This mirrors Rome's disestablishment of the republic after the strife of a civil war, and the establishment of peace and prosperity with the new Roman Empire. These reflect Augustan propaganda which asks that his people to forget the repetition of the past of civil war but to remember and repeat it in order to conquer their problems in support of his new reign of the empire. The Aeneid was written during a period of political unrest in Rome.
The Roman republic had effectively been abolished, and Octavian Augustus Caesar had taken over as the leader of the new Roman empire. The Aeneid was written to praise Augustus by drawing parallels between him and the protagonist, Aeneas. Virgil does so by mirroring Caesar with Aeneas and by creating a direct lineage between Aeneas and Augustus. Aeneas is the founder of the new city of Rome, while Octavian, as the first Roman emperor, founded a new and improved Rome. Specifically, Aeneas seeks to establish a new nation based on that of Italy and Troy, just as Augustus sought to create a new Rome based on Rome's older traditions.
These parallels, combined with Aeneas' portrayal as a strong and powerful leader, establish his means of promoting Augustus as a great leader. Virgil creates a common ancestry between Aeneas and Augustus by interacting [ clarification needed ] with the Roman tradition of viewing Romulus as the founder of Rome. Romulus is known as the son of Mars and a vestal virgin. According to the historian Livy , this vestal virgin's name was Rhea Silvia , who is described in Book I of the Aeneid as a descendant of Aeneas. Virgil establishes a stronger connection of Silvia to the Trojans by changing her name in the epic to Ilia.
This new name connects her by its similarity to the name " Ilium ", another name for the city of Troy, and because it is the feminine form of both Ilus Aeneas' great-great-grandfather and Ilus, the second name of Ascanius before the fall of Troy. Virgil also references Julius Caesar's claim to divine ancestry as a descendant of Venus and Anchises , supporting this claim in his text. In a speech by Jupiter, he references a "Trojan Caesar" as a descendant of Ascanius by the name of Iulus and therefore of Venus:. In Book VI, when Aeneas is in Elysium , his father describes descendants who will one day inherit their name.
He describes Aeneas' children, followed by Romulus, then skips ahead to Augustus Caesar. This creates the illusion of a direct connection between Caesar and Romulus. Within the context of the Aeneid there are also warnings against the new political regime. Virgil questions whether the new political foundation promised by Caesar will actually be an escape from the repetitions of the civil war. It was Epicurus who discovered this, but because he rejected poetry he was able to reform the opinions and aspirations of only such few men as are able to be reformed by reasoning.
One who could replace Homer as the teacher of men might be able to induce men to transform their lives. Being ill, h e does not grasp the cause of his illness. If he should see it well, each would leave all other things aside and strive first of all to get knowledge of the nature of things. The first formulation suggests that this condition is unfulfillable: human beings are in fact not able to find out the causes of the burden in their spirit; their inability may be incorrigible.
Thus the lively force of his mind gained complete victory, and he set forth far beyond the flaming walls of the world and traversed the boundless whole in mind and spirit; whence he victoriously brings back to us knowledge of what can come into being and what cannot, by what reason, in fine, the power of each thing and its deeply inhering boundary has been delimited.
Thus religion in its turn has been trampled beneath the feet and is being crushed out; the victory makes us equal to heaven. It was as if in a conquered city the enslaved citizens should ignore the invader and carry on as if minor contests among themselves were the whole sphere of heroism. In this world, while the viri were carrying o n their contests, a Greek who was precisely not a vir, Gruius homo, became the first nevertheless to display true virtue of spirit, unirni virtutem: he dared to direct his eyes against the oppressor. While Odysseus was being celebrated for travelling far beyond the cities of Greece and reaching the house of Hades at the boundary of the world, Epicurus was travelling far beyond the walls of the world through the boundless All.
Each of the heroes was in his time the champion of a human city 60 - Chapter Five against other human cities, but this human being is now the champion of human life against the gods. Indeed a little later in Book 1 ff. Lucretius provides, then, in his poetic representation of Epicurus as a hero, an image of the best-most courageous and most beneficent-human life, an image calculated to win men over from the Homeric images of Achilles and Odysseus. This poetic language is the Lucretian honey; the harsh truth it masks is that heroism belongs altogether to the vile pre-Epicurean way of leading human life; Epicureanism is not the summit or perfection of Homeric heroism as of something great but the rejection of it as something vile.
