Aeneid Summaries
(compiled by William Johnson*)

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*Click here for a link to the Aeneid study guide from Professor Johnson's Epic class.


Capsule Summary


[Note: line numbers from the original Latin text, not as in the translation]

Aeneid 1

1-33 Vergil's statement of the theme of the poem is followed by the invocation to the Muse and by the mention of Carthage, Juno's beloved city. In her fear for Carthage and her hatred of the Trojans she has for long years kept the Trojans away from their promised home in Latium. So great a task it was to found the Roman race.

34-80 As the Trojans are sailing from Sicily on the last stage of their voyage to Italy Juno intervenes to stop them. She goes to Aeolus, king of the winds, and urges him to stir up a storm and wreck the Trojans. He agrees to do so.

81-123 Aeolus causes the storm to begin; Aeneas is panic-stricken, and prays for death. The ships are buffeted, and that of Orontes sinks.

124-156 Neptune intervenes, angrily rebukes the winds, and calms the storm.

157-222 The Trojans land in Africa after the storm. Aeneas reconnoitres, and shoots seven stags. He heartens his men and they feast, saddened by the apparent loss of thirteen of their twenty ships.

223-96 Venus compalins to Jupiter that the promise of Aeneas' destiny is not being fulfilled. He replies that it will be fulfilled, and outlines the glory awaiting the Roman people and their mission to civilize the world.

297-304 Jupiter sends Mercury to tell Dido to receive the Trojans hospitably.

305-417 Aeneas meets his mother Venus, disguised as a huntress. She tells him the history of Dido and Carthage, and when she asks him for his story, he complains bitterly of his ill fortune. She replies that his companions will return safely, and disappears after hiding him and Achates in a cloud.

418-493 Aeneas and Achates marvel at the size and activity of the newly established town of Carthage. They come to the temple of Juno, where they see on the walls pictures of events in the Trojan war; Aeneas is heartened by this, and studies them one after the other, reminding himself of the triumphs and disasters of the war.

494-656 Dido comes to the temple, and while she is attending to the city's affairs, Aeneas' lost companions approach. Ilioneus on their behalf asks for help, which she readily grants. Aeneas then comes forth from the cloud and gratefully expresses his thanks. She is amazed to find that so famous a hero has come to her kingdom, and proclaims sacrifices and a feast. Aeneas for his part sends Achates to bring presents.

657-94 Venus intervenes by instructing Cupid to disguise himself as Ascanius and make Dido fall in love with A. She spirits Ascanius away.

695-756 Cupid disguised as Ascanius arrives, and the banquet begins. Dido is captivated by his charm. After a song by the minstrel, she asks A. to tell the story of his 7-years' wanderings.


Aeneid 2

1-56 Aeneas begins his story, and tells of the discovery of the wooden horse on the beach and of the different opinions among the Trojans about the best thing to do. Laocoon vehemently urges its destruction.

57-199 A group of Trojan shepherds bring in the Greek Sinon, who has allowed himself to be captured in order to persuade the Trojans to take the wooden horse into the city. He tells his story of deceit, pretending that he was about to be put to death by the Greeks, but made his escape is now thowing himself on the Trojans' mercy. The Trojans pity him and release his fetters; Sinon completes his story, telling them that the horse is a religious offering in atonement for the stolen Palladium, and that if they take it into Troy the defeat of the Greeks is certain.

199-249 At this point a terrible portent occurs: twin serpents from the sea seize Laocoon and his two sons and kills them. The Trojans regard this as a final indicaiton that the horse must not be harmed, and amidst scenes of rejoicing they take it inside Troy.

250-67 Night falls; the Trojans sleep. The Greek fleet leaves Tenedos, and Sinon receiving a fire signal from them opens the horse. The Greeks hidden in it come out, kill the Trojan sentries, and open the gates of Troy to their companions.

268-97 The ghost of Hector appears to Aeneas, and tells him that he must escape from Troy, taking with him Troy's sacred emblems and the Penates (household gods).

298-317 Aeneas awakes, climbs to the roof of his father's house, sees the scenes of destruction all around him and wildly prepares to rush to the battle.

318-69 Panthus, priest of Apollo, arrives at Anchises' house and tells him that the city is lost. With a few companions Aeneas goes into battle.

370-401 The Greek Androgeos mistakes the Trojans for Greeks; he and his followers are killed and the Trojans disguise themselves in Greek armor.

402-52 Coroebus sees Cassandra being dragged away into captivity and tries to save her; in the fighting which follows many of A's companions are killed. A. with 2 friends finds himself near Priam's palace which is on the point of capture.

453-505 A. gets on to the roof of Priam's palace by means of a back entrance, and joins in dislodging a tower on to the besiegers. But they still come on, and Pyrrhus breaches the gates; the Greeks pour into the palace and massacre the Trojans.

506-558 A. tells the story of the death of Priam. Priam dons armor; Hecuba intervenes. A son, Polites, is pursued by Pyrrhus to the altar, where he is slain before his father's eyes. Priam denounces the act, to which Pyrrhus replies with a sword thrust, and the old king of Troy lies dead.

567-87 A. catches sight of Helen hiding at the temple of Vesta; fury blazes up in him and he thinks of avenging his burning city by killing her.

588-623 Venus appears to A. and rebukes him, telling him to think instead of the safety of his family. She reveals to him the giant shapes of gods and goddesses working the destruction of Troy.

624-633 A. now realizes that Troy's hour of destruction has come. He makes his way home.

634-670 A. reaches home, but Anchises refuses to leave, A. in despair prepares to court death again by rushing out against the Greeks.

