Major study of the literary treatment of rumour and renown across the canon of authors from Homer to Alexander Pope, including readings in historiographical and dramatic texts, and authors such as Petrarch, Chaucer, Spenser, Shakespeare and Milton. Of interest to students of classical and comparative literature and of reception studies.
Information, court politics and diplomacy, 1618–25
Author: David Coast
Publisher: Manchester University Press
This study examines how political news was concealed, manipulated and distorted during the tumultuous later years of James I’s reign. It investigates how the flow of information was managed and suppressed at the centre, as well as how James I attempted to mislead a variety of audiences about his policies and intentions. It also examines the reception and unintended consequences of his behaviour, and explores the political significance of the mis- and dis-information that circulated in court and country. It thereby contributes to a wider range of historical debates that reach across the politics and political culture of the reign and beyond, advancing new arguments about censorship, counsel and the formation of policy; propaganda and royal image-making; political rumours and the relationship between elite and popular politics, as well as shedding new light on the nature and success of James I’s style of rule.
Fama and Its Personifications in Art and Literature from Ancient Rome to the Middle Ages
Author: Gianni Guastella
Publisher: Oxford University Press
The concept expressed by the Roman term fama, although strictly linked to the activity of speaking, recalls a more complex form of collective communication that puts diverse information and opinions into circulation by "word of mouth," covering the spreading of rumours, expression of common anxieties, and sharing of opinions about peers, contemporaries, or long-dead personages within both small and large communities of people. This "hearsay" method of information propagation, of chain-like transmission across a complex network of transfers of uncertain order and origin, often rapid and elusive, has been described by some ancient writers as like the flight of a winged word, provoking interesting contrasts with more recent theories that anthropologists and sociologists have produced about the same phenomenon. This volume proceeds from a brief discussion of the ancient concept to a detailed examination of the way in which fama has been personified in ancient and medieval literature and in European figurative art between the end of the fourteenth and the beginning of the sixteenth centuries. Commenting on examples ranging from Virgil's Fama in Book 4 of the Aeneid to Chaucer's House of Fame, it addresses areas of anthropological, sociological, literary, and historical-artistic interest, charting the evolving depiction of fama from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. Following this theme, it is revealed that although the most important personifications were originally created to represent the invisible but pervasive diffusion of talk which circulates information about others, these then began to give way to embodiments of the abstract idea of the glory of illustrious men. By the end of the medieval period, these two different representations, of rumor and glory, were variously combined to create the modern icon of fame with which we are more familiar today.
This is the first collection of essays since George Sherburn’s landmark monograph The Early Career of Alexander Pope (1934) to reconsider how the most important and influential poet of eighteenth-century Britain fashioned his early career. The volume covers Pope’s writings from across the reign of Queen Anne and just beyond. It focuses, in particular, on his interaction with the courtly culture constellated round the Queen. It examines, for instance, his representations of Queen Anne herself, his portrayals of politics and patronage under her reign, his negotiations with current literary theory, with the classical tradition, with chronologically distant yet also contemporaneous English poets, with current thought on the passions, and with membership of a religious minority. In doing so, it comprehensively reconsiders anew the ways in which Pope, increasingly supportive of Anne’s rule and mindful of the Virgilian rota, sought at first to realise his authorial aspirations.
"Rocco Rubini studies the motives and literary forms in the making of a "tradition," not understood narrowly, as the conservative, stubborn preservation of received conventions, values, and institutions, but rather more generously and etymologically interpreted: as the deliberate effort on the part of writers to transmit a reformulated past across generations. Leveraging Italian thinkers from Petrarch to Gramsci, with stops at the most prominent humanists in between (including Giambattista Vico, Carlo Goldoni, Francesco De Sanctis, and Benedetto Croce), Rubini gives us an innovative lens through which to view an Italian intellectual tradition that is at once premodern and modern, a legacy that does not depend on a date or a single masterpiece, but instead requires the reader to parse an entire career of writings to uncover deeper, transhistorical continuities that span 600 years. Whether reading forward to the 1930s, or backward to the 14th century, Rubini elucidates the interplay of creation and reception underlying the enactment of tradition, the practice of retrieving and conserving, and the revivification of shared themes and intentions linking these thinkers across time"--
Fame and glory, rumour and reputation have fascinated through the ages. The way in which they are communicated and spread is a topic which impacts our lives on a daily basis and is an important theme in current literature. The ancient world is an ideal arena for the exploration of these issues, being a ‘closed’ period of human history that offers a secure resource for exploring the phenomenon. Philip Hardie’s Rumour and Renown: Representations of Fama in Western Literature (Cambridge University Press, 2012) is an authoritative work on this subject, and the stimulus for this volume. Continuing the on-going discussion, each one of the contributors examines further aspects of the issue in the work of Lucretius, Cicero, Virgil, Ovid, Manilius, Juvenal and the Christian poet, Prudentius. The volume offers insights into the poets’ personal quest for acclaim and – more importantly – their awareness of the qualities of the phenomenon, an awareness which, on occasion, led them to personify fame and glory. Virgil’s personification of Fama in Aeneid 4 was fame’s most important personification, influencing artists for centuries to come, and it is this subject with which the volume concludes.
