Latin Translation

Latin Translation (66)




St. Mark's Gospel is the shortest and, in terms of structure, the simplest of the three 'Synoptic' Gospels. The view that it was the first of the Synoptics, and that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke made use of Mark's narrative passages which they then supplemented with the sayings of Jesus contained in a supposed independent source, called 'Q', is now considered unduly simplistic. In truth, all three Synoptic Gospels must have had, perhaps, three stages of writing, and the interrelationship between these stages of the three evangelists explains the complexity of the pattern of similarity between the three final versions. So, while the original version of Mark may well have drawn on the primitive Matthaean Gospel, which was probably written in Aramaic, the intermediate form of Mark's Gospel was used by the editors of Matthew and Luke in their canonical forms. Then, the final version of Mark was informed by Mathew and Luke, together, perhaps, with some influence of the writings of Paul. As for the date of Mark's Gospel, it is possible that the first version was written down before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D., but the intermediate and final versions probably occurred after that date, i.e. between 70 and 90 A.D. However, as with all four gospels, its date is a matter of considerable controversy, and, indeed, there is no clear evidence in it of Jerusalem's destruction. The author of Mark's Gospel is effectively unknown. Christian tradition has it that it was John Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, whom together with his colleague Paul, he assisted in their apostolic work, before allegedly acting as Peter's interpreter in Rome. While these traditions are longstanding ones, in reality they are based on very tenuous foundations. 
As I have said above, the structure of Mark's Gospel is the simplest of the three Synoptics. It begins with a short prelude (Ch.1.1-13), which includes the preaching of John the Baptist and the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. Then follows his ministry in his home region of Galilee (Chs. 1.14-7.23); his ministry in regions outside Galilee (Chs. 7.24-10.52); the Jerusalem ministry (Chs. 11.1-13.37), and, finally, the Passion and Resurrection (Chs. 14.1-16.8). This outline of his life and work is probably somewhat artificial and over-simplified: for instance, as is indicated by the Fourth Gospel, it is almost certain that Jesus visited Jerusalem several times in his life before his final, and fatal, visit. Another feature of Mark, in which he differs markedly from the other Synoptics, is the absence of the Christmas stories and, if one assumes that verses 9-20 of Ch.16. were a later addition, of the details of his appearances after his apparent resurrection. To the sceptic, these are the least credible parts of the Gospel stories. Furthermore, Mark is not greatly concerned with the details of Jesus' teaching, and records few of his sayings, such as the Sermon on the Mount. Mark concentrates on his central message: the manifestation of the crucified Jesus, and his saving function.
Mark's Gospel is a pleasure to translate. Although the quality of his Greek is rough, and his grammar is sometimes faulty, his style is fresh and lively. For anyone brought up in the Christian tradition, translating the Gospels inevitably involves one in meeting up with old friends, by which I mean the sayings and parables of Jesus. However, such is one's attachment to the language of the Authorised Version that it is often very difficult to part company with its overpowering phraseology. For instance, in the interests of modernity, I have rendered "Suffer the little children to come unto me," in the Authorised version as "Allow the little children to come to me," but there is no doubt as to which of these two wordings I personally prefer. 
As many will be aware, Mark's Gospel, in company with the other Gospels, and much of the New Testament, contains allusions to the Old Testament (OT), and indeed the extent to which Jesus actually fulfilled OT prophecies and how far his history was rewritten in order to meet expectations of the Messiah is a constant source of argument between believers and sceptics. In the translation below I have put into italics verses where there is a clear allusion to a passage from the OT and have then indicated in brackets what that passage is; where the allusion involves an actual quotation I have also put that into bold type.
Finally, I should draw the reader's attention to the two 'Endings' which I have appended to this translation. Although the 'Longer Ending,' Ch. 16. vv. 9-20, is included in the canonically accepted body of inspired scripture, and hence is included in the Authorised Version, these verses are written in a different style, almost certainly by a different writer, and most modern editions of the Bible now exclude them. They were probably added by a Christian editor who felt that the ending at v. 8 was somewhat abrupt and gave insufficient information about the resurrection of Jesus. The 'Shorter Ending' addresses the problem of the abrupt ending in a different way by emphasising the need to proclaim the Gospel to all nations, something which is rarely emphasised in the Synoptics, and, when it is, is usually the result of subsequent interpolation. 



The proclamation of John the Baptist (vv. 1-8).

1) The beginning of the Gospel (i.e. the Good News) of Jesus Christ. 2) As it has been written in (the book of) the prophet Isaiah, "Behold, I am sending forth my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way (vid. Exodus 23.20; Malachi 3.1) 3) The voice of (one) crying in the wilderness: 'Make ready the way of the Lord! Make his paths straight!' " (vid. Isaiah 40.3) 4) John the Baptiser was in the wilderness, preaching the the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. 5) And all the country of Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him, and were baptised by him in the River Jordan, confessing their sins. 6) Now John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a leather girdle around his loins, and he was eating locusts and wild honey.  7) And he preached, saying, "After me there comes one (who is) stronger than I, (compared) with whom I am not fit to stoop down and untie the laces of his sandals; 8) I baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the holy spirit."

The baptism of Jesus (vv. 9-11).

9) Now it happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptised by John in the Jordan. 10) And, immediately, on coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens parting and the spirit descending on him like a dove; 11) and a voice came down from the heavens, (saying) "You are my beloved son, (and) in you I am well pleased."

Jesus is tempted in the wilderness (vv. 12-13).

12) And immediately the spirit drove him into the wilderness. 13) And he was in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by Satan, and he was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered unto him.

II.   JESUS' GALILEAN MINISTRY (Ch. 1.14 - 7.23).

Jesus begins preaching in Galilee (vv. 14-15).

14) Now, after the arrest of John, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news of God, 15) and saying, "The appointed time has been fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand! Repent and believe in the good news."

The first four disciples are called (vv. 16-20).

16) While passing along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting their nets around in the sea, for they were fishermen. 17) Then Jesus said to them, "Come, follow after me, and I shall make you become fishers of men." 18) And, at once, they gave up their nets and followed him. 19) Then, going on a little further, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, while they were in their boat, mending the nets, 20) and, immediately, he called them. And leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, they went after him.

Jesus teaches in Capernaum, and expels an unclean spirit (vv. 21-28).

21) And they went into Capernaum. And, on the Sabbath, he immediately entered the synagogue and began to preach. 22) And they were astounded at his teaching, for he was teaching them as (one) having authority and not like the scribes. 23) And, at that time, there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, 24) saying, "What (have) we (to do) with you, Jesus, (you) Nazarene? Have you come to destroy us? I know you who you are, the Holy (One) of God!" 25) But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" 26) And the unclean spirit, after convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27) And they were all amazed, so that they began debating among themselves, saying, "What is this? (It is) a new teaching: (for) with authority he even commands the unclean spirits and they obey him." 28) And his reputation at once spread everywhere into all the region around Galilee.

The cure of Simon's mother-in-law (vv. 29-31).

29) And, immediately, they went out of the synagogue, and, together with James and John, they came to the house of Simon and Andrew. 30) Now, Simon's mother-in-law was lying sick with a fever, and at once they told him about her. 31) And coming to (her), and, taking (her) by the hand, he raised her up; and the fever left her, and she began to minister unto them.

Jesus heals many in Capernaum (vv. 32-34).

32) When evening had come and the sun had set, they brought to him all who were sick and those (who were) possessed by demons; 33) and the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34) And he healed many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons, but he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.

Jesus prays in a lonely place, and then travels through Galilee, preaching and expelling demons (vv. 35-39).

35) Then, early in the morning, while it was (still) very dark, he arose and went out, and he departed to a lonely place, and there he prayed. 36) But Simon and those (who were) with him, followed him closely, 37) and they found him and told him: "Everyone is looking for you." 38) Then he said to them, "Let us go elsewhere, into the market-towns, in order that I may preach there also, for (it was) for this (reason that) I went out." 39) And he went throughout the whole of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and expelling demons.

A leper is cured by Jesus (vv. 40-45).

40) There also came to him a leper, entreating him and saying to him on bended knee, "If you want to, you can make me clean. 41) Then, full of compassion, he stretched out his hand and touched (him), and said to him, "I do want to. Be made clean!" 42) And, immediately, the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. 43) And, after giving him strict orders, he sent him away at once, 44) and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing (the things) which Moses prescribed as a testimony to them." 45) But he went out and began to proclaim the story many times and to spread (it) abroad, so that he could no longer enter a city openly, but remained outside in lonely places; and they came to him from everywhere.


The healing of a paralytic (vv. 1-12).

1) Now, when, after some days, he entered Capernaum again, it was heard that he was in a house; 2) and many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even in the (area) near the door, and he began to speak the word to them. 3) And (people) came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four (men). 4) But, being unable to bring him right up to Jesus on account of the crowd, they removed the roof (above) where he was, and, having torn out (an opening), they lowered the mattress on which the paralytic was lying. 5) And, when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven." 6) Now there were certain of the scribes sitting there and considering in their minds, 7) "Why does this (man) speak like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God alone?" 8) But Jesus, as soon as having realised that they were reasoning among themselves in this way, said to them, "Why are you reasoning these (things) in your minds? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Arise and take up your bed and walk'? But in order that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins," he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, 'Arise and take up your bed, and go to your house.' " 12) Then, he arose, and immediately took up his bed and went out in front of all (of them), so that they were all amazed, and they glorified God, saying, "We never saw such a thing as this."

The calling of Levi (vv. 13-14).

13) And he went out again beside the sea; and all the crowd kept coming to him, and he taught them. 14) And, as he passed by, he saw Levi, the (son) of Alphaeus, sitting at the custom-house, and he said to him, "Follow me." And he arose and followed him.

Eating with sinners (vv. 15-17).

15) And it happened that he was reclining (at table) in his house, and many publicans (i.e. tax-collectors) and sinners sat down with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many (of them) and they began to follow him. 16) But the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and publicans, said to his disciples, "Is he (really) eating with these publicans and sinners?" 17) When Jesus heard (this), he said to them, "Those who are healthy have no need for a doctor, but those who are sick (do); I came not to call the righteous but sinners (to repentance)."

A question about fasting (vv. 18-22).

18) Now, John's disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. So, they came and said to him, "Why are John's disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fasting, but your disciples do not fast?" 19) Jesus said to them, "The groomsmen cannot fast, while the bridegroom is with them (can they)? As long as they have the bridegroom with them they cannot fast; 20) but the time will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then, on that day, they will fast. 21) No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on to an old garment; otherwise, the patch takes (the strength) from it, the new (cloth) from the old, and the tear becomes worse. 22) No one puts new wine into old skins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins; but (people put) new wine into fresh skins."

Plucking corn on the Sabbath (vv. 23-28).

23) Now it happened that he was going through the corn fields on the Sabbath (day), and his disciples started plucking the ears of corn as they made their way. 24) And the Pharisees said to him, "Why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" 25) And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did when he had need and was hungry, he and his followers? 26) How he entered into the house of God, when Abiathar (was) high priest, and ate the bread of the presentation, which it is not lawful (for anybody) except the priests to eat, and he also gave (it) to those who were with him?" And he went on to say to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the Son of man is Lord, even of the Sabbath." 


The healing of the man with a withered hand (vv. 1-6).

1) And he entered into the synagogue again, and there there was a man with a withered hand; 2) and they were watching him closely, (to see) whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, in order that they might accuse him. 3) Then, he said to the man with the withered hand, "Arise and (come) into our midst. 4) And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to end (one)?" They, however, were silent. 5) And, after looking around at them with indignation, as he was aggrieved at the hardening of their hearts, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand;" then, he stretched (it) out, and his hand was restored (to health). 6) Then, the Pharisees went out, and, immediately, hatched a plot with the Herodians to destroy him.

The great multitude on the shore (vv. 7-12).

7) But Jesus, with his disciples, withdrew to the sea; and a great multitude from Galilee and from Judea followed (him), 8) even from Jerusalem, and from Idumea, and from across the Jordan, and around Tyre and Sidon. A great multitude, hearing the many things which he was doing, came to him. 9) And he told his disciples that a little boat should stand ready in his service, because of the crowd, in order that they might not press upon him; 10) for he had cured many (people), with the result that all those who had grievous diseases fell upon him, in order that they might touch him. 11) And the unclean spirits, whenever they beheld him, fell down before him and cried out, saying, "You are the Son of God." 12) And he sternly warned them not to make known (who) he (was).

The appointment of the Twelve Apostles (vv. 13-19).

13) And he went up into a mountain, and summoned to himself (those) whom he wanted, and they went to him. 14) And he appointed twelve (men), whom he also named 'apostles', in order that they might be with him, and in order that he might send them out to preach 15) and to have authority to cast out demons; 16) And (of the group of) twelve (whom) he appointed, he laid the name 'Peter' (i.e. the Rock) upon Simon, 17) and (he appointed) James, the (son) of Zebedee and John, the brother of James, and he gave them the name 'Boanerges', which means 'Sons of Thunder', 18) and (he appointed) Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James, the (son) of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus, and Simon the Cananaean (i.e. the Zealot), 19) and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.

Jesus' family are concerned about him (vv. 20-21).

20) And he came into a house; and the crowd gathered again, so that they were not able even to eat bread. 21) But, when his relatives heard about (it), they went out to lay hold of him, for they said that he was out of his mind.

Allegations of the scribes (vv. 22-30).

22) Also, the scribes that came down from Jerusalem said, "He is possessed by Beelzebub, and he is expelling demons by means of the ruler of the demons." 23) So, after calling them to (him), he said to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24) If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand; 25) and, if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand; 26) so, if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, and there is an end (of him). 27) But no one entering into the house of a strong (man) can plunder his property, unless he has bound the strong (man) first, and then he will plunder his house. 28) Assuredly, I say to you that all (things) will be forgiven the sons of men, whatever sins and blasphemies they may have blasphemously committed; 29) but whoever may blaspheme against the Holy Spirit has no forgiveness ever, but is guilty of everlasting sin." 30) (This was) because they were saying ,"He has an unclean spirit."

The true kinsmen of Jesus (vv. 31-35).

31) Now, his mother and his brothers came, and, as they were standing outside, they sent (a message) to him, calling him. 32) And a crowd (of people) were sitting around him, and they said to him, "Behold, your mother and your brothers are outside looking for you!" 33) But, in answer, he said to them, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" And, looking around at those (who were) sitting in a circle around him, he said, "Behold, my mother and my brothers; 35) (for) whoever does the will of God, this (person) is my brother and sister and mother!"


The parable of the sower (vv. 1-9).

1) And again he started to teach beside the sea. And a very great crowd was gathered unto him, so that he got into a boat on the sea, and sat down (in it), and all the crowd were on the land by the sea. 2) And he taught (them) many (things) in parables, and told them in his teaching, 3) "Listen. Behold, the sower went forth to sow. 4) And it happened in (the course of) the sowing that some (seed) fell beside the road, and the birds came and devoured it. 5) And some fell on stony ground, where there was not much earth, and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of soil; 6) and, when the sun rose, it was scorched, and, because it had no root, it withered away. 7) And some fell into the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked it, and it yielded no fruit. 8) But other (seeds) fell into the fine soil and yielded fruit which grew up and increased, and they bore (fruit) thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold. 9) And he added, "(He) who has ears to hear, let him hear!"

Why Jesus spoke in parables (vv. 10-12).

10) Now, when he was alone, those (who were) around him together with the twelve began to ask him about the parables. 11) Then, he said to them, "To you has been given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those (who are) outside all things are done in parables, 12) so that Seeing they may see but not perceive, and hearing they may hear but not understand, lest at any time they should turn back and (their sins) should be forgiven them (cf. Isaiah 6.9-10)."

The parable of the sower explained (vv. 13-20).

13) And he said to them, "You do not know this parable, so how will you understand all the (other) parables? 14) The sower sows the word. 15) These are the ones beside the road where the word is sown, but, as soon as they have heard (it), Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. 16) And likewise these are the ones sown on the stony ground, who, as soon as they have heard the word, receive it with joy; yet they have no root in themselves, but endure only for a while, (and) then, when oppression or persecution arises on account of the word, they are made to stumble at once. 18) And others there are, who are sown among the thorns: these are the ones who have heard the word, 19) but the cares of this world and the snare of riches and the desire for other things enter in and choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. 20) Then, there are those who were sown on the good ground, such as hear the word and welcome (it), and they bear fruit thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold."

The light under a bushel (vv. 21-23).

And he went on to say to them, "A lamp is not brought to be placed under a bushel (i.e. a measuring basket) or under the bed, (is it)? but in order to be put on a lamp-stand, (is it) not? 22) For there is no(thing) hidden except in order that it be exposed, nor has (anything) become carefully concealed but that it should come to light. 23) If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!"

The measure you use (vv. 24-25).

24) And he said to them, "Take heed of what you hear. With what measure you measure, it will be measured unto you, and (more) will be added to you. 25) For (he) who has, (more) shall be given to him; and (he) who has not, even (that) which he has will be taken away from him.

The parable of the seed growing by itself (vv. 26-29).

26) And he said, "The kingdom of God is just as when a man casts seed on the ground, 27) and he sleeps and gets up night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow tall, how he does not know. 28) The earth bears fruit by itself, first the blade of grass, then the ear of corn, then the full grain in the ear. 29) But, as soon as the fruit permits (it), he brings out the sickle, because the harvest-time has come."

The parable of the mustard seed (vv. 30-32).

30) And he went on to say, "In what way are we to liken the kingdom of God, or with what parable shall we illustrate it? 31) (It's) like a grain of mustard, which at the time when it was sown in the ground was the smallest of all the seeds which (are) upon the earth - 32) but, when it has been sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all the (other) herbs, and produces great branches so that all the birds of the air can find lodging under its shadow.

The use of parables (vv. 33-34).

33) So, with many such parables he spoke the word to them, inasmuch as they could hear (it); 34) apart from parables he did not speak to them, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

The calming of the storm (vv. 35-41). 

35) And on that day, when evening had come, he said to them, "Let us go over to the other side." 36) And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them just as he was in the boat, and there were other boats with him. 37) And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves kept dashing into the boat, so that the boat was already swamped. 38) And he himself was in the stern, sleeping on a pillow; and they woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care that we are about to perish? 39) Then, he arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, "Hush! Be quiet!" And the wind abated and there was a great calm. 40) And he said to them, "Why are you afraid? Don't you yet have any faith?" 41) But they felt a great fear, and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"


Jesus meets the Gerasene demoniac (vv. 1-10).

1) And they came to the other side of the sea into the country of the Gerasenes. 2) And, as soon as he got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit (coming) from the memorial tombs met him. 3) He had his dwelling-place among the tombs, and up until that time no one had been able to bind him, even with a chain, 4) because he had often been bound with fetters and chains, but the chains had been torn asunder and the fetters had been smashed by him, and no one had the strength to subdue him; 5) and all night and (all) day he was among the tombs and in the mountains, crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6) And seeing Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed down to him, 7) and, crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What (have) I (to do) with you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God that you do not torment me." 8) For he had been telling it, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit." 9) And he asked him, "What (is) your name?" And he said to him, "My name (is) Legion, because we are many;" 10) And he entreated him many times not to send them out of the country.

The healing of the Gerasene demoniac; the unclean spirits enter a herd of swine (vv. 11-17).

11) Now, a great herd of swine was there feeding on the mountainside; 12) and they entreated him, saying, "Send us to the swine in order that we may enter into them." 13) And he gave them permission. Then, the unclean spirits came out and entered into the swine, and the herd rushed over the precipice into the sea, about two thousand (of them), and they were drowned in the sea. 14) Then, those who were tending them fled, and reported (it) in the city and in the countryside; and (people) came to see what it was that had happened. 15) So, they came to Jesus, and beheld the (man) who was possessed by demons sitting clothed and being of sound mind, he who had had the legion, and they were afraid. 16) And those who had seen (it) described to them how it had happened to the (man) who was possessed by demons, and about the swine. 17) And they started to entreat him to depart from their district.

Jesus' fame spreads across the Decapolis (vv. 18-20).

18) Now, as he was getting into the boat, the (man) who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19) He did not allow him (to do that), but said to him, "Go to your home (and) to your relatives and tell them all the things which the Lord has done for you, and the mercy he showed you." 20) And he departed and began to proclaim in the Decapolis all the things which Jesus had done for him, and everyone marvelled.

Jaïrus' daughter (vv. 21-24).

21) Now, after Jesus had crossed back again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd came together around him, and he was beside the sea. 22) Then, one of the presidents of the synagogue, Jaïrus by name, came and, seeing him, fell at his feet, 23) and entreated him many times, saying, "My little daughter is on the point of death. Would you please come and lay your hands upon her, so that she may be saved and live." 24) So, he went with him. And a great crowd was following him and together were pressing upon him.

Cure of the woman with a haemorrhage (vv. 25-34).

25) Now, there was a certain woman who had been subject to a flow of blood (i.e. a haemorrhage) for twelve years, 26) and who had suffered many things at the hands of many physicians and had spent all her resources and had not benefited in any way, but rather had got into a worse (state). 27) When she heard the (reports) about Jesus, she came right up behind (him) in the crowd and touched his cloak; 28) for she said, "If I can just touch his clothes, I shall be restored to health. 29) And at once the flow of her blood was dried up, and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30) And, immediately, Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power had gone out of him, turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothing?" 31) And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in upon you, and (still) you say, "Who touched me?" 32) And he was looking around to see the (woman) who had done this. 33) But the woman, frightened and trembling, (but) knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him and told him the complete truth. 34) And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you whole; go in peace, and be cured of your disease."

Jaïrus' daughter raised to life (vv. 35-43). 

35) While he was still speaking, (some men) came from the synagogue president's house, saying, "Your daughter is dead; why bother the teacher any longer?" 36) But Jesus, overhearing the message being spoken, said to the president of the synagogue, "Fear not, only have faith!" 37) And he allowed no one to follow along with him except Peter and James and John, the brother of James. 38) So, they came to the synagogue president's house, and he beheld the noisy confusion and (people) weeping and wailing greatly, 39) and, when he had gone in, he said to them, "Why are you making such a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but is sleeping." 40) And they began to laugh scornfully at him. But he, having expelled (them) all, took along the child's father and mother  and his companions, and went in to where the child was; 41) Then, taking the hand of the child, he said to her, "Talitha cumi," which, when translated, means, "Young lady, to you I say 'Get up!' " 42) And at once the little girl arose and began to walk up and down, for she was twelve years (old). And immediately they were beside themselves with great ecstasy. 43) And he enjoined them strictly that no one should know of this, and he told (them) that (something) should be given to her to eat.


The rejection of Jesus at Nazareth (vv. 1-6).

1) And he went out from there and came into his native country, and his disciples followed him. 2) When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many of those hearing (him) were amazed, saying, "From where did this (man) get these (ideas), and why has this wisdom and such powerful works come about through his hands? 3) Isn't this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and his sisters are here with us, are they not? And they took offence at him. 4) And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honour, except in his own country and among his own relatives and in his own house. 5) And he could not do any powerful work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick (people) and cured (them); 6) and he marvelled at their lack of faith.

And he went about the villages in a circle teaching.

The mission of the Twelve (vv. 7-13).

7) And he summoned the Twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and he gave them authority over the unclean spirits, 8) and he instructed them to carry nothing on the journey except a staff only, no bread, no knapsack, no copper in their belts, 9) but to put on sandals, and not to wear two tunics. 10) He also said to them, "Wherever you enter into a home, stay there until you depart from that place. 11) And whatever place does not receive you or hear you, when you depart from there, shake off the dirt (that is) under your feet as a testimony against them." 12) And they went out and preached in order that (people) might repent, 13) and they expelled many demons and anointed with oil many who were sick , and healed (them).

Herod and Jesus (vv. 14-16).

14) Now, King Herod heard about (him), for his name had become well-known, and (people) were saying, "John the Baptiser has been raised from the dead, and for this (reason) these powers are at work in him;" 15) others were saying, "It is Elijah;" still others were saying that it was a prophet, like one of the prophets. 16) But, when Herod heard (it), he said, "The John whom I beheaded, he has been raised up."

The arrest of John the Baptist (vv. 17-20).

17) For Herod himself had sent out (men) to arrest John, and had bound him in prison, for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because he had married her. 18) For John had said to Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." 19) And Herodias was nursing a grudge against him, and was wanting to kill him, but could not (do so). 20) For Herod was afraid of John, knowing him (to be) a righteous and a holy man, and was keeping him safe; and, after hearing him, he was greatly at a loss, but continued to hear him gladly.

John the Baptist is beheaded (vv. 21-29).

21) But a convenient day came along, when Herod made a dinner on his birthday for his top-ranking men and his military commanders and the chief men of Galilee, 22) and, when the daughter of Herodias (i.e. Salome) came in there and danced, she gave pleasure to Herod and those reclining with (him). And the king said to the young lady, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give (it) to you; 23) and he swore to her, "Whatever you might ask me for, I will give (it) to you, even up to half of my kingdom." 24) Then, she went out and said to her mother, "What shall I ask for?" And she said, "The head of John the Baptiser." 25) And she went in immediately to the king in haste and made her request, saying, "I want you to give me right away the head of John the Baptist on a platter." 26) Although he was deeply grieved, the king did not wish to refuse her, on account of his oaths and those reclining (at his table); 27) so, the king immediately dispatched an executioner and commanded (him) to bring his head. And he went off and beheaded him in the prison, 28) and brought his head on a platter and gave it to the girl, and the girl gave it to her mother. 29) And, when his disciples heard (this), they came and took up his body and laid it in a tomb.

Jesus sends the apostles to a deserted place to rest (vv. 30-34).

30) And the apostles came to Jesus together, and reported to him everything that they had done and that they had taught. 31) And he said to them, "You yourselves go by yourselves to some deserted spot and rest up for a while." For there were many coming and going, and they did not have the opportunity to eat. 32) Then, they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted spot. 33) But (people) saw them going and many got to know (about it), and ran there on foot from every city and got ahead of them. 34) And, when he got out, he saw a great crowd (of people), and he was moved with compassion for them because they were like sheep that did not have a shepherd, and he began to teach them many (things). 

The feeding of the five thousand (vv. 35-44).

35) And, when the hour was already growing late, his disciples came to him and said, "This place is isolated, and the hour (is) already late; 36) Send them away, in order that they may go off into the neighbouring countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." 37) But he said to them in answer, "You give them (something) to eat." And they said to him, "Shall we go and buy loaves (worth) two hundred denarii and give them (something) to eat?" 38) He said to them, "How many loaves do you have? Go (and) see!" And, when they knew, they said, "Five, and two fishes." 39) And he instructed them that they should all sit down in groups on the green grass. 40) And they sat down in groups of a hundred and of fifty. 41) Then, he took the five loaves and the two fishes, and, looking up to heaven, he blessed, and then broke, the loaves, and gave (them) to his disciples to set before them, and he divided the two fishes among (them) all. 42) And they all ate and were satisfied. 43) And they took up fragments that filled twelve baskets aside from the fishes. 44) And those who ate the loaves were five thousand.

Walking on the water (vv. 45-52).

45) And he compelled his disciples to board the boat at once and go on ahead to the other side near Bethsaida, while he himself dismissed the crowd. 46) And, after he had taken leave of them, he went up into the mountain to pray. 47) And, after evening had come, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and he (was) alone on the land. 48) And, seeing them hard-pressed in their rowing, for the wind was (blowing) against them, about the fourth watch of the night he came to them walking on the sea; and he was ready to go past them. 49) But they, when they saw him walking on the sea, thought that it was a ghost and cried out, 50) for they all saw him and were troubled. But he immediately spoke with them, and said to them, "Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!" 51) And he got into the boat with them, and the wind abated. And they were very much amazed among themselves, 52) for they had not understood (the meaning) of the loaves, but their minds were closed.
The healing of the sick at Gennesaret (vv. 53-56).

53) And having got across to the land, they came into Gennesaret and came to anchor nearby. 54) And, when they got out of the boat, (people) recognised him at once, 55) and ran around that whole region, and began to carry about those who were sick on their mattresses to where they heard that he was. 56) And wherever he went into villages or into cities or into the countryside, they would lay the sick in the market places, and would entreat him that they might touch the hem of his garment; and whoever touched him was healed.


The traditions of the Elders exposed (vv. 1-13).

1) Now, the Pharisees and some of the scribes, having come from Jerusalem, gathered around him, 2) and saw that some of his disciples were eating their bread with defiled hands, that is unwashed (ones). -- 3) for the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat, unless they wash their hands up to their elbows, holding fast to the tradition of the Elders, 4) and, (when returning) from the market-place, they do not eat unless they have cleansed themselves, and there are many other (observances) which they have had handed down (to them) to keep, (such as) the washing of cups, and pitchers, and copper vessels. -- 5) And the Pharisees inquired of him, "Why do your disciples not conduct themselves in accordance with the tradition of the Elders, but eat their bread with unclean hands." 6) But he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, when he wrote, 'This people honours me with their lips, but their heart is far removed from me; 7) and they worship me to no avail, because they teach (as) doctrines the commandments of men.' (vid. Isaiah 29) 13) 8) (For) setting aside the commandment of God, you hold fast to the tradition of men." 9) Then, he went on to say to them, "Full well do you reject the commandment of God, in order to observe your tradition; 10) for Moses said, 'Honour your father and your mother,' (vid. Exodus 20.12; Deuteronomy 5.16) and 'Let him who reviles his father or his mother be put to death;' (vid. Exodus 21.16) 11) but you say, 'If a man says to his father or his mother, "Whatever benefit you may get from me (is) Corban, that is a Gift (dedicated to God)," '12) (and then) you no longer allow him to do anything for his father or his mother, 13) (thus) invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you handed down; and many such (things) closely resembling (this) you do."

Defilement comes from the heart (vv. 14-23).

14) Then, calling the crowd to (him) again, he said to them, "Listen to me and understand! 15) There is nothing from outside of a man, which, if it passes into him, can defile him; but the things which proceed out of a man are the things which defile a man." 16) --

17) Now, when he had entered a house away from the crowd, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18) So he said to them, "Are you also without perception like (them)? Aren't you aware that nothing that passes into a man from outside can defile him, 19) because it does not go into  his heart, but into his belly, and then it passes out into the latrine, (thus) making all foods clean?" 20) However, he said, "That which comes out of a man, that (is what) defiles a man; 21) for from within, out of the minds of men, evil thoughts proceed: fornications, thefts, murders, 22) adulteries, covetings, wicked acts, deceit, wantonness, an evil eye, blasphemies, pride (and) folly; 23) all these evil things come from within, and (they are the things which) defile a man."


The faith of the Syro-Phoenician woman (vv. 24-30).

24) From there he arose and went into the territories of Tyre and Sidon. And he entered a house, and did not want anyone to know, yet he could not escape notice; 25) but, as soon as a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him, she came and fell down at his feet; 26) the woman was Greek, a Syro-Phoenician by birth; and she begged him to expel the demon from her daughter. 27) But he said to her, "First let the children be satisfied, for it is not right to take the children's bread and throw (it) to the dogs." 28) But she answered and said to him, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs under the table eat from the little children's crumbs." 29) Then, he said to her, "Because of this saying (of yours), go your way! The demon has gone out of your daughter." 30) And she went away to her house and found the little child lying on her bed, and the demon gone.

The healing of the deaf man (vv. 31-37).

31) And again he departed from the territories of Tyre and came through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee through the midst of the regions of Decapolis. 32) And they brought him (a man who was) deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his fingers on him. 33) And, taking him away from the crowd privately, he thrust his fingers into his ears, and, after spitting, he touched his tongue, 34) and, looking up to heaven, he sighed deeply, and said to him, "Ephphatha!" that is, "Be opened!" 35) And his hearing powers were opened, and the impediment of his tongue was loosened, and he spoke normally. 36) Then, he gave them orders to tell no one; but the more he commanded them, so much the more widely they proclaimed (it). 37) Now, they were astonished beyond all measure, saying, "He has done all (things) well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."


The feeding of the four thousand (vv. 1-9).

1) In those days, when there was again a large crowd and they had nothing to eat, he summoned the disciples and said to them, "I am feeling compassion for the crowd, because they have already remained near me for three days and have nothing to eat; and, if I should send them off to their home, they will pass out on the way; and some of them have come from afar." 4) And his disciples answered him, "How can anyone feed these (people) with bread here in such a deserted spot?" 5) Then, he asked them, "How many loaves do you have?" And they said, "Seven." 6) Then, he commanded he crowd to sit down on the ground; and, taking the seven loaves, he gave thanks, and broke (them) and gave (them) to his disciples to serve, and they served (them) to the crowd. 7) And they had a few small fishes also; and he blessed them, and told (them) to serve these too. 8) So, they ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets of fragments that were left over. 9) And there were around four thousand (people). Then, he sent them away.

The Pharisees demand a sign (vv. 10-13).

10) Immediately, he boarded the boat with his disciples, and came to the region of Dalmanutha. 11) Then, the Pharisees came out and began to dispute with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven and putting him to the test. 12) So, sighing deeply in his spirit, he said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Most assuredly I say, no sign shall be given to this generation." 13) Then, he left them, and embarking once more, he went off to the other side.

The leaven of the Pharisees and of Herod (vv. 14-21).

14) And they forgot to take any bread, and they had no(thing) with them in the boat except one loaf. 15) And he gave them express orders, saying, "Keep your eyes open, (and) look for the leaven (i.e. yeast) of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod." 16) And they were arguing with one another, because they had no bread. 17) Noting (this), he said to them, "Why are you arguing because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive, or understand? Do you (still) have closed minds? 18) Though you have eyes, you do not see, (do you)? Though you have ears, you do not hear, (do you)? And don't you remember, 19) when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand (men), how many baskets full of fragments you took up?" They told him, "Twelve." 20) "When (I broke) seven (loaves) for the four thousand (men), how many hampers full of fragments did you take up?" And they told him, "Seven." 21) And he said to them, "You still don't understand, (do you)?"

The healing of a blind man at Bethsaida (vv. 22-26).

22) Now they came to Bethsaida, and they brought him a blind (man) and begged him to touch him. 23) And they took him by the hand and brought him out of the village, and, spitting upon his eyes, he laid his hands upon him and asked him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see (them), like trees, walking about." 25) Then again he laid his hands on his eyes, and he saw clearly, and he was restored and was able to see everything distinctly. 26) Then, he sent him off to his home, saying, "Don't go into the village!"

Peter's profession of faith (vv. 27-30). 

27) Now, Jesus and his disciples went out into the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he began to ask his disciples, saying to them, "Whom do men say that I am?" 28) Then, they told him, saying, "John the Baptist, and others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets." 29) So, he asked them, "But whom do you say that I am?" In reply, Peter said to him, "You are the Christ." 30) Then, he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

Jesus' death foretold (vv. 31-33).

31) And he began to teach them that the Son of man must undergo much suffering, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and rise again after three days. 32) He spoke the message openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33) But he, turning around and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan, for you have in mind not the things of God but the things of men."

The cost of true discipleship (vv. 34-38, Ch. 9. v.1).

34) And he summoned the crowd together with his disciples, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake and (for the sake) of the Gospel will save it. 36) For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? 37) For what (thing) will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38) For whoever should be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of man will also be ashamed of him, when he comes with the holy angels in the glory of his Father."


1) And he went on to say to them, "Truly I tell you that there are some of those standing here who will not taste death at all until they see the kingdom of God having come in power."

The Transfiguration of Jesus (vv. 2-8).

2) And after six days, Jesus took along (with him) Peter and James and John, and he brought them on to a high mountain privately by themselves. And he was transfigured in front of them, 3) and his clothing became glistening white, exceedingly so, such as no launderer on earth could whiten (them). 4) Then, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, and they were talking with Jesus. 5) And, in answer, Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; so let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." 6) In fact, he did not know how he should reply, for they had become afraid. 7) And a cloud came, casting its shadow upon them, and a voice came out of the cloud, (saying), "This is my beloved son, listen to him!" 8) Then, suddenly, when they looked around, they saw no one with them any longer, except Jesus only.

The question of Elijah (vv. 9-13).

9) And, as they were coming down from the mountain, he gave them strict orders that they should tell no one what (things) they had seen, until after the Son of man had risen from the dead. 10) They kept this instruction, but debated among themselves what the rising from the dead should mean. 11) And they began to question him, saying, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?" 12) Then, he said to them, "Indeed, Elijah does come first, and restores everything, but how is it written about the Son of man that he should undergo much suffering and be treated with contempt? 13) But I tell you that Elijah has, in fact, come, and they did to him all that they wanted (to do), according as it is written about him."

The healing of a boy with an unclean spirit (vv. 14-29).

14) Now, when they came to the (other) disciples, they saw a large crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15) But as soon as the whole crowd saw him, they were utterly amazed and ran to (him) and greeted him. 16) And he asked them, "Why are you arguing with them?" 17) Then, one of the crowd answered him, "Teacher, I brought my son to you, as he has a mute spirit; 18) and, whenever it seizes him, it dashes him to the ground, and he foams (at the mouth) and gnashes his teeth, and he becomes paralysed; and I told your disciples to expel it, but they were unable (to do so)." 19) In reply, he said to them, "O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to me !" 20) And they brought him to him. And, when he saw him, the spirit immediately convulsed him, and, falling on the ground, he rolled around, foaming (at the mouth). 21) And he asked his father, "How long is it that this has been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 22) And many times it has cast him both into fire and into water, in order to destroy him; but, if you can (do) anything, have compassion on us and help us."  23) Then, Jesus said to him, "That (expression), 'If you can,' (why) all (things) are possible to one who believes." 24) Immediately, the father cried out and said, "I believe, help (me) in my unbelief."

25) When Jesus saw that a crowd was running together towards (him), he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "(You) dumb and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter into him no more. 26) Then, after crying out and convulsing greatly, it came out of (him), and he became as though (he were) dead, so that most of them said that he had died. 27) But Jesus took hold of his hand and raised him up, and he arose. 28) And, when he had come into the house, the disciples asked him privately, "Why couldn't we have expelled it?" 29) Then, he said to them, "This kind (of spirit) can come out by no means other than through prayer."

Jesus again foretells his death and resurrection (vv. 30-32).

30) They departed from there, and proceeded through Galilee, but he did not want that anyone should know (that); 31) for he was teaching his disciples and saying to them, "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and, when he has been killed, he will rise again after three days." 32) But they did not know the saying, and were afraid to question him.

The disciples argue over who is the greatest (vv. 33-37).

33) And they came to Capernaum. And, when he was in the house, he asked them, "Why were you arguing on the road?" 34) But they kept silent, for they had been arguing among themselves on the way (about) who (was) the greater. 35) So, he sat down and called the Twelve, and said to them, "If any (man) wants to be first, he shall be last of all, and servant of all." 36) Then, he took a little child and set him in the midst of them, and, taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37) "Whoever receives one of these little children in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, does not receive me, but the (one) who sent me."

Anyone not against us is for us (vv. 38-41).

38) John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not accompanying us." 39) But Jesus said, "Do not prevent him, for there is no one who will do  a mighty work in my name who will be quickly able to speak ill of me. 40) For (he) who is not against us is for us.

Generosity shown to Christ's disciples (v. 41).

41) For whoever gives you a cup of water in my name because you are Christ's, most assuredly I tell you that he will by no means lose his reward.

Temptations to sin (vv. 42-48).

42) But whoever will cause one of these little (ones) who believe (in me) to stumble, it would be better for him, if a millstone worked by a donkey were hung around his neck, and he were flung into the sea.

43) And, if your hand should cause you to stumble, cut it off; it is better that you go into life maimed than you go with two hands into Gehenna, into the inextinguishable fire. 44) -- 45) And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better that you go into life lame than that with two feet you are pitched into Gehenna. 46) -- 47) And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out; it is better that you go the kingdom of God one-eyed than that with two eyes you are cast into Gehenna, 48) where 'their maggot shall not die nor shall their fire be quenched.' (vid. Isaiah 66.24)

Have salt in yourselves (vv. 49-50).

49) For everyone will be salted with fire. 50) Salt (is) fine; but, if the salt has become flavourless, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.


Jesus' teaching about marriage and divorce (vv. 1-12).

1) Then, he arose from there and went into the territory of Judea and across the Jordan. 2) Now, Pharisees came to (him), and, in order to test him, asked him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife. 3) And, in answer, he said to them, "What did Moses command you?" 4) And they said, "Moses permitted a certificate of abandonment to be written, and (then) a divorce." (vid. Deuteronomy 24.3) 5) But Jesus said to them, "He wrote you this commandment out of regard for your hardheartedness; 6) but from the beginning of creation he made them male and female (vid. Genesis 1.27); 7) on this account a man will leave his father and mother [and will be joined to his wife], 8) and the two will become one flesh, (vid. Genesis 2.24), so that they are no longer two but one flesh; 9) Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man put asunder!" 10) And (when they were) in the house, the disciples asked him again about this (matter). 11) And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12) and, if a woman divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery.

Jesus blesses the little children (vv. 13-16).

13) And (people) were bringing him little children, so that he might touch them, but the disciples reprimanded them. 14) Seeing this, Jesus became angry and said to them, "Allow the little children to come to me! Do not stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15) Truly I say to you, whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child, will by no means enter it." 16) And he took them in his arms and blessed (them), laying his hands upon them.

The rich young man (vv. 17-22).

17) And, as he was going out into the way, one (man) ran up to him, and, falling on his knees, asked him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18) Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one (is) good, save one, (namely) God. 19) You know the commandments: 'Do not murder,' 'Do not commit adultery,' 'Do not steal,' 'Do not bear false witness' (vid. Exodus 20.13-16; Deuteronomy 5.17-20), 'Do not defraud' (vid. Deuteronomy 24.14), 'Honour your father and mother' (vid. Exodus 20.12; Deuteronomy 5.16)." 20) And he said, "Teacher, I have observed all these (things) from my youth." 21) As he looked at him, Jesus felt love for him, and said to him, "One (thing) you lack: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me!" 22) But he looked shocked at this remark, and went off grieving, for he was in possession of much property.

The danger of riches (vv. 23-31).

23) And, looking around, Jesus said to his disciples, "How difficult it will be for those with money to enter the kingdom of God!" 24) And the disciples were amazed at his words. But, in response, Jesus again said to them, "Children, how hard it is [for those who trust in riches] to enter the kingdom of God! 25) It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich (man) to enter the kingdom of God." 26) And they were exceedingly astonished and said to him, "Who, then, can be saved?" 27) Looking straight at them, Jesus said, "With men (it is) impossible, but not with God, for with God all (things are) possible (vid. Job 42.2)." 28) Peter began to say to him, "Look, we have left everything and have followed you." 29) Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left this house, or brother, or sister. or mother, or father, or children, or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, but he will receive a hundred times more now at this time, houses, and, brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and fields with persecutions, and in the age to come life everlasting. 31) But many (who are) first will be last, and the last first."

Jesus foretells his death for the third time (vv. 32-34).

32) Now, they were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them, and they were astonished, and those who followed (him) were afraid. And again he took the Twelve aside, and began to tell them the things which were going to befall him, (saying), "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will sentence him to death and then deliver him to the Gentiles, 34) and they will mock him, and spit on him, and scourge him, and put (him) to death, and, after three days, he will be brought back to life."

The sons of Zebedee make their request (vv. 35-40).

35) And James and John, the two sons of Zebedee, came up to him, and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we shall ask of you." 36) Then, he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" 37) And they said to him, "Grant us that we may sit, one at your right (hand), and one at your left (hand), in your glory. 38) But Jesus said to them, "You don't know what you are asking; are you able to drink the cup which I am drinking, or to be baptised (with) the baptism (with) which I am being baptised?" 39) They said to him, "We are able." Then, Jesus said to them, "The cup which I am drinking you will drink, and (with) the baptism (with) which I am being baptised, you will be baptised. 40) But the seats at my right (hand) or at my left, are not for me to give, but (they belong to those) for whom they have been made ready."

The sacrifice of service (vv. 41-45).

41) When the (other) ten disciples heard (about their request), they began to get angry with James and John. 42) But Jesus called them to (him) and said to them, "You know that those who appear to rule the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great (ones) wield authority over them. 43) It is not so among you; but whoever wants to be great among you shall be your servant, 44) and whoever wants to be first among you shall be slave to all; 45) For even the Son of man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life (as) a ransom for all."

The healing of blind Bartimaeus (vv. 46-52).

46) And they came to Jericho. But, as he was leaving Jericho, together with his disciples and a considerable crowd, Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting beside the road. 47) When he heard that it was Jesus the Nazarene, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me!" 48) Then, many (people) told him sternly that he should be quiet; but he kept on crying out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" 49) So Jesus stopped, and said, "Call him!" And they called the blind (man), saying to him, "Take courage, get up, he is calling you!" 50) Then, casting off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. 51) And, answering him, Jesus said, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind (man) said to him, "That I may recover my sight." 52) Then, Jesus said to him, "Go your way, your faith has made you well." And immediately he regained his sight, and began to follow him on the road.

IV.  THE JERUSALEM MINISTRY (Ch. 11.1 - 13.37).


The colt of an ass is discovered (vv. 1-6).

1) Now, when they draw near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, he sends two of his disciples, 2) and says to them, "Go into the village which (is) opposite to you, and, as soon as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no man has yet sat; untie it and bring (it to me). 3) And, if anyone should say to you, 'Why are you doing this,' say, 'The Lord has need of it,' and at once he will send it back here." 4) So, they went off and found a colt tied up at a door outside on the street, and they untie it. 5) But some of those standing there said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" 6) Then, they said to them just as Jesus had said; and they let them go.

Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (vv. 7-11).

7) Then, they bring the colt to Jesus, and throw their garments upon it, and he sat on it. 8) And many (people) spread their garments on the road, and others (were) cutting branches from the fields. 9) And those who went in front and those who were following cried out, "Hosanna! Blessed (is) he who comes in the name of the Lord! (vid. Psalms 118.25-26) Blessed (is) the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna (vid. Psalms 118.25) in the highest!" And he entered the temple in Jerusalem; he looked around at everything, and, as the hour was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

The barren fig-tree is cursed (vv. 12-14).

12) Then, on the next day, when they had come out from Bethany with the Twelve. Then, on the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, he felt hungry. 13) And, seeing from afar off a fig-tree that had leaves, he went (to see) if he could perhaps find something on it, but, when he came to it, he found nothing except leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14) So, in response, he said to it, "May no one ever eat fruit from you any longer." And his disciples heard (it).

The expulsion of the money-changers from the Temple (vv. 15-18).

15) Now they came to Jerusalem. Then, having entered the temple, he began to expel those selling and those buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold the doves. 16) And he would not allow anyone to carry a vessel through the temple, 17) and he kept teaching and saying, "Is it not written, 'My house will be called a house of prayer for all the nations' (vid. Isaiah 56.7)? But you have made it a den of robbers (vid. Jeremiah 7.11)." 18) And the chief priests and the scribes heard (it), and began to seek how they might destroy him; for they were afraid of him, for all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.

Lesson from the withered fig-tree (vv. 19-26).

19) And, whenever it was getting late, they would go out of the city. 20) And, as they passed by early in the morning, they saw the fig-tree withered from the roots. 21) And Peter, remembering (it), says to him, "Rabbi, look! the fig-tree that you cursed has withered away." And, in reply, Jesus says to them, "Have faith in God; 23) Truly I say to you that whoever may tell this mountain, 'Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart that what he says will happen, he will have (it so). 24) Therefore, I tell you, everything that you pray and ask for, believe that you received them, and you will have (them). 25) And, whenever you stand to pray, forgive whatever you have against anyone, so that your Father, who (is) in heaven, may forgive you your trespasses." 26) --

The authority of Jesus is questioned (vv. 27-33). 

27) And again they come into Jerusalem. And as Jesus is walking about in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders come to him, 28) and they said to him, "By what authority do you do these (things)? Or who gave you such authority to do these (things)." 29) Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one question, and, should you answer me, I shall also tell you by what authority I do these (things). 30) The baptism of John, was it from heaven or from men? Answer me!" 31) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, "If we should say, 'From heaven,' he will say, 'Why, then, did you not believe him?' 32) But dare we say, 'From men' ?"   - they feared the crowd, for they all held that John had really been a prophet. 33) So, in reply to Jesus' (question), they say, "We do not know." Then Jesus says to them, "Neither am I telling you by what authority I do these (things)."


The parable of the vineyard and the wicked tenants (vv. 1-12).

1) And he began to speak to them in parables: "A man planted a vineyard, and put a fence around (it), and dug a trough for the wine-press, and built a tower, and he rented it out to tenant farmers and went abroad. 2) Now, at the appointed time, he sent a slave to the farmers to get from the farmers (his share) of the fruits of the vineyard; 3) but they took him and beat (him) and sent (him) away empty-handed. 4) And again he sent another slave to them; and they struck him on the head and insulted (him). 5) And he sent another, and they killed (him), and many others, some of whom they thrashed and others of whom they put to death. 6) He still had one, his beloved son; he sent him to them last, saying, 'They will respect my son.' 7) But those farmers said to one another, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him and the inheritance will be ours.' 8) Then, they took him and killed him, and threw (him) out of the vineyard. 9) What will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the farmers, and will give the vineyard to others. 10) Haven't you ever read this (passage of) scripture, 'The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief corner(-stone); 11) this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes'."

