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Augustan Poetry and the Irrational - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Augustan Poetry and the Irrational

Philip Hardie


The establishment of the Augustan regime presents itself as the assertion of order and rationality in the political, ideological, and artistic spheres, after the disorder and madness of the civil wars of the late Republic. But the classical, Apollonian, poetry of the Augustan period is fascinated by the irrational in both public and private spheres. There is a vivid memory of the political and military furor that destroyed the Republic, and an anxiety that that furor may resurface. Epic and elegy are both obsessed with erotic madness: Dido experiences in her very public role the disabling effe ... More

Keywords: Augustan, classical, irrational, madness, civil war, erotic, Dionysiac

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198724728
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724728.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip Hardie, editor
Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Professor of Latin Literature, University of Cambridge

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Part 1 Civil War: Expiation and the Return of the Repressed

3 Orestes, Aeneas, and Augustus

Stefano Rebeggiani

4 The Night of Reason

Mario Labate

Part 2 Order and Disorder: Counting and Accounts

6 The Magic of Counting

Jürgen Paul Schwindt

7 Under the Influence

Emily Gowers

Part 3 Reason and Desire

9 The ars rhetorica

Jacqueline Fabre-Serris

10 Augustan Gothic

William Fitzgerald

11 The Madness of Elegy

Donncha O’Rourke*

Part 4 Self-contradictions: Philosophy and Rhetoric

Part 5 Virgilian Figures of the Irrational

14 Caderent omnes a crinibus hydri

Séverine Clément-Tarantino