Roman Strengths And Weaknesses Of The Aeneid Essay

1320 Words Oct 5th, 2016 6 Pages
Roman Strengths and Weaknesses
One essential element of the epic is the catalogue, which is a long list describing persons, places, or events placed in the catalogue for a specific reason. The Aeneid, written by Virgil, is exceptionally accomplished in creating a certain perception of his catalogues in The Aeneid. Virgil’s reason for having the prophetic catalogue in Book VI take place in the underworld is to place an emphasis on how the future of Rome will have its dark and light spots, just as the underworld has dark and light areas. Virgil chooses to include the dark parts of Roman history in this catalogue to remind Romans, including Aeneas, that, although they are powerful, they also have their weaknesses. To start the catalogue of Book VI, Virgil has Anchises, Aeneas’s father, relate to his son the lineage of heirs of Aeneas that will one day play essential roles in the continuation of Rome. He mentions Silvius, Aeneas’ last born son and future king, Procas, Capys, Numitor, and Silvius Aeneas, the one whose name “restores” (6.669) Aeneas’ name. Then, after he is finished with his list of notables, Anchises exclaims, “’What men they are!’” (6.672). Virgil did not coincidentally choose to describe Aeneas’ family first. Just as the shield description does in Book VIII, Anchises list of notable and powerful heirs of Aeneas is meant to inspire and instill confidence in Aeneas because Anchises knows all the visions in the future of Rome will not be positive. Furthermore,…

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