The last book of Virgil's "Aeneid" to be translated by Sabidius before this one was Book VIII, and that translation is to be found on this blog dated 20 October 2015. This was headed by a lengthy introduction containing many of Sabidius' views on the quality of Virgil's poetry and the importance of poetic appreciation in the teaching of Latin; at the end of it is an annex analysing the structure and metrical variations of the verses in Book VIII, and, in order to avoid any risk of repetition here, the reader is referred to that introduction now.


Turning to Book VII, the subject of the translation below, it is important to remind the reader that the "Aeneid" is effectively divided into two parts, Books I-VI, and Books VII-XII. The first six books are in some ways reminiscent of Homer's "Odyssey" because they deal with the voyaging of Aeneas and his followers around the Mediterranean and the accompanying adventures which befell them; the latter six books are more akin to Homer's "Iliad" because they involve constant warfare, and, for the most part, a single location, in this case Latium. Thus, the opening of Book VII is the point of transition between the two parts of this great work. At its beginning Aeneas reaches the River Tiber; the wandering is over and the fighting is to begin. While Book VII is perhaps one of the least read books of the "Aeneid", it sets the scene for the memorable battles that are to come between the Trojan migrants led by Aeneas and their many Latin opponents who are determined to oppose their settlement in that part of Italy. Such opposition, in Virgil's poetic imagination, stems from the continuing hatred towards the Trojans demonstrated by Juno, the queen of the gods. In l.365, she proclaims, "Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo". (If I cannot sway the powers above, I shall awake the powers of Hell)." Juno's use of the ferocious Fury, Allecto (see ll. 323-571), to stir up the Latins and their allies to go to war against the Trojans, despite the wish of their aged king, Latinus, to marry his daughter Lavinia to Aeneas, is perhaps the most memorable aspect of the book. Horrifying as much of the imagery involving Allecto is, the pathos of the inadvertent shooting of Silvia's pet stag by Aeneas' son, Ascanius (ll. 493-502), is also particularly moving. Book VII ends with a roll-call of Aeneas' Latin opponents (ll.641-817), which is evidently reminiscent of the long catalogue of Greek ships accompanying Agamemnon to Troy in Book II of Homer's "Iliad." 


While to present day readers the listing of the Trojans' many opponents and the topographical intricacies of the areas of Italy in the vicinity of Rome and Latium may seem rather heavy going, one can readily imagine how fascinating such details were for Virgil's contemporaries. Romans of Virgil's era, for whom the line between history and myth would have been very shaky, if indeed it existed at all, would have been greatly intrigued by the many legendary associations created by Virgil between famous figures of their mythical past and those places, whether towns, rivers or hills, with which they would have been familiar. At the same time, many Romans or Italians from an aristocratic background would have pondered whether they had ancestral connections to some of those Latin or Etruscan notables described with such care by Virgil. Many of these Roman aristocrats were fascinated, too, by the possibility that there were descended from the Trojans, and, indeed, Julius Caesar had claimed that the name of the Julian gens was derived from Aeneas' son Iulus.


The text for this translation of Book VII of the "Aeneid" is taken from the edition Virgil: Volume II in the Loeb Classical Library, edited with an English translation by H. Rushton Fairclough, first published by Harvard University Press in 1918, and most recently, as revised by G.P. Goold, in 2000. Other translations consulted were those of W.F. Jackson Knight, Penguin Classics, 1956, and A.S. Kline, 2002 (available on the internet), whose book divisions Sabidius has taken the liberty of adopting below. 

1.  The Trojans reach the Tiber (ll. 1-36).

Caieta, Aeneas's nurse, (in) dying, you too (i.e. besides Misenus and Palinurus) have granted eternal fame to our shores; and your renown still broods over your resting place (i.e. Gaeta), and your bones commemorate your name in our great Hesperia (i.e. Western Land), if there is any glory in that. Aeneas, having paid the last rites in the proper manner, and having constructed a burial mound, set sail (lit. directed his journey by his sails), when the sea grew calm, and left the harbour. The breezes blew throughout the night, and a radiant Moon did not neglect their voyage, and the sea sparkled under her quivering beam. The next shores (i.e after leaving Caieta) (which) were touched in passing (were those) of the land of Circe (i.e. Circeii, a promontory of Latium which Virgil equates with Homer's Aeaea), where that rich daughter of the Sun made her inaccessible groves resound with singing, and burnt fragrant cedar for nocturnal light in her proud palace, as she ran through her fine warp with her humming shuttle. From here, was clearly heard the angry growls of lions, chafing at their bonds, and roaring deep into the night, and bristly boars and bears in their cages, and the shapes of great wolves howling, whom that cruel goddess Circe had transformed from the appearance of men into the features and skins of wild beasts. Lest the righteous Trojans should suffer such a monstrous (fate as) this (by) being carried into the harbour, or they should enter the fatal shore, Neptune filled their sails with favourable winds, and granted (them) an escape and conveyed (them) past the seething shallows.
And now the sea was flushed red with the rays (of the sun), and Aurora (i.e. Dawn), saffron(-garbed) in her rose-coloured chariot, was shining from the heights of the sky, when the winds dropped and every breeze subsided, and the oars struggled in the sluggish sea. Just at this (moment), Aeneas, (looking) from the sea, saw a vast forest. Through this, (Father) Tiber in his delightful river, with its rapid eddies, and yellow from its considerable (amount of) sand, burst forth into the sea. Various birds, at home on the banks and in the bed of the river, were charming the sky, around and above, with song, and were flying through the wood. He ordered his comrades to change course and turn their prows towards land, and he joyfully proceeded along the shady river. 
2.  King Latinus and the Oracle (ll. 37-106).

