A Companion to Vergil's Aeneid and its Tradition (Blackwell by Joseph Farrell, Michael C. J. Putnam

By Joseph Farrell, Michael C. J. Putnam

A better half to Vergil’s Aeneid and its culture provides a suite of unique interpretive essays that characterize an leading edge addition to the physique of Vergil scholarship.Provides clean techniques to conventional Vergil scholarship and new insights into surprising features of Vergil's textual historyFeatures contributions via a world crew of the main distinct scholarsRepresents a distinctively unique method of Vergil scholarship

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216–144) argued that Homer said that they “garland the heavens,” estephanôke (Porter 1992, 92–3). Now, although each ancient scholar might admit that the passage has its difficulties, neither believes it betrays any ambiguity. A modern reader of the Iliad equipped with a variorum commentary cannot help but be confronted with the dispute: we, necessarily, read an ambiguous Homer. Such commentaries, as I have said, did not exist in Vergil’s day. But even before the assemblage of such commentaries or even of the full-scale scholia that circulated in later antiquity and the Middle Ages, the advanced reader or student of Homer who had access either to different hypomnêmata or to a teacher who summarized the nature of scholarly disagreements for his student, “reads” an ambiguous Homer.

A rapid survey of some recent literature on the Eclogues, Georgics, and Aeneid produces a long list of authors directly imitated by Vergil (see appendix), and even if it is not the result of exhaustive research, it helps make an obvious point concerning assumptions made by modern scholars about the connections between Vergilian allusion, the richness of his library, and the extent of his reading. Right from the time of its first publication, Vergil’s poetry has given rise to a massive amount of scholarship, and a very considerable portion of this has been devoted to elucidating complex relationships between the poet’s work and the books he is assumed to have read.

Past Pantagia’s mouth with its living rock I voyage – past the Megarian bay and low-lying Thapsus. Such were the coasts pointed out by Achaemenides, comrade of the luckless Ulysses, as he retraced his former wanderings. (Trans. Fairclough and Goold) The verb relegens has been translated by “retrace” with remarkable consistency (cf. Day Lewis, Mandelbaum, Fitzgerald, Fagles, Ahl; all are refining Dryden’s “tracing”), but it is hard to believe that in this context of remarkably close imitation of Homer Vergil’s choice of word (this is the only time he uses it) is unassociated with his reading and rewriting of the Odyssey.

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