Epistolary Persuasion: Ovid in Exile


This is my first blog post since beginning my summer research project on Ovid’s Epistulae ex Ponto 1.1.2, and I am beginning my fourth week of reading and writing. I began my study by obtaining a copy of the recent English commentary on the first book of the ex Ponto and read through the letter in Latin. It was fun to do this, as I had just finished an intensive intermediate level class at Georgetown in Latin and my reading ability skyrocketed during the three weeks of the class. After finishing reading the letter and taking initial notes on the work, I began a long process of going through the work line by line and making comments and analyses on my way through it. To this end, I referenced Gaertner’s commentary while concurrently reading Janet Altman’s book Epistularity: Approaches to a Form, which is the fundamental work on thinking about and analyzing epistolary works. Although Altman’s study is grounded in the 18th century epistolary novel, her methodologies are applicable to any letter writing. In addition to these two works, I read several articles on other letters in the exile poetry to see what features scholars have been focusing on recently in the ex Ponto. I’ve also been reading chapters here and there in books ranging in topic from epistolarity in roman and greek literature to Ovidian studies to thinking about death in ancient Rome.

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Causes of the Panic of 1819: Part Two

As the Transatlantic trade flourished, the American credit market continued to boom. As 1815 came to a close, essentially unregulated banks issued another $22 million in bank notes. The amount of currency floating around began to present a problem for the US treasury: one of the government’s primary sources of revenue was from the sale of public lands in the west, but the money issued by western banks was considered to be worth less than the notes issued in the east, where the government spent most of its money. In order to solve this problem of standardization, as well as hopefully curtail inflation, the Second Bank of the United States was authorized by Congress in 1816. The new bank’s first task was to restore the nation’s currency to par by forcing the various state banks to resume specie payments (although bank notes were nominally backed by silver coins in the bank vaults, most of the state banks had no real specie to speak of).[1] But both the State banks and the Bank of the United States dragged their feet on the convertibility issue, although the state banks did restrict their lending a little bit and at least nominally began to resume specie payments. But this supposed return to convertibility was dwarfed by the Second Bank’s own inflationary policy-the organization was run as a profit making enterprise, with branch managers loaning heavily and accepting promissory notes as capital.[2]In other words, the National Bank was doing exactly what it had been created to curtail.

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Shell Back Attack: A Tale of Data Recovery

As one phase of my research this summer draws to a close and the next phase begins, I would like to take a moment to reflect upon the joys, pains, and frustrations that are in play during the process of data collection.

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