Ab Urbe Condita: Roman History on the Shield of Aeneas
This chapter offers a reading of the shield of Aeneas that shows civil war to be disturbingly present in an artefact announced as a history of Rome's triumphs: civil war fights for space with the more uplifting narratives with which it is juxtaposed on the shield. The analysis shows the poet communicating both his sense of Rome's history of civil war and the impossibility of telling that history outright: one can only suggest, sketch, allude, align.
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