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Clipeus Hesiodicus: Aeneid 8 and the Shield of Heracles

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image of Mnemosyne

AbstractIn this paper I argue that the ecphrasis of Aeneid 8 contains an extensive pattern of allusion to the Ps.-Hesiodic Shield of Heracles. Other scholars have noted several of these references, but the frequency of such echoes and the scope of this subtext have, thus far, passed largely undetected. These recollections are not isolated nor are they merely learned allusions. Rather, they should be read in connection with the use of Herculean themes and imagery as a foil for Aeneas and, by extension, Augustus elsewhere in the Aeneid. As such, they are a vital complement to the Iliadic motifs that are also present in Aeneid 8. The resulting synthesis captures the celebratory optimism of the early principate while simultaneously acknowledging the strife whence it was born.

Affiliations: 1: Baylor University, Department of ClassicsOne Bear Place # 97352, Waco, Texas 76798USTimothy_Heckenlively@baylor.edu

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2013-01-01
2016-12-10

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