The Roman Manifest Destiny? Essay

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The Roman Manifest Destiny As a work written by a Roman about the Romans, The Aeneid is the product of the Roman perspective. It reveals what the Romans thought themselves to be, and describes where and what the Romans believed they should be. This is shown in the text through vaticinium ex eventu, prophecies describing events the author already has knowledge of. In The Aeneid, these prophecies are respected as destiny by both man and gods, and even when either attempts to contradict them, they immutably fail. The Romans not only desired to be the masters of the world 's peoples, they believed they were destined and obligated to. In writing their own destiny, the Romans envisioned their ultimate success, but not without realistically predicting pain and grief along their path. When Anchises grants Aeneas a glimpse of the Trojans ' fate, he also describes the Roman view of their Manifest Destiny: their justified and inevitable expansion in spite of individual loss. One of the ways the Romans justified their Manifest Destiny was by viewing it as an obligation to the gods, rather than as a selfish desire. After describing the virtues of other peoples, Anchises reminds Aeneas of this duty: "Roman, remember, rule with all your power, the peoples of the earth" (6.981-2). Anchises is referring to the power granted to the Romans by Jove: "I have granted them power, empire without end" (1.334). In stating that Jove had granted the Romans these gifts, it is implied that because

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