Campania in the Flavian Poetic Imagination

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Antony Augoustakis, R. Joy Littlewood
Oxford University Press, Jan 17, 2019 - Literary Criticism - 352 pages
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The region of Campania with its fertility and volcanic landscape exercised great influence over the Roman cultural imagination. A hub of activity outside the city of Rome, the Bay of Naples was a place of otium, leisure and quiet, repose and literary productivity, and yet also a place of danger: the looming Vesuvius inspired both fear and awe in the region's inhabitants, while the Phlegraean Fields evoked the story of the gigantomachy and sulphurous lakes invited entry to the Underworld. For Flavian writers in particular, Campania became a locus for literary activity and geographical disaster when in 79 CE, the eruption of the volcano annihilated a great expanse of the region, burying under a mass of ash and lava the surrounding cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae. In the aftermath of such tragedy the writers examined in this volume - Martial, Silius Italicus, Statius, and Valerius Flaccus - continued to live, work, and write about Campania, which emerges from their work as an alluring region held in the balance of luxury and peril.

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About the author (2019)

Antony Augoustakis is Professor and Head of Classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Statius, Thebaid 8 (Oxford, 2016), Motherhood and the Other: Fashioning Female Power in Flavian Epic (Oxford, 2010), and Plautus' Mercator (Bryn Mawr, 2009), and has also edited and co-edited several volumes on Flavian epic, Roman comedy, and late antiquity. He is currently completing a commentary on Silius Italicus' Punica 3 with R. Joy Littlewood and serves as editor of The Classical Journal. R. Joy Littlewood is an independent scholar based in Oxford. She has published commentaries on Ovid's Fasti 6 (Oxford, 2006), Silius Italicus' Punica 7 (Oxford, 2011), and Silius Italicus' Punica 10 (Oxford, 2017). Her current research projects include the completion of the fourth volume of J. C. McKeown's commentary on Ovid's Amores and a commentary on Silius Italicus' Punica 3 with Antony Augoustakis.

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