Alcathous, Anchises's brother-in-law, made sure that Aeneas received an education. Aeneas proved to be the bravest of the Trojans after Hector.
His piety made the gods offer Aeneas particular protection. Zeus saved him when Achilles took Lynerssos; Aphrodite fought beside him against Diomedes; and when he was wounded, Apollo carried him away in a cloud. Shortly afterwards, he returned to the battlefield, killed a great number of Greeks and replaced Hector in command. In his fight against Achilles Poseidon intervened.
When Troy fell, Aeneas took refuge in the mountains. He carried Anchises on his shoulders, his son, Ascanius in his arms and the penates (household gods) of the city in his hands. He gathered all the survivors on Mount Ida and founded a new city.
Destiny, however, called him far away. He went westward, passing through Thrace, Macedonia, Crete and Delos and meeting Andromache and Helenus in Buthrotum. He reached southern Italy, sailed round Sicily, was shipwrecked by storms on the coast of Carthage. There he was received by Queen Dido, who fell in love with him.
The gods ordered Aeneas to carry on his journey. He came to Cumae and encountered the Sibyl, who told him of perils ahead and led him down to Hell to visit his ancestors. There he saw the dead who had failed in their destiny, and he also saw the abode of the Blessed. Anchises, his dead father, told him the secrets of the universe.
Aeneas sailed close to the coast of Italy and reached the mouth of the Tiber. King Evander made an alliance with him. He then fought against Turnus, king of the Rutuli. Ascanius, his son, founded Alba Longa, and Romulus, one of his descendents, laid the first stone of the city of Rome. Aeneas himself disappeared during a storm. As the son of Aphrodite, Aeneas gave Rome its divine origin. The Romans said that they were the beneficiaries of the goddess's favours. The important families claimed descendance from Ascanius, whom Julius Caesar called Iulus.