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intentionally developed into a heroic type in the course of the story—a type which every Roman would recognise as his own natural ideal. And this growth is the direct result of religious influence. It is partly the result of the hero's own natural pietas, innate within him from the first, as it was in the breast of every noble Roman; partly the result of a gradually enlarged recognition of the will of God, and partly of the strengthening and almost sacramental process of the journey to Hades, of the revelation there made of the mysteries of life and death, and of the great future which Jupiter and the Fates have reserved for the Roman people. In these three influences Virgil has summed up all the best religious factors of his day: the instinct of the Roman for religious observance, with all its natural effect on conduct; the elevating Stoic doctrine which brought man into immediate relation with the universal; and, lastly, the tendency to mysticism, Orphic or Pythagorean, which tells of a yearning in the soul of man to hope for a life beyond this, and to make of this life a meet preparation for that other.

Only one word more. We can hardly doubt the truth of the story that the poet died earnestly entreating that this greatest work of his life should perish with him, and this may aptly remind us that though I have been treating the Aeneid as a poem of religion and morals, yet, after all, Virgil was a poet rather than a preacher, and thought of his Aeneid, not as a sermon, but as a work of art. Had he thought of it as a sermon he could hardly have wished to deprive the Roman world of it. The true poet is never a preacher except in so far as he is a poet. If the Greeks thought of their poets as teachers, says the late Prof. Jebb, "this was simply a recognition of poetry as the highest influence, intellectual and spiritual, that they knew." "It was not merely a recreation of their leisure, but a power pervading and moulding their whole existence." Surely this is also true of Virgil, and of the best at least of his Roman readers. No one can read the sixth Aeneid, the greatest effort of his genius, without feeling

that poetry was all in all to him; that learning, legend, philosophy, religion, whatever in the whole range of human thought and fancy entered his mind, emerged from it as poetry and poetry only.


1. Sellar, Virgil, p. 371.

2. Sainte-Beuve, Étude sur Virgile, p. 68.

3. Horace, Epode 16, where, however, he is not quite so much in earnest as in Odes iii. 6. Sallust, prefaces to Jugurtha and Catiline:

these do not ring quite true.

4. Georg. iv. 511 foll.

5. Georg. iii. 440 foll.

The famous lines (498 foll.) about the

horse smitten with pestilence will occur to every one.

6. Aen. vi. 309.

7. Op. cit. p. 231.

He cites Georg. i. 107 and 187 foll.

8. Sellar, Virgil, p. 232.

9. Georg. iv. 221 foll.

10. Georg. ii. 493.

11. Prof. Hardie recently asked me an explanation of the double altar that we meet with more than once in Virgil in connection with funeral rites: e.g., Ecl. 5. 66; Aen. iii. 305; v. 77 foll. Servius tries to explain this, but clearly did not understand it. Of course I could offer no satisfactory solution. Yet we are both certain that there is a satisfactory one if we could only get at it.

12. Much has been written about the part of the Fates in the Aeneid and their relation to Jupiter. See Heinze, Vergils epische Technik, p. 286 foll.; Glover, Studies in Virgil, 202 and 277 foll. I may be allowed to refer also to my Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 342 foll.

13. Aen. i. 257 foll., vi. 756 foll., viii. 615 foll.

14. Suggestions preliminary to a Study of the Aeneid, p. 36.

15. It is not likely to strike us unless we read the whole Aeneid through, without distracting our minds with other reading, and this few of us do. I did it some ten years ago; before that the development of character had not dawned on me fully. I later on found it shortly but clearly set forth in Heinze's Vergils epische Technik, p. 266 foll.; and this caused me to read the poem through once more, with the result that I became confirmed in my view, and read a paper on the subject to the Oxford Philological Society, which I have in part embodied in this lecture.

16. This is dwelt on in Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 124 foll.

17. De Republica, vi. 15.

18. It may be as well to note here that the actual representation of God in the Aeneid is its weakest point. It was an epic poem, and could not dispense with the Homeric machinery: hence Jupiter is practically the representative of the Stoic all-pervading deity, with the Fates behind him. But it is not unlikely that Virgil may thus have actually helped to make the way clear for a nobler monotheistic idea by damaging Jupiter in the course of this treatment; see Social Life at Rome in the Age of Cicero, p. 341 foll.