12) So, they began seeking (how) to seize him, but they feared the crowd, for they knew that he spoke the parable with them in mind. So, they left him and went away.

Giving Caesar his due (vv. 13-17).

13) And they sent to him some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians in order to entrap him with words. 14) And, on their arrival, they say to him, "Teacher, we know that you are truthful and (that) no one is of particular importance to you, for you do not look upon men's outward appearance, but you teach the way of God in line with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not? 15) Should we pay, or should we not pay?" But he, being aware of their hypocrisy, said to them, "Why are you testing me? Bring me a denarius, so I may see (it)." 16) So, they brought (one). Then, he says to them, "Whose is this image and inscription?" And they said to him, "Caesar's." 17) Jesus said, "Give back to Caesar the (things that are) Caesar's, and to God the (things that are) God's." And they marvelled at him.

A question about the resurrection of the dead (vv. 18-27).

18) Now  there come to him some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, and they questioned him, saying, 19) "Teacher, Moses wrote to us that, if any man's brother should die and leave a wife behind (him) but leave no child, that his brother should take his wife and raise up offspring for his brother (vid. Genesis 38.8; Deuteronomy 25.5). 20) There were seven brothers; and the first took a wife, but, when he died, he left no offspring; 21) then the second took her and died, leaving no offspring behind (him), and the third likewise; 22) and the seven left no children; last of all the woman died also. 23) In the resurrection, among them whose wife will she be?" For (all) seven had her (as) wife. 24) Jesus said to them, "Do you not err for this (reason), because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God? 25) For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are they given in marriage, but they are like angels in heaven. 26) But about the dead, that they are raised, did you not read in the book of Moses, (in the passage) about the thornbush, how God spoke to him, saying, 'I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob' (vid. Exodus 3.6,15,16). 27) He is God, not of the dead but of the living; you are much mistaken."

The two great commandments (vv. 28-34).

28) Now, one of the scribes who had come forward and heard them disputing, knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is first of all?" 29) Jesus replied, "The first is 'Hear, (O) Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, 30) and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength' (vid. Deuteronomy 6.4-5). (31) The second (is) this, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself ' (vid. Leviticus 19.18) There is no other commandment greater than these." 32) The scribe said to him, "In truth, teacher, you have spoken well, (to say) that he is one (vid. Deuteronomy 6.4) and (that) there is no other save him (vid. Deuteronomy 4.35; Isaiah 45.21), 33) and (that) to love him with all one's heart, and with all one's understanding, and with all one's strength, and to love one's neighbour as oneself  (vid. Deuteronomy 6.5; Joshua 22.5) is (worth) much more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices (one can think of)." 34) Then, Jesus, realising that he had answered with understanding, said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." But no one dared to question him any more.

Is Christ the son of David? (vv. 35-37).

35) However, by way of a reply, Jesus said, as he was teaching in the temple, "How (is it that) the scribes say that the Christ is the son of David? 36) David, himself, under (the influence of) the Holy Spirit, said, 'The Lord said to my lord, "Sit at my right (hand), until I put your enemies beneath your feet" ' (vid. Psalms 110.1). 37) David, himself, calls him 'Lord', so how can he be his son?"

The denouncing of the scribes (vv. 37-40).
And the large crowd heard him with pleasure. 38) In his teaching, he said to them, "Beware the scribes who like to walk around in robes and (receive) greetings in the market-places, 39) and the front-row seats in the synagogues and the most prominent places at feasts. 40) (They are) the ones who consume the homes of widows, and make long prayers as a pretext;  they will receive a heavier judgment."

The widow's mite (vv. 41-44).

41) And he sat down facing the contribution box, and saw how the multitude cast money into the box; and many (who were) rich threw in many (coins); 42) now, a poor widow came and threw in two small copper coins, which make up a penny. 43) And he summoned his disciples and said to them, "Truly I tell you that this poor widow threw in more than all of those dropping (money) into the contribution box; 43) for they all dropped (money) in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, dropped in all that she had, the whole of her livelihood."


The destruction of the Temple foretold (vv. 1-2). 

1) And, as he is going out of the temple, one of his disciples says to him, "Teacher, see what great stones and what great buildings (there are here)." 2) but Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? (There will) not (be one) stone left here upon (another) stone, which will not be thrown down."

The beginning of sorrows (vv. 3-13).

3) Then, as he was sitting on the Mount of Olives overlooking the Temple, Peter, and James, and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4) "Tell us when will these (things) be, and what (will be) the sign when all these (things) are about to be fulfilled?" 5) Jesus started to say to them, "See that no one leads you astray. 6) (For) many will come, making use of my name, saying, 'I am (he)', and they will lead many astray. 7) When you hear of wars and reports of wars, do not be disturbed; (for these) must happen, but the end (is) not yet. 8) For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom (vid. Isaiah 19.2), there will be earthquakes in various places, (and) there will be famines; these (things are) the beginning of great distress.

9) "But look out for yourselves; (for) they will deliver you up to councils and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will be made to stand before governors and kings for my sake as a witness to them. 10) And the gospel must first be preached to all the nations. 11) And, when they lead you off and deliver (you) up, do not be concerned about what you will say, but whatever will be given to you at that hour, say this, for you are not the (ones) speaking, but the Holy Spirit (is). 12) Then brother will deliver up brother to death, and father his child, and children will rise up against parents (vid. Micah 7.6) and have them put to death; 13) And you will be hated by all (men) on account of my name. But he who endures to the end, the same will be saved.

The great tribulation (vv. 14-23).

14) "But when you see the abomination of desolation (vid. Daniel 9.27, 11.31, 12.11; I Maccabees 1.54) standing where it ought not - let the reader be mindful - then let those in Judea flee to the mountains, 15) do not let the (man who is) on the roof (of the house) come down, nor let him go inside to take anything out of his house, 16) and do not let the (man who is) in the field return to the (things he has left) behind to pick up his cloak. 17) And woe to those (women) who are with child, and to those who are suckling (a baby) in those days. 18) And pray that it (i.e. their flight) may not happen in the winter; 19) for those days will (see) an affliction of a kind such as has not occurred from the beginning of the creation, which God created, until the present (vid. Daniel 12.1), and it will never happen (again). 20) In fact, if the Lord had not shortened the days, no flesh would have been saved at all; but, on account of the elect, whom he chose, he did cut short the days.

21) "Then, if anyone tells you, 'Look, here (is) the Christ, see, there (he is),' do not believe (it); 22) For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will give signs and wonders (vid. Deuteronomy 13.1-3) in order to lead astray, if possible, (even) the chosen (ones). 23) But you watch out! (For) I have foretold all (things) to you.

The coming of the Son of man (vv. 24-27).

24) But in those days, after that affliction, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25) and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers which (are) in the heavens will be made to shake (vid. Isaiah 13.10; Ezekiel 32.7-8; Joel 2.10, 2.31, 3.15). 26) Then, they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory (vid. Daniel 7.13-14); 27) and then he will send out his angels and will gather together his chosen (ones) from the four winds, (and) from the ends of the earth to the extremity of the sky (vid. Deuteronomy 30.4; Zechariah 2.6).

The parable of the fig-tree (vv. 28-31).

28) Now, learn this parable from the fig-tree: as soon as its young branch grows tender and produces leaves you know that summer is near; 29) so you also, when you see these (things) come to pass, know that it is near, at the doors. 30) Truly I tell you that this generation will by no means pass away until all these (things) should happen. 31) Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

The unknown day and hour (vv. 32-37).

"But of that day or (of) that hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father. 33) Keep watch, stay on the alert, for you do not know when is the appointed time; 34) (It is) like a man travelling abroad leaving his house and giving responsibility for their work to each (one) of his servants, but he commanded the door-keeper to be watchful. 35) So, keep awake, for you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, whether in the evening, or at mid-night, or at cock-crow, or early in the morning, lest, coming suddenly, he might find you sleeping; 36) but what I say to you, I say to all, keep on the watch!"



The plot to kill Jesus (vv. 1-2).

1) Now the (Feast of) the Passover and the (Feast of) Unleavened Bread was two days away. And the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might seize him by a crafty device and kill (him). 2) For they kept on saying, "Not during the Festival, so that there should not be a riot of the people at that time."

The anointing at Bethany (vv. 3-9).

3) When he was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper, (and,) as he was reclining (at table), a woman came with an alabaster (case) of perfumed oil, genuine nard, very costly, (and,) breaking open the alabaster (case), she poured (it) over his head. 4) But there were some expressing indignation among themselves, (saying) for what (reason) has this waste of the perfumed oil occurred? 5) For this perfumed oil could have been sold for upwards of three hundred denarii, to be given to the poor; 6) But Jesus said, "Leave her alone! Why do you cause her trouble? She did a fine deed on my behalf; 7) For you have the poor with you always (vid. Deuteronomy 15.11) and, whenever you want to, you can always do them good, but you will not always have me; 8) she did what she could; she undertook beforehand to anoint my body with a view to laying (me) out for burial. 9) Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel may be preached throughout the whole world, what this (woman) has done will be spoken of as a memorial of her."

Judas conspires to betray Jesus (vv. 10-11).

10) Then, Judas Iscariot, who (was) one of the Twelve, went off to the chief priests, in order to betray him to them. 11) When they heard (this), they rejoiced, and promised to give him  money. And he sought how he might conveniently deliver him.

Preparations for the Passover supper (vv. 12-16).

12) Now on the first day of the (Feast of) Unleavened Bread, when they were sacrificing the Passover (lamb) (vid. Exodus 12.6,14-20) his disciples said to him, "Where do you want (us) to go, so we may prepare for you to eat the Passover (meal)?" 13) So, he sends off  two of his disciples and says to them, "Go into the city, and a man, carrying a pitcher of water will meet you; follow him, 14) and, wherever he goes inside, say to the master of the house, 'The Teacher says, "Where is my guest-room, where I may eat the Passover (meal) with my disciples?" ' 15) And he, himself, will show you a large upper room, furnished and made ready; and there prepare for us." 16) So, the disciples went out and came into the city, and found (things) just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover (meal).

Jesus foretells Judas' treachery (vv. 17-21).  

17) And, when it was evening, he comes with the Twelve. 18) And, as they were reclining (at table) and eating, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you that one of you who is eating with me will betray me (vid. Psalms 41.9). 19) They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one by one, "Surely (it is) not I, (is it)?" 20) Then, he said to them, "(It is) one of the Twelve, who (is) dipping with me into the common dish; indeed, the Son of man is going as it is written about him, but woe to that man, by whom the Son of man is betrayed; (it would be) better for him, if that man had not been born."

The institution of the Eucharist (vv. 22-26).

22)  And, as they were eating, he took bread, and, having blessed (it), he broke (it) and gave (it) to them, and said, "Take, (eat), this is my body." 23) And took a cup, and having offered a prayer of thanksgiving, he gave (it) to them, and they all drank from it. 24) And he said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25). Truly I tell you that I shall no more drink of the fruit of the vine until that day, when I drink it anew in the kingdom of God." 26) And, after they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Peter's denial foretold (vv. 27-31).

27) Then, Jesus says to them, "You will all be made to stumble, because it is written, 'I will strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered abroad;' 28) but, after I have been raised up, I will go before you into Galilee." 29) But Peter said to him, "Even if all (the others) are made to stumble, yet I (will) not. 30) Then, Jesus say to him, "Truly I say to you that you, today, on this very night, before the cock crows twice, will deny me thrice." 31) But he (i.e. Peter) spoke with great emphasis: "If I must die together with you, yet I will not deny you," and they all spoke likewise also.

Gethsemane (vv. 32-42).

32) So, they come to a place, the name of which (is) Gethsemane, and he says to his disciples, "Sit down here, while I pray." 33) And he took Peter, and James and John along with him, and he started to be distressed and full of anxiety. 34) And he says to them, "My soul is sad (vid. Psalms 42.5)even unto death (vid. Jonah 4.9); stay here and keep watch!" 35) And he went forward a little (way) and fell on the ground, and began to pray that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him, 36) and he went on to say, "Abba, Father, to you all (things are) possible; (please) remove this cup from me; yet not what I want, but what you (want)." 37) And he came and found them sleeping, and he says to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Did you not have the strength to stay awake for one hour? 38) Keep alert and pray that you do not come into temptation; indeed, the spirit (is) willing, but the flesh (is) weak. 39) And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. 40) And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy and they did not know what to say in reply to him. 41) And he comes a third (time) and says to them, "Go on sleeping for the (time) that is left and take your rest; it is enough; the hour is come. Behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42) Arise, let us go! Look, he who betrays me is nigh!
The arrest of Jesus (vv. 43-49).

43) And, immediately, while he was still speaking, there came Judas, one of the Twelve, and, with him, a crowd with swords and wooden clubs (sent) by the chief priests  and the scribes and the elders. 44) Now, he who betrayed him had given them a signal, saying whomever it is that I shall kiss, seize him and lead (him) away safely. 45) And, immediately, after he has come, he goes up to him and says, "Rabbi," and kissed him. 46) And they laid their hands upon him and seized him. 47) And a certain one of those who were standing by, drew his sword and struck the servant of the chief priests and cut off his ear. 48) Then, in response, Jesus said to them, "Have you come out to arrest me with swords and clubs as though (you are going) against a robber? 49) I was with you daily in the temple, teaching, and you didn't seize me; but (this is) so that the scriptures may be fulfilled."

The young man who fled (vv. 50-52).

50) Then, they all left him and fled.

51) But a young man followed him, having thrown a linen cloth over his naked (body), and they try to seize him, 52) but he, leaving behind his linen garment, escaped naked.

Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin (vv. 53-65).

53) And they led Jesus away to the High Priest (i.e. Caiaphas), and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes gather together. 54) And Peter followed him from a distance, as far as the courtyard of the High Priest, and he was sitting with the attendants and warming himself before the brightness (of the fire). 55) Then, the High Priest and the whole of the Sanhedrin were looking for testimony against Jesus in order to put him to death, but they did not find (any); 56) for many gave false witness against him, and their testimonies were not consistent. 57) And some stood up and gave false witness against him, saying, "We heard him say, 'I shall destroy this temple that was made by (human) hands, and in three days I shall build another not made by (human) hands.' " 59) Yet, even then, their testimony on these grounds was not in agreement. 60) Then, the High Priests stood up in the midst (of them) and questioned Jesus, saying, "Have you nothing to say in reply, (about) what these (people) are testifying against you?" 61) But he stayed silent and answered nothing. Again the High Priest) questioned him, and says to him, "Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed (One)?" 62) Then, Jesus said, "I AM, and you will see the Son of man sitting at the right (hand) of power and coming with the clouds of heaven (vid. Psalms 110.1; Daniel 7.13)." 63) At this, the High Priest rent his inner clothing and says. "What need do we still have of witnesses? 64) You have heard this blasphemy? What do you think?" Then they all condemned him to be deserving of death. 65) And some began to spit on him and to cover all of his face, and to beat him with their fists and to say to him, "Prophesy," and the attendants struck him with slaps.

Peter's denials of Jesus (vv. 66-72).

66) As Peter was in the courtyard below, one of the maids of the High Priest comes, 67) and, seeing Peter warming himself, she looks at him, and says, "You too were with the Nazarene, Jesus." 68) But he denied (this), saying, "I neither know nor understand what you are saying," and he went out into the forecourt, [and a cock crowed]. 69) And the maid saw him and began again to tell bystanders, "This is (one) of them." 70) And again he denied (it). After a little (while), the bystanders said again to Peter, "You are certainly (one) of them, for, indeed, you are a Galilean." 71) And he began to curse and swear, "I do not know this man, of whom you speak." 72) And at once the cock crowed a second time; then, Peter remembered the saying that Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me thrice," and he broke down and wept. 


Jesus before Pilate (vv. 1-5).

1) And, immediately, at dawn the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole Sanhedrin, after holding a consultation, bound Jesus, and led (him) away and delivered (him) to Pilate (i.e. the Roman governor). 2) Then, Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And, in answer, he says to him, "You say (so)." 3) And the chief priests accused him of many (things). 4) Now, Pilate began to question him again, saying, "Have you nothing to say in reply? See, how many (things) they are accusing you of!" 5) But Jesus still answered nothing (vid. Isaiah 53.7), such that Pilate was amazed.

Jesus is sentenced to death (vv. 6-15).

6) Now, at this festival he used to release to them one prisoner whom they petitioned for. 7) And there was (one) called Barabbas, bound with those rebels who, in their sedition, had committed murder. 8) So, the crowd came up and began to ask (him to do) as he used to do for them. 9) Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you wish that I release that I release to you the King of the Jews? 10) Foe he realised that the chief priests had delivered him up on account of their envy. 11) But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he he might release Barabbas to them instead. 12) Answering once more, Pilate said to them, "So what should I do (to him) whom you call the King of the Jews?" 13) And again they cried out, "Crucify him!" 14) But Pilate said to them, "Why, for (what) bad (thing) did he do?" But they cried out all the more, "Crucify him!" 15) Then, Pilate, wishing to do what (would) satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas to them, and, after he had had (him) flogged, he handed Jesus over to be crucified.

Jesus is publicly mocked (vv. 16-20).

16) Then, the soldiers led him away into the courtyard which is (within) the governor's palace, and they summon the whole cohort. 17) And they dress him in purple, and, weaving a crown of thorns, they put (it) on him; 18) And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" 19) And they struck his head with a reed and spat on him, and, bending their knees, they did obeisance to him. 20) And, when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple and dressed him in his outer garments. Then, they led him out to crucify him.

The way of the cross (vv. 21-22).

21) And they pressed (one) who was passing by, a certain Simon of Cyrene, who came from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to lift up his cross. 22) And they brought him to the place (called) Golgotha, which means, (when) translated, the Place of a Skull. 

The crucifixion of Jesus (vv. 23-32). 

23) And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh (vid. Psalms 69.21), but he did not take (it). 24) And they impale him (on the stake), and distribute his outer garments (vid. Psalms 22.18), casting lots over them (as to) who should take what. 25) And it was the third hour (i.e. about 9.00 am.), and they crucified him. 26) And the inscription of the charge against him was written above (them), "The King of the Jews." 27) And they crucified two robbers with him, one on his right (hand) and one on his left. 28) -- 29) And those going by spoke abusively to him, wagging their heads (vid. Psalms 22.7) and saying, "Ha! (You) who would destroy the temple and build (it again) in three days, 30) save yourself and come down from the cross." 31) Likewise also, the chief priests, making fun (of him) among themselves with the scribes, said, "He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32) Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe." Even those who were crucified with him reproached him.

The death of Jesus (vv. 33-39).

33) And, when the sixth hour had come (i.e. it was about 12.00 noon), there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour (i.e. about 3.p.m.). 34) And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani," which means, (when) translated, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (vid. Psalms 22.1.) 35) And, when some of those who were standing by heard (this), they said, "See, he is calling Elijah." 36) And one (of them) ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and, putting (it) on a reed, gave (it) to him to drink (vid. Psalms 69.21), saying, "Let (him) be! Let us whether Elijah is coming to take him down." 37) But Jesus let out a loud cry and gave up the ghost. 38) And the veil of the temple was rent in two from top to bottom. 39) And, when the centurion who was standing opposite him saw that he had died in these circumstances, he said, "Truly, this man was the Son of God."

The women at Calvary (vv. 40-41).

40) And there were also women watching from afar, among them Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome (i.e. the mother of the sons of Zebedee), 41) who used to accompany him and serve him, and many other (women) who had gone up with him to Jerusalem.

The burial of Jesus (vv. 42-47). 

42) Now it was already evening, (and) since it was the (Day of) Preparation, that is (the day) before the Sabbath, there came Joseph of Arimathea, a reputable council member (i.e. a member of the Sanhedrin), who was himself also awaiting the kingdom of God, and he ventured to go in before Pilate and ask for Jesus' body. 44) But Pilate wondered whether he had already died, and, summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead; 45) then, having ascertained (that he was), he bestowed Jesus' corpse upon Joseph. 46) And, having purchased some fine linen, he (i.e. Joseph of Arimathea) took him down, and wrapped (him) in the linen cloth and laid him a tomb, which had been quarried out of rock, and he rolled a stone up to the door of the tomb. 47) And Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he had been laid.


The resurrection of Jesus (vv. 1-8).

1) 1) Now, when the Sabbath had passed, Mary Magdalen and Mary, the (mother) of James, and Salome, bought some spices, in order that they might come and anoint him. 2) And very early, on the first day of the week, they come to the tomb, when the sun had risen. 3) And they were saying to one another, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?" 4) But, when they looked up, they behold that the stone has been rolled away, although it was very large. 5) And, entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right (side), dressed in a white robe, and they were astonished. 6) And he says to them, "Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified; he has risen, he is not here; behold, the place where they laid him! 7) But go, tell his disciples and Peter, "He goes before you into Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you." 8) Then, they went out, and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had taken hold of them; but they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid ....


(Certain ancient manuscripts and versions, including the Authorised Version, add the following long conclusion:)

The appearance to Mary Magdalen (vv. 9-11).

9) [Now, after he had risen early on the first (day) of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalen, from whom he had expelled seven demons. 10) She went and reported to those who had been with him, who were weeping and wailing; 11) but, when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe (it).

The appearance to two disciples (vv. 12-13).
12) Then, after this, he appeared to two of them, as they were walking along, while they were journeying into the country. 13) They went away and told (it) to the rest; and they did not believe them either.

The commissioning of the disciples (vv. 14-18).

14) But later he appeared to the Eleven, themselves, as they were reclining (at the table), and he rebuked (them) for their lack of faith and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen him since he had risen from the dead. 15) And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole of creation. 16) He who believes and is baptised will be saved, but he who disbelieves will be condemned. 17) Moreover, these signs will accompany those who believe; in my name they will cast out demons, (and) they will speak with tongues. 18) And they will pick up serpents in their hands, and, if they drink anything deadly, it will not harm them at all; they will lay their hands upon the sick, and they will become well.

The ascension of Jesus (vv. 19-20).

19) So then, the Lord Jesus, after having spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat at the right (hand) of God. 20) And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with (them) and confirmed the message by the accompanying signs.]

(Some late manuscripts and versions contain a short conclusion after Mark 16.8, as follows:)

[But all (the things) that had been commanded, they briefly related to Peter and his companions. Further, after these (things), Jesus himself sent out through them from the east to the west the holy and incorruptible proclamation of everlasting salvation.]


For any student of Latin literature who wishes to appreciate just why Romans found the poetry of Virgil so exhilarating and stimulating, it is absolutely essential to read his poetry in the original language. To seek to translate Virgil's work without attempting to read the verse condemns the learner to a mere academic exercise, dominated by the disciplines of accidence and syntax, important as they are, but in which the inspiration of the Muse is entirely lacking; but once one has learned to scan the lines and then to read them aloud, the magnificent rhythms of Virgil's poetry come alive, and carry the reader along to progressive crescendos of excitement and emotion. In addition to his mastery of poetic rhythm, Virgil is also adept at the use of onomatopoeia and alliteration, both to reinforce the meaning of his poetry, and to evoke associated moods of melancholy, gloom and horror on the one hand, and martial valour and patriotic splendour on the other, as well as of tenderness and pathos, often in the case of deathbed or funeral scenes. He also makes liberal use of the imagery of nature in similes which graphically describe the actions of the crops, the sea, the winds, the birds, the skies, and the divine powers which inspire them. To read Virgil's poetry is indeed an aesthetic delight.
But how should Virgil's poetry actually be read? We are told that by the First Century B.C.E. when Virgil wrote, Roman poets, in imitation of the Greeks, wrote 'quantitative' poetry, which consisted of the delineation or recurrence of long and short syllables in furtherance of various metrical forms. If one listens to the remarkable on-line readings of Robert Sankovsky, it would seem that the rhythms of classical Latin poetry were very different indeed from our English verse with its emphasis on stress accents. However, quantitative verse, if it really did sound like Sankovsky's renderings, is too alien for the modern ear, and would surely become unduly monotonous if declaimed for any length of time. Furthermore, some scholars have questioned the extent to which Latin poetry really did suppress the verse beat, or 'ictus', and the natural accentuation of syllables within words. Indeed, it can be argued that much of the fascination of Virgil's poetry arises from his skilful handling of beat and the stress accent of words, and that this adds to the variety of rhythms within his lines, which we consider below. In practice, therefore, it does seem appropriate to allow such accentuation to be emphasised when reading Virgil's work, while at the same time remembering that a long or heavy syllable took twice as long to read as a short or light one. 
Beneath the apparent rhythmic congruence of Virgil's hexameter lines, there is, in fact, a remarkable degree of variation, which was essential if monotony was to be avoided; this variety affected both the metrical structure of the lines themselves, and the points within them when pauses were effected. Both these areas are now considered below. (In this analysis a long syllable is shown as '--' and a short syllable as 'u').
Variation of metrical structure. In hexameters there is an almost total degree of uniformity in the structure of the last two feet of the six-foot line. The fifth foot is almost invariably a dactyl (i.e. -- uu), other than very rare exceptions when some special effect is sought, and the sixth foot is always a spondee (i.e. -- --) or a trochee (i.e. -- u), since the final syllable of all Latin verse metres is 'anceps', i.e. long or short. Whether the last syllable is long or short, however, the sixth foot was generally regarded as a spondee, by the device of 'brevis in longo', and it will be classified as a spondee in the analysis below. Despite the remarkable uniformity of the last two feet, it is, however, permissible in the case of the first four feet for the 'thesis' or the 'biceps' element of any of the dactyls (i.e. uu), to be 'contracted' into  a long syllable (i.e. --) and thus to form a spondee. In practice, therefore, there is a possible variety of 16 different syllable combinations for each hexameter line, and the number of syllables in a line can vary between 17 and 13; the metrical structure of these lines is set out below:
A.1: -- uu; -- uu; -- uu; -- uu; -- uu; -- -- (5 dactyls, 1 spondee) = 17 syllables.
A. 2: -- uu; -- uu; - uu; -- --; -- uu; -- -- (4 dactyls, 2 spondees) = 16 syllables.
A. 3: -- uu; --uu; -- --; -- uu; -- uu; -- -- (4 dactyls, 2 spondees) = 16 syllables.
A. 4: -- uu; -- uu; -- --; -- --; -- uu; -- -- (3 dactyls, 3 spondees) = 15 syllables.
B. 1: -- uu; -- --; -- uu; -- uu; -- uu;  -- -- (4 dactyls, 2 spondees) = 16 syllables.
B. 2: -- uu; -- --; -- uu; -- --; -- uu; -- -- (3 dactyls, 3 spondees) = 15 syllables.
B. 3: -- uu; -- --; -- --; -- uu; -- uu; -- -- (3 dactyls, 3 spondees) = 15 syllables.
B. 4: -- uu; -- --; -- --; -- --; -- uu; -- -- (2 dactyls, 4 spondees) = 14 syllables.
C. 1: -- --; -- uu; -- uu; -- uu; -- uu; -- -- (4 dactyls, 2 spondees) = 16 syllables.
C. 2: -- --; -- uu; -- uu; -- --; -- uu; -- -- (3 dactyls, 3 spondees) = 15 syllables.
C. 3: -- --; -- uu; -- --; -- uu; -- uu; -- -- (3 dactyls, 3 spondees) = 15 syllables.
C. 4: -- --; -- uu -- --; -- --; -- uu; -- -- (2 dactyls, 4 spondees) = 14 syllables.
D. 1: -- --; -- --; -- uu; -- uu; -- uu; -- -- (3 dactyls, 3 spondees) = 15 syllables.
D. 2: -- --; -- --; -- uu; -- --; -- uu; -- -- (2 dactyls, 4 spondees) = 14 syllables.
D. 3: -- --; -- --; -- --; -- uu; -- uu; -- -- (2 dactyls, 4 spondees) = 14 syllables.
D. 4: -- --; -- --; -- --; -- --; -- uu; -- -- (1 dactyl, 5 spondees) = 13 syllables. 
Variation in pauses. When it comes to pauses within lines - the word 'caesurae' actually means 'cuts', but this is too strong a word -, there are basically two types of main or principal caesura: 1) the penthemimiral caesura, i.e. caesura in the middle of the third foot (n.b. a penthemimer is a metrical unit of five half- feet); and 2) the hepththemimiral caesura, i.e. a caesura in the middle of the fourth foot, usually acting in combination with a trihemimiral caesura, in the middle of the second foot, which, when taken together, have the effect of separating the line into three parts. In this article a main caesura is marked 'X'. In Latin verse there was a strong preference for a strong, or masculine, caesura, i.e. one that comes after the first (always long) syllable, or the 'arsis', of the foot, as opposed to a weak, or feminine, caesura, which comes between the two short syllables which divide the 'thesis' of a dactyl. The location of the main caesura can be illustrated as follows in relation to these two types of caesura (for the purposes of these examples a hexameter line B. 2 is used:
1) -- uu| -- uu| --Xuu| -- uu| -- uu| -- --
2) -- uu| --Xuu| -- uu| --Xuu| --uu| -- --
In some instances it is possible for the reader to chose one or other of the above types of pause. Some will try to apply a penthemimiral caesura wherever possible, and avoid the two pause effect of the trihemimiral/ hepththemimiral caesurae, ignoring, in the process, the presence of commas or semi-colons in the relevant feet, designed by editors to guide the reader. However, where such punctuation marks exist, and/or the application of a pause in the third foot would involve a weak caesura, it is surely preferable to adopt the second/ fourth foot pause approach, and the relatively frequent incidence of such lines almost certainly reflects Virgil's recognition of the need for rhythmic variation. Sometimes a genuine choice remains, and in such circumstances the reader should decide which caesural system to adopt on the basis of perceived sound effect or in respect of natural breaks in meaning.

In order to illustrate how these variations in meter and pause were applied by Virgil, a short extract of 22 lines (ll. 295-316) is taken from Book VI of the "Aeneid", which contains the celebrated account of Aeneas' visit to the Underworld in the company of the Cumaean Sybil. This passage gives us a picture of what the Romans imagined would happen to the soul after death; it evokes an atmosphere of sadness and gloom, in which the main focus is the terrible figure of Charon, the ferryman of the dead across the River Styx. In this passage Virgil employs 11 of the 16 varieties of hexameter line available to him, and there is a 15:7 split of lines with penthemimiral and trihemimiral/ hepththemimiral caesurae. As set out below, the long or heavy syllables are underlined, divisions between feet are marked by '|' and the main caesura is shown by an 'X'. Where two or more long syllables, contiguous within the same word, form a spondee, they are separated by a hyphen. At the beginning of each line, the type of hexameter line is indicated in brackets:

l. 295 (A. 3):  Hinc via | Tartare|i X quae | fert Ache|rontis ad | un-das.

l. 296 (B. 3):  Turbidus | hic  cae|no X vas|taque vo|ragine | gur-ges.

l. 297 (B. 4):  aestuat | atqu(e) om|-nem X Co|-cyt(o) e|-ructat ha|re-nam.

l. 298 (B. 2):  Portitor | has X hor|rendus a|quas X et | flumina | ser-vat

l. 299 (B. 2):  terribi|li X squa|lore Cha|ron: X cui | plurima | men-to

l. 300 (B. 2):  caniti|es X inculta iacet; X stant | lumina flamma,

l. 301 (A. 4):  sordidus | ex umeris X no|-do de|-pendet a|mic-tus.

l. 302 (B. 2):  Ipse ra|tem X con|-to subi|git, X ve|-lisque mi|nis-trat,

l. 303 (C. 4):  et fer|-rugine|a X sub|-vec-tat | corpora | cum-ba,

l. 304 (B. 1):  iam seni|or; X sed | cruda de|o X |disque se|nec-tus.

l. 305 (D. 4):  Huc om|-nis X tur|-b(a) ad ri|-pas X ef|-fusa rue|-bat,

l. 306 (C. 3):  mat-res | atque vi|ri, X de|-functaque | corpora | vi-ta

l. 307 (B. 2):  magnani|m(um) he-ro|-um, X pue|r(i) in-nup-taeque pu|el-lae,

l. 308 (A. 2):  imposi|tique ro|gis X iuve|nes an-t(e) ora parentum:

l. 309 (D. 4):  quam mul|-t(a) in sil|-vis au|-tum-ni frigore | pri-mo.

l. 310 (A. 4):  lapsa ca|dunt foli|(a), aut X ad | ter-ram | gurgit(e) ab | al-to

l. 311 (C. 1):  quam mul|-tae X glome|rantur a|ves, X ubi | frigidus |an-nus

l. 312 (C. 4):  trans pon|-tum fugat | et X ter|-ris im|-mittit a|pri-cis.

l. 313 (D. 4):  Sta-bant o-ran-tes X pri-mi trans-mittere cur-sum,

l. 314 (C. 4):  ten-de|-bantque ma|nus X ri|-p(ae) ulteri|oris a|mo-re.

l. 315 (B. 4):  Navita | sed tris|-tis X nunc | hos nunc | accipit | il-los,

l. 316 (B. 4):  ast ali|os lon|-ge X sum|-mo-tos | arcet ha|re-na.

With regard to pauses within the lines, it will be noted that approximately two-thirds of the above lines have a strong main caesura in the third foot, and a third have two strong caesurae in the second and fourth feet; of these latter, of which there are 7, the possibility of a pause in the third foot is vitiated in ll. 298, 300, 304 and 311 by the need to employ a weak caesura as the main break, while in ll. 299, 300, 302, 304 and 311 the punctuation marks point clearly to the double break. Finally, a third foot break in l. 305 would require a main caesura to be inserted in the middle of the adverbial phrase 'ad ripas', something evidently unacceptable. However, there remains a genuine choice in ll. 312 and 315. While a third foot pause seems marginally preferable in these two cases on grounds of sound, strong caesurae are available in both the second and fourth feet to permit a combination of trihemimiral and penththemimiral caesurae in both lines.

Bucolic diaeresis. It should also be noted that Virgil had a distinct partiality for the 'Bucolic diaeresis'. A 'diaeresis' is the name given to a break where the end of a word and the end of a foot coincide. This was not generally considered to be particularly desirable if it happened too frequently, but in the case of the division between the fourth and the fifth feet it was considered good practice. Such breaks were called 'Bucolic' because they had been used by the Greek pastoral poet Theocritos in his poems about herdsmen, οἱ βουκόλοι. In the above passage Bucolic diaereses are marked with a red line between the fourth and the fifth feet, and they occur in 10 of the 22 lines. In poetic terms their main rhythmic effect is to strengthen the 'shave and a haircut' or 'blackberry pudding' sound of the last two feet.

Coincidence of word accent and 'ictus'. Another source of rhythmic variety in Virgil's poetry arises from the potential clash between natural the stress-accent of Latin words and the beat or 'ictus' of quantitative verse. With regard to the stress-accent of Latin words, this falls on the first syllable of words of two syllables, on the last syllable but one of words of more than two syllables, if that syllable is long, but on the last syllable but two if the last syllable but one is short. In quantitative verse, however, the verse accent or beat falls on the first (long) syllable of each foot, whether it is a dactyl or a spondee. In hexameter verse it is very common for the word accent and verse accent to coincide in the first foot, and in the final two feet they always do so; but in the middle feet, i.e. feet two, three, and four, they rarely coincide. In his poetry Virgil generally follows these expectations, which were necessary to avoid monotony or the development of a 'sing-songy' rhythm, and his careful management of this conflict is one of the reasons for the rhythmic beauty of his poetry. With regard to the coincidence of word accent and beat, these 22 lines show the following position:

Foot 1: All lines except 299, 300, 308, 314 (n.b. the first word in these lines is more than 3 syllables.)
Foot 2: ll. 297, (301), 306, 308, (309), 315, (315).
Foot 3: ll. 298, 299, 304, (305), (310), 311, (312).
Foot 4: 296, 297, 303, 306, 316.
Foot 5: All lines.
Foot 6: All lines.
(The brackets relate to monosyllables, on which word stress is optional and relates to the degree of emphasis that is desired.)

Models for the reading of lines. To assist the reader of hexameter verse it is very difficult to find English poems written in hexameters, against which one can model one's rendering of Virgil's Latin verse. However, Henry Longfellow's poem "Evangeline", can be used in this way with profit, particularly the earlier lines. The poem itself, while undoubtedly a poetic tour de force is difficult to recommend, as the story it tells is desperately sad and the hexameter rhythm does indeed become somewhat monotonous, despite Longfellow's manifold efforts to avoid that. Nevertheless, some of its lines, particularly at the beginning of the poem have a sort of sonorous beauty which is compelling, and they can be used as a model against which each of the 16 types of hexameter line can be measured. In the case of ll. 295-316 of "Aeneid" Book VI, a similar sounding line from "Evangeline" is identified below for each of the 11 types of line which the extract contains (n.b. long syllables are underlined, and the relevant line of "Evangeline" is shown in brackets at the end of each line. Where one English word contains a spondee, the two syllables are hyphenated):

A. 2.  White as the snow were his locks, and his cheeks brown as the oak-leaves. (l. 64)

A. 3.  Gentle Evangeline lived, his child and the pride of the vill-age. (l. 61)

A. 4.  Sweet was her breath as the breath of kine that feed in the mead-ows. (l. 68)

B. 1.  Down the long street she passed, with her chaplet of beads and her mis-sal. (l. 74)         

B. 2.  Scattered like dust and leaves, when the migh-ty blasts of Octo-ber (l. 13)           

B. 3.  Hearty and hale was he, an oak that is covered with snow flakes; (l. 63)

B. 4.  Columns of pale blue smoke, like clouds of incense ascen-ding, (l. 50)

C. 1.  Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful village of Grand-Pre (l. 15)

C. 3.  Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen sum-mers. (l. 65)

C. 4.  West and south there were fields of flax, and orchards and corn-fields.(l. 27)

D. 4.  Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophe-tic. (l. 3)

(N.B. In a number of cases Longfellow uses trochees in place of spondees; this is necessitated by the relative shortage of long syllables in English, e.g. ''breath of kine that" in l. 68 above. These are really two trochees, not spondees. When reading such trochees, however, if one 'dwells' on the shorter syllables "of" and "that", the spondaic effect can, to some extent, be maintained.)

Conclusion. It is hoped that the reader will find his reading of the lines of this extract in Latin will benefit from the rhythmic modelling provided by Longfellow's lines. However, it remains important when reading quantitative verse to dwell sufficiently on long or heavy syllables, something which can be done while allowing the deployment of the verse beat which is natural to an English reader. The extract upon which this article has focused in order to illustrate the various ways in which Virgil was able to exercise rhythmic variety contains a greater proportion of spondees than are usually found. These spondees reflect the gloomy atmosphere which Vigil was seeking to engender at this point in the narrative, and any reading of this extract should reflect this mood.



a) Reason for revised translation. When one reads commentaries on the works of Virgil one is almost exhausted by the number of superlatives one encounters. He is best known for his epic poem, the "Aeneid", but in practice both the Romans and present day readers have tended to concentrate on the first six books of this work, and, in particular, on Book IV, which highlights Aeneas' love affair with Queen Dido, and Book VI, which features his visit to the Underworld to meet his dead father Anchises. Opinions differ on which of these two books is pre-eminent, but the majority view is, perhaps, in favour of the latter. Sabidius first translated this book in 2010 (see the entry on dated 16 February 2010). However, one is never entirely satisfied with any translation one makes of Virgil, and, so Sabidius has revised his rendering of Book VI, which he now offers below.

b) Two high quality textbooks. One reason why translating this book is such an intellectual and aesthetic pleasure, as well as a challenge, is that one has available two school textbooks of this work, that of T.E. Page, first published by Macmillan in 1888, and, secondly, that of H.E. Gould and J.L. Whiteley, also published by Macmillan, in this case in 1946, which are, in their different ways of the highest quality. Indeed, perusing these two books is an education in itself. Gould and Whiteley's practical assistance with the complex task of doing justice to Virgil in English brings the Latin language to life in a way which the artificiality of the traditional grammar books cannot do, although as Sabidius has pointed out before, in the introduction to his translation of Book VIII of the "Aeneid" (see the entry on dated 20 October 2015), it is disappointing that their commentary lacks any reference at all to the quality of Virgil's poetry. On the other hand Page's notes, while they are far too erudite for the schoolboy or girl of today, and are surely the main target for Gould & Whiteley's reference in their introduction to annotated classical texts which "give too little practical help in translation and yet at the same time have their commentaries overloaded with unnecessary information on points only remotely connected with the text", are for the maturer student an absolute goldmine of allusions to previous classical writings, such as the works of Homer and Plato, and of parallels in the Bible and later literature, involving the works of Dante, Shakespeare, Bunyan, Milton, etc.

c) Praise of Virgil and especially of Book VI. At the same time, Page's introduction provides Virgil's reader with precisely the inspirational references to Virgil's poetry which Gould & Whiteley's notes lack. "Virgil is a master of melodious rhythm, and he is a master of literary expression. The Latin hexameter ... has been moulded by Virgil into a perfect instrument capable of infinite varieties and responsive to every phase of emotion; while as regards his literary power it is impossible not to read ten lines anywhere without coming across one of those felicitous phrases the charm of which is beyond question as it is beyond analysis." (Page's "Aeneid VI, pp. xxi-xxii.) But Page singles out Book VI in particular for his highest accolade. After expatiating on the strength of rhetorical force and the intensity of emotion contained in Book IV, he writes as follows: "but there is another book of the Aeneid which rises to a still higher level and places Virgil in the foremost ranks of poetry. The sixth Book is beyond praise; to it Virgil chiefly owes his fame; it is here that he exhibits, in fullest measure, the highest poetic powers of imagination and invention; it is here that we find the Virgil who is worthy to walk side by side with Dante, and with whom John Bunyan and John Milton are to be compared. As we pass with him into the under world, by the sole force of genius he makes a dream seem to us a living fact; he commands our thoughts to follow whithersoever he leads them, and they obey; under his guidance we tread with ghostly but unhesitating footsteps that dim and unknown highway which extends beyond the grave." (ibid. p. xxiii.)

d) Difficulties in translation. Exhilarating and exciting as it is to read this wonderful book, the problems of translating it are formidable. While Sabidius' introduction to Book VIII of the "Aeneid", referred to above, draws attention to the rhythmic beauty of Virgil's poetry and explains why the Romans in succeeding generations treated it almost with the reverence which Christians have accorded the Bible, it also discusses some of the difficulties facing any translator of Virgil. In the case of descriptions of landscapes, aerial portrayals and events at sea, when storms are involved, as well as descriptions of banquets and sacrificial offerings - often these are used for metaphorical purposes, parallel to the narrative - , it may not be at all clear just what he is trying to say. Furthermore, most of his narrative concerns legends, events which never actually happened, and therefore no reality checks are available to test the correctness or otherwise of how a particular passage has been translated. In his introduction to Book II of the "Georgics" (see the entry on dated 24 January 2017), Sabidius discusses these difficulties further;  issues arise because the order of the words, and indeed the choice of the words themselves, have often been adapted to meet the requirements of the meter, and the result may therefore involve some obscurity of meaning. In addition Latin words may often mean a number of different things. As a result of these potential ambiguities, a number of different interpretations of a passage may be possible, as indeed anyone who has more than one English version of Virgil will know only too well. It is also instructive how often the suggestions of Gould & Whiteley differ from those of Page. On top of the ambiguities just mentioned, and here the poetic craft of Virgil comes to the fore, is the way in which poetry as a medium is often used to create impressions or sensations, rather than to make precise statements. At the same time, the figurative use of particular words, rather than their literal meaning, is natural to the composition of verse.

e) The 'veil of Poesy'. Here the words of Page are once more of great assistance: "It is often difficult to realise the descriptions of Virgil. He purposely throws over his scenery 'the magic veil of Poesy', thus with true art stimulating the imagination but not satisfying it." (ibid. p.36, note to l.9). What this means is that Virgil does not want his descriptions to be crystal clear; he wants to give poetic impressions rather than exact statements of fact. The 'veil of Poesy' here relates to difficulties in understanding the location of the Sibyl's cavern at Cumae and its location with regard to the temple of Trivia, but in reality the 'veil' keeps on reappearing throughout the Book. Furthermore, this 'veil' does not just relate to descriptions, but also to ideas. For instance in ll. 417-38 below, Virgil places in the region adjacent to the threshold of Hades those who had died before their time, and specifically instances infants, men unjustly executed, and those who have committed suicide. To any reader or translator wanting to make sense of this, Page writes of Virgil: "It is useless here or later to examine too accurately into the reason of his arrangement. Unlike Dante or Milton he is not a teacher inculcating clear theological views; his arrangement must be judged by artistic considerations, and even so we must not look for extreme definiteness where the poet is intentionally, and indeed necessarily, vague and mysterious." (ibid. p. 65, note to l.426.) So, to any translator, agonising over the true translation of a particular passage of Virgil, remember the 'veil of Poesy'!

f) Highlights.  Book VI contains some of the most celebrated tracts in all Latin literature. Lines (Ll.) 86-87 are those controversially quoted by Enoch Powell in 1968, when he warned about the possible consequences of unchecked immigration into the UK. Ll. 295-316, which describe the transportation of dead souls across the River Styx by Charon, are a superb example of how Virgil can use poetic rhythm and onomatopoeia to create dramatic atmosphere and pathos. Ll. 724-751 give us interesting insights into Roman thinking about life, death and rebirth, including the Pythagorean doctrine of metempsychosis or transmigration of souls. Ll. 847-853 are a statement that while others may excel in the arts and science, the Romans are destined to rule the world and impose their peace on all nations. Finally ll. 860-886, right at the end of the book, telling of the sad death of Augustus' chosen successor, Marcellus, so affected his mother Octavia that she is reputed to have fainted when they were first read to her.

g) Appendices. At the end of this translation, are two appendices. The first lists a number of the best known quotations from Book VI; the second draws the reader's attention to some of the figures of speech employed by Virgil in this book.

1.  Ll. 1-13.  Aeneas lands in Italy and proceeds to the temple of Apollo to consult the Sibyl.

So he speaks amid his tears, and he gives his fleet (full) rein, and at last it glides into Cumae's Euboean shores. They turn their prows towards the sea; then anchors made fast the ships with their gripping flukes, and curved sterns line the beach. A band of young men springs forth eagerly on to the Hesperian (i.e. Western or Italian) shore; some seek the seeds of flame concealed in veins of flint; others scour the woods, (among) the dense lairs of wild beasts, and point out the rivers they have found. But pious Aeneas makes for the heights, on which Apollo sits enthroned on high, and, beside (it), the vast cavern, (which is) the retreat of the awesome Sybil, into whom the Delian seer (i.e. Apollo) breathes deep insight and inspiration, and (to whom) he reveals the future. Now they draw near to Trivia's (i.e. Diana's) (sacred) grove and to the golden temple.

2.  Ll. 14-41.  Description of the temple and the carvings of Daedalus on the gates; the Sibyl summons them to enter.

Daedalus, as the story goes, (when) fleeing the realm of Minos, ventured to entrust himself to the sky on swiftly(-beating) wings, and soared aloft to the icy Bears (i.e. the frozen North) by an unusual route, and at last he hovered lightly over the Chalcidian (i.e. Cumaean) summit. Here, on first being restored to earth, he dedicated to you, Phoebus (i.e. Apollo) the oarage of his wings (as a thank-offering) and built an enormous temple. On the gates was carved the death of Androgeos (i.e. the son of Minos); and, next to it, the children of Cecrops (i.e. the people of Athens) ordered to pay as penalties - alas! - the bodies of their sons, seven at a time each year; there stands the urn, the lots having been drawn. (On) the opposite (panel), the land of Cnossos (i.e. Crete), rising from the sea, faces (this): here there is depicted a cruel passion for a bull, and Pasiphaë, mated in stealth, and that mongrel breed and two-shaped offspring, the Minotaur, the memorial of a monstrous love; here (is) that house of toil (i.e. the Labyrinth) and its inextricable maze; but indeed, pitying the love of the princess (i.e. Ariadne), Daedalus himself unravels the deceptive windings of the palace, guiding the sightless footsteps (i.e. those of Theseus) by a (clue of) thread. You, too, Icarus, would have had a large share in so great a work, (if) grief had permitted it. Twice, he had tried to engrave your fall, twice the father's hands had failed. Indeed, they would have scanned all these (things) with their eyes in succession, if Achates, who had been sent on ahead, had not appeared, and, with him, came Deiphobe, (the daughter) of Glaucus, (and) the priestess of Phoebus and Trivia, who says the following (words) to the king: "This moment does not itself call for such sights as these; now it were better to sacrifice seven bullocks from an unbroken herd, and a similar number of sheep, chosen according to custom." When she had addressed Aeneas with such (words)- nor do his men delay (in obeying) her sacred commands - the priestess calls the Teucrians (i.e. Trojans) into the lofty temple.

