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MaieusisEssays in Ancient Philosophy in Honour of Myles Burnyeat$
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Dominic Scott

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289974

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289974.001.0001

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Virgil's Sacred Duo: Phaedrus' Symposium Speech and Aeneid IX *

Virgil's Sacred Duo: Phaedrus' Symposium Speech and Aeneid IX *

(p.154) 8 Virgil's Sacred Duo: Phaedrus' Symposium Speech and Aeneid IX *

Robert Wardy

Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to show that Virgil's Aeneid is influenced by Plato's Symposium. It then considers what Virgil does to incorporate his Platonic material. Virgil, most learned and allusive of authors, never superficially tosses in a citation or generates an echo for its own sake: for him, writing is rewriting, as he harmoniously or polemically engages with the multiple traditions which he so spectacularly enriches. It is argued that the Nisus and Euryalus episode in Aeneid IX draws curious inspiration from Phaedrus' speech in Plato's Symposium. The writing of Aeneid IX is informed by a reading of Phaedrus' speech: this bald causal hypothesis is readily defensible.

Keywords:   Virgil, Plato, Aeneid, speech, Nisus, Euryalus

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