Here is a selection of poetry about the Gods – in a variety of moods.

First, Jupiter, King of the Gods, in the mood for love as

Europa’s bull.

After Aeneas and Dido begin their doomed affair, the news is spread by the God of

Rumour.

Aeneas has to be reminded of his divine mission to found a city in Italy by the Gods’ messenger,

Mercury.

All ends badly for Dido. Taking pity, Juno ordains her final release from her agony by

Iris, the rainbow-messenger

Some deities are more glamorous than others. Aeneas meets the ferryman of Hades,

Charon.

Horace has a mystical experience with a vision of

Bacchus.

Arachne discovers that challenging a God is unwise in the course of her weaving contest with

Minerva.

See the index to Latin selection pages here.

This is the first of a new series of Pantheon Poets Latin medleys – a selection of Latin poems which share a common theme. The first is love, and specifically love that is happy – so far. You can hear the Latin and follow in English by following the links, and on each poem page you will find another link if you would like to see a blog post with an illustration.

We start – where else – with one of the most celebrated love poems in any language: Catullus inviting Lesbia to live and love, and not to mind the gossip or count the kisses.
Vivamus, mea Lesbia

Next, Virgil in the Aeneid describes Dido, the Queen of Carthage, falling for Aeneas, the brave and noble Trojan Prince who is her guest.
Dido falls in love

In this extract, Ovid expresses some of the free and easy attitudes to love that we believe got him into trouble with the Emperor Augustus – a great believer in conservative family values – and earned him a one-way ticket to an unhappy exile by the Black Sea.
Ovid’s broad-minded advice to his mistress

Propertius has been out for a night on the tiles and makes a dawn visit to his lady-love, Cynthia.
Propertius and his sleeping beauty

Ovid has been courting. Finally he has had his wicked way, and seems not to care who knows about it.
Ovid’s triumph

Back finally to Catullus, doyen of love poets. How many kisses are enough for him and too much. How many??!!
How many kisses

Links to new selections will be posted in the index here.

In this second selection of poems on a theme, love is not going so smoothly. Dido is being consumed by a passion for Aeneas which as yet is unrequited:

Dido falls in love

Propertius is obsessed by Cynthia, but she only seems to make him unhappy:

Cynthia

Catullus was so blissfully happy with Lesbia, but his luck has changed:

poor Catullus

Propertius is still camped on his lady’s doorstep, and her door doesn’t seem to care:

the lover’s complaint to the door

But doesn’t Horace say that he is glad that it is over with Pyrrha? Yes, but you can see that he still misses her:

Pyrrha

Even in Hades when human life is past, Dido harbours a grudge:

Aeneas finds Dido among the shades

Propertius again – he says he’s invincible, but it doesn’t sound much fun to be

insatiable.

Follow this link to see:

the index of Latin selections

This selection introduces us to beasts and monsters, starting gently with the wolf that Horace met one day. He was clearly frightened, but with the benefit of nature documentaries we know that the wolf was probably more afraid of him.

Horace’s wolf

A wise Trojan priest pays a terrible price for warning the Trojans about the Trojan horse.

Laocoon

Troy is doomed to fall at the fateful moment when the horse enters the city.

The Trojan Horse

On their wanderings, Aeneas and his band encounter a flock of foul flying creatures.

The Harpies

On his journey to the underworld Aeneas sees Tisiphone, tormenter of the damned in Tartarus.

Tisiphone

The underworld again: this time the poet is Horace, and the visitor the God Bacchus. Fortunatey he is good with dogs, as he must pass the kennel of the fearsome three-headed guardian, Cerberus.

Cerberus

In the illustration, the sea-nymph Thetis is using her shape-changing gift to try to escape the hero Peleus: they became the parents of Achilles.

See the index to Latin selections on PantheonPoets.com here.

The loss of a loved one is hard, but it has inspired some very beautiful poetry. This selection begins with Catullus’s

farewell to a beloved brother.

In this poem, the inspiration for a famous English translation, Callimachus remembers his

poet-friend, Heraclitus.

Catullus expresses both consolation and desire in his half-serious lament for

Lesbia’s sparrow.

Archilochus, the seventh-century BCE warrior-poet, explains that

loss must be endured.

Finally, in the Elysian fields Aeneas is shown Marcellus, Augustus’s tragically short-lived

heir-to-be.

See the index to Pantheon Poets’ selections of poetry on a theme here.