Figuring Out Roman Nobility

Juvenal's Eighth 'Satire'

John Henderson

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ISBN: 9780859895170

Publication: January 1, 1997

Series: Exeter Studies in History

In the USA? Buy the Paperback US edition
Juvenal is a central author on courses in Classical Studies and has an important place on courses in comparative literature, both in the UK and USA. This new book by John Henderson shows how the eighth Satire, a brilliant piece of writing, makes fun of traditional Roman family values, and in the process displays the core of ideas and practices with which aristocratic culture at Rome enshrined itself - the display of geneologies, ancestral busts, proliferating names, the cult of exemplary legends - in all seriousness. Virgil and Horace are Juvenal's prize scalps in his spoof of the Roman fame-machine. The book is aimed at undergraduate students of Roman Satire, and advanced school students of Classical Civilisation; but the notes and Appendices also address scholars and advanced readers of Latin poetry and Roman cultural politics, supporting a new close-reading and engaging with literary theory. All Latin is translated.

John Henderson is Professor of Classics, University of Cambridge and Fellow and Director of Studies in Classics of King's College, Cambridge. He is co-author (with Mary Beard) of Classics: A very short introduction (Oxford, 1995) and is the author of many books, including Figuring Out Roman Nobility: Juvenal's Eighth Satire (1997) and A Roman Life: Rutilius Gallicus on Paper and In Stone (1998), both published by University of Exeter Press.

Introduction - which of your relatives need you to exist? On the way in - text and translation of Juvenal,"Satire 8" "Noblesse oblige"- what are pedigrees?; Rome in the"Nomen"- naming in Latin; pedigree chums - the poetics and politics of Roman names It's no good calling people names - vv.1-5 "Canst thou not remember Quintius, Fabricius, Curius, Regulus?"- the"generalizing plural"in Latin; why the little boy was glad everyone called him Cyril - v.3 Curiouser and curioser - v.4 Fallen idols - vv.6-9 The fame of the name - vv.6-9 That for a game of soldiers - vv.9-12 Absolutely Fabius - vv.13-8 "Courage, mon brave"- vv.19-20 Lloyd's names - vv.21-38 All the way, all ways - translation of Juvenal,"Satire 8", 39-275 Off you go and make a name for yourself - vv.39-275 On your way out, if you wouldn't mind... - Juvenal,"Satires, Book 3". Appendices: Horace,"Odes"1.12 and the generalizing plural - discussion (with texts and translation) Virgil's roll-call of Roman "Exempla: Aeneid" 6.808-86, synopsis, text and translation Fabius Maximus in Virgil, Livy, Ovid - discussion (with texts and translations) Glossary of Roman"Cognomina"- why is a Roman Emperor like P?

Well grounded in solid literary scholarship, displaying the author's indisputably wide and detailed knowledge of Latin literature. It is well buttressed by a supportive structure of appendices in which the author's erudition is apparent.
  Scholia, 6.19

John Henderson's witty and provocative study of Juvenal's excoriating satire on noble family trees, sets out, as it were, to hunt for the unpatched arse-holes of the Roman aristocracy.
  Times Literary Supplement

The book belongs to a series designed to make the latest research accessible to a student and general readership. I hope that students and others will make the effort needed for this, like any interaction with a piece of Hendersonese (though this is much 'easier' than some of his tours de force), and will be attracted by the punning, playful, allusive style. Hardened academics should check it out, for this is sustained literary and cultural criticism from one of the cleverest classicists currently active.
  Greece and Rome, 44.2

Its verve, along with Henderson's impressive scholarship, sets this work apart from the drear, scripted prose endemic to culture criticism. Henderson writes with committed energy rather than dogmatism, with an eye to the words on the page as well as the ideologies subtending them. [This is a ...] brilliant, tough and valuable book.
  The Classical Review, XLIX, 1

Format: Paperback

Size: 230 x 149 mm

176 Pages

ISBN: 9780859895170

Publication: January 1, 1997

Series: Exeter Studies in History

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