Why Aeneas? Why not Odysseus, for example? Odysseus is perhaps better known to us than Aeneas. Aeneas, as Odysseus, started his long journey in search of home from the flames of Troy. As Odysseus, he underwent many trials in order to reach his goal. Yet, there is a quality possessed by Aeneas, ancestral hero of Rome, that even Odysseus, king of Ithaca, does not possess. Aeneas’ quest is not simply that of his return home, and the return to the life that he led before the war. Aeneas’ quest is that of the foundation of a city and a people. Favored by the gods, Aeneas was the carrier of a destiny larger than himself, a destiny that encompassed History.

Also, unlike Odysseus whose goal was a place in space, Aeneas’ quest was not to end until he fulfilled his goal, wherever Fortune carried him. As such, as the bearer of a destiny, Aeneas becomes a metaphor for Europe. Uprooted from Antiquity, shattered Europe progressively began a long journey to find a new home; having found it, it reached heights perhaps never previously reached. Yet, are we not even today also in the same situation as Aeneas? Having lost our identity after the destruction of Antiquity and Christendom, are we not also uprooted? But this time, unlike Virgil’s hero helped by the goddess, we have no one to assist us and guide us. Our journey to found Europe may end in shipwreck.

This blog, a part of Byzantine Walls, attempts to explore European identity. The current European experience seems to have gone into a dead-end, yet it is undeniable that the future of Europe will only be built in unity. What unites Europeans with other Europeans, but also with people of European descent established in the Americas, Asia, Australia, is their culture, a culture built progressively since Homer and even before, a culture marked by the Roman experience and the Christian faith, a culture even that has been implanted in most parts of the world, but a culture that we are now ourselves ignoring, dismissing, rejecting. This blog, then, will attempt to raise questions and issues, and, hopefully, answers as to what Europe and Western culture are, that we may not wander in search of an illusion of a goal.