Piget taedetque per vulnera rei publicae ulterius procedere: Remembering the Civil Wars under Tiberius (Viola Periti, University of Edinburgh)

1:00pm - 2:00pm / Thursday 13th February 2020 / Venue: Seminar Room 6, Rendall Building
Type: Seminar / Category: Department
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In this paper, I plan to analyse some episodes from the narration of the republican civil wars in Valerius Maximus’ Facta et dicta memorabilia and in Velleius Paterculus’ Ad M. Vinicium libri duo. I will analyse the principles of selection, the narrative techniques employed in telling these episodes and in linking them with others, and the moral and ideological attitudes informing the authors’ treatment. I plan to point out a distinctive feature of the authors’ working technique, namely the juxtaposition of narrative segments through which the process of deconstruction of history (decontextualization, simplification and depoliticization) precisely operates. My research relies on a number of concepts developed in the field of memory studies. I focus on the functioning of the media of memory – in this case specifically handbooks, summaries, literary products thought to be easily used by the intended recipients – in line with the ‘medial turn’ of memory studies in recent years. I will pay special attention to the genre of declamation and I will argue that it provided the authors with the appropriate frame within which controlling and conveying the discordant voices of the republican past became a possible option in the moment of transition from the first to the second princeps.

This event is part of the Work in Progress Seminar Series.