8. Study Questions Copy

Aeneas was the father of Ascanius, whose lineage culminated in Romulus, who supposedly founded Rome in the eighth century BC. 

Julius Caesar’s family, the Julians supposedly believed themselves to be descended from Venus through her offspring with the mortal Ascanius, Aeneas. Augustus was Caesar’s adoptive son (he was in fact his great nephew but was adopted in Caesar’s will). 

He was a refugee from the east, fleeing from a defeated nation, so may have theoretically been tainted in the eyes of a culture that venerated military strength and supremacy. 

No historical sources existed for the early years of Italian history, much of it consisting of myths and legends, which inevitably meant reworkings of the material over time. Also, Livy was an historian but Ovid and Virgil both poets, as was Homer (who was working in an oral tradition stretching back to the Bronze Age). 

They were all writing during the age of Augustus, and Augustus was keen to promote his connections to Aeneas, as a new founder of a Rome reborn from the ashes of the civil wars that had torn the late Republic apart. This will have inevitably influenced the way Aeneas was portrayed and the values that he embodied. 


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