In what ways does the Illiad relate to The Aeneid?
Does Virgil's artistry suffer because he is so clearly writing for nationalist (propagandistic) ends as opposed to Homer who complicates who the "good" guys are--the Trojans or the Greeks?
Great question. Some might say so, but like all great poets, Vergil (Horace, Ovid, and others) does not outrightly praise a particular person. There is enough ambiguity in Vergil that one can take Vergil in different ways. For example, does Aeneas come off as heroic with his relationship with Dido? It is complex. Also, I would say that Vergil is such a masterful poet that oftentimes the question that we ask about him actually reveal more about us. Finally, does not the test of time say something? Vergil has been revered from his day onward. Even Dante has Vergil as a guide in his Divine Comedy.