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Spuere and Aesthetic Taste in Latin Poetry

Rebecca Moorman

University of Wisconsin-Madison

This talk explores how Lucretius, Ovid, and Horace use spuere to indicate aesthetic judgment (DRN 2.1040-42; Rem. am. 1.123-24; Epist. 2.1.41-42). Spuere expresses rejection but can also suggest acquired taste: “spitting out” poetry that, with experience, becomes appreciable. The verb's gustatory resonances hint at an ancient notion of literary connoisseurship and aesthetic taste based in disgust.

Session/Panel Title

Lightning Session 1: History and Literature

Session/Paper Number

19.3

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