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Seminar - The Last of the Flavians

Seminar 3 – The Last of the Flavians: Domitian in poetry and prose

Everyone should read:

  • @ Griffin, M. in Cambridge Ancient History XI (2nd edn 2000) pp.54-83; 87-92; 96-100; 102-108 [e-book]
  • @ Statius, Silvae 1.1; 1.6; 4.1; 4.2; 4.3 - Loeb Classical Library Online
  • @ Pliny’s Panegyricus (dip into) - Loeb Classical Library Online

The online module bibliography contains a scan of Silvae 4.1-3 (Latin and facing English translation) in Coleman’s edition – see Statius 1998.

Seminar presenters:

This week it is crucial that you work together so as to share out the work-load. Please first of all divide up the primary source material amongst yourselves and each select some of the secondary scholarship, and then meet so as to compare impressions of the image of Domitian that emerges from the sources and to pinpoint what the main points of debate appear to be in the secondary scholarship. Your presentation should provide some background context upon your author and his work, and illustrate the context and interest of the texts. It would be a good idea to produce a handout of key passages (please send it to me on Wednesday of Week 8 for photocopying). A lot of the bibliography is available as e-books or on JSTOR.

Section A – Statius [2 students]

What image of Domitian emerges from the court poetry of his time?

PRIMARY TEXT:

  • @ Statius, Silvae 1.1; 1.6; 4.1; 4.2; 4.3 - Loeb Classical Library Online

SECONDARY BIBLIOG:

  • *@ Newlands, C.E. Statius Silvae and the Poetics of Empire (CUP) [PA 6698.N3] – intro, chs 2, 7, 8, 9
  • Coleman, K. Statius Silvae IV (edition with translation and commentary [PA 6697.A3]
  • @ Thompson, L.A. (1984) 'Domitianus Dominus: a gloss on Statius Silvae 1.6.84', AJPHil 105: 469-75 [JSTOR]
  • @ Ahl, F. (1984) ‘The art of safe criticism in Greece and Rome’, AJPhil 105.2: 174-208 esp. from p.185
  • @ Newlands, C.E. (2011) ‘Statius’ self-conscious poetics: hexameter on hexameter’, in Writing Politics in Imperial Rome (Brill) [e-book]
  • *Newlands, C.E. (2012) Statius: poet between Rome and Naples [PA6698.N495]
  • Nauta, R.R., J. van Dam, J.J.L. Smoelnaars (2006) Flavian poetry [PA6045.F539]: 'Ideology and poetics along the Via Domitiana : Statius Silv. 4.3'; 'Satirical elements in Statius Silvae : a literary and sociological approach'
  • Nauta, R.R. (2002) Poetry for patrons : literary communication in the age of Domitian [PA6050.N38]
  • @ Smolenaars, J.J.L., Harm, J. van Dam, Nauta, R.R. (2008) The poetry of Statius [PA 6698.P6]

The online module bibliography contains a scan of Silvae 4.1-3 (Latin and facing English translation) in Coleman’s edition – see Statius 1998. You could also consult the Oxford Online bibliography for Statius (Fantham & Fairey).


Section B - Pliny the Younger [2 students]

Can we reconcile the clear-cut depictions of Domitian and Trajan in the Panegyricus with the more ambiguous comments in Pliny's Letters?

In what context was the Panegyricus delivered? Are the sentiments about Trajan in the Panegyricus the result of wishful thinking on Pliny's part? It’s important to use the Sherwin-White commentary on the Letters to help pinpoint the issues. One student could focus on the Panegyricus, and the other on the Letters - again, please try to meet before the seminar to compare notes, so that your presentation can illustrate key passages from the primary texts and summarise some of the critical debates in scholarship. It would be a good idea to produce a handout of key passages (please send it to me on Wednesday of Week 8 for photocopying). A lot of the bibliography is available as e-books or on JSTOR.

PRIMARY TEXTS

  • @ Pliny, Panegyricus (in vol. 2 of Loeb Pliny Letters) - Loeb Classical Library Online
  • @ Letters 1.5; 4.22; 9.13 (with @ Sherwin-White commentary) - Loeb Classical LIbrary Online

SECONDARY BIBLIOG:

  • @ Waters, K.H. 'Traianus Domitiani Continuator' AJPhil 90 (1969) 385-405 [JSTOR]
  • Bartsch, S. (1994) Actors in the Audience: theatricality and doublespeak from Nero to Hadrian pp.148-87 [PA 6019.B2]
  • @ Bennett, J. Trajan Optimus Princeps (1997) ch.6 [e-book]
  • @ Bruere, R.T. 'Tacitus and Pliny's Panegyricus' CPhil 49 (1954) 161-79 [JSTOR]
  • @ Radice, B. 'Pliny and the 'Panegyricus', G&R 15.2 (1968) 166-172 [JSTOR]
  • Rees, R. (2012) Latin panegyric - chapters on 'Pliny and the Panegyricus'; 'Pliny's Panegyricus and liberty'; 'The art of sincerity' [PA6083.L38]
  • @ Roche, P. (2011) Pliny’s praise: the Panegyricus in the Roman World [PA 6640.Z5.P58] esp. intro., chs 1, 6, 7, 8
  • @ Gibson, R. and Morello, R. (2012) Reading the Letters of Pliny the Younger: An Introduction [use index to identify useful sections] [e-book]
  • Marchesi, I. (2015) Pliny the book-maker [PA6640.P55]