Image: Nisus and Euryalus (1827) by Jean-Baptist Roman, Louvre Museum
Book 19, Aeneid, Vergil.
29-18 BCE (over 2,000 years ago)
Trans. RMBullard Latin (Augustan Age)
Impetus Nocturnus Nisi Euryalique
Nisus erat portae custos, acerrimus armis, Hyrtacides, comitem Aeneae quem miserat Ida venatrix iaculo celerem levibusque sagittis, et iuxta comes Euryalus, quo pulchrior alter non fuit Aeneadum Troiana neque induit arma, ora puer prima signans intonsa inventa.
(Nisus was one of the guards at the gate, a most fierce man in battle, a friend whom Aeneas’ mother had sent from Ida, who was quick with his spear and swift arrows, and beside was his friend Euryalus, whom no other of Aeneas’ band was more handsome nor wore his arms more beautifully, and the boy was showing the first signs of an unshaved beard;)
his amor unus erat pariterque in bella ruebant; tum quoque communi portam statione tenebant.
(A single passion belonged to them, and they would rush into battle together; at that time, they were guarding the gate at the same post;)
Nisus ait: “dine hunc ardorem mentibus addunt, Euryale, an sua cuique deus fit dira cupido?
(Nisus then said: “Are the gods increasing this passion in my thoughts, Euryalus, or does divine desire make happen for each man his own destruction?)
Aut pugnam aut aliquid iamdudum invadere magnum mens agitat mihi, nec placida contenta quiete est.
(Right now, my mind goads me to rush into battle or something important, and there is no peaceful restraint for me in peace;)
Cernis quae Rutulos habeat fiducia rerum: lumina rara micant, somno vinoque soluti procubuere, silent late loca.
(You see the arrangement of affairs that holds the Rutulians: their torches are thinning, and they are lying down, relaxed from sleepiness and wine; their camp grows silent throughout;)
percipe porro quid dubitem et quae nunc animo sententia surgat.
(So offer some doubtful comment, and let this thought surge in my mind;)
Aenean acciri omnes, populusque patresque, exposcunt, mittique viros qui certa reportent.
(Everyone, the people and the leading fathers, demand for Aeneas to be summoned, and truly let them suggest men to be sent;)
si tibi quae posco promittunt (nam mihi facti fama sat est), tumulo videor reperire sub illo posse viam ad muros et moenia Pallantea.’
(If they allow the things that I demand (for a rumor is enough to be made for me), I feel that I can find a way under that mound to the walls and the Palatine city”)
obstipuit magno laudum percussus amore Euryalus, simul his ardentem adfatur amicum:
(Euryalus, greatly stricken by tremendous love, agreed, and at the same time, he address his friends with this words:)
‘Mene igitur socium summis adiungere rebus, Nise, fugis? Solum te in tanta pericula mittam?
(So, do you refuse to join me as an ally to these most wonderful affairs? Shall I send you by yourself into such great dangers?)
Non ita me genitor, bellis adsuetus Opheltes, Argolicum terrorem inter Troiaeque labores sublatum erudit, nec tecum talia gessi magnanimum Aenean et fata extrema secutus:
(So my father Opheltes, a man accustomed to warfare, never raised me, laying among the terror of the Greeks and the deeds of Troy, and he did not follow great-minded Aeneas to endure such fates with you:)
est hic, est animus lucis contemptor et istum qui vita bene credat emi, quo tendis, honorem.’
(Here he is; his mind is a despiser of the light, and one that strongly believes this honor exist in my life, to go where you go.’)
Nisus ad haec: ‘equidem de te nil tale verebar, nec fas;
(Nisus said to these things: “I really will not forbid this thing from you, but it is not righteous thing;)
Non ita me referat tibi magnus ovantem Iuppiter aut quicumque oculis haec aspicit aequis.
(So, let great Jupiter not recall me praying for you or anyone who witnesses these things with just eyes;)
sed si quis (quae multa vides discrimine tali) si quis in adversum rapiat casusve deusve, te superesse velim, tua vita dignior aetas.
(But if anyone, and may you see these things with such discretion, if some event or god should snatch us into the enemy, I would wish that you survive; young age is a worthier thing in your own life;)
sit qui me raptum pugna pretiove redemptum mandet humo, solita aut si qua id Fortuna vetabit, absenti ferat inferias decoretque sepulcro.
(Let it be me who is snatched in battle, and bought back with a ransom, may someone put in me in the earth, or if somehow Fortune alone should forbid this, let someone bring funeral gifts and honor me, missing from the grave;)
neu matri miserae tanti sim causa doloris, quae te sola, puer, multis e matribus ausa persequitur, magni nec moenia curat Acestae.’
