Home Introduction Persons Geogr. Sources Events Mijn blog(Nederlands)
Religion Subjects Images Queries Links Contact Do not fly Iberia
This is a non-commercial site. Any revenues from Google ads are used to improve the site.

Custom Search
Quote of the day: To all this was added Galba's own expres
Notes
Display Latin text
The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book II Chapter 9: Death of Laocoon
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
Thus Sinon's guile and practiced perjury
our doubt dispelled. His stratagems and tears
wrought victory where neither Tydeus' son,
nor mountain-bred Achilles could prevail,
nor ten years' war, nor fleets a thousand strong.

But now a vaster spectacle of fear
burst over us, to vex our startled souls.
Laocoon, that day by cast of lot
priest unto Neptune, was in act to slay
a huge bull at the god's appointed fane.
Lo! o'er the tranquil deep from Tenedos
appeared a pair (I shudder as I tell)
of vastly coiling serpents, side by side,
stretching along the waves, and to the shore
taking swift course; their necks were lifted high,
their gory dragon-crests o'ertopped the waves;
all else, half seen, trailed low along the sea;
while with loud cleavage of the foaming brine
their monstrous backs wound forward fold on fold.
Soon they made land; the furious bright eyes
glowed with ensanguined fire; their quivering tongues
lapped hungrily the hissing, gruesome jaws.
All terror-pale we fled. Unswerving then
the monsters to Laocoon made way.
First round the tender limbs of his two sons
each dragon coiled, and on the shrinking flesh
fixed fast and fed. Then seized they on the sire,
who flew to aid, a javelin in his hand,
embracing close in bondage serpentine
twice round the waist; and twice in scaly grasp
around his neck, and o'er him grimly peered
with lifted head and crest; he, all the while,
his holy fillet fouled with venomous blood,
tore at his fetters with a desperate hand,
and lifted up such agonizing voice,
as when a bull, death-wounded, seeks to flee
the sacrificial altar, and thrusts back
from his doomed head the ill-aimed, glancing blade.
then swiftly writhed the dragon-pair away
unto the templed height, and in the shrine
of cruel Pallas sure asylum found
beneath the goddess' feet and orbed shield.
Such trembling horror as we ne'er had known
seized now on every heart. Of his vast guilt
Laocoon, they say, receives reward;
for he with most abominable spear
did strike and violate that blessed wood.
Yon statue to the temple! Ask the grace
of glorious Pallas! So the people cried
in general acclaim.

Events: The Wooden Horse / The Trojan Horse, Words and death of Laocoon

195-233
Talibus insidiis periurique arte Sinonis
credita res, captique dolis lacrimisque coactis
quos neque Tydides nec Larisaeus Achilles,
non anni domuere decem, non mille carinae.
Hic aliud maius miseris multoque tremendum
obicitur magis atque improuida pectora turbat.
Laocoon, ductus Neptuno sorte sacerdos,
sollemnis taurum ingentem mactabat ad aras.
ecce autem gemini a Tenedo tranquilla per alta
(horresco referens) immensis orbibus angues
incumbunt pelago pariterque ad litora tendunt;
pectora quorum inter fluctus arrecta iubaeque
sanguineae superant undas, pars cetera pontum
pone legit sinuatque immensa uolumine terga.
fit sonitus spumante salo; iamque arua tenebant
ardentisque oculos suffecti sanguine et igni
sibila lambebant linguis uibrantibus ora.
diffugimus uisu exsangues. illi agmine certo
Laocoonta petunt; et primum parua duorum
corpora natorum serpens amplexus uterque
implicat et miseros morsu depascitur artus;
post ipsum auxilio subeuntem ac tela ferentem
corripiunt spirisque ligant ingentibus; et iam
bis medium amplexi, bis collo squamea circum
terga dati superant capite et ceruicibus altis.
ille simul manibus tendit diuellere nodos
perfusus sanie uittas atroque ueneno,
clamores simul horrendos ad sidera tollit:
qualis mugitus, fugit cum saucius aram
taurus et incertam excussit ceruice securim.
at gemini lapsu delubra ad summa dracones
effugiunt saeuaeque petunt Tritonidis arcem,
sub pedibusque deae clipeique sub orbe teguntur.
tum uero tremefacta nouus per pectora cunctis
insinuat pauor, et scelus expendisse merentem
Laocoonta ferunt, sacrum qui cuspide robur
laeserit et tergo sceleratam intorserit hastam.
ducendum ad sedes simulacrum orandaque diuae
numina conclamant.