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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.