A History of Roman Literature: From Livius Andronicus to by Michael von Albrecht, Gareth L. Schmeling

By Michael von Albrecht, Gareth L. Schmeling

Michael von Albrecht's A heritage of Roman Literature, initially released in German, can rightly be obvious because the lengthy awaited counterpart to Albin Lesky's Geschichte der Griechischen Literatur. In what is going to most likely be the final survey made through a unmarried student the entire of Latin literature from Livius Andronicus as much as Boethius comes to the fore. 'Literature' is taken right here in its large, vintage feel, and consequently additionally comprises e.g. rhetoric, philosophy and historical past. specified awareness has been given to the impact of Latin literature on next centuries all the way down to our personal days. large indices supply entry to this monument of studying. The introductions in Von Albrecht's texts, including the big bibliographies make extra research either extra fruitful and straightforward.

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Extra info for A History of Roman Literature: From Livius Andronicus to Boethius : With Special Regard to Its Influence on World Literature (Mnemosyne, Bibliotheca Classica Batava Supplementum)

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New Studies in Latin linguistics, Amsterdam 1991; J . D A N G E L , Histoire de la langue latine, Paris 1995; F . , Paroles romaines (articles by several authors), Nancy 1995; G . M A U R A C H , Lateinische Dichtersprache, D a r m ­ stadt 1995. Loc. , 526-527. 2 28 CONDITIONS O F T H E RISE O F ROMAN L I T E R A T U R E Humboldt has taught us to make a sharper distinction between w o r d and concept, and certainly the laws o f language are dictated i n the first instance by psychology, not logic.

This may shedlight on the patterning o f the elements in Roman poetry. A specifically Roman preference for linking and summarizing con­ crete details i n the service o f a single thought culminated i n a literary technique which, i n the course o f Roman literary history, acquired increasing importance. I n allegory, the reader's m i n d was confronted w i t h a picture, whose parts could be taken from reality but were not found there i n that combination. This meant that they had to be read as signs for an abstract idea.

T h r o u g h public readings—and even more through theatrical presentations—literature could reach even the uneducated. O f all literary genres, it is Roman drama therefore which perhaps enjoyed the widest dissemination and contributed most to public awareness o f Greek culture. I t is all the more regrettable then that all that remains o f early Latin tragic poetry are fragments. 2 1 I n this the effect of literary theory and rhetoric on the creativity of the authors must neither be neglected nor overestimated.

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