Susanna MORTON BRAUND and Roland MAYER (edd.), Amor: roma. Love and Latin Literature: eleven essays (and one poem) by former research students presented to E. J. Kenney on his seventy-fifth birthday. Cambridge: Cambridge Philological Society, 1999. (Cambridge Philological Society: Supplementary Volume no. 22.) Pp. ii + 208. Pb. ISBN 0-906014-19-0.
Review by J. A. Richmond
One may regret the reticence of this austerely produced volume, which does not provide the portrait and biographical sketch traditional in Festschriften: no doubt Professor K[enney] himself considers that the bibliography [199-208] of his writings is sufficient for the public. The bibliography is eloquent testimony to decades of penetrating criticism and sensitive interpretation devoted to making Latin Literature fully intelligible to modern times. A reviewer who has known him for many years may be permitted to allude to his genial and individual personality, relish in the humorous and the absurd, bountiful generosity, and constant kindness. Something of the man peeps through in the incidental acknowledgments of the contributors, and the work as a whole testifies to his inspiring teaching, which is mirrored in the successful careers of the dozen former students who produced this volume.
J. C. McKeown provides a striking birthday poem in Latin celebrating in hexameters K.?s work especially on Lucretius and Ovid [?Genethliacon EJK?, 1-4]. One notes regretfully temere [J. A.1] [p. 1] with a long final e and studii [p. 1] and principii [pp. 2, 3] used in Lucretian hexameters. As might be expected, Love has a prominent place in this book: J. Barsby writes on ?Love in Terence?, [5-29]; D. W. T. Vessey gives us a desultory meditation on Love as it appears in Catullus, Horace, Paulinus of Nola, and the Commonitorium ascribed to Orentius, bishop of Auch in the Fourth Century [?The Defeat of Love?, 158-173]; S. M. Braund points to a rapt stillness conveyed in descriptions of lovers at Lucretius 1.31-40 and Apuleius Met. 5.22-23 and in the works of two operatic composers - the final duet in Monteverdi?s L?incoronazione di Poppea and the first and last duets of the lovers in Richard Strauss?s Der Rosenkavalier [?Moments of Love: Lucretius, Apuleius, Monteverdi, Strauss?, 174-198]. The subject of this perceptively written paper will seem appropriate to those who know the Kenneys? love of opera. Two essays are written in a style redolent of critical theory: in one D. F. Kennedy discusses the difficulties in Catullus 68 [??Cf.?: Analogies, Relationships and Catullus 68?, 30-43]; in the other T. D. Papanghelis discourses of love in the Eclogues [?Eros pastoral and profane: on love in Virgil?s Eclogues?, 44-59]. A. Griffin [?Amorous Pan?s Bucolic Rise and Fall?, 104-122] contrasts Ovid?s treatment of Pan in the mythological world of Metamorphoses 1.668-723 with that in the historical world of Met. 11.146-179. W. R. Barnes examines two passages in Aeneid 12 for the possible influence of ideas found in the Homeric scholia [?Seeing things: ancient commentary on the Iliad at the end of the Aeneid?, 60-70]. There are two papers offering textual criticism by S. J. Heyworth, [?Textual notes on Propertius 4.3, 4.4, 4.5?, 71-93] abrepto with a short first syllable suggested for 4.3.49 needs defence and by J. B. Hall [?Critical observations on the text of Ovid?s Amatory Works?, 94-103] at Rem. 12 the suggestion of praetextum with a temporal force seems to require some parallel. S. Hinds discusses Ovid?s tribute to his wife in Tristia 1.6 [?First among women: Ovid Tristia 1.6 and the traditions of ?exemplary? catalogue?, 123-141]. R. Mayer questions the confidence of critics in the period since the Renaissance that encouraged them to set aside or revise the opinions of the critics of antiquity and especially their depreciation of authors of the Silver Age [?Love it or leave it: Silver Latin poetry?, 143-157]. It is true, as he says, that we must treat the judgments of antiquity as historic facts and realize that their authors in arriving at them had many advantages that we do not possess. Still, there were shifts of taste in antiquity, and minority opinions. We must, of course, always bear in mind that we moderns have our prejudices which change from age to age. A fair critic will set out all that can be said for and against a writer and try to appreciate him with the minds of his contemporaries. However, just as we have a modern perspective on philology which enables us to criticise the work of ancient grammarians, who had knowledge we can never hope to possess, so we have a much wider acquaintance with literatures other than those of Greece and Rome, which may give us some broader perspective in the literary field too.