from the AENEID - Book III, ll.1-18
Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro)prose tr.W.F.Jackson Knight
Postquam res Asiae Priamique evertere gentem
immeritam visum Superis, ceciditque superbum
Ilium, et omnis humo fumat Neptunia Troia,
diversa exsilia et desertas quaerere terras
auguriis agimur divom, classemque sub ipsa
Antandro et Phrygiae molimur montibus Idae,
incerti, quo fata ferant, ubi sistere detur,
contrahimusque viros. Vix prima inceperat aestas,
et pater Anchises dare fatis vela iubebat;
litora cum patriae lacrimans portusque relinquo
et campos, ubi Troia fuit: feror exsul in altum
cum sociis natoque Penatibus et magnis dis.
The Powers Above had decreed the overthrow of the Asian empire and Priam's breed of men, though they deserved a better fate. Lordly Ilium had fallen and all Neptune's Troy lay a smoking ruin on the ground. We the exiled survivors were forced by divine command to search the world for a home in some uninhabited land. So we started to build ships below Antandros, the city by the foothills of Phrygian Ida, with no idea where Destiny would take us or where we should be allowed to settle. We gathered our company together. In early summer our chieftain Anchises urged us to embark on our destined voyage. In tears I left my homeland's coast, its havens, and the plains where Troy had stood. I fared out upon the high seas, an exile with my comrades and my son, with the little Gods of our Home and the Great Gods of our race.
Terra procul vastis colitur Mavortia campis,
Thraces arant, acri quondam regnata Lycurgo,
hospitium antiquum Troiae sociique Penates,
dum Fortuna fuit. Feror huc, et litore curvo
moenia prima loco, fatis ingressus iniquis,
Aeneadasque meo nomen de nomine fingo.
Some distance from Troy is a land owned by Mars with wide plains cultivated by Thracian farmers. Once the fierce King Lycurgus had reigned there, and the country had had from of old close ties of friendship and a family alliance with Troy in the days of her prosperity. To this land I now sailed, and chose a site where the coast bends round to start on walls for our city, which I decided to call Aeneadae after my own name.
........................
........................

Copyright © G.R.Wilson Knight 1956, 1958 - publ. Penguin Classics


...buy this book
next
index
translator's next