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Aeneas is entrusted with the destiny of the Trojans after King Priam and his family are ruined by the Greeks and the city is burnt. Aeneas has to found another city, and guided by omens and oracles he arrives in Italy after overcoming a number of obstacles in his way. But the hostility of Juno and the curse of Dido whom he deserted prevent a peaceful establishment of a new city. After several battles with the Italian natives, Aeneas finally kills his rival Turnus.
While the divine antagonist is Juno the human agents are at first Dido who tries to keep Aeneas in Carthage to share her kingdom and then Turnus. Turnus sees Aeneas as the invading Trojan on Italian territory as well as a rival for his promised bride Lavinia.
A long drawn battle between the Italian forces of Turnus and his allies and the Trojans and their allies reaches a climax when after several hindrances Aeneas and Turnus face each other in single combat.
In Jove’s very first speech in Book I the outcome is made known. Aeneas has to conquer all odds to settle in Italy and become the founder of the long race of Romans. So once he faces Turnus, the main opposition to his destiny, he kills him, avenges in this way the killing of Pallas and marries Lavinia. The epic hero must be victorious.