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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 April 2022

Hannah Čulík-Baird
Affiliation:
Boston University
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Summary

Poetry symbolically reflects reality, and acts as a preservative substance. As an ethical, aesthetic, historic artefact, old Latin poetry guided late Republican thought, and presented itself as an authoritative text. Within its own context, such “text,” according to Hayden White, was “an entity that once had an assuring solidity and concreteness, indeed a kind of identity that allowed it to serve as a model of whatever was comprehensible in both culture and nature.” Latin poetry’s significance in the Roman consciousness is affirmed by the degree to which it permeated Cicero’s own textual corpus: wherever Cicero’s own thoughts roamed, Latin verse was there as a touchstone or guide, offering a reassuring sense of continuity. Absorbed to such a degree, Latin poetry reentered the community in Cicero’s own authoritative utterances, filtered through the words and ideas of a cherished past. Materiality of text and power of performance each impacted Cicero’s vision of poetry: words found in books, studied by mentors, guided Cicero’s own intellectual practice; yet, he also experienced those same words, given electric new life on the Roman stage, in emotive, embodied forms.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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  • Envoi
  • Hannah Čulík-Baird, Boston University
  • Book: Cicero and the Early Latin Poets
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009031820.007
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  • Envoi
  • Hannah Čulík-Baird, Boston University
  • Book: Cicero and the Early Latin Poets
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009031820.007
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Envoi
  • Hannah Čulík-Baird, Boston University
  • Book: Cicero and the Early Latin Poets
  • Online publication: 21 April 2022
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009031820.007
Available formats
×