Aeneid

The Aeneid (/ɪˈnɪd/ ih-NEE-id; Latin: Aenē̆is [ae̯ˈneːɪs] or [ˈae̯neɪs]) is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC,[1] 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.[2] The first six of the poem's twelve books tell the story of Aeneas' 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.

Aeneid
by Virgil
Manuscript circa 1470, Cristoforo Majorana
Original titleAENEIS
TranslatorJohn Dryden
Gavin Douglas
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey
Seamus Heaney
Allen Mandelbaum
Robert Fitzgerald
Robert Fagles
Frederick Ahl
Sarah Ruden
Written29–19 BC
CountryRoman Republic
LanguageClassical Latin
Subject(s)Epic Cycle, Trojan War, Founding of Rome
Genre(s)Epic poem
MeterDactylic hexameter
Publication date19 BC
Media typeManuscript
Lines9,896
Preceded byGeorgics
Read online"Aeneid" at Wikisource
Aeneas Flees Burning Troy, by Federico Barocci (1598). Galleria Borghese, Rome, Italy
Map of Aeneas' journey

The hero Aeneas was already known to Greco-Roman legend and myth, having been a character in the Iliad. Virgil took the disconnected tales of Aeneas' wanderings, his vague association with the foundation of Rome and his description as a personage of no fixed characteristics other than a scrupulous pietas, and fashioned the Aeneid into a compelling founding myth or national epic that 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 is widely regarded as Virgil's masterpiece[3][4] and one of the greatest works of Latin literature.[5][6]