Fathers and Sons: The Manlii Torquati and Family Continuity in Catullus and Horace
This chapter investigates the historiographical traditions concerning the patrician family of the Manlii Torquati, and the use made of those traditions by the two Roman poets Catullus and Horace. The family of the Manlii Torquati are marked in Roman historiography for the template of a father killing his son, and the historians treat the family as a hard test case for the survival of aristocratic tradition: how can a family perpetuate a family tradition if the tradition says you have to kill your inheritor? The chapter demonstrates how three major poems — Catullus Poem 61, Horace Epistles 1.5, and Odes 4.7 — all capitalize on the family traditions as they address two members of this family; who are, it is argued, father and son. Both Catullus and Horace are interested in the precarious nature of family continuity in the Roman aristocracy.
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