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Andrew Feldherr releases new book examining Sallust

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Published Date

April 26, 2021


Gaius Sallustius Crispus (‘Sallust’, 86-35 BCE) is the earliest Roman historian from whom any works survive. His two extant writings chronicle crucial moments of a political, social, and ethical revolution with profound consequences for his own life and those of his audience. After the Past: Sallust on History and Writing History examines what it meant to write the history of contentious events—Catiline’s famous rebellion in 63 BCE and the war waged against the North African king Jugurtha fifty years earlier—while their effects were still so vividly felt.

One of the first book-length treatments of Sallust in over fifty years, the text offers a comprehensive reading of Sallust’s works using the tools of narratology and intertextual analysis to reveal the changing functions of historiography at the end of the Roman Republic. Author Andrew Feldherr’s comprehensive approach examines the literary strategies used by Sallust and many of the most interesting and significant aspects of the historian’s accomplishment while advancing the study of historiography as a literary form, reconsidering its relationship to rival genres such as rhetoric and tragedy. Pursuing a focused and distinctive scholarly argument, this book:

  • Provides a comprehensive approach to Sallust’s extant works
  • Explores how Sallust helped his readers to reflect on their own relationship with their tumultuous past
  • Contributes to understanding Roman conceptualizations of space and of writing
  • Challenges the core assumption that literary historiography of the time period is essentially rhetorical nature

After the Past: Sallust on History and Writing History is an accessible and useful resource for students of Latin literature and Roman history from the advanced undergraduate through professional levels, and for all those with an interest in historiography as a literary genre in Greco-Roman antiquity and in the literary history of the late Republic and triumviral period.

Order After the Past, Sallust on History and Writing History here.