Aeneid 2.199-297



Hic aliud maius miseris multoque tremendum
obicitur magis atque improuida pectora turbat.
200

At this point, something greater and something much more terrible comes to light for (us) wretched ones,
And disturbs unsuspecting breasts.


Sollemnis taurum ingentem mactabat ad aras.
ecce autem gemini a Tenedo tranquilla per alta
(horresco referens) immensis orbibus angues
incumbunt pelago pariterque ad litora tendunt;
205

Laocoon, chosen by lot as priest of Neptune, was sacrificing
A huge bull at the holy altars: look! Now, twin snakes, from Tenedos, through the calm waters (I shudder to recall it) with huge coils lean on the sea and side-by-side
head for the shores;

Pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta iubaeque
sanguineae superant undas, pars cetera pontum
pone legit sinuatque immensa volumine terga.
fit sonitus spumante salo; iamque arua tenebant
ardentisque oculos suffecti sanguine et igni
210
sibila lambebant linguis uibrantibus ora.

Whose breasts raised amid the waves, and their bloody crests
Overcome the waves, the remaining part gathers the water below and
Coils its huge back in a roll. There is a hiss with the salt-sea frothing; and
now (almost) they were about to hold the fields,
tinged with respect to their flaming eyes with blood and fire
(their eyes tinged with blood and fire) they were licking their hissing mouths
with their vibrating tongues.

Diffugimus uisu exsangues. illi agmine certo
Laocoonta petunt; et primum parua duorum
corpora natorum serpens amplexus uterque
implicat et miseros morsu depascitur artus;
215
post ipsum auxilio subeuntem ac tela ferentem
corripiunt spirisque ligant ingentibus; et iam
bis medium amplexi, bis collo squamea circum
terga dati superant capite et ceruicibus altis.


We, bloodless in our appearance, fled. They, in a rigid battle line,
Head for Laocoon; and first each serpent having embraced the small bodies
Of his two sons, ties him up and feasts on the wretched limbs with a bite.
Later, they snatch up the man himself coming with help (coming to the scene to help)
Bearing weapons, and they tie him with huge spirals, and soon
Having embraced the midsection twice, and having surrounded his neck twice
With their scaly backs, they reach over him with their head and high necks.

Ille simul manibus tendit diuellere nodos 220
perfusus sanie uittas atroque veneno,
clamores simul horrendos ad sidera tollit:
qualis mugitus, fugit cum saucius aram
taurus et incertam excussit ceruice securim.


He (Laocoon) at the same time stretches (tries) to untie the knots with his hands
Having been drenched with gore with respect to his fillets (his fillets drenched with gore)
and also then he raises horrible shouts to the stars,
like groans when a wounded bull flees the altar
and shakes the unsteady axe from his neck.


At gemini lapsu delubra ad summa dracones 225
effugiunt saeuaeque petunt Tritonidis arcem,
sub pedibusque deae clipeique sub orbe teguntur.
tum uero tremefacta nouus per pectora cunctis
insinuat pavor, et scelus expendisse merentem
Laocoonta ferunt, sacrum qui cuspide robur 230
laeserit et tergo sceleratam intorserit hastam.

But the twin snakes flee to the top of the shrine
with a glide and they head for the citadel of savage Athena,
and they are covered both under the feet of the goddess and the circle of the shield.
The truly a new fear snakes through their trembling breasts
of all, and they say that Laocoon is deserving
to expiate the crime, Laocoon, who offended the sacred oak
with his spear point and hurled the wicked spear at the back (of the horse).


Ducendum ad sedes simulacrum orandaque diuae
numina conclamant.
diuidimus muros et moenia pandimus urbis.
accingunt omnes operi pedibusque rotarum 235
subiciunt lapsus, et stuppea uincula collo
intendunt; scandit fatalis machina muros
feta armis. pueri circum innuptaeque puellae
sacra canunt funemque manu contingere gaudent;
illa subit mediaeque minans inlabitur urbi. 240

The shout together that the image (the horse) is to be lead to the citadel and they claim
that the power of the goddess must be besought.
We divide the walls and lay open the defenses of the city.
They all gird themselves to the work and place rollers (logs)
at the feet of the wheels, and they stretch flaxen chains
on its neck; the death-dealing machine climbs over the walls,
pregnant with arms (armed men). The boys around and the unmarried girls
sing sacred songs and they rejoice in touching its ropes with their hand;
and she (the horse) approaches, and, threatening, she slips into the middle of the city.


O patria, o divum domus Ilium et incluta bello
moenia Dardanidum! quater ipso in limine portae
substitit atque utero sonitum quater arma dedere;
instamus tamen immemores caecique furore
et monstrum infelix sacrata sistimus arce. 245
tunc etiam fatis aperit Cassandra futuris
ora dei iussu non umquam credita Teucris.
nos delubra deum miseri, quibus ultimus esset
ille dies, festa velamus fronde per urbem.

Oh fatherland, oh Troy home of the gods and the walls, famous in war,
of the sons of Dardanus! Four times on the very threshold of the gates
it stayed and four times the arms gave sound from the womb;
We press on, nevertheless, mindless and blind with madness
and we stand up the unlucky monster on the sacred citadel.
Then indeed Cassandra , never trusted by the Trojans,
opens her mouth to the future fates by order of the gods.
We wretched ones, for whom that day would be the last
cover the shrine of the Gods with a festive branch throughout the city.

