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Iambic Poetics in the Roman Empire


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  • Date Published: April 2014
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107012080

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About the Authors
  • This is the first book to study the impact of invective poetics associated with early Greek iambic poetry on Roman imperial authors and audiences. It demonstrates how authors as varied as Ovid and Gregory Nazianzen wove recognizable elements of the iambic tradition (e.g. meter, motifs, or poetic biographies) into other literary forms (e.g. elegy, oratorical prose, anthologies of fables), and it shows that the humorous, scurrilous, efficacious aggression of Archilochus continued to facilitate negotiations of power and social relations long after Horace's Epodes. The eclectic approach encompasses Greek and Latin, prose and poetry, and exploratory interludes appended to each chapter help to open four centuries of later classical literature to wider debates about the function, propriety and value of the lowest and most debated poetic form from archaic Greece. Each chapter presents a unique variation on how these imperial authors became Archilochus – however briefly and to whatever end.

    • Brings together invective across a millennium of classical literature
    • Puts a new body of literature in dialogue with studies of classical literary invective
    • Argues for an important social dimension of imperial literary invective
    Read more


    • Winner, 2017 CAMWS First Book Award, The Classical Association of the Middle West and South

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2014
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107012080
    • length: 343 pages
    • dimensions: 253 x 178 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.79kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Iambus delayed: Ovid's Ibis
    Interlude 1. 'Bad artists imitate, great artists steal': Martial and the trope of not being iambic
    2. Iambos denied: Babrius' Mythiambi
    Interlude 2. Iambopoioi after Babrius
    3. The Christian iambopoios: Gregory Nazianzen
    Interlude 3. Palladas and epigrammatic iambos
    4. Archilochus in Tarsus: Dio Chrysostom's First Tarsian
    Interlude 4. Begging with Hipponax
    5. Playful aggression: Lucian's Pseudologista
    Interlude 5. Neobule in love: the Ps.-Lucianic Amores
    6. Festive iambos: Julian's Misopogon
    Interlude 6. Iambic time travel: Julian the Egyptian on Archilochus
    Conclusions: becoming Archilochus.

  • Author

    Tom Hawkins, Ohio State University
    Tom Hawkins is Associate Professor of Classics at Ohio State University. His work and teaching focus on iambic poetics and invective as well as animal studies and personhood.


    • Winner, 2017 CAMWS First Book Award, The Classical Association of the Middle West and South

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