Six - Ghosts of Exile: Doubles and Nostalgia in Vergil’s Parva Troia
In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

200 Part 3. Doubles and Images Aeneas, at Carthage, is telling his story. He has reached the moment when the Trojan exiles disembark at Epirus, a long journey and several failures now behind them. Already, Aeneas has tried to found a city on the coast of Thrace that would bear his name—Aeneades—but the appalling prodigy of Polydorus’ blood compelled them to flee in all possible haste.1 After receiving what seemed to be an unambiguous revelation at Delos, he had attempted to found another city called Pergamea on Crete, but a dream-vision of the Penates drove the exiles to depart once again, leaving only a small group behind.2 Finally they reached the coast of Epirus, where Aeneas hears some truly unexpected news: hic incredibilis rerum fama occupat aures, Priamiden Helenum Graias regnare per urbes coniugio Aeacidae Pyrrhi sceptrisque potitum, et patrio Andromachen iterum cessisse marito.3 Here the unbelievable rumor of events reaches his ears, that Helenus, son of Priam, is ruling over Greek cities, in possession of the bride and scepter of Aeacidean Pyrrhus and that Andromache is once again bestowed upon a husband of her own race. 1. Verg. Aen. 3.17ff. 2. Verg. Aen. 3.132ff. 3. Verg. Aen. 3.294ff. 200 Ghosts of Exile Six Doubles and Nostalgia in Vergil’s Parva Troia Chapter 6. Ghosts of Exile 201 As it turns out, Helenus, son of Priam and brother of Hector, has inherited Neoptolemus’ kingdom and wed Andromache—in a marriage that immediately catches our attention because of the anthropological as well as literary-interpretive questions it raises. Andromache’s “Levirate” In Aeneas’ account, a rather unusual expression describes the marriage between Helenus and Andromache: patrio . . . iterum cessisse marito (“once again bestowed upon a husband of her own race”). The adjective patrius seems to indicate that Andromache, once the slave and concubine of the Greek Pyrrhus, has again become the wife of a Trojan—of a man from among her “native” people. Servius, however, reminds us that Andromache actually came from Thebes in Asia Minor, making the adjective patrius rather inappropriate: strictly speaking, neither Hector nor Helenus belong to Andromache’s actual patria, because Andromache herself is not originally Trojan.4 Servius’ observations often tend to be pedantic, and this observation easily applies to this comment, as well. Vergil might simply have been somewhat imprecise or perhaps he forgot Andromache’s Theban origins, unconsciously identifying her as a Trojan because the most significant events of her life occurred at Troy.5 But even if—or, precisely because—the expression is a lapsus, we should examine the implications of the adjective patrius more closely. Returning to Servius’ gloss, we discover that the commentator, having raised the problem, immediately suggests an interesting solution: aut certe secundum ius locutus est, quia uxor viri domicilium sequitur, iuncta ergo Hectori facta Troiana est.6 Or he expressed himself in legal terminology, because the wife follows her husband’s place of domicile; therefore, having married Hector, she became Trojan. Andromache, then, by virtue of marrying a Trojan, becomes a Trojan herself . She identifies with the group she joins, severing all ties to her group of origin. After her marriage to Hector, the young bride from Thebes acquires 4. Serv. in Aen. 3.297, ‘patrio marito’ atqui Thebana fuit de Thebis Phrygiis. See also the note of Williams 1962 and that of Cova 1994, ad loc. 5. Cova 1994, ad loc., “ . . . the reader understands it [the expression patrius] more easily in psychological and sentimental terms.” 6. Cova 1994, ad loc. 202 Part 3. Doubles and Images a Trojan identity that she will never relinquish, assimilated completely to her husband’s lineage. The model assumed here does not differ much from the Roman marriage practice involving the husband’s conventio in manum, whereby his new bride abandons all connections to her “family of orientation ” and actually becomes an agnata of her husband, fully adopting the identity of his lineage.7 Andromache has likewise lost herself, so to speak, becoming part of the lineage to which her husband belongs. The adjective patrius is central to the characterization of Andromache, revealing a very precise perspective on the identity of the woman whom Aeneas is about to meet. From the moment she enters the picture, Hector’s widow is represented as a woman who in every way “belongs” to the city of Troy. In fact, the development of this episode confirms that Andromache , despite her marriage to Pyrrhus and events subsequent to this...


pdf