Reading After Actium: Vergil's Georgics, Octavian, and Rome
Reading after Actium is a study of Vergil's Georgics, a didactic poem ostensibly about farming but in fact a brilliant exercise challenging readers to develop a broader perspective on the basic problems and the dangers of human life. Octavian is treated as one of the poet's students and given the opportunity to learn lessons in handling power, in controlling Rome's vast resources, and in preventing the bloody cycle of civil war from beginning again. Most of all the Georgics asks Octavian to consider what is involved in assuming godlike power over his fellow citizens. Reading after Actium provides an introduction to the history of scholarship surrounding the Georgics and the political questions surrounding Octavian and his career. Nappa gives a book by book analysis of the entire poem, and a conclusion that draws together the themes of the whole. Reading after Actium will appeal to students and critics of Vergil and other Augustan Literature as well as those of didactic poetry and its traditions. Students of Roman history and politics should read this as well. Christopher Nappa is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Minnesota.
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Actium Aeneid agricultural amor animals Aristaeus atque audience Augustan Bacchus beekeeper bees Book Buchheit bugonia Caesar Ceres chariot civil crops culture Cyrene dangers Deucalion didactic discussion divine earlier earth Eclogue emphasizes epyllion especially Eurydice evoke farm farmer Gale Georgics gods Golden Age grafting Greek heat herds Hesiod human important improbus interpretation invocation Iron Age Italian Italy Jenkyns Julius Caesar Jupiter Jupiter's kind king Klingner labor land laudes lines Lucretius Maecenas Meliboeus Miles Mynors myth natural world Noricum Octavian once Orpheus passage perhaps Perkell perspective phrase pity plague plow poem poem's poet poet's poetry political potential precepts princeps Procne produce proem Proteus Putnam question race reader reading reference reminds role Roman Rome Ross rustic Scythia Silvanus specific story suggest that Vergil themes theodicy things Thomas Thomas ad tion Tityrus trees Vergil Vergilian vines Wilkinson 1969 wine
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