Summary of the Aeneid Book 1 Storm and Banquet

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Summary of the Aeneid Book 1 - Storm and Banquet:

Reasons why Juno hates Aeneas:


  1. Juno loved Carthage above all other places (the Romans will overthrow Carthage).

  2. In the Trojan War Juno had supported Greece (Argos).

  3. Judgement of Paris.

  4. Ganymede (Trojan) was made cupbearer instead of Juno's daughter (Hebe).




  • Trojans were in high spirits as they had left Sicily and were heading for Italy.

  • Juno broods over the fate of the Trojans. Why should she give up her attempt to keep the Trojans away when Pallas Athene was allowed to drown a Greek ship because of one man?



The storm:





  • Juno asked Aeolus (King of the Winds) to create a storm to prevent Aeneas from reaching Italy. He agrees and creates a storm, which blows Aeneas’ ships in all directions.

  • The Trojans stare death in the face. Aeneas feels weak. He says that he would rather have died on the battlefields of Troy.

  • Neptune intervenes and is angry with his sister Juno for starting the storm.

  • He calms the storm as a statesman calms a mob.


Aeneas arrives in Libya:


  • Aeneas and his men are blown off course and arrive along the coast of Carthage.

  • Aeneas climbs on a high rock and surveys Libya. He then goes hunting and kills seven carcasses for his men to eat (one for each ship). He then shares out wine with his men with a “hero’s generosity”.

  • He comforts his comrades: “my friends this is not the first trouble we have known”.

  • He tells his comrades: “your task is to endure and save yourself for better days.” He says this but is in fact very worried himself.

Jupiter reveals the destiny of the Trojans:



  • Jupiter looks down from heaven on Libya and then talks to Venus.

  • Venus pleads to Jupiter to help the Trojans: “put an end to these labours” of Aeneas’.

  • Jupiter reassures her and says their destiny remains unchanged. He reveals their destiny:

  1. Trojans will reach Italy

  2. They will wage war in Italy against fierce tribes.

  3. Aeneas will build walls for his people and establish their way of life.

  4. Aeneas will reign for 3 years and then Ascanius will take over and rule for 30 years.

  5. Ascanius will receive the second name Iulus.

  6. Ascanius will transfer the kingdom to Alba Longa.

  7. 100 years later Romulus will found Rome.

  8. No limits of time or place for the Romans. Their empire will know no end.

  9. There will be a Trojan Caesar, Julius, whose name will be passed down from the great Iulus.

  10. No more war (“dread gates of war will be closed”).




  • Jupiter sent Mercury down to earth to make sure that Carthage was hospitable to the Trojans.

  • Aeneas goes hunting. He meets a Spartan hunting girl (Venus, in disguise).

  • He asks who she is. He tells her that she is like Diana (Goddess of Hunting and Chastity).

  • He asks her where they have landed.

  • She tells him that they are in Libya and that Dido is the Queen.


Didos story:


  1. She married Sychaues, wealthiest of the Phoenicians.
  2. Pygmalion (her brother) is jealous of his wealth and kills him and conceals the murder.


  3. Dido finds out that truth. Sychaeus appeared to Dido in a dream and told her to escape and provided her with money.

  4. She escaped to Carthage.




  • Venus asks who Aeneas is. He replies: “ I am Aeneas known for my devotion” and tells her of his sufferings.

  • Venus reassures Aeneas that the Gods do not hate him.

  • She tells Aeneas to go and meet queen Dido and covers him and Achates in a cloud so that they can get there without delay.

  • When Venus is leaving Aeneas realises that she is his mother and asks her: “ why do you so often mock your own son by taking on disguises.”

  • Aeneas sees Carthage being built and is jealous: “how fortunate they are, their walls are already rising!”

  • Dido is building a huge temple for Juno.

  • Aeneas sees scenes of the Trojan War on the walls of the temple which gives him hope for the future.


Dido meets Aeneas and his comrades:


  • Queen Dido “in all her beauty” arrives at the temple. She is again compared to Diana.

  • Aeneas’ comrades, who he had been separated from during the storm, arrive.

  • They ask Dido to take pity on them. They tell their story and tell Dido how they were separated from Aeneas: “our king was Aeneas. He had no equal for his piety and his care for justice.”

  • They ask Dido to allow them to build new ships.

  • Dido is sympathetic to the Trojans and says that she will help them however she can. She has heard the story of the Trojan War already.

  • She invites them to settle in Carthage on “equal footing”.

  • The cloud dissolves and Aeneas appears looking like a god.
  • He reveals who he is and is grateful to Dido for her kind words: “you alone have pitied the unspeakable grief’s of Troy.”


  • He says he will praise her name forever in every land to which he is called.

  • Dido is amazed at the sight of Aeneas, she says she too has been tossed from place to place and thus: “through my suffering, I am learning to help those who suffer.”

  • Aeneas thinks of his son Ascanius, sends Achates to the ship to fetch him and instructs him to give Ascanius a gift to bring to Dido.


Venus’ scheme:


  • Venus is wary of the Carthaginians, as they are Juno’s people. She decides to make Dido fall in love with Aeneas.

  • She asks her son Cupid to make Dido fall in love with Aeneas. He agrees to do so.

  • Cupid pretends to be Ascanius. The real Ascanius is put to sleep and hidden on Mount Idalium.

  • Cupid arrives at the palace dressed as Ascanius.

  • He sits on Didos knee and inflames her with a love for Aeneas. He also erases her love for her dead husband Sychaeus from her mind.


Revision Questions on the Aeneid Book 1:


  1. Who wrote the Aeneid?



  1. Who was Emperor when Virgil wrote the Aeneid?



  1. What was Aeneas’ destiny?



  1. Which goddess is Aeneas’ mother?



  1. What quality is Aeneas famous for?



  1. Why is Juno angry with Aeneas? Give two reasons.



  1. Who started the storm? At whose command? Who stopped the storm?


  1. Which city did Juno love above all others?




  1. What second name does Ascanius receive? Who will have this name passed down to him from Iulus?


  1. Which goddess is Venus compared to when she is dressed as a Spartan girl?



  1. For how many years will Ascanius reign over Lavinium?



  1. Name Dido’s husband and brother.



  1. What gift does Ascanius give to Dido?



  1. Where did Aeneas’ father die? What was his name?


15. Who is Venus’s other son who features in Book 1?
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