Venus: The Roman Entwinement of Love & War

Venus: The Roman Entwinement of Love & War


Many people in the modern world might be surprised to hear that Venus was one of the most venerated deities of the Roman pantheon. Today, Ancient Rome has a reputation as particularly militaristic and masculine, seen recently in the TikTok trend asking men how often they think of the Roman Empire. Although Rome was indeed a strictly patriarchal and highly militaristic society, it was nonetheless complex and multidimensional. Many Romans opposed the brutal wars they endured, and, of course, more than half of its population were women. The goddess Venus is an essential example of this multidimensionality. Even though she is an explicitly feminine figure––as a mother goddess of love, sexuality, and beauty––she played an extremely important role in Roman religion and national identity. Notably, she was the mother of Aeneas, Rome’s legendary founder, and was often described as the mother (genetrix) of Rome itself. In this essay, I hope to explore Venus’s role in Rome through analyzing the symbolic and narrative importance of romance in Roman poetry––namely the Aeneid––and how this reflects broader Roman culture, particularly a complicated legacy of national propaganda and anti-war sentiment in the late republic and early empire. 

Venus is one of the oldest deities in the Roman pantheon––dating all the way back to the Mesopotamian deity Ishtar, Levantine Astarte, and Greek Aphrodite. Ishtar (Inanna in Sumerian) was a goddess associated both with sexual love as well as war. Indeed, in Mesopotamian texts, “battle is often described as the ‘playground of Ištar.’”1 Unlike later iterations, she was never associated with the duties of marriage, and was not a mother goddess. Indeed, in the sixth tablet of the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh rejects Ishtar’s seduction because of her treatment of former lovers. As she moved to the Levant and Egypt as Astarte, the goddess retained her associations with both sexuality and war, but became a divine mother similar to the Egyptian deity Hathor.2 When she became Aphrodite to the Greeks, she lost most of her association with war, and was seen purely as a goddess of sexuality, fertility, and beauty. In Book 5 of the Iliad, Zeus reproaches Aphrodite after she attempts to join the battle to protect her son Aeneas and is wounded by Diomedes, saying: “Not unto thee, my child, are given the works of war; nay, follow thou after the lovely works of marriage, and all these things shall be the business of swift Ares and Athena.”3 Clearly, Homer did not view Aphrodite as a war goddess, a sharp contrast to her predecessors. Marriage––and by extension love––is pitted against warfare here, cleaving the cohesive war/love goddess of Ishtar into two opposing forces.   

The Roman Venus partially reunited Aphrodite with her war-like origins, and further reinstated her as a mother goddess, giving her as important a role in the pantheon as Ishtar had in Mesopotamia. Venus was not a war deity, but one of her epithets, Venus Victrix, was associated with victory in battle. Famously, Pompeius Magnus dedicated the temple in his theater to her during his first consulship. However, in many ways, Venus’s association with warfare was not literal. She came to represent both a complex metaphor for war as well as a powerful opposition to war. 

One of the most clear examples of this understanding of Venus can be seen through Roman poetry, in which love and war were often themes. Venus as a symbolic opposite to warfare can be seen in Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things). The poem explores Epicureanism, a materialist and secular philosophy that denies divine intervention as literal. However, he dedicates the poem to Venus, and opens it by describing her as a the “Mother [genetrix] of Rome,” and the source of all goodness in nature and even as a creation deity: “for all of living things / Through thee alone are evermore conceived.” 4 As the opening to poetry devoted to moving away from viewing the gods as literal, this description is surprising. It is also important to note that he describes Venus as the paramount deity, with no mention of Jupiter, Juno, or other gods associated with holding the highest power in the pantheon. This dedication proves Venus’s place as uniquely venerated and beloved by Rome. Lucretius goes on to ask that Venus “Lull to a timely rest / O’er sea and land the savage works of war, / For thou alone hast power with public peace,” due to her influence over “he who rules / The savage works of battle, puissant Mars.”5 Venus here is seen as the inverse of war, the only balm to soothe its rage and the damage it causes. Indeed, Venus’s power is so strong that she is able to easily subdue the other god despite his immense power. Lucretius even describes her holding Mars reclined in her arms, “his strength / O’ermastered by the eternal wound of love.”6 The use of the word “wound” (vulnere) also evokes injury in battle, describing love’s power through metaphors of violence as a way to assert love’s power over war. 

However, poetry with these themes became even more relevant under the rule of Caesar Augustus. Not coincidentally, Venus’s role as genetrix of Rome rose to paragon importance with the Caesars, who would claim ancestry from her. It is important to understand that in Ancient Rome––and indeed much of the historical world––religion and politics were inherently entwined in a way that may seem foreign to the modern eye. As John Scheid writes in Augustus and Roman Religion, many historians have portrayed Augustus’s religious leadership as “defined primarily by administrative acts, combined with heavy political pursuits and cynical self-celebration,” and argue that “in his times Roman religion was supposed to be in total decay.”7 However, Augustus’s political administration was in of itself deeply involved in religion. Indeed, by instituting the religious worship of emperors, the two became even more deeply entwined. Scheid goes on to highlight how Augustus’s restoration of the res publica––the political status quo of Rome––“automatically meant restoring its religious institutions and cult places,” and that presenting these traditions as forgotten and neglected––which so many modern historians have criticized––was a political move to legitimize his power by “restoring what [his enemies] had neglected and violated during the civil wars.”8 One essential focus of Augustus’s reformations was centered around Venus. Before Augustus had come into power, Julius Caesar had begun the process of propagating the idea that he was descended from Aeneas, and thus from Venus. For example, in 46/47 BCE, he minted coins depicting Aeneas carrying his father Anchises from the ruins of Troy, with Venus on its reverse side.9 In 46 BCE, after securing victory in his war against Pompey, Caesar constructed a temple to Venus Genetrix––an epithet meaning ancestress, and associated with her role as the mother of the Roman people.

Roman coin showing Aeneas carrying his father on his back, the word CAESAR
Silver denarius; 47-46 BC, minted in Africa, from
Silver coin showing head of Venus in profile
Silver denarius; 47-46 BC, minted in Africa, from

When he came to power, Caesar Augustus continued this propaganda. One of the primary tools he used to do this was poetry. Other than the Aeneid, an essential body of work to come from this was Ovid’s Amores. He began the poems by writing, “I’d meant in solemn metre to rehearse / A tale of arms and war and violence…But Cupid laughed…poor me! That boy’s sure arrows never stray. / I’m burning. In my vacant breast love reigns.”10 Symbolically, this opening tells the story of a man who has been told he must find glory in warfare, but whose nature is in love. Ovid felt the pressure from Augustus’s administration to glorify Rome through war poetry, but found that against the very nature of poetry itself. Instead, throughout Amores, Ovid wrote about love through metaphors of war. In this way, he mocked the glorified version of violence he felt pressure to write about. In 2.12, for example, he writes, “I’ve won! Look, in my arms Corinna lies…Here’s victory that’s worth a special triumph, / Winning a prize of war no blood has stained.”11 Through this extended metaphor, Ovid seems to mock the idea that military glory is the height of achievement, preferring peace and romance. By describing Corinna as his “victory” and “prize of war no blood has stained,” he describes the work of winning of her affection as the battle, and receiving it in turn as the reward. She is the prize of his fighting, but no blood had to be spilled to win her. This mocking of battle can also be seen in the fact that the opening word of the poem is the same as the Aeneid, an epic associated with battle: arma, meaning weapon. He gives his poetry the pretense and vail of warfare, but in truth, it is overpowered by love. 

The Aeneid is arguably the most important example of poetry that entwines the themes of love and warfare. It is similarly essential for understanding the role of Venus in Roman national identity. Written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BCE, the epic poem Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas, a veteran of the Trojan war traveling the Mediterranean to settle Italy as a new home for his people. Aeneas is a character from Homer’s Iliad, a demigod son of Venus who is seen fighting in the Trojan war. Although he is not a historical figure, he was regarded by the Romans as the founder of their civilization. Virgil wrote the epic under the rule of Augustus in a time of great political and social change for Rome. For generations, Rome had suffered through civil wars and political upheaval, and it was the aim of Augustus to end the war through becoming an autocrat––changing Rome’s government from a republic to monarchical system. Although Virgil’s true feelings about the change will never be known, the character of Aeneas clearly reflects Augustus. Both his rise to power after years of war, and by naming Aeneas’s son Ilus (a version of Julius), Virgil linked Aeneas’s family to Gens Julii. Furthermore, Aeneas is a single ruler whose power will pass to his son––far more reflective of Augustus’s new form of ruling than the more democratic system of the republic that Augustus usurped. Although not originally written for Augustus, the poem was ultimately published by the emperor against Virgil’s wishes. Since the time of its publication, some have viewed it as pro-Augustus propaganda, while others have viewed it as subversive and critical of his reign. Although it is impossible to know Virgil’s intentions with the text, the character of Aeneas is undoubtedly a reflection of Augustus, and Virgil expressed his concerns and feelings about the political world of his time through the epic.    

