Troy, Aeneas, and the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire

For years, Rome was a republic
That means that it was led by democratically-elected people, like we have in the United States. y Then, Rome had a leader that was so strong and revered that he changed everything.
y

His name was Julius Caesar

Caesar was never officially an emperor, but by the time of his assassination (at the hands of rivals), he had assumed leadership of the entire government and had been named ´dictator for life.µ y After his death, there was a vacuum of power. Three men stepped up to take over, and one of them won. His name was«
y

Augustus Caesar
Augustus knew that he was not as well-loved as Julius Caesar. He wanted help in making the people feel that he deserved to be emperor. y He needed help from, of all people, a poet.
y

Virgil

Virgil
y

Virgil was already a well-loved poet. Caesar asked him to write a new mythology for Rome, drawing on the beloved Greek myths. This epic would prove that Augustus·s position had been destined by the gods. The story would end with the establishment of the Roman empire.

Virgil knew what to do
He went back to The Iliad and The Odyssey for his inspiration. y He chose Aeneas, the only Trojan who escaped, as his hero. y He started a new epic about him, called The Aeneid.
y

Augustus· plan worked.
The Roman people loved the idea that they were the descendants of the Trojans. y Augustus was a hugely popular and, for the most part, fantastic emperor. y The idea of the empire was firmly in place for the rest of a long line of Roman emperors.
y

Some of the emperors were good«
y

Hadrian

Some were not so good:
y

Caligula

y

Nero

End of notes.
You can put your pencil down now. You don·t need to know the next few slides, though you might find this to be the most interesting part. y On the road from Troy to Rome, Aeneas makes a trip through Hell. Very few mortals get to do this, as you may remember. He sees some of Rome·s enemies burning. He meets his dad, and one other person who we will talk about later.
y

Dante
In the 14th Century, another Italian poet named Dante Alighieri wrote an epic poem called The Inferno. In this poem, he takes a guided tour of Hell. y Everyone who tours Hell needs a guide, of course, and guess who Dante chose to guide him«.
y

Virgil, naturally.
y

Virgil·s scenes in Hell were so inspiring to Dante that he wanted to include him in his poem.

Now, let·s have a look at Dante·s version of Hell.

Here are the three worst sinners in the world, according to Dante.
y

They are Judas, Brutus, and Cassius

Questions you should be able to answer:
1. Who killed Julius Caesar? Why? y 2. What was the difference between Rome under Caesar and Rome under Augustus? y 3. Who was Virgil? y 4. Why did Augustus need Virgil·s help? y 5. How did Virgil convince people that empire was the right choice for Rome?
y

Questions (continued)
6. Where did Virgil get his inspiration for his poem? y 7. What was the reaction to the poem? y 8. Why do you think he chose Aeneas as his hero? y 9. Name one ´goodµ Roman emperor. y 10. Name one ´badµ Roman emperor. y 11. Finally³why would USC name its football team after a bunch of losers?
y

Now, to read about Aeneas«
Read ´Part One: From Troy to Italyµ (this is pages 230-236 in your packet.) y Come up with 15 true or false questions to turn in.
y

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful