Forum Antiquum 10 November : ‘Virgilian plots: Public Ideologies and Private Journeys’

On Thursday 10 November 2016 Professor Philip Hardie from Cambridge University will deliver a lecture on the reception of Virgil in late-antique poetry.

The speaker

Philip Hardie holds degrees from the universities of Oxford, London and Cambridge. From 2002-2006 he was Corpus Christi Professor of the Latin Language and Literature at Oxford. Currently he is a Senior Research Fellow at Trinity College and Honorary Professor of Latin in the University of Cambridge. Professor Hardie specialises in Virgil, Ovid and Lucretius, and their reception in later times. Among the many books and articles he authored some recent publications are Lucretian Receptions. History, The Sublime, Knowledge (Cambridge 2009); Rumour and Renown. Representations of Fama in Western Literature (Cambridge 2012); The Last Trojan Hero: A Cultural History of Virgil’s Aeneid (Tauris 2014). He was the Sather Professor at the University of California at Berkeley in Spring 2016. The topics discussed here provided the inspiration for his lecture in Forum Antiquum.

Time and location

This lecture will take place in the Vossius conference room in the University Library (south hall, second floor), and starts at exactly 16:00. All those interested are warmly invited, registration is not needed.


Late-antique Roman poets display a newly energized engagement with the classic poems of Virgil. Through a series of close readings this paper explores the various uses made in particular of Virgil’s epic the Aeneid both by poets writing within the tradition of pagan imperialism (Claudian, Rutilius Namatianus) and by poets who divert Virgilian messages to a Christian theology of history (Prudentius, Paulinus of Nola). The paper also examines the ways in which the Virgilian texts are used to articulate more personal and private hopes and trajectories.