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Unformatted text preview: Here, as elsewhere, Virgil's main reason for constructing parallels to Homer, which he was no doubt certain his readers would identify and relish, was to add luster to the Aeneid as a latter-day epic appearing in another language more than seven centuries after his immensely prestigious, literary forebear. Virgil gives Homer's original incidents an import for the development of his own epic that is absent from the Iliad and the Odyssey . Never far from his mind is his purpose of making the Aeneid a national epic (discussed in the next essay), which neither of Homer's works were. Once we understand how Virgil adapted his borrowings from Homer for his own ends, we see how far he was from being a mere imitator of the great poet who preceded him. In the centuries that immediately followed the time of Homer, a number of epics of little quality were...
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- Fall '08