Peace in Literature Peace, often in the context of wars, is a prominent theme in early modern European literature. The religious wars, increasingly coupled with political disputes between states, generated a growing chorus of calls for peace. The literary images of peace are myriad. Poetry, theatre, and all types of novels are shaped by visions of peace. The rural idyll was a particularly powerful source of inspiration. Virgil had written his Eclogues as a pastoral, expressing his hopes for a universal peace under Emperor Augustus. The legacy of this work endured into the early modern period and was combined with criticism of powers that wrought conflict and calamity. The peace-loving, allegorically embellished, small-scale society of shepherds anticipates the destiny of mankind. As nature is increasingly enlisted in this vision, this European literary genre developed a utopian potential that culminated in Romanticism.