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Posts by Kenneth Mayer

Virgil Reading the Aeneid to Augustus, Octavia, and Livia

Blog: The Golden Line—From Classroom to Canon

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 in 1612. The earliest citations follow a clear and consistent definition: two adjectives and two corresponding nouns, separated by a verb in balanced symmetry: mollia securae peragebant Read more …