2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

The Gods Go Up in Flames: Vergil's Use of Fire in Aeneid I-VI
Emily Richens
Mr. Alex Tetlak, Faculty Mentor

Vergil's Aeneid relies heavily upon the themes of Fate and divine action. The gods' actions are shown to directly affect the manner in which Aeneas' fate is fulfilled. This textual analysis of Vergil's uses of fire vocabulary in the first six books of the Aeneid examines the interrelations of men, gods and Fate. Fire is particularly used to symbolize the gods' power of agency while certain passages support the idea that humans can perform divine actions in full agency, thus taking upon themselves the normally divine role of Fate's enactors. This suggests that Vergil was not only weaving a story about the gods' role in the history of Rome but also painting a picture of a people who would grow towards independence from the gods.

Keywords: Vergil, Fate, Aeneid, Rome, fire imagery, divinity


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 14-2
Location: VH 1324
Time: 8:15

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