This selection introduces us to beasts and monsters, starting gently with the wolf that Horace met one day. He was clearly frightened, but with the benefit of nature documentaries we know that the wolf was probably more afraid of him.

Horace’s wolf

A wise Trojan priest pays a terrible price for warning the Trojans about the Trojan horse.


Troy is doomed to fall at the fateful moment when the horse enters the city.

The Trojan Horse

On their wanderings, Aeneas and his band encounter a flock of foul flying creatures.

The Harpies

On his journey to the underworld Aeneas sees Tisiphone, tormenter of the damned in Tartarus.


The underworld again: this time the poet is Horace, and the visitor the God Bacchus. Fortunatey he is good with dogs, as he must pass the kennel of the fearsome three-headed guardian, Cerberus.


In the illustration, the sea-nymph Thetis is using her shape-changing gift to try to escape the hero Peleus: they became the parents of Achilles.

See the index to Latin selections on here.

The Trojan priest Laocoon pays the price for warning his fellow-citizens against bringing the Trojan horse into the city, as monstrous serpents crush first his two sons then Laocoon himself in their coils. Not only can you follow the Latin here, you can now also hear the poets Friedrich Schiller’s fine German version in our “Other Poems” section here.

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.