Main Text

pg 236BOOK TEN

  • Link 1Meanwhile Olympus, seat of all power in the universe, opens
  • Editor’s Note2Wide for a meeting* the Father of Gods and Ruler of Mortals
  • 3Calls to his residence high in the stars. He can monitor from there
  • 4All earth, including the Dardan camp and the people of Latium.
  • 5Gods take seats in a hall facing sunrise and sunset. He speaks first:
  • 6'Why have you now reversed your judgement, lords of the heavens?
  • 7Why have your passions become so unfair, and your quarrels so violent?
  • 8I'd disapproved of a war that set Italy fighting the Teucrians:
  • Editor’s Note9Why this internal discord contesting what I had forbidden?*
  • 10What fear prompted this clique or that to provoke an armed conflict?
  • Link 11There'll come a time when it's just that you fight. Don't rush to confront it.
  • Link 12Then fierce Carthage will open the Alps, unleashing a massive
  • Editor’s Note13Tide of destruction* on Rome and its citadels. You'll have your licence
  • 14Then to compete in your hate, to despoil both cities and substance.
  • 15Now let it ride, be content to sustain this ratified treaty.'
  • 16Jupiter's statement was brief; golden Venus did not respond briefly:
  • 17'Father, whose power over men and events is complete and eternal—
  • 1819What other force can exist that we could now make our appeal to?—
  • 20Surely you see the Rutulians' arrogance: Turnus careering
  • 21High on his horses, straight through the ranks, bellied out in his onrush
  • Link 22By the success Mars blows his way. No longer are Teucrians
  • 23Shielded by well-sealed walls. Instead, they are fighting the battle
  • 24Inside the gates, on the ramparts. They're filling the ditches with bloodshed.
  • 25Not knowing this, Aeneas is gone. Will you never give Trojans
  • 26Respite from siege and blockade? Once more there's an enemy threatening
  • 27Reborn Troy's new walls. And there's now an additional army:
  • Editor’s Note Link 28Tydeus' son, Diomedes,* sets out from Aetolian Arpi,
  • 29Rushes the Teucrians again. More wounds, I suppose, yet await me—
  • 30I, your own child, now delay, by my absence, those spear-thrusts from mortals.
  • pg 23731If these Trojans, of course, all sailed for Italy, lacking
  • 32Your divine will and consent, let them pay for their sins. Don't assist them.
  • 33If, though, they followed responses to prayers which voices from heaven,
  • 34Voices from ghost worlds, too, kept giving them, why is it someone
  • 35Can now reverse your commands and set destiny on a new basis?
  • Editor’s Note36Need I remind you of fleets burned up near Sicilian Eryx?*
  • 37Or of the ruler of storms, and his winds from Aeolia, bellowed
  • 38Into a seething rage, or of Iris dispatched through the cloudbanks?
  • 39She's now arousing death's still world, the sole province of nature
  • 40Still untried. So Allecto's suddenly launched on the upper
  • 41World for a Bacchic romp through the heart of Italy's cities.
  • 42Visions of empire arouse me no more; I cherished them only
  • 43While there was still such a thing as albeit changeable Fortune.
  • 44Now let whoever you choose to win, win. If there's no land your hard-nosed
  • 45Wife will allot to the Teucrians, Father, I beg by the smouldering
  • Editor’s Note46Ashes and ruins of Troy, grant licence to rescue Ascanius*
  • 47Safe and sound from the conflict, grant me my grandson's survival.
  • Link 48As for Aeneas: well, let him indeed be tossed amid unknown
  • 49Waters and follow such random course as Fortune devises.
  • 50Give me the right to remove this boy from the horrors of warfare.
  • 51Amathus, Paphos up high, Cythera, Idalia's temples:
  • 52These are my lands. Let him set aside weapons and live out his life there,
  • 53No need for glory! Give orders that Carthage have absolute, crushing
  • Editor’s Note54Power on Ausonia's soil. Nothing they've got there* will give any
  • 55Tyrian city a problem.
  • 'So, what did they gain by surviving
  • 56War's scourge, and by escaping the heart of the fires set by Argives,
  • 57And by enduring the countless perils of sea and of vast lands—
  • 58All in a Teucrian quest for a new-born Troy and for Latium?
  • 59Surely the sensible thing would have been to resettle their homeland's
  • 60Ashes, the soil where Troy once stood. I beg of you, father,
  • 61Give the poor Teucrians their Xanthus and Simoïs back! Let them relive
  • 62Ilium's sorrows and fall.'
  • Then, profoundly enraged, royal Juno
  • Link 63Lashed back: 'Why do you force me to break my self-imposed silence,
  • pg 23864Make me degrade hidden pain into words for public consumption?
  • 65Did any man, any god, compel Aeneas to choose war
  • Editor’s Note66Or to approach King Latinus* as would some hostile invader?
  • 67Granted, he headed for Italy under Fate's authorization,
  • 68Prompted by raving Cassandra's words. But did we suggest leaving
  • 69Camp and then casting his life to the winds? Did we suggest trusting
  • 70Total command of the war, and defence of his walls, to a young boy,
  • 71Or drive Etruscans to treason, or madden a peace-loving people?
  • 72Which god herded him into this trap? Where's my pitiless power-play
  • 73Here? Where is Juno in this, or Iris "dispatched through the cloud banks"?
  • Link 74What a disgrace that Italians should throw up a circle of fire
  • Link 75Round new Troy as it's born, and that Turnus, Pilumnus's grandson,
  • Link 76Child of the goddess Venilia, should take a firm stand on his native
  • 77Soil! Yet it's right when the Trojans, with torches of fire, attack Latins,
  • 78Crush under their yoke fields they don't own, take the produce as plunder,
  • 79Pick out their in-laws and pluck pledged brides from their family's bosoms!
  • 80They, while their hands offer peace, clear decks and equip them for battle.
  • Link 81You are empowered to snatch your Aeneas away from attacking
  • 82Greeks and replace him with phantoms of cloud, mere air without substance;
  • Editor’s Note83And you're empowered to transfigure his fleet into so many sea-nymphs.*
  • 84We, when we counter with aid for Rutulians, are guilty of high crimes.
  • 85"Not knowing this, Aeneas is gone." Let him not know and stay gone!
  • 86Paphos is yours, so's Idalium, so are the heights of Cythera.
  • Link 87Why challenge tough hearts, then? and a city pregnant with warriors?
  • 88Think! Is it we who are set on capsizing this impotent Phrygian
  • 89State in flux?
  • 'Who tossed poor Troy to the Greeks in the first place?
  • 90What caused all this war, what made all Europe and Asia
  • Link 91Rise up in arms, cast treaties adrift through treacherous thievery?
  • Editor’s Note92When the adulterous Dardan prince* took Sparta, was Juno
  • 93Leading the way? Did I arm him, did I use Cupid as war's nurse?
  • 94Fairer for you if you'd feared what I'd do to your boys then. It's too late
  • pg 23995Now to jump up with your unjust complaints, lodging laughable protests.'
  • 96  Such was the case Juno argued. The sky-dwellers, all in an uproar,
  • 97Favoured one side or the other. Like first growled gusts of a tempest
  • 98Trapped in a forest, they rumble. The gale's not seen, but the rolling
  • 99Roar alerts sailors to storm winds wending their way towards water.
  • 100Then the omnipotent Father, who wields prime power over nature,
  • 101Starts to respond. As he speaks, the high palace of gods becomes silent.
  • 102Earth shudders deep through its soil. Silence falls on the summit of heaven,
  • Link 103Zephyrs subside, Ocean flattens its waves into lake-still calmness.
  • Editor’s Note104'Carry on into your minds* my words, then. Grasp them securely.
  • 105Since, evidently, Ausonians will not be allowed to join Teucrians,
  • 106Linked by a treaty—your own civil wars defy any conclusion—
  • 107I'll be impartial. Whatever today's ambitions or fortune
  • 108Bring each individual man, Rutulian or Trojan,
  • 109Whether the camp is besieged because Italy's fate so demanded
  • Editor’s Note110Or because Troy's bad errors and ruinous prophecies* caused it.
  • Link 111Nor do I hold the Rutulians exempt. Individual effort
  • 112Makes or breaks fortune today. King Jupiter's wholly impartial;
  • Editor’s Note Link 113Fates will discover a way.'* Then he swore a great oath by his brother's
  • 114Molten, pitch-scorched banks of the Styx, by its dark-eddied torrents,
  • Link 115Marking his oath with a nod that rocked all Olympus with tremors.
  • Editor’s Note116Thus ended talk about fate.* Rising up from his throne bright and golden,
  • 117Jupiter, flanked by an escort of sky-dwellers, moved to the doorway.
  • 118  Meanwhile, besieging Rutulians pressed their attacks upon all gates,
  • 119Bent on butchering men and on ringing the ramparts with blazing
  • 120Fires. But inside the stockade, penned in, Aeneas's legion
  • 121Lacks any hope of escape. Troops stand upon high towers, glumly
  • 122Hopeless—the circling walls manned here and there by a soldier.
  • Editor’s Note123Asius, Imbrasus's son, Hicetaon's child, named Thymoetes,
  • 124Two named Assaracus, Thymbris, an old man, along with him Castor:
  • 125These are the front lines. And fighting alongside are two of Sarpedon's
  • 126Brothers from mountainous Lycia: Clarus and Thaemon.* Then hoisting,
  • 127Sinews strained to the full, a gigantic rock, not a trifling
  • Editor’s Note128Chunk of a mountain, is Clytius' son, Lyrnesian Acmon,
  • pg 240129Proving no lesser a man than his father or brother, Menestheus.*
  • 130Javelins, boulders, barrels of fire, arrows notched to the bowstring:
  • 131These are the varied defensive munitions the soldiers compete with.
  • Editor’s Note Link 132Look, and you'll see in their midst the Dardan boy,* very justly
  • 133Venus's prime concern. With his helmet discarded, his handsome
  • 134Head shimmers as does a gem set in tawny gold for a necklace
  • Link 135Or for a crown, or as ivory gleams when inlaid by an artist
  • Link 136Into a setting of boxwood or terebinth wood from Dalmatia.
  • 137Streaming hair on his milk-white neck has been gathered and ribboned
  • 138Into a circlet of soft, supple gold. And, Ismarus, your people,
  • 139Proud as they are, saw you there too, aiming shots that would draw blood,
  • 140Arming your arrows with poison, you noble child of Maeonian
  • Editor’s Note Link 141Lydia. There men plough rich croplands; the Pactolus* waters
  • Editor’s Note142Fields of its farmlands with gold. At his side, Mnestheus* took his station,
  • 143Hero whose glory soared only yesterday, when he averted
  • 144Turnus' assault on the walls, driving Turnus himself from the ramparts;
  • Editor’s Note145And Capys*—Capua's named after him, the Campanian city.
  • 146Hard men fought one another all day in the contest of battle.
  • Link 147  Now in the darkness of midnight, Aeneas is cleaving the water.
