Virgil

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Omnia vincit Amor.

Love conquers all.

Publius Vergilius Maro (October 15, 70 BC – September 21, 19 BC), known in English as Virgil or Vergil, was a Latin poet, the author of the Eclogues, the Georgics and the Aeneid, the last being an epic poem of twelve books that became the Roman Empire's national epic.

Quotes[edit]

Eclogues (37 BC)[edit]

  • Sub tegmine fagi.
    • In the shade of a beech tree.
    • Book I, line 1; repeated in the last line of the Georgics (4.566).


  • Nos patriae fines et dulcia linquimus arva.
    • We are leaving our country's bounds and sweet fields.
    • Book I, line 3 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough).


  • Deus nobis haec otia fecit.
    • God gave us this leisure.
    • Book I, line 6.


  • Non equidem invideo, miror magis.
    • Well, I grudge you not – rather I marvel.
    • Book I, line 11 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Spes gregis.
    • The hope of the flock.
    • Book I, line 15 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Parvis componere magna.


  • Et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos.
    • The Britons utterly separated from the whole world.
    • Book I, lines 64–66 (tr. Philip Hardie).


  • O formose puer, nimium ne crede colori.
    • Ah, lovely boy, trust not too much to your bloom!
    • Book II, line 17 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Habitarunt di quoque silvas.
    • Even the gods have dwelt in the woods.
    • Book II, line 60 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Trahit sua quemque voluptas.
    • Each is led by his liking.
    • Book II, line 65 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Quae te dementia cepit!
    • What madness has seized you?
    • Book II, line 69.


  • Nunc omnis ager, nunc omnis parturit arbor;
    Nunc frondent sylvae, nunc formosissimus annus.
    • The trees are cloth'd with leaves, the fields with grass;
      The blossoms blow; the birds on bushes sing;
      And Nature has accomplish'd all the spring.
    • Book III, lines 56–57 (tr. John Dryden).


  • Ab Jove principium Musae: Jovis omnia plena.
    • With Jove my song begins; of Jove all things are full.
    • Book III, line 60 (tr. Fairclough).


A snake lurks in the grass.
  • Latet anguis in herba.
    • A snake lurks in the grass.
    • Book III, line 93.
    • Variant translations:
      • A snake lies hidden in the grass.
      • There's a snake hidden in the grass.


  • Non nostrum inter vos tantas componere lites.
    • 'Tis not for us to end such great disputes.
    • Book III, line 108.


  • Claudite iam rivos, pueri; sat prata biberunt.
    • Shut off the springs now, lads; the meadows have drunk enough.
    • Book III, line 111 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Sicelides Musae, paulo maiora canamus.
    • Sicilian Muses, let us sing a somewhat loftier strain.
    • Book IV, line 1 (tr. Fairclough).
      • Paulo majora canamus.—"Let us sing of greater things."



  • Redeunt Saturnia regna.
    • The reign of Saturn returns.
    • Book IV, line 6 (tr. Fairclough).


  • O mihi tum longae maneat pars ultima vitae,
    Spiritus et quantum sat erit tua dicere facta.
    • To sing thy praise, would heaven my breath prolong,
      Infusing spirits worthy such a song.
    • Book IV, lines 53–54 (tr. Dryden).


Begin, baby boy, to recognize your mother with a smile.
  • Incipe, parve puer, risu cognoscere matrem.
    • Begin, baby boy, to recognize your mother with a smile.
    • Book IV, line 60 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Atque deos atque astra vocat crudelia mater.
    • She sigh'd, she sobb'd, and furious with despair,
      Accused all the gods, and every star.
    • Book V, line 23 (tr. Dryden).


  • Tale tuum carmen nobis, divine poeta,
    Quale sopor fessis.
    • Your lay, heavenly bard, is to me even as sleep on the grass to the weary.
    • Book V, lines 45–46 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Candidus insuetum miratur limen Olympi
    Sub pedibus uidet nubes et sidera Daphnis.
    • Daphnis, in radiant beauty, marvels at Heaven's unfamiliar threshold, and beneath his feet beholds the clouds and stars.
    • Book V, lines 56–57 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Ipsi laetitia voces ad sidera jactant
    Intonsi montes: ipsae jam carmina rupes,
    Ipsa sonant arbusta.
    • The mountain-tops unshorn, the rocks rejoice;
      The lowly shrubs partake of human voice.
    • Book V, lines 62–64 (tr. Dryden).


  • Solvite me, pueri; satis est potuisse videri.
    • Loose me, lads; enough that you have shown your power.
    • Book VI, line 24 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Ambo florentes aetatibus, Arcades ambo,
    Et cantare pares, et repondere parati.
    • Both young Arcadians, both alike inspired
      To sing, and answer as the song required.
    • Book VII, lines 4–5 (tr. Dryden).


  • Posthabui tamen illorum mea seria ludo.
    • I counted their sport above my work.
    • Book VII, line 17 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Hic tantum Boreae curamus frigora, quantum
    Aut numerum lupus aut torrentia flumina ripas.
    • We fear not more the winds and wintry cold,
      Than streams the banks, or wolves the bleating fold.
    • Book VII, lines 51–52 (tr. Dryden).
    • Compare:
      • Nay, number (itself) in armies, importeth not much, where the people is of weak courage; for (as Virgil saith) it never troubles the wolf how many the sheep be.
        • Francis Bacon, Essays or Counsels Civil and Moral (1597), XXIX: 'Of the True Greatness of Kingdoms and Estates'.


  • Ut vidi, ut perii, ut me malus abstulit error!
    • In the moment I saw you I lost my heart, and a fatal frenzy swept me away.
    • Book VIII, lines 41 (tr. Fairclough).


Now I know what Love is.
  • Nunc scio quid sit Amor.
    • Now I know what Love is.
    • Book VIII, line 43 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Certent et cycnis ululae.
    • Let owls too vie with swans.
    • Book VIII, line 55 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Non omnia possumus omnes.
    • We cannot all do everything.
    • Book VIII, line 63 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Nihil hic nisi carmina desunt.
    • Nothing is wanting here except a song.
    • Book VIII, line 67.



