Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS: http://ethos.bl.uk/OrderDetails.do?uin=uk.bl.ethos.628178
Title: Reading Servius in context and reception
Author: Foster, Frances
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2012
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Abstract:
The earliest Virgilian manuscripts are from the fourth century, so all we have are multiple receptions of Virgil. Virgil’s most famous commentator, Servius, lived at the time when Roman culture was being Christianised and when the greatness of Rome projected in Virgil was in flux. I focus on the reception of Virgil through Servius in this context, concluding with later adaptations in mediaeval Christian England. I identify different layers of reception. First, Servius s commentary on Virgil, in the context of his contemporaries, Claudian and Augustine. The former uses Virgil to support the greatness of Rome, the latter uses Virgil to give cultural status to his Christian interpretation. However, all three present a construction of Rome either as the great city of the past, the present or the future. Secondly, I identify persona as a layer of reception in which Servius and Virgil appear as personae constructed as characters in literary texts. Thirdly, I show how the material text can be seen as another layer of reception: whilst Virgil’s text is presented in a relatively stable format, Servius s Commentary changes with each instantiation. I analyse two Christian receptions of the physical text: Proba’s reception of Virgil, and Isidores reception of Servius. The former presents Jesus as a classical epic hero, the latter fixes words and meanings. Finally, I move to mediaeval England, and a less explicit reception of Virgil and Servius in Lydgate and Maydiston. Royal entry poems and the Fall of Princes define rulership authorised by references to the past. They re-imagine cities and rulers by projecting an imagined Roman model onto the mediaeval world. Servius can be seen as an outstanding example of why reception studies should also consider the teacher and the educator when discussing reception of Virgil in the fourth century and beyond.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.628178  DOI: Not available
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