Although the legend existed before the epic, the Aeneid secured Aeneas’s story as an essential part of Rome’s national identity, and thus Venus as its genetrix. From beginning to end, Venus works tirelessly to protect her son and thus the future of Rome. In Book I, Venus goes to Jupiter with tear-filled eyes, asking what Aeneas could have done to cause her son’s suffering. Jupiter consoles her by promising that Aeneas’s great destiny remains: after fleeing the ruins of Troy, he will fight a war in Italy, and “establish city walls and a way of life.”12 His son Ilus will succeed him, and eventually Romulus––son of the war god Mars––will establish Aeneas’s city as Rome. This origin story for Rome emphasizes the entwinement between Venus and Mars––the goddess of love and the god of war––in the national identity of Rome. Aeneas himself is a son of Venus, but best known as a soldier, another example of this entwinement. 

 In Book VIII, Venus is seen protecting her son again, and this time explicitly in war. After Aeneas lands in Italy and the threat of war begins to loom, Venus goes to her husband Vulcan and asks him to craft divine armor for Aeneas. This scene is clearly inspired by Thetis’s call on Hephaestus to craft armor and a shield for her son Achilles in the Iliad. However, for Venus, the task is more difficult. Vulcan is her lawful husband, and Aeneas is a child she bore outside of wedlock. Unlike marriage goddess Juno, Venus was known as being unfaithful to Vulcan, particularly through her affair with war god Mars. And yet, Venus uses both her words and sexuality to convince Vulcan to craft the armor immediately after they spend the night together. As Venus speaks to her husband, “he felt the flame of love / Invading him as ever,”13 and becomes, “captive to her immortal passion.”14 This shows Venus’s immense power, and her ability to use it to protect Aeneas. Like her cradling of Mars in De Rerum Natura, Venus has power that can move other gods to her will. Although she uses seduction to do this, her tactics are not vilified, but instead portrayed as successful. Importantly, while Venus is not considered a faithful wife, she is portrayed as a dedicated mother, still linking her to the family. The passage of this scene begins with Venus described as “a mother sorely frightened,”15 and during her speech to Vulcan, she refers to herself as “a mother begging for her son.”16 In this second quote, she uses the word genetrix, evoking her role as the mother of a people, not just one man. 

Not only is Venus a character herself in the Aeneid, but the theme of romantic love echoes throughout the epic. This is seen most vividly in the Dido storyline. Years after fleeing the wreckage of Troy, Aeneas finds himself on the shores of Carthage (in modern day Tunisia), a favorite city of Juno. As a goddess who supported the Greeks during the Trojan war, Juno holds a grudge against Aeneas as a surviving Trojan destined to establish a great empire. In order to thwart Aeneas’s arrival to Italy, Juno proposes a marriage between Aeneas and Carthage’s queen Dido. Venus agrees, and sends her son Cupid to possess Dido with blinding love for Aeneas. Eventually, however, Jupiter sends Mercury to remind Aeneas of his destiny to build a city in Italy, and Aeneas leaves Dido heartbroken and betrayed. In her grief, Dido commits suicide, implying the ruin of Carthage. 

It would be easy to see the Dido storyline as a deviation from Aeneas’s narrative, but it is an essential element of Aeneas’s character struggle and the epic’s themes. Dido reveals three uses of the love theme. On one level, it explores one of the core themes of the Aeneidpietas and control over emotional distraction. Throughout the epic, Aeneas is described as pius, often translated as “duty-bound,” or “righteous.” In English, piety is associated with religious devotion, but Roman pietas went beyond religion, and was instead an overarching value of loyal devotion to the gods, country, and family. It was an essential part of Roman culture, and was deeply ingrained into mythology, art, and law. Aeneas’s stay in Carthage can be seen as a distraction from where his loyalty should lie––the promise of Rome. When Aeneas attempts to explain himself after Dido confronts his attempt to slip away without notice, he says, “I should look after Troy and the loved relics / Left me of my people…it is the rich Italian land / Apollo tells me I must make for…There is my love; / There is my country.”17 In saying this, he shows that his true loyalty and love belong only to his people and country, not to Dido––both as one woman, and as the queen of a separate land. Aeneas will eventually marry Lavinia for political alliance, but they are never seen to interact, and thus have no romantic connection. Aeneas’s devotion to her is purely devotion to his duty and destiny.  

