Tree-Worship, Sacred Groves and Roman Antiquities in the Aeneid

Lowe, Dunstan (2011) Tree-Worship, Sacred Groves and Roman Antiquities in the Aeneid. Proceedings of the Virgil Society, 27 (1). pp. 91-128. ISSN 0968-2112. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not available from this repository. (Contact us about this Publication)


Virgil's vision of Italy in the age of heroes places great emphasis on sacred groves (often the scene of encounters with gods), and individual sacred trees (like the stump of Faunus where Aeneas' spear lodges in the final duel). This reflects a more widespread belief among the Romans that their oldest and best cultural practices concerned intimacy with, and reverence for, ancient trees. This article surveys the historical and literary evidence to associate tree-reverence with the religious origins of Roman poetry and with the mysterious god Faunus. I also argue that Virgil falsely links the battlefield practice of suspended votives--the tropaeum--with tree-worship in order to make it a token of proto-Roman values.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Dunstan Lowe
Date Deposited: 25 Sep 2012 14:17
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2013 11:52
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):