  • Sed non ego credulus illis.
    • But I discern their flattery from their praise.
    • Book IX, line 34 (tr. Dryden).


  • Omnia fert aetas, animum quoque.
    • Time robs us of all, even of memory.
    • Book IX, line 51 (tr. Fairclough).
    • Variant translation: Time bears away all things, even our minds.


  • Cantantes licet usque (minus via laedit) eamus.
    • Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.
    • Book IX, line 64.


  • Hic gelidi fontes, hic mollia prata, Lycori;
    hic nemus; hic ipso tecum consumerer aevo.
    • Come, see what pleasures in our plains abound:
      The woods, the fountains, and the flow'ry ground:
      As you are beauteous, were you half so true,
      Here could I live, and love, and die with only you.
    • Book X, lines 42–43 (tr. Dryden).


  • Ipsae rursus concedite, silvae.
    • Once more, ye woods, farewell!
    • Book X, line 63.


  • Omnia vincit Amor; et nos cedamus Amori.
    • Love conquers all; let us, too, yield to Love!
    • Book X, line 69 (tr. Fairclough).
      • Dryden's translation:
        In hell, and earth, and seas, and heaven above,
        Love conquers all, and we must yield to Love.
    • Variant translations:
      • Love conquers all things – let us yield to Love.
      • Love conquers all things: let us too give in to Love.
      • Love conquers all things; let us too surrender to love.


Georgics (29 BC)[edit]


  • Audacibus annue coeptis.
    • Look with favor upon a bold beginning.
    • Book I, line 40.


  • Unde homines nati, durum genus.
    • Whence men, a hard laborious kind, were born.
    • Book I, line 63 (tr. John Dryden).


  • Umida solstitia atque hiemes orate serenas,
    agricolae.
    • O farmers, pray that your summers be wet and your winters clear.
    • Book I, lines 100–101.


  • Ut varias usus meditando extunderet artis
    paulatim.


Toil conquered the world.
  • Labor omnia vicit
    improbus et duris urgens in rebus egestas.
    • Toil conquered the world, unrelenting toil, and want that pinches when life is hard.
    • Book I, lines 145–146 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough).


  • Sic omnia fatis
    In peius ruere ac retro sublapsa referri.
    • Thus by law of fate all things speed towards the worst, and slipping away fall back.
    • Book I, lines 199–200 (tr. Fairclough).


  • In primis venerare Deos.
    • Above all, worship the gods.
    • Book I, line 338 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Exuerint sylvestrem animum, cultuque frequenti
    In quascunque voces artes haud tarda sequentur.
    • [They] change their savage mind,
      Their wildness lose, and, quitting nature's part,
      Obey the rules and discipline of art.
    • Book II, lines 51–52 (tr. Dryden).


  • Apertos
    Bacchus amat collis.
    • Bacchus loves open hills.
    • Book II, lines 112–113 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Salve, magna parens.
    • Hail, mighty parent!
    • Book II, line 173.


  • Pinguis item quae sit tellus, hoc denique pacto
    discimus: haud umquam manibus iactata fatiscit,
    Sed picis in morem ad digitos lentescit habendo.
    • The fatter earth by handling we may find,
      With ease distinguished from the meagre kind:
      Poor soil will crumble into dust; the rich
      Will to the fingers cleave like clammy pitch.
    • Book II, lines 248–250 (tr. Dryden).


  • Adeo in teneris consuescere multum est.
    • So strong is habit in tender years.
    • Book II, line 272 (tr. Fairclough).
      • Quoted in Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria I, iii, 13.
      • J. B. Greenough's translation:
        So strong is custom formed in early years.
      • Compare:
        • Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined.


  • O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint
    Agricolas, quibus ipsa, procul discordibus armis,
    Fundit humo facilem victum justissima tellus!
    • How lucky, if they know their happiness,
      Are farmers, more than lucky, they for whom,
      Far from the clash of arms, the earth herself,
      Most fair in dealing, freely lavishes
      An easy livelihood.
    • Book II, lines 458–460 (tr. L. P. Wilkinson).


  • At secura quies et nescia fallere vita,
    Dives opum variarum.
    • Yet theirs is repose without care, and a life that knows no fraud, but is rich in treasures manifold.
    • Book II, lines 467–468 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Me vero primum dulces ante omnia Musae,
    Quarum sacra fero ingenti percussus amore,
    Accipiant caelique vias et sidera monstrent,
    Defectus solis varios lunaeque labores;
    Unde tremor terris, qua vi maria alta tumescant
    Obicibus ruptis rursusque in se ipsa residant.
    Quid tantum Oceano properent se tingere soles
    Hiberni, vel quae tardis mora noctibus obstet.
    • But as for me—first above all, may the sweet Muses whose holy emblems, under the spell of a mighty love, I bear, take me to themselves, and show me heaven's pathways, the stars, the sun's many lapses, the moon's many labours; whence come tremblings of the earth, the force to make deep seas swell and burst their barriers, then sink back upon themselves; why winter suns hasten so fast to dip in Ocean, or what delays clog the lingering nights.
    • Book II, lines 475–482 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes,
    Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius.


  • O ubi campi!
    • O, where are those fields!
    • Book II, line 486; expressing longing for the country-side.


Happy the man, who, studying nature's laws,
Thro' known effects can trace the secret cause.
  • Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.
    • Blessed is he who has been able to win knowledge of the causes of things.
    • Book II, line 490 (tr. H. Rushton Fairclough); homage to Lucretius.
    • Variant translation: Happy the man who has been able to learn the causes of things.
      • John Dryden's translation:
        Happy the man, who, studying nature's laws,
        Thro' known effects can trace the secret cause.


  • Interea dulces pendent circum oscula nati,
    Casta pudicitiam servat domus.
    • His cares are eased with intervals of bliss;
      His little children, climbing for a kiss,
      Welcome their father's late return at night;
      His faithful bed is crown'd with chaste delight.
    • Book II, lines 523–524 (tr. Dryden).


