Venus convinces Vulcan to forge armor for Aeneas, including a mighty shield that depicts Rome's glorious future, including the battle of Actium in 31 BC, where Augustus defeated Mark Antony and thereby became the sole ruler of the empire. As the carrier of a shield that depicts Rome so fully, the shield directly relates Aeneas's fate to the future of Rome—he truly carries Rome's future on his arm. But it's also striking that the object most linked to Rome's future is a shield, not a sword. Rome's destiny is shown, literally, on the object that protects Aeneas, suggesting the Roman Empires future role as a creator and protector of peace.
Aeneas's Shield Quotes in The Aeneid
The The Aeneid quotes below all refer to the symbol of Aeneas's Shield. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one: Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin Classics edition of The Aeneid published in 2006.).
Book 8 Quotes
Aeneas's Shield Symbol Timeline in The Aeneid
The timeline below shows where the symbol Aeneas's Shield appears in The Aeneid. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
...new armor. Aeneas marvels at the beautiful helmet, sword, and spear, and finally the ornate shield. On the shield, Vulcan has depicted the future of Rome, including important Roman myths and... (full context)
Aeneas and the Tuscan troops arrive at the battle in the morning, and Aeneas's Vulcan-made shield shines impressively. Turnus rallies his men to fight on the beach with the famous line:... (full context)
...catches up with Mezentius, Mezentius throws his spear at Aeneas. Aeneas deflects it with his shield, though it unfortunately kills one of Aeneas's allies. Then Aeneas throws a spear, which travels... (full context)