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  • Link 1Dawn, as time passed, duly rose and left Ocean. Aeneas,
  • Editor’s Note2Up before her with the Morning Star,* thanks gods for his conquest.
  • 3Even though anguish impels him to take time needed to bury
  • 4Comrades lost, though his mind is in turmoil because of the slaughter,
  • Editor’s Note Link 5He has set high on a mound an immense oak* whose limbs he has pruned back
  • 6All the way round and arrayed with the gleaming arms and equipment
  • 7Stripped from the ruler Mezentius. He's turning it into a trophy
  • 8Honouring you, War's Lord, great Mars, and attaches the fighter's
  • Editor’s Note9Blood-drenched plumes, snapped spears, and the corslet, scored by a dozen
  • 10Holes* gouged through. To what serves as the left hand, he fastens the brass-bound
  • 11Shield, from its 'neck', he's suspending the sword in its ivory scabbard.
  • 12  Seizing his chance—for his captains are all pressing in on him, wildly
  • 13Cheering—he rallies his troops as they give him a rousing ovation:
  • 14'Men, this achievement is huge. All fear must be banished from now on.
  • Editor’s Note Link 15These spoils,* my first fruits of the war, have been reaped from a proud king!
  • Link 16Here is the artwork my hands have created! Behold him, Mezentius!
  • 17Now we must march upon one more king and the walls of the Latins.
  • 18Ready your weapons! Put war in your souls! Make war what you hope for!
  • 19Let's not be caught unawares by delays, and impeded the instant
  • 20Heaven nods signs to up standards and march the lads out of encampment.
  • 21No dissent must arise out of fear-fraught inertia and slow us.
  • Editor’s Note22  'Let us commit to the earth,* as we wait, these friends, these unburied
  • Link 23Bodies. In Acheron's depths, that's the only meaningful tribute.
  • 24Go!' he said. 'Honour these spirits, the pick of the flock, who with their blood
  • 25Mothered this new home to life for us all. Give them offerings and final
  • pg 26726Rites. Now our first step should be to have Pallas returned to Evander's
  • Editor’s Note Link 27Grief-stricken city. This day, marked black,* has removed him and plunged him
  • 28Deep in the sourness of death. Yet it found him not lacking in courage.'
  • 29  Tears fill his eyes as he speaks. He retraces his steps to the dead youth's
  • 30Quarters. An old man was guarding the laid-out corpse of the lifeless
  • 31Pallas. Acoetes had earlier served as Arcadian Evander's
  • 32Arms-bearer, then was assigned as companion to his beloved Pallas:
  • 33This move he made under auspices boding less happy fulfilment.
  • 34Gathered around him were all Pallas' slaves, a good number of Trojan
  • 35Men, and, with hair flowing free in the fashion of grief, Trojan women.
  • Editor’s Note36Once, though, Aeneas presented himself, after passing the high doors,*
  • 37Beating of breasts started, moaning notes shrilled up to the starry
  • 38Skies and the royal marquee re-intoned lamentations of sorrow.
  • 39Now's when his eyes get their first glimpse of Pallas: the snow-cold whiteness,
  • 40Pillowed head, then the face, the slight chest with the wound an Italian
  • 41Spear left gaping wide. Tears gush from his eyes as he's speaking:
  • 42'Poor lad! Was it upon you that Fortune, who came to us smiling,
  • 43Cast evil eye to spite me, so that your eyes would never see our realm,
  • 44And so you'd never ride home to your father's kingdom in triumph?
  • 45This isn't what my departing words to your father Evander
  • 46Promised for you, when he hugged me as I went away, as he sent me
  • 47Off to pursue great power. He feared for us. These were, he cautioned,
  • 48Fierce opponents; we'd battle a tough and resilient people.
  • 49He, I suspect, is a prisoner, even now, of delusive
  • 50Hope. Chances are that he's still making vows, piling gifts upon altars
  • 51While we are gathered in grief to pay hollow respects to a lifeless
  • 52Youth who has no further debt he must pay any god in the heavens.
  • Link 53'You'll see how cruelly your son died, how you lost what fulfilled you.
  • 54Such is our great triumphal return that you've waited and watched for!
  • Link 55Here's how much my word is worth! Still, you won't see him come back defeated,
  • Link 56Scarred by disgraceful wounds. No, Evander, you won't be a father
  • pg 268Editor’s Note57Wishing death as a curse on a son who's survived.* What a mighty
  • 58Guardian, Ausonia, you've lost! What a great loss for you too, Iulus.'
  • 59  Ending his tearful lament, he commands them to lift up this piteous
  • 60Corpse and dispatches the pick of his whole force, as escort and final
  • Editor’s Note61Honour guard—men who would join with his father in weeping. A thousand
  • 62Troops* were but minimal solace indeed for a grief so immensely
  • 63Huge, and yet surely the due that was owed to his father, in pity.
  • 64Others, no less fired up, plait switches of oak and arbutus
  • 65Withes into wickerwork, weaving a casket and cushioning bier,
  • 66Raising a couch wattled over with taut-stretched, shadowing branches.
  • Link 67Here, on a farmhand's bedding, they set out their noble young hero
  • Editor’s Note Link 68Languid as drooping hyacinth falls,* or limp as a violet
  • 69Clipped in its flower by a virgin's thumb, but whose shimmering lustre
  • 70Lingers, whose perfect form hasn't shrivelled, as yet, though its earthen
  • Link 71Mother no longer sustains life's vital strength with her nurture.
  • Link 72Then, bearing matching mantles stiffened with gold and with purple
  • 73Dye, comes Aeneas. Sidonian Dido herself, with her once live
  • 74Hands had produced them for him, as a pair: her labour of rapture,
  • Editor’s Note75Threaded with highlights of fine-spun gold worked into the cross-weave.*
  • 76One of the capes, in his grief, he drapes over the youth, a last tribute
  • Editor’s Note77Bridling the hair, now damned to the flames, in a veil of enshroudment.*
  • 78Many more prizes won in the Laurentine battle he also
  • 79Stacks up, and orders the plunder conveyed in a lengthy procession,
  • 80Adding some horses, and weapons he's stripped from the enemy's bodies.
  • Editor’s Note81Then, hands chained behind backs, come the men he is sending for human
  • 82Sacrifice,* planning to sprinkle the flames with the blood of their slaughter,
  • Link 83Honouring Pallas's ghost. He bids captains convey, with their persons,
  • 84Stumps clad in enemy arms, names nailed upon placards as insults.
  • 85Wretched Acoetes, enfeebled and robbed of fulfilment in old age,
  • pg 26986Bruises his chest with his fists, and his nails rip his cheeks as they march him,
  • Editor’s Note87Pitching down, hurled prone* to the ground the full length of his body.
  • 88Then they add chariots, drenched in Rutulian blood, to the march-past.
  • Editor’s Note89Aethon, his war-horse, trots past riderless,* stripped of its trappings,
  • 90Weeping and dampening its cheeks with a flow of magnificent teardrops.
  • 91Some bear his spear and his helmet—just these, for his conqueror, Turnus,
  • Editor’s Note92Now has the rest. Then the Teucrians follow, and then the Etruscans,
  • 93Full force.* Arcadians, weapons reversed, pass in funeral formation.
  • 94After the whole of the escort has passed in review and is moving
  • 95Onwards, Aeneas remains where he stands and observes, with a deep groan:
  • Link 96'Fate, with identical horrors of war, calls us, from our tears here,
  • Editor’s Note97Elsewhere to others. Goodbye for eternity,* wonderful Pallas,
  • Link 98Through all eternity, here's my farewell!' That was all. He now headed
  • 99Back to the high walls, directing his stride straight into the fortress.
  • 100Diplomats sent from the Latins' city were now in attendance,
  • 101Olive-boughs wreathing their brows. They were asking a special concession:
  • 102Would he turn over the war-dead strewn all over the landscape,
  • 103Would he allow them to pass beneath earthen mounds to entombment?
  • 104Since no dispute involves those now vanquished and lost to the sunlight,
  • Link 105Could he take pity on those once called his in-laws and good hosts?
  • 106Being a good man, Aeneas concedes their request—their petition
  • 107Can't very well be denied—and appends these additional comments:
  • Link 108'What shabby decoy of fortune has snarled you in such a colossal
  • 109War, men of Latium, that you flee from us who approached you in friendship?
  • 110Peace for the dead, for the losers in Mars' game of chance, that's the only
  • 111Favour you beg? I'd be willing to grant the same terms to the living!
  • 112I wouldn't be here, if fate hadn't granted me this place to settle.
  • Editor’s Note113I'm not at war with your people. Your king walked out* on the welcome
  • pg 270114We offered, choosing to hazard his fortunes on Turnus's weapons.
  • 115Turnus, not they, should have faced this death. That would have been fairer.
  • 116If he's prepared to end war with his hand, and get rid of the Teucrians,
  • 117These are the weapons, and I am the man honour called him to challenge.
  • 118Life would have been the survivor's reward from a god or his own strength.
  • 119Go now, and kindle the flames beneath your poor citizens' bodies!'
  • Editor’s Note120That's what Aeneas said. They were stunned into absolute silence,*
  • 121Kept on exchanging glances without any change of expression.
  • Editor’s Note122Drances,* an older man, quick to show hatred and hurl accusations,
  • 123Ever a personal foe of the youthful Turnus, exploited
  • 124This opportunity: 'Hero from Troy, rumour said you were mighty,
  • 125Arms prove you mightier! How can I praise you as high as the heavens?
  • 126Should I be awed by your justice first, or your prowess in warfare?
  • 127We will, with gratitude, bring this report back home to our city
  • Link 128And reunite you, if Fortune discloses a path, with Latinus.
  • 129He is our ruler. What Turnus contracts is his personal business.
  • 130Raising the predetermined might of your walls, even hauling
  • 131Stones for your Troy on our shoulders will be, not a task, but a pleasure.'
  • 132Total assent to his words rang clear, as if one voice had shouted.
  • Link 133Terms for a twelve-day truce were agreed. So with peace as their bondsman,
  • 134Teucrians mingled with Latins and wandered at will, and securely,
  • 135Over the hilltops. The tall ashes ring with the iron of axes,
  • 136Conifers high as the stars topple downwards. They split with their wedges
  • 137Fragrant cedar and oak after oak, while, in endless procession,
  • 138Wagons groan on their way, transporting their burdens of rowan.
  • 141Rumour, just recently telling of Pallas' triumphs in Latium,
  • Link 139Now outflew the official reports of this grievous misfortune,
  • 140Giving Evander himself and Evander's whole city the details.
  • 142Following ancient practice, Arcadians rushed to the gateways,
  • 143Funeral firebrands clutched in their hands. And the flames trace a blazing
  • pg 271144Pathway of light far over the fields as they march out in order.
  • Editor’s Note145Coming the opposite way is the Phrygian multitude,* joining
  • 146Ranks with the column of mourners. Then mothers, once they have seen them
  • 147Nearing the walls, set the whole city blazing with shrill lamentation.
  • Link 148No force at all has the power to prevent Evander emerging
  • 149Publicly. And when the catafalque carrying Pallas is set down,
  • 150He falls upon it and clings to him tightly, weeping and moaning.
