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Comparative judgments in roman sites of memory

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Chapter Summary

A significant part of Gellius literary strategy in establishing cultural authority is his reinvention of recent past, introducing the Antonine celebrities of Hellenic sophistication as leading characters in his Latin portrayal of contemporary cultural world, a portrayal that associates Gellius claim to authority with the centrality of Roman imperial culture. This chapter discusses the methods by which Gellius strategy of shaping his readers perception of this Roman cultural world and its inhabitants can be illuminated. It illustrates this strategy with some examples from Noctes Atticae, especially the scene in Forum Traiani. On the one hand, Gellius connects his authority with centrality of Roman culture by his use of famous locations. On the other hand, Gellius invites his reader to acknowledge and perceive the centrality of his Roman cultural programme by means of various strategies of perception, encouraging him to enter various processes of mutual comparison and visual and literary analysis.

Keywords: Aulus Gellius; authority; Forum Traiani; literary analysis; Noctes Atticae; Roman cultural programme; Roman imperial culture; Roman sites



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