In the Iliad, Aineias is one of the most formidable defenders of Troy, the leader of the Dardanians, a Trojan people living on the foothills of Mount Ida. He is the son of a mortal, Anchises, a descendant of Dardanos who founded Troy, and a goddess, Aphrodite. It is predicted of him that he is to escape the destruction of Troy to found a new city (unspecified) and continue the Dardanian line.
Virgil, writing centuries later, expanded this mention into a poem which purports to describe the origins of Rome. Aeneas's escape from the destruction of Troy is narrated by him to queen Dido of Carthage. They fall in love with each other but he is recalled to his destiny by the messenger god Mercury, at the urging of Jupiter. Dido commits suicide. Later Aeneas visits the Underworld with the help of the guide Cumaean Sibyl, and sees his recently deceased father. Aeneas and his Trojan followers, mostly men. On reaching Italy, Aeneas realises that this is the place where they are destined to settle. But in order to do so he must defeat king Turnus and his allies. He is then able to marry the Latin princess Lavinia. Throughout, he has the support of his mother, Venus, but is sometimes thwarted by the goddess Juno. A descendant, Romulus, is to be the founder of the city of Rome.