  • Link 151Once pain's choking has eased, voice finds just enough force to break forth:
  • Editor’s Note152'Oh Pallas! This isn't what you had promised your parent!* How extra
  • 153Cautious you'd willingly be when entrusting yourself to the cruel
  • 154War-god! I knew how seductive one's newly found glory in combat
  • 155Could prove to be: that peculiar sweetness of first battle-honours.
  • 156These are the piteous marks of your passage to manhood, your basic
  • 157Training in local warfare! And here lie my vows and my prayers
  • 158Which not one god heard! You died fulfilled, at the right time,
  • 159Dearly belovèd wife. You were not kept alive for this anguish!
  • Link 160I, by surviving you, have achieved no more than surpassing
  • 161My due of life. I'm a father who's outlived his own son. If only
  • 162I'd joined my allies from Troy and been raked by Rutulian volleys!
  • 163I would have given my life. They'd be bringing home me, and not Pallas.
  • 164Teucrians, I don't take issue with you, with our treaties or pledges
  • 165Sealed with a welcoming handshake. For this was the price that my old age
  • 166Owed as a payment. Indeed, if a premature death was awaiting
  • 167This my son, I'll be glad, at some point, that he fell after felling
  • 168Thousands of Volsci while leading you Teucrians forward to Latium.
  • 169I, in fact, cannot imagine for you any nobler funeral,
  • Editor’s Note170Pallas, than this one provided by righteous Aeneas, the mighty
  • 171Phrygians,* Etruscan lords, and the whole armed force of Etruscans.
  • 172They're bringing those that your right hand killed, remounted as large-scale
  • Editor’s Note173Trophies. And you'd stand among them now, a huge tree-trunk in armour,*
  • 174Turnus, if you'd been his age, and you'd both, for your years, had the same strength!
  • 175Why, though, do my ruined dreams of fulfilment keep Teucrians from battle?
  • pg 272Editor’s Note176Go!* And report these directives to your king: be sure you remember!
  • Link 177"I delay death, in a life I hate seeing now Pallas is taken,
  • Editor’s Note Link 178Just to put your hand on trial.* You're aware that it owes son and father
  • 179Turnus as recompense due. And for proving its worth and good fortune
  • 180There's only one venue open. I am not suing you to bring my life
  • 181Pleasure, that wouldn't be right, but to please my son in the dead world." '
  • Link 182Dawn, meanwhile, who had brought forth her blessing of daylight for piteous
  • Link 183Death-doomed humans, commenced bringing back both their labour and troubles.
  • Link 184Father Aeneas now built, as did Tarchon, his funeral pyres
  • 185Down on the curving beach, where each unit, with its traditional
  • 186Rites, transported its dead. As the smoke-black brands kindle blazes,
  • 187Hot, fiery billows of darkness entomb far reaches of heaven.
  • 188Three times, arrayed in their bright-flashing armour, they run round the burning
  • 189Pyres; three times they ritually circle the funeral's mourning
  • 190Flames upon horseback, and howling mouths halloo loud lamentation.
  • 191Earth is bedewed with the same damp tears that bedew all their armour.
  • Link 192Shouting of men assaults sky in a roar with the shrilling of trumpets.
  • 193One group is now tossing onto the flames spoils ripped from the slaughtered
  • 194Latins: their helmets, their splendid swords, horse-bridles and trappings,
  • 195Red-hot wheels; others offer their own dead's all too familiar
  • 196Armour: the shields and the spears that fell short of achieving fulfilment.
  • 197Bodies of oxen killed all round honour Death in abundance;
  • 198Coarse-haired boars, flocks stolen from every pasture, have throats slit
  • Link 199Over the flames. Men cover the sea-front and watch as their comrades
  • 200Blaze, and maintain their watch as the members subside into darkening
  • 201Embers. Nothing can tear them away until Night's chilly dampness
  • 202Takes her turn with the blaze of her stars' lights studding the dark skies.
  • pg 273203  Elsewhere, and no less intently and piteously, Latins constructed
  • 204Countless pyres of their own, though they do commit some of the many
  • 205Human bodies to graves dug into the ground, carry others
  • 206Home, if their lands are adjacent, or send them back to their cities.
  • 207All of the rest, a gigantic heap of unsortable slaughter,
  • 208Not honoured, not even counted, they burn. Then everywhere vast fields
  • 209Rival each other with close-set clusters of blossoming fires.
  • 210  Daylight had pushed the cold shadows aside for a third time; the mourners
  • 211Started to break down high-heaped ash and unsortably tangled
  • 212Bones from the pyres and compress them beneath a warm earthen embankment.
  • 213Now's when the real crest, the mightiest wave, of prolonged lamentation
  • 214Crashed in the homes, in the city of mightily wealthy Latinus.
  • 215Mothers and piteously sad widowed brides, loving-hearted and grieving
  • 216Sisters, and children, now fatherless orphans, here, there, began screaming
  • 217Curses on monstrous war and on Turnus' plans for a wedding.
  • Link 218He's the one, he is the one, they demand, whose sword must determine
  • 219This fight, since he claims Italy's throne for himself, and top honours.
  • 220Drances adds weight to these cries in a vicious and sworn deposition:
  • 221One man alone must be called on, yes, ordered to fight, and that's Turnus.
  • 222Many a statement, variously phrased, at the same time supported
  • Editor’s Note223Turnus against him. The queen's great name cast an ominous shadow.*
  • 224Rumour, enhanced by the trophies he'd earned, further strengthened his backing.
  • 225  Now, amid all the unrest, as the core of the tumult is blazing,
  • 226Back come dejected delegates sent to the big city, bringing
  • 227Further fuel for the fire: Diomedes' response. Their enormous
  • 228Efforts and costly disbursements had all come to nothing. Their offerings,
  • 229Gold and the power of their prayers, had been worthless. He'd said that the Latins
  • pg 274230Had to look elsewhere for arms, or beg peace from the king of the Trojans.
  • Editor’s Note231  King Latinus himself gives up* at this national disaster.
  • 232Angered gods, fresh tombs they can see, show the verdict of iron
  • 233Will and resolve; and they warn that what destiny brings is Aeneas.
  • 234He, therefore, summons the council-at-large and his own chief advisers,
  • 235Since he's empowered to issue a call, to convene behind closed doors
  • 236Inside the palace. They fill up the streets in their rush to assemble.
  • 237Both his supreme seniority and the prime power of his sceptre
  • 238Grant to the visibly joyless Latinus the seat at the centre.
  • 239Here he commands that the mission rebuffed by Aetolia's city
  • 240Make its report, and requests that responses received should be detailed
  • 241Fully and point by point. Other tongues are then ordered to silence.
  • Link 242Venulus does as he's told and begins his narration in this wise:
  • 243'Citizens, yes, we have seen Diomedes and Argive encampments,
  • 244We've run our journey's course, we've passed all its perils triumphant,
  • 245We've all shaken the hand that brought Ilium's land to its downfall.
  • 246He, fresh from conquering Garganus' farms in Iapygia, was founding,
  • Editor’s Note247Right there, a city called Argyripa,* after his homeland.
  • Link 248  'Once we had entered, and leave had been granted to speak in his presence,
  • 249We made our offerings, explained who we were and our homeland's location,
  • 250Who had attacked us, and what motivation had lured us to Arpi.
  • 251He heard us out; then he made this reply in a voice free of passion.
  • 252"Fortune's children, peoples who live under lordship of Saturn,
  • 253Ancient Ausonian folk! What changes in fortune are ruffling
  • 254Your serene life, prompting you to provoke what you don't understand: war?
  • Link 255All of us whose swords' blades bloodied Ilian fields in our violence,
  • 256Have (not to count bitter times we endured as we fought beneath Troy's high
  • 257Walls, and not counting those swamped by the Simoïs) suffered reprisals,
  • 258Penalties words can't describe, world-wide, for our criminal actions.
  • Editor’s Note259Priam himself might pity our troops. The grim star of Minerva's
  • pg 275260Storm, ships wrecked off Euboea, the false shore-lights Caphareus
  • 261Flared out of vengeance. From warfare to far scattered coasts we were driven,
  • 262Atreus' son, Menelaus, as far as the pillars of Proteus,*
  • 263Exiled. Ulysses has gazed upon Cyclopes' homelands on Etna.
  • Link 264Or Neoptolemus' realm: shall I talk of this? Idomeneus'
  • 265Overthrow, maybe? Or Locrians living on Libya's coastline?
  • 266Even the Mycenaean commander of all the great Argives
  • 267Died, as he entered his home, at the hand of a wife I'll leave nameless.
  • Editor’s Note268Watching, embedded, for Asia's defeat, his cuckolder* waited.
  • 269Gods, one might add, have begrudged me the sight of the marriage I longed for
  • Editor’s Note270On my return to my homeland's shrines and to Calydon's beauty.*
  • Editor’s Note271Right now portents that frighten the eye still pursue me. My comrades,
  • Link 272Lost to me, soared to the sky* upon wings or are river-birds drifting
  • 273Aimlessly. Oh, what a ghastly affliction has punished my people!
  • 274Now they are filling the rocks by the coasts with their sorrowful screeching.
  • 275This was the penalty I should have seen was impending, the moment
  • 276I went mad and assaulted divine bodies too with my iron
  • 277Blade, and did actual violence to Venus by wounding her right hand.
  • Link 278Don't ask me, don't urge me again into this kind of battle!
  • Link 279Pergamum has been destroyed. There's no war between me and the Teucrians
  • 280Now. And they give me no joy, I don't even remember, these grudges of old days.
  • 281Those presents you offer me from your homeland's shores you should rather
  • 282Give to Aeneas. For we have confronted his savaging weapons,
  • Link 283We've fought him, hand to hand. So believe me. I know how immensely
  • 284He looms over his shield, how he torques his spear like a whirlwind.
  • 285If Ida's land had produced two more such men in addition,
  • 286Fates would have been reversed. A Dardanian would have assaulted
  • 287Inachus' cities and Greece would itself be the country in mourning.
  • 288Credit for any delay, before tough Troy's walls, that impeded
  • 289Greeks and their conquest, repulsing their progress for nine years,
  • Editor’s Note290Must be assigned to the hand of Hector, the hand of Aeneas.*
  • pg 276291Both men were noted for courage, and both for remarkable prowess.
  • 292Righteousness was more Aeneas' domain. Let your hands join in treaties,
  • 293Given a chance. But beware, if your arms join battle with their arms!"
  • 294So, most excellent king, you have heard not just the responses
  • 295This king gave to our prayers, but the judgement he passed on the great war.'
  • 296  Hardly had delegates ceased, when the varied hum of conflicting
  • 297Views rumbled out of Ausonian mouths, the way rocks blocking river
  • 298Rapids raise thunder of swirling waters trapped, the way nearby
  • 299Banksides rumble the crackling surge of the onrushing torrent.
  • 300Once spirits calmed, once the nervous chatter had dwindled to silence,
  • 301High on his throne, the king prayed to the gods, then began his own comments:
  • Editor’s Note Link 302'Better to have one's policies set in a crisis, Latini,*
  • 303Prior to action. This isn't the moment for planning. I'd rather
  • 304Not make our council convene when the foe has our city encircled.
  • 305Citizens, we are engaged in a war we can't win with a people
  • 306Born of the gods, men no battles can tire, men who can't be defeated
  • 307Since a defeat simply strips off their power to resist further fighting.