  • 148Leaving Evander, he'd entered next the Etruscan encampment,
  • 149Meeting their king. There he'd briefed that king on his name and his background,
  • 150Said what he wants and can offer, explained what forces Mezentius
  • 151Gathers about him, informed him of Turnus's passionate anger,
  • 152Offered advice about how much trust may be put in things human,
  • Editor’s Note153Mingled a few humble pleas. Not a moment slipped by before Tarchon*
  • 154Joined forces, hammered out terms of a treaty. The Lydian people,
  • Link 155Free now of fate's constraints, have entrusted themselves to a foreign
  • 156Leader and board their fleet, in accord with divine will. Aeneas
  • 157Heads the command in his vessel with figures of Phrygian lions
  • 158Bearing the prow's beak; looming above them is Ida. How grateful
  • Editor’s Note Link 159Exiled Teucrians had been for her shelter and wood!* Great Aeneas
  • Link 160Sits here, re-scrolling the varied events of the war. At his left side
  • 161Pallas sticks close, asking now about stars guiding night navigation,
  • 162Now about all he has suffered and seen upon land, upon high seas.
  • 163Goddesses, open up Helicon now, set your music in motion!
  • 164Tell of the forces that sailed with Aeneas from Tuscany's coastline.
  • pg 241165Who was it armed and equipped these ships, who sailed on the salt sea?
  • Editor’s Note166  Massicus* leads, as he cuts through the waves on the bronze-sided Tigress.
  • 167Under his banner a thousand youths left Clusium's ramparts,
  • 168Left their home city of Cosa: their weapons are arrows and deadly
  • Editor’s Note169Bows, quivers light on their shoulders. Fierce Abas is sailing alongside,
  • 170His unit all fitted out with elaborate armour, his vessel
  • 171Glistening in light with its figurehead wrought as a gilded Apollo.
  • 172His Populonian motherland gave him a squad of six hundred
  • 173Seasoned warriors. And Elba, whose inexhaustible mineworks
  • 174Make it an island of iron and forges, has added three hundred.
  • Link 175Third comes Asilas, interpretive link between men and immortal
  • 176Gods, who elicits responses from cattle's innards and heavens'
  • 177Stars, from the tongues of the birds, from fire-flashing, ominous lightning.
  • 178He rushes his dense, spear-spiked force of a thousand to battle.
  • 179Pisa, a city in origins Greek, in location Etruscan,
  • 180Gave him command of its troops. After him, follows Astyr,* supremely
  • Link 181Handsome—Astyr, proud of his horse and his colourful weapons.
  • 182Three hundred men, all united by one single purpose in coming,
  • 183Make up his squad: men of Caere and men from the Minio's ploughlands,
  • 184Others from Pyrgi, an ancient town, and unhealthy Graviscae.
  • Editor’s Note185  Cinyrus,* you I would never omit: of Liguria's captains,
  • 186You are the bravest; nor you, though your squadron is tiny, Cupavo.
  • 187Swan plumes rise from your helmet's crest, signifying your father's
  • Link 188Feathery form. Love, you bear the blame for the change that transformed him!
  • 189Cygnus, wan with grief, people say, for his darling Phaëthon,
  • 190Lets the Muse solace his sad love lost, and he sings amid leafy
  • 191Shadows of poplars, his sisters once. Then, while he is singing,
  • 192Sinks wan-white as an old man's hair under plumage of soft down.
  • 193Rising from earth, he chases the stars, voice soaring to heaven.
  • 194Now with a group of his age-mates aboard, this swan's son, Cupavo,
  • Link 195Powers the oars of the giant Centaur, whose figurehead monster
  • 196Menaces waters ahead, poised high with a great rock to threaten
  • 197Surging waves at the prow, as his long keel furrows the salt deep.
  • pg 242Editor’s Note Link 198  There you see Ocnus* as well, son of Manto, the seer, and of Tuscan
  • Link 199Tiber, the river. He's levied a force from the banks of his homeland.
  • 200Mantua: Ocnus endowed you with walls, named you after his mother;
  • 201Mantua, heir to an ancestry rich, but not all of one bloodline.
  • 202Three distinct peoples are there, each people with four distinct cities.
  • 203Mantua heads up their league. Her strength is her blood that's Etruscan.
  • 204Hate of Mezentius arms five hundred from here to oppose him.
  • 205Mantua's river-god, crowned with his father Benacus's grey reeds,
  • 206Sails as their flagship, the Mincius, hate hewn into his pine planks.
  • Editor’s Note207Then comes Aulestes. His heavy-built Triton,* powered by a hundred
  • 208Tree-length wave-lashing oars churns marbled surface to salt spume.
  • 209Triton's immense, figured, bristling prow and the conch that he carries
  • 210Frighten the dark deep. Down to the flanks, as he swims, he has human
  • 211Form and appearance, but then, from the belly on, he's a monstrous
  • 212Sea-beast. Under his hybrid breast brine foams with a dull roar.
  • Editor’s Note213Such were the captains elect who sailed to help Troy in their thirty
  • 214Vessels,* and cut with their plate-bronze prows through the flatness of salt sea.
  • 215Day had withdrawn from the heavens, and now, in her wandering night drive,
  • Link 216Blessèd Phoebe was pounding her course through the heart of Olympus.
  • 217Guiding his vessel himself and trimming its canvas, Aeneas
  • 218Sat at the steering. Anxiety gave no rest to his body.
  • 219  Look, as he's halfway back, he's met by a group of his comrades
  • 220Dancing about on the waves: they are nymphs that the blessèd Cybele
  • 221Ordered transfigured from vessels to nymphs, to be gods in the salt sea.
  • 222Swimming alongside, they cut through the waves; their number exactly
  • 223Matches the number of bronze-figured prows once beached on the seashore.
  • 224Knowing their ruler at first far glance, they dance in his honour.
  • 225Cymodocea, most doctored of these in the fine art of speaking,
  • 226Follows his wake, grips the stern with her right hand, and arches her back up
  • Link 227Out of the sea, while her left hand noiselessly paddles the water.
  • 228All unaware though he is, she speaks to him: 'Child of divine blood,
  • pg 243Editor’s Note229Are you awake?
  • 'Come, Aeneas, wake up!*
  • 'Loose the ropes, give us full sail!
  • Link 230We are what once was your fleet, we're the pines cut from sacrosanct Ida's
  • 231Summit, and now we are nymphs of the sea. When perfidious Turnus
  • 232Drove us in panic before him, pursued us with sword and with fire,
  • 233We, though not lively about it, did sever your tie-ropes. And since then
  • 234We've searched seas to find you. The Great Mother took pity and changed us
  • 235Into this shape, made us gods who live on while submerged in the water.
  • 236Your boy, Iulus, however, is penned in by walls and by ditches,
  • Link 237Trapped in a crossfire by Latins alive with the fury of battle.
  • Editor’s Note238True, the Arcadian cavalry,* joined by some valiant Etruscans,
  • 239Holds the positions assigned. But Turnus, fully determined
  • Link 240Not to permit them to link up camps, sent troops to confront them.
  • 241'Up on your feet!
  • 'Strike first!
  • 'Call allies to battle as day dawns!
  • 242Seize your invincible shield, with its wrought gold rim, which the Fire God
  • 243Gave you himself. For tomorrow's first light, if you don't think my forecast
  • 244Laughable, surely will see massive heaps of Rutulian corpses.'
  • Link 245Though she had no more to say, this nymph did have more to contribute.
  • 246Not unaware of the needed technique, she, using her right hand,
  • 247Pushed the high stern. And the ship shot forward over the waters,
  • 248Faster than even a javelin flies, or an arrow swift as the breezes.
  • 249Prompted by this, other ships quicken pace. Yet Trojan Anchises'
  • 250Son stays still as a log. Though prodigiously cheered by the omen,
  • 251He doesn't grasp what it means. And he prays, glancing up at the sky's vault:
  • Link 252'Goddess of Ida, Mother of Gods, and Dindyma's great friend,
  • 253Lover of great-towered cities and chariots powered by lions,
  • 254You be my battle commander, and you, make this prophecy duly
  • 255Prosper. Divine goddess, stand by your Phrygians, a stalwart defender.'
  • pg 244256That's what he said. In the meantime, the day, with its ripening sunlight,
  • 257Rushed to complete its full circle; the night was now totally routed.
  • 258  As a beginning, he orders his allies to follow his signals,
  • 259Fire up their spirits for war, ready gear (and themselves) for a battle.
  • Link 260Since he's already in sight of the Teucrians and his encampment,
  • 261He, standing high on the aft-deck, hoists, in his left hand, his blazing
  • 262Shield from the sky. In response, from the ramparts, the Dardans
  • 263Raise up a cheer to the stars, much as cranes coming home to the Strymon,
  • 264Hidden by dark storm clouds as they wing their way across heaven,
  • 265Signal with clangorous cries their flight from the south winds of summer.
  • 266Hands are now volleying spears; hopes raised high kindle their anger.
  • 267  But the Rutulian king and the other Ausonian leaders
  • Link 268Find this reaction bizarre—until, looking behind them, they notice
  • 269Ships backing onto the beach, the whole sea rolling in with a navy.
  • 270There is Aeneas, helmet ablaze, crest vomiting fire,
  • 271Golden shield-boss erupting with searing flames of destruction.
  • 272So comets boding disaster will flare blood-red in the clear night
  • Link 273Skies, on occasion, so Sirius' new-born star, as he rises
  • 274Blazes his heat, his diseases, and drought upon sickly and death-doomed
  • 275Humans. His evil brightness of eye gleams grimly in heaven.
  • 276  Turnus, as daring as ever, is sure he can still take the seashore
  • 277First, and can stop them himself—even drive them away as they're landing.
  • Editor’s Note278Seizing the chance to raise spirits with words, he now issues this challenge:*
  • 279'Here's what you've prayed for: a chance for your own hands to shatter their forces.
  • 280Mars is the power in a hero's hands. Each man must remember
  • 281Wife, home, deeds that our fathers have done, and recall all their glorious
  • 282Honours. So let's not wait. Let's confront them down at the water
  • 283While they are still disembarking and scared, while their footing betrays them.
  • Link 284Fortune favours the bold.'
  • pg 245285He, as he speaks, is debating which men he should lead on this mission,
  • 286Which he could trust to sustain his siege of the enemy's fortress.
  • 287Meanwhile, Aeneas is landing the allied troops along gangplanks
  • 288Lowered from high aft-decks. Many simply wait for the breakers'
  • 289Crash, when the sea's spent strength sucks back, then leap in the water;
  • 290Some just slide down oars. But Tarchon, surveying the coastline,
  • Editor’s Note291Notes where the shallows are breathlessly calm,* where there's no roar of breaking
  • Link 292Waves, where the sea-swell sweeps smooth surf to the shore unobstructed.
  • 293Suddenly, shifting his course for this point, he appeals to his comrades:
  • 294'Men, you're the pick of the best. Now pull full stroke on your stout oars,
  • 295Make your ships leap, drive them on, cleave enemy earth with your armoured
  • 296Prows. Let your keels plough furrows and plant themselves there on the beaches.
