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Classics & Ancient History   >   Virgil: Aeneid: Book 6

Virgil’s Aeneid

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Virgil: Aeneid: Book 6

In this course, Professor Llewelyn Morgan (University of Oxford) explores Book 6 of Virgil’s Aeneid. It will be particularly useful for those reading Book 6 of the Aeneid as their verse set text for OCR Latin GCSE (J282). In the first lecture, we provide a broad introduction to Virgil’s Aeneid as a whole, as well as to Book 6 in particular. In the second lecture, we look a little more closely at some episodes in Book 6, before turning in the third module to think about Virgil’s use of similes in Book 6, as well as his success in communicating the sheer strangeness of the land of the dead in his poetry.

Virgil’s Aeneid

In this lecture we provide a broad introduction to Virgil’s Aeneid as a whole, and to Book 6 in particular, focusing in particular on: (i) what happens in the Aeneid: Aeneas’ mission to found the city of Lavinium (a precursor to Rome) following the destruction of his home city, Troy; (ii) the division of Aeneid into twelve books, which can broadly divided into two halves: Aeneas’s travels from Troy to Italy (Books 1-6), Aeneas in Italy (Books 7-12); (iii) the extent to which Book 6 serves as a transition from the first half of the poem to the second; (iv) the extent to which Aeneas is aware of his destiny as the founder of Rome, and the extent to which this knowledge is sharpened by his visit to the Underworld; (v) the importance of Aeneas’ father, Anchises, in guiding Aeneas on his mission, and the problems faced by Aeneas after the death of Anchises at end of Book 3; (vi) the advice that Aeneas receives from his (now dead) father in the Underworld in Book 6; (vii) the political context for Virgil’s Aeneid: the political stability provided by Augustus following decades of civil war; (viii) the extent to which Virgil engages with his literary predecessors, especially Homer and Ennius; (ix) the influence of Aeneas’ descent to the Underworld on later authors, including Dante Alighieri, Rick Riordan, Philip Pullman, and John Milton.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Morgan, L. (2023, February 09). Virgil: Aeneid: Book 6 - Virgil’s Aeneid [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Morgan, L. "Virgil: Aeneid: Book 6 – Virgil’s Aeneid." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Feb 2023,


Prof. Llewelyn Morgan

Prof. Llewelyn Morgan

University of Oxford