Literature and Religion at Rome: Cultures, Contexts, and Beliefs

Literature and Religion at Rome: Cultures, Contexts, and Beliefs

Paperback Roman Literature and Its Contexts

By (author) Denis Feeney, Series edited by Stephen Hinds


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  • Format: Paperback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 126mm x 198mm x 12mm | 200g
  • Publication date: 1 February 1998
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521559219
  • ISBN 13: 9780521559218
  • Edition statement: Cambridge Univ.
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 812,627

Product description

Recent reevaluations of Roman religion by ancient historians have stressed the vitality and creativity of the Romans' religious system throughout its long history of continual adaptation to new challenges. Capitalising on these insights, Denis Feeney argues that Roman literature was not an artificial or parasitic irrelevance in this context, but an important element of the dynamic religious culture, with its own status as another form of religious knowledge. Since Roman culture, both literary and religious, was so thoroughly Hellenised, the book also makes a case for a reconsideration of the traditional antitheses between Greek and Roman literature and religion, arguing against Hellenocentric prejudices and in favour of a more creative model of cultural interaction.

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Review quote

'This ... useful book ... brings to the fore some of the main theoretical positions taken by current investigators of Roman religion, literature and culture ... Its detailed case studies of cultural interaction between literature and religion genuinely illuminate.' The Times Literary Supplement 'A gripping read, Literature and Religion at Rome assumes a relaxed discourse despite the complexity of its concepts, ensuring that otherwise complicated themes and issues discussed are presented with clarity and originality.' The Australian National Review ' ... compact but immensely rewarding ... this is a provocative and successful theoretical work which throws into high relief a raft of traditional assumptions which have proved impediments to modern understanding.' Prudentia 'Like the other volumes in the series, Hinds' Allusion and Intertext and Feeney's Literature and Religion at Rome are well written and well edited brief introductions to a significant area of scholarly research in Latin literature, designed simultaneously to incorporate and explain recent scholarship in the field and to serve as a protreptic to others.' Phoenix

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. Belief; 2. Myth; 3. Divinity; 4. Ritual; 5. Epilogue: knowledge; Bibliography; Index.