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: He was a man of loose character, but of
Display Latin text
The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VI Chapter 16: Crossing the Styx
Next chapter
Return to index
Previous chapter
The twain continue now their destined way
Unto the river's edge. The Ferryman, [Note 1]
Who watched them through still groves approach his shore,
Hailed them, at distance, from the Stygian wave,
And with reproachful summons thus began:
Whoe'er thou art that in this warrior guise
Unto my river comest, -- quickly tell
Thine errand! Stay thee where thou standest now!
This is ghosts' land, for sleep and slumbrous dark.
That flesh and blood my Stygian ship should bear
Were lawless wrong. Unwillingly I took
Alcides, Theseus, and Pirithous,
Though sons of gods, too mighty to be quelled.
One bound in chains yon warder of Hell's door,
And dragged him trembling from our monarch's throne:
The others, impious, would steal away
Out of her bride-bed Pluto's ravished Queen.
Briefly th' Amphrysian priestess made reply:
Not ours, such guile: Fear not! This warrior's arms
Are innocent. Let Cerberus from his cave
Bay ceaselessly, the bloodless shades to scare;
Let Proserpine immaculately keep
The house and honor of her kinsman king.
Trojan Aeneas, famed for faithful prayer
And victory in arms, descends to seek
His father in this gloomy deep of death.
If loyal goodness move not such as thee,
This branch at least (she [Note 2] drew it from her breast)
Thou knowest well. Then cooled his wrathful heart;
With silent lips he looked and wondering eyes
Upon that fateful, venerable wand,
Seen only once an age. Shoreward he turned,
And pushed their way his boat of leaden hue.
The rows of crouching ghosts along the thwarts
He scattered, cleared a passage, and gave room
To great Aeneas. The light shallop groaned
Beneath his weight, and, straining at each seam,
Took in the foul flood with unstinted flow.
At last the hero and his priestess-guide
Came safe across the river, and were moored
'mid sea-green sedges in the formless mire.

Note 1: Ferryman = Charon
Note 2: I = Deiphobe

Event: Aeneas visits the Underworld

Ergo iter inceptum peragunt fluuioque propinquant.
nauita quos iam inde ut Stygia prospexit ab unda
per tacitum nemus ire pedemque aduertere ripae,
sic prior adgreditur dictis atque increpat ultro:
'quisquis es, armatus qui nostra ad flumina tendis,
fare age, quid uenias, iam istinc et comprime gressum.
umbrarum hic locus est, somni noctisque soporae:
corpora uiua nefas Stygia uectare carina.
nec uero Alciden me sum laetatus euntem
accepisse lacu, nec Thesea Pirithoumque,
dis quamquam geniti atque inuicti uiribus essent.
Tartareum ille manu custodem in uincla petiuit
ipsius a solio regis traxitque trementem;
hi dominam Ditis thalamo deducere adorti.'
quae contra breuiter fata est Amphrysia uates:
'nullae hic insidiae tales (absiste moueri),
nec uim tela ferunt; licet ingens ianitor antro
aeternum latrans exsanguis terreat umbras,
casta licet patrui seruet Proserpina limen.
Troius Aeneas, pietate insignis et armis,
ad genitorem imas Erebi descendit ad umbras.
si te nulla mouet tantae pietatis imago,
at ramum hunc' (aperit ramum qui ueste latebat)
'agnoscas.' tumida ex ira tum corda residunt;
nec plura his. ille admirans uenerabile donum
fatalis uirgae longo post tempore uisum
caeruleam aduertit puppim ripaeque propinquat.
inde alias animas, quae per iuga longa sedebant,
deturbat laxatque foros; simul accipit alueo
ingentem Aenean. gemuit sub pondere cumba
sutilis et multam accepit rimosa paludem.
tandem trans fluuium incolumis uatemque uirumque
informi limo glaucaque exponit in ulua.