The Æneid I.430-436
By Anastasia O'Donnell
Virgil’s famous epic The Æneid follows the mythic history of the Trojan prince Æneas and his people, after the destruction of their city at the end of the Trojan War; the Romans considered themselves descendants of the Trojans. On their way west to Italy, they stop in northern Africa at the site which will soon become Carthage. In this particularly famous passage, imitating the extended similes Homer often employs, Virgil compares the Carthaginians to bees and their nascent city to a rich hive:
As work drives bees through flowery fields
In early summer ’neath the sun,
When grown bees to the world reveal
Their new recruits, the full-grown young;
Or when they compact liquid honey
And spread it sweet among the cells,
Or when they meet their comrades, coming,
Delivering fresh caramel;
Or as when those of the hive gather
Into a battle line to block
Those sluggish drones who much would rather
Laze than work, from home and flock;
The hive is boiling with their work,
The fresh-made honey sends a scent
Tinted with thyme into the air,
Which sweetens with the fragrance.
Anastasia O’Donnell is a high school junior from St. Louis, MO. She enjoys mathematics, and is considering studying it at the undergraduate level; she also likes writing short stories, listening to audiobooks, knitting, and exploring God’s creation.
Student contributions to the Journal, including essays, poetry, short fiction, and more, come from CLT examinees who have achieved some of the highest scores on our exam. Congratulations to Miss O’Donnell on her outstanding score! You can see more from our top students here.
Published on 11th November, 2022.