The Aeneid and the Glory of Rome

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The Aeneid and the Glory of Rome

Between 43 and 32 BC Rome was split up through the second triumvirate upon the death of Caesar. The triumvirate was a way to split the military and political power because the senate feared that they would once again fall under a dictatorship, which is the ultimate reason Julius Caesar was murdered. Civil war broke out in Rome between the Octavian and Mark Antony, but Antony was defeated in 31 BC in the battle at Actium (Joe). Octavian, later renaming himself Augustus, was the emperor in Rome, a city with a new beginning.

With his new power Augustus reorganized the military and political power. He also began to design a program to create buildings like those in Athens (Joe). Perhaps his most notable achievement was commissioning Virgil to write, The Aeneid. Virgil, born October 19 in 70 BC, was and still is regarded as the best poet in Rome (“Virgil”). As a citizen in Rome Virgil felt a sense of relief when the civil war had ended and like the rest of Rome was extremely grateful to Augustus for making this possible. Augustus wanted to return Rome to their previous traditions and remind the republic of their moral values that were once highly regarded. These values included bravery, family devotion, duty, and responsibility. Virgil wanted to model his epic poem after those that were so famous in Greek literature, The Iliad and The Odyssey and also present Aeneas as the ideal Roman citizen (“Virgil”). In his epic poem Virgil tells the story of Aeneas and his journey from Troy to Italy, where he was destined to found Rome (Sparknote Editors).

The glorification of Rome is shown throughout the story of Aeneas. Virgil begins his story introducing Aeneas and exemplifying the moral value of duty when he says, “I sing of warfare and a man at war.

From the sea-coast of Troy in early days
He came to Italy by destiny,
To our Lavinian western shore,
A fugitive, this captain, buffeted
Till he could found a city and bring...
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