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  • 1 National & Kapodistrian University of Athens Department of Classics Faculty of Philology University Campus Zografou 157 84 Athens Greece
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The Arcadian landscape was originally developed in Vergil to transcend an actual landscape and identify with an idealized setting temptingly abstract in order to serve as a metaphor for the redesigned pastoral genre as promoted in the Eclogues. Vergil’s Arcadia as described in Eclogue 4, for the first time in Latin literature, was a construction, a literary topos and a symbol of innovative poetics, but also of Roman history and contemporary politics interfused. Vergil’s Arcadia was an imaginary landscape. This utopia becomes — in full awareness of Vergil’s literary contemporaries and the poets following after them — an appropriate setting for the staging of imaginary literary dialogues between shepherds-poets, and the changing poetics is reflected on the changes of the archetypal landscape of the original Arcadia topography. These changes appear first in Tibullus (in selected passages from 1. 1, 1. 3, 1. 5, 1. 7, 1. 10, 2. 1, 2. 3 and 2. 5) and recur in new forms in Propertius, Horace and Ovid. The progress of transformation evidences Arcadia’s ability to observe the rules of different generic environments and anticipates the propagation of the particularly literary topos across the centuries, as a multi-leveled symbol of poetics, aesthetics and politics.