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Parthenope: The Interplay of Ideas in Vergilian Bucolic

by Gregson Davis
Leiden ; Boston : Brill, 2012.
Mnemosyne. Supplements ; volume 346
Mnemosyne, bibliotheca classica Batava Supplementum
9789004233089 (hardback : alk. paper), 9004233083 (hardback : alk. paper), 9789004233256 (e-book), 9004233253 (e-book)
This study of the 'Eclogues' focusses on Vergil's exploration of issues relating to the subject of human happiness ('eudaimonia') - ideas that were the subject of robust debate in contemporary philosophical schools, including the community of émigré Epicurean teachers and their Roman pupils located in the vicinity of Naples ("Parthenope"). The latent "interplay of ideas" implicit in the songs of the various poet-herdsmen centers on differing attitudes to acute misfortune and loss, particularly in the spheres of land dispossession and frustrated erotic desire. In the bucolic dystopia that Vergil constructs for his audience, the singers resort to different means of coping with the vagaries of fortune (tyche). This relatively neglected ethical dimension of the poems in the Bucolic collection receives a systematic treatment that provides a useful complement to the primarily aesthetic and socio-political approaches that have predominated in previous scholarship.
  • Prelude : the poet as thinker
  • Framing a dialogue on vicissitude : the interplay of ideas in Ecl. 1
  • Fracta cacumina : the consolation of poetry and its limitations (Ecl. 9)
  • Vicissitude writ large : the ontology of the Golden Age (Ecl. 4)
  • Coping with death : the interplay of lament and consolation in Ecl. 5
  • Coping with erotic adversity : Carmen et Amor (Ecl. 2 & 8)
  • Erotic vicissitude writ large (Ecl. 6)
  • "Ecquis erit modus?" : the Vergilian critique of elegiac amor (Ecl. 10)
  • Postlude : dulcis Parthenope.
x, 181 pages ; 24 cm.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Statement
Mnemosyne, bibliotheca classica Batava. Supplementum v. 346
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