Wordplay and Powerplay in Latin Poetry
Phillip Mitsis, Ioannis Ziogas
De Gruyter, 2016 - Literary Criticism - 452 pages
The political allegiances of major Roman poets have been notoriously difficult to pin down, in part because they often shift the onus of political interpretation from themselves to their readers. By the same token, it is often difficult to assess their authorial powerplays in the etymologies, puns, anagrams, telestichs, and acronyms that feature prominently in their poetry. It is the premise of this volume that the contexts of composition, performance, and reception play a critical role in constructing poetic voices as either politically favorable or dissenting, and however much the individual scholars in this volume disagree among themselves, their readings try to do justice collectively to poetry's power to shape political realities. The book is aimed not only at scholars of Roman poetry, politics, and philosophy, but also at those working in later literary and political traditions influenced by Rome's greatest poets.