Efrossini Spentzou, The Roman poetry of love: elegy and politics in a time of revolution

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Efrossini Spentzou, The Roman poetry of love: elegy and politics in a time of revolution, Londres-New York, 2013.

Éditeur : Bloomsbury Academics
Collection : Classical World
xiv, 107 pages
ISBN : 9781780932040
19,95 $

The Roman Poetry of Love explores the formation of a key literary genre in a troubled historical and political setting. The short-lived genre of Latin love elegy produced spectacular, multi-faceted and often difficult poetry. Its proponents Catullus, Tibullus, Propertius and Ovid remain to this day some of the most influential poetic voices of Western civilisation.

This accessible introduction combines aesthetic analysis with socio-political context to provide a concise but comprehensive portrait of the Roman elegy, its main participants and its cultural and political milieu. Focusing on a series of specific poems, the title portrays the development of the genre in the context of the Emperor Augustus' ascent to power, following recognizable threads through the texts to build an understanding of the relationship between this poetry and the increasingly totalising regime.

Highlighting and examining the intense affectation of love in these poems, The Roman Poetry of Love explores the works not simply as an expression of a troubled male psychology, but also as a reflection of the overwhelming changes that swept through Rome and Italy in the transition from the late Republic to the Augustan Age.


Source : Bloomsbury


A. Syson, Fama and fiction in Vergil's Aeneid

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Antonia Syson, Fama and fiction in Vergil's Aeneid, Colombus, 2013.

Éditeur : Ohio State University Press
viii, 240 pages
ISBN : 9780814212349
66,95 $

What does it mean to “know” what a work of fiction tells us? In Vergil's Aeneid, the promise and uncertainty of fama convey this challenge. Expansive and flexible, the Latin word fama can mean “fame,” long-lasting “tradition,” and useful “news,” but also ephemeral “rumor” and disruptive “scandal.” Fama is personified as a horrifying winged goddess who reports the truth while keeping an equally tight grip on what's distorted or made up. Fama reflects the ways talk—or epic song—may merge past and present, human and divine, things remembered and things imagined.

Most importantly, fama marks the epic's power to bring its story world into our own. The cognitive dynamics of metaphor share in this power, blending the Aeneid's poetic authority with the imagined force of the gods. Characters and readers are encouraged—even impelled—to seek divine order amidst unsettling words and visions by linking new experiences with existing knowledge. Transformative moments of recognition set the perceptual stage both for the gods' commands and for the epic's persuasive efficacy, for pietas (remembrance of ritual and social obligations) and furor (madness).

Antonia Syson's sensitive close readings offer fresh insights into questions of fictive knowledge and collective memory in the Aeneid. These perspectives invite readers to reconsider some of the epistemological premises underlying inquiry into ancient cultures. Drawing comparisons with the nineteenth-century English novel, Syson highlights continuities between two narrative genres whose cultural contributions and rhetorical claims have often seemed sharply opposed.


Source : Ohio State University Press


Caroline Vout, Sex on show: seeing the erotic in Greece and Rome

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Caroline Vout, Sex on show: seeing the erotic in Greece and Rome, Berkeley-Los Angeles, 2013.

Éditeur : University of California Press
256 pages
ISBN : 9780520280205
34.95 $

The ancient Greeks and Romans were not shy about sex. Phallic imagery, sex scenes, and the lively activities of their promiscuous gods adorned many objects, buildings, and sculptures. Drinking cups, oil-lamps, and walls were decorated with scenes of seduction; statues of erect penises served as boundary-stones and signposts; and marble satyrs and nymphs grappled in gardens.

Caroline Vout examines the abundance of sexual imagery in Greek and Roman culture. Were these images intended to be shocking, humorous, or exciting? Are they about sex or love? How are we to know whether our responses to them are akin to those of the ancients? The answers to these questions provide fascinating insights into ancient attitudes toward religion, politics, sex, gender, and the body. They also reveal how the ancients saw themselves and their world, and how subsequent centuries have seen them. Beautifully illustrated throughout, this lively and thought-provoking book not only addresses theories of sexual practice and social history, it is also a visual history of what it meant and still means to stare sex in the face.


Source : University of California Press


Rex Winsbury, Pliny the Younger: a life in Roman letters

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Rex Winsbury, Pliny the Younger: a life in Roman letters, Londres-New York, 2013.

Éditeur : Bloomsbury Academics
viii, 246 pages
ISBN : 9781472514585
120 $



Source : Amazon


Alexandra Dardenay, Emmanuelle Rosso, Dialogues entre sphère publique et sphère privée dans l’espace de la cité romaine. Vecteurs, acteurs

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Alexandra Dardenay, Emmanuelle Rosso (éd.), Dialogues entre sphère publique et sphère privée dans l'espace de la cité romaine. Vecteurs, acteurs, Bordeaux, 2013.

