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History of Italian Literature 101: Classical Era II - Latin Comedies and Satire


Foreword


The grotesque domain unveils a complex connection with human belief systems, folklore, and “subcultures”, evoking a sense of macabre fascination. Within this series, we shall delve into the deep interplay between grotesque aesthetics and comic discourse, always keeping an eye out for comedy and satire. The captivating evolution of grotesque crosses multiple historical eras, each one bearing distinct comical genres that reflect the societies from which they emerged. By scrutinizing the historical contexts, we aim to discern the pivotal role they play in shaping humorous expressions, with a particular emphasis on the literary grotesque and its association with comedy in folklore. This series belongs to a course of Italian literature. Our focus shall concentrate on Italian comic literature, clarifying its intricate connections to its Latin and Greek origins.


Additionally, we venture into the realm of fables, timeless narratives that transcend cultural boundaries, leaving an indelible mark on our perception of humor. Both folktales and fables contribute to our collective understanding of how hilarity should be portrayed, providing enduring narratives that continue to resonate until now. Our exploration reveals that the quest for laughter remains a universal pursuit, intimately woven into the fabric of humanity and its literary creations.


These 101 series will be composed of seven articles, as follows:

3. History of Italian Literature 101: Classical Era II - Latin Comedies and Satire

4. History of Italian Literature 101: Medieval Times - Introducing the Obscene

5. History of Italian Literature 101: Medieval time - Carnival and Dante

6. History of Italian Literature 101: The Renaissance - The success of the Commedia dell’Arte

7. History of Italian Literature 101: The Folktale and its figures


History of Italian Literature 101: Classical Era II - Latin Comedies and Satire


Within the corridors of ancient Rome's literary landscape, three enigmatic and intertwined muses dance—Comedy, Satire, and the Grotesque. These are the main themes that will be explored throughout this article. These triumvirates of expression, each possessing a unique cadence and look, find their confluence in the captivating annals of Latin literature. The rich tapestry of humor, social critique, and the uncanny, woven by the wordsmiths of antiquity are the setting of the grotesque in Latin literature.

However, before delving into the peculiarities of the representation of the grotesque, it is important to underline the significance of society in the shaping of comedy and satire. In Roman society, laughter was not merely a fleeting diversion but a potent medium for reflecting, challenging, and occasionally deriding the norms and flaws of the age.


Nonetheless, Satire emerged as a distinct literary genre birthed by the fertile imagination of the Romans. It serves as a formidable mirror held up to society's face, reflecting its imperfections and excesses. Yet, satire is more than just a critical lens; it is a repository of wit, irony, and incisive commentary, often cloaked in humor, which transcends time and culture (Norden, 1958).

Nestled alongside Comedy and Satire, the Grotesque plays a major role in Latin literature. This manner of portraying the imbalance arises from an intentional disproportion, or the contrast between the drama, the grandeur of the objective representation of a character, and the parodic or satirical spirit. This aspect revels in the extravagant, the bizarre, and the surreal. Within the lines of Latin literature, the Grotesque emerges as a paradoxical mirror, simultaneously reflecting and distorting reality. It is the literary equivalent of a carnival's hall of mirrors, offering a distorted, exaggerated, and often disconcerting reflection of the world (Gagliardi, 1933).


The illustrious figures such as Plautus, Terence, Seneca, Apuleius, Petronius, and Juvenal are the main characters in this comical journey. All of them used their pens as alchemists, transmuting words into humor, critique, and the surreal. Their works are proof of the enduring power of laughter, irony, and the uncanny to challenge convention, pierce through societal pretenses, and lay bare the human condition.



Figure 1: A grottesca in a Roman Villa (XVI Cen.), portraying the typical antropomorphic figures.

