Aeneas Didn’t Escape, The Greeks Let Him Go

Aelian, 3.22

“After they captured Troy, the Greeks pitied the fate of the captured people and they announced this altogether Greek thing: that each of the free men could select and take one of his possessions. Aeneas selected and was carrying his ancestral gods, after dismissing everything else. Impressed by the righteousness of this man, the Greeks conceded that he may take a second possession away.

Then, Aeneas placed his father—who was extremely old—on his shoulders and walked off. Because they were so amazed, they granted him all of his own possessions, attesting to the fact that men who are enemies by nature become mild when faced with righteous men who revere the gods and their parents.”

῞Οτε ἑάλω τὸ ῎Ιλιον, οἰκτείραντες οἱ ᾿Αχαιοὶ τὰς τῶν ἁλισκομένων τύχας καὶ πάνυ ῾Ελληνικῶς τοῦτο ἐκήρυξαν, ἕκαστον τῶν ἐλευθέρων ἓν ὅ τι καὶ βούλεται τῶν οἰκείων ἀποφέρειν ἀράμενον. ὁ οὖν Αἰνείας τοὺς πατρῴους θεοὺς βαστάσας ἔφερεν, ὑπεριδὼν τῶν ἄλλων. ἡσθέντες οὖν ἐπὶ τῇ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς εὐσεβείᾳ οἱ ῞Ελληνες καὶ δεύτερον αὐτῷ κτῆμα συνεχώρησαν λαβεῖν• ὃ δὲ τὸν πατέρα πάνυ σφόδρα γεγηρακότα ἀναθέμενος τοῖς ὤμοις ἔφερεν. ὑπερεκλαγέντες οὖν καὶ ἐπὶ τούτῳ οὐχ ἥκιστα, πάντων αὐτῷ τῶν οἰκείων κτημάτων ἀπέστησαν, ὁμολογοῦντες ὅτι πρὸς τοὺς εὐσεβεῖς τῶν ἀνθρώπων καὶ τοὺς θεοὺς καὶ τοὺς γειναμένους δι’ αἰδοῦς ἄγοντας καὶ οἱ φύσει πολέμιοι ἥμεροι γίνονται.

Aeneas’ Flight From Troy, Federico Barocci 1598

Of Jon Snow and Aeneas I Sing…

This text was discovered inside the hollow of a golden branch. On top was written, Pius Aeneas hoc scripsit (“Pious Aeneas wrote this”). On a separate document was a message written by one P.V.M. that said, carmen tam horribile est ut cum inhumata turba vagari malim.” (“This poem is so terrible that I prefer to wander with the unburied masses”).  It is thought that after Aeneas encountered Marcellus in the underworld, he received poetry lessons from Vergil himself. From a close reading of this text, we can also infer that Aeneas met the disembodied soul of George R.R. Martin and saw a performance of Game of Thrones

P. Aeneas (?), Maior Pietate Sum, Edited by Dani Bostick

Per campum magno gemitu fremit discordia vulgi.
Corpora caesa inter fluit foedum sanguinis flumen
Nunc Rex Noctis et Albi Euntes glomerantur ut aves,
Nunc amita et coniunx, volat Daenerys vecta per auras
Serpente expirante ignem. Nunc nubibus flammae
Ex caelo volat Ioannes Nivis; eum vehit serpens.
O lux Targaryum, spes o fidissima Arcti,
Aenea maior armis pietateque claro es?
Fecerat ignipotens scutum deus? Nec tenes scutum!

Dic mihi quid muros ascenderit hostis ab Orco
Dic mihi quid Regem Noctis mortesque necarit
Femina. Sed sine telis Aeneas viribus hostes
Caedebat victorque viros supereminet omnes.
At vero ipse ensem tumido in pulmone recondit
Vi magni scuti.

Over the battlefield with a great groan the disorganized crowd roars.
A disgusting river of blood flows among the slaughtered bodies,
Now the Night King and White Walkers gather like birds,
Now aunt and consort Daenerys flies through the air
On a fire-breathing dragon. Now from clouds of flame
Out of the sky flies John Snow; a dragon carries him.

Oh light of the Targaryans, Oh most faithful hope of the North,
Are you are greater in piety and arms than famous Aeneas?
Did the all-fiery god make your shield? You do not have one!
Tell me why an enemy of shades climbed the walls!
Tell me why a woman killed the Night King and zombies!
But Aeneas used to slaughter the enemy with his
Own strength and as a victor he surpasses all men.
And he himself indeed buries the sword into the inflated chest
With his big shield energy.

