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Beastly Feasts: Eating and the Earthly Monsters in Vergil‟s Aeneid

by Adam David Breindel B.A., University of Chicago, 1996

Thesis Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts in the Department of Classics at Brown University



This thesis by Adam David Breindel is accepted in its present form by the Department of Classics as satisfying the thesis requirements for the degree of Master of Arts

Date _______________

________________________________________ Jeri DeBrohun, Director

Approved by the Graduate Council

Date _______________

________________________________________ Peder J. Estrup Dean of the Graduate School and Research


I would like gratefully to acknowledge the assistance and contributions of the faculty of the Brown University Department of Classics to the present work. In particular, I wish to thank Jeri DeBrohun, who directed this thesis; Michael C. J. Putnam, whose discussions of the Aeneid inspired the paper upon which this work is based; and David Konstan, who provided support and advice both intellectual and personal. I would like to thank the students of the Department of Classics, especially Bill Tortorelli, who read a draft of this thesis; Michael Fontaine and Warren Petrofsky, who helped answer historical questions; and Phil Thibodeau, who was prepared to respond with insight to any question or problem. I would also like to thank Ruthann Whitten, administrative assistant to the Department of Classics, for help with innumerable things; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the U. S. Department of Education Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program for financial support; and Michael Sippey and Roy Feldman of Viant Corporation for making every accommodation to assist me in completing this work on schedule.

Beastly Feasts: Eating and the Earthly Monsters in Vergil’s Aeneid

Among the supernatural creatures which inhabit the universe of the Aeneid, the mortal, earth-bound monsters command our attention in a peculiar way. Sharing a world with natural creatures, they imitate that natural order while somehow standing outside it. As part of the mimicry, they take on human and animal behaviors such as eating, yet they defy normal roles of hunter, predator, and prey. In the Aeneid, the essence of what it is to be a monster seems not unconnected with appetite and food. This essay is an inquiry into the phenomena in Vergil‟s text which lie at the intersection of eating and monstrosity. The sort of monsters I mean are those creatures which are unnatural enough to fall clearly outside of the animal kingdom, but which reside on earth, in the human world of the text.1 The creatures I will examine are not men nor animals nor gods nor beings of the underworld. Thus, nymphs, gods, ghosts, and furies are all excluded (although they certainly deserve study on their own terms). This paper will focus on the serpents which attack Laocoon, the Harpies which are confronted by the Trojans, Polyphemus, from whom the Trojans
They do not, though, always exist at the time of the poem‟s action. Cacus, for example, is destroyed before the action of the Aeneid takes place.

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rescue a Greek refugee, and Cacus, whose death is celebrated by Evander.2 The beasts will be examined with the goal of discerning the motifs and imagery which connect the monsters to their food, their victims, and each other. It has been argued that monsters in cultural artifacts are often representative not only of what is alien to nature, but also of what is culturally and politically alien. Concerning Homer‟s Polyphemus, for example, J. Cohen writes: The quintessential xenophobic rendition of the foreign … , the Cyclopes are represented as savages who have not “a law to bless them” and who lack the techne to produce (Greek-style) civilization. Their archaism is conveyed through their lack of hierarchy and of a politics of precedent. This dissolution from community leads to a rugged individualism that in Homeric terms can only be horrifying. Because they live without a system of tradition and custom, the Cyclopes are a danger to the arriving Greeks, men whose identities are contingent upon compartmentalized function within a deindividualizing system of subordination and control. Polyphemos‟s victims are devoured, engulfed, made to vanish from the public gaze: cannibalism as incorporation into the wrong cultural body.3 Another way of viewing deformity is to observe that what appears malformed or contrary to nature is ipso facto alien to some construction of nature-unnature present in a particular cultural artifact. Thus, we are actually drawing conclusions about the culture‟s worldview (or at least the one presented in the
While other monsters are alluded to in the text, these four alone receive extended treatment. For example, although Scylla certainly fits the proper genus of beast, Aeneas avoids facing her and Vergil summarily describes this lack of an encounter: Helenus warns Aeneas to avoid Scylla at 3.420-32. Aeneas follows these instructions and successfully avoids her at 3.684-6. 3 Cohen 1996, p.14.

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artifact), rather than about the monster.4 Such an observation is useful, but reading the Aeneid’s monsters is made even more complex by the worldview of Vergil and his contemporaries. In particular, these Romans held a set of beliefs by which the cosmos, the state, and the body were held to be interrelated and reflective of one another.5 For example, a link between the universe and the state is made clear by texts such as Cicero‟s de re publica and the “origins of society” in Plato‟s Protagoras. Plato uses the other two relationships as groundworks for an extended set of philosophical arguments: in the Republic, body is state and state is body. In Timaeus, the universe is a living body. This trilateral figure of associations – a sort of proportion in three terms – can be seen to provide a context for understanding monsters, because deformities of any one of the terms (e.g., natural creature or body) can be seen to reflect some deviation in one or both of the other two terms (universe or state). This perspective on cosmos, state, and body, is codified in the practice of augury. Taking auspices is an assertion that the examination of animals‟ bodies (or observation of their behavior) results in knowledge about the state of the cosmos. Further, this knowledge about the cosmos must inform the military actions and the political appointments made by the state. Such an explicit link between cosmos, body, and state, provides, on one
See Hogle 1998, Schmitt 1997 pp. 135-55, Cohen 1996, Haraway 1991 esp. pp. 7-20, Levi-Strauss 1969, Douglas 1966.

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level, a sort of Rosetta stone for interpreting the appearance of a malformed and unnatural creature. On another level, however, it only becomes harder to understand just what is written in the existence of a particular monster – and it is the monster‟s unnatural presence itself that must be read, because we must look past a surface symbology in order to ask Why this monster? Why here? Why now?6 In the case of eating, we find ourselves again in a multi-valenced landscape, where the marked dietal poles seem not only to be starvation and gluttony (with some sort of “moderation” in between), but also savage, overrefined, austere, and what we might call idealized. Further, different sorts of people seem to travel different directions through the landscape of food to arrive at one or another diet. Thus, a story of food is not only a story of How much? and of What kind? but, equally, a story of Who does the eating and How far is the eater from Rome? We recognize that the Romans were self-conscious in the material critique of their culture, viz. by reference to its food.7 The food could in turn be characterized by reference to its national or cultural origin. E. Gowers writes: The standard extremes of Roman eating, simple and luxurious food, were used ... to mark out two different stages in the
“The idea that the state is analogous to, or even in some way identical with, the natural universe is widespread in ancient thought…” Hardie 1986 p.2; “[The Greeks] conceived the citizen, the city, and the cosmos to be built according to the same principles.” Haraway 1991 p.7. 6 “The monstrous body is pure culture. A construct and a projection, the monster exists only to be read...” Cohen 1996, p. 4. 7 The Romans were not alone in this regard. For example, we can see a similar Greek critique by looking at the foods consumed in Plato‟s model city, and comparing them to those consumed in his “feverish,” “luxurious” city, Rep. 372be, 373a, 373c.

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mythology of Roman civilization: the pure, rustic nature of the Romans‟ past imposed on over-sophisticated urban culture. The contrast could be geographical as well as historical. The diet of other races often threw Roman decadence into relief: when Tacitus (Germania 23) says that the Germans eat fresh wild meat, wild fruit, and cheese, and satisfy their hunger without trappings and seasonings, that is really a reflection on his own society.8 Livy, to offer a Republican example, takes advantage of Gnaeus Manlius Volso‟s activities with a Roman army in Asia (39.6.3; 187 BC) to remark on the Asiatic source of luxuries undermining the city of Rome. At this time, says Livy, cooks and elaborate food achieve respect in Rome which they had not had before: Luxuriae enim peregrinae origo ab exercitu Asiatico invecta in urbem est. ... epulae ... ipsae et cura et sumptu maiore apparari coeptae. Tum coquus, vilissimum antiquis mancipium et aestimatione et usu, in pretio esse, et quod ministerium fuerat, ars haberi coepta. Vix tamen illa, quae tum conspiciebantur, semina erant futurae luxuriae. (39.6.7-9) For the beginnings of foreign luxury were introduced into the City by the army from Asia. ... the banquets themselves ... began to be planned with both greater care and greater expense. At that time the cook, to the ancient Romans the most worthless of slaves, both in their judgment of values and in what use they made of him, began to have value, and what had been merely a necessary service came to be regarded as an art. Yet those things which were then looked upon as remarkable were hardly even the germs of the luxury to come. Livy does not here explicitly describe the fancy banquets as consisting of foreign food. But his silence, perhaps, makes the point clearer: the items of eastern luxury (e.g. bronze couches and tapestries 39.6.7) are, together with the female lute players (39.6.8), the elaborate banquets, and cooks, grouped together and juxtaposed implicitly with the habiliments of the Roman antiquis. The point here

Gowers 1993, p. 18.

