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The Epic Successors of Virgil: A Study in the Dynamics of a Tradition (Roman Literature and its Contexts)

The Epic Successors of Virgil: A Study in the Dynamics of a Tradition (Roman Literature and its Contexts)

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Philip Hardie
Cambridge University Press, 7/5/2010
EAN 9780521425629, ISBN10: 052142562X

Paperback, 142 pages, 19.8 x 12.9 x 0.9 cm
Language: English

This short book is a study of the epic tradition of the early Roman empire and specifically of the epic poems of Ovid, Lucan, Statius, Valerius Flaccus and Silius Italicus. It explores the use they made of Virgil's Aeneid, an epic interpreted not just as a monument to the heroic construction of the principate, but also as a problematical text that challenged succeeding epic poets to a reworking of the issues that it dramatised: the possibility of establishing a lasting age of peace, the relation between power and the sacred, the difficulties of distinguishing between good and its evil parodies, anxiety about imperial and poetic succession. The author draws on modern critical and theoretical approaches to argue for the vitality and interest of works which have all too often been relegated to a second division of literary history.

1. Closure and continution
2. Sacrifice and substitution
3. Heaven and hell
4. Succession
fathers, poets, princes
Bibliography.