The “Story-Shaped” School

By Christian Winters In the first century B.C., Caesar Augustus commissioned the Latin poet Vergil to write a national epic. Vergil’s poem, The Aeneid, served to form the national collective memory of the history of Rome. Aeneas, the hero of the poem, is an exemplar of the foremost Roman virtue: dutifulness. What did it mean to be a good Roman? To fulfill your duty, like Aeneas. Caesar Augustus’s hope for this national poem was fulfilled; Vergil and The Aeneid shaped the thoughts and imaginations of generations of Romans. The example of “pious Aeneas” was held up to be the premier …