Virgil s aeneid
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Virgil’s Aeneid. Honors 2101, Fall 2006 Bryan Benham. Outline. Some Background Roman national epic Like Homer and not like Homer Books 1 & 2 Juno’s wrath, Carthage, and the sack of Troy Books 4 & 6 Dido’s love and the underworld Books 8 & 12 Struggle and defeat of Turnus

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Virgil s aeneid

Virgil’s Aeneid

Honors 2101, Fall 2006

Bryan Benham


Outline

Outline

  • Some Background

    • Roman national epic

    • Like Homer and not like Homer

  • Books 1 & 2

    • Juno’s wrath, Carthage, and the sack of Troy

  • Books 4 & 6

    • Dido’s love and the underworld

  • Books 8 & 12

    • Struggle and defeat of Turnus

  • Closing Remarks


Virgil 70 19 bce

Virgil (70-19 BCE)

  • Born near Mantua

  • Studied philosophy, medicine, poetry

  • Eclogues, Georgics won him fame and favor.

  • Aeneid unfinished at death

  • Written for Augustus, as national epic


Homer aeneid

Aeneid

2nd, Literary Epic

Heroic Values: Stoic Ideal, fate and duty

Narrative Meaning Symbolic

Images: hunting, storms, snakes, struggles

History…Propaganda

Homeric Epics

Oral, formulaic

Heroic Values: Individual Honor

Narrative Meaning Transparent

Images: animals, weather, chaos/order

History…Education

Homer & Aeneid


History of rome

Royal Period (800-509 BCE)

Founding legends

Overthrow of Etruscian kings

Republican Period (509-27 BCE)

Established res publica (SPQR)

Expansion and civil unrest

Julius Caesar rise and death

Octavian defeats Anthony

Principate of Augustus (27 BCE - 14 CE)

Augustus as princeps and imperator

“Reconstitution” of Republic: Pax Romana

Imperial Age (14-476 CE)

Death of Augustus

Split in 284 (Diocletian)

Reunification by Constantine in 330

Byzantine Period (565-1453 CE)

Continuation of Eastern Empire

Fall of Constantinople to Muslims

History of Rome


History of rome1

Royal Period (800-509 BCE)

Founding legends

Overthrow of Etruscian kings

Republican Period (509-27 BCE)

Established res publica (SPQR)

Expansion and civil unrest

Julius Caesar rise and death

Octavian defeats Anthony

Principate of Augustus (27 BCE - 14 CE)

Augustus as princeps and imperator

“Reconstitution” of Republic: Pax Romana

Imperial Age (14-476 CE)

Death of Augustus

Split in 284 (Diocletian)

Reunification by Constantine in 330

Byzantine Period (565-1453 CE)

Continuation of Eastern Empire

Fall of Constantinople to Muslims

History of Rome


Julius caesar pompey

Julius Caesar & Pompey


Virgil s aeneid

  • Caesar and Pompey co-council

  • Caesar’s success in Gaul

  • Marched on Rome, Pompey withdrawals

  • Caesar effectively did away with the crumbling Republic, instituting reforms

  • Assassinated by Senators (44)


Octavian m antony

Octavian & M. Antony


Virgil s aeneid

  • Triumvarate

  • Antony marries Octavia, falls for Cleopatra (Egypt), and falls out of favor with Romans.

  • Octavian defeats Antony in Egypt (31)

  • Returns to Rome as Augustus (27)

  • Rules as princept and imperator

  • “Moral” Reforms…


Episodes from aeneid

Book I

Prologue

Juno’s Wrath

At Carthage

Book II

Trojan Horse

Fate of Priam

Leaving Troy

Book VIII

At Pallanteum

Shield of Aeneas

Book XII

Conflict with Turnus

Death of Turnus

Episodes from Aeneid

  • Book IV

    • Passion of Dido

    • Aeneas’ Escape

    • Death of Dido

  • Book VI

    • Travel to Underworld

    • Heroes of Rome


Book i

Book I

  • Books 1-6 are Virgil’s Odyssey

  • Prologue

  • Wrath of Juno

  • Jupiter’s Prophecy

  • In Carthage

  • Aeneas and Dido

  • Venus intervenes


Prologue

Prologue

I sing of arms and of a man: his fate

has made him fugitive; he was the first

to journey from the coasts of Troy as far

as Italy and the Lavinian shores.

Across the lands and waters he was battered

beneath the violence of High Ones, for

the savage Juno’s unforgetting anger;

and many sufferings were his in war –

until he brought a city into being

and carried in his gods to Latium;

from this have come the Latin race, the lords

of Alba, and the ramparts of high Rome.


Prologue1

Prologue

I sing of arms and of a man: his fate

has made him fugitive; he was the first

to journey from the coasts of Troy as far

as Italy and the Lavinian shores.

Across the lands and waters he was battered

beneath the violence of High Ones, for

the savage Juno’s unforgetting anger;

and many sufferings were his in war –

until he brought a city into being

and carried in his gods to Latium;

from this have come the Latin race, the lords

of Alba, and the ramparts of high Rome.


Prologue2

Prologue

I sing of arms and of a man: his fate

has made him fugitive; he was the first

to journey from the coasts of Troy as far

as Italy and the Lavinian shores.

Across the lands and waters he was battered

beneath the violence of High Ones, for

the savage Juno’s unforgetting anger;

and many sufferings were his in war –

until he brought a city into being

and carried in his gods to Latium;

from this have come the Latin race, the lords

of Alba, and the ramparts of high Rome.


Prologue3

Prologue

I sing of arms and of a man: his fate

has made him fugitive; he was the first

to journey from the coasts of Troy as far

as Italy and the Lavinian shores.

Across the lands and waters he was battered

beneath the violence of High Ones, for

the savage Juno’s unforgetting anger;

and many sufferings were his in war –

until he brought a city into being

and carried in his gods to Latium;

from this have come the Latin race, the lords

of Alba, and the ramparts of high Rome.


Juno s wrath

Juno’s Wrath

  • Why is Juno so upset at Aeneas?

  • What does she do?

  • Compare Aeneas and Odysseus…


What do the different passages tell us about the respective hero

Aeneid (I.133ff.)

O, three and four times blessed

Were those who died before their fathers’ eyes

Beneath the walls of Try. Strongest of all

The Danaans, o Diomedes, why

Did you right hand not spill my lifeblood, why

Did I not fall upon the Ilian fields,

There where ferocious Hector lies, pierced by

Achilles’ javelin, where the enormous

Sarpedon now is still, and Simois

Has seized and sweeps beneath its waves so many

Helmets and shields and bodies of the brave!

Odyssey (V.306ff.)

Three and four times blessed are the Danaans who perished

in broad Troy bringing favor to the sons of Atreus.

How I wish I had died and met my fate

on that day when innumerable Trojans threw their bronze-tipped spears

at me around the corpse of Peleus’s son

I would have received my funeral honors and the Achaeans would remember my glory.

Now it is my fate to die a pitiful death.

What do the different passages tell us about the respective hero?


Jupiter s prophecy

Jupiter’s Prophecy

  • Aeneas and crew “survive” the storm

    • What does the storm symbolize?

  • Venus questions Jupiter

    • What is Jupiter’s prophecy? (pp. 10-11)


At carthage

At Carthage

  • Aeneas meets Venus (disguised)

  • Dido’s story (pp. 13-14)

  • View of Carthage (p. 14f.)

  • First sight of Dido (p. 18f.)

  • Venus’ stratagem (pp. 23-27)


Book ii fall of troy

Book II: Fall of Troy

  • Trojan Horse

    • Laocöon and Sinon (pp. 34-35)

    • Fate of Laocöon (pp. 35-36)

  • Hector’s ghost (p. 37f.)

  • Priam’s fate (p. 45)

  • Anchise & family (p. 49f.)

  • Creüsa’s ghost (p. 53f.)

  • Departing Troy (p.54)


Virgil s aeneid

Federico Barrocci's Aeneas' Flight from Troy, 1598


Virgil s aeneid

The fall of Troy by Johann Georg Trautmann (1713ミ1769)


Next time

Next Time

Books 4 & 6

Dido’s tragic love for Aeneas

&

Voyage to the Underworld


Book 4 passion of dido

Book 4: Passion of Dido

  • The ‘marriage’ of Dido and Aeneas

  • Mercury’s visit to Aeneas

  • Dido confronts Aeneas, and his escape

  • Death of Dido


Book 4 questions

Book 4: Questions

  • Why has Dido not remarried? Why does she relent with Aeneas? What are the consequences for Dido?

  • What is Dido’s reaction when she realizes Aeneas plans to leave? How does Aeneas deal with the confrontation?

  • How and why does Aeneas leave Carthage? How does this reflect on his character?

  • Why does Dido commit suicide? What is her curse?


Book 4 more qs

Book 4: More Qs

  • What images are recurrent in Book 4: hunting, wounds, passions?

  • What stoic ideals are represented by Dido and Aeneas?

  • Why is Dido a ‘tragic hero’? What is her character?

  • Ultimately who is to blame for the romance and subsequent suicide? Who does it benefit?

  • How is Aeneas’ sense of piety and duty revealed in Book 4? Compare this to Books 1 and 2.


Book 6 underworld

Book 6*: Underworld

  • Entering the underworld

    • Sibyl and golden bough

  • Across the rivers

    • Dido, Deiphobus, Tartarus and Elysium

  • Punishment in the underworld

    • Purgation and reincarnation

  • Anchises and the future vision of Rome

    • Propaganda, propaganda, propaganda


Sybil s prophecy

Sybil’s Prophecy

“I see wars, horrid wars, the Tiber foaming

with much blood. You shall have your Simois,

your Xanthus, and your Doric camp; already

there is in Latium a new Achilles –

he, too, son of a goddess. Nor will Juno

fail anywhere to hound the Teucrians…”

But when her frenzy is done,

Her raging lips are hushed, hero Aeneas

Begins: “None of the trials you tell of, virgin,

Is strange or unexpected: all of these

I have foreseen and journeyed in my thought.

