Of the twelve books of Virgil's 'Aeneid', Sabidius has already offered translations of three of them: Books I, IV and VI. All of these come from the first part of the 'Aeneid', (Books I-VI), which is the part which deliberately parallels Homer's 'Odyssey'. In these first six books, Virgil tells of the wanderings of Aeneas and his faithful followers around the Mediterranean, looking for their destined homeland, as, in the 'Odyssey', Odysseus and his companions seek to return to their home on Ithaca. The last six books of the 'Aeneid' are, however, Virgil's equivalent of Homer's other great epic, the 'Iliad', in which we find the Greeks besieging the city of Troy, whose inhabitants resist valiantly for ten long years. In these books of the 'Aeneid' (VII-XII), the Trojan exiles are engaged in constant wars with the Latins and other inhabitants of western Italy while they seek to establish a new state for themselves in that land. Sabidius has now translated one of the books from this, the second part of the 'Aeneid', and he has chosen Book IX.
The parallels between this book and the 'Iliad' are particularly close. For instance in line 742, the Latin leader Turnus boastfully describes himself as another Achilles who has come to plague the Trojans, and the book itself concentrates upon another siege, in which once again it is the Trojans who are having to defend themselves against determined adversaries. Just as in the 'Iliad', there are graphic descriptions of warfare and the grisly deaths of the fighters, and the reader is spared little of the sanguinary details. Like Homer, Virgil invents the names of many of the warriors involved, on both sides of the conflict, and tells us of the particular attributes of a number of them. By doing this, Virgil not only adds verisimilitude to his account but, by personalising so many of the dying fighters, he provides a profound degree of pathos to his writing. In particular, Book IX contains, in lines 176-449, the moving story of the two young heroes Nisus and Euryalus, whose love for each other is reminiscent of the love between Achilles and Patroclus, but in this case both are slain while making a heroic effort to break out from their besieged camp to alert the absent Aeneas to the Trojans' desperate plight. This stirring tale splendidly exemplifies Virgil's ability to appeal to our human feelings, but the whole of Book IX is a breath-taking account of but one episode in this legendary conflict, through which Virgil was to inspire future generations of Romans by giving them a sense of both national identity and patriotic pride.
The text which Sabidius has used for this translation is edited by Dr. J.L. Whiteley, originally published by Macmillan in the Modern School Classics Series in 1955.
Ll. 1-24. Juno sends Iris to Turnus to urge him to make a surprise attack on the Trojan camp in the absence of Aeneas.
And while such (deeds) were being waged in a far distant part (of the country), Saturnian Juno sent Iris down from the heavens to bold Turnus. By chance, Turnus was sitting in a grove, a glade sacred to his forefather Pilumnus. To him the daughter of Thaumas spoke thus through her rosy lips: "(O) Turnus, what to (you) praying none of the gods dared to promise, behold the rolling day has brought unbidden. Aeneas, the city having been left behind, with his allies and his fleet, is making for the kingdom of the Palatine and the seat of Evander. Nor (is that) enough: he has penetrated to the furthest cities of Corythus and is arming the band of the Lydians, county-folk whom he has mustered (lit. having been mustered). Why do you hesitate? Now (is) the time to call for horses, now (is the time to call for) chariots? Burst though all obstacles (lit. delays) and surprise and seize the camp (lit. seize the surprised camp)." She spoke, and lifted herself into the sky on evenly-poised wings and cut in her flight a huge rainbow beneath the clouds. The young (prince) recognised (her) and raised both his palms to the stars, and with such words he pursued her as she flew (lit. fleeing): " (O) Iris, glory of the heavens who brought you down to me sent from the clouds to the earth? Whence this so clear weather suddenly? I see the heavens rent asunder (lit. part in the middle) and the stars wandering in the firmament. Whoever you (are that) summons (me) to arms, I follow your mighty sign." And, having spoken out thus, he walked forward to the river and scooped water from the surface of the eddy, praying to the gods for a long time, and he loaded the ether with his vows.
Ll. 25-46. The attack is launched and the Trojans, following the orders of Aeneas, retire within their camp.
And now all his army, rich in horses, rich in embroidered cloaks and gold, marched across the open plains - Messapus in the middle controls the vanguard, the young sons of Tyrrhus the rear (ranks), (and) Turnus (is) the leader in the middle of the column -, [holding his weapons, he walks to and fro and is above (the rest) by a full head] even as Ganges in silence rising high with his seven peaceful streams or the Nile when with its rich flood it flows back from the plains and has by now hidden himself within his bed. Now, the Teucrians (i.e. the Trojans) catch sight of an approaching cloud of black dust beginning to mass and darkness rising over the plains. Caicus shouts first from the rampart facing (the foe): "O my countrymen, what mass is rolling in murky gloom? Quickly, bring your swords, produce your arrows, mount the walls, ahoy, the enemy is here!" With a loud shout, the Teucrians hide themselves through all the gates and man the walls. For indeed, Aeneas, best in arms, on his departure (lit. departing) had ordered thus: if any crisis meanwhile arose, they were neither to draw up their battle-line nor to trust the field; they were only to keep safe their camp and walls, protected by their rampart. Accordingly, though shame and anger prompted (them) to close with the enemy (lit. to bring their hands together), yet they put the gates in the way and carried out their instructions, and, under arms, they awaited the enemy within their towers.
Ll. 47-76. Turnus' challenge to the Trojans meets no response. Thereupon he incites his men to set fire to the Trojan fleet beached nearby.
Turnus, as, flying in front, he precedes his tardy column, accompanied by twenty chosen horsemen and comes upon the city unexpectedly (a Thracian steed with white spots carries him and a golden helmet with a scarlet plume protects (him), "Is there anyone," he says, "who will be first upon the enemy with me -? Look," and, whirling his spear, he sent (it) forth into the breezes, the beginning of the battle, and stalks (lit. moves himself) (head on) high over the plain. His comrades take up his challenge (lit. shout) and follow (him) with a horrifyingly resounding roar, (and) they are astonished at the craven hearts of the Teucrians, that they do not entrust themselves to the level field, that they do not bear arms against (the foe) as heroes but hug their camp. Here and there he goes wildly around the walls on horseback and seeks access where there is none (lit. in remote places). Even as when a wolf, lying in wait over a crowded sheep-fold howls right up to the pen in the middle of the night, enduring the winds and the rain; the lambs, safe beneath their mothers, keep bleating, he fierce and persistent in his fury, rages against the absent ones, the fury of eating gathered from a long (time ago) and his jaws dry of blood: not otherwise, as the Rutulian (i.e. Latin) gazing upon the walls and camp, his anger burns; rage heats his iron frame (lit. hard bones). By what means may he try an entrance, and what course may hurl Teucrians from the rampart and pour (them) forth on to the plain? He attacks the fleet which lay hidden, joined to the flank of the camp, enclosed around by earth works and by river waves, and he asks his exultant comrades for fire-brands and he fervently grasps (lit. fills his hand with) a blazing pine-torch. Then indeed they set to work [the presence of Turnus encourages (them)], and every young soldier arms himself with a black torch. (At once) they have plundered the hearths, smoking brands give forth a patchy light and Vulcan (rolls) ash mingled (with fire and smoke) to the stars.
Ll. 77-106. Now Cybele, the mother-goddess, had prayed to Jupiter that the timbers from the sacred grove which she gave to Aeneas for his ships be safe from storm and blast. Unable to grant her prayer in full, Jupiter had promised that on arrival in Italy the ships would become sea-goddesses.
What god, O Muses, averted the so furious fire from the Teucrians? Who drove away such great fires? Belief in the deed (is) old but its fame (is) everlasting. At the time when (lit. at which) Aeneas was first shaping his fleet on Phrygian Ida and was preparing to make for the deep of the sea, the Berecynthian (lady) (i.e. Cybele), the mother of the gods herself, is said to have addressed great Jupiter with these words: "Grant, (O) my son, (to me) entreating, Olympus having been conquered, what your dear mother asks you. [I have (lit. There is to me) a forest of pine beloved for many years,] a grove was on the top of a hill, shaded with black firs and trunks of maple, to which (men) brought sacred (offerings): I gladly bestowed these on the young Dardanian (i.e. Trojan), when he was in need of a fleet, (and) now anxious fear constrains (me) troubled. Let loose my fears and let a mother have this power by her prayers, may they not be overcome, having been shaken by any voyage nor by a hurricane of wind; let it be an advantage that they were born upon my hills." Her son, who turns the stars in the firmament, (said) in reply to this: "O my mother, whither are you calling destiny? Or what do you seek for these ships of yours? Are ships (lit. keels) made by mortal hand to possess immortal rights? To which god is so great a power permitted? Nay rather, when once (these ships), having fulfilled (their task), have sailed to the end (of their voyage) and an Ausonian (i.e Italian) harbour, (from each one) which escapes from the waves, and carries the Dardanian chief to the Laurentian fields, I shall snatch away its mortal shape and command (them) to be goddesses of the sea, (as), like the Nereid Doto and Galatea, they cut through the foaming sea with their breasts." He had spoken, and by the stream of his Stygian brother (i.e. Pluto), seething with pitch and a black abyss, he nodded it confirmed and made all Olympus tremble by his nod.
Ll. 107-122. The promise is fulfilled.
So, the promised day was come, and the Fates had fulfilled the appointed time, since the wrongs of Turnus warned the (Great) Mother to drive away the torches from her sacred ships. Hereupon, a strange light shone before (all) eyes and a huge cloud was seen to cross the sky from the East and the troops of Ida (were in attendance); then a voice of dread falls through the air and engulfs the ranks of the Trojans and the Rutulians: "Do not be anxious, my Teucrians, to defend your ships, nor arm your hands; it shall be granted to Turnus to burn up the sea sooner than my sacred pines. You (ships), go free, go, goddesses of the sea; your mother commands (you)." And forthwith, every stern breaks off its cables from the bank, and dips its prow (lit. its prow having been dipped) and makes for the bottom in the manner of dolphins. Then, (as) the forms of maidens (a wonderful portent) they return themselves (from the depths) and sped over the sea in like number [as before they had stood on the shore (as) bronze-beaked prows].
Ll. 123-175. Turnus rallies his followers, dismayed at the portent, with a stirring speech and the Trojan camp is closely beset.
The Rutulians were astounded in their hearts, Messapus, himself, having been terrified, his steeds having been confused, and the river Tiber, sounding hoarse, is checked and recalls its step from the deep. But confidence did not withdraw from reckless Turnus; nay rather, he raises their spirits and actually chides (them) with these words: "These portents attack the Trojans, (for) Jupiter, himself, has snatched away their accustomed assistance; they do not await Rutulian arrows or fires. So, the seas are barred to the Teucrians, nor (is there) any hope of escape; the other part of the world (i.e. the sea) has been taken away from them. The land, however, (is) in our hands, (as) so many thousand Italian tribes are bearing arms. The fated oracles of the gods terrify me not at all, if the Phrygians (i.e. the Trojans) boast of any (lit. hurl any before themselves): sufficient (fulfilment) has been given to destiny and to Venus, by the fact that the Trojans have reached the fields of fertile Ausonia. There is to me too my destiny opposite (to theirs), to root out with the sword that accursed tribe, my wife having been stolen; such grief as yours does not affect the sons of Atreus alone, and (not) to Mycenae only is it permitted to take up arms. 'But to have perished once is sufficient' (you say): (ay) to sin in time past should have been sufficient, loathing utterly (hereafter) almost all woman-kind. (They are men) to whom the confidence in a rampart between (us) and the delays of ditches, small separations from death, give courage. But have they not seen the walls of Troy, fashioned by the hand of Neptune, consigned into the fires? But you, O my chosen ones, which (of you) is making ready to tear down this rampart with a sword and is attacking with me this terror-stricken camp? I have no need (lit. There is no need to me) of the arms of Vulcan, (and) no (need) of a thousand ships (lit. keels) (to fight) against the Teucrians. Let all the Etruscans straightway add themselves (as) allies. Let them not fear darkness and a cowardly theft [of the Palladium, the sentinels on the top of the citadel having been murdered], nor shall we hide in the unseen belly of a horse. It is resolved (for me) to envelop their walls with fire openly in the (day-)light. I will make (it) that they do not say that the matter is (to be supplied) for them with Danaans (i.e. Greeks) and Pelasgian (i.e. Grecian) youth, whom Hector kept at bay into the tenth year. So now, since the better part of the day (has been) spent, (as) to what is left (of the day), refresh your bodies joyfully, men, things having been done well, and expect that battle is being prepared. Meanwhile, the duty is assigned to Messapus of blockading the gates with watchful sentries (lit. with the watchings of sentries) and encircling the walls with fires. Fourteen (lit. twice seven) Rutulians (were chosen) to guard the walls with soldiery, and a hundred warriors with purple plumes and glittering with gold follow each of them (lit. them each). They run to and fro and take (lit. vary) their turns, and, stretched on the grass, they indulge in wine and turn up their bronze mixing bowls. The fires burn brightly (and) the watch leads a sleepless night in revel.
The Trojans behold these things from their rampart above and defend the heights with their arms, and they (lit. nor do they not) inspect the gates, anxious with fear, and join the bridges and towers, and carry their weapons. Mnestheus and keen Serestus, whom father Aeneas, if at any time adversity should call, has appointed leaders of the warriors and commanders of the camp (lit. affairs), stand in (for him). The whole company keeps watch along the walls, drawing lots over the danger, and exercises turns (as) to what is to be defended by each one.
Ll. 176-223. Nisus and his youthful companion Euryalus are introduced. The former professes to make his way stealthily to Aeneas to bring him back to aid the beleaguered camp. Euryalus refuses the chance not to accompany him.
Nisus, the son of Hyrtacus, most eager in arms, swift with his javelin and his light arrows, whom the huntress Ida had sent (as) a companion of Aeneas, was the warden of a gate; and nearby (was) his companion Euryalus, than whom was fairer no other of the followers of Aeneas nor (of those who) donned the Trojan armour, a boy showing his unshaven cheeks in his first youth. There was one love between them, and side by side they used to rush into battle; then also, they were holding the gate in shared duty. Nisus said: "Do the gods put this ardour into our minds, Euryalus, or does his own wild desire become for each man a god? For a long time now my heart has been pressing (me) to attempt either battle or some great (deed), nor is it content with peaceful quiet. You see what confidence in their fortunes (lit. affairs) possesses the Rutulians. The watch-fires gleam (only) here and there, they lay prostrate, overcome by sleep and wine, and the places are silent far and wide. Learn, furthermore, what I am thinking of and what thought is now rising in my mind. All, both people and elders, are entreating that Aeneas be summoned, and that men be sent to report the news (to him). If they promise you what I am demanding (for to me the fame of the deed is enough), I think I can (lit. I seem to be able to) find below yonder hillock a way to the walls and city (lit. battlements) of Pallanteum. Euryalus, stirred by a great longing for glorious deeds, was astounded, (and) at the same time he answered his ardent friend with these (words): "So, Nisus, do you hesitate to join me (with you as) your comrade in the highest things? Am I to send you alone into such great dangers? Not thus did my father Opheltes, accustomed to war, instruct me, while I was raised (lit. having been raised) during the Argive terror and the ordeals of Troy, nor with you did I do such things, following great-hearted Aeneas and his last fate: this heart (of mine) is one that scorns the light (of day) and (one) who believes that that glory, to which you strive, is nobly bought with life (itself). To this Nisus (replies): "I, indeed, have in no way feared such things about you, nor (is it) right, no: so, may great Jupiter or whoever looks on these things with impartial eyes, bring me, triumphing, back to you. But if any [and you see many such dangers in such a hazard] if any chance or god hastens (me) into disaster, I wish you to survive, (as) your age is more worthy of life. Let there be (one) who may commit me, having been rescued from the battle or having been ransomed at a price, to the earth, or of any chance, (as is) customary, refuses this, let there be one to bear funerary offerings for the absent and honour (me) with a tomb. Nor may I be the cause of such great grief to your poor mother, who alone out of many mothers daringly follows you, boy, and cares not for the walls of mighty Acesta." He, however, (replies): " You weave your idle pretexts in vain, nor does my purpose change and (lit. having changed) now yield ground. Let us hasten," and at the same time as he speaks, he rouses the (other) sentries. They take their place and serve their turn: their post having been relinquished, , his companion walks with Nisus, and they go in search of their king.
Ll. 224-313. Nisus now seeks audience of the Trojan chiefs and outlines his plan which wins enthusiastic support and promise of great rewards from Ascanius, Aeneas' son. Euryalus moves his audience by his appeal for his aged mother. Ascanius promises all he asks and the two heroes are escorted to the gate.
Across the whole earth (all) other living creatures were easing their cares in sleep and (were) forgetful of their labours: the chief leaders of the Teucrians were holding a council about important matters of state, what they should do or who would now be the messenger to Aeneas. They stand in the middle of the camp and an open space, leaning on their long spears and holding their shields. Then, suddenly, Nisus and Euryalus together eagerly beg to be admitted, (and they said that) the matter was important and was worthy (the price) of a delay. Iulus (i.e. Ascanius) first welcomed them in their excitement (lit. excited) and told Nisus to speak. Then, the son of Hyrtacus (spoke) thus: "Hear (us), O followers of Aeneas, with open minds, and may this which we bring not be judged (lit. looked at) by our ages (lit. from our years). The Rutulians have become silent, overcome by sleep and by wine; we, ourselves, have seen a place for our wiles, which lies open by a fork in the road at the gate which (is) nearest to the sea; the watch-fires have been broken, and black smoke rises to the stars; if you allow (us) to use this opportunity to look for Aeneas and the city (lit. the walls) of Pallanteum, you will soon see (us) back here (loaded) with spoils, huge slaughter having been performed. And the way does not lead us astray (lit. deceive us) as we go (lit. going): we have seen the outskirts of the city from down in the dark valley during our frequent hunting, and we have explored the whole river. Hereupon, Aletes, burdened (lit. heavy) with years and mature in judgement (replied): "Gods of our land, under whose divine guidance Troy remains for ever, you are not after all preparing to destroy (us) Teucrians altogether, since you have produced such spirits of youth and such sure hearts." Speaking thus, he clasped the shoulders and the right hands of both and watered his face and cheeks with tears - "What rewards, what worthy (rewards) shall I think can be given to you, (you) heroes, for such great deeds as yours? The gods and your characters will give the most splendid things to you first; the, pious Aeneas will award (you) other things at once, and Ascanius, unimpaired by age, (will) not ever be forgetful of so great a service." Ascanius interposes, " Nay rather, I, to whom there (is) safety only, when my father has been brought back (lit. my father having been brought back), appeal to you (both), through our mighty house-hold gods, Nisus, and the hearth god of Assaracus and the shrines of white-haired Vesta, (and) I place in your safe-keeping all my fortune and trust (lit. whatever is fortune and trust to me); call my father back, give (me) back the sight (of him); nothing (is) sad, him having been recovered. (To you) I shall give two cups wrought in silver and embossed (lit. rough) with figures, which my father captured, Arisba having been overcome, and a pair of tripods, two great talents of gold, (and) an ancient mixing-bowl, of which Sidonian Dido is the giver. If, indeed, it shall have fallen (to me as) victor to seize Italy and to gain possession of its sceptre and to assign the allotment of its spoil: you have seen the horse on which Turnus (is riding), and the arms in which he goes emblazoned in gold (lit. golden); I shall remove from the plunder that very (horse), his shield and scarlet crest, (and) already now (they are) your rewards, Nisus. Besides (this), my father will give (you) twelve (lit. twice six) of the choicest persons of matrons and (twelve)) captives, all in their own armour (lit. and their own armour to all); (and) in addition to this, what land king Latinus, himself, possesses. You, indeed, whom my age pursues at a closer interval (i.e. Euryalus), a revered boy, I now take (you) to my whole heart and embrace (you as) my comrade for all adventures. No glory will be sought in my affairs without you; whether I shall be engaged in peace or war, in you (shall be) my greatest deeds and words." In answer to him Euryalus spoke such words; "No day will prove me unequal to such brave deeds of daring; only let fate turn out favourable (and) not adverse. But I beg of you one thing above all (other) gifts: I have (lit. there is to me) a mother from the ancient line of Priam, whom, poor (thing), neither the land of Ilium nor the city of king Acestes could keep as she set forth (lit. setting forth) with me. I now leave her unaware of this, however much of peril it is, and without a farewell [night and your right hand (be) my witness], because I should not be able to endure the the tears of a parent. But you, I beg, console and succour (her) left in need. Allow me to bear this hope of you, (and) I shall go more bravely into all adventures." Their minds having been smitten, the descendants of Dardanus shed tears, the fair Iulus before all (others), and the reflection of his duty to his father flashed into his mind. Then, he speaks out thus: "Be sure that all (shall be) worthy of your great undertaking. For indeed your mother shall be mine, and only the name of Creusa shall be found wanting, nor does a slight honour await such a birth. Whatever fortunes may follow your deed, I swear by my life (lit. by this head), (that is) by what my father was previously accustomed (to swear): what I promise you on your return (lit. returning) and in favourable circumstances, this will stay the same for your mother and her kin. Thus he spoke, shedding tears; at the same time, he unslung from his shoulder his gilded sword, which Lycaon of Cnossos had made with his marvellous skill, and he fitted (it) in an ivory sheath for wearing (lit. holding). Mnestheus gives to Nisus a pelt, the spoils of a shaggy lion, (and) the faithful Aletes exchanges his helmet (with him). Having been armed, they march forward at once; a whole band of chieftains, both young and old, escort them with prayers to the gates as they go (lit. going). And the fair Iulus, displaying, beyond his years, a manly courage and responsibility, gave (them) (lit. nor did the fair Iulus ... not give them) messages needing to be carried to his father; but the breezes scatter (them) all and give (them) in vain to the clouds.
Ll. 314-366. The Rutulian camp through which the Trojans make their way is vividly described. Nisus and Euryalus kill many a Rutulian leader in his drunken sleep, get through the camp and seem on the way to success.
Going forth, they climb over the ditches and, through the darkness of the night, they seek the enemy's camp, destined, however, to be first the (source of) destruction for many. Everywhere they see bodies outstretched in sleep and wine on the grass, chariots tipped up on the river-bank (and) men together with their weapons and wine(-goblets) lying amid the reins and the wheels. The son of Hyrtacus spoke first with his lips thus: "Euryalus, it is necessary to be dared with a (strong) right hand; now the occasion itself calls (for it). Our road by this (path). You keep guard and watch widely, lest any hand raises itself up against us from behind; I shall make havoc of this (area) and I shall lead you down a broad path." Thus he speaks and checks his voice, (and) at the same time with his sword he attacks proud Rhamnes, who propped up, by chance, on a high coverlet was breathing forth slumber from all of his breast, a prince too and a most beloved augur of king Turnus, but he could not drive away the plague (of death) by his augury. He overwhelms three servants nearby, lying carelessly among their weapons, and the armour-bearer of Remus, and his charioteer, getting (him) under his very horses, and he cuts off their drooping necks with his blade; then he lops of the head of their master, himself, and leaves his trunk oozing (lit. sobbing with) blood; the earth and bedding are warmed (lit. having been warmed) and moistened with dark gore, and (he overwhelms) Lamyrus and Lamus and the young man Serranus, conspicuous in his appearance, who had played for a very long time on that night, and lay (there) vanquished as to his limbs by the plentiful god (i.e Bacchus); (he would have been) happy, if, without pause, he had made that game equal to the night and had carried (it) into the daylight. Like a hungry lion making havoc in a crowded sheep-fold [for mad hunger urges (him) on] he gnaws and drags the soft flock, dumb with fear, (and) he roars from a blood-stained mouth; nor less (is) the slaughter of Euryalus; also fired up with passion, he rages with fury himself, and he comes upon many people in his path, Fadus and Herbesus and Rhoetus and Abaris, (all of them) unaware; (he falls upon) Rhoetus, awake and seeing everything, but he concealed himself behind a huge mixing-bowl. To him, rising at close quarters, he buried his sword to the hilt in his opposing breast, and he withdrew (it) crimson with abundant death: the former chokes out his spirit and, dying, he disgorges wine mixed with his blood, (and) the latter (i.e. Euryalus) hotly presses on his stealthy (course). And already he was making his way to the comrades of Messapus; he saw there that the last watch-fires were almost out (lit. failing), and that the horses, duly tethered, were cropping the grass: when Nisus [for he felt that he was being carried away by too much slaughter and passion] says "Let us desist, for the hostile day-light is drawing near. Sufficient of vengeance has been drained (by us), and a pathway through our foes (has been) made." They left behind many weapons of warriors, wrought in solid silver, and mixing-bowls and, at the same time, beautiful rugs. Euryalus (seizes) the trappings of Rhamnes and his belt, golden with studs, which the very prosperous Caedicus long since sends (as) a gift to Remulus of Tiber, when, although he was far away (lit. absent), he united (him) in the bond of friendship; dying, he gives (it) to his grandson to keep; [after his death in war, the Rutulians gained possession (of it) in battle:] he seizes it and fits (it) in vain on his broad shoulders. Then, he dons the helmet of Messapus, well-fitting and handsome with plumes. They withdraw from the camp and make for safety.
Ll. 367-458. Cavalry under Volcens, reinforcements for Turnus, are riding through the night and catch sight of the two, Euryalus being betrayed by the helmet of Messapus he has donned. Challenged, they try to escape through the thick wood. Nisus succeeeds, but not Euryalus who loses his way and is caught. Nisus returns to find his friend, only to witness his execution. He meets his own death, not before, however, he has made a brave effort to rescue him.
Meanwhile, cavalry, having been sent forward from the Latin city (i.e. Laurentum), while the rest of the army are waiting, having been drawn up on the plain, were on the march and were carrying an answer to king Turnus, (that is) three hundred men all armed with shields, with Volcens (as) commander. And already they were drawing near to the camp and were approaching the walls, when they saw them from a distance, turning off by the path to the left, and his helmet in the glimmering shadow of the night betrayed the unmindful Euryalus, and, facing the rays (of the moon), it flashed back. Not heedlessly was it seen. Volcens shouts from the column: "Halt (lit. stand), men. What (is) the purpose of your journey? Who are you in this armour? Whither are you making your journey? They offered nothing in reply, but hastened their flight into the woods and put their trust in the night. The cavalry put themselves in position here and there at the well-known forks, and encircle every escape route with guards. The forest, which dense brambles had covered from all sides, was bristling with thickets and dark holm-oak, (and) here and there shone the path among the dim (lit. hidden) tracks. The darkness of the branches and his weighty plunder hinder Euryalus, and fear deceives (him) in the direction of the paths. Nisus gets away; and already he had heedlessly escaped the enemy, and (he came to) the place which was afterwards called Alban from the name of Alba [at that time king Latinus kept lofty stables (there)], when he halted and looked back in vain for his absent friend, (saying): "Unfortunate Euryalus, in what place did I leave you? Where shall I pursue you?" Again retracing (lit. unrolling) all the confusing path of the deceptive forest, at the same time also he looks for and picks his steps (lit. he picks his looked for steps) backwards, and he wanders through the silent thickets. He hears horses, he hears the noises and signs of pursuers. Nor does a long time elapse (lit. nor (is) there a long time in the middle), when shouting reaches his ears, and he sees Euryalus, whom, already overcome by the treachery of the ground and the night, and the sudden uproar bewildering (him), the whole band seizes, although resisting (lit. trying) strongly (but) in vain. What is he to do? By what force, by what (feat of) arms can he dare to rescue the young man? Should he hurl himself into the midst of the swords, to his death (lit. being about to die), and should he hasten a glorious death through wounds? His arms pulled (to his chest) quickly, spinning his spear, (and) looking up to the Moon on high, he prays thus with these words: "You, goddess, glory of the stars, and (as) Lato's daughter, guardian of the woods, be you at hand to assist (us) in our tribulation. If ever my father Hyrtacus brought any gifts to your altars on behalf of me, if I, myself, honoured (lit. increased) (you) in any way by my hunting, or I hung sacrificial offerings from your dome or fixed (them) to the pediments, allow me to confuse this band and guide my weapons through the air." He had spoken, and, having striven with his whole body, he hurls his steel. The flying spear drives apart the shadows of the night and comes into the back of Sulmo, who had turned away (lit. turned away), and it breaks there, and pieces his heart with its broken shaft. He rolls (on the ground), vomiting a warm stream (of blood) from his breast, and, (going) cold, he shakes his flanks with long sobs. (The rest) look around in all directions. The same man (i.e Nisus) (is) the fiercer by this, (and), behold, he has poised another missile from the tip of his ear. While they are in a panic, the spear goes hissing through both temples of Tagus, and stuck fast, warmed in his pierced brain. Fierce Volcens rages, but he cannot glimpse anywhere the agent of the dart, nor whither he can hurl himself in his rage (lit. burning). "You, however, with your warm blood, you will meanwhile pay the penalty to me for both (of them)," he says; he began to move on to Euryalus. Then, indeed, Nisus, terrified, out of his mind, shouts out, and he could not hide himself in the darkness any longer or endure such great anguish: "It's me, me, I am here, (the one) who did (it), turn your sword on me, O Rutulians! All the fault is mine, he over there neither ventured anything nor could (have); I call to witness yonder sky and the stars that know the truth (lit. aware); - he has only loved an unfortunate friend too much." He was speaking (lit. giving) such words, but a sword, driven (home) with force, pierced his ribs and splits open his white breast. Euryalus rolls (on the ground) in death, and blood flows over his beautiful limbs, and his drooping neck sinks down on to his shoulders; just as when a purple flower, having been cut by the plough, languishes dying, or (when) a poppy with drooping neck hangs down its head when by chance it is weighed down by the rain. But Nisus rushes into the midst (of the foe) and makes for Volcens alone among all (of them), and he gives his attention to Volcens alone. The enemy, huddling round him, try to repel (him) from here and from there at close quarters. Not otherwise, he keeps going and whirls his deadly sword, until he plunges (it) full into the face of the shrieking Rutulian, and, on the point of death (himself), he took away the life of his enemy. Then, having been run through, he threw himself down on the top of his lifeless friend and rested there at last in a peaceful death.
Fortunate pair! If my poems can avail anything, no day shall ever remove you from the memory of time (lit. from mindful time), while the house of Aeneas shall dwell on the immovable rock of the Capitol and a Roman father shall hold power.
The victorious Rutulians, being in possession of plunder and spoils, bore the lifeless Volcens to their camp, weeping. Nor (was) the sorrow in the camp less, Rhamnes having been found lifeless, and so many chieftains having been killed in one murderous attack, (for instance) Serranus and Numa. (There was) a mighty rush to the bodies themselves and the badly wounded men and the ground fresh with warm slaughter and the streams full with foaming blood. They recognise the spoils between themselves and the trappings recovered with so much sweat.
Ll. 459-472. Turnus leads the attack on the Trojan camp, now preceded by the grisly spectacle of the severed heads of Nisus and Euryalus.
And already Aurora (i.e. Dawn), leaving the saffron bed of Tithonus, was first sprinkling the earth with fresh light: now the sun having been poured in, (and) now things having been unveiled, Turnus, himself, having been girded with arms, rouses his men to arms, and each (leader) musters his bronze-clad column into battle, and sharpens their anger with various rumours. Nay more, (some) fix the very heads of Euryalus and Nisus on spears having been set up on end [piteous to behold] and (the others) follow with much clamour. The much enduring men of Aeneas placed their battle-line along the left-hand flank of the wall [for the right-hand flank is bounded by the river] and sadly man the deep ditches and take up their position in the lofty towers; at the same time the faces of the (two) men, known (only) too well to (them) grieving, having been fixed (on spears), but (now) flowing with dark gore.
Ll. 473-502. The scene inside the Trojan camp: the mother of Euryalus is seen at her loom. Her grief, frenzy, and her laments to heaven dismay the defenders and lower their morale.
Meanwhile, winged Rumour rushes flitting through the city (as) as a messenger, and reaches the mother of Euryalus in respect of her ears. And the warmth of the wretched lady left her bones at once, and the shuttle (was) knocked from her hands and her work (was) unravelled. Distracted, she flies about and, in feminine lamentation, tearing her hair, she makes for the walls and the foremost ranks, madly and in a run, she not mindful of men, she not (mindful) of the danger of weapons (lit. of danger and weapons), (and) she fills the sky with her complaints: "(Is it) thus that I behold you, Euryalus? Could you, the one (who was to be) the final solace of my old age leave (me) cruelly alone? And was not the chance given to your poor mother to speak for the last time to you, having been sent into such great dangers? Alas, you (now) lie in an unknown land, given (as) prey to the dogs and birds of Latium! Nor you, your corpse, did I, your mother, lead forth (to burial) nor did I close your eyes nor wash your wounds, shrouding you in a garment, which I was striving night and day in my haste (to complete), and I was soothing an old woman's cares on my loom. Whither shall I follow? Or what land now holds your body and torn limbs and mangled corpse? (Is) this (all that) you bring back to me of yourself, my son? (Is) this (what) I followed by land and sea? Pierce me, if there is any pity (to you), on me cast all your spears, O Rutulians, kill me first with your blade: or you, mighty father of the gods, have pity and drive this accursed head down to Tartarus with your weapon, since otherwise I cannot bring an end to this cruel life." Their minds (were) shaken by this weeping, and sad groaning comes over all, (and) their stregth for battle, having been blunted, they are numbed. Idaeus and Actor take (her) up, (still) blazing with grief, on the advice of Ilioneus and Iulus, weeping greatly, and among their hands they place (her) back in her home.
Ll. 503-524. The attack and defence are described; in tortoise-shell formation, one section seeks to cross the ditch and break through - but fails - shattered by a massive stone. Led by Mezentius and Messapus, another group tries to fire the defensive counter-works.
But (now) afar off the trumpet rang out its dread sound with its sonorous bronze, and shouting follows and the sky re-echoes (it). The Volsci (i.e. the Latins) hasten forward, a tortoise (i.e. a roof of shields) having been driven on in an even line, and they prepare to fill in the ditches and to tear down the rampart. Some sought a way in and to climb the walls with ladders (at a point) where the line is thin and the ring (of defenders) shows light, (being) not so thick with men. Against (them) the Teucrians poured forth every kind of weapon and thrust (them) down with stout pikes, being accustomed to defend walls by a lengthy war. They also rolled (down) stones of deadly weight, (to see) if anywhere they could break through the armoured rank, when. however, it delights (them) beneath their closely-packed tortoise-shell (formation) to endure all that befalls. And they are now not adequate (to break through). For where a large mass (of attackers) threatens, the Teucrians roll and throw down a vast lump (of rock), which crushed the Rutulians over a wide area and loosened the canopy of their armour. And the Rutulians do not care any longer to contend daringly in blind warfare, but strive to drive (the defenders) from their rampart with missiles. In another part (of the field), dreadful to behold (lit. in the seeing), Mezentius brandished an Etruscan pine-torch and hurled smoking fires at (the defenders); and Messapus, tamer of horses and offspring of Neptune, tears at the rampart and calls for ladders against the walls.
Ll. 525-637. The poet appeals to the Muses to inspire his song, as he tells how Turnus leads the attack on the Trojan camp. A huge tower defended by the Trojans as keenly as it is attacked by the Italians is set on fire by Turnus, and all its defenders are lost except Helenor and Lycus. The former dies fighting the foe. The latter is caught by Turnus as he seeks the safety of the battlements. The attack on the camp is pressed hard and many heroes are slain. Ascanius in his first feat of archery slays Numanus, brother-in-law of Turnus, who strutting before the walls, taunts the Trojans as he contrasts their effeminate dress and behaviour with the hardy training and education of the Italians. Ascanius' prayer to Jupiter is answered as he shoots Numanus.
O Calliope (i.e. the Muse of epic poetry), I pray to you, breathe (upon me) singing, what devastation, what deaths Turnus dealt with his sword in that battle (lit. then) there, (and) what hero each (warrior) sent down to Orcus (i.e. the Underworld), and unroll with me the mighty scroll (lit. edge) of that war. [For you remember too, goddesses, and are able to relate (what happened).]
There was a tower of vast height and with lofty gang-ways, in a suitable position, which the Italians were striving with their utmost strength to take by storm and to overthrow (it) with the utmost force of their resources, and, in reply, the Trojans (were striving) to defend (it) with stones and, crowded together, to hurl their spears through the hollow port-holes. At their head (lit. (as) chief), Turnus flung a burning torch and planted in the side (of the tower) his flame which, fanned by (lit. very much with) the wind, caught the planks and clung to the door which had been consumed (lit. having been consumed). Inside, having been thrown into confusion, they were alarmed and wished in vain for an escape, While they huddle together themselves and draw backwards to that side which is without danger, then under their sudden weight the tower collapsed, and the whole sky thunders with the crash. The dying fall (lit. come) to the ground, the huge mass having followed (them), and pierced by their own weapons and transfixed in respect of their breasts by hard wood. With difficulty, only Helenor and Lycus escaped; of these, Helenor (was) a man in the first bloom of life, whom Licymnia, a slave, had borne secretly to a Maeonian (i.e. Lydian) king and had sent (him) to Troy in forbidden arms, lightly armed with a naked sword and a white shield, without fame. And when he saw himself in the midst of Turnus' thousands and that on this side and that side the Latins were standing, as a wild beast, whom a dense ring of hunters (has) enclosed, rages against their spears and hurls itself to a not unaware death and with a bound is carried down on to the spears - not otherwise the young man rushes to his death (lit. being about to die) into the midst of his foes, and aims for where he sees the thickest spears. But Lycus, swifter on foot (lit. far better in his feet) among the enemy and among their weapons, reaches the walls in his flight, and strives to grip the top of the parapet with his hand and to grasp the right (hands) of his comrades. Turnus, pursuing him equally by running and with his spear, triumphantly taunts (him) with these (words): "Did you hope, madman, that you could evade my hands?" At the same time, he seizes him dangling and tears (him) down with a large part of the wall: even as when Jupiter's armour-bearer (i.e. an eagle), seeking the heights, has lifted up in its hooked feet a hare or a swan with its white body, or (when) a wolf of Mars has seized a lamb from the stalls, sought after by its mother with many bleats. Shouting is raised up from all sides; (some) attack and fill in the ditches with rubble, others hurl burning torches on to the roofs. Ilioneus lays Lucetius low with a stone and a huge frament of a mountain as he draws near (lit. drawing near) a gate and as he carries (lit. carrying) fire, (and) Liger (slays) Emathion (and) Asilas Corynaeus, the former good with a javelin and the latter with a deceiving arrow from afar. Caeneus (slays) Ortygius, and Turnus the victorious Caeneus, (and) Turnus (slays) Itys and Clonius, Dioxippus and Promolus and Sagaris and Idas, as he stands (lit. standing) on the top of the towers, and Capys (kills) Privernus. A light spear of Thermillas had just grazed his hand, (and) he foolishly moved his hand to the wound, his shield having been cast aside; so, the arrow glided on wings and his hand was pinned to his left side, and, having buried (itself deep) within, it burst the breathing-holes of life with a lethal wound. The son of Arcens was standing (there) in magnificent arms, in embroidered cloak (lit. having painted his cloak with a needle) and shining in Iberian purple, conspicuous in appearance, whom his father Arcens had sent, having been reared in the grove of Mars around the river of Symaethus, where (there is) an altar of Palicus, rich and readily appeased: his spear having been laid aside, Mezentius, himself, with tightened thong, whirled a whistling sling around his head three times, and split apart the forehead (lit. the temples) of (a man) facing (him) in the middle with molten lead, and stretched (him) at full length over much sand.
Then, for the first time in war Ascanius, previously accustomed to frighten wild beasts, is said to have aimed a swift arrow and to have laid low by his hand bold Numanus, whose surname was Remulus, and (who) possessed the younger sister of Turnus, having recently been united (to her) in marriage. He came forward beyond the first rank, shouting things worthy and unworthy in the uttering, and, swelling in respect of his heart with his new royalty, and he bore himself huge with a shout: "Does it not shame you to be held again in a siege and a rampart, twice conquered Phrygians, and to set walls in front of death? Behold, (these are they) who demand our wives for themselves through war! What god, what insanity drove you to Italy? The sons of Atreus (are) not here, nor (is) Ulysses, that fashioner of tales (lit. of telling): a hardy race from birth (lit. our stock), we first take our newly-born sons down to the river and toughen (them) in the savage cold and the waters; (as) boys they devote (themselves) to hunting and weary the forests; their sport is to guide horses and to shoot arrows from the bow. And our young men, enduring of hardships and accustomed to little, either tame the earth with heavy hoes or shake towns in warfare. Every age is spent with iron, and we goad the backs of our bullocks, the spear having been upturned, and slow old-age does not weaken the strength of our spirit and alter our vigour: we crush our grey hair in a helmet, and it always pleases (us) to bring together fresh spoils and to live on what has been plundered. Your clothing (is) embroidered with saffron and shining purple, (to you) sloth is a delight (lies at your heart), (and) it pleases (you) to indulge in dances, and your tunics (have) sleeves and your caps have strings. O Phrygian women in truth, for Phrygian men (you are) not, go over high Dindyma, where the pipe gives (forth) its double strain. The Berecynthian timbrel and the flute of the Idaean Mother are calling you, (but) leave arms to men and quit (lit. withdraw from) the sword."
Ascanius could not endure (him) boasting of such things and uttering ill-omened words, and, turning towards (him) he stretches his weapon with its horse-hair bow-string, and, drawing his arms, he stood (still), first praying (as) a suppliant to Jupiter with these vows: "Almighty Jupiter, nod your assent to my bold enterprise (lit. beginnings). I, myself, shall bring to your temple yearly offerings to you, and I shall set before your altar a shining white bullock with gilded horns (lit. forehead) and carrying his head in the same way as (lit. with) his mother, (and) already he can butt with his horns and scatter sand with his hooves." The father heard and thundered on the left in a clear part of the sky, (and) at the same moment the fateful bow twangs. The arrow, having been drawn back, goes forth hissing horribly and went through Remulus and pierces his hollow temples with its steel tip. "Go, mock our courage with boastful words!" Ascanius (says) only this. The Teucrians follow (him) with a shout, and roar with joy, and raise up their spirits to the stars.
Ll. 638-671. Apollo who is watching from the heavens congratulates Ascanius and prophesies the greatness of his race. Then assuming the shape of the aged Butes, he tells him to withdraw from the fighting. The Trojans, recognising the presence of the god from the rattle of his quiver, keep Ascanius from the battle which they then renew with great ferocity.
Then, by chance, the long-haired Apollo was looking down from an expanse of heaven at the Ausonian troops and the city, and, sitting on a cloud, he addresses the victorious Iulus with these words: "(May you be) glorified in your young valour, my boy, one goes to the stars thus, (O you) sprung from the gods, (O you) destined to produce gods. Rightfully all wars destined to come by fate shall subside under the house of Assaracus, nor can Troy hold you." As soon as he has said these (words), he sends himself down from the high sky, (and) parts the eddying breezes, and makes for Ascanius. Then, he changes the appearance of his face into (that of) old Butes. He was previously armour-bearer to Dardanian Anchises and a faithful guard at his gate; then, his father assigned (him as) companion to Ascanius. Apollo came forward, alike in all things to the aged man, in voice and complexion and white hair and arms grim in sounds, and he addresses the ardent Iulus with these words: "Let it be enough, son of Aeneas, that Numanus has fallen to your weapons unavenged; great Apollo grants this first glorious feat to you, and does not grudge your arms being like (his own); with regard to other matters, my boy, refrain from war." Apollo, rising thus in the middle of his speech, left the sight of men and vanished from sight (lit. eyes) into thin air. The chiefs, the descendants of Dardanus, recognised the god and his divine weapons, and heard his quiver rattling in his flight. Therefore, at the words and will of Phoebus, they check Ascanius, (though still) eager for battle, and they, themselves, enter again into the contest and fling (lit. send) their lives into open dangers. A shout goes over the battlements all along the walls, (and) eagerly they bend their bows and whirl their thongs. All the ground is strewn with missiles, then shields and hollow helmets give (forth) a sound as they clash (lit. in clashing), (and) the fighting surges fiercely: as great as the the thick hail with which the storm, coming from the west (lit. the setting (sun)) during (the time) of the rainy Kids, lashes the earth, the clouds hurl (themselves) upon the shoals (of the sea), when Jupiter, wild with southern gales, whirls a watery tempest and bursts the hollow thunder-clouds in the sky.
Ll. 672-690. The Trojans Bitias and Pandarus open the camp gates to make a sally but actually admit the Rutulians who force their way in amid fierce fighting.
Pandarus and Bitias, sprung (lit. grown) from Idaean Alcanor, whom the forest nymph Iaera had reared in the grove of Jupiter, youths as tall as (lit. equal to) the pine-trees on their father's mountains, fling open the gate which by the command of their leader (had been) entrusted (to them), relying on their weapons and actually invite the foe within their walls. Armed with steel and with plumes shining high on their heads, they themselves take up position (lit. stand by) inside on the left side and the right side like (lit. in place of) towers: even as a pair of oak-trees soar together in the air by flowing rivers or on the banks of the Po or near the pleasant Athesis, and raise their unshorn heads and nod with their crowns on high. When the Rutulians saw the entrance lying open, immediately Quercus and Aquiculus, handsome in his armour, and Tmarus, impetuous in temper, and warlike Haemon, with all their columns, either turned (around) and fled (lit. gave their backs), or laid down their lives on the very threshold of the gate. Then, angry passions increase the more in their opposing hearts, and the Trojans, having been rallied, mass at the same spot, and dare to fight (lit. bring their hands together) and to run forward further.
Ll. 691-716. At news of this, Turnus arrives and makes great slaughter among the Trojans, killing Bitias.
To Turnus, the chieftain, raging in a different part (of the battle) and disturbing men, the news is brought that the enemy is flushed by the recent slaughter and is offering open gates. He abandons his undertaking, and roused by giant anger rushes to the Dardanian gate and the proud brothers. And, first, with a cast javelin, he brings down Antiphates [for he first impelled himself (towards Turnus)], the bastard son of princely Sarpedon from a Theban mother; an Italian cornel(-shaft) flies through the unresistant air, and, having been fixed in his stomach, it makes its way deep into his breast: the cavity of the dark wound gives back a foaming flood, and the blade is warmed within a pierced lung. Then he fells by hand Meropes and Erymas, then Aphidnus, then Bitias with fire in his eyes and roaring in his heart, not with a javelin [for he would not have given up his life to a javelin], but a hurled phalarica came, hissing mightily, (and) driven in the manner of a thunder-bolt, which neither two bull's hides nor a trusty breast-plate with double scales of (lit. and) gold could resist; the giant limbs collapse (lit. having collapsed) and fall. The earth gives a groan, and his huge shield thunders on top (of him). In such a manner on the Euboean shore of Baiae sometimes falls a mass of stone, which, first framed of huge blocks, they hurl into the sea, so it, falling forwards, drags (everything into) a crash, and, having been dashed into shallow waters, sinks down deeply (to the bottom); the sea is in turmoil (lit. mingles with itself) and the black sands are lifted up, then lofty Prochyta trembles at the sound, and (also) Inarime, by the command of Jupiter, piled upon Typhoeus (as) a rugged bed.
Ll. 717-755. With a mighty effort Pandarus manges to close the gate but finds to his horror that he has shut in (like a tiger among the herds) the Rutulian leader. His spear deflected by Juno misses its target and he is slain by Turnus.
Thereupon, Mars, mighty in arms, added (more) heart and strength to the Latins, and twisted the sharp goads within their breasts, and among the Teucrians let slip Rout and black Panic. They (i.e. the Latins) come together from all sides, since the opportunity of fighting has been given (them), and the warrior god has fallen upon their hearts. Pandarus, when he sees his brother as a vanquished body, and in what position their fortune is, (and) what chance controls events, pushing with his broad shoulders, the huge hinge-post having been wrenched around, he swings the gate (shut) with great force, and he leaves many of his own men shut out by the walls in a hard struggle; but he shuts (many) others inside with him and welcomes (them) as they rush (lit. rushing), madman, inasmuch as did not see the Rutulian king charging in the midst of the throng, and, of his own accord, shut (him) into the city, like a monstrous tiger among helpless cattle. At once a strange light shone from his eyes, and his arms clashed dreadfully, the plumes on his crest quiver blood-red, and from his shield he sends flashing lightning-bolts. suddenly dismayed, the men of Aeneas recognise that hated appearance and those enormous limbs. Then, huge Pandarus leaps forward and, blazing with anger at the death of his brother, he speaks out: "This (is) not Amata's bridal palace, nor the middle of Ardea (that) holds Turnus within his native walls, You see a hostile camp, (and there is to you) no power to escape from here." Smiling at him, Turnus (replies) with a serene breast: "Begin, if there is any courage to your heart, and join battle (lit. your right hand): you will report to Priam that here too an Achilles has been found." He had spoken. He (i.e. Pandarus), striving with his utmost strength, hurls a spear, rough with knots and unpeeled bark; the breezes received (it), Saturnian Juno deflected the coming wound, and the spear is fixed in the gate. "But you will not escape this weapon, which my right arm is brandishing with force, for not of such a kind (that you can escape is) the author of the weapon and the wound." Thus speaks (Turnus), and he rises high on to his uplifted sword and with his blade he cleaves the middle of his forehead between his two temples and his young cheeks with a ghastly wound. A crash occurs, and thls e earth was shaken by his enormous weight; dying, he lets fall on the ground his collapsed limbs and his armour bloody with brains, and his head hung this way and that in equal halves from each shoulder.
Ll. 756-777. The Trojans panic and Turnus in his lust for blood misses his opportunity to throw open the gates to his own men outside. Instead, carried away, he deals death blows all around him.
Having turned (in flight), the Trojans scatter in nervous dread. And if forthwith such care had entered into the victor to break the bolts by hand and to send in his comrades through the gates, that day would have been the last in the war and for the (Trojan) nation, but passion and an insane desire for slaughter drove (him) blazing against his opponents. At first, he (i.e. Turnus) catches Phalerus and Gyges, his ham-string having been cut through, hence he seizes and hurls their spears (lit. he hurls the spears having been seized) into the backs of those fleeing, (and) Juno supplies strength and spirit (to him). He adds Halys, (as) a companion, and Phegeus, his shield having been pierced, then Alcander and Halius and Noemon and Prytanis, (all caught) unawares on the walls (while) invoking the battle. He forestalls Lynceus, striding to oppose (him) and calling on his comrades, as he strives (lit. striving) with his flashing sword from the rampart on the right. Thence, (he kills) Amycus, than whom no other (was) more skilled to smear weapons by hand and to equip steel with poison, and Clytius the Aeolid, and Cretheus, friend to the Muses, (yes that) Cretheus, companion of the Muses, to whom songs and lyres and stretching notes upon strings (was) always (dear) to the heart, (and who) was always singing of horses and the arms of warriors and battles.
Ll. 778-818. At last the leaders Mnestheus and Serestus rally the Trojans and drive Turnus back like a lion at bay. Now hard pressed and overwhelmed by Trojan missiles and spears, the Rutulian hero has to seek safety by plunging into the Tiber.
At last, the Teucrian leaders, Mnestheus and fierce Serestus, the slaughter of their men having been heard about, arrive on the scene, and they see their comrades being dispersed and the enemy within (lit. having been received). And Mnestheus says, "Whither do you direct your flight next? What other walls, what further strongholds do you have now? Shall one man, O citizens, enclosed on all sides by your ramparts, have caused such great destruction throughout your city, unopposed? Shall (one man) have sent so many of the finest of your warriors (down) to Orcus? Do not your unfortunate native land and your ancient gods and great Aeneas move (you) to pity or shame (you, you) cowards?" Incensed by such words, they are strengthened, and stand in a thick column. Turnus gradually withdraws from the battle and makes for the river and the area which is surrounded by water. Because of this, the Teucrians press on more eagerly with a great shout and mass (as) a band, as (when) a crowd (of hunters) threatens a savage lion with hostile spears; but he, alarmed, cruel, glaring angrily, retreats backwards, and neither anger or valour allow him to flee (lit. present his back), nor even, (though) desiring this, is he able to make progress against (them) through weapons and warriors. Not otherwise, the perplexed Turnus retraces his unhurried footsteps backwards, and his mind seethes with rage. Nay more, he even charged twice at that time into the midst of his enemies, and twice he routs and turns to flight the routed columns (lit. he turns to flight the routed columns) along the walls; but a whole band from the camp hurriedly gathers together (lit. into one), nor does Saturnian Juno dare to supply (him) with strength against (them); for Jupiter had sent Iris down through the air from the sky bearing stern (lit. not gentle) commands for his sister, unless Turnus were to withdraw from the high battlements of the Teucrians. Accordingly, the warrior is not able to stand his ground so strongly, either with his shield or his right (hand) (as) he is overwhelmed by missiles being thrown at (him) from all sides. His helmet clangs around his hollow temples with incessant ringing, and the bronze gapes open beneath the stones, and his crest (is) smashed from off his head, nor does his (shield's) boss suffice for the blows; and the Trojans and the fulminating Mnestheus, himself, redouble (their casting of) spears. Then, sweat runs over his whole body and [(there was) no opportunity (for him) to breathe] spreads (as) a murky river, (and) feeble (and) panting he shakes his exhausted limbs. Then, at last, with a jump he throws (lit. gives) himself headlong into the river with all his armour. It welcomes (him) coming with its yellow tide, and lifts (him) up on its gentle waves and, the blood having been washed away, sends (him) back, happy, to his comrades.