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The act of taking another’s written or spoken material and passing it off as one’s own in order to receive credit for having produced it. While Cicero has M. Pupius Piso accuse the Stoics of plagiarizing philosophical ideas from the Peripatetics (Fin. 5.74), other sources understand plagiarists to steal a predecessor’s particular expression of ideas and content. Plagiarism was not a single concept or category across time, media, and genre. Instead, it appeared in a constellation of practices sharing fundamental traits that closely map onto modern notions of plagiarism. Plagiarism in ancient Rome occurred in oral and written form from oral and written sources. A plagiarist could steal an earlier text in its entirety or with just minimal changes, or he could steal some section or lines of an earlier text. In the latter localized cases, accusations of plagiarism were often mechanical. Yet they were grounded in particular ideas, whether stated or implied, of what constituted the offense. One was that plagiarism had an aesthetic dimension and was a matter of staying too close to a model. While an author usually modified his source material in such instances, he was still subject to plagiarism charges based on the similarities that remained, which his accuser(s) deemed excessive and culpable. At the same time, intentions typically played a decisive role in determining if someone plagiarized. The question was whether the person deliberately set out to deceive an audience into giving him authorial credit for what he, in fact, took from someone else.

Article

Emily J. Gowers

Statesman, pleasure lover, and literary patron, C. Cilnius Maecenas was born on April 13 (Hor. C. 4.11.14–16) between 78 and 64 bce, in or near Arretium in Etruria. The nomen Maecenas may derive from a place name (Var. LL 8.41); Cilnius (Tac. Ann. 6.11) is perhaps his mother’s gentilicium, the Cilnii being a prominent and wealthy Etruscan family (Livy 10.3.2). Several poets call him “descendant of Etruscan kings” (Hor. C. 1.1.1, C. 3.29.1, Prop. 3.9.1, Eleg. in Maec. 1.13); it is unclear whether he himself boasted of royal origins. How he met the young Octavian (see Augustus) and whether he participated in the military campaigns of the 40s and 30s bce (Philippi, Perusia, and Actium) are also gray areas. There are papyrus records of his property holdings in Egypt. He evidently profited from the proscriptions: his estate (Horti) on the Esquiline Hill in Rome is said to have been confiscated from M. Favonius, supporter of Cato (schol. ad Juv.

Article

epic  

Philip Hardie

At the summit of the ancient hierarchy of genres, epic narrates in hexameter verse the deeds of gods, heroes, and men The authority of Homer, the name given to the composer of the Iliad and the Odyssey, ensures that the forms and conventions of the Homeric poems are determinative for the whole of the Greco-Roman tradition of epic. From an early date, the production and reading of epic poems was accompanied by intensive scholarly and critical activity. Over the centuries, numerous epics were written on both legendary and historical subjects, as the genre responded to changing aesthetic and ideological conditions. In Rome, Virgil’s Aeneid successfully established for itself an authority comparable to that of the Homeric poems, and all later Latin epics place themselves within a Virgilian tradition. Epic in Greek and Latin continues to flourish in late antiquity, when Christian writers appropriate its forms to propagate their own messages and praise their own heroes.

Article

Virgil  

Fiachra Mac Góráin, Don P. Fowler, and Peta G. Fowler

Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro) (70–19 bce) was a Latin poet, already celebrated in his own lifetime, who wrote during the triumviral period and the principate of Augustus. All his poems reflect on contemporary history while engaging with a range of literary traditions from the archaic to the contemporary neoteric. Virgil achieved renown as a poet c. 39–38 bce with the publication of the Eclogues (or Bucolics), which take after Theocritus’s Idylls. He went on to write the Georgics, a didactic poem ostensibly about farming (29 bce), and the Aeneid, a heroic epic in the Homeric manner about the Trojan refugee Aeneas’s flight from Troy and his struggles to found a city that would be the origin of Rome. Several minor poems collected in the Appendix Vergiliana are attributed to Virgil, but were probably not written by him. His work set the standard for Latinity and inspired many later imitators and artistic and critical responses.

