Fabii Planciadis Fulgentii V. C. Opera; Accedunt Fabii Claudii Gordiani Fulgentii V. C. De aetatibus mundi et hominis et S. Fulgentii episcopi super Thebaiden, recensuit Rudulfus Helm, addenda adiecit Jean Preaux. Ed. stereotypa ed. anni 1898, Stutgardiae 1970 (Bibliotheca Scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana).
This is a short text - about twenty pages in modern, printed editions - in which the mythographer Fulgentius offers an allegorical commentary on the Aeneid aimed at revealing its continentia, i.e. its hidden meaning. The author imagines that Vergil meets him as he is groping in the dark and offers to reveal the secrets contained in his works. The Aeneid is then described as an allegory for the stages of human life, often through etymologies that are clearly invented (e.g. “Caieta” = “Coactrix Aetatis”). The work ends with an invitation for its dedicatee to read with greater attention to the text’s implicit, esoteric meanings. Although today the Virgiliana Continentia is only familiar to scholars, it was extremely important in the Middle Ages and contributed much to the treatment of Vergil as a spiritual guide - a motif that reached its apex in Dante’s Divine Comedy. [M. Manca; tr. C. L. Caterine].