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, and also demonstrates the relevance of New Historicist and Marxist critical paradigms for Roman studies. In addition to incorporating anthropological and sociological perspectives, Bowditch's theoretical approach makes use of concepts drawn from linguistics, deconstruction, and the work of Michel Foucault. She weaves together these ideas in an original approach to Horace's use of golden age imagery, his language concerning public gifts or munera, his metaphors of sacrifice, and the rhetoric of class and status found in these poems. Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage represents an original approach to central issues and questions in the study of Latin literature, and sheds new light on our understanding of Roman society in general.
About the Author
Phebe Lowell Bowditch is Associate Professor of Classics at the University of Oregon.
Table of Contents
AcknowledgmentsNote on Translation
IntroductionGladiatorial 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 PatronagePoetry and the MarketplaceThe Embedded Economy of RomeGift and Delay in the Horatian ChronologyPART TWO: Tragic History, Lyric Expiation, and the Gift of SacrificePollio’s History and the Purification of Ritual Violence: Odes 2.1Ritual Devotio and the Lyric Curse: Odes 2.13The Roman Odes and Tragic SacrificeThe Gift of IdeologyPART THREE: The Gifts of the Golden Age: Land, Debt, and Aesthetic SurplusLand, Otium, Art: Eclogue 1Gratia and the Poetics of Excess: Eclogue 4The Man Protesteth Too Much: Satires 2.6The Cornucopia and Hermeneutic Abundance: Odes 1.17 PART FOUR: From Patron to Friend: Epistolary Refashioning and the Economics of RefusalEpistolary SubjectivityDyadic Disequilibrium and the Alternation of Debt: Epistles 1.1 The Duplicitous Speaker of Epistles 1.7The Economics of Social
InscriptionPART FIVE: The Epistolary Farm and the Status Implications of Epicurean AtaraxiaPastoral and PrivationThe Economy of Otium and the Material Conditions of the Aequus Animus: Epistles 1.14The Tenuis Imago, or the Vulnerability of an Image: Epistles 1.16Conclusion: The Gift and the Reading CommunityReferences