By reading Senecan tragedy through an intertextual lens, Trinacty reveals Seneca's awareness of his historical moment, in which the Augustan period was eroding steadily around him. Seneca, looking back to the poetry of Horace, Virgil, and Ovid, acts as a critical interpreter of both their work and their era. He deconstructs the language of the Augustan poets, refiguring it through the perspective of his tragic protagonists. In doing so, he positions himself as a critic of the Augustan tradition and reveals a poetic voice that often subverts the classical ethos of that tradition. Through this process of reappropriation Seneca reveals much about himself as a playwright and as a man: In the inventive manner in which he re-employs the Augustan poets' language, thought, and poetics within the tragic framework, Seneca gives his model works new--and uniquely Senecan--life. Trinacty's analysis sheds new light both on Seneca and on his Augustan predecessors.
In their practice of aemulatio, the mimicry of older models of writing, the Augustan poets often looked to the Greeks: Horace drew inspiration from the lyric poets, Virgil from Homer, and Ovid from Hesiod, Callimachus, and others. But by the time of the great Roman tragedian Seneca, the Augustan poets had supplanted the Greeks as the "classics" to which Seneca and his contemporaries referred. Indeed, Augustan poetry is a reservoir of language, motif, and thought for Seneca's writing. Strangely, however, there has not yet been a comprehensive study revealing the relationship between Seneca and his Augustan predecessors. Christopher Trinacty's Senecan Tragedy and the Reception of Augustan Poetry is the long-awaited answer to the call for such a study. Senecan Tragedy and the Reception of Augustan Poetry uniquely places Senecan tragedy in its Roman literary context, offering a further dimension to the motivations and meaning behind Seneca's writings. By reading Senecan tragedy through an intertextual lens, Trinacty reveals Seneca's awareness of his historical moment, in which the Augustan period was eroding steadily around him. Seneca, looking back to the poetry of Horace, Virgil, and Ovid, acts as a critical interpreter of both their work and their era. He deconstructs the language of the Augustan poets, refiguring it through the perspective of his tragic protagonists. In doing so, he positions himself as a critic of the Augustan tradition and reveals a poetic voice that often subverts the classical ethos of that tradition. Through this process of reappropriation Seneca reveals much about himself as a playwright and as a man: In the inventive manner in which he re-employs the Augustan poets' language, thought, and poetics within the tragic framework, Seneca gives his model works new--and uniquely Senecan--life. Trinacty's analysis sheds new light both on Seneca and on his Augustan predecessors. As such, Senecan Tragedy and the Reception of Augustan Poetry promises to be a groundbreaking contribution to the study of both Senecan tragedy and Augustan poetry.
In Brill's Companion to the Reception of Senecan Tragedy, Dodson-Robinson incorporates interdisciplinary essays tracing how Western writers from antiquity to the present have transformed Senecan drama to develop competing tragic visions of agency and the human place in the universe.
The political allegiances of major Roman poets have been notoriously difficult to pin down, in part because they often shift the onus of political interpretation from themselves to their readers. By the same token, it is often difficult to assess their authorial powerplays in the etymologies, puns, anagrams, telestichs, and acronyms that feature prominently in their poetry. It is the premise of this volume that the contexts of composition, performance, and reception play a critical role in constructing poetic voices as either politically favorable or dissenting, and however much the individual scholars in this volume disagree among themselves, their readings try to do justice collectively to poetry’s power to shape political realities. The book is aimed not only at scholars of Roman poetry, politics, and philosophy, but also at those working in later literary and political traditions influenced by Rome's greatest poets.
