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Shaggy CrownsEnnius' Annales and Virgil's Aeneid$
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Nora Goldschmidt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199681297

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199681297.001.0001

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Epic Examples

Epic Examples

(p.149) 5 Epic Examples
Shaggy Crowns

Nora Goldschmidt

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 investigates the ways in which exemplum – a fundamental way of remembering the past in Roman culture – is exploited by Ennius and Virgil. As a number of fragments quoted by diverse sources show, the Annales—echoing similar exemplary preoccupations in the literature and culture of the early Republic—can be seen in many ways as an epic of exempla, and this aspect of the poem would have been increasingly emphasized as it gained a position in the canon as a school text. In the parade of heroes, and more broadly on the battlefield of the Aeneid (where Turnus, in particular, is represented as a proto-Ennian Horatius Cocles and Decius) Virgil’s poem appropriates and perverts the examples Ennius had enshrined in Roman epic in order to carve out a space for itself as the new repository of Roman exemplary memory.

Keywords:   Annales, Aeneid, exempla, Horatius Cocles, Decius

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