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Tombs of the Ancient PoetsBetween Literary Reception and Material Culture$
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Nora Goldschmidt and Barbara Graziosi

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198826477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198826477.001.0001

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The Tomb of Virgil between Text, Memory, and Site

The Tomb of Virgil between Text, Memory, and Site

(p.265) 13 The Tomb of Virgil between Text, Memory, and Site
Tombs of the Ancient Poets

Irene Peirano Garrison

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the earliest traditions clustering around Virgil’s tomb. Its geographical location on the Via Puteolana, identified in the ancient lives, activates not only literary memories of the Aeneid (the landscape of Aeneas’ landfall and descent into the underworld), but also memories associated with the landscape itself in other sources. The chapter also investigates how the physical space of the tomb functioned as an early site of poetic succession: the land was acquired by the poet Silius Italicus, whose veneration of the tomb and claim to Virgil’s literary inheritance is taken up by Martial and Pliny the Younger. These accounts and traditions are examined within the context of the ancient topos of the neglected and rediscovered grave.

Keywords:   Virgil’s tomb, crypta Neapolitana, Silius Italicus, Martial, Pliny the Younger, Cicero, Archimedes, landscape, reception, poetic succession

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