Virgil’s Anna: Unanima Soror
The present study concerns Anna, the sister of Dido in Book Four of Virgil’s foundational, Roman epic poem, the Aeneid. I analyze the intertextual relationship Anna’s character shares with the nurse figure of tragedy, and how Virgil builds a new kind of tragic figure out of the Greek material—the tragic, maternal sister. Virgil further links Anna to the nurse figure by using specific incendiary language and by utilizing her deep religious and etymological origins as a mother/nurse goddess. These connections link her to the other two sisters of the Aeneid, Juturna and Acca, who are also fundamentally associated with motherhood. Within Virgil’s narrative, these three sisters are employed to assist in the founding of Rome, the telos of the Aeneid.