The essays in this collection approach the reception of the Roman poet Virgil in early modern Europe from the perspective of two areas at the center of current scholarly work in the humanities: book history and the history of reading.
The first group of essays uses Virgil's place in post-classical culture to raise questions of broad scholarly interest: How, exactly, does modern reception theory challenge traditional notions of literary practice and value?
How do the marginal comments of early readers provide insight into their character and mind?
How does rhetoric help shape literary criticism? The second group of essays begins from the premise that the material form in which early modern readers encountered this most important of Latin poets played a key role in how they understood what they read.
Thus title pages and illustrations help shape interpretation, with the results of that interpretation in turn becoming the comments that early modern readers regularly entered into the margins of their books.
The volume concludes with four more specialized studies that show how these larger issues play out in specific neo-Latin works of the early modern period.