A son of the Sicilian river-god Crimisus and of a Trojan woman of the name of Egesta or Segesta. Aeneas, on his arrival in Sicily, was hospitably received by him, and, on revisiting the island, celebrated the anniversary of Anchises's death by various games and feats at arms. At a trial of skill in archery, Acestes took part, and discharged his arrow into the air with such force that it took fire, and marked out a pathway of flame, until it was wholly consumed and disappeared from sight. (see also AEGESTES).

Thy destiny remains untold; 
For, like Acestes' shaft of old, 
The swift thought kindles as it flies, 
And burns to ashes in the skies. 
-- Longfellow. 


. . . also . . .

Saint Acestes
d. first century
Feastday: July 2

A soldier assigned to escort St. Paul, the great Apostle, to his death. Acestes and two other soldiers were converted by Paul during their brief encounter. The three Romans, horrified by Paul's execution, declared their faith before the onlookers and were promptly beheaded.

From Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (London, 1880)

ACESTES ('Akestes), a son of the Sicilian river-god Crimisus and of a Trojan woman of the name of Egesta or Segesta (Virg. Aen. i. 195, 550, v. 36, 711, &c.), who according to Servius was sent by her father Hippotes or Ipsostratus to Sicily, that she might not be devoured by the monsters, which infested the territory of Troy, and which had been sent into the land, because the Trojans had refused to reward Poseidon and Apollo for having built the walls of their city. When Egesta arrived in Sicily, the river-god Crimisus in the form of a bear or a dog begot by her a son Acestes, who was afterwards regarded as the hero who had founded the town of Segesta. (Comp. Sebol. ad Lycophr. 951, 963.) The tradition of Acestes in Dionysius (i. 62), who calls him Aegestus (Aigestos), is different, for according to him the grandfather of Aegestus quarrelled with Laomedon, who slew him and gave his daughters to some merchants to convey them to a distant land. A noble Trojan however embarked with them, and married one of them in Sicily, where she subsequently gave birth to a son, Aegestus. During the war against Troy Aegestus obtained permission from Priam to return and take part in the contest, and afterwards returned to Sicily, where Aeneas on his arrival was hospitably received by him and Elymus, and built for them the towns of Aegesta and Elyme. The account of Dionysius seems to be nothing but a rationalistic interpretation of the genuine legend. As to the inconsistencies in Virgil's account of Acestes, see Heyne, Excurs. 1, on Aen. v.

L. S.

An original e-text for everything2. I scanned, OCR'd, formatted, and linked this text - it is not available in any format on any other web site. All Greek words are transliterated into Latin characters.

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