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Durham Centre for Classical Reception

Research Highlights

Classical Victorians

Classical Victorians

Scholars, Scoundrels and Generals in Pursuit of Antiquity

Edmund Richardson

ISBN 978-1-10-702677-3

February 2013

Cambridge University Press

242 pages, hardback, £ 55

Victorian Britain set out to make the ancient world its own. This is the story of how it failed. It is the story of the headmaster who bludgeoned his wife to death, then calmly sat down to his Latin. It is the story of the embittered classical prodigy who turned to gin and opium – and the virtuoso forger who fooled the greatest scholars of the age. It is a history of hope: a general who longed to be an Homeric hero, a bankrupt poet who longed to start a revolution. Victorian classicism was defined by hope – but shaped by uncertainty. Packed with forgotten characters and texts, with the roar of the burlesque-stage and the mud of the battlefield, this book offers a rich insight into nineteenth-century culture and society. It explores just how difficult it is to stake a claim on the past.

Two Thousand Years of Solitude. Exile after Ovid

ed. by Jennifer Ingleheart

ISBN 978-0-19-960384-8

October 2011

Oxford University Press

384 pages, hardback, £ 70

Banished by the emperor Augustus in AD 8 from Rome to the far-off shores of Romania, the poet Ovid stands at the head of the Western tradition of exiled authors. In his Tristia (Sad Things) and Epistulae ex Ponto (Letters from the Black Sea), Ovid records his unhappy experience of political, cultural, and linguistic displacement from his homeland.
Two Thousand Years of Solitude: Exile After Ovid is an interdisciplinary study of the impact of Ovid's banishment upon later Western literature, exploring responses to Ovid's portrait of his life in exile. For a huge variety of writers throughout the world in the two millennia after his exile, Ovid has performed the rôle of archetypal exile, allowing them to articulate a range of experiences of disgrace, dislocation, and alienation; and to explore exile from a number of perspectives, including both the personal and the fictional.

Table of contents: Jennifer Ingleheart: Introduction: Two Thousand Years of Responses to Ovid's Exile I. OVIDIAN EXILE AND THE POETS. Efrem Zambon: Life and Poetry: Differences and Resemblances between Ovid and Dante; L. B. T. Houghton: Exiled Rome and august Pope: Petrarch s Letters to Benedict XII; Stephen Hinds: Black-Sea Latin, Du Bellay, and the barbarian turn: Tristia, Regrets, Translations; Mandy Green: Lætus & exilii conditione fruor: Milton's Ovidian Exile; Liz Oakley-Brown: Elizabethan Exile After Ovid: Thomas Churchyard s Tristia (1572); Jennifer Ingleheart: 'I shall be thy devoted foe': the exile of the Ovid of the Ibis in English reception; Philip Hardie: Ovid and Virgil at the North Pole: Marvell's A Letter to Dr Ingelo; The Chevalier de Boufflers in Senegal: An Eighteenth Century Ovid;Fiona Cox: Ovid on the Channel Islands: The Exile of Victor Hugo; Duncan F. Kennedy: In the Step(pe)s of Genius: Pushkin's Ovidian Exile; Stephen Harrison: Ovid and The Modern Poetics of Exile; Jennifer J. Dellner: Children of the Island: Ovid, Poesis, and Loss in the Poetry of Eavan Boland and Derek Mahon II. OVIDIAN EXILE IN MODERN PROSE. Helen Lovatt: The mystery of Ovid s exile: Ovid and the Roman detectives; Jane Alison, The Love-Artist: Love in Exile or Exile in Love; Andreas N. Michalopoulos: Ovid's Last Wor(l)d; Ioannis Ziogas: The Myth is Out There: Reality and Fiction at Tomis (David Malouf's An Imaginary Life); Sebastian Matzner: Tomis Writes Back: Politics of Peripheral Identity in David Malouf's and Vintila Horia's Re-Narrations of Ovidian Exile

Beyond the Fifth Century.

