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Aeneas, Aineias, was a hero in the Trojan War and was considered to be the second best fighter of the Trojans, after Prince Hector. He was both pious and upright, loved by both the gods and mortal and respected as a worthy adversary in the field of battle. However, in every battle that he found himself losing, a god would intervene in his favor, saving his life.

Family


He was the son of the Trojan Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. He was related to the royal house of Troy through his father, who was the second cousin of Priam, King of Troy at the time of the Trojan War. He sired Ascanius with Creusa, daughter of Priam and, later, Silvius with Lavinia.

Trojan War


Aeneas did not initially take part in the Trojan War as he and Priam harbored ill feelings towards each other. This is speculated to be because of the prophecy which named Aeneas and his descendants as the future rulers of Troy, as the house of Priam had lost favor with Zeus. However, after the Greek hero Achilles had stolen his cattle while he was tending them on Mount Ida, he gathered the Dardanians against the Greeks and joined in the fray. In one instance, while he was engaged in combat with Diomedes, he was severely incapacitated and was about to be killed but was ultimately saved by Apollo after being unsuccessfully saved by his mother Aphrodite. He also slaughtered Oenomaus and Aphareus as revenge for Alcathous. The last he is mentioned in the Illiad is when he fought with Achilles, and although he was bested, he was again saved by a god, this time Poseidon, who did this so that the prophecy about Aeneas being the future ruler of Troy might be fulfilled. Some accounts say that Aphrodite had warned Aeneas to leave the city before it was destroyed and he had done so carrying his crippled father on his back and leading his son by the hand. His wife Creusa was said to have been separated from them and died. The Achaeans were said to have let him flee on account of his piety.

The Aeneid


After he had fled from Troy and met up with his fellow Dardanians in Mount Ida, he traveled by sea and after a fierce storm was forced to land in Carthage. There, he had a year-long affair with the queen Dido. However, after being reminded of the purpose of his journey by the messenger of the gods, Mercury(Hermes), he discreetly set out to Italy, where he decided to settle in Latium. There, Latinus, king of Latium, decided to give him his daughter Lavinia in marriage. However, under the leadership of Turnus, the suitors of Lavinia declared war on Aeneas and his fellow Trojans. Aeneas sought allies while his men held off the enemy troops. When an ally king's son was killed during a battle, he avenged his death by killing Turnus and thereby ending the war. He married Lavinia after the war and their son Silvius became the ruler of Alba Longa. After his death, Aphrodite is said to have requested that he be made immortal. Jupiter(Zeus) called the river-god Numicus to cleanse him and Aphrodite gave him the Ambrosia and Nectar that made him a god.

Literature


  • In the Divine Comedy, Aeneas is among the shades Dante sees in the section of Limbo for "virtuous pagans"
  • In David Gemmel's Troy series, Aeneas is featured as the main protagonist hero going by the name, Helikaon

Trivia



  • Aeneas is said to be the forefather of Rome, because Romulus, the founder of Rome, descended from his line.

Sources


http://www.mythindex.com/greek-mythology/A/Aeneas.html
http://www.mythindex.com/roman-mythology/A/Aeneas.html
http://www.timelessmyths.com/classical/heroes2.html
http://www.timelessmyths.com/classical/aeneid.html
http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Aeneas.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeneas
http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/barocci/aeneas/aeneas.jpg