Vergil's Empire: Political Thought in the Aeneid

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Rowman & Littlefield, 2003 - Political Science - 349 pages
In Vergil's Empire, Eve Adler offers an exciting new interpretation of the political thought of Vergil's Aeneid. Adler argues that in this epic poem, Vergil presents the theoretical foundations of a new political order, one that resolves the conflict between scientific enlightenment and ancestral religion that permeated the ancient world. The work concentrates on Vergil's response to the physics, psychology, and political implications of Lucretius' Epicurean doctrine expressed in De Rerum Natura. Proceeding by a close analysis of the Aeneid, Adler examines Vergil's critique of Carthage as a model of universal enlightenment, his positive doctrine of Rome as a model of universal religion, and his criticism of the heroism of Achilles, Odysseus, and Epicurus in favor of the heroism of Aeneas. Beautifully written and clearly argued, Vergil's Empire will be of great value to all interested in the classical world.

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Contents

The Theme of the Aeneid
3
The Song of Iopas and the Song of Vergil
9
The Carthaginian Enlightenment
17
Was There a Roman Enlightenment?
41
Lucretius Teaching
53
Furor
77
Dido in Love
103
THE GREATER ORDER OF THINGS
135
World Empire
193
PIETATIS IMAGO
217
Piety and Heroic Virtue
219
Aeneas and the Heroes
233
The Education of Aeneas I
253
The Education of Aeneas II
281
Notes
301
Bibliography
335

The Theme of the Aeneid Again
137
The Golden Age
147
Aeneas Founding of Rome
167

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About the author (2003)

Eve Adler is professor of classics at Middlebury College and has published four previous books and translations.

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