Aeneid

Æneid  (ē-nē´id ), or Æneis  (-is ).—An epic poem, in twelve books, by Vergil, recounting the adventures of Æneas after the fall of Troy, founded on the Roman tradition that Æneas settled in Latium and became the ancestral hero of the Roman people. The hero, driven by a storm on the coast of Africa, is hospitably received by Dido, queen of Carthage, to whom he relates the fall of Troy and his wanderings. An attachment between them is broken by the departure of Æneas, in obedience to the will of the gods, and the suicide of Dido follows. After a visit to Sicily, Æneas lands at Cumæ in Italy. In a descent to the infernal regions he sees his father, Anchises, and has a prophetic vision of the glorious destiny of his race as well as of the future heroes of Rome. He marries Lavinia, daughter of Latinus, king of the Latini, and a contest with Turnus, king of the Rutuli, the rejected suitor follows, in which Turnus is slain. The poem is a glorification of Rome and of the Emperor Augustus, who, as a member of the Julian gens, traced his descent from Julus (sometimes identified with Ascanius), the grandson of Æneas.