Aeneas' Piety

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HUM 101 Vergil’s Aeneid One of the most important Roman virtues is pietas, piety, directed towards parents, gods, and community. Based on your reading of the first six to eight books of the Aeneid, how does Vergil construct Aeneas as a man of pietas? Please support your assertions with reference to the text. Please write one-and-a-half to two pages on this topic. Foremost, in Homer's Iliad, the prophesy of Aeneas is mentioned, stating that, Aeneas will survive the destruction of Troy. In Vergil's Aeneid, he continues to explain Aeneas' destiny, as he is "exiled by Fate," and "battered on land and sea by the powers above" (1. 3-5). Aeneas does not choose his destiny of leading the remaining people from Troy, but rather he is obligated to due to fate. Even though, he is driven by fate to lead the people, he acts with piety nonetheless. He reveals his reverence towards the gods, by following the orders to guide the people, although it is not his will or desire to do so. Even Juno "[forces him], a man of faultless devotion, to endure so much hardship" (1. 14-15). Aeneas once again proves his piety prevails, as he does not let Juno's efforts to destroy his fleet discourage him. Although, his piety survives Juno's attacks, he is very disgruntled by his fate and he does not hide his feelings. Aeneas deems "luckier were those who died before their parents under Troy's high walls" (1. 112-113). He utterly envies the men who died in the Trojan War, wishing he could be so lucky, as to die behind the walls. Instead he is fated to endure the wrath of Juno and lead the fleet of people to found a new city. He is a rather interesting character, different than common heroes, like Achilles in the Iliad, who are driven by kleos in their piety. Aeneas on the other hand, is strictly motivated by fate, but he still proves to be equally as pious, as heroes like Achilles. Not
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