Weekly Meeting: The Aeneid

12914The Aeneid, so much Roman BS all in one epic poem…

Challenges:

  • Book Lust

What You Should Know:

  • This is a Greek style poem like the Iliad and the Odyssey, but it’s Roman.  ALL the gods go by their Roman names.
  • The Greek/Roman gods will remind you why they are known to be assholes.
  • This is Roman’s origin story.

Discussion Questions:

I am only going to make you suffer with one discussion question because… reasons.

1- To what extent is the Aeneid a political poem? Is it propaganda?

It is important to remember that this poem serves to explain the origins of the Roman Empire.  It was written at the hight of the empire: post-Cesar, but just pre-Jesus.  It serves to connect them to the a past that may or may not have been real: the Trojans.  If you ever want to know what happens to the Trojans after the horse full of Greek soldiers destroys their city, then this is going to explain it.  With that in mind, it allows Virgil to manipulate history and mythology to suit his needs.  Was all this something that really happened?  I have no idea, but I do know that the gods had nothing to do with it.  In the time it was written, it was commonly accepted that what was out of our control was in the control of the Gods (and sometimes not even then because they all clearly hated and loved each other).

Anyway, this is a poem more to validate Roman superiority than anything else.  It is a great example of how one can create history by taking from another culture.  The Roman gods are the Greek gods by other names.  We know this well, but when you put it in the context of modern ideas like fan fiction and origin stories… well, it takes on another meaning.  We have been borrowing ideas from other writers for thousands of years.  We have a deep need, as a society, to understand why things are the way they are.  We want to be connected to the past.

Who Will Like:

  • People who enjoy epic poems like the Iliad.
  • People who enjoy reading about Roman gods.
  • People who enjoy reading the classics

Other Books Read This Week:

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