The summit of human life is human thought, not manly deeds. Epicurus is a homo, not a uir 1. For if one must speak as the known majesty of things requires-he was a god, illustrious Memmius, a god, who was the first to discover that rational account of life which is now called wisdom, and who through his art removed life from such billows and shadows into such tranquil and clear light.
Homer had displayed heroism as 62 - Chapter Five the striving to burst the constraints of human weakness and become godlike. Lucretius does not imagine that men educated to look up to the immortal gods, through the heroes, as objects of human aspiration will be easily induced to replace those beautiful gods in their hearts with what is in truth immortal, the atoms and the void. In Book 2, Lucretius explains the method of sublimation very clearly O n the other hand, he asserts outright that these poetic tales are far from true reason 15and that the earth in fact is not even a living being, to say nothing of a god.
Nothing is immortal but the atoms and the void; there are no immortal gods to emulate, there is no immortal glory to strive for, there is no beloved for whom our longing is other than a senseless delusion. The possibility raised by the honeyed-cup simile that Lucretius means to address Memmius as a representative of the oulgus in the sense of the universality of non-Epicureans, who shudder away from the harshness of the undisguised doctrine, seems to be borne out by the heroic and Olympian imagery with which Lucretius has disguised it, since this imagery is aimed at men whose opinions and aspirations have been formed by the most popular and traditional poetry.
It is these seers and poets who maintain the hold of religious fears on the vulgw. However, such a conquest of the poets and seers would in fact overcome only the means by which religious terrors are presently maintained among human beings; for the poets and seers are not the cause of religion but only its upholders. If religion can be extirpated from human life, breaking the authority of its present upholders could only be a first step; it would be necessary finally to go to the cause that brought religion about in the first place, and to reverse or overcome that first cause.
Now what cause communicated the divinities of the gods to the u d g w throughout great nations and filled the cities with altars and saw to it that solemn rites would be undertaken, rites which now flourish in great affairs and places, as a result of which even now there is implanted in mortals a horror which raises up new shrines of the gods all over the circuit of the lands and compels mortals to frequent them on festal days-it is not very difficult to give a rational account of this in words.
The cause of religion appears to have been outmatched by the cause of irreligion; it appears to be possible, indeed it appears to be actual, that human life can be lived well by human beings universally, or that religion can be extirpated from human life. This result cannot be the whole truth, however, for the following reason. The event that was the original cause of religion turns out to be a two-part cause: o n the one hand, the early generations of mortals used to see distinguished forms of gods divum.
What great groanings they themselves then brought into being for themselves, what great wounds for us, what tears for our descendants! Indeed this train of thought is so inexorable as to affect even those who have already learned well the truth about the gods; they too, if at times they wonder by what means things are managed in the heavens, are carried back again into the old religions and take o n harsh lords who they, in their wretchedness, believe have power over all things 6.
Thus the two-part cause of religion, though presented at first as a past event, is in fact a cause that operates now and always among human beings; while the invention of wisdom by Epicurus, though presented at first as the past cause of present irreligion, is in fact a thing that needs to be continuously recovered and continuously applied against the continuously operating causes of religion.
Lucretius would have then either greater benevolence towards the human race than Epicurus did, or greater understanding of how to enable human beings to know the nature of things, or both. Would it be a benefit to a human being to awaken him to his vile sickness without being able to make him able to carry out his will to cure himself? Would it be a benefit to the human race to make the generality of its members regard fear of gods as a vile sickness to which they are nonetheless subject, thus removing from the fear of gods whatever dignity it now has without being able to replace it with the sweet tranquillity of the healthy Epicurean soul?
Apparently Lucretius must hold that any human being who can be attracted by sweet poetry can also grasp the whole nature of things for himself. If people could be duped into philosophic enlightenment without their own knowledge or their own effort, it would indeed be irrelevant how difficult the teaching is and how well or ill equipped any given human being is for learning it. But is it not, rather, likely that men will not become philosophers unless they come not only with desire but also with singular preparation, alertness, intelligence, and conscious resolve to the quest for the truth, however harsh?
