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Nisus et Euryalus Lines 115
After their arrival in Latium in Italy, Aeneas and his followers are at first welcomed
by Latinus, King of the Latini, he promises to give Aeneas his daughter Lavinia in
marriage. However the Goddess Juno, who is hostile to the Trojans, starts a war
between the people by working on the feelings of Turnus, King of the Rutuli and
formerly suitor to Lavinia's hand. After an incident during the hunt to of the Latini
are killed and war breaks out.
Aeneas leaves the Trojan camp and sails up the River tiber to Pallanteum to seek an
alliance with the enemy of the Latini, King Evander. During Aeneas' absence, Turnus
attacks the Trojan camp and sets fire to their ships. Aeneas has told the Trojans not
to do battle outside their camp and both sides dig in. It is night.
Nisus was the guard of the gate, very fierce with weapons and near by was his
Nisus erat custos portae, acerrimus armis et iuxta
Companion Euryalus, and no other follower of Aeneas was more handsome than he
Comes Euryalus, non alter Aeneadum fuit pulchrior quo
Nor did (anyone more beautiful) put on Trojan armour. There was one love between
neque induit Troiana arma. Erat unus amor his
Them and they used to rush into war together. They were keeping the gate in shared
Que ruebant in bella pariter. Tenebat portam communi
o This poem was inspired by the book "Iliad" by Home, a greek poem, about Trojan
war. The famous hero Achilles had a relationship with "Patroculus" (older one)
Virgil's readers would see the link. The fact that Achilles and Patroculus both dies
hints that so will Nisus and Euryalus.
o First characterisation of Nisus: The alliteration "Acerrimus armis" meaning he is a
very good fighter First characterisation of Euryalus: Pulchior, meaning more
beautiful, or perhaps most beautiful.
o Words in the first few lines such as "Iuxta, Comes, Pariter, and Communi"
emphasize their togetherness. As well as "unus amor" one love, suggesting they are
o "Ruebant in bella" The Romans believed a soldier would fight better if he fought with
Next Nisus forms a plan, to creep past the Rutuli camp, while they are lying sunk in
sleep and wine, in order to send a message to Aeneas. Euryalus insists on
accompanying Nisus and the pair set off to put their plan before the Trojan leaders.
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The other living creatures throughout the land were relaxing all their worries in sleep
Cetera animalia per terras laxabant cura somno
and their hearts were forgetting their troubles (but) the first leaders of the Trojans and
et corda oblitia laborum primi ductores Teucrum
a chosen group of young men were having a meeting about important matters of
delecta iuventus habebant consillium de summis rebus
state as to what they should do or who should now be Aeneas' messenger.…read more
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Orant "they are begging" another present historic, as if we are watching them
o Nisus and Euryalus are described as "trepidos" (excited) should they actually be
o Aeneas' son Iulus is in his early teens. Left in charge.
o Speech is used for characterisation and to forward the story.…read more