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Aeneid II Full Translation
Broken by war and driven back by the fates the leaders of the Greeks (with so many
years now slipping by)built a horse the size of a mountain with the divine skill of Minerva, and they
wove it's ribs with cut silver fir wood; they pretended that it was an offering for their return; that
was the story that was spread around
Having drawn lots, they secretly enclosed the chosen bodies of men here in its dark flank and deep
inside they filled huge vaults and the belly with armed soldiers. There is in sight Tenedos, an island
very famous in reputation, rich in resources while the reign of Priam remains
(But) now only a bay and an unsafe anchorage for ships: Having sailed here they hid themselves on
the deserted shore; we thought that they had gone away and had made for Mycenae with the wind.
Therefore all Troy freed itself from its long grief; The gates were thrown open and it was pleasing to
go to the Greek camp
to see both the deserted placed and the abandoned shore. Here the band of Dolopians, here the
savage Achilles used to pitch camp; here was the place for the fleets, here they were used to
fighting in the battle. Some were amazed at the deadly gift to the virgin Minerva and marveled at the
massive size of the horse. And first Thymoetes
urged that it be taken inside the walls and placed on the citadel, whether by treachery or (because)
the fates of Troy were now tending that way. But Capys, and to those mind better judgement
ordered us either to throw trap and the suspect gifts of the Greeks in the sea and to burn it with
or to drill and test the hollow hiding-places. The uncertain crowd were split into opposing parties.
Then first, in front of everyone with a large crowd accompanying him Laocoon in a rage ran down
from the top of the citadel
and (said) from afar `Oh wretched citizens, what great madness (is this)?
Do you believe that the enemies have sailed away? Or do you think that any gifts are free from tricks
of the Greeks? Is Ulysses known thus? Either the Greeks are hidden enclosed in this wooden object,
or this has machine has been constructed against our walls, to look on our houses and to come onto
the city from above,
Or some deception lies hidden in it; do not trust the horse, Trojans. Whatever it is, I fear Greeks even
(when they are bearing gifts).' Having spoken thus, he hurled a huge spear with mighty strength into
the flank and into the belly of the belly of the beast, curved in its framework. It stood there
trembling, and when the belly had been struck
The hollow vaults resounded and gave a groan. And if the decrees of the Gods, if their intention had
not been unfavorable, he would have forced us to pierce the Greek hiding-place, and Troy would be
standing now, and you would remain, high citadel of Priam. Look, meanwhile Trojan shepherds were
dragging to the king with a great uproar young man with his hands tied behind his back
who had presented himself unknown to them as they were approaching, of his own accord in order
to accomplish this very thing and to open up Troy to the Greeks, confident in spirit and prepared for
wither outcome, either to carry out his treachery or to meet with certain death.
The prisoner, giving his name as Sinon, claims that he ran away from the Greeks because they had
picked him to be a human sacrifice to the gods in order to obtain a safe voyage home. He acts his
part so well that Priam immediately orders him to be set free. In return, Sinon answers the Trojans'
questions about the horse with false information, saying that it is a sacred offering to the goddess
Minerva: if they harm it, Troy will be doomed; but if they take it safely into the city, they will be able
to invade and conquer Greece.
By such traps and by the skill of the lying Sinon, the story was believed and those whom neither the
son of Tydeus, nor Achilles of Larisa, nor ten years, nor a thousand ships subdued were captured by
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At this moment another much greater and more terrifying thing befell the
wretched people and alarmed their unsuspecting minds.
Laocoon, chosen by lot as the priest of Neptune, was sacrificing a huge bull at the appointed altars.
But look across the calm seas from Tenedos, twin snakes with huge coils (I shudder reporting it)
breasted the sea and side by side made for the shore;
Their necks were held high among the waves and their bloody crests towered above the waters.…read more