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The Harvard School, Virgil, and Political History: Pure Innocence or Pure in No Sense?

Powell, Anton

The Classical World, Fall 2017, Vol.111(1), pp.96-101 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    The Harvard School, Virgil, and Political History: Pure Innocence or Pure in No Sense?
  • Author: Powell, Anton
  • Description: An audience that has lived through decades of civil war does itself tend to be disturbed, both by what it has lived through and also by (to reapply a phrase of Tacitus, Ann. 14.31) metu graviorum, the fear of worse in future.[...]the Harvard School does not attend critically to Roman history.If scholars of the Harvard School would address the question of Virgil's politics in Virgil's political context, they might even find something particularly congenial to the romantic, anti-establishment sentiments of many literary critics (and of very many young students): poet as willing martyr in a humane cause.Whether we think of the poet of the Aeneid as a systematic underminer of Augustus, or merely as a fairly obedient but willful author who inconveniently withheld, and then threatened to destroy, a poem which the Princeps evidently judged of great benefit to himself, we may agree that Virgil possibly paid a high price for his flight close to the sun: that Augustus, to secure the poem, possibly hastened its author's end.
  • Is Part Of: The Classical World, Fall 2017, Vol.111(1), pp.96-101
  • Identifier: ISSN: 00098418 ; E-ISSN: 15589234 ; DOI: 10.1353/clw.2017.0078
  • Subjects: Maro, Publius Vergilius ; Poetry ; Civil War ; Audiences ; Attitudes ; Biographies ; Poets ; Political History ; Pedagogy ; Roman Civilization
  • Language: English
  • Source: © ProQuest LLC All rights reserved
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