Date of Award

Spring 2019

Thesis Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies




Robert Vander Poppen

Second Advisor

Hannah Ewing


This study follows neither the paradigm of pro-or anti-Augustan nor the strict belief that the intention of the poet, like other poets of the time, is one of ambiguity open to multiple interpretations. Virgil’s Aeneid is an epic poem with a clearly woven thesis that the hospitality relationships that its hero enters both transcend and address the difficulties he faces in founding Rome. The Rome that Aeneas founds is, like Augustan Rome’s mythology, built on labors and toils. Aeneas’ labors are moral, they are intellectual, and they are searching for the relationship between the human and the divine that is true, accurate, and lasting. Rather than a support for the creation of the Roman state as such, the poem uses the environment and changes that occur in both the contemporary Roman environment and the city’s mytho-historical story to lay forth a realistic optimism that not only incites the people to believe in the potentiality of a peaceful age, but to comprehend through the ideal of hospitality what it takes to both build and maintain such a stability.

Rights Holder

Steffen Lea Mathis