By Stephen Harrison

ISBN-10: 0631235299

ISBN-13: 9780631235293

A better half to Latin Literature provides an authoritative account of Latin literature from its beginnings within the 3rd century BC via to the tip of the second one century advert.

• presents specialist review of the most classes of Latin literary background, significant genres, and key topics
• Covers the entire significant Latin works of prose and poetry, from Ennius to Augustine, together with Lucretius, Cicero, Catullus, Livy, Vergil, Seneca, and Apuleius
• comprises important reference fabric – dictionary entries on authors, chronological chart of political and literary historical past, and an annotated bibliography
• Serves as either a discursive literary historical past and a normal reference book

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105–12). 2). 4–5). This does not, of course, mean that these ancient readers were as closely dependent on Cicero for background material on his contemporaries as we are. Nor should one deduce from it that a Cicero-centred reading of the period is dispassionate and accurate, devoid of ideological or cultural bias: on the contrary, as we shall see shortly, Cicero mattered as a writer not least for what he was thought to represent politically. But it does show the difficulties we face if we are to attempt to make any assessment of the period that does not simply place Cicero’s perspective at its centre: we are battling against not only the limitations of our evidence, but the whole tradition of literary history.

Their scripts were initially the jealously guarded possession of the companies that commissioned and performed them. Rome of the third century was unlike Athens of the fifth, where drama’s role in civic and religious life bestowed official status and made it a cultural benchmark. The citizens who wrote, produced and performed Attic comedy and tragedy, who competed for its prizes at the great festivals, rehearsed its choruses, created its costumes and entertained its audiences had every reason to record and preserve the evidence of their success in monuments, inscriptions and, at least by the midfourth century, official copies of the plays performed.

For the emerging epic aesthetic and its social position, see Barchiesi (1993a), Hinds (1998: 52–74) and Ru¨pke (2001a). Garbarino (1973) and Kaimio (1979) gather important source material for the influx of Greek culture in the midRepublic. For Philhellenism as a cultural phenomenon in this period, see Gruen (1984: 250–72), and for Cato in particular, Gruen (1993: 52–83). Early Roman historiography is the subject of ongoing re-evaluation. Compare Badian (1966), Timpe (1973) and Dillery (2002). The cultural significance of the fabula praetexta is examined by Zorzetti (1980), Flower (1995) and Wiseman (1994: 1–22; 1995: 129–41).

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A Companion to Latin Literature (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World) by Stephen Harrison


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