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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Those are the circumstances in which Messianic literature is normally produced and Virgil used all sorts of material – a poem of Catullus , Greek myth , prophetic books , pastoral - to produce his haunting poem .
The Third Georgic opens , as we saw in Chapter 1 , with what appears to be a promise by Virgil to produce an encomiastic epic poem on the exploits of Octavian . The ordinary stories of Greek mythology are now all hackneyed , says the ...
It would have been easy , though perhaps not for Virgil , to produce a straightforward poem containing nothing but such sentiments . If that were what we had instead of the Aeneid , there would no longer be great interest in it now that ...
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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