ABSTRACT

La Cerda’s commentary was highly regarded in its own day and is by no means unknown now, but it has not attracted the level of recent scholarly attention one might expect. The close relationship between Paradise Lost and the Aeneid has been assumed ever since Milton's first commentator, Patrick Hume, linked passages in the two poems, but the logic underlying this relationship has proved surprisingly elusive. Renaissance commentaries often serve as a bridge that connects Neo-Latin scholarship to the vernacular cultures in which it is rooted. Milton imitated Virgil, but as seen through the filter of La Cerda's Aristotelianism. One must be careful in trying to map seventeenth-century scholarship onto its twenty-first-century successor. The perspective it opens up contributed in a significant way to the success of another great epic poem, and it offers potential as well to modern discussions of the Aeneid.