The Aeneid Book X

Translated by A. S. Kline © Copyright 2002 All Rights Reserved

This work may be freely reproduced, stored and transmitted, electronically or otherwise, for any non-commercial purpose. Conditions and Exceptions apply.


BkX:1-95 The Council of the Gods

Meanwhile the palace of all-powerful Olympus

was opened wide, and the father of the gods, and king of men,

called a council in his starry house, from whose heights

he gazed at every land, at Trojan camp, and Latin people.

They took their seats in the hall with doors at east and west,

and he began: ‘Great sky-dwellers, why have you changed

your decision, competing now, with such opposing wills?

I commanded Italy not to make war on the Trojans.

Why this conflict, against my orders? What fear

has driven them both to take up arms and incite violence?

The right time for fighting will arrive (don’t bring it on)

when fierce Carthage, piercing the Alps, will launch

great destruction on the Roman strongholds:

then it will be fine to compete in hatred, and ravage things.

Now let it alone, and construct a treaty, gladly, as agreed.’

Jupiter’s speech was brief as this: but golden Venus’s reply was not:

‘O father, eternal judge of men and things

(for who else is there I can make my appeal to now?)

you see how the Rutulians exult, how Turnus is drawn

by noble horses through the crowd, and, fortunate in war,

rushes on proudly. Barred defences no longer protect the Trojans:

rather they join battle within the gates, and on the rampart

walls themselves, and the ditches are filled with blood.

Aeneas is absent, unaware of this. Will you never let the siege

be raised? A second enemy once again menaces and harasses

new-born Troy, and again, from Aetolian Arpi, a Diomede rises.

I almost think the wound I had from him still awaits me:

your child merely delays the thrust of that mortal’s weapon.

If the Trojans sought Italy without your consent, and despite

your divine will, let them expiate the sin: don’t grant them help.

But if they’ve followed the oracles of powers above and below,

why should anyone change your orders now, and forge new destinies?

Shall I remind you of their fleet, burned on the shores of Eryx?

Or the king of the storms and his furious winds roused

from Aeolia, or Iris sent down from the clouds?

Now Juno even stirs the dead (the only lot still left to use)

and Allecto too, suddenly loosed on the upper world,

runs wild through all the Italian cities.

I no longer care about Empire. Though that was my hope

while fortune was kind. Let those you wish to win prevail.

Father, if there’s no land your relentless queen will grant the Trojans,

I beg, by the smoking ruins of shattered Troy, let me bring

Ascanius, untouched, from among the weapons: let my grandson live.

Aeneas, yes, may be tossed on unknown seas, and go

wherever Fortune grants a road: but let me have the power

to protect the child and remove him from the fatal battle.

Amathus is mine, high Paphos and Cythera are mine,

and Idalia’s temple: let him ground his weapons there,

and live out inglorious years. Command that Carthage,

with her great power, crush Italy: then there’ll be

no obstacle to the Tyrian cities. What was the use in their escaping

the plague of war, fleeing through the heart of Argive flames,

enduring the dangers at sea, and in desolate lands,

as long as the Trojans seek Latium and Troy re-born?

Wouldn’t it have been better to build on those last embers

of their country, on the soil where Troy once stood?

Give Xanthus and Simois back to these unfortunates,

father, I beg you, and let the Trojans re-live the course of Ilium.’

Then royal Juno goaded to savage frenzy, cried out:

‘Why do you make me shatter my profound silence,

and utter words of suffering to the world?

Did any god or man force Aeneas to make war

and attack King Latinus as an enemy?

He sought Italy prompted by the Fates (so be it)

impelled by Cassandra’s ravings: was he urged by me

to leave the camp, and trust his life to the winds?

To leave the outcome of war, and their defences to a child:

to disturb Tuscan good faith, and peaceful tribes?

What goddess, what harsh powers of mine drove him

to harm? Where is Juno in this, or Iris sent from the clouds?

If it’s shameful that the Italians surround new-born Troy

with flames, and Turnus make a stand on his native soil,

he whose ancestor is Pilumnus, divine Venilia his mother:

what of the Trojans with smoking brands using force against the Latins,

planting their yoke on others’ fields and driving off their plunder?

Deciding whose daughters to marry, and dragging betrothed girls

from their lover’s arms, offering peace with one hand,

but decking their ships with weapons? You can steal

Aeneas away from Greek hands and grant them fog and empty air

instead of a man, and turn their fleet of ships into as many nymphs:

is it wrong then for me to have given some help to the Rutulians?

“Aeneas is absent, unaware of this.” Let him be absent and unaware.

Paphos, Idalium, and high Cythera are yours? Why meddle then

with a city pregnant with wars and fierce hearts?

Is it I who try to uproot Troy’s fragile state from its base?

Is it I? Or he who exposed the wretched Trojans to the Greeks?

What reason was there for Europe and Asia to rise up

in arms, and dissolve their alliance, through treachery?

Did I lead the Trojan adulterer to conquer Sparta?

Did I give him weapons, or foment a war because of his lust?

Then, you should have feared for your own: now, too late,

you raise complaints without justice, and provoke useless quarrels.’

BkX:96-117 Jupiter Leaves the Outcome to Fate

So Juno argued, and all the divinities of heaven murmured

their diverse opinions, as when rising gales murmur in the woods

and roll out their secret humming, warning sailors of coming storms.

Then the all-powerful father, who has prime authority over things,

began (the noble hall of the gods fell silent as he spoke,

earth trembled underground, high heaven fell silent,

the Zephyrs too were stilled, the sea calmed its placid waters).

‘Take my words to heart and fix them there.

Since Italians and Trojans are not allowed to join

in alliance, and your disagreement has no end,

I will draw no distinction between them, Trojan or Rutulian,

whatever luck each has today, whatever hopes they pursue,

whether the camp’s under siege, because of Italy’s fortunes,

or Troy’s evil wanderings and unhappy prophecies.

Nor will I absolve the Rutulians. What each has instigated

shall bring its own suffering and success. Jupiter is king of all,

equally: the fates will determine the way.’ He nodded,

swearing it by the waters of his Stygian brother,

by the banks that seethe with pitch, and the black chasm

and made all Olympus tremble at his nod.