Come now, Erato (i.e. the Muse of Love), (assist me), (for) I shall disclose who (were) its kings, what (were) the stages of its past, what was the state of affairs in ancient Latium, when this stranger army first brought its fleet to land on the shores of Ausonia (i.e. Italy), and I shall recall the begining of the first fighting. You, (O) goddess, you must instruct your bard. (For) I shall tell of ghastly wars, I shall tell of pitched battles, and of kings driven to their deaths by their courage, and of the Etruscan force and the whole of Hesperia summoned to (take up) arms. A grander series of events opens up before me, (and) I (now) commence a grander enterprise. 
King Latinus, now an old man, was ruling the fields and cities in tranquillity during a long (period of) peace. We understand that he (was) born to Faunus and to the Laurentine nymph Marica; Picus (was) Faunus' father, and he claimed you, (O) Saturn, as his father, you, the original founder of the blood-line. By a decree of the gods, his son and male heir was no more, and had been snatched (from him) in his early childhood. An only daughter remained in the house and so splendid a palace, now ready for a husband and in years fully marriageable. Many from broad Latium and from the whole of Ausonia sought her (hand). Turnus sought her, the most handsome above all the others, (and) powerful in his grandfathers and forebears, whom the royal consort (i.e. Queen Amata) was yearning to be joined to her as son-in-law with an extraordinary eagerness; but the portents of the gods, with their various terrors, prevented (it). There was in the middle of the palace, in the lofty innermost part, a laurel-tree with sacred leaves, which had been guarded with awe for many years, (and) which father Latinus, himself, was said to have discovered when he first built his citadel (and) consecrated (it) to Phoebus (i.e. Apollo), and from it he bestowed the name of Laurentines on the settlers. Wonderful to relate, a thick (cloud of) bees, borne through the clear air, beset the very top of this (tree) with a loud humming noise, (and) hung from a green-leaved bough in a sudden swarm with their feet entangled together. At once, a prophet cried, "I see a foreign warrior approaching, and, from the same direction (as the bees, I see) his army seeking the same place (as they now are), (so as) to lord it from the top of the citadel." Then, while he was lighting the altar with fresh pine-torches, and the maid Lavinia was standing at her father's side, she (was) seen, (O horror!) to catch the fire in her long tresses, and to be burning in all her finery, and her royally-attired locks and her crown resplendent in its jewels (were) on fire, until at last, enveloped in smoke and in the tawny light, she scattered (sparks of) Vulcan throughout the whole palace. Indeed, it was accounted (as) a shocking and miraculous sight: for they prophesied that she, herself, would be illustrious in fame and fortune, but that, for the people, it portended a great war. 

Then, the King, disturbed by these portents, visited the oracle of his prophetic father, Faunus, and consulted the groves beneath the heights of Albunea (i.e. a woodland and spring near the mountains of Tibur), where the mightiest of forests resounded with a sacred spring and exhaled a malevolent sulphurous vapour in its shade. Here the people of Italy and all the land of Oenotria (i.e. a region of southern Italy) sought answers to their doubts; when the priest brought offerings there, and lay on the spread hides of sacrificed sheep in the silent night and sought sleep, he saw many ghosts floating in amazing forms, and heard various voices and enjoyed a conversation with the gods, and talked to Acheron (i.e. the River of Sorrow, one of the rivers of Hades, and here signifying the shades of the dead) in the depths of Avernus (i.e. the Underworld). Here too, father Latinus, now seeking responses (from the oracle) himself, slaughtered a hundred yearling sheep (i.e. sheep with two rows of teeth completed) in accordance with custom, and lay (there) supported by their hides and their spread fleeces: a sudden voice came back from the depths of the grove: "O my son, do not seek to unite your daughter in any Latin marriages, nor put your trust in any marriages which have (already) been prepared; there will come stranger sons-in-law, who shall exalt our race to the stars by (mingling) their blood (with ours), and the descendants of their breed will see all (the world) move beneath their feet and be swayed (by their will), wherever the Sun looks on both oceans (i.e. in both East and West, with the ocean seen as flowing around the earth)." Latinus did not keep to himself this response of his father Faunus and the warnings which he had received in the silence of the night, but rumour, flying around far and wide, had already carried (it) through the Ausonian cities, when the children of Laomedon (i.e. the Trojans) moored their fleet at the grassy dike of the river-bank. 
3. Fulfilment of a Prophecy (ll. 107-147).

Aeneas and his principal captains and fair Iulus (i.e. Aeneas' son) settled their limbs under the branches of a tall tree, and laid out a meal: they placed wheat cakes on the grass under the meat (so Jupiter himself advised [them]) and augmented this cereal base with the fruits of the countryside. Then, it happened that, when the rest (of the food) had been consumed, the (continuing) need to eat drove (them) to turn their attention to the thin cereal (platters) and boldly snap the circle of the fateful bread in their fingers and jaws, nor did they spare the flat squares (on the cakes) (i.e. these cakes were scored by crossed lines into quarters). "Hullo! We are even eating our tables," said Iulus in jest, nor (did he say) any more. (Yet) this voice, as soon as it was heard, brought an end to their troubles, and, at once, his father snatched (it) from the speaker's mouth, and, awestruck, at the divine will, stopped (his utterance). He said immediately, "Hail, land, owed to me by fate, and hail to you, O faithful household gods of Troy: this (is) our home, this is our country. For my father, Anchises (now I remember), left these secrets of fate to me: when, my son, you have been carried to unknown shores, (and) your food has been exhausted, (and continuing) hunger forces you to eat your tables, then remember, weary (as you are), to expect homes, and to locate your first (buildings) there, and to build your houses with a rampart (around them). This was that hunger, this (was) the last (trial) awaiting us, which would set a limit to our pains ...  So, come and let us cheerfully discover, with the sun's first light, what a place (this is), what men live (here), (and) where this people's city (is), and from the harbour let us explore in all directions. Now, let us offer bowls (of wine) to Jupiter, and call on my father Anchises in our prayers, and (then) set out the wine (cups) once again on the tables."

Then, after speaking thus, he wreathed his temples with a leafy spray, and prayed to the spirit of the place and to Earth, the oldest of the deities, and to the Nymphs, and to the rivers which were still unknown (to them), then he called on Night and on Night's rising constellations, and on Idaean Jupiter and the Phrygian mother in turn, and on both his parents, (one) in heaven (i.e. Venus) and (the other) in Erebus (i.e. Anchises). At this, the almighty father thundered three times from the clear sky above (them), and he revealed in the ether a cloud burning with rays of golden light, which he shook with his own hand. Then, the word was suddenly broadcast through the Trojan ranks that the day had come on which to found their promised city. In competition with one another, they began to celebrate the feast once more, and, delighted at the great omen, they set out their mixing-bowls and wreathed their wine (cups).  

4.  The Palace of Latinus (ll. 148-191).

The next (day), when the dawn illuminated the earth with her first light, they explored in different (parties) the city, boundaries and shores of the nation: here (they saw) the pools of Numicus' (i.e. a stream in Latium near the Tiber) spring, here the river Tiber, (and) here (where) the brave Latins lived. Then, the son of Anchises ordered a hundred envoys, chosen from every rank, (and) all wearing Pallas' (olive-)sprays, to go to the noble city of the king, carrying gifts for the hero and imploring peace for the Teucrians (i.e. Trojans, whose first king was Teucer). Without delay, they proceeded (as) ordered, and hurried along at a swift pace. He, himself, marked out the walls with a shallow ditch, and broke up the ground, and surrounded their first settlement on these shores with battlements and a rampart in the fashion of a (fortified) camp. And now the young (Trojans), having completed their journey, saw the Latins' turrets and high roofs, and approached the walls. Outside the city, boys and young men were exercising on horseback and breaking in their chariot teams amid (clouds of) dust, or bending taut bows or hurling pliant javelins with their arms, and challenging (one another) to race and box, when a messenger, riding ahead on his horse, brought to the ears of the aged king that some powerful-looking warriors in unfamiliar dress had arrived. He commanded (them) to be summoned within the palace, and took his seat in its centre on his ancestral throne.

