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AENEID summary

AENEID summary - AENEID SUMMARY Introduction Written over...

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AENEID – SUMMARY Introduction Written over two thousand years ago, the Aeneid of Virgil occupies an unparalleled position within the poetry of antiquity. Considered by contemporaries and successors in Roman times to be the acme of Roman poetical achievement, it has subsequently found favour and been a source of inspiration to many of the major figures in the European literary tradition from Chaucer through Dante to Renaissance writers (e.g. Milton and Spenser), English Augustans (e.g. Pope and Dryden) and Victorian poets such as Tennyson, who famously referred to Virgil as the Throughout its critical history, both the poem's ethical content and the poet's technical mastery have commanded admiration, and any student of the Aeneid must be aware of Virgil's skill in assimilating, imitating and reworking his source materials to produce a national epic for Rome in hexameters, whose "sweetness of sound" and ornate, ordered style have always been a source of praise Context V IRGIL THE   PREEMINENT   POET  of the Roman Empire, was born Publius Vergilius Maro on October 15, 70 B.C., near Mantua, a  city in northern Italy. The son of a farmer, Virgil studied in Cremona, then in Milan, and finally in Rome. Around 41 B.C.,  he returned to Mantua to begin work on his  Eclogues,  which he published in 37 B.C. Soon afterward, civil war forced  him to flee south to Naples, where seven years later he finished his second work, the  Georgics,  a long poem on farming.  Virgil’s writing gained him the recognition of the public, wealth from patrons, and the favor of the emperor. Virgil lived at the height of the first age of the Roman Empire, during the reign of the emperor Octavian, later known as  Augustus. Before Augustus became emperor, though, internal strife plagued the Roman government. During Virgil’s  youth, the First Triumvirate—Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus—governed the Roman Republic. Crassus was killed  around 53 B.C., and Caesar initiated civil war against Pompey. After defeating Pompey, Caesar reigned alone until the  Ides of March in 44 B.C., when Brutus and Cassius, two senators, assassinated him. Civil war erupted between the  assassins and the Second Triumvirate—Octavian, Antony, and Lepidus. By 36 B.C. only Octavian and Antony remained,  and they began warring against each other. At the Battle of Actium in 31 B.C., Octavian defeated Antony and his ally  Cleopatra of Egypt, finally consolidating power in himself alone. Four years later, he assumed the title Augustus. Virgil  witnessed all this turmoil, and the warring often disrupted his life.
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