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By Richard F. Thomas

This e-book examines the ideological reception of Virgil at particular moments long ago millennia. It makes a speciality of the emperor Augustus within the poetry of Virgil, detects within the poets and grammarians of antiquity professional- and anti-Augustan readings, stories Dryden's 1697 Royalist translation, and likewise naive American translation. It scrutinizes nineteenth-century philology's rewriting or excision of troubling readings, and covers readings via either supporters and rivals of fascism and nationwide Socialism. eventually it examines how successive a while have made the Aeneid agree to their upbeat expectancies of this poet.

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But it seems to me true throughout. Particularly with Virgil's ideology, the critical e¨ort has been towards stabilizing and classicizing, because the Aeneid in particular has had to stand for Rome, and Rome is the cultural anchor of Europe. 44 That is easily refuted by any number of models, but it is the received view of epic and of Virgilian epic in particular, and it needs constantly to be tested. 45 Normativity is constructed by familiarization, classicism is a notion that works backwards, is diachronic and retrospective, for the subsequent tradition could only deal with Virgil by anchoring him in some fashion, by back-forming classicism onto him.

Fully sympathetic as he was with the principate and the prince, he may well have been attracted especially by the spirit of these ``reforms,'' and this supposition will explain much in his Aeneid and, to a lesser extent, in the Georgics and the Eclogues. [emphasis added] The insistent language aims to persuade in the utter absence of evidence, and the core (``fully sympathetic as he was with the principate and the prince'') is unquestioningly accepted by most incidental, and even many engaged, Virgilian critics.

Some of S. Harrison's remarks in his study of Aeneid 10 suggest that we have not changed much since Servius in this area, even though he otherwise shows good critical instincts, for example when he perceives that ``Aeneas' war in Italy is . . ''8 And yet he draws the line at allowing any implication that Augustus, surely a participant in that ``civil war,'' is to be implicated: ``given the tradition of Roman military epic and the circumstances of the Aeneid's composition,'' he states, any criticism that sees ``an ambivalent or negative view of Augustus'' as a result of the 7 Presumably the basis of Aristophanes' imputation of Euripidean misogynism lies precisely in such passages.

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