Does Lucretius make a case for the ability of human beings to make the transition from being objects of a sweet deception to being autonomous agents of the quest for truth? If Lucretius is proposing, against the opinion of all antiquity, that there is no essential difference between the few and the many, no natural obstacle to transforming the many into philosophers, the foundations of this view will have to appear in his account of human psychology. Political society, in using that fear to restrain the passions, is by that very use preserving the cause of those passions and of the need to restrain them, while also depriving its terrorized members of the possibility of living well.
Thus, to relieve men of their fear of death is to correct their false opinion, to demonstrate to them first that souls are mortal and gods do not exist, or at any rate are not angry, and then that the mortality of mortals is not an injury to them. Avarice and the blind desire for honors, which compel miserable human beings to transgress the bounds of right iuris and sometimes to strive night and day with extreme effort, as partners and helpers in crimes, to rise up to the highest powerthese wounds of life are fed not least by the fear of death For wealth and honor seem to be the conditions of a sweet and secure life, and a sweet and secure life seems to be the only kind of life that is vibrant enough and robust enough to really feel like life, whereas being contemptible and poor is like being already, so to speak, at the gates of death And often it reaches the point, from fear of death, where hatred of life itself so takes hold of human beings that they inflict death upon themselves, having forgotten that it is fear of this very thing that is the source of their troubles Thus men violate shame, friendship, piety, 70 - Chapter Five fatherland and parents in their attempts to avoid the realms of Acheron Therefore it is necessary that this terror of the mind be dispelled, not by the rays of the sun and the bright shafts of day, but by the aspect and rational account of nature.
All souls are commingled of all four elements, but with some variations in the proportions. Souls with a lot of heat in them are visibly inclined to anger, and souls with a lot of wind are visibly inclined to fear; indeed, strictly speaking, anger is the visible manifestation of heat in the soul, and fear is the visible manifestation of wind in the soul.
Thus men do not differ from beasts with respect to the manifestation in their visible passions of the components of their souls; and indeed Lucretius begins by giving as examples the lion for heat or anger, the deer for wind or fear, and the ox for air or placidity Their need for living together seems to arise from the incompleteness of each man as a man: every lion is a complete instantiation of the lion kind, but the complete character of the human kind is not instantiated by any human being but only by mixed groups including the full range of human soul-types.
O n the other hand, while their natural differences make human beings dependent on each other for the realization of their humanity as such, these same differences make it peculiarly difficult for them to recognize each other as fellows. Thus, while the political life of men is both necessitated and made problematic by the varied composition of their souls, the happiness of each man is also complicated in a particular way by the degree to which a given soul-element preponderates in him: very angry or very fearful men have difficulty in achieving divine philosophic pleasure, and there is even such a thing as an excess of placidity.
So [as of the beasts] is the race of human beings: to whatever extent doctrina may form certain ones equally polished, still it leaves those primary traces of the nature of each animus.
Nor is it to be thought possible that the evils be torn out by the roots, so that it would not be the case that one would run more readily to harsh angers, another be assailed a little more quickly by fear, and a third accept certain things more mildly than is commensurate. And in many things it is necessary that the various natures of human beings and their consequent habits differ.
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Lucretius contrasts here the effect of doctrinu with that of ratio in moderating the different soul mixtures. Neither can eradicate the traces of the natures-that is, the preponderances of one element over the others in different men. He does suggest that, while the human race is varied in its soul mixtures, it has as a species characteristic the ability through reason to prevent its various soul mixtures from preventing any of its members from living a life worthy of gods.
Lucretius does not say whether certain other animals whose soul mixtures are not too extreme can also lead a life worthy of gods. However this may be, and whatever the physiology of the rational faculty may be, we need to ask how, if anger is heat and fear is wind, either of these passions could be moderated by reason any more than the heat of the lion or the lightning bolt, or the wind of the ox or the storm, can be moderated by reason. The ability of men to moderate their fear and anger appears to have two parts. One is the power of habituation: consuetudo concinnat amorem.
