Vergiliana II

'After suffering shipwreck near Carthage, Aeneas is taken by his mother, Venus, to the city itself. In a temple there, he sees depictions of scenes from the Trojan War, in which he himself has taken part. Amazed that the story of Troy could have reached such distant shores, he concludes: '

Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.

Aeneid 1.462

The interpretation of this line hinges on the enigmatic phrase lacrimae rerum, which probably means tears for [human] things, that is, for the human condition and the misfortunes to which it is subjected. An appropriatetranslation would be There are tears for [life's] hazards, and mortal [troubles] totfcl? the heart. ,

For more Vergiliana, see pages 56,182,185, and 199.

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