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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They found themselves facing the overwhelming splendours of Greek art , philosophy and literature . Paintings and statues could be taken to Rome as loot and soon the city was full of them , but literature was more intractable .
We see that Roman literature was the first to go in the direction that was taken , after the Renaissance , by all the literatures of Europe , which in their turn set out to create works in all the classical genres .
The Aeneid , immediately recognised in its own time as the greatest masterpiece of Latin literature , has also had incalculable influence on European literature in the two thousand years since its creation .
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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