Roman Satire and the Old Comic Tradition by Jennifer L. Ferriss-Hill

By Jennifer L. Ferriss-Hill

Quintilian famously claimed that satire was once tota nostra, or absolutely ours, yet this cutting edge quantity demonstrates that lots of Roman Satire's so much specified features derived from old Greek outdated Comedy. Jennifer L. Ferriss-Hill analyzes the writings of Lucilius, Horace, and Persius, highlighting the positive aspects that they crafted at the version of Aristophanes and his fellow poets: the authoritative but compromised writer; the self-referential discussions of poetics that vacillate among shielding and competitive; the deployment of private invective within the provider of literary polemics; and the abiding curiosity in criticizing participants, forms, and language itself. the 1st book-length research in English at the courting among Roman Satire and outdated Comedy, Roman Satire and the previous comedian culture will attract scholars and researchers in classics, comparative literature, and English.

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117119 and traceable to Lucilius’ (ludo ac sermonibus nostris, 982–3; cf. fr. 108–11) and Horace’s (Sat. 37; cf. 15–16 are remarkable for the ways in which they pair violence (defigere, radere) and gentleness (ingenuo, ludo), a iunctura acris indeed121 (which itself echoes Horace’s ridiculum acri, Sat. 14). The absence of Horace’s favored self-referential term, ridere, from these passages of Persius (though alluded to by radere) is another twist by this later satirist, who perplexingly continues to use it elsewhere in his oeuvre with the programmatic connotations with which Horace had imbued it.

Archaeae comoediae charactere conpositum is often attributed to Varro (see n. 16 and Brink 1963b: 193–4), whom Diomedes credits for the recipe cited in the third of the four etymologies of satura discussed below, but there is little reason to understand as Varronian in origin everything Diomedes says given that he pointedly identifies Varro as his source for only a single detail. Van Rooy 1965: 187 (“he did not even add the name of Juvenal”), Ramage 1974a: 23 (“his omission of Juvenal from the canon of Roman satirists is clear commentary on his thoroughness”).

Horace and Persius, then, along with Lucilius, whenever his fragments are sufficient to suggest participation in the Old Comic poses shared by his two most immediate successors, form the focus of this study. 130 All transgressive literature “insist[s] on the pretense that the ‘I’ of its lyrics is the actual poet,”131 and Old Comedy and Roman Satire are among the genres that make this point most emphatically and continually. Drawn by this strong ‘I’ into taking the opinions he encounters as those of the poet himself, the reader may even find himself offended by what the poet has to say.

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