Writing ‘Archaeologies’ in Roman Literature

In the Greco-Roman literary world, ‘archaeology’ was the discourse on the ancient times and on the origins. In the form of prefaces to a work or a single book, digressions, direct speeches, the ‘archaeologies’ help to introduce a ‘worthy’ topic (e.g. a war) and seem to be programmatic and preparatory to explaining the origins of a (hi)story. In this lecture, through several examples, with a focus on Roman literature, it will be explained how the ancient authors narrate their remote past. It will be asked: a) what were the recurring themes and common motifs of the ‘archaeologies’? b) what were the rhetorical strategies, the didactic and teleological purposes of writing ‘archaeologies’? c) how do the readers perceive the (hi)story of a remote past with hindsight?

Nicoletta Bruno is currently Junior Fellow at the Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald (2022/2023) and Teaching Assistant in Latin Literature at Università degli Studi di Bari. She was Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin at the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae (BAdW), Fritz Thyssen Stiftung Postdoctoral Fellow at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. Her main research interests are Latin epic poetry, ancient historiography, Latin lexicography, and classical tradition.

Moderation: Dr. Christian Suhm


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