671-729 As Creusa begs A. not to leave them, a tongue of fire suddenly plays around Iulus' head. Anchises asks for confirmation of the omen, and following thunder on the left a shooting star is seen. Anchises now declares himself ready to leave and A. sets forth carrying his father on his shoulders and leading his little son by the hand; Creusa follows behind.

730-95 Just as they are reaching safety the noise of the enemy is heard, and in the confusion Creusa is lost. A. retraces his steps, wildly shouting his wife's name; then there appears to him a supernatural phantom of her, and she bids him depart on his destined journey, leaving her in the care of the goddess Cybele.

796-804 A. returns to the rest of his family and finds their number augmented by other refugees. The morning star rises and as dawn breaks A. sets off for the mountains.


Aeneid 3

1-12 After the destruction of Troy, Aeneas and his companions build a fleet, and at the beginning of the summer set sail for unknown lands.

13-18 Aeneas sails to Thrace, and begins to build a city.

19-68 As Aeneas tears up some myrtle and cornet shoots in order to wreathe the altars, drops of blood come from the broken stems. Then a cry is heard from beneath the earth, and the voice of Polydorus tells Aeneas that the shoots have grown from the spears which transfixed him when he was murdered after being sent to Thrace. Aeneas calls a council, and the Tojans decide to leave; funeral rites for Polydorus are prepared.

69-83 The Trojans sail to Delos, the sacred island of Apollo, and are hospitably received by Anius.

84-120 At Delos Aeneas prays to Apollo for guidance, and recieves an oracular response bidding the Trojans to seek out their Ôancient mother'. Anchises interprets this as the island of Crete, and they prepare to set out.

121-34 The Trojans sail from Delos to Crete, where they land and begin to build a town called Pergamum.

135-91 As the Trojans busy themselves with bulding their new home in Crete, a pestilence suddenly attacks them. Anchises suggests that they should return to Delos to consult the oracle again, but a vision of the Penates appears to Aeneas at night, telling him that it is in Hesperia, now called Italia, that he is to found his destined city. Anchises recognises his error in interpreting the oracle of Apollo, and the Trojans leave Crete.

192-208 The Trojans endure a great storm at sea for three days and nights, and on the fourth day reach the Strophades.

209-77 The Trojans land on the Strophades, kill some cattle for a meal, and are at once attacked by the Harpies, half-woman monsters who pollute their food. Aeneas and his men drive them off, and Celaeno, oldest of the Harpies, in a hostile prophecy proclaims that the Trojans will not found their city until hunger has made them eat their tables. They set said and after passing Ithaca land at Leucate.

278-93 The Trojans make offerings and celebrate games at Actium; Aeneas dedicates a shield to Apollo, and they said on again to Buthrotum.

294-355 At Buthrotum the Trojans hear that Helenus, son of Priam, is ruling over part of Pyrrhus' kingdom and is married to Andromache. Aeneas meets Andromache as she is making offerings at the empty tomb of Hector. She tells the story of her misfortunes sice the fall of Troy, and Helenus approaches and welcomes the Trojans hospitably.

356-73 Aeneas consults Helenus about his voyage and Celaeno's threat. Helenus takes him to the temple and begins his prophecy.

374-462 Helenus makes his prophecy, telling the Trojans that they still have far to go; they will know that they have reached the site of their city by the sign of the white sow. There is no need to fear Celaeno's threat. They must beware of the estern coast of Italy, and after sacrificing in the prescribed manner must sail on round Sicily, thus avoiding Scylla and Charybdis. Above all they must make constant prayer and sacrifice to Juno. They must then land at Cumae to consult the Sibyl; she will tell them of the wars to be fought in Italy.

463-505 Helenus bestows presents upon the Trojans, and gives his last instructions. Andromache adds her gifts to Ascanius in memory of Astyanax. Aeneas bids them farewell and promises eternal friendship between their two cities.

506-47 After leaving Buthrotum the Trojans sail to Acroceraunia. Here they spend the night; they set off early next day and sight Italy. They land at Castrum Minervae, and Anchises interprets the sight of four white horses as an omen both of peace and of war. They make offerings to Juno and re-embark.

548-87 The Trojans sail across the bay of Tarentum, escape Scylla and Charybdis, and approach the Sicilian coast near Mt. Etna. They pass a night of fear in the shadow of the volcano.

588-654 The Trojans meet an emaciated castaway, who appeals to them for help. He tells them that he is Achaemenides, left behind on the island by Ulysses after his encounter with the Cyclops Polyphemus.

655-91 The blinded Polyphemus and his fellow Cyclops appear. Taking Achaemenides with them the Trojans set said with all speed, and as the wind is from the north they succeed in avoiding Scylla and Charybdis and they sail southwards along the coast of Sicily.

692-718 The Trojans continue to sail around Sicily, finally reaching Drepanum where Anchises dies. From there, Aeneas tells Dido, they were driven by a storm to Carthage; and so he ends the tale of his wanderings.


Aeneid 4

1-55 Dido is consumed with love for Aeneas, and tells her sister Anna that had she not firmly resolved after Sychaeus' death not to marry again she might have yielded. Anna in reply enumerated the advantages of marriage with Aeneas, and Dido is persuaded.

56-89 Dido makes sacrifices to win the gods' favour. In her frenzied state she is like a deer shot by a hunter's arrow; she cannot ever forget her love, and the building of her city is neglected.