Apollo Makes A Toy Aeneas

Iliad, 5.449-453

αὐτὰρ ὃ εἴδωλον τεῦξ’ ἀργυρότοξος ᾿Απόλλων
αὐτῷ τ’ Αἰνείᾳ ἴκελον καὶ τεύχεσι τοῖον,
ἀμφὶ δ’ ἄρ’ εἰδώλῳ Τρῶες καὶ δῖοι ᾿Αχαιοὶ
δῄουν ἀλλήλων ἀμφὶ στήθεσσι βοείας
ἀσπίδας εὐκύκλους λαισήϊά τε πτερόεντα.

“Then silver-bowed Apollo made an eidolon
Which was similar to Aeneas and armed in that way,
And the Trojans and shining Achaeans were struggling
Over the eidolon, striking around their chests
Their oxhide well-rounded shields and their winged light ones*.”

Schol. Ad Il. 5.449-50b

[“but he made an eidolon] On the one hand, the eidolon represents the entire framework of the cosmos which is the model of everything as it truly is when crafted by the generative gods, but beforehand by Helios, who is the lord of all that is born and seen.

The eidolon is nothing less than Aeneas, the son of Aphrodite and Trôos, which was the first native beauty. For all beauty comes from Aphrodite, around which the fundamental material of the soul does not depart when it is pressed.”

[but he made an eidolon]: [he did this] in order that the Trojans might fight more bravely because they want to save the body.”

Here is Edward Butler’s translation from his comment, taking pains to bring sense to it from Platonic traditions:

“The eidôlon on the one hand is taken to be the fabrication of the cosmos, which is the impression of Real Being arranged by all the encosmic Gods, while on the other hand, that which is previously [arranged] by Helios, who is the ruler of all that is generated and visible. Nor is the eidôlon any less Aeneas, being the son of Aphrodite and of Trôs, who is the indigenous beauty; for all beauty is from Aphrodite, about whom the more material of the souls do not cease to clash with one another.”

ex. αὐτὰρ ὁ εἴδωλον<—τοῖον>: εἴδωλον μὲν ἄκουε πᾶν τὸ δημιούργημα τοῦ κόσμου, ὅπερ τύπος ὂν τοῦ ὄντως ὄντος ὑπὸ πάντων μὲν τῶν ἐγκοσμίων θεῶν κοσμεῖται, προηγουμένως δὲ ὑπὸ τοῦ ῾Ηλίου, ὅς ἐστιν ἡγεμὼν παντὸς γεννητοῦ τε καὶ ὁρατοῦ. οὐδὲν δὲ ἧττον Αἰνείου ἐστὶ τὸ εἴδωλον, υἱοῦ ᾿Αφροδίτης καὶ Τρωός, ὅ ἐστι τὸ ἐγχώριον κάλλος· πᾶν γὰρ ἐξ ᾿Αφροδίτης κάλλος ἐστι, περὶ ὃ αἱ ὑλικώτεραι τῶν ψυχῶν οὐκ ἀπαλλάσσονται συντριβόμεναι. b(BCE3E4)T

ex. αὐτὰρ ὁ εἴδωλον τεῦξε<—τοῖον>: ἵνα φιλοτιμοτέρως μάχωνται Τρῶες τὸ πτῶμα σῶσαι θέλοντες. b(BCE3E4)T

Strangeness here:  (1) What in the world is going on in the first scholion? I think it is an allegorical reading of the passage, but still.
(2) Is the scholion providing a different father for Aeneas?

 

There was also an eidolon for Helen.

Storage Jar with Aeneas and Anchises  Greek, Athens, about 510 B.C.   Terracotta

More Aeneid Through Buffy GIFs: Aeneas’ Perplexing Shield

Vergil, Aeneid 8.729-731

“Such images he wondered at on Vulcan’s shield, a parent’s present,
and he delights in the picture, although ignorant of the affairs
as he lifts upon his shoulder, the fame and fate of his descendants.”

Talia per clipeum Volcani, dona parentis,
miratur rerumque ignarus imagine gaudet
attollens umero famamque et fata nepotum.

I thought that the wonder left in the world had been exhausted once Christian Lehmann had finished telling the story of Dido and Aeneas through Buffy GIFs. But, lo, what do I know? Zeus can make the day like night at midday, and the Master Christian Lehmann can strike again! Last night, he pounded out the images on Aeneas’ shield. (This is reproduced from twitter with his permission.)

