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This chapter examines in three stages the surprisingly vital place of the Classical literatures of Greece and Rome in the development of the Gothic. First, Horace Walpole and his contemporaries Edward Young and Richard Hurd irreverently reimagined Classical antiquity not as a model of propriety and decorum, but as a grotesque realm of monsters and ghosts. Second, Clara Reeve challenged the social prejudice that accorded prestige to the masculine zone of Classical texts but not to popular literature; The Old English Baron blends a Gothic narrative with motifs from Classical historiography in order to challenge the artificial hierarchy separating the two modes. Third, writers of the Romantic age presented Rome as a haunted city, recasting the influence of Greece and Rome in spectral terms. The Gothic, it shows, is no simple departure from the Classical. Rather, the tension between the two is sustained throughout the history of the genre as one of its basic elements, and we need to restore a sense of that tension in order to understand the full force of the Gothic in the literary and aesthetic consciousness of the long eighteenth century.
This chapter provides an examination of an ideal shared across languages and cultures in the second century: the ideal of the ‘deliberate speaker’, who aims to reflect time, thought, and study in his speech, and who draws attention to his words quawords. Articulate and educated speech becomes a vital tool for creating and defending in-groups in this period. By contrast, orators and authors in both Latin and Greek condemn their opponents as producing mere noise. The ideal of the deliberate speaker is explored through the works of two very different contemporaries: the African-born Roman orator Fronto and the Syrian Christian apologist Tatian. Despite moving in very different circles, Fronto and Tatian both express their identity and authority through an expertise in words, in strikingly similar ways. The chapter ends with a call for scholars of the Roman Empire to create categories of analysis that move across different cultural and linguistic groups. If we do not, we risk merely replicating the parochialism and insularity of our sources.
Introducing the volume to come, this chapter explains the need for new approaches to the study of literary and cultural interactions in the Roman empire that cross linguistic, cultural and religious boundaries. It begins with a brief overview of the diversity of cross-cultural interactions that can be traced, on and off the page, between different individuals and communities in the second century CE. It analyses current and innovative methodologies for studying ‘intertextuality’ in different disciplines, including approaches that amplify gaps or silences, as well as instances of dialogue/cross-fertilisation. It then stresses three ways in which the volume particularly aims to contribute: firstly, by including technical, documentary, epigraphic and oral material in its wide-ranging study of ‘literary’ interactivity; secondly, by stressing the relationship between textual interaction, cultural practices and material aspects of empire; thirdly, by working out from intertextuality to interdiscursivity, shining a spotlight on the migration of ideas as well specific interactions. The introduction ends with a case study – the story of Arion and the dolphin, retold by many ancient authors – that exemplifies the processes of cross-cultural travel and transmission in the ancient world and also the challenges that scholars face in tracing and interpreting such cross-cultural interactions.
This book explores new ways of analysing interactions between different linguistic, cultural, and religious communities across the Roman Empire from the reign of Nerva to the Severans (96–235 CE). Bringing together leading scholars in classics with experts in the history of Judaism, Christianity and the Near East, it looks beyond the Greco-Roman binary that has dominated many studies of the period, and moves beyond traditional approaches to intertextuality in its study of the circulation of knowledge across languages and cultures. Its sixteen chapters explore shared ideas about aspects of imperial experience - law, patronage, architecture, the army - as well as the movement of ideas about history, exempla, documents and marvels. As the second volume in the Literary Interactions series, it offers a new and expansive vision of cross-cultural interaction in the Roman world, shedding light on connections that have gone previously unnoticed among the subcultures of a vast and evolving Empire.