Department of Greek & Latin

New Perspectives on Virgil’s Georgics


3-4 April 2014
University College London

Dryden Georgics 1697 edn

A European Classic

While T. S. Eliot celebrated the Aeneid as ‘the classic of all Europe’, the importance of Virgil’s Georgics within European cultural traditions has often been overlooked. This interdisciplinary and international conference will provide the forum for a long-overdue reappraisal of the Georgics and its contribution to the history of European art, thought, and literature. A diverse range of speakers from three continents will gather to offer new perspectives on this rich and enigmatic poem. 


The registration fee is £20 (£12 for a single day), to cover the cost of lunch and refreshments. Attendance is free for UCL students and staff.  Please register here.

Information on graduate student bursaries is available here.


D103 UCLU Building, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1H 0AY

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Conference Programme

  • Thursday, 3 April

8.45-9.30 Registration and Welcome (Nick Freer & Bobby Xinyue)

9.30 Keynote Address

Damien Nelis (Geneva)
“History and Geography in Virgil’s Georgics

10.15-10.45 Tea

Panel 1:
Clearing the Ground (Chair: Maria Wyke)

10.45 Stephen Heyworth (Oxford)
“Clearing the Ground in Georgics 1”

11.20 K. Sara Myers (Virginia/Cambridge)
“Pulpy Fiction: Columella’s numerosus hortus and Georgics 4.116-48”

11.55 Rebecca Armstrong (Oxford)
“The War on Terra: Insurgent Weeds in the Georgics

12.30-13.45 Lunch

Panel 2:
Religion in the Georgics (Chair: Luke Houghton)

13.45 Tom Mackenzie (Oxford)
Georgica and Orphica: The Georgics in the Context of Orphic Poetry and Religion”

14.20 Ailsa Hunt (Cambridge)
“Reading Georgic Religion with Servius”

Panel 3:
Tragedy & Comedy (Chair: Philippa Bather)

15.00 Ian Goh (Manchester)
“Slim Pickings? A Dash of Comedy in Virgil’s Georgics

15.35 Elena Giusti (Cambridge)
Bunte Barbaren Setting up the Stage: Re-inventing the Barbarian on the Georgics’ Theatre-Temple (G. 3.1-48)”

16.10-16.40 Tea

Panel 4:
Epic & Elegy (Chair: Stephen Harrison)

16.40 James Burbidge (New Hall School)
“Arms and the Land: Warfare and Agriculture in Virgil’s Georgics and Aeneid

17.15 Florence Klein (Lille)
“Posidippus’ aesthetical theories and the Georgics: A New Look at Virgil’s ‘Callimacheanism’”

17.50-19.10 Reception

19.30 Conference Dinner

  • Friday, 4 April

10.00 Keynote Address

Richard Thomas (Harvard)
“Aesthetics and Meaning in the Georgics

10.45-11.15 Tea

Panel 5:
New Approaches to the Georgics (Chair: Gail Trimble)

11.15 Robert Cowan (Sydney)
“The Story of rus: Towards a Narratology of the Georgics

11.50 Martin Stöckinger (Heidelberg)
“From munera vestra cano to ipse dona feram: Language of Social Reciprocity in the Georgics

12.30-13.45 Lunch

Panel 6:
Modern Georgic Landscapes (Chair: Gesine Manuwald)

13.45 Luke Houghton (LBI, Innsbruck)
Salve, magna parens: Virgil’s laudes Italiae in Renaissance Italy and Beyond”

14.20 Raymond Lambert (Birkbeck)
“‘Hard Pastoral’: John Constable’s Georgic Landscapes”

14.55 Katharine Earnshaw (Oxford)
“Shelley’s Georgic Landscape”

15.30-16.00 Tea

Panel 7:
Modern Reception (Chair: Fiachra Mac Góráin)

16.00 Stephen Harrison (Oxford)
“Three Laureates’ Georgics: Translations by Dryden, Wordsworth, Day Lewis”

16.35 Rowena Fowler (Bristol)
Si credere dignum est: Crediting the Georgics from Browning to Hill”

17.10 Séverine Tarantino (Lille)
“The Teaching of the Georgics in Twentieth-Century France and England”

For further information please contact the conference organizers Nick Freer and Bobby Xinyue at

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors, the Institute of Classical Studies, the Classical Association, the UCL European Institute, the Faculty Institute of Graduate Studies at UCL's Arts and Humanities Faculty, and the Virgil Society.

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