Shield of Aeneas - Virgil (lines 61-83)

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  • Shield of Aeneas - Virgil (lines 61-83)
    • beginning of line 66 marks change in scene (on the shield). Caesar = Augustus; he is celebrating his "triple triumph" with a ceremony in Rome (29BC)
    • one of Augustus' most famous temples was the temple of Apollo on the Palatine hill - completed in 28 BC.
    • Virgil mixes the idea of a river-god in human form (grieving etc) and an actual river (with places to hide in- various streams).
      • He is moving even further from the idea that this is a picture on the shield which is physically possible to sculpt.
    • in lines 74 - 80 Augustus parades defeated prisoners from all over the world to emphasise the extent of Rome's empire:
      • Nomadum (nomad tribes from Africa)
      • Gelonians & Dahae (tribes from the modern south Russia)
      • Lelages & Canans (tribes from Turkey)
      • Morini (tribe from Gaul)
      • Euphrates, Rhine, Araxes (rivers in Mesopotamia)
    • Augustus built and dedicated a number of temples in Rome - he was attempting to gain popularity, consolidate his rule and bring back an era of religious observance in Rome.
    • Cleopatra is fleeing back to Egypt after the defeat. Perhaps, surprisingly, Virgil generates sympathy for Cleo, even though she is a barbaric enemy of Rome.
    • Mulciber = Vulcan
    • even the rivers are part of Augustus' triumph - they have been calmed in the same way that Rome has pacified these tribes.
      • Virgil personifies the Araxes as resentful for having a Roman bridge over it.
    • in lines 81-83 Aeneas receives the shield
    • deliberate contradiction of Augustus defeating the "indomiti" (unconquered) Dahae
  • Cleopatra is fleeing back to Egypt after the defeat. Perhaps, surprisingly, Virgil generates sympathy for Cleo, even though she is a barbaric enemy of Rome.

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