Fatis Contraria Fata Rependens

Ambiguities in Vergil’s Aeneid








Timothy Abney











Roman History

Professor Rowan














Vergil’s Balancing Act

            It has become a commonplace of Vergilian criticism to focus initially on a smaller segment of the Aeneid as a means of accessing the entire text.[1]  In this regard, I have come to view as of central interest a remark of Venus to Jupiter in Aeneid 1: “By this, indeed, I tried to console myself for the fall of Troy and its sad ruin, counterbalancing opposing fates with each other.”[2]  Whether Vergil intends it or not, one may use this citation as a key to the working method behind his epic.  Faced with both pressures of narrative composition and conflicts regarding the Principate of Augustus, the poet performs a veritable juggling act.  Close examination of the Aeneid in light of the times and with due attention to its underlying structure may elucidate further its many messages.

Vergil’s Works as Autobiography and Personal Revelation

From the first, there has been an understandable desire to read Vergil’s biography into his literary production.  The poet’s Eclogues in particular have served the ill-advised biographer since Suetonius.  These pastoral texts have provided scholars with the “facts” of the poet’s life and sexual orientation.  Drawing primarily on the Aeneid, later generations have worked out the details of Vergil’s religious beliefs and political philosophy.  Each of these first three areas deserves more balanced assessment before moving on to consider the political subtext of the Aeneid.

The frequent assertion that Vergil suffered during the land redistribution demonstrates the convoluted history created in the absence of indisputable data.  No less able a Roman historian than Ronald Syme transforms assertions drawn from literary production into historical fact.  According to Syme, “Both Virgil and Horace had lost their paternal estates in the confiscations that followed Philippi or the disorders of the Peruscine War: they subsequently regained their property, or at least compensation.”[3]  Guy Lee, translator of the Eclogues, and Michael Grant, in a survey of Latin literature, remain more dubious, although Grant corroborates that Horace did lose his property.[4]  In fact, the sole source behind these conflicting assertions rests with Aelius Donatus, who, according to general agreement, draws upon the otherwise lost section of Suetonius’s Lives of the Poets (De Poetis).[5]  As Suetonius presents the story, Vergil had broken off an early attempt at a Roman epic (res Romanas) to compose his eclogues in praise of Asinius Pollio, Alfenus Varus, and Cornelius Gallus, who had aided him during the Transpadane land seizures after Philippi.[6]

Suetonius’s assertion, however, sounds suspiciously like a selective reading of the Eclogues.  In the first eclogue, the shepherd Tityrus remarks, “Here [in Rome] I first saw that youth, Meliboeus, for whom our altars burn twelve days every year.  Here he first gave a reply to me as I besought him, ‘Graze your cattle as before, boys, and raise your bulls.’”[7]  In contrast to this happy ending, the characters in the ninth eclogue lament that “a stranger, as possessor of our little plot of land, would say, ‘These places are mine; old tenants, clear out!”[8]  The prayer that Mantua may survive the chaos seemingly adds evidence that a catastrophe occurred in Vergil’s homeland.[9]  Lee notes the argument that the poet wrote the ninth eclogue first.[10]  Taken in conjunction with Augustus’s assertion that he alone had compensated the dispossessed for their losses, the poems together suggest that Vergil lost his land but received restitution.[11]

In fact, a retrojection of the plot of eclogues upon the historical circumstance appears equally plausible.  Writing circa 40 BC, Vergil depicts not an Arcadian, but rather an Italian landscape.  The confiscations occurring throughout the countryside find their place in his poems, as do the efforts of powerful patrons to help the little people.  In other words, as Grant writes, the conclusion that Vergil found himself among the victims of land redistribution must remain “uncertain.”[12]

From Suetonius, too, stems in part the tradition of Vergil’s homosexuality.  Suetonius passes along a nickname, the “Maiden” (Parthenias),[13] and links “an inclination for boys, . . . especially . . . an Alexander, whom he calls ‘Alexis’ in the second eclogue.”[14]  The reference, of course, is to the famous opening of the second eclogue, “The shepherd Corydon burned for shapely Alexis.”[15]  A second source roughly contemporaneous with Suetonius comes from Martial, who writes about Alexis as though his beauty inspired Vergil to put aside more trifling verse for the weightier stuff of epic.[16]  One may further adduce the Nisus-Euryalus relationship in the Aeneid, about which Robert Fitzgerald is most direct of the translators.  “This man [Nisus] did not forget Euryalus, / His beloved.”[17]  Where some commentators prevaricate, “Nisus . . . famous for his ‘honourable love for the boy’ (amore piu pueri; the qualifying adjective is crucial),”[18]  Fitzgerald at least seems willing to recognize a same sex relationship for what it is.

Whether one may deduce Vergil's own sexual orientation from these episodes nonetheless remains dubious.  The evidence of both Suetonius and Martial appears at first glance to offer multiple attestation.  The extreme similarity of their reports, however, may also tend to suggest a common source, extant perhaps in the late first and early second centuries AD, but subsequently lost.  After all, since this “Suetonius” is actually a fourth-century “Donatus,” it is possible that the life as we have it essentially summarizes Martial’s epigram as a prose digest.[19]  Certainly some Romans of Vergil’s day did engage in acts that today are classified “homosexual.”  Vergil may have been one of these men, or he may simply have been acknowledging their existence and the homoerotic tradition in epic, dating back to Achilles and Patroclus in the Iliad, without the scurrilous mudslinging accorded to passive male partners at the time.[20]

Finally, Vergil’s use of the gods and of concepts like pietas and fatum may either reflect his personal religion or spring instead from the mechanisms of epic in the Augustan age.  As with sexual orientation, it is not possible to equate Vergil’s words with his beliefs.  Even balanced critics struggle not to speak for Vergil.  For example, Cyrus Bailey, in his book-length study of Religion in Virgil, dubs the poet’s concept of fate “the widest and deepest of his religious ideas.”[21]  Such an assertion is not only acceptable, it also finds support in literary criticism.  Brooks Otis understands the whole direction of the Aeneid in terms of a contest between fate (Jupiter) and counter-fate (Juno).[22]  When Bailey and Grant start to speak of Vergil as “deeply religious” and a veritable “monotheist,” however, they move from the plain of the demonstrable to the speculative.[23]

Vergil can, of course, use the divine machinery of epic in standard fashion.  He depicts regal Jupiter, “father of men and gods, smiling down at his daughter with the face with which he clears the sky and storms.”[24]  When Jupiter speaks, “the lofty house became quiet, and the earth was shaken at its foundations; the upper air on high was silent; then the winds left off; the sea pressed down its calm surface.”[25]  As Viktor Pöschl notes, the sky god in such scenes transcends even his fellow deities; he shows himself “not only a higher power but a higher level of existence.”[26]  Whereas Zeus in the Iliad often resembles a bully and threatens to brutalize both his wife Hera and brother Poseidon,[27] Vergil’s Jupiter “is more sublime.”[28]  Indeed, the father of gods and men resembles not a little the monotheist God in whom “we live and move and have our being.”[29]

