The Aeneid

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss ‘The Aeneid’. Out of the tragedy and destruction of the Trojan wars came a man heading West, his father on his back and his small son holding his hand. This isn’t Odysseus, it’s Aeneas and in that vision Virgil gives an image of the very first Romans of the Empire.Virgil’s Aeneid was the great epic poem that formed a founding narrative of Rome. It made such an impact on its audience that it soon became a standard text in all schools and wiped away the myths that preceded it. It was written in Augustus’ reign at the start of the Imperial era and has been called an apologia for Roman domination; it has also been called the greatest work of literature ever written.How much was Virgil’s poem influenced by the extraordinary times in which it was written? How does it transcend the political pressures of Imperial patronage and what are the qualities that make it such a universal work?

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  • Edith Hall 19 episodes
    Leverhulme Professor of Greek Cultural History, Durham University
  • Philip Hardie No other episodes
    Corpus Christi Professor of Latin at the University of Oxford
  • Catharine Edwards 9 episodes
    Senior Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History, Birkbeck College, University of London

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Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. Out of the tragedy and destruction of the Trojan Wars came a man heading west.