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Genre - Literary Epic

Although the Aeneid shares many characteristics with the Homeric epic, as an epic it is different in important ways. For this reason, the Aeneid is referred to as a literary or secondary epic in order to differentiate it from primitive or primary epics such as the Homeric poems. The terms "primitive", "primary" and "secondary" should not be interpreted as value judgments, but merely as indications that the original character of the epic was improvisational and oral, while that of the Aeneid, composed later in the epic tradition, was basically non-oral and crafted with the aid of writing. As we have seen, the Homeric poems give evidence of improvisational techniques of composition1 involving the use of various formulas. This style of composition is suited to the demands of improvisation before an audience which do not allow the poet time to create new ways of expressing various ideas. In order to keep his performance going he must depend upon stock phrases, which are designed to fill out various portions of the dactylic hexameter2 line. On the other hand, Vergil, composing in private, obviously spent much time on creating his own personal poetic language. Thus in reading the Aeneid you will notice the absence of the continual repetition of formulas, which are unnecessary in a literary or secondary epic.

To learn more about Vergil's Aeneid, see the Prince Perseus Power Exercises: Vergil's Aeneid.

1Whether the Homeric poems were originally improvised without the aid of writing or written down by the poet himself or dictated to a scribe and then recited, is not known for certain, but it is clear that they were composed in the style of improvised oral poetry.
2Vergil in the Aeneid uses this traditional meter of epic poetry.

Vergil, however, does imitate Homeric language without the repetitions. This is another reason for calling the Aeneid a secondary epic. For example, Vergil occasionally translates individual Homeric formulas or even creates new formulas in imitation of Homer such as "pious Aeneas", imitates other Homeric stylistic devices such as the epic simile and uses the Homeric poems as a source for story patterns. Although in this sense the Aeneid can be called derivative, what Vergil has taken from Homer he has recast in a way which has made his borrowings thoroughly Vergilian and Roman. For example, Vergil changed the value system characteristic of the Homeric epic, which celebrated heroic individualism such as displayed by Achilles in the Iliad. The heroic values of an Achilles would have been anachronistic and inappropriate in a poem written for readers in Rome of the first century B.C., who required their leaders to live according to a more social ideal suited to a sophisticated urban civilization. Therefore, although Vergil set the action of his poem in a legendary age contemporary with the Trojan War before Rome existed, one must judge the characters of his poem by the standards of the poet's own times.

Historical Background

Vergil (70-19 B.C.) lived through the politically violent and chaotic years of the failing Republic, and his writings very clearly show the influence of the events of this period. Thus, an understanding of the history of this era is critical to the interpretation of the Aeneid.

In 63, a conspiracy to overthrow the Roman government led by the infamous Catiline was discovered and defeated through the efforts of Cicero, the consul of that year. There were, however, other threats to the existing order soon to follow. After the powerful general Pompey returned from his extensive conquests in the East in 62, the refusal of the Senate to approve his settlement of affairs there alienated him from the Optimates. As a result, he joined in political alliance with the leaders of the Populares: Julius Caesar and Marcus Crassus. The alliance has come to be known as the First Triumvirate and was sealed by the marriage of Pompey to Caesar's daughter.3 Employing the threat of Pompey's military power, these three men were able to impose their will on Rome. In this way Caesar insured his own election to the consulship in 59 and in the following year, his assignment to the governorship of Gaul, which required the command of a large army to subdue the warlike natives. Caesar enjoyed great military successes against the Gauls for almost a ten-year period, but what meant most to him was the fact that he now had an army loyal to himself, making him equal to Pompey, who had for so long overshadowed him in military power.

3When Vergil has Anchises predict the civil war between these two leaders, their names are not mentioned, but they are referred to as father-in-law and son-in-law (6.828-831).