The palace of Laurentian Picus, a huge majestic building, raised on a hundred columns, was (situated) at the city's highest (point), (a place of) dread, (set) in its (sacred) groves and (viewed) with awe by preceding generations. Here, it was the tradition for kings to receive the sceptre and first lift the rods of office; this temple (was) their senate-house, this was the seat of their sacred feasts, (and) here, after the ram had been sacrificed, the elders were accustomed to take their seats at an unbroken row of tables. There too, in the entrance hall, stood the statues of old ancestors in sequence, (made) of cedar-wood, Italus and father Sabinus, planter of the vine, guarding in effigy a curved pruning-hook, and aged Saturn, and the statue of Janus with his two-faces, and other kings from the beginning, and heroes, who had suffered wounds in fighting for their country. The horse-tamer Picus, was sitting (there) in person, (holding) the Quirinal augur's staff, girt in a short robe, and carrying a shield in his left (hand); overcome with desire, his golden-haired wife Circe having struck (him) with her wand and transformed him with drugs, made him (into) a bird, and sprinkled his wings with colour (i.e. she turned him into a woodpecker).

5. The Trojans seek an Alliance with Latinus (ll. 192-248).

Within this temple of the gods, Latinus, seated on his ancestral throne, called the Teucrians to him in his palace, and with a calm expression spoke these (words to them) as soon as they entered: "Tell (us), sons of Dardanus - for we are not unaware of your city and your people, and we had heard (of you before) you directed your course across the sea - what you are seeking. What reason and what need has carried your ships over so many azure waves to the shores of Ausonia? Whether, driven by a mistaken route or by storms - many such things sailors have to suffer on the deep sea - , you have entered our river banks and are lying in harbour (here), do not shun our hospitality or disregard (the fact) that the Latins (are) Saturn's people, (who are) just, not through constraint or due to laws, but keep themselves to the way of their ancient god of their own accord. And, indeed, I remember ([though] the story is [made] more obscure by the years) that the Auruncan (i.e. an ancient Italian tribe) elders told how Dardanus journeyed to the cities of Ida in Phrygia and Thracian Samos, which is now called Samothrace. Now, after he set out from here, from his Tyrrhene (i.e. Etruscan) home, Corythus, the golden palace of the star-lit sky welcomes him to a throne, and he increases the number of altars to the gods."

He finished speaking, and Ilioneus (i.e. the spokesman of the Trojans) followed (him) speaking thus: "(O) King, illustrious son of Faunus, no black storm forced (us), as we were driven across the waves, to approach your lands, no star or coast line deceived (us) on our route. We all travelled to this city by design and with willing hearts, having been expelled from our kingdom, which (was) once the greatest (that) the Sun gazed upon as he journeyed from the edge of heaven. The beginning of our race (is) from Jupiter, the sons of Dardanus enjoy (having) Jupiter as their ancestor, (and) our king, Trojan Aeneas, (who comes) himself from the most exalted race of Jupiter, has sent us to your threshold. How powerful (was) the hurricane that poured from fierce Mycenae and swept across the plains of Ida, (and) how the two worlds of Europe and Asia, driven by fate, have clashed, (all men) have heard, even (those) whom the most distant land against which the ocean beats banishes, and (those) whom the torrid zone of the sun, stretching into the midst of the (other) four zones (of the earth), separates (from us). Sailing out of that deluge over so many desolate seas, we ask for a humble home for our paternal gods and a harmless (stretch of) shore, and the water and air that are open to everyone. We shall not be a disgrace to your kingdom, nor will your reputation be spoken of lightly, and our gratitude for such an action will not fade, nor will the Ausonians regret taking Troy to their breast. (This) I swear (to you) by the destiny of Aeneas and (by) the power of his right (hand), (he) who is tested in friendship and in war and weapons: many peoples and many nations (do not scorn [us] because we hold out these peace-ribbons in our hands and [offer you] these words of entreaty) have sought (an alliance with) us, and have wished to join themselves (to us); but, by its commandments, divine destiny has compelled us to search for your lands. Dardanus sprang from here; Apollo takes (us) back here, and, by his weighty orders, presses (us) onward to the Etruscan Tiber and to the sacred waters of the Numican spring. Moreover, (Aeneas) offers you these small gifts from his former fortune, relics snatched from the burning Troy. From this golden (vessel) his father Anchises used to pour libations at the altar; (and) these were Priam's ornaments when, in accordance with custom, he gave laws to his assembled people: the sceptre and the holy tiara, and the vestments, (which were) the work of the daughters of Ilium."

7.  Latinus offers Peace (ll. 249-285).

At these words of Ilioneus Latinus kept his face gazing downwards to the ground, and he remained seated, motionless and rolling his eyes in thought. Neither the embroidered purple nor Priam's sceptre affected him as much as he was absorbed in (thinking about) his daughter's marriage and wedding-bed, and he revolved in his mind the oracle of old Faunus, that this (must be) that man, coming from a foreign house, presaged (as) his son-in-law, and summoned to reign (with him) with equal authority, whose descendants would be illustrious in virtue, and who would take possession of the whole world through their strength. At last he spoke joyfully: "May the gods favour this beginning of ours and their prophecy; Trojan, what you wish for will be granted, I do not reject your gifts. You will not lack the richness of fertile fields or the wealth of Troy. Only let Aeneas come forward in person, if he has such longing for us, if he is eager to join (with us) in guest-friendship and to be called our ally, and he should not be alarmed at friendly faces: a part of my pact will be to have touched the hand of your prince. Now you must carry back my answering message to your leader. I have a daughter whom the oracles from my father's shrine and a multitude of signs from heaven do not permit to be joined (in marriage) to a man of our race: these predict that this is in store for Latium, that sons-in-law will come from foreign shores, who, through (joining) their blood to (ours), will raise our name to the stars. I both think and, if what my mind foresees (is) true, I hope, that this (is) that man (whom) destiny demands." After saying these things, the chieftain selected some stallions from the whole number (of horses in his stable) - three hundred were standing sleekly in their high-roofed stalls; he immediately ordered (horses) to be led to all the Teucrians in turn, covered in purple, swift-footed, and with embroidered hangings; golden collars hung down from their chests, (and,) covered with gold, they (even) champed (bits of) reddish gold between their teeth; for the absent Aeneas they ran a pair of yoked (horses), (sprung) from heavenly stock, blowing fire from their nostrils, bastard (horses), from the breed of those whom the artful Circe had produced for her father (i.e. the Sun), obtaining (them) by stealth from a spurious (i.e. a mortal) mare. Mounted on these horses, the envoys of Aeneas returned with the gifts and the words of Latinus, and brought back the (news of) peace.

