Aeneid Book II: Escape from Burning Troy Translation

Translation of extracts of book ii of the Aeneid for Latin GCSE

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AENEID BOOK II, VERGIL: TRANSLATION
It was the time when rest first begins for weary mortals, and it creeps over them, most welcome as a
gift of the gods. Behold! In my sleep, before my eyes, Hector seemed to me to be present, most
sorrowful, and to pour forth abundant tears, looking as he did at one time when he was seized and
dragged by a two-horse chariot, black with bloodstained dust and pierced with thongs through his
swollen feet.
Alas, what a state he was in, how much he was changed from that Hector who returned clad in the
spoils of Achilles, or having hurled Phrygian fire at the ships of the Greeks! With his beard filthy and
his hair matted with blood, he bore those wounds which he received in great number around his
ancestral walls. Weeping of my own accord, I myself appeared to address the man, and to express
melancholy utterances.
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Meanwhile the city was disordered with screams from all directions, and more and more, although
the house of my parent Anchises lay back, hidden, and covered by trees, the sound of weapons
became clear and the terror fell upon us. I shook myself from sleep and climbed up above gables of
the summit of the roof, and stood by with my ears pricked:
Just as when a flame falls upon a crop with the south winds raging, or a rushing torrent in a mountain
stream flattens the fields, flattens the fertile crops and the work of the oxen, dragging the woods
headlong; unknowing, a shepherd stands stunned to receive the sound from the high summit of a
rock. Then truly their good faith was apparent, and the plots of the Greeks revealed. Now the house
of Deiphobus crashed down
as it was overpowered by fire, now the nearest house of Ucalegon was on fire; the Sigean Straits
shone broadly with fire. There arose both a shouting of men and a clanging of trumpets. Mindlessly, I
seized arms; nor was there sufficient reason in arms, but spirits blazed to gather a band of men for
war and to run together into the citadel with their comrades; frenzy and anger drove my mind
headlong, and it occurred to my mind that it was a fine thing to die under arms.
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Then truly Ilium seemed to me to sink down entirely into the flames, and Neptune's Troy to be
overturned from its foundations: just as when farmers in the summits of mountains eagerly press on
to tear down an ancient rowan tree, which has been cut into with blades of iron and frequent blows
of the double axe, and it threatens to fall, and with trembling foliage it nods from its shaken top,
until gradually overpowered by its wounds, it gives a deep groan for the last time and, wrenched
out, it crashes down the mountain ridge to ruin. I went down with a god leading me, and I made my
way clear through the flames and the enemy: weapons gave way and flames receded. And when at
last I arrived at the threshold of my father's abode, my parent, whom I longed to take away into the
high mountains first, and whom I sought first,

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Troy had been destroyed, flatly refused to prolong his life and to suffer exile. `You whose
blood is untouched by old age,' he said `and whose strength stands firm in its own steadfastness. You
make your escape. If the heaven-dwellers had wished me to prolong my life, they would have
preserved this dwelling for me. It is enough and more than enough that we have seen one ruination,
and have overcome the capture of the city.…read more

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He had spoken, and throughout the city the fire could be heard quite clearly now, and the burning
rolled the heat nearer. `Come then, dear father, and place yourself on my neck; I shall support you on
my shoulders, nor will that toil be a burden to me; and however things befall, there will be one
shared danger and one safety for us both.'
Let little Iulus be my companion and let my wife keep her steps at a distance.…read more

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