The Grotesque in Latin Literature

Within the annals of Roman culture, the infusion of the grotesque served as a formidable weapon, a means to pierce the facade of social conventions and expose the often-hidden aspects of Roman society. The satirical works of writers like Juvenal and Horace are exemplars of this craft, where exaggeration, absurdity, and grotesque imagery were strategically employed. In satires, for instance, we encounter scathing depictions of decadence and moral decay in the most grotesque and exaggerated forms. His biting humor laid bare the hypocrisies of the elite, painting them in grotesque, often repugnant, shades.

This duality within comedy, one catering to the masses with its broad, folkloric humor, and the other, a more refined form retaining its grotesque essence but narrowing its audience, speaks to the versatility of this genre. The grotesque, with its ability to simultaneously repel and compel, became the most meaningful tool through which Romans could confront their own excesses and moral shortcomings.

In addition to literary expressions, the grotesque found its way into ancient figurative arts. One notable example is the Roman tradition of creating grotesque frescoes and mosaics, often found in the villas of the wealthy elite. These artworks featured bizarre, hybrid creatures, distorted human forms, and grotesque caricatures, mirroring societal decadence and serving as both a reflection and a criticism of the times. The House of the Vettii in Pompeii, adorned with grotesque frescoes, provides a vivid glimpse into this artistic tradition (Zamperini, 2007).

As the Roman Empire unfolded, comedy transformed, becoming marginalized and shedding its earlier role as a powerful instrument of societal analysis. This shift marked the slow but inevitable separation between comedy and political awareness during the Roman Empire, a collision that would leave a profound mark on the subsequent course of history.


Figure 2: The Roman Theater in Catania, Italy (1st Cen. AD).

Comedy flourished as a multifaceted art form, embodying both the exuberant, folkloric traditions of the masses and the refined, highbrow sensibilities of the elite. Festivals like the Saturnalia, with the representation of a topsy-turvy world where masters served their slaves, portrayed the folkloric side of Roman comedy (Geraci & Marcone, 2011). Here, humor knew no bounds, bridging social gaps and temporarily erasing the lines of class distinction, often relying on the grotesque to push the boundaries of accepted norms. In this carnivalesque atmosphere, the grotesque was not merely accepted: it was celebrated as a symbol of liberation and subversion. In contrast, the Roman upper crust indulged in more sophisticated forms of comedy, characterized by intellectual wit and subtle satire, but even in their refined tastes, the grotesque elements remained an integral part of the comedic fabric. Yet, as time marched forward within the empire, comedy underwent a transformation. It gradually detached itself from the broader civic awareness, aligning more with the taste of the aristocracy, while still retaining its grotesque elements. This divergence in comedic expression left an indelible mark on history, heralding a divide between the comedic traditions of the people and the refined tastes of the privileged few, echoing through the annals of time (Mortarino, 2011).


In tracing this evolution, it is crucial to observe the valuable perspectives on the enduring power of grotesque elements within comedy and their intricate relationship with the broader societal landscape.


A New Kind of Comedy

As the comic genre evolved within the vibrant confines of ancient Rome, this discernible shift occurred, leading it towards a more accessible and lowbrow tendency, especially in the early period (Republican Era). This transformation marked a departure from the earlier tradition where the population itself often served as the central political protagonist within the comedic narrative. Instead, the theater began to embrace a newfound role as a source of pure entertainment, delighting audiences with its farcical elements, slapstick humor, and comedic wit, often intertwined with the grotesque (Conte, 2002).


Figure 3: Detail (Lithography) of a Manuscript from the Renaissance period representing Plautus.


Central to this evolution were the comedic works of Plautus (255/250-184 BC) and Terence (190/185-159 BC). These two major figures of Roman comedy drew inspiration from the Greek "New Comedy" of Menander, which emerged during the Hellenistic period (date). Menander's plays, characterized by their domestic settings, relatable characters, and witty humor, departed from the more politically charged themes of earlier Greek comedy. This shift in tone and focus resonated deeply with the Roman audience (Gagliardi, 1993).