  • 297Make it to land, that's all. If our ships break up as we beach them,
  • 298I'll pay the price.' Once Tarchon has issued these orders, his crewmen
  • 299Stand to the oars, press down with their whole body-weight, drive the vessels
  • 300Onto the Latin shores in a flurry of foam until armoured
  • 301Prows surge clear of the sea, bite deep in the dry sand, and each one
  • Editor’s Note302Settles with undamaged keel. Well, with one exception.* For, Tarchon,
  • Link 303Your vessel ploughed on into the shoals, ran aground on a slanting
  • 304Reef where, for some time, it pitched, uneasily balanced, resisting
  • 305Wave upon wave. Then its back broke. Men spilled out among rollers,
  • 306Trapped amid broken oars, amid floating benches and planking,
  • 307Swept from their feet by the suctioning force of the backflowing breakers.
  • 308  Turnus reacts decisively, instantly: rushing all units
  • 309Straight into action against these Teucrians down on the seashore.
  • Editor’s Note Link 310Trumpets sound. First blood in resisting this army of peasants,*
  • 311Goes—what an omen of war!—to Aeneas, who, starting with giant
  • 312Theron (himself intent upon killing Aeneas), now slaughters
  • 313Latins. Theron's blood he drained from the flank, as his sword-stroke
  • pg 246314Cut through his corslet of bronze and his tunic stiffened with gold thread;
  • 315Next he struck Lichas, devoted, from childhood, to Phoebus the Healer
  • 316Since he'd been cut from his dead mother's womb and survived iron's early
  • 317Thrusts; then Aeneas brought death upon those who stood nearby: a tough man,
  • 318Cisseus, and Gyas, a giant, who were, at that moment, destroying
  • 319Rank upon rank with their clubs. Little help were their own Herculean
  • 320Weapons or well-muscled arms, or the fact that their father, Melampus,
  • 321Had, for as long as the earth made Hercules suffer through monstrous
  • 322Labours, stood at his side.
  • Look! He now aims a javelin at Pharus,
  • 323Hitting him full in the mouth as he volleys a barrage of insults.
  • Link 324Cydon, you too could have died while chasing Clytius, your latest
  • 325Passion unfulfilled, cheeks showing the first trace of blond fuzz.
  • Link 326You'd have been hacked by Aeneas's sword, and released from your constant
  • Link 327Preoccupation with youthful amours. You'd be just a pathetic
  • 328Corpse if your brothers had not intervened, a platoon of them, Phorcus'
  • Link 329Sons—there were seven in all—discharging a volley of seven
  • 330Javelins. Some ricocheted off Aeneas's shield and his helmet,
  • 331Harmlessly, some even grazed him, but slightly, deflected by kindly
  • 332Venus. Aeneas now spoke to his faithful companion, Achates:
  • 333'Keep me supplied with those spears that once, on the Ilian flatlands,
  • 334Lodged in the bodies of Greeks. Not one will be any less lethal
  • 335Now, when its target's Rutulian.' He picked up, and fired off, a massive
  • 336Shaft. And it flew through the breezes and whipped through the bronze-plate that covered
  • 337Maeon's shield, then shattered his chest as it shattered his corslet.
  • 338Rushing to help him, his brother Alcanor supports his collapsing
  • 339Brother, disarming his own hand; the hurled spear speeds on its bloody
  • 340Unstopped course, rips on through Alcanor's arm. So his sword-hand
  • Link 341Hangs from his shoulder, lifeless, and limply attached by its tendons.
  • pg 247342Tearing the spear from his brother's corpse, with Aeneas the target,
  • Editor’s Note343Numitor* aims. But he isn't allowed to strike home in his vengeance.
  • 344All he achieves is a scratch on the thigh of the mighty Achates.
  • Editor’s Note345  Clausus* from Cures has his turn now, his confidence based on
  • 346Youthful physique. His stiff spear-shot strikes Dryops at long range
  • 347Under the chin. Its powerful force cuts clean through his windpipe,
  • 348Just as he's speaking, and robs him of life as it robs him of language.
  • 349All he can strike is the earth, with his head; and his mouth vomits thick blood.
  • 350Clausus goes on to destroy six Thracians by various tactics.
  • 351Three were of Boreas' noblest bloodline; three more their father,
  • 352Idas, had sent from their fatherland, Ismarus. Then, with Auruncan
  • 353Units, Halaesus arrived, followed soon by the Tamer of Horses,
  • 354Neptune's offspring, Messapus. And group after group joins the struggle,
  • 355Trying to drive the invaders away. Ausonia's gateway,
  • 356Italy's shore, is the site of the struggle. Like weather-fronts fiercely
  • 357Warring in vast shared skies, with their wind gusts equal in power,
  • 358Neither they and their clouds, nor their strong seas, yield in the contest,
  • 359Stalled in prolonged deadlock, all nature frozen in conflict,
  • 360Just so the Trojan front and the Latin front, as they battled,
  • 361Fought, foot jammed against foot, dense packed, man pitted against man.
  • 362Elsewhere, though, in a dry river-bed where a torrent had scattered
  • 363Huge rocks end over end, ripping trees from the banks, Pallas noticed
  • 364How his Arcadian horsemen were running away under Latin
  • 365Pressure. The rough terrain had suggested dismounting. They'd done so.
  • 366Infantry warfare, however, had not been part of their training.
  • 367Such was the crisis that Pallas had only one option: to kindle
  • 368Manly pride with a mixture of bitter words and entreaties.
  • Link 369'Comrades, you're running away. Where to? I beg you, by your own
  • 370Selves, by your valiant deeds, by the name of your leader, Evander,
  • 371By all the wars you've won, by my hopes of attaining a glory
  • pg 248372Matching my father's, it's not your feet you must trust, but your weapons.
  • 373That's how to break through the enemy ranks. Where the fighting is thickest,
  • 374That's where the fatherland now summons you, summons Pallas, your leader.
  • 375No supernatural forces are crushing us. Our foes are human:
  • 376Men, who like us, can be killed. They have no extra hands, extra lifelines.
  • 377Look now, the sea locks us in with a wall of salt water. There's no land
  • Editor’s Note378Left we can run to. So shall we then head for the high seas and Old Troy?'*
  • 379This said, he charged straight into the fray where the foemen were thickest.
  • Editor’s Note380  Lagus,* led by an unjust fate, was the first to encounter
  • 381Pallas, who speared him while he was attempting to rip up a huge rock.
  • 382Right through his midriff the javelin spun, where his spine separated
  • 383Ribs of his ribcage. And Pallas recovered his shaft from the body,
  • Editor’s Note384Lodged though it was in the bone, before Hispo,* enraged by the cruel
  • Link 385Death of his friend, could move in, as he hoped, and so gain the advantage.
  • Link 386Rage made Hispo rash. Pallas caught him instead as he charged in,
  • 387Buried his sword in the angrily panting lungs of his foeman.
  • 388Sthenius fell to him next, then Anchemolus, scion of Rhoetus'
  • 389Ancient house. He had raped his stepmother once in her bedroom.
  • Link 390  Daucus' sons, identical twins, Larides and Thymber—
  • 391Even their parents—and this confusion delighted them—could not
  • 392Tell them apart—you too died then in Rutulia's ploughlands.
  • 393Pallas supplies a grim way of distinguishing one from the other:
  • 394Thymber, he cuts off your head with Evander's sword, and Larides,
  • Link 395Your right hand, lopped off, now misses its master; its fingers
  • 396Still have a shadow of life: they twitch and they claw at the sword-hilt.
  • 397  Pain intermingled with shame sent Arcadians back to the battle,
  • 398Courage rekindled by Pallas's words, and by seeing his valour.
  • Editor’s Note399Pallas, in fact, speared Rhoeteus* then as he passed in his chariot,
  • 400Fleeing the fight. And that's how a reprieve was then granted to Ilus.
  • pg 249401Ilus, you see, was the target of Pallas's powerful spear-shot.
  • 402Rhoeteus got in the way while fleeing from you, noble Teuthras,
  • 403Both you and Tyres, your brother. He tumbled head first from his chariot
  • 404Barely alive, and his heels gouged stripes in Rutulian ploughland.
  • 405  Fires that a shepherd has set at strategic points round a forest
  • 406(When, as he's hoped, summer winds have arisen) will suck flames
  • 407High in an updraft into the centre, creating a single
  • 408Frontage of Vulcan's jagged blaze stretched wide on the broad plains,
  • 409Meanwhile, gazing down at the fires, rambunctious in triumph,
  • 410There sits the conquering shepherd. Just so, Pallas, all of the courage
  • 411Your men showed coalesced. It delighted (and helped) you.
  • Halaesus
  • 412Moved to oppose them—a tough man who used all his armour's protection
  • 413Cannily. He killed Ladon and Pheres, Demodocus also,
  • 414Cut off Strymonius' hand with a lightning sword-stroke when this man
  • 415Threatened his throat, smashed Thoas' face with a boulder and showered
  • 416Fragments of skull far and wide, pulped crimson with brain-spattered blood clots.
  • Editor’s Note417  Fate, through Halaesus' father,* had sung of his doom. So the father
  • 418Hid him away in the woods. But the fates, when death sank the old man's
  • 419Eyes into blindness, got hold of him, marked him down for Evander's
  • 420Spear. And now Pallas had found him. Before he attacked, Pallas prayed thus:
  • Link 421'Grant, Father Tiber, good luck to this iron-tipped spear that I balance,
  • 422Poised for the cast. May it pierce through the chest of that tough man, Halaesus.
  • 423You'll have a trophy: his spoils and his armour will honour your oak tree.'
  • 424And Tiber listened; Halaesus exposed his own chest to Evander's
  • 425Spear as the youth tried, unfulfilled, to cover Imaon.
  • Editor’s Note Link 426Lausus,* a major force in the war, did not allow carnage
  • 427Pallas inflicted to panic his troops. He started by killing
  • 428Abas, a knot to frustrate any blade, who rose up to oppose him.
  • 429Next, he laid waste the Arcadian troops, laid waste the Etruscans,
  • pg 250430And you Teucrians too—whose bodies the Greeks had not shattered.
  • 431Column met column, matched both in physical strength and in leaders.
  • 432Those in the rear crowd those in the front; sheer masses of soldiers
  • Link 433Stop any movement of weapons or arms. On this side there's Pallas
  • 434Straining and pressing, and Lausus on that, both youths of outstanding
  • 435Beauty, both roughly the same age. But neither, says Fortune, will ever
  • 436Make his way home from the war. Yet the ruler of mighty Olympus
  • 437Tolerates no thought of letting them meet one another in combat.
  • 438Fate awaits each, very soon, at the hands of a mightier foeman.
  • Editor’s Note439Meanwhile, his sister divine* is admonishing Turnus to rescue
  • 440Lausus. He cuts through the ranks in between in his swift-moving chariot,
  • 441Then, upon seeing his comrades, he cries: 'It is time to stop fighting;
  • 442Pallas is mine, only mine. Only I have the right to this duel.
  • Link 443Oh, how I'd love this show if his father could be here in person!'
  • 444This said, his comrades withdrew from the area, as he'd instructed.
  • 445Pallas, amazed at these boastful commands, was, as the Rutulians
  • 446Pulled back, shocked stock-still by his first sight of Turnus. His eyes moved,
  • 447Scanning the giant body, assessing its strengths at a distance,
  • 448Glaring defiance. He fired back words in response to the tyrant's
  • Editor’s Note Link 449Own volleyed words: 'Either way, I'll have glory: the Spoils of Distinction*
  • 450Or a heroic death. My father accepts either outcome.
