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The myth of Aesacus represents a sustained, dialogical engagement with Virgil’s poetry, in particular the Georgics, and with Ovid’s own poetry. Aesacus is represented as partly a surrogate for Virgil’s Aristaeus, for both characters pursue a young woman who dies from snakebite while in flight. Allusion in the myth of Aesacus serves as a tool for critical, authorial inscription and intervention into the Virgilian tradition. It also offers an important interrogation of Ovid’s poetics of sexual violence; Aesacus provides the single human voice in the Metamorphoses to express remorse for a young woman’s ruin, an oddity that has political implications.