 

Image result for buffy's special slayer scythe
Buffy has her own special weapon too

Apollo Makes A Toy Aeneas

Iliad, 5.449-453

αὐτὰρ ὃ εἴδωλον τεῦξ’ ἀργυρότοξος ᾿Απόλλων
αὐτῷ τ’ Αἰνείᾳ ἴκελον καὶ τεύχεσι τοῖον,
ἀμφὶ δ’ ἄρ’ εἰδώλῳ Τρῶες καὶ δῖοι ᾿Αχαιοὶ
δῄουν ἀλλήλων ἀμφὶ στήθεσσι βοείας
ἀσπίδας εὐκύκλους λαισήϊά τε πτερόεντα.

“Then silver-bowed Apollo made an eidolon
Which was similar to Aeneas and armed in that way,
And the Trojans and shining Achaeans were struggling
Over the eidolon, striking around their chests
Their oxhide well-rounded shields and their winged light ones*.”

Schol. Ad Il. 5.449-50b

[“but he made an eidolon] On the one hand, the eidolon represents the entire framework of the cosmos which is the model of everything as it truly is when crafted by the generative gods, but beforehand by Helios, who is the lord of all that is born and seen.

The eidolon is nothing less than Aeneas, the son of Aphrodite and Trôos, which was the first native beauty. For all beauty comes from Aphrodite, around which the fundamental material of the soul does not depart when it is pressed.”

[but he made an eidolon]: [he did this] in order that the Trojans might fight more bravely because they want to save the body.”

ex. αὐτὰρ ὁ εἴδωλον<—τοῖον>: εἴδωλον μὲν ἄκουε πᾶν τὸ δημιούργημα τοῦ κόσμου, ὅπερ τύπος ὂν τοῦ ὄντως ὄντος ὑπὸ πάντων μὲν τῶν ἐγκοσμίων θεῶν κοσμεῖται, προηγουμένως δὲ ὑπὸ τοῦ ῾Ηλίου, ὅς ἐστιν ἡγεμὼν παντὸς γεννητοῦ τε καὶ ὁρατοῦ. οὐδὲν δὲ ἧττον Αἰνείου ἐστὶ τὸ εἴδωλον, υἱοῦ ᾿Αφροδίτης καὶ Τρωός, ὅ ἐστι τὸ ἐγχώριον κάλλος· πᾶν γὰρ ἐξ ᾿Αφροδίτης κάλλος ἐστι, περὶ ὃ αἱ ὑλικώτεραι τῶν ψυχῶν οὐκ ἀπαλλάσσονται συντριβόμεναι. b(BCE3E4)T

ex. αὐτὰρ ὁ εἴδωλον τεῦξε<—τοῖον>: ἵνα φιλοτιμοτέρως μάχωνται Τρῶες τὸ πτῶμα σῶσαι θέλοντες. b(BCE3E4)T

Strangeness here:  (1) What in the world is going on in the first scholion? I think it is an allegorical reading of the passage, but still.
(2) Is the scholion providing a different father for Aeneas?

 

There was also an eidolon for Helen.

 

Storage Jar with Aeneas and Anchises  Greek, Athens, about 510 B.C.   Terracotta

Zonaras: The Foundation of Rome (6.29-7.1)

This post will be the beginning of a much longer project, which I hope to sustain, of translating all of the specifically Roman history from Ioannes Zonaras’ vast Epitome. Books I-VI of the work are primarily concerned with Biblical and Judaic history; the rest of the work is a synopsis of Roman history from the founding of the city. Zonaras draws heavily on other historians, and even preserves substantial information which would have otherwise been lost. He is occasionally faulted for not being the most accurate historian, but this is a charge leveled against ancient writers of history all the way back to Herodotus. Gibbon makes heavy use of Zonaras in his Decline and Fall, and it is perhaps not coincidental that Gibbon himself is censured on occasion for his reliance on sources of dubious reliability.

Nevertheless, there is also (as far as I know) no full-scale English translation of all of Zonaras’ Roman history, and Byzantine chroniclers are not much in fashion (and perhaps never will be), so it may not be entirely out of place here to post it. I can swear no solemn oath that I will complete the project, but I will try to provide small daily updates.