  • Tentanda via est, qua me quoque possim
    Tollere humo victorque virum volitare per ora.
    • I must essay a path whereby I, too, may rise from earth and fly victorious on the lips of men.
    • Book III, lines 8–9 (tr. Fairclough); the poet's ambition.
      • Often quoted as Alia tentanda via est. ("Another way must be tried.")


  • Te sine nil altum mens inchoat.
    • Without thee, nothing lofty can I sing.
    • Book III, line 42 (tr. Dryden).


  • Optima quaeque dies miseris mortalibus aevi
    Prima fugit; subeunt morbi tristisque senectus
    Et labor, et durae rapit inclementia mortis.
    • In youth alone, unhappy mortals live;
      But, ah! the mighty bliss is fugitive:
      Discolour'd sickness, anxious labour, come,
      And age, and death's inexorable doom.
    • Book III, lines 66–68 (tr. Dryden).


  • Collectumque premens volvit sub naribus ignem.
    • And snorting rolls beneath his nostrils the gathered fire.
    • Book III, line 85 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Magnus sine viribus ignis
    Incassum furit.
    • A great fire, unless you feed it, spends its rage in vain.
    • Book III, lines 99–100.
    • Compare:
      • His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
        For violent fires soon burn out themselves.


  • Nec mora, nec requies.
    • Neither delay, nor rest.
    • Book III, line 110.


Love is lord of all, and is in all the same.
  • Omne adeo genus in terris hominumque ferarumque,
    Et genus aequoreum, pecudes, pictaeque volucres,
    In furias ignemque ruunt. Amor omnibus idem.
    • Thus every creature, and of every kind,
      The secret joys of sweet coition find.
      Not only man's imperial race, but they
      That wing the liquid air, or swim the sea,
      Or haunt the desert, rush into the flame:
      For love is lord of all, and is in all the same.
    • Book III, lines 242–244 (tr. John Dryden).
      • H. Rushton Fairclough's translation: Yea, every single race on earth, man and beast, the tribes of the sea, cattle and birds brilliant of hue, rush into fires of passion: all feel the same Love.


Tempus fugit. (Time flies.)
  • Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus.
    • But time meanwhile is flying, flying beyond recall.
    • Book III, line 284 (tr. Fairclough); often quoted as tempus fugit ('time flies').
    • Variant translations:
      • Time flies, never to be recalled.
      • But meanwhile it is flying, irretrievable time is flying.


  • Sed me Parnasi deserta per ardua dulcis
    Raptat amor; juvat ire jugis, qua nulla priorum
    Castaliam molli devertitur orbita clivo.
    • But the commanding Muse my chariot guides,
      Which o'er the dubious cliff securely rides;
      And pleas'd I am, no beaten road to take,
      But first the way to new discov'ries make.
    • Book III, lines 291–293 (tr. Dryden).


  • Alitur vitium, vivitque tegendo.
    • Vice thrives and lives by concealment.
    • Book III, line 454.


  • Admiranda tibi levium spectacula rerum.
    • A mighty pomp, though made of little things.
    • Book IV, line 3 (tr. Dryden).


  • In tenui labor, at tenuis non gloria.
    • Slight is the subject, but the praise not small.
    • Book IV, line 6 (tr. Dryden); of bees as the subject.


  • Nare per aestatem liquidam.
    • Floating towards the starry sky through the clear summer air.
    • Book IV, line 59 (tr. Fairclough); of bees.



  • Hi motus animorum atque haec certamina tanta
    Pulveris exigui jactu compressa quiescunt.
    • These storms of passion, these conflicts so fierce, by the tossing of a little dust are quelled and laid to rest.
    • Book IV, lines 86–87 (tr. Fairclough); of bees swarming.


  • Agmine facto
    Ignavum fucos pecus a praesepibus arcent.
    • All, with united force, combine to drive
      The lazy drones from the laborious hive.
    • Book IV, lines 167–168 (tr. Dryden).


  • Si parva licet componere magnis.
    • If we may compare small things with great.
    • Book IV, line 176 (tr. H. R. Fairclough). Cf. Eclogues 1.23.


  • Tantus amor florum et generandi gloria mellis.
    • So deep is their love of flowers and their glory in begetting honey.
    • Book IV, line 205 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Genus immortale manet, multosque per annos
    Stat fortuna domus, et avi numerantur avorum.
    • Th' immortal line in sure succession reigns;
      The fortune of the family remains;
      And grandsires' grandsires the long list contains.
    • Book IV, lines 208–209 (tr. Dryden).


  • Deum namque ire per omnes
    Terrasque tractusque maris, coelumque profundum.
    • For God, they say, pervades all things, earth and sea's expanse and heaven's depth.
    • Book IV, lines 221–222 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Nec morti esse locum.
    • There is no place for death.
    • Book IV, line 226.


  • Animasque in vulnere ponunt.
    • And lay down their lives in the wound.
    • Book IV, line 238 (tr. Fairclough); of bees.


  • Verum ubi correptum manibus vinclisque tenebis,
    tum variae eludent species atque ora ferarum
    Fiet enim subito sus horridus atraque tigris
    squamosusque draco et fulva cervice leaena,
    aut acrem flammae sonitum dabit atque ita vinclis
    excidet, aut in aquas tenues dilapsus abibit.
    • But when thou boldest him in the grasp of hands and fetters, then will manifold forms baffle thee, and figures of wild beasts. For of a sudden he will become a bristly boar, a deadly tiger, a scaly serpent, or a lioness with tawny neck; or he will give forth the fierce roar of flame, and thus slip from his fetters, or he will melt into fleeting water and be gone.
    • Book IV, lines 405–410 (tr. Fairclough); of Proteus.


  • Fata vocant.
    • The fates call.
    • Book IV, lines 496.


  • Iamque vale: feror ingenti circumdata nocte
    Invalidasque tibi tendens, heu non tua, palmas!
    • And now farewell! Involv'd in shades of night,
      For ever I am ravish'd from thy sight.
      In vain I reach my feeble hands to join
      In sweet embraces—ah! no longer thine!
    • Book IV, lines 497–498 (tr. Dryden).


