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First Reactions
• What have you seen before?
• What seems new to you?
• Can you relate to characters as real human
beings? Why? Why not?
Epic as Genre
Long narrative poem
Elevated style
Central figure of heroic proportions whose
story unifies series of episodes
Actions are deeds of great valor
Episodes important to the history and ethos of
the nation
Setting is vast in scope, eg. national,
international, cosmic
Supernatural forces are interested in human
action and sometimes intervene
Epic Conventions
Invocation to the muses
Beginning in medias res
Elevated meter
Elaborate similes
Epic formulae
Noun-epithet combinations
Repeated lines
Repeated passages
Type scenes
Divine Machinery
From Homer? to Vergil 70-19B.C.
1200 B.C.
C 650
Trojan War
First Olympiad; Homer
Lycurgan Reforms at
Solon’s Reforms in Athens
Peisistratids in Athens
Reforms of Clisthenes
Persian Wars
Pericles leads Athens
Peloponnesian Wars with
Sparta ( Drama,
philosophy,history, art and
architecture, rhetoric
Philip of Macedon
conquers Greece
336 Philip murdered
334 Alexander the Great;
conquers Persia
323 Alexander dies in Babylon
3 Generals fight among
selves, Ptolemy gets
Egypt, Seleucus Syria,
Antigonus Greece
Roman Republic 509 - 31 B.C.
(From the Brutus who killed the
- Last Etruscan King to the death of
Antony in 31)
- Wars with neighbors in Italy
- War with Carthage
- War with Eastern Kingdoms of
Alexander’s Successors until 133
Century of Revolution 133-31 B.C.
Gracchi 133-122
Civil Wars
Marius and Sulla
105-81 B.C.
Caesar and Pompey
55-45 B.C.
Assassination of Julius Caesar, 43 BC.
Octavian and Antony, 43-31
Principate 27B.C.- 193AD.
Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus
27 B.C.-14 AD
Italy and the Roman World
“Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit.”
Publius Vergilius Maro (70 -19 B.C.
Mantua me genuit; Calabri rapuere; tenet
nunc Parthenope. Cecini pascua, rura, duces
Aeneas’ Journey (map pp. 42-43)
• Begins in medias res, with flashback for Dido
when most of journey complete: Books 1-5
modelled on Odyssey
Book 6: Underworld
Journey to visit Dead Father
Journey from Trojan to Roman
Journey from Ignorance to Knowledge
Journey from Old World to New Rome
Journey from Death to Rebirth (Katabasis)
Books 7-12: Second Trojan War in Italy with Iliad as Model
Poet’s Invocation to the Muse: Aeneid 1: 1-13, p.47
Summary and Questions
Juno Makes the First Move; pp. 47-51, l. 12-123
Our first introduction to Aeneas ll. 91-100,
Neptune Calms the Storm, pp. 51-52, ll.124-155
Simile, p.52, ll. 142-155
Aeneas Lands in Carthage pp. 52-54, ll. 156-222
“Brave Words” ll. 198-207, p. 54
Jupiter Unrolls “Arcana Fatorum” for Venus, ll. 223-304,pp.56-7
Venus Guides Aeneas to Carthage, pp. 37-61, ll. 305-4-17
Introduction to Dido
Mother and Son
• Dux Femina Facti, l.364
Aeneas sees Carthage Rising, pp.61-64 ;ll.418-493
• Building the city: Busy as Bees Burdens of Mortality touch hearts and
fame brings safety, ll. 458-63, p. 63
Dido “Schooled in Suffering,
comforts those who suffer too “pp.64-69, ll. 509-642
Dido is Enflamed by Love, pp. 70-73, ll.667-756