CLAS1010: Roman Culture, Exam 2

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EPIC
a long, narrative poem that is written about a hero/quasi-divine character and his respective journey, one which usually has a grand purpose; the hero’s actions typically affect a people or nation; started out in the oral tradition but were eventually transposed into writing; examples are Beowulf, the Iliad, and the Odyssey
• the hero is usually someone of extreme importance who possesses some divine qualities and is greater than the average man; the setting usually covers great geographical distances, perhaps even trips to the Underworld or other worlds; the hero usually commits superhuman deeds or exhibits extreme courage and strength; “machinery” (the intervention of gods or the supernatural) often plays a role in epic; the style of writing is elevated; the epic may open with a statement of the theme; the writer may invoke a Muse, one of the nine daughters of Zeus, for divine inspiration so that he may continue with his story; the tale usually begins ‘in medias res’; catalogs and genealogies are used by the author, usually to pay respects to the readers’/audience’s ancestors
“IN MEDIAS RES”
literally translated as “in the middle of things”; epics usually begin ‘in medias res’ in order to give the story a more involved feel; the character is usually at his lowest point and
DACTYLIC HEXAMETER
the traditional meter for epic poetry; each line is composed of 6 feet, each made up of dactyls—dactyls follow the long-short-short pattern
INVOCATION
an author of epic poetry typically invokes a Muse for divine inspiration; Virgil invokes a Muse in Book I to help him in his retelling of Aeneas’s journey
AENEAS
the main character and protagonist in the Aeneid; the son of Anchises and the goddess Venus; the husband of Creusa (daughter of Priam and Hecuba) and father of Ascanius; half-divine human being who fights alongside the Trojans in the Trojan War; escapes Troy with his father, son, and a crew of Trojans; is told by Helenus that the Fates have destined him to found a new city in Italy; journeys through the Mediterranean and undergoes many tribulations on account of Juno’s anger against him and his people; becomes the lover of Dido but abandons her at Carthage
JUNO
the wife of Jupiter (Zeus); hates the Trojans on account of Paris’s judgment against her in a beauty contest; a patron of Carthage and knows that Aeneas’s descendents will destroy it; takes her anger out on Aeneas throughout the entire Aeneid and is considered to be the main divine protagonist
THE JUDGMENT OF PARIS
one of the events that led up to the Trojan War and, ultimately, the founding of Rome; is a major factor behind Juno’s anger towards the Trojans; the story goes that Zeus held a wedding reception in the honor of Peleus and Thetis without inviting Eris, the goddess of discord; Eris shows up to the reception, where she throws a golden apple engraved with the description “for the fairest one”; 3 goddesses, Juno, Minerva, and Venus, claim the apple; they ask Zeus to determine which of them is the fairest, but he declines and defers them to Paris, whom he deems to be extremely fair; Paris was found on Mt. Ida when the 3 goddesses approached him; each goddess offered Paris a prize if he were to deem them the fairest of the 3: Hera offered to make him king of Europe and Asia, Athena offered wisdom and skill in war, and Aphrodite offered the love of the world’s most beautiful woman, Helen of Sparta; Paris accepted Aphrodite’s gift and was awarded Helen’s hand, much to Menelaus’s anger; the Greeks then attacked Troy in order to retrieve Helen, with the assistance of Juno (who felt scorned by Paris on account of the contest)
DARDANUS
a son of Zeus and Electra; founded the city of Dardania on Mount Ida; Aeneas is told in a dream by his ancestral Penates that “Dardanus and Father Iasius” and the Penates themselves originally came from Hesperia, which was afterward renamed Italy—this changes the course of Aeneas’s journey
GANYMEDE
a Trojan prince chosen to be the cup-bearer of the gods in place of Juno’s daughter, Hebe; this only furthers Juno’s rage against the Trojans
HEBE
the daughter of Juno who was initially the cup-bearer of the gods but was replaced by the Trojan prince, Ganymede; this only furthers Juno’s rage against the Trojans
AEOLUS
