Roman epic lays firm claim to being western civilization's prime literary form. Roman epic draws together fourteen critically and methodologically distinct essays, focusing on particular epicists, their reaction to, influence on and rewriting of each other. The book examines the formation and transformation of Roman epic from its beginnings in the third century BCE Saturnian poets Livius and Naevius to the Renaissance Latin epics of Petrarch and Vida. What results is the revelation of Roman epic not only as Rome's highest poetic genre but as a self-consciously intertextual, primarily political form. The Roman epicist's creative exploitation of his predecessors is not restricted to stylistic similarities and generic codes, but often encompasses more important levels of social, moral and political meaning. In the Roman tradition the epic form shows an impetus to reform the celebratory values implicit in the form itself, admitting a plurality of interactive, often critical, narrative voices. This book reveals how epic developed and critically considers the generic and literary tradition to which the texts belong. It demonstrates epic's critical significance for the foundational culture of the western world.
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CATULLUS 64 fl
ELEGY EPIGRAM SATIRE
FORM REMADESTATIUS THEBAID
MYTH VALERIUS ARGONAUTICA
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Achilles Aeneas Aeneid allusions ancient Andronicus Annales Apollonius Argo Argonautica Ariadne battle Bellum betrothal Book Boyle brothers Caesar Catullus century Ceres Christian classical Claudian contemporary critical death Dido Dido's divine dream echoes Eclogues ecphrasis Ennius epic's epicists episode epyllion example father Flavian fragment genre gods Greek Hagen Hannibal Hercules hero heroic Hesiod hexameter Hiltgunde historical Homer human Hylas Iliad imitation imperial Juno Jupiter Latin epic lines literary Lucan medieval Metamorphoses Mopsus moral Muses myth mythological Naevius narration narrative Nymph Odyssey Ovid Ovid's Peleus Peleus and Thetis Pentheus Petrarch Phar Pharsalia poem poet poet's poetic poetry political Propertius Proserpina Punica reader rhetoric Roman epic Rome Rome's satire Saturnian scene Scipio Silius simile Statius story style suggests Thebaid Theban Thebes theme Theseus tradition tragedy Trojan Troy Turnus Tydeus Valerius verse Virgil Virgilian virtus Waltharius Walther words writing