Myth in-depth

Myth in depth

Myth – In depth

"Homeric hymn" to Aphrodite

In the composition, dating back to the VII-VI century B.C., Aphrodite, assuming a human aspect, goes to Mount Ida to meet Anchises, who immediately falls in love with her. Her beauty is such that Anchises suspects she is a goddess, but Aphrodite denies and claims she is a Phrygian princess destined to marry him. After their union, Aphrodite, having resumed the aspect of divinity, prophesies to Anchises that she will have a son destined to reign over the Trojans and a glorious lineage through which she will reach a sort of immortality; however, it requires them to never reveal their love. When Aeneas is born, Anchises will say that the baby is the son of a nymph; he will be raised by the Oreadi nymphs on Mount Ida and at the age of four he will go to live with his father in Troy. ( )

Stesicorus of Imera

He was a Sicilian lyric poet, who lived at the end of the 7th-first half of the 6th century. B.C., of whose vast production only a few fragments have survived. A “clue” about his work that recounted the fall of Troy is contained in an extraordinary marble relief from the Augustan age, the Tabula Iliaca Capitolina, sculpted by the artist Theodoros at the end of the 1st century. BC, which illustrates scenes from the Iliad. A few lines in Greek are written alongside the individual scenes, with a summary of parts of the Homeric poem. The two lower friezes illustrate the continuation of the war, as it was told by two authors, Arctino di Mileto, in his Ethiopian poem, and Lesche Pirreo, in the Little Iliad. The central picture depicts, as the inscription says, the scene of the “destruction of Troy according to the story of Stesicoro”. In one of the panels we can distinguish Aeneas, followed by Misenus and Ulysses, who get on a ship and leave “towards the West” (eis ten Hesperìan).
The Tabula Iliaca Capitolina


Sophocles spoke of it in his lost work “Laocoon”, a fragment of which is handed down to us by Dionysius of Halicarnassus, in which he described the flight of Aeneas from Troy, with his father on his shoulders, followed by a group of servants and accompanied by a multitude of Trojans who wanted to found a new colony of Phrygians.

Hellanic of Lesbos

According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Ellanicus had spoken of Aeneas in two of his works: in the Troika, in which the hero who fled from Troy arrived in the Chalkidiki peninsula, in Pallene, and in the collection On the priestesses of Hera in Argos, where Aeneas – together with Ulysses – is the founder of Rome, whose name derives from Rhome, one of the Trojan women.


Lycophron was a tragedian perhaps of Italian ancestry, after 283 BC. active in the library of Alexandria. He wrote the poem full of dramatic pathos called Alessandra, another name of the Trojan prophetess Cassandra, containing a sequence of prophecies in a language with deliberately obscure formulas and references, typical of Alexandrian erudition. The work contains a passage that is usually called “Roman news”, a vibrant celebration of Rome which, among other things, foretold the great destiny. The Alexandrian writer attributes the foundation of Rome to Aeneas, knows the legend of the twins, but also the myths of Lavinium, as it appears from the mention of the tables and above all of the sow, which in turn contained in a nutshell the myth of the foundation of Alba (white like the sow) and of the thirty Albanian peoples, thus constituting proof of the connection between two sections of the history of the origins, the Trojan-Lavinate one and the Albano-Latin-Roman one.