Roman_History_Study_Guide[1]

Roman_History_Study_Guide[1] - Aeneas The protagonist of...

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Aeneas - The protagonist of the Aeneid. Aeneas is a survivor of the siege of Troy, a city on the coast of Asia Minor. His defining characteristic is piety, a respect for the will of the gods. He is a fearsome warrior and a leader able to motivate his men in the face of adversity, but also a man capable of great compassion and sorrow. His destiny is to found the Roman race in Italy and he subordinates all other concerns to this mission. The Aeneid is about his journey from Troy to Italy, which enables him to fulfill his fate. Juno – The queen of the gods, the wife and sister of Jupiter, and the daughter of Saturn. Juno (Hera in Greek mythology) hates the Trojans because of the Trojan Paris’s judgment against her in a beauty contest. She is also a patron of Carthage and knows that Aeneas’s Roman descendants are destined to destroy Carthage. She takes out her anger on Aeneas throughout the epic, and in her wrath acts as his primary divine antagonist. Venus – The goddess of love and the mother of Aeneas. Venus (Aphrodite in Greek mythology) is a benefactor of the Trojans. She helps her son whenever Juno tries to hurt him, causing conflict among the gods. She is also referred to as Cytherea, after Cythera, the island where she was born and where her shrine is located. Achates – a personal friend of Aeneas Dido – The queen of Carthage, a city in northern Africa, in what is now Libya, and lover of Aeneas. Dido left the land of Tyre when her husband was murdered by Pygmalion, her brother. She and her city are strong, but she becomes an unfortunate pawn of the gods in their struggle for Aeneas’s destiny. Her love for Aeneas, provoked by Venus, proves to be her downfall. After he abandons her, she constructs a funeral pyre and stabs herself upon it with Aeneas’s sword. Ascanius– Aeneas’s young son by his first wife, Creusa. Ascanius (also called Iulus) is most important as a symbol of Aeneas’s destiny—his future founding of the Roman race. Though still a child, Ascanius has several opportunities over the course of the epic to display his bravery and leadership. He leads a procession of boys on horseback during the games of Book V and he helps to defend the Trojan camp from Turnus’s attack while his father is away. Laocoon – Trojan priest who warns the Trojans against bringing the Trojan horse into Troy. He hurls a spear into the side of the horse, and later he and his two sons are eaten by sea serpents while sacrificing to Poseidon.
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Sinon - The Greek youth who pretends to have been left behind at the end of the Trojan War. Sinon persuades the Trojans to take in the wooden horse as an offering to Minerva, then lets out the warriors trapped inside the horse’s belly. Polydorus – Priam’s youngest son during the Trojan War who was betrayed by the Tracian King after he was entrusted to his protection.
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