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Titel: Catullus and his World. A Reappraisal.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (.), 1985. 1st ed. X,287p. Hard bound with dust wrps. 'It is hardly true, as is claimed on the dust-jacket, that 'this book is the first attempt to read the poems . of Gaius Valerius Catullus in his own context', but it is probably the most systematic and successful so far. The first three chapters do not deal with Catullus himself at all: a useful treatment of late Republican attitudes and behavior is followed by a full account of Clodia Metelli and another of the trial of M. Caelius, both well worth reading for their own sake (.). Their stories illustrate vividly the world of adulterous 'grandes dames' and brilliant young men in which the poet chooses to reveal himself. (.) There is a great deal of value even without its most novel thesis. The sections on Catullus' attitude to commerce and to traditional 'Transpadane' morality (pp.101-15) illuminate many things in the poetry; and chapter VII, 'The afterlife of Lesbia', is remarkably comprehensive and altogether fascinating to read. Indeed the whole book is thoroughly readable and will yield all sorts of profit to scholars of all ages.' (G.B. TOWNEND in The classical Review (New Series), 1987, pp.13-15). From the library of Professor Carl Deroux. Antiquarian. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 44430
Inhaltsangabe: This book is an attempt to read the poems of Gaius Valerius Catullus in his own context; to look at the poet and his works against the cultural realities of the first century BC as recent advances in historical research allow us to understand them. Catullus' own social background, the circumstances of the literary life of his time, the true extent of his works and the variety of audiences he addressed - these and other questions are explored by Professor Wiseman with new and startling results. Contemporary high society and politics are illustrated through Clodia and Caelius Rufus, considered not as mere adjuncts to Catullus' story but as significant historical personalities in their own right. A final chapter on nineteenth- and twentieth-century interpretations of Catullus' world shows how anachronistic preconceptions have prevented a proper understanding of it, and made this radical reappraisal necessary. Anyone with a serious interest in Latin literature or Roman history will want to read this book. Students in the upper levels of school or at university will find it essential background reading to their work on Catullus and Cicero's Pro Caelio.
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