Vesta is the virgin goddess of the hearth and family in Roman religion. She was depicted in human form, was represented by the fire of her temple in the Forum Romanum. Entry to her temple was permitted only to her priestesses, the Vestals, who tended the sacred fire at the hearth in her temple; as she was considered a guardian of the Roman people, her festival, the Vestalia, was regarded as one of the most important Roman holidays. During the Vestalia matrons walked barefoot through the city to the sanctuary of the goddess, where they presented offerings of food; such was Vesta's importance to Roman religion that hers was one of the last republican pagan cults still active following the rise of Christianity until it was forcibly disbanded by the Christian emperor Theodosius I in AD 391. The myths depicting Vesta and her priestesses were few, were limited to tales of miraculous impregnation by a phallus appearing in the flames of the hearth—the manifestation of the goddess. Vesta was among twelve of the most honored gods in the Roman pantheon.
She was the daughter of Saturn and Ops, sister of Jupiter, Pluto and Ceres. Her closest Greek equivalent is Hestia. Ovid derived Vesta from Latin vi stando – "standing by power". Cicero supposed that the Latin name Vesta derives from the Greek Hestia, which Cornutus claimed to have derived from Greek hestanai dia pantos; this etymology is offered by Servius as well. Another etymology is that Vesta derives from Latin uestio, as well as from Greek έστἰα. Georges Dumézil, a French comparative philologist, surmised that the name of the goddess derives from Proto-Indo-European root *h₁eu-, via the derivative form *h₁eu-s- which alternates with *h₁w-es-; the former is found in Greek εὕειν heuein, Latin urit and Vedic osathi all conveying'burning' and the second is found in Vesta.. See Gallic Celtic visc "fire." According to tradition, worship of Vesta in Italy began in Lavinium, the mother-city of Alba Longa and the first Trojan settlement. From Lavinium worship of Vesta was transferred to Alba Longa.
Upon entering higher office, Roman magistrates would go to Lavinium to offer sacrifice to Vesta and the household gods the Romans called Penates. The Penates were Trojan gods first introduced to Italy by Aeneas. Alongside those household gods was Vesta, referred to as Vesta Iliaca, with her sacred hearth being named Ilaci foci. Worship of Vesta, like the worship of many gods, originated in the home, but became an established cult during the reign of either Romulus, or Numa Pompilius; the priestesses of Vesta, known as Vestal Virgins, administered her temple and watched the eternal fire. Their existence in Alba Longa is connected with the early Roman traditions, for Romulus' mother Silvia was a priestess. Roman tradition required that the leading priest of the Roman state, the pontifex maximus reside in a domus publicus. After assuming the office of pontifex maximus in 12 BC, Augustus gave part of his private house to the Vestals as public property and incorporated a new shrine of Vesta within it.
The old shrine remained in the Forum Romanum's temple of Vesta, but Augustus' gift linked the public hearth of the state with the official home of the pontifex maximus and the emperor's Palatine residence. This strengthened the connection between the cult of Vesta. Henceforth, the office of pontifex maximus was tied to the title of emperor. In 12 BC, 28 April was chosen ex senatus consultum to commemorate the new shrine of Vesta in Augustus' home on the Palatine; the latter's hearth was the focus of the Imperial household's traditional religious observances. Various emperors led official revivals and promotions of the Vestals' cult, which in its various locations remained central to Rome's ancient traditional cults into the 4th century. Dedications in the Atrium of Vesta, dating predominantly AD 200 to 300, attest to the service of several Virgines Vestales Maxime. Vesta's worship began to decline with the rise of Christianity. In ca. 379, Gratian stepped down as pontifex maximus. In 391, despite official and public protests, Theodosius I closed the temple, extinguished the sacred flame.