Epitome Historiarum: 6.29-7.1

Since mention has been made of the history of the Romans, including their unconquerable strength, it is absolutely necessary to say and teach, or at least to recall those who are recorded in that book, and who these Romans were, and whence their race originally sprang, how they got their name, what sort of government they employed, what fortunes they enjoyed, and how they progressed to the highest point of happiness when they commanded but a tiny portion of the inhabited world and restrained the power of nearly all others; further, how they proceeded from their original monarchy to an aristocracy (that is, the dictatorship and the consulship), then to democracy, and finally back to monarchy. I must therefore discourse upon these things and set out in detail as much as it is possible for one trying to cut the wide breadth, and manage the tediousness, of such a wide subject, so that all pertaining to the history may be readily intelligible and not escape the memory of posterity.

Following the Trojan War, Aeneas came to the Aborigines, who first inhabited the region where Rome was founded, and where Latinus, the son of Faunus, then ruled. He continued on to Laurentum, near the river Numicium, where it is said that he prepared to found his city in accordance with a certain oracle. But Latinus, who was then the king of that land, prevented Aeneas from establishing a foundation there, and when it came to blows he was beaten. They were then reconciled by dreams which appeared to each of them. Latinus conceded the right of settlement to Aeneas, and even gave him his daughter Lavinia in marriage, for which reason Aeneas named the city which he founded Lavinium. The region was called Latium and the people who lived there were then called Latins.

But the neighboring Rutulians set out from their city of Ardea and since they were previously ill-disposed toward the Latins, they then initiated a war with the help of Turnus, a man both noble and formerly allied with Latinus. He had however become enraged with Latinus on account of Lavinia’s marriage, because she was previously promised to him. During the war, both Turnus and Latinus fell, and Aeneas won both the victory as well as his father-in-law’s throne. After a little time, however, the Rutulians received some aid from the Tyrsenians and came up against Aeneas again, this time winning the war. Aeneas disappeared, and since he was never again seen either living or dead, he was honored among the Latins as a god. Therefore, the Romans consider him their founder, and they boastfully call themselves the children of Aeneas (Aeneidae). Aeneas’ son Ascanius, who had followed his father from Troy, then assumed the throne, for Aeneas had not yet had a child with Lavinia, though he did leave her pregnant at his death. The enemy then surrounded Ascanius and besieged him, but the Latins set upon them at night and ended both the siege and the war.

῾Ρωμαίων δὲ μνησθείσης τῆς ἱστορίας καὶ τούτοις κράτος ἀναθεμένης ἀήττητον, ἀναγκαῖον πάν-
τως εἰπεῖν καὶ διδάξαι ἢ ἀναμνῆσαι τοὺς ἐντευξομένους τούτῳ δὴ τῷ συγγράμματι τίνες τε οἱ ῾Ρωμαῖοικαὶ ὅθεν τὸ τούτων ἔθνος συνέστη τὸ ἐξ ἀρχῆς, καὶπόθεν τὴν κλῆσιν ἔσχε, καὶ τίσι πολιτείαις ἐχρήσατο,καὶ οἵαις τύχαις ἐνέκυρσε, καὶ ὅπως προύκοψεν εἰςεὐδαιμονίας ἀκρότητα ὡς μικροῦ κυριεῦσαι τῆς οἰκουμένης ἁπάσης καὶ τὸ κράτος κατὰ πάντων σχεδὸν ἀναδήσασθαι, καὶ ὅπως βασιλευθὲν ἐξ ἀρχῆςεἰς ἀριστοκρατίαν ἤτοι δικτατωρείας καὶ ὑπατείαςμετέπεσε, καὶ εἰς δημοκρατίαν αὖθις μετήνεκτο,εἶτα εἰς μοναρχίαν ἐπανελήλυθεν. ῥητέον μοι τοίνυν καὶ περὶ τούτων καὶ διηγητέον ὡς ἐνὸν ἐπιτέμνοντι τὸ πλάτος τῆς διηγήσεως καὶ τὴν μακρηγορίαν συστέλλοντι, ἵν’ εἶεν εὐσύνοπτα τὰ τῆςἱστορίας καὶ τὴν τῶν ἐπιόντων μνήμην μὴ διαφεύγοιεν. Αἰνείας μετὰ τὸν Τρωικὸν πόλεμον ἀφῖκτο πρὸ᾿Αβορίγινας, οἳ πρῴην τὴν χώραν ᾤκουν καθ’ ἣν ἡ῾Ρώμη πεπόλισται, Λατίνου τοῦ Φαύνου τότε τὴν τούτων ἀρχὴν ἔχοντος, καὶ προσέσχε Λαυρεντῷ κατὰτὸν Νουμίκιον ποταμόν, ἔνθα κατά τι δὴ θεοπρόπιον λέγεται παρασκευάζεσθαι ποιήσασθαι τὴν κατοίκησιν. ὁ δὲ τῆς χώρας ἄρχων Λατῖνος ἀπεῖργε τῷ Αἰνείᾳ τὴν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ καθίδρυσιν. καὶ συμβαλὼν ἡττᾶται· εἶτα δι’ ὀνειράτων φανέντων ἀμφοῖν καταλλάττονται· καὶ τῆς κατοικίας αὐτῷ παραχωρεῖ, καὶ τὴν θυγατέρα Λαουινίαν εἰς γάμον ἐκδίδωσιν. ἔνθα πόλιν ὁ Αἰνείας οἰκοδομήσας ὠνόμασε Λαουίνιον· ἥ τε χώρα Λάτιον ἐπεκλήθη καὶ οἱ ἄνθρωποι οἱ ἐκεῖ Λατῖνοι προσηγορεύθησαν.

