Date Thesis Awarded

5-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Classical Studies

Advisor

Dr. Molly Swetnam-Burland

Committee Member

Dr. Sergio Ferrarese

Committee Member

Dr. William Hutton

Abstract

This project consists of a translation and literary analysis of the Carmen de Bello Actiaco, a fragmentary Latin epic from the Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum. The epic describes the events surrounding the battle of Actium and Octavian's conquest of Egypt. This analysis explores the importance of the Carmen as a product of a distinctly Augustan ideology, regardless of the exact date of its writing. The first chapter addresses the character of Cleopatra VII and how her portrayal is indicative of the contemporary Roman imperialistic conceptualization of Egypt and other foreign territories. The second chapter explores the theme of growth and renewal through war present in the Carmen and, more generally, the literature and material culture of the Augustan era.

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