2019 Bluegrass Classics Lecture
Lisa Mignone is the author of The Republican Aventine and Rome's Social Order (University of Michigan Press, 2016). She was the inaugural Guangqi Lecturer at Shanghai Normal University in China (2016), and she has won several other international fellowships, including a Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome (2006-2007) and the Margot Tytus Visiting Scholarship, which she currently holds. She has written articles on urban social integration, religious topography, and classical reception, and she was an editor of Studi e Scavi sull’Aventino 2003-2015 (Quasar Edizioni). Her second monograph, Rome's Juno: religious imperialism and self-preservation is under contract with University of Michigan Press.
Wrath. Hatred. Brutality. Is there more to the goddess Juno than the constantly cuckolded wife of Olympian Jupiter, the goddess ever-hateful of Aeneas' destiny to reach Italian shores and found Rome? This paper positions both the goddess Juno and her worship outside of literary conventions, where she consistently appears as a foreign or external goddess in constant need of appeasement, inveiglement, and reconciliation. When we look beyond (or around) the literary character to examine the object of active veneration, Juno emerges as the goddess to whom Romans turn at times of extraordinary military crisis--and she is the deity who responds. She not only protects the Roman state, but also extends its imperial jurisdiction. This paper examines the role of the foremost goddess in Roman religious culture and practice during the Republic, particularly with respect to issues of Roman manhood and imperialism. Arguments draw from historical, religious, archaeological, epigraphic, numismatic, art historical and literary evidence from Rome, Etruscan Veii, Latin Lanuvium, and Punic Carthage. This work contributes to the study of ancient imperialism, Mediterranean religions, and inter-cultural history. Furthermore, it provides the cultural and historical context in which we can more fully recognize and appreciate the divide between and intersections across poetic creation and performed religious experience. While the initial goal of the project may have been to cleave religious, military, and political history from the contaminating influence of poetic constructions, ultimately the project deepens and enriches our understanding of both Roman religious-military practices and the construction of Juno as a literary character.
Virgil, Wordsworth and the anxieties of translation: literalism, lake poetry and lyric revision
Stephen Hinds (University of Washington, Seattle)
In his current book project, Poetry across Languages: Studies in Transliteral and Transcultural Latin, Stephen Hinds moves between periods to explore the cross-linguistic and intercultural relations of poetic writing in Latin within antiquity, between antiquity and modernity, and even within modernity. Throughout, he is concerned to treat the ‘classical tradition’ as process rather than as product, involving many micro-negotiations of authors and readers across language and culture.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), who in his fifties began and then abandoned a translation of the Aeneid, had a long and sometimes anxious history of engagement with the classical tradition. The ebb and flow of that engagement can be dramatized by sampling (via the monumental Cornell edition of Wordsworth) the poet’s own first drafts, revisions and deletions, and the editorial and commentatorial interventions of friends and family. After a look at some moments in Wordsworth’s Aeneid (vigorously criticized by his great contemporary Samuel Taylor Coleridge), this paper focusses on the post-Virgilian Laodamia and, more briefly, on the Greek-inspired Dion (grounded in one of Plutarch’s Lives). Trace-elements of Wordsworth’s distinctive poetic of lake and landscape will come into play at different points throughout.