“Arma virumque cano. . .”
“Wars and a man I sing–an exile driven on by on by Fate. . .”
T.S. Eliot claimed that the Aeneid is the ultimate ‘classic’: “our classic, the classic of all Europe.” Even more than Homer’s Iliad or Odyssey, the Aeneid is probably the one text from classical antiquity that has had the longest continuous influence over the later Western tradition. Taking both of Homer’s great epics as his models, Virgil created a hero and a poem that are uniquely his own—and that are distinctly Roman. Through them he told his story of the formation of a vast imperial power, and the human cost of that process.
The Aeneid is a grand poem of adventure, heroism, duty and love, recounting along the way the famous tale of the Trojan horse and the fall of Troy, Aeneas’ love affair with the doomed Queen Dido, his journey into the underworld, and ultimate settlement of Aeneas and the survivors of Troy in Italian lands. Salon participants who have studied Dante will recognize in the Aeneid the tension between personal and political, as the hero Aeneas struggles with and against his duty to carry forth the remnants of a fallen Troy to a new land from which will spring the grandeur of Rome.
This study is the third of a three-study sequence, covering Homer’s Iliad, Homer’s Odyssey and Virgil’s Aeneid. New participants are welcome to join the sequence with this study; familiarity with the preceding books is not required.
- Six meeting study
- Recommended edition: Virgil’s The Aeneid, translated by Robert Fagles, introduction by Bernard Knox; Penguin Classics; ISBN-13: 978-0143106296
If you would like to request this study or have any questions about it, please contact us.