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The influence of Virgil's Aeneid on Lewis

The influence of Virgil's Aeneid on Lewis

Postby mryan » 15 May 2007, 02:14

I have seen Virgil's Aeneid listed among 10 books which influenced Lewis. I am very familiar with Virgil, but posess only limited familiarity with Lewis' corpus. What could one claim was Virgil's influence? Was it the theme of devotion i.e. Aeneas the man of pietas or something else?
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Postby Sven » 16 May 2007, 20:29

Welcome, Mryan!

I can't give you any short, pithy quote that will answer your question. In most of Lewis' literary works he goes quite deeply into Virgil's influence on literature. If I understand your question correctly, I think what might help you the most would be his Preface to Paradise Lost, chapter VI, 'Virgil and the Subject of Secondary Epic'. You can find Preface to Paradise Lost in most college libraries, I believe.

Hope this helps.

Selah,
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Postby moordarjeeling » 17 May 2007, 00:28

I recently read the Aeneid, in a modern translation, in a skimmy sort of way. I was struck by ... sort of how thick on the ground the magical stuff was, at least in one section. Every few pages if not more often, they encountered some magical denizen or feature of the landscape. The ... rhythm of encounters of magic vs mundane reminded me a lot of parts of Narnia. And they took it all for granted, it was just part of how that country was. (Which of course is a charateristic of Faerie, according to Tolkien, Luthi, and others.)
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Postby carol » 23 May 2007, 08:45

That's very enlightening. My knowledge of the Aeneid is pretty limited (I suspect it is based on a very small introduction given in school Latin class, a million years ago), and I've never read it in any version.

I had no idea that there were magical elements. Thank you. Looks like I need to improve my education.
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Re: The influence of Virgil's Aeneid on Lewis

Postby reveal » 05 Jul 2007, 08:07

mryan wrote:I have seen Virgil's Aeneid listed among 10 books which influenced Lewis. I am very familiar with Virgil, but posess only limited familiarity with Lewis' corpus. What could one claim was Virgil's influence? Was it the theme of devotion i.e. Aeneas the man of pietas or something else?


Where can I find that list? :smile:
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Postby Sven » 05 Jul 2007, 19:22

The Christian Century magazine asked several notable Christians the question, "What books did most to shape your vocational attitude and your philosophy of life?". C. S. Lewis' answer was:

1. Phantastes by George MacDonald.
2. The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton.
3. The Aeneid by Virgil.
4. The Temple by George Herbert.
5. The Prelude by William Wordsworth.
6. The Idea of the Holy by Rudolf Otto.
7. The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius.
8. Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell.
9. Descent into Hell by Charles Williams.
10. Theism and Humanism by Arthur James Balfour.

From the June 6, 1962 issue of The Christian Century magazine,
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Postby reveal » 06 Jul 2007, 06:20

Thanks!
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