Poetry & patronage in the early imperial era : through the eyes of Martial

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Wardle, David en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Austin, Richard en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2014-10-20T07:45:06Z
dc.date.available 2014-10-20T07:45:06Z
dc.date.issued 2005 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Austin, R. 2005. Poetry & patronage in the early imperial era : through the eyes of Martial. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/8647
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (leaves 100-105). en_ZA
dc.description.abstract This dissertation has three main aims: firstly, to establish and confirm Martial's status as a client; secondly, to confirm his reliability as an eyewitness in regard to the functioning of patronage in Roman society; and thirdly, to consider the intention behind the epigrams directed toward the emperor. This study hopes to show that, whilst allowing for the devices which are inherent to poetry, Martial's epigrams do have some merit as brief sketches of the complex social machinery of patronage. Additionally, it will be made evident that the many epigrams dealing with his working relationships with various patrons and benefactors offer ample evidence for the practical origins of his discontent with his own clientage. The essay is divided simply into three related components. Remaining largely in the theoretical realm, the first chapter explores the nebulous workings of patronage, as well as amicitia, a closely related concept. The discussion considers the ideals behind these complex concepts, and their practical functioning in Roman society. A clear understanding of both of these social phenomena is essential so as to lay the necessary groundwork for the more specific examinations of function. By contrast, the second chapter shifts the discussion into the application of such relationships in reality. Thus, the chapter begins by considering whether or not notions of patronage were even applicable to poets. In this section I uphold the argument that poets could in fact become clients, drawing evidence (with caution) from the Epigrams. The question is thus answered by looking at what Martial himself says about clientage and the necessary obligations involved. A contrast may be drawn between Martial's hopes and dreams for his own life, as opposed to the realistic prospects of a client in Rome. Additionally, while Martial has much to say about his own living conditions, any conclusions drawn from his comments must be tempered by considerations of intent. Having acquired an understanding of client life through Martial's eyes, the third chapter begins with an overview of the specific conditions of literary patronage during Domitian's reign. With the necessary framework in place, I consider the possible function of his epigrams in the context of his pursuit of imperial patronage. Some controversial interpretations of such poems see in them veiled and ambiguous references in regards to Domitian's legislation and his personal behaviour. Consequently, the epigrams concerned are analysed for their possible ironic content, and the implications thereof considered. Finally, some general conclusions are drawn regarding Martial's depiction of the "reality" of patronage, both under the emperor and in Roman society at large. For, it is evident that while his idyllic dream of a poet's life differs significantly from the reality of his life in Rome, his poetry offers an insight into the differing modes of communication between patron and client, and as such constitutes a valuable and under-rated resource for patronage studies. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.subject.other Ancient History en_ZA
dc.title Poetry & patronage in the early imperial era : through the eyes of Martial en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department School of Languages and Literatures en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Masters en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname MA en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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