Name that ancient Roman passage
December 9, 2004 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Help me rediscover a passage from an Ancient Roman writer. [let's go]

In college, I read something great about the Roman empire and ants. Or maybe it was bees. Or ants and bees.

I think it was by Vergil - the Ecologues, probably - or Ovid, but it might have been Lucretius (though he seems to be too old for what I'm remembering). Anyway, the point was that the Romans should be like ants and make their empire great. Ants for Augustus or something similar.

I searched Google every which way and though I found some ants and bees symbolism from the Aeneid and Ovid's Metamorphoses, I didn't find what I need. Help me, Latin scholars, you are my only hope.
posted by AgentRocket to Writing & Language (6 answers total)
Perhaps you're referring to Aristotle's "propolis"?
posted by Smart Dalek at 7:23 AM on December 9, 2004

First thing that came to mind was Georgics, but I seem to think of it's being more about bees than about Rome.
posted by ptermit at 7:49 AM on December 9, 2004

Eek! "its."
posted by ptermit at 7:52 AM on December 9, 2004

I think you're looking for Bees & Ants in Vergil's Aeneid. Brief synopsis here.
posted by headspace at 8:09 AM on December 9, 2004

[I know you said you looked through it, but the Aeneid's Bees and Ants is one of the most studied bits in Latin literature, so it probably warrants a closer look.]
posted by headspace at 8:11 AM on December 9, 2004

Ants for Augustus... that's great. Gonna remember that one.

ptermit: I thought it was commonly accepted that Georgics was about more than just simple pastoral life.
posted by sbutler at 3:44 PM on December 9, 2004

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