8.  Juno summons Allecto (ll. 286-341).

But look, the merciless consort of Jupiter (i.e. Juno) was returning from Inachus' (i.e. the legendary founder) Argos, and was holding back the breezes as she rode, when she espied the joyful Aeneas and his Dardanian (i.e. Trojan) fleet from the distant sky from beyond Sicilian Pachynus. She saw that they were already building houses, that they were already confident in their land, (and) that their ships were deserted; she halted, pierced by bitter pain. Then, shaking her head, she poured out these words from her breast: "Ah, (you) loathsome breed, and your Phrygian (i.e. Trojan) destiny opposed to my destiny! Could they not have fallen on the plains of Sigeum (i.e. a headland to the north of Troy facing the Aegean Sea), or been taken (as) captives, or (could not) burning Troy have consumed these men? They have found a way through the midst of battles and through the heart of fires. Ah, I believe my divine powers finally lie exhausted, or that, satiated with hatred, I have found my rest. Why, when (the Trojans) were forced out of their native-land, I even ventured to pursue (them) across the waves, and to confront (them as) fugitives in every part of the deep sea. (All) the strength of the sky and sea has been spent on these Teucrians. What use have the Syrtes (i.e. the shallow sandbanks off the Libyan coast) or Scylla and gaping Charybdis (i.e. respectively, the cave-dwelling man-eating monster and the deadly whirlpool situated opposite one another in the Straits of Messina) been to me? They (i.e. the Trojans) are concealed in the longed-for river-bed of the Tiber, untroubled by the sea and by me. Mars had the power to destroy the gigantic Lapiths (i.e. a tribe of Thessalian giants who had defeated the Centaurs), the father of the gods himself yielded ancient Calydon (i.e. a city in Aetolia in north-western Greece ravaged by a boar sent by Diana) to the rage of Diana: for what crime did either the Lapiths or Calydon deserve such a (fate)? But I, Jupiter's high queen, who, in my wretchedness, had the power to leave nothing untried, and had turned myself towards every (possibility), am vanquished by Aeneas. But if my divine power is not enough, I shall certainly not hesitate to seek whatever (help) there is elsewhere: if I cannot sway the powers above, I shall arouse (the powers of) Acheron (i.e. a river in Hades, or Hell). It is not granted (to me) to bar (him) from his Latin kingdom - so be it! - and by fate Lavinia remains immovably (to become) his bride. Yet I can (still) draw (things) out, and add delays to such happenings, and I can extirpate the people of both kings. At such a price (to the lives) of their (peoples) may a father-in-law and son-in-law unite: maid, you will be endowed with Trojan and Rutulian (i.e. Latin; the Rutulians were a leading tribe within Latium) blood, and Bellona (i.e. the Roman goddess of war) awaits you (as) your bridal matron-of-honour. Nor was it only the daughter of Cisseus (i.e. Hecuba, the wife of Priam) who conceived a fire-brand and gave birth to conjugal fires, but Venus has such another offspring of her own, a second Paris, and another funeral torch for a reborn Pergama (i.e. Troy)."

When she had uttered these words, the dread (goddess) made for the earth; (there) she summoned, from the den of the fearful goddesses and the infernal shades, the baleful Allecto, in whose heart (live) dismal wars, rages and plots, and guilty crimes. Even her own father Pluto hates (her), her Tartarean sisters hate (her), the monster (that she is): she assumes so many forms, her features (are) so savage, (and) so many black snakes sprout (from her head). Then, Juno roused her with words, and spoke as follows: "Grant me this service, (O) maiden daughter of Night, this task after your own heart, so that my honour and renown are not weakened and do (not) give way, and that the sons of Aeneas cannot court Latinus with (offers of) wedlock, or besiege the borders of Italy. You have the ability to arm brothers, (who were) of one mind, for strife, and to overturn homes with hatred, you (can) bring whips and funeral torches into houses, you (have) a thousand names, (and) a thousand artful ways of doing harm. Bestir your fertile breast, shatter the pact of peace (and) sow the accusations (that lead) to war: let men want, and demand, and seize their weapons (all) at the same moment."

9.  Allecto maddens Queen Amata (ll. 341-405).

Then, Allecto, steeped in the Gorgon's venom (i.e. like Medusa, she had snakes in her hair), first sought out Latium and the lofty halls of the Laurentine king, and she sat down at the quiet threshold of Amata, whom concerns and passions over the arrival of the Teucrians and the marriage of Turnus were inflaming with a woman's ardour. The goddess flung at her a single snake (taken) from her dark locks and plunged (it) into her breast and innermost heart, so that, maddened by this monstrous creature, she might throw the whole house into confusion. Gliding between her raiment and her smooth breasts, it wound its way without contact, and escaped the notice of the frenzied woman, (while) breathing its viperous breath into (her); the huge snake became (the collar of) twisted gold around her neck, and the end of her long head-band, and it entwined itself in her hair, and roved in a slithering manner over her limbs. And, while the taint, sinking down within the liquid poison, began to pervade her senses, and inject fire into her bones, and her spirit had not yet felt flame throughout all of her breast, she spoke softly and in the usual manner of mothers, (while) weeping greatly over the wedlock of her daughter and the Phrygian (i.e. Aeneas): "Is Lavinia to be given in marriage, O father, and do you have no pity on your daughter and yourself? Have you no pity for her mother, whom, with the first North Wind, that faithless pirate will desert, and, eloping with the maid, will make for the deep? Now, did not that Phrygian shepherd (i.e. Paris) make his way into Lacedaemon (i.e. Sparta) in such a way, and carry off Leda's Helen to the cities of Troy? What of your sacred pledge? What of your long-established care for your own people, and of your right (hand), so often given to your kinsman Turnus? If a son-in-law from foreign stock is sought for the Latins, and it is settled, and the commands of your father Faunus weigh upon you, then I myself think that every land which (is) free of our rule, and is separate (from us), (is) foreign, and so the gods declare. And, if the first origins of his house are traced, Inachus and Acrisius (i.e. respectively, the first and the fourth kings of Argos) (are) Turnus' ancestors and the heart of Mycenae (is his native-land)."