considered to be the keeper of the winds; lives in Aeolia, home of the clouds, where he guards the winds in a vast cavern; is employed by Juno to torment Aeneas by unleashing the winds during his travels over seas; is given Deiopea, a beautiful nymph, as a reward for appeasing the goddess; is punished by Neptune for disturbing his waters
ACHATES
a close friend of Aeneas who accompanies him in his journey; helps lead Aeneas to Carthage and the Sibyl of Cumae; even though is extremely loyal and trustworthy, he is not much help to Aeneas on the battlefield
DIDO
the Queen of Carthage, a city in northern Africa (now known as Tunisia); left Tyre when her first husband, Sychaeus, was killed by her brother; Aeneas’ lover; is a strong woman but becomes a pawn of the gods; commits suicide after she is left by Aeneas (her love for him becomes her downfall) by constructing a funeral pyre and stabbing herself with Aeneas’s sword
SYCHAEUS
a Tyrian prince of Hercules; married Dido, the daughter of King Mutgo; possessed considerable wealth, which he hid in the earth; was killed by Pygmalion, consumed by greed, in the hopes that his sister would lead him to Sychaeus’s hidden treasure; Dido did not grant his requests and instead founded the city of Carthage
PYGMALION
the son of King Mutgo and brother of Dido; murdered Dido’s first husband, Sychaeus, who was a Tyrian prince; was consumed by greed and hoped that, by killing her husband, his sister would reveal the location of her husband’s hidden treasure
ASCANIUS (IULUS)
the son of Aeneas and Creusa; escaped Troy with Aeneas and Anchises to Latium in Italy; fought in the Italian Wars; had a role in the founding of Rome and was the first king of Alba Longa; the Julians claimed to be descendents of Ascanius; Virgil is famous for popularizing Ascanius’ alternate name Iulus—scholars believe this was to pay his respect to Augustus Caesar, a patron of the arts, and show the Julians’ divine lineage
LAOCOON
a Trojan priest of Neptune (Poseidon); defied his gods’ rules by a) marrying and having sons and b) making love with his wife in the presence of a cult image in a sanctuary; warned the Trojans in vain about accepting the Trojan Horse from the Greeks; was executed, along with his sons, by two divine serpents sent to Troy across the sea from the island of Tenedos, where the Greeks had temporarily camped; his execution was believed by the Trojans to have come from Pallas Athene, who was angered at the fact that Laocoon struck the Trojan Horse with a spear
SINON
a Greek warrior during the Trojan War; deceived the Trojans by pretending to have deserted the Greeks and, as a Trojan captive, told the Trojans that the giant wooden horse the Greeks had left behind was intended as a gift to the gods to ensure their safe voyage home; told the Trojans that the horse was made so big that the Trojans would not be able to move it into their city, because if they did they would be invincible to later Greek invasion; also a spy that told the Greeks when the soldiers in the horse had begun their fight
CASSANDRA
the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy; the sister of Creusa; Apollo granted her the gift of prophecy on account of her tremendous beauty; when she did not return his love, Apollo placed a curse on Cassandra so that no one would ever believe her predictions; she foresaw the destruction of Rome and urged the Trojans against taking the Trojan Horse into the city
HECTOR
the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba; acts as leader of the Trojan army and considered by all to be the greatest of the Trojan warriors; killed during the War, but defends his native city until the very moment of death; Hector’s ghost appears to Aeneas in a dream and tells him to flee Troy with his holy things and household gods
PYRRHUS
also known as Neoptolemus; the Greek son of Achilles; the brutal murderer of King Priam and his sons in the Trojan War; enslaved Helenus and made Andromache (his brother’s wife) his concubine after the War; ultimately killed by Orestes after he either a) tried to take Hermione (his wife) from him, or b) denounced the god Apollo
PRIAM
the King of Troy; had several wives, but loved Hecuba most of all and was with her during the Trojan War; the father of 50 sons and 19 daughters; is slain before Aeneas’s eyes during the sacking of Troy by Pyrrhus; before dying, curses Pyrrhus for killing his son (Polites) in front of him
HECUBA
