The tragedy of Marcellus

In today’s extract, Aeneas learns in his journey to the underworld of Marcellus, the Emperor Augustus’s nephew. Augustus adopted him as his son and prospective successor and heir in 25 BCE, when he was still only a teenager. It was not to be: Marcellus would die only two years later with his potential unfulfilled. The illustration shows what might have been: the general making a triumphant entry to Rome may be the Marcellus with whose shade Aeneas sees the young man walking, an illustrious war leader of the third century BCE.

Hear the extract in Latin and follow in English here.