Alban Baudou, Séverine Clément-Tarantino, À l'école de Virgile

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Alban Baudou, Séverine Clément-Tarantino (dir.), À l'école de Virgile, Villeneuve d'Ascq, 2015.

Éditeur : Presses Universitaires du Septentrion
Collection : Mythographes
480 pages
ISBN : 978-2-7574-0881-0
32 €

Les lettrés du Moyen Âge ont trouvé dans le commentaire de Servius à Virgile une ample matière mythographique et une méthode de lecture active, pouvant nourrir l'interprétation des poètes antiques et l'invention de nouvelles fictions. Jusqu'à la fin de la Renaissance les éditions de l'Énéide n'étaient pas séparées de ces gloses, dont nous publions ici le premier livre, traduit intégralement pour la première fois en français.
Plutôt que d'isoler ce qui relèverait plus spécifiquement de la mythographie, nous avons voulu permettre au lecteur d'aujourd'hui, peu familiarisé avec les anciens grammairiens, d'en apprécier la foisonnante multiplicité d'approches. Expliquer la complexité des formules poétiques, comme le fait Servius, n'est pas seulement faire œuvre d'éducateur, c'est un geste herméneutique qui révèle la richesse polysémique des mythes et des fictions. Les anciens qui apprenaient à lire dans Virgile trouvaient dans les mythes une initiation à toutes les sciences, et leur pratique de l'interprétation était assez ouverte pour laisser libre cours à l'imagination. C'est le poète à l'œuvre que révèle la lecture de Servius, dans sa manière de donner sens aux choses par les mots. L'ensemble des gloses antiques et médiévales transmises depuis le IVe siècle sous le nom de Servius fait partie du patrimoine culturel européen, pour avoir exercé des générations de lecteurs à relier culture lettrée, connaissance de la nature et sciences de l'homme.

Source : Presses universitaires du Septentrion


O. Herkster, Emperors and Ancestors Roman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition

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Olivier Herkster, Emperors and Ancestors Roman Rulers and the Constraints of Tradition, Oxford, 2015.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
432 pages
ISBN : 978-0-19-873682-0
80 £

Ancestry played a continuous role in the construction and portrayal of Roman emperorship in the first three centuries AD. Emperors and Ancestors is the first systematic analysis of the different ways in which imperial lineage was represented in the various 'media' through which images of emperors could be transmitted. Looking beyond individual rulers, Hekster evaluates evidence over an extended period of time and differentiates between various types of sources, such as inscriptions, sculpture, architecture, literary text, and particularly central coinage, which forms the most convenient source material for a modern reconstruction of Roman representations over a prolonged period of time.

The volume explores how the different media in use sent out different messages. The importance of local notions and traditions in the choice of local representations of imperial ancestry are emphasized, revealing that there was no monopoly on image-forming by the Roman centre and far less interaction between central and local imagery than is commonly held. Imperial ancestry is defined through various parallel developments at Rome and in the provinces. Some messages resonated outside the centre but only when they were made explicit and fitted local practice and the discourse of the medium. The construction of imperial ancestry was constrained by the local expectations of how a ruler should present himself, and standardization over time of the images and languages that could be employed in the 'media' at imperial disposal. Roman emperorship is therefore shown to be a constant process of construction within genres of communication, representation, and public symbolism.


Source : Oxford University Press


Cr. Kallendorf, The Protean Virgil Material Form and the Reception of the Classics

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Craig Kallendorf, The Protean Virgil Material Form and the Reception of the Classics, Oxford, 2015.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
224 pages
ISBN : 978-0-19-872780-4
55 £

The Protean Virgil argues that when we try to understand how and why different readers have responded differently to the same text over time, we should take into account the physical form in which they read the text as well as the text itself. Using Virgil's poetry as a case study in book history, the volume shows that a succession of material forms - manuscript, printed book, illustrated edition, and computer file - undermines the drive toward textual and interpretive stability. This stability is the traditional goal of classical scholarship, which seeks to recover what Virgil wrote and how he intended it to be understood.

The manuscript form served to embed Virgil's poetry into Christian culture, which attempted to anchor the content into a compatible theological truth. Readers of early printed material proceeded differently, breaking Virgil's text into memorable moral and stylistic fragments, and collecting those fragments into commonplace books. Furthermore, early illustrated editions present a progression of re-envisionings in which Virgil's poetry was situated within a succession of receiving cultures. In each case, however, the material form helped to generate a method of reading Virgil which worked with this form but which failed to survive the transition to a new union of the textual and the physical. This form-induced instability reaches its climax with computerization, which allows the reader new power to edit the text and to challenge the traditional association of Virgil's poetry with elite culture.


