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Greek Narratives of the Roman Empire under…

Greek Narratives of the Roman Empire under the Severans: Cassius Dio,…

by Adam M. Kemezis

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Adam M. Kemezis’ book, which originates in his PhD dissertation but goes much further in depth of analysis and conceptual coherence, continues the Cambridge series “Greek Culture in the Roman World,” which has provided readers with a number of stimulating investigations of cultural identities, collective memory, and literary and ideological evolutions under the Empire. Proposing a narratological approach, so fashionable now, to the works of three Severan writers, Kemezis goes beyond formal literary analysis. He also pursues a more ambitious goal: to illuminate the historical reality that was reflected in four works of profoundly different genres and styles (that have, nonetheless, much in common, above all their belonging to the Severan age and Greek literary tradition) and in the narrative personalities of the authors, each with his own relationship to the social and cultural milieu. Kemezis aims to demonstrate that these Severan authors were aware of historical developments, having been led to re-imagine not only the recent but the entire past, and their works can be seen as responses on the part of Greek culture to its changing imperial setting. This book is not solely about texts and narrative techniques, but also about political realities outside literature, in particular about the Severan era and its urban cultural elites’ world-views as affected by the dynastic change from Antonines to Severans.
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