  • 451Cut out the threats.' So saying, he entered the clearing established.
  • 452Blood rushed cold to Arcadian hearts, gelled thick in their terror.
  • 453Turnus leaped from his chariot, setting the style for a close-range
  • 454Duel on foot. And the image evoked is that of a lion,
  • 455Watching, from high in the hills, as a bull in the grasslands below him
  • 456Thinks about fighting, but makes no move. So he races towards him.
  • 457Pallas, as soon as he thinks his opponent has come within spear-shot,
  • 458Aims the first blow in the hopes that, although he is no match in sheer strength,
  • 459Chance may reward him for boldness. He cries these words to the heavens:
  • pg 251460'Hercules, stand with me now in this challenge supreme, I beseech you,
  • 461Just as my father was there when you came needing food, needing shelter.
  • 462Grant that my dying foeman may see me stripping his bloodstained
  • 463Armour. Let Turnus's very last sight be me in my triumph.'
  • Link 464Hercules heard what the young man said, though he choked back a heavy
  • 465Groan deep down in his heart. He was weeping tears of frustration.
  • Link 466Jupiter spoke to him, father to son, with a friend's understanding:
  • 467'Each man has his day marked. Life's short years can't be recovered.
  • 468That's why a man's real task is to reach beyond life in achievement,
  • Link 469Pass beyond fate, beyond rumour to fame. Troy's towering ramparts
  • Editor’s Note470Saw many sons of the gods fall beneath them. One was Sarpedon,*
  • 471Child of my loins. And his fate, even now, is summoning Turnus.
  • Link 472He too has entered the final stretch of the course he's allotted.'
  • 473This said, he tears his eyes far away from Rutulian ploughlands.
  • Link 474  Meanwhile Pallas, his spear discharged full force, is already
  • 475Gripping his sword, flashing menace, withdrawn from its hollow, enclosing
  • 476Sheath. And the spear, as it flies, penetrates his opponent's
  • 477Shield at the rim, pierces armoured plates protecting his shoulders,
  • 478Finally grazes the flesh of the mighty Turnus's body.
  • Link 479Turnus, unhurriedly testing his razor-sharp javelin's balance,
  • 480Launches its iron-clad tip against Pallas, and cries out a message:
  • Editor’s Note Link 481'Look, and see whether the weapon I wield cannot penetrate deeper.'*
  • 482While he was speaking, his whiplashing javelin's point had already
  • 483Drilled through the generous plating of bronze and of iron, through oxhide,
  • 484Layer upon layer, that covered the shield, struck straight through the centre,
  • 485Pierced the resistant breastplate and dug through the muscular ribcage.
  • 486Pallas gained nothing by pulling the burning shaft from his wounded
  • 487Body. His blood and his life followed fast through the channel created.
  • Link 488Doubling over his wound, he collapsed, as his arms clanged around him,
  • Link 489Biting the enemy dust with jaws gushing blood in his death-throes.
  • Link 490Turnus was now standing over him:
  • pg 252491'Listen, Arcadians! Echo', he said, 'my words to Evander.
  • 492Say he deserves to receive Pallas home in the state that I send him.
  • 493Still, I'll bestow such honour as comes with a tomb, and what solace
  • 494Burial brings. But the cost of his entertaining Aeneas
  • Link 495Won't come cheaply for him.' As he spoke, he was stamping his left foot
  • 496Firm on the corpse as he stripped off its sword-belt, a work of quite monstrous
  • 497Weight, stamped heavy with crime. For engraved in gold there by Clonus,
  • 498Eurytus' son, was a wedding of blood, where, in one night, so many
  • Editor’s Note499Bridegrooms* were foully murdered by brides in an orgy of slaughter.
  • Link 500It's now Turnus's spoils. He's happy to have it, triumphant.
  • Link 501Witness the human mind, knowing nothing of fate or the future,
  • 502Nothing about moderation when puffed with success and good fortune!
  • 503Turnus will find there's a time when he'll wish he could purchase an unscathed
  • 504Pallas, a time when he'll hate these spoils and the day that he won them.
  • 505Comrades are crowding around Pallas now as he's laid on his curving
  • 506Shield, as they carry him back to their ranks amid weeping and deep groans.
  • Link 507Oh, what a sorrow and glory you'll be when you come home to father!
  • 508This same day introduced you to war, then withdrew you for ever.
  • 509Nonetheless, you leave mounds of Rutulian corpses behind you.
  • Link 510News of this deadly blow now flies to Aeneas from solid
  • 511Sources, not rumour. It's clear that the tiniest tip of the balance
  • 512Dooms his men, that they're running: it's time that he rescue the Teucrians.
  • Link 513Cutting a swath, edge to distant edge of the battlefield, scythes
  • 514Anything anywhere close, in a rage, as he seeks you out, Turnus,
  • 515Proud of your latest slaughter. It's all there: Pallas, Evander
  • 516Clear in his mind's eye; the first bread they broke when he came as a stranger;
  • 517Handshakes of treaty and friendship.
  •    So four youths, seedlings of Sulmo,
  • 518And the four Ufens raised, he harvests to be living tribute
  • pg 253 Link 519Sprinkled with grain for the ghosts of the dead; with the flood of their gushing
  • Editor’s Note520Prisoners' blood he would dampen the flames* upon Pallas's pyre.
  • 521  This done, he fired off a spear, long range. And its target was Magus
  • Link 522Who, thinking quickly, ducked. And the quivering spear flew above him.
  • 523Clasping Aeneas's knees as a suppliant, Magus sought mercy:
  • 524'Please, by your father's ghost, by your dreams for your growing Iulus,
  • 525Save this life, I beg, for another son and his father.
  • 526I've an impressive house; in its vaults there are masses of well-wrought
  • 527Silver, gold by the pound, some in crafted form, some in ingots.
  • 528I'm not the pivotal point of a Teucrian victory. One life
  • 529Won't make much of a difference, this way or that, in the battle.'
  • 530That's what he said. And Aeneas' reply ran somewhat as follows:
  • 531'Spare these multiple masses of silver and gold that you've mentioned,
  • Link 532Save them for your own sons. This commercial aspect of warfare
  • 533Turnus was first to suspend just now by his killing of Pallas.
  • 534That's what Anchises' ghost has declared—and so has Iulus.'
  • 535This said, his left hand grasps Magus' helmet, and, though he's still begging,
  • Link 536Bends back his neck. Then he plunges the blade-hilt deep in his suppliant.
  • 537  Haemon's son, priest of Phoebus and Hecate, gleaming in long white
  • 538Robes and insignia, was not far away, his temples for all time
  • 539Bound with a chaplet that symbolized life consecrated. Aeneas
  • Link 540Clashed with him, chased him all over the field till he slipped, then astride him,
  • 541Casting a huge shadow, slaughtered him. Stripping his armour, Serestus
  • Editor’s Note542Shouldered it up as a trophy for you, Mars, Lord of the Soldier.*
  • Link 543  Caeculus, Vulcan's descendant, and Umbro who hails from the Marsian
  • 544Hills, put some new life in their front. But Dardanus' offspring
  • 545Rages against it. His sword has just pruned off, along with its rounded
  • Editor’s Note546Shield, the entire left forearm of Anxur.* This man had been spouting
  • 547Big talk, believing that words beget force, and perhaps his ambition
  • Link 548Buoyed him to heaven with hope. He had promised himself a long lifespan,
  • pg 254549Stretched over many more years, that he'd live long enough to have white hair.
  • 550  Tarquitus next set himself in the path of Aeneas's fury.
  • Link 551Born to a nymph, Dryope, and fathered by Faunus, the woodlands'
  • Link 552God, he was prancing, proud in his blazing armour. Aeneas,
  • 553Hefting a spear, pinned the massive weight of his shield to his breastplate.
  • 554As the man begged in vain and prepared to keep pleading, Aeneas
  • 555Slashed off his head. When it fell to the ground, he rolled over the headless,
  • 556Still warm trunk with his feet and said this, with a heart full of hatred:
  • 557'Figure of terror, now lie where you are. Your wonderful mother
  • Editor’s Note558Won't ever bury your limbs* in the family tomb. You'll be either
  • 559Left here as food for the carrion birds or flung to the surging
  • 560Seas where your wounds will be nibbled by starving fish as your corpse drifts.'
  • Editor’s Note561  Off he goes, hot in pursuit of Turnus's best men: Antaeus,
  • 562Lucas, and Numa* the Brave, and Camers the Tawny—the richest
  • Editor’s Note563Lord of estates in Ausonia, king of Amyclae's Laconic
  • 564Peoples,* sparse with their words; he was son of Volcens the Great Heart.
  • Link 565Once there was blood on his sword, like the monstrous Aegaeon, Aeneas
  • 566Savaged the whole field of battle. Aegaeon, they say, had a hundred
  • 567Arms and a hundred hands, all either clashing their matching
  • 568Shields or unsheathing swords. He had fifty chests from which fifty
  • 569Mouths flared fire that day when he fought against Jupiter's lightning.
  • 570Look at him now, in a head-on charge at the oncoming four-horse
  • Editor’s Note571Rig of Niphaeus!* And: it's not he but the horses that veer off,
  • 572Shying in fright, tearing off from the sight of him, toppling their master
  • 573Out, dragging chariot straight for the sea as Aeneas approaches,
  • 574Long in his galloping stride, most fierce in his snorting and roaring.
  • 575  Lucagus, meanwhile, and Liger, his brother, have charged to the forefront,
  • 576Driving a chariot drawn by a pair of white horses. His brother
  • 577Handles the reins as Lucagus whirls drawn sword all around him
  • 578Fiercely. Aeneas, unable to stand their madness and fury,
  • pg 255579Runs up, appears right in front of them, huge with his menacing spear poised.
  • 580Liger addresses him:
  • Editor’s Note581'No, it is not Diomedes' steeds* that you see, or Achilles'
  • 582Chariot. These aren't Phrygian plains, they're the land where your battles
  • 583End now, along with your life.' Such words fly in public from Liger,
  • 584Mad beyond help. Yet it's not a reply in words that the Trojan
  • 585Hero plans; his response is a javelin torqued at his foeman.
  • 586Lucagus, stretching forward, as if he were handling a horsewhip,
  • 587Goading the pair with the flat of his sword, is advancing his left foot,
  • 588Poised for the fight, when that javelin rises, clear through his shining
  • 589Shield's lower rim, then drills through his groin. He is hurled by its impact
  • 590Out of the chariot, down to the ploughlands, tumbling and dying.
  • 591Righteous Aeneas's words to his foe are ironic and bitter:
  • Link 592'Lucagus, well, we can't blame panicked horses for failing your chariot,
  • Link 593Shadowy phantoms did not divert your team from the foeman;
  • 594You left the rig, jumped clear of the wheels.' He grasps both the horses'
  • 595Bridles while speaking. The brother slips down from the chariot, extending
  • 596Unarmed hands in an unfulfilled last hope to win pity.
  • 597'Think, I beg, of yourself, of the parents who bore you and formed you.
  • 598Please, man of Troy, let this life go on. I beg you for mercy.'
