Culture and National Identity in Republican Rome

Culture and National Identity in Republican Rome

By (author) Erich S. Gruen

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Few encounters in antiquity have had more profound consequences than the encounter between Greek culture and that of Republican Rome during the third and second centuries B.C. Focusing on the response of the ruling elites, for whom Hellenic literature, religion, and visual arts were at once intimidating and irresistibly appealing, Erich S. Gruen offers a compelling account of the assimilation and adaptation of Greek culture by the Romans.Gruen examines such key cultural developments in the history of Republican Rome as the adaptation of the legend of Troy to create a special place for Rome within Hellenic traditions, and Cato's campaign to distinguish Roman cultural achievements by comparing them to those of the Greeks. He describes the diverse purposes - civic, religious, and political - for which the Romans used Greek art, as well as the development of distinctively Roman artistic expression in portraiture, historical reliefs, and comic drama within a Hellenic context. In addition, he accounts for the perseverance of two competing strains within Republican Roman culture: on the one hand, philhellenism, and on the other, the subordination of the Greek legacy within the living Roman tradition. Gruen shows that this complex process of cultural transformation served to sharpen the Romans' sense of their own values, their national character, and their international responsibilities.Demonstrating that the Roman response to Hellenism was far more subtle and dynamic than has generally been acknowledged, Culture and National Identity in Republican Rome will be welcomed as an outstanding contribution by readers interested in ancient history, classical literature, and the history of art.

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  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 162.56 x 238.76 x 35.56mm | 725.74g
  • 07 Jan 1993
  • Cornell University Press
  • Ithaca
  • English
  • 0801427592
  • 9780801427596
  • 1,409,222

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