Catullus, Cicero, and a Society of Patrons: The Generation by Sarah Culpepper Stroup

By Sarah Culpepper Stroup

This can be a examine of the emergence, improvement, and florescence of a surprisingly 'late Republican' socio-textual tradition as recorded within the writings of this period's so much influential authors, Catullus and Cicero. It unearths a multi-faceted textual - instead of extra traditionally-defined 'literary' - international that either defines the highbrow lifetime of the past due Republic, and lays the rules for these authors of the Principate and Empire who pointed out this era as their literary resource and concept. by means of first wondering, after which rejecting, the conventional polarisation of Catullus and Cicero, and through broadening the scope of past due Republican socio-literary reviews to incorporate intersections of language, social perform, and textual materiality, this publication provides a clean photograph of either the socio-textual global of the overdue Republic and the first authors via whom this global could achieve renown.

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A closer mapping of the texts in which these terms appeared convinced me that both Catullus and Cicero tended to place such terms at specific points in their texts in order to mark elements of textual production and function. Otium and its related terms, for example, tend to appear early in texts – or scenes within texts that talk about textual production – and, when they do, they are used to set the distinctly “textual time” within which intellectual discussion and textual production occur: otium in such usage never marks simple inactivity but rather a very specific sort of textual engagement.

In what follows, I provide first a general discussion of how issues of chronology and operative condition inform this investigation and how they will be treated within it, and then a basic outline of the shape and progression of each part of the study and the ways these parts fit together. If we take 54 BCE as both the terminus for Catullan poetic activity and the publication date of Cicero’s first dedicated text, de Oratore (I have Introduction 21 nowhere encountered compelling arguments against either claim), then we have precisely no chronological overlap in the known or extant textual dedications of these two men.

It is inherently difficult (or at least puzzlingly untraditional) to read Catullus and Cicero in the same work; as that is precisely what I shall do in this study, I want to explain in rather more detail both why I think this is not only a valuable approach, but perhaps even a necessary one and, further, how I will situate these authors against each other. Although what I intend to show is that they are far more similar than they are different (although, again, that is not the point of this book), it is incontrovertibly the case that analysis of these authors calls for different styles of interpretation and approach.

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