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1 Virgil’s Aeneid Honors 2101, Fall 2006 Bryan Benham.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Virgil’s Aeneid Honors 2101, Fall 2006 Bryan Benham."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Virgil’s Aeneid Honors 2101, Fall 2006 Bryan Benham

2 2 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

3 3 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

4 4 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

5 5 History of Rome Royal Period ( BCE) –Founding legends –Overthrow of Etruscian kings Republican Period ( 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 ( CE) –Death of Augustus –Split in 284 (Diocletian) –Reunification by Constantine in 330 Byzantine Period ( CE) –Continuation of Eastern Empire –Fall of Constantinople to Muslims

6 6 History of Rome Royal Period ( BCE) –Founding legends –Overthrow of Etruscian kings Republican Period ( 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 ( CE) –Death of Augustus –Split in 284 (Diocletian) –Reunification by Constantine in 330 Byzantine Period ( CE) –Continuation of Eastern Empire –Fall of Constantinople to Muslims

7 7 Julius Caesar & Pompey

8 8 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)

9 9 Octavian & M. Antony

10 10 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…

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13 13 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 Book IV –Passion of Dido –Aeneas’ Escape –Death of Dido Book VI –Travel to Underworld –Heroes of Rome

14 14 Book I Books 1-6 are Virgil’s Odyssey Prologue Wrath of Juno Jupiter’s Prophecy In Carthage Aeneas and Dido Venus intervenes

15 15 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.

16 16 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.

17 17 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.

18 18 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.

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20 20 Juno’s Wrath Why is Juno so upset at Aeneas? What does she do? Compare Aeneas and Odysseus…

21 21 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?

22 22 Jupiter’s Prophecy Aeneas and crew “survive” the storm –What does the storm symbolize? Venus questions Jupiter –What is Jupiter’s prophecy? (pp )

23 23 At Carthage Aeneas meets Venus (disguised) Dido’s story (pp ) View of Carthage (p. 14f.) First sight of Dido (p. 18f.) Venus’ stratagem (pp )

24 24 Book II: Fall of Troy Trojan Horse –Laocöon and Sinon (pp ) –Fate of Laocöon (pp ) Hector’s ghost (p. 37f.) Priam’s fate (p. 45) Anchise & family (p. 49f.) Creüsa’s ghost (p. 53f.) Departing Troy (p.54)

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27 27 Federico Barrocci's Aeneas' Flight from Troy, 1598

28 28 The fall of Troy by Johann Georg Trautmann (1713 ミ 1769)

29 29 Next Time Books 4 & 6 Dido’s tragic love for Aeneas & Voyage to the Underworld

30 30 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

31 31 Book 4: Questions 1.Why has Dido not remarried? Why does she relent with Aeneas? What are the consequences for Dido? 2.What is Dido’s reaction when she realizes Aeneas plans to leave? How does Aeneas deal with the confrontation? 3.How and why does Aeneas leave Carthage? How does this reflect on his character? 4.Why does Dido commit suicide? What is her curse?

32 32 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.

33 33 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

34 34 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 )

35 35 Book 6: Questions 1.How does Aeneas travel to the underworld? What is the significance of the golden bough? 2.What rivers must he cross? How are the souls conveyed across the rivers? 3.Who does he meet? (Achilles and Dido) How do the meetings turn out? 4.What is the purpose of punishment in the underworld? How does this compare with other tales of the underworld? 5.What news does Aeneas receive from Anchises? How does Aeneas return to the world of the living?

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37 37 Golden Bough, p , 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 ), 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)

38 38 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)

39 39 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?

40 40 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?

41 41 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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