Friday, June 10, 2022

Christianizing the Myth of Camilla: Excidium Troiae 45-46

In this medieval abridgement of the Aeneid, Diana has a maternal relationship with Camilla. 

Content Warning: misogyny; murder

A Note on the Text:  Because this uses medieval and not Classical spelling, the readability of this text may initially be difficult (e.g., Eneas instead of Aeneasprelia instead of proeliasilve instead of silvae).

Etiam Camilla regina Amazonum cum exercitu suo magno Latino petita in auxilium venit. Quid multa?

Eneas, post quod paucis diebus quievit, se armavit et illuc ad civitatem Laurentinam perrexit. Cui Turnus una cum Mezentio vel Camilla regina obvius venit et cepit pugna acerba exerceri; in qua pugna Pallas filius Evandri, quem sibi Eneas in auxilium petierat, a Turno occisus est. Quem Turnus expoliavit et brachialem eius tulit, et se eo cinxit cepitque plus pugna invalescere. Eneas vero tulit corpus Pallantis et eum diligenter condidit et in papilione suo habuit. Et dum pugnatur, etiam Camilla regina occisa est ab Arronte. Iste Arrons qui eam occidit de populo fuit Turni, et quando vidit Camillam multa prelia facere, dixit: ‘Feminis et non nobis virtus habet assignari.’ Et surrepticie in loco occulto eam percussit et occidit. Et quia ista Camilla a Diana dea silve de lacte equarum nutrita fuerat, dolens Diana a morte eius Arontem qui eam occiderat de arcu suo fulmine sagittavit, et Arons percussus a Diana mortuus est. Quid multa?

--Excidium Troiae 45-46

Camilla, Queen of the Amazons, came with her great army to offer aid to King Latinus.

After a few days’ rest, Aeneas readied for battle and headed for Laurentum. Turnus, together with Mezentius and Queen Camilla, came out to meet him, and a heated battle broke out. In this battle Turnus killed Pallas, Evander’s son and the very same person Aeneas had sought as an ally; Turnus stripped Pallas’ body of armor and stole his bracelet, wearing it on his own body and began to fight with even more determination. Aeneas took up Pallas’ body and lovingly lay him in state in his own quarters.

While the battle raged on, Queen Camilla was killed by Arruns. Arruns was on Turnus’ side of the battle, too; but when he saw Camilla fighting so fiercely, he said, “The glory of the battle is going to women, not us!"  When no one was looking he struck her down and killed her. Since the forest goddess Diana nursed Camilla on mare’s milk and raised her as her very own, the goddess displayed her grief by striking down Arruns with her own arrows.




Name:  ???  

Date:  ??? prior to 9th century CE




Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



The Excidium Troiae is a medieval manuscript that provides a 20 page abridged version of the Trojan War, including the Judgment of Paris, the birth and childhood of Achilles, the contents of Vergil’s Aeneid, the founding of Rome and the ultimate rise of the Roman Empire. Little is known of its author or origin, but they predate the 9th century CE. Because of its ease of grammatical readability, this text is a favorite among Latin teachers.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE


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