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date: 30 October 2020


  • Stephen J. Harrison


Aeneas, character in literature and mythology, son of *Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. In the Iliad he is a prominent Trojan leader, belonging to the younger branch of the royal house, (13. 460–1, 20. 179–83, 230–41), and has important duels with *Diomedes (2) (5. 239 ff) and *Achilles (20. 153 ff.), from both of which he is rescued by divine intervention. His piety towards the gods is stressed (20. 298–9, 347–8), and *Poseidon prophesies that he and his children will rule over the Trojans (20. 307–8).This future beyond the Iliad is reflected in the version in the lost cyclic Iliu Persis (see epic cycle) that Aeneas and his family left Troy before its fall to retreat to Mt. Ida, which led later to accusations of his treachery (e.g. Origo gentis Romanae 9. 2–3). The departure of Aeneas from Troy is widely recorded, and the image of Aeneas' pious carrying of his father *Anchises on his shoulders in the retreat is common in Greek vases of the 6th cent.


  • Classical Literature
  • Religion in the Ancient World

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