90-128 In Olympus the goddesses Juno and Venus converse about the mortal scene. Juno, hoping to prevent the establishment of the Trojan race in Italy proposes an alliance between the Trojans and the Carthaginians. Venus agrees if Jupiter can be persuaded (as she knows he cannot), and Juno plans that Dido and Aeneas shall seek shelter from a storm in the same cave, and that here she will join them in marriage.

129-172 Dido and her Carthaginians, accompanied by Aeneas and the Trojans, ride out for the hunt. In the midst of the joyful scene Juno sends a storm, and Dido and Aeneas shelter in the same cave. The powers of Nature seem to perform the ritual of a wedding ceremony, and Dido now considers herself to be married to Aeneas.

173-218 The terrifying figure of Rumour is described; she spreads abroad in malicious terms the story of the love of Dido and Aeneas. Finally she goes to King Iarbas, Dido's suitor; angered beyond measure he asks Jupiter if he is aware of so disgraceful a situation, or whether his worshop is vain.

219-237 Jupiter tells Mercury to convey the message to Aeneas, reminding him of his destiny, and ordering him to sail away from Carthage.

238-278 Mercury puts on his winged sandals, takes his wand, and flies down to earth, alighting first on Mt. Atlas. When he reaches Carthage he finds Aeneas busy with the enlargement of Carthage, and angrily delivers Jupiter's message, telling him to think of his destiny and that of Ascanius in Italy. The message delivered, Mercury disappears into thin air.

279-95 Aeneas is aghast and immediately decides to leave. He is now faced with the bitter prospect of trying to explain to Dido as best he can why he must leave the land and the woman he loves.

296-330 Dido senses that Aeneas is perparing to leave; she becomes distraught like a Bacchanal, and then appeals to him in a speech of despair, reproach, and intense pathos.

331-61 Aeneas because of Jupiter's commands keeps his love hidden and replies coldly and formally. He ends by telling Dido of Mercury's appearance to him with instructions from heaven; he is therefore leaveing her for Italy not of his own free will.

362-92 Dido in reply assails her lover with angry hatred and scorn; she rejects his arguments utterly and calls down curses upon him. Finally she prays for vengeance and the knowledge of vengeance.

393-415 Aeneas, in spite of his longing to comfort Dido, returns to the fleet. The Trojans make their preparations for departure. Dido in her misery determines to make one further appeal through her sister Anna.

416-49 Dido begs Anna to make a futher appeal to Aeneas, asking him to wait for favourable weather before he departs; she asks just for the time to accustom herself to her sorrow. But Aeneas is resolute, like and oak tree buffeted by the gales but not overthrown.

450-73 Dido now resolves on death, and in confirmed in her resolution by terrible portents and the memory of ancient prophecies. She has nightmare dreams of Aeneas prusuing her, and of her utter desolation; she is like Pentheus or Orestes hounded by the Furies.

474-503 Dido takes the decision to commit suicide, and deceives Anna into assisting her plans by pretending that she has found magic means of freeing herself from her love. A pyre is to be built burn the relics of Aeneas. Anna, not suspecting the real purpose of the pyre, performs Dido's orders.

522-52 Night falls and all the earth and its creatures enjoy sleep. But not Dido - her anguish keeps her awake and she turns over in her distracted mind all possibilities. Shall she go to the African suitors she has scorned? Or accompany the Trojans, alone or with an escort? Impossible: better to die; this is the proper atonement for her broken pledge to Sychaeus.

533-83 As Aeneas sleeps Mercury comes to him again in a vision, urging him to leave immediately for fear of attack. Aeneas immediately awakens his men, and the Trojans depart in hot haste.

584-629 From her palace Dido sees the Trojans sailing away, and bursts into a soliloquy filled with anger, self-reproach, and longing for vengeance. She calls on the sun, the gods and the furies to avenge her, first on Aeneas personally and then on all his descendants.

630-62 Dido sends Barce to fetch Anna for the pretended magic rites, and meanwhile climbs the pyre and prepares to kill herself. In her last words, she speaks of her life's achievements and once more prays for vengeance on Aeneas.

693-705 Because Dido's death was neither fated nor deserved Proserpina had not cut a lock of her hair to release her soul. Juno therefore sends Iris to perform the rite, and Dido's life departs into the winds.


Aeneid 5

1-7 As the Trojans sail away from Carthage, they look back and see a blaze in the city; although they do not know that it comes from Dido's pyre, they feel presentiments of disaster.

8-41 When they reach the open sea, a violent storm comes upon them and Palinurus the helmsman tells Aeneas that it is impossible to hole their course for Italy, and suggests that they should run with the wind to Sicily. Aeneas agrees, and they land near the tomb of Anchises, and are welcomed by Acestes.

42-71 On the next day Aeneas summons an assembly and reminds the Trojans that it is the anniversary of the death of his father Anchises. He proclaims a solemn sacrifice at the tomb, which is to be followed on the ninth day by contest in rowing, running, boxing and archery.

72-103 The Trojans proceed to the tomb of Anchises, where Aeneas offers libations and addresses his father's shade. Suddenly a huge snake comes forth from the tomb, tastes the offerings, and then disappears. Aeneas recognises that this indicates the presence of Anchises' ghost at the ceremony, and the sacrifice is renewed, and followed by a ritual feast.

104-113 The day of the games comes round, and the people assemble; the prizes are displayed, and the trumpet sounds for the beginning of the contests.

114-50 Four competitors enter for the ship-race, Mnestheus in the Pristis, Gyas in the Chimaera, Sergestus in the Centaurus, and Cloanthus in the Scylla. The course is out to sea, round a rock and home again. The competitors draw lots for postion; the starting signal is given, and the ships get under way amidst applause.

