Chapter

The Reception of the <i>Georgics</i> in Early Imperial Rome

Philip Thibodeau

in Playing the Farmer

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520268326
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950252 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520268326.003.0007
The Reception of the Georgics in Early Imperial Rome

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This chapter discusses the story of the Georgics' reception by readers of the early Empire through a description of some of its more colorful encounters. It also shows that the features of the poem that drew the most notice, and sparked the most interesting intellectual and creative responses, were precisely the ones examined in previous chapters—the Georgics' fantasies about farm labor, its idealization of rural quietism, its protreptic to agronomy, and its poetic evocations of the passions. The texts considered in the chapter fall into two categories. Some deal with the environment of the poem's reception and are intended to shed light on its performance and circulation, the involvement of its readers in country life, or their reactions to similar works of agronomy or didactic verse. However, most of the texts come from ancient readers who were responding in various ways to the specific contents of the Georgics, and in particular to the four features here listed.

Keywords: Vergil; Georgics; reception; Roman readers; farm labor; fantasy; rural quietism; protreptic; agronomy

Chapter.  15491 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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