So the speaking ended. Jupiter rose from his golden throne,

and the divinities led him to the threshold, among them.

BkX:118-162 Aeneas Returns From Pallantium

Meanwhile the Rutulians gathered round every gate,

to slaughter the men, and circle the walls with flames,

while Aeneas’s army was held inside their stockade,

imprisoned, with no hope of escape. Wretchedly they stood

there on the high turrets, and circling the walls, a sparse ring.

Asius, son of Imbrasus, Thymoetes, son of Hicetaon,

the two Assaraci, and Castor with old Thymbris were the front rank:

Sarpedon’s two brothers, Clarus and Thaemon, from noble Lycia,

were at their side. Acmon of Lyrnesus, no less huge than his father

Clytius, or his brother Mnestheus, lifted a giant rock,

no small fragment of a hillside, straining his whole body.

Some tried to defend with javelins, some with stones,

hurling fire and fitting arrows to the bow.

See, the Trojan boy, himself, in their midst,

Venus’s special care, his handsome head uncovered,

sparkling like a jewel set in yellow gold

adorning neck or forehead, gleaming like ivory,

inlaid skilfully in boxwood or Orician terebinth:

his milk-white neck, and the circle of soft gold

clasping it, received his flowing hair.

Your great-hearted people saw you too Ismarus,

dipping reed-shafts in venom, and aiming them

to wound, from a noble Lydian house, there where men

till rich fields, that the Pactolus waters with gold. There was

Mnestheus as well, whom yesterday’s glory, of beating

Turnus back from the wall’s embankment, exalted highly,

and Capys: from him the name of the Campanian city comes.

Men were fighting each other in the conflict of bitter war:

while Aeneas, by night, was cutting through the waves.

When, on leaving Evander and entering the Tuscan camp,

he had met the king, announced his name and race,

the help he sought, and that he himself offered,

what forces Mezentius was gathering to him,

and the violence in Turnus’s heart, and then had warned

how little faith can be placed in human powers,

and had added his entreaties, Tarchon, joined forces with him

without delay, and agreed a treaty: then fulfilling their fate

the Lydian people took to their ships by divine command,

trusting to a ‘foreign’ leader. Aeneas’s vessel took the van,

adorned with Phrygian lions below her beak, Mount Ida

towering above them, a delight to the exiled Trojans.

There great Aeneas sat and pondered the varying issues

of the war, and Pallas sticking close to his left side, asked him

now about the stars, their path through the dark night,

and now about his adventures on land and sea.

BkX:163-214 The Leaders of the Tuscan Fleet

Now, goddesses, throw Helicon wide open: begin your song

of the company that followed Aeneas from Tuscan shores,

arming the ships and riding over the seas.

Massicus cut the waters at their head, in the bronze-armoured Tiger,

a band of a thousand warriors under him, leaving the walls

of Clusium, and the city of Cosae, whose weapons are arrows,

held in light quivers over their shoulders, and deadly bows.

Grim Abas was with him: whose ranks were all splendidly

armoured, his ship aglow with a gilded figure of Apollo.

Populonia, the mother-city, had given him six hundred

of her offspring, all expert in war, and the island of Ilva, rich

with the Chalybes’ inexhaustible mines, three hundred.

Asilas was third, that interpreter of gods and men,

to whom the entrails of beasts were an open book, the stars

in the sky, the tongues of birds, the prophetic bolts of lightning.

He hurried his thousand men to war, dense ranks bristling with spears.

Pisa ordered them to obey, city of Alphean foundation,

set on Etruscan soil. Then the most handsome Astur

followed, Astur relying on horse and iridescent armour.

Three hundred more (minded to follow as one) were added

by those with their home in Caere, the fields

by the Minio, ancient Pyrgi, unhealthy Graviscae.

I would not forget you, Cunerus, in war the bravest

Ligurian leader, or you with your small company, Cupavo,

on whose crest the swan plumes rose, a sign of your father’s

transformation (Cupid, your and your mother’s crime).

For they say that Cycnus wept for his beloved Phaethon,

singing amongst the poplar leaves, those shades of Phaethon’s

sisters, consoling his sorrowful passion with the Muse,

and drew white age over himself, in soft plumage,

relinquishing earth, and seeking the stars with song.

His son, Cupavo, drove on the mighty Centaur, following

the fleet, with troops of his own age: the figurehead towered

over the water, threatening from above to hurl a huge rock

into the waves, the long keel ploughing through the deep ocean.

Ocnus, also, called up troops from his native shores,

he, the son of Manto the prophetess and the Tuscan river,

who gave you your walls, Mantua, and his mother’s name,

Mantua rich in ancestors, but not all of one race:

there were three races there, under each race four tribes,

herself the head of the tribes, her strength from Tuscan blood.

From there too Mezentius drove five hundred to arm against him,

lead in pine warships through the sea by a figure, the River Mincius,

the child of Lake Benacus, crowned with grey-green reeds.

Aulestes ploughed on weightily, lashing the waves as he surged

to the stroke of a hundred oars: the waters foamed as the surface churned.

He sailed the huge Triton, whose conch shell alarmed the blue waves,

it’s carved prow displayed a man’s form down to the waist,

as it sailed on, its belly ending in a sea-creature’s, while

under the half-man’s chest the waves murmured with foam.

Such was the count of princes chosen to sail in the thirty ships

to the aid of Troy, and plough the salt plains with their bronze rams.

BkX:215-259 The Nymphs of Cybele

Now daylight had vanished from the sky and kindly Phoebe

was treading mid-heaven with her nocturnal team:

Aeneas (since care allowed his limbs no rest) sat there

controlling the helm himself, and tending the sails.

And see, in mid-course, a troop of his own friends

appeared: the nymphs, whom gracious Cybele

had commanded to be goddesses of the sea,

to be nymphs not ships, swam beside him and cut the flood,

as many as the bronze prows that once lay by the shore.