151-82 Gyas gets the lead, followed by Cloanthus, with Mnestheus and Sergestus contending for third position. As tehy draw near the turningpoint, Gyas urges he helmsman Menoetes to steer closer in; but in fear of fouling the rock he fails to do so, and Cloanthus' ship slips past on the inside. In a fury of anger Gyas throws Menoetes overboard; eventually he manages to clamber out on the rock, while all the spectators are amused at the incident.

183-226 Mnestheus and Sergestus now have new hope of passing Gyas. Sergestus slightly ahead and Mnestheus urges his men to put forward all their efforts to avoid the disgrace of coming in last. Sergestus goes in too near the turning-point and runs aground, breaking his oars on one side. Mnesthus leaves him behind and soon overtakes Gyas too; then he set out after Cloanthus.

227-43 Mnestheus' final spurt to catch Cloanthus would perhaps have succeeded had not Cloanthus prayed to the gods of the sea. His prayers are heard, and he reaches harbour, the winner of the race.

244-85 Aeneas distributes prizes to the crews of the three ships and their captains. When this is completed, Sergestus finally manages to bring home his disabled ship, moving slowly like a maimed snake; he duly receives his fourth prize.

286-314 Aeneas now leads the assembled company away from the shore to a grassy plain surrounded by hills, suitable for the remaining contests. He invites competitors for the foot-race, and many Trojans and Sicilians enter for it. He promises gifts for all the runners, and announces the prizes which will be awarded to the first three.

315-39 Nisus get well ahead in the foot-race, but as he nears the finish he slips in a pool of blood. While lying on the ground he trips up Salius who was second, so that his friend Euryalus comes up from third place to win.

340-61 An objection in now raised by Salius. Aeneas over-rules it, but he presents Salius with a consolation prize; Nisus too is given a special prize.

362-86 Aeneas now announces a boxing competition. Dares comes forward, but nobody is prepared to fight him. He claims the prize.

387-423 Acestes now urges Entellus, who was trained by Eryx, to oppose Dares. He protests that he is now past the prime of his youth, but none the less accepts the challenge and hurls into the ring a pair of huge gauntlets with which Eryx once faught Hercules. The spectators are all shocked and amazed; Entellus makes a taunting speech, but agrees to fight with matched gauntlets.

424-60 Aeneas brings out matching pairs of gauntlets, and the fight begins. After preliminary sparring Entellus aims a mighty blow which misses and causes him to fall flat on the ground. He is assisted to his feet, and in fury renews the fight, driving Dared all around the arena.

461-84 Aeneas intervenes and stops the fight. Dares is carried away by his friends back to the ships, and Entellus receives the ox as his prize. With a single blow he kills it in a sacrifice to Eryx, and announces his final retirement from boxing.

485-518 Aeneas proclaims an archery contest, the target being a dove secured to a mast. Hippocoon hits the mast; Mnesteus' arrow cots the cord; Eurytion then shoots down the bird as it flies away.

519-44 Acestes, left with no target to aim at, shoots his arrow high into the air. It catches fire, and then disappears like a shooting star. Aeneas recognises this as a good omen and awards Acestes first prize.

545-603 The final event is the equestrian display by the Trojan boys. They process in three companies, young Priam the leading one, Atys another, and Iulus the third, and they give a brilliant display of intricate manoeuvres and mock battle. This is the ceremony which Iulus introduces Alba Longa, and it was handed on to Rome and called the lusus Troiae.

604-63 While the games are being celebrated, Juno sends Iris down from heaven in order to incite the Trojan women to burn their ships. They are gathered on the shore weeping over Anchises' death and their endless wanderings; Iris takes on the appearance of Beroe and urges them to set fire to the ships so that they cannot wanter any more. Pyrgo tells them that this is not Beroe, but a goddess; Iris reveals her divinity and driven on now by frenzy they set the ships ablaze.

664-99 The news reachs the Trojans. Ascanius immediately rides off and brings the women to the realization of their crime. But the Trojans cannot but out the flames, and Aeneas prays to Jupiter either to send help or to bring final destruction upon them. Jupiter hears his prayer; the flames are quenched by a thunderstorm, and all the ships are saved except for four.

700-45 Aeneas in dispair wonders whether to abandon his fated mission altogether. Nautes advises him to leave behind some of his company in Sicily, and takes the rest onwards to Italy. As Aeneas is pondering this advice there appears to him in the night a vision of his father Anchises, who tells him to accept Nautes' advice; but before establishing his city he is to visit the underworld to meet his father and hear his destiny.

746-78 Aeneas follows out the new plan, and a city is founded under Acestes' rule for those staying behind; a temple is dedicated to Venus at Eryx, and Anchises' tomb has a priest and a sanctuary appointed for it. After nine days of celebration in honour of the new city the Trojans say their farewells to those staying behind; sacrifices are made, and they sail for Italy.

779-826 Meanwhile Venus complains to Neptune of Juno's hostility to the Trojans, and asks for his promise that the Trojans will safely cross the sea to Italy. Neptune gives his promise, but says that one life must be lost so that the others shall be safe. The seas are calmed as Neptune rides over them, attended by his retinue.

827-71 The Trojans proceed on their voyage, Palinurus leading. During the night the god Sleep comed to Palinurus, disguised as Phorbas, and urges him to rest from his vigil. Palinurus refuses, and Sleep casts him into the sea. When the loss of the helmsman is discovered; Aeneas takes over the control of the ship and in deep sorrow speaks his farewell to Palinurus.


Aeneid 6

1-41 The Trojans arrive in Italy at Cumae; Aeneas goes to consult the Sibyl at Apollo's temple. He gazes in admiration at the pictures on the temple doors, and is called into the temple by the Sibyl.

