Ancient History

Why did Virgil write the Aeneid?
Answered by Science Channel
  • Science Channel

    Science Channel

  1. Publius Vergilius Maro, or Virgil, wrote the Aeneid to create a heroic back story for the Roman Empire. As a staunch patriot, Virgil thought it was important to emphasize the empire's legendary connection to the Trojan hero Aeneas. Virgil took the rough draft of the Aeneid with him to Greece in 19 B.C., intending to finish it up there. Instead, he accompanied Augustus to Italy and died upon arrival. He'd asked that the manuscript be destroyed because it wasn't finished. But Augustus didn't do as Virgil had asked, and copies of the manuscript survive in the Vatican Library. Virgil's writings gained him a reputation second only to Homer as Rome's greatest epic poet.

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