Juno hating Trojans from Classics1 on Comiqs
Juno, the wife and sister of Jupiter, clearly instigates the war between Aeneas and Turnus. The aggressive nature of Juno is seen as early as her entrance in the epic. Juno appeared as a figure to be reckoned with from the very first book:
Baleful Juno in her sleepless rage” (Book 1, Lines 7-8)
She dislikes the Trojans and wishes to prolong their suffering, especially since Aeneas, the Trojan prince, has made an alliance with the royalty of Latium. Vergil explains Juno’s hatred in the first book:
“And Juno, we are told, cared more for Carthage
Than for any walled city of the earth,
More than for Samos, even. There her armor
And her chariot were kept, and, fate permitting,
Carthage would be the ruler of the world.
So she intended, and so nursed that power.
But she had heard that long since
That generations born of Trojan blood
Would one day overthrow her Tyrian walls,
And from that blood a race would come in time
With ample kingdoms…” (Book 1, Lines 24-34)
She attempts to manipulate Aeolus, the ruler of the winds, to disturb Aeneas’ trip home. She cunningly tried to offer one of her nymphs as a potential wife, but Aeolus declines. Her ease in deceiving people remains relevant throughout the epic.
Once Dido becomes hypnotized by the love from Cupid’s arrow, Juno ceases this opportunity to attempt to keep Aeneas and his new lover together, reducing the chance of the Trojan prince establishing his own strong nation. When she is arguing the benefits of the lovers’ marriage to Venus, she sounds supportive of the marriage, but in context, it is apparent that she is working only in her favor, hoping to delay the destruction of her own homeland:
“I am not blind.
Your fear of our new walls has not escaped me,
Fear and mistrust of Carthage at her height.
But how far will it go? What do you hope for,
Being so contentious? Why do we not
Arrange eternal peace and formal marriage?
You have heart’s desire: Dido in love,
Dido consumed to the core.
Why not, then, rule this people side by side
With equal authority…” (Book 5, Lines 137-146)
Juno did not intend this as an offering of peace, but instead she suggested marriage to divert Aeneas and keep him in
“Women of Troy,
They looked now toward the ships, uncertainly,
With animosity, half in unhappy love
Of landscapes there before them, half still bound
To fated realms calling them onward-
…Wrought into a frenzy, all cried out together,
Snatching up fire from hearths, despoiling altars,
Taking dry foliage, brush, and brands to throw.
And Vulcan, god of fire, unbridled raged
Through rowing thwarts and oars and piney hulls.”
(Book 5, Lines 845-857)
Juno again thwarted Aeneas’ journey. The Trojans were forced to replace many timbers in the ships and fit new oars and rigging. Some of the Trojans were allowed to remain in
“Juno’s anger, and her implacable heart,
Drive me to prayers beneath my dignity.
No length of time, no piety affects her,
Unbroken in will by Jove’s commands of Fate,
She never holds her peace. To have devoured
A city from the heart of Phrygia’s people
In her vile hatred, this was not enough,
Nor to have dragged the remnant left from
Through all harassment. Now she harries still
…look at her new crime, how she egged on
The Trojan women to their foul ship-burning,
Making the Trojans, for that loss of ships,
Forsake their own folk in a strange country.”
(Book 5 Lines 1018-1027; 1034-1037)
Juno’s attempts to foil Aeneas’ future repeatedly troubled his mother, Venus. Juno could not keep Aeneas from his fate, especially once he and his peoples reached the shores of
“… I am defeated
And by Aeneas. Well, if my powers fall short,
I need not falter over asking help
Wherever help may lie. If I can sway
No heavenly hearts I’ll rouse the world below.
It will not be permitted me – so be it –
To keep the man from rule in
By changeless fate Lavinia waits, his bride.
And yet to drag it out, to pile delay
Upon delay in these great matters – that
I can do: to destroy both countries’ people,
That I can do. Let father and son-in-law
Unite at that cost to their own! In blood,
Trojan and Latin, comes your dowry, girl;
Bridesmaid Bellona waits now to attend you.
Hecuba’s not the only one who carried
A burning brand within her and bore a son
Whose marriage fired a city. So it is
With Venus’ child, a
A funeral torch again for
(Book 7 Lines 422-441)
This decree by Juno emphasizes not her defeat, as she stated in the first line, but her strength and willpower. There are a few more representations of Juno in The Aeneid, but none as powerful and important as this statement. Even when the inevitable destiny is at hand, Juno did not give in, but made one last effort to hinder Aeneas. She determined to “drag it out, to pile delay upon delay” (Book VII: lines 430-431) upon his destined fate. To achieve this, she called upon a Fury and aided Turnus, the opponent of Aeneas.
