The Roman Voice

Shane Butler
UC Los Angeles

Ancient readers and writers, long before modern vocal media like the phonograph record and its successors, fully expected their texts to capture not just words, but voices. Our reduction of those same texts to merely linguistic artifacts often leaves us reading for sense where our predecessors were instead writing and reading primarily for sound. The Roman Voice, tries to recover those forgotten expectations through a series of case studies of ancient authors struggling to inscribe extra-linguistic sound, especially the signature sound of the individual human voice.