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Roman Literature day 1

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Ashley Leclair

on 22 November 2013

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Transcript of Roman Literature day 1

Roman Literature day 1
History (according to the roman people)
Two myths:
Romulus and Remus
Virgil wrote Aeneid
attempted to explain how they got there
Aeneid is a continuation
of Romulus and Remus
do not contradict
each other
History according to modern day findings (page 213)
believed that Rome started out as a
farming community
(753B.C.) on the
east side of the river Tiber's bank
7 kings
first six kings lead with grace and honor
7th was cruel
Tarquinius II is the final king and is appointed to the throne(
534-509 B.C.
killed his father-in-law
senators were also put to death
Lucius Junius Brutus rose up and a
republic was created
History continued
753-264 B.C. poorest recorded
history in Rome
become recorded in the late 3rd century
many wars and conquered
places like
Spain and Italy
fought in wars called the
Punic Wars
where lots of people died and eventually won them
Greece and North Africa
war also
destroyed Carthage

Alexander the Great conquers
Mesopotamia, Persia
, and part of
(spread greek culture through these areas)
series of
come into power during their
civil wars
Sulla (83-82 B.C.)
Caesar (49-44 B.C.)
Roman Empire
Roman empire in 31 B.C.
History part 3
fought Anthony and Cleopatra and took
control of the roman empire
he shifted the power to himself and became the
first emperor in 31 B.C.
he changed his name to
and then called this the
age of Augustus

2nd century A.D.
under the watch of Constantine the Roman empire grew to reach from
Britain and Spain to Persia
the fall of the Roman Empire happened for 2 reasons:
supervision and corruption
splitting of the empire into
2 sections
made it
easy to invade
and conquer by the
, Visigoths and the Huns
dramatic arts and writing
early dramas were taken from the greeks ( what else is new?)
Focused on Comedies
human mistakes
excelled at
( logical and
sophisticated way of speaking
as seen in the greeks the apology by Plato
then they went into
lyric poetry

philosophical poems
Explanations for events usually involved the the gods
believed the gods controlled their lives
Most important god is
After the reign of Augustus, the emperor was considered to be a god
Each god had a special festival day
Temples were built across the empire for worship
Augurs found in temples; used to predict future
Each home would have an alter and shrine where they could worship household spirits called 'lares'
Stories often concerned with
politics and mortality
Important theme of the
of others and self
Religious stories emphasized
ritual, augury, and institutions
Greek influence and imitation of Greek gods
Traditional stories handed down by Romans
Creation Myths
Investigated through archeology
Romulus and Remus
Character Myths
political and moral
Final level of education system
Originally Greek; undertaken by Roman students
Perused by wealthy
Single, most important was
Portrayed emotions like
fear or envy which arose from false judgements
Sage is immune to misfortune
Virtue is sufficient for happiness
Personal; qualities which every citizen should aspire
Public; shared by all of society
born in Verona and died in Rome
Julius Caesar was taking the place as dictator
at the time with some difficulty from his rival (Pompey)
most works at this time were about politics
other Romans, decided that in stead of writing
politic based epics
that he wanted to write
lyric poetry
(inspired by the greeks)
often spoke about personal events and people he knew
heart felt
and mainly spoke about
love and hate

most of his
25 poems
spoke about a girl named
controversy on what her real name is. Some sources say that it is Clodia.
Lesbia was believed to be Catullus' lover
he gave her the name Lesbia because of Greek influence (Sappho)
Psychoanalytical Critique
Repression of anger
through tone and structure of literary work
Fear of love, getting hurt, commitment, and intimacy
by denying Lesbia's love for him
"...but what a women tells her lover in desire/ should be written out on air & running water."(line 5-6)
Readers perception can sense
anger and hurt
with the poem
may feel sympathy because he is conflicted with what to believe, but realizes Lesbia is a married woman, therefore the situation was brought upon by Catullus himself
Use of multiple meanings through...
"...but what a woman tells her lover in desire/ should be written out on
air & running water
."(line 5-6)
the value of Lesbia's desire to only marry Catullus is thought to slip through fingers; the
sincerity cannot be captured
Feminist critique
1st person point of view meaning that its from the male point of
view on women

