Brill's Companion to Ovid

Brill's Companion to Ovid

Brill's Companion to Ovid

Brill's Companion to Ovid

Synopsis

This volume on the Roman poet Ovid (43 BCE 17 CE) comprises articles by an international group of fourteen scholars. Their contributions cover a wide range of topics, including a biographical essay, a survey of the major manuscripts and textual traditions, and a comprehensive discussion of Ovid's style. The remaining chapters are devoted to focused studies of each of Ovid's major works, with emphasis given where appropriate to the poet's interest in genre and narrative techniques, his engagement with the poetry that preceded his oeuvre, his response to the political, religious, and social realities of Augustan Rome, and his enduring legacy in the European literary traditions of the first 1300 years after his death.

"Brill's Companion to Ovid combines close analysis of each of Ovid's major works with a comprehensive overview of scholarly trends in the study of Latin poetry and Roman literary culture. It will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of Latin literature alike.

Excerpt

This Companion is a labor of love by 14 scholars to whom Ovid has become over the years a faithful friend, characterized by boundless energy, a sheer love of language, and the ability to renew himself and others, continually enriching our understanding of the ways of the Roman poet and his world. The goal of this effort has been consistent throughout: to make Ovid's distinctive gifts to the Western literary tradition available and accessible to all who read him, whether as newcomers or as old and familiar companions—thus the title of this book. The arrangement of the book is straightforward: opening chapters on Ovid's life and poetic style offer an orientation to two essential aspects of our poet, and establish a basis for what will follow by taking account of the common elements unifying a poetic corpus produced over a 30-to 40-year period. The next nine chapters are arranged chronologically, in terms of the dates of composition and/or publication of each of Ovid's extant works. Readers will find in each chapter when appropriate more specific consideration of controversies and consensus (where either or both exist) regarding chronology. The concluding three chapters of the Companion offer an inviting introduction to Ovid's posthumous survival—in the new poetry of ensuing centuries, up to the aetas Ovidiana, and in the precious manuscripts which preserved and transmitted Ovid's poetry from antiquity. These chapters also offer the opportunity for a synoptic view of Ovid's poetry, considered now not only as a series of individual works but also as a the legacy of a variable but singular poetic voice from the past. Having escorted our poet to the dawn of the printed page, we leave him there to be entrusted to the care of others—as indeed he has been attended to in much recent work on Ovid's legacy since the Renaissance.

As editor, I have invited each of the contributors to seek out a balance between a comprehensive overview of a particular topic and a focused analysis of some aspect of it. In each case, the contributors and I have attempted to focus on a feature of the work under consideration that in some way typifies or captures a crucial aspect of the experience of reading Ovid. Readers will find that Ovid's text is pre-eminent here; but the close focus of each individual chapter . . .

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