Aeneid, The (Myths and Legends of the World)
In about 30 B.C., the Roman poet Virgil began composing the Aeneid, an about the legendary hero Aeneas and the founding and destinyfuture or fate of an individual or thing of Rome. Woven from strands of myth, history, and pride, the Aeneid summed up everything the Romans valued most about their society. At the same time, it offered tales of adventure featuring gods and goddesses, heroes and ghosts, and warriors and doomed lovers. Virgil died before finishing the work, but it established his reputation as the foremost poet of the Romans.
Creating a Roman Heritage. The Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas, a hero of Troy, the city in Asia Minorancient term for modern-day Turkey, the part of Asia closest to Greece that the Greeks destroyed during the Trojan War. According to legend, Aeneas survived the war and led a group of Trojans on a journey to the kingdom of Latium in central Italy, where Rome eventually arose.
The story of Aeneas was much older than Rome. The hero appears as a character in the Iliad, an epic about the Trojan War by the Greek poet Homer. However, as Rome was emerging as the leading power in the Mediterranean world in the 200s B.C., the Romans became eager to claim Aeneas and the Trojans as their ancestors. Some Romans even visited...
(The entire section is 1613 words.)
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