Horace and the Gift Economy of Patronage (Classics and by Phebe Lowell Bowditch

By Phebe Lowell Bowditch

This cutting edge examine explores chosen odes and epistles by way of the late-first-century poet Horace in mild of recent anthropological and literary concept. Phebe Lowell Bowditch seems to be particularly at how the connection among Horace and his purchaser Maecenas is mirrored in those poems' issues and rhetorical figures. utilizing anthropological experiences on present trade, she uncovers an implicit monetary dynamic in those poems and elegantly demanding situations typical perspectives on literary patronage during this interval. Horace and the reward financial system of Patronage offers a notable new knowing of Horace's poems and the Roman approach of patronage, and likewise demonstrates the relevance of recent Historicist and Marxist serious paradigms for Roman reports. as well as incorporating anthropological and sociological views, Bowditch's theoretical strategy uses thoughts drawn from linguistics, deconstruction, and the paintings of Michel Foucault. She weaves jointly those rules in an unique method of Horace's use of golden age imagery, his language touching on public presents or munera, his metaphors of sacrifice, and the rhetoric of sophistication and standing present in those poems. Horace and the reward financial system of Patronage represents an unique method of primary concerns and questions within the examine of Latin literature, and sheds new mild on our knowing of Roman society ordinarily.

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32, esp. 30: Sed quamquam utilitates multae et magnae consecutae sunt, non sunt tamen ab earum spe causae diligendi profectae. See Brunt 1965, 1–2, for further discussion. 46 Horace’s own Epistles offer several instances: in his letter to Iccius, for example, the poet presents an aristocrat, or man of “some social standing,” living on and enjoying the fruits of Marcus Agrippa’s estate in Sicily. The ostensible occasion for the letter is to encourage Iccius to “make use” (utere) of Grosphus, a wealthy landowner also in Sicily, whose friendship may be acquired “inexpensively” through the provision of modest services: “If he will ask for anything, oblige him willingly; Grosphus will seek nothing but what is just and fair.

The claim that were one “to summon [Alexander’s] judgment to assess books and these gifts of the Muses” (iudicium . . / ad libros et ad haec Musarum dona vocares, 242–43), one “would swear it was born in the thick and heavy climate of the Boeotians” (Boeotum in crasso iurares aere natum, 244) further supports this subtext that literary patronage should operate as a gift economy in order to be effective. “Gifts of the Muses” denotes the poetry contained in libros, but public games. See Jocelyn 1980, 387–400, for a discussion of the evidence.

A]nd the features of illustrious men stand out no more clearly, rendered in statues of bronze, than do their character and spirit, presented in poets’ work. And I would not choose to compose my poetic chatter, moving close to the ground, rather than verse on great deeds—singing about the lay of distant lands, and rivers, and citadels set on mountain peaks, and strange kingdoms, and the wars completed throughout the entire world under your auspices, and the bolts restraining Janus, custodian of peace, and Rome so feared by the Parthian, since you are our leader, if my ability were also as great as my desire.

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