The Aeneid Study Guide
Empire: Aeneid was written during this time
-Roman ambivalence towards kingship
-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
– OCTAVIAN BORN
– 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.
-31 BC ACTIUM!
Already famous for two collections of poetry: the Eclogues and Georgics.
Literary reputation prompted Augustus to commission the Aeneid
-He asks Virgil to write something celebrating Rome
-burned the letter that a citizen brought that had the names of the people who supported Mark Antony
-“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.”
-6-12 theme of fight for women
-means illogical rage
-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
Greece: Argive, Danaan, Achaean, Myrmidonian
Carthage: Tyrian, Sidonian, Phoenician, Libyan
Rome/Italy: Lavinian, Latium, Ausonian
-if you arent willing to work, then leave
-army: Virgil’s way of explaining Carthage as a powerful city
-Female queen/ bees worship the queen bee
-Aeneas shapes up and tells his men that they will be great one day
-Zeus’ prophecy for Aeneas and for Rome
-Sychaeus is her husband
-her brother, Pygmalion, kills her husband
-Aeneas and how he did not want to tell the story of Troy
:The description of the shield of Aeneas
-Cupid in the guise of Ascanius as “proxy wooer”
-Whatever it is, I fear Greeks, even bearing gifts
-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)
-troy would be no more
-Aeneas and other Trojans assume Greek arms to confuse and rout the Greeks, until they themselves are mistaken for Greeks
Trojans: doomed, hopeless, weak, tired/given up
-he is persuaded to flee Troy
-Aeneas and Hector both would not interact with the gods with blood on their hands
-thought that if they are happy, then the household will be happy
-male fantasy to have your ex-wife give you permission through a dream to date other people
-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
-Venus, juno and anna
-Romans think Dido should not be leading a people, its a mans job
*everyone was doing their job
*here, work has seized
-To Aeneas it was a fling (he never said his wedding vows p. 1017)
Mark Antony and Aeneas:
*beautiful and seductive
-betrays his country rather than the girl
-bc Aeneas broke Dido’s heart
2nd: and Hannibal
-bread to kill Romans
-used elephants to cross the alps
3rd: Carthage must die
*Rome and Lavinia
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.
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.”
-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
-Rape of the Sabine Women
-Augustus rises to power