The purpose of ...?

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The purpose of ...?

Postby Lucius Tyrrhenus Garrulus on Fri Dec 10, 2004 8:21 am

SALVETE OMNES. S.V.B.E.V.

Can anyone tell me the "moral of the story" behind Virgil's Aeneid? Or Ovid's Metamorphoses? What were these authors trying to accomplish? Spin a good yarn? Or was there a point to be made?

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Postby Q Valerius on Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:35 pm

Scerio Garrulo SPD:

Aeneid tried to show the glory of Augustus by showing the foundation of Roma and linking Augustus to divine origins (Venus), while Ovid was simply recanting stories of changes, but most certainly not believed by him. More morals than anything.

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Postby Quintus Pomponius Atticus on Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:54 pm

Salvete omnes,

Apart from a legitimisation of Augustus' rule, I think the Aeneid also expresses the glory of Rome itself, its history and the values that had - from the perspective of the conservative elite - made it great but were waning in Augustus' age.

But while showing a strong political and moral tendency, the Aeneid is of course more than just a propaganda pamphlet. Above all perhaps, Virgil made it into a great epic story, treating such universal themes as the quest for identity (in Aeneas himself), the overcoming of human suffering, the struggle between the forces of order and disorder, the relationship between people and fate, etc.

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Postby Horatius Piscinus on Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:59 pm

Salvete

Not believed in a literal sense perhaps, but as allegories on a central truth. Ovid's Metamorphoses is not simply a collection of stories but a single story, as Ovid posed it. He meant to show the changing nature of things, or to put it another way, "For things to remain the same, things must change." I think it was Plutarch who said that the myths of the Gods was the story of the journey of the soul through life, and through death we may add. It was a common belief that the phenomenal world is one of constant change. Ovid was using the myths to illustrate that belief and his theme could be approached from many levels. He does after all begin with the chaotic universe emerging into an orderly existence, and we might relate it, too, to the evolution of societies, or join with Plutarch and see his poem as one concerned with our individual evolution.

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