Source : Oxford University Press


C. Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions

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Catherine Keane, Juvenal and the Satiric Emotions, Oxford, 2015.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
264 pages
ISBN : 978-0-19-998189-2
47,99 £

In his sixteen verse Satires, Juvenal explores the emotional provocations and pleasures associated with social criticism and mockery. He makes use of traditional generic elements such as the first-person speaker, moral diatribe, narrative, and literary allusion to create this new satiric preoccupation and theme. Juvenal defines the satirist figure as an emotional agent who dramatizes his own response to human vices and faults, and he in turn aims to engage other people's feelings. Over the course of his career, he adopts a series of rhetorical personae that represent a spectrum of satiric emotions, encouraging his audience to ponder satire's proper emotional mode and function. Juvenal first offers his signature indignatio with its associated pleasures and discomforts, then tries on subtler personae that suggest dry detachment, callous amusement, anxiety, and other affective states.

As Keane shows, the satiric emotions are not only found in the author's rhetorical performances, but they are also a major part of the human farrago that the Satires purport to treat. Juvenal's poems explore the dynamic operation of emotions in society, drawing on diverse ancient literary, rhetorical, and philosophical sources. Each poem uniquely engages with different texts and ideas to reveal the unsettling powers of its emotional mode. Keane also analyzes the "emotional plot" of each book of Satires and the structural logic of the entire series with its wide range of subjects and settings. From his famous angry tirades to his more puzzling later meditations, Juvenal demonstrates an enduring interest in the relationship between feelings and moral judgment.


Source : Oxford University Press


L. Grillo, Cicero's De Provinciis Consularibus Oratio

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Luca Grillo, Cicero's De Provinciis Consularibus Oratio, Oxford, 2015.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
368 pages
ISBN : 978-0-19-022458-5
64 £ (cartonné)

Perhaps no other single Roman speech exemplifies the connection between oratory, politics and imperialism better than Cicero's De Provinciis Consularibus, pronounced to the senate in 56 BC. Cicero puts his talents at the service of the powerful "triumviri" (Caesar, Crassus and Pompey), whose aims he advances by appealing to the senators' imperialistic and chauvinistic ideology. This oration, then, yields precious insights into several areas of late republican life: international relations between Rome and the provinces (Gaul, Macedonia and Judaea); the senators' view on governors, publicani (tax-farmers) and foreigners; the dirty mechanics of high politics in the 50s, driven by lust for domination and money; and Cicero's own role in that political choreography. This speech also exemplifies the exceptional range of Cicero's oratory: the invective against Piso and Gabinius calls for biting irony, the praise of Caesar displays high rhetoric, the rejection of other senators' recommendations is a tour de force of logical and sophisticated argument, and Cicero's justification for his own conduct is embedded in the self-fashioning narrative which is typical of his post reditum speeches.
This new commentary includes an updated introduction, which provides the readers with a historical, rhetorical and stylistic background to appreciate the complexities of Cicero's oration, as well as indexes and maps.


Source : Oxford University Press


P. Van Nuffelen, Orosius and the Rhetoric of History

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Peter Van Nuffelen, Orosius and the Rhetoric of History, Oxford, 2015.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
Collection : Oxford Early Christian Studies
272 pages
ISBN : 978-0-19-874501-3
25 £

The Histories Against the Pagans of Orosius, written in 416/7, has been one of the most influential works in the history of Western historiography. Often read as a theology of history, it has been rarely been set against the background of ancient historiography and rhetorical practice in the time of Orosius. Arguing for the closeness of rhetoric and historiography in Antiquity, this book shows how Orosius situates himself consciously in the classical tradition and draws on a variety of rhetorical tools to shape his narrative: a subtle web of interextual allusions, a critical engagement with traditional exempla, a creative rewriting of the sources, and a skilled deployment of the rhetoric of pathos. In this way, Orosius aims at opening the eyes of his adversaries; instead of remaining blinded by the traditional, glorious view of the past, he wishes his readers to see the past and the present in their true colours. The book paints a more complex picture of theHistories, and argues against the tendency to see Orosius as a naïve apologist of the Roman empire. In fact, he can be shown to put the Church at the heart of view of Roman history. Setting Orosius in the context of contemporary historiography and literature, it sheds new light on the intellectual life in the early fifth century AD.


Source : Oxford University Press


A. Haimson Lushkov, Magistracy and the Historiography of the Roman Republic. Politics in Prose

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Ayelet Haimson Lushkov, Magistracy and the Historiography of the Roman Republic. Politics in Prose, Cambridge, 2015.

Éditeur : Cambridge University Press
209 pages
ISBN : 9781107040908
65 £ (cartonné)

The study of Roman republican magistracy has traditionally been the preserve of historians posing constitutional and prosopographical questions. As a result, one fundamental aspect of our most detailed contemporary and near-contemporary sources about magistracy has remained largely neglected: their literariness. This book takes a new approach to the representation of magistrates and shows how the rhetorical and formal features of prose texts - principally Livy's history but also works by Cicero and Sallust - shape our understanding of magistracy. Applying to the texts an expanded concept of exemplarity, Haimson Lushkov shows how a rich body of anecdotes concerning the behaviour and speech of magistrates reflects on the values and tensions that defined the republic. A variety of contexts - familial, military, and electoral, among others - flesh out the experience of being, becoming, and encountering a Roman magistrate, and the political and ethical problems highlighted and negotiated in such circumstances.


Source : Cambridge University Press


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