Virgil invokes the muse and declares his subject: Aeneas, a fleeing Trojan that must contend
with the will of Juno, who is angry because, according to prophesy, Aeneas’s
descendants (Rome) will eventually destroy Carthage, her favorite city.
Aeolus, god of the winds, to unleash a storm on the sailing Trojans.
Neptune senses the storm and calms it, saying that Aeolus has gone too far.
Seven Trojan ships remain, and they head for the harbor of Libya.
Aeneas goes to hunt for food.
On Mount Olympus,
Venus, mother of Aeneas, asks Jupiter to end the suffering of the
Jove reminds her that Aeneas is destined to reach Italy and that two of
his descendants, Romulus and Remus, will found the greatest empire in the world.
Jove sends a god to the Carthaginians to make sure they are hospitable to the Trojans.
Venus, disguised as a huntress, appears to Aeneas and tells him how Dido became queen
She tells him to seek her out and ask for help.
Dido had lived in the Phoenician city of Tyre, but her brother,
Pygmalion, murdered her
Warned by her husband’s ghost, she and some
others fled and founded Carthage.
As she leaves, Venus reveals her true identity.
Venus makes a magic cloud around Aeneas and his friend
Achates, so that they can enter
the city unseen.
There, the two see a shrine to Juno that has a mural depicting the Trojan War.
When they reach the palace, they find other Trojans that had been separated from them
asking Dido for aid.
Aeneas steps out of the cloud, introduces himself, and is reunited with the other Trojans.
Dido invites them all to feast with her that night.
Venus has her son
Eros make Dido fall in love with Aeneas.
Eros takes on the form of
Ascanius and does so.
Dido asks Aeneas to tell the story of his travels.
Aeneas begins with the story of the Trojan Horse, which was Odysseus’ idea.
The Danaans (Greeks) built the horse and sailed a short distance away from Troy.
A Greek youth named
Sinon stays behind and tells the Trojans that he was left as a
sacrifice to ensure safe passage home for the Greeks.
Sinon tells the Trojans that the Horse was built as an offering to
If the Trojans
harm it, they will incur her wrath, but if they take it into the city, they will gain
her favor and defeat the Greeks.
A Trojan priest named
Laocoön does not believe this and hurls a spear at the Horse.
two snakes come out of the ocean, devour Laocoön and his sons, and slither to
the shrine of Minerva.
This is considered an omen, and the Trojans take the Horse.
That night, Sinon opens the belly of the Horse and several Greek heroes open the gates.
Hector appears to Aeneas in a dream and informs him that Troy is under attack.