Latinus from Guillaume Rouillé's Promptuarii Iconum Insigniorum

Latinus (Latin: Lătīnŭs) was a figure in both Greek and Roman mythology.

Greek mythology

In Hesiod's Theogony,[1] Latinus was the son of Odysseus and Circe who ruled the Tyrsenoi, presumably the Etruscans, with his brothers Ardeas and Telegonus. Latinus is also referred to, by much later authors, as the son of Pandora and brother of Graecus[2] although according to Hesiod, Graecus had three brothers, Hellen, Magnitas, and Macedon with the first being the father of Doros, Xuthos, and Aeolos. Their mother Pandora was the daughter of Deucalion and Pyrrha.

Roman mythology

Wenceslas Hollar - King Latinus in council (State 1)

Latinus in Council, print by Wenceslas Hollar, 1607-1677.

In later Roman mythology (notably Virgil's Aeneid), Latinus, or Lavinius, was a king of the Latins. He is sometimes described as the son of Faunus and Marica, and father of Lavinia with his wife, Amata. He hosted Aeneas's army of exiled Trojans and offered them the option of reorganizing their life in Latium. His wife Amata wished his daughter Lavinia to be betrothed to Turnus, king of the Rutuli, but Faunus and the gods insisted that he give her instead to Aeneas; Turnus consequently declared war on Aeneas and was killed two weeks into the conflict. Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, later founded Alba Longa and was the first in a long series of kings leading to Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome all the way down to Julius Caesar. This version is not properly compatible with the Greek one: the Trojan War had ended only eight years earlier, and Odysseus only met Circe a couple of months later, so any son of the pair could only be seven years old, whereas the Roman Latinus had an adult daughter by this time.



  • Virgil, Aeneid, VII, 45, 52, 69, 96.
  • Livy, Ab urbe condita, 1:1-2
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Latinus. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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