Working Papers by Subject - Latin Literature

071103 Points of Light: Reflections on Myth and History in the Shield of Aeneas
Andrew Feldherr, Princeton University
This paper has been removed at the request of the author.

100901 Magna mihi copia est memorandi: Modes of Historiography in the Speeches of Caesar and Cato (Sallust, "Bellum Catilinae" 51-4)
Andrew Feldherr, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: This paper analyzes the historiographic dimension of the paired speeches of Caesar and Cato at the climax of Sallust’s Bellum Catilinae. Where Caesar stresses the continuities between past and present and so the capacity of history, rationally analyzed, to offer general precepts for political behavior, Cato by contrast stresses the radical difference of the past. Each perspective allows a different reading of Sallust’s own narrative. Yet rather than privileging one point of view over the other, Sallust uses the tension between them to focus attention on the question of what history is for in an age of civil discord.

090909 Antonomasia, Anonymity, and Atoms: Naming Effects in Lucretius’ "De rerum natura"
Wilson H. Shearin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This essay argues that selected proper names within Lucretius’ De rerum natura, rather than pointing deictically or referring with clear historical specificity, instead render Lucretius’ poem vaguer and more anonymous. To make this case, the essay first briefly surveys Roman naming practices, ultimately focusing upon a specific kind of naming, deictic naming. Deictic naming points (or attempts to point) to a given entity and often conjures up a sense of the reality of that entity. The essay then studies the role of deictic naming within Epicureanism and the relationship of such naming to instances of naming within De rerum natura. Through analysis of the nominal disappearance of Memmius, the near nominal absence of Epicurus, and the deployment of Venus (and other names) within the conclusion to Lucretius’ fourth book, the essay demonstrates how selected personal names in De rerum natura, in contrast to the ideal of deictic naming, become more general, more anonymous, whether by the substitution of other terms (Memmius, Epicurus), by referential wandering (Venus), or by still other means. The conclusion briefly studies the political significance of this phenomenon, suggesting that there is a certain popular quality to the tendency towards nominal indefiniteness traced in the essay.

090908 Haunting Nepos: "Atticus" and the Performance of Roman Epicurean Death
Wilson H. Shearin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper, written for Hedonic Reading, a collection on Epicurean reception I am co-editing with Brooke Holmes of Princeton, reads the famous death of T. Pomponius Atticus (as recounted in Cornelius Nepos) against a backdrop of other Stoic and Epicurean deaths. It develops the figure of “haunting” as a way of speaking about the absent presence of Epicureanism in Atticus, which strikingly never mentions that philosophy by name – despite the fact that Atticus himself was one of the most well- known Epicureans of the Late Roman Republic. Its reading of Atticus’ death suggests that the biography’s greatest Epicurean traces may be found – rather than in the letter of the text – in the ways in which the details of Atticus’ death fail to conform to the Stoicizing interpretation Nepos’ himself offers. That is, the work is anti-teleological (and thus Epicurean) in its resistance to the clear, teleological (Stoic) reading offered within the biography itself. The paper is thus interested in developing “Epicurean” notions of reading, which – if not entirely adumbrated in antiquity – are potentially present in moments such as Lucretius’ comparison of letters and atoms, where the composition of the world and the composition of the text are juxtaposed.

090905 On the Dual Nature of the "Carmen Saeculare"
A. T. Zanker, Princeton University
This paper has been removed at the request of the author.

