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Aeneid Summary

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Aeneid Summary

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  1. AeneidSummary Book One, Part II

  2. lines 387 - 401 • Venus replies to Aeneas: • The gods don’t hate you, so shut up. • You’re alive and now you’re in Carthage, so go to the queen’s palace. • I know that your missing comrades are alive. • Look, there are some swans! They must represent your lost ships, since this is a Roman epic. • Just keep going and stop whining.

  3. lines 402 - 417 As Venus leaves, she reveals herself to be a goddess (her hair breathes ambrosia and her dress is sparkly, dead giveaway for a deity). Aeneas is really angry that Venus came to him in disguise and complains that’s what she always does, even though we have no evidence for that. But Venus surrounds them with a protective cloud (like a cloak of invisibility) so that no one can see them.

  4. lines 418 - 429 • Carthage is already an impressive sight, even though they’re not done building it. • Some people are building the citadel. • Some are zoning the land for private use. • Some are making laws. • Others are building ports and a theater.

  5. lines 430 - 437 • Super famous bee simile! • The Tyrians are as busy as bees in the summer when they led out the new bees from the hive and make the honey and stuff (it’s a good translation passage, I guess, but not the best simile). Aeneas says: “O fortunati, quorum iammoeniasurgunt!” (O how blessed are those whose walls are already rising!) He really is jealous of a lot of people.

  6. lines 438 - 455 They see a temple to Juno. On the doors of the temple are scenes from the Trojan War! (This is called eckphrasis.) This passage is a really big deal, so please indicate so in your notes! Aeneas is dumbfounded that the war is already this famous, but it has been seven years since the end of it, so maybe it’s not that surprising.

  7. lines 456 - 464 • scenes of the door of the temple to Juno: • There’s Agamemnon, Menelaus, Priam and Achilles. • Aeneas starts crying (again) and says some pretty things about war and sacrifice: “suntlacrimaererum et mentemmortaliatangunt” (there is compassion for suffering and human concerns touch the mind). He believes they (the Trojans) will be safe in Carthage because the Tyrians have portrayed the Trojans’ suffering so beautifully.

  8. lines 465 - 483 • scenes of the door of the temple to Juno: • Greeks pursuing Trojans and Trojans persuing Greeks. • There’s Rhesus being slaughtered by Diomedes and Odysseus and his horses being driven off. • Troilus (Priam’s youngest son) tries to fight Achilles and gets tangled in his own chariot and dies a horrible death. • The Trojan women try to make an offering to Pallas Athena, but she ignores them.

  9. lines 484 - 493 • scenes of the door of the temple to Juno: • Achilles sells Hector’s corpse for gold after dragging him around the citadel three times. • Priam begs Achilles to give back the body of Hector. • Memnon leads the Amazons with Penthesilea (a maiden dare to fight with men). [This last image probably included by Dido deliberately.]

  10. lines 494 - 509 While Aeneas is looking at this, Dido comes to the temple. Vergil compares her to Diana (significantly) leading her nymphs in the woods. It is the image of a confident leader who knows what she needs to do to help her city thrive. She sits on a throne in the temple and makes new laws and assigns new tasks to people.

  11. lines 510 (end of Latin reading section) - 530 Aeneas sees all his lost comrades. He and Achates are really happy to see them. They want to run up to them, but they don’t really know what’s going on, so they don’t. The lost comrades (mainly Ilioneus) are pleading with Dido for mercy. They say that they will not destroy Libya’s temples and people (why is this ironic?). They are not proud people because they have been conquered themselves.

  12. lines 530 - 545 Ilioneus tells Dido they are looking for Italy. The Tyrians have been trying to keep them from landing on the shore. What kind of welcome is this? (What role does hospitality play in the ancient world?) The gods will be mad about this! Speaking of gods, have you seen Aeneas? The gods really dig him because of pietas and stuff.

  13. lines 546 - 558 • Ilioneus says: • There are Trojans in Sicily, including a guy named Acestes. • Please allow us to rebuild our ships so that we can sail to Italy (provided that we find Aeneas). • If we can’t find Aeneas, we’ll just go live with our friend Acestes.

  14. lines 559 - 578 • Dido’s response: • We only responded that way because we are new to the area. • Of course I know Aeneas; he’s totes awesome. • I’ll help you with whatever you need: if you want to leave, cool; if you want to stay, cool. • “Trojan and Tyrian: both shall be one and the same in my judgment.” (TrosTyriusquemihinullodiscrimineagetur.) • I’ll send some people to look for Aeneas because I want to meet him.

  15. lines 579 - 595 Achates and Aeneas want to come out of their protective cloud now. Achates says, “Dude, Venus was right. All but one of our ships is accounted for here, but we watched that one drown.” Then the cloud dissipates. Venus does some magical things to make Aeneas super attractive.

  16. lines 596 - 610 • Aeneas speaks: • Here I am! • Dido is the only one who has shown any sympathy for what we’ve gone through. • You have offered help, but we cannot repay you. • If there is any justice in the world, the gods will repay you for your kindness (irony!). • Then he flatters her a lot and it’s kind of gross; “you, your name and your glory, the praise you’ve earned, will forever live and endure, whatever land calls me.”

  17. lines 611 - 630 • Aeneas embraces his comrades. • Dido greets him. She knows all about him. • My dad did business with this Greek dude named Teucer, so that’s how I know about the war. • Teucer said the Trojans were worthy adversaries. • Fortune has been unkind to me, too. I want to help those who suffer.

  18. lines 631 - 656 Dido shows Aeneas around the city. They make some sacrifices and send bulls and hogs and lambs down to the comrades still on the shore. They set up for a nice party. Aeneas sends Achates to get Ascanius and some treasures that they had on board (somehow), including some things that Helen had brought with her to Troy.

  19. lines 657 - 695 Of course, Venus can’t leave well enough alone, so she sends her other kid Cupid down in the guise of Ascanius. Cupid is supposed to make Dido fall in love with Aeneas. (Venus doesn’t trust that Dido means what she says; after all, she’s favored by Juno.) Then, Dido will be bound to Venus rather than Juno. She’s going to drug Ascanius and keep him in a temple. So that’s what they do.

  20. lines 696 - 722 Dido is already seated and waiting for them. There is quite a banquet prepared when the Trojans come in. The Tyrians are impressed by the Trojans. Cupid is having his effect on Dido; with his magical powers, he starts to erase the memory of Sychaeus from her mind and tries to kindle a fire for Aeneas.

  21. lines 723 - 756 The banquet continues. Dido makes a lovely toast thanking the gods for allowing the two peoples to come together. Then a long-haired dude sings some songs. Dido keeps badgering Aeneas to talk about the Trojan War. She especially wants to hear about the Trojan Horse. And that’s the end of Book One! Huh?