The introductions to previous books of the "Aeneid", which Sabidius has previously translated and placed on this blog are relevant to Book X. The introduction to Book VIII deals with the quality of Virgil's poetry, and that of Book VII explains why the catalogue of place-names and names of warrior heroes, whether Trojan, Latin or Etruscan would have been so fascinating to Virgil's Roman contemporaries. In the same way, Book X features a catalogue of the Etruscan leaders who have come to assist Aeneas and Virgil lovingly recites the places in Italy from which they have come, i.e. Clusium, Cosae, Populonia, Ilva, Liguria, Pisa, Astur, Caere, Pyrgi, Graviscae and Mantua. Once again Roman readers would have considered what personal connections they themselves might have had to the people and the places named. Seeking to parallel the blood-thirsty content of Homer's Iliad much of Book X is concerned with battle scenes, but the action is centred around the successive deaths of Lausus at the hands of Turnus, and then Lausus and his father Mezentius at the hands of Aeneas. Considerable pathos is depicted on the death of Lausus, since Aeneas, despite his determination to avenge the death of Pallas, has a moment of pity when he sees Lausus' dying face, and recalls his own love for his father Anchises. Aeneas' essential humanity is emphasised here, and he is markedly different from Turnus, who has been exulting over his slaying of Pallas. There is further pathos right at the end of the Book when Mezentius begs Aeneas to let him share a grave with Lausus. 
The text for this translation is taken from Virgil II, edited by G.P Goold, Loeb Classical Library (2002). This translation has taken account of the English translation attached to this edition, as well as "Virgil: the Major Works," translated by A.S. Kline (2001-02), and available on line, and the commentary by John Connington, (1876) which is available on the Perseus website.


a) Jupiter calls the Gods together to discuss their internal discord over the conflict between the Greeks and Trojans (ll. 1-15).

Meanwhile, the palace of all-powerful Olympus is thrown open, and the Father of the Gods and the King of men calls a council in his starry dwelling, from the heights of which he surveys every land and the camp of the Dardanians (i.e. Trojans) and the peoples of Latium. They take their seats in the double-doored hall (i.e. the place at Olympus had doors at both ends), (and) he, himself, begins (to speak): "Great heavenly dwellers, why has your decision been reversed, and (why) do you contend with such adverse intentions? I had forbidden Italy to clash in war with the Teucrians (i.e. Trojans)? What (is) this discord in defiance of my prohibition? What fear incites both one side and the other to take up arms and to provoke violent conflict? The right time will come - don't bring it on! - when fierce Carthage will one day open up the Alps and launch great destruction on Roman strongholds: then, you will be permitted to compete in hatreds and to ravage things. Now, let (things) be and cheerfully join the covenant (which I have) ordained."

b) Venus prays to Jupiter that, whatever may be the fate of Aeneas, she may be permitted to rescue Ascanius, and that the Trojans, if they must give up Italy to Carthage, may at least be allowed to settle once more in their ruined native land (ll. 16-62).

Jupiter (said) these (things) in a few (words); but, in answer, golden Venus does not make a brief reply: "O Father, eternal source of power over men and (all) things - for what else can there be which we can now entreat? - , do you see how the Rutulians are exulting, and (how) Turnus, conspicuous on horseback, is being drawn through their midst, and rushes along, swollen with pride at the favour of Mars? Closed walls no longer protect the Teucrians; rather, they join battle within their gates and on the very ramparts of their walls, and their trenches overflow with blood. Unaware (of all this), Aeneas is far away. Will you never allow the siege to be raised? Once more an enemy, and a second army too, threatens the walls of newborn Troy; and once more, a son of Tydeus arises from Aetolian Arpi (i.e. Diomedes). For my part, I believe that my wounding is yet to happen, and I, your offspring, am delaying a mortal's spear. If the Trojans sought Italy without your consent and despite your divine will, let them expiate their sins, nor should you support them with your succour; but, if they have followed all the oracles which the powers above and the spirits below gave (them), why can anyone now overturn your commands, or why can they construct a new destiny (for them)? Should I recall why the fleet burned on the shores of Eryx, why the King of Storms and his raging winds were aroused from Aeolia, or (why) Iris was sent down from the clouds? Now she even stirs up the shades - this part of the universe remained untried -  and Allecto, suddenly launched on the upper world, raves through the midst of Italy's cities. Besides, I am not at all moved by empire. We hoped for that, while our good fortune lasted. Let them conquer whom you prefer to conquer. If there is no country which your pitiless consort may grant the Teucrians, I beseech (you), Father, by the smoking ruins of shattered Troy that I may detach Ascanius from arms unscathed, and that my grandson may survive. Aeneas, indeed, may (well) be tossed about on uncharted waters and follow whatever path Fortune may have offered; (but) may I have the power to protect this (boy) and withdraw (him) from this dreaded battle. Amathus is (mine), high Paphos is mine, as are Cythera and Idalia's shrine: having laid down his weapons, let him live out his life here without honour. Bid Carthage crush Ausonia beneath her mighty sway: from that quarter nothing will obstruct any Tyrian cities. What has it availed him to escape the plague of war and to have fled through the midst of Argive fires, and to have endured all the dangers of the sea and of desolate lands, while the Teucrians seek Latium and a reborn Troy? (Would it) not (have been) better (for them) to have settled on the last ashes of their native country and the soil on which Troy (once) was? Give Xanthus and Simoïs, I beg (you), back to these wretched (people) and let them, Father, relive the misfortunes of Ilium once more."

c) Juno asks why Venus should wish to reopen the old quarrel in view of the mistakes made by Aeneas and the crimes committed by the Trojans. She claims the same right as Venus has exercised to bring some help to her friends (ll. 62-95). 

Then, royal Juno, driven by savage fury (cried out): "Why do you force me to break my profound silence and divulge in words my veiled sorrow? Did any man or god compel Aeneas to follow (the path of) war, or present himself (as) an enemy to King Latinus? He sought Italy, with the Fates as instigators - let it be so! - (he was) driven by the ravings of Cassandra: did I urge (him) to quit the camp, or to entrust his life to the winds? (Did I urge him) to entrust the responsibility of a war or (the defence of) his walls to a boy, and to disturb the loyalty of the Tyrrhenians (i.e. the Etruscans) or the peaceful tribes? What God, what pitiless power of mine drove (him) to (do) this damage? Where in all this (is) Juno or Iris, sent down from the clouds? It is shameful (indeed) that Italians should surround the newborn Troy with flames, and that Turnus, whose father (was) Pilumnus (i.e. a Roman agricultural deity) (and) whose mother (was) the divine Venilia (i.e. a sea nymph) , should take a firm stand on his native soil: what of the Trojans with smoking brands, using force against the Latins, oppressing the fields of others with their yoke, and driving off their plunder? What about their choosing their fathers-in-law and their dragging betrothed (girls) from the bosoms (of their lovers), their pleading for peace with (outstretched) hand, (yet) displaying arms on their ships? You can steal Aeneas from the hands of the Greeks, and, instead of a man, offer (them) mist and empty winds, you can turn their fleet (of ships) into the same number of nymphs: is it wrong that I, in return, have given some help to the Rutulians? 'Unaware (of all this), Aeneas is far away': let him be unaware and far away!  'Paphos and Idalium are yours, as is high Cythera': why then do you tamper with a city pregnant with wars and (with) savage hearts? Is it I that is trying to overthrow your fragile state of Phrygia from its foundations, (is it) I, or (the one) who exposed the wretched Trojans to the Achaeans? What was the reason that Europe and Asia rose up in arms and dissolved their pact of peace through treachery? Did the Dardanian adulterer (i.e. Paris) storm Sparta under my direction, or did I give him weapons or foment a war by lust? Then it was right to have feared for your own (people): now, too late, you arise with unjust complaints, and provoke vain quarrels."