010904 Horatian Lyric and the Vergilian Golden Age
A. T. Zanker, Princeton University
Abstract - Recent scholarship has focused on the way in which Horace avoids speaking of a returning golden age in his later poetry, even though Vergil had done precisely this in the sixth book of his epic. I argue that Horace realized that the concept was a problematic one; the golden ages constructed by the earlier tradition had been marked by characteristics that could never be achieved in reality. Horace therefore avoids the problematic terminology, instead defining the Augustan new age on his own terms.
This paper is now forthcoming in American Journal of Philology December 2010.
120801 The Medieval Tradition of Macrobius' 'Saturnalia'
Robert Kaster, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - In laying the groundwork for a new edition of Macrobius’ Saturnalia, I have extensively checked the reports of the manuscripts in the Teubner edition of James Willis (1963), drawn on the collations of two important manuscripts published by M. J. Carton in 1966, and collated seven additional pre-humanist manuscripts wholly or in part (these collations are published in working papers #060803, 060804, and 060805). Drawing on the new data, this paper provides a refined understanding of the medieval tradition, including an improved stemma.
A revised version of this paper has now been published as Chapter 1 of the monograph, Studies on the Text of Macrobius' "Saturnalia," American Philological Association Monographs (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), 3-27.

100801 The Mole on the Face. Erotic Rhetoric in Ovid’s "Amores"
Christian Kaesser, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The paper examines the role of formal rhetoric in Ovid’s Amores. It points out that while in modern aesthetics the experience of art is dissociated from the experience of love and sex, the ancients had developed an erotic aesthetics that associated the two. Recalling the metaphor that describes a text as a body and the ancient view according to which rhetoric could make a text appealing just like cosmetics could a real body, it argues that Ovid uses formal rhetoric to inspire in his readers desire for his text. The appearance of voluptas in the epigram to Amores 1 confirms this view. It also suggests that the eroticization of Ovid’s text resonates within the contemporary political situation in Rome, where sex had become a matter of politics.

090802 Causes and Cases. On the Aetiologies of Aetiological Elegies
Christian Kaesser, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The paper examines why at the beginning of Callimachus’ Aitia, in Propertius 4.1, and more indirectly in the proem to Ovid’s Fasti there appear literary critics (the Telchines, Horus, and Augustus), who charge the aetiological poet for the quality of his work. It points out that these charges, when translated into Greek, are aitiai, and that the poets’ defenses, when translated into Latin, are causae. It argues that the function of these proems is to present the poet as the cause of his poem. It is also interested in the way Propertius and Ovid adapt Callimachus’ Greek conceit to the different cultural and linguistic context of Rome.

090801 The Medieval Tradition of Macrobius' 'Saturnalia'
Robert Kaster, Princeton University
Revised December 2008. See 120801 entry.

060806 A Neglected Witness to Macrobius' 'Saturnalia'
Robert Kaster, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - Bern Burgerbibliothek cod. 514 (= Q, s. X), which preserves Book 7 of the Saturnalia, is the oldest surviving member of the family β2. This paper analyzes its relations to the other chief witnesses to β2 (R = Vat. Reg. lat. 2043; F = Laur. Plut. 90 sup. 25; A = Cambridge Univ. Ff.3.5; C = Cambridge CCC 71); an appendix demonstrates that Q is also the source of the text of Book 7 found in Vatican lat. 3417 (= J). A complete collation of Q can be found in working paper #060804 (Four Manuscripts of Macrobius’ 'Saturnalia').
This paper has now been published as "A Neglected Witness to Macrobius' Saturnalia," in Callida Musa: Papers on Latin Literature in Honor of R. Elaine Fantham, ed. R. Ferri, M. Seo, and K. Volk = Materiali e Discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici 61 (2008[2009]), pp. 137-48.

060805 A Collation of Cambridge Corpus Christi College 71 (Macrobius 'Saturnalia')
Robert Kaster, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - Cambridge Corpus Christi College 71 (= C), written in the twelfth century (St. Albans), can be shown to be a gemellus of Cambridge University Library Ff.3.5, also written in the twelfth century (Bury St. Edmunds). Used by Gronovius and judged by La Penna (1953) one of the three most important witnesses to the family β2, C was ignored by Willis in his Teubner edition. A and C together provide useful evidence, parallel with the earlier Vatican Reginensis latinus 2043 (= R, s. X ex. / s. XI in., Mont St. Michel), for one segment of β2. A collation of C is published here for the first time.

