Ovid’s Fasti, his poem on the Roman calendar, became especially influential during the fifteenth century as a guide to classical Roman culture. Ovid’s treatment of mythological and astronomical lore, his investigation of anniversaries and customs, and his charting of monuments and history offered humanist poets and intellectuals an abundance of material to unravel. They could identify with Ovid as vates operosus, or hard-working seer–poet, suggesting both researcher and inspired authority.
Angela Fritsen’s Antiquarian Voices:The Roman Academy and the Commentary Tradition on Ovid’s Fasti offers the first study of the Renaissance exegesis and imitation of Ovid as antiquarian. Fritsen analyzes the Fasti commentaries by Paolo Marsi (1440–1484) and Antonio Costanzi (1436–1490) as well as the connections between the two works. It situates Ovidian Fasti studies in the Roman Academy under the mentorship of Pomponio Leto. Nowhere could the investigation of the Fasti be carried out better than in Rome. The humanists had a guide to the City in Ovid. They also regarded the Fasti as well suited to the ideology of the ancient Roman imperium’s renewal in modern papal Rome.
Antiquarian Voices illustrates how in reviving the Fasti, the humanists returned Rome to its original splendor. The book demonstrates that the humanists were eager to relate the Fasti to their antiquarian pursuits—as well as to their rising personal fame.
Reading after Actium is a study of Vergil's Georgics, a didactic poem ostensibly about farming but in fact a brilliant exercise challenging readers to develop a broader perspective on the basic problems and the dangers of human life. Octavian is treated as one of the poet's students and given the opportunity to learn lessons in handling power, in controlling Rome's vast resources, and in preventing the bloody cycle of civil war from beginning again. Most of all the Georgics asks Octavian to consider what is involved in assuming godlike power over his fellow citizens.
Reading after Actium provides an introduction to the history of scholarship surrounding the Georgics and the political questions surrounding Octavian and his career. Nappa gives a book by book analysis of the entire poem, and a conclusion that draws together the themes of the whole. Reading after Actium will appeal to students and critics of Vergil and other Augustan Literature as well as those of didactic poetry and its traditions. Students of Roman history and politics should read this as well.
Christopher Nappa is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Minnesota.
There has long been vital interest in the ways that texts affect each other--through translation, imitation, parody, and other forms of emulation and subversion. Throughout the last two millennia, the Virgilian text has created its own intertextual heritage, persisting in the works of Eliot, Frost, Lowell, and Heaney. Richard F. Thomas's new volume demonstrates that such control and manipulation of the inherited tradition is to be found with great intensity in the very author who, in turn, created his own complex tradition.
The articles and notes included in this volume have been selected for their diachronic aspect in addition to the synchronic status they had in their original context. Dealing with the intricate ways in which Virgil, and in the introductory chapter his predecessor Catullus, manipulated and appropriated their inherited Greek and Roman literary tradition, this book presents a coherent profile, through these detailed studies, of the mechanics of one of the most dynamic periods in the literary history of any culture.
Richard Thomas--one of the most important voices in Latin literary studies today--shows little anxiety about objections to authorial intentionality. Throughout there is a working assumption that intertextual connections can be established and, further, that functions and purposes, even intended ones, may be inferred from those connections.
This book will be of interest to scholars and students of Greek and Latin literature but will also be of great value to students of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern vernacular literatures, most of whose poets see themselves as closely connected to Virgil.
Richard F. Thomas is Professor of Greek and Latin, Harvard University.
How deeply into the structure of physical reality do the effects of our way of representing it reach? To what extent do constructivist accounts of scientific theorizing involve realist assumptions, and vice versa? This book provides a lucid and concise introduction to contemporary debates, taking as its theme the question of the relationship of representation and reality. It treats in an attractive and accessible way the historical, philosophical, and literary aspects of this question. In particular, it explores how the present relates to and configures claims to scientific knowledge from the past, taking as its main case study On the Nature of Things (De Rerum Natura), the poem on physics written by the Roman poet Lucretius in the 50s B.C.E.
The book engages in a sustained argument about realist assumptions in scientific and other discourses through detailed analysis and discussion of some of the most important recent contributions to this debate. Engaging sympathetically but not uncritically with constructivist accounts of scientific knowledge, the book takes up a sustained critique of recent contributions to that debate, including those of Ian Hacking, Evelyn Fox Keller, Bruno Latour, and Hans-Jörg Rheinberger. What are the implications of regarding such knowledge as "discovered" or "invented"? How is the rhetoric of such claims to be identified and the pretentions of those claims assessed?In what ways can realist and constructivist approaches be reconciled? How do these considerations affect the way we read scientific texts from the past and regard them historically?
What emerges is a fresh and challenging assessment of the role of time and temporal perspective in assessing claims to knowledge in scientific thought and of the importance of textuality to the history of knowledge. A wide variety of readers, from classicists and intellectual historians to epistemologists of science, will enjoy and learn from Rethinking Reality.
Duncan Kennedy is Reader in Latin Literature and the Theory of Criticism, University of Bristol. He is also the author of The Arts of Love: Five Studies in the Discourse of Roman Love Elegy.
Thomas Heywood (ca 1573-1641) was a major Renaissance playwright who wrote or collaborated on over two hundred plays. Loues Schoole was one of his many nondramatic works that shows his fascination with antiquity. It was the standard English translation of the Ars in the seventeenth century, so popular that it was pirated almost as soon as he had written it--then printed, sold, reprinted, and resold in England and the Netherlands. It was not attributed to him during his lifetime, and he was not allowed to share in the profits that its (considerable) sales generated, two things that rankled him for the rest of his life. This is understandable because it is an excellent translation into English heroic verse, accurate without stuffiness, colloquial without indecorousness. Twenty years after Heywood's death, Loues Schoole was pirated yet again and went to six different editions during the Restoration (1662-84).
The present edition represents the first instance in which the translation has been edited in a scholarly manner. Besides a full Introduction that accounts for the history of Loues Schoole, Ovid in the English Renaissance, and the editorial method, each of the three books of the poem includes a Commentary that provides cross-references within the text; glosses for unusual, archaic, or regional forms peculiar to Heywood's English; annotations from sourcebooks that Heywood used to identify or understand characters from classical history, literature, and mythology; and explanations for any emendations the editor deemed necessary. In his efforts to make the Ars a seventeenth-century poem, Heywood contemporizes Ovid's references to dress, behavior, courtship, marriage, games, theater, agriculture, horsemanship, war, literature --all of which the Commentary explains at great length.
Loues Schoole will find readership in these areas: early modern history, literature, and culture; classical studies; Renaissance drama; the history of sexuality; and translation theory.
M. L. Stapleton is Associate Professor of English and Philosophy, Stephen F. Austin State University.