The Aeneid is an epic poem in twelve books about the life of the Trojan hero Aeneas. It was written by the Latin poet Virgil (70-19 BC). While putting the final touches to the book, Virgil fell ill and died. Although the author had indicated that he wanted the book to be destroyed because he felt it was unfinished, the Roman Emperor Augustus published it nevertheless.
The Aeneid describes the adventures of Aeneas, a Trojan prince who, after many travels, founded a new kingdom in Italy. Parallels were drawn between the fortunes of Aeneas and the life of Emperor Augustus. Virgil traced the emperor’s line back to the goddess Venus, Aeneas’ mother. The Aeneid has remained popular through the centuries and many of the stories in it have been featured in art.