Western Literature to Dante

Bruce A. McMenomy, Ph.D. for Scholars Online
2018-19: Mondays, 1:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. Eastern Time


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Augustan Rome 44 B.C. - A.D. 14

Week 18: P. Vergilius Maro, ca. 70 - 19 B.C.

For this week, please read:

← Aeneas carrying his aged father Anchises out of Troy.

We will take another look at some of last week’s questions this week, and ask some new ones:

Jean-Baptiste Roman, 1827. Nisus attempts to recover the dead Euryalus, detail. Paris, Musée du Louvre. Photograph © Copyright 2010, Bruce A. McMenomy →

I certainly hope you have enjoyed the Aeneid; it is one of the great works of the Western tradition. It is not, however, immediately accessible to many, and it is likely that you will have to revisit it several more times in the future before its richness and texture become as clear as they can be. With luck, you can have a go at Vergil in Latin.

Remember Vergil, too, as a model for all the literature that follows him: his influence in the Roman world was like no other. His shadow overhangs every later Roman and Mediaeval poet, and there are those who still find him as a point of reference for literature today. Likewise, the art on this page shows that the influence of Vergil’story stretches from the contemporary to at least the nineteenth century.