A Commentary on Livy: books 1-5 by R.M. Ogilvie

By R.M. Ogilvie

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Kennedy 1984:€89–95. Petrarch’s bow to the epic segment of the Virgilian career was the Africa, on which he worked sporadically from the late 1330’s until his death (the poem was not published until 1397). His chief ancient model was both honoured and criticized, for in Scipio Africanus, unlike Aeneas, we have a hero verging on the faultless. 43 Anger, too, is a unifying factor. We have already seen the importance of its appearance at the beginning and the conclusion of the Aeneid. It figures prominently as a motivating force for the implementation of mutation in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.

Just as when flame with raging south winds falls on a crop, or a rushing swirl of a mountain stream lays low fields, lays low fertile seedlings and the efforts of cattle, and drags forests headlong. ’23 Troy’s fall is like the moment when elemental forces of nature obliterate the traces of humankind, in this case of man the farmer, one of whose tasks, the Georgics teaches us, is to keep wild nature at bay. The shepherd, standard protagonist of pastoral poetry, is both physically and, in terms of metapoetics, generically removed from the distant horror that he witnesses.

12 (588, 592), as echo of fumantia (569). 30 For a further echo between Eclogue 1 and Aeneid 12 note the reflection of nos patriae … arua (Ecl. 1. 34) in nos patria … aruis (Aen. 236–7). See Putnam 2001:€331–2. 33 It also anticipates the last word of the epic as (Aen. ’ Again, Virgil would have us reread, and recontemplate. But is John Hollander, in his recent splendid lectures on shade, entirely on the mark when he states that ‘the umbrae into which Turnus descends with a moan of indignation … are of another stuff entirely’ from Tityrus’ nocturnal shadows (Hollander unpublished)?

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