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Exile In Latin Epic

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the theme of exile in the six main preserved Latin epics and and to show how it illustrates and promotes the central concerns of each of the poems. The poems are Vergil's Aeneid, Ovid's Metamorphoses, Lucan's De Bello Civili, Silius' Punica, Valerius Flaccus' Argonautica and Statius' Thebaid. It illustrates how each poem uses this element for its own particular purposes as well as demonstrating that such a dramatic idea has a natural place in the most elevated of literary genres. Though the different poems make varied use of the motif outside their responses to the Vergilian national or foundational exile, the emotional power of the theme of exile is continually evident. Thus the theme of exile contributes much to the grand passions and grand moralising of Latin epic as well as constituting a key element in its grand master plots.

Keywords: Aeneid ; exile; ktistic aspect of exile; Latin epics; Ovid's Metamorphoses; Tomis

10.1163/ej.9789004155152.i-298.13
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004155152.i-298.13
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