They knew the king from far off, and circled him dancing:

and Cymodocea, following, most skilful of them in speech,

caught at the stern with her right hand, lifted her length herself,

and paddled along with her left arm under the silent water.

Then she spoke to the bemused man, so: ‘Are you awake, Aeneas,

child of the gods? Be awake: loose the sheets: make full sail.

We are your fleet, now nymphs of the sea, once pines of Ida,

from her sacred peak. Against our will we broke our bonds

when the treacherous Rutulian was pressing us hard,

with fire and sword, and we have sought you over the waves.

Cybele, the Mother, refashioned us in this form, from pity,

granting that we became goddesses, spending life under the waves.

Now, your son Ascanius is penned behind walls and ditches,

among weapons, and Latins bristling for a fight.

The Arcadian Horse, mixed with brave Etruscans already hold

the positions commanded: while Turnus’s certain purpose

is to send his central squadrons against them, lest they reach the camp.

Up then, in the rising dawn, call your friends with an order

to arm, and take your invincible shield that the lord of fire

gave you himself, that he circled with a golden rim.

If you don’t think my words idle, tomorrow’s light

will gaze on a mighty heap of Rutulian dead.’

She spoke, and, knowing how, with her right hand,

thrust the high stern on, as she left: it sped through the waves

faster than a javelin, or an arrow equalling the wind.

Then the others quickened speed. Amazed, the Trojan son

of Anchises marvelled, yet his spirits lifted at the omen.

Then looking up to the arching heavens he briefly prayed:

‘Kind Cybele, Mother of the gods, to whom Dindymus,

tower-crowned cities, and harnessed lions are dear,

be my leader now in battle, duly further this omen,

and be with your Trojans, goddess, with your favouring step.’

He prayed like this, and meanwhile the wheeling day

rushed in with a flood of light, chasing away the night:

first he ordered his comrades to obey his signals,

prepare their spirits for fighting, and ready themselves for battle.

BkX:260-307 Aeneas Reaches Land

Now, he stood on the high stern, with the Trojans and his fort

in view, and at once lifted high the blazing shield, in his left hand.

The Trojans on the walls raised a shout to the sky, new hope

freshened their fury, they hurled their spears, just as Strymonian

cranes under dark clouds, flying through the air, give noisy

cries, and fleeing the south wind, trail their clamour.

This seemed strange to the Rutulian king and the Italian

leaders, until looking behind them they saw the fleet

turned towards shore, and the whole sea alive with ships.

Aeneas’s crest blazed, and a dark flame streamed from the top,

and the shield’s gold boss spouted floods of fire:

just as when comets glow, blood-red and ominous in the clear night,

or when fiery Sirius, bringer of drought and plague

to frail mortals, rises and saddens the sky with sinister light.

Still, brave Turnus did not lose hope of seizing the shore first,

and driving the approaching enemy away from land.

And he raised his men’s spirits as well, and chided them:

‘What you asked for in prayer is here, to break through

with the sword. Mars himself empowers your hands, men!

Now let each remember his wife and home, now recall

the great actions, the glories of our fathers. And let’s

meet them in the waves, while they’re unsure and

their first steps falter as they land. Fortune favours the brave.’

So he spoke, and asked himself whom to lead in attack

and whom he could trust the siege of the walls.

Meanwhile Aeneas landed his allies from the tall ships

using gangways. Many waited for the spent wave to ebb

and trusted themselves to the shallow water: others rowed.

Tarchon, noting a strand where no waves heaved

and no breaking waters roared, but the sea swept in

smoothly with the rising tide, suddenly turned

his prow towards it, exhorting his men:

‘Now, O chosen band, bend to your sturdy oars:

lift, drive your boats, split this enemy shore

with your beaks, let the keel itself plough a furrow.

I don’t shrink from wrecking the ship in such a harbour

once I’ve seized the land.’ When Tarchon had finished

speaking so, his comrades rose to the oars and drove

their foam-wet ships onto the Latin fields,

till the rams gained dry ground and all the hulls

came to rest unharmed. But not yours, Tarchon,

since, striking the shallows, she hung on an uneven ridge

poised for a while, unbalanced, and, tiring the waves,

broke and pitched her crew into the water,

broken oars and floating benches obstructed them

and at the same time the ebbing waves sucked at their feet.

BkX:308-425 The Pitched Battle

But the long delay didn’t keep Turnus back: swiftly he moved

his whole front against the Trojans, and stood against them on the shore.

The trumpets sounded. Aeneas, first, attacked the ranks

of farmers, as a sign of battle, and toppled the Latins,

killing Theron, noblest of men, who unprompted

sought out Aeneas. The sword drank from his side, pierced

through the bronze joints, and the tunic scaled with gold.

Then he struck Lichas, who had been cut from the womb

of his dead mother and consecrated to you, Phoebus: why

was he allowed to evade the blade at birth? Soon after,

he toppled in death tough Cisseus, and huge Gyas, as they

laid men low with their clubs: Hercules’s weapons

were no help, nor their stout hands nor Melampus their father,

Hercules’s friend, while earth granted him heavy labours.

See, Aeneas hurled his javelin as Pharus uttered

words in vain, and planted it in his noisy gullet.

You too, unhappy Cydon, as you followed Clytius, your new

delight, his cheeks golden with youthful down, you too

would have fallen beneath the Trojan hand, and lain there,

wretched, free of that love of youth that was ever yours,

had the massed ranks of your brothers, not opposed him,

the children of Phorcus, seven in number, seven the spears

they threw: some glanced idly from helmet and shield,

some gentle Venus deflected, so they only grazed

his body. Aeneas spoke to faithful Achates:

‘Supply me with spears, those that lodged in the bodies

of Greeks on Ilium’s plain: my right hand won’t hurl

any at these Rutulians in vain.’ Then he grasped a great javelin

and threw it: flying on, it crashed through the bronze

of Maeon’s shield, smashing breastplate and breast in one go.

His brother Alcanor was there, supporting his brother

with his right arm as he fell: piercing the arm, the spear

flew straight on, keeping its blood-wet course,

and the lifeless arm hung by the shoulder tendons.

