By Luke Roman
Greek and Roman mythology has involved humans for greater than millennia, and its impact on cultures all through Europe, the United States, North Africa, and the center East attests to the common allure of the tales. This name examines the best-known figures of Greek and Roman mythology including the good works of vintage literature.
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Additional resources for Encyclopedia of Greek and Roman Mythology (Facts on File Library of Religion and Mythology)
The Greek fleet was held up at Aulis by unfavorable winds, and the prophet Calchas declared that Artemis was offended by Agamemnon (the reasons depend on the version; see Iphigenia). According to Calchas, Agamemnon would obtain favorable winds if he sacrificed his own daughter Iphigenia. The story of Iphigenia’s sacrifice is not in Homer and first appears in the Cypria, a poem of the Epic Cycle. According to Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis, Agamemnon sends for Iphigenia on the pretext of marriage to Achilles.
On the pretence that she is seeking a magical cure for her love, she begins preparations for his funeral pyre. Mercury urges Aeneas to flee immediately. Dido observes his departure, pronounces a terrible curse on Aeneas and his descendants, and commits suicide with the sword that had been Aeneas’s gift to her. Juno in pity sends down Iris to release Dido’s soul by cutting a lock of her hair. Book 5 The sight of Dido’s funeral flames fill the departing Trojans with grim forebodings. Prevented from seeking Italy directly by bad weather, they make for the land of Aeneas’s brother Eryx in Sicily.
Virgil must laboriously trace Aeneas’s path from Troy—the location of the Iliad—to Italy and Rome. In establishing his own originality as epic poet, moreover, Virgil must be careful not simply to repeat Homer. This literary requirement finds its echo within the poem’s narrative in the recurrent theme of the dangers of mere replication and (attempted) restoration of the past. The weary and frustrated Trojan women who attempt to burn the boats in Sicily demand to know why they cannot re-create their own Troy and give familiar Trojan names to local rivers.