3.  Ll. 42-76.  The Sibyl bids Aeneas pray: he prays that she will promise him at last a happy end to his wanderings and a home in Italy.

A huge flank of the Euboean rock (is) hewn into a cavern, into which lead a hundred wide entrances, a hundred mouths (i.e. perforations in the rock), from which rush a like number of voices, the answers of the Sybil. They had come to the threshold (of the cavern), when the virgin cries, "It's time to ask for oracles; the God, behold the God!" As she spoke these (words) in front of the doors, suddenly neither her countenance nor her complexion (are) the same (as they were before), nor does her hair remain ordered, but her heaving breast and wild heart swell in ecstasy, and (she is) taller to behold, nor does she sound like a mortal, since she has now been breathed upon by the abiding power of the God. "Are you slow to make your vow and to pray, Trojan Aeneas?" she says. "Are you loitering? For, (until you pray), the great mouths of the awestruck house will not open their lips (in prophecy)." An icy shudder ran through the hard bones of the Teucrians, and their king poured out these prayers from the bottom of his heart: "Phoebus, (you) who ever pitied the tribulations of Troy, (and) who guided the Dardan (i.e. Trojan) arrow from the hand of Paris into the body of the grandson of Aeacus (i.e. Achilles), under your guidance I have set out upon so many seas that wash great lands, and the far distant tribes of the Massylians (i.e. a North African tribe living to the west of Carthage), and the lands that border upon the Syrtes (i.e. two wide sandbanks near Carthage and Tripoli in Libya); now at last we seize hold of the elusive shores of Italy; thus far (only) may the luck of Troy have followed (us). You too, all you gods and goddesses, to whom the great glory of Ilium (i.e. a poetic name for Troy) and Dardania (i.e. the predecessor kingdom to Troy) were a stumbling block (i.e. Juno, Neptune and Minerva especially), now it is right to spare the race of Pergama (i.e. the citadel of Troy). And you, O most holy prophetess, who has foreknowledge of what is to come, grant - I ask for no kingdom not owed (to me) by my destiny - that the Teucrians and their wandering gods, and the storm-tossed deities of Troy, may settle in Latium (i.e. a district in western Italy adjacent to Rome). Then, I shall set up a temple of solid marble to Phoebus and to Trivia (i.e. the Temple of Apollo on the Palatine Hill built by Caesar Octavian in 28 B.C.) and festal days in the name of Phoebus (i.e. the Ludi Apollinares, established in 212 B.C. and which lasted for nine days each year). (For) you too, (Sibyl,) a fine sanctuary in my kingdom awaits (i.e. the Sibylline Books). For here I shall establish your oracular sayings and secret utterances communicated to my race, and gracious (lady), I shall ordain some chosen men (as your priests) (i.e. the Quindecemviri Sacris Faciundis). Only do not entrust your verses to leaves, lest they fly in disorder (as) playthings for the rushing winds; may you utter them yourself, I pray." (There) he made an end of his speech.

4.  Ll. 77-97.  The Sibyl, inspired by Apollo, promises Aeneas a lasting settlement in Italy, but only after he has had to fight long wars.

But the prophetess, not yet submitting to (the sway of) Apollo, revels wildly in her cavern, in the hope that she may be able to have shaken off the mighty god from her breast; (the more she raves), so much the more he tires her raving mouth, and he tames her wild heart and moulds her by his (strong) control. And now the hundred huge mouths of the house have opened of their own accord and carry the answers of the prophetess through the air: "O you who have at last done with the perils of the sea - but graver ones await you by land - the sons of Dardanus will come into the realm of Lavinium - dismiss this anxiety from your heart - , but they will also wish they had not come. I see wars, dreadful wars, and the Tiber foaming with much blood. You will not lack a Simois or a Xanthus (i.e. the two rivers of Troy), or a Dorian (i.e. Greek) camp. Another Achilles has already been produced in Latium (i.e. Turnus), he himself also born of a goddess (i.e. the sea-nymph Venilia); nor shall Juno anywhere fail to dog the Trojans (with her inveterate hatred); when you are a suppliant in essential things, what tribes or what cities of the Italians will you not have begged for help? Do not yield to these woes, but advance against (them) the more boldly by whatever (path) your destiny shall allow. The first path to safety, something which you least imagine, will be extended (to you) by a Greek city (i.e. Pallanteum, the capital of Evander)."

5.  Ll. 98-123.  Aeneas accepts the hard struggle which awaits him, only asking that he may first be allowed to pass through the neighbouring entrance of Avernus and visit his father Anchises in the Underworld.

With such words from her innermost shrine, the Cumaean Sybil chants her fearful riddles, and she bellows (them) from the cavern, wrapping the truth in obscurity. Such reins does Apollo shake at her as she rages and he plies the goad beneath her breast. As soon as her frenzy abated and her raving lips grew calm, the hero Aeneas begins (to speak): "No kind of tribulation, new or unexpected, rises up before me, O virgin; I have seen (them) all before, and I have pondered (everything) in my mind before (this). (But) one (thing) I beg: since it is said that the door of the Infernal King (i.e. Pluto or Dis) and the gloomy marsh where Acheron (i.e. the River of Sorrow in the Underworld) has overflowed, are here, may I be permitted to go (to see) the sight of my dear father's face; may you teach (me) the way, and may you open wide the sacred entrances. On these shoulders, I rescued him amid the flames and a thousand spear-shafts, and from the midst of the enemy I brought him safely home. Accompanying (me on) my journey, he, weak (though he was), endured with me all the seas and all the threats of ocean and sky beyond the capacity and the lot of old-age. Moreover, he too prayed and gave instructions that I should humbly seek you and visit your threshold. Have pity on both son and father, I beseech you, gracious (lady), for you can do all (things), nor did Hecate (i.e. Diana in the Underworld) set you over the Groves of Avernus (i.e. the 'birdless' lake in a volcanic crater just east of Cumae) in vain. If Orpheus, relying on his Thracian lyre and its tuneful strings, could summon the wraith of his wife (i.e. Eurydice), if Pollux redeemed his brother (i.e. Castor) by dying in his turn, and, time and again, he goes and comes back along that road - why should I speak of mighty Theseus or of the descendant of Alcaeus (i.e. Hercules)? - my descent also comes from highest Jupiter.

6.  Ll. 124-155.  The Sibyl bids Aeneas seek the Golden Bough, which alone can secure for its bearer a passage through the Underworld. First, however, he must bury the body of one of his comrades who has just been drowned. 

With such words, he prayed and grasped the altar, when the prophetess began to speak thus: "(O) Trojan, son of Anchises, sprung from the blood of the Gods, the descent to Avernus (i.e. the Underworld) (is) straightforward; the door of black Dis lies open night and day; but to retrace one's steps and ascend to the air above, this is the task, this (is) the difficulty. A few, sons of the Gods, whom a kindly Jupiter loved, or whom shining virtue bore aloft to the skies, have achieved (this). Woods occupy all the middle (areas), and the Cocytus (i.e. the River of Lamentation, or the Wailing River, in the Underworld) encircles (everything) as it glides along with its murky coils. But, if there is in your heart so great a desire and so great a yearning to sail twice across the Stygian lake (i.e. the River Styx, the River of Hate, the principal river of the Underworld, around which it flowed seven times) and twice to behold black Tartarus (i.e. the lowest and darkest depths of the Underworld where Jupiter incarcerates defeated enemies such as the Titans), and, if it (really) pleases you to indulge in this insane labour, hear what you must first accomplish. There lies hidden in a shady tree a bough, golden both in its leaves and in its pliant stem, (which is) said (to be) sacred to the Juno of the Underworld (i.e. Proserpine); this a whole grove conceals, and shadows shut (it) in within a dark valley. But it is not granted (to any man) to enter the hidden places of the earth until he has plucked the golden-leaved produce from the tree. The beautiful Proserpine has ordained that this be brought to her (as) a gift to herself. When the first (one) has been torn away, a second golden (bough) is not lacking, and the branch puts forth leaves of a similar metal. Therefore, look for signs (of it) with your eyes (raised) aloft, and, (when it is) found, duly pluck (it) with your hand; for it will come readily and with ease, if the Fates are calling you. Otherwise, you will not be able to win (it) by any force, nor to hack (it) off by hard steel. Besides, the body of your friend is lying lifeless - alas, you are not aware (of this)! - and is polluting the whole fleet with death, while you are seeking the decrees (of the Gods) and are lingering at our door. First, restore him to his proper resting-place and lay (him) in a tomb. Lead forth black cattle; let these be the first propitiatory offerings. Only thus will you behold the groves of the Styx and the realms (which are) not to be traversed by the living." She finished speaking and her closed mouth fell silent. 

7. Ll. 156-182.  They find the body of Misenus, who has been drowned, and prepare for his funeral. 

Quitting the cavern with a sad countenance and with his eyes downcast, Aeneas wends his way, and ponders these mysterious issues in his mind; faithful Achates goes (with him as) his companion, and plants his footsteps, (weighed down as they are) by similar anxieties. They exchanged many (words) between themselves, in a conversation covering various matters, (such as) what dead comrade, (and) what body needing burial was the prophetess speaking of. Then, as they went, they see on the dry shore (the body of) Misenus, cut off by an untimely death, Misenus, the son of Aeolus; (there was) no (one) else more excellent than him at summoning men with a brass (trumpet) and kindling a martial spirit with music. He had been a companion of the great Hector, and went into battle at Hector's side, marked out by his trumpet (call) and by his spear. After victorious Achilles despoiled the latter (i.e. Hector) of his life, that bravest of heroes had attached himself (as) a comrade to Dardanian (i.e. Trojan) Aeneas, following no meaner (destiny). But on a day when he happened to have made the sea resound through hollow shells, and had, in his folly, called the gods to a contest in music, the jealous Triton, if the story is worthy of belief, caught up with the man among the rocks, and drowned (him) in the foaming waves. So, they all, (and) pious Aeneas in particular, stood around (his body), lamenting with a loud clamour. Then, as they weep, they perform hastily (and) without delay the injunctions of the Sibyl, and they vie (with one another) to pile up a funeral altar with tree(-trunks) and they raise (it) to the sky. They go into the ancient forest, (among) the deep lairs of wild beasts: down come the pine-trees; the holm-oak rings as it is struck by axes; and beams of ash and easily-split oak is cleaved by wedges; they roll great rowan-trees down from the mountains. Aeneas, too, foremost among such tasks, encourages his comrades, and equips himself with similar tools (to theirs).

8.  Ll. 185-211.  While hewing wood for the pyre, Aeneas is attracted by two doves, the sacred birds of his mother Venus, which guide him to the Golden Bough.  

And he, himself, ponders these (thoughts) in his own sad heart, (while) gazing at the boundless forest, and thus he happens to pray: "If (only) that golden bough would now show itself to us on a tree in this darkest of forests! For the prophetess said everything truly, alas, too truly, about you, Misenus." Scarcely had he said these (words), when when a pair of birds, flying down from the sky, happened to come before the very eyes of the hero and settle on the green sward. Then, the mighty hero recognises his mother's birds, and, in joy, he prays: "Oh, if there is any way, be my guides, and direct your course through the air into that grove where the rich bough gives shade to the fertile ground. And you, O my divine mother, do not fail (me) at this time of uncertainty." Thus having spoken, he checked his footsteps, watching what signs (the birds) would offer, (and) in which (direction) they would proceed to go. As they fed, they advanced in flight just so far as the eyes of (those) following (them) with their gaze could keep (them) in view. The, when they came to the foul-smelling jaws of Avernus (i.e. the narrow entrance to the Underworld), they rise up swiftly, and, then, falling through the clear air, they both settle on the top of a tree, their desired resting-place, from where a gleam of gold, distinct in its hue, shone out through the branches. Even as, in the cold of winter, the mistletoe, which no parent tree sows, is wont to bloom upon the forest trees with an alien foliage, and to enfold their shapely trunks with its yellow growth, such was the appearance of leafy gold upon the shadowy holm-oak, and so tinkled the metal foil in the gentle breeze. Aeneas seizes it at once, and eagerly breaks off the close-clinging bough, and bears it into the house of the Sibylline prophetess.

9. Ll. 212-235.  The funeral rites of Misenus are performed.

Meanwhile, on the shore the Teucrians were still weeping for Misenus and paying their last (dues) to his thankless ashes. In the first place, they built a huge pyre, resinous with pine-wood faggots and sawn oak, and they embroider its sides with dark foliage, and they set up funereal cypresses in front of (it) and adorn the top (of it) with his shining armour. Some prepare hot water and a bubbling cauldron over the flames, and they wash and anoint the corpse, cold (though it is in death). A (loud) wailing arises. Then, after the lamentation is over, they lay his limbs upon the bier, and pile on top his purple robes, his well-known dress. Some shouldered the bier, a sad service (that was), and held the torch, which they placed beneath it, with their eyes averted in accordance with the custom of their ancestors. Heaped-up offerings of frankincense, sacrificial flesh, (and) a bowl of flowing oil are burned. When the embers collapsed and the fire had died down, they washed his remains and his thirsty ashes in wine, and Corynaeus gathered up his bones and placed (them) in a bronze urn. He also cleansed his comrades with pure water three times, sprinkling (them) with a light dew from the bough of a fruitful olive-tree, and he purified the men and spoke the very last words (to him) (i.e. Hail! and Farewell!). Then, pious Aeneas erects a tomb of vast size, together with the hero's own arms, and an oar and a trumpet, beneath a lofty mountain, which is now called Misenus (i.e. the promontory of Misenum, the most northerly point of the bay of Naples) after him, and keeps his name alive forever through the ages.

10.  Ll. 236-263.  Aeneas prepares for his journey by sacrificing to the powers of the Underworld at the entrance to Avernus.
There was a cave, deep and vast, with a great yawning mouth; (it was) stony and guarded by a dark lake and gloomy woods; over this no flying creatures could safely make their way by wing: from those black jaws rose so foul a breath that it streamed forth to the arch of heaven above: hence the Greeks called the place by the name of Birdless. Here the priestess first sets in place four bullocks with black hides and pours wine upon their brows, and, plucking the tallest tufts of hair (growing) midway between their horns, she lays (them) on the sacred fire as the first offering, calling aloud upon Hecate, who is powerful both in heaven and in Erebus (i.e. the Underworld or Darkness). Others put knives to (their throats), and catch their warm blood in bowls. Aeneas, himself, slaughters with his sword a lamb with a black fleece, in honour of the mother of the Furies (i.e. Night) and her great sister (i.e. Earth), and a barren heifer in honour of you, Proserpine. Then, at night, he sets up altars to the King of the Styx (i.e. Pluto or Dis), and places whole carcasses of bulls upon the flames (i.e. a holocaust), pouring rich oil upon the burning entrails. But lo! just before the rising beams of the new day, the earth beneath their feet (began) to rumble and the wooded heights began to quake, and dogs seemed to howl amid the darkness, as the Goddess (i.e. Hecate) drew near. "Away with you, Oh, away with you, you unhallowed ones (i.e. the comrades of Aeneas) ," exclaims the prophetess, "and remove yourselves from this whole grove! And you, commence your journey and draw your sword from its sheath. Now, Aeneas, there is the need for courage, now there is the need for a stout heart." So much she said, (and,) in a frenzy, she flung herself into the open cave; he, with fearless steps, keeps pace with his advancing guide. 

11.  Ll. 264-267.  Virgil interrupts the narrative to pray to the powers of darkness for permission to tell the tale of what they were to see. 

(You) Gods, who have dominion over souls, (you) voiceless shades, and (you,) Chaos (i.e. God of the Underworld, and father of Darkness and Night), and (you,) Phlegethon (i.e. the River of Fire in the Underworld), (and you) regions, silent in the darkness everywhere, let it be lawful for me to say what I have heard, let it be (lawful for me) to disclose, with your consent, the secrets (which are) buried within the depths of the earth and the darkness.

12.  Ll. 268-294.  Aeneas and the Sibyl enter Hades and behold a great array of monstrous creatures.  

Scarcely visible, they went through the depths of the lonely night, amid the gloom and through the empty halls of Dis and his ghostly realm. It was like a journey through woods under the grudging light of a hidden moon, when Jupiter has concealed the sky in shade, and black night has stolen the colour from things. Just before the entrance-hall and the very jaws of Orcus (i.e. Hades or the Underworld), Grief and avenging Cares have laid their beds, and pale Diseases live there, and sad Old Age, and Fear, and Hunger and squalid Want, shapes fearful to behold, and Death and Drudgery; then there is Sleep, Death's close kin, and the evil Joys of the mind, and, on the opposite threshold, murderous War, and the iron chambers of the Furies and demented Discord, her snaky locks bound by blood-stained fillets. In the centre, a huge, shady elm-tree spreads forth its boughs and aged branches, and they say that swarms of false Dreams occupy it (as) a resting-place, and cling under every leaf. And, besides, many monstrous (shapes) of various wild beasts are stabled beside the doors: Centaurs, the double-shaped Scyllae, and the hundred-headed Briareus, and the beast of Lerna (i.e. the Hydra), hissing dreadfully, and the Chimaera, armed with flames, Gorgons, and Harpies and the shape of the triple-bodied shade (i.e. Geryon). Then, Aeneas, alarmed by a sudden dread, snatches up his sword and presents an unsheathed blade to the (approaching) creatures, and, if his experienced companion had not warned (him) that (these were but) insubstantial disembodied beings, flitting about under the hollow semblance of form, he would have rushed in and vainly smitten the shades with his sword.

13.  Ll. 295-336.  They approach the ferry over the River Styx, and the Sibyl explains that the throng of ghosts who are eager but unable to cross it are the unburied, who must therefore wander around its banks for a hundred years. 

From here (lies) the way that leads to the waters of Tartarean Acheron. Here a murky whirlpool seethes in mud and in its vast abysses, and belches forth all its sludge into the Cocytus. A grim ferryman keeps watch over these waters and rivers, Charon, terrible in his squalor: on his chin there grows a mass of untrimmed grey hair; his eyes are set in a blazing stare; a dirty cloak hangs by a knot from his shoulders. (By) himself, he propels his bark with a pole and attends to the sails, and he carries upstream the souls of the dead in his rust-red boat; (he is) quite old now, but the old-age of a god (is) fresh and green. Hither a whole crowd was rushing to the banks in streams, mothers and men, and the bodies of great-hearted heroes, whose life has ended, boys and unmarried girls, and young men, laid on the pyre before the eyes of their parents. They are (as) numerous as the leaves (which) glide and fall in the woods at the first frost of autumn, or (as) many as the birds (that) flock to land from the depths of the ocean, when the cold season of the year drives (them) across the sea and sends (them) to sunlit lands. (There) they stood, pleading (to be) the first to make the crossing, and they stretched out their hands in longing for the farther bank. But the stern boatman accepts now these, now those; but others he keeps at a distance from the water's edge. Aeneas, amazed indeed and disturbed by the tumult, cries out, "Tell (me), O virgin, what is the meaning of the gathering at the river? And what are these souls seeking? Or for what reason are some leaving the banks, (while) others are sweeping the leaden-hued shallows with their oars?" The aged priestess spoke to him briefly thus: "(O) son of Anchises, undoubted offspring of the Gods, you are looking at the pools of the Cocytus and the Stygian marsh, by whose divine name (even) the Gods fear to swear falsely. All of this crowd that you see are destitute and unburied; that ferryman (is) Charon; these whom the water bears (are) the buried. Nor is he permitted to carry them across that roaring current until their bones find repose in their (last) resting-place (i.e. the grave). They wander and flit about around these shores for a hundred years; only then, once they have been admitted, do they see once more the pools they have longed for." The son of Anchises came to a halt and checked his footsteps, pondering many things and pitying in his heart their cruel fate. There he sees, (among) the mournful and (those) lacking honour in death, Leucaspis and Orontes, the leader of the Lycian fleet, whom, (while) voyaging together (with him) from Troy over the windswept seas, the South Wind overwhelmed, engulfing both ship and crewmen.
14.  Ll. 337-383.  Palinurus approaches and tells the story of his death, and begs Aeneas to take him with him across the Styx. The Sibyl tells him that this cannot happen, but promises him burial and that the spot where he died will bear his name forever. 
Behold, the helmsman, Palinurus, was approaching, (he) who recently on the voyage from Libya, while he was watching the stars, had fallen from the stern and had been flung overboard in mid-ocean. When he (i.e. Aeneas) had recognised the sad (figure) with some difficulty amid the deep gloom, he speaks first thus: "Which of the Gods, Palinurus, snatched you away from us, and drowned (you) in the middle of the sea? Come, speak! For Apollo, whom I had not found false before, has deceived my mind with this one oracular response, (for) he prophesied that you would be unharmed by the sea and would reach the land of Ausonia (i.e. Italy)." However, he (replies): "O son of Anchises, my captain, Phoebus' cauldron did not deceive you, nor did a god drown me in the sea. For the rudder, to which, (as) its appointed guardian, I was clinging, and (by means of which) I was steering our course, had, by chance, been wrenched away with great force, (and,) as I fell headlong, I dragged (it) down with me. By the rough seas, I swear that I felt no fear for myself as great as (the fear that I had) lest your ship, having been robbed of its gear (and) its helmsman having been thrown overboard, might founder amid such surging waves. For three stormy nights the South Wind, blustering over the water, carried me through the boundless sea; at dawn on the fourth day, while high up on the crest of a wave, I just caught site of Italy. Gradually, I swam in to land: now safety was in my grasp, (or would have been) if a savage tribe had not assailed (me) with knives, weighed down with sodden clothing (as I was) and snatching at the jagged summit of a rock; in their ignorance they had deemed (me) a prize. Now the tides have hold of me, and the winds are rolling (me) around on the shore. Wherefore, I beseech you, by the joyous light and the winds of heaven, by your father and your hopes for the growing Iulus, rescue me, (O) invincible (one), from these woes: either throw some earth upon me, for you have the power to do so, and seek once more the harbour of Velia; or, if there is any way, (and) if your Goddess mother shows it to you, - for you are not, I believe, preparing to navigate such great rivers and the Stygian marsh without the consent of the Gods - give (me) your hand in pity and take me with you over the waves, so that at least in death I may find repose in a quiet resting place." He had just finished speaking these (words), when the prophetess began (her reply) as follows: "From where, O Palinurus, (does) this most dreadful desire of yours (come)? Are you, unburied, (actually) going to look upon the waters of the Styx and the Furies' pitiless river, or are you (really) going to come to the bank unbidden? Cease to hope that the decrees of the Gods (can) be turned aside by prayer. But take my words to heart (in) consolation for your hard lot: for the neighbouring peoples living around cities far and wide, driven by heavenly portents, shall appease your bones and shall set up a burial mound and send customary offerings to this tomb." At these words, his anxieties were dispelled, and the grief was driven from his sad heart for a little while: he rejoices in a land with the same name (as his own).

15.  Ll. 384-416.  Charon at first refuses to receive them, but, on being shown the Golden Bough, he at once ferries them across the Styx. 

So, they continue the journey which they had begun, and draw near to the river. Now then, when the boatman from the waters of the Styx sees them coming through the noiseless forest and turning their footsteps towards the bank, he immediately challenges (them), and, without any provocation, upbraids (them) thus: "Whoever you are, you who proceed towards our river in arms, come, tell us at once why you come, and check your step. This is the land of shadows and sleep and slumbrous night; (it is) a sin to carry living bodies in the Stygian bark. Nor, indeed, did I take any pleasure in welcoming the descendant of Alceus (i.e. Hercules) to the lake, when he passed this way, nor Theseus, nor Pirithoüs, although they were begotten by gods and invincible in their strength. The former (i.e. Hercules) sought to bind by force the watchdog of Tartarus (i.e. Cerberus), and dragged (him) away quivering from the throne of the King himself (i.e. Pluto or Dis); the latter attempted to abduct my mistress (i.e. Proserpine) from the bed-chamber of Dis." In answer to this, the Amphrysian prophetess (i.e. the prophetess of Apollo) answered briefly: "There is no such treachery here; cease to be troubled; nor do our weapons offer any violence; that huge doorkeeper may terrify the bloodless shades by barking forever in his cave; and Proserpine may chastely keep to her uncle's threshold. Trojan Aeneas, celebrated for his piety and his arms descends to the deepest shadows of Erebus in search of his father. If this picture of such great devotion does not move you in any way, then may you recognise this bough" - here she reveals the bough which lay hidden beneath her vestment. Then, the swelling wrath in his heart subsides. Nor were more words said than these. Marvelling at the revered offering of this fateful branch, seen (again) after so long a time, he turns his dark skiff towards (them) and approaches the bank. Then, he drives away the other souls who were seated on the long thwarts, and clears the gangway; at the same time, he takes the huge Aeneas on board. Made of sewn skins, the boat groaned under his weight, and, being leaky, it let in much marsh (water). (Getting) across the river at last, he disembarks both prophetess and warrior unharmed upon the shapeless mud and the grey sedge.

16.  Ll. 417-438.  The Sibyl renders the monster Cerberus harmless with a drugged cake. Aeneas then passes those regions of Hades inhabited by the spirits of those who died before their time. 

The huge Cerberus, lying in the cave opposite, makes these realms resound with barking from his three throats. The prophetess, seeing that his neck was already bristling with snakes, flings him a cake, (which had been) made soporific with honey and drugged cornmeal. Opening his three throats, (all) ravenous with hunger, he snaps up the (morsel) thrown (in his path), and, sprawling on the ground, he relaxes his monstrous back and his huge body lies stretched across the whole cave. With the watchdog (now) buried (in sleep), Aeneas seizes hold of the entrance, and swiftly departs from the bank of the river of no-return. Immediately, voices were heard, and a loud wailing, and the weeping souls of babies, whom on the very first threshold, and torn from the breast without a share in sweet life, a black day carried off and plunged in bitter death. Next to them (are) those condemned to death upon a false charge. However, these places (are) not assigned without the drawing of lots and a judge. Minos (is) president (of the court and) shakes the urn; he summons the assembly of the voiceless (dead) and acquaints himself with their lives and the charges (laid against them). Then, some sad (souls) occupy the next places, (those) who, (though) innocent, brought about death by their own hands, and, loathing the light (of day), they flung away their lives. How they would now wish to be enduring both want and hard toil under high heaven! Divine law stands in their way, and the dismal marsh binds (them) in its hateful water and the Styx confines (them) with its ninefold windings.

17.  Ll. 440-476.  Aeneas now comes to the Fields of Lamentation, in which the victims of cruel love wander about. Aeneas meets Dido and vainly seeks to console her.  

Not far from here are displayed the Fields of Lamentation, extending in every direction; thus they name them. Here secluded pathways hide, and a myrtle wood completely covers, those whom pitiless love has consumed by a cruel wasting (disease): their sorrows do not leave (them), even in death. In this region he sees Phaedra, and Procris, and sorrowful Eriphyle, showing the wounds made by her cruel son, and Evadne and Pasiphaë; Laodamia goes with them (as) a companion, and Caeneus, once a young man and now a woman again, changed by fate into her old form. Among these, Phoenician Dido, her wound still fresh, was wandering in a great wood. As soon as the Trojan hero stopped beside her and recognised (her) dim (shape) amid the shadows; just like (one) who, at the beginning of the month, either sees, or thinks that (he) has seen, the moon through clouds, he shed tears of grief, and spoke to (her) with tender love: "(O) unhappy Dido, did true news thus come to me that (you) were dead, and that you had sought your end with the sword? Was I, alas, the cause of your death? I swear by the stars, by the gods above, and by whatever sacred thing there is in the depths of the earth, that I departed unwillingly from your shores, (O) queen. But the decrees of the gods which now compel (me) to go through these shadows, through these places overgrown through neglect, and through deepest night, have driven me by their authority. Nor could I believe that by my departure, I was bringing you such great grief. Check your footsteps, and do not withdraw yourself from my sight! From whom are you fleeing? This is the last word, which, by Fate's decree, I can address to you." By such words did Aeneas try to soothe her burning and grimly staring wrath, and he invoked his tears. She, turning away, kept her eyes fixed on the ground, nor is her countenance any more changed, since he began his conversation, than if she were set (as) hard flint or Marpesian marble. At length, she took hold of herself, and, (still) hostile (towards him), she fled back to the shadowy forest, where Sychaeus, her former husband, responds to her with his cares and matches (her) love. Aeneas, no less shaken by her unjust fate, escorts (her) from afar with his tears, and pities (her) as she goes.

18.  Ll. 477-493.  Aeneas comes to that part of Hades where dwell the ghosts of famous warriors who died in battle; and there the shades of his enemies, the Greeks, shrink in terror from him.

Thence, he struggled along the appointed path. And now they had reached the most distant fields, which, (lying) apart, (those) distinguished in war frequent. Here Tydeus comes to meet him, then Parthenopaeus, glorious in arms, and the phantom of pallid Adrastus; here (come) the sons of Dardanus (i.e. the Trojans), much lamented among those dwelling in the world above and (who have) fallen in battle, and he groaned when he saw them all in a long line: Glaucus and Medon, Thersilochus and the three sons of Antenor (i.e. Polybus, Agenor and Acamus), Polyboetes, the priest of Ceres, and Idaeus, still in possession of his chariot and armour. The souls stand around, crowding (around him) on his right and left. But it is not enough to have seen (him) once; (they) delight to linger still, and to match their steps (to his), and to learn the reason for his coming. But the chiefs of the Danaans and the phalanxes of Agamemnon, when they saw the hero and his armour shining through the shadows, trembled in great fear: some turned in flight, just as they had once made for their ships; others raised a faint cry: an attempted shout mocks their gaping (mouths).

19.  Ll. 494-547.  Among the warriors, Aeneas sees the Trojan Deiphobus, hideously mutilated, and hears the story of his treacherous betrayal by Helen. 

And here he saw Priam's son, Deiphobus, his whole body mangled and his face cruelly torn, his face, (aye) and both his hands, and his temples mutilated, with his ears torn away, and his nostrils slashed by a shameful wound. Indeed, he scarcely recognised (him) as he cowered and covered up his fearsome punishment, and even, (though he is) ungreeted, he addresses (him) in his familiar tones: "Deiphobus, mighty in battle, sprung from the exalted blood of Teucer, who chose to inflict so cruel a punishment upon you? Who was given the power (to do) you so much (injury)? Rumour told me that on that last night, you, exhausted by the endless slaughter of Pelasgians (i.e. Greeks), had sunk down on a heap of mingled corpses. Then, with my own hands, I constructed an empty tomb for you on the Rhoetean shore, and called upon your shade three times in a loud voice. Your name and your arms mark the spot; you, my friend, I could not see, nor could I bury you in our native earth, when I was departing." To these words, the son of Priam replied: "Nothing was left undone by you, O friend; you have paid all dues to Deiphobus and to the shades of his dead body. But my fate and the deadly crimes of that Laconian (woman) (i.e. Helen of Sparta) have drowned me in these miseries: (it was) she (who) left these memorials. For you know how we spent that last night amid those groundless rejoicings; and one cannot but remember (it) too well. At the moment when the fateful horse (i.e. the Wooden Horse) came with a bound over the heights of Pergama, while pregnant with the armed infantry it carried in its womb, she, feigning a dance, was leading the Phrygian (women) around the city, crying aloud in accordance with the rites of Bacchus; in the midst (of them), she, herself, was holding a huge torch and was summoning the Danaans from the top of the citadel. At this time our ill-fated marriage-chamber held me, exhausted by my cares and weighed down by sleep, and a repose, sweet and deep, and akin to a peaceful death, presses upon me as I lay. Meanwhile, that peerless wife of mine removes every weapon from the house, and had stolen the trusty sword from beneath my pillow: she calls Menelaus into the house and throws open the doors, doubtless hoping that this would prove a great gift to her loving (husband) and that the record of all her wrongs could thus be blotted out. Why do I prolong (the story)? Into the chamber they burst; attached to them as a companion (is) that instigator of crimes, the grandson of Aeolus (i.e. Ulysses). (O) Gods, repay a similar treatment upon the Greeks, if with pious lips I demand vengeance! But come, tell (me) in turn what chance has brought you here alive? Do you come (here), driven by the wandering (currents) of the ocean, or by the warnings of the gods? Or what fate dogs you that you come to these sad sunless halls, these places of disorder?"

20.  Ll. 535-547.  The Sibyl reminds Aeneas that they must not linger, but hasten on their way. 

During this exchange of conversation, Aurora (i.e. the Dawn) in her rose-red chariot had already passed the mid-point of the zenith in her heavenly course; and perhaps they would have spent all their allotted time in such (converse), but his companion, the Sibyl, admonished (him) and briefly addressed (him thus): "Night is falling, Aeneas. We are spending our time in lamentation. This is the place where the road divides itself into two: along this right (hand road), which passes beneath the walls of mighty Dis, lies our way to Elysium (i.e. the Abode of the Blessed); but the left (hand) road exacts the punishment of evil(-doers), and brings (them) to pitiless Tartarus." Deiphobus (says to her) in reply: "Don't be angry, great priestess; I shall depart, I shall complete the muster (of ghosts), and shall return myself to the darkness. Go, you glory of our (race), go (forth)! Enjoy a better fate (than mine)!" So much he spoke, and with these words he turned away his footsteps.

21.  Ll. 548-561.  Aeneas, looking round, sees opposite him a vast and awful fortress, from which come groans and cries of woe. He asks the Sibyl to explain the reason for these terrible sounds. The Sibyl explains that this is the abode of the damned, which she alone of the righteous has been allowed to enter. 
Aeneas suddenly looks back, and, below a cliff on his left, he sees broad battlements encircled by a triple wall; a swiftly flowing river, the Tartarean Phlegethon, flows around it with scorching flames, and rolls along thunderous rocks. Confronting (him) is a huge gate and columns of sold adamant (i.e. an indestructible substance, probably steel), such that no force of man, nor even the Gods themselves, could overthrow (them) in a war; there stands an iron tower (reaching) to the sky, and Tisphone, seated (but) girt in her blood-soaked robe, sleeplessly guards the entrance both night and day. From here were heard groans and the cruel sound of the lash; then the clanking of iron and of chains being dragged. Aeneas stood still, and, terrified, he took in the noise. "What spectacle of crimes (is this)? Tell (me), O virgin! Or by what punishments are they being tormented? What (is) this very great noise (that comes) to my ears?" 
22.  Ll. 562-575.  The Sibyl explains that this is the abode of the damned, which she alone of the righteous has been allowed to enter. 
Then, the prophetess began to speak as follows: "(O) Glorious leader of the Teucrians, it is unlawful for any sinless (person) to step across that guilty threshold; but at the time when Hecate put me in charge of the Groves of Avernus, she herself told (me) of the punishments decreed by the Gods and led me through all of these (scenes). Here Cnossian (i.e. Cretan) Rhadamanthus (i.e. the brother of Minos) holds very strict sway, and punishes (men) and learns of their crimes, and compels (them) to confess those (crimes), for which any (man) upon the earth, exulting in his vain deceit, has deferred until death's late hour the atonement incurred. At once (i.e. as soon as Rhadamanthus has pronounced them guilty), the avenging Tisiphone, armed with a whip, leaps on the guilty and hounds (them) along, and, brandishing, in a threatening manner, the fierce serpents in her left (hand), she summons the savage company of her sisters (i.e. the Furies Allecto and Megaera). Then, at last, the the sacred gates, grating on their screeching hinges, open wide. You see, (don't you,) what kind of custodian sits in the entrance, what shape keeps guard of the threshold (i.e. the watch-dog Cerberus)
23.  Ll. 576-627.  The Sybil recounts the horrors of Tartarus, and tells Aeneas about the victims of its punishments and the crimes which they have committed. 

"Even fiercer (than him), the Hydra, with her fifty vast black gaping throats, has her lair within. Then Tartarus, itself, yawns sheer downwards and stretches down to the shadows twice as far as is the view upwards towards heavenly Olympus in the sky. Here the brood of Titans, the ancient progeny of Earth, cast down by a thunderbolt, writhe at the bottom of the pit. Here too I saw the twin sons of Aloeus (i.e. Otus and Ephialtes), those monstrous forms, who attempted to tear down high heaven with their hands, and to hurl down Jupiter from his realm above. I also saw Salmoneus paying the cruel penalty, (which he incurred) while he was imitating Jupiter's lighting and the thunder of Olympus. He, drawn in a four-horse chariot and brandishing a torch, rode in triumph through Greek people and right through the city of Elis, and demanded for himself the honour due to the Gods, a madman (in that) he mimicked the storm-clouds and the inimitable thunderbolt by the beat of his horny-hooved horses on (echoing) brass (i.e. he drove his chariot over a bridge made of brass). But the Almighty Father whirled his shaft amid the dense clouds; he (did) not (throw) torches or pinewood's smoky lights, but with a mighty whirlwind he hurled (him) down headlong. And it was also possible to see Tityos, the nursling of all-bearing Earth, whose body stretches over nine whole acres; and a monstrous vulture, with a hooked beak, feeds on his deathless liver and entrails ever producing fresh material for punishment, and it forages at his feast and dwells deep beneath his breast, nor is any respite given to his renewed tissues. Why should I tell of the Lapiths, of Ixion, and of Pirithoüs? (And of him) (i.e. Tantalus), above whom there hangs a black mass of flint, about to slip at any moment like a falling (rock). The golden feet gleam upon the high festal couch, and a banquet of regal magnificence (is) spread before his eyes. The eldest of the Furies reclines nearby and prevents (him) from touching the table with his hands, and she rises up, brandishing a torch, and utters thunderous threats. Here (are those) who hated their brothers, while life remained, or (who) struck their father, or (who) plotted treachery against a dependant, or (those) who brooded alone over the riches (which they had) gained and did not set aside a portion for their own (kinsmen)  - this is the largest number - , and (those) who were slain due to adultery, and who pursued treasonous warfare and did not scruple to deceive the trust of their lords; in confinement, they all await their punishment. Do not seek to be told what punishment (they are awaiting) or what form (of punishment) or fate has overwhelmed these men. Some (e.g. Sisyphus) are rolling huge rocks, others (e.g. Ixion) are spread-eagled upon the spokes of wheels; unhappy Theseus is sitting (there) and will sit (there) forever; and most-wretched Phlegyas warns everyone, and testifies in a loud voice amid the gloom: 'Be warned, learn justice and not to despise the Gods!' This (man) sold his native-country for gold, and set over (it) a despotic lord, who made and unmade laws at a price; this other (man) entered his daughter's bed-chamber and (contracted) a forbidden marriage. They have all dared a monstrous sin, and have achieved (what) they dared. Not if I were to have a hundred tongues, and a hundred mouths, (and) an iron voice, could I encompass all the names of their punishments."

24.  Ll. 628-636.  The Sibyl points to the Palace of Pluto and bids Aeneas deposit the Golden Bough at its door.

When the aged priestess of Phoebus has spoken these (words), she adds: "But come now, proceed upon your journey, and complete the task (which you have) undertaken. Let us hasten! I see the battlements wrought in the forges of the Cyclopes, and the gates (set) in the archway opposite, where the commandments of  the Gods require us to place the prescribed offering." She finished speaking, and, walking side by side through the darkness of the ways, they speed over the intervening space, and approach the door. Aeneas gains the entrance, and he sprinkles his body with fresh water and plants the Bough on the threshold in front (of him).

25.  Ll. 637-678.  They enter the Abodes of the Blessed, where dwell the souls of the great and the good. The Sibyl enquires where Anchises, the father of Aeneas, is to be found, and Musaeus offers to guide them.

Having performed these (rites and) having fulfilled his duty to the Goddess (i.e. Proserpine), then only do they come to the joyous places and the delightful greenery of the Groves of the Fortunate and the Abodes of the Blessed. Here (there is) an ampler ether, and it clothes the plains with a dazzling light, and they get to know a sun of their own (and) their own stars. Some exercise their limbs on a grassy wrestling-ground, contend in sport, and grapple on the yellow sand; others beat (the rhythm of) dances with their feet and chant songs. And the Thracian priest (i.e. Orpheus), with his long robe, plays in accompaniment to the measures the seven distinct notes (i.e. the seven notes are those of the lyre, which had seven strings), and strikes the same (notes) now with his fingers, now with his ivory plectrum. Here (is) the ancient line of Teucer, the fairest of breeds, great-hearted heroes born in happier times: Ilus, and Assaracus, and Dardanus, the founder of Troy. He (i.e. Aeneas) marvels from afar at the ghostly arms and chariots of men. Their spears stand (erect), fixed in the ground, and their untethered horses graze in all directions across the plain. The same pride in their chariots and their arms which (they) had (when they were) alive, (and the same) concern (which they had when alive) to feed their sleek steeds, (still) attend (them now that they have been) laid to rest in earth. Behold, he sees others to the right and to the left, feasting on the grass and singing a joyful paean in chorus within a fragrant laurel grove, from where the Eridanus (i.e. the River Po) in full spate rolls through woods in the world above. Here (is) the band (of men who) suffered wounds in fighting for their native-country, and (those) who (were) chaste priests, while life remained, and (those) who (were) dutiful prophets (who) spoke (words) worthy of Phoebus, or (those) who ennobled life through the crafts (they had) invented, and (those) who, through their merit, caused others to remember them. The brows of all of these are bound by a snow-white ribbon. These, as they gathered around, the Sibyl addressed thus, Musaeus above all, for the vast throng has him in their midst, and looks up at (him) towering above (them) with his tall shoulders: "Tell (me), (O) blessed spirits, and you, (O) best bard, which region, which place, has hold of Anchises? For his sake have we come and sailed across the great rivers of Erebus." Immediately the hero (i.e. Musaeus) returned answer to her briefly thus: "None (of us) has a fixed dwelling; we live in these shady groves and inhabit these soft-cushioned banks and these meadows fresh with (running) streams. But you, if the wish in your heart so inclines (you), climb this ridge, and I shall set (you) now upon an easy path." (So) he spoke and led the way before (them), and, from above, he shows (them) the gleaming fields; then, they leave the high summits (of the mountains).

26.  Ll. 679-702.  They find Anchises in a green valley, meditating as he surveys the spirits of heroes yet unborn. Father and son exchange greetings. 

But deep in a green valley, father Anchises was reviewing with eager meditation the souls imprisoned (there) and destined to pass to the light above, and, as it happened, he was reviewing the full number of his (kinsmen) and his beloved descendants, and their fates and fortunes, their characters and their exploits. And, when he saw Aeneas advancing towards (him) across the grass, he eagerly stretched out both his hands, and tears streamed down his cheeks, and speech fell from his lips: "Have you come at last, and has the devotion your father expected triumphed over your toilsome journey? Am I permitted to gaze on your face, my son, and to hear your familiar voice and reply (to it)? Thus, for my part, I considered (it) in my mind and thought it would happen, as I counted the passing days, nor has my anxiety deceived me. What lands and what wide seas you have travelled over ere I now welcome you! What great perils (you have been) buffeted by, my son! How I feared that the realms of Libya would do you some harm!" But he replied: "(It was) your sad ghost, Father, (it was) your (sad ghost) appearing so often before me (that) drove (me) to make my way to these portals. My ships are afloat in the Tyrrhenian sea. Let me clasp your hand, do let me, Father, and do not draw away from my embrace!" So, as he spoke, at the same time his face grew wet with copious tears. Then, he tried three times to put his arms around his neck; three times the wraith, having been clasped in vain, eluded his grasp, like a light breeze and very similar to a fleeting (vision seen) in sleep.

27.  Ll. 703-723.  Aeneas notices the spirits crowding along the banks of the River Lethe and asks Anchises what they are; he is told that they are souls destined for rebirth, many of them as his own descendants.

Meanwhile, in a secluded valley Aeneas sees a sheltered grove and the rustling thickets of a wood, and the River Lethe (i.e. the River of Unmindfulness or Oblivion) which glides past some peaceful houses. Around it hovered innumerable tribes and peoples; and, just as when bees in a meadow in cloudless summer settle on the multi-coloured flowers and flock around the white lilies, the whole field hums with their buzzing. Aeneas is startled at the sudden sight, and, in his ignorance, inquires the reasons (for it): what (he asks) are these rivers yonder and who (are) the men (who) have crowded the banks in so great a number? Then father Anchises (replies): "(They are) souls to whom second bodies are owed by Fate, (and) at the stream of the River Lethe they drink the waters that free from care and (bring with them) an everlasting oblivion. Indeed, I have long desired to tell you about them and to show (them to you) face to face, (yes and) to enumerate this, my children's line of descent, so that you may rejoice with me the more at our discovery of Italy." "O Father, must we think that some souls go aloft from here to the upper air, and return once more to sluggish bodies? What terrible longing for the light (of day) so possesses these wretched (creatures)?" "I will surely tell (you), nor shall I keep you in any doubt, my son," replies Anchises, and he reveals (everything) in order, one (truth) at a time.

28.  Ll. 724-751.  Anchises explains what life is and how the divine in man is ever at war with his earthly body. He shows how spirits are purified in Hades, and how, after drinking from the River of Unmindfulness, they are allowed to return again to the land of the living. 

In the beginning, a spirit from within sustains the sky, and the earth, and the watery plains (i.e. the sea), and the shining globe of the moon and the Titanian star (i.e. the sun, reputed to be the offspring of the Titan Hyperion); and Mind, coursing through its members, keeps the whole mass moving and mingles itself within its massive frame. From this (source springs) the species of men, and of beasts, and of the flying (creatures), and of those monsters which the sea produces beneath its marbled surface. Those seeds have the strength of fire and a heavenly origin, so long as harmful bodies (i.e. matter) do not hamper (them) and their earthly limbs and moribund flesh dull (them). Hence, they (i.e. the souls of men) fear and desire, they grieve and rejoice, nor, enclosed (as they are) in gloom and a dark dungeon, can they discern the light of heaven. Nay, even when life with its last beam has left (them), yet all the the evil and all the plagues (of the flesh) do not entirely depart from these wretched (beings), and it is inevitable that many (taints), long growing, should become deeply engrained in wondrous ways. Thus, they are wracked by punishment and pay penance for old misdeeds. Some (souls) are revealed as insubstantial, having been hung out to the winds; in other (cases) the guilty stain is washed away beneath a vast flood or burned out by fire. We bear, each one of us, his own ghost; thereafter, a few (of us) are sent to spacious Elysium, and possess these blissful fields, until, when the cycle of time has been completed, a distant day has removed the ingrown taint, and (so) leaves unalloyed the etherial sense and the flame of pure spirit. All of these (souls), when they have revolved the wheel (of time) for a thousand years, a god summons in a great throng to the River Lethe, so that, without any recollection of course, they may see again the vaulted heavens and begin their desire to return to the body."

29.  Ll. 752-787.  They mount a platform which commands a view of those spirits destined to a future life. Then, Anchises shows Aeneas the long train of Alban kings, his descendants, ending with Romulus, the founder of Rome. 

Anchises finished speaking; he draws his son, and with (him) the Sibyl, into the middle of the assembly and the buzzing throng, and he takes his stand on a mound, from where he could scan all (those) facing (him) in a long line and note their faces as they come by. "I shall set forth in words what glory shall attend the offspring of Dardanus in the days to come, what descendants of Italian stock await (you), illustrious souls and destined to inherit our name, and I shall teach you your own destiny. That young man you see, who is leaning on a headless spear, holds by lot the next place (to enter) the light (of day), and he shall be the first to rise into the upper air, having been mingled with Italian blood, Silvius, an Alban name, your last-born progeny; Lavinia, your wife in your old age, will give birth to (him) in the woods, too late (for you to know), (to be) a king and the father of kings; through him our race shall hold sway in Alba Longa. That (man) next (to him is) Procas, glory of the Trojan people, and (then follow) Capys and Numitor, and (he) who shall recall you by his name, Aeneas Silvius, equally illustrious (with you) in piety or in warfare, if he ever receives Alba as his kingdom. What (fine) young men (are these)! Look, what great strength they display, and they have temples shadowed with the civic oak-leaves. These (men shall build) for you Nomentum, and Gabii and the city of Fidenae, these men will build Collatia's citadel in the hills, (as well as) Pometii, Castrum Inui, Bola and Cora. These will be names in the future, (but) now they are places without a name. Yes, and a son of Mavors shall add himself as a companion to his grandfather (i.e. Numitor), (namely) Romulus, whom his mother Ilia (i.e. Rhea Silvia) will bear of the blood of Assaracus. Do you see how the twin plumes stand upon his head and (how) his father himself already marks him out for the world above with his own badge of honour. Lo, under his auspices, my son, that glorious Rome (of ours) shall equate her empire with the earth and her ambitions with Olympus, and shall, (as) a single (city), blessed in her breed of men, encircle seven hills with a wall. (It is) just as the Berecynthian mother (i.e. Cybele) rides, turret-crowned, in her chariot through the cities of Phrygia, rejoicing in her divine brood, embracing a hundred descendants, all (of them) gods, all (of them) inhabiting the heavenly heights.

