Brant: Juno and Allecto

In the underworld, Juno calls upon Allecto (323-6), who is shown as a middle-aged woman with snakes for hair (329). She sits in a war tent in the mouth of the underworld, which is represented by a dragon-like creature. Allecto's sisters, the Furies (327-8), sit in their cells looking on. Juno gestures to the upper right corner, where Aeneas stands at the top of a tower in the city he is building. She urges Allecto to create chaos and war between the Latins and Trojans (331-40). (Katy Purington)

Woodcut illustration from the “Strasbourg Vergil,” edited by Sebastian Brant: Publii Virgilii Maronis Opera cum quinque vulgatis commentariis expolitissimisque figuris atque imaginibus nuper per Sebastianum Brant superadditis (Strasbourg: Johannis Grieninger, 1502), fol. 296r, executed by an anonymous engraver under the direction of Brant.


Sebastian Brant (1458-1521) was a humanist scholar of many competencies. Trained in classics and law at the University of Basel, Brant later lectured in jurisprudence there and practiced law in his native city of Strasbourg. While his satirical poem Das Narrenschiff won him considerable standing as a writer, his role in the transmission of Virgil to the Renaissance was at least as important. In 1502 he and Strasbourg printer Johannes Grüninger produced a major edition of Virgil’s works, along with Donatus’ Life and the commentaries of Servius, Landino, and Calderini, with more than two hundred woodcut illustrations. (Annabel Patterson)

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