Published in Latin Translation

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.


Published in Latin Translation


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.


Published in Latin Translation


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.


Published in Latin Translation

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. 


Published in Latin Translation


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.)



Published in Latin Translation


The first six books of the "Aeneid" reflect, in their content, Homer's "Odyssey", and indeed Virgil borrowed not just themes but also many phrases from the great Greek epic. Of these six books, this one, Book III, is probably the least well-known, and the least read, not only in antiquity, but also more recently, since it has rarely been used as a textbook in schools, as the others, particularly Books IV and VI, have been. In this context, it is perhaps worthy of note that in the 1990 Penguin edition of the "Aeneid" the translator David West, while offering commentaries on all the other eleven books, did not provide one for Book III. Such relative neglect is also reflected in the fact that, until now, Book III has escaped the attentions of Sabidius. However, this omission has now been rectified, and a translation is offered below.

The title which Sabidius has suggested for this book, "The Seven Years' Wandering of Aeneas", draws attention to the fact that, just as Odysseus, or Ulysses, as he was known to Virgil and the Romans, took ten years to find his way back to Ithaca after the end of the Trojan War, so Aeneas' arrival in Italy only occurred after a prolonged period of travelling around the Mediterranean. Indeed, at the very end of Book I, Queen Dido, his host at Carthage, says to him: "Tell me, my guest, from the very beginning, of the wiles of the Danaans, and of the misfortunes of your followers and your wanderings. For now a seventh summer is carrying you as a wanderer over every land and sea." In his response  Aeneas tells her in Book II of the agonies of Troy's last hours, and in Book III he provides her with the details of his seven years' wandering. Thus, for all of this book, other than the last three lines, Aeneas is speaking.

While Book III contains relatively few of Virgil's more memorable passages, it does have some worthy of particular attention. There is the pathos of lines 486-491, in which Andromache expresses her love for Aeneas' son, Ascanius, who reminds her so poignantly of her own young son, Astyanax, so brutally slaughtered by Pyrrhus, who was then to enslave her and force her to become his wife: "Take these last gifts of your kinsfolk, O sole surviving likeness to me of my Astyanax: so he moved his eyes, so he moved his hands, so he moved his face; and now he would be growing up, equal in age to you." There is also the sheer horror of Achaemenides' account of the Cyclops Polyphemus devouring two of his comrades (lines 622-628): "He feeds on the flesh and dark blood of these wretched men. With my own eyes I saw him, when, lying back in the middle of the cave, he smashed the bodies of two of our number, which he had caught with his great hand, on the rock, and the entrance was bespattered and swimming with gore; I saw him when he devoured their body parts, dripping with putrid matter and the warm limbs quivered under his teeth." There are, horresco referens, other horrors too, which grip the attention of the reader: the cornel and myrtle bushes with blood-stained roots, from which comes the discovery of the cruel murder of Polydorus (lines 27-46); the terrifying screams and dreadful stench of the repulsive Harpies, who are birds with the faces of women (lines 225-244); and Helenus' description of the joint terrors provided by the demonic whirlpool Charybdis and the six-headed sea-monster Scylla, who in partnership prey upon the ships traversing the Straits of Messina (lines 420-428). All these details, and, of course, the majestic rhythms of Virgil's dactylic hexameters, make the reading of Book III a truly memorable experience.

The text for this translation is taken from the edition published by Ginn & Co. of Boston, in 1900, edited by J.B. Greenhough. Reference has also been made to "The Commentary on Virgil's Aeneid" by John Conington, Whittaker & Co., London, 1876. Both of these works are available on the website.


a) The Trojans build a fleet and set sail to find a place of exile (ll. 1-12).
"After the Powers Above had seen fit to overthrow the Asian state and Priam's guiltless people, and proud Ilium has fallen, and all of Neptune's Troy lies smoking on the ground, we are driven by the omens of the gods to seek distant places of exile and unoccupied lands, and we build a fleet under the very (shadow of) Antandros and the mountains of Phrygian Ida, uncertain as to where the Fates would carry (us or) where we should be permitted to settle, and we gather our people together. Scarcely had early summer begun, when father Anchises commanded (us) to entrust our sails to destiny: in tears, I leave the shores of my native-land and its havens, and the plains where Troy once stood: (as) an exile, I set sail with my comrades and my son, and with our household gods and the great gods (of our race).
b) We land in Thrace where  I begin to lay the foundations of a city (ll. 13-18).

"Some distance away there lies a land with vast plains belonging to Mavors (i.e. Mars) - the Thracians farm (it) - , once ruled by the fierce Lycurgus, of old a (source of) friendship to Troy, and their household gods (being) allies (of ours), while Fortune was (with us). Here I sail, and I site my first city-walls on a winding shore, though I began (it) with fate being against (it), and I fashion its name 'Aeneadae' from my own name.


a) Aeneas was sacrificing in honour of his new undertaking, when he found blood dropping from the roots of some cornel and myrtle branches which he was pulling up for the altars, and a voice came from the soil where they stood, telling him that the murdered Polydorus was buried there, and that they were the spears which had been fixed in his body (ll. 19-46).

"I was offering sacrifices to my mother, the daughter of Dione (i.e. Venus) and to the (other) gods, so that they might be favourable to the works (which I had) begun, and I was sacrificing a sleek bull on the shore to the High King of the Heavenly Dwellers. By chance, there was quite near there a mound (of earth) on the top of which (were) thickets of cornel and myrtle, bristling with its dense spear-like branches. I went up to (it), endeavouring to wrench the green wood from the ground, so that I might cover the altar with leafy boughs, (when) I see a portent horrible and astounding to relate. For the first bush which is plucked out from the soil by it torn roots, from it flow drops of black blood and they stain the earth with its gore. An icy shudder shakes my limbs and, stiff with terror, my blood congeals. And yet I proceed once more to tear away the resisting stalk of another (bush) and to explore fully its hidden secrets. And, again, blood oozes from the bark of this second (one). Greatly disturbed in my mind, I began to pray to the woodland nymphs and Father Gradivus (i.e. Mars), who presides over the Getic (i.e. Thracian) fields, to make the portent propitious in the proper manner and lighten the (threat of) the omen. But, when I attack a third (bunch of) spear-shafts with greater effort, and I am pulling hard with my knees (pressed) against the sand - shall I speak or be silent? - , a pitiable groan is heard from the bottom of the mound, and an answering voice comes to my ears: "Why, Aeneas, would you rend a poor wretch? Spare (me) now that I have been buried! Forbear to pollute your righteous hands! Troy bore me, no different to you, nor is this blood which is flowing from this stalk (any different). Oh, flee this cruel land (and) flee this coast of avarice: for I (am) Polydorus: an iron crop of weapons has covered my pierced (body), and has grown into sharp javelins."

b) Aeneas is horror-struck. Polydorus had been entrusted to the charge to the King of Thrace, who, on the overthrow of Troy, had murdered him for the sake of the treasure that had been sent with him. Aeneas refers the matter to his father Anchises and the chiefs of his followers, and there is unanimous agreement that they should leave Thrace. The Trojans pay solemn funeral rites to the murdered youth,  (ll. 47-68).

"Then, indeed, I was stupefied, overcome in my mind by uncertain dread, and my hair stood (on end).
The unfortunate Priam, when he was already despairing of Dardanian arms and saw his city surrounded under siege, had once secretly entrusted this Polydorus, with a great weight of gold, to the King of Thrace to be nurtured. That (king), when the power of the Teucrians (was) broken, and fortune withdrew, following the cause of Agamemnon and his victorious army, breaks every divine law; he murders Polydorus and takes possession of the gold by force. (O) infamous hunger for gold, to what do you not compel human hearts? When the terror left my bones, I refer the portents of the gods to the chosen chiefs of my people, and firstly to my father and ask (them) what their opinion is. They (are) all of the same mind, that we should depart from this accursed land, that this polluted place of lodging should be abandoned, and we should grant the south winds to our fleet. So, we celebrate Polydorus' funeral rites, and a huge (quantity of) earth is heaped on his burial mound. Altars are raised to the Shades, made mournful by sacred fillets and black cypress, and (all) around (are) the women of Ilium with their hair loosened in accordance with custom. We offer bubbling bowls of warm milk and saucers of sacrificial blood, and inter his spirit in its tomb, and invoke (his name) in a loud voice for the very last time.


a)  The Trojans set sail with the next fair wind. They land in Delos and are welcomed there. Aeneas consults the oracle, begging the god to tell them where to settle. An answer came at once, bidding them seek out the place from which their race sprung, and assuring them a new and lasting place there (ll. 69-98).

"Then, as soon as the sea (is) trustworthy, and the winds create peaceful waves, and a gentle whispering breeze calls (us) seawards, my comrades bring down our ships and fill up the beach (with them): we set sail from the harbour, and land and cities recede (from view). In the middle of the sea there lies a sacred (piece of) land most dear to the mother of the Nereids (i.e. Doris) and to Aegean Neptune, which, while (it was) drifting around coasts and strands the pious Archer-God (i.e. Apollo) chained fast to lofty Myconos and Gyaros, and made (it) immovable and inhabited and scornful of the winds. Here I sail; a most peaceful (spot), it welcomes my weary (crews) to a safe harbour; disembarking, we pay our reverence to Apollo's city. King Anius, (being) king of his people and the priest of Phoebus, comes to meet (us), with his brows garlanded with fillets and sacred laurel; he recognised his old friend Anchises. We join hands in guest-friendship and enter his palace. I paid reverence to the god's temple (which was) built of old stone. "Grant us a permanent home, (O) God of Thymbra (i.e. Apollo), grant my weary people walls, and descendants and a city that will endure; preserve this second Trojan Pergama (i.e. citadel of Troy) for the survivors of the Danaans and pitiless Achilles. Whom should we follow? To where do you bid us go? Where should we put our dwellings? Grant (us), (O) Father, a sign and inspire our hearts. Scarcely had I spoken these (words): suddenly everything seemed to shake, and the doorway and the god's laurel (crown) and the whole mountain around (us) is moved, and the tripod bellows as the sanctuary is exposed. Grovelling (in fear), we fall to the ground, and a voice comes to our ears: 'O hardy sons of Dardanus, the land which first bore you from your ancestral stock, that same (land) will welcome you on its fertile bosom when you return. Seek out your ancient mother! From here, the house of Aeneas, and his son's children and those that shall be born to them, will rule all the regions of the earth.'

b) All the Trojans are eager to know the meaning of the oracle. Anchises explains to them that Crete was the original cradle of their race and their national religious observances and that they can reach it in three days of sailing; he orders sacrifices to render the voyage auspicious (ll. 99-120).

"Thus Phoebus spoke: and a (great shout of) joy arose, mixed with uproar, and everyone asks to which city Phoebus is calling (us) in our wanderings and to which he is telling (us) to return. Then, my father, revolving in his mind the traditions of past (generations of) men, says: 'Listen, O chiefs and learn about (the object of) your hope: in the midst of the sea lies Crete, the island of mighty Jupiter; there (is) Mount Ida, the cradle of our race. In that richest of kingdoms, (men) inhabit a hundred great cities; from there our forefather, Teucer, if I recall what I heard aright, originally sailed to the shores of Rhoeteas (i.e. a promontory on the Hellespont), and chose a site for his kingdom. Ilium and the towers of Pergama had not yet been erected; (the people) lived in the bottom of the valleys. From here (comes) our Mother, the inhabitant of (Mount) Cybele, and (also) the cymbals of the Corybantes and the grove of Ida; from here (come) the faithful silences for her mystic rites, and the harnessed lions submitted (to draw) their mistress' chariot. So, come and let us follow where the commands of the gods lead (us); let us appease the winds and seek the kingdom of Cnossos (i.e. the capital of Crete). Nor is it a long journey away, (if) only Jupiter is with (us); the third dawn will bring our fleet to land on the shores of Crete.' Speaking thus, he sacrificed fit offerings on the altars, a bull to Neptune, a bull to you, fair Apollo, a black sheep to the Storm (God), (and) a white (one) to the auspicious Westerly Winds.


a) The Trojans hear that they may settle in Crete without any danger from enemies, and they make their way there accordingly (ll.121-131). 