30.  Ll. 788-807.  Anchises points out the Julian family, and especially Augustus, the destined conqueror of realms even wider than those traversed by Hercules or Bacchus. 

"Now, turn your two(-eyed) gaze this way, look at this family and at the Romans (that are) yours. Here (is) Caesar and all the progeny of Iulus, destined to pass under the great vault of heaven. Here (is) the man, whom you so often hear is promised to you, here he is Augustus Caesar (i.e. Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus), son of the God (i.e. Gaius Julius Caesar), who will again establish a golden age in Latium, over fields once ruled by Saturn (i.e. the God of  Sowing). He will extend his empire beyond both the Garamantes (i.e. the Libyans) and the Indians. This land lies beyond the stars, beyond the paths of the year and of the sun, where heaven-bearing Atlas revolves on his shoulders the vault (of heaven) studded with flaming stars. In the expectation of his coming, both the Caspian realms and the Maeotic lands (i.e. lands around the Sea of Azov) are even now quaking at the prophecies of the Gods, and the trembling mouths of the sevenfold Nile are in a panic. Nor, indeed, did the descendant of Alcaeus (i.e. Hercules) traverse so much of the earth, although he transfixed the brazen-footed stag (i.e. the Cerynitian stag, captured by Hercules) and tamed the woods of Erymanthus (i.e. the home of the great boar killed by Hercules) and made Lerna (i.e. the home of the seven-headed Hydra killed by Hercules) tremble at his bow. Nor (does) Liber (i.e. Bacchus or Dionysus), who triumphantly guides his chariot with reins (made) of vine-tendrils, as he drives his tigers down from Nysa's lofty peak, (traverse so much of the earth). And do we still hesitate to give scope to our valour by our deeds? Or does fear of setting foot on Ausonian soil (still) prevent us (from doing so)?

31.  Ll. 808-835.  The kings of Rome are seen in order, followed by the great men of the Republic, especially Pompey and Caesar, the protagonists in the Civil War.

But who is that (man) in the distance, distinguished by sprays of olive and carrying sacred (offerings)? I recognise the hoary hair and beard of that Roman king, who will establish the infant  city on (a basis of) laws, having been called to mighty empire from little Cures and its barren soil (i.e. Numa Pompilius). Thereafter, Tullus (i.e. Tullus Hostilius) will succeed him, (he) who will shatter the peace of his native-land and stir into battle its inactive men and its ranks, until then unused to triumphs. The over-boastful Ancus (i.e. Ancus Martius) follows him closely, already delighting too much, even now, in popular favour. Do you wish to see the Tarquinian kings (i.e. Tarquinius Priscus, Servius Tullius, and Lucius Tarquinius Superbus), and the proud spirit of the avenger Brutus (i.e. Lucius Junius Brutus), and the rods (of office) (i.e. the fasces) (which he) regained? He will be the first to receive a consul's power and the cruel axes, and (he), their father, for the sake of glorious liberty, will call his sons to punishment, when they stir up rebellion. Unhappy (man)! however posterity will report that deed, love of country and a limitless passion for renown will prevail. Now, look at the Decii (i.e. especially Publius Decius Mus) and the Drusi (i.e. especially Marcus Livius Drusus Salinator) over there, and pitiless Torquatus (i.e. Marcus Manlius Imperiosus Torquatus) with his axe, and Camillus (i.e. Marcus Furius Camillus) bringing back the standards. Then, those souls whom you see resplendent in matching armour (are) in harmony now and as long as they are imprisoned by night, but alas, if ever they attain the light of life, what great war between themselves, what great battles and carnage will they arouse, the father-in-law (i.e. Gaius Julius Caesar), descending from his Alpine ramparts and from the fortress of Monoecus (i.e. Monaco), the son-in-law (i.e. Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, or Pompey), arrayed against (him) with the (armies of) the East! Do not, my sons, accustom your thoughts to such great wars nor turn your mighty strength against the vital organs of your native-land. And you who traces his descent from Olympus (i.e. Gaius Julius Caesar), be you the first to show mercy. Throw down the weapon from your hand, (O you child of) my blood!"

32.  Ll. 836-853.  Other Republican heroes pass in review. Anchises expresses the view that the genius of the Roman people will express itself, not in the arts or science, but in war and the art of government.

Yonder (hero) (i.e. Lucius Mummius), while triumphing over Corinth, will drive his chariot in victory to the heights of the Capitol, renowned for the Achaeans (he has) slain. That (other hero) over there (i.e. Lucius Aemilius Paullus) will overthrow the Argos and the Mycenae of Agamemnon and the descendant of Aeacus himself, a scion of the mighty warrior Achilles (i.e. King Perseus), while avenging his Trojan ancestors and Minerva's desecrated temple. Who would leave you unremarked, great Cato (i.e. Marcus Porcius Cato 'the Censor' ), or you, Cossus (i.e. Servius Cornelius Cossus)? Or the clan of the Gracchi (i.e. especially Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus and Gaius Sempronius Gracchus), or the two Scipiones (i.e. Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus Maior and Publius Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Minor), two thunderbolts of war and the bane of Libya (i.e. Carthage), and Fabricius (i.e. Gaius Fabricius Luscinius), powerful with a little, or you, Serranus (i.e. Gaius Atilius Regulus Serranus), sowing in your furrow? Whither, Fabii, are you hurrying (me), weary (as I am)? You over there are Maximus (i.e. Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus Cunctator), the only man who restored the state to us by delaying. Others (i.e. Greeks), indeed I do believe (this), will beat out breathing bronze more smoothly, will draw living likenesses out of marble (with more delicacy), will plead cases better, and, with a rod, describe the movements of the heavens, and predict the rising of the stars (more accurately); you, Romans, remember to rule with authority the peoples (of the earth) - these will be your arts - to impose the custom of peace, to spare the vanquished, and to crush the proud in war."

33.  Ll. 854-886.   Last among the pageant of Romans yet unborn is Augustus' nephew, Marcellus, a youth of singular beauty and great promise, but doomed to an untimely death. [N.B. When Virgil read these lines to Marcellus' mother Octavia, she is reputed to have fainted with emotion.] 

Thus spoke father Anchises, and, as they marvel, he adds these (words): "Look, how Marcellus (i.e. Marcus Claudius Marcellus, consul 222 B.C.) advances, marked out by the supreme spoils (i.e. the 'spolia opima'), and towers victoriously over all other men! He shall uphold the (fortunes of) the Roman state, (when) a great uprising shakes it; as a horseman, he shall lay low the Carthaginians and rebellious Gaul, and for the third time he shall offer up captured arms to Father Quirinus." But at this (point) Aeneas (said) - for he saw that there went along with (him) a youth, peerless in his beauty and in his resplendent armour, but his brow (was) far from joyful and his eyes (had) a downcast look - "Who, Father, is that, who thus accompanies the hero as he goes? (Is it) his son, or (is it) someone (else) from the great line of his descendants? What a stir (there is) round about his companions! What a great presence (there is) in (the youth) himself! But dark night hovers around his head with a mournful shadow." Then, father Anchises, his tears welling up, began (to speak): "O, my son, do not inquire about your (people's) great grief. The Fates will only give the earth a glimpse of him, and not allow him to live any longer. (O) Gods, the Roman stock would have seemed much too powerful to you, if these gifts of yours had been lasting. What bitter lamentations of warriors will the Field of Mavors waft to the mighty city! Or what a funeral cortege will you see, (Father) Tiber, when you glide past the newly-built tomb! Nor shall any other boy of the race of Ilium so much exalt his Latin ancestors in hope; nor will the land of Romulus ever take so much pride in any (one) of her children. Alas for his piety, alas for his ancient (sense of) honour, and his right (arm), invincible in war. No one would have borne himself unscathed when meeting him in battle, whether he were going against his enemy (as) a footsoldier, or he were pricking the flanks of his foaming steed with spurs. Alas, O pitiable boy, if (only) you could break, by any (means), the harsh (decrees) of fate! You will be Marcellus! Grant that I may scatter in handfuls purple lily flowers, and, that with these gifts at least I may crown the soul of my descendant and perform this service, unavailing (though it be)."

34.  Ll. 886-901.   Having fired up his son with the greatness of his destiny and having warned him of the trials that lie ahead of him in Italy, Anchises guides Aeneas and the Sibyl back to the world above via the Ivory Gate of Sleep. Aeneas rejoins his comrades and sails to Caieta.

So, they wander everywhere across the whole region among the broad misty fields, and they survey every (scene). After Anchises has led his son through them one by one, and has fired his spirit with longing for the glory that was to come, he then relates to the hero the wars that must then be waged, and tells (him) of the Laurentine people and the city of Latinus, and by what means he may avoid or endure each tribulation.

There are two Gates of Sleep, of which one is said (to be) of horn, by which an easy exit is offered to the spirits, (and) the other is made of shining white ivory, but (through it) the shades send false dreams up to the sky. When these (words) have been said, Anchises then escorts his son, and with (him) the Sibyl, and sends them forth through the Gate of Ivory.

He (i.e. Aeneas) traces his way to his ships and rejoins his comrades; then, he sails straight along the coast to the harbour of Caieta (i.e. Gaeta). The anchors are cast from the prows, and the sterns stand on the shore.


(These quotations are taken from Sabidius' article, "Quotations from Virgil," (see dated 8 October 2017).

1) Ll. 86-87.  Bella, horrida bella, / et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. (I see wars, dreadful wars, and the Tiber foaming with much blood.

2) Ll. 126-129.  ... Facilis descensus Averno; / noctes atqui dies patet atri ianua Ditis; / sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras, / hoc opus, hic labor est. (The descent to Avernus is straightforward: the door of black Dis stands open night and day, but to retrace one's steps and ascend to the air above, this is the task, this is the difficulty.)

3) L. 258.  Procul o, procul este, profani!  (Away with you, O away with you, you unhallowed ones!)

4) Ll. 295-297.  Hinc via Tartarei quae fert Acherontis ad undas. / turbidus hic caeno vastaque voragine gurges / aestuat atque omnem Cocyto eructat harenam. (From here lies the way that leads to the waters of Acheron. Here a mighty whirlpool seethes in mud and in its vast abysses, and belches forth all it sludge into the Cocytus.)

5) Ll. 298-300.  Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat / terribili squalore Charon; cui plurima mento / canities inculta iacet; stant lumina flamma. (A grim ferryman keeps watch over these waters and rivers, Charon, terrible in his squalor: on his chin there grows a mass of untrimmed grey hair; his eyes are set in a blazing stare.)

6) L. 314.  Tendebantque manus ripae ulterioris amore.  (And they stretched out their hands in longing for the farther bank.)

7) Ll. 726-727.  Spiritus intus alit: totamque infusa per artus / mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet. (A spirit sustains from within: and Mind, coursing through its members, keeps the whole mass moving and mingles itself within its massive form.)

8)  Ll. 851-853.  Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento, - / hae tibi erunt artes, - pacisque imponere morem, / parcere subiectis, et debellare superbos. (You, Romans, remember to rule with authority the peoples of the earth - these will be your arts - to impose the custom of peace, to spare the vanquished, and to crush the proud in war.

9) Ll. 893-896.  Sunt geminae Somni portae: quarum altera fertur / cornea, qua veris facilis datur exitus umbris, / altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto / sed falsa ad caelum mittunt insomnia Manes. (There are two gates of Sleep, of which one is said to be of horn, by which an easy exit is offered to the spirits, and the other is made of shining white ivory, but through it the shades send false dreams up to the sky.)


1. Alliteration i.e. repetition of the same sound, usually at the beginning of words.

a) L. 160.  multa inter sese vario sermone serebant (They exchanged many words between themselves in a conversation covering various matters.)

b) Ll. 335-336.  quos simul a Troia ventosa per aequora vectos / obruit Auster, aqua involvens navemque virosque. (who, while voyaging together with him over the windswept seas from Troy, the South Wind overwhelmed, engulfing both ship and crewmen.)

c) L. 390.  umbrarum hoc locus est, somni noctisque soporae. (This is the land of the shades, of sleep, and of sleep-inducing night.)

d) L. 683.  fataque fortunasque virum moresque manusque. (and the fates and fortunes of these men, and their characters and their exploits.)

e) L. 833.  neu patriae validas in viscera vertite viris. (nor turn your mighty strength against the vital organs of your native-land.)

f) L. 844.  vel te sulco, Serrane, serentem. (or you, Serranus, sowing in your furrow.)

2. Hendiadys i.e. a figure of syntax, in which a phrase, normally constituted by a noun and a modifying adjective is one involving two nouns joined by a conjunction.

a) L. 21.  Daedalus ipse dolos tecti ambagesque resolvit. Daedalus himself unravels the deceptive windings (lit. deceptions and windings) of the palace.

b) L.57-58.  Dardana qui Paridis derexti tela manusque / corpus in Aeacidae.  who guided an arrow from the hands (lit. arrow and the hands) of Paris into the body of Achilles.

c). L. 108.  ire ad conspectum cari genitoris et ora.  to go to see the sight of the face (lit. the sight and face) of my dear father.

d) L. 230.  spargens rore levi et ramo felicis olivae.  sprinkling them with a light dew from (lit. and with) the bough of a fruitful olive-tree.

e) L. 255. ecce autem, primi sub lumina solis et ortus.  but look, just before the rising beams (lit. beams and rising) of the new day

3. Hypallage. i.e. a change in the relation of words, by which a word, instead of agreeing with the case it logically qualifies is made to agree grammatically with another case.

a)  L. 26.  hic labor ille domus. Here is that house of toil (lit. that toil of a house)

4) Syllepsis i.e a figure of syntax in which a word has the same syntactical relationship to two or more words but has a different sense in relation to each.

a) L. 623.  hic thalamum invasit natae vetitosque hymenaeos (invasit). (This other man entered his daughter's bed-chamber and (contracted) a forbidden marriage

5. Tmesis. i.e. the separation of two parts of a compound word.

a) L. 62.  hac Troiana tenus fuerit fortuna secuta.  (Thus far only may the luck of Troy have followed us.) hactenus = thus far.

b) L.254.  pingue super oleum fundens ardentibus extis.  (pouring rich oil over the burning entrails.) superfundens = pouring over.




Although Book XI is probably one of the least read of the twelve books of the "Aeneid", it is full of examples of the high quality of Virgil's hexameter verse, to which Sabidius has paid tribute previously in the introductions to his translations of other works by the poet on this blogspot. The sorrow and guilt felt by Aeneas at the death of Pallas, and the lamentations of his father Evander are expressed in verses which feature Virgil's ability to engender a very moving sense of pathos, and these tones of pathos reappear in Aeneas' outburst against the horrors of war, and when Latinus proposes generous terms to settle the dispute with the Trojans, and also at the end of the book when the warrior-maid Camilla dies. Much of the book deals with the upbringing, deeds and death of Camilla, whose Amazonian aristeia makes her a much more sympathetic personality than the violent and bullying Turnus, her ally, and the cunning and cowardly Arruns, who successfully plots her downfall.  The book describes the gruesome deaths of many warriors on both sides of the struggle between the Latins and Rutulians on the one hand and the Trojan exiles, and their Arcadian and Etruscan allies on the other; and Virgil uses Homer's 'Iliad' as a treasury for parallel descriptions of martial action. Throughout the book Virgil uses both prosodic and alliterative techniques to illustrate and bring to life the passages of his narrative. As in the case of the other books in the second half of this great poetic work, one can well imagine just how fascinating the details of the story Virgil has to tell must have been for his Roman audience, who will not, of course, have been able to identify easily with one side or the other in what would to them have felt effectively like a civil war. Furthermore, the host of small details that he inserts - for instance, the information that Camilla's name was a variant of her mother's name, Casmilla - adds a degree of verisimilitude to the narrative that is almost irresistible  in its appeal to the reader. 


The text, which Sabidius has used for this translation is taken from "Virgil: Aeneid VII-XII" in Virgil II, edited by G.P. Goold, Loeb Classical Library (2002). This translation has also 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 further source of support to Sabidius has come from "Virgil: Aeneid VII-XII, edited by R. Deryck Williams, Bristol Classical Press (1973). 

In his translation, Sabidius, as is his wont, seeks to keep as closely as possible to the actual words and grammatical structure employed by Virgil, while at the same time using English which is readily understandable. At the end of the translation Sabidius enumerates some of the grammatical and prosodic irregularities, which appear in this book.


a) Having set up a trophy to the God of War in celebration of his victory over Mezentius, Aeneas exhorts his men to attend to the burial of their dead comrades (ll. 1-28).

Meanwhile, Dawn rose and left the Ocean: although his sorrows urge (him) to give time to the burial of his comrades, and his mind is disturbed by the death (i.e. that of Pallas), Aeneas, as the victor, began to pay his vows to the gods,  as soon as the Morning Star rose. He plants a huge oak-tree, its branches lopped on all sides, on a mound, and decks (it) out with the shining armour stripped from the chief Mezentius (as) a trophy to you, great God of War; (to it) he fastens crests dripping with blood, and the warrior's broken spears, and his breast-plate battered and pierced in twelve places, and he binds his bronze shield to his left (hand) and hangs his ivory-hilted sword from his neck. Then, he begins to exhort his rejoicing comrades - for the whole band of chieftains crowded around him in a circle - as follows: "Great things have been done (by us), my men; for the future, away with all fear; these are the spoils and the first fruits of a proud king, (and) here, by my efforts, is Mezentius. Now, we must march towards Latium's king and walls. Prepare your weapons with courage and anticipate this war with hope, so that, as soon as the gods above give us the nod to take up our standards and lead our army out of the camp, no delay may impede us unexpectedly, or any cowardly feeling hold (us) back through fear. Meanwhile, let us commit the unburied bodies of our comrades to the earth, which is the only courtesy (recognised) in the depths of Acheron (i.e. the Underworld). Go," he says, "honour with your last gifts these noble spirits, who have procured this country for us with their blood, and first let Pallas be sent to the grieving city of Evander, (he) whom, (though) not wanting in courage, a black day stole away and immersed in a bitter death."
b) Aeneas joins those who are mourning Pallas, and addresses the dead boy, reproaching both himself and Fortune, and expressing his compassion for Evander (ll. 29-58). 

So he speaks weeping, and he retraces his footsteps to the threshold (of the tent) where old Acoetes was watching over the body of the lifeless Pallas, (which had been) laid (there), (that Acoetes) who had once been armour-bearer to Parrhasian (i.e. Arcadian) Evander, but then, under less happy auspices, went (as) the appointed companion to his beloved foster-child. Around (stand) all his band of attendants, and a crowd of Trojans, and the women of Ilium, their hair loosened for mourning in accordance with custom. But, as Aeneas entered the lofty portals, they beat their breasts, and raised a mighty cry of lamentation to the heavens, and the royal palace resounds with their sorrowful wailing. When he saw the head and face of snowy-white Pallas propped up (on a couch), and the open wound from an Ausonian (i.e. Italian) spear on his smooth breast, he speaks thus amid welling tears: "Did Fortune begrudge you to me, unhappy boy," he says, "when she came smiling, so that you would not see my kingdom, nor ride back, victorious, to your father's house? This (was) not the promise concerning you I had given to your father, Evander, on leaving, when he embraced me as I was going, and sent (me) to (win) a great empire and anxiously warned (me) that the (enemy's) men were brave, with a stock (which was) tough in war. And now, utterly deluded by vain hopes, he even perhaps offers vows and piles the altars high with gifts, (while) we, in sorrow, attend with empty rites the lifeless young man, (who) no longer owes any (debt) to any of the gods above. Unhappy (man), you will see the cruel funeral of your son! (Is) this our return and our (long) awaited triumph? (Is) this my great pledge? But, Evander, you will not look upon (your son struck down) by shameful wounds (while) in flight, nor will you, (as) a father, long for an accursed death because your son (has returned) unharmed. Ah me! how great a protection you are losing, Ausonia, and how great (a protection you are losing too), Iülus!"

c) The funeral procession is formed, and Pallas' body placed on the bier, with spoils and human victims to accompany it. Aeneas briefly bids the corpse farewell (ll. 59-99).

When he had finished these bitter lamentations, he bids (them) raise the piteous corpse, and he sends a thousand men, picked from the whole of his army, to attend the last rites, and share in the father's tears, a meagre solace for such great grief, but due (indeed) to such a distressed father. Others, in haste, interweave a soft bier of wickerwork with shoots of arbutus and twigs of oak, and they cover the couch which (they have) heaped up with a canopy of leaves. Here, they lay the youth high on his rustic litter, like a flower picked by a maiden's fingers, or a tender violet or a drooping hyacinth, whose sheen and particular beauty have still not faded; (but) mother earth no longer nurtures (it) or gives (it) strength. Then, Aeneas brought out two robes, stiff with gold and purple (embroidery), which Sidonian Dido, herself, delighting in the task, had once made for him with her own hands, and had interwoven the texture with gold thread. Sadly, he drapes one of these around the youth (as) a last honour, and veils with its cloth the locks of hair that will soon be burned, and, in addition, he piles up many of the prizes (which he had won) in the battle of the Laurentian (fields), and orders the spoils to be borne in a long line; he adds the horses and weapons which he had plundered from the enemy. He had bound behind their backs the hands (of those) whom he had planned to send (as) funeral offerings to the shades, in order to sprinkle the flames with the blood of the dying, and he gives instructions for the chieftains, themselves, to carry the tree-trunks draped in the enemy's  weapons, and for the names of the foe to be affixed (to them). Unhappy Acoetes, worn out by age, marring now his chest with his fists, now his face with his nails, falls with his whole body prostrate on the ground;  and they also lead chariots drenched in Rutulian blood. Behind goes the war-horse Aethon, weeping, and he wets his face with big tear-drops. Some carry his spear and helmet, for Turnus possesses the other (things as) victor. Then follows a mournful host, Teucrians, all the Etruscans and Arcadians, with their weapons reversed. When the whole line of his comrades had proceeded for some distance, Aeneas halted and with a deep sigh added the following (words): "The same grim destiny of war calls me hence to other tears: my greetings forever, noble Pallas, farewell forever." Without speaking any further, he proceeded to the lofty walls, and directed his footsteps towards the camp.


a) An embassy comes from Latium, begging for a truce to bury the dead. Aeneas addresses them soothingly, grants their request, and suggests that the war be decided by single combat between himself and Turnus (ll. 100-121). 

And now ambassadors came from the Latin city (i.e. Lavinium) wrapped in olive branches and seeking favour (for their plea): (they beg) that he would return the bodies which lay strewn by the sword across the plain and allow them to be placed under a mound of earth; (there can be) no quarrel with the vanquished and (those) deprived of the light (of day); let him spare (those who were) once called their hosts and their fathers-in-law. Aeneas courteously honours their prayers with a truce he could not spurn, and adds these words in addition: "What an undeserved misfortune, Latins, has entangled you in such a war that you flee from us (who are) your friends? Are you asking me for peace for the dead and for (those) who have been slain by the lot of war? I, indeed, would willingly have granted (it) to the living as well. I would not have come, if fate had not granted (me) this place to settle in, nor do I wage war on your people: your king abandoned our guest-friendship and entrusted himself rather to the arms of Turnus. It would have been more just for Turnus to expose himself to this death. If he is preparing to end this war by force and to drive out the Teucrians, he should have fought with me with these weapons: he would have survived, to whom god or his own right (hand) had granted life. Now go and kindle fire beneath your luckless countrymen." Aeneas finished speaking. They were struck dumb in silence, and they turned their eyes on one another and kept their faces (still).

b) Drances, one of the Latins, assures Aeneas of their gratitude and sympathy. Each side cuts down trees for funeral piles (ll. 122-138).

Then, Drances, an elder, always hostile to the young Turnus with his hatred and his accusations, in turn begins to speak as follows: "O Trojan hero, great in renown and greater in arms, with what praises can I equate you with the sky? Should I marvel mainly at your (sense of) justice or your efforts in war? Indeed, we shall gratefully carry back these (words of yours) to our native city, and, if some good-fortune grants a way, we shall ally you to our king, Latinus. Let Turnus seek treaties for himself. Indeed, it will even be a delight (for us) to raise the massive walls appointed by fate and to bear on our shoulders the stones of Troy." He finished speaking these (words), and with one voice they all murmured the same (sentiments). They agreed (a truce) for twelve days, and, under the protection of the truce, Teucrians and Latins, intermingled, roamed through the forests and on the mountain ridges in safety. The tall ash resounds under the two-headed axe, they fell pine-trees that soared up to the heavens, and they do not cease splitting oak-trees and the fragrant cedar with wedges, nor carrying away manna ash-trees in creaking wagons.

(The news has reached Pallanteum before the procession arrives. Evander rushes to meet the bier, bewails his son's rashness and his own length of life, but finds comfort in Pallas' trophies and sends a message to Aeneas, praying for revenge on Turnus.)

And by now Rumour in her flight, the harbinger of such great grief, fills (the ears of) Evander and Evander's palace and city, (that Rumour) which only recently was carrying (the news of) Pallas (as) victor in Latium. The Arcadians rushed to the gates, and, in accordance with ancient custom, snatched up torches for the funeral; the road is lit up with a long line of flames, and this picks out the fields far into the distance. As it comes to meet (them), the troop of Phrygians (i.e. Trojans) joins the column of mourners. When the women saw (them) coming near to their houses, they set the grief-stricken city ablaze with their cries. Then, there is no force (which) can restrain Evander, but he rushes into their midst. As soon as the bier is set down, he flings himself on top of Pallas, and clings (to him) with tears and groans, and at long last a path for his voice was, with difficulty, opened up by his grief: "This (was) not the promise (which) you gave to your father, O Pallas, that you would entrust yourself to the savage God of War with some caution. I was not unaware of how great fresh glory in arms and the very sweet honour (won) in first conflict can be. (O) the bitter first-fruits of youth and the harsh schooling of a war so near, and (alas! for) my vows and prayers, unheard by any of the gods! And you, O my queen of blessed memory, happy (are you) in your death, nor were you saved to (experience) this sorrow. On the other hand, I, by living on, have exceeded my destiny, (and) I have been left as a father, surviving (his son). Would that the Rutulians had overwhelmed (me) with their spears as (I) followed the allied arms of the Trojans! I should have given my life, and this procession should have carried me, not Pallas, home! (Yet), I would not blame you, Teucrians, or our treaty or the hands which we joined in friendship: this fate was owed to my old age. But if a premature death awaited my son, it will be a matter of joy (to me) that he fell, leading the Teucrians into Latium, after first slaying thousands of Volscians. Indeed, I could deem you worthy of no other funeral, Pallas, than (the one which) pious Aeneas, and which the mighty Phrygians, and which the Tyrrhenian (i.e. Etruscan) chieftains and the whole Tyrrhenian army (have chosen for you). (Those) to whom your right (hand) deals death bring mighty trophies; you too, Turnus, would now be standing (here), a monstrous tree-trunk (decked) in arms, (if) his age had been equal (to yours), and if his strength as measured in years (had been) the same (as yours). But why, unhappy (as I am), do I detain (you) Teucrians from battle? Go, and remember to take my messages to your king: if I prolong a life (which is) hateful (to me), now that Pallas has been slain, the reason is your right (hand), which you know owes Turnus to both son and father. This opportunity alone is open to your merits and your good fortune. I ask not for joy in life - nor (is it) possible -, but to bear (joyful tidings) to my son in the Shades beneath."

4) THE FUNERAL PYRES (LL. 182-224).

a) The Trojans burn their dead, following their customary rites (ll. 182-202).

Meanwhile, Dawn had raised up her kindly light for wretched men, recalling (them) to work and toil: now father Aeneas, now Tarchon, had erected pyres on the winding shore. Here, in accordance with the custom of their ancestors, they each brought the bodies of their (people), and, as the smoky fires are lit beneath, the high heavens are shrouded in darkness by a mist. Three times they went in procession around the blazing funeral piles, clad in their shining armour, three times they circled around the mournful funeral fire on horseback, and gave tongue to loud lamentations; and the earth is besprinkled with their tears, (and) their armour is besprinkled too: the cries of men, and the blare of trumpets, goes up to the sky. Then, some fling on to the fire spoils stripped from slain Latins, helmets and handsome swords, bridles and red-hot wheels; others, familiar offerings, their own shields, and their luckless weapons. Round about (these), many heads of cattle are sacrificed to Death, and over the flames they cut the throats of bristling boars and flocks seized from every field. Then, they watch their comrades burning all along the shore, and keep guard over the charred pyres, and they cannot be torn away (from them), until the humid night comes rolling over the sky (which is) studded with blazing stars.  

b) The Latins burn their dead also, burying them on the third day. There is a strong feeling against Turnus in the city, aggravated by Drances, but Turnus has his supporters too (ll. 203-224).

No less did the wretched Latins also construct countless pyres in different places, and, of the many bodies of men, some they bury in the earth and some they lift up and carry to the neighbouring fields or send back to their city; the rest, a vast pile of indistinguishable slaughter, they burn without count and without honour: then, in all directions, the broad fields compete in shining with their clusters of fire. The third dawn had dispersed the chill shadow from the sky: grieving, they raked from the pyres the deep (pile of) ash and the intermingled bones, and heaped a mound of warm earth (on top). But now, the main (source of) the clamour and the chief centre of the prolonged lamentation (comes) from the houses in the city of the very rich Latinus. Here, the mothers and their wretched daughters-in-law, and the loving hearts of grieving sisters and of boys deprived of their fathers curse the dreadful war and Turnus' wedding (plans); they decree that he, himself, and only he, (the man) who demands the kingdom of Italy and its foremost honours, should decide (the issue) with his armour and sword. The furious Drances adds his weight to this, and bears witness that Turnus alone was summoned (by Aeneas), that (he) alone was challenged to combat. At the same time, (there are) many contrary opinions, with different arguments on behalf of Turnus, and the queen's great name (i.e. that of Amata) shelters (him), (while) his great fame, (earned) by the trophies he has won, gains the hero support.

5) AN ANSWER FROM ARPI (LL. 225-295).

a) The feeling is aggravated by the return of the deputation sent to Diomedes without success. A council is summoned, and the leader starts to report the result of his mission (ll. 225-242).

Amidst these disturbances, (and) in the middle of this fiery tumult, behold, on top of (everything else), his gloomy envoys bring an answer from the city of the great Diomedes (i.e. Arpi): nothing (had been) achieved despite all the great efforts they had expended, neither had their gifts, nor their gold, nor their heartfelt prayers availed anything, (but) the Latins must seek other arms or they must sue for peace with the Trojan king. Even King Latinus is overcome by his great grief: the anger of the gods, and the fresh graves before his eyes, warn (him) that Aeneas is brought (to them as a man) of destiny by the clear will of heaven. Therefore, he summons his high council and the leaders of his (people) by (royal) command, and gathers (them) within his lofty portals. They assembled, and flock to the royal palace through the crowded streets. Latinus, both the greatest in age and the foremost in authority, sits in their midst with a joyless brow. And he bids his envoys, (who have) returned from the Aetolian city, tell what (tidings) they bring back, and he demands full answers in their turn. Then, silence falls on (all) tongues, and Venulus, obedient  to his command, begins to speak as follows:

b) Diomedes warns the envoys, by his example and that of the other Greeks, and advises them to conciliate Aeneas, whose prowess he extols (ll. 243-295).

"O citizens, we have seen Diomedes and his Argive camp, and, (in) completing our journey, we have overcome all hazards, and have grasped the hand, by which the land of Ilium fell. (As) victor over the fields of Iapygia on (Mount) Garganus (i.e. in Apulia), he was (busy) founding the city of Argyripa (i.e. Arpi), named after his father's race. When we had entered, and the opportunity (was) given (to us) of speaking in his presence, we offer (him) our gifts and inform (him) of our name and country, of who has made war (upon us), (and) what reason has drawn (us) to Arpi. Having heard (us), he replied thus with a calm countenance: 'O happy peoples, from the realms of Saturn, ancient (sons of) Ausonia, what chance (event) disturbs your peace, and urges (you) to provoke warfare (in which you) lack experience? We, who violated the fields of Ilium with our swords - I omit those (things) which (were) endured to the end in the fighting beneath her high walls, (and) those warriors, whose (bodies) the famous (River) Simois (now) conceals - have suffered unspeakable tortures and every kind of punishment for our crimes throughout the world, a band (of men) worthy to be pitied even by Priam: Minerva's baleful star, and the crags of Euboea, and the avenging (Cape) Caphereus, bear witness to (it). Driven from that warfare to remote shores, Menelaus, the son of Atreus, is an exile as far as the Pillars of Proteus (i.e. the island of Pharos, off Alexandria in Egypt), (and) Ulysses has seen the Cyclopes of (Mount) Aetna. Even the Mycenaean leader of the mighty Achaeans (i.e. Agamemnon) died at the hand of his atrocious wife (i.e. Clytemnestra) as soon as (he was) over the threshold; an adulterer (i.e. Aegisthus) lay in wait for the conqueror of Asia. Need I speak of the kingdom of Neoptolemus and the household of Idomeneus being overthrown? Or of the Locrians living on the coast of Libya? Or of how the gods begrudged that, having returned to my native altars, I might see the wife I longed for and my lovely Calydon (i.e. Diomedes' birthplace in Aetolia)? Now even portents dreadful to see pursue (me), and my lost comrades, (like) birds, have made for the sky on their wings, and haunt the streams - alas! the dreadful sufferings of my (people) - and fill the rocks with their mournful cries. This was just (what) I had to expect from that moment, when, I madly attacked those celestial bodies with my sword and harmed Venus' hand with a wound. But do not, do not impel me into such conflicts (as these). I (do) not (have) any quarrel with the Teucrians, since Pergama (i.e. the citadel of Troy) (has been) demolished, nor do I think about, or rejoice over, those former unhappy (times). Direct the gifts which you bring to me from your native shores to Aeneas. I have stood against his fierce weapons and have fought (him) hand-to-hand: trust (one) who has experienced (it), how mightily he rises up upon his shield, (and) with what a whirlwind he hurls his spear. Moreover, if the land of Ida had borne two men such as (him), the Dardanian (i.e. the Trojans as a whole) would have come against the cities of Inachus (i.e. the cities of Greece in general) of his own accord, and Greece would be in mourning, with fate having been reversed. Whatever (time) was spent before the walls of stubborn Troy, the victory of the Greeks was checked by the hands of Hector and Aeneas, and our return was delayed to the tenth year. Both (were) renowned for their courage, both (were renowned) for their excellence in arms, (but) the latter (was) foremost in piety. May your hands be joined in a treaty, on whatever (terms) are offered; but beware lest your arms clash with (his) arms.' You have heard, noblest of kings, both what were the responses of the king at the time, and what his advice was on our great war."

6) LATINUS' PROPOSALS (LL. 296-335).

a) After Venulus' speech, Latinus prepares to speak to the assembly (ll. 296-301). 

Scarcely (had) the envoys (said) these (things), when a murmur of conflicting (opinions) ran across the troubled lips of the (sons of) Ausonia, like, when rocks obstruct rapidly flowing rivers, a roar rises from the blocked eddies, and the neighbouring banks echo with splashing waves. As soon as their minds (are) calm and their anxious lips are quiet, the King, calling first upon the gods, begins (to speak) from his lofty throne:

b) Latinus proposes that a part of his kingdom be assigned to the Trojans, or that they should fit out a fleet for them to go elsewhere; furthermore, he suggests that the envoys charged with bringing these proposals should carry gifts to Aeneas (ll. 302-335)

"Latins, I could have wished we had decided about this most important matter before (now), and it would have been better not to have convened a council at a time such as this, when the enemy is besieging our walls. Citizens, we are waging an ill-omened war with a race of divine origin, and with men (who are) unconquered, whom no battles can weary and (who) cannot relinquish the sword (even when they are) beaten. If you have any hope of winning an alliance with Aetolian arms, set (it) aside. Each one (of us has) his own hopes, but you can see how slender they (are). How all other (aspects) of our cause lie shattered in ruins, they are all before your eyes and within your grasp. I do not accuse anyone: what the greatest courage could achieve, has been done; we have fought with the utmost strength of the realm. So now , I shall explain what is the judgment of my wavering mind, and I shall outline (it) in  a few (words) - (so) pay attention! I have in my possession an ancient (piece of) land, bordering on the Tuscan river (i.e. the Tiber), (stretching) westward as far as the Sicanian borders; Auruncans and Rutulians sow (the seed) and work the stubborn hills with the ploughshare, and on the roughest of them they graze (animals). Let this whole region and its pine-clad zone of high mountains accrue to our friendship with the Teucrians, and let us spell out the just terms of a treaty and call (them) partners in our kingdom: let them settle (there), if such (is) their desire, and build a city. But, if they are of a mind to lay hold of other territories and another nation, and can leave our soil, let us construct twenty ships of Italian oak; or, if they can fill more, all the timber lies close to the water; let them prescribe both the number and the type of their ships themselves, (and) let us deliver the bronze, the labour, (and) the  shipyards. Furthermore, to bear the news and seal the treaty, I would have a hundred envoys, Latins from the foremost families, go forth, holding branches of peace in their hands, (and) bearing gifts, both talents of gold and ivory, and a throne and a robe (as) symbols of our sovereignty. (Now) consult together and repair our tired fortunes."


(Drances delivers a violent invective against Turnus, declaring his pretensions to be the cause of all their difficulties, bidding him either to abandon them or support them in single-combat, and urging Latinus to offer his daughter in marriage to Aeneas.)

Then, Drances, whom the glory of Turnus tormented with the stings of secret envy, lavish with his money, rather good with his tongue, but his hand (was) frozen in battle, being no mean author of advice (and) powerful in faction - his mother's nobility granted him his proud lineage, but from his father he drew a doubtful (status) -, rises, as hostile (to Turnus) as before, and heaps up and stokes the anger (against him) with these words: "O gracious king, you are discussing a matter not unclear to anyone and not in need of our voice: everyone acknowledges that they know what the people's prosperity requires, but they hesitate to say (it). Let (that man), on account of whose ill-starred leadership and perverse ways - yes, I shall speak, though he may threaten me with violence and death - we see that so many of our leaders' (shining) lights have fallen and that our whole city has sunk in mourning, while, trusting in flight, he assails the Trojan camp and frightens heaven with his weapons, (let) him grant freedom of speech and abate his puffed-up pride. May you add one more to those many gifts, which you order to be sent or promised to the Dardanians, one (more), most excellent king, and let no man's violence intimidate you from giving your daughter, (as) a father (may do), to a distinguished son-in-law in a worthy marriage, and may you associate this peace with a lasting contract. But if such terror takes hold of our minds and hearts, let us entreat (the prince) himself (i.e. Turnus) and let us beg a favour from him: let him yield, (and) give back to his king and country their proper rights. O (you who are) the source and cause of these woes to Latium, why do you so often hurl your (fellow-)citizens into such obvious dangers? (There is) no safety (for us) in war; we are all demanding peace from you, Turnus, together with the only inviolable pledge of peace. I, first (of all), whom you suppose to be hostile to you (and I do not contest that I am), see, I come (as) your suppliant. Pity your (people), set aside your pride, and, beaten (as you are), give way. Routed, we have seen enough of death, and have left our broad fields desolate. But if your reputation moves (you), if you harbour such strength (of feeling) in your heart, and, if a palace (as) your dowry is so dear (to you), be bold and bear your breast with confidence to meet your foe. Of course, we, (whose) lives (are) worthless, can be strewn over the fields, an unburied and unlamented mob, (can't we)? (But) you, too, if you (have) any strength, if you possess any of your father's martial spirit, look face-to-face at him who challenges (you) ...."

 8) TURNUS REPLIES (LL. 376-444).

a) Turnus replies furiously to Drances, whose cowardice he contrasts with his own valour (ll. 376-409).

At these remarks, Turnus' violent (wrath) blazed forth; he gives a groan, and, from the bottom of his heart, gives vent to these words: "Drances, it's true that you always (have) a large amount to say whenever war calls for men, and, when the council is called, you are the first to appear. But there is no need to fill the council-house with words, which fly so splendidly from your (lips so long as you are) safe, while the rampart on the walls holds back the enemy, and the trenches are not (yet) overflowing with blood. So, thunder on in your eloquence, [as you (are) accustomed (to do)], Drances, and accuse me of cowardice, when your right (hand) has produced so many mounds of dead Teucrians, and you adorn the fields everywhere with trophies. You are free to try out what lively courage can (do), and we certainly do not need to look very far for enemies: they are surrounding our walls on every side. Are we going against our enemies? Why do you hesitate? Will your warlike spirit always remain in your windy words and those run-away feet of yours? I, beaten, (you say)? (You), foulest (of villains), shall anyone who takes the trouble to look at the Tiber flowing, swollen with Trojan blood, and all Evander's house and stock (i.e. Pallas) laid prostrate, and all his Arcadians stripped of their arms, rightly claim that (I am) beaten? Not so did Bitias and the giant Pandarus experience me, nor (did) the thousand (men) whom I, as victor, sent down to Tartarus (i.e. Hell), shut in, though I was, within their walls and enclosed by enemy ramparts. 'There is no safety in war,' (you say)? Say such (things), (you) madman, about the Dardanian's life and your own possessions. Go on then, do not cease to disturb everything with your great alarms, and extol the strengths of a twice conquered race (i.e. by Hercules and then by the Greeks), (while) on the other hand you decry the arms of Latinus. Now even the chiefs of the Myrmidons, now even the son of Tydeus (i.e. Diomedes) and Larisaean Achilles, shudder at the arms of the Phrygians, and the River Aufidus flows upstream away from the Adriatic waves. Or (what about) when he pretends that he is afraid to face my taunts - the act of a scoundrel - and he aggravates the charge (against me) with (false) fear. Never will you lose a soul such as yours through this right (arm); so stop worrying: let it stay with you and remain within that (craven) breast of yours.
b) Then, turning to Latinus, Turnus pleads that a reverse in a single battle may well be retrieved, and that they have many allies, who may yet do much to help them; he adds, however, that he is quite prepared to meet Aeneas in single combat (ll. 410-444).

"Now, father, I return to you and your weighty proposals. If you place no further hope in our arms, if we are so forsaken, and, when our army has suffered a defeat on (but) one occasion, we are utterly destroyed, and our fortune has no power to retrace its steps, let us pray for peace, and stretch forth our helpless hands. And yet, if only some of our wonted valour were present! The man (who) to me (is) both happy in his labours and noble in his spirit (is he) who, lest he should see any such (thing) as this, has fallen in death and has bitten the dust with his mouth once (and for all). But if we still have the means and a manhood still intact, and the cities and peoples of Italy continue in our support, and if glory has come to the Trojans too at the cost of much bloodshed - they (too) have their deaths and a similar storm (has swept) through all (their ranks) - why do we lose (heart) so shamefully at the (very) first threshold? Why does trembling seize our limbs before the trumpet (sounds)? Time, and the shifting toil of changing years, has altered many (things) for the better; Fortune, revisiting many (a man) in alternate forms, has mocked (him) and (then) set (him) on solid (ground) again. The Aetolian (i.e. Diomedes) and Arpi will not be of any help to us: but Messapus and lucky Tolumnius and (all) those leaders, whom so many peoples have sent, will be (of help), and no small glory will attend (those) chosen by Latium and the Laurentine fields. We, also, have Camilla from the glorious nation of the Volscians, leading her troop of horsemen and her squadrons blooming with bronze. But if the Teucrians call me only to combat, and that is acceptable (to you), and I am obstructing the common good so much, Victory has not shunned these hands of mine with such hatred, that I should refuse to face anything for a hope so great. I shall go against (him) with courage, even though he should excel mighty Achilles, and wear armour matching (his), wrought by the hands of Vulcan. I, Turnus, not inferior in valour to any of my ancestors, have dedicated this life (of mine) to (all of) you, and to my father-in-law Latinus. 'Aeneas challenges (me) alone,' you say? I, too, pray that he challenges (me); and that, if this (crisis) involves the wrath of the gods, (it is) not Drances rather (than I who) appeases (them) with his death, or that, if there is (an opportunity here for displaying) valour and (winning) glory, (it is not) he (rather than I who) rises (to it)."

9. THE TROJANS ATTACK (LL. 445-531).

a) An alarm is given that Aeneas is marching on the city. Turnus breaks up the assembly and gives orders for defence and attack (ll. 445-467)

Arguing thus, they were discussing among themselves those matters (which were) in doubt: (meanwhile) Aeneas was moving his camp and his battle-line. Behold, a messenger runs through the royal palace amid a wild uproar, and fills the city with great alarms: (he cries out) that the Teucrians and the Tyrrhenian war-band, drawn up in battle array, are sweeping down over the whole plain. Immediately, the minds of the people (are) confused, and their hearts shaken, and their passions (are) aroused by these far from gentle goads. Shaking their fists, they call for their arms, (and) the young men shout for their weapons, (but) their fathers weep in sadness and murmur (doubtfully). Then, a loud noise, with various (voices of) dissent, rises to the heavens, just as when flocks of birds chance to have settled in some tall grove, or swans give their hoarse sounds among noisy pools by Padusa's fish-filled river. "O yes, my (fellow-)citizens," cries Turnus, seizing his moment, "convene your council and sit there, praising peace: with their weapons, they are invading our kingdom." Saying no more, he sprang up, and strode forth from the lofty palace. "Volusus, bid the companies of Volscians arm themselves," he cries, "and lead out the Rutulians. Messapus and Coras, with your brother (i.e. Catillus), deploy the cavalry over the wide plain. Let some guard the entrance to the city and man the towers; let the rest attack with me (by a route) which I shall direct."

b) Latinus retires in despair. Queen Amata and Lavinia go with a train of matrons to the temple of Pallas, and pray for the defeat and death of Aeneas (ll. 468-485). 

At once, there is a rush to the walls from all over the city. Father Latinus, himself, abandons the council and his momentous designs, and, dismayed by the sadness of the hour, he postpones (it), and he reproaches himself many times because he has not welcomed Dardanian Aeneas of his own accord, and admitted him to the city (as) his son-in-law. Some dig (trenches) in front of the gates, or carry up stones and stakes (on to the defences). The harsh (sound of) the trumpet gives the bloody signal for war. Then, women and boys in a motley circle fringed the walls; the ultimate test summons (them) all. Moreover, the queen, with a large crowd of women, rides up to the temple and the great citadel of Pallas, bearing gifts, and beside (her as) a companion (is) the maiden Lavinia, the source of so much trouble, with her beautiful eyes downcast. The women go in, and fumigate the temple with incense, and they pour out their sorrowful prayers from the high threshold: "(O) Tritonian Maid, mighty in arms, who presides over war, shatter with your hand the spear of the Phrygian pirate and lay him prostrate on the ground and throw (him) down beneath your own high gates."
c) Turnus arms himself and hastens to the battle-field (ll. 486-497).

With feverish zeal, Turnus arms himself for battle. And now indeed, having donned his glowing breastplate, he was bristling in his bronze scales, and had sheathed the calves (of his legs) in gold, (though) his temples (were) still bare, and he had buckled his sword to his side; he shone with gold as he ran down from the heights of the citadel, and he exults in his courage, and in his hopes he already anticipates the foe; (it is) just like when a horse, breaking his tether, has fled his stalls, (and,) free at last and master of the open plains, he either heads for the pastures and the herds of mares, or, accustomed to being bathed in water in a familiar river, he dashes off, and, with his head raised high, he neighs in delight, and his mane frolics over his neck and shoulders.

d) Turnus is met by Camilla, who offers to go and meet the Trojans while he protects the city. He suggests that she should meet the Trojan cavalry, while he occupies a mountain pass, along which the Trojan infantry are coming (ll. 498-521). 

Camilla sped to meet him, accompanied by her Volscian troops, and the queen leapt down from her horse near by the very gates, and her whole company, following her example, got off their horses and slid down to the ground; then she speaks the following (words): "Turnus, if the brave rightly have some confidence in themselves, I venture and promise to meet the cavalry of Aeneas' army, and to go alone to meet with the Tyrrhenian horsemen. Let me try the war's first perils with my hand, (while) you stay on foot by the walls and guard the ramparts." To these (words) Turnus, fixing his eyes on the awe-inspiring maiden, (replies): "O maiden, glory of Italy, what thanks should I prepare to utter or to repay (in deeds)? But now, since your spirit surpasses all (bounds), share this toil with me. As rumour reports, and (as) scouts (who have been) sent out (provide) confirmation, that evil (man), Aeneas, has sent ahead his lightly-armed cavalry in order to scour the plains; he, himself, climbing the ridge, is advancing rapidly through the desolate heights of the mountain towards the city. I am preparing an ambush on an over-arched pathway through the woods, so as to block both entrances to the pass with an armed force. When battle has been joined, you must await the Tyrrhenian cavalry (charge); brave Messapus will be with you, and also the Latin squadrons and Tiburtus' contingent, (but) you, too, must take charge as leader." So he speaks, and exhorts Messapus and the allied leaders to battle with similar words, and (then) proceeds against the foe.

e) Turnus prepares to ambush Aeneas' forces (ll. 522-531).
There is a valley with a winding bend, suitable for the delusions and tricks of war, which a dark side (wall) of dense foliage hems in on both sides, (and) to which a tiny path leads, and a narrow pass and an awkward approach brings (you). Above it, among the watch-towers on the high mountain tops, lies a hidden plateau and a safe refuge, whether you are minded to charge from the right (side) or the left, or to take a stand on the ridge and roll down huge boulders. Hither the warrior hastens by a well-known network of roads, and he took up his position and occupied the treacherous woods.


a) Diana tells Opis, one of her nymphs, the story of Camilla, who had been brought up by her father, the exiled tyrant of Privernum (ll. 532-556).

