to Nennius, Homer, Virgil and other early writers, the Trojan family was related in this manner:
(eponym of Troy)
Priam (king during Trojan War) Anchises
(elderly when Troy fell)
Ascanius(d) Silvius Postumus(e)
Silvius (legendary ancestor
Romulus and Remus,
(a) Virgil relates her death as Aeneas carried
his aged father from Troy. It was one of her brothers, Paris, who had taken Helen from Sparta to Troy even though she
was married to the brother of Agememnon...the king who assembled the armies (traditionally called Greeks) to attack Troy
(b) The member of the Trojan royal family who fled when Troy
fell, eventually settling in Italy where he remarried
(c) The Italian princess who married Aeneas 3 years before
(d) The first son of Aeneas who was but a child when Troy
fell, and who became king of Alba Longa in Italy after his father's death
(e) About 15 years younger than his half-brother,
he is said to have been born after Aeneas died. He was named king of Alba Longa after the death of Ascanius since the
son of Ascanius was yet a child.
If it were Brutus ap Silvius in this
chart who was born near 835BC, the end of the Trojan war would have be be dated c. 895 based on the following extension of
965BC Anchises (about age 70 at fall of Troy)
930 Aeneas (about age 35 at fall of Troy)
900 Ascanius (about age 5 at fall of Troy)
While no contemporary sources date
the fall of Troy, most scholars accept the 1184BC dating offered by Eratosthenes in the 3rd century BC. But others have
suggested dates considerably earlier than that even though men prior to Eratosthenes believed it occured as late as 940BC.
However, all guesses were by Greeks who believed it was a part of their history and had an interest in claiming the Greek
civilization was older than some of their rival nations.
For their part, the Roman historians claim
their Romulus was born in 771BC. Counting backwards with the pedigree they fashioned for him, Aeneas would occur c.
1225BC and fit well with the Eratosthenes estimate. There remains some suspicion, however, that the number of links
claimed between Aeneas and Romulus was tailored to fit with a 1184BC date for the fall of Troy. One can see the uncertainties
in the following example:
Roman historians say the mother of
Romulus and Remus was Rhea Silvia, daughter of Numitor. And that the king selected to succeed Romulus at his death was
an unrelated man named Numa Pompilius. But one of the pedigrees cited by Nennius says Numa Pompilius was a younger son
of Ascanius (son of Aeneas) and the father of Rhea Silvia. Nennius says that lady was the mother of Alanus, whose son
was Hessitio, the latter being the father of a second man named Brutus.
Nennius did not offer an opinion as
to which of the two men named Brutus was the founder of Britian; his purpose was simply to present two alternate pedigrees
of a Trojan named Brutus which were extant when he wrote. It was the later Geoffrey of Monmouth who chose Brutus ap
Silvius as Britian's founder even though he confused that Silvius son of Ascanius with the Silvius who was half-brother to
For our part, we think all the pedigrees
trying to link the founding of Rome and Britain to Aeneas of Troy were the product of wishful thinking. Perhaps the
Trojan War was historic (wherever it was located), but none of the men later than Aeneas are found in any
extant source earlier than the 1st century BC. Should evidence be discovered which redates the Trojan War to c. 900BC,
we could at least conclude that Brutus might chronologically have been a great-grandson of the Aeneas mentioned in the Iliad.
Otherwise, his pedigrees are deficient and likely fabricated.