060804 Four Manuscripts of Macrobius’ 'Saturnalia'
Robert Kaster, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - Vatican latinus 3417 (J, s. XII, Books 1-4 and 7), Florence Laurentiana Plut. 51.8 (W, s. XII, complete), British Library Harleianus 3859 (H, s. XII, complete), and Bern Burgerbibliothek 514 (Q, s. X, Book 7) are all are affiliated with the family β2. J (in Books 1-4), W, and H are derived from Vatican Reg. lat. 2043 (= R). Q, ignored since it was used by Jan in his edition of 1852, gives important testimony independent of R.

060803 A Collation of British Library Cotton Vit. C.III and Vatican Palatinus latinus 886 (Macrobius' 'Saturnalia')
Robert Kaster, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - British Library Cotton Vitellius C.III (= O, s. IX3/4, northern France) comprises Books 1-3 of Macrobius’ Saturnalia. Ignored by James Willis in his Teubner edition, it can be shown to be an older sibling of Vatican latinus 5207 (L, s. X1/4), a collation of which was published by M. J. Carton: O and L together provide important new evidence for the constitution of family β1. A collation of O is published here for the first time. Vatican Palatinus latinus 886 (= K, s.IX in., Lorsch) is also affiliated with β1 and provides a set of excerpts from Saturnalia 1-3. K was used by Ludwig Jan in his landmark edition; a partial collation was published by K. Tohill.

060802 Vergil Translates Aratus: Phaenomena 1-2 and Georgics 1.1.2
Joshua Katz, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper demonstrates that Vergil engages in a kind of verbal one-upmanship with Aratus by opening his Georgics with a multifaceted—and till now entirely overlooked—example of wordplay that is directly indebted to Aratus’ “signature” at the start of the Phaenomena. In all sorts of ways, terram / uertere is a "translation" of ἐῶμεν / ἄρρητον.
This paper has now been published in Materiali e Discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici 60 (2008), pp. 105-23.

060801 Etymology (A Linguistic Window onto the History of Ideas)
Joshua Katz, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - This short essay for a volume on the classical tradition aims to give a basic, lively account of the forms and development of etymological practice from antiquity to the present day.

020804 The Intersection of Poetic and Imperial Authority in Phaedrus’ Fables
Brigitte B. Libby, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: Phaedrus wrote two fables featuring Roman emperors. In Fable 2.5 we find Emperor Tiberius giving a busybody his deserved come-uppance, and in Fable 3.10 Augustus miraculously solves a murder-suicide case. Yet couched among so many of Phaedrus’ fables that criticize authority figures, these positive portrayals of the emperors come as a surprise to the reader and present a significant problem of interpretation. In exploring the different possible readings of the two poems, this paper follows Phaedrus through a complex interpretive maze and shows how the fabulist’s own self-portrayal intersects with and colors his portrayal of the first two Roman emperors.
A revised version is now forthcoming in Classical Quarterly 60.2 (2010).

110701 When did Livy write Books 1, 3, 28, and 59?
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper argues that several of Livy’s statements were prompted by events at or close to the time of writing and can therefore be used to shed light on the chronology of his work.
This paper has now been published in Classical Quarterly Vol 59 (2009), pp. 653-658.

100707 When did Livy write Books 1, 3, 28, and 59?
Walter Scheidel, Stanford University
Revised November 2007. See entry 110701.

070703 Dux reget examen (Epistle 1.19.23): Horace’s Archilochean Signature
Joshua Katz, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - This paper compares Horace the Honeybee to his iambic predecessor Archilochus the Wasp. In particular, I argue that a hitherto unrecognized way in which Horace promotes himself as the Italicus Archilochus is through his “signature” [qui sibi fidet, /] dux reget examen (Epistle 1.19.23) ‘[Who trusts himself] will rule the swarm as leader’ — an innovative Latin calque on the Greek name Arkhí-lokhos, literally “Rule-swarm.”
This paper has now been published in Materiali e Discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici 59 (2007), pp. 207-13.

