The story of Virgil's Aeneid was drawn from many sources, the most influential being the work of the Greek poet Homer. Virgil based the first six books of the Aeneid on the Odessey and the last six books on the Iliad both written by Homer. The Aeneid describes the adventures of Aeneas, the legendary Trojan hero who survived the fall of troy, sailed westward to Italy and founded Rome. During the time that Virgil wrote the Aeneid he incorporated all known Rome history up to his own time.
The book is world renowned and also is said by many to be one of the best works ever. The last chapter of the Aeneid has caused some problems for readers. The first problem that is evident is the manner in which Aeneas deals with Turnus. In book XII Turnus states that the fight should be between the two men as apposed to both armies fighting any further. Turnus had every right to dislike Aeneas who came unannounced, tried to take his fiancé, Aeneas' son killed their sacred deer, and he took his land. They have a great dual and Aeneas disarmed Turnus by striking him in the leg. With his sword to his chest Turnus makes a last request for his body to be returned to his family, as Aeneas is considering the request he notices that Turnus is wearing the sword belt of Pallas and the stoic ways of Aeneas leave him as rage, fury, and anger run through his body. He kills Turnus in anger and dedicates his death to Pallas. This loss of control and act of violence is the opposite of stoicism and the way Aeneas had been portrayed the rest of the epic.
Turnus has to die for the founding of Rome to occur but he should not have been killed in such a way. The killing was payback for the dishonorable way that Pallas was killed. The sword belt had images that reflect Augustinian Rome as did the shield in book eight. The theft of the belt from Pallas can be compared to the stolen helmet and the youth slain when his guard was down and greed had taken over. All if this represents the theme of greed and each incident resulted in death of the thief.
Another problem that the last book of the Aeneid provided for the readers was how the last scene was written in relation to the rest of the epic. At the end of the novel Aeneas kills Turnus for many reasons, most them were dishonorable. Aeneas had gone through many barriers in the epic. At the beginning of the epic Aeneas knew his duty to the people very well, this was shown in many instances such as returning for his wife during his flight from troy. But throughout the epic this theme becomes less and less vivid and the fact that he starts to understands the Gods becomes more and more evident. Due to the fact that Aeneas is half devine shows that he can be in either side of the line that divides the two. Usually a being in this state is either more devine or more human. At the beginning of the epic Aeneas is portrayed as a very human person who understands human needs. As the epic progresses this fades, his divinity states to show. At the end of the novel he is very much the opposite is of when it started and his will to understand human behavior is gone. Due to the fact that the piety that he had throughout the epic was no longer within him. Aeneas has no need for piatos because in a very short time he will become a god and he must prepare for this instead of gaining piety. The last scene changes our view of Aeneas that has been built up throughout the epic. He becomes enraged and clearly not the Aeneas that started out during the fall of Troy. This is not necessary a bad thing because the he has ahead of him needs a strong man and the occurrences throughout the book actually made him the man that the founding of Rome required him to be.
The third problem that appears in the final act of Aeneas is that his actions are