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Queen's University
 

Student Theses - 1997

The political phases of literary amicitia in Rome from the third century BC to the second century AD

Chan, May

There has been little investigation of the early origins of literary patronage and the role of drama in the development of Latin literature. During the third and second centuries BC, the curules aediles were the earliest literary patrons because they paid for the production and staging of plays. After the end of the second century BC, more powerful and wealthier politicians replaced the aediles and began to support poets. As a result, politics and Latin literature were not exclusive in Rome and Roman poetry came to afford more opportunities for political and social advancement to poets and patrons alike. Another period of literary patronage that needs to be re-explored by literary scholars and historians is the early Empire. The intent of this thesis, therefore, is to explore and chart the 'evolution' of literary patronage in Rome from its origins in the third century BC down to its 'decline' in the second century AD. Since the majority of the evidence comes from Latin poetry itself, special emphasis will be placed on what Roman poets say about their relations with their maiores amici. Emphasis will be placed on how the different political phases affected the development of Latin literature and language over these five centuries.

Greek arbitration : Homer to classical Athens

Manley-Tannis, Richard Michael

Greek arbitration was developed out of the community's need to resolve conflict. Earlier scholarship, however, has often used a legal framework with which to explain its development. The findings of previous scholarship have proven insightful in regard to the mechanics of the ancient process. Earlier scholarship, however, has not given sufficient emphasis to the role of the community in the development of arbitration. At its centre, Greek arbitration was a survival mechanism. The Greek community, from the Homeric period forward, was constantly threatened by both internal and external violence. In order to address these dangers, the community as a whole created a method designed to resolve conflict. Greek arbitration was an innovation because throughout the process the community was directly involved in the legitimisation of the process. The community itself developed arbitration. In order to illuminate this, a modern conflict resolution process, mediation-arbitration, is better able to clarify previously overlooked aspects of the process. The ancient arbitrator's primary task was to act as an acceptable neutral who was expected to first reconcile the disputants and, should that prove unlikely, to then bring forth a judgement. The neutral's task was first to attempt to mediate the dispute and, should reconciliation prove unattainable, he would then arbitrate. Public pressure was brought to bear in order to encourage the resolution of conflict. The oath was used in order to ensure the honesty of the disputants by involving the gods as witnesses to and protectors of the process. It was the expectation that disputants would resolve their conflict peacefully that ensured, in turn, the continued stability of the community.

"Haec est illa meis multum cantata libellis" : an investigation of female personae in the epigrams of Martial

McIntosh, Gillian Elizabeth

Much research and work has been done on both Martial and his epigrams. Most dated scholarship has tended to provide unduly narrow perspectives, neglecting much of Martial's art, and focussing instead on his "immoral" character, and "obscene" verse. Still, a great deal of progress has been made in recent decades in understanding the poet and his verse.

There has, however, been little investigation of the personae in his epigrams -- less still of the female personae, who appear in roughly twenty percent of Martial's 1600 epigrams. We should look now at the individual epigrams and notice what types of women appear, how often they appear, and in what capacity. (What are they doing? Do certain types share certain traits of representations? Are some always praised and others always frowned upon?) This can only be done by a detailed analyses of Martial's text.

The intent of this thesis is to explore objectively the female personae appearing throughout the fourteen books of Martial's epigrams. The end result will be a clearer understanding of the female-oriented poems, and of the female personae within those poems. The reader of Martial might then know what to expect, and what to find when embarking upon an examination of his leading ladies.

Other objectives include clearing away past moralizing, and opening up other possible lines of investigation -- into Martial, his epigrams, his male and female personae, as well as into other contemporary writers and their works.

I have begun by providing introductory tables and observations. The first table shows -- book by book -- the distribution of female oriented poems. As well as listing the individual epigrams on women, it separates the poems that focus on the woman from those that mention her in passing. The second table reveals the different female types that appear. It groups together and lists all the poems -- from all the books -- that pertain to a certain type.

Even though tables and statistics reveal when and how often certain types of women appear, they tell nothing of the meaning of such appearances; that is, there is no context. In the chapters following, then, I have placed these personae in context, and attempted to find patterns among Martial's various representations of similar types of women. Everything is gathered together and summed up in a concluding chapter. Here, too, there are some ideas for further investigation, research, and writing.

The glorious life of Agricola : a critical analysis of the literary form and political content of Tacitus' Agricola

Peterson, David

Traditionally studied as an invaluable source document for the Roman conquest and occupation of Britain, Tacitus' biographical treatise on the life of Agricola also has great relevance to the study of elite society at Rome. Modern scholarship on the Agricola has been focused for the most part on the historicity of the work. As such, the work offers the historian an unparalled account of the Roman military campaigns and administrative initiatives in Britain. Consequently, the work has proven to be an excellent source document for both historians of the Roman military and Roman Britain. However, the literary, social, political and moral elements of the work have largely gone unnoticed or at the very least have been studued in a cursory manner. At the same time, the large body of twentieth century scholarship pertaining to the role and function of the works of Tacitus has for the most part dismissed the Agricola as a minor work of little significance that provides only a glance of the artistic genius which would emerge in his later and larger works, the Histories and the Annals. The present thesis is an attempt to show the importance of the Agricola in the study of the Senatorial class in the first century AD, portraying their views and aspirations, as well as the literary framework upon which these concepts were converyed.

The first chapter examines the literary form and how it affects the content of the work. In tradition of the eulogistic biography, a sub genre of history, Tacitus presents in the character of Agricola the ideal to which the majority of his class aspired. The second chapter is an account of the political and social changes that had occurred with the rise and evolution of the Imperial government and the resultant changes in the function and composition of the Senatorial class. Tacitus and the other members of his class had to create strategies to combine their ideals with this new reality. Finally, the third chapter examines the political content of the work. Viewed in moral terms, Tacitus sought to convey an important message about the proper conduct of both his class and the Emperors, as well as ingratiate himself with the new regime of Nerva under which he was writing. The appendices provide information about the life of Tacitus, Agricola, and general political events in the Empire, along with a more specific examination of the conquest of Britain. These have been added to provide the reader with a historical context within which to more fully understand both the writing of Tacitus and the impact of Rome and Agricola on the history of Britain.

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