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The Romans


The Romans the grandeur that was Greece and the glory that was Rome Edgar Allan Poe The genius of the Greeks lay in art, literature, science, and philosophy. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Romans

The Romans
  • the grandeur that was Greece and the glory that
    was Rome
  • Edgar Allan Poe

The genius of the Greeks lay in art, literature,
science, and philosophy. The Romans were best in
warfare, engineering, and government.
Who Were the Romans?
  • The time when Rome was powerful did not begin
    until after the greatest powers of Egypt and
    Greece passed.
  • Roman history is usually divided into three main
  • before the rise of Rome,
  • the Roman Republic, and
  • the Roman Empire.
  • The Empire is usually divided up according to who
    was emperor.

  • Before the rise of Rome
  • Stone Age (to 3000 BC)
  • Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BC-1000 BC)
  • Etruscans (ca. 1000 BC-500 BC)
  • Roman Republic
  • The early period (ca. 500 BC-300 BC)
  • The Punic Wars (ca. 275 BC-146 BC)
  • The Civil Wars (ca. 146 BC-30 BC)

A Roman Road
  • Roman Empire
  • The Julio-Claudians (30 BC-68 AD)
  • The Flavians (69 AD-96 AD)
  • The Five Good Emperors (96 AD-161 AD)
  • The Severans (161 AD-235 AD)
  • The Third Century Crisis
  • Constantine and his family (312 AD-363 AD)
  • The Theodosians (363 AD-450 AD)
  • The Fall of Rome (476 AD)
  • After the fall of Rome
  • The Ostrogoths
  • The Visigoths
  • The Franks
  • The Vandals
  • The Byzantines
  • The Lombards, the Pope, and Islam

Ave Imperator, morituri te salutant ("Hail,
Emperor, those who are about to die salute you")
  • The foot of the boot and Sicily were Greek
    outposts and centers of Hellenic civilization in
    the 8th century BC.
  • Remains of their beautiful temples, theaters, and
    city walls still stand.
  • In Tuscany the Etruscans made early advances in
    the arts and conquered neighboring peoples until
    they held a large part of the peninsula (see
  • To the south the merchants of Latium settled on
    seven hills near the Tiber.
  • This community became Rome, which rose to
    supremacy and extended its power until the Romans
    ruled the ancient world.

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The Romans called the Mediterranean Mare
Nostrum--our sea. The map indicates why they
had good reason to do so. The map shows that the
empire extended from the British Isles in the
northwest to Egypt in the southeast and from
Armenia in the northeast to Mauretania (now
Morocco) in the southwest. The Roman Empire thus
encompassed the Mediterranean, ruled every
civilized land in Europe and Africa, and extended
into Asia. The only other civilized countries in
the world lay farther east, in Asia. Emperor
Trajan extended Roman rule into Mesopotamia (now
Iraq). Hadrian, however, withdrew to the previous
The military conquest of Greece by Rome in 146 BC
resulted in the cultural conquest of Rome by
  • As the Roman poet Horace said,
  • Captive Greece took captive her rude conqueror
    and brought the arts to Latium.

  • Actually, Greek influence on Roman education had
    begun about a century before the conquest.
  • The Romans adopted the same general educational
    strategies as the Greeks. Discipline, however,
    was severe and the primary means of learning was,
    again, memorization.
  • Originally, the Romans placed the responsibility
    for a child's education not with an experienced
    teacher outside the home but with the child's

  • Most if not all of a Roman child's education took
    place at home.
  • If the father himself were educated, his son
    would learn to read and would learn Roman law,
    history, and customs.
  • The father also saw to his son's physical
  • When the boy was older, he sometimes prepared
    himself for public life by a kind of
    apprenticeship to an esteemed older friend of the
    family active in politics.

  • Influenced by the Greeks, the Romans later began
    to emphasize the art of public speaking and the
    study of Greek in a system of schooling outside
    the home.
  • When they were six or seven years old, boys (and
    sometimes girls) of all classes could attend the
    ludus publicus, the elementary school, where they
    studied reading, writing, and counting.
  • Often children of the upper classes studied at
    home, with a Greek slave as a private tutor.

  • At age 12 or 13, the boys of the upper classes
    attended a grammar school where they learned
    Greek or Latin grammar, or both, and studied both
    Greek and Latin literature.
  • The graded arrangement of schools established in
    Rome by the middle of the 1st century BC
    ultimately spread throughout the Roman Empire. It
    continued until the fall of the empire in the 5th
    century AD.

  • Although deeply influenced by Greek education,
    Roman higher education was nonetheless quite
    different. For most Greeks, the end of education
    was to produce a good citizen, and a good citizen
    meant a well-rounded individual.
  • The goal of Roman education was the same, but for
    the Romans a good citizen came to mean an
    effective speaker.

  • The result was that they disregarded such
    non-utilitarian Greek studies as science,
    philosophy, music, dancing, and gymnastics,
    basing their education primarily on literature
    and oratory. Even their study of literature,
    which stressed the technicalities of grammar more
    than content, had the aim of producing good
  • Because of this emphasis on the technical study
    of language and literature and because much of
    the language and literature studied represented
    the culture of a foreign people, Roman education
    often was remote from the real world and
    interests of the schoolboys.

  • Vigorous discipline was therefore necessary to
    motivate them to study.
  • And the Roman boys were not the last to suffer in
    this situation.
  • When the empire fell, the education that was
    originally intended to train orators for the
    Roman Senate became the model for European
    education and dominated it until the 20th century.