So, Juno spoke in these (words) and all the heavenly dwellers murmured with differing (degrees of) approval, like when the first gusts (of a storm) rustle (when) caught in the woods, and roll out secret murmurs revealing imminent gales to sailors. Then, the Almighty Father, who (has) primary authority over the world, begins (to speak) - as he speaks, the lofty palace of the gods falls silent, and the earth trembles from its foundations, high heaven is silent, then the West Winds abated, and the sea stills its placid surface - : "So take these words of mine to your hearts and fix (them there). Seeing that (it is) not permissible for the Ausonians to join in an alliance with the Teucrians, and your discord admits no end, whatever good fortune each man has today, whatever hope each man pursues, be he Trojan or Rutulian, I shall regard (him) without any distinction, whether their camp is kept under siege due to Italy's fortunes, or due to Troy's grievous error and its unhappy prophecies. Nor do I absolve the Rutulians: what he has instigated shall bring to each man (both) trouble and success. Jupiter is King to all alike. The Fates will find a way." By the waters of his Stygian brother (i.e. Pluto or Hades), by the banks seething with pitch and that black chasm, he nodded, and all Olympus trembled at his nod. This (was) the end of the conference. Then, Jupiter rises from his golden throne, (and) the heavenly dwellers conduct him to the threshold in their midst.


a) The battle continues all day. In accordance with Apollo's command, Ascanius plays no part in the fighting (ll. 118-145).

Meanwhile, around each gate, the Rutulians make every effort to lay men low by slaughter and to encircle the walls with flames. But the army of Aeneas' followers are besieged and kept within their stockade, nor is there any hope of escape: forlorn and helpless, they stand on their high towers, and encompass the walls with a scanty ring (of defenders). Asius, the son of Imbrasus, and Thymoetes, the son of Hicetaon, the two Assaraci, and old Thymbris, with Castor (at his side), (are) the front rank; both Sarpedon's brothers, Clarus and Thaemon, from noble Lycia, accompany them. Acmon of Lyrnesus, no smaaler than his father Clytius and his brother Menesthius, carries an enormous boulder, no small part of a mountain, straining his whole body (as he does so). Some with darts, others with stones, they strive to defend (themselves), and to discharge fire and to fit arrows to the string. Behold! in the midst (of them), the Dardanian boy (i.e. Ascanius), himself, the special charge of Venus, his handsome head uncovered, he sparkles like a jewel which sets off yellow gold, an ornament either for the neck or the head, or he gleams like ivory skilfully inlaid in boxwood or Orician terebinth-wood; his milk-white neck, and the necklace clasping (it) with pliant gold, receives his flowing locks of hair. Your great-hearted clans saw you too, Ismarus, directing blows and dipping arrow-shafts in venom, (you) well-born (scion) of a Maeonian (i.e. Lydian) house, where men till fertile fields of grain, and the (River) Pactolus waters (them) with gold. There, too, was Mnestheus, whom the glory of having driven Turnus from the rampart of the walls yesterday exalts on high, and Capys also: from him the name of the Campanian city (i.e. Capua) is derived.

b. During the following night, Aeneas, who had succeeded in gaining Tarchon's alliance, sails back to the aid of his followers (ll. 146-162).

Men had been fighting one another in the strife of bitter warfare: (meanwhile), Aeneas was cleaving the midst of the sea at night. For, when leaving Evander and entering the Etruscan camp, he meets the king (i.e. Tarchon) and announces to the king his name and his race, what (aid) he seeks and what he, himself, offers, (and) he tells (him) about what forces Mezentius is winning over to his side, and Turnus' ferocious temperament, and then warns (him) of what confidence he can have in human fortunes, and intermingles entreaties (with this), no delay occurs, (but) Tarchon joins forces and strikes a pact (with him); then, freed from (the dictates of) fate, the Lydian people embark in a fleet (of ships) by the command of the Gods, entrusting (themselves) to a foreign leader. Aeneas' ship takes the lead, having affixed Phrygian lions (i.e. the lions of Cybele) to its beak, and (a representation of Mount) Ida hangs down above (them), a most welcome (sight) to exiled Teucrians. Here sits great Aeneas and ponders the varying fortunes of war, and Pallas, staying close to his left side, asks (him), at one moment, about the stars, their (guiding) path through the dark night, and, at another, about what he has experienced on land and sea.


a) After the Muses are invoked, there follows a short catalogue of the Etruscan chiefs now sailing with Aeneas (ll. 163-184).

Now, Goddesses, throw Helicon wide open, and set your song in motion: while they are sailing, (tell us) what band accompanies Aeneas from the Tuscan shores, manning the ships and riding over the sea.

At their head, Massicus cleaves the waters in his bronze-clad Tigress, and under him a band of a thousand young warriors, who have left the walls of Clusium and the city of Cosae, whose weapons (are) arrows and light quivers on their shoulders and the deadly bow. Together with him (is) the grim Abas: his whole contingent (is) in shining armour and the stern (of his ship) was gleaming with a golden (figure of) Apollo. Populonia, the mother (city), had given six hundred of her young men, skilled in war, and Ilva (i.e. Elba) three hundred, an island rich in the inexhaustible mines of the Chalybes (i.e. Blacksmiths). In the third place (comes) Asilas, that interpreter of men and Gods, whom the entrails of beasts, the stars of heaven, the voices of birds and the flashes of presaging thunderbolts (all) obey, (and) he hurries into line a thousand (warriors), densely-packed with their bristling spears. Pisa, a city of Alphean birth, (set in) Etruscan soil, orders them to obey. The most handsome Astur follows, Astur, relying on his horse and his iridescent armour. (Those) who dwell at Caere, and in the fields of the (River) Minio, and ancient Pyrgi and unhealthy Graviscae, add three hundred (more), all of one mind to follow.

b) The description of further Etruscan leaders follows (ll. 185-214).

Nor would I leave you out, Cunarus, in war the bravest of the Ligurians, or (you), Cupavo, with (only) a few in your train, from whose crest a swan's feathers arise, a reproach (to you) Cupid (and) yours, and an emblem of your father's form. For they say that Cycnus, while he sang amid the leafy poplars, the shade of his sisters, in grief for his beloved Phaëthon, and consoles his sorrowful love by music, took on the whiteness of old-age with his soft plumage, as he left the earth and sought the stars with his song. His son (i.e. Cupavo), accompanying a band of coevals on board, drives the huge 'Centaur' with oars: that (figurehead) bears down on the waters, and threatens the waves from above with an enormous rock, and (the ship) ploughs the deep sea with her long keel. The famous Ocnus, too, summons a contingent from his native shores, the son of prophetic Manto and the Tuscan river, who gave you, Mantua, your walls and his mother's name, Mantua, rich in forebears, but all of one stock: three races (are) there (i.e. Etruscans, Gauls and Veneti), (and) under each race four peoples, (but) her strength (comes) from her Tuscan blood. From here, too, Mezentius arms five hundred against himself, whom the (River) Mincius, (coming) from his father, (Lake) Benacus, (and) veiled in grey reeds, led on to the sea in their hostile (ships of) pine. Aulestes comes on heavily, and he lashes the waves, as he rises (to the stroke) of a hundred oars, and the waters foam as the surface of the sea is churned up. The huge 'Triton' conveys him, and her (figurehead of) a shell alarms the dark-blue waves, and, as it floats, its rough prow shows a man down to the waist, (but) its belly ends in a fish, (and) beneath the half-beast's chest the foaming sea gurgles, Such (are) the chiefs chosen to go in thirty ships to the help of Troy and to cleave the plains of salt with their bronze (beaks).

5) THE NYMPHS OF CYBELE (LL. 215-259).

a) Aeneas is met by the Nymphs, into whom his fleet had been transformed, one of them prophesies his success in the future battle (ll. 215-249).

And now day had withdrawn from the sky, and gracious Phoebe (i.e. Diana, Goddess of the Moon) was tramping across the middle of the sky in her night-roving chariot: Aeneas - for duty gave his limbs no rest - , as he sat (there), controls the rudder and tends the sails himself. And lo! a troop of his own friends meets him in mid-course: the nymphs, whom gracious Cybele has commanded to have divine power over the sea and to turn into nymphs from ships, came swimming alongside (him) and cleaved the waves, as many as the bronze-clad prows that once lay moored to the shore. They recognise their king from afar and encircle (him) with their dances: Cymodocea, who (was) the most skilled in speech from among them, as she followed behind, grasps the stern with her right (hand), and raising her back out (of the water), she paddles along under the noiseless waves with her left (hand). Then, she addresses the astonished (prince) thus: "Are you awake, Aeneas, scion of the Gods? Wake up, and let loose the sheets from your sails! We are your fleet, (once) pines from the sacred peak of (Mount) Ida, now nymphs of the sea. When the treacherous Rutulian (i.e. Turnus) was driving us headlong with fire and sword, we reluctantly broke your moorings and are seeking you across the seas. The Great Mother (i.e. Cybele) refashioned (us) into this shape out of pity, and granted that we become Goddesses, and spend our life beneath the waves. But your son, Ascanius, is hemmed in by wall and trenches, in the midst of weapons and Latins bristling with (desire for) war. Already the Arcadian cavalry, intermingled with brave Etruscans, are holding their appointed positions; it is Turnus' fixed resolve to confront them with his central squadrons, so that they cannot link up with the (Trojan) camp. Come (then), arise and and, when Dawn comes,  give orders straight away that your comrades should be called to arms, and take up that invincible shield that the Lord of Fire (i.e. Vulcan) himself gave (you), after encircling its rims with gold. Tomorrow's dawn, if you do not consider my words vain (i.e. if you follow my instructions), will see huge heaps of Rutulian dead." She finished speaking, and, as she departed, she drove the lofty stern onward with her right hand, not unaware of what to do: she flies through the waves, faster than a javelin and an arrow keeping pace with the winds. Then, the other (ships) quickened their running speed.

b) Aeneas prays to Cybele to give him a favourable omen, and orders his men to prepare for battle (ll. 249-259).

Uncomprehending, the Trojan son of Anchises is amazed; yet he lifts his spirits due to the omen. Then, looking upwards at the sky, he prays briefly: "Gracious Lady of Ida, mother of the Gods (i.e. Cybele), to whom Dindyma, and the tower-crowned cities, and the two lions harnessed to your reins, are dear, (be) you now my leader in the battle, may you duly hasten this augury, and be with your Phrygians, Goddess, with your favouring step." So much he said, and meanwhile the returning day was rushing on, now in the early dawn, and had chased away the night; in the first place, he commands his comrades to follow his signals and prepare their hearts for combat and make themselves ready for battle.


a) Aeneas makes for the shore with his ships (ll. 260-275).

And now, as he stands on the high stern, he has the Teucrians and his camp in view, when at once he holds forth his blazing shield in his left (hand). From the walls the Dardanians raise a shout to the skies, fresh hope arouses their wrath, (and) they hurl their spears, just as under dark clouds Strymonian cranes give calls (to each other), and noisily skim through the air and flee the South Winds with glad sounds. But to the Rutulian king and the Ausonian chiefs this seems strange, until they behold the sterns turned towards the shore and the whole sea rolling in upon (them) with ships. The helmet on his head blazes, and from the plumes at its crest flames pour forth, and the golden boss (of his shield) spouts floods of fire; (it is) just as when in the clear night comets glow portentously blood-red, or (when) fiery Sirius (i.e. the dog-star), that (star) which brings drought and pestilence to frail mortals, rises and saddens the sky with its baleful light.

b) Turnus, undaunted by the appearance of Aeneas, urges his men to prevent the landing of the Trojans, if possible (ll. 276-86). 

Yet, the confidence is not lacking in the bold Turnus that he would take the shore first and drive the approaching (enemy) from land. Indeed, he raises the spirits (of his men) with his words, and chides them too: "What you have sought in your prayers is (now) here, (the chance) to break through by force. Mars, himself, is in your hands, men! Now let each man be mindful of his wife and home, now let (each man) repeat the great deeds of our fathers (and) the glory (that they earned). Let us meet (them) at the water's edge, while (they are) anxious and the first footsteps falter among those who have disembarked. Fortune favours the brave ... !" He says these (things), and ponders in his mind whom to lead against (the enemy), and to whom he can entrust the siege of the walls.

c) Aeneas and Tarchon land their men, and, in doing so, Tarchon's ship is shattered (ll. 287-307).
Meanwhile, Aeneas lands his comrades from his tall ships by gangways. Many watch for the ebb of the spent sea, and entrust themselves to a vault in the shallows, (and) others (land) by means of oars. Tarchon, noting a beach where the shallows do not heave, nor broken billows roar, but (where) the sea sweeps in without hindrance with the rising tide, suddenly turns his prow towards (it), and exhorts his men (thus): "Now, O chosen band, bend to your sturdy oars; lift up your boats and carry (them); cleave this hostile shore with your beaks, and let the keel herself make her own furrow. I do not shrink from wrecking the ship in such an anchorage as this, once the land has been seized." When Tarchon had spoken such (words as these), his comrades rise to their oars and drive their foaming boats on to the Latin fields, until their beaks gain dry land and all their boats are beached unharmed. But not your ship, Tarchon: for while, dashed against the shallows, she hangs on an uneven sand-bank for some time with doubtful means of support and beats the waves (as she sways to and fro), she is broken up and pitches her crew into the midst of the waves; fragments of oars and floating thwarts hamper (them), and, at the same time, the ebbing wave sucks back their feet.  

7) THE PITCHED BATTLE (LL. 308-425).

a) The battle begins on the shore. Aeneas encounters and kills a number of men, and he would have slain Cydon, if his seven brothers had not come to his assistance (ll. 308-344).

