Prototype of the self-consciously literary "secondary epic", designed
as a tribute to and an imitation of the Homeric poems. These earlier
epics became culturally central through oral dissemination and the
choice of individuals; whereas the Aeneid, written in order to justify
a certain Imperial (if we can say this without the cultural baggage of
the Twentieth Century--) viewpoint, was quickly taken up by the ruling
elite and became a school textbook even in Vergil's own lifetime.