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Lucretius' didactic poem De rerum natura ('On the Nature of Things') is an impassioned and visionary presentation of the materialist philosophy of Epicurus, and one of the most powerful poetic texts of antiquity. After its rediscovery in 1417 it became a controversial and seminal work in successive phases of literary history, the history of science, and the Enlightenment. In this 2007 Cambridge Companion experts in the history of literature, philosophy and science discuss the poem in its ancient contexts and in its reception both as a literary text and as a vehicle for progressive ideas. The Companion is designed both as an accessible handbook for the general reader who wishes to learn about Lucretius, and as a series of stimulating essays for students of classical antiquity and its reception. It is completely accessible to the reader who has only read Lucretius in translation.
Ovid was one of the greatest writers of classical antiquity, and arguably the single most influential ancient poet for post-classical literature and culture. In this Cambridge Companion, chapters by leading authorities from Europe and North America discuss the backgrounds and contexts for Ovid, the individual works, and his influence on later literature and art. Coverage of essential information is combined with exciting critical approaches. This Companion is designed both as an accessible handbook for the general reader who wishes to learn about Ovid, and as a series of stimulating essays for students of Latin poetry and of the classical tradition.
This is a wide-ranging collection of essays on ancient Roman literary careers and their reception in later European literature, with contributions by leading experts. Starting from the three major Roman models for constructing a literary career - Virgil (the rota Vergiliana), Horace and Ovid - the volume then looks at alternative and counter-models in antiquity: Propertius, Juvenal, Cicero and Pliny. A range of post-antique responses to the ancient patterns is examined, from Dante to Wordsworth, and including Petrarch, Shakespeare, Milton, Marvell, Dryden and Goethe. These chapters pose the question of the continuing relevance of ancient career models as ideas of authorship change over the centuries, leading to varying engagements and disengagements with classical literary careers. The volume also considers other ways of concluding or extending a literary career, such as bookburning and figurative metempsychosis.
The study of Homeric imitations in Vergil has one of the longest traditions in Western culture, starting from the very moment the Aeneid was circulated. Homeric Effects in Vergil's Narrative is the first English translation of one of the most important and influential modern studies in this tradition. In this revised and expanded edition, Alessandro Barchiesi advances innovative approaches even as he recuperates significant earlier interpretations, from Servius to G. N. Knauer.Approaching Homeric allusions in the Aeneid as "narrative effects" rather than glimpses of the creative mind of the author at work, Homeric Effects in Vergil's Narrative demonstrates how these allusions generate hesitations and questions, as well as insights and guidance, and how they participate in the creation of narrative meaning. The book also examines how layers of competing interpretations in Homer are relevant to the Aeneid, revealing again the richness of the Homeric tradition as a component of meaning in the Aeneid. Finally, Homeric Effects in Vergil's Narrative goes beyond previous studies of the Aeneid by distinguishing between two forms of Homeric intertextuality: reusing a text as an individual model or as a generic matrix. For this edition, a new chapter has been added, and in a new afterword the author puts the book in the context of changes in the study of Latin literature and intertextuality. A masterful work of classical scholarship, Homeric Effects in Vergil's Narrative also has valuable insights for the wider study of imitation, allusion, intertextuality, epic, and literary theory.