Writing Down Rome: Satire, Comedy, and Other Offences in Latin Poetry by John Henderson

Writing Down Rome: Satire, Comedy, and Other Offences in Latin Poetry

byJohn Henderson

Hardcover | January 1, 1999

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In a series of controversial essays, this book examines the Roman penchant for denigration, and in particular self-denigration, at the expense of Roman culture. Comedy in Republican Rome radically transformed both itself and the culture from which it sprang: in Poenulus, Plautus laughed atRoman depreciation of Carthage; in Adelphoe, Terence turned on his audience in provocation. The comic Roman poets played with self-mockery: in Eclogue III, Virgil tests his audience's security in judging peasant unpleasantness; in Odes III.22, Horace sends up his own pious rusticity down on thefarm. In the second half of the book, Roman verse satire is the subject: the genre of male bragging mocks its own masculine aggression. The great Latin satirists make fun of making fun: Horace, Satires I.9, shows up the politics of humour, unmanned by his own good manners; Persius nails his ownweaknesses in fortifying himself against the world; Juvenal, Satire R1, loathes the literary scene he bids to dominate. The book shows a vital ingredient of Roman poetry to be an energetic surge of urbane banter directed towards Roman culure.

About The Author

John Henderson is at King's College, Cambridge.

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Title:Writing Down Rome: Satire, Comedy, and Other Offences in Latin PoetryFormat:HardcoverDimensions:392 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 1.06 inPublished:January 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198150776

ISBN - 13:9780198150770

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Henderson is an astute reader, adept at finding the ironies in Latin poetry. Timothy Moore, Religious Studies Review, Vol.26, No.3.