19. On the Homeric Aeneas there are some good remarks in Boissier's Nouvelles Promenades archaeologiques (Horace et Virgile), p. 130 foll. Of all the Homeric heroes he seems to come nearest, though but slightly sketched, to the Roman ideal of heroism.

20. Heinze, Vergils epische Technik, p. 17.

21. I should be disposed to consider this passage as decisive of the point, but that it immediately follows upon the doubtful lines 567-588, in which Aeneas is tempted in his mad fury to slay Helen; and if those lines are not Virgil's, we have not suffi cient explanation of the rebuke which Venus here administers to her son. On the other hand, if they were really Virgil's, and omitted (as Servius declares) by the original editors Tucca and Varius, we should have a convincing proof that the poet meant his hero, in these terrible scenes, to come so short of the true Roman heroic type as to be capable of slaying a woman in cold blood, and while a suppliant at an altar of the gods. Into this much-disputed question I must not go farther, except to note that while Heinze is absolutely confident that Virgil never wrote these lines, the editor of the new Oxford text of Virgil is equally certain that he did. My opinion is of no value on such a point; but I am disposed to agree with Mr. Hirtzel that "versus valde Vergilianos, ab optimis codicibus omissos, iniuria obleverunt Tucca et Varius." They are certainly in keeping with the picture of Aeneas' impotentia which is generally suggested in Book ii. If it should be argued that this impotentia, i.e. want of self-control, is only put into the mouth of Aeneas in order to heighten the effect of his stirring narrative, it will be well to remember the remonstrances of Venus, which make such a hypothesis impossible.

22. Op. cit. p. 231.

23. Vergils epische Technik, p. 113 foll.

24. The original story was, that unable to escape from an enforced marriage with Iarbas, she killed herself to mark her unflinching faithfulness to her first husband Sicharbas. Servius quotes Varro as stating that it was not Dido, but Anna who committed suicide for love of Aeneas (on Aen. iv. 682); and as Varro died before the Aeneid was begun, this may be taken as proving that Virgil's version of the love-story was not his own invention. But it is quite possible that Servius here only means that Varro's version differed in this point from that which the poet soon after

wards adopted; it may be that the story in the poem is thus practically his own.

25. Op. cit. p. 116.

26. Ancient Lives of Vergil, Clarendon Press, 1879.

27. The critics have, I think, been weaker in dealing with the fifth book than with any of the others. Prof. Tyrrell is too violent in his contempt for it to admit of quotation here. Heinze has some good and acute remarks on Virgil's motive in placing the book where it is, but seems to me to miss the real importance of it (op. cit. 140 foll.). Even Boissier, whose delightful account of the scenery of Eryx should be read by every one who would appreciate this book (op. cit. p. 232), goes so far as to say that it is the one book with which we feel we might easily dispense so far as the story is concerned.

28. Roman Festivals, p. 307. 29. Op. cit. p. 270.


30. Commentary on Dante's Divina Commedia, pp. 615 foll. am indebted for this reference to Stewart's Myths of Plato, p. 367.

31. Nettleship remarked most truly that there is no better way of appreciating the heroic Aeneas of these last books than by studying carefully the early part of the eleventh.



IT is a long descent from the inspiring idealism of Virgil to the cool, tactical attempt of Augustus to revive the outward forms of the old religion. It seems strange that two men so different in character and upbringing should have been working in the same years in the same direction, yet on planes so far apart. How far the two were directly connected in their work we cannot know for certain. It is said that the subject of the Aeneid was suggested to Virgil by Augustus, and it is quite possible that this may be true; but it by no means follows from this that the inspiration of the poem came from any other source but Virgil's own thought and feeling. We also know that Augustus from the first appreciated the Aeneid, and that he saved it for all time; but it is by no means clear that it inspired him in his efforts towards moral and religious regeneration. Perhaps the truth is that both were moved by the wave of mingled depression and hope that swept over Italy for some years after the death of Julius, and that each used his experience in his own way and according to his opportunities. They had at least this in common, that they utilised the past to encourage the present age, and that by filling old forms and names with new meaning they set men's minds upon thinking of the future.1

Yet the revival of the State religion by Augustus is at once the most remarkable event in the history of the Roman religion, and one almost unique in religious

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