Question 2 Talking Points

2. Describe some of the sacrifices that Aeneas faced in the Aeneid. Compare and contrast the profits (e.g. glory, empire, etc.) and the losses (deaths, emotional and physical hardships, etc.) of sacrifice in leadership amongst Aeneas and other leaders from our texts.

 

Profit:

Promotion:

The Aeneid:

  • Aeneas leads the fate and future of the Trojans, once a great empire, after the fall of Troy to the Greeks.
  • Aeneas was not nearly as important to Troy during the Iliad, or the war against the Greeks, as he becomes when Troy falls and all of the former leaders of Troy become idols of the past.

Always I Am Caesar:

  • Caesar moved up the ranks of Roman bureaucracy to become the “Dictator for Life” of Rome.
  • Caesar earned a divine-status amongst the Roman public.

Promise of an empire:

The Aeneid:

  • Aeneas must go through painstaking challenge, but he is promised a great, new empire that he is the founder of through prophecy and signs from the gods.

 

“Now turn your eyes this way and behold these people, your own Roman people….

Do we still flinch from turning our valor into deeds? Or fear to make our home on

Western soil? But you, Roman, remember, rule with all your power the peoples of the

earth-these will be your arts: to put your stamp on the works and ways of peace, to

spare he defeated, break the proud in war” (Book 6, 909-984).

  • Aeneas is responsible for founding what is sure to be one of the greatest civilizations known to humanity.

Life of Alexander the Great:

  • Alexander the Great was much like Cyrus in that he did not earn his empire through mere fate, but through inheritance from his father and from hard work as an effective military leader.

The Education of Cyrus:

  • Cyrus inherited the Medan throne from his father, but was elected by Cyaxares to defend the Persians. Nonetheless, Cyrus’ profound skills as a military leader steered him to found a new empire that merged his own with others.

Glory:

The Aeneid:

  • Because Aeneas is responsible for undertaking the rigorous task of founding a new home for the Trojans, the great Rome, he is granted eternal and profound glory for his efforts.

Always I Am Caesar:

  • Caesar’s success as leader of Rome has left him the legacy of a cherished, powerful and intelligent pioneer of Western civilization.

The Education of Cyrus:

  • Cyrus earned glory through his military success, but also for his philanthropia for those he led.

 

Loss/Suffering:

Death:

The Aeneid:

  • Aeneas looses his wife, Creusa.
  • Aeneas’ father, Anchises, dies.
  • Aeneas’ “wife”/lover, Dido, dies (and never forgives him for leaving her).
  • Trojans die in Troy at the hands of the Greeks, and many die at sea and in battle during the journey to found Rome.

Always I am Caesar:

  • Caesar lost his Aunt Julia and his wife Calpurnia.

Life of Alexander the Great:

  • Alexander lost his father, King Philip, and inherited the throne and conflict.

The Education of Cyrus:

  • Cyrus lost Abradatas and Panthea, arguably due to his own decisions and actions.

 

Physical and emotional hardship:

The Aeneid:

  • Aeneas and the Trojans must undergo terrible conditions during the journey.
  • Rough/dangerous seas, battle, scarce food, scarce shelter.

Always I am Caesar:

  • Caesar rules Rome despite his epilepsy.

Life of Alexander the Great:

  • Alexander has a hard time controlling his anger and rage.

The Education of Cyrus:

  • Cyrus practices adjusting to extreme hunger, heat and cold.
  • Cyrus is saddened by the death of Abradatas and Panthea.

 

Hostile gods:

The Aeneid:

  • The Trojans and Aeneas must deal with bizarre and harsh abuse at the hands of Juno in particular.

 

“Yet many blows he took on land and sea from the gods above-thanks to cruel Juno’s

relentless rage-and many losses he bore in battle too, before he could found a city,

bring his gods to Latium, source of the Latin race, the Alban lords and the high walls

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