When, after testing Latinus with these words, she saw (him) standing (firm) in opposition (to her), and, when the snake's maddening venom had seeped deep into her flesh, and had permeated her whole (body), then, indeed, the unhappy (queen), goaded by monstrous horrors, raged in a distracted manner through the vast city without restraint. Just like (in the case of) a spinning-top, which boys, intent on play, sometimes thrash in a wide circle around an empty courtyard, it turns under the whirling lash - driven by the whip, it moves in circular courses; and the childish throng marvel at (it) in their ignorance, gazing in amazement at the twirling boxwood; no slower than the course of that (top), she was driven through the midst of the city(-streets) and its spirited peoples. Indeed, she even rushed out into the forest, feigning Bacchic possession, committing a graver sin and launching a wilder frenzy, and she hid her daughter amid the leafy mountains, in order to snatch their wedding from the Teucrians and delay the nuptial torch, Shouting, "Hail, Bacchus!" she cried out, "You alone (are) worthy of this virgin, for in truth (it is) for you that she takes up her pliant thyrsus (i.e. Bacchic wand), (it is) you she circles in the dance, (it is) for you that she grows her sacred (lock of) hair." Rumour flies (abroad), and the same passion drove all the women to seek new dwellings together: they abandoned their homes, and gave their necks and hair to the winds, while others filled the air with tremulous wailing, and, clad in (faun-)skins, bore vine-wrapped spears. The fiery (queen), herself, brandished a blazing pine branch in their midst, and sang the wedding song for her daughter and Turnus. Turning a bloodshot and suddenly piercing glance (upon them), she cried out: "O women of Latium, wherever (you are), hear (me): if any regard for unhappy Amata remains in your pious hearts, if any concern for a mother's rights pricks (you), untie the bands around your hair, (and) join in these revels with me." In such a manner Allecto drove the queen in all directions among the woods and among the wildernesses (inhabited) by wild beasts.

9.  Allecto rouses Turnus (ll. 406-474).

When she saw that she had aroused these first frenzies enough, and had upset Latinus' plans and his whole household, the grim goddess was conveyed from there forthwith on her dark wings to the walls of the bold Rutulian (i.e. Turnus), a city, which, it is said, Danae, blown (there) by a headlong southerly wind, had built with her Acrisian colonists. The place was once called Ardea, and Ardea still keeps its great name, but its prosperity has (passed); here in his lofty palace Turnus was now, in the dark of the night, enjoying a deep sleep. Allecto laid aside her ferocious aspect and her frightful bodily parts, (and) transformed herself into the appearance of an old woman; she furrowed her loathsome brow with wrinkles, took on (locks of) white hair with a headband, (and) then entwined an olive spray (into them); she became Calybe, the old priestess of Juno and her temple, and presented herself  before the young man's eyes with these words: "Turnus, will you see so many of your efforts spent in vain, and your sceptre transferred to Dardanian settlers? The King denies you your bride and the dowry sought by your race, and a stranger is being sought (as) heir to the throne. (So) go now, offer yourself to dangers, thankless and derided (as you are); go, overthrow the Etruscan battle-lines, (and) protect the Latins with peace. This (was) indeed (the message) that Saturn's almighty daughter (i.e. Juno) in person ordered me to say openly to you. So, come and prepare your men gladly to be armed and moved from the gates to the fields, and to burn out the Phrygian leaders, who have moored in our fine river, as well as their painted ships. The mighty power of the gods demands (it). Let King Latinus himself feel (it), unless he agrees to keep his word and give (you) your bride, and, at last, let him experience Turnus in arms."

At this, the young (prince), opened his mouth in turn (and,) mocking the prophetess, spoke as follows: "The news that a fleet has sailed into the Tiber's waters has not escaped (the notice of) my ears, as you suppose. Do not imagine that (is) so great a fear for me. But (in your case), O mother, overcome by decay and devoid of truth, old age troubles you with fruitless cares, and mocks you, the prophetess, with false alarms amidst (visions of) the wars of kings. Your charge (is) to guard the statues and temples of the gods: men, by whom wars should be waged, will make war and peace."

At these words Allecto blazed forth into anger, and as the young man spoke, a sudden tremor took hold of his limbs, (and) his eyes became fixed (with fear): the Fury hissed with so many snakes and her monstrous form revealed itself; then, rolling her flaming eyes, she pushed (him) away as he hesitated and tried to say more, and she raised up two snakes in her hair and cracked her whip, and added these (words) through her swift-moving mouth: "See me, (am I really) overcome by decay and devoid of the truth, whom old age mocks with false alarms amidst (visions of) the wars of kings? (Well,) look at (all) these things (i.e. the physical attributes of the Fury, Allecto)! I am here, from the house of the dread sisters, (and) in my hand I bear wars and death ... "

So saying, she flung a burning brand at the young man, and in his chest she planted her torch, smoking with its murky glare. An overwhelming terror shattered his sleep, and sweat burst out from his whole body and drenched his limbs; frantic, he shouted for his armour, and he hunted for his weapons by his bedside and throughout his palace; the love of steel and the accursed madness of war, (and,) above all, fury, raged (within him); (it was) just as when flaming twigs are heaped, with a loud crackling, beneath the sides of a billowing bronze (cauldron), and the liquid leaps up with the heat, the steamy mixture seethes within, and the water bubbles high with foam, and the liquid no longer contains itself, (but) the dark steam soars into the air. So, violating the peace, he enjoined upon the captains of his army a march on King Latinus, and ordered arms to be prepared and Italy to be defended (and for them) to drive the enemy from its borders; to come, himself, (would be) enough for both the Teucrians and the Latins. When he gave these words, and called upon the gods to (be parties) to his vows, the Rutuli vied in exhorting one another to arm; the surpassing beauty of his appearance and of his youth moved one man, the kings (who were) his ancestors another, (and) his right (hand) with its glorious deeds a third.

10.  Allecto moves among the Trojans (ll.475-539).

While Turnus was filling the Rutuli with his daring courage, Allecto roused herself against the Teucrians on her Stygian wings, and espying, with fresh cunning, the place on the shore where fair Iulus was hunting wild beasts with nets and by running (them) down. Here the maid from the Cocytus (i.e. the Wailing River, one of the rivers of Hades) injected a sudden frenzy into his hounds, and affected their nostrils with a familiar scent, so that they would eagerly chase a stag; this was a prime cause of the troubles, and inflamed the minds of the countrymen. There was a stag of outstanding beauty and with huge antlers, which, having been torn from its mother's teats, the sons of Tyrrhus and their father were nurturing, Tyrrhus (being the man) whom the royal herds obeyed, (and to whom was) entrusted the care of their pasture-lands far and wide. Trained to her commands, their sister Silvia adorned (it) with every care, entwining its antlers with tender garlands, and she combed the wild creature's (coat) and bathed (it) in a clear spring. Tame to the hand, and used to (food from) its master's table, it roamed the woods, and went home again to its familiar threshold (by) itself, however late at night.