  • Editor’s Note308Dreams,* if you really had any dreams, of Aetolian assistance,
  • Link 309Give them up now. Yes, we each had our dreams. But you see how they've shrivelled.
  • 310Life has been crushed out of everything round us in general ruin.
  • 311All of you see it all with your eyes. You can touch it and feel it.
  • 312No, I am not blaming anyone. Men have done everything manhood
  • 313Could have done. This fight was fought by the realm, as a body, united.
  • 314So, let me frame, for the record, my hesitant mind's resolution
  • 315Which I'll explain very briefly. Now give me your fullest attention.
  • Editor’s Note316I own* an ancient estate very close to Etruria's river
  • 317Stretching far to the west, on into Sicanian holdings:
  • 318Hard, hilly land that Auruncans, along with Rutulian farmers,
  • 319Seed, and with great effort, plough, though the roughest of tracts are for pasture.
  • 320All this region, including the high mountain forests of pine-wood,
  • 321We, I propose, as a good-will gesture, cede to the Teucrians,
  • 322Set balanced terms for a treaty, invite them to enter as allies
  • Link 323Into our realm. If they're so much enamoured of us, let them settle,
  • 324Build cities. But, if their impetus carries them on to seize someone
  • pg 277325Else's domains, other peoples, if leaving our soil is their problem,
  • Link 326Let's use the strength of Italian oak to construct twenty vessels,
  • 327More if they've forces to fill them. We have all the lumber that's needed
  • 328Close to the sea. So let them decide numbers and classes of keels laid.
  • 329We'd be supplying the brasses, the labour, the tackle and dockyards.
  • Editor’s Note330Therefore, I move that we send out a hundred blue-blooded Latins*
  • 331Gifted in language, to state our decision and settle a treaty.
  • 332Have them bear olive-boughs, symbols of peace, in their hands on the journey,
  • 333And bring as gifts large loads both of ivory and of gold bullion,
  • 334Also the kingdom's throne and my own ceremonial toga.
  • Link 335Now give us your ideas. Our state is exhausted. Revive it!'
  • Link 336Drances arose. He was hostile as ever. For Turnus's glory
  • 337Raked him with jealousy's bitterness, evilled his never directly
  • 338Confrontational glance. He was free with his wealth, had a gifted
  • Link 339Tongue, and a hand ice-slow in a war. Though, in planning, considered
  • 340Not without value, his strength was subversion. His aristocratic
  • 341Mother conferred proud blood; he was vague when discussing his father.
  • 342Now he adds weight to the forces of anger, expands their dimensions.
  • 343'No one is blind to this crisis you seek our advice on. It doesn't
  • 344Need my voice to explain it, my lord. They admit that they all grasp
  • 345History's plan for our people, but limit their comments to mumbling.
  • 346Let this man allow freedom of speech, and suppress his own windy
  • Link 347Bluster. I'll speak, though he threatens to bring me death with a sword-thrust.
  • 348Thanks to his ill-starred guidance and pestilent conduct, we're seeing
  • 349So many leading lights snuffed out, and the whole of our city
  • Editor’s Note350Settle like ashes, beleaguered by grief,* while he puts the Trojan
  • 351Camp to the test with a boldness that comes when retreat is an option,
  • Editor’s Note352Scaring the air with his spears.
  • 'So add one more gift* to the bounty
  • 353You order sent, or assigned, to the Dardans, just one further present,
  • 354Finest of kings, and let no man's violence deter you: your daughter.
  • 355Grant her—as father, you should—to a son-in-law not of the common
  • 356Flock, to a groom who has class. Seal peace in a treaty for ever.
  • pg 278357But, if our minds and our hearts are so mightily cramped by our terror,
  • Editor’s Note358Let us appeal to the man himself,* beg him for permission,
  • 359Ask him to yield and sign over his rights to our king and our country.
  • 360Why do you, time and again, cast your poor fellow citizens into
  • Link 361Obvious dangers? You don't just start problems. You are the problem!
  • 362There's no salvation in war. It's peace we all ask of you, Turnus,
  • Link 363Peace guaranteed by the only pledge that defies violation.
  • 364I who, you claim, am your foe (it's a lie but contesting it wastes time),
  • 365Look! I'm the first to come begging your mercy. Take pity on your own
  • 366People. Disarm your aggression. Begone! You are beaten. We're routed,
  • 367We've seen enough death, we've turned huge fields into desolate wastelands.
  • 368If, though, it's rumour that stirs you, if, deep in your breast, you're conceiving
  • Link 369Oaken strength, if your heart's set on having a palace as dowry,
  • 370Dare to display that spirited heart in confronting your foeman.
  • 371We common souls, as it is, must be carpets of unburied, unwept
  • 372Nobodies strewn on the plains to ensure that a wife with a palace
  • 373Benefits Turnus. So, if there's one speck of might in your own will,
  • 374One drop of martial blood in your veins, even you must confront him:
  • Editor’s Note375He's challenged you!'*
  • 376Turnus's violence flared at the tone of this speech, and emerging
  • 377First as a groan, it exploded in words full of heartfelt emotion:
  • 378'Drances, you're always so free with your wealth of rhetorical figures
  • 379Just when our wars demand action. If meetings of elders are summoned,
  • 380You arrive first. But you shouldn't be filling the senate with verbal
  • 381Blasts that escape you when you're not at risk, when the walls with their ramparts
  • Link 382Keep the foe out and the ditches have not become moats from the bloodshed.
  • Link 383Go on, maintain your tradition of eloquent thundering, Drances,
  • 384Charge me with cowardice, you, since your hand has stacked so many slaughtered
  • 385Trojans in heaps and built notable trophies all over the farmlands.
  • 386Now you've a chance for assessing the potent man in your manhood's
  • 387Vital force. You see, we don't need to go far to find foemen.
  • 388They're here, standing around these walls, we're completely encircled.
  • pg 279389We're off to face them. You're not. Why so? Will the war-god within you
  • 390Always reside in your windy tongue and your feet when you're speeding
  • 391Out of a battle?
  • 392Me "beaten"? No one will justly claim I am beaten, you filthy
  • 393Wretch, when he sees Tiber swelling to flood stage with Ilian
  • 394Blood, and the whole of Evander's house uprooted and sprawling
  • 395Dead like his offshoot—and all the Arcadians stripped of their armour.
  • 396That's not how Bitias and massive Pandarus found me in battle,
  • 397Or how the thousand I vanquished and sent down to Tartarus that day
  • 398Found me when trapped within enemy walls, fenced in by their rampart.
  • 399"There's no salvation in war"? Sing that as your dirge to the Dardan's
  • 400Head, or your own future prospects, you madman. Persist in creating
  • 401Total chaos with tactics of fear, in extolling the strength of a nation
  • 402Conquered twice, while, in contrast, demeaning Latinus's forces.
  • 403  'Myrmidon leaders (in his script) are starting to tremble at Phrygian
  • 404Forces! Both Tydeus' son and Larissan Achilles are panicked!
  • 405Aufidus' torrents retreat from the waves of the rough Adriatic!
  • 406His feigned fear at confronting my menacing insults is only
  • 407Criminal artistry sculpting a scowl on his figure of terror.
  • 408  'Don't worry, you'll never lose your kind of a soul to my good hand.
  • 409Keep it yourself, lodged with you inside your contemptible bosom!
  • 410  'Now, father, I am returning to you and your major proposals.
  • 411If you put no further hope at all in our military prowess,
  • 412If we are so far gone that a single reversal in battle
  • 413Means we are dead at the roots and that Fortune has nowhere to come back,
  • 414Let's sue for peace, let's extend them our hands which are obviously useless.
  • 415Yet how I wish we could muster a trace of traditional manhood!
  • 416Blessed in his labours beyond other men, as I see it, transcending
  • 417Ordinary souls is the man who meets death to avoid seeing conduct
  • Link 418Just like this, who bites dirt with his teeth only once and for ever.
  • 419But, if we have the resources and youths still able of body,
  • pg 280420If there are cities to help us in Italy, peoples surviving,
  • 421And if the glory the Trojans won cost a great deal of bloodshed—
  • 422They had their own losses too, for the storm struck all sides with equal
  • 423Power—then why do we yield in disgrace on the very first threshold?
  • 424Why do our limbs start shaking before any bugle has sounded?
  • 425Much does improve in a day. Man's labours vary as seasons
  • 426Change. And since Fortune must visit so many in turn, she will sometimes
  • 427Make us look stupid and then set us back in a solid position.
  • 428We'll get no help from Aetolian Arpi and her Diomedes.
  • 429But there's Messapus, Tolumnius too—he fulfils his objective—
  • 430Plus captains so many peoples have sent. There'll be no meagre glory
  • 431Following Latium's recruits and those from the Laurentine farmlands.
  • 432Then, from the excellent Volscian people, there's also Camilla,
  • Editor’s Note433Leading a cavalry column.* Her squads bloom bright in their bronze-plate.
  • 434  'Still, if the Teucrians demand that I come out alone for a duel,
  • 435And we accept, and if I'm such an obstacle blocking the common
  • Editor’s Note436Good, I won't then proceed* to think Victory hates and avoids me
  • 437So much that I would refuse any act that might bring my dream closer.
  • 438I'll face him bravely, though he may be playing the great role, Achilles,
  • 439Armed with equipment that's equally fine, handcrafted by Vulcan.
  • Editor’s Note Link 440I, Turnus, vow* both to you and my father by marriage, Latinus,
  • 441My life's blood. I stand second to none, in my manhood, to bygone
  • Editor’s Note442Heroes.
  • 'Aeneas "calls me out alone?"* I pray that he will call!
  • 443Drances must not be the one to atone with his death, if the angry
  • 444Gods have their way, or win honour, if manhood and fame prove decisive.'
  • Link 445While they continued contentious internal debates on disputed
  • 446Issues, Aeneas was moving his camp and his battle formations.
  • 447Look! For the news is now spreading all over the palace and causing
  • 448Mighty commotion, it's flooding the city with terror in huge waves:
  • 449Teucrian troops, battle-ready, along with the Tuscan contingent,
  • 450Are, report says, moving down from the Tiber all over the flatlands.
  • pg 281451Instantly spirits are roused and the hearts of the ordinary people
  • 452Bludgeoned. Their wrath is aroused by no trivially light provocation.
  • 453Trembling with rage, they want weapons, yes, 'Weapons!' the young men are shouting.
  • 454Fathers are saddened. They're weeping and grumbling. Disputes, disagreements
  • 455Everywhere blend into one huge roar that soars to the heavens,
  • 456Much as when great flocks of birds just happen to settle on highland
  • 457Forests, or when, on Padusa's fish-filled waters, the raucous
  • 458Swans trumpet calls all across those ever-talkative marshes.
  • 459  'Well now,' Turnus observes, seizing opportunity's offer,
  • 460'Summon your council, citizens, praise peace, stay where you're seated.
  • 461They're overrunning your realm with their forces.' He said nothing further,
  • 462Rushed from the meeting, departed the tall palace building in seconds.
  • 463'You!' he commands. 'Volusus! Tell Volscian units to arm up!
  • 464Lead the Rutulians yourself. Get the cavalry ready, Messapus,
  • 465Fan them out over the plains. Coras, help him, along with your brother.