Nor does the lingering delay hold back Turnus, but he eagerly hurries his whole battle-line (into action) against the Teucrians, and posts (men) against (them) on the shore. The trumpets sound. Firstly, Aeneas fell upon the ranks of the country-folk, an omen (for the outcome of) the battle, and laid low (a number of) Latins, killing Theron, who bravely sought out the hero Aeneas of his own accord: (stabbing) him with a sword through his bronze mail, (and) through his tunic (which was) stiff with golden (scales), he drains his exposed flank (of its blood). Then, he strikes Lichas, who had already been cut from his mother's (womb), and (then) consecrated to you, Phoebus: for what (purpose) was he permitted to evade the perils of the knife in infancy (i.e. he had been born by Caesarian section)? Not long afterwards, he cast down to death hardy Cisseus, and the giant Gyas, as they were felling the ranks with their clubs; Hercules' weapons did nothing to help them, nor did their stout hands or their father Melampus, Alcides' companion all the time that earth had granted (him) his heavy labours. See, as he hurls his javelin at Pharus, as he casts forth empty words, and plants (it) in his noisy throat. You, too, unlucky Cydon, as you follow your new delight, Clytius, his cheeks golden with their first down, having fallen beneath the hand of the Dardanian, you would have lain (there), a pitiable (sight), free of those loves of young men, which were always yours, if the massed cohort of your brothers, the children of Phorcus, had not been at hand; (they were) seven in number, and seven darts they throw; some rebound vainly from his helmet and shield, others, which (only) grazed his body, kindly Venus deflected. Aeneas addresses the faithful Achates (thus): "Bring me (plenty of) spears; my hand will not be found to have hurled in vain against the Rutulians any (of those spears) which once had lodged in the bodies of Greeks on Ilium's plains." Then, he seizes a great spear and hurls (it): flying on, it crashes through Maeon's bronze shield, and smashes his breast-plate and breast together. His brother Alcanor is there, and with his right (arm) supports his brother as he falls: (another) spear (is) dispatched, and, piercing (Alcanor's) arm, it flies straight on, and, (though) bloodied, keeps its course, and the right (arm) hung lifeless from his shoulder by its sinews. Then, Numitor, tearing the javelin from his brother's body, aimed (it) at Aeneas; but he could not strike him in return, but grazed the thigh of noble Achates.

b) On the Latin side, Clausus of Cures and some others are conspicuous for their valour (ll. 345-361). 

Then, Clausus from Cures, comes up, trusting in (the strength of) his youthful body, and his rigid spear, driven with force from a distance, strikes Dryopes under his chin, and, piercing his throat as he speaks, steals his voice and life at the same time; then he hits the ground with his forehead, and spews thick blood from his mouth. Three Thracians, too, of Boreas' exalted race, and three, whom their father Idas and their native Ismarus had sent out, he (i.e. Clausus) fells in various ways. Halaesus runs up to (him), and the Auruncan bands, and Neptune's scion, Messapus, glorious with his steeds. Now one side, now the other, they strain to drive away (the foe): the struggle is on Ausonia's very threshold. As in wide heaven, warring winds rise to battle with well-matched spirits and strength; they do not yield to one another, not clouds, not waves; the (outcome of the) battle (is) long in doubt, all (things) stand, locked in strife: likewise, the ranks of Troy and the ranks of Latium clash together, (and) stick closely, foot against foot and man against man.

c) In another part of the field, the Arcadian cavalry are yielding to the Latins, having been compelled to dismount due to the unevenness of the ground, but they are rallied by Pallas, the son of King Evander (ll. 362-379).

But in another place, where a torrent had driven rolling boulders and trees torn from banks far and wide, when Pallas saw his Arcadians, unused to charging in infantry ranks, showing their backs to the pursuing Latins, since the nature of the ground, roughened by waters, had persuaded (them) to dismiss their horses, (then) as the sole recourse remaining in such times of need, he sets their courage alight, now with entreaties, now with bitter words, (saying): "Where are you fleeing to, comrades? By your brave deeds, by the name of your chief, Evander, and the wars (which have been) won (by him), and (by) my own hopes, which are now springing up to match my father's renown, do not put your trust in your feet (i.e. flight). You must burst your way through the enemy by your sword. Where that mass of men presses most thickly, there your noble country requires you and (myself) Pallas, (as) your leader. No gods are pressing (upon us), (as) mortals; we are driven by a mortal foe, (each one of which has) as many lives and hands as ourselves. See, the ocean hems us in with a mighty barrier of sea (water), (and) land for flight is now lacking: shall we make for the sea or Troy?" He speaks these (words), and dashes forth into the midst of the densely-packed enemy.

d) Pallas dashes into action and kills many of the foe (ll. 380-398).

Lagus meets him first, drawn to (him) by an adverse fate. While he is in the process of tearing a stone of great weight (from the ground), he pierces him with a hurled javelin, (in the place) where the spine provides a parting in the middle of his ribs, and he plucks back his spear which is lodged in his bones. Hisbo does not surprise him from above, though he is hopeful of (doing) this: for Pallas is waiting for (him) as he rushes in first in his recklessness, while raging at his companion's cruel death, and he buries his sword in his swelling (i.e. because of his anger) chest. Then, he attacks Sthenelus, and Anchemolus from the ancient line of Rhoteus, (a man) who had dared to defile his step-mother's bed. You, twin-brothers, also fell in the Rutulian fields, Larides and Thymber, Daucus' offspring, identical
in appearance, indistinguishable to their (kindred) and a welcome (source of) confusion to their parents; but now Pallas has given you a grim difference. For Evander's sword took off your head, Thymber; your severed right (hand) seeks you, its (owner), Larides, and your dying fingers twitch and clutch again at your sword. Fired up by his admonition, and, seeing the hero's glorious deeds, mingled remorse and shame rouse the Arcadians against their enemy.
e) Further adversaries die at the hands of Pallas, including Halaesus, who had, himself, dealt much destruction among the Trojans.(ll. 399-425).
Then, Pallas pierces Rhoteus as he flies past in his two-horse chariot. Ilus had this (much) time and so much respite, for he had launched at Ilus from afar his strong spear which Rhoteus intercepts in the midst of (its flight), (while) fleeing from you, noble Teuthras, and your brother Tyres, and, rolling from his chariot, he beats the fields with his heels as he dies. As in summer, when the longed-for winds have arisen, a shepherd kindles fires here and there within the woods, (and) the spaces in-between have suddenly caught alight, Vulcan's dreaded battle-line extends continuously over the broad fields, he sits triumphantly, looking down joyfully over the flames: in the same way all your comrades' courage combines into one (point of strength), and helps you, Pallas. But Halaesus, eager for war, advances against his adversaries, and gathers himself behind his shield. He slays Ladon and Pheres and Demodocus, and, with his shining sword, he lops off Strymonius' right (hand), (which was) raised against his throat, (and) strikes Thoas' face with a stone, and scatters his bones mixed with bloody brain. His father, foretelling his fate, had hidden Halaesus in the forests: when the old man relaxed his whitened eyes in death, the Fates took possession (of him) and dedicated (him) to Evander's weapons. Pallas assails him, first praying thus: "Now grant, father Tiber, to the spear which I am poised to throw, good fortune and a way through stout Halaesus' breast. Your own oak-tree shall hold these weapons and the hero's spoils." The God heard that (prayer): while Halaesus sought  to shield Imaon, he unfortunately exposes his uncovered chest to the Arcadian spear.

8) THE DEATH OF PALLAS (LL. 426-509).

a) Lausus rallies the Rutulians and makes much havoc in the ranks of Aeneas' army (ll. 426-438).

