(1) Thrace (NE of Troy - the Cicone area of the Odyssey)

    Aeneas intended to build a city there and call it after himself but when he began to prepare the ground, blood oozed from the roots of the plants. it was the burial place of Polydorus the son of King Priam of Troy, who was killed by his treacherous host. Aeneas therefore moved on.
    (2) Delos (Aegean Sea)
    Aeneas entered the temple of Apollo. The oracle told him to move on to the place of his ancestors. Anchises interpreted this to be Crete.

    (3) Crete (Mediterranean Sea)
    They went to Knossos. One legend says that Aeneas's ancestors were from Crete. However, while sleeping, Aeneas had a vision. The Penates appeared and told him to go to Italy. (Another legend says his ancestors were from Italy). They set off again.

    (4) The Strophades Islands (Ionian Sea, W° Peloponnese)
    The Harpies lived here. Celaeno, One of the Harpies, told them that Italy was their destination. Anchises told them to move on. They passed Ithaca (home of Odysseus), visited Leucate and arrived in Actium.

    (5) Actium (W. Greece)
    Aeneas held the Trojan Games here
    He fixed a shield on One of the doors in their memory. It had been taken from the Greeks during the Trojan War.

    (6) Buthrotum (on the Greek mainland opposite Corfu)
    Aeneas was surprised to meet Andromache here. Andromache was the wife of Hector who was killed by Achilles during the Trojan War. Andromache was now married to another son of Priam - Helenus - and they lived here in Greece. Andromache enquired about Aeneas's young son Ascanius. Helenus then appeared. he had built Buthrotum to resemble Troy. Aeneas referred to it as the "Little Troy". Helenus, prophesied the remainder of Aeneas's journey [Carthage was not mentioned]. He said Aeneas would know, by a sign, when to build his city in Italy. the city was to be built when Aeneas saw a white sow with thirty young. He had to offer sacrifice and clothe himself in a purple garment.
    Before they left, Andromache gave gifts of mantles to Ascanius who reminded her of her little dead son Astyanax.

    (7) Ceraunia (coast of Albania)
    They sailed north to Ceraunia and beached for the night. From here they could see Italy (this was the shortest distance across the Adriatic to Italy).
    (8) Italy (South Coast)
    On reaching Italy they saw Minerva's temple and the prophetic sign of the four white horses.

    These were the sign of the war which they had to fight in Italy. They sacrificed to Juno, as Helenus had suggested, and continued on their way until they reached Tarentum. From here it was said that they could see Mount Etna (Sicily) and hear Charybdis (the whirlpool). They continued not knowing where they were and drifted to Sicily.
    (9) Sicily (Cyclops Harbour - East Coast)

    From here they could see Mount Etna

    A stranger - dirty and hungry - appeared from the forest. He was Achaemenides. He said he was a Greek and was left there by Odysseus and his men when they visited the Cyclops cave. he described the giants and the cave of Polyphemus. He related how Odysseus and his men blinded the Cyclops. Polyphemus then appeared and they took the stranger on board and moved off. They took the longer journey around Sicily instead and passed by Selinus. Shortly after, Aeneas' father, Anchises, died. they left Sicily again.
    Juno asked Aeolus, the God of Winds, to start a storm. Aeneas and his men were caught out at sea in the storm. Neptune, God of the Sea, stilled the storm and Aeneas, exhausted, made for the nearest coast, which was Africa.
    (10) Carthage
    Aeneas met Queen Dido. She was from Tyre (Phoenicia - known today as Lebanon).

    She had to escape to avoid being killed also and she was building a new city in Carthage. She was very beautiful and was compared to Diana. She was independent and intelligent and was making her own laws and directing the work. She was cultured, and the temple to Juno which she was building showed her love of art. She was loved by her people who respected and looked up to her. She had high morals and had taken an oath to her dead husband never to marry again.
    Juno and Venus plotted to make Aeneas and Dido fall in love. Venus sent Cupid (in the form of Ascanius) to give presents to Dido and Cupid would then make her fall for Aeneas. Dido felt uneasy at falling in love with Aeneas. She did not want to break her oath to her dead husband. She discussed the situation with her sister Anna who persuaded her to allow herself fall for Aeneas for the following reasons:

    • she was lonely and had no children
    • she was surrounded in Africa by enemies
    • her brother could come from Tyre and kill her too
    • if she married Aeneas it would bring fame to Carthag.