42-76 The Sibyl in her cave goes into a prophetic trance and calls on Aeneas to make his prayer to Apollo. He does do, asking to be allowed to enter into the kingdom granted to him by fare, and promising a temple and a festival to the god and a special shrine for the Sibyl.

77-97 The Sibyl gives her prophetic reply, indicating the trials which still await Aeneas, but urging him to continue on in spite of all.

98-155 Aeneas in reply says that he is aware of the magnitude of his task; he asks to be allowed to visit his father in the underworld. The Sibyl describes the formidable nature of the journey, and states the two prerequisites: the acquisition of the golden bough and the expiation of pollution incurred by the death of one of Aeneas' companions.

156-82 Aeneas finds that the dead body referred to is that of Misenus, killed when he foolishly challenged Triton to a contest on the trumpet. He sets about organising funeral rites for Misenus.

186-211 Aeneas is guided to the golden bough by two doves; he picks it and takes it to the Sibyl.

212-35 The funeral rite for Misenus are performed.

236-63 The preparatory sacrifices are made, and Aeneas and the Sibyl enter the underworld together.

264-94 The poet invokes the gods of the underworld to permit him to tell of the journey. At the entrance Aeneas and the Sibyl are confronted by various horrible shapes of personified forms of suffering, and a host of monstrous and unnatural creatures of mythology.

295-336 At the river Styx waits the ferryman Charon, a figure of horrid squalor. The shades flock to the river, and Charon ferries across those who have been buried, leaving the others to wait for a hundred years.

337-83 Aeneas meets the ghost of his helmsman Palinurus and hears the story of his death. Palinurus begs for burial, or to be taken across the Styx although unburied, but the Sibyl replies that this is impossible. She consoles him by telling him that the cape where he died will bear his name for ever.

384-416 Aeneas and the Sibyl are challenged by Charon; the Sibyl shows the golden bough and Charon ferries them across the Styx to the further shore.

417-25 Cerberus guards the far bank of the Styx; the Sibyl throws a sop to him, and together with Aeneas enters the region of the untimely dead.

426-93 The Sibyl and Aeneas now reack Limbo, the region of the untimely dead. Here are the souls of infants, the unjustly condemned, suicides and those who died from unhappy love. Here they meet the shade of Dido; Aeneas speaks to her in tones of deep affetion and remorse , but she turns from him without a word.

494-547 Aeneas meets the ghost of his comrade-in- arms, Deiphobus, still bearign the marks of the cruel wounds inflicted upon him. In grief and remorse Aeneas asks what happened, explaining that he was not able to find Deiphobus' body for burial. Deiphobus replies that Helen, his wife, had betrayed him to the vengeance of Menelaus and Odysseus; in his turn he asks Aeneas for his story. The Sibyl interrupts to hasten Aeneas in and Deiphobus retires to his place among the shades, wishing Aeneas better fortune for his future.

548-627 Next they see Tartarus, the place of the worst sinners, guarded by the Fury Tisiphoce. The Sibyl tells Aeneas that he may not enter; she describes to him the sinners and their punishments.

628-36 Aeneas and the Sibyl turn away from Tartarus and enter Elysium.

637-78 The Sibyl and Aeneas reach the Groves of the Blessed in Elysium, where idyllic scenes meet their eyes. They are directed to Anchises.

679-702 Aeneas meets Anchises, who is surveying the unborn ghosts of his Roman descendants. Father and son welcome each other.

703-51 Aeneas sees a great concourse of ghosts at the river Lethe, and asks Anchises what this means. Anchises explains that they are waiting for rebirth, and gives an account of the soul's relationship with the body, and what happens to it after death.

752-853 Anchises points out to Aeneas the famous Romans who are waiting their turn to be born; the Alban kings, Romulus, Augustus, the Roman kings and many heroes of the Roman Republic.

854-92 Anchises now mentions one more Roman hero, Marcellus, famed in the Second Punic War. Aeneas enquires about a sad figure accompanying him, and is told that this is the young Marcellus, destined to an early death.

893-901 There are two gates of Sleep leading out of the underworld, one of horn for true shades, and the other of ivory. Aeneas and the Sibyl leave by the ivory gate, and Aeneas rejoins his fleet and sails north to Caieta.


Aeneid 7

1-4 Death of Aeneas' nurse, Caieta.

5-24 The Trojans sail past the island of Circe.

25-36 The Trojans reach the mouth of the Tiber.

37-45 Invocation to the Muse.

45-106 Latinus' daughter Lavinia was betrothed to Turnus, but portents confirmed by the oracle of Faunus indicate that she is destined to marry a foreigner.

107-47 The Trojans land and at a banquet consume also the platters of bread on which the food is set out. Iulus exlacims "We are eating our tables," and A. recognizes the fulfilment of the oracle, and accepts that they have arrived at their destined home. He makes appropriate sacrifices and Jupiter thunders in confirmation of the omen.

148-69 The Torjans send an embassy to King Latinus.

170-91 Description of the palace in which King Latinus receives the Trojans.

192-248 Latinus welcomes the Trojans, asking them the reason for their arrival. Ilioneus answers that fate has brought them to Italy, and offers gifts.

249-85 Latinus realizes that A. is the stranger destined by the portents to become the husband of Lavinia, and after a joyful speech accepting the Trojan requests and offering them allicance, he sens princely gifts.

286-322 Juno observes the Trojans landing, and breaks out into an angry speech, culminating in her decision to arouse the powers of Hell on her side and exact a toll of bloodshed before the fated alliance takes place.

