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Iapyx or Lycaon, removing an arrowhead from Aeneas thigh using a forceps. Aenas is shown with his young crying son Iulus Ascanius. Even of divine origin Iapyx is not successful and Aphrodite his mother intervenes (the woman behind Iapyx) by giving her son a herb from the island of Crete (or Asia?), dittany, to be used to heal the wound. 1st century AD Pompeii Fresco

In Greek and Roman mythology, Ascanius was a son of Aeneas and Creusa. After the Trojan War, Ascanius escaped to Latium in Italy with his father and fought in the Italian Wars. Virgil's Aeneid says he had a role in the founding of Rome as the first king of Alba Longa.

He was also called Iulus or Julus. From this name comes the Gens Julia, the Julian family to which Julius Caesar belonged.

The name Iulus was popularised by Virgil in his work the Aeneid, replacing the Greek name Ascanius with Iulus to link the Julian family of Rome to earlier mythology. The emperor Augustus, who commissioned the work, was a great patron of the arts. As a member of the Julian family, he could claim to have three major Olympian gods in his family tree, so he encouraged his many poets to present material on his direct descent from Aeneas.


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