potentially powerful entities, and the diversity of cultural experiences presented to the hero that can be considered analogous to the experience of the contemporary individual as he or she moves through life in a global society.
The Aenid myth was used as a communication tool to influence citizens, building national unity in Rome during a distresses political period that is analogous to patriotic propaganda found in contemporary media in many of today’s societies. The Aeneid was written during a time of strife in the Roman government, with the myth forming a building block that helped to stabilize cultural identity. Contrary to the content of the myth itself, Aeneas was considered to be the founder of Rome only by a few select Greek authors, while most Roman authors merely attributed some Trojan descent to Aeneas (Sculler 48-49). The first half of the Aeneid in particular stresses the theme that homeland is an ultimate source of identity by placing the characters in challenging situations as they wash up on foreign shores at the mercy of forces, gods and supernatural beings, much more powerful than themselves. As the plot progresses, the hero, Aeneas, is shown to grow from a character largely driven by destiny out of his control to a strong leader, one that is personally invested in his destiny, as exemplified by the Trojans journey from Carthage toward Italy in Book V, and by the depiction of Aeneas’ visit to his father in the realm of the dead in Book VI. Whereas the Aeneid emphasizes a hero that ultimately becomes the owner of his own destiny, the Ramayana conversely depicts a much more idealized set of characters that are driven largely by destiny. The Ramayana stresses the theme of obedience and societal order when Rama refuses Bharata’s request to return and rule based solely on his obligation to fufill his father’s wishes. These themes were tools of communication in India supported by sponsorship royalty and wealthy landowners who