Cambridge Catalogue  
  • Help
Home > Catalogue > Iambic Poetics in the Roman Empire
Iambic Poetics in the Roman Empire


  • Page extent: 343 pages
  • Size: 253 x 178 mm
  • Weight: 0.77 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 870.9/001
  • Dewey version: 23
  • LC Classification: PA3873.A77 H39 2014
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Archilochus--Criticism and interpretation
    • Archilochus--Influence
    • Iambic poetry, Classical--History and criticism
    • Greek language--Metrics and rhythmics
    • Latin language--Metrics and rhythmics

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9781107012080)

This is the first book to study the impact of invective poetics associated with early Greek iambic poetry on Roman imperial authors and audiences. It demonstrates how authors as varied as Ovid and Gregory Nazianzen wove recognizable elements of the iambic tradition (e.g. meter, motifs, or poetic biographies) into other literary forms (e.g. elegy, oratorical prose, anthologies of fables), and it shows that the humorous, scurrilous, efficacious aggression of Archilochus continued to facilitate negotiations of power and social relations long after Horace's Epodes. The eclectic approach encompasses Greek and Latin, prose and poetry, and exploratory interludes appended to each chapter help to open four centuries of later classical literature to wider debates about the function, propriety and value of the lowest and most debated poetic form from archaic Greece. Each chapter presents a unique variation on how these imperial authors became Archilochus – however briefly and to whatever end.

• Brings together invective across a millennium of classical literature • Puts a new body of literature in dialogue with studies of classical literary invective • Argues for an important social dimension of imperial literary invective


Introduction; 1. Iambus delayed: Ovid's Ibis; Interlude 1. 'Bad artists imitate, great artists steal': Martial and the trope of not being iambic; 2. Iambos denied: Babrius' Mythiambi; Interlude 2. Iambopoioi after Babrius; 3. The Christian iambopoios: Gregory Nazianzen; Interlude 3. Palladas and epigrammatic iambos; 4. Archilochus in Tarsus: Dio Chrysostom's First Tarsian; Interlude 4. Begging with Hipponax; 5. Playful aggression: Lucian's Pseudologista; Interlude 5. Neobule in love: the Ps.-Lucianic Amores; 6. Festive iambos: Julian's Misopogon; Interlude 6. Iambic time travel: Julian the Egyptian on Archilochus; Conclusions: becoming Archilochus.

printer iconPrinter friendly version AddThis