Clio's Cosmetics

Three Studies in Greco-Roman Literature

T. P. Wiseman

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ISBN: 9781904675006

Publication: August 1, 2004

Series: Bristol Phoenix Press Ignibus Paperbacks

In the USA? Buy the Paperback US edition
Clio is Muse of history, her 'cosmetics' the adornments of rhetoric. Peter Wiseman's influential book, first published in 1979 and now for the first time in paperback, concerns the writing of history during the first century BCE, when Rome was in process of becoming the centre of the Greek, as much as her own, literary world. Historians, trained in the schools of rhetoric, prized elegant plausibility above the empirical objectivity we expect of them today. Legend and history intermingled; history and poetry overlapped.This study divides into three distinct parts. The first treats the problems that arise from reading first century history as if it were written by modern, non-rhetorical standards. The second examines the pseudo-history of the gens Claudia, fabricated during the first century and transmitted to us by Livy and Dionysius of Halicarnassus. The third discusses Catullus' dedication of his poetry to the historian Cornelius Nepos against the background of the two authors' common intellectual heritage. The book represents a significant contribution towards an appreciation of ancient historiography and Roman culture. History is viewed here as rhetoric, as myth-making, and as poetry.

T. P. Wiseman is Emeritus Professor of Roman History at the University of Exeter and a Fellow of the British Academy. He came to Exeter in 1977, and was Head of Department from 1977 to 1990.

Preface PART I Clio's Cosmetics 1. 'Fucatio' 2. Annals and History 3. History and Rhetoric 4. Unhistorical Thinking PART II The Legends of the Patrician Claudii 5. Attus Clausus and the Two Traditions 6. Claudian Arrogance and Claudian Wisdom 7. The Date of Composition 8. Authors and Motives PART III Catullus and Cornelius Nepos 9. Poetry and History 10. The Intellectual Background 11. The Dedication Poem 12. The Collection Bibliography Index

The general reader will learn a lot from this book, which can be enjoyed without a great knowledge of Latin ... Republican Rome, the period of which he (Wiseman) has shown himself the best intellectual historian now writing.
  History Today

Clio's Cosmetics is an intelligent and provocative book about historical writing in the Roman Republic. It is acute and well-written, and has important things to say.
  The Journal of Roman Studies

Should stimulate, entertain and enlighten anyone who wants to know something about ancient historians.
  Times Literary Supplement

Format: Paperback

Size: 215 x 139 mm

222 Pages

ISBN: 9781904675006

Publication: August 1, 2004

Series: Bristol Phoenix Press Ignibus Paperbacks

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