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16 Cards in this Set

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Aeneas
The protagonist of the Aeneid. He is a survivor of the siege of Troy, a city on the coast of Asia Minor. His defining characteristic is piety, a respect for the will of the gods. He is a fearsome warrior and a leader able to motivate his men in the face of adversity, but also a man capable of great compassion and sorrow. His destiny is to found the Roman race in Italy and he subordinates all other concerns to this mission. The Aeneid is about his journey from Troy to Italy, which enables him to fulfill his fate.
Dido
The queen of Carthage, a city in northern Africa, in what is now Tunisia, and lover of Aeneas. She left the land of Tyre when her husband was murdered by Pygmalion, her brother. She and her city are strong, but she becomes an unfortunate pawn of the gods in their struggle for Aeneas’s destiny. Her love for Aeneas proves to be her downfall. After he abandons her, she constructs a funeral pyre and stabs herself upon it with Aeneas’s sword.
Ascanius
Aeneas’s young son by his first wife, Creusa. He (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 he 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. She 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. He 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.
Juno
The queen of the gods, the wife and sister of Jupiter, and the daughter of Saturn. She hates the Trojans because of the Trojan Paris’s judgment against her in a beauty contest. She is also a patron of Carthage and knows that Aeneas’s Roman descendants are destined to destroy Carthage. She takes out her anger on Aeneas throughout the epic, and in her wrath acts as his primary divine antagonist.
Venus
The goddess of love. She is a benefactor of the Trojans. She helps her son whenever Juno tries to hurt him, causing conflict among the gods. She is also referred to as Cytherea, after Cythera, the island where she was born and where her shrine is located.
Jupiter
The king of the gods, and the son of Saturn. While the gods often struggle against one another in battles of will, his will reigns supreme and becomes identified with the more impersonal force of fate. Therefore, Jupiter (also known as Jove, and called Zeus in Greek mythology) directs the general progress of Aeneas’s destiny, ensuring that Aeneas is never permanently thrown off his course toward Italy. His demeanor is controlled and levelheaded compared to the volatility of Juno and Venus.
Neptune
God of the sea, and generally an ally of Venus and Aeneas. He calms the storm that opens the epic and conducts Aeneas safely on the last leg of his voyage.
Mercury
The messenger god. The other gods often send him on errands to Aeneas.
Aeolus
The god of the winds, enlisted to aid Juno in creating bad weather for the Trojans in Book I.
Minerva
The goddess who protects the Greeks during the Trojan War and helps them conquer Troy. Like Juno, she is motivated against the Trojans by the Trojan Paris’s judgment that Venus was the most beautiful among goddesses.
Helen
The most beautiful of mortal women and wife of Menelaus. Her abduction to Troy by Paris sparks the Trojan War.
Priam
The king of Troy. He is slain before Aeneas’s eyes during the Greeks’ sacking of Troy.
Pyrrhus
The son of Achilles. He also appears in Aeneas’s account of the siege of Troy as the brutal murderer of Priam and Priam’s sons.