  • 599'That's not the way you were talking just now,' says Aeneas, who cuts off
  • 600Further appeals. 'Die now. Don't abandon your brother, good brother.'
  • 601Then he reveals life's lair in the chest with a skilful incision.
  • Link 602  Such were the deaths that the Dardan commander dispensed on the flatlands,
  • Link 603Out of control, like a torrent in flood, like a raging tornado
  • 604Black in the sky.
  • Now Ascanius, the boy, with the other young warriors,
  • 605Finally bursts from the camp. For the futile siege has been ended.
  • 606Jupiter, meanwhile, took action, addressing these comments to Juno:
  • 607'Sister and darling wife that you are to me, all in one person,
  • pg 256608Oh, how right you have been. Venus, just as you thought, is supporting
  • 609Trojan successes. It's not their own skill, their own brilliance in battle,
  • 610Not their own fierceness and courage, or stubborn endurance of peril.'
  • 611Juno's response was subdued: 'Why disturb me, dear wonderful husband,
  • 612Now when I'm heartsick and living in fear of your grim resolutions?
  • 613If there were still any force, as there once was and, properly, should be
  • 614Now, in your love for me, you, with control of the universe, surely
  • 615Wouldn't persist in denying me power to steal Turnus from battle,
  • 616And, in this way, keep him safe and unharmed for his father, for Daunus.
  • 617Well, let him die, let his righteous blood pay its price to the Teucrians,
  • 618This, nonetheless, is a man who derives his name from Pilumnus,
  • Link 619Our stock, four generations ago, a man who has often
  • 620Loaded your temple steps with his many, and lavish, donations.'
  • 621  Briefly the king of Olympus, high in the heavens, responded:
  • 622'If what is asked is delay of his death, some time for a young man
  • 623Destined to die; if you've grasped that it is my resolve that he must die,
  • Link 624Get Turnus out, let him run, grab him now! Fate is already pouncing.
  • 625There's slack enough to indulge you in this. If your prayers have as subtext
  • 626Any more radical pardon than this, if you're thinking the whole war's
  • Link 627Course can be shifted or changed, then the hopes that you feed on are empty.'
  • Editor’s Note628  Juno laments: 'Putting fate into words may mean shifting and deadening
  • 629Meanings the mind would convey. The thought: "life still remains for this Turnus"
  • 630Yields, if I'm not wrong, the words: "still remains": no more than the ghastly
  • 631Death of an innocent. Please, prove me wrong, overpowered by delusive
  • 632Fears. So rephrase what you've started to say for the better. For you can.'*
  • Link 633This said, she instantly hurled herself from the apex of heaven,
  • 634Mantled in dark cloud, storming the air with an onrush of winter,
  • 635Straight to the Ilian front and the fort in the Laurentines' country.
  • pg 257636Out of her cloud's hollow veil, Juno tailored a wispy and strengthless
  • Editor’s Note637Shadow resembling Aeneas* (the likeness was really astounding),
  • 638Armed it with Dardan equipment and copied the godlike Aeneas'
  • 639Shield and his plumes. She endowed it with power of speech, but not reason:
  • 640Sound unsupported by mind. Her art caught his movements exactly.
  • Link 641  When people die, rumour has it, their shapes simply flutter at random;
  • 642And, when we sleep, dreams mock and delude our unconscious perceptions.
  • 643So this mirage now behaves. It happily leaps to the front lines,
  • 644Brandishes arms to provoke, yells words that will irritate Turnus.
  • 645Turnus attacks it and, though at a distance, discharges a screaming
  • 646Spear. The mirage simply spins in its tracks, shows its back, begins running.
  • Link 647Turnus, believing Aeneas has baulked and is fleeing from combat,
  • 648Gulps a great draught of illusory hope in emotional tumult:
  • 649'Where are you running, Aeneas? You're promised a bride. Don't desert her!
  • 650My hand will pledge you that portion of earth you sailed oceans in quest of!'
  • 651Such are the boasts he lets fly as he hunts the mirage with his flashing
  • Link 652Sword. He can't see that his joy's just a creature that flies on a wind gust.
  • 653Moored to a high cliff-ledge, as it chanced, lay a vessel at anchor,
  • 654Rope ladders draped from its sides, lowered gangplank ready for boarding.
  • 655This was the ship King Osinius sailed in from Clusium's coastlands;
  • 656Now it's the hideout the trembling mirage of the fleeing Aeneas
  • 657Hurls itself into. Yet Turnus lets nothing obstruct him, but bounding
  • 658Hot on its heels, leaps straight up the steep-sloped rise of the gangplank.
  • 659Just as he's mounted the deck, Saturn's daughter ruptures the hawsers,
  • 660Turns back the tide, tears the ship clear of land, spins it over the waters.
  • 661  So: while Aeneas is challenging Turnus, now absent, to battle,
  • 662Slashing the numerous others he meets into so many corpses;
  • 663So: while the fleeting mirage, giving up on its search for a hideout,
  • pg 258Editor’s Note664Soars to the skies, then mingles itself with the mantling dark cloud;*
  • 665Turnus is far out to sea, set adrift, spun around by a whirlwind.
  • 666He, unaware of what's happening, displeased too by his rescue,
  • 667Looks back and raises his hands and his voice to the heavens, protesting:
  • Link 668'Father Almighty, did you think me so bad as to merit
  • 669This much criminal shame? Did you want me punished in this way?
  • 670Where am I brought? Where and why did I leave? How can I ever get back?
  • 671Will I be able to look at our camp and the Laurentine ramparts
  • Link 672Ever again? My troops, all following me and my banner,
  • 673Men (god forbid!) I have left amid indescribable slaughter,
  • 674Straggling, yes, I can see them now, I can pick out their dying
  • 675Groans. And now I'm doing—what? Could the earth yawn open a chasm
  • 676Deep enough now for my needs? More effective to beg you for pity,
  • 677Winds. I, Turnus, implore you, it's my wish: bellow this vessel
  • 678Onto a reef or a cliff, sink it deep into merciless quicksands,
  • 679Well beyond reach of Rutulians and of omniscient Rumour.'
  • Link 680Now, as his thoughts found words, his mood wavered this way and that way.
  • 681Should he, since overwhelming shame was crippling reason,
  • 682Cover up guilt with a sword, run his pitiless blade through his own ribs?
  • 683Or throw himself in the pitching waves and swim for the curving
  • 684Shore, thus restoring himself once more to the fight with the Teucrians?
  • Link 685Two choices: each one he tried three times; each time mighty Juno
  • 686Stopped the young man and suppressed the attempt. For she pitied him deeply.
  • 687Drifting, but favoured by currents and waves, he made way and was carried
  • 688Landward to Ardea, ancient city of Daunus, his father.
  • 689Meanwhile, acting on Jupiter's orders, Mezentius, blazing,
  • 690Takes up the fight and attacks the now over-confident Teucrians.
  • 691Instantly, this one man is the target of every Etruscan
  • 692Blade, each volley of spears: the one focus for all of their hatred.
  • 693He's like a crag that protrudes in the vast expanses of ocean,
  • 694Set in the path of the furious gales and exposed to the breakers,
  • pg 259695Bearing the brunt of the threatening onslaught of sky and of sea-swell.
  • 696Standing unshaken and firm, he grinds Dolichaon's son, Hebrus,
  • 697Into the ground, kills Latagus next, then swift-running Palmus.
  • 698Latagus' face and advancing form he destroys with a massive
  • 699Mountain chunk, pure rock. As for Palmus, he severs his tendons,
  • 700Leaving him powerless and squirming. He gives the man's armour to Lausus:
  • 701Plumes for his helmet's crest and a breastplate to strap to his shoulders.
  • 702  Then, he slew Phrygian Evanthes, and Mimas, Paris' companion,
  • 703Even the same age. For Amycus fathered a son that Theano
  • Link 704Brought into life's light the same night Hecuba, pregnant with fire,
  • 705Bore Paris. Yet Paris died in his father's city, his homeland.
  • 706Mimas lies on the Laurentine coast in a land he does not know.
  • Link 707  Still Mezentius fights, like a boar that the snapping of hounds' teeth
  • 708Flushes from hilltops where he has been sheltered for years by the pine-dense
  • 709Summits of Vesulus, fed by the forested Laurentine lakelands'
  • Link 710Acres of marsh reeds. He now stands firm as the nets drop about him,
  • 711Snarls, snorts, tenses his shoulders, and arches his back into bristling
  • 712Fury. And nobody's quite man enough to go wild and get closer.
  • 713Safer to press him with shouts, and to shoot off spears from a distance.
  • Editor’s Note717He's not afraid. He takes time, circles this way and that, and he lunges,
  • Link 718Gnashing his teeth at them all; and he shrugs off spears from his tough hide.*
  • 714So, though they had just reason to hate Mezentius wildly,
  • 715All of them lacked raw nerve to unsheathe steel blades and attack him.
  • 716Spears, arrows, thunderous shouts were their weapons, all volleyed at long range.
  • Editor’s Note719  Then he saw Acron,* who'd come down from Corythus' ancient dominions,
  • 720Greek-born (but he'd left his wedding for exile, his wife still a virgin),
  • 721Saw him far off in the fierce throes of combat, his plume and his mantle
  • 722(Gift of his pledged bride) purpled with dye pounded out from the sea-snail.
  • pg 260723Often, when starving, a lion who roams all over the high lands
  • 724(Hunger's a desperate persuader) will thrill if he glimpses a scampering
  • Link 725She-goat or maybe a stag, growing proudly into its antlers;
  • 726Maw gapes wide, mane bristles erect, ineluctable jaws bite.
  • 727Now he is sprawling on guts ripped out, face bloodied and streaming
  • 728Horror and gore.
  • 729That's how Mezentius leaps at the thick of the foe, how he pounces.
  • 730Acron goes down, unfulfilled; and his heels, in his death-throes,
  • 731Pound earth. His blood dyes the now broken spear that has killed him.
  • Editor’s Note732  Next was Orodes.* Disdaining the thought of destroying another
  • Link 733Foe on the run and inflicting anonymous wounds with a spear-cast,
  • 734Face to opposing face, Mezentius met him in combat,
  • 735Man against man. Skill at arms won the day, not tactical cunning.
  • 736Foot upon fallen foeman's chest, arms tugging the spearshaft,
  • 737'Men,' he cried, 'Here lies Orodes, no trivial factor in this war!'
  • 738Joining the shout, allies cheered and re-echoed this paean of triumph.
  • 739Dying, Orodes responded: 'Whoever you are that has killed me,
  • 740Joy won't be yours very long. An identical fate watches over
  • 741You too. You'll soon gain just the same kind of plot in these ploughlands.'
  • 742Smiling at this, and yet also enraged, Mezentius answered:
  • 743'Die now. In my case, the Father of Gods and the Ruler of Mortals
  • 744Handles the details, I think.' Then he tugged the spear out of the body.
  • Link 745Rigid rest and an ironclad sleep slammed eyes into blindness:
  • 746Light and perception were damned to a night of darkness eternal.
  • 747  Caedicus butchered Alcathoüs; and Sacrator, Hydaspes;
  • 748Rapo, Parthenius, also the tough and resilient Orses;
  • 749Clonius fell to Messapus—Lycaon's son too, Ericetes.
