Researching in Italy, the Terme di Diocleziano, and the Laudatio Turiae in person


Almost a full month since my return from Italy, I am finally settling in to begin the second phase of my research. To remind anyone reading, my summer research focuses on a laudatio funebris commonly known as the Laudatio Turiae, looking at both the importance that it represents as transitional document and the importance of the information on gender roles in the beginning of the Roman Empire that it carries. During the second part of my project, I will focus my efforts on the epigraphy of the inscription, especially the language itself. The third stage of my research will deal with the content of the document, particularly its representation of Augustan womanhood.

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The Art of Safe Criticism in Greece and Rome


I thought that I’d make a quick post after reading an interesting article on ancient rhetoric that dealt with the art of criticism and “figured speech.” For the ancients (from Quintilian, a first century CE professor), speaking directly (palam) and speaking openly (aperte) were shaded differently: the former was unsafe, unwise; the latter, necessary and safe. One could criticize a tyrant so long as a favorable, flattering meaning was imparted at one level. This technique is one that Ovid uses – quite extensively – in the letter that I am studying. Here are two quotes from the article (author Frederick Ahl of Cornell) that I found interesting:

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