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A Tale of Two Carthages: History and Allusive Topography in Virgil's Libyan Harbor

Journal cover
Llewelyn Morgan
May 2015

Ronnie Shi's article appears in Volume 145 of the Transactions of the American Philological Association. From the abstract: 

"Although Virgil’s description of the Libyan harbor at Aeneid 1.159– 69 is generally thought to be a poetic invention, some readers in antiquity, according to Servius’s commentary, believed the harbor to be modeled after the port of Carthago Nova in southern Spain. This paper argues for the merit of this reading by exploring how a topographical allusion to Carthago Nova, the site of a famous siege during the Second Punic War, activates historical memories that have rich implications for the narrative and thematic concerns of Books 1 and 4 of the Aeneid."