the Queen of Troy, who was married to King Priam; the mother of 19 children with Priam, which included Cassandra, Creusa, Helenus, and Hector (the most famous of them all); when she was pregnant with Paris, she dreamed she gave birth to a firebrand that set the whole city on fire (seers determined this to mean her son would ruin Troy)—as a result, Paris was exposed at birth, but survived the natural elements; persuaded Priam to stay with her and her daughters at the altar during the end of the War; both her husband and son (Polites) were slain right before her eyes by Pyrrhus; was given to Odysseus after the War
ANCHISES
a prince from Dardania; famous for being a mortal lover of the goddess Venus (Aphrodite); they had a son together named Aeneas; made the mistake of bragging about his relationship with Venus, which caused Jupiter to strike him with a thunderbolt—this left Anchises lame; was carried on the back of Aeneas as the family (Anchises, Aeneas, Creusa, Ascanius) fled the city; died on the journey to Italy and was buried in Sicily; appeared to Aeneas in a dream and told him to visit the Underworld; Aeneas saw his father in the Elysian Fields
CREUSA
the eldest daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy; the wife of Aeneas and mother of Ascanius (Iulus); was left behind at Troy during the end of the Trojan War; she was separated from her son, husband, and father-in-law when they fled the burning city; Aeneas looked for Creusa only to be visited by her ghost, who told him that he was meant to make his journey to Italy without her
HELEN
the daughter of Zeus and Leda; considered to be the most beautiful mortal woman (she had the “face that launched a thousand ships”); married to King Menelaus of Sparta; was abducted Paris of Troy, which ignited the Trojan War; in the Aeneid, Helen feigned Bacchic rites, leading a chorus of Trojan women, and, holding a torch among them, signaled to the Greeks from the city’s central tower; was given to Deiphobus after the death of Paris
LARES
groups of deities who protected the household and the state; spirits of the dead who guarded homes, crossroads, and cities; Aeneas carried the Lares with him on his journey and planted them in Italy
PENATES
groups of deities who protected the household and the state; considered to be gods of the entire household; they ensured a family’s safety and prosperity; also served as guardians of the state and an object of patriotism; considered by legend to have been the original household gods of Aeneas; Aeneas carried the Penates with him on his journey and planted them in Italy
AENEADAE
the first destination of Aeneas and his fleet upon leaving Troy; the group lands at Thrace, which used to be a territory allied to the Trojans; Aeneas decides to build a city there named Aeneadae; Aeneas makes a sacrifice to his goddess/mother Venus and pulls up a bush in order to decorate her alter; the bush drips the blood of Polydorus, and his ghost speaks to Aeneas, urging him to take his people elsewhere
THRACE
a territory allied to the Trojans; the first destination of Aeneas and his troops after leaving Troy; Aeneas tries to establish a city at Thrace named Aenaedae
POLYDORUS
the youngest son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba; Priam sent him (with a huge mass of gold) to live with the King of Thrace toward the end of the Trojan War, so that his life may be spared; when it was determined that Troy would lose the Trojan War, the King of Thrace joined forces with the Greeks and murdered Polydorus, seizing the gold; the land of Thrace was then cursed, for the laws of hospitality had been violently broken there
DELOS
an island that is sacred to Apollo; located in the center of a ring of islands; one of the most important mythological, historical, and archaeological sites in Greece; the place where the oracle at Delphi is located; when the Trojans experience a plague at Crete, Anchises suggests that the crew travel to Delos so that they may consult the oracle again (this proves unnecessary)
CRETE
Apollo speaks to Aeneas, instructing him to go to the land of his ancestors; Anchises interprets this to mean Crete, since their ancestor Teucrus ruled a kingdom there during his lifetime; Aeneas and his men arrive at Crete, where they are happy and start to build a new city until they experience a plague; Aeneas then understands that Apollo meant Hesperia (Italy), not Crete, the original home of Dardanus
HESPERIA
