About sixty years previous to the Trojan war, Evander is said to have led a Pelasgian colony from Pallantium in Arcadia into Italy. The cause of this emigration was, according to Dionysius, a civil feud among the people, in which the party of Evander was defeated, and therefore left their country of their own accord. Servius, on the other hand, relates that Evander had killed his father at the instigation of his mother, and that he was obliged to quit Arcadia on that account.3 He landed in Italy on the banks of the Tiber, at the foot of the Palatine Hill, and was hospitably received by king Turnus.
According to Servius,4 however, Evander took possession of the country by force of arms, and slew Herilus, king of Praeneste, who had attempted to expel him. He built a town Pallantium, which was subsequently incorporated with Rome, and from which the names of Palatium and Palatinus were believed to have arisen.5 Evander is said to have taught his neighbors milder laws and the arts of peace and social life, and especially the art of writing, with which he himself had been made acquainted by Heracles,6 and music; he also introduced among them the worship of the Lycaean Pan, of Demeter, Poseidon, Heracles, and Nike.7
Virgil8 represents Evander as still alive at the time when Aeneas arrived in Italy, and as forming an alliance with him against the Latins.9 Evander had a son Pallas, and two daughters, Rome and Dyna.10
He was worshiped at Pallantium in Arcadia, as a hero, and that town was subsequently honored by the emperor Antoninus with several privileges. Evander's statue at Pallantium stood by the side of that of his son Pallas. At Rome he had an altar at the foot of the Aventine.11
- Pausanias. Description of Greece viii, 43.2; Plutarch. Roman Questions, 53; Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Roman Antiquities i, 31; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid viii, 336.
- Servius on Virgil's Aeneid viii, 130.
- ibid. viii, 51; comp. Ovid. Fasti i, 480.
- on Aeneid viii, 562.
- Varro. On the Latin Language v, 53.
- Plutarch. Roman Questions, 56.
- Livy. The History of Rome i, 5; Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Roman Antiquities i, 31 ff.; Ovid. Fasti i, 471, v, 91; Pausanias, l.c.
- Aeneid viii, 51.
- Comp. Servius on Virgil's Aeneid viii, 157.
- Virgil. Aeneid viii, 574; Servius on Virgil's Aeneid i, 277; Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Roman Antiquities i, 32.
- Pausanias. Description of Greece viii, 44.5; Dionysius of Halicarnassus, l.c.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.