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The eloquence of Dido: exploring speech and gender in Virgil’s Aeneid1

Helen Lovatt

Résumé

This paper explores the idea of female speech in Roman epic by comparing the public speeches of Dido welcoming first Ilioneus and then Aeneas at 1.561-78 and 1.613-30 with the analogous speeches of Latinus at 7.192-211 and 7.249-73. It applies concepts, ideas and observations about feminine discourse developed by scholars of Greek tragedy and Roman comedy to Virgil’s Aeneid with the aim of nuancing approaches to Dido as speaker and public persona. The article treats speech presentation, stylistic features, tone, metre and rhetoric and argues that it is very hard to extract gender from other aspects of the text, but that on balance Dido is presented as feminine in a number of ways. Her power is qualified and limited, she is more responsive and passive than Latinus and shows an emotional intensity and directness in contrast with the subtlety of her handling of the situation.

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Texte intégral

  • 1  Thanks to Judith Mossman, John Henderson, Susanna Braund and Philip Hardie for reading and improvi (...)
  • 2  Highet (1972) 45; Feeney (1990) 190.
  • 3  On women perceived as garrulous in the ancient world, particularly in situations of self-pity, see (...)
  • 4  For an introduction to issues in gender and discourse, see Holmes and Meyerhoff (2003); on the tro (...)
  • 5  From the vast literature on Dido, a selection: Burden (1998), Desmond (1994) on reception, Spence (...)
  • 6  Farrell (2001) 56 proved an important starting point, although he focuses mainly on the evidence f (...)
  • 7  Dutsch (2008).
  • 8  James (2010).
  • 9  Adams (1984) and Gilleland (1980) both attempt to approach real female Latin through literary text (...)
  • 10  See McClure (1999) 38-40 on ancient perceptions of women’s speech, citing Plato Cratylus 418c.
  • 11  Ricottilli (1992) 194-99 compares Dido’s opening gesture (looking down) to the analogous gesture o (...)

1Dido is a powerful speaker: Highet calls her ‘the most eloquent character in the Aeneid’ and Feeney ‘the most impassioned and eloquent speaker in the poem’.2 Women, however, are garrulous if they talk at all ;3 women’s share of any mixed interaction is almost always smaller than you would expect. Women who speak out are seen as speaking too much.4 But Dido is not simply a woman, or even a Roman woman ; her position of monarch is in tension with her femininity ; her representation as the barbarian ‘other’ contrasts with her universal appeal as a character.5 Recent scholarship has explored the relationship between real women’s speech and that imagined and constructed for female characters by male writers.6 Dutsch has used Roman comedy, and the responses of its readers, to show how Romans envisage feminine discourse.7 Each genre has its own engagement with women’s speech ; James, for instance, argues that the purported and often reported speech of women in love elegy assimilates female characters to the stock types of Roman comedy.8 This paper presents a starting point for thinking about female speech in Roman epic. My aim is not to unearth real female Latin, or to refine our understanding of attitudes to femininity in Roman culture, but rather to use a gendered reading of speech to move towards a richer understanding of the subtlety of Virgil’s Aeneid.9 Women’s speech is characterised by ancient writers as fundamentally concerned with intimacy, personal connections and domestic concerns.10 Dido’s elegiac laments in book 4 correspond closely to the sort of speech expected of women : self-pitying, over-emotional, hysterical. But does Virgil still represent her as playing a female role when she is speaking in her powerful position as queen in book 1 ? This paper takes Dido as an example of gender-specific communication and examines her public speech, looking at presentation, style, rhetoric and comparing it with the analogous speeches of Latinus in Aeneid 7 to open up a new perspective on Dido as a character, and Virgil as a writer of female characters.11

  • 12  For a good introduction to the problem, see Tannen (1994) 19-52.
  • 13  Tannen (1994) 34.
  • 14  On epic as a masculine genre, see Keith (2000); on women in the Aeneid see Nugent (1999). Women's (...)

2The methodology of identifying characteristics of speech that can be labelled ‘female’ is far from secure. Modern discourse analysis, and here the work of Deborah Tannen is particularly useful, has shown that every generalisation can be undercut and problematised.12 To quote Tannen : ‘The interpretation of a given utterance, and the likely response to it, depends on the setting, on the individuals’ status and relationship to each other and also on the linguistic conventions that are ritualised in the cultural context.’13 Even when analysing the real speech of real people in a culture and society available for interpretation, there are endless problems and subtleties associated with mapping the interactions of the genders. How much more difficult this must be in a literary text, governed by literary conventions, set in a fictional society and written for an ancient society whose social conventions are themselves accessible only as the constructions of history. Further, the conscious use of gender stereotypes by critics and readers of Virgil through the centuries, in combination with the unconscious persistence of these stereotypes even among female readers and those who are self-consciously feminist, can make it hard to isolate and analyse gendered characteristics. Despite these difficulties, however, there is much to be learnt from pursuing and investigating further, even if any conclusions must be hedged about by reservations. Epic in particular has been presented as a masculine genre ; the interactions between genre and gender in women’s speech in epic are particularly intriguing.14

