Hoc nemus ... habitat deus (Verg. Aen. 8, 351-352). : Presence des dieux dans la campagne virgilienne: qui sont les di agrestes?

Guittard, Charles
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University of Debrecen.
In the pastoral landscapes of the Geogics (particularly in this poem’s opening invocation), in the Eclogues, and in some descriptions of the Aeneid, for example when Aeneas visits the site of Rome with Evander (Verg., A. VIII 306-368), gods are present in nature, in the wild space, in the fields ; and the Roman feels the presence of undefined divinities. The pastoral and agricultural themes include many gods of the countryside and of agricultural life; Virgil calls them agrestum praesentia numina (G. I 10). This paper will focus on such divinities as Faunus, Pan and Silvanus. Links have been established between these divinities by way of interpretatio, especially between Faunus and the Greek god Pan. Faunus is present in the religious calendar of Rome (Lupercalia); the worship of Silvanus is also well attested in the Roman world. The concept of di agrestes, well attested in Virgil’s works, helps us to define a special category of gods, living in a special area, between civilization and wild space. Some of these divinities combine human and animal features.
gods between the fields and the wild space, di agrestes, Faunus, Silvanus, Pan, indigitamenta, numina