In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas (Greek: Αἰνείας, Aineías, derived from Greek Αἰνή meaning "to praise"; pronounced /ɪˈniːəs/ in English) was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was also the second cousin of King Priam of Troy. The journey of Aeneas from Troy (with help from Aphrodite), which led to the founding of the city Rome, is recounted in Virgil's Aeneid. He is considered an important figure in Greek and Roman legend and history. Aeneas is a character in Homer's Iliad, Quintus Smyrnaeus' Posthomerica, and Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida.
In the Iliad, Aeneas is the leader of the Troy's Dardanian allies (Trojans — descendants of Dardanus), as well as a third cousin and principal lieutenant of Hector, son of the Trojan king Priam. In the poem, Aeneas' mother Aphrodite frequently comes to his aid on the battlefield; he is also a favorite of Apollo. Aphrodite and Apollo rescue Aeneas from combat with Diomedes of Argos, who nearly kills him, and carry him away to Pergamos for healing. Even Poseidon, who normally favors the Greeks, comes to Aeneas' rescue after he falls under the assault of Achilles, noting that Aeneas, though from a junior branch of the royal family, is destined to become king of the Trojan people. Aeneas killed 28 people in the Trojan War.
As seen in the first books of the Aeneid, Aeneas is one of the few Trojans who were not killed in battle or enslaved when Troy fell. When Troy was sacked by the Greeks, Aeneas, after being commanded by the gods to flee, gathered a group, collectively known as the Aeneads, who then traveled to Italy and became progenitors of the Romans. The Aeneads included Aeneas' trumpeter Misenus, his father Anchises, his friends Achates, Sergestus and Acmon, the healer Iapyx, the steady helmsman Palinurus, and his son Ascanius (also known as Iulus, Julus, or Ascanius Julius.) He carried with him the Lares and Penates, the statues of the household gods of Troy, and transplanted them to Italy.
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