Article

Sigrid Schottenius Cullhed

Faltonia Betitia Proba (fl. late 4th century) was a Roman poet, writer of a Christian cento (Lat. for patchwork), which circulated in the Eastern and Western Empire toward the end of the 4th century. The work consists of 694 verses culled from Virgil’s Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid, narrating episodes from Genesis, Exodus, and the four Gospels. The narrative sections are interspersed with proems, interludes, and epilogues pervaded by a confessional and devotional theme. The declared intention of the poet is to relate the “mysteries of Virgil” (arcana . . . vatis, v.12) and to show that Virgil “sang about the pious feats of Christ” (Vergilium cecinisse . . . pia munera Christi v. 23). This makes Proba one of the first Roman poets to have actively appropriated Virgil as a Christian prophet.There are over a hundred manuscripts containing Proba’s cento, the oldest of which date back to the 8th century, and a large number of early modern editions. Thanks to Giovanni Boccaccio’s De mulieribus claris (1374), Proba became important in the querelle des femmes as an example of an educated woman.

Article

The influence of Hellenistic Greek poetry on Roman poetry can hardly be overestimated. Latin poetry is from its beginnings based on scholarly appreciation of the literary production of the Greeks, and it was from the perspective of the literary and scholarly activity of the Hellenistic period that the Romans viewed Greek literature as a whole. The fragmentary nature of early Latin poetry means that the first stages of the *reception of Hellenistic poetry at Rome remain obscure. It is possible that *Livius Andronicus employed the work of Hellenistic commentators on Homer in translating the Odyssey and that *Naevius and *Accius knew and imitated the Argonautica of Apollonius. The Annales of *Ennius provides better evidence. When he proclaims his originality, presents himself as dicti studiosus (“a student of language”) proud of his stylistic superiority over his predecessors, and describes his poetic initiation, he has in mind *Callimachus(3)'s Aetia, although the exact nature and extent of his debt remain unclear.

Article

Peta G. Fowler and Don P. Fowler

No Latin *genre gives as central a place to literary parody as does Greek Old Comedy (see comedy (greek), old), and traditionally parody has been seen as playing a more restricted role in Latin, the concept being reserved for instances such as the broader para-tragedy of *Plautus and *Terence,1 and self-standing poems such as the parody of *Catullus (1) 4 (to a ship), in Catalepton 10 (to a magistrate), and the parodies of *Virgil, Ecl. 1 and 3 by Numitorius (Courtney, FLP, Obtrectatores Vergili 1–2). Increased attention given to intertextuality in general, however (see literary theory and classical studies), with perhaps some influence from those modern theories which offer broad definitions of parody,2 has led to the concept being employed more widely. In general, any intertextuality with a “higher” genre in a lower may be read as parody, and hence parody has been seen especially in genres like *satire (e.

Article

In the context of Latin literature, inconsistency is most often invoked to mean self-contradiction: for example, in the second Georgic, Virgil declares that Italy is blissfully free from snakes, but in the following book, snakes pose a deadly threat to the Italian farmer and his animals. Inconsistency, however, can also describe general ambiguity, lack of unity, factual inaccuracy, and incoherence of almost any kind. A number of historically contingent factors affect how readers recognize and respond to inconsistencies. Ancient criticism of the Homeric poems and the Aeneid often considered inconsistencies flaws, and this tradition has influenced modern thinking about the topic. From the late 20th century onwards, critics have frequently viewed the creation of inconsistency as a deliberate authorial strategy: the reader is exposed to two different realities, and the resulting tension contributes to the meaning of the work as a whole. The apparent receptivity of Roman literary culture to inconsistency may imply a worldview that had more in common with quantum mechanics than an Aristotelian universe dominated by the law of non-contradiction.

