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apocolocyntosis

The Gourdification of Claudius the God has instant and lasting appeal. It is a uniquely surviving specimen of prose-and-verse satire from the Roman world - and satire, a Roman speciality, is one of the few types of ancient literature to survive, and thrive, in modern society. Its author, Seneca, was not only gifted with intellectual virtuosity, but, at the time of writing,The Gourdification of Claudius the God has instant and lasting appeal. It is a uniquely surviving specimen of prose-and-verse satire from the Roman world - and satire, a Roman speciality, is one of the few types of ancient literature to survive, and thrive, in modern society. Its author, Seneca, was not only gifted with intellectual virtuosity, but, at the time of writing, was the precarious power behind the throne of the dangerously developing Nero. Claudius, the target of his malicious wit, remains the most controversial of the first twelve imperial Caesars. The English version facing the text makes the work available to the general reader who may not have any Latin. The text, which is based on a critical examination of all the manuscripts, will be indispensable to scholars. The commentary, which is the first on this scale to have been written in English, is primarily addressed to university and other students....

Title : Apocolocyntosis
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780521288361
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Apocolocyntosis Reviews

  • Evan Leach
    2019-01-31 14:16

    In 41 AD, Seneca was banished to Corsica by Emperor Claudius. He spent eight years in exile before being recalled to Rome. He never forgave Claudius, and after the emperor's death in 54 Seneca wrote a satire titled Apocolocyntosis divi Claudii (The Pumpkinification of the Divine Claudius). In the Apocolocyntosis, the recently deceased Claudius appears in heaven and requests that he be deified. He is found wanting and sent down to hell instead. There, he is sentenced and eventually forced to spend eternity as a minor bureaucrat. I have a lot of respect for Seneca as a tragedian, and his philosophical writings are also worth reading. This is not his best work. Satire is a bit out of Seneca's comfort zone, and the Apocolocyntosis is only intermittently funny. Claudius suffered from some physical ailments, including a notable limp, and Seneca spends a lot of time lampooning the former emperor for his disabilities. Mostly, the Apocolocyntosis just comes across as bitter. In hindsight, Seneca didn't realize how well he had it under Claudius. When Seneca displeased the next emperor (Nero), the price was not exile but death. This is a very quick read, and people interested in the history and literature of the Julio-Claudian dynasty may find it interesting. But I agree with the poet Dana Gioia's assessment: "[t]his grotesque burlesque has not added luster to Seneca's reputation." 2 stars.