"A rumour quickly spreads that Prince Idomeneus has departed, after being driven from his father's kingdom, and that the shores of Crete are deserted, her houses are empty of enemies, and the abandoned dwellings are standing ready (for our use). We leave the harbour of Ortygia and speed across the sea, to Naxos, where they revel on the mountains, and green Donysa, Olearos and Paros, with its white marble, and the Cyclades, scattered, (as they are,) across the sea, and we traverse straits strewn with numerous (bits of) land. The shouts of the sailors arise from their efforts in their various (tasks). Comrades encourage one another: 'Let us make for Crete and our ancestors!' A wind rising astern follows (us) as we go, and at last we glide on to the ancient shores of the Curetes.

b) Aeneas had begun the foundation of a city, when a pestilential season set in. Anchises recommends returning to Delos and consulting the oracle again (ll. 132-146). 

"So, I work eagerly at the walls of my chosen city, and call (it) Pergama, and exhort my people, delighting at the name, to cherish (the place as) their home, and to erect a citadel as a (strong) shelter.
And now our ships (were) drawn up on the dry beach; our young men (were) busy with weddings and fresh farmlands; I was making laws and (allocating) houses: when suddenly from some tainted stretch of the sky there came upon the human frame a wasting disease, and a pitiable blight upon both trees and crops, and a year full of death. (Men) relinquished their sweet lives or continued to drag their sick bodies (around); then Sirius (i.e. the Dog-star) scorched the fields into bareness; the grass became parched and the blighted crops denied (us) food. My father urges (us) to return to sea and to go back again to the oracle of Phoebus at Ortygia (i.e. Delos) and pray for his favour (in answering these questions): what end might he bring to our weary fortunes? whence does he bid (us) seek help for our exertions? whither to direct our course?

c) While Aeneas was contemplating what he should do, the Household Gods appeared to him by night, with a communication from Apollo telling him that the real home of his race was Italy, from where Dardanus came (ll.147-171).

"It was night-time and sleep had taken hold of all the animals on the earth: the sacred images of the gods and the Household Gods of Phrygia, which I had brought with me from Troy and through the midst of the fires of the city seemed to stand there before my eyes, as I lay in sleep, clear in the broad light, where the full moon was pouring herself through the windows (which had been) set into (the walls); then they addressed (me) thus, and allayed my anxieties with these words: 'What Apollo will tell you when you have come to Ortygia, he utters here, and, lo! he send us to your threshold of his accord. When Dardania went down in flames, we followed you and your arms, we traversed the swelling seas with you on your ships, in the same way we shall exalt your future offspring to the stars, and grant empire to their city: you must build a mighty city for the great (gods of your race), and not shrink from the long labour of exile. Your abode must be changed: Delian Apollo did not urge these shores upon you, nor did he order (you) to settle in Crete. There is a region, the Greeks call (it) Hesperia by name, (it is) an ancient land, mighty in arms and in the richness of its soil; the Oenotrian people settled (there); now rumour (has it) that their descendants have called their nation Italy from the name of their leader (i.e. Italus): this is your proper dwelling-place; from here Dardanus was sprung, and our forefather Iasius, from whom our race first (came). Come then, arise and relate with joy these words, which must not be doubted, to your aged father: let him look for Corythus and the lands of Ausonia; Jupiter denies you the fields of (Mount) Dicte (i.e. Crete).


a) Aeneas informs his father of what Apollo has said; Anchises admits his error, and remembers a similar prophecy from Cassandra. The Trojans set sail again (ll. 172-191).

"Astounded by such a vision and utterance of the gods - this was not a dream, but I seemed to recognise their expressions in person, and their garlanded hair and their actual faces; then a cold sweat trickled all over my body, I tear my body from its bed and raise my upturned hands to the sky with a prayer and I pour offerings of undiluted wine on the hearth. After I have performed this sacrifice, I joyfully inform Anchises, and disclose this revelation in its proper order. He recognised our ambiguous descent, and our two-fold parentage, and that he had been confused by his recent mistake about our ancient lands. Then, he says: 'My son, (you who are) troubled by the destiny of Ilium, Cassandra, alone, foretold such an outcome to me. Now I recall that she prophesied that these (lands were) owed to our race, and she often invoked Hesperia and, often, the realm of Italy. But who would believe that Teucrians would come to the shores of Italy, or whom, then, might the prophetess Cassandra influence? Let us yield to Phoebus, and, on his advice, let us follow the better (course).' We abandon this dwelling-place also, and, leaving (just) a few (people) behind, we set sail and speed over the vast surface of the sea in our hollow ships.

b) When land was out of sight, the Trojans were involved in a storm, which raged for three days and nights; but on the fourth day land appears (ll. 192-08).

"When our ships have reached the high (sea), and no land is any longer in sight, but (there is) sky on all sides and sea on all sides, then a dark rain-cloud stood directly over my head, bringing night and storm, and the waves billow up in the gloom. At once, the winds churn up the sea and great waves swell up; we are tossed this way and that in the vast abyss; storm-clouds enveloped the day, and a watery darkness blotted out the sky; lightning flashes again and again from clouds (which have been) torn asunder. We are driven from our course, and wander blindly over the waves. Palinurus (i.e. the Trojan helmsman), himself, says he cannot distinguish day or night in the sky, nor remember the route in the midst of the waves. For three long days of uncertainty in the blinding darkness and for as many nights without a star, we wander across the sea. At last, on the fourth day, land (is) seen to rise for the first time, exposing distant mountains and sending up smoke. The sails fall (slack), and we rise to our oars; without delay, the sailors, at full stretch, thrash the foaming (waves) and sweep across the dark-blue (surface of the sea).

6) THE HARPIES (LL. 209-277).

a) The Trojans find themselves on the Strophades, the islands of the Harpies. Oxen and goats are seen grazing: they kill, sacrifice and eat. Then, the Harpies come upon them, and tear and pollute the meat (ll. 210-228).

"After I have been rescued from the waves, the shores of the Strophades (i.e. The Turning Islands) are the first to welcome me. Called by a Greek name, the Strophades are islands lying in the great Ionian (sea), which dread Celaeno and the other Harpies inhabit after Phineus' house was closed to them and they fled in fear from their former tables. No more deadly monster, nor any more savage scourge or divine wrath than these has risen from the waters of the Styx. They are birds with maidens' countenances, (there is) the foulest excrement from their bellies, (they have) hands like talons, and their lips are always pallid with hunger. On our arrival here, when we enter the harbour, behold, we see contented herds of oxen scattered over the plain, and a flock of goats in their pastures with no guard. We rush at (them), sword (in hand), and call on the gods, and Jupiter himself, to (take) a share in our plunder; then, we heap up mounds of earth on the winding shore, and feast on the rich foodstuffs. But, suddenly, in a terrifying swoop from from the hills, the Harpies appear (before us), and flap their wings with a loud clattering noise, and they plunder our feast and defile everything with their filthy touch; then (there is) an awful scream amidst a repulsive stench.

b) The Trojans set up a feast in another more secluded spot, but the same visitation follows. When the Harpies assail them for the third time, they draw their swords and attack them, but are able to make no impression on them (ll. 229-244).

"In a deep recess, under a hollow rock, enclosed all around by trees and flickering shadows, we lay out the table and replace the fire on the altars once more; again, from another part of the sky and from their hidden lair, the screeching crowd flutters around their prey with their clawed feet, (and) defiles our feast with their mouths. Then, I bid my comrades take up their arms, and proclaim that war must be waged against this accursed race. They do just as I have ordered and deposit their swords under cover in the grass and keep their shields out of sight in a concealed spot. So, when, as they swoop down along the winding shore, they make a noise, Misenus from his high look-out post gives the signal on his hollow bronze trumpet. My comrades charge, and try out a new (way of) fighting, (that is,) to wound these foul birds of the sea with their swords: but they do not receive any violence on their feathers, nor wounds on their backs, and, soaring up to the stars with rapid flight, they leave behind (them) the half-eaten prey and the foul traces (of their visit).

c) Celeano, one of the Harpies, threatens the Trojans with famine as a punishment for their current gluttony and violence. Anchises bids them set sail again (ll. 245-267).

"Celaeno, that prophetess of misfortune, perches alone on a high rock, and gives vent to this cry from her breast: '(O) children of Laomedon, are you really ready to declare war for the sake of the slaughter of our oxen and for the sake of our butchered steers, and to drive the innocent Harpies from their proper realm? So, take these words of mine to your hearts and fix (them there), (words) which the Almighty Father foretold to Phoebus, (and) Phoebus Apollo (foretold) to me, (and) I, the eldest of the Furies, reveal (them) to you. You are seeking Italy in your journey, and, having summoned the winds, you shall go to Italy and be able to enter its ports. But you will not encompass your ordained city with walls, until dire hunger and the outrage of your slaughter upon us shall force you to eat your own tables and consume them with your jaws.' She spoke, and, borne by her wings, she fled back to the forest. But the blood of my comrades went stiff, chilled by a sudden terror; their spirits fell, and no longer with arms, but with vows and prayers they bid (me) pray for peace, (no matter) whether they were goddesses or ill-omened and foul birds. And from the beach father Anchises, with outstretched hands, calls on the mighty powers above and declares the required sacrifices: '(O) Gods, prevent their threats; (O) Gods, avert such misfortune and graciously save the righteous!' Then, he bids (us) pull the cables from the shore and slacken the rigging.

d) They sail by the islands off the west coast of Greece, and at last land in Leucadia (ll. 268-277).

"The South Winds stretch our sails; we speed over the foaming waves, wherever the wind and the helmsman directed our course. Now wooded Zacynthos appears in the midst of the waves, and Dulichium and Same, and Neritos with its steep crags. We escape the rocks of Ithaca, Laertes' realm, and curse the land (which was) the nurse of savage Ulysses. Soon, too, the cloudy peaks of Mount Leucata and (the temple of) Apollo, dreaded by sailors, are sighted. Wearily we head for this, and go up to the little town; an anchor is dropped from the prow, and the sterns stand on the beach.

7) THE GAMES AT ACTIUM (LL. 278-293).

(At Actium the Trojans sacrifice and celebrate games, in joy at their escape so far. They winter there, and then depart, leaving a memorial to their sojourn. They land next in Chaonia.)

"So, at last, having reached land unexpectedly, we purify ourselves in the worship of Jupiter and set altars alight for our offerings, and we celebrate Ilian (i.e. Trojan) games on the shores of Actium. Stripped naked, my comrades exercise their native wrestling bouts with slippery oil; they are relieved to have evaded so many Greek cities and to have held (the course of) their flight through the midst of their enemies. Meanwhile, the sun revolves around the great (circle of the) year, and icy winter roughens the waves with northern gales. I fix to the door-post opposite a bronze shield, the arms of great Abas, and mark this event with a (line of) verse: AENEAS [OFFERS] THIS ARMOUR [TAKEN] FROM THE CONQUERING DANAANS. Then, I command (the crews) to leave the harbour and  to take their seats on the thwarts: in rivalry, my comrades strike the sea and sweep its surface. Forthwith, we lose sight of Phaeacia's airy heights and traverse the shores of Epirus, and we enter the harbour of Chaonia and approach the lofty town of Buthrotum.


a) Here Aeneas is told that Priam's son, Helenus, is king of the country and married to Andromache. Going to the city, Aeneas finds her making offerings at Hector's tomb (ll. 294-319).

