Book 7 - War in Latium

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Aeneas and his fleet sail into the mouth of the river Tiber and build a camp on its banks. Latinus, the king of Latium, welcomes them and offers Aeneas his daughter, Lavinia, in marriage. Seeing this, Juno sends down her agent Allecto to stir up resentment against Aeneas. She persuades Queen Amata to oppose Aeneas' marriage and whips up Turnus, a neighbouring Latin price, to go to war against the Trojans. She then engineeres a skirmish between the local people of Latium and a Trojan hunting party led by Ascanius. War has begun.

Turnus ad Allecto

Turnus, prince of Ardea, had hopes of marriage to Latinus' daughter and succession to his throne, and Queen Amata supported him. But when Allecto, disguised as an aged priestess, visited him in his sleep and urged him to war, he rebuffed her: 'Leave peace and war to men. War is the business of men'. Enraged, she threw a burning torch into his heart, and he woke sweating with terror and roaring for his armour. Som much for the mythical narrative. At another level this could be read as an account of how man's rational assessment was overturned in the small hours by patriotic passion and rankling sexual jealousy. The narrative has treble power: as vision of the supernatural…

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