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See below for a selection of the latest books from Literary studies: classical, early & medieval category. Presented with a red border are the Literary studies: classical, early & medieval books that have been lovingly read and reviewed by the experts at Lovereading. With expert reading recommendations made by people with a passion for books and some unique features Lovereading will help you find great Literary studies: classical, early & medieval books and those from many more genres to read that will keep you inspired and entertained. And it's all free!
James Joyce and Classical Modernism contends that the classical world animated Joyce's defiant, innovative creativity and cannot be separated from what is now recognized as his modernist aesthetic. Responding to a long-standing critical paradigm that has viewed the classical world as a means of granting a coherent order, shape, and meaning to Joyce's modernist innovations, Leah Flack explores how and why Joyce's fiction deploys the classical as the language of the new. This study tracks Joyce's sensitive, on-going readings of classical literature from his earliest work at the turn of the twentieth century through to the appearance of Ulysses in 1922, the watershed year of high modernist writing. In these decades, Joyce read ancient and modern literature alongside one another to develop what Flack calls his classical modernist aesthetic, which treats the classical tradition as an ally to modernist innovation. This aesthetic first comes to full fruition in Ulysses, which self-consciously deploys the classical tradition to defend stylistic experimentation as a way to resist static, paralyzing notions of the past. Analysing Joyce's work through his career from his early essays, Flack ends by considering the rich afterlives of Joyce's classical modernist project, with particular attention to contemporary works by Alison Bechdel and Maya Lang.
Drawing together new research from emerging and senior scholars, this selection of papers from the decennial Greek Drama V conference (Vancouver, 2017) explores the works of the ancient Greek playwrights and showcases new methodologies with which to study them. Sixteen chapters from a field of international contributors examine a range of topics, from the politics of the ancient theatre, to the role of the chorus, to the earliest history of the reception of Aeschylus' Oresteia. Employing anthropological, historical, and psychological critical methods alongside performance analysis and textual criticism, these studies bring fresh and original interpretations to the plays. Several contributions analyse fragmentary tragedies, while others incorporate ideas on the performance aspect of certain plays. The final chapters deal separately with comedy, naturally focusing on the plays of Aristophanes and Menander. Greek Drama V offers a window into where the academic field of Greek drama is now, and points towards the future scholarship it will produce.
The birth of the Greek alphabet marked a new horizon in the history of writing, as the vowelless Phoenician alphabet was borrowed and adapted to write vowels as well as consonants. Rather than creating a single unchanging new tradition, however, its earliest attestations show a very great degree of diversity, as areas of the Greek-speaking world established their own regional variants. This volume asks how, when, where, by whom and for what purposes Greek alphabetic writing developed. Anne Jeffery's Local Scripts of Archaic Greece (1961), re-issued with a valuable supplement in 1990, was an epoch-making contribution to the study of these issues. But much important new evidence has emerged even since 1987, and debate has continued energetically about all the central issues raised by Jeffery's book: the date at which the Phoenician script was taken over and adapted to write vowels with separate signs; the priority of Phrygia or Greece in that process; the question whether the adaptation happened once, and the resulting alphabet then spread outwards, or whether similar adaptations occurred independently in several paces; if the adaptation was a single event, the region where it occurred, and the explanation for the many divergences in local script; what the scripts tell us about the regional divisions of archaic Greece. There has also been a flourishing debate about the development and functions of literacy in archaic Greece. The contributors to this volume bring a range of perspectives to bear in revisiting Jeffery's legacy, including chapters which extend the scope beyond Jeffery, by considering the fortunes of the Greek alphabet in Etruria, in southern Italy, and on coins.
Medieval England had a thriving culture of rewriting the Bible in art, drama, and literature in Latin, French and English. Middle English biblical poetry was central to this culture, and although these poems have suffered from critical neglect, sometimes dismissed as mere paraphrase , they are rich, innovative and politically engaged. Read in the same gentry and noble households as secular romance, biblical poems borrow and adapt romance plots and motifs, present romance-inflected exotic settings, and share similar concerns: reputation, order, family and marriage. This book explores six poems from the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries that retell episodes from the Old Testament: the ballad-like Iacob and Iosep, two lives of Adam and Eve; an alliterative version of the Susanna story, the Pistel of Susan; and the Gawain-poet's Patience and Cleanness. Each chapter identifies new sources and influences for the poems, including from biblical glosses and manuscript illustration. The book also investigates the poems' relationships with contemporary cultures of literature and religion, including with secular romance, and offers new readings of each poem and its cultural functions, showing how they bridge the chasm between medieval Christian England and the Jews and pagans of the pre-Christian Mediterranean world. It also considers reading contexts, arguing that the poems and their manuscripts offer hints about the social class and gender of their household audiences. CATHY HUME is a Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Bristol.
What would medieval English literature look like if we viewed it through the lens of the compendium? In that case, John Trevisa might come into focus as the major author of the fourteenth century. Trevisa (d. 1402) made a career of translating big informational texts from Latin into English prose. These included Ranulph Higden's Polychronicon, an enormous universal history, Bartholomaeus Anglicus's well-known natural encyclopedia De proprietatibus rerum, and Giles of Rome's advice-for-princes manual, De regimine principum. These were shrewd choices, accessible and on trend: De proprietatibus rerum and De regimine principum had already been translated into French and copied in deluxe manuscripts for the French and English nobility, and the Polychronicon had been circulating England for several decades. This book argues that John Trevisa's translations of compendious informational texts disclose an alternative literary history by way of information culture. Bold and lively experiments, these translations were a gamble that the future of literature in England was informational prose. This book argues that Trevisa's oeuvre reveals an alternative literary history more culturally expansive and more generically diverse than that which we typically construct for his contemporaries, Geoffrey Chaucer and William Langland. Thirteenth- and early fourteenth-century European writers compiled massive reference books which would shape knowledge well into the Renaissance. This study maintains that they had a major impact on English poetry and prose. In fact, what we now recognize to be literary properties emerged in part from translations of medieval compendia with their inventive ways of handling vast quantities of information.