"Here, an incredible rumour of events takes possession of our ears: that Helenus, the son of Priam is ruling over Greek cities, after taking possession of the wife and sceptre of Pyrrhus, the scion of Aeacus (i.e. father of Peleus and grandfather of Achilles), and that Andromache had passed again to a husband from her people. I was struck dumb with amazement and my heart burned with a wondrous desire to accost the man and to learn about such great occurrences. Leaving the ships and the beach, I set out from the harbour, when Andromache happened to be making annual offerings and sad gifts to the ashes (of the dead) in a grove before the city by the waters of a feigned Simois (i.e. a Trojan river), and she was inviting Hector's shade (to visit) an empty mound of grassy turf, (on) which she had consecrated twin altars (as) the occasion for her tears. When she caught sight me approaching and saw with amazement the Trojan arms around (her), she froze in the midst of her gaze, terrified by these great supernatural visions, and the warmth left her bones. She faints, and, after a long while, she speaks at last with difficulty: 'Are you (who) is coming to me a real face and a real messenger, (O) son of the goddess? Are you alive, or, if the kindly light has faded, where is Hector?' She spoke, and poured forth tears, and filled the whole place with her crying. I barely say a few (words) in reply to her as she sobs so passionately, and, deeply moved, I gasp in a broken voice: 'I live, indeed, yet I lead my life through all extremes (of suffering); (but) do not be in doubt, for you see real (things). Alas! what fate overtakes you in your fall from so great a husband, or what good fortune, worthy enough for Hector's Andromache visits you again? Do you (still) serve Pyrrhus in wedlock?'

b) From Andromache, Aeneas hears that the tale is true. She had been given to Helenus by Pyrrhus, when he wearied of her himself, and, after Pyrrhus had been killed by Orestes, Helenus succeeded to part of Pyrrhus' dominions (ll. 320-43). 

"She cast down her eyes, and spoke in a subdued voice: 'O happy before (all) others, that virgin daughter of Priam (i.e. Polyxena), sentenced to die at an enemy's grave (i.e. that of Achilles) under the high walls of Troy, who did not have to endure any of those allocations by lot, nor to have come (as) a captive to the bed of a victorious master! I, conveyed over alien seas from our burning native-land, have had to bear in child-bearing servitude (i.e. she had given birth to Molossus) the contempt and arrogant youth of Achilles' progeny; (he,) who then pursuing Leda's Hermione (i.e. the daughter of Helen and Menelaus) and a Lacedaemonian marriage, transferred (me), his female-slave to be held by Helenus, his male-slave. But, Orestes, inflamed by a great desire for his stolen bride, and harassed by the Furies for his crime (i.e. he had murdered his mother Clytemnestra for killing his father Agamemnon), catches him off his guard and butchers him at his father's altar. On the death of Neoptolemus (i.e. Pyrrhus), a part of his kingdom is restored and passed to Helenus, who called (it) by name the Chaonian plains and the whole (land) Chaonia after the Trojan Chaon, and built a Pergama and this Ilian citadel on the mountain ridge. But what winds, what fates gave you passage? But what god landed (you) unwittingly on our shores? What of the boy, Ascanius? Does he still live and enjoy the breezes? (he) whom you already (had) at Troy (N.B. This is the solitary instance in Virgil's works of a hemistich, where the sense is left incomplete) ... Does the boy still have any love for his lost mother? Do both his father Aeneas and his uncle Hector arouse any of their ancient valour and manly spirit?'

c) As Andromache is speaking, Helenus appears. He welcomes Aeneas to his city, which is built after the model of old Troy, and entertains his comapnions (ll. 344-355).

"Weeping, she poured forth such (words), and was beginning to produce a flood of vain lamentations, when Helenus, the heroic son of Priam approaches with a large number of companions, and he recognises (us) as his kinsmen and leads us joyfully to his gates, and sheds many tears between each of his words. I go forward and recognise a little Troy and a Pergama, built to resemble the great (one), and a dry river-bed by the name of Xanthus, and I embrace the door-posts of a Scaean gate. Moreover, the Teucrians also enjoy the friendly city with me: the king received (them) in his spacious colonnades; in the middle of the fore-court, they poured goblets of wine in libation, and held out their dishes with the feast being served on gold (plates).


a) Wishing to sail to Italy, Aeneas consults Helenus about his proposed voyage, telling him that every divine intimation, save that of Celaeno, has been in favour of the journey to Italy, and asking him what he has to be on his guard against (ll. 356-373).
"And now a day, and another day, has passed, and the breezes invoke our sails, and the canvas is inflated by the south wind. With these words I accost the prophet, and request the following (things): '(O) Trojan-born interpreter of the gods, whose senses are alive to the will of Phoebus, the tripods, the laurel-trees of Clarios (i.e. Apollo) and the stars, the voices of birds and the omens of propitious flight, come, speak (to me): - for every divine utterance has spoken to me of a prosperous voyage, and all the gods, in (the expression of) their will, have urged (me) to make for Italy and to explore remote lands: only the Harpy, Celaeno, prophesies a strange portent, and a shame (it is) to tell (of it), and warns of baleful wrath and vile hunger - , first, what dangers shall I avoid? And, (by) following what (course), can I avoid such great troubles? Then, Helenus, after first slaughtering bullocks in accordance with custom, entreats the grace of the gods, and loosens the fillets around his hallowed head, and leads me, bewildered by your overwhelming presence, by his own hand to the threshold of your (shrine), (O) Phoebus, and then the priest utters these (words) from his divinely (inspired) lips:

b) Helenus tells Aeneas that his home in Italy was not as near as he thought, the neighbouring coasts being occupied by hostile Greek settlements, Aeneas was to sail around Sicily, and the sign of his home was to be the appearance of a white sow with thirty piglets on the bank of a river. In sailing past Sicily, he was to avoid the passage betwixt Scylla and Charybdis, for fear of destruction and to go round by Cape Pachernus. Special care was to be taken to propitiate Juno (ll. 374-395). 

" '(O) son of the goddess - for (there is) a clear assurance that you voyage through the deep (sea) with favourable auspices ; so the king of the gods allots our destiny and unrolls the succession (of events) - (so) that circle is turned around - , I shall explain a few (things) out of many in my words to you, so that you may traverse foreign seas the more safely and can come in to land at an Ausonian port; for the Fates prevent Helenus from knowing other (things), and Juno, the daughter of Saturn, forbids (him) to speak (to them). In the first (place), a long distant and trackless journey separates Italy, which you think (to be) now close at hand and in the neighbourhood, and, in your ignorance, you are preparing to enter its ports, from our far-away country. But before you can construct your city in a secure land, you must bend your oars in Trinacrian (i.e. Sicilian) waters and the salty sea of Ausonia, and the lakes of the underworld, and Circe's island of Aeaea, must be traversed by your ships. I shall tell (you) a sign, keep it stored in your heart: when a huge sow, discovered by you at an anxious moment by the waters of a secret river, will be lying under some holm-oaks along its banks, having just given birth to a litter thirty in number, reclining all white on the ground, her white piglets around her teats, that will be the place for your city, that (will be) a sure respite from your labours. Don't you shudder at the little bits of tables that await (you): fate will find a way, and, at your call, Apollo will be there (to help you).
c) In sailing past Sicily, Aeneas was to avoid the passage betwixt Scylla and Charybdis, for fear of destruction, and to go round by Cape Pachernus. Special care was to be taken to propitiate Juno (ll. 396-440). 

"But steer clear of these lands and this coastline of the Italian shore (i.e. the east coast of Italy, opposite Epirus), the nearest (part of) which is washed by the tide of our sea; all of its towns are inhabited by wicked Greeks. Here, the Locrians of Naryx have founded their city, and Idomeneus of Lyctos has beset the plains of the Sallentines with his soldiery; here (is) the famous little Petelia of Philotetes, the leader of the Meliboeans, sustained by its wall. Indeed, when your fleet has moved across the sea and lies at anchor, and you are about to pay your vows at the altars which you have already erected on the beach, veil your hair, covering (it) with a purple garment, lest some hostile face shall meet (you) amidst the sacred fires in honour of the gods, and spoil everything. Let your comrades keep this method of sacrifice, (and keep) it yourself: let your descendants remain pure in this religious observance. But, when, on your departure, the wind carries you to the coast of Sicily, and the barrier of the straits of Pelorus opens out, the land on your port (side) and the seas to port should be sought in a long circuit: avoid the shores and seas to your starboard (side) (i.e. do not pass between Scylla and Charybdis). They say that these lands one day broke apart, torn asunder by some vast upheaval - the long-standing antiquity of time can effect such change - , although both lands had been one continuous (block of land); the ocean came between them with its force and severed the Hesperian side (of Italy) from the Sicilian (side), and it flows in a narrow tide between fields and towns (now) separated by coast. On your starboard (side), Scylla blocks your way, and on your port (side is) the insatiable Charybdis, and three times (a day) she swallows vast floods (of sea) into her gulf (and) into the bottom of the vortex of her whirlpool, and ever again she hurls (them) up into the air in turn, and lashes the stars with her spray. But her cave keeps Scylla imprisoned in its hidden recesses, and she thrusts out her mouths and drags ships on to the rocks. On top she has the appearance of a human, and (she is) a maiden with a lovely breast down to her waist, but below (she is) a sea-monster with a monstrous body, with dolphins' tails joined to a belly (full) of wolves. It is better to go around the turning point of Trinacrian Pachynus, lingering and wheeling around the long course, than once to have beheld misshapen Scylla in her vast cave, and its rocks resounding with her sea-green hounds. Moreover, if Helenus possesses any wisdom, if there is any trust (to be given) to this prophet, (and) if Apollo fills his mind with the truth, this one (thing) shall I prophecy to you, (O) son of the goddess, and this one (thing) before everything (else), and I shall advise (you) repeatedly again and again: in your prayers worship the divine power of great Juno above all, and utter your vows willingly and win over your mighty mistress with a suppliant's gifts: so, at last, you will leave Trinacria behind and be dispatched to the borders of Italy victorious.

d) Aeneas is advised that, on his arrival in Italy, he was to go to Cumae and consult the Sibyl, who would tell him all about his future conflicts with the Italian nations in establishing his kingdom (ll. 441-462). 

"When, having been brought there, you approach the city of Cumae, and the haunted lakes of Avernus with its murmuring woods, you will catch sight of the frenzied prophetess, who sings of fate deep in the rock, and commits marks and names to leaves. Whatever prophecies the virgin writes down on leaves, she sorts into numerical order and leaves behind in her secluded cave. They remain unmoved in their places, nor do they get out of order; but yet, when a light wind has ruffled them, and the door, turning on its hinges, has disturbed the delicate leaves, never then does she care to take hold of them as they flutter about the hollow rock, nor to restore (them to) their places or to join the prophecies together. (People who have come to consult the oracle) depart without counsel, and hate the Sibyl's abode. May you experience no such loss through delay - although your comrades may chide (you), and your voyage may forcibly call your sails to the deep, and you can fill your canvas with favourable (winds) - , but may you go to the prophetess with prayers and plead that she should utter the oracles herself, and willingly unloose her voice and lips. The peoples and the forthcoming wars, and every means by which you may avoid or endure toil, those (things) she will explain to you, and, if duly besought, grant (you) a favourable  passage. These are (the things) of which you may be warned by my voice. Come (now), go your way, and raise mighty Troy to the stars by your deeds.'


a) Helenus then bestows magnificent gifts on Aeneas and his father (ll.463-471).

