Intertextuality in Latin Poetry (3474 words)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay


Intertextuality at the point of reception

The ancient commentator Servius (fl. early 5th century CE) claims in the preface to his commentary on Virgil’s Aeneid that one of the poet’s purposes was “to imitate Homer” (intentio Vergilii haec est, Homerum imitari). In a restricted sense, this statement is undeniable: numerous passages of the epic are either direct translations or close adaptations of Homer’s works. Several of Virgil’s characters appeared earlier in Homer’s Iliad, or are recognizably modeled on Homeric figures (Barchiesi 2015, Knauer 1964). As the ancient commentators certainly recognized, however, Virgil’s …

Citation: Bernstein, Neil. "Intertextuality in Latin Poetry". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 August 2020 [, accessed 30 September 2020.]

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