The second theme is love as a metaphor for military conquest. The fact that Dido is written as a Carthaginian queen is no coincidence. It is a clear reference to the Punic Wars—a series of three wars fought between Carthage and Rome between 264 and 146 BCE, ultimately ending in Roman victory. The inverse of how war is used as a metaphor for love in Ovid’s Amores, love is used as a metaphor for war in the Aeneid. Aeneas’s winning of Dido’s affection can be seen as symbolic of Rome conquering Carthage. When Dido is consumed by her love for Aeneas, her kingdom falls apart––“Towers, half-built, rose / No further; men no longer trained in arms / Or toiled to make harbors and battlements / Impregnable. Projects were broken off, / Laid over, and the menacing huge walls / With cranes unmoving stood against the sky.”18 Carthage thus falls to ruin, its infrastructure halted and left unfinished, just as it would be if it were destroyed by battle. Furthermore, when Aeneas leaves, Dido’s madness and death go along with surrendering her kingdom to be destroyed by its enemies. As Aeneas leaves her, Dido exclaims, “Because of you, Libyans and the nomad kings / Detest me, my own Tyrians are hostile / Because of you, I lost my integrity / And that admired name by which alone / I made my once toward the stars.”19 Because of losing in love, Dido has lost her good reputation and strength to stand against her enemies, just as a nation that loses in war loses the same. As well as acting as a metaphor for the Punic Wars, Dido and Aeneas’s doomed love can also be seen as a mythic origin of the rivalry between Rome and Carthage. Dido exclaims upon her death: “No love, / No pact must be between our peoples; No, / But Rise up from my bones, avenging spirit!”20 Her final call for vengeance against Aeneas and curse against peace between his and her people can thus be seen as a prophetic prediction of the Punic Wars. 

Another historical parallel that can be seen here is Augustus’s war against Marc Antony in 31 BCE, which took place only a few years before the Aeneid was written and solidified Augustus as the sole ruler of Rome. Prior to Marc Antony’s defeat in the battle of Actium, he, Augustus, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus ruled together as the Second Triumvirate. However, political tensions between Antony and Augustus caused them to go to war against each other, with Augustus supported by Rome’s armies and Antony’s supported by Egypt’s through his alliance with Queen Cleopatra VII. One of the ways that Augustus turned Rome’s favor against Antony was by presenting him as disloyal to Rome because of his allegiance with Egypt and its queen. Aeneas’s temptation to stay in Carthage, and his consequential negligence of his responsibilities can be seen as a reference to Antony’s relationship with Cleopatra as it was portrayed by Augustus. The fact that Aeneas leaves Dido for his country thus represents Augustus’s conquest over Antony and Egypt. Aeneas makes the choice that Antony could not.

However, thirdly, Dido’s story can also be seen as a subversive criticism of war and conquest. Indeed, this plot line is often used as evidence for the anti-Augustan argument. In discussion of this, Daniel Mendelshon wrote that many scholars have come to see Dido’s heart-wrenching death as an attempt “to draw attention to the toll that the exercise of imperium [absolute power] inevitably takes.”21 He argues that Dido, a “passionate, tender, and grandly tragic woman is by far the epic’s greatest character—and, indeed, the only one to have had a lasting impact on Western culture past the Middle Ages.”22 It is true that reading Book IV, the reader’s sympathy is undoubtably with Dido. Aeneas is decidedly unheroic in this book, attempting to leave Dido without even talking to her. After making his decision, Aeneas “this way and that…let his mind dart, testing alternatives, / Running through every one,” before telling his men to “Get the fleet ready for sea, / But quietly…Seeing the excellent Dido had no notion, / No warning that such love could be cut short.”23 It is not his pain that the reader feels, but Dido’s. Importantly, before taking her life, Dido curses Rome’s foundation, declaring: “Coast with coast / In conflict, I implore, and sea with sea, / And arms with arms: may they contend in war, / Themselves and all the children of their children!”24 By cursing Aeneas’s descendants, she is cursing the future of Rome––the world that Virgil lived in. He is thus showing how the consequences of violence and conquest lead to continued bloodshed and tragedy extend through generations. Indeed, even the theme of Aeneas’s pietas can be viewed in a critical lens. Although Aeneas often conquers his desire, that conquering is not always seen in a positive light. It would have been easy for Virgil to do so, but Dido is not portrayed as a seductress or villain, but instead as a victim of the gods’ whims and Aeneas’s cruelty. The storyline does not end with Aeneas sailing off in victory, but with Dido’s tragic and heart wrenching death.