Then Numitor, ripping the javelin from his brother’s body,

aimed at Aeneas: but he could not strike at him

in return, and grazed great Achates’s thigh.

Now Clausus of Cures approached, relying on his youthful

strength, and hit Dryopes under the chin from a distance away,

with his rigid spear, driven with force, and, piercing his throat

as he spoke, took his voice and life together: he hit the ground

with his forehead, and spewed thick blood from his mouth.

Clausus toppled, in various ways, three Thracians too,

of Boreas’s exalted race, and three whom Idas their father

and their native Ismarus sent out. Halaesus ran to join him,

and the Auruncan Band, and Messapus, Neptune’s scion,

with his glorious horses. Now one side, now the other strained

to push back the enemy: the struggle was at the very

threshold of Italy. As warring winds, equal in force

and purpose, rise to do battle in the vast heavens

and between them neither yield either clouds or sea:

the battle is long in doubt, all things stand locked in conflict:

so the ranks of Troy clashed with the Latin ranks,

foot against foot, man pressed hard against man.

But in another place, where a torrent had rolled and scattered

boulders, with bushes torn from the banks, far and wide,

Pallas, seeing his Arcadians unused to charging in ranks

on foot turning to run from the pursuing Latins, because

the nature of the ground, churned by water, had persuaded them to leave

their horses for once, now with prayers, and now with bitter words,

the sole recourse in time of need, fired their courage:

‘Friends, where are you running to? Don’t trust to flight,

by your brave deeds, by King Evander’s name,

and the wars you’ve won, and my hopes, now seeking

to emulate my father’s glory. We must hack a way through

the enemy with our swords. Your noble country calls you

and your leader Pallas, to where the ranks of men are densest.

No gods attack us. We are mortals driven before a mortal foe:

we have as many lives, as many hands as they do.

Look, the ocean closes us in with a vast barrier of water,

there’s no land left to flee to: shall we seek the seas or Troy?’

He spoke, and rushed into the midst of the close-packed enemy.

Lagus met him first, drawn there by a hostile fate.

As he tore at a huge weight of stone, Pallas pierced him

where the spine parts the ribs in two, with the spear he hurled,

and plucked out the spear again as it lodged in the bone.

Nor did Hisbo surprise him from above, hopeful though he was,

since, as he rushed in, raging recklessly at his friend’s cruel death,

Pallas intercepted him first, and buried his sword in his swollen chest.

Next Pallas attacked Sthenius, and Anchemolus, of Rhoetus’s

ancient line, who had dared to violate his step-mother’s bed.

You, twin brothers, also fell in the Rutulian fields, Laridus

and Thymber, the sons of Daucus, so alike you were

indistinguishable to kin, and a dear confusion to your parents:

but now Pallas has given you a cruel separateness.

For Evander’s sword swept off your head, Thymber:

while your right hand, Laridus, sought its owner,

and the dying fingers twitched and clutched again at the sword.

Fired by his rebuke and seeing his glorious deeds, a mixture

of remorse and pain roused the Arcadians against their enemy.

Then Pallas pierced Rhoetus as he shot past in his chariot.

Ilus gained that much time and that much respite,

since he had launched his solid spear at Ilus from far off,

which Rhoetus received, as he fled from you, noble Teuthras

and your brother Tyres, and rolling from the chariot

he struck the Rutulian fields with his heels as he died.

As in summer, when a hoped-for wind has risen,

the shepherd sets scattered fires in the woods,

the spaces between catch light, and Vulcan’s bristling

ranks extend over the broad fields, while the shepherd sits

and gazes down in triumph over the joyful flames:

so all your comrades’ courage united as one

to aid you Pallas. But Halaesus, fierce in war,

advanced against them and gathered himself behind his shield.

He killed Ladon, Pheres and Demodocus, struck off

Strymonius’s right hand, raised towards his throat,

with his shining sword, and smashed Thoas in the face

with a stone, scattering bone mixed with blood and brain.

Halaesus’s father, prescient of fate, had hidden him in the woods:

but when, in white-haired old age, the father closed his eyes in death,

the Fates laid their hands on Halaesus and doomed him

to Evander’s spear. Pallas attacked him first praying:

‘Grant luck to the spear I aim to throw, father Tiber,

and a path through sturdy Halaesus’s chest. Your oak

shall have the these weapons and the soldier’s spoils.’

The god heard his prayer: while Halaesus covered Imaon

he sadly exposed his unshielded chest to the Arcadian spear.

BkX:426-509 The Death of Pallas

But Lausus, a powerful force in the war, would not allow

his troops to be dismayed by the hero’s great slaughter:

first he killed Abas opposite, a knotty obstacle in the battle.

The youth of Arcadia fell, the Etruscans fell, and you,

O Trojans, men not even destroyed by the Greeks.

The armies met, equal in leadership and strength:

the rear and front closed ranks, and the crush prevented

weapons or hands from moving. Here, Pallas pressed and urged,

there Lausus opposed him, not many years between them,

both of outstanding presence, but Fortune had denied them

a return to their country. Yet the king of great Olympos

did not allow them to meet face to face: their fate

was waiting for them soon, at the hand of a greater opponent.

Meanwhile Turnus’s gentle sister Juturna adjured him to help

Lausus, and he parted the ranks between in his swift chariot.

When he saw his comrades he cried: ‘It’s time to hold back

from the fight: it’s for me alone to attack Pallas, Pallas

is mine alone: I wish his father were here to see it.’

And his comrades drew back from the field as ordered.

When the Rutulians retired, then the youth, amazed at that proud

command, marvelled at Turnus, casting his eyes over

the mighty body, surveying all of him from the distance

with a fierce look, and answered the ruler’s words with these:

‘I’ll soon be praised for taking rich spoils, or for a glorious death:

my father is equal to either fate for me: away with your threats.’

So saying he marched down the centre of the field:

the blood gathered, chill, in Arcadian hearts.

Turnus leapt from his chariot, preparing to close on foot,

and the sight of the advancing Turnus, was no different

than that of a lion, seeing from a high point a bull far off

on the plain contemplating battle, and rushing down.