(And let me not be the cause of grief to your wretched mother, who alone, young boy, followed you, a daring women from the many mothers, and she does not care for the walls of great Acestas’)
ille autem: ‘causas nequiquam nectis inanes nec mea iam mutata loco sententia cedit. Acceleremus’, ait, vigiles simul excitat.
(But the other one says: ‘Not at all do you speak pointless reasons, and my thought now does not go changed from its original position; let’s go!’ he says, and soon he wakes the nightwatch;)
illi succedunt servantque vices;
(These men go forth and pack their quarters;)
statione relicta ipse comes Niso graditur regemque requirunt.
(Leaving his post, Nisus’ friend follows and seek the king;)
Cetera per terras omnis animalia somno laxabant curas et corda oblita laborum:
(Throughout all the lands, the other animals were relaxing their cares and their hearts, forgetful of their labors:)
ductores Teucrum primi, delecta iuventus, consilium summis regni de rebus habebant, quid facerent quisve Aeneae iam nuntius esset.
(First the leaders of the Trojans and chosen young men held a council on the kingdom’s most important matters, on what they should do and who should now be the messenger to Aeneas;)
stant longis adnixi hastis et scuta tenentes castrorum et campi medio.
(They stand in the middle of the camps and field, leaning forward on their long spears and holding their shields;)
tum Nisus et una Euryalus confestim alacres admittier orant: rem magnam pretiumque morae fore.
(Then together Nisus and Euryalus immediately begged for messengers to be sent out: since there was a serious matter and price for delay;)
Primus Iulus accepit trepidos ac Nisum dicere iussit.
(First Iulus met the eager men and ordered Nisus to speak;)
Tum sic Hyrtacides: ‘Audite o mentibus aequis Aeneadae, neve haec nostris spectentur ab annis quae ferimus.
(So then the son of Hyrtaces said: “Listen here to the just minds of Aeneas’ band, so that the things that we perform be witnessed in our years;)
Rutuli somno vinoque soluti conticuere.
(The Rutulians have grown quiet, since they have been loosened by sleepiness and wine;)
locum insidiis conspeximus ipsi, qui patet in bivio portae quae proxima ponto.
(We ourselves have spotted the area full of enemies, which lies open in those areas closest to the double-mouthed sea;)
interrupti ignes aterque ad sidera fumus erigitur.
(Their fires have been extinguished, and their black smoke waifs up to the stars;)
si fortuna permittitis uti quaesitum Aenean et moenia Pallantea, mox hic cum spoliis ingenti caede peracta adfore cernetis.
(Just as if you accomplish Aeneas’ calling and the Palatine city by fortune, soon you will witness conquests with spoils that will accompany huge slaughter;)
nec nos via fallit euntis: vidimus obscuris primam sub vallibus urbem venatu adsiduo et totum cognovimus amnem.’
(The way of access does not escape us: first, we have seen the city under the shady valleys, with its frequent coming-and-goings, and we have studied the river’s entirety’)
hic annis gravis atque animi maturus Aletes:
(Then Aletes, with his long age and mature in his mind:)
‘di patrii, quorum semper sub numine Troia est, non tamen omnino Teucros delere paratis, cum talis animos iuvenem et tam certa tulistis pectora.’
(Paternal gods, under whose divine power Troy forever exists, you are not yet preparing to destroy the Trojans down the very last one, since you have borne such wonderful spirits of young men and such stout hearts;)
sic memorans umeros dextrasque tenebat amborum et vultum lacrimis atque ora rigabat.
(Reminding them in this way, he held the shoulders and right hands of both men, and he began to wet his face and mouth with tears;)
‘quae vobis, quae digna, viri, pro laudibus istis praemia posse rear solui?
(What honors, what, shall I deem to be worthy for you for these praises?)
pulcherrima primum di moresque dabunt vestri:
(First your gods and your traditions will give the most beautiful ones;)
tum cetera reddet actutum pius Aeneas atque integer aevi Ascanius meriti tanti non immemor umquam.’
(Then dutiful Aeneas will return the rest, and Ascanius, full of merit at such a young age, one never forgetful of anything’)
‘immo ego vos, cui sola salus genitore reducto,’ excipit Ascanius ‘per magnos, Nise, penatis Assaracique larem et canae penetralia Vestae obtestor, quaecumque mihi fortuna fidesque est, in vestris pono gremiis.
(‘Nisus, I swear to you, to whom only health belongs (since your father was felled), upon the great Penates and Assaricus’ Lares and the sacred things of shining Vesta, each and every fortune and confidence there is, I set in your lap;)
Revocate parentem, reddite conspectum; nihil illo triste recepto.
