By Michael von Albrecht, Gareth L. Schmeling
Michael von Albrecht's A background of Roman Literature, initially released in German, can rightly be obvious because the lengthy awaited counterpart to Albin Lesky's Geschichte der Griechischen Literatur. In what's going to most likely be the final survey made via a unmarried pupil the entire of Latin literature from Livius Andronicus as much as Boethius comes to the fore. 'Literature' is taken the following in its large, old experience, and consequently additionally comprises e.g. rhetoric, philosophy and heritage. particular consciousness has been given to the impact of Latin literature on next centuries all the way down to our personal days. broad indices supply entry to this monument of studying. The introductions in Von Albrecht's texts, including the big bibliographies make extra examine either extra fruitful and simple.
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Extra info for A History of Roman Literature: From Livius Andronicus to Boethius : With Special Regard to Its Influence on World Literature (Mnemosyne, Bibliotheca Classica Batava Supplementum)
Only i n individuals could the genres find their iden tity, and only through the activity o f individual creative minds did their influence bear fruit. 1 DIALOGUE W I T H T H E READER A N D LITERARY TECHNIQUE Roman literature is not only a dialogue with literary predecessors, but also a dialogue with the reader. Hence, the search for genres must be complemented by a markedly historic perspective. The spe cific character o f a literary text is conditioned not only by the person of the author, but also by his audience.
Latin translations o f the Bible, accounts o f the sufferings o f persecuted Christians, sermons and exegetical works were directed to the faithful. Other writings refuted heresy. Finally, apologetic writing would present Christianity to the wider world and confront i t w i t h the Roman state. Thus, new institutions were able to give rise to literary genres hitherto unknown. Phases and Phase Displacements. R o m a n literature was 'made, not born'. The conditions which nurtured it may be understood only in the light o f historical circumstances.
O n the other, it allowed to construct an independent world of aesthetic and intellectual values, thus leading literature towards self-awareness. 2 1 'In the Romans . . may be enjoyed the spectacle of a reconquest of practically all spheres of life by poetry. ' W . S C H A D E W A L D T , Sinn und Werden der vergilischen Dichtung (1931), now in: Wege zu Vergil, ed. by H . O P P E R M A N N , Darmstadt 1963, 43-78, esp. 45. Horace's Ars Poetica makes use of Greek theory, but at the same time is itself organized as a poetic work of art.