Eimmart: Allecto incites Turnus to war

    Allecto departs in the dress of a priestess with a burning torch in her right hand and rearing snakes in her left, while the horrified Turnus lies on the bed.

    Allecto verlässt im Kleid einer Priesterin mit einer brennenden Fackel in der Rechten und sich aufbäumenden Schlangen in der Linken den entsetzt auf dem Bett liegenden Turnus. (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. 31.


    In Book VII Allecto takes on the form of Calybe, a priestess of Juno’s temple, in order to speak with Turnus. She addresses him in his sleep from line 421 through 434, trying to incite him to go to war with Aeneas. In a dream state, he responds impudently, unaware that he is speaking to a goddess. Angry at being spoken to in such a way by a mortal, Allecto reveals herself to Turnus as one of the Furies and wakes him up by thrusting a burning torch into his chest (456-457). Allecto is pictured just after this moment in the engraving, holding a bunch of snakes in her left hand and the torch in her right as she walks away from Turnus, who has just woken up and is gesturing towards her in alarm. The sword and helmet beside his bed indicate that Turnus is about to violate the peace treaty between the Latins and Trojans and start the war. (Lucy McInerney)

    Associated Passages
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    Lib. VII. Aen: v. 445. Talibus Alecto dictis exarsit in iras./ usque 459.
    Bavarian State Library, Munich
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