Reason for This Page:

Our Monmouth College Class, Honors 210: Reading Through the Millennia, explored many many millennial texts, which included The Aeneid.  We made websites for each book to deepen our understanding of the books, authors, and overall millennial themes that were encompassed in each work.

What it is Meant to Do:

This webpage should broaden your knowledge of Virgil, his book The Aeneid, and offer direct examples from the book that relate it to the millennial view, and hopefully, enable you to think about other texts in the same way.


Summary of The Aeneid

Aeneas and his fellow Trojans flea their city of Troy by sailing the Mediterranean Sea because the Greeks have destroyed Troy.   They are traveling to Italy, where Aeneas is destined to be the founder of Rome, when a storm causes them to end up in Carthage.  Dido, the founder and queen of Carthage, welcomes them.

Aeneas recounts the fall of Troy that ended the ten-year Trojan War.  The final fall came when the Trojans let a wooden horse, which enclosed numerous Greek soldiers, behind their walls.  Aeneas was able to escape with his father, Anchises, his son, Ascanius, and the hearth gods that represented Troy.  Aeneas sets sail after the gods told him that he would be victorious.

They tried to build a new city twice, but were unsuccessful because of bad omens and plagues.  Harpies, creatures that are part bird and part women, also brought them turmoil.  That is when they came to Carthage. 

Dido and Aeneas become lovers, but Aeneas leaves her when the gods remind Aeneas of his obligation to found a new city.  Dido kills herself shortly after his departure by falling upon the sword that Aeneas leaves behind. 

As they again set sail for Italy, bad weather causes them to end up in Sicily, which is where they hold a funeral service for Anchises.  The women on the journey burn the ships because they are tiresome from the trip.  Rain puts out the fires.

Aeneas has a dream in which his father visits him.  This gives him the incentive to continue the journey.  When he arrives in Italy, he, led by the Sibyl of Cumae, enters the underworld to see his father.  When Aeneas returns, they continue to travel to Latium. 

As the Trojans arrive, King Latinus greets them with courtesy.  The King secretly hopes that Aeneas is the man that his daughter, Lavinia, will marry.  However, Latinusí wife, Amata, wants Lavinia to marry Turnus, a local suitor.  Amata and Turnus plot against the Trojans fbecuase of this.  Ascanius hunts s stag that was a pet of the local herdsman, and a fight begins.  Turnus, then, begins a war.

The river god, Tiberinus, tells Aeneas to travel up the Tiber River to get military aid.  On the way, Aeneasí mother, Venus, gives him new weapons made by Vulcan.  Turnus attacks while Aeneas is away.  When Aeneas returns, Turnus kills Pallas, the son of Evander, Aeneasí new ally.  Aeneas becomes furious, and many people die.

They agree to stop fight in order to bury the dead if Aeneas and Turnus combat one-on-one.  When they begin the duel, the other leaders begin to battle once again. 

Aeneas is wounded in the thigh, and Turnus comes after him.  Aeneas wounds Turnus and, after hesitating, then kills him when Aeneas remembers the death of Pallas.  

Relating Virgilís The Aeneid to the Millennium

The Aeneid encompasses a long period of time:

                Story included the destruction of city of Troy in the Trojan War and the founding of Rome

It includes religious issues in that it implies being human to the universe:

          The gods play an important role in the text:

                   They help and protect Aeneas:

                             ex) Venus asks Jupiter to watch over Aeneas

                             ex) Venus gives Aeneas new weapons when he is in need of military help, and Vulcan made them for him

          Shows us that we cannot escape our fate

                             ex) As was predicted, Aeneas founded a new city

                             ex) According to prophecy, Aeneas was to be with Lavinia, which came true

Some Good Links to Virgil and The Aeneid:


Click to view the class' papers and presentations

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(This page was designed by Wendy Thomas, Brittany Hasselberg, and Michael Fanucce for the Honors 210:  Reading Through the Millennia website.)