On 9/14/06, Martin Hughes <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
I rather like to think (which is no reason to think) that V understood, in  a
rational way, that the Empire was bound to receive an intellectual
contribution from a certain variety of races: as indeed it was.

Virgil talks about the richness of Rome's mixed heritage at several
points in the narrative. The most obvious contribution is linguistic:
in bk. 12, Jupiter prophies that the Trojan conquerors will forget
their own language and speak Latin (bk. 12). Certain military customs
are also derived from the latini, such as naval trophies made from
beaks of ships (bk. 7).

Race mixing seems to be the norm everywhere. Dido comes from what is
now Lebanon, Aeneas from what is now Turkey. Both are expected to
marry with the local nobility, Dido in Africa, Aeneas in Italy.
Pallas, we are told in book 8, has a Greek father and a Sabine mother.

For Virgil, this was personal. Mantua, where he grew up, didn't get
citizenship until Virgil was in his teens. That's the history. The
fiction, in Virgil's epic, is that Tuscany has always been part of
Rome, because its armies were allied with Aeneas. Mantua, in
particular, is described as a racial melting pot, a "three-fold race"
(10.202, gens...triplex), "rich in ancestry" (10.201, diues auis).

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Dr. David Wilson-Okamura    http://virgil.org          david@virgil.org
English Department          Virgil reception, discussion, documents, &c
East Carolina University    Sparsa et neglecta coegi. -- Claude Fauchet
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