Political References in the Aeneid
Further, this study reviews the epic in its historical context, codes the themes of its key leadership lessons, and employs a mixed-method research framework to juxtapose the leadership lessons identified to the demands of modern leadership. Specifically, the Aeneid is analyzed to juxtapose the resonant leadership elements of vision, culture and values—and their corresponding equivalent Roman themes of fatum, pietas, and virtus. Whether viewed qualitatively or quantitatively—in the first century BCE Rome of Virgil or across modern sectors (i.e., for profit, non profit, government)—results from this study suggests that rather than bowing to the illusion that current events (e.g., globalization, communication, computing) are beyond ancient insights, this study affirms the unequivocal relevance of the Aeneid to the demands of modern leadership.
Individuality and free will of the people are therefore nabbed and tied together in the name of nationalism and loyalty to the kingdom. As Prince (2014) observes, religion was part of every facet of human life in the Roman kingdom. The Aeneid was therefore well calculated in making propaganda on matters of religion since it appealed to what people considered important. Cooksey (2008) asserts that gods are painted in a way that depicts them accepting sacrifices and making people’s lives better. However, besides destroying the lives of others for no reason, they control the fate of the leaders and leadership. For example, Aeneas and his Trojan make sacrifices to Juno the goddess, although she never stops hating them. “When gods are contrary…they stand by no one (Virgil, 2008, p. 532). This observation implies that the will of gods cannot be changed since it is controlled by fate. This situation tells the reader that it is dangerous to annoy the gods since even sacrifices that they make to them may never change their wrath. According to Pinkster (1999), the principle of instilling fear of the unknown on followers is brought out. People are wary of annoying supernatural beings that they cannot appease by opposing their appointed leaders.
Virgil, R. (2008). The Aeneid. New York, NY: Word Press.
Pinkster, H. (1999). The present tense in Virgil’s Aeneid. Mnemosyne, 52(6), 705.