A Companion to Euripides is an up-to-date, centralized assessment of Euripides and his work, drawing from the most recently published texts, commentaries, and scholarship, and offering detailed discussions and provocative interpretations of his extant plays and fragments. The most contemporary scholarship on Euripides and his oeuvre, featuring the latest texts and commentaries Leading scholars in the field discuss all of Euripides’ plays and their afterlife with breadth and depth A dedicated section focuses on the reception of Euripidean drama since the Hellenistic Original and provocative interpretations of Euripides and his plays forge important paths of in future scholarship
This volume is the first systematic study of Seneca’s interaction with earlier literature of a variety of genres and traditions. It examines this interaction and engagement in his prose works, offering interpretative readings that are at once groundbreaking and stimulating to further study. Focusing on the Dialogues, the Naturales quaestiones, and the Moral Epistles, the volume includes multi- perspectival studies of Seneca’s interaction with all the great Latin epics (Lucretius, Vergil and Ovid), and discussions of how Seneca’s philosophical thought is informed by Hellenistic doxography, forensic rhetoric and declamation, the Homeric tradition, Euripidean tragedy and Greco-Roman mythology. The studies analyzes the philosophy behind Seneca’s incorporating exact quotations from earlier tradition (including his criteria of selectivity) and Seneca’s interaction with ideas, trends and techniques from different sources, in order to elucidate his philosophical ideas and underscore his original contribution to the discussion of established philosophical traditions. They also provide a fresh interpretation of moral issues with particular application to the Roman worldview as fashioned by the mos maiorum. The volume, finally, features detailed discussion of the ways in which Seneca, the author of philosophical prose, puts forward his stance towards poetics and figures himself as a poet. Intertextuality in Seneca’s Philosophical Writings will be of interest not only to those working on Seneca’s philosophical works, but also to anyone working on Latin literature and intertextuality in the ancient world.
This book examines the life and political career of Albertino Mussato (1261–1329), a Paduan poet, historian and politician. Mussato was one of the first writers of the late medieval period to begin reviving classical Latin in his works. His classical style tragic drama Ecerinis, inspired by the writings of Seneca, paved the way for him to be crowned as the first poet laureate since antiquity. This work outlines how Mussato depicted the course of his own career, from being an impoverished teenager of insignificant birth to becoming a celebrated poet and scholar, as well as an influential political figure. It looks specifically at the years leading up to Mussato’s public coronation, on 3rd December 1315, as poet laureate for his city. His writings are a key component of his political manoeuvres as he tried to navigate through the troubled waters of northern Italian politics. The book demonstrates how the sources pertaining to Mussato’s life and career are part of an exercise in self-promotion and self-fashioning, intended to secure his position within factional politics, but rooted in a philosophical approach derived from his early classical studies. Accordingly, this book acts as a fully-fledged account of the interaction between Mussato’s writings and his political career, and how this contributed to his rise to fame.
Oedipus, king of Thebes, is one of the giant figures of ancient mythology. Through the centuries, his story has inspired works of epic poetry, lyric poetry, tragedy, opera, a gospel musical and more. The myth has been famously deployed in psychology by Sigmund Freud. It may not be too bold to claim that Oedipus is the name from Greco-Roman mythology best known beyond the academy at the present time, thanks to Freud's famous phrase 'the Oedipus complex'. The most famous version of the Oedipus myth from antiquity is the Greek play by Sophocles. But there is another version, the Latin drama by the Roman philosopher and politician Seneca. Seneca's version is an entirely different treatment from that of Sophocles and reflects concerns special to the author and his Roman audience in the first century AD. Moreover, the play actually exercised a much greater influence on European literature and thought than has usually been suspected. This book offers a compact and incisive study of the multi-faceted Oedipus myth, of Seneca as dramatist, of the distinctive characteristics of Seneca's play and of the most important aspects of the reception of the play in European drama and culture. The scope of the book ranges chronologically from Homer's treatment of Oedipus myth in the Odyssey down to a twenty-first century Senecan treatment by a Lebanese Canadian dramatist. No knowledge of Latin or other foreign languages is required.
This volume sets out to explore the complex relationship between Horace and Seneca. It is the first book that examines the interface between these different and yet highly comparable authors with consideration of their œuvres in their entirety. The fourteen chapters collected here explore a wide range of topics clustered around the following four themes: the combination of literature and philosophy; the ways in which Seneca’s choral odes rework Horatian material and move beyond it; the treatment of ethical, poetic, and aesthetic questions by the two authors; and the problem of literary influence and reception as well as ancient and modern reflections on these problems. While the intertextual contacts between Horace and Seneca themselves lie at the core of this project, it also considers the earlier texts that serve as sources for both authors, intermediary steps in Roman literature, and later texts where connections between the two philosopher-poets are drawn. Although not as obviously palpable as the linkage between authors who share a common generic tradition, this uneven but pervasive relationship can be regarded as one of the most prolific literary interactions between the early Augustan and the Neronian periods. A bidirectional list of correspondences between Horace and Seneca concludes the volume.
This volume takes a new approach to Roman drama by looking at comic and tragic plays from the Republican and imperial periods in ‘context’. By presenting a number of case studies and considerations of wider issues, the 33 international contributors explore the role of Roman drama in contexts such as the literary tradition, the relationship to works in other literary genres, the historical and social situation or the intellectual background.