Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (Classics and Contemporary Thought)

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Naples: Bibliopolis, Paper, L Andreassi, Mario, ed. Mimi greci in Egitto: Charition e Moicheutria: Introduzione, traduzione, commento. Bari: Palomar Edizioni, Atkins, E. Dodaro, eds. Augustine: Political Writings. Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Barker, Andrew. Scientific Method in Ptolemy's Harmonics. Becker, A.

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Beyond Translation: Essays toward a Modern Philology. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, Bernardini, Paola Angeli, ed.

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Proceedings of the Convegno Internazionale, Urbino, July Paper, price not stated. Billault, Alain. Paris: Hachette, Birley, Anthony. Marcus Aurelius: A Biography. London: Batsford, No dust jacket as issued by the publisher. Seller Inventory More information about this seller Contact this seller.

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Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Ships with Tracking Number! May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. For the language of piacula , see Livy For dona with regard to actual sacrifices, see Livy During the civil wars the practice of expiation was gradually abandoned-fewer prodigies were reported and when they were, expiation was often not carried out Liebeschuetz , 57—58; MacBain , —4.

The last prodigy for which the ancients record official expiation during the first century B.

Comparative Literature Studies

Liebeschuetz , 58 n. Williams , 13, , , makes Parthian blood the sacrifice that will expiate Roman guilt for the civil wars. But from a social perspective, the ritual, performative effects of Horace's lyric invocation of drama fulfill the same function as sacrifice—not only purification but also the reinforcement of social cohesion and stratification. Girard is no stranger to critics of the classics. His notion of the scapegoat and the origins of ritual violence has not only furthered the understanding of Greek tragedy but also provides a compelling lens through which to view narratives of formative periods of Roman imperium , as well as the Romans' sense of their own demise.

For Girardian readings of the Lucretia episode, see joplin ; Calhoon An important component of Girard's understanding of sacrificial practice and its efficacy is the similarity of the substitute victim to the original object of violence. However, should the substitute resemble the object it replaces too much, then it stimulates the call for reciprocity and vengeance that it was meant to thwart. The distinctions between the cultural roles of the family structure have been completely erased.

Civil war, often envisioned in terms of fraternal strife e. As we shall see, the invocation of tragedy both reenacts the sacrificial crisis and constitutes a mimesis of the sacrifice as antidote. Though Girard believes in the ritualistic origins of tragedy, he does not return to the views of the Cambridge Ritualists 95— See Frye , ; Girard , —91, 95—; Seaford , Burkert , 87— reviews the evidence for such origins in the sacrifice of a goat.

The representation of actual human sacrifice in tragedy has been taken up more recently by several scholars; see Pucci , nn. Horace's creative amalgam of the motifs of Greek tragedy and Roman religious ritual causes the discourse of sacrifice to shape the rhetoric of the Roman Odes in different ways. On the one hand, constructing the fall of the Republic as the demise of a tragic protagonist invokes the trope of mimesis , insofar as tragedy constitutes an imitation evolved into mythic form of the ritual of sacrifice.

Ultimately, it is the restoration of a system of differences, the stratified hierarchy of the discrimina ordinum and the social cohesion such hierarchy grounds, that the Roman Odes seek to effect by invoking a discourse of sacrifice. You handle the civil conflict that began with Metellus's consulship, the causes of war, its evils, and its patterns, Fortune's game and the grievous alliances of leaders, and arms stained with blood still to be expiated, a work full of perilous hazard, and you advance through fires concealed beneath treacherous ash.

Horace And The Gift Economy Of Patronage Classics And Contemporary Thought

For a brief time may your Muse of grim tragedy be absent from the stage; soon, when you have set in order affairs of state, you will resume your lofty calling in the Cecropian buskin, Pollio, distinguished defense for worried clients and the Senate taking counsel, you, for whom, too, the laurel gave birth to lasting glory in your Dalmatian triumph. Already, now, you strike my ear with the threatening roar of horns, now the trumpets sound, now the flash of weapons terrifies the horses and the faces of the horsemen.

Now I seem to hear the great commanders, soiled with no dishonorable dust, and the whole world overcome except Cato's fierce soul. Juno and whoever of the gods more friendly to Africa had withdrawn, powerless, from the unavenged land have borne back as sacrificial offerings to Jugurtha the grandsons of his conquerors.

What plain, made fertile with Latin blood, does not give witness with its tombs to our sacrilegious wars and to the sound of Hesperia's crashing fall, heard even by the Medes? What pool or what river is unaware of our mournful war? What sea has Italian slaughter not discolored? What shore lacks our gore? But lest, wanton Muse, you set aside light themes and handle anew the office of the Cean dirge, seek with me measures of a lighter strain deep within the Dionaean grove.

See, too, the characterization of Pollio as fiercely Republican in Syme [], , N-H interprets the reference to danger in political terms, as the smoldering animosities of Republican principes , with the qualification that Horace's lines, exaggerating the peril, must have echoed Pollio's own captatw benevolentiae.

