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4. How important is Aeneas to Rome’s imperial destiny?
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about the figure of Aeneas in Rome’s imperial destiny, focusing in particular on: (i) the presentation of Aeneas in Homer’s Iliad and other pre-Virgilian sources; (ii) the necessity (and difficulty) of reconciling Aeneas’ role in the founding of Rome with the pre-existing myth of Romulus and Remus; (iii) Virgil’s presentation of Aeneas as a reluctant leader (“I don’t seek Italy of my own accord”, 4.361); (iv) Augustus’ self-presentation (in the Res Gestae) as a reluctant leader.
In this course, Dr Sharon Marshall explores Virgil’s Aeneid through five key questions. In the first module, we think about whether the Aeneid should be read as a pro- or anti-Augustan poem. After that, we explore the nature of the relationship between Dido and Aeneas. In the third module, we ask how we (and Aeneas himself?) should interpret the images on the Shield of Aeneas. In the fourth, we think about the figure of Aeneas himself and his attitude towards Rome’s imperial destiny. And finally, in the fifth, we think about the distinctiveness of Roman epic as a whole and the ways in which Virgil engages with the epic tradition as represented not just by Homer, but also by Ennius.
Dr Sharon Marshall is Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter, specialising in Roman epic, love elegy and the Roman novel.
Cite this Lecture
Marshall, S. (2020, January 15). Virgil: Aeneid - How important is Aeneas to Rome’s imperial destiny? [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/virgil-aeneid-sharon-marshall/how-important-is-aeneas-to-rome-s-imperial-destiny
Marshall, S. "Virgil: Aeneid – How important is Aeneas to Rome’s imperial destiny?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Jan 2020, https://www.massolit.io/courses/virgil-aeneid-sharon-marshall/how-important-is-aeneas-to-rome-s-imperial-destiny