Coelia Concordia stepped down as the last Vestalis Maxima in 394. Depicted as a good-mannered deity who never involved herself in the quarreling of other gods, Vesta was ambiguous at times due to her contradictory association with the phallus, she was the embodiment of the Phallic Mother: she was not only the most virgin and clean of all the gods, but was addressed as mother and granted fertility. Mythographers tell us that Vesta had no myths save being identified as one of the oldest of the gods, entitled to preference in veneration and offerings over all other gods. Unlike most gods, Vesta was hardly depicted directly. While Vesta was the flame itself, the symbol of the phallus might relate to Vesta's function in fertility cults, but it maybe invoked the goddess herself due to its relation to the fire stick used to light the sacred flame, she was sometimes thought of as a personification of the fire stick, inserted into a hollow piece of wood and rotated – in a phallic manner – to light her flame
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans. "Roman mythology" may refer to the modern study of these representations, to the subject matter as represented in the literature and art of other cultures in any period. The Romans treated their traditional narratives as historical when these have miraculous or supernatural elements; the stories are concerned with politics and morality, how an individual's personal integrity relates to his or her responsibility to the community or Roman state. Heroism was an important theme; when the stories illuminate Roman religious practices, they are more concerned with ritual and institutions than with theology or cosmogony. The study of Roman religion and myth is complicated by the early influence of Greek religion on the Italian peninsula during Rome's protohistory, by the artistic imitation of Greek literary models by Roman authors.
In matters of theology, the Romans were curiously eager to identify their own gods with those of the Greeks, to reinterpret stories about Greek deities under the names of their Roman counterparts. Rome's early myths and legends have a dynamic relationship with Etruscan religion, less documented than that of the Greeks. While Roman mythology may lack a body of divine narratives as extensive as that found in Greek literature and Remus suckling the she-wolf is as famous as any image from Greek mythology except for the Trojan Horse; because Latin literature was more known in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance, the interpretations of Greek myths by the Romans had a greater influence on narrative and pictorial representations of "classical mythology" than Greek sources. In particular, the versions of Greek myths in Ovid's Metamorphoses, written during the reign of Augustus, came to be regarded as canonical; because ritual played the central role in Roman religion that myth did for the Greeks, it is sometimes doubted that the Romans had much of a native mythology.
This perception is a product of Romanticism and the classical scholarship of the 19th century, which valued Greek civilization as more "authentically creative." From the Renaissance to the 18th century, Roman myths were an inspiration for European painting. The Roman tradition is rich in historical myths, or legends, concerning the foundation and rise of the city; these narratives focus on human actors, with only occasional intervention from deities but a pervasive sense of divinely ordered destiny. In Rome's earliest period and myth have a mutual and complementary relationship; as T. P. Wiseman notes: The Roman stories still matter, as they mattered to Dante in 1300 and Shakespeare in 1600 and the founding fathers of the United States in 1776. What does it take to be a free citizen? Can a superpower still be a republic? How does well-meaning authority turn into murderous tyranny? Major sources for Roman myth include the Aeneid of Vergil and the first few books of Livy's history as well as Dionysius' s Roman Antiquities.
Other important sources are the Fasti of Ovid, a six-book poem structured by the Roman religious calendar, the fourth book of elegies by Propertius. Scenes from Roman myth appear in Roman wall painting and sculpture reliefs; the Aeneid and Livy's early history are the best extant sources for Rome's founding myths. Material from Greek heroic legend was grafted onto this native stock at an early date; the Trojan prince Aeneas was cast as husband of Lavinia, daughter of King Latinus, patronymical ancestor of the Latini, therefore through a convoluted revisionist genealogy as forebear of Romulus and Remus. By extension, the Trojans were adopted as the mythical ancestors of the Roman people; the characteristic myths of Rome are political or moral, that is, they deal with the development of Roman government in accordance with divine law, as expressed by Roman religion, with demonstrations of the individual's adherence to moral expectations or failures to do so. Rape of the Sabine women, explaining the importance of the Sabines in the formation of Roman culture, the growth of Rome through conflict and alliance.
Numa Pompilius, the Sabine second king of Rome who consorted with the nymph Egeria and established many of Rome's legal and religious institutions. Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome, whose mysterious origins were mythologized and, said to have been the lover of the goddess Fortuna; the Tarpeian Rock, why it was used for the execution of traitors. Lucretia, whose self-sacrifice prompted the overthrow of the early Roman monarchy and led to the establishment of the Republic. Cloelia, A Roman woman taken hostage by Lars Porsena, she escaped the Clusian camp with a group of Roman virgins. Horatius at the bridge, on the importance of individual valor. Mucius Scaevola, who thrust his right hand into the fire to prove his loyalty to Rome. Caeculus and the founding of Praeneste. Manlius and the geese, about divine intervention at the Gallic siege of Rome. Stories pertaining to the Nonae Caprotinae and Poplifugia festivals. Coriolanus, a story of politics and morality; the Etruscan city of Corythus as the "cradle" of Trojan and Italian civilization.
