Rumour and Renown: Representations of Fama in Western Literature

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 2, 2012 - History - 693 pages
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The Latin word fama means 'rumour', 'report', 'tradition', as well as modern English 'fame' or 'renown'. This magisterial and groundbreaking study in the literary and cultural history of rumour and renown, by one of the most influential living critics of Latin poetry, examines the intricate dynamics of their representations from Homer to Alexander Pope, with a focus on the power struggles played out within attempts to control the word, both spoken and written. Central are the personifications of Fama in Virgil and Ovid and the rich progeny spawned by them, but the book focuses on a wide range of genres other than epic, and on a variety of modes of narrating, dramatising, critiquing, and illustrating fama. Authors given detailed readings include Livy, Tacitus, Petrarch, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson and Milton.
 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
Virgilian beginnings
48
3 Virgils Fama
78
the Council of Latins
126
5 Fama in Ovids Metamorphoses
150
6 Later imperial epic
178
7 Fama and the historians i Livy
226
8 Fama and the historians ii Tacitus Pliny the Younger and Martial
273
11 Christian conversions of Fama
411
Trionf and Africa
439
Shakespeare and Jonson
485
Paradise Lost and Samson Agonistes
542
15 Chaucers House of Fame and Popes Temple of Fame
570
16 Visual representations of Fama
603
Bibliography
640
Index of passages discussed
677

9 The love of fame and the fame of love
330
Spenserian personifications of the word
384

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About the author (2012)

Philip Hardie is a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Honorary Professor of Latin Literature in the University of Cambridge. He is one of the leading critics of Latin literature, with strong interests in the reception of classical literature, and is the author of Virgil's Aeneid: Cosmos and Imperium (1986), The Epic Successors of Virgil (1993), Ovid's Poetics of Illusion (2002) and Lucretian Receptions (2009), the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Ovid (2002) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius (2007). He is currently co-editing the Renaissance volume of The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English Literature. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

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