Richard F. Thomas

Civilizations of Ancient Greece and Rome (Mahindra Humanities Center Seminar)

Through consideration of topics reflecting the entire range of Classical studies, papers and discussions in this seminar will examine Greek and Roman literature, philology, history, religion, archaeology, and philosophy; the application of literary and cultural theory to classical texts; and various other aspects of classical literature and culture, including its reception by and intersections with other related fields.

The Virgil Encyclopedia
Thomas, Richard F, and Jan M Ziolkowski, ed. 2014. The Virgil Encyclopedia. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 1600. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Virgil Encyclopedia is the first comprehensive reference volume to be published in English on Publius Vergilius Maro, the classical Roman poet whose works and thoughts have been at the center of Western literary, cultural, artistic, and pedagogical traditions for more than two millennia. Through more than 2,200 carefully researched entries, scholars and students alike are provided with an in-depth treatment of all aspects of Virgil’s poetry and his immeasurable influence that continues to the present day.

Thomas, Richard F. 2012. “The Streets of Rome: The Classical Dylan.” Reception and the Classics: An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Classical Tradition, edited by William Brockliss, Pramit Chaudhuri, Ayelet Haimson Lushkov, and Katherine Wasdin, 134–159. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 134–159.
Thomas, Richard F. 2012. “Thoughts on the Virgilian hexameter.” Multi nominis grammaticus. Festchrift for Alan J. Nussbaum, edited by Adam I Cooper, Jeremy Rau, and Michael Weiss, 306–314. Ann Arbor: Beech Stave Press, 306–314.
Virgil and the Augustan Reception
Thomas, Richard F. 2001. Virgil and the Augustan Reception. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

This book examines the ideological reception of Virgil at specific moments in the past two millennia. It focuses on the emperor Augustus in the poetry of Virgil, detects in the poets and grammarians of antiquity pro- and anti-Augustan readings, studies Dryden's 1697 Royalist translation, and also naive American translation. It scrutinizes nineteenth-century philology's rewriting or excision of troubling readings, and covers readings by both supporters and opponents of fascism and National Socialism. Finally it examines how successive ages have made the Aeneid conform to their upbeat expectations of this poet.

Horace: Odes I V and Carmen Saeculare
Thomas, Richard F, ed. 2011. Horace: Odes I V and Carmen Saeculare. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Carmen Saeculare was composed and published in 17 BCE as Horace was returning to the genre of lyric which he had abandoned six years earlier; the fourth book of Odes is in part a response to this poem, the only commissioned poem we know from the period. The hardening of the political situation, with the Republic a thing of the past and the Augustan succession in the air, threw the problematic issue of praise into fresh relief, and at the same time provided an impulse towards the nostalgia represented by the poet's private world. Professor Thomas provides an introduction and commentary (the first full commentary in English since the nineteenth century) to each of the poems, exploring their status as separate lyric artefacts and their place in the larger web of the book. The edition is intended primarily for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students, but is also important for scholars.