Another important character in the Aeneid to discuss in relation to the theme of love is Pallas. When Aeneas arrives in Italy, he makes an alliance with Arcadian king Evander, who is fighting against the same peoples as Aeneas. Evander knew Aeneas’s father and was happy to make the alliance, even sending his son Pallas to accompany Aeneas into battle. Eventually, Pallas is killed by Latin soldier Turnus, and Aeneas mourns him for the rest of the epic. Pallas and Aeneas have a relationship that would have been recognized by the Aeneid’s Roman audience as evocative of pederasty––a sexual/romantic relationship between an older and younger man or teen––a form of relationship that was socially normative in Greek culture, and although not as embraced in Rome, was certainly present and often accepted.25 Although many have read their dynamic as purely familial, Aeneas mourns Pallas as his spouse––“coniunx” in Latin––often translated into English as “wife,” although the term is not gender specific.26 Scholars have pointed out that the language Virgil uses to describe Pallas and his interactions with Aeneas parallels the language used surrounding Dido.27 Still, it is important to note that the familial argument isn’t necessarily wrong. After calling Pallas his spouse, Aeneas goes on to say he feels as if he is the “survivor of [his] son.”28 Like many things in the Aeneid, the relationship between Pallas and Aeneas should be viewed as symbolic more than literal. Clearly, they are not actually father and son, and their romance is not nearly as explicit as Aeneas and Dido’s. However, as Charles Loyd writes in The Evander-Anchises Connection: Fathers, Sons, and Homoerotic Desire in Virgil’s “Aeneid,” the hierarchy present in the relationship between Aeneas and Pallas (as well as the two other homoerotic relationships he discusses) makes it a “subtle microcosms of power and love as the Romans peculiarly tied them together.”29 Hierarchy was something expected from all variety of Roman relationships––romantic, familial, and those within the military. As a microcosm, Pallas and Aeneas’s dynamic can be seen as evocative of all three of these relationships. Yet, that does not mean Pallas should be dismissed as a romantic figure, or should not be seen as a vital aspect of the epic’s romantic themes. 

In fact, although Aeneas and Dido’s relationship seems to be the primary romance of the epic, Aeneas is notably more affected by Pallas’s death. Although he is sorry for Dido’s death, he does not lament her as he does Pallas: “Would god Rutulians / Had found me side by side with Trojan troops / And pinned me to the earth with spears. I should / Myself have given up my life. Would god / This cortége brought me and not Pallas home.”30 His declaration that he would have died in Pallas’s place is significant, since by giving up his life, he would give up the prophecy of restoring Troy’s greatness in Italy. He never made such statements about Dido, and instead clearly chose his perceived duty over her, even at the cost of her death. In fact, when Aeneas defeats Turnus at the epic’s end, he chooses to kill rather than spare him only when he sees that Turnus wears a belt he looted from Pallas’s body. Pallas’s character and his relationship with Aeneas furthers the connection between love and war in the Aeneid and within broader Roman culture.  Their relationship fuses the dynamic between family members, soldiers, lovers, creating three parallel forms of pietas. The fact that Aeneas’s emotional attachment to Pallas seems more significant than that towards Dido can be seen to further emphasize his piety––Pallas, as King Evander’s son, can be seen as symbolic of political alliance, and as a soldier fighting by Aeneas’s side, can be seen as a symbol of camaraderie in arms. Both of those things are essential to Aeneas’s devotion to Troy and the future of Rome. 