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is not whether 187 was really a seminal year in Roman moral degeneration9 nor even whether the Romans‟ golden age of culinary simplicity was exaggeration or outright mythology.10 Rather, we are content to observe that the Romans evaluated their political and moral health by reference to food. Livy also shows how, in the next year (186), the tripartite analogy of heavens, body, and state come together to create anxiety about impending turbulence. After the ludi Taurii are held, Novemdiale deinde sacrum tenuit, quod in Piceno per triduum lapidibus pluerat, ignesque caelestes multifariam orti adussisse cumplurium levi adflatu vestimenta dicebantur. Addita et unum diem supplicatio est ex decreto pontificum, quod aedis Opis in Capitolio de caelo tacta erat. Hostiis maioribus consules procurarunt urbemque lustraverunt. Sub idem tempus et ex Umbria nuntiatum est semimarem duodecim ferme annos natum inventum. Id prodigium abominantes arceri Romano agro necarique quam primum iusserunt. Eodem anno Galli Transalpini transgressi in Venetiam sine populatione aut bello haud procul inde, ubi nunc Aquilei est, locum oppido condendo ceperunt. (39.22.3-6) Then a nine-day feast took place because in Picenum through three days there had been showers of stones, and especially because flames shining in the sky in many places were said to have set fire to the garments of many when a light breeze blew upon them. A one-day period of prayer was also added by decree of the pontiffs because the temple of Ops on the Capitoline had been struck by lightning. The consuls atoned for this with full-grown victims and purified the City. About the same time it was reported from Umbria that a hermaphrodite about twelve years old had been discovered. In their fear and awe of this portent they ordered the prodigy to be removed from Roman soil and killed as soon as
Livy goes on to describe the importation of, and hysteria occasioned by, eastern Bacchanals in this same year, 39.8ff. 10 Plutarch, in his Life of Marcus Cato, expresses in an admiring tone Cato‟s culinary simplicity and frugality in many places (including 1.7, 3.2, 4.1, 4.3, 6.1, 9.4-5). And yet even Cato the Elder hearks back to more remote days of yore, visiting (2.1-2) the hut which had once belonged to Manius Curius, a hero of three triumphs whom a Samnite embassy found at his hearth cooking turnips.

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possible. In the same year Transalpine Gauls, crossing into Venetia without any devastation or war, took possession of a site for founding a town not far from where Aquileia now stands. Natural prodigies are here juxtaposed directly with a deformed body and with a foreign invasion of northern Italy. All are seen as threatening, but not each on its respective terms. Instead, the natural-unnatural phenomena of meteor shower, lightning, and the sudden “discovery” of a hermaphrodite are all read as signs of political danger. In the following pages I will attempt to outline the imagery which binds Vergil‟s monsters to one another through their physical characteristics and their behavior – especially their eating. Moreover, I will attempt to discover the meaning that lies in their uncertain yet threatening presence – for the narrator‟s voice in the Aeneid never even mentions their appearance. As if self-reflexively to reinforce that the fabric of monstrosity is constructed in layers of text, only Vergil‟s characters assert the existence of monsters.

Laocoon and the Serpents: 2.199-23111

An analysis of the serpent attack on Laocoon may be seen to provide a skeletal outline of the threat which monsters pose to humans. The snakes attack Laocoon, devour his children, and then slither off. This encounter scene provides a base case upon which later scenes will elaborate. However, even though it is

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brief, we can readily examine the subtler elements of the scene through two acts of what might be called verbal displacement in Aeneas‟ description. First, we find that the blood which will have been shed in the attack is not mentioned there; instead, sanguis is used repeatedly to describe the snakes as they approach and to describe the frightening effect they have on the Trojans. Second, the attack seems verbally to repress the children‟s explicit dismemberment, despite the fact that the core of the scene consists in two beasts consuming humans. Instead of a vocabulary of gory dismemberment (which will appear in the Aeneid’s later monster scenes), the violence here is described in terms of wrapping, winding, and binding images. The displacement of blood onto the snakes‟ description is facilitated by the similarity in sound between anguis (204) and sanguis. This sonic affinity is exploited so that blood becomes the descriptive attribute of the snakes even before they attack Laocoon and before they do anyone any harm. The serpents‟ crests and eyes are red (respectively sanguineae 207 and sanguine 210) like the blood they will spill from their victims. At the sight of them, the Trojans scatter exsangues 212.12 At the least, then, the Trojans go pale at the frightening sight. But also exsangues are the umbrae in the underworld (6.401), where “bloodless” suggests lifelessness in addition to pallor. Thus we understand the Trojans‟ scattering, their blood figuratively drained, as indicative of their upcoming
When citing the Aeneid, I will omit book numbers when they are clear from the context. Where more than one book is invoked, or the citation is otherwise unclear, I will revert to providing book and line numbers.

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collective destruction and of the immediate dismemberment of Laocoon‟s sons. In any case, the blood-pallor/sanguine-pale contrast is established here, and will be exploited heavily as a motif in confrontations of hungry monsters and their victims. Since blood is immanent in the description of the serpents before they have actually started attacking, and the assault involves the necessarily bloody act of chewing the limbs (morsu depascitur artus 215) of living humans, the description of the assault itself is strange in light of its verbal bloodlessness. The principal verbal figure in the attack is that of wrapping, seizing, and binding (as I will discuss below), rather than bloody injury. The only apparent reference to blood in the attack itself is at 221, where Laocoon is described as perfusus sanie vittas atroque veneno. Observing Aeneas‟ diction precisely, Laocoon‟s chaplets are not so much soaked with blood as with corrupted gore or bloody effluence (sanie). The bands are soaked with black poison (atro... veneno) rather than black blood, even though cruore would have fit the metrical position.13 The story, as Aeneas tells it, seems to involve a displacement of the sanguis, which accompanied the attack, onto the serpents themselves. As a result, the serpents have eyes filled with blood but the attack, if not literally bloodless, avoids direct reference to blood. While the bleeding incurred by the snakes‟ attack seems to be shifted onto
Perhaps we are also to hear in the line “ex sangues,” i.e., ex sangue, so that we see the Trojans flee from the blood.

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the description of the snakes‟ advent, the attack is nevertheless vividly described. This description is filled with images of wrapping, binding, and seizing: amplexus 214, implicat 215, corripiunt ... ligant 217, amplexi ... circum ... dati 218-9, nodos 220. The injury (miseros morsu despascitur artus 215) is restricted to a single line. Although this single line is thereby rendered striking, the verbal emphasis in the scene is on the binding and subduing of the victim, on the impending injury. Fear seems here to affect the way in which the attack is described. The Trojans‟ fear, mentioned before the attack (diffugimus visu exsangues 212), is again explicit upon the conclusion of the attack. The Trojans‟ breasts were set to trembling (tremefacta 228). A new fear insinuat (229) into them, just as the snake sinuat (208) on its way into shore, and thus the earlier fear is verbally connected with that afterward. The Trojans‟ fear is likely strongest when they see the snakes approaching and the attack beginning. Hence the poem emphasizes the horror in their arrival, giving an extended description to the moment before they are actually striking anyone, and in their subduing a victim, when the bite is still impending. Fear will naturally figure in other monster encounters in the Aeneid, and it will be useful to see how this fear – a sort of shadow cast in the text by a monster‟s presence – helps to delineate the shape of the beast. In interpreting the snakes‟ presence, we can note that the serpents follow a simple political association of the monstrous and the foreign. When the serpents attack, Troy still stands and the Greeks are the enemy who will sack it. The

Cf., e.g., 5.333: concidit immundoque fimo sacroque cruore. Forms of cruor occur 24 times in Aeneid; of these,

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serpents are aligned with the Greek force through their number (two, like the Atreidai who command the Greek forces) and their direction of origin (the island of Tenedos, to which the Greeks have temporarily withdrawn). Laocoon, as a representative of the Trojans, is attacked, his sons consumed, by the enemy who will shortly destroy his city. When we inquire, however, just what about the snakes makes them monstrous or unnatural, we arrive at a strange conclusion. The physical form of the serpents is not, alone, what is horrifying. Even their behavior may not seem shocking or disturbing, inasmuch as the snakes seem like brute beasts which might attack a person the way that a bear does. The snakes‟ near-animal nature make them different from, e.g., the quasi-civilized Polyphemus, who seems by that very status the more barbaric when he eats the Greek men. The most frightening thing about the snakes is just that they appear at a crucial moment. Their appearance just when Laocoon might have saved Troy from the horse suggests that they were “sent” in accordance with some divine will. Or, looked at another way, it suggests that their appearance is connected to an inescapable fate pronounced on the Trojans. Thus, while the Trojans in Aeneid 2 see the snakes‟ attack as an omen and mis-respond by opening their city to destruction, the readers of these monsters can see them as omens of a different sort. They signify that there is a link between cosmos, body, and state even if it is illegible, i.e., bound to be misinterpreted. Such a situation can only be a source of anxiety or
15 occurrences are line-endings.

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subversive unease when we bring to mind the glorious fate for Rome suggested later in the Aeneid.

