The Closure of Space in Roman Poetics: Empire's Inward Turn

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Cambridge University Press, Jun 5, 2015 - Literary Collections
This ambitious book investigates a major yet underexplored nexus of themes in Roman cultural history: the evolving tropes of enclosure, retreat and compressed space within an expanding, potentially borderless empire. In Roman writers' exploration of real and symbolic enclosures - caves, corners, villas, bathhouses, the 'prison' of the human body itself - we see the aesthetic, philosophical and political intersecting in fascinating ways, as the machine of empire is recast in tighter and tighter shapes. Victoria Rimell brings ideas and methods from literary theory, cultural studies and philosophy to bear on an extraordinary range of ancient texts rarely studied in juxtaposition, from Horace's Odes, Virgil's Aeneid and Ovid's Ibis, to Seneca's Letters, Statius' Achilleid and Tacitus' Annals. A series of epilogues puts these texts in conceptual dialogue with our own contemporary art world, and emphasizes the role Rome's imagination has played in the history of Western thinking about space, security and dwelling.


opening expansion enclosure
Horaces enclaves
Senecas Letters
Blood sweat and fears in the Roman baths
Imperial enclosure epic spectacle
exile entrapment desire
Index locorum
Subject index

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About the author (2015)

Victoria Rimell is Associate Professor of Latin Language and Literature at Sapienza UniversitÓ di Roma. The author of three previous books with Cambridge University Press - Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction (2002), Ovid's Lovers: Desire, Difference and the Poetic Imagination (2006) and Martial's Rome: Empire and the Ideology of Epigram (2008) - she has published many articles on Latin literature and Roman culture.

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