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The Alternative Augustan Age$
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Josiah Osgood, Kit Morrell, and Kathryn Welch

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190901400

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190901400.001.0001

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Gauls on Top

Gauls on Top

Provincials Ruling Rome on the Shield of Aeneas

(p.247) 16 Gauls on Top
The Alternative Augustan Age

Geraldine Herbert-Brown

Oxford University Press

Of the select scenes encapsulating Roman history on Vergil’s shield of Aeneas (Aen. 8.652–62), it is the Gallic siege of the Capitol which presents the greatest difficulty for Vergilians wishing to accommodate it to any detailed scheme. As a result, it has become scholarly commonplace to consult the history of Livy as an aid to interpreting Vergil, and to reach a conclusion based upon it. This chapter aims to show that interpreting Vergil through Livy is a flawed approach. It analyzes Vergil’s Gallic siege independently of Livy, considers the ramifications for interpreting the shield as a whole, and offers an alternative vantage point from which to contemplate the Aeneid and the early Augustan period which produced it.

Keywords:   Vergil, Livy, Aeneid, shield of Aeneas, Gauls, Capitol

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