The Aeneid Study Guide

Three Periods of Roman History:
Empire: Aeneid was written during this time

What event marked the change from Monarch to Republic?
-“Tarquin the Proud” and his son’s rape of Lucretia.
-Roman ambivalence towards kingship

-Senatus Populusque Romanus (the Senate and the people of Rome)
-referring to the government of the ancient Roman Republic, and used as an official emblem of the modern-day comune (municipality) of Rome. It appears on coins, at the end of documents made public by inscription in stone or metal, in dedications of monuments and public works, and was emblazoned on the standards of the Roman legions

A Century of Slaughter
– The growing power of Julius Caesar and the threat of dictatorship.
– Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey.
-Julius Caesar assassinated. [Octavian/Augustus was the grand-nephew of Julius Caesar and was “adopted” by him, thereby becoming his heir; dwelling in or near Illyria at the time.]
-Civil War between Octavian (Augustus Caesar) and Marc Antony.

When was the battle of actium?
31 BC

describe the battle of actium:
Octavian (grandnephew and adopted son of Julius Caesar; soon to be called Augustus) defeats the combined forces of Marc Antony and Cleopatra in the naval battle of Actium.

What was the relationship between Julius Caesar and Octavian?
Grandnephew and adopted son

What was Octavian also known as?
Augustus Caesar

Who was the first emperor?

Civil War between Octavian and who?
Marc Antony

The growing power of Julius Caesar was a threat to what?

what happened to Julius Caesar?
he was assassinated

Where was Octavian dwelling near the time Julius Caesar was assassinated?

Civil war between Julius Caesar and who?

When did virgil die?
19 BC

Virgil: His Literary Career
Aeneid composed
Already famous for two collections of poetry: the Eclogues and Georgics.
Literary reputation prompted Augustus to commission the Aeneid

What two collections of poetry was Virgil also famous for?
the Eclogues and Georgics (rural works)

What prompted Virgil to write the Aeneid?
literary reputation and was prompted by Augustus
-He asks Virgil to write something celebrating Rome

Augustus stabilized Roman politics at the age of what?
-burned the letter that a citizen brought that had the names of the people who supported Mark Antony

The Age of Augustus
-Stabilized Roman politics at age 32.

-“Found Rome brick and left it marble.”

-Moral reforms: adultery outlawed, marriage & modest living recommended.

-Renewed worship of the gods.

-Patronized arts and letters (for propagandistic purposes).

-Established the Pax Romana, “The Roman Peace.”

What was the Pax Romana?
The time of peace when Augustus was in power

For what purpose did Augustus patronize arts and letters
for propagandistic purposes

How does the Aeneid begin in medias res?
it starts at sea in a storm

Aeneid, lines 1-11: The Epic Invocation
-1-6 theme of finding a home
-6-12 theme of fight for women

-describes Juno’s feelings in lines 1-11 of the aeneid
-means illogical rage

Why is Juno(Hera) so mad and hate the Trojans so much?
-They are destined to be Romans
-They were going to arrive in Carthage and she loves Carthage
-the beauty contest that she lost in the Iliad
-Ganymede- the sexual partner of her husband, who is a Trojan soldier

A Tale of Four Peoples
Troy: Ilium, Dardania, Teucrian
Greece: Argive, Danaan, Achaean, Myrmidonian
Carthage: Tyrian, Sidonian, Phoenician, Libyan
Rome/Italy: Lavinian, Latium, Ausonian

The Romans will claim descent from:
the trojans

Tyre and Sidon were the most important cities in?
ancient Phoenicia (present day Lebanon)

Dido of Carthage was driven from?

Who trace their ancestry to Tyre?

Epic Simile: Neptune as the Authoritative Man
-Neptune calms the sea in a political way, which leads us to what is about to happen politically

What role did Venus play in this epic?
Aeneas’ mother and protector of her son

Epic Simile of Carthage:
-old are out and new are and are working well
-if you arent willing to work, then leave
p. 976
-industrious nature
-army: Virgil’s way of explaining Carthage as a powerful city
-Female queen/ bees worship the queen bee

-Aeneas wished he would not have lived like the men during the storm
-Aeneas shapes up and tells his men that they will be great one day
-Zeus’ prophecy for Aeneas and for Rome

Dido’s backstory:
– Bulls hide trick: 1.417 ( she asks for enough land that a bulls hide could cover. She unravels it a takes alot of land.) p. 974 L.442
-Sychaeus is her husband
-her brother, Pygmalion, kills her husband

two Ekphrasis in the Aeneid:
: Aeneas views the Temple of Juno….
-Aeneas and how he did not want to tell the story of Troy

:The description of the shield of Aeneas

Dido and Aeneas are to fall in love in Book IV (with the help of the gods), yet does Dido seem to be in love with him even this early? Is it lust? Curiosity? Fascination? Pity? What is her attitude towards Aeneas? Select some text to support your view.
-She marveled first at the sight of him. First. Sight. lines 734 in book 1. She knew he was a super star before he got there.