Éditeur : Ausonius Éditions
Collection : Scripta Antiqua
324 pages
ISBN : 978-2-35613-097-6
25 euros

Une longue tradition historiographique a contribué à figer les sphères publique et privée dans le monde romain comme des espaces essentiellement hétérogènes et, à ce titre, imperméables l'un à l'autre, régis par des règles et des comportements conçus sur le mode de l'opposition. Toutefois, des travaux récents et particulièrement stimulants permettent de fonder une nouvelle approche qui aborderait les échanges permanents et surtout réciproques entre les deux “mondes” de plusieurs points de vue : ils ont en commun d'envisager en priorité les agents et les acteurs qui furent les vecteurs de ces transferts. Structuré en trois parties – “Ambiguïté des espaces”, “Interactions : réciprocité et complémentarité des échanges”, “Du public au privé : transfert et appropriation de formes” – ce volume regroupe les contributions de douze chercheurs et offre le résultat d'une démarche interdisciplinaire, où l'apport de la philologie et de l'histoire s'articule à celui de l'iconographie et de l'archéologie. La réflexion dépasse ainsi le simple cadre disciplinaire pour nourrir une analyse globale des contextes. Une telle démarche génère des études approfondies et novatrices sur les dynamiques urbaines et sociales dans la cité romaine.

A long historiographical tradition has contributed to fix the public and private spheres in the Roman world as essentially heterogeneous spaces and, as such, impervious to each other, governed by rules and behaviors thought as conflictual. However, some recent and especially stimulants works make it possible to establish a new approach that would address from several points of view the ongoing exchanges between the two “worlds”: they have in common to consider as a priority agents and actors who were the vectors of these transfers. Structured in three parts –“Ambiguity of spaces”, “Interactions: reciprocity and complementarity of exchanges “, “From public to private: transfer and appropriation of forms”– this volume brings together the contributions of twelve scholars and offers the result of an interdisciplinary approach, where the contribution of philology and history hinges on that of archaeology and iconography. Thereby, reflection reaches beyond the simple disciplinary framework to feed a global analysis contexts. Such an approach generates extensive and innovative studies on urban and social dynamics in the Roman city.


Source : Ausonius éditions


L. B. Christensen, O. Hammer, D. A. Warburton, The Handbook of Religions in Ancient Europe

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Lisbeth Bredholt Christensen, Olav Hammer, David A. Warburton (éd.), The Handbook of Religions in Ancient Europe, Durham, Bristol, CT, 2013.

Éditeur : Acumen
480 pages
ISBN : 9781844657094

The Handbook of Religions in Ancient Europe surveys the major religious currents of Europe before Christianity – the first continental religion with hegemonic ambition – wiped out most local religions. The evidence – whether archaeological or written – is notoriously difficult to interpret, and the variety of religions documented by the sources and the range of languages used are bewildering. The Handbook brings together leading authorities on pre-Christian religious history to provide a state-of-the-art survey. The first section of the book covers the Prehistoric period, from the Paleolithic to the Bronze Age. The second section covers the period since writing systems began. Ranging across the Mediterranean and Northern, Celtic and Slavic Europe, the essays assess the archaeological and textual evidence. Dispersed archaeological remains and biased outside sources constitute our main sources of information, so the complex task of interpreting these traces is explained for each case. The Handbook also aims to highlight the plurality of religion in ancient Europe: the many ways in which it is expressed, notably in discourse, action, organization, and material culture; how it is produced and maintained by different people with different interests; how communities always connect with or disassociate from adjunct communities and how their beliefs and rituals are shaped by these relationships. The Handbook will be invaluable to anyone interested in ancient history and also to scholars and students of religion, anthropology, archaeology, and classical studies.

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R. Chiaradonna, G. Galluzzo, Universals in ancient Philosophy

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Riccardo Chiaradonna, Gabriele Galluzzo (éd.), Universals in ancient Philosophy, Pisa, 2013.

Éditeur : Edizioni della Normale
Collection : Seminari e convegni 33
546 pages
ISBN : 978-88-7642-484-7

The problem of universals is one of the crucial problems of contemporary philosophy in such areas as ontology, philosophy of language and epistemology. Are there general entities? Or is the world only populated by individuals, and universals are just concepts? What role does generality play in science? What is the relationship between general terms and the world? It is not always acknowledged that such questions have been at the centre of philosophical investigation since antiquity and that ancient philosophers have come up with a range of interesting and stimulating answers. This volume reconstructs the debate on universals in ancient thought, covering a period of about a thousand years, from the Sophists to the late Neoplatonists. Besides offering contributions on Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophers and Neoplatonism, the volume also deals with some lesser known aspects of Greek thought such as ancient medicine and mathematics.

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