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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In 63 , when Virgil was just seven years old , Catiline , at the head of an Italian army , fell fighting in a pitched battle against Roman legions . The 50s were a decade of mounting disorder , during which riots in Rome at times ...
battle of Actium , we have observed already that it seems to have been an affair which actually involved very little fighting . To present such engagements ( “ your brilliant battles ' ) at full length in the Homeric manner was ...
That is an inseparable part of imperialism . In the Eleventh book the morale of the Italians begins to crack , after a disastrous first day of fighting . There are angry scenes in Latinus ' council but , despite the efforts of Aeneas ...
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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