Habituation produces love. For no matter how lightly something is struck by constant blows, still over the long run it is overcome and crumbles. It is not entirely clear what matter men would use to wear away their heat or wind; perhaps they can direct the atoms of the images of divine pleasure that are motivating them in a gentle but unremitting stream so as to dislodge some of the atoms of their heat or wind over time. The naturally limited and rationally refinable heat and wind themselves cannot prevent men living well, but the infinite imaginative constructions that human beings erect on these tiny foundations are the bane of their lives individually and in their communities.
The sweet poetic images of heroism and divinity with which Lucretius honeys the cup of his teaching are avowedly aimed at motivating the vulgus to seek the bitter truth about heroism and divinity. The popular accessibility of the 74 - Chapter Five Lucretian honey is aimed at counteracting in practice the practical causes of religion among the vulgar.
The pleasurably healthy Epicurean philosopher is in the first place a philosopher, and as a philosopher he does not base his thought o n any authority. While he may, perhaps must, be drawn to or inspired by a teacher, as Lucretius himself has been drawn to and inspired by Epicurus, in the end he will not accept any of the teaching of his teacher unless he has acquired it for himself through his own reasoning from the first principles of things, as Lucretius himself has done.
The non-philosophers, o n the other hand, take their bearings by authority, and especially by the authority of poets. A man who has hitherto believed that gods are the providential causes and rulers of the phenomena of the world is already benefitted by the doctrine that the world is too defective to be thought controlled by superior beings, even if he is still completely unaware of what does cause these phenomena 2.
A man who has hitherto believed that the venerable ancient poets taught that the earth is a great goddess and that the dead are wretched forever in the house of Hades is already benefitted by believing that those poets were symbolically teaching that the earth is the inert source of living things and that the unenlightened are wretched now in this life, even if he has not yet learned that the ancient poets were simply ignorant of the nature of things and in error about the earth and the afterlife 2.
Vergil's Empire: Political Thought in the Aeneid
The benefits that accrue to men from what we may call these provisional or partial doctrines are of two kinds. First, every step in this provisional education 76 - Chapter Five makes it more likely that the pupil will ultimately be prepared for philosophizing: every weakening of traditional, superstitious, Homeric beliefs helps to clear the way for the possibility of replacing them with true knowledge of causes, and helps to produce desire and emulation of the philosophic life.
Second, however, there is a real benefit in happiness to men at any intermediate stage between the most benighted superstition and philosophy itself, and this is the psychological benefit of increasing freedom from the fear of divine punishment and thus from the fear of death, the illness of the human soul. The relief gained by a soul that is freed to some extent from the fear of eternal torment is a substantial benefit in happiness even to a man who has otherwise the most childish or mistaken notions of the whole nature of things.
The apparently absurd suggestion of the honeyed-cup simile that men could be tricked by art into philosophic enlightenment points to the second kind of benefit that does in fact arise from the provisional, authoritative doctrines: men can be tricked by art into psychologically useful opinions, opinions that free them from some of the obsessive terror in their souls and thus to some extent cure them and make happiness possible to them. The greatest benefit to the human race, which Lucretius poetically ascribes to the god he calls Venus at the opening of the De Rerurn Natura, turns out to be the work of Lucretius, who o n this account must surely be called a god 5.
Whereas Lucretius presents Epicurus as a hero whose intellectual exploits far surpass the combined warring and voyaging exploits of Achilles and Odysseus, Vergil presents Aeneas as a hero whose deeds include and transcend those of the two Homeric heroes. Our traditional Homeric beliefs are both untrue and injurious to us; but what benefits us is not enchantment with science, which we cannot attain, but enchantment with true rather than Homeric piety. The philosophic life is best in itself, but emulation of what is best in itself is harmful to beings whose nature is inadequate to that goal-it could lead only to deformity, self-loathing, and madness.
According to Vergil it is not true, as Lucretius taught, that men are benefitted by losing their fear of angry gods and eternal torment without understanding for themselves from first principles the causes why such fear is unjustified, or the whole nature of things. The reason they are not benefitted is that their fear of gods and punishment is the only thing that enables them to govern themselves, to govern the irruptions of anger, cruelty, and hatred that seem to spring up spontaneously in their souls.
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The infernal passions needing government are real; while the gods and punishments feared by the unenlightened are illusory, the fear of them is itself real and efficacious. A true understanding of the whole nature of things could tame the infernal passions by rationally disarming all illusory desires; but a mere debunking of the gods and the afterlife must remove the only check on the infernal passions that men have, short of true science.
