Burns, Patrick J. - Measuring and Mapping Intergeneric Allusion in Latin Poetry using Tesserae

jdmdh:3821 - Journal of Data Mining & Digital Humanities, August 2, 2017, Special Issue on Computer-Aided Processing of Intertextuality in Ancient Languages
Measuring and Mapping Intergeneric Allusion in Latin Poetry using Tesserae

Authors: Burns, Patrick J.

Most intertextuality in classical poetry is unmarked, that is, it lacks objective signposts to make readers aware of the presence of references to existing texts. Intergeneric relationships can pose a particular problem as scholarship has long privileged intertextual relationships between works of the same genre. This paper treats the influence of Latin love elegy on Lucan’s epic poem, Bellum Civile, by looking at two features of unmarked intertextuality: frequency and distribution. I use the Tesserae project to generate a dataset of potential intertexts between Lucan’s epic and the elegies of Tibullus, Propertius, and Ovid, which are then aggregrated and mapped in Lucan’s text. This study draws two conclusions: 1. measurement of intertextual frequency shows that the elegists contribute fewer intertexts than, for example, another epic poem (Virgil’s Aeneid), though far more than the scholarly record on elegiac influence in Lucan would suggest; and 2. mapping the distribution of intertexts confirms previous scholarship on the influence of elegy on the Bellum Civile by showing concentrations of matches, for example, in Pompey and Cornelia’s meeting before Pharsalus (5.722-815) or during the affair between Caesar and Cleopatra (10.53-106). By looking at both frequency and proportion, we can demonstrate systematically the generic enrichment of Lucan’s Bellum Civile with respect to Latin love elegy.


Source : oai:HAL:hal-01282568v4
Volume: Special Issue on Computer-Aided Processing of Intertextuality in Ancient Languages
Section: Towards a Digital Ecosystem: NLP. Corpus infrastructure. Methods for Retrieving Texts and Computing Text Similarities
Published on: August 2, 2017
Submitted on: July 31, 2017
Keywords: allusion, Lucan, Latin epic, Latin love elegy, intertextuality, generic enrichment, Tesserae,[SHS.CLASS] Humanities and Social Sciences/Classical studies


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