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Title: Recognizing epiphany : exploring the theme of epiphany in the epics of Homer, Apollonius, and Vergil
Author: Schulz, Kathryn
ISNI:       0000 0004 7966 1310
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores the versatile theme of epiphany in the Iliad, Odyssey, Argonautica, and Aeneid. Chapter 1 sets forth the major scene patterns to be adopted, arguing that an understanding of the traditional narrative elements of epiphany helps to enhance, rather than limit, the reader's appreciation of these scenes. Part I then considers how these motifs intersect with the themes of agency and recognition in the Homeric poems. Chapter 2 examines three scenes in which a mortal's usurpation of a divine motif challenges the epiphanic hierarchy. The Iliad represents such attempts as transgressive, whereas the Odyssey shows Athena willingly transferring a motif to Odysseus before casting him as a divine agent in her plot against the suitors. Chapter 3 explores the extent to which the Ithacan recognition scenes evoke the theme of epiphany as a result of Odysseus's "theoxenic" role. In Chapter 4, Nausicaa is discussed as a parallel example of a mortal who is authorised, as a divine agent, to appear temporarily as an epiphanic figure. Part II turns to Apollonius and Vergil. As with other "typical" elements, Apollonius demonstrates his ability to reproduce Homeric narrative conventions of epiphany, but his interest in problematizing recognition leads him to reject any semblance of structural unity in his epiphanies. Chapter 6 examines how Vergil, by contrast, signals his intent to follow Homeric models through an excessive adherence to traditional motifs in his first epiphany. Chapter 7 explores questions of agency tied to Vergil's extension of epiphanic roles to figures on the margins between humanity and divinity, focusing on the epiphanies of Tiberinus, Juturna, and Anchises. Finally, Chapter 8 considers how Vergil evokes both Odyssean and Iliadic models of "mortal epiphany" in his treatment of Aeneas's future divinity, only to reject them in favour of a distinctly Roman model of apotheosis.
Supervisor: Rutherford, Richard Sponsor: Oxford Pearson Graduate Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Classics