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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That cast of mind naturally fitted well with the antiquarian aspects of the Aeneid . The Eclogues were written in a lawless period , the Georgics in the uneasy peace between civil wars , the Aeneid in a time in which one man , who had ...
His mind is attached to the quiet values of the country life . So deeply , in fact , is he attached to them that he feels supreme indifference towards the life of politics and of power , even towards Rome herself .
... which describes the sailing of the ship Argo in quest of the Golden Fleece , with Virgil's description , where he certainly had the Catullan passage in mind , of Aeneas and his Trojans sailing up the Tiber ( 8.86ff . ) .
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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