Aeneid Book 7, Lines 249 - 273

King Latinus grants the Trojans’ request

by Virgil

Newly arrived in Italy, Aeneas has sent an embassy to the King asking to be allowed to settle peacefully. King Latinus thinks hard about what Aeneas’s ambassador Ilioneus has had to say. He hesitates at first, but then whole-heartedly grants Aeneas’s request, and adds that he will offer him his daughter in marriage. Turnus, the leader of the neighbouring Rutuli and the candidate favoured by Latinus’s Queen for Lavinia’s hand, will not be pleased.

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Talibus Ilionei dictis defixa Latinus
obtutu tenet ora soloque immobilis haeret
intentos volvens oculos. Nec purpura regem
picta movet nec sceptra movent Priameia tantum,
quantum in conubio natae thalamoque moratur,
et veteris Fauni volvit sub pectore sortem,
hunc illum fatis externa ab sede profectum
portendi generum paribusque in regna vocari
auspiciis, huic progeniem virtute futuram
egregiam et totum quae viribus occupet orbem.
tandem laetus ait: ‘Di nostra incepta secundent
auguriumque suum; dabitur, Troiane, quod optas,
munera nec sperno. non vobis rege Latino
divitis uber agri Troiaeve opulentia deerit.
ipse modo Aeneas, nostri si tanta cupido est,
si iungi hospitio properat sociusque vocari,
adveniat voltus neve exhorrescat amicos:
illi pacis erit dextram tetigisse tyranni.
vos contra regi mea nunc mandata referte.
est mihi nata, viro gentis quam iungere nostrae
non patrio ex adyto sortes, non plurima caelo
monstra sinunt: generos externis adfore ab oris,
hoc Latio restare canunt, qui sanguine nostrum
nomen in astra ferant. Hunc illum poscere fata
et reor et, siquid veri mens augurat, opto.’

When Ilioneus finished, Latinus, face downturned,
sat motionless, except for his eyes intently scanning
the ground. The embroidered purple robe and Priam’s
sceptre do not move him beyond the hesitation he feels
about his daughter’s marriage and bridal bed, deeply
pondering old Faunus’s oracle, and whether this might be
the son-in-law predicted by the fates, come from abroad
and called to the realm with equal authority, if the
posterity to come was his that would excel through virtue,
occupy the whole world through its might. Content at last,
he said: “May the Gods second our purposes,and their own
augury; what you wish for, Trojan, will be granted;
gladly, I accept your gifts. While Latinus reigns, you will
not lack the wealth of fertile lands, rich as those of Troy.
Only let Aeneas himself, if his desire for us is so great, if
he is eager to be joined in friendship, to be called our ally,
let him come, and not shun our friendly faces: for him
it will mean peace to have clasped the hand of the king.
But now take my answer to your ruler. I have a daughter,
whom oracles from my fathers’ tomb and many signs
of heaven do not permit to be joined to a man of our own
blood. They sing of a match from foreign shores, who will
remain here in Latium, through his line will lift our name
to the stars. That this is he that the fates demand, I
believe, and, if my thought is true, I wish as well.


More Poems by Virgil

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