Having already translated Books IV and VI of Virgil's "Aeneid", surely his greatest works, if not the greatest books in the whole of Latin literature, I now offer the translation of another of the twelve books that make up this epic. And what better than Book I, in which Virgil sets the scene in a masterly way for the whole story? Right from the beginning of this book, Aeneas is portrayed as the man of destiny who will establish, through his descendants, not only the rule of Rome but the supremacy of the Julian dynasty, and it is evident at once that he is writing to please not just the wider intelligentsia of Rome but in particular the emperor Augustus. This book lacks the stirring passages of Books IV and VI but still has some famous lines. Its beginning, "Arma virumque cano..." (I sing of arms and the man) echoes like a drum-roll. Later, Jupiter sets out his intention that the Romans shall rule the world: "his ego nec metas rerum, nec tempora pono: imperium sine fine dedi" (to these people I fix neither bounds nor periods of time to their fortunes: I have given them power without end). This statement sets out the agenda for the whole work, which had a seminal influence on the Romans and their confidence in their right to world rule. Book I also provides examples of Virgil's humanism, i.e. his understanding of the human condition, and its many dilemmas and predicaments. One is in the inimitable, and largely untranslatable l.462: "sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt" (there are tears for things and mortal things touch the heart), perhaps one of the greatest lines in Latin literature. While, the opening book of the "Aeneid" cannot compete in stature with some later books, it sets the tone for the whole work admirably and reading it is, frankly, wonderful entainment.
In this translation, Sabidius maintains the approach outlined at the beginning of Book VI. Above all, the intention is that a reader of this Latin text will be able to identify readily how Virgil's Latin can be accurately translated into an English which reflects the actual structure of his sentences and the meaning of the words used. Where Latin grammar or idiom just cannot be rendered into meaningful English, a paraphrase is given, followed by a literal translation of the words used.
The main text used for this translation is the 1947 edition of H.E.Gould, M.A. and J.L. Whitely, M.A., Ph.D in the Modern School Classics' series (Macmillan, St. Martin's Press), but attention is also given to the 1892 edition of T.E. Page, M.A., D.Litt, in the Elementary Classics series, issued by the same publisher. The 'Notes on Hexameters' section, published at the end of Page's edition, and, indeed, the notes on the text which he provided, is far from elementary, and suggests a formidable linguistic capacity among the alleged beginners of Page's time.
Ll. 1-11. I am about to sing of the Trojan hero, Aeneas, who founded our Roman race. Help me, Muse, to tell how Juno opposed him in this enterprise.
I sing of arms and of the man who, exiled by fate, first came from the shores of Troy to Italy and the Lavinian strand - much harassed both on land and on the deep by the violence of those above, on account of the unforgetting anger of stern Juno, and, having suffered also many things in war, until he could found a city and bring his (household) gods into Latium, he - from whom (sprang) the Latin race, the Alban fathers and the lofty walls of Rome.
(O) Muse, recount to me the reasons, because of what injured deity, or resenting what, did the queen of the gods drive a man remarkable for his piety to pass through so many perils, (and) to encounter so many tribulations. (Are there) to heavenly hearts such great angers?
Ll. 12-33. Juno's love of Carthage, and the hatred she feels for the Trojans, whose descendants are destined to overthrow that city.
There was an ancient city, (called) Carthage [Tyrian settlers possessed (it)], opposite Italy and the mouths of the Tiber (but) from afar, rich in resources and very formidable in the practice of war; Juno is said to have loved this one (city) more than all (other) lands, (even) Samos having been esteemed less: here (were) her arms, here was her chariot; then already the goddess aimed and desired that this should be for the nations an empire, if the fates should in any way allow (it). But, indeed, she had heard that a breed was being drawn from Trojan blood, in order some day to overthrow the Tyrian citadel; that from this a widely ruling race, and (one) proud in war should come for the destruction of Libya: (and) that thus the Fates were tending. The daughter of Saturn (i.e. Juno), fearing this and mindful of the old war, which she had waged at Troy on behalf of her dear Argives [and not even yet had the causes of her angers and fierce resentments fallen from her mind; the judgment of Paris, the insult of her beauty scorned and the hateful race and the honours (paid) to the ravished Ganymede stay hidden deep in her mind (lit. in her deep mind)] - (and) inflamed further by these things, kept the Trojans, the leavings of the Danaans and ruthless Achilles, (storm)-tossed in every (quarter of) the sea, far from Latium, and, driven by destiny, they wandered for many years about every sea. Of such great effort it was to found the Roman race.
Ll. 34-64. Juno, seeing the fleet of Aeneas on its way to Italy, plans to scatter it, and to this end visits Aeolus, King of the Winds.
Scarcely out of sight of the land of Sicily, they were joyously setting sail into the deep and driving through the foaming (waves) of salt (water) with their brazen (prows), when Juno, nursing the everlasting wound deep within her breast, (speaks) these things to (lit. with) herself: " Am I, defeated, to cease from my endeavour? And can I not keep the king of the Teucrians away from Italy? I suppose I am forbidden by the fates. Was (not) Pallas able to burn up the fleet of the Argives and drown (the men) themselves in the sea on account of the sin and madness of one man, Ajax, (the son) of Oileus? She, herself, hurled the devouring fire of Jupiter from the clouds and stirred up the sea with winds, (but) him, breathing forth flames from his pierced breast, she caught up in a tornado and impaled upon a sharp rock; yet I, who move in majesty (as) queen of the gods and sister and consort of Jupiter, have been waging war for so many years with one nation. And will anyone worship the divinity of Juno henceforth, or humbly place his offerings upon her altars?" Meditating such (thoughts) with herself within her flaming heart, the goddess comes to Aeolia, the land of storm-clouds, a region teeming with raging South Winds. Here King Aeolus in his vast cavern keeps struggling winds and echoing storms in order, and controls (them) with chains and a prison. They angrily roar around their bars with great murmur of the mountain, (and) King Aeolus sits in a lofty citadel, wielding his sceptre, and he soothes their anger and tempers their rages. If he were not to do (so), they would, as plunderers, surely carry (away) with them the seas, the earth and the high heaven , and whirl (them) through the air. But, fearing this, the almighty father confined (them) in a black cavern, and laid a mass and high mountains above (them), and appointed a king who, under a fixed covenant, should know both (how) to tighten and, as ordered, to give loose reins. To him Juno then humbly employed these words:
Ll. 65-101. Juno asks Aeolus to free the winds and raise a tempest. He agrees, and as the storm clouds gather Aeneas despairs.