  • 750Clonius' horse had no bridle; he'd fallen and sprawled on the hard earth.
  • 751But Ericetes was fighting on foot. When another foot-soldier,
  • 752Lycian Agis, advanced, Valerus, whose family were fighters,
  • 753Killed him. Then Salius killed Thronius. Salius fell to the hidden
  • 754Marksman, Nealces, so lethal with arrows and spears at a distance.
  • Link 755Mars, even-handed and deadly, was dealing out grief and destruction
  • Link 756On both sides, both equally slaughtering, equally slaughtered,
  • 757Victors and victims—no running from battle by one or the other.
  • pg 261758Gods within Jupiter's halls pitied each for this furious, wasted
  • 759Anger, regretted that creatures who die have to suffer such hardships.
  • 760Venus is watching from here; watching there is Saturnian Juno;
  • Link 761Pallid Tisiphone's rage rules thousands caught in the middle.
  • 762Waving his monstrous spear, Mezentius, whirling destruction,
  • Link 763Strides forth over the battlefield, massive as mighty Orion
  • 764Ripping a path midway through the depths of Nereus' ocean,
  • 765Marching along on foot, head and shoulders clear of the water,
  • 766Or, when he carries an ancient ash from the heights of a mountain,
  • 767Treading the ground, but plunging his head deep into the cloud-caps.
  • 768No less vastly armed than these is Mezentius in action.
  • 769  Noticing him in the long line of fighters, Aeneas advances,
  • 770Ready to fight. And, standing his ground unafraid, his opponent
  • 771Waits for his great-hearted foeman's attack, his immensity stock-still,
  • 772Eyes now gauging the distance between them, the range for a spear-cast.
  • Link 773'Right hand, you are my god, and you, javelin that I'm poising,
  • Link 774Ready to throw, give your best! I vow to you, Lausus, that you'll be
  • Editor’s Note775Dressed like a trophy* with spoils stripped away from Aeneas, this pirate's,
  • 776Corpse.' This said, he dispatches his spear. Screaming off at its distant
  • Link 777Target, it does hit the shield. But, deflected, it picks out, at random,
  • 778Faraway Antores, lodges between the man's flank and his thigh bone.
  • 779Antores, one of the best, friend of Hercules, sent out by Argos,
  • 780Joined with Evander, and settled within an Italian city.
  • 781Laid low, unfulfilled, by a wound that was meant for another,
  • Link 782Dying, he stares at the sky, and remembers his dearly loved Argos.
  • 783  Righteous Aeneas now hurls his spear. And it tears through the triple
  • 784Bronze sheets, then through the linen lining, then through the threefold
  • Link 785Stitched oxhides of the hollow shield and it strikes in the lower
  • 786Part of the groin, but without full force. So, swiftly, Aeneas
  • 787Tugs out the sword at his thigh, delighted to see the Etruscan's
  • 788 Link 789Blood, and now hot for the kill, moves in on his quivering foeman.
  • 790Lausus, on seeing this sight, groans deeply for love of his cherished
  • Link 791Father. The tears in waves stream all down his face in his sorrow.
  • Link 792Here I will not pass over in silence the cause of your harsh death,
  • 793Or your noble deeds, young man—if tales of the long-gone
  • 794Past win belief in such glory. You're worthy of being remembered.
  • pg 262795  Weighed down, dragging his enemy's spear in his shield now, Mezentius
  • 796Gave ground, defenceless, and tried to pull back. Rushing forward, the young man
  • 797Hurled himself into the fight in between them the instant Aeneas
  • 798Reared up, arm raised, poised for the kill. He himself intercepted,
  • Link 799Parried the stroke and himself took the blow. With a loud shout, his comrades
  • 800Followed him. Safe beneath his son's shield now, the father retreated;
  • 801They, with a long-range volley of arrows and spears, kept the foeman
  • 802Busy. Aeneas was forced to control his own rage and seek cover.
  • 803There are those times when the hail pelts down out of menacing storm clouds,
  • 804Times when all ploughmen, all tillers of land, will scatter from open
  • 805Fields, and when travellers huddle away in a spot that's protected,
  • Link 806Under the sheltering banks of a stream, or in high, hollow cliff-caves,
  • 807While rain pours to the ground and until, with the sun's reappearance,
  • Link 808Day and its work can resume.
  • Pinned down by a deluge of weapons
  • 809Hurled all around him, Aeneas endures this cloudburst of warfare,
  • 810Waits for the thunder to end, cursing Lausus, threatening Lausus:
  • Link 811'Why all this hurry to die—as you will? You're not up to this challenge,
  • Link 812Your sense of righteous devotion has lured you to rashness!' The other
  • Link 813Still prances madly. Ferocious wrath flares yet more intensely
  • Link 814Now in the Dardan chief. As the Fates pluck the last threads of Lausus'
  • Link 815Lifespan, Aeneas thrusts, full force, with his powerful sword's blade
  • 816Clear through the young man's belly and buries it hilt-deep inside him.
  • 817Through the light shield, no match for his challenge, the point, penetrating,
  • 818Pierces the tunic of soft supple gold that his mother had woven.
  • Link 819Blood gushes over his lap as he sinks; life flees from his body,
  • 820Sad on the breath of the winds to its place among lingering shadows.
  • Link 821  Yet, when he sees the expression that spreads on the face of the dying
  • 822Youth, on that face growing stunningly pallid, the son of Anchises
  • 823Pities him, utters a groan from his heart, reaches out with his right hand.
  • pg 263824Here, mirrored sharp in his thoughts, is his own righteous love for his father.
  • 825'Poor young lad! What act of respect can Aeneas the Righteous
  • 826Now do for you to acknowledge and praise such supreme dedication?
  • 827Keep your armour, your pride and your joy. And, in case you were worried,
  • 828Yes, I will send you back to the ashes and ghosts of your parents.
  • 829Though you went unfulfilled to your pitiful death, you'll have solace
  • 830Knowing you fell by the hand of Aeneas the Great.' Mocking Lausus'
  • Link 831Comrades, who hold back, he picks up the youth whose blood was befouling
  • 832Hair once neatly styled, lifts him up from the ground on his shoulders.
  • 833Meanwhile his father is stanching and cleansing his wounds at the flowing
  • 834Waters of Tiber. He's taken the weight off his feet, with his body
  • Editor’s Note835Propped for support by the trunk of a tree.* High above, in its branching
  • Link 836Arms, hangs his helmet of bronze; on the meadow, all peaceful, his heavy
  • 837Armour lies. Select youths stand round. He, nauseous and gasping,
  • 838Favours his neck; and his flowing beard spills over his broad chest.
  • 839Constantly asking how Lausus fares, he constantly sends out
  • 840Men to recall him and carry commands from his grief-stricken father.
  • 841Weeping companions, however, are already carrying Lausus
  • 842Dead, on his armour, a huge man felled by a huge wound inflicted.
  • Link 843He, in his mind, fears the worst. He knows, from afar, why they're groaning.
  • 844He now filthies his white hair with dust by the fistful; he stretches
  • 845Hands to the heavens. Embracing the corpse, he cries out in sorrow:
  • 846'Son, was the pleasure of staying alive so great that it kept me
  • 847Back, and that I allowed you, my own child, to replace me in battle,
  • 848Facing our enemy's sword? Am I saved, I your father, by your wounds?
  • 849Living because you died? My exile is now void of any
  • 850Sense of fulfilment in misery. This is the wound driven deeply!
  • 851Son, I'm the very same man whose criminal actions have ruined
  • pg 264 Link 852Your good name: I was loathed, overthrown, I was stripped of my fathers'
  • 853Sceptre. I should myself have exacted the judgement my soul's guilt
  • 854Owed my land and my people's hate: some death in a thousand
  • 855Forms. And I've not yet left these regions of humans and daylight.
  • 856I'm still alive. But I'll leave.' He raises himself on his injured
  • Link 857Thigh as he speaks. Though the depth of his wound does limit his movement,
  • 858Undeterred, he calls for his stallion, his symbol of glory—
  • Link 859And his companion in grief, upon whom he had ridden victorious
  • 860Out of all battles. He speaks these words to his sorrowful partner:
  • 861'Rhaebus, we've lived long years, if anything's long for us death-doomed
  • 862Creatures. Today you will either bring back, in your triumph, Aeneas'
  • 863Bloodstained spoils and his head and, together with me, avenge Lausus'
  • 864Suffering and pain, or you'll die with me here if our foray just cannot
  • 865Force a path open. I do not believe you, bravest of stallions,
  • 866Will tolerate someone else's control and a Teucrian master.'
  • 867This said, he mounts up and settles himself in his usual manner,
  • 868Loads up both of his hands with sharp-tipped javelins. Bright bronze
  • 869Gleams on his head, and his horsehair plumes stream wildly about him.
  • Link 870Straight to the centre of battle he charges, and here in this single
  • 871Heart whirls a maelstrom of shame and of grief intermingled with madness,
  • Link 872Love lashed to mindless rage, yet courage, controlled and self-conscious.
  • 873Three times now he calls a loud call on the name of Aeneas
  • 874And, recognizing the voice, Aeneas prays in contentment:
  • Link 875'Father of gods, make it so! Make it so, majestic Apollo!
  • 876Make your start to the duel!'
  • 877That's all he says. Then he comes to confront him, spear at the ready.
  • 878'Savage!' the other replies. 'How can you scare me now you've taken
  • 879My son's life? There was no other way that you could have destroyed me.
  • 880We neither tremble at death nor respect any god whatsoever.
  • 881Stop all the talk. I have come here to die, and I'm bringing you presents
  • 882First. Here they are!' And his javelin spins full force at his foeman.
  • 883Then comes another, another again, and they strike as he circles
  • 884Widely and swiftly around; but the shield's gold boss takes the impact.
  • 885Three times he loops to the left round his standing foe at a gallop,
  • pg 265886Showering spears from his hand. Three times, also turning, the Trojan
  • 887Hero hefts up a forest of shafts stuck fast in his bronze shield.
  • 888Then, when he tires of extended delays and of pulling out countless
  • 889Javelins, feeling the pressure of fighting on terms so unequal,
  • 890After much thinking, he breaks from defence and he hurls his own weapon,
  • 891Piercing his foe's warhorse clean through at the curve of its temples.
  • 892Instantly rearing up, lashing air with his forelegs, the stallion
  • 893Bucks off his rider, and then crashes down on top of him, tangling
  • 894Harness and man as he plunges and falls, dislocating his shoulder.
  • 895Trojans and Latins alike set the heavens ablaze with their shouting.
  • 896Yanking his sword from its sheath, Aeneas flies at him in triumph:
  • 897'Where is the fierce Mezentius now?' he enquires. 'Where's the famous
  • Link 898Violent power of his soul?' In response, looking up, the Etruscan
  • 899Gulps air into his lungs, regaining his senses and day's light:
  • 900'Why, bitter foe, do you gloat, making death no more than a menace?
  • 901Butchering me's not a sin. I didn't fight hoping for quarter!
  • 902Lausus, my son, settled no such terms with you for our duel.
