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The Gates of Janus - War in Latium
Transcript of The Gates of Janus - War in Latium
How important are omens and prophecies in motivating Aeneas after he arrives at
In your answer refer to the books of the ‘Aeneid’ you have read from Book 6 onwards.
Men of War
Despite the heavy influence of the gods and prophecies, the war is ultimately still going to be determined by men.
Virgil dedicates the end of Book VII to a description of the respective Trojan and Latin forces.
Why does he do this?
What is the impact?
The Janus Geminus (Temple of Janus) was a relatively small temple located next to the Roman Forum, the building of which is credited to Numa Pompilius. It consisted of a statue of Janus, and an archway with great doors in the middle.
These doors - the Gates of Janus - were essentially the gates of war. While Rome was at war the gates were opened, and while peace reigned they remained closed. The specific symbolism is unclear here, but what is clear is the link that Virgil makes between factual and mythological history.
A god that the Romans claimed as exclusively 'theirs' - Janus was a significant and noteworthy deity.
What did he represent?
How was he represented?
What was he responsible for?
To what extent is the outbreak of conflict between the Romans and the Latins the impact of fate or of personal decision?
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