A COMPARISON OF ROMAN AND GREEK MYTHOLOGY USING VIRGILS AENEID AND HOMERS ILLIAD AND ODYSSEY.
Both Greek and Roman myths are closely intertwined and share a great deal in common. Whether it is from similar deities possessing different monikers (Jupiter/Zeus, Diana/Athena etc.), or from similar mythic stories. Romans took and borrowed a great deal from the Greek pantheon and mythos. One such writer of myths was Virgil, who wrote the Aeneid. Virgil modeled the first six books of his epic after the style of the Odyssey and the rest of the books of the Aeneid after the Illiad, both written by the Greek Homer. Specifically, we will be looking at the differences and comparisons with which Virgil borrows upon the style and workings of these more prominent works of Homer. .
One of the more discerning features of the Aeneid is that unlike the Odyssey and the Illiad who focus primarily it's heroes (Achilles and Odysseus), the Aeneid focuses more on Rome rather than it's hero, Aeneas. Such focus is evident by the detail given to things such as the boundaries (walls, national borders, ramparts etc.) of Rome. But the focusing upon boundaries also at the same time symbolizes not only the physical nation of Rome, but also its cultural aspects (The story of Romulus and Remus, for example), reinforcing Rome's greater importance in this poem.
In both of Homers epics, the Greek heroes receive some kind of reward. Odysseus ultimately returns home after his Odyssey, and Achilles gets his revenge for his friends death. But unlike the Greek epic, Virgil takes a different approach than Homer concerning rewards in his Roman epic. In the end, Aeneas doesn't even get to see the Rome for which he has given so much and sacrificed a great deal for.
In the Illiad, Zeus takes an impartial stance with the war unfolding, not choosing a side over the other. In the Aeneid, it is quite different. In Homers writing, both Achilles and Odysseus have a choice over the fate in some manner, by Aeneas has no choice at all and must do what the gods have decreed, whether it is an order by Venus to go to Italy, or by Mercury to leave his lover, Dido.