Journal article

Following Aratus'plow: Vergil's signature in the Aeneid

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  • Museum Helveticum - Schweizerische Zeitschrift für klassische Altertumswissenschaft. - Schwabe Verlag. - 2012, vol. 69, no. 1, p. 83-95
English This paper discusses two possible boustrophedon acrostics, as yet unnoticed, in Vergil's Aeneid (1,1-4) and Aratus' Phaenomena (6-8). Vergil's acrostic reads astilo M(aronis) V(ergili), which is interpreted as the poet's signature. The particular nature of this acrostic seems to be inspired by the boustrophedon acrostic iôjafi lôgoauvfl) which Aratus places at the beginning of his poem, hinting at its presence with key words. The ßouaxpotpTiööv (turning like oxen in plowing) can be associated, both in Greek and in Latin, with the verb "to plow" (àpoûv, arare) and the name 'Âpcecoç / Aratus. Using the word stilus (meaning "pen", but also "weapon") Vergil not only signs his masterpiece but also indicates to which poetic genre it belongs, that is, epic. Vergil Tityrus) used the calamus at the beginning of the Eclogues to celebrate the Musa tenuis, whereas in the Aeneid he will use the stilus to celebrate the arma uirumque.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Département de philologie classique
  • English
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