Aeneid: Book 7 Summary: War in Latium

Aeneid: Book 7 Summary: War in Latium

Aeneas and fleet sail into mouth of River Tiber.Make camp. Latinus welcomes them, offer daughter, Lavinia in marriage. Juno sends down agent Allecto to stir up resentment against Aeneas. She persuades Queen Amata to oppose Aeneas’ marriage and whips us Turnus: neighbouring Latin prince to war against Trojans. Engineers skirmish between local people of Latium and a Trojan hunting party led by Ascanius. War has begun.

1-285: Serene, peaceful, happy. Received by Latinus. Betrothed to Lavinia.

286-640: Juno returns from Argus-> where Greeks came from. Resentful. Anger. Furies hell.

641-> catalogue of Italian forces: enemy Allows Virgil to portray love of land and native people.

Main theme is how to overcome opposition that is violent: Aeneas strugles bewtween peace and war.

Marks 2nd half of poem

Rand: Fate of Turnus presented, with combat for Lavinia, compelled by the Fury and by himself.

Literary Context

New Muse: Erato to show second half.

Oral Tradition

themes within the epics including: 


Leadership of Aeneas: commands 100 men to visit King Latinus in supplication

Of Italian’s from Saturns line

Of Aeneas frm Jupiter’s line…here Ilinoeus makes it clear that they are superior in this way

Turnus seen as impetuous and impious in his rude dismissal of Juno’s priestess. So unlike Aeneas.

Furor of Turnus in calling for his armour. His rage compared to brushwood being set alight- boiling the water

King Latinus stands unmoved like a rock in high seas, despite all his peoples calling out for war

honour and reputation


Aeneas deeply respectful to Anchises for guiding him to founding rome, tells men to libate to Anchises in return pg 144

Queen Amata mourns how Lavinia will be carried off by the Trojans, disrupting the family 151. Portrayed as Paris all over again. Also therefore, echoing Juno’s words 151

First cause of war portrayed with great pathos: that of a stag being ripped from its mothers teats



  • Juno deems Aeneas as the second Paris, whereby both of them will start a war over a woman 150
  • Queen Amata already seething with womanly anger, which Allecto manipulates 151 …this will be similar later to Turnus
  • Madness of Queen Amata whose madness is compared to spinning top and raving Bacchant pg 152
  • So delusional she sing wedding song for Turnus and her daughter Lavinia
  • Turnus tells Calybe, aka Allecto to leave peace and war to men as war is the business as men… C.f Hector says to Andromache
  • Allecto after departure lightens heaven and earth with absence.

the role of the gods

  • Neptune kept Trojans from sailing into harbour of Circe, protecting them
  • Juno spoils serene, peaceful negiotiations with her bitter resentment
    • She despairs at all her efforts and how the Trojans persist
    • She admits she cannot stop his fate, but will delay it
  • Allecto in driving Amata to frenzy with a poisonous snake bite
  • Virgil draws on everyday life to describe how Queen Amata is the plaything of Allector, compared to a spining top by a extended similie
  • Allecto in changing her disguise to Calybe, aged priestess of Juno to deceive Turnus 153
  • Uses argument of The immorality that Allecto encourages as priestess…how Turnus was not rewarded for fighting for King Latinus…says that Turnus’ fate is just to be laughed at: diminsihing his heroism pg 153
  • Allecto in pointing Ascanius’ arrow to maim the stag of Tyrrhus pg 155
  • Even Juno thinks that Allecto’s action and furor is sickening in her lust for war..asks her to withdraw

the power of fate

Prophet sees stranger arriving and an army that will gain mastery over the citadel

Lavinia hair catches fire: prophet

Fate that Lavinia must marry a non native: acc to King Latinus and prophet

Fate that Rome will set the whole world turning

Fulfils prophecy: that Iulus jokes about eating their own tables and how this signals the end of the suffering and the beginning of building their fate. C.f b3 l250

Jupiter creates three tunder claps to confirm the site of the founding of Rome pg 145

Divine destiny in reaching Italy according to Ilioenus to King Latinus pg 147

King Latinus sees Ilioneus parley as potential fulfilling of prophecy in that Aeneas, non native could take Lavinia’s hand

Juno calls unfounded Rome, a second Troy…she knows she can’t stop Aeneas founding Rome, but she will delay it and aim to make it more difficiult, but also making the original fate less effective.

the portrayal of war

Iliad ends with Greek victory over Trojans. However, here in this Book, Amata highlights the Greek blood of Turnus back along the line and how this means the Aeneid will end in reverse. A Trojan victory over the Greeks. 151

Scale: war escalates from village brawl to a metaphor descrining how a dark crop of swords had sprouted

Pathos of the death of Almo, eldest son Tyrrhus. Also of Old Galaesus: another old bloke who had tried to end the bloodshed: the justest man in Ausonia

Warfare as mad furor, with all reason lost how suddenly rage overcomes all divine prophecy, warning etc on part of Italians.

 moral values

Aeneas sends 100 of his men with olives wrapped in wool to negiotiate peacefully with King Latinus

King Latinus’ xenia offered to Aeneas’ men

Fact that King Latinus says his people do not need laws, but it is their bloodline from Saturn that means they are moral and righteous


role of Aeneas in Rome’s imperial destiny.

Historical Context

Virgil’s relationship to the regime of Augustus;

Showing that Italians are too, from royal blood: not barbarians. They are from Saturn’s bloodline: old king of the gods.

The Romanness of Italians with the Roman ceremonial items like the beaks broken off the prows of ships

Dardanus born in Italy…then goes to Ilium to found Troy. Aeneas coming frm Troy to found Rome. Reverse cycle.

the political and historical background in which the Aeneid/Iliad  was written.








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