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Man and Animal in Severan Rome: The Literary Imagination of Claudius Aelianus (Steven D Smith) Hardcover Book, (Cambridge University Press, 2014) 9781107033986
Man and Animal in Severan Rome: The Literary Imagination of Claudius Aelianus (Steven D Smith) Hardcover Book, (Cambridge University Press, 2014) 9781107033986
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Title: Man and Animal in Severan Rome: The Literary Imagination of Claudius Aelianus

Author: Smith, Steven D

Publisher: Cambridge University Press; Publication Date: 2014

Hardcover; ISBN: 9781107033986

Volumes: 1; Pages: 320

List Price in Cloth: $99.00 Our price: $90.99

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The Roman sophist Claudius Aelianus, born in Praeneste in the late second century CE, spent his career cultivating a Greek literary persona. Aelian was a highly regarded writer during his own lifetime, and his literary compilations would be influential for a thousand years and more in the Roman world. This book argues that the De natura animalium, a miscellaneous treasury of animal lore and Aelian's greatest work, is a sophisticated literary critique of Severan Rome. Aelian's fascination with animals reflects the cultural issues of his day: philosophy, religion, the exoticism of Egypt and India, sex, gender, and imperial politics. This study also considers how Aelian's interests in the De natura animalium are echoed in his other works, the Rustic Letters and the Varia Historia. Himself a prominent figure of mainstream Roman Hellenism, Aelian refined his literary aesthetic to produce a reading of nature that is both moral and provocative.Table of ContentsIntroduction. Approaching the De natura animalium1. The independent intellectual2. Animals and agroikoi in Aelian's Rustic Letters3. The hazards of variety4. The Hellenized Roman5. Stoicism6. Animals, divinity, and myth7. Egypt and India8. The sexual animal9. Bees, lions, eagles: Aelian and kingship10. After animals: the women of the Varia HistoriaConclusion. 'Nature produces animals with many voices and many sounds, you might say ...'Appendix: reconstructing Aelian's Kategoria tou Gunnidos
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