Fantham’s first edition discussed the habits of Roman readers and developments in their means of access to literature, from booksellers and copyists to pirated publications and libraries. She examines the issues of patronage and the utility of literature and shows how the constraints of the physical object itself—the ancient "book"—influenced the practice of both reading and writing. She also explores the ways in which ancient criticism and critical attitudes reflected cultural assumptions of the time.
In this second edition, Fantham expands the scope of her study. In the new first chapter, she examines the beginning of Roman literature—more than a century before the critical studies of Cicero and Varro. She discusses broader entertainment culture, which consisted of live performances of comedy and tragedy as well as oral presentations of the epic. A new final chapter looks at Pagan and Christian literature from the third to fifth centuries, showing how this period in Roman literature reflected its foundations in the literary culture of the late republic and Augustan age. This edition also includes a new preface and an updated bibliography.
Elaine Fantham is Giger Professor Emerita of Latin at Princeton University and an honorary fellow at Trinity College, University of Toronto. She is former president of the American Philological Association and was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal by the association in 2009. She is a coauthor of Women in the Classical World: Image and Text.
'Nothing can harm a good man either in life or after death'
The trial and condemnation of Socrates on charges of heresy and corrupting young minds is a defining moment in the history of classical Athens. In tracing these events through four dialogues, Plato also developed his own philosophy of a life guided by self-responsibility. Euthyphro finds Socrates outside the court-house, debating the nature of piety, while the Apology is his robust rebuttal of the charges against him. In the Crito, awaiting execution in prison, Socrates counters the arguments of friends urging him to escape. Finally, in the Phaedo, he is shown calmly confident in the face of death.
Translated by HUGH TREDENNICK and HAROLD TARRANT with an Introduction and notes by HAROLD TARRANT
Julia Augusti studies the life of the only daughter of Augustus, the first Roman emperor, and the father who sacrificed his daughter and her children in order to establish a dynasty.
Studying the abundant historical evidence available, this biography studies each stage of Julia’s life in remarkable detail:
her childhood - taken from her divorced mother to become part of a complex and unstable family structure her youth - set against the brilliant social and cultural life of the new Augustan Rome her marriages - as tools for Augustus’ plans for succession Julia’s violation of her father’s moral regime, and the betrayal of her absent husband.
Reflecting new attitudes, and casting fresh light on their social reality, this outstanding biography will delight, entertain and inform anyone interested in this engaging Classical figure.