In Aeneid 2. 451-468, in a narrative evoking a famous passage in Iliad 6, Aeneas claims to have destroyed, during the sack of Troy, a tower overlooking a precipitous drop situated in Priam’s palace complex. Andromache used to drag (trahebat: 357) her son Astyanax there, he notes, to watch the fighting. In Seneca’s Trojan Women (1068-1103), however, in a passage echoing and modifying Euripides Trojan Women 725-739, a messenger says the tower, where Priam, with Astyanax in his lap, used to oversee the fighting was the only tower still standing after the sack of Troy. From its top, he says, Astyanax leaped on his death, foiling those who, in other traditions, were intent to throw him down. Why, then, does Virgil’s Aeneas claim that he, a Trojan, had destroyed this famous Trojan tower before Troy fell and before Astyanax died?
Sponsored by the graduate students in the Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies.