ANALOGOUS CHARACTERS: TACITUS’ LIVIA AUGUSTA AND AGRIPPINA MINOR

Akroterion

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Title ANALOGOUS CHARACTERS: TACITUS’ LIVIA AUGUSTA AND AGRIPPINA MINOR
 
Creator Dircksen, M
 
Subject
Tacitus’ character portrayal; narratological analysis; Livia; Agrippina Minor; analogy between characters
 
Description Scholarship has recognised Tacitus’ preoccupation with characterand his use of rhetorical stereotypes even at a time when historiography was examined with the overriding aim of discovering the historical ‘truth’. The search for empirical validity revealed Tacitus’ historical unreliability and his manipulation of material.  Historical theory has since evolved toward an acknowledgement of ancient historiography as a form of literary art and belonging to the domain of narratology. This article is based on the premise that the Annals of Tacitus closely corresponds to a modern literary text and that the ‘manipulated material’ requires of the reader to fulfil an active role in the interpretation process. A narratological analysis of Tacitus’ characterisation of Livia Augusta and Agrippina Minor reveals a sophisticated use of the narratological device of ‘analogy between characters’. The analysis is limited to identical nouns and adjectives used in the direct description of both these women and the reinforcement of these characteristics by indirect presentation.  Tacitus’ mastery of subtle narratological devices becomes evident and his portrayal of Livia as analogous to Agrippina reiterates his deeply seated hatred of the Julio-Claudian regime.
 
Publisher Stellenbosch University, Department of Ancient Studies
 
Contributor
 
Date 2021-03-11
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
Peer-reviewed Article

 
Format application/pdf
 
Identifier http://akroterion.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1025
10.7445/65-0-1025
 
Source Akroterion; Vol 65 (2020)
2079-2883
0303-1896
 
Language eng
 
Relation http://akroterion.journals.ac.za/pub/article/view/1025/1047
 
Coverage


 
Rights Copyright (c) 2021 Akroterion
 

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