  • Martina
    2019-01-29 07:54

    La Zucchificazione avrà inizio!Tranquilli, non è un film horror, anche se Claudio non sarebbe dello stesso parere.Insomma, Seneca decide di fare il satirico e di prendersela con l'appena defunto Tiberio Claudio Cesare Augusto Germanico, il caprio espiatorio preferito da tutta Roma.Perchè era zoppo, balbuziente, amava troppo il gioco, le donne e il vino.Il bello è che è proprio per i suoi difetti fisici che, in un clima terrificante per la famiglia giulio-claudia, riesca a sopravvivere e ad avere il potere in tarda età.Quindi non è lo scartino che tutti pensavano che fosse, soprattutto in campo letterario e culturale.E Seneca voleva decisamente vincere facile, sarà stato come sparare sulla Croce Rossa.Anyway, lui muore a causa delle trame della moglie e del figliastro, Nerone, e giunge sull'Olimpo di fronte a una sorta di tribunale che deve decidere se la deificazione avvenuta in terra valga davvero anche lì.Ci sono vari personaggi che intervengono, ma è Augusto stesso a decidere per un giudizio negativo, poichè sembra che Claudio abbia ucciso, tra le sue numerose vittime, parenti e amici.Come se non l'avesse fatto anche lui... Ricordiamo Marc'Antonio? E le due Giulia? Perché a me non sembra che Ottaviano li avesse trattati con pane, burro e marmellata.Quindi viene mandato agli Inferi, dopo un breve stacco per assistere al suo funerale, e gli viene annunciata la sua pena: giocare a dadi per l'eternità con un bussoletto bucato, in modo che i dadi escano di continuo e non gli permettino mai di fare un lancio.Ma non è finita qui: viene dato come schiavo a un liberto, in una sorta di critica per la sua politica in terra, dove aveva favorito proprio i liberti e ne aveva resi quattro i suoi più fidati collaboratori.Ok, Seneca ha davvero talento e gusto, sono morta dal ridere quando scrive a proposito della stagione e dell'ora della morte di Claudio:Febo oramai su una rotta più breve aveva abbreviato la duratadella luce e s'allungavano i tempi dell'oscuro Sonno,e Cinzia ormai vincitrice estendeva il suo regnoe il disadorno Iverno lacerava i preziosi ornamenti del ricco Autunno e fatto invecchiare Baccospiccava il tardivo vendemmioatore rari grappoli d'uva.Credo che si capirà di più se dirò: il mese era ottobre, il giorno 13 di ottobre, l'ora non posso dirtela con precisione: più facilmente ci sarà accordo tra i filosofi che tra gli orologi: e tuttavia era tra mezzogiorno e l'una."Ma è detta male!" Mi ha ricordato un po' quel che pensavo di Dante quando a scuola ho fatto la Vita Nova e questo doveva dire quanti anni aveva in tal momento usando tutte delle informazioni astrlogiche che, di certo sublimi, sono pesantissime al giorno d'oggi e probabilmente lo erano anche allora e in precedenza.Però mi sembra davvero una cattiveria inutile scrivere contro un imperatore che tutti odiavano, anche se migliore del precedente (ma questo lo sono tutti, visto che era Caligola), e che aveva passato la vita insultato per le sue debolezze.Poi, io ho un debole per Claudio e forse dovrei studiarlo di più per non commettere errori, ma non mi sembra che abbia governato molto peggio degli altri, alla fine dei conti.

  • sabisteb
    2019-01-24 08:50

    One must be born either a Pharaoh or a fool.Rom am 13. Oktober 54 n. Chr. Kaiser Claudius liebt im Sterben. Mercur und die Parzen begeben sich an das Sterbelager und setzen dem Leiden des Kaisers ein Ende. Wie es einem römischen Kaiser gebührt, kommt er in den Olymp, wo Jupiter keine Ahnung hat, wer er ist und daher Herkules schickt, ihn auszufragen. Man ist sich nicht sicher, ob man aus Claudius wirklich einen Gott machen soll oder will und beruft eine Verhandlung ein.Die Apocolocyntosis (dt. Die Verkürbissung des Kaiser Claudius) ist eine antike Satire, die vermutlich von Seneca geschrieben wurde, sicher ist man sich da jedoch nicht. Da der Autor sich jedoch an verschiedenen Stellen bei Nero einzuschleimen versucht , muss er wohl aus dem näheren Umfeld des Kaiser stammen: " But Lachesis, quite as ready to cast a favourable eye on a handsome man, spins away by the handful, and bestows years and years upon Nero out of her own pocket."Aus heutiger Sicht wohl am ehesten eine satirische Kurzgeschichte, die teilweise in Gedichtform, teilweise in Prosa verfasst ist und klassische Verleumdung verstorbener Politiker betreibt. Obwohl Claudius aus heutiger Sicht als sehr umsichtiger Herrscher gilt (ja auch Nero soll nicht so schlimm gewesen, sein, der schlechte Ruf ein klassisches Beispiel von Rufmord durch die Christen), nimmt der Autor, wohl um dessen Nachfolger Nero zu erfreuen, Claudius Schwächen und Gebrechen, wie sein Stottern, bzw. die undeutliche Aussprache, den hinkenden Gang und Hang zum Glücksspiel aufs Korn.Humor ist Geschmackssache und auch definitiv kulturell geprägt. Auch sollte man ein wenig Grundwissen über denjenigen mitbringen, der gerade verleumdet wird. Der satirische Gedanke kommt für mich in der Geschichte nicht so wirklich rüber, ich spüre hier eher klassisches Politikerbashing, wie man das heute auf Neudeutsch so gerne nennt. Nicht wirklich witzig, aber als Beispiel einer antiken Version der Titanic Zeitschriften, sicherlich mal unterhaltsam zu lesen. Da ich die englische Übersetzung und nicht das lateinische Original gelesen habe, kann es natürlich sein, dass einiges an Humor durch die Übersetzung verloren gegagen ist. Nichts geht über das Original, in dem eine Geschichte geschrieben wurde.

