Departmental Papers (Classical Studies)

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Book Chapter

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Latin Language and Latin Culture: From Ancient to Modern Times

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At the end of Virgil's Aeneid there occurs an episode in which the goddess Juno finally agrees to stop fighting. Her position, however, is far from abject. Speaking to Jupiter and sounding more like a con­quering general than the patron of a defeated people, she dictates the conditions under which she will stop opposing the Trojan effort to settle in Italy. The native Latins must not change their ancient name, or become Trojans, or be called Teucrians, or alter their speech or dress. Their country should keep the name of Latium and be ruled by Alban kings forever. The strength of their Roman offspring should consist in their Italian manhood. Troy, having fallen, should remain fallen, even to the memory of its name. Jupiter readily accepts these terms, assuring Juno that "The people of Ausonia will keep their ancestral speech and culture, their name be as it was. Sharing bloodlines only, the Teucrians will subside ... " (12.823-36).

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© Cambridge University Press 2001. Reprinted with permission from Cambridge University Press.

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Date Posted: 04 January 2017