Lucretius underestimated both the extent of the natural basis of the passions and the imperviousness of the passions to the reasonings of men who are not philosophers themselves. Barely out of sight of Sicily and onto the high seas, the Trojans were joyfully giving sail and bearing down on the spume of the salt sea with the bronze, when Juno, keeping the eternal wound deep beneath her heart, said to herself:. Like the wound of love to which Lucretius refers in his invocation to Venus, praying that Mars may succumb to it m e m o devictus vulnere amoris, DRN 1.
Pallasne exurere classem Argivum atque ipsos potuit summergere ponto 80 - Chapter Six unius ob noxam et furias Aiacis Oilei? To be sure, I am prohibited by the fates. Was Pallas able to burn down the fleet and submerge the men themselves in the sea, all for the crime and furies of Oilean Ajax? She herself hurled from the clouds the swift fire of Jupiter, dashed apart the ships and turned up the sea with winds; as he breathed flames from his transfixed heart she seized him up in a whirlwind and impaled him on a sharp cliff-but I, I who walk as queen of the gods and both sister and wife of Jupiter, I wage war so many years with one nation.
Does anyone any longer pray to the divinity of Juno, or will anyone give honor to her altars as a suppliant? If t h e immortal gods suffer the passion of desire for victory, vengeance, adoration and honor, it is not likely that h u m a n ambition and anger depend on a false fear of death, but rather t h a t they depend on t h e same eternal wound from which the goddess suffers. Talia flammato secum dea corde volutans nimborum in patriam, loca feta furentibus Austris, Aeoliam venit.
Furor - 81 Turning over such things with herself in her inflamed heart, the goddess came to the fatherland of storms, the places pregnant with raging winds, Aeolia. In fact it was for fear of this event that Jupiter, the omnipotent father, suppressed the winds and subjected them to rule In this first action of the Aeneid, Juno strives for omnipotence by attempting to emancipate the raging winds from their celestial government, to make them infernal extensions of the eternal fury that she nourishes in her own heart and by which she in turn is ruled.
Is the rule of the celestial subverted by the rule of the infernal? Are the gods anarchically angry? Juno, who wishes to be adored by suppliants in acknowledgment of her power, pursues this end by herself adoring Aeolus as a suppliant 1. I have twice seven Nymphs of excellent body; of these the one most beautiful in form, Deiopea, I shall join in lasting marriage and declare your own, so that, in recompense for your deserts, she may spend all her years with you and make you the parent of beautiful offspring.
You are the one who wins over for me thing fa this kingship, such as it is, you win over the sceptre and Jupiter, you allow me to recline at the meals of the gods, and you give me power over storms and tempests. In Iliad Aeolus himself, however, is borrowed from Odyssey Vergil, however, has further unified the two scenes by extending from the Hypnos narrative to the Aeolus narrative the problematic character of the divine government, or the question who really rules the gods and the world.
T h e celestial Jupiter is said to rule the cave of the winds, but the infernal anger that rules Juno appears to have the greater force or authority. Beyond this, though, Vergil has constructed this scene so as to correct the unified Homeric myth in two chief ways. Here in a vast cave King Aeolus restrains the struggling winds and sounding storms with imperium, and reins them in with chains and prison. They roar indignantly with a great growl around the bolts of the mountain; Aeolus sits on the lofty citadel holding the sceptre, and calms their spirits and tempers their angers.
In his explanation, Lucretius poetically compares the wind-containing clouds to caves in which wild beasts are confined: Contemplator enim, cum montibus adsimulata nubila portabunt venti transversa per auras, aut ubi per magnos montis cumulata videbis insuper esse aliis alia atque urgere supeme in statione locata sepultis undique ventis: tum poteris magnas moles cognoscere eorum speluncasque velut saxis pendentibus structas cemere, quas venti cum tempestate coorta conplerunt, magno indignantur murmure clausi nubibus, in caveisque ferarum more minantur.
First from one side, then from another, they emit roars through the clouds and turn round and round, seeking an exit; and they roll together the seeds of fire from the clouds and thus force many of them out, and they whirl up flame within the hollow furnaces until the cloud is rent apart and they flash out blazing.
