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Virgil Reading the Aeneid to Augustus, Octavia, and Livia

Blog: The Golden Line—From Classroom to Canon

By Kenneth Mayer | November 13, 2017

New ideas customarily enter the classroom in a kind of scholarly trickle-down, from the university to daily educational practice. Think of the New Criticism of the 1950s, social history, or backward design. The phenomenon in Latin versification known as the “golden line” represents a striking example of the reverse: an idea generated in the classroom and resisted by the academy for decades, if not centuries, before becoming mainstream in erudite classical scholarship.

The term is first attested Read more …