Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries: Octavia: A Play Attributed to Seneca Series Number 41
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Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries: Octavia: A Play Attributed to Seneca Series Number 41

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This 2003 book is a full-length study of Octauia, the only complete Roman drama of an historical subject, or fabula praetexta. The play deals with Nero's divorce from the princess Octavia, Claudius' daughter by Valeria Messalina, and with his subsequent marriage to Poppaea Sabina. Professor Ferri presents a critical edition of the text based on a fresh re-examination of the relevant manuscripts and provides a full discussion of textual issues. In the Introduction he argues that the play, wrongly ascribed to Seneca in our MSS, was composed in the late Flavian period, and that the author relied on pre-existing historical accounts written after the death of Nero. He also discusses in detail the style and language of the play, strongly influenced by Senecan tragedy, its relationship to the other plays of the Senecan corpus, and particularly to Hercules Oetaeus, its stagecraft and post-Classical dramatic conventions, and the author's political position.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 484 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 27mm | 610g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises
  • 0521117720
  • 9780521117722
  • 1,348,260

Table of contents

Introduction; Text; Commentary; Appendices.
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Review quote

Review of the hardback: 'It is now Ferri's day. This book compares well with the other volumes in the Cambridge series and will need to be consulted by anyone even contemplating serious work on the Octavia.' BMCR "This is an excellent, thoroughgoing piece of scholarship." C.J. Zabrowski, Gettysburg College, Choice "F's ... commentary ... will become a standard reference source for the play.... accurate, careful, and thorough."
International Journal of the Classical Tradition "even if one could wish for a more extended discussion of some topics, the general value of this first full-scale scholarly commentary in English is not reduced; its wide coverage of material and neat presentation make it a welcome basis for future studies of the Octavia" - Gesine Manuwald, Albert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg i. Br. "Ferri has given us one possession forever, or at least for a very long time, in his Octavia" - John G. Fitch, Department of Greek and Roman Studies "Rolando Ferri's commentary on the Pseudo-Senecan Octavia strikes the reader with its overwhelming riches of philological information, its vast reading both of ancient poetry and modern scholarly work, and above all, its helpful explanations and sound hermeneutic judgement. It is difficult not to be enthusiastic about this brilliant work of learning, competence, and interpretive sensibility. To study this commentary is to learn not only about Octavia,/i>, but also about Senecan drama, Roman tragedy, Greek tragedy--their composition and technique, their style and meter." - Ernst A. Schmidt, Philologisches Seminar, Universitat Tubingen
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