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Aeneas carrying Anchises, with Ascanius and his wife, red-figure amphora from a Greek workshop in Etruria, ca. 470 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen
Ascanius from "Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum "

In Greek and Roman mythology, Ascanius was the son of Aeneas and Creusa. After the Trojan War, as the city burned, Aeneas escaped to Latium in Italy, taking his father Anchises and his child Ascanius with him, though Creusa died during the escape. Ascanius later fought in the Italian Wars. Virgil's Aeneid says he had a role in the founding of Rome as the first king of Alba Longa.

According to another legend mentioned by Livy, Ascanius may have been the son of Aeneas and Lavinia and thus born in Latium, not Troy. Thirty years after the founding of Lavinium, Ascanius founded Alba Longa. He had a son or grandson called Aeneas Silvius.

Ascanius was also called Iulus or Julus. The Gens Julia, or the Julians, the clan to which Julius Caesar belonged, claimed to have been descended from Ascanius/Iulus, his father Aeneas, and, ultimately, the goddess Venus, the mother of Aeneas in myth, his father being the mortal Anchises.

The name Iulus was popularised by Virgil in the Aeneid: replacing the Greek name Ascanius with Iulus linked the Julian family of Rome to earlier mythology. The emperor Augustus, who commissioned the work, was a great patron of the arts. As a member of the Julian family, he could claim to have three major Olympian gods in his family tree: (Venus; Jupiter; and Mars), so he encouraged his many poets to emphasize his supposed descent from Aeneas.

Ascanius, in the Aeneid, first used the phrase "annuit coeptis," the root phrase of what later became a motto of the United States of America.

References

  • Livy, Ab Urbe Condita Book 1.

Family tree of the kings of Alba Longa

 
 
 
Anchises
 
Venus (goddess)
 
Latinus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Creusa
 
Aeneas
 
 
Lavinia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ascanius or Iulus
 
Silvius
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Silvius
 
 
Aeneas Silvius
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Brutus of Britain
 
 
Latinus Silvius
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alba
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Atys
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Capys
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Capetus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tiberinus Silvius
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Agrippa
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Romulus Silvius
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Aventinus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Procas
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Numitor
 
Amulius
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Rhea Silvia
 
Ares/Mars
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hersilia
 
Romulus
 
Remus
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Kings of Rome

See also

The Aeneid

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

IULUS, in Roman legend: (a) the eldest son of Ascanius and grandson of Aeneas, founder of the Julian gens (gens Julia), deprived of his kingdom of Latium by his younger brother Silvius (Dion. Halic. i. 70); (b) another name for, or epithet of, Ascanius.


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