Aeneas the Pious

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Aeneas the Pious
The Roman word pious does not have the same meaning as it does today. In Roman times it meant to be devoted to one's duty and country. This is a perfect explanation of the hero Aeneas in Virgil's classic epic poem "The Aeneid". Aeneas displayed the qualities of a great, almost patriotic leader and the resolve to become the true ancestor of the Romans however even a man of this stature did have a few faults of his own.

One of the first admirable decisions happens when the Trojans arrive battered and beaten from the waves of the sea and land on the shores of Libya. The morale of his men was down after arriving due to the presumed loss of several men. It is during this time that Aeneas decides to take to hunting and slays "Sev'n mighty bodies with their blood distain. For the seven shipshe made an equal share (P.200)". This served as a morale boost by giving the men some warmth and comfort as they pondered the loss of the men. It is also in this same time that Aeneas demonstrates a quality of a pious leader by reminding them of Troy and their mission.

Perhaps one of the more questionable decisions Aeneas had made was the decision to leave Queen Dido and Carthage. From a hero's standpoint it is a very honorable decision to stay in the direction of the gods and continue the journey in order to be the ascendant of the Roman Empire. The contrasting issue in this decision is how he went about it. To make this a truly honorable decision Aeneas and Dido should not have united inside the cave during the storm because that only furthered Dido's lust and desire for him that Cupid's poison had begun. Additionally, they returned and acted as if they were a couple after the hunt.

Another good decision that Aeneas had made was in Book VIII by listening to the advice of the river god to seek aid and additional men from the Arcadians in order to win the upcoming war with Turnus and his men. They were welcomed Evander and the Arcadians with open arms "...
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