"Aeolus, for to you the father of the gods and king of men has given (the power) both to calm the waves and to rouse (them) with the wind, a people hateful to me is sailing the Tyrrhene sea, conveying Ilium and their vanquished household gods to Italy: strike violence into your winds, and sink and overwhelm their ships (lit. overwhelm their sunken ships) or drive (them) apart and scatter bodies on the sea. I have (lit. there are to me) fourteen (lit. twice seven) nymphs of surpassing beauty, of whom I shall join (to you) in abiding wedlock (her) who (is) fairest of form, Deiopea, and I shall consecrate (her) yours for ever, in order that, in return for your good services, she may complete all the years with you and make you father of splendid offspring."
Aeolus (says) this in reply: "(It is) your task, O queen, to search out what you desire; it is right for me to perform your orders. Whatever of sovereignty this (is), you win for me, my sceptre and (the favour of) Jupiter you (win for me also), you give (me the right) to recline at the banquets of the gods, and you make (me) lord of the storm-clouds and of the tempests."
When these things were said, his spear having been reversed, he struck the hollow mountain on its side: and forthwith the winds, as though a column having been formed, where a gate has been given (them) rush through, and blow through the the earth in a whirlwind. (Straightway) they settle on the sea and together both the East Wind and the South Wind and the African gale, with frequent squalls (lit. frequent with squalls), heave (it) all up from its lowest abodes, and roll vast waves towards the shores. And the shouting of men and the groaning of cables follow. Suddenly the clouds snatch away from the eyes of the Teucrians both the sky and the daylight; black night broods upon the ocean. The poles (suddenly) thunder and the sky lightens with frequent flashes and everything threatens immediate death to men. Forthwith the limbs of Aeneas are paralysed with cold (fear); he groans, and, stretching out both palms to the stars, he says the following things with his voice: O three and four times blessed, (those) for whom it was a happy chance to meet (their doom) before the faces of their fathers under the lofty walls of Troy! O son of Tydeus (i.e. Diomedes), bravest of the race of the Danaans, could I not have fallen and have poured out this life through your right hand on the plains of Ilium, where fierce Hector lies prostrate beneath the spear of the descendant of Aeacus (i.e. Achilles), where huge Sarpedon (lies), (and) where the Simois snatches up and rolls along the shields and helmets and the bodies of so many brave men (lit. so many snatched up shields and helmets and brave bodies of men)?
Ll. 102-123. The havoc wrought by the tempest.
(For him) hurling such (cries) a squall shrieking with the North Wind strikes the sails full in front and raises the waves to the stars. The oars are broken; then the prow swings round (and) presents the side to the waves; there ensues a mountain of water precipitate in a heap. Some (sailors) hang on top of the waves, (and) for others the yawning sea reveals the earth between the waves; the waters seethe with sand. The South Wind snatches up and hurls three (ships) (lit. hurls three snatched up ships) on to hidden rocks [rocks which the Italians call Altars in the middle of the waves, a vast ridge on the surface of the sea], (and) the East Wind drives three (ships) from the deep towards shallows and sandbanks and, piteous to behold, dashes (them) upon shoals and surrounds (them) with a mountain of sand. The huge sea strikes one (ship), which was carrying the Lycians and the faithful Orontes, from above against its stern before the eyes of (Aeneas) himself: the helmsman is dashed out (of the ship) and falls (lit. is rolled) face downwards on to his head; but the wave spins the ship three times around in the same place, driving it round (and round), and a devouring whirlpool engulfs (her) in the sea. Scattered swimmers, the arms of heroes, planks and Trojan treasure appear in the vast whirlpool amid the waves. The tempest prevails against now the strong ship of Ilioneus, now (the ship) of brave Achates, and (the ship) in which Abas was carried, and (the ship) in which aged Aletes (was carried); the bolts of their sides having been loosened, all (the ships) let in the deadly rain and gape at the seams.
Ll. 123-156. Neptune, roused by the the roaring of the elements, rebukes the winds and allays the tempest.
Meanwhile, Neptune, grievously disturbed, perceived that the sea had been troubled by a great uproar, and that a storm had been let loose and his pools upheaved from their lowest depths; and, looking out over the deep, he raised his serene head from the surface of the water. He sees Aeneas' fleet scattered over all the sea, (and) the Trojans overwhelmed by the waves and the havoc of the sky. Nor did the wiles and rages of Juno escape her brother. He calls the East Wind and the West Wind to himself, (and) then he says the following things: "Does so great a pride in your birth possess you? Do you now dare, you winds, without my sovereign consent to confound the sky and the earth and to raise up such great masses (of water)? I will (show them) - but to soothe the tumultuous waves is more important. Hereafter, you will atone to me for your offences with a different (lit. not by a like) punishment. Hasten your flight, and say these things to your king: dominion over the sea and the dread trident was not given by lot to him but to me. He occupies the vast rocks, your, and your colleagues', dwellings, East Wind; let Aeolus flaunt himself in that court, and let him rule (but) with the prison of the winds locked up."
Thus he speaks, and more swiftly than his word he calms the heaving seas, and routs the gathered clouds and leads back the sun. Cymothoe and Triton, heaving together, dislodge the ships from the sharp reef; he, himself, lifts with his trident and opens the vast sandbanks, and calms the sea, and he skims the tops of the waves with his light (chariot-)wheels. And just as when, (as) often (happens), a riot has arisen in a big (assembly of) the people and the common mob is furious with anger, and now firebrands and rocks are flying, fury supplies weapons: then, if by chance they have seen some man weighty owing to his uprightness and his services, they are silent and stand nearby with attentive ears; he sways their passions with his words and soothes their breasts; thus all the tumult of the sea fell, when the sire, looking out over the sea and driving on through the cloudless sky, wheels his horses and, as he flies (lit. flying), he gives the reins to his obedient chariot.
