The World of Roman Song
From Ritualized Speech to Social Order
By (author) Thomas N. Habinek
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World of Roman Song by Thomas N. Habinek
Book DescriptionIn this bold work, Thomas Habinek offers an entirely new theoretical perspective on Roman cultural history. Although English words such as "literature" and "religion" have their origins in Latin, the Romans had no such specific concepts. Rather, much of the sense of these words was captured in the Latin word carmen, usually translated into English as "song." Habinek argues that for the Romans, "song" encompassed a wide range of ritualized speech, including elements of poetry, storytelling, and even the casting of spells. Habinek begins with the fraternal societies, or sodalitates, which predated the Republic and endured into the Imperial era, and whose rites, although adapted over time to different deities and cults, were from the beginning centered on song (perhaps most notably in the ancient Carmen Saliare). He goes on to show how this early use of song became a paradigm for cultural reproduction throughout Roman history. Ritual mastery of the chaos of everyday life, embodied and enacted in song, produced and transmitted the beliefs on which Roman culture was founded and by which Roman communities were sustained. By the emergence of the Empire, "song," in all of its senses, served in particular to reproduce the power of the state, organizing relations of power at every level of society. The World of Roman Song presents a systematic and comprehensive approach to Roman cultural history. Informed and imaginative, this book challenges classicists, social theorists, and literary scholars to engage in a provocative discussion of the power of song.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780801881053
(229mm x 152mm x 29mm)
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 1-May-2005
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Thomas N. Habinek
On Living and Dying Well, Paperback (July 2012)
Includes treatises on such diverse topics as friendship, religion, death, fate and scientific inquiry.
Roman Cultural Revolution, Paperback (December 2004)
Multi-disciplinary exploration of the Roman Revolution as a cultural phenomenon.
Ancient Rhetoric and Oratory, Paperback (September 2004)
Introduces readers to the ancient rhetorical tradition by investigating key questions about the origins, nature and importance of rhetoric. This book explores the role of the orator, especially the two greatest figures of the tradition, Demosthenes and Cicero. It also investigates the place of rhetoric at the center of ancient education.
Politics of Latin Literature, Paperback (November 2001)» View all books by Thomas N. Habinek
Describes the intimate relationship between Latin literature and the politics of ancient Rome. This work shows that, from its beginnings in the late third century BC to its eclipse by Christian literature six hundred years later, classical literature served the evolving interests of Roman and, more particularly, aristocratic power.
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Author Biography - Thomas N. Habinek
Thomas Habinek is a professor of classics at the University of Southern California.
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