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Virgil and the Augustan Reception

Virgil and the Augustan Reception


  • Date Published: March 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521782883

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About the Authors
  • This book is an examination of the ideological reception of Virgil at specific moments in the last two millennia. The author focuses on the emperor Augustus in the poetry of Virgil, detects in the poets and grammarians of antiquity alternately a collaborative oppositional reading and an attempt to suppress such reading, studies creative translation (particularly Dryden's), which reasserts the 'Augustan' Virgil, and examines naive translation which can be truer to the spirit of Virgil. Scrutiny of 'textual cleansing', philology's rewriting or excision of troubling readings, leads to readings by both supporters and opponents of fascism and National Socialism to support or subvert the latter-day Augustus. The book ends with a diachronic examination of the ways successive ages have tried to make the Aeneid conform to their upbeat expectations of this poet.

    • Demonstrates that all readings of Virgil are conditioned by contemporary assumptions
    • Explores the role Virgil has played in various phases of European culture
    • Shows the centrality of Virgil for the history of Western political and ideological thought
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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521782883
    • length: 346 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the critical landscape
    1. Virgil and Augustus
    2. Virgil and the poets: Horace, Ovid and Lucan
    3. Other voices in Servius: schooldust of the ages
    4. Dryden's Virgil and the politics of translation
    5. Dido and her translators
    6. Philology and textual cleansing
    7. Virgil in a cold climate: fascist reception
    8. Beyond the borders of Eboli: anti-fascist reception
    9. Critical end games

  • Author

    Richard F. Thomas, Harvard University, Massachusetts

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