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Virgil: Aeneid

1. Dido and Aeneas: Who's to Blame?

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about the relationship between Dido and Aeneas, and who is to blame for the tragedy of Dido. In particular, we focus on the literary sources that Virgil seems to have drawn on when creating this episode – including Homer’s Odyssey, Greek Tragedy, and Apollonius’ Argonautica.


In this course, we explore several aspects of Virgil’s Aeneid – looking in particular at the following issues: first, Dido and Aeneas, and who we should blame for what happens; second, Augustus, and his influence on the Aeneid; third, Aeneas, and what kind of hero he is; fourth, the importance of cities in the epic; fifth, what we should make of Aeneas’ trip to the Underworld; and sixth, the presentation of the native Italians in the second half of the poem.


Richard Jenkyns was an undergraduate at Balliol College, Oxford. He was a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, from 1972 to 1981, Lecturer in Classics, University of Bristol, 1978-81, and from 1981 to 2010 he was a Fellow and Tutor in Classics at Lady Margaret Hall.

He became Professor of the Classical Tradition in 1999 and the University’s Public Orator in 2004. He was awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship 2007-10.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jenkyns, R. (2018, August 15). Virgil: Aeneid - Dido and Aeneas: Who's to Blame? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jenkyns, R. "Virgil: Aeneid – Dido and Aeneas: Who's to Blame?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,