In the late 50's with Caesar in Gaul and Pompey virtually ruler at Rome, a split between the two leaders became increasingly evident, especially after the death of Caesar's daughter, which removed the last tie between them. Civil war was inevitable. As the poet Lucan put it: "Caesar is able to tolerate no man as his superior; Pompey, no man as his equal" (1.125-126). The war between Caesar and Pompey ended with the latter's defeat in Greece and his assassination in Egypt. After his victory Caesar assumed the dictatorship at Rome, which ultimately was granted to him for life. Caesar was now sole ruler of Rome. Resentment at the loss of political freedom resulted in his assassination by Brutus, Cassius, and others in 44.

Caesar's army passed in good part into the possession of his eighteen-year- old grand-nephew, Octavian, his chief heir, who was adopted as Caesar's son according to the terms of his will. Because of his youth, no one expected Octavian to be of any consequence in the political arena, but with a maturity beyond his years he won over Caesar's veterans and was determined to avenge his adoptive father's death. Octavian came into immediate conflict with Caesar's lieutenant, Antony, who felt that his close association with the dictator earned him the right to succeed Caesar. Cicero sided with Octavian and attacked Antony in a set of speeches called the Philippics, which resulted in Antony's being declared a public enemy. After Antony suffered a defeat at the hands of a coalition of military leaders (including Octavian), Antony and Octavian decided it would be in their own best interests to join in political alliance. They along with Lepidus formed the Second Triumvirate (43 B.C.) and revived Sulla's technique of proscription in order to rid themselves of their political enemies. One of the most prominent victims of this proscription was Cicero himself, whose death was demanded by Antony in revenge for the Philippics and reluctantly agreed to by Octavian. At Antony's command Cicero's head and hands were cut off and placed on the speaker's platform in the Forum. This barbaric act serves as a vivid symbol of the bloody violence of the last years of the Republic.

Following the proscriptions Antony and Octavian turned their attention to the assassins of Caesar and defeated them in Greece at the battle of Philippi (42 B.C.). Their alliance was weakened when Antony's brother revolted against Octavian while Antony was in Egypt, but was reconfirmed by the marriage of Antony and Octavian's sister. There were two more temporarily successful attempts to prevent a split between Octavian and Antony, but Antony's romantic involvement with Cleopatra,4 the queen of Egypt, which resulted in his rejection and ultimate divorce of Octavia, permanently alienated the two leaders. In addition, Antony's obvious intention to use the wealth of Egypt as a basis of power for uniting the East under his control made war unavoidable. The final conflict was a naval battle off Actium (31 B.C.) on the western coast of Greece, in which Antony and Cleopatra were routed by Octavian's fleet. The defeated pair later committed suicide in Alexandria.

4Cleopatra was a member of the Ptolemies, the Greek ruling family of Egypt, which had controlled Egypt since the death of Alexander the Great. As was the custom, she was married to her brother Ptolemy XIII, and after his death, to another brother Ptolemy XIV. During his campaign in the East after his victory over Pompey, Julius Caesar had an affair with her and fathered a son.

After Actium Octavian embarked on a program of restoring order by reuniting the Roman present with its old moral, religious and political traditions. He made a show of restoring the free Republic, but Octavian with his control over the Roman army and finances was in fact the sole ruler of Rome and its empire. In 27 B.C. the Roman Senate bestowed upon him the honorific title of Augustus,5 which symbolized his special position of authority in the state. Octavian was welcomed as a savior by such writers as Vergil and Horace, the great lyric poet, and by the vast majority of Romans, because he had brought peace to Rome after a century of civil conflict. The admiration expressed by the poets for Octavian's accomplishments, although its effusiveness is sometimes offensive to modern taste, should not be interpreted as mere servile praise and political propaganda, but as an honest appreciation of a political leader who had brought an end to the horrors of civil war and was able to act with moderation after his victory.

5The title "Augustus" had special religious associations and was etymologically related to the Latin word auctoritas 'authority'.

