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  • Il poeta e il principe. Ovidio e il discorso Augusteo. Laterza, Bari, 1994. XV,340p. Hardbound with dust wrps. Dust wrps to upper edge back slightly creased. Else fine. With signature from Prof. Carl Deroux on free endpaper. (Rare). 'This is a subtly intelligent monograph, which attempts, sensibly without expecting to reach final solutions, an evaluation of what Ovid may have intended in his references to matters dear to the heart of the 'princeps', what the 'princeps' may have been led to find in what he read. For, as B. repeatedly makes clear as his book advances, O. is out to pull the wool over Augustus' eyes, his techniques of saying one thing, perfectly acceptable on the surface, while ironically hinting at another, not so acceptable, being able to satisfy both the conventional 'augustan' and the questioning 'anti-Augustan'. B. sees in O.'s approach a mastery of verbal 'sfumatura'; to his credit let it be said that more than a touch of such 'shading' has rubbed of on his too. The texts on which B. principally bases himself are the 'Fasti' and the 'Met.'; and this is only to be expected since he is concerned to view O. where appropriate against a background of 'Realien'. (...) The subject matter of the 'Fasti' may seem to be limiting (p.66), but the calendar gives it an inbuilt licence. The formal model of the calendar invites 'separative' reading, but the poetic model of Callimachus suggests a more interconnected view (p.69). This central part of B.'s analysis is indeed so replete with telling observations on matters of detail often overlooked that precising it in a brief compass is as impossible as summarizing the 'Fasti' itself: the numerous subsections must be read and pondered one by one. (...) Through his definitve actions 'Augusto definisce non solo come un Primo ma anche come un Ultimo Uomo, definitivo, per Roma.'(p.278). To be 'anti-Augustan' is to pay the price of having to read the texts with the eyes of a delator or a mole, while the 'Augustans' are favoured with a smile and the best seats at an entertainment which, without their knowing it, includes them 'in the scenic action of the poetic language.' Thirty pages of end-notes, eight pages of bibliography, and indexes of subjects and of passages cited, enhance the value of this important book.' (J.B. HALL in The Classical Review (New Series), 1997, pp.43-46). € 115.00 (Antiquarian) ISBN: 9788842043645

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