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Ancient LiteraciesThe Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome$
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William A. Johnson and Holt N. Parker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199793983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199793983.001.0001

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Literary Literacy in Roman Pompeii

Literary Literacy in Roman Pompeii

The Case of Vergil’s Aeneid

(p.288) 12 Literary Literacy in Roman Pompeii
Ancient Literacies

Kristina Milnor

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks at the placement and function of literary texts written as graffiti on the walls of Pompeii, focusing on Vergil and exploring how literacy speaks to the interests and attitudes of the ancient writers and readers. It presents the ways in which local interpretations of individual wall texts explains how wall writers saw the relationship between Vergil's text and their own. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the use of canonical literary texts where Vergilian graffiti is viewed less as a cultural product and more as a means of cultural production.

Keywords:   Pompeii, literary texts, graffiti, Vergil, literacy, wall texts, wall writers, Vergilian graffiti, cultural production

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