  • 15  Feeney (1990) 172-3. See further Braund (1998) who argues that the taciturnity of Aeneas accords w (...)
  • 16  Against Feeney, Pollio (2006) argues that Aeneas in book 8 and Ilioneus in book 1 are only success (...)
  • 17  Dido’s speeches in book 1 have not stimulated much detailed comment in the secondary literature: A (...)

3Female latinity is often relegated to the margins ; I start from a central episode of the most canonical of all Latin literary texts, Dido in Virgil’s Aeneid. Feeney’s analysis of the taciturnity of Aeneas already sets Dido in the context of gendered discourse. Taciturnity, in his words, is a characteristic typical of ‘more modern heroes, when faced with an uncompromising attack from wife or lover’.15 Feeney suggests that Dido’s mix of half-truths with emotional fire characterises the power of oratory, and equally implies that it is typical of women. Further, he contrasts the success of Aeneas’ speech acts in public and official contexts with their failure in the domestic sphere.16 What, then, of Dido as orator in a public context ? Is she equally characterised as a woman when making her speech of welcome to the Trojans at 1.561-78, and responding to Aeneas’ sudden appearance at 1.613-30, as she is in book four, making impassioned pleas to Aeneas to stop him leaving, or cursing him after he has left ?17

4This paper compares Dido’s public speeches with those of Latinus in the remarkably similar situation of book 7 (192-211 and 249-73), both negotiating with Ilioneus about the Trojan arrival in their land. How similar and how different are they and how can we explain the differences ? Is gender significant, or only the subtle differences in the situations (the ship-wreck of the Trojans in book 1, and the initial absence of Aeneas ; the more long-term aims of the Trojans in book 7), or the rather less subtle differences of characterisation, which are not limited to gender ? Dido’s foreignness in contrast to Latinus’ latinity ? Or Latinus’ old age in contrast to Dido’s parity with Aeneas ? This paper examines the speeches of Dido and Latinus both through the way the two are represented as speakers, and through the detail of what they say and how they say it ; it aims to explore the complexities of Dido’s eloquence and to stimulate discussion about gender, rhetoric and power in the Aeneid.

Speech presentation

  • 18  Laird (1999).
  • 19  Though Tannen (1994) 36-9 suggests that volubility can equally be an index of powerlessness and ta (...)

5First, who speaks to whom, what are their situations and how are they described ? This is roughly the set of questions that concern Andrew Laird in his study of speech presentation in Latin literature, in which he makes some sweeping (and largely convincing) points about the Aeneid.18 First, ‘that the formal techniques of speech presentation in the Aeneid help constitute power relations between groups and characters in the story of the poem’ (206) ; second and more provocatively, that speech in the Aeneid is an index of power : ‘In the Aeneid far more than in previous epics, it seems to be for those in authority to speak and the inclination or the duty of those with less power to remain silent’ (192).19 The two scenes under discussion here show a striking difference in order of speakers. In Aeneid 1, Ilioneus appears to initiate the exchange, Dido replies, Aeneas bursts out of his cloud, speaks to Dido, who again replies. In Aeneid 7 the exchange begins with Latinus asking what they want, Ilioneus making his petition, finishing with Latinus’ response. Immediately we can see that the position of agency has been somewhat removed from Dido : she is continually put into the position of respondent, and I will come back to this below. To take this further, the fact that Aeneas is a hidden audience of her first speech puts them into an odd situation : she does not know that she is addressing him ; when he appears he immediately holds the position of power in the dialogue precisely because she did not know he was there. Against this is the point that Aeneas is hidden precisely because his situation (ship-wrecked in a foreign country) is so powerless. Concealment provides added protection against the possibly hostile Carthaginian forces. Yet perhaps the underlying truth is that Dido’s position of superior power in her own country is only superficial (and precarious), trumped by the power of Aeneas’ divine backing, his status as hero, man and protagonist. Aeneas’ power is much less compromised than that of Odysseus in Odyssey 6, at the point when he confronts Nausicaa, similarly ship-wrecked, but also naked, alone, starving, and with no ship at all.

6How are the speakers actually represented ? Ilioneus’ speech to Dido is set up with the lines :

postquam introgressi et coram data copia fandi
maximus Ilioneus placido sic pectore coepit (1.520-1)

After they had gone in, and had been allowed to speak in her presence,
great Ilioneus began with a tranquil heart.

