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Title: The fractured prism : a study in late Augustan culture
Author: Littlewood, R. Joy
ISNI:       0000 0001 3611 0971
Awarding Body: Oxford Brookes University
Current Institution: Oxford Brookes University
Date of Award: 2007
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Long-term neglect combined with intermittent crude misinterpretation distorted the reputation of Ovid's Fasti to the point that, by the early 1970s, students of Roman literature could graduate in total ignorance of Ovid's aetiological elegy, uninformed either of its witty Alexandrian sophistication and poetic engagement with dynastic politics or of Ovid's value as a source for Augustan religion, iconography and antiquarianism. The five papers here submitted, together with my Commentary on Fasti 6, represent the part which I have played in the rehabilitation of this stylish, erudite and appealingly enigmatic poem. My initial intention, to vindicate Fasti's literary merit, seemed best served, in papers of. 1975, 1989 and 1981, by offering a line-by-line stylistic analysis of Ovid's treatment of three Roman festivals, and by considering in the third Ovid's playful treatment of dynastic politics, clearly an intrinsic component of the work which became in the 1980s and 1990s a central issue in Fasti criticism. The first of two later papers (2001) analyses Augustan discourse, ideology and dynastic politics in Ovid's two passages on Roman ancestors, the Feralia and Lemuria, in conjunction with the iconography of the temple of Quirinus. The second (2002) argues that the poet uses literary imagery and intertextuality to suggest, in his characterisation of Numa, a parallel with the young Augustus, which he then undercuts with characteristic ambiguity. These issues play their part in my most significant contribution to Fast; studies, my Commentary on Book 6 (2006), which offers the original hypothesis that Ovid uses the month of June to break new ground in generic expansion by presenting a 'multifaceted celebration of Roman War' and claims that Ovid's aetiologicallegends are underpinned by the poet's antiquarian knowledge and understanding of Roman religion. Finally, my interpretation of the content of Fasti 6, War, which balances Book I, a celebration of Peace, and its intricately choreographed epilogue reinforces my belief that Fasti was intended by its author to represent a fractured and prismatic view of the Roman calendar.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available