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Doctoral Degrees (Mind, Culture and Society)

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    Mask or mirror? : a study of Juvenal's Satires as a reflection of authorial personality and perspective.
    (1999) Tennant, Peter Michael Wellesley.; Dominik, William.
    This study aims to present Juvenal's Satires as a whole as the fundamentally coherent and plausible product of the author's own personality, convictions and circumstanceswhere the latter may be reasonably inferred. It therefore questions the view that the dichotomy which the persona theory creates between the author and his notional 'speaker' provides the basis for a better insight into Juvenal's Satires. There is no compelling reason to reject the impression that in his earlier Books Juvenal was genuinely writing from the standpoint of a disaffected client; and an examination of the Epigrams of Juvenal's contemporary, Martial, suggests that complaints of paupertas should not be dismissed as a merely conventional literary facade. Juvenal's own resentment as a neglected dependant and his contempt for the corrupt Roman elite give the first three Books their basic coherence. However, while Satires 7, 8 and 9 are not characterised to the same extent by the strident invective which is the hallmark of the earlier poems, the notion that the image of the 'indignant' satirist is deliberately abandoned, albeit tentatively, after Book 2 is less convincing , if one gives due weight to the types of themes treated in the third Book and to the nature of the satirical vehicle used in each instance. Juvenal's empathy with the plight of the neglected intellectuals in Satire 7 and his condemnation of the effete and corrupt elite in Satires 8 and 9 are clear and forthright: the shift in satirical technique away from aggressive invective towards a more analytical treatment of the themes in Satires 7 and 8, as indeed befits the subject matter, and towards wryly ironic 'humour in the sordid dialogue with Naevolus in Satire 9 are not to be interpreted as the manifestation of a refashioned authorial persona. The importance of theme as a major determinant of the satirical method or technique employed is equally evident in the fourth Book. Here, the themes lend themselves, in general, to a more consistently didactic approach, reminiscent of Horace's Sermones. From the outset of Book 1, Juvenal focuses perSistently on avaritia, in all its manifestations, as a root cause of the malaise in Roman society; and this vice continues to playa dominant role in Book 3 (particularly in Satires 7 and 9). Not only does avaritia come under further attack in Satires 11 , 12 and 13, but the prominence given to it in Satire 14 provides cogent evidence of the extent to which the satirist is preoccupied with this most pernicious of social evils. These poems also illustrate the fact that, even when Juvenal adopts a more didactic or reflective approach, his urge towards acerbic satire is far from suppressed; and, as in the cases of Satires 7 and 8, he shows his predilection for using ostensibly positive themes as platforms for attacks on vice and depravity. Similarly. when other themes congenial to his prejudices and convictions present themselves - such as an appalling act of barbarism perpetrated by the Egyptians - that urge can readily find expression through the poet's innate propensity towards ira and indignatio. Furthermore, Books 4 and 5 provide ample evidence of the very qualities which characterize the so-called 'angry' satirist of the first two Books: vigorous and persistent denunciation of contemporary greed and other vices, strong moral convictions, brooding pessimism and cynicism and , not least, an acerbic wit and a genius for crafting powerfully evocative images. The evidence is tenuous, but sufficient to suggest that the shifts in tone and focus in Books 4 and 5 could also be attributed , in part, to Juvenal's circumstances and state of mind at that time. In Satires 10-14 Juvenal shows a particular interest in the Epicurean virtue of tranquillitas. This is perhaps to be attributed to a realization that angry protests could effect no real changes for the better and that some solace could be derived from a more detached perspective, and to the comforting conviction that ultimately wickedness finds its nemesis in the torture of a guilty conscience. For one steadfastly convinced that he lived in an age of unsurpassed and incorrigible vice, in which the gods were apparently ineffectual, it was probably both satisfying and logical to cultivate such a perspective. One should also not lose sight of the fact that the poet's age could well have contributed to shifts of both attitude and interest. Satire 15 provides strong corroboration of the view that Juvenal's personality and attitudes remain basically consistent and that theme is a major determinant of the satirical manner adopted. The merciless attack on the Egyptians is not to be seen as a consciously contrived return to the 'old style' or, more fancifully, as an exercise in selfii mockery. Rather, it is clear proof that Juvenal has not forsaken his inherently aggressive xenophobia, which was so prominent in Books 1 and 2. Similarly, what remains of Satire 16 suggests the same character traits which are so powerfully conveyed in the first Satire. Thatone can still feel the presence of the bitter and acerbic pessimist of that first Satire is not the effect of calculated mask-changing , but a further indication that the Satires as a whole should be seen as a reflection of the author's own personality and perspective.
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    A commentary on books 3 and 4 of the Ethiopian story of Heliodorus.
    (1998) Hilton, John Laurence.; Kytzler, Bernhard.; Mackay, Anne.