From one of our most eminent and accessible literary critics, a groundbreaking account of how the Greek and Roman classics forged Shakespeare’s imagination Ben Jonson famously accused Shakespeare of having “small Latin and less Greek.” But he was exaggerating. Shakespeare was steeped in the classics. Shaped by his grammar school education in Roman literature, history, and rhetoric, he moved to London, a city that modeled itself on ancient Rome. He worked in a theatrical profession that had inherited the conventions and forms of classical drama, and he read deeply in Ovid, Virgil, and Seneca. In a book of extraordinary range, acclaimed literary critic and biographer Jonathan Bate, one of the world’s leading authorities on Shakespeare, offers groundbreaking insights into how, perhaps more than any other influence, the classics made Shakespeare the writer he became. Revealing in new depth the influence of Cicero and Horace on Shakespeare and finding new links between him and classical traditions, ranging from myths and magic to monuments and politics, Bate offers striking new readings of a wide array of the plays and poems. At the heart of the book is an argument that Shakespeare’s supreme valuation of the force of imagination was honed by the classical tradition and designed as a defense of poetry and theater in a hostile world of emergent Puritanism. Rounded off with a fascinating account of how Shakespeare became our modern classic and has ended up playing much the same role for us as the Greek and Roman classics did for him, How the Classics Made Shakespeare combines stylistic brilliance, accessibility, and scholarship, demonstrating why Jonathan Bate is one of our most eminent and readable literary critics.
Augustan Poetry and the Irrational, with contributions by some of the leading experts of the Augustan period as well as a number of younger scholars, provides an introduction surveying the field as a whole. Chapters examine the manifestations of the irrational in a range of Augustan poets, including Virgil, Horace, Ovid, and the love elegists, and also explore elements of post-classical reception.
Ovid's Metamorphoses is one of the most influential works of Western literature, inspiring artists and writers from Titian to Shakespeare to Salman Rushdie. These are some of the most famous Roman myths as you've never read them before—sensuous, dangerously witty, audacious—from the fall of Troy to birth of the minotaur, and many others that only appear in the Metamorphoses. Connected together by the immutable laws of change and metamorphosis, the myths tell the story of the world from its creation up to the transformation of Julius Caesar from man into god. In the ten-beat, unrhymed lines of this now-legendary and widely praised translation, Rolfe Humphries captures the spirit of Ovid's swift and conversational language, bringing the wit and sophistication of the Roman poet to modern readers. This special annotated edition includes new, comprehensive commentary and notes by Joseph D. Reed, Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at Brown University.
The Oxford History of Classical Reception (OHCREL) is designed to offer a comprehensive investigation of the numerous and diverse ways in which literary texts of the classical world have stimulated responses and refashioning by English writers. Covering the full range of English literature from the early Middle Ages to the present day, OHCREL both synthesizes existing scholarship and presents cutting-edge new research, employing an international team of expert contributors for each of the five volumes. OHCREL endeavours to interrogate, rather than inertly reiterate, conventional assumptions about literary 'periods', the processes of canon-formation, and the relations between literary and non-literary discourse. It conceives of 'reception' as a complex process of dialogic exchange and, rather than offering large cultural generalizations, it engages in close critical analysis of literary texts. It explores in detail the ways in which English writers' engagement with classical literature casts as much light on the classical originals as it does on the English writers' own cultural context. This second volume, and third to appear in the series, covers the years 1558-1660, and explores the reception of the ancient genres and authors in English Renaissance literature, engaging with the major, and many of the minor, writers of the period, including Shakespeare, Marlowe, Spenser, and Jonson. Separate chapters examine the Renaissance institutions and contexts which shape the reception of antiquity, and an annotated bibliography provides substantial material for further reading.
This book traces the roots of modern notions of celebrity, fame, and infamy back to the Hellenistic period of classical antiquity, when sensational personages like Cleopatra of Egypt and Alexander the Great became famous world-wide.