7He is, then, given the right to speak, presumably one among many petitioners. The only response to Ilioneus is among the Trojans : cuncti simul ore fremebant | Dardanidae. (‘All the Trojans were shouting at the same time.’ 559-60). Dido’s reaction is to avert her gaze downwards : tum breuiter Dido uultum demissa profatur (‘Then Dido, face down-turned, speaks out briefly’, 561).

  • 20  Ricottilli (1992).
  • 21  Austin (1971) 180 suggest that the gesture implies ‘both modesty and emotion’.
  • 22  Ricottilli (1992) 181.
  • 23  Pöschl (1966) 70. Donatus ad loc. talks of both feminine modesty and embarrassment: vultum demissa (...)

8It is difficult to know what to make of this gesture. Ricottilli carries out a survey of different approaches and explanations for it, before coming to her own conclusion.20 A major group, of whom Austin is one, reads the down-turned gaze as gendered, reflecting modesty or pudor.21 Servius attributes the gesture to verecundia.22 Another major group, including Donatus and Pöschl, suggests that the gesture ‘delicately shows her embarrassment at the harsh treatment afforded the ship-wrecked Trojans.’23

  • 24  Muecke (1984) 109-10.
  • 25  Ricottilli (1992) 188; Heuzé (1985) 498-9.

9Muecke comments on this gesture in her discussion of Dido in book 6.24 As she rejects Aeneas, illa solo fixos oculos auersa tenebat (‘she turned away and held her eyes fixed on the ground’, 6.469). For Muecke the downward gaze can represent modesty, sorrow or ‘silence and hesitation before a reply.’ This particular example she compares with Hypsipyle at Apollonius Argonautica 1.790-1, an important intertext for this passage. As Muecke says, the gesture ‘foreshadows the erotic encounter’ between Hypsipyle and Jason ; it is in fact a direct response to the visual impact of Jason’s presence, while Dido has not yet seen Aeneas. The combination with a blush and the different direction of the averted gaze (Hypsipyle is looking ἐγκλιδόν which might mean either downwards or aslant/askance, while Dido is definitely looking downwards) makes this quite a different sort of action. Ricottilli rejects embarrassment (not signalled clearly enough in the speech ; 186), a beginning of erotic susceptibility (Mercury inspires benevolence not love ; that must wait for Cupid ; 186) and pity for the Trojans (the gesture is not associated elsewhere with pity ; 187-8), but accepts that on some level the gesture may have symbolic overtones which foreshadow Dido’s death, as suggested by Heuzé.25

10 Ricottilli’s own preferred interpretation is that this downward gaze represents a pause for thought before answering a difficult and significant request (190). She compares the gesture at length with that of Latinus, who also looks down as he contemplates the speech of Ilioneus :

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                                                            asasstdn<="tart f-s="f:0mm;tart f-, pre:0mm;tart f-top:0mm;tart f-bottom:0mm;pudnif thop:0cm;pudnif tbottom:0cm;pudnif ts="f:.191cm;pudnif t, pre:.191cm;bers. -hop:nto ;bers. -bottom:.0262cmulosid #000000;bers. -s="f:.0262cmulosid #000000;bers. -, pre:nto ;ypsiec. -mitgn:hop;
                                                              asasstdn<="tart f-s="f:0mm;tart f-, pre:0mm;tart f-top:0mm;tart f-bottom:0mm;pudnif thop:0cm;pudnif tbottom:0cm;pudnif ts="f:.191cm;pudnif t, pre:.191cm;bers. -hop:nto ;bers. -bottom:.0262cmulosid #000000;bers. -s="f:.0262cmulosid #000000;bers. -, pre:nto ;ypsiec. -mitgn:hop;
                                                                asasstdn<="tart f-s="f:0mm;tart f-, pre:0mm;tart f-top:0mm;tart f-bottom:0mm;pudnif thop:0cm;pudnif tbottom:0cm;pudnif ts="f:.191cm;pudnif t, pre:.191cm;bers. -hop:nto ;bers. -bottom:.0262cmulosid #000000;bers. -s="f:.0262cmulosid #000000;bers. -, pre:nto ;ypsiec. -mitgn:hop;
                                                                  asasstdn<="tart f-s="f:0mm;tart f-, pre:0mm;tart f-top:0mm;tart f-bottom:0mm;pudnif thop:0cm;pudnif tbottom:0cm;pudnif ts="f:.191cm;pudnif t, pre:.191cm;bers. -hop:nto ;bers. -bottom:.0262cmulosid #000000;bers. -s="f:.0262cmulosid #000000;bers. -, pre:.0262cmulosid #000000;ypsiec. -mitgn:hop;
                                                                    as tr
                                                                  t/a><
                                                                titut
                                                              div dir="ltr">38
                                                               West (1957) 102.
                                                            ul>
                                                          " dir="ltr">38 Turt t’ speech to Juturta ol he remitsst his own death is r ovititut,pfor ins help constitu 12.631-49 ; 18nlr os : 17 sintre t ; 94 % ; 5nlr ostle in1 sintre , 3tle in2, 2tle in3). Is there any remse , however, for .39  Soubipan (1966) 624: 'l'éintre est protéiforme: autant que le silence qui se prolonsa,helle saura (...)
                                                        ideli>40  On Teucer in . heme stituka href="#ftn40">(...)
                                                      ul>
                                                    " dir="ltr">39 . hevirosque, aut tanti incendiastitu to hleswhich crossel s senshmbremkhwhilhmthe othersfeaturel s dir=hhleser 2occurrencethlesthe letter i (pointed out bysSoubipan ol s pasiecularlystyp=hhcombintlon), suggestl both s horror at the suffepif s0lesthe Trojant and awspenesl lesthe accumulalon lesthose suffepif s. When Aa sol sppearl st 613, > heprimo olpectustitu clearlysfitstle inSoubipan’s examplethles> hebouleversamentstitu and a paushmbefope comr g backcto to ’s senshs. There il s pasiecularlyslarge numbe=hlestyp=hhsintre t in lr ost625-7hwhere .40 " dir="ltcitalonpan class="Dquis get thAa sodum, quis Troiae nescral urbem,
                                                    uirtutesque uirosque aut tanti incendia bellr ?ke

