Vergil and Mark
The Gospel according to mark and the Virgil’s Aeneid are literatures that seek to portray the characters of Jesus and Aeneas respectively. The two characters form the foundation stories about the Christians and Romans. From the literature review, they were essentially involved in violent acts that resulted in death. The thesis statement for this essay is: To provide a concise comparison between Aeneas and Jesus and their contributions to the respective societies they represented. The Gospel according to Mark illustrates the life of Jesus and his mission on earth aimed at saving humanity through his death on the cross. Aeneas manages to reclaim Rome by engaging in a battle that resulted in Aeneid killing Turnus to mark the beginning of a new reign.
Aeneas was a Greco-Roman leader, and this Greek name means ‘praised.’ He was a hero in his time and the goddess Venus. His lineage is linked to King Priam of Troy making Aeneas a very influential personality; it also gave him the platform to rise to his heroic status. He basically received full treatment in Roman mythology, in particular in the Virgil’s Aeneid. Aeneas became the first factual hero in Rome owing to contributions he had to the society as attributed in Greek mythology and mentioned in the Homer’s Iliad.
According to Aeneid, Aeneas is one of the few Trojans who were neither killed nor enslaved after the fall of Troy. Being an influential leader, Aeneas managed to gather a group of people, Aeneads, travelled with the troop to Italy, and became a progenitor of Romans after being commanded by gods to flee from his residence. The Aeneads included his family, friends, relatives, and workers. He carried the statues of the gods of Troy with him to his destination in Italy. His legacy among the Romans still lives on owing to the immense contribution he had towards fighting for the doctrines he believed in.
Through his journeys, Aeneas is affected by the gods. Venus, goddess of love and mother of Aeneas, and Cupid are some of the gods that played a central role in his life. Venus, for instance, goes the extra mile to help him and guarantee his safety having in mind the mission he was to achieve at the end of it all.
Significance of the Great Mythical Heroes of the Time
Virgil sought to illustrate the significance of the great mythical heroes of the time, and one of them was Aeneas. According to Virgil, Aeneas is a great Homeric hero of all times who essentially travelled by sea and encountered an adventurous trip to his destined homeland. His mission is however derailed on the way by many beautiful women who take center stage and distract him from his ultimate task.
About 75 years before the Apostle Paul began his proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentile; Rome had already started establishing its own Gospel and preached its doctrines to the people. Paul hence had an easy time to get hold of the believers and slowly establish small churches within the community of a new age generation. He preached the gospel of Christ, his death, resurrection, and the faith that he will come back again in the end of times to fulfill his prophecies and promises to Christians or believers. His doctrines revolved around the institutional reality of the Christian population and their obligations to the rest of the society. According to the author, Jesus has been cut from the templates of his old predecessors in the Old Testament; however, he went beyond most of these characters and established a new empire. He amended some of the old laws to come up with morals that govern the society to this day and age. He has been compared to Abraham who was considered the father of faith from whom the seed of Christianity was initiated. He gave rise to a Godly generation from descendants, Jesus being among them. During his lifetime, he made an impact on society in all aspects of life and represented the earlier works initiated by Moses, David, Elijah, and other great ministers of God. Jesus only came to fulfill God’s promises to the latter and to save the humanity from perishing. Jesus Christ goes on to die for the sins of humanity and redeem them back to God.
Aeneas is however different from Jesus basing on the doctrines he believed in, the way and the sacrifice he made on behalf of the people he represented. Gospel according to Mark demonstrated that Christ had to die in order to save the humanity and restore its relationship with God. He selflessly offered to die on the cross on behalf of God’s people who had fallen short of his glory. On the other hand, the gods speared Aeneas during Troy’s destruction; thus, he was among the few survivors of Troy who manage to lead the faithful remnants of Trojans with the help of divine guidance. They manage to fight their way to their destination. Whereas Christ dies to save the humanity, the gods speared Aeneas’ life, and he ends up a hero of the new day by leading the remnants to the destined land and accomplishes the mission by overcoming obstacles.
I believe that both Jesus and Aeneas in Mark’s Gospel are portrayed to be controlled in emotions. It is evident from the way they interacted with the people in the society and from the crucial decisions they made on their own behalf and on behalf of the people they represented. It is obvious that Aeneas had control qualities of a leader, and he was able to successfully lead them through the journey and accomplish the mission. Despite having lost their love once when Troy was destroyed, Aeneas complies with the instructions from the gods to flee and does not look back to revenge. He manages his emotions and regroups his people before setting out to exit the town for Italy. It is a clear manifestation of a heroic leader who has interest with his people at heart and hid to divine guidance without questioning. The contrast between the two characters lies on the fact that Jesus used to pray to God to seek guidance divine guidance that enabled him have control over himself while Aeneas relied on his self consciousness and the advice from the gods. There was no single time that Jesus got overwhelmed by his emotions as he was led by the spirit of God but Aeneas got involved in fierce war at one time that led him to killing Turnus.
A similar case is for Jesus as exhibited in the Gospel of Mark. He further takes another step in leading Christians and reminds them of their role in the society. He comes to accomplish the works of his predecessors and fulfill God’s promises to humankind. Throughout his life, he exhibits the doctrine of Christianity and preaches the Gospel to the Romans as written in the Bible. Jesus is portrayed as composed, selfless leader who lives in accordance to God’s will and has full control of his emotions. He accepts to die for sins he did not commit despite him being blameless before God. He was betrayed many times by his followers and disciples but rebuked them with love. It is a clear demonstration of a heroic leader who is in control of his emotions and set example to the rest by leading from the front.
As construed by Virgil, it is evident that as Aeneas was tempted by women on his way to accomplishing his mission, in the same manner Jesus was tempted by the devil during his forty day fast in the desert. Aeneas is tempted severally by Dido but remains steadfast and focused on his bigger goal that he knows must be achieved. He is committed to his piety and does not fall prey to the mistresses who distract him from his course of action.
This is a similar case scenario to that of Jesus when tempted by the devil while fasting in the desert as recounted in Matthew:
The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.
“All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”
Jesus said to him, “get away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”
Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him.
In my opinion, Aeneas and Jesus shared much in common in their course of achieving their mission on earth. Despite being led by different doctrines, both leaders demonstrated heroic acts that made their subjects strongly believe in them and offered their lives as living examples for their generations and generations to come. The temptations and obstacles they encountered on their way to destiny made them stronger, wiser and better placed to accomplish the ultimate mission. Both leaders were involved in violent acts that resulted in death, and this marked the beginning of a new era. Jesus was mercilessly crucified to restore humanity while Aeneas killed Turnus to mark the beginning of a new era after the destruction of Troy.
In conclusion, it is imperative for the leaders to lead from the front and demonstrate courage and great optimism in the course of executing their mission. This essentially works to build confidence among their subjects and set good example for the future leaders. In essence, leaders need to be holistic in all aspects in order to successfully accomplish their mission and leave a legacy for their achievements fin their reign of power.