Virgil's Aeneid

BookVirgil's Aeneid

Virgil's Aeneid

A Critical Description

Bristol Phoenix Press Ignibus Paperbacks

2006

May 4th, 2006

£27.50

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Description

The aim of this important and still valuable book – first published in 1968 but never before available in paperback – is, quite simply, to help all who approach Virgil’s Aeneid seriously, whether in the original Latin or in English translation, to read it with discernment and appreciation. It offers itself as neither a handbook nor a commentary, but as a critical description of the poem’s structure and aspects of its composition. It begins with a preliminary exploration of the poem’s central purpose; a careful reconstruction of its literary and historical context (following the battle of Actium in 31 BC which made Augustus Caesar master of the Roman world); and a description of the main outlines of its structure. At the book’s core is a detailed analysis of each of the epic’s twelve books, with particular emphasis on the later, less often read ones; and this is followed by two further chapters, one dealing with Virgil’s use of form and some related theoretical problems, the other with a closer examination of the poem’s verbal fabric.

Kenneth Quinn was a fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge and later became Professor of Classics in the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is author of The Catullan Revolution (1959; repr. BCP, 1999), Latin Explorations (Routledge, 1963) and standard editions of Catullus’ Poems (1970) and of Horace: Odes (1980).

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Author Information

Kenneth Quinn was a fellow of St John’s College, Cambridge and later became Professor of Classics in the University of Otago, New Zealand. He is author of The Catullan Revolution (1959; repr. BCP, 1999), Latin Explorations (Routledge, 1963) and standard editions of Catullus’ Poems (1970) and of Horace: Odes (1980).

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Chapter 1: The Heroic Impulse
Chapter 2: Genesis -
I. What is the Aeneid about?
II. The Task and its Problems III. The Problems Solved
Chapter 3: Structure -
I. General Description
II. Structure of the Twelve Books
III. The Episodes
IV. Projection of the Narrator into his Narrative
V. Parallel and Suspended Narrative
VI. Tempo of the Narrative: Tenses
Chapter 4: The Twelve Books
Chapter 5: Form and Technique - Part 1: Form
I. Not only Homer
II. Difference in attitude between Virgil and Homer
III. The Exploitation of Form
IV. Impure Poetry
Part 2: Technique
I. Gods
II. Characterization and Motivation
III. Parallel Divine and Psychological Motivation
IV. Fate
Part 3: The Contribution of Tragedy
I. Tragic Attitude
II. Tragic Suspense
III. Tragic Irony and Insight
IV. Implicit Comment
Chapter 6: Style -
I. Words Alone
II. Words in Action (i) The Tradition: (a) Ennius and the Old Poets
(b) Catullus and the New Poets
(c) A Common Style (ii) Innovation - callida iunctura. (a) Latent Metaphor; (b) Archaism brought about by Context; (c) Etymological Puns (iii) Ambiguity (iv) Syntactical Ambiguity III. The Virgilian Sentence (i) Metre; (ii) Theme and Variation (iii) Subordinate Clauses (iv) Imagery