Article

David Paniagua

Vibius Sequester is the author of the De fluminibus, fontibus, lacubus, nemoribus, paludibus, montibus, gentibus per litteras, a short repertoire of geographical names mentioned by Virgil, Silius, Lucan and Ovid. The text, written at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century ce for the author’s son, Vergilianus, was likely intended to be used at school as an instrument providing basic information about the collected toponyms and ethnonyms. Despite the occasional mistakes in the text, Sequester’s repertoire represent a fine instance of school culture in Western Late Antiquity. The work was much appreciated by Italian humanists, which explains that it was copied in nearly 50 recentiores manuscripts; all of them, however, descend from a second-half of the 9th century manuscript (Vat. Lat. 4929).Vibius Sequester was the author of a short alphabetic repertoire of geographical names mentioned in Latin poetry, probably compiled at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century .

Article

Aratus is said to have studied philosophy in Athens, probably coming into contact with Zeno, founder of the Stoic school; subsequently, in 276 bce, he arrived at the court of Antigonus (2) ‘Gonatas’ of Macedon. Little can be independently proven, since the extant lives probably all derive from a single Hellenistic commentator.1Aratus ranks among the finest Hellenistic poets, beside Callimachus (3) and Apollonius (1) Rhodius. He wrote many other works, most of which are lost.2 His sole surviving poem, the Phaenomena, which comprises more than a thousand lines in epic hexameters, describes the positions and motions of the constellations and teaches the reader how to recognize signs of impending weather on earth. The Phaenomena is written in an idealized version of the Archaic language of Homer and Hesiod, and contains mythological material in the form of aitia for some constellations.3 It falls into two parts, the ‘.

Article

Steven J. Green

The Ilias Latina is a short poem composed in Latin hexameter that retells Homer’s Iliad. It is generally attributed to Baebius Italicus and dated to c. 54–65 ce. The analysis of the poem reveals how the Homeric Iliadic material has been reimagined to fit Roman, post-Virgilian and Neronian sensibilities, and to showcase the human emotions underlying the Trojan War.The Ilias Latina is a poem composed in Latin hexameter that retells Homer’s Iliad in 1,070 verses. Most commonly referred to as Ilias Latina [Latin Iliad], a title coined by Emil Baehrens in his 1881 edition, the manuscripts refer to the poem variously as Epitome Iliados Homeri [Epitome of the Iliad of Homer], Liber Homeri [Book of Homer], or Homerus (de bello Troiano) [Homer (concerning the Trojan war)]. It is popularly attributed to Baebius Italicus, following the manuscript Vindobonensis Latinus 3509 [Bebii Italici] and taking note of an apparent acrostic created (with small emendation) from the first letter of the opening and closing eight verses of the poem: .

Article

Galatea  

Herbert Jennings Rose

Galatea (Γαλάτεια, perhaps “milk-white”), name of a sea-nymph, first in *Homer (Il. 18. 45); her legend was apparently first told by *Philoxenus (1) (see PLG4 3.609 ff.). Polyphemus (see cyclopes) loved her, and wooed her uncouthly; the story is a favourite especially with pastoral writers (Theoc.Id. 6, 11; Bion, fr. 16 Gow OCT Buc. Gr.; Moschus, Ἐπιτάφιος Βίωνος (Lament for*Bion (2), in Gow OCT Buc. Gr, 140 ff., lines 58 ff.; Verg.Ecl. 9.39 ff.; cf. 2.19 ff.; 7.37 ff.; but particularly Ov.Met. 13.738 ff.). In the last, the earliest surviving passage that adds anything important to the story, Galatea loved a youth, Acis, son of *Faunus (Pan?) and a river-nymph. Together they listened in hiding to Polyphemus's love-song, but when he had finished he rose to go and caught sight of them. Galatea dived into the sea, but Polyphemus pursued Acis and hurled a huge rock at him. As it fell on him and crushed him, Galatea turned him into a river, which bore his name ever after. The whole may well be a local Sicilian tale. The resemblance between Galatea's name and Γαλάτης, a Gaul, seems to underlie a less-known version in which she finally accepted Polyphemus's attentions and had by him a son, Galas or Galates, ancestor of the Gauls (see App.