Meanwhile, in heaven's halls, Latona's daughter (i.e. Diana) was addressing swift Opis, one of her maiden companions and (a member of) of her sacred band, and spoke these words of sorrow with her lips: "O, our virgin Camilla, dear to me before (all) others, is marching to that cruel war, and is vainly girding on our arms. For this (is) no new love (that) has comes upon Diana, nor has it stirred my heart with a sudden sweetness. When Metabus, driven from his throne on account of the hatred (aroused) by his tyrannical (use of) power, was leaving the ancient city of Privernum, as he fled right through the midst of the conflicts of war, he took (with him) his infant (child as) his companion in exile, and, from her mother's name, Casmilla, (which he) changed slightly, he called (her) Camilla. Carrying (her) before him on his breast, he, himself, made for a long ridge of lonely forests: fierce weapons assailed (him) on every side, and the Volscians, their troops having surrounded (him), were hovering about. Behold, in the midst of their flight, the (River) Amasenus overflowed and foamed over the top of its banks; so great a downpour had burst from the clouds. He, preparing to swim across, is held back by love of his child, and he fears for his beloved burden. Pondering all (options) within himself, this idea suddenly settled (on him). The giant spear, solid with knots and (made) of seasoned oak, which the warrior chanced to be carrying in his stout hand, to this he fastens his daughter, and he wraps (her) in the bark of a forest cork-tree, and ties (her) handily (i.e. so that it would be possible to throw her) to the centre of the spear-shaft: (then,) poising it in his mighty right (hand), he cries out thus to the heavens:

b) Having been saved her by her father throwing her across the River Amasenus attached to a spear-shaft, Camilla was brought up by him in the woods, and becomes a virgin huntress attached to weapons of war. Diana bids Opis keep an eye on her and avenge her if she should fall (ll. 557-596).

'Gracious virgin, daughter of Latona, who dwells in the woods, I, her very own father, dedicate this (child) as your servant; holding her first weapon, she flees the foe through the air (as) your suppliant. Accept, goddess, (as) your own, I implore (you), this (child), who is now committed to the hazards of the breezes.' He spoke, and, drawing back his arm, he launches the spinning spear-shaft: the waters roared, (as) poor Camilla flees on the whistling spear over the top of that rushing river. But Metabus, with a great crowd (of his enemies) now pressing (him) closely, gives himself to the stream, and plucks victoriously from the grassy turf the spear and the (little) maid, (as) his offering to Trivia (i.e. Diana). No city would accept him within their houses or their walls - nor would he, in his wild state, have yielded himself (to them); and he passed his time among shepherds on lonely mountains. Here, among the thickets and the rugged lairs (of wild beasts), he nourished his daughter at the udders of a mare of the herd, and on the milk of wild creatures, squeezing their teats between her tender lips. As soon as the infant had taken the first steps on her feet, he placed a pointed lance in her hands, and hung a quiver and a bow from her small shoulder. In place of a golden headband and the covering of a long robe, the pelts of a tiger hang from her head across her back. Even at that time, she hurled her child's spear with a tender hand, and whirled a sling around her head with a well-twisted thong, and brought down a Strymonian crane and a white swan (with it). Many a mother throughout the towns of Tyrrhenia longed for her (as) a daughter-in-law in vain. Content with Diana alone, she cherishes, untouched, a lifelong love of her weapons and of her virginity. I could have wished that she had not been caught up in warfare such as this, trying to challenge the Teucrians: and that she were still my darling and one of my companions. But, come now, since she is driven by a merciless fate, slip down, nymph, from the sky, and take a look at the Latin territories, where sad battle is being joined under an unlucky omen. Take these (i.e. her bow and arrows), and draw from this quiver an avenging arrow: with this, may anyone, Trojan or Italian, who violates her body with a wound, pay an equal penalty in his blood. Afterwards, I shall carry the body and the unspoiled arms of the hapless (maid) to her tomb in a hollow mist, and I shall bury (her) in her native land." She spoke, and the other (i.e. Opis) slipped down through the light breezes of the sky, and she made a whirring sound, her form surrounded by a dark whirlwind.
11) THE ARMIES ENGAGE (LL. 597-647).

a) The Rutulian and Trojan cavalry meet in battle (ll. 597-617).
But, meanwhile, the Trojan war-band and the Etruscan chieftains and all their array of cavalry, marshalled by number into squadrons, draw near to the walls. The war-horse neighs, as it prances over the whole plain, and it fights against its tight reins, wheeling this way and that; then, steely with spears, the field bristles far and wide, and the plains shine with weapons raised aloft. On the other side too, Messapus and the speedy Latins, and Coras with his brother, and the virgin Camilla's (cavalry) wing appear on the plain in opposition, and, drawing their right (arms) far back, they thrust their spears forward and shake their javelins; the movements of men and the neighing of horses grow hotter. And now, each (group of cavalry) had halted in its advance, within a spear's throw (of the other): (then,) with a sudden shout, they burst forth and spur on their maddened horses; spears (as) thick as snow-flakes pour down at once from all sides, and the sky is covered in darkness. Immediately, Tyrrhenus and brave Aconteus, striving with levelled spears, charge (each other), and, (are) the first (to) fall upon (each other) with a mighty crash, and the breast-bones of their galloping horses (are) fractured and break on the breast-bones (of the other): Aconteus, dispatched like a thunderbolt or a weight shot from a siege-engine, falls headlong some distance away (from his horse), and disperses his life among the breezes.

b) After various advances and retreats, they engage in earnest (ll. 618-647).

At once, the ranks waver, and the routed Latins throw their shields over their shoulders, and turn their horses towards the walls. The Trojans pursue (the Latins); their chieftain Asilas leads their squadrons against (them). And now they were approaching the gates, and the Latins again raise a shout, and turn their (horses') supple necks around again: they (i.e. the Trojans) flee and retreat with the reins completely slackened. As when the ocean, advancing with alternate flood, now rushes towards land, dashing over the rocks, with foaming wave, and drenching the furthest shore with its swell, now it flees rapidly backwards, sucking back again pebbles sent spinning by its tide its tide, and leaving dry sand as its shallows ebb: twice the Tuscans drove the routed Rutulians to the walls, twice, having been repulsed, they look back, covering their backs with their armour. But, when they met in a third encounter, their lines locked together along their whole (length), and man chose man: then, indeed, (there are) the groans of the dying and arms and bodies, deep in blood, and half-dead horses roll around, intermingled with the carnage of men, (as) the battle swells fiercely. Orsilochus hurled a lance at Remulus' horse, since he shrank from approaching the (man) himself, and the steel(-point) remained behind its ear. The rearing charger rages at this blow, and, unable to bear the wound, raises its chest and flings its fore-legs on high; knocked off (his horse), the man (i.e. Remulus) rolls on the ground. Catillus strikes down Iollas, and Herminius, mighty in courage (and) mighty in body and shoulders, who (has) tawny hair on his bare head and bare shoulders, as he has no fear of wounds; so great (is the front) he exposes to the weapons (of the enemy). The spear quivers as it is driven through his broad shoulders, and, having been thrust through (him), doubles the man up with pain. Dark blood pours everywhere; clashing with swords, they dealt destruction, and seek a glorious death through their wounds.
12) CAMILLA IN ACTION (LL. 648-724).

a) Camilla's fighting practices; her companions (ll. 648-663).

But, in the midst of the slaughter, Camilla, wearing her quiver, exults, (like) an Amazon, (with) one breast bared for battle; and now she hurls volleys of vibrating javelins from her hand, now she tirelessly snatches up a battle-axe in her hand; a golden bow, Diana's weapon too, twangs from her shoulder. And even if she has withdrawn, when pressed from behind, she reverses her bow and aims arrows in her flight. And around (her are) her chosen  companions, the maiden Larina, Tulla, and Tarpeia, brandishing her axe, daughters of Italy, whom godlike Camilla, herself, chose (as) an ornament to her, trusty servants both in peace and in war: such (are) the Amazons of Thrace, when they tread the streams of Thermodon (i.e. the river of Pontus, the home of the Amazons) and fight with painted armour, whether around Hippolyte, or, when Penthesilea, the daughter of Mars, returns in her chariot, and the ranks of women, with their crescent-shaped shields, exult in a loud whooping noise.

b) The actions of Camilla: she kills many of the Trojans and their allies by arrow or spear (ll.664-689).

Whom do you strike down first with your spear, whom last, (you) fierce maiden? Or how many bodies do you stretch dying on the ground? The first (is) Eunaeus, fathered by Clytius, whose exposed breast, as he faces up (to her), she transfixes with a (shaft of) pine-wood: he falls, spewing up streams of blood, and bites the gory dust and, as he dies, he writhes upon his wound. Then, (she strikes down) Liris, and Pagasus as well, the first of whom, while he gathers up the reins as he rolls off his injured horse, (and) the other, while he comes up and stretches out an unharmed hand to (assist) the falling (man), and they fall headlong together. To these she adds Amastrus, the son of Hippotas, and, looming over (them) from afar, she pursues Tereus and Harpalycus, Demophoon and Chromis with her spear. And, as many as the darts that the maiden sent spinning from her hand, so many Phrygian warriors fell. The huntsman Ornytus rides afar off in novel armour and on an Iapygian (i.e. Apulian) horse, and a hide stripped from a bullock covers his broad shoulders when fighting, (while) the huge cleft of a wolf's mouth and its jaws with white teeth have protected his head, and a rustic hunting spear is in his hands; he, himself, moves along in the centre of the troops, and he towers above (them) by a full head. She caught up with him - for no (great) effort (was required) when the column had been routed - and stabbed (him), and says these (words) over (him) with hate in her heart: "Did you think you were chasing wild beasts in the forests, Tyrrhenian? The day is come which will refute your words with a woman's weapons. But you will carry no mean fame to your fathers' shades for this (reason), that you fell to Camilla's spear."

c) Camilla kills two further Trojan warriors, the second one by the use of her battle-axe (ll. 690-698). 

Next, (she slays) Orsilochus and Butes, two of the Teucrians with the mightiest bodies, but she pierced Butes with her lance in the back, between his breastplate and helmet, where the neck of the rider is visible, and (while) his shield hangs from his left arm; fleeing Orsilochus, and being chased in a wide circle, she outmanoeuvres (him by) wheeling inwards, and (now) pursues her pursuer; then, rising higher (in the saddle), she redoubles (the blows of) her powerful axe through his armour and bones, while the man begs and many times beseeches (her) for mercy; the wounding bespatters his face with warm brains.

d) Then, one of her enemies induces her to dismount, and attempts to escape on horseback; but she overtakes and kills him (ll. 699-724).

There falls in her (way), and, terrified at the sudden sight (of her), he came to a standstill, the warrior son of Aunus, a dweller in the Appennines, not the least of the Ligurians, while fate allowed (him) to deceive. When he sees that he cannot now evade combat by any fleetness, nor divert the queen from her pursuit, he begins to devise a stratagem with craft and guile, and speaks as follows: "What is so wonderful (about you), woman, if you rely on a strong horse? Forget flight, and trust yourself (to meet) with me hand-to-hand on equal ground, and gird (yourself) to fight on foot. You will soon know to whom windy boasting brings deception." He spoke, but she, raging and burning with bitter resentment, hands over her horse to a comrade, and faces (him) with matching weapons, on foot (and) fearless, with a naked sword and a plain (i.e. unemblazoned) shield. But the young man, thinking that he has won through guile, himself darts away - without delay - and, tugging at the reins, he takes to flight, and goads his charger to the gallop with an iron spur. "Foolish Ligurian, vainly puffed up by your boastful spirits, you have tried your slippery native tricks in vain, and cunning will not take you home to deceitful Aunus unscathed!" Thus cries the maiden, and, on fire on her nimble feet, she outstrips his horse in running, and, seizing the reins, she meets (him) face-to-face and takes vengeance from his hated blood: as easily as a falcon, a sacred bird (i.e. sacred to Apollo, god of augury) on a high rock, overtakes a dove, aloft in a cloud on its wings, and, holding (it) in its grasp, disembowels (it) with its hooked talons; then, blood and torn feathers float down from the sky.


a) Jupiter prompts Tarchon to vigorous action. Having upbraided his troops, he rides against one of the enemy, and, seizing him in his arms, carries him off on his horse (ll. 725-759).

But the Father of men and gods sits enthroned on high Olympus, watching these (things) with not inattentive eyes: the Father stirs the Tyrrhenian Tarchon to fierce battle, and incites (him) to rage with no gentle spurs. So, Tarchon rides on his horse amid the slaughter and the retreating ranks, and goads his cavalry squadrons with various shouts, calling each (man) by name, and he rallies the routed into battle. "What fear, what sheer cowardice has come upon your hearts, (O you who are) never likely to feel shame, O (you) ever sluggish Tyrrhenians? Does a woman drive (you) into disarray, and put these ranks (of yours) to flight? For what (reason do you have) a sword, and why do we bear these useless spears in our hands? But you are not sluggish (when it comes) to love-making and nocturnal forays, nor when the curved pipe proclaims the Bacchic dances. Wait for the feasts and the cups on the loaded tables - this (is) your passion, this (is) your love  - while the favouring seer reports the sacred omens and the rich sacrifice calls (you) into the deep groves!" Thus speaking, (and) ready to die himself too, he spurs his horse into the midst (of the fray) and rushes straight at Venulus, and, having dragged (him) from his horse, he clasps his enemy to his chest with his right (arm) and, stirring himself to a mighty effort, he carries (him) off. A roar rises to the sky, and all the Latins turned their eyes (in that direction). Tarchon flies over the plain (like) lightning, carrying weapons and man; then, he breaks off the the iron (point) from the tip of his spear and searches for an exposed place where he may deal a deadly wound; the other, struggling against him, keeps (his enemy's) hand away from his throat, and meets force with force. And, as when a tawny eagle, soaring on high, carries a snake it has caught, and it has entwined its feet (around it) and clung (to it) with its claws, but the snake twists its sinuous coils, and bristles with its scales protruding, and it hisses with its mouth as it rises up, (but,) nonetheless, (the eagle) assails its struggling (prey) with its hooked beak, (and) beats the air with its wings at the same time: in just this way does Tarchon joyfully carry his prey from the Tiber's ranks. Following their leader's example and achievement, the Maeonidae (i.e. the Etruscans) attack.

b) Arruns plans to follow Camilla (ll. 759-767).
Then, Arruns, (a man) owed to fate, first encircles swift Camilla with his javelin and with great cunning, and and tries what would be the easiest of opportunities. Wherever the maiden rode in her fury through the midst of the ranks, there Arruns steals up and silently scans her steps; where she returns victorious and retires from the enemy, there the youth secretly turns his swift reins. (He tries) this approach, and now that approach, and roams everywhere over the whole circuit, and he persistently brandishes his unerring spear.

14) THE DEATH OF CAMILLA (LL. 768-835).

a) Arruns awaits his opportunity to throw a spear at Camilla, and prays to Apollo for success (ll. 768-793).

Chloreus, sacred to (Mount) Cybelus, and once a priest, happened to be shining from afar in his splendid Phrygian armour, and spurred his foam-flecked steed, which a horse-cloth, with bronze scales for its plumes (and) fastened with golden (buckles), protected. He, himself, shining in an exotic dark-red and purple hue, fired Gortynian (i.e. Cretan) arrows from a Lycian bow; the bow on his shoulders was golden, and golden (was) the seer's helmet; now, he had compressed his saffron cloak and its rustling linen folds into a knot by a (brooch) of yellow (gold), and had embroidered his tunic and barbarous leg coverings (i.e. trousers) with golden (thread). In order to hang up his Trojan arms in a temple or to flaunt herself in captured gold, the virgin huntress was blindly pursuing him alone out of all the press of battle, and was recklessly raging through all the ranks with a woman's desire for booty and spoils, when Arruns, finally seizing the moment, rouses his spear from (his place of) ambush, and prays thus to the gods above in a (loud) voice: "Apollo, highest of gods, guardian of holy Soracte (i.e. a mountain in Etruria, on the top of which was a temple of Apollo), whose chief worshippers we are, (and) in whose (honour) a pine-wood blaze is fed by a heap (of wood), (while) we, (as) your votaries trusting in our faith even through the midst of the fire, set down our footsteps firmly on the embers, grant, (O) Father Almighty, that this disgrace (i.e. the success of Camilla) be effaced by our arms. I seek no plunder nor trophy of the maid's defeat, nor any spoils - other deeds will bring me fame: yet, let this dreadful scourge fall stricken beneath my blow, (and) I shall return to the cities of my native-land inglorious."
b) Apollo grants Arruns' prayer (ll. 794-798).

Phoebus heard (him), and in his decision granted that a part of his prayer should be successful, (but) he dispersed the (other) part among the fleeting breezes: he assents to the prayer that he might surprise and overthrow Camilla in sudden death; (but) he did not grant that his lofty native-land should see (him) returned, and the gales turned over his words to the Southerly Winds.

c) The spear pierces Camilla, who sinks and dies; the Trojans are inspired and redouble their efforts (ll. 799-835).
So, as the spear gave a (whistling) sound, as it was dispatched from his hand through the air, all the Volscians turned their attention and raised their eyes intently towards the queen. (She,) herself, (was) aware of nothing, neither winds, nor sounds, nor the weapon coming from the sky, until the spear pierced (her) and lodged beneath her naked breast, and, driven deep, drank of her virgin's blood. Her comrades rush (to her) anxiously, and catch their falling mistress. Arruns, more alarmed than (all) the rest, flees in fear mixed with joy, and he does not now dare to trust his spear further, nor face the virgin's weapons. And, just as that wolf that has killed a shepherd or a large bullock immediately hides itself out of the way among the high mountains, before the hostile spears pursue (it), (and,) conscious of its audacious deed, and drooping its tail, he tucks (it) quivering beneath its belly, and makes for the woods: just so did Arruns, in turmoil, withdraw himself from sight, and, happy to escape, he immersed himself in the midst of the armed throng. Dying, she tugs at the weapon with her hand, but the iron point is fixed deep in the wound between her bones near the ribs: she sinks back, bloodless, her eyes chill with death, (and) her once radiant colour has left her face. Then, (while) she breathes her last, she addresses thus Acca, one of her peers, (and) faithful to Camilla before (all) the others, who (was) the only (one) with whom she shared her cares; and so she utters these (words): "Till now, sister Acca, I have been strong: (but) now this bitter wound overcomes me, and everything around (me) grows dark with shadows. Hurry away, and bear these latest instructions of mine to Turnus: let him take my place in the battle, and keep the Trojans away from the city. And now, farewell!" At the same time as she said these (words), she was letting go of the reins, (and,) despite all her efforts, slipping to the ground. Then, (growing) cold, she gradually freed herself completely from her body, and laid down her nerveless neck and her head, (which had been) seized by death, (and) relinquishes her weapons, and, with a groan, her life flees resentfully to the shades below. Then, indeed, an enormous uproar rises up and strikes the golden stars: with Camilla having fallen, the battle intensifies; all the host of Teucrians, the Tyrrhenian chieftains, and Evander's and the Arcadian squadrons rush forward together in a mass.

15) OPIS TAKES REVENGE (LL. 836-915).

a) Opis mourns Camilla, and takes aim at Arruns, who falls in the moment of his triumph and dies uncared for (ll. 836-867).

Meanwhile, Trivia's sentinel, Opis, has long been seated high among the mountain peaks, and watches the fighting fearlessly. And, when she saw in the distance, in the midst of the clamour of raging warriors, that Camilla (had been) punished by  a sad death, she sighed, and uttered these words from the depths of her heart: "Alas! Too (cruel), too cruel (is) the penalty you have paid, maiden, (for) trying to challenge the Teucrians in war! It has not helped that, living alone in the woods, you worshipped Diana, or that you bore our arrows on your shoulder. Yet, your queen has not left you without honour, even in the extremity of death, neither will your death be without renown among the nations, nor will you suffer the report of being unavenged. For whoever violated your body with that wound shall pay the price of a deserved death." The vast tomb of Decennus, an ancient Laurentine king, (built) of a mound of earth and covered with shadowy holm-oak, stood beneath a high mountain; here the goddess, most beautiful in her swift motion, first appears, and espies Arruns from this lofty barrow. When she saw (him) shining in his armour and swelling with pride, she cries out, "Why are you going so far away? Turn your steps in this direction, come here, you who are due to die, to receive a reward (which is) worthy of Camilla. Shall you, too, die by Diana's darts? She spoke, and (then) the Thracian (nymph) plucked a winged arrow from her gold-plated quiver and stretched her bow with hostile intent, and drew (it) far back until its curved ends met each other, and now with level hands she touched the steel tip with her left, (and) her breast with her right and with the bow-string. Immediately, Arruns heard the hissing dart and the whirring air at the same time, and the steel stuck fast in his body. Oblivious, his comrades leave him, breathing his last and groaning in his extremity in the unknown dust of the plain; Opis is carried on her wings back to heavenly Olympus.
b) There is a general rout of the Rutulians, who fly to the town. The gates are closed, and many perish miserably outside. Even the women, in desperation, attempt to defend the wall (ll.868-895).

With their mistress having been lost, Camilla's light squadron is the first to flee; the Rutulians flee in confusion; brave Atinas flees, and scattered chieftains and abandoned troops seek safety, and, wheeling their horses around, they direct (them) horses towards the walls. No one can check with their weapons, or stand against, the death-dealing Teucrians, who are hard on their heels, but they sling their unstrung bows on their drooping shoulders, and the hooves of their horses shake the crumbling plain in their gallop. Murky dust in a black cloud rolls towards the walls, and from the watch-towers, mothers, beating their breasts, raise a womanish cry to the stars of heaven. Blending their ranks, the enemy throng presses hard upon those, who first broke through the open gates at full speed, nor do they escape a wretched death, but even in the gateway, on their native city-walls, and within the shelter of their homes, (they are) stabbed and gasp away their lives. Some close the gates: and they do not dare to open a way for their comrades, not to receive (them) within the walls, despite their entreaties, and a most pitiful slaughter arises of (those) defending the entrance with their arms and of (those) rushing right on to the weapons. Some, shut out before the eyes and faces of their weeping parents, with the rout driving (them), roll headlong into the ditches; others, blindly charging with loosened reins, batter at the gates and the unyielding barrier of the doors. The mothers, themselves, in keenest rivalry, when they saw Camilla, throw weapons from the walls with trembling hands, and, in their haste, do the work of steel with poles of tough oak and stakes hardened by fire, and burn (to be) the first to die in defence of the walls.

c) Acca takes the news of Camilla's death to Turnus, who breaks up his ambush and hastens to the city. Immediately afterwards Aeneas comes up, passes the defile safely, and marches towards the city himself. Night, however, prevents an engagement (ll. 896-915). 

Meanwhile, in the forests the most woeful message comes with all its force to (the ears of) Turnus, and Acca gives the warrior the news of the terrible disaster: that the Volscian ranks (have been) destroyed, that Camilla has fallen, that the enemy are advancing fiercely and have swept all before (them) in triumphant warfare, and that panic has already reached the city. In wild frenzy, he (i.e. Turnus) abandons the hills which he had been blockading - so Jupiter's stern will demands - (and) leaves the wild woodlands. He had scarcely passed from their sight and reached the plain, when father Aeneas, having entered the (now) unguarded pass, both mounts the ridge and emerges from the dark woods. So, they both march towards the walls, swiftly and in full force, and they are not separated from each other by any long distance; and, at the very same moment, Aeneas viewed from afar the plain smoking with dust, and saw the Laurentine  columns (i.e. the Latins and the Rutulians), and Turnus recognised Aeneas in arms and heard the marching of feet and the snorting of horses. They would have entered the fray at once, and essayed the test of battle, if ruddy Phoebus (i.e. the Sun) had not already bathed his weary steeds in the Iberian flood (i.e. the Atlantic Ocean) and, as the day ebbed, brought back the night. They make camp before the city, and fortify their defences.

APPENDIX: Prosodic and grammatical features contained in Aeneid Book XI.

1) Examples of the retained accusative with a passive verb:

In the examples given below, the relevant accusatives are underlined. These accusatives are either examples of a passive participle being used in the sense of the middle voice in Greek, or an accusative of respect relating to parts of the body:

l. 35.  Iliades crinem ... solutae: the women of Ilium, their hair loosened (lit. having been loosened in respect of their hair) ...

l. 480.  virgo ... oculos deiecta decoros: the maiden with her beautiful eyes cast down (lit. cast down in respect of her beautiful eyes) ...

l. 487.  rutilum thoraca indutus ... horrebat: having donned his glowing breastplate, he bristled ...

l. 507. Turnus ... oculos horrenda in virgine fixus: Turnus, fixing his eyes on the awe-inspiring maiden ...

l. 596.  illa ... nigro circumdata turbine corpus: the other, her form surrounded (lit. surrounded in respect of her form) by a dark whirlwind.

l. 649.  unum exserta latus pugnae ... Camilla: Camilla, with one breast bared (lit. bared in respect of one breast) for battle ...

l. 777. auro pictus acu tunicas et barbara tegmina crurum: he had embroidered his tunic and barbarous leg coverings with gold (thread) ...

l. 877.  percussae pectora matres: mothers beating their breasts (lit. beaten in respect of their breasts) ...
 2.  Spondaic fifth foot with a hiatus.

This occurs only five times in the "Aeneid", always when proper names are involved.

l. 31.  Parrhasio Evandro: to Parrhasian Evander.

3.  Synezesis.

In the following instances a short syllable is compressed or elided into a following long one.

l. 57.  Ei: Oh!

l. 262. Protei: of Proteus.

l. 268.  Idomenei: of Idomeneus.

l. 383.  Proinde: so.

4. Syllable lengthened 'in arsis'.

In the instances below, the underlined short syllable is lengthened as it coincides with the beat or 'ictus' which falls on the first syllable of the foot. In Latin verse, the first part of the foot is called the 'arsis' as it involves the 'raising' of the voice, and the second part the 'thesis', when the voice sinks down again.

l. 69.   languen/tis hya/cinthi: a drooping hyacinth.

l. 111.  ora/tis? Equi/dem: Are you asking .... (I) indeed ...

l. 323.  tantus a/mor, et/: such (is) their desire, and ...

l. 469.  ipse pa/ter et/: father (Latinus) himself ... and ...


Bucolics (Eclogues):

11 March 2011


Book I: 9 November 2015
Book II: 24 January 2017
Book III: 17 March 2017
Book IV: 11 November 2010


Book I: 12 May 2010
Book II: 14 February 2011
Book III: 22 January 2015
Book IV: 20 January 2010
Book V: 8 June 2011
Book VI: 16 February 2010
Book VII: 26 April 2017
Book VIII: 20 October 2015
Book IX: 10 August 2010
Book X: 3 August 2017
Book XI: 17 September 2017
Book XII: 23 September 2011.




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.


On occasions, Virgil permits himself a certain licence in his metrication, when he lengthens syllables at the end of words which would normally be short both by nature and by position. Ancient authorities commentating on these irregularities explain them either by focusing on their position in the verse, or by suggesting that Virgil's usage in these instances reflects that these syllables had been long in quantity in earlier periods of Latin poetry. With regard to the first of these tentative explanations, it is indeed the case that in all the instances where Virgil permits himself this licence, the syllables which are lengthened in this way are in arsis, that is, they fall on the last syllable of words which occur in the first part of the foot, and therefore coincide with the ictus, or the metrical beat. 
45 instances of this irregular lengthening of short final syllables are found in Virgil's works. These are divided below into certain groupings, most of which reflect different parts of speech or letter endings. In each case the whole verse is shown, and the affected syllable is underlined.
A.  Lengthening of the first 'que' at the beginning of verses
i)  Eurique Zephyrique tonat domus: omnia plenis. (Georgics I. l.371)
ii)  liminaque laurusque dei, totusque moveri. (Aeneid III. l.91)
B.  Lengthening of a syllable immediately before a Greek word:
i)  ille, latus niveum molli fultus hyacintho, (Eclogues 6. l.53)
ii)  Graius homo, infectos linquens profugus hymenaeos. (A. X. l.720)
(See also E. iii. b. and F. iii. below)
C.  Lengthening of final syllables ending in 'r': 
i)  Nouns: Masculines ending in 'or', 'er', or 'ur':
a)  Omnia vincit Amor; et nos cedamus Amori. (E. 10. l.69)
b)  Aequus uterque labor, aeque iuvenemque magistri (G. III. l.118)
c)  nam duo sunt genera: hic melior, insignis et ore (G. IV. 92)
d)  luctus, ubique pavor, et plurima mortis imago. (A. II. l.369)
e)  et Capys, et Numitor, et qui te nomine reddet (A. VI. l.768)
f)  considant, si tantus amor, et moenia condant (A. XI. l.323)
g)  quippe dolor, omnis stetit imo vulnere sanguis. (A. XII. l.422)
h)  et Messapus equum domitor, et fortis Asilas (A. XII. l.550)
i)  Desine plura, puer, et quod nunc instat agamus:(E. 9. l.66)
j)  ostentans artemque pater arcumque sonantem. (A. V. l.521)
k)  congredior. Fer sacra, pater, et concipe foedus. (A. XII. l.13)
l)  si qui ebur, aut mixta rubent ubi lilia multa (A. XII. l.68)
ii) Inflections of Verbs ending in 'r':
a)  altius ingreditur et mollia crura reponit; (G. III. l.76)
b)  Tum sic Mercurium adloquitur, ac talia mandat: (A. IV. l.222)
c)  Olli serva datur, operum haud ignara Minervae, (A. V. l.284)
d)  nostrorum obruimur, oriturque miserrima caedes (A. II. l.411)
D.  Lengthening of final syllables ending in 's'.
i)  Nouns: 
a)  per terram, et versa pulvis inscribitur hasta. (A. I. l.478)
b)  invalidus, etiamque tremens, etiam inscius aevi. (G. III. l.189)
c)  Non te nullius exercent numinis irae; (G. IV. l.453)
d)  Emicat Euryalus, et munere victor amici (A. V. l.337)
e)  fatalesque manus, infensa Etruria Turno: (A. XII. l.232)
f)  sicula magna Iovis, antiquo robore quercus (G. III. l.332)
g)  pectoribus inhians spirantia consulit exta. (A. IV. l.64)
ii)  Verbs: 
a)  terga fatigamus hasta; nec tarda senectus (A. IX. l.610)
E.  Words ending in 't': Third Person Singular of Verbs
i)  Imperfect Indicative Active (-at):
a) Tityrus hunc aberat. Ipsae te, Tityre, pinus, (E. 1. l.39)
b)  nusquam amittebat, oculosque sub astra tenebat. (A. V. l.853)
c)  regibus omen erat, hoc illis curia templum, (A. VII. l.174)
d)  per mediam qua spina dabat, hastamque receptat (A. X. l.383)
e)  Hic hasta Aeneae stabat, huc impetus illam (A. XII. l.772) 
ii)  Present Indicative Active and Imperfect Subjunctive Active (-et):
a)  qui teneant, nam inculta videt, hominesque feraene, (A. I. l.308)
b)  Pergama cum peteret inconcessosque hymenaeos, (A. I. l.651) 
iii)  Present, Future, and Perfect Indicative Active (-it):
a)  versibus ille facit; aut, si non possumus omnes, (E. 7. l.23)
b)  sceptra Palatini sedemque petit Evandri. (A. IX. l.9)
c)  tela manusque sinit. Hinc Pallas instat et urget, (A. X. l.433)
d)  ipse, ubi tempus erit, omnes in fonte lavabo. (E. 3. l.97)
e)  te sine, frater, erit? O quae satis ima dehiscat (A. 12. l.883)
f)  at rudis enituit impulso vomere campus. (G. II. l.211)
g)  Alcides subiit, haec illum regia cepit. (A. VIII. l.363)
F.  Stand alone instances. The following exceptional instances of the lengthening of the final syllable of a word are also found: 
i)  pingue super oleum fundens ardentibus extis. (A. VI. l.254)
ii)  cum muros arcemque procul ac rara domorum (A. VIII. l.98)  
iii)  nam tibi, Thymbre, caput Evandrius abstitit ensis; (A. X. l.394).
Conclusion. It can be seen clearly from the above instances that Virgil never allows himself the licence to lengthen a vowel that would normally be short unless the word concerned is in arsis, and, indeed, seldom where the lengthened syllable is not immediately followed by a main caesura, i.e. a slight break in the line. Of the above instances, it is only in 7 cases that the lengthened syllable is not followed by the main caesura. These are the first four, where it could not be applicable in any case; and D. i. g; E. i. b, and F. i. So in the overwhelming majority of cases the lengthening of a final short syllable only occurs when the word concerned is in arsis and comes immediately before the line's main caesura. Another possibly relevant factor is that in the case of 17 of the above instances the short syllable ends in 'r'. If 'r' is considered as a trilled consonant, it can be 'dwelt upon' in pronunciation, so as to lengthen the preceding vowel. 




1) E.1. ll. 1-2: Tityre, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi / silvestrem tenui, Musam meditaris avena. (You, Tityrus, reclining under the cover of a spreading beech-tree, are practising a woodland melody on a slender pipe.)
2) E.1. l.5: Formosam resonare doces Amaryllida silvas. (You teach the woods to re-echo the charming words of Amaryllis.)
3) E.1. l. 6: Deus nobis haec otia fecit. (A god has made this leisure for me.)
4) E.1. l. 11: Non equidem invideo, miror magis. (Indeed, I am not envious; rather I am amazed.)
5) E. 1. l. 66: Et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos. (And the Britons wholly separated from all the world.) 
6) E. 2. l.60: Quem fugis, a, demens? Habitarunt di quoque silvas (From whom do you flee, O you madman? Gods have also lived in the woods.)
7) E. 3. l.93: Latet anguis in herba. (A snake lurks in the grass.)
8) E. 4. ll.1-2: Sicelides Musae, paulo maiora canamus! / Non omnis arbusta iuvant humilesque myricae. (Sicilian Muses, let us sing a somewhat loftier strain! The groves of trees and humble tamarisks do not please everyone.)
9) E. 4. ll.4-7: Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis aetas; / magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. Iam redit et virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna, iam nova progenies caelo dimittitur alto. (The last era of Cumaean song has now come; the great sequence of ages is born anew. Now the Virgin returns; and the reign of Saturn is renewed; now a new breed of men descends from heaven above.)
10) E. 4. ll.62-63: Incipe, parve puer: qui non risere parentes, / nec deus hunc mensa, dea nec dignata cubili est. (Begin, little boy: the man upon whom no parents have smiled, no god will deem him worthy of his table, nor will a goddess deem him worthy of her bed.)
11) E. 7. ll.4-5: .... Arcades ambo, / et cantare pares et respondere parati. (Arcadians both, and equally ready to sing or make a response.) 
12) E. 8. l.43: Nunc scio quid sit Amor. (Now I know what Love is really like.) 
13) E. 8. l.63: Non omnia possumus omnes. (We cannot all do everything.)
14) E. 9. ll.33-36: .... Sunt et mihi carmina, me quoque dicunt / vatem pastores; sed non ego credulus illis. / Nam neque adhuc Vario videar nc dicere Cinna / digna, sed argutos inter strepere anser olores. (I, too, have written songs; the shepherds, too, have called me a bard; but I do not believe them. For I still seem to utter words worthy neither of Varius nor of Cinna, but to cackle like a goose among melodious swans.)
15) E. 10. l.69: Omnia vincit Amor: et nos cedamus Amori. (Love conquers all: we, too, must yield to Love.)
1) G.I. l.30: Ultima Thule. (Farthest Thule.)
2) G. I. l.145-146: .... Labor omnia vicit / improbus et duris urgens in rebus egestas. (Unrelenting toil and pinching want amid harsh circumstances conquered everything.)
3) G. I. ll.281-282: .... Imponere Pelio Ossam / scilicet, atque Ossae frondosum involvere Olympum. (Indeed, to pile Ossa on Pelion, and to roll leafy Olympus upon Ossa.)
4) G. II. ll. 458-460: O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint, / agricolas! Quibus ipsa procul discordibus armis / fundit humo facilem victum iustissima tellus. (O exceedingly fortunate farmers, if they did but know their own good fortune! On them, far from the clash of arms, the most just earth pours from her bosom their easy sustenance.)
5) G. II. l.490: Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas. (Happy is he who can understand the causes of things.) 
6) G. II. l.493: Fortunatus et ille deos qui novit agrestis. (Happy too is he who has got to know the rustic deities.) 
7) G. III. l.284: Sed fugit interea, fugit inreparabile tempus. (But meanwhile, time flies, and flies irretrievably.)
8) G. IV. l.167-168: ..... Agmine facto / ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent. (They form a column, and drive the idle drones from the hives.)
9) G. IV. l.176: Si parva licet componere magnis. (If one may compare small things with great ones.) 
10) G. IV. l.208-209: At genus immortale manet, multosque per annos stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum. (Yet the stock remains immortal, and for many years the fortune of the house stands fast, and the grandfathers of grandfathers are counted.) 
1) A. I. ll.1-4: Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris / Italiam fato profugus Lavinaque venit / litora - multum ille et terris iactatus et alto / vi superum, saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram. (I sing of arms and of the man who, exiled by fate, first came from the shores of Troy to Italy and the Lavinian strand - much buffeted both on land and on the deep by the violence of the powers above, on account of the unforgetting anger of cruel Juno.)
2) A. I. l.33: Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem. (Such an effort was it to found the Roman race.)
3) A. I. l.42: Ipsa Iovis rapidum iaculata e nubibus ignem. (She herself hurled Jupiter's devouring fire from the clouds) N.B. Of the first five feet, all but the fourth are dactyls. The change of rhythm in the fourth foot effected by the spondee, and the harsh elision of iaculat' e is intended to emphasise the crash of Minerva's thunderbolt.

4) A. I. l.104-105: .... Tum prora avertit ad undas / dat latus; insequitur cumulo praereptus aquae mons. (Then the prow swings round and presents its side to the waves; there ensues in a heap a steep mountain of water.) N.B. By placing a monosyllable at the end of l. 105, Virgil departs from the normal "shave and a haircut' rhythm of the last two feet, and the jarring effect thus produced is designed to echo the crash of a very large wave against the side of a ship.

5) A. I. l.150: Furor arma ministrat. (Fury supplies the weapons.)
6) A. I. l.188: Fidus quae tela gerebat Achates. (The weapons which faithful Achates bore.) 
7) A. I. l.199: O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem. (O you who have endured worse things, God will grant an end to these things as well.)
8) A. I. l.203: ... Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit. (Perhaps it will one day be pleasing to remember these things too.)
9) A. I. l.207: Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis. (Endure, and preserve yourself for better things.)
10) A. I. l.278-279: His ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono: / imperium sine fine dedi.... (To these people, I fix neither bounds nor periods of time to their good fortunes: I have given them power without end.)

11) A. I. l.405: Vera incessu patuit dea. (By her gait, she was revealed as a true goddess.)
12) A. I. l.461-462: .... Sunt hic etiam sua praemia laudi; / sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt. (Here too virtue has its own rewards; there are tears for things and mortal things touch the heart.)
13) A. I. l.604: Mens sibi conscia recti. (A mind conscious of its own rectitude.)
14) A. I. l.630: Non ignara malis miseris succurrere disco. (Not unaware of misfortunes, I am learning to succour those in distress.)
15) A. II. ll.1-2: Conticuere omnes intentique ora tendebant. Inde toro pater Aeneas sic orsus ab alto. (They all fell silent and fixed their gaze intently upon him. From his high couch father Aeneas began to speak as follows.)

16) A. II. ll.5-6: .... Quaeque ipse miserrima vidi / et quorum pars magna fui. (And of the most pitiable things, which I myself saw, and in which I played a great part ...)

17) A. II. l.49: Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis. (Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks, even when they are bringing gifts.)
18) A. II. ll. 61-62: ....In utrumque paratus, seu versare dolos, seu certae occumbere morti. (Ready for either outcome, whether to effect his trickery or to succumb to certain death.)

19) A. II. ll.65-66: .... crimine ab uno / disce omnes. (From one piece of villainy learn about all of them.)

20) A. II. l.204: Horresco referens. (I shudder to relate.)

21) A. II. ll.209-211: Fit sonitus spumante salo: iamque arva tenebant, / ardentisque oculos suffecti sanguine et igni / sibila lambebant linguis vibrantibus ora. (A roar comes from the foaming surf: and now they have reached the land, and, with their blazing eyes suffused with blood and fire, they licked their hissing mouths with their flickering tongues.) N.B. how Virgil uses alliteration as well as rhythm
to catch the sensation of the slithering and sibilant sea-snakes.

22) A.II. l.255: .... Tacitae per amica silentis lunae. (Through the friendly silence of the quiet moon.)

23) A. II. ll.274-275: .... Quantum mutatus ab illo / Hectore qui redit exuvias indutus Achilli. (How changed from that Hector who had returned clad in the spoils of Achilles.)

24) A. II. ll.325-326: .... Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium et ingens / gloria Teucrorum ... (We are Trojans no more; Ilium, and the great glory of the Teucrians, has passed.)

25) A. II. l.354: Una salus victis - nullam sperare salutem. (There is but one safe thing for the vanquished - not to hope for safety.)

26) A. II. l.428: Dis aliter visum. (The Gods thought otherwise.)

27) A. II. ll. 521-522: Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis / tempus eget. (The hour does not call for such succour or such defenders as you.)

28) A. II. l.680: Cum subitum dictuque oritur mirabile monstrum. (When, and it is marvellous to relate, a sudden miracle occurs.)

29) A. III. ll. 56-57: .... Quid non mortalia pectora cogis, / auri sacra fames? (To what do you not compel human hearts, O accursed hunger for gold?)

30) A. III. l.658: Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum. (A dreadful monster, shapeless, huge, and bereft of sight.)

31) A. IV. l.23: Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae. (I recognise the vestiges of an old flame.)

32) A. IV. l.31: O luce magis dilecta sorori. (O you more dear to your sister than the light of life.)

33) A. IV. l.174: Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius ullum. (Rumour, which goes more swiftly than any other evil.)

34) A. IV. l.296: Quis fallere possit amantem? (Who can deceive a lover?)

35) A. IV. ll.569-570: .... Varium et mutabile semper / femina ... (A woman is fickle and changeable always.)

36) A. IV. ll.335-336: .... Nec me meminisse pigebit Elissae, / dum memor ipse mei, dum spirius hos regit artus. (Nor will the thought of Dido ever displease me, while I myself have memory and while my breath rules these limbs.)

37) A. V. l.231: Hos successos alit: possunt, quia posse videntur. (Success nourishes them; because they seem to be able, they are able. )

38) A. VI. ll.86-87: Bella, horrida bella, / et Thybrim multi spumantem sanguine cerno. (I see wars, dreadful wars, and the Tiber foaming with much blood.)

39) A. VI. ll.126-129: .... Facilis descensus Averno: / noctes atque dies pater atri ianua Ditis; / sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras, / hoc opus, hoc labor est ...(The descent to Avernus is easy: the door of black Dis stands open night and day; but to retrace your steps and escape to the upper air, that is the task, that is the toil.)

40) A. VI. l.258: Procul o, procul este, profani! (Away with you, O away with you, you unhallowed ones!)

41) A. VI. ll.295-297: Hinc via Tartarei quae fert Acherontis ad undas. / Turbidus hic caeno vastaque voragine gurges / aestuat atque omnem Cocyto eructat harenam. (From here is the way which leads to the waters of Tartarean Acheron. Here a murky whirlpool seethes in mud and huge abysses, and belches forth all its sludge into the Cocytus.)

42) A. VI. l.298-300: Portitor has horrendus aquas et flumina servat / terribili squalore Charon: cui plurima mento / canities inculta iacet; stant lumina flamma. (A fearful ferryman guards these waters and rivers, Charon, terrible in his filth; on his chin an abundant grey beard grows untrimmed; his eyes stand aflame.)

43) A. VI. l.314: Tendebantque manus ripae ulterioris amore. (They stretched out their hands in yearning for the farther bank.

44) A. VI. ll.726-727: Spiritus intus alit: totamque infusa per artus / mens agitat molem, et magno se corpore miscet. (The spirit within nourishes, and the mind diffused though all their limbs, keeps the whole mass moving and mingles with that great frame.)

45) A.VI.  ll.851-853: Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento - / hae tibi erunt artes, - pascisque imponere morem, / parcere subiectis, et debellare superbos. (You, Roman, remember to rule with authority the peoples of the earth, - these will be your skills: to impose the tradition of peace, to spare those who have submitted, and to crush the proud in war.) 

46) A, VI. ll.893-896: Sunt geminae Somni portae, quarum altera fertur / cornea, qua veris facilis datur exitus umbris, / altera condenti perfecta nitens elephanto, / sed falsa ad caelum mittunt insomnia manes. (There are two gates of Sleep, of which one is said to be of horn, through which an easy exit is given to true spirits, and the other is made of shining white ivory, but through it the shades send false images up to the sky.)

47) A. VII. ll.136-138: ... Geniumque loci primam deorum / Tellurem nymphasque et adhuc ignota precatur / flumina ... (He prays to the genius of the place and to Earth, the oldest of the deities, and to the Nymphs, and to the rivers which are still unknown to them.)

48) A. VII. l.312: Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo. (If I cannot sway the powers above,  I shall arouse the powers of Acheron.)

49) A. VIII. l.224: Pedibus timor addidit alas. (Fear lent wings to his feet.)

50) A. VIII. l.369: Nox ruit et fuscis tellurem amplectitur alas. (Night falls and clasps the earth in her dusky wings.)

51) A. VIII. ll.452-453: Illi inter sese multa vi bracchia tollunt / in numerum, versantque tenaci forcipe massam. (One after another, they raise their arms in rhythm with mighty force, and turn the metal with gripping tongs.) N.B. l. 452 is a famous example of rhythmical imitation or onomatopoeia: it is made up entirely of spondees, other than the usual dactyl in the fifth foot, and there is a conflict between word accent and ictus in the second, third and fourth feet; the intention is to mimic the heavy and difficult movement of the blacksmiths striking the anvil in turn. By contrast, in l. 453, the coincidence of word accent and ictus and the lack of a main caesura in both the third or the fourth foot, has the effect of easing the rhythm significantly.

52) A. VIII. l.560: O mihi praeteritos referat si Iuppiter annos! (O, if only Jupiter would restore to me the years that are past!)

53) A. VIII. ll.595-596: It clamor, et agmine facto / quadrupedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum. ( A shout goes up, and, after a column has been formed, a hoof shakes the crumbling plain with the sound of galloping). N.B. l. 596 is a famous example of imitative rhythm or onomatopoeia, where the successive dactyls in the first five feet and the harsh consonants convey the sound of galloping.

54) A. IX. l.427: Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum. (Here I am, I, who did the deed; turn your sword on me.)

55) A. IX. l.641: Macte nova virtute, puer, sic itur ad astra. (May you be blessed in your youthful valour, my boy; thus one goes to the stars.)

56) A. X. l.284: Audentis fortuna iuvat. (Fortune favours the brave.)

57) A. XI. l.283: Experto credite. (Trust one who has experienced it.)

58) A. XI. l.875: Quadripedumque putrem cursu quatit ungula campum. (The hoof of their horses shakes the crumbling plain in their gallop.) N.B. This line is almost identical to Book VIII. l.596, and thus follows it in mimicking the sound of galloping horses.

59) A. XII. l.950-951: ... Ast illi solvuntur frigore membra, / vitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbris. (But his limbs went slack in the chill of death, and, with a groan, his soul flees querulously to the shades beneath.)