His immediate purpose in poetically comparing adsirnulam , velut , more the clouds to caves and the winds to wild beasts seems to be to make present to the imagination both the unapparent solidity of clouds as chambers or containers and the unapparent heatedness of the winds 6. But the ultimate purpose of this entire account of the celestial phenomena is to demonstrate reliably, in a way that will be deeply and not just superficially persuasive to men, that these phenomena are not caused by gods. Thus the account of the causes of celestial phenomena is the most true reasoning, ratio verissima 6.
Since thunderstorms are the celestial phenomena most likely to suggest imaginatively the existence of angry punishing gods, it is most important that precisely these thunderstorms be explained with sufficient liveliness, vividness, concreteness, sharpness, to displace the very old and powerful imaginations of gods. Anger itself is atomic heat; the anger of lions and of men is a kind of explosion or boiling out of a hot fluid from within their breasts. The physiology of anger in living beings-men and beasts-is thus analogous to the physiology of lightning.
But the correct interpretation of this sameness is not that the heavens are angry as we are, but that we are hot as the heavens are. Anger in beasts and storm clouds is irremediable; but in men, though anger cannot be eradicated, it can be so moderated that nothing prevents us from living a life worthy of gods 3. In lions and storm clouds the building up and release of the natural pressure of ira follows a natural cycle, but in men this pressure has become attached to indignant opinions that prevent it from being naturally discharged, and especially to the opinion that death is an injury to a human being.
He seems to begin here from the false opinion of the unenlightened reader that the loud noises heard in the heavens express the indignation of gods against men. This indignation of gods is the core of the thoughts unworthy of gods dis ind i p , 6. In the Odyssey, the power to still and arouse the winds, which Zeus has given to Aeolus, is a power over fair and foul navigation. But in Vergil, Aeo l d power over the winds is the power to preserve or destroy the world. Should he not do so, they would certainly in their rushing carry off with them seas and lands and lofty heaven, and sweep them away through the breezes.
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But the omnipotent father, fearing just this, hid them away in black caves, and put on top of them a great mass and high mountains, and gave them a king who should know how, by fixed rule, to check them and give them free rein when so ordered. First, observe the seas and the lands and the heaven, whose threefold naturethree bodies, Memmius, three so dissimilar forms, three textures each of its own k i n d - o n e single day will give over to destruction, and the mass and mechanism of the world, sustained through so many years, will fall to ruin. Thus there are undoubtedly invisible corpuscles of wind, which sweep the sea, and the lands, and finally the clouds of heaven, and tear them away, harrying them with sudden whirlwind.
It is not until the passage from Book 5 cited above that Lucretius presents his teaching on the mortality of the tripartite world baldly and without the poetic image of the winds, which, after all, are part of what will be swept away rather t h a n t h e agent of their sweeping away.
This world has only three parts; in particular, the fourth part alleged to exist by Homer, the Underworld Il. That the cave of the winds represents the Underworld is shown in the first place by its being the home of the infernal irue 57 whose presence in celestial spirits Vergil has raised thematically in the invocation 1. In all of these images the Underworld is represented as a dark cave containing furious beings pent up by force and straining to emerge destructively into the upper or outer world.
Cumulatively, these images develop the notion of a hidden source of destruction-ultimately, destruction of the world-which is at the same time the foundation of the world, and on whose secure government the stability of the world depends. The meaning of this disagreement is explained in the central passage of the Gemgics, where Vergil contrasts Lucretian felicity with Vergilian fortunateness 2.
Vergil in that passage links scientific knowledge of the causes of things, dismissal of fear of the Underworld, and the highest happiness felicitas ; but in the myth of the Aeneid he embraces the Underworld as the justifiably feared fourth quarter of the world.
Aeolia and the Theme of the Aeneid The Aeolian cave of the winds is the ruling symbol of the Aeneid: it symbolizes the problem of the rule of Furor in the cosmos, in political communities, and in men's souls. The action of the Aeneid opens with a rent in the security of the cosmos through which ungoverned Furor spews forth under all the pressure of its constraint, and threatens to undo the world. The cosmos is luckily saved in this opening scene by the ability of Neptune to persuade the escaped winds to return to their cave.
