Mystery Cult in Vergil

In: Mnemosyne
Fiachra Mac Góráin University College London London United Kingdom

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Damien Nelis Université de Genève Geneva Switzerland

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In this paper we begin with a brief survey of the presence of the mysteries in Greek and Latin epic poetry, before giving an overview of the mysteries in Vergil and attempting to identify the function of the references to mystery religion in Aeneid 6. Throughout, we consider the modality of how the poets allude to the mysteries in ways that allow mystery cults to take on a life of their own in imaginative literary representations, arriving at the conclusion that it is only by means of closer collaboration between literary critics and historians of religion that progress will be made in this complex field of study.

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