Virgil's Aeneid: Semantic Relations and Proper Names

By Michael Paschalis | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

I. NAMES AND ISSUES

Existing studies of proper names in Virgil Aeneid are concerned with the sources of names, their etymological significance as well as with the issue of invention of characters and names.1 The close scrutiny of the literary, mythological, historical, geographical, ethnographical, and narrative issues associated with the poet's choice and employment of proper names has brought to light a considerable number of perplexing questions.

Some of the problems commonly pointed out are the following: misplacement of heroes; exclusion of important toponyms for the sake of obscure and unknown ones; exclusion of prominent characters of the literary, historical, and antiquarian tradition for the sake of minor or unknown ones, and reduction of prominent characters to mere names; dissociation of heroes mentioned in catalogues and nonfighting scenes from those mentioned in battle scenes (or vice versa); employment of Greek names for Latins and Latin ones for Greeks; attribution of the same name to a number of characters of different nionality; killing and 'resurrection' of characters in fighting scenes and 'revival' of characters who are killed in the Iliad; employment of the same patronymic for two different characters; introduction of genealogies unknown from other sources; and changes in the form and reference of names known from the literary and mythological tradition.

Some scholars are baffled by what frequently appears to be an arbitrary practice in the selection and employment of names. Others advance complicated historical and mythological views or suggest random selection or detect a mere desire on Virgil's part to

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1
In addition to the standard commentaries listed in the References, cf. Rehm ( 1932); Holland ( 1935); Marouzeau ( 1940); Knight ( 1944); Hansen ( 1948); Montenegro Duque ( 1949); M∅rland ( 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1964, 1968, 1971, 1973); W. B. Anderson ( 1958); Kraggerud ( 1960, 1968); Bartelink ( 1965); Zaffagno, ( 1972); Due ( 1973); Basson ( 1975); Boyd ( 1983); Willcock ( 1983); Egan ( 1983); Enc. Virg. ii. 402-4 s.v. "Etimologia" and iii. 849-53 s.v. "Onomastica"; Deschamps ( 1986); Horsfall ( 1987); O'Hara ( 1990a, 1990b, 1991, 1992). Some of the problems listed below are already grouped together and discussed in Macr. Sat. 5. 15; others are individually pointed out by Servius and Servius auctus.

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Virgil's Aeneid: Semantic Relations and Proper Names
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations and Bibliographical Note xv
  • Note on Structure and Conventions xvii
  • Introduction 1
  • Book 1 34
  • Book 2 70
  • Book 3 111
  • Book 4 149
  • Book 5 181
  • Book 6 209
  • Book 7 244
  • Book 8 275
  • Book 9 302
  • Book 10 330
  • Book 11 358
  • Book 12 380
  • Conclusion 409
  • References 419
  • Index of Selected Names and Words Discussed 431
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