  • Link 466This group must strengthen the city's gates and take charge of the towers.
  • 467All other units must join me and march out wherever I order.'
  • 469  Father Latinus himself now abandons his meeting and big plans,
  • 470Deeply upset by the grim situation, and seeks an adjournment,
  • 471Constantly blaming himself for not acting alone and inviting
  • 472Dardan Aeneas as son-in-law and as his heir to the city.
  • Editor’s Note468  Everyone's swarming up to the walls from all over the city.*
  • 473Some dig out trenches in front of the gates, bring up boulders and sharpened
  • 474Posts. As the trumpet's raucous blast gives the signal for warfare's
  • Link 475Bloodshed, housewives and children encircle the wall like a floral
  • 476Wreath. All hands are required for the ultimate task of survival.
  • Editor’s Note Link 477Further, the queen is conveyed to the heights of the citadel, Pallas'
  • 478Temple, escorted by mothers massed in a huge group, and bringing
  • 479Gifts for the goddess.* And there at her side is the virgin Lavinia,
  • 480Cause of this great disaster, her eyes so becomingly downcast.
  • pg 282481In go the mothers and fill up the temple with smoke from their incense,
  • 482Pouring their voices of sadness forth from within the high sanctum.
  • 483'Mistress of weaponry, spirit of warfare, Virgin of Triton,
  • Link 484Break this Phrygian pirate's sword with your own hand and sprawl him
  • 485Face down onto the soil. Lay him low at the base of our tall gates.'
  • 486Turnus is now busy arming himself and impatient for battle.
  • 487He has already put on his fire-red corslet. Its bronze scales
  • 488Bristle around him. He's strapped gold greaves to his calves, though his temples
  • 489Still lack a helmet. He's buckled his sword to his side and is blazing
  • 490Gold as he speeds from the citadel heights. For his spirits are prancing;
  • 491There in his mind's eye, his hopes, he has already conjured his foeman.
  • Link 492He's like a stallion, breaking his tethers, escaping his stable,
  • 493Finally free. The whole prairie becomes his domain without fences.
  • 494Now he can choose between heading for clusters of mares in the pastures
  • 495And flashing down to the river he knows for a plunge in familiar
  • 496Waters. He stretches his neck up high and he whinnies with wanton
  • Link 497Pleasure. His mane streams free on his neck, streams over his shoulders.
  • 498  But, heading Turnus off, Camilla charged up with her Volscian
  • 499Troopers. The queen then leaped from her horse right in front of the main gate,
  • 500All her battalion followed her lead and dismounted with easy
  • 501Grace, slipping down in one smooth wave from their horses. She spoke thus:
  • 502'Turnus, a certain self-confidence is, perhaps, earned by one's valour.
  • 503I make so bold as to promise I'll charge at Aeneas's mounted
  • 504Forces, head off and engage his Etruscan cavalry units
  • 505All by myself. Permit me to confront the first dangers of battle,
  • 506You be the infantryman, stand at the walls, mount guard on the city.'
  • Link 507Turnus, his eyes fixed fast on this virgin, a figure of terror,
  • 508Answered: 'What adequate thanks can I offer you, Italy's virgin
  • 509Glory? How can I repay you? But now, since your wonderful spirit
  • 510Soars above everything, share the great labour with me, as a partner.
  • pg 283511Rumour, and scouts we've deployed, are reporting that ruthless Aeneas
  • 512Has, and I trust what they say, just dispatched an advance force of light-armed
  • Editor’s Note513Cavalry. Purpose? To kick up a noise* on the plains while he marches
  • 514Over the ridge, through unguarded mountainous heights, on the city.
  • Link 515I plan a bit of war's banditry there. The trail drops through a wooded
  • 516Gorge. I'll be able to seal both exits with infantry units.
  • 517Muster your squads, intercept these Etruscan cavalry forces.
  • 518With you the fierce Messapus will ride, Latin companies also,
  • 519Tibur's squads too. You will gain a conception of leadership's challenge.'
  • 520This said, he fires up Messapus and allied leaders for battle,
  • 521Using almost identical words. Then he moves on his foeman.
  • 522There is a valley with tortuous twists, ideal for deceptive
  • Editor’s Note523Military ruses. Its flanks press in on the defile, encroaching
  • 524On both sides, shedding dense, leaf-canopied darkness,* begrudging
  • 525Access to those who would pass the constrictive jaws of its entrance.
  • Link 526High on the crest of the mountain above it—a good place for look-outs—
  • 527Lurks a plateau, not known to outsiders, affording good cover
  • 528Whether you'd want to engage your foes on the right flank, the left flank,
  • 529Or just stand on the ridge-top and overwhelm them with boulders.
  • 530That's where the young man goes; he, knowing the course of the pathways,
  • 531Takes the terrain and the unfair advantage of woods to set ambush.
  • Editor’s Note Link 532  Settled, meanwhile, far above, Latona's daughter* was speaking
  • 533Grimly to one of her sacred group of virgin attendants,
  • 534Opis, swift on her feet. And Diana was uttering these words:
  • 535'Off, my dear virgin, to cruel war goes Camilla, who's bearing
  • 536Weapons about her, which, though they are ours, won't save her. No other
  • Editor’s Note537Woman is dearer to me; her love for Diana* is no new
  • 538Force that's come over her soul in a sudden upsurge of sweetness.
  • Editor’s Note539  'Thrown out because he was proud* in his power—and his rule was detested—
  • 540Metabus, as he was leaving his ancient city, Privernum,
  • pg 284 Link 541Took, as he fled from the midst of the war and its battles, his infant
  • 542Daughter to be his companion in exile. He named her Camilla,
  • Link 543After her mother Casmilla, with just a slight shift in the spelling.
  • Link 544Carrying her for himself in a fold of his robe, he was heading
  • 545Up the long ridges of lonely woods. Deadly weapons were raining
  • 546All round, swift-darting Volscian troops were now tightening their circle.
  • 547Then, blocking off his escape, was the Amasenus in full flood,
  • 548Foaming and topping its banks after drenching, torrential cloudbursts.
  • 549He was preparing to swim, but held back, through love of the infant,
  • 550Fearful for his dear burden. And then, as he stirred every option
  • 551Round in his thoughts, this one swirled up, then, unsteadily, settled.
  • Link 552He was a man at war and, by chance, his masterful right hand
  • 553Wielded a javelin, massively oaken, knotted and smoke-cured.
  • Editor’s Note554To it he bound his offspring, enclosed in a pastoral, cork-bark*
  • 555Cover, then strapped her in place at the shaft's exact centre of balance.
  • 556Gauging the arc of her flight in his great hand, he cried to the heavens:
  • 557"O blessed virgin, Latona's daughter, O Guardian of Woodlands,
  • Link 558I, who am this child's father, now dedicate her to your service.
  • 559Yours are her first weapons grasped as she flies from the foe. She's your suppliant!
  • 560Goddess, accept her, I beg, as she's cast to the treacherous breezes!"
  • 561This said, he draws back his arm, puts torque on his javelin, hurls it
  • 562Off on its way. Waters bellow. Camilla flees over the river's
  • Editor’s Note563Rage on a screeching spear: an ill omen for future fulfilment.*
  • 564Metabus, though, as the troop of his trackers starts pressing more closely,
  • 565Leaps in the torrent, defeats it, then plucks out his shaft, with the virgin
  • 566Vowed to the Goddess at Crossroads attached, from the turf of the meadow.
  • 567  'No city took him within its defences, much less into households.
  • 568Nor would this wild human creature have made any gesture to ask them.
  • 569He led a shepherd's life in the lonely world of the mountains,
  • pg 285 Link 570Raising his daughter here, in the bush, amid overgrown ranges,
  • 571Suckling her at the dugs of a mare from a wild herd on untamed
  • Link 572Beast's milk, inserting the teat at her tender lips, squeezing gently.
  • Link 573Once this infant could stand on her feet, take her first steps, her father
  • 574Armed her hands with a sharpened javelin, then from the tiny
  • Link 575Young child's shoulders, suspended a bow and a quiver of arrows.
  • 576No gold brooch for her hair, no long cape draping her body:
  • 577All down her back, from the top of her head, hung the skin of a tigress.
  • Editor’s Note578Her tender hands whirled spears, like a boy, not the sley of a girl's loom.*
  • 579Circling her head was a smooth strap hurling bullets of slingshot,
  • 580Shooting a white swan down or perhaps some crane from the Strymon.
  • 581Mothers in every Etruscan town so hopelessly wanted
  • 582Her as a bride for their sons. But, contented with only Diana,
  • Link 583She remained virgin and fostered eternal love for her weapons
  • 584And for her chastity. Oh, how I wish she had not been seduced by
  • 585This kind of military action, attempting to harass the Teucrians.
  • 586She would be dear to me now and be one of my corps of companions.
  • Link 587'Go then, my nymph, since her bitter fate now closes in quickly,
  • 588Slip from the dome of the skies and visit the land of the Latins,
  • Link 589Where there's a grim fight in progress. The omens portend a disaster.
  • 590Take these weapons and draw from the quiver an arrow of vengeance
  • 591Which will exact for me, from whatever Italian or Trojan
  • 592Violates her sacred body with wounds, like payment in bloodshed.
  • 593Afterwards, I'll bear the piteous maiden's corpse and her armour
  • 594Undespoiled in a hollow cloud to her homeland for burial.'
  • 595Now she had spoken. The nymph spiralled down through the sky's subtle breezes
  • 596Thunderously, swathing her body in black like a swirling tornado.
  • 597Meanwhile the Trojan force nears the walls in conjunction with captains
  • Editor’s Note598Leading Etruscan recruits* now trained and turned into equestrian
  • 599Units of uniform size. So the open plains are a whinnying
  • 600Tumult of stallions prancing and rearing, of heads tugging taut reins
  • pg 286 Link 601This way and that. Now the farms have become vast croplands of iron,
  • 602Bristling spear-shafts; plains are a blaze of armaments brandished.
  • 603Out to oppose them Messapus rides, and the swift-moving Latins.
  • 604Coras, too, with his brother, the squad, too, of virgin Camilla;
  • 605All are in view on the plain's far side. Right arms are now either
  • 606Angled back as they couch the extended reach of their lances
  • 607Or making javelins quiver. Advancing men and the horses'
  • 608Whinnying heighten the heat. Then they halt. Each side has moved into
  • Link 609Javelin range. Of a sudden, a shout. Out they burst in a fury,
  • 610Yelling their horses to fury, discharging their spears the way blizzards
  • 611Swirl snow round, weaving sky into one dense shrouding of darkness.
  • Editor’s Note612  Levelling lances, Tyrrhenus, and, keen as his spearhead, Aconteus*
  • 613Instantly target each other and meet in the battle's first combat,
  • 614Crashing together with thunderous noise and complete devastation:
  • 615Four-footed horses smash shattered chest against chest at a gallop.
  • 616Pitched from his horse and hurled like a lightning bolt or a huge ball
  • 617Powered by torqued ropes, Aconteus spatters his life on the breezes.
  • 618Instantly orderly lines become chaos. The Latins, now routed,
  • 619Wheel about, shipping their shields to their backs, gallop straight for the city.
