Book Series Studies and Texts, vol. 126

An Aeneid Commentary of Mixed Type

J. Ward Jones (ed)

  • Pages: 248 p.
  • Size:175 x 260 mm
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:1997

  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-126-3
  • Hardback
  • Available


The Aeneid of Vergil, Rome's great epic, became a school text almost as soon as it was published in 19 BC. Schoolmasters quickly began to compose commentaries on it. Commentaries in the Imperial period explicated basic meaning and offered enlightenment on matters as rhetoric, grammar, mythology and historical and religious antiquities. In the Middle Ages a new line of interpretation was created as exegetes allegorized the Aeneid in order to provide moral and ethical instruction and fit it to the new Christian context. This new tradition culminated in the commentary on the first six books of the Aeneid commonly attributed to Bernardus Silvestris (twelfth century). In the early Renaissance, the imperial and medieval traditions were juxtaposed.