A Worthy Roman Had. . .
  • Piutus Religious devotion "Dutifulness" More
    than religious piety a respect for the natural
    order socially, politically, and religiously.
    Includes the ideas of patriotism and devotion to
  • Gravitas "Gravity" A sense of the importance
    of the matter at hand, responsibility and
    earnestness. Distrusted attempts to change.
  • Auctoritas "Spiritual Authority" The sense of
    one's social standing, built up through
    experience, Pietas, and Industria.
  • Industria "Industriousness" Hard work.

Overview from the Norton
  • With its military victories in North Africa,
    Spain, Greece, and Asia Minor, the social,
    cultural, and economic life of Rome changed
  • Literature in Latin began with a translation of
    the Greek Odyssey and continued to be modeled
    after Greek sources until it became Christian.

  • The lyric poems that Catullus wrote about his
    love affair with the married woman he called
    Lesbia range in tone from passionate to
    despairing to almost obscene.
  • Left unfinished at the time of his death,
    Virgil's Aeneid combines the themes of the
    Homeric epics the wanderer in search of a home
    from the Iliad, and the hero at war from the
  • Ovid's extraordinary subtlety and psychological
    depth make his poetry second only to Virgil's for
    its influence on western poets and writers of the
    Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and beyond.

  • Probably written by Petronius, and probably
    written during the principate of Nero, the
    Satyricon is a satirical work about the
    pragmatism and materialism of the Roman empire
    that would soon be supplanted by Christianity.
  • After the fall of the Roman Empire, the concept
    of a world-state was appropriated by the medieval
    Church, which ruled from the same center, Rome,
    and laid claim to a spiritual authority as great
    as the secular authority it succeeded.

(ca. 84 BC 54 BC)
  • Catullus's reputation as one of the greatest
    poets of all Roman literature is even more
    remarkable because it is based on a collection of
    poems smaller than a fourth of Vergil's Aeneid
    (c. 29-19 B.C.E. English translation,1553) and
    because this collection survived antiquity in
    only a single copy.
  • The 113 poems range in length from epigrams of
    two lines to a miniature epic of 408 lines.
  • The near extinction of this great poet is
    attributable to the audacious and racy subject
    matter of some of his poems, which made them
    unsuitable for use in the schools.

  • Made his own way rather than follow the methods
    of the Greeks.
  • Wrote in a colloquial style.
  • Because there is no known chronology, one good
    way to perceive the work of Catullus is through
    the people about whom and to whom he wrote his
  • The social character of his poetry, much of which
    is addressed to somebody specific, is also well
    served by this approach. The most visible and
    intense of the poet's personal relationships is
    with a woman he calls Lesbia, mentioned in some
    twenty-five of Catullus's love poems.
  • Lucius Apuleius wrote that her real name was
    Clodia, and it is generally believed that she was
    a married woman ten years older than the poet.

The lyric poems that Catullus wrote about his
love affair with the married woman he called
Lesbia range in tone from passionate to
despairing to almost obscene.
  • Defining obscene points to the intent of the
    author rather than a works content.
  • The desire of the artist to devalue another human
    being is what makes a work clearly obscene.

  • Thus poems like Lesbia let us live only for
    loving 5 is clearly not obscene although the
    relationship for a Christian is immoral.
  • Furthermore the angry words of You used to say
    you wished to know only Catullus 72 or I
    hate Love 85 while angry at the woman do
    not cross over into abuse.
  • However Aurelius Furius, True Comrades 11
    (not assigned), do seem to cross this line even
    though they are also true representations of the
    human heart in loving despair.

1878 van de Britse schilder John Reinhard
Weguelin, 1849-1927.
Some Examples
  • Let us live, my Lesbia, let us love,
  • and all the words of the old, and so moral,
  • may they be worth less than nothing to us!
  • Suns may set, and suns may rise again
  • but when our brief light has set,
  • night is one long everlasting sleep.
  • Give me a thousand kisses, a hundred more,
  • another thousand, and another hundred,
  • and, when weve counted up the many thousands,
  • confuse them so as not to know them all,
  • so that no enemy may cast an evil eye,
  • by knowing that there were so many kisses.

Poem 5
  • Nulli se dicit mulier mea nubere malle quam
    mihi, non si se Iuppiter ipse petat. dicit sed
    mulier cupido quod dicit amanti, in uento et
    rapida scribere oportet aqua.
  • (The woman says she'd rather marry me than
    anyone, even should Jupiter himself come
    calling. This is what she says, but what a woman
    tells to her lover in desire might as well be
    written on air and running water.)

Poem 70
  • Once you said you preferred Catullus alone,
  • Lesbia would not have Jupiter before me.
  • I prized you then not like an ordinary lover,
  • but as a father prizes his children, his family.
  • Now I know you so, though I burn more fiercely,
  • yet youre worth much less to me, and slighter.
  • How is that, you ask? The pain of such love
  • makes a lover love more, but like less.

Poem 72
  • Odi et amo. quare id faciam, fortasse
    requiris? nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
  • (I hate and I love. You ask me how this can
    be I don't know I only know that I feel it, and
    it hurts.)