(Call your parent back, return a look to her: not in this sad gathering;)
bina dabo argento perfecta atque aspera signis pocula, devicta genitor quae cepit Arisba, et tripodas geminos, auri duo magna talenta, cratera antiquum quem dat Sidonia Dido.
(I’ll give you two goblets, crafted from silver and sharp in its designs, which my father seized from conquered Arisba, and twin tripods, two great talents of gold, and an ancient bowl which Sidonian Dido gives;)
Si vero capere Italiam sceptrisque potiri contigerit victori et praedae dicere sortem, vidisti, quo Turnus equo, quibus ibat in armis aureus;
(If he should really prevail as victor to seize Italy, to come to the scepter’s power, and to declare assortment of war prize, you have seen on which horse Turnus will go, in which arms he is a golden one;)
ipsum illum, clipeum cristasque rubentis excipiam sorti, iam nunc tua praemia, Nise.
(that man himself, if by chance I rip away his shield and his reddened crests, then there those war prizes will be yours, Nisus;)
praeterea bis sex genitor lectissima matrum corpora captivosque dabit suaque omnibus arma, insuper his campi quod rex habet ipse Latinus.
(Above all, his father will donate twelve most delightful bodies of matrons and captives and their weapons, as much treasure King Latinus himself possesses;)
te vero, mea quem spatiis proprioribus aetas insequitur, venerande puer, iam pectore toto accipio et comitem casus complector in omnis.
(Indeed, praiseworthy boy, my age follows yours by a very brief space of time, yet I accept you with all my heart and embrace you as a comrade in all situations;)
nulla meis sine te quaeretur gloria rebus:
(No glory will seek you with my involvement in the affairs:)
seu pacem seu bella geram, tibi maxima rerum verborum fides.’
(I shall bear either peace or war, my confidence in your plans and your words is the greatest’)
contra quem talia fatur Euryalus: ‘me nulla dies tam fortibus ausis dissimilem arguerit;
(Eurylus says the following things in response to him: ‘Not one day would find me disagreeing to such brave daring;)
tantum fortuna secunda haud adversa cadat.
(May a kind fortune not turn so unfavorable;)
sed te super omnia dona unum oro: genetrix Priami de gente vetusta est mihi, quam miseram tenuit non Ilia tellus mecum excedentem, non moenia regis Acestae.
(But above all gifts, I beg one single thing from you: my mother is an elderly woman from the Priam’s clan, a wretched woman whom Trojan soil did not keep, nor the walls of King Acestas, since she left out with me;)
hanc ego nunc ignaram huius quodcumque pericli inque salutatam linquo (nox et tua testis dextera), quod nequeam lacrimas perferre parentis.
(Now I’m leave her ignorant of any inkling of this danger and without a farewell, and night and your right hand as a witness, because I cannot bear at all the tears of my mother;)
at tu, oro, solare inopem et succurre relictae.
(But you, I beg you, console and help the misfortune of a surviving mother;)
hanc sine me spem ferre tui, audentior ibo in casus omnis.’
(Fulfill this hope when I am gone from you, and I will go a braver men into all dangers.’)
Percussa mente dedere Dardanidae lacrimas, ante omnis pulcher Iulus, atque animum patriae strinxit pietatis imago.
(With their mind completely stricken, the Trojans poured forth tears, above all handsome Iulus, and an image of his father’s dutifulness struck the mind;)
tum sic effatur: ‘sponde digna tuis ingentibus omnia coeptis.
(So then he says: ‘Have confidence in all things worthy of your mission;)
namque erit ista mihi genetrix nomenque Creusae solum defuerit, nec partum gratia talem parva manet.
(For I once had a mother, and only her name, Creusa, survives, but this small remainder does not remain in little value;)
casus factum quicumque sequentur, per caput hoc iuro, per quod pater ante solebat:
(Whatever things should befall the mission, I swear on my head, on which my father used to swear before:)
quae tibi polliceor reduci rebusque secundi, haec eadem matrique tuae generique manebunt.’
(I promise that these things will be bestowed to you, and with even more rewards; these same rewards will remain for you mother and your father-in-law’)
sic ait inlacrimans; umero simul exuit ensem auratum, mira quem fecerat arte Lycaon Cnosius atque habilem vagina aptarat eburna.
(So he speaks, weeping; at the same time, he draws down his gilded sword from his shoulder, which Lycaon of Knossos had made with wondrous skill and had joined the light sword with an ivory sheath;)
dat Niso Mnestheus pellem horrentisque leonis exuvias, galeam fidus permutat Aletes.
