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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: November ::
Re: Volsci
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 924. Wednesday, 16 November 1994.
 
(1)     From:   Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 15 Nov 1994 09:48:23 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0917 Qs: Volscians
 
(2)     From:   Julie  Dubiner <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Nov 1994 00:08:43 -0500 (EST)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0917 Qs: Volscians
 
(3)     From:   Judy Kennedy <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 16 Nov 1994 11:20:03 AST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 5.0917  Qs: Volscians
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kenneth S. Rothwell <
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Date:           Tuesday, 15 Nov 1994 09:48:23 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0917 Qs: Volscians
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0917 Qs: Volscians
 
Dear Blair Kelly,
 
In general, I've found Isaac Asimov's incredible GUIDE TO SHAKESPEARE helpful
in such background matters as the history of the Volscians in CORIOLANUS.
Asimov covers this ground in Volume One, pg. 222, of his guide, though
admittedly not in much depth. "The Volscians were the tribes occupying the
southeastern half of Latium," etc. They "fought with the Romans throughout the
fifth century B.C. and were in the end defeated." Asimov includes a map
pinpointing Corioli as somewhat inland southwest of Rome, perhaps a distance of
100 miles (I 212). In a prior confession of my reliance on Asimov, I noted,
though, that he never documents the sources for any of this information. Like
Oliver Goldsmith's schoolmaster, Asimov makes us want to cry out, "And still
they gaz'd, and still the wonder grew,/ That one small head could carry all he
knew" Oh, yes, Azimov's GUIDE was published by New York: Doubleday, 1970.
 
Ken Rothwell
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Julie  Dubiner <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Nov 1994 00:08:43 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 5.0917 Qs: Volscians
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0917 Qs: Volscians
 
The Volscians were, as you suspected, a neighboring city-state of Rome, located
just south of the Tiber.  Shakespeare's choice probably originated from their
development of sophisticated war transport machinery.  The Volscians were best
known for their innovative six-wheeled cart: the Volscwagon Bug.
 
(3)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Judy Kennedy <
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Date:           Wednesday, 16 Nov 1994 11:20:03 AST
Subject: 5.0917  Qs: Volscians
Comment:        Re: SHK 5.0917  Qs: Volscians
 
The question about the Volsci brought back happy memories of an April in
Terracina more than twenty years ago.  From our holiday apartment at the sea's
edge outside town we could look up at the temple on the hill to the south, and
think of Coriolanus.  We had chosen the spot because we wanted to visit Rome,
and our young children wanted to see a volcano (Terracina is on the east coast
roughly equidistant between Rome and Naples).  It was ideal for day trips to
Rome, to Fossanova (where Thomas Aquinas died), to Cuma, Gaeta, San Felice
Circeo (Circe's cave), etc. etc.  On Sundays we could go to church at
Fossanova, or to the ancient cathedral high in the centre of Terracina, where
we parked on the marble of the Roman forum, and watched children playing soccer
with broken Roman columns as goalposts.  We fetched our drinking water from the
fountain of Lucullus.  If you want to get in touch with Coriolanus, with Circe,
with prehistoric man, with Nero, with Vergil and the Sybil, then Terracina is
an ideal base.  I think it's still true if you go in April and May (preferably
avoiding Easter) before most Italians start taking their summer holidays you
should be able to find a reasonably cheap place to rent.
 
 Judy Kennedy
 St.Thomas University
 Fredericton, N.B., Canada
 Email 
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