  • Studiis florentem ignobilis oti.
    • And rejoiced in the arts of inglorious ease.
    • Book IV, line 564 (tr. Fairclough).
      • Variant translation: Indulging in the studies of inglorious leisure.
      • Paraphrased as studiis florere ignobilis otii by Abraham Cowley in The Garden.


Aeneid (29–19 BC)[edit]


Book I[edit]

  • Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris
    Italiam fato profugus Laviniaque venit
    Litora, 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.
    • Arms, and the man I sing, who, forced by Fate,
      And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate,
      Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore.
      Long labours both by sea and land he bore,
      And in the doubtful war, before he won
      The Latian realm, and built the destin'd town;
      His banish'd gods restor'd to rites divine,
      And settled sure succession in his line,
      From whence the race of Alban fathers come,
      And the long glories of majestic Rome.
    • Lines 1–7, as translated by John Dryden (1697).


Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?

Can heav'nly minds such high resentment show?

  • 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?
    • O Muse! the causes and the crimes relate,
      What goddess was provok'd, and whence her hate:
      For what offense the Queen of Heav'n began
      To persecute so brave, so just a man!
      Involv'd his anxious life in endless cares,
      Expos'd to wants, and hurry'd into wars!
      Can heav'nly minds such high resentment show,
      Or exercise their spite in human woe?
    • Lines 8–11 (tr. John Dryden).


  • 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).


  • 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).


Forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.

Some day, perhaps, remembering even this will be a pleasure.

  • 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 juvabit.
    • 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.
      • Compare:
        • Μετὰ γάρ τε καὶ ἄλγεσι τέρπεται ἀνήρ,
          ὅς τις δὴ μάλα πολλὰ πάθῃ καὶ πόλλ' ἐπαληθῇ.
          • A man who has been through bitter experiences and travelled far can enjoy even his sufferings after a time.
          • Homer, Odyssey, Book XV, lines 400–401 (tr. E. V. Rieu).


Endure, and keep yourselves for days of happiness.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Line 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 goddess surely!'
  • O Dea certe.
    • O goddess surely!
    • Line 328 (tr. Fairclough); Aeneas to Venus disguised as a huntress.


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


  • Dux femina facti.
    • The leader of the work 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.


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 spake, 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.
    • Wondrous to tell.
    • Line 439 (tr. Fairclough).
    • Variant translation: Wonderful to tell.


  • 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).


  • Lumenque iuventae
    purpureum.
    • Purple light of youth.
    • Lines 590–591.
    • Compare:
      • The bloom of young Desire and purple light of Love.


  • 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.


No stranger to trouble myself I am learning to care for the unhappy.
  • 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.
    • 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[edit]

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 the queen Dido of Carthage.


  • 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,
    incipiam.
    • 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).


Do not trust the horse, Trojans.
Whatever it is, 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 design'd, 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."


  • 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 prais'd the sentence, pleas'd the storm should fall
      On one alone, whose fury threaten'd all.
    • Lines 130–131 (tr. Dryden).


He lifts to heaven hideous cries...
  • 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 Athena sent a two-headed serpent from Tenedos to devour Laocoön and his two sons as a warning to the Trojans.


  • 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.


  • Tacitae per amica silentia lunae.
    • Through the friendly silence of the soundless moonlight.
    • Line 255, as translated in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations (1999), p. 793.


  • Quantum mutatus ab illo
    Hectore qui redit exuvias indutus Achilli.
    • How changed from that Hector who returns after donning the spoils of Achilles.
    • Line 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."


It is come—the last day and inevitable hour for Troy.
  • 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 not, Ilium is not.
    • Lines 324–325 (tr. Fairclough).


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


  • 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! in naught may one trust the gods against their will!
    • Line 402 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Dis aliter visum.
    • The gods thought otherwise.
    • Line 428.


  • 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).


  • 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).


  • Obstupui, steteruntque comae, et vox faucibus haesit.
    • Aghast, astonished, and struck dumb with fear,
      I stood; like bristles rose my stiffened hair.
    • Line 774 (tr. Dryden).


  • 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. Robert 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. Robert 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[edit]


  • 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.
      • H. Rushton Fairclough's translation:
        To what dost thou not drive the hearts of men, O accursed hunger for gold!
      • Variant translation:
        Accursed thirst for gold! what dost thou not compel mortals to do?


  • 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 the better course.
    • Line 188 (tr. Fairclough).


The mad prophetic Sibyl you shall find,
Dark in a cave, and on a rock reclin'd.
She sings the fates, and, in her frantic fits,
The notes and names inscrib'd, 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 reclin'd.
      She sings the fates, and, in her frantic fits,
      The notes and names inscrib'd, to leafs commits.
      What she commits to leafs, in order laid,
      Before the cavern's entrance are display'd:
      Unmov'd 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 scatter'd 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,
      Tho' thy companions chide thy long delay;
      Tho' summon'd to the seas, tho' 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 Heav'n 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).


  • Di, talem terris avertite pestem!
    • Ye 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[edit]


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); of Dido.


  • 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).


  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Lines 24–27 (tr. Fagles).


  • Id cinerem aut manes credis curare sepultos?
    • Thinkest thou 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).


  • 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.


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


Who can deceive a lover?
  • 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?
    • 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).


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


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


  • Improbe Amor, quid non mortalia pectora cogis!
    • Love, you tyrant!
      To what extremes won't you compel our hearts?
    • Line 412 (tr. Fagles).
    • Compare:
      • Σχέτλι᾽ Ἔρως, μέγα πῆμα, μέγα στύγος ἀνθρώποισιν,
        ἐκ σέθεν οὐλόμεναί τ᾽ ἔριδες στοναχαί τε γόοι τε.
        • Curse of mankind! from thee contentions flow,
          Disastrous love! and every heart-felt woe.


  •               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 | femina.
    • A fickle and changeful thing is woman ever.
    • Line 569 (tr. Fairclough).
    • Variant translation: Fickle and changeable always is woman.


  • 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.


