Death and Rebirth in Virgil's Arcadia

By M. Owen Lee

Subjects: Literary Criticism
Paperback : 9780791400173, 140 pages, July 1989
Hardcover : 9780791400166, 140 pages, August 1989

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Table of contents


I. Mariposa

II. Sicilia

III. Mantua

IV. Arcadia

V. Figures in a Landscape

VI. Music: Eclogues 3 and 7

VII. Love: Eclogues 2 and 8

VIII. The City: Eclogues 1 and 9

IX. The Golden Age: Eclogue 4

X. Death: Eclogue 5

XI. Leaving Arcadia: Eclogue 10

XII. Reading the Eclogues

XIII. Interpreting the Eclogues: Eclogue 6

Index of Names


Death and Rebirth in Virgil's Arcadia is an introduction to the Eclogues, based on sound scholarship but also personally felt and addressed to a popular audience. It outlines clearly the literary and historical background of Virgil's early poems, discusses each eclogue in some detail, and offers a new and challenging interpretation of the collection as a whole. The ten eclogues are shown to be a young poet's attempt at self-understanding. Their symmetrical arrangement is a journey inward toward the central experience of death, and a journey back toward rebirth and the writing of larger and greater works.

Father M. Owen Lee is Professor of Classics at the University of Toronto, the author of many books on Virgil and Horace, including Fathers and Sons in Virgil's Aeneid published by SUNY Press, and an internationally known writer and broadcaster.


"It is a highly eloquent introduction, written with unusual grace and imaginative sensitivity. Lee has made a very judicial and tasteful use of recent interpretive scholarship avoiding many of the idiosyncrasies and excesses of his predecessors. " — Eleanor Winsor Leach, Indiana University, Bloomington

"The Jungian interpretations are not forced and do indeed bring new insights to the archetypal patterns that seem to be present in Virgil. " — Charles Fantazzi, University of Windsor