LABOUR IN THE GOLDEN AGE A UNIFYING THEME IN VERGIL'S POEMS* BY J. J. L. SMOLENAARS In his inspired vision of Roman history Anchises presents Augus- tus as the founder of a renewed Golden Age of Saturn: A 6.792-5 Augustus Caesar, divi genus, aurea condet . saecula qui rursus Latio regnata per arva Saturno quondam, super et Garamantas et Indos proferet imperium; In his commentary ad loc. Austin cites Euander's survey of the early history of Latium as an illustration of the implications of these famous lines: A. 8.319 primus ab aetherio venit Saturnus Olympo 324-5 aurea quae perhibent illo sub rege fuere saecula: sic placida populos in pace regebat. He adds that "Virgil's words have a special social significance; the Golden Age of Saturn symbolized the purity and simplicity of early Italian life...", referring to G. 2.538 aureus hanc vitam in terris Saturnus agebat. As I hope to demonstrate below, however, Saturn's stay on earth referred to in the finale of Georgics 2 cannot be assigned to the same period as his rule over Latium described in Aeneid 8 : while G. 2.536 ante... sceptrum Dictaei regis concerns Saturn's rule over the world before Jupiter's iron age,
Mnemosyne – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1987
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