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The Roman Audience – Classical Literature as Social History - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Roman Audience: Classical Literature as Social History

T. P. Wiseman


The book proposes the following hypothesis: that non-technical literature in the Roman world, both poetry and prose, was composed in the first instance for oral delivery to a large public audience, and that the copying and circulation of written texts was only a secondary stage in the ‘publication’ process. The hypothesis is tested by a systematic survey of the evidence for a thousand years of Roman history, from the formation of Rome as a city-state (late seventh century BC) to the final establishment of a Christian culture (late fourth century AD). For the first four centuries of this period ... More

Keywords: audience, oral delivery, stage-games, ludi scaenici, performance, theatres, dancers, satire, ‘epyllion’, popular culture

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780198718352
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718352.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

T. P. Wiseman, author
Emeritus Professor of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter