epic poem by Virgil
(Redirected from The Aeneid)

The Aeneid (29–19 BC), is a Latin epic poem of twelve books, written by Virgil, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is widely regarded as Virgil's masterpiece and one of the greatest works of Latin literature.

Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.

The world is a world of tears and the burdens of mortality touch the heart.



Book I


Arma virumque cano.

Arms and the man I sing.
  • Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
    Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
    • I sing of arms and of a man: his fate
      had made him fugitive; he was the first
      to journey from the coasts of Troy as far
      as Italy and the Lavinian shores.
    • Lines 1–3 (tr. Allen Mandelbaum)

  • Multum ille et terris iactatus et alto
    Vi superum, saevae memorem Iunonis ob iram,
    Multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem
    lnferretque deos Latio, genus unde Latinum
    Albanique patres atque altae moenia Romae.
    • Many blows he took on land and sea from the gods above—
      thanks to cruel Juno's relentless rage—and many losses
      he bore in battle too, before he could found a city,
      bring his gods to Latium, source of the Latin race,
      the Alban lords and the high walls of Rome.
    • Lines 3–7 (tr. Robert Fagles)


Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

Can there be so much anger in the hearts of the heavenly gods?
  • Musa, mihi causas memora, quo numine laeso,
    quidve dolens, regina deum tot volvere casus
    insignem pietate virum, tot adire labores
    impulerit. Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?
    • Tell me, Muse, the causes of her anger. How did he violate the will of the Queen of the Gods? What was his offence? Why did she drive a man famous for his piety to such endless hardship and such suffering? Can there be so much anger in the hearts of the heavenly gods?
    • Lines 8–11 (tr. David West)

  • Tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem!
    • So hard and huge a task it was to found the Roman people.
    • Line 33 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • Aeternum servans sub pectore volnus.
    • Nursing an undying wound deep in her heart.
    • Line 36 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough)

  • O terque quaterque beati!
    • O three and four times blessed!
    • Line 95; referring to the Trojans who had died defending their city.

  • Apparent rari nantes in gurgite vasto.
    • Here and there are seen swimmers in the vast abyss.
    • Line 118 (tr. Fairclough)
    • Used of such authors, or passages, as have survived the wreck of time; or where a good work, painting, or line of poetry appears amongst an ocean of rubbish.
    • Cited in: Classical and Foreign Quotations (1904), no. 140

  • Furor arma ministrat;
    Tum, pietate gravem ac meritis si forte virum quem
    conspexere, silent, arrectisque auribus adstant;
    ille regit dictis animos, et pectora mulcet.
    • Rage finds them arms.
      But then, if they chance to see a man among them,
      whose devotion and public service lend him weight,
      they stand there, stock-still with their ears alert as
      he rules their furor with his words and calms their passion.
    • Lines 150–153 (tr. Robert Fagles)

  • O socii—neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum—
    O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem.
    • Friends and companions,
      Have we not known hard hours before this?
      My men, who have endured still greater dangers,
      God will grant us an end to these as well.
    • Lines 198–199 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)


Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.

A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this.

  • Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.
    • Some day, perhaps, remembering even this
      Will be a pleasure.
    • Line 203 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)
      • Robert Fagles's translation:
        A joy it will be one day, perhaps, to remember even this.
      • Variant translation:
        Maybe one day we shall be glad to remember even these things.

  • Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum.
    • Through various hazards and events we move.
    • Line 204 (tr. Dryden)


Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.

Endure, and keep yourselves for days of happiness.
  • Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.
    • Endure, and keep yourselves for days of happiness.
    • Line 207 (tr. Fairclough); spoken by Aeneas.
      • John Dryden's translation:
        Endure the hardships of your present state,
        Live, and reserve yourselves for better fate.

  • Talia voce refert, curisque ingentibus aeger
    Spem vultu simulat, premit altum corde dolorem.
    • So ran the speech. Burdened and sick at heart,
      He feigned hope in his look, and inwardly
      Contained his anguish.
    • Lines 208–209 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald); of Aeneas.

  • Lacrimis oculos suffusa nitentis.
    • Her bright eyes brimming with tears.
    • Line 228 (tr. Fairclough); of Venus.

  • Volvens fatorum arcana movebo.
    • Unrolling the scroll of fate.
    • Line 262 (tr. Fairclough)

  • His ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono;
    Imperium sine fine dedi.
    • For these I set no limits, world or time,
      But make the gift of empire without end.
    • Lines 278–279 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • O Dea certe.
    • O goddess surely!
    • Line 328 (tr. Fairclough); Aeneas to Venus disguised as a huntress.

  • Longa est injuria, longae
    • Great is the injury, and long the tale.
    • Lines 341–342

  • Dux femina facti.
    • The leader of the enterprise a woman.
    • Line 364 (tr. Fairclough); of Dido.

  • Sum pius Aeneas, raptos qui ex hoste Penates
    classe veho mecum, fama super aethera notus.
    Italiam quaero patriam et genus ab Iove summo.
    • I am Aeneas, duty-bound, and known
      Above high air of heaven by my fame,
      Carrying with me in my ships our gods
      Of hearth and home, saved from the enemy.
      I look for Italy to be my fatherland,
      And my descent is from all-highest Jove.
    • Lines 378–380 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • Data fata secutus.
    • Following what is decreed by fate.
    • Line 382


Et vera incessu patuit dea.

And in her step she was revealed a very goddess.
  • Dixit et avertens rosea cervice refulsit,
    Ambrosiaeque comae divinum vertice odorem
    Spiravere; pedes vestis defluxit ad imos,
    Et vera incessu patuit dea.
    • She spoke, and as she turned away, her roseate neck flashed bright. From her head her ambrosial tresses breathed celestial fragrance; down to her feet fell her raiment, and in her step she was revealed a very goddess.
    • Lines 402–405 (tr. Fairclough); of Venus.

  • Mirabile dictu.
    • Wonderful to tell.
    • Line 439

  • Quae regio in terris nostri non plena laboris?
    • What region of the earth is not full of our calamities?
    • Line 460

  • Sunt hic etiam sua praemia laudi,
    Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.
    • Even here, merit will have its true reward...
      even here, the world is a world of tears
      and the burdens of mortality touch the heart.
    • Lines 461–462 (tr. Robert Fagles)
      • H. Rushton Fairclough's translation: Here, too, virtue has its due rewards; here, too, there are tears for misfortune and mortal sorrows touch the heart.

  • Illa pharetram fert umero,
    Gradiensque deas supereminet omnes.
    • She bears a quiver on her shoulder, and as she treads overtops all the goddesses.
    • Lines 500–501 (tr. Fairclough); of Dido.

  • Quod genus hoc hominum? Quaeve hunc tam barbara morem
    Permittit patria?
    • What race of men is this? What land is so barbarous as to allow this custom?
    • Lines 539–540 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Si genus humanum et mortalia temnitis arma,
    At sperate deos memores fandi atque nefandi.
    • If you have no use for humankind and mortal armor,
      at least respect the gods. They know right from wrong.
    • Lines 542–543 (tr. Fagles)

  • Res dura et regni novitas me talia cogunt
    Noliri, et late finis custode tueri.
    • Severe conditions and the kingdom's youth
      Constrain me to these measures, to protect
      Our long frontiers with guards.
    • Lines 563–564 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • Tros Tyriusque mihi nullo discrimine agetur.
    • Trojan and Tyrian I shall treat with no distinction.
    • Lines 574 (tr. Fairclough)


Lumenque iuventae

Purple light of youth.

  • Lumenque iuventae
    • Purple light of youth.
    • Lines 590–591

  • Di tibi, si qua pios respectant numina, si quid
    Usquam iustitiae est et mens sibi conscia recti,
    Praemia digna ferant.
    • May the gods—
      And surely there are powers that care for goodness,
      Surely somewhere justice counts—may they
      And your own consciousness of acting well
      Reward you as they should.
    • Lines 603–605 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald); Aeneas to Dido.
      • Variant translation of mens sibi conscia recti (meaning "a good conscience"): A mind conscious of its own rectitude.

  • Semper honos nomenque tuum laudesque manebunt.
    • Your honor, your name, your praise will live forever.
    • Line 609 (tr. Fagles); Aeneas to Dido.


Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.

No stranger to trouble myself I am learning to care for the unhappy.
  • Non ignara mali miseris succurrere disco.
    • No stranger to trouble myself I am learning to care for the unhappy.
    • Line 630, as translated in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999); spoken by Dido.
      • Robert Fitzgerald's translation:
        Through pain I've learned to comfort suffering men.

Book II


Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem.

Sorrow too deep to tell, your majesty,
You order me to feel and tell once more.

  • Infandum, regina, jubes renovare dolorem.
    • Sorrow too deep to tell, your majesty,
      You order me to feel and tell once more.
    • Line 3 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald); these are the opening words of Aeneas's narrative about the fall of Troy, addressed to Queen Dido of Carthage.


Quaeque ipse miserrima vidi
et quorum pars magna fui.

Heartbreaking things I saw with my own eyes
And was myself a part of.
  • Quaeque ipse miserrima vidi
    et quorum pars magna fui.
    • Heartbreaking things I saw with my own eyes
      And was myself a part of.
    • Lines 5–6 (tr. Fitzgerald)

  • Quis talia fando
    temperet a lacrimis?
    • Who could tell such things and still refrain from tears?
    • Lines 6 and 8 (tr. Fagles)

  • Quamquam animus meminisse horret, luctuque refugit,
    • though my mind shudders to remember, and has recoiled in grief, I will begin.
    • Lines 12–13 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgus.
    • The wavering crowd is torn into opposing factions.
    • Line 39 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Aliquis latet error.
    • Some trickery lies hidden.
    • Line 48


Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.

I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.
  • Equo ne credite, Teucri.
    quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.
    • Do not trust the horse, Trojans.
      Whatever it is, I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.
    • Lines 48–49; Trojan priest of Apollo warning against the wooden horse left by the Greeks.
      • John Dryden's translation:
        Somewhat is sure designed, by fraud or force;
        Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.
      • J. W. Mackail's translation:
        Trust not the horse, O Trojans.
        Be it what it may, I fear the Grecians even when they offer gifts.

  • Si mens non laeva fuisset.
    • Or had not men been fated to be blind.
    • Line 54 (tr. Dryden)

  • In utrumque paratus.
    • Prepared for either alternative.
    • Line 61

  • Accipe nunc Danaum insidias, et crimine ab uno
    Disce omnes.
    • Hear now the treachery of the Greeks and from one learn the wickedness of all.
    • Lines 65–66 (tr. Fairclough)
      • Ab uno disce omnes.—"From one learn all."

  • Vitam in tenebris luctuque trahebam.
    • I dragged on my ruined life in darkness and grief.
    • Lines 92 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Spargere voces
    in vulgum ambiguas.
    • Hence would he sow dark rumours in the crowd.
    • Lines 98–99 (tr. Fairclough); often paraphrased as Ambiguas in vulgum spargere voces.

  • Adsensere omnes et, quae sibi quisque timebat,
    Unius in miseri exitium conversa tulere.
    • All praised the sentence, pleased the storm should fall
      On one alone, whose fury threatened all.
    • Lines 130–131 (tr. Dryden)

  • His lacrimis vitam damus et miserescimus ultro.
    • To these tears we grant life and pity him besides.
    • Line 145 (tr. Fairclough); Sinon deceives the Trojans.

  • Horresco referens.
    • I shudder as I tell the tale.
    • Line 204 (tr. Fairclough); this refers to the horrible death of the Trojan priest Laocoön: the goddess Minerva sent two serpents from Tenedos to devour Laocoön and his two sons as a warning to the Trojans.

He lifts to heaven hideous cries...
  • Clamores simul horrendos ad sidera tollit:
    qualis mugitus, fugit cum saucius aram
    taurus et incertam excussit cervice securim.
    • The while he lifts to heaven hideous cries, like the bellowings of a wounded bull that has fled from the altar and shaken from its neck the ill-aimed axe.
    • Lines 222–224 (tr. Fairclough); the death of Laocoön.

  • Vertitur interea caelum et ruit Oceano nox.
    • Meanwhile the sky revolves and night rushes from the ocean.
    • Line 250 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Tacitae per amica silentia lunae.
    • Amid the friendly silence of the peaceful moon.
    • Line 255 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Tempus erat quo prima quies mortalibus aegris
    Incipit et dono divum gratissima serpit.
    • It was the hour when for weary mortals their first rest begins, and by grace of the gods steals over them most sweet.
    • Lines 268–269 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Quantum mutatus ab illo
    Hectore qui redit exuvias indutus Achilli.
    • How changed he was from that Hector who returns after donning the spoils of Achilles.
    • Lines 274–275 (tr. Fairclough); of Hector's ghost.
      • Quantum mutatus ab illo is often translated as: "How changed from what he once was!"

  • Excutior somno et summi fastigia tecti
    Ascensu supero atque arrectis auribus asto:
    In segetem veluti cum flamma furentibus Austris
    Incidit, aut rapidus montano flumine torrens
    Sternit agros, sternit sata laeta boumque labores
    Praecipitisque trahit silvas; stupet inscius alto
    Accipiens sonitum saxi de vertice pastor.
    • I shake myself from sleep and, climbing to the roof's topmost height, stand with straining ears: even as, when fire falls on a cornfield while south winds are raging, or the rushing torrent from a mountain-stream lays low the fields, lays low the glad crops and labours of oxen and drags down forests headlong, spell-bound the bewildered shepherd hears the roar from a rock's lofty peak.
    • Lines 302–308 (tr. Fairclough); Aeneas witnessing the destruction of Troy.
      • Arrectis auribus adsto.—"I wait with listening ears."

  • Exoritur clamorque virum clangorque tubarum.
    • New clamors and new clangors now arise,
      The sound of trumpets mixed with fighting cries.
    • Line 313 (tr. Dryden)

  • Furor, iraque mentem
    Praecipitant, pulchrumque mori succurrit in armis.
    • Rage and wrath drive my soul headlong and I think how glorious it is to die in arms!
    • Lines 316–317 (tr. Fairclough)


Venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus
Dardaniae. Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium.

It is come—the last day and inevitable hour for Troy. We Trojans are no more, Ilium is no more.
  • Venit summa dies et ineluctabile tempus
    Dardaniae. Fuimus Troes, fuit Ilium.
    • It is come—the last day and inevitable hour for Troy. We Trojans are no more, Ilium is no more.
    • Lines 324–325 (tr. Fairclough)
      • Compare: "Awaits alike the inevitable hour." Thomas Gray, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, stanza 9, line 35

  • Una salus victis nullam sperare salutem.
    • The only hope for the doomed is no hope at all.
    • Line 354. Variant translations:
      • The only safety for the conquered is to expect no safety.
      • The only safe course for the defeated is to expect no safety.

  • Nox atra cava circumvolat umbra.
    • Black night hovers around with sheltering shade.
    • Line 360 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Crudelis ubique
    Luctus, ubique pavor, et plurima mortis imago.
    • Everywhere, wrenching grief, everywhere, terror
      and a thousand shapes of death.
    • Lines 368–369 (tr. Fagles)

  • Adspirat primo Fortuna labori.
    • Fortune favours our first effort.
    • Line 385 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Dolus an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?
    • Call it cunning or courage; who would ask in war?
    • Line 390 (tr. Robert Fagles)

  • Heu nihil invitis fas quemquam fidere divis!
    • Alas, it is wrong for man to rely on the gods for anything against their will!
    • Line 402 (tr. Fairclough)

The gods thought otherwise.
  • Dis aliter visum.
    • The gods thought otherwise.
    • Line 428. Compare:
      • Ordina l'uomo e Dio dispone.

  • Fit via vi.
    • Force finds a way.
    • Line 494 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Sic fatus senior telumque imbelle sine ictu
    Coniecit, rauco quod protinus aere repulsum,
    Et summo clipei nequiquam umbone pependit.
    • With that
      and with all his might the old man flings his spear—
      but too impotent now to pierce, it merely grazes
      Pyrrhus' brazen shield that blocks its way
      and clings there, dangling limp from the boss,
      all for nothing.
    • Line 544 (tr. Fagles)

  • Facilis iactura sepulcri.
    • He lacks not much that lacks a grave.
    • Line 646 (tr. John Conington)

  • Arma, viri, ferte arma: vocat lux ultima victos.
    Reddite me Danais: sinite instaurata revisam
    Proelia; numquam omnes hodie moriemur inulti.
    • Arms, my comrades,
      bring me arms! The last light calls the defeated.
      Send me back to the Greeks, let me go back
      to fight new battles. Not all of us here
      will die today without revenge.
    • Lines 668–670 (tr. Fagles)

So come, dear father, climb up onto my shoulders! I will carry you on my back. This labor of love will never wear me down. Whatever falls to us now, we both will share one peril, one path to safety. Little Iulus, walk beside me, and you, my wife, follow me at a distance, in my footsteps.
  • Ergo age, care pater, cervici imponere nostrae;
    Ipse subibo umeris nec me labor iste gravabit;
    Quo res cumque cadent, unum et commune periclum,
    Una salus ambobus erit. Mihi parvus Iulus
    Sit comes, et longe servet vestigia coniunx.
    • So come, dear father, climb up onto my shoulders!
      I will carry you on my back. This labor of love
      will never wear me down. Whatever falls to us now,
      we both will share one peril, one path to safety.
      Little Iulus, walk beside me, and you, my wife,
      follow me at a distance, in my footsteps.
    • Lines 707–711 (tr. Fagles); spoken by Aeneas.

He follows his father, but not with equal steps.
  • Sequiturque patrem non passibus aequis.
    • He follows his father, but not with equal steps.
    • Line 724; of Ascanius (Aeneas's son), escaping from burning Troy.

  • Horror ubique animo, simul ipsa silentia terrent.
    • All things were full of horror and affright,
      And dreadful even the silence of the night.
    • Line 755 (tr. Dryden)

I was dismayed; my hair stood stiff, my voice held fast within my jaws.
  • Obstupui, steteruntque comae, et vox faucibus haesit.
    • I was dismayed; my hair stood stiff, my voice held fast within my jaws.
    • Line 774 (tr. Allen Mandelbaum)
      • John Dryden's translation:
        Aghast, astonished, and struck dumb with fear,
        I stood; like bristles rose my stiffened hair.

  • Ter conatus ibi collo dare bracchia circum;
    Ter frustra comprensa manus effugit imago.
    • Three times I tried to fling my arms around her neck,
      three times I embraced—nothing... her phantom
      sifting through my fingers,
      light as wind, quick as a dream in flight.
    • Lines 792–793 (tr. Fagles); Aeneas attempting to embrace the ghost of his wife, Creusa.
      • Compare:
        • Three times I rushed toward her, desperate to hold her,
          three times she fluttered through my fingers, sifting away
          like a shadow, dissolving like a dream.
          • Homer, Odyssey, XI, 206 (tr. Fagles)

  • Cessi et sublato montes genitore petivi.
    • So I resigned myself, picked up my father,
      And turned my face toward the mountain range.
    • Line 804 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

Book III


  • Dare fatis vela.
    • Spread sails to Fate.
    • Line 9 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Campos ubi Troja fuit.
    • The plains where once was Troy.
    • Line 11 (tr. Fairclough); cf. 2.325.

  • Parce sepulto.
    • Spare the buried.
    • Line 41


Auri sacra fames!

Accursed hunger for gold!
  • Quid non mortalia pectora cogis,
    Auri sacra fames?
    • To what extremes won't you compel our hearts,
      you accursed lust for gold?
    • Lines 56–57 (tr. Robert Fagles); the murder of Polydorus.
      • Variant translation:
        Accursed thirst for gold! what dost thou not compel mortals to do?
      • H. Rushton Fairclough's translation:
        To what crime do you not drive the hearts of men, accursed hunger for gold?

  • Et nati natorum et qui nascentur ab illis.
    • Even his children's children and their race that shall be born of them.
    • Line 98 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Fama volat.
    • Rumor flies.
    • Line 121 (tr. Fagles)

  • Cedamus Phoebo et moniti meliora sequamur.
    • Let us yield to Phoebus and at his warning pursue a better course.
    • Line 188 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Caelum undique et undique pontus.
    • Sky on all sides and on all sides sea.
    • Line 193 (tr. Fairclough)

The mad prophetic Sibyl you shall find,
Dark in a cave, and on a rock reclined.
She sings the fates, and, in her frantic fits,
The notes and names inscribed, to leafs commits.
  • Insanam vatem aspicies, quae rupe sub ima
    Fata canit foliisque notas et nomina mandat.
    Quaecumque in foliis descripsit carmina virgo
    Digerit in numerum atque antro seclusa relinquit:
    Illa manent immota locis neque ab ordine cedunt.
    Verum eadem, verso tenuis cum cardine ventus
    Impulit et teneras turbavit ianua frondes,
    Numquam deinde cavo volitantia prendere saxo
    nec revocare situs aut iungere carmina curat:
    Inconsulti abeunt sedemque odere Sibyllae.
    • The mad prophetic Sibyl you shall find,
      Dark in a cave, and on a rock reclined.
      She sings the fates, and, in her frantic fits,
      The notes and names inscribed, to leafs commits.
      What she commits to leafs, in order laid,
      Before the cavern's entrance are displayed:
      Unmoved they lie; but, if a blast of wind
      Without, or vapors issue from behind,
      The leafs are borne aloft in liquid air,
      And she resumes no more her museful care,
      Nor gathers from the rocks her scattered verse,
      Nor sets in order what the winds disperse.
      Thus, many not succeeding, most upbraid
      The madness of the visionary maid,
      And with loud curses leave the mystic shade.
    • Lines 443–452 (tr. John Dryden)

She shall direct thy course, instruct thy mind,
And teach thee how the happy shores to find.
  • Hic tibi ne qua morae fuerint dispendia tanti,
    Quamvis increpitent socii et vi cursus in altum
    Vela vocet, possisque sinus implere secundos,
    Quin adeas vatem precibusque oracula poscas
    Ipsa canat vocemque volens atque ora resolvat.
    Illa tibi Italiae populos venturaque bella
    Et quo quemque modo fugiasque ferasque laborem
    Expediet, cursusque dabit venerata secundos.
    Haec sunt quae nostra liceat te voce moneri.
    Vade age, et ingentem factis fer ad aethera Troiam.
    • Think it not loss of time a while to stay,
      Though thy companions chide thy long delay;
      Though summoned to the seas, though pleasing gales
      Invite thy course, and stretch thy swelling sails:
      But beg the sacred priestess to relate
      With willing words, and not to write thy fate.
      The fierce Italian people she will show,
      And all thy wars, and all thy future woe,
      And what thou may'st avoid, and what must undergo.
      She shall direct thy course, instruct thy mind,
      And teach thee how the happy shores to find.
      This is what Heaven allows me to relate:
      Now part in peace; pursue thy better fate,
      And raise, by strength of arms, the Trojan state.
    • Lines 453–461 (tr. Dryden)

  • Vivite felices, quibus est fortuna peracta
    Jam sua: nos alia ex aliis in fata vocamur.
    • Live on in your blessings, your destiny's been won!
      But ours calls us on from one ordeal to the next.
    • Lines 493–494 (tr. Fagles)

  • Tollimur in coelum curvato gurgite, et iidem
    Subducta ad manes imos descendimus unda.
    • Up to the sky an immense billow hoists us, then at once,
      as the wave sank down, down we plunge to the pit of hell.
    • Lines 564–565 (tr. Fagles)
    • Compare:
      • Vendo ora o mar até o inferno aberto,
        Ora com nova fúria ao céu subia.
        • While to the clouds his vessel rides the swell,
          And now, her black keel strikes the gates of hell.

  • Di, talem terris avertite pestem!
    • O gods, take such a pest away from earth!
    • Line 620 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Monstrum horrendum, informe, ingens, cui lumen ademptum.
    • A monster awful, shapeless, huge, bereft of light.
    • Line 658 (tr. Fairclough); of Polyphemus.
      • Variant translation: A monster horrendous, hideous and vast, deprived of sight.

  • Voluptas / solamenque mali.
    • His sole pleasure, his only solace in pain...
    • Lines 660–661 (tr. Fagles)

Book IV


His looks, his words, they pierce her heart and cling—
no peace, no rest for her body, love will give her none.
  • At regina gravi iamdudum saucia cura
    Vulnus alit venis et caeco carpitur igni.
    • The queen, for her part, all that evening ached
      With longing that her heart's blood fed, a wound
      Or inward fire eating her away.
    • Lines 1–2 (tr. Fitzgerald)

  • Haerent infixi pectore voltus
    Verbaque, nee placidam membris dat cura quietem.
    • His looks, his words, they pierce her heart and cling—
      no peace, no rest for her body, love will give her none.
    • Lines 4–5 (tr. Fagles)

  • Quae me suspensam insomnia terrent!
    • What dreams thrill me with fears?
    • Line 9 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Degeneres animos timor arguit.
    • Fear is the proof of a degenerate mind.
    • Line 13. Variant translation: Fear betrays ignoble souls.

  • Heu, quibus ille
    Jactatus fatis! quae bella exhausta canebat!
    • Alas! by what fates is he vexed! What wars, long endured, did he recount!
    • Lines 13–14 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Si mihi non animo fixum immotumque sederet
    Ne cui me vinclo vellem sociare iugali,
    Postquam primus amor deceptam morte fefellit;
    Si non pertaesum thalami taedaeque fuisset,
    Huic uni forsan potui succumbere culpae.
    • Had I not set my face against remarriage
      After my first love died and failed me, left me
      Barren and bereaved—and sick to death
      At the mere thought of torch and bridal bed—
      I could perhaps give way in this one case
      To frailty.
    • Lines 15–19 (tr. Fitzgerald)

  • Agnosco veteris vestigia flammae.
    • I feel once more the scars of the old flame.
    • Line 23 (tr. C. Day Lewis); Dido acknowledging her love for Aeneas.
    • Compare:

  • Sed mihi vel tellus optem prius ima dehiscat
    Vel pater omnipotens adigat me fulmine ad umbras,
    Pallentis umbras Erebo noctemque profundam
    Ante, pudor, quam te violo aut tua iura resolvo.
    Ille meos, primus qui me sibi iunxit, amores
    Abstulit; ille habeat secum servetque sepulcro.
    • I pray that the earth gape deep enough to take me down
      or the almighty Father blast me with one bolt to the shades,
      the pale, glimmering shades in hell, the pit of night,
      before I dishonor you, my conscience, break your laws.
      He's carried my love away, the man who wed me first—
      may he hold it tight, safeguard it in his grave.
    • Lines 24–29 (tr. Fagles)

  • Id cinerem aut manes credis curare sepultos?
    • Do you think that dust or buried shades give heed to that?
    • Line 34 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Tacitum vivit sub pectore vulnus.
    • Deep in her breast lives the silent wound.
    • Line 67 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Haeret lateri lethalis arundo.
    • The fatal dart
      Sticks in her side, and rankles in her heart.
    • Line 73 (tr. Dryden)

  • Pendent opera interrupta.
    • Projects were broken off.
    • Line 88 (tr. Fitzgerald)

  • Nec famam obstare furori.
    • No thought of pride could stem her passion now.
    • Line 91 (tr. Fagles)

  • Coniugium vocat, hoc praetexit nomine culpam.
    • She calls it a marriage,
      using the word to cloak her sense of guilt.
    • Line 172 (tr. Robert Fagles)
      • H. Rushton Fairclough's translation:
        She calls it marriage and with that name veils her sin!

  • Fama, malum qua non aliud velocius ullum;
    Mobilitate viget, virisque adquirit eundo;
    Parva metu primo; mox sese attollit in auras,
    Ingrediturque solo, et caput inter nubila condit.
    • Rumor, swiftest of all the evils in the world.
      She thrives on speed, stronger for every stride,
      slight with fear at first, soon soaring into the air
      she treads the ground and hides her head in the clouds.
    • Lines 174–177 (tr. Robert Fagles)
      • H. R. Fairclough's translation: Rumour of all evils the most swift. Speed lends her strength, and she wins vigour as she goes; small at first through fear, soon she mounts up to heaven, and walks the ground with head hidden in the clouds.

  • Pernicibus alis.
    • With swift wings.
    • Line 180



Let him set sail!
  • Naviget!
    • Let him set sail.
    • Line 237 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Animum nunc huc celerem nunc dividit illuc.
    • Now hither, now thither he swiftly throws his mind.
    • Line 285 (tr. Fairclough); of Aeneas.
    • Compare:


Quis fallere possit amantem?

Who can deceive a lover?
  • Quis fallere possit amantem?
    • Who can deceive a lover?
    • Line 296

  • Omnia tuta timens.
    • She fears everything now, even with all secure.
    • Line 298 (tr. Fagles)


Mene fugis?

You're running away—from me?
  • Mene fugis? Per ego has lacrimas dextramque tuam te
    (Quando aliud mihi jam miserae nihil ipsa reliqui)
    Per connubia nostra, per inceptos Hymenaeos;
    Si bene quid de te merui, fuit aut tibi quidquam
    Dulce meum, miserere domus labentis, et istam,
    Oro, si quis adhuc precibus locus, exue mentem.
    • You're running away—from me? Oh, I pray you
      by these tears, by the faith in your right hand—
      what else have I left myself in all my pain?—
      by our wedding vows, the marriage we began,
      if I deserve some decency from you now,
      if anything mine has ever won your heart,
      pity a great house about to fall, I pray you,
      if prayers have any place—reject this scheme of yours!
    • Lines 314–319 (tr. Fagles); Dido's appeal to Aeneas.

  • Numquam, regina, negabo
    Promeritam, nec me meminisse pigebit Elissae
    Dum memor ipse mei, dum spiritus hos regit artus.
    • I shall never deny what you deserve, my queen,
      never regret my memories of Dido, not while I
      can recall myself and draw the breath of life.
    • Lines 334–336 (tr. Fagles); Aeneas to Dido.

  • Hic amor, haec patria est.
    • There lies my love, there lies my homeland now.
    • Line 347 (tr. Fagles)

I sail for Italy not of my own free will.
  • Italiam non sponte sequor.
    • I sail for Italy not of my own free will.
    • Line 361 (tr. Fitzgerald); Aeneas to Dido.

  • Nec tibi diva parens.
    • No goddess was your mother.
    • Line 365 (tr. Fitzgerald)

  • Nusquam tuta fides.
    • Nowhere is trust safe.
    • Line 373 (tr. J. W. Mackail)
      • H. R. Fairclough's translation: Nowhere is faith secure.

  • Omnibus umbra locis adero.
    • I shall be everywhere
      A shade to haunt you!
    • Line 386 (tr. Fitzgerald); Dido to Aeneas.

  • Improbe Amor, quid non mortalia pectora cogis!
    • Unconscionable Love,
      To what extremes will you not drive our hearts!
    • Line 412 (tr. Fitzgerald)
    • Compare:
      • Σχέτλι᾽ Ἔρως, μέγα πῆμα, μέγα στύγος ἀνθρώποισιν,
        ἐκ σέθεν οὐλόμεναί τ᾽ ἔριδες στοναχαί τε γόοι τε,
        ἄλγεά τ᾽ ἄλλ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῖσιν ἀπείρονα τετρήχασιν.
        • Unconscionable Love, bane and tormentor of mankind, parent of strife, fountain of tears, source of a thousand ills.

He stands immovable by tears,
Nor tenderest words with pity hears.
  •               Nullis ille movetur
    Fletibus aut voces ullas tractabilis audit.
    • He stands immovable by tears,
      Nor tenderest words with pity hears.
    • Lines 438–439 (tr. Conington)

  • Fata obstant.
    • Fate withstands.
    • Line 440 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Mens immota manet, lacrimae volvuntur inanes.
    • His will stands unmoved. The falling tears are futile.
    • Line 449 (tr. Fagles)

  • Taedet caeli convexa tueri.
    • She is weary of gazing on the arch of heaven.
    • Line 451 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Hoc visum nulli, non ipsi effata sorori.
    • She told no one what she saw, not even her sister.
    • Line 456 (tr. Fagles)

  • Ingeminant curae rursusque resurgens
    Saevit amor magnoque irarum fluctuat aestu.
    • Her torments multiply, over and over her passion
      surges back into heaving waves of rage.
    • Lines 531–532 (tr. Fagles)

  • Non servata fides cineri promissa Sychaeo.
    • The faith vowed to the ashes of Sychaeus I have not kept.
    • Line 552 (tr. Fairclough)


Varium et mutabile semper

A fickle and changeful thing is woman ever.
  • Varium et mutabile semper

  • Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor.
    • Arise from my ashes, unknown avenger!
    • Line 625 (tr. Fairclough)
    • Variant translations:
      • Rise up from my dead bones, avenger!
      • Let someone arise from my bones as an Avenger.


Vixi, et, quem dederat cursum Fortuna, peregi.

I have lived and journeyed through the course assigned by fortune.
  • Vixi, et, quem dederat cursum Fortuna, peregi;
    Et nunc magna mei sub terras ibit Imago.
    • I have lived
      and journeyed through the course assigned by fortune.
      And now my Shade will pass, illustrious,
      beneath the earth.
    • Lines 653–654 (tr. Allen Mandelbaum)
      • H. R. Fairclough's translation: "My life is done and I have finished the course that Fortune gave; and now in majesty my shade shall pass beneath the earth."


Moriemur inultae,
Sed moriamur.

I shall die unavenged,
but I shall die.
  • ‘Moriemur inultae,
    Sed moriamur’ ait. ‘sic, sic juvat ire sub umbras.’
    • "I shall die unavenged, but I shall die,"
      she says. "Thus, thus, I gladly go below
      to shadows."
    • Lines 659–660 (tr. Allen Mandelbaum)
      • H. R. Fairclough's translation: "I shall die unavenged," she cries, "but let me die! Thus, thus I go gladly into the dark!"

  • Resonat magnis plangoribus aether.
    • A scream rises to the lofty roof.
    • Line 668 (tr. Fairclough)

Book V


  • Furens quid Femina possit.
    • What a woman can do in frenzy.
    • Line 6 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Superat quoniam Fortuna, sequamur,
    Quoque vocat vertamus iter.
    • Since Fortune's got the upper hand,
      let's follow her where she calls and change course.
    • Lines 22–23 (tr. Fagles)

  • Quem semper acerbum,
    Semper honoratum (sic di voluistis) habebo.
    • The day is at hand which I shall keep (such, O gods, was your will) ever as a day of grief, ever as of honour.
    • Lines 49–50 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Cuncti adsint meritaeque exspectent praemia palmae.
    • Come all! See who takes the victory prize, the palm.
    • Line 70 (tr. Fagles)

  • Ore favete omnes.
    • Be silent all.
    • Line 71 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Plausu fremituque virum studiisque faventum
    ———— Pulsati colles clamore resultant.
    • The partial crowd their hopes and fears divide,
      And aid, with eager shouts, the favoured side.
      Cries, murmurs, clamours, with a mixing sound,
      From woods to woods, from hills to hills rebound.
    • Lines 148–150 (tr. Dryden)

  • Ceu nubibus arcus
    Mille jacit varios adverso sole colores.
    • More various colours through his body run,
      Than Iris when her bow imbibes the sun.
    • Lines 88–89 (tr. Dryden)

  • Litus ama... altum alii teneant.
    • Hug the shore... let others keep to the deep!
    • Lines 163–164 (tr. Fairclough)


Possunt, quia posse videntur.

They can because they think they can.
  • Possunt, quia posse videntur.
    • They can because they think they can.
    • Line 231 (tr. John Conington)
      • John Dryden's translation: They can conquer who believe they can.

  • Gratior et pulchro veniens in corpore virtus.
    • More lovely virtue, in a lovely form.
    • Line 344

  • Me liceat casus miserari insontis amici.
    • Just let me offer a consolation prize to a luckless man, a friend without a fault.
    • Line 350 (tr. Fagles)

  • Cede Deo.
    • Yield to God.
    • Line 467

Every misfortune is to be subdued by patience.
  • Nate dea, quo fata trahunt retrahuntque, sequamur;
    Quidquid erit, superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.
    • Goddess born, whither the Fates, in their ebb and flow, draw us, let us follow; whatever befall, all fortune is to be o'ercome by bearing.
    • Lines 709–710 (tr. Fairclough)
      • Often paraphrased as Quocunque trahunt fata sequamur: Wherever the Fates direct us, let us follow.
      • Superanda omnis fortuna ferendo est.—Every misfortune is to be subdued by patience.

  • Exigui numero, sed bello vivida virtus.
    • Few in number, but ardent for war.
    • Line 754

  • O nimium caelo et pelago confise sereno,
    Nudus in ignota, Palinure, iacebis harena.
    • You trusted—oh, Palinurus
      far too much to a calm sky and sea.
      Your naked corpse will lie on an unknown shore.
    • Lines 870–871 (tr. Fagles)

Book VI


  • Mitte hanc de pectore curam.
    • Lift that care from your hearts.
    • Line 85 (tr. Fagles)


Bella, horrida bella.

Wars, horrid wars!
  • Bella, horrida bella,
    Et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno.
    • Wars, horrendous wars,
      and the Tiber foaming with tides of blood, I see it all!
    • Lines 86–87 (tr. Fagles); the Sibyl's prophecy to Aeneas.
      • H. R. Fairclough's translation: Wars, grim wars I see, and Tiber foaming with streams of blood.

  • Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito
    Quam tua te fortuna sinet.
    • Yield not to ills, but go forth all the bolder to face them as far as your destiny will allow!
    • Lines 95–96 (tr. Fairclough)
    • Variant translations of Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito:
      • Yield not to evils, but attack all the more boldly.
      • Yield not to misfortunes, but advance all the more boldly against them.

  • Obscuris vera involvens.
    • Wrapping truth in darkness.
    • Line 100 (tr. Fairclough); of Sibyl's prophecy.

  • Non ulla laborum,
    O virgo, nova mi facies inopinave surgit;
    Omnia praecepi atque animo mecum ante peregi.
    • None of the trials you tell of, virgin,
      is strange or unexpected: all of these
      I have foreseen and journeyed in my thought.
    • Lines 103–105 (tr. Allen Mandelbaum)

The gates of hell are open night and day;
Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
In this the task and mighty labor lies.
  • Facilis descensus Averno:
    Noctes atque dies patet atri ianua Ditis;
    Sed revocare gradum superasque evadere ad auras,
    Hoc opus, hic labor est.
    • The gates of hell are open night and day;
      Smooth the descent, and easy is the way:
      But to return, and view the cheerful skies,
      In this the task and mighty labor lies.
    • Lines 126–129 (as translated by John Dryden)
      • Robert Fagles's translation:
        The descent to the Underworld is easy.
        Night and day the gates of shadowy Death stand open wide,
        but to retrace your steps, to climb back to the upper air—
        there the struggle, there the labor lies.
      • Variant translation:
        It is easy to go down into Hell;
        Night and day, the gates of dark Death stand wide;
        But to climb back again, to retrace one's steps to the upper air—
        There's the rub, the task.
      • Compare:

  • Primo avulso non deficit alter.
    • When the first is torn away, a second fails not.
    • Line 143 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Fidus Achates.
    • Faithful Achates.
    • Line 158; phrase often applied to a friend or a relative who remains faithful at all events—Achates was Aeneas' most faithful friend.

  • Vocat in certamina divos.
    • [He] calls the gods to contest.
    • Line 172 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Procul, O procul este, profani!
    • Away, away, unhallowed ones!
    • Line 258 (tr. Fairclough)

Now, Aeneas, is the hour for courage, now for a dauntless heart!
  • Nunc animis opus, Aenea, nunc pectore firmo.
    • Now, Aeneas, is the hour for courage, now for a dauntless heart!
    • Line 261 (tr. Fairclough); Sibyl's words to Aeneas as they enter the underworld.
    • Compare:
      • Qui si convien lasciare ogne sospetto;
        ogne viltà convien che qui sia morta.

  • Di, quibus imperium est animarum, umbraeque silentes,
    Et Chaos, et Phlegethon, loca nocte tacentia late,
    Sit mihi fas audita loqui: sit numine vestro
    Pandere res alta terra et caligine mersas.
    • You gods, who hold the domain of spirits! You voiceless shades! You, Chaos, and you, Phlegethon, you broad, silent tracts of night! Suffer me to tell what I have heard; suffer me of your grace to unfold secrets buried in the depths and darkness of the earth!
    • Lines 264–267 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Ibant obscuri sola sub nocte per umbram,
    Perque domos Ditis vacuas et inania regna.
    Quale per incertam lunam sub luce maligna
    Est iter in silvis.
    • On they went, those dim travelers under the lonely night,
      Through gloom and the empty halls of Death's ghostly realm,
      like those who walk through woods by a grudging moon's
      deceptive light.
    • Lines 268–271 (tr. Fagles)

  • Vestibulum ante ipsum primisque in faucibus Orci
    Luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae,
    Pallentesque habitant Morbi tristisque Senectus,
    Et Metus et malesuada Fames ac turpis Egestas,
    Terribiles visu formae, Letumque Labosque;
    tum consanguineus Leti Sopor.
    • Just before the entrance, even within the very jaws of Hell, Grief and avenging Cares have made their bed; there pale Diseases dwell, and sad Age, and Fear, and ill-counselling Famine, and loathly Want, shapes terrible to view; and Death and Distress; next, Death's own brother Sleep.
    • Lines 273–278 (tr. Fairclough); the gates of Hades.
      • Variant translation of Malesuada Fames: "Hunger that persuades to evil."
    • Compare:
      • Ἔνθ' Ὕπνῳ ξύμβλητο κασιγνήτῳ Θανάτοιο.
        • There she encountered Sleep, the brother of Death.
        • Homer, Iliad, XIV, 231 (tr. Lattimore)
      • Ὕπνῳ καὶ θανάτῳ διδυμάοσιν.
        • Sleep and Death, who are twin brothers.
        • Homer, Iliad, XVI, 672 (tr. Lattimore)

  • In medio ramos annosaque bracchia pandit
    Ulmus opaca, ingens, quam sedem Somnia volgo
    Vana tenere ferunt, foliisque sub omnibus haerent.
    • Full in the midst of this infernal road,
      An Elm displays her dusky arms abroad;
      The God of Sleep there hides his heavy head
      And empty dreams on every leaf are spread.
    • Lines 282–284 (tr. Dryden)

  • Jam senior, sed cruda deo viridisque senectus.
    • Now aged, but a god's old age is hardy and green.
    • Line 304 (tr. Fairclough); of Charon.

Here a whole crowd came streaming to the banks...
  • Hue omnis turba ad ripas effusa ruebat,
    Matres atque viri, defunctaque corpora vita
    Magnanimum heroum, pueri innuptaeque puellae,
    Impositique rogis juvenes ante ora parentum.
    • Here a whole crowd came streaming to the banks,
      Mothers and men, the forms of life all spent
      Of heroes great in valor, boys and girls
      Unmarried, and young sons laid on the pyre
      Before their parents' eyes.
    • Lines 305–308 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • Stabant orantes primi transmittere cursum
    Tendebantque manus ripae ulterioris amore.
    • There all stood begging to be first across
      And reached out longing hands to the far shore.
    • Lines 313–314 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • Multa putans sortemque animo miseratus iniquam.
    • Thinking deeply, and pitying deep in his soul the injustice they suffer.
    • Line 332 (tr. Frederick Ahl)

  • Desine fata deum flecti sperare precando.
    • Cease to dream that heaven's decrees may be turned aside by prayer.
    • Line 376 (tr. Fairclough)
      • Variant translation: Cease to think that the decrees of the gods can be changed by prayers.

  • Falso damnati crimine mortis.
    • Condemned to death on a false charge.
    • Line 430 (tr. C. Day Lewis)

I left your shores, my Queen, against my will.
  • Infelix Dido, verus mihi nuntius ergo
    venerat exstinctam ferroque extrema secutam?
    funeris heu tibi causa fui? per sidera iuro,
    per superos et si qua fides tellure sub ima est,
    inuitus, regina, tuo de litore cessi.
    • Tragic Dido,
      so, was the story true that came my way?
      I heard that you were dead...
      you took the final measure with a sword.
      Oh, dear god, was it I who caused your death?
      I swear by the stars, by the Powers on high, whatever
      faith one swears by here in the depths of earth,
      I left your shores, my Queen, against my will.
    • Lines 456–460 (tr. Fagles); Aeneas to Dido's ghost.
      • Variant translation (by Seamus Heaney) of invitus, regina, tuo de litore cessi: "I embarked from your shore, my queen, unwillingly."

  • Dulcis et alta quies, placidaeque simillima morti.
    • Buried deep in sleep,
      peaceful, sweet, like the peace of death itself.
    • Line 522 (tr. Fagles)

  • Hic locus est, partes ubi se via findit in ambas.
    • This is the place where the road divides in two.
    • Line 540 (tr. Fagles)

  • Sedet, aeternumque sedebit
    Infelix Theseus.
    • Hapless Theseus sits and evermore shall sit.
    • Lines 617–618 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Discite justitiam moniti et non temnere divos.
    • Be warned; learn ye to be just and not to slight the gods!
    • Line 620 (H. Rushton Fairclough)

  • Vendidit hic auro patriam.
    • This one sold his country for gold.
    • Line 621 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Non, mihi si linguae centum sunt oraque centum
    Ferrea vox, omnis scelerum comprendere formas,
    Omnia poenarum percurrere nomina possim.
    • Nay, had I a hundred tongues, a hundred mouths, and voice of iron, I could not sum up all the forms of crime, or rehearse all the tale of torments.
    • Lines 625–627 (tr. H. R. Fairclough); the punishments of the Inferno. Cf. Georgics 2.43.
      • John Dryden's translation:
        Had I a hundred mouths, a hundred tongues,
        And throats of brass, inspired with iron lungs,
        I could not half those horrid crimes repeat,
        Nor half the punishments those crimes have met.
      • Compare:

  • Devenere locos laetos et amoena vireta
    Fortunatonun nemorum, sedesque beatas.
    • They came to a land of joy, the green pleasaunces and happy seats of the Blissful Groves.
    • Lines 638–639 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Hic manus, ob patriam pugnando vulnera passi,
    Quique sacerdotes casti, dum vita manebat,
    Quique pii vates, et Phoebo digna locuti,
    Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artes,
    Quique sui memores alios fecere merendo.
    • Here are troops of men
      who had suffered wounds, fighting to save their country,
      and those who had been pure priests while still alive,
      and the faithful poets whose songs were fit for Phoebus;
      those who enriched our lives with the newfound arts they forged
      and those we remember well for the good they did mankind.
    • Lines 660–664 (tr. Fagles); the blessed in Elysium.
      • William Morris's translation of Inventas aut qui vitam excoluere per artis: "And they who bettered life on earth by new-found mastery"; a paraphrase of this is inscribed on the Nobel prize medals for Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, and Literature: Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes ("inventions enhance life which is beautified through art").

  • Animae, quibus altera fato
    Corpora debentur, Lethaei ad fluminis undam
    Secures latices, et longa oblivia potant.
    • Spirits they are, to whom second bodies are owed by Fate, and at the water of Lethe's stream they drink the soothing draught and long forgetfulness.
    • Lines 713–715 (tr. Fairclough)
    • Compare:
      • A slow and silent stream,
        Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls
        Her watery labyrinth, whereof who drinks
        Forthwith his former state and being forgets—
        Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain.


Mens agitat molem.

Mind moves matter.

  • Principio caelum ac terras camposque liquentis
    Lucentemque globum Lunae Titaniaque astra
    Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus
    Mens agitat molem et magno se corpore miscet.
    • First, the sky and the earth and the flowing fields of the sea,
      the shining orb of the moon and the Titan sun, the stars:
      an inner spirit feeds them, coursing through all their limbs,
      mind stirs the mass and their fusion brings the world to birth.
    • Lines 724–727 (tr. Robert Fagles)
    • John Conington's translation:
      Know first, the heaven, the earth, the main,
      The moon's pale orb, the starry train,
      Are nourished by a soul,
      A bright intelligence, whose flame
      Glows in each member of the frame,
      And stirs the mighty whole.

Each of us bears his own Hell.
  • Quisque suos patimur manis.
    • Each of us must suffer his own demanding ghost.
    • Line 743 (tr. Robert Fagles)
      • H. R. Fairclough's translation: Each of us suffers his own spirit.
      • Variant translation: Each of us bears his own Hell.
    • Compare:
      • For every man shall bear his own burden.

  • Concretam exemit labem, purumque relinquit
    Aetherium sensum atque aurai simplicis ignem.
    • By length of time
      The scurf is worn away of each committed crime;
      No speck is left of their habitual stains,
      But the pure ether of the soul remains.
    • Lines 746–747 (tr. Dryden)

  • Has omnis, ubi mille rotam volvere per annos,
    Lethaeum ad fluvium deus evocat agmine magno,
    Scilicet immemores supera et convexa revisant
    Bursus et incipiant in corpora velle reverti.
    • All the rest, once they have turned the wheel of time
      for a thousand years: God calls them forth to the Lethe,
      great armies of souls, their memories blank so that
      they may revisit the overarching world once more
      and begin to long to return to bodies yet again.
    • Lines 748–751 (tr. Fagles)

  • Nunc age, Dardaniam prolem quae deinde sequatur
    Gloria, qui maneant Itala de gente nepotes,
    Inlustris animas nostrumque in nomen ituras,
    Expediam dictis, et te tua fata docebo.
    • Now I will set forth the glory that awaits
      The Trojan race, the illustrious souls
      Of the Italian heirs to our name.
      I will teach you your destiny.
    • Lines 756–759 (tr. Stanley Lombardo)

  • Vincet amor patriae laudumque immensa cupido.
    • Yet love of country shall prevail, and boundless passion for renown.
    • Line 823 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Ne, pueri, ne tanta animis adsuescite bella
    Neu patriae validas in viscera vertite vires.
    • No, my boys, no! Don't accustom your spirits to wars of such huge scope,
      Don't use your strength and your vigour to disembowel your country!
    • Lines 832–833 (tr. Frederick Ahl)

Remember Roman, these will be your arts:
to teach the ways of peace to those you conquer,
to spare defeated peoples, tame the proud.
  • Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
    (Hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,
    Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.
    • Remember Roman, these will be your arts:
      to teach the ways of peace to those you conquer,
      to spare defeated peoples, tame the proud.
    • Lines 851–853 (tr. Allen Mandelbaum)
      • Robert Fitzgerald's translation:
        Roman, remember by your strength to rule
        Earth's people—for your arts are to be these:
        To pacify, to impose the rule of law,
        To spare the conquered, battle down the proud.
      • Robert Fagles's translation:
        But you, Roman, remember, rule with all your power
        the peoples of the earth—these will be your arts:
        to put your stamp on the works and ways of peace,
        to spare the defeated, break the proud in war.
      • Compare:
        • I'm gonna spare the defeated—I'm gonna speak to the crowd
          I'm gonna spare the defeated, boys, I'm going to speak to the crowd
          I am goin' to teach peace to the conquered
          I'm gonna tame the proud

  • Aspice, ut insignis spoliis Marcellus opimis
    Ingreditur victorque viros supereminet omnes.
    • Behold how Marcellus advances, graced with the spoils of the chief he slew, and towers triumphant over all!
    • Lines 855–856 (tr. Fairclough)


Tu Marcellus eris.

'You will be Marcellus!'
  • O nate, ingentem luctum ne quaere tuorum;
    Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, neque ultra
    Esse sinent. Nimium vobis Romana propago
    Visa potens, Superi, propria haec si dona fuissent.
    Quantos ille virum magnam Mavortis ad urbem
    Campus aget gemitus, vel quae, liberine, videbis
    Funera, cum tumulum praeterlabere recentem!
    Nec puer Iliaca quisquam de gente Latinos
    In tantum spe tollet avos, nec Romula quondam
    Ullo se tantum tellus iactabit alumno.
    Heu pietas, heu prisca fides, invictaque bello
    Dextera! Non illi se quisquam impune tulisset
    Obvius armato, seu cum pedes iret in hostem,
    Seu spumantis equi foderet calcaribus armos.
    Heu, miserande puer, si qua fata aspera rumpas,
    Tu Marcellus eris.
    • "Seek not to know," the ghost replied with tears,
      "The sorrows of thy sons in future years.
      This youth (the blissful vision of a day)
      Shall just be shown on earth, and snatched away.
      The gods too high had raised the Roman state,
      Were but their gifts as permanent as great.
      What groans of men shall fill the Martian field!
      How fierce a blaze his flaming pile shall yield!
      What funeral pomp shall floating Tiber see,
      When, rising from his bed, he views the sad solemnity!
      No youth shall equal hopes of glory give,
      No youth afford so great a cause to grieve;
      The Trojan honor, and the Roman boast,
      Admired when living, and adored when lost!
      Mirror of ancient faith in early youth!
      Undaunted worth, inviolable truth!
      No foe, unpunished, in the fighting field
      Shall dare thee, foot to foot, with sword and shield;
      Much less in arms oppose thy matchless force,
      When thy sharp spurs shall urge thy foaming horse.
      Ah! couldst thou break through fate's severe decree,
      A new Marcellus shall arise in thee!"
    • Lines 868–883 (tr. John Dryden); the young Marcellus.
      • This passage—recounting Marcellus's life, and lamenting his tragically early death—is said to have caused Octavia to faint with grief when it was read to her and Augustus.

  • Manibus date lilia plenis.
    • Give lilies with full hands.
    • Line 883

  • His saltem accumulem donis, et fungar inani
    • These gifts at least, these honours I'll bestow
      On the dear youth, to please his shade below.
    • Lines 885–886 (tr. Christopher Pitt)

  • Incenditque animum famae venientis amore.
    • And fired his soul with love of fame that was to be.
    • Line 889 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Sunt geminae Somni portae, quarum altera fertur
    Cornea, qua veris facilis datur exitus umbris,
    Altera candenti perfecta nitens elephanto,
    Sed falsa ad caelum mittunt insomnia Manes.
    • There are twin Gates of Sleep.
      One, they say, is called the Gate of Horn
      and it offers easy passage to all true shades.
      The other glistens with ivory, radiant, flawless,
      but through it the dead send false dreams up toward the sky.
    • Lines 893–896 (tr. Fagles); the gates of horn and ivory.
    • Compare:
      • Two gates there are for our evanescent dreams,
        one is made of ivory, the other made of horn.
        Those that pass through the ivory cleanly carved
        are will-o'-the-wisps, their message bears no fruit.
        The dreams that pass through the gates of polished horn
        are fraught with truth, for the dreamer who can see them.
        • Homer, Odyssey, Book XIX, line 563 (tr. Fagles)

Book VII


  • Hinc exaudiri gemitus iraeque leonum.
    • Hence could be heard the angry growls of lions.
    • Line 15 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Major rerum mihi nascitur ordo;
    Majus opus moveo.
    • A greater history opens before my eyes,
      A greater task awaits me.
    • Lines 44–45 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • Hic domus, haec patria est.
    • Here is our home, here is our fatherland.
    • Line 122 (tr. Fitzgerald)

If I cannot sway the heavens, I'll wake the powers of hell!
  • Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta movebo.
    • If I cannot sway the heavens, I'll wake the powers of hell!
    • Line 312 (tr. Robert Fagles); spoken by Juno.
    • Variant translations:
      • If I can not bend Heaven, I shall move Hell.
      • If I am unable to make the gods above relent, I shall move Hell.
    • Compare:

  • Bella viri pacemque gerent quis bella gerenda.
    • Let men run war and peace: war is their work.
    • Line 444 (tr. Mandelbaum)

  • Bella manu letumque gero.
    • In my hand I bear war and death.
    • Line 455 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Saevit amor ferri, et scelerata insania belli.
    • Lust of the sword rages in him, the accursed frenzy of war.
    • Line 461 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Ille, velut pelagi rupes immota, resistit.
    • He, like an unmoved ocean cliff, resists.
    • Line 586 (tr. Fairclough); of Latinus.

  • Non illa colo calathisve Minervae
    Femineas adsueta manus.
    • Never having trained her woman's hands to Minerva's distaff or basket of wool.
    • Lines 805–806 (tr. Fairclough); of Camilla.

  • Semperque recentis
    Convectare juvat praedas et vivere rapto.
    • Always collecting
      new booty and glad to live off their stealing.
    • Lines 748–749 (tr. Edward McCrorie)



  • Pacemne huc fertis an arma?
    • Do you bring peace or war?
    • Line 114 (tr. Robert Fagles)

  • Pedibus timor addidit alas.

  • Arte magistra.
    • By the aid of art.
    • Line 442; cf. 12.427.

  • O mihi praeteritos referat si Iuppiter annos.
    • If only Jupiter would give me back
      The past years and the man I was...
    • Line 560 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • At vos, o superi, et divum tu maxime rector
    Juppiter, Arcadii, quaeso, miserescite regis
    Et patrias audite preces: si numina vestra
    Incolumem Pallanta mihi, si fata reseruant,
    Si visurus eum vivo et venturus in unum:
    Vitam oro, patiar quemvis durare laborem.
    Sin aliquem infandum casum, Fortuna, minaris,
    Nunc, nunc o liceat crudelem abrumpere vitam,
    Dum curae ambiguae, dum spes incerta futuri,
    Dum te, care puer, mea sola et sera voluptas,
    Complexu teneo, gravior neu nuntius auris
    • Supreme ruler of gods, pity, I beg,
      The Arcadian king, and hear a father's prayer:
      If by thy will my son survives, and fate
      Spares him, and if I live to see him still,
      To meet him yet again, I pray for life;
      There is no trouble I cannot endure.
      But, Fortune, if you threaten some black day,
      Now, now let me break off my bitter life
      While all's in doubt, while hope of what's to come
      Remains uncertain, while I hold you here,
      Dear boy, my late delight, my only one—
      And may no graver message ever come
      To wound my ears.
    • Lines 578–580 (tr. Fitzgerald)

  • Quadripedante putrem sonitu quatit ungula campum.
    • With galloping tramp the horse-hoof shakes the crumbling plain.
    • Line 596 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough)

  • Arva nova Neptunia caede rubescunt.
    • The fresh blood running red on Neptune's fields.
    • Line 695 (tr. Fagles)

All these images on Vulcan's shield
His mother's gift, were wonders to Aeneas...
  • Talia per clipeum Volcani, dona parentis,
    Miratur rerumque ignarus imagine gaudet
    Attollens umero famamque et fata nepotum.
    • All these images on Vulcan's shield
      His mother's gift, were wonders to Aeneas
      Knowing nothing of the events themselves
      He felt joy in their pictures, taking up
      Upon his shoulder all the destined acts
      And fame of his descendants.
    • Line 729–731 (tr. Fitzgerald)

Book IX


  • Turne, quod optanti divum promittere nemo
    Auderet, volvenda dies en attulit ultro.
    • Turnus, what no god
      Would dare to promise you—your heart's desire—
      The course of time has of itself brought on.
    • Lines 6–7 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)
      • H. Rushton Fairclough's translation: Turnus, what no god dared to promise to your prayers, see—the circling hour has brought unasked!

  • Prisca fides facto, sed fama perennis.
    • Faith in the tale is old, but its fame is everlasting.
    • Line 79 (tr. Fairclough)

Do the gods light this fire in our hearts
or does each man's mad desire become his god?
  • Dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt,
    Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?
    • Do the gods, Euryalus, put this fire in our hearts, or does his own wild longing become to each man a god?
    • Lines 184–185 (tr. Fairclough)
    • Robert Fagles's translation:
      Do the gods light this fire in our hearts
      or does each man's mad desire become his god?

  • Est hic, est animus lucis contemptor et istum
    Qui vita bene credat emi, quo tendis, honorem.
    • Mine is a heart that scorns the light, and believes that the glory that you strive for is cheaply bought with life.
    • Lines 205–206 (tr. Fairclough); Euryalus to Nisus.

  • Nequeam lacrimas perferre parentis.
    • I cannot bear a mother's tears.
    • Line 289

  • Animum patriae strinxit pietatis imago.
    • The picture of filial love touched his soul.
    • Line 294 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Nunc ipsa vocat res.
    Hac iter est.
    • Now the moment calls.
      Here's the way.
    • Line 320 (tr. Fagles)

  • Me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum
    O Rutuli, mea fraus omnis: nihil iste nee ausus,
    Nee potuit; caelum hoc et conscia sidera testor:
    Tantum infelicem nimium dilexit amicum.
    • Me—here I am, I did it! Turn your blades on me,
      Rutulians! The crime's all mine, he never dared,
      could never do it! I swear by the skies up there,
      the stars, they know it all! All he did was love
      his unlucky friend too well!
    • Lines 427–430 (tr. Fagles); Nisus, trying to save his friend Euryalus.

In death went reeling down,
And blood streamed on his handsome length, his neck
Collapsing let his head fall on his shoulder—
As a bright flower cut by a passing plow
Will droop and wither slowly, or a poppy
Bow its head upon its tired stalk
When overborne by a passing rain.
  • Volvitur Euryalus leto, pulchrosque per artus
    It cruor inque umeros cervix conlapsa recumbit:
    Purpureus veluti cum flos succisus aratro
    Languescit moriens; lassove papavera collo
    Demisere caput, pluvia cum forte gravantur.
    • Euryalus
      In death went reeling down,
      And blood streamed on his handsome length, his neck
      Collapsing let his head fall on his shoulder—
      As a bright flower cut by a passing plow
      Will droop and wither slowly, or a poppy
      Bow its head upon its tired stalk
      When overborne by a passing rain.
    • Lines 433–437 (tr. Fitzgerald)
    • Compare:
      • Μήκων δ' ὡς ἑτέρωσε κάρη βάλεν, ἥ τ' ἐνὶ κήπῳ
        καρπῷ βριθομένη νοτίῃσί τε εἰαρινῇσιν,
        ὣς ἑτέρωσ' ἤμυσε κάρη πήληκι βαρυνθέν.
        • He bent drooping his head to one side, as a garden poppy
          bends beneath the weight of its yield and the rains of springtime;
          so his head bent slack to one side beneath the helm's weight.
        • Homer, Iliad, VIII, 306–308 (tr. R. Lattimore)

  • Moriens animam abstulit hosti.
    Tum super exanimum sese proiecit amicum
    Confossus, placidaque ibi demum morte quieuit.
    • Dying, he slew; and, staggering on the plain,
      With swimming eyes he sought his lover slain;
      Then quiet on his bleeding bosom fell,
      Content, in death, to be revenged so well.
    • Line 445 (tr. Dryden); of Nisus.


Nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo.

"No day shall erase you from the memory of time"

(9/11 Memorial Museum)
  • Fortunati ambo! si quid mea carmina possunt,
    Nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo,
    Dum domus Aeneae Capitoli immobile saxum
    Accolet imperiumque pater Romanus habebit.
    • How fortunate, both at once!
      If my songs have any power, the day will never dawn
      that wipes you from the memory of the ages, not while
      the house of Aeneas stands by the Capitol's rock unshaken,
      not while the Roman Father rules the world.
    • Lines 446–449 (tr. Robert Fagles)

  • At tuba terribilem sonitum procul aere canoro
    Increpuit, sequitur clamor caelumque remugit.
    • But the trumpet with brazen song rang out afar its fearful call; a shout follows and the sky re-echoes.
    • Lines 503–504 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Natos ad flumina primum
    Deferimus saevoque gelu duramus et undis
    • We first bring our new-born sons to the river, and harden them with the water's cruel cold.
    • Lines 603–604 (tr. Fairclough)


Audacibus adnue coeptis.

Nod assent to the daring work I
have in hand!
  • Iuppiter omnipotens, audacibus adnue coeptis.


Sic itur ad astra.

That is the way to the stars.
  • Macte nova virtute, puer, sic itur ad astra.
    • Blessings on your young courage, boy; that's the way to the stars.
    • Line 641; Apollo to Iulus (Aeneas' son).
      • Variant translation: Go on and increase in valor, O boy! this is the path to immortality.

  • Abietibus juvenes patriis et montibus aequos.
    • Youths tall as their native pines and hills.
    • Line 674 (tr. Fairclough)

Book X


  • Adveniet iustum pugnae (ne arcessite) tempus.
    • There shall come—do not hasten it—a lawful time for battle.
    • Line 11 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Speravimus ista
    Dum fortuna fuit.
    • Such hopes I had indeed, while Heaven was kind.
    • Lines 42–43 (tr. John Dryden)

  • Sua cuique exorsa laborem
    Fortunamque ferent.
    • How each man weaves
      his web will bring him to glory or to grief.
    • Lines 111–112 (tr. Robert Fagles)

  • Fata viam invenient.
    • Fate will find a way.
    • Line 113


Audentis Fortuna iuvat.

Fortune favors the bold.
  • Audentis fortuna iuvat.
    • Fortune favors the bold.
    • Line 284
    • Variant translations:
      • Fortune favors the brave.
      • Fortune helps the daring.
      • Fortune sides with him who dares.
    • Compare:
      • Fortibus est fortuna viris data.
        • Fortune is given to brave men.
        • Ennius, Annales, 257

  • Numina nulla premunt, mortali urgemur ab hoste
    • These are not gods who are pressing you so hard; they are mortals pursuing mortals.
    • Lines 375–376 (tr. David West)

Every man's last day is fixed.
Lifetimes are brief and not to be regained,
For all mankind. But by their deeds to make
Their fame last: that is labor for the brave.
  • Stat sua cuique dies, breve et inreparabile tempus
    Omnibus est vitae; sed famam extendere factis,
    Hoc virtutis opus.
    • Every man's last day is fixed.
      Lifetimes are brief and not to be regained,
      For all mankind. But by their deeds to make
      Their fame last: that is labor for the brave.
    • Lines 467–469 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)
      • H. R. Fairclough's translation: Each has his day appointed; short and irretrievable is the span of life to all: but to lengthen fame by deeds—that is valour's task.

  • Nescia mens hominum fati sortisque futurae,
    Et servare modum, rebus sublata secundis!
    • O mind of man, knowing not fate or coming doom or how to keep bounds when uplifted with favoring fortune!
    • Lines 501–502 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Dextra mihi Deus.
    • My right hand is to me as a god.
    • Line 773

  • Et dulcis moriens reminiscitur Argos.
    • And dying, dreams of his sweet Argos.
    • Line 782 (tr. Fairclough)
      • Variant translation: As he dies, he remembers his beloved Argos.

Book XI


  • Salve aeternum mihi, maxime Palla,
    Aeternumque vale.
    • Hail forever, our great Pallas!
      Hail forever and farewell!
    • Lines 97–98 (tr. Fagles); spoken by Aeneas.

  • Vivendo vici mea fata.
    • I, living on, have overcome my destiny.
    • Line 160 (tr. Fairclough); spoken by Evander.

  • Experto credite.
    • Trust the expert.
    • Line 283; cf. "experto crede".
    • Variant translations:
      • Trust one who has gone through it.
      • Believe one who has had experience.

  • Spes sibi quisque.
    • Each is his own hope.
    • Line 309 (tr. Fairclough)
    • Variant translations:
      • Each one his own hope.
      • Let each be a hope unto himself.
    • Compare:
      • Ech man for hymself.

  • Lingua melior, sed frigida bello
    • Valiant of tongue, though his hand was cold for battle.
    • Lines 338–339 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Nulla salus bello.
    • There is no salvation in war.
    • Line 362 (tr. L. R. Lind)

  • Proinde tona eloquio, solitum tibi.
    • Hammer away with all your rhetoric.
    • Line 383 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

  • Cur indecores in limine primo
    Deficimus? Cur ante tubam tremor occupat artus?
    • Why this shameful collapse before it all begins?
      Why tremble so before the trumpet blares?
    • Lines 423–424 (tr. Fagles)

  • Multa dies variique labor mutabilis aevi
    Rettulit in melius, multos alterna revisens
    Lusit et in solido rursus Fortuna locavit.
    • Many an ill has time repaired, and the shifting toil of changing years; many a man has Fortune, fitful visitant, mocked, then once more set up upon firm ground.
    • Lines 425–427 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Nequiquam patrias temptasti lubricus artis.
    • In vain you have tried your slippery native tricks.
    • Line 716 (tr. Fairclough)

Camilla's dying hand pulled at the spear,
But the iron point was stuck deep in her ribs.
Drained of blood, she sank back; the chill light
Sank in her eyes; and her face, formerly
So radiant, turned pale in death.
  • Illa manu moriens telum trahit: ossa sed inter
    Ferreus ad costas alto stat vulnere mucro.
    Labitur exsanguis; labuntur frigida leto
    Lumina: purpureus quondam color ora reliquit.
    • Camilla's dying hand pulled at the spear,
      But the iron point was stuck deep in her ribs.
      Drained of blood, she sank back; the chill light
      Sank in her eyes; and her face, formerly
      So radiant, turned pale in death.
    • Lines 816–819 (tr. Stanley Lombardo)

  • Quadripedumque putrem cursu quatit ungula campum.
    • The hoofs of horses, with a rattling sound,
      Beat short and thick, and shake the rotten ground.
    • Line 875 (tr. John Dryden)

Book XII


  • Quo referor totiens? quae mentem insania mutat?
    • Why drift I back so often? What madness turns my purpose?
    • Line 37 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Aegrescitque medendo.
    • The attempts to heal enflame the fever more.
    • Line 46 (tr. Fagles)

  • In te omnis domus inclinata recumbit.
    • Our whole house is falling and you are its one support.
    • Line 59 (tr. David West)

  • Forsan miseros meliora sequentur.
    • Who knows?
      Better times may come to those in pain.
    • Line 153 (tr. Fagles)

  • Sic omnis amor unus habet decemere ferro.
    • Thus all are ruled by one passion, to let the sword decide.
    • Line 282 (tr. Fairclough)

Learn fortitude and toil from me, my son,
Ache of true toil. Good fortune learn from others.
  • Disce, puer, virtutem ex me verumque laborem,
    Fortunam ex aliis.
    • Learn courage from me, my son, true hardship too.
      Learn good luck from others.
    • Lines 435–436 (tr. Robert Fagles)
      • Robert Fitzgerald's translation:
        Learn fortitude and toil from me, my son,
        Ache of true toil. Good fortune learn from others.
      • Compare: "Ah, son, may you prove luckier than your father, but in all else like him. Then you would not prove base." Sophocles, Ajax, lines 550–551

  • Ne qua meis esto dictis mora.
    • Let there be no delay in what I ask.
    • Line 565 (tr. Allen Mandelbaum)

  • Usque adeone mori miserum est?
    • Is it then so sad a thing to die?
    • Line 646 (tr. Alexander Thomson)
      • Quoted in Suetonius, The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, Nero 47.

  • Magnorum haud unquam indignus avorum.
    • Forever worthy of my great fathers' fame!
    • Line 649 (tr. Fagles)

  • Aestuat ingens
    Imo in corde pudor mixtoque insania luctu
    Et furiis agitatus amor et conscia virtus.
    • Within that single heart surges mighty shame, and madness mingled with grief, and love stung by fury, and the consciousness of worth.
    • Lines 666–668 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Hunc, oro, sine me furere ante furorem.
    • Let me first, I beg, give vent to this madness.
    • Line 680 (tr. Fairclough); Turnus to Juturna.

  • Fors et virtus miscentur in unum.
    • Chance joins with force to guide the steel.
    • Line 714 (tr. Conington); the combat between Turnus and Aeneas.

  • Iuppiter ipse duas aequato examine lances
    Sustinet et fata imponit diversa duorum,
    quem damnet labor et quo vergat pondere letum.
    • Jupiter himself upholds two scales in even balance, and lays therein the diverse destinies of both, whom the strife dooms, and with whose weight death sinks down.
    • Lines 725–727 (tr. Fairclough)

  • Ni te tantus edit tacitam dolor.
    • Don't let your corrosive grief
      devour you in silence.
    • Line 801 (tr. Fagles)

  • Ulterius temptare veto.
    • But go no further. I forbid you now.
    • Line 806 (tr. Fagles)

  • Sit Romana potens Itala virtute propago.
    • Let Rome be glorious on the earth,
      The centre of Italian worth.
    • Line 827 (tr. Conington); Juno to Jupiter.

Go no further down the road of hatred.
  • Ulterius ne tende odiis.
    • Go no further down the road of hatred.
    • Line 938 (tr. Robert Fagles); Turnus asking Aeneas for mercy.

  • Stetit acer in armis
    Aeneas volvens oculos dextramque repressit;
    Et iam iamque magis cunctantem flectere sermo
    Coeperat, infelix umero cum apparuit alto
    Balteus et notis fulserunt cingula bullis
    Pallantis pueri, victum quem vulnere Turnus
    Straverat atque umeris inimicum insigne gerebat.
    Ille, oculis postquam saevi monimenta doloris
    Exuviasque hausit, furiis accensus et ira
    Terribilis: 'tune hinc spoliis indute meorum
    Eripiare mihi? Pallas te hoc vulnere, Pallas
    Immolat et poenam scelerato ex sanguine sumit.'
    Hoc dicens ferrum adverso sub pectore condit
    • In deep suspense the Trojan seemed to stand,
      And, just prepared to strike, repressed his hand.
      He rolled his eyes, and every moment felt
      His manly soul with more compassion melt;
      When, casting down a casual glance, he spied
      The golden belt that glittered on his side,
      The fatal spoils which haughty Turnus tore
      From dying Pallas, and in triumph wore.
      Then, roused anew to wrath, he loudly cries
      (Flames, while he spoke, came flashing from his eyes)
      "Traitor, dost thou, dost thou to grace pretend,
      Clad, as thou art, in trophies of my friend?
      To his sad soul a grateful offering go!
      'Tis Pallas, Pallas gives this deadly blow."
      He raised his arm aloft, and, at the word,
      Deep in his bosom drove the shining sword.
    • Lines 938–951 (tr. John Dryden)

  • Vitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras.
    • And with a groan for that indignity
      His spirit fled into the gloom below.
    • Line 952 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald)

Quotes about the Aeneid

Give way, you Roman writers, give way, you Greeks: something greater than the Iliad is being born. ~ Sextus Propertius
A man, an adult, is precisely what [Aeneas] is: Achilles had been little more than a passionate boy... With Virgil European poetry grows up.
~ C. S. Lewis
The Aeneid enforces the fine paradox that all the wonders of the most powerful institution the world has ever known are not necessarily of greater importance than the emptiness of human suffering. ~ Adam Parry
(arranged in chronological order)

  • Cedite Romani scriptores, cedite Graii:
    Nescioquid maius nascitur
    • Give way, you Roman writers, give way, you Greeks:
      something greater than the Iliad is being born.
    • Sextus Propertius, Elegies, Book II, xxxiv, lines 65–66

  • Et profugum Aenean, altae primordia Romae,
    Quo nullum Latio clarius extat opus.
    • And the [story of] fugitive Aeneas, the origins of noble Rome,
      than which there is no greater work known in Latin.
    • Ovid , Ars Amatoria , Book III, lines 337–338

  • Nec tu divinam Aeneida tempta,
    sed longe sequere et vestigia semper adora.
    • Nor rival the divine Aeneid, but follow afar and ever venerate its footsteps.
    • Statius, Thebaid, lines 816–817, trans. J. H. Mozley

  • "Aeneida" prosa prius oratione formatam digestamque in XII libros particulatim componere instituit, prout liberet quidque, et nihil in ordinem arripiens. Ac ne quid impetum moraretur, quaedam inperfecta transmisit, alia levissimis verbis veluti fulsit, quae per iocum pro tibicinibus interponi aiebat ad sustinendum opus, donec solidae columnae advenirent.
    • In the case of the "Aeneid," after writing a first draft in prose and dividing it into twelve books, [Virgil] proceeded to turn into verse one part after another, taking them up just as he fancied, in no particular order. And that he might not check the flow of his thought, he left some things unfinished, and, so to speak, bolstered others up with very slight words, which, as he jocosely used to say, were put in like props, to support the structure until the solid columns should arrive.
    • Suetonius, Vita Vergili 23–24, in Suetonius, with an English translation by J. C. Rolfe, Vol. II (1914), pp. 471–473

  • De l'Eneïda dico, la qual mamma
    fummi, e fummi nutrice, poetando:
    sanz'essa non fermai peso di dramma.
    • I speak of the Aeneid; when I wrote
      verse, it was mother to me, it was nurse;
      my work, without it, would not weigh an ounce.
    • Dante Alighieri, Divine Comedy, Purgatory, XXI, 97-99, trans. Allen Mandelbaum; spoken by Statius.

  • Virgil falls infinitely short of Homer in the characters of his poem, both as to their variety and novelty. Æneas is indeed a perfect character, but as for Achates, though he's styled the hero's friend, he does nothing in the whole poem which may deserve that title. [...] I do not see any thing new or particular in Turnus. [...] In short, there is neither that variety nor novelty in the persons of the Æneid, which we meet with in those of the Iliad.

  • Nor is it sufficient for an epic poem to be filled with such thoughts as are natural, unless it abound also with such as are sublime. Virgil in this particular falls short of Homer. He has not indeed so many thoughts that are low and vulgar; but at the same time has not so many thoughts that are sublime and noble. The truth of it is, Virgil seldom rises into very astonishing sentiments, when he is not fired by the Iliad. He everywhere charms and pleases us by the force of his own genius; but seldom elevates and transports us where he does not fetch his hints from Homer.

  • My chief objection (I mean that to the character of Aeneas) is, of course, not so much felt in the three first books; but, afterwards, he is always either insipid or odious, sometimes excites interest against him, and never for him.
    • Charles James Fox, letter to his friend Trotter, in Memoirs of the latter years of the Right Honorable Charles James Fox by John Bernard Trotter (3rd edition, 1811), p. 527

  • It was surely no affectation in Virgil when he desired to have the Aeneid burnt; he had made that poem the task of his life, and in his last moments he had the feeling that he had failed in it.

  • The Roman epic abounds in moral and poetical defects; nevertheless it remains the most complete picture of the national mind at its highest elevation, the most precious document of national history, if the history of an age is revealed in its ideas, no less than in its events and incidents.
    • Charles Merivale, History of the Romans Under the Empire, Vol. IV (1865), p. 448

  • Doubtless it was the "Æneid," his artificial and unfinished epic, that won Virgil the favour of the Middle Ages. To the Middle Ages, which knew not Greek, and knew not Homer, Virgil was the representative of the heroic and eternally interesting past. But to us who know Homer, Virgil's epic is indeed "like moonlight unto sunlight;" is a beautiful empty world, where no real life stirs, a world that shines with a silver lustre not its own, but borrowed from "the sun of Greece."
    • Andrew Lang, letter to Lady Violet Lebas in Letters on Literature (1892), p. 64

  • Virgil is unhappy in his hero. Compared with Achilles his Aeneas is but the shadow of a man.

  • A man, an adult, is precisely what [Aeneas] is: Achilles had been little more than a passionate boy. ... With Virgil European poetry grows up.
    • C. S. Lewis, A Preface to Paradise Lost (1942), Chapter 6: "Virgil and the Subject of Secondary Epic"

  • The Aeneid, the supposed panegyric of Augustus and great propaganda-piece of the new regime, has turned into something quite different. The processes of history are presented as inevitable, as indeed they are, but the value of what they achieve is cast into doubt. Virgil continually insists on the public glory of the Roman achievement, the establishment of peace and order and civilization, that dominion without end which Jupiter tells Venus he has given the Romans:

    Imperium sine fine dedi.

    But he insists equally on the terrible price one must pay for this glory. More than blood, sweat and tears, something more precious is continually being lost by the necessary process; human freedom, love, personal loyalty, all the qualities which the heroes of Homer represent, are lost in the service of what is grand, monumental and impersonal: the Roman State.

    • Adam Parry, "The Two Voices of Virgil's Aeneid", in Arion, Vol. II, No. 4 (1963), p. 78

  • The Aeneid enforces the fine paradox that all the wonders of the most powerful institution the world has ever known are not necessarily of greater importance than the emptiness of human suffering.
    • Adam Parry, "The Two Voices of Virgil's Aeneid", in Arion, Vol. II, No. 4 (1963), p. 80

  • Virgil's is a poem that at once sustains the discourses of political power and questions them as well.

  • Aeneas exhibits a new kind of tragic heroism: that of the public servant who labors for others selflessly... It is important to grasp the meanings of the Roman word pietas inasmuch as this, the only quality assigned Aeneas in the prologue, furnishes the most common description of him throughout the epic: pius Aeneas. The adjective and noun describe the right relationship that exists between a human being and (1) the gods, (2) his public responsibilities as citizen or political leader, (3) his family, and (4) other human beings. ... The pageant of [Aeneas'] exit from Troy is a masterpiece of Vergilian symbolism. Not content with the simple legend that Aeneas carried his father from the defeated city, Vergil adds to the picture little Ascanius stepping along at Aeneas' side, and in the father's hands he places a small receptacle containing the penates or household gods. Aeneas, in the center of the tableau, fulfills the first three aspects of pietas. Not only is he obeying the gods but he is carrying the religious symbols which will serve as the basis of important rituals in his new land. Not only is he showing family devotion with his filial act toward Anchises his father (as legend prescribed) but he is leading his son by the hand so as to continue the family. ... The total family group centered on Aeneas represents the public mission of the hero, who serves as the necessary link between old Troy (Anchises) and new Troy in Italy (Ascanius). Aeneas' duty, which he selflessly carries out, is to bring the Trojans to Italy and make possible their lasting settlement. This he admirably accomplishes, then dies three years later without having had time to enjoy his achievement.
    • William S. Anderson, The Art of the Aeneid (2nd Edition, 2005), pp. 23–24



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