                                                    the heroic deedl and heroel both, or the firostlessuch a greme war ?ke

                                                    41 Mossman (2005) suggestl that abstpicaion and possituy sentenaiousnesl can be remn ol male qumittiel ka href="#ftn41">(...)

                                                  ideli>42  Austin (1971) 189; he also points out that theshmlr ostlere ushd on a funerary monument (> heCarm. wh stituka href="#ftn42">(...)
                                                ideli>43  Adams (1984) 44 citr g Cic.s> heDetlratorestitu 3.45; Dutsch (2008) 200-02 arguel that women'smlr guisiec0c ka href="#ftn43">(...)
                                              ideli>44  Austin (1971) 182-3.
                                            ideli>45  Austin (1971) 191-2 also suggestl that 619 in the second speech (> hememr i … uenirestitu) reflectspan earl ka href="#ftn45">(...)
                                          ideli>46  Dost the fica that > heurbsstitu itself is femr ine have0.ny signifec.nce? It il st if .(...)
                                        ideli>47  Used three timst elsewhere in the > help constitu: 7.130 (Aa sol); 7.429 (Allecto pretendi g to be Calybe, ka href="#ftn47">(...)
                                      ideli>48  Adams (1984) 67-8: ushd byswomen onuy 11 out les90 timst in Plautus; restrecled to men in Terence. ka href="#ftn48">(...)
                                    ul>
                                  " dir="ltr"> heobtunss pectorastitu, ‘our heasis spe not0so blunt’) ; yetsit il diffecult to dirim that .41 Aa sol,htoo, in his heasifelt sttpibuton leseter al > hehonosstitu to . hepolut dum siders pascetstitu, ‘whilhmthe skysfeedl the starl’, 608).42 There waspan .ncient pepchplon that women had a fondnesl for archaism :ka dir="ltfootnotec. l" href="#ftn43" id="/a>43 for that we could point to > heurbem qumm stwhuo, uestrs eststitu (‘the city which I mm foundi g, il yourl’, 573). Austin points out that this dasetlesinversa sttpicaie (the noun > heurbemstitu il sttpicaed into the dasetlesits relalve pronoun) il ‘an .rchaic0construclon that occurs nowhere else in dir="ec. poeiry and nowhere in dir="ec. prose : a remarkitut and surp isi g turn lesphrase. In lefepif to shspe we inehe Trojant hersgreme treasure, herscity, she speakssin the tto hlessome antique prodirmalon.’ka dir="ltfootnotec. l" href="#ftn44" id="/a>44 At this moment lessharr g herscity, she emphasisel that it il > heherstitu city to shspe, speakr g like s woman but also a mon.rch.45 The public naturetlesthe speech givst it the tto hlesa prodirmalon ; but, sl Dutsch points out, female archaism suggestl female attachment to oldersgeneratre t ; .ny female ownershiptlesthe what la guagetismlrmited to female conneclont we inpast men.46 Yet towspdl the endtlesthe second speech, she usst an intensifierswe ina command : > hequspe agite, o tecll,hiuuenes, succhdite nostresstitu (‘Come e , the , you g me , come into our palace’, 627).47 Austin labelt it a ‘livsuy drrmalc0<’ which looks backcto comedy, and Adams hol shown that this sort les‘imperatrval intensifier’ il s masculr o speech trait in comedy.48 To go backcto Austin’s remnif 0les.< the , he saystlesthe second speech : ‘the s/a>< lesthis speech is simple and derecl : .ka href="#tocfrom1n3" id="tocto1n3">Rhetorec0and persuatre 49  Austin (1971) xvii-xviii.
                                ideli>50  Of course the phrase itself belof s0to Aa sol,hwho sest his own suffepif depecled on the wallthles>a href="#ftn50">(...)
                              ul>
                            " dir="ltr">49 The senshmles. hedasusstitu il equmiuy an exprestre hleste=hlwn focinion > helacrimae perumstitu (‘the tearl lesthif s’).50 hetanti incendia bellrstitu (‘the blazetlessuch a greme war’, 565) relalst it to the suffepif hlesall wart ; in the followr g line, herscirim that Phoeniciant a cnot0have0‘blunt heasis’ (> heobtunss pectorastitu) insistl on their capacity to em/sthisetle insuffepif has wellmas their involvement le inworld events. The second speech bet fstand ends le inexprestre thlesem/sthy : the impastre ed questre that 615-6 (> hequis te, n.te dea,hperntants perecula dasus | inssquitur ? Quae uis immanibul spplec.t oris ?keitu ‘Wh.t suffepif , son lesthe goddest,hpursuel yousthrough such greme dansars ? Wh.t fopch drivst yousto la d on hostilhmshoros ?’) demand0justice0from a hostilhmworld,has wellmas marvellr g .t Aa sol’ story. .quidue dolens ret na deum tot0uoluere insignem pietate uirum, tot0adere impulerit.ntantsene anrmis celestrbul irae ? ke

