Spinning Fates and the Song of the Loom

The Use of Textiles, Clothing and Cloth Production as Metaphor, Symbol and Narrative Device in Greek and Latin Literature

Marie Louise Nosch (Redaktør) ; Mary Harlow (Redaktør) ; Giovanni Fanfani (Redaktør)

Serie: Ancient Textiles Series 24

Textile imagery is pervasive in classical literature. An awareness of the craft and technology of weaving and spinning, of the production and consumption of clothing items, and of the social and religious significance of garments is key to the appreciation of how textile and cloth metaphors work as literary devices, their suitability to conceptualise human activities and represent cosmic realities, and their potential to evoke symbolic associations and generic expectations. Les mer
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Om boka

Textile imagery is pervasive in classical literature. An awareness of the craft and technology of weaving and spinning, of the production and consumption of clothing items, and of the social and religious significance of garments is key to the appreciation of how textile and cloth metaphors work as literary devices, their suitability to conceptualise human activities and represent cosmic realities, and their potential to evoke symbolic associations and generic expectations. Spanning mainly Greek and Latin poetic genres, yet encompassing comparative evidence from other Indo-European languages and literatures, these 18 chapters draw a various yet consistent picture of the literary exploitation of the imagery, concepts and symbolism of ancient textiles and clothing. Topics include refreshing readings of tragic instances of deadly peploi and fatal fabrics situate them within a Near Eastern tradition of curse as garment, explore female agency in the narrative of their production, and argue for broader symbolic implications of textile-making within the sphere of natural wealth The concepts and technological principles of ancient weaving emerge as cognitive patterns that, by means of analogy rather than metaphor, are reflected in early Greek mathematic and logical thinking, and in archaic poetics. The significance of weaving technology in early philosophical conceptions of cosmic order is revived by Lucretius' account of atomic compound structure, where he makes extensive use of textile imagery, whilst clothing imagery is at the centre of the sustained intertextual strategy built by Statius in his epic poem, where recurrent cloaks activate a multi-layered poetic memory.

Fakta

Om forfatteren

Marie-Louise Nosch is a historian and director of the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre for Textile Research (CTR) at the University of Copenhagen and the National Museum of Denmark. She is a professor in ancient history. As director of the CTR, she has launched research programmes combining history, archaeology and natural sciences. Mary Harlow is an ancient historian, senior lecturer at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester. She works on Roman dress and the Roman life course. Her research combines literary studies, iconography and archaeology and methodologies derived from history, anthropology and sociology. Giovanni Fanfani is a classical philologist and postdoctoral researcher at the Danish National Foundation's Centre for Textile Research (CTR), University of Copenhagen. His research focuses the role and function of textile imagery in archaic Greek poetry, and on intertextuality in Euripidean tragedy.