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27–28). In the Aeneid, by con­ trast, the distortion of the ritual order underlies actions occurring on the battlefield. 28 26 The theme of nature’s perversion is continued in the Chorus’s response to the queen (1407–408). See Conacher 1987: 54. On the perversion of agriculture, marriage, and sacrifice in this instance, see also Goff 2004: 310. 27 The sacrificial nature of the death of Mezentius is also noted by Leigh (1993: 95–101), who reads him as a devotus. 28 The first killing (536) resembles Achilles’ killing of Lycaon in Il.

The sacrificial principle of substitu­ tion is violated as human takes the place of animal offering. The most salient connective link between the two passages, however, is the exploi­ tation of the horrible reversal of the marriage ceremony as funeral. The shedding of Iphigeneia’s blood is commensurate with the act of deflo­ ration (Fowler 1987: 191). As a result, the Vergilian text, through the double (or window) allusion11 to Aeschylus and Lucretius, brings to the 10 Bailey (1947: 615) and Fowler (1987: 192) have also noted the connection between Lucretius and Aeschylus.

These images encapsulated the nation’s renewed piety and the “emotional mood of the new age” (Zanker 1988: 115–18). Yet the narrative of the Aeneid also contains descriptions of sacrifi­ cial ritual involving human victims, as encountered in tragedy (Hardie 1991: 33; 1993: 22; 1997b). The sacrifice of humans, normally forbidden by religious law, causes ritual impurity and is a source of pollution, thus distorting the ritual act. In representations of rituals this perversion may also be indicated by the depiction of a rite as its antithetical opposite – the inversion, for instance, of marriage to funeral, as is often the case in Greek tragedy.

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A history of classical scholarship / Vol. 1 by John Edwin Sandys


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