The Aeneid Short Summary
This is an epic poem composed by Virgil somewhere between 29 & 19 BC. It talks about a Trojan named Aeneas who traveled to Italy and became the forefather of the Romans.
The Synopsis of the Poem
Aeneas and other Trojans escape from troy following its destruction by the Greeks. As they sail towards Italy, a violent storm sends them off course eventually landing them in cartage. The queen of Carthage welcomes them, and Dido and Aeneas narrate to her their tumultuous experiences.
He narrates that the Trojan war was ended after the Greek tricked them into accepting a wooden horse that harbored soldiers in its belly. He escaped with his father, son and the hearth sculptors representing their city. He and other survivors set sail to Italy in pursuit of a glorious future promised by the gods. However, numerous calamities impeded their journey, and finally, after his father’s death, bad weather led them to Carthage.
Dido becomes impressed with Aeneas’s story and sympathizes with him. She eventually falls in love with Aeneas. After a while, the gods communicate to Aeneas, reminding him of his mission. He once again sets sail to establish a new city. The devastated Dido kills herself using Aeneas sword.
While sailing to Italy, bad weather sends the Trojans to Sicily. There Anchises, Aenea’s father visits him in a dream. This motivates him to reach Italy, whereby he goes into the underworld to visit Anchises. Anchises shows him a vision of Rome’s future history and glory. The more determined Aeneas soldiers went on with his group to Latium.
King Latinus believes Aeneas is the prophesized suitor to his daughter Lavinia. However, his wife wants the daughter to marry Turnus. So they sow discord with Trojans. One day a Trojan kills a pet stag belonging to a local. Turnus seizes this opportunity to wage war.
The river god, Tiberius tells Aeneas to sail up the Tiber in search of allies. Venus, his mother, also descends to offer him weapons. Upon his return, he witnesses Turnus killing Pallas, the son to his ally, Evander. Aeneas is furious.
After some time, both sides agree to a ceasefire. The elders decide on one-on-one combat between Aeneas and Turnus. During the duel, fighting erupts again, and Aeneas gets wounded. As the Trojans begin overpowering the enemy, Turnus runs to see Aeneas. However, Aeneas kills him in retribution to Pallas’s death.