Reading the Aeneid

The Aeneid differs from the Iliad and the Odyssey in that it often gives evidence of meaning beyond the narrative level. Homeric narrative is fairly straightforward; there is generally no need to look for significance which is not explicit in the story. On the other hand, although Vergilian narrative can be read and enjoyed as a story, it is often densely packed with implicit symbolic meaning. Frequently the implicit reference is to Roman history. While Homer is little concerned with the relationship of the past to the present - the past is preserved for its intrinsic interest as a story - Vergil recounts the legend of Aeneas because he believes it has meaning for Roman history and especially for his own times. For example, the destruction of Troy resulting in the wanderings of Aeneas and his followers west to find a new life can be seen as parallel to the history of Rome in the first century B.C., which included both the violent destruction of the Republic and the creation of peace and order by Augustus. Also suggestive of the Roman civil wars is the "civil war" between the Trojans and their Italian allies, and Aeneas's victory over the Italians in this war suggests Augustus's ending of the Roman civil wars. The Carthaginian queen Dido, whose beauty almost makes Aeneas forget his duty as a leader, reminds the reader of Cleopatra's similar relationship with Antony. Dido's story also provides a legendary explanation for the historical hostility between Rome and Carthage which resulted in three wars. These are only a few examples of the importance of Roman history in the Aeneid. In the questions at the end of this section help will be provided to enable you to see other implicit allusions to Roman history.

Another important difference between the Aeneid and the Homeric poems is that the former has a philosophical basis while the latter were composed in an era completely innocent of philosophy. The Aeneid gives evidence of the influence of Stoicism, a Hellenistic philosophy which had gained many adherents in the Greek world and by the first century B.C. had become the most popular philosophy of the educated classes at Rome. In reading the Aeneid be alert for Stoic influence. Note the connection between fate and the foundation of Rome. Also note when Aeneas adheres to Stoic ethical principles and when he does not. Finally, be sure to read carefully Anchises's digression on the nature of the universe and human existence (6.724-751), which combines Stoic physical theory with Orphic and Pythagorean teachings (transmigration of souls). On the other hand, the gods in the Aeneid for the most part do not reflect the Stoic view of divinity. They are basically the traditional anthropomorphic deities of myth as required by the conventions of epic. On occasion, however, Stoic influence is evident as in book 1 when Jupiter is closely identified with providential fate (1.262 ff.).

Another important aspect of the interpretation of the Aeneid is Vergil's use of the Homeric poems. In the Aeneid there are innumerable echoes of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Do not be concerned if you do not immediately recognize the allusions to Homer; it takes some experience and practice. Some echoes are so subtle that they go unnoticed even by experienced readers of the poem. Perhaps the most important connections for you to make will be in book 12 where your knowledge of the Iliad will enable you to see how important figures of Vergil's poem are associated in various ways with heroes of the Iliad. Once these connections are identified, you will see that these references to the Iliad provide an interesting and significant commentary on the action of the Aeneid.

Finally, you should be conscious of recurring images in the Aeneid such as snakes, wounds, fire, hunting, and storms, and their meaning for the narrative. In your study of the imagery notice the Vergilian technique of making a real part of the story an image and vice-versa. For example, consider hunting in the Aeneid. In book 1 Aeneas is a real hunter who slays deer; in book 4 in a simile he is a metaphorical hunter of Dido and then again a real hunter as he and Dido engage in a hunting expedition. No doubt Vergil intended these three instances of hunting to refer to each other implicitly and to comment upon the story. Recurring words have a significance in the Aeneid uncharacteristic of the Homeric poems, which, due to the nature of oral poetry, as a matter of course employ constant repetition of formulas. Of course, the reader in translation is at a disadvantage in this regard since translators often do not translate any given Latin word in the same way every time, but even if there is not consistent translation of a given Latin word, the concepts which these recurring words convey can be identified in translation. Two of the most important recurrent words in the Aeneid are furor, which means 'violent madness', 'frenzy', 'fury', `passionate desire' etc., and its associated verb, furere 'to rage', 'to have a mad passion'. These words have important meaning for the characters in the Aeneid to whom they are applied and whose behavior must be evaluated by reference to the Stoic ethical ideal. In addition, these two words connect the legendary world of the Aeneid with Roman politics of the first century B.C. because they were often used in prose of the late Republic to describe the political chaos of that era.