  • 620Trojans pursue; and Asilas takes charge at the head of their squadrons.
  • Link 621Once near the gates, though, the Latins again raise a rallying war-cry,
  • 622Veer away, rein about supple-necked horses to face them. Pursuers
  • 623Now are pursued, swept far to the rear, reins free, through their own ranks.
  • Link 624Think of the sea with its alternate swirls of advance and withdrawal:
  • 625Charging the land, surging over the rocks with the froth of its seething
  • 626Swell, arched high into breakers that wash through the last spit of dry sand,
  • 627Then rattle rapidly back, spinning stones in a suctioning backwash,
  • 628Leaving the coastal sands as a slithering shallow of liquid.
  • 629  Twice Tuscans routed Rutulians, sdriving them back to their ramparts;
  • 630Twice, hurled back by spears, they glanced round and covered their own backs.
  • pg 287631After they'd charged one another a third time, however, their forces
  • 632Totally tangled and intertwined. Each man picked a man out.
  • 633That's when the dying screamed, when the weapons and bodies went rolling
  • 634Deep in the pooling blood, and when, mingled with carnage of humans,
  • 635Half-dead horses writhed; for the fight grew ever more brutal.
  • Editor’s Note636Since Orsilochus* feared to face Remulus' prowess in person,
  • 637He flung a spear at his horse, striking under the ear where the iron
  • 638Tip stuck. Crazed by the wound and the pain beyond bearing, the charger
  • 639Reared up, chest raised high, thrashing legs, and then bucking its rider,
  • 640Spinning him over the ground. And Catillus brought down Iollas,
  • 641Huge in his courage, along with Herminius, huge in his body
  • 642And in the strength of his arms. He wore nothing to cover his golden
  • 643Unscissored hair, nothing over his shoulders. For wounds didn't scare him.
  • 644So much man so exposed to a foeman's arms! Driven through him,
  • 645Right between his broad arms, there's a quivering spear. And the raw pain
  • 646Doubles him up. Dark blood gushes everywhere, death clad in iron,
  • Editor’s Note Link 647Beautiful death* men yearn to attain through wounds in a battle!
  • 648Yet, where the slaughter is thickest, the Amazon prances, exposing
  • 649One of her flanks for the fight and equipped with a quiver: Camilla.
  • 650Sometimes her hand scatters volley on volley of light, pliant javelins,
  • Link 651Sometimes she grabs for a strong double axe, for her hand never tires.
  • Link 652Arms from Diana, her golden bow, ring out on her shoulders.
  • 653If she's repelled and retreats, she draws out her bow, faces backwards,
  • Link 654Firing her flying shafts from behind her. Her favoured companions
  • 655Gather about her: the virgins Larina and Tulla, and also,
  • 656Wielding an axe made of bronze, Tarpeia. Each girl is Italian,
  • 657Chosen by godlike Camilla herself to enhance her own image,
  • 658First-rate servants in peacetime and war. They're so like the Thracian
  • Link 659Amazons splashing their way across Thermodon's streams in their gaudy
  • 660Armour, off to the wars, like Hippolyta's troops. Or perhaps we'd imagine
  • pg 288661Penthesilea the daughter of Mars like this while returning
  • 662Home in her chariot, her armies of women tumultuously howling
  • 663Mighty halloos as they prance with the crescent-moon shields that they brandish.
  • 664  Who was the first man you killed with your weapons, you fierce young woman?
  • 665Who was the last? Bodies spilled to the ground and left dying: how many?
  • 666Clytius' son, Euneus, was first. And she hurled a long pine-shaft
  • 667Clear through the chest he exposed when he turned round to face her. Collapsing,
  • 668Vomiting rivers of blood, he kept biting the ground he'd made gory,
  • Link 669Writhing in spasms of death round the very wound that destroyed him.
  • 670Then add Liris and Pagasus. Liris, bucked when his stallion
  • Editor’s Note671Stumbled,* was gathering his reins. And while he was slipping, the other
  • 672Came running up, hands stretched to assist, and thus holding no weapons.
  • Link 673Both she sent crashing down to their deaths. Then she adds on Amaster,
  • 674Hippotas' son, then pursues and shoots, long-range, with her javelins
  • Editor’s Note675Tereus,* also Harpalycus, also Demophoön, Chromis:
  • 676Each shaft torqued and dispatched by this woman's hand brought a Phrygian
  • 677Man to his death.
  • Far off, wearing unfamiliar equipment,
  • 678Mounted upon a horse from Apulia, a hunter is riding.
  • 679Ornytus cloaked the whole breadth of his ample shoulders with rawhide
  • Editor’s Note680Stripped from a bullock (he liked a good fight).* For his head, the enormous
  • 681Gaping mouth and the jaws of a white-toothed wolf give protection.
  • 682Arming his hands is a peasant's staff with a hooked point. In his troop
  • Link 683He is the central figure and stands a whole head above others.
  • 684She intercepts him—it's not very hard, for his column's retreating—
  • 685Runs him through and then adds these words from a heart full of hatred:
  • Editor’s Note Link 686'Did you think you were out hunting game in the woods, you Etruscan?*
  • pg 289687Your day of doom has arrived. It refutes, with the weapons of women,
  • 688Everything you men say. But still, you will carry no trifling
  • 689Name to your fathers' ghosts: you died by the spear of Camilla.'
  • 690  Next fell Orsilochus, Butes as well, the two largest of Teucrian
  • 691Fighters. But Butes did have his back turned when she drove her javelin
  • 692In at that slim gleam of neck between corslet and helmet, his shield was
  • Link 693Merely dangling down from his left arm. He was, in fact, seated.
  • 694She, in Orsilochus' case, ran away. Though he chased her in great big
  • Link 695Circles, she fooled him by making a tighter loop on the inside.
  • 696Now the pursued was pursuer. He pleaded and begged as she rose up
  • 697Higher and hacked through the arms of the man, through his bones, with her mighty
  • 698Axe-blade, again and again. Gashes flooded his whole face with hot brains.
  • 699  Terror immobilized Aunus' son when he saw her and met her
  • 700Quite unexpectedly. This man, an Apenniniculan warrior,
  • 701Lied with Liguria's best while fate let him practise deception.
  • Link 702Once he perceived he could not make an exit in any direction
  • 703Quickly enough to get out of a fight or avert the queen's onslaught,
  • Link 704He made a shrewd approach with a well-planned ruse, and began thus:
  • 705'What so distinguishes you from the herd if you, being female,
  • 706Need a stud racehorse for courage? Away with escape! Trust resources
  • 707You have, and fight me on level turf, on foot, and at close-range.
  • Link 708Hitch yourself up! You will soon know who flatulent glory has hoodwinked.'
  • 709She was enraged at his words and inflamed by the sharp pain they brought her.
  • 710Handing her horse to a comrade, she faced him on foot with equipment
  • 711Much like his: bare steel, plain shield, though this didn't scare her.
  • 712Thinking his ruse had her beaten, the youth didn't falter. He simply
  • 713Lifted the reins, wheeled about, and took off at a runaway gallop,
  • 714Spurring his horse to full four-legged speed with a raking of iron.
  • Link 715'You're the one fooled, you Ligurian! Runaway pride gets you nowhere!
  • 716Your slick attempts at your folk's traditional arts have been wasted!
  • 717Trickery won't bring you home safely to Aunus the Cheater!'
  • pg 290718These are the young girl's words. Like fire with the feet of a sprinter,
  • 719She outraces his horse, grabs the reins, turns to face him, attacks him,
  • 720Then penalizes her foeman in blood, casually, like a sacred
  • 721Predator soaring on wings from a cliff-top, extending his pinions,
  • Editor’s Note722Stalking a pretty dove,* over her limits, unbridled, in veiling
  • 723Cloud; and he catches her, grasps her, and guts her with curving
  • 724Talons. Her blood sputters; plumes wrenched out flutter down from the heavens.
  • Link 725This was not something the Sower of Life for the gods and for humans
  • Editor’s Note726Failed to observe from his post on the pinnacled heights* of Olympus.
  • 727He, life's begetter, aroused the Etruscan Tarchon for battle's
  • 728Savagery, pricked up his wrath with no trivially soft provocation.
  • 729Tarchon, then, rode round amidst slaughter and columns withdrawing,
  • 730Spurring his fleeing wings with his varied words, into action,
  • 731Calling each trooper by name and reviving the battered for battle:
  • Link 732'What fear has touched you, Etruscans, what monstrous failure of courage,
  • 733You, so determined you'll never feel pain and who'll always be useless?
  • 734Some woman drives you around in a daze, beats back your advances!
  • 735What are swords for? Why do your right hands wield weapons that don't work?
  • 736You are not lacking in fire for night's bellicose tussles and Venus,
  • 737Or when the sound of the curving pipes declares dances for Bacchus!
  • 738Keep a sharp eye out for fêtes, and for tables loaded with goblets!
  • Link 739That's what you love, that's your cause, when the seer declares omens propitious,
  • Editor’s Note740When the host's* challenge to you in the woods is well-marbled and juicy.'
  • Link 741This said, and ready to die, he's now spurring his horse into combat,
  • 742Targeting Venulus, rushing at him like a whirlwind. He grabs him
  • 743Up off his horse, pulls him over his lap, and with notable violence
  • 744Holds his foe tight with his right hand and carries him off at a gallop.
  • 745Shouts ring out to the heavens above them, and all of the Latins
  • 746Turn their eyes his way. For Tarchon is fire racing over the flatlands,
  • Editor’s Note747Arms and their man* in his grasp. Then he snaps off Venulus' iron
  • pg 291748Spearhead and probes for a gap in his armour, a spot where the death-wound
  • 749Can be delivered. But Venulus fights back against him. He pushes
  • 750Tarchon's hand from his throat, escapes force with the strength of his own force.
  • Link 751Think of an eagle, high in her flight, all tawny, and holding
  • 752Intertwined with her feet and clenched in her talons a captured
  • Link 753Serpent. He's wounded but writhing his rippling coils, and he spirals
  • 754Upwards, scales prickled out and erect, stretching higher and higher,
  • 755Spitting out hisses. But she doesn't stop her attacks on her struggling
  • 756Prey with her curving beak as her wings thrash flight through the heavens.
  • 757That is how Tarchon carries away from the forces of Tibur, in triumph,
  • Editor’s Note758His own burden of prey.* Emulating their captain's achievements,
  • 759Lydia's sons, the Etruscans, attack.
  •   Fate's dues are awaiting
  • Editor’s Note Link 760Arruns, who, javelin poised, is stalking* the speedy Camilla
  • 761Craftily. That's where he has the edge. He's in quest of the easiest
  • 762Chance; so wherever the raging girl plunges into the columns,
  • 763Arruns moves stealthily in. And he follows her tracks, never speaking.
  • 764Where she returns from a victory won, disengaging from battle,
  • 765There the young man goes too, like a thief, with a flick of his quick reins.
  • 766This approach, that approach, each angle offered, and circling, circling
  • 767Everywhere, constantly, ruthlessly flexing his unerring javelin.
  • Editor’s Note Link 768  Chloreus,* devoted to Cybele's mountain (at one time her priest too),
  • Link 769Was, it chanced, spurring his horse to a froth. He stood out at a distance,
  • 770Gleaming in Phrygian armour. And so did his horse, with its bronze mail
  • Link 771Threaded with gold on a backing of leather and looking like plumage.
  • 772He was resplendent himself in Iberian rust-red and purple,
  • Link 773Fired arrows made in Crete from a horn bow crafted in Lycia.
  • Link 774Gold-plate covered that bow on his shoulders. The seer wore a golden
  • Link 775Helmet as well, and he'd gathered the crackling folds of his cotton
  • Link 776Cloak, crocus-yellow in hue, with the tawny gold of a fastener.
  • pg 292777Ornate needlework patterned his tunic and wild Anatolian leggings.
  • 778He was the one that the virgin Camilla, in all the fight's struggles,
  • 779Had to pursue. Did she want to display, at the gates of a temple,
  • Editor’s Note780Some Trojan armour? Or wear it herself, perhaps, when she went hunting?
  • Link 781She pursued blindly, recklessly all through the columns,
  • Link 782Hot, but with feminine tastes,* in her passion for booty and plunder.
  • 783  Arruns had finally captured his moment. Lurking in ambush,
  • 784He, at last, brought his javelin to life and he uttered this prayer:
  • Editor’s Note Link 785'Greatest of gods and guardian of holy Soracte, Apollo,*
  • Link 786We are your chief devotees and heap up, for rites in your honour,
  • 787Bonfires of pine-wood. We walk, for we trust in our righteous devotion,
  • 788Straight through the blaze, press the soles of our feet on the deep-layered embers.
  • Link 789Father Almighty, permit this disgrace to be purged by my weapons.
  • Editor’s Note790I wouldn't strip off her gear, make a trophy out of a beaten
  • 791Virgin.* I don't want spoils. For my further achievements will bring me
  • 792Praise. So as long as this pestilent demon may fall when she's beaten,
  • Link 793Wounded by me, I'll go back without fame to my ancestors' city.'
  • 794  Phoebus heard all of the prayer and his will allowed one part accomplished.
  • 795As for the other, he tossed it away on the fluttering breezes.
  • Editor’s Note796That he lay low with a sudden death the distracted Camilla:
  • 797Yes, prayer granted. That hills of his homeland should see him returning:
  • 798Not granted. Storms swirled these words away to the whims of the south winds.*
  • 799Now, as the javelin hurled by his hand screeched noise through the breezes,
  • 800Volscians all shifted passions to thoughts of the queen and they focused
  • 801Their keen eyes upon her. She herself noticed neither the moving
  • 802Air nor the sound, had no sense of the weapon's descent from the heavens,
  • Link 803Nothing, until that javelin passed through the nipple she kept bare,
  • 804Stuck where aimed; there it drank deep draughts of her virginal lifeblood.
  • 805Frantically, comrades converge at a run and support their collapsing
  • 806Mistress. But running away is the most frightened person around them:
  • pg 293807Arruns. Elation has mingled with fear and he now doesn't even
  • 808Dare put his trust in a spear or face up to a virgin in combat.
  • 809He's like the one who conceals himself instantly up in the mountain
  • 810Heights, to which no path leads, before hostile weapons pursue him:
  • 811He is the wolf who has just killed the herdsman or champion bullock,
  • Link 812Fully aware of the rash deed done, tail limp now and quivering,
  • Editor’s Note813Tucked away under its womb-like paunch,* heading into the forests.
  • 814That is how Arruns, in panic, took off to where eyes couldn't see him.
  • 815Happy just to escape, he hides himself deep in the fighting.
  • 816  She, though, is dying. She tugs at the weapon. The spear's tip of iron
  • 817Close to her ribs, in between her bones, won't budge. The wound's too deep.
  • 818She's slipping now, as her life's blood seeps; and her eyes are now slipping
  • 819Coldly to deadness, the colour once bright in her face has all faded.
  • Link 820Breathing her last breath, she speaks a few phrases to one of her girlfriends,
  • 821Acca, the one she most trusted, the only person Camilla
  • 822Shared her concerns with at all. She addressed her much in this manner:
  • Editor’s Note Link 823'Up to this point, I had strength. Now, Acca my sister,* this vicious
  • Link 824Wound makes me weak. The world round me grows blacker with shadows.
  • 825Hurry away and convey my final instructions to Turnus.
  • 826He must take my place in battle and keep Trojans out of the city.
  • Link 827Now, farewell.' As she spoke she was loosening her grip on her horse's
  • 828Reins and was slipping down to the ground, unwittingly this time.
  • 829Cold now, and slowly detaching self from her whole body, bowing
  • Link 830Slumped neck and head to her captor, Death, she surrendered her weapons.
  • Editor’s Note831Life flutters off on a groan, under protest, down among shadows.*
  • 832  That's when an indescribable roar surged up and assaulted
  • 833Golden stars. Now Camilla had fallen, the fighting grew meaner.
  • 834Massed for attack they charge all at once: the whole Teucrian task force,
  • 835Tuscan commanders too, and Evander's Arcadian squadrons.
  • 836Opis, the Crossroad Goddess's guard, up high atop mountains,
  • pg 294837Had, for a long time now, been sitting and watching the battle
  • 838Unperturbed. When she saw from afar, in the midst of the raging
  • Link 839Warriors' uproar, the grisly death that had punished Camilla,
  • 840She gave a groan and she uttered these words full of heartfelt emotion:
  • 841'You've paid a price too high, too cruel a penalty, poor girl,
  • Link 842Just for attempting to harass the Teucrians during a conflict.
  • 843It hasn't helped you that you lived a solitary life for Diana
  • 844Out in the wilds, that you've worn our arrows strapped to your shoulders.
  • Link 845Still, though, your queen hasn't left you with no honours now in this final
  • 846Hour of your death. For your fate won't be nameless, forgotten by nations.
  • 847Nor will you suffer from rumours that claim nobody avenged you.
  • Editor’s Note848He who has given you wounds did violence to your sacred body.*
  • 849He'll meet the death he deserves.'
  • There was once a huge burial-chamber,
  • 850Built at the foot of a mountain, and mounded with earth, for the long-dead
  • 851King of the Laurentine people, Dercennus. A shrouding of dark-leaved
  • 852Holm-oak covered the mound. In a speedy movement this loveliest
  • 853Goddess landed here first. From the top of the rise Opis watches
  • Link 854Arruns. She sees him gleaming in arms, swollen vanity rising.
  • Link 855'Why are you turning away to go off?' she enquired. 'Come towards me!
  • Link 856Come to your death over here, so you'll get the reward for Camilla
  • 857You so deserve! And will you perish, too, on the shafts of Diana?'
  • Link 858This said, the hostile Thracian nymph drew a swift, feathered arrow
  • Editor’s Note859Out from her gilded quiver. She first stretched the horn bow* to straightness,
  • 860Then drew it far, far back till the two curved heads came together,
  • 861Coupled. Then she could touch, hands levelled, her left to the iron
  • 862Tip of her shaft while touching her right to her bowstring and nipple.
  • 863Suddenly Arruns heard both the screech of the shaft and the whirring
  • 864Air at precisely the instant the iron stuck fast in his body.
  • Link 865Comrades who'd been at his side left him gasping his life out and groaning
  • 866Final groans in anonymous flatland dust, then forgot him.
  • 867  Opis soars on her wings to the brightness of heaven's Olympus.
  • pg 295868  First to break ranks is Camilla's light cavalry, after their leader's
  • 869Death. In the rout, the Rutulians break, and Atinas is running,
  • 870Officers split from their troops, and platoons left without their commanders
  • Link 871Seek safe ground, wheel horses about, race back to the city.
  • 872No one has strength to contain, in a fight, this murderous Teucrian
  • 873Onslaught and no one can stand his ground in its path. So they slacken
  • 874Bowstrings, reshoulder their bows upon shoulders slumping and sagging.
  • Link 875Cloven-hoofed quadruped clatter kicks clumps, quivers plains at a gallop.
  • 876Whirling dust swirls up to the walls with the blackness of smoking
  • 877Fires, mothers drum out grief on their breasts and they howl from the watchtowers
  • 878Wails only women can wail, high as stars in the heavens above them.
  • 879  Gates have been opened. The first wave of fugitives bursts within, sprinting,
  • 880Pressed by a raging mob of the foe, mixed in with their own lines.
  • 881Failing to flee a pathetic death on their very own thresholds:
  • 882On their homeland's walls or in safe rooms within their own houses.
  • 883Skewered by spear-thrusts, they gasp out their souls. Some rash individuals
  • 884Slam the gates shut. They don't dare keep escape within city defences
  • 885Open to comrades who plead for admittance. A hideous slaughter
  • 886Follows. The swords that the fugitives rush on are swords of defenders
  • 887Blocking their access. While parents watch, eyes streaming with tears,
  • 888Some of the men shut out, as the wild stampede presses onwards,
  • 889Spin into trench-pits; some, while careering blindly with free-rein,
  • Link 890Smash, like battering-rams, into gates, into reinforced gateposts.
  • 891Down from the walls, from the heights of the fray (and in rivalry), mothers
  • 892Hurl spears shakily handled. They have seen Camilla, and real
  • 893Patriotism inspires them. They hastily improvise oak-hard
  • 894Fencing and fire-toughened poles into copies of iron-tipped weapons,
  • 895Ardent with passion to be the first women to die for their city.
  • 896Meanwhile the savaging news reaches Turnus, up in the forest,
  • Editor’s Note897Flooding his youthful soul. Acca tells of the ruinous rampage:*
  • pg 296898Volscian forces entirely destroyed and Camilla now fallen;
  • 899Enemy forces advancing aggressively; Mars going their way;
  • 900Foe now in total control; panic already spread to the city.
  • 901He's in a fury now—that's what Jupiter's brute will requires—
  • Editor’s Note902So he abandons his hilltop ambush* and leaves the rough forest.
  • 903Scarcely had he disappeared beyond view and set foot on the flatlands,
  • Link 904When, marching into the now clear pass, up over the ridge-top,
  • 905Father Aeneas emerged on the plain from the forested darkness.
  • 906Both armies now, full force, make a rapid advance on the city.
  • 907Distance between them is measured in strides—indeed, not very long ones.
  • 908Just as Aeneas observed dust rising like smoke from the meadows,
  • 909And got a long-range view of the Laurentine columns, so Turnus
  • 910Recognized, at the same moment, the savage Aeneas's armour,
  • Editor’s Note911Heard too the thumping of feet on the march and the snorting of horses.
  • 912Trojans* would right then have launched an attack and engaged in a battle
  • 913If Phoebus hadn't been reddening darkly, and bathing exhausted
  • 914Stallions in Spanish tides, bringing night back as daylight was ebbing.
  • 915So, they establish a camp and build ramparts in front of the city.

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
2 Morning Star: Virgil uses the Greek Eos (dawn) for the Morning Star.
Editor’s Note
5 an immense oak: the third image of arms and a tree. See 8.616 and 10.835.
Editor’s Note
9–10 a dozen / Holes: Aeneas either let foes lacerate Mezentius' body or did more than just administer a death-blow. He now memorializes his killing with a 'trophy'. He accepts the principle of stripping a dead foe's equipment (as is traditional in epic) even if he can't forgive others for doing so.