In his analysis, however, Gordon Williams reminds us that “ideas that seem to be religious in origin can also be viewed as figural structures, designed to help in the ordering of the narrative.”[30]  For Vergil to omit the gods from the Trojan Cycle would prove the surprise.  To avoid mention of traditional religion and omens when Suetonius notes Augustus’s obsession with superstitions would exceed the limits of credibility.  Among other eccentricities, Augustus honored the Sibylline books, feared thunder and lightning, believed in dreams, thought that a drizzle at the start of a journey betokened success, gave some credence to unusual trees, and refused to conduct business on the Nones.[31]  The danger, then, lies in reading the Sibyl of Cumae or dreams in the epic as expressions of Vergil’s personal theology.

At its best, close study helps make clear how skillfully Vergil manipulates his various religious building blocks.  For example, Bailey explores the degree of synchretism in the epic divinities.  Minerva functions generally as the Italian goddess of crafts, but with an occasional admixture of the warlike attributes associated with Pallas Athena.[32]  Further, Vergil frequently uses the gods primarily for their metonymic value, whereby Mars, Venus, Ceres, Bacchus, and Vulcan become no more than poetic substitutes for warfare, love, grain, wine, and fire.[33]

Additionally, we may note that Vergil casts serious doubts on the efficacy of religion and ritual, even as he fills his epic with divine motivators, fate, prophets, and rites.  In an aside directed at the audience while Dido takes the auspices, the narrator (which is not to say Vergil) declares, “Oh, the ignorant minds of the prophets!”[34]  Characters even flirt with atheism.  Iarbas, son of Hammon (Jupiter), asks, “Whether we fear you in vain, father, when you whirl your thunderbolts, and fires hidden in the clouds terrify our minds, and empty rumblings confuse them.”[35]  Pondering the causes of glory, Nisus asks Euryalus whether each individual dreams up personal gods from his own desires and dread.[36]  Mezentius, despiser of the gods (contemptor diuum), calls his right hand and his spear his only gods.[37]  Since even Vergil’s contemporaries, such as Cicero and Varro, openly suggested that religion served the public good by controlling the masses and supporting the state agenda, why should we insist on taking the Augustan reforms as expressed in the Aeneid as literal?[38]

In sum, Vergil displays a dazzling synthesis of piety and doubt.  He presents a full panoply of acceptable religious beliefs, where the supreme god remains in control of the universe, but likewise calls into question that god’s very existence.  He offers a host of prophets to reveal the future, but simultaneously accuses them of ignorance.  The role of prophecy will occupy us further below.

Aeneas as Augustus: Layers of Complexity, Lessons to Learn

            Long-standing interpretations of the Aeneid repeatedly cast Aeneas in the role of a proto-Augustus and read the epic as “Augustan propaganda” purchased by the Princeps with the coin of the realm.[39]  The present study will consider how Augustus may have influenced the text in an informal fashion.  It will investigate those claims with a survey of the secondary sources.  Finally, working with the textual evidence, it will examine the justifications for the Aeneas-Augustus identification and consider the messages sent by such an equation.

Before analyzing the degree to which we may safely identify the protagonist with the emperor, it seems appropriate to investigate yet another level of influences, one that seems not to have received attention previously.  We have already noted that Vergil’s use of religion may well reflect the emperor’s beliefs equally as well as his own.  It appears likely that additional manifestations of Augustus’s interests may appear throughout the epic.  Vergil could certainly be on the imperial payroll without sacrificing his artistic integrity.

We may perhaps compare elements in the funeral games of book 5 to the strategic placement of brand name cereal boxes in the background of popular films.  Augustus’s favorite sports included boxing and the Troy game.[40]  Vergil devotes 123 lines of the fifth book (871 lines) to a series of boxing matches that result in the young braggart predictably laid low by the old hero.[41]  Remarkably, the elderly pugilist Entellus was trained by Eryx of Sicily, who had once boxed with Hercules.[42]  That the ancient audience would recognize Eryx as another son of Venus, and thus a collateral ancestor of the Julian line, is suggestive, indeed.  While boxing legitimately joins races and archery contests as reasonable fixtures on the heroic circuit, the segment of fifty-nine lines devoted to the Troy game, a combination of intricate horsemanship and mock combat performed by boys, is a Vergilian innovation.[43]  Suetonius notes that these games had also been popular with Julius Caesar.[44] A Julian family favorite for two generations, it scarcely surprises that the text credits the preservation of these ancient games to young Ascanius, i.e., Iulus, the ancestor of the Julian clan.[45]  Scattered throughout all the competitions in the book are etymologies connecting prominent Roman families to people and even boats that participate in the games in honor of Anchises.[46]  Perhaps due in part to the name-dropping, few readers number the fifth book among their favorites.  Still, Vergil hardly compromises his ethics seriously with a few favorable mentions of the fashionable sports and well-known names of the Roman world.

            Does the epic function as a gigantic allegory?  Syme denies the allegory but concedes a “foreshadowing of Augustus.”[47]  He then proceeds to allegorize the entire epic.  Founding a reborn Rome “was such a great burden.”[48]  The fates have promised a ruler over the whole world.[49]  Augustus’s planning at Apollonia was “the first route to safety.”[50]  The road entailed blood and destruction.[51]  Augustus sought no personal glory in what he did.[52]  Putting the epic to such pedestrian purposes leaves us little reason to read it.

            Pöschl proves instrumental in understanding the Aeneid as a complex work of art in which multiple identifications are possible.  Anticipating Otis’s contest between fate and counter-fate, Pöschl suggests that “[t]he demonic appears in history as civil or foreign war, in the soul as passion, and in nature as death and destruction.  Jupiter, Aeneas, and Augustus are its conquerors, while Juno, Dido, Turnus, and Antony are its conquered representatives.”[53]  In such a reading, Jupiter’s declaration that the Gates of War will someday be closed becomes history prophesied and prophecy historicized without diluting the inherent surface story.[54]

The Aeneid makes numerous references to the Shield of Aeneas that link the hero to Augustus.  Herbert W. Benario points out one of the clearest allusions.[55]  Aeneas, on his return from Pallanteum, is “standing on the high prow” of his ship.[56]  With him he brings Vulcan’s shield, the central of image on which is Actium.  Engraved upon the shield is Augustus “standing on the high prow.”[57]  The association is clear: both face a coming battle with identical resolve.  Parry indicates another parallel in the preceding line.  Augustus leads the Italians into battle “along with the senate and the people, the penates and the great gods.”[58]  Aeneas’s much heralded departure from Phrygian shores occurs “with allied penates and son and the great gods.”[59]  As Parry notes, “Aeneas’ shield shows the future version of himself.”[60]  When later in the third book Aeneas dedicates captured Greek weapons to Apollo, it is at Actium.[61]  Time appears to be folding in on itself, particularly whenever Aeneas somehow separates himself from his fellows, e.g., while visiting Pallanteum or the underworld.

