Note: These are the study questions we used in class. We did not use Study Questions from every book of the

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Note: These are the study questions we used in class. We did not use Study Questions from every book of the Aeneid, so you should make sure you know the basic story as well.

Aeneid Introduction Questions
How does the story of Caesar Augustus connect with the story of the Aeneid? What were some of his purposes for the Aeneid?

Narrate the story of Virgil’s life. When did he live and whom did he imitate in his writing of the Aeneid?

What is the story of Aeneas from the Illiad? What happens to him in the middle of his fight with Achilles?

Aeneid Book 1 Study Questions
What does in media res mean? Where have you see this before? Below, describe how Virgil uses “in media res.”

Below, write the lines where Virgil uses another epic poetry device, the invocation of the Muse:

What force has exiled Aeneas, according to the first page of the poem?
Which god/goddess hates the Trojans and disrupts their travel? What other (minor) god is enlisted to help make the Trojans miserable?

One goddess in particular hates the Trojans and tries to destroy them. Below, list some possible reasons for her anger:

Who manages to calm the seas? What epic simile is used to describe his calming of the sea? (You do not have to write it out; simply explain what two things are being compared.)

To what city does Aeneas travel? Who is the leader of this city?

Which goddess appeals to Jupiter on behalf of Aeneas and the Trojans? What is the relation between her and Aeneas?

What does Jupiter promise Venus? What is the prophecy about Aeneas and his descendants?

What does Venus tell Aeneas about Dido? Judging from this story, what kind of person does Dido seem to be?

What happy discovery does Aeneas make when he finally arrives in Carthage?

What kind of spell does Venus put on Dido? Why does she do this? Explain her reasoning.

Aeneid Book 2 Study Questions
Part 1

How does the Trojan War finally end? Describe the trickery of the horse.

Who is the trickster who is left behind by the Greeks to deceive the Trojans? How does he convince them that he is telling the truth?

Who are the voices of reason amongst the Trojans? Why don’t the other Trojans believe them?

What role do the gods, or fate, seem to play in the trickery of the Trojan horse?
Part 2

Who appears to Aeneas to warn him of the Greeks’ treachery? (35) If you don’t know who this is, look at the index of names in the back of the book.

With what does this person entrust Aeneas? What does he tell him to do? (36)

How does Aeneas react to the news? (37) What is his “only thought”?

How the Trojan warriors with Aeneas also engage in a kind of treachery, or trickery? How does this backfire?

At this point, Aeneas and his men flee to Priam’s house. Who kills Priam? Make sure you know who both of these characters are. Does it seem disgraceful to you? Why or why not?

In line 653, on page 45, Aeneas seems to “wake up” from the bloodbath and have a vision. What does he see?
Why does Venus intervene when Aeneas wants to kill Helen? Whose fault is the war, according to Venus?

On page 49, the translator uses the word “holocaust” to describe the fall of Troy. Why might this be an appropriate translation?

What are the two portents that Aeneas and his family receive? What do they mean?

What is the prophecy that the dead Creusa gives to Aeneas at the end of Book 2?

What kind of person does Aeneas seem to be, both from the fighting scenes and from the end of Book 2? Explain your answer.

Aeneid Book 3 Study Questions, Part 1
Who is the cause of the suffering of Aeneas and the other Trojans, according to page 54?

What or who are the five responsibilities that Aeneas is carrying? See the last lines of Book Two as well as lines 14-15 of Book Three.

What are the lares and penates? Look them up in a Latin dictionary if you are not familiar with them.

What disturbing portent happens when Aeneas is building his first city in the land of the Thracians? (55)

Why do the elders and Anchises say that the land is cursed? What code or oath has been broken here?

To what land does the voice from the temple in Delos (Apollo’s island) direct the Trojan wanderers? What does Aeneas build there?

Who appears to Aeneas to clarify his journey and his destiny?

Who are the Harpies and what role do they play in Aeneas’ journey? Describe them.

Aeneid Book 3 Study Questions, Part 2
What is the horrible prophecy of the Harpies? See pages 61-62.
What does pious mean (line 306, page 62)? Think about what you have read in the Aeneid so far. Name one person who has demonstrated piety; then name one person who has demonstrated impiety.

After the Trojans make their way past the island of Zacynthus, Leucas, and Ithaca (Odysseus’ home!), they reach the western shore of Greece, where they hold the Trojan Games, and then Chaonia (Epirus), where they hear a strange rumor of a Trojan prince ruling this part of Greece. Who is this Trojan? Who is his wife? To find out, look up these characters in the glossary in the back of the book.

What does Aeneas ask of Helenus? How does Helenus respond? What sign does Helenus say that Aeneas will see when he is finally in the right place to found a new city?

What dangers will Aeneas encounter, according to Helenus? Whom does he say Aeneas should worship?
Who is Palinurus, according to page 70? Keep this in mind as you continue reading.

What dangers do Aeneas and his crew encounter? Are they able to avoid those dangers? If so, how?

Read Aeneas’ description of losing Anchises on page 76. Describe the emotions that he conveys with his words.

Aeneid Book 4 Study Questions (Part 1 of 1)
Below, rewrite Virgil’s description of what is happening to Dido at the beginning of

Book 4. Then, explain what is happening.

In whom does Dido confide? What advice does this person give her?

What metaphor does Virgil use for the love Dido has for Aeneas? Write down three places this metaphor is used (pp. 78-79).

What happens to Troy as Dido falls for Aeneas? (p. 80).

When Juno sees the lovesick Dido, she discusses the situation with Venus. What does Juno want? What does Venus want? What plan do they settle on?

To whom is Aeneas compared in the epic simile on page 82?

What winged goddess takes advantage of the situation in Carthage? What does she do? What does this goddess look like?

What other two divinities intervene in Aeneas’ life? What do they say now about Aeneas, who has been known as a man of great character?
How does Aeneas respond to Dido’s anger? In your opinion, does his response demonstrate piety or impiety?
How does Dido respond to Aeneas? Is Aeneas being unfair to her?

Aeneid Book 5 Study Questions

Where do the Trojans go after they leave Carthage? Who is Acestes? (See Index of Names in the back of the book.) Why do they hold games in this place?

What portent do Aeneas and his men see when they pour libations in honor of Anchises? What geographical feature of Rome might the number of the coils represent?

In what contests do the Trojans compete? What is the tone of these passages?

How does Aeneas solve the problem of the running race?

While the men are competing in the games, what goddess(es) cause trouble amongst the women of Troy? How?

How does Aeneas react to this turn of events? Between what two options is he torn? How are his doubts resolved?

What price does Poseidon exact for giving the Trojans safe passage?

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