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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For Catullus and his friends prided themselves on their elitism , on their superiority to the ideas and tastes of the bourgeoisie , and on an ostentatious contempt for politics . ' I have no wish at all to please you , Caesar ; I don't ...
At that time the political horizon was extremely dark . After the horrors of the last three years it seemed that Antony and Octavian were about to come to blows in another round of civil war . In the event things were patched up in the ...
The lustre of Virgil's poetry might help to ensure that the revival really took place and that , seeing itself nobly represented in art , it might be transfigured from a mere political coup to a golden age .
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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