OUTLINE OF THE AENEID
(line numbers are those of the Mandelbaum translation)
Consult the glossary at the end of the Mandelbaum translation for
identification of the important characters.
The poet introduces the story of Aeneas. He explains Juno's anger with
the Trojans, and looks ahead to the foundation of Rome and the growth
of its empire. Aeneas is introduced on his journey from Troy. He
is shipwrecked at Carthage on the North African shore and received by
19-50: The poet describes JUNO's hostility towards the Trojans
and her affection for CARTHAGE.
51-220: Juno bribes a minor god of the winds, Aeolus, to send a storm
to wreck the Trojan fleet. The storm is calmed by NEPTUNE.
221-311: The Trojan survivors land on the African shore and Aeneas
consoles his men.
312-430: VENUS appeals to JUPITER on behalf of the
Trojans. Jupiter prophesies the future greatness of Rome, and
sends MERCURY to ensure that DIDO and the Carthaginians
receive Aeneas and the
431-584: Aeneas sets out to explore, and meets his mother, Venus,
disguised as a huntress. She tells him the story of how Dido, the queen
and founder of Carthage, fled from the Phoenician city of Tyre after
her brother, Pygmalion, murdered her husband, SYCHAEUS.
She urges Aeneas to go to the palace of Dido.
585-697: Aeneas, hidden by a mist, heads for Carthage and watches the
building of the city. He sees stories of the Trojan War
represented in the TEMPLE OF JUNO.
698-815: Dido appears. A group of Aeneas' companions - presumed
to have been lost in the storm - present themselves to her and are
816-917: Aeneas is revealed to Dido, and Dido welcomes him. He
sends to the ships for gifts and for his son, ASCANIUS.
918-970: Venus sends CUPID, disguised as Ascanius, to inflame
Dido with love for Aeneas.
971-1053: At a feast in Dido's palace, Aeneas is asked to tell his
Aeneas tells the story of the Trojan horse, the death of Priam, the
fall of Troy, and his own escape with his father,
Anchises, and his son, Iulus.
1-345: Aeneas begins with the story of the TROJAN HORSE .
The treacherous Greek, SINON, lies to the Trojans about the
horse and persuades them to bring it into their city. First, he
explains his presence by telling them a false story about the hostility
of ULYSSES (the Greek, Odysseus) towards him. Then, he
lies about the purpose of the horse. LAOCOON, the Trojan
priest who had urged destruction of the horse, is killed with his sons
by serpents from the sea.
346-70: The Greeks emerge from the horse, their fleet returns, and the
371-407: HECTOR'S GHOST appears to Aeneas in a dream and tells
him to flee Troy with "her holy things and household gods."
408-750: The Trojans futilely attempt to resist, and PYRRHUS,
the son of Achilleus, brutally kills Priam's son, POLITES, and
Priam himself in the palace.
751-92: Aeneas remembers his father, wife and son, and he heads for his
home. On his way, he sees Helen and is moved to kill her.
792-855: Venus prevents Aeneas from killing Helen, and shows him that
the gods are destroying Troy. She urges him to save his family.
857-1082: After his initial hesitation, Aeneas' father, ANCHISES,
is persuaded by omens to leave Troy. Anchises, Aeneas, his son,
(Ascanius) and his wife, CREUSA, flee. Creusa is lost,
when Aeneas returns to Troy to find her, he meets only her ghost who
Aeneas describes his journey from Troy and his unsuccessful efforts to
found a new city, as he fails to understand the oracles, dreams and
that foretell his new home in Italy.
1-89: Aeneas and his followers leave Troy and land in Thrace where they
learn that the Thracian king had treacherously murdered Priam's son, POLYDORUS, and seized his treasure.
90-253: Leaving Thrace, the Trojans stop at the island of DELOS, site of Apollo's temple. The
god prophesies that they must "seek out their ancient mother".
Anchises' interprets the prophecy to mean the island of CRETE, but their effort to found a
city there - a new Pergamum - is thwarted by a plague. The household
gods appear to Aeneas in a dream and explain that he must seek Italy,
and Anchises remembers the ancient prophecies of CASSANDRA.
