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Brill’s narratological commentaries on ancient texts aims at publishing commentaries to both well-known narrative texts from Greek and Latin literature and texts for which hardly any commentary is available yet, such as the novels or late epics. It also welcomes commentaries on Byzantine narrative texts, medieval texts in Latin, and books from the Hebrew Bible and early Christian texts, including the New Testament.
The commentaries in this series approach the ancient texts with a relatively new but successful and exciting literary method: narratology. In addition to other specialised forms of commentaries such as historical, linguistic and philosophical commentaries, a narratological commentary lays bare the narrative artistry of texts, for instance the way in which a narrator communicates with his narratees, accelerates or slows down the rhythm of narration, represents space, anticipates later developments or inserts flashbacks, focalises events or makes us look at them through the eyes of one of his characters, represents the words spoken by characters, and endows the setting of events with a thematic or symbolic meaning.

The commentaries are written in English, but German manuscripts may be included as well. The theoretical apparatus is derived preferably from standard introductions like I.J.F. de Jong, Narratology and Classics: a practical guide, Monika Fludernik, An Introduction to Narratology, or David Herman, Basic Elements of Narrative.
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
How do you insert yourself into an artistic canon? How do you establish yourself as a worthy successor to your predecessors while making your own mark on a genre? How do you police a genre’s boundaries to keep out the unwanted? With particular attention to authorial and national identity, artistic self-definition, and literary reception, this volume shows how four ancient Latin poets—Lucilius, Horace, Persius, and Juvenal—asked and answered these questions between the second century BCE and the second century CE as they invented and reinvented the genre of Roman verse Satire.

Abstract

This study surveys the state of scholarship on Roman verse Satire, written in Latin by Lucilius, Horace, Persius, and Juvenal between the late second century BCE and the early second century CE. Key interpretative approaches are discussed, highlighting the ways in which our understanding of the genre has developed and identifying areas that remain underexplored. The study is aimed at students and scholars in the fields of Classics, History, Literature, and Reception Studies.

In: Roman Satire
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne
Author: Thomas Biggs

Abstract

Melinno’s so-called Hymn to Rome was composed sometime between the third century BCE and the third century CE. Nearly all scholars judge the poem to be a relatively straightforward panegyric of Rome’s power. The final stanza compares the Romans to the Sown Men. This article argues that the appearance of Theban or Colchian Spartoi could have evoked a more complex response from many probable readers of Melinno’s poem in antiquity, especially those who were well versed in Latin literature and Rome’s harrowing histories of civil war. It proposes that the closing comparison underscores the Romans’ fatal flaw: their inborn compulsion to engage in internecine strife. By concluding the hymn with a destabilizing reference, Melinno’s linking of Rome and Thebes points to a more nuanced evaluation of Roman power than scholars have yet to recognize.

Open Access
In: Mnemosyne
In: Mnemosyne