Editor’s Note
15 These spoils: not quite Romulus' 'Spoils of Distinction'. Virgil makes Mezentius an exiled tyrant (not an official commander) who takes orders from Turnus, who holds no official command (11.128–9). Killing Turnus might not win the spolia either, though Pallas, a junior officer in Aeneas' forces, thought it would (10.449–50). The Trojans give Aeneas an ovation, a lesser triumph than that awarded the younger Crassus (see notes to 6.841 and 859). Poets can inscribe the past as definitively as emperors can.
Editor’s Note
22 commit to the earth: Aeneas, who denied Tarquitus burial (10.557–60) but granted it to Lausus (10.825–8), now authorizes burial for the allied dead and later allows a truce the foe requests to bury its dead. He is silent about Mezentius' burial. Failure to permit burial of the enemy dead (as in Sophocles' Antigone) was regarded as impious, if not criminal, by the ancients. An exceptional commander would himself ensure the burial of enemy dead, as Hannibal did after his victory at Cannae.
Editor’s Note
27 day, marked black: Romans marked days of major catastrophes 'black' on the calendar.
Editor’s Note
36 passing the high doors: the large marquee and numerous attendants contrast with Evander's small residence in Pallanteum. The lamenting Trojan women recall tragic choruses and the rituals of women's lament still practised in Greece. Such mourners often reserve their dirges until the bereaved enter.
Editor’s Note
57 a curse on a son who's survived: reading sospiti for the manuscripts' sospite. The manuscript reading yields: 'Praying to die a cursed death since his son has survived.'
Editor’s Note
61–2 A thousand / Troops: a huge escort. 'Kings spare nothing in their grief' (Seneca, Trojan Women 485–6). Perhaps Marcellus' state funeral (6.860–5) is on Virgil's mind. Or perhaps there is method in Aeneas' extravagance. Evander might now want to break off the alliance. He sends enough other troops to discourage such a move.
Editor’s Note
68 hyacinth falls: whatever Virgil's hyacinth was (an iris, whose droopy lower petals are called 'falls', or some early flower that wilts quickly when plucked, like a bluebell), it was not the same as our hyacinth. But I can't jettison the reference to Hyacinth, celebrated as the mythic youth who dies prematurely, symbolic of all young men killed in the spring of their lives.
Editor’s Note
75 Threaded with highlights … cross-weave: the same line is used to describe the robe Aeneas wears when building Carthage (4.264). Perhaps Dido made a pair. As Aeneas adds this to the bier, and war-booty, trophies, and prisoners for sacrifice to the procession, the scene changes from rustic funeral to state funeral.
Editor’s Note
77 veil of enshroudment: Virgil alludes to two Roman rituals: (a) the veiling of a bride in a fiery red veil (flammeum); and (b) the hooding or veiling of a person condemned to execution.
Editor’s Note
81–2 human / Sacrifice: they were captured by him at 10.517–20. See notes on 2.118; 8.343.
Editor’s Note
87 Pitching down, hurled prone: the Latin sternitur can be reflexive: 'pitches oneself down'. But it follows ducitur, always passive. Does Acoetes hurl himself down or is he hurled by others, or by the impetus of the procession? I leave the issue ambiguous. He might be held partly accountable (as guardian) for Pallas' death.
Editor’s Note
89 riderless: implied, not stated, by Virgil—a familiar symbol in a state funeral. The weeping horse has been criticized as 'exaggerated', as if the whole passage were not a comment on the excesses of orchestrated official grief for one nobleman's death.
Editor’s Note
92–3 the Etruscans, / Full force: the Etruscans are in full force, not the Arcadians, as we (and Evander) might expect. Evander notes the full Etruscan presence at line 11.171.
Editor’s Note
97 Goodbye for eternity: Achilles says much the same at Patroclus' funeral, which he attends (Iliad 23.19). Tomb inscriptions show it was a Roman ritual formula. Compare Catullus' lament for his brother (101.10). Aeneas neither attends Pallas' funeral nor delegates a senior officer as his representative—even when the Latins negotiate a twelve-day truce. His failure to attend does not spare the lives of the youths captured for sacrifice on Pallas' pyre. They are in the procession. Virgil keeps us back to watch what happens to the bodies of the ordinary soldiers. And Aeneas misses a chance to see the site of Rome again and have Evander, perhaps, recognize the topography on his shield.
Editor’s Note
113 Your king walked out: Aeneas either doesn't know what Latinus said in Book 7 (he did not visit him) or is distorting his words. Latinus urged the Trojans not to flee his welcome, and offered Lavinia's hand on the single condition that Aeneas meet him in person. When hostilities arose, Latinus refused to declare war.
Editor’s Note
120 stunned into … silence: not surprisingly. Latinus did not do what Aeneas says he did; and, in line 112, Aeneas declares that fate awards him their lands. The delegates are in no position to accept or contest his claims.
Editor’s Note
122 Drances: Virgil's invention. Despite Virgil's preamble, Drances hurls no accusations here, ignores Aeneas' charges, and, from a position of powerlessness, secures the desired truce through courtly flattery without making binding concessions. Can an ambassador do any better?
Editor’s Note
145 Phrygian multitude: these words evoke the rites of the Phrygian goddess Cybele, noted for their frenzy and self-mutilation (see note to 3.111).
Editor’s Note
152 promised your parent: keeping the manuscripts' reading parenti, 'parent', which has a secondary sense of 'obeying': i.e. this is not what you promised your parent, who 'obeyed' your request to go to war.
Editor’s Note
170–1 mighty / Phrygians: 'mighty' seems sarcastic when used with 'Phrygians'. Evander's trust in Aeneas is shaken (Aeneas' failure to come to the funeral can't have helped). Hence his challenge to Aeneas to prove his worth.
Editor’s Note
173 a huge tree-trunk in armour: Evander's comment is prompted by the armoured trophies in the procession. That's why armis ('arms', 'weapons') not arvis ('fields') is the better reading here. If arvis is read, the line reads: 'Trophies. And you'd stand among them now in the fields, an enormous …'.
Editor’s Note
176 Go!: Evander dismisses the Trojans before the funeral starts and uses them collectively as messengers to deliver his call to Aeneas for action. His message, which follows, supplies his last words in the epic.
Editor’s Note
178 hand on trial: Evander uses legal language, as if issuing a court summons for a debt due. Hence 'trial', 'recompense', 'venue', and 'suing'. 'Venue' is legal shorthand for the 'court' in which a trial is to be held. Evander leaves the date to be determined. He frames his agreements with Aeneas as legal obligations. This view may also figure in Aeneas' notion that he is exacting punishment due from Turnus in Book 12.
Editor’s Note
223 ominous shadow: because the queen supports Turnus, some fear opposing her.
Editor’s Note
231 King Latinus himself gives up: Latinus, though opposing war, would rather not accept Aeneas (his speech at lines 243 ff. confirms this). Diomedes' refusal to join the Latins is a lethal blow.
Editor’s Note
247 Argyripa: = Arpi, as in line 250. There is a rich tradition about Diomedes in Italy. See I. Malkin, The Returns of Odysseus (Berkeley, 1998). His speech, however, is kept at a distance by Virgil (who reports it through Venulus). Virgil cannot plausibly create a fiction in which Aeneas kills Diomedes. Some local traditions maintained that Diomedes was killed by Daunus, Turnus' father.
Editor’s Note
259–62 Minerva's storm … Caphareus … pillars of Proteus: three episodes from the disastrous return of the Greeks from Troy. Minerva hurled a thunderbolt to destroy Ajax, son of Oileus, who had tried to rape her priestess Cassandra (see 1.39–45); Nauplius, father of Palamedes (see 2.82), decoyed the fleet onto the rocks of Caphareus to avenge his son; and Menelaus was shipwrecked in Egypt. The pillars of the Egyptian king Proteus are Virgil's invention, a counterpart to the pillars of Hercules at Gibraltar, western limit of the Mediterranean.
Editor’s Note
268 his cuckolder: Aegisthus, Agamemnon's cousin, was the lover of Clytemnestra, Agamemnon's wife.
Editor’s Note
270 Calydon's beauty: Diomedes is identified with two Greek cities: (1) Argos and (2) Calydon in Aetolia, more often the latter. Diomedes' juxtaposition of his own wife to Clytemnestra, whom he refuses to name, may hint at the tradition that Diomedes, like Agamemnon, was betrayed by his wife.
Editor’s Note
271–2 My comrades … soared to the sky: See Pliny, Natural History 10.126, and Ovid, Metamorphoses 14.497 ff.
Editor’s Note
290 the hand of Hector, the hand of Aeneas: Diomedes, as reported by Venulus, sets Aeneas on a par with Hector, as neither Homer nor Virgil (in his authorial voice) do. We have no means of knowing whether Venulus is modifying what has been said (Virgil's characters do so routinely) to further some agenda of his legation.
Editor’s Note
302 Latini: the Latins are a pluralization of Latinus himself: Latinus' children.
Editor’s Note
308 Dreams: Latin spes is often used as we use 'dream': of a consciously imagined future. Latinus coaxes his citizens to accept a future which conflicts with their own and (he implies) his dreams. And he offers a new dream: that the Trojans will ultimately go elsewhere. Since their fleet no longer exists, new ships must be built. In case the Trojans have simply piratical goals (as Amata suggests), he offers them much of the wealth they would gain if they sacked the city. But he does not renew the offer of Lavinia's hand.
Editor’s Note
316 I own: Latinus notes that the (rough, hilly) land is his (rather than the state's) and extends into non-Latin territory, and he refers to the Tiber as an Etruscan river. He minimizes any sense that the Latins are giving up their land. There is some threat to (Rutulian) Turnus: Latinus' land is worked by Auruncans and Rutulians.
Editor’s Note
330 a hundred blue-blooded Latins: in 7.265, Latinus is dismayed that Aeneas has not come in person, but has sent a delegation of a hundred men ('gifted in language, / Picked from among all ranks', 7.152–3). He now makes a response in kind, but upgrades his delegation to an entirely aristocratic hundred. Given the practice of sending noble youths as hostages, he is also, though not explicitly, offering hostages.
Editor’s Note
350 beleaguered by grief: depending on context, the Latin means either 'sink down' or 'besiege'.
Editor’s Note
352 add one more gift: Drances notes Latinus' omission of Lavinia from his proposal. Under the guise of chastising Turnus, Drances forces Latinus to reinsert it.
Editor’s Note
358 the man himself: Turnus.
Editor’s Note
375 He's challenged you!: Aeneas actually said (11.115) that Turnus ought to challenge him and that he would readily respond.
Editor’s Note
433 Leading a cavalry column: repeats 7.804, unusual in that a mortal character is echoing something said by Virgil in his authorial voice. And Camilla is the last person in Turnus' abbreviated 'catalogue' as she is in 'Virgil's' catalogue in Book 7.
Editor’s Note
436 I won't … proceed: the Latin adeo is an adverb ('to such an extent') not the verb 'I go towards'. But for a moment, the last word of line 435 and the first words of line 436 (obsto non adeo) flash before us the sense: 'I'm in the way, I'm not going.' Turnus is not eager to fight Aeneas and he envisages defeat.
Editor’s Note
440 I, Turnus, vow: Turnus publicly dedicates himself to death in a devotio, a ritual act of self-sacrifice of which English 'devotion' is a pale shadow. The vow is a self-imposed sentence of sacrificial death for one's country, exemplified by (among others) the Decii, whose souls are shown to Aeneas in 6.824.
