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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Varro includes some passages of a moral and patriotic character : he deplores the ostentation of the present as compared with the admirable simplicity of the past ; he makes his speakers gather round a map of Italy and reflect on its ...
... he takes wing in a highly poetical little rhapsody , marked by the prominence of Greek place names which refer to the classic haunts of the Muses . The passage also deliberately recalls a striking passage of Lucretius ( 1.925ff . ) ...
This , it must be said , is an extremely strange passage . It is true that Julius Caesar had been officially declared a god after his death ; but it is hardly possible to believe that Virgil took seriously the idea that his heir would ...
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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