More specifically, two distinct genres emerged: the "palliata" and the "togata." The "palliata" comedy was strongly influenced by Greek New Comedy, featuring plays set in Greek settings and typically involving themes of love, relationships, and family dynamics. These comedies often showcased characters in Greek attire, hence the name "palliata" which translates to the typical garments that Greek actors wore. On the other hand, the "togata" comedy was uniquely Roman, with plots and characters rooted in Roman society and culture. These comedies were known for their emphasis on local customs, politics, and everyday life, with characters donning Roman togas, signifying their distinctly Roman identity. While the "palliata" comedy was more of an adaptation of Greek humor, the "togata" comedy showcased the wit and satire that was distinctly Roman (Questa, 2002).


Plautus, renowned for his uproarious comedies, often employed exaggerated characters, slapstick humor, and situational comedy. Plautus was likely born in Sarsina, a small town in Umbria, Italy. Not much is known about his early life, but he is believed to have worked in the theater industry, possibly as an actor or a stagehand, before becoming a playwright. His adaptations of Greek New Comedy incorporated elements that resonated with Roman sensibilities, bringing forth a distinctive blend of humor that catered to the masses.

Terence, on the other hand, focused on refined, character-driven comedies that emphasized wit and wordplay. His works retained the essence of Greek New Comedy but presented it with a Roman flair, favoring elegance over extravagance (Traina, 1968).


Figure 4: Title Page representing Terentius between two actors, in the Codex Vat. Lat. 3868.


In comparing the comedic traditions, the Greek New Comedy of Menander and its influence on Plautus and Terence underscore the adaptability of humor across cultures. The Roman playwrights, while maintaining certain elements of their Greek predecessors, tailored their works to reflect the evolving tastes and socio-political climate of Rome. Thus, the transition from political protagonism to pure entertainment in Roman comedy is a testament to the genre's ability to adapt, captivate, and endure as an enduring form of artistic expression (Nikulin, 2023).


Roman Society and Satire

Satire, a literary genre characterized by its blend of humor and social commentary, found its roots in the vibrant soil of Roman society, marking it as an invention by the Romans themselves. In the bustling streets of Rome, satire first began to take shape, driven by a profound societal need for candid and often caustic expressions of criticism. This genre emerged as a reflection of the tumultuous political and social landscape of the Roman Republic, where power struggles, corruption, and the clashing of ideals were rife.


The very birth of satire was an organic response to the exigencies of the time, a manifestation of the Romans' fervent desire to grapple with the complexities and absurdities of their world. Authors like Ennius (239-169 BC), among the early architects of satire, used this genre to wield a sharp and often grotesque lens on the political and social landscape of the Roman Republic. His works exposed the excesses of the elite, rendering their opulent lives in a grotesque and often comical light. For instance, in his satirical writings, Ennius could cast a senator's banquet as a grotesque carnival of gluttony, exposing the stark contrast between the privileged few and the masses they purported to represent (Poultney, 1980). In these formative stages, satire became a vital channel through which Roman society could engage in outspoken criticism of its political and social institutions. At its core, satire was an art form that reveled in the grotesque, a means through which the Romans could confront the absurdities and imbalances of their world.


Figure 5: Litography representing Ennius (17th Century).

The connection between politics and satire in the Roman Republic was inseparable. Satire thrived as a medium for the dissection of political machinations, a platform where writers dissected the motivations of politicians, lampooned their excesses, and shed light on the hypocrisies of the elite. It became a voice for the disenfranchised, a means through which ordinary citizens could voice their dissent and frustration with the prevailing order (Conte, 2002).

However, during the Imperial Era, the dynamics between politics and satire underwent a significant transformation. The increased censorship and authoritarian rule posed challenges to the directness that had characterized earlier satirical works. It was in this evolving landscape that figures like Juvenal arose. Juvenal (50/60-post 127 AD) navigated the shifting tides of Imperial Rome by adopting a more nuanced yet equally scathing approach. His satires, while still aimed at criticizing the political establishment, also took on a broader role as a vehicle for moral commentary, reflecting the changing nature of Roman society.