(Mnestheus gives Nisus a pelt skin and the claws of a bristly lion; trusty Aletes exchanges his helmet with him;)
quos omnis euntis primorum manus ad portas, iuvenumque senumque, prosequitur votis.
(He follows all the bands of noblemen and youths and old men, walking to the gates in their prayers;)
nec non et pulcher Iulus, ante annos animumque gerens curamque virilem, multa patri mandata dabat portanda;
(And even handsome Iulus, bearing a manly spirit and worry before his years, began to give various orders to be informed to his father;)
sed aurae omnia discerpunt et nubibus inrita donant.
(But breezes scatter everything about and give signs of bad omen in the clouds.)
Egressi superant fossas noctisque per umbram castra inimica petunt, multis tamen ante futuri exitio.
(Moving out, they pass over the defensive ditches and seek the enemy’s camps among the shadows, still before the upcoming slaughter of many men;)
passim somno vinoque per herbam corpora fusa vident, arrectos litore currus, inter lora rotasque viros, simul arma iacere, vina simul.
(Gradually, they see bodies strewn across the grass from sleepiness and wine, and chariots steered from the shore, and men lying between the reins and wheels, on one side with their weapon, on the other side with a goblet of wine;)
prior Hyrtacides sic ore locutus: ‘Euryalus, audendum dextra: nunc ipsa vocat res. Hac iter est.
Soon, the son of Hyrtaces speaks, whispering with his mouth: ‘Euryalus, your right hand is needed for a daring task: the mission now reveals itself. There’s an entry over here;)
Tu, ne qua manus se attollere nobis a tergo possit, custodi et consule longe; haec ego vasta dabo et lato te limite ducam.’
You, lest somehow their band be able to reach us from the rear, take guard and warn me from afar; I will lay waste to these things here and will afterward lead you along the wide frontline;)
Sic memorat vocemque premit, simul ense superbum Rhamnetem adgreditur, qui forte tapetibus altis exstructus toto proflabat pectore somnum, rex idem et regi Turno gratissimus augur, sed non augurio potuit depellere pestem.
(So he reminds him and ceases to speak, and then he attacks proud Rhamnes with his sword, a man who by chance, strewn out on high pillows, was snoring out a great slumber from his entire chest [both a king and a very favored augur of King Turnus], but he was not able to beat out that destruction with his augury;)
tris iuxta famulos temere inter tela iacentis armigerumque Remi premit aurigamque sub ipsis nactus equis ferroque secat pendentia collo.
(He stabbed three of his servants lying next to spears, and Remus’ arm-bearer, and the charioteer, lying under his own horses, and he lopped off their hanging necks with his blade;)
tum caput ipsi aufert domino truncumque relinquit sanguine singultatem; atro tepefacta cruore terra torique madent.
(Then he carried away the head from the king’s body and left his trunk headless in a pool of blood; the earth, warmed by the black guts, and the soil begin to soak;)
nec non Lamyrumque Lamumque et iuvenum Serranum, illa qui plurimum nocte luserat, insignis facie, multoque iacebat membra deo victus—felix si protinus illum aequasset nocti ludum in lucemque tulisset:
(And then Lamyrus and Lamus and young Serranus, a man who had partied a great deal on that night, not very notable in his appearance, and he slackened his arms and legs, completely conquered by a god—a lucky one, if only he had continued his partying the whole night and continued it into the dawn:)
impastus ceu plena leo per ovilia turbans (suadet enim vesana fames) manditque trahitque molle pecus mutumque metu, fremit ore cruento.
(He was insatiable, like a lion whiriling through full sheep-flocks, for hunger drives insanity, and he throws and drags a soft sheep, silent with fear, and he roars with his bloody mouth;)
nec minor Euryali caedes;
(And Euryalus’ murders were no less;)
incensus et ipse perfurit ac multam in medio sine nomine plebem, Fadumque Herbesumque subit Rhoetumque Abarimque ignaros;
(Inflamed, even he rages around the middle of the common warrior, not distinguished in title, and he fells Herbesus and Rhoetus and unsuspecting Abaris;)
Rhoetum vigilantem et cuncta videntem, sed magnum metuens se post cratera tegebat.
(Even though Rhoetus was awake and witnessing everything, yet he, so greatly fearful, covered himself with a sheet;)
pectore in adverso totum cui comminus ensem condidit adsurgenti et multa morte recepit.
(His spotter pushed his whole sword through his chest, and beginning to rise up, he received many blows to his death;)
purpuream vomit ille animam et cum sanguine mixta vina refert moriens, hic furo fervidus instat.