Poem 85
Other Works
  • Traditional serious poetry also exerted its
    attraction for Catullus. In the course of what
    might be viewed as a licentious life of pleasure
    and scandal, Catullus composed three long wedding
    hymns (poems 61, 62, and 63) which show every
    sign of a deep belief in the institution of
  • In addition, there is an impressive long poem
    about the religious frenzy of a legendary young
    Greek named Attis, who emasculates himself in
    order to serve the Asiatic goddess Cybele.
  • Notwithstanding the emphasis of the Neoterics on
    short poetry in a native poetic idiom, epic
    remained the medium of choice for the highest
    achievement. Catullus's effort in this genre, the
    miniature epic or epyllion on the wedding of
    Peleus and Thetis, with its digression on
    Theseus's abandonment of Ariadne (poem 64), ranks
    with his best work. Parts of it, such as
    Ariadne's lament, are unsurpassed in Latin

70 BC--21, 19 BC
  • Virgil was regarded by the
  • Romans as their greatest poet,
  • an estimation that subsequent
  • generations have upheld.
  • His fame rests chiefly upon the Aeneid, which
    tells the story of Rome's legendary founder and
    proclaims the Roman mission to civilize the world
    under divine guidance.
  • His reputation as a poet endures not only for the
    music and diction of his verse and for his skill
    in constructing an intricate work on the grand
    scale but also because he embodied in his poetry
    aspects of experience and behaviour of permanent

Left unfinished at the time of his death,
Virgil's Aeneid combines the themes of the
Homeric epics the hero at war from the Iliad,
and the wanderer in search of a home from the
  • Virgils work was shaped by the chaotic time of
    his youth.
  • He avoided the public life his father had planned
    for him (probably saving his life).

  • At 26 BC Julius Caesar was assonated.
  • The chaos that followed only confirmed Virgils
    low opinion of things having to do with the
  • He wrote about country life (probably thinking
    back to his home town of Mantua by the Alps)
  • Called the Eclogues, -- a major developer of the
    Pastoral idea based originated by Theocritus
  • Shepherds and Shepherdesses living in an ideal
  • Most of the individual poems are in the form of
    conversations and singing contests between
    shepherds and goatherds with names such as
    "Tityrus" (supposedly representing Virgil
    himself), "Meliboeus", "Menalcas" and "Mopsus".
  • The poems are all carefully arranged, both as a
    whole and individually.

The Eclogues
  • Imitating the Greek Bucolica ("on care of
    cattle",They were a collection of 10 pastoral
    poems composed between 42 and 37 BC.
  • Some of them are escapist, literary excursions to
    the idyllic pastoral world of Arcadia based on
    the Greek poet Theocritus (fl. c. 280 BC)
  • These escapist ones convey in liquid song the
    idealized situations of an imaginary world

Eclogue I (just a sample)
  • Meliboeus.  You, Tityrus, 'neath a broad
    beech-canopy Reclining, on the slender oat
    rehearse Your silvan ditties I from my sweet
    fields, And home's familiar bounds, even now
    depart. Exiled from home am I while, Tityrus,
    you Sit careless in the shade, and, at your
    call, "Fair Amaryllis" bid the woods resound.
    Tityrus. O Meliboeus, 'twas a god vouchsafed
    This ease to us, for him a god will I Deem
    ever, and from my folds a tender lamb Oft with
    its life-blood shall his altar stain. His gift
    it is that, as your eyes may see, My kine may
    roam at large, and I myself Play on my
    shepherd's pipe what songs I will.

Christian Message?
  • The most famous of them is Eclogue 4 (PP Ecl.4),
    which contains a prophecy of a future 'golden
    age', which will be heralded in by the birth of a
  • While the identity of the child in question is
    uncertain, later Christians read this as a
    Messianic prophecy - one reason why Dante later
    chose Virgil as his guide through the underworld.
  • Some modern scholars have pointed to Virgil's
    knowledge of Roman Jewish families as a possible
    route for his near quotations of Isaiah in the

  • Muses of Sicily, essay we now
  • a somewhat loftier task! Not all men love
  • coppice or lowly tamarisk sing we woods,
  • woods worthy of a Consul let them be.
  • Now the last age by Cumae's Sibyl sung
  • has come and gone, and the majestic roll
  • of circling centuries begins anew
  • justice returns, returns old Saturn's reign,
  • with a new breed of men sent down from heaven.
  • Only do thou, at the boy's birth in whom
  • the iron shall cease, the golden race arise,
  • befriend him, chaste Lucina 'tis thine own
  • apollo reigns. And in thy consulate,
  • this glorious age, O Pollio, shall begin,
  • and the months enter on their mighty march.

Eclogue IV
  • Under thy guidance, whatso tracks remain
  • of our old wickedness, once done away,
  • shall free the earth from never-ceasing fear.
  • He shall receive the life of gods, and see
  • heroes with gods commingling, and himself
  • be seen of them, and with his father's worth
  • reign o'er a world at peace. For thee, O boy,
  • first shall the earth, untilled, pour freely
  • her childish gifts, the gadding ivy-spray
  • with foxglove and Egyptian bean-flower mixed,
  • and laughing-eyed acanthus. Of themselves,
  • untended, will the she-goats then bring home
  • their udders swollen with milk, while flocks
  • shall of the monstrous lion have no fear.

  • Thy very cradle shall pour forth for thee
  • caressing flowers. The serpent too shall die,
  • die shall the treacherous poison-plant, and far
  • and wide Assyrian spices spring. But soon
  • as thou hast skill to read of heroes' fame,
  • and of thy father's deeds, and inly learn
  • what virtue is, the plain by slow degrees
  • with waving corn-crops shall to golden grow,
  • from the wild briar shall hang the blushing
  • and stubborn oaks sweat honey-dew. Nathless
  • yet shall there lurk within of ancient wrong
  • some traces, bidding tempt the deep with ships,
  • gird towns with walls, with furrows cleave the
  • Therewith a second Tiphys shall there be,
  • her hero-freight a second Argo bear
  • new wars too shall arise, and once again
  • some great Achilles to some Troy be sent.

