Book 9: Enemy at the Gates
To the Great Battle of Latnium
Every Monday In Arcadia
- Iris was the goddess of the rainbow, the messenger of the Olympian gods, namely Juno (Hera).
- In myth she appears only as an errand-running messenger and was usually described as a virgin goddess.
- Her name contains a double meaning, being connected both with iris, "the rainbow," and eiris, "messenger."
- "She towered into the sky with balanced wings, cleaving a giant rainbow, flying beneath the clouds" (The Aeneid 9.16-17).
Turnus vs Aeneus
He is beloved by Juno (because he's easily manipulated to hate Trojans)
- Operates on blind faith to gods
- "And Turnus knew her and raised both hands to the stars, calling after the goddess, trailing her flight with cries: "'Iris,pride of the sky! Who has sped you here to me, swooping down from the clouds to reach the earth?'"
- Similar to Aeneus and Dido
- "So wildly Turnus, scanning the camp and rampart, flares in anger, brute resentment sears him to the bone."
- Etruscan background
- "Let all the Etruscans..."-Uses power of people for his own will
He represents Chaos
- "The Rutulians shrank in panic. Messapus himself was stunned with terror, his stallions reares, and the river, roaring, checked its currents"
- "rich in cavalry, rich in braided cloaks, bright gold" -Luxury over practicality- Vanity
- Turnus commands from the center- emphasis on individual and focus of his needs
- "I have my own fate too, counter to theirs, to stamp out these accursed people with my sword--they've stolen away my bride!"- Victory for himself
- "Turnus never loses faith in his daring"-egotistical pride
- Tactics usually compared to "Aeneus, best of captains"
- Prayer to the gods acts as a refusal to his known fate, it is not what he desires
- "Prayed to gods, over and over, weighing down the heavens with his vows"
- "All their fateful oracles- words from the gods these Phrygians bandy about- alarm me not at all."
Turnus vs Hercules
Turnus "gallops along the walls- a way in?- no way in."
- Represents the 3 times Hercules was trying to find Cacus
- In some ways a foil to Aeneus
- "and the lambs kept bleating on, snug beneath their dams."
Use of Fire
Used in this chapter mainly as a characteristic and representation of the chaos of both Turnus and war
- "I am determined now to ring their walls with fire!"
- "They've plundered the hearthfires, sooty torches ignite a murky glare, and the God of Fire hurls at the skies a swirl of sparks and ash."
- In Rome, Cybele was known as Magna Mater ("Great Mother")
- As a goddess of fertility she personified the earth and its abundant benefits, and was regarded as the Great Mother and unceasing producer of all plant life.
- The symbol of Cybele was the Pine Cone, thus the holy pine wood given to the Trojans.
- She was also believed to exercise unbounded sway over the animal world including wild animals, especially the lion. She is often depicted with lions to portray this domination.
Euryalus and Nisus Leave Camp
- Pietas: This is shown through the devotion the two men have for each other. Nisus throws away his life to avenge the death of his friend. It is also seen in the willingness they have to risk their lives for the Trojan cause.
- Auctoritas: This is found in the grief of the people after the lose of Nisus and Euryalus because they died honorably fighting for the Trojans.
- Individual Glory: This part of the book emphasizes glory to the individual as opposed to glory for the Gods. Nisus and Euryalus go out of the camp seeking glory for themselves by killing many Latin captains and getting to Aeneas, although they don't make it that far. Euryalus took the helmet to show he was victorious and have proof of his glory and this was their downfall.
- Gold: Symbol; symbolizes glory. If the succeed in their mission they get the gold so they also get the glory. Euryalus takes the gold helmet symbolizing his glory for being triumphant in killing a captain.
Tortoise: Here the tortoise is able to provide with an essence of strength within the Latin army. Their strategic defense also illuminates the unity of the Latin army and their upper hand in the current situation. On the other hand, the Trojans are seen disorganized panicked as they all fling random objects towards the Rutulians.
War and Peace: Here, as Virgil indicates, the "carnage and death the sword of Turnus" had caused each fighter to "[speed] down to darkness" (The Aeneid 9.602-603). This indicates a negative connotation of war as it causes humanity to to commit actions of inhumane destruction.
Turnus throws a flaming torch which promptly burns down a tower from the fortress. The tower falls, killing many. Only two survive the collapsing column, Helenor and Lycus. While Helenor dives head on into the battle and dies, Lycus attempts to climb up to wall to his comrades, but is ripped off the wall and killed by Turnus.
