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mello with pen

emmadaiou28 in tros_anchisiade

Book I :: Lines 1-7

In This Section: Introduction and theme of the poem.

Arma virumque cano, Trojae qui primus ab oris
Italiam fato profugus Lavinaque venit
litora -- multum ille et terris jactatus et alto
vi superum, saevae memorem Junonis ob iram,
multa quoque et bello passus, dum conderet urbem
inferretque deos Latio -- genus unde Latinum
Albanique patres atque altae moenia Romae.

Literal translation:

I sing [of] arms and [of] a man, who first from the shores of Troy
came [to] Italy, a fugitive by fate, and [to] the Lavinian
shores -- that [famous] man [was] buffeted much [on] both lands and the deep [sea]
by the [violent] force of the [gods] above, because of the unforgetting anger of cruel Juno,
and also much [was] suffered [by him] in war, until he founded the city [of Lavinium]
and brought [his] gods into Latium -- whence [came] the Latin race
and the Alban fathers and the high walls of Rome.

Nice translation:

Of arms and a man I sing, who first from Trojan coasts
came as fate's fugitive to Italy and the Lavinian shores,
that man so jerked about from lands to deepest seas
by the high ones' violence and savage Juno's lasting ire.
So much did he suffer in war before he founded his city
and brought to Latium his gods -- whence would spring
the Latin race, the Alban fathers, the lofty walls of Rome.


My favorite part is the interlocked word order in Line 4 -- saevae memorem Junonis ob iram. The adjectives are placed apart from their nouns, as saevae goes with Juno and memorem goes with iram. And I love that phrase anyway. :P

But really, what is there to say about the opening that hasn't already been said? These lines flow so perfectly that no translation can truly do them justice. It's already concise (as you can see by how huge the literal translation is!), but this passage is so full of elision that it makes it seem even shorter. I adore the sound of the third line; multum ille et all runs together and is pronounced like multillet with all the vowels drawn out.

(For those who aren't familiar with scansion, this site gives a nice lesson in it.)

I'm trying to condense my "nice" translations as much as possible -- I hope I'll always be able to render my translation into the same number of lines as the original, but I know that will be far from easy.

Project Stats:
Lines translated: 7
English lines produced: 7
Lines left in this book: 749