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Metamorphoses: Book 13: The Daughters of Anius Summary & Analysis

Anius, the king of Delos, gives Aeneas and his companions a tour, and they attend a sacrifice to the gods. Afterwards, Anchises asks Anius where his children are. With sadness, Anius explains that his son—whom Apollo had blessed with prophetic powers—is far away on an island. His daughters—whom Bacchus gave the power to transform anything they touched into corn and wine—were kidnapped by King Agamemnon, who wanted to use their powers to supply his soldiers. The daughters escaped, fleeing to the island where Anius’s son lived, but his son, alone and afraid, had given the daughters to an invading army. Before the daughters were re-imprisoned, Bacchus transformed them into doves.
This passage shows how the Trojan War disrupted the whole world, not just Greece and Troy. Greece kidnapped Anius’s daughters to be of use to his army and were then re-imprisoned countless times to serve the war. As a result, Anius’s children are scattered all around the world. This shows how war and travel reinforce one another and exacerbate the negative effects of each other. As two individual signs of corruption, travel and war work together to increase the dissension and corruption in humanity’s development.
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