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Catullus and Roman Dramatic Literature

Catullus and Roman Dramatic Literature

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Published by: herodotean_fan on Apr 12, 2013
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Catullus and Roman Dramatic LiteratureChristopher Brian PoltA dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillin partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in theDepartment of Classics.Chapel Hill2010Approved by,
James J. O‟Hara
 Sharon L. JamesWerner RiessRobert G. Babcock Mario Erasmo
ii© 2010Christopher Brian PoltALL RIGHTS RESERVED
iiiABSTRACTChristopher Brian Polt: Catullus and Roman Dramatic Literature
(Under the direction of James J. O‟Hara)
 This dissertation examines how Roman drama, and Roman Comedy in particular,informs the poetry of Catullus. It argues that Latin drama continued to play a significantrole in Roman thought and literature after the second century BCE and offered a sharedcultural vocabulary through which authors could communicate private ideas about love,friendship, and rivalry. It argues that
many of Catullus‟s
poems contain meaningfulintertextual allusions to Roman Comedy whose presence contributes additional layers of complexity to his work. It also argues that reading Catullus with an eye towardstheatricality and performativity reveals new ways in which his poetry can be understood,from both ancient and modern perspectives.Chapter One outlines evidence for ongoing interest in the Roman stage in the firstcentury BCE, including scholarly and antiquarian study, large scale public performance,and private entertainment at aristocratic dinner parties and literary recitations. Chapter Two exami
nes Catullus‟s engagement with Plautus and Terence in his erotic epigrams
 and argues that the Catullan speaker consistently invokes the figure of the young lover from Roman Comedy. It considers how early Latin epigrammatists like Q. LutatiusCatulus drew on the language and themes of comedy to modify Alexandrian epigram andargues that Catullus continued this tradition of blending drama and subjective poetry. Italso explores how Catullus creates a unified speaker across separate poems through

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