Indeed, that Pollio remained neutral after Actium leads other scholars to interpret the grave tone of the beginning, and the reference to danger, as a comment on the difficulty of historiography and thus as a decorous compliment to Pollio's literary talents. Fraenkel , understands the danger as the hazard attendant on great undertakings of divine inspiration, a motif he charts throughout the Odes.

At first, the opening lines of this ode present the subject of Pollio's history in a stately, distanced, and analytical tone. The objective tone, coupled with the deferral of the verb until the seventh line, tends to deflect attention from Pollio as the author of this history. Not until the verbs tractas you handle and incedis you proceed, you advance do we understand that if the civil wars are the subject of Pollio's work, then the treatment of those wars and the political and emotional risks of writing about contemporary history are Horace's main concern here.

As Tacitus himself claims at the beginning of his Histories , the concept of libertas , both as a specific right to freedom of speech and as a more general right to participation in government, began to suffer erosion under the Principate Hist , 1. What makes the topic particularly inflammatory is the potential response from a contemporary audience—that is, the context in which a work is read or performed. For the image of embers smoldering beneath ash suggests suppressed material that could easily erupt again.

Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (Classics and Contemporary Thought)

The ode develops this metaphor of fire when the speaker, as Pollio's audience, has the visionary experience of being in the midst of battle. It is with this stanza that the speaker abruptly abandons his advisory and panegyric stance toward Pollio, and the poem evolves into a personal dirge for the blood spilled in the civil wars.

The speaker's sentiments are inflamed when he imagines a public reading of the history: [24] That Pollio introduced recitations at Rome lends a specific historical backdrop to the poem's dynamic between the speaker as audience and Pollio as an addressee whose performance of his history provokes a song of lamentation. But her boldness has other implications: like Pollio, who bravely walks through the still-smoldering ashes, Horace's Muse brazenly takes up the office of funereal song, drawing attention to the excessive slaughter of the wars. N-H on both tractasund retractes , ad loc.

The taboo and impure nature of this blood derives in particular from its having been shed in acts of civil warfare.


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  • The murder of kin was an especially heinous crime for the ancients; as the Oresteia dramatizes, it initiates cycles of vengeance that do not end until an act of purification takes place. This poetic enactment of the dangers of pollution by bloodguilt occurs through the trope of a performance, or recitation, in which the focus moves from the objective content of Pollio's history to the subjective pathos of the speaker's lyric lament. That Pollio writes of the blood crimes of the first triumvirate, whereas the speaker presumably evokes the effects of the civil wars of more recent history as well, only underscores the ancient idea that blood pollution spreads in generational cycles of vengeance.

    In Violence and the Sacred , Girard describes such a period as a cultural disorder, when the dissolution of distinctions lends itself to images of infection, contagion, and contamination. The metaphor of fire could well give way to metaphors of tempest, flood, earthquake … [and] the plague.

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    Its very fluidity gives form to the contagious nature of violence. Indeed, the ode's motif of fire is related to that of an unchecked bloodletting: the image of blood, still wet and criminal nondum expiatis uncta cruoribus , spreads—in keeping with Horace's metaphor of a fire that might be stirred to life—to dominate the eighth and ninth stanzas 29— Slaughter and civil bloodshed sanguine, caedes, cruore permeate these lines much as they do the geography that the speaker, in his series of rhetorical questions, declares the witness to this indiscriminate violence.

    The interrogative pronouns and adjectives— quis, qui, quae, quod , and quae , repeating in polyptoton—evoke a pervasive contamination that erodes even the identity of place. Kiessling and Heinze lend weight to this view , ad loc. Other scholars point to the end of Odes 1. Williams , —18; for a similar argument, although not in reference to 2. In Girard's analysis, only the sacred act of ritual violence can contain the impulse toward vengeance and cycles of retribution.

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    However, expiation and a conscious sense of criminality are clearly issues in Horace's ode. For the development of a Roman consciousness of personal guilt in the late Republic, a phenomenon that can be linguistically charted, see Thome Taken in isolation, the first adverb of the poem, nondum not yet , connotes the continuation of war, a civil conflict that multiplies and propagates because there has been no expiatory ritual. The adverbs and conjunctions of the next stanza, paulum, max , and ubi a little while; soon; when, after , denote stages in Pollio's career; but, specifying further points of time in a continuum, they also create a context for the moment anticipated by nondum —the time of purification.

    This moment, in turn, depends on the tragic inspiration of Pollio's histories. For discussions of the degree to which Horace's poem imitates Pollio's work, see Seeck ; Kornemann ; Sonnenburg See Walbank ; Feldherr , —69; and [n. The result, Pollio's history, displays the civil wars of Caesar and Pompey as retributory vengeance exacted for Rome's wars with Carthage and Jugurtha—that is, as violence that displays generational cycles of tragic reciprocity.

    The idea that the transgressions of a later generation are both violations in their own right and a form of divine punishment for the crimes of forebears underlies much Greek tragedy Liebeschuetz , 92— Thus Juno's wrath, presenting historical events in the mythic light of divine anger, may be understood not only as an epic motif but also as a component of the tragic vision informing Pollio's work. It appears in the central stanza of those describing the speaker's imagined response to Pollio's recitation. It includes the species of fear described rather too narrowly in Rhet.

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