My life is lived, and I have played
The part that Fortune gave.
'To die! and unrevenged!' she said,
'Yet let me die.'
  • Vixi, et, quem dederat cursum Fortuna, peregi;
    Et nunc magna mei sub terras ibit Imago.
    • My life is lived, and I have played
      The part that Fortune gave,
      And now I pass, a queenly shade,
      Majestic to the grave.
    • Lines 653–654 (tr. John Conington).
      • H. R. Fairclough's translation: I have lived, I have finished the course that Fortune gave; and now in majesty my shade shall pass beneath the earth.


  • ‘Moriemur inultae,
    Sed moriamur’ ait. ‘sic, sic juvat ire sub umbras.’
    • ‘To die! and unrevenged!’ she said,
      ‘Yet let me die: thus, thus I go
      Rejoicing to the shades below.’
    • Lines 659–660 (tr. John Conington).
      • 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[edit]


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


  • Nec nos obniti contra nec tendere tantum
    Sufficimus; 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 21–23 (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 favour'd 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 thro' his body run,
      Than Iris when her bow imbibes the sun.
    • Lines 88–89 (tr. Dryden).


Possunt, quia posse videntur.

They can because they think they can.

  • Litus ama.
    • Hug the shore.
    • Line 163 (tr. Fairclough).


  • 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).


Every misfortune is to be subdued by patience.
  • Cede Deo.
    • Yield to God.
    • Line 467.


  • 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[edit]



Bella, horrida bella.

Wars, horrid wars.

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


  • 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 thou to ills, but go forth to face them more boldly than thy Fortune shall allow thee!
    • 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.


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.


Now, Aeneas, thou needest thy courage, now thy stout heart!
  • Procul, O procul este, profani!
    • Away, away, unhallowed ones!
    • Line 258 (tr. Fairclough).


  • Nunc animis opus, Aenea, nunc pectore firmo.
    • Now, Aeneas, thou needest thy courage, now thy stout 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.
    • Ye gods, who hold the domain of spirits! ye voiceless shades! Thou, Chaos, and thou, Phlegethon, ye 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 ev'ry 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).


  • 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).


  • Invitus, regina, tuo de litore cessi.
    • I left your shores, my Queen, against my will.
    • Line 460 (tr. Fagles).


  • 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).
      • John Dryden's translation: Learn righteousness, and dread th' avenging deities.


  • 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, inspir'd 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 Medal for Physics and Chemistry: 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).


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.
  • Tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
    (Hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,
    Parcere subjectis et debellare superbos.
    • 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.
    • Lines 851–853 (tr. Robert Fitzgerald).
      • 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.


  • Aspice, ut insignis spoliis Marcellus opimis
    Ingreditur victorque viros supereminet omnes.
    • Lo! how Marcellus advances, glorious in his splendid spoils, 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 snatch'd away.
      The gods too high had rais'd 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 fun'ral 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,
      Admir'd when living, and ador'd when lost!
      Mirror of ancient faith in early youth!
      Undaunted worth, inviolable truth!
      No foe, unpunish'd, 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 thro' 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
    Munere.
    • These gifts at least, these honours I'll bestow
      On the dear youth, to please his shade below.
    • Lines 885–886 (tr. Christopher Pitt).


  • 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[edit]


If I cannot sway the heavens, I'll wake the powers of hell!
  • 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).


  • 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 translation:
      If I am unable to make the gods above relent, I shall move Hell.
    • Compare:


  • 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.


Book VIII[edit]


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


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


Book IX[edit]


  • 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, that which no god had dared to promise to thy prayers, lo, 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).


  • 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?


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


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.
  • 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.


  • 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, stagg'ring on the plain,
      With swimming eyes he sought his lover slain;
      Then quiet on his bleeding bosom fell,
      Content, in death, to be reveng'd 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).


  • Iuppiter omnipotens, audacibus adnue coeptis.


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


Book X[edit]


  • 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.


Fortune favors the bold.
  • Audentes 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.


  • 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[edit]


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


  • 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
    Dextera.
    • Valiant of tongue, though his hand was cold for battle.
    • Lines 338–339 (tr. Fairclough).


  • 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).


  • 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).


Book XII[edit]


  • 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).


  • 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.


  • 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).


  • 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).


  • 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
    Fervidus.
    • In deep suspense the Trojan seem'd to stand,
      And, just prepared to strike, repress'd his hand.
      He roll'd 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 glitter'd 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 rais'd 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).


Attributed[edit]

  • Ille ego, qui quondam gracili modulatus avena
    Carmen, et egressus silvis vicina coegi
    Ut quamvis avido parerent arva colono,
    Gratum opus agricolis, at nunc horrentia Martis ...
    • I am the poet who once tuned his song
      On a slender reed and then leaving the woods
      Compelled the fields to obey the hungry farmer,
      A pleasing work. But now War's grim and savage ...
    • Spurious opening lines of the Aeneid (tr. Stanley Lombardo), not found in the earliest manuscripts.
    • Attributed to Virgil on the authority of "the grammarian Nisus", who says he "heard from older men" that Varius had "emended the beginning of the first book by striking out" the four introductory lines, as reported in Suetonius' Life of Vergil, 42 (Loeb translation). John Conington, in his Commentary on Vergil's Aeneid, remarks: "The external evidence of such a story it is impossible to estimate, but its existence suspiciously indicates that the lines were felt to require apology."
  • Hos ego versiculos feci, tulit alter honores.
    • I made these little verses, another took the honor.
    • Epigram attributed to Virgil in Donatus' Life of Virgil.
Cecini pascua, rura, duces.

I sang of pastures, farms, and commanders.

  • Mors aurem vellens, "vivite," ait, "venio."
  • Cecini pascua, rura, duces.
    • I sang of pastures, farms, and commanders.
    • Inscription on Virgil's tomb in Naples (tr. Bernard Knox).