The Trojans and the Harpies: 3.209-67

Aeneas makes explicit the status of the Harpies: no monstrum, pestis, or ira worse than these ever drew itself out of the Stygian waves (214-5). These beasts are immediately associated with food (Celaeno and the others colunt [212] the Strophades the way a farmer cultivates land; they took up residence after leaving the mensas [213] at Phineas‟ house). Although this association of Harpies and food is not itself the work of Vergil‟s text (Vergil seems to take up where Ap. Rh. Arg. 2.223-300 leaves off), Vergil‟s scene reduplicates within the Aeneid itself that link between eating and fear which was evident in the episode of Laocoon. The present scene, however, goes beyond reiteration of language or of motif to develop a sophisticated exchange between Aeneas‟ men and the Harpies. Vergil‟s Harpies are not mere snatchers of food. They are set forth as thoroughly controlling food on their island, and their ability to give or take food – extended even into the future by their use of prophecy – enables them ultimately to engender hysterical fear in the Trojans. Their designation as monstrum, though metaphorically indicating their monstrous nature, points literally at the portent they will provide: the prophecy of hunger. We can see some of the aspects in which the Harpies control food by

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looking at the three negative characteristics programmatically attributed to the creatures by Aeneas (216-18). Before narrating the Trojans‟ arrival in port (219), Aeneas gives his audience a prologue of general information about the Strophades and the Harpies:14 ... Strophades Graio stant nomine dictae, insulae Ionio in magno, quas dira Celaeno Harpyiaeque colunt aliae, Phineia postquam clausa domus, mensasque metu liquere priores. Tristius haud illis monstrum, nec saevior ulla pestis et ira deum Stygiis sese extulit undis. Virginei volucrum voltus, foedissima ventris proluvies, uncaeque manus, et pallida semper ora fame. (210-18) The Harpies have virgin faces (216) – so far, so good. The three subsequent details help us bring together the monstrous essence of these creatures as well as their control over eating and hunger. First, the Harpies have a foedissima proluvies (216-17) from their bellies, which is likely fluid from the digestive or reproductive tract of the beasts.15 Whatever it is, it seems to have significance by way of the Harpies‟ supernatural capacity for contamination: contactu ... omnia foedant 227. The efflux physically carries the Harpies‟ foul internal nature to the outside world, so that it can be spread around by touch. It is a hermetic sort of agent which conducts pollution across the boundary between the body‟s internal and external environment. As a
We should bear in mind that although this description is set as a preface to the scene, it is partly composed of the information and opinions which Aeneas will only have gleaned by the end of the episode. 15 In light of the Harpies‟ pollution of food, I would speculate that the proluvies is a kind of excreta from the birds‟ digestion. However, unlike normal fecal matter which is the remainder from proper digestion, the proluvies of the Harpies is unnatural and foul because it results from incomplete or improper digestion, whereby they remain perpetually hungry (they bear pallida semper / ora fame 217-18).

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result, the externally presented aspect of these creatures (that is, independent of their malevolent or benign intentions) is a threat to humans‟ healthy production and consumption of food.16 Second, the Harpies‟ hands are hooked or curved (uncaeque manus 217). This detail is an indication of talons, in accordance with bird characteristics or with the Harpies‟ eponymous role as “snatchers.” While the Harpies will not attempt to eat the Trojans, or even to take their food away physically, they seize the food symbolically by actively and repeatedly rendering it unusable and hence denying it to the Trojans.17 Third, the Harpies‟ faces are perpetually pale with hunger: pallida semper ora fame 217-18. In contrast to the serpents in book two, which were described as bloody and which carried out the act of eating, these monsters show a bloodless mien precisely because they either do not eat, or else eat without deriving lasting nourishment. Thus, in a negative way, this later example reinforces the alignment of food with blood. There is no blood shed in the Trojans‟ battle with the Harpies, just as there is no food consumed in their presence. Pallor is associated with the Harpies‟ foodlessness (fame) and fear (the Harpies fled metu 213) in addition to its normal physiological indication of bloodlessness.18 The Trojans, who do not eat but do get scared after hearing Celaeno‟s prophecy, are described in a way that conforms to this image: sociis … gelidus formidine sanguis
Douglas 1966, esp. pp. 137-153. Putnam 1980, p. 5 and p. 5 n. 13. 18 Putnam 1980, ibid.
16 17

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deriguit 259-60. The Trojans do not exhibit pallor, but their blood runs cold. Or, more precisely, it stiffens up – in the absence of eating there is an absence of flowing blood. I have argued that Aeneas‟ programmatic ascription to the Harpies of the foregoing three characteristics begins to establish their role as beastly controllers of food and hunger. But Vergil takes their control beyond the physical and the present by allowing them to pronounce a prophecy whereby they sentence Aeneas and his men to future hunger. Celaeno has been privileged to receive word from Zeus (pater omnipotens 251) that the Trojans are fated to starve before founding their walls. Celaeno has not only the power of speech but also knowledge of the gods‟ speech; she is able to invoke the word of the gods in retaliation for the Trojans‟ attack: bellumne inferre paratis ... ? accipite ergo ... dicta, quae ... mihi Phoebus Apollo praedixit (248-52). At this revelation, terror strikes the Trojans. As mentioned above, the Trojans‟ blood freezes stiff with fear, the only mention of blood in the Harpy episode. Their spirits collapse and they exchange arms for prayers (260-1). Anchises‟ cries to the gods are clearly an act of hysteria, since, if Anchises believes the prophecy is truly Zeus‟ word, then he knows there is no purpose in saying “prohibite minas” or “talem avertite casum” (265). Thus, through her ability to pronounce on the future, Celaeno imposes upon the Trojans a debilitating (cecidere animi) fear of hunger, and reigns omnipotent in her control of food – at least on her island. Celaeno‟s prophecy speaks to events far from the Harpies‟ island. But

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what we might call the “affective content” of the prophecy is soon countered by Helenus‟ reassurances.19 Helenus says explicitly that Aeneas should not worry about the gnawing of the tables (394-5), though he does not dispute that the event will come to pass. That is, Helenus and Celaeno prophesy more or less the same information, with the same authority, but with differing affective content. The difference between the two versions is not obscure, but it will be useful to state it explicitly: Helenus desires to reassure; Celaeno desires to frighten. Since Celaeno chooses how to present the information in order to accomplish her goal, we see that she chooses to exert her control over the Trojans‟ view of their situation. In the image of Celaeno speaking forth a prophecy, we catch a glimpse of what may be the essential perversion of nature that is being expressed in the Harpy encounter – a distortion or inversion of the practice of augury itself. For how can one take auspices or read the birds if they have access to Apollo and are intentionally manipulating their audience? The birds in augury are supposed to be a passive substrate upon which the state of the heavens or an indication about an event is impressed, as on a wax tablet. The bird is then read as a passive object of examination, and meaning is drawn from reading this body. The Harpies represent a multiple inversion of their “natural” role – for they are active, they are speaking the prophecy, they are doing the interpreting of Apollo. And, rather
By “affective content,” I mean the prophecy as it is understood by the listener, with emphasis on whether the listener thinks the prophecy is good or bad. Since prophecies are famous both for literal accuracy and for inspiring misinterpretation in a hearer, it seems useful to establish a term to represent what the listener

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than passively presenting a deformed body as a monstrum in the unexceptional sense to indicate a deformation in the heavenly state, they leak a fluid with the power of Stygian corruption and use it actively to produce corruption where it was not before on earth. If we consider what it means to suggest that (1) there is an external ineluctable course of fate (as in Helenus‟ prophecy, the prophecies received in the underworld, etc.) along with (2) legitimate omens which are bound to be misinterpreted at the critical juncture (as in the serpent attack) and (3) perverse, actively deceptive objects-of-augury-turned-knowing-subjects (as in the Harpy encounter), then we can begin to perceive the real fear and anxiety behind the presence of these monsters. One‟s view of appropriate action and proper guidance of the state could end up – like Aeneas‟ men themselves when he is telling the present part of his story – severely off course. Anxieties of this sort in Vergil‟s own milieu are not hard to appreciate. In addition, the poet‟s language suggests that it is not trivial that the Harpies‟ control of food is localized to the island – their patrio regno (249), in Celaeno‟s words. The control of food and the political control of the island are bound together. For, in explicit terms, he presents the Trojan quest for a meal as war, even before the Harpies first appear. Upon seeing that the herds are without guard (nullo custode 221), Aeneas‟ men attack (inruimus ferro 222). The animals are spoils (praeda 223, 244) and serve as dapibus opimis (224), perhaps humorously
thinks the prophecy means, and how he or she feels about it.

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alluding to spoliis opimis (which appear in the Aeneid at 6.855 and 10.449). After the Harpies‟ first attack and the Trojans‟ first retreat, the meal is reconstituted like a battle line (instruimus mensas 231).20 At this point, Aeneas “declares” war as though on the local (human) population (edico ... bellum cum gente gerendum 235), and the battle vocabulary continues: sociis 234, scuta condunt 237 (which hints, behind its sense of hiding shields, at building fortifications), dat signum 239, invadunt socii ... proelia temptant 240. After the second Harpy victory, when Celaeno addresses the Trojans, she suggests both that the Trojans‟ made war on account of the slaughtered herd21 (pro caede boum 247) and that the Trojan attack is tantamount to an expulsion from her native land (patrio ... pellere regno 249). The conjunction (by Vergil as by Celaeno) of war against the herd with war against the Harpies establishes the political role of the Harpies as island-rulers and food-deniers. That is, it makes clear that the Harpies‟ perpetual hunger is a political status, and the island a sort of regime of starvation. On this account, Aeneas‟ desire for food brings on war and represents a military-political threat. If this encounter is overtly political and military, it is less overt what political interests are at stake. For the Trojans (denominated thus by reference to their ancestral king Laomedon [3.248], despite Troy‟s destruction) are presently without a physical homeland. The national status of Trojan is restricted to Aeneas‟ band of men. The status which will replace Trojan, namely future20

Thus Lewis and Short, s.v. instruo.