  • 903One thing I beg—if there's this much forgiveness for enemies conquered:
  • 904Grant that my body be buried. I know that my countrymen's bitter
  • 905Hatred has me at its mercy. I beg you to ward off their fury.
  • 906My son shared my life, my death. Let us share the same tombstone.'
  • Link 907With no illusions, he offers his throat to the sword as he's speaking.
  • Editor’s Note908Then, in a torrent of blood, he pours out his life* on his armour.

Notes Settings

Notes

Editor’s Note
2 a meeting: Virgil's first indication that the gods have a forum like the 'Councils of the gods' in Iliad 5, 8, 15, and 20. Servius says he is also using the (now fragmentary) first satire of Lucilius. Virgil's tone is satirical: as if he were showing a meeting of the Roman Senate, with Jupiter presiding. Jupiter claims the gods have voted on a course of action he approved but then done what he forbade. His final decision, however, is a concession to the quarrelling factions. Only three gods speak: Jupiter, Venus, and Juno. Roman readers might see an allusion to the uneasy triumvirates (juntas of three leaders) that led to civil war in the first century bc.
Editor’s Note
9 I had forbidden: the Latin vetitum recalls the power to 'veto' senatorial decisions which Octavian asked from the Senate in 27 bc. But Jupiter does not use a veto here. See 12.806 and note.
Editor’s Note
13 Tide of destruction: the Second Punic War (218–202 bc), when Rome almost fell to Hannibal.
Editor’s Note
28 Diomedes: the Latins sent him a delegation in Book 7; he has not answered, much less set out with an army. Venus remembers he wounded her hand (Iliad 5.336 ff.) when Apollo rescued Aeneas from him.
Editor’s Note
36 Sicilian Eryx: Venus had a temple there: Venus Erycina (see note to 5.24).
Editor’s Note
46 licence to rescue Ascanius: Venus wants to take him where she has already transported him (1.691–4) after substituting Amor (Cupid). No mention has been made of his return.
Editor’s Note
54 Nothing they've got there: this collective insult to Latins, Greeks, Etruscans, Celtic, and Oscan peoples living in Italy would draw a hiss from almost everyone in Virgil's Roman audience.
Editor’s Note
66 approach King Latinus: Juno is exaggerating rather than lying. Aeneas sent ambassadors to Latinus, but visited Evander and the Arcadians in person. He left senior officers in charge of his camp, but they deferred to Ascanius and were not vigilant.
Editor’s Note
83 transfigure his fleet into so many sea-nymphs: Juno may not know that Cybele did this, with Jupiter's assent (9.77–122).
Editor’s Note
92 adulterous Dardan prince: Paris, who abducted Helen.
Editor’s Note
104 Carry on into your minds: the same line Aeneas attributes to Celaeno at 3.250 (see note there).
Editor’s Note
110 ruinous prophecies: perhaps Jupiter is aware that the prophecies have kept Aeneas from the site of Rome rather than helped him to recognize it. See notes to 8.100 and 8.399.
Editor’s Note
113 Fates will discover a way: the exact formula Aeneas says Helenus uses in 3.395 when speaking about Celaeno's prediction of famine. When Virgil puts echoes of Celaeno and Helenus in Jupiter's speech and has him allude to 'ruinous prophecies', doubts emerge as to Aeneas' 'destiny', and how 'fixed' it is. What Jupiter says to the assembled gods differs radically from what he says to individual gods. He talks to Venus in 1.257–8 as if his word and fate were the same: he now implies that they are not.
Editor’s Note
116 talk about fate: fatum, 'fate', and fandi, 'talking', come from the same root as fama ('rumour'). Jupiter disavows further involvement in the 'fate-making' process, and binds himself with an oath sworn by the Styx to enforce his current, vague ruling: that each individual's fortune will determine events. Jupiter's is just like his first oath by the Styx in 9.104–6. See also note to 6.398.
Editor’s Note
123–6 Asius … Thaemon: Asius and Thymoetes are minor Trojans (Iliad 3.146–7 and 12.96); the Assaracuses, minor descendants of a major Trojan; Clarus and Thaemon, minor brothers of Sarpedon.
Editor’s Note
128–9 Clytius' son … Menestheus: neither Clytius nor his father are noted elsewhere. Nor is Menestheus, whose name is similar to that of Aeneas' officer, Mnestheus.
Editor’s Note
132 the Dardan boy: usually Ganymede (abducted by Jupiter); here Iulus (abducted by Venus), described as if he were a work of creative art not a real person (see note to 10.46).
Editor’s Note
141 Pactolus: the river where the mythic Midas of Phrygia was purged of his magical touch that turned everything into gold. Pactolus was itself a source of gold.
Editor’s Note
142 Mnestheus: Virgil's summary of 9.779–812 is misleading. Turnus was assaulting the walls from inside the camp; and Mnestheus had not noticed Turnus was there until after he had wrought havoc.
Editor’s Note
145 Capys: Aeneas' cousin is not much discussed by Virgil. Tradition links him with (a) the betrayal of Troy to the Greeks, and (b) with Capua, which came to terms with Hannibal during the Punic Wars.
Editor’s Note
153 Tarchon: in other traditions, he led the Etruscans from Lydia to Italy and founded the cities of Mantua and Cortona, in addition to Tarquineia. His name obviously evokes the Tarquins, Etruscan kings of Rome—though Virgil never states the connection. To do so might give too overt an impression that Aeneas is installing an Etruscan monarchy (see note to 6.817). Virgil carefully distinguishes Etruscan immigrants from Trojans by incorporating them as allies seeking, not leadership, but a subservient role. Evander says they felt bound by prophecies to choose a foreign leader (8.503). The term for such non-citizen rulers was tyrannus, 'tyrant', itself derived from the possibly Etruscan word turan, 'lord'.
Editor’s Note
159 shelter and wood: these lines remind us that most of Aeneas' original vessels are sea-nymphs. His fleet is now largely Etruscan. Their port of departure is presumably Pyrgi, the port of Caere. If Aeneas is sailing with them on the sea (10.227) his own vessel is Etruscan, since he sent his own ships back down the Tiber from Pallanteum (8.548–50). This is probably Virgil's way of subsuming the tradition that Etruscans founded Rome.
Editor’s Note
166 Massicus: a name derived from Mount Massicus in Campania, famous for its fine wines (as Virgil notes in 7.725). His vessel is called Tigris ('Tigress') probably in honour of Bacchus, whose chariot is often represented as drawn by tigers, as Cybele's is by lions. The force he is bringing, however, is from Clusium (Chiusi), later home to one of Rome's greatest foes, Lars Porsenna (see 8.646 ff. and note) who tried to bring the Tarquins back to Rome. The Etruscans sail in an order that starts with those nearest the Tiber and moves north up the coast to Liguria, then across to north-east Italy.
Editor’s Note
169–80 Abas … Asilas … Astyr: I assume there is a rationale for Virgil's assignment of names here, but am not sure I've found it. Abas (see Glossary) is also the name of (a) a companion of Aeneas and (b) of an Argive warrior he killed, and whose name he inscribes on his victim's shield. The only important mythic Abas is the son of Hypermestra, the only daughter of Danaus who does not kill her husband (see note to 10.499): a mixture of Greek and Egyptian bloodlines. The name Abas tends to appear in contexts specifying weapons and their use or non-use (even in death he is a 'knot to frustrate any blade' (10.428) ). It seems right for the leader of an area rich in iron that has a name suggesting 'despoiling' (Latin populari, de-people, despoil) as well as populus (poplar tree) and evocative of the cult of Juno Populonia, the goddess who protects people from plunder. Asilas is linked with priestly activities, so his name is likely to recall some Etruscan priestly office. Many Roman religious practices seem to be of Etruscan origin. With Astyr, personal beauty and his horse are the definers. Greek aster, 'star', makes a beginning (Paschalis, Virgil's Aeneid, 350). And the Asturians in Spain were famous for their horses. Silius says Asturians claimed descent from the Homeric Memnon's charioteer (3.332–4). What needs to be added is that Asturian cavalry were a major element in Hannibal's army when he invaded Italy; some of his major victories were won in Etruscan territory. Astyr's name, then, has ominous associations.
Editor’s Note
185 Cinyrus: there are several textual alternatives for this name (e.g. Cinyras, Cunarus). Cinyrus seems to me the most plausible because, in Greek, it carries the same sense of plaintive musicality as does ligys, the word sometimes seen as the root of 'Ligurian'. And in the Palatine Anthology (2.72 (414) ) Virgil himself is described as a clear-voiced and melancholy (ligys) swan. Cinyrus' squadrons come from areas where Etruscans mingled with Gallic and other non-Italian peoples. Each leader and vessel has some associations with music. Prominence is given to his son Cupavo with a massive ship but a small squadron (appropriate for a large bird, rare in Italy). His own odd name has multiple resonances (Cupid + avis ('bird') = 'Bird-lover' or Cupid + Juno's special bird pavo ('peacock') ) and leads into the story of Cygnus (= 'Swan'), metamorphosed into the bird (whose name he already has) through his love for Phaëthon. Phaëthon' sisters are changed into poplars, which give us a punning link back to Abas' Populonian motherland and its undertones of Juno Populonia. The Phaëthon myth also opens more distant links with Gaul and northern Europe (6.658 and note); Apollonius (4.611–17) thought it of Celtic, that is, Gallic, origin. Further, Cupavo's vessel has the same name as Sergestus' vessel in the boat race: Centaur. Sergestus' descendant, Catiline, gathered his army to overthrow the Roman state in Etruria, was allied with Gauls, and was defeated, in Etruria. There are menacing undertones here, as with Tarchon, Lars Porsenna's Clusium, and Astyr, echoing the grimmer themes on Vulcan's shield, which Aeneas now possesses, and which flashes destructive fire and flame like the Dog Star of summer when he disembarks.
Editor’s Note
198 Ocnus: the name suggests Gk. okneo, 'shrink from', 'avoid'. Mantua is the home town of Virgil, its most famous prophetic bard. In Eclogues 9.60 its foundation is linked with Bianor, but here it is derived from Manto (Gk. mantis = 'seer, prophetic singer'), best known as the daughter of the seer Teiresias in Seneca's Oedipus. Among its three peoples are Etruscans and Gauls. Mantua's river, the Mincius, is the smallest tributary of the Po whose source is Benacus (Lake Garda). In Georgics 3, Virgil vows to build a temple (commemorating Octavian's exploits) on the banks of the huge Mincius (huge only in spring when its floodwaters wreak havoc). How Mantua could have sent ships from the Po to the Tiber so speedily is a mystery.
Editor’s Note
207 Aulestes. His heavy-built Triton: 'Aulestes' suggests the Greek aulos (a double-stemmed reed instrument) and might evoke the name of Ptolemy Auletes, a Macedonian king of Egypt. See note to 9.618. His ship's figurehead is the musical monster Triton who killed Misenus (6.173).
Editor’s Note
213–14 their thirty / Vessels: larger than Aeneas' own fleet had been; their number is the same as the traditional number of cities in the future Latin League, established around Alba Longa.