                            or what was the queen lesthe godt grievif , that she should drivs
                            a hero famed for his pietysthrough so much suffepif ,
                            so m.ny toils. Are the ansarshlesteavenuy mindl so greme ?ke

                            " dir="ltcitalonpan class="Dme quoque per multos similil fortuna non ign.rs mali m sl is succurrere disco. (628-30)ke

                            has welled ms fi ally to stand here on thismland;
                            not0unawspehlesevil, I lear to bpif haid to the wpelcied.’ ke

                            51  See Dutsch e em/sthy al s femr ine ctypical isiec0in conirast to masculr o com/eielvenesl: 'Wome >a href="#ftn51">(...)

                          ul>
                        " dir="ltr">51 heHesperiastitu we in> heHesperiam magnam Saturniaque aruastitu (‘Greme Hesperiatand the Saturnian frelds’). Equmiuy she addl the epithein> heErycesstitu> hefr isstitu to te=hdescriplon lesAeestst,tnoddi g towspdl the fica that Eryx is r ssome senshsna brotherslesAa sol. She thustclearlysre-stalel the er 2oplont rs to inisuggested,sItaly or Sicily, and trumpl both byhudnif te=hinvitalon to join hersin Casihage. Finmiuy she fr ishel by respondif to his descriplon lesAa sol snd his worriel about his ship-mltst bysem/sthisif le inhis feelif s : she,htoo, wishel that Aa sol lere here ; .nd most impesiantuy byhuctr g on it. She thustresponds systemalcally to everythr g that rs to inisayl. She even0pickl up his wordl,hwe in> hesubducite nauesstitu (573) echor g > helect.t subducere dir="emstitu (551). hesoluite,nsecludite,stitu 562 ; > hesubducitestitu, 573 ; > heagitestitu, > hesucchditestitu, 627) and emphaiec0first perse ssingular futuretverbt (> hedrmittam,hiuuabostitu, 571 ; > hedrmittam,hiubebostitu, 577). The pepeielon les> hedrmittamstitu, first ushd of rs to iniand his fellow Trojant, and the hleste=hlwn people, sent out to look for Aa sol, makel literal0. remnysthe stalement that theretwellmbe no des heTros Tyriusque mihi nullo descrimine ageturstitu, 574). She il just but firm le inher lwn people, and lellmacththe same way towspdl the Trojant. However, herscommandt a cnot0asknehe Trojant to a crnythr g they have0not0. remnystold hersthey want to do : your0wish il myscommand.s> heQuspe agitekeitu … > hesucchditestitu is then heSubducitestituhas we have0seen echost rs to in’ lwn werss ; put as de your0fearl is a reas"ur.nce0rather than a true command.sInhthe same way, the emphaiec0first perse ssingular verbt (to0which we m pre udn > hestwhuostitu, 573, and > hememr istitu, 6i9) spe offset bysfrsquent pepresentalont leste=self al pastrve and objectfred ; most notabuy > herostdura et pegni nouitasmmestslia cogunh | molirrstitu (‘Hasd timst .nd my you g k fgdom fopch me to a csuch thif s’, 563-4). Equmiuy, ‘Trojan and Tyrian wellmbe trealed by me’ (> heTros Tyriusque mihi ageturstitu) usst an inderecl and pastrve strucluretwhich puts the emphasiste to > heTros Tyriusquestitu. In the second speech, she doostnot0say ‘I0know about yousand Troy’, but ‘your0name istknown to me’ (> hemihi dognitusstitu, 623). Insthe last three lr os, she is strik fglysthe object lesmalicrous Fortuns(> heme … iactatamstitu, ‘me tossed about’, 629-30). And she fr ishel we ina double negalve (> henon ign.rs malistitu) and a first perse sverb (> hedrscostitu)0which serve to em/hasiseste=hperse al humility. heneque snim nescrmusstitu, ‘for we spe not0ignopant’, 195). He it more likely to use the royal we (here ; .lso ain> henostra inceptsstitu (259) ; > henostrestitu (263) ; > henostrae stitu(268) ; > henostrum nomenstitu (271-2)). . hePoeni estamusstitu, 567 (specrfyr g ‘we Phoeniciant’) and > henostres tecllstitu, 627. He it keen to present the whatl sl citrzenstlesthe golden aget(202-4), and it more wordy, establishr g his own authority by requirr g his audienct to l sten to his dubrousuy relevant obscurttiel ; he fr ishel his first speech we inehe com/lex0. lutre to .asdaniniand Coryth thdrscussed above. Most strik fglyshe pefarshto himself al > heroge whatostitu st 261iand his own name and immesialitycis his ultimate concern : > hequi0sa guine nostrum | nomen in astra farantstitu (‘who wellmbear our0name to the starl in hil blood’). It il notabut that . hesemper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebuntstitu, 609) exceptcto strest hersawspenesl lesAa sol’ name (> henomenque tuumstitu, 624). what t’ whole answar,0in fica,halthough he saysthe is givr g them what they want (> hedabitur, Troians, quod2oplasstitu, ‘what youslof for wellmbe givsn, Trojan’, 260), il concerned le inhis own desirostand hopel,hthe prophecrel for his own pice. heducet Peir=grstitu (‘Greek leaders’) as much al the fill lesTroy. She sets out hersindependenct,phersimpesiance and perhapssa sl pre war if 0to Aa sol,hafter his almost fulsome thanks. ka href="#tocfrom1n4" id="tocto1n4">Conclutre s52 O'H.rs (1993) exploros the unreselved ambiguitiostles.a href="#ftn52">(...)
                      ul>
                    " dir="ltr">52<. Thil foroshadowl hersrole in books 2iand 3mas the audienct lesAa sol’ epic narratrvs. .< wResizabut -->Haut de page
< -->
<">Bibliographie>/h2
    <">
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Notes

1  Thanks to Judith Mossman, John Henderson, Susanna Braund and Philip Hardie for reading and improving this paper, and to the participants in the seminar on ‘The gender of Latin’ at the APA annual conference in Boston 2005 for enthusiasm and comments, and participants at 'Mars and Venus' in Nottingham, 2008, and the rhetoric colloquium at King's College London in February 2012. The text of the Aeneid is from Mynors’ OCT and all translations (inelegant as they are) are my own.

2  Highet (1972) 45; Feeney (1990) 190.

3  On women perceived as garrulous in the ancient world, particularly in situations of self-pity, see Dutsch (2008) 199.

4  For an introduction to issues in gender and discourse, see Holmes and Meyerhoff (2003); on the trope of women talking too much: Holmes (2008).

5  From the vast literature on Dido, a selection: Burden (1998), Desmond (1994) on reception, Spence (1999); on gender and ethnicity, Syed (2005); Reed (2007) 73-100. On Dido's oscillations between masculine and feminine roles, see West (1980). On Dido's use of double meaning in book 4 see  Murgia (1987) with response by Casali (1999-2000). On Dido's psychological complexity and potentially threatening tragic nature, see Schiesaro (2008).

6  Farrell (2001) 56 proved an important starting point, although he focuses mainly on the evidence for Latin produced by real women, and dismisses female speech within literary texts as male-authored representation. On Greek literature, see De Martino and Sommerstein (1995); Lardinois and McClure (2001); one book: McClure (1999); various articles including Mossman (2001). See also Gilleland (1980), Fögen (2004).

7  Dutsch (2008).

8  James (2010).

9  Adams (1984) and Gilleland (1980) both attempt to approach real female Latin through literary texts; Dutsch (2008) is also tempted by this; see 228-31.