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Roman, is alive for the reader, but Aeneas does not even know what “Roman” will come to mean until his descent into the underworld. For their part, the Harpies control the island, but bear some curious similarities to the Trojans. R. Rabel writes: Though force … [in the Trojans‟ war against the Harpies] proves futile and the Trojans are overmatched, the listener cannot escape the impression that like is confronting like. Aeneas and his men represent a threat to sojourners in exile. Whereas attempts at renewal of the Trojan past in Thrace and Crete brought pollution upon Aeneas and his crew … now the Trojan attack upon the Harpies involves an attempt to “befoul” with iron (ferro foedare, 3.241) the wings of their foes: pollution confronts pollution. Further, the remains of the sacrifice at the brief war‟s end are described as semesam praedam (3.244), a phrase nicely ambiguous of the results of piracy transformed by war into the plunder of winged scavengers.22 In confronting the Harpies, the Trojans are, perhaps, confronting themselves.23 In particular, they are confronting that appetitive element in the Romans‟ own culture that will bring on what later writers (such as Livy, in the passages from book 39 quoted above) view as the decline of the ancient, noble, and austere. One point of comparison, which does not establish the point but does provide some context, is offered by Vergil‟s contemporary, Horace. In Satires 2.2, Horace treats the virtue of simple living. In doing so, he brings together (1) a
Unless she means that she provided the slaughtered animals so that the war was pro caede boum, with pro meaning “in exchange for.” This sense serves my argument equally well, since it means that the Harpies not only take away food, but provide it too – thus, their domain of control over food extends beyond just taking it. 22 Rabel 1985, p. 319. 23 “The Harpies externalize the monster within us. They objectify grabbers who make us grab, living in a landscape that turns us around or away from some more steadfast pattern of living.” Putnam 1980, p. 5

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contrast of Roman versus Greek habits24, (2) a contrast of small, simple food versus excessive food25, and (3) a contrast of an appetite that enjoys modest fare26 versus an appetite worthy of the rapacious Harpies (Harpyiis gula digna rapacibus 2.2.40) that ruins decent food by its very gluttony and satiety (2.2.41-4). Horace‟s contrasts, though not parallel (except by ironic implication), tempt us to the see the Harpy-like appetite as opposed to the “real” (which is exactly the imaginary) simple Roman diet.27 What Horace‟s work does establish is that the Harpies “work” as an image for a contemporary critique of the Roman diet. That is, the Harpies are at least compatible with the symbolic role assignment that I have suggested. On this view, although Aeneas‟ men do not leave victorious over the beast, they do make two perverse gains from the encounter. First, they leave in that fatigued, hungry condition that Horace suggests makes them ready to eat cibum vilem (2.2.15). They need not slaughter a herd of cattle and fix dapibus opimis for themselves, if their hunger makes them appreciate not only the pomis agrestibus (Aen. 7.111)28 but even the exiguam Cererem (7.113) when they fulfill the tables prophecy. That prophecy of the tables, then, is the second curious gain
... vel, si Romana fatigat militia adsuetum graecari, seu pila velox molliter austerum studio fallente laborem (2.2.1012). Chasing a hare and riding an unbroken horse are likened to the Roman exercises. Practicing Greek ways includes playing with a ball, where the deceptive effort softly covers the work. 25 ... cum labor extuderit fastidia ... sperne cibum vilem; nisi Hymettia mella Falerno ne biberis diluta (2.2.14-16). 26 ... laudas, insane, trilibrem mullum (2.2.33-4) only because it is rare, as that fish is by nature smaller. But only ieiunus raro stomachus volgaria temnit (2.2.38). 27 Horace refers to the appetites of the ancients at 2.2.89-93 with what seems to be some self-conscious merriment. Rancidum aprum antiqui laudabant ... Hos utinam inter heroas natum tellus me prima tulisset (2.2.8993). 28 In their taste for wild fruit, they resemble Tacitus‟ Germans, on whom Gowers comments (p. 18, quoted above).

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which the Trojans make in the Harpy scene: on the surface, it is a terrifying prophecy because it says the Trojans will be hungry; but, if hunger is aligned with the meager meals of the Rome‟s noble fathers (as against the “luxury” of the Asian identity now left behind), the tables prophecy appears almost a benediction. For it pronounces that Aeneas‟ men will have one of the characteristics which is proper to the founders of Rome.

The Trojans, the Greek Refugee, and the Cyclopes: 3.568-683

The encounter with the Cyclopes is substantially longer and more complex than the encounter with the Harpies. Earlier motifs are reworked and elaborated in the description of Polyphemus‟ gruesome appearance and behavior. For the names applied to Polyphemus we need only note line 658, where he is monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, while his race is infandi (644), gentem nefandam (653), and concilium horrendum (679). For the subtleties behind the epithets, I would like to delineate three themes which Vergil follows in the characterization of Polyphemus as monster. The association of blood and gore with eating reappears, augmented by some variation from its earlier use; Polyphemus‟ gluttony – which had been part of traditional Cyclops lore29 – is depicted and elaborated with two features important for the Aeneid; and

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Polyphemus‟ speech – or lack of speech – gives us further hints about his proper location in the taxonomy of monsters. I will also examine the role of fear, prayer, and supplication in the encounter between Aeneas and the Greek refugee. The characters‟ differing narrative positions with respect to the monster will be shown further to illuminate the episode. The horror of Polyphemus eating his victims is described in the present scene (621-7) in expansive graphic detail (especially as compared to the serpent attack on Laocoon). The description is set up gradually, however, in the Greek escapee‟s speech. For we learn first that the Cyclops‟ cave is one giant, dark den of gore and bloody meals (domus sanie dapibusque cruentis, intus opaca, ingens 61819), the language still hesitant about the concomitant eating and bloodying. The Greek tells Aeneas that the Cyclops is rough and hard, and reaches the stars (61920), but before pronouncing the precise details of the Cyclops attack, the narrator is apparently overcome with horror at the more specific details of the scene. He cries out a prayer, asking di talem avertite … pestem (620), a cry to keep the maneater away. We can note that the Greek‟s prayer here is similar to Anchises‟ own prayer after Celaeno pronounces the tables prophecy. Anchises, praying talem avertite casum (265), asks that the gods keep off Celaeno‟s threat that he would not eat (in contrast to the Greek, who is worried about being eaten). After the refugee‟s exclamation, the gruesome details come forth: nec visu facilis nec dictu adfabilis ulli;
Glenn 1972 discusses the extent to which Vergil accepts the various poetic exploitations of Polyphemus which had arisen over the centuries.

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visceribus miserorum et sanguine vescitur atro. vidi egomet duo de numero cum corpora nostro prensa manu magna medio resupinus in antro frangeret ad saxum, sanieque aspersa natarent 625 limina; vidi atro cum membra fluentia tabo manderet et tepidi tremerent sub dentibus artus – (3.621-7) In these lines, we have a description more severe than earlier ones. It includes vocabulary (sanguine … atro 622, sanie 625, atro 626) from the serpent attack scene, but is supplemented with physical detail: Polyphemus feeds on (vescitur) entrails (visceribus); he breaks his victims‟ bodies on rocks; the threshold swims with gore and black putrid matter (atro … tabo 626). The blood, the eating, and the dark color, like the darkness (opaca 619) of the cave itself, are all identified with Polyphemus‟ consumption of men. Lines 621 and 627, however, strengthen the description in a way that mere adding of detail and of explicitness could not. Line 621 adds pathos and line 627 provides an allusion to the attack on Laocoon. Though line 621 may be taken to say that Polyphemus was hard to look at and impossible to talk to, it may as easily, in the present context, indicate that he did not soften at the sight of anyone‟s face nor could he be reached by their cry, when he was about to eat the individual. Such pathos extends the description beyond physical attack. Line 627 suggests a possible comparison to miseros morsu depascitur artus (2.215), Aeneas‟ description of the serpents chewing on the limbs of Laocoon‟s children. In 3.627, the Cyclops‟ action is nearly the same as the snakes‟ had been in 2.215 – chewing (manderet) on limbs versus biting (morsu) them – but the description at 3.627 is

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made more forceful by the subsequent reversal of grammatical subject. Polyphemus chews limbs (membra) and the limbs themselves (artus) quiver beneath his teeth. Both we and Aeneas‟ Trojans must recall the attack on Laocoon‟s children, whose limbs will have quivered beneath the serpents‟ fangs, though Aeneas spares his Carthaginian audience such a detail. Beyond the eating of men, the Greek comments on Polyphemus‟ general gluttony. For it was the Cyclops‟ willingness to eat (expletus dapibus 630) and drink himself into a stupor (vinoque sepultus 630, somnum 633) that allowed Ulysses and his men to attack (634-6). So much is part of the Polyphemus story from Homer (Od. 9.371-400). The refugee, however, adds two elements which distinguish his story and let it reach out to other passages and themes in the Aeneid. First, Polyphemus eats the bloody viscera of people and drinks wine, but when the Greek escapes he eats only the unhappy fare of berries, cornel-cherries, and roots. His diet is provided by the roots (radicibus 650) and branches (rami 650) of plants. The Greek‟s diet is not animal, and features no blood. But concomitant with the meat-free, bloodless diet is a sheer paucity of food: when Aeneas‟ men first spy the refugee, his body is macie confecta (590). This correspondence between vegetable diet and hunger is not surprising in a text that has associated blood with eating and food, bloodlessness with hunger and pallor. The text almost seems caught between the extremes of starvation and gluttony, unable to find a sensible middle ground. As suggested above, the

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fulfillment of the tables prophecy, with its feast of fruits and grains, may be an attempt to stabilize or mediate between these dangerous extremes of eating. At the same time, we are reminded not only of Roman political readings of food (discussed above) but also of diet as political determiner at Rome. Adjustment of the grain dole could make political fortunes, while soldiers on campaign – who often subsisted on a diet close to the Roman austere ideal – might return with victory paradoxically embodied by the luxuries of the east (as in Livy 39, discussed above). Alternatively, as had occurred during the civil wars, the army might itself become the man-consuming monster, figuratively taking on the savage diet as it becomes arbiter of political power.30 The second special feature of the Cyclops‟ gluttony is his vomiting out of gore, chunks of food, and wine (saniem eructans et frusta cruento … commixta mero 632-3). The vomiting up of his meal of bloody entrails immediately associates Polyphemus with Aetna. Aeneas had described Aetna in eruption, when the Trojans arrived at the land of the Cyclopes, as avulsaque viscera montis … eructans (575-6). Thus the volcano too vomits up torn off entrails. In this way, a sympathy is suggested between the landscape and the monster it houses. In the Cacus episode a similar and perhaps stronger sympathy will be exhibited. The vomiting is also connected with the Greeks‟ revenge on Polyphemus. Vomiting, inasmuch as it is the unconsuming of the men Polyphemus had eaten, might be said to be the reversal or undoing of his act of eating them. But, of course, vomiting saniem

