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Look Inside Virgil in Medieval England

Virgil in Medieval England
Figuring The Aeneid from the Twelfth Century to Chaucer


Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: June 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521027083

£ 37.99

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About the Authors
  • What happens when a prestigious text of one period is read and reused in a different, much later world? What can we learn from the annotations accumulated by a single manuscript as it moved among different institutions and readerships? In this study Christopher Baswell takes as his model Virgil's ancient epic poem The Aeneid, which held many kinds of appeal for the culture of the Middle Ages. He examines a series of Latin manuscripts of the text which were copied in twelfth-century England but reused and reannotated for three centuries, and shows how their users approached the epic in very different ways. He then charts the progression from the Latin of the original to the vernaculars of the Roman d'Eneas and Chaucer's House of Fame and Legend of Good Women, to show how medieval vernacular poets used Virgil's prestige to lay their own claim to poetic and even political authority.

    • Looks at the impact of a classical text on medieval culture
    • Offers close exegetical readings
    • Broad appeal to classicists, medievalists, students of comparative literature
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521027083
    • length: 460 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.701kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: manuscripts and their contexts
    1. Auctor to Auctoritas: modes of access to Virgil in medieval England
    2. Pedagogical exegesis of Virgil in medieval England: Oxford All Souls College 82
    3. Spiritual allegory, platonising cosmology, and the Boethian Aeneid in medieval England: Cambridge, Peterhouse College, 158
    4. Moral allegory and the Aeneid in the time of Chaucer: London, BL Additional 27304
    5. The romance Aeneid
    6. Writing the reading of Virgil: Chaucerian authorities in the House of Fame and the Legend of Good Women
    Bibliography, Indexes.

  • Author

    Christopher Baswell, Barnard College, New York

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