Call for Papers for SCS Panel: Re-evaluating Turnus in Vergil and the Vergilian Tradition

Proposals will be received through March 22.

Society of Classical Studies 156th Annual Meeting

JANUARY 2-5, 2025


Organized by Randall Ganiban, Department of Classics, Middlebury College

Crazed enemy of Rome, tragic victim of fate, embodiment of ancient Italy’s virtues or of proto-Rome’s vices? Interpretation of Turnus remains vigorously debated, even as our understanding of his complexity has deepened. We better understand, for example, his layered intertextual nature and his central role in Vergil’s treatment of Italian and Trojan values in the formation of Rome. But how has our interpretation of the second half of the Aeneid changed as a result?

For this panel, we invite papers on any aspect of Vergil’s depiction and use of the character Turnus in the Aeneid. Topics might involve:

·    Turnus and the idea of the hero

·    The intertextual nature of Turnus (including epic, tragedy, historiography)

·    Issues of characterization

·    Turnus and his relationship to female characters: e.g. Dido, Lavinia, Amata, Camilla, or Juturna

·    Issues of Italian identity

·    The role of madness and the emotions 

·    Turnus and proto-civil war (or The Social War)

·    Philosophical influences on Turnus

·    The use of the gods, religion, and rituals (e.g., devotio

·    Issues of rival perspective and focalization 

·    The presence of Turnus in later literature (ancient and modern)

·    The representation of Turnus in art

Please send abstracts for a 15-20 minute paper by March 22, 2024 to Randall Ganiban (, preferably with the subject heading “abstract_SCS2025.” Abstracts should be 500 words or fewer (excluding bibliography) and should follow the guidelines for individual abstracts (see the SCS Guidelines for Authors of Abstracts). The abstracts will be judged anonymously and so should not reveal the author’s name, but the email should provide name, abstract title, and affiliation. Decisions will be communicated to the abstracts’ authors by the end of March, with enough time that those whose abstracts are not chosen can participate in the individual abstract submission process for the upcoming SCS meeting.