Virgil’s Aeneid is one of the great epics of classical antiquity. Himself inspired by the works of Homer, he in turn inspired the work of Dante, whose Divine Comedy features Virgil as Dante’s tour guide through Hell and Purgatory.
The story itself is a continuation of Homer’s Iliad. After the fall of Troy, Aeneas and other Trojan refugees take to the sea to escape the destruction of their city and establish a new city elsewhere. They land at first at Carthage in North Africa and from their proceed to the Italian peninsula, where Aeneas leads the Trojans in a war with another people they encounter there. All of this is under the direction of Jupiter, who plans to make a great empire (the Roman Empire) out of these Trojan refugees. Under this story is a meditation on many of the perennial themes of human life, including mortality and death, sex and marriage, fate and desire, and, of course, politics and power.
I recommend this book to all as an essential work of Western Civilization and a great work of the storytelling tradition of all mankind.
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