Date of Award

Summer 1949

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Foreign Languages and Literatures


The Aeneid of Vergil, like its hero multum iactatus on the sea of criticism for two thousand years, remains one of the world's monuments of literary art. An intensive study of any phase of Vergil's epic art, while yielding tremendous cultural enrichment, presents the problem of reconciling objective analysis of points of style with interpretation and appreciation of the poem as a literary masterpiece. And, in the present work of classifying the functions of the personal epithets as they appear in the twelve books of the Aeneid it is essential to reconcile style with substance, since the problem involved is that of determining whether Vergil's epithets are mere rhetorical embellishments or whether they exert a functional influence upon characterization, the national purpose of the epic, and the development of the plot. Therefore, the study presents a general discussion of the epithet as a literary device as well as the detailed analysis of Vergil's use of this figure of speech in producing imperial Rome's great gift to literary culture.



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