Herrscherbilder. Optatian und die Strukturen des Panegyrischen

Schierl, Petra and Scheidegger Lämmle, Cédric. (2017) Herrscherbilder. Optatian und die Strukturen des Panegyrischen. In: Morphogrammata. The Lettered Art of Optatian. Figuring Cultural Transformations in the Age of Constantine and Beyond. München, pp. 283-318.

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In our contribution, we read Optatian’s poetic œuvre against the backdrop of imperial panegyric. Engaging with Pliny’s Panegyricus and the late antique collection of the XII Panegyrici Latini , into which Pliny’s speech was incorporated, we posit that panegyric discourse is governed by a fundamental tension: While steeped in conventionalised tropes and inherited formulae, every panegyric speech asserts the singular and unequalled nature of its imperial addressee. In devising his carmina cancellata , we argue, Optatian has found an innovative solution to this ‚problem of panegyric‘: While embracing its conventions, Optatian transcends the indiscriminateness of prior panegyric discourse. He offers Constantine distinction grounded in the poetics of the carmina rather than the precarious predication of imperial virtues. Adducing Carmen 3 as a test case for this reconstruction of Optatian’s panegyric, we interpret the seemingly incongruent claim of outstripping the painter Apelles ( Carm . 3.iv) as a meditation on imperial representation that both foregrounds the hermeneutic challenges posed by the poem itself and contextualises these challenges in a contemporary discourse on portraits and images.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Altertumswissenschaften > Fachbereich Latinistik
UniBasel Contributors:Scheidegger Lämmle, Cédric and Schierl, Petra C.
Item Type:Book Section
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Series Name:Morphomata
Issue Number:33
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
Last Modified:30 Jan 2018 15:17
Deposited On:30 Jan 2018 15:17

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