"After the seer had spoken these (words) thus with his friendly (lips), he then orders gifts, heavy with gold and carved ivory, to be taken to our ships, and into their hulls he crams a massive (weight of) silver and cauldrons from Dodona, a breastplate bound by hooks, and triple-meshed with gold, and the cone of a splendid helmet with a crest of horse-hair, the armour of Neoptolemus; there are gifts of his to my father as well. He also provides (us with) horses, and in addition he brings (us) guides (for the journey). He makes good (the number of) our oarsmen; (and) at the same time he equips my comrades with weapons.

b) Helenus bids Anchises farewell, and Andromache loads Ascanius with gifts (ll. 472-491).
"Meanwhile, Anchises bade the fleet rig its sails, so that there should be no delay in the case of a favouring wind. Phoebus' interpreter (i.e. Helenus) addresses him with much honour: '(O) Anchises, (you who were) deemed worthy of a proud union with Venus, charge of the gods, twice rescued from the ruins of Pergama, behold! your land of Ausonia; seize it with your sails! And yet you must slip past the nearest (coast) to the sea; that part of Ausonia which Apollo reveals (in his prophecy is) far away. Go your way,' he says, '(you who is) happy in the devotion of your son. Why do I carry on any further  and, by talking, delay the rising winds?' Andromache, no less sad at this final parting, brings garments embroidered with gold thread, and a Phrygian cloak for Ascanius - nor does she lag behind in honouring (him) - and loads (him) with woven gifts, and she says the following (words): 'Take these too, my boy, so that they may be to you the memorials of my hands, and may they testify to the lasting love of Andromache, the wife of Hector. Take these last gifts of your (kinsmen), O the sole surviving likeness to me of my Astyanax: thus he used to move his eyes, thus his hands, thus his face; and now he would be growing up equal to you in age.'

c) Aeneas bades both Helenus and Andromache farewell, contrasting their settled condition with his 
uncertain circumstances, and hoping that their prospective posterities might remain brother Trojans at heart (ll. 492-505). 

"As I was departing, I addressed them with tears welling up (in my eyes): 'Live happily, (O persons) for whom their destiny has already been accomplished; I am called from one fate to another. For you, your rest (is) won; you have no need to plough the surface of the sea; nor do you need to seek the ever receding fields of Ausonia. You see your likeness of (the River) Xanthus and a Troy which your own hands has been constructed under better auspices, I hope, (than the original Troy) and which will be less accessible to the Greeks. If ever I reach the Tiber, and the neighbouring fields of the Tiber, and I see the city granted to my people, we shall one day create in our hearts a single Troy from each of our kindred cities and allied peoples in Epirus and in Hesperia, who have the same Dardanus (as) founder and the same history; let that charge await our descendants.'

11) IN SIGHT OF ITALY (LL. 506-547).

a) They set sail again: night comes on: they land, and sleep till midnight, when they are roused by their pilot Palinurus, and they put to sea again (ll. 506-520).

"We sail out on the sea close to the nearby Ceraunian (promontory), from where the journey and passage to Italy by sea (is) the shortest. Meanwhile, the sun sinks (into the sea) and the mountains are shrouded in darkness; after sharing out the oars, we lay ourselves down in the lap of our chosen (piece of) land at the water's (edge), and rest our bodies (which are scattered) in all directions on the beach; sleep refreshes our weary limbs. Nor yet has Night, led by the hours, come to the middle of its cycle: no sluggard, Palinurus rises from his bunk and investigates every wind and catches the air with his ears (i.e. listens for a gale); he carefully checks every constellation gliding in the silent sky, Arcturus, and the rainy Hyades, and the twin Bears (i.e. Ursa Major and Ursa Minor), and he surveys Orion with his golden (sword). When he sees that everything in the clear sky is in place, he gives a loud signal from the stern; we strike camp and start out on our journey, and we spread the wings of our sails.

b) As the day dawned, the Trojans caught their first sight of Italy, and raised a shout of welcome, while Anchises made a prayer to heaven. They put to shore in a harbour overlooked by a temple of Minerva. Four white horses are seen grazing, an omen which Anchises interprets as significant of both war and peace. The Trojans pay their devotions to Pallas and Juno, with their heads covered as Helenus had enjoined them (ll. 521-547).

"And now, the stars having been put to flight, Dawn was growing red (in the sky), when we see in the distance the dark hills and the low-lying (coastline) of Italy. Achates is the first to to cry out 'Italy', and my companions salute 'Italy' with a joyful shout. Then father Anchises decorated a great mixing-bowl with a wreath, and filled (it) with wine, and, standing on the lofty stern, he called upon the gods (as follows): '(You) Gods who rule the sea, the earth and storms, give (us) an easy journey with wind, and blow (upon us) with favourable (winds).' The desired breezes become frequent, and a harbour opens up (before us) quite near at hand already, and a temple appears on the heights of Minerva. My comrades furl the sails and turn their prows towards the shore. The harbour (is) curved into (the shape of) a bow by (the action of) the East Wind on the waves, (and) the projecting rocks foam with salt spray; itself, it lies concealed; towering rocks let down their arms in a double wall, and the temple recedes from the shore. Here, (as) our first omen, I saw four horses, snowy white (in colour), grazing on grass on the broad plain. And father Anchises cries out: 'O foreign land, you bring (us) war; these horses are armed for war, these herds are threatening war. But yet these same four-footed beasts (will) one day be accustomed to take on a chariot, and, when yoked, will endure a harmonious bridle; there's also a hope of peace.' Then, we pray to the divine power of Pallas, resounding with arms, who was the first to welcome us, rejoicing (as we were), and we veil our heads before the altars in Phrygian cloth; in accordance with the behests of Helenus, which he had most particularly given us, we duly burn the sacrificial offerings to Argive Juno as we have been bidden.

12) THE APPROACH TO ITALY (LL. 548-587).

a) Setting sail once more, the Trojans pass by Tarentum, and come within sight of Mount Aetna. They manage to avoid Charybdis but are tossed by the waves, till at last at evening time they land in the territory of the Cyclopes (ll. 548-569).

As soon as our vows have been duly performed, we turn the tips of the sail-yards covered with the sails (to the wind) without delay, and we leave those dwellings of men of Greek stock, and their suspect fields. Then is seen the bay of Tarentum, founded by Hercules, if the story is true; opposite (to it) towers the temple of the Lacinian goddess (i.e. Juno); and (there are) the fortress of Caulon and Scylaceum, that wrecker of ships. Then, Trinacrian Aetna is seen from afar, (rising) out of the water, and we hear from a distance the tremendous groaning of the sea, and the pounding rocks, and the roar of the breakers (crashing) on the shore, and the shallow waters boil up and sand is mingled together with the surf. And father Anchises  (cries out): 'Undoubtedly this (is) that Charybdis: Helenus warned (us) of these crags, (and of) these dreadful rocks. Pull away, O my comrades, and rise to your oars together!' They do just as they have been instructed, and Palinurus was the first to turn his creaking prow towards the waters on his port (side). The whole fleet headed to port by oar and by wind. We are lifted skywards by an arching wave from the deep, and, likewise, when the water was sucked away, we sank to the deepest Shades. Three times the crags gave out a booming noise amid their hollow rocks (i.e. their rocky caves); three times we saw the foam exploding and the stars dripping. Meanwhile, the wind and the sun have left us exhausted, and unaware of the route we drift towards the coast of the Cyclopes.

b) The Trojans found a sound and spacious harbour; but they were disturbed all night by the sight and sounds of Aetna, which they could not see for the darkness. Legends attribute the convulsions of the mountain to the movements of the giant Enceladus, whom Jupiter had placed beneath it (ll. 570-587).

(There is) a harbour, untroubled by the presence of the winds, and spacious (in) itself; but close by (Mount) Aetna thunders away with its dreadful eruptions; and from time to time it projects a black cloud into the sky, smoking with a whirlwind of pitch and white-hot lava, and it tosses up balls of flame and licks the stars; intermittently belching forth rocks and the torn entrails of the mountain, it heaves (them) up into the air, and it gathers molten rocks into a ball with a groan, and seethes in its lowest depths. The story is that the body of Enceladus, half-consumed by a thunderbolt, is weighed down by this heavy mass, and that mighty Aetna lying on top (of him) exhales fire from its broken furnaces, and that whenever he wearily turns from side to side, the whole of Trinacria shudders with his rumbling and obscures the sky with smoke. That night, hidden in the woods, we endure monstrous portents, nor do we see what reason is causing the sound. For there were no fires among the stars , nor (was there) a clear vault in the starry sky, but (there were) clouds in the dark heavens, and a stormy night kept the moon among rain-clouds.

13) THE ACHAEMENIDES (LL. 588-654).

a) In the morning, the Trojans see a ragged and emaciated man, evidently a Greek, advancing towards them. He begs the Trojans to take him with them or kill him. They reassure him, and ask him to tell them his story (ll. 588-612).

"And now the next day was rising with the first (light) in the East, and Dawn had dispersed the dewy darkness from the sky: when suddenly there came out of the woods the strange of an unknown man, worn out, and in the last extremity of thinness, and in pitiable clothing, and he stretches forth his hands towards the shore (as) a suppliant. We turn round and look (at him): (oh,) the dreadful filth, and the shaggy beard, the covering held together with thorns, but in other respects a Greek, and in the past we had been sent to Troy in his father's arms. And he, when he saw from a distance their Dardanian dress and Trojan arms, he hesitated a little, terrified at the sight (of them), and checked his step; then, he rushed headlong to the shore with weeping and prayers: 'I appeal (to you) by the stars, by the gods above, by this life-giving light of heaven, take me (aboard), (O) Teucrians. take me away to whatever lands you wish; that will be enough (for me). I know that I am a man from the Danaan fleet, and I confess that I assailed the household gods of Ilium in warfare; in return for this, if the wrongfulness of my crime is so great, fling me piecemeal into the waves and bury (me) in the vast ocean. If I do perish, I shall be happy to perish at the hands of men.' He finished speaking, and clasped our knees, and to our knees he clung, grovelling. We exhort him to tell us who he is, and from what stock (he is) sprung, and to confess what misfortune has since then been pursuing (him). Father Anchises, himself, after no great delay, offers the young man his right (hand), and steadies his mind with an immediate pledge (of safety). At last he lays aside his terror and speaks the following (words):

b) The poor man said his name was Achaemenides; he has been at Troy with Ulysses, and on the voyage home had inadvertently been left in the cave of the Cyclops. He described to us the death of his comrades and the vengeance Ulysses then took, and advises us to fly at once, as there were many other giants besides the one who had been blinded. He himself had been in the island for three months, subsisting as best he could, and only wished to be removed from it (ll. 613-654).

" 'I am from the land of Ithaca, a companion of the luckless Ulysses, Achaemenides by name, (and) my father Adamastus (being) poor - would that my humble lot had stayed (that way)! - I set out for Troy. My comrades abandoned me in the vast cave of the Cyclops, forgetful (of me), while they hurriedly leave that savage threshold. (It is) a house of gore and cruel feasts, dark (and) huge within; (he,) himself, (is) of great height and he knocks (his head) against the lofty stars - (O) Gods, remove such a scourge from the earth! - nor (is he) gracious in his aspect or affable to anyone in his speech. He feeds on the flesh and the dark blood of wretched (men). With my own eyes I saw (him), when, lying back in the middle of the cave, he seized the bodies of two of our number in his great hand, and dashed (them) on the rock, and the threshold was bespattered and swimming with gore; I saw (him) when he munched their limbs dripping with dark putrid matter, and the warm body parts quivered under his teeth. But Ulysses did not suffer such things to happen with impunity, nor did the Ithacan forget himself (i.e. his cunning) at such a critical moment. For, as soon as he, gorged with his feast and buried in wine, relaxed his drooping neck, and sprawled, immense (in size), across the cave, vomiting during his sleep gore and morsels (of flesh) mixed together with undiluted wine streaked with blood, we, (while) praying to the great gods and sharing out our tasks, spread with one (accord) all around (him) and, with a sharpened stake, pierce his eye - a monstrous (eye), which lay hidden, one only, beneath his grim forehead, like an Argive shield (i.e. these were round) or Phoebus' lamp (i.e. the sun) - , and at last we gleefully avenge our comrades' shades. But flee, (O) wretched (men), flee and uproot your cables from the beach. For, just as Polyphemus pens his fleecy sheep in his hollow cave and squeezes their teats (for milk), (there are) a hundred other of these horrendous Cyclopes, just as large (as him), (who) dwell far and wide near these winding shores and wander among these high mountains. Three times now the moon's horns are filling themselves with light, while I drag out my existence in the woods among the desolate dens and lairs of wild beasts, and I keep watch on the gigantic Cyclopes from a rock, and shudder at the sound of their feet and voices. The boughs yield a wretched sustenance, berries and stony cornel-nuts, and grass, torn up (from the soil) by its roots, feeds (me). Although I have been surveying everything, this fleet (of yours) is the first I have caught sight of coming in to shore. To this (fleet), whatever it should prove to be, I totally surrendered (myself): it is enough (for me) to have escaped from this abominable tribe. Rather do you take away this life of mine by whatever death you wish.'

