Walking through Elysium: Vergil’s Underworld and the Poetics of Tradition

Edited by Bill Gladhill and Micah Young Myers

© 2020

Walking through Elysium stresses the subtle and intricate ways writers across time and space wove Vergil’s underworld in Aeneid 6 into their works. These allusions operate on many levels, from the literary and political to the religious and spiritual. Aeneid 6 reshaped prior philosophical, religious, and poetic traditions of underworld descents, while offering a universalizing account of the spiritual that could accommodate prior as well as emerging religious and philosophical systems. Vergil’s underworld became an archetype, a model flexible enough to be employed across genres, and periods, and among differing cultural and religious contexts.

The essays in this volume speak to Vergil’s incorporation of and influence on literary representations of underworlds, souls, afterlives, prophecies, journeys, and spaces, from sacred and profane to wild and civilized, tracing the impact of Vergil’s underworld on authors such as Ovid, Seneca, Statius, Augustine, and Shelley, from Pagan and Christian traditions through Romantic and Spiritualist readings. Walking through Elysium asserts the deep and lasting influence of Vergil’s underworld from the moment of its publication to the present day.

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Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix Supplementary Volumes
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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  • AVAILABLE MAY 2020

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    Regular Price: $75.00

    ISBN 9781487505776
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    Regular Price: $75.00

Quick Overview

Walking through Elysium traces Vergil’s influence on literary representations of underworlds, souls, afterlives, prophecies, journeys, and spaces, from sacred and profane to wild and civilized.

Walking through Elysium: Vergil’s Underworld and the Poetics of Tradition

Edited by Bill Gladhill and Micah Young Myers

© 2020

Walking through Elysium stresses the subtle and intricate ways writers across time and space wove Vergil’s underworld in Aeneid 6 into their works. These allusions operate on many levels, from the literary and political to the religious and spiritual. Aeneid 6 reshaped prior philosophical, religious, and poetic traditions of underworld descents, while offering a universalizing account of the spiritual that could accommodate prior as well as emerging religious and philosophical systems. Vergil’s underworld became an archetype, a model flexible enough to be employed across genres, and periods, and among differing cultural and religious contexts.

The essays in this volume speak to Vergil’s incorporation of and influence on literary representations of underworlds, souls, afterlives, prophecies, journeys, and spaces, from sacred and profane to wild and civilized, tracing the impact of Vergil’s underworld on authors such as Ovid, Seneca, Statius, Augustine, and Shelley, from Pagan and Christian traditions through Romantic and Spiritualist readings. Walking through Elysium asserts the deep and lasting influence of Vergil’s underworld from the moment of its publication to the present day.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Phoenix Supplementary Volumes
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    Bill Gladhill is an associate professor in the Department of Classics at McGill University.


    Micah Young Myers is an associate professor in the Department of Classics at Kenyon College.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Bill Gladhill, McGill University, and Micah Myers, Kenyon College

    1. Into the Woods       
    Alessandro Barchiesi, New York University

    2. Statius’ Walking in Vergil’s Footsteps     
    Emily Pillinger, King’s College London

    3. The Sibyl’s Cave and Visions of the Future   
    Maggie Kilgour, McGill University

    4. Exploring the Forests of Antiquity: The Golden Bough in Early Modern Literature    
    Matteo Soranzo, McGill University

    5. Aeneas’ Steps       
    Miguel Herrero de Jáuregui, Universidad Complutense de Madrid

    6. Vergil’s Underworld and the Afterlife of Love Poets   
    Micah Y. Myers, Kenyon College

    7. Vergilian Underworlds in Ovid      
    Alison Keith, University of Toronto

    8. Mortem aliquid ultra est: Vergil’s Underworld in Senecan Tragedy    
    Bill Gladhill, McGill University

    9. Servius on Sinners and Punishments in Vergil’s Underworld 
    Fabio Stok, University of Rome Tor Vergata

    10. Paradise and Performance in Vergil’s Underworld and Horace’s Carmen Saeculare
    Lauren Curtis, Bard College

    11. Why isn’t Homer in Virgil’s Underworld? – and Other Notable Absences      
    Emily Gowers, University of Cambridge

    12. The Silence of Aeneid 6 in Augustine’s Confessions 
    Jacob L. Mackey, Occidental College

    13. Spiritualism as Textual Practice    
    Grant Parker, Stanford University

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