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Virgil Society - S. Chomse ‘Are you experienced? Aeneas and the sublime'

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Dr Siobhan Chomse (Royal Holloway, University of London) ‘Are you experienced? Aeneas and the sublime’

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At the beginning of Aeneid 5 Aeneas looks back from his ship at the city of Carthage in flames. What set the city ablaze? causa latet (5.5), though the reader knows better. The scene bears the hallmarks of the sublime but it is not clear that this is what Aeneas experiences. Here and elsewhere in the Aeneid the question of whether Aeneas experiences the sublime remains open. This paper seeks to answer that question and to consider what that answer might mean for our understanding of the poem.

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