NOTE: The Seminars are back at the Greek Centre from this week.
Lecturer: Dr Anne Rogerson
It is often said that children represent the future, and this is certainly true of the most prominent child character in Virgil's Aeneid - Ascanius, the young son of the hero Aeneas.
In this lecture, Dr Anne Rogerson will trace key moments in Ascanius' career throughout the epic, and discuss how they reflect on the narrative agenda: to establish the refugees of the fall of Troy in Italy and put them on a path that leads to a Roman future and world domination.
Ascanius is introduced in Book One by Jupiter (father of gods and of men) as a vitally important link in a generational chain that leads from Aeneas and his divine mother Venus to the Julio-Claudian family and the emperor Augustus.
At the same time, however, this introduction hints at discontinuities in the smooth flow from one generation to the next, and also at the personal cost to the child who is here made a symbol of future glory. Later episodes further expose the fault lines in Virgil's representation of this important child, whose natural instincts and desire to grow up to play the part of a man in his father's epic are continually suppressed.
The Roman future is held out as a promise at the same time that its achievement and success are questioned: Virgil's Ascanius is at the heart of a complicated view of the possibilities of the achievement of empire.
Anne Rogerson is the Charles Tesoriero Lecturer in Latin at the University of Sydney, and specializes in Latin epic and lyric poetry, as well as the later reception of Virgil's Aeneid.
She is the author of a number of articles, and a book on the Aeneid ("Virgil's Ascanius: imagining the future in the Aeneid"), soon to be published by Cambridge University Press.
Our sincere thanks to: Nick Dallas | Nick & Marina Theophilou for sponsoring this seminar.
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