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Durham Centre for Classical Reception

PhD Students working in the area

James Powell
PhD Student (Classics & Ancient History)
AWARDS: AHRC doctoral studentship
SUPERVISED BY: Dr Ingo Gildenhard
TITLE: Images of Virgil, 1st - 5th cent. AD
James' thesis was successfully defended in 2011. It examined various stages in the non-epic reception of Virgil within antiquity, looking at how and why this one poet came to be such a contested figure in Roman cultural discourse. The images of Virgil found in the less elevated and less well explored genres – epigram, satire, cento, biography – were the major focal point. The broad aim was to explore some of the tensions generated by the multiple traditions in the reception of the Virgilian legend, some of which were reverential, eulogistic and erudite, others irreverent, vituperative and banal. Special attention was given to those authors whose work reveals the influence of more than one tradition: Virgilian engagements which are both obscene and learned, humorous yet serious, encomiastic but ambiguous.