Atlas Cultura: Rome
In the last post, we traced the legend of Virgil’s Aeneid - the greatest work of Rome’s greatest poet. We followed Aeneas as he fled the devastation of Troy, traversed the Mediterranean, broke Queen Dido’s heart,1 and eventually founded Lavinium in central Italy.2 His son, Ascanius, founded Alba Longa,3 providing a line of Alban kings. This lineage, rather conveniently, fills in the 400 year gap between Aeneas fleeing Troy and the next part of our story, serving as a narrative bridge that connects the two legends and adds legitimacy to the Roman origins.
For the next chapter, we turn to Ovid, to Livy, to Plutarch, and to the numerous painters and artists who’ve breathed life into their words in the centuries since.
A story of wolves, fratricide, rape, and war - this is the legend of Rome’s founding.