The Aeneid poem By Virgil

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HUM 2051

3/21/2013

The Aeneid was a poem written By Virgil (70-19 B.C.E) . “ The poem was meant to be a national epic for Augustan Rome, and it would become a profoundly influential text in the western cultured literary tradition.” (P.927) The story was written right after the fall of the Roman Republic and the beginning of the Augustan Rule. The story of Aeneid is an homage of that times political violence. The political climate was changing and the readers at the time had to embrace the new or lament about the past.

Aeneas was a hero already introduced to the audience in Homer’s Iliad which was written sometime in 8 B.C.E.. Roman’s held themselves to the highest of moral standards believing that the only way to continue the rule of Rome further was to uphold the “way of the ancestors”(136) or “mos maiorum”. Aeneas perfectly embodied this. The Aeneas begins with our hero leaving Troy and making his way to Carthage, in hopes of finding land for his people. He is propelled forward by his love of the Gods and his piety instilled in him by his Roman upbringing. He knows he must continue on for the Roman Empire. While in Carthage, the queen, Dido, falls madly in love with him. The god Mercury came to visit Aeneas to remind him of his duty, “If you will not strive for your own honor, think of Ascanius, think of the expectations of your heir" (Virgil 982). Torn between the decision to stay and enjoy great riches and power, he pushes onward. He will allow nothing to dissuade him from his fate, neither the suffering of his men, or the love of a woman able to place him in a position of great power. Historically, Carthage went on to become one of the greatest rivals of the Roman Empire. The Roman’s strength and determination brought them along to fight three wars, the Punic wars. “In addition to being able to draw on the Italian population for reserves of manpower, they were prepared to lose as many troops, vote as much money, and fight as long as necessary...
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