14) POLYPHEMUS (LL. 655-691).

a) As Achaemenides was speaking, the blind monster Polyphemus appeared from the mountain with his sheep, and advanced into the water, which did not reach his sides. The Trojans put to sea quickly, while he strode after them; but, finding they outstripped him, he cried out (ll. 655-674). 

"Scarcely had he said these words, when we see on the top of the mountain the shepherd Polyphemus himself, hauling his enormous bulk among his sheep and seeking the well-known shores, a dreadful monster, shapeless, gigantic, (and) bereft of his sight. A pine-tree, trimmed (of its branches) by hand, guides and steadies his footsteps; his fleecy sheep accompany (him) - they (are) his sole pleasure and (the one) solace of his misfortune. When he reached the deep waters and came to the (deep) sea he washes therein the blood flowing from his gouged-out eye(-socket), grinding his teeth with a groan, and now he strides through the midst of the sea, nor yet does the sea wet his towering flanks. Alarmed, we hurry far away from there, with the suppliant having been so deservedly rescued, and silently cut the cable, and, bending forwards, we churn the surface of the sea with contending oars. He (i.e. Polyphemus) heard (us), and turned his footsteps towards the sound of the voice (i.e. the voice of the 'coach' who marks the time for each stroke). But, when no opportunity is given him to clutch (us) with his hand, nor can he keep up with the Ionian waves in pursuing (us), he raises a tremendous cry, at which the ocean and all its waves shuddered and the entire land of Italy (was) startled, and Aetna bellowed within its vaulted caverns.

b) In answer to Polyphemus' cry, his giant brethren throng the shore. The Trojans hurries away, not knowing in which direction they were going, but anxious to avoid Scylla and Charybdis. A breeze sprung up from the north and carried them along, Achaemenides being their guide (ll. 675-691).

"But the tribe of the Cyclopes, aroused from the woods and the high mountains, rush to the harbour and throng the shore. We discern the Aetnaean brotherhood standing there powerless, with glaring eye, (and) bearing their heads high in the sky, a fearsome gathering: just like oak-trees, with their tops towering in the air, or cone-bearing cypresses, stand firm in Jupiter's high forest or Diana's (sacred) grove. Sharp terror drives (us) headlong to shake out our rigging and to spread our sails to the favouring winds in whatever direction (we might be carried). On the other hand, Helenus' injunctions warn (them) not to hold their course between Scylla and Charybdis, each a way of death with little difference (between them); (so) we resolve to set our sails (to go) back. And lo! the North Wind is with us, having been sent from the narrow fastness of (Cape) Pelorus. I am carried past the mouth of the (River) Pantagia and the bay of Megara  and (low-)lying Thapsus. Such (names) did Achaemenides, the companion of the luckless Ulysses point out (to me), as he retraced in reverse order the shores which he had wandered over (before).

15) THE DEATH OF ANCHISES (LL. 692-718).

a) The Trojans sail by Plemyrium, Helorus, Pachynum, Camarina, Gela, Acragas, Selinus, Lilybaeum and Drepanum. At the last of these places Aeneas loses his father, Anchises - a most heavy and unexpected blow. Sailing on from there, he was driven on to the North African coast by a storm (ll. 692-715).

"Stretched in front of a Sicanian bay lies an island opposite wave-tossed Plemyrium; the men of old called its name Ortygia. The story is that Alpheus, the river of Elis, drove a secret passage beneath the sea; now, it is merged with Sicilian waters at your fountain, Arethusa. As instructed, we offer worship to the great deities of the place; and from there I pass by the fertile soil of the marshy (River) Helorus. Then, we skirt the lofty crags and jutting rocks of (Cape) Pachynus, and Camarina, never allowed by the Fates to be moved, appears in the distance, and the Geloan plains and Gela, called by the name of its immense river. Then, steep Acragas, once the breeder of spirited horses, displays its massive walls from a distance. And, having been granted the winds, I leave you behind, (O) palm-clad Selinus, and I pick my way through the rough shoals (and) the hidden reefs of Lilybaeum. Next the harbour of Drepanum, and its joyless shore, receives me. Here, after so many storms at sea had been managed, I lose my father Anchises, the solace of my every care and mishap: here, (O) best of fathers, you abandon me, exhausted (as I am), alas, rescued in vain from so many perils! Neither the prophet Helenus, though he warned (me) of many terrors, nor the dreaded Celaeno, predicted this grief to me. This (was) the final agony, this (was) the goal of my long journeys. On my departure from there, the god drove me to your shores."

b) So Aeneas ends his story (ll. 716-718).

Thus father Aeneas, with all eyes fixed (on him), recounted alone the decrees of the gods, and told (the story of) his voyages. At last, he fell silent, and making an end (here), he retired to rest.


Published in Latin Translation



With this translation of Book III, Sabidius has concluded his rendering into English of Virgil's magnificent poem, the "Georgics". His translations of the other three books are to be found on this blog under the following dates: Book I - 19th November 2015; Book II - 24th January 2017; Book IV - 11th November 2010. In his translation of Book IV, Sabidius has provided an introduction to the work as a whole, and to this the reader is referred once more.   


The "Georgics" falls into two pairs of books, dealing with vegetables (Books I and II) and animals (Books III and IV) respectively. Because the start of Book III coincides with the start of the second part of the work as a whole, there is an extensive proem at its beginning which is designed to relate this second part of the poem to the world outside. Hence, this proem begins with the invocation of two rural deities, one Italian (Pales) and one Greek (Apollo), and a compliment to Caesar Octavian, after which Virgil directs himself to his patron, Maecenas, before he ends with a promise to sing next about Caesar, which is a prelude to his next and greatest work, the "Aeneid". 


The subject of Book III of the "Georgics" is livestock farming; in it Virgil lays down rules for the breeding and management of horses, oxen, sheep, goats and dogs. He deals first with the larger animals, the horses and cattle, and then with the smaller ones, the sheep, goats and dogs.  In the latter part of the book he discusses the diseases which affect cattle, and he ends with a grim description of the fatal murrain that, within living memory, had formerly raged in the region of the Alps. Virgil, himself, had come from a farming background, and there is no doubt that Virgil was interested in the details of agricultural management. However, the "Georgics" is certainly not a manual of instruction for farmers. The fact that he writes so much about the horse, an animal which plays little part in the business of farming in Roman times, but was of great interest to humans because of its use in riding, racing and warfare, indicates that the purpose of the book was fundamentally poetic entertainment. At the same time, Virgil says nothing at all in the book about donkeys or mules, or, indeed, about pigs or poultry, despite the importance of all these animals to the farmer. Moreover, the amount of time he devotes to the mating practices of the bigger animals, and the force of animal love and its concomitant dangers (see ll. 209-283), is a further indication of the poem's primary function of entertainment, since it allows him to relate the content to the human situation. Within this section of the poem is the renowned passage (see ll. 219-241) on the contest between two bulls for the attentions of a beautiful cow, a passage with an evidently anthromorphic focus. Also designed to entertain are a number of excursuses within the book, such as the description of a chariot race (ll. 103-112) and the havoc caused by the gadfly (ll. 146-156). There is also a long passage on the rigours of the freezing Scythian winters (ll. 349-383), where the readers' entertainment is clearly the main purpose. Similarly out of proportion in relation to its length is the long finale to the poem concerning cattle disease (ll. 440-566). With regard to this passage, L.P. Wilkinson writes in the notes to his edition of the "Georgics", first published by Penguin Books in 1982, "Virgil does not scruple to enhance his rhetoric at the expense of realism by the intrusion of legendary characters and a Fury from Hell." The second part of the book ends with the devastation caused by animal plague, just as the first part end with the disasters which are brought about by passion. The "Georgics", although ostensibly a didactic poem about farming, is, in fact, a poem which confronts its readers with the moral problems and dilemmas of human life.

In his introduction to Book II, Sabidius discusses with the reader some of the reasons which explain why some of the passages of the "Georgics" are difficult to translate. These difficulties also apply to Book III. Sometimes, one finds that the words lack the coherence of meaning that one anticipates. Even what are apparently quite simple sentences can give rise to a number of different translations. An example of this is set out in the appendix at the bottom of this translation.   

The text for this translation is taken from "Virgil: The Georgics: A Poem of the Land," translated and edited by Kimberley Johnson, (Penguin 2009), and Sabidius has made particular use of two prose translations, by Benjamin Apthorp (1826) and J.W. Mackail (1934).

Ll. 1-48.  Proem to Maecenas. The poet and Caesar. 

Of you too, O great Pales (i.e. the goddess of shepherds and flocks), and you, renowned shepherd of Amphrysus (i.e. the god Apollo; Amphrysus was a river in Thessaly in N.E. Greece, where Apollo worked as a shepherd while in exile from Mount Olympus) (and) you, woods and streams of Lycaeus (i.e. a mountain in Arcadia, in the northern part of the Peloponnese, sacred to Pan), shall I sing. Other (themes) which would have occupied idle minds with poetry, all (of these are) now quite common. Who is unacquainted either with the severe Eurysthenes (i.e. the king of Mycenae who, at the behest of Juno, tasked Hercules with the Twelve Labours) or with the altars of the infamous Busiris (i.e. the Egyptian king who sacrificed to his gods all strangers who visited his dominions)? Who has not been told of the boy Hylas (i.e. Hercules' page who was drowned by nymphs), and of Latona's Delos (i.e. the island in the Aegean where Latona bore Apollo and Diana) and Hippodameia (i.e. Pelops' wife, whom he won in a chariot race), and Pelops, the keen charioteer, famed for his ivory shoulder (i.e. the shoulder he was given by the gods after he was brought back to life, having been killed and served up at a banquet by his father Tantalus). I must attempt a way, whereby I, too, can raise myself from the ground and fly victoriously through the mouths of men. If only life remains, I shall be the first to lead the Muses with me into my native-land, when I return from the Aonian mountain (i.e. Mount Helicon in Boeotia, sacred to the Muses); for you, (O) Mantua (i.e. Virgil's birth-place), I will first bring back the Idumaean (i.e. Syrian) palms, and I shall erect a shrine of marble next to the water, where the mighty Mincius (i.e. the river which flows from Lake Garda, past Mantua and into the Po) meanders in its slow windings, and adorns its banks with slender reeds. In the midst, I shall have Caesar (i.e. Octavianus Augustus), and he will inhabit the shrine: for him, I, conspicuous in Tyrian purple, shall drive a hundred four-horsed chariots in triumph along the river. For me, all Greece, leaving the Alpheus (i.e. the Olympian Games) and the groves of Molorchus (i.e. the Nemean Games), will compete in foot-races and with the brutal boxing-glove. I, myself, my head adorned with the leaves of the shorn olive, shall award the prizes. Even now it delights (me) to lead the stately processions to the shrines and to watch the bullocks sacrificed, or (to see) how the stage-scene vanishes when the sets are shifted (around), and how the Britons raise the purple curtain on which they are embroidered. On doors I shall delineate in gold and solid ivory the battle against the hordes of the Ganges and the arms of our conquering Quirinus (i.e. Octavian), and here (I shall show) the Nile billowing in war and flowing majestically, and columns rising up on the bronze (prows) of ships. I shall add the vanquished cities of Asia and subdued Niphates (i.e. part of the Taurus mountain range in Armenia), and the Parthian relying on flight and arrows fired from behind, and two trophies snatched by force from different foes, and nations triumphed over twice on each shore (i.e. Octavian's victory over Antony at the battle of Actium in 31 B.C. followed by his conquest of Egypt). (Here) too shall stand Parian marbles (i.e. Paros was an island in the Aegean famous for the quality of its fine white marble), breathing statues, the offspring of Assaracus, and the (great) names of the race descended from Jupiter and our ancestor Tros, and the Cynthian founder of Troy (i.e. Apollo, born on Mount Cynthia on the island of Delos). (Here) wretched envy shall dread the Furies and the grim stream of Cocytus (i.e. the river of lamentation in Hades), and Ixion's twisting snakes and monstrous wheel (i.e. Ixion was bound by twisting snakes to an ever turning wheel), and the insuperable stone (i.e. Sisyphus was condemned to roll to the top of a hill a stone which always fell back again). Meanwhile, let us follow the woods and untrodden lawns of the Dryads (i.e. tree nymphs), no easy commands of yours, Maecenas. Without your (inspiration), my mind can take up no lofty (theme); come now, burst through any idle delays; Cithaeron (i.e. a mountain near Thebes, famous for hunting and bacchic revels) calls with a loud shout, and the hounds of Taygetus (i.e. a mountain in the Peloponnese overlooking Sparta and also famous for hunting) and Epidaurus, tamer of horses (i.e. a city in the Peloponnese south-east of Corinth) (also call), and the cry redoubled by the approval of the groves echoes again. Soon, however, I shall be prepared to sing of Caesar's battles, and to bear his name with honour through as many years as Caesar is distant from the birth of Tithonus (i.e. the brother of King Priam, who was granted immortality but not eternal youth). 

