Juno's Agents and the Negotiations of Aeneas

in The Commerce of War

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780226111872
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226111902 | DOI:
Juno's Agents and the Negotiations of Aeneas

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This chapter explores the Aeneid's major figures and ultimately demonstrates Vergil's endorsement of aristocratic socioeconomic values as well as his profound reservations about their efficacy. Vergil's representation of Juno's exchange behavior contrasts with one of her principal roles in Roman society. Juno embodies disorder, in part through her disruptive participation in exchange. The mercantile nature of Dido and her Carthaginians contributes to the picture of the Punic city as the anti-type of Rome. The actions and fates of Nisus and Euryalus convey a skepticism of social structures that balance appetitive commodity and reciprocal behaviors. Aeneas' encounter with Magus show the suspension of his usual habit of seeking reciprocal exchange, the place that the mercantile nature of his opponents plays in that vacillation, his adoption under duress of a similar attitude, and the destruction that will result. Finally, Aeneas' son Ascanius oscillates through the range of economic types.

Keywords: Aeneid; Juno; Vergil; Dido; Nisus; Euryalus; Aeneas; Roman society

Chapter.  20084 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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