On their way to Italy the Trojans are caught in another storm and run before the winds back to Sicily where Anchises had died precisely a year before. Aeneas celebrates rites in his honour and holds funeral games. Weary with their wanderings, the Trojan women fire the ships, and Aeneas decides to leave the women, children and old women in Sicily in a city ruled by Acestes, the Trojan who had been their host in Sicily. Aeneas' steersman Palinurus is lost overboard on the voyage to Italy.
The tragedy of Book 4 is followed by the games of Book 5, but first Aeneas looks back at Carthage and sees the flames rising from the pyre on which Dido is dying. None of the Trojans knows what is causing the fire but their hearts are filled with foreboding, soon to be fulfilled by the storm which forces them to return to the place where Anchises had died. Here the piety of Aeneas shows in the scrupulous care with which he performs for the first time in history, the rites of the Parentalia, the Roman festival of the dead, in honour of his father, who now becomes a god. The Aeneid is authenicating, contemporary Roman religious practice by attributing its origins to the founder of the Julian family, and at the same time authenticating the stress upon the revitalisation of Roman religion so dear to the heart of the contemporary Julian, Augustus.
Aeneas the Leader
There are tears at the heart of things, sunt lacrimae rerum, and for the Victorians Virgil was often…