- Slides: 15
Lecture 17: Troy comes to Rome- The Aeneid Arma virumque cano…
Composition & Context of the Aeneid • • Augustus, the Julian clan, and Venus Civil War and the Res Publica Restituta A National Epic? Structure: 12 books (6 + 6)
I sing of arms and of a man: his fate Had 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 suffering 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.
The Gods in the Aeneid • Venus – Mother / Founding Divinity • Juno – Ira drives the epic • Jupiter – Mediator between wife Juno & daughter(!) Venus; is he neutral?
Aeneas, the (Roman) Hero • From Trojan to Roman Hero – Anchises & Ascanius (Iulus) – Abandonment of Creusa – Venus’ revelation – Helen’s cameo • Pius Aeneas & Roman vs. Greek Heroism – Pietas – Virtus
“Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes”
Aeneas & Dido • Carthage – a burgeoning city • The shrine for Juno & its decoration • How does Venus help her son in this strange (hostile? ) land? • Book 4: Aeneas is recalled to his quest • Dido’s reaction • Dido & Cleopatra, Dido & Hannibal
Resume the quest! “Are you Now laying the foundation of high Carthage, As servant to a woman (uxorius), building her A splendid city here? Are you forgetful Of what is your own kingdom, your own fate? … For if the brightest of such deeds is not Enough to kindle you—if you cannot Attempt the task for your own fame—remember Ascanius growing up, the hopes you hold For Iulus, your own heir, to whom are owed The realm of Italy and land of Rome. ”
Aeneas in the Underworld “But when the Grecian chieftains and the hosts Of Agamemnon see the hero and His weapons glittering across the shadows, They tremble with an overwhelming terror; Some turn their backs in flight, as when they once Sought out their ships; some raise a thin war cry; The voice they now have mocks their straining throats. ”
Aeneas in the Underworld, cont. “Listen to me: my tongue will now reveal The fame that is to come from Dardan sons And what Italian children wait for you--Bright sould that are about to take your name; In them I shall unfold your fates. ” • • Romulus Julius Caesar Augustus Caesar Marcellus
A Roman Iliad • Aeneas, Foreign Founder vs. Native Italians – Proto- civil war? ? • Latinus & Lavinia • Aeneas, Pallas, Turnus • The New Achilles – Divine Armor – Ira
Aeneas stood, ferocious in his armor; His eyes were restless and he stayed his hand; And as he hesitated, Turnus’ words Began to move him more and more—until High on the Latin’s shoulder he made out The luckless belt of Pallas, of the boy Whom Turnus had defeated, wounded, stretched Upon the battlefield, from whom he took This fatal sign to wear upon his back, This girdle glittering with familiar studs. And when his eyes drank in this plunder, this Memorial of brutal grief, Aeneas, Aflame with rage—his wrath was terrible— Cried: “How can you who wear the spoils of my Dear comrade now escape me? It is Pallas Who strikes, who sacrifices you, who takes This payment from your shameless blood. ” Relentless, He sinks his sword into the chest of Turnus.
Looking Ahead in the Aeneid “An age shall come along the way of gliding lustra when the house born of Assaracus shall hold both Phthia and illustrious Mycenae and rule defeated Argos. Then a Trojan Caesar shall rise out of that splendid line. His empire’s boundary shall be the Ocean; the only border to his fame, the stars. His name shall be derived from great Iulus, and shall be Julius. In time to come, no longer troubled, you shall welcome him to heaven, weighted with the Orient’s wealth; He, too, shall be invoked with prayers. ”