Friday is for Ad Fontes – The Aeneid (Part 1)

Finally getting back into some serious primary source reading! Now working through Virgil’s The Aeneid. This was the propaganda narrative for Roman power. Consider this quote:

Here then for thrice a hundred years unbroken shall the kingdom endure under Hector’s race, until Ilia, a royal priestess, shall bear to Mars her twin offspring. Then Romulus, proud in the tawny hide of the she-wolf, his nurse, shall take up the line, and found the walls of Mars and call the people Romans after his own name. For these I set neither bounds nor periods of empire; dominion without end have I bestowed. Nay, harsh Juno, who now in her fear troubles sea and earth and sky, shall change to better counsels and with me cherish the Romans, lords of the world, and the nation of the toga.”

Aeneid 1.272-82.

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  • rvs

    C.S. Lewis probably got a fair amount of his Great Divorce ambiance from the Aeneid, if we move beyond Blake and look for additional sources of inspiration.

  • Allen Browne

    Michael, I’m trying to think through the (huge) question of the anti-empire sentiment of the NT, and wondering if I should understand it this way.

    The gospel certainly does confront the power grabs of empire (and other powers), but it’s primarily about announcing God as king, so it’s about drawing the power-abusers into the liberty and justice and peace of earth’s true king rather than crushing them as the enemy.

    That’s a ridiculously short summary sentence, but do you think that’s a line of investigation worth pursuing?