The City and Civilization, Civis and Civitas: Arguments from Literature
The discussion will examine the distinctions found in Virgil's Eclogues between the city and the country as civilizing places. I shall likely guide the discussion to include consideration of the English Romantic poets, as well as Thomas Hardy, Robert Frost, and Seamus Heaney. Then, through interaction with the audience, the analysis will open up to include other literary genres (e.g., drama, fiction) and other (i.e., non-English) literary traditions. Beyond that, the discussion might be guided to include questions related to modern perceptions such as whether cities, in fact, civilize or brutalize their inhabitants. The aim of the discussion will be to examine what link or links exist between knowledge from literary writers and contemporary realities.
Keywords: Roman Literature, English Literature, Roman Poetry, Theme of City Versus Country
Prof. Nancy Nahra
Professor of Humanities, Coordinator for Humanities Division of Arts and Sciences, Champlain College (Burlington, Vermont)