As in Sabidius' translation of Book IV, he seeks to keep his language as close as possible to the actual structure of Virgil's Latin, in order to facilitate an easy understanding of it. The text which is followed is that of H.E.Gould, M.A. and J.L.Whiteley, M.A., Ph.D. in Macmillan's 'Modern School Classics', 1946. The translation below is divided into sections as in Gould & Whiteley's edition. The book is remarkable not only for the beauty of Virgil's epic prose, but for the knowledge it conveys about Roman views of the afterlife and of the veneration accorded to heroes of the past. Furthermore, it contains some of the most celebrated extracts in all Latin literature. Lines(Ll) 86-87 are those controversially quoted by Enoch Powell in 1968 when he warned against the possible consequences of unchecked immigration. Ll. 295-316, which describe the transportation of dead souls across the River Styx by Charon, are a superb example of how Virgil can use poetic rhythm and onomatopoeia to create dramatic atmosphere and pathos. Ll. 724-751 give us interesting insights into Roman thinking about life, death and rebirth, including the Pythagorean doctrine of metempsychosis or the transmigration of souls. Ll. 847-853 extol the Roman art of government. Finally, right at the end of the book, ll.860-886, telling of the sad death of Augustus' chosen successor, Marcellus, so affected his mother Octavia, that she is reputed to have fainted when they were first read to her.
Ll. 1-41. Aeneas and the Trojans come to Cumae in search of the Sibyl, a prophetess inspired by Apollo.
So he (i.e. Aeneas) speaks, weeping, and he gives the reins to the fleet and at last he glides into the Euboean shores of Cumae. They turned their prows towards the sea; then an anchor made fast the ships with a gripping tool, and curved sterns fringe the beach. A band of young men springs forth eagerly towards the Hesperian (i.e. Italian) shore; some seek the seeds of flame concealed in veins of flint; others scour the woods, the dense lairs of wild beasts, and point out the rivers they have found (lit. having been found). And pious Aeneas makes for the citadel, in which Apollo sits enthroned on high, and the vast cavern beyond, the retreat of the awesome Sibyl, into whom the Delian seer (i.e. Apollo) breathes great mind and spirit, and reveals the future. Already they draw near to the groves of Trivia (i.e. Diana) and the golden temple. Daedalus, as the story goes (lit. is), fleeing the tyranny of Minos, having dared to entrust himself to the sky on swift wings, soared aloft to the icy Bears (i.e. the North) by an unaccustomed route, and at last he hovered lightly over the citadel of Chalcis (i.e. the mother-city of Cumae). Having returned first to these lands, he dedicated to you, Phoebus (i.e. Apollo), the oarage of his wings, and he built a gigantic temple. On the doors (was) the death of Androgeos; then the children of Cecrops (i.e. the Athenians) ordered to pay (as) penalties - alas! - the bodies of their sons, seven each year; there stands the urn, the lots having been drawn. Opposite, the land of Cnossos, rising from the sea, replies: here there is in the midst the cruel passion for a bull and Pasiphae mated in stealth, and the mongrel breed and the two-shaped offspring, the Minotaur, a memorial of wicked love; here is that toil of the house, and its inextricable maze; but indeed, pitying the great love of the princess (i.e. Ariadne), Daedalus, himself, unravels the deceptive windings (lit. deceptions and windings) of the palace, guiding blind footsteps by a thread. You too, Icarus, would have had a big part in in this very great work, if grief had permitted. Twice he (i.e. Daedalus) had tried to engrave your fall in gold, (but) twice the father's hands had failed. Moreover, they (i.e. the Trojans) would have scanned all things with their eyes in succession, if Achates, having been sent on ahead, had not then appeared, and together (with him) Deiphobe, (daughter) of Glaucus, priestess of Phoebus and of Trivia, who says these words to the king: 'This time does not call for sights such as these for itself. Now, it were better to sacrifice seven bullocks from an unbroken herd, and a like number of sheep chosen according to custom'. Having addressed Aeneas with such words - and the heroes do not delay (to obey) her sacred commands - the priestess calls the Teucrians (i.e. the Trojans) into the lofty temple.
Ll. 42-76. At the suggestion of the Sibyl, Aeneas prays to Apollo that the promise of his new kingdom in italy may be fulfilled.
A side of the Euboean rock (is) hewn into a vast cave, whither lead a hundred wide entrances, a hundred mouths, whence rush a like number of voices, the answers of the Sibyl. They (lit. it) had come to the threshold (of the cave), when the virgin cries: '(It is) time to ask the oracles; the god, behold, the god!' To her speaking such things before the doors, suddenly neither face nor colour (was) the same, (and) her hair did not remain ordered; but her heaving breast and wild heart swell in ecstasy, and (she is) taller to be seen nor mortal sounding, since she has been breathed upon by the now closer power of the god. 'Are you slow for vows and prayers, Trojan Aeneas?', she says. 'Do you loiter? For until (you pray) the mighty mouths of this awestruck house will not gape open.' And, having spoken such things, she fell silent. A cold shiver ran through the bones of the Teucrians, and their king poured out prayers from the bottom of his heart: 'Phoebus, having always pitied the tribulations of Troy, (you) who directed the Dardan (i.e. Trojan) arrow and the hands of Paris into the body of the grandson of Aeacus (i.e. Achilles), with you (as) my leader I have set out upon so many seas bordering great lands and the far distant tribes of the Massylians and fields opposite to the Syrtes, (and) now at last we grasp the shores of elusive Italy; thus far (only) may the Trojan fortune have followed us). You too, all you gods and goddesses, to whom Ilium (i.e. Troy) and the great glory of Dardania (i.e. Troy) were a stumbling block, now it is right to spare the people of Pergama (i.e. the citadel of Troy). And you, O most holy prophetess, (who is) aware of what is to come, grant - I do not ask for a kingdom not owed to my destiny - that the Teucrians and their wandering gods and the storm-tossed deities of Troy may settle in Latium. Then, I shall establish a temple of solid marble to Phoebus and to Trivia, and festal days in the name of Phoebus. You (i.e. the Sibyl) too, a great sanctuary in my kingdom awaits; for here I shall establish your oracle and sacred utterances communicated to my race, and, gracious lady, I shall dedicate chosen men (to your service) (i.e. the Quindecemviri sacris faciundis). Only do not entrust your oracles to leaves, lest they fly in confusion, a sport for the rushing winds: I beg that you chant (them) yourself '. He made (lit. gave) an end of speaking with his mouth.
Ll. 77-123. The Sibyl warns Aeneas of the many troubles he must endure; he begs her to assist him to visit his father in the Underworld.
