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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Copa : an introduction and commentary Gruenewald, Frances J.


The purpose of this thesis is two-fold: firstly, to make a general study of the Copa with a view to determining, as far as is possible, its authorship and date, and, secondly, to attempt a detailed exegesis of its contents. The first Chapter contains an introduction to the MSS tradition of the Appendix Vergiliana, and a brief discussion of the statements of Donatus and Servius concerning Vergilian authorship of the poems. In Chapter 2 the question of the authorship of the Copa is considered. The views of various scholars, who use as tests of authenticity studies of content and style, vocabulary, metre and parallel passages, are discussed. Particular worth is assigned the evidence afforded by the historical references to the Copa. The Chapter concludes that there is a strong case for Vergilian authorship. A possible date for the Copa is the subject of Chapter 3. Although there are varying opinions on this problem, it is found that certain features of metre (the apparent avoidance of the dissyllabic pentameter ending, for example), vocabulary (such as the use of diminutives and the present participle) and the use made of literary sources tend to indicate a "pre-Eclogue" date for the poem, that is, a date around 47 B.C. Chapter 4 contains a discussion of Vergil's study of Epicurean philosophy under Siro at Naples. The possibility that the Copa was written under the influence of Epicureanism is suggested; it appears that the poet manipulates various aspects of the philosophy for humorous purposes. In the Commentary, emphasis is concentrated on textual and lexical problems. There follow three short appendices and a bibliography.

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