The modern cult of celebrity, commencing with Garibaldi, Byron, and Whitman, is compared to the quest for glory in late republican and early imperial Roman society. Studies based on the documentary and literary sources - including the "great man," the elite quest for civic honour, the Mediterranean athletic ideal, the ethical curriculum of the gymnasium, and local association values - provide the basis for James R. Harrison to assess the ancient preoccupation with fame, hierarchy, and status. He shows how Paul's gospel of the crucified Christ stood out in a culture obsessed with mutual comparison, boasting, and self-sufficiency. It departed from the self-exalting mores of classical culture and enshrined humility and other-centeredness in the western intellectual tradition. As such, the soteriological power of the cross became an impetus not only for individual moral transformation but also for social change.
Seventeenth-century France saw one of the most significant 'culture wars' Europe has ever known. Culminating in the Quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns, this was a confrontational, transitional time for the reception of the classics. Helena Taylor explores responses to the life of the ancient Roman poet, Ovid, within this charged atmosphere. To date, criticism has focused on the reception of Ovid's enormously influential work in this period, but little attention has been paid to Ovid's lives and their uses. Through close analysis of a diverse corpus, which includes prefatory Lives, novels, plays, biographical dictionaries, poetry, and memoirs, this study investigates how the figure of Ovid was used to debate literary taste and modernity and to reflect on translation practice. It shows how the narrative of Ovid's life was deployed to explore the politics and poetics of exile writing; and to question the relationship between fiction and history. In so doing, this book identifies two paradoxes: although an ancient poet, Ovid became key to the formulation of aspects of self-consciously 'modern' cultural movements; and while Ovid's work might have adorned the royal palaces of Versailles, the poetry he wrote after being exiled by the Emperor Augustus made him a figure through which to question the relationship between authority and narrative. The Lives of Ovid in Seventeenth-Century French Culture not only nuances understanding of both Ovid and life-writing in this period, but also offers a fresh perspective on classical reception: its paradoxes, uses, and quarrels.
Spenser in the Moment argues that contrary to anyone’s expectation, Spenser studies may be on the brink of a revolution. Bringing together scholars from three continents, it surveys established methods, and then makes the case that there may be whole worlds of Spenser that have been nearly unsee-able or unhearable in the past forty years.
The Wars of Religion embroiled France in decades of faction, violence, and peacemaking in the late sixteenth century. When historians interpret these events they inevitably depend on sources of information gathered by contemporaries, none more valuable than the diaries and collection of Pierre de L'Estoile (1546-1611), who lived through the civil wars in Paris and shaped how they have been remembered ever since. Taking him out of the footnotes, and demonstrating his significance in the culture of the late Renaissance, this is the first life of L'Estoile in any language. It examines how he negotiated and commemorated the conflicts that divided France as he assembled an extraordinary collection of the relics of the troubles, a collection that he called 'the storehouse of my curiosities'. The story of his life and times is the history of the civil wars in the making. Focusing on a crucial individual for understanding Reformation Europe, this study challenges historians' assumptions about the widespread impact of confessional conflict in the sixteenth century. L'Estoile's prudent, non-confessional responses to the events he lived through and recorded were common among his milieu of Gallican Catholics. His life-writing and engagement with contemporary news, books, and pictures reveals how individuals used different genres and media to destabilise rather than fix confessional identities. Bringing together the great variety of topics in society and culture that attracted L'Estoile's curiosity, this volume rethinks his world in the Wars of Religion.
The Unbridled Tongue looks at gossip, rumour, and talking too much in Renaissance France in order to uncover what was specific about these practices in the period. Taking its cue from Erasmus's Lingua, in which both the subjective and political consequences of an idle and unbridled tongue are emphasised, the book investigates the impact of gossip and rumour on contemporary conceptions of identity and political engagement. Emily Butterworth discusses prescriptive literature on the tongue and theological discussions of Pentecost and prophecy, and then covers nearly a century in chapters focused on a single text: Rabelais's Tiers Livre, Marguerite de Navarre's Heptaméron, Ronsard's Discours des misères de ce temps, Montaigne's 'Des boyteux', Brantôme's Dames galantes and the anonymous Caquets de l'accouchée. In covering the 'long sixteenth century', the book is able to investigate the impact of the French Wars of Religion on perceptions of gossip and rumour, and place them in the context of an emerging public sphere of political critique and discussion, principally through the figure of the 'public voice' which, although it was associated with unruly utterance, was nevertheless a powerful rhetorical tool for the expression of grievances. The Cynic virtue of parrhesia, or free speech, is similarly ambivalent in many accounts, oscillating between bold truth-telling (liberté) and disordered babble (licence). Drawing on modern and pre-modern theories of the uses and function of gossip, the book argues that, despite this ambivalence in descriptions of the tongue, gossip and idle talk were finally excluded from the public sphere by being associated with the feminine and the irrational.