  • Then, when the mellowing years have made thee
  • no more shall mariner sail, nor pine-tree bark
  • ply traffic on the sea, but every land
  • shall all things bear alike the glebe no more
  • shall feel the harrow's grip, nor vine the hook
  • the sturdy ploughman shall loose yoke from steer,
  • nor wool with varying colours learn to lie
  • but in the meadows shall the ram himself,
  • now with soft flush of purple, now with tint
  • of yellow saffron, teach his fleece to shine.
  • While clothed in natural scarlet graze the lambs.
  • Such still, such ages weave ye, as ye run,
  • sang to their spindles the consenting Fates
  • by Destiny's unalterable decree.
  • Assume thy greatness, for the time draws nigh,
  • dear child of gods, great progeny of Jove!
  • See how it totters--the world's orbed might,

  • . . .earth, and wide ocean, and the vault
  • all, see, enraptured of the coming time.
  • Ah! might such length of days to me be given,
  • and breath suffice me to rehearse thy deeds,
  • nor Thracian Orpheus should out-sing me then,
  • nor Linus, though his mother this, and that
  • his sire should aid--Orpheus Calliope,
  • and Linus fair Apollo. Nay, though Pan,
  • with Arcady for judge, my claim contest,
  • with Arcady for judge great Pan himself
  • should own him foiled, and from the field retire.
  • Begin to greet thy mother with a smile,
  • o baby-boy! ten months of weariness
  • for thee she bore O baby-boy, begin!
  • For him, on whom his parents have not smiled,
  • gods deem not worthy of their board or bed.

  • In the Eclogues shepherds sing in the sunshine of
    their simple joys and mute their sorrows (whether
    for unhappy love or untimely death) in a
    formalized pathos.
  • Some of the eclogues, however, bring the pastoral
    mode into touch with the real world, either
    directly or by means of allegory.
  • In this way Virgil gave a new direction to the
  • They were a hit, and he made his famous and rich
    at 33.
  • Virgil followed up the Eclogues with the
    Georgics, a book of poems about farming.

The Georgics
  • One of the most disastrous effects of the civil
    wars--and one of which Virgil, as a countryman,
    would be most intensely aware--was the
    depopulation of rural Italy.
  • The farmers had been obliged to go to the war,
    and their farms fell into neglect and ruin as a
  • The Georgics, composed between 37 and 30 BC (the
    final period of the civil wars), is a superb plea
    for the restoration of the traditional
    agricultural life of Italy.

  • In form it is didactic, but, as Seneca later
    said, it was written "not to instruct farmers but
    to delight readers."
  • The practical instruction (about plowing, growing
    trees, tending cattle, and keeping bees) is
    presented with vivid insight into nature.
  • Furthermore it is interspersed with highly
    wrought poetical digressions on such topics as
    the beauty of the Italian countryside (Book II.
    line 136 ff.) and the joy of the farmer when all
    is gathered in (II.458 ff.).

The Transforming Moment
  • In 31 B.C., something happened that completely
    changed Virgil's feelings about Rome and about
    what he wanted to write.
  • The Emperor Augustus (formally Octavian) finally
    managed to end the civil wars that had plagued
    the city for so long and restored order and
  • For the first time in his life, Virgil had hope
    for the future of his country, and he felt deep
    gratitude and admiration for Augustus, the man
    who had made it all possible.

  • Virgil was inspired to write his great epic poem,
    the Aeneid, to celebrate Rome and Augustus'
  • He had come a long way from his early days
    writing about nature and hating politics.
  • Virgil cleverly didn't just write a story about
  • He wanted to make Romans proud of their history
    and their vast empire.
  • He also wanted to show how Augustus was the most
    recent in a long line of great Roman leaders-
    strong, dedicated to their city, and willing to
    make great sacrifices for it.

The Aeneid
  • THE AENEID is a national epic poem about the
    beginnings of Rome.
  • THE AENEID IS is a tribute to Augustus and a
    celebration of the End of the Civil Wars in Rome/
  • THE AENEID is the story of Aeneas personal
    search for a new identity.
  • THE AENEID describes the struggles between the
    forces of order and disorder in the world.
  • THE AENEID describes the relationship between
    people and fate.

Major Figures of The Aeneid
  • DIDO
  • JUNO

  • Aeneas
  • A great survivor, Aeneas is a cousin of King
    Priam of Troy. A major question is whether
    Aeneas great because his fate made him great or
    is he great because he had the courage and
    determination to live up to the role fate
    handed him?
  • Dido
  • She has been called the only true original
    figure in Roman literature. She's the most human.
    She's beautiful, generous, kind, and successful.
    Her passionate nature is both attractive and
    dangerous (to herself).

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  • Turnus
  • Turnus was a chieftain of the Rutuli whose
    conflict with Aeneas is the subject of the second
    half of the Aeneid.
  • He is the suitor of Lavinia of Latium (daughter
    of Latinos) until Aeneas arrives. This rivalry
    motivates the Latins to war against the Trojans.
  • Because Turnus never really stops to think about
    the consequences of his actions, everything he
    does is incredibly destructive. That's why Virgil
    always compares him to a wild animal. And that's
    Turnus' great flaw.

