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Mourning and Melancholia Let us turn now to Freudian psychoanalysis more directly. Firstly, I provide an explanation of the spe- cific theory of Freudian psychoanalysis I intend to use. As I have noted, melancholia is quite similar to mourning, as Freud describes it. Specifically, Freud understands the Freud, S.

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That is to say that, a person, thing, or even an abstract notion which the person has developed a strong attachment to, has been lost. The root cause of these self-revilings, for Freud, is a result of a subtly, but critically, different disposition toward the libidinal object. Firstly, there is the obvious loss of the object which is re- pressed. Secondly, the melancholic resists the normal functioning of the assumption and retreat from libidinal positions.

In the latter cases, Freud says that the ego undergoes a substitution of identification for object-love. Essentially, the melancholic, in refusing to retreat from their libid- inal position and, thereafter, take up a new libidinal object, the melancholic transfers all of their emotional ambivalence in on themselves. That is to say that the subject identifies their own ego with the prior love-object to which they felt ambivalence.

Thus, the self-revilings are, at their core, actually directed toward the lost, libidinal object which is now identified with the self. As Freud explains in this paper, when children first engage in object-selection they do so by putting things in their mouths because, at this stage, a child only understands the libidinal process in nar- cissistic, i. In effect, the child pursues its libidinal objects by attempting to consume them. Sandler et al. It is given by the Gaul, Critognatus whom Caesar introduces as a member of the aristocracy of the tribe of the Arverni and possessed of much authority Hic, summo in Arvernis ortus loco et magnae habitus auctoritatis BG 7.

It is also the longest instance of direct speech in the entire work. That is to say that what exactly omnis Gallia is, is never really articulated in any specific detail but is nonetheless, for the preservation of omnis Gallia that Critognatus suggests that the Gauls resort to cannibalism. In psychoanalytic terms, we may understand omnis Gallia as a libidinal object which, as we have seen, is a person, thing, or even an abstract notion to which the subject develops a strong attachment.

However, that omnis Gallia is such a libidinal object requires some justifica- tion since, on the surface, it would seem that, rather than omnis Gallia, it is libertas which we might better understand as the libidinal object of the speech. Roller, writing about the cultural construction of aristocratic values in late republican and early imperial Rome, provides a valuable description of the connection between libertas and servitus.

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Role explains that the dominus and servus relationship was frequently invoked by Roman authors as means of contextualising and articulating their experience of or position in the social hierarchy. The pileus is what is signifi19 - cant for our purposes as a hat which was occasionally worn by manumitted slaves.

University of Texas Press. Princeton17 University Press.

Ruth R. Caston, _Freud’s Rome: Psychoanalysis and Latin Poetry_ by Ellen Oliensis - PhilPapers

Princeton18 University Press. That is to say that, servitus is both, unambiguously, an extremely negative condition and it is also not one which, on the abstract level, permits compromise. Firstly, the virtual interchangeability of libertas and virtus, insofar as the presence of one denies the pres- ence of the other and vice versa. Lastly, that, on the abstract level, libertas and servitus permit no compromise. The first appearance of servitus is in the first sentence of the22 speech where Critognatus dismisses the opinions of those who suggest that the besieged Gauls surrender to Caesar equating surrender itself with servitus turpissimam servitutem BG 7.

It appears later on when Critognatus suggests that, should the Gauls waste their lives in a sortie, they would condemn all Gaul omnen Galliam to unending servitus perpetuae servi- tuti 7.

What stands out about each of these references to servitus is their obvious connection with political bodies. For our our purposes, the third invocation is particularly informative for the con- nection it makes between Gallia and laws understood from the contrast drawn between Roman military activity and that of the Cimbri. In contrast, the Roman presence, in the strongest terms, seems to necessitate the imposition of servitus as a fundamental aspect of Roman, military action Romani vero quid petunt aliud auth quid volunt nisi….

Thus, the invocation of servitus is connected to the idea of Gallia as, in a sense, its opposite. Whereas the Cimbri leave a place called Gallia and which is possessed of iura, leges, agros, libertatem, the Romans conquer and enslave unnamed people referred to only by a relative pronoun in the accusative: quos. In terms of libertas and the associated possession of laws and lands, Rigsby makes note of the parallel structure of this part of the speech as participating in a larger oratorical strategy but, for our purposes it is enough to understand the basic message: Gaul is equivalent to libertas where Rome is equivalent to servi- tus.

University of Chicago Press. At In this alone, Critognatus suggests that omnis Gallia as the necessary condition for libertas as the implied opposite of servitus. But preceding this equation of libertas and specifically omnis Gallia, Critognatus also develops the idea of a debt on the behalf of the be- sieged toward omnis Gallia in the only other reference in the speech to the concept.

