Aeneid, The Ideal Roman Patriot

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Aeneas- the Ideal Patriotic Roman In Virgil’s The Aeneid we encounter the story of Aeneas, a Trojan who survived the infamous Trojan War and sets sail for Italy, where he is destined to found Rome. The reader is first introduced to Aeneas in the Iliad, where he is rescued by divine intervention from battle; Poseidon prophesizes that he and his children will someday rule over the Trojans. Through this character, Virgil was able to create a compelling founding myth for Rome and glorifies the traditional Roman virtues of piety and loyalty to the race, among several other heroic traits. Aeneas becomes the projection of the ideal patriotic Roman by subordinating his personal goals for national interest. After a fierce storm, brought on by the anger of Juno, the Trojans are thrown off course and land in the city of Carthage. Dido, Carthage’s founder and Queen, welcomes them to her city and after being struck by Cupid’s arrow with passion for Aeneas, she asks to hear of the Trojan War and of the years since the group left Troy. Aeneas relates to Dido the story of the sack of Troy that ended the war and of how they escaped the burning city. He emphasizes his piety and the insignificance of mortal concerns when while running through the conquered city he sees Helen, the cause of the war, and wants to kill her. Venus appears to him at that moment and persuades him to not kill Helen because she is not responsible; the Goddess explains that this was caused by “the harsh will of the gods.” Being the pious and obedient man that he is, Aeneas obeys his mother and escapes the city along with his father, Anchises, his son, Ascanius, and other surviving citizens. He continues to relate the different ordeals they faced on their journey and how multiple times they attempted to build a new city but after the loss of his father Anchises and the terrible storm he arrived at

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