The Aeneid

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The Aeneid Characters

Aeneas

Aeneas is the protagonist of the Aeneid. He is the son of Anchises and Venus. He is the father of Ascanius, with his Trojan wife, Creusa, who died at Troy(read full character analysis)

Juno

Juno is a goddess, the wife of Jove and therefore queen of the gods. She loves Dido and Carthage, acting as a patron for that city. She also loves the Latin people and Turnus(read full character analysis)

Turnus

The king of the Rutulians, an Italian nation located about 20 miles from the eventual Rome, and Aeneas's main mortal enemy. He hoped to marry Lavinia, daughter of Latinus, and become king… (read full character analysis)

Dido

The founder and queen of Carthage, a city in modern-day Tunisia. She fled from Tyre after her greedy brother Pygmalion, who was the king of Tyre, killed her husband, Sychaeus, in order to steal his… (read full character analysis)

Virgil

Virgil often interjects in his story. Sometimes he addresses characters directly, other times he asks rhetorical questions or comments on the action. In this way, he acts as a character too—this is "Virgil as storyteller,"… (read full character analysis)
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Minor Characters
Venus
The goddess of beauty and the mother of Aeneas. She watches over him and helps him, such as enchanting Dido to love him, and getting Vulcan, her husband, to craft him special armor.
Ascanius
Aeneas's son. Also known as Iulus, which connects him to Julius Caesar and his Caesar's adopted relative Augustus. Ascanius comes of age during the poem—a young boy in Troy, he makes his first kill in battle in Book 9.
Anchises
Aeneas's father. Beloved and wise, he dies in Book 3 but reappears as a "ghost" in the Underworld in Book 6.
Pallas
The beloved son of Evander, he fights for Aeneas and is killed by Turnus in Book 10. Aeneas avenges his death in the final scene of the poem.
Jove
The king of the gods and husband of Juno. Also called Jupiter. He doesn't take sides in the Trojan-Latin conflict, instead letting fate run its course, but tries to keep Juno and Venus in check.
Vulcan
The god of fire and volcanoes, and Venus's husband. With his cyclops helpers, he forges Aeneas's fortune-telling shield and other armor. He had also crafted Turnus's father's sword, which Turnus loses right before his duel with Aeneas.
Aeolus
The god of the winds, he lets Juno convince him to stir up a storm against the Trojans.
Apollo
The god of music, poetry, and oracles. He gives Aeneas a prophesy in Book 3.
Mercury
The messenger god who spurs Aeneas to leave Dido.
Neptune
The god of water and oceans, he ends Juno's storm in Book 1.
Mars
The god of war.
Minerva
The goddess of defense and wisdom.
Iris
The goddess of the rainbow and Juno's messenger.
Allecto
A fury, or goddess of discord, who helps Juno start the Latin-Trojan war.
Priam
The elderly king of Troy.
Laocoon
A Trojan priest of Neptune who doesn't want to accept the Greeks' wooden horse.
Sinon
A young Greek man who tricks the Trojans into accepting the wooden horse.
Creusa
Aeneas's wife and mother of Ascanius. She died during the fall of Troy.
Achates
Aeneas's trusty right-hand man.
Palinurus
Aeneas's navigator, taken by Neptune as a sacrifice in exchange for safe seas.
Acestes
King of the Sicilian land where Anchises is buried and the Trojans play funeral games.
Sibyl of Cumae
An oracle (fortune teller) of Apollo who lives in Cumae (near Naples) and guides Aeneas to the Underworld.
Latinus
The king of the Latin people in Latium, Italy, father of Lavinia, husband of Amata, and destined father-in-law of Aeneas. His city is called Lavinium.
Lavinia
Latinus and Amata's daughter, destined wife of Aeneas. Turnus also wants to marry her (and in the process become king of the Latin people).
Amata
Queen of the Latins, wife of Latinus and mother of Amata. Juno enchants her to hate Aeneas.
Mezentius
A cruel Tuscan/Etruscan king who fights for Turnus's side. Father of Lausus. Killed by Aeneas.
Lausus
Mezentius's son, an enemy warrior second only to Turnus. Battles Pallas in Book 10. Also killed by Aeneas.
Camilla
Queen of the Volscians and a formidable warrior fighting on Turnus's side. Beloved by the goddess of the hunt, Diana.
Evander
King of the Arcadians, who live on the future site of Rome. Father of Pallas and Aeneas's ally.
Nisus
Best friend of Euryalus. A daring warrior who meets a tragic end.
Euryalus
The younger, less experienced, but equally brave best friend of Nisus.
Juturna
Turnus's sister, Juno's helper, a nymph.
Augustus Caesar
Virgil's real-life patron and emperor of Rome. He appears in the Underworld in Book 6, and on Aeneas's shield in Book 8.
Anna
Dido's sister. Anna encourages Dido to let herself love Aeneas for both personal reasons (so Dido won't be lonely) and for political reasons (to help Carthage gain allies).
Sychaeus
Dido's first husband, who died sometime before Aeneas reaches Carthage.