Martial's Rome: Empire and the Ideology of Epigram

Martial's Rome: Empire and the Ideology of Epigram


By (author) Dr. Victoria E. Rimell


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  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 228mm x 20mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 28 February 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521828228
  • ISBN 13: 9780521828222
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,666,693

Product description

This provocative book is a major contribution to our understanding of Martial's poetics, his vision of the relationship between art and reality, and his role in formulating modern perceptions of Rome. The study shows how on every scale from the microscopic to the cosmic, Martial displays epigram's ambition to enact the sociality of urban life, but also to make Rome rise out of epigram's architecture and gestures. Martial's distinctive aesthetic, grounded in paradox and inconsistency, ensures that the humblest, most throwaway poetic form is best poised to capture first century empire in all its dazzling complexity. As well as investigating many of Martial's central themes - monumentality, economics, death, carnival, exile - this books also questions what kind of a mascot Martial is for classics today in our own advanced, multicultural world, and will be an invaluable guide for scholars and students of classical literature and Roman history.

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Author information

Victoria Rimell is Associate Professor in the Department of Greek and Latin Philology at the University of Rome, La Sapieza. She has published Petronius and the Anatomy of Fiction (2002), Ovid's Lovers (2006) and Martial's Rome (2008), and has also contributed to The Cambridge Companion to Roman Satire (edited by Kirk Freudenberg, 2005) and Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire (edited by Jason Konig and Tim Whitmarsh, 2007).

Review quote

Rimell's study is sophisticated...good poetry--and especially a large collection of poems that interacts with a long established poetic canon--invites the reader to identify and investigate intra- and extra-textual dynamics..." --BMCR

Table of contents

Introduction: getting to know Martial; 1. Copyright and contagion: the city as text; 2. Vigor Mortis: living and dying; 3. Poetic economies: figuring out Martial's maths; 4. Mundus inversus: Martial's Saturnalia; 5. The space of epigram; Epilogue.