Virgil's "Aeneid" has "been one of the most profoundly influential works of all classical literature in the later Western cultural and literary tradition" (Puchner 977). This 12 book poem may seem, to some, as a form of propaganda for the Roman government, however, it beautiful depicts human nature's sense of duty, adventure, dreams, love, loss, and pain. Virgil witnessed the rise of the great Roman Empire, Julias Ceasar, and Octavian (Augustus) and wrote "The Aeneid" for Ceasar Augustus. The story tells of Rome, the destruction of Troy, and Trojan Aeneas' journey to find home. He has many adventures, an affair with Dido, queen of Carthage, and even takes a trip to the Underworld to meet his father. The story closely parallels real-world events like the Trojan War, Antony and Cleopatra's affair, and the rise of Augustus' empire. Largely influenced by the literary works of Homer, Virgil "borrows Homeric turns of phrase, similes, sentiments, and whole incidents", while offering an ending to the parts of the famous stories left untold (Puchner 979). Virgil glorifies the ideal Roman leader or soldier through his storytelling of Aeneid, fighting for his country instead of his own personal glory. The word pietas comes from "The Aeneid", a word meaning "pity" and "piety" (duty). "But whereas duty may suggest adherence to a set of abstract moral principles, the Latin word connotes devotion to particular people and entities: to the gods above all, but also to one's country, leaders, community, and family" (Puchner 980). Aeneid shows the side of power and the cost of power, making the audience empathize with the characters good and evil actions. Virgil's influence on Ancient literature is profound and well-known to this day.
Puchner, Martin. et. al. "Virgil". The Norton Anthology of Western Literature. 9th edition, volume 1. W.W. Norton & Co., 2014.