Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: Greek Aineias.
Son of Anchises and Aphrodite. Born on the mountains of Ida, he is brought up till his fifth year by his brother-in-law Alcathous, or, according to another story, by the nymphs of Ida, and after his father's misfortune becomes ruler of Dardanos. Though near of kin to the royal house of Troy, he is in no hurry to help Priam till his own cattle are carried off by Achilles. Yet he is highly esteemed at Troy for his piety, prudence, and valour; and gods come to his assistance in battle. Thus Aphrodite and Apollo shield him when his life is threatened by Diomed, and Poseidon snatches him out of the combat with Achilles. But Priam does not love him, for he and his are destined hereafter to rule the Trojans. The story of his escape at the fall of Troy is told in several ways: one is, that he bravely cut his way through the enemy to the fastnesses of Ida; another, that, like Antenor, he was spared by the Greeks because he had always counselled peace and the surrender of Helena; a third, that he made his escape in the general confusion. The older legend represents him as staying in the country, forming a new kingdom out of the wreck of the Teucrian people, and handing it down to his posterity. Indeed several townships on Ida always claimed him as their founder. The story of his emigrating, freely or under compulsion from the Greeks, and founding a new kingdom beyond seas, is clearly of post-Homeric date. In the earlier legend he is represented as settling not very far from home; then they extended his wanderings to match those of Odysseus, always pushing the limit of his voyagings farther and farther west. The poet Stesichorus (about 600 B.C.) is, so far as we know, the first who brings him to Italy. Later, in face of the fast rising power of Rome, the Greeks conceived the notion that Aeneas must have settled in Latium and become the ancestor of these Romans. This had become a settled conviction in their minds by the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., when Timaeeus, in the Roman interest, completed the Legend of Aeneas, making room in it for Latian and Roman traditions; and at Rome it was soon taken up and developed into a dogma of the state religion, representing the antagonism between Greece and Rome, the new Troy. From that time verse and prose endeavoured to bring the various places with which the name of Aeneas was connected into historic and geographic harmony, now building on a bare resemblance of names, now following kindred tables and the holy places of Aphrodite Aineias, a goddess of sea and seafaring, whose temples were generally found on the coasts. Thus by degrees the story took in the main the shape so familiar to us in Vergil's Aeneid. Aeneas flees from the flames of Troy, bearing on his shoulders the stricken Anchises with the Penates, leading his boy Ascanius and followed by his wife Creusa (who is lost on the way), till he comes to Mount Ida. There he gathers the remnant of the Trojans in twenty ships, and sails by way of Thrace and Delos to Crete, imagining that to be the destination assigned him by Apollo. But driven thence by pestilence, and warned in a dream that Italy is his goal, be is first carried out of his course to Epirus, and then makes his way to Sicily, where his father dies. He has just set out to cross to the mainland, when a hurricane raised by his enemy Juno casts him on the coast of Carthage. Here Juno and Venus have agreed that he shall marry Dido; but at Jupiter's command he secretly quits Africa, and having touched at Sicily, Cumae, and Caieta. (Gaeta), arrives, after seven years' wandering, at the Tiber's mouth. Latinus, king of Latium, gives him leave to build a town, and betroths to him his daughter Lavinia. Turnus, king of the Rutuli, to whom she had been promised before, takes up arms in alliance with Mezentius of Caere; in twenty days the war is ended by Aeneas defeating both. According to another version (not Vergil's), he disappeared after the victory on the Numicius, and was worshipped as the god Jupiter Indiges. The Roman version, in its earliest forms, as we see it in Naevius and Ennius, brought Aeneas almost into contact with the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus being regarded as children of his daughter Ilia by the god Mars. In later times, to fill up duly the space between the Fall of Troy and the Founding of Rome, the line of Alban kings, descended from Silvius, his son by Lavinia, was inserted between him and Romulus.
Type: Standard
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