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Title: Vergil and Tacitus : an examination of the nature and significance of Vergil's influence upon the language and themes of the Annales
Author: Bews, Janet Patricia
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 1966
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The following study consists of an examination of all those verbal parallels between the works of Vergil and the Annales of Tacitus, which have been noted by commentators, together with my own additions to the material, with the purpose of establishing the validity of the parallels suggested, and assessing their artistic significance. By comparing with the usage of other writers the parallels noted, and, in doubtful cases, considering also the distribution within Vergil's works of language possibly imitated by Tacitus, we can reduce considerably the number of probable direct verbal imitations. Some of the parallels are in themselves invalid, and, for others, there are possible alternative sources in the works of other writers or in the common literary currency of the day. The list of probable direct imitations of Vergil still remains substantial. An examination of imitated phrases in their Vergilian contexts shows that although some are isolated examples, they tend to be concentrated in certain scenes, often clustering within a few lines of one another. Tacitus is especially familiar-with the description of the storm in Aeneid One, Book Two in general, and the Council of the Latinsin Book Eleven. There are consistent relationships between phrases which reveal both his attitude to the characters in the Aeneid. And his preoccupation with the tragic elements in its themes. Within the Annales, Vergilian imitations are important less as simple stylistic elements than as a means of heightening the implications of their contexts. Patterns of relationship are established, integral to the portrayal of Tiberius, Germanicus, and Nero. As with many examples in their Vergilian contexts, a main linking idea is power and the individual's relation to it, particularly the relation between oppressor and victim. The tragic themes of the Aeneid reappear in the Annales. Vergilian material is thus an important means whereby Tacitus presents his interpretation of historical events.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Classical Literature