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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The Latin language seemed to Romans - Cicero , a generation before Virgil , expresses it frankly - less beautiful , less rich , less tractable than Greek . Roman society was in many ways very different from that of the city states of ...
His poem On the Nature of the Universe embodied a programme which might have seemed no less perverse and artificial than , say , the Greek poem of Nicander On Poisonous Animals . This was a versification of the doctrines of the ...
In defence of his own subject Milton calls it : Sad task , yet argument Not less but more Heroic than the wrauth Of stern Achilles on his Foe pursu'd Thrice Fugitive about Troy wall ; or rage Of Turnus for Lavinia disespous'd ...
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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