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Vergil - Aeneid
Arms and the man I sing, who first made way, predestined exile, from the Trojan shore to Italy, the blest Lavinian strand. Smitten of storms he was on land and sea by violence of Heaven, to satisfy stern Juno's sleepless wrath; and much in war he suffered, seeking at the last to found the city, and bring o'er his fathers' gods to safe abode in Latium; whence arose the Latin race, old Alba's reverend lords, and from her hills wide-walled, imperial Rome.

O Muse, the causes tell! What sacrilege, or vengeful sorrow, moved the heavenly Queen to thrust on dangers dark and endless toil a man whose largest honor in men's eyes was serving Heaven? Can gods such anger feel?

In ages gone an ancient city stood— Carthage, a Tyrian seat, which from afar made front on Italy and on the mouths of Tiber's stream; its wealth and revenues were vast, and ruthless was its quest of war. 'T is said that Juno, of all lands she loved, most cherished this,—not Samos' self so dear. Here were her arms, her chariot; even then a throne of power o'er nations near and far, if Fate opposed not, 't was her darling hope to 'stablish here; but anxiously she heard that of the Trojan blood there was a breed then rising, which upon the destined day should utterly o'erwhelm her Tyrian towers, a people of wide sway and conquest proud should compass Libya's doom;—such was the web the Fatal Sisters spun. Such was the fear of Saturn's daughter, who remembered well what long and unavailing strife she waged for her loved Greeks at Troy. Nor did she fail to meditate th' occasions of her rage, and cherish deep within her bosom proud its griefs and wrongs: the choice by Paris made; her scorned and slighted beauty; a whole race rebellious to her godhead; and Jove's smile that beamed on eagle-ravished Ganymede. With all these thoughts infuriate, her power pursued with tempests o'er the boundless main the Trojans, though by Grecian victor spared and fierce Achilles; so she thrust them far from Latium; and they drifted, Heaven-impelled, year after year, o'er many an unknown sea— O labor vast, to found the Roman line!

Key Points in Roman History

  • In many ways Rome inherited its culture from Greece.
  • Romans were responsible for the spread of Greek art and literature throughout the world.
  • Romans also produced remarkable achievements on their own int he fields of politics, law and engineering. .
  • Romans were superb engineers, invented civil law, which includes property rights and they were responsible for the idea of "natural law," which described a set of rights beyond property rights, and a idea which evolved into the "inalienable rights" described int eh Declaration of Independence.
  • Romans developed the idea of civility in social behavior and civilized conduct and discourse in public life.
  • Romulus established the Roman distinction between the patricians, the land-owning aristocrats and the plebeians, the poorer class who tilled the land and worked as tradespeople and laborers.
  • The Etruscans occupied Rome between 616 BC and 509 BC Prior to the Etruscans, Rome appears to have been very modest. From 509 BC until 27 BC, Rome was a republic based on the patrician/plebians model. In about 287 BC Rome began a series of military campaigns that would eventually result in its control of the larges and most powerful empire ever created.
  • In 49 BC Julius Caesar effectively ended the republican government when he took control after his return from Gaul and became dictator of an empire that included Italy, Spain, Greece, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa. In 45 BC he was killed by sixty senators on the floor of the Roman Senate. In 31 BC Octavian, who renamed himself Caesar Augustus, was emperor of the entire Roman world.
  • Roman art was influenced by Greek art and the Romans imported Greek vases, marbles, and bronzes. But Roman art is different in emphasis and focus.
  • Roman sculpture and paintings are realistic rather than abstract.
  • Romans adopted the Greek columns, but used the Corinthian order the most and the Doric the least, just the opposite of the Greeks.
  • Roman rectangluar temples ahve the same basic elements as Greek temples. The Romans, unlike the Greeks, favored circular temples, such as the Temple of Vesta in Rome built around 80 BC.
  • Romans created a network of aqueducts, which use gravity to move water from mountain springs to cities in the valleys below.
  • Roman sculptures focused on real people, particularly political figures, as opposed to the Greeks, who made statues of deities and idealized heroes.
  • Roman writers never matched the achievements of their Greek predecessors. Roman poets used Greek genres, although satire appears to have been an authentic Roman invention.
  • While Greek theater excelled at tragedy, Roman theater excelled at comedy. The two most important Roman comic dramatists are Plautus and Terence.
  • When Octavian assumed power in 27 BC he created the conditions for a period of peace and stability in the empire that lasted for two hundred years.
  • The art and literature of this period are regarded as the pinnacle of Roman cultural accomplishment.
  • The empire was so strong that even the reigns of Cligula and Nero could not destroy it.
  • When fire devastated Rome in AD 64, Nero seized the opportunity to rebuild the city on the grandest of scales. After the fall of Nero, Rome flourished as never before. By AD 180 the Roman empire had grown to enormous proportions, encompassing fifty million people.
  • Beginning with the rule of Commodus AD 180-192 the empire started to flounder. The army was corrupt, the Senate was powerless, plague ravaged Rome and the empire's borders were threatened by barbarian hordes.
  • In AD 324 Constantine seized control of the entire empire and in AD 330, he moved the seat of government to Byzantium, ending Rome's long ascendancy as the cultural center of the Western world.
  • Ancient Rome was known for the ingenuity of its water system. Roman efficiency ensured that the streets were kept clean. An underground drainage system carried away waste and rain water.
  • The family took its main meal at home in the evening. It could last as long as three hours, with seven or more courses.
  • For entertainment there were chariot races, gladiatorial combat, and the slaughtering of Christians.
  • Pompey completed Rome's first permanent stone theater in 55 BC.
  • The Roman Forum actually consists of nineteen fora, all abutting one another. The Forum was the center of city life.
  • The Colosseum, was dedicated in AD 80, was an amphitheater designed to accommodate fifty thousand people. The Colosseum used arches, an idea developed from the Etruscans, which were rare in Greek architecture.
  • The Roman pantheon, built between AD 118 and 125, is a circular temple and a superb display of Roman engineering skill. The dome is another of the great innovations of Roman architecture. The Pantheon was the largest dome until the twentieth century.
  • The enormous Baths of Caracalla in Rome, built in AD 213-217, were in many ways the center of Roman social life, and included a library and exercise area.
  • Augustus rose to power in 27 BC, sculpture became more Greek and more idealized.
  • Greatest artistic work of the Augustan age is the Ara Pacis, a building totally covered with relief sculptures, built from 13-9 BC.
  • Columns were erected to celebrate a military victory, one example is the Column of Trajan (AD 106-13) which tells a story of a Roman military victory through a relief that spirals around a column.
  • The statue of Constantine the Great the first Christian emperor is impressie for its scale: the head along is more than 8 feet tall.
  • the only Roman paintins are murals that were painted on the walls.
  • The philosophical traditions of Greece migrated to Rome. Beginning in the second century BC Stoicism ws the dominant Roman philosophy.
  • Virgi, 70-19 BC wrote the Aeneid, a heroic account of the founding of Rome and the Roman empire.


