Like all Latin poets, built on the Greek tradition (Norton
Things to Consider:
Duty (pietas): Self
vs. God(s) vs. Country
Fate vs. Free Will
Role of Gods/Relationship to Humans
Role of Women
Relationship to Family
See map of his journey
Aeneas: Founder of the Roman People, Trojan
Creusa: Aeneas's Trojan Wife
Ascanius/Iulus: Son of Aeneas and Creusa
Anchises: Aeneas's Father
Aphrodite/Venus/Cytherea: Aeneas's Mother
Dido: Former queen of Tyre, Founder of Carthage
** Homework Questions ** General:
Who is Aeneas? Who are his parents?
What is his mission?
With which Egyptian queen can Dido be compared?
Which themes from the Iliad and Odyssey can
be combined in the Aeneid?
How, according to the editors, is Virgil's approach to
storytelling different from Homer's?
Describe the importance of pietas.
Book Four: 621:
Why does Dido attempt to deny her attraction to
Aeneas? What/Who changes her mind? How?
Are Dido and Aeneas actually married?
Explain. (See 630 also).
Describe Rumor. How does she function here?
Explain Aeneas's statement: "I set sail for Italy--/all
against my will" (4.451-52).
Other Discussion Questions: 573:
Explain: "The poem is . . . a profound meditation on
the rights and wrongs of empire and colonialism that prompts
us to ask whether civilizations, even the best of them, are
ever founded without enormous personal and military cost"
What common concern do the editors identify in Virgil's
Why might the Roman defeat of Carthage in 146 B.C.E. be
significant to the consideration of the Aeneid?
In what ways was the Rome of Virgil's time still a
In what ways, according to the editors, was Augustus Caesar
different from Julius Caesar?
Why, according to the editors, did Augustus want Virgil to
create a "great national epic" (574)?
Where does Virgil identify the origins of Rome?
Who is Sychaeus? Who is Pygmalion?
Why is it ironic for Dido to pray to Juno, overseer of
Does seeking a match with Aeneas constitute an abandonment
of her responsibilities as the founder of Carthage?
What does Venus not like about the idea of a union between
Dido and Aeneas?
How do Aeneas and Dido "warm/the winter . . . with
obscene desire" (4.243-44)?
Who is Mercury? What task does Jove give him?
Explain Dido's statement: "Thanks to you, my sense of
honor is gone,/my one and only pathway to the stars,/the
renown I once held dear" (4.400-2).
How does Dido respond to Aeneas's explanation for his
Why doesn't Aeneas at least grant Dido's wish for him to
wait a little before leaving?
Why doesn't Dido go with the Trojans?
Explain: "A woman's a thing/that's always changing,
shifting like the wind" (4.710-11).
Explain Dido's prophetic prayers.
Why is Dido's suicide "unexpected" by the gods?
"Group" Discussion Questions:
1. Compare the following pairs of people in terms of
their function in their respective works.
Jocasta (actually in Oedipus Rex)
2. Describe Aeneas's treatment of Dido. Does he mistreat
or mislead her or are his actions justifiable? Explain.
3. Describe the role of Fate in the lives of Dido