Aeneas – a Life in Pictures

I was very fortunate with In Search of Aeneas to be able to publish as many words as I wanted.  However, as with most books, the number of pictures I could include was far less than the number available. After all, we spent 15 years or so making trips around the Mediterranean trying to visit all the places where Aeneas had lived and visited on his epic voyage to Italy, as well as other places that he never visited but were material to his story. So here are some of the pictures that did not quite make the ‘final cut’ into the book.

The pines of Mount Ida, whose nymphs were said to have brought up Aeneas.

Mount Ida, seen from the south.

The hill of (New) Skepsis on a fine September day.

Simplified map of the summit of Büyük, which I identify in the book as the likely place of Aeneas’s conception. The ‘vaginal cleft’ described in the book is shaded dark.

Livestock in Tongurlu, perhaps descended from the flocks of Anchises and Aeneas.

Some of the many potsherds and tile fragments found on Palaiskepsis

Vines growing in the Upper Skamander valley near Tongurlu

The River Skamander flowing north-west across the Plain of Troy, with the Sigeum ridge in the distance.

The temple of Nemesis at Rhamnous in Attika, where Helen of Troy was conceived.

Part of the walls of Troy’s upper city, looking west to the Sigeum Ridge across the fertile plain that, in Aeneas’s time, would have been under water. The wall to the left is well-constructed, but the part in the centre is shoddy and may mark the blocked-in Scaean Gate – or the section of the original wall that had been torn down to admit the fateful Trojan Horse.

The coast west of Troy, showing the mound of Kesik Tepe, said to have been built as a fort for Hercules when he fought the sea monster and saved Hesione, who had been abandoned at the foot of the cliff.

Savran Tepe in the heart of the Troad, sliced into by the modern Canakkale-Izmir highway. This has been posited as the burial mound of the real Aeneas, if he had survived the Trojan war and become king of Troy and Dardania.

These pictures were all drawn or photographed during my research for my book, In Search of Aeneas. All are strictly (c) Anthony Adolph

The betyl stone in the archaeological museum of Aphrodite’s sanctuary, Palaipaphos, Cyprus – a meteorite that may have sparked the story of the birth of Aeneas’s mother from the severed genitals of Uranos, god of the starry heavens.

Aeneas departs from Antandros, wearing a Phrygian cap, leading Ascanius by the hand and supporting old Anchises, whilst Misenus stands by with his horn (drawn by the author from the Tabula Iliaca in the Capitoline Museum, Rome).

The bluff of Aeneia at Nea Michaniona, near Thessaloniki, the site of a Classical city that claimed to have been founded by Aeneas during his westward journey after the Fall of Troy.

The arrival of Aeneas and Anchises in Italy, celebrated on a modern signboard by the harbour at Castro Marina, on the heel of Italy.

A coin of Segesta (SNG ANS 622), minted soon after 262 BC, showing Aeneas carrying Anchises and a stylised Palladium (drawn by the author).

Dead Virgil, mourned by Augustus, depicted in a woodcut by Grüninger in 1544, from a signboard near Virgil’s tomb in Naples.

Virgil lives on in Naples in many ways, even in the butter we were given for breakfast.

One of the innumerable depictions of Aeneas’s descendants Romulus and Remus that you see in Rome.

The remaining back wall of the Forum of Augustus, Rome, seen across the modern Via dei Fori Imperiali. On the left is a statue of its builder, Augustus. The outline of the pointed roof of the Temple of Mars Ultor, that housed statues of Caesar, Aphrodite and Mars as a family group, can be made out to the centre-right of the picture. On either side were bays, one of which included an imposing statue of Aeneas.

At the excavated remains of the tumulus at Lavinium, with the grave of a hero – said to have been Aeneas himself – by our feet.

Aeneas carrying his father Anchises and leading his son Ascanius out of burning Troy, depicted in modern bronze in the Via C. Battisti, Rome.

Michaelangelo’s Christ with his cross in Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome. Just as the church is said to be built over a temple of Minerva (Athena), images like this of Christ borrow directly from Classical and later images of Aeneas carrying his father.

Aeneas’s grave inside the excavated tumulus at Lavinium (drawn by the author).

The apotheosis of Aeneas, by Nicolas Tardieu after a picture by Marc Nattier (1642-1705), from an old print.

The pictures above were all drawn or photographed during my research for my latest book, In Search of Aeneas. All are strictly (c) Anthony Adolph