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Classics & Ancient History   >   Virgil: Aeneid: Book 2

The Aeneid as Epic

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Virgil: Aeneid: Book 2

In this course Professor Llewelyn Morgan (University of Oxford) explores Book 2 of Virgil’s Aeneid. In the first lecture, we think about the Aeneid as an epic poem. In the second, we explore some of the connections between Troy and Rome, before turning in the following lecture to the relationship between Virgil and Homer. In the fourth lecture, we consider Aeneas’ activities in Troy, focusing in particular on his lack of knowledge of what is required of him, while in the fifth lecture we provide a close reading (in Latin) of three moments in Book 2.

The Aeneid as Epic

In this lecture we think about the Aeneid as epic, focusing in particular on: (i) the importance, when reading ancient literature, of thinking about its genre; (ii) some of the key characteristics of epic poetry, including its distinctive metre (dactylic hexameter), and the presence of gods, heroes and monsters; (iii) the fact that the heroes in Roman epic are bigger and better than ordinary people, but not supernaturally so; (iv) the ‘bigness’ of epic – of its heroes, of the events which it describes, and of the very length of the poem; (v) the contribution of similes to the ‘bigness’ of epic and its characters; and (vi) the epic credentials of the city of Troy itself, and the significance of the fact that Virgil delays describing the fall of Troy until Book 2 of the Aeneid.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Morgan, L. (2022, October 24). Virgil: Aeneid: Book 2 - The Aeneid as Epic [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Morgan, L. "Virgil: Aeneid: Book 2 – The Aeneid as Epic." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 Oct 2022,


Prof. Llewelyn Morgan

Prof. Llewelyn Morgan

University of Oxford