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This chapter treats the use of history in Oscan Campania in the Middle Republican period. While we have no written histories from the region at this time, by taking a broader understanding of “historical culture” I argue that we may still recognize complex and developing interests in recording and using the past on the part of Campanian elites. In particular, tomb paintings of the fourth and third centuries BCE show a radically new iconography that seems intended to convey real events. The pattern of cultural development in the region compares well with coeval trends at Rome. These affinities confirm that Rome’s own development toward written history by the Second Punic War should not be understood as uniquely Roman but as having formed a local expression of wider Italian cultural trends.
The editors’ Introduction provides an overview of and rationale for the volume as a whole. It highlights the book’s key contributions and conceptual frameworks, in part by offering two brief case studies – or “snapshots” – of the dynamic interplay of music and memory in different times, places, and media: Etruscan tomb painting and Athenian comedy.
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