Shield of Aeneas - Virgil (lines 21-40)

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  • Shield of Aeneas - Virgil (lines 21-40)
    • ignipotens = Vulcan. He, being a god, knows about the future history of Rome. Aeneas does not.
    • Ascanius is Aeneas' son.
    • "haec inter" -'between these lines' - Virgil is saying this moment is the most important in Rome's history.
    • Virgil describes the shield as a still picture but also a moving event.
      • Notice how he appeals to different senses (sight ("aurea", "caenula") hearing ("spumabant", "fervere") touch ("verrebant", "secabant"))
    • Actia Bella - the sea battle took place in 31BC
    • the name Augustus... Caesar encloses the line and his army -representing his control
    • lines 30-33 include a striking and patriotic image of Augustus leading his fleet - the flames suggest supernatural forces
    • Virgil makes it seem as though all the  Romans were on Augustus' side, however this was actually a civl war and many Romans were on Antony's side
      • He also claims the Roman gods were all on Augustus' side
    • Sidus is an allusion to a comet which appeared at Julius Caesar's funeral and supposedly showed he had become a god.
    • Agrippa = Augustus' main military general
    • Aurora = the goddess of the dawn
    • Virgil makes it look as though Antony's army was made up of barbarians/Egyptians. PROPOGANDA.
      • "ope" is negative here, they are extravagant,
    • Bactra = a place in Asia
    • "Aegyptia coniunx" = Cleopatra [lack of name shows contempt]
      • note also use of parenthesis for "nefas" (put in brackets to express Virgil's opinion.)


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