Sarah Mack has done banner service in investigating time in Vergil.  I find her work on the poet’s seemingly random tense usage convincing and enlightening, but for the present study, her work on Vergil’s use of the future proves even more beneficial.[62]  She argues persuasively, “The task of the present is to move toward the future and become it,” and demonstrates her point with further comments on Aeneas’s visit to Pallanteum, the future site of Rome.[63]  Helpful king Evander is characterized as “founder of the Roman citadel,” some three centuries before Romulus![64]  On a tour through the humble village, the local landmarks become the tourist attractions for which Rome will be known.[65]  The stroll through time takes on added dimensions when Aeneas arrives at Evander’s poor home, while cattle bellow in the Roman Forum and luxurious Carinae.[66] 

Curiously, Mack neglects the next lines, which join future Rome, current Pallanteum, and previous badlands.  For Evander bids Aeneas enter his poor home, urging him to scorn wealth and be worthy of the god.[67]  Otis connects this message to the frugality of Augustus, as recounted by Suetonius.[68]  In this case, at least, we can agree that Augustus needs no moral instruction from the poet.  Backward in time, an earlier guest of Evander was that supreme agent of order, Hercules, who arrived there after having slain the chaos monster Cacus, resident of a cave on the Aventine.[69]  It becomes increasingly difficult by the end of the epic to untangle who the true founder of Eternal Rome is: Hercules, Evander, Aeneas, Romulus, or Augustus?

The particular relevance of this overlapping temporal sequence adds one more link to an elaborate poetic equation.  Vergil has repeatedly connected Aeneas to his descendant Augustus.  The two have the same bearing and even enjoy the same games.  When linear time collapses in Pallanteum, Aeneas merges not only with the Rome to come, but also with another demigod, Hercules himself.  Different connections emerge in the Parade of Heroes in the underworld, both in terms of time distortion and lessons to be learned.  At the center of the processional we find Augustus, whose empire will exceed even the travels of Hercules.[70]  It does not stretch the bounds of credibility to conclude that Vergil intends the following association:

Hercules = Aeneas = Augustus.

From Vergil’s depiction of the underworld, it appears that time as we conceive it does not exist.  As the Sibyl guides Aeneas into hell, he travels backward in time.[71]  His first personal encounter is with the helmsman Palinurus, whose life was the cost of the Trojans’ safe passage to Italy (book 5).  After crossing the Styx, he meets Dido, frozen in time with her husband Sychaeus in the Mourning Fields (book 4).  Finally, he meets the Trojan prince Deiphobus, lost during the fall of Troy (book 2).  With this prolog from the past, Aeneas is prepared to meet his personal future in the lands of the blessed dead.

Elysium has its own sun and stars, i.e., its own calendar.[72]  After the promised reunion with the shade of his father, wise Anchises begins to reel off the future of Rome.  As mentioned, Augustus occurs in the center of the procession, significantly among the list of kings.[73]  It is therefore additionally noteworthy that Anchises gives the famous “call of the Romans.”  The piece deserves to be cited fully:

tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento

(hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,

parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.[74]

Parry assesses this charge as “full of eagles and trumpets.”[75]  I view it somewhat differently in light of the current discussion.  Of three well-regarded translators, neither Allen Mandelbaum, Robert Fitzgerald, nor Edward McCrorie catches the full significance of Anchises’s command.  The Latin memento and erunt are both future tense forms.  All three poets render memento, a future imperative, as a present.  Mandelbaum writes, “[R]emember . . . these will be your arts.”[76]  Fitzgerald reads, “[R]emember . . . / for these your arts are to be.”[77]  McCrorie numbers his lines consistently  with Vergil’s but sacrifices both futures: “remember . . . / there’s your art.”[78]

            In view of the shifting tenses and time sequences of which Mack has made us aware and because of Augustus’s location among the hated kings, rather than in his chronologically proper place, it seems most appropriate to regard the speech as another aside addressed not to the characters, but rather to Vergil’s public, in particular to the emperor himself.  The sentiments expressed do not equate Aeneas’s future with Romans’ realized present.  After all, in Aeneas’s day there are no Romans; the words bespeak a future continuing to unfold and as yet unfulfilled.  “Be sure to remember, O Roman, to rule the peoples with your power and to impose your customs upon peace.  These will be your arts: to spare the subject and to war down the arrogant.”[79]

The glorious destiny of Rome initially appears to be guaranteed. In book 1 Jupiter has already heralded to Venus a Roman future unbounded by time or space, “I have given them empire without end.”[80]  O’Hara undercuts the validity of the prophecy by reminding us that it will not see completion in Aeneas’s lifetime.  “Harsh ages will grow mild when wars have been put aside” can first come true in Augustus’s day, not Aeneas’s.  The latter will reign for three winters (terna hiberna) only, not eternally.  Besides, as O’Hara reminds the literary critic used to Vergil’s countless figures of speech, the Latin word hiberna literally means “winter quarters,” suggesting that the conflict does not end with Turnus’s death.[81]  If Jupiter is unrolling the scroll of Fate unambiguously, the “bella, horrida bella” will not end during Aeneas’s lifetime.[82]  Furthermore, even by the time of Vergil and Augustus, hoary Faith and Vesta, Romulus as deified Quirinus and Remus have not yet returned to earth to oversee a new Golden Age.[83]  The future has become a bit less sure than it initially seemed.  Mack even questions the whole point of the Augustan era.  If the Romans only know how to make war and deal with conquest, what will they do in an age of endless peace?[84]

The remaining episodes of Roman prophecy cast additional doubt on their efficacy.  As we move across the Aeneid, we witness a gradual diminution of their range.  Mack notes the following schema:

            Jupiter to Venus (Book 1): from Aeneas in Italy to eternity;

            Anchises to Aeneas (Book 6): founding of Alba Longa to the death of Marcellus;

            Vulcan to Aeneas (Book 8): from Romulus to Actium.[85]

Life much beyond the death of Marcellus and the Battle of Actium are obviously unknowns on the part of the poet.  In terms of the story, however, we realize that “the future beyond Augustus has collapsed.”[86]  As Aeneas exits hell via the ivory gate of false dreams, the fear surfaces that all is not right with this world.[87]  Accordingly, it should not surprise too much that Aeneas accepts his divinely crafted shield from his mother without knowing what it means.[88]  He shoulders the reputation and destiny of his descendants, but “follow[ing] the vocation does not mean happiness.”[89]

            Indeed, whenever Aeneas leaves the scene, all that remains is a woman in mourning.  As the Trojans arrive at Buththrotum, they discover to their amazement that refugees from their city, Helenus and Andromache, widow of Hector, reign there.[90]  The city they have established is a monument to a dead past, a mini-golf replica of Troy, complete with “a phony Simois river,” “a tiny Troy and a citadel of Pergamum pretending to be big and a dry stream with the nickname ‘Xanthus,’ and . . . the threshold of the Scaean Gates.”[91]  They come upon Andromache weeping at an obviously empty tomb for Hector.  Both Aeneas and Andromache are creatures outside of time.  The fall of Troy consumes them.  Aeneas asks Andromache what she has been up to since losing her husband, while she inquires whether Ascanius is still alive.  When Aeneas leaves them behind to answer the call of fate, he laments that he “must seek the land of Ausonia, ever-receding backward.”[92]  Susan Ford Wiltshire remarks on the real tragedy of the hero, “Aeneas is never home but is always going home.”[93]  If Aeneas will, in fact, spend his final three years in Italy in a beleaguered army encampment, the homecoming will be indefinitely postponed.

In contrast, Dido has led an escape from the tyranny of her brother Pygmalion, who had murdered her husband Sychaeus.  Although a woman, she has become the Carthaginians’  leader,[94] directing the building of the city and the establishment of law and order.[95]  She is becoming her future, at least until Aeneas arrives.[96]  When the affair ends, as fate deems it must, Dido curses Aeneas and his descendants forever, wishing for some avenger to pay them back whenever the opportunity presents itself, then takes her own life.[97]  It is certainly easier to predict the onslaught of Hannibal in hindsight, but the real tragedies are twofold.  First, Aeneas reduces Dido to a literal shadow of her former self, withdrawing to her husband’s ghost,[98] as trapped in the past as he had been.  He meets her wandering in the woods, just as he had been wandering lost when his mother had first pointed out the way to Carthage in book 1.[99]  Second, Dido’s sister Anna is left to pick up the pieces and wish that she might have accompanied her dying sister at the same hour or by the same sword.[100]

We may even note the bitter tone of futility expressed by Juturna in book 12.  As sister to Turnus and a goddess, she expends a tremendous amount of effort, ingenuity, and magic to protect her brother.  Originally a mortal, she has been granted divinity by Jupiter in compensation for his having raped her, which act tends to detract from his transcendent sublimity.[101]  Disguised as Turnus’s charioteer for much of the book, she attempts to keep him from Aeneas.  Turnus, however, has recognized her since she broke the treaty and laments his abandonment by the gods.[102]  This comment runs parallel to his verbal duel with Aeneas.  “Your seething words do not frighten me, you savage.  The gods frighten me, they and Jupiter my enemy.”[103]  Forced to withdraw her intervention when Jupiter drives her from the battlefield with a Fury, she befouls her head and chest.[104]  Anna, too, had slashed at her face with her nails and rained blows on her breast upon discovering Dido’s body.[105]  Not completely unlike Anna, she wishes she could accompany her brother, but she also bemoans her immortality: her grief will be eternal.[106]

The End of the Aeneid, and the Beginning

At length, Aeneas must confront the last obstacle to his accession to power in Italy, the Rutulian leader Turnus.  Is the destruction of Turnus “the act of atonement that brings the peace”?[107]  Does it constitute “Aeneas’ first and necessary act of statesmanship,” a confirmation of his pietas to the slain Pallas?[108] Does language taken from sacrificial ritual (immolat) attempt to disguise “the identity of the real killer”?[109]  As we approach the end of the poem, we find ourselves suddenly pondering half-remembered phrases.  When analyzed in their full and proper context, they enable us to determine whether the reading of the Aeneid is ultimately positive or negative.[110]

Anderson recognized early on that the position of Turnus, dying on the point of Aeneas’s sword parallels exactly the situation in which Aeneas finds himself when assaulted by Juno’s storm.[111]  Aeneas becomes “incensed by the furies,” which one would expect rather of Allecto’s (Juno’s fury) victims.[112]  M. Owen Lee shifts our perspective: “It is Aeneas, not Turnus, who on the last page is possessed of a spirit from the mother’s world.  And the supreme irony, the terror of the final page is that the vindictive spirit has been sent by the father-god. . . .  Jupiter makes his hero act as Juno has acted.”[113]

K. W. Grandsen further shifts our attention back to just before the end, to the final confrontation between Jupiter and Juno, duty and rage.  Jupiter asks Juno, “What now will be the end, wife?”[114]  Driven to tears in desperation at her son Aeneas’s plight, Venus had earlier confronted her father with these words: “What end are you putting to their struggles, great king?”[115]  Aeneas strives throughout the epic to deal effectively with women: Creusa, Andromache, Dido, Lavina, Amata.  Jupiter, with the scroll of fate ever in his possession, smiles down at both daughter and wife.[116]  With this smile of assurance, “Virgil spans and overarches the entire Aeneid.”[117]

Amazingly, there are further parallels so far unmentioned.  Juno is not yet free of her fierce anger at the Trojan War, even at a remove of seven years.[118]  In anticipation of Aeneas at the close of the poem, she is angered by all the injustices done her at Troy besides her fear that Trojan offspring will supplant her beloved Carthage.[119]  Aeneas does indeed become incensed by the furies, but only after seeing the trophies of battle taken by Turnus from slain Pallas, reminders of his fierce grief.[120]  In their moments of despair, both Aeneas and Turnus stretch out their hands, either to the stars or the victor.[121]

The scenes between divinities deserve further attention as well.  In the first, as described above, Jupiter assures Venus of Trojan greatness, although his accuracy may leave something to be desired.  In the second, Jupiter similarly assures Juno of Latin greatness; the Latins will retain their language and customs, and Troy will sink away.[122]  Of course, by writing his Aeneid, Vergil brings the Trojan origins of Rome more to the fore than ever.  The very existence of the epic by itself negates one of the prophecies it contains!  Additionally, just as Venus expressed her concern in terms of a cosmic balancing act, weighing the city lost with the city gained, so, too, does Jupiter weigh the destinies of Turnus and Aeneas in a scale in book 12.  The image comes from the Iliad, where Zeus weighs the fates of Achilles and Hector, “and down went Hector’s day of doom, dragging him down to the strong House of Death—and Apollo left him.”[123]  In Vergil, we do not actually learn whose lot sinks.  “Jupiter himself holds up two scales with an even balance and places the differing fates of the two men upon them to determine which one the struggle would condemn and at what weight death [or ‘ruin’] would incline.”[124]  Can anyone say for sure which hero was condemned and which destroyed that day?  Vergil remains silent.

Throughout the epic, then, run threads that tie the beginning to the end and the end to the beginning.  Those inclined to dismiss Vergil as a third-rate Homer may wish to reexamine the evidence and revise their conclusions.  In an artistic sense, if no other, the poem predicts its conclusion and looks back upon a past that seems in retrospect an inevitable progression.  The conclusion balances the beginning, at least structurally.  From the mythical and historical perspectives, the situation is more complex.  Rome will rise, but at what cost?

At this point typographic representation may assist in the summary of the parallels made.








“saeui dolores” (1.25)

“soluuntur frigore membra” (1.92)

“saeui monimenta doloris” (12.945)

“uictum tendere palmas” (12.936)

“his accensa” (1.29)

“duplicis tendens ad sidera palmas” (1.93)

“furiis accensus” (12.946)

“illi soluuntur frigore membra” (12.951)

Jupiter and Venus Interview

Jupiter and Juno Interview

Venus asks Jupiter, “quem das finem, rex magne?” (1.241)

Jupiter balances fates: “Iuppiter ipse duas aequato examine lances / sustinet et fata imponit diuersa duorum, / quem damnet labor et quo vergat pondere letum.”  (12.725-27)

Venus balances fates: “hoc equidem occasum Troiae tristisque ruinas / solabar fatis contraria fata rependens.”  (1.235-36)

Jupiter asks Juno, “quam iam finis erit, coniunx?”  (12.793)

Jupiter smiles, “Olli subridens hominum sator atque deum” (1.254)

Jupiter smiles, “olli subridens hominumque rerumque repertor.”  (12.829)

Jupiter assures Trojan greatness: “his ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono: / imperium sine fine dedi.”  (1.278-79)

Jupiter assures Latin greatness: “do quod vis . . . / sermonem Ausonii patrium moresque tenebunt, / . . . / subsident Teucri.”  (12.833, 834, 836)


In summation, Vergil presents an epic that leads Aeneas from wishing for his own death to dispatching a powerless foe to the underworld.[125]  Much like his divine first causes, Vergil has weighed and counterbalanced conflicting societal tensions and demands on his creativity, able to depict artistically “both the hope that things will be better under Augustus, and his deep fear and worry that this is only an illusion.”[126]  His Jupiter may predict that Romulus and Remus will make justice together, but all the public-minded projects and reimbursements could not restore Cicero or Marc Antony to life, neither less indignant than Turnus.[127]  However “sublime and spontaneous” his Augustan poetry may be, Vergil’s hero abandons Dido, “pale from her death to come,” just as Cleopatra must have awaited the arrival of Augustus “growing pale from her death to come.”[128]  Of course, if Dido is Cleopatra, then Aeneas necessarily becomes Antony, perhaps intended as warning to Augustus of the risks of absolute power.[129]  No act of contrition can restore Egypt or Carthage lost and plundered.  What of the final evaluation of the epic as positive or negative?  While I hesitate to pronounce the poem’s sentence as Vergil’s own, the poetic analogy is indisputable:

            Juno : Aeneas :: Aeneas : Turnus.

            As Knight suggests, “Augustus might without knowing it be led to live up to his picture in the Aeneid, and to avoid the faults which Aeneas avoided, or did not avoid.”[130]  The many messages and morals of the Aeneid, which always constituted a favorite type of literature for the emperor, might well have inspired him to new heights.[131]  A standard textbook stresses that the completion of Aeneas’s “mission requires . . . the virtues that made Rome great: courage, piety, devotion to duty, constancy, and faith.”[132]  It neglects to mention that all Aeneas really has to do is give up everything he has, everyone he loves, everything he is, and become the furor that nearly consumes us all.














Anderson, William S.  The Art of the Aeneid.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1969.


Augustus.  “The Achievements of the Deified Augustus (Res Gestae Divi Augusti).”  In The

Historians of Ancient Rome.  Ed. and trans. Ronald Mellor.  New York: Routledge, 1988. 



---.  “Res Gestae Divi Augusti.”  The Latin Library.  n. d.

<http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/resgestae.html#16> (14 May 2003).


Bailey, Cyrus.  Religion in Virgil.  New York: Barnes and Noble, 1969.


Benario, Herbert W.  “The Tenth Book of the Aeneid.”  In Why Vergil?  A Collection of

Interpretations.  Ed. by Stephanie Quinn.  Foreword by Michael C. J. Putnam. 

Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2000.


Catullus.  Trans. by F. W. Cornish.  2nd ed.  Rev. by G. P. Goold.  In Catullus, Tibullus,

Pervigilium Veneris.  Loeb Classical Library 95.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University

Press, 1993.


Feeney, D. C.  “History and Revelation in Vergil’s Underworld.”  In Why Vergil?  A Collection

of Interpretations.  Ed. by Stephanie Quinn.  Foreword by Michael C. J. Putnam. 

Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2000. 108-22.


Fitzgerald, Robert, trans.  The Aeneid.  New York: Vintage Books-Random House, 1980.


Grandsen, K. W.  The Aeneid.  Landmarks of World Literature.  Cambridge, England:

Cambridge University Press, 1970.


Grant, Michael.  Roman Literature.  Rev. ed.  Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1964.


Heinze, Richard.  Virgil’s Epic Technique.  1915.  Trans. Hazel and David Harvey and Fred

            Robertson.  Preface Antonie Wlosok.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.


Homer.  The Iliad.  Trans. by Robert Fagles.  Intro and notes by Bernard Knox.  New York:

Penguin Books, 1990.


Johnson, W. R.  DarknessVisible: A Study of Vergil’s Aeneid.  Berkeley: University of California

Press, 1976.


Knight, W. F. Jackson.  Roman Vergil.  3rd ed.  New York: Barnes and Noble, 1971.


Lee, Arthur Guy, trans.  Virgil: The Eclogues.  Rev. ed.  Harmondsworth, England: Penguin

Books, 1984.

Lee, M. Owen.  Fathers and Sons in Virgil’s Aeneid: Tum Genitor Natum.  Albany: State

            University of  New York Press, 1979.


Lewis, C. S.  “Vergil and the Subject of Secondary Epic.”  In Virgil: A Collection of Critical

            Essays.  Edited by Steele Commager.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966.  62-67.


Mack, Sarah.  Patterns of Time in Vergil.  Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1978.


Mandelbaum, Allen, trans.  The Aeneid of Virgil.  New York: Bantam Books, 1971.


Martial.  Epigrams.  Vol 2.  Ed. and trans. by D. R. Shackleton Bailey.  Loeb Classical Library

95.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993.


McCrorie, Edward, trans.  The Aeneid.  Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1995.


O’ Hara, James J.  Death and the Optimistic Prophecy in Vergil’s Aeneid.  Princeton: Princeton

            University Press, 1990.


Oliensis, Ellen.  “Sons and Lovers: Sexuality and Gender in Virgil’s Poetry.”  In The Cambridge

Companion to Virgil.  Ed. by Charles Martindale.  Cambridge, England: Cambridge

University Press, 1997.  294-311.


Otis, Brooks.  Virgil: A Study in Civilized Poetry.  Foreword by Ward W. Briggs, Jr.  Norman,

OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.


Parry, Adam.  “The Two Voices in Virgil’s Aeneid.”  In Virgil: A Collection of Critical Essays. 

            Ed. Steele Commager.  Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966.


Pöschl, Viktor.  The Art of Vergil: Image and Symbol in the Aeneid.  Trans. Gerda Seligson. 

            1950.  Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962.


Suetonius.  “The Deified Augustus.”  Lives of the Caesars.  Trans. by J. C. Rolfe.  In Suetonius.

Vol. 1.  Loeb Classical Library 31.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998. 



---.  “The Deified Julius.”  Lives of the Caesars.  Trans. by J. C. Rolfe.  In Suetonius. Vol. 1. 

Loeb Classical Library 31.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998.  36-149.


---.  “Virgil.”  Lives of Illustrious Men.  Trans. by J. C. Rolfe.  In Suetonius.  Vol. 2.  Loeb

Classical Library 39.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.  442-67.


Syme, Ronald.  The Roman Revolution.  Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939.


Vergil.  P. Vergili Maronis Opera.  Edited by R. A. B. Mynors.  Oxford: Clarendon Press,


Ward, Allen M., Fritz M. Heichelheim, and Cedric A. Yeo.  A History of the Roman People.  3rd

            ed.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.


Williams, Gordon.  Technique and Ideas in the Aeneid.  New Haven: Yale University Press,



Wiltshire, Susan Ford.  Public and Private in Vergil’s Aeneid.  Amherst: University of

Massachusetts Press, 1989.


[1] The locus classicus for this approach is Adam Parry’s “Two Voices of Virgil’s Aeneid, in Virgil: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. Steele Commager (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966), 107-23.  Parry’s study has received much of the credit for initiating the so-called “pessimistic” reading of Vergil.


[2] Translations from the Latin are my own.  The edition used throughout for all Vergil citations is P. Vergili Maronis Opera, ed. R. A. B. Mynors  (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1969), 1.238-39.  Latin original: “hoc equidem occasum Troiae tristisque ruinas / solabar fatis contraria fata rependens.”


[3] Ronald Syme, The Roman Revolution (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939), 464.


[4] Arthur Guy Lee, trans, Virgil: The Eclogues, rev. ed.  (Harmondsworth, England, Penguin Books, 1984), 29; Michael Grant, Roman Literature, rev. ed.  (Harmondsworth, England, Penguin Books, 1964), 167.


[5] Lee, 18.


[6] Suetonius, “Virgil,” Lives of Illustrious Men,  trans. by J. C. Rolfe, in Suetonius, vol. 2,  Loeb Classical

Library 39 (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1997), 446-49.


[7] Vergil, Eclogues, 1.42-45.  Latin original: “hic illum uidi iuuenem, Meliboee, quotannis / bis senos cui nostra dies altaria fumant.  / hic mihi responsum primus dedit ille petenti/ ‘pascite ut ante boues, pueri; summittite tauros.’”


[8] Vergil, Eclogues 9.2-4.  Latin original: “aduena nostri . . . ut possessor agelli diceret: ‘haec mea sunt; ueteres migrate coloni.’”


[9] Vergil, Eclogues 9.27.  Latin original: “superet modo Mantua nobis.”


[10] Lee, 95.


[11] Augustus, “The Achievements of the Deified Augustus (Res Gestae Divi Augusti),” in The Historians of Ancient Rome, ed. and trans. by Ronald Mellor (New York: Routledge, 1988), 359;   Latin original: “Id p[r]imus et solus omnium qui deduxerunt colonias militum . . . feci”; idem, “Res Gestae Divi Augusti,” The Latin Library, n. d., <http://www.thelatinlibrary.com/resgestae.html#16> (14 May 2003).


[12] Grant, 167.


[13] Suetonius, “Vergil,” 44.


[14] Suetonius, “Vergil,” 445.  Latin original: “libidinis in pueros pronioris, . . . maxime . . . Alexandrum, quem secunda ‘Bucolicorum’ Alexim appellat.”


[15] Vergil, Eclogues, 2.1.  Latin original: “Formosum pastor Corydon ardebat Alexin.”


[16] Martial, Epigrams, vol. 2, ed. and trans. by D. R. Shackleton Bailey, Loeb Classical Library 95 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993), 5.55.12-19. 


[17] Robert Fitzgerald, trans., The Aeneid ( New York: Vintage Books-Random House, 1980), 5.425-26; Vergil, Aeneid, 5.334.  Latin original: “non tamen Euryali, non ille oblitus amorum,”.


[18] Ellen Olineis, “Sons and Lovers: Sexuality and Gender in Virgil’s Poetry,” in The Cambridge Companion to Virgil, ed. by Charles Martindale (Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, 1997), 309


[19] Suetonius translator J. C. Rolfe terms the Vergil life “almost wholly Suetonius,” which seems less than reassuring, in Suetonius, vol. 2, 370.


[20] Cf. Catullus, who can threaten his critics with sodomy and homosexual insults (“Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo, / Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,” 16.1-2) yet cannot have his fill of kisses with Juventius (‘nec mi umquam videar satur futurus,” 48.4).  Catullus, trans. by F. W. Cornish, 2nd ed., rev. by G. P. Goold, in Catullus, Tibullus, Pervigilium Veneris, Loeb Classical Library 95 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993).


[21] Cyrus Bailey, Religion in Virgil (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1969), 204.


[22] Brooks Otis, Virgil: A Study in Civilized Poetry,  foreword by Ward W. Briggs, Jr. (Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995) 228.


[23] Bailey, 233; Grant uses virtually identical wording, “deepest religious conviction” and “monotheism,” 168.


[24] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.254-55.  Latin original: “Olli subridens hominum sator atque deorum / uultu quo caelum tempestatesque serenat.”


