How and why does Aeneas end up in Carthage in Virgil`s Aeneid?

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Virgil`s Aeneid, like the Odyssey and much of Greek tragedy, is concerned with the aftermath of the Trojan War. It is the story of Aeneas, who is son of Anchises, a cousin of the Trojan King Priam, and Aphrodite. After the defeat of Troy by the Greeks, through the ruse of the Trojan Horse, Aeneas flees Troy and sails towards Italy, where the gods have commanded him to found a new city, one that will become Rome.

Just as the vengeful gods delay the return of Odysseus to Ithaca, so to the gods, taking the same sides that they once took in the Trojan War, delay the journey of Aeneas to Italy.

Juno, the main opponent of Aeneas in the epic, commands Aeolus, the wind god, to blow Aeneas off course to North Africa. Venus, mother of Aeneas, with the permission of Jupiter, then guides Aeneas to Carthage where he meets his men and the Queen Dido.