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Cambridge University Press
Expected online publication date:
September 2024
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Book description

Latin literature exploded onto the scene from relatively humble beginnings in the third century BCE. In an astonishingly short time the Romans adopted and adapted nearly all the genres of literature known to them and not only were they well aware of their large-scale appropriation but even, curiously, boasted of it. This readable new history of Latin literature covers the full span of the Roman republic, concluding with the age of Augustus, whose great poets engaged with the enormous political and cultural changes of their time and laid the foundations for the literature of the Imperial period. All the major writers are covered but attention is also paid to more fragmentary but still key authors such as Ennius, Cato, Lucilius, and Varro. Readers are given the essential historical, cultural, and literary background as well as close readings of specific passages, which reveal the charm and complexity which animate Latin literature.


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