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By Joseph Farrell, Michael C. J. Putnam

A better half to Vergil’s Aeneid and its culture provides a set of unique interpretive essays that signify an leading edge addition to the physique of Vergil scholarship.Provides clean ways to standard Vergil scholarship and new insights into unexpected features of Vergil's textual historyFeatures contributions by means of a global staff of the main exceptional scholarsRepresents a distinctively unique method of Vergil scholarship

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Additional info for A Companion to Vergil's Aeneid and its Tradition (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)

Sample text

Of course, as readers of the Aeneid we do in fact end up reading about the working out of fatum, and Rome’s destiny. And it is by no means by accident that the act of reading is once again thematized at what is in many ways the climax of both the scroll Jupiter is reading and of the Aeneid, the moment when Aeneas looks at the great shield made by Vulcan, on which the god has depicted the whole history of the city of Rome, from Romulus, Remus, and the wolf to the Augustan triple triumph of 29 BCE.

Stand back, Roman writers, stand back, ye Greeks: Something greater than the Iliad – I know not what – is aborning. 6) This unknown thing is somehow Homeric, and Vergil’s imitative and emulative relationship to Homer, anticipated by Propertius, quickly became an obsession for Vergil’s immediate obtrectatores (see Stok and Farrell in this volume) and for defenders such as Quintilian, Aulus Gellius, Macrobius, and Servius. It was obscured if not entirely invisible even during the centuries when the inaccessibility of Homer’s Greek original stood in the way of Western scholars (Scaffai 2006), but has been constant since the humanists’ recovery of Greek, gathering momentum as a scholarly topos over the last century (Knauer 1964b; Cairns 1989; Berres 1993; Dekel 2005).

A further important aspect of Vergil’s relationship to Homer lies in the fact that he was acutely aware of many aspects of the history of the reception of Homer. In recent decades, a considerable body of research has shown that not only did Vergil study the Homeric texts themselves in great detail, he also read commentaries on them. For example, the song of Iopas in Dido’s palace at the end of Aeneid 1 reworks the songs with which the blind bard Demodocus entertains the guests in Alcinous’ palace in Odyssey 8.

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