In comparing the works of Ennius and Juvenal, a striking juxtaposition emerges. Ennius outlines the bold and straightforward satire of the Republican Era, while Juvenal represents the complex and multifaceted satire of the Imperial Era (Mortarini, 2011). Together, their works offer a window into the evolution of Roman society and the transformative journey of satire, from its inception as a direct and unapologetic critique of politics to its later adaptation as a nuanced, yet no less incisive, commentary on the moral fabric of an empire in transition. In this trajectory, satire not only mirrored the ever-shifting contours of Roman society but also left an indelible mark on the literary legacy of the ancient world.


The Grotesque Figures: Petronius and the Cena Trimalchionis

The Satyricon is a Roman novel attributed to Petronius, believed to have been written in the early 1st century CE. It's a satirical and comedic work that serves as a scathing commentary on the moral degeneration and decadence of Roman society during the era of Emperor Nero. The novel follows the episodic adventures of Encolpius and Ascyltus as they navigate a world filled with grotesque and absurd characters. One of the most famous episodes is the banquet hosted by Trimalchio, a wealthy former slave, which humorously exposes the excesses and ostentation of the nouveau-riche. Through humor, satire, and explicit portrayals of sexual encounters, the novel sheds light on the erosion of traditional Roman values and societal decay, making it a compelling exploration of the grotesque and comedic elements within Roman literature (Mortaring, 2011).


Figure 6: The episode of the Cena Trimalchionis (Bompiani, 1875).

Petronius himself was a Roman writer and courtier during the early 1st century CE. He is often associated with the Roman emperor Nero's court and is believed to be the author of the Satyricon, a satirical work that offers insights into the decadence and excesses of Roman society. The grotesque and satirical elements in Petronius' work are characteristic of his style, as he used humor and wit to critique and expose societal shortcomings.

The central episode of Petronius' Satyricon revolves around the extravagant, and grotesque banquet hosted by Trimalchio, a former Asian slave (called "Liberto") who had served as his master's treasurer and inherited a significant portion of his wealth upon the master's death. However, despite his newfound riches, Trimalchio lacks refinement, good taste, and culture. He epitomizes the parvenu, a social upstart who exhibits his ignorance and coarseness from the moment he makes his entrance.

The narrative tone employed by Petronius to describe this banquet is primarily comedic. Comedy in the Satyricon takes various forms, including humor, grotesque, caricature, irony, exaggeration, sarcasm, satire, and parody (Conte, 2002).

The predominant comedic style at Trimalchio's banquet is trying to represent the grotesque, characterized by exaggerating a character's traits to the point where their complexity is reduced to a singular aspect that defines and distinguishes them. The grotesque serves to diminish and degrade the complexity of human nature, a particular manifestation of which is caricature, commonly found in both literary descriptions and paintings.


The banquet scene is replete with ostentatious displays of wealth and eccentricities, including excessive decorations and the use of precious metals and gems. Trimalchio enters the scene in an outlandish manner, donning extravagant clothing and accessories that showcase his nouveau-riche status.

The humor arises from the absurdity and excesses of the banquet. Trimalchio's actions and words highlight his lack of sophistication, as he cleans his teeth with a silver toothpick and engages in frivolous games with his guests, often using vulgar language. The chaos and confusion at the banquet, including a commotion that leads to firefighters being called in, add to the comedic atmosphere.

Petronius' portrayal of Trimalchio and the other characters at the banquet is a satirical commentary on the vulgarity and superficiality of the newly enriched freedmen in Roman society during the reign of Emperor Claudius. This satire stems from a critical perspective on societal realities and prevalent vices within a specific social class.


Figure 7: A scene from the movie "Satyricon" (Fellini, 1969).

The banquet scene in the Satyricon serves as a parody of the memento mori theme, which urges people to remember their mortality and the transitory nature of life. Trimalchio's obsession with displaying his wealth contrasts with the solemnity of this theme, creating a comical and grotesque effect.

