Classics: Aeneid book 8

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  • Created on: 23-02-12 10:43

Book 8

With the blessings of the god of the river Tiber, Aeneas goes to the village of Pallanteum (Palatine), one of the 7 hills of Rome. Here king Evander describes how Hercules saved them from the ravages of the monster Cacus and tells the story of Mezentius, a brutal Etruscan despot who had been dethrones by his subjects and is being harboured by Turnus. Evander tells Aeneas of the prophecy that forbids the Etruscans to be led to war by an Italian, and advises him to go with a detachment of cavalry led by his son Pallas, to claim leadership over the armies opposed of the Latin’s. Venus, concerned for her son’s safety, persuades Vulcan to make new armour for Aeneas, including a prophetic shield depicting the future wars of Rome.

Although it is Aeneas’ prophecy, the Trojans are invaders of a foreign country, seizing land and power from its rightful inhabitants. Although we know Aeneas is a hero and is going to build the foundations of Rome, the locals do as expected and prepare for war. ‘the great leaders were levying men everywhere, ********* the fields of those who tilled them’. This is what any leader would do to protect their people against invaders, but we feel they are over reacting as we know that Aeneas wants peace. (Virgil thinks war is violent and pointless)

Justification for Aeneas to invade and rule of Italy: he’s a guest-friend and ancestor of Evander; he has allies in Etruria who have cause to go to war and need a leader; he has an ancestory from Italy

An important part in the story of Rome is the Social war. The defeat of Cacus is the pre-enactment of the defeat of Antony and Cleopatra. Arrival of Aeneas is pre-enactment of the return of Augustus. War in Latium is a pre-enactment of the Social war. The Latin’s who confront Aeneas are courageous, virtuous people who are defeated but never disgraced. They were put into wrong by the malice of Juno, not by their own terms

A justification for Aeneas to invade and rule of Italy: Hercules had saved Pallanteum from Cacus and had deigned to accept Evander’s hospitality. On the day of Hercules’ festival, Aeneas, who had saved his people, will stoop to enter the same little hut and will go on to found a city that will move to Pallanteum. Augustus saved Rome by defeating Antony and Cleopatra on the first day of the festival of Hercules, and he lives in a simple modest house in what was Pallanteum (now Palatine hill in Rome). Hercules is a god, Aeneas and Augustus will become gods.


Simile: Aeneas’ thought when he sees the Latin’s prepare for war are related to light flickering from water – disjointed, random, unexplained directions.

Aeneas was ‘sick at the sadness of war’ how Virgil felt about war. Even though Aeneas is a great warrior, he just


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