Summary of seminar notes for Virgil's "The Aeneid"

Essay by bocwytee03High School, 11th gradeA+, November 2004

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Throughout this seminar, many comparisons were made. The United States' dominance was compared to that of Rome and Greece. The founding of the Americas was compared to the founding of Rome. The Trojan's genuine peaceful intentions were compared to the intentions of the American settlers that were not always truly peaceful. Dido's story to Aeneas'. Turnus' death to the bombing of Hiroshima. The entire story of the Aeneid, although from ancient times, can still be compared to modern history and current events.

The first point that was made in the seminar was that the US is a superpower, but why can we call ourselves that? Simply put, we are the richest nation with the greatest military strength, our government gives the people individual liberties unknown to people from many other countries, and we offer foreign aid more than any other country. Greece was the world's only superpower in ancient times for reasons very different from ours: they conquered Persia.

The original founding of America can be compared to the founding of Rome, but there are some differences. Aeneas was forced to leave Troy because it was destroyed, while the English chose to leave their home because of religious oppression. But both peoples from both time periods left their homes without a guaranteed place to call their own. They both became fugitives, or exiles, when they left their homes in search of a new one.

Dido and Aeneas have many similarities, but Dido is a much more developed and tangible character. (This is why her loss was so devastating. It seems that her death was a sacrifice required for the founding and eventual success of Rome. But why? This question was left unanswered.) Both Dido and Aeneas were fugitives when they left their old way of life in...