NOTE: It's saying that they heard in 4 different instances the clangs of soldier's armor and weapons coming from inside the wooden horse. The Greeks had to keep as quiet as possible while their wooden horse was being pulled into the city, and they were pretty successful, even if they were only heard 4 times - that horse was jam-packed with soldiers.


Vertitur interea caelum et ruit Oceano nox 250
involuens umbra magna terramque polumque
Myrmidonumque dolos; fusi per moenia Teucri
conticuere; sopor fessos complectitur artus.

Meanwhile the sky turns and night rushes from the ocean
enveloping with a great shadow both land and sky
and the tricks of the Myrmidons (Greeks); the Trojans lying throughout the city
were silent; a sleep embraces their tired limbs.


Et iam Argiua phalanx instructis nauibus ibat
a Tenedo tacitae per amica silentia lunae 255
litora nota petens, flammas cum regia puppis
extulerat, fatisque deum defensus iniquis
inclusos utero Danaos et pinea furtim
laxat claustra Sinon.

And already the Greek battle line was going from Tenedos
with the ships lines up through the friendly silence of the silent moon
seeking the well-known shore, when the royal stern threw up
flames, and Sinon , defended by the unfair fates of the gods,
secretly loosens the pine shackles and the Greeks
hidden in the womb.


Illos patefactus ad auras
reddit equus laetique cauo se robore promunt 260
Thessandrus Sthenelusque duces et dirus Vlixes,
demissum lapsi per funem, Acamasque Thoasque
Pelidesque Neoptolemus primusque Machaon
et Menelaus et ipse doli fabricator Epeos.

The horse laid open to the winds lets out them [the Greeks],
and happily they bring themselves forth form the hollow oak, Thessandrus and Sthenelus,
the leaders , and harsh Ulysses, slipping [down] from a dropped rope, and Acamas, and Thoas, and
Achilles and Neoptolemus, and first Machaon, and Menelaus, and the very craftsman of the
trick, Epeios.

Invadunt urbem somno uinoque sepultam; 265
caeduntur vigiles, portisque patentibus omnis
accipiunt socios atque agmina conscia iungunt.
Tempus erat quo prima quies mortalibus aegris
incipit et dono divum gratissima serpit.
kapheim3.jpg
"Invadunt urbem somno... sepultam" - 2.265

They invade the city buried in wine and sleep (example of prolepsis);
the sentries are cut down, with the gates ([of the city]) lying open,
they accept all their comrades and join together in a conspiratorial
battle line. It was the time when the first rest begins for weary mortals,
and, most pleasing, it creeps in as a gift of the gods.


In somnis, ecce, ante oculos maestissimus Hector 270
visus adesse mihi largosque effundere fletus,
raptatus bigis ut quondam, aterque cruento
puluere perque pedes traiectus lora tumentis.
ei mihi, qualis erat, quantum mutatus ab illo
Hectore qui redit exuvias indutus Achilli 275
vel Danaum Phrygios iaculatus puppibus ignes;

In my sleep, behold, before my eyes, the most gloomy Hector
seemed to stand before me and pour out abundant tears,
dragged, at once, by a two-horse chariot, and dark with bloody dust,
and pierced through his swollen feet with straps.
Woe to me, how he was, how much changed from that Hector
who returned (to the city) clad in the spoils of Achilles,
or having shot Trojan fire at the ships of the Greeks;

qualentem barbam et concretos sanguine crinis
vulneraque illa gerens, quae circum plurima muros
accepit patrios. ultro flens ipse uidebar
compellare uirum et maestas expromere uoces: 280
wearing a filthy beard and hair matted with blood
and wearing those many wounds, which he received around the walls
of the fatherland. I myself, weeping spontaneously,
seemed to address the man and to express sad words:

'O lux Dardaniae, spes o fidissima Teucrum,
quae tantae tenuere morae? quibus Hector ab oris
exspectate venis? ut te post multa tuorum
funera, post uarios hominumque urbisque labores
defessi aspicimus! quae causa indigna serenos 285
foedauit vultus? aut cur haec vulnera cerno?'

"Oh light of Troy, oh most faithful hope of the Trojans,
what such [things] keep you? From which shores, oh long-awaited Hector,
do you come? How we, tired, see you after many deaths of your people
and after various labors, both of men and of city! What unworthy cause has defiled
your serene countenance? Or, why do I discern these wounds?"

Ille nihil, nec me quaerentem uana moratur,
sed grauiter gemitus imo de pectore ducens,
'heu fuge, nate dea, teque his' ait 'eripe flammis.
hostis habet muros; ruit alto a culmine Troia. 290

He [said] nothing, nor did he delay me asking trivial things,
but drawing groans from the depths of his chest heavily,
he says, "Alas flee, goddess-born, and snatch yourself from these flames.
The enemy has the walls; Troy crumbles from its highest peak.

Sat patriae Priamoque datum: si Pergama dextra
defendi possent, etiam hac defensa fuissent.
sacra suosque tibi commendat Troia penatis;
hos cape fatorum comites, his moenia quaere
magna pererrato statues quae denique ponto.' 295
sic ait et manibus uittas Vestamque potentem
aeternumque adytis effert penetralibus ignem.

Enough has been given to Priam and to the fatherland; if Pergamum
could have been defended by a right (hand), it indeed would have been defended
by this ([right hand]); Troy commits to you its sacred things and its
household gods; take these as comrades of ([your]) fate; seek walls for these, which
you will establish, and great ones, at last, the sea having been wandered."
Thus he spoke, carries out with his hands fillets and powerful Vesta and the eternal fire
from the innermost sanctuary.