfeebled the generations with foul luxury. For what does drunken lust care?’ Juv. 6.299f.), with Pers. 1.67, one of only two occurrences of luxus in extant satire.

102. ‘[Hippolytus] closes his speech in praise of country life with a fanatical denunciation of women. The lack of logical connection between the preceding panegyric and the condemnation of women underlines the irrationality of his misogyny and suggests that his hatred is innate rather than reasoned.’ Davis (1983), 119. Cf. Boyle (1997), 64.

103. On the Senecan chorus, see esp. Davis (1989), (1993); Hill (2000).

104. On choral characterization: Davis (1993), 39-62.

105. On the ‘dawn song’: Bishop (1966), 218-22; Rose (1985); Mader (1990); Davis (1993), 126-36; Littlewood (2004), 107-14.

106. Satire in Virgil's Georgics: Martyn (1972); Nelis (2004), 75f.; in Lucretius: Murley (1939); Waltz (1948); Dudley (1965); Gellar-Goad (2012); Cowan (2013).

107. Billerbeck (1999), 256f.: ‘Hier…erinnert die Beschreibung der geschäftigen Städter…vor allem an die Schlusspartie des zweiten Georgicabuches’ (The description here of the bustling city recalls above all the closing section of Georgics book 2). Fitch (1987), 160f., argues for a broader range of influences. Littlewood in this volume offers a persuasive new interpretation of Georgic and Lucretian elements in the ode and the play as a whole.

108. Easterling (1985).

109. Scholars still divide on the character and culpability of Hercules, but for studies stressing his excess and tendency to monstrosity: Henry and Walker (1965); Bishop (1966); Shelton (1978); Fitch (1979); Fitch (1987); Rose (1985); Papadopoulou (2004); Chaudhuri (2014), 116-55. On ‘overliving’: Wilson (2004), 98-112, esp. 100f. on the dawn ode. Hercules’ defenders include Motto and Clark (1981); Lawall (1983); and Mader (1990).

110. Fitch (1987), 162.

111. Cf. Littlewood (2004), 114, though he stresses the Iron Age rather than satiric flavour of the second section: ‘Ovid marks the differences between the myth of Phaethon and the degeneration into criminality which follows the end of the Golden Age by presenting them in parallel in his narrative. Seneca creates a single, ambivalent hero by characterizing him as a figure from these dissimilar but related myths.’

112. Morgan (2004), 8f. (original emphases). Cf. Morgan (2010), 316: ‘Lucilian hexametrical satire, an extended exercise in misusing the metre of heroes which precisely matches the antipathy to the values represented by the epic genre that is of the very essence of the satirical (anti-)genre.’ Cf. also Connors (2005), 127-29.

113. Hor. S. 2.5 with Roberts (1984) and Connors (2005), 135f.; Juv. 3 with Staley (2000) and Baines (2003); Juv. 4, with Connors (2005), 142f.

114. Alexopoulou (2009), 41: ‘nostos is usually presented as perverted or problematic in Attic tragedy. … return in the tragic plot is not always achieved for the maintenance of social and personal order, as in the Odyssean nostos, but it reveals the problematic nature of nostos in its numerous possibilities as a return especially associated with revenge…or as a perverted recognition’; cf. 37-82 for her full discussion of tragic nostoi.

115. Seaford (1989 and 1995) contrasts the perverted sacrifices of tragedy with those in Homeric epic, but the distinction is less between the genres per se than the societies in which they were embedded.

116. The semantic range of φιλία is rather broader than that of amicitia, encompassing kinship as well as the social bonds of friendship and political or military alliance.