But Pallas came forward first, when he thought Turnus might

be within spear-throw, so that chance might help him, in venturing

his unequal strength, and so he spoke to the mighty heavens:

‘I pray you, Hercules, by my father’s hospitality and the feast

to which you came as a stranger, assist my great enterprise.

Let me strip the blood-drenched armour from his dying limbs,

and let Turnus’s failing sight meet its conqueror.’

Hercules heard the youth, and stifled a heavy sigh

deep in his heart, and wept tears in vain.

Then Jupiter the father spoke to Hercules, his son,

with kindly words: ‘Every man has his day, the course

of life is brief and cannot be recalled: but virtue’s task

is this, to increase fame by deeds. So many sons of gods

fell beneath the high walls of Troy, yes, and my own son

Sarpedon among them: fate calls even for Turnus,

and he too has reached the end of the years granted to him.’

So he spoke, and turned his eyes from the Rutulian fields.

Then Pallas threw his spear with all his might,

and snatched his gleaming sword from its hollow sheath.

The shaft flew and struck Turnus, where the top of the armour

laps the shoulder, and forcing a way through the rim

of his shield at last, even grazed his mighty frame.

At this, Turnus hurled his oak spear tipped

with sharp steel, long levelled at Pallas, saying:

‘See if this weapon of mine isn’t of greater sharpness.’

The spear-head, with a quivering blow, tore through

the centre of his shield, passed through all the layers

of iron, of bronze, all the overlapping bull’s-hide,

piercing the breastplate, and the mighty chest.

Vainly he pulled the hot spear from the wound:

blood and life followed, by one and the same path.

He fell in his own blood (his weapons clanged over him)

and he struck the hostile earth in death with gory lips.

Then Turnus, standing over him, cried out:

‘Arcadians, take note, and carry these words of mine

to Evander: I return Pallas to him as he deserves.

I freely give whatever honours lie in a tomb, whatever

solace there is in burial. His hospitality to Aeneas

will cost him greatly.’ So saying he planted his left foot on the corpse,

and tore away the huge weight of Pallas’s belt, engraved

with the Danaids’ crime: that band of young men foully murdered

on the same wedding night: the blood-drenched marriage chambers:

that Clonus, son of Eurytus had richly chased in gold.

Now Turnus exulted at the spoil, and gloried in winning.

Oh, human mind, ignorant of fate or fortune to come,

or of how to keep to the limits, exalted by favourable events!

The time will come for Turnus when he’d prefer to have bought

an untouched Pallas at great price, and will hate those spoils

and the day. So his friends crowded round Pallas with many

groans and tears, and carried him back, lying on his shield.

O the great grief and glory in returning to your father:

that day first gave you to warfare, the same day took you from it,

while nevertheless you left behind vast heaps of Rutulian dead!

BkX:510-605 Aeneas Rages In Battle

Now not merely a rumour of this great evil, but a more trustworthy

messenger flew to Aeneas, saying that his men were a hair’s breadth

from death, that it was time to help the routed Trojans. Seeking you,

Turnus, you, proud of your fresh slaughter, he mowed down

his nearest enemies, with the sword, and fiercely drove a wide path

through the ranks with its blade. Pallas, Evander, all was before

his eyes, the feast to which he had first come as a stranger,

the right hands pledged in friendship. Then he captured

four youths alive, sons of Sulmo, and as many reared

by Ufens, to sacrifice to the shades of the dead, and sprinkle

the flames of the pyre with the prisoners’ blood.

Next he aimed a hostile spear at Magus from a distance:

Magus moved in cleverly, and the spear flew over him, quivering,

and he clasped the hero’s knees as a suppliant, and spoke as follows:

‘I beg you, by your father’s shade, by your hope in your boy

Iulus, preserve my life, for my son and my father.

I have a noble house: talents of chased silver lie buried there:

I have masses of wrought and unwrought gold. Troy’s victory

does not rest with me: one life will not make that much difference.’

Aeneas replied to him in this way: ‘Keep those many talents

of silver and gold you mention for your sons. Turnus, before we spoke,

did away with the courtesies of war, the moment he killed Pallas.

So my father Anchises’s spirit thinks, so does Iulus.’

Saying this he held the helmet with his left hand and, bending

the suppliant’s neck backwards, drove in his sword to the hilt.

Haemon’s son, a priest of Apollo and Diana, was not far away,

the band with its sacred ribbons circling his temples, and all

his robes and emblems shining white. Aeneas met him and drove him

over the plain, then, standing over the fallen man, killed him and cloaked

him in mighty darkness: Serestus collected and carried off

his weapons on his shoulders, a trophy for you, King Gradivus.

Caeculus, born of the race of Vulcan, and Umbro

who came from the Marsian hills restored order,

the Trojan raged against them: his sword sliced off Anxur’s

left arm, it fell to the ground with the whole disc of his shield

(Anxur had shouted some boast, trusting the power

of words, lifting his spirit high perhaps, promising

himself white-haired old age and long years):

then Tarquitus nearby, proud in his gleaming armour,

whom the nymph Dryope had born to Faunus of the woods,

exposed himself to fiery Aeneas. He, drawing back his spear,

pinned the breastplate and the huge weight of shield together:

then as the youth begged in vain, and tried to utter a flow of words,

he struck his head to the ground and, rolling the warm trunk over,

spoke these words above him, from a hostile heart:

‘Lie there now, one to be feared. No noble mother will bury you

in the earth, nor weight your limbs with an ancestral tomb:

you’ll be left for the carrion birds, or, sunk in the abyss,

the flood will bear you, and hungry fish suck your wounds.’

Then he caught up with Antaeus, and Lucas, in Turnus’s

front line, brave Numa and auburn Camers, son of noble Volcens,

the wealthiest in Ausonian land, who ruled silent Amyclae.