323-405 Juno summons up Allecto to sow the seeds of war. The fiend hurls one of her snakes at Queen Amata. Amata, after appealing in vain to Latinus not to give his daughter in marriage to Aeneas, becomes frenzied, and pretending to be filled by Bacchic inspiration she causes the women of the city to follow her.

406-74 Allecto next goes to Turnus, and changing herself into the shape of an aged priestess, Calybe, urges Turnus to fight for his rights against the Trojans.. He replies confidently and contemptuously that he is fully aware of what to do and needs no advice from old women. At this Allecto hurls twin snakes at him and rouses him to a mad desire for war.

475-510 Allecto causes the war to begin by inciting the hunting hounds of Iulus to chase the pet stag of Silvia, sister of the chief herdsman of King Latinus' flocks. Iulus himself, unaware that it is a pet, shoots it. The Latin herdsmen gather in anger for revenge.

511-71 Allecto now sounds the trumpet note for war, and Almo, Galaesus and many others are killed. Allecto reports to Juno that her mission is completed; Junto contemptuously orders her back to the underworld.

572-640 The Latin shepherds, Turnus, and the families of the women made frenzied by Amata beseech their king to declare war; he attempts to stand firm, but when he finds he cannot he withdraws from command and shuts himself in his palace. He refuses to open the Gates of War and Juno does so in his stead. The Latins arm themselves and prepare for battle.

641-646 Invocation to the Muse.

647-782. The Italian Catalogue: Mezentius, with his son Lausus, if first in the list, followed by many other heroes from Italy.

783-802 The Italian Catalogue: Turnus, magnificently arrayed, comes in command of the Rutulians.

803-17 Last of all comes Camilla, the warrior princess of the Volsci.


Aeneid 8

1-101 Turnus gives the signal for war; the Latins prepare, and an embassy asking for help is sent to Diomedes. Aeneas is troubled at the turn of events, but a vision of the River-God Tiberinus appears to him, assuring him that he has reached his goal, and urging him to seek help from Evander. He sees the omen of the white sow and rowing peacefully up the Tiber reaches Pallanteum, Evander's little settlement on the future site of Rome.

102-83 The Arcadians are celebrating a festival for Hercules when they see Aeneas and his men approaching along the river. Pallas challenges them, and Aeneas replies that they are Trojans. They are welcomed, and Aeneas tells Evander that in the name of their common ancestry he asks for help against Turnus. Evander remembers meeting Anchises and promises help; they feast together.

184-279 Evander tells the story of how the monster Cacus used to terrify the neighborhood from his cave on the Aventine. One day when Hercules was returning from one of his labors in Spain with the cattle of Geryon, Cacus stole some of them and hid them in his cave. Hercules discovered them, and after a mighty battle with the fire-breathing monster killed him and delivered the people from their fear. Since then Hercules has been honored on his annual festival at the Ara Maxima.

280-369 The celebrations in Hercules' honor are continued, and a hymn of praise is sung. Evander next tells Aeneas of the early history of Latium, and the golden age under Saturn, and takes him on a tour of his little city, showing him places destined to be famous in Roman history.

370-453 Venus asks her husband Vulcan to make new armor for her son; he is easily persuaded by her rhetoric and her charms. Within his workshop beneath the earth the Cyclops set to the task.

454-607 Aeneas and Evander meet again the next morning. Evander tells Aeneas about the tyrannical deeds of Mezentius which led to his exile from Caere and his alliance with Turnus in war against the Etruscans. An oracle required a foreign leader for the Etruscans in this war, and Evander asks Aeneas to undertake this with the assistance of his son Pallas. A sign from heaven is given, and Aeneas agrees to do so; arrangements are made for him to set out to meet Tarchon with his Etruscan forces. Evander says goodbye to Pallas, beseeching the gods for his safety; in a splendid array they set off and join Tarchon.

608-731 Venus brings to Aeneas the armor which Vulcan has made. The pictures on the shield are described, scenes from early Roman history around the outside, and in the center the battle of Actium and Augustus' triumph over the forces of the East. Aeneas takes up on his shoulder the pictured destiny of his people.


Aeneid 9

1-76 Juno sends Iris to Turnus, in order to tell him that Aeneas is away and that the moment for attack has arrived. Turnus accepts the divine call to arms. The Trojans, in accordance with Aeneas' instructions, stay within their camp, and Turnus, wild for blood like a wolf at a sheep-fold, prepares to set fire to the Trojan fleet.

77-122 The Trojan ships, which had been made from the sacred pine trees of the goddess Cybele, are saved from burning by being transformed into nymphs.

123-175 The Rutulians are shaken by this, but Turnus rallies them with a confident speech, saying that this portent is directed against the Trojans who cannot now escape. They will find the Rutulians more formidable enemies than the Greeks. He urges his men to get ready for battle; they place sentries, and the Trojans for their part prepare defences.

176-313 Nisus and Euryalus plan to break out through the enemy lines in order to reach Aeneas. They seek an audience with the Trojan leaders, and present their plan. Aletes and Ascanius accept it with great gratitude and admiration, offering lavish rewards. Euryalus asks that in the event of his death his aged mother should be cared for; Ascanius promises that this shall be so. The two warriors arm for their exploit.

314-449 Nisus and Euryalus fall upon the sleeping Rutulians, and kill many of them. As they start off on their journey to Aeneas, the light flashing on the helmet which Euryalus has taken as part of the spoils reveals their presence to a band of Latin cavalry. Nisus gets away, but Euryalus is caught; Nisus returns but cannot save his friend; when Euryalus is killed by Volcens Nisus rushes in to exact vengeance, kills Volcens and himself meets his death.

