The ''Aeneid'' (; (ラテン語:Aenēis) (:ae̯ˈneːɪs)) is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It comprises 9,896 lines in dactylic hexameter. The first six of the poem's twelve books tell the story of Aeneas's wanderings from Troy to Italy, and the poem's second half tells of the Trojans' ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed.
The hero Aeneas was already known to Greco-Roman legend and myth, having been a character in the ''Iliad'', composed in the 8th century BC. Virgil took the disconnected tales of Aeneas's wanderings, his vague association with the foundation of Rome and a personage of no fixed characteristics other than a scrupulous ''pietas'', and fashioned this into a compelling founding myth or national epic that at once tied Rome to the legends of Troy, explained the Punic wars, glorified traditional Roman virtues and legitimized the Julio-Claudian dynasty as descendants of the founders, heroes and gods of Rome and Troy.
The ''Aeneid'' can be divided into two halves based on the disparate subject matter of Books 1–6 (Aeneas's journey to Latium in Italy) and Books 7–12 (the war in Latium). These two halves are commonly regarded as reflecting Virgil's ambition to rival Homer by treating both the ''Odyssey's'' wandering theme and the ''Iliads warfare themes.〔E.G. Knauer, "Vergil's ''Aeneid'' and Homer", ''Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies'' 5 (1964) 61–84. Originating in Servius's observation, (tufts.edu )〕 This is, however, a rough correspondence, the limitations of which should be borne in mind.〔The majority of the ''Odyssey'' is devoted to events on Ithaca, not to Odysseus' wanderings, so that the second half of the ''Odyssey'' very broadly corresponds to the second half of the ''Aeneid'' (the hero fights to establish himself in his new/renewed home). Joseph Farrell has observed, "...let us begin with the traditional view that Virgil's epic divides into 'Odyssean' and 'Iliadic' halves. Merely accepting this idea at face value is to mistake for a destination what Virgil clearly offered as the starting-point of a long and wondrous journey" ("The Virgilian Intertext", ''Cambridge Companion to Virgil'', p. 229).〕
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