The arrival of the Great Mother in Rome. Narratives of divine activity played a more important role in the system of Greek religious belief than among the Romans, for whom ritual and cult were primary. Although Roman religion did not have a basis in scriptures and exegesis, priestly literature was one of the earliest written forms of Latin prose; the books and commentaries of the College of Pontiffs and
Anchises was a member of the royal family of Troy in Greek and Roman legend. He was said to have been the son of King Capys of Dardania and Themiste, daughter of Ilus, son of Tros, he is most famous for his treatment in Virgil's Aeneid. Anchises' brother was father of the priest Laocoon, he was a mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite. One version is that Aphrodite seduced him, she revealed herself and informed him that they would have a son named Aeneas. Aphrodite had warned him that if he boasted of the affair, he would be blasted by the thunderbolt of Zeus, he did not heed her warning and was struck with a thunderbolt, which in different versions either blinds him or kills him. The principal early narrative of Aphrodite's seduction of Anchises and the birth of Aeneas is the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. According to the Bibliotheca and Aphrodite had another son, who died childless, he had a mortal wife named Eriopis, according to the scholiasts, he is credited with other children beside Aeneas and Lyrus.
Homer, in the Iliad, mentions a daughter named Hippodamia, their eldest, who married her cousin Alcathous. After the defeat of Troy in the Trojan War, the elderly Anchises was carried from the burning city by his son Aeneas, accompanied by Aeneas' wife Creusa, who died in the escape attempt, small son Ascanius; the subject is depicted in several paintings, including a famous version by Federico Barocci in the Galleria Borghese in Rome. The rescue is mentioned in a speech in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar when Cassius attempts to persuade Brutus to murder Caesar. Anchises himself was buried in Sicily many years later. Aeneas visited Hades and saw his father again in the Elysian Fields. Homer's Iliad mentions another Anchises, a wealthy native of Sicyon in Greece and father of Echepolus; the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite details how Aphrodite seduced Anchises. It begins by describing, she has made goddesses fall in love with mortals. Not Zeus was able to escape her powers and to put her in her place, he caused her to lust after the handsome mortal Anchises.
Aphrodite first happens upon Anchises on the hills of Mount Ida. Anchises is described as having the beauty of an immortal. Aphrodite bathes, she returns to the Troad disguised as a mortal, finds Anchises alone in a hut. When Anchises first sees Aphrodite, he is convinced that she is a grace, or a nymph, she convinces him that she is a Phrygian princess and that Hermes brought her there to marry Anchises. Anchises is overcome with desire for her and declares that he must have her and the two of them make love. After they have sex, Aphrodite dresses herself; when she is finished dressing, she reveals herself to him. When Anchises realizes her identity he is terrified and full of regret, says that no good comes from sleeping with a goddess. Aphrodite comforts him by telling him that she will bear him a son by the name of Aeneas, who will be respected among the Trojans and whose offspring will prosper. To further comfort Anchises she goes on to tell him about two relationships: the relationship between Zeus and Ganymede and the relationship between Eos and Tithonus.
Both relationships are between a mortal who survives the relationship. She details how their son will be raised by nymphs until he is five years old, at which time she will bring Aeneas to him, she leaves, warning him not to reveal that she is the mother of his child or Zeus will smite him. The Aeneid by Virgil describes the journey of Aeneas after the fall of Troy. Anchises, the father of Aeneas, is a character in the epic. Though Anchises is dead for most of the epic, he still makes multiple appearances in it, oftentimes to advise Aeneas. Anchises' first major appearance comes in Book 2, he is mentioned. During the fall of Troy, Aeneas makes his way home to save Anchises, his wife Creusa, his son Ascanius. At first Anchises tells Aeneas to leave without him. Aeneas declares that they will all die in Troy. Creusa argues with Aeneas over his decision and while they are arguing a painless flame appears on Ascanius' head. Anchises notices prays to Jupiter for a sign that they must leave. Just they hear thunder and see a falling star.
