The Poetics of Latin Didactic: Lucretius, Vergil, Ovid, Manilius

Hardcover | June 1, 2002

byKatharina Volk

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Some of the most famous literary works from antiquity are so-called didactic poems. Even the Greeks and Romans found it difficult to gain a theoretical understanding of this genre, and modern readers often avoid such texts, which they perceive as dry and overly technical. Volk offers a newtheoretical look at this genre, discussing the characteristics that make a poem 'didactic' from the points of view of both theory and literary history, and tracing its history from Hesiod to Roman times. This discussion leads into detailed interpretations of four great Latin didactic poems:Lucretius' De rerum natura, Vergil's Georgics, Ovid's Ars Amatoria, and Manilius' Astronomica. Volk cocludes that didactic poems, though belonging to a genre often regarded as unpoetic, typically present themselves self-consciously as poetry and give particular attention to discussions ofpoetics.

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Some of the most famous literary works from antiquity are so-called didactic poems. Even the Greeks and Romans found it difficult to gain a theoretical understanding of this genre, and modern readers often avoid such texts, which they perceive as dry and overly technical. Volk offers a newtheoretical look at this genre, discussing the ...

Katharina Volk is Assistant Professor in the Department of Classics, Bucknell University, USA

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:304 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.85 inPublished:June 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199245509

ISBN - 13:9780199245505

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Table of Contents

1. Tell me, Muse: characteristics of the self-conscious poem2. Improbable art: the theory and practice of ancient didactic poetry3. The teacher's truth: Lucretius' De rerum natura4. The poet's choice: Vergil's Georgics5. The poem's success: Ovid's Ars amatoria and Remedia amoris6. The song of the stars: Manilius' AstronomicaConclusion

Editorial Reviews

`This is an excellent book and will be required reading for anyone who engages with ancient didactic poetry.'Gordon Campbell