Editor’s Note
442 Aeneas "calls me out alone?": Turnus works Drances' distortion of Aeneas' words to his advantage. He relies on his hearers to recall that Aeneas issued no such challenge (see note to 11.375) rather than reminds them of the facts: that Aeneas was awaiting his challenge—which he might then be obliged to issue!
Editor’s Note
468 Everyone's swarming … city: I reposition this line to make a smoother transition.
Editor’s Note
477–9 Further, the queen … for the goddess: this passage recalls Iliad 6.297 ff. (also Aeneid 1.479 ff.) where women of Troy bring offerings to the other major Pallas of the Aeneid: Minerva (the Virgin of Triton). Women appeal to her in a crisis. She lurks in the background of the Aeneid, but is not a character in it. She is also absent from Octavian's religious revival (see note to 8.51), much as Aeneas is absent from his Pallas' funeral.
Editor’s Note
513 To kick up a noise: I take quaterent in its commonest sense: 'causing something to shake'. Camilla's hope of leading the attack while Turnus guards the home base (inverting the usual male/female roles) is foiled. Adding Messapus and the Latin and Tiburtine cavalry to Camilla's also lessens her hope of personal glory.
Editor’s Note
523–4 encroaching … darkness: these lines repeat, verbatim, the description of the Ampsanctus Valley in 7.565–6 and recall Livy's description of the Caudine Forks (9.2.7), where two Roman legions were ambushed by the Samnites in one of Rome's most humiliating defeats (321 bc). Turnus' choice of a site hints that disaster awaits Aeneas.
Editor’s Note
532 Latona's daughter: Diana, Apollo's sister, often identified with the Goddess at Crossroads, and linked with such Italian warriors as Virbius and Camilla. Apollo supports, intermittently, Aeneas and his allies.
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537 love for Diana: some translate as 'Diana's love'. But that makes Diana talk about herself in the third person, as does Julius Caesar in his commentaries, and undermines the rationale for an account of how Camilla's attachment to her came about.
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539 because he was proud: like Tarquin and Mezentius. Virgil appears to have invented Camilla, though her name and provenance evoke Camillus (6.824–5 and note).
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554 cork-bark: suggesting a Roman book-scroll (the Latin for 'bark' also means 'book'). Metabus not only saves his child, but makes her a local legend.
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563 ill omen for future fulfilment: Camilla, once saved by a spear, will die by a spear.
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578 the sley of a girl's loom: Roman girls were trained to use a loom not weapons. But Latin tela, used for the warp-threads on the loom (often for the whole loom), is identical with the plural of telum ('weapon'). The closest parallel I could think of was a technical term from weaving: 'sley', the loom's reed (Latin pecten), with its implicit pun on 'slay'. Camilla also circled her head with a sling, not ribbons. I don't know where she found the tigerskin in Italy; Cassius Dio (54.9) says tigers were first seen by the Romans in 20 bc when brought by a delegation from India. If so, Virgil is not only showing her early (and ultimately fatal) taste for exotic fashion, but making what is arguably his latest datable reference to his contemporary world.
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598 Etruscan recruits: the Etruscan mounted division is of horse-owners and riders, not trained cavalry. They were drilled into a fighting force during their advance. This idea is expressed in syllabic play: Etrusci become part of (an) exercitus, 'army', quite literally.
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612 Aconteus: his name derives from a Greek word meaning a pointed spear, so his jousting (and death) are quite appropriate. I expand 'keen' into 'keen as his spearhead' so the point, as it were, isn't lost.
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636 Orsilochus: the name means 'rising from ambush'.
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647 Beautiful death: an ironic echo of Horace's famous words: 'it is sweet and comely to die for one's country' (dulce et decorum est pro patria mori).
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671 Stumbled: I read suffuso, 'sprawled, tripped', not suffosso, 'stabbed from below [that is, hamstrung]'. A horse that has stumbled may be unhurt; no rider would attempt to remount a hamstrung horse.
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675 Tereus: the name evokes a mythical king of Thrace, who married Procne, but raped her sister Philomela and cut out her tongue. He is juxtaposed with a male version of Thracian Harpalyce ('Rapacious Wolf') who can 'tire out a racehorse' (1.316). They are apt victims for Camilla.
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680 (he liked a good fight): the Latin has pugnatori, 'fighter', which could refer to either the bullock or Ornytus. A great hunter wearing the hide of a young bull is odd, as is much about Ornytus. Virgil positions 'huge' ambiguously in line 680, leaving us to decide whether the wolf's jaws or Ornytus' head (or both) are unusually large. In line 682, the Latin word I translate as 'peasant' could refer to his hands, his spear, or both. Like Herminius (line 641), Ornytus wrongly assumes that rustic prowess trains him for war.
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686 you Etruscan: Camilla uses a colloquial ethnic slur in which Etruscan = 'lazy idiot'. Compare Tarchon's comment at 11.732–3, and Virgil's slap at the Ligurians at 11.701.
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722 Stalking a pretty dove: Camilla is the male, and her victim female in this simile. And 'sacred' makes the generic winged predator not only, technically, a 'sacred' falcon rather than a 'common' hawk but suggests Jupiter, who assumes bird wings to attack women. And the dove is Venus' bird. 'Beautiful' and 'over one's limits' are both present in the Latin sublimem. Doves don't normally fly high. This dove exposes herself to danger by surpassing the 'norm', as does Camilla's victim. Further, Latin nubes means 'veil'—hence 'cloud'—and, by extension, 'bride' (nubere = 'marry'), since brides are veiled. The language of sexual attack runs close with that of killing in Latin.
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726 pinnacled heights: Jupiter (his bird is the eagle and he is described in his sexual role as sower of life) is watching from an even higher elevation and intervenes (through an intermediary), inspiring the male Tarchon to carry off the male Venulus as a (female) eagle carries off a (male) snake (lines 751–8). See note to 8.9.
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740 the host's: Tarchon puns on hostia, 'sacrificial victim' (hence the 'host' at the Eucharist), and hostis, 'enemy'. The sacrificed animal was food for a feast: Etruscans are readier for parties than wars.
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747 Arms and their man: an echo of 1.1. Tarchon threatens to abduct the epic, not just Venulus. He is a forerunner of the Etruscan kings of Rome, the Tarquins (see note to 6.817), and a potential rival for Aeneas. Had the Tarquins survived, Rome might have been Etruscan, not Latin (and Trojan). Tarquinius Priscus was marked for power (as was Octavian (Suetonius, Divus Augustus 94.7) ) by the appearance of an eagle (Livy 1.34). Since this episode is prompted by Jupiter, the eagle and its prey further suggest the myth of Jupiter's own abduction (as an eagle) of the Trojan boy, Ganymede, a cause of Juno's violent anger against Troy and its descendants. The imagery of war and sexuality acquires a homosexual undertone here. Perhaps all violence is sexual, as Virgil's invocation of the Muse Erato in Book 7 implies.
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758 burden of prey: Virgil's wordplay is on alis, 'wings', and aliter, 'otherwise', as in his description of Mercury in 4.238–58.
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760 Arruns … is stalking: Arruns is an Etruscan name; Tarquinius Priscus' brother and son were both called Arruns. The Tarquins gained power thanks to Priscus' scheming wife and lost it because of Sextus Tarquinius' rape of Lucretia. So Virgil's selection of Arruns as the killer of Camilla is apt. Arruns stalks the virgin Camilla as she threads through enemy columns, much as the predator falcon stalks the dove.
Editor’s Note
768 Chloreus: a warrior with a flair for feminine fashion. I sharpen Latin peregrina, 'foreign', to 'Iberian' (red dye was imported from Spain). I reduce Gortynia (from Gortyn in Crete) to 'Cretan'. I make the leggings Anatolian (the Latin 'barbarian' means unacceptably 'foreign' rather than 'crude', as in English). Crudely made Gallic and German leggings would not be favoured by Chloreus over the stylish Anatolian versions. The Latin for 'cotton' also means 'linen'. Cotton was not grown in Italy, but flax (for linen) was; I opt for the import. Crocus-yellow is a feminine (and 'priestly') colour in ancient authors. As a former priest of Cybele, Chloreus would have been a eunuch (see note to 3.111): another variant in the sexual interactions of Book 11.
Editor’s Note
780–2 when she went hunting … but with feminine tastes: I take venatrix, 'huntress', with 'wear' (rather than with 'pursued', in line 781). Camilla is a hunter even if her tastes in clothing are like Venus' in Book 1; and hunters pursue carefully. It is not that passion for plunder is peculiarly female, but that Chloreus' outfit appeals to Camilla as a woman. Her tastes give Arruns his chance and cost Camilla her life.
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785 Apollo: Apollo and his sister Diana are on opposite sides, yet neither conflict nor converse; Diana does not help Camilla or persuade Apollo to stay Arruns' hand. Arruns' prayer marks him as the precursor of the pathological sexual stalker/killer of modern times: a religious fanatic attracted to and disgusted by what he thinks is the improper conduct of a particular woman or group of women: hence the purging of 'this disgrace' by his weapons. Virgil does not enhance the image of Apollo (Octavian's favourite god) by having him grant Arruns' prayer, given Octavian's own concern for moral legislation. And in Arruns' prayer there is an eerie echo of Aeneas' comment about killing Helen in the disputed 'Helen episode' (2.567–88 and note to 2.567).
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790–1 beaten / Virgin: the use of pulsa, 'beaten', twice in Arruns' speech is odd. It isn't the ideal verb to describe killing with a spear and carries, as does this whole segment, sexual undertones.
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796–8 That he lay low … south winds: these lines are generally thought not to be Virgil's.
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813 womb-like paunch: Latin utero, which normally means 'womb'. The Latin wolf is masculine (lupus not feminine lupa), and cauda ('tail') often has the secondary sense of 'penis'. The use of uterus for belly feminizes the already shrivelled masculinity implied. Arruns becomes strangely neuter, like Chloreus whose attire caught Camilla's eye. Camilla, whose prowess with the spear makes her a woman acting out a male role, however, is never sexually neutral. Mothers want her as a wife for their sons.
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823 Acca my sister: these words recall Dido's first words to Anna in 4.9. Echoes of Dido and Anna abound in this scene of Camilla and Acca. Again a woman wants to maintain the fight against the Trojans. Camilla's request, ironically, saves Aeneas from ambush.
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831 Life flutters off … among shadows: see 12.952 and note.
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848 violence to your sacred body: in Opis' terms, the killing is, in effect, a form of rape.
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859 the horn bow: there are sexual undertones in the language of the bow in Latin as in Greek. Opis' approach to Arruns is a killing framed almost as a seduction.
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897 Acca tells of … rampage: we never learn if Acca tells Turnus that Camilla wanted him to avenge her death. She tells him only news that makes him abandon his ambush.
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902 abandons his … ambush: without Turnus' temper (and Chloreus' wild tailoring, Camilla's obsession with it, Arruns' desire to kill Camilla, Camilla's request to Acca, and Acca's omission of the core of Camilla's message), Aeneas would have been ambushed, and the story would have ended differently.
Editor’s Note
911 Trojans: the context suggests that Virgil's 'they' are the Trojan forces.
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