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Quote of the day: One Musonius Rufus, a man of equestrian
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The Aeneid by Virgil
translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VIII Chapter 18: The shield is forged
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At their task were found
the Cyclops in vast cavern forging steel,
naked Pyracmon and gigantic-limbed
Brontes and Steropes; beneath their blows
a lightning-shaft, half-shaped, half-burnished lay,
such as the Thunderer is wont to fling
in numbers from the sky, but formless still.
Three strands of whirling storm they wove with three
of bursting cloud, and three did interfuse
of ruddy-gleaming fires and winged winds;
then fearful lightnings on the skilful forge
they welded with loud horror, and with flames
that bear swift wrath from Jove. Elsewhere a crew
toiled at the chariot and winged wheel
wherewith the war-god [Note 1] wakens from repose
heroes and peopled cities. Others wrought
the awful Aegis, herald of dismay,
by angry Pallas worn; they burnished bright
the golden serpent-scales and wreathing snakes,
till from the corselet of the goddess glared
the Gorgon's severed head and rolling eyes.
Cyclops of Aetna, Vulcan cried, have done!
Leave ev'ry task unfinished, and receive
my new command! Good armor must be forged
for warrior brave. For this I need to use
your utmost sinew and your swiftest hand,
with all your master skill. No lingering now!
Swift the command, and swiftly they divide
to each his portion, and united urge
the common task. Forth flow the molten streams
of brass and gold, and, melted in fierce flame,
the deeply-wounding steel like liquid flows.
A mighty shield took shape, its single orb
sufficient to withstand the gathered shock
of all the Latin arms; for seven times
they welded ring with ring. Some deftly ply
the windy bellows, which receive and give
the roaring blasts; some plunge in cooling pond
the hissing metal, while the smithy floor
groans with the anvil's weight, as side by side
they lift their giantarms in numbered blows
and roll with gripe of tongs the ponderous bars.

Note 1: war-god = Mars

Events: The Gods interfere in the Aeneid, The shield of Aeneas

ferrum exercebant uasto Cyclopes in antro,
Brontesque Steropesque et nudus membra Pyragmon.
his informatum manibus iam parte polita
fulmen erat, toto genitor quae plurima caelo
deicit in terras, pars imperfecta manebat.
tris imbris torti radios, tris nubis aquosae
addiderant, rutuli tris ignis et alitis Austri.
fulgores nunc terrificos sonitumque metumque
miscebant operi flammisque sequacibus iras.
parte alia Marti currumque rotasque uolucris
instabant, quibus ille uiros, quibus excitat urbes;
aegidaque horriferam, turbatae Palladis arma,
certatim squamis serpentum auroque polibant
conexosque anguis ipsamque in pectore diuae
Gorgona desecto uertentem lumina collo.
'tollite cuncta' inquit 'coeptosque auferte labores,
Aetnaei Cyclopes, et huc aduertite mentem:
arma acri facienda uiro. nunc uiribus usus,
nunc manibus rapidis, omni nunc arte magistra.
praecipitate moras.' nec plura effatus, at illi
ocius incubuere omnes pariterque laborem
sortiti. fluit aes riuis aurique metallum
uulnificusque chalybs uasta fornace liquescit.
ingentem clipeum informant, unum omnia contra
tela Latinorum, septenosque orbibus orbis
impediunt. alii uentosis follibus auras
accipiunt redduntque, alii stridentia tingunt
aera lacu; gemit impositis incudibus antrum;
illi inter sese multa ui bracchia tollunt
in numerum, uersantque tenaci forcipe massam.