Utilizing this link:
You are assigned one section of the first book of the Aeneid. You are to read this section and then go to the discussion page where you will find an entry marked "Aeneid". There you will write an entry telling what YOUR interpretation is of the section you have been assigned to. When posting your entry be sure to lead with your title. Your assignments are as follows:
Everyone will read the "Invocation to the Muse"
Austin Aguinaga: The Anger of Juno
Sydney Banks: Juno Asks Aeolus for Help
John Brown: Aeolus Raises the Storm
Taylor Carter: Neptune Intervenes
Matthew Chuning: Shelter on the Libyan Coast
Lane Davis: Venus Intercedes with Jupiter
Brayden Denton: Jupiter’s Prophecy
Dava Hanly: Venus Speaks to Aeneas
Case Henderson: She Directs Him to Dido’s Palace
Colt Henderson: The Temple of Juno
Cody Klutts: The Frieze
Summer Shaw: The Arrival of Queen Dido
Kaleb Smith: Ilioneus Asks Her Assistance
Tony Taylor: Dido Welcomes the Trojans
Colten Tisdale: Aeneas Makes Himself Known
Carson Virden: Dido Receives Aeneas
Once you have completed your post you can receive an additional 10 bonus points for completing one of the following excerpts.Bonus points will be awarded to the first three people who post their answers.
Bonus; Cupid Impersonates Ascanius
Bonus: Cupid Deceives Dido
Bonus: Dido Asks for Aeneas’s Story

Discussion Questions

Students will make an initial post to two Discussion Questions for each week. Students will also post a minimum of two responses to Discussion Questions. The use of Discussion Questions allows for students to exchange ideas and knowledge to certain subjects. It is also important that students read each of the entries, even if it doesn't pertain to the questions that they addressed. The reasoning for this is that the exchange of information allows for further learner and a better understanding of the material. You are to go to the "Discussion" section to find the Discussion Questions for this week.

Performance Objectives

Each week students will be required to perform one of the Performance Objectives that has not been answered by another student. The purpose of the Performance Objective is to take the information you have learned to another level through researching the material through online sources and posting the additional information in your answer. This means that you will become the expert on this subject so when questions are raised by your peers you will need to answer them to the best of your ability. Students will also be required to post a response to two of your peers Performance Objectives giving you a chance to ask questions and comment on the material so that you can learn more about the subject. Students are to go to the "Discussion" section and post their answers in the Performance Objectives section.

Performance Objective Questions

Students are to answer one Performance Objective. You are also responsible to respond to a minimum of two Performance Objectives by your peers. You are to go to the "Discussion" section to find the Discussion Questions for this week.
5.1 What are the chief features of Etruscan culture and religion? What light do they cast on the problem of the Etruscans origins?
5.2 Explain to me how Roman art and culture are late and debased forms of Hellenistic art.
5.3 In what ways does the Aeneid fulfill its aim to provide the Romans with a national epic?
5.4 Compare the Aeneid in this respect to the Greek epics, the Iliad and Odyssey.
5.5 Describe in detail Augustus's use of the visual arts as instruments of propaganda. Are there comparable examples of the arts used for political purposes in recent times?
5.6 What do the discoveries at Rome and Pompeii tell us about daily life in the Roman Empire? In what significant respects did it differ from life today?
5.7 Many believe that Constantine's movement of the Roman capital to Constantinople was the beginning of the downfall of the Roman Empire. Explain how the movement of the capital led to devastating end of the Roman Empire.


Reflecting on what you have learned is a very important step in the learning process. The student is to write a 1 to 2 page paper telling about their learning experience and the material that was covered that week. This is an excellent time for the student to ask questions about areas they had difficulty understanding, that wasn't answered in their discussion questions. You can post your reflections in the Discussion section look for "Reflections" to post you thoughts to.

Museum Web Link

After reading the material for the week students are to do a web search to find additional information on a subject that was covered in the reading. Example would be the Mona Lisa by Leonarda da Vinci. The student could take a tour of the Louve and tell about the experience of this virtual tour of the museum and seeing the Mona Lisa on display. The student will be required to share this information by posting their thoughts about the tour and also post the web link for others to have an opportunity to take the tour. Invariably, students will post the same link from time to time, but your interpretations should be different as each of your opinions will reflect the likes and dislikes of the individual. Students are to post your museum web link with your opinion by going to the Discussion section and look for "Museum Web Link" to post your link and response.