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Early Indo-European Texts

Latin

Winfred P. Lehmann and Jonathan Slocum

This page contains a text in Latin with a modern English translation. This particular text and its translation are extracted from a lesson in the Early Indo-European Online series, where one may find detailed information about this text (see the Table of Contents page for Latin Online in EIEOL), and general information about the Latin language and its speakers' culture.

from Livy's History of Rome, Book 1, Section 1

Cum instructae acies constitissent, priusquam signa canerent, processisse Latinum inter primores ducemque advenarum evocasse ad conloquium. Percunctatum deinde qui mortales essent, unde aut quo casu profecti domo quidve quaerentes in agrum Laurentinum exissent. Postquam audierit multitudinem Troianos esse, ducem Aeneam, filium Anchisae et Veneris, cremata patria domo profugos sedem condendaeque urbi locum quaerere. Et nobilitatem admiratum gentis virique et animum vel bello vel paci paratum, dextra data fidem futurae amicitiae sanxisse. Inde foedus ictum inter duces, inter exercitus salutationem factam. Aeneam apud Latinum fuisse in hospitio. Ibi Latinum apud penates deos domesticum publico adiunxisse foedus filia Aeneae in matrimonium data. Ea res utique Troianis spem adfirmat tandem stabili certaque sede finiendi erroris. Oppidum condunt. Aeneas a nomine uxoris Lavinium appellat.

Translation

When the arranged lines of battle had been drawn up, before the signals were sounded, Latinus advanced among his chieftains and summoned the leader of the strangers to a conference. He then asked what men they were, where they had come from, what misfortune had caused them to leave their home, and what they were seeking in the land of Laurentinum. After he heard that the people were Trojans and their leader was Aeneas, the son of Anchises and Venus, and that their city had been burned, and driven from their home they were seeking a dwelling place and a site where they might build a city, in admiration of both the renown of the race and the spirit of the hero who was prepared either for war or for peace, he gave him his right hand and enacted a pledge of future friendship. A treaty was then struck by the leaders, and the armies saluted. Aeneas received guest friendship with Latinus. And then Latinus in the presence of his household gods added to the public treaty a domestic one by giving his daughter in marriage to Aeneas. This event definitely confirmed the hope of the Trojans of having ended their wanderings in a stable and certain home. They founded a city. Aeneas called it Lavinium after the name of his wife.