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Title: Fragmented histories: Recent and distant pasts in early Roman historiography
Authors: Blair, Stephen Charles
Advisors: Feldherr, Andrew
Contributors: Classics Department
Keywords: Conceptions of the past
Roman epic
Roman historiography
Subjects: Classical literature
Classical studies
Ancient history
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: Roman historical literature began with a pair of epic poets and a pair of prose historians. The precedent these early writers set became the model for later generations of Roman writers. Rather than limit themselves to a particular period or event, early Roman historians repeatedly elected to narrate the entirety of the Roman past in histories stretching continuously from the legends surrounding the foundation of the city to the recent events of the authors’ lives. These hybrid works explored the first Punic war (264–241 BCE) as a decisive turning point in the Roman past, and accordingly their authors experimented with narrative patterns and modes of thought that enabled diachronic reflection around this significant moment. Through etymology, moral accounts of the past, and rationalization of myths, early Roman historians insisted on the relevance of archaic Rome to the period since the first Punic war.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Classics

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