Advanced

Själens spegel - psykets kroppsliga uttryck i Vergilius Aeneiden

Sjöström, Martin LU (2015) LATK01 20131
Latin
Abstract
It is fascinating to think on how antiquity pictured the human body and especially the connection between the mind and body. To better understand this I have studied how Virgil uses medical, anatomical, and physiological terminology to describe feelings and psychological phenomena. Furher, I have studied the metaphoric value of this terminology and sought for explanations in differences between Virgil’s use and a more modern usage.

Methodologically I have focused on the Aeneid, Virgil’s largest and most complex work, furthermore Rome’s great national epic and one of the world litterature’s most important works. I have searched the Aeneid for words that Virgil uses to describe feelings and other psychological phenomena and then studied... (More)
It is fascinating to think on how antiquity pictured the human body and especially the connection between the mind and body. To better understand this I have studied how Virgil uses medical, anatomical, and physiological terminology to describe feelings and psychological phenomena. Furher, I have studied the metaphoric value of this terminology and sought for explanations in differences between Virgil’s use and a more modern usage.

Methodologically I have focused on the Aeneid, Virgil’s largest and most complex work, furthermore Rome’s great national epic and one of the world litterature’s most important works. I have searched the Aeneid for words that Virgil uses to describe feelings and other psychological phenomena and then studied in what way he uses them as metaphors. Virgil’s way of using many medical, anatomical, and physiological words show that he had a certain medical knowledge. When it comes to feelings and the inner life it is mainly focused in what is usually translated as “the soul” and in the chest. Virgil uses mainly four words translated as “the soul”: animus, anima, mens, and spiritus. These words have partially different meanings with animus representing the feelings, mens representing the more rational reasoning and the mental consciousness, and anima and spiritus representing the more physical aspect of the soul and life: it is anima that departs from the body at death. Animus and the emotional and rational feelings, as well as anima and the physical life are mainly placed in the chest, pectus, and I argue that a main reason is that the most vital organs, such as the heart and the lungs, are located here. Since the Aeneid is aimed to be the national epic of Rome, it is primarily characteristics such as strength, courage, and the more hardly translated virtus, that are important. In relation to the rational thought, I think it is natural that these feelings and characteristics are placed in the chest.

Further, the blood is very important as a metaphor and I propose that this is associated with the fact that blood was much more present during antiquity: war and gladiator games were generally present and hospitals largely absent. Especially the black and rotten blood was very important and associated with something threatening and sinister.

Finally, a main theme of the Aeneid is a chest wound representing both a physical and psychological suffering, which is introduced during the first couple of lines where Juno has an eternal wound as a sign of her unfair treatment. In the final lines, Turnus dies from a chest wound and during the entire Aeneid we are following the wounded Dido which initially has a wound of love which grows from a silent wound into a physical wound that eventually kills her. From the discussion that the chest is central to the emotions and life, the tremendous metaphoric meaning of this wound is obvious. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Det är fascinerande att fundera över hur den antika människan förstod kroppen och i synnerhet kopplingen mellan känslor och kroppen. I syfte att förstå det bättre har jag i den här uppsatsen studerat hur Vergilius använder medicinska, fysiologiska eller anatomiska termer för att beskriva känslor och psykologiska tillstånd. Jag har också studerat vad som är den metaforiska betydelsen av dessa begrepp och letat efter förklaring till de skillnader gentemot modernt språkbruk jag har hittat.

Metodmässigt har jag fokuserat på Aeneiden, Vergilius´ största och mångsidigaste verk, därtill Roms nationalepos och en av värdslitteraturens kanke viktigaste texter. Jag har valt ut termer som Vergilius använder för att beskriva känslor och... (More)
Det är fascinerande att fundera över hur den antika människan förstod kroppen och i synnerhet kopplingen mellan känslor och kroppen. I syfte att förstå det bättre har jag i den här uppsatsen studerat hur Vergilius använder medicinska, fysiologiska eller anatomiska termer för att beskriva känslor och psykologiska tillstånd. Jag har också studerat vad som är den metaforiska betydelsen av dessa begrepp och letat efter förklaring till de skillnader gentemot modernt språkbruk jag har hittat.