῾Ρουτοῦλοι δὲ ὁμοροῦντες τῇ χώρᾳ ἐκ πόλεως᾿Αρδέας ὁρμώμενοι, καὶ πρόσθεν δυσμενῶς ἔχοντες πρὸς Λατίνους, καὶ τότε πόλεμον ἤραντο, ἐπαρήγοντος αὐτοῖς καὶ Τούρνου ἀνδρὸς ἐπιφανοῦς καὶ τῷΛατίνῳ προσήκοντος, ὃς δι’ ὀργῆς τὸν Λατῖνον πεποίητο διὰ τὸν Λαουινίας γάμον· ἐκείνῳ γὰρ ἡ κόρη προωμολόγητο. μάχης οὖν γενομένης πίπτουσιν ὅ τε Τοῦρνος καὶ ὁ Λατῖνος, τὴν δὲ νίκην ὁ Αἰνείας κεκόμιστο καὶ τὴν τοῦ πενθεροῦ βασιλείαν. μετὰ δέ τινα χρόνον συμμαχίας ἐκ Τυρσηνῶν οἱ ῾Ρουτοῦλοι τυχόντες ἐπῆλθον τῷ Αἰνείᾳ, καὶ τὸν πόλεμον νενικήκασιν· ἀφανὴς δὲ ὁ Αἰνείας γενόμενος, οὔτε γὰρ ζῶν ὤφθη ἔτι οὔτε μὴν τεθνεώς, ὡς θεὸς παρὰ Λατίνοις τετίμητο. ἐντεῦθεν καὶ τοῖς ῾Ρωμαίοις τοῦ σφετέρου γένους ἀρχηγέτης νενόμισται, καὶ Αἰνειάδαι καλεῖσθαι αὐχοῦσι. τὴν δὲ τῶν Λατίνων ἀρχὴν ὁ ἐκείνου υἱὸς ᾿Ασκάνιος διεδέξατο, ὃς οἴκοθεν συνείπετο τῷ πατρί· οὐδέπω γὰρ ἐκ τῆς Λαουινίας παῖδα ἐγείνατο, ἔγκυον δ’ αὐτὴν καταλέλοιπε. τὸν δὲ ᾿Ασκάνιον κατακλείσαντες οἱ πολέμιοι ἐπολιόρκουν· νυκτὸςδ’ οἱ Λατῖνοι αὐτοῖς ἐπιθέμενοι τήν τε πολιορκίαν ἔλυσαν καὶ τὸν πόλεμον.

 

“Troy Fell, Let It Perish With Its Name”: Jupiter Decides the Fate of Refugees From the East

“When they make peace through joyful weddings,
(May it happen), when the laws and treaties have joined them,
Do not allow the Latins to change their ancient name
either in becoming Trojans or being called Teucrians.
Don’t let them change their language or their clothing,
may it be Latium, may there be Alban kings for generations;
may the Roman race be strong through Italian power.
It fell: let Troy perish with its name.”

