imperium sine fine dedi', 278-9). And yet, it is an empire ruled not by bloody conflict, but by peace and justice. Through Jupiter's prophecy, Virgil accomplishes several things. It introduces Aeneas' mission early in the poem, while at the same time presenting its accomplishment as an event that is fated to occur. Thus, despite the setbacks, particularly the opposition of Juno, we are never in any doubt that, on a cosmic level, matters are in Aeneas' and the Roman race's favour - they are destined to succeed. Furthermore, the prophecy is a veiled plea to Augustus to re-establish peace within the Roman empire, since this is how Jupiter has ordained that it should be. Indeed the prophecy is simply the first example of a theme that runs throughout the poem, namely that as well as glorifying Augustus through the deeds of his ancestors, Virgil is encouraging him to be like them in certain respects.
Providing a similar function to the prophecy is the pageant of Roman heroes that Aeneas is treated to in the Underworld, in Book 6 (756-886). Virgil is able again to emphasise the connection between Aeneas and his descendants; to show that Roman glory is fated; to celebrate that glory, particularly that of Augustus; and to advise the emperor. Indeed, Anchises explicitly states the qualities that a good Roman possesses in comparison to those of other races (847-53), in a passage that can clearly be seen as affirmation of what the poet seeks from Augustus as a ruler.
In Book 8, the description of Aeneas' divine shield (626-728) is a further reminder of the future glory of the Roman race. As with the pageant of heroes, it places Augustus and his triumphs firmly at the centre of this glory (literally in the centre, in the case of the shield) and serves to provide a teleological view of Roman history/future, implying that the reign of Augustus is the culmination of a historical process that started with Aeneas. The present empire, ruled over peacefully after the Battle of Actium, is the logical conclusion to Rome's glorious past. Again, we find exhortations to rule and act justly through the representation of acts and individuals who failed to do this and were duly punished, for example Mettus and Catiline.
Jupiter's promise to Juno at the end of Book 12 (834-840) is further evidence of Virgil's commitment to presenting the Roman race in a glorious light. He states that the new race that will arise from the Trojans and the Latins will surpass all men, and all gods, in demonstrating 'pietas', the essential devotion to the gods, the fatherland and one's family that is so clearly emphasised in the character of Aeneas and is so positively recommended as a particularly Roman virtue. Glorification and exhortation are once more dually present.
Concept of Herosim
The Aeneid sees a move from the traditional heroism of the Homeric epics to a contemporary heroism, more applicable to the Roman situation. In the Iliad and the Odyssey, there is a sharply defined heroic code. One must harm one's enemies and help one's friends; avoid personal shame at all costs; choose self-aggrandizement over more social concerns. This is the concept of heroism that drives men like Achilles, Hector and Ajax, and is represented in the Aeneid by the character of Turnus. It is a relatively simple, self-centred philosophy which does produce larger-than-life heroes. And yet, it cannot and does not fit with the concerns of the Aeneid. Just as the poem deals with the progression of the Trojans from survivors of the most famous war of the ancient heroic world to progenitors of the most powerful race of the modern world, it also deals with the progression from traditional heroism to a new heroism, most clearly through the character of Aeneas.
The necessity for a new type of heroism is clear. Contemporary Rome was not part of the ancient heroic world, but a complex society in which the values of that ancient world were no longer workable, and had not been for a long time. Any even relatively complex society must consider socially advantageous qualities to be preferable to self-promotion and self- regard. The ancient hero was too concerned with himself to care too much about his comrades, unless, by helping them, he created glory for himself. Odysseus is undoubtedly a charismatic and awe-inspiring figure, but when he finally manages to return to Ithaca, it is alone, for all his companions have been killed; Achilles' pride, damaged by the slight he feels that Agamemnon has paid him, prevents him from helping his comrades even when they are being
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