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  • Juno
  • Still furious with the Trojans over the beauty
    contest she lost at Paris hands. She is the
    patron goddess of Carthage which Rome is destined
    to destroy. Tries to stop Aeneas by encouraging
    the relationship between him and Dido.
    Foolishly fights fate.
  • Venus
  • Aeneas mother and the goddess of love. She, in
    fact, demonstrates that love is not always the
    positive emotion moderns think of it as being.
    She is self interested and does not restore
    order. At best she only counter-acts Juno but
    she works with her as well.

  • Jupiter
  • He is the only god in the Aeneid who acts the
    way most of us would think a god should.
  • He's calm, rational, impartial. But in one way
    he's very different from what Christians expect
    in their deity.
  • He's not particularly interested in goodness.
  • His major interest is to see that everything goes
    according to fate.

  • Anchises
  • As Aeneas' father, he is literally and
    symbolically a burden to Aeneas. For example
    he will not leave Troy until two major
    revelations occur confirming Aeneas fate.
  • Although Aeneas loves and respects his father
    very much, the old man basically representative
    of one thinks that the future will resemble the
  • Anchises must die and go to the underworld before
    he will understand how different the future will
  • Anchises symbolizes the old life and the old ways
    of Troy.

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  • Latinus
  • The son of Faunus and the nymph Marica. He was
    the king of Laurentum in Latium and ancestor of
    the Latini. According to Roman myth he had
    welcomed Aeneas, who returned from exile, and
    offered the hero the hand of his daughter
  • He is the king of the Latins, is the first native
    king Aeneas meets in Italy.

  • The old king has heard many omens that his
    daughter Lavinia is destined to marry a stranger,
    and that together they will start a new race that
    will rule the world. So Latinus is well disposed
    toward Aeneas when Aeneas first arrives.
  • Latinus is an old man who has lost most of his
    power. Thus he is as a symbol of the weakness of
    the Latin society. Latinus' inability to control
    his people strongly suggests that the Latin
    people needed a new leader. Thus Virgil can
    justify or overlook the fact that the Trojans
    were invaders of Italy.

  • Evander
  • King of Pallanteum. His city is on the exact
    spot where Rome will be built.
  • Evander illustrates some of the
    qualities of which the Romans were particularly
    proud simple and rustic, without finery or
    luxury of any kind.
  • Evander also becomes a substitute father figure,
    replacing Anchises. Aeneas treats him with
    great respect and his family loyalty is
    transferred to a father with roots in Italy.
  • Evander also shows the greatest of Roman virtues
    good political judgment. He knows how and where
    Aeneas can find allies.

  • Let's be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray Or
    so devote to Aristotle's cheques As Ovid be an
    outcast quite abjured
  • Balk logic with acquaintance that you have And
    practise rhetoric in your common talk Music and
    poesy use to quicken you The mathematics and the
    metaphysics, Fall to them as you find your
    stomach serves you No profit grows where is no
    pleasure ta'en In brief, sir, study what you
    most affect.

Tranio from Shakespeares Taming of the Shrew 1, i
43 BC--AD 17
  • Ovid's influence on Western art and literature
    cannot be exaggerated.
  • The Metamorphoses is our best classical source of
    250 myths.
  • "The poem is the most comprehensive, creative
    mythological work that has come down to us from
    antiquity" (Galinsky qt. in Brown)..

Ars Amatoria
  • The Ars Amatoria ("The Art of Love") is a
    series of three books by the Roman poet Ovid.
  • Written in verse, their guiding theme is the art
    of seduction.
  • The first two, written for men about 1 BC to AD 1
    , deal with 'winning women's hearts' and 'keeping
    the loved one', respectively.
  • The third, addressed to women telling them how to
    best attract men, was written somewhat later.
  • The publication of the Ars Amatoria may have been
    at least partly responsible for Ovid's banishment
    to the provinces by the Emperor Augustus. Ovids
    celebration of extramarital love must have seemed
    an intolerable affront to a regime that sought to
    promote family values

  • The Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid is a
    poem in fifteen books that describes the creation
    and history of the world in terms according Greek
    and Roman points of view. It has remained one of
    the most popular works of mythology, being the
    work best known to medieval writers and thus
    having a great deal of influence on medieval
  • Ovid emphasizes tales of transformation often
    found in myths, in which a person or lesser deity
    is permanently transformed into an animal or
  • The poem begins with the transformations of
    creation and Prometheus metamorphizing earth into
    Man and ends with the transformation of the
    spirit of Julius Caesar into a star.

  • Ovid goes from one to the other by working his
    way through mythology, often in apparently
    arbitrary fashion, jumping from one
    transformation tale to another, sometimes
    retelling what had come to be seen as central
    events in the world of Greek myth and sometimes
    straying in odd directions.
  • There is perhaps little depth in most of Ovid's
    portrayals. However, if others have written far
    more deeply, few have written more colorfully.
  • Instead, the recurring theme, as with nearly all
    of Ovid's work, is that of love -- personal love
    or love personified as Amor (Cupid).

  • Indeed, the other Roman gods are repeatedly
    perplexed, humiliated, and made ridiculous by
    Amor, an otherwise relatively minor god of the
    pantheon who is the closest thing this mock-epic
    has to an epic hero.
  • Apollo comes in for particular ridicule as Ovid
    shows how irrational love can confound the god of
    pure reason.
  • While few individual stories are outright
    sacrilegious, the work as a whole inverts the
    accepted order, elevating humans and human
    passions while making the gods and their desires
    and conquests objects of low humor.