This new comparative reading of Euripides' Bacchae and Aristophanes' Frogs sets the two plays squarely in their contemporary social and political context and explores their impact on the audiences of the time. Both were composed during a crucial period of Athenian political life following the oligarchic seizure of power in 411 BC and the restoration of democracy in 410 BC, and were in all likelihood produced nearly simultaneously a few months before the rise of the Thirty Tyrants and the ensuing civil war. They also demonstrate significant similarities that are particularly notable among extant Attic theatre productions, including the role of the god Dionysos as protagonist and architect of religious and political action, and the presence of Demetrian and Dionysiac mystic choruses as proponents of the appeasement of civil discord as the cure for Athens' ills. Focusing on the mystic, civic and political content of both Bacchae and Frogs, this volume offers not only a new reading of the plays, but also an interdisciplinary perspective on the special characteristics of mystery cults in Athens in their political context and the nature of theatrical audiences and their reaction to mystic themes. Its illumination of the function of each play at a pivotal moment in fifth-century Athenian politics will be of value to scholars and students of ancient Greek drama, religion and history.
A body of theory has developed about the role and function of memory in creating and maintaining cultural identity. Yet there has been no consideration of the rich Mediterranean and Near Eastern traditions of laments for fallen cities in commemorating or resolving communal trauma. This volume offers new insights into the trope of the fallen city in folk-song and a variety of literary genres. These commemorations reveal memories modified by diverse agendas, and contains narrative structures and motifs that show the meaning of memory-making about fallen cities. Opening a new avenue of research into the Mediterranean genre of city lament, this book examines references to, or re-workings of, otherwise lost texts or ways of commemorating fallen cities in the extant texts, and with greater emphasis than usual on the point of view of the victors.
The Byzantine emperor Leo VI (886-912), was not a general or even a soldier, like his predecessors, but a scholar, and it was the religious education he gained under the tutelage of the patriarch Photios that was to distinguish him as an unusual ruler. This book analyses Leo's literary output, focusing on his deployment of ideological principles and religious obligations to distinguish the characteristics of the Christian oikoumene from the Islamic caliphate, primarily in his military manual known as the Taktika. It also examines in depth his 113 legislative Novels, with particular attention to their theological prolegomena, showing how the emperor's religious sensibilities find expression in his reshaping of the legal code to bring it into closer accord with Byzantine canon law. Meredith L. D. Riedel argues that the impact of his religious faith transformed Byzantine cultural identity and influenced his successors, establishing the Macedonian dynasty as a 'golden age' in Byzantium.
This book combines the rich, but problematic, literary tradition for early Rome with the ever-growing archaeological record to present a new interpretation of early Roman warfare and how it related to the city's various social, political, religious, and economic institutions. Largely casting aside the anachronistic assumptions of late republican writers like Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, it instead examines the general modes of behaviour evidenced in both the literature and the archaeology for the period and attempts to reconstruct, based on these characteristics, the basic form of Roman society and then to 're-map' that on to the extant tradition. It will be important for scholars and students studying many aspects of Roman history and warfare, but particularly the history of the regal and republican periods.
Nicolaus of Damascus, the chief minister of Herod the Great, was an exact contemporary of the first Roman emperor Augustus; he spent considerable time in Roman society and knew Augustus. The extensive remains of his Bios Kaisaros contain the earliest and most detailed account of the conspiracy against Julius Caesar and his assassination. The Bios also presents the most extensive account of the boyhood and early development of Augustus. This edition presents the Greek text and translation of the Bios and Nicolaus' autobiography, along with a historical and historiographical commentary. The Introduction situates the text in relation to the considerable evidence for the life and career of Nicolaus preserved in the works of Josephus, addresses the problem of its date of composition, analyses the language and narrative technique of Nicolaus and discusses the Bios in relation to the evidence for Greek biographical encomium.
This is a newly revised, critical text of the fragments attributed to the Roman knight and mimographer Decimus Laberius, a witty and crudely satirical contemporary of Cicero and Caesar. Laberius is perhaps the most celebrated comic playwright of the late Republic, and the fragments of plays attributed to him comprise the overwhelming majority of the extant evidence for what we conventionally call 'the literary Roman mime'. The volume also includes a survey of the characteristics and development of the Roman mime, both as a literary genre and as a type of popular theatrical entertainment, as well as a re-evaluation of the place of Laberius' work within its historical and literary context. This is the first English translation of all the fragments, and the first detailed English commentary on them from a linguistic, metrical, and (wherever possible) theatrical perspective.
Offering a comprehensive introduction to the history of books, readers and reading in the Byzantine Empire and its sphere of influence, this volume addresses a paradox. Advanced literacy was rare among imperial citizens, being restricted by gender and class. Yet the state's economic, religious and political institutions insisted on the fundamental importance of the written record. Starting from the materiality of codices, documents and inscriptions, the volume's contributors draw attention to the evidence for a range of interactions with texts. They examine the role of authors, compilers and scribes. They look at practices such as the close perusal of texts in order to produce excerpts, notes, commentaries and editions. But they also analyse the social implications of the constant intersection of writing with both image and speech. Showcasing current methodological approaches, this collection of essays aims to place a discussion of Byzantium within the mainstream of medieval textual studies.