the intended destination of Aeneas and his men; Creusa urges Aeneas to go to Hesperia (the Greek name for Italy), but he does not remember this prophecy when Apollo instructs his fleet to go to the land of their ancestors; however, Aeneas and his people eventually navigate to Hesperia after experiencing a plague in Crete and realizing they have gone to the homeland of the wrong ancestor
THE STROPHADES
islands located in the Ionian Sea, to the west of mainland Greece; Aeneas and his men land here, where they encounter the Harpies, who inhabit the islands
THE HARPIES
the Harpies are winged spirits with the faces/breasts of women and the body of birds that inhabit the Strophades Islands; their origin is debatable, but it is said that they are sisters of Iris (the messenger of Juno), which would make sense with Juno’s role in the Aeneid; are known for constantly snatching/defiling food, tormenting their victims, and causing them to starve; they attack Aeneas and his crew members, defiling their food supply; one Harpy predicts that the Trojans will one day be so hungry that they will result to eating their tables
HELENUS
a Trojan soldier and prophet in the Trojan War; the son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy; the twin brother of the prophet Cassandra; has been said to have learned the gift of prophecy from his sister; he is the one who told Aeneas his destiny of founding a colony in Italy; he warns Aeneas to avoid Scylla & Charybdis; he also instructed Aeneas to see the Sybil of Cumae; retreated to Mount Ida after his brother Deiphobus was awarded Helen’s hand after the death of Paris; was either captured by the Greeks and forced to tell them under what conditions they could take Troy, or gave up the conditions on account of his anger at losing Helen to his brother
ANDROMACHE
the daughter of the King of Cilicean Thebe; the wife of Hector who was taken as Pyrrhus’s concubine after the Trojans lost the War; her husband was killed by Achilles and her son, Astynanax, was throw from the city walls by the Greek Herald Talthybius; when Pyrrhus died, Andromache went on to marry Helenus (who had enslaved by Pyrrhus) and become the Queen of Epirus (a new Trojan city)
SCYLLA & CHARYBDIS
two sea monsters situated on opposite sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and Calabria in Italy; located close enough to one another that no sailor could escape the death at the hands of one; Scylla sat on top of a hill and plucked sailors from ships passing by, eating them; Charybdis sucked in huge quantities of water and belched them out three times a day, which created severe whirlpools; Aeneas avoids Scylla & Charybdis at the advice of Andromache, who tells his fleet to sail along the southern coast of Italy to Sicily
MOUNT ETNA, SICILY
Andromache advises Aeneas to sail along the southern coast of Italy to Sicily in order to avoid Scylla & Charybdis; Aeneas and his crew land on a beach where Mount Etna is erupting in the distance; they encounter an abandoned Greek and the Cyclopes but manage to escape before anyone is wounded
ACHAEMENIDES
a member of Odysseus’s crew who was abandoned on a beach in Sicily when they fled Polyphemus and the Cyclopes; when Aeneas and his men reach the beach, he runs up to them extremely dirty and ragged; Achaemenides begs Aeneas to take him aboard, even though he admits to fighting in the Greek army under Ulysses; Aeneas takes pity on him and lets him join the crew; he tells Aeneas how Odysseus stabbed Polyphemus in the eye and how to avoid the dangers of the Cyclopes monsters
POLYPHEMUS & THE CYCLOPES
one-eyed, giant monsters located near Mount Etna on the beach near Southern Italy (Sicily); the offspring of Poseidon and Thoosa; they live in caves and look after divine flocks of sheep, eating them and any stranded sailors along the way; Polyphemus has had his eye gouged out by Ulysses, but is still alive; Aeneas and his men come across Achaemenides, an abandoned member of Odysseus’s crew and take him aboard; the Cyclopes spot Aeneas’ crew, but they depart too quickly
ACESTES
the King of Sicily; he is initially introduced in Book 5, where he participates in the funeral games held in the honor of Aeneas’s deceased father, Anchises; Acestes participates in an archery contest, in which each contestor must aim for a dove that has been tied to the mast of a ship; Acestes shoots an arrow into the air and it bursts into flames; Aeneas interprets this as a sign from Jupiter that Acestes deserves the highest honor; some claim that Acestes welcomed Aeneas when he first arrived to Sicily, and that those of his crew who were weary from traveling were allowed to remain among Acestes’ people