Ll. 49-122.   Breeding stock. 

Whether any one breeds horses (while) admiring the prizes of the Olympic palms, or any one (breeds) sturdy bullocks for the plough, let him choose with particular care the bodies of the dams. The best shape for a cow (is) fierce, (one) whose head (is) hideous (and) whose neck (is) thick, and her dewlaps hang down from chin to leg; then, (there is) no limit to her long flank; all her (parts are) large, even her feet; and her ears (are) shaggy under her crumpled horns. Nor would she be displeasing to me (if she were) marked with spots of white, or (were) impatient of the yoke and sometimes rough with her horns and, in her appearance, nearer to a bull, and (if) she (were) wholly elevated (in her gait) and sweeps her footsteps with the tip of her tail as she goes along. The age (for a cow) to undergo Lucina (i.e. childbirth) and the Hymeneal rites (i.e. lawful wedlock) ends before ten, (and) begins after four years; during the other years (she is) neither fit for breeding nor strong (enough) for the plough. In the meantime, while sprightly youth abounds in the herds, let the males loose; be the first to send your cattle to mate, and supply one generation after another by procreation. All the best days of life fly away first  from wretched mortal creatures; diseases and sad old-age and travail follow immediately, and the severity of harsh death seizes (them). There will always be (some cows) whose bodies you would wish to be changed (for the better): so repair (them) all the time, and, lest you afterwards look in vain for your losses, anticipate (matters) and choose (new) stock for your herd each year. 
And you (must) bestow (upon those) whom you propose to rear as the hope of the race your especial effort even from their tender (years). From the first, the colt of a noble breed steps higher in the fields and puts down nimble legs; (he is) the first (who) dares to lead the way and to brave threatening rivers and entrust himself to an unknown bridge; nor does he take fright at idle sounds. His neck (is) lofty and his head graceful, his stomach (is) small and his back stout, and his proud chest swells with muscles. The bay-browns and the greys (are) in demand, and the worst colour (are) whites and duns. Then, if any arms have furnished a sound from afar, he does not know how to stand his ground, but pricks up his ears and trembles in (every) joint, and, snorting, he rolls the gathered fire beneath his nostrils. His mane (is) thick and, (when) tossed up, it falls back on his right shoulder; a double spinal bone runs down between his loins and his hoof gouges up the earth and makes deep noises with its solid horn. Such (was) Cyllarus (i.e. the horse given to Castor and Pollux by Juno), tamed by the reins of Amyclaean (i.e. Spartan) Pollux, and (those) of which the Greek poets remind (us), (namely) Mars' yoked brace of horses and the chariot-team of the mighty Achilles. Such too (was) swift Saturn himself, (when) on his wife's arrival, he spread a mane on his (assumed) horse's neck, and filled lofty Pelion (i.e. a mountain in Thessaly) with his shrill neighing as he fled.  
When he fails, burdened with sickness and enfeebled with years, lock him in his barn and do not pity his inglorious old age. An elderly (horse) is cold in love-making, and vainly draws out the joyless task, and, if ever he is brought to an engagement, he rages in a futile manner, like when a great fire (rages) without strength amid stubble. So, you must chiefly mark his mettle and age; then, his other qualities, and his parents' pedigree, and what grief (he displays) when vanquished, and what pride when victorious. Don't you see, when the chariots have seized the field in the rapid race and stream forth in a torrent from the starting-pen, (and) when young men's hopes (are) aroused, and throbbing fear drains their bounding hearts? On they press with the curling lash, and leaning forwards, they give (full) rein (to the horses), (and) the axle flies along glowing fiercely; and now low and now high, they seem to be borne aloft through the empty air, and to mount up into the skies; (there is) neither slackening nor respite; but a cloud of yellow sand is tossed up, and they are made damp by the foam and breath of their pursuers: so great (is) their love of praise, so great is the importance of victory. Erichthonius (i.e. a legendary king of Athens) was the first to venture to yoke four steeds to a chariot and to stand triumphantly over the flying wheels. The Pelethronian (i.e. Thessalian) Lapiths (i.e. the enemies of the Centaurs), mounted on (horse-)back bestow reins and rings and taught the armed rider to spurn the ground and gather (his horse's feet) proudly together as he prances along. Each task (is) alike, and with equal care the trainers look out for a young (horse) of warm mettle and sprightly in the races, though often he may have driven (before him) foes who have turned in flight, and he may claim Epirus or bold Mycenae as his birthplace and his ancestry from Neptune's own line.

Ll. 123-156.  Care of the Sire and Dam.

Having noted these things, they work hard as the time (draws near) and devote all their care to swell with thick fat (the one) whom they have chosen as leader and husband to the herd; and (for him) they mow the grass and supply river(-water) and corn, lest he cannot survive the easy toil, and feeble sons repeat their fathers' leanness. Moreover, they purposefully starve the mares themselves into leanness, and at the time when known pleasure incites the first sexual unions, they deny (them) the leaves and fence off the springs. Often too, they harass (them) in the race and tire (them) in the sun, when the threshing-floor groans heavily as the corn is flailed, and when the empty chaff is tossed to the west wind. They do this, so that by too much pampering the use of the fruitful field is not too dulled, and clogs the sluggish furrows with mud, but that it may thirstily seize the (fruit of) love (i.e. the seed) and bury it more deeply.  
In turn, the care of the sires begins to wane, and (that of) the dams to take its place. When their months are fulfilled and they roam around heavy (with young), let no one allow them to draw the yokes of heavy wagons, nor clear the way with a jump, and scour the meadows in violent haste, or swim in swirling rivers. Let them feed in spacious lawns and beside full rivers, where (there is) moss and a bank very green with grass, and may caves shelter (them) and the shade of rocks project over (them). There is around the groves of the Silarus, and Alburnus, green with oaks (i.e. a river and a mountain in Lucania in southern Italy), a swarming flying (creature), which has the Roman name asylus - the Greeks calling (it) in their language the gad-fly - ; a fierce, sharp sounding (insect), on account of which whole herds scatter in terror through the woods; the sky is stunned and maddened by their bellowings, as are the woods too, and the banks of the parched Tanagrus (i.e. a small river which rises in Mount Alburnus). By this monster, Juno wreaked her terrible wrath, when she devised a pest for Inachus' heifer (i.e. Io, the daughter of the river god Inachus, whom Jupiter had transformed into a heifer). This too, for in the noontide heat it presses more keenly, you must keep off pregnant cattle; and you must feed your herds when the sun has just risen or when the stars bring on the night. 

Ll. 157-208.  Care of Calves and Foals.

After the birth, all the care is transferred to the calves, and, from the first, they brand the marks and the names of their breed on (those) which they choose to rear for stock-breeding, or to keep sacred for the altar, or to cleave the soil and to turn up the field all rugged with broken clogs. The rest of the herds graze amidst the green pastures. While (they are) yet calves, coax (those) whom you will  shape for service and employment on the farm, and set (them) on the path of training, while their youthful minds (are still) adaptable and their age (is) pliant. First, fasten around their necks loose collars of slender twigs; next, when their free necks have grown accustomed to servitude, yoke your bullocks in pairs, fastened by those same collars, and make (them) keep step together. And now let empty (cart-)wheels often be drawn by them along the ground, and let them imprint their tracks in the surface of the dust. Afterwards, let the beechen axle creak, as it labours beneath a heavy load, and let the bronze hitch-pole draw the harnessed wheels. Meanwhile, you may not only feed your untamed young (cattle) with grass or the leaves of willow-trees and marshy sedge, but you will pluck corn sown by hand; nor shall your newly delivered cows fill snowy milk-pails in the custom of our fathers, but they will exhaust (the content of) their udders on their sweet offspring.

But, if your inclination is more towards war and fierce squadrons (of cavalry), or to skim your wheels past Pisa's Alphean rivers and to drive flying chariots in Jupiter's grove (i.e. Pisa was the name of a district in that part of Elis in the north-west of the Peloponnese, through which the river Alpheus flowed, and in which stood the temple of Olympian Jupiter), the first task of your horse is to behold the courage and the arms of warriors, to endure the trumpet(-blasts), to bear the wheels groaning in their career, and to hear the bridles jingling in the stall; then, to rejoice more and more in the endearing praises of his trainer, and to love the sound of his neck being patted. And let him venture these things as soon as (he is) weaned from his mother's teats, and, in turn, when (he is) weak and even unsteady, (and) also inexperienced due to his age, let him entrust his mouth to gentle halters. But after three (years) have elapsed, when his fourth summer has arrived, let him start forthwith to run around the circuit, and to stamp with regular steps, and let him bend the curves of his legs alternately, and to be like (someone) working hard; then, let him challenge the wind in races, and flying over the open plains as if free from the reins, let him barely place his footprints on the surface of the sand; as when a dense north wind has come down from Hyperborean regions, and spreads abroad the wild weather and rainless clouds of Scythia: then the tall corn-fields and the waving plains quiver in the gentle gusts, and the tops of the woods make a (rustling) sound, and the lengthy waves press towards the shore; (on) it (i.e. the  wind) flies, sweeping the fields and seas alike in its flight. Hence, (such a horse) will either sweat around the turning-posts and spacious courses of the Elean plain and drive the bloody foam from his mouth, or will better bear the Belgic war-chariots with his docile neck. Then at last, when they have just been tamed, may you be allowed to fatten their ample bodies with a thickening mash; for, (if so fed) before they are tamed, they will raise their spirits (too) high, and, when caught, they will refuse to suffer the pliant lash and to obey the hard bits.

Ll. 209-283. The Dangers of Sexual Desire.

