Sicily, the classical tradition and interpretative possibilities in John Barclay's Argenis

Parkes, Ruth (2021) Sicily, the classical tradition and interpretative possibilities in John Barclay's Argenis. International Journal of the Classical Tradition. ISSN 1874-6292

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This article explores reasons for the choice of Sicily as the main backdrop for John Barclay’s 1621 Neo-Latin novel Argenis. It suggests that the selection of Sicily is driven in part by the interpretative possibilities raised by this location, in particular, those fuelled by controversies regarding the rational and mythic which were attached to the island. It focusses on the rationalizing and mythic approaches associated with Sicily in the classical and post-classical tradition in the areas of volcanic activity and the discovery of gigantic bones. By means of a close reading of the episode in which King Meleander entertains Radirobanes in camp, followed by a wider discussion of the flaws of Meleander and Radirobanes and the theme of interpretation in the novel, it explores how Barclay exploits such approaches to showcase the failures of these leaders. It also dismisses the idea that the Argenis has a controlling divine framework which would run counter to the novel’s interest in the potentiality of interpretation.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Institutes and Academies > Institute of Education and Humanities > Academic Discipline: Humanities and Social Sciences
Depositing User: Natalie Williams
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2021 10:00
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2023 12:32

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