The Myth of Aeneas Nowdays: My Son… Aeneas!

In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas 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 Troy’s Dardanian allies (Trojans – descendants of Dardanus), and a principal lieutenant of Hector, son of the Trojan king Priam. In the poem, Aeneas’ mother Venus 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 when the latter 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 Lapyx, 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. Aeneas is the one that woundered for a period of nine years on the greek islands and on African shore after he bravely fought in troian war.

For me, this mythical character is more present in my life than ever. I identify him with … MY  SON  (MATEI – IOAN).

He is a fighter too, he has proven that from his intrauterine life. He fought so much to come into this world full of burdens. But it is enough to look in one child’s eyes to discover the charme of life and the meaning of the entire human existence.As for my family, the nine years of Aeneas‘s woundering through farther places, equals with the nine months of intrauterine life, sometimes unbalanced and uncertain, but, in the end, fulfilled in the total joy of  giving birth to a human being.

Until now, I haven’t realised that life is filled with ups and downs. Many days and sleepless nights, in which your own body is kept in bed, can easily prove the huge unity between a child and his mother, both so eagered to reach the “final meeting”. Just like the legendary character, my baby fought and won. The initiative journeys of an unborn child equal with the ones made by Aeneas; one could consider that the sanctuary built  by romans next to Numicius river to honour Aeneas, is identical to the sacrificies of a mother (even the ultimate one) for the happiness of her child.

I would like to continue, but the tears, this time of joy, not of fear, due to the possibility of not giving birth to a child in good conditions, do not allow me to go on with my modern Aeneas’s story.

Nevertheless, I still can put down on paper some of my thoughts, as a piece of advice for mothers and children across the world :  “Son, be blessed with thy mother, and mother, be blessed with thy  son of yours ! “

1. Bloom, Harold (2002), Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds, New York: Warner Books, Inc.
2. Marks, J.(2012), Gods, goddesses, and mythology, Tarrytown, NY.

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