Ll. 157-222. Aeneas and the remnant of his fleet reach a sheltered bay on the African coast. They restore their strength with a feast of venison, and Aeneas heartens them with words of confidence.
Exhausted, the companions (lit. sons) of Aeneas strive to make for the nearest shores at speed (lit. by running), and they turn to the coast of Libya. There is a place (there) in a long inlet: this island makes a harbour by the projection of its sides, by which every wave from the deep is broken and divides itself into retreating bays. On this side and on that side vast ridges of rock and twin crags threaten towards the sky, under the broad headland of which (crags) the sheltered seas are quiet: then, above, there is a background of waving woods, and a dark forest overhangs with dreadful gloom. Beneath the (cliff-)face confronting (them), there is a cavern with hanging rocks (i.e. stalactites), the home of nymphs, (and) inside (there are) sweet waters and seats of natural rock. Here, no (lit. not any) cables hold the weary ships, (and) no anchor binds (them) with hooked bite (i.e. a fluke). Hither, seven ships (only) out of the whole number having been collected, Aeneas seeks shelter (lit. enters); and, disembarking with a great longing for the land, the Trojans take possession of the desired strand, and deposit their limbs, dripping with brine, on the shore. And, firstly, Achates struck a spark from flint and caught the fire with leaves, and he put dry kindling around (it) and in the tinder snatched a flame. Then, weary of their troubles, they get ready the corn (lit. Ceres), (although) damaged by the sea-water, and the implements of bread-making (lit. of Ceres), and prepare both to roast the rescued grain in the flames and (then) to pound (it) with a stone.
Meanwhile, Aeneas climbs a rock, and seeks a complete view far and wide over the sea, in the hope that he may see some (glimpse of) Antheus, (albeit) battered by the wind, and his Phrygian galleys, or Capys or the arms of Caicus on his lofty stern. He sees no ship in sight, (but) three stags wandering along the shore; the whole herd follows them from behind, and (as) a long line grazes in a valley. Thereupon, he stopped and seized in his hand a bow and (some) swift(-flying) arrows, weapons which faithful Achates was carrying, and at once lays low the leaders themselves, carrying their heads high with branching antlers; then he throws into confusion the ordinary ones and all the rabble, driving (them) with his darts into the leafy forests; nor does he desist until (as) victor he lays low on the ground seven large carcasses and matches their number with his ships. Then, he makes for the harbour and shares (them) among all his comrades. Next, he divides the wine, which that hero, kindly Acestes, had loaded in jars on the shore of Trinacria (i.e. Sicily) and had given to them (as they were) departing, and he soothed their sorrowing breasts with these words: "O my comrades [for we have not before (this) been ignorant of evils], O (you) who have suffered (lit. having suffered) more grievous things, providence will give an end to these (evils) as well. You have both faced the roar of Scylla and her far-sounding rocks, and you have known the rocks of the Cyclopes: revive your spirits, and dismiss sorrowful fear; perhaps it will be pleasing one day to recall even these things. Through various hazards and through so many crises of affairs we are making our way to Latium, where destiny holds out (to us) a peaceful home; there it is lawful that the realm of Troy should rise again. (So) hold on, and preserve yourselves for favourable circumstances."
He speaks (lit. brings back with his voice) such things, and (though) sick (at heart) with his enormous responsibilities, he pretends hope with his face, (and) he suppresses the pain deep in his heart. They make themselves ready for the booty and the future feast: they strip the hide from the ribs and disclose the flesh; some cut (it) into pieces, and fix (them) quivering on to spits, (while) others set copper cauldrons on the beach and tend the flames. Then, by food they restored their strength, and, stretched on the grass, they are filled with old wine (lit. Bacchus) and rich venison. When hunger has been taken away and the tables removed from the feast, they regretfully recall their lost comrades, hesitating between hope and fear, whether they should suppose that they are (still) alive, or are suffering the last things and, having been called, no longer hear.
Ll. 223-253. Venus protests to Jupiter at the hard fate which dogs Aeneas, her son.
And it was now the end (of the meal), when Jupiter, looking down from the top of the sky on the sea studded with sails and the (flat-)lying lands and coasts and wide(-dwelling) peoples, thus stood at the peak of heaven and cast his eyes down upon the realms of Libya. And Venus, sadder (than usual) and suffused as to her shining eyes with tears, addressed him as he pondered (lit. pondering) such cares in his breast: "O (you) who rules the affairs both of men and of gods with eternal decrees and frightens (them) with your thunderbolt, what (crime) so grave can my Aeneas and his Trojans have committed against you, (they) to whom, having suffered so many deaths, the whole world is closed for the sake of Italy? Assuredly, you did promise that from this source, with the years rolling on, the Romans would some day be the leaders (of men), with the blood of Teucer renewed, to hold the sea, (and) to hold all lands in their sovereignty. What thought has changed your mind (lit. been turning you round), father? With this (promise) indeed I consoled (myself) for the fall and sad ruin of Troy, weighing fates contrary to fates; now the same (ill-)fortune pursues these men, harassed by so many disasters. What end, great king, do you grant to their ordeals? Antenor, having slipped through the midst of the Achaeans, could penetrate the Illyrian gulfs and the inmost realms of the Liburnians safely and pass the source of the Timavus, whence through nine mouths with the vast thunder of the mountain there issues a rushing sea and it covers the fields with a roaring flood. Yet here he founded the city of Patavium (i.e. Padua) and a dwelling for the Teucrians, and he gave a name to the race and hung up the arms of Troy, (and) now he rests, settled in undisturbed peace. (But) we, your progeny, to whom you allow the heights of heaven, our ships having been lost [a shameful thing!], we are betrayed on account of the wrath of one person and we are kept far away from the coasts of Italy. (Is) this the reward of piety? (Is it) thus that you restore us to power (lit. to the sceptres)?
