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What does Jupiter have to say about it ?
Image taken from an edition of Vergil's books dated MDCCXVI
To see image in big size (255K)
hominum sator atque deorum
To read an english translation
1- In this passage, determine the elements of the communication situation : who is speaking ? To whom ? Why ?
2- Vergil is one of Augustus' contemporaries ; here he narrates the origins of Rome : in what tense ought he be writing ? Which tense is mainly used in this text ? How would you explain this contradiction ? What effect is produced on the reader (or the listener : at the time of Vergil, the text was often read or recited) ?
3- Make the connection
between this text and the mythological and allegorical friezes of the Ara
4- Which low relief of the Ara Pacis can you compare (to underline points in common and differences) with this description of the Furor impius described in the last sentence ? Justify your answer.
5- Look for the
points in common, accentuated in this text, between Aeneas and Augustus (called
by the name of "Caesar") ; here are three main areas of research :
- family ties,
- their fate on earth,
- what happens after their death.
Why does Vergil insist on the similarities between these two people.
6- "Aspera tum positis mitescent saecula bellis;
cana Fides et Vesta, Remo cum fratre Quirinus
jura dabunt; dirae ferro et compagibus arctis
claudentur Belli portae."
Which period is designated by the word "tum" ? What kind of progress did this period bring (be careful : look for the meaning of the closing of the "gates of war") ? Find the subjects : is progress attributed to anyone in an explicit way ? Who is being implicitly referred to over these few lines ?
7- Summarise your
research on this text and the four mythological bas-reliefs of the Ara Pacis :
- which term(s) do you feel would be the most appropriate to qualify them : descriptive, explanatory, narrative, argumentative ?
- Which purposes are common to the text and images ?
Further research :
From when dates the english translation given to you here ?
The ancient translations opted for elegance of sentence structure and rhythm of sentences. The exactness of the translation was not a priority : try to find some examples by comparing the Latin text with its translation.
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