The Hercules-cacus Episode, Virgil’s Gaze, And The Ideal Hero: Roman Identity In The Aeneid

Open Access
Chatterton, Douglas H
Area of Honors:
Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Stephen Wheeler, Thesis Supervisor
  • Mary Lou Z Munn, Honors Advisor
  • Hercules
  • Cacus
  • Virgil
  • Aeneid
  • Aeneas
  • Identity
  • Roman
This paper begins with a narratological analysis of the mythic traditions of the Hercules-Cacus episode in an effort to discern what aspects of his version Virgil received, preserved, and modified. The next chapter explains those aspects which Virgil innovated with respect to the characterizations of Hercules, Aeneas, and Augustus. The final chapter discusses Virgil’s methods of describing Roman identity, and in what senses Aeneas is the ideal Roman hero.