Study Guide

The Aeneid What's Up With the Title?

By Virgil

What's Up With the Title?

The title of the Aeneid, or "Aeneis," as it was originally known, is a Greek form of the name of its hero, Aeneas. In this way, it echoes the titles of Homer's Iliad (based on Ilion, an alternative name for Troy) and Odyssey (based on the name of its hero, Odysseus). Wondering why Virgil's Latin epic has a Greek name? These parallels should give you your answer. Virgil's Greek title is a shout out to Homer, his major predecessor in the epic genre. Seeing as Virgil pretty much rips off Homer at any chance he can get, this tip of the hat (that is, er, laurel crown) is the least he could do.

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