By Wytse Hette Keulen
This monograph provides an unique portrait of the second-century miscellanist Aulus Gellius, in keeping with a close examining of "Attic Nights" opposed to its modern history. Highlighting Gellius' use of humour and irony in his portrayals of debatable celebrities comparable to Favorinus and Herodes Atticus, this ebook presents an important corrective to interpretations of Gellius as an uncritical philhellene or an apolitical bookworm. Distinguishing Gellius' a variety of literary personae (the younger sectator, the self reliant researcher, the mature author and adviser), this e-book uncovers the many-layered sophistication of Gellius' self-presentation. Noting formerly unrecognised allusions to literary works and modern occasions, it bargains a clean standpoint on Gellius as a satirical author, whose Roman cultural programme displays the ambiguities and complexities of Antonine highbrow lifestyles.
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Additional info for Gellius the Satirist: Roman Cultural Authority in Attic Nights (Mnemosyne Supplements: Monographs on Greek and Roman Language and Literature)
28, 4 pridem suus cuique filius, ex casta parente natus, non in cella emptae nutricis, sed gremio ac sinu matris educabatur (cf. Germ. 20, 1 sua quemque mater uberibus alit, nec ancillis ac nutricibus delegantur). On the influential role of Roman mothers on their children’s eloquence cf. Quint. inst. 1, 1, 6; cf. Cic. Brut. 211 (on the eloquence of the Gracchi and their mother) apparet filios non tam in gremio educatos quam in sermone matris. In Cic. de orat. 3, 45, the orator L. Licinius Crassus’ comment on the pure eloquence of Laelia, which reminds him of Plautus and Naevius, alludes to the topos that women in particular preserved the purity of speech of ancient times (facilius enim mulieres incorruptam antiquitatem conseruant; cf.
Praef. 15 in commentariis protrita). Just as grammatici do, Gellius engages with the explanation and elucidation of literary texts; in fact, as we have observed above, he manifests himself as their rival in the field, using grammatical learning to express cultural authority and to aﬃrm elite status. 45 Yet, this is merely on the surface. ” This is elaborated in an entertaining anecdote in 15, 9, where the confrontation between Gellius and a grammaticus vividly illustrates the contrast between two radically diﬀerent views on authority in explaining Latin.
Gellius represents himself as part of a ‘group experience’, picturing himself as one of the many intellectuals who visited the admired orator (19, 8, 1):12 adulescentulus Romae … quando erat a magistris auditionibusque otium, ad Frontonem Cornelium pergebam sermonibusque eius purissimis bonarumque doctrinarum plenis fruebar, when I was a young man at Rome … I often paid a visit to Cornelius Fronto, when I had leisure from my masters and my lectures, and enjoyed his pure conversations, which abounded besides in excellent information.
Gellius the Satirist: Roman Cultural Authority in Attic Nights (Mnemosyne Supplements: Monographs on Greek and Roman Language and Literature) by Wytse Hette Keulen