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When Camilla is introduced near the end of Book VII, what figure from the wall painting...

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trackmom | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 27, 2009 at 10:46 AM via web

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When Camilla is introduced near the end of Book VII, what figure from the wall painting in Juno's temple at Carthage is she similar to?

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clarendon | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 25, 2010 at 12:42 AM (Answer #1)

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The answer is Penthesilea, Queen of the Amazons.  Here's how Fitzgerald translates the relevant passage from Book I:

Then, leading the battalion of Amazons,

With half-moon shields, he saw Penthesilea

Fiery amid her host, buckling a golden

Girdle beneath her bare and arrogant breast,

A girl who dared fight men, a warrior queen.

In this passage the fire motif is present (although its full significance isn't clear until Book II).  It is perhaps significant that she is the last figure mentioned and in the same verse paragraph in which Aeneas sees himself.  Anyway, as you noted, the parallel with Camilla is clear, again reinforcing the idea that the last half of the Aeneid is Virgil's Iliad and, I suppose, that history repeats itself.

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