Department of Classics



site header

Student Theses and Research Essays - 2013

Sean Fenlon (Essay)

The Historiographical Viability of Cicero Regarding Gaius Verres

Michael Fergusson (Essay)

Underwater Photogrammetry: A unified approach for imaging underwater archaeological sites

Alicia Finan (Thesis)

A Rome Away from Rome: Isidorus Hipalensis and Roman Astronomical Traditions in Medieval Spain

Stephen Miller  (Essay)

Horresco Referens: Supernatural Horror and the Latin Vocabulary of Fear in Vergil's Aeneid 

This paper has two basic aims:  to identify and to explore those Latin words that connote fear ; and then to see how this vocabulary is used in Vergil’s Aeneid to describe scenes of supernatural horror.  The first part of this investigation is mainly lexicographical.  Building on MacKay’s 1961 article on fear-words in Roman Epic, I establish a set of eleven Latin word-groups that express or represent fear.  Then, using both ancient and modern sources, I offer discussions of each word-group that consider issues of use, semantics, and etymology.  The second part of this investigation focuses on how each word-group appears in Vergil’s Aeneid , with special attention paid to those words that appear in scenes of supernatural horror.  I intend to show that Vergil, in the Aeneid , does in fact use a recurring set of fear-words when describing scenes of supernatural horror, especially when showing characters’ reactions to supernatural events; moreover, groups of particular words used in conjunction with one another often work together to establish the sense that there is a supernatural aspect to certain scenes in the poem.  Further observation reveals that “fear of the supernatural,” at least as seen in the Aeneid , is bound up with Roman ideas about omens and human/god relationships.

Katherine Smith (Thesis)

Conceptions of Disease Contagion in Ancient Literature