But, whether the employment of oxen or of horses is more pleasing to one, no other effort supports their strength more than staving off Venus (i.e. sexual desire) and the goads of passion. And so they consign the bulls to far away places and solitary pastures behind an opposing mountain and across broad rivers, or keep (them) shut up inside, near well-stocked mangers. For the female gradually consumes his vigour, and he burns at the sight (of her), nor indeed does she, with her sweet allurements, allow (him) to keep in mind his groves or his grasses, and often she drives her proud lovers to fight it out between themselves with their horns. A lovely heifer is grazing in the great (forest of) Sila (i.e. a forested mountain in Bruttium in southern Italy); they, in turn, join battle with mighty force (and) with frequent wounds, dark blood washes their bodies, and opposing horns are pressed into their steadfast (foes) with an enormous groan, and the woods and protracted Olympus (i.e. the sky) re-echo (it). Nor (is it) the custom for the belligerents to share a stall together, but the one who is vanquished retires and becomes an exile far away on unknown shores, bemoaning his disgrace and the blows of his haughty conqueror, (and) then the loves, which, unavenged, he has lost; and, gazing at the stalls (i.e. in which the cows he loves are installed), he quits his ancestral realms. So, he cultivates his strength with the utmost care and lies all night on a bare bed between hard rocks, feeding on prickly leaves and sharp sedge, and he tests himself and learns (how) to take it out on his horns, (by) butting (them) against a tree, and he buffets the winds with his blows, and practises for battle by pawing the sand. Afterwards, when his vigour (has been) collected and his strength renewed, he advances his standards, and rushes headlong on his unsuspecting foe: (it is) just as when a wave begins to whiten in mid-ocean, and, at some distance, it draws its curve from the deep, and, as it rolls towards the land, it makes a frightful noise among the rocks, and falls forward (like something) no less than a veritable mountain, while the water at the bottom boils in its whirlpools and tosses up black sand from the deep.

Indeed, every species on earth, both men and wild beasts, and the marine species, and cattle and bright coloured birds, rush into this fire and these frenzies. Love (is) the same for all. At no other time does the lioness, forgetful of her cubs, range the plains, nor do the unshapely bears, commonly spread so much destruction and havoc through the woods; then (is) the boar ferocious, then (is) the tigress at her worst; alas, unhappy (it is) to stray in the desolate lands of Libya. Don't you see how a tremor sizes a horse's whole body, if but a scent can bring (them) familiar smells? And now neither men's bridles, nor cruel whips, nor cliffs and hollow rocks, nor rivers in their way that whirl away on their torrent (whole) mountains which have been carried off, can hold them back. Even the Sabine boar charges on and whets his tusks and digs up the ground with his feet, rubs his flanks on a tree, and on this side and on that side inures his shoulders to wounds. What (of) the youth, in whose bones unrelenting passion fans a mighty flame? Of course, he (it is who) swims, late in the dark night, the straits (which are) disturbed by bursting storms; over him (i.e. Leander) heaven's huge portal thunders, and the sea, dashing against the rocks, re-echoes; nor can his wretched parents recall (him), nor the maiden (i.e. Hero) who will die (too) because of his cruel death. What (of) Bacchus' spotted lynxes and the fierce species of wolves and dogs? What (of) the battles which unwarlike stags wage? But surely the madness in mares is conspicuous beyond all (of them); and Venus herself endowed (them) with this feeling, at the time when the four-horse team of Potnia (i.e. a place near Thebes) tore Glaucus' (i.e. a king of Corinth killed by his own horses) limbs apart with their jaws. Love leads them (i.e. the mares) over (Mount) Gargarus (i.e. a mountain in the mountainous area of the Troad, and next to Mount Ids) and across the roaring Ascanius (i.e. a river in Bithynia in the north-west of Asia Minor); they climb and swim across rivers. And, straightaway, when the flame is kindled in the eager marrow -  chiefly in the spring when heat returns to the bones -  they all stand on high rocks with their mouths turned towards the West Wind, and catch the gentle breezes, and, (having been made) pregnant without any mates, (but,) wonderful to relate, by the wind, they scatter over rocks and cliffs and low-lying valleys, not, (O) East Wind to your rising (points), nor (to those) of the sun, (but) towards the North and the North-West Winds, or from where the darkest southerly originates and clouds the sky with freezing rain. Only then, does the poison, which shepherds call, by its true name, hippomanes, (i.e. horse-madness, a fluid that exudes from mares when on heat) drip from their loins. that hippomanes, which wicked step-mothers have often gathered, and brewed with herbs and noxious spells.


Ll. 284-294.  Proem to Part II.

But, meanwhile, time flies, (and) flies irretrievably, while I, captivated by passion, describe each (detail). This (is) enough on herds: the other part of my charge remains, (namely) to manage the fleecy flocks and shaggy goats. This (is) hard work; hence, be hopeful of praise, (O you) sturdy farmers. Nor am I in two minds as to how hard it is to capture this in words, and to impart such distinction to lowly themes; but sweet love (of the Muses) seizes (me) and carries me off over the lonely heights of (Mount) Parnassus (i.e. a mountain in central Greece, sacred to Apollo and the home of the Muses); it is delightful to range over the heights, where no other of our forebears' wheel -tracks runs down to Castalia (i.e. the Muses' spring on Mount Parnassus) by a gentle slope. Now, revered Pales, now must we sing in a lofty voice.
Ll. 295-338.  The Care of Sheep and Goats.

To begin with, I decree that sheep should pluck the grass in soft pens, while leafy summer is soon brought back, and that you strew plenty of straw and handfuls of fern on the ground beneath (them), lest the cold ice harms the tender flock and brings on mange and ugly foot-rot. After this I move on and tell (you) to provide the goats with leafy (sprays of) arbutus (i.e. the strawberry-tree), and to supply (them) with fresh river (water) and to place their pens away from the wind and facing the sun at midday, just at the time when the once cold Aquarius (i.e. the Water Carrier constellation) sets and moistens the departing year. Nor should these (goats) be tended by us with any less care, nor will the profit be less, although Milesian fleeces (i.e. products of Miletus, a city on the west coast of Asia Minor well-known for the quality of its woollen cloth) dyed in Tyrian purple, are bartered for a high (price): from them (there will be) a more numerous breed, from them (there will be) an abundant supply of milk; the more the pail froths with (the contents of) their exhausted udders, the more will joyous streams flow from their pressed teats. Meanwhile, (the farmers) clip the beards and the hoary chins of the Cinyphian he-goat (i.e. goats bred along the banks of the river Cinyps, which flowed through Libya into the Mediterranean), and his hairy bristles as well, for the use of the camps and (as) coverings for wretched sailors. Indeed, they feed off the woods and the peaks of (Mount) Lycaeus, and its rough brambles and hill-loving thorn-bushes. And, remembering (to do so) themselves, they return home, and lead their (kids with them), and, with their heavy udders, they can scarcely surmount the threshold. As they have less need for man's care, so you should, with all due attention, protect (them) from the ice and snowy winds, and readily bring (them) food and the fodder of twigs, nor should you shut your hay-loft for the whole of the winter. But then, when joyous summer, summoned by the West Winds, sends both flocks (i.e. the sheep and the goats) to the glades and to the pastures, let us go, with the earliest star of Lucifer, to the cool countryside, while morning (is) new and the grass (is still) hoary, and the dew on the tender grass is most welcome to the flock. Then, when the fourth hour of the sky brings on thirst, and the plaintive cicadas shall rend the grove with their song, I shall instruct the flocks to drink the running water from oaken troughs at the side of wells and near deep pools. But in the noontide heat, let them seek out a shady valley, wherever Jupiter's vast oak with its ancient trunk stretches forth its huge branches, or wherever a grove, dark with numerous oak-trees, lies in its sacred shade; then, give (them) clear waters once more, and graze (them) again at sunset, when the cool evening tempers the the air, and the dewy moon now refreshes the glades, and the shores echo with the sound of the kingfisher, and thorn-bushes (with the sound of) the goldfinch.  
Ll. 339-383.  The Herdsmen of Africa and Scythia.

Why should I tell you in verse of the shepherds of Libya and their pastures, and of the cottages with meagre roofs in which they dwell? Their flocks often graze (all) day and night and for the whole of a month one after another, and go into long (stretches of) desert without any shelter: so wide does the plain extend. The African herdsman carries everything with him: his house and home, his arms and his Amyclaean (i.e. Spartan) hound, and Cretan quiver; (he is) just like the fierce Roman, when he goes in his country's arms under an unfair burden, and, having pitched camp, he stands in battle- array before the enemy expects (it).

But (it is) not (so) where (there are) Scythian tribes and the waters of Maeotis (i.e. the Sea of Azov, which flows into the north of the Black Sea) and the disordered Danube, whirling up its yellow sands, and where (Mount) Rhodope (i.e. a mountain range in Thrace with a northward-pointing arc) runs back, stretching up towards the mid-pole (i.e. the North Pole). There, they keep their herds shut up in stalls, nor is any grass to be seen on the plain or leaves on the trees; but, far and wide, the land lies shapeless under heaps of snow and deep ice, and rises up to seven ells (in height). (There it is) always winter, and the North-West Wind (is) always blowing cold (air). Then, the Sun never dispels the pale shadows, neither when, borne on his steeds, he makes for the lofty sky, nor when he washes his precipitate chariot in the ruddy surface of the ocean. Sudden ice-floes form in the flowing river, and then the water carries iron-clad wheels on its back, it (being) formerly welcoming to boats, (but) now to broad wagons; bronze (vases) commonly shatter, clothes stiffen once they've been put on, they chop their liquid wine with axes, whole pools turn into solid ice, and the jagged icicle hardens on their unkempt beards. Meanwhile, it snows across the whole sky at the same time: cattle perish, the large bodies of oxen stand enveloped by hoar-frost, and the deer in a packed herd are benumbed under the strange load, and scarcely project the tips of their antlers. These they do not hunt with unleashed hounds or with any nets, nor (do they pursue animals) terrified by the fear of purple feathers, but, as they vainly push with their breasts against the mountain (of snow), they cut (them) down at close quarters with a sword and slaughter (them) as they bray piteously, and carry (their bodies) back joyfully with loud acclamations. (The people) themselves, in caves dug deep underground, lead (lives of) untroubled ease, and roll (logs of) wood and whole elm-trees to their hearths, and give (them) to the fire. Here, they pass the night in play, and happily mimic our draughts of wine with beer and sour service-berries (i.e. a kind of cider). Such (is) the unbridled race of men placed beneath the seven stars of the Far North (i.e. the two constellations, Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, each of seven stars, near to the North Pole), (who) are buffeted by the East Winds from Rhipaea (i.e. a fabled land in the extreme north beyond Scythia, supposed to be permanently shrouded in darkness and covered in snow), and (whose) bodies are clothed by the tawny furs of beasts.

Ll. 384-439.  Tending the Flocks.

If wool-growing (is) your concern, first let prickly woods and burs and thistles be far away; shun rich pastures; And, right from the beginning, choose flocks (that are) white with soft wool. Moreover, even if a ram may be white himself, should he have but a dark tongue in his drooling palate, cast him aside, lest he should sully the fleeces of new-born (lambs) with dusky spots, and search for another in the well-stocked field. Thus, Pan, the god of Arcadia, if (the story) is worthy of belief, deceived you, (O) moon, when he captivated you by a gift of snowy wool, (while) inviting you into his deep groves; nor did you spurn (him) when he called (you). But let him who (has) a love of milk carry clover and an abundance of lotus and briny grasses to the pens. As a result, (the animals) both desire the rivers more, and distend their udders more, and they carry a slight taste of salt in their milk. Many (farmers) separate the kids from their mothers as soon as they are grown up, and fix iron-clad muzzles on the front of their faces. What they have milked at day-break and during the daylight hours they press (into cheese) at night; what (they have milked) at dusk and at sunset, they carry off at dawn in bowls, (and) the shepherd goes to town (with it); or they add a pinch of salt (to it), and store (it) away for the winter.