Some authors, like Gagliardi in Petronio e il romanzo moderno. La fortuna del «Satyricon» attraverso i secoli (1933), highlights the kitsch as a former principle of the portrayal of the grotesque in Petronius and Roman society too.


In summary, the banquet of Trimalchio in Petronius' Satyricon is a satirical and grotesque depiction of the excesses and pretensions of the nouveau-riche in Roman society, showcasing the author's comedic and critical storytelling style.



Apuleius and the Metamorphoses

Apuleius (124-post 170 AD) emerges as crucial figure in the history of literature due to his profound connection with both folkloric traditions and the overarching theme of the grotesque.

His magnum opus, The Golden Ass or Metamorphoses (Late 2nd Cen.), not only showcases his literary mastery but also serves as a testament to the enduring relevance of these intertwined themes.

The depths of Apuleius' work will unravel the intricate tapestry of folklore and the grotesque that he deftly wove together (Mortarini, 2011).



Figure 8: Imagined portrait of Apuleius on a medallion (4th Century).

The Metamorphoses at its core is a sprawling and imaginative tale that interweaves elements of Greek and Roman mythology, and local traditions. It immerses the reader in a world where the boundaries between reality and fantasy, human and animal, and civilization and wilderness blur into a vivid dreamscape. It is within this dreamscape that Apuleius embarks on a journey that explores the very essence of transformation, both physical and spiritual. At the heart of Apuleius' narrative is the protagonist Lucius, whose ill-fated curiosity leads him to a transformative encounter with the supernatural. Through an unfortunate series of events, Lucius finds himself magically transformed into a donkey, an animal with a rich symbolic history in ancient mythology and folklore (Conte, 2002).


This transformation serves as a vehicle through which Apuleius delves into the world of folk traditions, tapping into the symbolic power of the grotesque. The grotesque, as a thematic framework, permeates Metamorphoses in myriad forms. It manifests in the playful and often bizarre characters Lucius encounters during his journey. From talking animals to sorcerers and witches, the world he inhabits is one where the ordinary and the extraordinary coexist in a harmonious discord. This grotesque aesthetic extends to the absurd and fantastical events that unfold, from Lucius' ill-fated dalliance with witchcraft to his comical mishaps as an ass. Moreover, Apuleius employs humor and satire as essential components of the grotesque. Lucius, in his donkey form, becomes a fated observer of human folly, allowing the author to satirize the absurdities and weaknesses of society (Mortarini, 2011). Through these comedic episodes, Apuleius not only entertains his readers but also provides a critical commentary on the societal norms and conventions of his time. In this sense, the grotesque serves as a mirror reflecting the absurdities and idiosyncrasies of human behavior. Yet, it is in the rich mosaic of folkloric traditions that Apuleius truly immerses his readers.


He draws upon the reservoir of ancient myths, legends, and local customs to infuse his narrative with a sense of authenticity and cultural depth. For instance, the character of the witch Pamphile, who plays a pivotal role in Lucius' transformation, embodies the archetype of the malevolent sorceress found in many folk traditions. Her supernatural abilities and mysterious rituals evoke a sense of wonder and fear that is characteristic of folklore. The enchanting and often eerie episodes in Metamorphoses resonate with elements from the ancient world's folklore. The theme of metamorphosis itself is deeply rooted in mythology and folklore, where beings transform into animals or other forms as a means of punishment or transcendence. Apuleius skillfully taps into this cultural reservoir to explore the profound implications of transformation, both physical and spiritual, on the human psyche (Graverini, 2007). Furthermore, Apuleius' use of the grotesque allows him to navigate the liminal spaces of identity and existence. Lucius, in his ass form, occupies an in-between state, neither fully human nor fully animal.


Figure 9: A Byzantine mosaic representing Lucius and the Donkey (5th Century).