[25] Vergil, Aeneid, 10.101-03.  Latin original: “deum domus alta silescit / et tremefacta solo tellus, silet arduus aether, / tum Zephyri posuere, premit placida aequora pontus.”


[26] Viktor Pöschl, The Art of Vergil: Image and Symbol in the Aeneid, trans. Gerda Seligson, (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962), 17.


[27] Homer, The Iliad, trans. by Robert Fagles, intro. and notes by Bernard Knox (New York: Penguin Books, 1990), 15.17-44, 188-200, but note that Fagles numbers his lines differently from the Homeric original.


[28] Pöschl, 17.


[29] Acts 17.28, Paul quoting Eumenides, New Revised Standard Version.


[30] Gordon Williams, Technique and Ideas in the Aeneid (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983), 3.


[31] Suetonius, “The Deified Augustus,” Lives of the Caesars, trans. by J. C. Rolfe, in Suetonius, vol. 1, Loeb Classical Library 31 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 196-97, 282-85.


[32] Bailey, 152-57.


[33] Bailey, chs. 4-6, 88-162.


[34] Vergil, Aeneid, 4.65.  Latin original: “heu, uatum ignarae mentes,” for which an acceptable alternative rendering would be “oh, the minds ignorant of the prophets,” in which case Vergil would be chastising Dido for attempting to read the entrails herself.


[35] Vergil, Aeneid, 4.208-10.  Latin original: “an te, genitor, cum fulmina torques / nequiquam horremus, caecique in nubibus ignes / terrificant animos et inania murmura miscent.”


[36] Vergil, Aeneid, 9.184-85.  Latin original: “dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt, / Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?”


[37] Vergil, Aeneid, (contemptor diuum) 7.648, 8.7, (reference to Mezentius's gods) 10.773.  Latin original: “dextra mihi deus et telum.”


[38] James J O’ Hara, Death and the Optimistic Prophecy in Vergil’s Aeneid (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), 118-19.


[39] Parry, 111, where the author is reporting the standard view.


[40] Suetonius, “Augustus,” (boxing: “Spectavit studiosissime pugiles”) 222-23, (Troy game: “Troiae lusum edidit frequentissime”) 216-19. 


[41] Vergil, Aeneid, 5.362-484.


[42] Vergil, Aeneid, 5.391-92, 410-11.


[43] Vergil, Aeneid, 5.545-603.


[44] Suetonius, “The Deified Julius,” Lives of the Caesars, trans. by J. C. Rolfe, in Suetonius, vol. 1, Loeb Classical Library 31 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998), 84-85.


[45] Vergil, Aeneid, 5.597-602.  Latin original: “haec certamina primus / Ascanius . . . / rettulit. . . .”


[46] E.g., Vergil, Aeneid, 5.568.  Latin original: “alter Atys, genus unde Atii duxere Latini.”


[47] Syme, 463.


[48] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.33.  Latin original in reference to Aeneas: “tantae molis erat Romanam condere gentem.”


[49] Vergil, Aeneid, 4.231. Latin original where Aenas has forsaken his mission by dallying in Carthage: “totum sub leges mitteret orbem.”


[50] Vergil, Aeneid, 6.96-96.  Latin original refers to the prophecies to be given by the Cumaean Sibyl: “uia prima salutis, / quod minime reris, Graia pandetur ab urbe.”


[51]Vergil, Aeneid 6.86-87.  Latin original is part of the Sybil’s prophecy: “bella, horrida bella, / et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno.”


[52]Vergil, Aeneid, 12.190.  Latin original where Aeneas excuses himself from blame for the Latin war: “nec mihi regna peto.”


[53]Pöschl, 18.  He further adds, “The Roman god, the Roman hero, and the Roman emperor are incarnations of the same idea,” ibidem.  Fine, but what idea?


[54] Pöschl, 18-19.


[55] Herbert W. Benario, “The Tenth Book of the Aeneid,” in Why Vergil?  A Collection of Interpretations, ed. by Stephanie Quinn, foreword by Michael C. J. Putnam (Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2000), 197.


[56] Vergil, Aeneid, 10.261.  Latin original: “stans celsa in puppi.”


[57] Vergil, Aeneid, 8.680.  Same wording in Latin as in note 56.


[58] Vergil, Aeneid, 8.679.  Latin original: “cum patribus populoque, penatibus et magnis dis.”


[59] Vergil, Aeneid, 3.12.  Latin original: “cum sociis natoque penatibus et magnis dis.”


[60] Parry, 115.


[61] Parry, 114; Vergil, Aeneid, 3.278-89.


[62] Sarah Mack, Patterns of Time in Vergil (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1978), 33-54.


[63] Mack, 55.


[64] Mack, 51-52: Vergil, Aeneid, 8.313.  Latin original: “rex Euandrus Romanae conditor arcis.”


[65] Mack, 52-53.


[66] Mack, 53-54; Vergil, Aeneid, 8.358-61.  Relevant text from the passage in 8.360-61: “passimque armenta uidebant / Romanoque foro et lautis mugire Carinis.”


[67] Vergil, Aeneid, 8.364-65.  Latin original: “aude, hospes, contemnere opes et te quoque dignum / finge deo, rebusque ueni non asper egenis.”


[68] Otis, 337.  Cf. Suetonius, “Augustus,” 258-61.  I am pleased to say that I arrived at this connection independently of Otis.


[69] Vergil, Aeneid, (words of entry: “haec . . . limina uictor / Alcides subiit”) 8.362-63, (fight with Cacus recounted) 8.184-275.


[70] Vergil, Aeneid, 6.801.  Latin original: “nec uero Alcides tantum telluris obiuit.”


[71] For the information that follows, Otis, 290.


[72] Vergil, Aeneid, 6.641.  Latin original: “solemque suum, sua sidera norunt.”


[73] D. C. Feeney, “History and Revelation in Vergil’s Underworld,” in Why Vergil?  A Collection of Interpretations, ed. by Stephanie Quinn, foreword by Michael C. J. Putnam (Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 2000). 114.


[74] Vergil, Aeneid, 6.851-53.


[75] Parry, 121.


[76] Allen Mandelbaum, trans., The Aeneid of Virgil (New York: Bantam Books, 1971), 6.1135.


[77] Robert Fitzgerald, trans., The Aeneid (New York: Vintage Books-Random House, 1980), 6.1151-52.


[78] Edward McCrorie, trans., The Aeneid (Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 1995), 6.851-52.


[79] An alternate rendering of the dative paci would be as a dative of possession, i.e., “to impose the customs of peace.”


[80] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.278-79.  Latin original: “his ego nec metas rerum nec tempora pono: / imperium sine fine dedi.”


[81] O’Hara, 151.