Misattributed[edit]

  • Minuit praesentia famam.
    • Presence diminishes fame.
    • Claudian, De Bello Gildonico, 385.
    • Wrongly attributed to Virgil in an "undoubtedly spurious Italian epistle sometimes printed in [Dante's] works". (Edward Moore, Studies in Dante [1896], footnote on p. 240.)
  • Let fraud supply the want of force in war.
    • From Book II of Dryden's Aeneid; no exact Latin equivalent exists in Virgil's work, but compare: "Dolus, an virtus, quis in hoste requirat?" (Aeneid, II.390).
  • Vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat inchoare longam.
    • Life's short span forbids us to enter on far reaching hopes.
    • Horace, Odes, Book I, ode iv, line 15.
  • Virginibus puerisque canto.
    • I sing for maidens and boys.
    • Horace, Odes, Book III, ode i, line 4.
  • Crescentem sequitur cura pecuniam,
    Maiorumque fames.
    • As money grows, care follows it and the hunger for more.
    • Horace, Odes, Book III, ode xvi, lines 17–18.
  • Interdum volgus rectum videt, est ubi peccat.
    • At times the world sees straight, but many times the world goes astray.
    • Horace, Epistles, Book II, epistle i, line 63.
"The noblest motive is the public good." (Library of Congress)
  • Vincit amor patriae.
    • The noblest motive is the public good.
    • Richard Steele, in The Spectator. Compare Aeneid VI, 823: Vincet amor patriae ("Love of country shall prevail").
    • "In The City of God Augustine quoted the line but changed the verb from the future to the present tense (vincetvincit). That form became a traditional quotation, often reprinted and reproduced on medals, monuments, and family crests. [...] "Vincit amor patriae" appeared at the head of Spectator no. 200 (October 19, 1711) without translation. The essays from the Spectator were published and republished as books as early as 1713. To assist readers who lacked Latin or Greek, the editors of the 1744 edition provided English translations for its epigraphs; to "Vincit amor patriae" was added "The noblest Motive is the Publick Good." It stuck. The translation was modernized and made its way into innumerable texts and onto public buildings. It is inscribed on the ceiling of the south corridor of the Library of Congress and attributed to Virgil. A mistranslation became a quotation."
      • Willis Goth Regier, Quotology (2010), pp. 40–41.


Quotes about Virgil[edit]

Thou art my master and my author. ~ Dante Alighieri
Our classic, the classic of all Europe, is Virgil. ~ T. S. Eliot
Half of my soul.
~ Horace
Give way, you Roman writers, give way, you Greeks: something greater than the Iliad is being born. ~ Sextus Propertius
Wielder of the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man.
~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson



  • Or se' tu quel Virgilio e quella fonte
    che spandi di parlar sì largo fiume?


  • O de li altri poeti onore e lume,
    vagliami 'l lungo studio e 'l grande amore
    che m'ha fatto cercar lo tuo volume.

    Tu se' lo mio maestro e 'l mio autore,
    tu se' solo colui da cu' io tolsi
    lo bello stilo che m'ha fatto onore.

    • O, of the other poets honour and light,
      Avail me the long study and great love
      That have impelled me to explore thy volume!

      Thou art my master, and my author thou,
      Thou art alone the one from whom I took
      The beautiful style that has done honour to me.

    • Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, I, 82–87 (tr. Longfellow).


  • O anima cortese mantoana
    Di cui la fama ancor nel mondo dura,
    E durera quanto 'l moto lontana.
    • O spirit courteous of Mantua,
      Of whom the fame still in the world endures,
      And shall endure, long-lasting as the world.
    • Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno, II, 58–60 (tr. Longfellow).


  • O gloria di Latin, disse, per cui
    mostrò ciò che potea la lingua nostra...
    • "O glory of the Latin race," he said, "by whom our language showed forth all its power..."
    • Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, VII, 16–17 (tr. Carlyle-Wicksteed).


  • Ma Virgilio n'avea lasciati scemi
    di sé, Virgilio, dolcissimo patre,
    Virgilio a cui per mia salute die'mi.
    • But us Virgilius of himself deprived
      Had left, Virgilius, sweetest of all fathers,
      Virgilius, to whom I for safety gave me.
    • Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, XXX, 49–51 (tr. Longfellow).


  • Over the whole of the great poem of Virgil, over the whole Æneid, there rests an ineffable melancholy: not a rigid, a moody gloom, like the melancholy of Lucretius; no, a sweet, a touching sadness, but still a sadness; a melancholy which is at once a source of charm in the poem, and a testimony to its incompleteness. Virgil, as Niebuhr has well said, expressed no affected self-disparagement, but the haunting, the irresistible self-dissatisfaction of his heart, when he desired on his deathbed that his poem might be destroyed. A man of the most delicate genius, the most rich learning, but of weak health, of the most sensitive nature, in a great and overwhelming world; conscious, at heart, of his inadequacy for the thorough spiritual mastery of that world and its interpretation in a work of art; conscious of this inadequacy—the one inadequacy, the one weak place in the mighty Roman nature! This suffering, this graceful-minded, this finely-gifted man is the most beautiful, the most attractive figure in literary history; but he is not the adequate interpreter of the great period of Rome.
    • Matthew Arnold, "On the Modern Element in Literature", lecture published in On the Classical Tradition (1960) ed. by R. H. Super, p. 35.


  • Nempe apud Vergilium, quem propterea paruuli legunt, ut uidelicet poeta magnus omniumque praeclarissimus atque optimus teneris ebibitus animis non facile obliuione possit aboleri...


  • [Homer's] Fire burns with extraordinary Heat and Vehemence … Virgil's is a clearer and a chaster Flame ...


  • The principal and distinguishing excellency of Virgil, and which, in my opinion, he possesses beyond all poets, is tenderness. Nature had endowed him with exquisite sensibility; he felt every affecting circumstance in the scenes he describes; and, by a single stroke, he knows how to reach the heart.
    • Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, Vol. II (1783), Lecture XLIII: 'The Æneid of Virgil', p. 447.


