How can warfare and art be reconciled It seems that art is not appropriate for the battlefield. Men are too preoccupied with survival and their personal glory to appreciate aesthetics. However, the Aeneid’s combination art and Aeneas’s shield symbolises the divine Aegis that Aeneas also enjoys. Rome will also benefit from the combination of art-and-Aeneas’s shield. Aeneas shield transforms the concept of future from the intangible realm of God into the real world. This illustrates how art is the manifestation of God on earth. The Aeneid artwork combines the immortal and the divine to suggest a creation element that is similar to Virgil’s epic creation.
Aeneas gets a shield from Vulcan of divine origin. Virgil emphasizes this connection by placing Vulcan’s Workshop “near Sicily’s coast” (8.569). Vulcan, unlike Gods who are often removed from the mortal realm of life, is located in an earthy environment. The materials used to create his work reflect the merging of mortal and divine. Aeneas’ armour includes not only the raw, primordial ingredients of “molten Brass, Gold, and Iron” (8.599), but also natural forces, supernatural elements, and his sword “hard-edged with fate” (8.841). Art decorating the shield is another example of the concept that art should have a supernatural component. Virgil makes no secret of Vulcan’s superior armor. This poem illustrates the clear division between mortal skills and immortal ones, but at the end, armor is still worn. This means that, despite the god’s superiority they still have to rely on humanity for change in mortal realm. They cannot just find Rome by themselves. The theme of cooperation between god and man is evident throughout the epic. Aeneas alone is incapable of founding Rome. He needs the help of gods. This shield is symbolic of the assistance given to Aeneas in order to establish Rome. Turnus’ “treacherous sword on impact” struck Aeneas armor. It is a sign of Aeneas needing protection to save his life and allow him to go on with his quest. Aeneas can be protected by the future through the shield he created. Aeneas’ shield has the same features of divine cooperation and human cooperation. As the invocations of the muse show, Virgil’s poetic art also incorporates the assistance of God. Both artistic endeavors show the need for fusion in order to create human beings. The creation aspects of shields are vital to Virgil’s Aeneid depiction. Virgil makes a parallel between Vulcan’s design for Rome’s future, as depicted on the shield to Aeneas, with Augustus’s poetic creation for Rome’s history. This Parallel demonstrates the power of Art to provide identity. Virgil in the Aeneid writes that Aeneas found the shield art a wonder and that he “felt joy in them pictures, taking upon his shoulders all his destined acts, fame and honor” (8.989). Aeneas was exposed to Rome’s fate in the underworld before the creation of this shield. He had to leave his family behind when he left. Virgil, however, is able give Aeneas a definite future view and comfort through his actions. In a similar way that Virgil’s Aeneid would infuse a sense stability and divine purpose in his era. The underworld scene by Virgil demonstrates the power of art in influencing reality. Aeneas passes through the “ivory agleam..through whom false dreams were sent,” suggesting that Aeneas was not following his father’s vision. It seems that Virgil was wryly commenting, in this scene on Augustus’s usage of his art to promote Roman propaganda.
The direct involvement by God in the artwork of shield enhances the sense Virgil created of divine influence. The shield’s artwork emphasises that the Roman people were favored “winds-and-gods” (8.922) and their “immortal offering to the gods. The shield’s artwork depicts Virgil as a specter of Hell looming in the distance, reminding Romans that they are “virtuous souls”. The linkage between the Roman gods and the gods illustrates both divine protection, good favor, and art’s role in creating reality. In the epic, Aeneas is given a shield as a gift by God. This shield represents Aeneas’s fulfillment of the Roman idea of an “empire that never ends” and gives him a goal towards which to fight. They were defeated by “gods from every race” when they held up their weapons against the Romans Neptune, Venus, and Minerva …” (8.947) This epic reflects a sense that Rome is inevitable. Virgil’s epic gives the Roman people a similar sense of faith in their government’s stability. The shield illustrates the connection to the divine and makes it real. Aeneas shield’s artwork is a way to bring the Roman Empire into artistic existence. It also allows for literary traditions. Aeneas, on the other hand, depicts an inexorable force. It is the Roman people who have “conquered nations passed in long processsion” (8.975). Virgil describes the Aeneas shield as a symbol of Rome’s ascent to glory. Homer, however, depicts them as grim and generic, tainted with violence in the cities of peace and war. Virgil incorporates a shield scene into the epic to acknowledge Greek tradition. He also consciously seeks a Roman identity by glorifying it.
The shield representing Aeneas is prominently shown in Virgil’s epic Aeneid. It can be used as both a weapon of war or a peace object. These two disciplines are crucial for Aeneas’ understanding of art and the influence it has on the Roman Empire. The shield illustration by Virgil serves to create a history within the Aeneid. It also helps create the identity that Romans will associate with his epic. This is how Virgil inserts a scene about the shield into his epic. He is conscious of the similarities between his own work as well as the function of shields as forces for creation. This mimicry in structure, form, and message between the shield and the whole work causes the reader’s identification with Aeneas. As Rome’s glory is realized, so are the readers. This is what makes the Virgils creation myth so captivating.