Interactions with Greek tragedy from the Fourth Century BCE to the Middle Ages

Ed. by Ingo Gildenhard and Martin Revermann
ISBN 978-3-11-022377-4
October 2010
Euro 99.95 / viii, 441 pages, e-book or hardback
Beyond the Fifth Century brings together 13 scholars from various disciplines (Classics, Ancient History, Mediaeval Studies) to explore interactions with Greek tragedy from the 4th century BCE up to the Middle Ages. The volume breaks new ground in several ways. Its chronological scope encompasses periods that are not usually part of research on tragedy reception, especially the Hellenistic period, late antiquity and the Middle Ages. The volume also considers not just performance reception but various other modes of reception, between different literary genres and media (inscriptions, vase paintings, recording technology). There is a pervasive interest in interactions between tragedy and society-at-large, such as festival culture and entertainment (both public and private), education, religious practice, even life-style. Finally, the volume features studies of a comparative nature which focus less on genealogical connections (although such may be present) but rather on the study of equivalences.
Table of Contents: Ingo Gildenhard and Martin Revermann, Introduction; Johanna Hanink,The Classical Tragedians: from Athenian Idols to Wandering Poets; Martin Revermann, Situating the Gaze of the Recipient(s): Theatre-Related Vase Paintings and Their Contexts of Reception; Paola Ceccarelli, Changing Contexts: Tragedy in the Civic and Cultural Life of the Hellenistic City-States; Ingo Gildenhard, Buskins & SPQR: Roman Receptions of Greek Tragedy; Alison Keith, Dionysiac Theme and Dramatic Allusion in Ovid's Metamorphoses 4; Jennifer Ingleheart, 'I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here': the Reception of Euripides' Iphigenia among the Taurians in Ovid's Exile Poetry; Annette M. Baertschi, Drama and Epic Narrative: the Test Case of Messenger Speech in Seneca's Agamemnon; Alessandra Zanobi, Seneca and Pantomime; Thomas Schmitz, A Sophist's Drama: Lucian and Classical Tragedy; Timothy Barnes, Christians and the Theatre; Carol Symes, The Tragedy of the Middle Ages; Andrew White, Adventures in Recording Technology: the Drama-as-Performance in the Greek East; Domenico Pietropaolo, Whipping Jesus Devoutly: the dramaturgy of Catharsis and the Christian Idea of Tragic Form.

Milton's Ovidian Eve

ISBN: 978-0-7546-6666-0
August 2009
£ 55.00 / Hardback 250 pages

Milton's Ovidian Eve presents a fresh and thorough exploration of the classical allusions central to understanding Paradise Lost and to understanding Eve, one of Milton's most complex characters. Mandy Green demonstrates how Milton appropriates narrative structures, verbal echoes, and literary strategies from the Metamorphoses to create a subtle and evolving portrait of Eve. Each chapter examines a different aspect of Eve's mythological figurations. Green traces Eve's development through multiple critical lenses, influenced by theological, ecocritical, and feminist readings. Her analysis is gracefully situated between existing Milton scholarship and close textual readings, and is supported by learned references to seventeenth-century writing about women, the allegorical tradition of Ovidian commentary, hexameral literature, theological contexts and biblical iconography.
This detailed scholarly treatment of Eve simultaneously illuminates our understanding of the character, establishes Milton's reading of Ovid as central to his poetic success, and provides a candid synthesis and reconciliation of earlier interpretations.

Contents: Foreword; Introduction; 'The fairer image': reflections of Narcissus and Pygmalion's ivory maid; Daphne and the issue of consent; Maiden, bride and mother: 3 faces of Eve; 'Goddess humane': Eve as Venus, queen of the Graces; 'The vine and her elm': a marriage made in paradise; 'Access deni'd': the virgin in the garden; 'Softening the stony' : Eve and the process of spiritual regeneration; Afterword; Works cited; Index. 

Italy and the Classical Tradition:

Language, Thought and Poetry 1300-1600

ed. by Carlo Caruso and A Laird


ISBN 9780715637371
July 2009

Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd
£50.00 / Hardback, 280 pages

Italy's early fascination with its Hellenic and Roman origins created what is now called ‘the classical tradition'. This book focuses on the role of the Greek and Latin languages and texts in Italian humanist thought and Renaissance poetry: how ancient languages were mastered and used, and how ancient texts were acquired and appropriated. Fresh perspectives on the influences of Aristotle, Plutarch and Virgil accompany innovative interpretations of canonical Italian authors - including Dante, Petrarch and Alberti - in the light of their classical models. Treatments of more specialized forms of writing, such as the cento and commentary, and some opening chapters on linguistic history also prompt reassessment of Renaissance perceptions of both Greece and Rome in relation to early modern Latin and vernacular culture. The collection as a whole highlights the importance of Italy's unique legacy of antiquity for the history of ideas and philology, as well as for literary history.

The essays in this volume, all by leading specialists, are supplemented by a detailed introduction and a subject bibliography.

Contributors: Philip Burton (University of Birmingham); Stefano Carrai (University of Siena); Jill Kraye (Warburg Institute, London); Giulio Lepschy (University College London); Martin McLaughlin (Magdalen College, Oxford); Letizia Panizza (Royal Holloway, University of London); George Hugo Tucker (University of Reading); Jonathan Usher (University of Edinburgh); Claudia Villa (University of Bergamo); Nigel Wilson (Lincoln College, Oxford).

Carlo Caruso is Professor of Italian at Durham University.
Andrew Laird is Professor of Classical Literature at the University of Warwick.