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By Evelyn Wolfson

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The couple was very happy, and Apollo believed that, at last, he had found true love. But one day his favorite bird, the crow (who, at that time, had pure white feathers), came to him and told him that his beautiful wife had been unfaithful to him. Apollo flew into a rage and shot Larissa with one of his sharp arrows. Although he had not intended to kill her, Larissa was fatally injured and Apollo could not make her return to life. Angry that he had lost the woman he loved, Apollo turned on the crow that had delivered the news and changed his white feathers into black.

For the Romans, she was one of their chief triad of gods, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, with a temple on the Capitol. The temple and its triad came to symbolise being Roman, and were reduplicated all over the Roman empire. The Romans themselves believed that it had been instituted, c. , by Rome’s last king, Tarquin the Proud. His father had come from Etruria, which may tell us something about Minerva’s origins, while her elevation to a senior position, like Athena, perhaps reflects the influence of Greek culture on the 11 Etruscans already at that period.

When at last the ships were ready and loaded with provisions, the fleet set sail north toward Thrace, a country known to be an ally of the Trojans. Aeneas wished to visit Polydorus, King Priam’s youngest son, who had been sent there for safekeeping. Once Aeneas and his people were safely ashore in Thrace, Aeneas built the customary sacrificial altar to honor the gods and goddesses of the land. But when he uprooted some myrtle to decorate the altar, blood dripped from its leaves and a muffled sob burst forth from the earth.

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