The Downfall Of Greece And The Rise Of Rome

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The Downfall of Greece and the Rise of Rome: How Odysseus and Aeneas Reflect History

More often than not, it is the direction of a great leader that is responsible for shaping the ideals of the culture which is being led. In ancient history, these admirable leaders rose to power through their success as war heroes. A war hero is many great things: courageous, selfless, and loyal. It is often a hero who is responsible for the fate of their country. Odysseus of The Odyssey by Homer and Aeneas of The Aeneid by Virgil are no different. They each epitomize the ideals of their individual cultures and serve as role models for future leaders. However, it can be only minor details that truly impact the end result for a country. A war hero tends to go one of two ways: They allow their pride to get the best of them, or they are so driven and focused that their small successes add up to the targeted big success. Although they each embody the heroic ideals of their respective cultures and are therefore representative of their cultures, Odysseus’ and Aeneas’ actions actually serve to reflect the opposite fates of ancient Greece and Rome.

In Ancient Greece, being a hero meant abundant spoils, huge influence in the politics of the entire country, and eternal fame: Being recognized as a hero was as close as a mortal could get to being an everlasting god. To earn his title, Odysseus of The Odyssey by Homer had to meet specific guidelines. For example, he was required to be physically
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