Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage

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This innovative study explores selected Odes and Epistles by the late first-century poet Horace in light of modern anthropological and literary theory. Phebe Lowell Bowditch looks in particular at how the relationship between Horace and his patron Maecenas is reflected in these poems' themes and rhetorical figures. Using anthropological studies on gift exchange, she uncovers an implicit economic dynamic in these poems and skillfully challenges standard views on literary patronage in this period. Horace and the ...
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Overview

This innovative study explores selected Odes and Epistles by the late first-century poet Horace in light of modern anthropological and literary theory. Phebe Lowell Bowditch looks in particular at how the relationship between Horace and his patron Maecenas is reflected in these poems' themes and rhetorical figures. Using anthropological studies on gift exchange, she uncovers an implicit economic dynamic in these poems and skillfully challenges standard views on literary patronage in this period. Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage provides a striking new understanding of Horace's poems and the Roman system of patronage, while also demonstrating the relevance of New Historicist and Marxist critical paradigms for Roman studies.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520226036
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 3/2/2001
  • Series: Classics and Contemporary Thought Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author


Phebe Lowell Bowditch is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Oregon.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Note on Translation
Introduction
Gladiatorial Imagery: The Rhetoric of Expenditure
Recent Studies of Horace and Literary Patronage
Autonomy and the Discursive Conventions of Patronage
Literary Amicitia

PART ONE: The Gift Economy of Patronage
Poetry and the Marketplace
The Embedded Economy of Rome
Gift and Delay in the Horatian Chronology

PART TWO: Tragic History, Lyric Expiation, and the Gift of Sacrifice
Pollio’s History and the Purification of Ritual Violence: Odes 2.1
Ritual Devotio and the Lyric Curse: Odes 2.13
The Roman Odes and Tragic Sacrifice
The Gift of Ideology

PART THREE: The Gifts of the Golden Age: Land, Debt, and Aesthetic Surplus
Land, Otium, Art: Eclogue 1
Gratia and the Poetics of Excess: Eclogue 4
The Man Protesteth Too Much: Satires 2.6
The Cornucopia and Hermeneutic Abundance: Odes 1.17

PART FOUR: From Patron to Friend: Epistolary Refashioning and the Economics of Refusal
Epistolary Subjectivity
Dyadic Disequilibrium and the Alternation of Debt: Epistles 1.1
The Duplicitous Speaker of Epistles 1.7
The Economics of Social Inscription

PART FIVE: The Epistolary Farm and the Status Implications of Epicurean Ataraxia
Pastoral and Privation
The Economy of Otium and the Material Conditions of the Aequus Animus: Epistles 1.14
The Tenuis Imago, or the Vulnerability of an Image: Epistles 1.16

Conclusion: The Gift and the Reading Community

References
Index

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