In reading the Aeneid try to be aware of interpretative points such as those described above. With attention to these details of interpretation you will begin to appreciate the art of Vergil and understand better the meaning of the poem.


Book 1
Just as Homer used the first lines of the Iliad and Odyssey to announce the main themes of those poems, Vergil presents the two main themes of the Aeneid in the first line. What are these two central themes? What universal force is responsible for Aeneas's sufferings as an exile (2)?6 In accordance with this universal force, what is the purpose of his sufferings (5-7)?

6The numbers in parentheses refer to line numbers in the Aeneid.

Explain the reasons for Juno's hatred of the Trojans (12-33). Why is it appropriate to Juno's character that she uses a storm to keep Aeneas away from Italy (50 ff.)? What do you think the storm represents symbolically? Aeneas's speech during the storm at sea is an adaptation of a speech of Odysseus in the Odyssey also in the process of being shipwrecked. Odysseus says (5.306-312):

Three and four times blessed are the Danaans who perished/ in broad Troy bringing favor to the sons of Atreus./ How I wish I had died and met my fate/ on that day when innumerable Trojans threw their bronze-tipped spears/ at me around the corpse of Peleus's son./ I would have received my funeral honors and the Achaeans would remember my glory./Now it is my fate to die a pitiful death/( author).

What does Aeneas's similar speech tells us about his character (94-101)? Compare his speech with that of Odysseus. What is the most important difference? Compare the beginning of the action of the Aeneid with the same in the Iliad. Does Vergil imitate Homer's in medias res beginning? Explain your answer.

The first simile in the poem is an extended simile which describes Neptune's calming of the storm (148-156). How does this simile connect the narrative of the Aeneid with first century B.C. Rome? What is the cause of violence in the simile (150)? Do you find any similarity between this cause and the cause of the storm? Explain your answer.

What is the purpose of Aeneas's hunting (180 ff.)? What does Aeneas's speech tell us about his character (198-207)? Why does Venus make a complaint to Jupiter (229-253)? Sum up in one sentence the essence of Jupiter's reply (257-296). The Julius Caesar mentioned by Jupiter (286-288) is in fact Augustus, who was legally entitled to use his adoptive father's name. Describe the result of his dominion according to Vergil (291-296). Note the personification of Sacrilegious Fury (Furor impius), which is a negation of those values that Aeneas is supposed to represent. Furor is opposed to the rational control of one's passions and acceptance of fate while impius involves a repudiation of pietas 'devotion to one's gods, country and parents', which is the characteristic virtue of Aeneas. What benefit does the imprisonment of Sacrilegious Fury bring to Rome?

What is especially ironical about Venus wearing a disguise that would allow her to resemble a Spartan maiden or the virgin goddess Diana, sister of Apollo (315-316; 329)? Sum up in one sentence the information which Venus gives Aeneas (335-370)? Why is Venus in disguise when she gives this information to her son (cf. her later order that Cupid assume a disguise, 684)?

What event does Aeneas see depicted on the walls of Dido's temple (453-493)? What is Aeneas's reaction to these scenes (462-465)? Why does he react in this way? The last figure depicted before the appearance of Dido is the Amazon queen, Penthesilea, who near the end of the war came as an ally to Troy and was killed by Achilles (490-493). In what way could Vergil's description of Penthesilea be said to apply to Dido? When she appears, Dido is immediately compared to Diana (498-502). What is the purpose of this simile? Can you suggest any other meaning implicit in this comparison beyond mere description?

What is Dido's first reaction to Aeneas (613-630)? What trick does Venus plan (657-688)? Why does Venus believe that this trick is necessary (661-662)? What literary device is Vergil employing in 712? What request does Dido make of Aeneas at the banquet (753-756)?

