Aeneas in The Iliad

Instructor: J.R. Hudspeth

Jackie has taught college English and Critical Thinking and has a Master's degree in English Rhetoric and Composition

Aeneas is specifically chosen in 'The Iliad,' to be the future Trojan king. He is saved from sure death by numerous gods including Poseidon, an enemy of the Trojans. Read on to find out more about his role in ''The Iliad'' and how he represents the idea of fate as an unchangeable certainty!

Who Is Aeneas?

Aeneas is a hero king for the Trojan people and a son of a god. His father is a Trojan prince named Anchises, and his mother is Aphrodite, the god of love and beauty. From an early age, Aeneas is marked for greatness and eventually not only becomes a great Trojan king, but a hero of Rome in its early days according to Roman mythology.

What Does Aeneas Do In The Iliad?

Aeneas first fights Diomedes, who is a fierce Greek warrior and is beaten badly enough that his mother, the goddess Aphrodite, must come to rescue him from the battle. Aeneas and Diomedes fight again later, but the god Apollo takes Aeneas away from the battle and somehow creates a copy of Aeneas that then returns and kills many people. Ultimately, Aeneas withdraws from the battle again after being confronted by two great Greek warriors, Menelaus and Antilochus.

Later, Aeneas challenges the greatest Greek warrior, Achilles. Achilles wins the battle and is about to kill Aeneas when another god, Poseidon, takes Aeneas far away from the battle. Poseidon is actually fighting against the Trojans, but he still saves Aeneas because it is Aeneas's fate to live and become a great Trojan king.

Aeneas meets Diomedes in battle, but he is badly wounded and only saved by the intervention of the gods - twice. Ultimately, the gods control what happens in battle rather than the warriors.

What Does Aeneas's Story Mean In The Iliad?

Aeneas shows promise as a young future leader of the Trojans, but he is beaten in battle and almost killed multiple times. Each time he is beaten, a Greek god intervenes and saves him. By the time he is beaten by Achilles, even a god who is against the Trojans saves the young Aeneas from death.

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