ANNA
the sister and confidante of Dido, Queen of Carthage; is instructed by her sister to build a pyre so that she may burn all of Aeneas’s things; complies by this wish only to find that her sister has climbed onto the funeral pyre and stabbed herself with Aeneas’ sword
IARBAS
the nymph son of Hammon, a North African god associated with Jupiter; fell in love with the Carthaginian queen Dido, who rejected his advances in favor of Aeneas; became the king of Gaetulia
CLOANTHUS
a companion of Aeneas who is initially featured in Book 5 of the Aeneid, in which the funeral games are played in honor of Aeneas’s deceased father, Anchises; Cloanthus participates in the boat race, the first of the funeral games, and is in the blue-green ship Scylla, which places first (Cloanthus calls upon the gods of the sea and promises to offer a sacrificial white bull if he wins)
EURYALUS
a character initially featured in Book 5 of the Aeneid, in which the funeral games are played; is noted for his close bond with Nisus; wins a foot race on account of Nisus tripping his competition; breaks into the Rutulian camp with Nisus in an attempt to kill the enemy; is spotted (when carrying the helmet of a Rutulian general), captured, and executed; critics question whether or not Euryalus’ relationship with Nisus is homosexual in nature
NISUS
a character initially featured in Book 5 of the Aeneid, in which the funeral games are played; is noted for his close bond with Euryalus; performs in a foot race and is initially in the lead, but slips in blood and waste of animals who were sacrificed; in order to ensure that Euryalus will win the race, he trips another runner; breaks into the Rutulian camp with Euryalus in an attempt to kill the enemy; is forced to watch from a hiding place while his friend is executed; kills several of Euryalus’s murderers but dies in the process; critics question whether or not Nisus’ relationship with Euryalus is homosexual in nature
DARES
a character initially featured in Book 5 of the Aeneid, in which the funeral games are played; immediately volunteers to play in a boxing match, which intimidates the crowd (he is noted for challenging Butes in the funeral games for Hector and leaving him to die); is fought by Entellus and loses horribly (Aeneas has to stop the fight so that Dares doesn’t get killed)
ENTELLUS
a character initially featured in Book 5 of the Aeneid, in which the funeral games are played; a Sicilian who was instructed by Eryx, the half-brother of Aeneas, in the art of fighting; considered by others to be the “greatest of heroes,” but does not believe in himself due to his old age; initially falters, but fights Dares with ordinary gloves and ultimately wins; kills a bull with one punch to show the crowd how Dares would have met his end if he had persisted in fighting him
MENELAUS
the King of Sparta who married Helen, the most beautiful mortal woman in the world; made a pact to wage war with anyone who tried to steal his bride; Paris’ abduction of Helen sparked the Trojan War; his brother, Agamemnon, led the Greek army during the War
JUTURNA
the goddess of fountains, wells, and springs; a sister of Turnus who supported him against Aeneas by giving him his sword after he dropped it in battle; also took her brother away from battled when it seemed he would get killed; the wife of Janus and mother of Fontus; was given a sacred well in Lavinium, Latium, as well as another one near the temple to Vesta; had an affair with Jupiter but the secret was betrayed by another nymph, Laru
DREPANUM
now known as Trapani; a city on the west coast of Sicily in Italy; after leaving the beach where Polyphemus and the Cyclopes are located, Aeneas and his troops sail along the coast of Italy and arrive at Drepanum, where Anchises dies
MOUNT IDA
a mountain in northwestern Turkey, southeast of the ruins of Troy; Anchises, the father of Aeneas, was tending sheep on Mt. Ida when he was seduced by Venus; this is the place where Aeneas and his troops built their ships in safety before they set sail to the west
CELAENO
one of the Harpies whom Aeneas encounters at the Strophades; this is the Harpy who curses the Trojans, telling Aeneas that he would one day see his people endure a famine so cruel that they would result to eating their tables
ACTIUM
a promontory on the northwestern coast of Greece off which Octavian defeated Antony and Cleopatra in a naval battle (31 B.C.); the Battle of Actium is depicted in the center of Aeneas’s shield
BUTHROTUM (EPIRUS)
said to have been founded by survivors from Troy, led by Aeneas, after it was burned down by the Greeks; however, the island was ruled by Helenus and Andromache; when Aeneas and his men arrive here, there is an emotional meeting among the Trojan survivors; the members of Aeneas’s army who are too weak to go on remain here and become a part of Epirus’s kingdom
“IUSUS TROIAE”
translated as the “game of Troy”; a display of horsemanship which Virgil uses to conclude Book 5; a ceremonial equine procession performed by the noble youths (ex: Ascanius); however, during the Iusus Troiae, Juno appears in the garb of a Trojan woman and plays with the Trojan women’s emotions, convincing them that there is no point in going on with their journey; she convinces them to set fire to the fleet of ships; the woman, momentarily taken with madness, follow her instructions; Jupiter fixes the situation by sending down a shower of rain almost instantly; the funeral games are meant to parallel Augustus Caesar’s Actian games
TARTARUS
a deep, gloomy place, pit, or abyss used as a dungeon of torment and suffering that resides beneath the Underworld; this is the place where sinners are sent; Virgil describes it in the Aeneid as a gigantic place, surrounded by the flaming river Phlegethon and triple walls to prevent sinners from escaping from it; it is guarded by a hydra with fifty black gaping jaws, which sits at a screeching gate protected by columns of solid adamantine, a substance akin to diamond—so hard that nothing will cut through it; inside, there is a castle with wide walls, and a tall iron turret; Tisiphone, one of the Erinyes who represents revenge, stands guard sleepless at the top of this turret lashing a whip; there is a pit inside which is said to extend down into the earth twice as far as the distance from the lands of the living to Olympus; at the bottom of this pit lie the Titans, the twin sons of Aloeus and many other sinners; still more sinners are contained inside Tartarus, with punishments similar to those of Greek myth
CHARON
the ferryman of Hades who carries souls of the newly deceased across the River Styx that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead; in order to pass, one must pay Charon a coin (usually an obolus or danake); sometimes this coin was stuck in the mouth of the dead; Virgil describes Charon as “A sordid god: down from his hairy chin / A length of beard descends, uncombed, unclean; / His eyes, like hollow furnaces on fire; / A girdle, foul with grease, binds his obscene attire”
THE ACHERON
literally means “a river of woe”; located in the Epirus region of northwest Greece; believed to be a branch of the Acheron river in the Underworld, which Charon uses to ferry souls across into Hades; mentioned by Virgil in Book 6 of the Aeneid, when Aeneas goes down to the Underworld
PALINURUS
a helmsman of one of Aeneas’s ships who was visited by the God of Sleep in the form of Phorbas; Phorbas told Palinurus to rest his eyes and stop trying to sail with such speed across the waters; Palinurus refuses to let go of the helm and said he would not trust Aeneas to navigate the ships; the god took a branch dripping with the water of Lethe for forgetfulness and the water of Styx for sleep and shook it over Palinurus; soon, the helmsman fell fast asleep; then the god leaned over him, picked him up, and threw him into the sea; Palinurus called to his comrades, but they did not hear him; in the middle of the night, Aeneas sensed that the ship was adrift and took the helm; all grieved over the loss of his friend
MISENUS
a brother-in-arms of Hector and Aeneas’ trumpeter after his death; challenged the gods to a musical contest on the conch shell, and for his impudence was drowned by Triton, who was jealous; Aeneas was later told by the Cumaean Sibyl that Misenus’ body had to be buried before he could enter the Underworld
BEROE
the elderly Trojan woman who Juno appears as during the Iusus Troiae; the goddess appeals to the Trojan women’s emotions, many of whom are tired of sailing and wish to settle in Drepanum; she urges them to set fire to the Trojan ships so that they will be unable to continue their journey; when the women see the goddess’s true form, they are stunned into action; Aeneas sees the fire in time to appeal to Jupiter, who quenches the flames with a heavy rain

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