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TRANSLATION OF NISUS ET EURYALUS
Nisus was the guard of the gate, fiercest in arms, and nearby (was) his companion
Euryalus there was not another of Aeneas' followers (more handsome than him) and no other
more handsome put on Trojan arms, there was one love for them and they rushed into war
side by side then also they held the gate with shared guard duty.
Other animals through all the lands were easing their cares with sleep and their
hearts forgetful of labours: the first leaders of the Trojans, chosen young men were holding
a council about important matters of state, what they should do or who should now be a
messenger to Aeneas. They stood leaning on their long spears and holding shields in the
middle of the open space of the camp. Then Nisus and together Euryalus immediately eager
begged to be let in: they said it was an important matter and worth their while (lit.
recompense for delay). First Iulus received the excited men and ordered Nisus to speak.
Then the son of Hyrtacus spoke thus: "Listen with open minds o followers of Aeneas and let
not these things which we bring be looked at by our years/ and do not judge our
suggestions by our age. The Rutuli have fallen silent relaxed by sleep and wine we ourselves
have seen a place for a surprise attack, which lies open at a fork in the road from the gate
nearest the sea. The watch fires are broken and black smoke is rising to the sky if you allow
us to make use of fortune to look for Aeneas and the walls of Pallanteum, you will soon see
that we shall be here with spoils after completing huge slaughter. Nor will the road deceive
us as we go: we saw the outskirts of the city from the dark valleys on our frequent hunting
and we recognised the whole river."
Straightaway they marched armed at the gates a band of leading men, both young
men and old men, escorted them as they went with good wishes. And also the handsome
Iulus, beyond his years and bearing manly spirit and responsibility, was giving many orders
to be carried to his father but the breezes scattered everything and gave them as useless
gifts to the clouds.
Having gone out they climbed over the ditches and made for the enemy camps
through the darkness of the night however first destined to kill many. Everywhere they saw
bodies sprawled in drunken sleep around the grass, the chariots on the shore tipped up,
among the reins and wheels men, both their weapons and their wine cups. Nisus first spoke
thus with his mouth: "Euryalus we must dare with the right hand: now the moment itself calls
us, our journey is by this way. You, so that any band cannot mount an attack on us from the
rear, be on guard and look out all round. I shall devastate this area and lead you by a wide
path.' Thus he spoke and checked his voice, at the same time he attacked proud Rhamnes,
who by chance propped up on high pillows was breathing out sleep with his whole chest.
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Meanwhile the cavalry sent ahead from the city of the Latini while the rest of the army
waited drawn up on the plains, went and brought the replies to Turnus the king, 300, all
carrying shields, with Volcens their commander.…read more