030702 Religion in the Ancient Novel
Froma I. Zeitlin, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - This chapter of the forthcoming Cambridge Companion to the Ancient Novel, ed. Tim Whitmarsh, (2007) surveys the pervasive presence of religion and the sacred in the extant Greek and Roman novels and addresses the much discussed issues of its roles and functions, with an emphasis on the challenges the topic poses to the interpretation of the genre's core erotic ideology. It also explores instances of the fictional imagination at work in absorbing, modifying, and creatively refining a few selected religious elements.
This paper has now been published as "Religion" in Tim Whitmarsh, ed. Companion to the Greek and Roman Novel, Cambridge Univerity Press, 2008. pp 91-108.
010703 Rereading the Death of Turnus: Ritual, Time and Poetics in the Aeneid
Kellam Conover, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: The death of Turnus, which is depicted in terms evocative of sacrificial rite, evinces a close interconnection between ritual and poetics in Vergil’s Aeneid. By reincorporating Juturna into the economy of sacrificial imagery at the epic’s close, I argue that Turnus’ sacrificial death should be seen as a metapoetic act. Indeed, as suggested by an examination of how time operates in the epic and especially in its final scenes, time in the poem is structured like time in ritual practice. The Aeneid thus engages the reader in a process of ritually renewing the past.

090603 Tiberiana 3: Odysseus at Rome - a Problem
Edward Champlin, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: This is one of five parerga preparatory to a book to be entitled Tiberius on Capri, which will explore the interrelationship between culture and empire, between Tiberius’ intellectual passions (including astrology, gastronomy, medicine, mythology, and literature) and his role as princeps. These five papers do not so much develop an argument as explore significant themes which will be examined and deployed in the book in different contexts. “Odysseus at Rome” is an appendix to the previous paper on Tiberius’ obsession with the Greek hero. It draws attention to some startling evidence for Odysseus’ unpopularity in the Roman world.

090602 Tiberiana 2: Tales of Brave Ulysses
Edward Champlin, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: This is one of five parerga preparatory to a book to be entitled Tiberius on Capri, which will explore the interrelationship between culture and empire, between Tiberius’ intellectual passions (including astrology, gastronomy, medicine, mythology, and literature) and his role as princeps. These five papers do not so much develop an argument as explore significant themes which will be examined and deployed in the book in different contexts. Tiberius was intensely interested in the deeds and character of the hero Odysseus, to the extent that sometimes he seems almost to have been channeling him. “Tales of Brave Ulysses” considers the evidence for this obsession and suggests something of the fresh insight into the emperor’s character which it evokes.
090601 Tiberiana 1: Tiberian Neologisms
Edward Champlin, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: This is one of five parerga preparatory to a book to be entitled Tiberius on Capri, which will explore the interrelationship between culture and empire, between Tiberius’ intellectual passions (including astrology, gastronomy, medicine, mythology, and literature) and his role as princeps. These five papers do not so much develop an argument as explore significant themes which will be examined and deployed in the book in different contexts. “Tiberian Neologisms” examines several words that seem to have been invented or given new meanings during his reign, often by Tiberius himself.

060602 Carmina: Odes and Carmen Saeculare forthcoming in S. Harrison (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Horace, Cambridge 2007
Alessandro Barchiesi, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: This is obviously a generalizing piece, not a research paper, but Horace is frequently taught at college level, so I offer it as an anticipation of the new Companion, and as an attempt to summarize some of the most recurring problems about Horace and the genre of Roman Lyric (if indeed there was a genre).

050601 Saving the Appearances: The Phenomenology of Epiphany in Atomist Theology
Jacob L. Mackey, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: In this paper I propose an approach to Epicurean theology that avoids the stalemate of "realist" and "idealist" interpretations. I argue that Epicurean theology is more phenomenological than metaphysical, its purpose less to ground and justify dogmatic commitment to whatever form of existence the gods may enjoy than to account for a prevalent aspect of ancient religious experience, epiphany, and to assimilate that experience to Epicurean philosophical therapeia. In the process I reconstruct and reassess the equally epiphanic theology of Democritus that forms a source for Epicurus' theological thought. His theology has also been unprofitably construed by modern scholars as a reductive dismissal of the gods as mere psychological effects or manifest fictions. Instead, Democritus was at least as accommodating of the phenomena of religious experience as Epicurus: his own theology is likewise founded on epiphany and he too attempts a therapeutic analysis of its attendant effects.

