The Enigmatic Character Of Augustus Caesar In Virgil's The Aeneid

2007 Words 9 Pages
When Camilla, the great female warrior of The Aeneid, enters the epic she enters with the trappings and the aura of Augustus Caesar. Throughout the book Camilla is an enigmatic character. There are many different aspects of her character that make her stand out. There is something about her character that is more important than being a commanding warrior who is also a woman. This importance is because she is similar to Augustus Caesar. Camilla is a Latin predecessor and symbol for the first emperor of Rome. The place a person comes from is very important when fully examining who a person is. It happens that Camilla is the queen of the Volscians (7.1105). Augustus Caesar was descended from the Volscians and in fact he spent his early years …show more content…
There are other types of predecessors in this epic such as Aeneas, however, they are usually a bit more obvious than the enigma of Camilla. Why would Virgil choose to make Camilla a symbol for the first Caesar? The fact that she is a type of Predecessor is odd in itself because she is a woman who is trying to defeat the founders of Rome. She seems to be the opposite of the type of character that Virgil would want to compare Augustus too. However, he made her comparable to Caesar. The answer to this question may never be fully answered, however, an exploration of this question of why will be helpful in understanding this paper. An Encyclopedia Britannica article says that Augustus Caesar had a “Patriotic, antiquarian, attachment to the ancient religion and for his puritanical social policy,” (Grant). This indicates that Augustus admired the ancients and old fashioned morality which Camilla could very well represent. When Diana tells of Camilla’s background, Camilla appears to be a character who is highly moral and ancient. She is a part of an ancient Italian people, the Volscians. While growing up she lived in “undergrowth amid rough haunts” and that her father breast fed her by “putting her to the breast of a wild mare,” (11.779-82). The feeling here that a reader gets is that Camilla is really part of an ancient world that does not exist anymore. An ancient world that has been unadulterated by man. Camilla also is an honorable woman who has never had relations with any man (11. 795-96). Being a virgin she could be a symbol of the purity and morality that Augustus wished for his kingdom. Finally, the answer to the question of why Virgil made her a symbol for Augustus is that she represents the emperor side of him who was connected to the ancients and a pure, moral

Related Documents