Hidden treasures

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

Mysteries & Legends
padova-antenore

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

Latest posts

Padua: Jacopo Marcello, the Captain who shouldn’t have died

ca-marcello
Big Names

Ca’ Marcello in Piombino Dese, Italy is a beautiful eighteenth-century Venetian villa still inhabited today by the Marcello Counts, a...

View

Venice: What’s the traditional Redentore food?

sarde-saor
Local Traditions

The number one traditional celebration, celebrated every year the third weekend of July, Redentore gives thanks for the end of the terr...

View

Venice: The village of Dolo and its inhabitants

Dolo
Figures of speech

In the province of Venice there is a small village, Dolo, which doesn’t have a great reputation... The dialect expression ‘Ma te vi...

View

Venice: The crypt of the church of San Simeone Piccolo

san-simeone-piccolo-venezia
Unknown places & works

As soon as you leave the train station in Venice, you will see the imposing dome of the church of San Simeone Piccolo, renovated in the...

View

Top posts

Padua: Prato della Valle in Padua

prato-della-valle
Historical Curiosities

Probably only the inhabitants of Padua and a few other people know of a particular record their city is boasting about: having the larg...

View

Treviso: Castelbrando in Cison di Valmarino

castelbrando
Unknown places & works

The province of Treviso offers its visitors many places steeped in history and imbued with charm ... One of these is definitely Castelb...

View

Venice: The tomb of Antonio Canova in the Frari Cathedral in Venice

Tomba_Canova
Mysteries & Legends

When visiting the splendid Frari Cathedral in Venice a pyramid can be seen in front of the church… Why is such a ...

View

Venice: The Empress Sissi in Venice

Sissi
Big Names

The Empress Sissi (1837-18989), the wife of Austria Emperor Francesco Giuseppe of Habsburg, has remained in the collective imagination ...

View