Editor’s Note
229 Come, Aeneas, wake up!: Cymodoce, with other sea-creatures, pushed Cloanthus to victory in the boat race (5.826). Here we have Cymodocea, a slightly different name: a sea-nymph, newly created from ship's timbers; Virgil puns on the element -doce in her name as if it were from the Latin doce-, 'teach, instruct'. Expertise in language came to her more speedily than to the other former pines. She addresses Aeneas, awake (in body at least) a couple of lines earlier, as if she had found him sleeping. Curiously, Suetonius (Divus Augustus 16) says that just before Agrippa's decisive sea-battle against Sextus Pompey (36 bc), Octavian was so fast asleep that friends had to wake him to give the battle signal.
Editor’s Note
238 Arcadian cavalry: part of the Arcadian contingent, then, has already arrived while Pallas and Aeneas are at sea. No Trojan other than Iulus is mentioned. The active defence is conducted by allies.
Editor’s Note
278 Seizing … issues this challenge: repeats 9.127. Though missing in two major manuscripts, the line fits in perfectly: Turnus is taking the initiative, as usual. Leaving it out muddies the transition.
Editor’s Note
291 breathlessly calm: reading spirant, 'breathe' (with manuscript M), not sperat, 'he expects' (with manuscripts P, R, and Servius).
Editor’s Note
302 with one exception: why Tarchon? Perhaps because his descendant was Tarquin the Proud, the first foe of Rome to come to grief before Lars Porsenna, Gallic invaders, and Catiline, hints of whom lurk in this Etruscan fleet. Catiline's ancestor ran his vessel aground in the boat race.
Editor’s Note
310 peasants: as in Book 7, Virgil emphasizes the rustic nature and arms of the Latin forces. Yet only one of those listed sounds even faintly Latin, and few sound like farmers. Romans would have noticed this instantly. But Virgil offers even less help than he does with the Etruscan catalogue. Here is what Romans might have noticed. The unknown Theron that Aeneas kills wears expensive armour and has a Greek–Sicilian name. Lichas' (Greek) name recalls Hercules' herald who indirectly causes Hercules' death (and whose birth by posthumous Caesarian section is described in words that studiously avoid echoes of Caesar's name). Cisseus has the same name as Hecuba's father and Gyas is the namesake of the mysterious Trojan officer in the boat race (see notes to 5.118 and 175), even if both Latins wield clubs and are sons of Melampus (a Thessalian prophet not usually closely linked with Hercules). Pharus ('Lighthouse') is a mythic sea-captain in whose boat Helen and Menelaus were travelling when shipwrecked in Egypt. Cydon was the mythic founder of Cydonia in Crete. Phorcus, father of the brothers who rescue Cydon, is a Greek sea-god. Maeon is a Theban prophet. Alcanor (Gk. 'Man's Strength') is unknown, but brother of the first Italian-sounding person in the episode, Numitor.
Editor’s Note
343 Numitor: he fails to kill Aeneas, but Aeneas does not kill him either. He is the namesake of an Alban king, the grandfather of Romulus and brother of Romulus' wicked uncle Amulius. See note to 6.768–9.
Editor’s Note
345 Clausus: this Latin–Sabine name is familiar from the catalogue in 7.706–9 (and see note to 7.706). Virgil has switched to talking about the casualties Latins inflict on the Trojans and their allies. The ancestor of the Claudius clan strikes the first blows in response.
Editor’s Note
378 Old Troy: Pallas' allusion to an imagined voyage (back) to Troy is oddly addressed to Arcadians who did not come from Troy. Virgil is, perhaps, showing him 'echoing' what Aeneas might say.
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380 Lagus: his name means 'hare' in Greek.
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384 Hispo: the manuscripts have Hisbo; but since there is a Roman name Hispo, I have changed the spelling.
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399 Rhoeteus: his name, like that of Ilus (line 401), conjures images of Troy, not of Italy. The famous Ilus was the founder of Troy's citadel, and Rhoeteum was one of the ports in the Troad.
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417 Halaesus' father: see note to 7.724.
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426 Lausus: son of Mezentius, the Etruscan who heads the catalogue of Turnus' allies in 7.648–54.
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439 sister divine: Virgil now tells us that Turnus has a divine sister, but does not name her until 12.146, the most extraordinary postponement of identification in epic.
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449 Spoils of Distinction: Pallas, already talking of dedicating spoils (10.421–3), is now hoping to win the most distinguished of all spoils. See notes to 6.841, 859; 9.270; 11.15. There is much talk of spoils as symbols of glory in Book 10. In Book 11 the trophies created seem less glamorous.
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470 Sarpedon: Jupiter's son, killed at Troy. This passage is based in Iliad 16.459 ff. Here is a point where 'fate' coincides with individual fortune. Pallas enters a contest he lacks the prowess to win.
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481 penetrate deeper: this is a contest of masculinity. See notes to 11.721, 747, 760, and 790–1.
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499 Bridegrooms: in Aeschylus' Suppliants, the fifty daughters of Danaus, descendants of the Argive princess Io, come back to Argos from Egypt, looking like foreigners, and beg (and are granted) protection from King Pelasgus. They fled Egypt to avoid a forced marriage with the sons of Aegyptus. In the lost second and third plays of Aeschylus' trilogy, they are forced to marry Aegyptus' sons but, with the exception of Hypermestra, kill their husbands on their wedding night. Hypermestra is put on trial for breaking the oath to kill (which all the daughters took), but acquitted, thanks to the intervention of Aphrodite. Virgil's exclamation at lines 501–2 has such an Aeschylean flavour that it might be adapted from one of the two lost plays. A curious mythic dialogue is at work here, because Turnus himself claims Argive descent, and bears the image of Io on his shield. With Pallas' sword-belt he has acquired a matching piece. But Virgil, unlike Aeschylus, expresses disapproval of the murders committed by Danaus' daughters.
Editor’s Note
520 dampen the flames: he captures enemy soldiers to use as human sacrifices, as does Achilles in Iliad 21.27 ff. See also note to 11.97. Sulmo (9.412) and Ufens (7.745 ff.) are names of both warriors and, respectively, a town and river.
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542 Mars, Lord of the Soldier: Latin Gradivus, a title of Mars who 'treads heavily'. Aeneas rededicates Haemon, priest of Apollo while alive, to Mars in death.
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546 Anxur: his name is also the Volscian name for Tarracina in Latium; Umbro means 'an Umbrian'.
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558 Won't ever bury your limbs: His words combine those spoken by Odysseus in Iliad 11.452 ff., with their menace of carrion birds, and those of Achilles in Iliad 21.122 ff., when each denies an opponent burial. Neither Greek makes any pretence of more civilized behaviour. Aeneas becomes progressively less civilized as he moves from depression and defeat to anger and victory, earning comparison with the giant Aegaeon (10.565–9). See also note to 11.22. There is grim humour in the 'topping' of the son of the forest-god Faunus and a nymph named Dryope ('Oak Face').
Editor’s Note
561–2 Antaeus … Numa: Antaeus is also the name of a Libyan giant whose strength was maintained by his native earth. He was killed by Hercules, who lifted him up and strangled him. The Numa here is the second namesake of Rome's second king to be killed in action. The other was killed by Nisus in 9.454.
Editor’s Note
563–4 Amyclae's Laconic / Peoples: Camers' city in Latium has the same name as Sparta's twin city in the Greek province of Laconia, famous for the terse speech of its 'laconic' people. See 12.224–6. His father Volcens was killed by Nisus in 9.442. The tradition that Latin Amyclae vanished after an infestation by snakes probably arises from wordplay between Gk. Opheis, 'snakes', and Opikoi, 'Oscans', as Servius suggests.
Editor’s Note
571 Niphaeus: the name means 'Snowy'. From what follows, this ought to be Virbius, the doublet of the Greek Hippolytus, who is in the catalogue of troops in Book 7 but is never shown fighting. Aeneas appears like the bull from the sea in Euripides' Hippolytus that frightens Hippolytus' horses, which drag him to his death. This is the first of two consecutive encounters by Aeneas, fighting on foot, with charioteers.
Editor’s Note
581 Diomedes' steeds: Dido had asked Aeneas to describe Diomedes' horses and the greatness of Achilles in 1.752. Now the matter of Aeneas' withdrawal when confronted by Diomedes and Achilles becomes a sarcastic taunt from Liger. See the Introduction for details of the passages in the Iliad. This scene draws some details from Iliad 6, where Diomedes encounters (but does not kill) Glaucus. Curiously, the anagram of the Latin Lucage in line 592 is Glauce.
Editor’s Note
628–32 'Putting fate into words … For you can': these are very hard lines. I could not get across what Juno is doing without restructuring the phrasing. 'Fate' is in Latin 'that which is spoken', and Juno is talking of how fate can be changed in the transition between intent and word. She takes mente ('mind') and sees its elements, represented by letters, as unscrambling themselves into maneret ('would remain'). One could remove the doubtful element ('would') and leave manet (remains) which itself contains a punning allusion to manes ('ghost'). Fate becomes fixed at the point where the scrambling process stops. But the 'fate' spoken does not necessarily express the full nature of the thought that subtends it. Juno is trying to give Jupiter another way of interpreting his own thoughts, as Venus suspects she has done in 1.237. She is the 'mind' behind the throne of heaven—up to a point, at least.
Editor’s Note
637 Shadow resembling Aeneas: Juno steals a trick from Apollo and Venus and reuses the phantom Aeneas ploy from Iliad 5.449 ff., where Aeneas is saved from Diomedes, but with a twist. In this version, Turnus is the one being saved. It is the would-be killer that is doubled, not the victim.
Editor’s Note
664 mingles itself … cloud: as the vision of Mercury in 4.570 mingles with night (and see note to 4.556).
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717–18 He's not afraid … tough hide: almost all editors agree that these two lines are misplaced in the manuscripts.
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719 Acron: namesake of the warrior Romulus killed to earn his 'Spoils of Distinction' (see note to 6.841); and he comes from the home town of Dardanus, one of Troy's founding fathers.
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732 Orodes: an allusion to the Parthian king who defeated the Romans at Carrhae in 53 bc, captured their standards, and executed their commander Crassus, grandfather of the Crassus who claimed the 'Spoils of Distinction'. The emphasis on certain details (that Mezentius' victory was won face to face, and by skill at arms, not tactical cunning) suggests Virgil had the Parthian Orodes in mind. For Parthian tactics involved feigned cavalry retreats which induced the Roman infantry to break ranks and pursue, and the Parthians were trained to shoot arrows behind them as they retreated. Hardly any Roman writer of the age fails to mention Parthian tactics. Mezentius does what no Roman ever did: defeat (an) Orodes. Only Mark Antony had any military success against the Parthians.
Editor’s Note
775 Dressed like a trophy: as a despiser of gods, Mezentius would not vow his spoils to Jupiter if he won them but use them to adorn his beloved son. The standard Roman 'trophy' was made of a tree, with its limbs trimmed back, decorated with the armour of the vanquished. See 11.5–11 and 11.84.
Editor’s Note
835 by the trunk of a tree: the second image of arms and a tree (see 8.616 and note); the scene is ominously suggestive of a partially finished 'trophy'.
Editor’s Note
908 he pours out his life: Virgil does not describe how Aeneas kills Mezentius: the Etruscan offers his throat, then blood spills over his armour. This leaves us with a puzzle in the opening lines of Book 11.
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