Here is a selection of poetry about the Gods – in a variety of moods.

First, Jupiter, King of the Gods, in the mood for love as

Europa’s bull.

After Aeneas and Dido begin their doomed affair, the news is spread by the God of

Rumour.

Aeneas has to be reminded of his divine mission to found a city in Italy by the Gods’ messenger,

Mercury.

All ends badly for Dido. Taking pity, Juno ordains her final release from her agony by

Iris, the rainbow-messenger

Some deities are more glamorous than others. Aeneas meets the ferryman of Hades,

Charon.

Horace has a mystical experience with a vision of

Bacchus.

Arachne discovers that challenging a God is unwise in the course of her weaving contest with

Minerva.

See the index to Latin selection pages here.

This ode is a lively and heartfelt tribute to the God of wine – if you want a potted biography in the form of mythological reference, here it is! Like Virgil’s Aeneas, Bacchus is one of the select band to make the journey to Hades and return to the upper world: in the most charming description of Cerberus in Latin, Horace shows the watchdog of the underworld in unusually gentle mood. The illustration of Cerberus is by William Blake.

Hear the poem in Latin and follow in English here.