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Mythical Reality Essay

772 words - 4 pages

When one thinks of the Augustan Age they most likely will think of the great monuments and the advances made, along with the era of peace that coincided with the rule of Augustus. However, what is usually not realized is that the peace and prosperity of that time were paid for with the loss of any power the people of Rome might have had over their ruler. This prosperity at a price seems to be reflected through the story of Aeneas and his effort to create the future empire of Rome. One noticeable element of the Augustan Age was the vast construction during his rule and the many monuments and buildings that bared the king's name. This call for attention is also obvious within the Aeneid ...view middle of the document...

However, at the end of Aeneas' trip to the Underworld his father led him through the gates of ivory, which was said to represent false dreams. This small detail possibly represents the use of false promises and lies that Augustus used to gain power while maintaining the image of a benevolent ruler.
The peace experienced during the Augustan Age was not achieved without any struggle, however, and the second half of the Aeneid exemplifies the pain and bloodshed that was brought upon the enemies of Rome for Augustus to achieve the peace that he so proudly proclaimed. Despite the fact that the war in the Aeneid reflects the battles needed to bring about the Augustan Age, Vergil was sure to include many signs to show that the future Romans were fighting a just war and by doing so provided just reasoning for the battles fought by Augustus as well. In order to further the correlation between the battle fought by Augustus and Aeneas, Aeneas was provided a shield created by Vulcan himself that displayed Augustus victorious in the battle of Actium over Antony and Cleopatra. The divine inclusion of Augustus' victories upon the shield...

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