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Ascanius, king of Alba Longa

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Ascanius, king of Alba Longa

Also Known As: "Euryleon"
Birthplace: Troy, Greece
Death: Alba Longa Kingdom, Italy
Place of Burial: Alba Longa Kingdom, Italy
Immediate Family:

Son of Aeneas, King of Lavinium and Creüsa
Husband of Roma
Half brother of Etias; Silvius, king of Alba Longa; Euryleon; Romus and Belait

Occupation: 1st King of Alba Longa, King of Latium, koning van Alba Longa
Managed by: Joseph Kinner Harmon
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Ascanius, king of Alba Longa

In Greco-Roman mythology Ascanius was son of Aeneas, a Trojan prince. His father rescued him after the Fall of Troy. He became first king of Alba Longa. Our information about him comes primarily from Roman sources 1200 years after the Fall of Troy. In Roman legend he was father, half-brother, or the same person as Iulus, ancestor of Gens Iulia. According to Cato he left no descendants, being succeeded by his half-brother Silvius.

Uncertain Mother

Sources differ about Ascanius' mother. According to Vergil he was son of Aeneas' by Aeneas' first wife Creüsa. According to Livy he was son of Aeneas by Aeneas' second wife Lavinia. These versions represent two different political claims. As son of the Latin princess Lavinia Ascanius would have been heir to a part of the Latin kingdom in Italy. This is probably the older version, important when Rome was consolidating its hold over Italy. As son of the Trojan princess Creüsa Ascanius, and by proxy the Romans, would have been heir to the Trojan kingdom. This is probably a newer version, important when Rome was expanding into Greece and the eastern Mediterranean.


In Greek and Roman mythology, Ascanius was the son of the Trojan prince Aeneas and Creusa, daughter of Priam. After the Trojan War, as the city burned, Aeneas escaped to Latium in Italy, taking his father Anchises and his child Ascanius with him, though Creusa died during the escape.

According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Ascanius' original name was Euryleon and this name was changed to Ascanius after his flight from Troy. According to Virgil, Ascanius was also called Iulus or Julus. The Gens Julia, or the Julians, the clan to which Julius Caesar belonged, claimed to have been descended from Ascanius/Iulus, his father Aeneas, and, ultimately, the goddess Venus, the mother of Aeneas in myth, his father being the mortal Anchises. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, however, Julus was a son of Ascanius who disputed the succession of the kingdom of Alba Longa with Silvius, upon the death of Ascanius.

According to another legend mentioned by Livy, Ascanius may have been the son of Aeneas and Lavinia and thus born in Latium, not Troy. Ascanius later fought in the Italian Wars along with his father Aeneas.

After the death of Aeneas, Ascanius became king of Lavinium and an Etruscan king named Mezentius took advantage of the occasion to besiege the city. Mezentius succeeded in making the city surrender and agree to pay a yearly tribute. Upon his retirement, Ascanius fell upon him and his army unaware and entirely defeated Mezentius and killed his son Lausus. Mezentius was forced to agree to pay a yearly tribute. Subsequent to this, exactly thirty years after the founding of Lavinium, Ascanius founded the city of Alba Longa and became its first king. He left his mother, Lavinia, in charge of the city of Lavinium. Ascanius was succeeded by Silvius, who was either the younger brother of Ascanius or his son. Ascanius died in the 28th year of his reign.

Another tradition says Ascanius was too young to reign and that his mother Lavinia reigned in his stead for a number of years until he came of age, upon which, Ascanius founded Alba Longa and left his mother in charge of Lavinium (Dionysius of Halicarnasus).


  • Cato, Origines, fr. 11
  • Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 1.65
  • Robert J. Edgeworth, "Ascanius' Mother" in Hermes 129. Bd., H. 2 (2001), pp. 246-250
  • Miriam Griffin, A Companion to Julius Caesar (2009), pp. 12-13
  • Livy, Ab Urbe Condita, I.1.11, 3.1-3
  • Vergil, The Aeneid, II:597-98, 651-52, 677-78, 710-11, 789
  • Wikipedia: Ascanius
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Ascanius, king of Alba Longa's Timeline

Troy, Greece
Alba Longa Kingdom, Italy
Alba Longa Kingdom, Italy