Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 28 January 2023


, Italian hero


, Italian hero
  • Stephen J. Harrison


Turnus (1), Italian hero, in *Virgil son of Daunus and the *nymph Venilia and brother of the nymph Juturna; the Greek tradition calls him ‘Tyrrhenus’, suggesting an *Etruscan link (Dion. Hal. 1. 64. 2). His role as *Aeneas' rival in Italy is well established before Virgil (Cato frs. 9, 11 Peter; Dion. Hal. 1. 64. 2; Livy, 1. 2. 1–5). In the Aeneid he is king of *Ardea and the Rutulians and favoured suitor, not fiancé, of *Latinus' daughter Lavinia; rejected in favour of Aeneas and maddened by Juno's intervention, he rouses the Latins (see latini) against the Trojans (Aen. 7). In the war (Aen. 9–12) he fights bravely as the Latin commander and can elicit sympathy, but is sometimes rash; his high-handed appropriation of the sword-belt of the dead *Pallas(2) leads tragically at the very end of the poem to his own death at the hands of Aeneas.


  • Latin Literature
  • Roman Myth and Religion

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription