The Impacts of Marriages in Virgil’s The Aeneid

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The Aeneid was written during the time of Augustus (27 BC), the first Emperor of Rome. After Caesar’s death in 44BC, Augustus had the immense task of bringing Rome back to her original stability and unity that had been shattered during the Civil Wars and decline of her Republic. In the establishment of this empire Augustus had legislation encouraging marriage and the birth of children. Thus it makes sense that Virgil’s The Aeneid promoted the theme of marriage in a beneficial light. In Book 12 Aeneas was fated to marry Lavinia, daughter of King Latinus of Latium. By marrying Lavinia Aeneas would be in alliance with Latinus, conquering Latium to further the founding of Rome. Aeneas explains this alliance with the following: “May both nations, undefeated, under equal laws, / march together toward an eternal pact of peace. / I shall bestow the gods and their sacred rites. / My father-in-law Latinus will retain his armies, / my father-in-law, his power, his rightful rule. / The men of Troy will erect a city for me— / Lavinia will give its walls her name.” This shows that through the alliance, not only would Aeneas rise in power and land, but it also describes the unity and peacefulness that would result from the alliance. Therefore, The Aeneid promoted political marriages due to the benefits and success that resulted from those marital alliances.
The purpose of Aeneas’ marriage to Lavinia was not based on lust; much like many Roman marriages, this marriage was politically
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