Animals: Virgil constantly employs rhetoric with the inclusion of animalistic metaphors. This is seen with the tortoise shell of shields and also the metaphor of the wailing mother sheep as her lamb is taken away by the wolf. Here, Virgil indicates the inhumanity in war. By focusing on the loss of the mother sheep, he showcases that war has a greater effects on the families of the fighters than the fighters themselves. This concept exemplifies the virtue of peace instead of war.
The next section indicates the countless number of deaths that occur on the field. Both sides kill numerous warriors but Turnus takes the trophy of most Trojans single-handedly murdered. Young Ascanius comes on board as he kills his first human, Numanus, with his bow and arrow.
Turnus's kill list: Lycus, Caeneus, Itys, Clonius, Dioxippus, Promolus, Sagaris, and Idas.
Women: Throughout The Aeneid, women are characterized as being weak and emotional. Numanus's insult not only characterizes the roles of useless women, but also showcases the insignificant attributes of women as well. Women are observed to be lazy and always preoccupied with their hair or dress.
At the sight of Numanus's death, Ascanius is overjoyed and over confidant in his abilities as a fighter. At this, Apollo applauds Ascanius for his victory, but also reminds him that he is fated to create peace through his actions and the actions of those who will come after him. In order for Ascanius to mature, he must not participate in this battle.
- Recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more
- Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis
- Apollo comes to earth disguised as the elderly Trojan Butes, and instructs Ascanius to stop fighting.
- When he leaves, the other Trojans realize he was a god, and remove Ascanius from the battle.
Divine Intervention: The characters of The Aeneid are constantly aided or hindered by the gods. They act as pawns all controlled by the string of Fate and they must follow the orders of their beloved gods. Due to this, Apollo is here once again to ensure the lineage of Ascanius to follow as announced by Fate. This divine intervention indicates the actions of all characters to be preordained by the gods.
Pandarus and Bitias "fling wide the gate their captain entrusted to them" to fight the enemies head on (The Aeneid 9.769). As the Rututlian forces charge at this new opening, word quickly arrives to Turnus who wheels around destroy the Trojans. On his way to the open gates, he decides to kill more Trojans.
Turnus's kill list (continued): Antiphates, Merops, Erymas, Aphidnus, and Bitias
The death of Bitias is characterized as an immense loss as even the "earth groans as [his] giant shield thunders down on his body" (The Aeneid 9.805-6). This event causes Pandarus to reevaluate opening the gates so he quickly closes them. However, this causes many comrades to be shut out and Turnus to be shut in (characterized as a tiger= animal motif). He tries to defeat Turnus but Juno diverts it. Juno even enrages Turnus even more for him to cause greater destruction. This entitles him onto another massacre of multiple Trojans.
Turnus's kill list (continued again): Pandarus, Phaleris, Gyges, Halys, Phegeus, Alcander, Halius, Pytanis, Noemon, Lynceus, Amycus, Clytius, and Cretheus
Turnus's ego leads him to lead this fight individually. Instead of smashing the bolts of the gates to invite the Rutulians in, he desires full fame and glory which causes him to neglect this tactical move. His actions are "personal and emotional. Although linked to courage and patriotism, it is ineffective, even damaging to common interest" (Saylor 89).
Mnesthus, a Trojan, encourages his friends, telling them to remember Aeneas and Troy. He increases the morale of his comrades and indicates their cowardness by running away. Now all the Trojans gather and push Turnus back towards the river.
- He is described by Virgil as the ancestral hero of the Memmii and "Of the house of Assaracus"
- One of a handful of vaguely defined lieutenants under Aeneas, he appears to be Aeneas's most senior captain, taking charge in Book 9 in his absence
- He takes second place in the boat race during the funeral games of Anchises in Book 5.
The heroism presented at this moment entices the development of "Vergilian heroism" which "is done for the common good, and at its best it is effective and successful for the community or group. It is strategy for a group and accomplished in a group" (Saylor 89). Once all of the Trojans acted upon as a group, they were able to overpower Turnus and even godly intervention wouldn't have been able to stop them.
Jove sends down Iris to inform Turnus that Juno will not be able to aid him in his commands. Due to this, it would be wise for him to escape instead. Turnus follows this advice and dives headfirst into the Tiber river to float back to his friends.