    The thesis consists of an introduction to and commentary on books 3 and 4 of the Ethiopian Story of Heliodorus. The introduction explores the meagre evidence for the life of the author, and concludes that he was probably a Phoenician living in the Syrian city of Emesa. The nature of the personal relationship between Heliodorus and the cult of the sun, mentioned explicitly in the final sentence of the romance, is discussed but must remain inconclusive. References to Helios in the romance are shown to be largely literary rather than programmatically religious. The narrative context surrounding the encounter between the hero and heroine of the story and the latter's strange birth, which constitutes the true opening of the romance, are investigated particularly closely. The possibility that the author represented his heroine, paradoxically born white to the black king and queen of Ethiopia, as what would today be termed an albino, is analysed, and the literary and cultural implications of this evaluated. Comparative anthropological studies of this hereditary condition in a variety of cultures show a strong connection with religious cults of the sun, while the internal evidence in the romance (particularly the heroine 's miraculous birth, the constrained sexuality of the hero and heroine, and the high degree of cultural alienation in the work) further corroborate this argument. The introduction also reviews the evidence for the date of the romance, such as the extent of the author's knowledge of the contemporary kingdoms of Axum and Meroe, his use of words and linguistic forms that were prevalent in the fourth century, the traces of Christian doctrines in the romance, the comparison between the sieges of Syene and Nisibis, and the similarity between the account of the triumphal procession of Aurelian in Vopiscus' biography of the emperor and the presentation of ambassadors to Hydaspes. This survey shows that there are strong arguments for the fourth century date for the romance. The introduction concludes with a brief survey of the language and style of Heliodorus. The commentary provides detailed discussion of key passages for the interpretation of the author's narratological strategy, with particular regard to the role of Kalasiris in the plot. Other substantial notes look at the author's treatment of the conventions of romance , his ironical use of the superstition of the 'evil eye', his subtle characterisation, and his use of literary topoi. The thesis concludes with appendices on the intertextual relationship between the Homeric epics and the Ethiopian Story, the significance of the word uvn6Eoc;, and the 'amphibolies', or double explanations for events in the narrative.
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    Psychiatry and the plays of Euripides.
    (1994) Hift, Walter.; Mackay, E. Anne.
    In this study, the nineteen extant plays of Euripides are reviewed from a psychiatric point of view. This has not been done before, as few classicists have an intimate knowledge of modern psychology and psychiatry, and few psychiatrists have the requIsIte classIcal background. Two major areas of interest emerge: l.(a) The clinical descriptions of major psychiatric disorders found in some of these plays are astonishingly accurate by modern standards. The main examples are to be found in the Herakles (epilepsy), Hekabe (manic-depressive disease), Orestes (paranoia) as well as in some of the minor characters in other plays, particularly Kassandra (Troades, hysteria), Andromache (Troades, anankastic personality), Helene (Troades, histrionic-narcissistic personality), Hermione (Andromache, parasuicide), Euadne (Hiketides, schizophrenia). l.(b) Equally good descriptions can be found of characters which could nowadays not be regarded as suffering from a mental "disease" but are decidedly unusual and within the field of psychiatric endeavour. They are the main characters of the Medeia, Elektra and Hippolytos. l.(c) The remainder of the plays, with the exceptions of the Kyklops and the Rhesos which are discussed separately, contain astonishingly modern studies of the psychological motivation of ordinary people. These are the phenomena of role playing (Alkestis), ambivalence and the causes of irrational behaviour (Iphigeneia among the Taurians) , the morality of slogans (Herakleidai), the fight for social status (Andromache), guilt feelings (Phoinissai) , the causes of violence and war (Hike tides), the basic psychology of politics (lphigenia in Aulis), the contrast of religious and everyday morality (Helene), the adolescent's struggle for social and religious integration (Ion) and the search for social and religious integration in the adult (Bakchai). 2. Based on the above it is proposed that Euripides' main interest in writing his plays was in the search for human motivation: why do people behave in the (often ridiculous) way in which they do? In this he differs from Aischylos and also from the ideas of Aristotle. The main interest of the thesis lies in the way that when the plays are viewed from this angle virtually all the passages which have been severely criticised in the past suddenly make perfect sense. Many parts of the plays have been dubbed inept, irrelevant, contradictory or put in for effect only. Seen from the psychiatric point of view they all fulfil vital functions in their respective plays. Choral odes are not detached embolima; epilogues really solve the psychological problems of the play; humorous, patriotic, xenophobic and sophistic passages all have their reasons. Where there are contradictions they invariably arise from the fact that different characters have different approaches, or frequently the same character is torn between two possible approaches. Euripides himself hardly ever makes a definite statement but allows his characters to put forward the various points of view and the audience is invited to judge. In the process the audience itself often becomes the butt of the playwright's condemnation for they are frequently inveigled by this past master of deceit into adopting a premature stance on various issues which is later shown to be foolish, immoral or plain ridiculous.
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    Simulacrum, paragon, holy man : fundamentalist perspectives in the writings of Flavius Philostratus.
    (2010) Kirby-Hirst, Mark Anthony.; Hilton, John Laurence.
