By Leah Kronenberg
During this ebook Professor Kronenberg indicates that Xenophon's Oeconomicus, Varro's De Re Rustica and Virgil's Georgics will not be easily works on farming yet belong to a practice of philosophical satire which makes use of allegory and irony to question the that means of morality. those works metaphorically attach farming and its similar arts to political lifestyles; yet rather than proposing farming in its conventional guise as a favorable image, they use it to version the deficiencies of the lively existence, which in flip is juxtaposed to a popular contemplative lifestyle. even supposing those 3 texts aren't 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 incredible hole in our figuring out of the literary affects at the Georgics by way of exhibiting that it truly is formed not only through its poetic predecessors yet by means of philosophical discussion.
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Extra resources for Allegories of Farming from Greece and Rome: Philosophical Satire in Xenophon, Varro, and Virgil
10: “On the other hand, Socrates was the first to call down philosophy from the sky and place it in the cities; he even introduced it into the home and compelled it to investigate life and morals, and good and bad things” (Socrates autem primus philosophiam devocavit e caelo et in urbibus collocavit et in domus etiam introduxit et co¨egit de vita et moribus rebusque bonis et malis quaerere). For other ancient estimations of Socrates’ pivotal role in the history of ethics, see Guthrie (1971) 97–105 and Vander Waerdt (1994b) 48–49.
For the most part Mandeville, though too much the Augustan to resort to simple invective, presents himself in the Fable as the opposite of indirect, as the blunt, no-nonsense, clear-sighted middle-normal satirist. Where ironists delight in first ‘caressing the object they wish to demolish’, his procedure is usually the opposite” (163). Unfortunately, Cicero’s three-book treatment of the Oeconomicus is lost, but Cicero references it in Off. 87, and it also presumably influenced “Cato’s” discussion of farming in Cic.
343a–345e, Plt. 275a–277c) and non-Socratic literature (cf. Homer’s epithet poimn laän “shepherd of the people”). It is also the analogy used in Xenophon’s Cyropaedia for Cyrus’ rule (Cyr. 2). On the metaphor of the “shepherd of the people” in Greek epic and philosophy, see Haubold (2000) 14–46. On the herdsman in Plato, see Gutzwiller (1991) 66–79. On the genre of ancient economic literature, see Vegetti (1970), Descat (1988), Faraguna (1994), Natali (1995), and Figueira (forthcoming) (with their notes for further bibliography).