Vergil compares Neptune's restraint of the storm winds to a pious statesman's restraint of sedition in a great people: ac veluti magno in populo cum saepe coorta est seditio saevitque animis ignobile vulgus; iamque faces et saxa volant, furor arma ministrat; tum, pietate gravem ac meritis si forte virum quem conspexere, silent arrectisque auribus astant; ille regit dictis animos et pectora mulcet: sic cunctus pelagi cecidit fragor, aequora postquam prospiciens genitor caeloque invectus aperto flectit equos curruque volans dat lora secundo. And just as when sedition has often arisen in a great people, and the ignoble multitude becomes savage in its spirits-already torches and rocks are flying, furor supplies am-then, if perchance they have got sight of some man grave with piety and merits, they fall silent and stand by with attentive ears; he rules their spirits with his words and soothes their hearts: so the whole smashing of the sea subsides when the father, looking out over the waters and borne along the cleared heaven, guides his horses and gives rein to his speeding chariot as he flies.
A storm in the nat- Furor - 93 ural world, like sedition in a great people, threatens to undo the ordering. Neptune calming the storm is compared to a pious man ruling the spirits of the multitude with words. What kind of words would these be? The words that Neptune has just spoken to the winds 1. But even this provision for the rule of furor by words backed up with punishments is insecure, as Vergil brings out by the chancy conditional si forte 1.
In Book 7, where everything in Book 1 recurs to show the birth of a greater order of things 7. As the angry Juno in Book 1 opens the way for the suppressed winds to emerge ungoverned into the world of heaven, earth, and ocean, so in Book 7 she opens the way for Allecto to emerge ungoverned into the community of king, nobles, and farmers, or of Italians and Trojans.
As when the wave has begun to whiten at the first wind, gradually the sea raises itself up and lifts its billows higher, and finally surges from its lowest depths up to the ether. T h e furious combatants do not happen to notice him, and his words thus do not happen to rule their spirits. The furor released by Juno 7. Unspeakably harsh punishment awaits you, Tumus, and then you will worship the gods with prayers that come too late.
He said no more, but fenced himself off in his palace and dropped the reins of affairs. Vergil thus symbolizes the meaning of Rome as the solution to the problem of governing Furor: Rome is to be that community that is no longer subject to the unforeseen irruptions of Furor into the world, in whose foundation there is better provision for rule over the arms of Furor than the chance that armed multitudes will notice a pious man and be ruled by his threatening or conciliatory words.
Ungoverned furor irrupting unforeseen into the outer world, as symbolized in the Aeolia passage, is then presented in the Aeneid as the cause of the breaking apart of human communities. The community of the Phoenicians is split apart by the furor that breaks out between Pygmalion and Sychaeus 1. So also, in Book 5, it is the irruption of furor that splits apart the heterogeneous group of Trojans seeking Italy 2. The composition and maintenance of political communities, and ultimately of Rome, depends on the government of furor. In this prophecy 1.
The contest between Carthage and Rome for sovereignty over the nations, from which the Aeneid begins, rests on the presupposition that the nations will not remain divided into many sovereign cities but will be united under the sovereignty of one city. For them I set neither boundaries nor time limits: empire without end I grant them.
Furor impius intus saeva sedens super arma et centum vinctus aenis post tergum nodis fremet horridus ore cruento. The hardness of the Iron Age is for the sake of securing the softness of the Golden Age.
It is in accordance with this providential plan of the divine sovereign of the universe that the contest between Carthage and Rome for sovereignty over the nations develops, not as the enmity of two cities among other cities but as a contest between the two cities, that is, the two cities representing the two contesting principles for the unification of all cities.
Pygmalion kept the murder secret for a long time, putting Dido off with false stories in the misery of her cheated love. But in her sleep the very image of her unburied husband came, lifting up his pale face in wondrous ways: he exposed the bloody altar and his heart pierced through by iron, and revealed the whole hidden crime of the household. Then he urged her to hasten her flight and leave her fatherland, and as aid for the way he uncovered from the earth the ancient treasures, the unknown weight of silver and gold.
