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translated by Theodore C. Williams
Book VI Chapter 17: Cerberus
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Here Cerberus, with triple-throated roar, |
Made all the region ring, as there he lay
At vast length in his cave. The Sibyl then,
Seeing the serpents writhe around his neck,
Threw down a loaf with honeyed herbs imbued
And drowsy essences: he, ravenous,
Gaped wide his three fierce mouths and snatched the bait,
Crouched with his large backs loose upon the ground,
And filled his cavern floor from end to end.
Aeneas through hell's portal moved, while sleep
Its warder buried; then he fled that shore
Of Stygian stream, whence travellers ne'er return.
Event: Aeneas visits the Underworld
Cerberus haec ingens latratu regna trifauci
personat aduerso recubans immanis in antro.
cui uates horrere uidens iam colla colubris
melle soporatam et medicatis frugibus offam
obicit. ille fame rabida tria guttura pandens
corripit obiectam, atque immania terga resoluit
fusus humi totoque ingens extenditur antro.
occupat Aeneas aditum custode sepulto
euaditque celer ripam inremeabilis undae.