Virgil and the Augustan Reception

Virgil and the Augustan Reception

Virgil and the Augustan Reception

Virgil and the Augustan Reception

Synopsis

This book examines the ideological reception of Virgil at specific moments in the past two millennia. It focuses on the emperor Augustus in the poetry of Virgil, detects in the poets and grammarians of antiquity pro- and anti-Augustan readings, studies Dryden's 1697 Royalist translation, and also naive American translation. It scrutinizes nineteenth-century philology's rewriting or excision of troubling readings, and covers readings by both supporters and opponents of fascism and National Socialism. Finally it examines how successive ages have made the Aeneid conform to their upbeat expectations of this poet.

Excerpt

It is my contention here that there are no very good grounds for believing that Virgil considered Horace a great friend, and that further (and more importantly for our purposes) Horace may have been “correcting” Virgil in his allusion to him, and in the process neutralizing the older poet's ambivalence and thereby “Augustaniz-

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