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Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

Mysteries & Legends

Padua, the Iliad, the Aeneid and Dante's Inferno

What do the Italian city of Padua and Dante's Inferno have in common? Apparently nothing, but if you dig in the medieval legends you will discover some interesting connections.

According to Virgil's Aeneid, the Venetian city was founded by the Trojan prince Antenor in 1185 B.C., after the destruction of Troy… Archaeological findings confirm the ancient origins of the city, which developed between the XIII and XI centuries BC and linked to the civilization of ancient Venetians.

In the Iliad, to avoid the conflict with the Achaeans, Antenor begs the Trojans to give Helen back to her husband Menelaus, but no one pays attention.

For many ancient and medieval authors, Antenor is considered a traitor: he allegedly betrayed the Trojans and delivered Palladio - the talisman of the invincibility of Troy - to Odysseus and Diomedes, receiving in exchange the salvation for himself and his family.

For this reason, Dante Alighieri named Antenora the IX round in the final part of Inferno, where traitors are confined.

Traces of Antenor can also be found around the city: in 1274, during the construction of a home for foundlings, an ark funeral with two coffins in Cypress and lead was found. It contained human remains, a sword and two jars of coins gold. The learned Lovato Lovati attributed the remains to the Trojan prince Antenor, and so, in 1283, it was decided to build a monument to hold the ark, which is now in Piazza Antenore.

In 1985, the ark was reopened and the remains were subjected to scientific analysis that excluded that the remains belonged to the Trojan hero; the remains are probably those of a Hungarian warrior died during the invasions of the IX century.

The city of Padua is now considered one of the most beautiful art cities in Veneto ... History, art and culture can be felt in every corner of the city, not forgetting the lively atmosphere of one of the oldest university cities in Europe! If you are planning a holiday in our beautiful region, we recommend you to plan a stop in Padua in your itinerary... By consulting our tours and activities in Padua & Brenta Riviera section you will find many interesting ideas for an unforgettable visit!

By Insidecom Editorial Staff

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