  • Ron
    2019-02-08 06:16

    This short text in which Seneca settles old scores with Emperor Claudius who had banished him from Rome years ago is certainly a technically masterful political satire, showcasing Seneca's own erudition and his knowledge of classical literature. However, in essence it remains a politically motivated character assassination, a personal attack on a recently deceased politician and public figure. As such it is mostly of interest for the contemporaneous audience, not really of enduring literary value. What makes it obejctionable to me personally is Seneca's insistence on using Claudius' disabilities and health problems as well as his reputed mental deficiency to legitimate his vicious attack on a dead man under the mantle of criminal indictments in order to get revenge for personal offenses against himself. Considering the history of many other family members for whose sake Seneca purports to take Claudius to task and the future misdeeds of his own protégé Nero the entire exercise seems quite hypocritical.

  • Richard
    2019-02-07 07:17

    After listening to the Roman Satires podcast of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time, I decided I had to investigate — at least — Juvenal and Seneca's Apocolocyntosis ("The pumpkinification of Claudius")....Meh. Had to spend too much time reading the commentary to figure out what was going on. I'm guessing you had to be there.­

  • Silvio Curtis
    2019-02-13 13:51

    Read for class. Hilarious if cruel mockery of the recently-dead emperor Claudius. He goes to Olympus to become a god. At first they're not sure whether he's a human or a monster, then the divine senate formally debates whether to admit him. The deified Augustus Caesar has the last word.

  • Eduard
    2019-01-27 07:16

    Seneca is definitely not as funny as he may have thought he was.Other than that, an interesting and quick read. Half of my edition is compiled only out of (mainly important) footnotes, with a whooping number of 73!

  • Bryan
    2019-02-13 14:04

    Not truly worth it to give this a review, but it is a hilarious mockery/elegy given by Rome's most famous orator for Rome's worst emperor. Witty, fantastical and biting.

  • Andrei Istrate
    2019-02-18 09:03

    It was an interesting read but way too full of references, so the footnotes are vital for the understanding of the text.

  • Caracalla
    2019-01-27 08:01

    Hardly Aristophanic

  • Ingrid
    2019-02-17 12:08

    I could bad-mouth this work for ages but let it suffice to say that Seneca is far from a fine satirist in any regard. ("Pumpkinification", really?)

  • Sharon
    2019-01-27 07:06

    Very clever, but too packed with jokes and references..

  • Robyn
    2019-01-26 12:11

    Clever; exactly what it's supposed to be.

  • Kevin
    2019-01-26 10:03

    Read this along with Satyricon. Very funny, especially if you have read the I, Claudius books and Quo Vadis (points the ridiculous attempts at garnering praise from Nero).

  • Dajan
    2019-02-11 10:56

    Incredibly funny, has aged wonderfully.

  • Anthony
    2019-01-18 12:14

    read it with the commentaries of a.p. ball

  • Drianne
    2019-01-29 07:49

    Fun!

  • Maria
    2019-02-05 06:06

    Spassosissimo!

  • Aldo Minari
    2019-02-04 11:16

    Un unicum nella produzione senecana: in questa satira politica, l'autore prende di mira l'imperatore Claudio, deriso e bistrattato dagli dei.