4 DEGENERATE NEOPTOLEMUS: PRAISE POETRY AND THE NOVELIZATION OF THE AENEID

Jeffrey S. Carnes

 

Arguably the most important development in the study of the Aeneid over the past two decades has been the growing appreciation of the poem's generic and moral complexity.1 The Aeneid, we find, is not a straightforward epic, a mere piece of Augustan propaganda, serving only to bolster the newly-established principate; nor, conversely, should it be read as a thinly-disguised attack on the whole Augustan enterprise. Rather, the poem manifests a high degree of ambiguity and complexity, exhibiting a heteroglossia of nationally-, sexually- and generically-constituted voices, and the classicists who have demonstrated the openendedness of the Aeneid have been ...

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