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Beginnings in Classical Literature


Part of Yale Classical Studies

Francis M. Dunn, William H. Race, Victoria Pedrick, Hayden Pelliccia, Charles Segal, Diskin Clay, Niall W. Slater, Gian Biagio Conte, Barbara K. Gold, Thomas N. Habinek, Thomas G. Rosenmeyer, Thomas Cole
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  • Date Published: February 2010
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521124560

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About the Authors
  • The ways in which literary works begin have proved fascinating to readers and critics at least since Aristophanes. This collection of essays gives life to a topic of perennial interest by presenting a variety of original readings in nearly all the major genres of Greek and Latin literature. The subjects of these essays range from narrative voices in the opening of the Odyssey to ideological reasons for Tacitus' choice of a beginning in the Histories, and from a survey of opening devices in Greek poetry to the playwright's negotiations with the audience in Roman comedy. Other papers discuss 'false starts' in Gorgias and Herodotus, the prologues of Greek tragedy, Plato's 'frame' dialogues, delayed proems in Virgil, the role of the patron in Horace, aristocratic beginnings in Seneca, and 'inappropriate' prefaces in Plutarch. By embracing a variety of authors and a broad range of approaches, from formal analysis of opening devices to post-structural interpretation, these twelve contributions by both younger and established scholars offer an exciting new perspective on beginnings in classical literature.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2010
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521124560
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: beginning at Colonus Francis M. Dunn
    How Greek poems begin William H. Race
    The Muse corrects: the opening of the Odyssey Victoria Pedrick
    Sappho 16, Gorgias' Helen and the preface to Herodotus' histories Hayden Pelliccia
    Tragic beginnings: narration, voice and authority in the prologues of Greek drama Charles Segal
    Plato's first words Diskin Clay
    Plautine negotiations: the Poenulus prologue unpacked Niall W. Slater
    Proems in the middle Gian Biagio Conte
    Openings in Horace's Satires and Odes: poet, patron and audience Barbara K. Gold
    An aristocracy of virtue: Seneca on the beginnings of wisdom Thomas N. Habinek
    Beginnings in Plutarch's Lives Thomas G. Rosenmeyer
    'Initium mihi operis Servius Galba iterum T. Vinius consules …' Thomas Cole.

  • Editors

    Francis M. Dunn

    Thomas Cole


    Francis M. Dunn, William H. Race, Victoria Pedrick, Hayden Pelliccia, Charles Segal, Diskin Clay, Niall W. Slater, Gian Biagio Conte, Barbara K. Gold, Thomas N. Habinek, Thomas G. Rosenmeyer, Thomas Cole

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