AENEAS Trojan hero of both GREECE and ROME. Aeneas appears in the Latin epic poem the AENEID, by VIRGIL. Aeneas was the son of ANCHISES and the goddess VENUS (APHRODITE), and the nephew of King PRIAM of TROY. In HOMER’s ILIAD, Aeneas is an ally of Troy during the TROJAN WAR and a gallant warrior, frequently aided by the gods. After the fall of Troy and many travels, Aeneas eventually established himself on the banks of the river TIBER, in western Italy, married LAVINIA, daughter of LATINUS, and built the town of Lavinium. Aeneas was worshiped by the Romans as the founder of their race.
Taken from : Greek and Roman Mythology A to Z, Revised Edition – Written by Kathleen N. Daly and Revised by Marian Rengel- Copyright © 2004, 1992 by Kathleen N. Daly
Aeneas (praiseworthy) In Greek and Roman mythology, Trojan hero appearing in the Latin epic poem the Aeneid. Aeneas was the son of Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite, the brother of Lyrus. He was born on the mountains of Ida and brought up until his fifth year by his brother-in-law Alcathous or, according to a variant myth, by the nymphs of Ida. Though he was a close relative of King Priam of Troy, Aeneas did not enter the war until his cattle had been stolen by the Greek hero Achilles. Priam did not love Aeneas because he knew that Aeneas and his descendants would be the future rulers of the Trojans. At Troy he was highly esteemed for his piety (“pious Aeneas” he is called in The Aeneid), prudence, and valor. Often the gods came to his assistance. Thus, Aphrodite and Apollo shielded him when his life was threatened by Diomed, and Poseidon snatched him out of combat with Achilles. His escape from Troy is told in several variations. In one he makes his way through the enemy to Ida. In another Aeneas was spared by the Greeks because he had always sought peace and the return of Helen to Greece. A third variation tells how he made his escape during the confusion following the fall of the city. In yet another he is said to have formed a new kingdom out of the wreck of the people and handed it down to his progeny. Several cities on Ida claimed Aeneas as their founder. The myth of Aeneas’s emigrating and founding a new kingdom beyond the seas is postHomeric. His tale, as it is known in Western art and literature, is told in Vergil’s Aeneid. Dante, in The Divine Comedy, regards Aeneas as the founder of the Roman Empire. Aeneas is placed by Dante in limbo in company with his ancestress Electra, as well as Hector and Julius Caesar. In British mythology Brutus, the first king of Britain, is the great-grandson of Aeneas. In Shakespeare’s Troilus and Cressida, the character of Aeneas is not developed, but in Julius Caesar (1.2.112) and Henry VI, Part II (5.2.62) reference is made to Aeneas’s bearing his father, Anchises, on his shoulders. In Cymbeline (3.4.60) the hero is “false Aeneas,” referring to his desertion of Dido.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante