Virgil: The Aeneid

(4016 words)
  • Mandy Green (University of Durham)

Virgil's masterpiece, the Aeneid, composed during the last decade of his life (29 BCE-19 BCE), is a long continuous narrative poem in twelve books. The epic tells the story of the Trojan hero Aeneas and his struggle to fulfil his divinely-imposed mission, to leave the ruins of Troy and sail west to Italy where, after overcoming Italian resistance, he is to marry an Italian princess and establish a settlement that would eventually lead to the foundation of Rome. Although set in the remote heroic world, the narrative continually looks forward to the Augustan age as the culminating point of Rome's divinely-ordained destiny. The epic closes with the death of Turnus and the collapse of Italian resistance, but its true end is the …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Green, Mandy. "The Aeneid". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 October 2002
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]