This convinces Anchises to go willingly with Aeneas. Aeneas carries Anchises on his back, Anchises carries their household gods, Ascanius walks beside his father as they all flee Troy. Creusa is killed during the escape; as they leave Troy they meet up with other fleeing Trojans. Anchises is mentioned in Book 3 while Aeneas continues his tale of how the Trojans came to be in Carthage. Anchises serves as a advisor for the fleeing Trojans. After leaving Troy, the refugees make their way to Thrace and to Delos. In Delos. Apollo tells them. Anchises misinterprets this to mean Crete and so the Trojans head for Crete. There they establish a city but they are soon overwhelmed by a plague. Anchises instructs Aeneas to seek out the Delian oracle. Before he does, he is visited in his dreams by their household gods who inform him they are in the wrong place and they must go to Italy. Aeneas tells Anchises of this dream. Anchises realizes that Apollo must have meant for them to establish a ho
Venus is a Roman goddess, whose functions encompassed love, desire, fertility and victory. In Roman mythology, she was the ancestor of the Roman people through her son, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to many religious festivals, was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles; the Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art and Latin literature. In the classical tradition of the West, Venus became one of the most referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality. Venus embodies sex, beauty, enticement and persuasive female charm among the community of immortal gods, it has connections to venerari and venia through a possible common root in an Indo-European *wenes- or *u̯enis. Their common Proto-Indo-European root is assumed as *wen- or *u̯en- "to strive for, wish for, love"). Venus has been described as "the most original creation of the Roman pantheon", "an ill-defined and assimilative" native goddess, combined "with a strange and exotic Aphrodite".
Her cults may represent the religiously legitimate charm and seduction of the divine by mortals, in contrast to the formal, contractual relations between most members of Rome's official pantheon and the state, the unofficial, illicit manipulation of divine forces through magic. The ambivalence of her persuasive functions has been perceived in the relationship of the root *venes- with Latin venenum, in the sense of "a charm, magic philtre". In myth, Venus-Aphrodite was born of sea-foam. Roman theology presents Venus as the yielding, watery female principle, essential to the generation and balance of life, her male counterparts in the Roman pantheon and Mars, are active and fiery. Venus absorbs and tempers the male essence, uniting the opposites of male and female in mutual affection, she is assimilative and benign, embraces several otherwise quite disparate functions. She can give sexual success, good fortune and prosperity. In one context, she is a goddess of prostitutes. Images of Venus have been found in domestic murals and household shrines.
Petronius, in his Satyricon, places an image of Venus among the Lares of the freedman Trimalchio's lararium. Prospective brides offered Venus a gift "before the wedding"; some Roman sources say. In dice-games, a popular pastime among Romans of all classes, the luckiest, best possible roll was known as "Venus". Venus' signs were for the most part the same as Aphrodite's, they include roses, which were offered in Venus' Porta Collina rites, above all, cultivated for its white, sweetly scented flowers, evergreen leaves and its various medical-magical properties. Venus' statues, her worshipers, wore myrtle crowns at her festivals. Before its adoption into Venus' cults, myrtle was used in the purification rites of Cloacina, the Etruscan-Roman goddess of Rome's main sewer. Roman folk-etymology transformed the ancient, obscure goddess Murcia into "Venus of the Myrtles, whom we now call Murcia". Myrtle was thought a potent aphrodisiac; the female pudendum the clitoris, was known as murtos. As goddess of love and sex, Venus played an essential role at Roman prenuptial rites and wedding nights, so myrtle and roses were used in bridal bouquets.
