Homeric Influence On Aeneas Shield

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Register to read the introduction… The shield symbolises Rome's achievements and history with a depiction of war filling the centre of this magnificent piece of armour. "In the middle there was the bronze fleet at the Battle of Actium to look at" . Rome's army was responsible for the formation of her vast empire. Without its power and victories in battle she would never have gained her supremacy. As well as praising Augustus' accomplishments by placing the Battle of Actium scene in the centre of the shield, Virgil also recognised the benefits that war could bring. Although he seems to seek peace for the future, he does not tend to criticise past Roman wars but often portrays them as a stepping stone in the search of future peace. As well as this, Virgil never suggests that if one's city entered into battle, one should abandon their loyalty to their native land and ignore their duty in war. In book six, Virgil describes the ghosts of those who died in battle as "distinguished men who were set apart (from others) in war" . However Virgil's Underworld scene is based around Homer's in book eleven of the ‘Odyssey' and so one can argue that the heroic image that these warriors seem to have acquired upon entering the Underworld can be attributed to Homeric influence and Virgil was not making a purposeful statement about the benefits of dying in combat. Many of the war-related deaths in …show more content…
Virgil glorifies both mythological and historical battles and justifies them with the idea that these were sacrifices made for an ultimate goal. By looking at the ‘bigger picture', Virgil is able to link earlier conflict to later peace but leaves Romans with the message to know when enough is enough regarding war and their empire. Most of the anti-war propaganda in the ‘Aeneid' is aimed directly at the Roman public and so to its contemporary audience, this epic would have seemed far more critical of war than it might to a foreign audience. The frequent losses of life and bloody descriptions in the poem carry strong connotations of death and disaster throughout most of the story. However such a topic and style of narration was borrowed from Homer and not used solely to deter people from war. But the two words that frame the poem, arma and umbras, adequately outline Virgil's main point: any story that begins with arma will end in the umbras (the

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