2017 Student Research Conference:
30th Annual Student Research Conference

From Half-Lines to Full Lines in Vergil’s Aeneid

Zara D. Callahan
Dr. Clifton Kreps and Dr. Bridget Thomas, Faculty Mentors

Vergil’s Aeneid is a Roman epic poem, which happens to be incomplete.  The incompleteness shows in two ways: the ending, which many scholars debate the author’s intention; and that there are 60 incomplete lines regarding the dactylic hexameter, which I focus on more in this essay.  Some scholars say that these half-lines could be considered a literary innovation.  However, this seems unlikely when considering Vergil’s other major works.  Since I determined that these lines are incomplete, I strove to finish as many as I could.  Also, I discuss my attempt to finish these lines, my creative process, and how it relates to Vergil’s original style.  Moreover, I claim how incomplete the epic actually is and why it remains important to understand that it truly is unfinished.  Furthermore, I discuss the problems around Vergil’s want for the work to be destroyed and potentially why Augustus published it anyway.  

Keywords: Vergil, Aeneid, Epic, half-lines, unfinished


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 107-4
Location: VH 1212
Time: 8:45

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