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aeneas
the last of the trojans

WHO IS AENEAS

Aeneas is the mythical hero of Troy as mentioned by  iliad and the pioneer of Rome as mentioned by Virgil.  He is the son of the goddess Aphrodite and Anchises. Aeneas was a member of the royal family of  Troy and also the cousin of Prince Hector. He played an important role in the war and reflected by Iliad as one of most horrifying warriors of Trojans in defending Troy against the Greeks. İt is believed that Aeneas was the leader of the survivors of Trojan war after Troy has fallen & been invaded. In brief, Aeneas survived the war, and his figure was thus available to compilers of the myth  of the Roman civilisation.

Aeneas, his family, Anchises, and Ascanius are escaping from Troy after its fall (above).

A marble statue from Borghese gallery depicting the same sceene (below)

borghese-gallery

VIRGIL

Virgil was regarded by the Romans as their greatest poet, an estimation that subsequent generations have upheld. His fame rests chiefly upon the Aeneid, which tells the story of Rome’s legendary founder and proclaims the Roman mission to civilize the world under divine guidance. His reputation as a poet endures not only for the music and diction of his verse and for his skill in constructing an intricate work on the grand scale but also because he embodied in his poetry aspects of experience and behaviour of permanent significance.

Virgil’s-Aeneid.jpg

The association of Homeric heroes with Italy and Sicily goes back to the 8th century BCE, when Homer’s epic poems started to be spreadedas written texts and the Greek colonies which were founded on those regions in the next century frequently mentions about their ancestries from the Trojan War. Aeneas is also depicted as connected with certain places and families, especially in the region of Latium. As Rome expans its borders over the peninsula and the Mediterranean, the patriotic writers & poets of the new empire began to patch a mythical tradition over their past which would at once show & dignify their land connected with antiquity, and so, would satisfy the citizens who doesn't like the cultural superiority of Greeks. The fact that Aeneas, as a Trojan, was the perfect element who was representing the enemy of the Greeks and that tradition made him peculiarly fit for the part assigned him the founding of Roman greatness.

The association of Homeric heroes with Italy and Sicily goes back to the 8th century BCE, when Homer’s epic poems started to be spreadedas written texts and the Greek colonies which were founded on those regions in the next century frequently mentions about their ancestries from the Trojan War. Aeneas is also depicted as connected with certain places and families, especially in the region of Latium. As Rome expans its borders over the peninsula and the Mediterranean, the patriotic writers & poets of the new empire began to patch a mythical tradition over their past which would at once show & dignify their land connected with antiquity, and so, would satisfy the citizens who doesn't like the cultural superiority of Greeks. The fact that Aeneas, as a Trojan, was the perfect element who was representing the enemy of the Greeks and that tradition made him peculiarly fit for the part assigned him the founding of Roman greatness.

Virgil was the poet who created the legend related to Aeneas since the 1st century BCE. he was claimes as the ancestor of the families of Julius Caesar, and Augustus, whose son Ascanius was also called ''Iulus''. By combining two different traditions, Virgil created ''Aeneid'' which was his masterpiece. It was the Latin epic poem whose hero symbolized not only the course and aim of Roman history but also the career and policy of Augustus himself. Virgil portrayed the qualities of persistence, self-denial, and obedience of Aeneas in his journey from Troy westward to Sicily, Carthage, and finally to the mouth of the Tiber in Italy,  where he built Rome.

aeneas-treated-by-iapyx

The Aeneid which was written c. 29–19 BCE & was 12 books tells about legendary foundation of Lavinium which was founded by Aeneas as the parent town of Alba Longa and of Rome. When Troy fell to the Greeks, Virgil recounts, Aeneas, who had fought bravely to the last, was ordered by Hector to escape from Troy with survivors and to found a great city overseas which would make the legend of Troy alive. Aeneas gathered his family and the other survivors and took the household gods of Troy, but, in the confusion of leaving the burning city, his wife disappeared. Her ghost leads him to western land where there was a river called ''Tiber''. He then goes to a long voyage, on the shores of Thrace, Crete, and Sicily and meeting with numerous adventures that is finalised in a shipwreck on the coast of Africa near Carthage. These parts makes the reader associate with Odyysey & brings a thought that he combined İliad & Odyysey to create his own epic. . There he was seved by the widowed queen Dido, to whom he told his story. They soon fell in love, and he lingered there until Mercury reminds him that Rome was his goal. He immediately abandoned Dido by feeling quilty, because Dido committed suicide. Aeneas sailed until he finally reached the mouth of the Tiber. There he was well hosted by Latinus, the king of the region. But the other Italians, especially Latinus’s wife and Turnus who was the leader of the Rutuli, got angry of the arrival of the Trojans and the planned marriage alliance between Aeneas and Lavinia who was Latinus’s daughter. They fought in war, but the Trojans overcomed Turnus and he was killed. Aeneas then married Lavinia and founded Lavinium.

Aeneas_defeats_Turnus.jpg

Aeneas’s character as portrayed by Virgil is not only that of a heroic warrior bu he lives his life by obedience to divine command, to which he sacrifices his own natural inclinations and instincts. 
The death of Aeneas is described by Dionysius of Halicarnassus. After he had fallen in battle against the Rutuli, his body could not be found, and he was thereafter worshiped as a local god called, according to Livy, Juppiter indiges.

Below is a short part from Iliad depicting Aeneas & the others in fight. (Book 20)

So fierce Achilles on Æneas flies;
So stands Æneas, and his force defies.
Ere yet the stern encounter join'd, begun
The seed of Thetis thus to Venus' son:

"Why comes Æneas through the ranks so far?
Seeks he to meet Achilles' arm in war,
In hope the realms of Priam to enjoy,
And prove his merits to the throne of Troy?
Grant that beneath thy lance Achilles dies,
The partial monarch may refuse the prize;
Sons he has many; those thy pride may quell:
And 'tis his fault to love those sons too well,
Or, in reward of thy victorious hand,
Has Troy proposed some spacious tract of land
An ample forest, or a fair domain,
Of hills for vines, and arable for grain?
Even this, perhaps, will hardly prove thy lot.
But can Achilles be so soon forgot?
Once (as I think) you saw this brandish'd spear
And then the great Æneas seem'd to fear:
With hearty haste from Ida's mount he fled,
Nor, till he reach'd Lyrnessus, turn'd his head.
Her lofty walls not long our progress stay'd;
Those, Pallas, Jove, and we, in ruins laid:
In Grecian chains her captive race were cast;
'Tis true, the great Æneas fled too fast.
Defrauded of my conquest once before,
What then I lost, the gods this day restore.
Go; while thou may'st, avoid the threaten'd fate;
Fools stay to feel it, and are wise too late."

ARTICHAEOLOGY

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Storage Jar with Aeneas and Anchises Gre
aeneas_düzenlendi_düzenlendi.jpg
 
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