117. See esp. Seaford (1994), 338-62; Belfiore (2000); Arist. Po. 1453b14-22.

118. LaFleur (1979); Rudd (1986), 126-61; Cloud (1989).

119. On perverted sacrifice in Attic tragedy see esp. Zeitlin (1965); Burkert (1966); Vidal-Naquet (1972); Seaford (1989); Seaford (1994), 369-88; Henrichs (2000); Gibert (2003). On the (Attic) tragic wedding see Seaford (1987); Rehm (1994); Mitchell-Boyask (2006); Swift (2009). Among Seneca's tragedies, perverted sacrifice is particularly prominent in Ag., Tro., HF and Thy.; see esp. Dupont (1995), 189-204; Aricò (2001), 110-13; Schiesaro (2003), 85-98. On the ‘polluted sacrifice’, extispicy and necromancy in Oed. and their metapoetic connection with tragic contaminatio, see DeBrohun in this volume, as well as Gunderson on the motif of repetition. Ag., Med., Oed., Pha., Phoen., and esp. Tro. foreground perverted weddings: Wilson (1983), 38-40; Boyle (1997), 67-73; Schiesaro (2003), 242-45; and, in this volume, Ginsberg on Phoen. and Sampson on Med.

120. Weddings: Juv. 6.78-81 with Watson and Watson (2014), 101f. ad loc., esp. ad 6.79 on the laurel. Prayer: Pers. 2, with Hooley (1997), 175-201; Freudenburg (2001), 183-88; Juv. 10, with Fishelov (1990). Cf. Boyle (1987), 26 on Sen. Pha.: ‘All the prayers uttered in the play…are either unfulfilled or fulfilled in the most ironic and perverse manner’ and Secci (2000a and 2000b).

121. The classic study is Seidensticker (1982). See also Herington (1963); Seidensticker (1978); Scharffenberger (1996); Kirkpatrick and Dunn (2002); Foley (2008). Notes of caution are sounded by Gregory (1999-2000) and Wright (2005), 6-43.

122. Tarrant (1978).

123. See also Bramble (1974); Labate (1992); Gowers (1993), 109-219; Barchiesi and Cucchiarelli (2005); Freeman (2014).

124. Hooley (2007), 8.

125. On the Senecan tragic body, see esp. Segal (1986a); Most (1992); Pypłacz (2010), 75-91; Tondo (2010).

126. Miller (1998).

127. οἱ μὲν γὰρ σεμνότεροι τὰς καλὰς ἐμιμοῦντο πράξεις καὶ τὰς τῶν τοιούτων (‘For the more serious [poets] imitated beautiful actions and those of beautiful people’, Arist. Po. 1448b25); τὸ γελοῖον πρόσωπον αἰσχρόν τι καὶ διεστραμμένον ἄνευ ὀδύνης (‘the laughable face/mask is something ugly and distorted without pain’, 1449a36). On the male comic body, see esp. Varakis (2010) and Compton-Engle (2015), 16-58, both with further bibliography.

128. Segal (1986a), 334: ‘In Thyestes’ case the imagery of inward fullness, swollenness, turgidity shifts at the end from “breast” and “mind” … to “entrails”.’ On the belch: Mader (2003). Natta: Pers. 3.31-34; ‘Natta's sensory deprivation, alternately figured as a physical and psychological malady, is both his symptom and his disease.’ Keane (2012), 93; cf. Gowers (1993), 185; Reckford (1998), 344.

129. quid superest de corporibus? quis membra, quis ossa / inuenit? obtritum uolgi perit omne cadauer / more animae (‘What is left of the bodies? Who finds limbs, who bones? The whole body of the mob dies when it is crushed, like its soul.’, Juv. 3.259-61). There is epic parody in the surrounding description of the collapsing marble and the soul by the Styx (Braund [1989b], 35; Powell [1999], 327f.), but not in the key description: ‘agitated in manner, but simple and prosaic in style’ (Powell [1999], 327). Hippolytus hic est? … / complectere artus, quodque de nato est super, / miserande, maesto pectore incumbens, foue. (‘Is this Hippolytus? … Embrace his limbs, and caress what is left of your son, pitiable man, lying on him with mournful breast.’ Sen. Pha. 1249, 1254f.), with Most (1992). NVN. iacet / deforme corpus. AN. sic quoque est similis patri. (‘Messenger: He lies a shapeless body. Andromache: In this way too he is like his father.’ Sen. Tro. 1116f.), on which see also Schiesaro (2003), 199f.

