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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!
With its ribald chorus of ithyphallic, half-man / half-horse creatures, satyr drama was a peculiar part of the Athenian theatrical experience. Performed three times each year after a trilogy of tragedies, it was an integral part of the 5th- and 4th-century City Dionysia, a large festival in honour of the god Dionysus. Euripides: Cyclops is the first book-length study of this fascinating genre's only complete, extant play, a theatrical version of Odysseus' encounter with the monster Polyphemus. Shaw begins with a look at the history of the genre, following its development from early 6th-century religious processions up to the Hellenistic era. He then offers a comprehensive analysis of the Cyclops' plot and performance, using the text (alongside ancient literary fragments and visual evidence) to determine the original viewing experience: the stage, masks, costumes, actions and emotions. A detailed examination of the text reveals that Euripides associates and distinguishes his version of the story from previous iterations of the myth, especially book nine of Homer's Odyssey. Euripides handles many of the same themes as his predecessors, but he updates the Cyclops for the Athenian stage, adapting his work to reflect and comment upon contemporary religious, philosophical and literary-musical trends.
This volume wades into the fertile waters of Augustan Rome and the interrelationship of its literature, monuments, and urban landscape. It takes up a pair of questions: how can we productively probe the myriad points of contact between textual and material evidence to write viable cultural histories of the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, and what are the limits of these kinds of analysis? The studies gathered here range from monumental absences to monumental texts, from canonical Roman authors such as Cicero, Livy, and Ovid to iconic Roman monuments such as the Rostra, Pantheon, and Solar Meridian of Augustus. Each chapter examines what the texts in, on, and about the city tell us about how the ancients thought about, interacted with, and responded to their urban-monumental landscape. The result is a volume whose methodological and heuristic techniques will be compelling and useful for all scholars of the ancient Mediterranean world.
Persian literature is the jewel in the crown of Persian culture. It has profoundly influenced the literatures of Ottoman Turkey, Muslim India and Turkic Central Asia and been a source of inspiration for Goethe, Emerson, Matthew Arnold and Jorge Luis Borges among others. Yet Persian literature has never received the attention it truly deserves. A History of Persian Literature answers this need and offers a new, comprehensive and detailed history of its subject. This 18-volume, authoritative survey reflects the stature and significance of Persian literature as the single most important accomplishment of the Iranian experience. It includes extensive, revealing examples with contributions by prominent scholars who bring a fresh critical approach to bear on this important topic. The third volume in this ground-breaking series explores mainly the poems written in the couplet form (mathnavi) including narrative mathnavis, allegorical mathnavis such as The Conference of the Birds by Attar as well as didactive mathnavis such as Sa'di's Bustan and Rumi's Mathnavi-ye Ma'navi.Included in this volume are also Strophic Poetry, Satirical and Invective Poems and Occasional Poems (qat'e) and some rarer forms of Persian poetry. This volume is an invaluable companion for anyone who wants to understand the continuing relevance and influence of Classical Persian Poetry.
Agamemnon led a ten-year-long struggle at Troy only to return home and die a pathetic death at his wife's hands. Yet while Agamemnon's story exerts an outsize influence-rivalled by few epic personalities-on the poetic narratives of the Iliad and Odyssey, scholars have not adequately considered his full portrait. What was Agamemnon like as a character for Homer and his audience? More fundamentally, how should we approach the topic of characterization itself, following the discoveries of Milman Parry, Albert Lord, and their successors? Andrew Porter explains the expression of characterization in Homer's works, from an oral-traditional point of view, and through the resonance of words, themes, and back stories from both the past and future. He analyzes Agamemnon's character traits in the Iliad, including his qualities as a leader, against events such as his tragic homecoming narrative in the Odyssey. Porter's findings demonstrate that there is a traditional depth of characterization embedded in the written pages of these once-oral epics, providing a shared connection between the ancient singer and his listeners.
This book plumbs the virtues of the Homeric poems as scripts for solo performance. Despite academic focus on orality and on composition in performance, we have yet to fully appreciate the Iliad and Odyssey as the sophisticated scripts that they are. What is lost in the journey from the stage to the page? Readers may be readily impressed by the vividness of the poems, but they may miss out on the strange presence or uncanniness that the performer evoked in ancient audience members such as Plato and Aristotle. This book focuses on the performer not simply as transparent mediator, but as one haunted by multiple stories and presences, who brings suppressed voices to the surface. Performance is inextricable from all aspects of the poems, from image to structure to background story. Background stories previously neglected, even in some of the most familiar passages (such as Phoenix's speech in Iliad 9) are brought to the surface, and passages readers tend to rush through (such as Odysseus's encounter with Eumaeus) are shown to have some of the richest dramatic potential. Attending to performance enlivens isolated features in a given passage by showing how they work together.