Marriage itself was not a seduction but a lawful condition, under Juno's authority. Venus was a patron of the ordinary, everyday wine drunk by most Roman men and women. In the rites to Bona Dea, a goddess of female chastity, Venus and anything male were not only excluded, but unmentionable; the rites allowed women to drink the strongest, sacrificial wine, otherwise reserved for the Roman gods and Roman men. Under these special circumstances, they could get virtuously, religiously drunk on strong wine, safe from Venus' temptations. Outside of this context, ordinary wine tinctured with myrtle oil was thought suitable for women. Roman generals given an ovation, a lesser form of Roman triumph, wore a myrtle crown to purify themselves and their armies of blood-guilt; the ovation ceremony was assimilated to Venus Victrix, held to have granted and purified its "easy" victory. The first known temple to Venus was vowed to Venus Obsequens by Q. Fabius Gurges in the heat of a battle against the Samnites, it was dedicated in 295 BC, at a site near the Aventine Hill, was funded by fines imposed on Roman women for sexual misdemeanours.
Its rites and character were influenced by or based on Greek Aphrodite's cults, which were diffused in various forms throughout Italian Magna Graeca. Its dedication date connects Venus Obsequens to the Vinalia rustica festival. In 217 BC, in the early stages of the Second Punic War with Carthage, Rome suffered a disastrous defeat at the battle of Lake Trasimene; the Sibyllin
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Rhea Silvia, known as Ilia, was the mythical mother of the twins Romulus and Remus, who founded the city of Rome. Her story is told in the first book of Ab Urbe Condita Libri of Livy and in fragments from Ennius and Quintus Fabius Pictor. According to Livy's account of the legend she was the daughter of Numitor, king of Alba Longa, descended from Aeneas. Numitor's younger brother Amulius seized the throne and killed Numitor's son forced Rhea Silvia to become a Vestal Virgin, a priestess of the goddess Vesta; as Vestal Virgins were sworn to celibacy for a period of thirty years, this would ensure the line of Numitor had no heirs. However, Rhea Silvia gave birth to the twins Romulus and Remus, she claimed. Livy says that she was raped by an unknown man, but "declared Mars to be the father of her illegitimate offspring, either because she imagined it to be the case, or because it was less discreditable to have committed such an offence with a god."When Amulius learned of the birth he imprisoned Rhea Silvia and ordered a servant to kill the twins.
But the servant showed mercy and set them adrift on the river Tiber, overflowing, left the infants in a pool by the bank. There, a she-wolf, who had just lost her own cubs, suckled them. Subsequently Faustulus rescued the boys; the god of the Tiber, rescued Rhea Silvia and took her to be his bride. Romulus would go on to found Rome, overthrow Amulius, reinstate Numitor as King of Alba Longa. Despite Livy's euhemerist and realist deflation of this myth, it is clear that the story of her seduction by Mars continued to be accepted; this is demonstrated by the recurring theme of Mars discovering Rhea Silvia in Roman arts: in bas-relief on the Casali Altar, in engraved couched glass on the Portland Vase, or on a sarcophagus in the Palazzo Mattei. Mars' discovery of Rhea Silvia is a prototype of the "invention scene", or "discovery scene" familiar in Roman art; the Portland Vase features a scene, interpreted as a depiction of the "invention", or coming-upon, of Rhea Sylvia by Mars. In a version presented by Ovid, it is the river Anio who takes pity on her and invites her to rule in his realm.
The name Rhea Silvia suggests a demi-goddess of forests. Silva means woods or forest, Rea may be related to res and regnum. Carsten Niebuhr proposed that the name Rhea Silvia came from Rea, meaning guilty, Silvia meaning of the forest and so assumed that Rhea Silvia was a generic name for the guilty woman of the forest, i.e. the woman, seduced there. Rhea Silvia appears as a minor goddess in Rick Riordan's fantasy novel The Mark of Athena, she and her husband Tiberinus assist demigod Annabeth Chase on her quest in Rome. She affects the appearance of Audrey Hepburn from the film Roman Holiday. In David Drake's Science Fiction story "To Bring the Light", the time travelling protagonist meets a human Rhea Silvia - a sympathetic peasant living in a small shepherd community on Palatine Hill in what would become the city of Rome. "Rhea Silva" is used as a password numerous times in the Doctor. Aeneas Founding of Rome Rhea Livy. Ab urbe condita, Book I. Quintus Ennius. "The Dream of Ilia", Annales - Book 1
In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was a first cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas a second cousin to Priam's children, he is mentioned in Homer's Iliad. Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgil's Aeneid, where he is cast as an ancestor of Romulus and Remus, he became the first true hero of Rome. Snorri Sturluson identifies him with the Norse Æsir Vidarr. Aeneas is the Latin spelling of Greek Αἰνείας. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, Aeneas is first introduced with Aphrodite naming him Αἰνείας for the αὶνóν ἄχος he caused her, where Aineías derives from the adjective αὶνóν, it is a popular etymology for the name exploited by Homer in the Iliad. In the Medieval period there were writers who held that, because the Aeneid was written by a philosopher it is meant to be read philosophically; as such, in the "natural order", the meaning of Aeneas' name combines Greek ennos and demas, which becomes ennaios, meaning "in-dweller".
