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Title: Virgil: Reception and the Myth of Biography
Authors: Laird, Andrew
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Andrew Laird, “Virgil: Reception and the Myth of Biography”, in: CentoPagine III (2009), pp. 1-9
Ideas of Virgil´s `reception´ and of his mythical `biography´ can both be illuminated by an
exploration of Virgil´s role as a constructed character in his own poetry. The consensus between
some earlier Roman responses to Virgil and the traditions of commentary on the poet from later in
antiquity informs the following discussion of the poet´s individual presence in the performance and
reception of his work. Earlier sources, which show an interest in the development of Virgil´s work
over time, often convey a strong sense of the poet´s character.
Later material, mostly in the form of commentary, presents Virgil as an instructor - of poetic
technique, rhetoric, and philosophy, who composes to be heard as well as read. The role ascribed to
the poet by all of his ancient readers amounts to a dramatic role. It will be argued that the Eclogues,
Georgics and Aeneid are not only representations of pastoral, heroic, and historical worlds: through
their reception they constitute a representation of the poet´s character, as an autographic imprint of
of Virgil himself.
Type: Article
ISSN: 19740395
Appears in Collections:CentoPagine 2009

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