Vergil – The Aeneid, Book II
Aeneas narrates the sack of Troy.
1 – 267 DECEIVED
1-39 Silence falls as Aeneas begins to relate his adventures to Dido, telling of the wooden horse and the rumour that it was intended as an offering to Minerva. Trojans debate what to do.
40 – 56 Laocoon warns of treachery, but evil Destiny prevails.
57 – 76 Sinon the Greek is brought in and is asked for his story.
77 – 104 Sinon’s tale – how he had incurred the hatred of Odysseus (Ulysses)
105 – 144 Urged to continue, he relates how he escaped sacrifice as an appeasement offering.
1454 – 198 Sinon’s chains are removed. Questioned about the horse, he asserts that it is certainly intended as an offering. It is purposely made too big to enter the city for if this happens, victory for Troy is assured. Sinon is believed.
199 – 249 Lacoon, at the moment sacrificing a bull, is approached by two deadly snakes, coming over the sea from Tenedos, which enfold first his two sons and them himself. Then they make for the temple of Pallas and disappear beneath the image of the goddess. This is regarded as a clear sign of her wrath against Lacoon for hurling his spear at the horse, which is thereupon dragged into the city through a breach in the walls.
250 – 267 During the night the fleet sails back from Tenedos. The Greeks descend from the horse and open the gates to their comrades.
268 – 633 THE BATTLE RAGES – TERROR AND SLAUGHTER IN THE CITY. THE END OF PRIAM.
268 – 297 Hector appears to Aeneas in a vision and urges him to escape from Troy.
298 – 317 Aeneas views the conflagration and is driven to sieze arms. As he prepares to sally forth…
318 – 269 …he is met by Panthus who tells him that all is lost. At this, Aeneas rushes off to battle.
370 – 401 The Greek Androgeos joins Aeneas’ Trojan band by mistake. He and his followers are cut down. Disguised in the armour of the fallen men, Aeneas and his band are able to destroy many Greeks.
402 – 452 Coroebus, seeing Cassandra being dragged away by Ajax madly attempts to save her. Aeneas and companions rain missiles upon them. Greek slaughter follows, but Aeneas and two friends are attracted by shouts from Priam’s palace which they assist in defending.
453 – 485 Aeneas and his companions reach the roof where they help in the defence. Pyrrhus eventually makes an opening in the door with a huge axe.
406 – 505 The shrieks of the women inside do not deter Pyrrhus and the Greeks pour in. Massacre ensues.
506 – 558 Priam puts on armour, but Hecuba restrains him. Pyrrhus slays Polites. Priam, enraged with the sight, curses and finally attacks him, whereupon he himself is killed by Pyrrhus at the altar.
559 – 635 The sight reminds Aeneas of his own household. He sees nobody about but Helen whom he feels the impulse to kill. Venus restrains him and tells him to go to his own family.
634 – 804 FLIGHT – DESTINY DIRECTS
634 – 670 Back home, Anchises, refusing to be moved, resists all entreaties and so Aeneas prepares for the battle again.
671 – 678 His wife begs him to take Iulus and herself to die too, or stay and guard them.
679 – 691 Tongues of fire seem to play about Iulus’ head, terrifying all – but Anchises prays to the gods to verify the omen.
692 – 725 It is confirmed by thunder and a shooting star, whereupon Anchises agrees to go with Aeneas who takes him on his shoulder, leading Iulus by the hand. Creusa follows at a distance.
725 – 751 They make their way through the darkness, but Aeneas is distracted from the path by a sudden gleam of arms. On reaching the temple of Ceres, outside the city, he finds Creusa missing and goes back in search of her.
752 – 795 He finds his house in flames and the Greeks occupying Priam’s palace and the citadel. Creusa’s ghost appears and bids him go on to Hesperia and the Thybris.
796 – 804 Finding his comrades now joined by more fugitives, Aeneas proceeds with them to the mountains.