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A Narratological Study of Sallust's Bellum Catilinae

Williams, Kathryn Frances
Thesis/Dissertation; Online
Williams, Kathryn Frances
Miller, John
This dissertation focuses on two specific aspects of the historical discourse in Sallust's Bellum Catilinae: (1) the role of the narrator and historian in the text; (2) the manipulation of time. Narratology provided the fundamental methodological approach. The work presents for the first time a systematic stu.dy of Sallust's use of the historian asa character and the functions of the narrator. This study also compiles and evaluates Sallust's uses of focalization and time. Section One reviews narratological elements and historical discourse. In Section Two, instances of first-person reference, explicit and implicit, have been noted and analyzed. These citations demonstrate that Sallust's historical discourse is more authoritative than narrative, that greater focus is placed on the historian himself and the psychological motivations of characters than on historical events. After cataloging the embedded focalizations of speech, emotion, and thought, I argue that the interplay between mental focalizations and events adds credibility to the historian's inferred motivations and to the reliability of reported actions. Furthermore, my study contends that Sallust uses indirect statements without a verbum dicendi in a manner which suggests that the words reported are close to quotation. Such passages emphasize especially significant concerns and characteristics of the speaker. I also analyze how Sallust develops the dichotomy between words and individuals' thoughts and emotions throughout the monograph. Additionally this study encompasses focalization and the issue of the narrator in passages in oratio recta. One conclusion is that Manlius' words to Marcius Rex are delivered in a speech, not a letter, which results in minimizing the characterization of Manlius while broadening the significance of the message. Chapters 20 and 21 of the BC provide an illustration of Sallust's uses of direct and indirect speech and the nature of his focalizations. Section Three examines the Order, Speed, and Frequency of the monograph. There is extensive analysis of the introductory chapters where the time of the primary narrative is essentially disregarded in favor of an emphasis upon the historian's time of writing.
University of Virginia, Department of Classics, PHD (Doctor of Philosophy), 1997
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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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