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173–197: The News Goes Viral

1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 130.     Lines 173–83 contain a description of the personified concept Fama, to whom Virgil—following precedents in Homer and Hesiod—grants a divine lineage and existence. Try to draw the goddess on the basis of his verses. Inspiration could come from J. Paul Weber’s painting, Das Gerücht (‘The Rumour’), which is easily located via Google Images.

2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 131.     Explain the grammar and syntax of qua (174).

3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 132.     Why and how is fear (176: parua metu primo…) a factor in Fama’s growth?

4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 133.     In 178–81 Virgil provides a genealogy for Fama, putting her in the company of pre-Olympian monsters: how does his word order, syntax, and metre in these lines reinforce the theme of monstrosity?

5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 134.     What type of genitive is deorum in 178 (Terra parens, ira inritata deorum)?

6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0 135.     … ut perhibent … (179): who are they?

7 Leave a comment on paragraph 7 0 136.     Scan line 180 (progenuit, pedibus celerem et pernicibus alis): how does the meter reinforce the theme of speed (cf. celerem)?

8 Leave a comment on paragraph 8 0 137.     Analyse the syntax of 181–83 (cui, quot sunt corpore plumae,/ tot uigiles oculi subter (mirabile dictu),/ tot linguae, totidem ora sonant, tot subrigit auris): at what point does it break down and why?

9 Leave a comment on paragraph 9 0 138.     Explain the grammar of mirabile dictu (182).

10 Leave a comment on paragraph 10 0 139.     After small and fearful beginnings (176: parua metu primo), Fama in 187 is said to terrify great cities (magnas territat urbes). What is the source of the terror she spreads?

11 Leave a comment on paragraph 11 0 140.     Analyse the rhetorical design of tam ficti prauique tenax quam nuntia ueri (188): what does it tell us about the truth-value of Fama’s discourse?

12 Leave a comment on paragraph 12 0 141.     In lines 189–97, Virgil summarizes what Fama says about Dido and Aeneas. Scholars have different opinions concerning the truth-value of her coverage. Here is Austin: ‘it is true that Aeneas has come to Carthage, and that Dido is living with him; but luxu and turpique cupidine captos (‘enthralled by vile passion’) is a malicious twist to truth, and so is immemores’.[1] And here O’Hara: ‘What in Rumor’s report is not true? That Dido considers Aeneas her husband? That she neglects her kingdom (but see 261–64 for Aeneas supervising construction)? That they are captives of foul desire?’[2] Discuss.

13 Leave a comment on paragraph 13 0 142.     ‘What Fama spreads is “news”, an up-to-date report about the private lives of two royal families.’[3] Imagine you are Lord Leveson in charge of an enquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of reporting news, have fielded testimony from Dido and Aeneas on Fama’s coverage of their ‘cohabitation’, and need to report your findings to Parliament: what would you say? What part of her coverage is true, what part distorted, what part ‘in the public domain’, what part an infringement of privacy legislation, from a contemporary point of view?

14 Leave a comment on paragraph 14 0 143.     Analyse the stylistic design of 192: cui se pulchra uiro dignetur iungere Dido. Why is Fama’s spin on the facts so insidious?

15 Leave a comment on paragraph 15 0 144.     What are the associations Fama is trying to invoke with the term luxu (193)?

16 Leave a comment on paragraph 16 0 145.     In line 195 (haec passim dea foeda uirum diffundit in ora) does foeda modify haec or dea or ora—or any two or all three?

17 Leave a comment on paragraph 17 0  


18 Leave a comment on paragraph 18 0 [1] Austin (1963), p. 74.

19 Leave a comment on paragraph 19 0 [2]
O’Hara (2011), p. 42.

20 Leave a comment on paragraph 20 0 [3]
Hardie (2009), p. 107.

Source: http://aeneid4.theclassicslibrary.com/2012/11/29/173-197%E2%80%82the-news-goes-viral/