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