But the prophetess, not yet submitting to (the sway of) Phoebus, revels wildly in the cave, in the hope that she may be able to have shaken off the great god: the more (she raves) the more he tires her foaming mouth, taming her wild heart, and he moulds (her) by controlling. And now the hundred mighty mouths of the house opened of their own accord and carry the answers through the air: 'O (you) having finished at last with the perils of the sea - but graver ones by land await (you): the descendants of Dardanus (i.e. the Trojans) will come into the realm of Lavinium (i.e Latium) (send this concern away from your heart), but they will wish also not to have come. I see wars, dreadful wars and the Thybris (i.e. Tiber) foaming with much blood. No Simois, no Xanthus, no Doric (i.e. Greek) camp will have been lacking to you: another Achilles has been produced in Latium already, he himself also born of a goddess: nor will Juno anywhere be absent, dogging (lit. attached to) the Teucrians; when you (are) a suppliant in needy things what tribes, what cities of the Italians will you not have begged (for aid)! Again an alien bride (i.e. Lavinia) and again a foreign marriage (is) the cause of such great evil to the Teucrians. Do not yield to these evils but advance against (them) more boldly, by whatever (road) your destiny may allow. The first path to safety, something which you least expect, will be opened up from a Greek city'. With such words from her shrine the Cumaean Sibyl sings her dreadful mysteries and echoes from the cave, wrapping the truth in darkness; these reins Apollo shakes to (her) raging and he twists the goads under her breast. As soon as her fury abated and her foaming lips grew calm, the hero Aeneas begins (to speak): 'Not any aspect of tribulations, O virgin, rises up strange or unexpected to me; I have foretold everything and I have pondered with myself in my mind before (this). One thing I beg; since it is said that the door of the infernal king and the gloomy marsh, Acheron having overflowed, are here, may it happen that I go to see even the face of my dear father; may you teach me the way and open the sacred mouths. On my shoulders I rescued him through flames and a thousand following shafts, and recovered (him) safely from the midst of the enemy; he, having accompanied (me on) my journey, endured all the seas with me and all the threats of both sea and sky, weak (though he was), beyond the capacity and the lot of old age. Moreover, the same man, praying, gave (me) instructions that I, as a suppliant, should seek you and should approach your door. Pity both the father and the son, gracious lady, I pray, for you can (do) all things, nor did Hecate set you over the groves of Avernus in vain. If Orpheus, relying on his Thracian lyre and its tuneful strings, could summon the wraith of his wife; if Pollux redeemed his brother by alternate death (i.e by dying in his turn), and he goes and returns so often along this road - why (should I mention) great Theseus? why should I mention the descendant of Alcaeus (i.e. Hercules)? - my pedigree (is) also from highest Jupiter'.
Ll. 124-155. The Sibyl tells Aeneas that before he can meet his father in Hades he must fulfil two tasks: he must pluck the Golden Bough as an offering to Proserpina; and lay to rest the corpse of a dead colleague.
Such things having been spoken, he prayed and grasped the altar; when the prophetess began to speak thus: 'Trojan son of Anchises, sown from the blood of the gods, the descent to Avernus (is) easy; the door of black Dis (i.e. Pluto) stands open night and day; but to retrace your step and to ascend to the upper air, this (is) the task, this is the trouble. A few, whom a favourable Jupiter loved, born of the gods, or (whom) glowing virtue bore aloft to the skies, have attained (this). Forests occupy all the mid-space, and the gliding Cocytus occupies encircles (everything) with its black coil. But if (there is) such great love in in your heart, if there is such a great desire to swim over our Stygian lakes lakes twice, to see Black Tartarus twice, and (if) it delights (you) to indulge in this insane labour; hear what is necessary to be accomplished first. A bough, golden both in its leaves and its pliant stem, lies hidden in a shady tree, said to be sacred to the Juno of the Underworld (i.e. Proserpina): a whole grove conceals this, and shadows shut (it) in within dark valleys. But it is not granted to visit the hidden (parts) of the earth until someone has plucked the golden foliage from the tree. The beautiful Proserpina has ordained that this is to be brought to her as her own gift. The first one having been torn away, another golden bough is not lacking, and the branch puts forth leaves of similar metal. Therefore, watch for signs (of it) with your eyes aloft and duly pluck (it when) found; for it will come willingly and easily, if the fates are calling you: otherwise you will not be able to conquer it by any force nor to pluck (it) by hard steel. Besides, the body of your friend is lying lifeless - alas, you do not know (of it) - and is defiling the whole fleet with death, while you are seeking the responses (of the gods) and are lingering at our door. Restore him to his proper resting place first, and lay (him) in a tomb. Lead forth black cattle; let these be the first propitiatory offerings. Only so will you will you behold the groves of the Styx and realms pathless to the living'. She spoke, and became silent with closed lips.
Vv. 156-184. Aeneas learns that the dead man is Misenus, and makes plans for his funeral.
Aeneas with sad countenance, having cast his eyes down, comes forward, leaving the cave, and ponders these hidden issues with himself in his mind: to him faithful Achates comes (as) a comrade and plants his footsteps, (weighed down) with equal anxieties. They said many things between themselves in various conversations, what lifeless comrade, what body needing burial did the prophetess mean. And as they came to the dry shore, they saw Misenus cut off by an undeserved death, Misenus, son of Aeolus, than whom (there was) no other more excellent at summoning the heroes with (his trumpet of) brass and kindling the martial spirit with music. He had been a companion of great Hector, (and) he entered battles around Hector, distinguished both by his trumpet and by his spear. After victorious Achilles despoiled him ( i.e. Hector) of his life, the very brave hero attached himself to Dardanian Aeneas, following (things) not lower. But then, by chance, in his folly, while he had made hollow sea shells to resound, and had called the gods to a contest by music, jealous Triton, if it is worthy to believe, had sunk the man, who had been caught up (lit. having been caught up), in the foaming waves. So, they all lamented around (his body) with a loud clamour; then, without delay, weeping, they hasten to perform the commands of the Sibyl and they strive to heap together an altar with trees for a tomb and raise (it) to the sky. They go (lit. it is gone) into the ancient forest, among the deep lairs of wild beasts: the pine-trees come down; the holm-oak rings, having been struck by axes;and beams of ash and easily-split oak are cleaved by wedges; they roll great rowan-trees down from the mountains. And Aeneas, foremost among such works, encourages (lit. Neither does Aeneas...not encourage) his comrades and he is equipped with the same tools.
Ll. 185-211. Aeneas is led by two doves to the Golden Bough, which he breaks off.
And he, himself, ponders these things in his own sad heart, gazing at the measureless forest, and by chance he prays thus:'If (only) that golden bough would now show itself to us on a tree in this very great grove! Since the prophetess said all those things about you, alas, too truly, Misenus'. He had scarcely said these things, when by chance twin doves flying down from the sky, before the very eyes of the hero, and settled on the green sward. Then that very great hero recognises his mother's birds and joyfully he prays: 'Oh, be my guides, if there is any way, and direct your course through the air into the grove where the rich bough shades the fertile ground. Oh, and you, divine parent, do not fail (me) in these uncertain things'. Having spoken thus, he checked his footsteps, watching what signs they would offer, whither they (i.e. the doves) would proceed to go. Feeding, they advanced by flying just so far as the eyes of those following could keep (them) in view by gaze. Then, when they came to the jaws of evil-smelling Avernus, they raised themselves swiftly and falling through the clear air they both settled on the desired resting- place on the top of a tree, whence the contrasting gleam of gold shines through the the branches. Even as the mistletoe is accustomed upon the forest trees in the cold of winter to be green with new foliage, which its own tree does not sow, and to enfold the smooth trunks with yellow growth: such was the appearance of leafy gold upon the dark holm-oak, so the gold leaf tinkled in the light breeze. Aeneas seizes (it) at once and eagerly he breaks it off, although it resists (lit. it resisting), and carries (it) into the house of the priestess, the Sibyl.
