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Dream, Fantasy, and Visual Art in Roman Elegy
Emma Scioli

Wisconsin Studies in Classics
Patricia A. Rosenmeyer, Laura McClure, and Mark Stansbury-O’Donnell, Series Editors

“The scope of Scioli’s book is impressive, covering a wide range of Roman literature and art.”
—Tim O’Sullivan, author of Walking in Roman Culture

The elegists, ancient Rome’s most introspective poets, filled their works with vivid, first-person accounts of dreams. Dream, Fantasy, and Visual Art in Roman Elegy examines these varied and visually striking textual dreamscapes, arguing that the poets exploited dynamics of visual representation to allow readers to share in the intensely personal experience of dreaming.

By treating dreams as a mode for viewing, an analogy suggested by diverse ancient authors, Emma Scioli extracts new information from the poetry of Propertius, Tibullus, and Ovid about the Roman concept of “seeing” dreams. Through comparison with other visual modes of description, such as ekphrasis and simile, as well as with related types of visual experience, such as fantasy and voyeurism, Scioli demonstrates similarities between artist, dreamer, and poet as creators, identifying the dreamer as a particular type of both viewer and narrator.


Author. Photo credit, NameEmma Scioli is an associate professor of classics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. She is the coeditor of Sub Imagine Somni: Nighttime Phenomena in Greco-Roman Culture.





“The close readings are, on the whole, executed with sophistication and are instructive for considering narrative dynamics.”
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“Scrupulously researched, elegantly written, and bristling with new insights. There is nothing like this book in previous work on the subject of dreams in Latin poetry. Scioli is fully in command of both the Roman art and Latin literature.”
—John F. Miller, University of Virginia



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June 2015
LC: 2014036986 PA
288 pp.   6 x 9
29 b/w illus.

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Paper $55.00 s
ISBN 978-0-299-30384-6
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