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Author and authorship: Caesar and his editors

Strocchi, Francesco; (2020) Author and authorship: Caesar and his editors. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Whilst scholarship on Caesar's Bellum Gallicum and Civile is notoriously vast, the three anonymous Commentarii of the Corpus Caesarianum have not been the object of extensive study. Moreover, a detailed survey of the whole Corpus' structural consistency and the officers involved in its completion has never been attempted. My thesis fills this gap and offers an alternative interpretation of the issues of authorship and anonymity surrounding the Corpus. Chapter one analyses the cultural climate in which the Commentarii proliferated, examining the origin and content of the dispute between Caesar and Cicero on history, oratory and language. Thus, I argue that Caesar's De Analogia functioned as a theoretical prologue to the Commentarii. The literary form of the commentarius, and its peculiar report-based nature, is Caesar's attempt to assert his plain Latin in before a wide audience. In chapter two, I focus on the report as the core component of the commentarius, by analysing its format and classifying its content. Chapter three examines the “newsroom” of the Commentarii, namely how and by whom the information behind the texts was gathered and archived. The functioning of the “newsroom” suggests a constant work of editing across the Commentarii. It follows that no authors exist, but editors. Caesar's familiares, Hirtius, Balbus and Oppius, were the editors in charge of the work’s completion. In chapter four, I focus on the definition of editorship and anonymity in relation to the Commentarii. As the narrative of the res gestae predominates over the authors' identity, editorship prevails over authorship, and anonymity becomes an intrinsic quality of the Corpus. Finally, in chapter five, I show how the events of years 44-43 BC are reflected in the last three Commentarii. The editors, and Hirtius in particular, do not merely finalise the drafting of the Corpus, but are actively operating within the contemporary political landscape.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Author and authorship: Caesar and his editors
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099677
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