One of the themes of The Aeneid is the danger of the temptation of the false homecoming. Aeneas is marked by destiny and called by the gods to found Rome, described in messianic terms. It will be heaven on earth. The plot of the epic is driven by Aeneas’ attempt to make it to this Promised Land, but along the way he is diverted by counterfeit homes.
This week I finished my first-year teaching online with the CiRCE Academy. I was privileged to teach Classical Rhetoric and Greek & Roman Epics to some amazing students. My encounter with these young men and women challenged me to think more clearly, read more deeply, teach more passionately, and to repent more often.
I never did well accepting the nasally comments by professors about the flaws in great books. For some reason, and I think that reason is the amount of time my family and church directed by attention to the Bible, I started out liking glib answers but came in pretty rapid order to dislike them.
- "Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto", or "I am a human being, I consider nothing that is human alien to me."
- "Know thyself."
We are reading The Aeneid in my Ancient Literature class, and we've just spent a few days watching Troy burn to the ground. It is epic.
“Suddenly, right before their eyes, look, a potent marvel destined to shape the future!”
The Aeneid, Book V. ll. 575-6