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The Aeneid Power Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Line). We used Robert Fitzgerald's translation.

Quote #10

(Turnus):
"In war
There's no salvation? Sing that to your Trojan
Chief and your own prospects, you mad fool!
Go on confusing everything with fear,
Exalt a race twice-conquered and their strength,
Cry down Latinus' power. Nowadays
The Myrmidons tremble at Phrygian spears,
Diomedes and Achilles tremble—
Yes, and Aufidus torrent flows uphill
In flight from the Adriatic." (11.539-548)

With these sarcastic words, Turnus emphatically characterizes Drances – who had just suggested that he give up his claim to marriage with Lavinia in favor of a less prestigious match – as weaksauce. In them, he displays a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of political power. Just because the Trojans were beaten twice before, Turnus assumes that it is literally impossible for them to be powerful now – about as likely as the Aufidus river flowing uphill. Even setting aside the fact that the Trojans are fated to win this time, Turnus seems pretty naïve (or willfully ignorant) of the way the world works.

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