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The Aneid Shield Description

Essay by   •  March 2, 2011  •  327 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,666 Views

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We chose the she wolf and the twins to sit in the center because it is the defining image symbolizing Rome and its creation. All the scenes around it stem from this iconic beginning. It also represents the internal struggle Rome faced on a number of occasions, where brother and friend were forced to take arms against each other. The panel with senate follows this theme of struggle, this time in a political and verbal setting. The depiction of the original Senate recalls visions of the great Roman Republic, before the time of the Caesar's. The scenes of the Battle of Actium and the sacking of Carthage follow themes of struggle and betrayal, where friends would be forced to shed blood. These wars and conflicts shaped and dictated the changing face of the empire. The scene of the struggling gods represents the Roman's tolerance of the religions of the subjugated, so long as they paid tribute; but, as shown in the panel, the Roman gods always stand taller, representing their superior culture. The scene of Augustus Caesar's triumph represents both the rise (with the spoils) and eventual fall (the white horse) of the Roman Empire. Still, though the omen of decline is present, the majority of the panel is filled with glory.

Our shield portrays a slightly different message than Virgil's, while sticking to the same general theme of progression. Virgil, much of time, employs contrasting themes on opposite parts of the shield, as with Cato and Catiline, and Caesar and his conquered nations. We focused less on opposing themes and more on highlighting scenes that either directly represented the republic or depicted important moments in its history. Also, the entire shield described by Virgil is subtly representative of August Caesar and his victories. Virgil gives him much more attention than any other subject. We felt that he alone did not deserve such recognition.

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