Aeneas in the underworld under the elm tree pulls out his sword against the insubstantial visions of phenomena of monsters and is restrained by the Sibyl.

    Aeneas zückt in der Unterwelt unter der Ulme mit den nichtigen Träumen sein Schwert gegen Erscheinungen von Monstern und wird von der Sibylle zurückgehalten. (Suerbaum)

    Engraving from a German children’s picture-book version of the Aeneid by G. J. Lang and G. C. Eimmart, “A tapestry of Roman virtues as seen in Vergil’s Aeneas and his brave deeds, rendered in sparkling engravings, as illustrations of the remarkable deeds of antiquity, for the common benefit of noble youth,” (Peplus virtutum Romanarum in Aenea Virgiliano eiusque rebus fortiter gestis, ad maiorem antiquitatis et rerum lucem, communi iuventutis sacratae bono, aere renitens) (Nuremburg: J.L. Buggel, 1688), pl. 25.


    Vergil describes this giant elm tree in the Underworld as the seat that "false Dreams" hold (quam sedem Somnia vana ten ere ferunt, 283-284). There are illusions clinging to each leaf in the engraving. The list of creatures from 286 to 289 include Centaurs, Scyllas, the hundred-armed Briareus, the Lernean Hydra, a Chimaera, Gorgons and Harpies and three-bodied Geryon. Most of these creatures can be seen behind the tree: a harpy hovers in the upper left hand corner above four centaurs, Cerberus the three headed dog lies beside the Chimaera. A giant snake curls in front of an other unknown fire-breathing creature in the center middleground. Aeneas trembles with sudden fear (290) and attempts to fight off the creatures before him, but the Sibyl explains that the creatures are incorporeal. (Lucy McInerney)

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    Lib: VI. Aen: v. 282. In medio ramos annosaque brachia pandit/ Ulmus opaca, ingens./ usque 294.
    Bavarian State Library, Munich
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