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Introduction

The Work of Examples

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2018

Matthew B. Roller
Affiliation:
The Johns Hopkins University
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Summary

The Introduction opens with an example of a Roman exemplum – Polybius’ narrative of Horatius Cocles defending the bridge – and proceeds to offer a general model of Roman exemplarity as a notional sequence of four operations: action, evaluation, commemoration, and norm-setting. Exempla play critical roles in three dimensions of Roman culture: they are central to Roman argumentation and persuasion, hence can affect how Romans actually behave; they are central to Roman moral discourse, hence to the establishment, reproduction, and modification of social values; and they presuppose a particular relationship between present and past, and so constitute a kind of historical consciousness. These cultural dimensions are central to the work that examples do in Roman culture, and all are pertinent, in varying degrees, to each of the case studies presented in the chapters to follow. The introduction also includes discussion of the various fields of scholarly inquiry upon which this study impinges.
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Chapter
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Models from the Past in Roman Culture
A World of Exempla
, pp. 1 - 31
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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  • Introduction
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.002
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  • Introduction
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.002
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.

  • Introduction
  • Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
  • Book: Models from the Past in Roman Culture
  • Online publication: 21 March 2018
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316677353.002
Available formats
×