  • Based on its influence, "European literature and
    art would be poorer for the loss of the
    Metamorphoses than for the loss of Homer" (Hadas
    qt. in Brown).
  • Ovid was a major inspiration for Dante, Chaucer,
    Shakespeare, Milton.
  • Ovid's extraordinary subtlety and psychological
    depth make his poetry second only to Virgil's for
    its influence on western poets and writers of the
    Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and beyond.
  • If Virgil is Rome's greatest poet, Ovid is the
    most popular
  • (even in his own time Ovidian graffiti has been
    found on the walls of Pompeii).(Brown)

  • It is probable that Petronius' correct name was
    Titus Petronius Niger.
  • From his high position in Roman society, it may
    be assumed that he was wealthy he belonged to a
    noble family and was therefore, by Roman
    standards, a man from whom solid achievements
    might have been expected.
  • Tacitus' account, however, shows that he belonged
    to a class of pleasure-seekers attacked by the
    Stoic philosopher Seneca, men who turned night
    into day where others won reputation by effort,
    Petronius did so by idleness.

  • On the rare occasions, however, when he was
    appointed to official positions, he showed
    himself energetic and fully equal to public
  • He served as governor of the Asian province of
    Bithynia and later in his career, probably in AD
    62 or 63, held the high office of consul, or
    first magistrate of Rome.
  • After his term as consul, Petronius was received
    by Nero into his most intimate circle as his
    director of elegance (arbiter elegantiae),
    whose word on all matters of taste was law.
  • It is from this title that the epithet Arbiter
    was attached to his name.

  • Petronius' association with Nero fell within the
    emperor's later years, when he had embarked on a
    career of reckless extravagance that shocked
    public opinion almost more than the actual crimes
    of which he was guilty.
  • What Petronius thought of his imperial patron may
    be indicated by his treatment of the rich
    vulgarian Trimalchio in the Satyricon.
  • Trimalchio is a composite figure, but there are
    detailed correspondences between him and Nero
    that cannot, given the contemporary nature of the
    work, be accidental and that strongly suggest
    that Petronius was sneering at the emperor.

  • Tacitus records that Nero's friendship ultimately
    brought on Petronius the enmity of the commander
    of the emperor's guard, Tigellinus, who in AD 66
    denounced him as having been implicated in a
    conspiracy of the previous year to assassinate
    Nero and place a rival on the imperial throne.
  • Petronius, though innocent, was arrested at Cumae
    in southern Italy he did not wait for the
    inevitable sentence but made his own preparations
    for death.
  • Slitting his veins and then bandaging them again
    in order to delay his death, he passed the
    remaining hours of his life conversing with his
    friends on trivial topics, listening to light
    music and poetry, rewarding or punishing his
    slaves, feasting, and finally sleeping so that
    his death, though forced upon him, should seem

The Satyricon
  • Encolpius. The narrator and principal character.
  • Giton. A handsome sixteen-year-old boy, the lover
    of Encolpius.
  • Ascyltus. A friend and traveling companion of
    Encolpius, and his rival for the affections of
  • Trimalchio. A very rich freedman who displays his

  • Eumolpus. A pedant who prides himself on his
    poetry, which no-one else can stand.
  • Lichas. An enemy of Encolpius.
  • Tryphaena. A woman infatuated with Giton.
  • Corax. The hired servant of Encolpius.
  • Circe. A woman attracted to Encolpius.
  • Chrysis. Circe's servant, also in love with
  • Probably written by Petronius, and probably
    written during the principate of Nero, the
    Satyricon is a satirical work about the
    pragmatism and materialism of the Roman empire
    that would soon be supplanted by Christianity.

The Satyricon
  • The Satyricon, or Satyricon liber (Book of
    Satyrlike Adventures), is a comic, picaresque
    novel that is related to several ancient literary
  • Though it survives only in fragments, it is
    considered to have been one of the most original
    works of Latin literature.
  • In style it ranges between the highly realistic
    and the self-consciously literary, and its form
    is episodic.
  • It relates the wanderings and escapades of a
    disreputable trio of adventurers, the narrator
    Encolpius (Embracer), his friend Ascyltos
    (Scot-free), and the boy Giton (Neighbour).

  • In Dinner with Trimalchio, one of the longer
    fragments, the thought of death slowly emerges
    from beneath the epicureanism of Trimalchio and
    his friends.
  • The surviving portions of the Satyricon (parts of
    Books XV and XVI) probably represent about
    one-tenth of the complete work, which was
    evidently very long.
  • The loose narrative framework encloses a number
    of independent tales, a classic instance being
    the famous Widow of Ephesus (Satyricon, ch.
  • Other features, however, recall the Menippean
    satire these features include the mixture of
    prose and verse in which the work is composed
    and the digressions in which the author airs his
    own views on various topics having no connection
    with the plot.
  • TS. Eliot refers to the Dinner with Trimalchio in
    his famous The Wasteland making a modern
    connection to decadent Rome.

Does Satire and Satyricon Come from the Same
Source? No
  • a. F. satire ( Sp. sátira, Pg., It. satira, G.
    satire), or directly ad. L. satira, later form of
    satura, in early use a discursive composition in
    verse treating of a variety of subjects, in
    classical use a poem in which prevalent follies
    or vices are assailed with ridicule or with
    serious denunciation. The word is a specific
    application of satura medley this general sense
    appears in the phrase per saturam in the lump,
    indiscriminately according to the grammarians
    this is elliptical for lanx satura (lit. full
    dish lanx dish, satura, fem. of satur full,
    related to satis enough), which is alleged to
    have been used for a dish containing various
    kinds of fruit, and for food composed of many
    different ingredients.
  • Formerly often confused or associated with SATYR
    (see esp. sense 4), from the common notion (found
    already in some ancient grammarians) that L.
    satira was derived from the Gr. satyr, in
    allusion to the chorus of satyrs which gave its
    name to the Greek satyric drama. The words
    satire and satyr were probably at one time
    pronounced alike, as the derivatives satiric and
    satyric are still and the common use of y and i
    as interchangeable symbols in the 16th and 17th
    c. still further contributed to the confusion.

