Rethinking Roman Alliance: A Study in Poetics and Society

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Cambridge University Press, May 24, 2016 - History
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In this book, Bill Gladhill studies one of the most versatile concepts in Roman society, the ritual event that concluded an alliance, a foedus (ritual alliance). Foedus signifies the bonds between nations, men, men and women, friends, humans and gods, gods and goddesses, and the mass of matter that gives shape to the universe. From private and civic life to cosmology, Roman authors, time and time again, utilized the idea of ritual alliance to construct their narratives about Rome. To put it succinctly, Roman civilization in its broadest terms was conditioned on ritual alliance. Yet, lurking behind every Roman relationship, in the shadows of Roman social and international relations, in the dark recesses of cosmic law, were the breakdown and violation of ritual alliance and the release of social pollution. Rethinking Roman Alliance investigates Roman culture and society through the lens of foedus and its consequences.
 

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Contents

A prolegomenon to ritual alliance
17
Atomizing ritual alliance
69
Star wars in Manilius Astronomica
97
Ritual alliance in Vergils Aeneid
119
Ritual alliance in Lucans Bellum Civile
168
Conclusion
200
Index
214
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About the author (2016)

Bill Gladhill is currently Associate Professor of Classics at McGill University and has published widely on Greek and Roman literature.

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