(He vomited his bloody-red life out and dying, he burps up wined mixed with blood; the other men stands over him, blazing;)
iamque ad Messapi socios tendebat;
(And now he began to head toward Messapus’ allies;)
ibi ignem deficere extremum et religatos rite videbat carpere gramen equos, breviter cum talia Nisus (sensit enim nimia caede atque cupidine ferri) ‘absistamus’ ait, ‘nam lux inimica propinquat.
(There he saw the very last torch burning and the harnessed horses plucking the grass in usual habit, when Nisus says the following, for he felt there to be too much slaughter and lust for the sword, ‘Lets stop, for the enemy torch draws near;)
Poenarum exhaustum satis est, via facta per hostis.’
(The exaction of our punishments is enough, now for the way to be made past the enemies’)
multa virum solido argento perfecta relinquunt armaque craterasque simul pulchrosque tapetas.
(They leave the men’s many possessions, crafted from silver, and their weapons and bowls and beautiful rugs;)
Euryalus phaleras Rhamnetis et aurea bullis cingula, Tiburti Remulo ditissimus olim quae mittit dona, hospitio cum iungeret absens, Caedicus;
(Euryalus takes Rhamnes’ arrows and warbelt, gilded with its studs, which once upon a time, a very wealthy man Caedicus sent to Remulus of the Tiburti as a gift, one not present though he joined himself into hospitality;)
ille suo moriens dat habere nepoti; post mortem bello Rutuli pugnaque potiti:
(Dying, he gives it to his cousin to have; after his death, the it was gained in war, in a battle against Rutulus;)
haec rapit atque umeris nequiquam fortibus aptat.
(He seizes it and up till then, holds it fastened upon his mighty shoulders;)
tum galeam Messapi habilem cristisque decoram induit. Excedunt castris et tuta capessunt.
(Then he put on Messapus’ helmet, light and renowned with its plumes. They fly out of the camp and search for a way to safety;)
Interea praemissi equites ex urbe Latina, cetera dum legio campis instructa moratur, ibant et Turno regi responsa ferebant, ter centum, scutati omnes, Volcente magistro.
(Meanwhile, horsemen sent from the Latin city, while the other legion drawn up waits in its camps, began to approach and bring replies to King Turnus from the Volscan general, 300 men, all shielded;)
iamque propinquabant castris murosque subibant cum procul hos laevo flectentis limite cernunt, et galea Euryalem sublustri noctis in umbra prodidit immemorem radiisque adversa refulsit.
(And they were already beginning to near the camps and enter the walls, when from afar they spot them bending around the frontline, and in the shades of the moonlit light, the helmet betrays careless Euryalus and shines gleams outwards;)
haud temere est visum. Conclamat ab agmine Volcens:
(But this sight is nothing to fear. Volcens shouts aloud from his battle line:)
‘state, viri. Quae causa viae? Quive estis in armis? Quove tenetis iter?’
(‘Halt, men. What’s the reason for your journey? Why are in arms? To where do you steer your path?’)
nihil illi tendere contra, sed celerare fugam in silvas et fidere nocti.
(They give nothing back in response, and they take off their escape into the woods and put trust in the nightshade;)
obiciunt equites sese ad divortia nota hinc atque hinc, omnemque aditum custode coronant.
(The horsemen throw themselves in directions known to them here and there, and they crown every path of escape with a guard;)
silva fuit late dumis atque ilice nigra horrida, quam densi complerant undique sentes; rara per occultos lucebat semita callis.
(The forest lies wide with thorny bushes and shivers with black ivy, which thick brush fills up completely on all sides; a thin light began to shine in their eyes from the hill paths;)
Euryalum tenebrae ramorum onerosaque praeda impediunt, fallitque timor regione viarum.
(The branches’ shadows and the burdensome plunder slow Euryalus down, and fear deceives in his choice of paths;)
Nisus abit; iamque imprudens evaserat hostis atque locos qui post Albae de nomine dicti Albani (tum rex stabula alta Latinus habebat), ut stetit et frustra absentem respexit amicum:
(Nisus fell out of the sight; for he had already thoughtlessly evaded the enemies and places, which were named the Albae, after the spoken Albanus (at that time King Latinus used to own his high stables), so that he stood and looked backed for his absent friend in vain:
‘Euryale infelix, qua te regione reliqui? Quave sequar?’
(‘Unlucky Euryalus, where have I left you? Where ever shall I go?’)
rursus perplexum iter omne revolvens fallacis silvae simul et vestigia retro observata legit dumisque silentibus errat.
