Abstract

Representations of smell can serve as vehicles for value judgments about social status and cultural performance. Since smell crosses boundaries, the same representations can also expose the arbitrariness of standards of behavior. This essay focuses on examples from Catullus: mainly poems 13 and 97, which include his only uses of olfacere, and 69 and 71, which share an image of animal odor and are linked to 97 by a theme of smell crossing boundaries between human and animal and between city and country; discussion of poem 6 introduces the study. In the context of more decorous representations offered by Cicero, these examples emphasize Catullus’ delight in transgressions as leading to sociocultural critique.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9234
Print ISSN
0009-8418
Pages
pp. 465-486
Launched on MUSE
2016-08-16
Open Access
No
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