The Importance Of Aeneas's Duty

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In Christian culture and even American culture, duty is not thought of as highly as it was in ancient Rome. This idealization of duty arose from the Roman hero, Aeneas. Aeneas’ deep passion and loyalty to serve the gods is perfectly described in the Latin term pietas, which, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica is the “personification of a respectful and faithful attachment to gods, country, and relatives” (jflsjdf). Aeneas epitomized this quality as the ideal Roman. Aeneas’s devotion to the gods is especially evident in his constant longing to fulfill the gods’ fate for him to found Rome. Aeneas explains his drive to submit to the gods by saying to Dido that “[t]he gods’ commands drove me to do their will” (6.245). Aeneas’ submission to authority was essential to the Roman understanding of pietas but was not entirely voluntary.…show more content…
However, Christians are called and compelled to submit to authority, but it is a voluntary response out of obedience to God’s Word. Romans were forced to submit to the state because the gods controlled their fate. Therefore, a Christian’s duty to the state stems from a commitment to the Lord, not out of compliance to fate. Aeneas showed this dedication to fate and to the gods before he recounts his time in the underworld he says to the gods, “May it be right, and fitting, by your will,/ That I describe the deep world sunk in darkness/ Under the earth” ( Virgil 6.4-6). It was of utmost importance to the Romans to be loyal to the gods and submit to the state as a result of this. For Christians, duty to the state means obeying authority and paying taxes, but it is not blind acceptance of all government laws. A Christian’s duty to the state must always align with the precepts given in the
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