450-502 The Rutulians discover the slaughter in their camp. Next day they march forth to battle, carrying the heads of Nisus and Euryalus impaled upon spears. Euryalus' mother learns the truth and laments her young son.

503-89 The full-scale attack on the Trojan camp begins. Vergil invokes the Muse to tell of the slaughter dealt by Turnus; he kills Helenor and Lycus and in the general fighting many fall on both sides.

590-671 Numanus makes a taunting speech, contrasting the hard vigor of the Italians with the oriental effeminacy of the Trojans: Ascanius kills him with an arrow. Apollo appears to Ascanius and prophesies a glorious future, but warns him that from now on he must keep out of the fighting until he is grown up.

672-818 Pandarus and Bitias throw open the Trojan gates; the Rutulians by the gates are defeated until Turnus comes to their help. He kills Bitias; Pandarus shuts the gates again, but Turnus is inside. Pandarus challenges Turnus with a taunt, and Turnus kills him. Turnus could now have opened the gates again and let in the rest of his army, but he is intenet on personal triumphs, and kills many Trojans. At last they rally, led by Mnestheus, and Turnus is compelled to give way. He plunges into the Tiber and rejoins his army.


Aeneid 10

1-15 Jupiter calls a council of the gods in Olympus, and urges them to cease from stirring up warfare between the Trojans and Italians; the time for strife will be when Juno's Carthage attacks Venus' Rome.

16-95 Venus makes an indignant speech, bitterly complaining at Juno's interventions and the Trojan set-backs, and ironically suggesting that as all else is lost Jupiter should at least save the life of little Ascanius. Juno angrily replies, maintaining that the Trojan disasters have not been caused by her, and that any assitance she may give to the Rutulians is justified.

96-117 Jupiter refuses to side with either of the goddesses and say he will remain impartial, allowing the fates to find a way.

118-45 The Rutulians continue to attack the Trojan camp.

146-62 Aeneas returns by sea with a contingent of Etruscan forces; with him are the Etruscan king, Tarchon, and Evander's young son, Pallas.

163-214 Vergil makes a new invocation to the Muse and then gives a list of the Etruscan allies of Aeneas as they sail south with him to join the war against Mezentius and Turnus.

215-59 A. on his return is met by the nymphs into whomo the Trojan fleet had been changed. One of them, Cymodocea, tells him of Turnus' attack on his camp, and warns him to be ready for battle. Aeneas, with a prayer to Cybele, prepares for action.

260-86 A. as he approaches lifts high his shield and the Trojans shout in joy at his return. Light flashes from his armor, like a comet or Sirius, but Turnus is not dismayed and urges his troops to be ready for battle.

287-307 Aeneas' men disembark; Tarchon runs his ship at the shore, and it breaks its back on a sand-bank.

308-61 The battle begins, and the first victories are won by A. himself. Elsewhere however the Italians are successful, and the struggle is equally poised.

362-438 Pallas encourages his Arcadians and kills many of the enemy; Halaesus rallies the Italians but is killed by Pallas. Lausus then moves to attack Pallas, but fate prevents their meeting.

439-509 Turnus and Pallas meet in single combat. Pallas is killed and Turnus strip off his sword-belt as spoils of battle. The poet reflects that a day will come when he will bitterly regret this deed.

510-605 A. rages in mad anger over the battlefield, seeking vengeance for Pallas and killing many of the enemy violently and ruthlessly.

606-688 Meanwhile in Olympus Juno obtains permission from Jupiter to save Turnus, but only temporarily. She makes a phantom of Aeneas: Turnus pursues it to a ship, and Juno then sets the ship loose. Turnus, bitterly chafing at his enforced absece from the batlle, is carried away to his home at Ardea.

689-768 Mezentius enters the battle and performs mighty deeds.

769-832 A. and Mezentius meet in single combat. M. is wounded and his son Lausus intervenes to save him. A. kills Lausus and in profound sorrow at what he has had to do lifts up his body and restores it to his comrades.

833-908 Mezentius hears of the death of his son Lausus, and prepares to give up his own life by confronting Aeneas. In the ensuing contest he is mortally wounded, and meets his death with the dignity of the heroic warrior.


Aeneid 11

1-99 Aeneas dedicates the spoils of Mezentius as a trophy to Mars, and then arranges for the funeral procession to escort Pallas' body back to his father Evander. He speaks to the dead youth in terms of the most extreme sorrow.

100-138 Spokesmen arrive from the Latin camp asking for a truce to bury the dead; A. grants it most willingly. Drances thanks A. and inveighs against Turnus. A 12-day truce is arranged.

139-81 Pallas' funeral procession arrives at Pallanteum; the citizens are deeply grief-stricken and his father Evander, in a speech of lamentation, ends by asking A. to take vengeance on Turnus.

182-224 The Trojans and their allies bury their dead; in another part of the field the Latins do likewise. Resentment against Turnus grows in the Latin capital, but he has strong support too.

225-295 The embassy sent to ask Diomedes for help returns with an unfavorable answer. Diomedes had said that he would not fight against the Trojans again on any account, particularly not against so great a warrior as Aeneas. He advised them to make peace.

296-335 Latinus makes a speech in which he says that the Latin situation is hopeless: he proposes to make peace with the Trojans either by ceding them land or by providing them with ships to find land elsewhere.

336-75 Drances supports Latinus' proposals for peace in a highly rhetorical speech directed against Turnus.