In it- self, we might not find this to be particularly strange and yet throughout the Bellum Gallicum the only means of ensuring obedience or loyalty between tribes has been the exchange of hostages. On the one hand, by invoking omnis Gallia in this way, Critognatus positions omnis24 Gallia as an alternative means of ensuring combined action which transcends those predicated on bonds of individual, tribal interest. By extension, deciding to launch a suicidal sortie, while it is consonant with ideas of personal honour which we might see as operating on the same level as hostage exchange, becomes a matter of not only transgressing this higher ideal but also denying its continuation.

This we can see clearly when he asks what effect their deaths will have on the morale of omnis Gallia which has come to Alesia to rescue them when they are compelled to fight on top of their corpses Quid hominum milibus LXXX uno loco interfectis propinquis con- sanguineisque nostris animi fore existimatis, si paene in ipsis cadaveribus proelio decertare cogentur? We should take note of the way that political determinacy is framed in terms of identity in these two examples and also how Critognatus seems to be attempting to replace what else- where in Bellum Gallicum seem to represent the traditional means of inter-tribal connections.

Critognatus is treating Gallic identity as a goal, not a fact. The Speech of Critognatus—Ambivalence and Repression Now, at last, we reach the application of psychoanalysis to the speech. Whether perceived or actual, the subject feels that a person, thing, or even an abstract notion for which the subject has developed a strong attachment, has been lost. Howev- er, the condition of melancholia does not result from the loss of the libidinal object alone but also from a degree of ambivalence felt toward the libidinal object—though the subject feels strongly about the object, that feeling is, for reasons specific to any given subject, mixed.


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  5. Conse- Of particular note is 1. Mannetter , notes that, while such oaths are generally a sign of obedience between the concerned parties, the Bellum Gallicum emphasises that such oaths as- sume a degree of freedom on the part of the oath-giver which circumstances may not actually bear out, bringing into question both the degree to which any loyalty is affirmed at all.

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    Also, Rigsby , notes the degree to which the giving of hostages or swearing of oaths represents the thematic divisiveness on the part of the Gauls who see the universal identity as predicated on a multitude of individual relations rather than a value which transcends these relations. Rigsby p. Finally, by effecting such a transfer, the subject permits themselves to maintain a kind of warped version of their libidinal position by repressing the loss of the libidinal object.

    In the case of the speech of Critognatus, I argue that it is best un- derstood as the last gasp of Gallic repression of the loss of the libidinal object of omnis Gallia. I begin by establishing ambivalence toward omnis Gallia through select examples of the incoher- ence of the very notion as it is represented in the narrative.

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    The first time we hear of omnis Gallia oc- curs in the famous opening lines of the Bellum Gallicum Gallia est omnis divisa…BG 1. Here however, we have a related obsta- cle to the concept of omnis or tota Gallia. Admittedly, this description does not come from the mouth of a Gaul, but it is clear that, regardless of the status of the Helvetii, the pan-Gallic council was not called in order to make joint decisions as much as it was a response to the direct intervention of of a clearly powerful, new power in the region.

    Thus, on this level alone, omnis Gallia is once27 more overshadowed by, at the very least, the suggestion of its incompatibility with libertas. Another thematically important facet of the pan-Gallic assembly is the lack of unity among its participants and the references made to the past history of division. In particular, the Sequani are unable to participate fully because of their fear of Ariovistus, the German king who occupies their territory 1.

    On the one hand, it indicates clearly that, at present, libertas is not a univer- sal condition in Gaul: the Gallic Sequani are, at least, yoked in servitude to the Germans. The passage also highlights the degree to which any concept of omnis Gallia is purely theoretical since the reason why the Germans are occupying Sequani territory at all is because the Gallic tribes having been warring amongst themselves.

    As I mentioned at the beginning of the paper, I should reiterate that this interpretation is not concerned27 with the degree to which such a picture might be manipulated by the author.


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    7. Instead, I am still concerned merely with how the narrative characterises the Gauls in relation to the concept of omnis Gallia. Indeed, I have already mentioned the opening line Gallia est omnis divisa which introduces this central theme of the division of Gaul both in terms of political conflict and geography. Indeed, Schadee notes the degree to which divisiveness forms a key representative motif for the Gauls in distinguishing them from the Germans. Firstly, the speech affirms the strength of the attachment toward the notion of omnis Gallia which I have already explored in its deep connection with the dual concept of servitus and liber- tas.

      Yet, as we have also seen, the lived experience of the Gauls does not align with a conception of omnis Gallia as a source of the positive libertas as Critognatus seems to suggest but with its opposite, servitus. The first criticism which we might take to be self-revilement aims at silencing those who would propose surrender by drawing a line between who is a Gaul and who is not.