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Loud and Proud: The Voice of the Praeco in Roman Love-Elegy

Lowe, Dunstan (2018) Loud and Proud: The Voice of the Praeco in Roman Love-Elegy. In: Complex Inferiorities: The Poetics of the Weaker Voice in Latin Literature. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 149-158. ISBN 978-0-19-881406-1. (KAR id:69094)

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Our record of Roman love-poetry, from Catullus on into Propertius and Tibullus and finally Ovid, shows a preference for ‘countercultural’ idioms. These authors switch between voices and vocabularies, as does Horace, the other great first-person poet of the Augustan period. But the love-poet persona builds heavily on subverting the idioms deemed appropriate for freeborn elite Roman males (military language, triumphal imagery, prayer formulas, legalese), and embracing alternative modes of expression (emotional outbursts, passive or submissive behaviour, metaphors of slavery and torture). The techniques of Roman rhetorical training might seem to belong in the first category. However, I propose that we include a different, more scurrilous brand of ‘rhetoric’ in the second category: that of the "praeco" (herald or auctioneer).

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Elegy, Propertius, Ovid, Praeco, Auctioneer, Herald, Latin, Poetry, Catullus, Horace, Subaltern
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Greco-Roman World
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Department of Classical and Archeological Studies
Depositing User: Dr Dunstan Lowe
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2018 11:50 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Apr 2022 11:27 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Lowe, Dunstan:
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