Ll. 212-235. Arrangements are made for the funeral of Misenus.
Meanwhile, on the shore the Teucrians were weeping no less for Misenus, and were paying their last dues to his thankless ashes. In the first place they built a huge pyre rich with pine-wood and sawn oak, the sides of which they interlaced with dark foliage, and they set up funereal cypresses before (it), and adorned (it) with his shining armour on top. Some make ready hot water and a cauldron bubbling over flames, and washed and anointed the body of the cold one. There is made a lament. Then they lay the lamented limbs on the bier, and pile on top his purple robes, familiar garments. Others went under the huge bier, a pitiful service, and they held the down-thrust torch, having turned away according to the fashion of their ancestors. The heaped-up offerings, the flesh, and the bowls with out-poured oil are burned. When the embers have collapsed and the fire has died down, they even washed in wine the thirsty ashes, his remains, and Corynaeus contained the bones, which he had gathered up (lit. having been gathered), in a bronze urn. The same man purified his comrades with pure water three times, sprinkling (them) with a gentle dew from a sprig (lit. and a sprig) of a fruitful olive-tree, and he purified the heroes, and said the last words. But pious Aeneas places (over the ashes) a tomb of vast bulk and the personal arms of the hero, both his oar and his trumpet, beneath a lofty mountain, which is now called Misenus after him, and bears his name forever through the ages.
Ll. 236-267. After sacrificing to the gods, Aeneas, led by the Sibyl, enters a cavern through which he can reach the Underworld.
These things having been done, he hurriedly performs the orders of the Sibyl. There was a cavern deep and vast with a great yawning mouth, rugged, guarded by a dark lake and the gloom of woods; over this not any fliers could with impunity make their way with wings: such (foul) breath wafted itself from the dark mouth streaming forth to the arch of heaven above: hence the Greeks spoke of the place (as) Birdless by name. Here the priestess first sets in place four bullocks, black of hide, and pours wine upon their foreheads; and plucking the tallest tufts growing midway between the horns, she places (them) on the sacred fires as first fruits, calling aloud (lit. with the voice) Hecate, powerful both in heaven and in Erebus. Others place knives beneath (their throats), and catch their warm blood in bowls. Aeneas, himself, slaughters with a sword a lamb with a black fleece in honour of the mother of the Furies (i.e. Night) and her great sister (i.e Earth) and a barren cow in honour of you, Proserpina. Then, he sets up nocturnal altars to the king of the Styx (i.e. Pluto) and places whole carcasses of bulls on the flames, pouring rich oil upon the burning entrails. But, look, just before the beams and the rising of the first sun, the earth beneath their feet (began) to bellow, and the ridges of forests began to quake, and dogs seemed to howl through the darkness, the goddess (i.e. Hecate) drawing near. 'Aloof, Oh stand (lit. be) aloof, (you) unhallowed ones', exclaims the prophetess, 'and withdraw from this whole grove: and, you, enter upon your journey, and draw your sword from its sheath: now, Aeneas, there is (need) of courage, now (there is need of) a stout heart'. Having spoken so much, raging, she flung herself into the open cave: he keeps pace with his leader, going with not fearful steps. Gods, to whom there is command of souls, and silent shades, and chaos, and Phlegethon, and regions extending in the silent darkness, let it be lawful for me to say the things which I have heard (lit. the things having been heard); let it be with your consent that I reveal the things buried in the deep earth and gloom.
Ll. 268-294. Aeneas and the Sibyl, having entered Hades, encounter a host of monstrous creatures.
They went scarcely visible through the shadows deep in the lonely night, and through the empty halls of Dis and his ghostly realm: it was like a journey through woods by the uncertain moon under its grudging light, when Jupiter has hidden the sky, and black night has taken away colour from things. Before the entrance-hall itself, and in the first throat of Orcus, Grief and Avenging Cares have laid their beds, and pale Diseases live (there), and sad Old Age, and Fear, and corrupting Hunger and squalid Poverty, shapes fearful to behold (lit. in seeing), and Death and Drudgery; then there is Sleep, close kin of Death, and the evil Joys of the mind, and, on the opposite threshold, murderous War, and the iron chambers of the Furies, and raving Discord, having entwined her snaky locks with blood-soaked fillets. In the middle, a huge, dark elm spreads out its boughs and aged branches, which resting-place they say vain Dreams occupy with a multitude, and cling under every leaf. And, besides, many monstrous (shapes) of different beasts are stabled within the gates, Centaurs, and the two-shaped Scylla, and hundred-headed Briareus, and the beast of Lerna (i.e. the Hydra), hissing horribly, and the Chimaera, armed with flames, Gorgons, and Harpies, and the shape of the triple-bodied shade (i.e. Geryon). Then, Aeneas, alarmed by a sudden dread, snatches his sword, and presents an unsheathed blade to the approaching (creatures), and, if his experienced companion had not warned that insubstantial bodies without lives were flitting about under the hollow semblance of form, he would have rushed in and smitten the shadows in vain with his sword.
Ll. 295-336. Aeneas sees a vast throng of spirits on the bank of the River Styx, across which Charon ferries the the souls of the dead.
Hence (is) the way which leads to the waters of Tartarean Acheron. Here a murky whirlpool seethes in mud and huge abysses and belches forth all its sludge into the Cocytus. A dreadful ferryman guards these waters and rivers, Charon of terrible filth: on his chin grows an abundant untrimmed grey beard; his eyes stand in flame; a dirty cloak hangs by a knot from his shoulders. He, himself, already quite old, propels his boat with a pole, and attends to the sails, and he carries upstream the souls in his rust-red boat; but the old age of a god (is) rough and green. Hither a whole crowd was rushing, streaming to the bank, and mothers and men and the bodies of great-hearted heroes, having finished with life, boys and unmarried girls and young men laid on the pyre before the faces of their parents: (as) many as the leaves (which), gliding, fall in the woods in the first chill of autumn, or (as) many as the birds (which) flock to land from the deep ocean, when the cold season drives (them) across the sea and lets (them) loose in sunny lands. They stood begging to make the crossing first, and they stretched out their hands in longing for the farther bank; but the stern sailor receives now these, now those, but yet others, having been moved far away, he holds aloof from the strand. Indeed, Aeneas, amazed and distressed by the tumult cries out, ' Tell (me), O virgin, what does this gathering at the river mean? Or what are these souls seeking? or by what distinction are some leaving the bank, (while) others are sweeping over the leaden-hued shallows with their oars?' The aged priestess spoke to him briefly thus: 'O (you) begotten of Anchises, most certainly the offspring of the gods, you see the deep pools of the Cocytus and the Stygian swamp, by whose divine power the gods fear to swear and to lie, all this crowd, which you, see is helpless and unburied: that ferryman (is) Charon; these whom the water carries (are) buried. Nor is it given (to them) to pass the dreadful banks and the roaring current before their bones find repose in their resting-place. They wander for a hundred years and flit about around these shores; only then, having been admitted, do they revisit the pools which they have longed for (lit. having been longed for)'. The son of Anchises halted and checked his footsteps, thinking many things and pitying their cruel fate. There he sees (among) the mournful and those lacking honour in death, Leucaspes and Orontes, the leader of the Lycian fleet, whom sailing the wind-swept seas from Troy together with him, Auster (i.e. the south wind) overwhelmed, engulfing both ships and crews in water.
