From Classical to Contemporary

From Classical to Contemporary

Myths and Legends HUM 2051: Civilization I Fall 2010 Dr. Perdigao October 13, 2010 The Legacy Founding of Rome in 753 BCE Legend that it was founded by Romulus and Remus; their parents were killed and they were raised by she-wolf 270 BCERoman lit began when Greek slave translated The

Odyssey from Greek to Latin Begins with translationGreek imitationessential to formation of Rome, Roman culture Only 2 kinds of literature Romans excelled at: lyric and epic Contextualizing Virgil Virgil (70 BCE-19 BCE) In spirit of imitation and respect but Romans also alter by enlargement (size and grandeur) Inheritance, respect, but alteration by change Virgil was a member of literary and social avant garde, goal to challenge government

His aim was to trace responses to government through literature (like Ovid and Catullus) but with new empire of Augustus Chaos and orderorder as the ascendancy of the power of Augustus Constructing The Aeneid Values: Respect for the past Personal subordinated for good of family/state Intense reverence for authority Stoic self-control (emotions held in check)

Virgil reimagines Homeric hero while at the same time honoring tradition of Homers epic and imitating it Virgil spent 12 years on The Aeneid. At the time of his death, he wanted to write for three more years; when he was on his deathbed he told his friends to destroy it because he hadnt gotten it right yet But it is considered one of the most perfected works Virgils Tradition Eclogues (37 BCE) as country vs. city life, pastorals Georgics as farmer-animal husbandrypractical compared to idealized country life in Eclogues

Politics of The Aeneid: idealization of central authoritative political power as best way to organize society Beehivessymbol of Georgicscentralized authoritative figure, all subordinated to task for good of the hive Beehiveas ideal community, Roman politics Structure and Form The Aeneidtitle Imitates The Iliadbut names the character, combines 2 works Invokes muse, begins in medias res, includes epic similes, Homeric epithets (pious Aeneas, dutiful Aeneas) But the change is the focus on founding Rome rather than on

personality of Aeneas Issue of destinyas action (unimaginable in Homers works) Books 1-6=wanderings of Aeneas from Troy, reflection of The Odyssey Books 7-12=battles of Aeneas and his troops, reflection of The Iliad

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