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  • 1 Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli Dipartimento di Lettere e Beni Culturali Piazza San Francesco - Complesso San Francesco 81055 Santa Maria Capua Vetere Italy
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Vergil’s Eclogues, despite belonging to the bucolic genre and being largely modelled on Theocritus’ Idylls, bear clear marks of cosmic inspiration; these emerge from time to time, now in one poem, next in another, issuing ideas and images apparently inconsistent with the pastoral world: this happens especially in the three central Eclogues. Non-pastoral ideas and images often refer to philosophical or mythological themes, possibly coming either from poets with a cosmic vein (such as Hesiod and Lucretius), or from philosophic schools dealing with cosmogony (such as Orphism and Stoicism). Vergil develops these themes in innovative ways. This broadening of perspective concerns the power of song that seduces and dominates nature (with remarkable self-reflexive implications), the human desire to interact with the gods (even to enter their realm and identify with them through apotheosis), and the longing for purification and rebirth, hand-in-hand with the universal aspiration for peace and happiness.

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