Book 2
What trick did the Greeks prepare for the Trojans (13-39)? Why didn't the Trojans believe Laocoon's warning and the evidence of their own ears (54)? Why do the Trojans believe Sinon's false story (145)? What is the fate of Laocoon (199-227)? What is the reaction of the Trojans to this event (228-249)? What literary device is Vergil employing in 238-240?

What advice does the ghost of Hector give to Aeneas (289-295)? How does Aeneas react to the attack on Troy (314-317)? Does Aeneas view his behavior on that night in a positive or negative light? Explain your answer. Note the snake imagery in the two similes (379-381; 471-475). In conjunction with the appearance of the twin snakes in the Laocoon incident what meaning does this snake imagery suggest?

It has been suggested that Vergil's description of Priam's corpse (557-558) was inspired by a contemporary account of Pompey's death, of which we have a version in Plutarch's Life of Pompey: "They [Pompey's assassins] cut off Pompey's head and threw the rest of his body naked out of the boat leaving it there [on the shore], as a spectacle for those who desired to see such a sight" (80; tr. by R. Warner). What meaning is Vergil suggesting by describing the corpse of Priam in such a way as to recall Pompey?

What is Aeneas's reaction to the sight of Helen (567-587)? What arguments does Venus use to convince Aeneas not to kill Helen (594-620)?

What is Anchises's reaction to Aeneas's desire to save him (641-649)? What changes Anchises's mind (682-700)? Describe the manner in which Aeneas, his father and son leave Troy (707-725). What symbolism is suggested by this scene? What is the fate of Aeneas's wife Creusa (737-740)? What advice does the ghost of Creusa give to Aeneas (776-789)?

Book 4
In the first two lines the two dominant images of the book are introduced. What are they and to what do they refer? Be alert for their appearances throughout the book. Try to determine what comment they make on Dido and her fate.

What effect has Aeneas had on Dido (9-23)? Why was Dido determined to remain unmarried (15-29)? What advice does Anna give Dido (31-53)? Analyze carefully the simile in 69-73. What meaning does this simile have for the story? What effect does her passion have on Dido (76-89)?

What suggestion does Juno make to Venus (93-104)? What is Venus's reaction to this suggestion (105-114)? How does Juno propose to accomplish her plan (115-127)? How does Venus react to this plan (127-128)? Why does Vergil have Juno choose the occasion of a hunt for the consummation of the love affair (cf. the hunting simile in 69-73 and the wound imagery of the whole book)? What comment does the simile comparing Aeneas to Apollo in 143-149 make on this love affair (cf. the simile in book 1.498-502 comparing Dido to Diana)? What literary device is Vergil employing in 169-170)?

How do the peoples of Libya find out about the love affair (173-188)? Find an example of personification in this passage. Who is Iarbas? What prayer does he make to Jupiter (206-218)? How does Jupiter answer his prayer (223-237)? What is Aeneas's reaction to Mercury's message (279-295)? What comment does the simile in 299-303 make on Dido's behavior when she discovers that Aeneas is about to leave her? What complaints does Dido make to Aeneas (305-330)? How does Aeneas answer Dido (333-361)? What hope does Dido express and what threat does she make (382-387)? What specific philosophy seems to be implicit in Dido's words in 379-380 with regard to her view of the gods?

Analyze carefully the passage which contains the oak tree simile (438-449). What kind of heroism does Aeneas display at this moment? Is this the kind of heroism generally exhibited by a Homeric hero (e.g., Achilles)? Explain your answer. Measure Aeneas's behavior here against the Stoic ethical ideal.

Describe Dido's condition after Aeneas's final rejection (465-474). Measure her behavior against the Stoic ethical ideal. What does she resolve to do (475-477)? How does she conceal her plan to Anna (478-498)? Why does she think that her plan is her only possible course of action (534-552)? What reference to Roman history does the final part of Dido's curse contain (622-629)? Explain how the two dominant images of the book become real elements in the narrative at the end of book 4 and the beginning of book 5 (1-5). Explain why Dido is considered a tragic figure.

