1902 Encyclopedia > Anchises


Anchises (Ankhises), in Greek Legend, son of Capys and grandson of Assaracus, his mother being Themis, daughter of Ilus, the founder of Ilium or Troy, to the ruling family of which, at the time of the Trojan war, he was also, on the paternal side, related, since Assaracus hs been a brother of Ilus (Iliad, xx. 231-239). From the Assyrian character of the name Assaracus, from the intercourse between the Phoenicians and the early inhabitants of the Troad, and from the connection of Venus, the protecting goddess of the Phoenicians, with Anchises, it has been inferred that the family of the latter had originally come from somewhere near the centre of Assyrian influence. Venus met Anchises on Mount Ida, and, enamoured of his beauty, bore him Aeneas (Iliad, ii. 820, v. 247). He was not to mention the mother of the child on pain of being killed by a thunderbolt from Jupiter. He did mention it, however, and, by one account, was slain as foretold; but according to others, was only wounded and blinded. In the more recent legend, adopted by Virgil, he was conveyed out of Troy on the shoulders of his son Aeneas, whose wanderings he followed, it is differently stated, as far only as Sicily, where he was buried on Mount Eryx, or as far as Italy. On the other hand, there was a grave on Mount Ida at Troy pointed out as his. At Segesta in Sicily he had a sanctuary. He was said by some to have had prophetic power. The scenes of his life represented in works of art are his being carried on the shoulders of Aeneas, which frequently occurs on engraved gems of the Roman period; and his visits from Venus, which is rendered in a beautiful bronze relief, engraved in Millingen's Unedited Monuments, pl. 12.


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