In Roman mythology, Lavinia (Latin: Lāuīnĭa) was the daughter of Latinus and Amata and the wife of Aeneas.
Lavinia, the only child of the king and "ripe for marriage", had been courted by many men in Ausonia who hoped to become the king of Latium. Turnus, ruler of the Rutuli, was the most likely of the suitors, having the favor of Queen Amata. King Latinus is later warned by the oracle Faunus that his daughter is not to marry a Latin.
"Seek not, my seed, in Latian bands to yoke
Our fair Lavinia, nor the gods provoke.
A foreign son upon thy shore descends,
Whose martial fame from pole to pole extends.
His race, in arms and arts of peace renown'd,
Not Latium shall contain, nor Europe bound:
'T is theirs whate'er the sun surveys around."
In Book 7 of the Aeneid, in lines 69–83, Lavinia's presence is made more known to the readers in her most memorable role in the Aeneid; during the sacrifice at the altars of the gods, Lavinia's hair catches on fire, an omen promising glorious days to come for Lavinia and war for all Latins.
Aeneas and Lavinia had one son, Silvius. Aeneas named the city Lavinium for her.
Appearances in works by other creators
In Ursula K. Le Guin's 2008 novel Lavinia, the character of Lavinia and her relationship with Aeneas is expanded and elaborated, giving insight into the life of a king's daughter in ancient Italy. The narrative is intriguing in that the narrator, Lavinia, says that she would not have a life without Virgil, implying that she knows she is only a myth.
She also appears is Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy, Inferno-Canto IV.
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