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Models from the Past in Roman Culture
A World of Exempla

$34.99 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316614907

$ 34.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Historical examples played a key role in ancient Roman culture, and Matthew B. Roller's book presents a coherent model for understanding the rhetorical, moral, and historiographical operations of Roman exemplarity. It examines the process of observing, evaluating, and commemorating noteworthy actors, or deeds, and then holding those performances up as norms by which to judge subsequent actors or as patterns for them to imitate. The model is fleshed out via detailed case studies of individual exemplary performers, the monuments that commemorate them, and the later contexts - the political arguments and social debates - in which these figures are invoked to support particular positions or agendas. Roller also considers the boundaries of, and ancient alternatives to, exemplary modes of argumentation, morality, and historical thinking. The book will engage anyone interested in how societies, from ancient Rome to today, invoke past performers and their deeds to address contemporary concerns and interests.

    • Proposes a coherent model and unified theoretical framework for understanding how exemplary figures and actions come into being, and what meanings and functions they have, in Roman culture and society
    • Shows how the different operations of exemplarity are linked together as a single conceptual unit, such that each operation presupposes and projects the existence of others
    • Provides detailed case studies of particular exemplary figures and new interpretations of numerous individual texts and other monuments
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316614907
    • length: 341 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the work of examples
    1. Horatius Cocles: commemorating and imitating a great deed
    2. Cloelia: timelessness and gender
    3. Appius Claudius Caecus: positive and negative exemplarity
    4. Gaius Duilius: exemplarity and innovation
    5. Fabius Cunctator: competing judgements and moral change
    6. Cornelia: an exemplary matrona among the Gracchi
    7. Cicero's house and 'Aspiring to Kingship'
    Conclusion: exemplarity and stoicism.

  • Author

    Matthew B. Roller, The Johns Hopkins University
    Matthew B. Roller is Professor of Classics at The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of two earlier books: Constructing Autocracy: Aristocrats and Emperors in Julio-Claudian Rome (2001) and Dining Posture in Ancient Rome: Bodies, Values, and Status (2006). Apart from exemplarity, he is interested in aristocratic competition in the early Roman Empire, and in the younger Seneca's moral philosophy.

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