While it wandered far afield, the huntsman Iulus' frenzied hounds set it in motion, when it happened to swim down stream and relieve its heat on the grassy bank. Ascanius (i.e. Iulus) himself, inflamed also with a desire for exceptional praise, bent his bow and aimed an arrow; nor did the goddess fail to guide his errant hand, and, flying with a loud hissing sound, the shaft pierced both his belly and his groin. But the wounded four-footed creature took refuge within its familiar shelter, and crept, groaning, into it stall, and, bleeding, filled the whole house with its plaints like a suppliant. Silvia, the sister, beating her upper arms with her hands, was the first to call for help and to summon the hardy country-folk. They came unexpectedly quickly - for the savage pest lurks in the silent woods - , one armed with a fire-hardened stake, (and) another with a stick full of knots: anger made a weapon of whatever each man found as he groped about. Tyrrhus summoned his band of men, as he happened to be cutting an oak-tree into four quarters by driving wedges together; he snatched up an axe, panting furiously. Then, the cruel goddess, espying from her lookout the moment for doing harm, made for the steep roof of the stable, and from the highest point sounded the shepherd's call, and directed a blast from Tartarus through her twisted horn, so that each grove quivered forthwith and the woods echoed to their depths; Trivia's lake (i.e. a lake sacred to Diana, now the Lago di Nemi) heard (it) from afar, the river Nar, (i.e. a Sabine stream flowing from the foothills of the Apennines into the Tiber) white from its sulphurous water, heard (it), as did the springs of Velinus (i.e. a lake in the Sabine region), while anxious mothers clasped their children to their breasts. Then indeed, the wild husbandmen, snatching up their weapons, gathered together quickly from all sides to the sound with which that dread trumpet gave the signal; nor were the young men of Troy reluctant to open the (gates of) their camp and pour forth help to Ascanius. The battle-lines were put in place. They no longer contended in a rustic quarrel with sturdy sticks or fire-hardened stakes, but fought it out with double-edged steel (blades), and a dark crop of drawn swords bristled, and the bronze shone, reflecting the sun and hurled its light up to the clouds; (it was) just as, when a wave begins to whiten at the first (breath of) wind, it gradually swells, and raises up its waves higher, (and) then springs up to the sky from its lowest depth. Here, young Almo, who had been Tyrrhus' eldest son, as he stood before the front rank, was laid low by a whirring arrow; the wound stuck fast beneath his throat, and choked his passage of moist speech and his tenuous life with blood. The bodies of many men (were scattered) around (him), including old Galaesus, while he was presenting himself in the midst (of them to mediate) for peace, one of the most just (of men), and who was once the wealthiest in Ausonian land: he (had) five flocks of bleating (sheep), five herds (of cattle) returned (from pasture to his home every day), and he turned the soil with a hundred ploughs.

11.  Allecto returns to  Hades (ll. 540-571).

And so, while these (battles) were being waged over the plains in evenly matched warfare, the goddess (i.e. Allecto), successful in carrying out her deeds as promised, when she had steeped the battle in blood, and had brought death to the beginning of the fighting, forsook Hesperia, and, riding through the air of the sky, she addressed Juno victoriously in a haughty tone of voice: "Behold, at your (will), discord (is) consummated in dismal war. Tell (them) to unite in friendship and join together in an alliance (i.e. the Rutuli and the Latins). Since I have sprinkled the Teucrians with Ausonian blood, I shall even add this to it, if your will (is) made clear to me: I shall bring neighbouring cities into the war, and I shall set their minds on fire with a passion for mad warfare, so that they come with help from every side; I shall sow weapons across the fields." Then, Juno (said) in answer: "There is an abundance of terror and treachery; the reasons for war are there, they fight with weapons hand-to-hand, (and) fresh blood stains the weapons which chance offered first. Let the peerless son of Venus and King Latinus, himself, celebrate such a marriage and such wedding-rites (as these). The Father, the ruler of highest Olympus, he does not wish you to wander too freely over the airs of heaven: leave this place; whatever chance of troubles is left, I, myself, shall handle." Such (were) the words Saturn's daughter gave (to her). Then, the other (goddess) (i.e. Allecto) raised her heads with hissing snakes, and made for her home in the Cocytus, leaving the heights above. There is a place in the middle of Italy, at the foot of high mountains, famous and renowned in reputation in many lands, (namely) the Vale of Amsanctus (i.e. a sulphurous lake in Samnium in central Italy): a fringe of forest, dark with leaves, hems it in on both sides, and in the centre a roaring torrent, with a whirling crest (of foam), gives an echo to the rocks. Here, a fearful cavern and a breathing-vent for pitiless Dis (i.e. Pluto) are shown, and a vast abyss, from where Acheron bursts forth, opens its baleful jaws, in which the Fury, that hated deity, was hidden, and (thus) relieved (both) earth and sky (of her presence).

12.  Latinus abdicates (ll.572-600).

No less, meanwhile, was Saturn's queenly daughter putting her finishing touches to the war. The whole company of shepherds rushed into the city from the battle-line and carried back the dead, the boy Almo and Galaesus with his disfigured face, and they invoked the gods and pleaded with Latinus. Turnus was there, and in the midst of the outcry at the slaughter and passion he redoubled their alarm: (he said that) the Teucrians were being called to the kingship, (that) Phrygian stock was to be mixed with (theirs), (and that) he was being pushed from the door. Then, (the relatives) of those women (who), inspired by Bacchus, had leaped around the untrodden forests in their frenzied dances (for the name of Amata [had] not [been] disregarded), gathered together from all quarters, and began to cry out for war. Immediately, despite the omens (and) despite the decrees of the gods, (but led) by a malignant power, they all clamoured for unholy war, (and) vied in surrounding King Latinus' palace. He stood firm, like an immovable cliff in the sea, like a cliff in the sea, which, when a great crash comes, retains its bulk amid the many waves howling all around (it); crags and rocks, foaming all around, roar in vain, and the seaweed, dashed against their sides, is washed back again. But, when no power was given (to him) to overcome their blind resolve, and events went in accordance with the will of cruel Juno, the aged chieftain made many appeals to the gods and to the heedless winds: "We are shattered by fate, "he said, "and "swept away by the storm! O my wretched (people), you will pay the penalty for this with your sacrilegious blood. You, Turnus, bitter punishment awaits you (and) your crime, and you will venerate the gods with prayers (that come) too late. In my case, rest (is) provided, and yet right at the entrance to this haven I am deprived of a happy death." Saying no more, he shut himself in his palace, and gave up the reins of power.

