Anchises was the son of Capys and a prince of Troy. As a young man, the handsome prince became a lover of Aphrodite, who bore him his heroic son Aeneas. Anchises was ordered to keep his relationship with Aphrodite secret, but he violated this promise; he was later severely punished for this indiscretion.
When Troy fell to the Greeks during the Trojan War, Aeneas escaped from the burning city with Anchises on his shoulders. Anchises traveled west with his son, serving as his wise and pious advisor, but he died before they could reach Italy. In Virgil’s Aeneid, Aeneas goes to the Underworld to visit Anchises; there, Anchises reveals the destiny of Aeneas’ descendants, the future Roman people.