Romance in the Latin Elegiac Poets

By Elizabeth Hazelton Haight | Go to book overview

VIII
THE LATIN NOVEL AND THE END OF ROMANCE

Quid me constricta spectatis fronte Catones
damnatisque novae. simplicitatis opus?
Sermonis puri non tristis gratia ridet,
quodque facit populus, candida lingua refert.

[ Satyricon, c. 1 32)]

Why do ye, Catos all, upon me cast
So stern a look and with it straight condemn
My little work of new simplicity?
The merry charm of my pure speech here laughs
And its pure tongue reports the people's deeds.

At ego tibi sermone isto Milesio varias fabulas conseram auresque tuas benivolas lepido susurro permulceam. . . Fabulam Graecanicam incipimus: lector intende; laetaberis.

[ Apulcius, Met. I. 1]

Now I will weave together for you in the well-known Milesian style various stories and charm your friendly ears with pleasant babbling. . . It is a Greek story that I am beginning. Attention, Reader. You will be entertained.

THE LOGICAL development of the prose novel in Latin literature would have been the romance. Our working definition of romance was 'a story containing in varying proportions the interest of situation (love) and of incident (adventure), having war as its most usual background, less often religion; a story characterized by desultory incidents, recurrent types of character and the motive of the quest, and told with artistic appeal to the imagination.'

This type of story did develop in Greek literature be-

-220-

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Romance in the Latin Elegiac Poets
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents xi
  • I - What is "Romance"? 1
  • II - Greek Elegiac Poetry Before Gallus 8
  • III - The Elegies of Catullus 16
  • IV - Gallus 26
  • VII - Publius Ovidius Naso 125
  • VIII - The Latin Novel and the End Of Romance 220
  • Bibliography 233
  • Index 239
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