For an analysis of what was eaten, how much was eaten, where it came from and who controlled it, see

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in no way undoes the crime, so it cannot substitute for the men‟s revenge; it only supplements it. Haud impune quidem (628) is Polyphemus‟ eating of men and, even if the Cyclops vomits out their gore before Ulysses acts, the Greeks still gladly take revenge: laeti sociorum ulciscimur umbras (638). We will observe that a similar physical reversal or undoing of crime will accompany Hercules‟ revenge on Cacus in book eight. The last theme I would like to discuss in connection with the Cyclops‟ characterization as a monster is his lack of speech. Vergil‟s text does not make explicit that his Polyphemus cannot speak. But we can observe that he does not speak; that he is not spoken to; and that the Greek refugee says he cannot be addressed (nec dictu adfabilis ulli 621). In addition, although infandi and nefandam are passive in form and meaning (these words are attributed to the Cyclopes at 644 and 653 respectively), they echo the sounds of active forms such as infans, “unable to speak.” In any case, the Cyclops‟ lack of speech is one obvious point of departure of Vergil‟s tale from Homer‟s31, in spite of Vergil‟s retention of the name Polyphemus32, “many-voiced”33 or “much-speaking.” The facts that Polyphemus doesn‟t speak and that the Greek refugee says he cannot be spoken to place an additional level of remove between man and Cyclops. Unlike even the Harpies, who are dreadful but intelligent in their own accursed way, Vergil‟s Cyclops does not communicate with man and offers only a yell (clamorem … tollit
Garnsey and Saller 1987, esp. pp. 83-103. 31 Homer‟s Polyphemus speaks at Od. 9.250-5, 272-80, and elsewhere. 32 Vergil uses this name at Aeneid 3.641; Homer first uses it at Od. 1.69.

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672). The absence of speech also produces a more unnatural, monstrous position for the Cyclops in subtler ways. Because his name no longer makes sense, Polyphemus has, in a way, fallen farther out of the natural taxonomic hierarchy. Part of defining and controlling nature, as well as defining and excluding the monstrous, consists in getting the names right;34 a taxonomic hierarchy (whether that of Aristotle or of Linnaeus) seeks to circumscribe reality at the same time it seeks to describe it. Where the Cyclops was already a literary monster, Vergil has ejected him even farther so that he no longer even belongs in his own group – the entity characterized by his own name. Moreover, by taking up Polyphemus (as literary actor) after his encounter with Odysseus, and removing his speech (i.e., deforming the beast), Vergil has done in a meta-literary way to the Cyclops what Jupiter does to Ovid‟s Lycaon when he turns him into the first werewolf.35 The horribly fascinating loss of Lycaon‟s humanity merely reifies his previous moral state; the king‟s body is rendered all transparence, instantly and insistently readable. The power of the narrative prohibition [of Lycaon‟s ill behavior toward Jupiter] peaks in the lingering description of the monstrously composite Lycaon, at that median where he is both man and beast, dual natures in a helpless tumult of assertion. The fable concludes when Lycaon can no longer speak, only signify.36
Thus LSJ, s.v. polyphêmos. “This refusal to participate in the classificatory „order of things‟ is true of monsters generally…” Cohen 1996, p. 6. The defining and categorizing of nature is discussed in Haraway 1991, pp. 71-80. Eco 1995 is a discussion of “perfect languages,” some of which have tried to assert or restore a utopian correspondence between the ontology of things and their names. 35 Metamorphoses 1.163-252. 36 Cohen 1996, p. 13.
33 34

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Reading Polyphemus in this way, we see that Vergil has further deformed him in order that he indicate what he has done that may not be done. The lack of speech itself lets his presence “police the borders of the possible.”37 Having discussed three themes which clarify Polyphemus‟ characterization as monster and which connect this monstrosity to other episodes in the Aeneid, it will be useful to consider the actions of the refugee and of Aeneas. Their actions will let us examine the role of fear, prayer, and supplication in their encounter. To put the problem simply, I will suggest that Polyphemus is described with some pathos by Aeneas in 659-665, despite the Greek‟s terrifying description of him and Aeneas‟ own description of him as monstrum horrendum in the line immediately prior (658). Such a mixed description is reasonable precisely because of the difference between the Greek‟s narrative position and Aeneas‟ narrative position relative to the monster. The Harpy episode serves well for comparison because, there, Aeneas experiences the horror of the Harpies firsthand, as the Greek experiences that of Polyphemus. The narrative of the Greek refugee contains straightforward, unmixed horror at the Cyclops. He prays that the Trojans take him away per sidera ... per superos atque hoc ... lumen (599-600), asking only to die at the hands of humans (hominum manibus periisse 606). He interrupts his own speech about Polyphemus before beginning the most explicitly grotesque passage (line 621-7, discussed

Cohen supplies this geographical metaphor.

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above) to pray to the gods that they turn away such a plague (talem avertite ... pestem! 620). In making these prayers, the refugee is in the same position as Anchises when he prays that the gods turn away the event predicted by Celaeno (talem avertite casum 3.265). That is, he has just seen the power of the monster and, though not physically attacked himself, he is terrified about impending doom. The refugee says that he trembles (presumably, in fear) at the sound of the Cyclopes‟ feet and at their voice (648). He concludes his speech with the word leto (654), having declared that he wants only to escape the Cyclopes‟ nefandam (653) race and that the Trojans should destroy him however they will. He acts out his words by behaving as a suppliant at Aeneas‟ mercy, wrapping himself in fear and desperation to his host. On his first appearance he is literally supplex (592) as he makes his way on the shore. Imploring the Trojans at least to let him die among men, he wraps himself around and attaches himself to Aeneas: amplexus … volutans haerebat (607-8).38 Aeneas, in contrast, holds a more removed position. The Trojans, who have not been at the mercy of Polyphemus, can take on the refugee and are not threatened by him or by his monster. That is, the monster constructed in speech by the refugee is not necessarily the same monster whom Aeneas sees.39 Aeneas has a perspective which allows more objectivity and some compromise in his attitudes toward the refugee and Polyphemus. The refugee certainly receives the

See Plautus Rudens 560, 648, 690 for amplexus used of a suppliant wrapped around an altar.

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greater part of the Trojans‟ sympathy, with his body described as a forma ... miseranda (591) even before he tells his story. And, after the Greek discloses his identity but before he reveals the horror of Polyphemus, Anchises dextram ... dat ... atque animum ... pignore firmat (610-11). However, despite calling Polyphemus monstrum horrendum, Aeneas seems to have some sympathy for him as well. Aeneas describes how the Cyclops steadies his step (vestigia firmat 659) with his walking stick and how his flock is his sola voluptas solamenque mali (660-1).40 Recognizing the troubles of another individual, let alone that individual‟s need for comfort, are clear indicators of sympathy. I suggest that such sympathy is present here, while absent from the refugee‟s speech and from Aeneas‟ description of the Harpies, precisely because these latter speakers are too terrified by the encounter itself to assume an objective rhetorical standpoint. Hence Aeneas‟ description of the Harpies in grotesque, physical terms (216-18, 228) despite both Celaeno‟s insistence on a higher-than-beastly status (Furiarum ego maxima 252) and Aeneas‟ own implicit recognition of the Harpies as a quasicivilized military opponent (bellum cum gente gerendum 235, etc.) We have seen that Aeneas takes a more removed view of the refugee‟s encounter, while receiving the Greek himself as a suppliant and saving him. In
We should bear in mind that Aeneas‟ monsters are also monsters in speech (and not just the poet‟s speech) because Aeneas is telling this tale to the Carthaginians. (This point is generally made with more immediate relevance regarding Homer‟s Odysseus, because he is more suspect as narrator than Aeneas.) 40 Some may feel the need to enter the lists of textual criticism and insist upon the presence or absence of the putative line-ending (661) “de collo fistula pendet.” According to R. Mynors‟ apparatus criticus, this ending appears in the second hand of the Palatinus manuscript and in most of the ninth-century manuscripts which he evaluated. He does not, however, include these words in his text. Glenn 1972 discusses the textual likelihood of this line-ending and its implications for pastoral readings of the scene (pp. 55-9) . For my own part, however, Aeneas seems to speak with pathos regardless of the status of this line.

