RG

IN CONTEXT

Focus

Postclassical epic

Before

800 BCE Ancient Greek poet Homer writes his epic Odyssey, which influences much of Western literature.

29–19 BCE The Aeneid is written in Latin by the Roman poet Virgil. It will become a model for Latin epics of the medieval period.

After

1572 Luís de Camões’s Portuguese epic poem The Lusiads (Os Lusíadas) follows in Dante’s tradition, weaving together fiction, history, and politics in a story of Portugal’s voyages of discovery.

1667 The last great epic poem to be written in English, Paradise Lost by John Milton, reflects Britain’s emerging role as a world power.

The epic was the literary form of choice for some ...

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