Dido (dĪˈdō) [key], in Roman mythology, queen of Carthage, also called Elissa. She was the daughter of a king of Tyre. After her brother Pygmalion murdered her husband, she fled to Libya, where she founded and ruled Carthage. According to one legend, Dido threw herself on a burning pyre to escape marriage to the king of Libya. In the Aeneid, Vergil tells how she fell in love with Aeneas, who had been shipwrecked at Carthage, and destroyed herself on the pyre when, at Jupiter's command, he left to continue his journey to Italy.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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