253- 378: After a storm, the Trojans land on the Strophades, islands in
the Ionian sea, but they are driven away by the HARPIES who warn that they will
suffer hunger in Italy. They sail past ITHACA,
home of Ulysses, and hold games at ACTIUM,
the later site of AUGUSTUS'
naval victory over MARC ANTONY
378-659: They land at Buthrotum, a "new Troy"
HELENUS, a son of Priam, and Andromache, the widow of Hektor,
now rule. Helenus received part of this kingdom after Achilleus' son,
Pyrrhus, was killed by Agamemnon's son, ORESTES, in their rivalry over HERMIONE, the daughter of Helen.
Helenus interprets the prophecies that Aeneas has
received, and gives him instructions to follow on his remaining journey
and when he arrives in
Italy. He advises him to consult the SYBIL,
Apollo's prophetess, at Cumae.
660-893 : They skirt the shores of southern Italy and Sicily, and, in
the land of the CYCLOPS, they
meet one of Ulysses' men, ACHAEMENIDES,
who was left behind. He tells the story of Ulysses and the Cyclops.
893-931: Aeneas ends his story with the death of his father,
Wounded and infected by the poison of Cupid's arrow, Dido falls in love
with Aeneas, but he abandons her, when he is called by the gods to
follow his destiny. Distraught, Dido commits suicide.
1-118: Dido tells her sister, ANNA, of her love for
Aeneas. Anna encourages her love. Dido is shown as madly in
love with Aeneas.
119-228: Juno plans Dido's marriage to Aeneas. A hunt is
a storm comes up, and Dido and Aeneas are driven to the same cave:
day was her first day of death and ruin."
229-345: Rumor of their "wedding" reaches IARBAS, one of Dido's
rejected suitors, who prays to Jupiter for help. Jupiter sends MERCURY
to remind Aeneas of his duty.
346-95: Mercury brings Jupiter's message to Aeneas and he prepares to
396-545: Dido discovers his plans and rebukes him. Aeneas defends
546-971: Dido decides upon suicide, and curses the Trojans.
and the Trojans flee at Mercury's urging. Dido kills herself.
The Trojans land in Sicily to avoid a storm, and, there, Aeneas holds
funeral games in honor of the anniversary of his father's death.
Meanwhile, Juno sends IRIS to persuade the Trojan
women to burn the fleet and end their wanderings. Jupiter saves
the fleet with a timely rainfall and Nautes suggests that Aeneas leave
behind those who do not want to go on to Italy. Anchises appears
to Aeneas in a dream and convinces him of Nautes' plan. A
new Troy is founded in Sicily, and Aeneas sets sail for Italy.
asks Neptune to give Aeneas' ships safe passage to Italy. Only PALINURUS
, the helmsman, is lost at sea
Aeneas and the Trojans arrive in Italy. Accompanied by the Sibyl,
Aeneas visits the underworld, meets with the shade of his father, and
sees a pageant of his future descendants: the rulers, generals and
statesmen of Rome.
1-59: The Trojans land on the Italian shore. On his way to the
grotto of the SIBYL, Aeneas visits the TEMPLE OF APOLLO AND
. As he admires the stories of Crete in the reliefs carved by DAEDALUS,
by the arrival of the priestess.
60-216: He enters the Sibyl's cave, and she prophesies his wars in
Italy. Then, Aeneas appeals for permission to descend into the
Underworld to see the shade of his father, Anchises. The Sibyl
tells him he must first bury a comrade, MISENUS, and then find
the GOLDEN BOUGH.
217-315: The Trojans bury Misenus whose corpse they found on the beach,
and Aeneas is led to the golden bough by doves sent by his mother,
316-355: Aeneas enters the underworld with the Sibyl, and Virgil
the gods of the underworld to permit him to recount their journey.
356-549: They journey to the Styx river, and, there, they meet
who cannot cross because he remains unburied. The Sibyl shows the
golden bough to CHARON, the ferryman, and he grants passage to
550-626: They pass CERBERUS, MINOS the judge, the land
the suicides, and the Fields of Mourning where Aeneas sees "those whom
bitter love consumed with brutal waste." Here, he tries to speak with
Dido, but she
627-724: Aeneas meets the Greek and Trojan warriors, and he converses
with DEIPHOBUS, the last Trojan husband of Helen, who was
brutally mutilated in the sack of Troy.