Once his sword was hot, victorious Aeneas raged

over the whole plain, like Aegeaon, who had a hundred

arms and a hundred hands they say, and breathed fire

from fifty chests and mouths, when he clashed

with as many like shields of his and drew as many swords

against Jove’s lightning-bolts. See now he was headed

towards the four horse team of Niphaeus’s chariot

and the opposing front. And when the horses saw him taking

great strides in his deadly rage, they shied and galloped in fear,

throwing their master, and dragging the chariot to the shore.

Meanwhile Lucagus and his brother Liger entered the fray

in their chariot with two white horses: Liger handling

the horses’ reins, fierce Lucagus waving his naked sword.

Aeneas could not tolerate such furious hot-headedness:

he rushed at them, and loomed up gigantic with levelled spear.

Liger said to him: ‘These are not Diomedes’s horses

that you see, nor Achille’s chariot, nor Phrygia’s plain:

now you’ll be dealt an end to your war and life.’

Such were the words that flew far, from foolish

Liger’s lips. But the Trojan hero did not ready

words in reply, he hurled his spear then against his enemies.

While Lucagus urged on his horses, leaning forward

towards the spear’s blow, as, with left foot advanced,

he prepared himself for battle, the spear entered the lower

rim of his bright shield, then pierced the left thigh:

thrown from the chariot he rolled on the ground in death:

while noble Aeneas spoke bitter words to him:

‘Lucagus, it was not the flight of your horses in fear that betrayed

your chariot, or the enemy’s idle shadow that turned them:

it was you, leaping from the wheels, who relinquished the reins.’

So saying he grasped at the chariot: the wretched brother,

Liger, who had fallen as well, held, out his helpless hands:

‘Trojan hero, by your own life, by your parents who bore

such a son, take pity I beg you, without taking this life away.’

As he begged more urgently, Aeaneas said: ‘Those were not

the words you spoke before. Die and don’t let brother desert brother.’

Then he sliced open his chest where the life is hidden.

Such were the deaths the Trojan leader caused across

that plain, raging like a torrent of water or a dark

tempest. At last his child, Ascanius, and the men

who were besieged in vain, breaking free, left the camp.

BkX:606-688 Juno Withdraws Turnus from the Fight

Meanwhile Jupiter, unasked, spoke to Juno:

‘O my sister, and at the same time my dearest wife,

as you thought (your judgement is not wrong)

it is Venus who sustains the Trojans’ power,

not their own right hands, so ready for war,

nor their fierce spirits, tolerant of danger.’

Juno spoke submissively to him: ‘O loveliest of husbands

why do you trouble me, who am ill, and fearful of your

harsh commands? If my love had the power it once had,

that is my right, you, all-powerful, would surely not

deny me this, to withdraw Turnus from the conflict

and save him, unharmed, for his father, Daunus.

Let him die then, let him pay the Trojans in innocent blood.

Yet he derives his name from our line: Pilumnus

was his ancestor four generations back, and often weighted

your threshold with copious gifts from a lavish hand.’

The king of heavenly Olympus briefly replied to her like this:

‘If your prayer is for reprieve from imminent death

for your doomed prince, and you understand I so ordain it,

take Turnus away, in flight, snatch him from oncoming fate:

there’s room for that much indulgence. But if thought

of any greater favour hides behind your prayers, and you think

this whole war may be deflected or altered, you nurture a vain hope.’

And Juno, replied, weeping: ‘Why should your mind not grant

what your tongue withholds, and life be left to Turnus?

Now, guiltless, a heavy doom awaits him or I stray empty

of truth. Oh, that I might be mocked by false fears,

and that you, who are able to, might harbour kinder speech!

When she had spoken these words, she darted down at once

from high heaven through the air, driving a storm before her,

and wreathed in cloud, and sought the ranks of Ilium

and the Laurentine camp. Then from the cavernous mist

the goddess decked out a weak and tenuous phantom,

in the likeness of Aeneas, with Trojan weapons (a strange

marvel to behold), simulated his shield, and the plumes

on his godlike head, gave it insubstantial speech,

gave it sound without mind, and mimicked the way

he walked: like shapes that flit, they say, after death,

or dreams that in sleep deceive the senses.

And the phantom flaunted itself exultantly

in front of the leading ranks, provoking Turnus

with spear casts, and exasperating him with words.

Turnus ran at it, and hurled a hissing spear

from the distance: it turned its heels in flight.

Then, as Turnus thought that Aeneas had retreated

and conceded, and in his confusion clung to this idle hope

in his mind, he cried: ‘Where are you off to, Aeneas?

Don’t desert your marriage pact: this hand of mine

will grant you the earth you looked for over the seas.’

He pursued him, calling loudly, brandishing his naked sword,

not seeing that the wind was carrying away his glory.

It chanced that the ship, in which King Osinius sailed

from Clusium’s shores, was moored to a high stone pier,

with ladders released and gangway ready. The swift phantom

of fleeing Aeneas sank into it to hide, and Turnus followed

no less swiftly, conquering all obstacles and leapt

up the high gangway. He had barely reached the prow

when Saturn’s daughter snapped the cable,

and, snatching the ship, swept it over the waters.

Then the vague phantom no longer tried to hide

but, flying into the air, merged with a dark cloud.

Meanwhile Aeneas himself was challenging his missing enemy

to battle: and sending many opposing warriors to their deaths,

while the storm carried Turnus over the wide ocean.

Unaware of the truth, and ungrateful for his rescue,

he looked back and raised clasped hands and voice to heaven:

‘All-powerful father, did you think me so worthy of punishment,

did you intend me to pay such a price? Where am I being taken?

From whom am I escaping? Why am I fleeing: how will I return?

Will I see the walls and camp of Laurentium again?

What of that company of men that followed me, and my standard?

Have I left them all (the shame of it) to a cruel death,

seeing them scattered now, hearing the groans as they fall?

What shall I do? Where is the earth that could gape

wide enough for me? Rather have pity on me, O winds:

Drive the ship on the rocks, the reefs (I, Turnus, beg you, freely)

or send it into the vicious quicksands, where no Rutulian,

nor any knowing rumour of my shame can follow me?