13.  Latium Prepares for War (ll. 601-640).

There was in Hesperian Latium a custom which the Alban cities continuously held sacred, and (the people of) Rome, supreme in its power, observe now, when they first stir Mars into battle, whether they prepare, with their own hands, to make mournful war on Getae, or Hyrcanians (i.e. inhabitants of the region just south of the Caspian Sea), or Arabs, or to head to the East and pursue the Dawn (i.e. to penetrate to the farthest east), and reclaim their standards from the Parthians. There are twin gates of war (so [people] call [them] by name), sanctified by religious awe and by dread of cruel Mars; a hundred bronze bars and the eternal strength of iron (are used to) lock (them), and their guardian, Janus, never leaves their threshold. When a firm decision for war is settled by the Fathers, the consul, himself, resplendent in his Quirinal robe (i.e. a regal robe passed down from Romulus) and in Gabine cincture (i.e. a ceremonial style of wearing the toga, one part of which was folded around the waist, leaving one arm free) unlocks these (gates), (together with) their creaking hinge-posts, (and) he, himself, proclaims war; then the rest of the men follow suit, and bronze horns sound together in raucous assent. Then, in this manner too, Latinus was bidden to to declare war on the followers of Aeneas, and to throw open the grim gates. (But) the old chieftain withheld the touch (of his hand), and, turning away, he shrank from this hateful duty, and hid himself in dark shadows. Then, the queen of the gods, gliding down from heaven, set the lingering gates in motion with her own hand, and, as they turned on their hinges, Saturn's daughter burst open the iron gates of war. Ausonia (i.e. Italy), previously peaceful and still, was ablaze; some made ready to cross the plains on foot, others, (mounted) high on tall horses, stormed around in (clouds of) dust; all were in need of weapons. Some (also) burnished smooth shields and bright javelins with rich grease, and sharpened axes on a grindstone; and it was a delight (to them) to bear standards, and to hear the blasts of the trumpets. As many as five great cities set up anvils and forged new weapons, powerful Atina, and proud Tibur, Ardea, Crustumerium and towered Antemnae. They hollowed out safe coverings for their heads (i.e. helmets), and wove wicker-work frames for shields; others beat out bronze breast-plates and smooth greaves from pliant silver; to this pride in the ploughshare's (blade) and sickle, to this all their passion for the plough yielded; they reforged their fathers' swords in the furnace. And now the trumpets sounded; the passwords, the signal for war, went (around). One man, in alarm, snatched a helmet from his home, another harnessed quivering horses to the yoke, and donned his shield and coat of mail, triple-linked with gold, and girded on his trusty sword.

14.  The Battle-List (ll. 641-782).

Now, goddesses (i.e. Muses), open up Helicon (i.e. a mountain in Boeotia sacred to Apollo and home to the Muses), and set in motion songs (telling) which kings (were) roused to war, what lines of troops followed each one and thronged the plains, with which men even then did Italy's rich earth bloom, (and) with which arms she shone. For, goddesses, you both remember and have the power to relate (these things to us): (while) a faint breath of their fame has scarcely come to us.
Fierce Mezentius, that scorner of the gods, (coming) from the shores of Etruria, (was) the first to enter the war and to arm his troops. Beside him, (was) his son, Lausus, than whom no one else was fairer in form, except Laurentine Turnus; Lausus, the tamer of horses and the subduer of wild beasts, led a thousand men from Agylla's city (i.e. Caere), who followed (him) in vain, (a son) who deserved to be happier than under his father's rule, and to have a father who (was) not Mezentius.

After these, Aventinus, the handsome son of the handsome Hercules, displayed his palm-crowned chariot and victorious horses on the grass, and bore on his shield his father's emblem, a hundred snakes and the Hydra girt with serpents; the priestess Rhea brought him forth into the shores of light in a secret birth in the wood of the Aventine hill, (a woman) mated with a god, when the conquering Tirynthian (i.e. Hercules), having slain Geryon, reached the Laurentine fields (i.e. belonging to Laurentum, a coastal city in Latium south of Rome), and bathed his Spanish cattle in the Etruscan river (i.e. the Tiber). (His men) carried spears and grim pikes into battle in their hands, and fought with polished swords and Sabellian javelins. He, himself,  swinging a huge lion-skin, (and) crowning his head with its terrifyingly unkempt mane (and) its white teeth, entered the royal palace in such a guise on foot, a savage (sight), with Hercules' clothing covering his shoulders.

Then, the twin brothers Catillus and brave Coras, Argive youths, left the walls of Tibur (and) the people called by the name of their brother Tiburtus, and were borne into the forefront of the battle-line among the dense spears, like when the two cloud-borne Centaurs descend from a lofty mountain peak, leaving Homole and snow-covered Othrys (i.e. Thessalian mountains inhabited by the Centaurs) in their swift course; a vast forest gives way (to them) as they go, and the thickets yield with a loud crash.

Nor was Caeculus, the founder of the city of Praeneste (i.e. a city in the foothills of the Apennines to the east of Rome), missing, (he) whom every age has believed (was) born to Vulcan (as) a king among farm cattle and discovered on the hearth. A rustic army, (drawn) from far and wide, followed him: men who lived in steep Praeneste, and the fields of Juno at Gabii (i.e. a Latin town just east of Rome), and (beside) the cool Anio (i.e. a tributary of the Tiber rising in the Apeninnes) and the Hernican rocks (i.e. the rocky region south-east of Rome), made wet by the streams, (men) whom rich Anagnia (i.e. another Latin town to the east of Rome) and father Amasenus (i.e. a river adjacent to Praeneste) nurtured, They (did) not all (have) weapons and shields, or chariots (which) rumble: some scattered showers of pellets of grey lead, others carried twin darts in their hands, and had tawny caps of wolf-skin (as) a covering for their heads, (and) planted their footprints with a bare left foot, (while) a boot of rawhide protected the other.

Then, Messapus, tamer of horses (and) offspring of Neptune, whom (it was) a crime for anyone at all to lay low with fire or steel, now suddenly called to arms his people long inert and his troops unused to war, and handled his sword once more. Some held the battle-lines of Fescennium, and (those of) Aequi Falisci, others the heights of Soracte and the fields of Flavina, and Ciminus' lake and hill, and the groves of Capena (i.e. all these are places in southern Etruria to the north of Rome). They marched in a steady rhythm, and sang of their king, like the river and the Asian marsh (i.e. this refers to the valley of the Cayster in Lydia), struck (by the sound) from afar, echo sometimes when among the flowing clouds the snow-coloured swans return from their feeding grounds, and make tuneful strains through their long throats. No one would have thought that bronze-clad ranks were massing from so great a multitude, but that an airy cloud of strident birds was pressing itself towards the shore from the deep gulf.

Behold, Clausus, of the ancient blood of the Sabines, leading a mighty host, and as good as a mighty host himself; now, from him the Claudian tribe and clan spread through Latium, when Rome was shared with the Sabines. With him (came) the huge cohort from Amiternum and the ancient Quirites (i.e. the inhabitants of Cures), (and) the whole band from Eretum and from olive-bearing Mutusca; (those) who lived in the city of Nomentum and the Rosean fields by (Lake) Velinus, (those) who (inhabited) Tetrica's rugged cliffs and Mount Severus, and Casperia and Foruli and the river Himella (i.e. all these are places in the territory of the Sabines), (those) who drank (from) the Tiber and the Fabaris (i.e. a branch of the Tiber), (those) whom chilly Nursia (i.e. a town in Umbria in the Apennines) sent, and the contingents of Horta (i.e. an Etrurian town situated at the junction of the Tiber and the river Nar) and the people of Latium, and (those) whom the (river) Allia, (with) its unlucky name (i.e. a small tributary of the Tiber where the Romans were defeated by the invading Gauls in 390 B.C.), divides and flows between. (They are) as many as the billows that roll on the Libyan seas, when fierce Orion sinks under winter's waves, or as thick as the ears of corn when they are scorched by the early sun in the plain of Hermus (i.e. a Lycian river) or in Lycia's yellow cornfields.

