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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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Virgil’s Tomb in Scholarly and Popular Culture

Virgil’s Tomb in Scholarly and Popular Culture

(p.281) 14 Virgil’s Tomb in Scholarly and Popular Culture
Tombs of the Ancient Poets

Harald Hendrix

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on the ‘rediscovery’ of Virgil’s tomb in the Renaissance, exploring its position in the cultures of scholarship, travel, and leisure. Clusters of poets’ graves sprang up around the so-called ‘tomb of Virgil’ in Piedigrotta near Naples, re-establishing it as a site of literary succession and inspiration; the tomb played a central role in the construction of Neapolitan urban identity and was a popular site for early modern travel and leisure, a role it still retains today. Generations of visitors to the tomb have felt a strong personal connection to the poet, a connection they have chosen to mark by leaving graffiti or notes at the tomb, by taking away laurel leaves, and by reciting and producing poetry at the site.

Keywords:   travel, leisure, fan culture, Naples, Virgil, Giacomo Leopardi, Iacopo Sanazzaro

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