Aeneas was the Roman demigod son of Venus and Prince Anchises and the father of Ascanius. He was the second greatest fighter for Troy and the second commander just after Hector. He played a part in the Trojan War and would later go on to become a hero and the founder of Roman civilization.
After the fall of Troy, Aeneas traveled for many years. He had been told a prophecy that he would find a new home for his people, which would eventually grow to become the city Rome and that it would conquer half the known world in the west. He was the main character in Virgil's The 'Aeneid, which was the Roman equivalent of Homer's The 'Odyssey.
On his journeys, he met or passed by many of the monsters that Odysseus met, such as Polyphemus and Circe, but he also met new characters such as Dido (queen of Carthage) and Deiphobe, daughter of Glaucus (who was also the Cumaean Sibyl). He also entered the Underworld to see his father's spirit in Elysium. He spent a good part of his mission in friendly island or cities, especially in Carthage, a city that some decades later would become the greatest enemy of Rome. He didn't found Rome directly, but was the predecessor of Romulus and Remus. Instead he founded the city that three centuries later would help in the foundation of Rome.
When Troy fell and started to burn, Aeneas escaped from it with his father on his back and his son running by his side. They went to the beach and encountered other survivors, including some of Troy's princes. They built a small fleet and within a month, left the coast and traveled to Thrace. There, after cutting a tree, they discovered the land was cursed by a horrendous murder so they left as soon as they could.
After leaving Thrace, they headed to Crete and there they found a city. After a few months, Aeneas and his father heard a prophecy saying that their destiny was Italy. So they went back in the ships and headed to Italy. In the middle of the sea, a tempest hit them and they traveled without a course for three days. When it finally stopped, they got to an island apparently without inhabitants. What they did not know was that the Harpies lived there, and after a furious attack, they were forced to leave the island.
After a long trip through the sea, they finally saw Italy, but because a war was prophesied to start on that land if they left the boat, they choose to continue looking for a place to live. When they arrived at Polyphemus' island, it was night and they couldn't see a thing. After a Greek soldier found them and told them where they were, they left again as fast as they could. They passed close to Charybdis, but they survived without any damage. They got to Sicily a few days later.
As soon as they left Sicily, Hera sent them a storm and they would have sunk if it weren't for the help of Poseidon, who secured their trip to closet port, Carthage. Aeneas stayed there for a couple of years, sometimes said to be months, but after an order from Zeus, he left and started the journey to Italy. This made the queen of Carthage commit suicide, because she was madly in love with Aeneas.
He caused a great war in Italy, after Latinus, the king of the Romans, gave his daughter Lavinia to Aeneas in marriage. However, Lavinia was already betrothed to the leader of the Rutuli, Turnus. Though Hera helped the Rutuli, after a few days they were defeated and Turnus was killed by Aeneas. The Trojans founded a city, Lavinium. After Aeneas's death, his son Ascanius founded Alba Longa, which would later be of major importance for Romulus and Remus and to the foundation of Rome.
Aeneas was mentioned by Aphrodite in a dream message to Piper McLean, as well as by Aeolus, when he was talking about Roman demigods. Clovis also mentioned that his father's Roman form, Somnus, killed Aeneas's helmsman when they were sailing from Troy.
- His name means "to praise" in Ancient Greek.
- He is considered to be the first Roman demigod ever recorded. But Rome wasn't founded until long after he was born; the new forms of the gods were probably only known as the "Roman" gods when Rome was founded.
- He was the ancestor of Romulus and Remus through their mother, Rhea Silvia. Therefore, Romulus and Remus legacies of Venus, as well as demigod sons of Mars.
- The writer of the Aeneid, Virgil, is said to be "Il nostro mayor poeta" (our greatest poet in Italian).