(Restepping the entire twisting path, he traces the wanderings of the woods as well as his spotted footprints, and he wanders through the rustling bushes;)
audit equos, audit strepitus et signa sequentum; nec longum in medio tempus, cum clamor ad auris pervenit ac videt Euryalum, quem iam manus omnis fraude loci et noctis, subito tumultu, oppressum rapit et conantem plurima frustra.
(He heard horses; he heard shouts and signs of man pursuing; and it was not a long time in the midst, when a shout comes to his ears and sees Euryalus, whom the whole band already seized him, deceived by his position and the dark of night, suddenly in a whirling clamor, held down and struggling much in vain;)
quid faciat? Qua vi iuvenem, quibus audeat armis eripere? An sese medios moriturus in enses inferat et pulchram properet per vulnera mortem?
(What will he do? By what force might he dare to snatch away the young man, with what arms? Or would he, about to die, throw himself into the middle of their swords and would he speed up an honorable death from wounds?)
Ocius adducto torquet hastile lacerto suspiciens altam Lunam et sic voce precatur:
(So fiercely does he wind his spear, while he draws his arm back, look up to the high Moon, and speaking so with his voice:)
‘Tu, dea, tu praesens nostro succurre labori, astrorum decus et nemorum Latonia custos.
You goddess, you looking down, give luck to my task, you being the Leto-born honor of the stars and forests;)
Si qua tuis umquam pro me pater Hyrtacus aris dona tulit, si qua ipse meis venatibus auxi suspendive tholo aut sacra ad fastigia fixi, hunc sine me turbare globum et rege tela per auras.’
(If ever my father Hyrtacus brought gifts to your altar for my sake, if ever there have been sacred offerings either stacked or hanging from the rotunda or fixed to your pediment, turn this sphere without me and guide my spears through the air’)
dixerat et toto conixus corpore ferrum conicit.
(He had spoken, and he threw his blade, pushing forth with his whole body;)
hasta volans noctis diverberat umbras et venit aversi in tergum Sulmonis ibique frangitur, ac fisso transit praecordia ligno.
(The flying spear vibrates through the night shadows and reaches across into the back of Sulmo and shatters there, and it pierced his innards with fixed wood;)
volvitur ille vomens calidum de pectore flumen frigidus et longis singultibus ilia pulsat.
(And he, spitting a warm stream from his chest, sprung over, chill, and his midriff throbbed with long pants;)
diversi circumspiciunt. Hoc acrior idem ecce aliud summa telum librabat ab aure.
(The others look around. Look again, another spear, even fiercer, balances from the air above;)
dum trepidant, it hasta Tago per tempus utrumque stridens traiectoque haesit tepefacta cerebro.
(While it shakes, the spear travels clear through Tagus’ temple, heated, and screaming on both sides, it clings through his pierced skull;)
saevit atrox Volcens nec teli conspicit usquam auctorem nec quo se ardens immittere possit.
(Savage Volcens goes crazy, yet he does not see any driver of the spear nor can he, burning, reached him anyway;)
‘tu tamen interea calido mihi sanguine poenas persolves amborum’ inquit; simul ense recluso ibat in Euryalum.
‘But you meanwhile will pay the penalty from me for the blood of two men’ he says; then, he advances upon Euryalus with his unsheathed sword;)
Tum vero exterritus, amens, conclamat Nisus nec se celare tenebris amplius aut tantum potuit perferre dolorem:
(Then completely terrified indeed out of his mind, Nisus shouts aloud and he can no longer hide himself in shadows nor bear such great heartache further:)
‘me, me, adsum qui feci, in me convertite ferrum, o Rutuli! Mea fraus omnis, nihil iste nec ausus nec potuit;
(O Rutulians, me, it was I who did it, turn your blade upon me! The raiding was all mine, and he neither dared anything nor could have;)
caelum hoc et conscia sidera testor; tantum infelicem nimium dilexit amicum.’
(I swear on this sky and the stars witnessing; he favored his unlucky friend way too much’)
talia dicta dabat, sed viribus ensis adactus transadigit costas et candida pectora rumpit.
(He offered these words, but, the sword, unleashed by the men, stabbed through his ribs and broke shattered his shining chest;)
volvitur Euryalus leto, pulchrosque per artus it cruor inque umeros cervix conlapsa recumbit:
(Euryalus turned over from death, and his guts flowed down his beautiful limbs, and his neck, falling down on his shoulders, slackens again:)
purpureus veluti cum flos succisus aratro languescit moriens, lassove papavera collo demisere caput pluvia cum forte gravantur.