    Next day Aeneas and Dido went hunting. the Gods sent a heavy shower and they sheltered in the same cave! Dido and Venus considered that there was a marriage. Aeneas, however, although he liked Dido did not consider it a marriage. Jupiter sent Mercury to tell Aeneas that he had to continue to Italy. Aeneas was up set and wondered how he would tell Dido. He ordered his men to prepare the boats. Dido then realised that Aeneas was going and she was very angry. She called him a traitor. She felt very let down and also felt she had let herself down. She asked Anna to try and persuade him to stay.
    But for Aeneas, following the Will of the Gods was more important and so he vowed to leave. Dido asked Anna to build a pyre so that she could destroy everything associated with Aeneas. Anna built the pyre and Dido stepped on to it and killed herself. By now Aeneas had left and was heading for Sicily again. From the sea he could see the flames and guessed what Dido was doing.
    (11) Sicily
    Aeneas and his men arrived in Sicily for a second time. It was here his father had died twelve months earlier. Aeneas decided to have games in his honour. Before the games he went to the burial mound and offered sacrifice. Aeneas was now seven years wandering and wondered if he should stay in Sicily. But the prophet Nautes told him to continue his journey with a small group and leave the older people behind in Sicily to found a city of their own.
    (12) Italy (Cumae - W. Coast)
    Here Aeneas met the Sibyl, a Goddess, who acted as his guide and brought him to the Underworld.
    (13) Latium
    Aeneas sailed up the River Tiber from Cumae. He engaged in war with Turnus. Turnus was to marry Lavinia, the daughter of King Latinus, but a prophet told Latinus that his daughter would marry a stranger. Turnus was annoyed and therefore engaged in war with Aeneas but Turnus was killed (the "Aeneid" ends here). Aeneas married Lavinia and his city was later called Rome, after Romulus (Story of Romulus and Remus).

    Riccardo Rosi




                                                                                                                   Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa

    In this period we have studied this painting with Art’s teacher. I like it, and I have also studied the story of this painting. I’ll write you a short sad story of this painting.

    Course to Senegal  

    On 17 June 1816, a convoy under the command of Chaumareys on Méduse departed Rochefort, accompanied by the storeship Loire, the brig Argus and the corvette Écho, to receive the British handover of the port of Saint-Louis in Senegal. Méduse, armed en flûte, carried passengers, including the appointed French governor of Senegal, Colonel Julien-Désiré Schmaltz, and his wife Reine Schmaltz. Méduse's complement totaled 400, including 160 crew. She reached Madeira on 27 June. Schmaltz then wanted to reach Saint-Louis as fast as possible, by the most direct route, but this would take the fleet dangerously close to the shore, where there were many sandbars and reefs. Experienced crews sailed further out.

    The Méduse was the fastest of the convoy and, disregarding his orders, the captain quickly lost contact with Loire and Argus. Écho kept pace and attempted to guide Méduse, but to no avail. Écho then prudently moved further out to sea. Chaumareys had decided to involve one of the passengers, Richefort, in the navigation of the frigate. Richefort was a philosopher and a member of the Philanthropic Society of Cape Verde, but had no qualification to guide ships. As she closed on the coast of Africa, the course of Méduse became dangerous. Richefort apparently mistook a large cloud bank on the horizon for Cape Blanco on the African coast, and so underestimated the proximity of the Bank of Arguin off the coast of Mauritania. On 2 July 1816 Méduse ran into increasingly shallow water, both Chaumareys and Richefort ignoring signs such as white breakers and mud in the water. Eventually, Lieutenant Maudet took it upon himself to start taking soundings off the bow, and, measuring only 18 fathoms (ca. 32 meters), warned his captain. Realising the danger at last, Chaumareys ordered the ship brought up into the wind, but it was too late, and Méduse ran aground 50 kilometres off the coast. The accident occurred at a spring high tide, which made it difficult to re-float the frigate. The Captain refused to jettison the 14 three-tonne cannons and so the ship settled into the bank.

    The raft

    Plans were proposed to use the ship's launches to ferry the passengers and crew to the shore, about 30 miles away, which would have taken two boat trips. Numerous ideas for lightening Méduse and immediately coming off the reef were proposed, in particular, that of building a raft to unload Méduse's cargo. A raft was soon built; it was 20 metres in length and 7 metres in width, and was nicknamed "la Machine" by the crew.

    On 5 July, a gale developed and the Méduse showed signs of breaking up. Passengers and crew panicked and so the captain decided to evacuate the frigate immediately, with 146 men and one woman boarding the woefully unstable raft, towed by the boats of Méduse. The raft had few supplies and no means of steering or navigation. Much of its deck was under water. Seventeen men decided to stay on the Méduse, and the rest boarded the ship's longboats. The crew of the boats soon realised that towing the raft was impractical and began to fear being overwhelmed by the desperate survivors on the raft. It was decided to cut the ropes, leaving the raft and its occupants to their fate. The lifeboats, including the captain and Governor Schmaltz aboard, then sailed away to safety. Some landed immediately on the coast of Africa, most of the survivors making their way overland to Senegal though some died on the way. On the raft, the situation deteriorated rapidly. Among the provisions were casks of wine instead of water. Fights broke out between the officers and passengers on one hand, and the sailors and soldiers on the other.

    On the first night adrift, 20 men were killed or committed suicide. Stormy weather threatened, and only the centre of the raft was secure. Dozens died either in fighting to get to the centre, or because they were washed overboard by the waves. Rations dwindled rapidly; by the fourth day there were only 67 left alive on the raft, and some resorted to cannibalism. On the eighth day, the fittest decided to throw the weak and wounded overboard leaving fifteen men, all of whom survived the four remaining days until their rescue on 17 July by Argus, which had accidentally encountered them.

    In my opinion tragedy is a terrible event. It’s indifferent when it happens or who happens. When I see this painting I imagine all the shipwrecks in this period. What do you think about this?

                                                                                                                                                                Riccardo Bocchini





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