Publius Ovidius Naso (Ovid) was born in 43 B.C. to an equestrian family resident in Sulmo in the Apennine Hills, east of Rome. Together with his older contempories Virgil and Horace, he is a member of the triumvirate of great Roman poets who flourished during the rule of Augustus (27 B.C. - 14 A.D.) The "Metamorphoses" or "Transformations", written in fifteen books of dactylic hexameters, is his best known, and most read, work, and highlights about 250 myths in which transformations of various types occur, by which humans are transformed into animals, rocks, trees, flowers, constellations, etc.  Although written in the form of an epic, it is really a spoof, in that it lacks any real moral content; on the contrary it is informed by a sceptical, if not cynical spirit, in which the gods are often made to look powerless in the face of "Amor" (Love). It is, nevertheless, an immensely entertaining work, and a great source of classical mythology. It is written in beautiful verse that roles easily off the tongue when one reads it; in it elisions and ecthlipses are relatively few. For all these reasons, the "Metamorphoses" was extremely popular throughout the rest of antiquity, and during the Middle Ages. It was published in 8 A.D., shortly before Ovid was exiled by Augustus to Tomi (the modern port of Constanta) on the west coast of the Black Sea, where he died in 17-18 A.D. 

In spite of its apparently unbroken chronology, starting from the creation of the world and going down to the death of Julius Caesar in 44 B.C., the following four divisions in the "Metamorphoses" have been identified:

Book I - Book II: The Divine Comedy.
Book III - Book VI l. 400: The Avenging Gods.
Book VI. l. 401 - Book XI: The Pathos of Love.
Book XII- Book XV. Rome and the Deified Ruler. 

Book I, translated below, contains the following contents: i) a short invocation to the gods, setting out the purpose of the work, and asking for the gods' support; ii) the formation of the world; iii) the origins of humankind; iv) the four ages of man; v) the giants; vi) Lycaon is turned into a wolf; vii) the flood, and the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha; viii) Phoebus kills the Python; ix) the rape of Daphne by Apollo and her subsequent transformation into a laurel-tree; x) the rape of Io by Jupiter, and her transformation into a heifer; xi) Juno sends Argus to guard Io; xii) Mercury tells the story of Syrinx; xiii) Io is restored to human form; and xiv) the beginning of the story of the ill-fated Phaëthon, completed in Book II. 

Ll. 1-4.  Invocation.

My soul needs to speak of bodies changed into new forms; (you) gods - for you have altered yourselves and all other (things) too -, favour my undertaking and compose a continuous (thread of) song from the world's first origins to my own times. 
Ll. 5-20.  Primal Chaos.
Before the sea and the land, and the sky, which covers everything, there was one face of nature across the whole world, which (men) have called chaos: (it was) a raw and confused mass, nothing but inert matter, and discordant particles of badly combined things, (which had been) heaped up in the same (place). As yet, no Titan (i.e. the sun) was supplying light to the earth, nor was a waxing Phoebe (i.e. the moon) renewing her horns by coming into being, and the earth was not hovering in the surrounding air, balanced by her own weight, nor was Amphitrite (i.e. the sea) stretching out her arms along the long shores of the earth. And, although (there was) air, land and sea and sky was in that place too. So, the land was unstable, the sea (was) not fit to swim in, (and) the air (was) in need of light; nothing retained its shape, one thing obstructed another, because, in the one body, cold (parts) fought with hot (ones), moist (parts) with dry (ones), soft (parts) with hard (ones), and (things) possessing weight (those) without weight.  
Ll. 21-31.  Separation of the Elements.
A god and a greater (order of) nature put an end to this conflict. For he split off the earth from the sky and the sea from the land, and divided the clear heavens from the dense atmosphere. When he had disentangled these (elements) and freed (them) from the obscure mass, he fixed (them) in places separately in harmonious peace. The fiery and weightless force of vaulted heaven darted forth and made its home on the top of the heights: next came air in its lightness and place: earth, heavier than (either of) these, drew down the largest elements and was compressed by its own weight: the surrounding water took up the last (space) and enclosed the solid world.  
Ll. 32-51.  The earth and sea. The five zones. 

When whichever god it was (who had) so arranged and divided the mass and collected (it) into separate parts, he first formed the earth into the shape of a great ball, so that it it was uniform on all sides. Then, he diffused the seas, and ordered (them) to billow in the rapid winds, and to flow around the coasts of the encircled land. He also added springs and deep pools and lakes, and bound with sloping banks the downward flowing rivers, some of which are swallowed by (the earth) itself, (while) others reach the sea in different places, and, having been received amid the wide expanse of uncontrolled water, they beat against the coastlines instead of riverbanks. Then he ordered the plains to be expanded, the valleys to subside, the woods to be covered over with foliage, and stony mountains to rise up; and, just as zones divide the heavens, two on the right(-hand) side, and the same number on the left, (while) there is a fifth (and) hotter (one) between them, so the care of the god marked out the enclosed matter with the same number, and the same number of zones was imposed upon the earth. Of these, (the one) which is in the middle is not habitable due to the heat; deep snow covers two (of them): (and) he placed the same number between both of them, and gave (them) a temperate climate, mixing heat with cold.

Ll. 52-68.  The Four Winds.

Air overhangs them. It is heavier than fire by as much as the weight of water is lighter than the weight of earth. There he ordered the vapours and the clouds to exist, and thunder and the winds that create flashes of lightning and thunderbolts to disturb minds. Also, the maker of the world did not allow these (winds) to possess the air indiscriminately: as it is, they are scarcely prevented from tearing the world apart, although each directs his blasts on a separate course: so great is the discord between brothers. The Eurus (i.e. the East Wind) withdrew to Aurora (i.e. the East) and the realms of Nabataea (i.e. Arabia), and Persia, and that mountain range lit up by morning sunbeams (i.e. the Caucasus). Evening, and the coasts which are warm in the setting sun, are close to the Zephyrus (i.e. the West Wind): the chilly Boreas (i.e. the North Wind) has taken hold of Scythia (i.e. North-East of the Black Sea) and the seven stars of the Plough: the land opposite is drenched by the Auster (i.e. the South Wind) with its incessant clouds and rain. Over these, he places the clear sky, devoid of weight, and possessing no earthly dross.

Ll. 69-88.  Humankind.

Scarcely had he thus separated out everything within fixed limits, when the constellations, which had been compressed and had lain hidden in that mass, began to blaze out across the whole of the sky.

So that no region might be deprived of its own animate beings, the stars and the forms of the gods occupied the floor of heaven, the seas allowed (themselves) to be inhabited by shining fish, the earth took wild animals, and the light air flying (creatures).

As yet, an animal, more virtuous and more capable of elevated thought than these, and which could be the ruler of the rest, was lacking. (Then) man was born; either that creator of things, the source of a better world, made him from a divine seed, or the new-born earth, just drawn from the high heavens, retained seeds related to the sky, (one of) which, the offspring of Iapetus (i.e. Prometheus), having blended (it) with streams of rain, moulded into an image of the all-controlling gods. While the other animals look downwards at the ground, he gave mankind a lofty aspect, and commanded (them) to look at the sky, and to raise their upright faces to the stars. So, the earth, which had just been raw and without an image, changed and assumed the unknown shapes of human beings.

Ll. 89-112.  The Golden Age.

First born was the Golden Age, that, with no enforcer, spontaneously, (and) without laws, nurtured good faith and rectitude. Punishment and fear were absent, and no threatening words, fixed in bronze, were read, and no crowd of suppliants was afraid of the face of its judge, but they lived safely without a protector. No pine-tree, felled in their mountains, had gone down to the flowing waves in order to visit a foreign land, and human beings knew no shores but their own. No steep ditches were yet encircling towns; there were no straight war-trumpets, no horns of coiled brass, no helmets, no swords: carefree peoples passed their lives amid gentleness and ease, without the custom of military service. The earth, herself, free from, and untouched by, the plough, nor scarred by any mattocks, also produced everything by herself; contented with food without cultivation, they gathered the fruit of the strawberry-tree, and mountain strawberries, and cornelian cherries, and blackberries clinging to tough bramble-bushes, and acorns which had fallen from Jupiter's spreading (oak-)trees. Spring was eternal and gentle westerlies caressed with warm breezes the flowers that grew without seed. Then too, the earth bore its produce untilled, and, without being renewed, the fields whitened with heavy ears of corn; sometimes rivers of milk flowed, (and) at other times rivers of nectar, and golden honey trickled from the green holm-oaks.

Ll. 113-124.  The Silver Age.

When, Saturn having been sent to gloomy Tartarus, the world was first under (the control of) Jupiter, there came the people of the Age of Silver, inferior to gold, (but) more valuable than yellow bronze. Jupiter shortened the duration of the former spring, and made the year into four seasons, by means of winters and summers and changeable autumns and a brief spring. Then, the air glowed white, parched by the dry heat, and the ice hung down, frozen by the winds. Then, houses were first built - (before that) homes had been caves, and dense thickets, and branches fastened with bark. Then, seeds of corn were first buried in long furrows, and bullocks groaned, having been oppressed by the yoke.

Ll. 125-150.  The Bronze and Iron Ages.

After that came the people of the Third, the Bronze, (Age), more savage by nature and more inclined towards dreadful warfare, but not yet impious. Last was the harsh (Age) of Iron. Immediately, every (kind of) wickedness burst into this age of a baser nature: shame, truth and honour vanished; in their place came fraud, deceit and treachery, as well as violence and a wicked passion for possession. The sailor gave his sails to the winds - as yet he had not learned about them very well - ; and the ships' keels, which had long stood on high mountains, (now) leapt about in uncharted waves, and the land, once common (to all), just as the light of the sun and the air (is), a wary surveyor has (now) marked out with a long boundary-line. Not only did they demand the crops and the food that the rich soil owed (them), but they (even) entered the bowels of the earth: and they dig out the wealth, a (very) incitement to evil, which it had concealed and removed into Stygian shadows. And now harmful iron had appeared, and gold, more harmful than iron: (now) comes war, which fights for both of these, and shakes its clattering weapons with blood-stained hands. The live on plunder: guest (is) not safe with host, father-in-law (is) not (safe) with son-in-law; kindness, too, is rare between brothers. A husband longs for the death of his wife, she for her husband's; murderous step-mothers mix deadly aconite; a son inquires into his father's age before his time. Piety lies dead, and the virgin Astraea (i.e. the Goddess of Justice), the last of the immortals, abandoned the blood-soaked earth. 

 Ll. 151-176.  The giants.

And so that the heights of heaven should be no safer than the earth, they say that the Giants tried to take over the heavenly kingdom, and they collected and piled the mountains up to the stars. Then, the Almighty Father dispatched his thunderbolt and fractured Olympus, and cast Pelion down from Ossa below (it). They say that Earth had been flooded and drenched with streams of her sons' blood, when their dreadful bodies lay buried by that mass, and that (she) breathed life into their hot blood, and, lest no trace of her stock should remain, she transformed (it) into the shape of human beings. But, (so that) you may know (they were) born from their blood, that progeny were also contemptuous of the gods, and savage, very eager for slaughter, and violent.

When the son of Saturn, the Father (of the gods), saw these (things) from the top of his citadel, he groans, and, recalling the vile feast at Lycaon's table (i.e. Lycaon was the king of Arcadia, and his sons had offered Jupiter, who was disguised as a traveller, a banquet containing human remains), he conceives in his mind a great anger, and (one) befitting Jupiter, and he calls a council: no impediment held back (the number of those) summoned.

There is a lofty track, (which) can be seen (when) the sky (is) clear: it has the name 'Milky (Way)', (and it is) known for its very brightness. By this (way) the gods have a route to the palace and the royal home of the mighty Thunderer. On its right (side) and on its left, the forecourts of the houses of the noble gods, their doors open, are crowded - inferior (gods) abide in other places: in this area the powerful and renowned gods have made their homes. This is the place, which, if I were allowed to be daring in words, I should not be afraid to have called the Palatine of high heaven.

Ll. 177-198.  Jupiter threatens to destroy mankind. 

So when the gods had taken their seats in the marble hall, he, himself, higher (than anyone else) in the place, and leaning on his ivory sceptre, shook the awful hair on his head three or four times, by which (means) he disturbed the earth, the sea and the stars. Then, he loosened his indignant lips in the following manner: "I was not more troubled (than I am now) about the world's sovereignty at that time when each one of the snake-footed (giants) was preparing to throw his hundred arms around the imprisoned sky. For, although the enemy was a fierce (one), yet their attack came in one body and from one source. Now, I must destroy the human race, wherever Nereus (i.e. a god of the sea) sounds throughout the world: I swear (it) by the infernal streams that glide beneath the earth through the groves of the Styx (i.e. the main river of the Underworld)! Everything (should be) tried first: but the incurable flesh must be cut away by the sword, lest the healthy part is infected. Mine are the demi-gods, and the rustic deities, the nymphs, the fauns, the satyrs, and the mountain-dwelling (spirits) of the woods: since we do not yet think them to be worthy of a place in heaven, let us allow (them) to live safely in the lands which we have given (them). O gods, do you believe they will be sufficiently safe, when Lycaon, known for his savagery, arranges ambushes for me, who both holds the thunderbolt and rules over you?"

Ll. 199-243.  Lycaon is turned into a wolf.

All (the gods) murmured loudly and demand with fiery zeal (punishment of the man who) dared (to commit) such (crimes). (It was) thus, when that impious band burned to extinguish the Roman name in the blood of Caesar, the human race was stunned by such fear of a sudden disaster, and the whole world shuddered with horror. Your people's devotion is no less pleasing to you, Augustus, than theirs was to Jupiter. When he had checked their murmuring by word and by gesture, they all kept silent. When the noise subsided, suppressed by the authority of their ruler, Jupiter again broke the silence with these words: "He, indeed, has paid the penalty - dismiss that fear of yours. But I will tell (you) what his crime (was), (and) what was his punishment. The infamy of the times has reached my ears. Wishing (it were) false, I slip down from high Olympus, and traverse the earth (as) a god in human form. It would take too much time to recount what great wickedness was everywhere to be found: the rumour of evil was less than the truth (of it). I had crossed the (mountains of) Maenala, bristling with the lairs of wild beasts, and Cyllene, and the pine-woods of Lycaeus: then, when the last of the twilight was giving way to night, I enter the inhospitable home and palace of that Arcadian tyrant. I gave the signs that a god had come, and the people began to worship (me): at first Lycaon ridiculed their pious prayers; then he said, "I shall prove, by a straightforward test, (whether) he is a god or a mortal. The truth will not be in doubt." He arranges to destroy me by an unexpected death at night (while I am) deep in sleep: that test of truth is pleasing to him. Nor is he content with this; he cuts open with a knife the throat of a single hostage sent by the tribe of the Molossi, and thus he makes tender some of the still warm limbs in boiling water, (and) he roasted others in a fire placed beneath (them). As soon as he placed this on the table, I brought down by an avenging flash of lightning the roof and the household gods (that were) worthy of such a master. He, himself, flees in terror, and reaching the silence of the countryside, he howls aloud, and tries in vain to speak. His mouth acquires it own foam, and, with a desire for his accustomed slaughter, he turns on the sheep, and now rejoices in their blood too. His clothes turn into hair, his arms into legs: he becomes a wolf, but keeps some vestige of his former shape. There is the same grey hair, the same furious face, his eyes glitter in same way, the  picture of ferocity is the same.

One house falls. But that house was not deserving to perish alone: wherever the earth extends, a wild Fury rules. You would think (men) were sworn to crime. Let them all swiftly pay the penalty which they deserve to suffer - so stands my sentence!"

Ll. 244-273.  Jupiter invokes the floodwaters.

Some approve Jupiter's words by exclamation, and add their encouragement to (fuel) his anger, (while) others show their assent. Yet, the downfall of the human race is (a source) of grief to all (of them), and they ask what would be the future shape of the earth, (if it were) bereft of mortals, who would offer frankincense at the altars, and whether he would arrange to surrender the earth to be ravaged by wild beasts? The king of the gods forbids (them) to be alarmed, (when) asking such (questions) - for the rest would be his concern - , and he promises a very different offspring from the first people, a marvellous creation. 

And now he was ready to hurl his thunderbolts at the whole world; but he feared lest the sacred ether might, by accident, develop flames from the fires below and that the furthest pole might burn. He also recalled that it was stated in the (scroll of) fate that there would come a time when the sea, and the earth, and the untouched courts of the sky would catch fire and the guarded mass of the world would be in trouble. So the weapons forged by the handiwork of the Cyclopes are set aside: he resolves on a different punishment, (that is) to send down rain from the whole sky, and to drown the human race beneath the waves.

At once, he shuts up the North Wind, and those gales which disperse the gathering clouds, in the caves of Aeolus (i.e. the King of the Winds, whose caves are on the islands of Lipari, off the coast of Sicily), and lets loose the South Wind. The South Wind flies with dripping wings, his terrible face hidden in a pitch-black mist: his beard (is) heavy with rain, water flows from his hoary hair; mists settle on his brow, and his wings and the folds of his robes drip with dew. And, when he completely crushes the overhanging clouds in his hands, there is a crash: then, dense rains are unleashed from heaven. Juno's messenger, Iris, dressed in a variety of colours, absorbs the water, and brings (it) to the clouds (as) nourishment. The cornfields are flattened, and the farmer's hopes are despaired of and lie in ruins, and the futile labour of a long year is wasted.  

Ll. 274-292.  The Flood. 

Jupiter's anger is not content with his (rule) of the heavens, but his azure brother (i.e. Neptune) assists him with his helpful waves. He summons the streams. When they entered their ruler's abode, he says, "A long exhortation is now of no use. Exert (all) your strength: that's what is needed! Open up your houses, and, having dredged the sludge, loosen all the reins of your rivers!" (Thus) he commanded; they return and widen their fountain's mouths, and roll in an unbridled course to the sea. He, himself, strikes the ground with his trident: and it trembles, and, by that blow, opens up channels for the water. Overflowing, the rivers rush across the open plains, and, at the same time, carry off orchards with their crops, flocks, men, houses, and holy temples with their sacred (vessels). If any house has stood firm, and has been able to survive the great disaster intact, yet the deeper waves conceal its roof, and its towers are overwhelmed and buried beneath the flood.

And now the sea and the land had no distinction: everything was the sea; the sea, also, was without shores.

Ll. 293-312.  The world is drowned. 

One man takes possession of a hill-top; another (man) sits in his curved boat and pulls his boat at a place where he had lately been ploughing. A man sails over his cornfields or the roof of his drowned farmhouse; another catches a fish on the top of an elm-tree. If chance brings it about, an anchor is embedded in a green meadow or curved keels graze the vineyards that lie beneath (them); and where, a moment ago, skinny goats plucked the grass, now shapeless seals place their bodies. The Nereids are astonished (to see) woods and towns and houses under water, and dolphins occupy the woodlands and invade the higher branches, and thump the oak-trees as they brush against (them). The wolf swims among sheep (and) the waves carry tawny lions and tigers, and, (now) that they have been swept away, the boar has no use for the strength of his charge nor the stag for his speedy legs. And the wandering bird, having searched for land for long time, falls on tired wings into the sea. The boundless freedom of the sea had buried the hills, and fresh waves beat against the mountain tops. Most living things are carried off by the waves; those (things) which the waters spare, a protracted hunger overcomes through a lack of food.

Ll. 313-347.  Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha. 

Phocis, (i.e. a region of central Greece between Boeotia and Aetolia) a fertile country, when it was (still) land, separates Aonia (a part of Boeotia that contains Mount Helicon) from the fields of Oeta (i.e. a mountain range between Aetolia and Thessaly), but at that time (it was) part of the sea and a wise expanse of suddenly (created) water. There a steep mountain, Parnassus (i.e. a mountain in Phocis sacred to Apollo and the Muses) by name, aims for the stars with its two peaks, and its summits overtop the clouds. Here, Deucalion (i.e. King of Phthia and son of Prometheus) and the wife of his bed stuck fast, when they had been conveyed (there) in their small boat - for the waters had drowned everywhere else - , (and) they worship the Corycian nymphs (i.e. nymphs of the Corycian cave on Mount Parnassus) and the mountain deities and the prophetic Themis (i.e. a Titaness and the daughter of Uranus and Gaia), whom the oracle then possessed. There was not any man (who was) better or more fond of justice than him, nor any (woman) more afraid of the gods than her. When Jupiter sees that the world is flooded with clear waters, and that only one man is left of all those many thousands, and that only one (woman) is left of all those many thousands, (and) that both (are) innocent (and) that both (are) worshippers of the gods, he dispersed the clouds and blew away the rain-storms through the North Wind, and shows the earth to the sky and the heavens to the earth. Nor does any of the sea's anger remain,and, putting aside his three-pronged weapon, the ruler of the ocean calms the waters and summons the dark-blue Triton (i.e. a sea and river god, the son of Neptune and Amphitrite, usually depicted as half-man and half-fish), showing from the depths his shoulders covered with floating purple shells, and bids (him) blow into his echoing conch, and (thus) give the signal now to recall the streams and rivers. The hollow horn is brought to him, coiled in broad spirals that rise up from its base, that horn, which had absorbed his breath somewhere in the midst of the ocean, and he fills the shores on both sides of the situation of the sun (i.e. of both east and west) with his sound. Then, also, as it touched the lips of the god (i.e. Triton), made wet by his dripping beard, and was blown and sounded the order to retreat, it was heard by all the waters of the earth and the sea, and it checked all the waters, by which it was heard. Now the sea has shore-lines, the river-bed takes brimming streams, the rivers subside, and the hills appear to spring up, the soil arises, (and) places grow in size, as the waves diminish, and, after a long day, the trees show their naked tops and keep the mud left on their foliage.

Ll. 348-380.  They ask Themis for help.

The world was restored. (But) when Deucalion saw that (it was) empty and that a deep silence attended the desolate lands, he addresses Pyrrha (i.e. wife and cousin of Deucalion, and the daughter of the Titan Epimetheus) thus through welling tears: "O sister, O wife, O sole surviving woman, whom a shared race and family origin, then a marriage-bed, have joined to me, now these very dangers join (us); we are two of a multitude (of people) from whatever lands the setting and the rising (sun) may see; the sea has taken all the rest. Yet still, the security of these lives of ours is not sufficiently sure; even now the storm-clouds terrify my mind. What feelings would you now have, poor (soul), if you had been rescued by the Fates without me? How could you bear your fear alone? Who would console you in you suffering? For, believe me, (dear) wife, if the sea had you, I would follow you too, and the sea would have me also. Oh, would that I could retrieve the people by my father's arts and breathe life into the fashionable clay! Now, the race of mortals depends on the two of us - the gods decreed thus - and we remain the (only) examples of mankind."

He finished speaking, and they wept. They resolves to appeal to the sky god and to seek his help through the sacred oracles. There is no delay: they went together to the springs of Cephisus (i.e. a river in Phocis) (which), although not yet clear, was already flowing through it familiar channels. Then, when they had sprinkled watery libations on their heads and clothing, they turn their footsteps to the sanctuary of the sacred goddess (i.e. at Delphi, where Themis held the oracle) the pediments of which were made pale with disfiguring moss, and the altars (of which) were standing without fires. When they reached the steps, they both fall forward down on the ground the cold rock kisses in a trembling manner, and they spoke thus: "If the divine will, convinced by the prayers of the just, is softened, if the gods' anger can be deflected, tell (us), Themis, by what art the damage to our race may be retrievable, and bring help, (O) most mild (lady), to a world (that has been) drowned."

Ll. 381-415.  The human race is re-created.

The goddess was moved, and made a prophetic statement: "Leave this temple, and veil your heads and loosen the clothes that encompass (you), and (then) throw behind you the bones of your great mother."

For a long time, they stood (there) dumbfounded; then Pyrrha (is) the first (to) break the silence with her speech, and she refuses to obey the goddess's commands, and with trembling lips she asks that she give her her pardon, and she is afraid to offend her mother's shades (i.e. those of Pandora) by scattering her bones. Meanwhile, they reconsider the unclear words of the goddess (which she had) given in her hidden retreat, and ponder (them) in their own (minds) and between themselves. Then, the son of Prometheus comforts the daughter of Epimetheus with quiet words, and says: "Either we have some deceptive ingenuity (here), or the oracles are pious and urge no evil deed (upon us). The earth is our great mother; I think the bones she spoke of (are) stones in the body of the earth; (it is) these we are being told to throw behind us."

Although Titania (i.e. the Titan's daughter, Pyrrha) is encouraged by her husband's interpretation, her hopes are still in doubt: they are both very distrustful of the divine promptings. But what harm can it do to try? They go down, and veil their heads and loosen their tunics, and discharge the required stones behind them as they go. The stones  - who would believe it were it not for the testimony of ancient tradition? - began to lose their hardness and rigidity, and, after a pause, to grow soft, and, having softened, to acquire a (new) form. Then, when they had grown, and a milder nature had affected them, a certain manly shape could be seen, not clear but more like rough statues made of marble, and, at first, not finished enough. Yet, somehow out of these the part, which was wet with moisture and earthy, turned into flesh. What is solid and unable to bend, is changed into bone; what was only veins remained under the same name; and in a short space (of time), through the will of the gods, those stones (which had been) thrown by the hands of a man took on the appearance of men, and a woman was remade from the throw of a woman. Ever since, we exist (as) a tough race, and (one) able to endure (hard) labour, and we give proof of the source from which we are sprung.

Ll. 416-437.  Other species are generated.

Earth spontaneously created other animals in diverse forms; after the former moisture had become warm through the fire of the sun, and the mud and the damp marshland had swelled in the heat and the fertile seeds of things, nourished by life-giving soil, as if in a mother's womb, had grown, and, after some space of time, had taken a certain nature. So, when the seven-streamed Nile abandoned the water-logged fields to their former beds, and the fresh mud burned in the etherial (rays of) the sun. farmers find a multitude of animals as the turn the lumps of earth, and, amongst them, some just spawned in the very moment of being born, some imperfect and lacking a number of their (limbs); and often in the same body one part is alive, (and) another part is raw earth. For in fact, when moisture and heat have assumed the right mixture, they conceive, and from these two (things) everything (else) arises; and, although fire is fond of fighting water, humid vapour creates all things, and a discordant union is suitable for growth. So, when the earth, made muddy by the recent flood, glowed again in the deep heat of the sun, she brought forth countless species, and, in some cases, she renewed old forms, (but), in other cases, she created fresh monsters.

Ll. 438-473.  Phoebus kills the Python and sees Daphne.

Indeed, she would not have wished (to do so), but she then gave birth to you too, (O) mighty Python, (you) unknown serpent, you (who) were a terror to the new people (of the earth): you occupied so much of the space of the mountain. The archer-god (i.e. Phoebus Apollo), with such weapons (that he had) never employed before except on buck- and roe-deer, with a thousand arrows almost emptying his quiver, destroyed this huge (creature), with the venom pouring out of his black wounds. Lest great age should destroy the fame of this deed, he founded the sacred Pythian games, celebrated by contests, called by the name of the serpent (he had) conquered.

Then, those young men who had been the winners in boxing, or on foot, or in chariot (racing) received the award of oak leaves: there was yet no laurel; (so) Phoebus was wont to wreathe his temples and his comely long hair (with the leaves) of whatever tree you like.

Phoebus' first love (was) Daphne, the daughter of Peneus (i.e. a river in Thessaly that flowed from Mount Pindar through the Vale of Tempe), which no unknown chance but Cupid's fierce anger caused. The Delian (god) (i.e. Phoebus), proud of his recent conquest of the serpent, had seen him bending his tightly-strung bow, and had said, "What (are) you (doing), (O you) impudent boy, with a brave (man)'s weapons? Those arms are suited to my shoulders, I who can give certain (wounds) to wild beasts, (and can) give wounds to my enemies, I, who have just laid low with countless arrows the swollen Python that was covering so many acres with its plague-ridden belly. You should be content to stir loves, of which I am unaware, with your burning brand, and not lay claim to my glories."

Venus' son (i.e. Cupid) says to him: "Your bow may hit everything (else), Phoebus, (but) mine (will hit) you. To the extent that all animals are inferior to gods, so your glory is less than mine."

He spoke, and striking the air with beating wings, he landed on the shady peak of (Mount) Parnassus with a flourish, and took two darts with different effects from his arrow-bearing quiver: one repels love, the other excites (it). (The one) that excites (it) is golden and glistens with a sharp point; (the one) that repels (it) is blunt and has lead at the bottom of its shaft. The god drives the second (one) into the nymph Peneis (i.e. Daphne), but with the first he wounded the marrow of Apollo, piercing (him) to the bone.

Ll. 474-503.  Phoebus pursues Daphne.

Straightway, one is in love, (but) the other flees the name of loving, delighting in the shadows of the woods and in the skins of the wild beasts (she had) caught, and emulating the unmarried Phoebe (i.e. Diana). A ribbon controlled her carelessly arranged hair. Many sought her (hand), (but) she, averse from wooing, impatient and free of men, roams the pathless woods, and cares not what Marriage, what Love, (or) what wedlock may involve. Often, her father said (to her), "Daughter, you owe me a son-in-law," often her father said (to her), "Child, you owe me grandsons:" hating the nuptial torch, as if (it were akin to) a crime, her beautiful face is suffused with bashful redness, and, clinging to her father's neck with coaxing arms, she said:" Dearest father, give me give me perpetually the virginity I have enjoyed: Diana's father (i.e. Jupiter) granted it (to her) previously." He, indeed, complies, but that beauty of yours prevents what you wish from happening, (Daphne). Your loveliness opposes your prayer: having seen (her), Phoebus loves (her), and desires marriage with Daphne, and he hopes for what he desires, but his own oracular powers fail him. And, as the light stubble of a harvested cornfield blazes, as a hedge is fired by a torch, which a traveller happens either to have brought too close, or to have left behind at daybreak, so the god went about on fire, so he burns in all of his heart, and feeds his fruitless passion with hope. He observes the disordered hair hanging about her neck, and says, "What, if it were (properly) arranged?" He sees her eyes, sparkling with fire like the stars, he gazes on her lips, yes (those lips) which (it is) not enough (just) to have gazed at; he praises her fingers, and her hands, and her fore-arms, and her upper-arms bare from the elbow. Whatever is hidden, he imagines more beautiful. (But) she flees, swifter than a light breath of air, nor does she stop at these words (of his) as he calls (her) back:

Ll. 504-524.  Phoebus begs Daphne to yield to him.

Wait, nymph Peneis, I beg (you)! I (who) am chasing (you), (am) not your enemy. Wait, nymph! So a sheep (runs from) a wolf, so a deer (runs from) a lion, so doves with their fluttering wings, flee from an eagle, each (flees) their own foe: (but) love is my reason for following (you). (O) wretched me! (I am afraid) lest you fall headlong, or that thorns may mark your legs to be marred undeservedly, and that I am the cause of your grief. These are rough places that you are running through. Run more slowly, I beg (you), and check your flight, and I, myself, will pursue (you) less keenly. At least inquire whom (it is) you are charming. I am no inhabitant of a mountain, nor a shepherd, nor am I, a rough (man), watching herds and flocks in this place. Rash (girl), you do not know, you are not aware, whom you are running from. The land of Delphi is mine, and Claros (i.e. a town in Ionia between Smyrna and Ephesus), and Tenedos (i.e. an island off the Trojan coast), and the palace at Patara (i.e. a town in Lycia) acknowledge (me as their king). Jupiter is my father; through me, what will be, what was and is, lie open; through me songs are in harmony with strings. My (aim) is indeed sure, but one arrow which (is) truer than mine has made a wound in my uncommitted heart. Medicine is my invention, and I am called the bringer of aid throughout the world, and my power (is) subject to herbs; (but) woe (is) me, because love is not curable by any herbs, nor do the arts that benefit everyone (else) benefit their lord."

Ll. 525-551Daphne becomes a laurel bush.

Peneis flees from (him), on her fearful course, as he is about to say more, and when, she, then still a lovely sight, left him, his words (are) unfinished. The winds bared her body, and the opposing breezes caused her clothes to flutter in their path, and a light breath of air made her hair stream behind (her), and her beauty is enhanced by her flight. But actually the young god could not bear to waste any further (time) on flattery, and, as Love, itself, was urging (him) on, he follows (in) her footsteps with full speed. (It is) like when a Gallic hound sees a hare in an empty field, and the former seeks his prey at a run, (while) the latter (seeks) refuge; (it is) like when the former hopes that the latter is about to be caught, and he is just about to get hold (of it), and he grazes its heels with his snout, the latter is uncertain whether it has been caught, and escapes his bites and evades the mouth touching (it): so are the god and the virgin, he driven by hope, she by fear. Still, animated by the wings of Love, he pursues (her); he runs faster, and denies (her) any rest, and grasps at her back as she flies, and breathes on the hair (which is) strewn around her neck. Her strength exhausted, she grew pale, and overcome by the effort of her rapid flight, (and) catching sight of the waters of the Peneus, she cries out, "Help (me), Father, if your streams have divine power. By changing (me), destroy this shape, by which I have pleased too much!" She has scarcely finished her prayer, (when) a heavy numbness seizes hold of her limbs, (and) her soft breast is enclosed by a thin bark, her hair grows into leaves, her arms into branches, her feet, so swift a moment ago, stick fast in slow-growing roots, her face has a canopy; only her shining beauty remains.

Ll. 552-566.  Phoebus honours Daphne.

Even now, Phoebus loves her, and placing his hand on the trunk he feels her heart, still beating under the fresh bark, and, clasping the branches with his arms as if (they were human) limbs, he kisses the wood: yet even the wood shrinks from his kisses.

The god said to her, "Since you cannot be my bride, you will surely be my tree. My hair will always have you, my lyre (will always have) you, my quiver (will always have) you; you will go with the Latin (i.e. Roman) generals, when joyful voices celebrate a triumph, and the Capitol witnesses their long processions; in the same way, (as) a most faithful guardian of Augustus' door-posts, you will stand in front of the gates and keep watch over the (crown of) oak between (them), and, just as my head with its uncropped hair is (always) young, (so) you also will always bear the undying glory of your leaves."

Paean (i.e. the Healer, an epithet of Phoebus Apollo) had finished (speaking): the laurel bowed her newly made branches, and seemed to shake her crown like a head (giving assent).

Ll. 567-586.  The rivers of Thessaly meet: Inachus mourns for Io.

There is a grove in Haemonia (i.e. Thessaly), which steep woodlands enclose on all sides: they call (it) Tempe. Through it the (River) Peneus, pouring forth from the bottom of (Mount) Pindus, rolls along with its foaming waters, and, (while) driving along the misty steam in its violent fall, it gathers clouds, and rains spray on to the tops of the trees, and deafens quite a wide area with its roar. Here (is) the house, here (is) the home, here is the innermost sanctuary of the great river; settling here in a cavern made in the rocks, he gave laws to the waters and to the nymphs who lived in his streams. Here the rivers of his country meet for the first time, unsure (whether) they should congratulate or console the father: Spercheos, rich in poplars, and restless Enipeus, and ancient Apidanus, and gentle Amphrysus and Aeas, and, then shortly afterwards, (all) the other rivers that, however their force carries them, bring down their waters, wearied by their wanderings, to the sea.

Only Inachus is absent, and, hidden at the bottom of a cave, he swells the waters (of his stream) with tears, and, in utter misery, laments his daughter Io as lost. He does not know whether she is enjoying life or is among the shades; but he does not find her anywhere. He imagines that (she) is nowhere, and in his heart he fears worse (things).

Ll. 587-599.  Jupiter's rape of Io. 

Jupiter had seen her returning from her father's stream, and had said (to her), "O virgin, worthy of Jupiter, who will make some (man), I know not whom, happy in your bed, look for the shade in the deep woods" - and he had shown her the woods' shade - "while it is hot and the sun is at the highest (point) in the midst of its orbit. But, if you are afraid to enter the lairs of wild beasts alone, you will go into the remote places of the woods in safety, protected by a god, and not by a lesser god, but by (the one) who holds the sceptre of the heavens in his mighty hand, and who hurls the unrestrained bolts of lightning. Do not fly from me!" - for she was already in flight. She had already left behind the pastures of Lerna (i.e. the marshlands of the Argolis, and the home of the Hydra), and the fields of Lyrcaea (i.e. a region of the Peloponnese between Argolis and Arcadia), sown with trees, when the god (i.e. Jupiter) hid the wide earth within a covering of fog, and checked her flight and carried off her chastity.

Ll. 600-620.  Jupiter transforms Io into a heifer. 

Meanwhile, Juno looked down into the midst of the fields, and (was) surprised that rapid mists had created the appearance of night during the brightness of daytime, (and) she did not feel that these were (vapours) from the river, or that they had been released from the damp earth; and she looked around (to see) where her husband was, as she knew by now the tricks of a spouse so often caught in the act. When she did not find him in the sky, she says, "Either I am wrong, or I am being wronged," and, gliding down from the summit of the heavens, she stood on the earth and ordered the clouds to recede. He (i.e. Jupiter) had a foreboding of his wife's arrival and had changed the appearance of Inachus' daughter into (that of) a gleaming heifer. (But) the ox is still beautiful. Saturnia (i.e. Juno, the daughter of Saturn) approves the look of the cow, although grudgingly, and, moreover, she asks to whom she belongs and from where or from what herd (she comes), as if (she is) unaware of the truth. In order that her originator should cease to be the subject of inquiry, Jupiter says falsely that she comes from the earth. (Then,) Saturnia asks for her (as) a gift. What should he do? (It would be) cruel to sacrifice his love, (but if he) did not give (her), he would be the object of suspicion. Shame it is that urges him to do it, (but it is) love (that) dissuades him from it. Shame would have been conquered by love; but if (so) slight a gift (as) this cow were denied to the companion of his race and bed, she might not appear (to be) a cow.

Ll. 621-640.  Juno claims Io, and then Argus guards her.

Though her rival had been given (to her), the goddess did not put aside all her fears at once, and was wary of Jupiter and was anxious about his trickery, until she handed (her) over to Argus, the son of Arestor, to be guarded.

Argus had a head encompassed with a hundred eyes; they took their rest two at a time in their turn, (while) the rest kept watch and stayed on guard. In whatever way he stood, he was (always) looking at Io: Io (was) before his eyes, even though he had turned his back. He allows (her) to graze in the light; when he sun is below the depths of the earth, he pens (her) and places a rope around her undeserving neck. She grazes on the leaves of trees and on bitter herbs, and for a bed she lies on the ground, not always having any grass, and, poor (thing), she drinks (water from) muddy streams. Even when she wished to stretch out her hands to Argus in supplication, she had no arms which she could stretch out to Argus. Then, trying to complain, a lowing (sound) came out of her mouth, and she was greatly alarmed at the noise, and was terrified by the (sound of) her own voice.

Then, she came to the river banks, the banks of the Inachus, where she often used to play; but, when she saw her new horns in the water, she was greatly alarmed and fled away in fear of herself.

Ll. 641-666.  Inachus finds Io, and grieves for her. 

The Naiads do not know and Inachus himself does not know who she is; but she follows her father and follows her sisters, and allows (herself) to be patted, and offers herself to be admired. Old Inachus pulled up some grasses and held (them) out (to her); she licks her father's hands and kisses his palms, and she cannot hold back her tears, and, id only words would come, she could beg for help and tell her name and (the source of) her distress. Letters, which her hoof drew in the dust instead of words, traced the sad story of her changed body. "Poor me!" exclaims her father Inachus, and, as he hangs on to the horns and neck of the groaning snow-white heifer, he repeats (the words) "Poor me! Are you (really) my daughter, whom I have been searching for across the whole world? Although you have been found again, you were (the object of) less grief when you were lost. You are without speech, nor can you reply to my words with your own in turn; you can only heave deep sighs from your breast, and the one (thing) that you can do is to low in response to my words. Witout your knowledge, I was arranging a marriage and a marriage-bed for you, and I had hopes, first, of a son-in-law, (and) then of grandchildren. Now you (must get) a mate from the herd, now (you) must get a son from the herd. Nor can I bring such sorrow to an end by dying, for it hurts to be a god, and the door of death, being closed (to me), extends my grief to all time."

As she thus mourned, strarry-eyed Argus drives (her) off, and, having plucked his daughter from her father's (arms), he drags (her) away. He occupies a high mountain peak, (and) sitting there he keeps watch, from a distance, in all directions.

Ll. 667-687.  Jupiter sends Mercury to kill Argus. 

The ruler of the gods cannot bear any longer the great sufferings of Phoronis (i.e. Io), and he calls his son (i.e. Mercury) to whom the shining Pleiad (i.e. Maia) gave birth, and orders (him) to put Argus to death. Delay is short: (then, he put) wings on his feet, and took up his sleep-inducing wand in his powerful hand, (and fixed) his cap on his head. When he had arranged these (things), the son of Jupiter springs down to earth from his father's stronghold. Once there, he removed his cap, and put aside his wings, (and) only retained his wand. With this, (disguised) as a shepherd, he drives she-goats, acquired (on the way), through the deserted countryside, and he plays on the strings of his reed-pipe while he goes. Juno's guard (is) captivated by this new sound. "You there, whoever you are," says Argus, "You could sit beside me on this rock, for there is no more abundant grass for your flock in any (other) place, and you can see that the shade (is) fine for shepherds. Atlas' descendant (i.e. his grandson Mercury) sits down, and, passing the day by talking of many (things), he kept (him) occupied in conversation, and, by playing on his reed-pipe, he tries to conquer those watching eyes. He, however, fights to overcome gentle sleep, and, although sleep is admitted in some of his eyes, yet he stays awake in others. He even asks - for the reed-pipe had recently been discovered - by what procedure it had been invented.

Ll. 688-720.  Mercury tells the story of Syrinx.

Then, the god says, "On Arcadia's cold mountains, among the wood-nymphs of (Mount) Nonacris, a single nymph was the most celebrated; the nymphs called (her) Syrinx. She had often eluded both the satyrs and all those gods that inhabit the shadowy woods and the fruitful countryside. But she honoured the Ortygian goddess (i.e. Diana, born on the isle of Ortygia, another name for Delos) in her zeal for virginity. Dressed just like Diana, she deceived (the eye) and could be thought (to be) Latona's daughter, except that her bow was (made) of horn and the other's was of gold. Even so, she was deceptive. Pan sees her as she returns from Mount Lycaeus (i.e. a mountain in Arcadia, sacred to Pan), and with his head wreathed in sharp pine(-shoots) he says these words (to her)" - it was left to relate his words and (how) the nymph, spurning his entreaties, had fled through the wastes until she comes to the calm waters of the sandy Ladon (i.e. an Arcadian river). Here, when the river stopped her flight, she begged her watery sisters (i.e. the naiads) to change her, and Pan, when he thought that he had caught Syrinx, (found that) he was holding reeds from the marsh instead of the nymph's body. And, while he (stands) there sighing, the disturbing wind in the reeds let out a rarefied and plaintiff-like sound. Captivated by this new art, and the sweetness of its sound, the god said, "This way of talking to you is still left to me!" And so, unequal lengths of reed, joined together in a framework of wax, preserved the girl's name.

As he was about to say all these (things), Cyllenius (i.e. an epithet of Mercury, who was born on Mount Cyllene in Arcadia) saw that all his eyes had succumbed, and that his eyelids (were) closed in sleep. At once, he stops speaking and deepens his slumber, (by) caressing his drowsy eyelids with his magic wand. Without delay, he strikes at his nodding head with his sickle-shaped sword, (at the point) where it is adjoining his neck, and casts (it) all bloody down the rocks, and it stains the steep cliff with his blood. Argus, you lie dead, and the light which you possessed amid so many eyes is extinguished, and one night takes possession of a hundred eyes.

Ll. 721-745.  Io is returned to human form.

Saturnia takes them (i.e. Argus' eyes) and places (them) in the feathers of her own bird (i.e a peacock), and fills its tail with star-like jewels.

Straightway, she blazed with anger, nor did she defer the time (for action), and she set a horrifying Fury before the eyes and mind of 'that slut' from Argos, and buried hidden gad-flies in her breast, and terrified (her into being) a fugitive throughout the whole world. (You,) Nile, were left as the limit to her immense suffering. As soon as she reached him, she fell forwards on bended knees, and, with her neck bent back and (looking) upwards, (and) raising her face to the skies, and, amid groans and tears and a mournful lowing, she seemed to be reproaching Jupiter and begging for an end to her woes. Putting his arms around his wife's neck, he (i.e. Jupiter) pleads that there should, finally, be an end to this punishment, and says, "Set aside your fears; in the future, she will never be a cause of pain to you;" and he bids the Stygian pools hear this (n.b. The Styx was the principal river of the Underworld, and the gods invoked its name when swearing binding oaths). As the goddess (i.e. Juno) grows calm, she (i.e. Io) regains her former appearance and becomes what she was previously: the hairs leave her body, the horns disappear, the eye-balls grow smaller, the gaping mouth contracts, her shoulders and hands return, and the hooves disappear and turn into five nails: nothing of the form of an ox remains, except the whiteness. Happy with the functioning of her two feet, she stands erect, but she is afraid to speak, lest she lows like a heifer, and she timidly attempts some (long) neglected words.

Ll. 746-763.  Phaëthon's parentage.

Now she is worshipped (as) a most celebrated goddess by a crowd clad in linen; now, at last, Epaphus is believed to have been born (by her) from the seed of mighty Jupiter, and he holds temples throughout the cities jointly with his mother. Phaëthon, the child of the Sun, was equal to him in courage and in age. The grandson of Inachus (i.e. Epaphus) could not endure (it) when he once boasted proudly, and would not yield to him, that Phoebus was his father, and he says, "You are mad to believe everything your mother (says), and you are puffed up with the image of a false father." Phaëthon reddened, but, through shame, restrained his anger, and took Epaphus' taunts to his mother Clymene; and he says: "Mother, you may grieve all the more that I, that free, that bold (spirit), was silent. I am ashamed that such a reproach could be spoken and could not be refuted. But, if I am, in any way, of divine stock, you must produce proof of my high birth, and lay my claim to the heavens."

(So) he spoke, and threw his arms around his mother's neck, and begged (her), by his own life and and (that) of Merops (i.e. Clymene's husband), and (by) his sisters' marriages, to give him some tokens of his true parentage.

Ll. 764-778.  Phaëthon sets out for the Palace of the Sun. 

Clymene moved, perhaps, by Phaëthon's entreaties, or more by anger at the charge which had been made, stretched out both her arms to the sky, and, looking up at the light of the sun, she says, "By that brightness, marked out by those glittering rays, which both hears us and sees (us), I swear to you, my son, that you (are) the child of the Sun, that (being) which you see, and that (being) who governs the world. If I am telling lies, may he, himself, refuse to appear to me, and may this be the very last light (to reach) our eyes. There is no great difficulty for you to discover your father's home: if only your courage allows (it), go and inquire (about it) from him."

Phaëthon immediately darts forth, delighted after (hearing) these words of his mother, and he imagines the heavens in his mind, and crosses his own Ethiopian (lands) and the Indies, placed beneath the fire of the stars, and he comes, with enthusiasm, (to the lands where) his father rises (i.e. the East).





For an introduction to Ovid and the work as a whole, the reader is invited to look at the introduction to Sabidius' translation of "Metamorphoses" Book I, published on this blog on 1st February 2018. 

Book II, translated below, contains the following contents: i) Phaëton (continued); ii) Callisto; iii) the raven and the crow; iv) Coronis; v) Phoebus and Aesculapius; vi) Ocyroë; vii) Mercury and Battus; viii) the envy of Aglauros; and ix) Jupiter and Europa. This book concludes the first part of the "Metamorphoses", i.e. the section featuring "The Divine Comedy".

Ll. 1-30.  The Palace of the Sun.

The Palace of the Sun was (towering) high with lofty columns, (and was) bright with glittering gold and with bronze (gleaming) like fire; shining ivory covered the tops of its gables, (and) the leaves of its double-doors shone with the brightness of silver. The (art) work surpassed the substance (of the doors): for on them Mulciber (i.e. Vulcan, the smith who 'softens' metal) had engraved the waters that encompass the earth's centre, the globe of the earth, and the sky which overhangs the world. The sea contains the dark-blue gods, the tuneful Triton (i.e. a sea and river god, the son of Neptune and Amphitrite, usually depicted as half-man and half-fish), the mutable Proteus (i.e. a sea-god who could constantly change his form), and Aegaeon (i.e. another name for the hundred-armed Briareus), crushing the huge backs of whales with his arms, and Doris (i.e. the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, and the wife of Nereus, the old man of the sea) and her daughters (i.e. the fifty Nereids or sea-nymphs), some of whom are seen swimming, some drying their (sea-)green hair (while) sitting on a rock, (and) others riding on (the backs of) fish: (they do) not all (have) the same appearance, yet they are not (entirely) different, just as it is right for sisters to be. The land shows men and towns, woods and wild animals, rivers and nymphs and the other rural deities. Above them is depicted an image of the glowing sky, and six signs (of the zodiac) on the right(-hand) door and the same number on the left(-hand one).

As soon as Clymene's son had gone up the steep path, and entered the palace of the father (of whom he was) uncertain; at once, he made his way into his father's presence, but stopped some distance away: for he could not bear his light (coming) too close. Dressed in a purple robe, Phoebus was sitting on a throne shining with bright emeralds. To his right and to his left stood the Day, the Month and the Year, the Century and the Hours, situated in equal spaces, and the young Spring stood (there), wreathed in a crown of flowers, and naked Summer wore a garland of wheat-ears, and Autumn stood (there), stained by trampled grapes, and icy Winter, with her white hair bristling.

Ll. 31-48.   Phaëthon and his father.

Then, the Sun, seated in their midst, with eyes with which he catches sight of everything, saw the young man, who was fearful of the strangeness of the arrangements, and he says, "What (is) the reason for your journey? What are you looking for in this stronghold, Phaëthon, a son not to be denied by any father?"

He (i.e. Phaëthon) replies: "O universal light of the vast world, (O) father Phoebus, if you allow me the use of that name, and (if) Clymene is not hiding some fault beneath a false pretence, give (me) proof, father, through which I shall be believed (to be) your true offspring, and take away this uncertainty from my mind."

He finished speaking: and his father removed the sparkling rays (which were) surrounding the whole of his head, and told (him) to come nearer; and, after giving (him) an embrace, he says: "You are worthy to be mine, it is not to be denied, and Clymene has spoken the truth about your birth. So that you may be in less doubt, ask (me) for some favour, so that, after I have bestowed (it), you can exhibit it. May that lake by which the gods are required to swear (i.e. the Styx), although (it is) unknown to my eyes, be present (as) a witness to my promises."

He had scarcely come to a proper end (of his speech), (when) that (boy) asks for his father's chariot, and the right to control his wing-footed horses for a day.

Ll. 49-62.  The Sun's admonitions.

His father regretted that he had sworn that oath. Shaking his distinguished head three times, and (then) a fourth time, he said, "Your words have made mine rash. If only I could not grant my promises! I confess, my son, I would refuse you just this one (thing). Phaëthon, you are asking for (too) great a favour, and (one) which is suited neither to your strength nor to your (O) so boyish years. Your lot is (that of) a mortal, (but) what you ask is not (right for) a mortal. Unknowingly, you aspire to even more than (something) which can happen to the gods. Each (god) may (do whatever) is pleasing to him, but no one has the power to set his foot in the chariot of fire except myself. Even the ruler of great Olympus, who hurls wild thunderbolts from his terrible right(-hand), cannot drive this team of horses: and do we have anyone greater than Jupiter?

Ll. 63-89.  The Sun's further warnings.

"The beginning of the path is steep, and my horses, (although they are) fresh in the morning, can scarcely climb it: it is highest in the middle of the sky, from where to look down on the sea and the earth often causes fear even to me, and my heart is agitated by a trembling dread. The last (part of) the journey is downward, and needs sure management: then even Tethys (i.e. the sister and wife of Oceanus) herself, who receives me in her submissive waves, is accustomed to fear that I may be swept away headlong. Besides, the sky is seized by constant turning, and drags along the remote stars, and whirls them around in coils (i.e. orbits). I push in the opposite (direction), and its momentum does not overcome me, (as it does) everything else, and I ride in a (direction) contrary to its swift orbit. Suppose that the chariot has been given (to you): what will you do? Will you be able to counter the turning poles, so that the swift chariot does not run away with you? Perhaps you conceive in your mind that there are groves there, and cities of the gods, and temples rich in gifts? The journey runs through ambushes and the shapes of wild beasts. And though you should keep to your course and you are carried along without any mistake, you will still have to make your way past the horns of the hostile bull (i.e. the constellation Taurus), and the Haemonian (i.e. Thessalian) bow (i.e. the constellation Sagittarius), and the jaws of the raging lion (i.e. the constellation Leo), and the cruel arms of the scorpion bent through a vast circle (i.e. the constellation Scorpio), and the arms of the crab bent in a different way (i.e. the constellation Cancer). Nor will it be easy for you to control those proud horses with that fire which they have in their chests, (and) which they breathe out through their mouths and their nostrils. They scarcely allow me (to control them), when their eager spirits are hot, and their necks resist the reins. And you, my son, beware, lest I am the source of a gift (which is) fatal to you, and, while time permits, put right your request.

Ll. 90-110.  Phaëthon insists on riding the chariot.

"You seek a sure sign (don't you,) no doubt so that you may believe that you (were) born of my blood? I give that sure sign by my fearing (for you), and I am proved to be a father by my fatherly anxiety. Behold, look at my face! If only you could implant your eyes in my heart and detect a father's concern from within! Finally, look around (you) at whatever riches the world contains, and ask for anything from all those many good (things) in the sky, on the earth, and in the sea: you will suffer no refusal. I deprecate this one (thing), which, under its true name, is a punishment, not an honour. Phaëthon, you are asking for a punishment instead of a gift. Why do you take hold of my neck with those coaxing arms (of yours), you witless (boy)? Have no doubt, you will be granted whatever you ask for; but do choose more wisely!"

The warning had ended: but he (i.e. Phaëthon) resists these words, and presses his plan, and is on fire with his desire (to drive) the chariot. So, as he has the right, his father reluctantly leads the youth to the tall chariot, the work of Vulcan. It had a golden axle, a golden pole, golden rims on the top of its wheels, (and) a circle of silver spokes; along the yoke, topazes and gemstones set in order, reflecting Phoebus, returned the bright light.

Ll. 111-149.  The Sun's instructions.

Then, while the great-hearted Phaëthon gazes in wonder at the workmanship, behold, Aurora (i.e. the Dawn), awake in the glowing East, opens wide her radiant doors and her courtyards full of roses. The stars, at the rear of whose ranks comes Lucifer (i.e. the Morning Star), disappear, and he, last (of all), leaves his station in the sky. When he saw him (i.e. Lucifer) setting, (and) the earth and the universe reddening, just as the horns of the waning moon were fading, Titan (i.e. the Sun) orders the swift Hours to yoke his horses. The goddesses speedily enact his commands, and lead his (team of) horses, spewing forth fire, (and) sated with ambrosial juice, from their tall stables, and attach a ringing bridle (to them). Then, the father rubbed his son's face with a sacred ointment, and made (it) able to bear consuming flames, and placed his rays in his hair, and, presaging grief in the repeated sighs (which came) from his troubled breast, he said:

"If you can at least obey these admonitions of your father, spare the whip, my boy, and employ the reins quite vigorously: they run fast of their own accord; it is a hard task to check their eagerness. Do not decide (to take) a path straight through the five zones of heaven: the track has been laid obliquely in a wide curve, and (has been) stretched along the edge of three zones and avoids the South Pole and the Great Bear, which is harnessed to the North Winds. This is the road: you will clearly see the marks of my wheels. And, so that both heaven and earth receive equal warmth, do not sink the chariot down (too low), nor heave (it) through the upper air. If you proceed too high, you will scorch the roof of heaven, too low, (you will scorch) the earth: (if) you go through the middle, (you will be) safest. Nor should you swerve too far to the right towards the snake (i.e. the constellation Serpens), nor take your wheels too far to the left towards the altar (i.e. the constellation Ara): hold your way between the two of them. I entrust the rest to Fortuna (i.e. the Goddess of Chance), who, I pray, helps (you) and takes better care of you than you (do yourself). While I have been speaking, dewy night has reached her turning-point, (which is) placed on the Hesperian (i.e. Western) shore. Delay is not permitted to us: we are in demand! When the darkness has vanished, the dawn shines out. Take up the reins in your hand, or, if your mind is open to change, make use of my counsel, not my horses, while you can, and you are still standing on solid ground, and, while you are not yet driving the chariot, (which you,) inexperienced (as you are), (have so) unhappily chosen. So that you can watch it in safety, let me give light to the world!"

Ll. 150-177.  The Horses run wild.

He (i.e. Phaëthon) has (now) taken possession of the nimble chariot with his youthful body, and stands (in it) proudly, and takes in his hands the reins (which have been) given (to him), and he rejoices and gives thanks to his unwilling father. Meanwhile, the Sun's swift horses, Pyroïs, and Eoüs, and Aethon, and the fourth (one), Phlegon, fill the air with their fiery whinnying, and kick the bars with their hooves. When Tethys, unaware of her grandson's fate, has pushed back these (barriers), and access to the vast sky is made available (to them), they seize hold of the way, and, moving through the air with their feet, they tear through the clouds, and lifted up by their wings, they overtake the East Winds (which have) risen from the same regions.

But the weight was light, and (this was something) which the Sun's horses could not understand, and their yoke lacked its usual heaviness; and, just as curved-sided boats rock around without their proper weight, and are said (to be) unstable at sea with too much lightness, so the chariot, free of its usual load, gives jumps in the air, and is tossed on high, as though it were empty. As soon as they feel this, the team of four run (wild) and leave the beaten track, and do not run in accordance with any previous arrangement. He, himself, was terrified, nor does he know how to handle the reins (which have been) entrusted (to him), nor where the track was, nor, (even) if he did know, (how) to control those (horses). Then, for the first time, the dull Ploughing Oxen (i.e. the constellation of the Wain) grew warm in the rays (of the sun), and tried in vain to douse themselves in forbidden waters, and the serpent (i.e. properly the constellation Draco), which is situated nearest to the freezing (North) Pole, and previously sluggish with the cold, and not, in any (way) to be feared, (now) glowed with heat and assumed a new rage. They say that you, too, Bootes (i.e. the constellation Herdsman), fled in confusion, although you were (too) slow, and that hay-waggon (i.e. the constellation Ursa Major, or Great Bear) of yours hampered you.

Ll. 178-200.  Phaëthon lets go of the reins.

Now, when the unlucky Phaëthon looked down from the sky at the earth lying far, far beneath, he grew pale and his knees quaked with a sudden fear, and darkness came over his eyes through an excess of light. And now he wishes he had never touched his father's horses, now he regrets that he had discovered his (true) descent, and that he has been able (to do so) by asking (about it), now, wishing (only) to be called the (son) of Merops, he is carried along in the same way as a ship, driven headlong by a northern gale, whose conquered helm her master has let go of, (and) which he has abandoned to the gods and prayer. What can he do? Much of the sky (is) left behind his back, (but) more is before his eyes! He measures both in his mind, and sometimes he takes a look at the West, which he is not fated to reach, (and) sometimes he looks back at the East: and, unaware of what he should do, he is stupefied, and he neither loosens the reins, nor has he the power to hold on to (them), and he does not know the horses' names.

In his alarm, he also sees the marvellous images of vast creatures scattered everywhere amidst the mottled sky. There is a place where Scorpio bends his arms (i.e. his pincers) into twin arcs, and, with his tail and his arms curving on both sides, spreads out his limbs into the space of two (star) signs. When the boy saw this (monster), oozing with the slime of black venom, threatening (to) wound (him) with its arched sting, deprived of his mind by chilling terror, he dropped the reins.

Ll. 201-226.  The mountains burn.

When the horses felt them (i.e. the reins) lying on the top of their backs, they veer off course, and go, without any check, through the air of unexplored regions, and, wherever their momentum takes (them), there they run lawlessly, and collide with the stars (which are) fixed high in the sky, and hurry the chariot along out-of-the-way tracks. Now, they make for the heights, now they rush down precipitous paths on a course (which is) nearer to the earth. The Moon is amazed that her brother's horses are running lower than her own, and the boiling clouds smoke; when all the highest (regions) burst into flames, the earth develops fissures and cracks, and, deprived of moisture, it dries up. The crops are blighted, the trees with their leaves are burned, and the parched corn-fields provide fuel for their own destruction. I am complaining about small (things): great cities perish, together with their walls, and the flames turn whole nations and (all) their peoples to ashes. The forests burn, together with the mountains, (Mount) Athos (i.e. a mountain in Macedonia on a peninsula in the northern Aegean) is aflame, and (so are) the Cilician Taurus, and Tmolus (i.e. a mountain in Lydia) and Oeta (i.e. a mountain range between Thessaly and Aetolia), and Ida (i.e. either the mountain in Crete, which was the birthplace of Jupiter, or the one in Phrygia, near Troy), now dry (but) formerly covered with fountains, and maidenly Helicon (i.e. the mountain in Boeotia, which was the home of the Muses) and Haemus (i.e. a mountain in Thrace), not yet linked to Oeagrus (i.e. a legendary king of Thrace and father of Orpheus); (Mount) Etna (i.e. a volcanic mountain in eastern Sicily) burns over a vast (area) with redoubled flames, as (do) the twin-peaked Parnassus (i.e. a mountain in Phocis, sacred to Apollo and the Muses, at the foot of which is Delphi) and Eryx (i.e. a mountain, sacred to Venus, on the north-west tip of Sicily), and Cynthus (i.e. a mountain on the island of Delos sacred to Apollo and Diana) and Othrys (i.e. a mountain in Thessaly), and Rhodope (i.e. a mountain in Thrace), destined, at last, to lose its snow, and Mimas (i.e. a mountain range in Ionia), and Dindyma (i.e. a mountain in Mysia, sacred to Ceres), and Mycale (i.e. a city and promontory in Ionia, opposite the island of Samos), and Cithaeron, intended for sacred (rites) (i.e. a mountain in Boeotia, and a centre of Bacchic worship). Its cold (climate) does not save Scythia (i.e. the plains to the north-east of the Black Sea): the Caucasus burns, as (do) Ossa, along with Pindus (i.e. both mountains in Thessaly), and Olympus, greater than both (of these), and the lofty Alps and the cloud-capped Appennines.

Ll. 227-271.  The rivers are dried up.

Then, indeed, Phaëthon sees the world on fire from all directions, nor can he bear the violent heat, and he draws the hot breath from his mouth, as if from a deep furnace, and feels his chariot growing white (hot); now he can no longer endure the ash and the sparks (that are) flung out, and he is enveloped on all sides by hot smoke, and, covered, (as he is,) by a pitch-black vapour, he does not know where he is going to, or where he is, and he is swept along by the will of the winged horses. (It was) then they believe that the peoples of Ethiopia acquired their dark hue. Then Libya became dry, her moisture being removed by the heat, then the nymphs, with their hair dishevelled, wept bitterly for their fountains and lakes: Boeotia searches for (the fountains of) Dirce, Argos for (those of) Amymone, (and) Ephyre (i.e. Corinth) for the Pirenian spring (i.e. the spring sacred to the Muses). Nor, assigned to a (particular) spot, did the rivers keep their wide banks safe: the Tanaïs (i.e. the River Don) boiled in the midst of its waters, as (did) old Peneus (i.e. a river in Thessaly that flows from Mount Pindus through the Vale of Tempe), and the Caïcus of Teuthras (i.e. Mysian), and swift-flowing Ismenus (i.e. a river near Thebes in Boeotia), together with the Erymanthus of Phegeus (i.e. Arcadian), and Xanthus (i.e. a river of Phrygia), destined to burn again (i.e. in the Trojan War), and the golden Lycormas (i.e. a river of Aetolia), and Maeander (i.e. a river in Lydia, famous for its wandering or 'meandering' course), who plays in its winding waters. Mygdonian (i.e. Thracian) Melas and Taenarian (i.e. Laconian) Eurotas (as well). The Babylonian Euphrates burned too, the Orontes (i.e. the principal river of Syria) burned, and the swift-flowing Thermodon (i.e. a river of the Black Sea region where the Amazons lived), and the Ganges, and the Phasis (i.e. a river in Colchis, east of the Black Sea) and the Hister (i.e. the Danube). Alpheus (i.e. a river in the west of the Peloponnese, near Olympia) boils, Spercheus' banks (i.e. those of a river in Thessaly) are on fire, and the gold, which Tagus (i.e. a river in Portugal) carries on his stream, melts, and the river-birds (i.e. swans) which honoured the Maeonian (i.e. Lydian) river-banks with their singing, have been scalded in the midst of the Caÿster (i.e. a river in Lydia, near the mouth of which is Ephesus). The Nile fled in terror to the very edge of the world, and covered its head, which still lies hidden (i.e. its source remains unknown): its seven dust-filled mouths are empty, seven channels without a stream. The same fate dries up the Ismarian (i.e. Thracian) rivers, Hebron and Strymon, and the Hesperian (i.e. western) (ones), the Rhine, the Rhone and the Po, and the Tiber, to whom universal power had been promised.

Everywhere the ground breaks up, and the light penetrates the cracks (down) into Tartarus, and terrifies the king of the Underworld (i.e. Pluto) and his wife (i.e. Persephone). Then, the sea contracts, and what was, a moment ago, open sea is an expanse of dry sand: mountains, which the deep sea had covered, (now) emerge, and add to the scattered Cyclades. The fish seek the depths (of the sea), and the crooked dolphins do not dare to rise into the air above the sea, (as they have been) accustomed (to do); the lifeless bodies of seals float face upwards on the surface of the deep. They even say that Nereus, himself, and Doris and their daughters (i.e. the Nereids), skulked below in warm caverns. Three times Neptune ventured to lift his arms, together with his grim face, out of the waters, (but) three times he could not endure the burning air.

Ll. 272-300.  Earth complains.

But kindly Earth, surrounded as she was by the sea, between the waters of the open sea and the springs, which, having shrunk everywhere, had hidden themselves in their dark mother's womb, raised her smothered face, and (being) dry as far as her neck, she put her hand to her forehead, and, shaking everything with her mighty tremors, she sank back a little and was lower than she used to be, and she spoke thus in a hoarse voice: "If this is pleasing (to you), and I have deserved (it), why, O highest of the gods, are your lightning-bolts loitering? If I am destined to die by the power of fire, let (me) perish by your fire, and may the instigator alleviate the agony! Indeed, I can hardly loosen my jaws (enough to put) these very (things) into words" - (for) the heat had overcome her mouth - : "Behold, look at my scorched hair, and the huge amount of ashes (which are) in my eyes, (and) the huge amount (of ashes which are) all over my face. (Are) these the rewards, (is) this the honour (that) you give back to me for my productivity and service, in that I endure the wounds of the curved plough and the mattocks, and I am made to work all year, (and) because I supply leaves and tender nourishment for the flocks, produce for the human race, (and) also incense for you? But yet, suppose that I have deserved this destruction: how (have) the waves, how has your brother (i.e. Neptune) deserved (this)? Why are the waters, which were given to you by lot, shrinking, and receding further from the sky? But if regard, neither for your brother, nor for me, moves you, at least take pity on your own heavens! Look around (you) on both sides: both of the poles are steaming. If the fire should melt them, your own halls will fall. Look, Atlas, himself, is struggling, and can barely sustain the white-hot sky on his shoulders. If the sea, if the land, if the kingdom of heaven (all) perish, we are cast back into ancient chaos. Save whatever still survives from the flames, and have regard for the most important matters.

Ll. 301-328.  Jupiter intervenes and Phaëthon dies.

Earth finished speaking these (words): for she could neither endure the heat, nor say any more. And she withdrew her face into herself and closer into the caverns of the spirits of the dead.

But the almighty father (i.e. Jupiter), calling the gods, and (in particular) the very one who had handed over the chariot (i.e. Phoebus), to witness that, unless he, himself, were to provide help, the whole (world) would suffer a grave fate, climbs high to the loftiest height (in the sky), from where he is accustomed to spread clouds over the wide earth, (and) from where he moves the thunder and hurls his quivering lightning-bolts. But now he had no clouds which he could spread over the earth, nor any rain-showers which he could send down from the sky. He thunders, and dispatched a lightning-bolt, (which he had) balanced in his right(-hand) from (the level of) his ear at the charioteer, and removed (him) from life and from his chariot at the same time, and (so) he suppressed fire with fiercer fires. The horses are thrown into confusion, and making jumps in a different (direction), they tear their necks away from the yoke and abandon their harness. Here lie the reins, there the axle torn from the pole, over there the spokes of the shattered wheels, and the fragments of the wrecked chariot are scattered far and wide.

Then, Phaëthon, with flames ravaging his glowing-red hair, is hurled headlong, and flies through the air in a long trail, as sometimes a star can appear to have fallen from the clear sky, although it has not (in fact) fallen. Far from his own (country and) in a strange (part of) the world, the mighty Eridanus (i.e. the god of the River Po) takes him up and bathes his smoke-blackened face. There the Hesperian (i.e. Italian) water-nymphs consign his body, (still) smoking from that triple-forked flame, to its burial mound, (and) they also mark the rock with this verse: HERE LIES PHAËTHON, THE DRIVER OF HIS FATHER'S CHARIOT: (EVEN) IF HE COULD NOT KEEP HOLD OF IT, YET HE FELL (ONLY) AFTER DARING GREAT (THINGS).

Ll. 329-343.  Phaëthon's mother and sisters grieve for him.

For his pitiable father had hidden his countenance, overcast with sorrowful mourning; and, if only we can believe (it), they say that one day passed without the sun: (but) the fires provided light, and there was (thus) some benefit amid (all) that evil.

But Clymene, after she had said whatever (words) could have been said amid such terrible misfortunes, grief-stricken, and frantic, and tearing her breasts, travelled across the whole world, and, looking at first for his lifeless limbs, she then found his bones - yet his bones (were) buried in the river-bank of a foreign country! - and she fell to the ground and drenched with tears the name which she read on the block of marble and warmed (it) with her bare bosom.

No less do the Heliads (i.e. the seven daughters of the Sun God Phoebus and Clymene, and therefore the sisters of Phaëthon) lament, and offer their tears, a useless tribute to the dead, and they beat their breasts with their hands, (and) call upon Phaëthon night and day, although he will not be able to hear their pitiful sighs, and they prostrate themselves on his tomb.

Ll. 344-366.  The sisters are turned into poplar-trees.

Four times the Moon had made her circle full by joining her (crescent) horns: by their habit - for use had created habit - they (i.e. the Heliads) had devoted (themselves) to mourning. Of these, Phaëthusa (i.e. the Shining One), the oldest of the sisters, when she wished to throw herself to the ground, complained that her feet had stiffened up. When the radiant Lampetia tried to come to her (help), she was held back by an unexpected root. When a third (sister) set about tearing her hair with her hands, she pulled out leaves; one laments that her legs are bound by wood, another that her arms have become long branches. And while they wonder at these (things), bark encompasses their thighs, and gradually goes around their groins and their breasts, their shoulders and hands, and only their mouths, calling for their mother, remain visible. What can their mother do, but go here and there, as the impulse takes her, and join their lips together (i.e. kiss them), while she (still) can? It's not enough! She tries to pull their bodies away from the tree-trunks, and breaks off the delicate branches with her hands; but drops of blood trickle from them as though from a wound. "Stop, mother, I beg (you)!" cries out whichever (one) is wounded, "Stop, I beg (you)! (It is) my body in the tree (that) is being wounded. And now farewell!" - the bark enveloped her last words. From them tears (still) flow, and from their fresh branches amber is distilled and is hardened by the sun, and the bright stream takes it up and sends (it) to be worn by Latin (i.e. Roman) brides.

Ll. 367-380.  Cycnus.

Cycnus, the son of Sthenelus was present at this marvel, (he) who, although joined to you (i.e. Phaëthon) by blood through his mother, was yet closer (to you) in his heart. (Now,) although he had ruled the people and the great cities of the Ligurians, he left his kingdom and filled the green banks of the stream of Eridanus (i.e. the Po), and the woods (which had been) expanded by his sisters (i.e. the Heliads), with plaintive (cries), when his voice is weakened in its virility, and white feathers hide his hair, his long neck stretches out from his chest, and a web unites his reddened fingers, wings cover his sides, (and) a blunt beak takes the place of his mouth. (So), Cycnus becomes a new (kind of) bird (i.e. a swan), but he does not entrust himself to the heavens and to Jupiter, as he remembers the fire unjustly sent by him: he makes for pools and open lakes and rivers, in which, hating fire, he chooses to live as an alternative to the flames.

Ll. 381-400.  The Sun returns to his task. 

Meanwhile, Phaethon's father, in squalid (garb) and destitute of his very brightness, as he is accustomed to be, when he abandons the earth (i.e. when there is an eclipse), hates the light and his very self and the day, and gives his mind over to grief; and he adds anger to his grief, and denies his service to the world. "My lot since the beginning of time," he says, "has been exhausting enough, and I am weary of work without end (and) labour without honour. Anyone you like may drive my light-bearing chariot! If there is no one (to do it), and all the gods acknowledge that they cannot (do so), let he himself (i.e. Jupiter) drive (it), so that, at least, while he tries (to take up) my reins, he must set aside for a time those thunderbolts (which are) destined to make fathers bereft. Then, when (he has) experienced the strength of those fiery-footed horses, he will know that (he) who did not manage them well did not deserve death."

All the gods stand around the Sun, as he says these (things), and they ask (him) in a begging voice not to be determined to envelop everything in darkness: Jupiter, too, seeks to excuse the fires (he has) hurled, and adds threats to his entreaties in a kingly manner. (Then,) Phoebus rounds up his horses (who are) frantic and still trembling with terror, and, in his pain, he lashes out with goad and whip: yes, he (really) lashes out (at them), and reproaches (them) and takes them to task for his son's (death).

Ll. 401-416.  Jupiter sees Callisto.

Now the almighty father goes around the huge walls of heaven, and examines (them), (fearing) that something, shaken by the violence of the fire, may have collapsed. When he sees that they are solid in their strength, he takes a look at the earth and the works of mankind. Yet his (land) of Arcadia is his greatest concern: he restores the fountains and the streams, (which are) not yet daring to flow, he gives grass to the earth (and) leaves to the trees, and bids the scorched forests grow green once more. Often, while he came and went, he would stop short at the sight of a maiden from Nonacris (i.e. a mountain in Arcadia and the home of the nymph Callisto), and the fires (of love) would inflame (him) right into (the very marrow of) his bones. She (i.e Callisto) was not one to make her work easier by spinning wool, nor to change the arrangement of her hair; when a brooch (fastened) her tunic, (and) a white ribbon held back the loose tresses of her hair, and she took up now a spear and then a bow in her smooth hand, she was a companion of Phoebe (i.e. Diana or the Moon): no one (who) roamed the Maenalus (i.e. a mountain range in Arcadia, which was the haunt of Diana and her virgin huntresses) (was) dearer to Trivia (i.e. the Triple-Goddess: Diana on the Earth, Luna in the sky and Hecate in Hades) than her. But no influence lasts for long.

Ll. 417-440.  Jupiter rapes Callisto.

High (in the sky), the sun was holding a position just beyond the middle (of the zenith), when she (i.e. Callisto) entered a grove which no age had touched. Here she took the quiver from her shoulder, and unstrung her pliant bow, and lay down on ground which grass had covered, and placed her relaxed neck on to her painted quiver. When Jupiter saw (her), weary and unprotected, he said, "Surely my wife will not know of this intrigue of mine, or, if she does find out (about it), it is, it is, oh so worthy of a quarrel (to me)!" At once, he assumes the countenance and the dress of Diana, and says: "O virgin, (you who are) one member of my (train of) companions, in which ridge of mountains have you been hunting?" The virgin rises from the turf and said, "Greetings, goddess (who is) greater than Jupiter, with me disclosing (it) even though Jupiter himself may hear." He does hear and laughs, and he rejoices that he is put before himself, and he gives (her) kisses, (which are) neither sufficiently restrained nor such as should be given by a virgin. When she started to tell in which forest she had been hunting, he prevents (her) by an embrace, nor does he proceed without a crime. In truth, she struggles against (him), just as far as any woman could - if only you had seen (her), Saturnia (i.e. Juno), you would have been kinder (to her) - (yes,) indeed, she fights (him): but (what) girl could overcome him, or (could) anyone (overcome) Jupiter? Victorious Jupiter makes for the higher (reaches of) the sky: to her the grove is to be hated and the forest is in the know. Retracing her footsteps from there, she almost forgot to pick up her quiver and its arrows, and the bow which she had hung up (there).

Ll.  441-465.  Diana discovers Callisto's shame.

Behold, Dictynna (i.e. Diana), accompanied by her band (of huntresses), advancing across the heights of Maenalus, and, magnificent in her slaughter of wild beasts, espies her, and, having seen (her), calls out to (her): having been hailed, she fled, and was afraid at first that Jupiter might be within her. But when she saw the (other) nymphs come forward together, she realised there was no trickery, and joined their number. Alas, how difficult it is not to show one's guilt in one's face! She can scarcely lift her eyes from the ground, neither as she used (to be) before, (is she) wedded to her goddess's side, nor is she the first in the whole company; but she is silent, and, by her blushes, shows signs of shame at her injury; and, even if she were not a virgin (herself), Diana could sense her guilt by a thousand indications; (and) they say that (all) the nymphs could feel (it). The moon's (crescent) horns were rising again from their ninth orbit, when the goddess, faint from hunting in her brother's hot sunlight, found a cool grove, from which a stream ran, flowing with a murmur, and wound over fine sand. When she approved the spot, she dipped her foot into the surface of the current: and, praising it also, she says, "Every witness is far away; let us bathe our bodies naked in the flowing waters." The Parrhasian (i.e. Arcadian) (girl) (i.e. Callisto) blushed. They all take their clothes off: one (of them) seeks a delay. After some hesitation, her tunic is removed; when it had been removed, her guilt is revealed by her naked body. (To her), terrified and trying to conceal her (swollen) belly with her hands, Cynthia (i.e. Diana) said, "Go far away from here, and do not pollute our sacred fountains!" and she commanded (her) to withdraw from her band (of followers).

 Ll. 466-495.  Callisto is turned into a bear.

The great Thunderer's wife (i.e. Juno) had known (all) about this for some time, and had differed her severe punishment until a suitable moment (arrived). There is (now) no reason for delay, and now a boy, Arcas, had been born of the concubine - Juno grieved at this very (thing).  As soon as she turned her angry mind and eyes on to him, she cried out, "To be sure, only this was left, (you) adulteress, that you should be fertile, and that the injury (done to me) by this birth should become known, and the crime of my Jupiter should become evident. (But) you will not carry (this) off unpunished: (now you) insolent (girl), I shall take away that figure (of yours), which so pleases you and my husband.

(So) she spoke, and seizing (her) by the hair from the front of her forehead, she pulled (her) down on to the ground. She (i.e. Callisto) stretched out her arms in supplication; (but) those arms began to bristle with black hairs, and her hands (began) to be bent and to turn into curved claws, and to perform the function of feet, and her face, once praised by Jupiter, (began) to become disfigured by wide gaping jaws. And, so that her prayers and words of entreaty may not gain his attention, her power of speech is taken (from her); a growl, angry and menacing, and packed with terror, comes from her hoarse throat. Yet, her former thoughts remained (intact), although she has been turned into a bear, and she showed her sadness by constant groaning, and she raises whatever hands she has left to the sky and the stars, and she feels, although she cannot speak (of it), the thanklessness of Jupiter. Ah, how often, not daring to sleep in the lonely woods, did she wander in front of the house and in the fields (that had) once (been) hers! Ah, how often was she driven all over the rocks by the barking of hounds, (and) did the terrified huntress flee in fear of the hunters! Often she hid at the sight of wild beasts, forgetting what she was, and, (although) a bear (herself), she shuddered at the bears, which she caught sight of on the mountains, and she feared the wolves, even though her father (i.e. Lycaon, whom Jupiter had turned into a wolf) was amongst them.

Ll. 496-507.  Arcas and Callisto become constellations. 

Behold, Arcas, the offspring of Lycaon's daughter, is there, quite unaware of his parent, almost thrice five birthdays having passed (i.e. he was in his fifteenth year): and, while he is pursuing wild animals, (and), while he is choosing suitable glades, and is enveloping the Erymanthian forest (i.e. Erymanthus is a mountain range in Arcadia) with woven nets, he comes upon his mother; seeing Arcas, she stood still, and was like (someone who) knew (him). He shrank back from (her) as she kept her unmoving eyes fixedly on him, not knowing (why) he was (so) afraid, and, while she was longing to come nearer (to him), he was on the verge of piercing her chest with his lethal weapon. The all-powerful (one) (i.e. Jupiter) restrained (him), and, at the same time, removed both them and (the possibility of) such a wrong, and, hurrying (them) through the void on a swift wind he set (them) in the heavens, and made (them) neighbouring constellations (i.e. Callisto becomes Ursa Major or Great Bear, and Arcas Ursa Minor or Little Bear).

Ll. 508-530.  Juno complains to Oceanus and Tethys.

Juno rose up (in anger), when the concubine shone among the stars, and she goes down to the sea (to see) white-haired Tethys and old Oceanus, towards whom reverence often affected the gods, and, when they asked about the reason for her journey, she begins (to speak as follows):

"Do you ask why I, the queen of the gods, am present here, (having left) my home in the heavens? Another occupies the sky in my place. I should be lying, if, when the night has made the world dark, you do not see, (as) my wounds, those newly adorned stars there in the height of heaven, where the remotest and, in space, the shortest orbit circles the uttermost pole. And, in truth, why should anyone wish to avoid hurting Juno and dread (her) becoming angry, (if,) by harming (them), I only benefit them? Oh, what a great (thing) I have done! What enormous power I have! I have stopped (her) being a human being: (now) she has become a goddess. I this way I inflict penalties on the guilty, such is my great power. Let him restore her former beauty, and let him take away her animal appearance, as he did in the case of that Argive (girl), Phoronis (i.e. Io). Why not divorce Juno and marry (her), and install (her) in my bed and take Lycaon (as) a father-in-law? But, if this slighting of your injured foster-child moves (you to pity), shut out the seven stars of the Wain (i.e. Ursa Major, viz.: Dubhe, Merak, Phecda, Megrez, Alioth, Mizar and Alkaid) from your dark-blue depths, and expel the stars, which have been set in the heavens, as the price of your lust, and do not let my rival be dipped in your pure water.

Ll. 531-565.
  The Raven and the Crow. 

The gods of the sea nodded in assent: (then) Saturnia (i.e. Juno) in her nimble chariot drives through the clear air, drawn by her multi-coloured peacocks; her peacocks became multi-coloured as recently as when Argus was killed (n.b. when Argus was killed, Juno set his hundred eyes in the peacock's tail), and at the same time as as your wings, (you) croaking raven, were suddenly turned into black (ones), although they had previously been white. For he was once a silvery-coloured bird with such snow-white wings that he was equal to all those spotless doves, nor was he inferior to the geese destined to save the Capitol with their watchful cries, not to the river-loving swan. His speech was a source of harm (to him); because of his ready speech, (he) whose colour was white is now the opposite to white.

There was none more beautiful in all of Haemonia (i.e. Thessaly) than Coronis of Larissa (i.e. a town in Thessaly): certainly, she pleased you, (O god) of Delphi (i.e. Phoebus), while she was faithful (to you) or not caught out. But that bird of Phoebus (i.e. the raven) discovered her adultery, and, merciless informer (that he was), made a journey to his master to expose her secret guilt. The garrulous crow follows him with his flapping wings in order to find out everything, and, when he heard the reason for the journey, he said: "You are not going on a worthwhile journey: do not scorn my prophetic tongue. See what I was and what I am, and consider (whether it is) just: you will find that good faith was my downfall. For, once upon a time, Pallas (i.e. Minerva) shut up Erichthonius, a child born without a mother, in a basket woven out of osiers from (Mount) Actaeon (i.e. the Athenian Acropolis) and gave (it) to the three virgin daughters of double-natured Cecrops (i.e. the mythical founder of Athens, who was part-man, part-serpent) with an instruction not to pry into its secret. I observed what they were doing from a dense elm-tree, (while) hidden in its light foliage. Two (of them), Pandrosus and Herse, observe this instruction without any deceit; (but) one (of them), Aglauros, calls her sisters cowardly and undoes the knots with her hands, and inside they behold a baby (boy) and a snake stretched out beside (him). I report this action to the goddess. I receive such a reward for this that I am told that Minerva's protection has been withdrawn (from me), and I am ranked below that bird of the night (i.e. the owl). My punishment should warn (all) birds not to take risks by speaking out.

Ll. 566-595.  The Crow's story.

But, thinks I, had she not sought me out of her own accord, although I was not asking for any (favour)? You may inquire about this from Pallas herself: although she is angry, she will not deny it, even in her anger. For the celebrated Coroneus beget me in the land of Phocis  - I am saying (something which is) well-known - and (as) I was a royal virgin, and wealthy, I was sought after by suitors - so do not despise me. (But) my beauty hurt me. For (once,) when I was walking along the shore, with slow steps, on the sand dunes, as I was used (to doing), the sea god (i.e. Neptune) saw (me) and grew hot; and, when he had spent his time vainly by entreating (me) with flattering words, he tries force and follows (me). I flee and leave the solid shore behind, and tire myself in vain in the soft sand. Then, I call upon gods and men; my voice does not reach any mortal: (but) the virgin (goddess) (i.e. Minerva) was moved (to pity) for a virgin, and brought help. I stretched out my arms to the sky: my arms began to darken with light feathers. I strove to throw back the cloak from my shoulders: but it had become feathers and had driven their roots deep into my skin. I tried to beat my naked breasts with my hands, but I now had neither hands nor naked breast. I ran: and (now) the sand was no (longer) clogging my feet, but I was lifted up off the ground. Soon I was carried high through the air, and chosen as an innocent companion of Minerva. Yet, how does it benefit (me), if Nyctimene, who has become a bird (i.e. an owl) through her dreadful crime, has taken my place of honour? Or have you not heard the story which is very well-known throughout all Lesbos, (that is) how Nyctimene desecrated her father's bed? Yes, she is a bird, but, aware of her guilt, she shuns the sight (of men) and the light (of day), and hides her shame in darkness and is driven from the whole sky by all (the other birds). 

Ll. 596-611.  Coronis is betrayed and Phoebus kills her.

The raven replies (to her) as she was saying these (things), "I pray that such memories may be bad (ones) in your case: I spurn empty prophecies." He does not abandon the journey (he had) begun, and he tells his master (i.e. Phoebus) that he has seen Coronis lying with a Haemonian (i.e. Thessalian) youth. When he hears this accusation of (her) making love, the god's expression, (the tone of) his lyre, and his colour (all) change at the same time. And, as his mind boiled with increasing fury, he seizes his usual weapons, and strings his bow, which he bends with his arms, and, with his unerring arrow, pierced that breast which had so often been joined with his own breast. On being struck, she gave a groan, and, when the arrow was drawn out of her body, it drenched her white limbs with purple blood, and she cried out: "I could have paid your penalty, Phoebus, but I could have given birth first: now two of us will die in one (person)." So far (she spoke), and (then) she poured out her life together with her blood. A deathly coldness came over her lifeless body.

Ll. 612-632.  Phoebus repents and saves Aesculapius. 

Alas, too late the lover repents of his cruel punishment, and he hates himself because he listened (to the tale) which had so angered (him); he hates the bird, through whom he had been compelled to know of the fault and the cause of his grief, and he also hates the bow and the hand (that pulled it), and, together with that hand, those hastily-fired weapons, the arrows, and he cradles the fallen (girl in his arms), and strives to overcome fate with his belated (healing) powers, but he employs his medical skills in vain. When (all) these (efforts had been) attempted in vain, and he saw her funeral pyre being prepared and her body about to be consumed by those final fires, then indeed he (i.e. Phoebus) gave forth groans, fetched from the bottom of his heart - for the faces of the heavenly gods cannot be touched by tears - , (groans which are) no different from when, with a bullock watching, the hammer, (which is) poised at the right ear (of the slaughterer), comes crashing down with a loud blow, on the forehead of a suckling calf.

Yet, as he poured the fragrant, (but) thankless, incense on her breast, and gave (her body) embraces, and completed her unjust obsequies, Phoebus could not allow his seed to fall into the same ashes, and he tore his son from the flames and from his mother's womb, and bore (him) to the cave of the double-natured Chiron (i.e. he was a Centaur, half-man, half-horse); but he forbade the raven, (who was) hoping for a reward for his truthful tongue, to live amongst the white birds.

Ll. 633-675.  Chiron and Ocyrhoë's prophecies. 

Meanwhile, that half-beast was delighted with this foster-child of divine stock, and rejoiced at the honour of mingling with his charge. Behold, the Centaur's daughter is come, with her shoulders covered by her red hair, whom the nymph Chariclo had once called Ocyrhoë, having given birth (to her) on the banks of that swift-flowing stream (i.e. the Ocyrhoë). She was not content to have learned her father's arts: she (also) chanted the secrets of the Fates (i.e. the Parcae: Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos).

So, when she felt the prophetic frenzy in her heart, and was on fire with the god whom she had enclosed in her breast, she looked at the baby (boy) and cried out: "Grow in strength, (O you) boy (who will) bring health to all the world: mortals will often owe their lives to you; you will have the right to restore lives (which have been) lost; but, if ever you venture (to do) this against the wishes of the gods, you will be prevented by the flame of your grandfather's (lightning bolts) from being able to do it again, and from a god you will become a bloodless corpse, and (then) a god, who was recently a corpse, and (so) you will twice renew your destiny.

You also, dear father (i.e. Chiron), now immortal and caused by the law of your birth to live on through all the ages, will long to be able to die, from the time when you are tormented by the blood of the terrible serpent (i.e. the Lernaean Hydra) coursing through your wounded limbs; and, with you suffering forever, the gods will bring about your death, and the triple goddesses (i.e. the Fates) will untie your thread." Something remained to be told. She lets out sighs from the bottom of her heart, and tears welled up and trickled down her cheeks, and she cries out thus: "The Fates frustrate me, and I am forbidden to say more, and the use of my voice is precluded. These arts are not worth much, (if) they draw upon me the wrath of the gods; I prefer not to know the future. Now my human shape seems to be being taken away (from me), now grass is pleasing (to me) for food, and I have an impulse to run across the wide fields: I am changing into a mare and the form of my kindred. But why completely? Surely I have a father of two shapes. 

(Even) as she says these (things), the last part of her complaint could scarcely be understood, and her words were muddled. Soon it seemed they were words no longer, nor the sound of a mare, but of (someone) copying a mare, and, in a short time, she gave out neighing (noises) and her arms moved in the grass. Then, her fingers combine, and a thin hoof of continuous horn binds together her five fingernails, and the length of her face and neck increases, and the greatest part of her gown becomes a tail, and the loose hair lay across her neck as a mane hung down over her right (shoulder); and, at the same time as her voice and appearance were altered, these marvellous (happenings) also gave (her) a (new) name.

Ll. 676-707.  Mercury, Battus and the stolen cattle.

The demi-god, and the son of Philyra (i.e. Chiron) wept and asked for your help in vain. For you  (i.e. Phoebus) could not rescind mighty Jupiter's command, and, even if you could have rescinded (it), you were not there at the time: you were living in Elis and the lands of Messenia.

That was the time, during which a shepherd's skin covered you, and you had a wooden staff (as) a burden in your left (hand), (and,) in the other, a pipe with seven reeds of different lengths. While love was your concern, and while your pipe was delighting you, your unguarded cattle strayed, they say, into the fields of Pylos (i.e. a city in Elis in the far west of the Peloponnese). The son of Atlas' daughter Maia (i.e. the god Mercury) sees them, and, by his arts, drives (them) into the woods and hides (them there). Nobody saw this theft but an old man well-known in that (part of) the country; the whole neighbourhood called (him) Battus. (As) a guard, he watched the wooded glades, the grassy pastures, and the herds of pedigree cattle belonging to wealthy Neleus (i.e. the king of Pylos and father of Nestor). He distrusted (him), but led (him) away with a coaxing hand, and he says to him, "Whoever you are, my friend, if anyone happens to ask (you) about these herds, say that you have not seen (them); and, so that your favour does not go unrewarded by a deed, take this shining cow as your prize" - and he handed (it) over. Accepting (it), the fellow replied with these words: "You may go your way in safety; that stone over there would talk about your thefts sooner than (I would)," and he pointed to the stone. Jupiter's son pretends to go away, (but) soon returns, and, having changed his form together with his voice, he said, "Countryman, if you have seen any cattle going this way, give me your help, and give up your silence to disclose a theft: when (you do), this heifer, joined together with its bull, will be given (to you)." And, after the reward was doubled, the old man says, "They will be at the foot of those mountains," and at the foot of those mountains they were. The descendant of Atlas (i.e. Mercury) laughed and says, "Would you betray me to myself, (you) rascal? Would you (really) betray me to myself?" And he turns that deceitful body into a hard stone, which even now is called 'The Spy (of Pylos)', and to this stone the old disgrace clings, (though it is) in no way deserved.

Ll. 708-736.  Mercury sees Herse.

From there, the carrier of the caduceus (i.e. Mercury carrying his herald's staff) soared upwards on his pair of wings, and, as he flew, he looked down on the Munychian (i.e. Athenian, because Munychia was one of the ports of Athens) fields and the land beloved of Minerva, and the groves of the cultured Lyceum (i.e. a gymnasium in Athens frequented by philosophers). On that day it happened that, in accordance with custom, innocent girls were carrying unadorned sacred (offerings) in (flower-)wreathed baskets, placed on their heads, to the citadel of Pallas during a festival. Then, the winged god sees (them) returning, and he does not fly in a straight course, but circles around in the same orbit. Just as a very swift bird of prey, spying out the (sacrificial) entrails, while it is (still) fearful, and the priests are standing around the victim in a crowd, wheels in a circle, and does not venture to go further off, but flies eagerly around its hoped-for (prey) on tilted wings, so the agile Cyllenius (i.e. Mercury, who was born on the mountain of Cyllene in Arcadia) inclines his course over the Actaean (i.e. Athenian, because Actaea was a district of Attica) citadel and flies in circles through the same winds. As Lucifer (i.e. the Morning Star) shines more brightly than the other stars, and golden Phoebe (shines more brightly) than Lucifer, so Herse (i.e. one of the three daughters of Cecrops) was pre-eminent among all the virgins, and was the glory of the train of her companions. The son of Jupiter (i.e. Mercury) was stupefied at her beauty, and, although he hung in the air, he was, nevertheless inflamed, as when a Balearic sling flings a lead (shot): on it flies, and on its journey it becomes red hot and discovers fire in the clouds which it did not have (before). He changes course, and, leaving the sky, he makes for the earth, and he does not disguise himself: he had such faith in his appearance. Although it is so, nevertheless he gives it some attention, and he smooths his hair, and arranges his robe to hang neatly, so that all of its golden hem will show, and he has in his right (hand) his polished wand, by which he induces and wards off sleep, and his winged sandals gleam on his trim feet. The private part of the house had three bed-chambers, decorated with ivory and tortoise-shell: of these, Pandrosus possessed the right (hand one), Aglauros the left (hand one), and Herse (the middle (one). (She) who had the left (hand room) was the first to notice Mercury coming, and she ventured to ask the god's name and the reason for his arrival. The grandson of Atlas and Pleione replied to her thus: "I am (the one) who carries my father's words of instruction through the air: my father is Jupiter himself. Nor shall I fabricate the reason (I am here); only may you wish to be loyal to your sister and (consent) to be called my child's aunt. Herse is the reason for my journey. I beg you to help a lover."

Aglauros looks at him with the same eyes with which she had recently beheld the hidden secrets of golden(-haired) Minerva, and demands a considerable weight of gold for her services: meanwhile, she compels (him) to leave the house.

Ll. 752-786.  Minerva calls on Envy.

The warrior goddess turned the orbs of her piercing eyes towards her, and drew sighs from deep within (her) with such force that she shook her breast and the aegis, which was placed on her valiant breast, at the same time. It came to her mind that this (girl) had revealed her secrets with profane hands at the time when she had viewed, against the instructions she had been given, the child (i.e. Erichthonius) of the god who dwelt on Lemnos (i.e. Vulcan), (who had been) born without a mother, and, now, she would be dear to the god (i.e.  Mercury) and dear to her sister (i.e. Herse), and rich with the gold (which she had) acquired because, in her greed, she had demanded (it). Straightaway, she makes for the house of Envy, filthy with its dark decaying matter. Her home was concealed amid deep valleys, lacking sunlight, not accessible to any winds, a melancholy (spot) and (one) completely filled with a numbing coldness, and which is always without fire (and) always abounding in fog. When the feared goddess of war arrived there, she stood in front of the dwelling - for she does not have the right to enter the house - and strikes the door-posts with the butt of her spear. Having been struck, the doors flew open. Inside she sees Envy eating vipers' meat, (which was) the nourishment of her depravities, and she averted her eyes from the sight. But she (i.e. Envy) arises slowly from the ground and leaves the half-eaten body of the snake, and comes forward with a sluggish step; and, when she saw the goddess in her beauty and adorned in her armour, she groaned and distorted her face in a deep sigh. A pallor settles over her face, and (there is) a leanness over her whole body, her eye-sight is completely skewed, her teeth are black with rust, her breast is green with bile, (and) her tongue is suffused with venom. Laughter is absent (from her), unless grief is seen to move someone. She does not enjoy sleep, roused (as she is) by watchful cares, but she perceives men's successes (as) unwelcome, and pines away at the sight (of them), and she carps at (people), and is carped at at the same time, and this is her own punishment. Although she hated her, yet Tritonia (i.e. Minerva: the epithet comes from Lake Triton in Libya, her original home) addressed her briefly with the following words: "Infect one of Cecrops' daughters with your venom. That is your task. Aglauros is the one." Saying no more, she vanishes, and, with a thrust of her spear, she departs the earth.

Ll. 787-811.  Envy poisons Aglauros' heart.