Other Important Romans Not Included in our
Cicero (106 BC 46 BC)
  • Marcus Tullius Cicero is generally perceived
    to be one of the most versatile minds of ancient
    Rome. He introduced the Romans to the chief
    schools of Greek philosophy and created a Latin
    philosophical vocabulary, distinguishing himself
    as a linguist, translator, and philosopher.

An impressive orator and successful lawyer,
Cicero probably thought his political career his
most important achievement. During the chaotic
latter half of the first century BC, marked by
civil wars and the dictatorship of Gaius Julius
Caesar, Cicero championed a return to the
traditional republican government.
  • However, his career as a statesman was marked
    by inconsistencies and a tendency to shift his
    position in response to changes in the political
    climate. His indecision may be attributed to his
    sensitive and impressionable personality he was
    prone to overreaction in the face of political
    and private change. "Would that he had been able
    to endure prosperity with greater self-control
    and adversity with more fortitude!" wrote C.
    Asinius Pollio, a contemporary Roman statesman
    and historian
  • Today he is appreciated primarily for his
    humanism and philosophical and political
    writings. His voluminous correspondence, much of
    it addressed to his friend Atticus, has been
    especially influential, introducing the art of
    refined letter writing to European culture.
    Cornelius Nepos, the 1st-century BC biographer of
    Atticus, remarked that Cicero's letters contained
    such a wealth of detail "concerning the
    inclinations of leading men, the faults of the
    generals, and the revolutions in the government"
    that their reader had little need for a history
    of the period

Horace (65 BC 8 BC)
  • Famous for his Ars Poetica (also known as
    "The Art of Poetry", Epistula Ad Pisones, or
    Letters to Piso), published c. 18 BC, was a
    treatise on poetics. It was first translated into
    English by Ben Jonson, Three quotes often used in
    literary criticism in particular are associated
    with the work
  • "in medias res", or "into the middle of
    things" this describes a popular narrative
    technique that appears frequently in ancient
    epics, (remember The Odyssey?) and remains
    popular to this day

  • "bonus dormitat Homerus" or "good Homer nods" an
    indication that even the most skilled poet can
    make continuity errors
  • "ut pictura poesis", or "As is painting so is
    poetry", by which Horace meant that poetry (in
    its widest sense, "imaginative texts") merited
    the same careful interpretation that was, in
    Horace's day, reserved for painting.
  • Horace also served as a soldier under the
    generalship of Brutus after the assassination of
    Caesar. He fought as a staff officer (tribunus
    militum) in the Battle of Philippi.
  • One of the most often quoted phrases depicting
    the mind of a soldier is Dulce et decorum est
    pro patria mori. This is a line from Horace's
    Odes (iii 2.13). The line can be rendered in
    English as "It is sweet and fitting to die for
    one's country.", "It is noble and glorious to die
    for your fatherland." or "It is beautiful and
    honorable to die for your fatherland. Wilfred
    Owen the British poet called it the old lie but
    many feel differently. (Note you can find this
    quote on the Civil War memorial in Mount Vernons
    town square here in Ohio).

Seneca (c. 4 BC AD 65)
Luca Giordano, The death of Seneca (1684)
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as
    Seneca, or Seneca the Younger) was a Roman Stoic
    philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one
    work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin
    literature. He was tutor and later advisor to
    emperor Nero. He was later executed by that
    emperor for complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy
    to assassinate this last of the Julio-Claudian
    emperors. In point of fact he was ordered to
    commit suicide which he did, Some feel he may
    have been innocent.
  • Seneca remains one of the few popular Roman
    philosophers from the period. His works were
    celebrated by Ralph Waldo Emerson, John of
    Salisbury, Erasmus and others. Montaigne was
    considered by Pasquier a "French Seneca" and
    Thomas Fuller praised Joseph Hall as "our English

  • While his ideas are not considered to be
    original, he was important in making the Greek
    philosophers presentable and intelligible. His
    own death shows a stoic temperament.
  • Tacitus describes the death of Seneca this way
    "Seneca embraced his wife and gently begged her
    to live and temper her grief. But she chose to
    die with him. With a single stroke of the blade
    they sliced their arms. Seneca, hardened by
    frugal living, did not bleed easily. He cut the
    veins of his knees and thighs. But still he did
    not die. He asked his doctor to dispense some
    poison Hemlock. He drank it in vain. Finally, he
    was carried into the baths, where he suffocated
    in vapor. (Tacitus, Annales xv.63-64)

Tacitus (AD 58 117)
Publius (or Gaius) Cornelius Tacitus (ca. 56
ca. 117) was a senator and a historian of the
Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two
major worksthe Annals and the Historiesexamine
the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius,
Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year
of the Four Emperors. These two works span the
history of the Roman Empire from the death of
Augustus in AD 14 to (presumably) the death of
emperor Domitian in AD 96. There are enormous
lacunae in the surviving texts, including one
four books long in the Annals.
  • Other works by Tacitus discuss oratory (in
    dialogue format, see Dialogus de oratoribus),
    Germania (in De origine et situ Germanorum), and
    biographical notes about his father-in-law
    Agricola, primarily during his campaign in
    Britannia (see De vita et moribus Iulii
  • An author writing in the latter part of the
    Silver Age of Latin literature, his work is
    distinguished by a boldness and sharpness of wit,
    and a compact and sometimes unconventional use of
    Latin. Much of what we know about other
    important characters of the time comes from him.
    Even Jesus did not escape his notice.