10  See McClure (1999) 38-40 on ancient perceptions of women’s speech, citing Plato Cratylus 418c.

11  Ricottilli (1992) 194-99 compares Dido’s opening gesture (looking down) to the analogous gesture of Latinus, and has much of interest to say about the two scenes, but does not analyse the speeches themselves in any detail. See further on gesture in the Aeneid Ricottilli (2000).

12  For a good introduction to the problem, see Tannen (1994) 19-52.

13  Tannen (1994) 34.

14  On epic as a masculine genre, see Keith (2000); on women in the Aeneid see Nugent (1999). Women's speech in epic includes, but is not limited to, lament: on lament in epic see Perkell (1997), Fantham (1999); on sisterhood and narration in Ovid see Salzman-Mitchell (2005); on Hypsipyle as narrator in Statius see Gibson (2004).

15  Feeney (1990) 172-3. See further Braund (1998) who argues that the taciturnity of Aeneas accords with ancient ideas of decorum and is an appropriately Roman feature.

16  Against Feeney, Pollio (2006) argues that Aeneas in book 8 and Ilioneus in book 1 are only successful in their diplomatic approaches because of divine intervention and fate, not through persuasive oratory. This does not account for the layered nature of causation in epic, in which divine and human action and motivation work alongside each other, and the one does not make the other obsolete.

17  Dido’s speeches in book 1 have not stimulated much detailed comment in the secondary literature: Austin (1971) in his commentary makes reasonably detailed remarks. In his introduction he says: ‘When Ilioneus asks for her help, her reply is impulsive and unselfish and magnificent […] In welcoming Aeneas she [speaks] words of deep humanity, a manifestation of true pietas, simple, direct, humble. There is nothing here of deviousness or self-seeking or seductive wiles. Dido is a woman whose highmindedness and honour match the most exacting Roman ideal of conduct and person: a woman worthy of Aeneas’ (xvii-xviii). Heinze (1993) 96-8 views the sequence of scenes as setting up love between Aeneas and Dido; Cairns (1989) 42 analyses the lines to show how Dido begins as a ‘good king’ before degenerating; Pöschl (1966) 70-71 focuses on her great and noble soul; Highet (1972) 52-5 compares Ilioneus’ two speeches to Dido and Latinus and analyses Aeneas’ speech to Dido at 115. Moorton (1989) compares Dido’s response to Aeetes’ response to Argus, and Nelis (2001) provides the most complex discussion of this passage’s forebears in Homer and Apollonius, at 86-93 drawing strong parallels between the arrival of Aeneas in Carthage and the arrival of Jason in Colchis, and at 112-7 equally reflecting on the similarities between Dido and Hypsipyle in book 2 of the Argonautica.  

18  Laird (1999).

19  Though Tannen (1994) 36-9 suggests that volubility can equally be an index of powerlessness and taciturnity an index of power: well-reflected by Feeney’s analysis of Aeneid 4. It is also worth remembering that Aeneas may be taciturn in book 4, but he is far from taciturn in books 2 and 3; instead he holds the role of ‘lecturer’ while Dido is listener.

20  Ricottilli (1992).

21  Austin (1971) 180 suggest that the gesture implies ‘both modesty and emotion’.

22  Ricottilli (1992) 181.

23  Pöschl (1966) 70. Donatus ad loc. talks of both feminine modesty and embarrassment: vultum demissa potest sic accipi, ut non solum propter femineam verecundiam vultum deiecerit verum etiam propter obiecta. See further Ricottilli (1992) 186.

24  Muecke (1984) 109-10.

25  Ricottilli (1992) 188; Heuzé (1985) 498-9.

26  On the averted gaze as at least partly an index of power, see Lovatt (2013) 71-7.

27  The same verb describes Dido’s most violent speech against Aeneas at 4.362-4: talia dicentem iamdudum auersa tuetur | huc illuc uoluens oculos totumque pererrat | luminibus tacitis et sic accensa profatur:  (‘As he was saying such things, all the time she watches him slant-wise, rolling her eyes here and there, and wandering all over with her silent gaze and thus aflame addresses him:’). The two situations are intimately linked: now is the moment that Dido most eloquently recalls her kindness to him in book 1; but the verb seems to have opposite implications (or this occurrence encourages us to read Dido in book 1 as sending mixed messages) and her active eyes reveal her agitation and lack of control. Latinus too (also uoluens oculos) has every reason to be agitated and emotional, and the longer pause in the narrative gives the impression that he is bringing himself under control.

28 Clausen (1987) 28 n.7, obstupesco of lovers: Prop 1.3.28, 2.29.25, 4.4.21; it is also a standard reaction to epiphany.

29  Fowler (1990), Laird (1999) esp. 79-115.

30  This might be an example of a feminine tendency to blur the boundaries between self and other, as Dutsch observes of the women in Roman comedy (Dutsch (2008) 41).