Book 6
At the invitation of his father's ghost in 5.724-739 Aeneas visits the underworld. Aeneas's trip to the land of the dead is modeled on Odysseus's visit to the same place in book 11 of the Odyssey. In both cases the purpose of the trip to the underworld is the quest for knowledge only obtainable from the dead. Odysseus gets his information from Teiresias; Aeneas, from his father Anchises.

Aeneas enters the underworld at Cumae in southern Italy at the temple of Apollo accompanied by the god's priestess, the Sibyl. What prophecy does the Sibyl make to Aeneas (83-97)? How do the details of her prophecy resemble the circumstances of the Trojan War? What does the Sibyl tell Aeneas he must do in order to enter the land of the dead (133-155)? How does the mistletoe simile 205-207) symbolically point out the appropriateness of the golden bough as a token necessary for entrance to the underworld?

How are ghosts transported across the river Styx (299-304)? Why are some spirits not allowed to cross the river Styx (322-330)? Whom does Aeneas meet among these ghosts and what request does he make of Aeneas (337-371)? How does Aeneas respond to this request (373-381)?

In the Mourning Fields Aeneas meets the ghost of Dido (440-476). This meeting is based on Odysseus's encounter with Aias, son of Telamon, in the underworld. Aias, whose shame at losing a contest for the arms of Achilles to Odysseus led to his suicide, reacted with hostile silence to Odysseus's friendly overtures in the underworld (11.541-567). How does Dido react to Aeneas's apologetic words (469-474)?

In the area reserved for famous military heroes Aeneas meets Deiphobus (477-547). Who is Deiphobus and what was his fate on Troy's last night?

What area is reserved for the punishment of the wicked (548-558)? for the reward of the good (638-644)? What kind of goodness is required for entrance into this area (660-664)?

What information does Anchises want to convey to Aeneas and what does he hope to achieve by summoning Aeneas to the underworld (713-718)? What does Aeneas's comment on the souls awaiting return to life indicate about his state of mind at this point (719-721)? In 724-751 Anchises gives Aeneas an account of the purification and transmigration of souls. The passage in general combines Stoic theory with Orphic and Pythagorean doctrines found in Plato.7 In Vergil's day these Greek teachings had become a part of Roman Stoicism. What is specifically Stoic about the view of emotions presented in the first part of Anchises's account (732-738)? Strict Stoic theory rejected the existence of reward and punishment in the afterlife, but taught that the soul went through a purgation process until it was pure enough to rejoin the divine fire from which it sprang. According to Anchises by what means is purgation of the soul accomplished (739-742)?

7Cf. the transmigration of souls in the "Myth of Er" in the Republic.

In 756-885 Aeneas sees the future of Rome in the form of the souls of famous Roman leaders from the foundation of the city down to Vergil's own day. In their midst is Augustus Caesar (789-805). What achievements are prophesied for Augustus? How do the comparisons with Hercules and Bacchus emphasize these achievements? What role in history does Anchises assign to the Romans (847-853)? To whom are the Romans implicitly compared in this passage?

Despite the general optimism of Anchises's review of the Roman future, his listing of great Roman heroes ends on a tragic note with Marcellus, Augustus's nephew and designated heir, who died young (860-885). As will be evident later in the poem in the case of Pallas and others, Vergil is much moved by youthful death. He sees it as one of the unfortunate tragedies required by providential fate in the accomplishment of destiny.

The book ends with Aeneas's return to the upper world through the ivory gate. What usually goes up to the world through this gate (895-896)? These two lines have been much debated throughout the history of Vergilian scholarship. What comment do you think Vergil is making here on Aeneas's trip to the underworld?

Book 8
What advice does the river god Tiber give to Aeneas (36-65)? Aeneas arrives at the future site of Rome and is greeted by Pallas and his father Evander, who dwell on the Palatine Hill where Augustus later had his house.8 Evander tells the story of Hercules's defeat of the primitive fire-breathing monster, Cacus, which is the reason for the celebration of rites at this site in honor of Hercules (185-267). Hercules was a prototypical Stoic hero who was credited with bringing justice and peace to the world by his labors on behalf of civilization and consequently was made a god for his efforts. Jupiter predicted in 1.289-290 that Augustus would become a god. In 6.801-803, Augustus was compared favorably with Hercules. If Hercules is a prototype of Augustus, what meaning does the story of Cacus add to Vergil's view of Augustus? Hercules also serves as a prototype of Aeneas. What do the two heroes have in common (288-302)?

8Vergil's description of Evander's house as small (366) is no doubt meant to make his readers think of Augustus's modest house on the Palatine.

What request does Venus make of Vulcan (374-386)? What is his answer (395-404)? What scene in the Iliad is this meant to recall (see Iliad 18.368 ff.)?

Why does Evander urge Aeneas to seek the aid of Etruria (470-509)? What help does Evander give Aeneas (514-519)?

State in general terms what is depicted on Aeneas's shield (626-628). Note especially the depiction of the battle of Actium and Augustus's triumph (675-728). Why does the battle of Actium occupy a central position (675) on the shield? What view does Vergil present of Antony and Cleopatra (685-688; 696-697; 707-708)? of the conflict between Egyptian and Roman gods (698-713)? What earlier event in the poem do the twin snakes recall (697)? What effect does the intervention of Apollo (Augustus's patron divinity) have (704-706)?

Book 12
Analyze carefully the simile in 4-8. What earlier character in the poem is suggested by the first two lines of the simile? Explain your answer. The words "with bloody mouth" recall the description of personified furor in book 1.294-296. What is the significance of these reminiscences with reference to the character of Turnus? Turnus accepts the idea of single combat with Aeneas to determine the outcome of the war, but both King Latinus and Queen Amata try to dissuade him (10-63). Identify the Iliadic allusion in this passage (see Iliad 22.38-89).

After Aeneas agrees to a truce for the purpose of the duel (111-112), what information does Juno give to, and what request does she make of, Turnus's sister Juturna (142-159) (for Iliadic parallel see 4.68-72)? How does Juturna go about carrying out this request (222-265)? What happens to Aeneas (318-323) (for Iliadic parallel see Iliad. 4.124-140)? With what hero of the Iliad is Aeneas identified by means of this Homeric echo? What is the significance of this identification for the Aeneid? Compare the reactions of Aeneas and Turnus to the breaking of the truce (313-317; 324-330). How is Aeneas's attitude different in 565-573?

Why does Amata commit suicide (593-603)? Describe her state of mind. What is the Iliadic parallel for Turnus's words in 643-645 (see Iliad. 22.99-103)? What is the significance of this parallel for Turnus? What is Turnus's attitude toward his final battle with Aeneas (676-680)? What comment does the simile in 684-689 make upon Turnus (for Iliadic parallel see Iliad. 13.137-142)? Identify the Iliadic allusions for 725-727, 763-765 and 908-912 (see Iliad. 22.209-213; 158-161; 199-201) and explain their significance for Turnus and Aeneas.

How does Juno answer Jupiter's request that she give up her resistance to fate (808-828)? What is Jupiter's reaction to her answer (830-840)? What sign does Jupiter give to Turnus and Juturna (843-871)? What does this omen mean (874-886)? What is the Iliadic parallel for Turnus's suppliancy to Aeneas in 931-938 (see Iliad 22.250-259; 338-343)? With what Iliadic heroes are Aeneas and Turnus identified by means of the various Homeric echoes throughout the last half of book 12? What is the significance of these identifications? What is Aeneas's first reaction to Turnus's suppliancy (938-941)? Why does Aeneas kill Turnus (941-949)? What comment does line 946 make on the character of Aeneas at this point? How would you evaluate Aeneas's action in the light of the Stoic ethical ideal? Why do you think Vergil ended the poem in this way?

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