The Workshop

The Family in Flavian Epic

Friday 20 June 2014
School of Classics, University of St Andrews

Organised by: Nikoletta Manioti

This workshop aims to bring together people working on Flavian epic in order to examine the all-pervasive theme of the family. There has been an increased interest recently in the study of families in the ancient world, both as a unit in society and as a presence in literature. The intention of this one-day meeting is to direct this interest specifically to Flavian epic, the four surviving samples of which distinctly problematize family bonds.

The participants will seek to find ways to explain the reasons behind the prominence of family in poems such as the Argonautica, the Thebaid, the Achilleid, and the Punica, and link it to cultural and political developments of the Flavian era. There will be six papers and a round table discussion in order to consider the following questions:

  • What is the nature and force of family bonds among each type of epic protagonists (heroes, gods, historical figures)?
  • What is the relationship between epic representations of the family and contemporary politics, and in particular how is the epic family linked to the imperial family?
  • What does family mean in war/peace contexts?
  • How does the idea of marriage work as a stabilising or destabilising force?
  • What is the place of children in Flavian epic thought?
  • How do family members interact in private and public contexts (advice, secrets, quarrels, lament)?

Antony Augoustakis (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Neil Bernstein (Ohio University)
Federica Bessone (Università degli studi di Torino)
Emma Buckley (University of St Andrews)
Peter Heslin (University of Durham)
Nikoletta Manioti (University of St Andrews)

The workshop is generously funded by the School of Classics, University of St Andrews.