“Here is a service all your own
That you can do for me, Daughter of Night,
Here is a way to help me, to make sure
My status and renown will not give way
Or be impaired, and that Aeneas’ people
Cannot by marriage win Latinus over
…Break up this peace-pact, scatter acts of war”
(Book 12: Lines 452-457; 464)
The Fury served Juno by driving Lavinia’s mother to madness, leading to women of
“Turnus, can you bear to see
…The king withholds your bride,
Witholds the dowry that you fought and bled for.
…Mow down the Tuscan ranks, shelter the Latins
Under your peace-pact! So? These messages-
While you lay in the stillness of the night-
Saturn’s almighty daughter ordered me
Herself to bring before you.
…Prepare a sortie and a fight. These Phrygian
Captains in their camp on our fine river,
Give them a burning, burn their painted ships.
Great force in heaven demands it.”
Book 12: Lines 581; 584-585; 587-591; 584-597)
Turnus at first denied the challenge, but the Fury convinced him to comply. The Fury reported her deeds to Juno, proud of herself, flying up to the heavens to do so.
“Terrors and treacheries
We have in plenty. All that may prolong
A war is there: they fight now hand to hand
And arms luck gave are running with fresh blood.
There is the marriage, there is the ceremony
Venus’ distinguished son and that great king
Latinus may take joy in! As for you,
This roving rather freely in high air
Is hardly as the Father wishes
… Down with you.
If any further need to act arises
I myself will manage.”
(Book 12: Lines 757-768)
Here Juno demonstrated her power over another goddess, by sending her back to the Underworld. She also took the initiative, deciding to take it upon herself alone to cause any subsequent troubles to Aeneas. Juno ensured the war would begin quickly. When Latinus refused to call for war against the Trojans, she took matters into her own hands and spoke to the queen instead.
At this dropped from the sky. She gave a push
To stubborn-yielding doors, then burst the iron-bound
Gates of war apart on turning hinges.”
(Book 12 Lines 852-855)
At that signal, men from the surrounding countryside all dropped their tasks and prepared for war against the Trojans. When peace again was on the horizon, Juno stepped in to fire up Juturna, Turnus’ nymph sister, continuing the warfare.
“… While Fortune seemed
Compliant, and the Fates let power rest
With Latium, your brother and your city
Had my protection. Now I see the soldier
Meeting a destiny beyond his strength:
His doom’s day, mortal shock of the enemy,
Are now at hand. I cannot bear to watch
This duel, this pact. If you dare help your brother
More at close quarters, do it, and well done.
…Go, snatch your brother back from death
If there’s a way. Or else renew the war,
Cast out the pact which they drew up. I’ll be
Sponsor to your audacity.”
(Book 12 Lines 197-205; 211-214)
Juno was aware that helping Turnus directly would bring the fury of Jupiter upon her. Thus she called upon another to aid Turnus, and further delayed Aeneas’ final rest in
What will the end be? What is left for you?
You yourself know, and say you know, Aeneas
Born for heaven, tutelary of this land,
By fate to be translated to the stars.
What do you plan? What are you hoping for,
Keeping your seat apart in the cold clouds?
Fitting, was it, that a mortal archer
Wound an immortal? That a blade let slip
Should be restored to Turnus, and new force
Accrue to a beaten man? Without your help
What could Juturna do?
…You had the power to harry men of Troy
By land and sea, to light the fires of war
Beyond belief, to scar a family
With mourning before marriage. I forbid
Your going further.”
(Book 12 Lines 1072-1083; 1089-1093)
In this speech, it is evident that even Jupiter respected Juno’s power, but had to step in to prevent further harm from being done to Aeneas’ new peoples. The last demonstration of Juno’s power and prestige came in her final speech of the epic poem. She knew that at last the time had come to allow fate to take its course, but out of pride asked that the joined peoples not be termed the “new
“I yield now and for all my hatred leave
This battlefield. But one thing not retained
By fate I beg for Latium, for the future
Greatness of your kin: when presently
They crown peace with a happy wedding day-
So let it be- and merge their laws and treaties,
Never command the land’s own Latin folk
To change their old name, to become new Trojans,
Known as Teucrians; never make them alter
Dialect or dress. Let
Let there be Alban kings for generations,
And let Italian valor be the strength
(Book XII: lines 1110-1123)
With this, Juno let fate come to be, but threw in one last demonstration of her power by not allowing the Latins to become known as Trojans, her despised race. There are several demonstrations of Juno’s power and prestige in The Aeneid. She called upon gods of other powers, such as Aeolus, Iris, and the Fury to facilitate her in her task. She caused Venus much distress concerning the safety of her son. Finally, when faced with defeat, Juno arose to demonstrate her power just once more by hindering his acceptance into his new land. She used her power to disrupt the course of Aeneas and acts as the main figure of deception in the epic.
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