But Lausus, a person of great importance in the war, does not allow his ranks to be intimidated by the hero's great carnage: first, he cuts down Abas, who had opposed (him), the knot and mainstay of the battle. The youth of Arcadia fall, the Etruscans fall, and you, too, O Teucrians (whose) bodies (were) not destroyed by the Greeks. The armies come  together, well-matched in captains and in strength; the extremes of the ranks (i.e. the rear and the van) come together, and the crush does not allow their weapons and hands to be moved. On the one side Pallas pushes and urges on (his men), on the other side Lausus opposes (him), nor is there not much difference (between them) in age: (both were) outstanding in appearance, but Fortune had denied them a return to their native land. Yet, the king of great Olympus did not permit them to meet one another; their fates are awaiting them soon beneath the hands of a greater foe.
b. Turnus comes to meet Pallas, and they prepare for single combat. Pallas prays to Hercules, once his father's guest, for success, but Hercules' good wishes are blocked by Jupiter, albeit reluctantly (ll. 439-473). 
Meanwhile, his gracious sister (i.e. Juturna) warns Turnus to go the assistance of Lausus, and he cuts through the middle of the ranks in his swift chariot. When he saw his comrades, (he cried): "(It is) time (for you) to stand back from the battle; I, alone, attack Pallas, Pallas is due to me only. I wish his father were here (as) a spectator." This he said, and, at his instruction, his comrades withdrew from the field. But, when the Rutulians had withdrawn, then the youth, surprised at his proud commands, looks in amazement at Turnus and casts his eyes over his huge body, and, with a fierce look, scans all of (him) from a distance, and answers the king's words with the following words: "Already I am going to be the subject of praise, either for taking the commander's spoils, or for a glorious death: my father is able to bear either outcome. Away with your threats!" Having spoken (thus), he advances into the middle of the field. Chill blood gathers in the hearts of the Arcadians. Turnus leaps down from his two-horse chariot, and prepares to go hand-to-hand (with the other) on foot; and, as a lion, when from lofty vantage-point, he has seen a bull standing afar off on the plain, meditating on battle, rushes down, the picture of the advancing Turnus is no different. When he believed him to be within range of a cast spear, Pallas goes forward first, (to see) whether some chance would aid the venture of his unequal strength, and thus he speaks to mighty heaven: "By my father's hospitality and the tables, to which you came (as) a stranger, I pray you, son of Alceus (i.e. Hercules), may you support my great undertaking. May he see me tear the bloody armour from his (back) as he expires, and may Turnus' dying eyes endure (the sight of) a conqueror." The son of Alceus heard the youth, and he stifles a heavy groan and sheds vain tears. Then, the Father addresses his son with these kindly words: "For each man his day is fixed, (and) the span of life for everyone is short and irretrievable; but to increase fame by deeds, this (is) the task of valour. Under Troy's high walls fell so many sons of Gods, indeed my own son, Sarpedon, fell together with them; his own fate calls Turnus too, and he has reached the goal of his allotted years." So he speaks, and he turns away his eyes from the fields of the Rutulians.

c) In the combat that follows, Turnus kills Pallas. He sends Pallas' body back for burial, but despoils it of his belt, an act that has fatal consequences for him. (ll. 474-509). 
But Pallas discharges his spear with (all of) his great strength, and snatches his gleaming sword from its hollow scabbard. Flying on, it strikes (at the point) where the topmost (edge) of the armour on his shoulder rises up, and, forcing its way through the rim of his shield, at last it even grazed Turnus' mighty body. Thereupon, Turnus hurls his oakwood (spear) tipped with sharp steel, which he had been levelling at Pallas for some time, and thus he speaks: "See whether my weapon is more penetrating." He finished speaking; and, with a quivering stroke, the spear-head tears through the centre of his shield, with all its layers of steel and bronze, which the bull's hide surrounding (it) so often envelops, and pierces the barrier of his breast-plate and his mighty breast. In vain he plucks the warm dart from the wound: blood and life follow by one and the same path. He falls upon his wound - his armour made a clattering noise on top of (him) - and, as he dies, he meets the hostile earth with a blood-stained mouth. (Then) standing over him, Turnus cries,"Arcadians, take heed of these words of mine, and carry (them) back to Evander; I send Pallas back to him as he has deserved. Whatever honour (lies) in a tomb, whatever solace there is in burial, I bestow. (But) his hospitality to Aeneas will cost him dear." And he planted his left foot on the lifeless (man), tearing away the belt's massive weight and the crime engraved (on it): the band of young men foully slain on a single wedding night, and their bed-chambers drenched in blood (i.e. the story of the Danaides), which Clonus, the son of Eurytus, had richly engraved in gold; now Turnus exults in this spoil, and rejoices at winning (it). (O) the mind of men, ignorant of fate and of its future lot, and how to keep a measure (of moderation), (when) uplifted by favourable circumstances! For Turnus the time will come, when he will wish to have bought at a great (price) an unscathed Pallas, and when he will hate those spoils and that day. Then, with much groaning and (many) tears, his numerous friends carry Pallas back, lying on his shield. O (you) who will return (as a source of) great grief and pride to your father, this day first gave you to war, (and) this same (day then) took (you) from (it), when, yet, you left (behind you) huge piles of Rutulians (dead)!    


a) Roused to fury by the death of Pallas, Aeneas hurries to the relief of the distressed Arcadians, and slays a number of his enemy's warriors (ll. 510-542).

Now no (mere) rumour of this great evil, but a surer authority, flies to Aeneas (to say) that his (men) are within a narrow margin of death (and) that (it is) time to help the routed Teucrians. He mows down his nearest (enemies) with the sword and fiercely drives a wide path through their ranks with its blade, (while) seeking you, Turnus, proud (as you are) of your fresh slaughter. Pallas, Evander, the tables, to which he had first come then (as) a stranger, and their right (hands) pledged (in friendship), everything is before his very eyes. Then, he captures alive four youths, the sons of Sulmo, (and) the same number whom Ufens had reared, in order to sacrifice them (as) victims to the shades (of the dead) and to besprinkle the flames of the pyre with their captive blood. Then, he aimed a hostile spear at Mago from a distance. With adroitness the latter moves closer in, and the spear flies quivering over (him), and, clasping his knees, he speaks as follows in supplication: "I beseech you, by your father's spirit and your hope in the growing Iülus, may you save this life (of mine) for my son and for my father. I have a lofty house, buried deep within (which) lie talents of chased silver, and I have masses of gold, (both) wrought and unfinished. The victory of your Teucrians does not turn on this (life of mine), nor does a single life make so great a difference." He finished speaking. Aeneas says the following (words) to him in reply: "Those many talents of gold and silver of which you speak, keep (them) for your sons. Turnus did away with those courtesies of war (which you offer) earlier, at the very moment when he slew Pallas. The spirit of my father Anchises thinks this, so does Iülus." So speaking, he grasps his helmet with his left (hand),and, bending back the suppliant's neck, he drives home his sword right up to the hilt. Close by (is) the son of Haemon, the priest of Phoebus and Trivia (i.e. Diana); a wreath of wool encircled his temples in a sacred band, (and he is) all glittering in his white robe and emblems. He meets him and drives him over the plain, and, standing over the fallen (man), he slaughters (him) and envelops (him) in the mighty darkness (of death), (and) Serestus gathers up his arms and carries (them) off on his shoulders (as) a trophy for you, King Gradivus (i.e. the god Mars).

b) Aeneas continues to wreak fearful havoc on the Rutulian forces (ll. 543-574). 