The Aeneid is far from the only example of epic poetry in which the theme of love is used in this way. The entwinement between love and war extends back to Homer’s epics, with the Trojan war being ignited by Paris giving the Apple of Discord to Venus rather than Juno or Minerva––symbolically choosing love and desire over marital duty (represented by Juno), and intelligence and success in battle (represented by Minerva). The war is further incited by Paris’s abduction of Helen and Menelaus’s desire––as her husband––to bring her back to Sparta. Interestingly, in Aeneid II, Aeneas recounts how he saw Helen hiding during the Greek invasion of Troy. He was about to kill her in “a passion to avenge [his] fallen town / And punish Helen’s whorishness,”31 but Venus appears to stop him. She tells him that the blame does not lie with Helen nor with Paris, but with the gods, and tears away the “cloud” that “films [his] mortal sight,” and reveals the gods fighting in the battle: “Neptune…shaking from their beds the wall…Juno in all her savagery holds / The Scaen Gates, and is raging in steel armor…Palla Tritonia [Minerva] / Crouched in a stormcloud, lightning, with her Gorgon.”32 Virgil seems to understand here that the romantic conflict between Paris and Helen is used as a symbol for different causes of the war. 

In conclusion, although modern views of Ancient Rome tend to portray it as a purely masculine and warlike culture, Venus and the concepts she represented were clearly vital aspects of Roman culture and national identity. Love and its goddess were used by poets to both criticize and glorify war and by politicians to gain prestige and popular support. Even Lucretius––a poet who openly opposed the idea of the gods as literal rather than metaphorical––described Venus with such reverence and asked her to “give [his] words / Immortal charm,”33 Venus was seen as the mother of Rome itself, and that was not taken lightly. She, as well as the themes and ideas she symbolizes, should not be taken lightly by modern historians, either. 

  1. Eiko Matsushima, “Ištar and Other Goddesses of the So-Called ‘Sacred Marriage’ in Ancient Mesopotamia,” in Transformation of a Goddess: Transformation of a Goddess, ed. David T. Sugimoto (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014), p. 3
  2. Keiko Tazawaa, “Astarte in New Kingdom Egypt: Reconsideration of Her Role and Function,” in Ancient Mesopotamia,” in Transformation of a Goddess: Transformation of a Goddess, ed. David T. Sugimoto (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014), p. 111
  3. Homer, Iliad. 5:225-230
  4. Lucretius, De Rerum Natura: The Latin Text of Lucretius, (Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2008), 1.1
  5. Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 1.1
  6. Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 1.1
  7. John Scheid, “Augustus and Roman Religion: Continuity, Conservatism, and Innovation,” in Cambridge University Press eBooks, 2005, 175–94,, p. 176
  8. Scheid, “Augustus and Roman Religion,” p. 177
  9. Smolenaars, “A Disturbing Scene from the Marriage of Venus and Vulcan: ‘Aeneid,’” Virgilius 50 (2004): 97–107, p. 98
  10. Ovid, The Love Poems (Oxford University Press, USA, 1990), 1.1
  11. Ovid, The Love Poems, 2.12
  12. Virgil, Aeneid, I: 357
  13. Virgil, Aeneid, VIII: 519
  14. Virgil, Aeneid, VIII: 526
  15. Virgil, Aeneid, VIII: 491
  16. Virgil, Aeneid, VIII: 510
  17. Virgil, Aeneid, IV: 121-126
  18. Virgil, Aeneid, IV: 121-126
  19. Virgil, Aeneid, IV: 438-44
  20. Virgil, Aeneid, IV: 869-870
  21. Daniel Mendelsohn, “Is The Aeneid a Celebration of Empire—or a Critique?,” The New Yorker, October 8, 2018, or-a-critique., p. 12
  22. Mendelsohn, “Is The Aeneid a Celebration of Empire—or a Critique?” p. 12
  23. Virgil, Aeneid, IV: 387-399
  24. Virgil, Aeneid, IV: 874-875
  25. Charles Lloyd, “The Evander-Anchises Connection: Fathers, Sons, and Homoerotic Desire in Vergil’s ‘Aeneid,’” Vergilius 45 (1999): 3–21,, p. 5
  26. Virgil, Aeneid, XI: 217
  27. Lloyd, “The Evander-Anchises Connection,” p. 16
  28. Virgil, Aeneid, XI: 220
  29. Lloyd, “The Evander-Anchises Connection,” p. 18
  30. Virgil, Aeneid, XI: 220-22
  31. Virgil, Aeneid, II: 755-756
  32. Virgil, Aeneid, II: 801-808
  33. Lucretius, De Rerum Natura, 1.1
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