[Englisch] Intellectual Life in the Late Roman Republic

Elizabeth Rawson, "Intellectual Life in the Late Roman Republic"
English | 1985 | ISBN: 0715619683 | PDF | pages: 363 | 4,1 mb

This book is perhaps an arbitrary one; no complete defence can be given for what it includes and what it leaves out. Above all, intellectual lif e in the Cicerohian Age without Cicero himself must be Hamlet without the Prince; but though his presence will be felt throughout the work, as the main source for the period and sometimes as a necessary point of ref erence, there is no direct confrontation with his great achievement. That has of ten been assessed. The same is true of Lucretius (materialistic Horatio to Cicero's Hamlet, perhaps); and the account of Varro, who was to Petrarch, after Cicero and Virgil, il terzo gran lume Romano, and indeed (with Cicero and in this case Lucretius) author of one of the three master-works of the recent age to his near-contemporary Vitruvius, could have approached completeness only after a lif etime's work. Since, however, Varro touches the intellectual interests of his time at almost every point, and since he is less well-known than his two great fellows, I have tried to deal with him. Many of Varro 's works are undatable, and where he is concerned our temporal limit has to be his death in 27 B.C. (he is perhaps unlikely to have formulated radically new approaches in extreme old age). I have also strained chronology to include Vitruvius, who greatly improves the balance of the book in terms of subject matter - though it can be honestly argued that much of his material was put together in the early thirties if not the forties, though only published, with its dedication to Augustus, in the twenties. Diodorus Siculus is more easily accommodated; he started writing about 60 B.C., and published in the thirties. But in general I have not considered the important triumviral period in its own terms, or the younger authors who emerged then, though I have not been able to resist using Horace 's Satires, primarily for social history, and some of the minor figures considered may in fact belong to this period.

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