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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12128/7981
Title: Zainteresowania literackie rzymskiej nobilitas w schyłkowym okresie Republiki
Authors: Aleksandrowicz, Tadeusz
Keywords: Rzym; Republika rzymska; czytelnictwo; nobilitas
Issue Date: 1990
Publisher: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Abstract: In the years 133—42 BC there existed conditions favourably influencing the attitude of the Roman nobilitas towards various aspects of contemporary literary life. Of particular importance was the influence of Greek culture — reflecting on customs and education, and also the political and economic position of the nobiles, religion, family traditions and again the system of values pertaining in these times. From prosopographic studies conducted it was possible to draw literary portraits of more than ninety nobiles. Basing on these individual conclusions could then be formulated as to (lie characteristics of the literary interests of the whole nobilitas. In these interests may be clearly discerned creative aspirations and patronage of literature as well as cognitive and receptive likings. More than two thirds of the group of nobiles whose interests it was possible to discover to some degree, showed certain creative aspirations. Apart from historiographic works these nobiles also indulged in the writing of recollections and publicist essays, scientific writings on the law, religion, philosophy, philology, astronomy and epistolary works, various sententions, and finally — drama, poetry, epigrams and other verses. However, the scale of these creative achievements should not be overestimated for in many cases the nobiles as literary luminaries found themselves in the shadow of other authors coming from the lower classes. However, it is beyond discussion that the nobilitas maintained the leading role in the domain of prose oratory. The joining link between the creative and cognitive interests of the nobiles was their patronage which they extended over literary creators of varying stature. Under the aegis of this patronage were to be found eminent dramatists, poets, historians and also grammarians and rhetoricians. In the group of cognitive interests a clear preference for tragedy and comedy may be observed and also for the epic form of literary expression. The interest shown in lyrical poetry was rather less, however the works of the most outstanding poets were discerned and appreciated. The receptive group of interests tended to centre around oratorial prose, giving evidence that the practicist functions of literature were nearest to the nobiles. Practicism also dictated their interest in publicist writings, which constituted the instrument of political struggles between various parties and individuals. The nobilitas also showed no lack of interest in belles lettres and in writings of every kind having literary values. This was fully manifested in their literary erudition, shown in quotations from various authors and in their overall orientation in Greek and Latin writings. Literature provided the central topic in the kind of literary salons existing at that time, and even during court hearings. The literary life of these spheres tended to concentrate around such nobiles as Scipio Emilianus, Q. Lutatius Catulus, Lucullus, Pompey, Memmius, Caesar, Cicero, Messalla Corvinus and Munatius Plancus and later Octavian. Irrespective of the motives which led these nobiles to develop these interests, they perceived the need for linking the monopoly or power with a movement towards widening and deepening their literary culture. The monopoly of power was disrupted, as the nobilitas proved itself to be an anachronistic element in the Roman social structure. Nevertheless, a permanent role in European culture was played by the versatile interests of the nobilitas, which, developed under the Republic, gradually created the conditions enabling the fullest flowering of Roman literature in the Augustan epoch.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12128/7981
ISBN: 8322603045
Appears in Collections:Książki/rozdziały (W.Hum.)

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