In today’s post, Aeneas encounters Charon, Hell’s ferryman.
See the illustrated blog post here.
Listen to the extract and follow the English here.
On the fringes of Hades Aeneas and the Sibyl skirt the haunts of human cares, false dreams and phantom monsters before coming to the infernal river and Charon, the ferryman of the dead. Hear the Latin and follow in English here.
10 October is Fontinalia, the Roman festival of springs and fountains. See Horace’s celebration poem, O Fons Bandusiae, here. Photo by Halcyoon.
After travelling with Aeneas through Hades, following Virgil at his most epic, it is time for a change. Horace Ode 3.21 sees Horace at his most gential, celebrating wine, friendship and other good things in life.
The illustration is a fresco from Herculaneum, destroyed like Pompeii by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79CE.
Listen in Latin and follow in English here.
As Aeneas continues his underworld journey, his father Anchises shows him the future Marcellus, tragic nephew and adopted son and heir of the Emperor Augustus, whose great promise will be cut short by death at the age of nineteen. The poetry rises to much more affecting heights than the tremendous hymn of praises to Augustus himself, from which it follows on. The illustration reflects the tradition that Marcellus’s mother, Octavia, was so moved at hearing Virgil recite this passage that she fainted dead away. Hear the extract in Latin and follow in English here.
Coming to the end of his underworld journey, Aeneas exits through the gates of sleep and brings Book 6 of the Aeneid to a close. Hear the Latin and follow in English here.
The Sibyl has shown Aeneas on his underworld journey the citadel of Tartarus: now she tells him of the torments suffered by the guilty souls imprisoned there. Hear the Latin and follow in English here. In the illustration, Virgil conducts Dante on their later journey through the Inferno.