Fire down below!

Aeneas’s enemy Juno has duped his tired and travel-worn Trojan women into setting fire to his ships while he holds rich funeral games in Sicily for the anniversary of the death of his father Anchises. Juno and the women hope that he will give up his destiny in Italy and settle where he is. In today’s extract here, Aeneas calls on Jupiter to save the ships in the nick of time. Help is granted: only the old, tired and timid will stay and Aeneas will go on to Italy with a smaller but more select band composed solely of the young, brave and battle-ready. In the illustration, Claude Lorrain (1600 – 1682) uses the incident as an excuse for a charmingly mysterious seascape.