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aeneid

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aeneid
Aeneas continues to the field of war heroes, where he sees many casualties of the Trojan War. The Greeks flee at first sight of him. The Sibyl urges Aeneas onward, and they pass an enormous fortress. Inside the fortress, Rhadamanthus doles out judgments upon the most evil of sinners, and terrible tortures are carried out. Finally, Aeneas and the Sibyl come to the Blessed Groves, where the good wander about in peace and comfort. At last, Aeneas sees his father. Anchises greets him warmly and congratulates him on having made the difficult journey. He gladly answers some of Aeneas’s many questions, regarding such issues as how the dead are dispersed in Dis and how good souls can eventually reach the Fields of Gladness. But with little time at hand, Anchises presses on to the reason for Aeneas’s journey to the underworld—the explication of his lineage in Italy. Anchises describes what will become of the Trojan descendants: Romulus will found Rome, a Caesar will eventually come from the line of Ascanius, and Rome will reach a Golden Age of rule over the world. Finally, Aeneas grasps the profound significance of his long journey to Italy. Anchises accompanies Aeneas out of Dis, and Aeneas returns to his comrades on the beach. At once, they pull up anchor and move out along the coast.
Turnus
The ruler of the Rutulians in Italy. Turnus is Aeneas’s major antagonist among mortals. He is Lavinia’s leading suitor until Aeneas arrives. This rivalry incites him to wage war against the Trojans, despite Latinus’s willingness to allow the Trojans to settle in Latium and Turnus’s understanding that he cannot successfully defy fate. He is brash and fearless, a capable soldier who values his honor over his life.
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.
Anchises
Aeneas’s father, and a symbol of Aeneas’s Trojan heritage. Although Anchises dies during the journey from Troy to Italy, he continues in spirit to help his son fulfill fate’s decrees, especially by guiding Aeneas through the underworld and showing him what fate has in store for his descendants.
Creusa
Aeneas’s wife at Troy, and the mother of Ascanius. Creusa is lost and killed as her family attempts to flee the city, but tells Aeneas he will find a new wife at his new home.
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.
Latinus
The king of the Latins, the people of what is now central Italy, around the Tiber River. Latinus allows Aeneas into his kingdom and encourages him to become a suitor of Lavinia, his daughter, causing resentment and eventually war among his subjects. He respects the gods and fate, but does not hold strict command over his people.
Lavinia
Latinus’s daughter and a symbol of Latium in general. Lavinia’s character is not developed in the poem; she is important only as the object of the Trojan-Latin struggle. The question of who will marry Lavinia—Turnus or Aeneas—becomes key to future relations between the Latins and the Trojans and therefore the Aeneid’s entire historical scheme.
Amata
Queen of Laurentum (a region of Latium, in Italy) and wife of Latinus. Amata opposes the marriage of Lavinia, her daughter, to Aeneas and remains loyal throughout to Turnus, Lavinia’s original suitor. Amata kills herself once it is clear that Aeneas is destined to win.
Evander
King of Pallanteum (a region of Arcadia, in Italy) and father of Pallas. Evander is a sworn enemy of the Latins, and Aeneas befriends him and secures his assistance in the battles against Turnus.
Pallas
Son of Evander, whom Evander entrusts to Aeneas’s care and tutelage. Pallas eventually dies in battle at the hands of Turnus, causing Aeneas and Evander great grief. To avenge Pallas’s death, Aeneas finally slays Turnus, dismissing an initial impulse to spare him.
Drancës
A Latin leader who desires an end to the Trojan-Latin struggle. Drancës questions the validity of Turnus’s motives at the council of the Latins, infuriating Turnus.
Camilla
The leader of the Volscians, a race of warrior maidens. Camilla is perhaps the only strong mortal female character in the epic.
Juturna
Turnus’s sister. Juno provokes Juturna into inducing a full-scale battle between the Latins and the Trojans by disguising herself as an officer and goading the Latins after a treaty has already been reached.
Achates
A Trojan and a personal friend of Aeneas.
Aeolus
The god of the winds, enlisted to aid Juno in creating bad weather for the Trojans in Book I.
Allecto
One of the Furies, or deities who avenge sins, sent by Juno in Book IV to incite the Latin people to war against the Trojans.
Tiberinus
The river god associated with the Tiber River, where Rome will eventually be built. At Tiberinus’s suggestion, Aeneas travels upriver to make allies of the Arcadians.

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