725-897: Aeneas passes the road to Tartarus where he sees the
punishments of the wicked, and he enters the ELYSIAN FIELDS.
898-1203: Aeneas finds his father, Anchises. Anchises describes
the cycle of rebirth, and, then, shows Aeneas his Roman
descendants, ending with the tragic vision of the funeral of MARCELLUS, Augustus' nephew and
son-in-law who died prematurely. Aeneas returns to the earth
through the GATE OF
IVORY, the gate of false
The last six books of the Aeneid describe Aeneas' arrival in Latium and
his wars with the Italians whose forces are led by the RUTULIAN
warrior, TURNUS. In book 7, the aged king LATINUS
welcomes Aeneas' men and proposes that his daughter, LAVINIA,
marry Aeneas to unite the two peoples and fulfill a prophecy.
Juno sends a fury, ALLECTO
, to inflame Latinus' wife, Queen AMATA, with anger over the
proposed wedding, for she had favored her daughter's marriage to
Turnus. Meanwhile, Aeneas' son, Ascanius, kills a stag kept with
the royal herd, and this triggers a battle with the Latins. Both
sides marshall their forces, and king Latinus withdraws into his
palace. In book 8, the two sides prepare for war. Aeneas,
seeking allies, visits king EVANDER and his son, PALLAS,
at the future site of Rome where he sees future Roman landmarks and
memorials to HERCULES. Evander entrusts his son to him,
and Venus brings Aeneas a set of armor forged by her divine husband, VULCAN.
The shield bears scenes of Roman history around a monumental image of
Augustus' naval victory at Actium.
Turnus attacks the Trojan camp, while Aeneas is visiting Evander.
Two Trojan warriors, NISUS and EURYALUS, undertake a
mission by night to cross the Latin lines and get a message to Aeneas,
they are caught and brutally slain.
Jupiter holds a council of the gods at which Venus and Juno plead the
causes of the Trojans and Latins respectively. Jupiter decides to
leave the battle's outcome to fortune. As Aeneas sails down the
Tiber with his new Tuscan allies, he is met by nymphs - the transformed
Trojan fleet - who warn him of the Latin attack on the Trojan
camp. Aeneas' forces land and join the battle. Evander's
son, Pallas, fights bravely, but he is
outmatched by Turnus and killed, as Jupiter and Hercules look on from
the heavens. Aeneas rages on the battlefield
revenge. Juno rescues Turnus, but Aeneas wounds the Tuscan
MEZENTIUS, and kills his son, LAUSUS. Mezentius,
enraged, confronts Aeneas and is killed.
Aeneas mourns for Pallas and sends his body back to his father,
Evander. The Latins send envoys to the Trojan camp, and Aeneas
offers them peace. King Latinus calls a council of the
Latins. They learn that the veteran
Greek warrior, Diomedes, has rejected their plea for help against
Latinus proposes that they grant the Trojans land to settle, and DRANCES
urges him to marry his daughter to Aeneas. This enrages Turnus,
he offers to fight a duel with Aeneas. Meanwhile, the Trojans
begun to march on the city. Latinus abandons the council in
and Turnus rallies the troops to face the Trojans. CAMILLA,
the virgin leader of the Volscians, leads the fight against the Trojans
Despite the protests of king Latinus and queen Amata, Turnus challenges
Aeneas. Juno incites JUTURNA, Turnus' divine sister, to
to break the truce by persuading the Latins to attack the
The battle breaks out and Aeneas is wounded. After his wound is
by his mother, Venus, he returns to battle and leads the Trojans in an
upon the Latins' city. Turnus confronts Aeneas, but, when his
is shattered, he flees. Meanwhile, Jupiter wins Juno's acceptance
the Trojan victory, and he promises that they will merge with the
and lose the name of Trojans. Juturna is forced to abandon her
and Turnus is left to face Aeneas. Aeneas wounds him, and kills
in a rage when he sees that he is wearing the belt he stripped from
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