This liminality mirrors the transformative nature of folklore, where characters often undergo trials and tribulations that lead to a renewed sense of self. In this way, Apuleius' exploration of the grotesque aligns with the folkloric tradition of using transformation as a metaphor for personal growth and enlightenment. In conclusion, Apuleius' Metamorphoses stands as a literary masterpiece that seamlessly melds folkloric traditions and the grotesque into a narrative that transcends time and culture. Through the misadventures of Lucius, Apuleius invites readers into a world where the boundaries of reality and fantasy blur, and where the grotesque serves as a powerful lens through which to explore the human condition. This enduring work reminds us of the timeless appeal of folklore and the grotesque, reminding us that these themes continue to shape our understanding of the world and our place within it, no matter the era in which we find ourselves (Cerri, 2015).


Apuleius's impact on subsequent literature, including fables and sacred texts, is profoundly tied to his exploration of the grotesque. Within The Metamorphoses, the grotesque serves as a thematic anchor that infuses his narrative with a unique and lasting allure.

In the realm of fables, Apuleius's embrace of the grotesque allowed him to create captivating stories that often blurred the lines between the ordinary and the extraordinary. The grotesque, with its elements of the bizarre and absurd, lent an air of wonder to his tales. His moral lessons, often wrapped in humor and satire, resonated deeply with readers and laid the groundwork for later fables. This blending of the grotesque with moral teachings became a hallmark of Aesop's fables and other animal-centric narratives, firmly establishing Apuleius as a precursor to this enduring genre (Graverini, 2007).


Turning to the biblical narrative of Jonah, Apuleius's influence is again evident in the use of the grotesque as a storytelling device. Jonah's transformation from a man swallowed by a great fish to a prophet who experiences spiritual growth echoes Apuleius's exploration of metamorphosis and the absurd within the context of the grotesque (Book of Jonah). This use of the grotesque not only captures the imagination but also underscores the transformative power of such narratives in conveying profound spiritual and moral messages.


Figure 10: Painting of Jonah and the Whale (Lastman, 1621).

Likewise, in the case of Pinocchio, the grotesque plays a pivotal role in the character's journey from a lifeless wooden puppet to a living, breathing boy. The fantastical and sometimes grotesque elements of Pinocchio's adventures mirror the themes of transformation and moral growth that Apuleius first pioneered. Apuleius's ability to blend the grotesque with moral instruction laid the foundation for the fantastical storytelling that continues to captivate readers, providing a valuable lesson that transcends the boundaries of time and culture (Cerri, 2015). And the fact that Pinocchio turns into a donkey makes the comparison even clearer.


In essence, Apuleius's legacy is inseparable from his skillful utilization of the grotesque. It is this very element that allows his narratives to resonate so deeply and endure through the ages. By embracing the absurd, the extraordinary, and the transformative, Apuleius demonstrated that the grotesque is not merely a vehicle for entertainment but a powerful tool for conveying complex moral and spiritual themes. His legacy serves as a testament to the enduring appeal of the grotesque in literature, reminding us of its capacity to engage, provoke, and illuminate the human experience across diverse genres and storytelling traditions.



Satirical Traces in Western Literature

In Western culture, particularly within Italian literature, there exists a rich tapestry of folkloric traces that have left their mark on literary works. Seneca (4 BC-65 AD) wrote in 54 AD the Apokolokyntosis. This literary work serves as a crucial example, mixing elements of satire and prosimetrum to create a satirical and comical narrative.

The prosimetrum (Medieval Latin “prosimetrum”, “prosa” prose + “metrum” poetry) is a particular kind of literary work that combines both prose and poetry. This blending allows authors to create a diverse and engaging textual experience, with prose conveying narrative or expository elements while poetry may be used for emotional or lyrical expression.

The prosimetrum is considered to be one of the most important features of the Menippean Satire genre, which had a long-lasting success in ancient times. The key elements were the Spudaiogeloion (i.e., the serious-comedic style); a three-tiered narrative structure in which the action takes place (from the Underworld to Earth and then to Olympus); an eccentric perspective to criticize and observe the world with detachment; the frequent inclusion of foreign words, so Greek words in Latin authors associated with Menippean satire (Cerri, 2015).

