Working Papers by Author

Kellam Conover - Classics Department, Princeton University


010703 Rereading the Death of Turnus: Ritual, Time and Poetics in the Aeneid
Kellam Conover, Princeton University
Download PDF Abstract: The death of Turnus, which is depicted in terms evocative of sacrificial rite, evinces a close interconnection between ritual and poetics in Vergil’s Aeneid. By reincorporating Juturna into the economy of sacrificial imagery at the epic’s close, I argue that Turnus’ sacrificial death should be seen as a metapoetic act. Indeed, as suggested by an examination of how time operates in the epic and especially in its final scenes, time in the poem is structured like time in ritual practice. The Aeneid thus engages the reader in a process of ritually renewing the past.