Virgils Aeneid: Semantic Relations and Proper Names

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

byMichael Paschalis

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The capacity of proper names to condense concepts, descriptions, or short narratives can tell us a lot about the Aeneid. But names only 'suggest' or 'evoke' meaning, which can be elicited and/or understood properly only by viewing it in a reading of the epic as a whole. Virgil's epic revealsrecurrent semantic patterns, which show that names are substituta ble semantic units. One way to elicit their meaning is by exploring the semantic environment in which they occur as well as related semantic environments elsewhere in the narrative, and by examining the way names combine with semanticunits of transparent meaning. This study offers a complete semantic analysis of the Aeneid by book, based on the discussion of semantic components and semantic sequences, and using the Laocoon-Horse sequence as a model. The analysis reveals a sustained, pervasive, and deep-going exploitation of themeaning of names. It yields new interpretations for every episode in the epic and provides the semantic features of most major characters. It sheds new light on the significance of Polydorus, the death of Anchises at Drepanum, the Nisus and Euryalus relationship, and Camilla's features in relationto the spearthrow of Metabus. It shows the authenticity of the Helen episode, as well as the significance of the catalogue of the of sinners in Tartarus, and of the deaths of Pallas and Turnus.

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From the Publisher

The capacity of proper names to condense concepts, descriptions, or short narratives can tell us a lot about the Aeneid. But names only 'suggest' or 'evoke' meaning, which can be elicited and/or understood properly only by viewing it in a reading of the epic as a whole. Virgil's epic revealsrecurrent semantic patterns, which show that ...

Michael Paschalis is at University of Crete.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:456 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.22 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198146884

ISBN - 13:9780198146889

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`extraordinary stimulating book ... This is a seminal, innovative work and will be as influential for the study of Virgil's semantics as the theoretical work of Conte is for his generic originality.'The Classical Journal