Roman Satire and Egyptian Lamentations: two names, one literary genre

published on 28th January 2016, 02:32 pm

Satire is one of the literary genres which are most representative not only of a time and of a country, but also and mainly of a whole civilization, because, if from its historiography, epos, scientific, religious and philosophic texts we can understand how does a civilization interpret its past, its position in the world and the world itself, from its satire we can see and touch how does it interpret itself and how do its individuals interpret themselves and their relationship with society, economics and politics, which are the main fields in which individuals develop themselves and in which cultures and civilizations arise and grow. 
Roman satire and ancient Egyptian literary genre of Lamentations share more than one thematic and stylistic feature. One could easily guess that same problems inspire same reactions in authors of different eras and latitudes, but the way Romans and Egyptians express their feelings about corruption, decline, alienation and dissociation between self and self on one hand and between self and society on the other, is amazingly similar. These similarities I have collected in this paper of mine, in order to show the reader an example of how close, from some important viewpoints, are the two cultures (one of which is our own culture, so this can be said in other words: how close is that culture to ours) and, secondarily and consequently, how useful is for linguistic and philologic study a comparative approach.

S. V.


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Stefano Vittori

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