By Leah Kronenberg
During this e-book Professor Kronenberg indicates that Xenophon's Oeconomicus, Varro's De Re Rustica and Virgil's Georgics usually are not easily works on farming yet belong to a practice of philosophical satire which makes use of allegory and irony to question the which means of morality. those works metaphorically attach farming and its comparable arts to political existence; yet rather than providing farming in its conventional guise as a good image, they use it to version the deficiencies of the energetic lifestyles, which in flip is juxtaposed to a well-liked contemplative lifestyle. even if those 3 texts will not be often handled jointly, this e-book convincingly connects them with an unique and provocative interpretation in their allegorical use of farming. It additionally fills an enormous hole in our figuring out of the literary affects at the Georgics through exhibiting that it truly is formed not only via its poetic predecessors yet by means of philosophical discussion.
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Additional resources for Allegories of Farming from Greece and Rome: Philosophical Satire in Xenophon, Varro, and Virgil
111 Farrell (1991) notes the heavy influence of Varro on the Georgics, particularly on book 110 111 Thus, it is possible to interpret Varro’s work either as correcting Cicero’s interpretation of the Oeconomicus or as parodying both his and Xenophon’s praise of the farming life, and I ultimately leave this an open question. Philodemus’ fragmentary work Perª o«konom©av is another interesting document in the reception of Xenophon’s Oeconomicus at Rome, and presumably Varro was familiar with it, as well.
5, he uses the metaphor of sowing in his description of Romulus’ “planting” of the res publica and also emphasizes Romulus’ agricultural upbringing (Rep. 4). In his De Senectute, Cicero’s Cato runs through the traditional stories about early Roman farmer-heroes such as Manius Curius and Quinctius Cincinnatus (Sen. 56). On the moral connotations of farming, see also the initial section of this introduction. Introduction 23 My allegorical readings of Xenophon, Varro, and Virgil fit in with approaches which interpret farming (or household management) in a symbolic manner but which also draw on the symbolism that these activities already possessed in Greek and Roman culture.
Also Griffin (1994) 139: “If open challenge to orthodoxy is freely permitted, then writers will take the most direct route and debate the ideas and characters of political leaders openly in newspapers, protected by guarantees of free speech . . ” On the educational motivation of Platonic irony, in particular, see Griswold (2002b). On the aesthetic value placed on subtle irony, see Hutcheon /(2000) 54 and (1995) 151–52. ”68 I approach my own ironic readings of Xenophon, Varro, and Virgil duly cautioned by these warnings about the shaky interpretive ground associated with trying to prove a text is ironic and accepting of the fact that not all readers will be convinced.