Later examples of the Menippean Satire can be found in Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865), and Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift (1726). In Italian literature, however, these examples are wonderfully portrayed by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) in his Operette Morali (1827).



Figure 11: Still Life of a Column and Pumpkins (Karlin, 2017).

The Apokolokyntosis, which mocks the deification of Emperor Claudius, demonstrates the enduring influence of folk traditions and humor in classical literature. In exploring the connections between Seneca's work and other literary pieces, we can discern the thread of satire and prosimetrum woven into the fabric of Italian literature, highlighting how these folkloric elements have continued to shape and enrich the literary landscape over the centuries.


The title means “The Ascent of the Pumpkin”, and presents a plot that revolves around the posthumous deification—or rather, the de-deification—of Emperor Claudius (10 BC-54 AD). This short and witty piece serves as a satirical commentary on Claudius' reign and his subsequent deification. Seneca ridicules Claudius' absurdity, incompetence, and undeserved elevation to divine status through humor, parody, and the grotesque. Seneca's choice to write Apokolokyntosis likely stemmed from a desire to criticize the excesses and absurdities of the Roman imperial court, making it a clever and entertaining piece of political satire within the broader context of Roman literature and culture (Norden, 1958; Conte, 2002).


Seneca's Apokolokyntosis had a strong legacy in the following literature, particularly in Satire and political humor (Currie, 1962). This satirical work contributed to the continuity of the Roman satirical tradition. Later satirists such as Juvenal and Persius employed similar techniques of humor, irony, and parody to criticize political figures and societal norms. Seneca's use of prosimetrum and his deployment of wit and humor in political satire left an indelible mark on Roman literature, which influenced the broader European literary tradition. Throughout the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, writers continued to use satire as a tool for social and political criticism, exemplifying the enduring impact of Seneca's satirical masterpiece on literary works across different eras and cultures.



Bibliographical References

Cerri, G. (2015). Dalla Letteratura Greca alla Letteratura Latina e Ritorno, in: Quaderni Urbinati Di Cultura Classica, 110(29), pp. 89–99.

Conte, G.B. (2002). Letteratura Latina, Le Monnier.


Currie, L., & Mac, H. (1962). The Purpose of the Apocolocyntosis. In: L'antiquité classique, Tome 31, fasc. 1-2, pp. 91-97.


Ennio, in Enciclopedia Treccani (https://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/quinto-ennio).


Gagliardi, D. (1933). Petronio e il Romanzo Moderno. La fortuna del «Satyricon» Attraverso i Secoli, La Nuova Italia.


Geraci, G., & Marcone, A. (2011). Storia Romana, Le Monnier Università.


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Graverini, L. (2007). Le Metamorfosi di Apuleio. Letteratura e Identità, Ospedaletto.


Mortarino, M., Reali, M., & Turazza G., (2011). Nuovo Genius Loci, vol. 1, 2, 3, Loescher.


Nikulin, D. (2023). La Commedia, Sul Serio: Uno Studio Filosofico, Quodlibet. https://doi.org/10.2307/jj.4688109


Norden, E. (1958). La Letteratura Romana, Laterza.


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Poultney, J. W. (1980). Observation on Ennius, The Classical Outlook, 58(1), pp. 3–5.


Questa, C. (1982). Maschere e funzioni nelle commedie di Plauto. Materiali e Discussioni per l’analisi Dei Testi Classici, 8, pp. 9–64. https://doi.org/10.2307/40235780


Seneca. (2023). Apokolokyntosis. (G. Vannini, Ed.) Oscar Mondadori (Original work published in 54 AD).


Traina, A. (1968). Terenzio «Traduttore», in: Belfagor, 23(4), pp. 431–438.

Zamperini, A. (2007). Le Grottesche. Il sogno della pittura nella decorazione parietale, Arsenale Editrice.

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