Aeneid

By Virgil

The epic

Aeneid is a literary epic by the Roman author Virgil. Virgil's style is very much comparable to homer's in that it emulates many of Homer's techniques and improves on them. These improvements are a great example of the evolution of literature.


The summary

The story starts out following the protagonist Aeneas and his men on the Mediterranean on their way to found the city of Rome. As they neared their destination, intense weather causes them to veer off course and they were forced to head to Carthage. Once they arrived at Carthage the queen and founder Dido welcomed them. When they spoke with Dido, Aeneas told her about the fall of Troy and explained how they escaped and that he was assured by the gods that a glorious future awaited him in Italy. They set sail and twice attempted to create a city but were driven away by bad omens and plague. Finally, after the loss of Anchises and experiencing terrible weather they sailed for Carthage. Aeneas soon marries Dido and they begin to live a peaceful life, but Aeneas is soon called by the gods again to be reminded of is duty and leaves. Dido, devastated by Aeneas leaving, kills herself on a pile of Aeneas' belongings. As Aeneas and his men head for Italy bad weather knocks them off course to Sicily and they hold games for Anchises but also have problems with the unhappy settlers. During the games Aeneas is visited in a dream by his father. They soon leave as the travel-weary stay behind. Soon they arrive at Italy, Aeneas descends into the underworld and guided by the Sibyl of Cumae, to visit his father and is shown the importance of what he is doing through a showcase of Rome's future heroes and contributions to the world. Aeneas soon returns to the surface world and the Trojans march north to the region of Latium. The arrival of the Trojans begins peacefully. King Latinus, the Italian ruler, extends his hospitality, hoping that Aeneas will prove to be the foreigner whom his daughter Lavinia is supposed to marry according to a prophecy. But Latinus’s wife has other ideas. She means for Lavinia to marry Turnus, a local suitor. Amata and Turnus cultivate enmity toward the newly arrived Trojans. Meanwhile, Ascanius hunts a stag that was a pet of the local herdsmen. A fight breaks out, and several people are killed. Turnus, riding this current of anger, begins a war. Aeneas then goes up river, leaving his men to defend their newly claimed land. On the way Aeneas is given a set of weapons and armor from Venus and soon returns with help. Aeneas returns to find his men in battle with Turnus's men, Aeneas' newfound ally is killed in battle and soon enough the battle is brought to an end. The two sides agree to a treaty to clean up the dead by Turnes having a one on one hand to hand fight with Aeneas. This ends with both armies breaking out in battle again. Durring the battle Aeneas and Turnus injure eachother badly but Aeaneas comes out on top and slays Turnus.

The epic hero and quest

In Aeneid, Aeneas is the main protagonist and the epic hero of the story.


Aeneas' epic quest is to fight through his enemies and achieve his goal of settling Rome.

Conflict and Divine intervention

Aeneus' conflict is having to deal with the loss of Anchises and go on to lead his settlers through the rough seas and defeat Turnus.



The divine intervention occurred when Venus granted Aeneus armor and weaponry to defeat his new found enemy.

The Author

The author Virgil is often considered one of the greatest poets of ancient Rome and of all time due to his greatest work, Aeneid was modeled after both The Iliad and The Odyssey, and took place right after the fall of Troy.


Rome

The culture of Rome was very diverse and special at the time it stood. There are many legends surrounding the initial creation of the city and including the story of Aeneid. When Rome was established it was a kingdom, ruled by seven kings then it became a republic, then to empire. During this time the Roman empire flourished and expanded like no other, it gained many lands and because of that it was massively diverse and produce some of the greatest artists and poets the world has ever known.