Metodmässigt har jag fokuserat på Aeneiden, Vergilius´ största och mångsidigaste verk, därtill Roms nationalepos och en av värdslitteraturens kanke viktigaste texter. Jag har valt ut termer som Vergilius använder för att beskriva känslor och psykologiska tillstånd, och sedan studerat på vilket sätt han använder dem som metaforer. Vergilius sätt att använda många medicinska, anatomiska och fysiologiska termer visar att han hade ett visst medicinskt kunnande. När det gäller känslolivet är det framför allt förlagt till det som på svenska översätts med själen och bröstet. Vergilius använder fyra ord för ”själen”: animus, anima, mens och spiritus. Dessa har delvis olika betydelser där känslorna framför allt sitter i animus, den rationella tanken i mens, och själva livet finns i anima och spiritus. Animus och känslorna läggs framför allt i bröstet, pectus, liksom det fysiska livet, anima, och en anledning till det kan vara att de mest livgivande organen finns i bröstet och det därför blir naturligt att förlägga de djupaste känslorna dit. Eftersom Aeneiden är tänkt att vara Roms nationalepos är det framför allt egenskaper som styrka, mod och virtus som lyfts fram och i relation till det rationella tänkandet är det naturligt att dessa känslor får plats i bröstet.

Vidare har blodet en stor metaforisk betydelse, vilket skulle kunna ha att göra med att blodet var mycket mer påtagligt för en människa under antiken: krig och gladiatorspel var allmänt närvarande och sjukhus i stort sett frånvarande. Speciellt det svarta blodet, något ruttet och äckligt, eller olycksbådande och hotfullt, blir en viktig metafor.

Slutligen är ett genomgående tema i Aeneiden ett både fysiskt och psykiskt sår i bröstet, vilket förekommer från första raderna där Juno har ett evigt sår som tecken på hennes orättvisa behandling, till sista raderna där Turnus dör av ett sår i bröstet. Däremellan får drottning Dido ett kärlekssår i bröstet, som växer från ett tyst sår till ett sår som faktiskt tar livet av henne. Om bröstet är den centrala platsen för känslorna och livet är det naturligt och påtagligt vilket metaforiskt värdet detta sår har. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Sjöström, Martin LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Mirror of the soul - bodily expressions of the mind in Vergil's Aeneid
course
LATK01 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
latin, vergil, aeneid, body, expression, mind, soul, anatomy, medicine, physiology, vergilius, aeneiden, kropp, själ, anatomi, medicin, fysiologi, metafor, metaphor
language
Swedish
id
8311106
date added to LUP
2015-12-15 08:34:13
date last changed
2015-12-15 08:34:13
@misc{8311106,
  abstract     = {It is fascinating to think on how antiquity pictured the human body and especially the connection between the mind and body. To better understand this I have studied how Virgil uses medical, anatomical, and physiological terminology to describe feelings and psychological phenomena. Furher, I have studied the metaphoric value of this terminology and sought for explanations in differences between Virgil’s use and a more modern usage.

Methodologically I have focused on the Aeneid, Virgil’s largest and most complex work, furthermore Rome’s great national epic and one of the world litterature’s most important works. I have searched the Aeneid for words that Virgil uses to describe feelings and other psychological phenomena and then studied in what way he uses them as metaphors. Virgil’s way of using many medical, anatomical, and physiological words show that he had a certain medical knowledge. When it comes to feelings and the inner life it is mainly focused in what is usually translated as “the soul” and in the chest. Virgil uses mainly four words translated as “the soul”: animus, anima, mens, and spiritus. These words have partially different meanings with animus representing the feelings, mens representing the more rational reasoning and the mental consciousness, and anima and spiritus representing the more physical aspect of the soul and life: it is anima that departs from the body at death. Animus and the emotional and rational feelings, as well as anima and the physical life are mainly placed in the chest, pectus, and I argue that a main reason is that the most vital organs, such as the heart and the lungs, are located here. Since the Aeneid is aimed to be the national epic of Rome, it is primarily characteristics such as strength, courage, and the more hardly translated virtus, that are important. In relation to the rational thought, I think it is natural that these feelings and characteristics are placed in the chest.

Further, the blood is very important as a metaphor and I propose that this is associated with the fact that blood was much more present during antiquity: war and gladiator games were generally present and hospitals largely absent. Especially the black and rotten blood was very important and associated with something threatening and sinister.

Finally, a main theme of the Aeneid is a chest wound representing both a physical and psychological suffering, which is introduced during the first couple of lines where Juno has an eternal wound as a sign of her unfair treatment. In the final lines, Turnus dies from a chest wound and during the entire Aeneid we are following the wounded Dido which initially has a wound of love which grows from a silent wound into a physical wound that eventually kills her. From the discussion that the chest is central to the emotions and life, the tremendous metaphoric meaning of this wound is obvious.},
  author       = {Sjöström, Martin},
  keyword      = {latin,vergil,aeneid,body,expression,mind,soul,anatomy,medicine,physiology,vergilius,aeneiden,kropp,själ,anatomi,medicin,fysiologi,metafor,metaphor},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Själens spegel - psykets kroppsliga uttryck i Vergilius Aeneiden},
  year         = {2015},
}