Intertextuality in Latin Poetry

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

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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 library was much larger than Homer, and his modes of adaptation extended far beyond imitation. Servius himself interprets Virgil’s Eclogues (42-39 BCE)

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Citation: Bernstein, Neil. "Intertextuality in Latin Poetry". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 August 2020 [, accessed 04 December 2023.]

19595 Intertextuality in Latin Poetry 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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