030601 On not forgetting the “Literatur” in “Literatur und Religion”: Representing the Mythic and the Divine in Roman Historiography
Denis Feeney, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: Against recent attempts to argue that generic distinctions between history and other forms are not particularly relevant to analysis of how the divine is represented, this paper argues that generic distinctions are important from Herodotus on. History has its own distinctive discursive practices, however inventively historians work on the margins with other genres such as epic and tragedy.
This paper has now been published in A. Bierl, R. Lämmle and K. Wesselmann (eds.), Literatur und Religion: Wege zu einer mythisch-rituellen Poetik bei den Griechen Vol 2 (Berlin, 2007), pp. 173-202.

020603 Bad Boys: Circumcellions and Fictive Violence
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - The circumcellions were roving bands of violent men and women found in late Roman Africa. The problem is that far more of them have been produced by literary fictions, ancient and modern, than once existed. The fictions have their own intriguing history, but they are otherwise useless for those who are interested in the banality of what actually happened.
This paper has been published in H. A. Drake et al. eds., Violence in Late Antiquity: Perceptions and Practices, Aldershot, Ashgate, 2006, pp. 179-96.

010602 Sabinus the Muleteer
Brent D. Shaw, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - A brief piece about possible sources and historical background of a bit of ‘Vergilian’ poetry. If you like mules and Vergil, then this one is for you.
This is now published in Classical Quarterly vol. 57 (2007), pp. 132-38.

120519 Music for Monsters: Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Bucolic Evolution, and Bucolic Criticism
Alessandro Barchiesi, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: The paper has been written for a collection whose aim is charting the entire development of a genre, pastoral or bucolic poetry, throughout Graeco-Roman antiquity. My discussion complements studies of poems that can be labelled ‘bucolic’ or ‘pastoral’ through an external vantage point: the perception of bucolic and pastoral in the perspective offered by Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a maverick, bulimic epic poem, a poem in which many traces of other genres can be identified and everything undergoes a transformation of some sort. The examination of some individual episodes in the epic suggests ways in which the bucolic/pastoral tradition is being reconsidered, but also challenged and criticized from specific Roman viewpoints, not without satiric undertones.

120517 Arrian the Personal Historian
Kyle Lakin, Stanford University
Download PDF Abstract: Current scholarship ignores the personal nature of the second preface of Arrian's Anabasis. This preface reveals that the Anabasis can be read as a work about Arrian's own personal identity. Arrian's biographical history allows us to speculate that his identity was in flux throughout his life. By understanding the Anabasis as Arrian's way to claim to be a Greek, we can better interpret his characterization of Alexander.

120513 Religion in Roman Historiography and Epic
Denis Feeney, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: A version of this paper is due to appear as a chapter in the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to Roman Religion (edited by Jörg Rüpke). The paper gives an overview of the religious dimensions to Roman epic and historiography, and argues for taking seriously the literary questions of representation, genre, and convention which are often elided by historians who wish to disinter hard evidence for ‘real’ religious attitudes and practice from these texts.
This paper has now been published in J. Rüpke (ed.), A Companion to Roman Religion (Oxford, 2007), pp. 129-142.

120502 Self-Aggrandizement and Praise of Others in Cicero
Robert Kaster, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract - Ciceronian invective has received a great deal of attention; yet Cicero’s deployment of praise — of himself and others— and others’ praise of Cicero open an equally revealing window on late Roman Republican culture. This paper uses Cicero’s defense of P. Sestius (March 56 BCE) to give this aspect of Ciceronian discourse some of the attention it is due.