The epic story of the hero Perseus’ decapitation of the monstrous Gorgon Medusa is one of the more enduring tales from classical mythology. 1 There are several references to this Gorgon lore in Virgil’s Aeneid , careful consideration of which will
The appearances of the goddess Night in Virgil’s Aeneid can be profitably studied as a cipher to appreciating better certain key elements of the poet’s epic presentation of Troy’s fall and the rise of the future Rome. Detailed consideration of every epiphany of the goddess in the poem offers insight into Virgil’s rationale for how he presents the ultimate resolution of the conflict in Latium and the quelling of Juno’s rage against the Trojans.
In this paper, I establish a connection between the manifold character of Fama as reported by Virgil in Aen. 4. 173 ff. and her ‘manifold speech’ (multiplex sermo) in the framework of a narratological reading. According to my interpretation, the short fama of the Virgilian Fama (4. 191-194), as a spectacular example of ‘polyphonic narrative’, radicalises and thus domesticates the dangers inherent in the epic discourse itself.
In this paper I argue that the subtext for Ovid's positive portrayal of Diomedes at Rem. 151-167 is the Vergilian episode of Diomedes' reply to the embassy of the Latins (Aen. 11.252-93), and that the adjustment of this episode to the frame of Ovid's erotic didactic is achieved through a number of similarities in diction and theme. Ovid's treatment of the Vergilian Diomedes, however, is subversive and the Vergilian narrative is being undermined and reworked in a brand new way.
Fitzgerald , R. 1983 : The Aeneid . Random House
Johnston , P. A. 2012 : The Aeneid of Vergil. Norman
Lattimore , R. 1965 : The Iliad of Homer . Chicago
Mynors , R. A. 1969 : P. Vergilii Maronis Opera
In the early modern age, pastoral poetry became a current genre of the praise of rulers, kings and emperors. In spite of its overwhelming richness and contemporaneous importance, this branch of the bucolic genre has received relatively little attention from researchers. Even in comprehensive works on the history of the genre, one often finds hasty remarks, e.g. that these panegyric poems were foremost influenced by Vergil’s Eclogue 4.
The present paper offers a short overview of the immense diversity of the genre, paying great attention not only to Vergil, but also to the decisive influence of Calpurnius Siculus, Sannazaro and Baptista Mantuanus, as well as to the techniques of the Kreuzung der Gattungen, mainly to the interaction between pastoral and epic poetry. The analysis shows that, in spite of the huge variety of forms and the large distances in time and space, the image of the ideal emperor is surprisingly constant, and that the picture of the mythical Golden Age is almost completely drawn with the motives of the idealized reign of Augustus taken from epic poetry.
Drawing on established connections between Roman identity and an agricultural landscape, this paper examines how the imagery of disrupted pastoral and agrarian landscapes and characters represent the effects of civil war on the Roman people in Vergil’s Aeneid and Lucan’s Bellum Civile. While disturbance and turmoil are already a part of the natural landscape in Vergil’s Eclogues and Georgics, in epic, a genre that concerns itself with how empire and imperial power mediate Roman identity, the displacement of shepherds and agriculture partially redefines Roman identity in militaristic terms. Vergil’s pastoral characters, written into military roles as civic landscapes displace agrarian ones in the Aeneid, survive but fail to find a place in Lucan’s ruined and desolate Pharsalian landscape in the Bellum Civile. There, the broken natural landscape, unfit for agriculture, pastoralism, or trade, mirrors the redefinition of what is “Roman” and the occlusion of Rome’s link to an idealized bucolic past.
A driving force in Vergil’s Aeneid is the hostility of Juno to the Trojans as they approach, and finally arrive in Italy. The epic in some ways mirrors the opposition encountered by Augustus as the new ruler of Rome. Juno’s opposition to the Trojans has its origin not only in Greek mythology, but in the history of the local peoples of Italy with whom early Romans had to contend. From the outset of the poem she becomes the personification of these opposing forces. Once the Trojans finally reach mainland Italy, she sets in motion a long war, although the one depicted in the Aeneid was not as long as the real wars Romans waged with the Latin League and with the many of the tribes of Italy, including the Veii. The reality of the wars Rome had to contend with are here compared to the relatively brief one depicted in the Aeneid, and the pacification of Juno reflects the merging of the different peoples of Rome with their subjugator.
The messenger speeches in some of Seneca's tragedies (the most extensive ones can be read in Agamemnon and Hercules Furens) constitute special epic details of the works. Their narrative technique, intertextual references and representation of time link them not with the dramatic literary form, but with the epic one, and Vergil's Aeneid is, beyond any doubt, their most important 'hypertextus'. The setting of the messenger reports has not been subordinated to the dramatic efficacy of the main conflict, they produce rather a generic multiplicity. The reform of closed literary forms and the generic heterogeneity are not unique phenomena in the literary life of this period; the meaning and importance of the innovation made by Seneca cannot be judged separately from the most important literary achievements of the period: Luc an's Bellum Civile and Petronius' Satyricon