Aeneid Book 12, lines 791 - 807 and 818 - 842

Juno is reconciled

by Virgil

Aeneas’s enemy the Goddess Juno and her agent Juturna have tried everything to prevent single combat between Aeneas and Turnus, but it has finally happened. Turnus has mistakenly armed himself with a sword which is not his own, which has shattered on Aeneas’s divinely made shield. He has run for his life calling for his own sword, and it has been given to him by Juturna. In displeasure at this, and at his consort’s deadly persistence in attacking Aeneas though she knows him divinely destined for future greatness as ancestor of the Romans, in the first of these extracts Jupiter orders her to stop. In the second of these extracts, Juno submits, but asks Jupiter to grant her a wish which will not clash with the requirements of fate. He agrees, and in return Juno brings her long enmity for Aeneas and Troy to a contented conclusion, as at long last Aeneas and Turnus face each other for the final contest.

The basis for a resolution to the human conflict between Aeneas and the Latins has already been established by his oath to live with them in justice and equality: now, as the poem nears its end, the divine conflict which has led both to the fall of Troy and to Aeneas’s wanderings and suffering is also resolved.

To follow the story of Aeneas in sequence, use this link to the full Pantheon Poets selection of extracts from the Aeneid; see the next episode here.

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Iunonem interea rex omnipotentis Olympi
adloquitur fulva pugnas de nube tuentem:
‘quae iam finis erit, coniunx? quid denique restat?
indigetem Aenean scis ipsa et scire fateris
deberi caelo fatisque ad sidera tolli.
quid struis? aut qua spe gelidis in nubibus haeres?
mortalin decuit violari vulnere divum?
aut ensem (quid enim sine te Iuturna valeret?)
ereptum reddi Turno et vim crescere victis?
desine iam tandem precibusque inflectere nostris,
ni te tantus edit tacitam dolor et mihi curae
saepe tuo dulci tristes ex ore recursent.
ventum ad supremum est. terris agitare vel undis
Troianos potuisti, infandum accendere bellum,
deformare domum et luctu miscere hymenaeos:
ulterius temptare veto.’ sic Iuppiter orsus;
sic dea summisso contra Saturnia vultu …
“…et nunc cedo equidem pugnasque exosa relinquo.
illud te, nulla fati quod lege tenetur,
pro Latio obtestor, pro maiestate tuorum:
cum iam conubiis pacem felicibus (esto)
component, cum iam leges et foedera iungent,
ne vetus indigenas nomen mutare Latinos
neu Troas fieri iubeas Teucrosque vocari
aut vocem mutare viros aut vertere vestem.
sit Latium, sint Albani per saecula reges,
sit Romana potens Itala virtute propago:
occidit, occideritque sinas cum nomine Troia.’
olli subridens hominum rerumque repertor:
‘es germana Iovis Saturnique altera proles,
irarum tantos volvis sub pectore fluctus.
verum age et inceptum frustra summitte furorem:
do quod vis, et me victusque volensque remitto.
sermonem Ausonii patrium moresque tenebunt,
utque est nomen erit; commixti corpore tantum
subsident Teucri. morem ritusque sacrorum
adiciam faciamque omnis uno ore Latinos.
hinc genus Ausonio mixtum quod sanguine surget,
supra homines, supra ire deos pietate videbis,
nec gens ulla tuos aeque celebrabit honores.’
adnuit his Iuno et mentem laetata retorsit;
interea excedit caelo nubemque relinquit.

The almighty King of Olympus spoke to Juno
as she watched the battle from a tawny cloud:
“Wife, what will be the end of this? What is left?
you know yourself, admit that you know, Aeneas is a hero bound for heaven, to be lifted by fate to the stars.
What are you plotting and hoping for, stuck in
these chilly clouds? Was it seemly, for a divinity to be wounded by a mortal? Or for Turnus’s lost sword to be
returned – Juturna could do nothing but for you – and
the vanquished strengthened? Stop, finally, bow to my
pleas, let not such pain consume you in silence, and
sad troubles so often come to me from your sweet lips.
The end has come. You have managed to harry
the Trojans by land and sea, kindle unspeakable war,
mar Aeneas’s home, mingle his wedding hymn
with dirges: I command you, go no further.”
Thus Jupiter; thus, eyes downcast, Juno replied …
“… Now I yield, give up the violence I am sick of.
I beg of you something not prevented by any law of fate,
for Latium, for the dignity of your people:
when now through a happy marriage – so be it –
they make peace, fix common laws and treaties,
do not make the Latins change their ancient, native
name, become Trojans, be called the Teucri,
change their language or alter their dress.
Let there be Latium, Alban kings throughout the ages,
let the Roman race draw strength from Italian qualities.
Troy is dead; grant that it die along with its name.”
Smiling, the author of mankind and all things said:
“You are Jove’s sister, and Saturn’s child as well,
such waves of wrath you brood on in your breast!
Come, give up the anger that you took up in vain:
I yield, and grant willingly what you ask. The Ausonians
shall keep their ancestral speech and customs,
their name shall stay as it is, the Teucri shall sink
and blend in a common whole. I shall add their customs
and rites and make all Latins, with one common speech.
Hence shall rise from Italian blood a blended race, and
you shall see it surpass men and even gods in piety, nor
shall any people equal them in celebrating your worship.”
Juno assented, joyfully changing her view:
She left the cloud and departed from the sky.


More Poems by Virgil

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