Today’s new Latin poem is from Virgil’s Aeneid. It sets the scene for Aeneas, as an honoured guest at the court of Dido, Queen of Carthage, to describe the fall of Troy. He is a Trojan prince, and the story he tells will be first-hand, vivid and full of drama, and a rarer subject in ancient literature than you might suppose – Homer’s Iliad ends before Troy falls. As Book 2 begins, Aeneas’s superhuman dignity and charisma are meant to remind us of his descendant, the Emperor Augustus.

Laocoon and the snakes

Pantheon Poets continues to offer you a direct taste of spoken Latin poetry. You can follow the poems in the original whether you know Latin or not – you might for example be interested in later European writers and curious about what Latin influences meant to them. Today’s post is the final part of the story of Laocoon from Book 2 of Virgil’s Aeneid. He has warned the Trojans not to trust the wooden horse that the Greeks have left – he fears Greeks even when they bring gifts. Now, as fate and the Gods bring the fall of Troy ever closer, Laocoon pays a terrible price for his warning.