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Aeneas

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Aeneas was the son of Venus. He is mentioned in the Illiad, how come?? It's Greek!! Why did Augustus then use that for himself, propaganda?? Please help me sort this out!! :lol:

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Yes, by Augustus's time it was a well established myth that Romulus and Remus were descended from Aeneas, who had fled to Italy following the Trojan war.

Augustus commissioned Virgil to write an epic version of the myth to associate himself with Aenas.

It added to his prestige and to the weight of his authority to be connected in the minds of the people with Aeneas.

Aeneas is ascribed with classic Roman heroic values and is subtley likened to Augustus throughout.

Less subtle is when Aeneas recieves a shield from the Gods ( Vulcan I think, or was it Venus? ) portraying Augustus's future victory over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at Actium. That I suppose, was thrown in to make sure that people got the message intended.

 

Which was something like:

 

Augustus is the legitimate ruler of Rome, decended from a glorious lineage stretching through the Julio-Claudian line to the origins of Rome. And if you have a problem with that, take it up with the Gods, cos they say so too.

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And many others acted as well till Augustus and after him. Nevertheless it does not reduce his merits. It only small cunning, instead of megalomania, I think. Augustus was quite sane person.

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I imagine that in a very broad sense the myth had/has it foundation in a bit of reality. The ancient world was a very fluid place with races moving around and colonizing quite a bit especially after the great upheaval that acurred around the time of Troy (the Sea Peoples, Doric invasion, etc...) It's pretty well accepted that the Etruscans came from around Asia Minor.

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I rather agree with Pentagathus.

 

And the Romulus/Remus myth was based on an even older Indo-European theme that was grafted on to the Aeneas myth.

 

So we have the Asia Minor/ greater Mediterreanean mingling with the Indo-European, and I think the pretty much describes the origins of Rome in a nutshell.

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