    Flavius Philostratus was a Greek author working in the early third century CE, attached to a circle of philosophers and thinkers under the patronage of the Roman Empress Julia Domna. It is he who coined the term that we today use to describe this period in literary history-the Second Sophistic. While it was a time of startling literary productivity, it was also a time of increasing moral decline and confusion for the inhabitants of the Roman Empire. The old beliefs and morality of Graeco-Roman polytheism was fast becoming outmoded in the light of new developments coming out of the East and places like Palaestine in particular. Faiths like Christianity that placed the individual believer and his or her desire for salvation at the heart of the system were challenging the older Olympian style of religion, wherein the polis or city-state was all important. Add to this the growing influence of the cult worship of the Roman emperor and upheaval was the only foreseeable outcome, with not even the mas maiorum remaining intact as a moral compass for the average citizen. Flavius Philostratus struck out against this growing tide of moral and religious uncertainty by proposing a solution founded in religious fundamentalist tendencies. He could not do this in an obvious fashion, for fear not only of losing his imperial patroness, but pOSSibly also his life as well for speaking ill of emperor and empire. Instead, Philostratus pretends to submission, while at the very same time suggesting a return to the old ways of Graeco-Roman paganism when the needs of the many outweighed individual desires. He also suggests a way of counteracting the popularity of foreign individualized cults by regenerating the almost forgotten cult of the ancestors, with the hero-cult a particular focus. Indeed, Philostratus' approach addresses every possible concern that may have arisen in his imperial milieu, ranging from philosophy to politics to the rejection of the cult of the emperor. I have posited a theory of ancient religious fundamentalism as gleaned from the writings of Philostratus by envisioning a modified formulation of the twentieth century notion of religious fundamentalism itself. This new form removes fundamentalist dogma from its apparent reliance on a monotheistic faith and reconfigures it into a 'polyvalent' fundamentalism, wherein it is conceivable for an inhabitant of the Graeco-Roman world like Philostratus to have championed a variegated polytheistic belief system in the face of advancing Eastern influences and emperor worship, choosing to see Graeco-.Roman belief as a singular entity under threat. In an effort to conceal his beliefs from those who 111 might take offence at them, Philostratus makes use of a simulacrum for his ideals. This is the first century sage known as A pollonius of Tyana. My own approach to this idea has been twofold, with the first half being devoted to analysing the time and place in which Philostratus was working. I assess the literary tensions of the Second Sophistic itself and investigate how this may have impacted upon Philostratus' presentation of his argument I also look to the figure of Apollonius of Tyana, essential to the whole of the Philostratean fundamentalist 'project', and examine what changes Philostratus may have effected to the existing canon on Apollonius in order to make him useful to his fundamentalist perspective. The second half of my thesis involves the specific analysis of four of the works of Philostratus- the Vita Apollonii, Vitae Sophistarum, Heroikos, and Nero. Each is assessed in detail with respect to its representation of a specific aspect of Philostratus' beliefs. The Vita Apollonii presents Apollonius of Tyana as the paragon and champion of Philostratus' new belief system, teaching a Pythagorean way of life and personally reSisting Roman emperors like Domitian. The Vitae Sophistarum provides a catalogue of past sophists and offers up their behaviour as a guide for all good and wise men to follow, while the Nero presents Musonius Rufus as the archetypal philosopher battling imperial tyranny. Finally the Heroiiws is suggested as Philostratus' attempt at reinvigorating the cult of the ancestors as a means of providing an alternative individualized religious b•adition to ward off the encroaching Eastern mysteries. In all it is my contention that Flavius Philostratus deploys his sophistic talents in a manner reflective of his time, as a means of remedying Of, at the very least, positing a remedy, for the decline of belief and morality in the Roman Empire. He does this through four great literary works and chiefly through the figure of Apollonius of Tyana, his paragon and simulacrum.
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    Plaintive nightingale or strident swan? : the reception of the Electra myth from 1960-2005.
    (2007) Steinmeyer, Elke Gisela.; Sharland, Suzanne Jane.; Gosling, Anne.; Hilton, John Laurence.; Mackay, Anne.
    The ancient myth of Electra has a rich history of reception through the ages, which is well documented in scholarship. The scholarly debate, however, ceases when it comes to the reception of the myth after 1960, especially after 1970. Very few scholars have critically engaged with the adaptations of the Electra myth in the last three decades. In my thesis I intend to fill in this gap in scholarship by presenting eight adaptations of the Electra myth between 1960 and 2005 covering a span of three continents, three (or four) languages and three media (drama, comic series, film). The common factor between all of these adaptations consists in the fact that they have strong political and societal connotations. I selected them in order to illustrate my underlying argument in this thesis that the Electra myth survives from antiquity until today because it appeals to the creative imagination of authors and playwrights from different historical backgrounds, who use this specific myth as a vehicle in order to engage with their political and societal situation in their respective countries at their respective time. This selection also serves the purpose of illustrating a new trend in the reception of antiquity in modem times, a shift from more traditional high culture adaptations to the more unconventional popular mass media. With my thesis I would like to make a contribution to Reception Studies, a subdiscipline of Classics which has recently emerged from the long-standing field of Classical Tradition, by combing the methodologies of traditional Classical Philology and modern Literary Theory into one single comparative study. It is also an attempt to make some rather lesser known yet not less rewarding plays accessible to a wider audience. I hope that this attempt will prove to be fruitful and that my thesis will be the starting point for further research on more recent adaptations of the Electra myth.