(Just as when a purple flower, cut down by the plough, he sloops, dying, or as when the poppies sloop down their head on its weary neck when they grow heavy from an unexpected rain;)
at Nisus ruit in medios solumque per omnis Volcentem petit, in solo Volcente moratur.
(But Nisus rushed into the middle and sought Volcens from all of them, so that he might get to Volcens alone;)
quem circum glomerati hostes hinc comminus atque hinc proturbant.
(Looming here and there, the enemy attack around him;)
instat non setius ac rotat ensem fulmineum, donec Rutuli clamantis in ore condidit adverso et moriens animam abstulit hosti.
(As never before, he stands tall and whirls his flashing sword around, until he stabs into the face of a screaming Rutulian across, dying and he snatches away his life of his enemy, at the same time dying;)
tum super exanimum sese proiecit amicum confossus, placidaque ibi demum morte quievit.
(Then he casts himself down, burying over his lifeless friend, and finally he grew quiet in peace and quiet;)
Fortunati ambo! Si quid mea carmina possunt, nulla dies umquam memori vos eximet aevo, dum domus Aeneae Capitoli immobile saxum accolet imperiumque pater Romanus.
(A fortunate pair! If my songs can do anything, let no day in age extinguish you two from memory, while Aeneas’ family and a Roman patron occupy the immovable rock of the Capitoline and his power;)
Victores praeda Rutuli spoliisque potiti Volcentem exanimum flentes in castra ferebant.
(The victorious Rutulians carry into their camps their plunder and the lifeless Volcens, weeping for their general;)
nec minor in castris luctus Rhamnete reperto exsangui et primis una tot caede peremptis, Serranoque Numaque.
(And there was no less mourning when Rhamnes was found murdered, together with the first victims of slaughter, Serranus and Numa;)
ingens concursus ad ipsa corpora seminecisque viros, tepidaque recentem caede locum et pleno spumantis sanguine rivos.
There was huge rush to their bodies and the half-dead men and the place fresh from warm slaughter and the banks gushing full of blood;)
Agnoscunt spolia inter se galeamque nitentem Messapi et multo phaleras sudore receptas.
They take sight of the spoils among them and Messapus’ gleaming helmet and many breatplates soaked in the sweat;)
Et iam prima novo spargebat lumine terras Tithoni croceum linquens Aurora cubile.
(And now Dawn, leaving Titan’s saffron bed, was beginning to sprinkle the lands with new light;)
Iam sole infuso, iam rebus luce retectis Turnus in arma viros armis circumdatus ipse suscitat:
(Since the sun had already poured forth, when the night raid had been discovered, Turnus, himself plated around with armor, stirs his men into arms:)
aeratasque acies in proelia cogunt, quisque suos, variisque acuunt rumoribus iras.
(They drive their bronze chariots and battle lines into the fight; each man sharpens his own angers from the growing rumors;)
quin ipsa arrectis (visu miserabile) in hastis praefigunt capita et multo clamore sequuntur Euryali et Nisi.
(In the end, they fix the heads of Euryalus and Nisus on spears, a sad sight to see, and follow in a great deal of noise;)
Aeneadae duri murorum in parte sinistra opposuere aciem (nam dextera cingitur amni), ingentisque tenent fossas et turribus altis stant maesti;
(Aeneas’ band stood against the battle line on the left side of the walls (for the camp was hemmed by the river to the right), and they hold the battle ditches and stand mournfully on their tall towers);
simul ora virum praefixa movebant nota nimis miseris atroque fluentia tabo.
(At the moment, the pierced-through faces of the men began to move, recognizable from their very sad features and dripping with dark gunk;)
Interea pavidam volitans pennata per urbem nuntia Fama ruit matrisque adlabitur auris Euryali.
(Meanwhile, Rumor the messenger, flying around the city winged, rushed and landed upon the ears of Euryalus’ mother;)
At subitus miserae calor ossa reliquit, excussi manibus radii revolutaque pensa.
(And suddenly heat left her miserable bones, while the rays were pushed out from her hands, and slooped, she turned over and over again;)
evolat infelix et femineo ulutatu scissa comam muros amens atque agmina cursu prima petit, non illa virum, non illa pericli telorumque memor, caelum dehinc questibus implet:
(The luckless woman flies out and, mindlessly tearing her hair with a woman’s howling, she seeks the walls and the first lines of battle in her rush, not mindful of the men, not mindful of the dangers or the spears; from there she fills the sky with her laments:)
‘hunc ego te, Euryale, aspicio? Tune ille senectae sera meae requies, potuisti linquere solam, crudelis?
