Latin literature is crowded with portraits of Romans in transit, but despite this ubiquity scholars have been reluctant to read vehicles as significant conveyors of textual and cultural meaning. This book offers the first systematic analysis of the representation of Roman vehicles in Latin literary texts. By moving past approaches that count such vehicular portrayals as either transparent glimpses of reality or soaring poetic symbols, it demonstrates how these conveyances work as a system of representation to structure both the texts in which they appear and underlying cultural discourses surrounding power, gender, and empire. Arranged as a series of interlocking studies, each chapter explores the representation of a particular conveyance across author and text, from the humblest and most quotidian (plaustrum) to the most exalted and symbol-laden (currus).
James Uden Source: Bryn Mawr Classical Review
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