Ll. 337-383. Aeneas meets Palinurus, who has been refused passage across the Styx because his body is unburied.
Behold, the helmsman, Palinurus impelled himself (towards them), he who recently on the voyage from Libya, while he was watching the stars had fallen from the stern, having been flung overboard into the middle of the waves. When he recognised this sad figure with difficulty in deep shadow, he speaks first: 'Which of the gods snatched you away from us, Palinurus, and drowned (you) in the middle of the ocean? Come speak. For Apollo, not found false before, has deceived my mind with this one answer. (For) he prophesied that you would be safe on the sea and would reach the boundaries of Ausonia (i.e. Italy). Behold, is this his promised word?' However, he (replies); 'Leader, son of Anchises, the cauldron of Phoebus has not deceived you, nor has a god drowned me in the sea. For falling headlong I dragged with me the rudder, wrenched away by chance with great force, to which (as) its appointed guard I was clinging and (with which) I was steering our course. I swear by the rough seas that I did not fear anything so greatly as (the fear) lest your ship stripped of its gear, its pilot having been shaken off, might founder, the very great waves rising. For three winter nights the Notus (i.e. the south wind) blustering over the water, carried me through the measureless seas; at dawn on the fourth day did I, uplifted, catch sight of Italy from the top of a wave. I swam slowly to land: already I held safe things, if a savage tribe, had not attacked with a knife (me), weighed down with clothing and grasping the rugged spur of a cliff with clutching hands, and, in their ignorance, they thought (that I was) plunder. Now a wave has me, and the winds are tossing (me) on the shore. Wherefore I beg you, unconquered (one),by the joyous light and winds of heaven, by your father, by your hopes for growing Iulus (i.e. Ascanius), rescue me from these miseries: either throw earth upon me yourself, or seek again the harbour of Velia, or, if there is any way, if your goddess mother can show it to you, for you are not, I believe, preparing, to voyage over such great rivers and the Stygian marsh without the approval of the gods, - give your right hand (to me) in pity, and take me with you over the waves, so that in death at least I may find repose in a peaceful resting-place'. He had spoken such things, when the prophetess begins thus: 'Whence to you, O Palinurus, this so dreadful desire? Will you, unburied, behold the waters of the Styx and the pitiless river of the Furies, or will you come to the bank unbidden? Cease to hope that the decrees of the gods can be turned aside by praying. But take my words heedfully, in consolation for your hard lot: for the neighbouring people, (living) around cities far and wide, having been harassed by heavenly signs, will appease your bones, and set up a burial mound, and will send customary (offerings) to the burial mound, and the place will have the name of Palinurus for ever'. At these words, his anxieties were banished, and for a little while sorrow was driven from his sad heart : he rejoices in the place which bears the same name as he (lit. the like-named place).
Ll. 384-416. Charon challenges Aeneas when he approaches the bank, but, when he is shown the Golden Bough, he agrees to transport him across the Styx.
So, they continue the journey, which they had begun (lit. having been begun), and come near to the river. When the boatman sees them from the waters of the Styx, coming through the silent forest and turning their feet to the bank, forthwith he first assails (them) with words thus, and, unprovoked, he rebukes (them): 'Whoever you are, who strides in arms towards our river, come tell (us) at once, why you are coming, and check your step. This is the land of the shades, of sleep and sleep-inducing night; it is a sin to carry living bodies in the Stygian boat. I did not rejoice that I received on the lake Alcides, when he came (lit. coming), nor Theseus and Pirithous, although they were sprung from gods and unvanquished in strength. The former (i.e. Alcides) sought to bind by force the watch-dog of Tartarus, and dragged (him) trembling from the throne of the king himself: the latter (i.e. Theseus and Pirithous) attempted to carry off my mistress from the bed-chamber of Dis'. In answer to this, the Amphrysian prophetess ( i.e the prophetess of Apollo - the Sibyl) spoke briefly: '(There are) no such treacherous designs here; cease to be alarmed; nor do his weapons offer violence: it is accepted that the huge door-keeper, barking in his cave, may frighten the bloodless shades; it is accepted that Proserpina may keep to the threshold of her uncle. Trojan Aeneas, renowned for his devotion and for his arms, is descending to the deepest shades of Erebus in search of his father. If this vision of such great piety moves you in no way, then recognise this branch - she reveals the branch which lay hidden beneath her clothing'. Then his heart subsides from swelling wrath; nor (are there) more (words) than these. He, marvelling at the awesome gift of the fateful branch, so long unseen (lit. having been seen a long time after), turns his dark-blue boat and comes near to the bank. Then, he drives off the other souls, who were sitting on the long benches, and clears the gangway: at the same time, he admits the huge Aeneas to the hull. The boat, made of sewn skins, groans under his weight, and, full of cracks, it received much marsh (water). At last, across the river, he disembarks both prophetess and hero unharmed in the shapeless mud and the grey sedge.
Ll. 417-439. Cerberus having been drugged by the Sibyl, they pass those regions of Hades inhabited by the spirits of the unfortunate.
The gigantic Cerberus makes these realms to resound with the barking from his three throats, the monster lying in the cave opposite. To him the prophetess, seeing his neck already bristling with serpents, throws a cake made soporific with honey and drugged cornmeal. He, opening his three throats snaps up (the morsel) thrown in his path, and his enormous back relaxes sprawling (lit. poured), and lies extended hugely across the whole cave. The watch-dog (now) buried (in sleep), Aeneas seizes the entrance and swiftly passes beyond the bank of that water which cannot be recrossed. Forthwith, voices were heard, and the weeping souls of infants, whom on the first threshold, without a share in sweet life and torn from the breast, a black day carried away and drowned in bitter death. Next to them (are) those condemned to death on a false charge. Nor indeed are these places assigned without (the drawing of) lots: Minos (is) president (of the court and) shakes the urn; he both calls an assembly of the silent (dead) and acquaints himself with their lives and the charges (laid against them). Then, those sad ones occupy the next places, (those) who (though) innocent brought about their own death by hand, and, loathing the light, flung away their lives. How they would now wish to be enduring under high heaven (i.e. among the living) both poverty and hard labours! Divine law stands in the way, and the sad marsh binds (them) in its hateful water, and the Styx, poured between (them) nine times, confines (them).
