Poetical Theory in Republican Rome: An Analytical Discussion of the Shorter Narrative Hexameter Poems Written in Latin during the First Century before Christ

Poetical Theory in Republican Rome: An Analytical Discussion of the Shorter Narrative Hexameter Poems Written in Latin during the First Century before Christ

Poetical Theory in Republican Rome: An Analytical Discussion of the Shorter Narrative Hexameter Poems Written in Latin during the First Century before Christ

Poetical Theory in Republican Rome: An Analytical Discussion of the Shorter Narrative Hexameter Poems Written in Latin during the First Century before Christ

Excerpt

The paper here presented is a discussion of narrative poetry and literary theory from the time of the circle of Catullus to the publication of the Georgics of Vergil. More particularly it is an attempt to establish the form of the Latin "epyllion" and the theory of that form and to trace the development and some of the influences of the genre. I do not pretend to answer conclusively all the questions which are connected with the Latin epyllion, but the method of this essay is, I feel, one which has been too much neglected in spite of the thorough study of the subject in recent years; it has yielded interesting results. I have made some remarks in passing on problems of the longer poems in the Appendix Vergiliana, especially the date and character of the pieces; these are tentative but, I think, defensible conclusions.

It will be noticed that there is no bibliography attached to the paper; where I have had occasion to cite modern critical writing I have indicated the work in the notes to the text.

Of the poems which I discuss I have used the following editions, from which all quotations and numbering of lines are taken:

Catulli Veronensis Liber, edited byGustav Friedrich, Leipzig, 1908.

Appendix Vergiliana, siue Carmina Minora Vergilio Attributa, edited byR. Ellis, Oxford, 1907.

P. Vergili Maronis Opera, Pars I, Bucolica et Georgica, edited by A. Forbiger, Leipzig, 1872.

Of the Poetics of Aristotle and the essay On the Sublime of "Longinus" I have used the Loeb edition by W. Hamilton Fyfe; all the quotations in this paper are taken from Mr. Fyfe's translations.

My obligations to the members of the Department of Classics of Yale are many and great; there is scarcely a point of the development which has not been discussed with some one among them, by whose observations and criticisms I have always benefited. My indebtedness is especially great to Professor C. W. Mendell, who not only suggested the subject but also guided the work with extraordinary patience, to Mr. Walter Allen, Jr., who directed the organization and writing of the paper, and to Mr. Christopher M. Dawson, who advised and assisted me in the work of editing. And I am deeply grateful to the Committee on Undergraduate Prize Essays, who have been especially kind to me.

LAWRENCE RICHARDSON, JR.

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