31  Austin (1971) 193.

32  Fordyce (1977) 107.

33  Horsfall (2000) 160-69.

34  Old men have some common ground with women, both excluded from the action of epic; see Lovatt (2013) 217-50 on teichoscopy; 220 on Priam. On makrologia as characteristic of old men in Greco-Roman culture, see Dutsch (2008) 191.

35  On elision, see Soubiran (1966) 613-45; some thoughts also in Morgan (2010) 326-32.

36  Statistics on elision in Virgil come from Bonaria (1985).

37  For the sake of this analysis, I have included as part of Dido’s speech the two preceding lines, 613-4, which describe her state of mind.

38  West (1957) 102.

39  Soubiran (1966) 624: 'l'élision est protéiforme: autant que le silence qui se prolonge, elle saura peindre un cri qui se répercute d'écho en écho.' Some effects considered by Soubiran: stupefaction leading to a pause (624); emotion (632), with examples of Nisus at the death of Euryalus (9.427 – two elisions); Juno on hatred of the Trojans (1.47-50; 7.293-311); deceptive sincerity (A put-on effect ? Or words out of harmony with true emotions? Speech of Sinon). The awkwardness and ugliness of two vowels crunched together, especially those synaloepha involving vowel plus m or h plus vowel, can be mimetic; horror at war; grief (the lament of Euryalus’ mother, 9.481-97, is rich in elisions). A series of elisions can imply accumulation, a heaping up; similarly Soubiran suggests a link to sublimity, the immeasurable.

40  On Teucer in Dido’s speech, see Seo (2013) 44-7. ‘As Dido uses the keywords of poetic allusion (memini, ferebat), here they underscore her claim’s anomaly; she speaks from a position of traditional authority where none exists, and thus Virgil underscores her Zelig-like intrusion into the literary narrative.’ (45)

41 Mossman (2005) suggests that abstraction and possibly sententiousness can be read as male qualities, while metaphor seems more feminine, at least in Euripides’ Trojan Women. Cassandra, however, continually takes metaphors literally. Mossman (2001) argues of Electra that women can be sententious in the presence of men as part of being slightly ill at ease.

42  Austin (1971) 189; he also points out that these lines were used on a funerary monument (Carm. Lat. Epigr. 1786, 825).

43  Adams (1984) 44 citing Cic. De oratore 3.45; Dutsch (2008) 200-02 argues that women's linguistic conservatism marks them as secluded from society, hence preserving the linguistic characteristics of the older male generations of their family: 'The ideal woman would thus seem to be a sort of vessel in which language, like a child, can be stored and through which it passes without being altered.' (201-2)

44  Austin (1971) 182-3.

45  Austin (1971) 191-2 also suggests that 619 in the second speech (memini … uenire) reflects an earlier construction.

46  Does the fact that urbs itself is feminine have any significance? It is as if Dido is giving her city away as a bride (along with herself).

47  Used three times elsewhere in the Aeneid: 7.130 (Aeneas); 7.429 (Allecto pretending to be Calybe, priestess of Juno); 8.273 (Evander). Allecto is obviously a complex case, being a fury, pretending to be an elderly woman and priestess.

48  Adams (1984) 67-8: used by women only 11 out of 90 times in Plautus; restricted to men in Terence. But usage did change through time. Some features which are masculine or feminine in our extant comedy have lost those associations in later times (77). Methodologically, this is a big problem for transferring the sort of tactics used in Greek literature to Latin. Comedy and tragedy were being produced at roughly the same time; Latin comedy comes almost 150 years before the Aeneid.

49  Austin (1971) xvii-xviii.

50  Of course the phrase itself belongs to Aeneas, who sees his own suffering depicted on the walls of Dido's temple (1.462) and is moved by the power of kleos; similarly Dido sees her own suffering in that of Aeneas. Mirroring is a feature of the Carthaginian episode, where a poetics of incestuousness lurks; see Hardie (2006), Schiesaro (2008).

51  See Dutsch on empathy as a feminine characteristic in contrast to masculine competitiveness: 'Women use language to draw themselves closer to their interlocutors, while men use it to distinguish themselves from their companions.' (37)

52 O'Hara (1993) explores the unresolved ambiguities of Dido’s extispicy as a representation of the unresolved ambiguities of reading the Aeneid. She certainly functions as an ‘interpreting character’ in her response to the speeches, and as a ‘reader in the text’ in her role as audience of Aeneid 2 and 3. See also Fowler (1990) on Dido as focalising character in book 4.

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Helen Lovatt, « The eloquence of Dido: exploring speech and gender in Virgil’s Aeneid », Dictynna [En ligne], 10 | 2013, mis en ligne le 29 novembre 2013, consulté le 17 décembre 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/dictynna/993

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