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Ritual and Religion in Flavian Epic$
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Antony Augoustakis

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644094

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644094.001.0001

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Divine Messages and Human Actions in the Argonautica

Divine Messages and Human Actions in the Argonautica

(p.33) 2 Divine Messages and Human Actions in the Argonautica
Ritual and Religion in Flavian Epic

Gesine Manuwald

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the description of divine messages and their impact on the human characters in ValeriusFlaccus’ Argonautica: although human beings never learn details of the overall divine world–plan that they are made to implement, they acknowledge divine interference and make attempts at learning details about the future via prophecies and oracles. Ultimately, the humans, though unaware, and the gods are subject to the workings of fate and Jupiter’s world–plan, which provide a framework of outside forces. By increasing the role of destiny,Valerius has created a set–up not only in line with the literary tradition of epic,but also relevant to philosophical concerns of his time; this provides a means of explaining events otherwise difficult to understand.

Keywords:   Valerius Flaccus, gods, Jupiter, fate, prophecy, oracle

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