Reception of Virgil's Aeneid

Since its completion in 19 BC, Virgil’s Aeneid has undergone countless translations and transformations, from Ovid’s rewriting of Aeneas’ journey in the Metamorphoses to Ursula Le Guin’s 2008 novel Lavinia. Our reading group will take the reception of Virgil's Aeneid as our focus to elucidate the original text and its changing resonance across time and space, as well as to engage with and compare contemporary theories of reception. What does it mean to receive and/or translate a foundation narrative? What do various traditions emphasize or minimize in their reception of the Aeneid? How does the Aeneid move from one genre to another? How do the women of the Aeneid fare across eras and genres? We hope to draw from expertise across disciplines to answer these questions and plan to tailor our reading list to the interests of our members. 

The group will meet for two hours biweekly over the course of the year, for a total of twelve meetings. For each meeting, readings will consist of excerpts from a reception text, corresponding passages from Virgil's Aeneid, and one short essay on reception as a concept, process, and mode of textual engagement. To provide context for the reception text, we will organize short presentations, about 15 to 20 minutes, to be given at the opening of the meetings, either by group members if they have the relevant expertise or by invited attendees. 

Fall semester:

September 18

October 2

October 23

November 6

November 20

December 4


Spring semester: 

6 meetings, dates TBD