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Title: Tradition and innovation in the Silver Latin epic simile: a thematic study
Author: Sturt, N. J. H.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3488 7816
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1977
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The aim of the study is to analyse the technique of the Silver Latin epicists through an investigation of their extended similes. By examining how Lucan, Valerius Flaccus, Statius and Silius ltalious adapt traditional oomparison motifs, produce variations on a theme or improvise their own analogies, the intention is to reveal the poets' treatment of the similes and, since they are symptomatic of the poems as a whole, to dissect the style of the post-Vergllian epics and assess the writers' attitude to their art. The basic approach is to classify the Silver Age similes thematically, dividing them into groups according to their subject matter. Each simile is then described and evaluated against its literary heritage, tradition and innovation being the criteria employed. The emerging traits and trends, which in combination impart to these similes (and hence to the epics) their peculiar character, are discussed in detail. There is an overall adherence to the range of subject matter established in the images of the Aeneid, with a modernisation of cer1ain themes rather than drastic innovation. 'The Silver Age mark is impressed on traditional motifs by an apparently irresistible urge to embellish; frequently the ornaments chosen ostentatiously display knowledge gleaned from encyolopaedic sources. Bookishness tends to supplant observation at first hand and genuine poetic insight. A more radical change is discernible in the application of the Similes, a remarkably greater proportion mirroring psychological rather than pictorial contexts. Ingenious analogies are contrived illustrating
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available