Look out for the following motifs/symbols: FLAME/FIRE, FURY, GOLD, WOUND, SNAKE. How do these motifs signal the dark side of empire?
Synopsis of Vergil’s Aeneid Books 6-9 from Williams (1996: xviii-xix):
“Book 10. Aeneas returns with Pallas and the fighting continues. Turnus seeks out Pallas and kills him, arrogantly boasting over him and stripping off his sword-belt. Aeneas in violent anger and guilt rages over the battlefield, and kills many of his opponents, including Lausus, young son of Mezentius, and Mezentius himself.
“Book 11. The funeral for Pallas is described; a truce is made for burial of the dead, but shortly the fighting is resumed, and the heroic deeds and death of the Italian warrior-maiden Camilla are described.
“Book 12. A single combat is arranged between Turnus and Aeneas; but the truce is broken and Aeneas is wounded. The scene shifts to Olympus where the discord is settled on the divine plane when Juno accepts defeat on condition that the Italians shall be the dominant partners in the Trojan-Italian stock from which the Romans will be born. Aeneas pursues Turnus as Achilles had pursued Hector, and wounds him. Turnus begs for mercy, but Aeneas, seeing the sword-belt of Pallas on Turnus’ shoulder, kills him in vengeance.”
10.1-117: Mount Olympus. Jupiter wants to end the conflict. Venus and Juno each make their case.
10.11-13: Jupiter — “The time will come for battle. Don’t invoke it.
Wild Carthage will one day send devastation
Through shattered Alps against the Roman walls.”
10.96-117: Jupiter refuses to take a side. The fates will find a way.
10.146-307: Return of Aeneas, accompanied by Etruscan forces, led by Tarchon, and Evander’s son, Pallas. 10.163-213: Invocation of muses for catalogue of Etruscan allies.
10.160-162: “…Close at his left side
Pallas asked about the stars, guides of that dim voyage,
And Aeneas’ sufferings on land and sea.”
10.215-259: Aeneas encounters the nymphs that were once ships.
10.260-286: Aeneas lifts his shield high and Trojans shout in joy. Light flashes from his shield like a comet or Sirius, the dog-star.
10.308-361: Battle begins. Both sides see success.
10.362-438: Pallas kills the enemy. Lausus and Pallas are kept from each other by fate.
10.439-509: Turnus and Pallas fight in single combat. Pallas is killed. Turnus takes the armour. Vergil predicts Turnus’ regret.
10.510-605: Aeneas’ rage, violence, ruthfulness.
10.606-688: Mount Olympus. Juno is allowed to protect Turnus, temporarily. Phantom Aeneas. Angry Turnus on a boat.
10.689-768: Mezentius enters battle.
10.769-832: Aeneas and Mezentius fight in single combat. Aeneas wounds Mezentius. Aeneas kills Lausus, Mezentius’ son, then Mezentius.
10.812: fallit te incautum pietas tua — “your PIETAS deceives you without you knowing”
11.1-99: Aeneas dedicates spoils of Mezentius to Mars. Funeral procession for Pallas’ body.
1.78-82: “He heaped up spoils from the Laurentian battle
And had them taken in a long procession,
Along with spears and mounts the boy had plundered.
He’d bound the hands of captives — offerings
To the dead, for blood to sprinkle on the flames.”
11.100-138: Twelve day truce between Trojans and Latins.
11.139-181: Pallas’ body reaches Pallanteum. Evander’s grief.
11.182-224: The dead are buried on both sides. Debate both for and against Turnus.
11.225-295: An embassy sent to Diomedes by the Latins (in book 8) receives a negative response.
11.296-335: Latin council. Latinus proposes peace.
11.336-375: Latin council. Drances supports Latinus’ peace proposal. Highly rhetorical.
11.376-444: Latin council. Turnus calls Drances a coward, proposes single combat with Aeneas.
11.445-497: Aeneas moves to attack. Turnus arms himself for battle.
11.498-531: Camilla warrior queen of Volsci offers to help Turnus. Camilla is part mythical being (protected by Diana, 11.532; able to skim over fields of growing corn without bruising the shoots, 7.808), part ferocious warrior, closely linked to Turnus in her power and her impetuosity (11.502, 11.507, 11.648, 11.664, 11.709, 11.762). The line which describes her death (11.831) will be repeated as the last line of the Aeneid (12.952).
11.507-509: “Turnus stared at the formidable girl:
‘You’re Italy’s glory! Could I ever thank you
Or decently repay you?”
11.532-596: Goddess Diana speaks to nymph Opis, telling the folkstory of Camilla’s life and lamenting Camilla’s imminent death. Opis is to avenge Camilla’s coming death.
11.597-647: Cavalry battle.
11.648-724: Camilla is described as an Amazon (11.648). Camilla kills her enemies expertly.
11.725-67: Tarchon rallies Etruscans. Arruns the Ligurian stalks Camilla.
11.768-835: Camilla is transfixed by gorgeous armour of a Trojan priest. 11.782: “On fire with a woman’s love of plunder.” Arruns kills Camilla. Camilla tells Acca that Turnus should take her place in the battle.
11.836-915: Camilla is avenged. The Latins are besieged. Nightfall ends the battle.
12.1-112: Latins are defeated. Turnus tells Latinus he will fight Aeneas in single combat. Amata begs him not to. Turnus arms himself. Aeneas arms himself.
12.113-215: Both sides line up to watch the fight. Juno tells Juturna, nymph and sister of Turnus, that she can do no more herself, but authorizes Juturna to do what she can.
12.216-310: Juturna disguised, makes the Rutulians uneasy. A bird omen convinces them to intervene and attack. Fighting breaks out.
12.311-382: Aeneas tries to stop his men but is wounded by an arrow from an unknown source. Turnus leads the Rutulians, fighting resumes.
12.383-440: Aeneas, wounded, is brought to camp. The physician Iapyx can’t remove the arrow head. Venus intervenes with potions, the wound heals. Aeneas arms for battle.
12.441-499: Rutulians are terrified of Aeneas, who pursues Turnus and only Turnus. Juturna disguises herself as Turnus’ charioteer and keeps Turnus away from Aeneas. Aeneas attacks enemies indiscriminately.
12.500-553: Both Aeneas and Turnus deal death around them.
12.554-592: Venus inspires Aeneas to attack the Latin capital. The city panics.
12.593-613: Amata despairs at the attack and kills herself.
12.614-96: Turnus hears the city’s lament. Juturna tries to make him stay away from Aeneas. Turnus is resolved to fight Aeneas. News is brought about Amata.
12.697-790: Aeneas and Turnus fight. They each lose a weapon which is restored by Juturna and Venus respectively.
12.791-842: Olympus. Jupiter tells Juno to stop. She agrees but wants the Latins to keep their language and dress, not become Trojans. Jupiter agrees, and says that the Romans will worship Juno especially.
12.843-886: Jupiter sends a fury as an owl to terrify Turnus. Turnus is helpless, as though in a dream. Juturna laments and leaves battlefield.
12.887-952: Aeneas threatens Turnus. Turnus fears only the gods. Aeneas wounds Turnus, who begs for mercy. Aeneas is about to grant mercy when he sees Pallas’ belt. Aeneas furiously kills his suppliant enemy.
Roman wall painting with wounded Aeneas, House of Siricus in Pompeii (VII.1.47), 1st century CE. Replica of fresco with wounded Aeneas. Based on Aeneid 12.398. Ascanius weeps next to Aeneas while Iapyx tries to pull the arrow head from his thigh with a forceps. Venus appears with healing herbs in her left hand. Image: Barbara McManus, Vroma.