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Dryden and the Traces of Classical Rome$
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Paul Hammond

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184119.001.0001

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(p.1) Limen
Dryden and the Traces of Classical Rome

Paul Hammond

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Dryden's poetry. For him the origins of his culture lie partly in Rome, and in Latin, but origins are to some degree invented ex post facto, and those Latin texts which he pored over as a boy and translated and quoted as an adult are traces which take the place of the origin, overlaying the historical fabric of Rome with a text which is the creation of Renaissance scholars. In Dryden's own writing Rome is recreated yet again. In the textual field which Dryden creates there is a vital boundary — a line running between English and Latin, between England and Rome, present and past, although each of these terms is generated and defined by its partner, and thus finds its identity by reflection, its stability by the movement between itself and its opposite. Each carries the trace of the other.

Keywords:   Dryden, Rome, Delos, Claude Lorrain, Apollo, poetry

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