Virgil lived through the fall of the Roman Republic and the establishment of the Empire. In his poems we see a series of attempts, increasingly ambitious in scale and conception, to combine technical brilliance and beauty with profound meditation on the nature of imperialism and the relation of the individual to the State. From short pastoral poems on love and song he progressed to the heroic myth of the founding of Rome. "The Aeneid", immediately recognised as the greatest masterpiece of Latin literature, has had incalculable influence on European literature in the two thousand years since it was first published.
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Because , it soon emerges , this Arcadia is near Rome and Roman politics are invading the pastoral world where they do not belong . ' Godless soldiers ' are to enjoy Meliboeus ' land and the harvest of his work : ' Look what misery ...
By making his epic the story not of Augustus but of Aeneas , Virgil had a ready way to combine the three strands of plot which he regarded as vital : the story of the foundation of Rome from Troy , by a hero famous for his pietas ( in ...
The existence of Rome was also ascribed to another founder , Romulus and the researches of scholars had by this time agreed , to the general satisfaction , that Rome was founded in the eighth century BC .
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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