Category Archives: Virgil

The Golden Age in Pastoral: Eclogues 4.15-45

Virgil’s vision of the Golden Age of peace and prosperity is notable, to me, for its deep emotional resonances as expressed in the earthy imagery of the pastoral genre.  The visuals of abundant, surfeiting βιος [life] forms a hard contrast with the oft-repeated Civil War image of blood and gore soaking Italian fields.  So this […]

Aeneid 4: 120-127 and 160-172: Scene – A Cave

Virgil is SO lazy… At Aeneid 4.124 and 165 he even repeats the same line, with just the subtlest variation: the verb that completes the sense in the following line is in the future tense at 124 (as Juno predicts how she will bring Dido and Aeneas together) and present at 165 when the narrator […]

Experiment

  Personal introduction – I think that this is one of the most moving passages in The Aeneid. It focuses on Aeneas trying to save his family which is not only something very poignant but also quite surprising given that it comes in a story in part focused on battles and war where you don’t […]

Virgil Aeneid 2.708-40 (Contributed by Carla Jennings)

I think that this is one of the most moving passages in The Aeneid. It focuses on Aeneas trying to save his family which is not only something very poignant but also quite surprising given that it comes in a story in part focused on battles and war where you don’t necessarily get to see […]

Poppies in Classical Poetry – Homer, Catullus, Virgil, Dante (contributed by Jane Mason and David Bevan)

Homer’s simile describes the death of a minor character, shot by mistake by Teucer when aiming at Hector. Catullus’ poem begins with a bitter and crude invective against his unfaithful mistress, so that the tender description of the flower comes as a sudden contrast. Virgil combines these two and creates an even more poignantly beautiful […]

Virgil Aeneid 9.420- 449 (contributed by Jane Mason and GCSE Latin students (aged 15))

This passage shows so well the senseless violence of war and its brutal destruction of life’s fragile beauty. But it also portrays the immortality of self-sacrifice, heroism and above all, love. The poppy simile recalls the battlefields of the First World War where so many young men, were cut down in the flower of youth. […]

Virgil Aeneid 9.314-50 (contributed by Caroline Lawrence)

I’ve been reading book 9 of the Aeneid. Not often studied, it is the book with the most battles in it. Aeneas has gone off to recruit help and left his band of Trojans holed up in a fort under the leadership of his son Ascanius who is probably only about 13 years old. When […]

Virgil Georgics 4.67-87 (contributed by Ian Peel)

Mankind has had an affectionate and symbiotic relationship with bees since the beginning of time. Einstein has been credited (alas, probably erroneously) with the suggestion that the final demise of bees will be followed within 4 years by the final demise of mankind. Naturally this relationship has been celebrated through time in beautiful art, of […]

Aeneid 2.40-56, 203-19 Laocoon and the Serpents (contributed by Anne Dicks)

Studying this passage for ‘O’ level many years ago is what made me choose to take ‘A’ Level Latin and begin my career as a Classics teacher. Anne Dicks, Classics teacher (just retired!) Here we have the contrast between Laocoon’s blazing anger at the thought of the wooden horse being taken inside Troy and the […]

Aeneid 6.847-853 – Virgil’s vision of Roman greatness

Virgil’s vision of Roman greatness put into the mouth of Anchises, the dead father of Aeneas whom Aeneas travels to find in the Underworld in this book – the turning point of the poem. Anchises points out the future heroes of Rome yet to be born, a long catalogue that is patriotic and visionary but […]