As Aeneas continues his underworld journey, the spirit of his father, Anchises, shows him the Roman heroes of the future as father and son talk in the Elysian Fields. Now he comes to their culmination: the Emperor Augustus. Neither Anchises nor Virgil holds back.
See the illustrated blog post here.
To listen, press play:
To scroll both versions of the poem at the same time - tap inside one box to select it and then scroll.
huc geminas nunc flecte acies, hanc aspice gentem
Romanosque tuos. hic Caesar et omnis Iuli
progenies magnum caeli ventura sub axem.
hic vir, hic est, tibi quem promitti saepius audis,
Augustus Caesar, divi genus, aurea condet
saecula qui rursus Latio regnata per arva
Saturno quondam, super et Garamantas et Indos
proferet imperium; iacet extra sidera tellus,
extra anni solisque vias, ubi caelifer Atlas
axem umero torquet stellis ardentibus aptum.
huius in adventum iam nunc et Caspia regna
responsis horrent divum et Maeotia tellus,
et septemgemini turbant trepida ostia Nili.
nec vero Alcides tantum telluris obivit,
fixerit aeripedem cervam licet, aut Erymanthi
pacarit nemora et Lernam tremefecerit arcu;
nec qui pampineis victor iuga flectit habenis
Liber, agens celso Nysae de vertice tigris.
et dubitamus adhuc virtutem extendere factis,
aut metus Ausonia prohibet consistere terra?
Now look here, see this race of Romans of your own.
Here is Caesar, and all the descendants of Iulus to come
under the axis of the heavens. This, this is the man
you have so often heard promised you, Augustus Caesar,
son of a God, who will found a new golden age
in Latium in the land once ruled by Saturn, extend
his rule to Africans and Indians, and land that lies
beyond the stars and the paths of the year and Sun,
where Atlas, the bearer of the sky, turns its axis
on his shoulder, knit to the blazing stars.
For his coming, already Scythia and the Caspian
realms shudder at the oracles of their gods, and
the mouths of the sevenfold Nile shake in fear.
Nor did even Hercules travel so far over the world,
though he shot the bronze-hoofed stag, pacified
Erymanthus and made Lerna quail with his bow;
nor victorious Bacchus, who steers his chariot with
vine-reins, driving his tigers down the steeps of Nysa.
And do we hesitate still to proclaim our prowess by
deeds? Will fear prevent us settling on Italian lands?