Lecture 16: Vergil Aeneid. 9-12.

Lecture 16, Thursday 7th November 2019

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):

Book 9. In the absence of Aeneas, Turnus the Rutulian achieves great deeds. The sally from the Trojan camp by Nisus and Euryalus ends in their death, and Turnus breaks into the Trojan camp, but in his pride and self-confidence fails to open the gates for his forces to join him, and escapes by jumping into the Tiber.”

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.”


Aeneid Book 9:

9.1-76: Juno sends Iris to tell Turnus to make war. Turnus sets fire to the Trojan fleet.

9.77-122: Trojan ships, made from pine trees sacred to Cybele, are turned into nymphs.

9.154: “They won’t mistake us for the Greeks.”

9.182: The love of Nisus and Euryalus: “Love bound those two; they dashed to war together.”

9.314-449: Nisus and Euryalus (from book 5) fight the Latins brutally, and are themselves killed.

9.450-502: The Latins carry the heads of Nisus and Euryalus impaled on spears. Euryalus’ mother learns about the death of her son.

9.431-437: “He spoke, but couldn’t stop a spear from ramming
Through Euryalus’ ribs and splitting his white chest.
Dying, he thrashed. His lovely limbs and shoulders
Poured streams of blood; his neck sank limply down,
Like a purple flower severed by the plow;
He fainted into death, like a poppy bending
Its weary neck when rain weighs down its head.”

— simile based on Homer Iliad 8.306f. and Catullus 11.21f.: “Let her no more, as once look for my passion, | which through her fault lies fallen like some flower at the field’s edge, after the passing ploughshare’s | cut a path through it.”

9.444-449: “He was stabbed through and through and hurled himself
On his dead friend, to find his rest and peace.
Lucky pair! If my song has any power,
You’ll never be forgotten, while the children
Of Aeneas live below the steadfast rock
Of the Capitol, and a Roman father reigns.”

9.465-467: “And — piteous sight — they even raised the heads
Of Nisus and Euryalus on spear ends,
and marched behind them, shouting.”

9.503-89: Full-scale attack on Trojan camp. Invocation of muse (9.575: Calliope, muse of epic poetry) for telling the slaughters of Turnus.

9.590-671: Ascanius kills a boasting warrior with an arrow. Apollo appears to Ascanius, tells him he must stop fighting.

9.672-818: The Trojan camp is breached. Turnus is closed into the Trojan camp. Instead of opening the gate, Turnus focuses on his own personal glory. Turnus jumps into the Tiber, rejoining his army.

Aeneid 10:

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”

Aeneid 11:

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.

Aeneid 12:

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.

fresco with wounded Aeneas, House of Siricus in Pompeii, first century CE.

Roman wall painting with wounded Aeneas, House of Siricus in Pompeii (VII.1.47), 1st century CE. 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.

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.