Plutarch (AD 46 120)
Engraving facing the title page of an 18th
Century edition of Plutarch's LIVES
  • Plutarch, was born Plutarchos (Greek
    ????ta????) then, on his becoming a Roman
    citizen, was renamed Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus
    (??st???? ????ta????). While he was a Greek
    historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle
    Platonist. his is primarily remembered as one of
    Rome's greatest historians primarily for his
    Parallel Lives and Moralia.
  • Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and
    Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or
    Plutarch's Lives, is a series of biographies of
    famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate
    their common moral virtues or failings.

  • The surviving Parallel Lives (in Greek Bioi
    parallèloi), as they are more properly and
    commonly known, contain twenty-three pairs of
    biographies, each pair consisting of one Greek
    and one Roman, as well as four unpaired, single
    lives. It is a work of considerable importance,
    not only as a source of information about the
    individuals biographized, but also about the
    times in which they lived.
  • As he explains in the first paragraph of his
    Life of Alexander, Plutarch was not concerned
    with writing histories, as such, but in exploring
    the influence of charactergood or badon the
    lives and destinies of famous men. The first pair
    of Livesthe Epaminondas-Scipio Africanusno
    longer exists, and many of the remaining lives
    are truncated, contain obvious lacunae and/or
    have been tampered with by later writers.

And it came to pass in those days, that there
went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all
the world should be taxed. . .
  • Tacitus on Jesus Christianity "The founder of
    that sect, Christ, had been executed. His death
    had briefly suppressed the destructive cult, but
    again erupted, not only in Judaea, the birthplace
    of the evil, but also in Rome where shameful
    atrocities fester and spread." (Tacitus, Annales

Jesus of Nazareth (72 BC2636 AD)
  • Called the ChristGreek for anointed.
  • The principal sources of information regarding
    Jesus' life and teachings are the four canonical
    gospels Matt, Mark, Luke and John
  • Included in the Norton.

Jesus, Christianity and Rome
  • Rome while distant is always in the background of
    Christ and his kingdom.
  • One of Caesar Augustus titles was Prince of
    Peace since his reign marked the end of the
    civil wars. The irony is not lost.
  • The centurion whose servant Jesus healed was in
    charge of at least 80 men, maybe more.
  • Jesus was executed by Roman law for being the
    king of the Jews when only Caesar was king.
  • St. Paul was a Roman citizen and used that status

  • Some scholars argue that other texts (such as the
    Gospel of Thomas) are as relevant as the
    canonical gospels to the historical Jesus.
  • Most critical scholars in the fields of history
    and biblical studies believe that ancient texts
    on Jesus' life are at least partially accurate,
    agreeing that Jesus was
  • a Galilean Jew who was regarded as a teacher and
  • was baptized by John the Baptist, and
  • was crucified in Jerusalem on orders of the Roman
    Prefect of Judaea Pontius Pilate, on the charge
    of sedition against the Roman Empire.

Included in the Norton
  • Luke The story of his Nativity Good Tidings up
    to him at 12 debating with the elders.
  • Mathew Sermon on the Mount (Words of the Lord)
  • Luke Jesus parables
  • Lost sheep,
  • Lost piece of silver
  • Prodigal Son
  • Mathew The Last Supper, the Garden (Peters
    Denial) the crucifixion, and the Resurrection Go
    and Tell

Sites Cited
  • Ancient Rome. History for Kids. 8 Nov. 2005
  • Anthology of World Literature Section 5
    Overview W.W. Norton and Company. 8 Nov. 2005 lt
  • Brown, Larry. Ovids Metamorphosis an
    iles/xeno.ovid1.htm 15 Nov. 2005
  • Catullus The Poems Poetry in Translation
    (2001) S. A. Kline ed. http//www.adkline.freeuk.c
    om/Catullus.htm_Toc531846798 13 Nov. 2007
  • Drake, David Ovid http//
    ml 15 Nov. 2005

More Citations
  • Garrison, Daniel H. Catullus - Roman Poet Salem
    Press. https//
    history_ancient_world_catullus.htmgt 16 Nov. 2006
  • Kenney, Edward John "Petronius Arbiter, Gaius."
    Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia
    Britannica Online. 21 Nov. 2006
  • "Roman Empire." Britannica Student Encyclopedia.
    2005. Encyclopædia Britannica Online.
    8 Nov. 2005  lthttp//
  • Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Ed.
    http// 21 Nov.
  • "Virgil." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006.
    Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 16 Nov. 2006

Not Cited but Interesting
  • Mr. 21 (Nov. 2006) http//
    index.html. While not intended for college
    academics, this resource for teachers of K-12 has
    a number of helpful and accessible presentations.
    Accessible is good!
  • Mayer, Ken. Roman Decadence. http//
    A syllabus for a class which examines the decline
    as it has usually be defined of the Roman Empire
    through its literature.
  • The Illustrated History of the Roman Empire
  • UNRN History http//
  • The Roman Empire The First Century