Epic and Empire in Vespasianic Rome: A New Reading of Valerius Flaccus Argonautica

Hardcover | August 5, 2012

byTim Stover

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Epic and Empire in Vespasianic Rome offers a new interpretation of Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica, a Latin epic poem written during the reign of the emperor Vespasian (70-79 AD). Recounting the famous voyage of Jason and the Argonauts as they set off to retrieve the Golden Fleece, the poemdepicts a narrative of high epic adventure. In this volume, Stover shows how Flaccus' epic reflects the restorative ideals of Vespasianic Rome, which attempted to restore order following the destructive civil war of 68-69 AD. This proposition sets it apart from the largely 'pessimistic' readings ofother scholars. An important element of Flaccus' poetics of recovery is an engagement with Lucan's iconoclastic Bellum Civile. This poem's deconstructive tendencies offered Flaccus a poetic point of departure for his attempt to renew the epic genre in the context of political renewal triggered by Vespasian'saccession to power. Stover's approach is thus both formalist and historicist as he seeks not only to elucidate Flaccus' dynamic appropriation of Lucan, but also to associate the Argonautica's formal gestures within a specific socio-political context.

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Epic and Empire in Vespasianic Rome offers a new interpretation of Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica, a Latin epic poem written during the reign of the emperor Vespasian (70-79 AD). Recounting the famous voyage of Jason and the Argonauts as they set off to retrieve the Golden Fleece, the poemdepicts a narrative of high epic adventure. In t...

Tim Stover is Assistant Professor of Classics at Florida State University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:256 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:August 5, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019964408X

ISBN - 13:9780199644087

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Table of Contents

List of abbreviationsIntroduction1. The date of the Argonautica2. The inauguration of the Argonautic moment3. The sea storm and political allegory4. Gigantomachy and civil war in Cyzicus5. The Vespasianic vates6. Recuperating the hero: Medea and the issue of Jason s virtusReferencesIndex of passagesGeneral index