So saying he debated this way and that in his mind,

whether he should throw himself on his sword, mad

with such disgrace, and drive the cruel steel through his ribs,

or plunge into the waves, and, by swimming, gain

the curving bay, and hurl himself again at the Trojan weapons.

Three times he attempted each: three times great Juno

held him back, preventing him from heartfelt pity. He glided on,

with the help of wave and tide, cutting the depths,

and was carried to his father Daunus’s ancient city.

BkX:689-754 Mezentius Rages in Battle

But meanwhile fiery Mezentius, warned by Jupiter,

took up the fight, and attacked the jubilant Trojans.

The Etruscan ranks closed up, and concentrated

all their hatred, and showers of missiles, on him alone.

He (like a vast cliff that juts out into the vast deep,

confronting the raging winds, and exposed to the waves,

suffering the force and threat of sky and sea,

itself left unshaken) felled Hebrus, son of Dolichaon,

to the earth, with him were Latagus and swift Palmus,

but he anticipated Latagus, with a huge fragment of rock

from the hillside in his mouth and face, while he hamstrung

Palmus and left him writhing helplessly: he gave Lausus the armour

to protect his shoulders, and the plumes to wear on his crest.

He killed Evanthes too, the Phrygian, and Mimas, Paris’s

friend and peer, whom Theano bore to his father Amycus

on the same night Hecuba, Cisseus’s royal daughter, pregnant

with a firebrand, gave birth to Paris: Paris lies in the city

of his fathers, the Laurentine shore holds the unknown Mimas.

And as a boar, that piny Vesulus has sheltered

for many years and Laurentine marshes have nourished

with forests of reeds, is driven from the high hills,

by snapping hounds, and halts when it reaches the nets,

snorts fiercely, hackles bristling, no one brave enough

to rage at it, or approach it, but all attacking it with spears,

and shouting from a safe distance: halts, unafraid,

turning in every direction, grinding its jaws,

and shaking the spears from its hide: so none of those

who were rightly angered with Mezentius had the courage

to meet him with naked sword, but provoked him

from afar with their missiles, and a mighty clamour.

Acron, a Greek had arrived there from the ancient lands

of Corythus, an exile, his marriage ceremony left incomplete.

When Mezentius saw him in the distance, embroiled

among the ranks, with crimson plumes, and in purple robes

given by his promised bride, he rushed eagerly into the thick

of the foe, as a ravenous lion often ranges the high coverts

(since a raging hunger drives it) and exults, with vast gaping jaws,

if it chances to see a fleeing roe-deer, or a stag with immature horns,

then clings crouching over the entrails, with bristling mane,

its cruel mouth stained hideously with blood.

Wretched Acron fell, striking the dark earth with his heels

in dying, drenching his shattered weapons with blood.

And he did not even deign to kill Orodes as he fled,

or inflict a hidden wound with a thrust of his spear:

he ran to meet him on the way, and opposed him man to man,

getting the better of him by force of arms not stealth.

Then setting his foot on the fallen man, and straining at his spear,

he called out: ‘Soldiers, noble Orodes lies here, he was no small part

of this battle.’ His comrades shouted, taking up the joyful cry:

Yet Orodes, dying, said: ‘Whoever you are, winner here,

I’ll not go unavenged, nor will you rejoice for long:

a like fate watches for you: you’ll soon lie in these same fields.’

Mezentius replied, grinning with rage: ‘Die now,

as for me, the father of gods and king of men will see to that.’

So saying he withdrew his spear from the warrior’s body.

Enduring rest, and iron sleep, pressed on Orodes’s eyes,

and their light was shrouded in eternal night.

Caedicus killed Alcathous: Sacrator killed Hydapses:

Rapo killed Parthenius, and Orses of outstanding strength.

Messapus killed Clonius, and Ericetes, son of Lycaon,

one lying on the ground fallen from his bridle-less horse,

the other still on his feet. Lycian Agis had advanced his feet

but Valerus overthrew him, with no lack of his ancestors’ skill:

Salius killed Thronius, and Nealces, famed for the javelin,

and the deceptive long-distance arrow, in turn killed Salcius.

BkX:755-832 The Death of Mezentius’s Son, Lausus

Now grievous War dealt grief and death mutually:

they killed alike, and alike they died, winners and losers,

and neither one nor the other knew how to flee.

The gods in Jupiter’s halls pitied the useless anger of them both,

and that such pain existed for mortal beings:

here Venus gazed down, here, opposite, Saturnian Juno.

Pale Tisiphone raged among the warring thousands.

And now Mezentius shaking his mighty spear,

advanced like a whirlwind over the field. Great as Orion,

when he strides through Ocean’s deepest chasms, forging a way,

his shoulders towering above the waves, or carrying

an ancient manna ash down from the mountain heights,

walking the earth, with his head hidden in the clouds,

so Mezentius advanced in his giant’s armour.

Aeneas, opposite, catching sight of him in the far ranks

prepared to go and meet him. Mezentius stood there unafraid,

waiting for his great-hearted enemy, firm in his great bulk:

and measuring with his eye what distance would suit his spear,

saying: ‘Now let this right hand that is my god, and the weapon

I level to throw, aid me! I vow that you yourself, Lausus, as token

of my victory over Aeneas, shall be dressed in the spoils stripped

from that robber’s corpse.’ He spoke, and threw the hissing spear

from far out. But, flying on, it glanced from the shield,

and pierced the handsome Antores, nearby, between flank

and thigh, Antores, friend of Hercules, sent from Argos

who had joined Evander, and settled in an Italian city.

Unhappy man, he fell to a wound meant for another,

and dying, gazing at the sky, remembered sweet Argos.

Then virtuous Aeneas hurled a spear: it passed through

Mezentius’s curved shield of triple-bronze, through linen,

and the interwoven layers of three bull’s hides, and lodged

deep in the groin, but failed to drive home with force.

Aeneas, joyful at the sight of the Tuscan blood,

snatched the sword from his side, and pressed

his shaken enemy hotly. Lausus, seeing it, groaned heavily

for love of his father, and tears rolled down his cheeks –

and here I’ll not be silent, for my part, about your harsh death,

through fate, nor, if future ages place belief in such deeds, your actions,

so glorious, nor you yourself, youth, worthy of remembrance –

his father was retreating, yielding ground, helpless,

hampered, dragging the enemy lance along with his shield.