376-444 Turnus in reply angily reviles Drances with taunts of cowardice; then more calmly he replies to Latinus' proposals, saying that there is no need to despair of their situation. Finally he says that he is ready to face A. in single combat.

445-97 While the debate in the Latin aseembly continues A. moves to the attack. Turnus hearing of this gives instructions for action, and fiercely arms himself for battle.

498-531 The warrior-queen Camilla offers help to Turnus: he gratefully accepts and asks her to engage the enemy cavalry while he lays an ambush for Aeneas and his infantry.

532-96 Diana speaks to her nympth Opis, lamenting the impending fate of Camilla, and telling the story of her escape as a baby and her subsequent devotion to the goddess. She tells Opis to take vengeance on the man who kills Camilla.

597-647 The cavalry battle outside the walls develops on a large scale; first one side prevails and then the other.

648-724 Camilla, like an Amazon warrior-maiden, performs mighty deeds on the battlefield, killing 12 of the enemy.

725-67 Jupiter intervenes to send Tarchon to rally the Etruscan allies of the Trojans. Tarchon upbraids them and leads them into battle, capturing the Latin Venulus. Meanwhile Arruns shadows Camilla, preparing to attack her.

768-835 Camilla's attention is caught by a gorgeously attired Trojan priest, and as she tracks him to capture spoils from him Arruns shoots her. As he runs away Camilla falls dead-- in her last words she sends a message to Trunus telling him to take her place in the battle.

836-915 Opis avenges the death of Camilla by shooting down Arruns. The Latins are driven in flight, and their city is besieged. Turnus is told of Camilla's death, and he abandons his plan for an ambush and returns to the capital. Nightfall ends the battle.


Aeneid 12

1-106 In the moment of their defeat Turnus feels the eyes of all the Latins are upon him; he tells King Latinus that he will fight Aeneas in single combat. Latinus tries to dissuade him, but Turnus is all the more fiercely determined. Amata beseeches him not to go, but Turnus replies that he is not free to refuse. He arms himself in rehearsal for the next day's combat.

107-12 Aeneas also prepares for the coming single combat.

113-215 The troops on both sides take up their positions to watch the single combat. Juno tells Juturna that she herself can do no more; if Juturna can do anything, then she has authority from Juno to act. The two parties proceed to the battle area, and oaths are sworn, first by Aeneas, and then by Latinus on behalf of Turnus.

216-310 The Rutulians are uneasy about the single combat, and Juturna, disguised as Camers, intervenes to urge them to break the truce. An omen of an eagle forced by a mass attack of other birds to release a swan is interpreted by Tolumnius to mean that the Rutulians must attack to save Turnus. Fighting breaks out.

311-82 Aeneas attempts to prevent his men from breaking the treaty, but is wounded by an arrow from an unknown source. Thereupon Turnus excitedly leads his men into battle, and the fighting is resumed.

383-440 The wounded Aeneas is helped back to camp. The physician Iapyx cannot remove the arrow-head, but Venus intervenes and with supernatural potions causes the arrow-head to come out and the wound to heal. Aeneas immediately arms for battle.

441-99 The Rutulians are terrified as Aeneas rushes into battle. He pursues Turnus and Turnus only. Juturna intervens in the guise of Metiscus, Turnus' charioteer, and keeps Turnus away from Aeneas. Messapus attacks Aeneas and realizing that Turnus will not meet him Aeneas begins to attack his enemies indiscriminately.

500-53 In the general battle which ensues both Aeneas and Turnus deal death all around them.

554-92 Venus puts into Aeneas' mind the idea of attacking the Latin capital itself. He urges on his men, and they move in to the attack. There is panic within the city.

593-613 Queen Amata is driven to utter despair by the sight of the Trojans attacking, and blaming herself for the imminent disaster commits suicide by hanging herself.

614-96 Turnus hears the noise of lamentation from the capital; Juturna tries to persuade him to stay away from Aeneas, but he now insists that he must go to face him. News is brought of the siege of the city and the death of Amata. Turnus at first is rooted to the ground, bewildered and confused; then he rushes to the capital and calls on his friends to cease fighting and leave him to single combat with Aeneas.

697-790 Aeneas moves to fight with Turnus and the combat begins. They throw their spears without effect and then join in close combat. Turnus strikes Aeneas with his sword, but it shatters in fragments-- Turnus had in his hurry taken his charioteer's sword by mistake. Aeneas chases Turnus, and as they pass the stump of an oleaster sacred to Faunus Aeneas tries to regain his spear which is sticking in the root. Faunus prevents him from pulling it out, and meanwhile Juturna gives Turnus his own sword. Venus promptly restores Aeneas' spear to him, and they stand again facing each other poised for battle.

791-842 In Olympus Jupiter orders Juno to cease from interference against the Trojans. She yields, but begs that the Latins may keep their language and dress, and not become Trojans; that Rome may be great because of Italian virtues. Jupiter agrees to this, and promises that the Romans will above all other peoples pay worship to Juno.

843-86 Jupiter sends one of the Furies down to the battlefield, in the shape of an owl, in order to terrify Turnus by flitting in front of his face, and to convince Juturna that she must withdraw. Juturna laments her helplessness, and finally leaves the battlefield.

887-952 Aeneas threatens Turnus; Turnus replies that he is not afraid of Aeneas, only of the gods. He tries to throw a huge rock at Aeneas, but his strength fails him; he is like a man in a dream. Aeneas hurls his spear and wounds Turnus in the thigh. Turnus begs for mercy, and Aeneas is on the point of granting it when he catches sight of the belt of Pallas which Turnus is wearing. In fury and anger he kills his suppliant enemy.