The Violence of Virgil's Aeneid

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The Violence of Virgil's Aeneid

The story of Virgil's Aeneid was drawn from many sources, the most

influential being the work of the Greek poet Homer. Virgil based the first six

books of the Aeneid on the Odessey and the last six books on the Iliad both

written by Homer. The Aeneid describes the adventures of Aeneas, the legendary

Trojan hero who survived the fall of troy, sailed westward to Italy and founded

Rome. During the time that Virgil wrote the Aeneid he incorporated all known

Rome history up to his own time.

The book is world renowned and also is said by many to be one of the

best works ever. The last chapter of the Aeneid has caused some problems for

readers. The first problem that is evident is the manner in which Aeneas deals

with Turnus. In book XII Turnus states that the fight should be between the two

men as apposed to both armies fighting any further. Turnus had every right to

dislike Aeneas who came unannounced, tried to take his fiancé, Aeneas' son

killed their sacred deer, and he took his land. They have a great dual and

Aeneas disarmed Turnus by striking him in the leg. With his sword to his chest

Turnus makes a last request for his body to be returned to his family, as Aeneas

is considering the request he notices that Turnus is wearing the sword belt of

Pallas and the stoic ways of Aeneas leave him as rage, fury, and anger run

through his body. He kills Turnus in anger and dedicates his death to Pallas.

This loss of control and act of violence is the opposite of stoicism and the way

Aeneas had been portrayed the rest of the epic.

Turnus has to die for the founding of Rome to occur but he should not

have been killed in such a way. The killing was payback for the dishonorable

way that Pallas was killed. The sword belt had images that reflect Augustinian

Rome as did the shield in book eight. The theft of the belt from Pallas can be

compared to the stolen helmet and the youth slain when his guard was down and
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