Ll. 440-476. Aeneas comes next to the Mourning Plains, the abode of unhappy lovers; here he meets Dido, but she rejects him.
Not far from here are displayed the Mourning Plains, extending (lit. poured) in every direction; thus they call them by name. Here, secluded paths hide and a myrtle wood covers all around (those) whom unpitying love has consumed by a cruel wasting: their sorrows do not leave (them) in death itself. In these regions he sees Phaedra and Procris and Eriphyle, showing the wounds dealt by (lit. of) her cruel son , and Evadne and Pasiphae; Laodamia goes (as) a companion for these, and Caeneus, once a young man, now a woman, changed by fate into her old shape yet again. Among these Phoenician Dido, fresh from her wound, was wandering in a great wood: as soon as our Trojan hero stopped beside her, and recognised (her), dim amid the shadows, (such) as (he) who in the early month either sees or considers (himself) to have seen the moon rising through the clouds, weeping, he sheds (tears), and he spoke in sweet love: 'Unhappy Dido, did true new thus come to me that you were dead, and had sought the last things with a sword? Was I, alas, the cause of your death. I swear by the stars, by the gods above, and, if there is any sacred thing under deepest earth, that I departed unwillingly from your shore. But the commands of the gods, which now compel (me) to go through these shadows, through these places, overgrown with neglect, and abysmal night, have driven me by their authority. Nor could I believe that by my departure I was bringing this so great grief to you. Check your step, and do not withdraw yourself from my sight. From whom are you fleeing. This is the last (word) which, by fate, I address you'. By such words Aeneas tried to soothe her burning and grimly staring anger, and he called forth his tears. She, with face averted, kept her eyes fixed on the ground; nor is her countenance more moved by the conversation which he had initiated (lit. having been begun), than if she were set (as) hard flint or Marpesian marble. At last, she took hold of herself, and hostile (to him) she fled back into the shadowy forest, where her former husband, Sychaeus, answers to her with his cares and matches (her) love. Aeneas, no less shaken by her cruel misfortune, follows (her) with his tears for a long time, and pities (her) as she goes (lit. going).
Ll. 477-493. Aeneas comes to that part of Hades, where famous warriors dwell.
Thence he toils along the appointed road. And now they had reached (lit. they held) the most distant fields, which (lying) apart, those most distinguished in war frequent. Here, Tydeus, here Parthenopaeus, glorious in arms, and the phantom of pallid Adrastus, come to meet him; here (come) the descendants of Dardanus, much lamented among dwellers on earth and fallen in war, seeing all (of) whom in a long line he groaned, Glaucus, and Medon, and Thersilochus, and the three sons of Antenor, and Polyboetes, sacred to Ceres, and Idaeus, still holding his chariot, still (holding) his armour. The souls stand around, crowding (him) on his right and on his left. Nor is it enough to have seen him once: it pleases (them) to delay (him) still and to match their step (to his) and to learn the reason for his coming. But, when the chiefs of the Danaans (i.e the Greeks) and the massed ranks of Agamemnon saw the hero and his armour shining through the shadows, they trembled with a great panic: some turned their backs, just as once they had made for their ships; others raised a thin voice: an attempted (lit. begun) shout mocks (them) gaping.
Ll. 494-547. Deiphobus, horribly mutilated, tells Aeneas of his treacherous betrayal by Helen.
And here he saw Deiphobus, Priam's son, mangled in his whole body, torn cruelly as to his face, his face and both his hands, and his temples ravaged with his ears torn away, and his nose mutilated by a shameful wound. Indeed, he scarcely recognised him, cowering and covering up his fearsome wound, and, ungreeted, he addresses (him) in his familiar voice: 'Deiphobus, powerful in arms and sprung from the exalted blood of Teucer, who chose to inflict such cruel penalties (upon you)? To who was it allowed concerning you so much? Rumour told me that you, exhausted by the great slaughter of Pelasgians (i.e Greeks), on that last night had sunk down on a heap of mingled corpses. Then I, myself, set up an empty burial mound (for you) on the Rhoetian shore, and called upon your shade with a loud voice. Your name and your arms mark the place. I could not see you, friend, nor bury (you) in our native earth, (as I was) departing'. To this the son of Priam answered: 'Nothing (was) left (undone) by you, O friend; you have paid all things to Deiphobus and to the shades of the dead. But my fate and the baleful crime of the Spartan woman have drowned me in these miseries: she has left these memorials. For you know how we spent that last night amid groundless joys; and it is inevitable to remember (it) too much. At the moment when the fatal horse came with a bound over the lofty Pergama, and, heavy in its belly, it brought armed infantry: she, imitating a dance, was leading the Phrygian women around (the city) crying aloud according to the rites (of Bacchus); in the midst she was holding a huge torch, and was calling the Danaans from the top of the citadel. At the time, the accursed marriage-chamber held me, exhausted by my cares and weighed down by sleep and a rest sweet and deep and similar to a peaceful death. Meanwhile, this excellent wife of mine removes all the weapons from the house and had withdrawn the trusty sword from beneath my head: she calls Menelaus within the house and opens the doors; plainly hoping that this would be a great gift to her loving husband, and that the record of old wrongs could thus be blotted out. Why do I delay? They burst into the bed-chamber; added (as) companion together (with them), the instigator of the crimes, (was) Aeolides (i.e. Ulysses). You gods, renew such treatment for the Greeks, if I am calling for vengeance with clean lips. but tell (me) in turn what chance has brought you (here) alive. Have you come, having been driven by the wanderings of the sea, or by the warning of the gods? Or what fortune may be dogging you, that you should come to our sad homes without sun, places of confusion. During this interchange of conversation, Aurora (i.e. goddess of the dawn) in her rosy-red chariot had already passed in her heavenly course the midpoint of the zenith; and perhaps they would have spent all the allotted time in (such) converse; but his companion, the Sibyl, admonished and briefly addressed (him); 'Night is falling, Aeneas, where the road divides itself into two parts: along this right hand (road), which passes beneath the walls of great Dis, (is) the way to Elysium for us; but the left hand way exacts the punishments of wicked men, and brings (them) to unholy Tartarus'. Deiphobus (spoke) in answer (to her): 'Do not be angry, great priestess; I shall depart, I shall complete the muster, and I shall return myself to the shadows. Go, you glory of our people, go; enjoy a fate better (then mine).' He spoke only (this), and with a word he turned his footsteps.
Ll. 548-627. Aeneas sees a grim-looking fortress, where the wicked are tried and punished; the Sibyl tells him about the crimes of some of the inmates and of the punishments they are suffering.
