AENEAS AND THE UNDERWORLD. BK 6. ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS AS STATEMENTS. Who built the temple to Apollo and what scenes did he decorate it with? (pg 147) What did the Trojans have to do before consulting the Sibyl? What does the sibyl promise to the Trojans? (one word) (149)
AENEAS AND THE UNDERWORLD
The Trojans ships arrive in Italy, near CUMAE. While the men prepare camp, Aeneas c limbs to the temple of APOLLO to consult Deiphobe. At the sanctuary, Aeneas sacrifices BULLS and SHEEP and offers PRAYERS to the god. The SYBIL appears to him and answers his questions. She also tells him o the wars he will fight and the ENEMIES he will face. Aeneas asks to be guided into HADES and despite the dangers the sybil mentions, he perseveres. She agress to take him and tells him what he has to do in order to gain admittance which he carries out.
At the start of the underworld Aeneas must pass many evil SPIRITS and horrible BEASTS these FRIGHTEN him but his courage helps him through and eventually the two mortals arrive at the river ACHERON. Here, many souls line the banks waiting to cross on the FERRY. Among them is the soul of PALINURUS (the drowned helmsman) and Aeneas promises him a proper BURIAL which cheers him up. Initially the feryman, CHARON, refuses to take the living beings across the river but when Deiphoe shows him the GOLDEN BOUGH he consents, taking the two across the Acheron and the STYX into Hades proper.
On the way to Elysium they must pass through the various regions of the underworld. They land at the place that is allotted to those that died in INFANCY. After this they pass through the area reserved for SUICIDES where Aeneas recognises DIDO. He tearfully begs her FORGIVENESS but she refuses to speak to him. Next is the area set aside for great WARRIORS where he meets and talks to many heroes from the Trojan War. Next they come to a fortress surrounded by high walls and a river of FIRE. This place is TARTARUS, where sinners are imprisoned and suffer dreadful PUNISHMENTS. Finally, the pair readch a pleasant area where blessed and righteous souls spend their time: this is the ELYSIAN Fields.
Aeneas meets his FATHER here and they embrace with great affection. ANCHISES shows Aeneas a large group of people drinking from the river LETHE (the river of FORGETFULNESS) so they can return to earth to live again. As they walk by this group, Anchises points out many of those who will later become famous ROMANS. In doing so, Anchises is giving Aeneas a short summary of the history of ROME. Amony the famous people are Silvius (Aeneas’ as yet unborn SON), ROMULUS (founder of Rome), early kings of Rome, many heroes and political figures of the Roman Republic. The last figures they come to are Julius Caesar and his nephew AUGUSTUS who will be the greatest leader and ruler in Roman history.
As father and son wander through ELYSIUM, Anchises tells Aeneas of his future wars and victories. All this knowledge of Rome and his own destiny in it, fires Aeneas to achieve all that has been fated for him. Aeneas bids farewell to his father and is taken back to earth by the Sibyl. He rejoins the fleet and they continue their voyage.
Phoebus you have always pitied Troy in her grievous suffering. It was you who guided the hands of Paris when he aimed his Dardan arrow to strike Achilles the Aeacid. It was you who led me forth to sail over all those seas which thrust against eh vast continents and to force a way even to nations of the remote Massylians and lands screened by the Syrtes. Now at last we have gained a foothold in Italy’s elusive shores. From now on, let Troy’s old ill-fortune pursue us no farther. And you too, all Gods and Goddesses, who were jealous of Ilium and the too brillian grandeur of our Dardanland, may now, with no violation of divine justice, spare the nation which held the fortress of Troy. And you, most holy Prophetess, who foreknow the future, since I ask no empire which my destiny cannot rightly claim, permit my Trojans, and their vagrant deities, the Powers and Patrons of Troy tossed with us in strom, to find in Latium a home. There I shall inaugurate a temple all of marble for Apollo and Trivia with festal days called by Apollo’s name; and for you yourself, benign Lady, there shall also be in my realm a noble shrine where I shall store your oracular lots, with the prophetic secrets which you communicate to my people; and I shall choose and consecrate priests for your service. Only, pray, do not commit your prophecies to leaves for they might fly in disorder as playthings for the grasping winds; I beg of you to chant in words of your own.’
Aeneas leaves and returns to his fleet, but the way he left has aroused controversy among critics ever since. There are two gates of sleep which act as ways out from Hades. One is made of horn and allows out true shadows. The other is ivory, which sends false dreams to people, and Aeneas leaves by this gate. What does this mean?
Virgil does not use many similes in book 6 as his scenes in the underworld bear little comparisonm to real life. Two comparisons however, stand out.