The Capture of a Royal Palace

Vergil Aeneid 2.469-495

In front of the entrance hall itself and on the edge of the threshold, Pyrrhus swaggered, shining with the bronze gleam of his weapons; just as when a snake, which, in a swollen state (lit,, swollen), the cold winter covered below the earth, having eaten harmful plants, now fresh after shedding [its] skin and shining with youth, raises [its] breast and rolls [its] slippery back toward the light, rearing up to the sun, and flashes with a three-forked tongue from [its] mouth.

Together [with Pyrrhtls], huge Periphas and the armor-bearer Automedon, [once] driver of Achilles' horses, [and] together [with Pyrrhus], all the force of Scyros moved up to the building and tossed flames onto the roof. Among the first, [Pyrrhus] himself, snatching an ax, broke through the stout door and wrenched the bronze-clad rails from [their] hinge pins; and now he made a hole in the solid oak by cutting through a panel and made a huge window with a wide opening.

The palace (lit., house) inside was visible and the long hall was disclosed. Visible were the chambers of Priam and the old kings, and they (i.e., the Trojans itiside) saw armed [men] standing on the thresholds edge. But the palace inside (lit., the inner house) was in confusion with wailing and woeful uproar, and the hollow rooms within howled with the lamentations of women; the clamor struck the golden stars. Then frightened mothers wandered in the huge building and erribraced and clung to the doors and planted kisses [on them].

Pyrrhus pressed on with the force of his father; nor were the bars or the guards themselves [sufficiently] strong to withstand [him]. The door gave way with frequent blows from a battering ram, and the rails, dislodged from their pins, collapsed. A way is made by violence, and the Greeks, after gaining entry, forced the entrance and slaughtered those in front, and filled the place (lit., places) with soldiers over a wide area.

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