stereotypes women
"but what a
tells her lover in desire/should be written out on
air and running water
. "412
in a way this passage can be seen as a warning to other men
"should be written out on air and running water."
saying that men should be weary of what women say when they are in the heat of the moment because what
she says can never be captured or obtained
also saying that the things that women say can't be trusted
(main theme of the poem)
"or so she says,"
emphasis on the fact that he
doesn't believe what she's saying
he also makes reference to
by using the name Lesbia(Sappho came from Lesbos) showing how he's still
in tune with women
despite the
doubt he feels
in this poem.
Wretched Catullus, Leave Off Playing The Fool
Lesbia has left Catullus
Catullus is sad and looking at his feelingsand he situation
Symbols and other interesting facts
some of the language used has
more than one meaning
a person in an unhappy or unfortunate state

New Historicism Critique
the poems are the way that we have come to know about Catullus' life
about his lover Lesbia
and he
wrote lyric poems
based off of Sappho as
opposed to political epics
the piece works in showing off the
life style of the people
of it's time and
their morals
"Who will love you now? or bite your lips in kisses?"
this states that with in Catullus' time even peer relationships and
romantic relationships were highly sought after
and they were something that the
people hoped to obtain

Structuralism and Semiotics
starts out almost like a tragedy
is written in the
3rd person
shows a higher level of thinking
, leave off playing the fool" - first line
double meanings to words and phrases
a person in an
unfortunate state
the final couple of lines to the poem can be interupted differently
"who will love you now or bite your lips in kisses?/ not catullus he's determined to obstain/"
could be talking about Lesbia
or Catullus
poll: when you read the last line, did you see it as Catullus talking about himself or Lesbia?
Feminist Critique
Writing in the 3rd person
Man feels emotionally harmed by woman
"Who will kiss you now?"
He also objectifies her
"A happiness on you when she would rule/your steps and lead you into joyous play/ How much you loved her! More than any man/"
Child with a toy
A man is only worth while with a woman on his arm
A woman is only good so long as she's with a man
Audacious for her to be with anyone other than him
Shows male qualities: Independence instead of dependence
Themes and Influence
Universal statements
love can lead to sadness
joy can easily be take away
Teaches us about morals of his culture and how they had intimate feelings for each other
Arts and Architecture
leaned more
towards play writes and drama
as opposed to visual arts
Comedies were favored
in the dramatic arts
in 200 B.C. they take the greek's art and brought it to Rome
roman art is influenced by the Etruscans
built many temples
for their gods such as:
Temple of Jupiter
Temple of Saturnus
Temple of Ceres
Temple of Castor
Temple of Apollo
also rebuilt the wall around Rome 3 times
they invented concrete which allowed them to grow in their use of architecture
Marxist Critique
Both characters are of a Higher Elite status
Represents Upper Class
"...though Jupiter himself came asking/ or so she says," (lines 3-4)
Jupiter asked Lesbia to marry her meaning she feels she is of a high enough status to marry the Ruler of the Gods
Reinforces the value of awareness
with regards to the motives of others
Subverts the value of marriage
as a mutual benefit
Suggest conflict of
deception for personal benefit
"...or so she says,/ but what a women tells her lover in desire/ should be written out on air & running water." (lines 4-6)
Catullus doesn't perceive Lesbia to be genuine when she says she would rather marry him
Benefits an audience of males
"... but what a women tells her lover in desire/ should be written out o air & running water."(lines 5-6)
Brings awareness of the genuineness of females and their pursuit of men
Lesbia (Archetype)
Catullus (Archetype)
Jupiter (allusion)
Catullus doesn't believe Lesbia
Lesbia is trying to prove her love to Catullus
symbols and lit elements
Allusion: Jupiter
If Ever Anyone Anywhere
If ever anyone anywhere, Lesbia, is looking
for what he knows will not happen
and then unexpectedly it happens
the soul is astonished,
as we are now in each other,
an event dearer than gold,
for you have restored yourself, Lesbia, desired
restored yourself, longed for, unlooked for, brought yourself back to me. White day in the calendar!
Who happier than I?
What more can life offer
than the longed for unlooked for event
when it happens?
Psychoanalytical Critique
Repress the belief that the relationship could ever happen