Aeneas looks back suddenly, and sees under a cliff on his left a broad stronghold encircled by a triple wall; a swiftly running river, Tartarean Phlegethon, flows around it with scorching flames, and rolls along the thunderous rocks. Confronting (him is) a huge gate and columns of solid adamant, so that no force of men, not even the gods themselves, could uproot (them) in war; an iron tower stands upright (reaching) to the sky, and Tisiphone sitting with her blood-stained robe girt up, guards the entrance without sleep both by night and by day. Hence, groans were heard and cruel lashes were sounding: then the clanking of iron and the dragging of chains. Aeneas stood still and, terrified, he drank in the noise:'What spectacle of crimes (is this)? Tell (me) O virgin; or by what punishments are they oppressed? What is this very great noise which comes to my ears?' Then, the priestess began to speak thus; 'Glorious leader of the Teucrians, (it is) lawful to no sinless man to step across that guilty threshold; but at the time when Hecate put me in charge of the groves of Avernus, she, herself, told (me) of the punishments of the gods, and led (me) through all (these scenes). Here Gnosian (i.e. Cretan) Rhadmanthus holds very strict sway, and punishes and learns of their crimes, and compels (them) to confess (those crimes), which a man, exulting in his vain deceit, has put off till too late death the atonement incurred upon earth. Forthwith, the avenging Tisiphone, leaping on the guilty, armed with a whip, assails (them), and, thrusting out fierce serpents, she calls upon the savage company of her sisters. Then, at last, the sacred gates, grating on their squeaking hinges, open wide. You see what kind of guardian sits in the entrance, what shape guards the threshold? Fiercer (still), the Hydra with its fifty vast black yawning mouths has its lair within, then Tartarus, itself, lies open sheer downwards and stretches open to the shadows twice as far as (is) the upward view of etherial Olympus to the sky. Here the ancient progeny of Earth, the Titan brood, cast down by a thunder-bolt, writhes at the bottom of the pit. Here too I saw the twin sons of Aloeus (i.e. Otus and Ephialtes), monstrous bodies, who attempted to tear down the great sky with their hands, and to thrust down Jupiter from his heavenly kingdom. I saw too Salmoneus, paying the cruel penalty (incurred) while he imitated the fire of Jupiter and the sounds of Olympus. He, drawn in a chariot with four horses and brandishing a torch, went triumphing through the people of Greece and through the midst of the city of Elis, and demanded for himself the honour due to the gods, madman in that he imitated the rain-clouds and the inimitable thunderbolt even by the beat of his horny-hoofed horses on (echoing) brass. But the almighty father hurled his shaft between the dense clouds, he (did) not (throw) torches nor lights smoky with pine-wood, and with a mighty whirlwind he hurled (him) headlong. And it was possible (lit. Nor was it not possible ) to see also Tityos, the nursling of all-bearing Earth, whose body stretches over nine whole acres; and the huge vulture with hooked beak, feeding on his immortal liver and his entrails fruitful in penalties, both forages at his feast and dwells beneath his deep breast, nor is any respite given to his (ever-)renewed tissues. Why should I tell of the Lapiths, of Ixion and of Pirithous? Above him (i.e. Tantalus) there hangs a black mass of flint about to slip right now and like to a falling (rock): golden feet gleam upon the high vestal couch, and feasts of regal magnificence are laid before his eyes; the eldest of the Furies reclines near by, and prevents (him) from touching the tables, and rises up brandishing a torch and she thunders with her mouth. Here (are those) to whom brothers were hateful, while life remained, or (by whom) a father was struck, or treachery was plotted against a dependant, or who brooded alone over riches which they had gained (lit. having been gained), and did not set aside a share for their kinsmen, which is the greatest crowd, and (those) who were slain on account of adultery, and (those) who pursued unnatural warfare, nor scrupled to deceive the trust of their lords, in confinement they (all) await punishment. Do not seek to be told what punishment (they are awaiting), or what form or fortune (of punishment) has overwhelmed these men. Some are rolling huge rocks (i.e. Sisyphus), or hang spread-eagled from the spokes of wheels (i.e. Ixion): unhappy Theseus is sitting (there) and will sit (there) for ever; and most wretched Phlegyas warns everyone, and bears witness through the shadows in a loud voice: 'Having been warned, learn justice and not to scorn the gods'. One man sold his native-land for gold, and set a powerful lord over (it), (and) he made and unmade laws at a price: another man entered the bed-chamber of his daughter and a forbidden marriage. They have all dared a monstrous sin, and have achieved what they dared. If to me there were to be a hundred tongues and a hundred mouths, (and) an iron voice, I cannot encompass all of the shapes of their crimes, (or) recount all the names of their punishments'.
Ll. 628-678. Aeneas is brought by the Sibyl to the abode of the Blessed, where they go in search of Anchises.
When the aged priestess of Phoebus had given these words, (she adds):'But come now, proceed upon your journey, and complete the task which you have undertaken (lit. having been undertaken). Let us hasten', she says. 'I see the walls produced in the forges of the Cyclopes, and the gates (set in) the archway opposite, where the commands of the gods order us to place this offering'. She had spoken, and walking side by side through the darknesses of the ways they hasten over the space between and approach the doors. Aeneas gains the threshold, and sprinkles his body with fresh water, and he fixes the bough on the doorway in front (of him). These (rites) having been performed, (and) his duty to the goddess (i.e. Proserpina) having been completed, they came down at last to the joyful places and the lovely glades of the woods of the fortunate (lit. the fortunate woods) and the homes of the blest (lit. the blessed homes). Here (there is) an ampler ether, and it clothes the plains with brilliant light, and they get to know their own sun, and their own stars. Some exercise their limbs in the grassy wrestling-grounds, contend in sport and wrestle on the golden sand; others tread dances with their feet and sing songs. And the Thracian priest with his long cloak (i.e. Orpheus) plays (lit. Nor does the Thracian priest...not play) in accompaniment to the measures the seven distinctions of sounds, and he strikes the same (notes) now with his fingers, now with his ivory plectrum. Here (was) the ancient line of Teucer, the fairest breed of great-souled heroes, born in better years, both Ilus and Assaracus, and Dardanus, the founder of Troy. From afar he wonders at their armour and their chariots, empty of men. Their spears stand erect, fixed in the ground, and their untethered horses graze everywhere about the plain. The pleasure in their chariots and their arms which was (theirs while) living, (and) their concern (while living) to feed their sleek horses, the same follows (them now) laid to rest in the earth. Behold, he sees others to his right and to his left, feasting on the grass and singing a joyful paean in a choir amidst a fragrant grove of laurel, whence from above the full river Eridanus (i.e. the Po) rolls through the forest. Here (is) a band (of men) having suffered wounds in fighting for their native-land, and (those) who (were) priests, chaste while life remained, and (those) who (were) dutiful prophets, having spoken (words) worthy of Phoebus, or (those) who ennobled life through the crafts which they had invented (lit. having been invented), and (those) who made others mindful of themselves by their deserving. The temples of all (lit. to all) these are encircled with a snow-white ribbon. These, having been scattered around, the Sibyl addressed thus, Musaeus above all: for this very great crowd has him in its midst, and looks up at (him) towering above (them) with his tall shoulders: 'Tell (me), blessed souls, and you, the best bard: which region, which place holds Anchises? For the sake of him have we come, and sailed across the great rivers of Erebus'. And the hero (i.e. Musaeus) returned answer to her thus in a few words: 'To none (is there) a fixed dwelling; we live in these shady groves and the couches of banks and meadows fresh with (running) streams. But you, if the wish so leads (you) in your hearts, climb this ridge; and I shall set you on an easy path'. He spoke, and carried his step before (them), and he shows them the gleaming fields from above; thereafter they leave the highest summits.
