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Aen2. Notes to Aeneid V-VIII

Aen2. Notes to Aeneid V-VIII - Classics 2123 The Roman Way...

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Classics 2123: The Roman Way Spring 2008 Notes to Virgil’s Aeneid , Books V-VIII Book V provides a transition between the high emotion of Book IV and the sombre majesty of the descent to the underworld in Book VI. Most of the book is taken up with games in honor of Anchises. The games are modelled on the funeral games for Patroklos in Book XXIII of the Iliad . 132 ‘the genius of the place’: an expression of Roman animistic belief; the genius is the local god of the place. 686–89 A much-disputed passage; it is not certain to what events ‘in later days’ portends. A possibility is that Acestes later founded Segesta, a city which early on became Rome’s ally in the first war against Carthage. Others think it refers to the comet which was seen after the death of Julius Caesar in 44 BCE and which was interpreted as a sign that his soul had joined the company of the gods. 716–94 An aetiological episode intended to explain the origin of the Roman festival called the lusus Troiae (‘games of Troy’), equestrian pageants performed by the sons of noblemen. Book VI is the patriotic climax of the epic. As the end of the Odyssean half of the Aeneid , it gives Aeneas his clearest understanding of the future which is his responsibility; and in it Virgil provides the clearest statement of the benefits to be won by Roman rule. After his journey into the underworld Aeneas re-emerges strengthened in spirit and resolved to undertake the even greater tasks that await him.
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