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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Careful attention to rhythm and sound - patterns made the poems hauntingly melodious ; and the rustic speakers are characterised as simple yet refined , at once less complex and more poetical than the city - dwelling reader , who is ...
things like simple songs , formulae and incantations , and a code of law . 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 ...
Even the rule of Rome must in the end pass away and , in the timeless perspective of the countryman , secure in his simple virtues and his timeless existence , that is a matter of indifference . As William Blake puts it : The sword sung ...
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Rome and Arcadia
the Muse in hobnails
The Aeneid and the myth of Rome
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