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Record identifier : 569442
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Dozier, Curtis Andrew
Title and statement of responsibility : Education, conviviality, and the formation of Roman readers [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : University of California, Berkeley, 2008
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , University of California, Berkeley
Summary or Abstract : This dissertation explores the question of how the Romans read their poetry and how these reading practices informed poetic composition. In my first chapter I examine how young aristocrats were trained to read poetry. From descriptions of Roman education in Quintilian, Cicero, and others, we learn that poetry had a peculiar status in the Roman schools: students spent years reading poetic texts in order to learn which features of poetry were appropriate for persuasive use and which were too poetic for oratory. Teachers emphasized that these latter aspects were permissible in poetry but forbade their students to imitate them, thus instilling in children a fascination for the licentia that was granted to poetry. This fascination persisted into adulthood, as I show in my second chapter, in which I examine the convivium, where Romans frequently encountered poetry as entertainment. Building from descriptions of convivia in Varro, Pliny, Martial, Petronius, and Aulus Gellius, I show that guests at these gatherings were expected to engage in the same kind of technical and formal criticism of poetry that they were trained to perform in school. Horace's Odes and literary epistles provide a case study for the interaction between Roman reading practices and poetic composition. In chapter three I show that Horace, in his Ars Poetica, critiques the style of teaching which I described in my first chapter, thus confirming that such teaching actually took place while giving insight into his own divergent vision of how poetry should be composed and read. In my fourth chapter I demonstrate that Horace composed the Odes, many of which represent themselves as convivial poems, with the knowledge that convivial manners required that guests analyze them in formalistic terms. I show that Horace provides material for those discussions and argue that many aspects of the Odes which modern readers tend to see as incidental to the real work of reading were, for Romans, primary objects of interpretive interest. At the same time, Horace harnesses his audience's impulse toward analysis of technical material in order to encourage discussion of the political and philosophical content of his poetry..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Classical studies
: Education history
: Ancient history
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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