Aeneas (Myths and Legends of the World)
The hero Aeneas appears in both Greek and Roman mythology. He was a defender of Troy, the city in that the Greeks destroyed in the Trojan Warlegendary war between the Greeks and the people of Troy that was set off by the kidnapping of Helen, wife of the king of Sparta; inspiration for Homer's epics the Iliad and the Odyssey. After the war, Aeneas led the Trojans who survived to the land now called Italy. According to Roman versions of the myth, Aeneas and his followers founded Rome, and he became its first great hero and legendary father.
The Setting. Like many legendary heroes, Aeneas was a nobleman and a as well. His father was Anchises, a member of the royal family of Troy. One day Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love (called Venus by the Romans), saw Anchises on the hills of Mount Ida near his home. The goddess was so overcome by the handsome youth that she seduced him and bore him a son, Aeneas.
Mountain nymphsminor goddess of nature, usually represented as young and beautiful raised Aeneas until he was five years old, when he was sent to live with his father. Aphrodite had made Anchises promise not to tell anyone that she was the boy's mother. Still, he did so and was struck by lightning. In some versions of the legend, the lightning killed Anchises; in others, it made him blind...
(The entire section is 1618 words.)
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