A Fatal Attraction: Human and Supernatural Reasons for a love affair…
-Cupid in the guise of Ascanius as “proxy wooer”

After reading ilioneus’ speech, what do we learn about aeneas?
Just, devoted to duty, brave, kind, he was respected

Aeneid shows influence of the Iliad where?
-last three books of the Aeneid, long battle scenes and the relationship between Aeneas and Pallas (Achilles and Patroclus); Pallas is slain by Turnus; Aeneas kills Turnus solely for this reason

What are the major themes of the Aeneid (as well as the Iliad)
anger and its management (juno’s furor to aeneas’ final action)

Who keeps Aeneas from killing Helen in Book 2 of the Aeneid?

Who leave a giant wooden horse full of soldiers on the shores of Troy?
The greeks

A crafty Greek named what lies to the Trojans about its purpose

“The Mykonos vase, ______, is the earliest dated object (Archaic period, ca. 670 BC) which depicts the Trojan Horse during the Trojan War.” -Wiki
a pithos

Who tells the Trojan’s what is inside the horse?
laocoon p.986
-Whatever it is, I fear Greeks, even bearing gifts

What happens to laocoon bc of telling the Trojans?
he gets attacked by serpents p.991

Sinon claims that the wooden horse is a gift from the Greeks to replace the stolen ____?
-as long as it was there, Troy could never be taken. bc the Greeks took it, the horse was a replacement (the lie from sinon)

-a statue of Minerva (Pallas Athena) which is supposed to protect the city of Troy. Athena has always favored the Greeks.

Minerva, Goddess and supporter of?
Wisdom and supporter of the greeks

What does hector say to aeneas in a dream
-to flea
-troy would be no more

After Aeneas sees Hector in a dream, what happens?
-the Greeks come out of the belly of the horse and burn Troy.

-Aeneas and other Trojans assume Greek arms to confuse and rout the Greeks, until they themselves are mistaken for Greeks

Priam’s pathetic defense and death. Compare and contrast Virgil’s depiction of the Greeks in Book 2 with his depiction of the Trojans.
Greeks: heartless, powerful, fated to overcome Troy, sneaky
Trojans: doomed, hopeless, weak, tired/given up

Iulus’ Omen
-first a harmless tongue of flame on Ascanius’s forehead, then a bright falling star in the sky
-he is persuaded to flee Troy

Pietas and its significance to when Aeneas carries his father:
-getting your family together and leaving no one behind
-Aeneas and Hector both would not interact with the gods with blood on their hands

-Minor gods of hearth and household
-thought that if they are happy, then the household will be happy

To what extent are we to blame Aeneas for the death of Creusa?
-we can definitely find fault
-male fantasy to have your ex-wife give you permission through a dream to date other people

Aeneid Book 4
-begins with Dido speaking w/ Anna, her sister
-anna just wants her to be happy, she says go for it
-wants her to be happy, but in a sense kills her by saying this

Dido left Tyre to found hat city?

Dido was married to Sychaeus. Who killed him?

Dido was desired by who?

Who does Dido fall in love with and with the help of who?
-Venus, juno and anna

What is Dido also called sometimes?

The Latin name for a diviner, originally derived from the Etruscan method of divination which involved the foretelling of future events from an examination of the entrails of slaughtered animals.”
-Romans think Dido should not be leading a people, its a mans job

_____held that the universe was composed of a fiery spirit which permeated everything (human beings were part of it just as birds or cows) and that this rational spirit ordained and controlled everything which happened. Because it was present in all creatures, there was a common understanding between the different parts of the universe which caused one event to be reflected in another, Hence there was nothing implausible about supposing that the divine providence could be reproduced in a sheep’s liver or the flight of birds’.”

The towers of Carthage, half built, rise no more, and the young men quit their combat drills in arms. The harbors, the battlements planned to block attack, all work’s suspended now, the huge, threatening walls with the soaring cranes that sway across the sky. Compare p. 976.
-A queen abandons her duties
*everyone was doing their job
*here, work has seized

That Day was the first of destruction and the first cause of evil.”
-This refers to the day Aeneas and Dido go into the cave and have sexual relations
-p. 1012

Is this a marriage or isn’t it?
-To Dido it was (Venus and Juno work to make it happen)
-To Aeneas it was a fling (he never said his wedding vows p. 1017)

After Dido and Aeneas hook up in the cave, rumor is spread across Africa and the kings across the country find out about them and get angry bc they tried to hook up with her and she said no.
-p. 1012

Dido & Cleopatra:
Mark Antony and Aeneas:
-very similar characteristics; Eve complex
*beautiful and seductive

-betrays his country rather than the girl

Three historical wars between Rome and Carthage which threatened to destroy rome:
-the punic wars
-Dido’s curse
-bc Aeneas broke Dido’s heart

Punic Wars
2nd: and Hannibal
-bread to kill Romans
-used elephants to cross the alps
3rd: Carthage must die

Hero or Villain? Aeneas:
-begins to look like Paris/take land and woman
*Rome and Lavinia

Roman’s can see what Pastoral Rome would look like:
-grow hard to the soldiers life and the rough work of war

Aeneas Solicits Aid from Evander
Aeneas takes two galleys and rows several days up the Tiber to the forest of the Arcadians. There, the Trojans address the Arcadian king, Evander, who gladly offers aid against their common enemy and invites Aeneas to a feast.

After the feast, holy rites are performed in honor of Hercules, the patron of the Arcadians, who killed the monster Cacus near where Arcadia now stands. Evander also explains how Saturn descended to Italy long ago and formed a nation from the wild savages who inhabited the land, calling it Latium. The Arcadians still dwell in relative simplicity. Even Evander boasts only a small house but offers everything at his disposal to Aeneas in hospitality.

The next morning, back in Arcadia, King Evander assigns what troops he can spare to Aeneas’s command. He also bids neighboring kingdoms to send their aid. All told, several thousand soldiers are rallied to accompany the Trojans back to the front, but due to their increased numbers, they must march rather than row, which causes a delay. Finally, Evander dispatches Pallas, his own son, and requests that Aeneas teach Pallas the arts of war and return him home in safety.

Hercules as model for the classical ruler____?
from Alexander the Great to the Tetrarchy.

Hercules, Cacus, and the Eradication of Evil
“Originally a pre-Roman god of fire who gradually became a fire-breathing demon, Cacus lived in a cave in the Aventine Hill from where he terrorized the countryside. When Heracles returned with the cattle of Geryon, he passed Cacus’ cave and lay down to sleep in the vicinity. At night Cacus dragged some of the cattle to his cave backward by their tails so that their tracks would point in the opposite direction. However, the lowing of the animals betrayed their presence in the cave to Heracles and he retrieved them and slew Cacus. On the place where Heracles slew Cacus he erected an altar, where later the Forum Boarium, the cattle market, was held.”

Sara Mack: “Hercules’ triumph over the monstrous Cacus [Gk. for “bad man”] . . . involves the use of violence to remove moral evil and danger and to protect the established community.”

What was Evander’s ultimate pledge of support?
his son Pallas, who will be cut down by Turnus

Romulus & Remus
-Legendary founders of the city of Rome
-The god Mars rapes the Vestal Virgin Rhea Silvia, who gives birth to twins. The twins were ordered to be exposed, but a she-wolf took them in. Alas, Romulus (founder of Rome proper) is destined to kill Remus

The Shield of Aeneas:
-Romulus and Remus
-Rape of the Sabine Women
-Augustus rises to power

The Rape of the Sabine Women
According to legend, in order to populate nascent Rome, Roman men stole women from a neighboring region. The symbolism may reflect actual early fighting between these two regions.

The description of Aeneas’ armor constitutes another major ecphrasis in the Aeneid. Although many scenes detailed will be unfamiliar to you, some might be recognizable. Defend this ecphrasis against the charge of being an irrelevant “digression.” What’s its point?

Compare and contrast the Shield of Aeneas and the Shield of Achilles with respect to the images portrayed and the authors’ narrative designs.

summary of chapter 10:
death of Pallas

What is Aeneas’ pledge to Turnus in Ch. 12?
single combat proposed; winner takes all

Who causes trouble during the single battle?
Juno and Juturna stir up trouble

Who might Juturna represent?
juno and turnus

When Aeneas gets cut during battle, who heals him?

What does Juno want, if she agrees to stay out of fates way?
allow Italian influence

jove gets irritated with who?
Juno for interfering.

Since we know that Virgil died before he put the finishing touches on his masterwork, do you think that he intended for the epic to conclude this way? What do we make of this violent and abrupt ending?
-Ends with war and passion, begins with war and passion

Fate or Furor:
-Anchises’ Underworld instruction for Aeneas to “spare the conquered: this is an argument for why it seems aeneas goes against fate and loses some of his heroism.

the Aeneid’s Artistic Ambiguity
We have already seen that the parade of Roman heroes at the end of Book 6 is . . . a virtuoso intertwining of positive optimism with pathos and despair. The story of Dido is yet larger: Aeneas is right to leave her, the establishment of Rome is the overriding aim of the poem and of history, and yet neither Aeneas nor we can feel happy about her suffering and ruin, and the hasty departure of the hero from her shores is unedifying. Finally the whole poem, with its interplay of moods and directions–the story of a triumphant career which opens with the hero wishing he were dead, and ends with him forced to kill a helpless opponent in a storm of passionate rage–is itself an example of this calculated ambiguity. In mathematics the combination of a plus and a minus is a simple self-cancelling, leaving nothing; but an artist, if he is skilful enough, can find another, more mystical mathematics, in which that is not true. It is Virgil’s achievement to have done that, and so to have left us a work of inexhaustible inwardness, the greatest of all achievements of the creative mind of Rome, and the truest interpretation of her history” (p. 106).

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