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the Aeneid‟s context of Rome‟s future ascendance, this behavior may be informed by a Roman mindset (or perhaps pretext) about military and political expansion. In the cases of Macedonia and Greece in particular, Romans viewed assumption of control over the territories as a byproduct of establishing or restoring order in the Aegean and Near East. On this view, the Greek states needed Roman protection from the destruction they were on the brink of bringing on themselves in conflict with Macedonia and the Hellenistic kingdoms. Greece could eventually be “freed” to enjoy Roman protection. Perhaps Aeneas, “freeing” the Greek from the monster and bringing him along in his own company, is embodying this paternalistic Roman sentiment. The Greek refugee‟s diet, discussed above, may support this romanticized reconstruction of the rescue: The refugee‟s diet of berries, cornels, and roots seems exemplary of the kind which some Greeks and Romans envisioned themselves eating in an uncorrupted state.41 The Greek, then, is not only what must be saved from the monster‟s threat, lest it be destroyed, but is also an image of the innocent and uncorrupted. If there is anything to such a reading, then we can invert the scene in order to catch another glimpse of the anxiety underlying the monster‟s presence. The unanswered question is Who will protect and rescue Rome from its own monstrous politicians and civil wars? Will Caesar, like Aeneas, sail the ship of state directly away from the island? Or will he, like Odysseus in the story that
E.g., when Socrates discusses food for the men in the ideal city, he suggests to Glaucon that “[F]or dessert we will serve them figs and chickpeas and beans, and they will toast myrtle-berries and acorns before the fire ...” (Rep. 372cd).

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Vergil‟s text represses, taunt and stir up the monster, get blown back toward shore and earn the articulate beast‟s imprecation. Vergil‟s Aeneas tells us that Polyphemus‟ last utterance is an inarticulate bellow, as the speechless Cyclopes raise their heads skyward (caelo capita alta ferentis 678). But Homer‟s Odysseus reports that the monster prays to Poseidon, “May he find woes in his house,” and the dark-haired god hears him.42

The Trojans, the Arcadians, Cacus, and Hercules: 8.175-279

The Cacus episode is the last and, I suggest, most complex of the monster encounters in the Aeneid. It brings together verbal themes from other monster descriptions and elsewhere;43 it collapses distinctions which we are accustomed to making when we analyze monsters, allowing Evander to place Hercules into a middle ground where he is both monster and anti-monster; and its conclusion serves as a sort of metaphorical spatium historicum dividing one class of Aeneas‟ mythological adventures from another, more historical class. P. Hardie argues for the scene‟s pivotal position between mythology and history by pointing out the appearance in Aeneid 8 of several “historical interludes,” such as “Evander‟s guided tour of the site of Rome” and the Shield of Aeneas. As a symbol of Gigantomachy (archetypal renditions of war between the gods and Titans), the

Od. 9.535-6.

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Cacus encounter assumes a key position among these descriptions: The Cacus story is the first in this series of historical interludes, but it is, strictly, out of chronological sequence, since the events it describes post-date Evander‟s account of the early history of Latium. But its priority is guaranteed if we regard it as a recapitulation of the primitive battles of the gods against the Titans and Giants, an emblem of what might be called a Roman cosmogony, functioning as a grand and universalizing prelude to the themes of human history that ensue…44 Thus Cacus stands at many thresholds – some geographical (he lives in a cave where earth and underworld seem to meet), others chronological (he separates two classes of stories about the Roman foundation). If Vergil positions Cacus overtly at these several crossroads, acknowledging his mixed and liminal nature, then it will fall to us to uncover the other, hidden or suppressed boundaries, the transgression of which motivate his existence in this particular textual environ. There are many passages in the Cacus episode which resonate verbally with earlier monster scenes. Some will be referred to subsequently, in the context of a particular argument. But it is worth seeing, at the start, how the earlier episodes are woven into the present one. K. Galinsky argues that [i]t is probably more than a coincidence that in the description of [Cacus‟] death three words occur that are associated with the serpent imagery in [book] II. Hercules seizes Cacus in a knot-like embrace and close-entwined, he throttles him (259-61): “his Cacum in tenebris incendia vana vomentem / corripit in nodum complexus et angit inhaerens / elisos oculos et siccum sanguine guttur.” An even more conclusive echo is angit, the root-word of anguis, which occurs
Hardie 1986, in comparing the encounter to other descriptions in the literary tradition of Gigantomachic confrontations, comments that “[a]nalysis of Gigantomachic allusion in the Cacus-story is complicated by the fact that a number of other models are present; the density and compression of these models is in itself a further indication of the nodal function of the episode within the Aeneid,” p. 115. 44 Hardie 1986, p. 117.

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here for the only time in the poem.45 The feast recalls the fulfillment of the tables prophecy (7.107-134) and the meal on the island of the Harpies (especially since pocula which were sublata are put back, 8.175ff). These dapes (8.175) recall the spoiled dapibus opimis (3.224); this couch (toro 8.177) in the grass (gramineo ... sedili 8.176) recalls the earlier couches (toros 3.224), the flock the Trojans find among the grass (per herbas 3.221), and the ruin of the meal, whereupon they must hide weapons in the same grass (per herbam 3.236). In the present feast, Aeneas and the Trojan youth eat entrails ([Aeneas] vescitur extis 8.182-3), while Polyphemus has also eaten entrails (visceribus ... vescitur 3.622), and the similarity of the words highlights the difference in semantic content. In addition, when Evander describes the landscape where Cacus had lived, he includes elements from the Harpy and Cyclops episodes. Cacus‟ house (domus 8.192) was deserta (8.191) in a cliff (rupem 8.190) with overhanging rocks. Compare the Greek refugee from Polyphemus, who had lived in the homes (domos 3.647) and deserta lustra (3.646-7) of beasts, watching the giant Cyclopes from a cliff (ab rupe 3.647). Cacus‟ cave itself is in a large hollow (vasto ... recessu 8.193) beneath the cliff. On the Harpies‟ island, the Trojans try to arrange their meal the second time in a similar cliff: in secessu longo sub rupe cavata (3.229). Moreover, the cliff above Cacus‟ cave provides a home to nests of dirarum volucrum (8.235), which suggests the original ill-omened birds dira Celaeno Harpyiaeque ... aliae (3.211-12). Lastly, Hercules tears out the cliff (silex

Galinsky 1966, p. 43.

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8.233) over Cacus‟ house by its roots (avulsam soluit radicibus 8.238). In the Cyclops episode, Aetna spews torn-up entrails (avulsa viscera 575) and the Greek refugee subsists on torn-out roots (vulsis radicibus 650).46 The point in the foregoing examples is not to establish a systematic correspondence between the Cacus episode and the earlier ones. But the examples should suggest that the established terms of the earlier monster scenes are present and combined in this later one. Of the two combatants who will appear in this episode, Cacus and Hercules, Cacus is the less ambiguously presented. He is characterized as a monster in a straightforward way, while Hercules – ostensibly the avenging savior (servati 189; ultor 201) who fights against the monster – acquires some of the monster‟s characteristics himself. Hence, it makes sense to consider the description of Cacus first because it is simpler. Like Polyphemus, Cacus lives in a dark (solis inaccessam radiis 8.195) cave soaked with blood (caede tepebat humus 196). This blood, we may assume, has come from his human (virum 197) victims. Their pale faces (ora ... pallida 197: they are now drained of blood) hang in bloodless but putrid gore (tabo 197) on Cacus‟ doors.47 This vocabulary of blood aligns Cacus with earlier monsters, for whom blood was associated with ingestion, pallor with the draining of blood and with being terrified, hungry, or eaten. Nevertheless, we are not given a trivial
Hardie 1986 discusses further verbal parallels and subtler genealogical connections between Aetna, Cacus, and Polyphemus, p. 116. 47 Hardie 1986, p. 115.

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bifurcation of the monstrous phenomena into parallel pairs “life-death,” “lightdark,” “blood-pallor.” For example, here the blood (eating) is dark and the pallor (being eaten, hungry, or dead) is light. Cacus‟ cave, like the underworld to which it is compared (243-6), is dark because it is inaccessible to the sun (195; the underworld is dis invisa 245). But it is also pale, because marked by the dead ora pallida, just as the underworld consists in kingdoms of the dead, called regna pallida (244-5). Thus I do not suggest that Vergil has bound himself to a code of contrasts. Rather, he has exploited contrasts in some places, but has chosen here to complicate them with the near paradox of assimilating the dark and the light. Another dark element employed by Cacus is the rock (saxo opaco 211) which he uses to hide the cattle that he has stolen from Hercules. The similarity between Cacus‟ theft of Hercules‟ cattle and Hermes‟ theft of Apollo‟s cattle (h. ad Herm. 73-8) has been noted.48 While darkness, blood, and monstrous eating are associated within the Aeneid, we might see here an extension of the motif in allusion to Hermes‟ erotic desire for flesh (laying down his lyre, Hermes is kreiôn eratizôn 64) and to Hermes‟ need to conceal his activities.49 Cacus is also explicitly called both half-man (semihominis 194) and halfbeast (semiferi 267). In addition to labeling him, these denominations implicitly suggest something about humans which complicates the scene. For we know
E.g., by Small 1982, pp. 10-12. When Cacus‟ booty is revealed in his cave (263-4), it is called abiuratae. It is not clear from Evander‟s story about Cacus in what way the booty could be said to be “sworn off” or to be “denied on oath.” The most ready suggestions for making sense of this adjective would seem to be either that abiuratae is extreme hyperbole for Cacus‟ act of hiding the cattle or else that it alludes to Hermes‟ denials when he is interrogated about stealing Apollo‟s cattle (h. ad Herm. 368-86).
48 49

