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Virgil Society: Reading of Aeneid 2, AGM, Nicholas Freer Lecture

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Senate House Building, G22/26

Malet St

London

WC1E 7HU

United Kingdom

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Virgil Society. 11.30 Reading Aeneid 2; 2.30 Annual General Meeting; 3.00 Dr Nicholas Freer, “Epicureanism and Virgil’s Carthage episode”

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11.30 Reading the poet: Aeneid Book 2

(read by society members, led by John Hazel) Text and translation will be on screen, but bring your own copy of Aeneid 2 if you wish

12.45 Lunch For this year we will not be providing a buffet lunch as the situation in regard to Covid is still so uncertain. There are a number of places near Senate House where a lunch can be obtained and, for those bringing a packed lunch, on a fine day, Russell Square (which also contains a café) is nearby. We hope to return to our normal arrangements next year.

Like many organisations we are now encouraging members to bring their own mugs for the drinks provided at meetings. The disposable mugs we use are becoming more difficult to obtain and we would prefer not to add to plastic waste.

2.30 Annual General Meeting (full formal information below)

3.00 Dr Nicholas Freer (University of Iceland)

“Epicureanism and Virgil’s Carthage episode”

Readers since Servius have identified an Epicurean strain in Virgil’s Dido that contrasts with Aeneas’ apparent Stoicism, as well as specifically Lucretian language and imagery connecting Carthage with the Garden of Epicurus (see e.g. Hardie 1986; Hamilton 1993; Lyne 1994; Dyson 1996; Gordon 1998, 2012). Tracing Virgil’s engagement both with Lucretius and with the works of Philodemus, this paper proposes that there is an even richer and more persistent Epicurean presence in the Carthage episode than has hitherto been noted. It argues that Virgil shapes the behaviour and attitudes of Dido and Aeneas with particular attention to the proem of Book 2 of Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura, while also drawing on a range of previously unrecognised Philodemean sources, including the treatises On Anger, On Death, On Rhetoric, and On the Good King According to Homer. In doing so, I suggest, Virgil presents Carthage as a model of a prosperous kingdom run on Epicurean lines: a kingdom founded not on conquest or self-sacrifice, but instead on Epicurean principles of pleasure, moderation, and friendship.

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Senate House Building, G22/26

Malet St

London

WC1E 7HU

United Kingdom

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