Macquarie University
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Clangores, stridores et sibili: animal sounds in ancient Latin literature from 55 BC to AD 180

posted on 2022-03-28, 22:31 authored by Rodney Martin Cross
Evaluating the specific vocabulary used by Latin authors to denote sensory experiences - be they real and perceived through authentic experiences, or imagined and constructed through literary techniques - can enrich our understanding of the qualities denoted by, and ascribed to, specific sensory terms. Through a combination of traditional lexicographical methods and comparative sound analysis, this thesis prompts historians to consider textually-transcribed sounds in ancient texts as evidence of aural perception, and will demonstrate the value of comparing literary descriptions of animal sounds with extant sounds produced by modern animals. Building on a recently proposed methodology in the field of historical sensory studies (Vincent 2017), what follows will facilitate a critical survey of the vocabulary used by ancient Roman authors to denote and characterise animal sounds in Latin literature. 'Clangores, stridores et sibili' foregrounds sound and contemplates the processes underpinning the literary descriptions of aural stimuli -- abstract.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction -- 2. Background and literature review -- 3. Methodology: Nature's Song Remains the Same -- 4. Stridor et Murmur -- 5. Sibilus et Vocalis -- 6. Clangor et Plausus -- 7. Dissimiles ceterus voces: the sonic vocabulary of Pliny the Elder -- 8. Discussion -- 9. Bibliography -- 10. Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 223-243

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


PhD, Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Ancient History

Department, Centre or School

Department of Ancient History

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Pety Keegan


Copyright Rodney Martin Cross 2020. Copyright disclaimer:




1 online resource (286 pages)

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