1st Edition

The Aeneid and the Modern World Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Vergil’s Epic in the 20th and 21st Centuries

Edited By J.R. O'Neill, Adam Rigoni Copyright 2022
    284 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This collection of essays from a diverse group of scholars represents a multidisciplinary redeployment of the Aeneid that aims to illuminate its importance to our present moment. It provides a rigorous and multifaceted answer to the question, "Why should we still think about the Aeneid?"

    The book contains chapters detailing previously undocumented modern literary receptions of Vergil’s epic, addressing the Aeneid’s relevance to understanding modern political discourse, explaining how the Aeneid assists in making sense of the pressing current issues of trauma and damage to one’s sense of identity, and even looking at how the epic can shape our future. The chapters build upon and extend beyond reception studies to provide the most current and complete answer to the question of the epic’s current relevance.

    The primary audiences for this collection are undergraduate students, graduate students, and professional academics from all disciplines. This collection should be of interest to readers whose academic interests include textual and cultural studies, classics, comparative literature, pedagogy, medical humanities, veterans studies, trauma studies, immigration studies, young adult fiction, world literature, communication and political discourse, citizenship studies, and ethnic studies.

    Introduction: The Aeneid and the Modern World (J.R. O’Neill and Adam Rigoni)

    Part I: The Aeneid and Modern Fiction

    1. Empire and Exile: Kipling’s Vergil (Michael Stanford)

    2. Shining Light onto Vergilian Shadows in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God (Christian Lehmann)

    3. Yehuda Amichai’s "The Times My Father Died" (1959): A Jewish Aeneas in Flight from the Holocaust (Giacomo Loi)

    4. Forsan et Haec Olim Meminisse Iuvabit: Contemporary Italian Writers Remembering the Aeneid (Filomena Giannotti)

    5. Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials Trilogy and the Aeneid: Lyra as an Anti-Aeneas (Babette Puetz)

    Part II: The Aeneid and Modern Political Discourse and Culture

    6. The Patriotic Singer: Christopher Pearse Cranch’s American Aeneid (Paul Hay and John Hay)

    7. The Aeneid and the Politics of National History (Tedd A. Wimperis)

    8. Daedalus in DC: Vergil and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (J.R. O’Neill)

    Part III: The Aeneid and Contemporary Trauma and Identity

    9. A Matter of Time: Traumatic Temporality in Vergil’s Aeneid (Danielle Bostick)

    10. Dislocated Identities: The Aeneid and the Syrian Refugee Crisis (Nancy Ciccone)

    11. To Know Thyself in a World Undone: Apocalypse and Authenticity in the Aeneid (George Saad)

    Part IV: The Aeneid into the Future

    12. The Aeneid for the Next Generation: An Empirical Study (Frances Foster)

    13. Aeneas, Anthropocene, and Apocalypse, or, Aeneas in Space (Evander Price)


    J.R. O’Neill is a Senior Lecturer and Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, USA, where he teaches classics. He is also affiliated with Arizona State University’s program in veterans studies and is the founding director of Barrett’s Theatre of Difference Project. His research and teaching interests include Latin literature and Roman cultural history. He earned his PhD in classics from the University of Southern California, USA.

    Adam Rigoni is a Senior Lecturer and Honors Faculty Fellow at Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University, USA. He earned his JD and his PhD in philosophy from the University of Michigan, USA. His work has appeared in Legal Theory, The Journal of Moral Philosophy, The Journal of Philosophical Logic, and Artificial Intelligence and Law.