In the early Islamic world, Arabic erotic compendia and sex manuals were a popular literary genre. Although primarily written by male authors, the erotic publications from this era often emphasised the sexual needs of women and the importance of female romantic fulfilment. Pernilla Myrne here explores this phenomenon, examining a range of Arabic literature to shed fresh light onto the complexities of female sexuality under the Abbasids and the Buyids. Based on an impressive array of neglected medical, religious-legal, literary and entertainment sources, Myrne elucidates the tension between depictions of women's strong sexual agency and their subordinated social role in various contexts. In the process she uncovers a great diversity of approaches, from the tenth century - when the sexual handbook the Encyclopedia of Pleasure (Jaw?mi' al-ladhdha) portrayed the diversity of female desires, asserting the importance of mutual satisfaction through lively poems and stories - to the twelfth - when a more scientific approach was taken, as many manuals and treatises were written by physicians. This is the first in-depth, comprehensive analysis of female sexuality in the early Islamic world and is essential reading for all scholars of Middle Eastern history and Arabic literature.
Building on recent critical work, this volume offers a comprehensive consideration of the nature and forms of medieval and early modern childhoods, viewed through literary cultures. Its five groups of thematic essays range across a spectrum of disciplines, periods, and locations, from cultural anthropology and folklore to performance studies and the history of science, and from Anglo-Saxon burial sites to colonial America. Contributors include several renowned writers for children. The opening group of essays, Educating Children, explores what is perhaps the most powerful social engine for the shaping of a child. Performing Childhood addresses children at work and the role of play in the development of social imitation and learning. Literatures of Childhood examines texts written for children that reveal alternative conceptions of parent/child relations. In Legacies of Childhood, expressions of grief at the loss of a child offer a window into the family's conceptions and values. Finally, Fictionalizing Literary Cultures for Children considers the real, material child versus the fantasy of the child as a subject.
Written texts of the Iliad and the Odyssey achieved an unprecedented degree of standardization after 150 BCE, but what about Homeric texts prior to the emergence of standardized written texts? Orality, Textuality, and the Homeric Epics sheds light on that earlier history by drawing on scholarship from outside the discipline of classical studies to query from three different angles what it means to speak of Homeric poetry together with the word text . Part I utilizes work in linguistic anthropology on oral texts and oral intertextuality to illuminate both the verbal and oratorical landscapes our Homeric poets fashion in their epics and what the poets were striving to do when they performed. Looking to folkloristics, part II examines modern instances of the textualization of an oral traditional work in order to reconstruct the creation of written versions of the Homeric poems through a process that began with a poet dictating to a scribe. Combining research into scribal activity in other cultures, especially in the fields of religious studies and medieval studies, with research into performance in the field of linguistic anthropology, part III investigates some of the earliest extant texts of the Homeric epics, the so-called wild papyri. By looking at oral texts, dictated texts, and wild texts, this volume traces the intricate history of Homeric texts from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period, long before the emergence of standardized written texts, in a comparative and interdisciplinary study that will benefit researchers in a number of disciplines across the humanities.
A radical reexamination of the textual and archaeological evidence about Augustus and the Palatine Caesar Augustus (63 BC 14 AD), who is usually thought of as the first Roman emperor, lived on the Palatine Hill, the place from which the word oepalace originates. A startling reassessment of textual and archaeological evidence, The House of Augustus demonstrates that Augustus was never an emperor in any meaningful sense of the word, that he never had a palace, and that the so-called Casa di Augusto excavated on the Palatine was a lavish aristocratic house destroyed by the young Caesar in order to build the temple of Apollo. Exploring the Palatine from its first occupation to the present, T. P. Wiseman proposes a reexamination of the Augustan Age, including much of its literature. Wiseman shows how the political and ideological background of Augustus (TM)s rise to power offers a radically different interpretation of the ancient evidence about the Augustan Palatine. Taking a long historical perspective in order to better understand the topography, Wiseman considers the legendary stories of Rome (TM)s origins in particular Romulus (TM)s foundation and inauguration of the city on the summit of the Palatine. He examines the new temple of Apollo and the piazza it overlooked, as well as the portico around it with its library used as a hall for Senate meetings, and he illustrates how Commander Caesar, who became Caesar Augustus, was the champion of the Roman people against an oppressive oligarchy corrupting the Republic. A decisive intervention in a critical debate among ancient historians and archaeologists, The House of Augustus recalibrates our views of a crucially important period and a revered public space.
