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Performing and Processing «The Aeneid»

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B.G. Campbell

Most critics and commentators on The Aeneid refer to Virgil’s audience as readers. Yet, before the advent of printing, texts were neither quantitatively multiple nor qualitatively identical. Furthermore, the formatting of texts was not especially reader friendly. This book focuses on chirographic (manuscripted) texts as generally being performed orally and processed aurally. Chirographic texts retained a massive oral residue. The realities of reciting to a listening rather than a reading audience presented a different set of problems to an ancient author than those faced by a modern author writing for a typographically literate audience.