"...is looking for what he knows will not happen..." (line 1-2)
Catullus did not look for Lesbia because he could have been afraid of rejection
Fear of rejection
"...longed for, unlooked for..." (line 8)
expectations lead to disappointments
, so he would rather long for Lesbia's love, but not pursue it;
repression of his emotions in order to avoid potential unrequited love
Readers perception
Catullus is a Romantic
desires acceptance and seeks love
which is demonstrated through his excitement once Lesbia has sought him out
"...as we are now in each other,/ an event dearer than gold,..." (line 5-6)
"...White day in the calendar! Who happier than I?" (line 10-11)
Use of multiple meanings through...
"...the soul is astonished,/
as we are now in each other
,/ an event dearer than gold,..." (lines 4-6)
could represent
romantic love or sexual desire
"...for you have restored yourself, Lesbia, desired/ restored yourself, longed for, unlooked for, brought yourself back/ to me." (line 7-10)
Lesbia could be back in Catullus' "good books"
Lesbia is back in Catullus' life
Lesbia has emotionally put herself back together
Catullus has
overcome the fear of being rejected and is rewarded with Lesbia's love
Marxist Critique
Character are from an Upper Elite class
Lesbia is
married to a politician
wealthy established poet
; works were admired by Julius Caesar and wealthy women
traveled in fashionable social circles
prosperous family
allowed him to travel, access power of those in higher positions, and socialize with elite
Represents every class system
"If every anyone anywhere..."(line 1)
written for elite but transcends all classes
Reinforces the belief that love triumphs all
; for example money and status
"...the soul is astonished,/ as we are now in each other,/ an event dearer than gold..." (line 4-6)
Subverts the idea of waiting for what may be impossible, and expecting the unexpected
Benefits the reader by
reconfirming belief and hope in love and patience
Feminist Critique
"...Lesbia, is looking/ for what
knows will not happen..." (line 1-2)
statement is made from a
male's point of view
Feminist qualities
Lesbia is very
because she is "longed for" by Catullus
depicts women having to go out a
search for love
is portrayed as
desperate and dependent
because she went looking for Catullus
Masculine qualities
Catullus has
maintained power
within his relationship with Lesbia because he did not demonstrate his need for her love and had the choice to turn her away when she returned to him
Catullus is stating he longed for a relationship; he receives what his heart desires and has attained what he thought would not happen
"...restored yourself, longed for, unlooked for/ brought yourself back/ to me."(line 8-10)
Catullus is contradicting himself by making Lesbia seem dependent
Reversed Roles: Lesbia goes searching for Catullus, therefore is seen as a "Hunter for love"; whereas Catullus does not demonstrate any search or motive to find Lesbia
Literary Elements
love, lust, Clodia, temptation, desire, unfaithfulness, beauty
White Day
occasion like Valentines day
represents peace, innocence, love, happiness, joy
"... the soul is astonished,/ as we are now in each other..." (line 4-5)
Point of View
"... the soul is astonished..." (line 4)
"White day in the calendar!" (line 10)
If Ever Anyone Anywhere' depicts the directed audience and one of the main themes
Themes & Influence
The word lesbian or sapphic originates from an individual who resided on the island of Lesbos.
Sappho, the Greek poet born in Lesbos, was a lesbian
common to see a dominant female in a homosexual relationship
Catullus was associated with writing about love and his emotions, influenced by Sappho; during a time of war and politics
he could reflect the dominant female
common themes within many novels and plays throughout history
Importance of this piece is to demonstrate the power of love when it is least expected
Themes and Influence
universal statements (themes)
not all that lovers say are the truth
love can lead to ones mistrust
drawn from Sappho
lyric poem
tells his life story
emotional piece

Hall of Philosophers
Expecting the unexpected leads to happiness
"What more can life offer/ than the longed for unlooked for event/ when it happens?" (Line 12-14)
Love leads to self-restoration
"... for you have restored yourself, Lesbia, desired/ restored yourself, longed for, unlooked for,/ brought yourself back..." (line 7-9)
Money cannot buy happiness
"... as we are now in each other,/ an event dearer than gold..." (line 5-6)
Catullus was not expects Lesbia to return in his life
he was overjoyed when she did
believes that
life has nothing more to offer than love
Full transcript