The Aeneid

Ranked #2 in Latin, Ranked #6 in Ancientsee more rankings.

The Aeneid is an epic poem written by Virgil in the 1st century BC. It's hero is Aeneas, a Trojan who travels from Troy to Italy to eventually found Rome. Some argue that The Aeneid is Virgil's answer to Homer's Odyssey and Iliad, combining two genres of the day - travel and war - into one poem. Take that, Homer!

No civilization is without a bit of revisionist history: so it was that Virgil picked up the story of Aeneas, which was already floating around at the time, and forged an epic founding myth for Rome. And The Aeneid fit the bill, as it...

Reviews and Recommendations

We've comprehensively compiled reviews of The Aeneid from the world's leading experts.

Mark Zuckerberg Founder/FacebookOh, it’s not a favorite book or anything like that, I just added it because I liked it. I don’t think there’s any real significance to the fact that it’s listed there and other books aren’t. But there are definitely books—like the Aeneid—that I enjoyed reading a lot more. (Source)

Ryan Holiday AuthorI made an effort to read some classical poets and playwrights this year. The Aneiad was far and away the most quotable, readable and memorable of all of them. There’s no other way to put: the story is AMAZING. Better than the Odyssey, better than Juvenal’s Satires. Inspiring, beautiful, exciting, and eminently readable, I loved this. I took more notes on it that I have on anything I’ve read in a long time. (Source)

Ted Turner Founder/CNNWhen I got to college, I was a classics major, and that was mainly the study of Greek - and to a lesser extent Roman - history and culture, and that fascinated me: the Iliad, the Odyssey, the Aeneid by Virgil. (Source)

Selina O'Grady To me, it is the greatest founding myth that a nation has ever been blessed with. He was writing at the birth of what really is the Roman Empire: it’s when Augustus comes to power and has just beaten Mark Antony for control. (Source)

Emily Wilson It combines the Iliadic epic of war with the homecoming epic of the Odyssey, but in a weird way. In the Odyssey, the home that Odysseus returns to is the same home that he left twenty years before, whereas in the Aeneid, the home that Aeneas is coming back to is a home that he’s never been to before. It’s a home that has to be invented. Moreover, it’s a home that lies in the future, rather than the sense you get from the Odyssey that going home means coming back to the past. (Source)

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