Laughing, the master of man and creation responded:
“Truly you are the sister of Jove and Saturn’s other child:
Such waves of rage turn within your chest.
But come, put down your rage conceived in vain—
I grant what you want, and, overcome, I willingly give in.
The Ausonians will preserve their inherited tongue and customs,
The name will stay as it is—the Teucrians will fade into the land
Once they have shared their blood. I will provide their sacred rites
And will unite all the Latins in a single tongue.
You will see a race mixed with Ausonian blood rise up
And outpace all men, even the gods in devotion,
No other race will perform your honors the same.”

cum iam conubis pacem felicibus, esto,
component, cum iam leges et foedera iungent,
ne vetus indigenas nomen mutare Latinos
neu Troas fieri iubeas Teucrosque vocari
aut vocem mutare viros aut vertere vestem.
Sit Latium, sint Albani per saecula reges,
sit Romana potens Itala virtute propago:
occidit, occideritque sinas cum nomine Troia.”
Olli subridens hominum rerumque repertor
“Es germana Iovis Saturnique altera proles:
irarum tantos volvis sub pectore fluctus.
Verum age et inceptum frustra submitte furorem
do quod vis, et me victusque volensque remitto.
Sermonem Ausonii patrium moresque tenebunt,
utque est nomen erit; commixti corpore tantum
subsident Teucri. Morem ritusque sacrorum
adiciam faciamque omnis uno ore Latinos.
Hinc genus Ausonio mixtum quod sanguine surget,
supra homines, supra ire deos pietate videbis,
nec gens ulla tuos aeque celebrabit honores.”

Caveat Lector: Personal commentary follows…

Continue reading ““Troy Fell, Let It Perish With Its Name”: Jupiter Decides the Fate of Refugees From the East”

Rome Was Rebuilt By Expanding Citizenship

 

Velleius Paterculus, History of Rome 2.16.4

 

“Gradually, then, by granting citizenship to those who had not carried arms or had put them down rather late, the population was rebuilt as Pompeius, Sulla and Marius restored the flagging and sputtering power of the Roman people.”

Paulatim deinde recipiendo in civitatem, qui arma aut non ceperant aut deposuerant maturius, vires refectae sunt, Pompeio Sullaque et Mano fluentem procumbentemque rem populi Romani restituentibus.

Any student of Roman history understands that Rome’s expansion and strength relied in part on its ability to absorb and assimilate hostile populations. Today we often forget that the Italian peninsula was far from a uniform culture. (And a tour through modern Italy will confirm the persistence of many differences).  The process, of course, was not without pain and hard compromises, as Vergil echoes in Aeneid 6 during Anchises’ prophecy to Aeneas (851-3):

tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento
(hae tibi erunt artes), pacique imponere morem,
parcere subiectis et debellare superbos.

 

“Roman, remember that your arts are to rule
The nations with your empire, to enforce the custom of peace,
To spare the conquered and to subjugate the proud.”

Dionysus of Halicarnassus: Aeneas and Odysseus Get a Place Together

Dionys. Hal. A. R. I, c. 72: (Fowler 2000,68; Damastes fr. 3)

“After summarizing the sacrifices in Argos and how everything was done with each, he says that Aineas came from the Molossoi to Italy with Odysseus and became the founder of the city. And he named it.”

῾Ο τὰς ἱερείας τὰς ἐν ῎Αργει καὶ τὰ καθ’ ἑκάστην πραχθέντα συναγαγὼν Αἰνείαν φησὶν ἐκ Μολοττῶν εἰς ᾿Ιταλίαν ἐλθόντα μετ’ ᾿Οδυσσέως, οἰκιστὴν γενέσθαι τῆς πόλεως· ὀνομάσαι

As Fowler (Early Greek Mythography 2. 2013, 564-5) notes, the Greek could mean either that Aeneas came to Italy with Odysseus or came to Italy and founded the city with Odysseus. Either way, the story is certainly not one at home in our Odyssey.

Note though that the close collocation of Odysseus and Aeneas appears in Hesiod’s Theogony too (1008-1013):

“And well-crowned Kythereia gave birth to Aeneias
after having lovely sex with the hero Anchises
on the hills of windy Ida with its many valleys.
And Kirke the daughter of Helios the son of Hyperion
after sex with enduring-minded Odysseus
gave birth to Agrios and blameless and strong Latinus.”

