The Greek Origins of the Cacus Myth

Classical Quarterly 27 (02):391- (1977)
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Abstract

The myth of Hercules and Cacus is related by several Augustan writers: Vergil, Aeneid 8.185–275, Livy 1.7.3, Ovid, Fasti 1.543–86 and 5.643–52, Propertius 4.9.1–20, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities 1.39. These accounts fall naturally into two classes, in which Cacus is represented respectively as a clever rascal and as a superhuman ogre. The former version is found in Livy and Dionysius, and the latter occurs first in Vergil, and then in Ovid and Propertius. Numerous shared details go to show that Livy and Dionysius drew on a common source, and verbal similarities that have been demonstrated between Vergil and Livy evidently establish Vergil's dependence on this same source. It would therefore appear that the ogre-Cacus is Vergil's invention. Certainly there is no evidence for a pre-Vergilian Cacus characterized as an ogre

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Citations of this work

Stesichorus' Geryoneis and its Folk-tale Origins.Malcolm Davies - 1988 - Classical Quarterly 38 (02):277-.
Stesichorus' Geryoneis and its Folk-tale Origins.Malcolm Davies - 1988 - Classical Quarterly 38 (2):277-290.

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