REVIEWS Sabine MacCormack, The Shadoows of Poetry. Vergil in the Mind of Augustine ('The Transformation of the Classical Heritage', vol. XXVI). Berkeley, University of California Press, 1998. XX, 258 p. In De cir?itate Dei 14.5 Augustine argues that man's sins and vices should not be ascribed to the flesh, since the flesh is good in its own nature. In order to illustrate his point, he quotes Aeneid 6.719-721, where Aeneas expresses his amazement at the souls' wish to return from the nether world to be reincarnated: quae lucis miseris tam dira cupido? According to Augustine, this desire is the more remarkable in that Anchises explains that these souls had been purged ab omni corporea peste, a clear allusion to Aeneid 6.736-737. It proves that the pagans themselves acknowledge that the soul's affections are not merely caused by the flesh. As Professor MacCormack says in the book under review, for Augustine "the perturbations, to be defined as acts of will, arose from the soul, not the body, and therefore so did individu- ation. It was the will that made one person different from another ..." (125). Strikingly, for this vital point he found it useful, indeed necessary, to come
Vigiliae Christianae – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1999
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