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that, in addition to Cacus‟ being half-man and half-beast, Vulcan is Cacus‟ father (198), so Cacus is also half-god. We might understand from these facts only that Cacus is part god, part man, and part beast. Viewed more literally, though, we are compelled to recognize that his divine half cannot be the same as his beast half nor the same as his human half. Further, in the literal view, Cacus cannot consist out of three halves. Hence, the beast and human “halves” actually refer to the same (viz. mortal) part of Cacus‟ makeup. In this way, Cacus suggests a collapsing of the human and the beastly in the face of the divine. Such a collapsing of an important distinction is similar to some other collapses in this scene, including the paradoxical associations of dark and light mentioned above. Additional distinctions which will be blurred or undermined include the distinction between hero and monster in Hercules and that between criminal eating and expiatory vomiting, when Hercules squeezes the blood from Cacus‟ throat and rips open the cave revealing the cattle, alive and metaphorically undigested. At the Arcadians‟ feast, Hercules is the individual who is celebrated. Hence, he ought to be the unambiguous ultor (201) and victor (203) on the side of the people, against the beast. In spite of this, though, Evander‟s speech in several ways suggests that Hercules inhabits an ambiguous role: part victor and avenger against the monster, but also part monster. First, although the feast is in Hercules‟ honor because he delivered the local people from Cacus‟ terror (the Arcadians have been servati 189), Hercules

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only incidentally confronts Cacus. That is, between Hercules‟ explicit arrival (aderat 203) and departure (abitum 214, discessu 215) he intends no confrontation with nor harm to Cacus. It is only when he discovers the theft of cattle that he becomes angry and pursues Cacus. Because Hercules seeks only to avenge his own loss, he is not the avenger on behalf of the local people insofar as being avenger requires recognition of the local people qua beneficiaries. Second, Hercules becomes angry because Cacus has pilfered cattle from his herd. But Hercules stole those same cattle from Geryon (the cattle are Geryonae spoliis 202). So, if Cacus arouses hostility because he is a cattle-rustler, then Hercules should also arouse just so much hostility. Third, we have seen that fear, unsurprisingly, is attributed to monsters‟ victims in the episodes of the serpents, the Harpies, and the Cyclopes. According to a model derived from those scenes, in the present scene Cacus should be doing the scaring and his victims ought to be afraid. But the Arcadians‟ ancestors saw Cacus afraid (timentem 222) of Hercules. Thus, if we suppose fear in monster scenes is a vector indicating the supposed aggressor, then Hercules is the monster and Cacus his victim. Moreover, Cacus‟ fear is aroused when Hercules‟ indignation bursts out in flame with black bile (exarserat atro felle 219-20). Hercules‟ flare-up recalls Cacus himself, who throws up black fires (atros ... vomens ignis 199), further confusing who the monster is. Finally, we can note two verbal alignments of Hercules with other monsters. First, in his frustrated anger, Hercules gnashes his teeth (dentibus infrendens 230), just as Polyphemus is dentibus infrendens (664) as the Trojans sail away from his

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island. Second, when Hercules seizes Cacus, he corripit in nodum complexus (260). We recall the snakes, who corripiunt ... amplexi (2.217-18) around Laocoon and who are called nodos (2.220) when Laocoon tries to escape them.50 Collectively, these aspects of Evander‟s speech blur Hercules‟ position. The trouble is not that Hercules is a monster simpliciter, for this is clearly absurd. Rather, the distinction between monster and victim is blurred. On the one hand, Evander, like the Greek refugee from Polyphemus, appears to be unaware of the complications in his speech and sees Cacus as an unmitigated monster. Consider, for example, that Evander goes beyond the physically evident facts about Cacus to attribute tricky and criminal motives (205-6) to Cacus‟ mind (mens 205), even though Evander doesn‟t suggest the Arcadians were conversant enough with Cacus to understand his perspective and motives. Aeneas, on the other hand, is a third party to the monster‟s threat in Arcadia. Though he will enjoy the feast of liberation, he likely cannot share Evander‟s one-sided perspective on the Hercules-Cacus confrontation. We have seen that both the status of Cacus and that of Hercules have intriguing complications. Cacus‟ description, while clearly portraying a monster, suggests the similarity of the human and the bestial. Hercules‟ description marks him as hero but not without some reservations. The confrontation turns out to be contingent on the interaction between Cacus and Hercules, and the Arcadians‟ feast is in turn contingent on that confrontation. By looking at this confrontation

See the comment of Galinsky, noted above.

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with an eye to the theme of vomiting, revenge, and reversal of crime, we can see how the issue of monsters is resolved and Cacus‟ crime symbolically and literally undone. Before Hercules arrives in Arcadia, when Cacus is living in his customary way, Cacus is said to cough up (vomens 199) black fires as a matter of course (the finite verb in the sentence, se ... ferebat 199, is imperfect). When Hercules subdues him, however, he only vomits forth smoke and empty fire: faucibus ... fumum ... evomit (252-3), incendia vana vomentem (259). By these details, Cacus seems to be compared to his own victims, whose pallid faces hung covered with gore (tabo). The humans‟ faces had once held dark blood, just as Cacus used to vomit (real, not empty) black fire. The pallor and tabo are the emptiness and effluence which appear in humans when they are undone, just as the smoke and empty fire pour out of Cacus. The present depleted state of Cacus is reinforced when Hercules throttles him. The result is that the throat (faucibus 252) which had been belching out smoke is now explicitly a throat dry of blood (siccum sanguine guttur 261). Thus Hercules, though not intentionally avenging Cacus‟ crimes against humans, enforces the result of Cacus‟ own crimes on Cacus himself. Cacus‟ vomiting of empty flame is representative of the reversal of his crime, while another element of Hercules‟ victory corresponds to this reversal and adds the stronger notion of undoing: Hercules tears open the cave to get to Cacus. By doing so, he removes what separates Cacus‟ dark house of terror from the outside world. In both this episode and that of Polyphemus, the cave is (for humans) virtually the gullet of

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the beast, and entrance to the one is associated with entrance to the other. Thus tearing open the cave is equivalent to tearing open Cacus‟ throat, opening the vessel which closed around the swallowed victims. As confirmation for this idea, we can look to what is revealed when the smoke clears. The doors to the cave are torn away and abstractae ... boves abiurataeque rapinae caelo ostenduntur (263-4). The cattle – which we may reasonably assume would have become Cacus‟ meal in a short time – are released and revealed. Cacus‟ cave is thus associated with his throat, down which the food would have gone. To open the cave and reveal a living meal51 is metonymically to drain Cacus‟ throat of the food it has swallowed. In this way, the vomiting theme is pursued (the cave vomits forth the cattle) as a theme of reversal of eating and reversal of crime. But insofar as the cattle are still alive, it is also an undoing. The cattle can rejoin Hercules‟ flock and are not victims, despite their being snatched. Thus, the conclusion to the Hercules-Cacus confrontation develops a resolution to an attack differently from earlier monster scenes. In the serpent and Harpy scenes, attempts to fight off the monsters‟ attacks or to avenge them are unsuccessful; in the Cyclops episode, the Greek storytelling refugee escapes and his band succeed in “avenging” their eaten comrades; in this last monster encounter, Hercules takes vengeance but also succeeds in undoing the crime and receiving back his cattle. Such a progression suggests that we see in this last
The text does not make it explicit that the cattle are still alive. However, I conclude that they are alive because one bellows (217-18), prompting Hercules to hunt down Cacus. Hence, unless Cacus kills them out of spite while he is besieged in his cave, and Evander omits this detail, we should assume the oxen continue

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scene the possibility of eliminating entirely the supernatural monster‟s deeds. It is not clear that Vergil wishes to produce an entirely satisfactory conclusion. To Evander‟s understanding, however, the story has a happy ending, and he is celebrating it in feast. Let us conclude our discussion of Cacus by looking at Evander‟s feast as a final outcome of the Cacus-Hercules confrontation. Evander‟s feast is occasioned by the monster in both a vague and a precise sense. Generally, it a is celebratory feast for a hero, so the hero‟s actions and opponent are remotely the “causes” for the feast. More precisely, though, the confrontation between Cacus and Hercules comes about because of two particular other eating acts. First, Hercules brings his cattle to graze. It is time to leave the valley when the herd is fully fed (cum iam ... saturata moveret ... armenta abitumque pararet 213-14). Thus, the occasion of grazing the cattle is the opportunity for Cacus‟ crime against Hercules and is one of the necessary antecedents of the confrontation. The second eating act is that implied by Cacus‟ appetite, a virtual feast which includes both his earlier consumption of victims and the meal he surely plans with Hercules‟ oxen. From the conjunction of these two food-directed desires52, comes the confrontation, the death of Cacus, and, ultimately, the Arcadians‟ feast at which Aeneas eats. The monster story is framed within the context of a happy feast, and elements which we have seen in the monster stories are drawn outward into the
to live at the end of Hercules‟ attack. If, on the other hand, the cattle are dead, we might expect some indication of it. Instead, they are called only abstractae (263).

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benign context of Evander‟s meal. Entrails (viscera 180) reappear, but they are used for sacrifice (araeque sacerdos ... ferunt 179-80) or feeding humans (vescitur Aeneas ... extis 182-3) and they come from animals (taurorum 180, bovis 183), not people (cf. Polyphemus, who eats visceribus miserorum [=hominum] 3.622). The bous eaten by Aeneas is a pleasant reflection of Cacus‟ abstractae boves (263) and the boum armenta (3.220) which are fouled by the Harpies. Further, the entrails of the sacrificial bull are cooked (tosta 180), whereas there is no mention of the Trojans cooking on the Harpies‟ island, and the other monsters (snakes, Polyphemus, Cacus) certainly do not cook their prey before eating. At Evander‟s feast, the hunger is satiated (exempta fames et amor compressus edendi 184) and speech ensues; in the Harpy confrontation, both parties go hungry, while Polyphemus eats and drinks to the point of vomiting and stupor. After Evander‟s speech, at the close of the meal, everyone pours libations, prays to the gods, and is glad (laeti 279). This conclusive, happy prayer replaces the terrified prayers of Laocoon53, of Anchises when he hears Celaeno‟s prophecy, and of the Greek refugee on Polyphemus‟ island. Like the eating habits of other monsters, Cacus‟ diet deserves scrutiny. The Arcadians‟ feast may be placed beside Cacus‟ diet to provide a civilizedsavage contrast. The Arcadians are eating beef; Cacus ate people. The Arcadians cook; Cacus did not cook. There is another aspect, though, to Cacus‟ diet which
Admittedly, not only from these desires. For Evander suggests Cacus‟ was plotting crime (sceleris 206) for crime‟s sake.

