Book 11 Notes from The Aeneid

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The Aeneid Book 11

Dawn rises and Aeneas is eager to bury Pallas. He dresses a tree in the armor of Mezentius as an offering to the god of war. He tells his men that they should bury all their dead before they continue with the battle. He laments for Pallas as they build his pyre. Aeneas wraps one of his tunics from Dido around the body and they light the pyre. Other trees are dressed in Latin arms and Aeneas wishes Pallas farewell. He goes back to the camp and meets with the Latin envoys who are pleading for the chance to bury their dead. Aeneas explains that he would give peace to the living too if they wanted it. He says that it is Turnus' fault not his. The Latins are amazed that Aeneas allows them this right. Drances, one of the older envoys, says that the battle should end and he will carry these words to Latinus.

Rumor runs to Evander with the death of Pallas and all the women of the city weep. Evander comes to his son's side and weeps, wishing he had died instead. He is glad that Pallas died alongside the gallant Trojans. The pyres are raised through the day and many bulls are sacrificed. Drances goes to the house of Latinus and asks him to stop the war. Amata defends Turnus and his right to Lavinia. The ambassadors from Diomedes return and a council is called. One of them recounts the words of Diomedes who said that anyone who attacked the Trojans at Troy suffered grave consequences on the way home:

"'"No, do not, do not
provoke me into such a battle! More:
since Troy is fallen now, I have no quarrel
with Teucrians; and I do not recall
with joy the old trials of that war. Take back
the gifts you bring me from your native shores
and give them to Aeneas."'"
Book 11, lines 366-72

He begs the Latins to make a treaty with Aeneas. Latinus calls to his people and tells them that they cannot win the war. He proposes that a territory be given to Aeneas, or, if the Trojans wish to leave, they should build ships for them. Drances proposes that Lavinia also be offered to Aeneas because this will bring about the most long-lasting peace. Turnus reacts violently and tells Drances he is full of hot air and is no good in battle. He insists that the Trojans are ultimately a defeated people and he offers a one-on-one battle with Aeneas. He swears to Latinus that there is still strength left in Latin arms.

While the Latins quarrel, Aeneas marches into the field and crosses the Tiber River . The people riot and flee to the city of Latinus. Turnus uses this deed to call for battle. They ready the city for attack and Latinus blames himself for the doom for his city. Amata makes sacrifices with Lavinia as Turnus girds himself for war. Camilla meets him and tells him to guard the walls as she charges into the Trojan onslaught. He tells her to hold the Trojans while he prepares an ambush. He sets his trap in a nearby valley.

In the heavens, Diana hears that Camilla is going into battle. Camilla's father was a king sent into exile. He carried his daughter and when he came to a river he tied her to a spear and threw her across. He swam across and retrieved her, thereby evading his pursuers. He raised her in the forest. She is a virgin who refuses a husband. Diana says she will go to the battle and shoot whoever wounds Camilla. The Trojans approach the city. Messapus and Camilla take the field against them. The armies halt and then rush together. The Latins are routed and the Trojans near their gates, but many of their horses are slain. They push to the walls and are repulsed twice. The third time they fight brutally and many die. In the center of the melee, Camilla rages like an Amazon, slaughtering men on every side. She kills many and cuts a path in the battle with her honor guard of women. She slays several more Trojans. One tries to run away from her after challenging her to a fight on foot, but she runs him down.

Watching this from above, Jupiter sees the retreating squadrons and he inspires Tarchon to rally his men. Tarchon challenges his men not to flee from women and he tears down one of the Latins. The Tuscans rally. Arruns begins to quietly stalk Camilla waiting for an opportunity. She goes after another Trojan, and Arruns, praying to Apollo not for victory, but just to stop her rampage, flings his spear. He hits her and runs away. Camilla cannot pull the spear from her ribs and tells her sister to run to Turnus and tell him what has happened. She dies. Her enemies are excited and they rally. Diana's assistant watched her die and she swore, "'[Y]our queen will not leave you dishonored/ in your last hour; neither will your death/ go now without its glory through the nations;'" Book 11, lines 1121-23. She descends and finds Arruns. His companions desert him as he dies. The Latins are routed without Camilla and they rush into the city gate and close many of their compatriots outside. Those left behind are battered against the doors. Turnus hears about what has transpired and he rages toward the city. Night falls.

Topic Tracking: Women 7
Topic Tracking: Divine Intervention 10

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