Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 3-4

Contents

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pp. 5-6

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Preface

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pp. 7-20

Gossip handed down since Virgil’s day reports that the Bucolics scored an instant success on stage. Alone of Virgil’s works these ten short pieces early caught the theater public’s ear and eye. They made their poet a celebrity, even as copies of the slender scroll made their way into schools and studies, libraries and...

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Note to the Reader

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pp. 21-23

Aiming to bring these old poems to new readers and performers, it seemed wise to employ a small set of critical terms in a systematic way and to signal their role as prompts. Some of them, and especially their verbal roots, receive emphasis initially through use of SMALL CAPITALS to remind readers of their nature as...

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A User Guide to ‘pastoral,’ ‘eclogue,’ Eclogues, ‘bucolic,’ and Bucolics

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pp. 25-28

Two paths that long ago diverged convey us back by separate routes to the ten short poems called variously ‘pastorals,’ ‘eclogues,’ and ‘bucolics,’ sometimes ‘The Eclogues’ but here the Book of Bucolics. The path less traveled takes us to their immediate yet neglected impact on Roman theater audiences in a time that...

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Themes from Troubled Times at Rome

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pp. 29-30

Writers at Rome in the first century BCE often issued work by reading to acquaintances and friends.46 So infer a career path for the poet commonly known as Virgil (70–19 BCE).47 Born in northern Italy’s Po River valley, near Mantua, and migrant to the capital, in Rome he would have garnered contacts...

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Cues for Drama: Mime Revoicing Roman Mythic Frame

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pp. 31-74

Long before the Bucolics scored in frequent performances, theater had served the Roman elites to enhance their own prestige and power, as a means to “propagate aristocratic values by shaping the direction of popular culture.”54 Theater was considered politically so potent that the ruling class had required that seating for spectacles be...

Scripts: The Eclogues to Rehearse and Read

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pp. 75-112

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Clues in Social Memory: Threads from Tragedy and Epos

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pp. 113-133

Virgil’s reported success in private and on stage suggests that the Bucolics could communicate on different levels:693 for the stage, they would fit right into the “polymorphous mode” of mime, “ranging from the outrageously licentious to the morally exemplary” and able to “deal with contemporary events and characters...

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The Warp and Weft of Varying Motifs: Structure Charted

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pp. 134-154

Opening with drama, Virgil represents the clash of conflicting frames in his own mind. With the figure and plot of Meliboeus he dramatizes his original set of values and its disruption by forces that he begins to weigh, revalue, and reframe by means of the plot and figures of Tityrus with the new Roman god. Virgil dramatizes...

Notes

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pp. 155-254

Bibliography

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pp. 255-260

Index

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pp. 261-288