Caeculus, born of Vulcan's stock, and Umbro, who comes from the hills of the Marsi, restore the ranks. The descendant of Dardanus (i.e. Aeneas) storms against (them): with his sword he had just cast to the ground Anxur's left (arm) and the whole circle of his shield - he had just said something boastful and had thought that strength would come from his words, and he was lifting his spirits to the sky perhaps, and had promised himself white hair and length of years; (then) Tarquitus, whom the nymph Dryope had borne to the wood-dwelling Faunus, exulting as an opponent in his gleaming armour, presented himself in the way of the burning (hero). Drawing back his spear, he (i.e. Aeneas) obstructs his breast-plate and the huge burden of his shield; then, he cast down his head to the ground, as he pleaded in vain and prepared to say many (words), and, rolling over his (still) warm trunk, he says these (words) over (it) from a vengeful heart: "Now lie there, (you) dreaded (man). No noble mother will bury you in the ground and weigh down your limbs in an ancestral tomb: you will be left for the birds of prey, or, sunk in the abyss, the wave will carry (you) along and hungry fish will lick your wounds." Then, he catches up with Antaeus and Lucas in Turnus' front line, and brave Numa and auburn-haired Camers, son of great-hearted Volcens, who was the richest (man) in the land of the Ausonians and had (once) ruled silent Amyclae. Like Aegaeon, who, (men) say, (had) a hundred arms and a hundred hands, (and) blazed fire from fifty mouths and breasts, when he clashed as many similar shields (and) drew as many swords against Jupiter's thunderbolts, so Aeneas rages victoriously over the whole plain, when once his blade was warm. See how he heads towards Niphaeus' four-horse chariot and its opposing breasts. And when they saw his long strides and his deadly rage, they turn in fear, and, rushing backwards, they throw their master and hurry their chariot to the shore.

c) The slaughter continues, until at last the siege is lifted and the Trojans are freed from their confinement in the camp (ll. 575-605).

Meanwhile, Lucagus and his brother Liger dash into the fray in their chariot with two white horses; but his brother guides the horses with the reins, (while) Lucagus fiercely brandishes his drawn sword. Aeneas could not brook (them) raging with such great fervour; he charges at (them) and looms up gigantically with his opposing spear. Liger (says) to him: It is not Diomedes' horses or Achilles' chariot or the plains of Phrygia that you see: now the end of this war and of your life will be given (to you) in these lands (of ours)." Such words fly far from mad Liger's (lips). But the Trojan hero did not prepare any words in reply, for he hurls his javelin against the foe. When Lucagus, bending forward to the lash, steered his horses with his sword, while he prepares himself for battle with his left leg advanced, the spear enters through the lower rim of his shining shield, then pierces his left groin; thrown from his chariot, he rolls dying on the ground. Pious Aeneas addresses him with these bitter words: "Lucagus, no idle flight of your horses betrayed your chariot, nor did the empty shadows of your enemy turn (them) back: you, yourself, leaping from the wheels, relinquished your team." So, speaking these (words), he seized hold of the horses; slipping down from the same chariot, his luckless brother stretched out his helpless hand-palms (in prayer): "By yourself, by the parents who gave birth to such (a son as) you, Trojan hero, spare this life and take pity on my prayer." (To him) as he begged further, Aeneas (says): "You did not speak those words before. Die and let not brother forsake brother." Then, with his sword he opens up his breast, his life's hiding-place. Such (were) the deaths (which) the Dardanian chieftain wrought across that plain, raging like a torrent of water or a black tornado. At last, the boy Ascanius, and the warriors (who had been) besieged in vain, burst out and left the camp.


a) Jupiter, in answer to Juno's prayers for the life of Turnus, allows her to rescue him from immediate death (ll. 606-632).

Meanwhile, Jupiter, unprompted, addresses Juno: "O my sister and at the same time my dearest wife, as you thought, and your judgement does not deceive you, (it is) Venus (who) sustains the Trojans' power, not their manly right (hands), so lively in war, nor their spirits, so fierce and so patient of danger." To him, Juno meekly (replies): "Why, O my fairest consort, do you vex (me when I am) sick and fearful of your stern commands? If I had the force in my love that I once had and which it is right that I should have, you would not indeed deny me this (boon), that I should have the power to withdraw Turnus from the fight and keep (him) safe for his father Daunus. Now let him perish and offer atonement to the Teucrians in innocent blood. Yet, he derives his name from our lineage, and Pilumnus (was) his great-great-grandfather, and often heaped your threshold with copious gifts from a lavish hand." To her, the king of heavenly Olympus speaks briefly thus: "If a respite from present death and a reprieve for the doomed youth is the object of your prayer, and you realise that I am ordaining it so, (then) take Turnus away in flight and snatch (him) from his impending fate: thus far there is room to exercise forbearance. But if (the hope of) any deeper favour lurks beneath your prayers, and you think that the whole (course of) this war may be disturbed or altered, you are fostering a vain hope." And, in tears, Juno (replies): "What if you should grant with your mind what you disdain with your voice, and this life (for which I plead) should remain fixed in the case of Turnus? Now a heavy doom awaits (him) innocent (as he is), or I speak (words) devoid of truth. O that I may rather be mocked by false fears, and that you, who can (do so), should bend your enterprises to (something) better!"

b) Juno deludes Turnus with a phantom of Aeneas, which appears to fly before him (ll. 633-652).

When she had spoken these words, she darted forthwith from high heaven, driving a storm through the air, girt in a cloud, and sought the army of Ilium and the camp of Laurentum. Then from a hollow mist the goddess decks out a thin and weak phantom in the likeness of Aeneas - a wondrous marvel to behold - with Dardanian weapons, matches both his shield and the plumes on his godlike head, gives (it) insubstantial words, gives (it) meaningless sounds, and mimics his steps as he walks; (it is) like, it is reported, the shapes that flit around after death, or the dreams that delude the senses during sleep. But the phantom prances gaily in front of the leading ranks, and exasperates the warrior with its weapons and provokes (him) with its voice. Turnus pursues (it), and hurls a hissing spear (at it) from afar: showing its back it turns its footsteps (in flight). But then, as Turnus thought that Aeneas had turned away and yielded, and, in his confusion, clung to this idle hope in his mind, (he cries out): "Where are you fleeing to, Aeneas? Do not forsake your plighted marriage! The land you are seeking over the seas will be granted (to you) by this hand (of mine)." Shouting out these (words), he pursues (him), and brandishes his drawn blade, but he does not see that the winds are carrying away his joyous (hopes of triumph).

c) The phantom takes shelter in the ship, in which King Osinius has come from Clusium. When Turnus follows it into the ship, Juno looses the rope and Turnus is carried to his father's home (ll. 653-688). 

It happened that the ship, in which king Osinius had sailed from Clusium's shores, stood moored to the ledge of a lofty rock, with its ladders released and its gangway made ready. Hither the swift phantom of the fleeing Aeneas flings itself into hiding, and Turnus pursues (it) no less speedily, surmounts (all) obstacles, and leaps across the lofty gangway. Scarcely had he reached the prow, (when) Saturn's daughter (i.e. Juno) snaps the cable, and sweeps the ship, torn (from its mooring), over the ebbing waters. Then, the airy phantom no longer seeks any other hiding place, but, soaring aloft, it immerses itself in a dark cloud. Meanwhile, Aeneas challenges his absent foe to battle; he sends down to death the bodies of many warriors who cross his path, while, in the meantime, the storm carries Turnus over the middle of the ocean. Unaware of the circumstances, and not welcoming his rescue, he looks back and stretches out both his hands to the heavens, with this cry: "Almighty Father, did you (really) consider me worthy of such reproach, and did you wish me to pay such a penalty? Whither am I being taken? Whence have I come? What flight leads me back, and in what (guise)? Shall I (ever) see the walls of Laurentium or its camp again? What of the band of warriors who followed me and my armour? Have I left them all - (O) the shame (of it)! - to an atrocious death? And now I see (them) scattered, and I hear their groans as they fall! What do I do? Or what earth can now gape deep enough for me? Rather, O you winds, take pity (on me)! Carry the ship - I, Turnus, willingly entreat you - on to the crags, on to the rocks, and cast (it) on Syrtes' cruel shallows, where neither Rutulians nor any conscious rumour (of my shame) may follow me." Thus speaking, he wavers in his mind, now this way, now that, whether, maddened on account of such disgrace, he should entangle himself on his blade and thrust the cruel sword through his ribs, or cast (himself) into the midst of the waves and make for the curved shore by swimming, and (so) return to (face) the arms of the Teucrians once more. Three times he attempted each course, three times mighty Juno held (him) back and restrained the youth, pitying (him) in her mind. On he drifts, cleaving the deep (water) and with a favourable wave and current, and was carried down to the ancient city of his father Daunus (i.e. Ardea).

