incredibilis fama”: Some Remnants of Time in Virgilian Epic

in KronoScope
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?



This paper reads out two very well-known moments in Books 3 and 1 of Virgil’s epic poem in order to address a Virgilian tactic, a poetic strategy, that has not been fully requited in the criticism. These are moments in which the poet chooses to foreground absurd, excessive, epiphenomenal and short-lived things that time seems to bring about. Aeneas, Virgil’s unlikely hero, struggles as much with such moments as he does with all the sworn enemies of the Trojans. He struggles especially with the temptation toward a poignant, nostalgic fixation on his tragic past. He is told that he must become devoted religiously to the greatest of Troy’s enemies, the goddess Juno. It is inside a Carthaginian temple dedicated to Juno that the hero experiences the ‘newness’ that a great work of art is always able to proffer. But Virgil knows that Carthage and Juno’s temple and the works of art themselves will all become follies of time, left in ruins by the romanitas that Aeneas has just been encouraged to prepare.

incredibilis fama”: Some Remnants of Time in Virgilian Epic

in KronoScope



BettiniMaurizio “Ghosts of Exile: Doubles and Nostalgia in Vergil’s parva Troia.” Classical Antiquity 1997 16 8 33

BlockElizabeth The Effects of Divine Manifestation on the Reader’s Perspective in Vergil’s Aeneid 1981 New York

ConteGian Biagio The Poetry of Pathos: Studies in Virgilian Epic. 2007 Oxford Oxford UP

GreeneThomas BloomHarold “The Descent from Heaven: Virgil.” Virgil: Modern Critical Views 1986 New York Chelsea House

HorsfallNicholas Virgil Aeneid 3: a Commentary 2006 Leiden Brill

JamesS.L. “Establishing Rome with the Sword: condere in the Aeneid.” The American Journal of Philology 1995 116 4 623 637

MackSara Patterns of Time in Vergil Hamden, CT Archon Press

P. Vergili Maronis Opera 1969 recognovit R.A.B. Mynors Oxonii e typographeo Clarendoniano

MillerJ.F. “The Shield of Argive Abas at Aeneid 3.286.” Classical Quarterly 1993 43 ii 445 450

ParryAdam BloomHarold “The Two Voices of Virgil’s Aeneid.” Virgil: Modern Critical Views 1986 New York Chelsea House

PutnamMichael Virgil’s Aeneid: Interpretation and Influence 1995 Chapel Hill University of North Carolina Press

PutnamMichael C.J. Virgil’s Epic Design: Ekphrasis in the Aeneid 1998 New Haven Yale University Press

QuintDavid “Painful Memories: Aeneid 3 and the Problem of the Past.” Classical Journal 1982 78 30 38

ReedJ.D. Virgil’s Gaze: Nation and Poetry in the Aeneid 2007 Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press

SmithRiggs Alden The Primacy of Vision in Virgil’s Aeneid 2005 Austin University of Texas Press


David Quint (1982) has shown how this episode is a play upon Odysseus’ underworld experience in Odyssey 11 and a reversal of the typical Homeric structure of katabasis or journey down to the underworld. Andromache thinks that Aeneas’ shade has come up to her. See also Bettini (1997).


Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 12 12 9
Full Text Views 27 27 17
PDF Downloads 5 5 1
EPUB Downloads 2 2 0