The youth ran forward, and plunged into the fray,

and, just as Aeneas’s right hand lifted to strike a blow,

he snatched at the sword-point, and checked him in delay:

his friends followed with great clamour, and, with a shower

of spears, forced the enemy to keep his distance till the father

could withdraw, protected by his son’s shield.

Aeneas raged, but kept himself under cover.

As every ploughman and farmer runs from the fields

when storm-clouds pour down streams of hail,

and the passer by shelters in a safe corner, under a river

bank or an arch of high rock, while the rain falls to earth,

so as to pursue the day’s work when the sun returns:

so, overwhelmed by missiles from every side,

Aeneas endured the clouds of war, while they all thundered,

and rebuked Lausus, and threatened Lausus, saying:

‘Why are you rushing to death, with courage beyond your strength?

Your loyalty’s betraying you to foolishness.’ Nevertheless

the youth raged madly, and now fierce anger rose higher

in the Trojan leader’s heart, and the Fates gathered together

the last threads of Lausus’s life. For Aeneas drove his sword

firmly through the youth’s body, and buried it to the hilt:

the point passed through his shield, too light for his threats,

and the tunic of soft gold thread his mother had woven,

blood filled its folds: then life left the body and fled,

sorrowing, through the air to the spirits below.

And when Anchises’s son saw the look on his dying face,

that face pale with the wonderment of its ending,

he groaned deeply with pity and stretched out his hand,

as that reflection of his own love for his father touched

his heart. ‘Unhappy child, what can loyal Aeneas grant

to such a nature, worthy of these glorious deeds of yours?

Keep the weapons you delighted in: and if it is something you are

anxious about, I return you to the shades and ashes of your ancestors.

This too should solace you, unhappy one, for your sad death:

you died at the hands of great Aeneas.’ Also he rebuked

Lausus’s comrades, and lifted their leader from the earth,

where he was soiling his well-ordered hair with blood.

BkX:833-908 The Death of Mezentius

Meanwhile the father, Mezentius, staunched his wounds

by the waters of Tiber’s river, and rested his body

by leaning against a tree trunk. His bronze helmet hung

on a nearby branch, and his heavy armour lay peacefully on the grass.

The pick of his warriors stood around: he himself, weak and panting

eased his neck, his flowing beard streaming over his chest.

Many a time he asked for Lausus, and many times sent men

to carry him a sorrowing father’s orders and recall him.

But his weeping comrades were carrying the dead Lausus,

on his armour, a great man conquered by a mighty wound.

The mind prescient of evil, knew their sighs from far off.

Mezentius darkened his white hair with dust, and lifted

both hands to heaven, clinging to the body:

‘My son, did such delight in living possess me,

that I let you face the enemy force in my place,

you whom I fathered? Is this father of yours alive

through your death, saved by your wounds? Ah, now at last

my exile is wretchedly driven home: and my wound, deeply!

My son, I have also tarnished your name by my crime,

driven in hatred from my fathers’ throne and sceptre.

I have long owed reparation to my country and my people’s hatred:

I should have yielded my guilty soul to death in any form!

Now I live: I do not leave humankind yet, or the light,

but I will leave.’ So saying he raised himself weakly on his thigh,

and, despite all, ordered his horse to be brought, though his strength

ebbed from the deep wound. His mount was his pride,

and it was his solace, on it he had ridden victorious from every battle.

He spoke to the sorrowful creature, in these words:

‘Rhaebus, we have lived a long time, if anything lasts long

for mortal beings. Today you will either carry the head of Aeneas,

and his blood-stained spoils, in victory, and avenge Lausus’s pain

with me, or die with me, if no power opens that road to us:

I don’t think that you, the bravest of creatures, will deign

to suffer a stranger’s orders or a Trojan master.’

He spoke, then, mounting, disposed his limbs as usual,

and weighted each hand with a sharp javelin,

his head gleaming with bronze, bristling with its horsehair crest.

So he launched himself quickly into the fray. In that one heart

a vast flood of shame and madness merged with grief.

And now he called to Aeneas in a great voice.

Aeneas knew him and offered up a joyous prayer:

‘So let the father of the gods himself decree it, so

noble Apollo! You then begin the conflict….’

He spoke those words and moved against him with level spear.

But Mezentius replied: ‘How can you frighten me, most savage

of men, me, bereft of my son? That was the only way you could

destroy me: I do not shrink from death, or halt for any god.

Cease, since I come here to die, and bring you, first,

these gifts.’ He spoke, and hurled a spear at his enemy:

then landed another and yet another, wheeling

in a wide circle, but the gilded shield withstood them.

He rode three times round his careful enemy, widdershins,

throwing darts from his hand: three times the Trojan hero

dragged round the huge thicket of spears fixed in his bronze shield.

Then tired of all that drawn-out delay, and burdened

by the unequal conflict, he thought hard, and finally broke free,

hurling his spear straight between the war horse’s curved temples.

The animal reared, and lashed the air with its hooves,

and throwing its rider, followed him down, from above,

entangling him, collapsing headlong onto him, its shoulder thrown.

Trojans and Latins ignited the heavens with their shouts.

Aeneas ran to him, plucking his sword from its sheath

and standing over him, cried: ‘Where is fierce Mezentius, now,

and the savage force of that spirit?’ The Tuscan replied, as, lifting

his eyes to the sky, and gulping the air, he regained his thoughts:

‘Bitter enemy, why taunt, or threaten me in death?

There is no sin in killing: I did not come to fight believing so,

nor did my Lausus agree any treaty between you and me.

I only ask, by whatever indulgence a fallen enemy might claim,

that my body be buried in the earth. I know that my people’s

fierce hatred surrounds me: protect me, I beg you,

from their anger, and let me share a tomb with my son.’

So he spoke, and in full awareness received the sword in his throat,

and poured out his life, over his armour, in a wave of blood.

End of Book X