But later in Book 1, Dido herself narrates to Aeneas the experience that shows what her model was for the course she took 1. Dido imitated the proud regality of this hero: as exiled Teucer came not abjectly to seek refuge but proudly to seek a new kingdom, so did self-exiled Dido. Teucer, however, relied on arms to take his new kingdom; arms were the uux- Furor - 99 ilium he sought from Belus 1. Dido, to whom Sychaeus had revealed his buried treasure as auxilium vim , took the site of Carthage not in war but in trade: mercati solum The great commercial nation of Carthage was founded on the gold revealed to Dido in her commissioning dream.
Carthage is destined to be not only wealthy but also great in war 1. At the time when first sleep comes to wretched mortals mortalibus aegris, 2. Like Sychaeus, Hector counsels flight from the fatherland fuge. To Dido is uncovered the buried gold; to Aeneas are brought forth the Penates of Troy, mighty Vesta, and the eternal hearthfire. Dido is instructed to flee with the help of the gold; Aeneas is instructed not only to flee, not only to raise a great city, but to rescue the Trojan Penates and to raise a great city for them: sacra suosque tibi commendat Troia penatis; hos cape fatorum comites, his moenia quaere magna, pererrato statues quae denique ponto.
Through the tragedy of Dido and Aeneas, Vergil forces us to wonder why Aeneas could not have remained in Carthage after all and founded Rome there. What is the special virtue of Italy that is so essential to the project of universal empire? Or, if the virtue of Italy is not the determining factor, what is the special vice of Carthage that makes it an impossible setting for that project in spite of its apparent plausibility? To be sure, Rome was destined to arise in Italy and not in Libya. But is this destiny entirely arbitrary? Is the tragedy of Dido, and the suffering of the Punic Wars, just a senseless product of a random whim of fate?
T h e love affair of Dido and Aeneas shows the attractiveness, the greatness, and the defect of Dido and of Carthage as the attractiveness, greatness, and defect of Epicureanism in the foundation of souls and cities. The at- Furor - tractiveness of Epicureanism lies in its promotion of pleasure and friendship over punishment and justice; its greatness lies in its courageous reliance o n the human capacity for seeking the truth about nature and the true good for human beings; its defect lies in its insufficient attention to the vigor of the passions in human beings who are not Epicurean philosophers, and consequently in its failure to provide sufficient protection against the irruptions of furor in the soul and in the city.
I have established an illustrious city, I have seen my own walls; in avenging my husband I have exacted punishment from my enemy-brother. Thus her capacity to found Carthage is the heroic measure of the capacity of both her love and her anger. Dido takes with her from Tyre a group of tyrant-haters who are not very attached to their fatherland, preferring exile to tyrannicide, and a store of Phoenician gold which, however, is as efficacious abroad as in Phoenicia, which, that is, is entirely removable from its specifically Phoenician context.
Iopas too, the poetic pupil of African Atlas, appears to have connected himself to the Carthaginians as a result of their break with Phoenicia. The particular part of the De Rerum Nuturu that Iopas sings at this feast may be said to be the fifth book, whose subject matter is the birth and death of our world and the causes of the motions of heavenly bodies DRhJ 5.
According to Lucretius these two subject matters have the following relationship: knowledge of the origin of our world in general leads to knowledge of the origin of belief in gods in particular, and thus to freedom from belief in gods. Knowledge of the causes of the motions of heavenly bodies is then the crown and seal of freedom from fear of gods, perfecting and protecting knowledge of the origin of our world.
Hariman, Robert ed. Classical Virtue, Postmodern Practice. Holoka, James P. A Critical Edition. Hoyos, Dexter, Hannibal's Dynasty. ISBN X. King, Karen L. Kokkinos, Nikos, Anonia Augusta. Portrait of a Great Roman Lady. First published by Routledge in New in paperback, with an additional review chapter. London: Libri Publications, Kyrieleis, Helmut ed. Internationales Symposion, Berlin 9. November Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Athens: Stigme, Newman, Harold and Jon O. Olson, S. Douglas ed. First published in Paperback edition. Opsomer, Jan and Carlos Steel trans. On the Existence of Evils.
Ithaca: Cornell University Press, Incontri di Culture nel Mondo Antico. Helsinki, Polverini, Leandro ed.