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date: 09 February 2023



  • Stephen J. Harrison


Ascanius, character in literature and mythology, son of *Aeneas. Not mentioned in Homer, he appears in the Aeneas-legend by the 5th cent. bce, at first as one of several sons of Aeneas (Hellanicus, FGrH 4 F 24, 31). His mother in the cyclic Cypria (see epic cycle § 4 (6)) was Eurydice (Paus. 10. 26. 1); in Virgil and Livy and thereafter she is *Creusa (2), daughter of Priam; Livy also mentions a further version, that he was the son of Lavinia (Livy 1. 3. 2–3). The gens Iulia claimed him as eponymous founder with an alternative name of ‘Iulus’, variously derived (cf. Aen. 1. 267–8 with Servius). In the Aeneid he is a projection of typical and sometimes ideal Roman youth, but still too young to play a major part; other versions tell of his subsequent career as king of *Lavinium and founder of *Alba Longa, the city from which Rome was founded (e.


  • Latin Literature
  • Roman Myth and Religion

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