The editor: Hans-Peter Stahl is the author of Propertius:
'Love' and 'War'. Individual and State under Augustus.
The Aeneid may be considered a test case for diverging modern methods
of criticism. Does the epic stand for the subordination of the individual
in a hierarchically structured state, or is there below the imperial
surface a cross-current of wider human appeal? Does the poet skillfully
channel his readers' sympathies in directions helpful to the political
authorities of his time, or did he devise human messages which are
all-embracing and non-partisan? Is it misguided even to seek to
discover the intentions of the poet in his work? The contributors
to this volume were chosen both for their scholarship and as representing
diverse critical methods. Each has selected a passage of the Aeneid
to demonstrate his or her general approach. The examination of political
references is to the fore. And each contributor uses their chosen
passage to address the question of the Aeneid's message.