Dido, pallas, nisus and the nameless mothers in aeneid 8–10

Classical Quarterly 68 (1):199-219 (2018)
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In the so-called ‘Iliadic’Aeneid, Dido is scarcely mentioned. At first sight, Aeneas’ dalliance at Carthage is forgotten when he gets down to the serious business of establishing the Trojans in Italy. But the poem's last mention of Dido is enmeshed in a network of parallel passages elsewhere in theAeneidrelating to tunics and adoption. In the light of similarities between Aeneas and the superficially unimportant Trojan warrior Nisus, these passages bear crucially on the contrast between Aeneas’ public and privatepietas: his obedience to imposed commitments and to chosen ones. In this way, Virgil provides guidance on what motivates Aeneas’ fury in Books 10 and 12.



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