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The Politics of Immorality in Ancient Rome
This book addresses the question not how immoral the ancient Romans were but why the literature they produced is so preoccupied with immorality. The modern image of immoral Rome derives from ancient accounts which are largely critical rather than celebratory. Far from being empty commonplaces these accusations constituted a powerful discourse through which Romans negotiate ...more
Hardcover, 244 pages
Published February 26th 1993 by Cambridge University Press
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(showing 1-24 of 24)
Perhaps I am the wrong audience for this book. From the book: "The rhertoric of Roman moralizing has often seemed alien to modern readers. This book, in linking together studies of apparently diverse topics, might be seen as appropriating a trope of Roman moralistic discourse, presenting arugments concerning different subjects as parallel so that they may serve to reinforce one another. A better understanding of this and similar literary devices, as they operate in Roman moralizing texts, can he ...more
In this book, Catherine Edwards surveys Roman elite discourse around various manifestations of "immorality" including the theatre, "effeminacy", luxurious housing, gluttony and expenditure. Her aim is to explore what the moralists' focus on particular vices reveals about the anxieties of the Roman elite in justifying and maintaining their status. The point is made, for example, that constantly accusing other politicians of "effeminacy" as well as serving as useful invective against that individu ...more
Really outstandingly good. Not focussed on the immoral behaviour (whatever that would mean), but on political implicatioons of such behaviour and of accusations of that behaviour. My understanding of the language and constructions used in (inter alia) discussions of Sejanus was much enhanced.