Next, Agamemnon's companion, Halaesus, an enemy of the Trojan name, harnessed his horses to his chariot, and hurried a thousand warlike clans to Turnus' (cause), (men) who turned Massic (soil) (i.e. a vine-rich mountain slope in south Latium) fruitful for Bacchus and whom the fathers of Aurunca have sent from their high hills, and the nearby plains of the Sidicines (i.e. a Campanian tribe), who have left Cales (i.e. a town in central Campania) behind, and the dweller by the shallow river Volturnus (i.e. the chief river of Campania, which flows into the Tyrrhenian Sea), together with the (people of) Saticuli, with their rough (customs) (i.e. a town in Campania which gave Rome some trouble during the Samnite Wars of the Fourth Century B.C.) and a band of Oscans (i.e. a Campanian tribe). Polished javelins were their weapons, but it was their custom to attach to them a flexible thong; a leather shield protected their left (arms), (and) a sickle-shaped sword (i.e. a scimitar) at close quarters.

Nor shall you, Oebalus, go unsung in our verses, (you) whom, it was said, the nymph Sebethis had borne to Telon, then an old man, when he held sway over the Teleboae (i.e. the inhabitants of the Taphian islands) in Capreae; but the son, not content with his ancestral lands (i.e. his inheritance), had even then been exercising power over the Sarrastian people (i.e. an unknown Campanian tribe) and the plains that the (river) Sarnus watered and (those) who possessed Rufrae and Batulum and the fields of Celemna, and upon whom the walls of apple-bearing Abella (i.e. all these places are in Campania) looked down, (men) accustomed to hurling their javelins in the Teutonic fashion, whose head covering (was) bark stripped from a cork-tree, and their bronze shields gleamed and their bronze swords sparkled.

You too, Ufens, distinguished in reputation and in successful arms, mountainous Nersae (i.e. the city of the Aequi) has sent into battle; his Aequian people (i.e. a Latin tribe living east of Rome in the foothills of the Apeninnes) (were) especially tough and inured to hard clods of earth and to extensive hunting in the forests. They tilled the land (while) armed, and always delighted in carrying off freshly acquired spoils and living off plunder.

Indeed, there came too a priest of the Marruvian race (i.e. Marruvium was the capital of the Marsi), arrayed with a spray of the fruitful olive on top of his helmet, on a mission of King Archippus, the most valiant Umbro, who, by incantation and by touch, was wont to shed sleep on the race of vipers and on water-snakes with their poisonous breath, and he used to sooth their wrath and relieve (the pain of) their bites by his arts. But he did not have the power to heal the blow of a Dardanian spearpoint, nor did sleep-inducing charms and herbs gathered in the Marsian (i.e. the Marsi were a Sabellian people inhabiting the Apennines in the neighbourhood of Lake Fucinus) hills assist him against wounds. For you Angitia's (i.e. either the sister of the sorceress Medea or an epithet of her) grove, for you (Lake) Fucinus with its glassy wave, for you the limpid pools, (all) wept.

There also went to the war Hippolytus' most handsome son, Virbius, whom his mother Aricia sent forth in (all) his glory, (he) who had been reared in the groves of Egeria (i.e. a Latin water-nymph) , around the marshy shores where (stands) Diana's altar, rich and ready to be appeased. For, in the story, they told that Hippolytus, after he had fallen prey to his step-mother's (i.e. Phaedra's) cunning, and, having been torn apart by stampeding horses, had discharged his father's punishment with his blood, came once more to the stars of heaven and beneath the upper airs of the sky, recalled (to life) by Apollo's herbs and Diana's love. Then, the almighty father, indignant that any mortal should rise from the shadows to the light of life, himself hurled down with his thunder the son of Phoebus, the founder of such healing craft (i.e. Aesculapius), to the waters of the Styx. But the kindly Trivia (i.e. Diana) hid Hippolytus in a secret place, and sent (him) away to the nymph Egeria and her grove, where he might pass his life in the Italian woods, alone (and) unknown, and where his name was changed and he became Virbius. So, too, hooved horses were kept away from the temple and sacred groves of Trivia, because (being) frightened by sea-monsters, they had strewn chariot and youth along the shore. Nonetheless, his son was driving his fiery steeds on the level plain and hastened to war in his chariot.

15.  Turnus and Camilla complete the array (ll. 783-817).

Turnus, himself, went up and down among the front (ranks), pre-eminent in form, holding his weapons, and he was above (all the others) by a whole head. His tall helmet, crowned with a triple plume, supported a Chimaera, breathing the fires of Etna from its jaws: the more it roared and (the more) savage (it was) with its sombre flames, the more blood was shed and (the more) the fighting grew. But emblazoned in gold on his polished shield was Io with uplifted horns, already covered with bristles, already a heifer, an enormous device, and Argus, the maiden's guardian and her father Inachus, pouring his river form an embossed urn. A cloud of infantry followed (him), and their columns clustered thick with shields over the whole plain: Argive men, and an Auruncan band, Rutuli and old Sicani (i.e. one of the ancient people of Sicily), and the Sacranian (i.e. a people of Latium) ranks, and the Labici (i.e. the inhabitants of Labicum, a town to the south-east of Rome) with their painted shields; (those) who ploughed your pastures, (O) Tiber, and Numicus' sacred banks, and turned Rutulian hills and Circe's headland with a ploughshare, (and those) over whose fields Jupiter of Anxur (i.e. Tarracina, a Volscian town in Latium) reigned, and Feronia (i.e. an Italian goddess), delighted in her green grove; (those) from where Satura's black marsh (i.e. a marshy area in Latium of unknown location) lay, and the chill Ufens (i.e. a river in Latium) sought his course through the bottom of the valleys and sunk into the sea.

On top of (all) these came Camilla from the tribe of the Volscians, leading her column of horsemen and her squadrons gleaming with bronze, a lady-warrior, her girl's hands not trained to Minerva's distaff and wicker-baskets (of wool), but a maiden hardened to endure battle and to outstrip the winds in her speed of foot. She might even have skimmed over the topmost blades of uncut corn and not bruised their tender ears in her running, or, hanging above the swelling waves, she might have made her way through the midst of the sea and not dipped her speedy foot-soles in the surface (of the water). All the young men who were streaming from the houses and the fields and the crowd of mothers marvelled and gazed at her, as she went by, gaping with astonished minds (to see) how regal splendour clothed her smooth shoulders in purple, how her brooch enclasped her hair with gold, (and) how she herself carried her Lycian quiver and her shepherd's myrtle-wood (staff) tipped with the point of a spear.
Last modified onWednesday, 01 November 2017 22:48

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