Chapter Summaries & Analyses
Like Book 2, Book 3 is narrated by Aeneas at Dido’s feast. After the fall of Troy, Aeneas first tries to found a town called Aeneadae in Thrace (northern Greece) but receives an awful portent: When he cuts some dogwood to decorate an altar, it oozes blood (26-29). Aeneas hears the disembodied voice of Polydorus, a Trojan prince who had been living at the court of the Thracian king and was speared by the Thracians for his money when Troy fell; these spears form the wood Aeneas hacked into (55-57). Anchises convinces Aeneas to abandon Aeneadae as the place is cursed by the Thracians’ treachery. They give Polydorus a proper funeral and sail to the island of Delos.
Delos is sacred to the god of prophecy, Apollo. After conducting the proper rituals, Aeneas asks Apollo where they should establish their new city. A booming voice answers: The Trojans must settle in “the first land that nurtured your parents’ / roots […] Go, then, in search of your ancient, original mother!” (94-96). Anchises consults his knowledge of Trojan lore and concludes that Apollo must mean Crete, the home of the Trojan ancestor Teucer. They sail there along the eastern coast of Greece and, again, try to establish a town.