Vergil's Aeneid: A Poem of Grief and Love

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BRILL, 1993 - Literary Criticism - 174 pages
For more than a century, critics of the "Aeneid" have assumed that all or most of its episodes must propound something about Aeneas and his mission to found the Roman people, and through them about Rome and Augustus; whether that is their positive aspects, or their brutality and destructiveness, or the contrast between the public "voice" of their achievements and the private "voice" of the suffering they cause. This book argues that this assumption is wrong; the "Aeneid"'s main purpose was to present a series of emotionally moving episodes, especially pathetic ones. This book shows that the "Aeneid" makes more sense when regarded primarily as a series of emotion-arousing episodes than as expressing a pro-Aeneas, anti-Aeneas or two voices message. That is how it was regarded into the nineteenth century and that is what the ancient Greeks and Romans assumed was the main purpose of literature.
 

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Contents

CONTENTS
30
Ancient and modern literary attitudes
31
The poem of grief and love
61
Postscript
146
Recent interpretations of the NisusEuryalus
155
Bibliography
165
Index
172
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Steven Farron is Associate Professor of Classics in the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. He has published extensively on the "Aeneid" in e.g. "Acta Classica," "Greece and Rome," "Vergilius," and "Enciclopedia Virgiliana."