De vita Georgii Washingtonii Latina

Smolak, Kurt (2003) De vita Georgii Washingtonii Latina. Acta Antiqua, 43 (3-4). pp. 485-494. ISSN 0044-5975

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The Life of George Washington in Latin prose, edited in 1834 by Francis Glass, is an outstanding document of how a certain intellectual élite in the United States strived for being acknowledged by European academic circles as a nation of high cultural level. The author, a Philadelphia-educated Irish immigrant, who earned his living by teaching ancient and modern languages in Ohio, intended to draw attention to the similarities which, in his opinion, linked the United States, recently independent, with the early Roman Republic, free and independent, as he believed. In doing so he imitated, apart from learned archaisms and peculiarities of expression, both Livy, the most important source of the early Rome's history, and Cesar's De Bello Gallico, thus demonstrating that his hero, George Washington, exceeded the great Romans of the Age of the Republic as well as the founder of Roman monarchism, combining in his person all possible qualities of a statesman. In praise of him the author did not refrain from fictional testimonies, starting his work with a prophecy ascribed to Cicero and enriched by a reference to Accius. However, the Vita Georgii Washingtonii Latina, highly estimated by Washington's successor, John Q. Adams, affords an insight into the 'Roman' roots of US-American pathetic patriotism sometimes so surprising for Europeans.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature / nyelvészet és irodalom > PA Classical philology / klasszika-filológia
Depositing User: xKatalin xBarta
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2017 09:00
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2017 09:00

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