12.12.2022 at 17.15 (UTC+2)
Room 18, Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40, 4th floor)
Meeting ID: 641 2944 4826
Jasmin Lukkari (University of Helsinki): Livy’s portrayal of king Masinissa through a narratological lens
In this talk I show how narratological methods can be used to study discourses of Otherness and cultural identities in Roman historical narratives. I have chosen Livy’s portrayal of the Numidian king Masinissa – an important ally of the Romans in the Second Punic War and after – as a case example for this talk because the portrayal is a good example of an instance where a Roman historian investigates the meaning of Romanness through a foreign character. Narratology has become popular in classical studies in recent decades in the wake of considerable increase of interest in the narrative theory across different disciplines. Nevertheless, ancient historiography has attracted less attention than genres like poetry or epic because historical writing has not always been considered “narrative” enough. I argue, however, that we can detect the use of similar narrative techniques in Roman historiography as in literary fiction. For example, in his portrayal of Masinissa, Livy uses various narrative techniques including close focalisation, manipulation of narrative time and space, and alternating between direct and indirect speech.
Jasmin Lukkari is a doctoral researcher in the Doctoral Programme in History and Cultural Heritage at the University of Helsinki in co-tutela agreement with the department of ancient history of the University of Cologne. She will defend her doctoral dissertation, titled Exemplary others: Virtus, Roman Identity, and Hellenistic kings in Republican and Augustan historical narratives, in February.