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Display Latin text
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book XII Chapter 8: The sacrifice is prepared
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Meanwhile the kings ride forth: Latinus first, |
looming tall-statured from his four-horse car;
twelve rays of gold encircle his bright brow,
sign of the sun-god [Note 1], his progenitor;
next Turnus, driving snow-white steeds, is seen, --
two bread-tipped javelins in his hand he bears;
Aeneas, of Rome's blood the source and sire,
with star-bright shield and panoply divine,
far-shining comes; Ascanius by his side --
of Roman greatness the next hope is he.
To camp they rode, where, garbed in blameless white,
with youngling swine and two-year sheep unshorn,
the priest before the flaming altars drove
his flock and offering: to the rising sun
all eyes are lifted, as with careful hand
the salted meal is scattered, while with knives
they mark each victim's brow, outpouring wine
from shallow bowls, the sacrifice to bless.
Note 1: sun-god = Sol
Interea reges ingenti mole Latinus
quadriiugo uehitur curru (cui tempora circum
aurati bis sex radii fulgentia cingunt,
Solis aui specimen), bigis it Turnus in albis,
bina manu lato crispans hastilia ferro.
hinc pater Aeneas, Romanae stirpis origo,
sidereo flagrans clipeo et caelestibus armis
et iuxta Ascanius, magnae spes altera Romae,
procedunt castris, puraque in ueste sacerdos
saetigeri fetum suis intonsamque bidentem
attulit admouitque pecus flagrantibus aris.
illi ad surgentem conuersi lumina solem
dant fruges manibus salsas et tempora ferro
summa notant pecudum, paterisque altaria libant.