Brant: Juno Shoves Turnus' Ship

On the right, Juno, dabbing her eyes with a handkerchief, asks Jupiter for permission to intervene in order to keep Turnus safe (611-28). In the upper right, Turnus pursues a misty form with Juno in the center of it, thinking the form is Aeneas (635-52). In the center of the image, Turnus has boarded a ship in pursuit of Aeneas (653-8). Juno unties the ropes that moor the ship to the shore (659-60), and sends Turnus out to sea (665), back home to his city, Ardea, which is shown in the top left corner (687-8). Turnus is visibly upset to be returning home like a coward (666-84).

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. 362v, 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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