The Latin language is popularly imagined in a number of speci®c ways: as a masculine language, an imperial language,a classical language, a dead language. This book considers thesources of these metaphors and analyzes their e¨ect on howLatin literature is read. It argues that these metaphors havebecome
ideÂ es ®xes
not only in the popular imagination but inthe formation of Latin studies as a professional discipline. Byreading with and more commonly against these metaphors,the book o¨ers a di¨erent view of Latin as a language andas a vehicle for cultural practice. The argument ranges overa variety of texts in Latin and texts about Latin produced bymany di¨erent sorts of writers from antiquity to the twentiethcentury. The author's central aim is to provoke more newreadings that would both extend and complicate those that ito¨ers, in order to catalyze revisionist thinking about Latintexts of all periods and about the general contours of the dis-cipline of Latin studies.
is Professor of Classical Studies at the Uni-versity of Pennsylvania. He is the author of
and the Traditions of Ancient Epic
(1991) and of papers onclassical literature and culture. He is the director of The VergilProject (http://vergil.classics.upenn.edu) and editor of