This series will discuss three eminent figures in Roman culture: the politician and cultural patron Maecenas and the poets Virgil and Horace, three eminent personalities who shared a friendship and objective: to compose verses that that would raise their time and homeland to the status of artistic creation, turning to formulating myths and the moral exaltation and praise of the imperial Virtus (virtue).
After the Civil War, under the authority of Augustus, a period of relative peace and prosperity commenced in the history of Rome, known as the “Roman Peace”, and among the emperor’s advisors was Cayo Maecenas. This nobleman of Etruscan origin was a patron of the arts. Some of the most important works of classical literature were written with his support, reflecting the political ideals of the time: the epic poem Aeneid, composed by Virgil, which tied the foundation of Rome and the fate of Augustus to the mythical War of Troy; Virgil’s Georgics, a eulogy of Roman rural life, with analogies from nature in praise of Augustus’ government; and Horace’s Odes, in which a philosophy of life based on friendship and humility is exalted, approaching epicurism.
The first of the lectures will be about Maecenas and will be given by Juan Luis Arcaz, a Tenured Lecturer of Latin Philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid and a specialist in Augustan poetry. This will be followed by the session about Virgil, presented by the Professor of Latin Philology at the Universitat de Barcelona José Luis Vidal, who translated Virgil’s Vitae antiquae, Bucolics and Georgics. The series will conclude with a lecture about Horace by Vicente Cristóbal, Professor of Latin Philology at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.