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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Do you , goddess of childbirth , look kindly on the child whose birth will end the iron race and bring in the golden all over the world ' ( 4.4-9 ) . The Virgin is the goddess of justice , who left the earth ...
The parade of Roman heroes is punctuated by passages whose tenor is plaintive and regretful : Lucius Brutus , the founder of the Republic , put his own sons to death for conspiring to bring back the banished king – ' Unhappy man !
Rome will bring to the world the benefits of good and orderly administration . Thanks to Augustus , the Empire has emerged from a dark time , radiant with health and promise . Yet the cost has been tremendous .
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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