Both the Aeneid and Exodus are long narratives that stem from other sources. The Aeneid, for example, is largely inspired by Homer’s The Odyssey. Though it is difficult to determine specific sources of Exodus, historians have determined that there are multiple sources. In their respective books, Moses wanders through the desert for forty years, while Aeneas travels for seven years; they have in common both of their fates taking an excessive amount of time to play out. They also have in common that their quests for the promised lands were not the character’s individual choice but rather the will of a God.
Aeneas is confronted by his mother, Venus, at the end of the Trojan War while he is in a state of madness. She says, “Son, be quick to flee, have done with fighting. I shall never desert your side until I set you safe upon your father’s threshold” (Virgil, 49). At this point, she is telling him that there is nothing left for him and his people in Troy, and that he needs to lead this people out of the city. Throughout the next books, the Gods lead Aeneas on his journey. He late...
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...ve, Aeneas and his people battle Turnus and his troops over the control of Italy and Livinia’s hand in marriage. Like Moses, during this time, he is able to see the future site of Rome, but is never able to found it.
Moses and Aeneas spent a large portion of their lives dedicated to serving their God(s) only to be denied entrance into the Promised Land in the end. There are countless similarities between Virgil’s the Aeneid and the book of Exodus. Perhaps of the most recognizable is the use of long narrative in order to lead a group of people out of a dangerous and hostile situation. The use of divine intervention throughout these journeys is an extremely important characteristic as well. Through this, the reader sees both Moses and Aeneas eventually overcome their hesitancy and follow the orders of their God(s), only to be denied a place in the Promised Land.
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