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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Catullus ' short epic ( poem 64 ) on Peleus and Thetis is mellifluous and exquisite but there is a strong tendency to repeat a limited range of rhythmic patterns and to use sequences of end - stopped lines which are static and which ...
Virgil is unsurpassed in his coining of memorable single lines . It is not by chance that he was by far the most frequently quoted of Latin poets in antiquity . He can be epigrammatic : una salus victis nullam sperare salutem .
Bold rhythmic effects can work with such lines , like the juxtaposition of long open vowels before a half - rhyming close in a line which depicts the unsatisfied desire of the unburied dead to cross the River Styx : tendebantque manus ...
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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