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Romans and Romantics$
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Timothy Saunders, Charles Martindale, Ralph Pite, and Mathilde Skoie

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199588541

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199588541.001.0001

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Rome and the Romantic Heritage in Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean

Rome and the Romantic Heritage in Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean

(p.305) 15 Rome and the Romantic Heritage in Walter Pater’s Marius the Epicurean
Romans and Romantics

Stefano Evangelista

Oxford University Press

With his novel Marius the Epicurean (1885), Walter Pater moved the focus of his interest from Greek to Roman antiquity. In his reflections on historiography, his ideal of the hero as a man of feeling and his exploration of the sentimental register, Pater made use of an extensive range of English and European Romantic sources, from Wordsworth to Goethe, Rousseau, and Madame de Staël. His portrayal of Imperial Rome was likewise based on early nineteenth-century representations of the city as, at the same time, museum and cosmopolitan stage. By means of these intertextualities, the historical novel in Pater's hands becomes a vehicle for the study of the relationship between Romanticism and Classicism, providing us at the same time with an important document of the legacy of Romanticism in late nineteenth-century England.

Keywords:   Classicism, historical novel, historiography, Imperial Rome, legacy of Romanticism, Marius the Epicurean, Pater, Roman antiquity, Romanticism

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