Ancient Medieval Literature

Ancient Anger: Perspectives from Homer to Galen (Yale by Susanna Braund, Glenn W. Most

By Susanna Braund, Glenn W. Most

Anger is located all around the historical international, from the first actual notice of the Iliad via all literary genres and each point of private and non-private existence. but, it is just very lately that classicists, historians, and philosophers have all started to review anger in antiquity. This quantity contains major new reports through authors from assorted disciplines and nations at the literary, philosophical, scientific, and political facets of historical anger.

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Maligna) to his talent and that he is regarded as ‘not inferior’ (non minor) to many writers whom he ranked above himself, while in Pont. 75 The minimalist rhetoric of these passages is painfully moving. Ovid’s final collection of poems ends with his most remarkable list of poets, a tour d’horizon of Roman literary life in the years preceding Ovid’s banishment. A handful of the thirty writers mentioned qualify for footnotes in modern literary histories of Rome, but most are mere names, known only from their appearance in this poem.

These lines come from the contest between Ajax and Ulysses as to who should be awarded the arms of the dead Achilles, at nearly 400 lines one of the longest episodes in the Metamorphoses. Ovid recasts the famous deeds of epic tradition as verbal skirmishing, with an acute sense for the anachronistic effect of endowing Homeric heroes with the debating skills of the declamation hall. 382–3): quid facundia posset, | re patuit, fortisque uiri tulit arma disertus (‘the event revealed the power of eloquence, and the orator carried off the arms of the brave man’), with more than a hint of a celebration of the poet Ovid’s own powers.

84 More broadly, Ovid’s demonstration that all stories can be retold – and that therein lies their vitality – has helped make his writing endlessly appealing to storytellers in all media. Like Ovid himself in his relation to other writers, Ovid’s poetry thrives on retelling and reinvention. FURTHER READING Since one aim of this chapter is to provide an overview of Ovid’s poetic career, it may in that respect be supplemented by several book-length treatments, such as Wilkinson (1955) in an older style or the more up-to-date Holzberg (1997a, soon to be available in English).

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