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Chapter 4 - Incorporating Memory in Roman Song and Dance

The Case of the Arval Cult

from Part II - Music, Body, and Textual Archives

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 October 2021

Lauren Curtis
Affiliation:
Bard College, New York
Naomi Weiss
Affiliation:
Harvard University, Massachusetts
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Summary

This chapter examines the cultural status of ritual song and dance in the Roman Late Republican and Augustan periods. By applying the modern theoretical work of Paul Connerton on the social reproduction of memory, the chapter explores several strategies through which two of the most iconic religious associations in Rome – the Salian priesthood and the Arval Brethren – stored and transmitted their cultural traditions. The hymns of these collegia, as well as their performances, constitute unique artifacts for understanding the interconnected processes of writing and embodiment – what Connerton defines as “inscription” and “incorporation”– in the production of ancient musical memories.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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