Valorizing the Barbarians: Enemy Speeches in Roman Historiography

Valorizing the Barbarians: Enemy Speeches in Roman Historiography

by Eric Adler

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With the growth of postcolonial theory in recent decades, scholarly views of Roman imperialism and colonialism have been evolving and shifting. Much recent discussion of the topic has centered on the ways in which ancient Roman historians consciously or unconsciously denigrated non-Romans. Similarly, contemporary scholars have downplayed Roman elite anxiety about their empire's expansion. In this groundbreaking new work, Eric Adler explores the degree to which ancient historians of Rome were capable of valorizing foreigners and presenting criticisms of their own society. By examining speeches put into the mouths of barbarian leaders by a variety of writers, he investigates how critical of the empire these historians could be. Adler examines pairs of speeches purportedly delivered by non-Roman leaders so that the contrast between them might elucidate each writer's sense of imperialism. Analyses of Sallust's and Trogus's treatments of the Eastern ruler Mithradates, Polybius's and Livy's speeches from Carthage's Hannibal, and Tacitus's and Cassius Dio's accounts of the oratory of the Celtic warrior queen Boudica form the core of this study. Adler supplements these with examinations of speeches from other characters, as well as contextual narrative from the historians. Throughout, Adler wrestles with broader issues of Roman imperialism and historiography, including administrative greed and corruption in the provinces, the treatment of gender and sexuality, and ethnic stereotyping.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780292744684
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 07/01/2011
Series: Ashley and Peter Larkin Series in Greek and Roman Culture
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 283
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

ERIC ADLER is Assistant Professor of Classics at Connecticut College.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Author’s Note Introduction Part I: Mithridates and the East 1. “A Deep-Seated Lust for Empire and Riches”: Sallust’s Epistula Mithridatis 2. “Their Whole Population Has the Spirit of Wolves”: Pompeius Trogus’ Speech of Mithridates Part II: Hannibal and Carthage 3. “He Considered It to Be in No Way Worthy to Contemplate the Hope of Living Defeated”: Polybius’ Speeches of Hannibal 4. “Nothing at All Has Been Left to Us, Except That Which We Defend with Arms”: Livy’s Hannibal Part III: Boudica and Britain 5. “Men Might Live and Be Slaves”: Tacitus’ Speech of Boudica 6. “Slaves to a Bad Lyre-Player”: Cassius Dio’s Speech of Boudica 7. Conclusions Appendix: Texts and Translations of the Speeches Examined at Length Notes Works Cited Index

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