Song Exchange in Roman Pastoral

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Agonistic or friendly song exchange in idyllic settings forms the very heart of Roman pastoral. It isalso a key means of metapoetic stance-taking on the part of the long line of authors who have cultivated this traditional genre. The present book examines the motif of song exchange in Roman bucolic poetry under this double aspect: as a central theme with established or constantly forming sub-themes and paraphernalia (thus providing a comprehensive listing, description and analysis of such scenes in the totality of Roman literature), and as the locus where, thanks to its very traditionality, innovative generic tendencies are most easily expressed. Starting from Vergil, and continuing with Calpurnius Siculus, the Einsiedeln Eclogues and Nemesianus, the book focuses on how politics, panegyric, elegy, heroic and didactic poetry function as guest genres within the pastoral host genre, by tracing in detail the evolution of a wide variety of literary, linguistic, stylistic and metrical features.