Philodemus and Poetry: Poetic Theory and Practice in Lucretius, Philodemus, and Horace

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Dirk Obbink
Oxford University Press, 1995 - Literary Criticism - 316 pages
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Building on recent advances in the reconstruction of the charred papyri of Philodemus of Gadara (ca. 110-40 B.C.) excavated from the Villa of the Papyri at Herculaneum, this volume presents eleven new chapters in the history of literary criticism in antiquity. The essays, written by noted scholars, treat the papyrus texts of Philodemus' treatises on poetry and the related subjects of rhetoric and music, establishing links with his Roman contemporaries Lucretius, Catullus, Horace, and Vergil. The study offers a critical survey of current trends and developments in recent scholarship on Philodemus in particular and Hellenistic literary theory in general. The volume contains a complete translation of a new text of Philodemus' On Poems book 5. Individual essays evaluate the philosophical and historical importance of these Epicurean treatises and of Philodemus as a literary theorist, as they document connections between Greek philosophy and Roman literary production in the first century B.C. The recent papyrus discoveries of Ennius, Lucretius, and Posidippus make this an especially topical volume.
 

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Contents

1 Framing the Margins of Philodemus and Poetry
3
2 Epicurean Poetics
15
Response and Dialogue
35
4 The Epicurean Philosopher as Hellenistic Poet
42
5 The Alleged Impossibility of Philosophical Poetry
58
6 Reconstructing Philodemus On Poems
69
The History of an Evasion
97
8 Philodemus on Censorship Moral Utility and Formalism in Poetry
148
Philodemus and Lucretius on Form and Content in Poetry
210
12 Satire as Poetry and the Impossibility of Metathesis in Horaces Satires
233
Appendix 1 Philodemus On Poems Book 5
255
A Classified Bibliography
270
General Bibliography
282
Contributors
289
Index of Passages Discussed
291
Index of Greek and Latin Words
298

9 Philodemus on the Technicity of Rhetoric
178
10 How to Read Poetry about Gods
189

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About the author (1995)

Dirk Obbink is at Barnard College, Columbia University.

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