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Revisiting Vergil and Roman Religion. Symposium Cumanum 2015 - 24-25-26/06/2015, Cuma (Italy)

In 1998, the publication of Beard, North, and Price’s Religions of Rome and Feeney’s Literature and Religion at Rome revolutionized the way we understand the religious practices of the Romans. In the intervening fifteen years, work on Latin literature has increasingly taken this new understanding as its point of departure. In the case of Vergil, significant studies of individual questions have been produced (e. g., Dyson’s King of the Wood, Panoussi’s Greek Tragedy in Vergil’s Aeneid, Miller’s Apollo and the Poets), but the time has come for a full reassessment of the religious dimensions of Vergilian poetry. This conference will bring together scholars from across the world to assess the poetry of Vergil in light of newer work on Roman religion.

FECHA/DATE/DATA: 24-26/06/2015

LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Harry Wilks Study Center at the Villa Vergiliana (Cuma, Italy)


INFO: web -


Wednesday, June 24

9:30 to 10:30. Session 1: Fate, Fortune, and Prophecy. Presider: Christopher Nappa (Minnesota)

James O’Hara (North Carolina), “Prophecy in the Aeneid Revisited: Lying, Exaggeration and

Encomium in Aeneid 8 and the Shield of Aeneas”

Calypso Nash (Oxford), “Fatum and fortuna: Religion and Philosophy in Virgil’s Aeneid”

10:45 to 1:00. Session 2: Ritual. Presider: Vassiliki Panoussi (William and Mary)

Nandini Pandey (Wisconsin), “In the Name of the Father: Perverted Sacrifice under the Laurel in Aeneid 2”

Sergio Casali (Tor Vergata), “Dido’s Gods: Reading the Sacrifice Scene at Aen. 4.56–67”

Barbara Weiden Boyd (Bowdoin), “Fire Walking on Soracte: A Modest Proposal”

Petra Schierl (Basel), “Reconsidering Ritual in the Eclogues”

2:30 to 4:15. Session 3: Religion as Category. Presider: Peter Knox (Case Western)

Richard Thomas (Harvard), “Di meliora piis: Revisiting the Efficacy of Religion in the Georgics”

Giovanna Laterza (Strasbourg and Freiburg), “Méthodologies en comparaison: la religion dans la sixième livre de l’Énéide”

Carey Seal (UC Davis), “Cacus, Hercules, and the Natural History of Religion”

4:30 to 6:15. Session 4: Vergil’s Gods 1. Presider: Richard Thomas (Harvard)

Rachael Cullick (Minnesota), “Saturnique altera proles: Divine Wrath and Authority in the Aeneid”

Elina Pyy (Helsinki), “Nunc etiam manis . . . movet: Cthonic Deities and Cults in the Aeneid”

Tammy Di-Giusto (Adelaide), “Vergil’s Faunus: Augustan Innovation”

Thursday, June 25

9:00 to 10:45. Session 5: Intertextualities. Presider: John F. Miller (Virginia)

Brittney Szempruch (Stanford), “Marcellus’ Spoils: Performing a Callimachean Hymn in the Underworld”

Spencer Cole (Minnesota), “Mapping the Posthumous Path: Vergil, Cicero, and the Afterlife”

John Schafer (Northwestern), “Vain Address: The Catullan Brother in the Aeneid”

11:00 to 1:15. Session 6: The Politics of Religion. Presider: James O’Hara (North Carolina)

Stephen Heyworth (Oxford), “Vergil and the Calendar”

Anton Powell (Classical Press of Wales), “Virgil and Neptune: Plastic Theology?”

Vassiliki Panoussi (William and Mary), “She Who Shall Not Be Named: Isis and the Politics of Religion in Vergil’s Aeneid”

2:45 to 4:30. Session 7: Rituals and Death. Presider: Stephen Heyworth (Oxford)

Ingo Schaaf (Konstanz), “Death and the Maiden: Sibyls, Cumae, and Necromancy in and outside Aeneid Book 6”

Arduino Maiuri (La Sapienza), “The Cave of the Sibyl: Geographic Place or Pure Fantasy? Some Observations on a uexata quaestio”

David Wright (Rutgers), “Anna and Anna Perenna in the Aeneid”

4:45 to 6:30. Session 8: Georgics. Presider: Leah Kronenberg (Rutgers)

Anne-Angèle Fuchs (Genève), “A Strange Rite Alluded to in Vergil, Georgics 1.156–57”

Christine Perkell (Emory), “The Poetics of Bugonia: Ritual and Literary Contexts”

Julia Hejduk (Baylor), “If Isaiah Speaks: Original Sin and an Astonishing Acrostic in Virgil’s Orpheus and Eurydice”

Friday, June 26

Sessions at the Seconda Università di Napoli

9:30 to 12:00. Session 9: Bucolics. Presider: John Van Sickle (Brooklyn College)

Giampiero Scafoglio (Seconda Università di Napoli), “The Orpheus-theme and Orphism in Vergil’s Bucolics”

Leah Kronenberg (Rutgers), “Virgil’s Pastoral God: Daphnis as Lucretius”

Joseph M. Romero (Mary Washington), “Touched by Heaven (de caelo tactas …): Philosophy and Religion in Vergil, Ecl. 1”

Caleb M. X. Dance (Washington and Lee), “Gods, Vision, and World-Changing Laughter in Eclogue 4”

1:45 to 3:45. Session 10: Vergil’s Gods 2. Presider: Julia Hejduk (Baylor)

Anne Rogerson (Sydney), “Virgil’s Tiber: River and God”

Anna Everett Beek (Minnesota), “The Gods Unmasked”

John Makowski (Loyola), “Cybele, Troy, and Rome”

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