Summary The fact that poets, novelists, journalists, critics, and the general public of Latin America have embraced the interpretation of Martín Fierro as a work that defines Argentine national identity, has, in my opinion, diverted the attention of most critics from the real core of the analysis, which is that the very concepts of “literature,' “history,' “identity,' and “nationality' are and have been cultural constructions. The purpose of this essay is, then, to analyze Martín Fierro through the light of the theories of Benedict Anderson, Edward Said and Irena Nikolova in order to verify if the poem articulates the archetypical conventions (structure, theme, style) of the classical epic genre. And, departing from the results of that analysis, to examine how the textual and contextual relations between authorial ideology and European Romantic epic converge in the construction of the official concept of national literature in Argentine.
Summary This paper examines, through the scope of both traditional heroic models and - mainly - Western feminist theories, the mutations of the marriage metaphor in the Grottaferrata version of Digenis Akritas, an epic of the “borderline' condition between Byzantine and Asian culture, with the former being as much differentiated by its Western (Roman-Christian) stance vis-à-vis its neighbors, as well as an Eastern empire at heart. The peculiar tendency of this epic to revel in bride-snatching and illicit, “polluting' trans-cultural liaisons (chiefly between Digenis and the Amazon Maximo) suggests the ambiguous cultural position of the Byzantine mind, the terminus of Christian Europe and the Balkan cultural conglomerate, in its inevitable zymosis with the Levant and the Orient.
While the theme of friendship in the Middle Ages has traditionally been associated with the world of courtly literature and
the Renaissance of the Twelfth Century, deeply influenced by Cicero, there are also other strands of friendship that determine,
contrary to our expectations, the world of heroic epics. As much as the heroic individuals often seem to be wood-cut like
figures with no or little feelings, a closer analysis of Beowulf, Le Chanson de Roland, the Nibelungenlied, and Njal’s Saga demonstrates that some of the true tragic elements contained in them are the conflicts among friends or the inability of
friendship to avoid the massive killing. This friendship often comes to the surface only in the ultimate situation of death
and dying, but the poets of those heroic epics were apparently deeply inspired to elaborate on the profound value of friendship
in a bellicose and catastrophic world where human existence was at great risk. One of the greatest strengths of these heroes
proves to be their deeply moving effort to reach out to their friends even in the most deadly situations.
Drawing on established connections between Roman identity and an agricultural landscape, this paper examines how the imagery of disrupted pastoral and agrarian landscapes and characters represent the effects of civil war on the Roman people in Vergil’s Aeneid and Lucan’s Bellum Civile. While disturbance and turmoil are already a part of the natural landscape in Vergil’s Eclogues and Georgics, in epic, a genre that concerns itself with how empire and imperial power mediate Roman identity, the displacement of shepherds and agriculture partially redefines Roman identity in militaristic terms. Vergil’s pastoral characters, written into military roles as civic landscapes displace agrarian ones in the Aeneid, survive but fail to find a place in Lucan’s ruined and desolate Pharsalian landscape in the Bellum Civile. There, the broken natural landscape, unfit for agriculture, pastoralism, or trade, mirrors the redefinition of what is “Roman” and the occlusion of Rome’s link to an idealized bucolic past.
A number of difficult passages of [Verg.] Culex are discussed. In some cases lacunae seem more helpful than textual changes, and in general the author’s very careful use of elisions should be observed. Finally an experimental edition of [Verg.] Culex is tried, starting from the variants given in the OCT edition.
References BASŊGA , B. (ed.) 1990 . Jaŋγr. Xal’mg bātrlg epos [ Jangar. Kalmyk heroic epic ]. Elst : s. n . BERGMANN , Benjamin 1804–1805 . Nomadische Streifereien unter den Kalmücken in den Jahren 1802 und 1803 . I–IV . Riga : C. J. G