nec procul hinc partem fusi monstrantur in omnem
Lugentes campi; sic illos nomine dicunt.
hic quos durus amor crudeli tabe peredit
secreti celant calles et myrtea circum
silva tegit; curae non ipsa in morte relinquunt.
his Phaedram Procrinque locis maestamque Eriphylen
crudelis nati monstrantem vulnera cernit,
Evadnenque et Pasiphaen; his Laodamia
it comes et iuvenis quondam, nunc femina, Caeneus
rursus et in veterem fato revoluta figuram.
--Vergil, Aeneid 6.440-449
far from here, spread out all around in every direction were the Mourning
Fields; that’s what they’re called. This is where people affected by cursed
love waste away. They hide in the narrow foot paths covered in a myrtle forest;
even death itself cannot remove their pain. This is where he sees Phaedra,
Procris, sad Eriphylis who bears the wounds of her cruel son, as well as
Evandne and Pasiphae. Laodamia wanders here as companion to Caeneus—he had been
a young man, but now returned by Fate to his previous shape as a woman.
Phaedra was cursed by Aphrodite to fall in love with her stepson
Procris, afraid her husband was unfaithful to her, followed him
while he went out hunting and was accidentally killed by him.
Eriphylis betrayed her husband’s whereabouts while he was hiding during
the Theban War and was swallowed by the earth
Evadne loved her husband so much that she threw herself on her husband’s
Pasiphae was cursed by Poseidon to fall in love with a bull after
her husband Minos refused to offer him appropriate sacrifices
Laodamia loved her husband Protesilaus so much that she threw
herself on his funeral pyre
What is Caeneus’ durus amor? Is it being the target of Poseidon’s attention and
subsequent attack? Although Caeneus has a son (Coronus), there is no mention in extant myths about any love interest / marriage.
VERGIL / VIRGIL
Name: Publius Vergilius Maro
Date: 70 BCE – 21 BCE
Vergil was born in Mantua (Cisalpine Gaul, located in northern Italy) and lived during the tumultuous transition of Roman government from republic to monarchy. His masterpiece, the Aeneid, tells the story of Aeneas’ migration from Troy to Italy; it was used for centuries as the pinnacle of Roman literature.
GOLDEN AGE ROME