Aeneid Book 10, lines 333 - 344

Aeneas joins the fray

by Virgil

Warned by the sea-nymphs that his comrades and his son are hard-pressed in battle, Aeneas and his new allies hasten to support them. As they approach, he signals with his huge, new, god-given shield, to the delight of the Trojans and the dismay of their enemies. Once ashore, Aeneas is quick to join the battle, and it is not long before the Rutulian warriors have a taste of what they are up against. The English is by the 16th century poet John Dryden.

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Fidum Aeneas adfatur Achaten:
‘suggere tela mihi, non ullum dextera frustra
torserit in Rutulos, steterunt quae in corpore Graium
Iliacis campis.’ tum magnam corripit hastam
et iacit: illa volans clipei transverberat aera
Maeonis et thoraca simul cum pectore rumpit.
huic frater subit Alcanor fratremque ruentem
sustentat dextra: traiecto missa lacerto
protinus hasta fugit servatque cruenta tenorem,
dexteraque ex umero nervis moribunda pependit.
tum Numitor iaculo fratris de corpore rapto
Aenean petiit: sed non et figere contra
est licitum, magnique femur perstrinxit Achatae.

The prince then call’d Achates, to supply
The spears that knew the way to victory —
“Those fatal weapons, which, inur’d to blood,
In Grecian bodies under Ilium stood:
Not one of those my hand shall toss in vain
Against our foes, on this contended plain.”
He said; then seiz’d a mighty spear, and threw;
Which, wing’d with fate, thro’ Maeon’s buckler flew,
Pierc’d all the brazen plates, and reach’d his heart:
He stagger’d with intolerable smart.
Alcanor saw; and reach’d, but reach’d in vain,
His helping hand, his brother to sustain.
A second spear, which kept the former course,
From the same hand, and sent with equal force,
His right arm pierc’d, and holding on, bereft
His use of both, and pinion’d down his left.
Then Numitor from his dead brother drew
Th’ ill-omen’d spear, and at the Trojan threw:
Preventing fate directs the lance awry,
Which, glancing, only mark’d Achates’ thigh.


More Poems by Virgil

  1. King Latinus grants the Trojans’ request
  2. Aeneas comes to the Hell of Tartarus
  3. The natural history of bees
  4. Aeneas sees Marcellus, Augustus’s tragic heir
  5. In King Latinus’s hall
  6. Fire strikes Aeneas’s fleet
  7. Souls awaiting punishment in Tartarus, and the crimes that brought them there.
  8. Rumour
  9. Virgil’s poetic temple to Caesar
  10. Aeneas’s ships are transformed
  11. The Trojan Horse enters the city
  12. The death of Priam
  13. Sea-nymphs
  14. Hector visits Aeneas in a dream
  15. Turnus is lured away from battle
  16. King Mezentius meets his match
  17. The journey to Hades begins
  18. Charon, the ferryman
  19. Aeneas’s oath
  20. The Trojans prepare to set sail from Carthage
  21. The death of Pallas
  22. Aeneas learns the way to the underworld
  23. The Aeneid begins
  24. Help for Father Aeneas from Father Tiber
  25. The farmer’s happy lot
  26. Anchises’s ghost invites Aeneas to visit the underworld
  27. Aeneas rescues his Father Anchises
  28. Dido and Aeneas: royal hunt and royal affair
  29. Palinurus the helmsman is lost
  30. The Harpy’s prophecy
  31. Turnus at bay
  32. Vulcan’s forge
  33. The death of Dido.
  34. Virgil predicts a forthcoming birth and a new golden age
  35. The infant Camilla
  36. The Syrian hostess
  37. Aeneas’s vision of Augustus
  38. Aeneas finds Dido among the shades
  39. Laocoon warns against the Trojan horse
  40. The farmer’s starry calendar
  41. Love is the same for all
  42. Catastrophe for Rome?
  43. Turnus the wolf
  44. Omens for Princess Lavinia
  45. How Aeneas will know the site of his city
  46. New allies for Aeneas
  47. More from Virgil’s farming Utopia
  48. Laocoon and the snakes
  49. The Trojans reach Carthage
  50. Aeneas prepares to tell Dido his story
  51. A Fury rouses Turnus to war
  52. Aristaeus’s bees
  53. Dido falls in love
  54. Mercury’s journey to Carthage
  55. Storm at sea!
  56. Mourning for Pallas
  57. Rites for the allies’ dead
  58. Jupiter’s prophecy
  59. Aeneas is wounded
  60. The Fury Allecto blows the alarm
  61. Aeneas saves his son and father, but at a cost
  62. Juno throws open the gates of war
  63. Aeneas reaches the Elysian Fields
  64. Aeneas arrives in Italy
  65. Signs of bad weather
  66. Aeneas tours the site of Rome
  67. Juno is reconciled
  68. Virgil’s perils on the sea
  69. Dido’s release
  70. Dido and Aeneas: Hell hath no fury …
  71. Virgil begins the Georgics
  72. The death of Euryalus and Nisus
  73. The portals of sleep