However, there is no certainty regarding the origin of his name. In imitation of the Iliad, Virgil borrows epithets of Homer. Though he borrows many, Virgil pius; the epithets applied by Virgil are an example of an attitude different from that of Homer, for whilst Odysseus is poikilios, Aeneas is described as pius, which conveys a strong moral tone. The purpose of these epithets seems to enforce the notion of Aeneas' divine hand as father and founder of the Roman race, their use seem circumstantial: when Aeneas is praying he refers to himself as pius, is referred to as such by the author only when the character is acting on behalf of the gods to fulfill his divine mission. Aeneas is called pater when acting in the interest of his men; the story of the birth of Aeneas is told in one of the major Homeric Hymns. Aphrodite has caused Zeus to fall in love with mortal women. In retaliation, Zeus puts desire in her heart for Anchises, tending his cattle among the hills near Mount Ida; when Aphrodite sees him she is smitten.
She appears before him. He is overcome by her beauty, believing that she is a goddess, but Aphrodite identifies herself as a Phrygian princess. After they make love, Aphrodite reveals her true identity to him and Anchises fears what might happen to him as a result of their liaison. Aphrodite assures him that he will be protected, tells him that she will bear him a son to be called Aeneas. However, she warns him; when Aeneas is born, Aphrodite takes him to the nymphs of Mount Ida. She directs them to raise the child to age five take him to Anchises. According to other sources, Anchises brags about his encounter with Aphrodite, as a result is struck in the foot with a thunderbolt by Zeus. Thereafter he is lame in that foot. Aeneas is a minor character in the Iliad, where he is twice saved from death by the gods as if for an as-yet-unknown destiny, but is an honorable warrior in his own right. Having held back from the fighting, aggrieved with Priam because in spite of his brave deeds he was not given his due share of honour, he leads an attack against Idomeneus to recover the body of his brother-in-law Alcathous at the urging of Deiphobus.
He is the leader of the Trojans' Dardanian allies, as well as a second cousin and principal lieutenant of Hector, son of the Trojan king Priam. Aeneas's mother Aphrodite comes to his aid on the battlefield, he is a favorite of Apollo. Aphrodite and Apollo rescue Aeneas from combat with Diomedes of Argos, who nearly kills him, carry him away to Pergamos for healing. Poseidon, who favors the Greeks, comes to Aeneas's rescue after he falls under the assault of Achilles, noting that Aeneas, though from a junior branch of the royal family, is destined to become king of the Trojan people. Bruce Louden presents Aeneas as a "type" in the tradition of Utnapishtim and Philemon, Lot. Apollodorus explains that "...the Greeks let him alone on account of his piety". The Roman mythographer Gaius Julius Hyginus in his Fabulae credits Aeneas with killing 28 enemies in the Trojan War. Aeneas appears in the Trojan narratives attributed to Dares Phrygius and Dictys of Crete The history of Aeneas was continued by Roman authors.
One influential source was the account of Rome's founding in Cato the Elder's Origines. The Aeneas legend was well known in Virgil's day and appeared in various historical works, including the Roman Antiquities of the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Ab Urbe Condita by Livy, Gnaeus Pompeius Trogus; the Aeneid explains that Aeneas is one of the few Trojans who were not killed or enslaved when Troy fell. Aeneas, after being commanded by the gods to flee, gathered a group, collectively known as the Aeneads, who traveled to Italy and became progenitors of Romans; the Aeneads included Aeneas's trumpeter Misenus, his father Anchises, his friends Achates and Acmon, the healer Iapyx, the helmsman Pal