A fresh look at the neglected topic of the battle narrative of the Aeneid
Moving beyond the usual pairing of Homer and Virgil, Iliad and Aeneid, Rossi refutes the notion that Homer is the only code model for the latter. This in-depth study reveals that Virgilian battle narrative assimilates conventions of other literary genres, namely historiography and, indirectly, tragedy. Rossi demonstrates how Virgilian war narrative allows multiple and diachronic visions of reality, and hence multiple systems of signification, to co-exist in the text. In this way, Virgil's Aeneid detaches itself from the Homeric epic and forcefully asserts its own relative modernity.
Andreola Rossi is Assistant Professor, Department of Classics, Harvard University.