  • Like every human being, a poet has to deal with three questions: how, what for, and in the name of what to live. The Bucolics, the Georgics and the Aeneid answer all three, and these answers apply equally to the Emperor and to his subjects, to antiquity as well as to our times. The modern reader may use Virgil in the same way that Dante used him in his passage through Hell and Purgatory: as a guide.
    • Joseph Brodsky, "Virgil: Older than Christianity, a Poet for the New Age", in Vogue (October 1981), p. 180.


  • That harmonious plagiary and miserable flatterer, whose cursed hexameters were drilled into me at Harrow.
    • Lord Byron, letter to Thomas Moore (11 April 1817), in Letters and Journals of Lord Byron (1830), p. 329.



  • Virgil loved rural ease, and, far from harm,
    Maecenas fix'd him in a neat, snug farm,
    Where he might free from trouble pass his days
    In his own way, and pay his rent in praise.


  • If you take from Virgil his diction and metre, what do you leave him?
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Table Talk (8 May 1824), in Specimens of the Table Talk of the late Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Vol. I (1835), p. 50.


  • The use which the grammarians made of Vergil is so extensive that, if all the [manuscripts] of him had been lost, it would be possible from the notices given us by the ancients of the Vergilian poems, and the passages quoted from them by the grammarians alone, to reconstruct practically the whole of the Bucolics, the Georgics, and the Aeneid.


  • Virgil imitated Homer, but imitated him as a rival, not as a disciple.
    • John Conington, P. Vergili Maronis Opera, with a Commentary by John Conington, M.A., Vol. II (1863), Introduction, p. 27.


  • Hail mighty Maro! may that sacred name
    Kindle my breast with thy celestial flame;
    Sublime ideas and apt words infuse,
    The Muse instruct my voice, and thou inspire the Muse!


  • As for Cicero, when he had heard some of the verses [of Virgil's Eclogues], his piercing judgement immediately perceived that these were productions of uncommon vigor, and ordered the whole eclogue to be recited from the beginning. Having familiarized himself with its every nuance, he declared it "the second great hope of Rome" [Magnae spes altera Romae], as if he himself were the first hope of the Latin language and Maro the second. These words Virgil later inserted in the Aeneid [12.168].



  • There is an inimitable grace in Virgil's words, and in them principally consists that beauty which gives so inexpressible a pleasure to him who best understands their force. This diction of his, I must once again say, is never to be copied; and since it cannot, he will appear but lame in the best translation.



  • Virgil is so exact in every word, that none can be changed but for a worse; nor any one removed from its place, but the harmony will be altered. He pretends sometimes to trip; but it is only to make you think him in danger of a fall, when he is most secure.
    • John Dryden, A Parallel Betwixt Poetry and Painting (1695).


  • Virgil has a thousand secret beauties...
    • John Dryden, The Works of Virgil (1697), 'Dedication to the Aeneis'.


  • Virgil cannot be said to copy Homer; the Grecian had only the advantage of writing first.
    • John Dryden, The Works of Virgil (1697), 'Dedication to the Aeneis'.


  • Virgil, above all poets, had a stock, which I may call almost inexhaustible, of figurative, elegant, and sounding words.
    • John Dryden, The Works of Virgil (1697), 'Dedication to the Aeneis'.


  • The best poem by the best poet.
    • John Dryden, of the Georgics, as quoted in Narrative and Simile from the Georgics in the Aeneid (1980) by Ward W. Briggs, Jr., footnote on p. 7.


  • Our classic, the classic of all Europe, is Virgil.


  • I think that he had few illusions and that he saw clearly both sides of every question—the case for the loser as well as the case for the winner.
    • T. S. Eliot, "Virgil and the Christian World" (1951).


  • ...in the sense in which a poet is a philosopher … Virgil is the greatest philosopher of ancient Rome. ...Virgil was, among all authors of classical antiquity, one for whom the world made sense, for whom it had order and dignity, and for whom, as for no one before his time except the Hebrew prophets, history had meaning.
    • T. S. Eliot, "Virgil and the Christian World" (1951).


  • 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.


  • Virgil's pliability, his subservience; his narrowness; his denial of that stubborn imaginative freedom which the true poets who preceded him had prized... his perfect lack of originality, courage, humour, or even animal spirits—these were the negative qualities which first commended him to government circles and have kept him in public favour ever since.
    • Robert Graves, The Virgil Cult (1961), as partially quoted in Philip Hardie's The Last Trojan Hero: A Cultural History of Virgil's Aeneid (2014), p. 14, and in Richard Jenkyns's The Legacy of Rome: A New Appraisal (1992), p. 142.



  • Virgil seems to have copied Greek models completely, imitating them slavishly and lifelessly, and so they appear as plagiarisms more or less devoid of spirit.
    • Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Religion, ed. W. Jaeschke, Vol. II, p. 402, as reported and quoted in The Last Trojan Hero: A Cultural History of Virgil's Aeneid (2014) by Philip Hardie, p. 14.


  • Animae dimidium meae.
    • Half of my soul.
    • Horace, Odes, Book I, ode iii, line 8.


  • O Virgile! ô poète! ô mon maître divin!


  • And for his poesy, 'tis so ramm'd with life,
    That it shall gather strength of life, with being,
    And live hereafter more admir'd than now.


  • Facundia Mantuani multiplex et multiformis est et dicendi genus omne complectitur.
    • The Mantuan's eloquence is many-sided and diverse, embracing every style.
    • Macrobius, Saturnalia, V, i, 4 (Loeb translation).


  • Decem Rhetorum, qui apud Athenas Atticas floruerunt, stylos inter se diversos hunc unum permiscuisse.
    • He combined, all by himself, the divergent styles of the ten orators who flourished in the Athens of Attica.
    • Macrobius, Saturnalia, V, i, 20 (Loeb translation).


  • His single words and phrases, his pathetic half-lines giving utterance, are as the voice of Nature herself, to that pain and weariness, yet hope of better things, which is the experience of her children in every time.


  • Virgil's narrative style...is subjective or more accurately, empathetic-sympathetic. Virgil not only reads the minds of his characters; he constantly communicates to us his own reactions to them and to their behaviour.
    • Brooks Otis, Virgil: A Study in Civilized Poetry (1964), p. 88.