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relates to the scene‟s conflation theme (light and dark, human and beast, hero and monster). Cacus ate people and he seemed prepared to eat the cattle which Hercules was grazing. At first this might appear not to deserve comment. But I suggest that the operating monstrous element here is Cacus‟ lack of distinction in his diet. Along with other contrasts, he conflates the eating of people with the eating of cattle. It is this lack of seeing a boundary (like Cacus‟ disregard for the boundary between his human victims and the semi-divine Hercules) which forms one of the underlying elements of his monstrosity. This point is not remarkable – for example, it is arguable that cannibalism itself is not disturbing qua consumption of people but rather qua disregard for dietal or behavioral boundaries. Rather, the point helps in focusing attention on the differentiators of the monstrous, rather than on practices which happen to be monstrous. The Augustan anxiety which may be in play in this scene, as in the others, is a concern that one might have exhausted the alternatives of diet (and perhaps, by extension, culture). In particular, as discussed above, there is a consciousness of danger in a hypercivilized (Horace‟s “Greek”) diet as not being robust or Roman; but the primitive diet, while glorified, may be fictional, may not be robust enough (recall the anemic Greek refugee who ate roots and berries), or may itself be too uncivilized or savage (as when it appears in the mouths of barbarian tribes). The problem continues to be in finding and recognizing a stable middle ground.

No prayer is attributed to Laocoon in direct quotation. But, as priest (sacerdos 2.201), he is in the process of

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A seeking of stability seems to underlie the presentation of the Cacus episode in other ways as well. Cacus represents an instance of savagery in the heart of Italy, at the site of Rome. The death of Cacus and the removal of the episode to the past, ritualized in Evander‟s feast, suggest success in stabilizing the territory. Nevertheless, renewed warfare breaks out after the Arcadian feast, continuing at least until Turnus‟ death. For Galinsky, the two deaths are analogous and both are necessary to the founding of Rome on its proper site: “Turnus has to be overcome so that Rome can be founded. It is equally inconceivable that the city could have been founded with the Cacus monster living at its site.”54 Taking Galinsky‟s comparison of Cacus and Turnus further, one of the frightening attributes of Cacus is that paradoxically his death does not solve one of the problems his presence creates; the monster lives in Turnus.55 There is an additional parallel produced by the Cacus scene which both suggests and questions the achievement of stability, and which will serve to introduce the final social questions of this paper. In considering the Greek refugee‟s story of Polyphemus, it was noted that Aeneas‟ future Romans save a Greek man from a Greek monster.56 It was then questioned who might serve in a similar role for the Romans. In the Cacus episode, we have a rough mirror image of the earlier circumstance. Cacus is fundamentally an Italian creature, and the
sacrificing (sollemnis ... mactabat ad aras 202) when he is attacked. Presumably, the sacrifice includes prayer. 54 Galinsky 1966, p. 42. 55 For Cohen, this pattern is “Thesis II: The Monster Always Escapes,” p. 4. 56 Polyphemus is Greek in the sense that his origin lies in the Greek literary and cultural tradition, though I do not mean to preclude the possibility of his importation from older sources, near-eastern or otherwise.

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worship of Hercules (like Hercules himself) an importation from Greece.57 Italians, then, are saved from their own monster by a Greek.58 But then, it is too early properly to speak of Italians, so perhaps this complementary monster rescue points toward the future unity of the peoples. The Arcadians, fighting alongside Aeneas, can be seen as an embryonic image of the Italian socii who will be so important to Rome‟s future success. Galinsky thus interprets a fusion of time periods in the narration of this episode: The Trojans, the past inhabitants of Italy, fuse with her present inhabitants into a future people, the Italians. The fact that Evander anticipates this development and thus speaks of “we Italians” (VIII, 331f.) is not one of Vergil‟s “inconsistencies,” but serves to underscore this theme explicitly. A last example of this interplay of the various time levels may be taken from the Hercules-Cacus episode itself. Evander speaks of Hercules‟ adventure as if he and his men had been present (200-1) ... It would seem, then, that Evander, Hercules, and Aeneas were contemporaries.59 The feast, set in the present and recalling a past conflict, evokes a false sense of stability (i.e., one which will prove short-lived). The monster reawakens as Turnus or as another potent creature metamorphosed into a nightmarish beast, its character transformed in the very act of entering the protected space of Italy, terra citerior, from the distant world of the other – the world which had to stop on the other side of the Rubicon. In light of this realization, the augury present in Cacus does indicate a predetermined trajectory of events – but this literary body indicates what is
Fordyce 1977, ll. 184-279 n.; also Small 1982, pp. 4-5 and passim. Additional parallels may be drawn between Aeneas and Hercules. See Galinsky 1966, pp. 26 ff. 59 Galinsky 1966, p. 22.
57 58

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known to be false and bears a consciously broken relation to the state of the universe and of the city. As such, the Cacus-augury is a ritual not of prediction but of fantasy and desire, two more attributes bound into the body of the monster. The Aeneid‟s story of the feast, featuring its own story of the monster, is an evocation of this fantasy. Cohen describes the social function of such an outer narrative: What Bakhtin calls “official culture” can transfer all that is viewed as undesirable in itself into the body of the monster, performing a wish-fulfillment drama of its own; the scapegoated monster is perhaps ritually destroyed in the course of some official narrative, purging the community by eliminating its sins. The monster‟s eradication functions as an exorcism and, when retold and promulgated, as a catechism.60 The tale recounted at the feast is, in this sense, the account given by Cacus‟ presence in the Aeneid itself, and not entirely different from the account we produce when we assert the vitality of the text. Vitality is, in part, in the desire still unfulfilled. As the subsequent books of the Aeneid bear out, moving a monstrous story into the past and reliving it in a convivial, civilized setting does little to produce the wished-for control, to eliminate violence and predation which literally as symbolically respect no bounds. And as Cacus‟ nature – semihomo, semifer, semideus – hints, the human and the beastly are not so far apart as we might like. Nonetheless, we may suppose that the Cacus episode brings to Vergil‟s desired close the literal discussion of supernatural monsters. Everything mortal and

Cohen 1996, p. 18.

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monstrous, after Aeneid 8.279, is human.

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Bibliography Texts and Translations Evelyn-White, Hugh G., trans. (1982) Hesiod: The Homeric Hymns and Homerica, Loeb, Cambridge, Mass. Fairclough, H. Rushton, trans. (1947) Horace: Satires, Epistles, and Ars Poetica, Loeb, Cambridge, Mass. Fordyce, C. J. (1977) P. Vergili Maronis Aeneidos Libri VII-VIII, Oxford. Mandelbaum, Allen, trans. (1971) The Aeneid of Virgil, New York. Mynors, R. A. B. (1969) P. Vergili Maronis Opera, Oxford. Perrin, Bernadotte, trans. (1914) Plutarch’s Lives, Loeb vol. 2, New York. Sage, Evan T., trans. (1983) Livy, Loeb vol. 11, Cambridge, Mass. Shorey, Paul, trans. (1930) Plato: The Republic, Loeb vol. 1, New York. Secondary Works Bakhtin, Mikhail Mikhailovich (1981) The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, Austin, Texas. Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome (1996) “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” Monster Theory, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, ed., Minneapolis. Collingwood, R. G. (1945) The Idea of Nature, Oxford. Douglas, Mary (1966) Purity and Danger: An Analysis of Concepts of Pollution and Taboo, Baltimore. Eco, Umberto (1995) The Search for the Perfect Language, Cambridge, Mass. Galinsky, G. K. (1966) “The Hercules-Cacus Episode in Aeneid VIII” AJP 87: 18-51. Garnsey, Peter and Richard Saller (1987) The Roman Empire: Economy, Society, and Culture, Berkeley.

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Glenn, Justin (1972) “Virgil‟s Polyphemus” G&R 19: 47-59. Gowers, Emily (1993) The Loaded Table: Representations of Food in Roman Literature, Oxford. Haraway, Donna J. (1991) Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature, New York. Hardie, Philip R. (1986) Virgil’s Aeneid: Cosmos and Imperium, Oxford. Hogle, Jerrold E. (1988) “The Struggle for a Dichotomy: Abjection in Jekyll and his Interpreters,” Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde After One Hundred Years, William Veeder and Gordon Hirsch, eds., Chicago. Levi-Strauss, Claude (1969) The Raw and the Cooked, New York. Putnam, Michael C. J. (1980) “The Third Book of the Aeneid: From Homer to Rome” Ramus 9:1-21. Rabel, Robert (1985) “The Harpies in the Aeneid” CJ 80: 317-325. Schmitt, Cannon (1997) Alien Nation: Nineteenth-Century Gothic Fictions and English Nationality, Philadelphia. Small, Jocelyn Penny (1982) Cacus and Marsyas in Etrusco-Roman Legend, Princeton. Wilkins, John, David Harvey, and Mike Dobson, eds. (1995) Food in Antiquity, Exeter.