Apostol, Ricardo Andres.
Rome's Bucolic Landscapes: Place, Prophecy, and Power in Aeneid VIII.
Degree: PhD, Classical Studies, 2009, University of Michigan
Vergil’s Aeneid is a key text for the study of the Augustan regime’s justification of its unprecedented power. In the crucial settings of the bestowal of Aeneas’ Shield and the early site of Rome, book VIII gives evidence of a deep concern with the historical and religious foundations of that power. This dissertation traces the numerous and clearly signposted bucolic allusions in the text to reconstruct their role as interpretive guides pointing the way to a pro-Augustan political message.
These bucolic allusions occur in four pivotal episodes of Aeneid VIII, all entailing descriptions of places: the Hercules and Cacus episode, the conferral of the Shield of Aeneas, the myth of the Golden Age and Saturn’s reign, and Evander’s tour of the site of Rome. The current study uses these allusions to reinterpret these episodes and to provide an overarching theory of Vergil’s use in book VIII of allusion to Theocritus and his own Eclogues, as well as such related texts as the Georgics, with special attention to the rustic deities Faunus, Silvanus, and Pan.
This reinterpretation reveals a text that grounds its support for Roman power on claims of vatic insight into the historical process, and which appeals to the contemporary Roman reader to look at Rome after the civil wars and see the gleaming city as proof of its historical promise. At the same time, it critiques a rival rationalist tradition as unsatisfying and unavailable to the majority of people. What emerges is a complex dialogue between faith and reason that stretches back to encompass all of Vergil’s oeuvre.
The concern with Rome’s roots and prophetic insight suggests the importance of using traditional terms to justify Augustan ideology. Vergil’s use of the bucolic as a bridge between the epic past and contemporary Rome also suggests new avenues of generic interpretation. Finally, the text’s construction of the Roman reader poses the question of intended audience, raising the possibility that the Aeneid was designed to draw support from a newly empowered, educated class: the Roman equites.
Advisors/Committee Members: Reed, Joseph D. (committee member), Acosta-Hughes, Benjamin (committee member), Amrine, Frederick R. (committee member), Scodel, Ruth S. (committee member).
Subjects/Keywords: Vergil; Aeneid VIII; Bucolic; Bakhtin; Genre; Vates; Classical Studies; Humanities
This passage associates gleaming and water, thus preparing the reader to… …poplar pleases Alcides greatly”), who will soon appear in Aeneid VIII and let his cows… …Aeneid VIII.51, 53).
Eclogue X features the river Arethusa, to whom the speaker appeals… …western waters.
Only, be by my side, and draw your protection nearer.”
Aeneid VIII.71-3, 76-8… …bottom” (Aeneid VIII.66-7), which recalls the Arethusa sinking down beneath
to Zotero / EndNote / Reference
APA (6th Edition):
Apostol, R. A. (2009). Rome's Bucolic Landscapes: Place, Prophecy, and Power in Aeneid VIII. (Doctoral Dissertation). University of Michigan. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/62329
Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):
Apostol, Ricardo Andres. “Rome's Bucolic Landscapes: Place, Prophecy, and Power in Aeneid VIII.” 2009. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Michigan. Accessed April 16, 2021.
MLA Handbook (7th Edition):
Apostol, Ricardo Andres. “Rome's Bucolic Landscapes: Place, Prophecy, and Power in Aeneid VIII.” 2009. Web. 16 Apr 2021.
Apostol RA. Rome's Bucolic Landscapes: Place, Prophecy, and Power in Aeneid VIII. [Internet] [Doctoral dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2009. [cited 2021 Apr 16].
Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/62329.
Council of Science Editors:
Apostol RA. Rome's Bucolic Landscapes: Place, Prophecy, and Power in Aeneid VIII. [Doctoral Dissertation]. University of Michigan; 2009. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/2027.42/62329