Αἰνείαν δ’ ἄρ’ ἔτικτεν ἐυστέφανος Κυθέρεια,
᾿Αγχίσῃ ἥρωι μιγεῖσ’ ἐρατῇ φιλότητι
῎Ιδης ἐν κορυφῇσι πολυπτύχου ἠνεμοέσσης.
Κίρκη δ’ ᾿Ηελίου θυγάτηρ ῾Υπεριονίδαο
γείνατ’ ᾿Οδυσσῆος ταλασίφρονος ἐν φιλότητι
῎Αγριον ἠδὲ Λατῖνον ἀμύμονά τε κρατερόν τε·

It may be important that a possible reference is here too to Italy (in the name Latinus). In other texts, there is still an indirect association between Aeneas, Odysseus and the founding of Rome:

Geoponica, 11.2.8.6 (10th Century CE)

“For they say that Latinus was the brother of Telegonos and the son of Circe. and the father-in-law of Aeneas, that he founded the Akropolis before Aeneas arrived, and discovered laurel there.”

τὸ παλάτιον ὠνομάσθη, ἀπὸ τῆς ἐπικλήσεως δάφνης τῆς ἐν ῾Ρώμῃ. φασὶ γὰρ Λατῖνον τὸν Τηλεγόνου μὲν ἀδελφόν, Κίρκης δὲ παῖδα, πενθερὸν δὲ Αἰνείου, κτίζοντα τὴν ἀκρόπολιν πρὸ τῆς Αἰνείου παρουσίας, εὑρηκέναι ἐκεῖ δάφνην.

Heroes getting a new home together? Made me think of the Ballad of Ron Burgundy:

Numanus Remulus, big man in town…maybe not (Vergil, Aeneid 9.595-7)

[Editor’s Note: We are so absolutely psyched to introduce a new contributor, The fabulous Festus.  It is always great to find like-minded people ( as Herodotus puts it: “An intelligent and well-disposed friend is the finest of all possessions.” κτημάτων πάντων ἐστὶ τιμιώτατον ἀνὴρ φίλος συνετός τε καὶ εὔνοος, 5.24.3); but it is especially nice to find friends who can bring gravitas and new expertise to our endeavors (because, as Plato knows,“If you are wise, then everyone will be your family and friend.” ἐὰν μὲν ἄρα σοφὸς γένῃ, ὦ παῖ, πάντες σοι φίλοι καὶ πάντες σοι οἰκεῖοι ἔσονται, Lysis 210d). Let’s hope he shares many posts like the following with us]

With the ninth book, Vergil seriously gets into the battles of the so-called “Iliadic” Aeneid. The battle wavers; the Italian Numanus Remulus strides out to pillory the Trojans with words most distinctly not suave (598-620). Vergil introduces him thus (595-7):

Vaunting before his troops, and lengthen’d with a stride,
In these insulting terms the Trojans he defied:

is primam ante aciem digna atque indigna relatu               595
vociferans tumidusque novo praecordia regno
ibat et ingentem sese clamore ferebat:

The late fourth-century century AD commentator Servius remarks on the last four words of 598:

Vergil was not saying Remulus was a big man, but he was boasting that he was a big man.

ingentem sese clamore ferebat non erat ingens, sed se esse clamitabat ingentem.

Stop for a minute! Isn’t there something comical about a warrior in the middle of battle striding out and yelling “I am Mr. Big”? Yes, battles then as now had a surfeit of testosterone, but testosterone here could get you killed. The first time I read the Servius many years ago it took several minutes to regain a straight face.

The Latin supports either reading. Ferebat in the sense of walking, or ferebat in the sense of yelling, put differently, the indirect discourse beloved of generations of Latin students.

More modern commentators have been agnostic. There are no manuscript problems; no issue of the lectio difficilior (the more difficult reading is best). Clearly it’s an interpretational issue here. We have to think about warriors of the heroic age, especially in Homer.

Homeric warriors certainly could do self-promotion; the Iliad is peppered with it. Even in battle, especially in battle. But that self-promotion is about lineage and deeds. Nobody says “look at me, look at how big I am.” Further on this in my next post.

On this basis, Servius has it wrong. But his comment remains truly priceless.

[the translation is John Dryden’s. There are several fine modern ones available, but no one gives as close a sense of the Latin original as Dryden. Takes a major poet to know a major poet.]

Update

I am minded that not everyone will grasp the “big man in town” part of this post’s title. It is from (obviously to me and my generation), the Four Seasons’ song Big Man in Town, which rose to number twenty on the charts in 1964. I remember it well, since I was in high school then. Some are making claims the the Jersey Boys do it better. Let them. There is no arguing with them.