AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

The Reception of Horace in the Courses of Poetics at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy: 17th-First Half of the 18th Century

by Giovanna Siedina

Institution: Harvard University
Department: Slavic Languages and Literatures
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Slavic literature; Literature; Classical literature; Horace; Latinitas and Identity; Neo-Latin literature; Reception studies; Ukrainian literature
Record ID: 2029703
Full text PDF: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:13065007


For the first time, the reception of the poetic legacy of the Latin poet Horace (65 B.C.-8 B.C.) in the poetics courses taught at the Kyiv Mohyla Academy (17th-first half of the 18th century) has become the subject of a wide-ranging research project presented in this dissertation. Quotations from Horace and references to his oeuvre have been divided according to the function they perform in the poetics manuals, the aim of which was to teach pupils how to compose Latin poetry. Three main aspects have been identified: the first consists of theoretical recommendations useful to the would-be poets, which are taken mainly from Horace's Ars poetica. The second aspect is the use of Horace's poetry as a model of word usage, tropes, rhetorical figures, and metrical schemes. Finally, the last important aspect of the reception of Horace is how his works could be imitated and his words or dicta borrowed in the composition of poetry, in which students were expected to exercise as part of the poetics course. The research draws the conclusion that Horace's legacy was of paramount importance in the manuals analyzed: on the one hand the Mohylanian poetics teachers' tendency (after Renaissance literary theorists and critics) to consider poetry within rhetorical categories rendered Horace's Ars Poetica extremely congenial to them. On the other, Horace's ideas were extrapolated from their original context and at times modified to serve a moralistic and "utilitarian" conception of poetry, which considered the latter as an instrumental science that served the ends of moral philosophy. With its metrical virtuosity and brilliant verbal craftsmanship, Horace's poetry provided an excellent model for the introduction of Christian content. The analysis of the way pagan authors (Horace first and foremost) were elaborated in a Christian key in the poetry composed by Mohylanian teachers and pupils indicates that education (and with it the assimilation of the Classics) at the KMA was not extraneous to the integration of ancient learning in Christian thinking as it took place in the different confessional schools of contemporary Western Europe. Slavic Languages and Literatures