Ll. 254-304. Jupiter reassures Venus with promises of the glorious destiny in store for Aeneas and his Roman descendants, and sends Mercury to ensure for Aeneas a welcome among the Phoenicians.
That great father of men and of gods, smiling with that expression by which he calms the sky and the storms, kissed the lips of his daughter, (and) then says the following things: "Spare your fear, Cytherea (i.e. Venus): the destiny of your people remains unaltered for you; you shall see your city and the promised walls of Lavinium, and you shall bear aloft great-hearted Aeneas to the stars of heaven; nor has a thought turned me. He [for, since these cares consume you, I shall speak further, and (un-)rolling (them) I shall uncover the sacred (records)] will wage a great war in Italy and shall crush its fierce peoples, and shall establish customs and walls for his warriors, until the third summer shall have seen (him) ruling in Latium, and three winters will have passed for the subdued Rutulians. And the boy Ascanius, to whom the surname Iulus is now added (he was Ilus while the Ilian state stood in sovereignty), shall complete with his rule thirty great circles with their rolling months, and shall transfer his kingdom from its seat of Lavinium, and shall fortify lofty Alba with great strength. Here, henceforth, there will be ruling (lit. it will be be ruled) for all of three hundred years under the line of Hector, until Ilia, a royal priestess, pregnant by Mars, shall give birth to (lit. shall give at a birth) twin offspring. Then, Romulus, exulting in the tawny hide of a wolf nurse, shall take over the line, and build the walls of Mars and call (his people) Romans after his name. To these people I fix neither bounds nor periods to their (good) fortunes: I have given (them) power without end. Yes, even resentful Juno, who now wearies the sea, the earth and the heavens with her fear, shall amend her plans for the better, and with me will favour the Romans, the masters of (all) things and the nation that wears the toga. Thus it has pleased (the fates). With the sacred seasons gliding (along), the time shall come, when the house of Assaracus shall crush with servitude (even) Phthia and illustrious Mycenae, and shall rule in conquered Argos. There shall be born of noble lineage a Trojan Caesar, to bound his empire at the Ocean, (and) his glory at the stars, a Julius, his name handed down from great Iulus. One day, you, freed from anxieties, will welcome in heaven this man laden with the spoils of the East; he also shall be invoked with prayers. Then, wars having been laid aside, our fierce age will grow mild; silver-haired Fidelity and Vesta, (and) Quirinus (i.e. Romulus) with his brother Remus will give (us) laws; terrible with iron and tight-fitting fastenings, the gates of War will be closed; (and) unnatural Blood-lust, squatting within on top of savage weapons and bound behind his back with a hundred knots of bronze, roars horribly through his bloody mouth."
He says these things, and he sent (the one) born of Maia (i.e. Mercury) down from on high, so that the new lands and the citadel of Carthage may be open for hospitality to the Teucrians, (and) lest Dido, unaware of fate, should ward (them) off from her territories. He flies through the broad air by the oarage of his wings, and swiftly he alights on the coast of Libya.
Ll. 305-371. Aeneas, upon a journey of exploration, is met by Venus, disguised as a huntress, who tells him of Dido, and her city of Carthage now rising close at hand.
But pious Aeneas, pondering very many things during the night, when first kindly light was vouchsafed, decided to go out and explore this new place (and) to investigate what shores he has come to with the wind, (and) which (creatures) inhabit (them) [for he sees that they are uncultivated] (and) whether they are men or wild beasts, and to report back the results (lit. the completed things) to his comrades. He hides the fleet enclosed around amid trees and fearful shade in a vault of woods at the foot of a hollow rock; he himself goes forth, accompanied by Achates alone, and grasping two spears with broad iron (heads). His mother presented herself to him (lit. brought herself in his way) in the middle of a wood, having the countenance of a maiden and the dress and the weapons of a maiden, from Sparta, or (the weapons of such a maiden) as
Thracian Harpalyce (who) wearies horses and outstrips in flight the swift(-flowing) Hebrus. For, (as) a huntress (would), she had, according to custom, hung from her shoulders a light bow, and had given her hair to the winds to scatter, bare as to the knee and having gathered the flowing folds (of her dress) in a knot. And she speaks first: "Ho, young men, point (her) out, if you have by chance seen any of my sisters wandering here, girded with the hide of a spotted lynx, or with a shout pressing (hard) on the track of a foaming boar."
Thus (spoke) Venus, and the son of Venus began thus in reply: "None of your sisters has been heard or seen by me, O how am I to address you, maiden? For you do not have (lit. there is not to you) a mortal countenance, nor does your voice sound human (lit. man); O goddess surely [whether the sister of Phoebus (i.e. Diana) or one of the blood of the Nymphs?], may you be gracious and, whoever (you are) may you relieve our tribulation, and may you tell (us), pray, under what sky (and) on which of the world's shores we are afflicted; ignorant both of the peoples and of the places, we wander, having been driven hither by the wind and the huge waves: (if you help us) many a victim will fall before your altars (slain) by my right (hand)."
Then Venus (replied): "I do not deem myself worthy of such an honour; it is the custom for Tyrian maidens to carry a quiver, and to bind their calves on high with purple buskins. You see a Punic kingdom, Tyrians and the city of Agenor; but our frontiers (are) Libyan, a race formidable in war. Dido controls the power, having set out from the city of Tyre, escaping from her brother. Long is (the tale of) her injustice, long (is) its winding course (lit. a roundabout way); but I shall trace the main highlights of the story. Her husband was Sychaeus, the richest of the Phoenicians in land, and he was loved by the unhappy girl with a great love. Her father had given (her) to him (as) a virgin (lit. intact) and had united (her to him) in her first wedlock (lit. auspices). But her brother Pygmalion occupied the throne of Tyre, (and he was) more monstrous in crime than (lit. before) all others. A quarrel came between them in the midst. And, blinded with a lust for gold and heedless of his sister's love, he secretly slays the unsuspecting Sychaeus with a sword, impiously, before the altars; and for a long time he concealed his deed, and pretending many things he wickedly deceived her, sick and loving, with false hope. But the very ghost of her unburied husband came (to her) in her sleep, uplifting a visage pale in wondrous ways; he laid bare the cruel altars and his breast pierced with a sword, and disclosed the whole secret crime of the palace. And (as) a help on her way, he reveals treasure long hidden (lit. old) in the earth, a weight of silver and old unknown (to anyone). Shocked by these (words), Dido prepared for flight and her companions (for it). (Those) assemble to whom either bitter hatred or fear of the tyrant was fierce; they seize ships which by chance were ready and load (them) with gold. The riches of the grasping Pygmalion are carried over the sea; a woman (is) the leader of the enterprise. They came to the place where you will shortly see the huge walls and the rising citadel of the new (city of) Carthage, and purchased ground, (called) the Byrsa from the name of their deed, as much as they could enclose with the hide of a bull. But who, pray, (are) you, or from which shores have you come or whither do you hold your course?" To (her) questioning in such (words), he (answered) sighing and dragging his voice from the bottom of his heart:
Ll. 372-417. Venus bids Aeneas enter Dido's city of Carthage and tells him that his lost comrades shall be restored to him. At parting she reveals herself for a moment in her divine form.
"O goddess, if tracing (events) back from their first starting point, I were to proceed (to tell) and there were to be leisure (for you) to hear, of our tribulations, the Evening Star will lay the day to rest, the sky (lit. Olympus) having been closed, before (the tale is ended). A storm, by its own caprice, drove us sailing over various seas from ancient Troy, if by chance the name of Troy has come to your ears, on to the Libyan coast. I am pious Aeneas, who carries with me in my fleet our household gods rescued from the foe, (and) my fame is known in heaven (lit. beyond the sky). I seek the Italy of my ancestors and a race (sprung) from highest Jupiter. Following my allotted destiny, (and) with my goddess mother showing (me) the way, I put out upon (lit. climbed) the Phrygian sea with twenty (lit. twice ten) ships. Scarce seven survive, rescued from the waves and the East Wind. I, myself, wander, unknown, (and) in need, over the deserts of Libya, driven from Europe and Asia." But Venus not suffering (him) to complain further, interrupted (him) thus in the midst of his lamentation: "Whoever you are, you breathe the breath of life, not, I believe, hated by the celestial beings, since you are coming to a Tyrian city. Proceed on this path and convey yourself hither to the threshold of the queen's (palace). For I can announce that your comrades are restored to you and that your fleet has been returned and driven to a safe (place), the North Winds having been changed, unless to no purpose my parents
have taught (me) augury falsely. Look at those twelve (lit. twice six) swans joyously in line, which the bird of Jupiter (i.e. an eagle) swooping from the expanse of aether was scattering through the open sky; now in a long line they are seen either to alight or to gaze down on the place already occupied (by the others): as they, safe-returned, play with whirring wings, they have both circled the sky in company and have uttered songs, not otherwise do your ships or the youth of your (men) either hold the harbour or enter its mouth under full sail. (So) proceed on this path and direct your steps where the way leads you."
She spoke, and, turning away, she gleamed with roseate neck, and her ambrosial hair breathed a divine scent from her neck; her gown trailed down to the bottom of her feet: and by her gait she was revealed (as) a true goddess. When he recognised his mother, he pursued (her) as she vanished (lit. fleeing) with such a voice: "You too (are) cruel; why do you so often deceive your son with false disguises? Why is it not given (to me) to join my (right hand) to your right (hand) and to hear and return unfeigned words. He reproaches (her) with such (words) and directs his steps towards the (city) walls. And Venus shrouded (them) as they went (lit. going) with a thick mist, and enfolded (them), goddess (as she was), with a dense mantle of cloud, so that no one could see them and no one (could) touch (them) or cause (them) delay or demand the reasons for their coming. She, herself, departs on high to Paphos and joyfully returns to her own home, where her temple and a hundred altars glow with Sabaean incense and are fragrant with freshly cut wreaths.
Ll. 418-493. Aeneas and his companion Achates enter Carthage, where building is in busy progress. They admire scenes from the story of Troy, depicted in sculpture upon the buildings of the city.
Meanwhile, they have hurried along (lit. seized) the way where the pathway points. And now they were climbing a hill which very much looms over the city and from above looks towards the towers opposite. Aeneas wonders at the mass (of buildings), once (mere) shepherds' huts, (and) he wonders at the gates, the commotion, and the paving of the streets. The Tyrians press on hotly: some (wanting) to construct walls and to build the citadel and to manhandle stones with their hands, others (wanting) to choose a site for a dwelling and to enclose (it) with a trench. They choose laws and magistrates and a reverend senate. At one spot some are excavating a harbour; at another spot others are laying the deep foundations of a theatre and are quarrying gigantic columns from the cliffs, lofty adornments for the future stage. The labour (is such) as keeps the bees busy at the beginning of summer amid the flowery countryside in the sunshine (lit. under the sun), when they lead out the full-grown offspring of their stock, or when they press the oozing honey and cause the cells to bulge with sweet nectar, or receive the burdens of (bees) coming, or, an army having been formed, they drive the drones, a slothful herd, from their enclosure; and the fragrant honey is redolent with thyme. "O fortunate (are they) whose (city) walls are already rising!" Aeneas speaks and looks up at the tops of the city. He takes himself forward veiled by the cloud [wonderful in the telling] through the midst (of the people) and mingles with men, and is not seen by anyone. In the middle of the city there was a grove (of trees), most rich in shade, in which place the Phoenicians, having been shaken by the waves and the storm, first dug up the sign which queenly Juno had pointed out, the head of a spirited horse: for thus (she said) the race would be outstanding in war and rich in food throughout the ages. Here Sidonian Dido was beginning to build a vast temple to Juno, wealthy with offerings and the presence of the goddess, on the steps of which a bronze threshold rose and the beams were bound with bronze (and) the hinge creaked on the bronze doors. In this grove a strange thing offered soothed his fear; here Aeneas first ventured to hope for safety and better trust his shattered fortunes. For while under the huge temple (roof) he inspects each thing, awaiting the queen, (and) while he wonders at what is the (good) fortune of the city and the (things wrought by) the hands of craftsmen among themselves, he sees the battles of Ilium in order and the wars now published by report throughout the whole world, the sons of Atreus (i.e. Agamemnon and Menelaus), Priam, and Achilles fierce against both. He stood still, and, weeping, said, " What place (is there) by this time, Achates, what region (is there) on earth (which is) not full of our tribulations? Behold, (there is) Priam! There are here too to fame its own rewards; there are tears for things and mortal things touch the heart. Put aside fear; this fame will bring you some security." Thus he speaks, and, groaning deeply, he feeds his mind on the insubstantial picture, and his face is wet with a large river (of tears). For he saw how, warring around the Pergama (i.e the citadel of Troy), here the Greeks fled (and) the Trojan youth pursued, there the Phrygians (fled, while) the crested Achilles pressed on in his chariot. Not far from here, (still) weeping, he recognises the tents of Rhesus with their snowy canvas, which, betrayed by the first sleep, the blood-stained son of Tydeus was ravaging, and he turned away the fiery horses to the camp before they could taste the grass of Troy and drink (the waters of) the Xanthus. On another side Troilus, unhappy boy and having met Achilles unequal (in combat), in flight, his weapons having been lost, is carried along by his horses and, fallen backwards, clings to his empty chariot, still holding the reins; both his neck and his hair are dragged along the ground and the dust is scored by his inverted spear. Meanwhile, the women of Ilium, with their hair dishevelled, were going to the temple of the angry (lit. not kind) Pallas, and were mournfully bearing a robe in suppliant fashion and were beating their breasts with the palms (of their hands): the goddess, turned away, kept her eyes fixed on the ground. Then, indeed, he utters (lit. gives) a great groan from the bottom of his heart, as he caught sight of the spoils, as (he caught sight of) the chariot and as (he caught sight of) the very body of his friend, and Priam stretching forth his weaponless hands. Himself also he recognised mingled (in combat) with Achaean chieftains, and the Eastern battle-line and the arms of black Memnon. Raging Penthesilea leads the columns of the Amazons with their crescent-shaped shields and she blazes in the midst of thousands, binding a golden girdle beneath a breast displayed, a warrior-queen, and she dares, (though) a maiden, to engage in battle with men.
Ll. 494-560. Dido enters, and the companions of Aeneas, missing since the tempest, appear and address to her an appeal for aid.
While these wonders are being seen by Dardanian Aeneas, while he is aghast and sticks fixed in one gaze, queen Dido, very fair in form, stepped forth to the temple with a great crowd of young men thronging (around her). Even as Diana busies herself with dances on the banks of the Eurotas or along the ridges of Cynthus, having followed which (goddess) a thousand Mountain Nymphs assemble from here and from there; she carries a quiver on her shoulder, and as she goes (lit. going) she surpasses (in height) all (other) goddesses; [joy thrills Latona's secret soul]: like her (lit. such) was Dido, like her (lit. such) she bore herself joyfully through the midst (of the throng), urging on the work and her future empire. Then, at the doors of the goddess, beneath the central dome of the temple, encircled with arms, and resting on a throne on high, she took her seat. She was giving ordinances and laws to her people, and she made equal the labour of their tasks by a fair division or apportioned (them) by lot; when suddenly Aeneas saw approaching in a large crowd Antheus and Sergestus and the bold Cloanthus and other Teucrians whom the black storm had scattered far away and had carried to other shores. Both he, himself, and Achates were amazed, having been struck with joy and with fear: eagerly they burned to clasp their right (hands), but the unknown circumstances (lit. thing) troubled their minds. They conceal (their eagerness) and, shrouded by the enveloping (lit. hollow) mist, they watch to see what future (there is) to the men, on what shore they are leaving their fleet, (and) why they are come: for (men) chosen from all the ships were coming, begging for pardon and making for the temple with a clamour. After they had entered and the opportunity of speaking in the presence (of the queen) had been granted, Ilioneus, the most senior (by date of birth), began thus with unruffled breast: " O queen, to whom Jupiter has given (the right) to found a new city and to curb unruly tribes with your justice, we, hapless Trojans, borne by the winds over every sea, entreat you (thus): keep dreadful fires away from our ships, spare a pious race and look more kindly (lit. more nearly) on our fortunes. We have not come either to ravage with the sword your homes (lit. household gods) or to drive stolen booty to the beach. (There is) not such strength to the spirit nor such great arrogance to the vanquished. There is a region, the Greeks call it Hesperia (i.e. the Western Land) by name, an ancient land, mighty in arms and in richness of soil; the Oenotrian people tilled (it); now (there is) a report that those more junior (in date of birth) have called the race Italian from the name of their leader. When stormy Orion, rising with a sudden wave, carried (us) on to a hidden sandbank, and with the boisterous South Winds scattered (us) far, both amid the waves, the surge overwhelming (us), and amid the pathless rocks: we few have swum to your shores. What race of men (is) this? Or what native-land is so barbarous (that) it permits this custom? We are debarred from the welcome of the beach. They are inciting warfare and forbidding (us) to stand on the edge of their land. If you despise the human race and mortal arms, yet expect gods mindful of right and wrong. Our king was Aeneas, than whom another was neither more just in piety nor greater in war and (deeds of ) arms: if destiny preserves that man, if he (still) breathes (lit. feeds) on the air of heaven and does not yet lie in the the cruel shades, (then there is) no fear, nor would it repent you to have striven the first in kindness: there are (to us) also cities and strength in the regions of Sicily, and famous Acestes from (lit. of) Trojan blood. Let it be allowed (to us) to beach our fleet, battered by the winds, and in the forests to shape planks and to strip (boughs into) oars, in order that, if it be granted (to us), our comrades and our king having been rescued, to make our way to Italy, we may joyfully seek Italy and Latium; but if salvation is taken away (from us), and the sea possesses you, best father of the Teucrians (i.e. Aeneas) and no hope now remains in Iulus, (that) at any rate we may at least seek the seas of Sicania (i.e. Sicily), whence we sailed hither, and the homes having been made ready (for us there), and Acestes (as) king." Ilioneus (spoke) with such (words); all the descendants of Dardanus shouted their assent (lit. made a noise by their mouths) together.
ll. 561-612. Dido gives promise of assistance to the storm-tossed Trojans, and Aeneas, till now, by the contrivance of Venus, invisible, stands forth and thanks the queen for her humanity.
Dido then speaks briefly, downcast with regard to her face: " Teucrians, free fear from your hearts. Hard fortune and the newness of rule compel me to perform such (deeds) and to watch widely over my borders with guards. Who could be unaware of the race of Aeneas' people, who (could be unaware of) the city of Troy, of its brave deeds and warriors or the conflagration of such a great war? We, Carthaginians, do not bear such unfeeling hearts, nor does the Sun yoke his steeds so distant from our Tyrian city. Whether you choose great Hesperia and the fields of Saturn, or the territories of Eryx and Acestes (as) king, I shall send (you) off safe with assistance and I shall help (you) with my resources. Also do you wish to settle in this kingdom with me on equal terms? Trojan and Tyrian will be treated with no distinction by me. But would that your king, Aeneas, himself, were present (here), having been driven by the same south wind! Indeed, I shall send out trusty men along the shores and I shall order (them) to explore the furthermost (parts) of Libya, in case he is wandering in any woods or towns, a shipwrecked man." Both brave Achates and father Aeneas had been eager for some time to burst out from the cloud. Achates addresses Aeneas first: " (You) born of the goddess, what plan is now rising in your mind? You see that all (is) safe, and your fleet and comrades have been recovered. There is absent (only) one man (i.e. Orontes), whom we saw drowned in the midst of the waves; other things are responding to your mother's words." He had scarcely spoken these words when the enveloping dust cloud suddenly disperses itself and clears (itself) into open air. Aeneas stood forth and he gleamed in clear light like to a god in face and shoulders; for his mother had breathed beautiful flowing locks on her son and a radiant light of youth and joyful glory on his eyes. (Such) grace as
the (craftsman's) hands add to ivory, or when silver or Parian marble is encircled with yellow gold. Then, he addresses the queen thus and, unexpected by all, he suddenly says: " I am here in your presence, the one for whom you are looking, Trojan Aeneas, having been rescued from the Libyan waves. O (you) alone that has (lit. having) pitied the terrible tribulations of Troy, (you) who does associate us in your city and home, (us), the leavings of the Danaans, worn out now by all the hazards both of land and of sea, and in need of all things, to pay (you) fitting thanks is not within (lit. of) our power, Dido, nor (within the power) of whatever anywhere (lit. everywhere) there is of the Dardanian race, which is scattered throughout the wide world. May the gods, if any deities regard the pious, if justice means (lit. is) anything anywhere, and the mind conscious to itself of right, bring you worthy recompense. What so happy an age gave birth to you? What so great parents bore (one) such (as you)? While the rivers run into the sea, the shadows continue to glide over the hollows, (and) the sky feeds the stars, your honour and name and praises will abide at whatever lands (may) call me." Having spoken thus, he seeks his friend Ilioneus with his right (hand) and Serestus with his left (hand), (and) others afterwards, both brave Gyas and valiant Cloanthus.
Ll.613-656. Dido makes Aeneas a speech of welcome. Sacrifices and a banquet are ordered, and Achates is sent to fetch to the palace Ascanius, the young son of Aeneas.
At first sight, Sidonian Dido was amazed, then at the very great misfortune of the man, and she spoke thus from her mouth: " What fortune pursues you, son of a goddess, through such great perils? What force brings (you) to these cruel shores? (Are) you that Aeneas, whom gracious Venus bore to Dardanian Anchises by the waters of Phrygian Simois? And, indeed, I remember Teucer coming to Sidon, having been expelled from his native land, seeking a new kingdom with the help of Belus. My father Belus was then ravaging rich Cyprus and he held (it) victorious beneath his sway. Now, from that time, the fate of the city of Troy has been known to me, and your name and the Pelasgian kings. He, himself an enemy, told of the Teucrians with high praise, and claimed that he was (lit. wanted himself) sprung from the ancient stock of the Teucrians. Wherefore come, O young men, enter my palace. A similar fortune has also willed me, storm-tossed through many tribulations to find rest at last in this land. Not ignorant of misfortunes, I am learning to succour those in distress." Thus she speaks; at once she leads Aeneas into the royal palace, (and) at once she proclaims a sacrifice in the temples of the gods. Meanwhile, she also (lit. no less) sends to his comrades at the shore twenty bulls, the bristling backs of a hundred great hogs, (and) a hundred fat lambs with their mothers, (as) gifts and the gladness of the day.
And the inside of the palace is adorned, splendid with regal luxury, and they are preparing a banquet in the central hall: (there are) coverlets embroidered with skill and of proud purple, massive silver on the tables, and, embossed in gold, the brave deeds of their ancestors, a very long line of exploits traced through so many men from the ancient origin of the race. Aeneas [for fatherly love did not allow his mind to settle] sent Achates on swiftly to the ships to bring these (tidings) to Ascanius, and lead (the boy), himself, to the city. In Ascanius all the care of a beloved father is centred (lit. stands). Besides, he orders (him) to bring gifts saved from the ruins of Ilium, a robe stiff with figures and with gold and a mantle hemmed around with a yellow acanthus, garments of Argive Helen, wonderful gifts from her mother Leda, which she had carried off from Mycenae when she sought the Pergama and her illicit nuptials; further, (there was) a sceptre, which Ilione, the eldest daughter of Priam had once borne, and a circlet of pearls for the neck, and a coronet double with jewels and gold. Hastening these things, Achates made his way to the ships.
Ll. 657-694. Venus, for fear lest Dido should waver in her good will towards the exiles, substitutes for the boy Ascanius her own son, Cupid, meaning that he shall arouse in the queen a passion for Aeneas.
But Cytherea ponders in her breast new devices, new plans, how Cupid, having been changed in appearance and face, might come in the place of sweet Ascanius, and with presents inflame the fiery (lit. raging) queen and entwine a fire within her bones. For, in truth, she fears the uncertain home and two-tongued Tyrians, dread Juno frets (her), and her anxiety rushes back about nightfall. Therefore, she speaks to winged Love in these words: " Son (who is) alone my strength and my great power, son, who scorns the Typhoean bolts of the supreme father, I come to you for help, and, as a suppliant I entreat your divine power. How your brother Aeneas is tossed by the sea around every coast through the hatred of merciless Juno is known to you, and you have often grieved at my grief. Now, Phoenician Dido holds (him) and detains (him) with her coaxing voice, and I fear whither Juno's welcome may turn out (lit. turn itself); she will not be idle at so great a turning point of events. Wherefore I intend before hand to capture the queen by a trick and to encompass (her) with the flames of love, that she may not change herself through any divine power, but with me she may be possessed of a great love for Aeneas. Now, hear my plan as to how this can be done. The royal boy, my greatest concern, is preparing to go to the Sidonian city at the summons of his dear father, bringing gifts surviving from the sea and the flames of Troy; I shall hide him, soothed in slumber, in my hallowed precinct on Cythera's heights or on Idalium, lest in any way he could learn of the trick or appear in the middle of it. For not more than one night you must imitate his appearance by a disguise and, boy (as you are), you must wear the familiar features of the boy, so that, when a most joyful Dido will take (you) to her breast amid the royal tables and the flowing wine (lit. the liquid of Lyaeus), when she will give (you) her embraces and imprint her sweet kisses (on your mouth), you may breathe secret fire (into her) and cheat (her) with its poison." Love obeys the commands of his dear mother, and sheds his wings and moves, rejoicing, in the steps of Iulus. And Venus infuses peaceful rest through the limbs of Ascanius, and, a goddess, she lifts (him), fondled in her bosom, to the high groves of Idalium, where soft marjoram embraces him amid flowers and breathing (on him) sweet shade.
Ll. 695-722. Cupid arrives in the likeness of Ascanius, and, fondled by Dido, begins to awaken in her a love for Aeneas.
And now Cupid, obedient to her command, was on his way and was carrying the royal gifts for the Tyrians, happy with Achates (as) his guide. As he draws near, the queen, amid stately curtains, composed herself on a golden couch and placed (herself) in its centre, (and) now father Aeneas and now the Trojan youth come together, and recline (lit. it is reclined) on purple laid on (coverlets). Attendants give (them) water for their hands, and serve bread (lit. Ceres) in baskets and bring napkins with shorn nap. Beyond, (there are) fifty maidservants, to whom (is) the task to arrange the lengthy store-room and to keep the hearth (lit. the gods of the hearth) aglow with flames; there are a hundred other maidservants and the same number of manservants, equal in age, who load the tables with the feast and put out the cups. Moreover (lit. neither... not), the many Tyrians, having also been told to recline on the embroidered couches, assembled through the festal entrances. The marvel at the gifts of Aeneas, they marvel at Iulus, both at the glowing face of a god and his assumed words, and at the robe and the dress embroidered with the yellow acanthus. In particular, unhappy Phoenissa, doomed to impending ruin, cannot satisfy her soul and is inflamed by gazing, and is equally moved by the boy and the gifts. When he has hung in the embrace, and upon the neck, of Aeneas and has fulfilled the great love of his supposed father, he seeks the queen. She clings (to him) with her eyes, she (clings to him) with her whole breast and at times she fondles (him) at her bosom, Dido, unaware of how great (is) the god (that) settles in (her) wretched (person). And he, mindful of his Acidalian mother, begins gradually to efface (the memory of) Sychaeus, and he tries to surprise her mind, now for a long time dormant, and her heart, unused to passion, with a living love.
Ll. 723-756. Dido and her guests drink together, and after listening to the minstrel Iopas, she invites Aeneas to tell the story of Troy's fall, and of his own subsequent wanderings.
When the first pause (came) to the banquet and the tables were removed, noise arises in the palace and they roll their voices through the spacious halls; lighted lamps hang from the gold panelled ceilings and torches conquer the darkness with flames. At this point, the queen asked for a goblet heavy with jewels and gold, which Belus and all after Belus were wont (to fill), and she fills (it) with unmixed wine; then silence happened in the palace, (and she spoke): " Jupiter, for they say that you give the laws for hosts, may you grant (lit. wish) that this be a joyful day both for the Tyrians and for those having set out from Troy, and that our descendants remember this (day). May Bacchus, giver of joy, and bounteous Juno be presnt; and you, O Tyrians, attend the gathering favouring (it)." She spoke, and she poured as a libation an offering of wine (lit. liquid) on to the table, and, first, the libation having been offered, merely touched the goblet with the edge of her mouth; then she gave (it) to Bitias, challenging (him); he unhesitatingly drains the foaming goblet and steeps himself in the brimming gold; afterwards other chiefs (drink). Long-haired Iopas, whom mighty Atlas had taught, with his golden lyre makes (the halls) resound. He sings of the wandering moon and of the sufferings (i.e. eclipses) of the sun, whence the race of men and the beasts, whence rain and fire, Arcturus and the rainy Hyades and the two Bears; why the wintry suns hasten so much to dip themselves in Ocean, or what delay obstructs the lingering nights. The Tyrians redouble with applause, and the Trojans follow. Moreover (lit. neither...not) unhappy Dido also prolonged the night with various conversations and drank in a long love, repeatedly asking many things about Priam, (and) many things about Hector; now (she asks) of what kind were the horses of Diomedes, now how great was Achilles. "Nay rather, come, tell me, my guest, and from the first beginning," she says, "of the wiles of the Danaans, and of your misfortunes and your wanderings. For by now the seventh summer carries you, a wanderer, over every land and sea."