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Siobhan Chomse on Virgil's Aeneid

Siobhan Chomse: Sublime Cities in Virgil's Aeneid
When May 01, 2014
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where Room G.21
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cf. Part II paper A1 on Virgil, Aeneid and Homer, Odyssey

This lecture will explore the ways in which Virgil constructs the cities of the Aeneid as sublime spaces. I shall focus upon Carthage in Books 1 and 4; Troy in Book 2; and finally Rome in Book 8, examining the way in which the sublime cities of Carthage and Troy pave the way for the transtemporal tour of the site of Rome on which Evander leads Aeneas in Book 8, and for the vision of Augustan Rome on the Shield of Aeneas. I shall draw briefly upon Longinus (thus touching upon some of the 'sublime' passages of Homer's Odyssey that Longinus selects) and upon Lucretius' De Rerum Natura, as well as upon the work of Edmund Burke in order to provide the students with a succinct but rounded sense of the idea of the sublime, and to facilitate my discussion of the Aeneid. Through the course of the lecture I shall show that Virgil's use of the sublime is central to his engagement with Augustan ideology and the image of Augustan Rome that he projects.

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