L. Donovan Ginsberg, Staging Memory, Staging Strife. Empire and Civil War in the Octavia

Envoyer Imprimer


Lauren Donovan Ginsberg, Staging Memory, Staging Strife. Empire and Civil War in the Octavia, Oxford, 2017.

Éditeur : Oxford University Press
248 pages
ISBN : 9780190275952
47,99 £

The turbulent decade of the 60s CE brought Rome to the brink of collapse. It began with Nero's ruthless elimination of Julio-Claudian rivals and ended in his suicide and the civil wars that followed. Suddenly Rome was forced to confront an imperial future as bloody as its Republican past and a ruler from outside the house of Caesar. The anonymous historical drama Octavia is the earliest literary witness to this era of uncertainty and upheaval. In this book, Ginsberg offers a new reading of how the play intervenes in the wars over memory surrounding Nero's fall. Though Augustus and his heirs had claimed that the Principate solved Rome's curse of civil war, the play reimagines early imperial Rome as a landscape of civil strife in which the ruling family waged war both on itself and on its people. In doing so, the Octavia shows how easily empire becomes a breeding ground for the passions of discord.

In order to rewrite the history of Rome's first imperial dynasty, the Octavia engages with the literature of Julio-Claudian Rome, using the words of Rome's most celebrated authors to stage a new reading of that era and its ruling family. In doing so, the play opens a dialogue about literary versions of history and about the legitimacy of those historical accounts. Through an innovative combination of intertextual analysis and cultural memory theory, Ginsberg elucidates the roles that literature and the literary manipulation of memory play in negotiating the transition between the Julio-Claudian and Flavian regimes. Her book claims for the Octavia a central role in current debates over both the ways in which Nero and his family were remembered as well as the politics of literary and cultural memory in the early Roman empire.



Literary Memory and Literary Memory: History and Intertext in the Octavia
Staging Octavia?
Overview of Chapters
Outline of the Octavia
Chapter 1: Models of Strife in the Domus Augusta
Pompeian Tragedy in Neronian Rome
Nero's Caesarean Fears
Rereading the Aeneid's Narratives of Loss in Octavia's Rome
Chapter 2: Seneca's Augustan Narrative
Lessons in Imperial Virtue
The Origins of Neronian Peace
Seneca's Age of Iron Conclusion
Chapter 3: Remembering Octavian in Neronian Rome
Lessons in Family History
Fighting for Rome?
The Legacy of Actium: How You End A Civil War
Chapter 4: Populus, Princeps and the Poetics of Roman Revolution in the Octavia
Vergilian Seditio in Neronian Rome
The Octavia's Messenger and the Poetics of Civil War
A City Under Siege
Chapter 5: Citizens of Discord
Ode 1: The Danger of Forgetting
Ode 2: A Call to Arms
Ode 3: Rome's Trojan Future
Ode 4: The Danger of Popular Favor
Ode 5: The Tragic History of Rome
The End of the Octavia
Epilogue: Remembering The Julio-Claudians After 69 CE
Works Cited



Source : Oxford University Press