Ll. 679-723. They find Anchises, meditating on the spirits of souls as yet unborn.
But father Anchises, meditating, was scanning with eagerness the souls penned deep in a green valley and destined to go to the upper light, and by chance he was counting the whole number of his own (descendants) and his dear grandsons, and their fates and fortunes of these men and their characters and their handiwork. And he, when he saw Aeneas advancing towards (him) across the grass, eagerly stretched out both the palms (of his hands), and tears streamed down his cheeks, and speech fell from his lips: 'Have you come at last, and has your devotion, awaited by your father, triumphed over the hard journey? Is it given (to me) to gaze on your face, my son, and to hear your familiar voice and to return it? Thus, for my part, I considered in my mind and thought (it) would be as I counted the passing days (lit. counting the times), nor did my concern deceive me. I welcome you, borne over what lands and what great seas! buffeted by what great perils, my son! How I feared, lest the kingdoms of Libya might harm you somewhat!' He (replies) however; '(It was) your sad ghost, father, yours, (which) coming before me often, drove (me) to come to these portals. The ships are afloat in the Tyrrhenian sea. Give (me) to join your right hand, give (it), father; and do not withdraw yourself from my embrace'. Thus speaking, at the same time he bedewed his face with copious weeping. There he tried three times to put his arms around his neck: three times the wraith, having been grasped in vain, escaped his hands, like to light winds and very similar to a fleeting (vision seen in a) dream.
Ll. 703-723. Aeneas learns that a great number of spirits who lived before him are awaiting rebirth.
Meanwhile, Aeneas sees in a secluded valley a sheltered grove and the rustling copses of a wood, and the river Lethe which glides past the peaceful houses. Around this innumerable peoples and races fluttered; and just as when bees in a meadow in cloudless summer settle on the many- coloured flowers, and flock around the white lilies; the whole field is loud with their buzzing. In his ignorance (lit. unaware), Aeneas shudders at the sudden sight and enquires the reasons, what are these rivers yonder, or which men filled up the banks in so great a number. Then, father Anchises (answers): 'These souls, to whom second bodies are owed by fate, drink, at the waves of the river Lethe, the waters that free from care, and (give) a long oblivion. For my part, I have long desired to speak of them to you and to show (them to you) face to face and to count this line of my (children), so you may rejoice with me the more at Italy having been discovered'. ' O father, is it necessary to think that some souls go aloft from here to the upper air, and return again to sluggish bodies? What so dread desire for the light (is there) to these wretched ones?' 'Indeed, I shall speak, nor shall I keep you uncertain, my son', replies Anchises, and he reveals (all) in order, one at a time.
Ll. 724-751. In these lines, Anchises provides us with a picture of the meaning and purpose of life, and of the life after death.
In the beginning, a spirit within them sustains the sky and the earth and the watery plains, and the globe of the moon and the star of Titan (i.e the sun) shine; and mind, coursing through their limbs, keeps the whole mass moving, and mingles itself with that great body. From this source (is) the race of men and of beasts and the lives of flying things and monsters which the sea breeds beneath its marble surface. There is to those seeds the strength of fire and a heavenly origin, (so far) as their harmful bodies do not hamper them and their earthly limbs and moribund flesh does not dull them. Hence, they (i.e. the souls) fear and they desire, they grieve and they rejoice, nor enclosed in the darkness and the blinding prison (of the body) do they discern the air. Nay, even when, with the last light, life has left (them), yet do not all the evil nor all the bodily plagues utterly leave the hapless (creatures), and it is inevitable that many (taints), long growing, should become deeply ingrained in wondrous ways. Thus, they are racked by punishments, and pay the penalties for their old misdeeds. Some are revealed (as) empty, having been hung out for the winds; for others the dyed-in guilt is washed out beneath a vast flood , or burned out by fire. We suffer, each his own ghost; thereafter, we are sent to broad Elysium, and a few of us hold these joyous fields, until, the circle of time having been completed, a distant day has removed the ingrown taint, and leaves unalloyed the etherial sense and the flame of the pure spirit. All these, when they have rolled the wheel (of time) for a thousand years, a god calls forth to the river Lethe in a great company: so that, without recollection of course, they may revisit the vaulted heights again and begin to be willing to return into bodies.'
Ll. 752-853. Anchises shows Aeneas the spirits of famous Romans yet to be born, and states that the genius of the Roman people will lie in the art of governmnent.