a) Mezentius kills Hebrus and Evanthes among others (ll. 689-718).
But, meanwhile, at Jupiter's behest, fiery Mezentius enters the battle and attacks the exultant Teucrians. The Tyrrhene (i.e. Etruscan) ranks close up and concentrate all their hatred on (him) alone, and all their showers of missiles on that man alone. Like a crag, which juts out into the vast surface of the sea, confronting the fury of the winds and exposed to the open sea, endures all the force and the threats of the sky and sea, (while) itself remaining unshaken, he fells to the ground Hebrus, the son of Dolichaon, with whom (were) Latagus and the fleeing Palmus, but he strikes Latagus full in the mouth and face with a huge fragment of mountain rock, (and) he leaves Palmus writhing helplessly with his hamstring cut; he gives Lausus his armour to wear on his shoulders, and his plumes to fix on his (helmet) crest. (He also killed) Evanthes, the Phrygian, and Mimas, the peer in age and companion of Paris, whom Theano bore into the daylight, with Amycus as his father, on the same night that Cisseus' royal daughter (i.e. Hecuba) (gave birth to) Paris; Paris died in his paternal city, but the Laurentine coast holds the unknown Mimas. And just as that boar, which pine-clad (Mount) Vesulus has sheltered for many years, or the Laurentine marsh has nourished with a forest of reeds for many (years), is driven from the high mountains by the biting of hounds, and when it reaches the nets it halts, and snorts fiercely and raises its hackles, and no one has the courage to rage (at it) or to go near (to it), but all assail (it) from a distance with darts and shouts, in the same way (of all those) who have a just hatred of Mezentius, none has the courage to confront (him) with drawn sword, (but) they provoke (him) from a distance with missiles and loud shouts; but, undaunted, he stands his ground, (turning) in all directions, gnashing his teeth and shaking the spears from his back.

b) Mezentius slays Acron and Orodes (ll. 719-746).

There had come from the ancient territory of Corythus a Greek man (called) Acron, (who was) an exile, leaving an unfulfilled marriage, When he (i.e. Mezentius) saw him in the distance embroiled in the midst of the ranks, with crimson plumes and in the purple of his plighted bride, just as often an unfed lion ranging the deep covets, if he happens to catch sight of a roe-deer or a stag with raised antlers, rejoices, gaping monstrously, and bristles his mane and clings crouching over the entrails, (while) foul gore washes his wanton mouth .... so Mezentius rushes eagerly into the thick of the foe. The luckless Acron is felled, and, as he dies, he hammers the dark earth with his heels and stains the broken spear with his blood. And he did not deign to lay Orodes low as he fled, nor to give (him) a hidden wound by hurling a spear (at him); he ran to meet (him) face-to-face, and engaged him man to man, (to prove himself) the better (man) in combat, not by stealth but by valour. Then, planting his foot on top of his fallen (foe) and pressing his spear (into him), (he cries out): "Proud Orodes lies (here), my men, no small part of the war!" His comrades cry out together, echoing his paeans of joy. yet, dying, he (says): "Whoever you are, my conqueror, I (shall) not (be) unavenged, nor will you rejoice for long; a similar fate awaits you, and you will soon occupy these same fields." To him Mezentius (replies), grinning with intermingled anger: "Now die! But as for me, let the father of the gods and the king of men see (to it)." Saying this, he drew his weapon from the body. Enduring repose and the sleep of bronze press down upon his eyes, (and) their lights are shut into everlasting night.

c) Further deaths follow in the fighting (ll.747-754).

Caedicus slaughters Alcathous, Sacrator Hydaspes, Rapo (kills) both Parthenius and Orses, outstanding in his strength; Messapus (slays) both Clonius and Ericetes, the son of Lycaon, the former as he lay on the ground through a fall from his unbridled horse, the latter on foot. Lycian Agis
had advanced on foot as well, but Valerus, not lacking the courage of his ancestors, strikes him down; then Salius (kills) Thronius, and Nealces, renowned for the javelin and arrow which surprise from afar, (kills) Salius.

12) THE DEATH OF LAUSUS (LL. 755-832).

a) The Gods, divided in their loyalties, look on while the mortals continue to kill each other (ll. 755-761).

Now, the heavy (hand of) Mavors was dealing out equal shares of woe and death together; they slew alike, and alike they were slain, victors and vanquished (in turn), flight (was) known neither to one side nor the other. The gods in Jupiter's palace pity the useless rage of both (armies) and that there was such tribulation for mortals: here Venus and there Saturnian Juno, opposite (her), look on; in the midst, among the thousands (of men), pale Tisiphone rages.

b) Aeneas and Mezentius meet in single combat; Mezentius is wounded and disabled (ll. 762-788).

But now Mezentius, brandishing his gigantic spear, advances like a whirlwind over the plain. Just as great Orion, when, cleaving a path, strides on foot through the middle of Nereus' (i.e. of the God of the Sea) deepest waters, (and) surmounts the waves with his shoulder, or, (when) carrying off an aged manna ash from the mountain tops, he walks the earth and hides his head among the clouds, so Mezentius struts about in his massive armour. On the other side, Aeneas, espying him afar off in the ranks, prepares to go to meet (him). He stands his ground, undaunted, awaiting his great-hearted foe, and he stands firm in all his might; then, measuring with his eyes what distance would suit his spear, (he says): "May this right (hand), (which is) my deity, and this weapon which I am poised to throw, now assist (me)! I vow that you, yourself, Lausus, clad in the spoils stripped from that robber's body, will be my trophy over Aeneas." He spoke, and hurled a hissing spear from afar off. Then, as it flew, it glanced from the shield and from a distance pierces the illustrious Antores between his flank and his groin, Antores, the companion of Hercules, who, sent from Argos, had joined Evander and settled in an Italian city. The unlucky (man) is laid low by a wound meant for another, and he looks at the sky, and, as he dies, he remembers his sweet Argos. Then, pious Aeneas hurls a spear: it passed through the (shield's) hollow circle of triple bronze, through the layers of linen and the interwoven work of triple bulls' (hide) and lodged in the lower groin, but it did not penetrate with any force. Aeneas, gladdened at the sight of Tyrrhene blood, swiftly snatches the sword from his thigh and bears down hotly on his agitated (foe).

c) Aeneas is on the point of giving Mezentius his death-blow, when Lausus rushes up, receives the stroke on his shield, and thus saves his father. In consequence, Lausus is slain by Aeneas. (ll. 789-820).  