  • Vergilium vidi tantum.
    • Virgil I only saw.
    • Ovid, Tristia (Sorrows), IV, x, 51.


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


  • 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.


  • This Fire is discerned in Virgil, but discerned as through a glass, reflected from Homer, more shining than fierce, but every where equal and constant.


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


  • Ideoque optime institutum est ut ab Homero atque Vergilio lectio inciperet, quamquam ad intellegendas eorum virtutes firmiore iudicio opus est: sed huic rei superest tempus, neque enim semel legentur.
    • It is therefore an admirable practice which now prevails, to begin by reading Homer and Vergil, although the intelligence needs to be further developed for the full appreciation of their merits: but there is plenty of time for that since the boy will read them more than once.
    • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria (c. 95 AD), I, viii, 5 (tr. H. E. Butler).


  • Vtar enim verbis isdem quae ex Afro Domitio iuvenis excepi, qui mihi interroganti quem Homero crederet maxime accedere "secundus" inquit "est Vergilius, propior tamen primo quam tertio". Et hercule ut illi naturae caelesti atque inmortali cesserimus, ita curae et diligentiae vel ideo in hoc plus est, quod ei fuit magis laborandum, et quantum eminentibus vincimur, fortasse aequalitate pensamus. Ceteri omnes longe sequentur.
    • I will repeat the words which I heard Domitius Afer use in my young days. I asked what poet in his opinion came nearest to Homer, and he replied, "Virgil came nearest to Homer, but is nearer first than third." And in truth, although we must needs bow before the immortal and superhuman genius of Homer, there is greater diligence and exactness in the work of Virgil just because his task was harder. And perhaps the superior uniformity of the Roman's excellence balances Homer's pre-eminence in his outstanding passages.
    • Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria (c. 95 AD), X, i, 86 (tr. H. E. Butler).


  • Le poète de la latinité tout entière.
    • The poet of the entire Latin world.
    • Charles Augustin Sainte-Beuve, as quoted in Why Vergil?: A Collection of Interpretations (2000), "Homage to Virgil" by Charles Fantazzi, p. 290.


  • Nothing in short was omitted by that godlike man. Only fools would want to add anything; only insolent men to change anything. Sentences, numbers, figures, simplicity, candor, ornaments, nature, art, learning—all is incomparable, or, in a word—Virgilian. ... Let the cravens who contend that the free genius and taste of divine Virgil were prisoners of Homer's inventions hold their peace. It was not thus. The arguments of Homer which nature proposed to him were corrected by Virgil as a schoolboy's theme by his professor.
    • Julius Caesar Scaliger, Poetices (1561), Book V, Ch. 3, as quoted in "Life of Julius Caesar Scaliger (1484–1558)" by Vernon Hall, Jr. — Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 40, Part 2 (1950), p. 153.


  • ...exemplum, regula, principium, finis esse debet nobis Maro.
    • Virgil should be our example, our rule, the beginning and the end.
    • Julius Caesar Scaliger, Poetices libri septem (1561), Book V, Ch. 3, as quoted in Philip Hardie's The Last Trojan Hero: A Cultural History of Virgil's Aeneid (2014), p. 9.



  • Corpore et statura fuit grandi, aquilo colore, facie rusticana, valetudine varia; nam plerumque a stomacho et a faucibus ac dolore capitis laborabat, sanguinem etiam saepe reiecit. Cibi vinique minimi; libidinis in pueros pronioris... Vulgatum est consuesse eum et cum Plotia Hieria. ... Cetera sane vitae et ore et animo tam probum constat, ut Neapoli Parthenias vulgo appellatus sit, ac si quando Romae, quo rarissime commeabat, viseretur in publico, sectantis demonstrantisque se subterfugeret in proximum tectum.
    • He was tall and of full habit, with a dark complexion and a rustic appearance. His health was variable; for he very often suffered from stomach and throat troubles, as well as with headache; and he also had frequent haemorrhages. He ate and drank but little. He was especially given to passions for boys... It is common report that he also had an intrigue with Plotia Hieria. ... Certain it is that for the rest of his life he was so modest in speech and thought, that at Naples he was commonly called "Parthenias" ("The Maiden"), and that whenever he appeared in public in Rome, where he very rarely went, he would take refuge in the nearest house, to avoid those who followed and pointed him out.


  • Cum "Georgica" scriberet, traditur cotidie meditatos mane plurimos versus dictare solitus ac per totum diem retractando ad paucissimos redigere, non absurde carmen se more ursae parere dicens et lambendo demum effingere. "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.
    • When he was writing the "Georgics," it is said to have been his custom to dictate each day a large number of verses which he had composed in the morning, and then to spend the rest of the day in reducing them to a very small number, wittily remarking that he fashioned his poem after the manner of a she-bear, and gradually licked it into shape. In the case of the "Aeneid," after writing a first draft in prose and dividing it into twelve books, he 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 22–24, in Suetonius, with an English translation by J. C. Rolfe, Vol. II (1914), pp. 471–473.


  • "Bucolica" triennio, "Georgica" VII, "Aeneida" XI perfecit annis.
    • The "Bucolics" he finished in three years, the "Georgics" in seven, the "Aeneid" in twelve.
      • Suetonius, Vita Vergili 25, in Suetonius, with an English translation by J. C. Rolfe, Vol. II (1914), p. 473.


  • My lord, you know what Virgil sings—
    Woman is various and most mutable.
    • Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Queen Mary (1875), Act III, scene vi.
    • Cf. Aeneid, IV, 569–570: Varium et mutabile semper femina.


  • Thou that singest wheat and woodland, tilth and vineyard, hive and horse and herd;
    All the charm of all the Muses often flowering in a lonely word.


  • Thou that seest Universal Nature moved by Universal Mind;
    Thou majestic in thy sadness at the doubtful doom of human kind.


  • I salute thee, Mantovano, I that loved thee since my day began,
    Wielder of the stateliest measure ever moulded by the lips of man.


  • The Delight of all Ages, and the Pattern of all Poets.
    • Voltaire, An Essay on Epic Poetry (1727).


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