Anchises had spoken: he led both his son and, together with him, the Sibyl, into the middle of the assembly, and the noisy crowd: and he takes his stand upon a mound from where he could scan all facing (him) in a long line, and recognise the faces of (those) coming. 'Now come, I shall set forth in words what glory shall in the future attend the offspring of Dardanus, what descendants of Italian stock are awaiting (you), and renowned souls about to bear (lit. about to go into) our name', and I shall tell you your own destiny. That man, you see, who leans on a headless spear holds by lot the next place of life (lit. light), he first shall rise into the etherial air, having been mingled with Italian blood, Silvius, an Alban name, your postumous progeny; Lavinia, wife to you in your old age (lit. aged), shall rear him too late (for you to know) in the forests to be a king and a father of kings; that man next (to him) is Procas, glory of the Trojan race, and (then follow) Capys, and Numitor, and (he) who shall recall you in name, Silvius Aeneas, equally peerless (with you) in piety or in arms, if ever he receives Alba as his kingdom (lit. needing to be ruled over). What young men! Look, what great strength they display, and they bear temples shadowed with the civic oak (leaves)! These men (will build) for you Nomentum, and Gabii, and the city of Fidenae, these men will place the citadel of Collatia on the mountains, and Pometii, Castrum Inui, Bola , and Cora. These will be names in the future, (but) now they are places without a name. And, moreover, Romulus, the son of Mavors (i.e. Mars), whom his mother, Ilia, will bear of the blood of Assaracus, will add himself (as) a companion to his grandfather (i.e. Numitor). Do you see how the twin plumes stand upon his head, and his father, himself, already marks (him) for the world above (lit. as an upper one) with his own (badge of) honour? Behold, my son, under his auspices, that glorious Rome will equate her empire with the earth, her spirit with Olympus, shall, a single (city), surround for herself seven citadels with a wall, blessed in her breed of men: even as the Berecyntian mother (i.e. Cybele or the Magna Mater) rides turret-crowned, in her chariot through the Phrygian cities, rejoicing in her brood of gods, embracing a hundred descendants, all gods, all possessing the high heavens. Now turn your twin eyes this way, look at this family and your own Romans. Here (is) Caesar and all the progeny of Iulus, destined to pass under the great vault of heaven. Here (is) the man whom you often hear to be promised to you, Augustus Caesar, son of the God, who will again establish a golden age in Latium, over fields once ruled by Saturn; he will extend our empire beyond both the Garamantes and the Indians; this land lies outside the stars, outside the paths of the year of the sun, where heaven-bearing Atlas rotates on his shoulder the vault of heaven, studded with flaming stars. Even now the Caspian kingdoms and the Maeotic land are already quaking at the prophecies of the gods in fear of his coming, and the trembling mouths of the seven-fold Nile are in panic. Nor, indeed, did Alcides go into so many lands, although he transfixed the brazen-footed hind, or tamed the woods of Erymanthus: nor Liber (i.e. Bacchus), who triumphantly guides his chariot with reins of vine-tendrils, driving his tigers down from the lofty peak of Nysa. And do we still hesitate to give scope to our valour by our deeds? Or does fear prevent (us) from setting foot on Ausonian soil? But who (is) that in the distance distinguished by boughs of olive, (and) carrying sacred offerings? I recognise the hair and the grey beard of the Roman king (i.e. Numa Pompilius), who will establish the new city on laws, summoned from little Cures and its barren soil to great empire. Thereafter, Tullus will follow him, (he) who will shatter the repose of his native-land and will stir inactive men into arms, and armies then unaccustomed to triumphs. The too boastful Ancus follows close to him, even now already rejoicing too much in popular favour (lit. breezes). Do you wish also to see the Tarquinian kings and the proud spirit of the avenger Brutus and the the fasces (i.e the rods of office) which he recovered (lit. having been recovered)? He will first receive the power of a consul and the cruel axes, and (he) their father, - unhappy man! - for the sake of glorious liberty, will call his sons to punishment when they stir up new wars (lit. stirring up new wars). However posterity shall report these actions: love of country and a limitless passion for praises will prevail (in his case). Moreover, look at the Decii and the Drusi over there, and Torquatus, savage with his axe, and Camillus, carrying back the standards. And those souls, whom you see shining in matching armour, in concord now and while they are imprisoned in night, but, alas, what great war between themselves, what great battle-lines and carnage will they arouse, if ever they attain the light of life, the father-in-law (i.e. Caesar) descending from his Alpine ramparts and the citadel of Monoecus (i.e Monaco), the son-in-law (i.e. Pompey) having drawn up the Eastern armies against (him)! Do not, my sons, do not accustom such great wars to your minds, nor turn your mighty strength against the vital organs of your native-land. And you who traces his descent from Olympus (i.e. Caesar), you be the first to show clemency; fling down the weapons from your hand, (you of) my own blood! That man over there, famous for Achaeans (i.e. Greeks) having been slain (i.e. Mummius), will, Corinth having been triumphed over, drive his chariot victoriously to the heights of the Capitol. That man (i.e. Aemilius Paullus) will overthrow Argos and the Mycenae of Agamemnon, and a descendant of Aeacus, himself (i.e. King Perseus), a scion of Achilles, mighty in arms, avenging his ancestors of Troy and the violated temple of Minerva. Who would leave you unremarked, great Cato, or you, Cossus? Who the family of Gracchus, or the two sons of the Scipiones, the two thunderbolts of war, the bane of Libya, and Fabricius, powerful with little, or you Serranus, sowing in your furrow? Whither, Fabii, are you hurrying (me) weary? You over there are Maximus, the one man who restores the state to us by delaying. Others will beat out breathing bronze more smoothly, (I do indeed believe this), will draw living likenesses from marble, will plead cases better, and will describe with their rod the movements of the sky, and will tell of the stars rising: you, Roman, remember to rule with authority the peoples (of the earth), - these will be your skills, - to impose the tradition of peace, to spare the subjected, and to crush the proud in war.'
Ll. 854-901. Last to be introduced among the pageant of famous Romans is Marcellus, a youth of great promise who will die young. Having fired Aeneas with enthusiasm for the greatness of his destiny and that of his descendants, Anchises guides him and the Sibyl back to the world above.
Thus spoke father Anchises and he added this (to them) wondering: 'Look, how Marcellus advances, marked out with the best spoils, and (as) the victor he towers over all (others)! He shall uphold the Roman state, a great uprising shaking (it), he shall, (as) a horseman, lay low the Carthaginians and the rebellious Gaul, and for the armour third time he shall offer up captured arms to father Quirinus'. But, at this point, Aeneas, for he saw that there went along (with him) a young man, peerless in appearance and in shining armour, but his brow (was) too little joyful, and his eyes (were) with a downcast look, (asked): 'Who, father, is that who thus accompanies the hero as he goes (lit. going)? (Is it) his son, or (is it) someone from the great line of his descendants? What a stir (there is) roundabout his companions! How great a presence (is in the youth) himself! But black night hovers around his head with a sad shadow'. Then, father Anchises, his tears welling up, began (to speak): 'O my son, do not ask me of a very great grief of your people. The fates will only show him to the earth, nor will they allow (him) to live further: (O) powers above, the Roman stock would have seemed much too powerful to you, if this your gift had been their own. What bitter lamentations of men that Field of Mars will waft towards the great city! Or what a funeral cortege, will you see, Tiberinus, when you glide by the fresh tomb! Nor will any boy of Ilium uplift his Latin ancestors to so much in hope; nor will the land of Romulus ever vaunt itself so much in any of her children. Alas his piety, alas his old-fashioned faith, and his right hand unconquered in war! Not anyone would have carried himself unscathed meeting him armed, whether he was going against his enemy (as) a foot-soldier, or he was pricking the foaming flanks of his horse with spurs. O pitiable boy, if only you could break the harsh fates by any (means)! You will be Marcellus. Grant that I may scatter lilies, bright flowers, from full hands, and at least I may crown the spirit of my descendant with these gifts and I may perform this vain service'. Thus they wandered everywhere within the whole region in the broad fields of mist, and they surveyed everything. After Anchises led his son through them one by one, and fired his mind with the love of the coming glory, he then recounts to the hero the wars which must then be waged, and tells (him) of the Laurentian people and the city of Latinus, and by what means he may escape or endure each tribulation. There are twin gates of sleep , of which one is said (to be) of horn, by which easy exit is given to true spirits, (and) the other is wrought in shining ivory, but (through it) the shades send false visions up to the sky. These things having been said there, Anchises then escorts his son and, with (him) the Sibyl, and sends (them) forth through the gate of ivory: he traces his way to his ships, and revisits his companions; then he carries himself straight along the coast to the port of Caieta (i.e. Gaeta). The anchor is cast from the prow; ships (lit. sterns) fringe (lit. stand on) the shore.