From the bites and scratches of lovers and the threat of flogging that hangs over the comic slave, to murder, rape, dismemberment, and crucifixion, violence is everywhere in Latin literature. The contributors to this volume explore the manifold ways in which violence is constructed and represented in Latin poetry and prose from Plautus to Prudentius, examining the interrelations between violence, language, power, and gender, and the narrative, rhetorical, and ideological functions of such depictions across the generic spectrum. How does violence contribute to the pleasure of the text? Do depictions of violence always reinforce status-hierarchies, or can they provoke a reassessment of normative value-systems? Is the reader necessarily complicit with authorial constructions of violence? These are pressing questions both for ancient literature and for film and other modern media, and this volume will be of interest to scholars and students of cultural studies as well as of the ancient world.
Monica R. Gale is Professor in Classics at Trinity College Dublin. Her publications include Myth and Poetry in Lucretius (Cambridge, 1994), Virgil on the Nature of Things: The Georgics, Lucretius and the Didactic Tradition (Cambridge, 2000), and a commentary on Lucretius Book 5 (2009). J. H. D. Scourfield is Professor of Classics at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and a Vice-President of the Classical Association. His publications include Consoling Heliodorus: A Commentary on Jerome, Letter 60 (1993).
Introduction - reading Roman violence Monica R. Gale and J. H. D. Scourfield; 1. Comic violence and the citizen body David Konstan and Shilpa Raval; 2. Contemplating violence: Lucretius' 'De rerum natura' Monica R. Gale; 3. Discipline and punish - Horatian satire and the formation of the self Paul Allen Miller; 4. Make war not love: militia amoris and domestic violence in Roman elegy Donncha O'Rourke; 5. Violence and resistance in Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' Carole E. Newlands; 6. Tales of the unexpurgated (Cert PG) - Seneca's Audionasties (Controversiae 2.5, 10.4) John Henderson; 7. Dismemberment and the critics - Seneca's 'Phaedra' Duncan F. Kennedy; 8. Violence and alienation in Lucan's 'Pharsalia' - the case of Caesar Efrossini Spentzou; 9. Tacitus and the language of violence Bruce J. Gibson; 10. Cruel narrative: Apuleius' 'Golden Ass' William Fitzgerald; 11. Violence and the Christian heroine - two narratives of desire J. H. D. Scourfield.