Aeneas flees the ashes of Troy to found the city of Rome and change forever the course of the Western world—as literature as well. Virgils Aeneid is as eternal as Rome itself, a sweeping epic of arms and heroism—the searching portrait of a man caught between love and duty, human feeling and the force of fate—that has influenced writers for over 2,000 years. Filled with drama, passion, and the universal pathos that only a masterpiece can express. The Aeneid is a book for all the time and all pards a climax, has been detected in the poem. The Aeneid is full of prophecies about the future of Rome, the deeds of Augustus, his ancestors, and famous Romans, and the Carthaginian Wars; the shield of Aeneas even depicts Augustus victory at Actium against Mark Antony and Cleopatra VII in 31 BC. A further focus of study is the character of Aeneas. As the protagonist of the poem, Aeneas seems to waver constantly between his emotions and commitment to his prophetic duty to found Rome; critics note the breakdown of Aeneas emotional control in the last sections of the poem where the pious and righteous Aeneas mercilessly slaughters Turnus.
The Aeneid appears to have been a great success. Virgil is said to have recited Books 2, 4, and 6 to Augustus; and Book 6 apparently caused Augustus sister Octavia to faint. Although the truth of this claim is subject to scholarly scepticism, it has served as a basis for later art, such asJean-Baptiste Wicars Virgil Reading the Aeneid.
Unfortunately, some lines of the poem were left unfinished, and the whole was unedited, at Virgils death in 19 BC.