She, seeing the departing goddess with her slanting eye, gave out low murmurs, and regretted Minerva's future success, and she takes up her staff, the whole of which bands of thorns encircle, and, shrouded in black clouds, wherever she goes, she tramples down fields in full bloom, scorches the grass and rips off the highest tree-tops, and she pollutes peoples, cities and homes with her breath. And, finally, she catches sight of Tritonia's citadel (i.e. Athens), flourishing with its arts, its wealth, and its festive peace, and she can scarcely hold back her tears, because she sees nothing worthy of tears. But when she entered the bed-chamber of Cecrops' daughter, she carries out her instructions, and touches her breast with a hand stained with rust, and fills her heart with jagged thorns, and she blows a noxious venom upon (her face), and spreads a pitch-black poison across her bones and scatters (it) into the midst of her lungs. And so that the cause of her pain might not stray across a wider distance, she places her sister before her eyes, and her sister's fortunate marriage and the beauty of the god in her imagination, and she magnifies everything. Tormented by these (things), Cecrops' daughter is bitten by secret grief, and, troubled at night and troubled by day, she moans, and, in her utter wretchedness, she wastes away in slow decay, like ice melting in a fitful sun. She is inflamed no more gently by the good fortune of the lucky Herse, than when fire is placed under (a pile of) prickly weeds, which give no flames and are consumed by a slow-burning heat.

Ll. 812-832.  Aglauros is turned to stone.

Often she longed to die, so that she did not have to look at any of these (things), often (she wished) to report (them) to her stern father (i.e. Cecrops) as a crime; finally, she sat down in front of (her sister's) threshold in order to keep out the god, when he came. To him, as he threw compliments and entreaties and the gentlest of words (at her), she said: "Stop! I am not going to move myself from here, unless I have driven you away." "Let us keep to that compact of ours," Cyllenius (i.e. Mercury) quickly replies: and he opened the doors with (a touch of) his heavenly wand. But, as she tries to rise, her limbs, those which we bend (when getting up) from a sitting (position), cannot be moved due to a sluggish heaviness. Indeed, she struggles to raise herself so that her body is upright, but her knee joints stiffen, a coldness seeps through her loins, and her veins grow pale through loss of blood.

And as an untreatable cancer is wont to spread its evil slowly (but) widely, and adds unharmed limbs to the infected (ones), so a deadly chill gradually came upon her breast, and blocked her vital passages and windpipes. She did not try to speak, nor, if she had tried, did she have a means of speech: stone already possessed her neck, and her face had hardened, and a bloodless statue was sitting (there). Nor was she a white stone: her mind had stained it.

Ll. 833-875.  Jupiter's abduction of Europa. 

When the descendant of Atlas (i.e. Mercury) had inflicted these punishments (on the girl) for her words and impious thoughts, he quits the lands ruled by Pallas (i.e. Attica) and takes to the heavens on outstretched wings. His father calls him aside. Without confessing that love (is) his reason, he says, "My son, (you) loyal performer of my commands, brook no delay and fly down quickly on your accustomed course, and (there is) a land in eastern parts, which observes your mother's (star) - its inhabitants call (it) Sidon by name - , make for it, and direct the royal herd (of cattle), which you will see some distance away grazing on mountain grass, to the (sea) shore!" 

He spoke, and the bullocks, expelled from the mountain, immediately make for the required shore, where the great king's daughter (i.e. Europa) used to play, accompanied by Tyrian virgins. Royalty and love are not well fitted, nor do they stay long in the same house: that father and ruler of the gods, whose right (hand) is armed with the three-forked lightning, (and) who shakes the world with his nod, setting aside the dignity of his sceptre, assumes the shape of a bull, and lows as he mingles with the bullocks, and, beautiful (to look at), he prowls around in the tender grass. As you might expect, his colour is (that) of snow, which the steps of a rough foot have not trampled on, nor the rain-filled south wind has melted. His neck is conspicuous by its muscles, his dewlaps hang down to his shoulders, (and) his horns are, indeed, small, but you could maintain that they were fashioned by the hand (of man), (as they are) purer and brighter than pearl. (There are) no threats in his forehead, nor (are) his eyes frightening; his expression is peaceful. The daughter of Agenor (i.e. the King of Phoenicia) is amazed that he is so beautiful, (and) that he threatens no violence. But, at first, she feared to touch (him), although (he was so) gentle: soon she goes up to (him) and holds out flowers to his glistening mouth. He rejoices in his love, and, while the expected pleasure is approaching, he kisses her hands; he can scarcely distinguish then from now. At one moment he frolics and runs riot in the green grass, at another he lays down his snow-white flank on the yellow sands; and, when her fear has gradually been removed, he now offers his chest to be patted by the virgin's hands, and then his horns to be entangled with fresh wreaths (of flowers). The royal virgin even dared to settle on the bull's back, unaware of whom she was sitting on, while the god, (first) from dry land, and (then) from the shore-line, gradually slips his deceitful footsteps into the shallow waves: then, he goes further out and carries his prize over the surface of the mid-ocean. She is terrified, and, having been taken away (from it), she looks back at the abandoned shore, and grips a horn in her right (hand), (while) the other is placed on his back; her fluttering garments are blown about in the breeze.




For an introduction to Ovid and the work as a whole, the reader is invited to look at the introduction to Sabidius' translation of "Metamorphoses" Book I, published on this blog on 1st February 2018.

Book III, translated below, focuses on the mythology of Thebes, and contains the following contents: i) Cadmus and the foundation of Thebes; ii) Diana and Actaeon; iii) Semele and the birth of Bacchus; iv) Tiresias; v) Narcissus and Echo; vi) Pentheus and Bacchus. This book also sees the beginning of the second of four sections of the "Metamorphoses", the section featuring "The Revenge of the Gods".

Ll. 1-49.  Cadmus searches for his sister Europa.
And now the god (i.e. Jupiter), setting aside the image of the pretended bull, confessed (who) he (was), and made for the Dictaean country (i.e. Crete, the epithet being taken from Mount Dicte, on which Jupiter was reared), when her father, unaware (of this), orders Cadmus to search for the stolen (girl), and adds that exile (will be) his punishment if he does not find (her), (showing himself) pious and impious by the same action. 
As he roams the world - for who can detect the thefts of Jupiter? - , the fugitive son of Agenor (i.e. Cadmus) shuns his native-land and his father's wrath, and consults Phoebus' oracle (as) a suppliant, and asks in which land he might settle. Phoebus replies: "A heifer that has never suffered the yoke and is free from the curved plough will come up to you in the deserted fields. Take the path (down which) she leads (you), and, on the grassy (plain) where she finds rest, build walls and (there) may you found (your city), and call that (land) Boeotia." 
Well, Cadmus had scarcely come down from the Castalian cave (i.e. where Apollo's oracle on Mount Parnassus was placed), (when) he sees an unguarded heifer moving slowly and showing no mark of the yoke upon her neck. He follows (her) closely and chooses his steps along the footprints of her course, and silently gives thanks to Phoebus (as) the guide of his journey. 
Now he had passed the fords of Cephisus and the fields of Panope: the heifer stopped, and, lifting her beautiful head with its noble horns to the sky, she stirred the air with her lowing, and then, looking back at her companion (who was) following, she sank her hindquarters and lowered her flanks on to the tender grass. Cadmus gives thanks and presses his lips on to the foreign soil, and salutes the unknown hills and fields. He had intended to offer sacrifices to Jupiter. He bids his attendants go in search of water from a running fountain for a libation. 
An ancient wood was there, not violated by any axe, and (there was) a hollow in its midst, thick with twigs and willow bushes, making a low arch of stones as a framework, (and) rich with copious springs, where a snake, sacred to Mars, and distinguished by its golden crest, was concealed in a cave; its eyes flash with fire, its whole body swells with venom, its three-forked tongue flickers, (and) its teeth are set in a triple row. After (those) of the Tyrian race, who had set out, had reached that grove by an unlucky step and had lowered their pitchers into the waters, the dark-green serpent gave out a sound, (and) thrust its head out of that deep cavern and emitted dreadful hisses. The pitchers fell from their hands, and the blood left their bodies, and a sudden tremor takes possession of their terrified limbs. That (snake) winds its scaly coils in restless writhings, and, with a jump, bends itself into a huge arc, and, raised into thin air beyond its middle rings, it looks down over the whole grove, and its body is as great as (the dragon) which separates the twin (constellations of) the Bears, if you see (it) in its entirety. Without delay, it seizes the Phoenicians, whether they are ready to fight, or for flight, or whether fear, itself, was holding (them) back; some it kills with its bite, others with its deep enfoldings, (and) others still with the deadly putrefaction of its venomous breath.   
Ll. 50-94.  Cadmus kills the dragon. 
Now, the sun at its highest (point) had made the shadows small; the son of Agenor (i.e. Cadmus) wonders what has caused his comrades' delay, and searches for the men. His covering was a skin stripped from a lion; (as) a weapon (he has) a lance and a javelin, (tipped) with glittering steel, and a mind surpassing every weapon. 
When he entered the grove, and saw the dead bodies, (and) over (them) their victorious enemy with its vast body licking their sad wounds with its bloody tongue, he cries out: "(O) most faithful bodies, I shall either be your avenger or your companion in death." He spoke, and lifted up a massive rock in his right (hand) and hurled (it) with a great effort. Steep walls with their lofty turrets would have been shattered by its impact: (but) the serpent remained without a wound, protected by its scales like a breastplate, and the hardness of its swarthy hide repelled the powerful blow on its skin. But that same hardness could not also overcome his javelin: this came to rest, fixed in the midst of a bend in its pliant back, and the whole of its steel (point) sank into its entrails. Maddened with pain, it twisted its head behind its back and saw the wound and bit at the shaft (which was) lodged (there), and, when, through its great exertions, it had loosened its (hold) on all areas, it ripped (it) from its back with difficulty; (but) the steel (point) was still stuck in its bones.  
Then, indeed, when a fresh reason was added to its usual wrath, its veins fill (and) its throat swells, and a white froth bedecks its pestilential jaws, and the earth resounds with the scraping of its scales, and the black breath which issues from its Stygian (i.e. deadly, the Styx being the principal river of the Underworld) mouth infects the corrupted air. At one moment, it is girt by coils making a vast circle, at another it rears up straighter than a tall tree, now it rushes with enormous force, like a river impelled by rain, and knocks down the trees in its way with its breast. The son of Agenor gives way a little, and checks its attacks by means of his lion's skin, and holds back its threatening jaws by thrusting forward the point of his sword. The snake is maddened and gives the hard steel useless bites and fastens its teeth on the sword-point. And now the blood began to drip from its venomous throat and soak the green grass with its spatter: but the wound was slight, because it withdrew itself from the thrust and pulled its wounded neck backwards, and, by accepting the wound, it prevented (the steel) sticking fast, nor did it let (it) sink deeper, until the son of Agenor, pursuing (it) all the time, pressed the embedded steel into its throat, while an oak-tree prevented (it) from going backwards, and its neck and the oak were pinned together. The tree bent under the serpent's weight, and groaned at its trunk being lashed by the end of its tail.

Ll. 95-114.  Cadmus sows the Dragon's teeth. 

While the victor examines the body of his vanquished enemy, a voice is suddenly heard; it was not easy to know from whence (it came), but heard it was: "Why, son of Agenor, do you gaze upon the serpent (you have) killed? You, too, will be gazed upon (as) a serpent."

For a long time, (he stands there) trembling, (and) he lost the colour in his face, and his hair stood on end in cold terror. (Then,) behold, Pallas (i.e. Minerva), the hero's patroness, is here, having come down through the upper air, and she orders (him) to till the earth and sow the dragon's teeth, (as) the springboard of future people. He obeys, and, when, by applying the plough, he has opened up a furrow, he strews the required teeth in the ground as human seed.

Then - (it was) beyond belief - the sods of earth began to be set in motion, and, first, the point of a spear appeared among the furrows, then head coverings (i.e. helmets), nodding their painted cones, then shoulders and chests spring up, and arms weighed down with spears, and the corn-field grows thick with the shields of warriors. Just as at festivals in the theatres, when the curtains are raised (at the end), designs are accustomed to rise, at first revealing faces, (and then) gradually the rest, until, being raised by a steady motion, (the performers) are totally exposed, and put their feet on the bottom of the border arms.

Ll. 115-137Cadmus founds Thebes. 

Alarmed by this new enemy, Cadmus prepared to take up his arms: "Do not take up (your arms)!" exclaims one of the people that the earth had produced, "and do not involve yourself in our civil wars!" And, (saying) this, he strikes one of his earth-born brothers, (who is) close-by, with his sturdy sword; (then) he himself falls to a javelin (sent) from afar. (He) who killed him lives no longer than him even, and he breathes out just the air which he had breathed in; the whole crowd is equally stirred by this example, and, in their warfare, these brothers of a moment fall by mutual wounds. And now these youths, (who had been) allotted such a short span of life, were beating their blood-stained mother (i.e. the earth) with their warm breasts, (and there were) five survivors, one of whom was Echion. He, at Tritonia's (i.e. Minerva's) warning, threw his weapons on the ground, and sought an assurance of peace from his brothers and gave (one in return).

The Sidonian stranger (i.e. Cadmus) had these (men as) companions in his work, when he built the city required by Phoebus' oracle.

Now Thebes was standing: now, Cadmus, you could be seen as happy in your exile. (Now) Mars and Venus are your parents-in-law: add to this the children of so noble a wife (i.e. Harmonia), so many sons and daughters  and beloved young grandsons, some (of whom are) also now young men. But, of course, we should wait for a man's last day, and no man should be called blessed before his death and last funeral rites.

Ll. 138-164.  Actaeon returns from the hunt.

A grandson (i.e. Actaeon) was your first reason for grief, Cadmus, amid so many circumstances (which were) favourable to you, and strange horns were added to his forehead, and you, his hounds, (were) satiated with your master's blood. But, if you look closely, you will find that the fault in that (grief) arises from chance not wickedness: for what wickedness did error possess? There was a mountain stained with the blood of many different creatures; and now midday had shortened the shadows of things, and the sun was equally distant from both of his turning-points (i.e. he was in the middle of the sky), when the young Hyantian (i.e. Boeotian), with a calm expression, addresses his partners in the hunt as they were wandering through the solitary wilds: "Our nets and our spears are drenched with the blood of wild beasts, and the day has been fortunate enough. When Aurora (i.e. Dawn), conveyed in her golden chariot, brings another day, we shall resume the work (we have) planned; now Phoebus (i.e. the Sun) is similarly distant from the earth in both (directions), and splits the fields with his heat. Cease your present work and carry (home) the knotted nets." The men carry out his instructions and interrupt their labour.

There was a valley, Garganie by name, dense with pine-trees and sharp cypresses, sacred to Diana of the (high) girded (tunic). In its depths there is a cave with a wooded recess, not fashioned in any way by art: (but) nature through its ingenuity had imitated art; for she had constructed a natural arch out of live pumice-stone and light tufa. On its right, a spring babbles, shining with clear water, and enclosed a wide aperture with a grassy rim.

Here, the goddess of the woods (i.e. Diana), weary from the chase, used to bathe her virginal limbs in the flowing water.

Ll. 165-205.  Actaeon sees Diana naked, and is turned into a stag.

When she reached there, she gave her javelin, her quiver and her unstrung bow to one of her nymphs, her weapon-bearer; after her robe has been taken off, another (nymph) puts (it) under her arm, and two (more) take off (the sandals which are) fastened to her feet; then, more skilful than these, Ismenian (i.e. Theban) Crocale gathers the hair strewn around her neck into a knot, although her own was (still) loose. Nephale, Hyale, Rhanis, Psecas and Phiale drew water and pour (it) over (their mistress) out of deep jars.

While Titania (i.e. Diana, the granddaughter of the Titan Coeus, through her mother Latona, his daughter) is bathing there in her accustomed pool, behold, Cadmus' grandson (i.e. Actaeon), having been freed from his share of the labour, (and,) wandering with uncertain steps through the wood (which is) unknown (to him), comes to the (sacred) grove: thus destiny required of him. As soon as he entered the cave dampened by the spring, having seen the man, as indeed they had, the naked nymphs beat their breasts and filled the whole wood with their sudden shrieks, and they crowd around Diana to hide (her) with their bodies; but the goddess, herself, is taller than them, and stands head and shoulders above all (the others). The colour, which is commonly in clouds stained by shafts of the opposing sun or by (those) of radiant Aurora, was that of the face of Diana, (when) seen without her clothing.

Although the throng of her companions was packed (around her), she, however, stood on the far side and turned back her face, and, as she wished she had her arrows to hand, so she took up some water, which she did have, and threw (it) in the man's face, and, sprinkling his hair with the avenging drops, she added these words, the harbingers of his coming ruin: "Now you may tell, if (indeed) you can tell, that you have seen me with my clothing set aside." Without any more threats, she gives the horns of a mature stag to the head (she has) sprinkled, she lengthens his neck and makes the tips of his ears pointed and she changes his hands into feet and his arms into long legs, and covers his body with a mottled hide. And (then) fear is added. Autonoë's heroic son (i.e. Actaeon) flees away, and marvels that he (is) so swift in his running. But, when he sees his face and his horns in the water, he was about to say, "Poor me!" but no voice followed. He groaned: that was his voice, and tears flowed across a face (that is) no longer his: only his mind remained unchanged. What can he do? Should he return to his home and the royal palace? Shame prevents the former, (and) fear the latter.

Ll. 206-231.  Actaeon is pursued by his hounds. 

While he hesitates, his hounds catch sight of him. First, Melampus and (then) the keen-scented Ichnobates gave the signal by their barking, Gnossian (i.e. Cretan) Ichnobates (and) Melampus of the Spartan breed. Then the others rush (at him), swifter than the rapid wind, Pamphagus, and Dorceus and Oribasos, all from Arcadia, and powerful Nebrophonos, and savage Theron and Laelape, and (swift-)footed Agre, good with her nostrils, and fierce Hylaeus, recently gored by a boar, and Nape, born of a wolf, and Poemenis, who follows the flocks, and Harpyia, accompanied by her two puppies, and Sicyonian (i.e. Peloponnesian) Ladon, bearing a constricted groin (i.e. very thin). (Then there was) Dromus and Canache, and Sticte, and Tigris, and Alce, and white-haired Leucon, and Asbolus with his tufts of black hair, and the very strong Lacon, and Aello, resolute at running, and Thous, and speedy Lycisce with her brother Cyprius, and Harpalos, distinguished by a white (spot) in the middle of his black forehead. (Next came) Melaneus, and Lachne with her shaggy body, and Labros and Argiodus, born of a Dictaean (i.e. Cretan) sire and a Laconian (i.e. Spartan) dam, and Hylactor with his piercing bark, and others whom it is unnecessary to name. This pack, greedy for their prey, pursue (him) over cliffs and crags, and inaccessible rocks, where the way is hard, and where there is no (path) at all.

He runs over places where he has often chased; alas, he flees from his own attendants. He longed to shout, "I am Actaeon, know your own master!" Words fail his courage: the air resounds with barking.

Ll. 232-252.
  Actaeon is killed by his dogs.

First, Melanchaetes made a wound in his back, then Therodamas (and) Oresitrophus clung to his shoulder: they had set out rather late, but (the length of) their journey was reduced by a shortcut over the mountain. While they hold their master, the rest of the pack gathers and sink their teeth into his body. He groans and makes a noise, though not a human (sound), but still (one) which a stag could not make, and he fills the heights with plaintive cries. And, with his knees on the ground, and begging like a suppliant, he casts his countenance around (from side to side) like (he was stretching forth) his arms.

Now, his companions unknowingly urge on the ravening team (of hounds) with their usual exhortations, and look for Actaeon with their eyes, and they shout for the absent Actaeon as if (they are) in competition - he turns his head at (the sound of) his name - , and they complain that he is absent, and that, (because he is) slow, he cannot catch sight of the spectacle being offered by their prey. Indeed, he might wish to be absent, but (in fact) he is (very much) present; he might wish to see, and not also to feel, the savage deeds of his hounds. They surround (him) on every side, and, sinking their jaws into his flesh, they tear their master to pieces in the shape of the pretended stag.

It is said that quiver-bearing Diana's anger was not appeased until his life (was) ended through a multitude of wounds.

Ll. 253-272.  Juno sets out to punish Semele.

The story is in doubt: to some (the punishment) for seeing the goddess is more violent than just, others approve (it) and call (it) fitting on account of her strict virginity; both sides can find reasons (for their view). Only Jupiter's wife does not say anything at all, either of blame or approval, and she rejoices that the house of Agenor has met with disaster, and transfers the hatred (she has) acquired from the Tyrian concubine (i.e. Europa) to the associates of her family. Behold, a fresh cause (of anger) is added to the former (one), and she grieves that Semele was pregnant with the seed of mighty Jupiter. While she has loosened her tongue for quarrels, she said: "What, in truth, have I gained from such frequent reproaches? If I am rightly called the most powerful Juno, (and) if it is right for me to hold the bejewelled sceptre in my right (hand), I must attack her, (and) if I am called queen, and sister, and wife of Jupiter, sister at least, (then) I must destroy her. But, I think, she is content with her secret, and the injury to our marriage will be brief: (but) she is pregnant; that is damaging! and makes manifest the crime in her swollen belly, and she wishes, (something) which has scarcely happened to me, to be made the mother (of a son) by Jupiter alone: so great is her faith in her beauty. I shall cause her to fall; I am not Saturn's daughter, if she does not plunge into the waters of the Styx, drowned by her Jupiter.

Ll. 273-315.  Semele is consumed by Jupiter's fire. 

At this, she rises from her throne, and, hidden by a dark cloud, she comes to Semele's threshold. She did not remove the cloud, before she had impersonated an old woman and turned her (hair) white to (fit) her age, and ploughed her skin with wrinkles, and moved her legs with a tottering step; she also made her voice (sound) like an old woman's, and she, herself, was Beroë, Semele's Epidaurian nurse (i.e. she came from Epidaurus, a city in the Argolid). So, when, while they were pursuing a conversation and had been talking for some time, they came to Jupiter's name, she sighs, and says: "I hope that it (really) is Jupiter; but I am afraid of all these (things): many (men) have entered the bed-chambers of chaste (women) in the name of the gods. But it is not (good) enough to be Jupiter: he must give a token of his love, if he is being really truthful. Beg (him to be) as great and as glorious as (when) he is being entertained by the noble Juno, and (beg) him to assume his insignia before he gives you his embraces."

In such words Juno shaped (the thinking of) the unsuspecting daughter of Cadmus (i.e. Semele). She asks Jupiter for an unspecified gift. "Choose (it)," the god says to her. "You will suffer no refusal. And so that you may believe (it) more (firmly), let the divine power of the Stygian flood be aware of it: that is the fear and the ruler of the gods." Pleased by her (sense of) mischief, and all too confident, and about to perish through her lover's indulgence, Semele said: "In whatever way Saturn's daughter is accustomed to you embracing her, when you enter into the compact of Venus (i.e. love-making), in this way do you give yourself to me." The god wanted to stop her lips as she spoke, (but) her voice had already gone out hurriedly into the air. He groaned; for she cannot un-wish (it), nor (can) he un-swear (it). So, with the greatest sorrow, he climbed to the heights of the sky, and gathered the following clouds by a look, and he added rain-storms and flashes of lightning, intermixed with winds, and cracks of thunder and the inescapable lightning-bolt. Still, he tries to reduce his strength as far as he can, and does not now arm himself with that lightning by which he had overthrown the hundred-handed Typhoeus: there is too much savagery in it. There is another lighter lightning-dart, to which the Cyclopes' hands have added a less savage flame and less wrath; the gods call (these) his follow-up weapons. He takes these and enters Agenor's house. (But) her mortal body could not endure the ethereal storm, and she is consumed by the fire of her nuptial gift. The infant (i.e. Bacchus), still unformed, is torn from his mother's womb, and weak (as he is) - if (the story) is worthy of belief - , he is sewn into his father's (i.e. Jupiter's) thigh, and completes a mother's full term.

His maternal aunt, Ino, rears him secretly in his infancy: then, after he had been given (to them), the Nysaean nymphs (i.e. the nymphs of Mount Nysa or Helicon, the mountain in Boeotia sacred to Apollo and the Muses) hid (him) in their cave, and gave (him) nourishment through their milk.

Ll. 316-338.  The judgment of Tiresias.

While these (things) are being done on earth because of that fatal oath, and the cradle of twice-born Bacchus remains safe, they say that Jupiter, gladdened by nectar, happened to set aside his onerous duties, and employed his leisure-time in exchanging pleasantries with Juno, and said, "You (females') pleasure (in love-making) is certainly greater than (that) which befalls males." She denies(it). They agreed to ask the learned Tiresias what his opinion was: love-making was known to him from both (points of view). For (once) he had disturbed, with a blow of his stick, the bodies of two serpents (as they were) mating in the green forest; then - marvellous (to relate) - from (being) a man, he was made (into) a woman and had lived (as such) for seven years. In the eighth (year) he saw the same (serpents) again, and said, "If there is such power in you being struck that it changes the sex of the giver (of the blow) to the opposite (one), I shall strike you again now." Having struck the same snakes (again), he regained his former shape, and the form he was born with returned.

So, having been appointed (as) the arbiter of this light-hearted dispute, he supports Jupiter's words. Saturnia (i.e. Juno), it is said, was more deeply upset than (was) just, nor (was it just) in relation to the subject-matter, and she condemned the sight of its judge to everlasting night. But the almighty father (i.e. Jupiter) - for it is not permissible for any god to make null and void the actions of (another) god - gave (him) knowledge of the future in return for his lost sight, and (so) lightened the punishment with honour.

Ll. 339-358.  Echo sees Narcissus.

Most honoured by reputation throughout the cities of Aonia (i.e. the part of Boeotia containing Mount Helicon and Thebes), he (i.e. Tiresias) gave blameless answers to the people asking (him questions). The sea-green (i.e. she was a Naiad or sea-nymph) Liriope was the first to put to the test his considered words. Cephisus (i.e. the god of a river in Phocis) once enfolded her in his winding stream, and took (her) by force (while she was) imprisoned in his waters. This most beautiful (girl) gave birth to a child from a full womb, and called (him) Narcissus, who could be loved by nymphs even then. Being consulted about him, as to whether he would (live) to see a long life to a ripe old age, the prophetic seer replies, "(Only) if he does not discover himself." For a long time the augur's pronouncement seemed empty (words): (in the end) the outcome, and the circumstances and the manner of his death, and the novelty of his passion prove it (to be true). For indeed the son of Cephisus (i.e. Narcissus) had added one year to his thrice five (i.e. he was sixteen), and could appear both boy and young man: many youths (and) many girls desired him. But the pride in his delicate form was so firmly felt (that) no youth (and) no girl touched him. (One day) a babbling nymph catches sight of him driving frightened deer into his nets; (she is) the answering Echo, who has not learned to keep quiet (when someone else is) talking, nor (how) to speak first herself.

Ll. 359-401.  How Juno altered Echo's speech.

Still Echo was a body, not (merely) a voice; and yet the chatterbox had no other use of her mouth than she now has, namely that she could repeat (only) the last words out of the many (words spoken). Juno had made (her) like this, because often when she could have caught nymphs lying with her Jupiter on the mountain (side), she, knowingly, detained the goddess in long conversations, while the nymphs fled. When Saturnia realised (this), she says, "Less power over that tongue, by which I have been deluded, and the briefest usage of speech, will be given to you." And in the event she confirms her threats. She only repeats the sounds at the end of what is spoken and returns the words (she has) heard. 
So, when she saw Narcissus wandering through the remote countryside, she grew hot (with love for him), (and) secretly follows his footsteps, and, the more she follows, the more closely she burns with fire, just as when inflammable sulphur, smeared around the tops of torches, catches (fire from) the flames (which have been) brought close to (it). O how often she yearned to come near (to him) with coaxing words and to employ soft entreaties: her nature prevents (it) and does not allow (her to) begin (speaking). But she is ready (to do) what it does allow, (that is) to wait for sounds to which she can return her own words. The boy, separated by chance from his trusty band of companions, had called out, "Is anyone here?" and Echo had replied, "Here." He is astounded, and as he casts his eyes around in all directions, he cries out, "Come (here)!" in a loud voice.  She calls (like the one who) calls (her). He looks around, and, (seeing) no one coming, says again, "Why are you avoiding me?" and he received (in reply) the same words as he had spoken. He persists, and, deceived by the illusion of an answering voice, says, "Let us meet together here!": and Echo, who would never make a more willing reply to any sound, replies, "Let us meet together," and she is as good as her word, and, coming out of the wood, she went to throw her arms around that neck that she so longed for. He runs (from her), and (while) running, cries, "Take your hands away from these embraces! May I die before you can have your enjoyment of me." She said nothing in reply but: "You can have your enjoyment of me." Spurned, she hides herself in the woods, and, in her shame, she covers her face with leaves, and from that (time onward) lives in lonely caves. But still her love endures, and grows with the pain of rejection. The cares that keep one awake diminish (the size of) her pitiable body, and thinness shrivels her skin, and all her bodily sap dissolves into the air. Only her voice and her bones are left: her voice remains; her bones, they say, took on the appearance of stone. From then onward, she hides in the woods and is no longer seen on the mountain (side); (but) she is heard by everyone: it is sound that lives in her.

Ll. 402-436.  Narcissus falls in love with himself. 

As he had scorned her, so (had) he (scorned) the other nymphs sprung from the rivers and mountains, (and) so (had he scorned) the companies of youths. Then, one of those (who had been) scorned, lifting up his hands to the sky, had said, "So may he love himself, (and) so may he be unable to control what he loves!" Rhamnusia (i.e. an epithet of Nemesis, the Goddess of Retribution, taken from the temple at Rhamnum in Attica, where there was a temple to Nemesis) heard this just entreaty.

There was a crystal fountain with shining silvery water, which neither shepherds nor goats grazing on the hillside, or any other flock had touched, (and) which no bird or wild animal and not even a branch falling from a tree had disturbed. There was grass around (it), which the nearby moisture nourished, and a wood, which prevented the place from being warmed by any sunlight. Here, the boy, tired by his zeal for hunting and the heat, lay down, and (is) attracted by the appearance of the place and the fountain; and, while he desires to quench his thirst, a different thirst was created. While he drinks, (he is) captivated by the image of beauty (which he has) seen, he loves a dream without substance, he thinks (something) which is a reflection to be a body. He is astonished by himself, and he clings to the unchanged countenance, motionless as a statue shaped out of Parian marble; lying on the ground, he looks at his twin stars, his own eyes, and his hair, worthy of Bacchus and worthy of Apollo, and his youthful cheeks and his ivory-coloured neck, and the beauty of his face and its redness mixed with snowy whiteness, and he admires everything by which he is (so) admired himself: unknowingly, he desires himself, and (he) who fancies (himself) is himself fancied, and, while he seeks, he is sought, and he burns and is burnt at the same time. How often he gave futile kisses to the deceiving fountain! How often he plunged his arms into the middle of the water, trying to catch hold of the apparent neck, but he does not catch himself in that (water)! He does not know what he sees: but he burns for that which he sees, and the same illusion which deceives his eyes arouses (them). (You) fool, why are you vainly trying to catch a fleeting image? What you are looking for is nowhere; turn away, (and) you will lose what you love! That which you perceive is the shadow of reflected form. It has nothing of itself; it comes and stays with you; it will leave with you, if you can leave!

Ll. 437-473.  Narcissus laments the pain of unrequited love.

No thought of Ceres (i.e. food) or rest can draw him away from that place, but, stretched on the shady grass, he gazes at that false image with unsatisfied eyes, and by his own eyes he was undone; raising himself up a little and holding out his arms to the surrounding woods, he says, "O (you) woods, has anyone (ever) loved more cruelly (than I)? You must know, as you have been the ideal hiding-place for many (lovers). Since your life has lasted for so many centuries, do you remember anyone in (all) the long ages past who has pined away like this? I am enchanted and I see (my beloved); but yet I cannot reach what I see and what is enchanting (me): so great an illusion takes hold of this lover. And I grieve all the more that no wide sea separates us, nor any road, or any mountain, or any walls with locked gates. We are (only) kept away by a little water. He, himself, desires to be embraced: for as often as I offer my kisses to the clear waters, he presses his mouth upwards towards me. You would think he could be touched: it is such a very small (thing) that prevents our love-making. Whoever you are, come out here! Why do you elude me, (you) extraordinary boy? Where do you go to, when I seek you? Surely it is not my form or my age that you are fleeing from, and the nymphs have also loved me. With your friendly look you offer me some unknown hope, and when I have stretched out my arms to you, you stretch out (yours) in turn: when I have smiled, you smile; I have often noticed your tears too, when I was weeping. You also answer my gestures with a nod, and, as far as I can tell from the movement of your lovely lips, you reply in words that do not reach my ears. I am he: I know (it), and my own reflection does not deceive me. I am burning with love for myself, and I kindle and endure the flames. What shall I do? Shall I be courted or court? Why, then, should I court? What I want is (already) with me: my abundance has made me poor. O would that I could withdraw from my own body! Strange prayer for a lover: I want what I love to be distant (from me)!  - And now my grief deprives (me) of my strength, nor is a long time left for my life, and I am cut off in the prime of my youth. Nor is dying painful to me, who will be setting aside my sadness in death. He, who is loved, I do wish (him) to be longer lasting. (But) now we shall die united, two in one spirit."

Ll. 474-510.  Narcissus is changed into a flower. 

He spoke, and returned, in a mad state of mind, to the same reflection, and he disturbed the water with his tears and the image became dim in the rippling pool. When he saw it disappearing, he cried out, "Where are you fleeing to? Stay, (you) cruel (creature), and do not desert me, who loves (you)! I can gaze at what I cannot touch, and so provide food for my wretched passion." And, while he laments, he tore away his tunic from its upper parts, and (then) struck his naked chest with hands of marble. (When) struck, his chest took on a clear redness, just as apples, which (are) partly pale (and) partly red are accustomed to do, or as grapes in their different clusters often take on a purple colour, when (they are) not yet ripe. And, as soon as he sees (all) this (reflected) once more in the clear water, he cannot bear (it) any longer, but, as yellow wax is wont to melt in a light flame, and (as) frost (is wont to thaw) in the warm sunlight, so, weakened by love, he wastes away, and is gradually consumed by a hidden fire; and he no longer retains his colour, that whiteness mingled with red, nor his energy and strength, and (the things) which, (when) seen recently, were (so) pleasing, nor does that body remain, which Echo had once loved.

Still, when she saw this, though angry and remembering, she felt sorry (for him), and, whenever the poor boy said, "Alas!" she repeated, "Alas!" with her echoing voice; and, when he struck his shoulders with his hands, she also repeated the same sounds of pain. His last words, as (he) looked into the familiar pool, were these: "Alas, boy beloved in vain!" and the place echoes the same number of words, and, when he said, "Farewell," Echo says, "Farewell," too.

He (i.e. Narcissus) laid down his weary head in the green grass, (and) death closed those eyes that had marvelled at their owner's beauty.

Then, even when he had been received into the abode of the Underworld, he gazed at himself in the waters of the Styx. His sisters, the Naiads (i.e. the water-nymphs) wailed and offered their shorn hair to their brother, (and) the Dryads (i.e. the wood-nymphs) wailed (too): Echo returned their lamentations. And now they were preparing the funeral pyre, the quivering torches and the bier. (But) nowhere was there a body; instead of a body they find a yellow flower with white petals surrounding its heart.

Ll. 511-527.  Tiresias prophesies Pentheus' fate.

When it had become known, this event spread the prophet's deserved fame throughout the cities of Achaea (i.e. a name for the Greek mainland derived from that of a region in the northern Peloponnese),and the augur's reputation was high. Yet, Pentheus, (i.e. the King of Thebes), the son of Echion (i.e. one of the five surviving heroes sprung from the dragon's teeth, sown by Cadmus), in scorn of the gods, alone out of all (of them) rejects him, and scoffs at the old man's prophetic words, and taunts (him) with the darkness and disaster arising from his lost teeth. He (i.e. Tiresias), shaking his white temples in anger, says, "How happy you would be, if you also became deprived of this eyesight of yours, so that you could not see the sacred (rites) of Bacchus (i.e. the God of Wine)! For the day, which I predict is not far off, approaches, when the new (god) Liber (i.e. Bacchus), the offspring of Semele, will come hither, and, unless you consider him worthy of honour in your sanctuaries (i.e. you build temples in which to worship him), you will be torn (to pieces) and scattered in a hundred places, and you will stain the woods and your mother (i.e. Agave) and your mother's sisters (i.e. Autonoë and Ino) with your blood. (These things) will come about; for you will not think the god worthy of honour, and you will complain that I, in this darkness of mine, have seen too much." (Even) as he (i.e. Tiresias) speaks these (words), the son of Echion (i.e. Pentheus) pushes (him) away; the truth follows his words, and the oracles of the prophet are enacted.

Ll. 528-571.  Pentheus rejects the worship of Bacchus. 

Liber is here, and the fields resound with festive whoopings; the crowd runs, mothers and brides intermingled with men, commoners and nobles, they (all) rush towards the unknown rites.

Pentheus cries out: "What madness, (you) children of the serpent (i.e. the descendants of the offspring of the dragon's teeth, sown in the ground by Cadmus), (you) race of Mavors (i.e. Mars, the God of War, to whom the serpent was sacred) has stupefied your minds? Can the clash of bronze on bronze, those pipes of curved horn, and those magical tricks be so powerful that feminine shrieks, and the madness induced by wine, and filthy crowds and meaningless drumming can overcome (those) whom no sword of war no (military) trumpet, no ranks of spears drawn closely together can terrify? Should I wonder at you, old men, who, when you sailed across the wide seas, placed Tyre and your household gods here on this site, and now you let them be taken without a fight? Or (at) you, O young men, of keener age and closer to my own, for whom it was fitting to carry arms, not (Bacchic) wands, and (for your heads) to be covered with helmets, not leaves? Be mindful, I beg (you), from what stock you were created, and assume the spirit of that serpent, who, (though) one, killed many! He died for his spring and his pool: but you should conquer for your own reputation! He (i.e. Bacchus) put brave (men) to death: (but) you should drive craven (men) away and maintain your country's honour! If fate forbids Thebes to stand for a long time, I wish that siege-engines and warriors might demolish her walls, and that iron and fire might sound (against her). (Then,) we would be wretched (but) without sin, and we should lament our fate, not try to hide (it), and our tears would be free from shame. But now Thebes will be taken by an unarmed boy, whom neither war, nor weapons, nor the use of horses pleases, but (whom) hair drenched in myrrh, and soft wreaths (of leaves) and the purple and gold interwoven on embroidered robes (do please). But (if) you would only stand aside, I will compel him to confess that his father (has been) adopted, and that his sacred (rites are) invented. (When) Acrisius had courage enough to defy a false god (i.e. Bacchus), and shut the gates of Argos at his coming, should his arrival terrify Pentheus and the whole of Thebes? Go quickly" - thus he orders his attendants - , "go and drag this (great) leader here in chains! Let there be no sluggish delay in (carrying out) my orders."

His grandfather (i.e. Cadmus), and Athamas (i.e. his uncle) and the rest of the troop of his followers reproved him with words, and tried in vain to restrain (him). He is made more determined by their warning, and his fury grows, and their very delaying tactics provoke (him). So I have seen a river flowing calmly and with little noise, where nothing obstructs its passage: but wherever trees and stone obstacles held (it) back, it ran foaming and boiling and more fiercely on account of the obstruction.

Ll. 572-596.  Acoetes is captured and interrogated.

Behold, they return stained with blood, and, when their lord asks where Bacchus is, they deny having seen Bacchus; but they did say, "We have taken this companion of his and an attendant of his sacred (rites);" and they hand over (a man) of Tyrrhenian stock, (and) a one-time follower of the god's sacred (rites), with his hands tied behind his back.

Pentheus stares at him with eyes which anger has made terrible, and, although he can scarcely defer the moment of punishment, he says: "O (you) who are about to die, and, by your death, teach the others a lesson, tell (me) your name, and the name of your parents, and (what is) your country, and why you are following the rites of this new way of living."

He replied without fear, "My name (is) Acoetes, my country is Maeonia (i.e. Lydia in Asia Minor), and my parents (come) from humble stock. My father did not leave me any fields which sturdy oxen could till, or any flocks or any herds (of cattle). He, himself, was poor too, and used to catch fish with a net, and hooks, and a rod to snare them as they leapt. His skill was his wealth. When he had handed over this skill (to me), he said, 'Take what possessions I have, (as) the successor and heir to my work.' When he died, he left me nothing except water. This (is) the only (thing) I can call my inheritance.

"Then, so that I should not stick for ever to the same rocks, I learned (how) to direct the steering of boats with a guiding hand, and I observed with my eyes, the rainy constellation of the Olenian Goat, and Taygete (i.e. one of the Pleiads), and the Hyades, and the Bear, and the houses of the winds and the harbours fit for boats.

Ll. 597-637.  Acoetes' story- the beautiful boy. 

"(While) making for Delos, I come, by chance, close to the shore of the island of Chios, and I am brought ashore, by skilful (use of the) oars, and I give a gentle jump and land on the wet sand. When night is passed - as soon as the dawn began to redden - I arise, and suggest the collection of fresh water, and show the path which leads to the spring. I, myself, watch from a high hill for what the wind is promising me, and call my companions, and go back to the boat. 'See, we are here!' says Opheltes, the foremost of my friends, and he leads a boy with the beauty of a virgin along the shore, a prize, or so he thinks, (that he has) found in a deserted field. He (i.e. the boy), heavy with wine and sleep, seems to stumble and to follow with difficulty. I examine his clothing, his appearance and his stature: I saw nothing which could be considered mortal. And I felt (this) and said to my comrades: 'I  am uncertain which god is in that body, but there is a god in that body. Whoever you are, O favour and assist our efforts. Also, may you grant your pardon to these (men).' 'Stop praying for us,' says Dictys; (there was) no one quicker than him at climbing to the top of the yard-arms and sliding back down again by grasping the rigging. Libys approves this, and (so does) yellow-haired Melanthus, the look-out on the prow, and Alcimedon, and Epopeus, the inciter of their spirits, who would give by his voice both rhythm and method to the oars, and (so do) all the others. So blind is their greed for gain. 'Still, I shall not allow this ship to be profaned by a criminal occurrence,' said I: 'Here I (have) the greatest share of authority;' I resist (them) in their (attempts) to board. Lycabas, the most audacious of the whole pack (of them), rages (at me), (he) who had been expelled from his Etruscan city and was paying the penalty of exile for a terrible murder. While I stand firm, he strikes me in the throat with his young fist, and would have thrown (me) into the sea unconscious, if I had not clung on, though dazed, being held back in the rigging. That impious crew approves the deed. Then, at last, Bacchus - for Bacchus it (certainly) was - as if his sleep is disturbed by the noise, and his senses return to his mind from (the influence) of drink, says, 'What are you doing? What is this noise? Tell (me), (you) seamen, by what means I came here? (And) where are you preparing to take me?' 'Set aside your fear,' said Proreus, 'and tell (us) which port you wish to come to: you will be set down in the country you are seeking.' 'Naxos,' says Liber. 'Set your course in (that direction). That is my home; (and) for you it will be a hospitable land.'

Ll. 638-691.  Acoetes' ship and crew are transformed.

"Those treacherous (men) swear by the sea and by all the gods that it would be so, and they tell me to get the painted vessel under sail. Naxos was to starboard. (But) as I trim the sails to a starboard (tack), Opheltes says,'What (on earth) are you doing? O (you) madman? What frenzy (has got) into you?' Someone (says) on their behalf, 'Hold on! Make towards port!' The majority of them indicate to me what they want with a nod, the others by a whisper in my ear. I was horrified, and said, 'Someone else can take the helm,' and distanced myself from this act of wickedness and deception. I am rebuked by everyone, and the whole crew murmur against me. (One) of them, Aethalion, cries, 'Obviously, all of our safety depends on you,' and he himself takes my place and discharges my work, and, abandoning Naxos, seeks the opposite (course). Then the god, playfully, as if he had only just realised their deceit, looks at the sea from the curved stern, and, as though (he were) in tears, says, 'Sailors, these (are) not the shores (which) you promised me. This (is) not the land (which) I asked for. Through what deed have I deserved this punishment? What glory is there for you, if young men (cheat) boys (and) many (men) cheat a single (person)?' I was already weeping: (but) that impious crew scoffs at my tears, and lashes the surface (of the sea) with their quickening oars.

"Now, I swear to you, by the (the god) himself - for there is no god more present than he (is) - that the (things) I am saying to you (are) as true as they surpass belief in the truth: the ship stood still in the water, just as if it were occupying a dry dock. Amazed, they persist in the lashing of their oars, and they unfurl the sails and try to run with double power. (But) ivy impedes the oars and creeps (over them) with a binding grip, and adorns the sails with its heavy clusters. (The god,) himself, his forehead wreathed with clusters of grapes, shakes a lance covered with the leaves of vine-shoots. Around him lie tigers, and the insubstantial phantoms of lynxes, and the savage bodies of spotted panthers. The men leapt overboard, whether madness or fear caused this, and Medon (is) the first to begin to become black all over his body and for his spine to be bent into a distinct curve. Lycabas begins (to speak) to him: 'What (sort of) a monster are you turning into?' he said, and, as he spoke, his jaws became wide and his nose hooked, and his hardened skin developed a scale. Then, Labys, hampered when he wishes to turn the oars, saw his hands shrink into a small size, and that he no longer had any hands (but) they could already be called fins. Another, eagerly grasping the twisted ropes, no longer had any arms, and, bending backwards, jumped into the sea with his limbless body: his newest (feature) is a sickle-shaped tail, (which) bends like the horns of a half-moon. They make jumps in all directions and drench (everything) with much spray, and they emerge once more, and return to the depths again, and they play (together) in the form of a chorus (i.e. like dolphins), and they hurl their bodies (around), and blow out the sea (water) received through their broad nostrils.

"Of a group of twenty - for that (was) how many the ship was carrying - I alone was left. My body shaking with fear and cold, the god rouses me with difficulty, saying, 'Cast out the fear from your heart, and steer for Dia (i.e. Naxos).' Having settled on that (island), I have adopted its religious (practices) and celebrate the sacred (rites) of Bacchus."

Ll. 692-733.  Pentheus is killed by the Maenads.

"We have (only) lent our ears to these long circumlocutions," says Pentheus, "so that our anger could consume its strength in delay. (You) attendants, remove this (man) quickly, and send his body, tortured by harsh torments, down to Stygian night." At once, the Tyrrhenian Acoetes (is) dragged away and shut up in a strong dungeon; but, while the instruments of cruelty, the iron and fires, were bring prepared, the doors flew open of their own accord, and the chains slipped from his arms unaided, without anyone loosening (them).

The son of Echion (i.e. Pentheus) persists (in his purpose). He did not order (anyone else) to go, but now went himself to where (Mount) Cithaeron (i.e. a mountain in Boeotia, near Thebes), chosen for performing the rites, was resounding with the chants and shrill cries of the Bacchantes. As a brave horse snorts and shows his love for the fight, when the military trumpeter with his brazen sound has given the signal (to attack), so the bruised sky resounds with long (drawn-out) howls of woe, and anger turns Pentheus' (countenance) white again when he hears the noise.

Near the middle of the mountainside there is a patch of ground with woods surrounding its edges, (but) free of trees and visible all round. Here, as he watched the mysteries with profane eyes, his mother (i.e. Agave) (is) the first (to) see Pentheus, (is) the first (to) have been roused into a mad run, (and is) the first (to) have wounded him by hurling her thyrsus (i.e. her Bacchic wand). Oh, (you) two sisters (i.e. Autonoë and Ino) , come here!" she shouted. "That boar which is wandering in our fields, that boar is mine to sacrifice." The whole maddened crowd rushes at him; they all come together and pursue the frightened (man), now terrified, now speaking words free of violence, now cursing himself, now confessing that he has sinned. Stricken, he still cried out, "Bring (me) your help, aunt Autonoë! Let Actaeon's shade (n.b. Actaeon was her son) move your spirit." She did not remember who Actaeon (was), and tore off the suppliant's right (arm): the other (arm) is ripped off by Ino with a wrench. (Now) the unhappy (man) has no arms which he can hold out to his mother, but, showing his mutilated trunk, shorn of its limbs, he cries, "Mother, look (what you've done)!" Seeing (these things), Agave howled, tossed her neck and shook her hair in the air, and, tearing off his head (and) clasping (it) in her blood-stained fingers, she shouts, "Ho! my companions, this work is our victory!" The wind does not strip the leaves from a lofty tree, which, touched by autumn's frost (are) already scarcely attached (to it), more quickly than this man's limbs are torn by those impious hands.

Warned by such examples, the women of the Ismenus (i.e. a river near Thebes) celebrate the new rites, burn incense, and worship at the holy altars.
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