‘Is it you I see, Euryalus? Is that really you who look out, and could yourself really leave me alone, a woman late so late in my age, cruel boy?)
nec te sub tanta pericula missum adfari extremum miserae data copia matri?
(And to announce yourself sent to such great dangers, far away from the supplies given to your wretch mother?)
heu, terra ignota canibus data praeda Latinis alitibusque iaces!
(Oh, you lie now in an unknown land, booty given to Latin dogs and birds of prey!)
nec te tua funere mater produxi pressive oculos aut vulnera lavi, veste tegens tibi quam noctes festina diesque urgebam, et tela curas solabar anilis.
(And I, your own mother, have not produced a funeral for you nor closed your eyes nor washed your wounds, covering you in your garment which I used to weave hurriedly for days and nights, and I grew used to the cares of the old woman in the end;)
quo sequar? Aut quae nunc artus avulsaque membra et funus lacerum tellus habet? Hoc mihi de te, nate, refers? Hoc sum terraque marique secuta?
(Where shall I go? And what piece of earth holds your arms and legs and the grave of your remains? Do you answer this thing for me from your head, son? Have I followed this head over land and sea?)
Figite me, si qua est pietas, in me omnia tela conicite, o Rutuli, me primam absumite ferro;
(Pierce me, if anywhere there is a dutifulness, throw all your spears unto me, o Rutulians, take me first with your blade;)
aut tu, magne pater divuum, miserere, tuoque invisum hoc detrude caput sub Tartara telo, quando aliter nequeo crudelem abrumpere vitam.’
(But you, great sire of the gods, pity me, and lop away this unsightly head to Tartarus below with your famous spear, while I otherwise cannot snatch away my cruel life.’)
hoc fletu concussi animi, maestusque per omnis
it gemitus, torpent infractae ad proelia uires.
[With this weeping of his shattered mind, he went forth through all his mournful groans, and his unbroken strength stiffened for battle.]
________________________________________________________________________________________________Book 10, Iliad, Homer
c. 730 BCE (over 2,700 years ago)
Ἄλλοι μὲν παρὰ νηυσὶν ἀριστῆες Παναχαιῶν εὗδον παννύχιοι μαλακῶι δεδμημένοι ὕπνωι·ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ Ἀτρεΐδην Ἀγαμέμνονα ποιμένα λαῶν ὕπνος ἔχε γλυκερὸς πολλὰ φρεσὶν ὁρμαίνοντα.
(Meanwhile, besides the ships, the other noble men of the all the Achaeans were sleeping, tied to soft sleep; but sweet slumber did not seize Agamemnon, general of the armies, who was mulling over many things in his heart;)
ὡς δ᾽ ὅτ᾽ ἂν ἀστράπτηι πόσις Ἥρης ἠϋκόμοιο τεύχων ἢ πολὺν ὄμβρον ἀθέσφατον ἠὲ χάλαζανἢ νιφετόν, ὅτε πέρ τε χιὼν ἐπάλυνεν ἀρούρας, ἠέ ποθι πτολέμοιο μέγα στόμα πευκεδανοῖο,ὣς πυκίν᾽ ἐν στήθεσσιν ἀνεστενάχιζ᾽ Ἀγαμέμνων νειόθεν ἐκ κραδίης, τρομέοντο δέ οἱ φρένες ἐντός.
(And such as when fair-haired Hera’s master blasts his lightning, building up a great shower or continual hail or a blizzard, when he covers that fields, or whenever he stirs the thunderous clash of rending battle, so did Agamemnon become disturbed with his turbulent heart in his chest, and his wits were lacking from him;)
ἤτοι ὅτ᾽ ἐς πεδίον τὸ Τρωϊκὸν ἀθρήσειε, θαύμαζεν πυρὰ πολλὰ τὰ καίετο Ἰλιόθι πρὸ αὐλῶν συρίγγων τ᾽ ἐνοπὴν ὅμαδόν τ᾽ ἀνθρώπων.
(And when he glanced at the Trojan camp upon the plain, he was amazed by how many fires burned in front of Troy and their flute, while their pipes whistled, and the murmuring of men;)
αὐτὰρ ὅτ᾽ ἐς νῆάς τε ἴδοι καὶ λαὸν Ἀχαιῶν, πολλὰς ἐκ κεφαλῆς προθελύμνους ἕλκετο χαίτας ὑψόθ᾽ ἐόντι Διί, μέγα δ᾽ ἔστενε κυδάλιμον κῆρ.
(Then when he looked upon the ships and the armies of the Achaeans, he would tear great clumps of hear from his head, staring up to Zeus above, then his heart began to taken on a great sorrow;)