[82] Vergil, Aeneid, (Jupiter and the scroll of destiny: “uoluens fatorum arcana mouebo”) 1.261-62, (wars) 6.86.


[83] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.291-93.  Latin original: “aspera tum positis mitescunt saecula bellis: / cana Fides et Vesta, Remo cum fratre Quirinus / iura dabunt.”


[84] Mack, 74.


[85] Mack, 68-69.


[86] Williams, 214.


[87] Vergil, Aeneid, 6.893-96.  Relevant Latin: “tum natum Anchises . . . / portaque emittit eburna.”


[88] Vergil, Aeneid, 8.730-31.  Latin original: “rerumque ignarus imagine gaudet / attolens umero famamque et fata nepotum.”


[89] C. S. Lewis, “Vergil and the Subject of Secondary Epic,” in Virgil: A Collection of Critical Essays, ed. by Steele Commager (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966), 67.


[90] Vergil, Aeneid, 3.294-95.  Latin original: “Hic incredibilis rerum fata occupat auris, / Priamiden Helenum Graias regnare per urbis.”


[91] Vergil, Aeneid, (“falsi Simoentis”) 3.302, (“paruam Troiam simulataque magnis / Pergama et arentem Xanthi cognomine riuum / . . . Scaeaeque . . . limina portae) 3.349-51.


[92] Vergil, Aeneid, 3.493-97.  Relevant original: “nos alia ex aliis in fata uocamur. . . . / arua . . . Ausoniae semper cedentia retro quaerenda.”


[93] Susan Ford Wiltshire, Public and Private in Vergil’s Aeneid, (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1989), 140.


[94] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.364.  Latin original: “dux femina facti.”


[95]Vergil, Aeneid, 1.507-08.  Latin original: “iura dabat legesque uiris, operumque laborem / partibus aequabat iustis aut sorte trahebat.” 


[96] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.503-08.  Relevant original: “instans operi regnisque futuris. . . . / iura dabat legesque uiris, operumque laborem / partibus aequabat iustis aut sorte trahebat.”


[97] Vergil, Aeneid, 4.625-29.  Latin original: “exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus ultor / qui face Dardanios ferroque sequare colonos, / nunc, olim, quocumque dabunt se tempore uires.”


[98] Vergil, Aeneid, 6.473-74.  Latin original: “coniunx ubi pristinus illi / respondet curis aequatque Sychaeus amorem.”


[99] Vergil, Aeneid, 6.451.  Latin original: “errabat silua in magna.”  Cf. 1.314: “cui mater media sese tulit obuia silua.”  For further suggestive links from this scene, see my online “Intertextuality and Self-Referentiality in the Aeneid,” <http://abney.homestead.com/files/aeneid/followlinks2e.htm>.


[100] Vergil, Aeneid, 4.678-79.  Latin original: “eadem me ad fata uocasses, / idem ambas ferro dolor atque eadem hora tulisset.”


[101] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.140-41.  Latin original: “hunc illi rex aetheris altus honorem / Iuppiter erepta pro uirginitate sacrauit.”


[102] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.632-49.  Relevant Latin original: “o soror, et dudum agnoui, cum prima per artem foedera turbasti . . . / . . . quoniam superis auersa uoluntas.”


[103] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.894-95.  Latin original: “non me tua feruida terrent / dicta, ferox; di me terrent et Iuppiter hostis.”


[104] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.870-71.  Latin original: “infelix crinis scindit Iuturna solutos / unguibus ora soror foedans et pectora pugnis.”


[105] Vergil, Aeneid, 4.673.  Latin original: unguibus ora soror foedans et pectora pugnis.”


[106] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.879-881.  Latin original: “quo uitam dedit aeternam?  cur mortis adempta est / condicio?  possem tantos finire dolores / nunc certe, et misero fratri comes ire per umbras!”


[107] Otis, 380.


[108] Roger A. Hornsby, Patterns of Action in the Aeneid: An Interpretation of Vergil’s Epic Similes (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1970), 140.


[109] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.949; Anderson, 99-100.


[110] The analysis that follows is my own, worked out in large part before I discovered any of these scholarly antecedents.


[111] Anderson, 106; Vergil, Aeneid, 1.92 and 12.951.  Latin original: “soluuntur frigore membra.”


[112] Anderson, 104; Vergil, Aeneid, 12.946.  Latin original: “furiis accensus.”  Anderson notes an exact parallel in wording at 7.92.


[113] M. Owen Lee, “Father’s and Sons in Virgil’s Aeneid: Tum Genitor Natum (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1979), 143.  Owen also recognizes the parallel adduced in “soluuntur frigore membra.”


[114] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.793.  Latin original: “quam iam finis erit, coniunx?”


[115] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.241.  Latin original: “quem das finem, rex magne?”


[116] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.254, 12.829.  Latin original: “olli subridens.”


[117] Grandsen, 49.


[118] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.25.  Latin original: “saevique dolores.”


[119] Vergil, Aeneid, 1.29.  Latin original: “his accensa.”


[120] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.945-46.  Latin original: “ille, oculis postquam saeui monimenta doloris / exuuiasque hausit.”


[121] Vergil, Aeneid, (Aeneas: “duplicis tendens ad sidera palmas”) 1.93; (Turnus: “victum tendere palmas”) 12.936.


[122] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.833, 834, 836.  Latin originals: “do quod uis,” “sermonem Ausonii patrium moresque tenebunt, / . . . / subsident Teucri,” and “subsident Teucri.”


[123] Homer, Iliad, 22.253-54, but cf. note 27.


[124] Vergil, Aeneid, 12.725-27.  Latin original: “Iuppiter ipse duas aequato examine lances / sustinet et fata imponit diuersa duorum, / quem damnet labor et quo uergat pondere letum.”


[125] Vergil, Aeneid, (Aeneas considers the Trojan dead blessed: “o ter quaterque beati, quis ante ora patrum Troiae sub moenibus altis / contigit oppetere!”) 1.94-96, (Turnus dies: “uitaque cum gemitu fugit indignata sub umbras.”) 12.952.


[126] O’Hara, 164.


[127] The wording stems from O’Hara, 154.


[128] Parry, 115; Vergil, Aeneid (Dido: “pallida morte futura”) 4.644, (Cleopatra on the Shield of Aeneas: “pallentem morte futura”) 8.709.


[129] Parry, 115.


[130] Knight, 367.


[131] Suetonius, “Augustus,” 280-81.  Suetonius does not refer to Vergil by name, but he surely is not thinking of Ovid.


[132] Allen M. Ward, Fritz M. Heichelheim, and Cedric A. Yeo,  A History of the Roman People, 3rd ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999), 288.