Virgil, Aeneid

Publius Vergilius Maro (70–19 BCE), aka Virgil, is one of the most famous Roman poets. His poem the Aeneid, written during the last ten years of his life, depicts the legendary founding of Rome after the fall of Troy. It may have been commissioned by the emperor Augustus. Virgil here imagines a Gaulish raid on Rome.

The following is an adaptation of The Aeneid, trans. Theodore C. Williams. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1910.

§ A. 8.630. Outside, besieging Gauls climbed the thorny pathway, ambushed in shadow and the friendly dark of night without a star; their flowing hair was golden, and every item of their clothing was gold; their cloaks were glittering plaid; each milk-white neck bore circlet of bright gold; in each man’s hand two Alpine javelins gleamed, and the wild northern warriors bore long shields for defense.