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Dryden and the Traces of Classical Rome$
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Paul Hammond

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198184119

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198184119.001.0001

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(p.283) Theoxeny
Dryden and the Traces of Classical Rome

Paul Hammond

Oxford University Press

This chapter focuses on Dryden's translation from the Metamorphoses relating the story of Baucis and Philemon, included in his Fables Ancient and Modern (1700), published two months before his death. The tale is offered by Lelex as a demonstration of the power of the gods and a rebuke to atheists and scoffers. Lelex has seen two trees which grow close together, an oak and a linden, and unlike the trees in Claude's painting these are the traces of a remarkable human couple. But like Delos, this too is holy ground, in this case because it has been the site of a theoxeny, the reception of a god.

Keywords:   Dryden, Metamorphoses, poetry, theoxeny, Lelex

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