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Dust in the Wind: Late Republican History in the Aeneid

Lowe, Dunstan (2019) Dust in the Wind: Late Republican History in the Aeneid. In: Gildenhard, Ingo and Gotter, Ulrich and Havener, Wolfgang and Hodgson, Louise, eds. Augustus and the Destruction of History: The Politics of the Past in Early Imperial Rome. Cambridge Classical Journal Supplements . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 223-238. ISBN 978-0-9568381-6-2. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Abstract

[Description quoted from an early draft of the introductory chapter:]

Dunstan Lowe starts with a nuanced survey of the territory, sensibly suggesting hermeneutic restraint in how to deal with the phenomenon of possible allegorization: in many instances, the allusive recall of a historical event or figure is perhaps just that: an allusive recall rather than a full-blown allegory. He then goes on to consider the intertextual presence of one late-republican figure who has so far eluded proper recognition, let alone received sustained discussion: Sertorius. Lowe shows how the tame stag of Aeneid 7 and Hercules and Cacus episode in Aeneid 8, while also standing in allusive dialogue with a wide range of literary texts also reworks themes and motifs from historiographical treatments of Sertorius. He concludes by reasserting the principle of hermeneutic abstinence: the intertextual presence of Sertorius in the fabric of Virgil’s epic narrative does not yield any obvious allegory or clear political message. Rather, what we find on display here is Virgil’s encyclopaedic desire which informs his approach to all areas of discourse – from literary to philosophy, as well as historiography. The ambition to offer, in and through the Aeneid, a preview (however allusive) of all of Roman history and its main characters operates independent of, indeed outside and perhaps even in contradistinction to, any narrow ideological commitments, complements the Augustan teleology that constitutes the backbone of Virgil’s conception of history (for better or worse), and enriches the historiographical dimension of his epic.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D051 Ancient History
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of European Culture and Languages > Classical and Archaeological Studies
Depositing User: Dunstan Lowe
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2019 15:11 UTC
Last Modified: 30 Jul 2019 09:28 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/72147 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Lowe, Dunstan: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7664-4027
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