Aeneid Book 1, Lines 195 to 207

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Briefly annotated by Tom Jenkins.

Read by Professor Wendell Clausen,

Pope Professor of the Latin Language and Literature
Professor of Comparative Literature, Emeritus

Dryden read by Professor Kathleen Coleman

Aeneid Book 1, Lines 195 to 207
Vina bonus quae deinde cadis onerarat Acestes
litore Trinacrio dederatque abeuntibus heros,
dividit, et dictis maerentia pectora mulcet:
`O socii---neque enim ignari sumus ante malorum---
O passi graviora, dabit deus his quoque finem.
Vos et Scyllaeam rabiem penitusque sonantis
accestis scopulos, vos et Cyclopea saxa
experti: revocate animos, maestumque timorem
mittite: forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit.
Per varios casus, per tot discrimina rerum
tendimus in Latium; sedes ubi fata quietas
ostendunt; illic fas regna resurgere Troiae.
Durate, et vosmet rebus servate secundis.'

Dryden's translation
The jars of gen'rous wine (Acestes' gift,
When his Trinacrian shores the navy left)
He set abroach, and for the feast prepar'd,
In equal portions with the ven'son shar'd.
Thus while he dealt it round, the pious chief
With cheerful words allay'd the common grief:
"Endure, and conquer! Jove will soon dispose
To future good our past and present woes.
With me, the rocks of Scylla you have tried;
Th' inhuman Cyclops and his den defied.
What greater ills hereafter can you bear?
Resume your courage and dismiss your care,
An hour will come, with pleasure to relate
Your sorrows past, as benefits of Fate.
Thro' various hazards and events, we move
To Latium and the realms foredoom'd by Jove.
Call'd to the seat (the promise of the skies)
Where Trojan kingdoms once again may rise,
Endure the hardships of your present state;
Live, and reserve yourselves for better fate."

A famous passage. After the terrible storm in Book I, Aeneas and the remnants of his crew wash up on the shores of Carthage. Bloodied, battered, bruised and hungry, Aeneas' sailors seem ready to give up the chase for the promised New Troy. Aeneas takes this opportunity to give one of his rather rare speeches to his men--you might wish to compare this speech with Aeneas' despairing first utterance during the tempest, his first words of the epic.

The language, reminiscent of Odysseus' exhortations to his similarly exhausted men in the Odyssey, is stark and beautiful at the same time; Aeneas catalogues the various misadventures that the men have already endured and survived, and then holds out the promise of a new homeland, a shining city on the hill. Above all, Aeneas insists that god (deus) or fate (fatum) will show the way, believing that the Trojans' 'manifest destiny' is to rebuild their lives on the shores of Italy. The lines immediately following this speech [not included here] indicate, however, that Aeneas must struggle to keep up his sanguine appearance in the face of doubt.

The passage also boasts Vergil's arguably most famous line: 'it may be that in the future you will be helped by remembering the past" (forsan et haec olim meminisse iuvabit). [This may be familiar to modern readers as the dedication to innumerable high school yearbooks.]