When he saw (this sight), Lausus groaned deeply from dear love of his father, and the tears rolled across his face - here I shall not, for my part, be silent (about) the occurrence of your cruel death and your most glorious actions, if any (degree of) antiquity shall be able to impart credibility to so great a deed, nor (about) you, (yourself), young man, so worthy of remembrance - . He (i.e. Mezentius), in retreat, helpless and encumbered, was giving ground, and dragging his foeman's lance along with his shield. The youth dashed forward and plunged into the fray, and, just as Aeneas' right (arm) rose up to strike a blow, he parried his blade, and by checking (him) held (him) off. by this stay; his comrades followed with loud cries, and, throwing their spears in concert they try to drive off the enemy from a distance, until the father, protected by his son's shield, could withdraw. Aeneas is furious, but keeps himself under cover.  And as every ploughman and every farmer flees from the fields, whenever rain-storms pour down in streams of hail, and the traveller hides in a safe retreat under the banks of a river or an arch of high rock, while the rain falls on the earth, so that, as soon as the sun returns, they can carry on the day's (work), so Aeneas, overwhelmed by missiles from all directions, endures the cloud of war until all the thunder ceases, and he chides Lausus and threatens Lausus (thus): "Why are you rushing to your death, and daring great (deeds) beyond your strength? Your love for your father is betraying you into rashness." Nonetheless, he (i.e. Lausus) prances about madly; and now savage rage rises higher in the Dardanian leader's (heart), and the Fates gather up the last threads of Lausus' (life). For Aeneas drives his sword firmly through the midst of the young man's (body) and buries (it) to the hilt. The sword-point passed through his shield, a frail defence for one so threatening, and the tunic of soft gold (thread), which his mother had woven, and blood filled its folds; then, his life fled in sorrow through the air to the Shades and left his body.  But when Anchises' son saw the look on the face of the dying (man), a face with the paleness of spectres, he groaned deeply in pity and stretched out his hand, as the likeness of his own love for his father came to his mind. "What now, unhappy boy, will pious Aeneas grant you in recognition of those glorious deeds of yours, what (reward) worthy of so great a nature (as yours)? Keep your arms, in which you delighted, and, if you have any concern about this, I return to you the spirits and the ashes of your forebears. Yet, this should console (you), unhappy (fellow), for your wretched death, you fall by the hand of great Aeneas." Unprovoked, he chides his dithering comrades and lifts from the ground their (leader), who was soiling his well-trimmed locks with blood.

d) Aeneas' sorrow at the death of Lausus (ll. 821-832).

But when Anchises' son saw the look on the face of the dying (man), a face with the paleness of spectres, he groaned deeply in pity and stretched out his hand, as the reflection of his own love for his father came into his mind. "What now, unhappy boy, will pious Aeneas grant you in recognition of those glorious deeds of yours, what (reward) worthy of so great a nature? Keep your arms, in which you delighted, and, if you have any concern about this, I return to you the spirits and the ashes of your forebears. Yet, this should console (you), unhappy (fellow), for your wretched death: that you fall by the hand of great Aeneas." Unprovoked, he chides his dithering comrades and lifts from the ground their (leader), who was soiling his well-trimmed locks with his blood.


a) Mezentius, grieving at the death of his son, prepares to meet Aeneas (ll. 833-871).

Meanwhile, by the waters of the river Tiber, his father was staunching his wounds with water, and was resting his body (by) leaning against the trunk of a tree. Nearby, his bronze helmet hangs from the branches, and his heavy armour lies peacefully in the meadow. The pick of his men stand around (him): he, himself, panting weakly, relieves his neck, his flowing beard hanging down on to his chest; many times he asks eagerly after Lausus, and he continually dispatches (messengers) to recall (him) and bear his sorrowing father's orders. But his weeping comrades were carrying the lifeless Lausus on top of his armour, a mighty (man) overcome by a mighty wound. His mind, prescient of evil, recognised that wail from afar. He befouls his hoary hair with much dust, and stretches both of his hand-palms to heaven and clings to the body. "Did such delight in living possess me, my son, that I let (you) whom I begot face the foeman's hand in my place? Alas, now at last (is) exile bitter to me, wretch (that I am); now my wound (is) driven deep! I myself, driven by hatred from my father's throne and sceptre, have tarnished your name by my guilt, my son. I have long owed (a debt of) reparation to my native-land and to my peoples' hatred: By any kind of death I should have yielded up my guilty soul! Now I live on, nor yet do I leave mankind and the light (of day). But leave I shall." As he speaks thus, he raises himself on his stricken thigh, and not downcast, though his strength fails because of his deep wound, he orders his horse to be brought. This was his pride, this was his solace, on this (horse) he left victorious from every battle. He addresses the grieving (creature) and begins with these (words): "Rhaebus, we have lived for a long time, if there is any thing which lasts long in the case of mortals. Today, you will either carry away in victory those bloody spoils and the head of Aeneas and you will be the avenger with me of Lausus' sufferings, or, if no force opens up the way (for us), you will die together (with me); for I do not believe that you, the bravest (of animals), will deign to endure the commands of another orders and the Teucrians (as) your masters." He spoke, and, getting on its back, he settled his limbs as usual, and loaded both his hands with a sharp javelin, his head gleaming with bronze and bristling with a horse-hair crest. So, he made his way swiftly into the midst (of the fray): in that one heart heaves a vast (tide of) shame and madness mingled with grief, [love tormented by furious passion and a conscious valour].

b) Mezentius goes to meet Aeneas, and is slain in combat with him (ll. 872-908).
And now he called Aeneas three times in a loud voice. Aeneas, indeed, recognised (his voice) and offers a joyful prayer: "So, may the great father of the gods decree (it), and noble Apollo too! May you begin to engage in battle .... ". Having said so much, he goes to meet (him) with levelled spear. But he (i.e. Mezentius) replies as follows: "Why do you try to frighten me, (you) most savage (of men), now that my son has been torn from me? This was the only way, by which you could destroy (me). I do not shrink from death, nor do I heed any of the gods. Stop (this): for I come (here) to die, and first I bring you these gifts." He spoke, and hurls a spear at his enemy; then he implants another on top of (this), and (then) another, as he speeds around (him) in a wide circle, but his bronze shield withstands (them). Three times he rode in left-wise circles around his steadfast (foe), throwing darts from his hands, (and) three times the Trojan hero carries around with him the vast forest (of spears fixed) in his bronze shield. Then, when he tires of dragging out so many delays (and) of plucking out so many shafts, and he is hard pressed because he is fighting in an unequal combat, (after) pondering many (things) in his mind, then at last he bursts out and hurls his spear between the hollow temples of the war-horse. The horse rears up and lashes the air with its hooves, and throwing its rider, (and then) itself following itself from above, it entangles (him), and falls head-first upon (him), breaking its shoulder. Trojans and Latins set the sky alight with their shouts. Aeneas rushes up, and plucks his sword from its scabbard, and, (standing) over (him), (says) this: "Where now (is) fierce Mezentius, and that wild strength of spirit of his?" In reply, the Etruscan (says), as, looking up at the sky, he drank in the heavens and regained his senses: "Bitter foe, why do you taunt (me) and threaten (me) with death? (There is) no wrong in slaying (me), and I did not come to battle (believing it to be) so, nor did my Lausus make such a pact between me and you. This one (thing) I ask, by whatever indulgence there may be for vanquished foes: that you may allow my body to be covered with earth. I know that my people's fierce hatred encompasses (me): protect (me), I beg (you) from their fury, and grant me a share of my son's tomb." Thus he speaks, and knowingly receives the sword in his throat, and pours forth his life upon his armour in streams of blood.
Last modified onSaturday, 07 April 2018 15:46

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