The limits placed on the fable by the commentaries of the medieval period allow us to appreciate the narrative expansion of the fable in twelfth and thirteenth-century poetry. Themes in this book are the way the fable is used as a means for knowledge of physical nature and the development of science; the importance of language in the fable and in its settings when rewritten in other texts, and psychoanalytic aspects of Echo and Narcissus. The fable has the capacity to represent mental life and psychological crisis within other narratives and this is also an important discussion point, based around the medieval text Roman de la Rose. The book also considers the wider Metamorphoses and Ovid’s importance for literature.
Cultural Genealogyexplores the popularization in the Renaissance of the still pervasive myth that later cultures are the hereditary descendants of ancient or older cultures. The core of this myth is the widespread belief that a numinous charismatic power can be passed down unchanged, and in concrete forms, from earlier eras. Raphael Falco shows that such a process of descent is an impossible illusion in a knowledge-based culture. Anachronistic adoption of past values can only occur when these values are adapted and assimilated to the target culture. Without such transcultural adaptation, ancient values would appear as alien artifacts rather than as eternal truths.
Scholars have long acknowledged the Renaissance borrowings from classical antiquity, but most studies of translatio studii or translatio imperii tacitly accept the early modern myth that there was a genuine translation of Greek and Roman cultural values from the ancient world to the "modern." But as Falco demonstrates, this is patently not the case. The mastering of ancient languages and the rediscovery of lost texts has masked the fact that surprisingly little of ancient religious, ethical, or political ideology was retained — so little that it is crucial to ask why these myths of transcultural descent have not been recognized and interrogated. Through examples ranging from Petrarch to Columbus, Maffeo Vegio to the Habsburgs, Falco shows how the new techne of systematic genealogy facilitated the process of "remythicizing" the ancient authorities, utterly transforming Greek and Roman values and reforging them into the mold of contemporary needs.
Chiefly a study of intellectual culture, Cultural Genealogy has ramifications reaching into all levels of society, both early modern and later.
Latin prose, poetry, and musical styles are reconsidered, as is the relationship between Latin and Old English. Monastic identity, intertwined as it was with the learning of Latin and reformation of the self, is also an important theme. By offering fresh perspectives on texts both famous and neglected, Latinity and Identity will transform readers’ views of Anglo-Latin literature.
The series Trends in Classics - Supplementary Volumes welcomes monographs, edited volumes, conference proceedings and collections of papers; it provides an important forum for the ongoing debate about where Classics fits in modern cultural and historical studies.
The journal Trends in Classics is published twice a year with approx. 160 pp. per issue. Each year one issue is devoted to a specific subject with articles edited by a guest editor.
"[A] brilliant and important book. . . . "
---Journal of Religion, on Silence in the Land of Logos
"[A]n invigorating reevaluation of both the ancient symbolic landscape and our preconceptions of it."
---American Journal of Philology, on Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture
Best known for his adventures during his homeward journey as narrated in Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus remained a major figure and a source of inspiration in later literature, from Greek tragedy to Dante's Inferno to Joyce's Ulysses. Less commonly known, but equally interesting, are Odysseus' "wanderings" in ancient philosophy: Odysseus becomes a model of wisdom for Socrates and his followers, Cynics and Stoics, as well as for later Platonic thinkers. From Villain to Hero: Odysseus in Ancient Thought follows these wanderings in the world of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, retracing the steps that led the cunning hero of Homeric epic and the villain of Attic tragedy to become a paradigm of the wise man.
From Villain to Hero explores the reception of Odysseus in philosophy, a subject that so far has been treated only in tangential or limited ways. Diverging from previous studies, Montiglio outlines the philosophers' Odysseus across the spectrum, from the Socratics to the Middle Platonists. By the early centuries CE, Odysseus' credentials as a wise man are firmly established, and the start of Odysseus' rehabilitation by philosophers challenges current perceptions of him as a villain. More than merely a study in ancient philosophy, From Villain to Hero seeks to understand the articulations between philosophical readings of Odysseus and nonphilosophical ones, with an eye to the larger cultural contexts of both. While this book is the work of a classicist, it will also be of interest to students of philosophy, comparative literature, and reception studies.
"As well as skillful and fluent verse renderings of the 366 lyrics that make up this milestone in the development of Western poetic tradition, Musa offers copious and up-to-date annotation to each poem... along with a substantial, sensitive, and intelligent introduction that is genuinely helpful for the first-time reader and thought provoking for Petrarch scholars and other medievalists." —Choice
The 366 poems of Petrarch’s Canzoniere represent one of the most influential works in Western literature. Varied in form, style, and subject matter, these "scattered rhymes" contains metaphors and conceits that have been absorbed into the literature and language of love. In this bilingual edition, Mark Musa provides verse translations, annotations, and an introduction co-authored with Barbara Manfredi.
With The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks, Konstan reexamines the traditional assumption that the Greek terms designating the emotions correspond more or less to those of today. Beneath the similarities, there are striking discrepancies. References to Greek 'anger' or 'love' or 'envy,' for example, commonly neglect the fact that the Greeks themselves did not use these terms, but rather words in their own language, such as orgê and philia and phthonos, which do not translate neatly into our modern emotional vocabulary. Konstan argues that classical representations and analyses of the emotions correspond to a world of intense competition for status, and focused on the attitudes, motives, and actions of others rather than on chance or natural events as the elicitors of emotion. Konstan makes use of Greek emotional concepts to interpret various works of classical literature, including epic, drama, history, and oratory. Moreover, he illustrates how the Greeks' conception of emotions has something to tell us about our own views, whether about the nature of particular emotions or of the category of emotion itself.
In a period when most thinkers were monists, he was a pluralist and the first to introduce the principle of the four elements (roots, as he has named them), as well as the two motive factors (Love and Strife) closely dependent on one another.
Scholars, students and specialists will find in this book a guide to new and unexplored paths of Empedocles’ revolutionary thought.