Extravagantly heterogeneous in its contents, Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Digby 86 is an utterly singular production. On its last folio, the scribe signs off with a self-portrait - a cartoonishly-drawn male head wearing a close-fitted hood - and an inscription: scripsi librum in anno et iii mensibus (I wrote the book in a year and three months). His fifteen months' labour resulted in one of the most important miscellanies to survive from medieval England: a trilingual marvel of a compilation, with quirky combinations of content that range from religion, to science, to literature of a decidedly secular cast. It holds medical recipes, charms, prayers, prognostications, magic tricks, pious doctrine, a liturgical calendar, religious songs, lively debates, poetry on love and death, proverbs, fables, fabliaux, scurrilous games, and gender-based diatribes. That Digby is from the thirteenth century adds to its appeal, for English literary remnants from before 1300 are all too rare. Scholars on both sides of the vernacular divide, French and English, are deeply intrigued by it. Many of its texts are found nowhere else: for example, the French Arthurian Lay of the Horn, the English fabliau Dame Sirith and the beast fable Fox and Wolf, and the French Strife between Two Ladies (a candid debate on feminine politics). The interpretations offered in this volume of its contents, presentation, and ownership, show that there is much to discover in Digby's lively record of the social and spiritual pastimes of a book-owning gentry family. SUSANNA FEIN is Professor of English at Kent State University. CONTRIBUTORS: Maureen Boulton, Neil Cartlidge, Marilyn Corrie, Susanna Fein, Marjorie Harrington, John Hines, Jennifer Jahner, Melissa Julian-Jones, Jenni Nuttall, David Raybin, Delbert Russell, J.D. Sargan, Sheri Smith
The question of the relationship between humanity and the non-human world may seem a modern phenomenon; but in fact, even in the early medieval period people actively reflected on their own engagement with the non-human world, with such reflections profoundly shaping their literature. This book reveals how the Anglo-Saxons themselves conceptualised the relationship, using the Saints Lives of Cuthbert and Guthlac as a prism. Each saint is fundamentally linked to a specific and recognisable location in the English landscape: Lindisfarne and Farne for Cuthbert, and the East Anglian fens and the island of Crowland for Guthlac. These landscapes of the mind were defined by the theological and philosophical perspectives of their authors and audiences. The world in all its wonder was Creation, shaped by God. When humanity fell in Eden, its relationship to this world was transformed: cold now bites, fire burns, and wolves attack. In these Lives, however, saints, the holy epitome of humanity, are shown to restore the human relationship with Creation, as in the sea-otters warming Cuthbert's frozen feet, or birds and fish gathering to Guthlac like sheep to their shepherd. BRITTON ELLIOTT BROOKS is Project Assistant Professor at the University of Tokyo, Centre for Global Communication Strategies.
This is a two-volume critical edition of a Middle English commentary on the Psalms based on a Late Version text of the Wycliffite Bible translation. The commentary takes the form of 1,363 shorter and longer glosses, variously interrelated, prepared by scholars sympathetic with the Wycliffite movement, and coordinated carefully with the Psalms text. Its early fifteenth-century base manuscript, MS Bodley 554, was prepared to allow reading and use of the Psalms alongside the best recent and more ancient Latin commentaries, primarily those of Nicholas of Lyra, OFM, and St. Augustine. The glosses are both philological and homiletic, testifying to an avidity at the heart of Wycliffism for the close relationship between textual accuracy in the understanding of Scripture and moral rigor in its application to the concerns of medieval Christian individuals and communities. They display a special interest in understanding the Christian Psalms by way of their Hebrew originals. The edition provides textual notes and variants to parts of the commentary that survive in other Wycliffite Bible manuscripts, the complete Latin sources from Lyra's fourteenth-century Latin text, bibliographic references to the Augustinian sources, and a glossary to the Psalms and commentary texts. There are also extensive explanatory notes concerning the importance of Lyra's exegesis to two other unedited manuscripts related to Wycliffite biblical scholarship: Wyclif's Latin commentary on the entire Bible, the Psalms portion of which is preserved in Oxford, St. John's College MS 171; and a Middle English summary of the Bible in Oxford, Trinity College MS 93.