The War with God Theomachy in Roman Imperial Poetry
- ISBN 13:
- ISBN 10:
- Format: Hardcover
- Copyright: 04/22/2014
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Drawing on a variety of contexts -- politics, religion, philosophy, and aesthetics -- Pramit Chaudhuri argues for the fundamental importance of battles between humans and gods in representing the Roman world. A cast of tyrants, emperors, rebels, iconoclasts, philosophers, and ambitious poets brings to life some of the most extraordinary artistic products of classical antiquity. Based on close readings of the major extant epics and selected tragedies, the book replaces a traditionally Aeneid-centric view of imperial epic with a richer dialogue between Greek and Roman texts, contemporary authors, and diverse genres. The renewed sense of a tradition reveals how the conflicts these works represent constitute a distinctive theology informed by other discourses yet peculiar to epic and tragedy. Beginning with the Greek background and ending with a look ahead to developments in the Renaissance, this book charts the history of a theme that would find its richest expression in a time when men became gods and impiety threatened the very order of the world.