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L. Ceccarelli
Contributions to the History of Latin Elegiac Distich

approx. 350 p., 120 b/w tables, 156 x 234 mm, 2017
ISBN: 978-2-503-57459-2
Languages: English
The publication is in production.The publication is in production. (11/2018)
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The life of the Latin elegiac distich spans over a very long period of time, from its importation in Rome in II century B.C. to the late antiquity, to the Middle Ages and beyond. This study is based on almost all the available data from the elegiac Latin poetry from Catullus to Venantius Fortunatus and offers a new reconstruction of the main lines of the evolution of the Latin elegiac distich in the first eight centuries of its history.

Lucio Ceccarelli is Professor of Latin Literature at the University of L’Aquila. His research focuses mainly on the aerea of Latin metric. In this field he is the author of a monography on the Latin hexameter (Roma, Herder, 2008) and of almost thirty monographies and papers on the subject of arcaich and classical Latin metric.

Table of Contents

The volume is divided in two parts. The analysis, carried with the help of statistical tools never operates with samples and is based on the whole of the works of the poets taken into account.

In the first part the data related to the classical distich (Catullus, Propertius, Tibullus, Ovidius, Lygdamus, Consolatio ad Liviam, Martialis) are presented and discussed. The analysis of the material shows how the form of the distich evolves from Catullus’ to Ovidius’ model. Catullus’ distich is deeply modified, particularly due to Tibullus’ work, to reach Ovidius’ distich, which is the end point of the evolution of the Latin elegiac distich. Therefore particular attention is devoted to the way in which Tibullus in particular innovates the distich in comparison to Catullus’ starting point and in which Ovidius, who now accepts Tibullus’ proposals, now reseets them, now submits his own novelties and carries out the evolution of the distich. As for the classical authors following Ovid (the author of the Consolatio ad Liviam, Martialis and, probably, Lygdamus), it is analysed how they confront themselves with Ovidius’ model.

The second part takes into account the late latin poets (Avianus, Ausonius, Paulinus of Nola, Prudentius, Claudian, Rutilius Namatianus, Prosper of Aquitaine, Orientius, Sidonius Apollinaris, Dracontius, Luxorius, Maximianus, Venantius Fortunatus, the authors of De Providentia and of the Carmen in Laudem Sanctae Mariae). Also in this case, the key issue is how these poets position themselves towards the Ovidian model. (knowledge of both Catullus and Tibullus is very limited in late antiquity and therefore they do not come in consideration as possible models).  The conclusion of the analysis, not predictable a priori, is that the influence of Ovid’s metrical technique in late antiquity is by far less strong than it could be expected.

Interest Classification:
Classics, Ancient History, Oriental Studies
Latin literature
Specific genres
Latin Poetry - Classical

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