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Virgil's Ptolemaic Relations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 March 2010

Phillip Hardie*
Affiliation:
Corpus Christi College, Oxford

Extract

An allusive plot of an incestuous brother-sister marriage runs through Virgil's story of Dido and Aeneas, signalled both by imagery comparing Dido and Aeneas to Diana and Apollo, moon and sun, and by allusion to Callimachean poems celebrating actual brother-sister marriages at the Ptolemaic court. Aeneas' departure from Carthage marks the relegation to the past of Alexandrian temptations and a journey to a future foundation based on exogamy, although Italy itself is not free from the dangers of incest and fratricide. Ovid's explicit tales of incest comment on Virgil's allusive narrative.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Phillip Hardie 2006. Exclusive Licence to Publish: The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

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Footnotes

*

Earlier versions of this article were delivered to audiences at the Universities of Lille, Thessaloniki, Michigan, and Nottingham, and the Oxford Philological Society; I am grateful to the audiences for their helpful comments, and also to Mary Depew, Stephen Harrison, and Phiroze Vasunia for reading and commenting on drafts.

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