Do not let your last concern be for the dogs, but feed the swift Spartan pups and the fierce Molossian (hound) together on fattening whey. With these as your guards, you will never fear the nocturnal robber in your stables, nor the incursions of wolves or the restless Iberians in your rear. Often too you will pursue in the chase timorous wild asses and the hare with hounds, (and) you will hunt deer with hounds. Often, as you drive on, you will disturb with a cry boars which have been driven from their woodland lairs, and you will push a huge stag over high mountains into the nets with a shout.

Learn how to burn fragrant cedar in your pens, and to drive away offensive water-snakes with the scent of galbanum. Often a viper, deadly to the touch, has lurked under unmoved mangers, and shuns the light in fear, or a snake, a bitter plague to the oxen, used to climbing up under the roof and from its shelter to sprinkle its venom on the cattle, hugs the ground. Take up stones with your hand, take up clubs, (O) shepherd, and, as he rises up in menace and swells his hissing neck strike (him) down. And now, he hides his timid head deep in flight, while he loosens the entwining of his guts and the wreathes at the tip of his tail, and the last curve slowly drags its folds. There is also that vile snake in the Calabrian lawns, winding up its scaly back with an erect breast and its long belly speckled with large blotches, who, while any rivers burst from their fountains, and while the soil is damp with the moist spring  and the rainy south-westerlies, haunts the pools, and, (while) inhabiting the banks, he greedily fills his black gorge with fish and croaking frogs; when the marsh (is) burnt up and the earth cracks open with drought, he slithers forth on to dry (ground), and, revolving his blazing eyes, he rages in the fields, exasperated by thirst and fearful of the heat. Let it not please me then to enjoy soft slumbers in the open air or to lie along the grass on the ridge of a wood, when, renewed by sloughing off his skin and sleek with youth, he rolls along, leaving either young ones or eggs in his den, and, rearing up towards the sun, he flickers at the mouth with a three-forked tongue.

Ll. 440-477.  The Treatment of Diseases. 

I will also teach you about the causes and signs of diseases. Vile scabies attacks sheep when cold rain and winter, bristling with white frost, sinks into their live (flesh), or when dirty sweat sticks (to them) after shearing, and prickly thorn-bushes have torn their bodies. For this reason, their keepers plunge the whole flock into fresh river water, and the ram is immersed in the pool, and (is) then sent to float downstream; or they smear their bodies with bitter lees of oil, and (with it) they mix silvery foam and natural sulphur, pitch from (Mount) Ida and wax rich in fat, and sea-onion, rank hellebore and black bitumen. But there is no more ready remedy for these troubles than if someone has been able to cut open the top of the ulcer's mouth: the disease is nourished and thrives by being covered, while the shepherd refuses to apply his healing hand to the wound, and sits (there), begging the gods that all (should be for) the better. And indeed, when the malady slips into the innermost bones of the bleating (creatures) and rages (there), and a dry fever feeds their limbs, it avails (one) to avert the fiery heat and to lance the vein (which is) throbbing with blood between the lowest (parts) of the feet (i.e. the hooves); to this usage are the Bisaltae (i.e. a Macedonian tribe living on the River Strymon) accustomed, and the fierce Gelonian, (i.e. belonging to a Scythian tribe living in the Asiatic steppes) when he flees to Rhodope and the wilds of the Getae (i.e. a tribe living in Thrace near the western coast of the Black Sea), and (there) drinks milk curdled with the blood of horses. Should you see some (sheep) either drifting far away into the soft shade or listlessly plucking the top of the grass and following the rear (of the flock), or lying down in the middle of the plain as she is feeding and returning alone late at night, check the fault with a knife at once, before the dreaded infection gradually spreads through the heedless multitude. The tornado that drives a wintry storm does not rush as thickly from the sea as plagues (are) frequent in cattle. Nor do diseases carry off single bodies, but suddenly (the product of) a whole summer, the flock and its hope together, and the whole tribe at its root. Whoever views the sky-high Alps and the castles of Noricum (i.e. Bavaria) on the hills, and the fields of the Iapygian Timavus (i.e. an Illyrian river that runs through the north-west Balkans into the Adriatic), and the realms of the shepherds, even now, after (they have been) deserted for so long, and the pastures lying waste far and wide, may he then know (this).

Ll.  478-566.  The Noric Animal Plague.

Here deplorable weather once arose from the sickness in the sky, and became inflamed throughout by the heat of autumn, and delivered all the race of cattle (and) all wild animals to death, and poisoned the lakes (and) infected the pastures with plague. Nor was their way of death straightforward, but, when fiery thirst, running through every vein, shrivelled their wretched limbs, the watery fluid welled up once more, and absorbed all the bones into itself, as they were consumed bit by bit by disease. Often, in the midst of (making) an offering to the gods, the victim standing at the altar, while a woollen fillet is bound (around its temples) by a snowy head-band, falls dying among the hesitant attendants. Or, if the priest had killed one with a knife, then the altar does not blaze, when the entrails (are) placed (there), nor can the seer make a response (when) consulted, and the knives, (when) applied, are barely tinged with blood, and the surface of the sand is (only) stained with a very little blood. Then, the calves are dying everywhere in the luxuriant grasses, and give up their sweet lives near the full mangers; here rabies comes upon the gentle dogs, and a wheezing cough shakes the sickening swine, and throttles (them) with swelling throats. The unfortunate horse, (once) victorious, (but now) forgetful of his exercises and of the grass, fades away, and avoids the springs and frequently paws the ground with his foot; his ears droop, (and) at that very moment, he develops a fitful sweat, and that (sweat is) cold indeed amid the dying (horses); his hide is dry and hard to the touch, (and) he resists (anyone) touching (it). They show these symptoms in the early days before death; but if, in the process (of time), the sickness begins to grow worse, then indeed their eyes (become) inflamed, and their breath (is) drawn from the depth (of their chests), sometimes heavy with groaning, and they strain their innermost entrails with a protracted sob, black blood flows from their nostrils, and a rough tongue chokes their blocked throats. It helped to pour Lenaean fluids (i.e. wine) (down their throats) through a horn put into (their mouths); this seemed the sole remedy for the dying (animals); soon, this very thing was the cause of their destruction, and, having been revived, they burned with fury, and now at the point of painful death - may the gods (send) better things to the righteous and such a fate to our foes - they themselves began to tear their own mangled limbs with their bare teeth. But lo! the bull, fuming under the oppressive ploughshare, collapses, and vomits blood mingled with foam from his mouth, and invokes his last groans. The ploughman, unyoking the bullock that is mourning his brother's death goes away sadly, and abandons the plough firmly fixed in the midst of its work. Neither the shades of the deep groves, nor the soft meadows, nor the stream purer than amber, which, tumbling over the rocks, seeks the plain, can stir his spirits; but the bottom of his flanks are loosened, and a stupor comes over his listless eyes, and his neck sinks to the ground, drooping under its weight.

What do their hard work and good services avail (them)? What (does it avail them) to have turned over the heavy soil with the ploughshare? And yet no Massic gifts of Bacchus (i.e. wine from Campania), no repeated feasts have (ever) harmed these (creatures): for their food, they graze on leaves and simple grass, their cups are clear springs and rivers busy in their running, and no care interrupts their wholesome slumbers. (Then and) at no other time, they tell (us) that oxen (were) being searched for in those regions for Juno's sacred rites, and that chariots were drawn to her lofty shrine by ill-matched buffaloes. Therefore, with difficulty, they tear open the ground with mattocks, and they implant the corn with their very nails, and, with straining necks, they drag the creaking wagons over the high mountains. No wolf plans ambushes around the sheepfolds, nor prowls around the flocks at night; a sharper care tames him; timid deer and fugitive stags now wander among the dogs and around the houses. Now, the waves wash the offspring of the vast sea and every kind of swimming (creature) on to the edge of the shore, like shipwrecked bodies, (and) strange sea-calves (i.e seals) take refuge in the rivers. The viper, protected in vain by her winding den, perishes too, as do the surprised water-snakes with their scales standing up (in terror). The air becomes unfavourable even to the birds, and, falling headlong, they abandon their lives beneath the lofty clouds. Moreover, it does not matter now that their fodder should be changed, and the (medicinal) arts they sought prove harmful; its masters, Chiron, the son of Phillyra (i.e. the legendary centaur), and Melampus, the son of Amythaon (i.e. a seer, famous for his ability to understand the language of animals) have failed. Pallid Tisiphone (i.e. one of the three Furies) rages, and having been sent forth to the light from the Stygian gloom, she drives before (her) diseases and fear, and, while arising day by day, she lifts up her greedy head (still) higher; the streams and the dry banks and the sloping hills resound with the bleating of the flocks and the incessant lowing (of the cattle). And now she (i.e. Tisiphone) deals out destruction in droves, and heaps up in the very stalls carcasses rotting away with foul contagion, until they learn to cover (them) with earth and to hide (them) in pits. For neither was there any value in their hides nor could anyone either cleanse their flesh with water or purge (it) with fire; nor could they even shear the fleeces, consumed (as they were) with disease and filth, nor touch the putrid yarn; but yet, if anyone tried on the hateful vestments, burning blisters and foul sweat would cover his stinking limbs, and then, with no long (period of) time intervening, the accused fire began to consume his infected limbs.

Appendix.  Alternative translations of ll. 470-471. 

a.  Virgil's text:

"Non tam creber agens hiemem ruit aequore turbo,
quam multae pecudum pestes." ................................

b.  The text reordered by Benjamin Apthorp Gould for the purpose of translation:

"Turbo, agens hiemem, non ruit tam creber aequore, quam multae (sunt) pestes pecudum."

c.  The imagery portrayed in the sentence:

The disruption of a herd of cattle by the plague is compared to the the size and force of a whirlwind. The juxtaposition of the words "turbo" (whirlwind) and "aequore" (level sea) heightens the dramatisation of the contrast.

d.  Various translations:

i. "The whirlwind that brings on a wintry storm, rushes not so frequent from the sea, as the plagues of cattle are numerous." Benjamin Apthorp Gould, 1826.

ii. "Less thick and fast the whirlwind scours the main
      With tempest in its wake, than swarm the plagues
      Of cattle ..... " J.B. Greenough, 1900.

iii. "Not so thick with driving gales sweeps a whirlwind from the sea, as scourges swarm among                cattle." H.R. Fairclough, 1916.

iv.  "Not so heavy comes the rush of rain when a squall sweeps over the sea as diseases multiply in            the flock." J.W.MacKail, 1934.

v.     ........................."Thicker than squalls                                                            
       Swept by a hurricane from off the sea
       Plagues sweep through livestock ....."  L.P. Wilkinson, 1982.

vi. "A hurricane from the sea's not as thick with driving winds,
       as the herds with disease." A.S. Kline, 2001.

vii. "Not so rampant bursts the hurricane, driving squalls from                                                                       open sea." Kimberley Johnson, 2009.                                        

viii. "The tornado that drives a wintry storm does not rush so thickly from the sea from the sea, as                plagues are frequent in cattle." Sabidius, 2017.

e.  Conclusion:

The differences in the translations reflect to some extent the poetic nature of the imagery, but also the awkwardness involved in seeking to compare the force of a stormy wind from the sea with the number of animals affected by plague. Virgil's sentence is constructed around the adverbial correlatives "tam ... quam",  (as ... as ... ), and the best translations above reflect this. Apthorp Gould is probably correct to suggest that the copulative verb "sunt" should be understood in the second part of the sentence, although another possibility is that a repetition of the main verb "ruit" should be understood in the second part of the sentence. The problem with that, however, is how to connect a repeated "ruit" with "multae" which surely means "numerous" or "frequent" in this context. In the end Sabidius' translation is closer to the words of the oldest of the above renderings, i.e. that of Apthorp Gould, than to any of the others. The considerable variety exhibited in the above translations of what is a relatively short sentence, both in respect of the words used and in its structure, demonstrates how subjective the outcome of translating Virgil's poetry can be.


Published in Latin Translation


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

12.  Latinus abdicates (ll.572-600).

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

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

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

14.  The Battle-List (ll. 641-782).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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