Homeric Effects in Vergil's Narrative

Homeric Effects in Vergil's Narrative

Alessandro Barchiesi

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780691161815

Publisher: Princeton University Press


The study of Homeric imitations in Vergil has one of the longest traditions in Western culture, starting from the very moment the Aeneid was circulated. This is the first English translation of one of the most important and influential modern studies in this tradition. As a revised and expanded edition it advances innovative approaches even as it recuperates significant earlier interpretations, from Servius to G. N. Knauer. Approaching Homeric allusions in the Aeneid as “narrative effects” rather than glimpses of the creative mind of the author at work, the book demonstrates how these allusions generate hesitations and questions, as well as insights and guidance, and how they participate in the creation of narrative meaning. The book also examines how layers of competing interpretations in Homer are relevant to the Aeneid, revealing again the richness of the Homeric tradition as a component of meaning in the Aeneid. Finally, the book goes beyond previous studies of the Aeneid by distinguishing between two forms of Homeric intertextuality: reusing a text as an individual model or as a generic matrix. For this edition, a new chapter has been added, and in a new afterword the author puts the book in the context of changes in the study of Latin literature and intertextuality. The book has valuable insights for the wider study of imitation, allusion, intertextuality, epic, and literary theory.