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date: 28 January 2023



  • Deborah Roberts


Closure, the sense of finality or conclusiveness at the end of a work or some part of it. In addition to the basic fulfilment of expectations raised by particular texts, some ancient genres show marked closural conventions; examples include the choral coda of Euripidean tragedy, the plaudite of Roman comedy (see comedy, latin), and the rhetorical peroration. We also find a variety of closural modes across genres: authorial self-reference, generalization, prophecy, prayer, motifs such as death, marriage, ritual, and departure. Our understanding of ancient closure is limited by what we have; some endings have been lost, some works were never finished, and some extant endings may be interpolations. Our uncertainties about ancient closural convention in turn lead us to disagree about whether in fact we do possess the actual endings of works such as *Herodotus' Histories, *Euripides' Iphigenia at Aulis, *Lucretius' De Rerum Natura, and *Catullus51.


  • Latin Literature

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