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Roman Dream Works

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Chapter Summary

The main contribution of Rome is the emergence of a powerful cultural phantasma that came into life under very propitious cultural and social conditions. Part one of the chapter is devoted to some of the propitious social and cultural conditions in Rome that made possible its development, whereas the second part presents five Roman writers who reflect more or less theoretically on this meaningful combination of heterogeneous material. These examples show that this phantasma is not an idea superimposed on the facts, but something which was already in the air. In part three, the chapter exemplifies this phantasma manifesting itself in constant literary hybridization by looking at Lucan's historical epic Bellum Civile. The last part suggests a model which could be adequate for the concept of a history of literature which takes account of the phantasmatical literary production of Ancient Rome.

Keywords: Ancient Rome; Bellum Civile; cultural phantasma; literary hybridization; Roman dream works



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