Aeneid: Unexpected Journey Part IV

Destination: Arrived

In the Kingdom of Latium was a king, named Latinus, who name was eponym of the Latins, the language of the Romans. Latinus was a son of Faunus and Marcia. He was also a legacy of Picus and of Saturn (Cronus). Latinus was married to Queen Amata, and he was a father of Princess Lavinia. Latinus ruled in the city of Laurentum. He was destined to not have any son to rule after him, so it was important to find a suitable husband for his daughter. Lavinia has many suitors, including Turnus, a young king from the city of Ardea. Turnus was most likely to have married Lavinia, because he was the strongest and most handsome of Italic suitors.
However, Latinus witnessed several miracles, which his prophet said that he must marry his daughter to no Latin prince; Lavinia must marry a foreign prince who was due to arrive soon; it was a divine decree of the Fates. However, with this stranger, war will break out on his land, because of the dispute over his daughter between his people, neighboring tribes and the newcomers. Latinus had confirmation from his father Faunus (Pan) that the oracle was true. Latinus was horrified that there will be war on his land, but he couldn't ignore the divine decree that he must marry his daughter to this Trojan prince.
Aeneas and his followers landed at the mouth of the River Tiber. As Aeneas had lunch on the field with his son, he realized that they had found their new home. When Ascanius commented on that they were eating their table. This reference came from the encounter of the harpies.
When Aeneas arrived in Laurentum, Latinus warmly greeted Aeneas, and knew immediately that this stranger was destined to marry his daughter. So when Aeneas asked for Lavinia's hand in marriage, the old king agreed.
However the Goddess Juno stirred up trouble for new settlers (again). Juno caused Amata to oppose Aeneas' suit, preferring Turnus. When Turnus found out that the king was favoring a stranger, he was also angry. Turnus refused to give up Lavinia and called upon Latinus to help him drive out the Trojans, but the old king refused to go to war against the Trojans, since he knew that Aeneas would fulfil the prophecy, regardless his wife's or Turnus' opposition to the Trojan prince.
There is a temple of Janus in Laurentum, with two Gates of War. The Latins would go to war only if both Gates were opened. Amata tried to persuade her husband to open the gates, but the old king refused. Juno, however, descent from Olympus, and with her own hands, unbolted the gates and threw the doors wide open, signaling war. Seeing that war was inevitable, Latinus abdicated to his wife.
While Aeneas was seeking allies, Turnus and the Latins had already attacked the Trojans. The Trojans were besieged in their small, hastily built fort. There was a series of skirmishes in the beginning. The Trojans were about to be overwhelmed by numerically superior force, until Aeneas arrived with reinforcement from newly formed allies, the Etruscans.
The war began to turn in the Trojans favor. The Trojans and their allies began to besiege Lauretum. Aeneas and Turnus decided to end the war through single combat, but Juno ended the truce, by stirring up the Latins. Juno used a nymph named Juturna, who was sister of Turnus, to disrupt the truce. It was Juturna who wounded Aeneas with an arrow, but Venus saved her son and healed his wound. In the guise of Turnus' charioteer, Juturna tried to protect her brother. When the city seemed to be lost, Amata committed suicide.
More fighting followed, until Aeneas and Turnus agreed to another truce; they would settle the war through single combat (again). Jupiter (Zeus) prevented Juturna from saving her brother. In the end, Aeneas was stronger and more skilful warrior than Turnus. Aeneas wounded Turnus. With Turnus' death, the Latins surrendered to the Trojans, since it was decided by single combat.
Aeneas founded the city of Lavinium, named after his wife. After Aeneas's death, Venus asked Jupiter to make her son immortal. Jupiter agreed. The river god Numicus cleansed Aeneas of all his mortal parts and Venus anointed him with ambrosia and nectar, making him a god. His legacies lead to the Roman people and Julii family (Julius Caesar).

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Daily life of Roman life: Slavery

History of Homosexual: Ancient Greece

History of GLBT in the World