From carcer to meta
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Through a complex network of allusion, Vergil models the funeral games for Anchises in Aeneid 5 on the games presented in Iliad 23, in part because the thematic content of Iliad 23 (competition, father-son relationships, fictional reality) is surprisingly adaptable to his own needs. The Iliadic games thus offer Vergil a means both to imitate and to surpass his predecessor as epic poet. By analyzing the references to and deviations from the Iliadic paradigm, Vergil’s adaptation of these games becomes clear. He used the framework of the games in Iliad 23 as a starting point for an exploration of particular Roman concepts, especially pietas, with the result of creating a text that is derivative, yet innovative, Greek, yet Roman.