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Hexameter.co is my site devoted to helping scholars of the classics learn and practice how to scan ancient epic poetry. Lots of people have already signed up for this service, which is free and awesome. I have something new to announce. Watch this video to see how the site has grown in the past three years!
The English word mile comes from Latin. We think the mile is an arbitrary length that has nothing in common with a kilometer, but its decimal origins are clear when you know the etymology.
The Romans had many different ways to find out the future. Both the augurium and the auspicium divined the future by looking at the flights of birds. What do these words mean, and where do they come from?
Hannibal always remained an enemy of the Roman people, even after his defeat at Zama by Scipio Africanus. But when he offered his help to Antiochus III in Syria, he also brought with him his sly wit.
The first simile in the Aeneid compares Neptune as he quells the seas to an orator calming an angry mob. This simile is very important in establishing the struggle between rage, furor, and piety, pietas. For more on Vergil's Aeneid, check out http://www.aeneid.co
Juno addresses Aeolus and commands him to stir up a storm to overwhelm the Trojans on the Tyrrhenian Sea, just west of Italy. Aeolus owes a lot to Juno, and thus will do her bidding.
After the storm, Aeneas and his seven ships finally arrive at a safe harbor in Africa. This section has our first ekphrasis as Vergil describes the geography of the place in vivid detail.
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Safe in Africa, Aeneas decides to search for his men. Failing to see them, he does catch sight of three stags, and goes deer hunting. Aeneas provides meat for his men and begins to calm their sorrows with words.
The storm arrives and destroys much of the Trojan fleet. Many of Aeneas' ships are lost, driven either into sand bars and reefs, or sucked into a devouring whirlpool. Vergil uses a lot of metrical effects to emphasize the devastating nature of this storm.