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What is a "Romance?"

Jerry Root, in a video talk by the CS Lewis Institute, said that the term Romance was connected with the story of Aeneas, told by Virgil, wherein he longed for Rome.  Thus the term Romance refers to a story that contains the element of longing for home, viz. Rome, in the case of Aeneas.

I wonder if the term is that directly connected to this aspect of the life of Aeneas.  I can easily see how it is connected to the motif of longing for home, or for some other longing of the soul.  I did some internet searches on the term Romance, and it is commonly connected with the Romance languages, but no connection is made with any particular story.  For fun, I consulted Chatgpt on the matter.  Here's the conversation:

Me: Is the source of the term Romance connected with the story of Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid?

Chatgpt: Yes, the term "Romance" is connected with the story of Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid. The term "Romance" originally referred to a narrative poem in the Romance language, which was a term used to describe the vernacular languages that developed from Latin in the Middle Ages.

The Romance languages included French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian, among others. These languages evolved from the Latin spoken by the Roman Empire, and the stories told in these languages often featured heroes who embodied the virtues of the ancient Romans.

One of the most famous of these stories was the legend of Aeneas, who was the hero of Virgil's Aeneid. The Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas, a Trojan prince who fled the city of Troy after it was destroyed by the Greeks. Aeneas eventually landed in Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Roman people.

The story of Aeneas was a popular subject in medieval literature and was often retold in Romance languages such as French and Italian. As a result, the term "Romance" came to be associated with stories of chivalry, adventure, and love that were written in these languages. Today, the term "Romance" is still used to refer to a genre of fiction that typically features love, adventure, and heroic deeds, often set in a historical or imaginary world.

As usual, we have here a verbose, high-school level essay.  It does make the connection in the last paragraph.  The Aeneid being the foremost of the Roman epics, one can imagine people associating all other Roman stories of adventure and longing into a particular genre.  I wonder what textual evidence there is for this process.  

Any comments about this?  Thanks.


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