Telling Tales on Caesar: Roman Stories from Phaedrus
Fedro, Phaedrus, John Henderson, Reader in Latin Literature Cambridge University and Fellow John Henderson
Oxford University Press, 2001 - Foreign Language Study - 286 pages
This book contains a dozen entertaining stories written in colloquial Latin verse newly translated and commented on by John Henderson. The author, Phaedrus, was a freeman of Augustus who put Aesop's Fables into five books of verse during the reign of Tiberius. He included a number of storiesand anecdotes on everyday life situations as well as assorted satirical bits. Rarely read today, they take the reader to the heart of ancient Rome into everyday corners of classical life and culture, high and low, in the focal period of the first emperors, Augustus and Tiberius. Phaedrus was amember of the imperial staff and his themes include the emperor in private and in court; theatricity in public life; declamation as a site for mythologizing Rome; masculinity in ancient gender coding; patronage for poets under the Caesars; prejudice, wit, cynicism, and tyranny. The stories, combinedwith an introduction to the Fabulae of Aesop, show the ways Romans thought of, and protested at, Caesars.
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