130. Phoen. 12-21. General cycle of disaster: Frank (1995a), ad loc. The following example of Ino implicitly rejects her usual deification but, despite the emphasis on the huge drop (uertice immenso ‘from an immense peak’, 22), focuses on the attempt to ‘drown’ (mersura, 25) Melicertes and herself, rather than smashing them on impact. On the associations of Cithaeron in Phoen.: Landolfi (2012); on Actaeon in the play: Basile (2012); on characters’ internal fracture more broadly: Mader (2010).

131. Most editors print Heinsius’ conjecture pectus, which certainly has its attractions. Either word fits the current argument in different ways, corpus by emphasizing the initial, superficial unity of the body which is then fragmented, pectus by contributing one more fragment to the total.

132. See also Ginsberg in this volume on the symbolism of Jocasta's body in the play.

133. Segal (1986a), 334f.

134. cunnus: Hor. S. 1.2.36, 1.3.107; Curran (1970), 225: ‘woman is reduced to her sexual organs alone’; cf. Henderson (1989), 103-05. Pers. 6.71-74. uiscera magnarum domuum, Juv. 3.72: ‘[Juvenal's characters] are rendered as through a camera lens which focuses upon only the most essential elements and leaves it to the imagination of the viewer to reconstruct the whole. The emphasis on part over whole bears witness to the dislocation of values in the society.’ Braund and Raschke (2002), 74.

135. Seneca: Most (1992). Satire: Bramble (1974); Gowers (1993), 109-219; Farrell (2007).

136. Staley (2010), 116.

137. Gowers (1993), 118; Meltzer (1988), 311f.

138. On satire's clashes of register, esp. in Juvenal, see Powell (1999); Urech (1999); Schmitz (2000), 97-107.

139. Segal (1984); Varner (2000); Mader (2002b).

140. Tarrant (1985), 235; Coffey and Mayer (1990), 195.

141. Boyle (2011), 358 ad Oed. 1051, comparing it to Thy. 1046f.

142. Quotation from Staley (2014), 112. See also Trinacty in this volume on the line's intertextuality with Callisto and Arcas at Ov. Met. 2.500.

143. Lefèvre (2002).

144. Gowers (1993), 22: ‘Food…tends to be absent, except in its most solemn, sacred, and undefined terms, from the higher genres, Perhaps the most awkward exception to the rule is Seneca's Thyestes, where the moralist's obsessions spill over into tragedy, and the disguised limbs of the hero's infant sons take on the flavour of some contemporary evil stew. The hero's intestinal eruptions and thunderous belches are magnified on a cosmic scale, as though the disarray of the Roman tragic universe could best be brought to the surface by an explosion of unnatural food.’ Littlewood (2004), 200: ‘The association or deliberate confusion [in Thy. 1041-4] of stomach and womb, food and embryo is familiar. … Satire and invective are the most productive genres for examples of this parallelism or confusion.’

145. Gowers (1993), 186f.

I am grateful to Chris Trinacty and Mike Sampson for the kind invitation to contribute to this special issue of Ramus, and their subsequent patience, advice and support. Between submission and revision, an abbreviated version was delivered to the Classical Association of New South Wales at CCANESA, the University of Sydney. My thanks to the audience, esp. Roger Pitcher and Andrew Miles, to the editors and to Ramus’ anonymous reader for suggestions which have improved the article. My thoughts on Senecan tragedy have also been enriched by discussions with my University of Sydney students for Latin Imperial Poetry (2015) and Tragedy and Society in Greece and Rome (2016), to whom this article is dedicated.

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