One thing I ask: since here is aid to be

The gateway of the lower king and here

The marsh of overflowing Acheron,

May it be granted me to go before

The face and presence of my dearest father?” (p. 134-35)


Book 6 questions

Book 6: Questions

  • How does Aeneas travel to the underworld? What is the significance of the golden bough?

  • What rivers must he cross? How are the souls conveyed across the rivers?

  • Who does he meet? (Achilles and Dido) How do the meetings turn out?

  • What is the purpose of punishment in the underworld? How does this compare with other tales of the underworld?

  • What news does Aeneas receive from Anchises? How does Aeneas return to the world of the living?


Virgil s aeneid

  • Golden Bough, p. 136-137, 144.

  • Entering the underworld, p. 139ff.

    • Jaws of Orcus, Treat of empty dreams, Acheron, Charon, Styx, Cerberus, Minos…

  • Across the river: p. 145ff

    • Field of Mourning, Dido (145-46; cf. Odyssey XI.541-567), Deiphobus (147-48), roads to Elysium and Tartarus, punishments of iron tower (149f; cf. Myth of Er)…

  • Groves of Blessedness: p. 151ff

    • Anchises (153ff), Lethe (154-55), future of Rome (155ff)


Future of rome

Future of Rome

  • Silvius (by Lavinia)

  • Romulus

  • Caesar (line of Iulius; Augustus)

    “but yours will be the rulership of nations,

    remember, Roman, these will be your arts:

    to teach the ways of peace to those you conquer

    to spare defeated peoples, tame the proud.” (158-59)

  • Marcellus*

  • Gates of Sleep (Horn and Ivory)


Books 8 12

Books 8 & 12

  • Books 6-12 are Virgil’s Iliad: Sybil’s prophecy

  • Turnus and Aeneas vie for the hand of Lavinia, daughter of Latinus, king of Latium. Latinus offers Lavinia to Aeneas because of prophecy. Turnus is enraged, by Juno. War ensues.

  • Truce is imposed so that Turnus and Aeneas can decide the issue in single combat, but Juno’s meddlings incite war again. Aeneas is injured, but cured my his mother, Venus. *Jupiter and Juno agree on a pact (325-27).

  • *Aeneas disarms Turnus, intends to spare his life, but is overcome by rage upon seeing the belt of Pallas (Evander’s son) and kills Turnus (329-31); a portent of Rome’s future?


Virgil s aeneid

  • What is your impression of the Aeneid?

  • Favorite parts?

  • Why consider this a “national epic” of Rome? Was it propaganda?

  • What kind of hero is Aeneas?


Some paper topics

Some Paper Topics

  • In Book I of the Aeneid, the hero Aeneas is presented as a new kind of hero, one motivated by duty. Compare Aeneas to either Achilles, Odysseus, or Gilgamesh, who do what they please and often get the gods to aid them. Why are the such different sorts of heroes? How does Aeneas compare with Hector or Moses? Use specific examples from the texts to support your ideas.

  • Compare Calypso and Circe in the Odyssey (Books V and X) to Dido in the Aeneid (Books I and IV). Concentrate on how they delay the hero’s journey. What are the similarities and differences? Explain and support your ideas using specific examples form the texts.

  • Compare Aeneas’ journey to the underworld with that of either Gilgamesh or Odysseus. In what ways are they similar or different? Using specific examples from the text make an interesting point about this comparison.

  • In Book IV of the Aeneid Dido falls in love with and is then abandoned by Aeneas. As a result she commits suicide. Using a careful analysis of the text, who would you say is responsible for these events? Is Aeneas? Venus? Juno? Or even Dido herself? In the course of your analysis, determine how sympathetic the reader is supposed to be toward Dido? Or Aeneas?

  • Fate is a crucial concept in the Aeneid. Look for places in the text were it is mentioned and discuss what you think Virgil meant by “fate.” Do you think his concept of fate is like other uses of fate in our readings? Is this a uniquely Stoic idea? Why do you think Virgil uses fate as a prominent theme? Use specific passages from the text(s) to support your ideas.

  • Compare the ideas of how to be a good person that you find in the Aeneid with those from some of the philosopher’s we have discussed (Plato, Aristotle, and the Epicureans). If you are especially motivated, compare the ideals in the Aeneid with the ideals espoused in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Use specific textual references to support your ideas.

  • Violence and rage play a prominent role in the Aeneid. Explore the importance (both good and bad) of violence or rage as it has been used in this and other texts we have discussed. For example, the Oresteia discusses the necessity and horror of violence when carrying out justice; how does this compare with violence in the Aeneid? How does the ancient treatment of violence compare with contemporary views?


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